Several changes to the mail-in voting process and a slew of legal challenges in Pennsylvania means thousands of votes in the U.S. election could potentially be thrown out in the crucial swing state.
Several changes to the mail-in voting process and a slew of legal challenges in Pennsylvania means thousands of votes in the U.S. election could potentially be thrown out in the crucial swing state.
UNALASKA, Alaska — An Alaska city that is home to one of the nation’s busiest fishing ports has included wastewater testing among the mitigation efforts that could help maintain a low number of coronavirus infections. Unalaska began testing its wastewater in July for traces of COVID-19, Alaska’s Energy Desk reported Monday. The island community of about 4,500 year-round residents located on Dutch Harbor, 800 miles (1,287 kilometres) from Anchorage, has recorded 107 coronavirus cases, including 85 from a single factory trawler. Despite the island’s first case of community spread two weeks ago, any virus in Unalaska’s waste remains below the detection level. “If somebody has COVID-19, they’re shedding this virus in fragments,” said Karie Holtermann, lab manager at Unalaska’s wastewater treatment plant. “It’s in their GI tract, they’re shedding it into their feces, into their urine. And so we’re trying to pick that up in our testing here.” The plant processes about 350,000 gallons (1,325 kilolitres) of waste and greywater daily, equating to about 70 gallons (265 litres) per Unalaska resident per day. Sewage testing has been successfully used as an early detection method for other diseases such as polio, Holtermann said. A Netherlands-based study concluded wastewater serves as an early warning system for coronavirus spread by detecting the virus in people who have not been tested or who have mild or no symptoms, Holtermann said. “What they’ve all seen is that wastewater monitoring can predict an outbreak a week before showing up at the clinic,” Holtermann said. “And once it is shown that COVID-19 is in a community, it’s able to show the beginning, the tapering and the resurgence of an outbreak.” If the virus levels increase with an influx of winter fishing season workers, the wastewater tests could pinpoint the part of town where the cases are focused, she said. Holtermann takes two to three wastewater samples during peak flow times, dipping a bucket hanging from a rope at some of the 10 lift stations on the island. “We go all around the clock,” she said. “So, at midnight, three o’clock in the morning — it’s a very interesting view of Unalaska.” For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The Associated Press
BURNABY, B.C. — The death of a teenager in Burnaby, B.C., is now being investigated as a homicide.A statement from the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says the 18-year-old woman was found in a Burnaby home on Sunday.She was suffering from critical injuries and died in hospital.Sgt. Frank Jang with the homicide team says one man was arrested at the scene but has been released without charges as the investigation continues.Jang says the woman knew her attacker, the case is considered isolated and there is no risk to the public.He urges anyone with information to contact investigators. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.The Canadian Press
A Windsor elementary school outbreak with 49 cases set the "precedent" for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in the province, according to one expert.Biostatistician Ryan Imgrund, who is based in Newmarket, Ont., and works with a number of public health units across the province, told CBC Radio's Windsor Morning that the outbreak at Frank W. Begley Public Elementary School set the example of what should be done. "At the time that they found those cases, Windsor was not one of those super danger zones like Toronto, Peel and some other areas like that," Imgrund said. "So I don't think it was expected by anyone that a school that is in a lower-risk area would find up to 50 cases ... I think Begley set the precedent for the whole entire province what we should be doing." After three staff members tested positive for the disease, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit dismissed the entire school on Nov. 17 and advised everyone to get tested. COVID-19 testing was prioritized for the entire school population, with a temporary testing site set up in the school's gymnasium. Overall, 40 students and nine staff members have tested positive. In the same week that Begley was declared an outbreak, W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School also went into outbreak and dismissed all students after two positive cases. Testing was prioritized for all members of this group, with a temporary testing site set up in the school, and seven people were confirmed positive. Despite this, and the fact that Begley is the largest school outbreak in the province, Windsor was not included in the launch of an asymptomatic testing pilot project announced last week. Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Thursday that the pilot is available for students and staff in the province's COVID-19 hotspots of Toronto, Peel, York and Ottawa. "Right now, the next four weeks are targeting the highest-risk regions," he said at the time. "We're following the advice of public health. If they determine, they provide a recommendation it should be expanded or we should augment the list, of course we will continue to follow that direction and implement it swiftly."Lecce told reporters that 99.85 per cent of students in the Windsor-Essex region remain COVID-free, and he and his staff are in contact with school board and public health officials to keep transmission down.Though Begley remains closed, superintendent of education at the Greater Essex County District School Board Sharon Pyke told CBC News Wednesday that the board is working with the health unit and hopes to announce a reopening date this week. A letter sent out to parents in regards to the outbreak had asked them to have their child tested, even if they were asymptomatic. When asked whether she'd like to see asymptomatic testing in schools available in the region, Pyke said it might be best to spare our resources. "I think that if we can keep on top of doing our self-assessments, I think that we perhaps may be better served in terms of our resources in our area, we want to make sure that we're able to test the people that need to be tested," she said."So do I agree? Any kind of preventative measure is good for anyone so of course I want the best for students, I want the best for our staff. I just want to make sure that they're allocated in the right space and the right spot." An investigation by the local health unit is still ongoing to determine how COVID-19 transmission was so widespread in Begley.
Season 4 of The Crown on Netflix is turning out to be much more controversial than previous seasons, as historians and royal watchers decry the unflattering portrayal of Prince Charles and his marriage to the late Princess Diana.It wouldn't be an understatement to say that he comes out looking like "the villain" in his marriage to Diana. And the reaction from viewers has been so intensely negative that it's compelled Prince Charles and wife, Camilla, to turn off comments on their Twitter and Instagram accounts.But how much of it is true, and how much is a work of fiction, is creating a grey area that didn't exist before Season 4. The show launched its fourth season on Netflix on Nov. 15 and takes place more than 40 years hence it began in its first season.Hugo Vickers, a Royal historian, writer and broadcaster, says the series is painting an unfair portrait of Charles."It is [and] it's also painting an unfair picture of most of the royal family," Vickers told the Calgary Eyeopener."The only one who comes out of it well is Diana. And I understand, of course, that when people are doing a thing like this, they will go to various different sources, but they've entirely taken Diana's side and they've painted Prince Charles as a sort of wimp, but this time they've made him even worse. They've turned him into a kind of evil and murderous wimp, which is pretty unpleasant, frankly."Vickers, the author of the book The Crown Dissected and the e-book The Crown: Truth & Fiction: An Expert Analysis of Netflix Series, The Crown, says Prince Charles is far different from his on-screen persona."First of all, of course, in The Crown, he never does anything at all constructive. He never does any work," Vickers said."He doesn't set up the Prince's Trust. He doesn't do any engagements. He doesn't do anything except whinge and whine about his marriage and how much he would prefer to be with another woman. And so that's the way they've played him."Vickers says the real Prince Charles is dedicated to his role as Prince of Wales, and long ago made his peace with not being king. Complicated marriages"He's already 72 years old, still hasn't become king, so I think he sees the role of king when it eventually comes as the semi-retired position. But as Prince of Wales, he's free to go around stirring things up and getting people interested in his various causes. And he's done an awful lot of good," Vickers said."The marriages, I would accept, have been complicated and to some extent have been the problem in his life."Vickers said the basic facts have been exaggerated to paint Diana as a saint, and that Charles did not carry on an affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles throughout his entire marriage."He didn't carry on an affair the whole time. Taking him at his word and returning to the official biography by Jonathan Dimbleby — who had access to all the papers — the affair was resumed in 1986 once he realized that his marriage was irretrievably broken down," Vickers said. "I don't say that that's a perfect situation for him to be in either. I think you may find that it is very complicated this, because there are contradictions that probably it was the Princess of Wales who started having affairs before he did. But listen, I wasn't there, I wasn't in the room. I cannot confirm that to be absolutely true."Vickers said the early years of Charles and Diana's marriage were happier, even though Charles had clearly carried a torch for Camilla for many years.The series portrays Charles as resenting his wife's growing popularity as she took to her role in the spotlight."I think he gradually felt that he was upstaged by her, because the media took a great deal more interest in what she was wearing than in what he was talking about," Vickers said. "So if they were on the platform together, that definitely did become an issue later on."Vickers said the Netflix series also took many liberties in the telling of events."Where they're very unfair in The Crown is that, for example, you know, they get engaged and then that night he goes down to Highgrove to see Camilla. No, he didn't. They had dinner with the Queen Mother, obviously, the happy couple. He did not leave for Australia the following day. Lots of things like that which they twist," he said. Vickers also said the episode portraying the relationship of Margaret Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth is not only untrue in its telling of historical events, but harmful."I think even all over the world, you know, I think it's having a very damaging effect," Vickers said. "What Peter Morgan does, which is particularly dangerous, I think, is that he starts off sometimes with a story which is more or less true. Let's take the example of Mrs. Thatcher, for example."The plot line in question suggests that the Queen leaks a story about her disagreement with Thatcher, to the media. This was based on a real article, published in the Sunday Times in 1986, but Vickers said it did not accurately portray the sequence of events or the rift between the women."Suddenly [Thatcher] announces she's going to see the Queen, and ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament and call a general election in order to save her role as prime minister," Vickers said. "Well, that absolutely didn't happen, but because some of the early part did, you can get swept along with it. And it is also, you know, very well filmed. It's lavishly produced. It's very convincing. You can't … dismiss it entirely as tabloid rubbish."At the end of the day, Vickers said he finds Season 4 to be the least accurate season of the series."I think it's unfair to put real living people into semi-real situations and then play around with their motives and twist the facts to fit a story which is absolutely not true," he said. "And I think that's vicious. Really, really awful." With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.
La population de Sainte-Rose-du-Nord fait face à une surpopulation de chats errants sur son territoire, ce qui n’est pas sans créer des remous chez certains citoyens . Au cours des derniers jours, le citoyen Étienne Voyer a écrit une missive aux médias pour faire part qu’à l’automne, des citoyens ont contacté la Société pour la prévention de la cruauté contre les animaux (SPCA) pour faire part de leur inquiétude devant la croissance du nombre de félins dans les entourages. L’objectif était de se débarrasser des animaux de façon éthique. Ils ont alors été dirigés vers la municipalité à qui incombe le contrôle des animaux. Selon M. Voyer, les instances municipales auraient fait preuve d’indifférence et auraient fait part de deux options possibles, soit payer eux-mêmes les 300 $ pour capturer les animaux errants et les envoyer à la fourrière, ou régler le problème en tuant les bêtes de leurs mains, tout en l’informant qu’il n’existe pas de règlement encadrant les chats errants. Il aurait même été évoqué que les chats errants finissent dans une poche de jute coulée dans le fjord ou que l’hiver aurait raison de la population de chats. D’autres chats à fouetter Interrogé sur le sujet, le maire Laurent Thibeault reconnaît que le problème existe, qu’il y a beaucoup de chats dans le décor roserain et que la population féline augmente. « Je vois des chats tous les jours sur ma galerie. Il y a des chats. Est-ce une quantité problématique qu’on voit se promener dans le village ? », interroge-t-il. Il assure toutefois que ni la direction générale de la municipalité ni les élus n’ont émis de directives visant à éliminer les chats errants de façon cruelle en proposant de les tuer soi-même ou en les noyant dans le Saguenay. Il avoue du même souffle qu’il ne s’agit pas d’une préoccupation majeure pour lui et qu’il a d’autres chats à fouetter avec la préparation du budget municipal qui sera déposé le 14 décembre prochain. Le maire Thibeault ajoute que l’administration devrait enregistrer un surplus budgétaire pour l’exercice 2020. Du côté de la SPCA, il n’a pas été possible de discuter avec la directrice Claudia Côté, sauf qu’un membre du personnel nous a indiqué qu’habituellement, l’organisme intervient dans les municipalités qui accordent du financement pour obtenir le service.Denis Villeneuve, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
Teen banking app Step has raised $50 million (37.4 million pounds) from investors led by Coatue Management alongside celebrities such as singer Justin Timberlake, influencer Charli D'Amelio and former quarterback Eli Manning. Step, which offers teenagers a bank account connected to a secured spending card and peer-to-peer payments, also said it had secured funding from existing backers including Stripe, Will Smith's Dreamers VC, CrossLink Capital and Collaborative Fund. San Francisco-based Step allows parents to view balances and real-time activity, add money to their teens' accounts and manage and freeze cards.
THUNDER BAY — A 26-year-old man facing a murder charge has been sentenced for his role in an unrelated, unprovoked attack of another inmate at the Thunder Bay District jail more than a year ago. Darren Steven Oombash, 26, appeared in a Thunder Bay Zoom courtroom on Monday, Nov. 30, and pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault for his part in an assault of another inmate. Ontario Judge Chantal M. Brochu accepted a joint submission for Oombash of two years less a day minus pre-sentence custody. Crown counsel Katrina van Kessel read out facts relating to the Sept. 21, 2019 assault at the district jail involving Oombash and five others where they attacked another inmate who suffers from schizophrenia and mild intellectual impairments, court heard on Monday. “This was brutal, unprovoked six-on-one attack on a vulnerable person,” van Kessel, said, adding the victim still suffers from long term damage to his vision as a result of the attack. Court heard the complainant suffered several injuries after he was dragged out of his cell by Oombash’s co-accused, Jonathan Yellowhead into a corridor area of the jail where he was beaten by six other individuals to the point where he lost consciousness. The entire incident was captured on surveillance video at the jail. Some of his injuries included a concussion, a fractured and displaced orbital bone with hemorrhaging in his sinus which required surgery, a dislocated jaw, swelling, bruising and abrasions to his face. His left eye was also swollen shut. “At the time of his discharge from hospital on Sept. 27, 2019, swelling to his face was still so significant that the injury to his eye could not be assessed,” van Kessel said, adding the complainant has no memory of the attack. Court heard a few mitigating factors laid out by lawyers including Oombash’s limited criminal record which includes two convictions, one for mischief and one for resisting police. His guilty plea was also considered mitigating as it showed a sign of remorse. Defence counsel Mary Bird gave the court a brief background of Oombash's upbringing. He moved to Thunder Bay from Cat Lake First Nation to attend high school. “Unfortunately like many young people who end up in the city, they often end up without employment, without a place to stay and unfortunately he got himself into a little bit of trouble,” Bird said. The lawyer also highlighted Oombash’s parents and both sets of grandparents attended residential schools. Bird also said her client started drinking at the age of 13. “It has become part of his lifestyle unfortunately and certainly led him to be in custody and obviously he wasn’t intoxicated this day, but it has been an issue for him,” she said. Some of the others involved in the attack have already been sentenced according to court documents. Lennox Oren Atlookan was given a three-year jail sentence on July 23 and Brolin Ian Donald Ooshag was sentenced in June to a total of 540 days in custody. Both men received weapon prohibitions orders. Travis Jacob Loon, John Thomas O’Keese and Johnathon Joseph Yellowhead will appear in court next on these charges on Dec. 18. Oombash was also given a 10-year weapons prohibition order and is not to communicate with the victim. He was given credit at an enhanced rate for the time he spent in pre-sentence custody of 653 days which leaves 76 days left to serve. Oombash remains in custody for other outstanding matters including a charge of murder where he is co-accused with Marlene Lou Kwandibens and Terry Nicole Irene Michon. All three are charged with first-degree murder in connection with the 2018 death of Ashley McKay. All three co-accused have had their murder charge committed to stand trial in Superior Court and will appear in court next on Dec. 14 for a pre-trial, according to court documents. There is a publication ban on these matters.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
Paralympic champion Josh Dueck was named Canada's chef de mission for the 2022 Beijing Games on Wednesday.The Canadian Paralympic Hall of Famer from Kimberley, B.C., competed at two Games, winning gold in super combined alpine skiing and silver in downhill in 2014 after also taking silver in sitting slalom in 2010. The 39-year-old served as the closing ceremony flag-bearer in Sochi."When I got the call with the news that I was named to lead the Canadian Paralympic Team my mind started to dance with possibility," Dueck said. "To be a champion for sport, friend and mentor to the athletes and part of the support team for Canada at the Paralympic Games is an incredible privilege. There is a great sense of honour and duty that comes with this storied role, and I look forward to learning from our history and building on this legacy with our teams."Dueck, who lives in Vernon, B.C., was injured in a ski accident just six years before his Paralympic debut. The first person to successfully perform a back flip on a sit ski, Dueck now works as a peer mentor and motivational speaker as well as leading Freestyle BC.Dueck worked with CBC Sports as a broadcaster for the 2018 Paralympics. The 2022 Games are scheduled to run Mar. 4-13 from Beijing, with Canada planning to participate in all five sports.Speed skater and two-time gold medallist Catriona Le May Doan was recently named Olympic chef de mission for Beijing.WATCH | Josh Dueck excited to be chef de mission:Canadian Paralympic Committee president Marc-Andre Fabien said Dueck is poised to impact the 2022 team in a positive manner."He is the epitome of strong athlete leadership and will bring so much positive energy, thoughtful introspection, fresh ideas, and valuable support to the team. He is incredibly well respected within the sport community, has been a longtime passionate advocate for Paralympic sport and brings in many different experiences and perspectives from his many roles in sport," Fabien said.As chef de mission, Dueck is tasked with promoting Team Canada, guiding its athletes in Beijing and fostering a positive environment."The story of every athlete is filled with hope, opportunity, challenge and often uncertainty. Athletes are trained to embrace challenge, let go of the things they cannot control, and to persevere through even the most difficult situations, in an effort to be a little better today than we were yesterday," Dueck said. "In the world today, we need more beacons of hope that remind us we can rise above the challenges we face. My goal is to help share these stories of hope."
Workplace safety-relatedcharges against the company managing construction at the Faro mine site and a site supervisor have been stayed.Parsons Inc. and Len Faber, who's also the mayor of Faro, were charged under the Yukon's Occupational Health and Safety Act in September 2019 for allegedly intimidating workers, obstructing safety officers in the course of their duties and failing to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.Both parties pleaded not guilty to all charges. The matter was set to go to trial on Nov. 16 but was adjourned to Nov. 24, when territorial Crown prosecutor Kelly McGill told the court that Parsons Inc. and Faber had successfully met the terms of a diversionary arrangement. The terms included Parsons Inc. augmenting its health and safety training program, while Faber had to complete coursework in psychological heath and safety. They also donated $5,000 and $1,000 to the Northern Safety Network Yukon, respectively, and paid $1,500 and $500 in administrative fees. McGill told Judge Karen Ruddy that, in light of the successful arrangement, there was no longer a public interest in proceeding with the prosecution and entered stays on all charges. Lawyers representing Parsons Inc. and Faber did not immediately return requests for comment. The federal government awarded Parsons Inc., an international engineering firm, an $80 million construction management contract for the Faro mine site in 2018. The firm held the care-and-maintenance contract before that. Faber won Faro's mayoral election in October 2018 by chance when his name was pulled out of a box after he and incumbent mayor Jack Bowers both received the exact same number of votes. The Faro mine was, at one point, the largest open-pit lead-zinc mine in the world but was abandoned in 1998. Remediation work, set to begin in 2024, is expected to cost upwards of $500 million and take about two decades, with officials needing to monitor the site indefinitely after that.
Newer SUVs and trucks with key fobs top the list of the most often stolen vehicles in Canada, the Insurance Bureau of Canada said Wednesday.The group that represents insurance companies across the country said theft from your own driveway using widely available electronic tools is on the rise across the country, as thieves respond to demand from high-end buyers overseas and street racers here at home.The four-door 2018 Honda CRV with all-wheel drive holds the ignominious title of being the most stolen vehicle in Canada this year, with 350 thefts reported by insurers across the country — nearly one per day. When the 2017 and 2019 models are included in the tally, there were 758 stolen — that's more than two per day.Here's the rest of the list:There is wide variety across the country, too. In Alberta, all of the most-stolen vehicles are versions of pickup trucks: F150s and F350s from Ford, and Dodge Rams."These trucks are attractive to thieves, and oil and gas companies have used them almost exclusively, which has brought a disproportionately high amount of them to the province," the IBC said.In Ontario, however, the list is mostly high-end SUVs from Toyota, Honda and Lexus. Some of those get sold abroad, but many are chopped up for parts, the IBC said. Atlantic Canada had a mix of both, with popular sedans such as the Honda Accord and Chevrolet Cruz mixed in. The most stolen vehicle in Atlantic Canada was the Chevrolet Silverado, which is typically targeted for export by criminal groups.Drivers often worry about something like their window being smashed and their car being stolen that way. But cheap and plentiful tech tools make it far easier to steal a car today. Bryan Gast, national director of investigative services at IBC, said in an interview with CBC News that the biggest trend he's seeing this year is what's known as a "relay attack.""That means they're acquiring your signal from your key fob, cloning your key fob and [then] have the ability to start your vehicle without ever having the original key fob," he said."It's as simple as walking to your front door, seeing if they're able to capture a signal of a key fob that might be inside. They don't go anywhere in your house. They're capturing it from the outside. And they have the ability to technologically clone the device and have the ability to start your car and drive off."New tech 'makes it easy for the criminal'The best tool to fight electronic theft, Gast says, is to not do what most people do — come into their house and leave their keys in a bowl or some other exposed place, just behind the front door. He recommends instead getting a metallic box for the car keys, one that blocks radio frequencies."If you put it in a box, it doesn't emit the radio frequency. Basically, it is in a protective box or a pouch and [criminals] don't have the ability to capture that key fob signal."Cars manufactured since 2008 have mandated some sort of car-immobilizing technology built into them that makes the car not start unless you have the right technologically equipped key, and that has changed the trends in car theft ever since, Gast says. "A lot of the time, as people leave the key fobs in their vehicle, that's where they keep it. They make it easy to hop in, push the button to start and off they go. But it also makes it easy for the criminal, too."There's another built-in vulnerability in something many drivers do as a precaution: when in a parking lot, they double-check their car is locked by hitting the key fob.But a thief in the area with the right technology can clone the fob from that."You're emitting that frequency, which can also be captured," Gast said.A lot of the most-stolen vehicles are higher-end, expensive and large cars that can be hard to acquire outside North America, which is why Gast says a big motivator for theft isn't a criminal looking for a joy ride or to sell it locally. The thief often has a specific request for a specific vehicle and then sets about finding it.Convenient technology is just making it easier, such that currently, a car is stolen somewhere in Canada every six minutes.Theft on the rise in COVIDWhile COVID-19 has led to more cars being parked due to people working from home, it has also led to an increase in one type of car theft, Gast says. Namely, people looking for specific parts and vehicles to be used in street racing events and other reckless driving behaviour."The problem is stealing parts for some of these modified vehicles in the vehicles themselves," he said. "Law enforcement definitely has their hands full."
La microbrasserie gaspésienne Pit Caribou s’est illustrée à l’international, ses bières décrochant cinq prix au Brussels Beer Challenge, l’un des concours brassicoles les plus prestigieux de la planète. L’entreprise de l’Anse-à-Beaufils, près de Percé, peut se targuer de vendre parmi les meilleures bières du monde. Les microbrasseries ont remporté cinq prix au prestigieux concours Brussels Beer Challenge, où près de 1800 bières étaient inscrites. Il s’agit de la troisième participation au concours pour Pit Caribou, qui avait remporté respectivement un et trois prix lors de ses dernières participations. «On ne s’attendait vraiment pas à ça. Sur un maximum de six bières, on a remporté cinq prix. C’est fou raide», se réjouit le copropriétaire, Jean-François Nélisse. La Gaspésienne no 13, la Blonde du pêcheur, la Gose du Barachois et la Bonne Aventure se retrouvent sur la première marche du podium, toutes récipiendaires de médailles d’or. La Gaspésienne no 13, une bière noire «robuste à la texture crémeuse» en est à sa septième récompense internationale. La Conqueror, une IPA, a de son côté remporté la médaille de bronze. «Ça a été une surprise, surtout pour la Blonde du pêcheur. Normalement, c’est une bière d’été limitée pour la Maison du Pêcheur de Percé. On l’a mise en bouteille pour la première fois cette année pour aider les commerçants locaux. On savait qu’elle était bonne, mais c’était la première fois qu’on la comparait au niveau international», explique M. Nelisse Augmentation de la capacité Au cours des derniers mois, la microbrasserie gaspésienne, qui a aussi pignon sur rue à Montréal, a considérablement augmenté sa capacité de production afin de répondre à la demande. Les brasseurs ont produit près de 30% de bière de plus que l’année dernière, et les propriétaires comptent bien continuer à augmenter le volume de bière produit au cours des prochains mois. «On a reçu quatre nouveaux fermenteurs cet été, ce qui nous permet de produire 300 000 litres de plus par année. C’est non-négligeable et ça va nous permettre de développer de nouveaux marchés», note M. Nélisse. Au cours de la saison estivale, la brasserie Pit-Caribou emploie près d’une quarantaine d’employés dans ses succursales de Percé et de L’Anse-à-Beaufils, en plus d'environ 25 personnes dans son usine de production. Simon Carmichael, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Soleil
Construction work has started on a joint Turkish-Russian centre to monitor a ceasefire in the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday. Azerbaijan and Armenia last month signed a Russia-brokered ceasefire for the enclave, which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but mainly populated by ethnic Armenians. Russian peacekeepers were deployed to the region under the deal, which froze Azeri gains in six weeks of fighting.
The images of Mississauga in years to come are stunning. The city’s waterfront has been opened up to the public and painted with modern architecture, while the wasteland of parking lots around Square One has spawned gleaming glass towers that rise to the sky. Hurontario Street boasts a sleek and modern LRT, while Dundas Street has its own rapid transit corridor shuttling residents from east to west and back again. The air is clean and Mississauga has become a destination for everyone. Those renderings of Mississauga in the next ten to twenty years are exhilerating, inspiring and creative, but they’re relatively easy to conjure. A talented graphic designer and an urban planner with half an imagination can easily create the beautiful mockups, specifically designed to draw pre-construction down payments and other investments into the projects. In the short term, there is a huge obstacle to this vision. Years of underinvestment in rapidly aging infrastructure have taken their toll and the city faces a laundry list of urgent problems it must tackle before it can really embrace its future. Nowhere is this neglect more apparent than the fire service. At $122 million, Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services (MFES) makes up 22 percent of the City’s net 2021 operating budget. The service is proposing a modest increase of two percent in its operating budget, driven largely by labour adjustments in its union contracts, which are already set. Despite its status as the single greatest expense Mississauga taxpayers bear, the service is woefully below its required response times and has buildings in a desperate state of repair. Difficulties as a result of COVID-19 mean education and enforcement plans designed to reduce call outs and offset terrible response times have also been delayed. Figures included in the 2021 budget refer to 2019, the last year for which a complete dataset is available. In 2019, the number of fires the City responded to grew, after falling slightly in 2018. Last year, there were 167 residential fires and 384 in buildings of all kinds. According to staff, a comparison of data from 2018 and 2019 shows a significant increase of 19 percent in unintentional fires related to mechanical or electrical failures. The risk of hard-to-fight fires will only increase in the years to come. Already, the city is home to 340 buildings exceeding a height of 18 metres, a point at which they are deemed “high risk” by firefighters. With massive high-rise projects on the planning horizon, such as Oxford Property’s 37-tower Square One development, that number is going to go up with every passing year. A risk assessment completed by MFES found industrial fires were another key worry for the city. Only 1.9 percent of property in Mississauga is industrial, yet 12 percent of fire loss takes place in these settings. “This is significantly higher than the provincial average and higher than expected given the actual number of industrial occupancies,” the budget says. Even with the increase in fires, the number of calls attended by the service was down in 2019. An unlabeled chart in the budget document shows calls significantly below 2018 levels, after years of consistent increases. Mississauga Fire’s central and well-documented failing is its response time. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets a target for the first vehicle to arrive at a fire within 384 seconds of a call coming in 90 percent of the time. To achieve this, the standard target is 240 seconds (four minutes) for travel time. For years, Mississauga has failed to hit this target. In 2019, the department admitted defeat and asked council to lower its target to 240 seconds 75 percent of the time instead of 90. On its internal metrics, MFES does better, but on both fronts 2019 saw travel times barely improved from the previous year and concerningly far from their targets. Mississauga’s plan to close the gap is two-fold. The first pillar is a capital program to add six stations over 12 years. The first of these was opened in 2019, with strategic locations identified to attempt to reduce callout times by targeting underserved areas and reducing how long trucks spend in traffic. The service’s 10-year capital plan includes $7.9 million to construct Fire Station 123 by 2023 and a further $14.9 million to build Station 124 by the same deadline. Further funds after 2023 will be set aside for Fire Stations 125, 126, 127 and 128. The Public Safety Reserve levy, designed to raise funds to buy land and build these new stations, was collected in 2020. For 2021, the City has put it on hold “to assist in managing the 2021 tax impact,” but says it will not have an effect on construction. A delay in acquiring land for Station 124 means the costs will fall into the 2022 budget instead. As The Pointer has previously reported in a three part investigation, the City’s problems go beyond its need for new infrastructure. Fourteen of Mississauga’s 21 fire stations are more than 20 years old and some are in desperate condition. Three cannot be upgraded to meet standards and will need to be rebuilt from scratch, while City documents also show at least nine stations have asbestos in them. The internal audit that informed The Pointer’s reporting estimated $31.4 million to get the 14 stations up to standard, excluding the cost of rebuilding the three unfixable stations. No money has been put into the 2021 budget for these projects, with promises to get to them eventually. The 10-year capital plan suggests funds will be put aside to renovate Fire Station 102, 108 and 115. However, Fire Station 108 is the only building included in the City’s damning audit slated for repair from 2022 onwards. Chief Nancy Macdonald-Duncan told The Pointer a plan to repair the other stations featured in the audit would be presented to council in January 2021. The move means funds can’t be set aside until at least 2022, when the City is already predicting a significant tax hike. “The plan is to return to Council in January on this topic,” Macdonald-Duncan told The Pointer by email. “The Fire Building Condition Audit study was completed in 2019, and with the disruption of COVID-19 in 2020, it was difficult to integrate the study’s recommendations into the capital plan in time for the budget presentation. This is still a work in progress.” The Pointer's Forgotten Fire Series: The second part of Mississauga Fire and Emergency’s plan is to increase targeted enforcement and education. The service hopes improved public awareness and safety can reduce the number of callouts, freeing up trucks and reducing response times as a result. This need for education and inspections is glaringly obvious. Data from the past four years show 62 percent of all fire calls are to locations that do not have a working fire alarm, despite it being a legal requirement to own one. Two elements are slated to make this change: a proactive fire inspection program and a public education program. The education program proposes 2 full time staff members for the 2022 budget, but does not draw on the 2021 finances. The proactive inspection element is set to hire seven staff in 2022 and have 13 in 2023. The Interim Chief says, while budget savings are a welcome bonus, the pandemic means the two programs would be difficult to deliver even if funds were flowing more freely. “COVID-19 closures and precautions did not allow for a normal public education program nor for the full implementation of proactive inspections,” she said. “Public education traditionally involves attending and hosting public events, meetings etc. Proactive inspections were difficult to conduct when businesses were closed or in the interest of limiting exposure between inspectors and the public. So this program would have been deferred or greatly reduced due to COVID19 anyway; the hiring deferral did help the City with its deficit situation, but the delays made sense from a program standpoint as well.” As strong as the pandemic justification may be, it doesn’t avoid the reality of the situation facing Mississauga fire. Response times remain well below their targets, fire stations are in desperate need of repair and inspections can’t yet take place. The plan? Wait until next year. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @isaaccallan Tel: 647 561-4879 COVID-19 is impacting all Canadians. At a time when vital public information is needed by everyone, The Pointer has taken down our paywall on all stories relating to the pandemic and those of public interest to ensure every resident of Brampton and Mississauga has access to the facts. For those who are able, we encourage you to consider a subscription. This will help us report on important public interest issues the community needs to know about now more than ever. You can register for a 30-day free trial HERE. Thereafter, The Pointer will charge $10 a month and you can cancel any time right on the website. Thank you.Isaac Callan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Pointer
Whale sharks are aptly named because they are the biggest shark species in the ocean. They are the biggest fish, and they are second in size only to a few species of whale, which are all mammals. They are gentle giants that can reach lengths of almost 17m (55 feet) and have been estimated at a weight of up to 45,000kg (100,000lbs). Despite their enormity, they pose no threat to humans and they have no intent or ability to hurt one, unless somebody was foolish enough to swim too close to the gigantic tail. When threatened, they simply outswim their adversary, or dive too deep to be pursued. Their food consists almost exclusively of tiny fish, krill, plankton, and fish eggs. They have no teeth and are incapable of biting a person. Instead, they filter water over large combs, like whales, and then it passes out the gills as the food remains inside the mouth to be swallowed. These scuba divers are studying the whale sharks in the Galapagos Islands. The videographer has followed a large, pregnant female as she casually drifts past on the ocean current. A second female appears to the left, on a collision course with the first. Like a freight train in motion, the whale sharks are much too enormous to stop suddenly. The change in fin position and body position suggests that the first whale shark is slowing as much as possible. The second whale shark passes underneath and arcs up in what appears to be an intentional contact. She then wiggles and seems to enjoy a little back scratch on the underbelly of the first whale shark. This is a very rare sight and the seasoned scuba divers are clearly excited. We can hear underwater shouts and delighted laughter as they exchange shocked looks. The diver with the video camera turns it on himself to record his own wonder and disbelief. He tries to for an "OK" sign with his hand but the fact that he is holding a Covid mask (to be worn in preparation for his return to the dive boat) prevents him from doing so and he tries for "number 1" sign instead. Whale sharks are a wondrous sight to behold, even from a distance, but to be in the presence of one, or even two, when they are almost close enough to touch is a life changing experience.
Brown paper packages, white plastic envelopes and large cardboard boxes are spilling beyond the confines of mailrooms and storage rooms at residential buildings throughout the Lower Mainland. With more people turning to online shopping since the beginning of the pandemic, and the year's biggest shopping events clustered within these final weeks of the year, one building manager says the volume of deliveries is presenting new challenges. "Generally most buildings have seen about 100 per cent increase in packages this year alone since the COVID-19 pandemic started," said Matthew Scott, an area manager with FirstService Residential, which manages more than 400 buildings in the Lower Mainland. Some buildings are receiving 70 to 100 packages a day and Scott expects that number will only go up with deliveries from Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas still to come. Scott says front-desk staff in the buildings have learned to be efficient, but processing each package still takes a few minutes. The packages have to be entered into a computer system, which tracks them and notifies residents that their deliveries have arrived. This is done on top of everything else staff have to manage, including approving visitors and overseeing tradespeople."You've got the daily machinations of running a building going on: people looking for trades, people being locked out, people moving, you know, all those other things going on, you need to get these packages out of the way," he said. He says some buildings were receiving so many packages their strata councils decided the concierge would no longer accept parcels, while others put restrictions on the size and weight of packages they will accept.Some higher-end buildings that had the budget decided to hire a dedicated staff person just to handle deliveries."That's all the person does, is receive packages and be prepared to hand them out," said Scott. Canada Post is expecting a significant increase in parcel volumes this holiday season. As a result, it's hiring 4,000 more temporary seasonal employees and adding 1,000 vehicles to its fleet.It's advising people to shop early for their own peace of mind as well as to help retailers, delivery companies, and Canada Post deliver the packages in time. As for how residents can help front-desk staff with the mountain of online shopping packages, Scott advises picking up parcels as soon as possible."Residents can be really helpful with us if they can collect their packages as soon as they get the notification or within 24 hours. You know, that just allows us to free up that space a little bit more."
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — The Supreme Court of Slovakia on Wednesday increased the prison sentence of a former soldier convicted of killing an investigative journalist and his fiancée, a case that triggered a political crisis and brought down the country’s government.In April, a lower court gave Miroslav Marcek a 23-year prison term for the contract killings of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova in February 2018. The high court increased the sentence to 25 years.Marcek had pleaded guilty to fatally shooting the two but appealed as did the prosecutors.The verdict by the Supreme Court is final.In September, a court acquitted a businessman, Marian Kocner, who was accused of masterminding the slayings, and one of his co-defendants.Prosecutors appealed the verdicts but the Supreme Court has yet to rule on that.Kuciak, 27, was shot in the chest and Kusnirova, also 27, was shot in the head at their home in the town of Velka Maca, east of Bratislava, on Feb. 21, 2018.Kuciak had been investigating possible government corruption. The killings prompted major street protests and a political crisis that led to the government’s collapse.Two other defendants have been sentenced in the case.One received 25 years in prison in September for his role. The other, who had acted as a go-between, agreed to co-operate with prosecutors in exchange for a lesser sentence and received a 15-year prison term in December.The Associated Press
ST. MARY’S – Stricter provincewide measures to protect people during the second wave of COVID-19 won’t derail at least some public displays of holiday cheer in St. Mary’s this year, say municipal officials. Plans are still afoot for the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s Department of Community Development and Recreation’s annual carolling and fireworks event, though director Mallory Fraser says that could change at the last minute. “We will be monitoring the situation as it develops, and make a final decision closer to the date,” she says. For now, the event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Dec. 19, starting at 6:30 p.m., at the St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy’s parking lot, followed by fireworks and hot chocolate at the Sherbrooke Ball Field. To ensure safety, carollers must register and maintain socially safe distances from each other – and each other’s respective bubbles – before heading through Historic Sherbrooke Village. Something new this year is the Holiday Light Extravaganza. Between Dec 1 and 15, St. Mary’s residents, after filling out an entry form, may submit photos of their home seasonal displays to the community and recreation department’s Facebook Page. Voting will begin on Dec. 10, and the winner will be announced before Christmas. “The Holiday Light Extravaganza will go ahead no matter what,” Fraser says. “This is something that people can do without having to worry about social distancing.” Chief Administrative Officer Marvin MacDonald is not expecting trouble despite the worsening infection rate elsewhere in the province. “We haven’t relaxed our protocols here at the office,” he says. “We were going to look into opening the fitness centre at the school, but we’ve just put that back on hold until the new year.” As for the Recplex, he says it is operating for hockey and curling. “When we made the decision to open the rink, it was always based on the idea that if COVID heated up again, we would see how it played out. We’re going to keep the protocols we have in place. If the situation gets worse, we are either going to tighten the protocols, or close some facilities down. But, right now, we are just watching and monitoring.” MacDonald confirmed that the municipality has not reported any cases since the pandemic hit the province earlier this year. Last week, the provincial government introduced newer, tighter controls on public gatherings to staunch an increase in the rate of infection mostly in the Halifax area. “We must immediately change course on COVID-19. The virus is circulating rapidly in Halifax, and we must stop its spread across the province,” Premier Stephen McNeil says in a Nov. 24 news release. The new regulations in the capital include: limiting public gatherings to five people (or up to the number of immediate family members of a household); requiring masks in common areas of multi-unit residential buildings; restricting restaurants to take-out service; limiting the number of customers and employees of retail outlets to 25 per cent of their normal capacity; and suspending organized sporting, recreational, cultural and religious gatherings. On Nov. 29, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the province stood at 125, up from 119 at the end of last week.Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
NAIROBI, Kenya — In a breakthrough a month after deadly conflict cut off Ethiopia’s Tigray region from the world, the United Nations on Wednesday said it and the Ethiopian government have signed a deal to allow “unimpeded” humanitarian access, at least for areas under federal government control after the prime minister’s declaration of victory over the weekend.This will allow the first food, medicines and other aid into the region of 6 million people that has seen rising hunger during the fighting between the federal and Tigray regional governments. Each regards the other as illegal in a power struggle that has been months in the making.For weeks, the U.N. and others have pleaded for access amid reports of supplies running desperately low for millions of people. A U.N. humanitarian spokesman, Saviano Abreu, said the first mission to carry out a needs assessment would begin Wednesday.“We are of course working to make sure assistance will be provided in the whole region and for every single person who needs it,” he said. The U.N. and partners are committed to engaging with “all parties to the conflict" to ensure that aid to Tigray and the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions is “strictly based on needs."Ethiopia’s government did not immediately comment.For weeks, aid-laden trucks have been blocked at Tigray’s borders, and the U.N. and other humanitarian groups were increasingly anxious to reach Tigray as hunger grows and hospitals run out of basic supplies like gloves and body bags.“We literally have staff reaching out to us to say they have no food for their children,” one humanitarian worker told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.“We have been urging, waiting, begging for access,” another aid official, Jan Egeland with the Norwegian Refugee Council, told the AP. “We're ready to go tomorrow. ... It has been heartbreaking to be forced to wait."More than 1 million people in Tigray are now thought to be displaced, including over 45,000 who have fled into a remote area of neighbouring Sudan. Humanitarians have struggled to feed them as they set up a crisis response from scratch.Communications and transport links remain almost completely severed to Tigray, and the fugitive leader of the defiant regional government this week told the AP that fighting continues despite Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's declaration of victory.It remains almost impossible to verify either side’s claims as the conflict threatens to destabilize both the country and the entire Horn of Africa.“It is critically important to get objective information as to what is going on,” the top U.S. diplomat for Africa, Tibor Nagy, told the BBC. “The active military phase is basically over. I’m not saying the fighting is over. So at this point, the humanitarian phase is the most important one.”Nagy added that “now the danger is this evolving into a long-term insurgency." He also disagreed with Ethiopia's description of the conflict as a “law enforcement operation” to arrest the Tigray leaders, saying that “it was obviously a military operation.” The fighting between two heavily armed forces has seen airstrikes, rocket attacks and tanks.For weeks, the U.N. and others have been increasingly insistent on the need to reach some 600,000 people in Tigray who already were dependent on food aid even before the conflict.Now those needs have exploded, but Abiy has resisted international pressure for dialogue and de-escalation, saying his government will not “negotiate our sovereignty.” His government regards the Tigray regional government, which dominated Ethiopia’s ruling coalition for more than a quarter-century, as illegitimate after months of growing friction as he sought to centralize power.Amid the warring sides’ claims and counter-claims, one thing is clear: Civilians have suffered.The U.N. says food has run out for the nearly 100,000 refugees from Eritrea whose camps close to the Tigray border with Eritrea have been in the line of fire as the fighting swept through. Reports that some refugees have been killed or abducted, if true, “would be major violations of international norms,” the U.N. refugee chief said over the weekend in an urgent appeal to Abiy.These are “extremely vulnerable people” who fled persecution in Eritrea, Egeland said. “It’s been extremely frustrating to lose access and communication.”With infrastructure there and elsewhere in Tigray damaged, the U.N. has said some people are now drinking untreated water, increasing the risk of diseases.In the largest hospital in the Tigray capital, Mekele, staff had to suspend other activities to focus on treating the large number of wounded from the conflict, the International Committee for the Red Cross said.The ICRC, the rare organization to travel inside the Tigray region and its borderlands, has reported coming across abandoned communities and camps of displaced people.No one knows the true toll of the fighting. Human rights and humanitarian groups have reported several hundred people killed, including civilians, but many more are feared.Inside Tigray, and among the majority ethnic Tigrayan refugees in Sudan, people are exhausted.“The world hasn’t seen anything like this year. I have never seen anything like this,” said one refugee who gave his name as Danyo, standing on the edge of a river that people on Tuesday were crossing to seek safety.“When Dr. Abiy came, we saw him as a good thing,” he said. “Our hopes were fulfilled, because his talk in the beginning was as sweet as honey, but now the honey has gone sour.”___Fay Abuelgasim in Hamdayet, Sudan, contributed.Cara Anna, The Associated Press
A "high-risk" COVID-19 exposure case was reported for Windsor's Northwood Public School Tuesday, according to the board's website. In a letter to parents, the board said it is working with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) by providing lists of students and staff in possible contact with the individual. WECHU is contacting anyone who may be at high-risk and will provide follow-up steps. It's unclear whether any cohorts have been dismissed as a result of the case. This case is one of 70 active in the public board. At this time, 16 schools have confirmed COVID-19 cases, the majority of which are from Frank W. Begley with 49 cases.The school continues to remain closed at this time. As for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, there are 10 active cases across six schools. W. J. Langlois remains closed at this time with three total cases.
This column is an opinion from Rebecca Haines-Saah, a health sociologist at the University of Calgary. Last week, I became someone I might study. My job is to research how health-related stigma affects people and communities. Yet, as I listened to my supportive, non-judgmental doctor confirm their diagnosis that I have high blood pressure, I felt deep shame and self-blame. I've been working too much. I don't manage my stressors. I fuss over my family. I should have been more active, cut out all alcohol and the late-night snacks. I should have said no to committees, working groups and new projects. I need to quit Twitter. I should really lose 10 pounds. I've written extensively about how health is not just shaped by individual actions and access to health care. It's promoted by communities that provide belonging, fairness, supports and safety for all their members. I know very well the evidence showing that health is socially and structurally determined, shaped by the society in which we work and live. Yet, in that moment in my doctor's office, I forgot everything I've learned about public health and attributed everything about the diagnosis to my behaviour. My failures. That's why the move this week to list the presence or absence of comorbidities for each COVID-19 death in Alberta was a punch to the gut for a newly diagnosed person like me, and for the many who've been living with pre-existing conditions throughout the pandemic. An incorrect message Intended or not, there's a loud and clear (and incorrect) message: Those who died from COVID-19 died because of their own risk factors; the "otherwise healthy" person is safe. The attention to comorbidities shifts focus from the fact that every death from COVID-19, including those among older people and those with chronic illnesses, is wholly preventable. Left ineffectively checked, Alberta's exponential growth in cases threatens everyone. Dangerously, people who are "otherwise healthy" (and those who assume they are) may be emboldened to ignore public health restrictions or take them less seriously, assuming death from COVID-19 is near impossible and that recovery from the virus would be without complications. It's easy to blame people for their "unhealthy lifestyles," but 800,000 Albertans — about one in five — have a chronic condition. We are not exactly a small minority. That the incidence of diagnoses like asthma, diabetes and heart disease are higher in Alberta than the national rates suggests there's something about living here, something Albertan, if you will, that is contributing to our ill health. After all, health is shaped by where we live. By including comorbidities with Alberta's reports on recent deaths from COVID-19, the province is weaponizing the idea of "protecting the most vulnerable among us," perversely assuring everyone else they're not at risk. This contributes to chronic disease stigma by inferring that the dead, to borrow a term from the premier, bear "personal responsibility" for their deaths. It also neglects how the government's inadequate policy response has failed to protect all people and communities. But maybe that's the whole point. This column is an opinion. For more information about our commentary section, please readour FAQ.