Viola Davis and the cast and director of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom discuss the exploitation and appropriation of Black musicians and music.
Viola Davis and the cast and director of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom discuss the exploitation and appropriation of Black musicians and music.
The federal government is eyeing a comprehensive North American energy strategy as workers reel from cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. The project's presidential permit was rescinded by U.S. President Joe Biden on his first day in office, prompting outrage from Alberta's provincial government. TC Energy, the proponent, had pre-emptively ceased construction of the project. "I was the minister of natural resources when the Obama administration cancelled Keystone XL. So for me, it's Round 2 of deep disappointment," Minister Jim Carr, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's representative for the Prairies, said Monday. "We have to look forward, however, to a continental energy strategy." That North American energy strategy is enticing to Alberta's premier as well, with Jason Kenney suggesting to the prime minister that they approach Washington together to pitch a collaborative approach to North American energy and climate policy. "Canada and the U.S. share a highly integrated energy system, including criss-crossing infrastructure such as pipelines and electricity transmission systems. Our energy and climate goals must be viewed in the context of that integrated system," Kenney wrote. The premier has called the Keystone cancellation an "insult" and a "gut-punch," repeatedly pressing for retaliation against the U.S. and suggesting economic and trade sanctions if the administration is unwilling to engage in conversations about the future of the pipeline. Last year, Kenney invested $1.5 billion in Keystone XL, arguing it would never be completed without the infusion. The pipeline, first announced in 2005, would have carried 830,000 barrels of crude a day from the oilsands in Alberta to Nebraska. The Biden administration has made no indication it intends to consider reinstating the permit. TC Energy has already laid off 1,000 workers in Alberta. A continental energy partnership has been an elusive goal for more than 15 years, with multiple trilateral meetings ending with consensus but often without measurable outcomes. It's been five years since Carr, then the minister of natural resources, hosted his American and Mexican counterparts to discuss the potential of such a partnership. They agreed to collaborate on things like energy technologies, energy efficiency, carbon capture and emissions reduction. While they signed a document stating these shared goals, synergy between the three countries has been slow to develop. In December 2014, a similar meeting ended with a to-do list to move forward on a continental energy strategy, including mapping energy infrastructure and sharing data. That data website hasn't been updated since 2017. In that meeting, then-natural resources minister Greg Rickford was making the pitch to the Obama administration for why Keystone XL should be permitted to live. It was cancelled — for the first time — less than a year later. "We've gone through a period over the last number of years where relations around energy have kind of died a slow death and become more and more narrowly focused around individual projects," said Monica Gattinger, director of the Institute for Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa. "There's tremendous potential between Canada and the United States to collaborate around energy and environmental objectives in the long term." Gattinger said changes in the United States around hydrocarbon and shale have diminished the country's motivation for a broader energy approach. With the national governments in Canada and the U.S. now more closely aligned on climate priorities, she added there's the potential for a breakthrough. "Both countries have vast potential across a whole host of energy resources," she said. "Those are the conversations that we have not been having in North America for a number of years now. And there is a real opportunity to do so at this time." Carr is optimistic, too. "We're hardly starting from scratch, and there will be alignment," he said, alluding to his hope for co-operation between the U.S. and Canada, but also with the Prairie provinces. "There is an awful lot of work to be done and an awful lot of potential."
Du 1er au 5 février, ce sera l’occasion pour le Carrefour jeunesse emploi de la Haute-Côte-Nord (CJE HCN) de prendre part à la 10e édition de la Semaine des régions organisée par Place aux jeunes en région (PAJR). La pandémie a forcé les organisateurs à prendre un virage virtuel cette année. Comme les déplacements interrégionaux sont interdits, il était impossible d’organiser les visites habituelles dans les établissements scolaires de Québec et Montréal ainsi que le salon au Complexe Desjardins. Toutefois, des initiatives régionales seront mises en branle pendant cette semaine dédiée à la promotion et au rayonnement des régions. « La Semaine des régions se déroulera plutôt virtuellement. Chaque MRC déployant les services de PAJ a pour mission de faire parler de sa région. On peut choisir par quel moyen. Certains font des quiz ou des live sur Facebook. Nous, on a décidé de lancer des capsules vidéos pour présenter de nouveaux arrivants des dernières années », dévoile Jeni Sheldon, agente PAJ. Ces capsules seront réalisées de façon conviviale avec des extraits d’entrevue. D’une durée d’environ deux minutes, elles seront diffusées sur les réseaux sociaux du CJE HCN. « Les nouveaux résidents expliqueront leur coup de cœur de la région, les raisons qui les ont poussés à déménager ici pour démystifier la vie en région », détaille Mme Sheldon. De plus, un projet régional avec les autres agents PAJ de la Côte-Nord sera dévoilé. Il s’agit également d’une capsule vidéo à saveur humoristique « pour promouvoir la région ». La Semaine des régions est un des moyens utilisés par l’agente PAJ pour attirer des jeunes qualifiés âgés de 18 à 35 ans sur le territoire de la Haute-Côte-Nord. « L’an passé, j’ai rencontré une de mes migrations de cette année qui est désormais installée aux Escoumins, raconte Jeni Sheldon. Parfois, ça donne des résultats rapides, mais la plupart du temps, ce sont des graines qui l’on sème pour plus tard. » Services aux employeurs Même s’ils sont moins connus, PAJ offre également des services aux employeurs et entreprises de la Haute-Côte-Nord. Ces derniers peuvent afficher leurs offres d’emploi gratuitement sur le site Web de l’organisme, bénéficiant ainsi « d’une banque de candidatures immense d’environ 10 000 personnes », selon l’agente PAJ. De plus, les candidats ciblés par une entreprise peuvent être accompagnés pour la recherche de logement, apprendre à connaître la région (séjour individuel) et faciliter leur intégration. « Ça peut jouer beaucoup sur la rétention du personnel », précise Mme Sheldon. Le conjoint ou la conjointe ainsi que le reste de la famille peuvent être aussi pris en charge. Pour plus d’informations ou faire appel aux services de PAJ, il faut contacter l’agente Jeni Sheldon au 581-324-1110, poste 236. Originaire d’Angleterre, Mme Sheldon est bien placée pour discuter des enjeux de migration avec les futurs ou nouveaux arrivants. C’est lors d’un voyage en sac à dos il y a 25 ans qu’elle est tombée en amour avec la région. « J’ai été bénévole pendant deux ans au GREMM à Tadoussac et j’ai fait la rencontre de mon copain à Québec. On s’est installé à Tadoussac et j’ai fondé ma famille ici », ajoute-t-elle. 30e anniversaire Depuis deux ans, elle fait partie du réseau PAJ qui célèbre ses 30 ans d’existence en 2021. Des festivités avaient été planifiées, mais elles ont dû être repoussées en raison de la crise sanitaire. « PAJ est un réseau fort et soudé. Quand j’ai commencé, nous étions 50 agents et maintenant, nous sommes 80 déployés à travers la province », de conclure la hautnord-côtière d’adoption.Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
LELAND, N.C. — An unlucky start to a North Carolina man’s day turned upside down when he discovered he won a $2 million lottery prize hours after hitting two deer with his new car. Anthony Dowe, of Leland, had an accident on his way to work, the North Carolina Education Lottery said in a statement Tuesday. It ruined his day, so he went back home, got into bed and went to sleep. “Then I woke up and checked my tickets. I checked the fourth ticket and I saw the ‘4' and then the next number and the next number and the next number,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Wow!’ It was just crazy.” His winning Mega Millions ticket matched all five white balls. The odds? 1 out of 12.6 million. Dowe took his ticket to a store and won $1 million. That prize doubled when the 2x Megaplier ticket was drawn. “I went and showed my dad and my mom and everybody was happy,” he said. On Monday, he claimed his prize at the lottery headquarters in Raleigh and took home about $1.4 million after taxes. “It just feels great,” he said. “I’m just gonna fix things on my mother and father’s house and get my car fixed, pay it off, and pay my niece’s car off.” The rest, he said, will go into savings. The Associated Press
Last spring, a humpback whale piqued the curiosity and captured the hearts of Montrealers during a brief passage through the St. Lawrence River. The whale swam from the town of Tadoussac, to Quebec City, before ending up under the Jacques-Cartier Bridge. During its stay in Montreal, the whale attracted large crowds near the river before its lifeless body was spotted near Varennes, Que. Months later, evidence supporting what researchers believe happened is still hard to come by. The Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals and the Centre québécois sur la santé des animaux sauvages released a report on the whale's journey. Researchers initially thought the whale was hit by a boat, but they say the state of its body and the extent to which it had been manipulated made it difficult to analyze and determine the collision was the cause of death. Several of its organs were missing at the time of the necropsy, the report stated. "The autopsy conducted on the humpback didn't allow us to confirm this hypothesis," read a statement from Stéphane Lair, the veterinarian who oversaw the procedure. "We can think that its prolonged exposure to soft waters hampered its physiological functions." Their research did lead them to believe the whale died quickly and suddenly, since, according to them, it had not shown signs it was getting weaker or losing an abnormal amount of weight due to lack of nutrition. Why did it go to Montreal? The research team says it's looking at different theories to explain why the humpback whale was out of its usual, salt water habitat. The most reasonable one, according to them, is that of "exploratory behaviour" which is sometimes observed among young mammals. They don't believe the whale was suffering from an ailment or a condition that made it confused as to where it was and where it was going. The report acknowledges that more information is needed on how humpback whales behave in unfamiliar territory, and how to intervene. "This visit reminded us that we share the St. Lawrence with fragile giants and shed light on several issues of cohabitation, such as disturbance, sound pollution and collision risks," said Robert Michaud, a co-ordinator with Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals.
WASHINGTON — Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods rose a modest 0.2% in December, held back by a big drop in the volatile aircraft sector. A key category that tracks business investment decisions slowed. The rise in orders for durable goods, items expected to last at least three years, followed much stronger increases of 1.2% November and 1.8% in October, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Orders for commercial aircraft, hard hit because of the sharp drop in air travel during the pandemic fell 51.8% in December. A category that covers business investment plans rose 0.6% but this was slower than gains in the previous two months. Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
Last November, Alex Doyle ended up back in prison after violating his parole. That's where he may have inadvertently become a superspreader in Canada's worst COVID-19 outbreak in a federal penitentiary.
WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security issued a national terrorism bulletin Wednesday warning of the lingering potential for violence from people motivated by antigovernment sentiment after President Joe Biden's election, suggesting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol may embolden extremists and set the stage for additional attacks. The department did not cite any specific plots, but pointed to “a heightened threat environment across the United States” that it believes “will persist” for weeks after Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration. It is not uncommon for the federal government to warn local law enforcement through bulletins about the prospect for violence tied to a particular event or date, such as July 4. But this particular bulletin, issued through the department’s National Terrorism Advisory System, is notable because it effectively places the Biden administration into the politically charged debate over how to describe or characterize acts motivated by political ideology, and suggests it regards violence like the kind that overwhelmed the Capitol as akin to terrorism. The bulletin is an indication that national security officials see a connective thread between different episodes of violence in the last year motivated by anti-government grievances, including over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results and police use of force. The document singles out crimes motivated by racial or ethnic hatred, such as the 2019 rampage targeting Hispanics in El Paso, Texas, as well as the threat posed by extremists motivated by foreign terror groups. A DHS statement that accompanied the bulletin noted the potential for violence from “a broad range of ideologically-motivated actors.” “Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence,” the bulletin said. The alert comes at a tense time following the riot at the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump seeking to overturn the presidential election. Authorities are concerned that extremists may attack other symbols of government or people whose political views they oppose. “The domestic terrorism attack on our Capitol earlier this month shined a light on a threat that has been right in front of our faces for years,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. “I am glad to see that DHS fully recognizes the threat posed by violent, right-wing extremists and is taking efforts to communicate that threat to the American people.” The alert was issued by acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske. Biden’s nominee for the Cabinet post, Alejandro Mayorkas, has not been confirmed by the Senate. Two former homeland security secretaries, Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano, called on the Senate to confirm Mayorkas so he can start working with the FBI and other agencies and deal with the threat posed by domestic extremists, among other issues. Chertoff, who served under President George W. Bush, said attacks by far-right, domestic extremists are not new but that deaths attributed to them in recent years in the U.S. have exceeded those linked to jihadists such as al-Qaida. “We have to be candid and face what the real risk is,” he said in a conference call with reporters. Federal authorities have charged more than 150 people in the Capitol siege, including some with links to right-wing extremist groups such as the Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers. The Justice Department announced charges Wednesday against 43-year Ian Rogers, a California man found with five pipe bombs during a search of his business this month who had a sticker associated with the Three Percenters on his vehicle. His lawyer told his hometown newspaper, The Napa Valley Register, that he is a “very well-respected small business owner, father, and family man” who does not belong to any violent organizations. Ben Fox And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Kevin Hart will debut his new SiriusXM original podcast with Jerry Seinfeld as the series’ inaugural guest. The satellite radio company announced on Wednesday the launch of Hart’s “Inside Jokes with Kevin Hart” along with two other original programs. He will host the series premiere with Seinfeld’s guest appearance on the Laugh Out Loud Radio channel on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST. On “Inside Jokes,” Hart will interview top comedians and rising stars. The superstar comedian-actor will chronicle their comedy club experiences and touch on “never-before-heard” stories. Along with Seinfeld, the show’s upcoming lineup includes Steve Harvey, Bill Burr, Cedric the Entertainer, Desus & Mero, Nick Kroll, Hasan Minhaj and Zainab Johnson. “I’m sitting down with some of the best voices in comedy to give my listeners the stories behind the jokes they hear on stage,” Hart said in a statement. “Comedians have been through it all, and I’m excited that I’ll be digging deep into the lives of my peers for my first podcast.” In addition to “Inside Jokes,” Hart’s Laugh Out Loud will air two new shows, “Date Night with Chris and Vanessa” on Fridays and “The Ladies Room with Jazzy” on Mondays and Wednesdays. Both shows launched Tuesday. Last year, SiriusXM announced a new multi-platform deal with Hart and his comedy network Laugh Out Loud. Along with his channel, Laugh Out Loud Radio, he’s expected to expand additional comedic programming that includes radio shows, podcasts and on-demand video. Hart said the deal with SiriusXM will give him more creative control. He launched LOL three years ago. His radio show “Straight from the Hart” premiered on his channel in 2018. Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s president and CCO, said he is excited about Hart’s “Inside Jokes” podcast and new shows as “we continue to collaborate with Laugh Out Loud to shape Kevin’s channel into the pinnacle of diverse comedy programming in audio entertainment." Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
In spite of a pandemic, the Municipality had many accomplishments to be proud of, said mayor Anne Eadie. First and foremost, the mayor was very impressed with how the local government and the community adjusted to the pandemic. “One of our biggest successes, which was totally unforeseen, was how we dealt with COVID,” said the mayor. “It became a major focus starting in March. We had our plans, we had our budget done but we had to quickly ‘switch horses’, for lack of a better term, and COVID became our #1 priority throughout the spring and into the summer.” Eadie said that because of the unexpected speed in which it all happened, people came together. She said the community has rallied and dealt with it as best they could, and local numbers stayed reasonable. She said everyone has done their part. While it was a huge challenge, saying who could have dreamed that in a couple of days the whole Municipal office would shut down and staff would be working from home. In just a few days the technology was in place and there was cooperation between all departments. Eadie said “I’ve never seen such a level of cooperation in my time in politics,” as the local government, health unit, county and province put new processes in place. “Everybody pulled together.” She said the recovery centre at the Davidson Centre went up in almost no time, and if hospitals fill up and Kincardine is called on to take on patients, the Municipality is ready. She also pointed out that this pandemic is “unknown territory” for everybody, and the amount of coordination it takes to plan during a pandemic is unbelievable. In terms of infrastructure, a number of plans moved forward as planned or were completed. At Highways 9 and 21, which has been an objective since 2011, there is still some work needed on the roads but the area is ready for development. The two-year Huron Terrace project is underway and good headway was made this year. The Queen Street Bridge reconstruction was completed, and worked well with the unplanned but positively-received closure of Queen Street during the summer. The Maple Street project in Tiverton has the engineering complete, but had to be deferred because the council had to deal with the unexpected damage and erosion along the shoreline on Goderich Street. The repair was expensive and required more money than anticipated. Eadie said they chose to spend the money and “do the job right” and are hopeful it will keep the next round of high water back. “By spending more now, we’ve given it a longer fix.” Completed projects also include the paving of Concession 11 in ward 2 and because the Theatre Guild and other community groups couldn’t hold events this summer, the final phase of renovations to the arts centre were completed. Eadie said “We spent years trying to get natural gas – and it has arrived.” EPCOR and AECON were busy all summer installing lines and feedback is that people are happy with it. The project will continue and Eadie expects it will be finished by 2022. As for 2021, budget meetings have begun and it is hoped the Municipality can continue with the deferred public works projects. Eadie said people are looking forward to the completion of the KIP trail. There has been substantial fundraising in the community and council is waiting to hear by spring to find out if a two-stage grant has been approved. She is very excited about the confirmation of a new high school to be built in Kincardine. The more than $26 million in funding provided by the province was announced in November and while details of the when and where of the school have not yet been announced, the Bluewater District School Board has just completed a survey asking for input from the public. Eadie hopes the new school will offer more options for students, in particular in the areas of technology and trades. Eadie also mentioned the new building the county has invested should be completed by March 2021, with a new affordable housing spaces as well as room for County Human Services, stating “any improvement in affordable housing is a bonus.” Municipal Council is also collaborating with the County to seek options to improve safety on some of the busy roads near Bruce Power. The mayor said one of her biggest sorrows of the year was losing colleague and friend, Marie Wilson, to cancer. She had enormous respect for Wilson and considered her a great asset to Council, saying “the hardest time of 2020 was losing our deputy mayor.” Randy Roppel has since been sworn in as deputy mayor and Dorne Fitzsimmons is the new ward 3 councilor. On Kincardine Council since 2010, and serving as mayor since 2014, Eadie has seen 2020 as a year of unprecedented collaboration and cooperation in this community. She can’t stress enough how much the leadership of Bruce Power has contributed to the wellbeing of residents, from providing expertise, hosting town halls and creating supportive initiatives such as “Be A Light – Fighting COVID Together”. She really appreciates the effort Bruce Power has put forward, and said OPG, supply chain companies, local businesses all “stepped up”. Eadie is looking forward to participating with the Nuclear Innovation Institute this year, to learn more about the nuclear industry and see how it will benefit the community. While 2020 offered many challenges, and will continue to in 2021, Eadie says the community has once again shown its true colours. “I’m really pleased and proud of everyones efforts and determination,” said Eadie. “The pandemic has underlined that we are a community that cares about each other and supports each other.” Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
Five years ago, when Bill Pike attended the first meeting of a “100people” group in Hamilton, organized by his sons Jeremy and Nathan, it is unlikely he imagined he would find himself leading a similar group in Bruce County, or the huge impact the group would have on the local not-for-profit groups. 100peoplewhoshare is a community driven, third-party fundraising organization, with groups springing up across the province. It invites members to gather three or four times each year and donate $100 each meeting to a chosen charity. The gathering takes only an hour, but has an enormous impact on the charity that is awarded the donation. Pike refers to the organization as “the ever-ready local charity that keeps on giving.” Pike says that back in 2016, his sons invited him to attend the first meeting of their fledgling group. He was so taken with the story of one of the presenting charities, Camp Erin, that he voted for it to receive the donation. He described feeling as he drove home that “it was the best $100 I ever spent.” Shortly after attending the Hamilton meeting, his sons challenged him to start a similar group in Bruce County. So in January of 2017, Pike and his wife Sharon began sharing their vision and canvassing for members. At the inaugural meeting of 100peoplewhoshare Bruce County in April, 2017 even they were surprised by the support and interest shown by the public. Eighty-two people came out, and Pike said he was “blown away” by the response. At that meeting, Bruce County’s Women’s House received $8,700. Since then, the group has continued to meet three times each year, and has just celebrated its fourth successful year. The organization uses a simple selection process when choosing a recipient for the donation. Any member can nominate a charity to participate. The charity must be able to provide tax receipts, offer service to the local community and a representative must commit to coming to meetings prepared to give a five-minute presentation describing what the donation will be used for. At the meeting, three of the nominated charities are randomly selected to give a presentation. One of those three charities receives the donation, which is based on the votes from members. Past recipients include Huron Shores Hospice, the Kincardine hospital auxiliary and Big Brothers and Sisters. Once a charity is selected to receive the donation, they are not eligible to participate for three years. Since its first meeting in 2017, the group has raised more than $130,000., 100 per cent of which goes directly to the chosen charity. “Our goal is to, and has been for four years, to make a local, financial impact,” said Pike. Since the pandemic broke in early 2020, the organization has adapted its meetings to a virtual format, in order to ensure the safety of all members and presenters. The 2021 meetings are scheduled for April 26, July 26 and Oct. 25. The April meeting will be run via Zoom, and Pike has his fingers crossed that by July the group will be able to gather in some fashion. He says part of the appeal of the group is the excitement and connection members feel with the community and the charities they learn about. “We are feeling even more need for our work with COVID, which has been disastrous for charities,” said Pike. “The entire country is suffering. Now more than ever is our time to help people locally.” Anyone interested in learning more about 100peoplewhoshare Bruce County can email Pike at email@example.com find the group on Facebook. New members are always welcome. Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
Waywayseecappo First Nation members will go to the polls Feb. 23, with 37 of those members vying for a seat on council and one member challenging current Chief Murray Clearsky. In 2019, Waywayseecappo had a registered population of 2,818 people, with 1,604 living on reserve. Jeremy Shingoose, Clearsky’s challenger, is running on a platform of transparency, accountability and putting community members first, according to a post on a community Facebook page. "Everywhere life takes me, I always tell people I am an Anishinaabe from Waywayseecappo and that it is the greatest place on Earth. This is not an exaggeration. I believe in a community that is an innovator, a pioneer, and a nation that others look up to in every aspect of life," Shingoose wrote. "I am well versed and educated in many aspects of Indigenous life because of this I will be able to represent our community on a national level, a corporate level, and a community level. I’m fuelled by passion, with lots of great ideas and practical experience, it would be an honour to serve the people of Waywayseecappo — the greatest place on Earth." Clearsky, who has been Waywayseecappo’s leader for 32 years, said his record speaks for itself. "From what I’ve done for the community, if they want to continue succeeding, I guess I’m the guy," said Clearsky. "Everything that we do have ever since I became chief, it’s been established." Until four years ago, elections at the reserve were held every two years, as per the Indian Act. The reserve now follows the First Nations Election Act, which mandates four-year terms. Clearsky, who has never been acclaimed, has seen challengers in each election and recalls one close call quite a few years go. Normally, debates are held, but Clearsky said that won’t happen at this election because of the pandemic. Current councillors are Mel Wabash, Anthony Longclaws, Tim Cloud, Travis Cloud, Joe Gambler and Chantel Wilson — all of whom are running for re-election. The remaining 31 members running for council are as follows: Ashley Brandon, Brad Brandon, Dean Brandon, Laura Brandon, Carolyn Clearsky, Chrystella (Stella) Clearsky, Eileen Clearsky, Mark Clearsky, Bernalda (Peanut) Cloud, Christopher AJ Cook, James Cote, Hugh Hill, Brennan Huntinghawk, Kenneth Huntinghawk, Brenna Ironstand, Tyrene Jandrew, Roderik Keewatincappo, Carla Ledoux-Huntinghawk, Sidney Longclaws, Lisa Makwebak, Eric Mentuck Jr., Grace Mentuck, Quentin Mentuck, Paul Mentuck Jr., Graham Procure, Huston S. Shingoose, Merle Shingoose, Myles Shingoose, Richard Shingoose, Norbert Tanner and Nathan Twovoice. Clearsky said 37 people running for six council seats is not unusual — he recalls 34 at the last election. Sometimes that number has dipped down into the 20s. Michèle LeTourneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun
Requests for mail-in ballots in the upcoming provincial election are soaring, according to Newfoundland and Labrador's chief electoral officer, who credits the pandemic with causing a shift in voting habits. Elections NL workers usually field about 300 such requests in a regular election. In the far-from-normal circumstances of 2021, those requests have spiked, with 3,000 applications in for the special ballots so far. Staff saw the wave coming, as the pandemic axed typical home visits for seniors to vote and travel restrictions continue to create logistical challenges for rotational workers. "As we anticipated, we are getting a lot more volume of mail-out ballots than we ever had before," said chief electoral officer Bruce Chaulk. To keep on top of the extra votes, Elections NL staff turned extra warehouse space into a processing centre, where mail-in ballot applications are approved and sent out, and completed ballots are received and sorted. All that work has meant adding bodies to the election effort. "Everybody that we have working in this particular facility here wouldn't be working, because we normally would've been able to handle the mail-out process with the normal staff that we have," Chaulk said Tuesday. Want in? There's still time Those employees will stay busy for several weeks yet ahead of the Feb. 13 election. People can still request a mail-in ballot until 4 p.m. on Feb. 2. For anyone in unusual or remote living arrangements, Elections NL will mail those ballots wherever they can, with Chaulk saying some have been flown by helicopter to the Hibernia offshore platform. One perennially popular ballot destination, however, isn't so hot in an era of non-essential travel. "We're not seeing as many kits mailed to the snowbirds in Florida. We're getting very few that are actually going outside the country," said Chaulk. Elections staff will send out mail-in ballots until Feb. 4. The kits include an pre-stamped Xpresspost envelope for return, and all ballots have a strict deadline to make it back to the St. John's processing centre. "We need all of them back by about the ninth of February in order to have them counted by election day, because the law requires the special ballots to be counted by election day," Chaulk said. Mail-in ballots can also be dropped off, in person, at any of the 60 Elections NL district offices across the province by Feb. 7, he added. Or, if people want to get a jump on their say in the electoral process, they can vote in person at the district offices right up until advance polling day, on Feb. 6. One caveat to mail-in ballots: if someone does request one and it's sent out, their name is then struck from the voters' list, meaning if they don't fill it out and return that ballot, they can't do so at any other poll. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Le rire est à l’homme ce que la bière est à la pression, dit un dicton. La Microbrasserie Moulin 7 en sait quelque chose ! Depuis des années, les brasseries artisanales poussent comme des champignons pour le grand bonheur des amateurs. On a rencontré Danick Pellerin, 44 ans, copropriétaire du pub situé au 294, boulevard Saint-Luc. Bières artisanales, repas bistro, spectacles de musique et d’humour, l’endroit se veut chaleureux et convivial. « L’ambiance est inspirée par notre passé industriel, explique M. Pellerin. Plusieurs pièces du mobilier et des décorations proviennent des moulins et des bureaux de la mine Jeffrey. Jusqu’à la sirène qui appelait les mineurs lorsqu’il était temps de sortir de la mine. Pour ajouter à la couleur locale, certaines de nos bières portent des noms évocateurs : “Mineur”, “L’Or blanc” ou “1949”. Et une plus récente “La 200 tonnes”, qui se veut un clin d’œil à l’immense camion à l’entrée de la ville qui rappelle notre patrimoine minier. Il représente un peu notre tour Eiffel ! » Innovation… Leurs dizaines de bières essentiellement composées de grains récoltés et maltés au Québec avec les meilleurs houblons sélectionnés ont connu un vif succès. La « Mineur », leur premier produit, a remporté plusieurs médailles. « La microbrasserie va très bien, poursuit-il. Nos produits sont distribués dans 230 points de vente. Pas loin de 300 quand les bars et les restos sont ouverts. Pour la création de nos bières, on y va avec l’inspiration du moment. Une récente création s’appelle “Apalone”. C’est le nom d’une tortue menacée d’extinction. Greenpeace l’avait suggéré dans les propositions pour changer le nom d’Asbestos ! » Depuis mars dernier, c’est un peu la chaise musicale : ouvert, semi-ouvert, fermé, etc. « Le resto est fermé et les commandes pour emporter sont suspendues… pour le moment. On n’arrête pas de brasser la bière, bien sûr ! Nous sommes huit travailleurs au lieu d’une vingtaine. Notre boutique est toutefois ouverte. Depuis novembre, on a mis sur pied, dans un local à côté, un marché public qui regroupe chaque samedi huit marchands producteurs alimentaires. Comme pour tout bon entrepreneur, il faut s’adapter. Cela dit, je plains les restaurateurs qui n’ont pas de plan B. » Chose certaine, toute l’équipe a hâte de revoir de la vie dans son resto-pub. Leur slogan, « Rappelons-nous le passé et trinquons à notre avenir ! », est plutôt éloquent. facebook.com/moulin7microbrasserie/ moulin7.com/Mireille Fréjeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal L'Étincelle
BERLIN — A survivor of the Holocaust and a young Jewish immigrant spoke about their lives in Germany at a special parliamentary session Wednesday commemorating the victims of the Holocaust 76 years after the Soviet army liberated the Auschwitz death camp in occupied Poland. Charlotte Knobloch, 88, and Marina Weisband, 33, told lawmakers on International Holocaust Remembrance Day how their lives as Jews in Germany are still far from normal, almost eight decades after the Nazis and their henchmen murdered 6 million European Jews in the Shoah. Knobloch, the president of the Jewish Community of Munich, looked back at her life from when she was a little girl and had to hide from the Nazis under a false identity. “I lost my homeland, I fought for it and I reclaimed it,” she said. “Today, I am standing here in front of you as a proud German,” she told lawmakers. But Knobloch also warned of democracy's fragility and asked lawmakers to protect the achievements of the last decades for both Jews and non-Jews and defend Germany against extremists. “I'm asking you, please watch out for our country,” she said. Both Knobloch and Weisband warned of resurging anti-Semitism in Germany, especially while false claims of Jewish responsibility for the coronavirus pandemic abound online and at anti-government protests. “It is still dangerous for us to be visible as Jews in Germany,” Weisband, who immigrated from Ukraine as a child, said. She described how Jews are under constant police protection whether during visits to the synagogue, in school or at university clubs. However, Weisband also expressed hope that one day Jewish life may become normal again in Germany, “and then we can simply be human beings.” Following the speeches in parliament, several high-ranking government officials bore witness in the prayer room of parliament as a rabbi put the finishing touches on a carefully restored Torah scroll. In the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and others, Rabbi Shaul Nekrich wrote the last 12 letters of the Sulzbacher Torah Scroll, one of Germany's oldest Torah scrolls. The Torah was created in 1792 in Bavaria and survived a city fire in Sulzbach in 1822, and the so-called Night of Broken Glass in 1938, when Germans across the country destroyed synagogues and killed Jews. After the end of World War II, the Torah scroll stood unnoticed for around 70 years in the shrine of the Amberg synagogue in Bavaria, until it was discovered again in 2013. The faded letters and animal skin of the Torah were carefully restored for 45,000 euros ($54,520) with German federal funds in Israel and the Torah will now be used again in services at the Jewish community in Amberg. Kirsten Grieshaber, The Associated Press
PARIS — In a first for France, six nongovernmental organizations launched a class-action lawsuit Wednesday against the French government for alleged systemic discrimination by police officers carrying out identity checks. The organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, contend that French police use racial profiling in ID checks, targeting Black people and people of Arab descent. They served Prime Minister Jean Castex and France’s interior and justice ministers with formal legal notice of demands for concrete steps and deep law enforcement reforms to ensure that racial profiling does not determine who gets stopped by police. The lead lawyer in the case, Antoine Lyon-Caen, said that the legal action is not targeting individual police officers but "the system itself that generates, by its rules, habits, culture, a discriminatory practice.” “Since the shortcomings of the state (concern) a systemic practice, the response, the reactions, the remedies, the measures must be systemic,” Lyon-Caen said at a news conference with NGOs taking action. They include the Open Society Justice Initiative and three French grassroots groups. The issue of racial profiling by French police has festered for years, including but not only the practice of officers performing identity checks on young people who are often Black or of Arab descent and live in impoverished housing projects. Serving notice is the obligatory first step in a two-stage lawsuit process. The law gives French authorities four months to talk with the NGOs about how they can meet the demands. If the parties behind the lawsuit are left unsatisfied, the case will go to court, according to one of the lawyers, Slim Ben Achour. It's the first class-action discrimination lawsuit based on colour or supposed ethnic origins in France. The NGO’s are employing a little-used 2016 French law that allows associations to take such a legal move. “It’s revolutionary, because we’re going to speak for hundreds of thousands, even a million people.” Ben Achour told The Associated Press in a phone interview. The NGOs are pursuing the class action on behalf of racial minorities who are mostly second- or third-generation French citizens. “The group is brown and Black,” Ben Achour said. The four-month period for reaching a settlement could be prolonged if the talks are making progress, he said. The abuse of identity checks has served for many in France as emblematic of broader alleged racism within police ranks, with critics claiming that misconduct has been left unchecked or whitewashed by authorities. Video of a recent incident posted online drew a response from President Emmanuel Macron, who called racial profiling “unbearable.” Police representatives say officers themselves feel under attack when they show up in suburban housing projects. During a spate of confrontational incidents, officers became trapped and had fireworks and other objects thrown at them. The NGOs are seeking reforms rather than monetary damages, especially changes in the law governing identity checks. They argue the law is too broad and allows for no police accountability because the actions of officers involved cannot be traced, while the stopped individuals are left humiliated and sometimes angry. Among other demands, the organizations want an end to the longstanding practice of gauging police performance by numbers of tickets issued or arrests made, arguing that the benchmarks can encourage baseless identity checks. The lawsuit features some 50 witnesses, both police officers and people subjected to abusive checks, whose accounts are excerpted in the 145-page letters of notice. The NGO’s cite one unnamed person who spoke of undergoing multiple police checks every day for years. A police officer posted in a tough Paris suburb who is not connected with the case told the AP that he is often subjected to ID checks when in civilian clothes. “When I’m not in uniform, I’m a person of colour,” said the officer, who asked to remain anonymous in keeping with police rules and due to the sensitive nature of the topic. Police need a legal basis for their actions, “but 80% of the time they do checks (based on) heads” — meaning how a person looks. Omer Mas Capitolin, the head of Community House for Supportive Development, a grassroots NGO taking part in the legal action, called it a “mechanical reflex” for French police to stop non-whites, a practice he said is damaging to the person being checked and ultimately to relations between officers and the members of the public they are expected to protect. “When you’re always checked, it lowers your self-esteem,” and you become a “second-class citizen,” Mas Capitolin said. The “victims are afraid to file complaints in this country even if they know what happened isn’t normal,” he said, because they fear fallout from neighbourhood police. He credited the case of George Floyd, the Black American whose died last year in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck, with raising consciences and becoming a catalyst for change in France. “These are practices that impact the whole society,” said Issa Coulibaly, the head of Pazapas-Belleville, another organization taking part in the case. Like a downward spiral, profiling hurts youths' “feeling of belonging” to the life of the nation and “reinforces prejudices of others to this population." NGOs made clear they are not accusing individual police of being racist. “It’s so much in the culture. They don’t ever think there’s a problem,” said Ben Achour, the lawyer. ___ Follow all AP stories about racial profiling at https://apnews.com/Racialinjustice. Elaine Ganley, The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An emergency order mandating the use of masks in response to the coronavirus pandemic could be turned into city code by the Anchorage Assembly. Assembly members were expected to introduce ordinances Tuesday that could change mayoral emergency orders into local law, including a requirement for masks to be worn within indoor public places, Anchorage Daily News reported. A mask ordinance would move the matter out of the control of the mayor’s office, regardless of whether the measure has the mayor’s support. A new mayor is expected to be chosen during the April 6 election and take office July 1. Assembly members will wait until a future meeting to vote on ordinances proposed Tuesday. While there has been opposition, surveys of Anchorage residents by the University of Alaska Anchorage throughout 2020 found widespread acceptance of mask use to slow the spread of the virus. More than 80% of respondents in November reported wearing masks “most or all of the time when not at home.” The figure increased to 90% in December. A statewide survey in November found a majority of Alaska residents support wearing masks. Acting Assembly Vice Chair John Weddleton said the mask ordinance proposal and three others regarding mayoral emergency orders are steps toward addressing authority issues that have arisen during the pandemic. Weddleton said he has heard from many residents who are concerned about the amount of power in the mayor’s office. The assembly earlier this month extended to April a declaration giving Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson the authority to enact emergency orders in response to the pandemic. It is "unusual to have a mayor say, ‘Let it be so,’ and there’s a law,” said Weddleton, a sponsor of the mask ordinance proposal. Assembly member Jamie Allard said she opposes putting the mask order into city code. “People have shown they’re willing to wear a mask, and some don’t. And I think that’s an individual decision,” Allard said. “I do not agree with people being legally made to cover their faces.” For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The Associated Press
OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces is dealing with a dramatic increase in the number of troops who have been infected with COVID-19 over the past month. New Department of National Defence figures provided to The Canadian Press show nearly 250 Canadian military members tested positive for the illness since the end of December. That number compares to fewer than 700 cases reported during the first nine months of the pandemic. While the increase coincides with a recent surge in cases across Canada and many other parts of the world, it also comes amid an outbreak among the 540 Canadian troops deployed in Latvia. Defence Department spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier says Armed Forces members on four other missions have also tested positive for COVID-19 since March, along with an unspecified number here at home. Meanwhile, the federal government says more than 1,000 military personnel have received vaccines, with the priority being given to troops working in health-care settings or who have health conditions that could put them at greater risk from COVID-19. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
Nous sommes vendredi, en début d’après-midi. La température se fait un peu plus clémente que dans les derniers jours. Tammy est assise en compagnie d’autres itinérants, tout juste à côté de la halte-chaleur du Book Humanitaire, qui ouvrira plus tard ce soir. Je m’assois près d’elle. Tammy a 52 ans. Ça ne fait que quatre mois qu’elle vit dans la rue. Pendant la pandémie, des membres de sa famille sont tombés malades et elle a perdu son emploi. « À chaque mois, je pleure de savoir que je suis encore ici. C’est difficile. » Heureusement, les services offerts lui sont bénéfiques. Elle partage son temps entre l’extérieur, l’église Sainte-Paule et la halte-chaleur. Tammy côtoie des dizaines d’itinérants et indique voir de plus en plus de nouveaux visages. Ce n’est pas un hasard : la demande a grandement augmenté dans les derniers mois. Le CISSS des Laurentides nous informe qu’avant la pandémie, le refuge d’urgence ne possédait que neuf lits. Aujourd’hui, ce nombre s’élève à 25. Selon les échos reçus sur le terrain, le refuge de l’église Sainte-Paule, dirigé par Fleur de Macadam, accueillerait même jusqu’à 30 personnes par nuit. « On fait la file d’attente. Les premiers en ligne sont les premiers à l’intérieur », m’explique Tammy. Devant l’impossibilité d’abriter tout le monde, la halte-chaleur offre une option complémentaire. « L’église, c’est un peu comme la maison et ici, on est le chalet », illustre Chantal Dumont, bénévole au Book Humanitaire. La veille du premier couvre-feu, Rachel Lapierre, présidente-fondatrice de l’organisme, me confiait qu’à chaque nuit, environ 20 à 28 personnes utilisaient en alternance la halte-chaleur. Le 20 janvier, ils étaient 38. Au matin, les itinérants peuvent normalement se diriger vers l’église Sainte-Paule où une nouvelle offre de jour, portée par l’organisme du Centre de jour de Saint-Jérôme, est proposée depuis le mois de novembre. Sophie, une intervenante, s’y implique sans relâche, jour après jour. On y sert des jus, du café, des pâtisseries et des diners. Lors de notre passage, une vingtaine de personnes s’y retrouvaient. Certains dormaient sur des chaises installées à leur disposition, alors que d’autres dessinaient sur les tables. Sophie me confie qu’il lui arrive de recevoir une quarantaine de personnes en même temps, l’espace étant aménagé pour faire respecter les consignes sanitaires du mieux possible. « On est pas mal occupés. C’est beaucoup à gérer », reconnait-elle. D’ailleurs un manque de personnel, mis de pair avec l’achalandage important, empêche le lieu d’ouvrir sept jours sur sept, com-me il serait souhaité. Le CISSS des Laurentides nous indique qu’un financement additionnel a récemment été octroyé pour l’embauche d’intervenants supplémentaires. Devant la demande significative, ces services sont-ils suffisants? Bien que les efforts soient significatifs, il ne serait pas réaliste de croire, de manière générale, qu’il y a suffisamment de places. « Moi je n’y crois pas, parce que je vois les gens avoir froid dehors, parce qu’on m’appelle pour me dire qu’il y a un itinérant couché sur le boulevard Labelle, ou un autre à Sainte-Agathe », affirme Rachel Lapierre. L’application du couvre-feu a d’ailleurs entraîné de nouveaux défis, en plus de mettre en lumière certaines problématiques d’accessibilité aux services en région. En effet, il peut s’avérer difficile de se connecter rapidement à des services dans les Laurentides, lesquels sont principalement centralisés à Saint-Jérôme. « Ce n’est pas facile pour tout le monde de trouver des refuges en ce moment. Si tu es à Sainte-Agathe et il est 20h, tu fais quoi? », questionne Rachel Lapierre. Pour sa part, Tammy m’indique que tant qu’elle reste sur le site de l’église Sainte-Paule, elle ne risque pas d’avoir de problèmes. « Le couvre-feu, si on ne sort pas de la cour, je ne suis pas inquiète. » À la toute fin de notre échange, elle me remercie gentiment de lui avoir donné la parole et me souhaite une excellente journée.Ève Ménard, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
Souris and Eldon Legions are two of about half of the branches across the country to receive federal funding to replace revenue lost due to the pandemic. “It will help cover our expenses which we weren’t able to cover because of loss of fundraising,” said Dave Perry, president of Souris Legion. In November, the federal government announced $14 million to the Royal Canadian Legion’s Dominion Command to allow rapid distribution of financial aid to individual branches across the country. This funding opportunity is on top of forgivable loans available to Legions earlier in the year. Dominion Command was responsible for deciding which branches would receive funding. After an application process, Dominion Command sent out about half of the available funds to about half of the country’s 1,350 branches just before Christmas. So far in Kings County, Souris Legion received $11,599 and the Eldon Branch received $3,165. Dominion Command is accepting a second round of applications to be sure each branch has a opportunity to apply. After reviewing these, the command plans to send out a second round of funding where it is most needed. “I’ve seen how vitally important the Legion’s Branches are, both here on the Island and across the country, and I know how tough the last year has been on a lot of them,” Cardigan MP and federal minister of Veterans Affairs, Lawrence MacAulay said. Mr Perry said revenues have dropped significantly this year at the Souris Legion. “We usually have Bingos, cards, breakfast fundraisers and entertainment. We raise funds by renting the hall too but this year we weren’t able to do any of that.” Similar stories are echoed country-wide and across PEI. Mr Perry said the Souris Branch still has to afford regular mortgage payments. They must also cover the cost of heat, lights and wages for two full-time staff and three part-time staff. “This funding comes as a relief,” he said. Brian Rector, president of Montague Legion said his branch passed up this opportunity for funding. “I figured there are other Legions that need this more than we do. Some are in threat of going under and we’re holding on.” While regular revenues from bar sales and fundraisers were below normal in 2020, Mr Rector said the Montague Branch has been benefitting from rental payments from Health PEI. Space in the Montague Legion has been rented out to serve as a COVID-19 testing clinic this winter. The branch has also benefited from a property sale which went through last month. The Montague Legion was sitting on about 40 acres of land. “There is no Legion that needs 40 acres of land, so we were sitting on a bit of a gold mine,” Mr Rector said. The sale wasn’t a reaction to the pandemic or loss of revenues; the branch was looking to sell some property for over two years now. “It was just all the administration hoops we had to get through,” Mr Rector said, explaining why it took awhile to finalize the sale. No one was available from the Eldon Legion for comment. , Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Graphic
Saskatchewan’s top doctor spoke for the first time following a rally outside of his family home over the weekend.