Kevin Huerter (Atlanta Hawks) with a deep 3 vs the Oklahoma City Thunder, 02/26/2021
Kevin Huerter (Atlanta Hawks) with a deep 3 vs the Oklahoma City Thunder, 02/26/2021
The euro zone's recovery from the pandemic-induced economic downturn was much stronger than expected in April as the bloc's dominant service industry shrugged off renewed lockdowns and made a surprise return to growth, a survey showed. With the continent facing a fresh wave of coronavirus infections governments have reimposed strict lockdown measures to contain the spread, forcing some businesses to close and encouraging citizens to stay home. But IHS Markit's flash Composite Purchasing Managers' Index, seen as a good guide to economic health, rose to a nine month high of 53.7 from March's 53.2, confounding expectations in a Reuters poll for a dip to 52.8.
How the Just So Stories were Made by John Batchelor review – an origin story of origin stories. A scrupulous account of the brilliance and family tragedy that lies behind Kipling’s joyful collection of animal stories
From Get Out to Goodfellas: 10 of the best films that didn’t win best picture Oscar . Orson Welles’s classic, Sofia Coppola’s platonic meet-cute and Ang Lee’s cowboy masterpiece – here are the greatest losers in Hollywood
Sisters With Transistors review – an electrifying study of musical heroines. The unsung trailblazers behind electronic music are paid harmonic homage in Lisa Rovner’s enchanting documentary
‘It reeked of hope and ambition’: 30 years of riot grrrl label Kill Rock Stars. Born in the Pacific north-west scene that produced grunge – but often in opposition to it – Kill Rock Stars pushed women to the front of the stage, and also gave Elliott Smith a platform
Climate crisis has shifted the Earth’s axis, study shows. Massive melting of glaciers has tilted the planet’s rotation, showing the impact of human activities
Technology might be trumping old-school fishing tackle, but an Ottawa biology professor is calling for limits on the increasingly fancy lures and high-tech gear. Some sport fishermen with deep pockets are using using drones to drop baited lines, electric lures that flash lights or emit scent, and fish finders so advanced that they create 3D images of the prey, turning angling into a kind of video game. That might be make fishing fun for some, but it's far less sporting for the fish, according to Steven Cooke, who's calling for the technology to be reeled in. A lifelong angler, Cooke, 47, got his start when he inherited his grandfather's tackle box, complete with painted wooden lures, rusty spoon spinners and red and white plastic bobbers. Over the years he upgraded his gear, always in search of better gadgets that might help find and fool fish into biting. Drones like this are being used to carry fishing lures past the breaking surf in some coastal areas, Cooke says. (CBC) Now Cooke is also a fisheries scientist and professor of environmental science and biology at Carleton University. "Fishing is about the unknown. You never know what you're going to catch, and science is the same way, right? You're not really sure what you're going to find out until you do it," he observed. "I read the fishing magazines. I go to the fishing stores. I interact with anglers. But I'm also a fisheries scientist and I care deeply about making sure that we have sustainable and responsible fisheries." Published findings Cooke and several colleagues have spent the past year researching innovations in recreational fishing around the world. Their findings were published last week in the journal Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. Cooke doesn't eschew all technology. He admits to owning the latest generation of rods and reels, "but I haven't gone down the path of buying lures that have flashing lights. I don't use scents that have been designed to trick fish to bite. I don't have a $3,000 fish finder on my boat and I don't use drones for fishing." He's concerned the longer these gadgets are available, the more "normal" they'll seem to everyday anglers. "If we wait until all this stuff is mainstream, then it does get more difficult to regulate or to modify behaviour," he said. Kevin Kyer wouldn't specify which Outaouais lake he pulled these impressive whitefish from. 'Fishermen like to keep their spots a secret.'(Mike Boucher) Kevin Kyer, 35, a keen fisherman from the aptly named La Pêche, Que., loves to post pictures of the big game fish he catches, photographs, then releases. Kyer's unsurprised by Cooke's claim that Canada's fishing gear market nets $8 billion a year. "I believe that. I got zero dollars in my bank account, and I know why. I'm spending every dime on fishing," he said. Yet even Kyer, who uses a $500 fish finder, refuses to shell out more for higher-end models, some of which are so advanced they've been banned for use in tournaments. "They're so high-tech you can see everywhere under the water. It's incredible," said Kyer. "It's fun and all, but most of the time it's like a video game. You're just wasting your time on it and you're not even fishing. You're just looking at the screen." Kyer said he has no need for such extravagant gear. "I have been fishing for so long, I know exactly where the fish are."
Karen Cedar, a naturalist with the City of Windsor, Ont., poses in front of a stand of phragmites in 2019. The invasive plant has now made its way to Lanark County.(Peter Duck/CBC) It's not bad to look at, but an aggressive and invasive plant called phragmites is threatening the biodiversity of wetlands and waterways in Lanark County. "There's no doubt it's a nice-looking reed ... but it gets away with the murder of the wetlands because of that," said Dave Overholt, a cottager and self-described "avid citizen scientist" from Almonte, Ont. Overholt first noticed phragmites near White Lake in 2017. "I discovered to my surprise and a bit of horror that we had this plant on our doorstep," he said. Now, with the help of environmental groups and lake associations, he's been ramping up efforts to manage its spread. Dave Overholt has been working with Lanark County, environmental groups and lake associations to manage the spread of the invasive phragmites in Lanark County.(Submitted by Dave Overholt) Expensive plant to control Invasive phragmites, also known as the European common reed, was classified as "restricted" under the Invasive Species Act in 2016, and is one of the most expensive plants in Ontario to control, according to Jolanta Kowalski, a spokesperson with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. It's estimated that in 2019 alone, the "prevention, control and management" of phragmites in Ontario cost municipalities about $3 million. That doesn't include money spent by individual landowners, conservation authorities and other resource agencies. That makes phragmites the fifth-costliest invasive species in Ontario, just ahead of wild parsnip. Zebra mussels were the most expensive, costing a whopping $30 million to manage. Lanark County has been using a remote mower in an effort to eradicate phragmites along roadsides. (Submitted by Michelle Vala) "Phragmites is an aggressive invader, and is very difficult to eradicate once it becomes established," Kowalski said in an email to CBC. The tall weeds, with rough stalks and tassel-like tops, crowd out native vegetation and restrict the movement of animals, amphibians and reptiles. Their dense stands can grow as many as 200 stems per square metre and reach heights of up to five metres. They can also impede drainage, block waterfront access and even pose a fire hazard. 'Phragmites sighters and fighters' Southern Ontario has been hit particularly hard by the invasive species, but in Lanark County the spread is still manageable, according to Michelle Vala, environmental coordinator at Lanark County Public Works. Vala and Overholt both spoke at a webinar on Thursday for residents looking to learn more about how to spot and report the invaders. The webinar was hosted by the Otty Lake Association in partnership with Friends of the Tay Watershed. "We're hoping that we can get more people to report the plant. We need to get a sense of how far this infestation goes into the County," Vala said. A crew works to get rid of a patch of phragmites near Brooks, Alta.(County of Newell) "It has in other parts of Ontario taken over some waterfronts and watershed areas, and so we need to be what I call phragmites sighters and fighters," Linda Cuthbertson said, director of the Otty Lake Association. One of the challenges with identifying invasive phragmites is the existence of a native subspecies, but the invasive plant is generally much taller and tan in colour with blue-green leaves and large, dense seed heads. Residents are being asked to report any sightings using the EDDMapSOntario app.
Recent developments: What's the latest? In Ontario, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is now available to people as young as 40. But should you wait for Moderna or Pfizer? What if you're pregnant? And what about those reports of blood clots? Here are some answers. Ottawa reported 281 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths Thursday. How many cases are there? The region is in a record-breaking third wave of the pandemic that includes more dangerous coronavirus variants, pushing hospitals past their limits. As of Thursday, 22,686 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 3,179 known active cases, 19,021 resolved cases and 486 deaths. Public health officials have reported more than 41,700 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 34,900 resolved cases. Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 169 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 187. Akwesasne has had more than 610 residents test positive and 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections. Kitigan Zibi has had 34 cases. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had 11, with one death. CBC Ottawa is profiling those who've died of COVID-19. If you'd like to share your loved one's story, please get in touch. What can I do? Eastern Ontario: Ontario is under a stay-at-home order until at least May 20. People can only leave home for essential reasons such as getting groceries, seeking health care and exercising. They're asked to only leave their immediate area or province if absolutely necessary. The vast majority of gatherings are prohibited, with exceptions that include people who live together, those who live alone and pair up with one other household, and small religious services. Golf courses and tennis and basketball courts are closed. Police checkpoints are set up at border crossings between Ontario and Quebec, but are not running 24/7 on either end. Officers in Ontario have the power to stop and question people if they believe they've gathered illegally. Most non-essential businesses can only offer curbside pickup. Access to malls is restricted and big-box stores can only sell essential items. WATCH | Doctor explains why you should take the first vaccine offered: Gyms and personal care services are closed, while restaurants are only available for takeout and delivery. Ontario has indefinitely moved to online learning. Daycares remain open. Local health units and communities can also set their own rules, as Ottawa's is doing around playgrounds, Prince Edward County's is doing around travel and Kingston is doing for Breakwater Park. Western Quebec Premier François Legault has said the situation is critical in Gatineau and is asking people there to only leave home when it's essential. Schools, gyms, theatres, personal care services and non-essential businesses are closed until May 3 in the Outaouais. Private gatherings are banned, except for a person who lives alone seeing one other household. Distanced outdoor exercise is allowed in groups up to eight people. The curfew is from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. People there are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact and only leave their immediate area for essential reasons — under threat of a fine if they go to a yellow or green zone. Distancing and isolating The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets that can hang in the air. People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine. Coronavirus variants of concern are more contagious and are taking over. This means it is important to take precautions now and in the future like staying home while sick — and getting help with costs if needed — keeping hands and surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don't live with, even with a mask on. Masks, preferably ones that fit snugly and have three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec. OPH says residents should wear masks outside their homes whenever possible. Traffic on the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway in Ottawa in April 2021.(Francis Ferland/CBC) People have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine and have to pay for their stay in a quarantine hotel if entering by air. Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems get help with errands. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who've been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length varies in Quebec and Ontario. Vaccines Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada. Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second. About 610,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including about 275,000 doses to Ottawa residents and about 112,000 in western Quebec. Eastern Ontario Ontario is now in Phase 2 of its vaccine rollout, with the first doses during Phase 1 generally going to care home residents and health-care workers. All health units in eastern Ontario are now vaccinating people age 60 and older at their clinics. It's 55 and over in Renfrew County. People can book appointments online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900. People who are 40 or are turning 40 this year can contact participating pharmacies for a vaccine appointment. Pharmacies are now allowed to offer walk-in vaccines if they wish. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine by Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth at a family medical practice Wednesday in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press) Phase 2 includes people with underlying health conditions, followed by essential workers who can't work from home in May. Phase 3 should involve vaccinating anyone older than 16 starting in July. Local health units have some flexibility in the larger framework, so check their websites for details. The province has opened up appointments for people age 50 to 54 in Ottawa's K1T, K1V and K2V "hot spot" postal codes. Separately, some Ottawans in priority neighbourhoods age 50 and up can check their eligibility online and make an appointment through the city for a pop-up clinic. Indigenous people over age 16 in Ottawa can make an appointment the same way. Western Quebec Quebec also started by vaccinating people in care homes and health-care workers. The vaccination plan now covers people age 45 and older, along with essential workers and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. People age 45 to 79 can get a same-day appointment at Gatineau's Palais des Congrès. Officials expect everyone who wants a shot to be able to get one by by Fête nationale on June 24. People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone. Pharmacists there have started giving shots with appointments through the province. Symptoms and testing COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and loss of taste or smell. Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash. If you have severe symptoms, call 911. Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic, and resources are available to help. In eastern Ontario: Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment. Check with your health unit for clinic locations and hours. Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, if you've been told to by your health unit or the province, or if you fit certain other criteria. People without symptoms but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one. In western Quebec: Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms, their contacts and people who have been told to get tested. Outaouais residents can make an appointment and check wait times online. Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby. First Nations, Inuit and Métis: First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, or someone travelling to work in a remote Indigenous community, are eligible for a test in Ontario. Akwesasne has a COVID-19 test site by appointment only and a curfew of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days. People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-1175. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and in Kitigan Zibi, 819-449-5593. Tyendinaga's council is asking people not to travel there to camp or fish. Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing and vaccines, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays. For more information
HONG KONG, April 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- UCLOUDLINK GROUP INC. (“uCloudlink” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: UCL), the world’s first and leading mobile data traffic sharing marketplace, today released a letter to shareholders from the Company’s Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Chaohui Chen. To the shareholders of uCloudlink: Despite 2020 being a challenging year, we demonstrated resilience and agility amidst uncertainties that developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. On behalf of the Board, I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to our shareholders, individual and corporate users, and our business partners, for their continuous support of our company. The most important and fundamental measures of our success will be the value we would bring to all of these stakeholders over the long term. During the year, our uCloudlink 1.0 international data connectivity services (uCloudlink 1.0) was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic while our uCloudlink 2.0 local data connectivity services (uCloudlink 2.0) made significant headway and has become a new engine bolstering both our user base and revenue. We formed and developed a double-engine strategy of both uCloudlink 1.0 and uCloudlink 2.0 businesses. We are a high-tech company in the data connectivity market and we innovatively applied the “Navigation + Electronic Toll Pass” concept over the mobile network with our hyper-connectivity technology via our PaaS and SaaS platform. We focus on establishing stable, reliable, safe and efficient network connections for our business partners, operators and users which is a fundamental requirement of mobile network connection. Our cloud SIM technology, such as smart multi-network reselection, has developed to the hyper-connectivity technology stage which facilitates the realization of “Navigation + Electronic Toll Pass” across mobile networks and further elevates the user experience in data connectivity services. We achieved the initial stage of hyper-connectivity technology during 2020 and will further develop it to solidify our technological leadership position, which could potentially translate to growth and bring all new value to shareholders. uCloudlink 2.0 Business becomes a stronger driver of growth - alliances with MNOs and MVNOs The global COVID-19 pandemic has made remote work, online education, and shopping from home, seemingly more of what the future norm holds, rather than the exception. User demand for mobile broadband services has never been stronger, which creates massive potential for application scenarios in the areas of education, games and remote working. We further invested in Beijing Huaxiang Lianxin Technology Co., Ltd. which is one of the licensed mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) in mainland China. Further, the alliances with Shenzhen Branch of China United Network Communications Group Co., Ltd. and one of the major mobile network operators (MNOs) in Japan were milestones for our local business which we expect will help us broaden our user base more quickly and efficiently. Such partnerships can help carriers improve their coverage, connectivity services and investment efficiency while also enabling us to further increase the scale of users connected to our platform and improve and increase our local business development. We will continue to develop more collaborative partnerships in Europe, the United States and Asia. Such alliances and cooperation in the data connectivity market have injected new vitality into our business which will enable us to create value continuously for our shareholders in the long term. Hyper-connectivity could facilitate 5G and IoT business opportunities 5G and Internet-of-things (IoT) bring massive opportunities to our business which we strive to capitalize on to bring new value to our users and shareholders. We can help carriers improve their coverage, connectivity services and investment efficiency in 5G networks. Our 5G mobile Wi-Fi, Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) and GlocalMe Inside (GMI) embedded in various brands of 5G related mobile phones had commercial trials in 2020 and would commercially launch in 2021. We believe that there is great potential for the application of those devices in 5G mobile broadband connectivity service due to low network latency and expansive network coverage for end users. This could potentially allow us to establish the leading technological position of our PaaS and SaaS platform in the early stage of 5G. For IoT, the launch of our smart multi-network reselection of hyper-connectivity technology greatly reduces cross-mobile network switching time to milliseconds, which further elevated the user experience in data connectivity services. As an example of such application, in late 2020, we signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with China Vehicle Interconnected Transport Capacity Technology Co., Ltd. (CVITC), to develop intelligent container solutions for both domestic and international freight markets. Such technology is highly compatible with various IoT application scenarios such as industrial automation, autonomous driving, AR/VR, internet of vehicles, cargo transportation and logistics and cloud computing, which would be the accelerator of 5G Cloud application. We are proactively expanding our strategic alliances and further enhance our PaaS and SaaS platform ecosystem with new and traditional business partners in various aspects of IoT applications. Global diversified expansion brings us continuous growth momentum We have diversified our business and generated revenue from various countries and regions. We continue to focus on user experience and explore market opportunities worldwide. We expect China, Japan, the United States, Europe and other Asian markets will further develop local mobile broadband with continuous growth momentum in 2021. In order to elevate our brand recognition and improve user experience in the local markets we serve, we enhanced our e-commerce efforts in strategic key regions with high growth potential, such as the United States and Europe. For example, in the United States, in an effort to optimize our US website, our GlocalMe brand has had a 100% uptick in its traffic to its local e-commerce site and set a new record high of monthly registered users in its APP during the fourth quarter of 2020. We also continue to solidify our e-commerce business in the European market. Our sales function and team have been streamlined in order to continue improving the overall user experience and satisfaction. We will continue to build a customer-centric culture and philosophy, optimize our supply chain, and strengthen our branding and cooperation with new and existing business partners in international and local markets. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we ensured the safety of our employees by providing them with safe working environments and enacting measures to facilitate remote working. We will continue to focus on realizing our vision of “connecting and sharing without limitations,” strengthening our corporate culture, acquiring high-tech talent from all over the world and providing resource-saving solutions such as wireless network sharing. Finally, I would like to thank the entire uCloudlink team for their dedication and professionalism, thank shareholders for your continued support to us. Looking ahead in 2021, we expect international travel would recover with the continued rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and the strong demand of uCloudlink 2.0 would bring growth to our business. We expect “Navigation + Electronic Toll Pass” would help us acquire more users, more cooperation with MNOs and MVNOs and expand our alliances with new industries. Thank you again for your support of uCloudlink. Sincerely,Chaohui ChenDirector and Chief Executive Officer of uCloudlink About UCLOUDLINK GROUP INC. uCloudlink is the world’s first and leading mobile data traffic sharing marketplace, pioneering the sharing economy business model for the telecommunications industry. The Company’s products and services deliver unique value propositions to mobile data users, handset and smart-hardware companies, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and mobile network operators (MNOs). Leveraging its innovative cloud SIM technology and architecture, the Company has redefined the mobile data connectivity experience by allowing users to gain access to mobile data traffic allowance shared by network operators on its marketplace, while providing reliable connectivity, high speeds and competitive pricing. For more information, please visit: https://ir.ucloudlink.com Safe Harbor Statement This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are made under the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “future,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” “confident” and similar statements. uCloudlink may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Statements that are not historical facts, including but not limited to statements about uCloudlink’s beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement, including but not limited to the following: uCloudlink’s strategies; uCloudlink’s future business development, financial condition and results of operations; uCloudlink’s ability to increase its user base and usage of its mobile data connectivity services, and improve operational efficiency; competition in the global mobile data connectivity service industry; changes in uCloudlink’s revenues, costs or expenditures; governmental policies and regulations relating to the global mobile data connectivity service industry, general economic and business conditions globally and in China; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to uCloudlink’s business operations and the economy in China and elsewhere generally; and assumptions underlying or related to any of the foregoing. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information provided in this press release and in the attachments is as of the date of the press release, and uCloudlink undertakes no duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law. For investor and media inquiries, please contact: In China: UCLOUDLINK GROUP INC.Bob ShenTel: +852-2180-6111E-mail: email@example.com The Piacente Group, Inc.Yang SongTel: +86-10-6508-0677E-mail: UCL@tpg-ir.com In the United States: The Piacente Group, Inc. Brandi PiacenteTel: +1-212-481-2050E-mail: UCL@tpg-ir.com
Investcorp-Tages provided seed capital for the first distressed and event-driven credit hedge fund investing with environmental, social, and governance goalsLONDON, April 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Investcorp-Tages, a global multi-manager investment firm that was created as a joint venture between Investcorp and Tages, has announced that it backed the launch of DSC Meridian’s Climate Action Fund (CAF). It’s the first distressed and event-driven credit hedge fund investing with environmental, social, and governance goals and builds on the success of DSC Meridian’s flagship Credit Opportunities Fund, notably by adding an ESG overlay with a focus on decarbonisation. DSC Meridian is a specialist corporate credit investment manager with a focus on distressed and event-driven credit securities. The firm is one of the first U.S. based distressed and event-driven credit managers to analyse and incorporate material ESG risk factors. Through corporate engagement, DSC Meridian seeks to improve overall risk management, unlock idiosyncratic ESG value, and align portfolio companies with the science-based climate standards set by the Paris Climate Agreement and UNPRI. To lead this effort, DSC Meridian has appointed Paula Luff, an experienced sustainable finance, corporate engagement, and ESG professional, as Director of ESG Research and Engagement. Luff is a veteran leader in developing and integrating sustainability programs at multi-national corporations in the pharmaceutical and energy industries. She joins DSC Meridian from Inherent Group, where she directed the development of an ESG platform for the investment manager and led numerous corporate engagements. Salvatore Cordaro, Co-CEO of Investcorp-Tages, said: “We are excited to partner with DSC Meridian and its mission to direct capital toward a more sustainable future. DSC Meridian’s size and deep credit expertise provide it with an advantage in flexibility and access, both of which are key to driving not only its ESG focused mission but its mandate to investors as a responsible steward of capital. “At Investcorp-Tages we pride ourselves on our commitment to ESG and impact investing and we are convinced that our seeding practice is a powerful tool in this regard. With firmwide ESG integration and the most recent launch of the CAF, DSC Meridian is a prime example of this. Through the allocation of seed capital we are able to support a uniquely qualified and highly driven team in bringing an ESG focus to an area where it has long been needed.” Sheru Chowdhry, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of DSC Meridian, said: “We believe this is the right time to engage with high yield companies on ESG and sustainability issues and we are delighted that a high caliber organization such as Investcorp-Tages shares this belief.” About Investcorp-Tages Investcorp-Tages is a global multi-manager investment firm that was launched in May 2020 through a 50/50 joint venture between Investcorp and Tages Group. With offices based in London, New York and Milan, Investcorp-Tages manages alternative assets for institutional investors worldwide, including pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, foundations, endowments, family offices, insurance companies and other financial institutions. Investcorp-Tages focuses on providing bespoke solutions by delivering differentiated sources of returns across alternative assets for its clients. For further information, please visit: www.InvestcorpTages.com About DSC Meridian DSC Meridian Capital LP is an opportunistic, event-driven credit investment firm founded in 2018 by Sheru Chowdhry, the former Head of Credit Research & Co-Portfolio Manager of the Paulson Credit Fund (2004-2017). Chowdhry oversaw a multi-billion dollar credit portfolio through multiple credit cycles and led the creditor committees of some of the largest bankruptcies following the global financial crisis. The firm integrates material ESG factors and pursues active corporate engagement to help shape positive ESG-related outcomes. For further information, please visit: www.dscmeridiancapital.com Contacts: Investcorp-Tages:Saul Benjamin, Chief Operating Officersaul.benjamin@InvestcorpTages.com Citigate Dewe Rogerson:Christen Thomson, Senior Directorchristen.firstname.lastname@example.org
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Greg Peacock walked across the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ont., and back into Canada with his three puppies in hand, pausing to take some selfies, but he didn't cross here for the view. He chose this particular point of entry from the United States to avoid the mandatory three-day stay at a quarantine hotel that applies to air travellers entering Canada. "I don't want to spend three days or whatever it is locked up at a hotel when I'm back in Toronto to do work," he said. He's one the many Canadians flying into U.S. airports close to the U.S.-Canada border and crossing by foot or hiring car services to drive them across in order to avoid staying at the quarantine hotels that are mandatory for air travellers. Instead of flying directly to Toronto's Pearson International Airport, Peacock flew from Los Angeles to Buffalo, N.Y., took a cab to the border, walked into Canada and took the train to Toronto. "It takes a little bit longer, but it's an adventure," he said. Peacock told CBC News that he would quarantine once he got home. Since the three-day hotel quarantine rule took effect in February, Peacock has walked across the border into Canada twice on his way home from Los Angeles, where his wife lives.(Greg Peacock) Close to 20,000 crossed by land since Feb. 21 Walking across the border isn't new or illegal, but it does contravene non-essential travel advisories and allows travellers to avoid staying in one of the federally sanctioned quarantine hotels that can cost up to $2,000 for a three-day stay — a requirement for those arriving by air. The temporary measures and the Canada-U.S. land border closure, which went into effect in March 2020, have both been extended to May 21. Peacock is not alone. Since the hotel rules came into effect on Feb. 21, nearly 20,000 people crossed the border by land (not including essential workers), according to a CBC News analysis of numbers provided by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Whether Canadians return by land or air, if they are not essential workers or otherwise exempt, under federal guidelines, they must quarantine for 14 days, with air travellers spending the first three days at a hotel until they get the result of a COVID-19 test. Land travellers must go directly to their quarantine destination after crossing the border. Special rules for snowbirds? Scott and Caryl Rutledge of Toronto opted to fly to Buffalo Niagara International Airport and hire a limousine to take them across the border rather than to fly home from Tampa, Fla., where they have property and spent the last two months "We've been vaccinated. We showed up with negative COVID tests," Scott Rutledge told CBC News as he and his wife sat in the back of the limousine on the Canadian side of Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls. "We believe ourselves to be 100 per cent healthy so far as COVID is concerned, and so anything else was an unnecessary duplication. It's excessive in the extreme, at least as it applies to us." The couple paid about $350 Cdn for the trip from the Buffalo airport, plus $200 US each for their COVID-19 tests. Scott and Caryl Rutledge arrive back in Canada after spending two months in Tampa, Fla., where they own property. The Toronto couple hired a limousine service to take them from the Buffalo airport back home. They both received a COVID-19 vaccine in Florida. (Laura Clementson/CBC) They said there should be different rules for snowbirds like them. "I think there should have been two tiers of entry: one for snowbirds — vaccinated people who have been gone for in excess of months — and ... different rules perhaps for people who have gone on a holiday for two weeks. It's a completely different thing," Caryl Rutledge said. Although land borders are closed to non-essential travel, all Canadian citizens have the right to enter Canada. But like air travellers, they need to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arriving at the border and have a quarantine plan. For those who travel from abroad via the United States, a negative test needs to be presented upon arrival in the U.S., according to the U.S. government, and again at the land border when entering Canada. Travellers are also given a take-home test to be done on the 10th day of their return. There are no exemptions for those who have already been vaccinated. After pedestrians cross into Canada, they are escorted into a tent, shown here at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls. There they are screened and told about COVID-19 protocols. (Greg Bruce/CBC) Local authorities monitoring quarantine compliance The CBSA told CBC News that it is not keeping track of Canadians who return to the country after getting a COVID-19 vaccination abroad. But the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) does keep track of travellers who have tested positive for COVID-19. From Feb. 22 to April 18, the agency told CBC News, it received 50,905 test results from land travellers on the day they arrived in Canada. Of those, 128 tested positive for COVID-19, for a positivity rate of 0.25 per cent. During the same period for air travellers, the agency received 144,177 test results, of which 2,541 — or 1.76 per cent — were positive for COVID-19, PHAC said. The agency is also monitoring quarantine compliance for both air and land travellers with the help of local law enforcement agencies, the RCMP and third-party security companies. Between Feb. 21 and April 19, more than 111,000 air travellers and 43,000 land travellers had received a compliance verification visit from a third party, according to PHAC. And during the same time frame, both the RCMP and local law enforcement agencies followed up on 13,500 air travellers and 5,900 land travellers — 95 per cent of whom were found to be in compliance with the quarantine orders. Prices for flights to Buffalo on the rise In an email to CBC News, Canada's public health agency said that "compliance with the border measures has been high." CBC News asked for comment from Health Canada on why people travelling by air are required to go to a hotel while those entering the country by land are not but did not get a direct response. Health Canada did say in an email that "the government of Canada is continually evaluating the impacts of border measures." Land border crossings could get more attention in light of Canada's decision Thursday to ban passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days in response to rising COVID-19 case counts and the spread of new variants. Airlines seem to have also caught on to the land border loophole. Prices for flights to Buffalo from popular snowbird destinations such as Tampa, Orlando, Fla., Phoenix, Ariz., and Los Angeles have all seen a hike since the quarantine hotel rules went into effect in Canada. "I felt pretty clever at first, but apparently, more people are catching on," said Peacock, who travels back and forth on a monthly basis to be with his spouse in Los Angeles. "The flights to Buffalo were packed. The prices are going up." WATCH | How some Canadians are getting around quarantine rules for air travellers: Car services seeing steady business Ground transportation services are also getting a boost. About 30 kilometres from the Rainbow Bridge, at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie, Ont., Bethea Reznik sits in her van in the nearest parking lot to the border. She reads while waiting for a Canadian passenger to be dropped off by an American car service. She'll then drive the Canadian to Toronto. Bethea Reznik, who owns a private car service, picks up passengers from a parking lot closest to the U.S. border after they're dropped off by an American taxi. Reznik says she's making about two round trips from Toronto each week. (Greg Bruce/CBC) American bus and taxi drivers are considered essential service providers, which allows them to shuttle Canadians over the border. "I've been quite busy," she said of her own business. "I just try to help people as much as I can." Reznik said she's making about two round trips from Toronto a week. She said she feels for her passengers who are affected by the extra steps now required to get to where they want to go. Parked near Reznik's van, Alison Noble waits for her son, Eric Noble-Marks, to be dropped off by an American taxi. The Boston law student was returning home to Toronto. Noble-Marks said he's vaccinated but given how little is still known about the ability to transmit the virus post-vaccination, he opted for a land crossing because it seemed safer than flying. Eric Noble-Marks, a Boston law student from Toronto, took an American taxi across the border to a parking lot near the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie, Ont., where his mother was waiting to drive him home.(Laura Clementson/CBC) "I wanted to do something where I minimized changing hands as much as possible," he said. He plans to quarantine at home with his mother, he said. Noble-Marks said he isn't opposed to requiring travellers to stay at a quarantine hotel if it helps slow the spread of COVID-19, but it shouldn't come at a cost. "It's one thing to stay in a hotel for a few days. It's another thing to be on the hook for it," he said. 'I was not going into a hotel' For some travellers who spoke to CBC News, avoiding a hotel stay wasn't about the cost but about health. Betty Bennett winters in Arizona snowbird who took an American car service from the Buffalo airport back to her home in Orillia, Ont., because she was adamant about going straight home. "I would not go to any congregate settings after hearing what's happened with the nursing homes," she said. "So there was not even a choice for me ... I was not going into a hotel." PHAC told CBC News that as of April 18, 45,194 hotel rooms had been booked at government-authorized accommodation using the Global Business System, which does not include rooms that travellers have booked directly through hotels. Each of those bookings could include multiple rooms and/or guests. The majority of rooms have been booked in Toronto with 26,454, followed by Vancouver with 10,921. About 49,000 air travellers, representing 11 per cent of the total, have been exempt from staying in a hotel. As for fines for those dodging a hotel stay, PHAC told CBC News that as of April 19, it is aware of 404 tickets given to travellers who didn't book a hotel or refused to stay in one. The fine for refusing to go to a hotel is $3,000.
With Ontarians as young as 40 now able to get the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, more people are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 than ever before. But that also means more people are asking questions about it. CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning recently invited Dr. Alykhan Abdulla, a family doctor who practises in Manotick, to answer some of the more common queries that have popped up. How concerned should we be about blood clots? That's the question Abdulla says he gets the most, and he wants to be clear: people should not be worried. "The risk is in the one-in-a-million range," he said. "The results from Europe are showing that it tends to happen more frequently in younger patients and in women. But I want to reiterate: one in a million." The rare clotting disorder, known as vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia, is not only "absolutely treatable," Abdulla said, but also better managed when people know the symptoms. They include shortness of breath, bruising, abdominal pain and an inexplicable headache. "[If] you get a vaccine and something terrible seems to happen to you afterwards, you need to inform a medical practitioner," he said. Even those with a history of blood clots are still candidates for AstraZeneca, Abdulla said, as the vaccine hasn't been shown to "aggravate" that condition. What about side effects? Side effects are common for any vaccination, said Abdulla, and can include chills, headaches, swollen armpits and pain where the needle entered the flesh. But what people often don't realize is that those symptoms are more common when people get the shot and then go about their daily business as if nothing happened. "Your body is producing [an] antibody response," Abdulla said. "You need to treat it nicely for a few days after a vaccine." If the symptoms include coughing, sneezing, an upper respiratory tract infection or shortness of breath, it may be COVID-19 and not a reaction to the shot, he added. Should pregnant women get the AstraZeneca vaccine? As the age limit drops, it's a question that's becoming increasingly relevant. For Abdulla, the answer is yes, "full stop." As he notes, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada's stance is that all COVID-19 vaccines, including AstraZeneca, should be made available to pregnant women. Moreover, immunization has been recommended for women in all trimesters, he added — so it doesn't matter if you're newly pregnant or about to give birth. Manotick physician Dr. Alykhan Abdulla wants to be clear that people should not be unduly concerned about developing a rare blood clot disorder linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.(Tia Photography) What about waiting for Moderna or Pfizer? People shouldn't shop around for a particular vaccine, Abdulla said, but get the first one available. One issue, he said, is that people tend to look at overall efficacy rates — in the 90 per cent range for Moderna and Pfizer, but only around 76 per cent for AstraZeneca — and conclude it makes more sense to wait for one that offers better protection. But it's better to consider how well they prevent death, hospitalizations and serious illness, he said. And for all three vaccines, that rate is 100 per cent. "The best vaccine is the one that protects you and all the people that you care about and love," he said. "Waiting for it, gaming the system, trying to reduce your risk based on things that you've heard, those are not valuable ways to make a decision." OK, so I've been vaccinated. Now what? Being vaccinated might make you feel temporarily invincible, but Abdulla wants people to remember they can still come down with a milder form of COVID-19 after getting the jab — and can still pass it on. So his advice is to remain "thoughtful" by doing things like wearing a mask, washing your hands and continuing to physically distance. "We really need to protect one another," he said. "That's the one thing I want people to be aware of."
Across Canada, COVID-19 has changed what school looks like for students this year, with the pandemic continuing to disrupt learning and upend classrooms from kindergarten through Grade 12. CBC News spoke with three parents to get a snapshot of what schooling is like for their families and the continuing concerns they have in this turbulent school year. Natasha Côté-Khan, London, Ont. Amid the pandemic, London, Ont., parent Natasha Côté-Khan, bottom left, tries to stay upbeat for her blended family, which includes her four older kids, and her partner and his two younger children.(Jana Burns Photography/Submitted by Natasha Côté-Khan) This week, Natasha Côté-Khan's school-aged kids returned to remote learning for the third time in the past year. Though she was a telecommuter even before COVID-19, it's been "a huge adjustment" for the federal government staffer to adapt her typically fast-paced workflow to also support her children's learning when they're at home. "It meant having to rethink the way that I was working in my workday — how I was getting my work done, the time that I spent before work and after work prepping so that my kids wouldn't need to interrupt me as much so that they could have what they needed," said Côté-Khan. She's made tweaks each time school has reverted to remote learning. Each child — in grades 5, 8 and 11 — needs their own space, device and door to close. She set up a new printer everyone shares. Her kids ping her work email when they require help. She lays out meals and snacks before school to circumvent any "I'm hungry!" interruptions during her meetings Still, best-laid plans can go awry — say, if the Wi-Fi falters or if a pop quiz arrives in an unexpected format that sparks panic, as it did this week. WATCH | Juggling school support while working from home: Though upbeat, Côté-Khan is constantly worrying about her household, which also includes her partner, often his two children (a kindergartner and a third-grader) from a previous relationship, as well as her 20-year-old son who returned home to find full-time work instead of staying in Toronto, which is a hot spot for COVID-19 infections. "I've got to rally a lot of people here. I have to keep everybody pepped up for everything," she said. She's anticipating that some of her kids may need summer school or tutoring to make up for learning lost this past year, and says she has already seen the pandemic affect their mental health. She's also thinking of the heavy lifting many Canadian mothers are doing, she said, after friends discussed quitting their jobs now to focus on their children. "There is this sense of guilt as a mom that you're not providing for your kids. But there's also this sense of guilt as an employee.… Whatever you do is a reflection on you at the end of the day, for your performance," Côté-Khan said. Kaela Dutchak, Saskatoon To cope with pandemic restrictions, Saskatoon parent Kaela Dutchak and her seven-year-old daughter embarked on some new activities, such as raising chickens. (Submitted by Kaela Dutchak) When the pandemic closed most K-12 schools last year, it came during finals for Kaela Dutchak. The University of Regina student had one more to complete, but with her young daughter suddenly learning at home, it became too much to manage. "Of course I failed it," she said. The Saskatoon-based single mom feels lucky that, since then, her daughter's small Montessori school has remained open for in-person learning, while also offering an at-home option. It established separate cohorts of students who are spending as much class time outdoors as possible across all seasons. "We're privileged enough to go to a school like that, where things are very different" from traditional schools, Dutchak said. Her daughter's in-person attendance and the school's before- and after-school care program are allowing Dutchak, a former legal assistant, to complete her own studies toward a degree in social work. Still, there have been about three times in the past couple of months that she's kept her daughter, 7, at home for several days after presenting symptoms — the sniffles, for instance, or a slight fever — described on the school's pandemic screening list. She said she's thankful that her daughter's Grade 2 teachers are great communicators and attentive educators who have had at-home assignments, activities and guidance prepared for those instances. However, having her at home has meant Dutchak's own education comes second. WATCH | Parent's classes pushed aside when kid learns at home: "Realistically, [attending university is] like a nine-to-five [job]. So when I have her home, I'm not doing that, let's be honest," Dutchak said. "That will definitely put me back a couple of days when she is home." She says it's tough parenting solo during a pandemic without an extended support system beyond one or two friends whom she can call upon when in a major bind. "She has to come everywhere with me.… You get looks from people at the grocery store. I've had people say things to me and I'm just like, 'OK, should I leave her in the car or leave her at home alone? Like, what do you expect?'" Eric Marquis, Edmundston, N.B. Typically up around 5 a.m., Eric Marquis begins his day by checking the latest news updates and tackling emails that arrived overnight from one of his jobs: acting mayor of Edmundston, N.B., which is currently under lockdown restrictions due to the pandemic. After getting breakfast sorted, he then begins his remote workday for his other job: vice-principal of a local high school, which, like all schools in Edmundston, is operating remotely at the moment. This current stretch of remote learning is part of Edmundston's second lockdown period of 2021. Over the course of the school day, Marquis regularly dons a third hat, technology and internet problem-solver, if his wife, who is a teacher, his college freshman son or his eighth-grader daughter need assistance. Eric Marquis, left, says he and his wife Renée Rioux Marquis are offering a lot of support and aid to their daughter and son right now to help keep their learning on track.(Submitted by Eric Marquis) Both Marquis and his wife are carving out time these days to give their kids extra support in order to keep them on track with their learning, but "it's not everybody who has a teacher in their house," he said, noting that kids require a lot of help right now keeping up their education. He is most concerned about how the pandemic has drastically cut the valuable in-person interactions students have with their teachers, he said. He's worried about lost connections with students and, due to remote learning, educators potentially missing key cues alerting them to kids facing challenges. Teaching through screens, "you don't see the faces, you don't see who those kids are and what their issues are," Marquis said. "If you you don't have that contact with the students, that is a major issue. And that is what unfortunately we're living right now with this pandemic." WATCH | Educator on the value of daily, in-person contact with kids: With about a month and a half left in the school year in New Brunswick, Marquis says he is hoping in-person learning resumes soon, even if it's only the alternate-day system high schoolers have experienced so far this school year. Looking to this fall, he's hankering for normal times. "We're hoping that we're going to have a full house, a full school in September," Marquis said. "The past 14, 15 months have been extremely difficult on students, on teachers and principals and everybody else in the school system."
The signal from Premier Doug Ford that Ontario will create an enhanced paid sick leave program is being greeted with both relief and disappointment, since demands for the program have been ignored for nearly the entire pandemic. Ford said during a Thursday news conference that his government has started work on the program after months of repeatedly insisting that an existing program offered by the federal government was sufficient. He now says the federal program, which provides $450 per week for a maximum of four weeks and pays workers only after their period of absence, is inadequate. "We're now working on our own solution to fill those gaps for everyone in Ontario," said Ford, who spoke outside his late mother's home in Etobicoke, where he is isolating after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. "I assure you, it is not lost on me that unlike many people I'm able to isolate and continue working. For too many people right now, that's not the case," he said. The Ford government recently voted down a bill by the Ontario NDP that would have granted all workers access to paid sick days provided by their employers. Earlier this month, Ford also accused sick leave advocates of "playing politics." The debate is happening against the backdrop of a third wave of COVID-19 with record daily case numbers and overflowing intensive care units. Ontario has not yet shared any details about how the program will function or when it will become available, besides saying that it "will not impose any additional burden on the backs of Ontario businesses." Calls for sick leave date back more than a year A wide cross-section of voices including Ontario's own science advisory table, local public health units, municipal politicians, Opposition parties, medical associations and labour groups have repeatedly called on the provincial government to create a paid sick leave program. Proponents say a universal paid sick leave program would drive down transmission rates by making it easier for workers who are ill to stay home without losing income. "It's definitely welcome news but at the same time, [there is] a lot of frustration that it took so many lives and the health of essential workers to reach this conclusion," said Dr. Amanpreet Brar, a general surgery resident at the University of Toronto who has been loudly advocating for paid sick leave. Dr. Amanpreet Brar says any paid sick leave program must be seamless and universally accessible to be successful.(CBC News Network) "Paid sick leave policy is certainly going to be one of the policies that will curb transmission and hopefully decrease the spread of COVID-19," Brar added. Toronto's Board of Health called on the province to "permanently ensure that sufficient paid sick leave is available to all workers who must quarantine or self-isolate," on May 7, 2021, exactly 350 days before Ford's Thursday news conference. Unifor, Canada's largest private sector union, made a similar demand in March 2020. "It's clear that the government does not want to do this, but they're under siege," said Unifor national president Jerry Dias. "If the government is perceived as backpedalling, I actually don't care, I just want it done." According to a report by the Decent Work and Health Network, 58 per cent of Canadian workers do not have access to paid sick days. The figure climbs to 70 per cent among workers who earn less than $25,000 annually. What should the program look like? Advocates for enhanced paid sick leave say the program must offer workers a seamless way to stay home when ill without losing their regular paycheque. Dias suggested employers could initially foot the bill for workers' absences before receiving a rebate from the province at a later date. Brar said the program must also be offered to workers at temporary employment agencies and migrant workers, who typically have poor access to workplace benefits. She said the program should also become a permanent fixture, especially when considering the emerging threat of coronavirus variants. "I'm worried that if we only have something temporary, we're not going to be able to prevent future outbreaks."
After a year of heightened stress for many parents, the federal government's plan to reduce child care costs across the country is, for some, a light at the end of the tunnel. Alexis Geroux says the possibility that she could pay 50 per cent less on child care by the end of next year feels too good to be true. "It's like a ray of sunshine," said Geroux, who lives in Ottawa with her husband and two boys, who will be one and two years old by the time she goes back to work. Geroux is on maternity leave and needs to return soon to her full-time job in recreation management, in-person, so child care will be a necessity. She expects to pay as much as $2,500 a month to put both kids in full-time care. Paying less next year would mean fewer sacrifices for her family, and could allow her and her husband to contribute more to their children's Registered Education Savings Plans. "We really hope it does go through, because that would help us a lot," said Geroux. That outcome isn't certain, and will come too late for some. For others, more affordable child care will make a difference in whether they return to work at all, which is why — after a year where women's participation in the workforce fell sharply — the Liberal government says now is the time to take long-promised action on child care. Alexis Geroux says budgeting for full-time child care for her two sons is difficult, as it costs as much as paying a mortgage. Her family expects to pay $2,500 per month for care for both kids.(Submitted by Alexis Geroux) 'Women drop out' If the budget passes, the federal government plans to spend up to $30 billion over the next five years to reduce child care fees by half within the next 18 months, then eventually to $10 a day by 2026. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says the national child-care plan is needed to make sure parents, especially women, return to the workforce post-pandemic. "We've seen the reality that when you do not have child care available women drop out of the labour force. That's what has happened in this COVID year," said Freeland in an interview with CBC's chief political correspondent, Rosemary Barton, after tabling the federal budget on Monday. Federal finance minister and working mother, Chrystia Freeland, made child care a centrepiece of her first budget — which was also the first budget tabled by a female finance minister.(Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press) Federal data on who's applied for the Canada recovery caregiving benefit shows that in every province, more women than men have stepped away from their jobs to care for their children. Global chief economist at Manulife Asset Management, Frances Donald, says there has been an awakening over the past year, as data from around the world has underscored the link between child care and parents' ability to work. "The consensus has turned its opinion entirely around from child care being a social issue to one of very important economic infrastructure," said Donald. "We have a wealth of data that shows us how critical child care and early learning is to economic strength, and that it helps improve female labour force participation rates." Feeling stuck It's a reality mother-of-three Amanda Aron Chimanovitch was already living pre-pandemic. The high cost of child care in Richmond, B.C., prevented her from re-entering the workforce as a journalist since having her youngest son two years ago. "I would work just to pay for daycare," said Aron Chimanovitch. She's been quoted $3,000 a month for her two younger children, she said; her eldest is in kindergarten. Aron Chimanovitch worries about how she will explain the empty space in her resume from taking time off to raise her three children.(Ben Nelms/CBC) Chimanovitch says that while she stays home to care for her children, she watches friends and former colleagues grow in their careers. "What am I able to do now, maybe change diapers and watch kids? This was not like this before," said Aron Chimanovitch. "I was a good professional, and now I feel that I am stuck." She hopes the 50 per cent reduction in child care fees next year will be enough for her to get back to work. "I can see a light at the end of the tunnel," she said. "If I could go back to work and help the recovery, it would be really great — for me, and the country." Will provinces play along? For those who have advocated for a national, affordable child care strategy, the Liberals' plan is the progress they've been hoping for — for decades. "This is such a historic moment," said Amy O'Neil, director of Treetop Children's Centre in Toronto. Toronto child care centre director, Amy O'Neil, says she's been advocating for a national, affordable plan for her entire career spanning 30 years. (Evan Mitsui/CBC) She says the budget's emphasis on ensuring early childhood educators are at the heart of the system is also groundbreaking. "I think it will allow more [early childhood educators] to stay in the field, because they will be feeling recognised with proper compensation and proper training, which has never been the case." O'Neil acknowledges that there is still much more work to be done to develop and execute a plan that her provincial government is on board with. Some provinces, including Alberta and Ontario, have said they want more flexibility with how the federal funds are used to support families. But O'Neil expects Ontario will ultimately "play well in the sandbox" and accept the money from the federal government and the terms that come with it. "Families in this province will never forgive them for that if they don't," said O'Neil. Too late for some But even if the Liberals' budget passes, deals are reached with the provinces, and the plan follows its projected timeline, it will be too late for some parents. Shayna Suleyman-Cuttilan has 11-month-old twin boys in Vancouver. Her challenge is twofold: availability and affordability. She needs to go back to work full-time in two weeks, but was only able to find child care for three days a week. The other two days she plans to work during her sons' naps, and late at night when they're in bed — tactics that have become more common during the pandemic, as school closures force parents with children of all ages to work while they're at home. Shayna Suleyman-Cuttilan, pictured with her twins, moved to Canada with her husband because she hoped it would be a good place to raise a family. Child-care costs and availability are making that difficult while her husband looks for work in his field.(Submitted by Shayna Suleyman-Cuttilan) "You have to do it in order to survive," said Suleyman-Cuttilan. But the biggest hurdle she and her husband face is the cost. Suleyman-Cuttilan works as an English secondary teacher, but her husband has been struggling for a year and a half to find a job in his area of expertise as an analytical chemist. He's currently working in a bookstore to supplement her maternity leave pay. Even after applying for provincial support, the part-time care they can find for infant twins will cost $2,000 a month. "We're eating into our savings," said Suleyman-Cuttilan, who worries their plans to buy a home and save for their sons' education is being derailed. The couple are permanent residents in Canada, originally from Britain. If her husband can't find a job in the next two months, Suleyman-Cuttilan says they'll have to move back to the U.K. "I'm devastated and feel a sense of failure," she said. The promise of 50 per cent lower fees next year, or $10 a day child care in 5 years, is too far away. "Too little too late, it might be for us." LISTEN | The long, winding road to universal child care in Canada:
Canada's highest court will issue a ruling today that could reverse the federal government's 65-year-old claim that an Indigenous nation from British Columbia's interior no longer exists. The Supreme Court of Canada ruling will determine whether the Sinixt, whose reservation is in Washington State, have an Indigenous right to hunt in their ancestral territory north of the border. The case began in 2010 when Sinixt leaders sent one of their members, Richard Desautel, to shoot and kill an elk in their traditional territory of the Arrow Lakes region in southeastern British Columbia to reclaim their identity in Canada. Desautel phoned the B.C. Conservation Officer Service after his successful hunt to report himself, and was charged. Desautel argued his right to hunt for ceremonial purposes in the traditional territory of the Sinixt is protected by Section 35(1) of the Constitution, which recognizes and affirms the rights of Indigenous Peoples. But the Crown maintained Desautel didn't have rights protected by the Constitution because he wasn't part of any recognized Indigenous group in Canada. Desautel won at every level of the B.C. court system — laying the groundwork for the Sinixt to be formally recognized again as an Indigenous people by the Supreme Court. The Sinixt are part of the Salish people who primarily occupied territory in the B.C. interior and northwestern United States. "A favourable ruling ... will be quite a historic moment for the Sinixts," said Mark Underhill, counsel for Desautel and a partner at Arvay Finlay LLP in Vancouver. Richard Desautel was charged with breaking British Columbia's Wildlife Act after he shot and killed a cow elk near Castlegar in 2010.(Getty Images) Hunting is how the Sinixt people practise their culture and their very identity is bound up with their territory, which stretches from West Kootenay to Nelson and all the way up to Revelstoke, B.C, said Underhill. Not being able to use their traditional lands has taken a tremendous toll on multiple generations of Sinixt people, he said. "You always have that tie back to the land, no matter where you are," Underhill said. "To have it illegal to be able to practice your culture, it just really impacted those people." An important case on both sides of the border A favourable ruling could have broad implications for other Indigenous groups with ties to Canada. Underhill said those groups would have to show they maintained a continuous presence in Canada for thousands of years. "That will open the door for them hopefully to have their rights recognized in Canada," he said. The trial judge held that the Sinixt engaged in hunting, fishing and gathering in their traditional territory in the Arrow Lakes area before and after first contact in 1811. The trial judge said Desautel was exercising his traditional right to hunt for ceremonial purposes guaranteed under the Constitution, and the application of the Wildlife Act unjustifiably infringed on that right. Desautel was acquitted. The Supreme Court of British Columbia also dismissed a summary conviction appeal, as did the B.C. Court of Appeal. The B.C. government appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada on the grounds that it's a case of national significance. The Sinixt say they lived in the north-south valley stretching from present-day Kettle Falls, Wash., to Revelstoke, B.C. well into the 1700s. Eighty per cent of their pre-contact traditional territory is in Canada. Smallpox and the arrival of missionaries, miners and settlers pushed the Sinixt out of the West Kootenay region of B.C. and off their territory. Some moved south to the U.S., taking up residence on the Colville Confederated Tribes Reservation in the late 1800s. In 1902, the federal government set aside a reserve for the Arrow Lakes Band, which included a few Sinixt members who remained in their traditional territory in Canada. In 1956, the last living member of the Arrows Lakes Band died and the federal government declared the Sinixt "extinct" and without the rights of a First Nation in Canada.
Fingrid Oyj Stock Exchange Release 23 April 2021 at 11:00 EETFingrid Group – Management’s Review 1 January - 31 March 2021 Fingrid follows a six-month reporting period as referred to in the Securities Markets Act and publishes Management Reviews for the first three and nine months of the year; the Management Reviews contain key information illustrating the company’s financial and other development. The information presented in the Management’s Review relates to the Fingrid Group’s performance in January-March 2021 and the corresponding period of 2020, unless otherwise indicated. The figures presented here have been drawn up in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The Management’s Review is not an interim report in accordance with the IAS 34 standard. The figures are unaudited. The temperatures from January through March matched long-term averages. Increased cross-border transmission of electricity from Russia and higher consumption due to lengthy cold spells increased the company’s turnover and result as compared to the corresponding period in 2020. Turnover during the period under review amounted to EUR 277.9 (199.6) million and operating profit, excluding the change in the fair value of derivatives, amounted to EUR 85.6 (65.2) million.The company’s profitability and liquidity remained at a good level. Review by the President & CEO: “Grid vision paves the way for grid investments worth EUR 2 billion during this decade” The weather conditions during the first quarter were normal. Long spells of below-zero temperatures increased the of electricity consumption, and also the hydrological situation throughout the Nordic countries has returned closer to normal from last year’s exceptionally high level. The consumption of electricity increased during the period under review compared to the corresponding period last year, which was marked by exceptionally warm weather. As a result, the company’s turnover and result improved compared to the previous review period. Turnover growth came from the volume, as our grid service fees will remain unchanged from 2020 to 2021. The increased consumption of electricity, coupled with transmission restrictions, resulted in significant area price disparities in the Nordic countries. The imports from Sweden to Finland were high and often reached the maximum level during daytime. This caused major price differences between Finland and particularly northern Sweden. The price differences resulted in significant congestion income for Fingrid, which will be used for future investments to improve the operation of the markets. Electricity imports from Russia increased due to the higher electricity prices in Finland, generating more cross-border transmission income. We are building transmission lines and substations at dozens of sites. Based on our long-term grid vision, we estimate that the main grid will require at least EUR 2 billion in grid investments during this decade to cover the tremendous increase in capex needed for electricity consumption and production, to enable the ongoing electrification of Finland. Along with this, we will develop the electricity market and our grid operations to meet future needs.Key figures €M1−3/211−3/20change %1−12/20Turnover277.9199.639.2682.5Operating profit*85.665.231.3115.4Profit before taxes70.738.981.8113.3Profit for the period56.632.972.394.0Capital expenditure, gross36.630.619.6169.7Net cash flow from operations**112.368.564.0139.9Interest-bearing net debt940.41,066.4-11.81,049.0Balance sheet total2,274.62,133.26.62,306.8Equity ratio %30.329.0 27.4* Operating profit excluding the change in the fair value of derivatives** Net cash flow from operations, after capital expenditure Operating profit excluding the change in the fair value of derivatives was EUR 85.6 (65.2) million. The improvement in operating profit was attributable to the increase in grid service income and cross-border transmission income.Congestion income from cross-border transmission connections amounted to EUR 25.6 (24.6) million. This income will be fully used in the next few years for investments aimed at improving the transmission connections to prevent any congestion.Net cash flow from operations has gained in strength, mainly thanks to a better financial result. Main business events During January–March, the system security of Fingrid’s main grid was at a very high level and there were no significant grid disturbances affecting the electricity market. In January–March, electricity consumption in Finland totalled 24.7 (23.2) terawatt hours. In the same period, Fingrid transmitted a total of 19.4 (18.4) terawatt hours in its grid, representing 73.7 (73.9) per cent of the total electricity transmission in Finland. During this period, the electricity Fingrid transmitted to its customers amounted to 17.8 (16.6) terawatt hours, which represents 71.9 (71.6) per cent of Finland’s total consumption.Peak demand was reached on 18 February 2021, when the hourly average load reached 14,267 megawatts between 9 and 10 am. During this hour, the average power generation in Finland amounted to 11,191 megawatts and the remaining 3,076 megawatts of the average load was imported from Sweden, Russia and Estonia. The electricity supply was not in jeopardy during the peak consumption hour.Fingrid published a vision of the long-term development needs and solutions of the main grid. This grid vision is based on scenarios of the future electricity production and consumption structure. The vision indicates that, in order for Finland to reach its carbon neutrality target, grid investments amounting to billions of euros will be necessary over the next ten years.Fingrid is currently building 36 power system substations and 580 kilometres of transmission lines. An investment decision was made on the construction of the Valkeus substation in Northern Ostrobothnia to promote wind power investments. The total costs of the substation, due for completion in 2023, are estimated at roughly EUR 30 million.Fingrid’s operations continued according to plan, despite the coronavirus pandemic.Fingrid applied for a derogation period extending to 22 May 2023 for the adoption of the 15-min imbalance settlement period (ISP), and the Energy Authority granted the derogation. Events after the review period On 7 April 2021, Fingrid Oyj’s Annual General Meeting approved the financial statements for 2020 and decided on the dividend payment. The first instalment of the dividend, totalling EUR 89,980,000.00, was paid on 12 April 2021. Juhani Järvi continues as Chair of the Board of Directors, and Päivi Nerg continues as Vice Chair of the Board. The other Board members are Hannu Linna, Sanna Syri and Esko Torsti. The company has not changed its earnings guidance from what was stated in the Financial Statements Bulletin on 5 March 2021. Further information: Jukka Ruusunen, Fingrid Oyj, President & CEO+358 30 395 5140 or +358 40 593 8428 Jan Montell, Fingrid Oyj, Chief Financial Officer+358 30 395 5213 or +358 40 592 4419 Fingrid is Finland’s transmission system operator. We secure reliable electricity for our customers and society and we shape the clean and market-oriented electricity system of the future. Fingrid delivers. Responsibly. www.fingrid.fi Attachment Fingrid_Oyj_Group_Managements_Review_1_january_31_March_2021
OTTAWA — Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says the 2021 federal budget marks a historic level of investment in Indigenous communities, but he acknowledges much of this spending addresses systemic funding gaps and that longer-term, sustained spending will need to continue.The Liberal government plans to spend more than $18 billion over the next five years to narrow the socio-economic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and to help these communities fight the COVID-19 pandemic.Additional amounts have also been earmarked in other departments that will go toward helping Indigenous communities, including $2.5 billion over five years for distinctions-based early learning and child care and $108.6 million over five years for First Nations policing. The budget also promises a three-year investment of $74.8 million to improve access to justice for First Nations people through the development of an Indigenous justice strategy, aimed at tackling systemic discrimination and over-representation in the criminal justice system.While the total spending earmarked for Canada's First Peoples in Budget 2021 may be an eye-popping number compared to previous budgets, Miller says it's important to remember this reflects long-standing funding shortfalls in First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities for basic things like clean water, access to local health care and First Nations policing.“The size of the investments, they didn't come without reflection,” Miller said in an interview with The Canadian Press.“My team put a tremendous amount of effort in trying to quantify the investments in infrastructure, for example, that we need to start closing the gap in the relatively short-term as part of the general effort of stimulus and touching on the themes in the budget, fighting COVID and getting out of it in a strong way.”Investments of $6 billion over five years are included in the budget are meant to be investments for "shovel-ready projects" over the next three to five years flagged as critical infrastructure by local chiefs and communities, Miller said.This includes $1.7 billion earmarked for operations and maintenance costs of community infrastructure in communities on reserve. Maintenance spending may not be “a headline grabber,” Miller said, but is important for communities to know the federal government will support the upkeep and preservation of critical assets in their communities, including equal pay for equal work. "A very important thing I kept hearing back from Indigenous communities was, 'Where will you be after March 2021?' knowing these assets need proper planning and support over the course of their lifespan," Miller said, pointing specifically to the decades-long battle to lift First Nations boil-water advisories.Meanwhile, Indigenous Services Canada will soon launch a strategy with Indigenous communities to get a clearer sense of their long-term plans and individual needs.This will be used to quantify and put a reliable dollar figure on the of longer-term federal investments needed to help lift Indigenous communities into a more equal standard of living as non-Indigenous ones, Miller said.In his mandate letter penned in December 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tasked Miller with co-developing distinctions-based community infrastructure plans for Indigenous communities and to move forward with addressing critical needs including housing, all-weather roads, high-speed internet, health facilities, treatment centres and schools in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities by 2030. “That will require sustained investments in infrastructure over the long term,” Miller said, adding that he firmly believes Trudeau is willing to invest both the political and financial capital into turning these spending promises into a reality.Many national Indigenous organizations and groups that represent First Nations, Inuit and Metis people voiced cautious optimism about the large sums dedicated toward their unique needs in Budget 2021 after its release on Monday.Miller said he hopes all Canadians will understand the large sums secured for Indigenous communities are not "discretionary in nature," but rather should be viewed through a lens of Canada making reparations for past wrongs and righting historic funding shortfalls."That's an educational element that escapes even most of us when we see very, very large (budget) numbers. A lot of them are meant to close gaps that are unacceptable," he said."These investments are continuous and will need to be continuous as we work with Indigenous communities to right historical wrongs and to invest in the future of Indigenous Peoples."This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 23, 2021. Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press