Governor Gretchen Whitmer mourns the death of a well-known Michigan sheriff from COVID-19 complications and claims some states aren’t getting their share of vaccines because of either “corruption or ineptitude” by the federal government. (Dec. 18)
Governor Gretchen Whitmer mourns the death of a well-known Michigan sheriff from COVID-19 complications and claims some states aren’t getting their share of vaccines because of either “corruption or ineptitude” by the federal government. (Dec. 18)
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Donald Trump has lost his social media megaphone, the power of government and the unequivocal support of his party's elected leaders. But a week after leaving the White House in disgrace, a large-scale Republican defection that would ultimately purge him from the party appears unlikely. Many Republicans refuse to publicly defend Trump's role in sparking the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But as the Senate prepares for an impeachment trial for Trump's incitement of the riot, few seem willing to hold the former president accountable. After House Republicans who backed his impeachment found themselves facing intense backlash — and Trump’s lieutenants signalled the same fate would meet others who joined them — Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for an attempt to dismiss his second impeachment trial. Only five Republican senators rejected the challenge to the trial. Trump's conviction was considered a real possibility just days ago after lawmakers whose lives were threatened by the mob weighed the appropriate consequences — and the future of their party. But the Senate vote on Tuesday is a sign that while Trump may be held in low regard in Washington following the riots, a large swath of Republicans is leery of crossing his supporters, who remain the majority of the party’s voters. “The political winds within the Republican Party have blown in the opposite direction,” said Ralph Reed, chair of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a Trump ally. “Republicans have decided that even if one believes he made mistakes after the November election and on Jan. 6, the policies Trump championed and victories he won from judges to regulatory rollback to life to tax cuts were too great to allow the party to leave him on the battlefield.” The vote came after Trump, who decamped last week to his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, began wading back into politics between rounds of golf. He took an early step into the Arkansas governor’s race by endorsing former White House aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and backed Kelli Ward, an ally who won reelection as chair of Arizona’s Republican Party after his endorsement. At the same time, Trump’s team has given allies an informal blessing to campaign against the 10 House Republicans who voted in favour of impeachment. After Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer backed impeachment, Republican Tom Norton announced a primary challenge. Norton appeared on longtime Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast in a bid to raise campaign contributions. On Thursday, another Trump loyalist, Rep. Matt Gaetz, plans to travel to Wyoming to condemn home-state Rep. Liz Cheney, a House GOP leader who said after the Capitol riot that “there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. — a star with Trump’s loyal base —- has encouraged Gaetz on social media and embraced calls for Cheney’s removal from House leadership. Trump remains livid with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, who refused to support Trump's false charges that Georgia's elections were fraudulent. Kemp is up for reelection in 2022, and Trump has suggested former Rep. Doug Collins run against him. Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s decision not to seek reelection in 2022 opens the door for Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters, to seek the seat. Several other Republicans, some far less supportive of the former president, are also considering running. Trump’s continued involvement in national politics so soon after his departure marks a dramatic break from past presidents, who typically stepped out of the spotlight, at least temporarily. Former President Barack Obama was famously seen kitesurfing on vacation with billionaire Richard Branson shortly after he left office, and former President George W. Bush took up painting. Trump, who craves the media spotlight, was never expected to burrow out of public view. “We will be back in some form,” he told supporters at a farewell event before he left for Florida. But exactly what form that will take is a work in progress. Trump remains deeply popular among Republican voters and is sitting on a huge pot of cash — well over $50 million — that he could use to prop up primary challenges against Republicans who backed his impeachment or refused to support his failed efforts to challenge the election results using bogus allegations of mass voter fraud in states like Georgia. “POTUS told me after the election that he’s going to be very involved,” said Matt Schlapp, the chair of the American Conservative Union. “I think he’s going to stay engaged. He’s going to keep communicating. He’s going to keep expressing his opinions. I, for one, think that’s great, and I encouraged him to do that.” Aides say he also intends to dedicate himself to winning back the House and Senate for Republicans in 2022. But for now, they say their sights are on the trial. “We’re getting ready for an impeachment trial — that’s really the focus,” said Trump adviser Jason Miller. Trump aides have also spent recent days trying to assure Republicans that he is not currently planning to launch a third party — an idea he has floated — and will instead focus on using his clout in the Republican Party. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said he received a call from Brian Jack, the former White House political director, on Saturday at home to assure him that Trump had no plans for defection. “The main reason for the call was to make sure I knew from him that he’s not starting a third party and if I would be helpful in squashing any rumours that he was starting a third party. And that his political activism or whatever role he would play going forward would be with the Republican Party, not as a third party,” Cramer said. The calls were first reported by Politico. But the stakes remain high for Trump, whose legacy is a point of fierce contention in a Republican Party that is grappling with its identity after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress. Just three weeks after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, Trump’s political standing among Republican leaders in Washington remains low. “I don’t know whether he incited it, but he was part of the problem, put it that way,” said Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a strong Trump supporter, when asked about the Capitol siege and the related impeachment trial. Tuberville did not say whether he would personally defend Trump in the trial, but he downplayed the prospect of negative consequences for those Republican senators who ultimately vote to convict him. “I don’t think there’ll be any repercussions,” Tuberville said. “People are going to vote how they feel anyway.” Trump maintains a strong base of support within the Republican National Committee and in state party leadership, but even there, Republican officials have dared to speak out against him in recent days in ways they did not before. In Arizona, Ward, who had Trump’s backing, was only narrowly reelected over the weekend, even as the party voted to censure a handful of Trump’s Republican critics, including former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain. At the same time, Trump’s prospective impeachment sparked a bitter feud within the RNC. In a private email exchange obtained by The Associated Press, RNC member Demetra DeMonte of Illinois proposed a resolution calling on every Republican senator to oppose what she called an “unconstitutional sham impeachment trial, motivated by a radical and reckless Democrat majority.” Bill Palatucci, a Republican committeeman from New Jersey, slapped back. “His act of insurrection was an attack on our very democracy and deserves impeachment,” Palatucci wrote. ___ Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington contributed to this report. Steve Peoples And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
ROCKY MOUNT, Va. — Two Virginia police officers charged in the storming of the U.S. Capitol in Washington earlier this month have been fired, a town official announced Tuesday. Rocky Mount Town Manager James Ervin announced the firings in a statement, but did not provide any additional details on the firing of former Sgt. Thomas “T.J.” Robertson and former Officer Jacob Fracker, The Roanoke Times reported. The town had no precedent to refer to for how to deal with this situation, Ervin wrote. “The events of the past few weeks have been challenging for our town, as they have been for the entire nation. The actions by two have driven our beautiful town into the national spotlight in ways that do not reflect our whole community and the people who call Rocky Mount home.” Ervin said in the statement. Robertson had told the newspaper he and Fracker received letters of termination from the town Friday, offering them the opportunity to resign before the firing took effect. Fracker, reached via text message, declined to comment Tuesday. Federal authorities have charged Robertson, 47, and Fracker, 29, with a misdemeanouroffence of knowingly entering a restricted building without authority to do so to engage in conduct that disrupts government business. They also face a petty offence of engaging in disruptive conduct in the Capitol in order to interfere with a session of Congress. The maximum penalty for the misdemeanour is a year in jail. The maximum penalty for the petty offence is six months. In a selfie Fracker took inside the Capitol Crypt on Jan. 6, Fracker is making an obscene gesture. Robertson is pointing at Fracker while holding a wooden pole. Both officers have repeatedly said they did nothing illegal and did not participate in any of the violence that unfolded Jan. 6. The Associated Press
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — A jersey, puck and stick signed by hockey legend Wayne Gretzky are among Ontario museum items up for auction.The 42-year-old a Guinness World Records Museum in Niagara Falls permanently closed in September.Ripley Auctions says memorabilia up for bids includes artifacts, sculpted characters, displays and exhibits.The online auction is scheduled for Feb. 12.Ripley says the museum featured visits and performances from record holders and people attempting to break records.The museum operated as a franchisee of the Guinness World Records book.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
Municipal leaders who sit on the Grey Bruce health board expressed their frustration with the lack of vaccine at Friday’s meeting. Medical officer of Health Dr. Arra said that we have been “the victim of our own success” in keeping COVID numbers down, because high-risk areas have been the main priority. He said a plan for using three mass vaccination hubs has been submitted. “If we don’t get a response about piloting this hub and getting enough vaccine for high-risk task force, I plan to turn to advocacy,” he said. “It shouldn’t be a matter of advocacy… but it seems there is disparity in the distribution to some degree,” he said. Brian Milne, Southgate deputy-mayor, said that it is frustrating that Grey-Bruce had received only 200 doses at that time, and many frontline staff members were left waiting to be inoculated, while in other areas the cafeteria staff at facilities had received the vaccine. Dr. Arra said he heard the frustration and shared the concern. But he added that there is a fine line that needs to be walked, so that public health is to be seen to be working with the province, at the same time as advocating for the local area. It’s important that the public perceives that there is a united approach, Dr. Arra said. And it’s not a matter of if the vaccines come, it’s when, he said. “And we will be ready whenever that happens.” On Monday, Public Health informed the public that it had received 600 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and expected delivery of another 700 doses of the vaccine next week, which will be enough to complete first dose vaccine coverage for all long-term care residents in Grey Bruce. The latest international news is that shipments that were expected are not confirmed, and that has affected many areas in the province. Health board members were happier about the return to school on Monday for Grey-Bruce students. Many parents will be relieved from the burden of making home learning work, but others are still cautions, said Selwyn Hicks, deputy-mayor of Hanover. He said that the health unit had done a good job of communication, explaining that the data shows that transmission is not taking place in schools. Members praised the outreach and media releases. Dr. Arra said that when he meets weekly with the mayors, he learns about issues in the community quickly and the health unit can address them. A standing item on the Board of Health agenda is the opioid crises, and Dr. Arra reported that there have been more than 10 overdoses in the last two weeks in Grey-Bruce – “not deaths, thankfully, overdoses.” Anecdotally, there were 13 deaths in Grey-Bruce in 2020 from opioids, zero from COVID. It’s a difficult crisis to address, Dr. Arra commented, with many complex issues, social, technical, ethical. When the pandemic ends, he said that the health unit, with credibility gained during COVID, will have an opportunity to address opioid like never before. Other partners are doing good work right now, he said, and the pandemic is the public health priority. M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald
Saskatchewan saw its deadliest day of the pandemic, with a record-high 14 fatalities reported on Tuesday. The previous record came on Jan. 21, when 13 people died after being diagnosed with the virus. The province has now reported 268 COVID-related deaths since the pandemic came to the province. Of those, 115 deaths have happened in 2021. One of the newly reported deaths Tuesday was a person was in their 40s who lived in the north central zone. Two people were in their 50s, with one from the Regina area and the other from the Saskatoon zone. Another two people were in their 60s from the Saskatoon zone. Three people were in their 70s and were from the Regina, Saskatoon and southeast zones. Six people were in their 80s and lived in the far northwest, north central, Regina, southeast and Saskatoon zones. New cases The province also reported 232 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total provincial caseload so far to 22,646. Here's where the new cases are: Far northwest: 23. Far north central: three. Far northeast: four. Northwest: 45. North central: 31. Northeast: seven. Saskatoon zone: 47. Central west: three. Central east: four. Regina zone: 46. South central: two. Southeast: six. There are 11 cases with pending locations. The seven-day average of daily new cases is 254, or 20.7 new cases per 100,000 people. The province says a total of 19,729 known cases have recovered from the virus, an increase of 839 since Monday. Of the province's total cases, 2,665 are considered active. There are 208 people with COVID-19 in hospital, 33 of whom are in the ICU. The province processed 2,160 COVID-19 tests on Monday. Public health measures extended The province is not implementing any new health measures to contain the spread of the virus, but it is extending the measures that currently are in place. The public health order will remain in effect until Feb. 19. They were set to expire on Jan. 29. The measures include a province-wide mask mandate, outdoor gatherings limited to 10 people maximum, while private indoor gatherings are limited to immediate households only. Visits to long-term care and personal care homes remain suspended except for compassionate reasons. Additionally, no alcohol sales are permitted after 10 p.m. in licensed establishments and sports remains suspended. A full list of current measures is available here. 3 businesses fined for not following public health order The government of Saskatchewan says enforcement of public health orders will continue to ensure businesses and events are brought into compliance as quickly as possible. On Tuesday, three businesses were fined under the Public Health Act. Crackers and the Crazy Cactus in Saskatoon and Stats Cocktails and Dreams in Regina have each been fined $14,000 each. Vaccine update The province administered 362 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, bringing the total number of vaccines administered in Saskatchewan to 34,080. The doses were administered in the following areas: Saskatoon: 241. Far North West: 22. North East: 23. North West: 66. Central East: 10. As of Tuesday, the province says it has administered 104 per cent of the number of doses it has officially received, with the overage due to efficiencies in drawing extra doses from vials.
Le procès d’Édouard Balladur et de François Léotard repose la question d’une nouvelle réforme de la protection constitutionnelle accordée à ceux qu’il est convenu d’appeler les « décideurs publics ».
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common childhood psychiatric disorder worldwide. It is also the most common neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs students’ learning in Canada. Unfortunately, most education systems across the country have not adapted how they understand and support students with ADHD. This disorder has yet to be officially recognized as a learning risk by many provincial Ministries of Education or the Canadian government. ADHD is commonly misunderstood as a disorder of rowdy, undisciplined children who can’t stay still or are unmotivated and lack willpower. While ADHD does impair attention regulation and may include hyperactivity and impulsivity, research over the last several decades indicates that this disorder's impact on students is much more complicated, pervasive, and disabling. ADHD impairs: cognitive processing speed; executive functioning skills (which hinders the acquisition of reading fluency and comprehension, written expression, and mathematical problem-solving skills); and the acquirement of learning strategies, study, and organizational skills. Students with this disorder are three times more likely to drop out of high school than their classmates. A conservative estimate indicates that roughly 5% of Canadian students have ADHD, but the actual prevalence could be as high as 9%. There are generally 1 – 3 students with ADHD in every classroom. Even so, some provinces will not officially recognize this disorder in their coding systems, leading to students with ADHD being unable to access special education resources or to benefit from reasonable learning accommodations. ADHD is now classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder in the updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), instead of being considered a disruptive behaviour as it was in the past. Unfortunately, many school boards and Ministries of Education in Canada have not caught up to this new understanding of ADHD. As a result, there generally hasn’t been sufficient educator training on ADHD, and the current training is often superficial and without a focus on changing the current perception of the disorder. The Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC) is a national charitable organization that aims to improve the lives of those with ADHD by raising awareness of this disorder, education, and advocacy. One of CADDAC’s current efforts towards these goals is the Right to Learn campaign. As stated on the Right to Learn website, CADDAC is asking the Ministries of Education in all provinces and territories across the country to formally acknowledge that ADHD is a serious leaning risk by agreeing in writing that: · ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes learning impairments on par with Autism Spectrum Disorder and learning disabilities; · students with ADHD have a right to access accommodations and special education resources for their disability, exceptionality (if applicable) notwithstanding; and · these resources and accommodations be based on a student’s specific needs and not generalizations, understanding that even a student with ADHD who is performing “well enough” academically can still be a student with a disability that requires accommodations to address barriers in education. CADDAC is encouraging parents and caretakers of children with ADHD and anyone else who is interested in equal access to education for all students to join the Right to Learn campaign. More information about this campaign is available at caddac.ca/adhd/adhd-right-to-learn. Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
With the Canadian government one step closer to classifying The Proud Boys a terrorist entity, it changes how the legal system treats its members.
A group of doctors and advocates are calling on Ontario Premier Doug Ford to address what they call a ‘humanitarian crisis’ in long-term care homes by bringing the military back for support and embarking on hiring and training drives.
A prospective COVID-19 vaccine touted as a made-in-Canada response has begun human clinical trials in Toronto, and the company says it's already preparing a follow-up that will target more infectious variants. Providence Therapeutics of Calgary says if all goes well, it could start manufacturing millions of doses of its first prospective vaccine by the end of the year, guaranteeing a Canadian stockpile that wouldn't be subject to global supply pressures or competition. That's if the formulation proves safe and effective, of course. Among the challenges of developing a vaccine amid a raging pandemic is the uncertainty of how more infectious variants now emerging will complicate the COVID battle. Even if successful, by the time Providence Therapeutics releases its vaccine hopeful much of the country could be in the throes of a more infectious virus that does not respond to this formulation, allowed company CEO Brad Sorenson. "We don't believe that this is going to be resolved by a single vaccine," said Sorenson, whose biotech also produces a personalized mRNA-based vaccine against cancer. It's a challenge now facing Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which have each said its products appear to respond well to the variant initially identified in the United Kingdom, and to a lesser degree, the variant first detected in South Africa. Moderna said earlier this week it plans to test two booster vaccines aimed at the variant associated with South Africa. Sorenson said Providence is already internally testing a vaccine candidate that targets the variants, and he hoped to begin clinical trials by the end of the year. "We believe that there's going to be a need to be in a position of readiness to be able to respond as these variants are coming up, and to be able to make sure that we have that capacity." That doesn't mean Providence is changing production runs just yet. Sorenson said the immediate focus is to establish the safety and efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine, dubbed PTX-COVID19-B and designed in the early days of the pandemic last March. It uses messenger RNA technology and focuses on the spike protein located on the surface of a coronavirus that initiates infection, similar to the Pfizer and Moderna products. The trial involves 60 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 25 who will be monitored for 13 months, with the first results expected in February. The subjects are divided into four groups of 15, three of which will get three different doses. The fourth group gets a placebo. Sorenson said immediate pandemic efforts should be focused on the novel coronavirus currently devastating many parts of the country. "It's a matter of capacity. Right now these variants are there, they're concerning, and we're keeping a close eye on it, but that's not predominantly what the needs of the population are," said Sorenson. "Right now the needs of the population are still tied to the primary spike protein virus that's out there and is ravaging around the world." Sorenson said his next vaccine candidate takes a broader approach by attempting to elicit a T-cell response, thereby creating a longer-term vaccine "and cover what we believe would be a lot more variants." "We have to prove it out but we believe that if we are successful that it will allow for a much more durable immunity and a much broader immunity." The other goal is to prepare for large-scale manufacturing in Calgary, if all goes well with the trials and approval process. Sorenson said doses for the Phase 1 trial are being made in Toronto but the plan is to commercially manufacture the completed vaccine through a contract with the Calgary-based Northern RNA Inc. That won't be up and running by the end of the year, Sorenson allowed, so the short-term plan is to send raw materials made in Canada to a plant in the United States that would make the commercial product. Eventually, the whole process would be completed in Canada, he said. "We're building the entire chain within Canada so we're not going to run into a problem where this particular input into the vaccine is unavailable," he said. Much of this also depends on financial support from the federal government, Sorenson added. While the National Research Council of Canada has backed Phase 1 trials, Sorenson said he's awaiting word on further support. He'd also like Ottawa to back Providence's efforts to address the new COVID variants. "They've already recognized the importance of mRNA technology. What they don't realize is the power of mRNA technology to be responsive to these challenges that are coming up," he said. "Hopefully the politicians and the people that cut the cheques and write the policies that give direction to the bureaucrats will hear that and we'll start seeing a more concerted approach that looks at a fuller picture." Pending regulatory approval, Sorenson said a larger, international Phase 2 trial may start in May with seniors, younger subjects and pregnant people, followed by an even broader Phase 3 trial. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — British Columbia's public safety minister says an improved online estimator tool will help drivers see how much they'll save under changes coming to the Insurance Corporation of B.C. Mike Farnworth says the tool allows drivers to estimate their savings once a new model of delivering auto insurance comes into effect at the Crown corporation on May 1. He says most customers will save an average of 20 per cent or $400 a year and will also be eligible for a one-time refund. The new insurance model will limit the ability of those hurt in a crash to sue at-fault drivers or the auto insurer, squeezing legal costs out of the system and saving ICBC an estimated $1.5 billion. Attorney General David Eby called ICBC's financial situation a "dumpster fire" after the NDP took power in 2017 and the government has introduced a series of measures to douse the flames. The government is calling the new insurance model "enhanced care" and the online estimator tool can be found on ICBC's website. "For some time, we've been talking about changes at ICBC and how they're going to help make people's auto insurance premiums, and in turn their lives, more affordable," Farnworth told a news conference Tuesday. "Today, the rubber hits the road." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
Independent U.N. sanctions monitors accused Yemen's government, in a report seen by Reuters on Tuesday, of money-laundering and corruption "that adversely affected access to adequate food supplies" and said the Houthi group collected at least $1.8 billion in state revenue in 2019 to help fund its war effort. The annual report to the U.N. Security Council on the implementation of international sanctions on Yemen coincides with U.N. officials saying that the country is on the verge of a large famine with millions of civilians at risk. The monitors said Saudi Arabia deposited $2 billion with the Central Bank of Yemen in January 2018 under a development and reconstruction program.
The Swan Hills School Council held their Jan. 21 meeting at the school’s Flex Room, and the meeting was also live-streamed through Google Meet for those who could not attend in person. Student’s Union · The Div. 3/4 Students’ Union (SU) donated $200 to the food bank at Christmas time from their fundraising efforts. An article about their fundraising efforts is on the school website with a picture. · Around Feb. 15, the SU will host a small raffle for Valentine’s Day, similar to the Christmas raffle. · The SU met with the school administration at the end of November and discussed putting some small lockers in the gym change rooms for the students to secure their valuables. This could possibly be a Grizzly Cubs fundraising item to consider. Trustee Report Assurance Reporting Each school division needs to create four assurance reports annually by law; Education Planning and Reporting, Financials, School Plans and Reporting, and Infrastructure and Maintenance. Recently the Education Planning and Reporting report was addressed with a focus on the special needs section. Some interesting takeaways are that while there has been a slight increase in students who need higher support levels, there has been a decrease across the school division in the number of students needing supports overall. This may be because these students' parents may have decided to keep them at home because of COVID-19. Due to COVID-19, parents have been having virtual meetings with specialists, such as speech and occupational therapists, while working with their children. This development has been beneficial to parents because they have seen for themselves why their child is receiving special supports. Four concerns were brought forward during this report: 1. There is a need for a re-entry resource for students that have special needs. The belief is that the skills that these students have acquired will have diminished. 2. There has been a limited gain in inclusion since students left the schools due to COVID-19 3. Because of limited budgets, small schools have limited resources for mild/moderate Program Unit Funding (PUF) educational supports. 4. Alberta Health Services has given a mandate not to provide proactive programming in schools. Enrollment Projections Schools are now funded on a three-year spectrum; last year, this year, and the projected future year. Funding is based on the average of these figures, with the intention of allowing schools to cushion the effects of large drops in population. Pembina Hills has had a slight increase in population, so the funding for next year will be the same as the current year. In contrast, a lot of districts are seeing their funding decrease. Trustee Election Municipal and School Divisions will be holding elections for trustees in the fall. Last year Pembina Hills decided to reduce the number of trustees from seven to six. This means that the Swan Hills’ electoral area and Fort Assiniboine’s will be combined to make one Ward. It would be very beneficial to get a representative from Swan Hills to apply, preferably a single representative that the whole town could get behind (instead of multiple candidates that would potentially split the votes). Division One Update · Div. 1 wasn’t able to go sledding for their December monthly celebration due to cold weather. Students were able to decorate individually packaged cookies that had been sponsored by Home Hardware and watch the virtual Christmas Concert. · On Jan. 22, students will participate in a virtual presentation offered through the Earth Rangers program, which has been sponsored by Crescent Point Energy. · Many students showed their school spirit by wearing stripes for Stripes Day on Jan. 14. The next dress-up day will be Wild West Day on Jan. 22. · For the January monthly celebration, the last recess time will be extended on Jan. 28. · The bi-annual reading testing has started. This testing is especially important because the school was unable to perform this testing last June. This test focuses on the student’s word accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. · The school is currently discussing Valentine’s Day activities. The students will not be participating in a Valentine’s Day card exchange due to COVID-19 health restrictions. Division Two Update · The Swan Hills School Handbell Group will be hosting a curbside bottle drive. The proceeds will go towards purchasing additional materials and equipment for the Handbell Group (hand chimes, mallets, gloves, possibly another octave of bells). There are a lot of new participants in handbells this year. · Students have been requesting a virtual spring concert again, so plans are in the works for that. · Safety Patrol has been up and running since the end of October. Just a reminder that the patrols are out from 8:15 to 8:30 AM and from 3:25 to 3:40 PM. Parents and the public are asked to please use the drop off zone when dropping off students. Drivers are not allowed to enter or exit the staff parking lot if the patrollers have their signs out. Division Three and Four Update · See Students’ Union news above. The School Council will move from having monthly meetings to having bi-monthly meetings in September, November, January, March, and May. Principal’s Report · The draft alternate calendar for the next school year will be posted on the school website for review and feedback. · Discussed new or different options classes for grade seven students. The school currently offers art, woods, and foods classes; drama has been offered in the past and might be coming up again. · Career and technology studies (CTS) is often a room with a number of students with particular interests, but they often have different interests than their peers, which leads to smaller groups following separate studies. The teachers facilitate and assist the students in their projects. Some students respond well to this setup, and some do not. The school is looking for new ideas or thoughts about some hands-on options that the students would actually want to do. Some ideas would be woods, foods, visual arts, and wildlife courses. · Lost and found items are piling up. Discussed how to get lost and found items back to parents. · Recently went over satisfaction surveys for Div. 3/4 students, will be doing them for Div. 2 on Jan. 21. The surveys start with a preamble explaining what the questions mean and why the surveys are taken. The next School Council meeting will be on Mar. 17, at 7:00 PM. Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
CALGARY — Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe says backup goaltender Jack Campbell will be out "weeks" with a leg injury. Campbell was hurt late in Toronto's 3-2 win at Calgary on Sunday when Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk landed on him in a goal-mouth scrum. Campbell has a 2-0-0 record with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage so far this season. Michael Hutchinson has been pencilled in to back up starter Frederik Andersen for the Leafs, who were set to finish a two-game series with Calgary on Tuesday night. The Maple Leafs lost goaltender Aaron Dell to the waiver wire last week. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — Chris Martin admits that Coldplay’s latest album could have sounded terrible if it wasn’t for one person — mastering engineer Emily Lazar. Like the musical magician she is, Lazar added her special touch to the band’s eighth album “Everyday Life,” which was released in late 2019 and is now competing for the top prize at the 2021 Grammy Awards. Martin describes the universal and political album as “a patchwork quilt of opinions and thoughts about life and humans and the planet and how much we love Nigerian music and how much we love gospel (music) and how much we love, like, old-fashioned, northern European church music.” “All these weird things and sampling from voice memos — in the wrong hands it could have sounded awful.” Lazar came in to save the day — a role she’s played on thousands of albums and a reason she’s making history at this year’s Grammy Awards. For her work on Coldplay’s album, she shares a nomination with Martin and friends for album of the year. Lazar is also the mastering engineer on HAIM’s “Women In Music Pt. III” and Jacob Collier’s “Djesse Vol. 3” — both nominated for album of the year — making Lazar a triple nominee in the Grammys’ biggest category. “You kind of go into a little bit of shock after the first one. You’re not even focused for the next one because you think, ‘That’s it.’ By the time we got to the third one, I almost had to check myself and say, ‘Why are they listing all the records that I worked on?’” Lazar said in a phone interview. Lazar, 49, made history at the 2019 Grammys when she became the first female mastering engineer to win best engineered album (non-classical) for her work on Beck’s “Colours.” She was the first female mastering engineer to ever be nominated in the album of the year category for her role on Foo Fighter’s “Wasting Light” and she’s the only female mastering engineer nominated for album of the year this year, though engineer/mixers Laura Sisk and Jasmine Chen are competing for their roles on Taylor Swift's “folklore" and HAIM’s third album. “If someone has achieved that in one go, it’s clear proof that they bring something special,” Martin said of Lazar’s record three nods for album of the year. “Recorded music is always followed behind technology. The people that know how to, first of all invent and secondly master that technology, are as worthy of attention and praise as the artist themselves because we can’t exist without the people that invented recording and invented the piano." He added: "Emily is a technician, but she’s very much a musician’s technician. She knows everything about the technology but is always in service of the song or the piece. And that’s hard to find. I don’t know how to switch ProTools on, for example. And some technicians don’t know whether the chorus is good or not. Emily sort of bridges those two worlds so beautifully.” Like many touring musicians and those behind-the-scenes, Lazar started her career in front of the scene as a rock-pop singer-songwriter. But she grew frustrated in the recording studio, feeling like her voice was being silenced from engineers when she had thoughts about how a song should sound. “There was a weird invisible fence between engineers and artists, and it wasn’t inviting, especially as a woman, to be asking questions about how to make things sound a particular way. The assumption was that you were just the artist and you’d show up and you’d do stuff and you wouldn’t get to have a say,” she said. And, of course, she was just one of two women in the room. “There were certainly no other women on the technical side. I did have a female bass player in my band, finally, at one point. I did have a little girl power. It wasn’t enough to go against the entire sea of (men). It was rough. It was a lot of interesting behaviour. It only inspired me to work harder to figure it all out.” She went on to get her master’s degree in music technology and cut her teeth at a music engineering firm where she “learned a lot about how I didn’t want to run a company.” The mastering engineer’s role on most albums comes at end of the album-making process, “putting that final audio polish on an album,” as Lazar describes it. But Lazar always thought differently, and as a freely creative musician and thinker, she wanted to collaborate with artists while they were making their albums. “I learned exactly how to create an environment that felt really comfortable to me as an artist and as an engineer, which I thought would be really comfortable for other people,” said Lazar, who launched her Manhattan-based company, The Lodge, at age 25. “I kind of felt like what I wanted to do didn’t exist. I also felt this feeling that if I didn’t do it, I didn’t really know who would. I really did do it differently. I didn’t think anyone was going to change it. There were no other women and there was no other idea of making a creative collective. It was more of this sterile, weird environment. It was more like a dentist office with rooms and leather couches. It didn’t feel right.” “I took a lot of heat for that originally in the old-school,” she said. “The old-school vibe was, ‘Is this woman crazy?’ I don’t know if they called me a woman. They may have said something more derogatory. ‘Why is she touching that? That’s not her job. Her job is just to do this.’ Now I think the boundaries have blurred a bit. I know there are moments where I’ve been able to jump in and save the day for people.” Lazar has mastered more than 4,000 albums throughout her career, including releases by Björk, David Bowie, Sia, Wu-Tang Clan, Barbra Streisand, the Chainsmokers, Dolly Parton, Lou Reed, Destiny's Child, Depeche Mode, Alanis Morissette, Vampire Weekend, Little Big Town, Morrissey, Natalie Merchant and Tiësto. She reached new heights when she worked as the mastering engineer on The Rolling Stones’ 2020 vinyl reboot of “Goats Heads Soup” as well as the 50th anniversary release of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” released in 2019. “You can’t think of anything more important to the rock ‘n’ roll cannon than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones,” she said. “I feel incredibly humbled and blessed to have gotten to play a part in that.” While she’s elevated in her musical career, Lazar knows it’s important to help bring up others, especially women and minorities in a field dominated by white men. She’s participated in programs like She Is the Music and Women’s Audio Mission because she knows the importance of representation. “I believe that you should work with the best (engineer) for what you’re trying to do: male, female, gay, straight, Black, white, green, whatever. It doesn’t matter to me as long as they have the right creative vibe to what you’re trying to do. It shouldn’t actually matter. Until everyone has a seat at the table, we do have to make an effort to pull the chairs out for some people to get in there to have some dinner,” she said. “No one did for me, but I would like to help that happen.” “I could tell you lots of terrible stories, but I think that focusing on the terrible stories doesn’t necessarily — it may ruin some people’s lives that were total jerks, whether they were aware of it or not,” she continued. “There are moments that I would love to out some of those people, but my inner voice says that it’s really more important to make sure these things don’t happen by creating environments that are more amenable to equality and equity on every level.” Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press
In response to residents’ concerns about construction plans in Small’s Creek Ravine, Metrolinx is meeting with the community in a series of workshops and is also hosting a public online open house on Feb. 3. Metrolinx’s rail corridor expansion plans include expanding the railway from three to four tracks in a segment that runs through Small’s Creek, which is in the Woodbine Avenue to Coxwell Avenue and Gerrard Street East area. The proposed construction would remove 268 trees and other environmental impacts that prompted residents to organize a campaign called Save Small’s Creek. The campaign gathered almost 6,000 signatures in an online petition, from residents across the neighbourhood, eager to see a better construction plan in which a high number of trees would not be removed. Beaches-East York Councillor Brad Bradford is also hosting a stakeholder meeting with the city’s Urban Forestry department this week to determine the steps necessary to minimize tree loss, his office confirmed. Metrolinx will host its virtual open house on Wednesday, Feb. 3 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the Lakeshore East Corridor Expansion Project. Residents can participate by visiting www.metrolinxengage.com/en/lakeshore-east-live-event The open house will feature a presentation from Capital Projects Group executive vice president Stephanie Davies and vice president of pre-construction services Jason Ryan. A question and answer session will follow. For more on the plans for Small’s Creek, please see Beach Metro News’ earlier story at https://www.beachmetro.com/2021/01/04/save-smalls-creek-group-formed-to-protest-metrolinx-plans-to-cut-down-trees-build-new-culvert-for-railway-track-expansion/ Ali Raza, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Beach Metro News
EDMONTON — Members of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s caucus have refused an Opposition NDP bid to make public details of Alberta’s $7.5-billion investment in the failed Keystone XL pipeline project. The eight members of the governing United Conservative caucus unanimously rejected an NDP motion in public accounts committee Tuesday. The motion was to seek from Kenney the details, along with any financial risk advice, he was given when he made the Keystone investment last March. NDP energy critic Kathleen Ganley, who moved the motion, noted the UCP members voted it down without giving reasons. "I had hoped that some of them would have shown a deeper sense of duty to Albertans to be open, honest and transparent, but they failed on every front," Ganley told reporters. "This is a party that claims to be transparent and responsible stewards of the public purse." Alberta has directly invested $1.5 billion with another $6 billion in loan guarantees, but the NDP says Albertans need to know the rationale and advice Kenney used to make what it calls a risky decision. They also want to know what the final bill will be now that the project is shelved. "There could be more costs, including (site) reclamation and legal fees associated with the deal," Ganley told the committee, noting the motion comes after the government has declined other requests from the NDP caucus for the information. Keystone XL, a TC Energy Corp. project, was to take more Alberta oil through the Midwest and on to refineries and ports along the U.S. Gulf Coast to fetch a better price on overseas markets. When Kenney invested in the project, Keystone XL line was facing multiple court challenges, and the emerging Democrat party candidate, now President Joe Biden, was on record against it. Biden promised in his election campaign to cancel Keystone and did so last week on his first day in office, saying more product from Alberta’s oilsands does not mesh with his larger goal of combating climate change. Kenney has called Biden's decision an insult to Canada, given its close and mutually beneficial trading relationship. He has called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to, as a last resort, impose economic sanctions in response. He is also pressing for direct compensation. Ganley's motion was upheld by her two other NDP colleagues, but rejected unanimously by the eight UCP members sitting on the committee. UCP member Miranda Rosin instead put forward a motion to have Energy Minister Sonya Savage's department release to the committee details on Alberta's financial exposure on Keystone XL. Rosin said that would balance the needs of the public to know the details while respecting the confidentiality of sensitive business information, similar to the secrecy surrounding $3.7 billion in contracts signed by the former NDP government to deliver more oil by rail. "Albertans do deserve to know where the money is spent (and) how much of it has been spent," Rosin told the committee. "It's important as members of this committee and, just frankly, as ethical legislators to ensure that we have transparency in our governments." Rosin's motion passed 8 to 3, again along party lines. The NDP dismissed the motion as a public relations stunt, given it does not address the key information they seek and is information the government would have to make public anyway when the 2021-22 budget is unveiled next month. "What the government caucus is trying to do here is some performance art," said NDP committee member Marlin Schmidt. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press
Shannin Metatawabin was raised on the principle of not only thinking about the present but generations into the future as well. “I think as Indigenous people we have a responsibility to our ancestors that we continue the focus of protecting the environment and ensuring there is a world here for the future yet unborn,” he said. “My dad raised me on that. We have to plan work and that we work for those that are not yet here. And clean energy is that opportunity to put into place clean energy projects across Canada, but this has to go hand in hand with the infrastructure in our communities.” Metatawabin, the CEO of the National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association, spoke as part of a presentation at the Indigenous Clean Energy E-Gathering on Jan. 22. The presentation focused on clean energy as a major economic development-driver for First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and peoples. “I think we can’t do anything without access to capital,” Metatawabin said. “If we wait for government, then we’ll be waiting forever. We have more than enough partners in this world and there’s more than enough capital in this world. It’s about aligning our communities to the people that want to help our community.” Metatawabin believes Indigenous people should be taking the lead with clean energy initiatives. Metatawabin also believes it’s key that governments are on board about changing the channel from fossil fuels. “I think we need to give space to renewable energy because that’s our future,” he said. “As Indigenous people we owe it to our ancestors to ensure that we’re leading in this space. And if we can, bring the government along to focus more on this and to jumpstart the investment, the creation of new instruments to attract private sector capital so that we can do more and then focus on our communities.” Chris Henderson, the executive director of Indigenous Clean Energy, said there’s another important reason to proceed with clean energy initiatives. “I believe if we do the right thing for Indigenous clean energy—clean energy for housing, clean energy with clean fuels, clean energy with renewable energy—we will have a huge impact on the health of the country, on the health of Indigenous peoples and communities,” he said. Henderson, a former hospital administrator, said the benefits would be tremendous to having countless clean energy initiatives brought forward. “If we make sure we do energy efficient housing that makes sure that we don’t breathe bad air in homes, that we make sure wood stoves are of a high quality so they’re not putting ash and particulate matter inside the home, that we’re making sure we keep mold in check so that it doesn’t contaminate people and the home, then what we will do is not only improve the health of people but let’s remember the biggest single expenditure in our country is on health care,” Henderson said. Bill Williams, the executive director of the Nunavut Economic Developers Association, believes it only makes sense who should be leading clean energy projects. “Indigenous peoples are the original sustainable developers,” Williams said. “They never take more than they need and they develop with what’s with them and around them in the community.” Williams said listening to Indigenous views on these issues would be prudent. “As a non-Indigenous Canadian, and other non-Indigenous Canadians, I think we can learn way more about sustainable development from Indigenous people if we would just listen,” he said. Dawn Madahbee Leach, the vice-chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, said building capacity is the most important thing that can be done now in terms of clean energy. Madahbee Leach also said the International Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development released a report on Indigenous economic development last year. One of the report’s recommendations was to explore the possibility of building Indigenous centres of excellence. These facilities would lead the way in practices and research, case studies and provide communities with the proper tools to make wise decisions. “We would have a better chance to make informed decisions, to make better partnerships, to really be leaders in this industry because we would be looking at the leading practices and Indigenous businesses involved in clean energy projects and our employees and how to manage these projects,” she said. Madahbee Leach also believes collaboration with others would be extremely beneficial. “We are already building this capacity, but we need to share our progress and our missteps so we can all learn to do better,” she said. “We can share our successes with our Indigenous brothers and sisters globally as well.” Others who spoke at the presentation were Troy Jerome, the president and CEO of SEN’TI Environmental and Indigenous Services, and Hillary Thatcher, a senior director with Canada Infrastructure Bank. Darrell Brown, the chair of the Indigenous Clean Energy Network, moderated the presentation. Windspeaker.com By Sam Laskaris, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com, Windspeaker.com
One year ago, hosting a pizza party with co-workers or showing up to work with stomach bug symptoms were unthinkable in terms of fireable offences. But legal suits based on such incidents are now before the courts as COVID-19 upends the way managers enforce health mandates and discipline employees. Like politicians and other high profile individuals who have recently been caught travelling in defiance of regional health orders, rank and file employees are now facing career consequences for risky behaviour that would otherwise go unnoticed. A recent example is a neonatal intensive care nurse from London, Ont., who was fired on Jan. 19 after speaking at an anti-lockdown rally in Washington, D.C. In a statement, the London Health Sciences Centre said it suspended Kristen Nagle without pay in November for actions "not aligned" with its values and then terminated her after an internal investigation. The case reflects the growing issue amid the pandemic of whether someone’s behaviour is a risk to the employer’s reputation. “Things travel so fast on social media,” says Danica McLellan, an Alberta-based employment lawyer at Neuman Thompson. “Employers are definitely crafting policies to make sure that they're getting ahead of these sorts of issues.” McLellan says the starting point for an employer to look at your off-duty conduct is whether there’s a connection to the workplace. “For example … two employees go to the bar and they get into a fight. Or an employee sexually harasses another colleague. There's a nexus, a connection to the workplace,” says McLellan. “Another one is if an incident occurs on the property, but not during working hours. Two people get into a dust-up in a parking lot, or someone smoking weed in a parking lot.” There are limits to what your employer can fire you for when it comes to your off-duty behaviour. For example, getting pregnant or attending religious festivals may be protected under human rights laws. “If someone gets a DUI, and the DUI doesn't have any connection to the employment, that might not be grounds for discipline,” says McLellan. “If it's just something that an employer merely disapproved of — you smoke and your employer doesn't like smokers — well, what you do on your own time is sort of your business in that case." Some employers have built screening for risky behaviour into their workplace policies with things like COVID-19 symptom questionnaires that ask about travel. But whether or not your workplace has a policy that explicitly prohibits international travel or breaking public health guidelines, your boss can still take action on your risky behaviour under the right circumstances, says Sandra Guarascio, a lawyer at Roper Greyell who practises in British Columbia. That’s because workplace lawyers can rely on a seminal 1967 legal case, Millhaven Fibres Limited v. O.C.A.W., Local 9-670, which says your boss must prove at least one of five factors before disciplining an employee for off-duty conduct, says Nancy Barteaux, founder of Barteaux Labour and Employment Lawyers in Atlantic Canada. Those five factors boil down to: whether the employee’s conduct harms the company’s reputation or product; whether the employee is unable to perform their duties satisfactorily; whether other employees will refuse, be reluctant or be unable to work with you; whether the employee is guilty of a serious breach of the Criminal Code; or whether the employee’s conduct makes it difficult for the workplace to operate effectively. While the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t changed these legal principles, it has expanded the conduct that falls under these five categories, says Guarascio. “What was previously normal behaviour, like travelling during holidays, that can now expose a workplace to both significant safety concerns — which would impact operations and other employees — and also reputational risks,” says Guarascio. “That would have an impact, potentially, on the public's willingness to engage with a service provider or an organization.” Still, every case for discipline or dismissal has a unique context in the eyes of the law — for instance, McLellan says that an employee’s role at the organization, such as being in a leadership role, or having access to the till or contact with customers, could all be considered. A unionized workplace might need to meet a higher bar of just cause for dismissal, while an non-unionized shops could let someone go without cause and add a notice or severance payment, McLellan says. Although your boss does have some legal power without a COVID-19 workplace policy, many provinces require workplaces to have a COVID-19 plan anyway, notes McLellan. “In the context of a situation where an employer is dealing with employee complaints relating to, another employee engaging in risky behaviour, they can really rely on the policies,” says Nadia Zaman, a lawyer at Rudner Law who practises in Ontario. “Employers will have a progressive discipline policy … a verbal warning, and then a written warning, suspension, etc.” Zaman said there is recourse for a worker who feels a fellow employee is bringing a COVID-19 health risk to the physical workplace through dangerous off-duty conduct. “The employee can refuse to work if there are reasonable and legitimate grounds for them to believe that there's a safety risk in the workplace,” says Zaman. “Once the employee reports their safety concerns, the employer is then required to investigate the situation and advise them whether the safety risk has been resolved or not. And if the employee continues to believe there's a safety concern, the Ministry of Labour can be asked to come in to investigate.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. Anita Balakrishnan, The Canadian Press
Haisla Nation duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids are leading nominees at the first-ever International Indigenous Hip Hop Awards Show. The two-day celebration will take place in Winnipeg on May 22 and 23, with the winners chosen by the public. The Rez Kids are contending in four categories that include hip hop single of the year for "Where They At" and album of the year for "Born Deadly." David Strickland, a Mi’kmaw and Cree producer, is up for three awards, among them single of the year for "Turtle Island," featuring Supaman, Artson, Spade, JRDN and Whitey. Organizers say nominees were narrowed down by a group of music judges and industry players, such as DJs, producers and other professionals. The winners will be selected through a public vote running until April 30 on the event's website. Other categories span an array of elements tied to hip hop music. Two are devoted to R&B songs, while music videos, DJs and clothing lines all have their own awards. An international hip hop single category includes artists hailing from the United States, Australia and India. Follow @dfriend on Twitter. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. David Friend, The Canadian Press