Surfer enjoying some late fall waves near Sault Ste. Marie.
Surfer enjoying some late fall waves near Sault Ste. Marie.
As the folk tales tell us, it is a fool who tries to please everyone.But as the finance minister in a minority government that will one day soon have to face the electorate, Chrystia Freeland must do her best to satisfy a majority.Critics, including some in the suffering airline industry, complained that this week's fiscal plan does not spend enough on them. Fiscal conservatives worried about the deficit and wonder how Freeland will pay for what she has spent already. Pundits are already demanding to know details about how she will fulfil her plan to restart the economy once the coronavirus has been driven off by vaccines.Despite Freeland's tone of confidence, the disruptive impact of COVID-19 has generated many long-term uncertainties.Even as she scrambles to solve current and pressing economic problems, the list of potential future pitfalls is long and the effects of each are highly uncertain. The problem — for her, for us and for business — is that this recession is so different from the economic crises we have suffered in the past. None of us know how things will turn out.Borrowing is easyDespite a projected deficit of more than $380 billion and a debt expected to soar past $1 trillion, Freeland, who is also deputy prime minister, has reassured Canadians that payments on that debt remain affordable. But just as in your own household, debt is notoriously easy to run up and hard to run down.While interest rates are low now and the U.S. Federal Reserve — which strongly influences rates here in Canada — has promised to keep them low until the economy bounces back, market forces are telling us that long-term commercial interest rates are on the rise.Extraordinarily low interest rates have led to extraordinary borrowing by governments, businesses and ordinary Canadians — and some say we are reaching the limit.Some financial observers, including Martin Wolf at the Financial Times, have warned that the world may be on the cusp of a sudden shift from 40 years of falling to rising inflation. If that were to happen, governments and their central bankers would be forced to decide whether to quell it with higher interest rates in spite of the effect on their own borrowing costs.While Freeland said that her spending will be based on long-term borrowing locked in at current low rates, costs could rise. Just as you must periodically renew your mortgage, each year governments and companies must go back to the market to replace their portfolio of existing bonds as they come due, and that must be done at the interest rate when they do it.So long as interest rates stay low and the economy continues to grow, Canadian personal borrowing — which Equifax just reported has hit a staggering $2 trillion — is nothing to worry about. A lot of that debt is backed by high and rising house prices. But rising rates and falling house prices, or a continuing recession that leads to job losses, could make that debt unbearable, damaging a crucial motor of the Canadian economy.300-year recessionCanada is a trading nation, and even if the domestic economy continues to tough it out, it will be hard to prosper if our trading partners weaken.Last week the economy of the United Kingdom, with whom Canada is now negotiating a trade deal, plunged into its deepest recession in 300 years — forcing it to cut overseas aid to places that are even worse off.Many countries around the world, including our nearest neighbour, continue to suffer from the economic impact of the pandemic — making things much worse than when a disaster hits a single part of the world, allowing other economies to help bail them out. Our trade partners may not be in a buying mood. Trade protectionism will be a temptation.While economic growth slows and businesses go broke, among the bright spots have been financial markets that keep nudging new highs. Rising stock prices are cheering for those with cash invested, but there are growing fears that market darlings such as Tesla, up 600 per cent this year, may have become detached from the real economy.Some analysts worry that the current casino mentality cannot be sustained and will lead to a reckoning. With interest rates already at rock bottom and borrowing already so high, preventing damage to the crucial financial markets from a new panic will be harder than during previous bailouts.This gloomy list of long-term potential worries for the finance minister is only partial. Some fear disruption to education will lead to a news skills gap and put an even greater wedge between the rich and the poor. Others fear a crash in the value of commercial property will have a lasting effect.Lower immigration, a loss of entry-level jobs in restaurants and retail and a long-term hollowing out of the economy are only some of the effects that could make things worse.But rather than just make us sick with worry instead of sick with COVID-19, the point is that in the wake of a major recession of the kind the world is facing now, there is no way that Chrystia Freeland or anyone else — no matter how smart — can tell us with any certainty how the economy will unfold over the next few years.WATCH | From education to jobs, how to manage the pandemic's financial challenges:What Canada needs is a capable person in charge, a safe pair of hands, to help us make the best of a perilous and unknown future.And there is no reason that future could not also include a strong recovery as new businesses take advantage of plentiful labour, less expensive office and retail space and a flood of pent-up demand to come back even stronger than before the pandemic struck.Follow Don Pittis on Twitter: @don_pittis
Le 1er décembre fut la 33 journée mondiale de lutte contre le sida, et l’organisme MAINS BSL a voulu souligner en cette journée qu’il est toujours possible de mettre fin à l’épidémie de VIH/sida d’ici 2030, du moment où l’ensemble de la société se mobilise à cette fin, tout comme elle le fait pour enrayer la pandémie de COVID-19. Même si cette pandémie mondiale a exposé de multiples failles dans notre société et a été connue comme source d’isolement, de détresse et même de stigmatisation, elle est également le moteur d’une mobilisation sans pareil. Le combat contre le nouveau coronavirus est devenu logiquement le leitmotiv de l’ensemble de la société québécoise. Pour appuyer cela, MAINS BSL fait référence aux points de presse journaliers du gouvernement, aux sommes d’argent investies pour enrayer la contagion, soigner les personnes infectées et créer un potentiel vaccin, et à la réponse positive de la majorité de la population aux mesures restrictives imposées. À cela, l’organisme MAINS BSL ne peut s’empêcher de tracer des parallèles entre la pandémie de COVID-19 et celle du VIH/sida. Les iniquités mises en lumière par la pandémie de COVID-19 sont aussi celles que le milieu VIH combat depuis des décennies : lutte contre les iniquités qu’engendrent le sexisme, l’hétérosexisme, la pauvreté et le racisme – ces iniquités qui, dans le contexte du VIH, fragilisent l’accès au dépistage, aux soins et aux traitements. La mobilisation a été forte dans les premières décennies de la lutte contre le VIH/sida, et elle a permis de grandes avancées scientifiques et sociales. Malheureusement, cette mobilisation s’est effritée avec le temps, selon les dires de MAINS BSL, faisant en sorte que, dans les pays occidentaux, un plateau a été atteint où le taux annuel de nouvelles infections stagne. Voilà pourquoi en cette journée de lutte contre le sida, MAINS BSL a invité les gouvernements de tous les paliers à se remobiliser et à réinvestir adéquatement dans la lutte, dans l’idée d’y mettre fin d’ici 2030. « En ces temps de COVID-19, nous voyons très bien que la mobilisation et l’investissement en temps et en ressources humaines et financières dans la lutte contre une pandémie portent fruit », ont-ils expliqué. Il serait donc important d’y assurer les ressources nécessaires pour garantir un accès universel au dépistage, aux soins et aux traitements.Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences moved the 73rd Academy Awards ceremony to April 25, 2021, so that theaters would be open again in the spring, which will allow more films to compete in the awards, the report said. "The Oscars in-person telecast will happen," Variety https://variety.com/2020/film/news/oscars-in-person-show-will-happen-2021-1234843255 reported on Tuesday, citing a representative from the Academy. The Academy Awards are traditionally held at the 3,400-seater Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.
A policing expert and a local advocacy group are raising questions after the Belleville, Ont., council approved funds for the city's police budget, which includes the purchase of a prisoner restraint chair.The Belleville Peaceful Streets Network (BPSN) were hoping councillors would reject the 2021 police budget until an item was removed, referring to it as the "devil's chair.""Imagine being in police custody, being overwhelmed by anxiety or depression and then being strapped into a chair and losing any and all agency of your body," said Britney Hope, a spokesperson for the group. "Nobody deserves that. But more importantly, experts believe it doesn't help – it actually hurts more."While city council couldn't vote on specific items on the budget on Tuesday — which was approved by the city's police services board in October — it approved the total amount of funds asked for by police.The chairs, which tie down a person's arms and legs, are meant to be used on individuals who become a danger to themselves or others. According to the 2021 capital budget, the Belleville Police Service have to deal with "30-40 prisoners a year attempting to kill themselves or cause themselves serious bodily harm by physically acting out of control.""Currently, there is no way officers can completely secure an out-of-control prisoner and we have had some serious injuries and prisoners needing to be transported to the hospital," the budget reads, citing the price of the chair at under $2,800. Dozens of prisoners try to harm themselves: policeBoth Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk, and the chair of the police services board Jack Miller, declined to comment and referred CBC News to the Belleville Police Service. No one from the service responded to CBC's multiple requests for an interview. BPSN points to a 2015 study funded by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services in Ontario, which reviewed 614 legal motions and cases — the vast majority of which were in the United States – that involved the chair.While the study approved the use of the chair, it found many issues stemmed from "inappropriate use." Robert Gordon, a former police officer and Simon Fraser University criminology professor, says he was surprised to hear the police force was looking to buy the item, which he says is primarily for transporting a person. He said the chairs are more commonly used in health-care and correctional facilities. In those settings, the chairs are seen as a "necessary evil," he said.According to Gordon, the standard is set by the Correctional Service of Canada, which uses the chair minimally."These chairs should never be used as a form of punishment or as a threat of punishment."Proper training keyGordon said the key is to properly train officers to ensure the equipment isn't misused or abused. Gordon said he's not certain why the police service would need a restraint chair when officers can use handcuffs, another piece of equipment he thinks is often misused.BPSN's Hope said people should be concerned councillors at Tuesday's meeting didn't question why a restraint chair is a proper response to 30 to 40 people trying to harm themselves.
A local pharmacist says his pharmacies are struggling to keep up with an 'astronomical' increase in demand for the yearly flu vaccine.Tim Brady owns Brady's Drug Store in Belle River and Essex, and he says the latter store has a wait list for the vaccine of several hundred people.CBC News spoke to Brady early last month, and he says if anything demand has only increased since then."Like I said a while ago, I've never seen so much interest in it. And overall, it just hasn't been abated," he said. "I probably did as many shots at the beginning of November than I did all last year."At the time, his Belle River pharmacy had administered about 250 shots, and his Essex pharmacy was at 500.Rexall pharmacies temporarily suspended flu shots last month because of shortages.Brady, who is also the vice-chair of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, says he's depending on daily vial deliveries from the province. A vial contains about 10 doses of the vaccine, and he's only getting about two vials per day."And so we basically go on the [wait] list, call the top 10 people and go from there," he said.While the province is trying to secure more doses of the vaccine, Brady says he may actually be getting the nasal spray substitute soon."At this point, we'll take whatever we can get," he said.While people looking for the vaccine are still welcome to call his pharmacies, Brady recommends that they contact the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit for direction or see if they can get it from their primary care provider.But while the increased demand has put a strain on the supply, Brady says it's still a welcome change from previous years — he says many are getting the flu shot for the first time."It's a good thing. I'm glad people are interested in it," he said. "I'm hoping this will carry on if we have any other outgoing vaccines that are coming up for any other possible health issues that are presently in society."
Mike Goodyear knew what he was getting into when he first plugged his Tesla Model S into the charger at his Grand Falls-Windsor home three years ago.Newfoundland and Labrador was "the last holdout" for high-speed chargers, he told CBC News recently — but that was fine with him."I understood that going in, and that was part of the thing that I accepted," he said.Goodyear has no regrets — "it's been absolutely delightful" owning an electric car, he said, adding it costs him about $8 for the journey from his driveway to St. John's. That may be a bargain and emissions-free, but with only a few places to charge his car along that route, it requires a lot of patience: a charging stop in Clarenville takes upwards of three hours, Goodyear says.But the province's distinct status as the only one in Canada without public high-speed electric vehicle chargers is ending.Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is installing 14 Level 3 charging stations along the Trans-Canada Highway from Port aux Basques to St. John's, plus one in Rocky Harbour. The chargers were tendered in October 2019, and as each charger is completed and tested, it will come online. NL Hydro expects all the work to be done by the end of this year."We want to be an enabler, to enable EV adoption in the province," said Jennifer Williams, the president of NL Hydro. Williams herself bought an electric vehicle this past summer."We believe the electric vehicles are coming, and we want to be ready for when those vehicle comes, so we're planning the system and getting ourselves ready," she told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.Williams estimates there are 200 electric vehicles in Newfoundland and Labrador, and 90 per cent of those are charged at home. But she said research suggests the lack of a charging network is a major impediment to increasing sales.Welcoming EVs from elsewhereEach station will have one Level 2 charger and one Level 3. The Level 3 chargers will cost $15 per hour, similar to chargers in the Maritimes, and can bill by the minute. Goodyear estimates they will shave hours off his St. John's trips, with a 20-minute stop enough of a boost to make it to the city. The network will make it far easier to sway people who have so far been on the fence about EVs, he said, particularly in rural areas that require longer trips."I know lots of people in the area who said, 'Oh, I wouldn't mind having an electric car, but I can't take it and drive to St. John's, I just don't have the range,'" he said.> Twenty years from now, you'll be hard-pressed to find a gasoline-powered car on the road. \- Mike GoodyearGoodyear has offered up his own home charger, even listing it on public charging apps, to EV drivers across the province, as well as tourists in need. He predicts the new network will attract even more people in search of a scenic, all-electric drive, across the island after the COVID-19 pandemic."This is for a very large community, and it'll open the island up to a lot of visitors from the mainland, that's another big thing. When our pandemic has come to an end, you'll see a lot more people coming and staying," he said.Network set to expandThose tourists might soon get a chance to explore further afield than the TCH.On the heels of the current network construction, NL Hydro and Newfoundland Power is also looking to install 19 other charging stations in Newfoundland communities from Robinsons to Roddickton to Port Rexton, and three in Labrador, with applications currently being accepted for most of them."We're certainly keeping an eye on where else we can expand," said Williams.Those extra stations are expected to be built by late 2021, depending on funding; the $2.1-million cost of the existing charging network is being split by the provincial and federal governments, along with NL Hydro.For Goodyear and many other drivers, the more chargers, the better to reduce range anxiety: the very real response EV owners have trying to stretch their batteries to make it to the next charge.That's usually not an issue for Goodyear, who does most of his driving around town. He's always had an eye on the future — he named his Tesla Galileo, after a Star Trek spaceship — and as he as idles in the drive-thru and sees exhaust pouring out of every other car, he can't help think of those younger than him."You know, all the driving I've done — I've just tipped over 91,000 kilometres in my car — and the car itself hasn't produced any noxious gases toward my kids and grandkids," he said.Quebec announced last week it would ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles in 2035. Goodyear would like to see more incentives in this province, as he's certain such change will soon come east."Right now you're hard-pressed to see an electric vehicle on the road. Twenty years from now, you'll be hard-pressed to find a gasoline-powered car on the road," he said.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Canada is joining 13 other countries in a non-binding pledge to sustainably manage 100 per cent of its oceans by 2025, continuing the Trudeau government's international declarations on the environment.The undertaking commits — or, in some cases, recommits — Canada to a variety of measures, including protecting 30 per cent of marine waters by 2030, rebuilding fish stocks, reducing plastic in the ocean and creating a sustainability plan."Having the world's longest coastline, Canada recognizes that our economy and our well-being are deeply connected with the health of our oceans, and that we have a responsibility to protect them," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement accompanying the document."That is why we are committed to working with our international Ocean Panel leaders, and to developing a comprehensive blue economy strategy. We are also calling on more world leaders and other partners to join us in turning our goals into reality."Other countries supporting the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy include Norway, Australia, Japan, Ghana, Indonesia and Chile."Historically, the ocean agenda has never been focused and integrated on an international basis, and we're at the point, I think, in history where everybody recognizes the health of the ocean should be a concern," said Jean-Guy Forgeron, senior assistant deputy minister of strategic policy at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.Canada has made these promises beforeThe commitment to conserve 30 per cent of Canadian oceans by 2030 was announced in July when Canada joined the Global Ocean Alliance, led by the United Kingdom.Ottawa has so far reached 14 per cent of the target by creating marine protected areas and marine refuges.The process has met opposition from the fishing industry and some provincial governments in Atlantic Canada, which questioned the economic impact of closing areas to extraction activities."This is not easy," said Forgeron. "There is no low-hanging fruit in creating protected ocean space. And it's a very aggressive agenda."Fisheries and Oceans Canada is expected to introduce draft regulations this month to the Fisheries Act that will spell out how it intends to rebuild fish stocks that are being harmed by over-fishing.The federal government is also promising a discussion paper in the new year on "boat-to-plate traceability" to assure consumers they are getting what they are paying for and to help stamp out illegal fishing and human rights issues on board vessels elsewhere."I think we'll see in the next months, not years, whether this government is moving on this new strategy that they've signed on to," said Josh Laughren, executive director of the environmental group Oceana Canada."This isn't the first time governments have signed on to non-binding, long-term commitments, and people tend to get wary of more of those."Anya Waite of the Ocean Frontier Institute based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said oceans are too important to the planet's future not to act to protect them."The ocean controls our climate, carries 100 times the heat of the atmosphere and 50 times the carbon," she said. "If we don't have the oceans front and centre, we can't understand climate change and we need development of the blue economy to include sustainability."A contrary view to a key commitmentWhile the steps are being welcomed by the environmental movement, there remains skepticism about the effectiveness of setting aside 30 per cent of the ocean by 2030 — known as 30 by 30.It has been proposed in the United States Congress and is under consideration by the incoming Biden administration.Ray Hilborn, from the University of Washington's school of aquatic and fisheries sciences, said it is misguided."All the 30 by 30 will do is move the fishing effort from one place to another," Hilborn told CBC News. "So if fishing effort is causing the problem, you're not solving it; you're simply moving the problem from one place to the other."He said countries like Canada and the United States have fishery regimes that can better protect species with specific measures like gear changes.'A lot left to do'Hilborn acknowledged some areas need to close, although not permanently. He cited the North Atlantic right whale, which moved away from critical habitat zones off southern Nova Scotia and into the Gulf of St. Lawrence in search of prey."If climate change is going to change where the problems are, we need dynamic management," he said.Laughren supports the measures coming from the High Level Panel and is giving the Trudeau government the benefit of the doubt."I think the government deserves some credit for making oceans and oceans conservation a priority over the last few years, with a lot left to do," he said.MORE TOP STORIES
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The Holiday Host volunteer program put on by the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada (PEIANC) will change to a more virtual format this year.For the past 15 years, the program would match up about 20 host families on P.E.I. with newcomer families. The two families would join together for a meal, seasonal activity or party.It was a way the families could build connections and share during the festive season.PEIANC decided it could be a challenge this year to have two families meet up so they decided to move the seasonal sharing online."I wouldn't say a little different — I would say it is a lot different," said Valerie Fitzpatrick, community connections program co-ordinator with PEIANC.Fitzpatrick said they are looking for people to send in their holiday traditions new and old."It's just a way for people to show a little bit about, you know, what's your Christmas tradition and you get to share it, not just with one family but with the whole world virtually," Fitzpatrick said.She said they will be reaching out to people through the association for other holidays they celebrate and traditions they may have."What new Christmas traditions have they adopted since they have been in Canada or what Christmas traditions or other holiday traditions did they do in their home country that maybe they brought with them."The submitted videos should be between 90 seconds and two minutes. Fitzpatrick said people looking to take part can share the videos with them online or reach out to the co-ordinators.They will also be posting holiday messages from staff on their social media platforms. Fitzpatrick said they wanted to do this to encourage people to still try to connect during the pandemic."We have volunteers that have taken part with a new family every year in the program so we hope that they look at this as an opportunity instead of another one of those things that we can't do because of COVID," Fitzpatrick said."It's something we wouldn't have done otherwise but I think that it is a really neat way to reach out to more people."More from CBC P.E.I.
It's been three and a half years since P.E.I. RCMP trained its first five drone pilots and just last week, eight more members were added to the team. "As time goes on we're seeing more and more calls where a drone is useful," said RCMP Staff-Sgt. Kevin Baillie, the drone co-ordinator for RCMP on the Island."Drone technology has improved and we have expanded our drone fleet, increased our capabilities and also trained additional pilots." Baillie said these devices are primarily used as aerial cameras at collision scenes and crime scenes. But, he said they can also be used for search and rescue.> A picture is always worth 1,000 words, whereas now with a video it is worth 10,000. — Cst. Steve MacDonnell"Before we acquired drones, generally the only way to get an aerial photo was to use a helicopter or an aircraft which was much more expensive," he said. Saving moneyAccording to Baillie, the entire drone fleet in the province costs roughly $30,000. Approximately the same as 10 or 15 hours of helicopter time, he said. Currently, he said there are 14 active pilots in the P.E.I. RCMP. One of those is Cst. Steve MacDonnell. "I enjoy flying the drone, it's very useful for us at crime scenes," he said. "A picture is always worth 1,000 words, whereas now with a video it is worth 10,000." MacDonnell is a forensic expert and said having access to a drone makes looking for evidence faster and easier. "It's very useful for sure," said MacDonnell. "It saves getting a ladder and getting on a roof."We can look for paths the perpetrator could have taken to get to the home."So far, MacDonnell has only been trained to fly a smaller drone, but he said he'd like to upgrade and learn to operate one of the larger devices used for search and rescue. Drones are not for surveillanceFor MacDonnell and Baillie, tools like this improve the safety of officers and also allow a better understanding of incidents or crimes.But Baillie said the drones are never used to imvade people's private lives."We can't invade anybody's privacy unless we get a search warrant authorized by a judge," he said."To this point on P.E.I. we have not used drones for surveillance and nor do we have any plans to."For now, Baillie said he has no plans to train additional drone pilots on P.E.I. or purchase more devices. Instead, he prefers to watch how the technology grows and share his expertise with other RCMP in the Maritimes."We do all work together and we share information on the drones we're using," he said.More from CBC P.E.I.
Several P.E.I. appliance stores are dealing with a shortage of products to sell because COVID-19 is affecting the manufacturers of fridges, stoves, washers and dryers.P.E.I. is adding 55 new front-line positions to schools across the province to support students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.A program where Islanders share their Christmas traditions with newcomers has moved online.The collapse of the Atlantic bubble has left some Nova Scotia university students in a tough spot ahead of their end-of-semester exams and holiday break.Wednesday night's Santa Claus tour in Charlottetown was postponed to Sunday. Holiday shoppers are receiving their own gift from the City of Charlottetown this December: free parking downtown. The lack of activity at Charlottetown Airport is "surreal," the CEO says.P.E.I. has seen a total of 72 cases, with no deaths and no hospitalizations.Seventeen new cases of COVID-19 were identified in Nova Scotia on Wednesday, bringing its number of active cases to 127.In New Brunswick, six new cases were reported, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 119.Also in the newsFurther resourcesMore from CBC P.E.I.
Newfoundland and Labrador's craft brewers faced a tough summer with the lack of tourism coming through towns and communities — and staycations that didn't quite make up for lost revenue. But some have came up with other ways to increase revenue lost at bars, restaurants and their own tap rooms this year. Port Rexton Brewing, Quidi Vidi Brewing Company and Secret Cove Brewing Company are well into expansions which will help boost sales down the line as winter months lead to a slow down in traffic.Jason Hynes, co-owner of the Secret Cove Brewing Company in Port au Port east, said his business changed its model early on in the pandemic not knowing the kind of year that would lay ahead. "When the pandemic started at the end of March we made the decision to purchase canning lines. We kind of got geared up. We anticipated a lot of change," Hynes said. "Typically we are a tap room driven type of business, and that all changed this summer. We didn't have our normal summer, but given the circumstances it was still pretty good."Secret Cove remained closed to the public for a large portion of the pandemic, offering curb-side pick up to customers while keeping its tap room shut. Hynes said by getting into packaging and shipping his company's products it helped make up for lost business, and earlier in November the brewery made its first shipment to the east coast of the island. "It generated a lot more work. It was a big pivot for us, we had to do a shift for the business. We sat down, my wife and I, and we did a big evaluation and said 'what do we have to do to keep things going,'" said Hynes."There was a lot of uncertainty when it all started. We're busier now than we've ever been, believe it or not." Expansions across the provinceSonja Mills, co-owner of Port Rexton Brewing, started expansion of her business well ahead of the pandemic — two years ago, in fact, but the pandemic slowed things down as the expansion reached its final stages.A new building will now house the company's entire brewing operation. Mills said she's hoping it will be open by the holiday season. "We did the first test batch last week, and we're going to kind of wait to see how that turns out," she said. Mills expects to be in 'proper operation' by the end of 2020. In October provincial government officials announced breweries will be able to keep a few extra dollars on beer sold in stores, retail locations and tap rooms as part of a new program to help those businesses retain more money for reinvestment. Mills said the announcement came at the perfect time. "In our case it helps us get our expansion to the end and hopefully the other breweries will get opportunities to expand as well," Mills told CBC Radio's Weekend AM. Mills said staycations were good for her business in August, and canned sales are holding steady, but sales at bars and restaurants have dropped. Quidi Vidi Brewery owner Justin Fong echoed Mills's comments. Fong said his business has also seen numbers drop at venues, but canned business is keeping the numbers flat. Quidi Vidi is also in the middle of an expansion — a large warehouse on Harbour View Avenue in St. John's to house and distribute beer that will also double as a retail shop. The operation out of the new warehouse started in March, said Fong, but he's hoping the shop front will be open by early or mid-December. "That's just going to be a big craft beer shop and we're hoping to carry all the beer from across Newfoundland," he said.Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Israel handed over a backlog of billions of shekels in tax money to the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday, both sides said, in another sign of warming ties between the sides after the U.S. presidential election victory of Joe Biden. The taxes, managed by Israel under interim peace accords from the 1990s and usually handed over monthly, make up more than half of the budget of the Palestinian Authority (PA), whose economy has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The 3.77 billion shekels ($1.14 billion) transfer is the first since June, when the Palestinians snubbed the handover due to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plans, currently suspended, to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
Hong Kong pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam have been sentenced to jail on charges related to an unauthorized anti-government protest last year at the city’s police headquarters. Wong, who pleaded guilty to organizing and participating in the protest, received 13 1/2 months behind bars. Chow, who also pleaded guilty to participating in the protest and inciting others to take part, received 10 months, while Lam received 7 months after pleading guilty to incitement. The protest took place on June 21 last year, and saw thousands surround the police headquarters as they demonstrated against excessive force by police against protesters, as well as a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to be extradited to mainland China.Zen Soo, The Associated Press
The Greater Sudbury Police Service Explosive Disposal Unit has removed improvised explosive devices from the scene of a Gore Bay shooting that claimed the lives of an OPP officer and a civilian on Nov. 19. “The (Explosive Disposal Unit) is assisting in ensuring the scene is safe as there were IEDs located at the scene,” said Kaitlyn Dunn, the corporate communications officer for Greater Sudbury Police. “Members of our (unit) are taking the necessary precautions to ensure officer safety and community safety.” Police were called to a property on Hindman Trail in Gore Bay on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 19, to investigate a complaint about the presence of an unwanted man. Soon after arriving, police located the man in a trailer. After a short interaction, there was an exchange of gunfire. OPP Const. Marc Hovingh and a 60-year-old man later identified as Gary Brohman were both struck. Both men were transported to the hospital, where they succumbed to their injuries. Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, invoked its mandate and is investigating the incident. Greater Sudbury Police is also assisting with the investigation. The SIU is now actively investigating two separate incidents that occurred on Manitoulin Island following the death of a 43-year-old man by a gunshot wound in Little Current on Nov. 27. The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government. email@example.com Twitter: @SudburyStarColleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star
It won't be until sometime next year before a Labour Department report into the cause of the collapse of a crane in downtown Halifax in 2019 will be complete.The crane came down during storm Dorian in September 2019, spilling over a construction site and part of South Park Street, and causing the shutdown of several nearby businesses, relocation of some tenants from a neighbouring apartment building and prolonged rerouting of traffic.On Tuesday, a Labour Department spokesperson said there is still no update on the investigation."As you can appreciate, the crane incident is complex and requires a thorough investigation," Jill Florian McKenzie said in an email. "We hope to have more to share in the coming months."Pandemic creates further delaysHalifax lawyer Ray Wagner is representing a group of businesses and tenants seeking to file a class-action lawsuit against the developer of the building where the collapse happened as well as the owner and operator of the crane.Wagner said the labour investigation is indeed complex and the process is taking even longer because of the COVID-19 pandemic."The penultimate question is what caused the crane to fall, and as simple as it may seem it has turned much more complicated than that," he said in a telephone interview."There's been metallurgic testing, there's been observations by experts of the crane and a bunch of those things, which has been, unfortunately, delayed because of COVID."The initial plan was for the metallurgical testing and expert observations to happen in March and June, said Wagner. That had to be moved to the fall and there is some additional testing happening now, he said.Province covered cleanup costsWhat's most important for the people he's representing is timely justice, said Wagner. Ideally, that would be achieved through a settlement, but Wagner said they would continue on with the class-action route if necessary."Unfortunately, there seems to be an extraordinary amount of delays on this particular file."It took more than a month to clean up the crane.The province footed the $2-million bill in an attempt to get the work done as soon as possible and the area reopened to the public. Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines said at the time that efforts would be made to recover that money.A spokesperson for Hines's department could not provide an update on that effort on Tuesday.
Le Bloc québécois a défendu l’adoption du projet de loi C-216 pour la protection de la gestion de l’offre dans les futures négociations commerciales la semaine dernière. Le regroupement politique se réjouit donc d’apprendre que les producteurs concernés seront dédommagés pour les embûches créées par la mise en place des deux derniers accords de libre-échange. Le projet de loi C-216 du Bloc québécois vise à empêcher le gouvernement d’affaiblir la gestion de l’offre lorsqu’il conclut des ententes internationales avec ses partenaires. Et à la suite des pressions répétées des députés pour le versement de l’ensemble des compensations aux producteurs et aux transformateurs sous gestion de l’offre, la députée Michaud se dit soulagée que le gouvernement annonce enfin une partie de l’aide promise. En effet, la ministre Marie-Claude Bibeau a annoncé samedi qu’une certaine forme d’indemnité sera offerte à ces producteurs et transformateurs qui ont grandement été affectés par les brèches faites au système agricole québécois à travers les concessions des trois derniers accords commerciaux. En effet, ils recevront les reste des versements dus en trois ans. Kristina Michaud, qui prend le dossier à cœur, a pu s’entretenir avec le président des producteurs de lait du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gabriel Belzile, à la suite de l’annonce. « Je représente une circonscription rurale où l’agriculture est extrêmement importante », a-t-elle expliqué. « J’ai rencontré de nombreux producteurs depuis mon élection il y a un peu plus d’un an et je sais à quel point cette nouvelle était attendue. Les producteurs de lait, œufs et volaille pourront enfin obtenir des indemnisations même si aucune compensation ne permettra de rétablir l’équilibre qui avait été acquis. » Mme Michaud renchérit que « c’est un bon pas, mais plusieurs détails restent à venir ». De plus, les transformateurs de l’ensemble des secteurs ont été complètement écartés par l’annonce d’Ottawa, sans compter qu’il n’y a toujours aucune compensation pour l’ACEUM (ancien ALENA). La députée craint que la promesse du gouvernement de n’accorder aucune autre concession dans de futurs accords ne soit encore que des paroles en l’air. « Pour véritablement tenir parole, le gouvernement et tous les partis d’opposition doivent adopter le projet de loi C-216 déposé par le Bloc Québécois. Ce sont des gestes concrets tels que celui-ci qui vont réellement protéger nos producteurs », a ajouté la bloquiste. En attendant, Kristina Michaud et ses collègues persisteront aux côtés des gens du milieu agricole pour qu’ils puissent obtenir « la juste part des compensations qui leur est due et qu’ils ne soient plus tributaires des futures ententes internationales », d’après les dires de la députée fédérale.Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kick-start your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Dec. 2 ...What we are watching in Canada ...The Manitoba government has signed a pay agreement that will allow nurses to be shifted to priority areas in the fight against COVID-19. It says the agreement with the Manitoba Nurses Union will allow nurses to be redeployed in personal care homes, intensive care units and designated COVID-19 units. Health Minister Cameron Friesen says it will allow for changes to work assignments, locations, schedules and shifts to support the changing needs of hospital patients and care home residents. He says nurses affected by these changes, including those already working in facilities dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, will get extra pay. The agreement also establishes a COVID-19 northern allowance for staff redeployed to the north, as well as an allowance for current northern nurses who work in one community but pick up additional shifts elsewhere in the region. Union president Darlene Jackson says the deal will help keep nurses on the job and give them some security and recognition. ---Also this ...Nunavut's two-week lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to end today as the territory continues to see a drop in new cases. Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut's chief public health officer, said earlier this week that schools, businesses and workplaces could reopen.Restrictions are to lift in all communities except Arviat, which has 76 active cases and will remain shut down for at least two more weeks. Patterson says that's because his team hasn't determined if community transmission there is ongoing.Nunavut had 93 active infections and 89 recovered cases on Tuesday for a total of 182. The territory had not had any cases at all until early November.\---What we are watching in the U.S. ...Disputing U.S. President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.Barr's comments, in an interview Tuesday with the The Associated Press, contradict the concerted effort by Trump, his boss, to subvert the results of last month's voting and block president-elect Joe Biden from taking his place in the White House.Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”The comments, which drew immediate criticism from Trump attorneys, were especially notable coming from Barr, who has been one of the president's most ardent allies. Before the election, he had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voting could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls and instead chose to vote by mail.More to Trump's liking, Barr revealed in the AP interview that in October he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel, giving the prosecutor the authority to continue to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe after Biden takes over and making it difficult to fire him. Biden hasn't said what he might do with the investigation, and his transition team didn't comment Tuesday.\---What we are watching in the rest of the world ...Pfizer and BioNTech say they've won permission Wednesday for emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine in Britain, the world’s first coronavirus shot that’s backed by rigorous science -- and a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic.The move makes Britain one of the first countries to begin vaccinating its population as it tries to curb Europe’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak.Other countries aren’t far behind: The U.S. and the European Union also are vetting the Pfizer shot along with a similar vaccine made by competitor Moderna Inc.Pfizer said it would immediately begin shipping limited supplies to the U.K. -- and has been gearing up for even wider distribution if given a similar nod by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a decision expected as early as next week.But doses everywhere are scarce, and initial supplies will be rationed until more is manufactured in the first several months of next year.\---On this day in 2006 ...Liberal delegates chose Quebec MP Stephane Dion as their new federal leader at a Montreal convention.\---Holiday news ...The Canadian Christmas Tree Growers Association says people planning to buy a live Christmas tree this season should start shopping now and expect to pay more.Farmers anticipate 2020 will be a record sales year. Association head Larry Downey says it's simple supply and demand: a shortage of trees coupled with a greater appetite from people hoping to liven up their living spaces amid widespread stay-at-home orders.“Personally, we don’t see COVID affecting us,” says Downey, whose family farm in Hatley, Que. sells up to 30,000 Christmas trees each year.Most wholesale farmers Downey has spoken this year with have already reached sales records, he adds, with much of the demand coming from vendors in the United States. Retailers typically place their orders for trees as early as June, Downey says.The Christmas tree market is still feeling the effects of the Great Recession, which put many U.S. growers out of business and led others to reduce planting. Since saplings take eight to 10 years to reach the size of a typical Christmas tree, the effects of the lower supply have only recently emerged.In entertainment ...Experts believe the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies such as Netflix will go up under a taxation plan the government wants to put in place next year,Ottawa says in its fiscal update released Monday it will require multinationals to collect GST or HST on digital products and services, which it said would add up to $1.2 billion over five years.Sometimes labelled a "Netflix tax," the measure would also apply to other services such as Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime Video or the Spotify audio streaming service, as well as digital products such as software applications.The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales, so it's only fair that foreign multinationals should do the same.KPMG tax partner Joe Micallef says it's likely Canadians will end up paying the taxes collected for the government by foreign multinationals."Right now, the way in which they're delivering their services, they're not responsible for the collection," Micallef says."And so, effectively, it would mean that these charges would be appearing on (their) invoices."Dwayne Winseck, a media industry researcher at Carleton University in Ottawa, also expects companies will add the price of the tax to the total sale price.\---ICYMI ...The Oscar-nominated Canadian star of the film "Juno" has come out as transgender.The Halifax-raised Elliot Page, formerly known as Ellen Page, has made the announcement in a powerful post on social media.The star of the Toronto-shot Netflix series "The Umbrella Academy" says his preferred pronouns are he/they.Page's letter thanks those who have supported him along the journey, and addresses the trauma trans people face from discrimination, hateful acts, and a lack of rights.He says it feels remarkable "to finally love" who he is enough to pursue his "authentic self."And he's been "endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community.""Thank you for your courage, your generosity and ceaselessly working to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place. I will offer whatever support I can and continue to strive for a more loving and equal society," Page says.."I also ask for patience. My joy is real, but it is also fragile. The truth is, despite feeling profoundly happy right now and knowing how much privilege I carry, I am also scared. I'm scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the 'jokes' and of violence."\---This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020The Canadian Press
More than two weeks after a ransomware attack caused the City of Saint John to shut down its online systems, the city is still not sharing any details about how the attack happened, which systems were targeted, what information was possibly compromised and what exactly it's doing to respond.At Monday night's council meeting, city manager John Collin said the city "will not provide details that inform the criminals who attacked us on their effectiveness or lack thereof.""Nor will we comment on our strengths or limited vulnerabilities, since we have no intention to provide a roadmap to any future attackers or scammers," Collin said.A ransomware attack on Nov. 13 forced the city to take its network offline. That allowed it to "isolate [its] networks from the outside world and to contain and then eradicate the virus," Collin said.Collin said he expects a return to normal within the coming weeks, but noted "we will not reactivate any of our network or reconnect to the outside world until we are sure that it is safe to do so."In the meantime, Collin said, the city will provide information "that is important to our community," including impact to services and whether any private data was compromised.He said the city has not confirmed any personal data leaks, but it hasn't made a final determination on that. Residents are advised to watch for any irregular activity on their bank accounts and credit card statements in the meantime.Ali Dehghantanha, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Guelph, said he doesn't believe that releasing more information about the attack would tip off attackers. Dehghantanha said it's likely the attackers know what information they're holding hostage.He said there's benefit in telling the public what information could be out there, and giving guidance about changing passwords and other precautions.> I don't like that we, people, the public, are being kept in the dark, because there could be a lot of help we can offer. - Ali Dehghantanha, cybersecurity expertDehghantanha said he's seen other cities in similar situations share more information."I don't think releasing the reasons they believe people need to check their banking information would cause any harm," he said. "They need to tell us."The city should also explain what other information is at risk, he said."What about other private information that usually is not protected as much as bank information?"Not sharing information publicly also means the cybersecurity community can't help as much as it potentially could, Dehghantanha said."I don't like that we, people, the public, are being kept in the dark, because there could be a lot of help we can offer." The city is using a gmail address to communicate with media, and many city employees still don't have access to email or phones. This includes the Saint John Police Force, whose spokesperson Jim Hennessy declined to comment on the attack other than to say police and fire are responding normally.The city said that because of the network shutdown, its website, some phone lines, email and online payments are not working.It's not clear whether some or all of these services are offline because the city shut down its network or because they were directly affected by the attack.No legal obligation to share detailsCollin said the cyberattack is being investigated by police, but did not specify which police force.University of New Brunswick cybersecurity expert Dr. Ali Ghorbani said the city is under no legal obligation to share any details about the attack, except personal data leaks.He said organizations affected by ransomware should not disclose information that exposes the major vulnerability or weakness that created this problem, how the attack happened, and what technology was used to to make the attack successful. "So as long as they stay away from disclosing their infrastructure problems and ... the complexity of what has happened, the rest of the information, I think, should be communicated to those who have been affected."Ghorbani said the longer the shutdown goes on, the more difficult it will be to bounce back from the attack.
It only took two days after its launch for the chess drama The Queen's Gambit to make it into Netflix's top 10 most-viewed series — and it hasn't budged since.It has since become the streaming giant's biggest scripted limited series to date, but the show's popularity isn't confined to the screen. Chess enthusiasts believe it's bringing more people to the game and making it more accessible to a group that, historically, has been largely shut out of it — women."After the series came out on Netflix, you could feel the buzz around the club," said Steve Sklenka, president of the Calgary Chess Club. Though COVID-19 restrictions have forced the club's physical location to temporarily close, that hasn't stopped the inquiries. "We have [people] buying memberships online even though we're closed."According to Sklenka, the interest is the most he's seen since 1972, when American chess champion Bobby Fischer played Russian grandmaster Boris Spassky in a match that became a worldwide sensation. Now, Sklenka is fielding daily calls and emails from people asking when the club will reopen. Sklenka isn't the only one to notice a resurgence in interest. According to marketing firm NPD Group, U.S. sales of chess sets rose by 87 per cent in the weeks following the show's debut in late October, while chess book sales jumped more than 600 per cent. An executive at a major U.S. games company told NPR their sales jumped 1,000 per cent as fans around the world connected with the series."It is an international show with an international cast that is dealing with one of the more universal, quote unquote, sports or pastimes or hobbies," said Daniel Feinberg, a TV critic for Hollywood Reporter.WATCH | 'I've made older boys cry' — chess stars on the world of The Queen's Gambit:While chess is played around the world, Feinberg argued other potential pastimes — like football, baseball or hockey — wouldn't connect with international audiences quite as successfully. "Chess really doesn't know any boundaries, so everybody gets to feel some level of connection and they get to understand it on whatever level they do." Sklenka said the show has had another benefit as well."It's a good thing for chess andit's a good thing for female players," Sklenka said, "because it adds a lot of exposure that just wasn't there before." Show's male players depicted as 'too nice'The Queen's Gambit follows the life of orphan and chess prodigy Beth Harmon (portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy) as she rises to become the greatest player in the world. In reality, there has never been a female chess world champion, although many have played at an extremely high level.That includes Judit Polgár, a Hungarian player and the sole woman to be ranked among the top 10 players in the world. In 2005, Polgár became the first woman to play for the world championship title. After watching Harmon's journey in The Queen's Gambit, Polgár had one reaction to the depiction of the male players."They were too nice to her," she told the New York Times.Polgár's experience echoes that of Canadian chess champion Qiyu Zhou. The 20-year-old University of Toronto economics and statistics major has been playing chess since she was four and currently holds the title of Woman Grandmaster. Zhou says she has faced male players who don't take her seriously. "I've made older boys cry because I beat them ... and they're like, 'How did I lose to, like, a six-year-old or a five-year-old?'"Growing up in Finland, Zhou played in "open" sections in tournaments, for all genders, as there simply weren't other girls to compete against. Though she was successful — becoming the youngest-ever winner at the Finnish National Chess Championship, at age five — Zhou said the isolation can push younger players away."If I was a really young girl playing chess but there is nobody around me to be friends with me, would I really want to keep playing the game? Not necessarily," she said. "We're all social people, I believe, especially when we're younger — making friends is a really key part."Earlier this year, Zhou signed with the U.S.-based esports organization Counter Logic Gaming after her popularity as a chess streamer grew on the video game streaming platform Twitch.Zhou said she continues to face sexism in the chess world. She frequently gets online comments about how she dresses or acts — comments she said would not be levelled at male counterparts. WATCH | The Queen's Gambit trailer:"I guess people just have an opinion of what a female chess player should be like, and they really want to push that on girls," Zhou said.'Most of the top streamers are male'Andrea Botez, another Canadian chess streamer, said that even now, gender is often an "obstacle" for women. "Most of the top streamers are male, and if there are females ... there's always people saying you only get attention because you're attractive, not because you're good at the game," Botez said.Like Polgár, Botez believes The Queen's Gambit "toned down" the sexism in the chess world, but said it has also strengthened the sport. Its popularity on Netflix and social media isn't just bringing more people to chess, she said — it's bringing younger people. "The most important audience is the teen audience," Botez said. "They're watching Netflix. On social media, it's very popular on TikTok and stuff. And I think that's very important for the growth [of] chess."For Zhou, the question of why The Queen's Gambit has drawn so much attention has an easy answer. "There's always been an intrigue about chess… but it always takes a little bit of pop culture and mainstream media to push it to that point where everybody is like, 'We can actually play this game, and have a lot of fun playing it,'" she said."I'm not fully surprised, but I've always thought that chess is, you know, an art, a science and a sport, all in one."