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Blair approves request to boost RCMP presence as Nova Scotia lobster fishery dispute escalates



Saturday’s suspicious fire is latest development in mounting lobster harvest conflict

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has greenlighted a request for additional RCMP support in Nova Scotia amid criticism that Ottawa has not done enough to protect community members embroiled in a bitter conflict over a First Nations lobster harvest in that province. 

“Policing in Nova Scotia is within provincial jurisdiction,” Blair said in a statement released Saturday. “I have now approved a request from Nova Scotia’s attorney general to enhance the presence of contracted RCMP resources as needed in that jurisdiction in order to keep the peace.”

The minister’s office told CBC News that the request was approved on Friday and that the number of officers sent to the region will be determined by the province and its RCMP.

The announcement comes after a fire levelled a lobster pound in Middle West Pubnico, N.S., on Saturday morning. 

Nova Scotia RCMP have deemed the blaze suspicious and said a man is in hospital with life-threatening injuries. Spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Joyce told CBC News that the injured individual is an “adult male who is considered a person of interest.” 

The fire broke out at one of two facilities in the province’s southwest region that were targeted by commercial fishermen on Tuesday protesting the “moderate livelihood” fishery launched by Sipekne’katik First Nation last month. 

The fishery is operating outside the federally mandated commercial season, causing many commercial lobster fishermen to worry about its impact on lobster conservation. 

The Mi’kmaw, who were storing their catches at the facilities, say they are exercising their treaty right to earn a moderate livelihood from fishing, a right affirmed by a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada ruling. 

Sipekne’katik chief: ‘Maybe it’s time for the military’

Before the announcement, Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack called on Ottawa to beef up the number of officers in the area.

“We’re not told numbers in general, but very understaffed. Like, 300 commercial fishermen on the wharf, 40 or 50 of us [and] 12 officers,” Sack said during a news conference on Saturday. “Maybe it’s time for the military to come in and assist.”

Sack has been increasingly critical of the federal government’s failure to intervene in the conflict.

“You know, they’re sitting in their office, safe as can be, saying we need safety out here. Send enforcement down. Like, do your job. Protect Canadians. We’re all Canadians. Come here, protect us and don’t just tweet about it,” he said Thursday. 

Blair said that Nova Scotia RCMP had “increased their police presence in the affected area each day.”

“Officers remain on scene and have assembled investigative teams to actively gather evidence to support any additional criminal charges necessary,” his statement read. “More details will be released by the Nova Scotia RCMP and provincial authorities as they become available.”



Sask. NDP needs to reorganize, gain ground with rural voters, say experts




Results in 8 constituencies still too close to call

Pat Atkinson says the Saskatchewan NDP needs to reorganize after disappointing results in the 2020 general election. 

She said the party missed the mark with its campaign message in comparison to the Sask. Party, which repeatedly reminded people about the NDP’s decades-old 

“Elections are always about the economy and I think the Sask. Party did a really good job of defining us, and we didn’t fight back,” Atkinson, a former NDP Finance and Education Minister who retired in 2011 as Saskatchewan’s longest-serving female MLA, said.

Atkinson said the party should have went on the offensive harder. 

“We had lots of ammunition to fight back with.” 

She pointed to the NDP having reduced provincial debt when it was in power in the 1990s, the province’s current $2.1-billion deficit, the near $24-billion debt load and the Sask. Party’s small number of balanced budgets. 

Atkinson said the NDP needed to get 20 seats in the 2020 election if it wanted to become a “government in waiting.” The party is projected to have at least 11 seats. There are still eight constituencies hanging in the balance, including the seat of party leader Ryan Meili, with tens of thousands of mail-in ballots still to be counted. Meili trails his opponent Rylund Hunter by 83 votes, with as many as 1,656 mail-in ballots to be counted in the riding. 

No resonance in rural 

The Sask. Party’s ascension to a fourth majority government has been propelled by rural constituencies. 

“It’s still very clear that there’s no resonance whatsoever in rural Saskatchewan —  and that’s a third of the province,” Tom McIntosh, a professor of political studies at the University of Regina, said. He noted how the Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan — formed in March — achieved more votes than the NDP in four constituencies. The Buffalo Party took 2.9 per cent of the total votes counted Monday with 17 candidates.

McIntosh said the NDP needs to come up with a message that will resonate with rural people if it intends to move forward. 

Atkinson said the party wasn’t able to motivate the rural supporters it does have to get out. 

“A lot of [rural] New Democrats are afraid to show their head, or to put their head up, because they feel as though their  constituency is so overwhelming Sask. Party and it can be demoralizing.” 

Atkinson said the party had some optimism after Meili seemed to have a successful Leaders’ Debate, but she doesn’t believe that mobilized voters either. 

City ‘machine’ lacking

McIntosh said the NDP appears to have support, but is lacking activists and supporters who are willing to work on behalf of the party — people who will pound the pavement, get the message out and get others to the polls. 

“There doesn’t seem to be the machine there to deliver that vote that there seemed to be a couple of decades ago.”

Atikinson said there is a small glimmer of hope for the party to make ground in the city. The constituencies that haven’t been called are all urban. Several are riding where the party was trying to make gains. However, three of them are seats that were previously held by the NDP. 

There were more than 61,000 mail-in ballots requested in the province. Atkinson said people who vote New Democrat have been reported as more likely to vote by mail due to COVID-19 concerns. 

Elections Saskatchewan will begin counting the thousands of mail-in ballots tomorrow beginning with the tightest races. “It’s not over yet,” Atkinson said. Regardless of if the party does gain additional seats, she said it needs to rethink its strategy moving forward. 

Moving forward 

Atkinson said the NDP is struggling, but that she believes the Sask. Party is also up against big challenges in the next four years. 

“Our economy is in the tank right now. I don’t see the resource sector coming back anytime soon and we’re going to have significant problems coming out of this pandemic in terms of GDP growth.” 

She also said the new caucus, which includes multiple rookie MLAs, will have to be tougher and attack harder moving forward. 

“We’re going to really have to focus on the weakness of the Sask. Party.” 


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Friends and former Oilers remember beloved local sports figure Joey Moss




‘He was a close friend and he made me smile each day,’ Wayne Gretzky says

Reaction from across Edmonton and the hockey world is pouring in for beloved local sports figure Joey Moss.

Moss, 57, died on Monday afternoon. He was a locker room attendant for the Edmonton Oilers and Edmonton Football Team for decades and was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

Moss, who was born with Down syndrome, got his start with the Oilers during the 1984-85 season after Wayne Gretzky noticed him catching a bus in the winter and convinced the team’s general manager, Glen Sather, to find a role for him in the locker room.

Gretzky told CBC Edmonton Tuesday he has heard from many other former Oilers talk about how much the longtime local sports presence did for all of them.

“He’s a special young man,” Gretzky.

“He was a close friend and he made me smile each day and those are things I won’t forget.” 

He proved no matter the obstacle, anything can be achieved. We remember the life of Joey Moss. 8:10

Gretzky quickly developed a bond with Moss, partly because he had an aunt in his family who also had Down syndrome. The two lived together for a year and a half while Gretzky played for the Oilers. But his memories of Moss don’t just revolve around what he did for the Oilers, Gretzky said, adding that Moss was an inspiration for parents of children with disabilities.

“As much as Joey did for all of us, and he did a lot … [he] gave their kids opportunities and I think that’s what people are most thankful about,” Gretzky said.

Moss was also remembered by former members of the Oilers’ training staff who shared their condolences and memories of him on Tuesday.

“I really feel like he made everyone in that room a better person when he left that room,” said former equipment manager Lyle ‘Sparky’ Kulchisky, who said he was thankful to see Moss in hospital on Sunday to say goodbye.

Former head equipment-manager Barrie Stafford added that the team’s players and staff were energized by Moss throughout his more than 30-year career with the team.

“He wasn’t afraid to bark back at any player, it didn’t matter who they were whether it was the coach or Wayne or whoever,” Stafford said.

“He was just a ball of joy and happiness and he passed that on all the time.”

Mayor Don Iveson was emotional when talking about Moss’ death on Tuesday, calling it heartbreaking news for the city.

“As mayor, I got to meet him a number of times and (he’s) just a delightful human being, and it’s sad,” Iveson said.

“He was a great guy, so the loss is deeply felt in our city today.”

During his life, Moss was honoured with the NHL Alumni Association’s “Seventh Man Award” for behind-the-scene efforts in the lives of others, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and a mural in Edmonton for his work with both of the city’s major sports teams.

Twitter users shared their own memories of Moss on Tuesday, both as an inspirational and motivating figure, and as a community member in Edmonton.


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Green Leader Annamie Paul says her byelection result should serve as a warning to the Liberals




‘They can’t take any riding for granted,’ Paul says after strong showing in Toronto Centre

Having lost her recent bid to enter the House of Commons, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul says she will consult with her caucus before deciding where to run next while working to grow her party’s profile nationally.

Paul ran in Monday night’s by election in Toronto Centre, hoping to secure a seat in the riding where she grew up. The seat became available when former finance minister Bill Morneau resigned earlier this year.

The Green leader finished second to the Liberals’ Marci Ien, securing almost 33 per cent of the vote to Ien’s 42 per cent — a great improvement over Paul’s last run in the riding in 2019, when she took just over seven per cent of the vote.

“I feel encouraged because we’ve done historic things twice in one month. This is the best result we’ve ever seen in Ontario for a Green Party [candidate] and, of course, electing me [as party leader] was history as well,” Paul told CBC News.

While Paul did improve her party’s performance in a Liberal stronghold, observers are cautious about what that improved performance means.

“In terms of greater political trends, byelections are … the worst yardstick you can use, because they are very specific to one riding and they are very specific to the dynamics on the ground,” Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute, told CBC News. 

Kurl pointed out that voter turnout is typically low in byelections — 25,203 people cast a vote yesterday in Toronto Centre, up slightly from the 54,512 who turned in a ballot in 2019 — and that can deliver results that are difficult to analyze.

Green Party members may have been more motivated to vote, said Kurl, because they were casting a ballot for a newly elected party leader — while Liberal Party supporters were being asked to come out and vote in the middle of a pandemic to support an ordinary candidate. 

Liberals can’t take anything for granted: Paul

Paul is unwilling to attribute her byelection performance to the pandemic’s effect on voter turnout. 

“The fact that the Green Party and our campaign was able to come within nine points of taking that riding, with all the constraints of running in a pandemic … should tell [the Liberals] first that the Greens are here. We’re going to be a very competitive option in the next election and they can’t take any riding for granted,” Paul said.

Elizabeth May, former party leader and the current leader of the Greens in the House of Commons, said she was inspired by Paul’s byelection campaign. She said she does not anticipate Paul will be asking her to give up her seat in Saanich-Gulf Islands so that the new leader can run there.

“I certainly wouldn’t say no if Annamie were to ask me, but I think I think the voters of Saanich-Gulf Islands would find it inconsistent with everything I’ve ever said about my job as their MP, to think I could lend the seat to Annamie and then maybe come back later and take it again,” May said. “I mean, there’s something about that that … really doesn’t fit with our approach to democracy.”

Paul said she has no intention of asking May to step back from the riding.

“If we were able to get one in three people to vote for us in a riding that the Liberals have held since 1993, and eat into their vote there and eat into the NDP vote, then it means we can run competitively in a lot of places that we weren’t able to in the last election,” Paul said.

“We’re not looking to substitute seats. We’re looking to gain seats.”

Paul said she will discuss where she should run next for a seat with her caucus and party colleagues.

“We haven’t made any decisions, we’re not prejudging any of that, we’re going to look at every single riding and think about where it makes the most sense for me to run,” she said. “Nothing has been ruled out and nothing has been ruled in at this point.”


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Gov. Cuomo adds California to New York’s COVID-19 travel quarantine list




Gov. Cuomo adds California to New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo added California to New York’s COVID-19 travel advisory, requiring travelers from the Golden State to quarantine for 14 days.

The average number of daily new cases in California is rising, the state’s data shows.

Over the past two weeks, California has reported an average of about 3,699 new cases per day as of Monday.

New York’s travel advisory applies to any state where the rate of positive tests is higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, based on a seven-day average.

New York’s quarantine rules now apply to 39 states, Guam and Puerto Rico remain on the list.

Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania also qualify for the advisory, Cuomo said, but a “quarantine on these states is not practically viable.”

“We know COVID is spreading at increased rates in other states and New York State is not in a hermetically sealed bubble,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We cannot let our guard down and risk going backwards in New York. It’s going to take the work of all of us to remain vigilant.”

COVID-19 cases are rising in New York state. Cuomo’s office noted that the number of people currently hospitalized in New York with Covid-19 rose to 1,083, up 24 in a day.

The percent of positive tests in New York City alone rose to 1.7% on Monday, up from 1.4% on Sunday.

“The numbers are a reminder that COVID is still here and continues to spread in communities across the state, particularly when people choose not to follow the safety protocols in place to control the virus,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We continue to see outbreaks linked to mass gatherings at houses of worship, at weddings and funerals, and other events where the virus can quickly spread.”


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How ‘The Masked Singer’ designer creates those wacky costumes




The calling card of “The Masked Singer” has always been its eye-catching costumes, which take center stage on each episode of the top-rated series, now its fourth season on Fox.

But this season’s over-the-top creations — Giraffe, Snow Owl, Baby Alien, Mushroom et al. — were designed with TV’s current climate in mind, says Marina Toybina, the show’s award-winning costume designer who’s been with “The Masked Singer” since its January 2019 premiere.

“Every season we try to do something different, but this season was special because of so many different variables and obstacles with every show in production,” says Toybina, alluding to the pandemic. “We really wanted this season to be colorful and fun and big and happy, to put smiles on the viewers’ faces.”

Mission accomplished. “The Masked Singer” remains one of TV’s top draws; its Oct. 14 episode averaged nearly 11 million viewers, who watched Mark Sanchez revealed as the singer beneath Baby Alien.

(Wednesday night’s episode, airing at 8 p.m., will be pushed to next week if there’s a Game 7 of the World Series.)

“We’re trying to step out of the box this season in the ways we’re building our masks and costumes,” says Toybina. “Baby Alien was the first time we ever did a puppet. We thought, ‘What can we do that’s so extravagant and captivating to watch?’

“The Snow Owl was our first dual costume,” she says. “We didn’t want it to be traditional — we wanted to expose two characters in there — and the two owls came into play, and from there it was incorporating more ornate details into the visuals. So we decided to put them in a Faberge egg, and from there the costume grew.”

Toybina says that she’s influenced by different elements in coming up with each season’s costumes.

“I try to push my own creative envelope in using resources from film, theater or the little things I’m inspired by,” she says. “Every time I think of a new character it’s important to come up with a story for that character. For the Giraffe [this season], I didn’t want it to be the typical giraffe. I wanted it to be soft and pastel and friendly; I’m highly interested in period costumes, so it has that idea of royal richness.

“It’s almost like my Marie Antoinette inspiration.”

Marina Toybina

Marina Toybina

Toybina says she’s aware of the costumes being created for the international versions of “The Masked Singer” (which originated in South Korea): “We always try to keep our designs unique … the most random thoughts sometimes come into my head. Sometimes we get to see who’s a season ahead of us and what they’re experimenting with — but I try to stay minimal as far as resourcing other ideas.”

“Every single costume has never been a repeat from the way it’s been sewn and built and we’ve used so many beautiful techniques,” she says. “I would say, on the technical side, Lady Bug [from Season 2] was one of my favorites. I was really into the couture vibe in its construction. And the Swan [Season 3], which was more of a fashion approach from the costuming side — and White Tiger [Season 3] and Baby Alien.”

Each costume needs weekly maintenance, depending on what celebrity is underneath, she says.

“It varies. There’s a lot of labor from the initial fitting to the details and tailoring and during that process we make sure each costume is durable. There are some performances that are heavy, where maintenance comes in — we make sure the beading stays on or the masks are intact. If we know it’s a [more intense] performer we choose a fabric and details to avoid crazy wear and tear or a malfunction — and we’ve had neither, knock on wood.”

And, Toybina says, work on the next season’s costumes starts immediately after the current season ends.

“Once we wrap the season we go right into the artwork for the next season,” she says. “Each build takes from two to six weeks. Most people think it takes us six months to build each costume — I’d be lucky if we had two-and-a-half months!”


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Chef de mission McBean tells athletes to keep course in buildup to 2021 Olympics




3-time gold medallist familiar with adversity, says goals remain unchanged

When Marnie McBean heard a knee ligament ‘pop’ just months before the 1992 Summer Olympics, she thought her Games were over.

She overcame the hurdle and went on to win two gold medals in rowing that summer in Barcelona.

McBean brings first-hand experience of conquering challenges to her role as Canadian chef de mission at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. But rather than offering motivational talks for athletes as they train during the COVID-19 pandemic, McBean is encouraging them to focus on what they can do each day.

“The way to overcome challenges is you pick your new path, the goal doesn’t have to change,” she said.

The IOC and Tokyo organizers recently provided a lengthy virtual presentation on the Games for the over 200 chefs de mission around the world. McBean said she was pleased to hear they’re examining how all kinds of events are being run during the pandemic – from well-financed competitions to those with limited funding – and studying what has and hasn’t worked.

Canada’s chef de mission for Tokyo discusses Rule 50, the importance of a COVID-19 vaccine and the logistics of a 2021 Olympics. 8:28

Many Olympic qualifications and test events are on tap this spring.

“We’ll see the counter-measures being tested then,” she told The Canadian Press from Toronto. “That’s when things are going to start moving from the in-pencil page over to the ink page.”

McBean called the IOC/Tokyo update a “massive presentation” with a lot of information. She liked how organizers framed the Games – now scheduled to begin July 23, 2021 – as being “simple, safe and secure.”

“One of the things that we took from this is that we feel really great that everything that was coming out is very much in line with a lot of the plans that we’re anticipating for Team Canada,” McBean said. “There’s a lot going on and there’s still a lot of unknown.”

Many big Olympic questions still remain unanswered. Specifics on how the Games will actually run – with thousands of athletes, officials, media members and broadcasters set to descend on Japan next summer – may not come until next year.

After winning Olympic gold in 1992 and 1996, canadian rower Marnie McBean came back in 2000, before a back injury forced her to withdraw from competition. 2:37

Pandemic developments over the coming months and their impact on sport are tough to predict. In the meantime, athletes are doing their best to maintain their training levels.

McBean has kept busy connecting virtually with hundreds of athletes and notes they’ve been making big gains even though competitions were postponed.

“Many of them were posting personal bests,” she said. “Whether it was in the weight room or in a training-type environment, which I think bodes really well for competition, which they really are keen and eager [for] and they miss. They miss competition, they miss having something in their calendar that’s real.”

McBean wants athletes to “turn up the volume” on the positive things that are happening in their lives. That could mean improved training sessions, getting through injuries, or even just communicating more with family.

“I’ve been telling my stories of my Olympic Games for like 20-plus years and they’re going to be telling this story for 20-plus years,” McBean said. “And so this is their story. Figure out how to be proud of the story that they’re living right now.”

Canada’s chef de mission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics believes being even a small part of Olympians’ success means a job well done. 2:00

She compared the situation to using a navigation app that is always recalculating while trying to figure out the best route to a destination.

“Take the next step,” McBean said. “You might not know what 20 steps from now is going to be but you know what the next step is going to be. You know what today is. You know you’re preparing for excellent competition. And the rest of the steps will be determined as we recalculate and figure it out.”

Another one of her main messages for athletes is that they are “going to come through this,” so be prepared to soar.

“I’m a rower. Somebody always wins when the conditions are terrible,” she said. “And so you want to make sure that you’re the person who can do that.”


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Keith Raniere, NXIVM Leader and ‘The Vow’ Subject, Gets 120 Years in Prison




Keith Raniere, the NXIVM cult leader featured in The Vow and Seducedhas been sentenced to 120 years in prison, the New York Times reports. Raniere’s sentencing comes after he was first convicted on seven charges in 2019, including racketeering, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of a child and human trafficking.

Raniere was sentenced today in Brooklyn, where 15 of his victims provided testimony over the course of multiple hours. One victim testified that she was only 15 years old in 2005 when Raniere, then 45 years old, began having sex with her. “I want to move on, but he has damaged me in so many ways,” she said.

Another statement during the sentencing came from India Oxenberg, who said Raniere tried to turn her against her mother, Catherine Oxenberg. India said Raniere encouraged her to maintain a dangerously thin weight and expected her to wait for him, naked. “You are a sexual predator, and you raped me,” she said. “When you touched me, I recoiled.”

Barbara Bouchey and Toni Natalie also shared statements, and NXIVM whistleblowers Mark Vicente and Sarah Edmondson appeared at the sentencing via video.

Raniere, who held onto some loyal supporters despite his trial and conviction, has not expressed any regret for his actions, and was silent after today’s conviction. In an interview with NBC News last week, per Entertainment Tonight, he maintained his innocence. “Although it is, this is a horrible tragedy with many, many people being hurt, I think the main thrust of this has been the oppression but really a different issue, which is hard for me to express,” he said. “There is a horrible injustice here. And whether you think I’m the devil or not, the justice process has to be examined.”

Last month, NXIVM member Clare Bronfman was also sentenced. The Seagram’s heiress and Raniere benefactor received 81 months for her role in the sex cult that branded women, but still maintained her support for the cult leader. In a letter to the court this summer, Bronfman insisted she “never meant to hurt anyone, however I have and for this I am deeply sorry.” She added, “Nxivm and Keith greatly changed my life for the better.”

Where to watch The Vow 

Where to watch Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult


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Washington, DC Revel rider dies after police chase ends in tragedy




Washington, DC Revel rider dies after police chase ends in tragedy

A Revel moped rider in Washington, D.C. was fatally struck while being chased by police for riding without a helmet on the sidewalk, according to reports.

Karon Hylton, 20, died Monday, three days after the Friday night police pursuit, which ended in him “colliding” with a passenger vehicle, NBC4 Washington reported.

The chase began just after 10 p.m. when officers caught Hylton riding helmetless on the sidewalk on Kennedy Street in the Northwest Washington neighborhood of Brightwood Park.

When cops attempted a traffic stop, Hilton zipped through a nearby alley, turned back onto Kennedy Street and “collided with a passenger vehicle,” the Metropolitan Police Department said.

His loved ones blamed police for his death.

“It’s mind-boggling. This was so unnecessary,” Hylton’s girlfriend Amaala Jones-Bey told NBC4.

A protest has been planned for Wednesday night, the outlet said.

Hylton is the first Revel rider ever killed in D.C., but the company’s fourth fatality this year.

The other three fatal collisions occurred in New York City in the the span of 10 days in July, spurring the company to shutter its New York City operation for a month.

CEO Frank Reig expressed condolences for Hylton’s death.

“Our sympathies are with Mr. Hylton’s family,” Reig said in a statement to NBC4.

“As this incident is under investigation, we’re awaiting more details at this time.”


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