Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

Top Story CP

Public Health Agency says Canadians at low risk from pneumonia in central China


OTTAWA — The federal Public Health Agency says it believes Canadians are at low risk of contracting a new type of pneumonia that has killed one person and has made dozens sick in central China, but it has issued a warning to travellers to and from the city of Wuhan.

The health agency is advising travellers to and from Wuhan, in central Hubei province, to avoid high-risk areas such as farms, live animal markets, areas where animals may be slaughtered or surfaces with animal droppings or secretions.

Canada’s chief public health officer Theresa Tam has also been in close contact with provincial and territorial counterparts to share information about the illness, which has sparked concerns over a possible outbreak similar to the SARS virus, which killed hundreds in 2002 and 2003.

The UN’s World Health Organization said Thai officials have reported a traveller from Wuhan has been hospitalized in Thailand with the virus — the first confirmed case of the virus found outside China, where a total of 41 people are suffering from this new “coronavirus.”

The outbreak has been traced to Wuhan, where it affected several dozen people who had been to a major meat and seafood market.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says the likelihood of an outbreak in Canada linked to the cases in China is considered low at this time, mainly because of the lack of any clear evidence of person-to-person spread, but officials are remaining vigilant.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2020.

— With files from The Associated Press.





The Canadian Press

Top Story CP

Would-be Conservative leaders jockey for support as Charest bows out



OTTAWA — Former Quebec premier Jean Charest’s decision to bow out of the Conservative leadership race is a turning point in a contest expected to heat up throughout the week as the party prepares for the return of the House of Commons.

Charest was a high-profile potential contender and his announcement Tuesday that he won’t seek leadership of the party changes the playing field for those seeking to run and those mulling which candidate to support.

While some continue to wait to see if former interim party leader Rona Ambrose chooses to enter, others have already made up their minds.

Endorsements for Peter MacKay, who will launch his campaign at an event in his former riding of Central Nova on Saturday, have begun rolling in from current members of Parliament.

Charest had been reaching out to MPs and testing the waters for a leadership attempt since current leader Andrew Scheer announced his intention to resign last December.

But late last week, previously sealed police warrants were released, reviving allegations of illegal fundraising in the Quebec Liberal party during Charest’s tenure as leader.

Charest has not been charged but his name surfaces in the documents. Through his lawyer, he has denied any knowledge of illegal donations.

His role with the Quebec Liberals, and his previous political life as leader of the federal Progressive Conservative party, had already seen some conservatives campaigning against him.

Among them, the National Citizens Coalition, a conservative lobby group, which sent out an essay warning against Charest’s candidacy before he said he wouldn’t run.

“Charest has the same kind of elitist sensibilities as Justin Trudeau, and is now completely out of touch with the base of the Conservative party,” it said.

Richard Decarie, a social conservative and longtime party organizer, had previously said that if Charest ran he would mount his own leadership campaign partially in a bid to stop him. Through a spokesman on Tuesday, he said he still intends to run.

Quebec movie-theatre mogul Vincent Guzzo had also been waiting to see what Charest decided to do as the two shared similar connections. He did not immediately answer an inquiry about his plans Tuesday.

In his statement Tuesday, Charest said the party had changed a lot since his days in federal politics, and his decision not to run was based on that, as well as the tight timelines attached to the contest.

The deadline to meet the first set of requirements to register as a candidate — a payment of $25,000 and 1,000 signatures from Conservatives from 30 ridings across seven provinces and territories — is Feb. 27.

Another looming deadline is the return of the House of Commons on Monday, which will rein in the campaigns of some contenders.

At least three current Conservative MPs are expected to run. Marilyn Gladu, now in her second term representing the Ontario riding of Sarnia-Lambton, has declared she will enter. Pierre Poilievre and Erin O’Toole, both former cabinet ministers and current Ontario MPs, are also planning to run, though neither has explicitly announced.

O’Toole spent the weekend filming videos for his campaign launch, and was doing in meet-and-greets in the Toronto area Tuesday. Poilievre continues to make the rounds of party meetings to drum up support.

O’Toole, Poilievre and Gladu will no longer serve as critics in the House of Commons, and Scheer is likely to lay out other rules for how they’ll need to balance their campaigns against the demands of the House.

Operating outside those restrictions is MacKay.

The former Conservative cabinet minister will begin to lay out his vision for the Conservative leadership later this week and then start a national tour.

Several current MPs have announced they support him, including some who backed O’Toole when he ran against Scheer in 2017.

Others are newer recruits. Ontario MP Ben Lobb, who endorsed Kellie Leitch in the 2017 race, said he’s now throwing his support behind MacKay. He cited MacKay’s experience and leadership, both within the party and externally.

Lobb said he’s not concerned, however, that the race will see a breakdown of caucus unity as MPs line up behind rivals.

“At the end of the day, it’s a desire to defeat Justin Trudeau that unites us,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2020.

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

Top Story CP

Parks Canada says no to gondola proposed from Banff townsite to Mount Norquay



BANFF, Alta. — Parks Canada has rejected a proposed gondola to take skiers and hikers from the Banff townsite to the summit at the Mount Norquay ski resort.

The federal agency was considering a proposal by Liricon Capital, which owns the resort, to redevelop leased lands inside the Alberta mountain town and at the ski area in Banff National Park.

Officials with Parks Canada said they reviewed a feasibility study and other materials related to the proposal submitted in May 2018.

“There will not be further consideration of the proposed gondola, nor the proposed Grizzly Pavilion and boardwalks, which would be located on lands outside the Mount Norquay leasehold,” the agency said in a written statement to The Canadian Press.

“These components of the feasibility study do not conform with the agency’s policies on limits to development and ski area management in Banff National Park.”

The proposal by Liricon, which was supported by the Town of Banff, would have potentially closed the only access road to the ski hill and returned that land to Parks Canada. Visitors would have parked in new lots at Banff’s train station and ridden the gondola over the Trans-Canada Highway to the resort.

Parks Canada said that would have negatively affected public use of the Mount Norquay access road.

Jan Waterous, a partner at Liricon Capital, said the company is disappointed but will try again.

“We will be resubmitting a different proposal for … consideration in the near term that addresses their concerns,” she said in an email.

Waterous said the company remains confident that the project, along with some transit proposals, could be beneficial for the environment.

“Luckily, the science is on our side.”

An environmental study done for Liricon and posted online suggested the gondola was not likely to harm grizzly bears, wolves and cougars. It suggested further study was needed on bighorn sheep.

In its statement, Parks Canada said Banff National Park’s development plan and Parks Canada ski area management guidelines were put together with extensive public input and based on the best-available science and research.

“It is Parks Canada’s position that its policies on limits to development are fundamental to protecting the ecological integrity of Banff National Park and to ensure that this treasured place is preserved now and for future generations.

“Parks Canada is not willing to alter its policies to accommodate this proposal.”

Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen said the town respects Parks Canada’s decision.

“We know how important it is to work within the limits of development in Banff National Park,” she said in a statement.

Environmental groups welcomed the decision to reject the gondola, as well as the pavilion and boardwalks.

“We are pleased that Parks Canada … is prioritizing nature and ecological integrity in the region,” said Katie Morrison, director of conservation for the southern Alberta chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. 

Reg Bunyan, who’s with the Bow Valley Naturalists, said the group hopes the parks agency also moves to limit the impact of traffic on the road by bringing in a dusk-to-dawn restriction.

The for-profit proposal wouldn’t have done enough to improve the wildlife corridors around the town of Banff, said Morrison.

“The extent of development in the proposal would have further compromised critical habitats and connectivity,” she said.

Liricon also wants to develop land to allow passenger rail service to Banff from Calgary.

In the statement, Parks Canada said the potential for a train connection would be subject to a separate review.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2020

— By Colette Derworiz in Edmonton

The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

january, 2020

mon06jan(jan 6)8:00 amfri31(jan 31)12:00 amJanuary is Alzheimer's Awareness Month8:00 am - 12:00 am (31) Event Organized By: K. Jobs

sun12jan(jan 12)2:00 pmsun22mar(mar 22)5:00 pmAnne Frank: A History for Today opening at Red Deer MAG2:00 pm - (march 22) 5:00 pm mst Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery Address: 4525 - 47A Avenue, Red Deer

thu23jan(jan 23)6:00 pmsat25(jan 25)11:00 pmRed Deer Justice Film Festival6:00 pm - 11:00 pm (25) welikoklad event centre, 4922 49 St, Red Deer, AB T4N 1V3

fri24jan1:30 pm3:00 pmMonthly Mindfulness Drop-InMonthly Mindfulness Drop-In1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

mon27jan11:15 am1:15 pmLuncheon With Arlene Dickinson11:15 am - 1:15 pm Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre, 3310 50 Avenue