Artist Jordan Molina, also known as Tutodraw, shows off an incredibly detailed 3D hand drawing featuring a levitating ball. Check it out!
Artist Jordan Molina, also known as Tutodraw, shows off an incredibly detailed 3D hand drawing featuring a levitating ball. Check it out!
From a global perspective, there was nothing unique about the recent raid on the U.S. Capitol. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have backed military coups around the world for decades.
(ANNews) - The First Nations Health Managers Association (FNHMA) Weekly Virtual Town Hall is a podcast that features speakers from different organizations who provide credible and reliable information, resources, and updates about what their organizations are doing to combat COVID-19. Dr. Brenda Restoule, Chief Executive Officer of the First Peoples’ Wellness Circle, appeared on the Jan. 14, podcast and began her talk by saying, “Today I thought I would spend some time talking about the fact that we have been in this pandemic for ten months.” She mentioned how she recently had conversations “about just how much our workforce and our leaders are doing and how tired and exhausting it’s become. Ten months of this – we are concerned about the wellness of our workforce.” As for tiredness and fatigue, Dr. Restoule said, “We know that our workforce has been working so hard. Our leaders have been working so hard. They are doing more, doing it differently, sometimes they’re doing different things than they did before, or they’re just having to do their work in different ways – whether that’s virtually, at a distance.” “And they are forever being asked to think about how to do it differently. And it’s always changing!” “Burnout is what we consider to be a reaction to a prolonged and chronic job stress… it’s characterized by things like exhaustion; starting to maybe hate your job or dread going to work cause there’s so much to do and not enough time; and feeling like you’re not capable or not satisfied with your work. Burnout is a really big thing.” She also mentioned how that fatigue and burnout is not only happening at work, as most people are now working from home. “This is happening to us in our homes. We’re worried about our families, about our parents and other homes, our community members and other friends. So it can also be associated with things in our life.” She then went on to speak about a few different kinds of fatigue that are common. Such as compassion fatigue, which is essentially, “the cost of caring;” pandemic fatigue: which is when people are “less likely to want to follow” restrictions; and COVID fatigue, “the uncertainty and chaos of COVID has really forced us to make additional choices about our lifestyle, our safety in very uncertain times. With more impactful consequences if we don’t make the right decisions.” Some signs of fatigue are restlessness, irritability, lack of motivation, difficulty with concentration, withdrawing from socializing with others, and physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach pains. Here are some of Dr. Restoule’s tips for fatigue: Take care of yourself. Practice Mindfulness and meditation. Choose activities that make it easy to follow the public health measures, including creating habits such as applying hand sanitizer or grabbing a mask and appreciating these habits. Focus on things that you can do differently. “Maybe it’s about eating a little bit healthier or getting outside for a walk.” Reach out for support and find ways to make social connections. Take notice of whether you’re experiencing fatigue. Most importantly, practice self-compassion. “It’s okay if you slip up once in a while and you can’t make a decision. These are hard times… Take a COVID break. Turn things off, don’t listen for a little bit, and recognize that you can only do so much.” “I’m going to end by saying: have resiliency. We have teachings about being interconnected like trees and teachings about hibernation from the bear. We are much like the trees - our roots our interconnected to each other, we hold each other up, we protect each other.” Tune in to the FNHMA Town Hall Sessions every Thursday at 1 pm EST on Alberta Native News Facebook page or at ihtoday.ca. Jacob Cardinal is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Alberta Native News. Jacob Cardinal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News
Avec les confinements, nous pouvons nous attendre à une augmentation de notre facture énergétique d’environ 30 %.
The chief of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation says that the territory's vulnerable people have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and he is optimistic the rest of the community will receive the vaccine as soon as possible. Chief Ted Williams said the First Nation has worked closely with the local health unit to prioritize the vaccine rollout. “Our long-term-care staff and residents … have been inoculated already because they are highly vulnerable. We are waiting patiently for our director of health and social services, who sits with the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit, as plans are made to receive the vaccine here. But that’s going to be some time off,” he said. The chief said that vulnerable residents received their first of two shots last week. He added that he has not heard a lot of frustration or impatience expressed by other community members, as they wait for the vaccine to be made available across the territory. “There is a pecking order as they have indicated. We are patient with that. We know that (health officials) are out there, doing the very best that they can,” Williams said. “Our health director is working very closely with them. We have input and we have instant information.” Rama First Nation has had five COVID cases in total since the pandemic began, none in more than two months, the chief said. He added that all five residents have since recovered. So far, the new provincial restrictions are not causing any new undue stress or hardship on his members, Williams said. “When they talk about the hours of business, we have had that in place for several months. In that regard we are ahead of them. We communicate frequently with our own community. There are provincial guidelines that we follow but there are also guidelines imposed by the leadership here and everyone in our community is co-operating very well,” the chief said. “I’m very thankful that members of our community are adhering to the call to say safe, wear your mask, keep social distancing and stay away from anyone who is not a part of your household.” Williams said that he also hasn’t heard a lot of talk about some Indigenous people being reluctant to get the vaccine, at least in part, because of the troubling history of their treatment by the health care system. “We understand the big picture. Of course there is a time and a place in which we have discussion and dialogue to assist each other in overcoming the challenges that are placed on Indigenous communities. The way you get around that is to have good dialogue with your neighbours and your (health care) partners,” the chief said. “We are all in this together. My focus right now has to be on COVID and working hard with my colleagues on council, with my staff and with my community. I can’t be worried about anything other than that.” Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, said he understands the mistrust some First Nations people have toward the health-care system, adding no one will be forced to take the vaccine. “I sympathize with their concerns and I acknowledge the history,” Gardner said. “I think it is really important that we work with leadership in the Indigenous community about what we wish to do and why. They can be communicators on this. Others in the community, including elders, can be leaders on this. But in the end, it is a personal decision.” John McFadden, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
THUNDER BAY — For more than five years, the Thunder Bay police force and its partner agencies have been dealing with a high-volume of individuals travelling from southern Ontario to traffic drugs in the northwest. Through a virtual news conference on Thursday, Jan. 21, Thunder Bay police announced the results of a major joint-forces police investigation involving several agencies in southern Ontario which resulted in the seizure of $2.7 million worth of street drugs. Despite the massive seizure of drugs and arrest of 12 individuals, police said they continue to be “plagued” with more individuals ready to take over for those who have been arrested. “Any given day, our highways have couriers bringing more drugs to our communities,” Det.-Insp. John Fennell of the Thunder Bay Police Service said Thursday. “It has been made very clear from our investigations and the people being charged that much of this illicit drug trade is coming from southern Ontario,” he said. Several police forces were involved in the operation called Project Valiant including Ontario Provincial Police, York Regional Police and Canada Border Services Agency. The operation was led by the Thunder Bay Police Service. “Our gang and gun problem is real and it needs to be taken very seriously by our legal system and our government,” Fennell said. "As much effort as we put into these initiatives we continue to be plagued with a steady stream of new persons taking over for those we have been able to charge.” The investigation took place from August 2020 to December 2020. Approximately six search warrants were conducted in Thunder Bay and one major search warrant was executed in Markham, Ont. As a result, police seized 11.9 kilograms of fentanyl, 1.55 kilograms of cocaine, more than 4,000 pills of fentanyl, 846 packages of cannabis edibles for the black market and eight capsules of hydromorphone. Furthermore, police seized several weapons including 10 rifles, four shotguns, one crossbow, two high-capacity magazines, two tasers and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Police also located and seized four cars, one motorcycle, more than $120,000 in Canadian cash, fake government identification and drug trafficking paraphernalia. The project’s lead, Det.-Sgt. Dan Irwin, said during Thursday’s news conference, the long-term impact of initiatives such as Project Valiant aimed to address the high volume of illicit drugs coming into the community from southern Ontario is minimal. “It makes an impact at the beginning but like Det.-Insp. Fennell said as soon as we make arrests unfortunately the highways and the planes are full of individuals coming from the south to continue to sell fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, and various other drugs,” he said. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
Paved Arts, a non-profit arts organization in Saskatoon, has its Facebook page back up and running after it was disabled for two weeks. The group was shut down earlier this month after a post was put up promoting an upcoming exhibit that critiques social media and QAnon. "Our team reviewed the Page and determined that it was disabled incorrectly by our systems and it's since been restored," David Troya-Alvarez of Facebook's corporate communications in Canada told CBC News in an email. "We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused PAVED Arts and we appreciate you bringing this to our attention." Paved Arts' page was taken down the same day that rioters descended on the Capitol in Washington, D.C. The organization's news release that day was about an exhibit by Montreal artist Clint Enns called Conspiracies in Isolation. The exhibit is about "thinking through this idea of misinformation, which I think is like the new form of propaganda," Enns said. The exhibit includes a book made up of images Enns found online. Facebook did not give an explanation as to why the page was taken down. David LaRiviere, the artistic director at Paved Arts, said they believe the ban happened because the release had words such as QAnon and conspiracy theory and a photo from the exhibit that may have been linked back to other pages. LaRiviere said the ban happened so quickly that it was likely a bot had flagged the Paved Arts page. In a Facebook post from the now reactivated page, Paved Arts said the experience has provoked a number of discussions. "First and foremost on our minds is the importance of critical dialogue in the arts," the post said. "Censorship, freedom of expression, conspiracy, misinformation and 'Who controls our history/archival information?', and 'Why is this important?' have also been hot topics on Zoom and in chats."
Brent Secondiak is no stranger to jumping into freezing cold water for a good cause. For as many years as it has been running in Medicine Hat, Secondiak and his Medicine Hat Police colleagues have taken part in the Polar Plunge. The event is simple: jump into cold water and raise money for Special Olympics Alberta. The plunge has once again been altered this year due to COVID-19, and it has gone virtual. Those wishing to participate can raise funds digitally through the Special Olympics Alberta website. Then they can participate in a solo plunge, whether it is pouring cold water on their head, safely wading into the river or rolling around in snow. The Plunge will take place on March 13, when Secondiak will take a quick dip in the South Saskatchewan River. “It’s going to be cold, but it will be worth it,” he said. “I’ll have a few people out with me just to make sure everything is safe. “This is a really great cause that I really believe in.” Those raising money can choose to help out local athletes. “There’s a number of fantastic athletes in our city,” said Secondiak. “I do this every year and this is a cause that’s near and dear to me.” Those wishing to contribute can go to http://www.specialolympics.ca/albertapolarplunge Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
There are 32 new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick and an outbreak has been declared at another Edmundston care home, Dr. Jennifer Russell said at a live-streamed COVID-19 update Thursday. The update was the first since the Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton regions — Zones 1, 2 and 3 — were rolled back to the red phase of recovery on Tuesday. They joined the Edmundston region, which was already in the red phase. The three remaining zones are in orange. The situation in the Edmundston region, Zone 4, remains "gravely concerning," Russell said. There are now 113 cases in that area, "the largest number of any zone in the province." Russell said outbreaks have spread to workplaces and to special care homes in the region, including a new outbreak at the Le Pavillon Le Royer. Russell also noted that the outbreak at Parkland Riverview's Canterbury Hall care home has been declared over, with no new cases in 14 days. All residents at the facility were being vaccinated Thursday. 32 new cases reported, 19 of them in Zone 4 The cases announced Thursday break down in this way: Moncton region, Zone 1, five cases: an individual 30 to 39 an individual 40 to 49 an individual 50 to 59 an individual 60 to 69 an individual 80 to 89 Saint John region, Zone 2, three cases: two people 20 to 29 an individual 40 to 49 Fredericton region, Zone 3, three cases: an individual 19 or under an individual 40 to 49 an individual 60 to 69 Edmundston region, Zone 4, 19 cases: an individual 19 or under two people 20 to 29 two people 30 to 39 two people 40 to 49 five people 50 to 59 three people 60 to 69 an individual 70 to 79 three people 80 to 89 Campbellton region, Zone 5, two cases: two people 19 or under All of the individuals are self-isolating and their cases are under investigation. The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,057, with 719 recovered and 324 currently active cases. There have been 13 deaths, and three patients are now hospitalized, two of them in intensive care. As of Thursday, 179,582 tests have been conducted, including 1,902 since Wednesday's report. There have been 10,436 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in New Brunswick, with 2,567 people fully vaccinated with two doses and 7,339 doses held back for second doses and planned clinics. Mount Allison confirms off-campus case Mount Allison University has confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 in its campus community. In an email to students and staff Thursday, the university said it is the first positive case this term and the second since the start of the pandemic. "At this point there are no other confirmed cases related to Mount Allison," Anne Comfort, acting vice-president of international and student affairs, said in the email. The individual is an "off-campus member" of the Mount Allison community, Comfort said. "They are asymptomatic, have been self-isolating by themselves, and will continue to self-isolate." Contact tracing is underway, and Public Health will contact anyone who needs to take further precautions, she said. Not aware of student-to-student transmission: Russell Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, again faced questions Thursday about the decision to keep schools open during the red phase, and about the risk to students and staff. Asked at the COVID-19 update if she was aware of any "student-to-student transmission" in schools, Russell said no such cases have been brought to her attention. "The only cases I've been made aware of are adult-to-adult transmission among staff in schools or adult-to-child," Russell said, adding that doesn't mean student-to-student transmission has not happened. Under the revised red phase rules, if a positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed at a school, the school will be closed for a minimum of three days to allow for contact tracing. On Wednesday, when Zones 1, 2 and 3 entered the red phase, attendance records showed more than 14,000 students stayed home. 'There may be delays': Higgs on vaccines Premier Blaine Higgs provided an update on the province's vaccine rollout at Thursday's briefing, noting that the province continues to roll out vaccines "as they become available." But that availability has been hampered recently, with no shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week and reduced shipments expected next week. Because of that, "some facilities have had to reduce the number of vaccines that will be administered," Higgs said Thursday. "There may be delays … this is why very early on in the process we set aside a number of vaccines, so that everyone who received their first dose could receive second dose and be fully vaccinated." Currently, 2,567 New Brunswickers have been fully vaccinated. More than 1,300 people were to receive their first dose of the vaccine at clinics in 10 long-term care homes that began Tuesday and concluded Thursday, Higgs said. Clinics are also being planned on Saturday for health-care workers in the Edmundston, Bathurst, Fredericton and Saint John areas. Why 3 zones are staying orange, for now Three zones in the province are seeing stabilizing, low or even non-existent case numbers, the province's chief medical officer of health said Thursday. Zones 5, 6 and 7 — the Campbellton, Bathurst and Miramichi regions — are in the orange phase of recovery. There are 26 active cases in Campbellton, nine in Bathurst, and Miramichi hasn't had a confirmed case since Boxing Day. So why are they not being eased into the least-restrictive yellow phase? Russell said it's a case of caution mixed with proximity, noting the zones will remain in orange "until we see further progress in the surrounding red zones." She has previously cautioned against assuming a zero case count means a region is COVID-free. "You have to remember that case numbers are a snapshot" of what was happening seven days prior, "so even if there were no cases a week ago, it doesn't mean COVID isn't in the community today." Russell has also previously noted that testing rates are very low in the Miramichi region, something she again pointed to at Thursday's update. "When we see case numbers not very high in a certain area, I can't imagine they're not experiencing any symptoms whatsoever," Russell said. "So again, my message is 'Please get tested. Even if you have only one symptom. Even if it's mild.' " Russell noted there are plans to open "four or five" more testing locations, including some in rural areas. A new assessment centre opened Thursday in Clair, in Zone 4, Russell said. Full lockdown likely for Edmundston region Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, and Premier Blaine Higgs both addressed the "deeply worrying" situation in the Edmundston region, Zone 4, at Thursday's update. The fact that outbreaks are creeping into adult residential facilities and workplaces is a concern, Russell said. She noted that 24 of the cases in Zone 4 are directly linked to the Nadeau poultry plant, including six of the 19 cases announced Thursday in Zone 4. An outbreak was declared earlier this week at the plant, which remains closed. Edmundston is also the site of outbreaks at two special care homes, the Manoir Belle Vue and Le Pavillon Le Royer. Premier Blaine Higgs, who also spoke at Thursday's update, said that a complete lockdown of the Edmundston region has been discussed and looks "likely" to happen in the days ahead. It would be similar to what New Brunswickers saw in March when the entire province was in shutdown, he said. Higgs shares details of stepped-up enforcement efforts Rising case numbers throughout much of the province have made it "more important than ever to follow ... and enforce" Public Health rules, Premier Blaine Higgs said Thursday. He noted that, since Saturday, 179 house visits have been conducted to ensure people are self-isolating. There were just four cases of non-compliance. Enforcement officers conducted 327 site visits between Sunday and Thursday, with the following results: 20 non-compliance orders issued. 20 tickets issued under Emergency Measures Act. 23 stop-work orders under WorkSafeNB. 12 orders under WorkSafeNB. One administrator penalty. Public exposure warnings Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on the following flight: Jan. 3 – Air Canada Flight 8910 from Toronto to Moncton, arrived at 11:23 a.m. Public Health has also issued the following potential COVID-19 exposure warnings: Edmundston region: Sparta Progression Gym, 113 44th Ave. D., on Jan. 13 and Jan. 15 between 7 and 9 a.m. Moncton region: Goodlife Fitness Centre, 175 Ivan Rand Dr. E., on Jan. 13 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Moncton North After Hours Medical Clinic, 1633 Mountain Rd., on Jan. 14 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Edmundston region: Jean Coutu Kim Levesque-Cote Pharmacy, 276 Broadway Blvd., Grand Falls, on Jan. 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Parts for Trucks,21 Powers Rd., Grand Falls, on Jan. 11, 12 and 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: A fever above 38 C. A new cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
SEATTLE — Amazon is offering its colossal operations network and advanced technologies to assist President Joe Biden in his vow to get 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations to Americans in his first 100 days in office. “We are prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, and communications capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination efforts,” wrote the CEO of Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer division, Dave Clark, in a letter to Biden. “Our scale allows us to make a meaningful impact immediately in the fight against COVID-19, and we stand ready to assist you in this effort.” Amazon said that it has already arranged a licensed third-party occupational health care provider to give vaccines on-site at its facilities for its employees when they become available. Amazon has more than 800,000 employees in the United States, Clark wrote, most of whom essential workers who cannot work from home and should be vaccinated as soon as possible. Biden will sign 10 pandemic-related executive orders on Thursday, his second day in office, but the administration says efforts to supercharge the rollout of vaccines have been hampered by lack of co-operation from the Trump administration during the transition. They say they don’t have a complete understanding of the previous administration’s actions on vaccine distribution. Biden is also depending on Congress to provide $1.9 trillion for economic relief and COVID-19 response. There are a litany of complaints from states that say they are not getting enough vaccine even as they are being asked to vaccinate a broader swath of Americans. According to data through January 20 from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths in the U.S. rose over the past two weeks from 2,677.3 on January 6 to 3,054.1 on Wednesday. More than 400,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19. The Associated Press
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania woman facing charges that she helped steal a laptop from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the attack on the U.S. Capitol will be released from jail, a federal judge decided Thursday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson directed that Riley June Williams be released into the custody of her mother, with travel restrictions, and instructed her to appear Monday in federal court in Washington to continue her case. “The gravity of these offences is great,” Carlson told Williams. “It cannot be overstated.” Williams, 22, of Harrisburg, is accused of theft, obstruction and trespassing, as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Carlson noted Williams has no prior criminal record. The FBI says an unidentified former romantic partner of Williams tipped them off that she appeared in video from the Jan. 6 rioting and the tipster claimed she had hoped to sell the computer to Russian intelligence. Williams' defence lawyer, Lori Ulrich, told Carlson the tipster is a former boyfriend who had been abusive to Williams and that “his accusations are overstated.” Video from the riot shows a woman matching Williams' description exhorting invaders to go “upstairs, upstairs, upstairs” during the attack, which briefly disrupted certification of President Joe Biden's electoral victory. “It is regrettable that Ms. Williams took the president's bait and went inside the Capitol,” Ulrich told the judge. Williams surrendered to face charges on Monday. She was expected to leave the county jail in Harrisburg later Thursday, and will be on electronic monitoring to await trial. She did not respond to questions as a federal marshal led her in handcuffs out of the courtroom. Carlson made direct reference to the attack on the Capitol, saying a howling crowd tried unsuccessfully to prevent the peaceful transition of power. “It has been honoured by generations of Americans for 232 years,” Carlson said. “It has become so commonplace that we often think very little of it.” In adding the theft-related charges on Tuesday, a Virginia-based FBI agent said Williams was recorded on closed-circuit cameras in the Capitol going into and coming out of Pelosi's office. The agent's affidavit said a cellphone video that was likely shot by Williams shows a man's gloved hand lifting an HP laptop from a table, and the caption read, “they got the laptop.” Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, has said a laptop used only for presentations was taken from a conference room. The current location of the computer has not been disclosed in court documents, and was not discussed in court on Thursday. Mark Scolforo, The Associated Press
Commentators across the political spectrum spread anti-Islamic rhetoric, insisting that Islam is intrinsically violent and that Muslims are terrorists. But studies show these claims are unfounded.
The new U.S. president has signed a string of executive orders to combat the worsening COVID-19 situation in the United States. Canadian infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch says the approach signals 'good news' for the U.S. and Canada.
OTTAWA — It will likely be another year before a federal review of the government's key transparency law is complete. Newly released terms of reference for the government study of the Access to Information Act say a report will be submitted to the Treasury Board president by Jan. 31 of next year. The review, announced last June, has prompted skepticism from open-government advocates who point to a pile of reports done over the years on reforming the access law. The law, introduced in 1983, allows people who pay $5 to ask for a range of federal documents, but it has been widely criticized as antiquated and poorly administered. Ken Rubin, a longtime user of the access law, says putting the government in charge of reviewing its own secrecy and delay problems was never a good idea. He says the Liberals should either present a new transparency bill before the next general election or let Parliament and the public figure out how to improve access to federal records. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Early in the morning last Friday, Marissa Murphy and her partner were asleep in bed when they heard "aggressive banging" on the doors and windows of their home in Inuvik, N.W.T. "We were kind of scared we didn't know what was going on … as soon as I got downstairs I could see that the whole street was filled with smoke and people were running around, and somebody was at my door looking very panicked," said Murphy. "She was saying that there was a fire and we need to leave." That woman was Murphy's neighbour from across the street, Elise Decarie-Jean, who is being praised by the other tenants for her courage when she stopped to wake up people sleeping during the fire. 'You could feel the heat' No one was injured during the fire on Natala Drive, but there was significant damage to the four-unit townhouses, which included Murphy's unit. Decarie-Jean said she was getting ready for work when she went outside and saw dense smoke. In the past, she has smelled the wood stove burning from the unit where the fire started, but this time was different. That morning, it also smelled like chemicals, and she realized it was a bigger fire. Outside, another woman was calling the fire department, but Decarie-Jean noticed no one else was standing outside and she thought people might still be asleep. I would've never woken up without them pounding on the door - Jerry Lennie-Inglangasuk, resident "That's when I dropped my bags and went to the first door closer to the unit on fire because it was too smoky to go to the first unit where the fire started," said Decarie-Jean. She knocked on the windows and doors of two of the units on both sides of the building. She said someone else had alerted the person in the fourth unit. Murphy, who is new to Inuvik and has only been living in her home since September, praises Decarie-Jean's actions. "I just went into pure adrenaline mode," Murphy said. "I have four parrots and two rabbits. I wasn't exactly prepared to do something, but luckily I had a couple of carriers in the room and I just kinda shoved them in the carriers and we ran out. I was still in PJs." Murphy, her partner and animals all waited at Decarie-Jean's house as they figured out what to do. "It was just incredible the heroism that it took to go and to make sure that everyone was awake and that the fire department was called. It could've been really dangerous," said Murphy. I don't think anyone would've been able to stand there and do nothing. - Elise Decarie-Jean, resident Jerry Lennie-Inglangasuk and his partner live in one of the units Decarie-Jean knocked on. "My room was right behind where the fire was, and that was full of smoke already," said Lennie-Inglangasuk. "You could feel the heat … I would've never woken up without them pounding on the door … true northerners." Fire being investigated Both Lennie-Inglangasuk and Murphy say the unit where the fire started doesn't have power. They say the person living there creates his own heat, which they suspect is either a generator or wood stove. They also say this isn't the first time the fire department has been called to the unit; sparks were flying from the same unit's chimney back in November. "I feel really ticked off because he endangered my family," said Lennie-Inglangasuk. Fire Chief Cynthia Hammond confirmed to CBC that the fire is still under investigation. Lennie-Inglangasuk, whose granddaughter lives in the fourth row house, says the units are still out of water and they have all been cleaning tirelessly due to the smoke damage. He couldn't be more thankful to Decarie-Jean, and gave her a painting to express his gratitude. "I would just like to thank them for saving my life, and my granddaughter's life, and my family's life," said Lennie-Inglangasuk. But for Decarie-Jean, she says anyone would've done the same thing if they were in her position. "What else would you have done? I don't think anyone would've been able to stand there and do nothing," said Decarie-Jean. "You do good, and you receive good."
A natural day-use recreation area near Evergreen Park will be enhanced to better accommodate pedestrians, on-leash dogs, cyclists and equestrians. County of Grande Prairie council approved a management plan for the 99-acre area, christened Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area, during its regular meeting last week. “Over the past year, people have been outdoors, recreating more,” said county reeve Leanne Beaupre. “This (provides) another opportunity for people to get out and enjoy our natural backyards.” Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area is located northeast of Evergreen Park and north of the Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society (PARDS). It is also near approximately a half-dozen residences in Pine Valley South subdivision to the south, she said. Local people sometimes refer to the area as the “dog park” before the county named it Evergreen Ridge due to its proximity to Evergreen Park, according to administration. The area is Crown land and is leased to the county under a 2018 agreement with Alberta Environment. The natural trail network and sandy dunes are already used by pedestrians and dog-owners and PARDS members use trails as well, Beaupre said. The county means to maintain Evergreen Ridge as a “low-impact” recreational resource. It is not, said Beaupre, part of Evergreen Park. Alberta Environment and Parks requested a management plan be developed. Beaupre added a plan can prevent conflicts between responsible users and others using the area for unpermitted fires or illegal dumping. According to county communications, the plan as approved by council proposes infrastructure improvements to begin this spring. The improvements include new signage and the addition of an information kiosk, as well as fencing around the area’s eastern boundary. The kiosk will be unstaffed and will include more signage, and the information may include trail directions, Beaupre said. The signage may also provide information about local animal species, as well as communicate pets must be kept on leashes, according to the plan. Local wildlife includes mule deer, elk, moose, black bears, coyotes and smaller mammals, but due to heavy human use large animals aren’t common in the area, according to administration. The parking lot is mainly sand, and the county may grade it and perhaps add a culvert as part of the improvements, according to the plan. Funds of under $5,000 for Evergreen Ridge in the 2021 budget are expected, according to county parks and recreation. Evergreen Ridge does not allow overnight stays, off-highway vehicles or unleashed pets, according to the county. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
TORONTO — Experts at a leading children's hospital say schools need to ramp up COVID-19 testing and masking in order to have all kids return to the classroom as soon as possible. The guidance comes a day after Ontario said it would permit just seven public health units in southern Ontario resume in-person learning Monday, while students in hot-spot regions will continue with online learning until at least Feb. 10. They join others in northern regions that returned to class last week, but areas including Toronto and Peel were deemed too-high risk to return to class. The new guidelines, led by experts at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, urge COVID-19 tests for all staff and students exposed to a confirmed case, while indoor masking be made mandatory for all those Grade 1 and up. The report's co-author Dr. Ronald Cohn says the current protocol is that testing is only required for those who display symptoms. He also stresses the social and mental-health needs of young children, recommending kindergartners be cohorted so they can play and interact with their peers. Cohn, president and CEO, SickKids, said schools closures should be "as time-limited as possible." "It is therefore imperative that bundled measures of infection prevention and control and a robust testing strategy are in place," he said Thursday in a release. The report also cautions against rapid tests using molecular or antigen tests because of their lower sensitivity and less effectiveness with asymptomatic cases. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
PARIS — “I was 9. ... It was my father. He raped me until I was 17.” The French government pledged on Thursday to toughen laws on the rape of children after a massive online movement saw hundreds of victims share accounts about sexual abuse within their families. The move comes in the wake of child abuse accusations involving a prominent French political expert. France’s justice minister said Thursday the government will soon present new legal measures to better protect children, while a draft bill has started being debated at parliament to toughen laws on the rape of minors under 13. The social media campaign was launched Saturday by activists of the French feminist group #NousToutes in reference to the #MeToo movement that sparked a global debate about sexual harassment and assault. The #MeTooInceste hashtag overwhelmed French social media in just a few days. In French, the word “inceste” is widely used to refer to any sexual act between members of the same family, including abuse of children, stepchildren or younger siblings. Hundreds of people shared appalling accounts about how they were sexually abused when they were children: “I was between 11 and 14. It was my brother. I’m now 57 and still a victim of that past." “I was 8. Abused by my grandfather.” “Just one amid so many others. I was 6-7-8 year-old, I don't remember.” Tens of thousands of people responded by sharing and commenting under the same hashtag. Laurent Boyet, 49, was among those who tweeted. A police officer and head of the association Les Papillons ("Butterflies") fighting against child abuse, he published a book in 2017 to tell his story. He said he was raped by his brother, who was 10 years older than him, when he was between 6 and 9. “I really hope society is going to have the courage to face the problem," he told The Associated Press. “We need to stop looking away.” When he spoke to his mother, over 30 years after the abuse started, Boyet said she answered: “I believe you because I had doubts about it.” "All the signals I had sent her, she got them but did nothing," he recalled. "In 2021 we cannot keep quiet anymore, we need to take action,” he added. Boyet's association started in September placing mailboxes in schools to allow children to express their distress through letters. Boyet said some of the written notes have led to legal action, including for alleged sexual abuse. The feminist activist behind the #MeTooInceste campaign, Madeline Da Silva, said “we are convinced that children actually speak out and what’s a very big problem is that no one is hearing them.” Even if children don't say the words, they still show signs that they are suffering “and no one is trained to understand them,” she regretted. That's why, Da Silva said, the movement is not only about improving the laws but above all about introducing immediate, child-centred public policies. “Today we know that when you’re training social workers, teachers about prevention of violence, things are changing: you’re saving lives,” she said. Her #NousToutes group launched a petition urging the government to require systematic training of all people working with children, including teachers, social workers and officials of sports and cultural associations. It was signed Thursday by over 36,000 people, less than two days after it was put online. The debate about France's response to child abuse within families broke out earlier this month amid accusations involving top political expert Olivier Duhamel. A book written by Duhamel’s stepdaughter, Camille Kouchner, accused him of abusing her twin brother during the late 1980s, when the siblings were 13 years old. Some children protection groups are pushing to introduce statutory rape in law, which would state a legal age below which a child cannot agree to a sexual relationship with an adult. Under French law, sexual relations between an adult and a minor under 15 are banned. Yet the law accepts the possibility that a minor is capable of consenting to sex, leading to cases where an adult faces a lighter prison sentence than if prosecuted for rape of an adult, which is punishable by 20 years in prison. Many activists are also in favour of removing the statute of limitations, because the trauma is so deep it can take decades for victims to be able to speak out and face their abuser. The law currently provides that minor victims can file complaints until they are aged 48. The World Health Organization say international studies show that one in five women and one in 13 men report having been sexually abused as a child aged under 18. Experts say sexual abuses are likely to be underestimated amid secrecy often surrounding the issue. Sylvie Corbet, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Chris Martin admits that Coldplay’s latest album could have sounded terrible if it wasn’t for one person — mastering engineer Emily Lazar. Like the musical magician she is, Lazar added her special touch to the band’s eighth album “Everyday Life,” which was released in late 2019 and is now competing for the top prize at the 2021 Grammy Awards. Martin describes the universal and political album as “a patchwork quilt of opinions and thoughts about life and humans and the planet and how much we love Nigerian music and how much we love gospel (music) and how much we love, like, old-fashioned, northern European church music.” “All these weird things and sampling from voice memos — in the wrong hands it could have sounded awful.” Lazar came in to save the day — a role she’s played on thousands of albums and a reason she’s making history at this year’s Grammy Awards. For her work on Coldplay’s album, she shares a nomination with Martin and friends for album of the year. Lazar is also the mastering engineer on HAIM’s “Women In Music Pt. III” and Jacob Collier’s “Djesse Vol. 3” — both nominated for album of the year — making Lazar a triple nominee in the Grammys’ biggest category. “You kind of go into a little bit of shock after the first one. You’re not even focused for the next one because you think, ‘That’s it.’ By the time we got to the third one, I almost had to check myself and say, ‘Why are they listing all the records that I worked on?’” Lazar said in a phone interview. Lazar, 49, made history at the 2019 Grammys when she became the first woman to win best engineered album (non-classical) for her work on Beck’s “Colours.” She was the first female mastering engineer to ever be nominated in the album of the year category for her role on Foo Fighter’s “Wasting Light” and she’s the only female mastering engineer nominated for album of the year this year, though engineer/mixers Laura Sisk and Jasmine Chen are competing for their roles on Taylor Swift's “folklore" and HAIM’s third album. “If someone has achieved that in one go, it’s clear proof that they bring something special,” Martin said of Lazar’s record three nods for album of the year. “Recorded music is always followed behind technology. The people that know how to, first of all invent and secondly master that technology, are as worthy of attention and praise as the artist themselves because we can’t exist without the people that invented recording and invented the piano." He added: "Emily is a technician, but she’s very much a musician’s technician. She knows everything about the technology but is always in service of the song or the piece. And that’s hard to find. I don’t know how to switch ProTools on, for example. And some technicians don’t know whether the chorus is good or not. Emily sort of bridges those two worlds so beautifully.” Like many touring musicians and those behind-the-scenes, Lazar started her career in front of the scene as a rock-pop singer-songwriter. But she grew frustrated in the recording studio, feeling like her voice was being silenced from engineers when she had thoughts about how a song should sound. “There was a weird invisible fence between engineers and artists, and it wasn’t inviting, especially as a woman, to be asking questions about how to make things sound a particular way. The assumption was that you were just the artist and you’d show up and you’d do stuff and you wouldn’t get to have a say,” she said. And, of course, she was just one of two women in the room. “There were certainly no other women on the technical side. I did have a female bass player in my band, finally, at one point. I did have a little girl power. It wasn’t enough to go against the entire sea of (men). It was rough. It was a lot of interesting behaviour. It only inspired me to work harder to figure it all out.” She went on to get her master’s degree in music technology and cut her teeth at a music engineering firm where she “learned a lot about how I didn’t want to run a company.” The mastering engineer’s role on most albums comes at end of the album-making process, “putting that final audio polish on an album,” as Lazar describes it. But Lazar always thought differently, and as a freely creative musician and thinker, she wanted to collaborate with artists while they were making their albums. “I learned exactly how to create an environment that felt really comfortable to me as an artist and as an engineer, which I thought would be really comfortable for other people,” said Lazar, who launched her Manhattan-based company, The Lodge, at age 25. “I kind of felt like what I wanted to do didn’t exist. I also felt this feeling that if I didn’t do it, I didn’t really know who would. I really did do it differently. I didn’t think anyone was going to change it. There were no other women and there was no other idea of making a creative collective. It was more of this sterile, weird environment. It was more like a dentist office with rooms and leather couches. It didn’t feel right.” “I took a lot of heat for that originally in the old-school,” she said. “The old-school vibe was, ‘Is this woman crazy?’ I don’t know if they called me a woman. They may have said something more derogatory. ‘Why is she touching that? That’s not her job. Her job is just to do this.’ Now I think the boundaries have blurred a bit. I know there are moments where I’ve been able to jump in and save the day for people.” Lazar has mastered more than 4,000 albums throughout her career, including releases by Björk, David Bowie, Sia, Wu-Tang Clan, Barbra Streisand, the Chainsmokers, Dolly Parton, Lou Reed, Destiny's Child, Depeche Mode, Alanis Morissette, Vampire Weekend, Little Big Town, Morrissey, Natalie Merchant and Tiësto. She reached new heights when she worked as the mastering engineer on The Rolling Stones’ 2020 vinyl reboot of “Goats Heads Soup” as well as the 50th anniversary release of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” released in 2019. “You can’t think of anything more important to the rock ‘n’ roll cannon than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones,” she said. “I feel incredibly humbled and blessed to have gotten to play a part in that.” While she’s evaluated in her musical career, Lazar knows it’s important to help bring up others, especially women and minorities in a field dominated by white men. She’s participated in programs like She Is the Music and Women’s Audio Mission because she knows the importance of representation. “I believe that you should work with the best (engineer) for what you’re trying to do: male, female, gay, straight, Black, white, green, whatever. It doesn’t matter to me as long as they have the right creative vibe to what you’re trying to do. It shouldn’t actually matter. Until everyone has a seat at the table, we do have to make an effort to pull the chairs out for some people to get in there to have some dinner,” she said. “No one did for me, but I would like to help that happen.” “I could tell you lots of terrible stories, but I think that focusing on the terrible stories doesn’t necessarily — it may ruin some people’s lives that were total jerks, whether they were aware of it or not,” she continued. “There are moments that I would love to out some of those people, but my inner voice says that it’s really more important to make sure these things don’t happen by creating environments that are more amenable to equality and equity on every level.” Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press
Facebook Inc said on Thursday it was referring its decision to indefinitely suspend the accounts of former U.S. President Donald Trump to its independent oversight board. Trump will remain suspended while the board, a recently created body that can overrule the company's decisions on content, reviews the decision. The board, which said it had accepted the case, will have a maximum of 90 days to make a ruling and for Facebook to act on it.
The Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health (MOH) says the region is ready for kids to return to the classroom. “We, in Grey-Bruce, are in good standing to proceed with what we started in the first term of school,” said Dr. Ian Arra, MOH for the Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHU) during a virtual town hall meeting held last night. Yesterday, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the government will let students in seven public health units return to the physical classroom on Jan. 25. Students in the Bluewater District School Board and Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board will be allowed back in the classroom starting Monday. “I realize that there may be some questions related to health and safety as students and staff return to in-person learning while the provincial stay-at-home order remains in place,” stated Lori Wilder, director of education for the Bluewater District School Board in a letter to parents. “With this regional approach, and through consultation with public health, it has been determined that our relatively low local COVID-19 case numbers place us in a favourable position for students to physically attend school as many were doing before the holidays,” Wilder continued. According to Arra, current data trends in the region have indicated that it is time for kids to go back to school. “We are ready to go back. Does this mean that school is a safe place? It’s a pandemic and we need to remember this,” he said. GBHU's most recent situation report states there are currently 30 active cases the region and Grey-Bruce has seen a total of 657 cases since the onset of the pandemic. Arra noted that during the initial semester of classes, there were COVID-19 cases reported in school-aged children, however, no transmission was detected within the schools. “The screening handled most of these cases and prevented them from going into school. None of these measures are perfect. But, the more we implement them, the more committed we are to them, the better the results,” Arra said. According to Arra, the GBHU witnessed a surge of cases in October and November as the second wave of COVID-19 hit the province. During that time period, there were no outbreaks declared in any schools in Grey-Bruce. “That says that if it's circulating in the community, it does not mean it's going to be circulating in schools in that controlled environment. You can infer from it also, if the physical distancing, hand washing and other measures are implemented, it will be a safe environment, wherever that environment is,” he stated. As the students return to the classroom next week, Arra is quick to remind parents that the provincial stay-at-home order is still in effect and he would discourage any activities outside of the home and classroom. “The fact that the kids are going back to school, does not mean that the stay-at-home order does not stand,” he said. “Going outside of our homes for whatever the activity is different from our children getting the social and educational experience they need.” Arra said, at this point, kids should not be engaging in after-school activities or social engagements. “I would ask everybody to remember this is not mutually exclusive – staying at home and returning to the classroom – we need to do one and the other to actually make both work,” he said. “The school staff, teachers, workers are doing an amazing job at controlling the environment. If kids get together after school, that's not a controlled environment. A birthday party, or whatever it is, that's definitely the opposite of controlled environments.” Students returning to the classroom on Monday will continue to be required to complete the province's daily COVID-19 self screening questionnaire before coming to school. Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca