Kate Gosselin is calling her ex-husband Jon Gosselin "a violent and abusive person" amid allegations he physically abused their 16-year-old son, Collin.
Kate Gosselin is calling her ex-husband Jon Gosselin "a violent and abusive person" amid allegations he physically abused their 16-year-old son, Collin.
Any members of the U.S. Congress who helped a crowd of President Donald Trump's supporters storm the Capitol should face criminal prosecution, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday. The unprecedented Jan. 6 attack on the seat of Congress left five dead and led the House to impeach Trump a second time, for a fiery speech that day in which he urged thousands of his followers to fight Democratic President-elect Joe Biden's victory. Democratic Representative Mikie Sherrill, a former U.S. Navy helicopter pilot, has accused some Republican lawmakers of helping Trump supporters, saying she saw colleagues leading groups on "reconnaissance" tours on Jan. 5.
There is sometimes a perception that disordered eating is a challenge most often faced by women and girls, but this is a perception that is being challenged by the Aurora-based Riverwalk Wellness Centre as they aim to ramp up help for males looking to overcome and recover. Riverwalk, formerly Eating Disorders of York Region, recently received an anonymous donation specifically to help them reach males in the community who might be struggling. “We are deeply appreciative for the donation,” says Riverwalk Executive Director Janice Morgante. “We receive calls every day from individuals looking for support and it can be from anywhere, even Nunavut because support is so hard to find.” Riverwalk was founded in 2004 after several families came together after the death of a young woman, who used resources from her memorial fund to start an agency to address urgent and unmet needs for those suffering from disordered evening. It is a grassroots organization which offers a variety of assistance and support programs well beyond their home base of York Region. This most recent donation enables them to meet further needs that were previously unmet. “If I am speaking to someone who is a male, or calling about a male they know, after we have gotten to know each other a bit in that conversation I can explore with them the support that can be made available that they otherwise may not be able to manage without this donation,” says Ms. Morgante. “It’s the same conversation I would have with anyone, but unfortunately we don’t have the donors at this point, although that could change, who would want to make contributions for which we can issue an official income tax receipt and allow us to support even more people. “As an example, we have been getting calls from students who have no financial means; they are not working, they are not on campus, they have no contact with what might have been on-campus support, although that was likely not specialized around disordered eating, but they have really stressful situations as many people do right now. My heart breaks for students. I can tell you from first-hand experience how the room lights up when we’re able to address real financial need.” The donation will also help to provide outreach to the male population. Although Ms. Morgante says she has no firm reasons on why males are sometimes more reluctant to seek help, she says that this demographic sometimes flies under the radar. “Someone in that person’s circle just doesn’t think about it,” she says. “That is where information is so helpful. There isn’t anyone who is immune to anxiety, depression, stress and trauma, and all of the aspects of difficult coping that we’re experiencing right now with COVID. There isn’t any reason to think that one person over another would be inclined to use food as a way to cope. "Another aspect is, using the lens of common sense, younger individuals and children have access to food in their home and not to the liquor store, and hopefully not to their local drug dealer. No one goes out of their way to decide they are going to use food as a coping strategy, or any other substance. All of us needs coping strategies and hopefully somewhere along the way we have acquired positive coping strategies but, of course, that is not always the case. “Now, we’re able to offer support to a 13-year-old boy whose single mom would not have the financial means to get him the help he needs. In this case, it was a teacher who noted the difference in the young boy from last year to this year and alerted mom. It can be that we’re all so busy coping ourselves that we might not be paying as much attention to, for instance, males and the negative coping strategies that might be prevalent.” We’re all human and we all need help in unique ways, she says, but it is sometimes the case that people don’t know that their coping strategies are detrimental – and it can take a while before that moment of realization arrives. Through Riverwalk’s Faces of Recovery campaign, people who have been down that road highlight when they “awoke” to the fact their health was suffering and why they sought support. “We look at this as a circle of support – a ‘circle’ because we know all of us are flexible, we move forward, we move back, not necessarily in a straight line when we decide something doesn’t seem right and we would like to find out more,” says Ms. Morgante. “Specialized knowledge of disordered eating is extremely important because those who mean well that are not informed can cause more harm, quite unintentionally. “A diagnosis [for our programs] is not required. Someone can just have some thoughts, concerns and questions, and, on our website, you will see a list of questions they can review and ponder. If they feel indeed there was something they wanted to know more about or seek some more support around, we’re here.” For more information on Riverwalk and the services they provide, visit edoyr.com. Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
FORT WORTH, Texas — A retired Air Force officer who was part of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol last week carried plastic zip-tie handcuffs because he intended “to take hostages,” a prosecutor said in a Texas court on Thursday. “He means to take hostages. He means to kidnap, restrain, perhaps try, perhaps execute members of the U.S. government,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Weimer said of retired Lt. Col. Larry Rendall Brock Jr. without providing specifics. The prosecutor had argued that Brock should be detained, but Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton said he would release Brock to home confinement. Cureton ordered Brock to surrender any firearms and said he could have only limited internet access as conditions of that release. “I need to put you on a very short rope," Cureton said. “These are strange times for our country and the concerns raised by the government do not fall on deaf ears.” Brock appeared in court in a light green jumpsuit, a mask and with shackles at his hands and feet. The prosecutor did not detail a specific plan by Brock but noted “his prior experience and training make him all the more dangerous.” Weimer also read in court social media posts from Brock, including one posted on the day of the Capitol riot that said: “Patriots on the Capitol. Patriots storming. Men with guns need to shoot their way in.” Brock was arrested Sunday in Texas after being photographed on the Senate floor during the deadly riot wearing a helmet and heavy vest and carrying plastic zip-tie handcuffs. The 53-year-old is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Brock's attorney, Brook Antonio II, noted that Brock has only been charged with misdemeanours. Antonio said there was no direct evidence of Brock breaking doors or windows to get into the Capitol, or doing anything violent once he was inside. “It’s all talk. It’s all speculation and conjecture,” said Antonio, who noted Brock’s long service in the military, including being reactivated after Sept. 11 and his four tours in Afghanistan. More than 100 people have been arrested in the Capitol riot, with charges ranging from curfew violations to serious federal felonies related to theft and weapons possession. The FBI has been investigating whether some of the rioters had planned to kidnap members of Congress and hold them hostage. Before his arrest, Brock told The New Yorker magazine that he found the zip-tie cuffs on the floor and that he had planned to give them to a police officer. “I wish I had not picked those up,” he said. There was no evidence presented that Brock had a firearm on the day of the Capitol riot. Antonio asked an FBI agent who was testifying whether it was possible Brock had just picked up the cuffs, and the agent acknowledged that was a possibility. Weimer read a termination letter from Brock’s former employer that said he had talked in the workplace about killing people of a “particular religion and or race.” Weimer also read social media posts in which Brock referred to a coming civil war and the election being stolen from President Donald Trump. Weimer said Brock’s posts also referenced the far-right and anti-government Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters, a loose anti-government network that’s part of the militia movement. The Oath Keepers claim to count thousands of current and former law enforcement officials and military veterans as members. The FBI agent though testified there was no evidence beyond the social media posts that Brock was involved with either of those groups. Judges across the country, including some nominated by Trump, have repeatedly dismissed cases challenging the election results, and Attorney General William Barr has said there was no sign of widespread fraud. ___ Associated Press writer Jamie Stengle contributed to this report from Dallas. Jake Bleiberg, The Associated Press
Stay-at-home orders will take effect at 12.01 a.m. on Thursday, January 14, to limit mobility in the fight against COVID-19. The Provincial Government announced the stay-at-home orders on Tuesday afternoon, along with an Ontario-wide state of emergency, which will be in place for a minimum of 28 days.” As the number of new cases of the virus continue to rise, there is a “looming threat” that Ontario’s hospital system could collapse, said the Province. The stay-at-home order will require everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise and for essential work. As such, employers must ensure that any employee who can work from home does so. Additional measures announced Tuesday include restricting organized outdoor public and social gatherings to no more than five people with limited exceptions, requiring individuals to wear masks or face coverings in the indoor areas of businesses and organizations that are open, and requiring all non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and businesses offering curbside pickup and delivery to open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. These restrictions do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery. “The Ontario spirit has lifted us through worse, the people of Ontario have battled through worse, and I know this time will be no different,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Now more than ever, we need you…to do your part, stay home, save lives [and] protect our health care system. The system is on the brink of collapse. It is on the brink of being overwhelmed. We’re at levels we have never seen before. Last week, I stood here and I told you that our province is in crisis and the facts are clear. Cases and deaths are at the highest level since the start of the pandemic and community spread continues to escalate. The…very dangerous UK strain of COVID is being found across the Province. Ontario had eight new cases confirmed today and if we don’t move fast, our hospital ICUs could be overwhelmed by the first week of February. “I know everyone is tired. I know everyone is sick of COVID, including myself. I know everyone wants to return to normal. New reports and data show one third of Ontarians are not following Public Health guidelines. Many are travelling and gathering. Now, let me be clear: I am not blaming anyone, only one thing is truly at fault and that is the virus. It just takes a moment. If you let your guard down, it can strike. Think of the teenager out with their friends not wearing their masks. They go home, pass it to their parents. Later that day at dinner, the virus passes from parents to grandparents. Within days, the grandparent is in the ICU and tragically passes. This is a story we’re hearing too many times. Stories like this are why we need to stay home and save lives.” Added Health Minister Christine Elliott: “The measures we are introducing today are absolutely necessary to save and protect the lives of Ontarians. This is not the first wave. Now, community transmission is widespread. It is in our hospitals, it is in our long-term care homes, and it is in our workplaces. The number of cases and the number of deaths due to COVID-19 are at the highest levels since the start of the pandemic a year ago. In a few short weeks, our hospital and ICU capacity could be overwhelmed. Yesterday, 41 Ontarians died from COVID-19. It has been an extremely tragic year. Over 5,000 Ontarians have lost their lives to COVID-19 since this pandemic began. These are not just numbers or statistics. These were brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and grandparents.” Ontarians, she said, must change mobility patterns. Too many people are having too many contacts, resulting in increased cases, and the cycle must be broken. The new orders also come with increased enforcement measures. The Province will provide authority to all enforcement and provincial offences officers, including the OPP, local police forces, bylaw officers and provincial workplace inspectors to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with the stay-at-home orders. Additional enforcement measures will also impact big box stores, noted the Premier, with “inspection blitzes” over the coming days. “We have been up front about the severity of the threats we face if the numbers begin moving in the manner we have seen during these past days and weeks,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “We have said we would not hesitate to explore and exhaust all options necessary to protect Ontarians if the situation worsens, and it has. We are declaring this Provincial Emergency to allow for stronger measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and these measures will be enforced. “If people are found not complying with these orders, they will be subject to fines and persecution. Penalties may include up to a year in jail. We are taking the current situation very seriously and we ask that all Ontarians do the same. It is critical now more than ever that people adhere to the orders and follow public health measures. Please stay home, stay safe. Orders can only take us so far. Stopping the spread of COVID-19 can only be done if we all band together and make an extraordinary effort to protect the communities our family and our friends call home.”Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
Music has brought people together for millennia, but when present health restrictions discourage public singing and the playing of brass and wind instruments, what can be done? Technology has come up with some answers and faculty and students at Newmarket’s Pickering College have embraced the possibilities as they continue to make beautiful music together – but safely apart. When the school year resumed this past fall, Pickering College (PC) adapted their music programs to in-class lessons on music theory and history, along with rhythm-based activities, tasking students to practice their instruments and voice at home and submit videos for further instruction. As a result, students and teachers alike are flexing new creative muscles. “The original lockdown was the initial spark that made us start to think about how to creatively get a music program online, which has been one of the most challenged departments,” says teacher Patrice Barbanchon. “In society right now, especially in a pandemic, music is the first to go, it seems, and will likely be the last to come back. Unfortunately, with the data that is out there in terms of the virus spreading, we had to quickly come up with something to make the program meaningful. “We [teachers] got together and started considering what we could do in a quick amount of time and one of the things we wanted to do was just maintain a level of playing online, which is difficult to do as well given the lack of technology in being able to play together at the same time. We’re all Zooming all the time and doing virtual meetings and things. If someone has their microphones on, it is chaos and very difficult to maintain a conversation or even to play music. You can’t have synchronous rehearsals on these platforms.” The solution was to have synchronous rehearsals with everyone turning their microphones off. Teachers conduct and direct repertoire, music theory, exercises, and other components of the curriculum, with the teachers’ audio coming through the students’ system at home. “It keeps everyone together and everyone is able to participate in that way,” he says. “There are some great online theory programs that we use, but the bottom line is the playing aspect of music is what really draws interest in the subject – playing together – and that is one aspect that is not there. Through these types of synchronous rehearsals, we’re at least rehearsing and playing together.” To underscore the success of the program, Pickering College didn’t put their annual holiday concert on ice until they can all play together in person. Instead, they pooled their talents – whether vocal, instrumental or technological – to bring everyone’s individual performances together for a video performance, featuring students playing in harmony from the safety of their own homes. “Even though this is a very different school year, our instrumental music program has continued from Grade 4 and beyond where a lot of schools have had to discontinue it,” says PC’s communications manager Naomi Cote. “For a lot of schools it has not been possible because they share instruments whereas out students lease theirs for the year.” Braedon Joanisse, a Grade 11 student, is, along with his saxophone, featured in the holiday concert. He tells The Auroran that playing his instrument on mute as his fellow students did the same was challenging at first, but has helped them feel a sense of new normal. “When we first started doing online music back in March in the first lockdown, we didn’t actually play our instruments all that much,” he says. “Now that we’re actually doing rehearsals online, it was a little bit confusing at first [and] I tend to be less confident when I am playing because I feel I am going to mess up, even though no one can hear me. Now, I have gotten more used it, it is getting a bit better, but it was definitely a challenge.” Mr. Barbanchon agrees he is “hugely missing” live collaboration but the present circumstances have brought out some positives that might stand the test of time. “The digital music thing will stick around,” he says. “I think there is a lot of value in that, especially given the interest in students and society right now, and given Spotify, Apple Music and all the digital platforms where students are able to upload even their own singles. There are a lot of really cool things you can do there and I think that is something that will stick.” To view the Pickering College Christmas Concert, visit youtu.be/pZmS9IluMQg.Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped nine of her most trusted allies in the House to argue the case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. The Democrats, all of whom are lawyers and many of whom have deep experience investigating the president, face the arduous task of convincing skeptical Senate Republicans to convict Trump. A single article of impeachment — for “incitement of insurrection” — was approved by the House on Wednesday, one week after a violent mob of Trump supporters invaded the Capitol. At the time, lawmakers were counting the votes that cemented Trump’s election defeat. As members of the House who were in the Capitol when it was attacked — several hiding under seats as rioters beat on the doors of the chamber — the Democrats are also witnesses to what they charge is a crime. So are the Senate jurors. “This is a case where the jurors were also victims, and so whether it was those who voted in the House last night or those in the Senate who will have to weigh in on this, you don’t have to tell anyone who was in the building twice what it was like to be terrorized,” said California Rep. Eric Swalwell, one of the managers. It is unclear when the trial will start. Pelosi hasn’t yet said when she will send the article of impeachment to the Senate. It could be as soon as next week, on President-elect Joe Biden’s first day in office. The managers plan to argue at trial that Trump incited the riot, delaying the congressional certification of the electoral vote count by inciting an angry mob to harm members of Congress. Some of the rioters were recorded saying they wanted to find Pelosi and Vice-President Mike Pence, who presided over the count. Others had zip ties that could be used as handcuffs hanging on their clothes. “The American people witnessed that,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., one of the managers. “That amounts to high crimes and misdemeanours.” None of the impeachment managers argued the case in Trump’s first impeachment trial last year, when the Senate acquitted the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The House impeached Trump in 2019 after he pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden’s family while withholding military aid to the country. Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, another manager, says the nine prosecutors plan to present a serious case and “finish the job” that the House started. A look at Pelosi’s prosecution team in Trump’s historic second impeachment: REP. JAMIE RASKIN, MARYLAND Pelosi appointed Raskin, a former constitutional law professor and prominent member of the House Judiciary Committee, as lead manager. In a week of dramatic events and stories, Raskin’s stands out: The day before the Capitol riots, Raskin buried his 25-year-old son, Tommy, after he killed himself on New Year’s Eve. “You would be hard pressed to find a more beloved figure in the Congress” than Raskin, says House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who was the lead manager during Trump’s first trial. He worked closely with Raskin on that impeachment investigation. “I know that part of what gives him strength to take on this burden that he now carries is knowing that this is something that would be enormously meaningful to his son.” REP. DIANA DEGETTE, COLORADO DeGette, who is serving her 13th term representing Denver, is a former civil rights attorney and one of Pelosi’s go-to allies. The speaker picked her to preside over the House during the first impeachment vote in 2019. DeGette said Pelosi trusted her to do it because she is “able to to control the passions on the floor.” She says she was surprised when Pelosi called to offer her the prosecutorial position but quickly accepted. “The monstrosity of this offence is not lost on anybody,” she says. REP. DAVID CICILLINE, RHODE ISLAND Cicilline, the former mayor of Providence and public defender, is in his sixth term in Congress and is a senior member of the Judiciary panel. He was heavily involved in Trump’s first impeachment and was one of three original authors of the article that the House approved on Wednesday. He and California Rep. Ted Lieu began writing the article together, in hiding, as the rioters were still ransacking the Capitol. He tweeted out a draft the next morning, writing that “I have prepared to remove the President from office following yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.” REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, TEXAS Castro is a member of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs panels, where he has been an outspoken critic of Trump's handling of Russia. He was a litigator in private practice before he was elected to the Texas legislature and came to Congress, where he is in his fifth term. Castro’s twin brother, Julian Castro, is the former mayor of San Antonio and served as former President Barack Obama’s secretary of housing and urban development. Julian Castro ran in the Democratic primary for president last year. REP. ERIC SWALWELL, CALIFORNIA Swalwell also serves on the Intelligence and Judiciary panels and was deeply involved in congressional probes of Trump’s Russian ties. A former prosecutor, he briefly ran for president in 2019. “The case that I think resonates the most with the American people and hopefully the Senate is that our American president incited our fellow citizens to attack our Capitol on a day where we were counting electoral votes, and that this was not a spontaneous call to action by the president at the rally,” Swalwell said. REP. TED LIEU, CALIFORNIA Lieu, who authored the article of impeachment with Cicilline and Raskin, is on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs panels. The Los Angeles-area lawmaker is a former active-duty officer in the U.S. Air Force and military prosecutor. “We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all its enemies — foreign and domestic,” he said. DEL. STACEY PLASKETT, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS Because she represents a U.S. territory, not a state, Plaskett does not have voting rights and was not able to cast a vote for impeachment. But she will bring her legal experience as a former district attorney in New York and senior counsel at the Justice Department — and as one of Raskin's former law students. “As an African American, as a woman, seeing individuals storming our most sacred place of democracy, wearing anti-Semitic, racist, neo-Nazi, white supremacy logos on their bodies and wreaking the most vile and hateful things left not just those people of colour who were in the room traumatized, but so many people of colour around this country," she said Friday. REP. JOE NEGUSE, COLORADO Neguse, in his second term, is a rising star in the Democratic caucus who was elected to Pelosi’s leadership team his freshman year in Congress. A former litigator, he sits on the House Judiciary Committee and consulted with Raskin, Cicilline and Lieu as they drafted the article the day of the attack. At 36, he will be the youngest impeachment manager in history, according to his office. “This armed mob did not storm the Capitol on any given day, they did so during the most solemn of proceedings that the United States Congress is engaged in,” Neguse said Thursday. “Clearly the attack was done to stop us from finishing our work.” REP. MADELEINE DEAN, PENNSYLVANIA Like Neguse, Dean was first elected when Democrats recaptured the House in 2018. She is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and is a former lawyer and member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She says she hopes the prosecutors can convince the Senate and the American people “to mark this moment" with a conviction. “I think I bring to it just the simple fact that I’m a citizen, that I’m a mom and I’m a grandma," Dean said. "And I want my children, my grandchildren, to remember what we did here.” Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
When Maria Campbell's mentor, lovingly referred to as Old Man, asked her where she was born, his response to her answer shook her. “Without missing a beat, I said, ‘Park Valley,’ and he said, ‘Hmm, so you’re a white woman.’ And I was really disoriented by what he said to me. And I said, ‘I don’t understand. Why would you ask me if I was a white woman? You know I’m not.’ He said, ‘Indians are born in Indian places and white people are born in white places,” she said. Campbell is Cree/Métis. His observations forced Campbell on a journey of self-discovery and decolonization. “I can’t have conciliation ... I can’t go out and educate everybody else. I can’t do anything. I can’t even work with my family right away. I have to set things right for myself first and understand and then I begin with my family, and then I begin with my community and my nation. And then I can do all these other things with white people, with non-indigenous people because I have a place I can begin from,” Campbell explained. Campbell presented virtually on Jan. 13 as part of the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Knowledge public lecture series. The series is part of UCalgary’s larger strategy towards reconciliation and meeting the Calls to Action directed to post-secondary institutions as set out in the 2015 final report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which examined the legacy of residential schools. Campbell is a much-credentialed scholar, the recipient of honourary doctorates, a published author and playwright, fluent in four languages, and Officer of the Order of Canada. “I’m not going to speak about reconciliation and transformation. I have difficulty with those words. I stopped being a Christian a long time ago and for me those are Christian concepts,” said Campbell. “I want to speak from the place that I come from and how I came to this place.” Coming to that place embraced putting things right and coming home, she said. Old Man triggered in her the desire to get answers. She had left northwestern Saskatchewan where she had been born and raised, had travelled to Vancouver and was settled in Edmonton when Old Man spurred her on. When she left home, she swore she would never return to the community she saw as a place of death, a place falling apart like her family. “I wanted a better life for myself. I wanted it for my child. I wanted it for the siblings I had lost to social services. And I often used to think about what was I searching for. What was this good life? I think about what I thought a good life was, an apple a day, a toothbrush, and the search … ended so badly, here I was back at home again, in the place I had run away from trying to find myself,” she said. A couple weeks after Old Man posed the question, Campbell returned home. She was sitting with her father and asked him, “What did we call our land before it became Park Valley?” He told her it was called Neekiwin or “The Stopping Place.” Her father took her on a tour of the land and called the places by their Cree names and told her the stories. She had pushed those stories down, thought the memories of the names had been lost, but she found out that had not been the case. It was when they went to Omisi Pusqua or Oldest Sister Prairie, the place her father told her placentas were buried, a practice that continued until the women started giving birth in hospitals, that Campbell felt grounded. “Up until then for probably 15 years of my life I wandered around looking for something good and couldn’t find it. Not knowing what I was going to do. Coming home when (Old Man) asked me where I was born and I came home and I stood in that community and listened to those names and those stories. It was like I had sunk down into the ground somehow. Something happened in my way of seeing things or my way of knowing, although I didn’t have that language at that time. I just knew that I had come home…. I felt comfortable. I no longer felt that I had to be apologetic for the place I came from. If there was a shame or anger all of those things just seemed like they were gone. They were not there and I’ve never had to deal with that stuff again,” she said. Losing these stories and these memories is dangerous, said Campbell and quotes from Michel Foucault, who wrote that “memory is an important political resource” and used by the colonizer to control by replacing memories with other memories. “We start to believe whatever they tell us about ourselves,” said Campbell. Everybody’s story of where they came from or “their sense of place”, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, links them. Those stories are important, said Campbell, and they need to be honoured. But it also needs to be understood that every story comes with both a dark side and a beautiful side. “All of us suffer from those things. And if we’re going to change that we all have to be able to be honest with ourselves, come to terms with ourselves first before we can begin the work of someplace else,” she said. Understanding this, though, doesn’t mean she is above saying or doing hurtful things, said Campbell. “(What) I have to do is rejig myself a little bit and I’m able to very quickly get back to that Omisi Pusqua Older Sister Prairie and remember why I have to constantly work at … decolonization and conciliation. That I have to constantly remember that everything that I do is what’s going to be inherited by those seven generations ahead of us and that I can’t be busy trying to change lives for other people. I have to change my own life first and that’s a full-time job,” she said. CJWEBy Shari Narine, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CJWE
Karsen Roy has made her mark as a leader on the soccer pitch, on the ice, and within Country Day School. Last year, her work was recognized by the Town of Aurora with the 2020 Youth Volunteer Award, part of the Town’s Community Recognition Awards program. The Youth Volunteer Award is presented to a citizen up to the age of 19 who has made a significant contribution to the community through volunteerism and being a positive leader. “Karsen Roy is an exemplary youth who cares deeply about her community,” said Mayor Tom Mrakas, who presented the award virtually in June. “She has accumulated more than 220 community service hours by contributing to a variety of programs and projects. She is a high-level athlete who spends a lot of time volunteering with various groups like the Special Needs Soccer Program and the Younger Panthers Team. She has supported organizations like Me to We, Run for the Cure, and was one of the original members of the Country Day School Cares team. This group is [comprised] of students and faculty members who organize schoolwide food and non-food donation drives and deliver homemade lunches to the homeless.” She was also honoured for her work on Country Day School’s annual Terry Fox Run and efforts to underscore the immediacy of the annual event to her peers. “I wanted to express my gratitude in receiving this award as it truly means a lot to me,” said Karsen. “Thank you so much for the Town of Aurora for giving me a chance to volunteer in the community while bettering myself. Something else I would like to mention while I have the chance is that in my efforts to volunteer, it has always come from my sincere hope to make the community a more generous, genuine and inclusive environment. “Volunteering has taught me to trust the process, to reach out to those in need, to teach others, but not only to teach them but to learn from them as well. Just before I conclude my thank you, I want to explain that volunteering has never been about the award given to me in the end or reaching the 40 hours of volunteering community service required to graduate; it has always meant that the processes and lessons taught will carry a much greater value with me in the end.” Added Mayor Mrakas: “She spreads her sunshine and positivity wherever she goes. Not only is she a wonderful role model for young people, she reminds all generations that our hearts do not have a limit and giving is an action that never runs dry.”Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
As Council considers a proposal for a significant installation of digital media as part of the Library Square development, some are looking for more traditional and varied forms of art to be a public draw to the area. Work is currently underway on Victoria Street to bring Library Square to fruition, but as construction continues, thoughts are returning once again to the programs and services the $52 million redevelopment project will be able to offer. Following a presentation to Council from Arts Help, which proposed a digital and evolving vision for what could be on offer inside the extension to the historic Church Street School, Councillor John Gallo, a long-time proponent for public art, said it is time to “analyse every aspect” of how public art will fit into the overall vision. “My view is we should take our time and analyse every aspect of it and see how we can invest [in] and develop our public art policy as we deal with the funds we have put aside for Library Square,” he said. Staff responded that a report on a public art policy is still in the works. “Staff were still due to return to Council with a public art policy, and confirming the direction for public art in general, but certainly with the funds that were allocated for this project, we would be returning to Council seeking some guidance with how you wish to see those funds spent, whether it be on the property or within the properties themselves,” said Robin McDougall, Aurora’s Director of Community Services. “We were due to come back to Council at this point. It certainly would be something we could anticipate in 2021 [but] in light of the presentation we may need to expedite that coming to Council.” That presentation was received positively by local lawmakers, but it sparked further questions on just what Council’s overall vision for public art will be once the project is complete. “I believe the budget is to provide art for the Square and I was thinking it was going to be paintings and sculpture,” said Councillor Wendy Gaertner. “I love the idea of sculpture as you see in big cities that people can climb on and sit on… I was thinking about that kind of art [as being] an interesting draw for people.” Arts Help co-founder Mo Ghoneim said his group did explore the option of sculptures and getting the community involved in the creation of a mural, but they wanted to have something with legs. “When we thought about the current trend in what is happening and how can we do this in a way that has longevity to it, we realized after a lot of the research and the work we have been doing with various organizations that when we do create a sculpture…as much as they are beautiful and appreciated, you’ve seen them once and that kind of takes away from bringing you back again. “When we’re thinking about this project being a really big project for the Town, we thought about, what is that solution to keep people continuing to come back and how can we have art as a driver, a key force to bringing them back and engaging with them through art and creativity. That is why we shifted to this proposal.” Councillor Gallo also told the proponents he was more “traditionalist” when it comes to the arts and wanted to see those options on the table as well. “Either a collaboration with a prominent artist, local artists, something of that sort,” he said. “To me, a lot of thought should be put into this.”Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
A Yukon farmer was in court Wednesday asking for more time to file an appeal to an order requiring him to get rid of his goats. Jim Dillabough appeared before Yukon Supreme Court Justice Edith Campbell in Whitehorse, arguing that he had always opposed the order but didn't have the financial resources to formally fight it. Dillabough's legal issues stem from the fact that he owns about a half-dozen goats, which he keeps on his property along the Klondike Highway outside of Whitehorse. He was convicted in October of failing to keep the animals in an approved enclosure, a requirement under a territorial animal control order that came into effect in 2020. The order is intended to prevent the spread of a pneumonia-causing pathogen, Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae or M.ovi, from domestic goats and sheep to wild populations. Following his conviction, a judge ordered Dillabough to either slaughter his goats or move them outside the territory; to date, he's done neither and is also about three weeks past the 30-day deadline to appeal court decisions. He filed an application in December asking for an extension. Goats have 'every right' to be on property, he argues The hearing of the application Wednesday was scheduled to take 20 minutes but went on for nearly two and a half hours, with Campbell often pausing the proceedings to explain legal concepts or procedure to Dillabough, who was self-represented. She also took the unusual step of having Dillabough sworn in as his own witnesses, noting that he was both giving evidence and making legal arguments at the same time. Dillabough told the court that he had opposed his conviction and the subsequent order about his goats "from the get-go," but didn't have the money to order transcripts of the trial that he needed to file a formal appeal. He also said he couldn't afford to hire a lawyer, explaining that he had called two but both had asked him for $5,000 up-front. "What did you do after that?" Campbell asked him. "Well, I had to do it myself," he replied, referring to mounting a legal appeal. Dillabough levelled a number of accusations at Yukon government animal health officials throughout his submissions, alleging that "they're trying to force some of us right out of business" and that no one would come out to check his goat fence or test his animals for M. ovi. You people want to screw up agriculture? Don't forget you have to eat too. - Jim Dillabough, Yukon farmer He also argued that the animal control order made no sense, questioning why anyone would spend money to build a proper enclosure only for their goats or sheep to be killed if the animals ended up testing positive for M. ovi. He claimed he had never seen any wild sheep or goats near his farm (Dillabough lives in thinhorn sheep habitat range), and that the fence he'd built around his goat enclosure was the strongest in Canada. His goats, he argued, had "every right to be on [my] property." "There's no way I'm going to give up my livelihood," Dillabough said. "I was out there raising animals before any of you were born." Rules matter, Crown says Territorial Crown Megan Seiling argued against granting Dillabough's application. "There really needs to be special circumstances in place because the rules are there for a reason," she said, later adding that just because he doesn't like the rules doesn't mean he doesn't need to follow them. Dillabough had plenty of time to deal with both his animal and then legal issues, Seiling argued, noting that officials had tried to work with him for months to get him to comply with the animal control order before finally charging him. He also gave no indication that he intended to appeal his conviction until the government filed a legal petition to seize his goats. Seiling argued there was an added need to deal with the matter because it was an ongoing offence, not a one-off, and sends a poor message to the "many" other goat and sheep farmers who had suffered "significant" costs in order to comply with the control order. "[Dillabough] waited for the consequences to come to him," she said. "At the end of the day, the rules matter … It's not in the interest of justice to allow this appeal to be heard." Dillabough remained defiant to the end of the hearing, accusing Seiling of "bitching" about how he had filed his legal paperwork and at one point muttering, "You people want to screw up agriculture? Don't forget you have to eat too." Campbell is expected to give her decision on Dillabough's application next month.
WASHINGTON — Chuck Schumer is used to drinking from a firehose. But the incoming Senate majority leader has never taken on such a torrent of challenges, with the opening days of both the Biden administration and Democratic control of the Senate coming at the very moment an impeachment trial gets underway. A 38-year veteran of Congress who first came to the Senate during President Bill Clinton's impeachment, Schumer is a 70-year-old bundle of energy with one overriding mandate: Help Joe Biden become a successful president. To do so, he’ll have to leverage the narrowest possible majority — a 50-50 Senate with the incoming vice-president, Kamala Harris, delivering the tiebreaking vote. It's a tough assignment. It's far easier, though often unsatisfying, to be a minority leader equipped with the tools of obstruction than it is to be a majority leader armed mostly with persuasion. But the goodwill Schumer enjoys with key members, and his careful management of the party's constituencies, could help ease the way. “Chuck Schumer has done a remarkable job as our caucus leader the last four years holding our caucus together," said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., as he entered the Senate chamber during last Wednesday's Electoral College count, speaking just before a mob of violent supporters of President Donald Trump assaulted the Capitol and the situation turned dire. Then Schumer appeared. “What did I just give a quote about? Our capable majority leader!" Coons said. “Again!" a jubilant Schumer exclaimed. “More adjectives! More adjectives!" Less than an hour later, Schumer was in peril, under the protection of a Capitol Police officer with a submachine gun standing between him and GOP leader Mitch McConnell as the mob breached the building. The ransacking of the Capitol has brought impeachment to the Senate's door again and set Republicans on their heels. And it's put a spotlight on whether the polarized, diminished chamber can process Biden's agenda. Take the installation of Biden's Cabinet. The Senate has traditionally tried to confirm a batch of the most important nominees on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, and the days thereafter. But to do so requires the co-operation of the entire Senate. Democrats slow-walked many of Trump's Cabinet picks four years ago after a crushing election loss, but there's a palpable sense that Republicans may be more co-operative now, at least when confirming national security nominees and picks like Janet Yellen to run the Treasury Department. Schumer seeks — and is used to operating in — the spotlight, whether he’s helping run the unwieldy, increasingly divided Senate, micromanaging his beloved Democratic caucus or crisscrossing New York. Any of these is a full-time job. And they don’t always point him in the same direction. For instance, Biden is preaching bipartisanship, and Schumer wants to help, but tensions are inevitable with ardent progressives such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an ambitious Bronx Democrat whom Schumer allies are watching closely as he runs for a fifth term in 2022. Schumer was a force in Biden's decision to “go big” on Thursday with a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief and economic stimulus bill that was bigger than earlier Biden drafts. Progressives hailed the measure. Meanwhile, the prospect of an impeachment trial in the opening days of Biden's term adds a huge degree of uncertainty. Senate rules are unforgiving, but Schumer and McConnell are hoping to establish a dual-track process to confirm nominations even as the trial unfolds. McConnell and Schumer have a tortured, tense relationship after years of bruising political battles and fights over Supreme Court nominees. They rarely talk spontaneously and have no hesitation in slinging barbs that earlier generations of leaders managed to avoid. But Biden and McConnell are long-standing friends, and the Kentucky Republican — pondering a “guilty" vote in Trump's second impeachment trial and still absorbing the disastrous Senate losses in Georgia — appears inclined to help Biden as best he can. The events of the past week, as damaging and unsettling as they were for the country, seem likely to assist Biden and Schumer. What is more, Democratic control of the chamber comes with filibuster-proof treatment of Biden's nominees, with only a simple majority needed, though Republicans could easily force delays. McConnell and his Republican caucus want to “reasonably co-operate on the national security nominations,” said Hazen Marshall, a former McConnell policy aide. “His view has traditionally been that presidents deserve their staff, unless their staff are crazy or criminals." But GOP senators are sure to drag their feet on less urgent Cabinet posts given the experience under Trump, when even former Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., had to endure delays. But with the economy slipping and the public appalled by the melee in Washington, GOP resistance to Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package or his slate of Cabinet picks may not be as resolute. “There's a lot to do, but Democrats are on the right side of all of it," said former Schumer strategist and confidant Matt House. “These are good problems to have." Amid the dizzying pace, Schumer also tends to New York. A Brooklyn native, Schumer makes a visit to each of the state's 62 counties every year. And his spur-of-the-moment visits to local events like high school graduations and, more recently, unannounced drop-ins on community Zoom calls are the stuff of legend. Last Thursday, little more than 24 hours after the Capitol riot, Schumer hopped on a call with a community board in Sunnyside, Queens. He spent the opening minutes thanking board members. “You guys and gals do a great job — I know what it’s like," Schumer said, according to the Sunnyside Post. “When things go bad you hear about it; when things are great you hear nothing.” And after Trump's impeachment Wednesday, Schumer heaped praise on local New York media members in a call with publishers and broadcasters thanking him for steering stimulus dollars to struggling news outlets, according to an account by the Syracuse Post Standard. But he had to jump. “Pelosi has called me and Biden, so I won’t be able to be on for too long," Schumer said. Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press
EDMONTON — The Alberta government is easing public-health rules around funerals, outdoor gatherings and hair salons while warning residents to keep following other restrictions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. Starting Monday, personal and wellness services, including hair salons and tattoo parlours, can open by appointment only. Outdoor social gatherings, which were previously banned, will be allowed in groups of up to 10 people. And the limit on the number of people who can attend funerals is increasing to 20, although receptions are still prohibited. On Thursday, Alberta reported 967 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 additional deaths due to the illness. There were 806 people in hospital, with 136 of those in intensive care. "Alberta's hospitalizations and case numbers remain high and they pose a threat to our health system capacity," Health Minister Tyler Shandro told a news conference. "Today, we can't entirely ease up ... but we can make small adjustments to provide Albertans with some limited activities." Back in November, the United Conservative government banned indoor gatherings and limited outdoor groups, along with funerals and weddings, to 10 people. In early December, as COVID-19 infections spiked to well over 1,000 a day, Premier Jason Kenney announced a strict lockdown similar to one in the spring during the first wave of the pandemic. In addition to banning outdoor gatherings, restaurants and bars were limited to delivery and takeout. Casinos, gyms, recreation centres, libraries and theatres were closed. Retail stores and churches were allowed to open but at 15 per cent capacity. He also imposed a provincewide mask mandate, making Alberta the last province in the country to have one. Those rules remain in place and need to be followed, said Shandro. Alberta's chief medical health officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said officials looked at the province's COVID-19 data along with research from other parts of the world about what settings were seeing the most transmission. Funerals, outdoor gatherings and personal service businesses show a lower level of risk, she said. Easing these rules now will act as a test case, she added. Case numbers will have to be lower before any other restrictions are loosened. "This is our opportunity to give Albertans a little bit more freedom and the ability to do a few more activities in a safe way," Hinshaw said. "This really is up to all of us to be able to meet those step-wise levels going down to be able to open additional things going forward." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021 The Canadian Press
The City of Surrey's commitment to reconciliation is being questioned by the B.C. Assembly of First Nations after councillors voted down a motion to begin meetings with an Indigenous land acknowledgement. In a statement, the assembly said Thursday that the rejection — five votes to four — of Coun. Jack Hundial's motion on Monday was "disappointing and a further enforcement of systemic racism." "If the city cannot acknowledge whose lands they work, how can Surrey be trusted to advance reconciliation and First Nations issues?" Regional Chief Terry Teegee said in the statement. "This is especially concerning considering the large Indigenous population in the City of Surrey, many of whom are young and starting families. "This rejection of a simple and respectful step towards making the city a safe and welcoming place for these families is cause for concern." The assembly noted the City of Surrey is built on the unceded traditional territories of the Semiahmoo, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen, Musqueam, Qayqayt, Tsleil Waututh and Tsawwassen First Nations. Hundial's motion sought for council to recognize "the land we are on is the traditional territory of the Coast Salish people." Mayor Doug McCallum joined four other councillors in voting against it. Teegee called on council to revisit the motion and approve it.
Saskatchewan Rivers School Division trustees are continuing professional development despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Usually there are provincial gatherings to help trustees, but they've stopped since the start of the pandemic. Some discussion about that issue took place at the board’s regular meeting on Monday. Education director Robert Bratvold said they're really focusing on learning and development, even though the circumstances can make it challenging. The board will engage in a planning seminar on Jan. 15 and 16 to review and discuss a number of items related to effective governance and leadership. One topic of conversation will be a letter the board received from the School Community Council of Wild Rose School about their trustee representative in the school clusters. “It came as a correspondence item that the board was informed about and then further discussion about that will happen at the seminar,” Bratvold explained. The letter states that another meeting should be held between the parties on Jan. 19. “Obviously, there is some communication and some understanding of what the role of the school clusters are and what a role of a trustee is and those sorts of things, so (there are) lots of opportunities for communication,” Bratvold explained. Bratvold added that trustees will be participating in over 20 online modules scheduled in 90-minute blocks over the next month through the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA). He said these sessions will support new and returning trustees in their role as educational leaders and as effective voices in local government. “I know there are going to be over 20 sessions on everything from legal aspects of being a trustee to student support services to anything you can imagine to make them a better trustee. Our trustees are taking part in those sessions in a big way,” Bratvold said.Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
An avid fan of the great outdoors, Aidan Burbank was a regular fixture on the Town’s outdoor rinks and any local ponds frozen enough to allow he and his friends to have a casual game of three-on-three hockey. It was not only a passion, but a way for them to catch up after going their separate ways for school and work – and, for Aidan, an environmental science student, it may have been something of a release. After his death in October following a struggle with mental health that plagued him since childhood, his friends decided that the tradition would continue, laying the groundwork for the inaugural Aidan Burbank Pond Hockey Tournament which, in future years, will set out to raise money and awareness for mental health. Spearheaded by friends Cameron Palmer and Charles Peters, and a group which included Aidan’s brother Bryn, they hit the ice at Case Woodlot over the holidays to honour Aidan in a new tradition. “This was fitting because Aidan loved to spend his time outdoors and when I think of him I think about how much he liked to be outside,” says Charles. “We used to go out to the pond pretty well every year and meet him and Cameron and a couple of other buddies – we would always be going out to the ponds, so we figured that was perfect.” For mother Martha Burbank, her son’s peers’ idea to further Aidan’s legacy by carrying on and doing what he most loved to do, while making a tangible difference for those living what was Aidan’s everyday struggle, the inaugural tournament “means everything.” Martha had imagined the same idea – a holiday pond hockey tournament for Aidan – and was thrilled that his friends had independently thought of it. “Aidan was an amazing runner, a hockey lover and an avid outdoorsman,” says Martha. “He loved the forest, he studied hundreds of species of trees in field labs at university and thrive on that. Nature, quiet and being outside helped immensely with his happiness.” For the Burbanks, Aidan’s struggle was something they lived with every day since he was nine years old. When he lost his fight, the family began researching what they could do to have a positive impact on mental health charities. Among the organizations they earmarked were the Canadian Mental Health Association and Jack.org, an organization with a specialization on youth mental health. “When we publicized Aidan’s obituary, a lot of people donated to Jack.org, others decided the Canadian Mental Health Association. There have been tens of thousands of dollars to date in Aidan’s name from maybe 70 to 80 people. The response to mental health support from neighbours, friends and people whose life Aidan touched has been overwhelming,” says Martha. “We didn’t want charitable donations for this year’s tournament, but with this tournament, we wanted to establish a tradition of keeping mental illness at the forefront of discussion and be clear that it is important to be talked about.” The inaugural tournament, she says, was, despite the weather, a beam of sunlight that helped cut through the clouds. “We have had a bad feeling in the pit of our stomachs on a lot of these days since our son died, but this day was so wonderful,” she says. “I was chatting with these young men who are about 21 and I have known many of them since they were five, and maybe six other moms just independently arrived onto the ice. Everyone had a lot of compassion. A couple of the boys had a difficult time, one who plays baseball in the States was almost in tears and we were going through a lot of emotions.” In addition to a fundraiser in Aidan’s name, it was also a reunion in his honour. “I was just happy to be there with all these people,” says Cameron, who says he hopes the tourney will become an annual tradition. “Pond hockey is something we used to do every year and being there was really important. It was a good opportunity to just get everyone together and reflect on the positive stuff. We shared good stories and good memories.” Adds Charles: “It was nice that everyone could make it out for such a special cause and pay tribute. It was a little tough at first to just be out there thinking about it, but once we were all there and everyone was sharing stories, it became more of a fun event, almost like a celebration of life.” Aidan Burbank lost his fight on October 15 at the age of 21. Pursuing his degree in Environmental and Natural Resources at the University of New Brunswick right up until the time of his death in mid-October, he was previously a French Immersion student at Lester B. Pearson Public School and Aurora High School. “We had been struggling with Aidan’s mental health since he was nine,” says Martha. “This was a very long-term challenge for us. Parents really need to continue to follow through, call, email, whatever it is – if their child is in a situation and they are struggling and you’re waiting for counselling or therapy, you really have to pursue that with a lot of proactivity. Parents need to be as proactive and blunt as possible if their child is suffering and communicate with them about their suffering. They have to reach out and do everything they can to look for support systems.”Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
WASHINGTON — For a second time, Republican senators face the choice of whether to convict President Donald Trump in an impeachment trial. While only one GOP senator, Utah's Mitt Romney, voted to convict Trump last year, that number could increase as lawmakers consider whether to punish Trump for his role in inciting a deadly insurrection at the Capitol. Whatever they decide, Trump is likely to be gone from the White House when the verdict comes in. An impeachment trial is likely to start next week, as early as Inauguration Day, raising the spectre of the Senate trying the previous president even as it moves to confirm the incoming president's Cabinet. GOP leader Mitch McConnell, who says he's undecided, is one of several key senators to watch, along with Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who is set to take the Senate reins as his party reclaims the Senate majority. Others to watch include GOP senators up for reelection in 2022 and several Republicans who have publicly backed impeachment. ALL EYES ON McCONNELL At least at the trial's start, all eyes will be on McConnell, who largely protected Trump during the last impeachment trial and refused Democrats' pleas to call witnesses. This time, Trump may not be so fortunate. McConnell has told associates he is done with Trump and has said publicly he is undecided on impeachment. How he votes could sway other Republicans whose votes Trump needs to avoid conviction. The Republican leader holds great sway in his party even though convening the trial could be among his last acts as majority leader. Even as minority leader, McConnell will be a crucial and perhaps decisive voice. If the veteran Kentucky Republican sticks with Trump, conviction is unlikely. If McConnell votes against Trump, all bets are off as Democrats seek the 17 GOP votes they will need for the first-ever Senate conviction in a presidential impeachment trial. McConnell's public neutrality on impeachment is widely seen as an effort to restrain Trump's behaviour, with an acquittal largely contingent on Trump's ability to persuade his supporters not to incite more violence. SCHUMER'S TRICKY PATH The impeachment trial coincides not just with the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, but also a change in Senate leadership to Democratic control. Two new senators from Georgia, both Democrats, are to be sworn into office later this month, leaving the chamber divided 50-50. That tips the majority to the Democrats once Kamala Harris takes office as vice-president and breaks the tie. On Inauguration Day, the Senate typically confirms some of the new president’s Cabinet, particularly national security officials, a task that could prove challenging. Schumer said he is working with Republicans to find a path forward. “Make no mistake: There will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate,'' Schumer said. “There will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanours.'' And if Trump is convicted, ”there will be a vote on barring him from running again.'' MURKOWSKI, TOOMEY DENOUNCE TRUMP At least two GOP senators — Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania — have joined Romney in denouncing Trump. In a statement Thursday, Murkowski said the House was right to impeach Trump, who has "perpetrated false rhetoric that the election was stolen and rigged, even after dozens of courts ruled against these claims.'' When he was not able to persuade the courts or elected officials, Trump “launched a pressure campaign against his own vice-president, urging him to take actions that he had no authority to do,” said Murkowski, one of the few GOP senators to criticize Trump's behaviour during the impeachment trial a year ago. On the day of the riots, “President Trump’s words incited violence” that led to the deaths of five Americans, including a Capitol Police officer, as well as “the desecration of the Capitol,'' Murkowski said. The insurrection briefly interfered with the peaceful transfer of power, she said, adding: ”Such unlawful actions cannot go without consequence.'' Toomey, a conservative who has generally backed Trump, made news on Sunday by calling on Trump to resign for the good of the country. While resignation was the “best path forward,'' Toomey acknowledged that was unlikely. Trump’s role in encouraging the riot is an “impeachable offence,” Toomey said. PORTMAN SEEKS A MIDDLE PATH Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, tried to walk a narrow path on impeachment. Portman, a moderate who is up for reelection in 2022, said after the House impeachment vote on Wednesday that Trump "bears some responsibility for what occurred,'' but added he was reassured by Trump's comment the same day that violence of any kind is unacceptable. Portman pledged to do his duty as a juror in a Senate impeachment trial, but said he is “concerned about the polarization in our country'' and hopes to bring people together. A top consideration during impeachment "will be what is best to help heal our country rather than deepen our divisions,” Portman said. SASSE DECRIES TRUMP'S ELECTION ‘LIE’ Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, a conservative Republican, said he, too, is undecided on impeachment, but ripped Trump over his repeated false claims of a “stolen” election. "Everything that we’re dealing with here — the riot, the loss of life, the impeachment, and now the fact that the U.S. Capitol has been turned into a barracks for federal troops for the first time since the Civil War — is the result of a particular lie,'' Sasse said Thursday. When Trump urged his supporters to “fight like hell' to disrupt Congress' Jan. 6 proceedings to certify the election results, “it was widely understood that his crowd included many people who were planning to fight physically, and who were prepared to die in response to his false claims of a ‘stolen election,’” Sasse said. He called Trump “derelict in his duty to defend the Constitution and uphold the rule of law'' and said Americans now have an obligation to "lower the temperature'' and maintain the peace. THUNE TAKES HEAT FROM TRUMP South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican, had dismissed Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, famously — and accurately — predicting the effort would “go down like a shot dog'' in the Senate. Thune's comment drew a furious response from the president. Before his Twitter account was taken away, Trump called Thune a “RINO” whose “political career (is) over!!!” He also urged Gov. Kristi Noem to run against Thune in a GOP primary, an idea she immediately rejected. Thune, who has remained mum on impeachment, made light of Trump's threat last week, saying "it’s a free country.'' Then, in words that could apply to impeachment, he added: "You just got to play the hand you’re dealt.” Matthew Daly, The Associated Press
A Russian entrepreneur has caused a stir by branding his fast food outlet around the murderous tyrant Joseph Stalin. Stalin Doner was visited by authorities and faced a staff walkout, but its very existence reflects the ambiguous view some Russians have of the late dictator.
Drivers in B.C. are one step closer to paying lower insurance premiums. The province's utilities regulator has approved the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia's (ICBC) request for a 15 per cent cut to basic insurance rates. The interim rate will come into effect on May 1, until the B.C. Utilities Commission settles on a final permanent rate. B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnsworth has said it would be the largest rate drop in 40 years. The move is part of major overhaul proposed by the B.C. NDP government to counter the public auto insurer's financial woes. The insurer is moving to a system designed to redirect hundreds of millions of dollars spent in legal costs each year to directly benefit people injured in crashes. The province claims premiums will drop by as much as 20 per cent — an average of $400 a year. The commission has also approved a move by ICBC to provide rebates to drivers to cover the difference between current insurance rates and those that are set to go into effect. ICBC submitted its revenue application with the commission in mid-December. The application must still go through public consultation before it receives final approval. The public can request intervener status, submit letters of comment, or register online to receive updates.
The Town of Aurora has suspended the trapping of beavers at stormwater management ponds following a public outcry. According to Eliza Bennett, Acting Manager of Corporate Communications for the Town of Aurora, the Town has suspended trapping activity pending consultation with Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources about “best practices and alternative methods for beaver management.” “Our preference is always to have peaceful co-existence with local wildlife, and we are hopeful that we can find a way to protect residents from flooding and enhance our handling of wildlife at the same time.” Residents raised alarm bells over the use of traps to capture beavers in stormwater management ponds near Bayview Avenue and St. John’s Sideroad. One such resident, Rachel Evans, who said she had concerns not only with the impact on wildlife but on dogs and pedestrians as well. “I have heard from numerous nature walkers that the Town is setting wildlife traps in ponds to kill beavers,” she said. “These lethal traps are hidden in the water at the end of wildlife trails. Check out reports from dog owners across the country whose pets suffered broken muzzles and leg amputations after stepping on a concealed trap in the water. “There is no law that requires public posting of the location of these cruel traps, but we expect Town policy of transparency. Let us know the location of these traps and why they are necessary. Aurorans take pride in the natural trails and forests. Killing wildlife should be the last resort.” The issue was subject to significant discussion on social media as well, prompting the Town to state that the practice of trapping is to “maintain public safety and to manage risks associated with beaver activity as it relates to public health and infrastructure.” “We have a healthy beaver population in our Town, and our preference is always for co-existence, tolerance and prevention,” said Ms. Bennett. “We actually use a number of methods to manage beavers, including wrapping trees with wire, planting species of trees that beavers don’t touch, and removing dams where necessary. That being said, in some cases, and despite our best preventative efforts, beaver activity results in a risk to public safety, or a risk of damage to public infrastructure.” In this particular case, Ms. Bennett said a beaver dam was blocking the outlet of the stormwater management pond “impairing the facility’s functioning and creating risks to both public and private property.” “As such, for this type of situation, we operate a nuisance beaver program that includes trapping – a common practice in municipalities across North America. This is, again, a last resort. Trapping is done with licensed trappers and in accordance with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. We work closely with these bodies to make sure that the program is run within regulations.” The trap in question, she added, was subsequently stolen.Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
Toutes les régions administratives du Québec ont connu des changements démographiques importants entre le 1er juillet 2019 et le 1er juillet 2020. Selon l’Institut de la statistique du Québec, la Covid-19 a évidemment un lien, avec entres-autres, tous les décès, la fermeture des frontières, le ralentissement de l’immigration, ainsi que la diminution des échanges migratoires entre les régions.Alors que plusieurs régions éloignées, tel que le Bas-Saint-Laurent et la Gaspésie ont connu une croissance de leur population, la Côte-Nord est la seule où le nombre d’habitants a diminué, mais la décroissance aurait tout de même ralenti relativement aux années antérieures, avec une baisse de 1,9 pour 1000 habitants.C’est donc dire que la population actuelle de la Côte-Nord serait de 90 529 habitants, versus 92 713 en 2016, la classant au 16ème rang des 17 régions administratives du Québec.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord