Protesters descended on the Conservative policy convention in Calgary Saturday to call on the party to condemn abortions on the basis of gender. Demonstrators say Canada needs to take a firm stand against female gendercide.
Protesters descended on the Conservative policy convention in Calgary Saturday to call on the party to condemn abortions on the basis of gender. Demonstrators say Canada needs to take a firm stand against female gendercide.
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took their oaths of office on Wednesday using Bibles that are laden with personal meaning, writing new chapters in a long-running American tradition — and one that appears nowhere in the law. The Constitution does not require the use of a specific text for swearing-in ceremonies and specifies only the wording of the president’s oath. That wording does not include the phrase “so help me God,” but every modern president has appended it to their oaths and most have chosen symbolically significant Bibles for their inaugurations. That includes Biden, who used the same family Bible he has used twice when swearing in as vice-president and seven times as senator from Delaware. The book, several inches thick, and which his late son Beau also used when swearing in as Delaware attorney general, has been a “family heirloom” since 1893 and “every important date is in there,” Biden told late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert last month. “Why is your Bible bigger than mine? Do you have more Jesus than I do?” quipped Colbert, who like Biden is a practicing Catholic. Biden’s use of his family Bible underscores the prominent role his faith has played in his personal and professional lives — and will continue to do so as he becomes the second Catholic president in U.S. history. He follows in a tradition of many other presidents who used family-owned scriptures to take their oaths, including Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Some have had their Bibles opened to personally relevant passages during their ceremonies. Bill Clinton, for example, chose Isaiah 58:12 — which urges the devout to be a “repairer of the breach” — for his second inauguration after a first term marked by political schisms with conservatives. Others took their oaths on closed Bibles, like John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, who in 1961 used his family’s century-old tome with a large cross on the front, similar to Biden’s. The tradition of using a Bible dates as far back as the presidency itself, with the holy book used by George Washington later appearing on exhibit at the Smithsonian on loan from the Masonic lodge that provided it in 1789. Washington’s Bible was later used for the oaths by Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. But not every president has used a Bible. Theodore Roosevelt took his 1901 oath without one after the death of William McKinley, while John Quincy Adams used a law book in 1825, according to his own account. Some have employed multiple Bibles during their ceremonies: Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump chose to use, along with others, the copy that Abraham Lincoln was sworn in on in 1861. Harris did the same for her vice-presidential oath, using a Bible owned by a close family friend and one that belonged to the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Harris has spoken of her admiration of Marshall, a fellow Howard University graduate and trailblazer in government as the high court’s first African American justice. “When I raise my right hand and take the oath of office tomorrow, I carry with me two heroes who’d speak up for the voiceless and help those in need,” Harris tweeted Tuesday, referring to Marshall and friend Regina Shelton, whose Bible she swore on when becoming attorney general of California and later senator. Harris, who attended both Baptist and Hindu services as a child, worships in the Baptist faith as an adult. While U.S. lawmakers have typically used Bibles for their oaths, some have chosen alternatives that reflect their religious diversity. Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, in 2007 used a Qur’an that belonged to Thomas Jefferson, prompting objections from some Christian conservatives. Jefferson’s Qur’an made a return in 2019 at the oath for Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., chose a Hebrew Bible in 2005 to reflect her Jewish faith. Newly elected Georgia Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff, who is also Jewish and who swears in Wednesday, used Hebrew scripture belonging to Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, an ally of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement. Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, opted for the Bhagavad Gita in 2013 after becoming the first Hindu elected to Congress. And Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., the only member of the current Congress who identifies as “religiously unaffiliated,” took her oath on the Constitution in 2018. ___ Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation U.S. The AP is solely responsible for this content. Elana Schor, The Associated Press
King wants to mitigate traffic and safety issues before a Schomberg subdivision is built. Councillors approved staff recommendations to pave the way for Forestbrook Hills phase 2, off of Roselena Drive in Schomberg. This “extension” of the existing community has been in the works for years, with plans dating back to 2016. A draft plan and bylaw amendments were submitted by the proponents in 2017 and a public meeting was first held in 2018. The plan has been revised, and now includes 51 single-detached homes on the lands, which will be accessed from an extension of Roselena, crossing the river and forming a new intersection with Church Street. The extension of Roselena, staff said, will facilitate the connection of the existing community as envisioned in the Community Plan. Protecting the Schomberg River is important, and measures will be taken to mitigate any negative impacts. Also, staff said a hardwood forest adjacent to the development will be enhanced with buffers intended for replanting. The plan also includes a reasonable transition of lot sizes. Curbs, gutters and a sidewalk will be installed at the frontage of the development abutting Church Street. Retaining walls will be necessary in some spots. Commenting agencies such as King, LSRCA and York Region have no objections, noting any outstanding matters will be addressed during the draft plan approval stage. This type of development is permitted and even supported by residents. The main concerns surround traffic and pedestrian safety. Residents contend when the extension to Roselena takes place, it will create a bypass through the neighbourhood. Staff said Roselena would be a second principle entrance for the development and would allow water services to be “looped” and provide optimal response times for emergency vehicles. Right now, more than 100 homes are served by a single access at Roselena and Moore Park Drive. “Two fully maintained road access points would also foster better traffic flow and protect for future transportation-transit planning,” staff said. Staff also noted that King’s new Traffic Calming Strategy can help in terms of alleviating potential traffic woes, such as speeding. Staff suggested that Roselena be considered for “passive traffic calming techniques,” which include signage and markings used to slow traffic. Staff also said the developer will have to build and maintain the calming measures, and monitor traffic on an ongoing basis. Residents, however, are not completely convinced. While they support new housing, they point to safety and speeding as major concerns. One resident said compromises need to be made, and he’d like to see a double cul-de-sac, instead of the connection of Roselena with Church. Opening Roselena will only compound the problem, he said, adding this new phase need to be done with safety in mind. One resident did a house-to-house survey prior to the recent virtual council meeting. He said most residents thought the cul-de-sac was the preferred option. Other residents pointed to the quality of life, stressing the character of the existing neighbourhood needs to be maintained. Planner Paul Kulyk aid staff don’t support the double cul-de-sac. He noted the Township now has the benefit of the traffic strategy to help guide them. The developer, he said, is obligated to implement the traffic control measures. A lot of the concerns, he said, point to driver behaviour, and it’s difficult to design for behaviour. Councillor Bill Cober put forth an addition to the recommendations. It calls for traffic mitigation measures be included in the design. Mark Pavilons, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, King Weekly Sentinel
By Jamie Mountain Local Journalism Initiative Reporter HILLIARD TOWNSHIP – The Ontario government has announced that it is providing financial support through the Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance (MDRA) program to help Hilliard Township recover from a landslide. Heavy snowfall back on October 29, 2019, coupled with sudden snowmelt, resulted in a landslide on Veley Road. The road is a major access route for the township’s residents, farmers, and emergency service providers. The government says the township may be eligible for as much as $500,000 in provincial disaster recovery assistance funding, which could be used to help rebuild and repair the road. “It’s very crucial,” said Hilliard Reeve Laurie Bolesworth of the funding. “We have quite a few residents back there that could potentially be shut off and we wouldn’t be able to supply access just due to that landslide,” she said in a telephone interview. “So this funding is coming in a crucial time to get the road fixed.” Bolesworth said that when the landslide happened, the damage continued to grow and spread to the edge of Veley Road, with the potential to take out the entire roadway. “We were worried it was going to take out the road, the potential is there for it to collapse into the river as well,” she noted. She said in the spring of 2020 “we used up the road allowance we could to widen up the road to ensure that access was available at all times. The funding gives us a means to repair that landslide and secure it so that the future access for those people back there on that dead-end road will be available at all times.” Bolesworth said in order for the township to forge ahead with the repairs it would have to get an engineer’s report first. She was hopeful the report would be secured and the work would be able to commence “as soon as possible.” Ontario's MDRA program helps municipalities address extraordinary emergency response costs and damage to essential property or infrastructure - like bridges, roads and public buildings - as a result of a natural disaster. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, said that as partners with municipalities, the government “must ensure that everyone in the province has access to the necessary infrastructure and services they need to maintain their quality of life." "By accessing this funding, Hilliard will be able to make essential repairs to local infrastructure that was damaged by the landslide,” he said in a news release. Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker
A trend towards including more diverse characters has changed children's television, but there's still work to be done, especially when it comes to gender and representation.
The chief of the Shawanaga First Nation near Parry Sound said he is confident the majority of his people will want to get vaccinated against COVID 19. However, Chief Wayne Pamajewon said he understands the reluctance of some to get the vaccine, adding that it is their prerogative. The chief said he did not have an exact date on when the vaccine would reach his territory. He said he fully understands the reasons some of his people are reluctant to get the vaccine shots, particularly in light of the troubling history of the treatment of Indigenous people in the Canadian health-care system. However, he is advising his people to take the vaccination program seriously. “I think there are a couple of leaders within my council who are a little leery of this COVID needle. I’ve been a diabetic for 37 years. A needle to me means nothing,” the chief said. “I have never pushed my people to do anything they didn’t want to do. The call is probably going to be put into their hands. I can’t make them do that. I refuse to do that. The Great Spirit will work with them on that one.” The chief said he has every reason to believe his people will continue to follow COVID-19 protocols and he is cautiously optimistic that the territory will continue to remain coronavirus-free. Chief Pamajewon said the community has only had to address one COVID case — a student who does not live on the Shawanaga First Nation but attends school there was confirmed to have had the virus last month. That youngster has since self-isolated and has been declared COVID-free. There was no transfer of the virus to his community members. “We isolated that case right away because we were notified about it. We sent all the children from that community where the child was from home because they attend our school. It’s just lucky that we cut it off at the right spot and it went nowhere,” the chief said. “All the contacts came back negative. That was great that we were able to stop it right in its tracks before it got into our community.” The chief went on to say that he and his membership will abide by the latest provincial lockdown protocols, but he wanted to make it clear he does not necessarily classify himself as an Ontarian, but a member of Turtle Island, (the Indigenous term for North America). “Maybe what could’ve happened was that (the restrictions) had been tighter and longer from the beginning. I don’t think we locked the door tight enough,” Chief Pamajewon said. “I don’t think Premier Doug Ford had any choice, especially in the hot zones. But even some of our political leaders are (travelling). You can’t tell someone to do something and you turn around and you don’t do that. What is that? To me that’s wrong.” Pamajewon said that since the pandemic began, no one on the territory has been issued a ticket for hosting large gatherings at their home. “We don’t want our people to be charged or anything like that. What we want is preventive policing. We’ve had co-operation from our people to be mindful of gathering together. I’ve even approached some of their bonfires and talked with them to remind them to be mindful of the rules in place,” Chief Pamajewon said. John McFadden is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering Indigenous issues for MuskokaRegion.com, ParrySound.com and Simcoe.com. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. John McFadden, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Parry Sound North Star
WASHINGTON — Three new senators were sworn into office Wednesday after President Joe Biden's inauguration, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges. In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden's nominee for Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines. Senators worked into the evening and overcame some Republican opposition to approve his first Cabinet member, in what's traditionally a show of good faith on Inauguration Day to confirm at least some nominees for a new president's administration. Haines, a former CIA deputy director, will become a core member of Biden’s security team, overseeing the agencies that make up the nation’s intelligence community. She was confirmed 84-10. The new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged colleagues to turn the spirit of the new president’s call for unity into action. “President Biden, we heard you loud and clear,” Schumer said in his first speech as majority leader. “We have a lengthy agenda. And we need to get it done together.” Vice-President Kamala Harris drew applause as she entered the chamber to deliver the oath of office to the new Democratic senators — Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock and Alex Padilla — just hours after taking her own oath at the Capitol alongside Biden. The three Democrats join a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote. Ossoff, a former congressional aide and investigative journalist, and Warnock, a pastor from the late Martin Luther King Jr.'s church in Atlanta, won run-off elections in Georgia this month, defeating two Republicans. Padilla was tapped by California’s governor to finish the remainder of Harris’ term. “Today, America is turning over a new leaf. We are turning the page on the last four years, we’re going to reunite the country, defeat COVID-19, rush economic relief to the people,” Ossoff told reporters earlier at the Capitol. “That’s what they sent us here to do.” Taken together, their arrival gives Democrats for the first time in a decade control of the Senate, the House and the White House, as Biden faces the unparalleled challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic fallout, and the nation's painful political divisions from the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol by a mob loyal to Donald Trump. Congress is being called on to consider Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion COVID recovery package, to distribute vaccines and shore up an economy as more than 400,000 Americans have died from the virus. At the same time, the Senate is about to launch an impeachment trial of Trump, charged by the House of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol as rioters tried to interrupt the Electoral College tally and overturn Biden’s election. The Senate will need to confirm other Biden Cabinet nominees. To “restore the soul” of the country, Biden said in his inaugural speech, requires “unity.” Yet as Washington looks to turn the page from Trump to the Biden administration, Republican leader Mitch McConnell is not relinquishing power without a fight. Haines' nomination was temporarily blocked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Okla., as he sought information about the CIA's enhanced interrogation program. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is holding back the Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas over Biden's proposed immigration changes. And McConnell is refusing to enter a power-sharing agreement with Senate Democrats unless they meet his demands, chiefly to preserve the Senate filibuster — the procedural tool often used by the minority party to block bills under rules that require 60 votes to advance legislation. McConnell, in his first speech as the minority party leader, said the election results with narrow Democratic control of the House and Senate showed that Americans “intentionally entrusted both political parties with significant power.” The Republican leader said he looked forward working with the new president “wherever possible.” At her first White House briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s desire to have his Cabinet confirmed and in place is “front and centre for the president,” and she said he was hoping to have his national security nominees in place Thursday or Friday. Psaki said the president will be “quite involved” in negotiations over the COVID relief package, but left the details of the upcoming impeachment trial to Congress. The Senate can “multitask,” she said. That’s a tall order for a Senate under normal circumstances, but even more so now in the post-Trump era, with Republicans badly split between their loyalties to the defeated president and wealthy donors who are distancing themselves from Republicans who back Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to soon transmit to the Senate the House-passed article of impeachment against Trump, charged with incitement of insurrection, a step that will launch the Senate impeachment trial. Meantime, the power-sharing talks between Schumer and McConnell have hit a stalemate. It’s an arcane fight McConnell has inserted into what has traditionally been a more routine organizing resolution over committee assignments and staffing resources, but a power play by the outgoing Republican leader grabbing at tools that can be used to block Biden’s agenda. Progressive and liberal Democrats are eager to do away with the filibuster to more quickly advance Biden’s priorities, but not all rank-and-file Senate Democrats are on board. Schumer has not agreed to any changes but McConnell is taking no chances. For now, it will take unanimous consent among senators to toggle between conducting votes on legislative business and serving as jurors in the impeachment trial. The House last week impeached Trump for having sent the mob to the Capitol to “fight like hell” during the tally of Electoral College votes to overturn Biden’s election. __ Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report. Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
Un volet de prêt-à-manger a vu le jour à la coopérative de solidarité Les Choix de Marguerite de Baie-Johan-Beetz pour encourager une saine alimentation et diminuer le gaspillage alimentaire. Derrière les fourneaux, on retrouve le chef cuisinier Sébastien L’Écuyer, récemment revenu habiter dans son village natal. Les plats à emporter qu’il prépare sont vendus à la coopérative depuis décembre, « mais on est encore en rodage », précise-t-il. Unique responsable – et employé – consacré à ce projet, Sébastien s’affaire à cuisiner des mets « pour améliorer la qualité de vie du village et des touristes ». « C’était important pour nous d’avoir quelque chose qui souligne la qualité des produits et des légumes qu’on a à la coop, explique-t-il. Un gros volet du projet, c’est d’utiliser des aliments qui sont très nutritifs pour essayer de faire manger plus de vitamines et de légumes [aux clients], et moins de choses transformées. » La ligne directrice pour le menu : des repas simples et accessibles pour tout le monde. « Je ne suis pas là pour réinventer la cuisine. L’important, c’est que les gens achètent des produits nutritifs et se sentent bien avec ce qu’ils mangent », poursuit Sébastien. Le prêt-à-manger se devait aussi d’avoir une composante écologique importante, fait-il valoir. Les légumes frais proviennent de la serre de la coopérative, « donc on évite le transport des aliments et ça nous permet d’éliminer le gaspillage alimentaire ». Les autres ingrédients sont pris sur les tablettes de l’épicerie. Une attention particulière a été portée au choix de l’emballage des repas, qui se vendent dans des contenants issus d’une fabrication écologique. « Les plats sont compostables, biodégradables ou recyclables. On encourage les gens à les réutiliser les plats plus résistants comme n’importe quel contenant style Tupperware. » Les mets qu’il prépare dans la cuisine de la salle communautaire Phidélem-Harvey vont des dîners rapides (sandwichs, soupes, salades) aux pièces de viande, selon une fourchette de prix allant de 5 $ à 16 $ par plat. En plus de pains au levain cuits quotidiennement, Sébastien estime cuisiner une dizaine de mets différents par semaine, ce qui représente environ 150 plats à emporter. Il aimerait doubler, voire tripler sa production d’ici un an pour atteindre entre 400 et 500 repas par semaine, mais à condition que d’autres personnes se joignent à lui en cuisine. « Le manque de personnel, c’est difficile partout. Si c’est difficile pour Le Goût du Large [de Natashquan] depuis cinq ans, ça risque d’être difficile pour nous aussi. » Un projet qui a mijoté Sébastien L’Écuyer le dit ouvertement : il cherchait à revenir résider à Baie-Johan-Beetz depuis longtemps, mais l’absence de restaurant dans le village posait problème. Cuisinier de formation, il a vogué ces dernières années entre la Minganie, de la pourvoirie La Corneille près de son patelin natal au café-bistro L’Échouerie de Natashquan, les Miels d’Anicet à Ferme-Neuve et Montréal. Puis, la pandémie a frappé : « Je ne voyais plus d’avenir à Montréal. » Le projet de mets à emporter à l’épicerie coopérative germe dans son esprit, mais il a fallu plusieurs mois avant qu’il ne se réalise. Finalement, grâce à la subvention de la municipalité régionale de comté (MRC de Minganie) de 53 486 $, au soutien financier et organisationnel de Les Choix de Marguerite et au coup de pouce du conseil municipal de Baie-Johan-Beetz, qui leur offre la location de la cuisine de la salle communautaire, l’initiative « est sur une belle lancée », considère Sébastien.Laurence Dami-Houle, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Portageur
Check out this cute little Morkie dog attempting to attack the show dogs on TV. Too funny!
Sherbrooke — L’Ancienne Forge vient de franchir un nouveau pas vers sa concrétisation, dès juin 2021. En deux mois, cette nanobrasserie communautaire, qui occupera la forge centenaire du cœur de Brompton, a récolté plus de 16 600 $ en signe de soutien de la communauté. La campagne de sociofinancement de l’Ancienne Forge, tenue en collaboration avec La Ruche Estrie afin de trouver les fonds nécessaires pour l’aménagement d’une salle de brassage à la fine pointe, avait pour objectif d’amasser 15 000 $. Puisque son objectif a été dépassé, celle-ci profitera d’autant plus d’une contribution 2 750 $ provenant du fonds Alvéole de Commerce Sherbrooke. Michael Jacques, chargé de projet pour l’Ancienne Forge, y voit une belle mobilisation du secteur Brompton de Sherbrooke, confirmant ainsi le besoin de voir naître un tel endroit. « C’est super. Il y a eu d’importants dons de familles qui sont là depuis plusieurs générations. Elles ont fait monter en flèche la campagne », exprime-t-il. Rappelons que le Comité du patrimoine de Bromptonville prépare depuis près d’un an et demi la création d’un tout nouveau lieu de rencontre au 49, rue Saint-Lambert, soit un bâtiment datant de 1914 qui était occupé par un garage jusqu’à tout récemment. On pourra notamment y boire de la bière « de haut niveau » préparée sur place en collaboration avec le département de sciences brassicoles de l’Université Bishop’s, manger des produits préparés par des restaurateurs du coin, promouvoir son entreprise ou son art et assister à différents événements de diffusion de la culture et de l’histoire. Cette initiative vise également à créer des emplois en plus de préserver le vieux bâtiment, qui possède d’ailleurs toujours ses murs de brique d’origine. Il s’agira d’une entreprise d’économie sociale, qui remettra tous ses profits directement dans la communauté, notamment par le biais d’organismes. Les bénévoles derrière ce projet ont rassemblé presque toutes les autorisations qui devraient leur permettre d’offrir une nanobrasserie aux citoyens dès l’été prochain, en plus de la collaboration de plusieurs entrepreneurs des environs. Ils tentent d’ailleurs toujours de séduire différents bailleurs de fonds afin d’être en mesure d’éventuellement acheter le bâtiment. Même si la campagne de sociofinancement est terminée sur la plateforme La Ruche Estrie, les dons, commandites et partenariats sont toujours les bienvenus, assure M. Jacques. On peut le contacter au email@example.com à ce sujet.Jasmine Rondeau, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
La Résidence Jeanne l’Archevêque de Nicolet a changé de mains. Un couple dans la quarantaine en a pris la relève en septembre dernier. David Guilbert et sa conjointe Julie René lorgnaient ce projet depuis le mois de novembre 2019. Lorsque la pandémie s’est déclarée, le couple était déjà bien avancé dans son projet d’acquisition. « Mon idée était faite. Est-ce que ça m’a fait peur? Oui. Mais on a décidé de plonger, on s’est dit: "On va travailler fort et ça va marcher". C’est un défi en pandémie d’accompagner ces personnes dans cette étape de leur vie, soit de quitter la maison et d’aller en résidence», mentionne M. Guilbert. Il était clair dans son esprit qu’il allait y être présent tous les jours. Il y dort même parfois. «J’ai accompagné mon père dans les derniers moments de sa vie; ç'a peut-être réveillé une petite cloche en moi. Et les aînés adorent ma blonde. Je trouve que les aînés sont trop souvent traités comme des vieux et non pas comme des personnes». Puis, l’équipe de travail en place a aussi joué dans la balance. «Quand j’ai fait les démarches pour acheter l’entreprise, ça m’a allumé. S’il n’y avait pas eu cette petite équipe dévouée et près des gens, je n’aurais pas fait le saut». Julie René lui donne aussi un bon coup de main, mais en dehors des heures de bureau. Elle travaille déjà à temps complet au service de garde de l’école trilingue Vision de Trois-Rivières. «Elle vient m’aider les soirs et les fins de semaine», explique David Guilbert, qui avait été dans une autre vie copropriétaire du magasin Excellence Sports de Nicolet. L’envie de reprendre les affaires lui est toujours restée. Mais rien ne l’allumait vraiment jusqu’à ce qu’il voit cette résidence privée de 25 appartements et que 28 résidents se partagent. «À force de discuter avec l’ancien propriétaire et de discuter avec les gens, on s’est rendu compte que c’est un domaine qui nous correspondait. Oui, c’est une entreprise mais avant tout, on est au quotidien avec les gens et on les aide, on essaie de mettre un peu de soleil dans la vie des aînés. C’est ce qui est venu me chercher à ce stade-ci de ma vie», avoue M. Guilbert qui a aujourd’hui 48 ans. Le couple a fait un effort conscient pour désamorcer les craintes liées à l’arrivée d’un nouveau propriétaire. «C’est sûr qu’il y avait une inquiétude, autant au niveau du personnel que des résidents. On a fait une belle transition. On a été présent pendant deux mois avec l’ancien propriétaire à temps plein. Les résidents et le personnel ont appris à me connaître.» M. Guilbert et Mme René y mettront leur touche personnelle. «Ne serait-ce que de mettre des décorations de Noël extérieures! Au printemps, on va refaire la toiture et installer des gicleurs. Il faut que ce soit fait d’ici décembre 2022. On veut redonner une petite touche de fraîcheur». Le couple s’est aussi donné pour mission de bonifier l’offre d’activités offertes aux résidents. «Des jeux, des activités, des chansonniers. C’est quelque chose que j’adore faire. Dans le fond, c’est de rendre les résidents heureux, de mettre des sourires. J’adore ça. Ce qu’ils aiment ici, c’est que tout est inclus». Il faut juste qu’ils s’occupent de leur petit déjeuner. Boris Chassagne, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix du Sud
The Muskoka Lakes Snow Trail Association is looking to raise $10,000 to pay for the right equipment to fix their tricky snow trails for sledders this season. Steven Elliott, vice president of the association, said volunteers spend hundreds of hours every year grooming and maintaining trails in Port Carling, Bala, Moonbridge and Bass Lake. He said they pay a lot for special equipment to groom and maintain trails in the swampy lands of Muskoka Lakes. “If we, as volunteers, want to put together the best product that we can for our riders, then we need this equipment,” Elliott said. According to Elliott, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC), the non-profit organization financing their club and 230 others in the province, will not cover the expenses of this equipment. The federation declined a request for an interview or comment. The first week of January, the club began a fundraiser to purchase a Skandic Wide Track Utility Snowmobile and a small drag to be pulled behind the machine. The retail price of this Ski-Doo snowmobile begins at $10,099. As of Monday afternoon, Jan. 18, they’ve raised $1,800 via their GoFundMe page. “This is one of the first times we’ve really reached out … or done anything like this,” he said. “The reality is that the permit money people pay doesn’t go far enough to fund some of these types of equipment expenses.” People pay for a snowmobile permit, or season pass, to utilize the trails in the winter. A regular season pass currently costs $270. That money goes toward the grooming and preparation of the trails, including the purchase, fuelling and operation of purpose-built industrial groomers. However, Elliott said the funding doesn’t pay for utility snowmobiles, small drags or brushing equipment. Elliott said the club doesn’t have statistics on how many riders use their trails, but said OFSC's District 7, from Georgian Bay to Algonquin Park, sells 5,000 to 6,000 permits annually. Elliott said the club hopes they’ll receive support from the thousands who use trails like theirs for snowmobiling in Muskoka. Zahraa Hmood is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering the municipalities of Muskoka Lakes, Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Zahraa Hmood, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com
Canadian companies are being told to ensure they’re not importing Chinese goods produced through the forced labour of the Uighur religious minority group. “Reports indicate mass transfers of Uighur labourers to factories across China where they are enrolled in forced labour programs that taint global supply chains in a variety of industries,” reads a Global Affairs Canada advisory. The federal government says it’s also aware of other human rights violations affecting Uighurs and other ethnic and religious groups by Chinese authorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang and other parts of China, including mass arbitrary detention, forced separation of children from their parents, forced sterilization, and torture. China is a major trading partner for Canada, with $75 billion worth of merchandise imported from China in 2019, according to Statista. International Trade Minister Mary Ng said that the feds are committed to ensuring Canadian businesses aren't engaged with supply chains involving forced labour. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to increasing supply chain transparency, promoting responsible business conduct, and ensuring that Canadian companies are upholding Canadian values, wherever they may operate,” Ng said in a statement. Parliament amended the Customs Tariff Act last July to ban the imports of goods produced wholly or partly as a result of forced labour from any country. The government reminds companies that they must conform to these laws, adding that companies that operate within the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) may also be subject to human rights legislation. “In addition to legal risks, companies face reputational damage related to their supply chains if it is discovered that they are sourcing from entities that employ forced labour,” the advisory added. It remains unclear if there indeed have been confirmed instances of Uighur-made products flowing through Canadian supply chains. Canada’s National Observer asked Ng if she can definitively say there aren’t products made by Uighurs or other minority groups in Canadian supply chains, but the question was deferred to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), which also didn’t provide direct comment to the question. However, Jacqueline Callin, spokesperson for CBSA, explained shipments containing goods suspected of being produced by forced labour are detained at the border for inspection by a border services officer who has the authority to ban these goods from entering Canada based on their analysis of the specific situation. The government announced Monday that companies with ties to Xinjiang will have to sign a “Xinjiang Integrity Declaration” recognizing they’re aware of Canadian laws regarding the prohibition of forced labour and the “human rights situation in Xinjiang” before they receive support from the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS). It wasn't indicated when this declaration requirement will come into effect. The government also appointed a Canadian ombudsperson for responsible enterprise in April 2019 to review claims of alleged human rights abuses involving Canadian companies abroad, but Amnesty International Canada doesn’t think the office’s role goes far enough. “Without the power to compel documents or witness testimony, we fear the ombudsperson will be unable to fully investigate allegations of forced labour or other abuses from companies’ supply chains,” said Ketty Nivyabandi, the organization’s secretary general, in a statement. The Global Affairs advisory said the government urges Canadian companies with links to Xinjiang to “closely examine their supply chains to ensure that their activities do not support repression, including ... the Chinese government’s surveillance apparatus in Xinjiang, detention or internment facilities, or the use of forced labour.” However, Nivyabandi believes this shouldn’t be left to individual companies, calling for the Trudeau government to pass legislation that would require Canadian companies to conduct “human rights due diligence” within their global operations and supply chains. “The Canadian government has missed a crucial opportunity to hold Canadian companies accountable for human rights violations in Xinjiang and beyond,” Nivyabandi said. Yasmine Ghania, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
After four years, U.S. President Donald Trump will be leaving office as President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into the position on Jan. 20, 2021. The weeks leading up to Trump’s departure have been tumultuous, with a siege on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, five federal executions, and 143 presidential pardons, just to name a few pivotal moments.Trump began the day by speaking to a crowd at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before boarding Air Force One. He is traveling to his golf club, Mar-a-Lago, in Florida, and will not be attending Biden’s inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C.Supporters of the 45th U.S. President gathered in West Palm Beach, Fla. to greet Trump’s motorcade when it arrived in the city.For all the latest on the U.S. inauguration, click this link for live updates.
An anticipated hub for youth mental health and social services has opened up albeit with some restrictions. The Main Place Youth Centre, located at a space at Community Living Guelph Wellington in Erin, is available to children and teens but not as a drop-in establishment, as initially planned. The non-profit provides child and youth counselling, therapy and parenting support. They also provide mental health care from professionals and online webinars. “Youth are not being given the outlet to de-stress as they normally would,” said Fran Macdonald, co-ordinator of youth services at East Wellington Community Services. With Ontario in lockdown and in-person interactions limited to within one’s own household, youth are missing out on important social benefits. “A lot of youth lean on their peers and vent to their peers and utilize their peers to remove themselves from stressful situations. They’re unable to do so now.” Children and teens can meet Macdonald for a one-on-one session, either in person, over the phone or through Zoom to get information on activities and sign up. “It’s somewhat informal now,” said Macdonald. “When COVID ends, we’ll hopefully be able to do a full intake and actually count them as a full member of the youth centre.” The prevalence of mental health is not unfounded as one in five Canadians experience mental illness or addiction, according to the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH). Further, 70 per cent of mental health problems have their onset during childhood and adolescence and young people, aged 15 to 24, are more likely to experience mental health or substance use disorders than any other age group, according to CAMH. The centre was expected to be fully operational by April, but the ongoing pandemic has put a wrench in plans. The online format came about as some select children were identified as struggling with social isolation by their school administrators. “They were doing online learning and not able to see their friends,” said Kari Simpson, executive director of East Wellington Community Services (EWCS). Macdonald works with children in Grade 7 to high school students. She started an online cooking class with seven participants through Zoom. Local yoga instructor Jill MacPherson has also agreed to teach children; they have about eight people already signed up. “The virtual cooking classes and yoga allow them to at least communicate and interact with their peers albeit virtually,” said Macdonald. STORY BEHIND THE STORY: The Erin Advocate has been following the long journey Main Place Youth Centre has been on to offer up a physical space for youth in the community. With the coronavirus pandemic impacting many aspects of life, reporter Joshua Santos wanted to see how this organization was affected. Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
Last week, 345 COVID-19 vaccines were administered in local long term care homes experiencing outbreaks in Elgin and Oxford counties. The Pfizer BioNtech vaccinations were administered to residents at Extendicare in Port Stanley, PeopleCare in Tavistock, and Maple Manor in Tillsonburg. Southwestern Public Health (SPH) is on track to administer another 550 first doses this week. “This is a hopeful time in public health, and in the pandemic overall,” said SPH spokesperson Natalie Rowe. The health unit is continuing to focus on first-dose vaccinations to residents at long-term care homes. Their next focus will be on retirement home residents. Second doses of the Pfizer vaccine take place between 21 and 28 days from the initial dose. “Our timeline is to begin administering second doses during the week of February 1, pending vaccine availability,” said Ms. Rowe. Due to a limited supply of the vaccine, the initial allocation was prioritized for individuals who have not yet tested positive for COVID-19. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are expected to have a level of natural immunity upon recovery. The province of Ontario has sequenced its immunization rollout into three phases, with timelines subject to vaccine supply. Phase 1 is dedicated to high-risk community members, such as long-term care and retirement home staff, residents and caregivers, followed by hospital-based care workers, First nations, Metis, and Inuit communities. This phase is expected to last until the end of March. Phase 2 will see broader vaccination of essential workers, adults aged over 75, adults aged 60-75, at-risk populations, and eventually adults aged 16-60 through vaccination clinics. This begins in April and will last until the end of July. Phase 3 will continue mass immunization once a steady supply of vaccine is available. These will be in immunization clinics at public health and pharmacies. This starts in August. 30 Veronica Reiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express
OTTAWA — Canada's parliamentary budget officer says reforms to a federal support program for provinces will nearly triple the cost to Ottawa next year, with the price tag projected to be about $4.5 billion. Yves Giroux says the government's fiscal stabilization program, which transfers cash to provinces that experience steep year-over-year revenue drops, will increase by $2.9 billion in fiscal 2021-22. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a major change to the program in the government's fall economic update. The revenue-insurance plan, which has been around since 1967, will now index the cap on provincial payments to Canada’s rate of GDP growth per person, a ceiling that was previously fixed at $60 per person in 1987. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has said the overhaul does not go far enough, calling it a "slap in the face," since even major declines in resource revenue might not trigger the fiscal stabilization, while a five per cent drop in non-resource revenue will. The beefed-up federal support comes as provinces wobble under the strain of record deficits and revenue shortfalls amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. The Canadian Press
Watching Kincardine native Sam Pearce entertain an audience is, well, magical. As early as four years-of-age, Pearce already knew that he wanted to be a magician. He credits his grandfather with providing him with the inspiration to pursue his career. Grandpa Frank Pearce, formerly of Kincardine and now living in Lucknow, loved to make people laugh, telling jokes and using sleight of hand to amaze and amuse friends and family. Pearce says “he is the reason I am doing this today.” Flashback to 2003, when a then 12-year-old Pearce was the subject of a feature article in The Kincardine Independent. Even then, he knew that he had to keep his illusions fresh and professional to keep his audience entertained. As a young man, he advertised his skills in the area, performing at birthday parties for just $20, while honing his skills and perfecting his delivery. A move to Kitchener in 2008 brought him closer to bigger opportunities, and he began to perform at awards galas, team building events and corporate conferences, acting as not only an entertainer, but as a master of ceremonies as well. His clients have included such companies as Sobeys head office, Epson and Canada Life. And in pandemic times, in order to accommodate gathering and physical distancing restrictions, Pearce has used technology to bring his services into the board rooms and living rooms of his customers. His expert team operates remotely from cities across southern Ontario and he has turned his living room into a professional television studio, where he shoots videos of his performances. Each event is customized to meet the needs of his clients, is interactive and very entertaining. “One thing I’m really proud of is the ability to broadcast with live closed captions,” said Pearce. “It’s so important to me that the events are accessible and welcoming to everyone. It was a bit tricky to develop, but we now have a solid system where we send live audio to a stenographer (working remotely in Toronto), they transcribe the event in real-time, and we sync the words with the video before broadcasting to our viewers.” His goal is to use his skills in comedy and magic to bring people together. “My goal is to connect people,” said Pearce. “…to give people a sense of community and connection from the comfort of their homes.” Examples of Pearce’s performances can be seen on his company’s website, www.canadianillusionist.com. Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
WASHINGTON — In his final remarks as president, Donald Trump tried to take credit for accomplishments of his predecessor and even those to come under President Joe Biden. Falsehoods suffused his farewell remarks Wednesday morning and the night before, though he was spot on with this: “We were not a regular administration.” As well, in noting Americans were “horrified” by the storming of the Capitol this month, he brushed past the encouragement he had given to the mob in advance and his praise of the attackers as “very special” people while they were still ransacking the seat of power. A look at some of his statements to well-wishers at Joint Base Andrews en route to Florida on Wednesday and in his videotaped address Tuesday: COVID-19 TRUMP: “We got the vaccine developed in nine months instead of nine years or five years or 10 years, a long time. It was supposed to take a long time. ... We have two out, we have another one coming almost immediately.” — remarks Wednesday before leaving Washington. TRUMP: “Another administration would have taken three, four, five, maybe even up to 10 years to develop a vaccine. We did in nine months.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: Actually, the administration didn’t develop any vaccines. Pharmaceutical companies did. And one of the two U.S. companies that have come out with vaccines now in use did not take development money from the government. Trump’s contention that a vaccine would have taken years under a different administration stretches credulity. COVID-19 vaccines were indeed remarkably fast, but other countries have been developing them, too. A vaccine for the coronavirus is not a singular achievement of the United States, much less the Trump administration. U.S. drugmaker Pfizer developed its vaccine in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech, eschewing federal money for development, though benefitting from an advance commitment from Washington to buy large quantities if the vaccine succeeded. A vaccine by Moderna, from the U.S., is also in widespread use. But Britain’s AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is being administered in several countries, and vaccines from China and Russia are also in limited use. More than a dozen potential vaccines are in late stages of testing worldwide. ___ TRUMP: “We passed VA Choice.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: No, he did not get the Choice program passed. President Barack Obama did. Trump expanded it. The program allows veterans to get medical care outside the Veterans Affairs system under certain conditions. Trump has tried to take credit for Obama's achievement scores of times. ___ TAXES TRUMP: "We also got tax cuts, the largest tax cut and reform in the history of our country by far." — remarks Wednesday. TRUMP: “We passed the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: His tax cuts are not close to the biggest in U.S. history. It’s a $1.5 trillion tax cut over 10 years. As a share of the total economy, a tax cut of that size ranks 12th, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 cut is the biggest, followed by the 1945 rollback of taxes that had financed World War II. Post-Reagan tax cuts also stand among the historically significant: President George W. Bush’s cuts in the early 2000s and Obama’s renewal of them a decade later. ___ ECONOMY TRUMP: “We have the greatest economy in the world.” — remarks Wednesday. TRUMP: “We also built the greatest economy in the history of the world.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: No, the numbers show it wasn’t the greatest in U.S. history. And he is the first president since Herbert Hoover in the Depression to leave office with fewer jobs than when he started. Did the U.S. have the most jobs on record before the pandemic? Sure, the population had grown. The 3.5% unemployment rate before the recession was at a half-century low, but the percentage of people working or searching for jobs was still below a 2000 peak. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer looked at Trump’s economic growth record. Growth under Trump averaged 2.48% annually before the pandemic, only slightly better than the 2.41% gains achieved during Obama’s second term. By contrast, the economic expansion that began in 1982 during Reagan’s presidency averaged 4.2% a year. ___ TRUMP, on the economy after the pandemic: “It's a rocket ship up.” — remarks Wednesday. THE FACTS: Not so. There’s been no dramatic, V-shaped economic recovery under Trump. Employers cut jobs during his final December in office. But economists say the additional aid approved in December and the prospect of more from Biden could cause the strongest growth this year in more than two decades. ___ TRUMP: "We reignited America’s job creation and achieved record-low unemployment for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, women — almost everyone. — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: Not an ignition. Job creation actually slowed in 2017, Trump’s first year in office, to about 2 million, compared with nearly 2.5 million in 2016, Obama’s last year in office. The low unemployment rates refer to a pre-pandemic economy that is no more. The pandemic has cost the U.S. economy 10 million jobs and has made Trump the first president since Hoover to oversee a net loss of jobs. The U.S. has about 2.8 million fewer jobs now than when Trump was inaugurated, and lost 140,000 just in December. And the job losses have fallen disproportionately on Black Americans, Hispanics and women. ___ TRUMP: “We rebuilt the American manufacturing base, opened up thousands of new factories, and brought back the beautiful phrase Made in the USA.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: That's a stretch. There are now 60,000 fewer manufacturing jobs in the U.S. than when Trump took office. Despite gains before the pandemic, the manufacturing base had not exactly been “rebuilt.” Before the coronavirus, nearly 500,000 manufacturing jobs were added under Trump, somewhat better than the nearly 400,000 gained during Obama’s second term. Still, even before the pandemic, the U.S. had 4.3 million fewer factory jobs than it did in 2001, the year China joined the World Trade Organization and a flood of cheaper imports from that country entered the U.S. ___ CAPITOL INSURRECTION TRUMP: “All Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol. Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: That may sum up the reaction of most Americans but it ignores his own part in stirring the anger of his supporters before they staged the violent melee. For months, Trump falsely claimed the November election was stolen, then invited supporters to Washington and sent them off to the Capitol with the exhortation to “fight like hell.” With the uprising still underway and the velocity of the attack apparent from video and reports from the scene, Trump released a video telling them “to go home now” while repeating “this was a fraudulent election” and adding: “We love you. You're very special.” The House impeached Trump, accusing him of inciting an insurrection. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, a Trump political ally for four years, said Tuesday the Trump supporters were “fed lies” and ”provoked by the president and other powerful people." ___ MILITARY TRUMP: “We rebuilt the United States military.” — remarks Wednesday. THE FACTS: That’s an exaggeration. It’s true that his administration accelerated a sharp buildup in defence spending, including a respite from what the U.S. military considered to be crippling spending limits under budget sequestration. But a number of new Pentagon weapons programs, such as the F-35 fighter jet, were started years before the Trump administration. And it will take years for freshly ordered tanks, planes and other weapons to be built, delivered and put to use. The Air Force’s Minuteman 3 missiles, a key part of the U.S. nuclear force, for instance, have been operating since the early 1970s and the modernization was begun under the Obama administration. They are due to be replaced with a new version, but not until later this decade. ___ TRUMP: “We obliterated the ISIS caliphate.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: His suggestion of a 100% defeat is misleading as the Islamic State group still poses a threat. IS was defeated in Iraq in 2017, then lost the last of its land holdings in Syria in March 2019, marking the end of the extremists’ self-declared caliphate. Still, extremist sleeper cells have continued to launch attacks in Iraq and Syria in recent weeks and are believed to be responsible for targeted killings against local officials and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces. The continued attacks are a sign that the militant group is taking advantage of governments otherwise focused on the pandemic and the ensuing slide into economic chaos. The virus is compounding longtime concerns among security and U.N. experts that the group will stage a comeback. ___ CHINA TRUMP: “We imposed historic and monumental tariffs on China. ... Our trade relationship was rapidly changing, billions and billions of dollars were pouring into the U.S., but the virus forced us to go in a different direction.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: That’s a familiar assertion, false to the core. It’s false to suggest the U.S. never collected tariffs on Chinese goods before he took action. Tariffs on Chinese goods are simply higher in some cases than they were before. It’s also wrong to suggest that the tariffs are being paid by China. Tariff money coming into the government’s coffers is mainly from U.S. businesses and consumers, not from China. Tariffs are primarily if not entirely a tax paid domestically. ___ Associated Press writers Josh Boak, Robert Burns and Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report. ___ EDITOR'S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures. ___ Find AP Fact Checks at http://apnews.com/APFactCheck Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck Hope Yen, Christopher Rugaber And Calvin Woodward, The Associated Press
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in favour of a Barrie woman, upholding a local decision that she be awarded $1.3 million for injuries suffered during surgery resulting in the removal of her kidney. It echoed the endorsement made by an appeal court judge of Barrie Justice Gregory Mulligan’s decision following the original trial. Karen Armstrong underwent laparoscopic surgery in February 2010 at what was then called Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH). The trial judge found that, during the colonoscopy, Dr. Colin Ward improperly used a cauterizing device and caused a thermal injury. She experienced abdominal pain after the surgery and her ureter — which carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder — was blocked with scar tissue, severely damaging her left kidney, which was removed the following October. “This really changes her life; this is the end of the road,” her lawyer, Jan Marin, said of the high court’s decision. “It’s been almost 11 years since the original surgery.” Marin said Armstrong, who is now 48, isn’t working as a result of the injury and that she requires some assistance. The decision and monetary award means she can now access the help she needs, including hiring a personal caregiver. Justice Mulligan of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Barrie originally decided in favour of Armstrong, but that ruling was overturned by a majority at the Ontario Court of Appeal. In December 2019, Justice David M. Paciocco, writing for the majority of the Ontario Court of Appeal three-person panel, found the trial judge had erred in defining the standard of care the doctor had to meet, “improperly establishing a standard of perfection” and allowed Ward’s appeal, dismissing the action against him. Justice Katherine van Rensburg was the lone holdout on the panel and wrote a lengthy opinion about why the decision of the judge in the first instance should stand. It was that opinion that Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Richard Wagner relied upon Monday when he announced simply that the appeal is allowed. It came on the same day, shortly after the hybrid hearing was held. Both the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC) and the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association sought intervener status in the case. “HIROC participated as an intervener because it was important to have clarity on the issues before the court, including the role of an injury when considering whether there was a breach of the standard of care,” said Anna L. Marrison, who represented HIROC. “With the (Supreme Court of Canada) accepting Justice van Rensburg's reasons from the Court of Appeal, there has been no significant change in the law," she added. And that was the big fear, said Ron Bohm, representing the trial lawyers. If the Court of Appeal’s decision against Armstrong were to stand, it could have set a precedent, hampering the ability for others to bring medical malpractice action. “The Court of Appeal majority decision, in our view, had the risk of making it next to impossible for certain victims of medical negligence to be able to recover damages for their losses, putting up next to impossible hurdles,” said Bohm. “So we were very concerned about the access to justice issue.” The Court of Appeal seemed to suggest that if a physician conducting surgery says they follow the proper practice and procedures, then relying on the results would be improper for a trial judge, he said. Because a patient is unconscious during surgery, their version of events during that period is not available, resulting in “a tremendous imbalance” in the possession of information. Marin said medical malpractice cases are difficult to begin with and costly to bring forward, so only the most serious cases are pursued. If Armstrong had failed to succeed before the top court, it could have blocked further attempts to seek damages for medical errors. “This case truly underscores the importance of the dissenting opinion,” said Marin, referring to Ontario Court of Appeal Justice van Rensburg’s opinion in dissent, which the Supreme Court accepted in its entirety. “They adopted her reasons. Clearly it was impactful to them,” added Marin. Lawyers for the doctor did not respond to requests for comment. Marg. Bruineman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, barrietoday.com
LONDON — Dozens of U.K. music stars including Elton John, Ed Sheeran and conductor Simon Rattle say musicians have been “shamefully failed” by the British government, which has left them facing post-Brexit restrictions on touring in the European Union. In a letter published Wednesday in the Times of London, more than 100 musicians including Sting, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and Roger Daltrey of The Who, along with the heads of major arts institutions, said the new U.K.-EU trade deal that took effect Jan. 1 has “a gaping hole where the promised free movement for musicians should be.” Britain’s departure from the EU means that U.K. citizens can no longer live and work freely in the 27-nation bloc. Tourists do not need visas for stays of up to 90 days, and some short business trips are also allowed. But artists and musicians have not been included in the deal. Britain and the EU disagree about who is to blame for the omission, each accusing the other of rejecting a deal for touring artists. The new rules mean U.K. performers have to comply with differing rules in the 27 EU nations, negotiating visas for musicians and permits for their equipment. Many say the costs and red tape will make it impossible for British artists to perform on the continent, endangering the country’s status as a cultural powerhouse. The musicians’ letter said the new expense and bureaucracy will make “many tours unviable, especially for young emerging musicians who are already struggling to keep their heads above water owing to the COVID ban on live music.” Scottish National Party lawmaker Pete Wishart, a former member of rock band Runrig, said Tuesday in the House of Commons that musicians and artists were “mere collateral in this government’s obsession in ending freedom of movement” and controlling immigration once it left the EU. Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage acknowledged the situation was “incredibly disappointing,” but said “the door is open” to talks with the EU on a deal for musicians. She resisted calls from the opposition to publish details of the proposals made by the U.K. during negotiations that the bloc allegedly rejected. ___ Follow all AP stories about Brexit developments at https://apnews.com/Brexit. Jill Lawless, The Associated Press