Connect with us

Canada

Ontario Ministry of Education cuts ties with WE, says will investigate contracts

TORONTO — The Ontario Ministry of Education says it will not renew its contract with We Charity and will investigate any expenditures to date.

Alexandra Adamo, a spokeswoman for Education Minister Stephen Lecce, says the Ontario government is deeply concerned and troubled by the allegations that have been made against WE.

In an email, she says this is taxpayer money and hard working people in the province deserve to know that their money is delivering value.

Adamo says the allegations, which she did not specify, raise serious questions.

On June 18, the ministry announced that it would give WE Charity $250,000 for a year-long education program that aims to nurture empathy and compassion in students and increase student outcomes in academic engagement, workplace readiness, and citizenship.

Adamo said she believes that education may be the only Ontario ministry that has funded WE.

“These allegations raise serious questions,” she wrote in an email Friday. “That is why the Ministry of Education has been directed to not renew the contract with WE and to investigate expenditures to date.”

Earlier Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he knew there would be problems with perception over having WE Charity run a $900-million student-volunteer program, but he believed there was no conflict of interest because his family would not benefit.

The prime minister testified Thursday that he didn’t learn WE had been chosen by the public service to run the program until May 8, shortly before the arrangement was to be taken to cabinet for approval.

Trudeau said that’s when he put the brakes on the deal.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he doesn’t buy Trudeau’s account.

Several sponsors have cut ties with the WE brand, including Royal Bank of Canada, Loblaw Companies Ltd., Good Life Fitness and Virgin Atlantic Airways, although WE has called the moves a mutual agreement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 31, 2020.

 

 

 

 

The Canadian Press

Continue Reading
Comments

Canada

Feds earmark $3.3B for provinces, territories for COVID-19 infrastructure

OTTAWA — The federal government is moving ahead with plans to make it easier for provinces and territories to spend billions of dollars on infrastructure projects to address the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna says $3.3 billion out of the $33 billion that Ottawa has previously promised in matching funds for provincial and territorial projects will be available for projects related to the pandemic.

Those projects include retrofits to public buildings such as schools and long-term care facilities, measures related to physical distancing such as new bike and walking paths and those designed to protect against floods and wildfires.

McKenna says the federal government plans to introduce a faster application process for provinces and territories to apply for federal funds, with Ottawa footing up to 80 per cent of the bills for approved projects.

The new approach comes as most provinces are looking at re-opening schools in the next month and trying to guard against new outbreaks of COVID-19 at nursing homes.

While the measure is expected to be welcomed by provinces and territories, each must sign an agreement with the federal government before it can apply for funding.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

Canada

Calgary Zoo worried about giant pandas as bamboo supply running out

CALGARY — Time and food supplies are running out for two giant pandas at the Calgary Zoo.

Er Shun and Da Mao arrived in Calgary in 2018 after spending five years at the Toronto Zoo and were to remain in the Alberta city until 2023.

Calgary Zoo president Clement Lanthier says the facility spent months trying to overcome transportation barriers in acquiring fresh bamboo and decided in May that it was best for the animals to be in China, where their main food source is abundant.

But he says the Zoo hasn’t been able to approve international permits, as the COVID-19 pandemic created changes to import laws and animal quarantine facilities.

Lanthier says the continued travel delay is putting the health and welfare of the animals in jeopardy.

He says the zoo is only able to source fresh bamboo reliably from British Columbia, and that supply is expected to run out in September.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Aug. 5, 2020

a??????????????

The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

Canada

COVID-19 fallout: Ottawa announces details of support program for fishermen

HALIFAX — The federal government has announced details of a $469-million program aimed at helping Canada’s fish harvesters deal with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan issued a statement today saying the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program, which was first announced in May, will be open for applications from Aug. 24 to Sept. 21.

Jordan says the program represents the single largest investment in Canada’s fisheries in nearly two decades.

The minister says the program is designed to address unique challenges facing the seasonal industry.

Detailed information about the application process for financial support is now available online from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website.

Meanwhile, the federal government says it is still working on a program — also announced in May — that will allow self-employed fishermen to access employment insurance benefits on the basis of insurable earnings from previous seasons.

Earlier this year, Ottawa announced a $62-million program to help stabilize  the fish and seafood processing sectors, and another $50 million was pledged to help farmers, fish harvesters and food-processing employers deal with the mandatory 14-day isolation period required of all workers arriving from abroad.

 “Our fisheries operate under a unique structure and have faced distinct challenges throughout this pandemic,” Jordan said in a statement. “We’ve been working around the clock to develop a simple, accessible system to deliver over $469 million to Canada’s fish harvesters as smoothly and quickly as possible.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 DAILY PATRON powered by Media Nri Ltd.