There is widespread condemnation of the riots on Capitol Hill with many expressing disgust. Miranda Anthistle has reaction to the security breach that lasted hours.
There is widespread condemnation of the riots on Capitol Hill with many expressing disgust. Miranda Anthistle has reaction to the security breach that lasted hours.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will leave Washington next Wednesday morning just before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration to begin his post-presidential life in Florida. Refusing to abide by tradition and participate in the ceremonial transfer of power, Trump will instead hold his own departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before his final flight aboard Air Force One. Officials are considering an elaborate send-off event reminiscent of the receptions he's received during state visits abroad, complete with a red carpet, colour guard, military band and even a 21-gun salute, according to a person familiar with the planning who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement. Trump will become only the fourth president in history to boycott his successor's inauguration. And while he has said he is now committed to a peaceful transition of power — after months of trying to delegitimize Biden's victory with baseless allegations of mass voter fraud and spurring on his supporters who stormed the Capitol — he has made clear he has no interest in making a show of it. He has not invited the Bidens to the White House for the traditional bread-breaking, nor has he spoken with Biden by phone. Vice-President Mike Pence has spoken with his successor, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, calling her on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance, according to two people familiar with the call. Pence will be attending Biden's inauguration, a move Biden has welcomed. While Trump spends the final days of his presidency ensconced in the White House, more isolated than ever as he confronts the fallout from the Capitol riot, staffers are already heading out the door. Many have already departed, including those who resigned after the attack, while others have been busy packing up their offices and moving out personal belongings — souvenirs and taxidermy included. On Thursday, chief of staff Mark Meadows’ wife was caught on camera leaving with a dead, stuffed bird. And trade adviser Peter Navarro, who defended the president's effort to overturn the election, was photographed carrying out a giant photo of a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Staff are allowed to purchase the photographs, said White House spokesman Judd Deere.) Also spotted departing the West Wing: a bust of Abraham Lincoln. Stewart D. McLaurin, the president of the White House Historical Association, said he had reached out to the White House chief usher, who manages the building's artifacts with the White House curator, because of questions raised by the images. “Be reminded that staff have items of their own that they brought to the White House and can take those items home as they wish. Some items are on loan to staff and offices from other collections and will be returned to those collections,” he said in a statement. Earlier this week, reporters covering the president's departure from the South Lawn spotted staff taking boxes into the residence for packing up the first family's belongings. And on Friday the packing continued, with moving crates and boxes dotting the floor of the office suite where senior press aides work steps from the Oval Office in the West Wing. Walls in the hallways outside that once featured a rotating gallery of enlarged photographs of the president and first lady framed in gold suddenly were bare, with only the hooks that held the picture frames left hanging. Moving trucks pulled in and out of the driveway outside. While some people have been asked to stick around by the incoming administration, the White House has been reduced to a skeleton crew, with more scheduled to depart on Friday. That includes White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Come Monday, the press staff will be down to two. Trump will leave Washington with his future deeply uncertain, two weeks after his supporters sent lawmakers and congressional staffers scrambling for safety as they tried to halt the peaceful transition of power. While Trump was once expected to leave office as the most powerful voice in the Republican Party and the leading contender for its 2024 nomination, he has been shunned by much of the party over his response to the violence, which left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer. Trump is expected to be joined in Florida by a handful of aides as he mulls his future. ___ Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Jill Colvin And Darlene Superville, The Associated Press
Provincial police are urging people not to call 911 with questions about Ontario's stay-at-home order. They say emergency dispatchers have seen an uptick in the number of callers looking for information about the province's latest public health measures. But officers say 911 is only to be used for emergencies. They say those with questions about the public health legislation should seek out information from the province. The stay-at-home order came into effect across Ontario on Thursday, and provincial officials are urging people to only leave their homes for essential trips. Law enforcement officers are able to enforce the order -- which does not give a specific definition for "essential" -- but they cannot conduct random stops to check why people are out. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
GENEVA — The World Health Organization's emergencies chief said Friday that the impact of new variants of COVID-19 in places like Britain, South Africa and Brazil remains to be seen, citing human behaviour for some recent rises in infection counts. “It’s just too easy to lay the blame on the variant and say, ‘It’s the virus that did it,’” Dr. Michael Ryan told reporters. “Well unfortunately, it’s also what we didn’t do that did it.” That was an allusion to holiday merrymaking and other social contacts plus loosening adherence -- in pockets -- to calls from public health officials for people to respect measures like physical distancing, regular hand hygiene and mask-wearing. Also Friday, the WHO's Emergencies Committee issued new recommendations that countries should not require proof of vaccination by incoming travellers amid the pandemic, saying decisions on international travel should be co-ordinated, limited in time, and based on both the risks and the science. “If you look at the recommendation made by the committee around vaccination for travellers, it says ‘at the present time,’” Ryan said. He pointed out that such recommendations noted that vaccines are still not widespread and that it remains unclear whether they prevent transmission between people. The recommendations came after the committee's first meeting in nearly three months. To little surprise, the panel agreed that the outbreak remains a global health emergency, nearly a year after it declared it as one. The advice comes as countries grapple with how to combat the new variants that have fanned concerns about an accelerated spread of the virus — and have prompted new lockdown measures in hard-hit places like Europe. The British government has banned travel from South America and Portugal -- a key gateway of flights from Brazil -- to try to keep the variant in Brazil from reaching Britain and derailing its vaccination program. The committee said it would encourage states “to implement co-ordinated, time-limited and evidence-based approaches for health measures in relation to international travel.” It also called on vaccine manufacturers to make data about the products more available to the WHO, saying delays can affect its ability to provide emergency-use listings that could allow for “equitable vaccine access.” ___ Follow AP coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak The Associated Press
Belle Phillips is not your ordinary student. The young woman not only decided to make the most out of her education, but also to help other Onkwehón:we students achieve their full potential. She knew that being part of Concordia University’s Indigenous Directions Leadership Council (IDLC) would support her in doing just that. Last fall, the 21-year-old Kahnawa’kehró:non was chosen to fill the only undergraduate seat on the IDLC. When Phillips received the email sent to all Onkwehón:we students, most undergrads would have brushed it off, but the position sparked something in her. “And what’s the worst in trying?” she said. Phillips started her one-year contract in October with IDCL. The organization’s goal is to morph the university into being a more inclusive and respectful environment for all Onkwehón:we. With community member Donna Kahérakwas Goodleaf, Phillips is now part of a proud line of six other Kanien’kehá:ka that previously sat on the council. And it certainly will not end there. She explained that some of her mandate’s responsibilities are to increase community engagement, to bring more support and educate the Concordia community about Onkwehón:we culture, language and issues. It’s all about Indigenizing Concordia. “For me, it means that Indigenous people feel like they have a place in such a big community,” said the second-year student. “There are so many students and groups that sometimes Indigenous students tend to feel like they don’t know where they fit.” Not knowing where to fit is something that Phillips experienced firsthand after she graduated from Kahnawake Survival School as a recipient of the Tionores Muriel Deer scholarship. When she started CEGEP at Champlain College, in St. Lambert, Phillips noticed the lack of representation. “It was me, my brother and his girlfriend and only a few others that represented the Indigenous population,” said Phillips. She said that back then, it felt like Onkwehón:we students weren’t even on the college’s radar. The group wanted more, something that resembled what Onkwehón:we resource centres provided at John Abbott College or Dawson College. They formed the Indigenous Student Ambassadors, to offer support to First Nations students. “Our goal was to decolonize the campus at Champlain,” said Phillips, “and within the first year of forming the group, we even got an official location.” Phillips grew up in Kahnawake and remembers always wanting to be involved with the culture and representation - but didn’t find her footing right away. “After high school, I went into nursing, but turned out I hated it,” said Phillips, who’s now pursuing her BA in Human Relations with a concentration in Community Development and a minor in First People Studies. For the past two years, she’s been working part-time at Tewatohnhi’saktha in Kahnawake as the Youth Programs assistant. The job, in addition to school and being part of IDLC is quite a challenge, acknowledged Phillips. However, she said she’s deeply committed to IDLC and hopes to make a real difference at Concordia. “I want to create a safe space for Indigenous students to be,” said Phillips. “I feel like there’s a taboo around Indigenous students pursuing post-secondary education, and I really have an interest in developing courses and classes that incorporate Indigenous ways of learning.” Phillips still has a few semesters to go before graduating and sitting on the IDLC will surely allow her to reach her goals. email@example.comVirginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
Bay Bulls council adopted two new plans of very different purpose during its January 11 public meeting. The first was for an Asset Management policy that isn’t actually quite ready to roll out yet. “We’ve been working on the Asset Management Policy now since last summer and we’re just about nearing completion, but as part of the formal process, the Town must adopt a policy,” said Town CAO Jennifer Aspell immediately prior to council taking a unanimous vote to adopt the policy. “So, we should have the actual program itself finished in the next couple of months.” The Town also voted to adopt a Harassment Prevention Plan as an official policy. Deputy Mayor Wendy O’ Driscoll explained the Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Health and Safety Act mandates that every workplace have such a plan and provide harassment prevention training. Part of the motion was for all members of council and staff to complete the training. Councillor Joan Luby asked if it would be mandatory. O’ Driscoll said that it would, and that the Town was looking at how the training would be rolled out. She added that, as per the policy, a report would be made available to the alleged harasser within 90 days. Luby asked if this period could be shortened to 30 days. CAO Aspell said that it would depend upon the nature of the complaint, and that 90 days was a pretty standard time period. Next, Luby asked who would review the alleged harassment complaint, and Aspell said a third party would do it. Finally, Luby noted that, as per the policy, the record of complaint would be kept on file for 10 years following the investigation. She asked if this could be shorted to four years — the length of a council term. Aspell said that 10 years was a standard practice. She also noted that even though someone may only be on council for four years, a staff member may be on staff for much longer. Luby said she felt 10 years is a bit long. Luby asked if any other councillors had questions, but there were no takers, though councillor Eric Maloney said questions may arise during the actual training sessions. Aspell said that a policy, once adopted, can be revised if necessary. Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped nine of her most trusted allies in the House to argue the case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. The Democrats, all of whom are lawyers and many of whom have deep experience investigating the president, face the arduous task of convincing skeptical Senate Republicans to convict Trump. A single article of impeachment — for “incitement of insurrection” — was approved by the House on Wednesday, one week after a violent mob of Trump supporters invaded the Capitol. At the time, lawmakers were counting the votes that cemented Trump’s election defeat. As members of the House who were in the Capitol when it was attacked — several hiding under seats as rioters beat on the doors of the chamber — the Democrats are also witnesses to what they charge is a crime. So are the Senate jurors. “This is a case where the jurors were also victims, and so whether it was those who voted in the House last night or those in the Senate who will have to weigh in on this, you don’t have to tell anyone who was in the building twice what it was like to be terrorized,” said California Rep. Eric Swalwell, one of the managers. It is unclear when the trial will start. Pelosi hasn’t yet said when she will send the article of impeachment to the Senate. It could be as soon as next week, on President-elect Joe Biden’s first day in office. The managers plan to argue at trial that Trump incited the riot, delaying the congressional certification of the electoral vote count by inciting an angry mob to harm members of Congress. Some of the rioters were recorded saying they wanted to find Pelosi and Vice-President Mike Pence, who presided over the count. Others had zip ties that could be used as handcuffs hanging on their clothes. “The American people witnessed that,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., one of the managers. “That amounts to high crimes and misdemeanours.” None of the impeachment managers argued the case in Trump’s first impeachment trial last year, when the Senate acquitted the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The House impeached Trump in 2019 after he pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden’s family while withholding military aid to the country. Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, another manager, says the nine prosecutors plan to present a serious case and “finish the job” that the House started. A look at Pelosi’s prosecution team in Trump’s historic second impeachment: REP. JAMIE RASKIN, MARYLAND Pelosi appointed Raskin, a former constitutional law professor and prominent member of the House Judiciary Committee, as lead manager. In a week of dramatic events and stories, Raskin’s stands out: The day before the Capitol riots, Raskin buried his 25-year-old son, Tommy, after he killed himself on New Year’s Eve. “You would be hard pressed to find a more beloved figure in the Congress” than Raskin, says House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who was the lead manager during Trump’s first trial. He worked closely with Raskin on that impeachment investigation. “I know that part of what gives him strength to take on this burden that he now carries is knowing that this is something that would be enormously meaningful to his son.” REP. DIANA DEGETTE, COLORADO DeGette, who is serving her 13th term representing Denver, is a former civil rights attorney and one of Pelosi’s go-to allies. The speaker picked her to preside over the House during the first impeachment vote in 2019. DeGette said Pelosi trusted her to do it because she is “able to to control the passions on the floor.” She says she was surprised when Pelosi called to offer her the prosecutorial position but quickly accepted. “The monstrosity of this offence is not lost on anybody,” she says. REP. DAVID CICILLINE, RHODE ISLAND Cicilline, the former mayor of Providence and public defender, is in his sixth term in Congress and is a senior member of the Judiciary panel. He was heavily involved in Trump’s first impeachment and was one of three original authors of the article that the House approved on Wednesday. He and California Rep. Ted Lieu began writing the article together, in hiding, as the rioters were still ransacking the Capitol. He tweeted out a draft the next morning, writing that “I have prepared to remove the President from office following yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.” REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, TEXAS Castro is a member of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs panels, where he has been an outspoken critic of Trump's handling of Russia. He was a litigator in private practice before he was elected to the Texas legislature and came to Congress, where he is in his fifth term. Castro’s twin brother, Julian Castro, is the former mayor of San Antonio and served as former President Barack Obama’s secretary of housing and urban development. Julian Castro ran in the Democratic primary for president last year. REP. ERIC SWALWELL, CALIFORNIA Swalwell also serves on the Intelligence and Judiciary panels and was deeply involved in congressional probes of Trump’s Russian ties. A former prosecutor, he briefly ran for president in 2019. “The case that I think resonates the most with the American people and hopefully the Senate is that our American president incited our fellow citizens to attack our Capitol on a day where we were counting electoral votes, and that this was not a spontaneous call to action by the president at the rally,” Swalwell said. REP. TED LIEU, CALIFORNIA Lieu, who authored the article of impeachment with Cicilline and Raskin, is on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs panels. The Los Angeles-area lawmaker is a former active-duty officer in the U.S. Air Force and military prosecutor. “We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all its enemies — foreign and domestic,” he said. DEL. STACEY PLASKETT, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS Because she represents a U.S. territory, not a state, Plaskett does not have voting rights and was not able to cast a vote for impeachment. But she will bring her legal experience as a former district attorney in New York and senior counsel at the Justice Department — and as one of Raskin's former law students. “As an African American, as a woman, seeing individuals storming our most sacred place of democracy, wearing anti-Semitic, racist, neo-Nazi, white supremacy logos on their bodies and wreaking the most vile and hateful things left not just those people of colour who were in the room traumatized, but so many people of colour around this country," she said Friday. REP. JOE NEGUSE, COLORADO Neguse, in his second term, is a rising star in the Democratic caucus who was elected to Pelosi’s leadership team his freshman year in Congress. A former litigator, he sits on the House Judiciary Committee and consulted with Raskin, Cicilline and Lieu as they drafted the article the day of the attack. At 36, he will be the youngest impeachment manager in history, according to his office. “This armed mob did not storm the Capitol on any given day, they did so during the most solemn of proceedings that the United States Congress is engaged in,” Neguse said Thursday. “Clearly the attack was done to stop us from finishing our work.” REP. MADELEINE DEAN, PENNSYLVANIA Like Neguse, Dean was first elected when Democrats recaptured the House in 2018. She is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and is a former lawyer and member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She says she hopes the prosecutors can convince the Senate and the American people “to mark this moment" with a conviction. “I think I bring to it just the simple fact that I’m a citizen, that I’m a mom and I’m a grandma," Dean said. "And I want my children, my grandchildren, to remember what we did here.” Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — Canada's international development minister says the world's first inoculation of a refugee with a COVID-19 vaccine this week is an important milestone in ending the pandemic everywhere. Karina Gould tells The Canadian Press that inoculating the world's most vulnerable people offers a glimmer of hope that the pandemic can be brought under control everywhere. A woman living in the northern Jordanian city of Irbid who had fled northern Iraq became the first United Nations registered refugee to receive the vaccine on Thursday. Before the pandemic Canada committed $2.1 billion in security, humanitarian and development funds to help Jordan and neighbouring Lebanon cope with the massive influx of refugees they face due to the crises in Syria and Iraq. Since the pandemic, Canada has committed more than $1 billion to international efforts to buy vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries. Rema Jamous Imseis, the Canadian representative for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, says if refugees aren't vaccinated they run the risk of infecting people in their host national populations. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
FORT FRANCES, ONT., — A 30-year-old man in Fort Frances is facing a series of break and enter related charges. On Jan. 11, shortly after 8 a.m., Rainy River Ontario Provincial Police responded to a break and enter at a local business on First Street East in Fort Frances, according to a police news release. As a result, Thomas Atkinson, 30, of Fort Frances was charged with break and enter, theft under $5,000, mischief under $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime and possession of heroin. A day later, on Jan. 12, police responded again to a break and enter report at a pharmacy in Fort Frances shortly after 2 p.m. As a result, Atkinson was charged with break and enter, theft under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime. On Jan. 13, police attended a break and enter at two separate pharmacies in Fort Frances. Atkinson was taken into custody and charged with two counts of break and enter and two counts of possession of property obtained by crime. Police say the investigation remains ongoing and anyone with information regarding the break and enters is urged to call OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
Santé Canada a approuvé le traitement d'entretien ONUREG de Bristol Myers Squibb Canada qui vise les patients en rémission d'une leucémie myéloïde aiguë. Il s'agit d'une première au pays pour ce type de traitement. ONUREG est un inhibiteur métabolique nucléosidique à prise orale qui agit en empêchant la croissance des cellules cancéreuses. Il s'incorpore dans les éléments constitutifs des cellules, interférant avec la production de nouvel ADN et de nouvel ARN. Ce mécanisme entraînerait la mort des cellules cancéreuses dans les cas de leucémie. Celui-ci peut être utilisé par des patients qui ont obtenu une rémission complète ou une rémission complète avec rétablissement hématologique incomplet après un traitement d'induction avec ou sans traitement de consolidation et qui ne sont pas admissibles à une greffe de cellules souches hématopoïétiques. «Bien que la majorité des patients atteints de leucémie myéloïde aiguë obtiennent une rémission complète avec une chimiothérapie intensive, de nombreux patients en rémission connaîtront une récidive de la maladie, surtout s'ils n'étaient pas éligibles à une greffe de cellules souches», a précisé le Dr Andre Schuh du Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, par voie de communiqué. Par ailleurs, la leucémie myéloïde aiguë est la forme la plus courante de leucémie aiguë chez l'adulte. On estime que 40 à 60 % des patients âgés de 60 ans et plus et que 60 à 80 % des patients âgés de moins de 60 ans obtiendront une rémission complète après une chimiothérapie d'induction. Toutefois, 50 % d'entre eux connaîtront une récidive dans l'année qui suit. En cas de récidive, la survie à long terme est de six mois en moyenne. Les résultats de l'étude d'approbation ont montré que la survie globale médiane était significativement plus longue avec ONUREG en comparaison avec le placebo.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
AMSTERDAM — The European Union's drug regulator said Friday that COVID-19 vaccine documents stolen from its servers in a cyberattack have been not only leaked to the web, but “manipulated" by hackers. The European Medicines Agency said that an ongoing investigation into the cyberattack showed that hackers obtained emails and documents from November related to the evaluation of experimental coronavirus vaccines. The agency, which regulates drugs and medicines across the 27-member EU, had troves of confidential COVID-19 data as part of its vaccine approval process. “Some of the correspondence has been manipulated by the perpetrators prior to publication in a way which could undermine trust in vaccines,” the agency said. It did not explain what information was altered — but cybersecurity experts say such practices are typical of disinformation campaigns launched by governments. Italian cybersecurity firm Yarix said it found the 33-megabyte leak on a well-known underground forum with the title “Astonishing fraud! Evil Pfffizer! Fake vaccines!” It was apparently first posted on Dec. 30 and later appeared on other sites, including on the dark web, the company said on its website. Yarix said “the intention behind the leak by cybercriminals is certain: to cause significant damage to the reputation and credibility of EMA and Pfizer.” The agency said that given the devastating toll of the pandemic, there was an “urgent public health need to make vaccines available to EU citizens as soon as possible.” The EMA insisted that despite that urgency, its decisions to recommend the green-lighting of vaccines were based “on the strength of the scientific evidence on a vaccine’s safety, quality and efficacy, and nothing else.” The agency, which is based in Amsterdam, came under heavy criticism from Germany and other EU member countries in December for not approving vaccines against the virus more quickly. The EMA issued its first recommendation for the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine weeks after the shot received approval in Britain, the United States, Canada and elsewhere. The European Medicines Agency recommended a second vaccine, made by Moderna, for use earlier this month. A third shot made by AstraZeneca and Oxford is currently under consideration by the agency. The EMA said law enforcement authorities are taking “necessary action” in response to the cyberattack. __ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak The Associated Press
GAZA, Palestinian Territory — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree Friday, setting parliamentary and presidential elections for later this year in what would be the first vote of its kind since 2006, when the Islamic militant group Hamas won a landslide victory. Elections would pose a major risk for Abbas' Fatah party and also for Hamas as both faced protests in recent years over their inability to reconcile with one another, advance Palestinian aspirations for statehood or meet the basic needs of those in the territories they govern. Fatah and Hamas have been publicly calling for elections for more than a decade but have never been able to mend their rift or agree on a process for holding them, and despite Friday's decree, it remained far from clear whether the voting would actually be held. Elections could also complicate President-elect Joe Biden's plans to restore aid to the Palestinians and to revive the peace process with Israel. The 2006 election victory by Hamas, which is considered a terrorist group by Israel and Western countries, led to heavy international pressure being placed on the Palestinian Authority. Clashes between Fatah and Hamas raged for more than a year, culminating in Hamas' 2007 takeover of the Gaza Strip, where it still reigns despite an Israeli-Egyptian blockade and three wars with Israel. The decree sets a timeline in which legislative elections would be held on May 22, followed by presidential elections on July 31, the first since Abbas was elected to a four-year term in 2005. Elections for the National Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which represents the Palestinian cause internationally, would be held Aug. 31. Abbas handed the decree to Hanna Nasir, the head of the Central Election Commission. There was no immediate reaction from Hamas. The Associated Press
An ongoing BC Hydro power outage has left nearly 4,000 customers without electricity in Kitimat. According to BC Hydro’s outage map, the outage started at 11:09 a.m. and the cause is under investigation. Crews are on their way and are expected to arrive around 11:45 a.m. The outage is affecting 3885 customers and stretches north of Dewberry St., west of Wakita Ave., and east of Dyke Blvd.Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
VANCOUVER — A lawyer for a former RCMP officer convicted of perjury after the 2007 death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver's airport says his client has settled a lawsuit against the federal and B.C. governments. Sebastien Anderson says Kwesi Millington reached an agreement this week after suing the federal and provincial government for damages, claiming he acted in accordance with his RCMP training. A public inquiry heard that Dziekanski, who died at the airport's arrivals area, was jolted numerous times with a Taser seconds after Millington and three other officers approached him. Millington and his senior officer, Benjamin (Monty) Robinson, were later convicted and handed prison time by the B.C. Supreme Court for colluding to make up testimony at the public inquiry into Dziekanski's death. Anderson says strict confidentiality provisions prevent him from discussing most of the settlement's details. The RCMP said in a statement that the matter had been settled to the satisfaction of both parties, while the B.C. government says it wasn't a party to the settlement and the federal government referred questions back to the RCMP. Millington's lawsuit filed in 2019 said the Integrated Homicide Investigations Team found he and the other RCMP officers acted in accordance with their training. The statement of claim said an RCMP use of force instructor who trained Millington testified during the public inquiry that the officers' actions were consistent with training. Millington's lawsuit said he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, nervous shock, loss of career advancement and other injuries. Anderson says he is able to disclose that part of the settlement agreement includes a letter from the RCMP in support of Millington's bid for a pardon, which would wipe out his criminal conviction. "Part of that is because all of their internal reports with respect to Mr. Dziekanski's unfortunate death was that they all acted within the scope of their training at that time," he said. The RCMP was asked about the letter Friday but didn't comment. Anderson said Millington has served his sentence and is living in Canada but not in B.C. "He's taken courses and has become a resilience coach," said Anderson. "He's published a book and he's hoping to help others who go through traumatic experiences like he has, and suffered PTSD, to cope and return to somewhat of a normal life." — By Dirk Meissner in Victoria. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations says it is concerned about reports of poor and unprofessional treatment of two elderly First Nation patients at a Saskatchewan hospital. The organization says in a news release that it has received a number of calls about the Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert. Vice Chief David Pratt says he was disturbed and alarmed to receive a complaint about an 88-year-old man who was receiving medical treatment in isolation. He says the man, who doesn't speak any English, wasn't given any support. Pratt says another elderly woman's family has complained about rude and unprofessional treatment by nurses. He says elderly patients need the help of translators and patient support services to help them understand what is happening to them and what type of care they are receiving. "These are our elders and they deserve the utmost respect and fair treatment by all doctors and staff," Chief Bobby Cameron said in the release Friday. "We are calling on the province to step in and help these families and do something about all of the complaints that come in regarding First Nations patients at this hospital." No one from the Saskatchewan Health Authority could immediately be reached for comment. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
Some Oakville residents have been told to seek shelter in their basements amid what police are calling an "active situation" with at least two people barricaded inside a home. According to tweets from Halton police issued Friday afternoon, Lakeshore Road West is closed from 4th Line to Birch Hill Lane for an ongoing investigation. Police say they first received a call just before 1:20 p.m. reporting possible gunfire in the area. On Twitter, investigators said the ongoing situation is contained to a residence on Lakeshore Road West, and originally involved "at least two" people barricaded inside. Police later said one person is now out of the home, but at least one person remains inside. Crisis negotiators have been in contact with the person inside the home and there are no reported injuries, police said. "Our crisis negotiators will be working to resolve this safely," police said on Twitter. Ryan Anderson, media relations officer with Halton Regional Police, says as of Friday evening, the situation is still ongoing. "It is our goal, our ultimate goal, to bring them out safely without anybody being injured," he said. Anderson could not say whether it was a hostage situation or if the person remaining in the home resided there or explain the relationship between the two people. Police are concerned for the safety of the individual inside, as well as those who live nearby. "We have reason to believe there may have been gas released in the home, so utilities have been cut off to the home," Anderson said. As a result, approximately nine residences have been notified and evacuated accordingly. Investigators say there is a "heavy police presence in the area," including officers, the tactical rescue unit, and police dogs. Appleby College was also in a hold and secure, but that has since been lifted. However, students boarding there will continue to remain indoors, according to the school's Twitter feed Police are asking people to avoid the area.
Asked whether Pfizer could change its manufacturing site from Europe to the U.S. to lessen the delay in vaccine deliveries, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said a change in manufacturing sites would need approval from Health Canada.
OTTAWA — Emergency spending to deal with the COVID-19 crisis must not outlast the pain it's meant to salve, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has instructed Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland in a newly released mandate letter. The letter has Trudeau tell Freeland, who also serves as his deputy prime minister, that she should use "whatever fiscal firepower" is needed over the coming weeks and months until the economy recovers from the pandemic and its related shutdowns. But in doing so, Trudeau writes, Freeland must "avoid creating new permanent spending." He adds that any plan to regrow the economy must be guided by a budgetary goal to make sure spending doesn't go adrift, known in official Ottawa as a "fiscal anchor" that the Liberals have jettisoned as the economy went into a downward spiral. The details are contained in updated mandate letters the Prime Minister's Office published Friday afternoon, months after it reset the parliamentary agenda with a late-September throne speech. In a December interview with The Canadian Press, Trudeau chalked up the delayed released of the ministerial marching orders to ongoing changes to federal programs and plans that meant the letters kept needing revisions. Trudeau said then that at some point, he was just going to have to make them public. In the letters, Trudeau noted the new marching orders come on top of those given to ministers shortly after the Liberals won a minority mandate in the 2019 federal election. The letters touch on a number of subjects, from ordering Justice Minister David Lametti to introduce legislation to address systemic issues in the justice system impacting Indigenous Peoples and Black Canadians, to having Seniors Minister Deb Schulte draft new Criminal Code penalties to elder abuse and neglect. The letter for Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau, who was sworn into the new role Tuesday, says Canada-U. S. relations is a top priority. The letters also make repeated references to greening the Canadian economy. The one for Freeland includes an order that she work on a border carbon adjustment that would essentially impose duties on goods from countries that don't have a price on pollution. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair is being asked to take action on online hate and extremism in Canada, Health Minister Patty Hajdu to work with provinces on setting national standards for long-term care, and Procurement Minister Anita Anand to get enough COVID-19 vaccines for the country. But it's the government's jump in spending that Trudeau notes in each letter before diving into specifics for each minister. Unprecedented spending on pandemic aid has rocketed the deficit to an expected $381.6 billion this fiscal year, but the Finance Department has warned it could close in on $400 billion due to the return of widespread lockdowns. TD Economics, in an end-of-week note, said the economy has entered 2021 on wobbly footing and could suffer a small contraction in the first quarter, even if the ramp up in vaccinations offers hope of a rebound in the second half of the year. When that happens, the Liberals have promised to spend up to $100 billion on a recovery package that is on Freeland's to-do list, along with preserving the country's "fiscal advantage." "The government has significantly increased spending during the pandemic in order to achieve our most pressing priority: to help protect Canadians' health and financial security," Trudeau wrote. "Going forward, we must preserve Canada’s fiscal advantage and continue to be guided by values of sustainability and prudence. Therefore, our actions must focus on creating new jobs and supporting the middle class to preserve the strength of our economy." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. Jordan Press, The Canadian Press
The proponents behind a brewery application which has stirred up controversy in Holyrood say they hope that an appeal now before the Eastern Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board will demonstrate that all proper processes were followed and that accusations of conflict of interest are unfounded. Thomas Williamson, on behalf of himself, Craig Farewell, and Jamie Clarke of Beach Head Brewery, emailed a statement to The Shoreline in response to a request for input on the appeal and petition against the application. “We take absolutely no issue with the decision to pursue this avenue and we believe that this appeal process will clearly demonstrate that all the proper processes were followed and that there has never been a conflict of interest,” said Williamson. “It is, however, very disheartening to see that false, misleading and potentially defamatory statements have been made regarding a perceived conflict of interest. From our perspective, it's one thing to submit an appeal based on appropriate grounds, but it’s highly inappropriate to begin lobbing accusations at municipal staff, councillors, even other members of the public without any supporting evidence.” Williamson noted that when accusations were made on social media, the trio immediately sent a letter to council indicating they would sign a sworn affidavit, if need be, legally confirming the owners are the listed Directors on the Registry of Companies website and that no other individual held any form of ownership. “We want to develop this brewery in Holyrood because we love the municipality and we want to be part of the fabric of this amazing community,” read the statement. “Our goal from the outset has been to work collaboratively and we feel that’s been achieved over these past two years through meeting with potential affected parties, taking feedback received through discussions in order to find better solutions, and responding to all questions directed to us by the Town of Holyrood. The brewery will provide residents with a fantastic year-round option that is closer to home and will help bring more people to the town to support other local businesses. The economic benefits through new tax revenue as well as new spin-off businesses will further contribute to the economic development of the area. We understand that for some residents it is difficult to ask them to support this brewery without the opportunity to experience it first-hand. We also respect that the individuals who have submitted the appeal are simply exercising their rights as residents of the municipality. We once again wish to state that we respect the fact that residents have the right to submit appeals and we will ensure that we provide any and all required information so that the Regional Appeals Board can make a determination based on the facts.”Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News
OTTAWA — The federal government's latest COVID-19 projections show fast, strong and sustained measures are required to interrupt rapid growth cases and deaths. Here are five things to know from federal modelling data released Friday: Rising Deaths The number of deaths related to COVID-19 is steadily rising, reaching more than 17,500 as of Thursday. The latest data show another 2,000 people could die by Jan. 24 as the seven-day average number of deaths nears levels recorded at the peak of the pandemic's first wave in May. Rising Cases Canada could see 10,000 daily infections in a little over a week as outbreaks in Ontario and Quebec drive rapid growth. The data also highlight high numbers in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The latest seven-day average was 7,900 cases each day across the country. Rapid Growth In the longer term, Ottawa says Canada remains on a "rapid growth trajectory." The data show COVID-19 will continue to surge if Canadians maintain the current number of people they're in contact with each day. The pandemic would surge faster if people increase their contacts. Outbreaks are forecast to come under control in most locations if people follow public health rules and limit contacts to essential activities. Outbreaks in Long-term Care Infections are escalating among high-risk people aged 80 and older. The data show more outbreaks in long-term care homes and retirement residences now than during the first wave. The federal government says the number of active outbreaks is underestimated due to reduced reporting last month, while a modelling chart shows it's close to 400 countrywide. Rising Hospitalizations The number of people in hospital due to COVID-19 has been rising steadily in the five hard-hit provinces. Hospitalizations are highest per capita in Manitoba, followed by Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Ontario and B.C. The data came as federal officials revealed deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been temporarily reduced due to production delays in Europe. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
“Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives” - that’s the motto for the week as Ontario hits another COVID-19 milestone, reaching more than 5,000 deaths from the virus. In light of this statistic, new measures that the province has announced gives local by-law officers more authority to ensure the public complies with the new measures, as well as authority to ticket and fine those who don’t. On Tuesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the second state of emergency for the province, effective immediately, along with a mandatory stay-at-home order, commencing today (Thursday). These new restrictions require all Ontarians to stay at home unless going to grocery stores, pharmacies, or medical appointments. Further restrictions will be in place for workplaces. All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close by 8 p.m. Under the Reopening Ontario Act, both individuals and businesses that do not fall in line with these newly imposed measures could face fines and up to a year in jail, according to the Solicitor General. Uxbridge By-Law Services said Tuesday that enforcement of the measures continues to be a joint effort between municipal law enforcement officers, the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS), the Region of Durham Health Department, and various government of Ontario provincial offences officers. Kristina Bergeron, manager of Uxbridge By-Law Services, said that enforcement will be conducted both proactively and complaint based. “If residents have observed a violation, they are asked to report the violation to the Durham Regional Police Service non-emergency number at 905-579-1520 or submit a complaint online at www.drps.ca under Online Services - Community Concerns. DRPS is the main point of contact for complaints, and matters deemed required to be addressed by municipal law enforcement will be dispensed to us through DRPS,” said Bergeron. On Tuesday, the province also shared new modeling data showing the infection curve set to take a steep rise in the next few weeks. With a positivity rate of more than five percent in all age groups, a survey by the government showed that only a third of the population is actually following Public Health guidelines in a manner that will help to end the pandemic. Dr. Matthew Anderson, president and CEO of Ontario Health, fears that Ontarians are not afraid as they were in the first wave of the virus. “When you’re a bit younger, you feel a bit immortal. But we’re not. And we are seeing trends where people who are younger are getting COVID, and while the mortality rate may not be as high, we can certainly see continued morbidity for those people. So there’s really no one who should consider themselves immune until they are vaccinated.” Over the past four weeks there has been a 72 per cent increase in hospitalizations and a 61 per cent increase in ICU patients. Half of the province’s hospitals have run out of capacity and can no longer take patients for emergencies such as traumas from accidents, heart attacks or emergency surgeries. This type of ICU occupancy can compromise care across the province. As of Monday evening, another eight cases of the UK variant, V117, were found in Ontario. Dr. Anderson said that if this new strain spreads through community transmission, Ontario residents can expect to see the case curve rise close to vertical by the end of January. By Tuesday evening, more than 133,000 doses of the COVID vaccine had been administered in Ontario, with over 6,000 Ontarians fully vaccinated with a second dose. “We have hope on the horizon, it’s in sight, it's in reach,” said Ford. To get ‘herd immunity’, experts say approximately 60 to 70 per cent of the population will need to be vaccinated. A group of North Durham doctors and medical administrative staff are working to get the vaccination serum into the Uxbridge community and say that once it is here, the community will be informed. Uxbridge currently has 14 active cases with only one of those being hospitalized. According to the Durham Region Public Health website, both Reachview Village and Uxbridge Cottage Hospital still have outbreak status. For more, visit durham.ca/covidcasesJustyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos