WASHINGTON — The federal government recognized President-elect Joe Biden as the “apparent winner” of the Nov. 3 election on Monday, formally starting the transition of power after President Donald Trump spent weeks testing the boundaries of American democracy. He relented after suffering yet more legal and procedural defeats in his seemingly futile effort to overturn the election with baseless claims of fraud.Trump still refused to concede and vowed to continue to fight in court after General Services Administrator Emily Murphy gave the green light for Biden to co-ordinate with federal agencies ahead of his Jan. 20 inauguration. But Trump did tweet that he was directing his team to co-operate on the transition.Monday’s fast-moving series of events seemed to let much of the air out of Trump’s frantic efforts to undermine the will of the people in what has amounted to a weekslong stress test for American democracy. But Trump’s attempts to foment a crisis of confidence in the political system and the fairness of U.S. elections haven’t ended and are likely to persist well beyond his lame-duck presidency.Murphy, explaining her decision, cited "recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results.”She acted after Michigan on Monday certified Biden’s victory in the battleground state, and a federal judge in Pennsylvania tossed a Trump campaign lawsuit on Saturday seeking to prevent certification in that state.It also comes as an increasing number of Republicans were publicly acknowledging Biden’s victory, after weeks of tolerating Trump’s baseless claims of fraud. The president had grown increasingly frustrated with the flailing tactics of his legal team.In recent days, senior Trump aides including chief of staff Mark Meadows and White House counsel Pat Cipollone had also encouraged him to allow the transition to begin, telling the president he didn’t need to concede but could no longer justify withholding support to the Biden transition.Yohannes Abraham, executive director of the Biden transition, said the decision “is a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track.”Murphy, a Trump appointee, has faced bipartisan criticism for failing to begin the transition process sooner, preventing Biden’s team from working with career agency officials on plans for his administration. The delay denied Biden access to highly classified national security briefings and hindered his team's ability to begin drawing up its own plans to respond to the raging coronavirus pandemic.Murphy insisted she acted on her own.“Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official—including those who work at the White House or GSA—with regard to the substance or timing of my decision,” she wrote in a letter to Biden.Trump tweeted moments after Murphy's decision: “We will keep up the good fight and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”Max Stier, president and CEO of the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service, criticized the delay but said Biden’s team would be able to overcome it.“Unfortunately, every day lost to the delayed ascertainment was a missed opportunity for the outgoing administration to help President-elect Joe Biden prepare to meet our country’s greatest challenges," he said. "The good news is that the president-elect and his team are the most prepared and best equipped of any incoming administration in recent memory.”Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the GSA action “is probably the closest thing to a concession that President Trump could issue.? Noting that the nation “faces multiple crises that demand an orderly transition,? Schumer urged Democrats and Republicans to “unite together for a smooth and peaceful transition that will benefit America.?Murphy’s action came just 90 minutes after Michigan election officials certified Biden’s 154,000-vote victory in the state. The Board of State Canvassers, which has two Republicans and two Democrats, confirmed the results on a 3-0 vote with one GOP abstention. Trump and his allies had hoped to block the vote to allow time for an audit of ballots in Wayne County, where Trump has claimed without evidence that he was the victim of fraud. Biden crushed the president by more than 330,000 votes there.Some Trump allies had expressed hope that state lawmakers could intervene in selecting Republican electors in states that do not certify. That long-shot bid is no longer possible in Michigan.“The people of Michigan have spoken. President-elect Biden won the State of Michigan by more than 154,000 votes, and he will be our next president on January 20th,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said, adding it’s “time to put this election behind us.”Trump was increasingly frustrated by his legal team, led by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose erratic public performances drew bipartisan mockery in recent weeks. Still, the legal challenges were expected to continue, as Trump seeks to keep his supporters on his side and keep his options open for opportuntities post-presidency.In Pennsylvania on Saturday, a conservative Republican judge shot down the Trump campaign’s biggest legal effort in the state with a scathing ruling that questioned why he was supposed to disenfranchise 7 million voters with no evidence to back their claims and an inept legal argument at best.But the lawyers still hope to block the state’s certification, quickly appealing to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, which ordered lawyers to file a brief Monday but did not agree to hear oral arguments.The campaign, in its filings, asked for urgent consideration so it could challenge the state election results before they are certified next month. If not, they will seek to decertify them, the filings said.Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes.Pennsylvania county election boards voted Monday, the state deadline, on whether to certify election results to the Department of State. The boards in two populous counties split along party lines, with majority Democrats in both places voting to certify. After all counties have sent certified results to Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, she must then tabulate, compute and canvass votes for all races. The law requires her to perform that task quickly but does not set a specific deadline.In Wisconsin, a recount in the state’s two largest liberal counties moved into its fourth day, with election officials in Milwaukee County complaining that Trump observers were slowing down the process with frequent challenges. Trump’s hope of reversing Biden’s victory there depends on disqualifying thousands of absentee ballots —- including the in-person absentee ballot cast by one of Trump’s own campaign attorneys in Dane County.___Associated Press writers Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia, Jonathan Lemire in New York, Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pa., Christina A. Cassidy in Atlanta and John Flesher in Traverse City, Mich., contributed to this report.Zeke Miller, David Eggert And Colleen Long, The Associated Press
COVID-19 vaccines are at risk of being undermined by vaccine hesitancy. Pharma must take steps to ensure transparency in data monitoring committees and trial data to build public trust in vaccines.
At a briefing Monday on how COVID-19 is affecting Horizon Health Network, president and CEO Karen McGrath said, "we could easily be overwhelmed with a very few new cases." McGrath said each of the regional Horizon Health centres tries to keep three to five medical beds open, and two to three ICU beds are kept open at each of the five largest hospitals to have room for a surge in COVID-19 patients."That doesn't sound like a very large number and it's not a very large number," said McGrath."So if, in fact, you have seven or eight people being admitted in a very short time, then in addition to everybody else we're providing care for, that small number could really impact the system and we could become overwhelmed really quickly."McGrath said, despite possible COVID fatigue, people should follow provincial guidelines and do what they can to stop the spread of the respiratory virus because only a few cases can impact the entire system."What happens is then we work very hard to get people out of hospital," said McGrath.She said if numbers of COVID-19 patients start to rise the first step is to cancel surgeries.64 staff isolatingMcGrath said 64 Horizon staff members are currently in isolation. She said there are not staff to fill in for these vacancies. "We are actually looking hour by hour as to how we staff particular areas," said McGrath.McGrath described the ICUs, emergency rooms and medical beds as "mission critical," meaning that these areas have to be properly staffed."That probably means when we get to a certain level, we are redeploying staff from other areas," and other services like surgeries are then cancelled. Stan Cassidy outbreakHorizon Health Network and New Brunswick Public Health are investigating a potential COVID-19 exposure at Horizon's Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation in Fredericton.McGrath said that about five patients and five staff who had direct contact with the staff member were tested, along with all other staff. Patients at the centre are also being tested for COVID-19.She said outpatient services have been cancelled for at least a week, while people receiving inpatient care will remain at the centre, but extra precautions are being taken."We have isolated patients within our facilities," McGrath said.She said the health care worker who tested positive for COVID on Saturday was not working at other places within Horizon.
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey and Germany were at loggerheads on Monday after a German frigate enforcing an arms embargo against Libya intercepted a Turkish freighter in the Mediterranean sea and carried out what a senior Turkish official dismissed as an “illegal" search.Turkey said personnel from the German frigate Hamburg were flown by helicopter aboard the freighter Rosaline-A on Sunday as its sailed off the Libyan coast to carry out an hours-long search.Germany’s Defence Ministry said Turkey ordered a halt to the search, forcing the German personnel to depart before completing their work. During their search, the German team had found no cargo that contravened the arms embargo, German Defence Ministry spokesman Christian Thiels told reporters in Berlin.This was the second incident between Turkey and naval forces from a NATO ally country enforcing an arms blockade against Libya. In June, NATO launched an investigation over an incident between Turkish warships and a French naval vessel in the Mediterranean, after France said one of its frigates was “lit up” three times by Turkish naval targeting radar when it tried to approach a Turkish civilian ship suspected of involvement in arms trafficking.A Turkish government official said the German warship’s personnel boarded Rosaline-A without Turkey’s permission in violation of maritime laws. They ended the search around dawn after “understanding that there was nothing but humanitarian aid, biscuits and other material such as paints on board,” the official said.The Rosaline-A continued on its way to Misrata after the search, the official said, adding that Turkey planned to lodge formal complaints about the incident. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with Turkish government rules.Thiels, the German Defence Ministry spokesman, said the German crew requested permission to board.“Upon receiving no reply, a German search team was brought by helicopter to the freighter and commenced the search, and the crew was ‘co-operative',” Thiels said.While the team continued its search, German authorities were notified by Turkey that they did not allow it. The search was then ended and the team sent back to the frigate, Thiels said.The German official said the order to board the ship came from mission's operational headquarters in Rome.__Associated Press writer David Rising in Berlin contributed.Suzan Fraser, The Associated Press
A former chief of Siksika Nation and Blackfoot leader, Isapo-muxika, is one of several historical figures under consideration to be featured on the Bank of Canada’s new $5 bill. Eight shortlisted candidates are being considered for the new note selected from a list of 600 eligible nominees from a six-week public consultation process that ended March 11, 2020. Over 45,000 Canadians participated in the process. Isapo-muxika or Sahpo Muxika, known more commonly as Crowfoot, was born circa 1830 near Belly River, Alta. and died April 25, 1890 near Blackfoot Crossing. Crowfoot was a leader of the Blackfoot Confederacy and known for his judicious use of diplomacy, and for being an advocate for peace between Indigenous nations and with settlers. He was instrumental in the Treaty 7 negotiations, and in preventing the Blackfoot Confederacy from participating in the North-West Resistance of 1885. Later in life, he also fostered peace with neighbouring Indigenous peoples. Others shortlisted for the $5 bill include Pitseolak Ashoona, Robertine Barry (“Françoise”), Binaaswi (Francis Pegahmagabow), Won Alexander Cumyow, Terry Fox, Lotta Hitschmanova, and Onondeyoh (Frederick Ogilvie Loft). The list will be submitted for consideration to the Minister of Finance. Each candidate will be judged on enacting positive change, being a national icon, universality (impacting Canada, reflecting values), uniqueness, and relevancy. The selected candidate will be announced in early 2021.Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times
WASHINGTON — The General Services Administration ascertained Monday that President-elect Joe Biden is the “apparent winner” of the Nov. 3 election, clearing the way for the start of the transition from President Donald Trump’s administration and allowing Biden to co-ordinate with federal agencies on plans for taking over on Jan. 20.Trump, who had refused to concede the election, said in a tweet that he is directing his team to co-operate on the transition but is vowing to keep up the fight.Administrator Emily Murphy made the determination after Trump efforts to subvert the vote failed across battleground states, citing, “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results.” Michigan certified Biden’s victory Monday, and a federal judge in Pennsylvania tossed a Trump campaign lawsuit on Saturday seeking to prevent certification in that state.Yohannes Abraham, the executive director of the Biden transition, said in a statement that the decision “is a needed step to begin tackling the challenges facing our nation, including getting the pandemic under control and our economy back on track.”He added: “In the days ahead, transition officials will begin meeting with federal officials to discuss the pandemic response, have a full accounting of our national security interests, and gain complete understanding of the Trump administration’s efforts to hollow out government agencies.”Murphy, a Trump appointee, had faced bipartisan criticism for failing to begin the transition process sooner, preventing Biden’s team from working with career agency officials on plans for his administration, including in critical national security and public health areas.“Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official—including those who work at the White House or GSA—with regard to the substance or timing of my decision,” Murphy wrote in a letter to Biden.Trump tweeted shortly after her letter was made public: “We will keep up the good fight and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”Pressure had been mounting on Murphy as an increasing number of Republicans, national security experts and business leaders said it was time for that process to move forward.Retiring Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, who has repeatedly called for the transition to begin, released a new statement Monday saying that Trump should “put the country first” and help Biden’s administration succeed.“When you are in public life, people remember the last thing you do,” Alexander said.Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio on Monday called for Murphy to release money and staffing needed for the transition. Portman, a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, also said Biden should receive high-level briefings on national security and the coronavirus vaccine distribution plan.Alexander and Portman, who have both aligned themselves with Trump, joined a growing number of Republican officials who in recent days have urged Trump to begin the transition immediately. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., also urged a smooth transition, saying in a statement Monday that “at some point, the 2020 election must end.”Meanwhile, more than 160 business leaders asked Murphy to immediately acknowledge Biden as president-elect and begin the transition to a new administration. “Withholding resources and vital information from an incoming administration puts the public and economic health and security of America at risk,? the business leaders said in an open letter to Murphy.Separately, more than 100 Republican former national security officials — including former Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte — said in a statement that Trump’s refusal to concede and allow for an orderly transition “constitutes a serious threat” to America’s democratic process. The officials signing the letter worked under four Republican presidents, including Trump.The statement called on “Republican leaders — especially those in Congress — to publicly demand that President Trump cease his anti-democratic assault on the integrity of the presidential election.”Trump had publicly refused to accept defeat and launched a series of losing court battles across the country making baseless claims of widespread voter fraud and seeking to overturn the election results.Murphy missed a deadline on Monday set by House Democrats to brief lawmakers about the delay in beginning the transition, which is usually a routine step between the election and the inauguration. A spokeswoman for the GSA said that a deputy administrator would instead hold two separate briefings for House and Senate committees on Nov. 30.In response, the Democratic chairs of four committees and subcommittees said they could reschedule the meeting for Tuesday, but no later.“We cannot wait yet another week to obtain basic information about your refusal to make the ascertainment determination,” the Democrats said in a letter to Murphy. “Every additional day that is wasted is a day that the safety, health, and well-being of the American people is imperiled as the incoming Biden-Harris administration is blocked from fully preparing for the coronavirus pandemic, our nation’s dire economic crisis, and our national security.”Portman said it was “only prudent” for GSA to begin the transition process immediately.“Donald Trump is our president until Jan. 20, 2021, but in the likely event that Joe Biden becomes our next president, it is in the national interest that the transition is seamless and that America is ready on Day One of a new administration for the challenges we face,? Portman wrote in an op-ed calling for the transition to begin.Murphy's ascertainment will free up money for the transition and clear the way for Biden’s team to begin placing transition personnel at federal agencies. Trump administration officials had said they would not give Biden the classified presidential daily briefing on intelligence matters until the GSA makes the ascertainment official.“Now that GSA Administrator Emily Murphy has fulfilled her duty and ascertained the election results, the formal presidential transition can begin in full force,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service. “Unfortunately, every day lost to the delayed ascertainment was a missed opportunity for the outgoing administration to help President-elect Joe Biden prepare to meet our country’s greatest challenges. The good news is that the president-elect and his team are the most prepared and best equipped of any incoming administration in recent memory.”Among those signing the letter from business leaders were Jon Gray, president of the Blackstone private equity firm; Robert Bakish, president and CEO of ViacomCBS Inc.; Henry Kravis, the co-chief executive of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., another private equity giant; David Solomon, CEO at Goldman Sachs; and George H. Walker, CEO of the investment firm Neuberger Berman and a second cousin to former President George W. Bush.Matthew Daly, Zeke Miller And Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
LONDON — Drugmaker AstraZeneca said Monday that late-stage trials showed its COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective, buoying the prospects of a relatively cheap, easy-to-store product that may become the vaccine of choice for the developing world.The results are based on an interim analysis of trials in the U.K. and Brazil of a vaccine developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca. No hospitalizations or severe cases of COVID-19 were reported in those receiving the vaccine.AstraZeneca is the third major drug company to report late-stage data for a potential COVID-19 vaccine as the world waits for scientific breakthroughs that will end a pandemic that has pummeled the world economy and led to 1.4 million deaths. But unlike the others, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doesn’t have to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, making it easier to distribute, especially in developing countries.“I think these are really exciting results,” Dr. Andrew Pollard, chief investigator for the trial, said at a news conference. “Because the vaccine can be stored at fridge temperatures, it can be distributed around the world using the normal immunization distribution system. And so our goal … to make sure that we have a vaccine that was accessible everywhere, I think we’ve actually managed to do that.”The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in one of the dosing regimens tested; it was less effective in another. Earlier this month, rival drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna reported preliminary results from late-stage trials showing their vaccines were almost 95% effective.While the AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored at 2 degrees to 8 degrees Celsius (36 degrees to 46 degrees Fahrenheit), the Pfizer and Moderna products must be stored at temperatures approaching minus-70 degrees Celsius (minus-94 Fahrenheit).The AstraZeneca vaccine is also cheaper.AstraZeneca, which has pledged it won’t make a profit on the vaccine during the pandemic, has reached agreements with governments and international health organizations that put its cost at about $2.50 a dose. Pfizer’s vaccine costs about $20, while Moderna’s is $15 to $25, based on agreements the companies have struck to supply their vaccines to the U.S. government.All three vaccines must be approved by regulators before they can be widely distributed.AstraZeneca applied for approval of its vaccine candidate in Canada on Oct. 1, under a special process that is allowing Health Canada to review COVID-19 vaccines for use at the same time as the vaccines are finishing their final clinical trials. Pfizer and Moderna have also applied for the rolling-review process.Canada signed a deal with AstraZeneca at the end of September to secure 20 million doses of the highly touted vaccine. The federal government has not said when those doses would be available to Canadians, but they can't be distributed here until Health Canada gives the vaccine the green light for use.Oxford researchers and AstraZeneca stressed they weren’t competing with other projects and said multiple vaccines would be needed to reach enough of the world’s population to end the pandemic.“We need to be able to make a lot of vaccine for the world quickly, and it’s best if we can do it with different technologies so that if one technology runs into a roadblock, then we’ve got alternatives, we've got diversity,'' professor Sarah Gilbert, a leader of the Oxford team, told The Associated Press. “Diversity is going to be good here, but also in terms of manufacturing, we don’t want to run out of raw materials.”AstraZeneca said it will immediately apply for early approval of the vaccine where possible, and it will seek an emergency use listing from the World Health Organization, so it can make the vaccine available in low-income countries.The AstraZeneca trial looked at two different dosing regimens. A half-dose of the vaccine followed by a full dose at least one month later was 90% effective. Another approach, giving patients two full doses one month apart, was 62% effective.That means that, overall, when both ways of dosing are considered, the vaccine showed an efficacy rate of 70%.Gilbert said researchers aren't sure why giving a half-dose followed by a larger dose was more effective, and they plan to investigate further. But the answer is probably related to providing exactly the right amount of vaccine to get the best response, she said.“It's the Goldilocks amount that you want, I think, not too little and not too much. Too much could give you a poor quality response as well ...,'' she said. "I’m glad that we looked at more than one dose because it turns out to be really important.”The vaccine uses a weakened version of a common cold virus that is combined with genetic material for the characteristic spike protein of the virus that causes COVID-19. After vaccination, the spike protein primes the immune system to attack the virus if it later infects the body.Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, said the finding that a smaller initial dose is more effective than a larger one is good news because it may reduce costs and mean more people can be vaccinated with a given supply of the vaccine.“The report that an initial half-dose is better than a full dose seems counterintuitive for those of us thinking of vaccines as normal drugs: With drugs, we expect that higher doses have bigger effects, and more side-effects,” he said. “But the immune system does not work like that.”The results reported Monday come from trials in the U.K. and Brazil that involved 23,000 people. Of those, 11,636 people received the vaccine — while the rest got a placebo.Overall, there were 131 cases of COVID-19. Details on how many people in the various groups became ill weren’t released Monday, but researchers said they will be published in the next 24 hours.Late-stage trials of the vaccine are also underway in the U.S., Japan, Russia, South Africa, Kenya and Latin America, with further trials planned for other European and Asian countries.Researchers said they expect to add the half dose-full dose regimen to the U.S. trial in a “matter of weeks.’’ Before doing so they must discuss the changes with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.The AstraZeneca trials were paused earlier this year after a participant in the U.K. study reported a rare neurological illness. While the trials were quickly restarted in most countries after investigators determined the condition wasn’t related to the vaccine, the FDA delayed the U.S. study for more than a month before it was allowed to resume.AstraZeneca has been ramping up manufacturing capacity, so it can supply hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine starting in January, Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said earlier this month.Soriot said Monday that the Oxford vaccine’s simpler supply chain and AstraZeneca’s commitment to provide it on a non-profit basis during the pandemic mean it will be affordable and available to people around the world.“This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against COVID-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency,’’ Soriot said.British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he felt “a great sense of relief” at the news from AstraZeneca.Britain has ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine, and the government says several million doses can be produced before the end of the year if it is approved by regulators.Just months ago, “the idea that by November we would have three vaccines, all of which have got high effectiveness … I would have given my eye teeth for,” Hancock said.From the beginning of their collaboration with AstraZeneca, Oxford scientists have demanded that the vaccine be made available equitably to everyone in the world so rich countries can't corner the market as has happened during previous pandemics.Leaders of the world's most powerful nations on Sunday agreed to work together to ensure “affordable and equitable access" to COVID-19 drugs, tests and vaccines.“If we don’t have the vaccine available in many, many countries, and we just protect a small number of them, then we can’t go back to normal because the virus is going to keep coming back and causing problems again," Gilbert said. “No one is safe until we’re all safe.”___Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreakDanica Kirka And Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
A Black man who was stopped by police while dropping his son off at daycare eight years ago was racially profiled, the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal has found.The tribunal ordered the Montreal suburb of Longueuil, a Longueuil police officer and a former police officer to pay Joel Debellefeuille $10,000 in damages, plus interest.Debellefeuille was stopped by police outside his son's daycare in March 2012, after police followed his car for more than a kilometre.In his decision, Judge Christian Brunelle said the city must adopt a policy on profiling that would include providing training to officers, and collecting and evaluating race-based data on people who are stopped by police. Brunelle also said Quebec's human rights commission must pay the plaintiff's legal fees, ruling that the delays in responding to Debellefeuille's complaint were abnormally long and unacceptable. In addition, Dominic Polidoro, who remains a police officer, was ordered to pay $2,000 in punitive damages.The tribunal's ruling is binding, unlike those of the human rights commission.According to the decision, Polidoro testified that he followed Debellefeuille's vehicle because he thought Debellefeuille was looking at him, had gestured toward him and had said something to him while the two vehicles were stopped at a stop sign.Brunelle found that Polidoro's explanation didn't justify his stop of Debellefeuille."It is highly improbable that a white man (or woman) who, while driving their vehicle observed a police officer while continuing to talk with the other passengers and gesticulating — as many people do incidentally while expressing themselves — would be considered a suspect for that sole reason," Brunelle wrote.Brunelle found that Polidoro's actions could only be "rationally explained by the prejudices he maintained, whether consciously or not, toward a Black man driving a luxury car."Debellefeuille, who was driving a BMW at the time, told the tribunal that he had been stopped "numerous times" by police.The other officer who stopped Debellefeuille, Jean-Claude Bleu Voua, was not ordered to pay additional punitive damages because he is no longer a police officer and could not be found by the tribunal.He is believed to have left the country.'This is how we make progress'Collecting race-based data is an important step, said Fo Niemi, the executive director of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations, which supported Debellefeuille's complaint.Niemi said that data will make it harder for the police department to deny that racial profiling exists.He said his organization is looking to the courts, because municipal and provincial politicians aren't taking action to stop racial profiling."What we are seeing now is that these battles will have to be fought in the courts and when the court sides with us and imposes these decisions," Niemi said. "This is how we make progress."Neither the Longueuil municipal government — which sought to have the case dismissed — nor its police service responded to a request for comment on Saturday.Quebec's human rights commission praised the decision in a statement.The commission is also calling for another Montreal suburb and three of its police officers to pay $35,000 in damages to a Black man who says he was racially profiled.Francois Ducas was also driving a BMW when he was stopped by Repentigny police.Ducas, who objected to the stop and refused to identify himself, was handcuffed and searched.Police issued Ducas, a secondary school teacher, two tickets: one for obstruction, the other for injuring a police officer.The commission believes he was stopped because of his race.Repentigny is challenging the commission's decision. That challenge will be heard before the Human Rights Tribunal.Marlène Girard, the director of communications for Repentigny, said she couldn't comment on the case but that the municipality has "increased the number of initiatives seeking to bring the police service closer to the diversity of its population" over the past few years."Today we acknowledge that we still have work to do," Girard wrote in an email. "We are being proactive, we are not waiting for the outcome of current cases of alleged racial profiling or future allegations in order to take action."Last week, the Repentigny police service announced it had hired a consulting firm to develop a plan to be more inclusive.However, Niemi said he believes the Repentigny police are still denying the seriousness of the problem.
The Nova Scotia Health Authority has stopped hospital visits in the central zone amid rising case numbers and community spread of COVID-19 in the Halifax area.The restrictions include NSHA facilities in Halifax Regional Municipality, Eastern Shore and West Hants. However, up to two people will still be allowed in to support patients at the end of life, in palliative care, women in labour, and children under 18 who are admitted.There are also circumstances where one person is allowed to help a patient. They include children in outpatients and those who have physical, intellectual, cognitive and emotional conditions. NSHA also says people coming for an early labour assessment can also bring one person with them. Caught off guardThe pause on most hospital visits in the central zone was announced on Twitter Friday night, hours after a public briefing with Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, catching some families off guard. Tim Houston, the leader of the provincial Progressive Conservative party, criticized the way people were informed, and said it should have been announced at the briefing. "There has to be a plan in place to ensure that families know what is happening to their loved one in hospital," he said in a news release. "I understand the restrictions for safety, but if families can't visit, they need a point of contact."On Monday, NSHA apologized to patients and their families for the timing. "This is a very difficult time for everyone and we acknowledge that the sudden change came as a surprise," it said in a statement. "Based on advice and a recommendation from our clinical teams, we felt it was important to act quickly. Our priority is keeping COVID-19 out of our hospitals, which, as we've seen in other areas of Canada and around the world, can have serious implications."The health authority said it will continue to monitor case numbers and more changes may be made in the future. MORE TOP STORIES
The CP Holiday Train is a tradition that many hold dear in Medicine Hat. This year, the train is going to have a different look compared to previous iterations. Canadian Pacific is holding a virtual concert this year, so people can still take live music in while not crowding outside with hundreds of others. “Unfortunately because of COVID-19, we had to make the choice to hold the train virtual this year,” said CP spokesperson Salem Woodrow. “The spirit will continue with the Holiday Train at Home Concert.” The concert will launch at 6 p.m. on Dec. 12 on the Canadian Pacific Facebook page. “Even though it’s not in-person, we’re happy to bring the train to communities this year,” said Woodrow. The concert will be headlined by Canadian rock band, The Trews and singer Serena Ryder. Jojo Mason, Logan Staats and Kelly Prescott will also be performing. As is tradition, people will be encouraged to donate to their local food bank as part of the Holiday Train experience. “We know it’s been a hard year for everyone, but we encourage people to donate as best they can this year, and to be as generous as they’re able to be,” said Woodrow. Canadian Pacific will be making donations to food banks in all municipalities that the train usually stops in. The Holiday Train has been around for 22 years, and has stopped all around North America. In its first 21 years, the train has raised more than $17 million and has collected nearly five million pounds of food for food banks. People can find CP on social media platforms by searching for Canadian Pacific.Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
ATLANTA — After the Trump campaign requested a recount of the presidential ballots in Georgia, county election workers have just over a week to complete the new tally, a top elections official said Monday.The election results certified last week by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger showed Democrat Joe Biden beating Republican President Donald Trump by 12,670 votes out of about 5 million cast, or about 0.25%. Under state law, a candidate can request a recount when the margin is less than 0.5%.The Trump campaign on Saturday sent a formal request for a recount to the secretary of state’s office.The counties can begin the recount at 9 a.m. Tuesday and must finish by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 2, Gabriel Sterling, who oversaw the implementation of the state's new voting system for the secretary of state's office, said during a video news conference Monday. The counties are to give public notice of when during that period they will be counting so monitors from political parties and any interested members of the public can be there to observe, Sterling said.This will be the third time the votes in the presidential race have been counted in Georgia. After the initial count following Election Day, Raffensperger selected the presidential race for an audit required by state law. Because of the tight margin, he said, the audit required every vote in that contest to be recounted by hand.County election workers completed that hand tally last week. Because some previously uncounted ballots were discovered during the audit, several counties had to recertify their totals. Then the secretary of state certified the results and Gov. Brian Kemp certified the state's slate of 16 presidential electors.A state election board rule mandates that the recount requested by the Trump campaign be done by machine. County election workers will create test decks of 100 ballots — 75 marked by touchscreen voting machines and 25 marked by hand — and count those ballots by hand, Sterling said. Then they run those ballots through a scanner to make sure the tallies match. Once they determine each scanner is counting accurately, every single ballot will be rescanned, he said.Sterling also addressed a request the state Republican Party made Sunday urging the secretary of state to order an audit of the absentee ballots cast in the 2020 election, including verification of the signature match process.When Georgia voters return an absentee ballot, they have to sign an oath on the outer envelope. County election office workers are required to ensure the signature matches the one on the absentee ballot application and the one in the voter registration system, Raffensperger has said. Once the signatures are verified, to protect ballot secrecy enshrined in Georgia law, the ballots are separated from the envelopes and can't be matched back to individual voters.Sterling said the secretary of state's office is still reviewing whether any sort of investigation is appropriate, but he said there hasn't been any specific claim that the signature match process was not done properly.“We can't really see a legal path that makes any sense because if you open up investigations on a generalized grievance without any evidence, that leaves it open for somebody else in the future to do the exact same thing,” Sterling said.Also Monday, the state election board held a special called meeting and approved an extension of two emergency rules meant to accommodate the large number of absentee ballots expected because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. One rule authorizes absentee ballot drop boxes in each county. The other allows counties to begin opening and scanning absentee ballots about two weeks before the election, and the board added a requirement for them to begin that processing one week before Election Day.The election board had planned to discuss another possible emergency rule on verification of residency during the voter registration process. But secretary of state's office general counsel Ryan Germany told the board members that it turns out state law already addresses the issue, and the secretary of state's office decided instead to send county election officials instructions reminding them of their authority and responsibilities under that law.Kate Brumback, The Associated Press
A Chatham-Kent councillor wants to make the most of the local waterways. On Monday, West Kent Coun. Melissa Harrigan will be presenting a motion to develop a working group focused on water in Chatham-Kent. “It’s actually something that I campaigned on – getting a more holistic water strategy discussed in Chatham-Kent because many of our communities touch water in some way shape or form,” she said. Harrigan said the group would not so much be focused on conservation, although that would play a part, but rather “what we should do in terms of access to water and bridge repair.” “I’m looking out my window now, there’s a river in my backyard, and I’d love to see more people kayaking on that river,” she said. Compared to other waterfront communities, Chatham-Kent's natural amenities are under-promised and not well recognized, according to Harrigan. “I want to see very much what I would describe as a celebration of water.” Some of the initiatives Harrigan has in mind include increasing rental locations for kayakers and paddlers. There is already a movement in Wheatley to develop the harbour and waterfront, as well as Wallaceburg where there’s a movement to have supportive infrastructure that enables WAMBO further, according to Harrigan. Harrigan said more public access to the water will draw in more tourism, both locally and from neighbouring regions, which in turn will also help raise awareness of conservation efforts. Recently local kayaker Sally Joyce gained attention by local media for cleaning up the rivers, hauling laundry bags full of garbage. Harrigan referenced that as another example of projects she hopes the working group can help expand on. “We’ve had a lot of challenges and I think there’s a lot of opportunities for us to embrace water,” she said. “We need to get feedback and pull people together to talk about what the best approach is. ” “I’d like to see Chatham-Kent step up its game.” Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice
RCMP are looking to speak to a woman who allegedly assaulted an employee of Skaha Lake Liquor Store in Penticton after he had asked her to wear a mask. Penticton RCMP say they responded to a report of an assault at the Skaha Lake Liquor Store on Nov. 21, 2020 at 1:48 p.m. In a post on social media, Skaha Lake Liquor store alleges (with video) that a woman entered the store without a mask and when asked to put one on, she damaged the employee’s cellular phone and spit at the employee. The woman who was wearing a black and pink coloured jacket is described by RCMP as: “It’s extremely troubling an employee who was only following the provincial health orders, was subject to an assault of this nature,” said Sgt. Jason Bayda, Media Relations Officer for the Penticton South Okanagan RCMP. “Spitting at someone is a concern anytime, let alone in the midst of a pandemic.” RCMP are aware of the security footage of the woman making the rounds on social media, and police say they “would like to first provide her an opportunity to come forward and speak to investigators about the matter.” The post on Skaha Lake Liquor Store’s Facebook page also alleges the woman made “racial comments” towards the employee. Penticton RCMP are asking the woman or anyone else who may have information into this matter to call them at 250-492-4300 or to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).Dale Boyd, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Times-Chronicle
SOUTH BRUCE – Sixty-four per cent of South Bruce residents would vote ‘no’ to a deep geological repository (DGR) if a vote were held today, according to results from an independent survey held in October. Sixteen per cent of respondents indicated they would vote for the proposal while 20 per cent said they were not sure. A total of 284 adult residents participated in the survey. The survey intended to represent the adult population of South Bruce. Protect Our Waterways – No Nuclear Waste (POW-NNW) commissioned Mainstreet Research, one of Canada’s top public opinion and market research firms, to ask residents of South Bruce “if a community vote were held today would you vote for or against creating a deep underground storage facility in South Bruce for high-level radioactive nuclear waste?” Residents were also asked how informed they felt about the issues. Sixty-four per cent answering they feel either very informed or somewhat informed. Only 13 per cent said they felt not informed at all. “This is a clear and resounding rejection of the proposed DGR,” Michelle Stein, president of POW-NNW said, “and residents feel informed enough to make the decision that they are not a willing host.” These findings echo the Municipality of South Bruce’s smaller poll from September 2020, which indicated that 74 per cent of residents want a referendum to vote on the project and 81 per cent of residents disagree with the municipality’s 36 principles for determining the community’s willingness to host the project. “Mayor Buckle and council have said repeatedly they are ‘willing to listen,’” added Ron Groen, a board member for POW-NNW. “I expect Mayor Buckle to listen to this message from a clear majority of the community and tell the NWMO our community is not a willing host.”Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
Atlantic Canada's bubble allowed free travel between the four provinces, thanks to initially low COVID-19 cases in the region. But as concerns rise over infections now slowly rising in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward are pulling out of that bubble - for now. Mike Armstrong reports.
Pandémie oblige, le Double défi des deux Mario se fera à distance, cette année. Alors que Mario Cantin et Mario Bilodeau ont décidé de faire le tour du lac Saint-Jean en ski, parcourant 200 kilomètres en 10 jours du 5 au 14 février 2021, ils invitent les participants à se lancer un défi personnel tout en amassant des fonds pour les jeunes atteints du cancer. « On ne peut pas amener du monde avec nous, alors on va partir ensemble pour faire le tour du lac », lance d’emblée Mario Bilodeau, le fondateur du Double défi des deux Mario. Cette année, le défi servira de point d’ancrage, et de modèle, pour inciter les gens à se lancer un défi personnel, renchérit Mario Cantin, vice-président ventes et distribution pour Banque Nationale assurances. « En ski, en raquette, à pied, on invite les gens à se lancer un défi physique à la hauteur de leurs capacités », dit-il. Ce défi peut se faire de manière individuelle ou en groupe, sur une journée ou même pendant 10 jours, alors que les deux Mario parcourront le Piekouagami entre le 5 et le 14 février. Ces derniers suggèrent aux participants de tenter de repousser leurs limites, question de sortir de leur zone de confort. « Un gros volet du Double défi, c’est le défi que chacun accomplit à l’intérieur de soi », remarque Mario Cantin. « Les gens peuvent voir ça comme une pratique avant de venir participer au Double défi en 2022 », ajoute Mario Bilodeau. Par exemple, un bon défi pourrait être de franchir 200 km en 10 jours, seul ou en équipe, donnent-ils en exemple. Un défi en boîte Dès qu’un participant s’inscrira au Double défi, il recevra un kit d’aventurier en boîte qui lui sera livré par la poste, un concept développé l’hiver dernier pour remplacer une expédition au Nunavik. La boîte inclura notamment des trucs d’entraînement, des capsules et des outils pour la préparation financière, « tout ce qu’il faut pour qu’ils puissent préparer et réussir leur défi », explique Mario Bilodeau. Les deux Mario feront le tour du lac Saint-Jean cet hiver, parcourant une distance de 200 km en 10 jours en autonomie complète. Ça sera un moyen d’inspirer les gens à réaliser leur propre défi à la maison. COURTOISIE, ADRÉNAFILM Chaque participant aura aussi la mission d’amasser 500 dollars dans le cadre de cet événement, qui sert de collecte de fonds pour les expéditions thérapeutiques réalisées par la fondation Sur la pointe des pieds. Pour une première fois, plusieurs prix seront offerts aux participants, dont des traîneaux et un kit d’aventurier, sous la forme d’un tirage. Chaque tranche de 100 dollars en excédent qui sera amassé donnera un coupon de participation. Rio Tinto sera partenaire du Double défi pour une quatrième année consécutive avec une aide financière de 25 000 dollars. Mais ce n’est qu’une partie du soutien apporté à l’événement, car Stéphane Larouche, directeur des opérations Énergie Électrique et Programme de stabilisation des berges du lac Saint-Jean, compte recruter 50 personnes au sein de son équipe pour accomplir le défi à la maison, ce qui permettrait d’amasser un autre 25 000 dollars. « Rio Tinto veut faire une différence pour des jeunes qui ont été atteints d’un cancer et pour sensibiliser nos employés à la cause en leur permettant de vivre une expérience humaine unique et de s’impliquer sur le plan personnel, dit-il. Je suis heureux de participer à nouveau au défi pour permettre d’offrir des expériences inoubliables à ces jeunes, et ce, malgré la pandémie. » Même si les participants ne pourront pas vivre l’expérience de dormir une nuit sur les glaces du lac Saint-Jean, Mario Cantin estime qu’il sera possible de rejoindre une autre clientèle, en mobilisant des gens qui n’étaient pas prêts pour une si grande aventure, mais qui souhaitent tout de même s’impliquer pour aider les jeunes. COURTOISIE, ADRÉNAFILM La pandémie de COVID-19 amène son lot de difficultés. « C’est “tough” ce qu’on vit en ce moment, mais ce n’est rien par rapport à ce que les jeunes atteints du cancer doivent passer à travers », ajoute ce dernier. Les aventures thérapeutiques leur permettent de développer de nouvelles aptitudes et de réaliser des choses qu’ils se croyaient incapables de faire auparavant. Ils deviennent alors plus résilients et mieux équipés pour faire face aux défis quotidiens, estime Mario Bilodeau. « Et c’est justement cette résilience dont nous aurons besoin pour passer à travers cette pandémie. On veut continuer à offrir des petits miracles aux jeunes et à leur famille et pour y arriver », dit-il, espérant qu’un maximum de participants s’inscrira au Double défi en boîte. \+ DES BESOINS ÉNORMES POUR LES JEUNES ATTEINTS DE CANCER Depuis plus de 20 ans, la fondation Sur la pointe des pieds réalise des expéditions thérapeutiques pour aider les jeunes atteints du cancer à se dépasser. Pendant la pandémie, les expéditions sur le terrain ont été remplacées par des « défis en boîte » envoyés aux participants par la poste. L’équipe travaille d’arrache-pied pour développer un nouveau concept qui permettra d’accueillir des jeunes à l’été 2021, tout en respectant les mesures sanitaires. « Les jeunes ont besoin de nous plus que jamais », soutient Jean-Charles Fortin, le directeur général de la fondation. D’emblée, les jeunes atteints du cancer vivent une détresse profonde, dit-il, et cette détresse est exacerbée lors d’une situation anxiogène comme on le vit en cette période de pandémie. COURTOISIE, ADRÉNAFILM « C’est stressant quand tes traitements sont repoussés et que tu sais que le cancer continue de progresser, remarque Jean-Charles Fortin. Et pour ceux qui ont commencé les traitements, ils se retrouvent avec un système immunitaire affaibli pendant une pandémie, ce qui n’est pas plus encourageant. » « On se devait d’adapter nos collectes de fonds pour continuer à offrir des aventures thérapeutiques », conclut-il, ajoutant que la formule par la poste n’impose aucune limite de participants.Guillaume Roy, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
NAIROBI, Kenya — Ethiopia’s government is again warning residents of the besieged capital of the embattled Tigray region as the clock ticks on a 72-hour ultimatum before a military assault, saying “anything can happen.”Senior official Redwan Hussein told reporters Monday that the Tigray regional leaders are “hiding out in a densely populated city; the slightest strike would end up losing lives.”Human rights groups and others were alarmed over the weekend when Ethiopia’s military warned civilians in the Tigray capital, Mekele, that there would be “no mercy” if they don’t “save themselves” before the offensive to flush out defiant regional leaders. Amnesty International warns that deliberately attacking civilians and civilian objects “is prohibited under international humanitarian law and constitutes war crimes.”Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister, issued a 72-hour ultimatum Sunday for the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or TPLF, to surrender.Redwan said that Mekele, a city of around 500,000 people, is now encircled at a distance of about 50 kilometres (30 miles), and with rougher terrain left behind “what remains is the plain land, easier for tanks.”He added, “by providing a brute fact, it is letting people to understand the reality and make the right choice.” Ethiopia’s government is urging Mekele residents to separate themselves from the TPLF leaders in time.Cara Anna, The Associated Press
En construisant 24 logements, une halte-garderie, un espace communautaire et un centre d’escalade intérieur à Roberval, la Corporation de développement des premiers peuples souhaite offrir de l’hébergement à prix modique pour les familles autochtones, mais aussi un milieu de vie où la culture et la langue font partie du quotidien. Le projet de 6 millions de dollars est en attente d’une réponse de la Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ). Avec les deux incendies qui ont ravagé des immeubles à loyer modique à Roberval au cours de la dernière année, les appartements bon marché sont rares, souligne Mélanie Boivin, directrice générale du Centre d’amitié autochtone du Lac-Saint-Jean (CAALSJ). Et lorsqu’il y a des logements disponibles, ils sont trop petits pour accueillir de grandes familles, comme c’est souvent le cas chez les familles autochtones, ajoute cette dernière. Elle cite en exemple le cas d’une mère de six enfants, monoparentale, qui vit avec sa mère... dans un trois et demi. Plusieurs autres familles sont dans la même situation, car la population autochtone représentait déjà près de 10 % de la population à Roberval en 2015, soit 965 personnes, selon les données de Statistique Canada. Avec la croissance de la population autochtone en milieu urbain, ce nombre doit être plus grand aujourd’hui, estime Mélanie Boivin, qui remarque que la majorité est d’origine atikamekw. En travaillant constamment avec la clientèle autochtone, le Centre d’amitié a voulu trouver une solution durable au manque d’hébergement. Il y a près de deux ans, l’organisation a donc fait l’achat d’un terrain, au coin de l’avenue Sainte-Angèle et de la rue Scott, un investissement de 140 000 $. Le plan : construire un milieu de vie pour les familles autochtones à Roberval, tout en revitalisant un secteur qui en a bien besoin. Pour développer un projet d’hébergement, le CAALSJ a créé la Corporation de développement des premiers peuples (CDPP), en 2020, en partenariat avec le Conseil de la nation atikamekw et le Centre d’amitié autochtone de Saguenay. Et c’est cette corporation qui a soumis une demande de financement de 6 M $ à la SHQ. Dénommé Mishtik, ce qui veut dire « arbre » en innu et en atikamekw, le projet vise à construire un bâtiment de 24 logements, dont 12 unités de trois chambres, six unités de quatre chambres, trois unités de deux chambres et trois autres de cinq chambres. Au-delà d’offrir des appartements assez grands, le projet vise aussi à offrir du répit aux parents en mettant sur pied une halte-garderie. COURTOISIE Un espace communautaire permettra aussi aux résidants de se rassembler et de s’impliquer dans des activités sociales. « Ça permettra de créer un des rares milieux de vie hors des réserves où il sera possible de parler l’atikamekw ou le nehlueun, remarque Mélanie Boivin. Ce projet sera culturellement sécurisant et on compte y rattacher une entreprise d’économie sociale pour offrir des opportunités de développement des compétences et savoirs aux locataires. » Sabin Côté, maire de Roberval, a été impliqué dans le projet depuis ses débuts et il le voit d’un très bon oeil. « C’est un projet structurant qui permettra de créer un milieu de vie enrichissant », estime le premier magistrat. L’investissement de 6 M $ permettrait de revitaliser le secteur centre-ville, dit-il. Centre de transformation sociale Pour bien soutenir les familles qui occuperont le bâtiment, un centre de transformation sociale sera également mis sur pied, un projet de 150 000 $ financé par la Société canadienne d’hypothèque et de logement (SCHL). Ce service, similaire à ce qui est offert dans un Office municipal d’habitation (OMH), offrira notamment de l’aide à la gestion du budget. « Ce sera un service complémentaire qui permettra de soutenir les familles », explique Mélanie Boivin. L’escalade comme pont entre les nations Le futur bâtiment sera aussi un point de rencontre entre les cultures, car une structure d’escalade intérieure y sera aménagée. « On veut mettre le paquet », souligne Jean-François Gill, un instructeur d’escalade innu qui a participé au développement de ce projet. COURTOISIE Dans un premier temps, des structures sur blocs, où les gens peuvent pratiquer leur technique sans harnais au-dessus d’un gros matelas, seront installées. Un mur d’escalade sera aussi aménagé sur toute la hauteur de l’édifice de trois étages. « Je pense que c’est un projet qui a le potentiel d’unir les peuples par le sport », remarque Jean-François Gill. Ce dernier estime qu’une telle infrastructure permettra de faire bouger les jeunes. « J’ai découvert une passion avec l’escalade, et ça m’a donné le feu de vouloir clencher quelque chose de nouveau, confie-t-il. Malgré mon trouble de l’attention, l’escalade m’a permis de canaliser mon énergie et de trouver la concentration supplémentaire pour atteindre mes buts. » Avec le projet Mishtik, le formateur souhaite pouvoir partager sa passion au plus grand nombre et faire croître l’escalade dans la région. Il a d’ailleurs déjà ciblé des secteurs pour développer des voies d’escalade extérieures à Val-Jalbert et près de Dolbeau-Mistassini. À l’heure actuelle, le projet est dans les mains de la SHQ. Pour accélérer le processus, Mélanie Boivin a communiqué directement avec le bureau de la ministre des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation, Andrée Laforest. « C’est inhumain, ce que certaines familles autochtones doivent vivre en ce moment », conclut-elle, espérant que le projet reçoive le financement le plus tôt possible.Guillaume Roy, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
Nearly one year after Maxwell Johnson and his granddaughter were handcuffed after trying to open a bank account in Vancouver, the Heiltsuk First Nation artist has filed a human rights complaint against Bank of Montreal and the Vancouver police. The complaint was filed Monday (Nov. 23). Johnson’s lawyers also released the transcript of the 911 call and redacted Vancouver police report. Johnson and Torianne were arrested by officers on Dec. 20, 2019, in response to a 911 call made by BMO staff reporting fraud in progress after an employee had grown suspicious of recent transactions on Johnson’s existing BMO account and alleged issues with their Status Cards. According to complaint documents, one of those recent transactions included a large deposit resulting from a legal settlement between Heiltsuk First Nation and Canada, and a recent small transfer to a family member. “From the BMO manager deciding our members didn’t belong, to the 911 call to police, to the cuffing, detention and questioning of Max and his granddaughter about how they came to be at the bank, this was a clear case of racial profiling and systemic racism,” said Marilyn Slett, Chief Councillor of the Heiltsuk Nation in a news release. “Max and his granddaughter deserve justice for the pain this incident caused, and BMO and the VPD must take steps to ensure this never happens again.” An apology issued by BMO earlier this year was rejected by Johnson.Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune
HURON COUNTY – Gift giving just got easier in Huron County with the release of an online wish book on Nov. 12. Highlighting local businesses, the Wish Book provides plenty of gift ideas from retailers and companies across Huron County. Whether looking for a handcrafted one-of-a-kind item or popular brand name products, everyone can find great gift-giving ideas available right in their backyard. According to a press release from Huron County, Canadians spent an average of $1,593 on holiday gifts last year. Not only does shopping locally keep those dollars in Huron communities, but purchasing gifts from local merchants is also the most convenient choice to avoid crowded malls, unexpected delivery delays from online retailers, and making unnecessary trips out of town. There will be daily gift-giving inspiration posts between now and Dec. 24. A weekly draw for $100 in gift certificates from local merchants on Ontario’s West Coast Facebook and Instagram pages. You can view the Huron County Wish Book at https://www.ontarioswestcoast.ca/wishbook and scroll through all of the gift ideas to show support for Huron County businesses and communities this holiday season. The County of Huron developed the Huron County Wish Book in partnership with the Blyth BIA, Central Huron BIA, Community Futures Huron, Goodrich BIA, Huron County Chamber of Commerce Seaforth BIA, Municipality of Bluewater, South Huron Chamber of Commerce, Town of Goderich, Wingham BIA and the Zurich District Chamber of Commerce.Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times