RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea, and Vinegar Strokes share their thoughts on keeping up with beauty trends and unrealistic standards. Watch the latest episodef from Reality Check.
RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea, and Vinegar Strokes share their thoughts on keeping up with beauty trends and unrealistic standards. Watch the latest episodef from Reality Check.
Les montagnes, l’air frais et les forêts laurentiennes attirent les amateurs de sports d’hiver dans les Pays d’en Haut depuis plus d’un siècle, faisant du tourisme le moteur économique de la région. Malgré la pandémie, le confinement et le couvre-feu, cette année ne fait pas exception. Bien au contraire! Discussion avec André Genest, préfet de la MRC des Pays-d’en-Haut. « Le gouvernement a demandé aux gens d’aller jouer dehors. Alors, je ne sais pas s’ils ont peur de la vice-première ministre ou s’ils sont dociles (rire), mais ils sont allés jouer dehors! », lance en boutade M. Genest, en référence à l’achalandage sans précédent des dernières semaines dans la MRC. Le préfet admet toutefois que le phénomène n’est pas unique aux Pays d’en Haut. Des collègues préfets lui ont rapporté des situations semblables ailleurs dans les Laurentides, et il est persuadé que c’est vrai pour l’ensemble du Québec. Les Québécois ont soif de plein air, et les Pays d’en Haut sont prêts à leur en offrir. « Nous sommes toujours contents de recevoir des excursionnistes, et nous sommes toujours un milieu accueillant », souligne M. Genest. L’achalandage élevé des dernières semaines a toutefois causé quelques inquiétudes chez les élus et les résidents de la région. À l’entrée des sentiers les plus populaires, les stationnements ont débordé, des rassemblements ont été aperçus et des citoyens ont été dérangés. Certaines municipalités ont même décidé de limiter l’accès à leurs infrastructures à leurs résidents seulement. M. Genest comprend la frustration de certains résidents, surtout que plusieurs sont venus s’installer dans les Pays d’en Haut pour les sports d’hiver, oui, mais aussi pour la quiétude. Mais pour le préfet, l’enjeu est plutôt de mieux répartir les usagers. Après tout, ce n’est pas la nature qui manque! « J’encouragerais les gens à découvrir des endroits moins populaires. » Il donne l’exemple du parc du Corridor aérobique, un ancien chemin de fer converti en parc linéaire, qui lie Morin-Heights à Amherst sur 58 km. Il mentionne aussi une nouvelle section de ski de fond entre Lac-des-Seize-Îles et Montcalm et des sentiers pour le biathlon à Wentworth-Nord. « Nos plateformes numériques montrent les endroits et les circuits disponibles. J’invite les gens à regarder ce qu’il y a à découvrir. Il y a des choses moins connues. Arrêtons d’aller toujours aux mêmes endroits et soyons imaginatifs! », soutient M. Genest. Les centres d’accueil peuvent aussi rediriger les excursionnistes vers des sentiers moins achalandés. Surtout, si vous arrivez quelque part et que le stationnement est plein, c’est signe que l’aventure vous attend ailleurs. Le préfet insiste que se stationner dans les rues avoisinantes peut gêner la circulation et les opérations de déneigement, voire compromettre la sécurité publique, si une ambulance ou des pompiers devaient passer pour porter assistance à un randonneur blessé ou en détresse. M. Genest encourage aussi tant les résidents et les villégiateurs que les visiteurs à varier les jours et les heures auxquels ils profitent du plein air. Les jours de semaine sont toujours moins achalandés, par exemple. « Je marche tous les matins à 6h, et je ne rencontre personne. Même à 7h ou 8h, il y a peu de monde. Il ne faut pas que tout le monde arrive en même temps à 10h ou à midi! Bon… si on marche à 6h il fait encore noir, mais à 7h, on peut profiter d’un magnifique lever de soleil! » Même si le nombre de cas actifs a diminué dans les Pays d’en Haut, le préfet indique qu’il faut demeurer prudents. Vous pouvez profiter des sentiers avec votre bulle familiale, mais pas avec un groupe d’amis, rappelle-t-il. « Et quand c’est plein, c’est plein! On ne veut pas revoir de situation comme cet été en Gaspésie. Généralement, les gens sont très respectueux, mais c’est sûr que les résidents ne veulent pas être envahis », prévient M. Genest.Simon Cordeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
The story of the Cats of Paint Lake starts four years ago, with Heather Deveaux and her cabin out on the lake in Dorset. At the time, she and her partner Kyal would feed the odd feral cat that crossed their paths. Soon, they began getting regulars and formed bonds with the strays roaming around. “When they bond to a human, when they decide they really like you … You know they’ve really chosen you,” Deveaux said. Today, Deveaux has hosted dozens of feral cats at her cabin and, with financial support from locals, has managed to find some homes and spay or neuter others before returning them to the wild. Deveaux had no shortage of experiences with cats before this project: several years ago, while living in Toronto, she adopted a feral cat from a humane society. “That they can still retain their sweetness, their curiosity and their sense of fun even when they’ve lived like that is kind of a marvel,” she said. Deveaux referred to herself as a cat whisperer: despite their wild, anti-social nature with others, feral cats approach Deveaux and "talk" to her, she said. “Wherever I’ve been, cats find me. All the neighbourhood cats come and say hi,” she said. “I love them and they know it, and I respect the wildness of them.” Deveaux and Kyal began to notice just how large the feral cat population was in Lake of Bays. They were hesitant to interfere, not wanting to break the trust they had with their cats, but wanted to help keep the reproductive cycle under control. “They’re out there, they’re cold, they’re hungry. You see these little flashes of fur and green eyes and you think, ‘Oh, you poor little thing,’” she said. They started spaying and neutering the cats, paying for the operations out of pocket. Soon, they set up a GoFundMe page to get donations from locals — and they succeeded. To date, they’ve raised several thousand dollars for operations and food. “I’ve been blown away by the number of people reaching out, saying ‘How can I help?’” Deveaux said. Nancy Tapley is a Lake of Bays councillor who owns two rescue cats and follows Deveaux’s work online. She commended her for helping to control the feral cat population. “I hate to see any animal out in the cold,” she said. “I think she’s doing good work getting them out of the outdoors.” Deveaux had the strongest bond with a feral cat she called Mama Cat, so named because she would bring her kittens she birthed throughout the years. Deveaux and Kyal spent three years feeding and providing a safe space for Mama Cat, who soon grew to trust her. “We couldn’t touch her at first,” she said. “By the end, we could literally pick her up and hold her upside down in my arms like a baby.” One day in October, Mama Cat wandered off, as she normally would. However, this time, she never came back. Deveaux said she assumes she had a nest of kittens she was taking care of in another part of town. “We haven’t had a sighting of her since,” she said. “That’s part of the risk. That’s what happens with feral cats.” Deveaux’s efforts continue: she posts about the ferals she’s taken in on the Cats of Paint Lake Facebook page, including photos. Deveaux said she works with shelters, humane societies and rescue volunteers in the region, including Muskoka Animal Rescue, Minden Cat Angels, Dorset Rescue Kittens and regional veterinary clinics. She’s hoping to open a new location to house the cats this spring and recruit volunteers. Zahraa Hmood is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering the municipalities of Muskoka Lakes, Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Zahraa Hmood, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com
There's one new case of COVID-19 in Nunavut, the government announced Friday morning in a news release. The case, which is in Arviat, is the territory's first new case since Dec. 28. The person is asymptomatic, isolating and doing well. Contact tracing is underway. Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut's chief public health officer, said in a statement that the positive result was part of follow-up surveillance testing in response to the earlier outbreak. He says the current health measures in Arviat will remain in place. "There is no evidence of community transmission and the risk of the virus spreading is low," Patterson said. The vaccine clinics in Arviat are set to continue from Feb. 11 to 15, when a second dose of the Moderna vaccine will be administered to those who took part in the January clinics. The news release says there is evidence that shows after the second dose, the vaccine is 94 per cent effective in reducing the risks of developing serious complications due to COVID-19. Arviat residents who missed the first vaccination clinics and wish to receive the vaccine can call the health centre to make an appointment, the territory says. Premier Joe Savikataaq says Friday's case shows that residents need to remain vigilant when it comes to following public health measures. "COVID is ever-present, and Nunavut and our communities are not exceptions," Savikataaq said. "Please continue to maintain physical distance and wear masks when you cannot, wash your hands frequently, stay home when you feel unwell." Those who think they have been exposed to COVID-19 should call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST, or notify their community health centre right away, and immediately isolate at home for 14 days. Do not go to the health centre in person, the territory says.
Curious onlookers may be forgiven for thinking the Stettler area is quickly becoming the fibre board capital of Canada, as a second company has announced they’re building a major plant here. Alberta BioBord Corp. contacted the ECA Review newspaper last week after a story was printed about Great Plains MDF’s plans to develop a fibre board mill in the region south and east of Stettler. Now, Alberta BioBord, unrelated to Great Plains MDF, stated they plan to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant adjacent the Town of Stettler. Alberta BioBord is headed up by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) George Clark, who was formerly a spokesperson for Great Plains, and Clark, along with directors Randy Kerr and Lorne Murfitt, joined the ECA Review for a teleconference interview Jan. 19. Murfitt stated during the Great Plains effort a lot of time and effort was spent meeting the public and touring rural Alberta looking for a place to build an MDF facility and Stettler was selected at that time for a variety of reasons, including its excellent road system, proximity to rail lines and population. Murfitt added that even after several people joined Alberta BioBord, they still focused on Stettler. Clark stated that when looking for a great place to build an MDF plant, which uses wheat straw to make fibre board, Stettler kept coming to the top of the list. While Clark said the mill rates are not necessarily the lowest in this region “the logistics were absolutely the best.” Clark stated that Alberta BioBord hopes to continue with the site named last summer, a parcel of land across the road from the Stettler airport, which he said has easy rail access and good connector roads nearby. He stated Alberta BioBoard won’t be causing any traffic troubles as the existing truck routes will suffice, and also pointed out no Alberta BioBord traffic will be using Main Street. Clark also pointed out trucks supplying Alberta BioBord's facility will be coming from all directions surrounding Stettler, not just one. Additionally, Alberta BioBord is proposing straw depots around the area where material can be stored and trucked when needed, plus the use of train cars. The CEO stated Alberta BioBord’s project is valued at between $650 and $750 million, but noted the project will first begin as a fuel pellet plant. Murfitt and Kerr explained straws can be used to make fuel pellets, a heating fuel in big demand. This phase is estimated at between $35 and $40 million. After the fuel pellet plant is up and running, the MDF plant could move forward. It’s estimated the fuel pellet plant will be producing 300,000 metric tonnes of pellets per year with 40 metric tonnes of biomass fibres entering the plant every hour. Clark pointed out Alberta BioBord is also willing to buy flax straw from producers, which he stated is probably good news for producers looking to sell their flaw straw. The CEO explained the company’s first round of financing is being finalized now and expects that to be ironed out by the end of February, when things like municipal approvals can then be addressed. Clark said the company would like to see construction start this year with the fuel pellet plant in operation next fall. Where will this wheat and flax straw be coming from? Central Alberta producers. Clark noted Alberta BioBord's collection zone for straw will be at least a 250 kilometre radius of Stettler, and the company is planning an extensive public consultation process. All three men stated the company keenly wants to develop strong relationships with producers. They added that producers should watch for more information coming over the next weeks and months about Alberta BioBord’s Stettler project. Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats confirmed centrist Armin Laschet as their new party leader on Friday after a postal ballot, which was required to legally uphold his election by delegates in a digital vote on Saturday. Laschet, premier of Germany's most populous state and the self-styled Merkel continuity candidate, won 83.35% of the valid postal votes cast by 1,001 delegates, the CDU said. Laschet must now unite a conservative bloc that has never been entirely comfortable with Merkel's centrist course, despite her four successive federal election victories.
Ontario reported another 2,662 cases of COVID-19 and 87 more deaths linked to the illness on Friday, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government will send two mobile health units to assist in the Greater Toronto Area. "The spike in COVID-19 cases this month has put a real strain on hospitals," Trudeau said during a morning news conference. "For Ontario, in particular, the situation is extremely serious." Trudeau said the units will provide up to 200 additional hospital beds as well as medical equipment and supplies, freeing up space in the region's intensive care units. In a news release, the federal government said the mobile units are being deployed after a provincial request for assistance, and that they expected to be in the GTA "as rapidly as possible." They are scheduled to remain available to the provincial government until May 1, depending on the COVID-19 trends in Ontario at that time. The province will be responsible for staffing the mobile units, the release added. WATCH | Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on mobile health units headed to the GTA: The new cases reported today include 779 in Toronto, 542 in Peel Region, 228 in York Region, 128 in Waterloo Region, 188 in Windsor-Essex County and 102 in Halton Region. Other public health units that saw double-digit increases were: Niagara Region: 95 Durham Region: 80 Hamilton: 78 Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 77 Ottawa: 75 Simcoe Muskoka: 71 Middlesex-London: 65 Thunder Bay: 58 Eastern Ontario: 37 Huron-Perth: 26 Southwestern: 19 Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge: 16 Sudbury:13 Chatham-Kent: 11 (Note: All of the figures used in this story are found on the Ministry of Health's COVID-19 dashboard or in its Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit, because local units report figures at different times.) They come as labs processed 71,750 test samples for the virus and reported a provincewide test positivity rate of 3.3 per cent, the lowest it has been since mid-December. Further, the seven-day average of daily cases dropped to 2,703, marking 11 straight days of decreases. Another 3,375 infections were marked resolved in today's report. There were 25,263 confirmed, active infections in Ontario yesterday — a figure that has also been trending downward since its peak on Jan 11. According to the province's data, the number of people with COVID-19 in hospitals, as well as those requiring intensive care and ventilators all decreased. As of yesterday, the total number of COVID-19 patients that were: In hospitals: 1,512 (down 21) Being treated in intensive care units: 383 (down five) On ventilators: 291 (down two) There were ongoing outbreaks of the illness in 244, or about 39 per cent, of Ontario's 626 long-term care homes. Revised projections recently released by the province's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table suggested if Ontario were to accelerate its immunization rollout and vaccinate all long-term care home residents by the end of January, rather than mid-February, as many as 580 lives could be saved. The 87 additional deaths push Ontario's official COVID-19-linked death toll to 5,701. Meanwhile, the province said it administered 13,784 doses of vaccines Thursday. A total of 264, 985 shots have been given out, while 49,292 people have received both doses. WATCH | Measures in Ontario, Quebec seem to be working, epidemiologist says: #StayHomeON media campaign The provincial government said it has a new #StayHomeON campaign, which will include messages from various online "influencers" and politicians, including a video from Rick Mercer posted this morning. Lisa MacLeod, minister of heritage, sport, tourism and culture industries, said in a news release that athletes on the Toronto Raptors and Ottawa Senators will also be participating. Markedly absent from the province's expanded effort to get Ontarians to stay home is the availability of permanent paid sick days, which the Progressive Conservative government eliminated in 2018. The government's own medical and science advisers, as well as a chorus of municipal officials and activists, have repeatedly called for Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet to implement paid sick days, especially for essential and low-wage workers in the manufacturing, warehousing and food processing sectors. Ford has instead pointed to the federal Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, which offers $500 per week for up to two weeks eligible workers. Critics have noted, however, that the program amounts to less than minimum wage and the financial assistance is not immediate. More cases at Canada Post facility Meanwhile, mandatory testing at a Mississauga Canada Post facility found 27 asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in 48 hours. Canada Post said 149 workers at its massive Dixie Road site had tested positive between Jan. 1 and Thursday afternoon. Spokesperson Phil Legault said the latest cases were detected among workers who were asymptomatic or didn't believe they had symptoms. Testing of the entire shift was ordered by Peel Public Health and began Jan. 19. Legault said Canada Post is now offering voluntary testing to employees working outside the public health-identified shift. More than 4,500 people work at the Mississauga site.
France has one of western Europe's highest rates of distrust in modern-day vaccines. On Unreported Europe we take a look at why, what anti-vaxxers have to say and what can bring sceptics rounds. View on euronews
BROCKTON – A delegation consisting of Bob McCulloch and members of the Victoria Jubilee Hall (VJH) committee (Henry Simpson, Bill Carroll, Jim Bohnert) provided council with their annual update on Jan. 12. McCulloch said VJH came up against “the COVID brick wall” in 2020. Revenues dropped, showing a deficit of around $24,000 in December. The situation wasn’t any different from what other theatres were facing, except VJH has a fixed overhead that’s smaller than Blyth’s or Drayton’s, and VJH has income from its long-term tenants. When it became obvious the pandemic wasn’t going away anytime soon, and in-person shows weren’t going to happen, the Jubilee Arts and Music committee (JAM) began looking at other ways to keep VJH in the public eye. Songs by the Gazebo on Sept. 13 attracted a large, socially distanced crowd. VJH was back! Next came the online Christmas Concert, streamed on Wightman and Facebook. The opera hall was silent, but JAM kept things going. Despite the lack of income-generating events and the trials and tribulations of COVID-19, VJH managed to accomplish a lot during 2020, in a large part thanks to grants from the Walkerton Rotary Club, Spruce the Bruce, Brockton council and individual donors. Among the continuing projects at VJH are eliminating water and dampness from the VJH basement, stopping water penetration from the east porch roof into the building and down through the upper deck, doing a full repair on the east columns (as one would repair structural bridge concrete), and providing outside security for the safety of staff, patrons and tenants. Repairs accomplished in 2020 included raising and sealing the remaining eight of 10 basement windows to keep water out of the building. The other two were done two years ago. The grade was raised to run rainwater away from the building. The east porch roof catches a lot of water, and the windowsill above the porch was raised to prevent water from running into the hall. A high-tech product called RhinoLiner was applied to the concrete porch decking. This project was paid for through a Rotary grant of $6,800. The front columns have been patched over the years, but with the help of a Spruce the Bruce grant, a bridge-style repair was completed. As for security, the installation of motion activated cameras will enhance the safety of anyone using the building. VJH was the recipient in 2020 of a prestigious Cornerstone Award, one of 11 heritage sites nationally to be so honoured. The Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Awards bring to national attention exemplary projects that illustrate the viability of heritage buildings for traditional or new uses. Dedicated volunteers are always busy tending gardens, painting, shoveling snow, installing new taps, sinks and hand-washing stations ($1,500 PPE grant) as well as doing the constant minor repairs and maintenance the magnificent building needs and deserves. The VJH delegation ended its presentation with words of gratitude for council’s moral and financial support, and asked that council continue to support the hall with the same amount as last year, $10,000. The money will go to general operations. Deputy Mayor Dan Gieruszak commented on the “20-year commitment” made by the volunteers to the building and congratulated them on their efforts. Coun. Dean Leifso made special mention of the heritage award the group received. “It was well deserved.” Mayor Chris Peabody thanked the volunteers for their “great work.” Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
TORONTO — A growing number of Canadian tech businesses are promising to allow their staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 on company time. At least 35 tech companies in the country, including SkipTheDishes, Borrowell, and FreshBooks, have signed a new pledge from the Council of Canadian Innovators vowing to let their staff slip out of work to get the shot. They say they are keen on giving workers the time because vaccinations are more important than business as usual. The signatories will try to tackle misinformation by providing reliable information from public health agencies about vaccine safety and efficacy to employees. They are promising to share information with staff about where, when and how people can be vaccinated, as soon as the shots are available to the wider population. Canada has so far administered just over 738,000 doses of the vaccine to health-care workers and long-term care home residents. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):9:42 a.m.Nunavut is reporting one new COVID-19 case in Arviat, the community of about 2,800 that saw the territory's largest outbreak with 222 cases.It's the first new case of COVID-19 in the territory since Dec. 28.The territory's chief public health officer says the positive result was found in follow-up testing after the outbreak.Dr. Michael Patterson says there is no evidence of community transmission at this time.---This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Mark Sakamoto and business partner Sachin Aggarwal’s digital health company has made another big move in the business world. Think Research recently announced the acquisition of fellow health company MDBriefcase – a transaction worth more than $25 million in cash and stock options. Think Research is also taking on roughly $3 million in debt from MDBriefcase. “We’re really excited about this,” said former Hatter Sakamoto. “This is a classic example of a one plus one equals three scenario. “This just made a lot of sense.” Aggarwal, Think Research’s CEO, says the acquisition was an easy decision. “We knew these guys and we’ve been working with them for the better part of two years,” he said. “They have certain reach into the health-care marketplace, just like we have certain reach. “We do different things, but what each group does is highly complementary to the other.” Think Research’s goal is to get the best data to health-care workers, so in turn, patients can get the best care possible. MDBriefcase puts a large emphasis on education, which ties in perfectly with what Think Research is doing, says Aggarwal. “Together we become one of the largest players in the world in getting evidence to the bedside,” he said. “We really are stronger together because of the size and scale. “No one in Canada comes close to our size when it comes to knowledge-based healthcare.” Aggarwal says MDBriefcase creates tools based off evidence. “When someone does a study, nothing would come of it if no one read it or analyzed it,” he said. “They take research and create digital tools that will then be used to teach nurses, doctors and pharmacists. “Those medical professionals get their continuing education credits by consuming that content.” Aggarwal added that MDBriefcase will not be downsized or closed after being bought out, but the opposite may happen. “These are complementary companies, so some things may be merged,” he said. “But overall, we expect that MDBriefcase will expand, not shrink.” Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
Kingston Health Sciences Centre has confirmed that, as of Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, the first 1,900 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to arrive in the region have been administered. As per provincial guidelines, KHSC gave the vaccines to individuals in the first priority group in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes. Now, KHSC President and CEO Dr. David Pichora is asking people to be patient. “With limited vaccine supply, we must focus initially on vaccinating the most vulnerable, those in long-term care homes and high-risk retirement homes, where the risk of infection, serious illness and spreading the virus are much higher,” he said. “We are aware that due to work to expand its European manufacturing facility, production of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVD-19 vaccine will be reduced for a few weeks and will impact deliveries to Canada,” he added. Canada first learned last week that shipments of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine would be reduced and delayed in the weeks ahead due to supply chain upgrades. In a statement issued issued Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, Dr Pichora noted: “We are working with our partners to adjust our plans accordingly.” Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health, explained that Kingston has arranged to share doses of the Moderna vaccine from neighbouring health units, which will help keep the pace of vaccination. “Our sister health units, because we are working as a team, we knew they were going to get Moderna in the first week of February,” Dr. Moore said on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2021. “We shared Pfizer [with them], they’ve shared their Moderna, and we’re working cohesively as a team trying to ensure that those who are at highest risk will receive the vaccine.” “I have to thank our sister health units,” he added. “That partnership is wonderful.” Dr. Moore said the goal now is to be “flexible and adaptive,” and to try to provide the first single dose to every high-risk resident in a long-term care facility. “Then we’ll work back and we’ll immunize workers, and then we’ll immunize designated caregivers. I think that makes sense from an ethical standpoint given what we’ve seen with the morbidity and hospitalization rates,” he said. Both Pfizer and Moderna require two doses, between three and four weeks apart, to be fully effective. Dr. Moore said the vaccine distribution team is not withholding any doses for the second round of inoculations. “We need to get first doses in,” he said. He added that he is hoping for a redistribution of Pfizer vaccine from the provincial government, to ensure the second doses can be administered within the required time frame. “At one o’clock [Thursday], the province heard how much they’re getting from the federal government,” he explained. “Then they’re going to review that amount, and I hope there’s going to be a redistribution if there’s any leftover Pfizer vaccine, anywhere in the province.” “We know our primary target is our long-term care facilities. If there were some doses that were going to go to workers elsewhere, like acute care workers, or other workers, that could be redistributed.” He said KFL&A Public Health should get confirmation on any additional amounts resulting from that redistribution in the coming days. “We’re continuing to work for April. April is when we’ve been told the supply chain will increase, and we may have enough doses in April for one-third of our adult population. That will allow us to catch up on the Phase 1 priorities of First Nations, Inuit, Metis in our community and other healthcare workers.” In the meantime, Dr. Pichora said the second shipment of 1,900 doses will be distributed equally among the three public health agencies in the region, and administered by mobile vaccination teams. “We are confident that everyone who chooses to be vaccinated for COVID-19 will be able to receive the vaccine when there is sufficient supply of this and other vaccines in the coming months, and as vaccination and distribution are expanded beyond hospital sites,” he said. “We need to be patient.” Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
BROCKTON – Jennifer Stephens, general manager, did a presentation on the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority’s 2021 budget at the Jan. 12 meeting of Brockton council. This year’s budget shows a 1.6 per cent increase over last year, representing a dollar amount of $27,570. Brockton will be paying an additional $2,546. She stated the goal of the SVCA over the past few months has been to focus on the mandated programs and services outlined in the Conservation Authorities Act. Stephens outlined some of those programs including flood forecasting and warning. The goal is to “keep people away from the water, and keep the water away from people.” This is accomplished through a variety of measures including physical structures such as dams and channel work. SCVA is also involved in stewardship activities, environmental planning and regulations, conservation education, forestry, and non-revenue parks and property management throughout the watershed. To help identify priorities over the next five years, the SVCA is undertaking a strategic planning exercise. It will involve extensive consultation with the public, municipalities and other partners. The plan will incorporate recent changes to the Conservation Authorities Act through Bill 229. Council asked a number of questions, including about changes that have a direct impact on Brockton. Coun. James Lang mentioned two staff members who had played an important role in promoting tourism in the Greenock Swamp. Stephens responded by saying the business of the SVCA is to “protect natural spaces and conduct our mandated programs” through the entire watershed. Deputy Mayor Dan Gieruszak addressed plans to conduct needed maintenance work in the SVCA’s parks and said he was pleased at the direction that’s been put in place by Stephens. Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
This story was originally published June 3, 2020. Known to hikers, cyclists and ATV-riders, Old Nipissing Road offers an “inspiring” ride back to the time of colonization, says cyclist Rob Edmonstone of Ryerson Township. Also known as Nipissing Colonization Road, Old Nipissing Road was once home to pioneers and settlements in the heart of Parry Sound District, between highways 11 and 69. It was the last of 20 colonization roads the government started to build in 1853 to expand the logging industry and clear farmland for settlers, says Kelly Collard, a member for the Rosseau Heritage Society. Referencing the book In Celebration of the Old Nipissing Road 1875-2000 by Helen Stewart, as well as information written in the Rosseau Historical Society’s first two books, Collard says the road originated at Cameron Bay on the north end of Lake Rosseau, just south of the Village of Rosseau. Public land surveyor J.S. Dennis began work on the route from Cameron Bay to South River on Lake Nipissing in 1864. Dennis, three other surveyors, Milner Hart, Archibald McNabb and Vernon B. Wadsworth, as well as 12 men, completed the road for winter travel in 1873 and for wheeled vehicles in 1875. Edmonstone says sections of the trail between Commanda and Magnetawan are part of his cycling group’s regular ride. The 70-km winding route of gravel road, bush trail and paved highway is dotted with abandoned log cabins and weathered barns, with a series of historic markers along the way. “As a cyclist, it’s inspiring to take that challenge on. How quickly that history has been erased and disappeared back in the woods is pretty fascinating,” he says. “It’s really two ways to look at it. It was over 100 years ago, but it was also just 100 years ago.” Edmonstone admits his group attempted to cycle the trail from Rosseau to Commanda in one day, but could not complete the ride. The original trail from Rosseau travels by the ghost towns of Seguin Falls and Spence, but sections of wetland are difficult to navigate by bike. “By the time we got to Magnetawan, we had had enough, so we just called it a day. “It’s not something I’d recommend for the bugs or in the bog. But there’s a trail there.” Edmonstone says he’s not “jumping up and down” to attempt that section again, but he would try other parts, which he describes as “moderately challenging.” He says it’s an experience to see how remote northeastern Ontario can be. “It’s interesting considering what that road really meant and how it literally opened up this part of Canada to colonization.” Fellow cyclist Rod Bilz, founder of Cycling Advocates of Nipissing , did the route from Commanda to Magnetawan more than 13 years ago. He recalls the signage being poor and the trail not well maintained at the time. “I do remember there was one water crossing that goes over one of the tributaries of [a river], and the crossing was out. So we literally took off our shoes and socks and waded into water up to our chest.” Bilz, describing the route as “old road” and “ATV-level” quality for any cyclist who is considering Old Nipissing Road, says he would do it again. “You’re going to experience a little bit of everything,” he says. “From a pure mountain biking experience, it’s maybe not exactly what you would like to do. But there are other aspects to it because there’s so much historical significance to that route.” For more information on the Old Nipissing Road, contact the Rosseau Historical Society http://www.rosseauhistoricalsociety.com Mackenzie Casalino is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Mackenzie Casalino, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget
À l’automne dernier, le gouvernement minoritaire de Justin Trudeau a passé près de tomber à deux reprises, sauvé in extremis par le NPD. En 2021, les partis fédéraux se préparent déjà à de possibles élections, peut-être aussi tôt que ce printemps. Discussion avec Rhéal Fortin, député de Rivière-du-Nord et du Bloc québécois. « Je n’en souhaite pas. On a de quoi s’occuper, avec la pandémie! » M. Fortin croit que les partis à Ottawa peuvent continuer de travailler ensemble et finir leur mandat de 4 ans. Il met toutefois un bémol. « Il ne faut pas non plus que les évènements deviennent des excuses pour ne plus travailler en démocratie. » Le député bloquiste rappelle que le gouvernement libéral s’est attribué des pouvoirs extraordinaires pour gérer la crise, comme celui de gouverner par décrets. « Les Libéraux l’ont utilisé de façon abusive. Ils ont octroyé des contrats sans appel d’offre pour des centaines de millions de dollars, voire des milliards! » M. Fortin mentionne le scandale UNIS, qui a éclaboussé le Parti libéral l’été dernier, à titre d’exemple. Les sondages sont avantageux pour le Parti libéral, avec une confortable avance devant les Conservateurs. Le nouveau chef conservateur, Erin O’Toole, n’est en poste que depuis août dernier, et a eu peu de temps pour se faire connaître. Le NPD a soutenu les Libéraux à l’automne, suite à des concessions de ces derniers, mais aussi parce que Jagmeet Singh considérait que son parti était mal préparé pour des élections. Toutefois, cette collaboration fragile pourrait se terminer… « Ça dépend beaucoup de M. Trudeau. C’est sûr que ça peut être tentant, aller chercher un gouvernement majoritaire. Plus le temps passe, plus il s’expose à se faire critiquer », analyse le député bloquiste. Que ce soit la gestion des frontières et des voyageurs, la dette grandissante ou la prestation canadienne d’urgence (PCU) sur laquelle il faudra bientôt payer des impôts (et que certains devront rembourser), le temps pourrait jouer contre M. Trudeau. « Les risques que sa popularité aille en décroissance sont grands. Ça pourrait être suffisant pour déclencher des élections ce printemps, sinon à l’automne prochain », croit M. Fortin. Cependant, selon le député de Rivière-du-Nord, un gouvernement minoritaire sert mieux les intérêts des électeurs qu’un gouvernement majoritaire. Cela oblige le parti au pouvoir à négocier avec les partis d’opposition et à faire des compromis. « Tous les points de vue doivent être représentés », une composante essentielle à la démocratie, insiste M. Fortin. Le député du Bloc québécois croit d’ailleurs que son parti est en bonne position pour maintenir les 32 sièges qu’il occupe à la Chambre des communes, peut-être même pour faire des gains. « Moi j’ai confiance, je suis satisfait du travail que notre caucus a fait. » M. Fortin vante la représentation que son parti donne aux Québécois, par exemple dans les dossiers environnementaux et en foresterie. « Avoir des députés dont le seul mandat est de veiller aux intérêts et aux valeurs du peuple du Québec, c’est une maudite belle affaire! » Il prend garde, toutefois, d’être trop confiant. « En politique, ça peut changer vite! » Comment les partis mèneront-ils une campagne électorale en pleine pandémie? « Ça, c’est la question à un million de dollars, que tout le monde se pose! » M. Fortin admet qu’il sera difficile d’atteindre les électeurs. « Il va falloir trouver une façon de faire passer des messages : ce qu’on n’a pas aimé du gouvernement, et ce qu’on propose. » Le politicien d’expérience croit que la campagne passera beaucoup par les médias, la publicité et les pancartes électorales (que lui-même déplore), plutôt que sur le terrain en rencontrant les électeurs. Les médias sociaux pourraient aussi jouer un rôle important, mais les électeurs seront-ils au rendez-vous pour écouter les candidats? 155 députés libéraux 121 députés conservateurs 32 députés bloquistes 24 députés néo-démocrates 3 députés verts 3 députés indépendants Selon le site web Qc125.com, qui fait des projections statistiques basées sur les tendances électorales, l’évolution démographique et les sondages politiques, si des élections fédérales avaient eu lieu le 10 janvier 2021, le vote aurait été de : Au Québec, la projection est la suivante : Simon Cordeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
With COVID-19 cases on the decrease at Sugar Cane, Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) leaders are looking to reopen government offices next week. WLFN acting emergency operations centre (EOC) director Aaron Mannella said 23 WLFN members have been considered to be free of the disease since their EOC was activated Jan. 8. “That’s something our EOC is incredibly happy about and incredibly excited about, and we’re looking forward to those recovery numbers to improve,” he said in a Jan. 21 community Facebook update. As of 4 p.m. Jan. 21, Mannella said there had been 38 confirmed cases within WLFN membership. The EOC continues to operate at level two, with EOC staff remaining focused on supporting members with groceries and supplies, mental health resources and traditional medicines. Since its activation, Manella said groceries and supplies had been delivered to 55 homes. He said staff has responded to an additional 34 calls for general support and information through the WLFN COVID-19 support line. In conjunction with EOC staff, Borland Creek Logging has also delivered 23 loads of firewood. Mannella said chief and council had provided approval Jan. 21 for a gradual reopening plan for government offices, Little Chiefs Daycare, Little Chiefs Primary School and recreation programming and after-school support at Elizabeth Grouse Gymnasium. WLFN government offices in Sugar Cane and Williams Lake will be staffed but remain closed to the public as of Monday, Jan. 25. Little Chiefs Daycare will also open that day. Little Chiefs Primary School and recreation programming will not reopen until Monday, Feb. 1. “Keep in mind this is a concept,” Mannella said. “Obviously, our council, our leadership is going to continue to adapt anything that changes.” Next week, vaccines are expected to be available to WLFN elders via appointment through Three Corners Health Services Society. Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune
Like most residents at her care home in Berlin, 43-year-old Kristina Lang agreed to receive the coronavirus vaccine when her turn came, but not without trepidation. "They only said 'It's a vaccine and nothing will happen', but on TV, people were warned against the side-effects," said Lang, who uses a wheelchair. She is one of 102 residents at the home.
Élu pour la première fois à 24 ans, Adam Rousseau en est à son troisième mandat comme conseiller municipal à Saint-François-Xavier-de-Brompton. Il investit en moyenne entre 10 et 15 heures par semaine dans ce rôle et touche quelque 7000 $ par année. Un petit calcul rapide permet de constater que, dans le meilleur des cas, le temps consacré à la politique municipale est payé un peu plus que le salaire minimum. S’il consacre plus de 10 heures par semaine, le taux horaire descend encore plus bas. Si à l’inverse un conseiller ne consacre que quelques heures par mois à la fonction, le salaire horaire sera beaucoup plus haut. Il n’y a pas de balises claires sur le nombre d’heures que doivent travailler les élus municipaux. « Je regarde le maire de Saint-François-Xavier-de-Brompton, qui n’est pas une énorme municipalité mais qui est en croissance, et il peut mettre en moyenne 30 heures par semaine, explique Adam Rousseau. Avec le contexte de méfiance, on est souvent embêté lorsqu’on fait une demande de remboursement et, souvent, on assume les frais. C’est une job 24/7 et 365 jours par année. Un élu actif devrait se payer. » Cette réalité fait en sorte selon lui que le rôle d’élus convient beaucoup plus à des gens qui n’ont pas d’obligations financières. « La job d’élu municipal dans les petites communautés, c’est pour les riches et les retraités, lance-t-il. Il ne faut pas se le cacher. Une personne à la préretraite ou indépendante de fortune n’aura pas d’enjeux à réduire ses heures de travail et être à 30 heures par semaine à son emploi principal. » Adam Rousseau pense à se présenter comme maire de sa municipalité en 2021 et pourrait justement faire campagne sur l’enjeu des salaires. « Je pense à faire ma campagne électorale avec comme objectif qu’à la fin de mon mandat le maire soit à temps plein, explique-t-il. Après cela, n’importe qui qui voudra se présenter n’aura plus les limites du temps partiel combiné à d’énormes responsabilités. » Les délais de mise en œuvre des projets, les rencontres en journée durant la semaine avec des ministères ou des firmes pour des projets et le manque de flexibilité de certains employeurs sont aussi des freins, selon lui, à l’implication de la jeunesse. Le rôle d’élu reste tout de même, malgré les désagréments, l’un des emplois les plus gratifiants, assure Adam Rousseau. « Il y a des défaites et des déceptions, mais aussi plein de victoires qui amènent un accomplissement professionnel qui vaut beaucoup d’argent, résume-t-il. On a réellement un impact. Il a toutefois encore beaucoup de choses à améliorer. »Simon Roberge, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
(ANNews) – The COVID-19 vaccination supply coming to Canada has changed and at least in the short term, it will be much less than was originally planned. Minister of Health Tyler Shandro issued a statement on the latest changes in the amount of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine coming to Canada, saying “I am extremely concerned by the announcement that Pfizer is even further decreasing the amount of COVID-19 vaccine coming to Canada from its factory in Belgium, with no doses expected to arrive next week and further anticipated reductions in the two weeks following.” Alberta’s Health Minister continued by announcing that the focus will be shifted to delivering second doses for those who have already been vaccinated. Elderly people in long-term care homes and healthcare workers who have been administered their first dose are the province’s main priority. First time dose appointments for healthcare workers are postponed as well as some second dose appointments. Shandro then went on to mention that province may not be able to vaccinate elderly people in the general population or Elders living within First Nations territory. “A sharp decrease in vaccines coming to Alberta may also further delay our plans to expand vaccination to all seniors over the age of 75 in the community and individuals over the age of 65 in First Nations communities and Metis Settlements around the province.” “Alberta has the capacity to deliver about 50,000 doses per week and rapidly expand distribution, but we lack supply. Whether we like it or not, Canadian provinces are dependent on the Government of Canada for vaccine supply. We continue to advocate to our federal partners to increase the supply of vaccine as soon as possible,” said Minister Shandro. Meanwhile in Ottawa, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the Federal Government is working with the provinces to prioritize vaccinating Indigenous people against COVID-19. “This is a particularly acute issue and challenge when we’re talking about the deployment of the vaccine,” Miller told a news conference Wednesday Jan 20, in Ottawa. Concerned that Ottawa is not able to vaccinate its Indigenous population living off-reserve, Miller said, “We need participation of the provinces to ensure that needles get into the arms of people that are the most vulnerable.” “The role of the federal government, in my mind, is to offer our assets, offer our co-operation, our resources, our logistical capacities.” In response to the announcements, the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations said that they are dissatisfied with “the COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Plan proposed for our respective Nations without Free, Prior and Informed Consent. “There has been a failure to align resources consistent with the Famine and Pestilence Clause, the Medicine Chest, and the Treaty Right to Health." “Until the past week, our Nations were not informed that Health Canada had engaged Alberta Health Services to determine our vaccine requirements. In the past few months, Canada announced publicly on several occasions that Treaty First Nations were a priority and that vaccines would be provided. First Nations are at a greater risk of exposure due to a number of factors including, overcrowded homes with multi-generational families, lack of housing, remoteness, poverty, and distances to health care facilities and providers,” said the Confederacy in a statement. Also responding to the announcement is Chief Tony Alexis, who issued a statement condemning the vaccination roll-out happening in Alberta, “Meanwhile in Alberta under Minister Shandro’s watch, First Nations communities are seeing case numbers rapidly rise, while the rest of the Alberta covid numbers decline.” “The rate of infections, hospitalizations and ICU admissions for First Nations is increasing at an alarming rate compared to the rest of Alberta. The situation is dire for our people. In my community of Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, over 5 per cent of the population has COVID-19 and numbers rise daily.” Alberta Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Marlene Poitras added, “First Nations communities are reaching a breaking point with new cases of COVID-19. When considering the data provided by Alberta Health, we see hospitalization rates of 4.3 for Alberta in general and 7.1 for First Nations living in Alberta. These disparities are un acceptable. There was some hope that access to a vaccine would help us. However, given recent decisions of the Provincial Government, which lacked meaningful First Nations involvement, trust and commitment to partnership continues to be in question. “I’m calling upon the Provincial Government to ensure First Nations leadership are at the decision making tables…to ensure that all First Nations communities are protected from the ravages of COVID-19. “How many times must it be said that Sovereign First Nations must be involved in the decisions that affect them?” The National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout prioritize people who live and work in long-term care homes, people over the age of 80, front-line health workers, and adults in Indigenous communities where an outbreak can be particularly harmful and hard to manage. Indigenous Services Canada said there have been 89 COVID-19 cases, including 15 deaths, in nine long-term care homes on reserves located in Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. The number of COVID-19 active cases in First Nations communities reached an all-time high this week with 5,571 reported cases as of Tuesday Jan. 19 Jacob Cardinl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News
JACKSON, Miss. — A leader of the Brexit movement and newly appointed government trade adviser in the United Kingdom is now the head of a conservative think-tank in the American South. Douglas Carswell, 49, started working this month as the new CEO and president of Mississippi Center for Public Policy. Carswell, a libertarian and former member of Britain’s governing Conservative Party, was a member of Parliament for 12 years and a co-founder of Vote Leave, the campaign that pushed the Brexit referendum in 2016. Carswell said his home country was his primary focus as the U.K. negotiated terms of its recently finalized split from the European Union. However, he said he has had a growing interest in working in the U.S. “I think the fight for freedom in America is the most important battle for freedom in the world, because America is the exceptional country in the world,” Carswell told The Associated Press. Former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican who left office a year ago, has developed a work relationship with Brexit leader Nigel Farage, and Bryant attended a 2019 event for the lobbying group World4Brexit. Carswell said he has never met Bryant. Carswell clashed with more populist Farage after being the first of only two U.K. Independence Party candidates ever elected to Parliament. Farage ran unsuccessfully more than half a dozen times. Carswell's 2014 election victory gave political momentum to the party and the Brexit cause. He left the U.K. Independence Party in 2017, later stepping down from Parliament. After Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union, many of the figures who led the campaign have moved on to new ventures. Farage became a radio talk-show host and Donald Trump’s main British supporter, once even attending and speaking at a 2016 Trump campaign event in Mississippi. Others have been appointed to the House of Lords by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government. It’s common for former British lawmakers of all political stripes to seek think-tank or academic posts in the U.S. — a career move that can often bring prestige back home. In an email introducing his new position in Mississippi, Carswell said he believes freedom in the U.S. is “under attack” from a “radical New Left.” “If liberty is extinguished, the United States will become just another over-regulated, over-taxed, debt-ridden country, presided over by remote officials,” he said. “That would be a catastrophe for the whole world.” Carswell said he thinks school choice can give low-income Mississippi families more opportunities. He said he will push policies to make the state more competitive in attracting new businesses and allowing existing ones to grow. “Businesses that are traditionally located in hubs like New York, or Chicago or California, quite a few of those businesses are moving away from high tax and regulation regimes to Texas, Florida or Tennessee,” he said. “Why not Mississippi?” The Mississippi Center for Public Policy lobbies for lower taxes, fewer government regulations and free-market approaches to health care. Carswell said he admires that people’s freedoms in the U.S. are defined in federal and state constitutions. “In America, if your local mayor wakes up one morning and decides to take away your fundamental freedoms, you can take the politicians to court under the Constitution, you can enforce your rights as an individual,” he said. It allows “ordinary folk to live their lives free from the arbitrary whim of government,” Carswell said. “It’s only when you don’t have that that you realize quite how precious it is,” he said. “It really is the secret of American success.” Carswell plans to live in Jackson with his family but is not leaving U.K. politics. In November, he was appointed to a three-year term as a nonexecutive director of Britain’s Department for International Trade. Liz Truss, the U.K.’s secretary of state for international trade, said Carswell will work at “striking free trade agreements in markets around the world, operating our own trading system after the transition period, boosting exports and investment across the UK, and championing free trade and shaping global trading rules.” ___ Associated Press reporter Jill Lawless contributed from London. ___ Leah Willingham is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Leah Willingham, The Associated Press