Using a DJI Phantom 2 drone equipped with a GoPro Hero 4 camera, 'Volafs Photography' captured these stunning sights of South Iceland.
Using a DJI Phantom 2 drone equipped with a GoPro Hero 4 camera, 'Volafs Photography' captured these stunning sights of South Iceland.
WASHINGTON — Monday seemed like the end of President Donald Trump's relentless challenges to the election, after the federal government acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden was the “apparent winner” and Trump cleared the way for co-operation on a transition of power.But his baseless claims have a way of coming back. And back. And back.On Thursday, after a Thanksgiving evening conversation from the White House with troops stationed overseas, Trump abruptly pivoted to angrily alleging — still without any evidence — that “massive fraud” was behind his defeat.Speaking to news crews gathered to watch the traditional holiday conversation with the military, Trump denounced officials in battleground states he'd lost as “communists” and “enemies of the state.” Trump also announced he'd be travelling to Georgia to meet with what he said would be tens of thousands of supporters on Dec. 5, ahead of two runoffs there that will likely determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the Senate.The 2020 presidential race is turning into the zombie election that Trump just won’t let die. Despite dozens of legal and procedural setbacks, his campaign keeps filing new challenges that have little hope of succeeding and making fresh, unfounded claims of fraud.But that’s the point. Trump’s strategy, his allies concede in private, wasn’t to change the outcome, but to create a host of phantom claims about the 2020 presidential race that would infect the nation with doubt and keep his base loyal, even though the winner — Biden — was clear and there has been no evidence of mass voter fraud.“Zombies are dead people walking among the living — this litigation is the same thing,” said Franita Tolson, a professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. “In terms of litigation that could change the election, all these cases are basically dead men walking.”It's a strategy tolerated by many Republicans, most notably Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who are clinging to Trump as they face a test of retaining their own power in the form of two runoff elections in Georgia in January.“This really is our version of a polite coup d’etat,” said Thomas Mann, senior resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. “It could end quickly if the Republican Party acknowledged what was going on. But they cower in the face of Trump’s connection with the base.”A day after Trump said his administration should begin working with Biden's team, three more lawsuits were filed by allies attempting to stop the certification in two more battleground states. In Minnesota, a judge did not rule on the suit and the state certified the results for Biden. Another was filed in Wisconsin, which doesn't certify until Tuesday. Arizona Republicans filed a complaint over ballot inspection; the state certification is due Monday.And the campaign legal team said state lawmakers in Arizona and Michigan would hold meetings on the election “to provide confidence that all of the legal votes have been counted and the illegal votes have not been counted in the November 3rd election.”In Pennsylvania, where state Republican lawmakers met at Gettysburg on Wednesday to air grievances about the election, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani attended in person and Trump dialed in from the Oval Office.“We have all the evidence," Trump asserted. “All we need is to have some judge listen to it properly without having a political opinion.”But the strongest legal rebuke yet came from a conservative Republican judge in federal court in Pennsylvania, who on Saturday dismissed the Trump team's lawsuit seeking to throw out the results of the election. The judge admonished the Trump campaign in a scathing ruling about its lack of evidence. The campaign has appealed.Trump's allies have privately acknowledged their plan would never actually overturn the results, but rather might provide Trump an off-ramp for a loss he wasn't owning up to and an avenue to keep his base loyal for whatever he does next.“And then our governing and politics will be hellish, because he will continue doing what he’s doing from his private own perch,” Mann predicted.Emily Murphy, the top official at the General Services Administration, declared Biden the “apparent winner” Monday, a procedural yet critical step that allowed for the transition to begin in earnest. She made the determination after Trump's efforts to subvert the vote failed across battleground states. She cited “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results.”Michigan certified Biden’s 154,000-count victory Monday, despite calls by Trump to the GOP members to block the vote to allow for an audit of ballots in Wayne County, where Trump claimed he was the victim of fraud. Biden crushed the president by more than 330,000 votes there.“The board’s duty today is very clear,” said Aaron Van Langevelde, the Republican vice chair. “We have a duty to certify this election based on these returns.”Still, the Trump legal team dismissed the certification as “simply a procedural step” and insisted it would fight on.Trump and his allies have brought at least four cases in Michigan that sought — unsuccessfully — to block certification of election results in part or all of the state.In Pennsylvania, after Gov. Tom Wolf certified Biden as the winner, an appeals court judge ordered state officials to halt any further steps toward certifying election results. The state has appealed to Pennsylvania's Supreme Court.In Arizona, just as lawyers for a woman in the Phoenix area dropped a case alleging that equipment was unable to record her ballot because she completed it with a county-issued Sharpie pen, Trump’s campaign filed its own lawsuit echoing some of the same complaints. As that suit was about to be dismissed, lawyers for the woman filed a new case reviving the claims and demanding that she be allowed to recast her ballot. All three of the cases have now been dismissed.“The legal process seems to be unfolding the way it’s supposed to, but the Trump campaign has made clear its desire to throw wrenches in the system wherever it can,” said Lisa Marshall Manheim, a professor at the University of Washington School of Law.___Richer reported from Boston. Associated Press writers Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia, Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix and Steve Karnowski in St. Paul, Minnesota, contributed to this report.Colleen Long, Alanna Durkin Richer And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
Regina– In reporting 299 new active cases of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, Saskatchewan has continued its trend of exponential growth while its neighbours Manitoba and North Dakota have flattened or lowered their respective curves for 7-day average new cases. Those 299 new cases bring Saskatchewan’s 7-day average new cases count to 243, its highest level to date. It also indicates that Saskatchewan’s average has now effectively doubled, again. On October 10, Saskatchewan hit a 7-day average of 15 new cases per day. Five days later, that doubled to 30, with 31.4 on Oct. 15. Fourteen days later, it doubled again to 60, with 61.7 on Oct. 29. Twelve days after that, it doubled once more to 120, with 120.7 on Nov. 10. Now, on Nov. 26, it has doubled once again to 240, with 243 average new cases per day. As of Nov. 15, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and North Dakota were all showing exponential growth in their 7-day averages. But in over the past two weeks, both Manitoba and North Dakota have shown either a flattening, or a downward trend, in their curves. Since Nov. 12, Manitoba’s 7-day average has stayed within a range between 371.6 and 422.7, with Nov. 26 coming in at 402.3. North Dakota has started to show a downward trend for 7-day average new cases. On Nov. 26, its 7-day average was 1,123 cases per day, the best it had been since Nov. 3, when it was 1,156. North Dakota crested at 1,415.7 average cases per day on Nov. 18, and has been slowly declining over the eight days since then. Saskatchewan’s growth rate was slightly higher than Manitoba’s for the period of Oct. 1 to Nov. 15. During that period, Saskatchewan had been staying consistently 16 to 18 days behind Manitoba when it came to 7-day average new cases. For example, Saskatchewan hit 120 average new cases per day on Nov. 10, whereas Manitoba hit that level on Oct. 25, 16 days earlier. But by Nov. 26, that gap has widened to 25 days. Manitoba exceeded 240 cases per day on Nov. 1, with 255.4, whereas Saskatchewan hit the 240 level on Nov. 26. When it comes to deaths, with three new deaths reported Nov. 26, Saskatchewan for the first time exceeded a 7-day average of one death per day, coming in at 1.1 average deaths per day. Manitoba, with 10 deaths reported on Nov. 26, averaged 9.7 deaths per day. That level has been relatively consistent since Nov. 16, varying between 9.0 and 9.9 deaths per day. However, that plateau essentially stopped the exponential growth of deaths in Manitoba, which had doubled several times, from one to two, two to four, four to eight per day in just 38 days. Similarly, North Dakota has also seen a plateau. Since Nov. 6, North Dakota has ranged between 13.4 and 16.3 average deaths per day. It, too, had been seeing exponential growth since Aug. 4, but at a much lower rate of growth. Its deaths had grown from a 7-day average of 1 on Aug. 4 to 16 by Nov. 10.Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
Halifax-area businesses ordered closed in an effort to curb the city's rising number of COVID-19 cases are getting another round of financial support from the province.Business Minister Geoff MacLellan said Thursday that the province would offer a one-time grant of up to $5,000 to small, independently owned bars, dine-in restaurants and fitness and leisure centres.The businesses are among those that are now closed for at least the next two weeks under health measures that took effect Thursday.MacLellan said it's the third round for a grant which is part of a larger $50-million relief fund for business."Those who received this in the past will be fast-tracked," he told reporters following a cabinet meeting. "If there are any that didn't apply . . . they still will be eligible."Businesses can use the grant money for any operational expenses, such as wages and supplies. To be eligible, businesses must have been operating since March 15. There is no cap on annual revenues."It's not going to solve everyone's problem. We always wish we could do more," MacLellan said.Under the new restrictions, retail stores can remain open, but they have to limit the number of shoppers and staff to 25 per cent or less of their legal capacity.MacLellan said while retailers aren't part of the targeted relief package, his department will monitor the impact on their business over what is hoped will be only a two-week period before the measures can be lifted.The province reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, including 12 in the Halifax area, one in the northern health zone and one in the western zone.It said 856 tests were administered at the rapid-testing site in downtown Halifax on Wednesday, and there were five positive results. The individuals were directed to self-isolate and have been referred for a standard test."We've seen a great uptake for asymptomatic testing among Halifax bar staff and patrons," Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health said in a news release."People are showing us how much they care about their communities by going to these pop-up rapid-testing locations. This has allowed us to detect a few cases among asymptomatic people early on and helps to stop the spread of the virus."Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has reported 167 COVID-19 cases, and it has had 1,257 cases and 65 deaths since the pandemic began.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.Keith Doucette, The Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said companies had to have between $25,000 and $300,000 in annual sales to be eligible.
Art has been part of Lucy Kerr's life as far back as she can remember. One of nine students (along with a 10th collaborative piece by a Grade 6/7 class) whose piece has been tagged for a set of greeting cards produced by the district, the Grade 11 student at McMath says art is a way for her to unwind. “Art is really relaxing for me, and just a creative outlet that is really a big part of my life,” she says. “My family has always been really appreciative of art—I’ve been going to art galleries and and talking about that for my whole life as well.” Kerr’s piece “Sunny Day” was inspired by the work of acclaimed Canadian artist Ted Harrison, whose style Kerr says she has “always loved.” She adds that the process of looking at different artists’ styles has helped her to create her own: she prefers to paint portraits, which recently she has been doing by commission. “I want to make something that moves people, and I like getting the emotional reaction when someone sees the art I created for them,” she says. “It’s different than a photograph—there’s so much more meaning that you can draw from (a painting), and it gives a lot more dimension.” Emi Fairchild, a Grade 4 student at Homma elementary, echoes Kerr’s love of art. “Art is a great way to express yourself, and it takes your mind off things that you don’t want,” she says. Her piece “Trumpet of the Swan” was part of a school project inspired by the book of the same name. The artwork mostly uses oil pastels, but Fairchild also chose to add Sharpie to her piece at the end “to make it stand out from all the details.” She also creates art in her spare time, mostly using pencil and paper. Recently, she’s started weaving, which she says is “easy and fun.” Kerr and Fairchild are two of the student artists chosen for the Richmond School District’s art card project. Spearheaded by district fine arts administrator (and Blair elementary principal) Catherine Ludwig, the project aims to highlight the work done by students and art teachers across the city, as well as circulating student art broadly. Ten selections—which reflect a balance of different schools, ages, and genres of art—were printed on greeting cards. Packages of cards were initially given to district administrators for their correspondence, but they will also be available in the near future to members of the school community who want to place an order. Ludwig says the arts educators in the district started making plans for the project in February, along with trustees and other stakeholder groups. “One of the goals that came forward, as we imagined a vibrant place for arts education in the district, was creating opportunities for our learners beyond the four walls of our school,” she explains. “(Art) speaks loudly and it amplifies who you are, and ultimately it helps with that uncharted territory of who you are as the self.” With a desire to make Richmond learners feel supported and part of a larger community, Ludwig and her team asked teachers to submit students’ works for the project. The selections were professionally scanned and a graphic designer in the district ensured they were uniform with things like backdrops, while staying true to the original works. And each student submitted an artist statement, reflecting on their piece, that appears on the back of the card. By chance, two of the selected works were self-portraits: one by a Kindergarten student from Blair and one from a Grade 12 student at MacNeill. Ludwig has copies of those two pieces displayed in her office. “It gave the direction of why we’re doing this—look at what happens when we dedicate arts education with passionate arts educators teaching our young ones,” she says. Ludwig adds that she hopes to repeat the project every two years to represent the changing students within the Richmond school system. And next time, she wants to make a call out for other mediums, too—including sculpture, photography and textiles. “Connecting with others, having your masterpiece or your image experienced by another is so powerful,” says Ludwig. “It propels you and inspires you to grow and learn and it also encourages you. You get that feedback from others and get a sense of your legacy as an artist.” She says the kids have recently been picking up their sets of cards from Blair, and their excitement is visible. “This project had a hand in helping them feel something beyond themselves—that their art had a bigger impact beyond the page,” says Ludwig. “You can just sense how powerful this is for them. I’m so proud of them.” The students whose art is featured on the cards are equally as enthused. When she found out her piece would be featured on one of the school district’s art cards, Fairchild was “really excited.” And while Kerr doesn’t see art as a future career, she expects to never give it up completely regardless of where she ends up in the future. “I know that art will always be a part of my life, and it will always be a very strong hobby of mine,” she says.Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel
Saskatchewan reported 299 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday. Three residents who tested positive for the virus have died — a person in Saskatoon in their 70s, and two in the 80 and over age group in the northwest zone. There have now been a total of 40 deaths in the province due to COVID-19. Of the cases announced Thursday, 72 are from the Saskatoon Correctional Centre, including 68 offenders and four staff.Those numbers are a sharp increase from a week ago. As of Nov. 21, only one inmate and one staff member at the facility had tested positive for COVID-19.There are now 85 known active cases among offenders and staff at Saskatoon Correctional Centre.Correctional facilitiesThe province says corrections officials are working with public health on measures to reduce the spread within the Saskatoon facility and within the correctional system. Those measures will include ongoing testing of offenders and staff at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.All new admissions to provincial correctional centres will be tested for COVID-19 starting early next week. New admissions will continue to be quarantined for 14 days."Given that we tested a large amount of people and we had such a high number of cases come back, we are going to do a large amount of testing to get a better picture of what's happening in these facilities so that we can manage it better," said Noel Busse, executive director of communications for the Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety, during a media conference call Thursday. The province said Corrections is instituting mandatory continuous masking for offenders across all provincial correctional facilities. Employees at correctional centres have been masked up since the summer, according to the province. But masks have not been available to all offenders."Under the previous health order, it wasn't mandatory for offenders to wear masks in the common areas," which would be considered "clean units," said Busse."Everybody in those units would have been through the 14-day assessment unit. They weren't they were considered public areas."As of Thursday, there will be no new admissions to Saskatoon Correctional Centre. The province says remanded and sentenced offenders are being redirected to Regina and Prince Albert correctional centres.There are currently no active cases at Pine Grove Correctional Centre in Prince Albert. The Regina Correctional Centre has two cases among staff and one case involving an offender, and there is one active case among staff at the Prince Albert Correctional Centre.'From zero to 100 in about 4 days'The union that speaks for staff at the jail says that it wants the province to offer workers "optional accommodation" because of the high risk they now face at the facility."No one wants to carry this infection outside of the correctional centre," said Glenn Billingsley, a labour relations officer with the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU)."We want to keep it contained and manage the best we can within the facility."Billingsley said the COVID-19 numbers at the jail exploded over four days, with one inmate and three staff testing positive on Saturday."We went from zero to 100 in about four days," he said.All of the estimated 200 staff at the jail are now getting tested and Billingsley expects the number of known positive cases to climb by Friday.Numbers breakdown The seven-day average of daily new cases in Saskatchewan as of Thursday is 243 per day — 20.1 new cases per population of 100,000. Of the 7,362 total reported cases in the province, 3,146 are considered active. Eleven of the new cases are located in the far northwest, four are in the far north central, 16 are in the far northeast, 17 are in the northwest, 34 are in the north central, three are in the northeast, 125 are in the Saskatoon area, four are in the central west, six are in the central east, 44 are in the Regina area, seven are in the southwest, 12 are in the south central and eight are in the southeast zone. The locations of eight of the new cases are still pending. There are 108 people in hospital with COVID-19, 90 of whom are receiving in-patient care. One person is in the far north west, eight are in the northwest, eight are in the north central, one is in the northeast, 34 are in Saskatoon, two are in the central east, 16 are in Regina, one is in the southwest and 19 are in the southeast zones. Eighteen people are currently in intensive care, with one in the northwest, one in the north central, 10 in Saskatoon, two in the southwest and four in Regina.New restrictionsSports competition is suspended and gatherings at restaurants are being further limited under new COVID-19 restrictions announced by Saskatchewan on Wednesday.Limits on private gatherings like weddings and funerals, along with places of worship, will also be introduced. Starting 12:01 a.m. CST on Friday, no more than four people will be allowed to sit together at a table at a restaurant, and tables will need to be separated by three metres unless there are "impermeable barriers" between them, in which case they can be placed two metres apart.Restaurants will also need to keep information about guests or patrons.All team sports and group activities are suspended, but athletes and dancers 18 years old and under may keep practising in groups of eight or fewer if they use masks and practise physical distancing. Fitness activities in groups of eight or less are still allowed, with conditions.All places of worship must reduce capacity to 30 people, and no food or drink can be served. Mandatory non-medical masking is being extended to apply to all students, employees and visitors at schools. All employees and visitors in common areas in businesses and workplaces, even where the public does not have access, also have to wear a mask.All residents, employees and visitors in all common areas in provincial and municipal correctional facilities will also have to wear a mask.Capacity will be restricted to 30 people at casinos, bingo halls, arenas, live theatres, movie theatres, performing arts venues and other facilities that currently have a capacity of 150 people.Indoor gatherings such as banquets, weddings, funerals, conferences will also have a limit of 30 people, and food and beverage service will be prohibited.The limit for private indoor gatherings will remain at five but the province said "gatherings of any size beyond your immediate household are strongly discouraged at this time."What's yours? CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
BUDAPEST, Hungary — The leaders of Hungary and Poland vowed Thursday to uphold their veto of the European Union’s next budget — and its massive pandemic relief fund — saying a mechanism that ties payment of funds to rule of law principles risks derailing the bloc. The EU has proposed a mechanism linking its 1.8 trillion-euro ($2.1 trillion) budget for 2021-2027 and coronavirus recovery package to the respect of the rule of law by its 27 members. This would allow funds to be denied to members that violated democratic norms, and could target Poland and Hungary. Both countries are at loggerheads with Brussels over their rule of law standards, and the EU has opened legal procedures against them. Poland and Hungary vetoed the mechanism last week, effectively stalling progress on the implementation of the whole budget and the urgently needed rescue package, planned for January. Tough negotiations are expected at an EU summit next month. Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Poland's Mateusz Morawiecki, met in Budapest to discuss ways of persuading EU leaders, and especially Germany, which currently holds the bloc's presidency, to abandon the conditionality mechanism. “This is extremely dangerous for Europe’s cohesion, it is a bad solution that threatens a breakup of Europe in the future,” Morawiecki told a news conference. He argued that similar exclusive mechanisms could be used in the future against other countries, over other issues. “This is not the right way to go,” Morawiecki said stressing that conditionality of funds is not written into EU founding treaties. With the veto "We are defending the unity of the union,” Morawiecki said. Hungary's Orban said the EU debate over the rule of law must not be tied to ways of helping the entire bloc overcome the biggest economic downturn in its history. "Whoever links them is irresponsible, because the crisis needs fast economic decisions,” Orban said. He said he was acting in his nation's interest by opposing the financial mechanism, saying it violated Hungary’s national values and sovereignty. Orban said the debate was not about the rule of law but about the “rule of the majority.” The two leaders vowed to back each other in opposing any mechanisms that they found unacceptable. Budapest and Warsaw have previously backed each other in opposing some decisions taken by Brussels, including on migrant policy. In their joint statement, they rejected any mechanism that would financially sanction member states for violating democratic standards. If EU nations' leaders fail to break the stalemate before the end of the year, the bloc will continue to spend but function on limited resources, with a maximum of one twelfth of the budget for the previous financial year to be spent each month. Many projects for Poland and Hungary could be held up. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, whose country has been among the worst-hit in Europe by COVID-19, said he is convinced Hungary and Poland will “overcome” their opposition and the December EU summit will prove “decisive.” ____ Scislowska reported from Warsaw, Poland ________________________________________ Justin Spike And Monika Scislowska, The Associated Press
Scarborough Southwest NDP MPP Doly Begum is demanding more provincial support for Scarborough’s battle with COVID-19 after it was revealed the community had a 14 per cent positivity rate. A report in the Toronto Star on Nov. 17 revealed that Scarborough Health Network has the highest number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the GTA. It included outbreaks in schools and long-term care homes. In response, Begum has demanded the province immediately commit to more testing, more contact tracing, paid sick days, and personal protective equipment. “Kids are getting sick in crowded classrooms. Seniors are dying in long-term care homes again. What else does Premier Ford need to see before he sends help to Scarborough?” Begum said. As Scarborough, along with Toronto and Peel is in lockdown, Begum said help is needed more than ever. With businesses closing down, long lines at food banks, evictions, and more, she added that the province needs to spend its $9 billion of allocated funds for COVID-19 on communities like Scarborough. Almost a week later on Nov. 25, the Auditor General of Ontario Bonnie Lysyk released a report that indicated “the province’s response was lacking” and was responsible for a relatively slower pandemic response. The report pointed to “outdated provincial emergency plans, insufficient staff, and significant changeover in leadership at Ontario’s Provincial Management Office, as well as systemic issues such as the lack of lab surge capacity and outdated IT systems” as causes for a slow and flawed response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report also revealed the Ford government paid $1.6 million to develop a command structure for its pandemic response that did little to help, and that testing, managing cases, and contact tracing weren’t being done quickly enough to limit the spread. “It’s mind-boggling how they’ve mismanaged this whole situation and now we know why,” Begum said of the provincial government. As of Nov. 26, Scarborough continues to have among the highest rates of positive cases in the City of Toronto. In the last 21 days, Begum’s riding alone has had almost 500 cases.Ali Raza, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Beach Metro News
One classroom at a Shelburne elementary school has been closed, with students being asked to self-isolate following a confirmed case of COVID-19. On Wednesday, Nov. 25, a notice was sent out by Centennial Hylands Elementary School principal, Tammy Fleming, providing information on the situation. “We will continue to work closely with Public Health and take their direction as they complete their investigation,” said Fleming. “All students and staff determined to be at high risk of exposure will be directed to isolate and recommended to be tested within their isolation period.” As of Thursday (Nov. 26), the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) has listed Centennial Hylands as being “open,” with one closed class confirmed. Measures have been taken to ensure the safety of all staff and students, and Public Health will perform a risk assessment if any other transmission is determined as a result of their investigation. “Custodial staff did a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the impacted areas of the school last … as part of our enhanced cleaning protocol,” explained Fleming. It is unknown as to whether or not the positive case was with a student or teacher, as the identity of the individual is protected by privacy legislation. According to the UGDSB’s reporting page, Centennial Hylands is the only school in Dufferin County identified as having an active case of COVID-19. A letter was also sent out by Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) outlining what the health unit and school are doing to prevent further spread of the virus at Centennial Hylands and within the community. “Our building is safe and remains open to staff and students,” said Fleming. Currently, Dufferin County is in orange-level restrictions, with WDGPH confirming an additional 27 cases since their last update Nov. 24, bringing the number of cases within its boundaries to 1,290. The total active number of cases within the health unit’s area is at 155, with 18 active in Dufferin. Three people were hospitalized in WDGPH due to COVID-19. Any individuals with questions about the situation are directed to contact Public Health at 519-822-2715 ext. 7006.Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
HALIFAX — One of the biggest shopping days of the year is here, just as public health officials impose tighter restrictions in an effort to slow the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.The confluence of Black Friday and rising COVID-19 cases has added what experts are calling an “existential moral dimension” to a retail event that has gradually become part of the holiday shopping season in Canada and a crucial sales vehicle for businesses. Black Friday, famous for its pre-dawn lineups and hordes of bargain hunters, has increasingly eclipsed Boxing Day as the country’s biggest Christmas shopping event. Yet those wall-to-wall crowds are exactly what makes the shopping spree a potential health hazard in the time of a global pandemic."We're seeing Black Friday fall at a particularly inopportune time in the pattern of infections," says Tandy Thomas, an associate professor in the Smith School of Business at Queen's University.“There's a lot more moral complexity to Black Friday this year than we've ever seen before."Critics have long denounced the rampant consumerism of Black Friday, an event that traces its origins to post-Thanksgiving sales in the United States.However, retailers rely on holiday sales in general — and Black Friday in particular — to survive the slower winter months. “It's the No. 1 day for a lot of retailers in Canada,” says retail analyst Bruce Winder. “It’s literally make-it-or-break-it time for many.”This year, the Black Friday debate has devolved into "virtuous versus sinful," says Markus Giesler, associate professor of marketing at York University’s Schulich School of Business.“Black Friday has been reimagined through the lens of the pandemic along moralistic lines,” he says. “There's an existential moral dimension to Black Friday this year that has amplified the usual debate." Whereas previous concerns over Black Friday sales hinged on the ethics of an event in which consumers are pitted against one another in a scramble to get a discounted big-ticket item, sometimes resulting in chaos and violence, the issue now is whether in-store shopping will become a potential super-spreader retail event. Retailers have acknowledged the risk and encouraged customers to shop early this year. Big box stores, which often attract throngs of people on Black Friday, started promotions as early as October.They've also moved most promotions online to ward off large crowds in store. Walmart, for example, released two new gaming consoles — traditionally among the biggest draws on Black Friday — exclusively online, while Best Buy says its Black Friday deals are simultaneously online and in-store.Yet despite the online deals, analysts expect some people will still show up in-person on Friday in the hopes of snagging a doorbuster deal. And they'll likely be rewarded. Because it's such a critical time of year for retailers, Winder says there will still be some “aggressive deals” on Black Friday proper.“Retailers can’t afford to not have some zingers," says the author of the book Retail Before, During and After COVID-19. “You're still going to see some diehards going into stores."Even though most deals are just a click away, Giesler with York University says some consumers remain drawn to the immediate gratification of pulling a steeply discounted product off a shelf. It’s the thrill of a good find in-store, versus the more transactional and utilitarian nature of online shopping, he says.“There’s probably still going to be an awkward pandemonium in some stores with lineups and crowds,” Giesler adds. “Overall, it should be a little more subdued, but there will still be some deal-prone consumption. I expect we’ll still see some door crashing.”Most retailers fortunate enough to remain open are working hard to avoid becoming the site of an outbreak. Many have bulked up safety measures, like additional hand sanitizing stations and more workers to limit crowds. “They don't want to be the store that starts a super-spreader event,” Thomas says. “There’s a moral imperative to not wanting people to get sick in your stores. But there would also be a big PR cost."Meanwhile, in-store shoppers may also be motivated by concerns over inventory levels and shipping capacity. Indeed, managing online sales for home delivery, in-store and curbside pickup could be “a logistical nightmare,” Winder says.“I can guarantee you there's going to be capacity issues with the number of pickers and drivers needed to get those packages delivered on time.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press
Le Comité de la commémoration du 50e anniversaire de l’expropriation de Mirabel invite les personnes intéressées à une activité qui a pour but de rendre hommage aux femmes ayant lutté pour que les terres expropriées soient rétrocédées, alors que l’on inaugurera, par le fait même, une plaque commémorative installée à la Maison Jean-Paul-Raymond, dans le secteur de Sainte-Scholastique. Le tout se déroulera le vendredi 11 décembre prochain de manière virtuelle. L’événement, qui prendra la forme de conférence, mettra en lumière le rôle joué par toutes ces femmes auprès de leurs familles et de leur communauté pendant une période difficile. Des personnes impliquées dans le dossier de l’expropriation de Mirabel livreront des témoignages et permettront de faire le point sur le vécu et la contribution des femmes lors des événements qui se sont déroulés des décennies auparavant, mais qui laissent toujours ses traces. Rappelons qu’à la fin des années 1960, le gouvernement fédéral s’était approprié 97 000 acres, parmi les terres agricoles les plus riches du Québec, afin de construire le nouvel aéroport de Montréal, à Mirabel. La nouvelle touche alors plus de 3 000 familles, ainsi que 14 villages et municipalités des Basses-Laurentides. Des citoyens impliqués Rita Léonard-Lafond sera l’une des personnes qui témoigneront, elle qui a été elle-même délogée de sa maison. Ceux qui suivent le dossier de près se rappellent que Mme Léonard-Lafond a été impliquée activement à titre de porte-parole pour les gens expropriés, au sein du Comité d’information et d’animation communautaire (CIAC). Elle est aussi membre du Comité de commémoration du 50e anniversaire. D’autres acteurs prendront la parole au cours de l’événement. Ils seront disponibles afin d’échanger après la conférence. Considérants les mesures liées à la pandémie, l’activité se tiendra virtuellement, sur la plateforme Zoom, le 11 décembre, dès 14 h. À noter que l’on doit absolument confirmer sa présence d’ici le 30 novembre prochain. Seules les personnes ayant confirmé leur présence recevront le lien Web qui permettra de se connecter sur la plateforme. D’ailleurs, une assemblée générale suivra, sur le coup de 15 h, à nouveau sur la plateforme Zoom. Pour confirmer sa présence aux deux événements, vous devez écrire au Comité de commémoration du 50e anniversaire de l’expropriation de Mirabel, via le firstname.lastname@example.org. Nicolas Parent, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Éveil
Members of a Six Nations land reclamation camp have appealed two court injunctions ordering them to vacate a housing development in Caledonia, Ont.Skyler Williams, a spokesperson for the group and defendant in the case, said Thursday that he filed an appeal in Ontario Superior Court to fight the injunctions."We chose to engage in a process, a process that is not our own, to try and move it forward," said Williams during a media update Thursday. "For us the issue of the land here is still before the courts and certainly needs to come to a nation-to-nation discussion."The occupation of the McKenzie Meadows development, dubbed 1492 Land Back Lane by demonstrators, has stretched on for months, and has included blockades across area roads, court orders to remove people staying there, and dozens of arrests.Last month, Justice John Harper ruled that the activists had to vacate the land where Foxgate Developments planned a housing complex. The Six Nations group says the property is unceded Indigenous land and has been occupying it for 131 days. Harper ordered the Six Nations members to vacate on Oct. 22.Williams said Thursday that he's retained lawyers Barry Yellin and Wade Poziomka from the Hamilton firm Ross & McBride LLP. If the appeal is successful, he said, Foxgate Developments and Haldimand County will have to restart the permanent injunction proceedings."The filing by Ross & McBride LLP focuses on the failure of the court to distinguish between contempt and abuse of process, a procedural issue," the 1492 Land Back Lane group said in a media release. "The issue is that Williams's pleadings and evidence were thrown out by Justice Harper in error contrary to the law, procedural fairness, and the rules of civil procedure. If successful in the appeal, the matter would be returned to superior court before a different judge, and all of Williams's pleadings would be reinstated in his defence."The appeal, Williams said, is "an honest effort to engage in the legal system at a time that I was unrepresented in the court process."Harper said last month that Williams has shown "contempt" for the court by refusing to obey previous, temporary injunctions, and by insisting the Cayuga, Ont., courtroom was part of the "colonial" court system.Harper said the court must acknowledge the "abuses that have been put upon the Aboriginal community," but "claims and grievances in our society … must be done respectfully, must be done in compliance with the orders."The Six Nations Elected Council signed a deal in 2019 with the developers for $352,000 and 17 hectares of land in exchange for support of the two housing projects. Williams said Thursday that the elected council has expressed "tentative" support for 1492 Land Back Lane. Six Nations' traditional government, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council of Chiefs, supports the reclamation camp.The group has been calling on the federal and provincial governments to step in and work with their representatives toward a peaceful resolution.Despite a pledge from the office of Carolyn Bennett, minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, that government officials "look forward to meeting with the community at the earliest opportunity" and are "committed" to addressing longstanding land claim issues, Williams said negotiations have yet to begin."They've said over and over again that they want to be at the table, that they're working on it … and here we are. This is three-and-a-half months later," said Williams. "Apparently it takes a long time to get here from Ottawa."
Prince George, B.C., resident Judy Howard recently shelled out $50 for a six-pack of soy sauce after a family Facebook bidding war, and she feels like she got a pretty sweet deal — or salty, to be more accurate.A single bottle of Canadian-made China Lily Soya Sauce usually runs about $3 and is a staple in many kitchens in northern B.C., primarily in Indigenous households where it is often used liberally in traditional dishes and everyday dinner prep.Currently, it is incredibly hard to come by, and that's causing a bit of a panic among regular purchasers.The sauce is crafted by Lee Foods in Toronto. False rumours the factory is closing could be behind why grocery stores in B.C.'s north have been cleaned out, Amazon has nothing to offer, and prices on eBay keep climbing.Prince Rupert, B.C., resident Carolina de Ryk, host of CBC's Daybreak North, caught the concerned chatter of locals on social media and contacted Lee Foods to find out why people were fearful their favourite brand was on the brink. A woman at Lee Foods who took de Ryk's call said there are no plans to shut down the family-run business.Her explanation for the shortage was simple: "China Lily Soya Sauce is the next toilet paper in the COVID-19 pandemic."While hearing the company is still open may be a relief for some, the current situation remains dire for die-hard fans. So much so that Tahltan President Chad Day released a tongue-in cheek-warning on Facebook that soy sauce bootlegging would not be tolerated. Annita Macphee, who is Tahltan and lives in Vancouver, said she remembers rice with China Lily being a component of many childhood meals. She told de Ryk its popularity in many Indigenous kitchens could be because so many Indigenous and Chinese people worked together at one time in coastal canneries."I've heard of people buying 16 bottles," she said, adding she currently has a line on some bottles that surfaced in Powell River, B.C., so she should be supplied for the time being.Howard, meanwhile, is likely being hailed as a hero by her immediate family for the six-pack she scored after her nephew, Sheldon Howard, Jr., a Prince George resident originally from the Gitxsan community of Gitsegukla in northwestern B.C., auctioned it off."I don't think it was extortion," said Howard, who uses the sauce to flavour much of her cooking, especially salmon and herring roe dishes.This year, said Howard, a bottle or two from Santa would be a coveted Christmas gift for many in Gitsegukla.To really dive down into the cultural significance of China Lily, De Ryk also spoke with Jeremy Pahl, also known as Saltwater Hank, a Tsimshian First Nation member and Prince Rupert resident.He was plum out at the start of the week but, while it was weighing heavy, he said he was staying strong."We are going to get through it, and future generations are going to look back and say my ancestors survived the great China Lily shortage of 2020," Pahl said with a chuckle.Pahl later got lucky when some employees at Coast Mountain College called up de Ryk to let her know they had a bottle and it was Pahl's if he wanted it. You can bet he did.But if you're not one of the lucky Howards, don't know about a stash out of town, and no kindly neighbour has tracked you down via the national broadcaster to offer you a spare bottle, don't despair — Lee Foods is still in full swing.In a statement, company president Christopher Wong said while there have been some supply, shipping and staffing hiccups due to the pandemic, customers can expect to see China Lily Soya Sauce back on the shelves within the coming weeks.To hear Judy Howard talk about her Facebook auction score on CBC's Daybreak North, tap the link below:
Ce jeudi soir à 20 heures aura lieu un spectacle qui sort de l’ordinaire à la salle rouge de la Coop Paradis, sur la rue Michaud à Rimouski : le public pourra assister à la phase de recherche d’un projet théâtral à saveur documentaire mené par une compagnie artistique de Montréal, le Théâtre PÀP. L’événement se nomme Radio-ressources et aura lieu dans six régions du Québec. Dans chacune d’entre elles, un thème spécifique relié à l’histoire économique locale est abordé. « Au Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean on est sur la ressource de l’eau, sur la Côte-Nord c’est les pâtes et papiers, détaille le directeur artistique du Théâtre PÀP Patrice Dubois. Au Bas-Saint-Laurent, on aurait pu choisir l’éolien ou la forêt, mais il nous est apparu clair qu’il fallait parler de souveraineté alimentaire. Parce que dans la souveraineté alimentaire il y a la rencontre entre la mer et les terres, entre le bas-pays et le haut-pays. » Dans la salle, on trouvera une table ronde réunissant la restauratrice Colombe St-Pierre, le producteur maraîcher Donald Dubé (ferme du Vert Mouton), l’ancien leader des Opérations Dignité Pierre Dufort et l’autrice Stéphanie Pelletier. Cette dernière est une « personne clé » de cette démarche artistique, d’après Patrice Dubois : « Elle observe le monde en s’intéressant aux moindres gestes du quotidien. On est entrés dans le Bas-Saint-Laurent à partir de ses écrits. C’est pourquoi on s’intéresse aux petits gestes à l’échelle du village qui vont éventuellement changer les choses à plus grande échelle. » Étant donné le contexte, les membres de la troupe permanente du Théâtre PÀP (nommée L’Ensemble) ne pourront pas être sur place mais auront recours à la technologie de la Station Scenic, développée par la Société des arts technologiques. Celle-ci permet de pousser beaucoup plus loin l’expérience de vidéoconférence que ne le fait l’application Zoom : « On va placer des écrans de chaque côté du Paradis, le public va être entre nous et les intervenants, explique Patrice Dubois. On va être à la même échelle, assis sur des chaises, comme si on était dans la salle. » Une correspondance en fil rouge Au cours de la soirée, une correspondance entre Stéphanie Pelletier et Stephie Mazunya, membre de L’Ensemble, sera d’ailleurs dévoilée. « Stephie vient du Burundi, elle est arrivée à Montréal pour faire son école de théâtre et ne connait du bas du fleuve que ce qu’elle en a lu, témoigne M. Dubois. Cette rencontre entre une personne déracinée de son lieu d’origine et une personne qui s’enracine dans le sien est en quelque sorte la colonne vertébrale de notre événement de jeudi. » Pour la troupe, l’objectif de la soirée est avant tout de collecter du matériel pour écrire une pièce de théâtre qui pourrait voir le jour dans deux ans. Plus précisément, il s’agit de voir où est rendu le processus de souveraineté alimentaire du Bas-Saint-Laurent, de dresser le portrait des actions déjà entreprises et des obstacles qui se profilent. L’entrée est gratuite, mais la distanciation sociale limite à 25 le nombre de spectateurs. Une discussion avec le public clôturera la soirée, au cours de laquelle les personnes présentes pourront donner leur opinion sur le thème de la souveraineté alimentaire. Il est possible de réserver sa place sur le site web du Théâtre du Bic, qui a collaboré à la réalisation de cet épisode de Radio-ressources. On pourra également suivre l’événement en ligne en ayant préalablement effectué une réservation sur le site web du Théâtre PÀP.Rémy Bourdillon, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Mouton Noir
Team Halo is hoping to answer questions from those sceptical or hesitant about COVID vaccines. View on euronews
VANCOUVER — Indigenous critics of ABC's kidnapping drama "Big Sky" say it fails to acknowledge real-life missing and murdered Indigenous women and are extending their grievance to CTV for airing the series in Canada without added context.The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs is among several Indigenous groups lambasting the Vancouver-shot series for a storyline about kidnapped women in Montana that skirts a real-life epidemic in that state, as well as B.C.The B.C. group's secretary-treasurer Kukpi7 (pronounced COOK'pee) Judy Wilson called it "imperative" that "ABC demonstrate some awareness and cultural competency" regarding systemic violence against Indigenous women and girls. But she took issue Thursday with CTV, too, saying "they are equally responsible" for airing a series that appears to discount a painful reality that extends to Canada.Her union has joined several other Indigenous groups in asking ABC to append an information card to the end of future episodes that explains the MMIWG crisis. If ABC won't do it, Wilson said she'd like to see CTV do it themselves."Anyone in the film industry and in the broadcast industry in Canada — especially with the National Inquiry (into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls) — should have a social conscious if not a moral conscious and obligation to include this kind of information in their productions or at least an info card at the (end)," Wilson said when reached by phone near Vernon, B.C."By omitting it and by not including any references ... they're adding to the issue of the genocide against Indigenous women and girls."CTV did not provide comment by mid-afternoon Thursday.Similar complaints against ABC have been raised by the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association representing members of tribes in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska; and the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council, which represents Montana's eight federally recognized tribes; and the international Global Indigenous Council, which said it's not asking the network to pull or reshoot the series, but to insert an information card. "Big Sky" premiered Nov. 17 on ABC and CTV with Canadian stars Katheryn Winnick and Kylie Bunbury alongside Ryan Phillippe as detectives on the hunt for two sisters kidnapped on a remote Montana highway.It's based on C.J. Box’s novel "The Highway," which the critics say also failed to address the disproportionate number of Indigenous missing and murdered women in Montana.While much MMIWG advocacy has been directed towards politicians and the justice system, Wilson said the entertainment industry must also address the way it portrays Indigenous issues. She said there are many Indigenous organizations willing to help film and television productions tackle these concerns responsibly."A lot of it is social media or the messages that go to a lot of people on how we treat Indigenous women and girls, and social media can be a change-agent in what's happening out there," said Wilson."We need to stand in the truth and we need to talk the truth and we need to experience it so we can move forward and find solutions that are truth-based."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.— by Cassandra Szklarski in TorontoThe Canadian Press
COVID-19. À l’occasion de sa conférence de presse du 26 novembre, François Legault a confirmé que les vaccins, quand ils seront disponibles, seront administrés en premier lieu aux résidents de CHSLD, aux travailleurs de la santé et aux personnes âgées. «L’espoir est là avec les vaccins qui s’en viennent. Mais entre temps, on doit continuer d’être prudents, surtout d'ici Noël. La bataille n'est pas finie», souligne le premier ministre du Québec. Tout en attendant des précisions sur le nombre de doses disponibles par le gouvernement fédéral, le gouvernement du Québec a désigné Jérôme Gagnon et Richard Massé, des spécialistes, pour mettre branle la campagne de vaccination qui pourrait s’amorcer dès janvier. Pour ce qui est rassemblement, François Legault invite les Québécois à la prudence en rappelant que l’idéal est de se confiner une semaine avant Noël. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
More than two-thirds of the world’s fields, ranches and orchards are owned by one per cent of its farmers, according to a report released Tuesday. Land inequality — the concentrated ownership of land — is skyrocketing globally, including in Canada and the U.S. It’s a trend driven by large-scale industrial farming and export-oriented agricultural policies with wide-ranging impacts on everything from food security to climate change. Those investments aren’t always obvious. Historically, land ownership analyses have excluded key pieces of information, such as the value of land and the degree of control a person or organization has over it, according to the report’s authors. For instance, many farms operate under contract to agri-food corporations, giving them control over production methods and market access without explicitly owning the farm. Investors are also purchasing farmland at increasingly high rates, pushing land prices beyond the value of the crops they can produce and exacerbating farmland consolidation. An analysis of these control mechanisms was included by the coalition of organizations behind the report — a novel technique, said Ward Anseeuw, co-author of the report and co-ordinator of the initiative. The additional data revealed that worldwide, land inequality is 41 per cent higher than previously reported through national agricultural censuses. “These findings radically alter our understanding of the extent and far-reaching consequences land inequality has, proving that not only is it a bigger problem than we thought, but it’s undermining the stability and development of sustainable societies,” he said in a statement. Concentrated land ownership is associated with a suite of problems, including deforestation, political and economic inequality and the degradation of rural food security, the report notes. And while land inequality is an old problem — it was a key part of many colonial governments’ policies — the authors note that since the 1980s, the problem has gotten worse. That’s when national and international trade policies were implemented that made it easier for financial institutions and global agri-businesses to purchase vast tracts of farmland for conversion into industrialized crop production. This land was generally purchased from small- to mid-sized family farms growing a diversity of crops for local or regional consumption. Replacing them were larger industrialized farms owned by vertically integrated companies invested from seed to sale in international commodity markets. It’s a trend that accelerated after the 2008 financial crash, said Devlin Kuyek, senior researcher at GRAIN, an international non-profit supporting small farmers and social movements. Those investors, including several Canadian pension funds, started purchasing farmland worldwide. And with deeper pockets than most farmers, they didn’t struggle to find the land, despite policies in certain jurisdictions — including some Canadian provinces — that limit foreign farmland ownership. It’s a practice that drives land consolidation, he explained. Meanwhile, smaller-scale farmers producing food for regional and local consumption often struggle to make ends meet because of high farmland prices and competition from global commodity markets. It’s a pattern that is seen worldwide — including in B.C., explained Mullinix. The province has a proliferation of small, diversified farms serving local markets, many of which struggle to afford farmland (farmland prices in the province are also driven by real estate speculation, not only agri-businesses and investments from financial institutions). There are also several large ranches and orchards producing food for Canada-wide and international markets — and not much in between. Still, Kuyek said that Canadians have more leverage than they might think. Canadian pension funds are some of the world’s largest farmland investors and sustained pressure from the people whose money they are managing can help change their practices. “We have an interest in understanding what’s going on with our money. If the money is being used to expand industrial agriculture, kick communities off their lands, destroying the future of the planet, it’s not really a good investment that way,” he said. “But this is a new area for the pension funds, so putting pressure on them now, making them aware of the risks … it can sort of push them to hold back from stepping into that area of investment.” Marc Fawcett-Atkinson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
Individualisme ou collectivisme, masculinité ou féminité, distance hiérarchique… Plusieurs dimensions culturelles interviennent dans le potentiel créatif d’un pays donné.
Balgonie’s fire department will have to wait a little bit longer before a decision is made on how soon its oldest truck will be replaced, but town council has sent a clear message the matter will be addressed sooner than later. Mayor Frank Thauberger said at Monday’s council meeting that once the new truck is purchased it will take 10 months to be built to the specifications requested and delivered. An estimated cost for the truck is $400,000. While the RM of Edenwold has been contributing to the annual operations of the Balgonie Volunteer Fire Department, plans for a new fire hall in Emerald Park will put an end to that arrangement, Thauberger said. “That will have to come out of our tax dollars,” Thauberger said. “We’ve had a program where we put money away for this every year.” Depending on when the new truck is purchased and payments required, the funds could be taken from existing reserve funds the town has saved up for this purchase, as well as funds from the 2021 budget year. Following the meeting, town administrator Karen Craigie clarified that the town and the RM have a five-year agreement around regional fire protection that runs through Dec. 31, 2022, and will be renegotiated as needed following the development of the RM’s proposed fire hall in Emerald Park. She added that the town may also yet receive a contribution toward the capital costs once a decision to purchase has been made, as she said town council would consider requesting a contribution from the RM at that time. For firefighter and councillor Dwayne Meier, the new truck couldn’t come fast enough as the old truck, also known as “25”, has limited capabilities. “It’s been leaking a lot of oil and there have been pump issues,” Meier said. “We went out to a fire recently and the pump didn’t activate. Just recently, we went out to Edenwold for a residential structure fire and we didn’t take it initially.” When the truck was eventually called out to the scene, it was because of equipment stored on the truck, and wasn’t used as a pumper. Meier said the town still has the ability to call in the White City and Pilot Butte fire departments for help when needed, but getting a fully-functional pumper truck is a priority. “For me, it’s definitely not a pumper that’s benefiting anyone right now,” Meier said. As there will be a delay from the time a new truck is purchased and delivery, several options were debated. If the costs aren’t prohibitive, the old truck could be repaired for one last run of service before a new one is purchased in upcoming months. Or another pumper could be leased as a stop-gap measure while a new truck is built. Council agreed that further information on the feasibility of either option was needed, and a decision was deferred to the next council meeting. Deputy Mayor chosen Lain Lovelace was selected deputy mayor of Balgonie for a one-year term, retaining the post he held prior to the municipal elections held Nov. 9.Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum
A proposed cannabis-production facility got a prescription from Dr. No as the RM of Edenwold rejected a request for a discretionary use permit by a 4-3 margin on Nov. 17. The proposal from Cameron Family Farms had been tabled over several council meetings while the Camerons sought to address council’s concerns over the project as well as earn local support from area residents for their proposal. While council had approved other cannabis production proposals previously, RM councillors balked at this one when a letter signed by more than 15 residents indicated many of the Cameron’s neighbours opposed the proposed greenhouse be used for growing cannabis. In response to that opposition, the Camerons say they sent a letter to their opponents, offering answers to their concerns. “We heard nothing back,” Ian Cameron said. “We refrained from going to visit them because of COVID. Nobody has gotten back to us with any of their concerns, but we did go to them with factual information rather than opinion. I did want people to know it’s a greenhouse, not a retail operation. It’s a greenhouse, and what we plant in there is a controlled product for which we are subject to licensing, regulation and security, for which of course we would abide by all of the laws.” Reeve Mitchell Huber noted there was opposition to the project and said he had advocated that the Camerons go to their neighbours to address their concerns. “With the backlash as it was, council gets hesitant to give the discretionary permit because we try not to play God,” Huber said. “That’s a bit of a strong statement, but we’d rather see more harmony over the long term. You are right in that it would have been more invasive to start a cattle operation out there.” Councillor Craig Strudwick said while he personally did not have an issue with the Camerons’ cannabis plan, he had to take into account the area residents who came out in force to oppose it. For that reason, his was one of the four votes defeating the discretionary use application. After addressing council but prior to the vote denying his application, Cameron indicated there may still be some use for the facility. “Obviously we have built the greenhouse and have been at this for a while,” Cameron said. “If we don’t put (cannabis) in there, we’ll put something else in there that’s not so regulated because we have (already) built the facility.”Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum