Dr. Richard Schabas, the former chief medical officer of Ontario, says lockdown measures are 'unsustainable.'
Dr. Richard Schabas, the former chief medical officer of Ontario, says lockdown measures are 'unsustainable.'
From a global perspective, there was nothing unique about the recent raid on the U.S. Capitol. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have backed military coups around the world for decades.
Trois sites de dépôt pour la récupération des contenants en verre qui ne sont pas récupérés par le système de consigne seront installés sur le territoire de la Ville de Longueuil au cours des prochains mois. Dès l’été 2021, les citoyens et citoyennes pourront apporter les contenants dans des bennes de récupération situées dans chacun des arrondissements, soit au garage municipal du 777, rue d’Auvergne (Vieux-Longueuil), à la bibliothèque Raymond-Lévesque (Saint-Hubert) et à l’aréna Cynthia-Coull (Greenfield Park). « Malgré la pandémie, l’environnement demeure une préoccupation de premier ordre pour bien des Longueuillois et Longueuilloises. Plusieurs nous ont d’ailleurs interpellés pour demander que la Ville mette en place des installations de récupération du verre non consigné. C’est une préoccupation que nous partageons et nous répondons aujourd’hui à cet appel » affirme la mairesse de Longueuil, Sylvie Parent. Cette demande avait aussi été maintes fois répétée par les membres de l’opposition et par certains conseillers indépendants. Dès cet hiver, l’administration municipale procédera au changement de zonage nécessaire pour l’installation de ces bennes et accordera les contrats pour les équipements, la récupération et le recyclage du verre. Les détails relatifs aux contenants qui seront acceptés dans les futurs conteneurs seront connus probablement au printemps 2021.François Laramée, Initiative de journalisme local, La Relève
HEERENVEEN, Netherlands — Canada's long-track speedskating team has entered a Dutch "bubble" to compete in its first international races in over 10 months. Olympic and world champion Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary and world champion Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa lead a Canadian contingent of 13 skaters into Heerenveen, the Netherlands for their first World Cup races of the season starting Friday. Their racing season has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canadians will compete in World Cup races crammed into a pair of weekends, and remain in the Netherlands for next month's world championship. Canada's long-track team had its most successful season in a decade in 2019-20 with 10 world championship medals, including three gold, and 31 World Cup medals. The team has been without ice in the Calgary Oval since Sept. 5, however, because of a mechanical failure. Ice isn't expected to be restored before May. Aside from two weeks in an indoor oval in Fort St. John, B.C., in November and outdoor skating in Red Deer, Alta., the athletes' training has been limited to dryland and short-track workouts. "The focus over the next month will not be on podium performances, but more so on skaters to continue their preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing," Speed Skating Canada said in a statement. "They will look to utilize the valuable ice time in Heerenveen to regain their form, before lining up for their first races in over 10 months." Toronto's Jordan Belchos, Ottawa's Isabelle Weidemann, Calgary's Kaylin Irvine and Gilmore Junio, Winnipeg's Heather McLean, Valérie Maltais of Saguenay, Que., Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que., Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, Que., Abigail McCluskey of Penticton, B.C., Quebec City's Béatrice Lamarche and Connor Howe of Canmore, Alta., round out Canada's team. Participation was the choice of each athlete, coach and staff member, Speed Skating Canada said in the statement. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
ORANGEVILLE, Ont. — A senior staff member at an Ontario hospital has retired after a relative was vaccinated against COVID-19 at a clinic intended for health-care workers. Headwaters Health Care Centre in Orangeville, Ont., has apologized for what it’s calling an isolated incident on Jan. 14. The centre won’t name the individual beyond the title “staff director,” citing privacy reasons. The CEO says the employee's relative was at the hospital for another reason and was vaccinated during a break in scheduled appointments. Kim Delahunt calls it one person's “failure in sound decision-making,” and that health-care leaders must be held to a higher standard. Delahunt says the individual decided to retire after the incident, adding that the hospital is “deeply sorry.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Researchers have said around 52,000 deaths in Europe could be prevented each year if emissions are cut to WHO guidelines. View on euronews
With the nadir in civic discourse at last year’s U.S. presidential debates fresh in their minds, high school students from across Ontario are preparing to receive an antidote by competing in a high-minded tournament of ideas. Students on 20 teams from 16 schools are getting acquainted with the ways an “ethics bowl” differs from the debating competitions many of them have previously taken part in, and participants say the exercise holds valuable lessons for those in positions of power, too. In a typical debate, “the way you win isn't necessarily by trying to get to the truth, but rather by rhetorical mastery, or trickery, one-upmanship over your opponent,” Jeffrey Senese, president of the Ontario High School Ethics Bowl, explained to a group of students from Assumption College Catholic High School in Windsor this week. “An ethics bowl is different. We're trying to solve problems, get down to the truth. And so to this end, you can ... concede a point to your opponent and this is a sign of collegiality” that is rewarded in the scoring rubric that judges fill in, said Senese, who also runs outreach for the philosophy department at the University of Toronto. “We’re not looking for mic drop moments,” he added, noting the exercise aims to acknowledge that issues are complicated and nuanced, and frames the topic as the target of attention, not the opponent. In fact, incorporating the other team’s valid arguments into your response to an ethical dilemma is actively encouraged, whereas in many debate formats, “you’d be laughed offstage if you admit your opponent said something that was helpful to furthering the conversation,” Senese said. The university’s Mississauga campus hosted 11 schools at the initial Ontario event last year, but the provincial tournament on Feb. 27 will be virtual. The winning team will move on to a national event, also virtual, which will likely happen in late April. By the end of Senese’s presentation to the assembled Assumption students (including the school’s top tennis player and its reigning stock trade simulation champion), all warmed to the concept once they’d worked out how the competition was being scored. “When you start considering the other side, you become even more open-minded and you realize that not every case is black or white, but it's really focusing on that grey area and where you stand there,” said Gaby Ruggero. Mekhi Quarshie describes last September’s chaotic presidential debate, which saw former president Donald Trump constantly interrupting his challenger Joe Biden and the moderator, as the worst he’d ever seen, but said the style is prevalent elsewhere in society, too. “If one person puts up a very good point, even if we might find some validity within it, we want to just bash it down and contradict it,” Quarshie said. As potential future leaders, the event is “training all of us (that) instead of shooting each other down, to really collaboratively come up with great ideas and strengthen our own ideas,” he said. The idea for ethics bowls emerged out of the United States, and was picked up initially out west in Canada, with the involvement of the universities of Manitoba and British Columbia and B.C.’s Simon Fraser University, among others. “I like the idea of an ethics bowl that puts truth and principles above ideology,” said Assumption College's business teacher Jeremy Bracken, who is coaching the school's ethics bowl team as well as its debate team, finance club and numerous business competitions and public speaking events this year. For Ontario's 2021 competition, judges will include professors and professionals, graduate students and other academics in law, political and social science, history, science and medicine. Teams will be judged on whether they clearly address questions and comments from the moderator and opposing team, stay on topic, consider conflicting viewpoints, and engage with counterpoints raised in respectful dialogue. A moderator will tally the number of judges who give a win to each team, rather than tallying their scores, which are not revealed to participants. The finalists will be asked to wrestle with the real-world question of COVID-19 vaccination, including whether health-care workers should be required to get it or if schools should be allowed to restrict access to only vaccinated students. Other examples of issues to be discussed include free speech versus hate speech, drones as weapons, cultural appropriation, toxic masculinity, the call-out culture, and whether police should be invited to Pride parades. Stephanie Gibson took a team from Toronto’s Humberside Collegiate to last year’s event and will be back this year. The school’s Grade 12 philosophy teacher says the bowl encourages the pursuit of ethical truth and forces students to hold their own ideas to account. It is critical to equip young people with critical thinking skills, Gibson says, especially in the current climate, arguing that her subject should be mandatory starting in elementary school to help students “improve upon the clarity of their thinking, their ability to see through illusion, to try to look at different ideas and entertain them without having to take them in as their own.” Alastair Sharp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
MADRID — A regional election in Catalonia, initially set for next month, remains up in the air after a court took a preliminary decision Thursday against a 3-month delay ordered by the northeastern Spanish region’s government due to the surge of COVID-19. The Catalonia High Court said that, pending a final decision on the matter before Feb. 8, the election should preventively be kept for Feb. 14 instead of pushing it back to May 30. The court said arguments for its initial decision would be published Friday. The timing leaves little choice to half a dozen political parties divided along the lines of left and right, but also between support or opposition for the region's independence, other than to begin preparations for the vote. The regional Catalan government, in the hands of a separatist coalition, had argued that a delay was needed as the peak of hospital admissions in the current surge in infections would be reached just days before the planned election date. All political parties in the regional vote had agreed to the postponement except for the regional Socialists, whose candidate has the best chances of winning the vote in mid-February according to a Thursday poll by CIS, Spain’s official polling institute. The leading candidate is Salvador Illa, currently serving as the country’s health minister and in charge of the pandemic response. His candidacy was announced in late December. Catalonia's Socialist Party, which is the regional chapter of the main partner in the national ruling centre-left coalition, has not been in power in Catalonia since 2006. The CIS poll predicted the Socialists could win up to 35 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament, above the possible 33 lawmakers projected for the Republican Left pro-independence party. Illa was the preferred choice as regional chief for 22% of those quizzed, twice the popularity of his nearest competitor, Laura Borràs, of the pro-independence Together for Catalonia party, which is currently in power with the Republican Left. The centre quizzed 4,106 people by telephone between Jan. 2 and Jan-15. The poll has a margin of error of 1.6 percentage points. As elsewhere in Spain, virus contagion has surged sharply in recent weeks in the powerful northeastern region, whose capital is Barcelona. With 2,844 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Thursday — 621 of them in intensive care — regional authorities expect ICUs to reach a maximum expanded capacity of 900 beds occupied by coronavirus patients in the coming weeks. The region’s political situation is still heavily dominated by the jailing in 2019 of nine political figures for their role in a secession push two years earlier. The separatist movement, which is supported by roughly half the region’s 7.5 million residents, wants to create a republic in the wealthy northeast corner of Spain. Aritz Parra And CiaráN Giles, The Associated Press
BALTIMORE — The president of a historically Black university in Maryland was so captivated by inaugural poet Amanda Gorman’s poem during President Joe Biden’s inauguration that he offered her a job -- on Twitter. Morgan State University President David Wilson joined the many people lauding Gorman, 22, Wednesday after her recital of “The Hill We Climb,” a poem that summoned images dire and triumphant and echoed the oratory of John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. among others before the global audience. “Ms. Gorman, I need you as our Poet-in-Residence at the National Treasure, ?@MorganStateU,” Wilson tweeted. “Outstanding!!!!! Consider this a job offer!” Wilson’s offer is certainly not the only opportunity that Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, will receive since her widely praised performance. The Harvard University alum and Los Angeles native is already the country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate. She, along with Vice-President Kamala Harris, inspired many people to tweet about #BlackGirlMagic on Wednesday. And Gorman hasn't been shy to say she'll run for president herself one day. Her career is already taking off: Penguin Young Readers announced Wednesday that “The Hill We Climb” will be published in a special edition this spring. Within hours after her performance, her illustrated “Change Sings” book was No. 1 on Amazon.com’s bestseller list, her September poetry collection was No. 2, and her Instagram followers grew to 1.3 million. But Wilson, who says he was “glued to the TV” while Gorman spoke, has hope. “I’m very serious about opening an opportunity for her to come here as a poet in residence. We have all kinds of authors on campus, and we think that being at Morgan for a year would give her an even deeper and wider perspective on the issues she is addressing. If she would accept this offer, I would move on it in a heartbeat,” he told The Baltimore Sun. “I will be watching my emails.” The Associated Press
PARIS — Speaking with an air of resignation, Andre Villas-Boas accepted his time as Marseille coach might soon be up following another home defeat. The 1-0 loss to Lens in the French league on Wednesday, where he was tactically outwitted by a novice coach, came after an abject team performance last weekend in a 2-1 home reverse to Nimes. Villas-Boas did not even try to defend himself. “If I’m the one who is responsible, which I am, then I am at the disposal of the directors,” he said calmly. “I don’t have a problem with that. I’m not here to become an obstacle.” Marseille is in sixth place, but the position could soon get worse with tough games ahead. On Saturday, Marseille travels to face fourth-place Monaco, which is in fine form having won four of its last five matches. Marseille then takes on fifth-place Rennes, before going to Lens and hosting league leader Paris Saint-Germain in the same week. Fans have already turned on the players, venting their anger before the Lens game. Villas-Boas is the latest coach feeling the intense scrutiny at Marseille, the only French side to win the Champions League — in 1993 — yet also the most volatile. Firing Villas-Boas would involve paying a considerable amount of compensation, however, and Marseille can ill afford to shell out money firing and re-hiring since it is heavily cash-strapped. After he guided Marseille to second place last season and an automatic Champions League place, fans hailed Villas-Boas for doing so with limited resources while praising the fighting spirit he instilled in the side. But tight-knit camaraderie was nowhere to be found against Nimes or Lens, prompting a furious reaction from veteran goalkeeper Steve Mandanda. The France No. 2 has been an ever-present since 2007, aside from one season in England, and is nearing 600 games for Marseille. He described a chaotic scene at halftime against Lens. “We screamed an awful lot," he said. “There are many things to change within the club, notably the team spirit. When you play for Marseille, you must have character.” The long-serving captain wants changes to be made. “We're just not getting there, there's a problem in the squad. We don't have the collective strength which helped us do well last season," Mandanda said. "We have to do a lot of soul-searching, individually and collectively. We must accept everything that's going to happen.” Mandanda has said similar things before, and it remains doubtful whether this tirade changes anything. Dimitri Payet, whose three goals helped France to reach the 2016 European Championship final, has been off form and more like the erratic player who frustrated fans at his previous clubs. Payet has scored six goals in 21 games this season, compared to 12 in 27 last term. Winger Florian Thauvin is short of his best after spending almost the entire last season injured. His scoring return of six in 25 this season — at a ratio of .24 goals per game — is way below the 59 in 134 from 2016-19 at a ratio of .44. But Thauvin remains a highly rated player, having netted 70 goals and provided 45 assists in 187 games for Marseille. At 27 years old he's in his prime, yet he could leave for free in the summer when his contract ends. However, unlike some other players, Thauvin's work rate remains high. So, for now at least, hard-to-please Marseille fans have spared him from reproach. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press
Farming in Canada has long been filled with family and legacy farms bringing new workers into the industry, but a new program for aspiring farmers aims to offer a helping hand to the industry's next generation. The Business Bootcamp for New Farmers is a new program created by Young Agrarians, a farmer-to-farmer educational resource network that started in 2012. The program offers lessons for new and aspiring farmers from experts in the field. Alexandra Pulwicki, e-learning coordinator for Young Agrarians, said her organization noticed a lot of the available resources were geared toward conventional, large-scale farms with one or two crops. But they heard from a lot of aspiring farmers, Pulwicki said, who were interested in diversified farms and had backgrounds outside the industry. "There's just kind of an eagerness in the people who have signed up to get going," Pulwicki said on CBC Edmonton's Radio Active on Wednesday afternoon. "But it seems like there's this barrier of not knowing where to turn for supports. This kind of small-scale diversified farming is different than conventional agriculture." The program covers 10 topics over as many weeks, teaching new farmers about the market, business structure and financing for farms, among other things. Each camp has 30 spots, and sign-ups are charged on a sliding scale between $250 and $350. The bootcamp was launched at the start of January, but Pulwicki says it filled up so quickly with a long enough waitlist that Young Agrarians is already starting a second program in February. Instructors in the program include ranchers, florists, marketing and finance experts, and a variety of farmers from across western Canada. Pulwicki says roughly two-thirds of new farmers in Canada are coming from non-farming backgrounds, which represents a dramatic change from previous generations, who mostly grew up on a farm or had relatives working in the industry. Having that family history in farming makes for a smoother transition that many new farmers today don't have. But less than 10 per cent of farmers in Canada are 35 or younger, Pulwicki said, meaning there's a lot of land and knowledge that will need to be passed on in the coming years. "Right now we're really seeing a surge of people coming often from cities who want to grow food and provide for their communities," Pulwicki said. "There's a big transition of farming knowledge that needs to happen, and a big group of new farmers that need to come up and take the reins of these farms."
The Liberal bus rolled into Grand Falls-Windsor on Wednesday as the leadup to the 2021 provincial election kept moving. In the shadow of that bus and flanked by Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans candidate Debbie Ball and Exploits candidate Rodney Mercer, Liberal Leader Andrew Furey unveiled another part of the Liberal party’s campaign platform. In particular, the Liberals pledged to provide feminine hygiene products in schools at no cost. “There is good evidence that young women will miss school because they don’t have access to feminine care products,” said Furey. “One in seven Canadian young women, or non-binary individuals, will miss school because they do not have access to feminine care products. “That is simply not good enough and this Liberal government intends to make sure that is not a barrier to young women and non-binary individuals from reaching their full potential. That is the commitment we’ve made today.” Before making the announcement, the Liberals consulted with local women’s organizations, and hope this will alleviate the access problems that exist around these products. The move to provide free feminine hygiene products was a part of a larger commitment to work with various community groups, educators and students to improve the health curriculum in the province. Furey said the cost of having these products available in schools would be found within the health-care budget. “The cost will be found within the health-care budget, but the cost of not having them is young women and non-binary individuals missing school is far greater than the cost accrued to the system for this,” he said. Terri Lynn Burry said Wednesday's announcement is an important one for young women in the province. “I think it is amazing and I think it should be done,” said Burry, program director for the Youth 2000 Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor. “We would definitely look at it for the centre.” In her work, Burry is often asked for hygiene products by the girls and families who use the centre. There are times when families can’t afford them and instead go without them, and that’s why the centre has products on hand, she said. Burry said it can be embarrassing for girls to ask for products if they don’t have any on hand, and they often find it difficult. “It is something that should be readily available. It is something that is a necessity and if it was readily available there wouldn’t be such a stigma attached to it sometimes, especially for young children,” she said. “It is new to them and it is embarrassing for some of them.” During the stop, the premier was asked about some health-care issues that pertain to residents in central Newfoundland. Namely, he was questioned about where his government stands with issues such as returning 24-hour emergency services to the hospital in Botwood, as well as supporting the Lionel Kelland Hospice in Grand Falls-Windsor. In both instances, he maintained the government is working toward solutions for both. “We’re aware of the issues and we’re committed to building on the commitments of the past,” said Furey. Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
Le vote secret des députés conservateurs sur la demande d’expulsion de leur collègue ontarien du parti est prévu mercredi avant-midi. Il lui est reproché d’avoir accepté le don d’un nationaliste blanc lors de sa campagne pour la direction de la formation politique. Une frange des 121 élus aurait approuvé la demande visant à exclure Derek Sloan comme prévu dans les règlements du parti au sujet d’un membre du caucus, mais la décision ne fait pas l’unanimité. Le chef du parti conservateur, Erin O’Toole, a lancé le processus d’expulsion de son collègue lundi après la publication d’une information selon laquelle il a reçu un don de 131 $ de Paul Fromm, connu comme étant un suprémaciste blanc lié aux causes néonazies. Le don remis sous le nom de Frederick Fromm, a été rendu public par le site d’information PressProgress, à la réputation de gauche. Erin O’Toole a publié une déclaration visant à faire savoir à l’opinion publique qu’il n’y a pas de place pour le racisme au sein du Parti conservateur. Malgré les soutiens que cette justification a engrangés sur les réseaux sociaux, certains élus conservateurs redoutent en privé l’effet d’un précédent majeur sur la collecte des dons. Sloan veut défier O’Toole Dans une interview accordée à la CBC, le député de Hastings–Lennox et Addington a déclaré qu’il prévoyait de lancer une riposte à la rencontre de ce mercredi et qu’il avait contacté des collègues du caucus pour faire valoir ses arguments. Derek Sloan a déjà affirmé qu’il n’était pas au courant de l’origine du don querellé parce que Fromm avait utilisé son nom complet pour cette contribution. Il a expliqué que ses équipes avaient reçu beaucoup de dons individuels et ne pouvaient pas examiner chaque opération en faveur de sa campagne électorale. Le député ontarien a ajouté qu’il ne connaissait pas particulièrement Fromm, mis à part le fait qu’il est lié à des groupes considérés comme racistes. Le chef du parti conservateur a souhaité que le mis en cause soit expulsé du parti « le plus rapidement possible » et qu’il ne puisse pas se présenter aux prochaines élections sous la bannière du Parti conservateur. « Je suis dans un mariage interracial, donc je condamne bien sûr le racisme, je condamne la haine de toute nature », a déclaré M. Sloan pour se défendre. Les libéraux saluent la position de Erin O’Toole sur la question. « Les partis politiques doivent rester vigilants, surtout à la suite de ce que nous avons vu aux États-Unis, face à l’infiltration ou à la présence active d’éléments marginaux, extrémistes, violents, inacceptables ou intolérants », a exhorté le premier ministre Justin Trudeau. Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
Removing ice from roads and walkways in winter might be essential for safety, but salt can be damaging to plants and soil. Salt has the same effect on plant roots as salty potato chips do on your lips: It draws water from living cells. Salt can ruin soil structure so it wads up into an airless mass. Not a nice place for plants to grow. And damage from winter salt is sneaky, not manifesting itself until spring or later. Then, new leaves might emerge pale green or yellow or, later in the season, leaves may look scorched or turn their autumn colours early. Stems might die back or be stunted. Older plants can sometimes recover from salt injury, especially if spring and summer rains are abundant. MITIGATE DAMAGE Using less salt can help; highway studies have found that, in de-icing roads, salt was effective in smaller amounts if sprayed as a brine rather than spread as crystals. Maybe it’s time to get out that garden sprayer again. And you can leach out much of the salt by flushing the soil beneath a prized tree or shrub in spring with water -- using 1 gallon per square foot or a 2-inch depth over the course of a few hours. ALTERNATIVES TO SALT Alternative salts -- those other than sodium chloride -- are another possibility. Calcium chloride is a frequently used alternative which, besides being less damaging to plants and soils than sodium chloride, also melts ice faster and is effective at temperatures well below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Sodium chloride, in contrast, loses some of its effectiveness at temperatures above 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, calcium chloride does put chloride ion, which plants don’t like, into the soil, and it is more expensive and more corrosive to vehicles than sodium chloride. Chemical (synthetic) fertilizers are all salts, so someone hit upon the idea of using them for de-icing. But besides being more expensive than either sodium chloride or calcium chloride, fertilizers such as potassium chloride or ammonium nitrate are most effective only at temperatures above about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, ammonium nitrate is corrosive to concrete, and both compounds have a high “salt index,” so are apt to burn plants anyway in the amounts used for de-icing. Potassium chloride, of course, also can put excess chloride ion in the soil. A popular, relatively new salt used for de-icing is calcium magnesium acetate, better known as CMA. Produced when limestone and vinegar are brought together, CMA eventually decomposes and is not damaging to plants or soils. It also sticks to the pavement better than salt and does not cause corrosion. CMA does have shortcomings. It’s most effective above 15 degree Fahrenheit (about the same as rock salt). It’s slow to begin working. And it’s a lot more expensive than salt. CMA is better at preventing icing rather than getting rid of ice, so is best applied before ice forms. Yet another de-icing method is to spread something other than salt on the ice; gritty materials such as sawdust, unused kitty litter, wood ash or sand are effective. Still, nothing’s perfect. These materials track indoors unless you take or shake off your shoes at your front door. ADOPT A HOLISTIC APPROACH The best approach to ice is holistic. Use a combination of materials that takes into consideration both the traffic and the plants. If you sprinkle a preventive dusting on the ground before ice forms, you’ll need less salt for shoe and tire traction. And if you’re planning some plantings along the road, driveway or walkway, choose from plants that tolerate salt. Besides plants native to seashores, other salt-tolerant trees and shrubs include silver maple, horsechestnut, honey and black locusts, poplar, junipers, mockorange, lilac, larch and Colorado blue spruce. Lee Reich, The Associated Press
CALGARY — TC Energy Corp. is planning to eliminate more than 1,000 construction jobs related to its decision to halt work on its Keystone XL pipeline expansion project. The company suspended work on the project Wednesday as U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled a key presidential permit for the pipeline border crossing. TC Energy had earlier warned that blocking the project would lead to the layoffs of thousands of union workers building the pipeline. The 1,947-kilometre pipeline is designed to carry 830,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb. Some 200 kilometres of pipe have already been installed for the expansion, including across the Canada-U.S. border, and construction has begun on pump stations in Alberta and several U.S. states. TC Energy announced a plan Sunday to eliminate the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from Keystone XL's operations, even as its future appeared in doubt. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:TRP) The Canadian Press
The city says 160 trees are being cut down along the south side of the Bow River for new construction projects and flood mitigation work. Just between the Reconciliation Bridge and Jaipur Bridge, Calgarians will start to hear the woodchippers soon and trees cleared out. The city says the rough budget for all of the projects in the Eau Claire area — including the flood mitigation, a replacement for the Jaipur Bridge, a new plaza and upgrades to the Centre Street pathway ramp — is around $55 million. Joyce Tang, the Eau Claire area improvements program lead for the City of Calgary, says the plans will help invest into the community. "The (cutting of) trees are part of our projects that will also protect Calgarians and the downtown, our economic driver, from floods. So there's going to be three projects happening in the area. So that's why all the trees are coming down," she told the Calgary Eyeopener. She says Calgary has always aimed to protect its trees and that the plan was a last resort, but a needed one. "What we need to do in order to do the flood work, in order to do lifecycling and maintenance work, we do need to remove these trees," she said. She said that a number of them also have structural defects and need to come down for safety reasons. "We are putting back in 114 trees and shrubs and flowers. What this allows us to do is … to re-establish the canopy coverage, but it also gives us a diversity succession planning," she said. "So not all of the trees are all the same age and that will certainly help with the resiliency of the banks as well." Trees will be repurposed Tang adds that a lot of the downed trees will be put to use, such as spread for flower beds in the area. "We're going to break it down and it'll be organic matter,"she said. As well, she says in the Eau Claire Plaza around 50 trees will be repurposed and integrated into its new design. "Whether that be through benches or fixtures, which is is really neat because it really helps us celebrate the architectural elements and the history of the area," said Tang. Some lumber will also be donated to Bowness High school's construction technology and trade center department, she said. Construction on the project will start this year, with tress being removed up until the summer. Tang says the project in its entirety is expected to be completed by 2023. For more information, the city will be updating the matter on its website. With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.
Drugmaker Eli Lilly said Thursday its COVID-19 antibody drug can prevent illness in residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care locations. It's the first major study to show such a treatment may prevent disease. Residents and staff who got the drug had up to a 57% lower risk of getting COVID-19 compared to others at the same facility who got a placebo, the drugmaker said. Among nursing home residents only, the risk was reduced by up to 80%. The study involved more than 1,000 residents and staff at nursing homes and other long-term care locations. The research was conducted with the National Institutes of Health. Results were released in a press release and the company said it would publish results in a journal soon. The Food and Drug Administration in November allowed emergency use of Lilly antibody drug as a treatment for mild or moderate cases of COVID-19 that do not require hospitalization. It’s a one-time treatment given through an IV. Lilly said it will seek expansion of that authorization to include using the drug to prevent and treat COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. Nursing homes and other long-term care locations have been hard hit by the pandemic. In the United States, they account for less than 1% of the population, but nearly 40% of deaths from COVID-19. These long-term care locations have been given priority to vaccinate residents and staff with recently authorized COVID-19 vaccines. The Associated Press
Timmins' Indigenous Advisory Committee is moving ahead with taking Indigenous relations training. At the virtual committee meeting Wednesday, members voted in favour of taking training offered by Bob Joseph, the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act and the founder of Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. The committee’s interim chair Kristin Murray said it’s more of a self-guided training that can be entered in groups of up to 30 people and that can be completed at an individual pace. The previously suggested training, The San’yas: Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) Training Program, was off the table because some elements of the training weren’t always offered, Murray said. “Not all of our staff could jump on board and get that training at once, which was the downside,” said Murray. During the committee’s last meeting in December, members agreed to take a training program before deciding whether they want to recommend the training for city employees. “There’s racism in the city. Even before we do all this training ourselves, we have to try get out there and try to educate the public,” committee member Irene Camillo said during Wednesday’s meeting. Stacey Vincent Cress of Waubetek Business Development Corporation, who attended the meeting as a guest, said taking online training shouldn’t be “a tick box exercise”. “Something is better than nothing," he said. "However, if we’re going to have some Indigenous awareness and competency training … if you’re going to train 500 members of the community plus the committee, plus the general population, you need to be able to sit and speak with some people on some of the issues that you can’t get from a computer program.” Murray noted the discussions about taking the training have been going on for two years, and there has also been a discussion about taking localized training. “But that’s going to take time. By the time we put these things together, it will be years, it will be after our term as a committee,” she said. “Some of these training opportunities are not click-through, you have to be able to engage.” If approved by council, this will be the first cultural awareness training for city employees since the Ontario Human Rights Commission's visit to Timmins in 2018. Murray said the hope would be to have the members complete the training by the next committee meeting in March. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
Chelsea Osborne has dodged more than a few cars in her days walking to work at the Angus Tim Hortons on Mill Street. Osborne said the busy intersection where County Road 90 traffic must slow down to 50 km/h on Mill Street in front of the busy coffee shop can be hazardous to her health. “Pedestrians — myself included — some people are just not paying attention. They’re just going too fast,” she said. The township plans to install red-light cameras in Angus’ community safety zones. “It’s No. 1 of our top concerns,” Essa Township chief administrative officer Colleen Healey-Dowdall said. “Our councillors are bombarded with calls of speeding.” However, the cost of developing photo radar software is prohibitive for a small municipality like Essa, she said. After five years of deliberating how to quell the dangerous traffic on several of its high-traffic roads in Baxter, Thornton and Angus, Essa’s Traffic Advisory Committee has asked Simcoe County for an assist, specifically in the Mill Street area. “The county has stated they are supportive; however, it is a very timely process to apply and be granted approval through the province,” said Krista Pascoe, deputy clerk and accessibility co-ordinator for the township. Pascoe added staff are currently collecting speed data throughout the entire municipality in order to determine which traffic-calming measures will be best utilized in which areas. “We get complaints on all our roads, to tell you the truth,” said Coun. Ron Henderson. “It’s not just Mill Street being considered for chronic speeders.” Centre Street leads into several new subdivisions along the 5th Line and is also a haven for speeders, he said. Henderson agrees with Osborne that the 50 km/h speed limit beginning at the Nottawasaga bridge near the No Frills store and Tim Hortons often catches people off-guard. Osborne said photo radar would be a definite improvement. “They (drivers) won’t be doing 60, 70 or 80 km/h around the corner and slamming on the brakes when they see me,” she said. Cheryl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
(ANNews) – Mere hours after being sworn into office, 46th U.S. president Joe Biden revoked the permit for the $8-billion Keystone pipeline via executive action. “I’m proud of today’s executive actions, and I’m going to start by keeping the promises I made to the American people,” Biden said from the Oval Office. This decision, including re-entering the Paris climate accord, was made by Biden to tackle climate change. Meanwhile, the Alberta government agreed last year to invest about $1.5 billion as equity in the project, plus billions more in loan guarantees. Premier Jason Kenney described Biden’s decision as a “gut-punch.” “The leader of our closest ally retroactively vetoed approval for a pipeline that already exists and which is co-owned by a Canadian government, directly attacking, by far, the largest part of the Canada-U.S. trade relationship, which is our energy industry and exports,” he said. The premier called on the Trudeau government to ask the U.S. to “sit down and discuss the decision.” “If, however, the U.S. government refuses to open the door to a constructive and respectful dialogue about these issues, then it is clear that the government of Canada must impose meaningful trade and economic sanctions in response to defend our country’s vital economic interests,” he said. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made a statement on the revoked permit, “While we welcome the President’s commitment to fight climate change, we are disappointed but acknowledge the President’s decision to fulfill his election campaign promise on Keystone XL,” he said. “Workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and across Canada will always have our support,” the statement read. “Canada is the single-largest supplier of energy to the United States, contributing to U.S. energy security and economic competitiveness, and supporting thousands of jobs on both sides of the border.” “I look forward to working with President Biden to reduce pollution, combat climate change, fight COVID-19, create middle class jobs, and build back better by supporting a sustainable economic recovery for everyone.” The project – previously approved by TC Energy – would see the 1,930-kilometre pipeline transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to Nebraska. While it’s clear that Biden has thrown a wrench into the Federal and Provincial Government’s plans, they are not the only ones affected as First Nations from Alberta and Saskatchewan have also promised to invest money into the Keystone pipeline. An Indigenous partnership with TC-Energy was made through a separate entity known as Natural Law Energy (NLE), which is a coalition/alliance made between Indigenous Nations to “pursue economic opportunities for the wealth and benefit of Indigenous Peoples,” says NLE. The Indigenous Coalition is made up of Maskwacis Nations: Ermineskin Cree Nation, Montana First Nation, and Louis Bull Tribe; as well as Saddle Lake Cree Nation and Nekaneet First Nation. In now-unavailable documents, NLE announced that they supported and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with TC-Energy, in a move the Coalition described as a “historic agreement for First Nations within Treaty No. 4 and Treaty No. 6.” The TC-Energy partnership would have allowed NLE to make an investment upwards of $1 Billion dollars. It also would have meant a stake in the pipeline for the First Nations involved – approximately 12 per-cent ownership. According to Natural Law Energy CEO Travis Meguinis, the deal was one of the largest ever for First Nations. “We’re a major contributor to economic developments on our traditional lands and will create opportunities for future generations.” It is important to note that the $1 Billion dollars was dependent on NLE securing financing for the investment and at the time of writing, no news of the coalition securing funding has been heard. Support for the Keystone pipeline has been mixed among Indigenous Nations. For example, the partnership was a source of contention in Saddle Lake Cree Nation. On October 8, 2020 a protest was held outside of the Saddle Lake Band office as part of an on-going power struggle between Saddle Lake Chief Eric Shirt and the Council members. The protest – which was attended by many council members – was addressing what many believed to be lack of transparency, financial accountability, and governance exhibited by the Shirt administration. In response to this protest, Eric Shirt released a letter addressed to the Saddle Lake people which said, “Since being elected, I have tried my hardest to make the changes I promised during my campaign, like improving transparency and eliminating corruption. At every turn, a quorum of Council has opposed me,” wrote the Chief. As for how this letter involves the Keystone Pipeline, Chief Shirt stated that one of the grievances from the protesters was lack of transparency, specifically on a little deal Shirt and other Nations made in partnership with TC-energy. Shirt claims that he was not the only Saddle Lake Government official to sign-off on the pipeline, but that is for another story. It is unclear what will happen with the pipeline, as this is not the first time it has been cancelled, but work has been suspended. In a statement by TC Energy, the company said it was disappointed in Biden’s decision and warned it would lead to the layoffs of thousands of unionized workers. “TC Energy will review the decision, assess its implications and consider its options,” the statement reads. “However, as a result of the expected revocation of the presidential permit, advancement of the project will be suspended.” Jacob Cardinal is a Local Initiative Journalism Reporter for Alberta Native News Jacob Cardinal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News
Tay council had to defer its excitement around the Waubaushene Pines School property until after a community group presents its thoughts next week. At a recent committee meeting, Coun. Barry Norris shared the adhoc committee's thoughts around the building with the rest of council. The approximate 3.24-hectare property has 110 feet of frontage on Pine Street, about 200 feet along Elm Street on the side and some 325 feet in the back running along Thiffault Street, says the report. The school building has four classrooms on a total area of 6,863 square feet. The report also makes a number of suggestions around future uses for the property if the township goes ahead with the purchase, adding the building would require work from a structural engineer and designer if it is to be assigned as an affordable housing project. Norris asked the staff member to explain why that would be so. Terry Tompkins, manager of building services/chief building official, who was also on the tour taken by the adhoc committee last year, answered the question: "Looking at the various sections of deterioration and the age of the building, to satisfy the building department in regards to permits that would be issued, we would be looking for a structural engineer to go through the building to ensure it's structurally sound and will meet the purpose it will be intended for," he said. "Because it's an assembly occupancy, an architect or engineer is required to do drawings to incorporate changes, which includes accessibility." Another suggestion by the committee was to repurpose the building to be used as a community hub, which incorporates the Waubaushene library. "I am in favour of the site," said Coun. Mary Warnock, who was also on the tour. "I like the location. We have to ensure it's feasible and it's going to meet the needs of the people in that community. "I like the idea of re-purposing. I like the idea of maybe looking at incorporating a library and possibilities of the sale of that property to put toward another facility of some kind." However, Mayor Ted Walker cautioned council about making any decisions since a community group deputation to council next week hopes to make a case in favour of the property. "I would hold off our decisions until we've given that group an opportunity to talk," he said. In an email to MidlandToday, Evelyn Roberts, secretary of the Waubaushene Action Group, confirmed the group's intent to present to council on Jan. 27. "The Waubaushene Action Group wants a multi-use community centre in Waubaushene," she wrote. "Our hamlet has been asking for this for years. We think the Pine Street school is an excellent opportunity because of its central, accessible location for the youth, seniors and residents of Waubaushene. Alternatively, the township could build a new centre in Waubaushene in Bridgeview Park. "We have no schools left in Waubaushene and very few other services, unlike other areas of the township," wrote Roberts, adding the group has collected hundreds of petition signatures. "We believe that the time has come for Waubaushene, and that services should be distributed equitably across the township." Norris said the school board has provided the committee with some additional but confidential information. Now the township has until Feb. 10 to send a letter of interest, which will likely be among at least 14 different agencies also vying for the opportunity, he added. After the Feb. 10 deadline, he said, the parties that have shown an interest will be notified. "I believe it's another 90 days that those organizations have to submit their proposals for costing," said Norris. "When that happens, it is awarded and then the school board proceeds to the province to allow them to put the school on the open market." Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com