Tuesday marks one year since a helicopter crash claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant and seven others. Ahead of the anniversary, Vanessa Bryant has one request: "Celebrate their lives, not the day they lost them."
Tuesday marks one year since a helicopter crash claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant and seven others. Ahead of the anniversary, Vanessa Bryant has one request: "Celebrate their lives, not the day they lost them."
Canada's health officials spoke about the recent change in guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on the time between two COVID-19 vaccine doses, and how that may contribute to vaccine hesitancy in Canada.
A mechanical whir fills the room as a sling slowly lifts a patient out of her hospital bed. "Wow, it's fun to see you like that," says nurse Caroline Brochu, as the woman is lowered into a chair. After spending nearly two weeks on a ventilator, severely sick with COVID-19, the patient had been extubated a few days earlier. She's slowly being weaned off the oxygen and has regained enough strength to start physiotherapy. In her early 70s, the woman was admitted to the intensive care unit at Cité-de-la-Santé hospital in Laval in early February. Like many of the patients the hospital has treated, she was generally healthy before she contracted the virus. "No comorbidities," said Dr. Joseph Dahine, an intensive care specialist. "Just high blood pressure and a little bit of asthma." Psychologists regularly check in with the ICU staff to see how they are coping with the exhaustion and emotional strain of COVID-19.(Dave St-Amant/CBC) The unknown road ahead In mid-February, CBC Montreal was granted exclusive access to the hospital's intensive care unit. A year into the pandemic, it's still difficult to predict who will only need a few days of oxygen to bounce back and who will be on a ventilator for weeks. But what is clear is the virus spares no one. The ICU has treated severely ill patients as young as 24. Back in January, about two-thirds of the patients were under 60. At the time of CBC's visit, there were five patients. Over the past 11 months, the ICU has treated a total of 175 patients. Twenty-five have died. During that time, the ICU has worked in uncharted territory, with personnel at times risking their own health to ensure those suffering the most severe COVID-19 complications get care. WATCH | Staff inside the ICU talk about the cases that still haunt them and the unknown road ahead: "Trying to keep the morale has been the hardest aspect of all of this," said Joanie Bolduc-Dionne, the ICU's head nurse. "Right now, we have some fantastic psychologists that come day, evening, night to support the team." The psychologists visit to get a sense of how staff are coping, and what they might be struggling with, she said. Family has to stay at a distance Life inside the ICU can be an emotional roller-coaster — for the staff, the patients and their families. The daughter of the woman who was recently extubated has arrived for a visit but she has to stay outside the room because her mother could still be contagious. The distance is painful for both of them. Exhausted from the effort of sitting and eating, the woman is back in her bed. Her eyes fill with tears as she looks at her daughter through the glass door. "It's harder to see her now, like this," said the daughter, turning to a nurse. "When she was intubated that was bad, but at least she didn't realize she was in that situation. Now, she knows what's going on. Dr. Joseph Dahine, pictured at right, consults with the ICU team at Cité-de-la-Santé Hospital in Laval. Treating COVID-19 patients requires constant re-calibration to pinpoint what may be causing a patient's deterioration.(Dave St-Amant/CBC) Startling deterioration Following CBC's visit, the woman had an unexpected setback overnight. During her sleep, her heart started to race. The ICU team managed to bring her heart rate back down, but the doctor on shift is concerned about her breathing, which is rapid and shallow. "If we can't give you enough oxygen and you are tired with the mask, and if we don't intubate you, well, it's death," Dr. Dahine tells the woman. With a resigned nod, she agrees to be re-intubated as a last resort. As she continues to deteriorate over the next few days, doctors have no choice but to put her back on a ventilator. It's a sobering reminder of just how unpredictable this virus can still be. At the beginning of March, the patient was brought out of the induced coma, but still needs a ventilator to breathe. She had to undergo a tracheotomy. She can only communicate with her family and the staff by blinking. "She still has a long way to go to recovery but at least she is no longer in a coma," said Bolduc-Dionne. At the height of the first wave, Cité-de-la-Santé Hospital had 22 COVID-19 patients in the ICU. The week CBC visited, there were five. Although the number of cases appears to be stabilizing, health officials are worried variants of the coronavirus could trigger a third wave.(Dave St-Amant/CBC) Although the number of COVID-19 cases may appear stable, the volume of cases linked to variants of the coronavirus is rising rapidly. 'The fight is not over' On Tuesday, Quebec's health minister continued to warn people to remain vigilant over the March break. This week, Laval's ICU accepted two new patients to the red zone, which is strictly for those who are severely ill with COVID-19. "The fight is not over," said Bolduc-Dionne. As the vaccination effort in Quebec gathers steam, staff here hope people don't forget there's a parallel battle being fought in the ICU, a battle the public doesn't see. "I hope they realize that [the virus] is really dangerous and that you can infect people you love," said nurse Caroline Brochu.
Maritime Electric says it has restored power to thousands of customers after an outage in the Cornwall area, west of Charlottetown. The power went out at about 9:30, and the utility's outage map showed more than 6,300 customers without electricity as of 9:40. The affected area was west of the North River, down to the Argyle Shore and west to Emyvale and DeSable. At 10:30 Maritime Electric tweeted power was restored, but its map showed almost 500 without power at 11 a.m. Cornwall Mayor Minerva McCourt tweeted there were still outages in the Nine Mile Creek area. By 11:15 a.m., the outage site listed only nine customers without power across the Island. Maritime Electric has not yet released the cause of the outage. More from CBC P.E.I.
LATCHFORD – Latchford Mayor George Lefebvre has let his frustration be known when it comes to the current situation surrounding insurance for municipalities. Municipal insurance rates have been on the rise and the matter has been a growing concern across the province. One specific area that Lefebvre says he has an issue with is the fact that the legal system allows municipalities to be sued for accidents that occur on major highways, which he feels shouldn’t have any bearing on the municipalities. Lefebvre says those frivolous lawsuits alone are enough to help drive up the rates when the insurance companies are forced to defend the municipalities. A highway accident is “something that has absolutely no bearing (on us) whatsoever,” he said at Latchford council’s regular meeting on February 18. “We all know, we’ve seen a number of these accidents recently. Two of them have occurred in Temagami on Highway 11 and they’re suing the Town of Latchford. It’s just absolutely ridiculous. Some people on an ATV (all-terrain vehicle), crossing the railroad track and caught trespassing on the pipeline and trespassing on the tracks, flipped the ATV and sued the Town of Latchford. Now where the hell is the justice in that?” The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and the province’s Attorney General have been looking into the matter of rising municipal insurance costs for the past couple of years, but actions were delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. One municipality reported seeing their premium increase from $120,000 to $225,000. Englehart was among the lowest, seeing their insurance rate go up eight to nine per cent this year while the Municipality of Charlton and Dack saw an increase of 36 per cent. Latchford clerk-treasurer Jaime Allen told The Speaker in an email message that the town’s rate increased by 13.5 per cent. “We had to change our provider several years ago to attempt to control the increases, so (we) fully appreciate and support the effort by the other municipalities,” said Lefebvre later in an email interview. Back at their regular meeting on January 21, Latchford council passed a resolution to support Charlton-Dack’s resolution that stands up against rising municipal insurance rates. Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker
Edmonton writer Aisha Ali shares photos and her location with her siblings whenever she and her five-year-old son leave their home. "If anything were to happen to me, people know how I was dressed that day and where I was going," Ali told CBC News. It's one of multiple safety precautions she takes in the wake of six recent hate-motivated attacks on Black and racialized Muslim women in Edmonton. The victims were simply walking in public, waiting for a bus or sitting in their cars. "I'm always looking over my shoulder, making sure that we're safe in the area, not being outside at nighttime, trying to do everything during the daytime and even then maybe bringing somebody along with us," Ali said. She is far from alone in her hyper-vigilance as fear ripples through the community and protesters, including people carrying symbolically racist Tiki torches and members of Soldiers of Odin and Urban Infidels, openly march in Edmonton. This Saturday, Ali and four women from her community are holding an online event called Sisters' Dialogue. The event has already attracted nearly 300 participants coming together in solidarity to denounce the incidents. Speakers will share their own experiences of discrimination, Islamophobia and micro-aggressions that single out and isolate women in the community. Not enough outrage Part of the focus will be on highlighting mental health and legal resources for a community that often faces barriers. Speakers will also discuss policy and legislative changes aimed at creating a safer and more inclusive environment for Black and racialized Muslim women. "We're not seeing enough conversation out there, enough outrage out there," said co-panelist and criminal defence lawyer Amna Qureshi. "The people, unfortunately, who are struggling the most — we do feel forced to come out and say, this is an issue that needs to be taken seriously." Criminal defence lawyer Amna Quresh says the event will inform Muslim women, who often face barriers, how to access legal resources and protect themselves.(Copyright 2019 Brock Kryton)The rise in Islamophobic attacks, such as the attack at a Quebec City mosque in 2017, and the policing of what Muslim women wear, also factor into the current climate, Qureshi said. The conversation will also explore what tools are available to ensure justice is served for anyone who becomes a target such as what information is important for investigating officers to know. The police hate crimes unit is investigating the attacks. Two arrests have been made. But police have also been accused of not treating the case of one victim with the sensitivity and seriousness it required — an allegation police dispute. With many hate crimes going unreported and the amount of energy it requires, Ali said proper support from police is essential. Sisters' Dialogue has its roots in an article written by Wati Rahmat called 'Why Is My Hijab Still A Threat,' published in the Progress Report, after the rise in attacks on local Black Muslim women, Qureshi said. She says it came with the realization that there's a conversation here that needs to happen, and that Muslim women need to be part of it and speak for themselves. They hope their dialogue will put pressure on governments to act and encourage allies to step up, Ali said. Ali first felt the cruelty of having slurs hurled her way and being told she didn't belong here, when she was in Grade 10. She said it was a lesson in keeping her head down. She didn't realize the power her words held until she saw the lengths some would go to silence her. She can smell their fear. - Poet Aisha Ali But she recently published her first book, Spilt Milk, refusing to be silent — something she will continue to do this Saturday. One poem goes like this: "She didn't realize the power her words held until she saw the lengths some would go to silence her. She can smell their fear." Sisters' Dialogue takes place on Saturday at 11 a.m. You can sign up on Eventbrite for free.
Jerty Gaa is one of the nearly 500,000 women in Canada who remain unemployed amid the pandemic. She found herself on hiatus from her job as a hotel attendant in Vancouver when lockdown measures were introduced last spring. Then, months later, another blow. At the end of July, she says she and most of the other staff at the hotel were let go. According to the most recent job numbers from Statistics Canada, as of the end of January, Canada's economy had 858,000 fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic. But those losses are not being borne evenly across the board Women — especially ones who weren't earning much to begin with — are bearing the brunt of the job losses, as they made up a majority of the work force in hard-hit sectors like hospitality, retail and food. According to a new analysis by RBC published Thursday, nearly 100,000 working-age Canadian women have completely left the workforce since the pandemic started, which means they aren't even trying to get a job any more. The figure for men is more than 10 times smaller — a sign that on the whole, they are not feeling quite so gloomy about their prospects. While some parts of the economy are reopening, public-facing, high-contact jobs — like those in the hotel industry — are still languishing, or at the very least trying to change the way they operate on the fly. That often means running with fewer staff, and the longer that goes on, the more likely it is those jobs are gone forever, according to Dawn Desjardins, one of the authors of the RBC report. "The longer these women are out of the labour force, the greater the risk of skills erosion, which could potentially hamper their ability to get rehired or to transition to different roles as the economy evolves," the report says. Structural change For Gaa, it's been almost a full year without a job. While she is hoping to go back once the hospitality sector opens up, she doesn't know when it'll happen or if she will manage to get her old job back once the sector recovers. A masked waitress moves among the tables on an outdoor restaurant patio in London, Ont. Women with jobs in the food industry have been particularly hard hit during this pandemic. (Colin Butler/CBC) Despite working overnight shifts for 11 years, Gaa only received eight weeks' worth of severance. She says she was told that was the maximum employees can get with the pandemic. "I expect that I'm going to retire there. I work so hard. I do what I can do and try to do my best, working overnight shifts. It's not easy," Gaa said. "We do our job and this is what we get. They don't care about us." She's still holding out hope she'll be able to get her job back once vaccines are distributed and things return to normal. The 54-year-old says she's taking things one day at a time and is hoping not to have to switch careers at her age. A job change at this point would mean a pay cut from about $27 an hour to something closer to the minimum wage of $15 an hour, she says. That's not enough for her to live on. Gaa said she's had to dip into her retirement savings and didn't want to tell her kids, as she thinks of herself as pretty independent. One of her daughters, who works in the casino industry, has also been forced out of work. Uneven recovery It's not just different industries being hit unevenly, either. The RBC report shows that the job losses are worse for members of certain demographic groups, too. Mothers, visible minorities, young people and new immigrants are all disproportionately impacted. Winny Shen, an associate professor at Schulich School of Business who studies inclusion in the workplace, worries career interruptions like the ones we're seeing now might signal to employers that women are less committed. She says that can have repercussions on a company's willingness to spend money on retraining. Coming out of the pandemic, there might also be a tendency for companies to tighten the purse strings in general, Shen says. There might be issues with understaffing — asking people to do more with fewer people as a way to cut costs. A long-term issue Almost a year since that initial lockdown, a sizeable number of Canadian women are at risk of their skills atrophying, Desjardins finds. "There could be changes underway that are more structural in nature, that are going to be more long-lasting," she said. She says economists even have a name for it — they call it the scarring effect. She says some of the skills you have diminish when you're not using them. "The longer you're out, the harder it is sometimes to get back into those networks— to hear this place is happening or these are the jobs that are in demand," Desjardins said. Valentina Dzeoba, who lives in Thunder Bay, Ont., was downsized from a manufacturing job before the pandemic hit and has since decided to retrain as a hairdresser. (Valentina Dzeoba) The economist points to a few areas of potential job growth, like child care, remote working or digital sales. "Knowing how to participate in the digital economy is really essential," Desjardins said, adding that both the government and business will have a role to play in moving people into training programs. Forced to pivot Valentina Dzeoba has also been unemployed for more than a year. The Thunder Bay, Ont. resident was let go due to downsizing at the local Bombardier plant before the pandemic. For a while, she was working one day a week helping people retrain to find work, but says jobs in the community are hard to come by. Like many people, Dzeoba has pivoted, going from manufacturing to retraining as a hairdresser. She says it's something she's always been interested in, and that the change has been beneficial. "I'm in the business of making people feel good," said Dzeoba. "I love it." Desjardins said the country needs everyone to continue working to ensure a prosperous economy. She said that if women participated at the same rate as men, it would add $100 billion to Canada's GDP every year. To find secure jobs, women will likely need more digital skills or look in fields like child care, suggests economist Dawn Desjardins. (Frederick Florin/AFP via Getty Images) She said that as a result, everyone enjoys a bigger piece of the economic pie. "We want everyone who wants a job to have a job." Jerty Gaa said she's happy to have received the Canada emergency response benefit as well as unemployment insurance. But at the same time, she said, "people are going to be happier if we keep our jobs." She wants to know what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier are doing to prevent permanent layoffs. Hairdresser-in-training Dzeoba says she was nervous about starting over. But it turned out everyone in her program was nervous, too. When she's done training, Dzeoba thinks she'll be able to get a job — hopefully under a senior stylist, so she can keep learning. For other women considering a major shift, she suggests networking and reaching out to employment centres. "There's a lot to be depressed about, but there is help out there," said Dzeoba.
The Haliburton Highlands is being spotlighted on international streaming services through the docuseries “For Heaven’s Sake,” launching March 4. The series chronicles an adventure for filmmakers, Jackson Rowe and Mike Mildon, who unravel the mysterious disappearance of Mildon’s great, great-uncle Harold Heaven in Minden in 1934. The eight-episode series - filmed predominantly in the township in 2019 and 2020 - will launch in its entirety on CBC Gem and Paramount+. “It feels very, very strange, but good,” Mildon said about releasing the series. “It’s been a long journey that’s come to the end. We’re so excited to show Minden and the rest of the world the journey we went on.” The series tracks the two as they travel around the community, speaking with people to investigate the family mystery. Heaven’s body was never recovered after he disappeared from his Horseshoe Lake cabin; it was ruled a suicide by authorities at the time, but the filmmakers pursue alternate theories, including murder. Although they had considered a movie, Mildon said the amount of content they got made it better for a series. “We felt the different leads we got, we could explore one per episode,” Rowe said. Those who followed along with the production locally might have an idea of how the series will unfold. But the duo said the series has many aspects people likely missed, including the ups and downs of being detectives and the moral challenges they faced. “We just wanted to make sure any moral wrongdoing fell on the shoulders of Mike and myself,” Rowe said. “It was hard to find a proper perspective where we gave respect to all the faces along the way. It’s all in there. It’s something we didn’t want to shy away from – warts and all.” The pair – who previously did short-form skit comedy – said what comes next for them is up in the air. For now, they are focused on promoting the series. Mildon said the series will have lots to see for locals. The two expressed their appreciation for the area. “Minden was such an important character in the story. The community and the town were so wonderful to us,” Mildon said. “Just seeing familiar faces and seeing how this town came together to help these unlikely detectives try to solve this way-too-old of a case. It’s a very, very heartwarming, interesting story.” “It’s exciting,” Rowe said. “It’s hard to do something unique nowadays and I feel we actually have, so we’re proud of that.” The series premiers March 4 on Paramount+ and CBC Gem. CBC Gem is available for free online at cbcgem.ca, as an app for iOS and Android devices, or on a television via Apple TV and Google Chromecast. Joseph Quigley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Highlander
Heart inflammation is uncommon in pro athletes who’ve had mostly mild COVID-19 and most don’t need to be sidelined, a study conducted by major professional sports leagues suggests. The results are not definitive, outside experts say, and more independent research is needed. But the study published Thursday in JAMA Cardiology is the largest to examine the potential problem. The coronavirus can cause inflammation in many organs, including the heart. The research involved professional athletes who play football, hockey, soccer, baseball and men's and women's basketball. All tested positive for COVID-19 before October and were given guideline-recommended heart tests, nearly 800 total. None had severe COVID-19 and 40% had few or no symptoms — what might be expected from a group of healthy elite athletes with an average age of 25. Severe COVID-19 is more common in older people and those with chronic health conditions. Almost 4% had abnormal results on heart tests done after they recovered but subsequent MRI exams found heart inflammation in less than 1% of the athletes. These five athletes all had COVID-19 symptoms. Whether their heart problems were caused by the virus is unknown although the researchers think that is likely. They were sidelined for about three months and returned to play without any problems, said Dr. Mathew Martinez of Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey. He's the study’s lead author and team cardiologist for football's New York Jets. Two previous smaller studies in college athletes recovering from the virus suggested heart inflammation might be more common. The question is of key interest to athletes, who put extra stress on their hearts during play, and undetected heart inflammation has been linked with sudden death. Whether mild COVID-19 can cause heart damage ‘’is the million-dollar question,’’ said Dr. Richard Kovacs, co-founder of the American College of Cardiology’s Sports & Exercise Council. And whether severe COVID-19 symptoms increase the chances of having fleeting or long-lasting heart damage ‘’is part of the puzzle,’’ he said. Kovacs said the study has several weaknesses. Testing was done at centres affiliated or selected by each team, and results were interpreted by team-affiliated cardiologists, increasing the chances of bias. More rigorous research would have had standardized testing done at a central location and more objective specialists interpret the results, he said. Also, many of the athletes had no previous imaging exams to compare the results with, so there is no way to know for certain if abnormalities found during the study were related to the virus. ’’There is clearly more work to do but I think it is very helpful additional evidence,” said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, president-elect of the American Heart Association. Dr. Dial Hewlett, a member of a COVID-19 task force at the National Medical Association, which represents Black physicians, said the study ‘’is extremely timely.’’ Hewlett is a deputy health commissioner for New York's Westchester County and advises high schools and colleges on when to allow young athletes to return to play after COVID-19 infections. ‘’I’m grateful that we are starting to get some data to help guide us in some of our decisions,’’ Hewlett said. ___ Follow AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner at @LindseyTanner. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Lindsey Tanner, The Associated Press
Les femmes enceintes peuvent donner naissance de façon plus confortable et avec plus de complicité avec leur partenaire à l’hôpital Brome-Missisquoi-Perkins, à Cowansville, grâce aux nouvelles chaises de naissance ergonomique Multitrac. Un important don et la Campagne de financement 2018-2022 ont permis à la Fondation BMP de faire l’acquisition de deux de ces chaises en plus de renouveler des fauteuils et des coussins d’allaitement. La Fondation a par ailleurs souhaité souligner la contribution importante du pharmacien-propriétaire du Jean Coutu de Farnham, Denis Émond, dont l’entreprise a donné 25 000 $ pour contribuer à ces nouvelles acquisitions. Le don, réalisé en 2020 après l'achat des chaises, n’a pas pu être souligné à l’époque pour des raisons que le directeur général de la Fondation, Francis Laramée, n’a pas pu dévoiler. L’annonce a été faite cette semaine alors que la date s’approche de celle de l’anniversaire de leur petit-fils, Marc-Édouard Benjamin, décédé à la naissance en mars 2017. Le don a été fait en la mémoire du bébé né au Pavillon des naissances. «Ils avaient tellement été bien servis à l’hôpital, ils ont tellement été bien entourés qu’on a voulu redonner à cet hôpital-là, confie M. Émond. Comme pharmacien, je trouvais que c’était une façon de redonner à la communauté.» Complicité Cette chaise permet non seulement des positions d’accouchement confortables en soulageant la douleur de façon naturelle, mais donne aussi la possibilité au partenaire d’avoir un rôle plus actif durant le travail. Elle est utilisée depuis la fin de 2019 à Cowansville. L’une des premières utilisatrices est la coordonnatrice des événements de la Fondation BMP, Alice Toussaint, pour la naissance de son premier enfant. «Je l’ai utilisée pendant le travail actif, raconte-t-elle. Ça m’a vraiment aidée à passer la douleur dans le sens où, de la manière que ça fonctionne, le conjoint peut être assis derrière la femme et appliquer des points de pression. C’est un moment très agréable à partager avec son conjoint parce qu’on est tous les deux impliqués.» Lors de son accouchement, l’appareil était neuf et ses différentes utilisations étaient peu connues. «C’est vraiment modulable, comme chaise», ajoute Mme Toussaint. Elle n’a pas pu expérimenter toutes les postures. Temps La maman de Marc-Édouard, la kinésiologue Geneviève Émond, souhaitait elle aussi s’impliquer en donnant de son temps. Elle a proposé à la cheffe du Pavillon des naissances d’aider le personnel à comprendre toutes les nuances des chaises Multitrac afin qu’elles soient utilisées à leur plein potentiel. Mme Émond participera aussi à bonifier la formation qui sera bientôt donnée au personnel du département, sur l’approche du deuil périnatal. Cynthia Laflamme, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix de l'Est
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover has continued to send stunning images of the red planet back to Earth. In this moment, an incredible shot of the Sun from the Martian surface was captured. Credit to "NASA/JPL-Caltech".
OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will review a decision to order a new trial for an Alberta man convicted of murder. Russell Steven Tessier was charged with first-degree murder in 2015, eight years after Allan Gerald Berdahl's body was found in a ditch near Carstairs. Berdahl died from gunshot wounds to the head, and there were tire tracks, footprints and two cigarette butts near the scene. Tessier was convicted in 2018 but Alberta's Court of Appeal later ordered a new trial. The appeal court said the trial judge made legal errors concerning the voluntariness of statements Tessier made to police. As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for agreeing to hear the case. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021. The Canadian Press
Students outside the Avalon Peninsula headed back to school Wednesday after two weeks of online learning. The decision is not a welcome one for some. Hannah Gillingham, a Grade 12 student at Botwood Collegiate, says that for safety reasons she would prefer if students and teachers in parts of the province were not taking part in classroom work. “I think it’s best to keep online learning because it would ensure the safety of students, parents and teachers. When you are attending school with in-person learning, one person can have COVID-19 and it will spread like wildfire, just like it did in the metro region back at the beginning of February,” Gillingham wrote in an email. The decision to return to in-school instruction was announced last Friday by Education Minister Tom Osborne and Newfoundland and Labrador English School District CEO Tony Stack. It came after the decision to move the province outside the St. John’s metro region back to Alert Level 4. When that decision was made, Gillingham created an online petition with hopes of avoiding a return to in-school instruction and, instead, keeping things digital for the moment. It is the stance of many in her school would prefer and to date, she has received plenty of support online. Since it was started on Feb. 27, more than 10,000 people have signed the petition. “Personally, I really enjoyed online learning,” said Gillingham. “I thought the way it was laid out was really well and it wasn’t all that different from in-person learning, just safer for students. It’s something a lot of people in this province enjoy doing, based on feedback from my petition.” Dan O'Brien, assistant director of programs for central and western schools for the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, said he appreciates the concerns that are being expressed. He said they are the same concerns that were heard in September and the district proved then that it could make it work, and he is confident it will do the same thing this time. O’Brien said early in the process of bringing students back to school in September it was communicated regularly that the district could and would take regional approaches to schools, using guidance from Public Health. So, in areas where Public Health is not concerned about community spread and there are no issues related to the normal operations of school because of a prevalence of COVID-19 in the community, the district would keep schools open where it could, he said. As for extending the shift system being implemented in the high schools to other grade levels, O’Brien said that won’t happen. He said where the students can be cohorted — kindergarten to Grade 9 — meets the threshold of safety being recommended by Public Health where they are comfortable with having kids in school. Not having all student in all of the time in high school is representative of a challenge that is built into the structures of high school, and that is the kids are in different groups all of the time, O’Brien said. “So, if there was an incidence of the virus in a school it would be very difficult to contact trace and very difficult for us to know if we're able to contain it at all.” O’Brien said the district is conscious of the situation some parents find themselves in. “If a parent is really, really concerned, then maybe keeping their child home until they get a sense of what school is actually going to look like now might not be a bad idea for that particular family." At this point though, he’s not committing that if parents keep their child home, there will be an online option while they’re waiting. “We set up our schools to be open and it’s a complicated process to have our teachers working flat out full days and then, while they’re attending to the class in front of them in the day, to attend to the kids at home as well is a difficult prospect.” Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
Takedown NOTICE Please DO NOT USE story slugged LJI-ONT-PORTBRUCE-SHELFICE headlined Close call – man falls through shelf ice at Port Bruce. This story has been killed by its news editor. Regards, Local Journalism Initiative AVIS d'annulation Prière de NE PAS PUBLIER l'article identifié LJI-ONT-PORTBRUCE-SHELFICE et intitulé Close call – man falls through shelf ice at Port Bruce. Cet article a été annulé par le rédacteur en chef de la publication. Merci de votre collaboration, Initiative de journalisme local Veronica Reiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express
A powerful series of undersea quakes struck north-east of New Zealand on Friday, but tsunami waves that forced many people on the country's North Island to flee to high ground passed without causing substantial damage. Officials had warned that waves could reach three metres (10 feet) above high tide levels after the quakes - the strongest a magnitude 8.1 - but the threat had passed by the afternoon, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said. "It's hard not to feel like our country is having a run of bad luck, when you have an earthquake, tsunami and pandemic to contend with all in one day," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
TRURO, N.S. — A Canadian undergarment company that quickly retooled its factory last spring to make personal protective equipment is laying off 150 workers after failing to win a new federal contract. Stanfield's Ltd. of Truro, N.S., famed for its long johns and boxer shorts, switched to making medical gowns for front-line health workers at the outset of the pandemic. The company's $27.9-million federal contract was a small piece of the $1.87 billion Ottawa has spent on hospital gowns as of Dec. 31. A new request for proposals for "disposable medical isolation gowns" closed Nov. 20. But in a Facebook post, Cumberland-Colchester MP Lenore Zann says the company was not successful in their bid on the new tender for medical gowns. She says she's "terribly concerned and disappointed" to hear about the layoffs at Stanfield's as a result. Local MLA Dave Ritcey calls the loss of 150 jobs in the largely rural area "devastating." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021. The Canadian Press
Rails End Gallery and Arts Centre seeks to help bridge the gaps between people with its first-ever online exhibition launched Feb. 27. Titled “Connection,” the show presents submissions from its members, featuring a wide array of mediums. Besides a physical gallery still viewable at the centre under additional public protocols, it is also available on the centre’s website, with a guided virtual tour. Curator Laurie Jones said she learned about the format from the Ontario Society of Artists and it was a way to improve access. “Not everybody’s comfortable yet with being around, especially in public spaces,” Jones said. The exhibition is an annual salon show, drawing from local talent, Jones said. The pandemic prompted the move to an online addition – and the theme for the show itself. “It came up out of my own cravings for connections and missing people,” Jones said. “In many ways, we’re looking for alternate ways to connect.” Artist Rosanna Dewey’s exhibition piece depicts one of those ways. It is an oil painting entitled “Zoom Room” depicting a call on the online meeting platform. She said the show’s theme was poignant. “It’s so hard to be connected,” Dewey said. “It really made me think about what was going on and what my connections were.” She said she had some skepticism about the online concept but found it turned out appealing. “You want to be able to get up close to the artwork and you get more of a sense of the piece,” Dewey said. “But I found that people were still interested. People still needed to go and experience art, even if it was through a Zoom format.” Arts and Crafts Festival on pause But the community will miss one big way to connect with art in the summer. The Haliburton Art and Craft Festival – the gallery’s flagship event and fundraiser – is cancelled for the second straight year due to the pandemic, Jones said. She said it would be too logistically challenging to ensure safety amidst the pandemic. “We don’t want to introduce any risk to our volunteers or staff or vendors or patrons,” Jones said. “Maintaining sanitary conditions would be impossible.” Jones said the centre needs to decide early to inform artists and give them time to plan. She said there might be alternate programming, but that is being worked out. For now, the Rails End is still putting on exhibitions and bringing arts to the community. “We’re not trying to sell anything. We’re trying to provide an experience,” Jones said. “Hopefully, they feel the connection with the creative arts.” “Connection” runs until April 17 and is available at the centre itself or railsendgallery.com. Joseph Quigley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Highlander
A local resident’s request for a street light to be installed in front of his house has been denied. Oshawa city staff met with resident Don Smith following direction by council at its Sept. 28, 2020 meeting to review the installation of a street light at 2770 Wilson Rd. N. Due to the pandemic, the meetings took place over the phone. In a previous letter to the city, Smith requested the light be installed on an existing pole at the south driveway entrance of his property due to damage and safety concerns. “Being the last residential property on the road, the multiple incidents of garbage dumping, vandalism, and use of my property from a night time parking spot, my request is reasonable,” he writes. Smith also noted he would come home at night on several occasions to find a car in the dark in his driveway. “At best I think people could be having medical issues and need to get off the road, but the toilet paper, tissues and used sanitary napkins they leave for me to pick up and dispose of suggests to me something different,” he says. Councillor Rosemary McConkey says not having a street light in this area is a major concern. “This is a concern to anyone that lives in a situation like the current owner of this property,” she says. “We can accommodate this resident and the last thing we want to hear is about parties happening, which is a major problem.” Councillor John Neal agreed with McConkey, noting it’s a safety issue. “Safe and reliable infrastructure should be across the whole city, not just selected areas,” he says. However, Councillor John Gray, who sits on the community services committee, says the committee gave this issue a great deal of consideration. “It’s the fact that it’s going to cost $20,000 to put up a street light,” he says, noting the advantage of living in a rural area is the dark. “My impression of a rural area is that you have the advantage of a night sky. Here in the city it’s harder to see a night sky,” he continues, adding the cost for the project is quite expensive and doesn’t compare to the other advantages. According to a city report, street lighting in the area along Wilson Road North is limited due to the current Oshawa Power & Utilities Corp. (OPUC) hydro infrastructure, noting “street lights require a secondary conductor for power, and the majority of the poles on Wilson Road North do not currently have this secondary power supply.” The report states there is a hydro pole with a street light located across the street at 2765 Wilson Road North, which was installed in 2017 at the request of a local resident. According to staff, this was the only hydro pole along Wilson Road North that had access to secondary power for a new streetlight. Staff say there are three hydro poles located north of 2765 Wilson Road North, including one hydro pole at Smith’s property, however none of these poles have a secondary supply required for street lighting. According to a quote from OPUC, it is possible for a secondary cable line to be installed at the city’s expense of $12,000. Furthermore, due to the fact OPUC deemed the pole at the end of Smith’s driveway unsafe due to the existing high voltage line connection on the pole that extends down the pole to provide underground service to this property and existing wiring, a new pole would need to be installed as well. Therefore, the total cost of the project to install a new hydro pole and street light, as well as two more lights on the other two existing poles, would cost the city $20,000. Due to the area of the city in which the resident lives and the high cost of the project, council approved staff’s recommendation to deny Smith’s request for a street light. Courtney Bachar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Oshawa Express
TOKYO — The demons are everywhere, sometimes spreading like purple slime, lurking, killing. The terrifying plight depicted in the swashbuckling animated film, “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train,” has struck a chord with pandemic-era Japan, and possibly with the world. “Demon Slayer” has become the biggest grossing film for Japan, surpassing live-action films and even Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away.” The 2020 film, directed by Haruo Sotozaki, got a limited run in Miami, starting last month. A U.S. run is required to be eligible for the 2021 Academy Awards. Nominations are announced March 15, for the April 25 awards ceremony. Akina Nasu, a Tokyo hairstylist, says the story of a spiritually pure hero trying to save lives despite adversity struck home, especially amid a pandemic. “There are many characters, but each one, even the demons, have their own unique stories. People can really empathize with their experience,” she said. Nasu got so enwrapped in a scene she cried in the theatre. She said she identifies closely with the main character’s sense of justice. The theme is perennial: Family love and the universal yearning for that simple normal lifestyle, perhaps taken for granted until the sudden appearance of the demons, or COVID-19, as some fans, like Nasu, are seeing metaphorically. Like the rest of the world, Japan has been hurt by the pandemic, not only economically but also psychologically. People are worried. Some are in mourning. The nation has seen about 8,000 related deaths, much fewer than some nations, but they are rising. The vaccine rollout has barely started. Japan has never had a lockdown, and movie theatres are open with social-distancing measures. The hero of “Demon Slayer” is Tanjiro Kamado, who sets out to become a warrior to save his sister, and ultimately the world, from the demons, or “oni.” Like a cute doe-eyed Musashi, the legendary swordsman, he displays his samurai techniques in a flurry of colorful animation. The movie, which takes place on a nightmarish train ride, follows a hit TV animation series, now streaming on Netflix. Its second season airs in Japan later this year but has already stirred controversy over its appropriateness for children. The setting is a brothel, although there is no graphic sex depicted. The original comic series ran in weekly magazine Shukan Shonen Jump, from 2016, written and drawn by Koyoharu Gotouge, a pen name. The author has never appeared in public, though the “Time 100 Next” list named them among the “emerging leaders who are shaping the future.” Andy Nakatani, Shonen Jump editor-in-chief at VIZ Media, the American manga publisher and distributor, says “Demon Slayer,” is one of its top-sellers with more than 3 million copies in print in the U.S. “It’s essentially a coming-of-age story,” he said. “Through it all, he manages to thrive, grow, and somehow he never gives up hope and is able to maintain the core of who he is. Maybe with all the things going on in the world today, this story of perseverance just particularly resonates with people,” said Nakatani. In Japan, “Demon Slayer” has spun off video games, toy figures, copycat products of the hero’s earrings and Happy Meal stickers at McDonald’s. The theme songs by LiSA are pop hits. Stu Levy, founder and chief executive of TOKYOPOP, an American distributor and publisher of anime and manga, loves the way “Demon Slayer” brought together Japanese folklore “with a modern hipness.” “It has the same appeal that the best zombie shows like ‘The Walking Dead’ have to Americans,” he said, adding he tried to acquire the rights to “Demon Slayer,” but they went to a competitor. “The main characters have a great balance — likeability and intense fighting ability — the best Japanese manga features, these types of earnest, fun-loving, passionate, loyal and hard-working characters.” ___ Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press
“The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” “Minari,” “Da 5 Bloods” and “One Night in Miami” are among the films AARP is honouring at its annual Movies for Grownups Awards, the non-profit organization said Thursday. Director Lee Daniels’ “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” starring Andra Day as the jazz singer, was named best picture, while the Korean American family drama “Minari” got best intergenerational film. Spike Lee’s Vietnam-themed “Da 5 Bloods” picked up best buddy picture and Regina King’s “One Night in Miami...,” about the fictional meeting of Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Cassius Clay and Jim Brown, got best ensemble. “We focus on films made by and for grownups,” said Tim Appelo, the film and television critic for AARP. “When we started this a couple of decades ago, it was hard to find first movies about people of our age. I’m very pleased to see that we’ve got a bumper crop of movies and performances to choose from this year.” George Clooney is being honoured this year with the career achievement award. The 59-year-old both directed and acted in his most recent film, “The Midnight Sky.” “He’s the Cary Grant of our day, but he’s also a fast-rising director,” Appelo said. “He’s perfect because he’s just a slam dunk argument against ageism.” Jodie Foster too is singled out for her supporting performance in “The Mauritanian,” for which she also won the Golden Globe this week. Appelo said that the 58-year-old has said that she’s glad to be her age and is looking forward to playing characters in their 60s and beyond. “That’s a big theme of ours, that life opens up after you turn 50,” Appelo said. Aaron Sorkin is a double honoree for writing and directing “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” The top acting awards went to Sophia Loren, for “The Life Ahead,” and Anthony Hopkins, for “The Father.” “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” are two films Appelo said are particularly significant because of their historical value to a 50-plus audience. He also noted that this year included several important and nuanced depictions of Alzheimer’s, including in “The Father” and in “Supernova,” with Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci, which was named best grownup love story. For the first time the organization is also recognizing television shows and performances. Catherine O’Hara took best actress for “Schitt’s Creek,” Mark Ruffalo got best actor for “I Know This Much is True” and “This Is Us” was named best series. Netflix's “The Queen's Gambit” got best limited series. The virtual awards show will be broadcast by Great Performances on PBS on March 28 at 8 p.m. ET. ___ Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press
Most of us are familiar with the three Rs associated with limiting our waste: reduce, reuse and recycle. As it turns out, there’s a fourth R: renew the recycling licence. During the Feb. 22 regular council meeting for the Town of Pincher Creek, Coun. Scott Korbett formally announced the town would not be renewing its recycling contract with KJ Cameron Service Industries. Come June 30, only empty beverage containers will be accepted at the bottle depot. “The Town of Pincher Creek intends to continue to offer a recycling program,” the town’s official statement reads. “We are currently working with our regional partners to have a smooth transition to a new program by the end of June.” While understanding the town is obligated to make economic decisions when it comes to contracts, Weston Whitfield, owner and manager of KJ Cameron, worries consolidating services on a regional basis might result in an inefficient service to taxpayers. The process of gathering, transporting, then re-sorting material, Mr. Whitfield adds, might decrease the price recycling facilities are willing to pay. “My concern is in the past, places that have done collaborations like that end up with a little bit of contamination and it can affect the resale of the product,” he says. Although no official details have been released, the plan for future recycling appears to involve the Crowsnest/Pincher Creek Landfill Association. Discussion recorded in the minutes of the Jan. 20, 2021, regular meeting of the landfill association includes “Recycling Update” as an agenda item. The minutes describe proposals being sent to each of the municipalities and note that, despite no reply being received, each of the municipal representatives — Coun. Dean Ward from Crowsnest Pass, Coun. Brian McGillivray from Pincher Creek and Reeve Brian Hammond from the MD of Pincher Creek — indicated their respective councils are still considering or interested in the landfill’s recycling proposal. Recycling was also a topic during last week’s council meetings for both the MD of Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass. During the MD of Pincher Creek’s Feb. 23 council meeting, chief administrative officer Troy MacCulloch updated council on plans to move collection bins from outside the MD office to a site off Bighorn Avenue and Highway 507, near the Co-op lumberyard. The site will cover recycling needs for residents from both the MD and town. “This will be a site that the MD will build,” said CAO MacCulloch. “We will cost-share it with the town, and then going forward it would be operated and manned by the Crowsnest/Pincher Creek Landfill.” Plans for the new recycling site are still tentative as the MD is working with the current landowner to develop a lease that would permit the property to be used as a transfer station for garbage and recyclables. The garbage bins by the MD office, he added, could also be removed. This will allow for further development and easier access of the standpipe, which will remain at the location. Meetings with Pincher Creek administration have discussed the possibility of the MD taking over the composting facility, which would be included on the site. Crowsnest Pass council also voted Feb. 23 to direct administration to find a location for their own recycling bin. Ease of access, along with being sheltered from the weather and from travellers’ field of vision, were identified as main priorities. Administration was asked to present a location at the March 16 council meeting with hopes that users could begin dropping off recycling by the end of the month. The goal is to eventually have three sites in the municipality to gather recycling. Beginning with one, said CAO Patrick Thomas, was a good place to “at least start and see what the challenges are,” especially to “see how [building] the fencing and screening goes.” The Town of Pincher Creek’s full official statement regarding the recycling licence can be found online at http://bit.ly/PC-Recycle. More information on Pincher Creek Bottle Depot and Recycling can be found at www.facebook.com/pcbottledepot. Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze