This column is an opinion from Andrew Leach, an energy and environmental economist at the University of Alberta. It’s a tough time to be Jason Kenney. As premier of Alberta, he’s dealing with a provincial economy hobbled by oil price declines and cratered foreign investment, provincial books further in the red than the province has ever seen, and a pandemic well into its second wave. He promised jobs, economy and pipelines 18 months ago. At least the Trans Mountain pipeline still looks likely to be completed. But, if you ask him, none of the bad news is his responsibility. The oil sector’s troubles? Blame OPEC, Russia, Trudeau and maybe soon Biden. The red ink? The same, plus the NDP’s legacy of a bloated public service. The pandemic? Everyone but his government. The man who demands you take personal responsibility refuses even the smallest measure of it for himself or his government. COVID-19 cases hit record levels nearly every day now — a startling 919 new cases were identified on Nov. 7. But it’s not the case counts that hit hardest, it’s what the numbers signal. Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, reports almost daily now that our medical system is bending under the strain of new COVID cases, with more restrictions on elective procedures announced nearly every day. Health-care workers speaking out Doctors and nurses on the front lines are speaking out. We know that hospitalizations follow new cases with a lag, and with more than four times the active cases we had a month ago, we have to hope that the system can cope with the coming surge. And, worse still, we know that increased numbers of deaths will follow in the wake of the ever-increasing new cases. It was Premier Kenney who decided we should wait until our hospital system was strained to consider more actions to prevent transmission and, when anyone questioned this approach, the premier’s army of issues managers were quick to ask why they didn’t trust the province’s chief medical officer of health. Honest advice, loyal implementation and please don’t mind the rapidly approaching bus, Dr. Hinshaw. I’m sure Premier Kenney will stand behind you when things start to get ugly. On Nov. 6, Premier Kenney joined Dr. Hinshaw at her COVID briefing for the first time in months. He started, incomprehensibly, with a victory lap, claiming that his government had created one of the best testing and tracing systems in Canada. You’d be forgiven for thinking that everything was working just fine and according to plan. We learned that it wasn’t. It had been announced only a day earlier that AHS was giving up on effective contact tracing for most cases, downloading that responsibility to Albertans as well. This didn’t have to be the case. We’ve seen rising case counts here and elsewhere for months. We knew that, with the measures our government was prepared to implement, cases were doubling rapidly and would continue to do so. More new cases, and thus the need for more contact tracers was predictable, but rest assured it’s not the premier’s fault. No one should be surprised that calls for personal responsibility alone could not solve a provincewide collective action problem. Last week, we also learned that many people with COVID-19 travelled, worked or attended social events while symptomatic. To some degree, that responsibility lies with the people, but as far as working is concerned, that’s not an easy choice for some people to make. Dr. Hinshaw, concerned as ever, asked that employers “support their staff to [take time off] wherever possible.” The federal government has provided emergency benefits for this, which were oddly not mentioned. Mention of any help provided by Premier Kenney’s government was also absent from the briefing, because they’ve not provided much at all, other than a provision to allow employees to take unpaid leave without risk of being laid off. Schools could be next The next shoe to drop is likely going to be schools. As schools reopened in the fall, there were concerns with Alberta’s already-rising case counts. While there is no magic number for safe schools, metrics proposed by Harvard’s Global Health Institute hold that safe school openings can happen, with appropriate safeguards, if a jurisdiction is seeing fewer than 25 daily new cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Over the past four days, we’ve averaged 17.5 new cases per 100,000 across the province, with numbers expected to rise in the coming weeks. More cases mean more contacts, more students and staff in isolation, more strain on teachers, and eventually the system will not be able to cope. If schools can’t operate consistently, that’s going to place a heavier and heavier price on parents with kids, especially single parents and those with jobs that can’t be done remotely. As case counts have risen, we’ve heard that “it’s time to up our game,” and that some among us need to “knock it off,” but even Premier Kenney and his ministers can’t make that happen. WATCH | Jason Kenney tells Albertans to stop having gatherings at home About 48 hours after asking Albertans to give up their social gatherings and to be personally responsible, there was the premier at an indoor event in Grande Prairie. Other ministers’ social media accounts routinely show similar gatherings. Knock it off, indeed. Many of us have given up a lot of things that matter to us for months now, and the premier couldn’t muster enough personal responsibility to pass up the chance to give a speech as the second wave of the pandemic spirals out of control. There is no trade-off between health and the economy — the economy is the people, and the virus is what’s keeping things from getting back to full speed. Just as a government can create economic activity with debt-financed spending, we can stimulate economic activity in the short term by avoiding public health guidance, but it won’t last. Just like so much borrowed money, the public health bill is coming due in Alberta. The question is, who is going to pay it? If things keep going down the path we’re on, we’re going to see costs fall disproportionately on the backs of some Albertans, while the premier and his government resist taking on costs on our behalf. Fear and goodwill not enough Premier Kenney is banking on a combination of fear and goodwill being enough to keep new case counts from continuing to grow exponentially. So far, that’s not working, and I can’t find any evidence of such things working elsewhere once case levels are as high as they are here. Rather, we’ve seen plenty of examples, notably in the U.K., where a delayed reaction saw growing case numbers quickly close off less draconian options than a hard lockdown. We do see evidence of success from other policies, from relatively early lockdowns in Australia reducing community transmission to zero, to aggressive tracking, tracing and isolation measures in jurisdictions like New Zealand keeping the virus largely at bay thus far. There is no one best solution, and certainly no magic solution that comes without costs of its own. As we allow the number of active cases to grow, we’ll quickly come to face more and more extreme choices. The role of government is to co-ordinate collective action toward a common goal and to ensure that everyone pays their fair share of the freight. And right now, that’s not happening. We can afford millions to fund a war room and a witch hunt, and billions for new oil and gas projects, but we can’t muster more than a good scolding to fight the pandemic? It’s time to knock it off, and take some personal responsibility, Premier Kenney. This column is an opinion. For more information about our commentary section, please read our FAQ.
6 star players the Raptors could sign as free agents in 2021 | Offside – Daily Hive
The Raptors reportedly refused to offer either player more than one-year deals in the name of cap flexibility, with a historically-great crop of players potentially available in 2021.
Masai Ujiri will have plenty of options, beginning with his own team. Kyle Lowry is set to become a free agent, while Norman Powell could opt out of the final year of his contract.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the top pending free agents in 2021, with an eye on who the Raptors might throw money at.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Position: Power forward
2019-20 stats: 29.5 PTS, 13.6 REB, 5.6 AST
Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the most sought after free agent in 2021, and there’s a very real possibility that the Raptors could be a top contender to sign him.
Ujiri helped Giannis’ family emigrate from Nigeria to Greece, and the Raptors president wanted to draft him in 2013.
Getting a player of Antetokounmpo’s ability at age 25, in a position the Raptors covet no less, would be a franchise-changer.
2. Kawhi Leonard (LA Clippers)
Position: Small forward
2019-20 stats: 27.1 PTS, 7.1 REB, 4.9 AST
He wouldn’t, would he? But what if he did?
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and perhaps after two years in Los Angeles, Kawhi Leonard would like to rekindle some magic back in Toronto.
It’s a long shot, but the Clippers did have a disappointing playoffs and reportedly have a fractured locker room. If the team falls apart again this season, maybe it’s enough for Kawhi to leave as a free agent, as he has a player option for 2021-22.
3. Paul George (LA Clippers)
Position: Shooting guard
2019-20 stats: 21.5 PTS, 5.7 REB, 3.9 AST
If Kawhi wants out of LA, maybe Paul George will too. And if Leonard doesn’t opt for a Toronto reunion, perhaps Ujiri can convince George to come north of the border.
Crazier things have happened.
4. DeMar DeRozan (San Antonio Spurs)
Position: Small forward
2019-20 stats: 22.1 PTS, 5.5 REB, 5.6 AST
Speaking of reunions, wouldn’t this be fun? DeMar DeRozan loved his time in Toronto and was heartbroken when the Raptors traded him to San Antonio in 2018. But perhaps that broken heart has been mended.
According to a recent story in GQ, DeRozan and Ujiri made up in the NBA bubble in Orlando. DeRozan gave the Raptors executive a “big hug,” according to Ujiri, who added that he felt they had “reached a new place.”
5. Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
2019-20 stats: 15.1 PTS, 13.5 REB, 1.5 AST
Seven-foot-one French centre Rudy Gobert is an intriguing piece. A two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Gobert would fit in well to the Raptors’ commitment to defence.
6. Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers)
Position: Shooting guard
2019-20 stats: 14.5 PTS, 3.9 REB, 2.9 AST
Victor Oladipo wants out of Indiana, and openly campaigned for a trade to the Raptors during in front of his teammates last season, according to a report in the Indianapolis Star.
While that’s clearly outrageous, it is an indication that the two-time NBA All-Star wants out of Indiana. Named to the All-Defensive First Team in 2018, Oladipo would help at both ends of the court.
Report: Four more Baltimore Ravens test positive for COVID-19 – TSN
Four more Baltimore Ravens’ players and one more staff member have tested positive for COVID-19, according to ESPN ‘s Adam Schefter.
The Ravens were set to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday night, but the game was switched to Sunday afternoon because of the coronavirus issues with Baltimore.
According to Schefter, Ravens players were told today by their head coach John Harbaugh that, for everyone’s safety, they will not be allowed back in the training facility until Monday at the earliest.
The Ravens placed defensive end Jihad Ward on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday.
Ward, who has been inactive for the past four games, becomes the eighth player, and third defensive lineman, to go on the reserve list this week. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Ravens had seven players who tested positive for COVID-19 or were identified as close contacts.
Members of the Ravens’ coaching staff and support staff also have tested positive.
A source told ESPN that a strength and conditioning coach for the Ravens didn’t report symptoms and didn’t always wear a mask inside the facility. That coach was suspended by the team on Wednesday.
– With files from ESPN
Infographic: The life of Diego Maradona – Al Jazeera English
The life and career of Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, who has died at the age of 60.
Argentinian football icon Diego Maradona died on Wednesday from a heart attack at just 60 years old, following years of health problems.
Three days of national mourning were called for the player who led Argentina to a 1986 World Cup win and is revered with cult-like status.
He is regarded as one of the best footballers ever and was the joint winner of the FIFA’s Player of the Century award alongside Pele in the year 2000.
The excellent LG CX OLED TV continues to be a Black Friday deal winner – TechRadar
30 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Simcoe Muskoka, local total reaches 1,983 – Global News
Bank of Canada: Vaccine Could Trigger Swift Economic Rebound – Voice of America
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Galaxy M31 July 2020 security update brings Glance, a content-driven lockscreen wallpaper service
Tech23 hours ago
Sony Provides PlayStation 5 Restock Update for the Holidays
Economy5 hours ago
Coronavirus vaccine could help economy recover faster than expected
Art5 hours ago
Students explore art themes in Re/LAUNCH/ing, vol. 3
Tech4 hours ago
Walmart Black Friday 2020: The best deals you can get right now – Tom's Guide
Politics15 hours ago
Secret recordings reveal political directives, tension over Alberta's pandemic response – CBC.ca
Sports40 mins ago
6 star players the Raptors could sign as free agents in 2021 | Offside – Daily Hive
Tech2 hours ago
New MacBook Pro Facing Another Awkward Problem – Forbes
Tech21 hours ago
AirPods Pro now just $169 thanks to Walmart Black Friday deal – What Hi-Fi?