Take a look at this crystal clear UFO footage taken during the night! Real or fake?
Take a look at this crystal clear UFO footage taken during the night! Real or fake?
ATLANTA — After weathering criticism for certifying President Donald Trump's narrow election loss to Democrat Joe Biden, Republican officials in Georgia are proposing additional requirements for the state's vote-by-mail process, despite no evidence of systemic fraud or irregularities. Two state Senate committees held hearings Thursday to begin a review of Georgia’s voting laws. Republicans are zeroing in on a plan to require a photo ID for ballots cast by mail. Voting rights activists and Democrats argue that the change isn't necessary and would disenfranchise voters. Biden beat Trump by just over 12,500 votes in Georgia, with Biden receiving nearly twice as many of the record number of absentee ballots as the Republican president, according to the secretary of state's office. A recount requested by Trump was wrapping up and wasn't expected to change the overall outcome. Trump, who for months has sowed unsubstantiated doubt about the integrity of mail-in votes, has also made baseless claims of widespread fraud in the presidential race in Georgia. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff have vehemently rebuffed those claims, stating unequivocally that there is no evidence of systemic errors or fraud in last month's election. Yet Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp, both Republicans who have been publicly lambasted by Trump, have joined the push to require a photo ID for absentee voting. “Voters casting their ballots in person must show a photo ID, and we should consider applying that same standard to mail-in balloting,” Kemp said in remarks streamed live online. Kemp faced accusations of voter suppression during his successful 2018 run for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams, an election he oversaw as Georgia's previous secretary of state. He vehemently denied the allegations. Kemp faces reelection — and a possible rematch against Abrams — in 2022. Raffensperger also has suggested allowing state officials to intervene in counties that have systemic problems with administering elections and broadening the ways in which challenges can be posed to votes cast by residents who don’t live where they say. The photo ID idea has support among several members of the state legislature, including Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan. “I don't think there should be different standards for the same process,” Dugan said in an interview. Republican House Speaker David Ralston has been skeptical of voting by mail, telling a local news outlet in April that increased mail voting “will be extremely devastating to Republicans and conservatives in Georgia.” Political analysts have said that typically more Democrats than Republicans use mail-in ballots. Ralston later said he was not talking about his party losing an advantage but the potential for fraud. “We must do everything in our power to ensure votes are not stolen, cast fraudulently or plagued by administrative errors,” he said in a statement this week. Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said in an interview with The Associated Press that currently anyone who knows someone’s name, address and date of birth can request an absentee ballot on that person’s behalf. She said that while signature matches provide some security for mail-in ballots, the process should be shored up. One way to do that could be to require a person's driver's license number or a photocopy of a separate form of ID, she said. “We need to secure all avenues that we can of absentee ballots so we never have a candidate run around this state again saying the election was stolen because of absentee ballots,” she said. While Republicans seem ready to press forward with the photo ID requirement during the upcoming legislative session, Democrats and civil rights organizations are raising alarms. With no evidence of widespread fraud or other problems in the election, it doesn’t make sense to talk about measures that could ultimately prove to be barriers to voting, said Andrea Young, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. “What is the problem that you’re trying to solve?" she asked. “The rule should be first, ‘Do no harm’ when it comes to democracy, and whenever there are more restrictions being put on a process, you run the risk of disenfranchising Georgia citizens.” Young says adding a photo ID requirement for absentee voting would be harmful because “we know that these barriers have a different impact on African American voters, on younger voters and, in this instance, on seniors who have certainly earned the right” to vote. State Sen. Jen Jordan, an Atlanta Democrat, echoed Young’s concerns, saying Republicans were offering solutions in search of a problem. “What this says to me is that they just don’t want people voting," Jordan said. “And they specifically don’t want Democrats voting, or people that don’t support their chosen candidates voting, and they’re going to try to make it as hard as possible." Democrats and voting rights groups have for years sought to decrease rejections of absentee ballots in Georgia, arguing that minorities have been disproportionately affected. Absentee ballots are sometimes rejected because signatures on the outer envelope are deemed not to match signatures in the voter registration system, or because the envelope is not signed at all. An agreement signed in March to settle a lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party spells out a standard process that must be used statewide to judge the signatures. That agreement has been the subject of much of Trump's online ire, and he has incorrectly said it “makes it impossible to check & match signatures on ballots and envelopes.” Ben Nadler And Kate Brumback, The Associated Press
Calgary police and bylaw officers are cracking down on people who are "blatantly ignoring" public health rules designed to keep people safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, city and enforcement officials reaffirmed Thursday.Police announced on Wednesday that they had charged three people under the Public Health Act after a rally last weekend, and were looking for three others who are also facing charges.During the protest, hundreds of people marched through downtown Calgary to protest against mandated masks and other public health measures intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.On Thursday, police confirmed to CBC News that they have mailed tickets to the three who were being sought.The individuals face charges of contravening an order of the chief medical officer of health and failing to wear a face covering, with fines of $1,200 and $50, respectively."The biggest challenge that we seem to be facing right now are those that are blatantly ignoring the laws," Mark Neudeld said. "The issue is not that they're unaware and require education. The issue is more that they disagree, and these people will be charged accordingly."'This is about keeping all Calgarians safe'The protests have been a weekly occurrence in the city and across the country for months, but Saturday was the first since the province introduced new restrictions, including that outdoor gatherings must be limited to 10 people while still following physical distancing and other public health guidelines.When Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the tightened restrictions on Nov. 24, he also warned that peace officers or police can fine people who break restrictions, with $1,000 per ticketed offence and up to $100,000 through the courts. That announcement boosted calls for police and bylaw officers to start charging scofflaws.The news comes as Alberta continues to lead the country in total active COVID cases, with 17,144 active caseson Wednesday afternoon,compared with 14,526 in Ontario, a province with more than three times as many people, and 12,740 in Quebec, which has twice the population. It has also led the country in terms of new infections per capita over the past week.There are currently 6,331 active cases of COVID-19 in Calgary, 162 people are in hospital and 30 are in intensive care. Since the pandemic started, 202 in Calgary have died of the disease."We are absolutely not looking to punish people who are simply trying to get through this pandemic," Neufeld said when he announced the new charges on Thursday."This is about keeping all Calgarians safe by addressing disappointing and intentional acts of defiance that threaten our health-care system and our well-being."Calgarians are welcome to exercise their right to protest but have to follow the same restrictions as the rest of the city, Neufeld said.Police officers will continue to use their discretion when enforcing restrictions, and will work to be reasonable, focusing their attention on people who blatantly disregard the public health rules, Neufeld said."We've acknowledged people's constitutional right to gather and have their voices heard … but limits have been temporarily placed on those rights and freedoms in the interests of public safety and the health of our citizens," he said.City in process of serving two ticketsChief bylaw officer Ryan Pleckaitis also provided an update on the city's enforcement for community standards at the conference.The city is in the process of serving two tickets under the Public Health Act stemming from incidents that occurred around City Hall on Sunday and Wednesday, Pleckaitis said.There are additional fines that the city will serve in relation to these incidents, and under a number of other bylaws, Pleckaitis said.He wanted to remind citizens that a first offence is $1,200 while further offences are up to $100,000.In regards to a request the city has made, asking that the province expand more authority to enforce restrictions to Level 2 peace officers, Pleckaitis said there have been no developments."Unfortunately, I don't have much news on this front. However, we've had good dialogue with the province this week … and we hope to hear back soon," Pleckaitis said.Like Neufeld, Pleckaitis said bylaw officers would focus on those who blatantly disregard the rules.Park fire pit program 'huge success'Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Sue Henry, chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, were also at the conference and provided brief updates.Henry said the city's community fire pit initiative, which has set up fire pits at select parks across the city, has been such a success that additional staff will be added to manage it.They are also looking at adding additional fire pits to meet demand, she said."This program has so far been a huge success. As of this morning, we have had over 900 requests to book," Henry said.In order to support local businesses during the holidays and expand curbside pickup, the city will remove rush hour parking restrictions in three districts, Dec. 7-27."This means on a weekday at 3:30 or 4 p.m., you can remain parked if you are in one of the three participating zones where ParkPlus zones transition into a no stopping zone," Henry said.The three neighbourhoods include: * Kensington Business Revitalization Zone. * 4th Street S.W. * 17th Avenue S.W.
While COVID-19 case numbers remain relatively low in the Arrow Lakes and Slocan Valley region, a community cluster in Revelstoke in late November demonstrated how quickly that situation can change. On November 25, officials with Interior Health reported that 29 people in the mountain town were diagnosed with COVID-19 – and they are bracing for more. “Cases at this time have an average age in the low 30s,” said a release from IH. “Additional cases are not unexpected as the public health investigation continues.” Overall numbers are creeping up in the Interior Health Region, which goes from the Alberta border to Kamloops and Kelowna. Besides Revelstoke to the north, Salmo in the south of the region also had a community cluster in November. That was last estimated at 24 cases about two weeks ago. On November 30, the Province reported 212 new cases over the weekend for Interior Health, for a total of more than 490 cases that are active and in isolation. Fifteen people are in Interior Health hospitals, and five are in intensive care – more than double in a week. Since the start of the outbreak, there have been 1,750 cases in the health region, and three deaths. Across the province, there were 8,855 active cases reported as of the weekend. More than 46 people died in the same time period. The cluster and rising numbers across the region demonstrate why the Province’s new restrictions are in place even in rural areas, Health Minister Adrian Dix said late last month. “We don’t associate COVID-19 up to now with Revelstoke, but you’re seeing that,” he said in a recent town hall. “And what that tells us is that it’s everywhere, and in every community, and that’s why some of the orders that were regional orders a couple weeks ago are provincial orders.” Interior Health – and the province as a whole – is asking people to limit all non-essential travel, including staying at home, or in your home community, “skiing at your own ski hill, only going to restaurants with your family bubble, as well as following all other public health safety precautions,” a release said. “People are taking the actions they need to, and that is extremely gratifying,” Chief Public Health Officer Bonnie Henry said last Monday. John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice
Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel – À un peu plus de trois semaines de déposer son budget pour l'an prochain, la municipalité de Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel a profité des derniers jours pour plancher sur les éléments qui détermineront ses orientations économiques pour 2021. Le maire Luc Dostaler ne s'en cache pas : si les calculs des experts de la municipalité le permettent, on épargnera le plus possible les résidents. «C'est une année particulière. On a fait le choix de ne pas accaparer le fardeau fiscal des citoyens. On veut limiter le plus possible une augmentation de taxes», confie-t-il. Pour le premier magistrat, 2021 consistera en une année fébrile, alors que le développement ou la poursuite de plusieurs projets s'effectuera. «On a notre parc industriel où il faut continuer à mettre en place les infrastructures pour accueillir des entreprises. On a la réfection du rang Saint-Flavien à la hauteur du rang Saint-Louis qu'on souhaite avancer. Il y a toute la question du nouveau garage municipal également puisqu'on aura notre déménagement à faire», énumère-t-il. Le nouveau garage municipal a dû être construit pour permettre de meilleurs installations mais aussi un plus grand rangement pour les équipements de la Ville. «De l'argent ira dans le rapatriement d'équipements d'entretien que nous avions placé dans d'autres lieux. L'espace laissé vacant dans l'ancien garage municipal servira pour les équipements d'entretien», explique M. Dostaler. Déjà amorcée, l'amélioration des infrastructures de loisir devrait également connaître une progression lors des 12 prochains mois. «Ça va continuer avec le baseball, notamment, le soccer pour lequel on va compléter notre offre de terrains. On regarde également pour de nouvelles surfaces sportives. On attend toujours des réponses du gouvernement pour des subventions concernant notre projet de skateparc.» Le budget devrait dépasser légèrement les sept millions $ en 2021, une première pour la municipalité. Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris has named Tina Flournoy, a veteran Democratic strategist and aide to the Clintons, as her chief of staff, the transition team announced Thursday. Flournoy's appointment as Harris' top staffer adds to a team of advisers led by Black women. Harris, who is of Jamaican and Indian heritage, is the nation's first female vice-president. Flournoy joins Ashley Etienne as Harris' communications director and Symone Sanders as her chief spokeswoman. Flournoy has served as chief of staff for former President Bill Clinton since 2013. That follows a career that took her to top posts at the Democratic National Committee, in the presidential campaigns of former Vice-President Al Gore and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and with the American Federation of Teachers. Bill Clinton called her appointment “great news for our country." “Tina Flournoy is incredibly smart, strong, and skilful, with deeply rooted values. She’s done a wonderful job as my chief of staff for nearly 8 years, and I will miss her—but I’m thrilled about VP-elect Harris’ choice," he tweeted. Harris also announced Rohini Kosoglu as her domestic policy adviser and Nancy McEldowney as her national security adviser. Kosoglu had served as Harris’ top adviser during the general election campaign. McEldowney is a former ambassador to Bulgaria and has 30 years of service in various diplomatic and foreign affairs jobs. “Together with the rest of my team, today’s appointees will work to get this virus under control, open our economy responsibly and make sure it lifts up all Americans, and restore and advance our country’s leadership around the world,” Harris said in a statement. Former colleagues describe Flournoy as a no-nonsense operative who has both policy and political chops. Matt McKenna, who was Bill Clinton’s spokesperson from 2007 to 2015, noted the historic nature of Harris' candidacy and said Flournoy will skillfully manage competing demands for her time. “(Harris) represents so many things to so many people, and they’re all going to want some of her time. She needs someone who can honour the historic nature of her candidacy and her victory and her place in the world," he said. Harris has regularly joined President-elect Joe Biden and offered remarks at briefings on the economy, the coronavirus and health care since the two won the November election. The transition team has yet to announce whether she'll focus on any specific issues or initiatives. Flournoy has never held a position with Harris. But Minyon Moore, another former Clinton aide and close friend of Flournoy's, is assisting Harris with staffing during the transition. It's unclear if any of Harris' former Senate staff or longtime political advisers will join the vice-president's office. Kathleen Ronayne, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — China poses the greatest threat to America and the rest of the free world since World War II, outgoing National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said Thursday as the Trump administration ramps up anti-Chinese rhetoric to pressure President-elect Joe Biden to be tough on Beijing.“The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically,” Ratcliffe wrote in an op-ed published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal. “Many of China’s major public initiatives and prominent companies offer only a layer of camouflage to the activities of the Chinese Communist Party.”“I call its approach of economic espionage ‘rob, replicate and replace,'" Ratcliffe said. “China robs U.S. companies of their intellectual property, replicates the technology and then replaces the U.S. firms in the global marketplace.”Trump administration officials have been stepping up their anti-China rhetoric for months, especially during the presidential campaign as President Donald Trump sought to deflect blame for the spread of the coronavirus . On the campaign trail, Trump warned that Biden would go easy on China, although the president-elect agrees that China is not abiding by international trade rules, is giving unfair subsidies to Chinese companies and stealing American innovation.The Trump administration, which once boasted of warm relations with China's President Xi Jinping, also has been ramping up sanctions against China over Taiwan, Tibet, trade, Hong Kong and the South China Sea. It has moved against the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and sought restrictions on Chinese social media applications like TikTok and WeChat.China’s embassy in the U.S. did not respond to a request for comment on Ratcliffe’s op-ed, although China has routinely denied many of these allegations in the past.Ratcliffe, a Trump loyalist who has been accused of politicizing the position, has been the nation's top intelligence official since May. In his op-ed, he did not directly address the transition to a Biden administration. Trump has not acknowledged losing the election.Ratcliffe said he has shifted money within the $85 billion annual intelligence budget to address the threat from China. Beijing is preparing for an open-ended confrontation with the U.S., which must be addressed, he said.“This is our once-in-a-generation challenge. Americans have always risen to the moment, from defeating the scourge of fascism to bringing down the Iron Curtain,” Ratcliffe wrote in what appeared to be call for action to future intelligence officials.Biden has announced that he wants the Senate to confirm Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, to succeed Ratcliffe as the next national intelligence director.“This generation will be judged by its response to China’s effort to reshape the world in its own image and replace America as the dominant superpower," Ratcliffe wrote.He cited several examples of Chinese aggression against the United States:The Justice Department has charged a rising number of U.S. academics for transferring U.S. taxpayer-funded intellectual property to China.He noted the theft of intellectual property from American businesses, citing the case of Sinoval, a China-based wind turbine maker, which was convicted and heavily fined for stealing trade secrets from AMSC, a U.S.-based manufacturer formerly known as American Superconductor Inc. Rather than pay AMSC for more than $800 million in products and services it had agreed to purchase, Sinovel hatched a scheme to steal AMSC’s proprietary wind turbine technology, causing the loss of almost 700 jobs and more than $1 billion in shareholder equity, according to the Justice Department.Ratcliffe and other U.S. officials have said that China has stolen sensitive U.S. defence technology to fuel Xi's aggressive military modernization plan and they allege that Beijing uses its access to Chinese tech firms, such as Huawei, to collect intelligence, disrupt communications and threaten the privacy of users worldwide.Ratcliffe said he has personally briefed members of Congress about how China is using intermediaries to lawmakers in an attempt to influence legislation.Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
French police are beginning an unprecedented inspection of 76 of the country's mosques as part of a move against so-called 'religious separatism'View on euronews
Two people in Haines, Alaska, were still unaccounted for on Thursday afternoon, after torrential rains washed out roads and created sinkholes and mudslides on Wednesday."We are still looking for two people," said Mayor Doug Olerud, early Thursday morning."They had to call off the search yesterday because the ground was still too unstable in the area. And so they're hoping that will stabilize today and hopefully we'll have good results from the search."Alekka Fullerton, interim manager of the Haines Borough Government, said on Thursday afternoon the search was still ongoing."This has been a hive of activity, we have the Coast Guard here with helicopters and they have been using their technology to go and look at the slide area," said Fullerton.She said geologists from Alaska's Department of Natural Resources were expected later on Thursday to help determine the stability of the area."We have lots of volunteers who are ready with search and rescue, however they have decided the mountain is not stable enough to send out the volunteers because there is another area that could slide as well."She said the road has been opened up to the airport and they had also gained access to Lutak dock as well, where the barge comes in.State of emergencyHaines Avalanche Center director Erik Stevens said the storm began Monday night, and that what started as snowfall turned into rain and continued into Wednesday.Several homes were destroyed by mudslides, Mayor Olerud said, and some areas were evacuated on Wednesday using boats, as roads were washed-out. The borough has declared a state of emergency.Olerud said on Thursday that the rain had let up, and flood waters were starting to recede. "Yesterday, you really couldn't make any progress on anything because there was so much water still coming down," he said."But as I drove into town today, where it was six inches coming over the highway yesterday morning, the road was clear of water."The U.S. Coast Guard, Alaska Army Nation Guard and Alaska State Troopers are all involved in the search and rescue operations, along with local officials and volunteers, Olerud said.The mayor says he spoke with state Governor Mike Dunleavy and other state officials on Wednesday evening. "They're going to be sending quite a few resources to us today, more search and rescue personnel. We've got a Coast Guard cutter here. I think we've got another one on the way," Olerud said. 183 metre-wide mudslideThe people unaccounted for were in the Beach Road area, where the largest slide — about 183 metres wide — came down Wednesday afternoon, Olerud told the Associated Press. About 2.7 metres of mud and trees cover the area, according to state troopers. At least two evacuations were underway Wednesday afternoon, according to the Haines Borough Government Facebook page — the police department was getting residents on Lutak Spur Road out by boat, and assisting residents fleeing Beach Road after a major landslide. Olerud said the state was sending in some geotechnical experts on Thursday to identify any other areas deemed to be unstable."They're going to do some hopefully fly with some radar and pinpoint the areas that we need to be concerned about so we can be proactive. If there is an area that we need to get people out of, we can evacuate them beforehand," Olerud said.A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was launched from Sitka to assist, and the Coast Guard cutters Liberty and Anacapa have been ordered to make preparations to sail to Haines to provide additional support.A 13.7-metre Coast Guard response boat has also been launched from Juneau.Olerud said the situation was moving so quickly he couldn't provide a list of additional resources they may need."Prayers help. We can always take prayers. Those always work. We need a lot of those right now," Olerud told the Associated Press.'All hands on deck' in nearby SkagwayMeanwhile, nearby Skagway, Alaska, has also been hit with stormy weather over the last few days that has caused damage there as well, said Mayor Andrew Cremata."Not only did you have all of this massive amount of melting wet snow, but on top of that you had rain. The two things happening back-to-back, compounded with really strong winds, has ... caused a significant amount of damage," Cremata said.Though Cremata said the damage in Skagway is not as extensive as in Haines, there was a large mudslide on Dyea Road that caused "significant damage" to a roadway, but luckily caused no loss of human life or property.There have also been trees knocked down, minor mudslides, and flooding in people's homes."Everyone who is capable is lending a hand ... It's a real 'all hands on deck' kind of moment. And we've also reached out to Haines, because they're only 10 miles away, to offer assistance for their rescue effort there.""They're our neighbours, and we're going to offer whatever assistance we can."
People hoping to have the Regional District of Central Kootenay take over their water systems will have to wait a little longer. In October the Board approved an extension to its moratorium on adding new water systems to its portfolio, at least until the end of February. Managing a safe and clean water system isn’t easy, and that’s why the RDCK fields requests pretty regularly from small water systems, asking the Regional District to take over management of their micro-utility. “…[T]he inquiring systems face similar challenges and issues: limited and failing internal governance structures, lack of Interior Health regulatory and water quality issues understanding, lack of volunteers and volunteer burn-out, limited access to or inability to afford system operators…” Manager of Environmental Services Uli Wolf told the board in a report. But by taking on these burdens, the board becomes liable for the governance, maintenance, and safety of these systems. So it has to be done carefully. The extension to the moratorium will allow Wolf’s staff to hash out complicated governance issues that still need settling surrounding water systems. Even when that’s done, Wolf recommends the RDCK add no more than one water system a year to its service, to allow staff to cope with the complications that come with taking over a service. John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice
THUNDER BAY — A Toronto man under court-ordered conditions to not be within the city of Thunder Bay was denied bail following a court proceeding on Tuesday. Anthony Omar Talbert, 27, of Toronto is charged with a series of firearm-related offences following an incident on McLaughlin Street on Sunday, Sept. 27. Some of his charges include obstructing a peace officer, unauthorized possession of a firearm, and tampering with a serial number of a firearm. Talbert appeared by audio in a Thunder Bay courtroom on Tuesday, Dec. 1, where he was ordered to be detained by a justice of the peace following a bail hearing. The accused was arrested by Thunder Bay police in late September after officers had received reports of a man possibly armed with a handgun. Officers attended to an apartment and located a male suspect who provided officers with a false identity, according to a previous police media release. Once officers confirmed the suspect’s identity, they learned he was on a court condition to not be within the city of Thunder Bay and not possess any weapons. Officers located and seized a modified handgun. Talbert’s previous release order which prevented him from being in the city of Thunder Bay stems from similar firearm-related offences from January 2019. He was granted bail on these charges in February 2019, according to documents. His previous recognizance of bail was granted on Feb. 12, 2019, and he was released to two sureties. He paid a cash deposit of $5,000 for his release on conditions. There is a publication ban on these offences. Talbert will remain in custody and is scheduled to appear in court next later this month.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
Chatham-Kent council supported the opportunity to hire a dedicated recruitment and retention co-ordinator to focus on physician recruitment for the community. “We are proposing that Chatham-Kent fund a part-time recruitment co-ordinator. Our rationale is based on the pressing needs for additional family physicians and the economic benefit a successful program will bring to the area,” said Denise Waddick, co-chair of the Chatham-Kent Physician Recruitment and Retention Task Force. Waddick gave council an update on the one-time $100,000 funding for physician recruitment approved for the 2020 budget. Currently there are 60 family physicians in Chatham-Kent, with each roster averaging 1,500 patients. Of the more than 104,000 health card holders that live in Chatham-Kent, 78,000 have a family physician and about 6,000 are enrolled into a Chatham-Kent community health centre. “So when you do the math and you look at the formula, it looks as though there's about just under 20,000 patients that do not have primary care. And when you base it off of the average patient roster that looks as though we need about 13 additional physicians to address our current needs,” Waddick said. “ We do not have sufficient family physician coverage to provide the Comprehensive Primary Care to its population.” Waddick said her statistics do not include residents that are seeking care outside of Chatham-Kent that may return if a provider is located locally. Chatham-Kent could need up to 25 new physicians in the coming years. Forty per cent of patients are currently patients of a doctor who is over the age of 60. An additional 18 would be needed to fill those roles once the physicians retire. The process to replace one doctor could take up to a year, Waddick explained. The recruitment position will officially be set in stone once the next yearly budget is approved. The recruitment task force was formed in January 2020 as an independent community committee, with representation from the Thamesview, Chatham-Kent and Tilbury District family health teams, the Chatham-Kent community health centers, and the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. Waddick said because of the pandemic, not all the planned work for the task force could be completed, resulting in the use of only $52,000 of the funds. To date, the task force recruited two new physicians who took over existing practices and one solo family physician who was able to take on new patients. Waddick and her team also lobbied to have Tilbury District Family Health Team designated as an underserved area which gives it the power to add more doctors to its group. The funds are also used to pay a physician's site visits, attend conferences, and used as a start-up subsidy for moving expenses. “The task force also developed unique and creative strategies to mark market practice opportunities in Chatham Kent, with a stronger online presence by developing a website and a social media campaign,” Waddick said about some of the other highlights in their first year. “We established a brand, and an image for recruitment with our community.” Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice
• Kaslo City Hall is closed to public walk-in traffic under the new COVID orders issued by Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry. The public is asked to call ahead, as all meetings are by appointment only. Masks will be required in all public and common areas in municipal offices as long as the health order is in effect, which is currently until December 7. • The Village will receive $480,000 from the provincial government’s COVID-19 Safe Restart to help with funding shortfalls caused by the pandemic, and related projects over the next few years. How the money will be spent will be decided in the coming months, during the 2021 budget planning and community consultation cycle. • There may be a new face at Village council meetings in the new year. Council has approved a plan to add a ‘youth council member’ to the group. The position will be open to a Grade 11 or 12 student at JV Humphries school in Kaslo, who will be appointed by council for a term from September to June. This year, the appointment would be from January to June. The appointment is for a year, but can be extended at the participant’s request (and with the approval of council). While the student member of council cannot introduce, second, or vote on motions, or count as part of the quorum, they will be welcome to take part in discussion. The youth will also be encouraged to take part in the annual Youth Parliament in Victoria as Kaslo’s representative. The delegate’s expenses for that trip would be covered by the Village, but they would not be eligible for other per diems or expenses connected to their participation on council. Staff will be forwarding details of the motion to JV Humphries to encourage students to apply. • The Village is setting up a system to enable it to collect donations for the new Kaslo Community Library. Councillors approved a motion to create a ‘Library Capital Reserve’ to assist in fundraising for the new community facility. “The fund will be called the Library Capital Reserve Fund, so Council could not, on a whim at some time in future, change the fund for another purpose,” the council report reads. Money in the fund can only go towards buying the land, planning, development and construction of the new library. The land for the building, on Fifth Ave, was purchased earlier this fall with the help of a $180,000 grant from the Columbia Basin Trust. The Kaslo and District Public Library will be raising $120,000 for its share of the lot purchased. “The Village is covering the amount in the short term until the funds are raised,” a report to council reads. “The KDPL also intends to raise funds and pursue grants towards construction costs.” The Village has applied for an Invest Canada Infrastructure Grant that could cover 73.3% of the construction costs. • The Village has reworked its plans for the Kaslo River Dike Project. The flood mitigation and riverbank repair work was expected to start last year, and the Village received $304,000 from the Union of BC Municipalities to pay for the work. However, “we received word from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in August, 2020 that the approval process will involve an authorization from their department, which could take months,” a report to council indicates. The Village has submitted a revised application to UBCM for the original project, and a second application for work to complete the job. The work will now see four of the six identified work sites tackled in a first phase, and two sites covered in the second. The second phase is budgeted at $146,000. • Council meetings will be starting an hour earlier in the new year. Council approved a new meeting schedule that includes a 6 pm start time for both the Committee of the Whole and regular council meetings • Councillors approved the list of the boards each will be sitting on, representing the Village’s interests. Each councillor has at least a half-dozen boards they take part on regularly, including the library, housing society, Chamber of Commerce, and Historical Society. John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's daughter and senior White House adviser said Thursday that she was deposed for more than five hours by attorneys alleging that the president's 2017 inauguration committee misused donor funds — an inquiry Ivanka Trump claimed is a “waste of taxpayer dollars.”The Washington, D.C., attorney general's office has filed a lawsuit alleging the committee made more than $1 million in improper payments to the president’s Washington, D.C., hotel during the week of the inauguration in 2017.Trump’s inaugural committee spent more than $1 million to book a ballroom at the Trump International Hotel as part of a scheme to “grossly overpay” for party space and enrich the president’s own family in the process, the District of Columbia’s attorney general, Karl Racine, alleges.Ivanka Trump, who was deposed on Tuesday, tweeted that she gave attorneys from the D.C. attorney general’s office an email she wrote on Dec. 14, 2016, where she instructed the Trump hotel to charge a “fair market rate," which she said the the hotel did.“This ‘inquiry’ is another politically motivated demonstration of vindictiveness & waste of taxpayer dollars,” she tweeted.Her deposition on Tuesday was first reported by CNN.As part of the suit, the attorneys have subpoenaed records from Ivanka Trump, first lady Melania Trump, Thomas Barrack Jr., a close friend of the president who chaired the inaugural committee, and others. Barrack was deposed last month.Racine has accused the committee of misusing non-profit funds and co-ordinating with the hotel’s management and members of the Trump family to arrange the events.“District law requires nonprofits to use their funds for their stated public purpose, not to benefit private individuals or companies,” Racine has said. “In this case, we are seeking to recover the non-profit funds that were improperly funneled directly to the Trump family business.”The committee raised an unprecedented $107 million to host events celebrating Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, but its spending has drawn continued scrutiny.In a statement, Alan Garten with the Trump Organization said that “Ms. Trump’s only involvement was connecting the parties and instructing the hotel to charge a ‘fair market rate,’ which the hotel did.”The Associated Press
WINNIPEG — Some leaders and health professionals say they are facing a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic of persuading Indigenous people to trust a health system that has a history of experimenting on them.“There have been some deceitful and terrible things that have been done to our communities historically,” said Arlen Dumas, the Assembly of Manitoba Chief's grand chief. Dumas looked directly into the camera of his computer during the First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Co-ordination Team's last online update on Friday. He reassured those listening that Indigenous leaders would not allow horrific experiments of the past to be repeated.“As far as I’m involved, things of that sort are never going to happen.”Many watching the online update commented with concerns about COVID-19 health advice, while others speculated about the use of a vaccine. Similar worries are echoed on social media pages for Indigenous communities.Dumas said he understands why there is so much mistrust among Indigenous people. His own family members have reached out with concerns that a COVID-19 vaccine will be just another experiment.The skepticism is grounded in real historical wrongs, said Ian Mosby, an assistant professor at Toronto's Ryerson University.There are many examples in Canadian history of scientists sponsored by the federal government or the government itself doing medical experiments on Indigenous people, he said.“The problem is trying to solve it in the middle of an emergency, in the middle of a pandemic, and trying to gain that trust,” Mosby said.“These solutions needed to start 20, 30, 50 years ago.”Mosby’s research uncovered a long-standing, government-run food experiment on deliberately malnourished Indigenous children in the 1940s. In one residential school, milk rations were held back for two years. In another, a special flour that was illegal elsewhere in Canada was given to Indigenous children.Indigenous children were also the subject of a tuberculosis vaccine trial in Saskatchewan that began in the 1930s. Research has shown that so-called Indian Hospitals, which were created to treat Indigenous people with tuberculosis, were rife with medical experimentation. In recent years, there have been lawsuits over the forced sterilization of Indigenous women and skin grafts performed on Inuit people.Melanie MacKinnon, who leads the First Nations pandemic response team, has warned that the consequences for not trusting public health orders can by catastrophic. “It’s not a game. We need to take this serious and it is at a critical, critical juncture," she told last week's briefing.Indigenous Services Canada says that, as of Tuesday, there were 4,069 COVID-19 cases on reserves in Canada. Of those, 1,564 were active.In Manitoba, infections of Indigenous people living on and off reserve have surged in recent weeks. First Nations people are also experiencing more severe outcomes, the response team's data shows.As of Wednesday, there were more than 1,713 active cases among First Nations people on and off reserves in Manitoba. First Nations patients made up 26 per cent of hospitalizations and 45 per cent of people in intensive care.So far, 45 First Nations members in the province have died from COVID-19 — the vast majority in the last couple of weeks. The average age of death was 66, while it was 83 for Manitoba's overall population. An Indigenous boy under the age of 10 died last weekend.Federal officials have said the initial distribution of a vaccine could begin in the new year. First Nations leaders across the country has been advocating for their communities to be a priority.Dr. Marcia Anderson, who is also on the pandemic response team, recalled how H1N1 flu outbreaks in 2009 also had a disproportionate impact on First Nations in Canada. Most Indigenous people were eventually open to taking the H1N1 vaccine, she added.She hopes there will be a similar acceptance for the COVID-19 inoculation."There are rigorous ethical standards and protocols in place," Anderson said.“The eyes of the world are on this vaccine.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press
We need all the cosyness we can get around here.
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a lower federal court to reexamine California restrictions on indoor religious services in areas hard hit by the coronavirus in light of the justices' recent ruling in favour of churches and synagogues in New York. The high court's unsigned order, with no noted dissent, leaves the California restrictions in place for now. But it throws out a federal district court ruling that rejected a challenge to the limits from Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church and Harvest International Ministry, which has more than 160 churches across the state. Last week, the Supreme Court split 5-4 in holding that New York could not enforce certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues. With a sharp increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has put most of the state under heightened restrictions, which include a ban on indoor singing and chanting. The Associated Press
LRT service on Ottawa's Confederation Line will be suspended between Blair and Hurdman stations this weekend for more work on the track's switch heaters.That eastern section of the line will close Saturday and Sunday. Similar work led to closures over the last two weekends.Last winter, snow accumulation appeared to cause switches on the eastern leg of the Confederation Line to malfunction, one of the key causes of the delays that beset the transit system.The Trillium Line has switch heaters powered by propane and natural gas, whereas the newer Confederation Line's were originally electric. The new heaters being installed will be powered by natural gas.Replacement buses will run in place of trains on that part of the line, while trains will continue to run between Hurdman and Tunney's Pasture stations.
Here are the highlights from Arrow Lakes School District 10 Superintendent Terry Taylor’s report to trustees at the November 17 board meeting. • COVID-19 has been hard on all aspects of the education system, but it’s put extra pressure on staff who clean facilities to ensure they’re safe. To meet new, higher cleaning regulations, the school district added additional cleaning hours to the schedules of custodians and bus drivers, and changed schedules to have custodians start during the school day. “Though intended to solve the emergent problem, the change of hours to during the school day has caused some unintended consequences for our custodians: additional workload and stress to get to cleaning floors and other regular maintenance/ cleaning tasks done while students and staff are in buildings,” Taylor reported to the board. After a review of the issue, the district has put in place some steps to help overloaded custodians: some workers’ hours will be changed back to after school, while additional staff will be hired to clean ‘high touch’ areas during the day; misting devices have been purchased to support high-touch area cleaning in schools and busses; PPE (personal protective equipment) is being provided for use voluntarily by cleaning staff; and staff and students will help by stacking chairs after class to help make disinfection faster and easier. The district will continue to monitor how the tweaks to the system are helping staff keep the facilities safe and clean. • It’s the final 1% of the job that takes up the other 99% of the time. A few “last moment hiccups” have stalled the opening of the new Goat Mountain Child Care Centre in New Denver. While almost complete for more than two months now, licencing officials still have small concerns that needed addressing. Taylor says she’s confident, however, the building will finally be open on November 30. A grand opening with all the dignitaries, COVID permitting, is planned soon. • As work wraps up with one daycare, plans on the second one are underway. The Nakusp Child Care Centre, planned for the local elementary school, is set to open in May 2022. Right now design plans are being finalized, as are plans for demolition of two portables at the school to make way for the daycare. Demolition should take place early in the new year, and a safety assessment has found only “small and isolated amount of asbestos” around one sink, and lead in the portables’ exterior paint. • The school district is proud of its work getting students to learn outdoors, and it’s been noticed by its peers. SD 10 was recognized by other West Kootenay districts for having the most students per capita who’ll be learning outside this year. A Nakusp Elementary teacher who signed up for an outside learning conference also has reason to celebrate. Marsha Roberts won a $500 prize from the Take Me Outside for Learning (TMOL) program. The money can be used at the new online Outdoor Learning Store to enhance her class’ outdoor experience. • Ottawa continues to support local school districts adjust to the world of teaching during a pandemic. Superintendent Taylor says federal Safe Return to Class Funding - $150,000 now and further $150,000 in new year – can be spent on learning resources and supports, health and safety, transportation, and before- and after-school childcare. Taylor says the money has been allocated for an additional Distance Learning teacher and clerical time to manage the larger number of students taking distributed learning courses this year. Some of the money will go to additional mental health supports for students, enhanced cleaning supplies and equipment, routing software for more efficient bussing, and for arts and recreation activities for before- and after-school care. John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice
Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade – Richard Lachance, l'ancien grand président de Cogeco Média est «en réflexion» en vue des élections municipales de 2021 à Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade. Celui qui a cédé les commandes de la filiale du géant des télécommunications en 2018 pourrait ainsi prendre la place de la mairesse sortante, Diane Aubut. Aujourd'hui conseiller spécial pour l'entreprise, notamment en ce qui a trait aux stations radiophoniques détenues par Cogeco, M. Lachance soutient être aux premiers balbutiements de sa réflexion. «J'analyse et je réfléchis à tout ça. Je regarde ce qui pourrait m'intéresser», explique-t-il. «Beaucoup de gens m'ont approché. J'étudie et je regarde», ajoute l'homme reconnu pour son dynamisme contagieux. Plusieurs questions mériteront des réponses avant que le principal intéressé ne confirme une candidature. «Est-ce que j'ai le goût de m'investir à un autre niveau? Est-ce que je suis prêt à servir la population? Ça demanderait beaucoup d'heures dans mon cas parce que je m'implique à fond. J'ai connu des ennuis de santé l'an dernier, mais ma condition s'améliore de plus en plus. La santé jouera un rôle déterminant», confie Richard Lachance. Il concède par ailleurs que le contexte pourrait peser dans la balance.Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
The government is making good on an election promise by introducing a home renovation tax credit. The non-refundable tax credit announced Thursday allows homeowners to save up to $2,100 in provincial income tax by claiming a 10.5 per cent tax credit on up to $20,000 of home renovation expenses.Eligible expenses include the cost of labour and professional services along with building materials, fixtures, equipment rentals and permits. "This tax credit will make the cost of home renovations more affordable and will help drive Saskatchewan's economic recovery," Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said in a news release. The new tax credit was estimated to cost the province $124 million over two years.Renovations must be completed in a Saskatchewan resident's principal home, which must be located in the province, the news release said.Renovation expenses incurred between Oct. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2022, qualify, and the renovations must be substantially completed by Dec. 31, 2022.Eligible expenses include permanent additions to homes, but not items like furniture, appliances, hot tubs, tools or maintenance services like carpet or furnace cleaning.Those applying should claim the credit for renovations on their 2021 and or 2022 personal income tax returns.Qualified expenses incurred between Oct. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2022, over the base of $1,000 but not more than $12,000, can be claimed on 2021 tax returns.Qualified expenses incurred between Jan. 1, 2022, and Dec. 31, 2022, over the base $1,000 but not more than $10,000, can be claimed on 2022 tax returns.The provincial government's news release said the tax credit can be split among eligible family members but the total claim cannot exceed the maximum $20,000.The credit will be administered by the Canada Revenue Agency as part of the Saskatchewan personal income tax system. The news release said the agency is to develop the appropriate forms and filing instructions in the coming months.