"People really don't understand that not all face coverings are equal and that there are some that are going to be more or less effective," said a Johns Hopkins scholar.Leads to 110% droplet transmission »
Doréa Dee liked tending to her flower garden, cooking for the many guests who stopped by her New Richmond, Que., home and, above all, going out to a restaurant for a nice dinner."Chicken wings, that was her little treat," said her son, Régis Leblanc, who moved back to the Gaspé Peninsula as an adult to care for his aging parents.Leblanc last saw his 86-year-old mother on March 8 at her favourite spot, a café called l'Auberge du Marchand. His sister, Évangéline Leblanc, had come home for a week-long visit. It would be her last before Dee died of COVID-19 on April 7."We always had a great time, but that week was particularly special. It was just perfect," said Évangéline, her voice breaking.Along with thousands of families across Quebec, Dee's children are trying to make sense of their grief, robbed of the traditional rites they had hoped for their mother.'Engulfed into the system'Doréa Dee moved into the Manoir du Havre, a private seniors' home, in March 2019, preferring it to the larger residence she was living in following her husband's death in 2017.She needed a walker to get around but "was quick as a whip" and liked helping staff care for the other residents, her son said. "It gave her a sense of purpose for her life there."Early on in the pandemic, on March 31, the Manoir du Havre, in Maria, Que., was the first long-term care home in the Gaspé region to be infected with cases of COVID-19. In total, 28 residents tested positive and six died.When the first cases were reported, Dee was tested at the hospital in Maria and immediately transferred by air ambulance to Quebec City's Enfant-Jésus hospital — roughly 600 kilometres away — on Saturday, April 4, a designated COVID-19 treatment centre."The hardest through all this has been letting my mother be engulfed into the system, without being able to accompany her," Leblanc said.With the rules surrounding hospital visits still unclear, Évangéline, a retired nurse, was able to see her mother the following Monday.Dee was unconscious. Évangéline stroked her hair and whispered comforting words into her ear. But after an hour, she was asked to leave. Dee died the next day.Having worked in palliative care herself, Évangéline said she can't fathom how her mother was left alone at the end, far from her home."She deserved to be with someone, like all the other people who died because of COVID," she said.Grieving with thousandsWhile Quebecers were still religiously tuning in to hear the government's daily COVID-19 update at 1 p.m., Régis Leblanc couldn't bring himself to hear Premier François Legault announce the daily death toll."It was really disturbing to hear there were 130 new deaths. That meant 130 people were losing the backbone of their families."Évangéline would eventually also be included in the government's tally of new cases. Despite the protective equipment she wore in the negative pressure room to see her mother, she tested positive for COVID-19 one week later.Suffering from tremors and heart palpitations, the 64-year-old stayed in bed for more than two weeks. Now fully recovered, Évangéline said she still doesn't regret the visit and the risk it entailed.But for her siblings, it was a frightening period.Régis Leblanc said it left him feeling even more anxious about the possibility of the virus grabbing hold of other members of his family.While they don't agree with all the decisions made by public health officials at the time, their biggest concern is with the public discourse that has emerged over the summer, seeming to minimize the dangers of COVID-19.Protests against mandatory masks and inflammatory remarks on social media have been hard to swallow, Leblanc said."When I see people who are angry, who are criticizing the government because they can't go on with their lives as usual, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be saying these things if they'd lost their mother or their grandmother."Finding comfort in small thingsDee's four children want to be together to honour her memory, but their brother Bertin lives in France and would need to quarantine for 14 days in Montreal before heading to Gaspé, which is too long a break from his work.The family held a virtual ceremony in June, where they shared stories and played some music. Leblanc said it helped, but he still feels like something is missing.They hope to be able to all meet together sometime in the fall, along with Dee's siblings, and lay her to rest next to her husband."We were deprived of that moment of comfort with our family," Leblanc said. "We know Doréa left on April 7, but it's like we're suspended in time."For Évangéline, being able to hold some of her mother's belongings that were sent to her home, including the lipstick she bought for Dee during her last visit in March, has helped."It's allowing me to reclaim some of the time we lost."
It's been more than two weeks since someone hacked into Tara McWilliams's online account with the Canada Revenue Agency, applied for COVID-19 emergency benefits and arranged for the payments to be deposited into a bank account on the other side of the country.Since then, the single mom from Port Coquitlam, B.C., has been working the phones, reporting the fraud to the CRA, police in two provinces, the B.C. government and TD Canada Trust, feeling like she was getting the runaround at every turn."I've reported to a lot of people. It's been a lot of hours, I've missed two full days of work over it and still it's not resolved," McWilliams told CBC last week.Despite her best efforts, two Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments totalling $4,000 were issued in McWilliams's name. She managed to change the banking information on her account just in time, but is now at a loss over what to do with the cheques that arrived in the mail last week."I just want this resolved and I don't want this to happen to anybody else," McWilliams said.Statistics gathered by the federal government suggest something similar has happened to hundreds of other Canadians. By June 30, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre had received 713 reports of ID fraud linked to CERB, including 52 in B.C.'A tug of war all night'For McWilliams, the ordeal began on July 24 when someone managed to access her CRA account. She learned about the breach three days later when she received an alert saying that her email address had been removed from the account.When she logged in, she discovered that someone had filed an application for two CERB payments and set up direct deposit with an unfamiliar TD account in Toronto."My heart dropped because I knew I had not done it and I could also foresee a huge issue trying to get this sorted," McWilliams said.She tracked down a phone number to report the fraud, but discovered that the CRA office was closed for the day. She spent that night obsessively checking her online account, fixing the banking information every time she saw the fraudster change it."It was basically like a tug of war all night," McWilliams said.When she finally managed to get someone on the phone, they froze the account for her.But it wasn't until last Friday afternoon, two weeks after the fraudster first accessed her account, that McWilliams finally spoke with someone at CRA about opening an investigation.Her account was still frozen, and she worried about how that would affect her Canada child benefit payments."That's money you count on every month," she said.In an email, CRA communications officer Gurm Kundan acknowledged there has been an uptick in scams targeting taxpayer information in recent years, and said the agency is prioritizing calls from people like McWilliams who have been victims of fraud."We want to assure all confirmed victims of identity fraud that they will not be held responsible for any money paid out to scammers using their identity," Kundan said."We will work with them to ensure that they are not negatively affected during the next tax filing season as a result of the fraudulent activities on their account."Passed back and forth between 2 police departmentsAfter she first discovered the fraud, McWilliams called Coquitlam RCMP to report what had happened, but says she was told to contact Ontario Provincial Police because the new bank account was opened within their jurisdiction.She then filed an online report with the OPP, who responded with an email informing her that, "Since you live in Coquitlam, this must be reported to the police in your jurisdiction."After CBC reached out to Coquitlam RCMP for comment on Friday, the detachment agreed to open a case.Const. Deanna Law explained that in general, fraud should be investigated in the jurisdiction where it happens."Learning today that Ontario police … declined taking the file due to the complainant's residential address being here in our jurisdiction and directed her back to Coquitlam RCMP, we will be happy to address the fraud that has taken place and contact the appropriate partner agencies," Law wrote in an email.While McWilliams was waiting for action from police and the federal government, she also tried to sort out the fraudulent banking information that had been connected to her account.She said she visited her local TD branch three times to report what had happened and ask for an update on the fraudster's account. The only concrete action she managed to get was freezing her own bank accounts in case they had been breached as well, McWilliams said.On Friday, a TD spokesperson told CBC that the bank had reviewed the matter with the owner of the Toronto account and "taken action" on it, but couldn't provide more details about what action was taken.Questions still unansweredHow the scammer accessed McWilliams's account remains a mystery."The CRA account is pretty secure… I've never used that password for anything else," McWilliams said.She worries it may have happened using the information on her B.C. Services Card, which can now be used to log into a CRA account.But Minister of Citizens' Services Anne Kang said the B.C. Services Card has "robust security features" that prevent something like this from happening."Ministry staff have looked into this matter and determined there is no evidence of B.C. Services Cards being compromised and used to access Canada Revenue Agency accounts fraudulently," Kang said in an emailed statement.In order for someone to use one of these cards to log into a CRA account, they need to create a mobile version of their card, which requires video verification of identity that is reviewed by trained staff.Nonetheless, the ministry does investigate reports of possible fraud related to mobile cards, and has the power to freeze someone's account while that happens.McWilliams said that when she called the citizens' services ministry to report her suspicions, none of that happened, and she was told it was CRA's issue to deal with.For now, her advice to fellow Canadians is to check your online CRA account obsessively, though she worries that isn't an option for everyone."What about the people that don't have the resources to deal with this? Some people don't even have Internet access," McWilliams said.
Ontario marked a significant achievement in its COVID-19 fight this past week. In each of the last seven days, the province has recorded fewer than 100 cases of the novel coronavirus.While this may be seen as cause for celebration, medical experts say people should not forget that COVID-19 is still very much around."Complacency is something we'll always have to worry about and make sure that people realize that COVID's still there," infectious diseases physician at Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti told CBC News."The big vulnerability is the fact that there are so many people here [in Toronto] and there are so many more chances of having lapses in an indoor environment with lots of people."Chakrabarti said with bars, restaurants and gyms now open, people are more likely to be grouped together, thus increasing the risk of outbreaks."I do expect to see spikes in the numbers, that doesn't surprise me, but the fact that the overall trend has continued to drop is very, very good," Chakrabarti said."Places like Toronto, places like the GTHA, we've been in Stage 3 for less time and obviously the eyes are upon us right now because it's such a more densely populated area."We've got to keep a close eye on this and if the trend starts to go upwards, we may have to pull back and put in some public health restrictions," Chakrabarti added.> We are just as susceptible as a population to this infection as we were in the beginning. \- Dr. Sean BlaineLike Chakrabarti, Stratford-based family physician Sean Blaine said, while the numbers are encouraging, Ontario residents should not be lulled into complacency.He said every part of the province remains at high risk and whether or not new outbreaks occur will depend on how people choose to conduct themselves."We know that the nature of this particular virus is that it continues to circulate in all of our communities among people who have no idea that they're actually infected, have no idea that they could be passing it on to other people, and it does this very, very quietly," Blaine told CBC News."It would be easy to conclude from the lower case numbers that the virus is gone when in fact the threat remains there."In fact, we are just as susceptible as a population to this infection as we were in the beginning," Blaine added.If everyone remains confined to their bubble of 10 people, and use all of the protective measures that are known to work, the province could sail through the fall and winter until next year, when hopefully a vaccine comes along, the physician said. "But that's not going to happen, because unfortunately there are going to be those among us who choose to have closer interactions with people beyond the 10 exclusive people that you're supposed to have in your bubble," Blaine said.Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott announced the full week of numbers below 100 in a tweet. "It's official: for a full week, Ontario has now reported fewer than 100 cases, with 79 cases of COVID19 today, a 0.2% increase," Elliot said Sunday.Enhanced public health measures essential to COVID-19 controlMeanwhile, to control the spread of COVID-19 as Canada reopens, enhanced testing to identify and isolate cases, contact tracing and quarantining combined with physical distancing are essential, according to a new modelling study published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.According to the study, school closures will help but won't be sufficient to control the epidemic if community transmission persists.It adds that partial closures of workplaces and general community closures would have a greater effect because transmission outside of the household is occurring primarily in these settings."When we have high levels of community transmission combined with minimal public health interventions and low adherence to physical distancing, school closures will have a minimal impact in combination with these interventions and will not be sufficient to control the epidemic," said Dr. Victoria Ng from the Public Health Agency of Canada."In contrast, workplace and general community closures were much more effective, because transmission outside of the household is occurring predominantly in these settings."The model findings are consistent with our observed experience in Canada where restrictive closures over the last few months have been effective in keeping our health-care system from being overwhelmed, but this has had a negative impact on our economy and health effects on society," added Ng.Consistent with other studies, the researchers found that approximately 0.25 per cent to 56 per cent of Canadians could become infected over the course of the pandemic depending on the level of public health intervention implemented in the coming months and years.Get the COVID Alert appMeanwhile, Dr. Blaine is urging all Ontario residents to get the province's COVID Alert app.The app can tell users whether they have been near someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 over the previous two weeks."I think it would be great if as many people as possible would download the app," Blaine told CBC News."It's just another tool in our repertoire when it comes to rapidly doing contact tracing."COVID Alert is the federal government's latest move in the battle to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as Canada's economy gradually reopens. Here's how it works: * You start by downloading the app to your smartphone. * That will allow the phone to use Bluetooth technology to exchange signals with nearby phones. * If someone tests positive for COVID, their public health authority will give them a one-time key to enter into the app. * The app will then send out notices to every phone that has been within two metres of the infected person's phone for at least 15 minutes over the previous 14 days — as long as those other phones also carry the app. * Those who receive a notification will receive instructions on what to do next.
One business owner says her parcel pickup service took a severe financial hit after the Canada-U.S. border closed in mid-March, cutting off her eastern Ontario customers.The loss of revenue from Canadians "just about decimated our little city," said Laurel Lee Roethel, owner of Roethel Parcel Service in Ogdensburg, N.Y., that sits just across the St. Lawrence River from Prescott, Ont. "The traffic is minimal," she told CBC Radio's All in A Day."I can stand here and not watch anyone go by for 10 minutes and I'm on the main street."'People are just not shopping'Normally, Canadians would be popping across the border both to pick up deliveries they get sent to her business in order to avoid paying higher shipping fees and to buy items not available on this side of the border.Because of the drop in tourists, Roethel has been forced to make cutbacks. She had to lay off staff and run the business by herself.Other businesses in Ogdensburg have already shuttered their doors, she said. "People are just not shopping," she said. "Obviously the Canadians aren't shopping like they were, meaning the products aren't coming in."Some customers used to pick up packages daily and some of those packages have been piling up for months."One lady here has 53 packages," said Roethel.She's been trying to help out her customers in little ways, like re-packaging parcels to minimize shipping costs before sending them across the border.Other pandemic effectsOgdensburg has also felt the effects of the pandemic in other ways. This year would have been the 60th anniversary of the Ogdensburg International Seaway Festival, which has been postponed until 2021."It's hundreds of thousands of dollars for our little community," said Roethel, who co-chairs the event. "It's not only the revenue that the businesses are going to receive, but it's also the sales tax that would go to the government, to help us with our streets and police."Her family has also suffered in other ways from the border closure.Her sister-in-law is Canadian and lives in Cornwall, Ont., but Roethel's brother is a firefighter EMT and works in the United States as an essential worker. The two were married last summer. On Sundays, Roethel's sister-in-law drives down to Prescott and sits —Tim Hortons coffee and binoculars in hand —across the river from her husband and the couple talk on the phone. Roethel hopes both countries reopen the border, but only to people living within a certain distance. "If they could open it up from Ogdensburg to Ottawa, that would be fabulous," she said.
The giraffe is not only the tallest land mammal on earth but also one of the most beloved iconic symbols of Africa. These majestic creatures are known to be peaceful in manner with an elegant and graceful appearance. With such a great reputation, I have never met anyone that do not love giraffes and seeing them during a safari is always a great highlight. While these facts are true majority of the time, there are still those rare instances and moments when Mother Nature suddenly reveals a whole different side to these creatures that most people have not seen before. I was leading a safari in the Kruger National Park when we came across a large herd of giraffes that gathered on an open plains area. Seeing many giraffes together always attracts a lot of attention. I decided to switch of the vehicle and spend some time watching these fascinating creatures going about their day. I scanned the area and to my one side I saw two males standing closely together in a side on position. While they were just standing there, I realized that these two male giraffes were locked into what is called a necking battle. Giraffes are not territorial and a local status hierarchy develops according to age and size. This is established through the ritual necking encounters among bachelors from an early age. Majority of the time these duels are not violent and seem like a well synchronized elegant dance and the ultimate intention is for one bull to thrust his neck sideways, making well-placed blows with his horns and knobby head on the opponent’s body while the two animals stand head-to-rump. These fights usually end with the youngest or smallest of the two contenders walking away in order to prevent any serious injuries. When two equally matched bulls are contending for an oestrus cow, it becomes a totally different story and things can become seriously violent. When one of the male giraffes started shoving the other male giraffe into a very thorny tree, I realized that this fight was serious and there was nothing elegant or graceful about it. I grabbed my camera and started filming the event. The one bull managed to realize himself from being shoved into the thorns with a neck swing, hitting his opponent on the body with a serious blow. The two giraffes then stood firmly against each other, sizing each other up with a few mocking attempts. I noticed that the fight was intensifying with the dominant bull starting to use a much more dangerous approach than the usual neck sweeping. The dominant bull used short and very quick backward bursts of the head, hitting his opponent between the junction of his skull and spine with his powerful horns. The dominant bull managed to repeatedly hit his opponent on the same spot, causing a serious open wound. The sound of the blows falling was just unbelievable. A few more blows were exchanged when suddenly, one giraffe fell straight to the ground like a bag of potatoes. I was totally stunned by what I saw and realized the fallen giraffe was knocked out clean. What amazed me even more was the behaviour of the dominant bull afterwards. With his opponent lying ‘lights out ‘on the ground, the winning male surprisingly went and stood on his opponents’ body with one foot. It looked like the dominant giraffe took some sort of a victorious stance, celebrating the victory over his opponent. I was totally speechless by what I saw. With all my years living in the African bush, this was the very first time I have ever saw something like this and will remember it forever.
In court papers, Trump urged the Manhattan federal court to reject District Attorney Cyrus Vance's motion to dismiss his lawsuit challenging the subpoena, which covers eight years of his personal and corporate tax records. In a separate motion, Trump's lawyer said the president will file another motion asking the court to allow him to learn more about the scope and purpose of Vance's probe. Trump has fought efforts by lawmakers and prosecutors to obtain his tax records, which should shed light on his financial dealings.
Ontario doctor Kulvinder Kaur Gill has been criticized by fellow physicians and others after a series of tweets that they say spread misinformation about COVID-19.CBC has reviewed two email complaints about Gill's tweets, including one by a family doctor to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, which sets regulatory standards for doctors in the province.One of her tweets, from Aug. 6, stated: "Humanity's existing effective defences against COVID19 to safely return to normal life now includes: -Truth, -T-cell Immunity, -Hydroxychloroquine."That tweet has since been taken down for violating Twitter's rules. Twitter doesn't confirm what rules a specific tweet may have violated when it has been taken down. Many doctors also replied critically to Gill's tweet.Hydroxychloroquine is a drug used to treat malaria and some autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. It has been touted by U.S. President Donald Trump as a potential fix for COVID-19. However, the drug has been shown to be ineffective in combating the virus, according to a major study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.Medical bodies such as the Canadian Pediatric Society say hydroxychloroquine has no significant benefit in fighting COVID-19. Health Canada has not authorized hydroxychloroquine to treat or cure COVID-19 and has warned Canadians about products making false and misleading claims. It says hydroxychloroquine can have serious side effects. Only recently did Health Canada authorize, with conditions, remdesivir to treat severe cases of COVID-19.On Aug. 4, Gill tweeted "If you have not yet figured out that we don't need a vaccine, you are not paying attention," adding the hashtag FactsNotFear. Gill identifies herself as Kulvinder Kaur on her Twitter profile.Another of Gill's tweets on the same day states, "There is absolutely no medical or scientific reason for this prolonged, harmful, and illogical lockdown."Gill operates a clinic in Brampton, Ont., and she has over 22,000 followers on Twitter. She is also the president and co-founder of Concerned Ontario Doctors, a self-described grassroots group that has been critical of the Ontario Medical Association, the organization that represents 34,000 of the province's doctors.All practicing physicians in the province are legally mandated to pay dues to the OMA, though they do not have to be members of the group. The Concerned Doctors of Ontario did not respond to multiple requests for comment.Gill and others have said the OMA attempts to muzzle doctors, and it refuses to be financially transparent and accountable to its members.According to the CPSO, Gill's specialty is pediatrics. Gill did not respond to CBC News's multiple requests for comment. On Twitter, she said,"There are always opposing views in medicine — historically many have led to some of the most significant medical advances."In a democratic society: there must always be open, constructive, public debate. Voices of Physicians & Scientists must never be attacked, censored or silenced."Gill has also retweeted another doctor, Simone Gold, who claimed there was a financial incentive to discredit hydroxychloroquine as a treatment. Gold's tweet was taken down for violating Twitter rules, but not Gill's retweet. Gold was one of the doctors in a 40-minute long video that went viral at the end of July, which promoted hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. At least 17 million people saw one version of the video, though both Facebook and Twitter removed copies from their platforms.Twitter temporarily suspended the account of Donald Trump Jr. for posting the video until he deleted the tweet. 'This is a threat to me in my practice'Alex Nataros, one of the people who filed a complaint with the CPSO, is a family doctor in Comox, B.C. He disagrees with Gill's opinions."This is a threat to me in my practice and my professional integrity here in British Columbia," he said of Gill's tweets on hydroxychloroquine. "It's a threat to my 1,500 patients to have a Canadian licensed physician promoting misinformation that is harmful." He said many of his patients are older and may already have health issues, and he spends a lot of time re-educating his patients about the pandemic."I spent too much of my time every day debunking what they've read on Facebook or read on Twitter or in Instagram," he said.Nataros's views are echoed by Michelle Cohen, a family doctor in Brighton, Ont."She is promoting some misinformation that's quite dangerous, especially considering that we are in the middle of a public health crisis," said Cohen, who tweeted her concern at the CPSO, though she did not file a formal complaint.Cohen said that Gill's tweets are setting the stage for people to reject a vaccine that could be very helpful.WATCH | Hydroxychloroquine trials halted, researchers focus on other COVID-19 treatments:Gill says she is being 'defamed'In an email to CBC News, the CPSO said it doesn't comment on ongoing investigations."It's important that physicians recognize the influence they may have on social media, particularly when it comes to public health. The CPSO believes questioning the value of vaccinations or countering public health best practices during COVID-19 represents a risk to the public and is not acceptable behaviour," wrote a spokesperson for the CPSO."Physicians who are found to be spreading misleading medical information that may bring harm towards patients can face practice restrictions or suspension for their actions."On Sunday, Gill tweeted that she "will not abide being defamed" and has retained legal counsel. She also said, "Groupthink is dangerous. Well-intentioned people make irrational or detrimental decisions spurred by urge to conform or the belief that dissent is impossible.""It is often fuelled by a cult of personality ahead of critical thinking and dissent is silenced with threat of reprisals," she wrote.
As Ontario moves forward with its reopening plans and more people get together with friends and family, some experts say the province needs to re-evaluate how social bubbling works.In June, the Ontario government announced it would allow social bubbles of up to 10 people. That meant if you lived in a household of five people, you could mutually agree with another family of five to be in contact with them — no masks or physical distancing required.For interactions involving people outside of that group of 10, you'd be expected to maintain physical distancing and wear masks when that's not possible. Steve Joordens, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, said while he was once a fan of that strategy, he now feels it may be providing a "false sense of security.""Once members of our bubble start going out there and interacting, then suddenly, that whole notion that everybody within our bubble is virus-free kind of goes away. Because we don't really know," Joordens told CBC Ottawa.Joordens said the concept particularly doesn't work well for younger folks who want to socialize and meet new people, be it friends or romantic partners."It almost becomes the opposite of what [it's] meant to be. It's meant to be a really safe space, but [it isn't] if one member of that bubble brings the the virus into it."Difficult in practiceFor many people, the bubbles — also known as social circles — are a conundrum, said Dr. Gerald Evans, a professor and chair of the infectious diseases division of the department of medicine at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont.Evans said many of them can't remain pure, given that people often come into close contact with others outside their bubbles."What people don't fundamentally understand is that then allows for transmission of the virus from one circle to another," he said.The challenge to maintain an "exclusive" bubble will be particularly difficult with schools opening in the fall, Evans said.Most parents have likely been able to restrict the size of their social network during isolation, he said, but September will pose a whole new challenge."These are kids who have been starving for some social contact ... so it's going to be very, very difficult to control that."'It's kind of like counting calories at this point'Ottawa parent Ash Zade is facing that very challenge.Zade said his family has tried to only be around those in their bubble: four grandparents and one or two families in their neighbourhood.But he's concerned about sending his four-year-old daughter to junior kindergarten in September, given he was already running into problems with his two-year-old daughter attending home daycare, which exceeded the family's bubble limit.His wife is an elementary school teacher, which only makes it more complicated. "It's kind of like counting calories at this point, where you're like, 'Fruit doesn't count,'" he said. "So daycare, we don't count as [part of the] 10. Although we should." Natalee Rubec, a mother of four who works full time from home, said if her kids return to school in September, they would all be going to four separate schools — meaning four times the exposure. "By my calculations, it effectively opens our bubble from 10 to 15 to 18,300," she said. "It's an impossible situation." Bubble tensionsJoordens said the habits that people are forming post-lockdown will be difficult to change, especially within families and friend groups. "I think we had a certain safety when we were under lockdown in our own place. But now ... we're all gambling with other people's money to an extent." He said one big anxiety-inducing issue is not knowing whether it's safe to visit grandparents or family if your bubble has expanded."If you're in a bubble and you feel like somebody else in the bubble is not taking things seriously — and they're thereby endangering everyone in your bubble — it leads to a lot of uncomfortable discussions and arguments."He's also worried those who've gotten more at ease during the pandemic might not even know they're potentially putting themselves and others at risk. "They've been living in the bubble and feeling safe and engaging in certain behaviours," he said. "[And] they don't realize their bubble has popped."
B.C. has announced 131 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, with health officials warning that the province must urgently work to re-flatten its upwardly trending curve.The province has now seen six straight days of more than 35 new cases for the first time in the outbreak. Active cases are at 445, the highest number since May 11 and triple what they were July 1."We need to do better collectively to stop these exposures from happening," said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry as she delivered the new case numbers. But she declined to endorse further measures to enforce regulations, saying "we always start with the carrot and not the stick."B.C. was previously lauded for its early efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, but has slipped in recent weeks, with several outbreaks linked to large private gatherings.Henry said there were 50 new cases recorded from Friday to Saturday, 37 between Saturday and Sunday, and 44 between Sunday and Monday.There have been no new deaths for the 10th straight day. The total number of cases has now surpassed 4,000 and is at 4,065. There have been two new health-care outbreaks, at the George Derby Centre, and the New Vista Care Centre. Both centres are in the Fraser Health region.Number of people in self-isolation 'disturbing'Henry said public health teams across the province have been breaking up parties, with fines levied against some people. She said coming together in large groups, often indoors for several hours, is of great concern, and the majority of new cases are among people aged 20 to 39."There's no better excuse than a global pandemic [to refuse to go to a party]. These guidance and documents and orders that are in place are for the protection of our community; do not ask people to break these rules," she said.Health Minister Adrian Dix said it's important to not blame those who have tested positive for the virus, saying people who fall ill "should be the subject of care, not the subject of scorn." But he said he was alarmed by the rapid increase in the number of cases, which could undo actions taken during the spring."Our task this summer was to renew B.C. without reactivating the virus. The number of cases is climbing, the number of people in self-isolation is disturbing," he said."We need to say "enough" to private parties where alcohol is being used and physical distancing is impossible."There are currently more than 1,700 British Columbians in self-isolation due to exposure to COVID-19.Since early July, active COVID-19 cases have doubled in the province as restrictions that were lifted in late June have allowed people to resume many activities previously banned. Experts say B.C. is at another critical juncture as it tries to limit the spread of coronavirus in the province, following a week of increasing infections.And Phase 3 of B.C.'s response plan has some people wondering if infections will be held in check or balloon, which could affect plans to have children return to school in-person this fall.Nearly 25,000 B.C. parents have signed a petition to make the return to class a voluntary decision for families. Principals haved asked the province to allow for a more flexible start date to allow educators to make sure the return to class is safe for students.During Monday's news conference, Henry acknowledged that the return to in-class learning has been "anxiety-inducing" for some. But she said that COVID-19 will remain an issue in the long run, and that children must be able to return to class."What's happening in schools reflects what's happening in our communities. And that's why all of us have to do what we can to make sure our schools stay safe," she said.Henry said she did not think it was "realistic" for young children to sit in class for hours of instruction while wearing masks, but that they can add an added layer of protection in some scenarios.
Nunavik has seen more police-related deaths in the last two decades than any of Canada's three territories, despite having a population about one-third of each territory. According to information from Quebec's chief coroner's office, there were 17 such deaths between 2000 and 2018 in Nunavik. The northern Quebec region comprising of 14 mostly-Inuit communities had an average population of 11,746 in that time period. By comparison, Nunavut, with the highest police-related death rate of the territories, had 13 deaths between 2000 and 2018. Nunavut's average population in that time period was 32,441. Yukon and Northwest Territories, each of which has an average population of 40,000 in the same 18-year period, had five and six police-related deaths, respectively. Police-related deaths in this story refer to deaths in police custody, detention or during or after interacting with police. CBC collected data from each of the chief coroner's offices in the jurisdictions, and also from the Special Investigations Unit in Ontario for a point of reference outside the North. Compared to Ontario, Nunavik's rate of police-related deaths is more than 30 times higher, the data shows. The Kativik Regional Police Force, which polices Nunavik, said it would not provide a comment for this story.Rate also 9 times higher than Yukon'sCBC sent all collected data to a criminologist at the University of Toronto with over thirty years of experience analyzing statistics. Professor Emeritus Anthony Doob performed a series of statistical tests on the data to determine what, if any, trends stood out and what degree of confidence we can draw from those trends. The tests performed by Doob show the rate of police-related deaths in Nunavik is more than nine times higher than Yukon. The rates of Northwest Territories and Nunavut also appear lower than Nunavik. Doob said caution is needed for the comparison with Nunavut and Northwest Territories because the statistical tests yielded less confident results than with Yukon or Ontario. Conservatively, Doob concluded that Nunavik has at least as high, if not higher rates than Nunavut.An earlier CBC story reported that Nunavut had a rate three times higher than the Northwest Territories. That means Nunavik's rate of police-related deaths is also probably higher than Northwest Territories, Doob said. Trend points to possible spike in deathsThere's another way to look at these numbers to look for a trend, the professor added. Nunavik had police-related deaths in 10 of the 19 years analyzed; meanwhile Nunavut had seven, Northwest Territories had four, and Yukon had three years of police-related deaths."This trend is not [statistically significant] but obviously in the same direction" as the other tests showing Nunavik with the highest rate of police-related death," said Doob. Like Nunavut, the trend of police-related deaths tended to be higher in the second half of the data though more data is needed to verify that, Doob said. In an earlier story on the rates in Nunavut, Doob said it appeared to be something that's "systematic" and "obviously worth looking into" the spike in deaths in recent years.
BEIJING — China on Monday announced unspecified sanctions against 11 U.S. politicians and heads of organizations promoting democratic causes, including Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who have already been singled out by Beijing.Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Monday said the 11 had “performed badly” on issues concerning Hong Kong, where China has cracked down on opposition voices following its imposition of a national security law in the semi-autonomous southern Chinese city last month.The number of Americans named by the ministry exactly equals the number of Hong Kong and Chinese officials placed on a sanctions list by the U.S. last week over the crackdown.China showed its determination to defy such pressure on Monday by arresting leading independent media tycoon Jimmy Lai and raiding the publisher’s headquarters.“The relevant actions of the U.S. blatantly intervened in Hong Kong affairs, grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs, and seriously violated international law and the basic norms of international relations," foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a daily briefing on Monday.“China urges the U.S. to have a clear understanding of the situation, correct mistakes, and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and interfering in China’s internal affairs."Four other lawmakers were named by the foreign ministry: Senators Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton and Pat Toomey and Representative Chris Smith.Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, said he was sanctioned for defending the victims of Communist Party rule, including Hong Kong students fighting for democracy.“Chinese Communism is the most dangerous threat to freedom in the world, and I will never back down from fighting it," he said in a statement.The others sanctioned were National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, National Democratic Institute President Derek Mitchell, International Republican Institute President Daniel Twining, Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth, and Michael Abramowitz, President of Freedom House.Beijing already placed a travel ban on Rubio, Cruz and Smith last month after Washington announced similar measures against Chinese officials linked to measures taken against Muslims in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang.The standing committee of China's national legislature passed the National Security Law last month, bypassing the city's Legislative Council and the public, where such legislation has faced stiff opposition for years.The move came in response to months of sometimes violent anti-government protests last year that Beijing said were encouraged by foreign forces in a bid to overthrow Chinese rule over the former British colony that was handed over to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems" framework meant to last until 2047.The Associated Press
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — A second person who works on the St. John's-shot TV series "Hudson & Rex" has tested positive for COVID-19, but the show's producer says the two cases linked to the canine-cop program do not pose a risk to the community."The system worked in terms of identifying somebody with a case," producer Paul Pope said in an interview Monday. "What I would say to Newfoundland, my province where I live: we have not introduced anything into the community. It's been contained within our production."Newfoundland and Labrador's Health and Community Services Department confirmed Monday the second case involves a cast member of the television series. Authorities said the man's contacts are being advised to quarantine.Pope said the cast member was exposed to a woman involved with the show's production who tested positive for the virus last week after arriving in St. John's from Toronto. Both people are between the ages of 20 and 39 and are self-isolating. Pope could not say more about the cast member's role, citing privacy reasons.Shooting for the series was shut down Sunday but resumed Monday. Pope said he didn't think the cast member's illness will disrupt the show's production schedule. But, he added, the length of that person's absence will be determined by the regional health authority."It's all in eastern health's hands now in terms of when that person can come back to work," he said.Pope said the woman who arrived from Toronto by plane last Thursday had contact with the cast member and one other person involved with the show. The other individual tested negative for the virus.The infected woman is not a local resident and was given an exemption to enter the province, which has a strict travel ban aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. There are now two active cases of COVID-19 in the province, where three people have died from the virus and 263 people have recovered.Last month, "Hudson & Rex" became one of the first narrative TV series to resume production in Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Citytv series follows detective Charlie Hudson, played by John Reardon, and his German shepherd partner, Diesel vom Burgimwald.Pope said there are approximately 200 people working on the show. Out of that group, there are between 10 and 15 people who live outside Newfoundland and stay in St. John's for the shooting period.Pope said there are between four and six people who fly in to Newfoundland to help shoot each episode. The show uses a private limousine service to transport them to a hotel where they are tested. They are allowed to mingle with others working on the series after the negative result, and Pope said a second test is done after 48 hours.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2020.Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press
TORONTO — As the last region in Ontario moves to the province's final reopening stage this week, Premier Doug Ford urged residents Monday to continue to exercise caution and follow public health rules to keep COVID-19 at bay.The Windsor-Essex region, which has struggled with widespread COVID-19 outbreaks on farms, will advance to Stage 3 on Wednesday.Dr. David Williams, the province's chief medical officer of health, said he made the decision based on positive local trends, including lower transmission rates, a significant increase in testing and the local public health unit's capacity to conduct rapid case and contact management.Ford said the decision will allow more businesses to reopen and more people to return to work, adding that he will visit Windsor on Thursday."Thank you for listening to the public health advice and ensuring more businesses can open and more people can go back to work as all of Ontario moves into Stage 3," Ford said praising efforts to contain the virus locally. "Let's continue to stay on our guard against COVID-19."The COVID-19 outbreaks on local farms have affected hundreds of migrant workers, and held Windsor-Essex back from Stage 3, which the rest of the province entered last month.On Monday, Windsor-Essex reported 11 new cases of COVID-19, with 173 cases considered active in the community. Five new agri-food workers have tested positive for the virus in the previous 24 hours.Ford, who has been critical of both farmers and migrant workers in the region for not taking part in testing, praised their collective efforts in recent weeks to address the virus."I think it's getting much better," he said. "We have more testing and we have the mobile units going to the farms and we're testing every day and I just want to thank the farmers. I want to thank the workers."The area's medical officer of health stressed in his own daily media briefing that despite the economic and social relief the reopening will bring, people cannot stop practising physical distancing and wearing face coverings."The virus is not gone," Dr. Wajid Ahmed said. "The virus still exists in our community."Ahmed said health officials are making progress in the region to contain outbreaks on local farms. Hundreds of migrant workers have contracted the virus in the region and the province continues to test and isolate them, he said."No one can predict what happens and which farms or workplaces can go into outbreak," he said. "The only way to prevent that is through proactive measures."Ahmed said a number of factors were considered when it came to the decision to move the community forward, including local hospital capacity, which is currently at 85 per cent.He said if the community experiences a spike in cases, elective surgeries may have to be cancelled."But those conversations will happen if it gets to the point of really being pressed for resources," he said.Overall, Ontario reported 115 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday — the first day in more than a week that the province saw more than 100 new cases in one day.The latest cases brought the total to 40,161, with 36,381 marked as resolved and 2,786 deaths.Health Minister Christine Elliott acknowledged the "slight uptick" but said the trend in the province remains downward.The minister also said 28 out of 34 of the province's public health units reported five or fewer new cases, while 18 reported none.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2020.Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press
Mark Carney — the former governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England — has been acting as an informal adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the federal government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Carney "certainly has been advising the PM through different phases of this," said a senior government official speaking on background. "I'd hope we can count on him for more."News of the informal role was first reported by Bloomberg on Monday. Carney has long been rumoured to have political aspirations since returning to Canada after his term with the Bank of England expired earlier this year. Many in Liberal circles see Carney as a top candidate for finance minister should he seek office or as a possible leadership candidate to eventually succeed Trudeau. With a sudden vacancy in the Toronto-area riding of York Centre there have been rumours that Carney could be a candidate in an upcoming byelection, though senior Liberal sources have repeatedly thrown cold water on that idea. Carney is well-suited to advise the prime minister during difficult economic times. He led the Bank of Canada during the global financial crisis more than a decade ago and held the top job at the Bank of England during the Brexit uncertainty.Carney, a former investment banker currently serving as the United Nations' special envoy on climate action and climate finance, has likened the climate crisis to a financial crisis — and has urged financial sector to help tackle the issue.Under pressureThe Liberals are under pressure to rein in the economy after pandemic spending helped drive the projected deficit for 2020-21 to $342.2 billion — some ten times higher than expected before COVID-19 — according to a financial snapshot provided last month by Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Most of that figure can be attributed to the $212 billion in direct support measures Ottawa is providing to individuals and businesses.Morneau said at the time that, aside from the pandemic program spending, the economic slowdown is estimated to have added another $81.3 billion to the deficit in 2020-21.The economy is projected to shrink by 6.8 per cent this year before bouncing back by 5.5 per cent next year, Morneau said, making this crisis the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression.The economy is expected to decline in 2020-21 more than twice as much as it did in 2009-10 in response to the global financial crisis.
It had to be a bit of a bittersweet day for Buffalo, N.Y., last month when the Toronto Blue Jays announced they would play most of their 2020 home games in the border city. "Jubilation as Major League Baseball comes to Buffalo," read the main front-page headline on the Buffalo News. Because of restrictions by the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blue Jays are calling the city just across the Peace Bridge from Fort Erie, Ont., home, starting Tuesday against the Miami Marlins.
Brendan McLean would have been in his element: new cars, old cars, loud cars — even one just like his, a Subaru Forester.By all acounts, his girlfriend Bre Horne would have played along, and encouraged her partner's deep passion.Those vehicles made quite a racket as they peeled out of Gander's Steele Community Centre on Sunday night, heading in a line toward the Trans-Canada Highway.If only he could see it.'I think he'd give me a big hug, and say man this is the coolest thing you ever could have done for me'," said Joshua Mai. "He loved cars, all kinds of cars."On July 25, McLean, 23, and Horne, 22, were killed in a head-on collision on the Trans-Canada Highway. A 51-year-old woman from Lewisporte later died at hospital following the crash, police said. On Sunday night, McLean and Horne's family and friends, as well as lots of acquaintances, gathered in Gander for a car meet, and then a cruise in their memory. 'It's unbelievable'"I didn't really expect all this, honestly. I just really thought that a couple of my friends were going to get together and meet up with us here," said Mai, who helped organize the event. "The amount of people who joined the group and who are showing up to show their support, it's unbelievable." Mai ordered about 150 stickers from a local print shop, bearing the names of McLean and Horne. He also had T-shirt and hoodies made with a photo of the young couple."She'd be embarrassed that so many people are here," said Stacey Collins, laughing. "She would not be happy that her face is on a hoodie."Collins met Horne when they were 10 years old, playing minor hockey together. She said they became close in high school, and said that Horne — who she said was genuine, and always put others first — was one of her best friends."I know it's real, but it's hard to process in my head that I'm never going to see her again," Collins said. "I just expect her to text me, or Snapchat me, and ask how Ella is doing, my little girl.""The last thing she said to me was how proud she was of me."Miranda Noseworthy, another close friend, said she and Horne spent time having fires and swimming at Gander Lake. Horne was always ready for an adventure, she said."She's always there for you, no matter what kind of dark time you're going through. She was always there to brighten up your day — there was no way that you could be in the same room as her and not be laughing and smiling around her."Cars always a passionSunday's ride left from Gander and headed toward Appleton. It passed the location where the fatal car crash occurred, and stopped at an overpass in the area — where McLean thought the acoustics were great to rev up a car's engine.McLean's younger sister, Paige Parrott, said cars were his passion — right from the beginning."Every bit of this free time, basically. Even before he was old enough to have his licence, it was cars. And when get got his first Honda Civic, he was just over the moon. He loved it, just everything about cars."There was heartbreak, too — like when another vehicle rear-ended his parked Subaru outside his home, severely damaging the Japanese import."He cried," his sister said. "Sorry Brendan, for telling people that. But that's how much he loved his cars."Parrott would even trade photos of cars with her brother, even if she isn't much of a fan herself. "He's been my best friend ever since I was born, really," she said. "It wasn't like a typical brother and sister relationship — we never argued once. We were best friends. We hung out all the time. If I needed anyone, he was always there."She said her older brother would never leave a conversation with a stranger without a new friend. These days, she's feeling a bit lost."The better part of me is missing, and it's like, you know, what do I do with myself. But I gotta carry on like he would, you know? For him."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
There is a "vast global gap" between funds needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic and funds committed, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday, and the WHO was only "10% of the way" there. "The coming three months present a crucial window of opportunity to scale-up the impact of the ACT Accelerator for global impact," Tedros told a briefing in Geneva, referring to the "Access to COVID-19 Tools" initiative.
Public health officials aren't doing enough to reach out to people from different provinces who may have been exposed to COVID-19 on flights, often stopping contact tracing at their own borders, an epidemiologist warns."Canada has a system of contact tracing on the ground, but as soon as it's wheels up and they start pushing a little beverage cart around, then that system stops," said Amir Attaran, a professor of both law and epidemiology at the University of Ottawa.Part of the problem appears to be that each province or territory is responsible for tracking cases within its borders, but flights often span multiple jurisdictions. It appears as though the federal government isn't tracing cross-border cases, instead relying on provinces and territories to notify one another — sometimes indirectly through their websites.Even then, it can take time for that information to reach passengers who were potentially exposed to the virus, if it ever does.In Manitoba, for example, over the past six weeks, public health officials announced six domestic flights carrying symptomatic Manitobans and three international flights carrying two Manitobans who tested positive for COVID-19.That information was made public between one week and 17 days after the flights landed."That's useless," Attaran said."Those passengers [who were infected by a person on the flight] have had time to fall ill, have had time to transmit it to somebody else and that somebody else has had time to transmit it to somebody else."Canada's chief medical officer, Theresa Tam, says there have been no reported cases of transmissions in the air in Canada, but says there is an opportunity to investigate the risks fully."I do think that more effort in looking at how we best get that contact information can at least help us evaluate that data better moving forward," Tam told a news conference last week.Gabor Lukacs, an air passenger rights advocate, says Canadians are being put at risk on flights and different levels of government should do more to ensure information is passed along to the public."We live in a world where real-time passage of information can potentially save lives," he said."Whatever happens in one province affects other provinces as well."The information is made public quickly after it comes to light, but people sometimes don't get tested for the coronavirus until they show symptoms or days later, said a spokesperson from Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living.Attaran says that isn't the only problem. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) still communicates with provinces and territories via fax machine and the process is slow."The sharing that takes place ... when it takes place, is typically weeks after the case and it reaches the federal government third-hand, fourth-hand even," he said.Data sharing slow, incompletePHAC says it relies on provinces and territories to pass along when a person in their jurisdiction who has tested positive for the coronavirus was on a flight while infectious, which is then posted online.But PHAC acknowledges its flight list isn't exhaustive.In Manitoba, public health officials don't directly inform officials in other provinces if residents have been exposed to the virus on a flight, according to a provincial spokesperson.The information is posted on the province's website and passed on to the media and to the federal government, but those flights don't always end up on the PHAC dashboard.That's what most jurisdictions in Canada do, and that's a national guideline, the spokesperson said.It is also how the province informs people they may have been exposed to the virus, rather than following up with people individually."There is no direct evidence at this time that contacting individual air travellers has made it possible to find cases earlier," a provincial spokesperson said.The spokesperson also said Manitoba doesn't hear from other jurisdictions if cases are confirmed in other provinces connected to a sick Manitoban passenger.'Challenge' to get data from airlines: TamAttaran says contact tracing means following up with everyone who is possibly exposed to the virus."This is what you do on the ground. Why would you do something different in the air?"It isn't that easy, according to Tam.She says getting complete information from airlines to do contact tracing has "always been a challenge." "Depending on the airlines, it's missing all sorts of information so you can't reach the persons in certain seats, if they stayed in the right seats, that is," she said at a news conference on Aug. 4.Health officials in B.C. have echoed these statements about flight manifests in recent days, calling on flights to provide in-depth contact information to assist with contact tracing.When asked about how many close contacts resulted from symptomatic Manitobans on flights over the past few weeks, the province refused to provide more information, citing the need to protect the individuals from "stigma and shaming."Meanwhile, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control wouldn't say whether there are any cases locally stemming from a Manitoba passenger on board a flight to Vancouver, and Toronto Public Health told CBC News they aren't tracing any cases related to the same passenger who travelled through the city.Alberta Health Services wouldn't say if it's doing any contact tracing related to a Manitoban who flew to Calgary and back.Federal public health officials post information about flights, trains and buses where passengers could have potentially been exposed to the virus for about two weeks, but not all of the flights that Manitoba has made public made it on the list."If a province identifies that a person who has tested positive had been in another province within a time period that is relevant to disease transmission, there are existing protocols for them to contact their colleagues in the other province to assist in the contact tracing," a spokesperson from the federal government said."All jurisdictions work together to do their best to ensure all contacts of a case have been identified and are aware of the next steps they need to take to protect their health and the health of those around them."Nobody should be flying: AttaranAttaran has a word of caution for Canadians considering flying during the pandemic."Nobody, nobody, nobody, nobody should be flying if the authorities have made a decision that contact tracing does not happen in the air," he said.On top of that, he said, there's the inability to physically distance on flights.Air Canada and WestJet began selling tickets for adjacent seats as of July 1, after blocking access to those seats for the past few months to allow passengers to maintain some distance from each other.More and more, airports are starting to mandate masks throughout their facilities and not just on planes, including in Brandon and Winnipeg.Still, Attaran says, there's "no way" he'll be flying any time soon.
Shaun O'Reilly slept through the fiery chaos Sunday morning and woke up to the news that another building important in the community's life and history had caught fire.Like many Miramichi residents, O'Reilly, president of the Miramichi History Museum, was shocked and saddened by the news the Vogue Theatre and two other buildings had burned."I got up this morning at quarter to eight and realized that something was going on … and was extremely saddened and shocked to see what had transpired through the night," he said.The Vogue Theatre was not the first building to catch fire around 4:10 a.m., but it still suffered extensive damage to its interior. It was deemed not structurally sound by Miramichi's deputy fire chief and demolished Sunday afternoon.Miramichi has lost other historic buildings to fires in recent memory, including a building that once was its former train station in 2018 and Opera House in 2010.Michelle Conroy, Miramichi's MLA,worked at Vogue Theatre for six years when she was a teen and was sad to hear the building was beyond repair after the fire."It's just a complete devastation that we lose another amazing building in our city," Conroy said. The Vogue Theatre was built in the late 1940s or early 1950s, O'Reilly said. Over the years, it's been a movie theatre and a focal point for the local arts community.Vogue Theatre was originally one of two movie spots in downtown Chatham, O'Reilly said.It closed in 2000 and sat vacant on the lot for years, until EastSide Church bought it in 2012 and restored it. "Previous to that, it was the going spot for entertainment in downtown Chatham," he said. "Everyone will remember certain things about the old Vogue Theatre,:O'Reilly's favourite memories include the advertisement that played before each feature film and mispronounced Miramichi, and a verbal reminder of when the candy bar was closing.Several of the buildings next door to Vogue used to be used by a meat-packing company, O'Reilly said. It made sausages and beef patties and sold agricultural feed. That history was destroyed in Sunday's fire.Memorabilia from a local landmark restaurant, Ben's Lunch Room, housed in one of those buildings, was also lost. Vogue is of personal significance to O'Reilly, whose grandfather owned a blacksmith's shop next door to the theatre. "I spent much time for many, many hours at my grandparents when I was very young and was right by the Vogue … it's a big loss for everybody in the community."It's too soon to say what caused Sunday's fire.
The histories of the West End and Mt. Pleasant are both long and winding — but the road to winning the Vancouver quadrant of the Search for Metro Vancouver's Best Neighbourhood can only end with one on top.The West End's heritage homes and mansions are remnants of the time when it was the first neighbourhood for Vancouver's wealthiest residents. But following the Second World War, a construction boom of rental apartments covered the area, giving it the densely populated and diverse culture it retains today."It seems like wherever you are, you're no more than a couple of hundred meters from [Stanley Park], or beaches and waterfront, or delicious food. You just have everything," said Rebecca Bolwitt, Miss 604 blogger and West End resident for 15 years."From March until July, I didn't pass Burrard Street. I have everything I need in this one little area."Mt. Pleasant started as one of Vancouver's first neighbourhoods geared toward the middle and working class, with streetcars and breweries giving it a distinct feel in the early 20th century. The streetcars are long gone, but the breweries have returned — part of a gradual gentrification of the area this century."The neighbourhood has so many options," said Adriana Basantes, an owner of Sal Y Limon, one of many popular restaurants established around the Fraser/Kingsway area in the last decade."People have always been happy to have us here … you feel like you're part of a community." Starting with 48 neighbourhoods, the West End and Mt. Pleasant are the two finalists in the Vancouver quadrant of our competition. The winner will face the South of the Fraser Champion in the semifinals next Monday. Both are beloved neighbourhoods. But only one can move on.Tale of the tapeWest End: * Median age: 38.1. * Average household size: 1.5 (lowest in Vancouver). * Renter households: 80 per cent * Median household income: $51,000 * Visible minorities as a percentage of neighbourhood population: 29 per cent * Road to the Sweet Sixteen: First Round Bye, Defeated Davie Village 68-32 per cent, South False Creek 62-38 per cent, Arbutus 76-24 per cent and North Kits 52-48 per cent. Mt. Pleasant: * Median age: 35.2 (youngest in Vancouver). * Average household size: 1.8. * Renter households: 61 per cent * Median household income: $66,000 * Visible minorities as a percentage of neighbourhood population: 32 per cent * Road to the Sweet Sixteen: First Round Bye, Defeated Riley Park 77-23 per cent, Strathcona 72-28 per cent, Grandview-Woodland 62-38 per cent and Olympic Village 72-28 per cent. *Numbers courtesy of City of Vancouver's community profiles, gathered from 2016 Census data.
"And they're off!" Nathan Bain exclaimed, leaning out the window of the announcer booth as race season got under way at the Leamington Raceway this Sunday afternoon."It's just a dream come true," the 18-year-old said of having been chosen to be track announcer for the 2020 race season."My grandpa's been involved 50 years and my dad's been involved most of his life too so it's just kind of in my blood," he said.Leamington Raceway picked up the harness racing event after Windsor Raceway shut down in 2012. There are 13 race days scheduled for this season but because of COVID-19 restrictions, Nathan is currently announcing to an empty grandstand."It definitely changes everything, " he said. "Our focus is mainly online this year." While fans can't enjoy races on the sidelines, there is a live stream on the raceway's website for people to enjoy the races and betting is available through an online service. The raceway expects to open to spectators once the region enters Stage 3 of reopening.Nathan said that being accurate and clear is the most important things for him when it comes to doing his job right. "You've got to deliver the story to the fans... Right now it's just online but you've got to give them the best information possible so they know what's happening on the track."Family proudNathan's mother, Lynnette Bain, said that he fell in love with racing right around the time Windsor Raceway was closing."He had race colours, he would wear them around the house, pretend he was driving a horse and then he started listening to the announcers and he liked the excitement and the adrenaline of the call," she said.Nathan first showed his skills when he was 12-years-old when, his mother said, he videotaped himself calling a race. That landed him the opportunity to call his first race on Kids Day at the track.> I think he's doing a heck of a good job." \- Mark WIlliams, driver and trainer"[He] played it for the executive and they said 'shoot he's pretty good, let's give him a try,'" she said. "We just listened to that call the other day and I was blown away about how good it was for a 12-year-old. He was so clear and accurate, so it just started from there." She said Nathan reached out to other callers to train, including Marty Adler, known for his years calling races in Windsor. By Nathan's 18th birthday, she said, he already had 100 calls under his belt."I can't even describe how I feel, it's pretty exciting... It's just been a dream for him and something he's worked hard to accomplish." Others share in that pride, including Nathan's grandfather Tom Bain, who is also mayor of Lakeshore and a member of the board of the Lakeshore Horse Racing Association."To have him hired on full-time as our announcer is great. He's done a lot of announcing throughout Canada and the United States so to have him here announcing for us full-time [I'm] very proud of him and he does a great job,"he said.And the horse drivers are also taking note of the new voice echoing from the grandstands."Our boy's doing a great job, we're the ones that kind of brought him along and he's just matured, he's a wonderful young man," driver and trainer Mark Williams said. "I think he's doing a heck of a good job."
Montréal Pride kicks off its week-long celebrations Monday morning, but things will look a little different this year because of COVID-19.Despite the Quebec government's recent decision to greenlight festivals of up to 250 people, this year's edition of Pride will be held entirely online.It wouldn't be fair to hold any of the events in person, said Sandy Duperval, a spokesperson with Montréal Pride.Around 2.4 million people typically attend the festival each year, so having a limit of 250 people in place would mean turning away the vast majority."We really want this [festival] to feel inclusive, where everybody's welcome and being able to do it online also keeps our people safe," she said."Yes, the restrictions have loosened up, but we don't know what the pandemic will bring." Duperval said hosting the event online also comes with an added bonus: the ability to interact with event organizers in real-time.Viewers are encouraged to provide feedback and questions during panel discussions, which Duperval feels will bring members of the community closer together. This year's edition also strives to take a more intersectional approach, incorporating daily events centred on issues of race, and featuring panels and sharing circles for transgender and non-binary participants."Everybody can find a little bit of what they need and the support they need and also let us know if there are other things that we can add for next year," she said.Every morning, the festival will kick off with a different edition of Afropride — a daily, hour-long discussion led by Black speakers of the LGBTQ community. Another series of events, hosted by Montréal writer Christopher Diraddo, showcases LGBTQ writers and literature. While Diraddo himself usually looks forward to watching the parade and dancing along Saint-Catherine Street, he is glad organizers chose to move the festival online instead of cancelling it altogether. "The main thing, of course, is visibility. I remember when I went to my first gay pride, it was really about seeing other people who were like me," he said. "And I think that is still going to happen." He also believes holding the events online means the potential to reach an even wider, or different audience. Move online could exclude some David Hawkins, executive director at West Island LGBTQ2+ Centre, agrees. He feels that people who live off-island or farther away from the Gay Village will be able to tune in this year and access the events more easily than in the past. On the flipside, online events have the potential to alienate those who aren't in a safe home environment, he said."All of these events are marketed as being overtly queer, overtly gay. If people are coming from an environment where it's not necessarily a safe enough or inclusive enough environment, it might be harder for them to access it." Montréal Pride runs until next Sunday.
A Calgary cohousing co-operative is celebrating an important milestone in its history: finally going solar.The Prairie Sky Cohousing Co-operative, situated in Winston Heights in northeast Calgary, just turned 16 years old.It consists of 18 townhouses facing into a common courtyard and community garden, creating a tight-knit and sustainable community.The communal living space consists of a kitchen, dining room, lounge, children's play room, teen room, laundry, guest room, office, studio, workshop and storage.The new solar project, which was 2½ years in the making, means the community now generates all of its energy needs, meeting one of its long-held guiding principles of environmental sustainability. "Having solar was always part of the dream," said one of the project's driving forces, Lise Rajewicz."But back then, it was very expensive for the community. But as costs have come down, we realized now was a chance to revisit this possibility," she said.Rajewicz got together with two neighbours to finally push the project forward, joining forces with Alberta's SkyFire Energy to carry out the installation."Although solar is a drop in the bucket to address climate change, we think it's a really important symbolic move to show it's important to take action no matter how big or small it might be," said Rajewicz.Rajewicz says the project wasn't without its challenges."There was a complex metering system and that was a challenge to work through, but we were able to come through that. There was also the buy-in from the community," Rajewicz said.She says they received a grant from Energy Efficiency Alberta, under the previous NDP government, to bring solar education workshops to their community to learn about the technical specifics of solar, along with the various social and environmental arguments for making the jump."That was the key piece," said Rajewicz. "It made us really sure.""In the workshops, we discussed themes ranging from climate change to energy democracy and security, to environmental responsibility and our responsibility to the Calgary community as a whole," she said.The completed project — which cost $210,000 — resulted in 100 kilowatts of solar panels being installed, with 302 panels fixed on top of all 18 roofs of the community.It's producing 106 per cent of the community's yearly electricity needs, with the project running smoothly for the past four months."We're so proud of it and it's a really tangible reminder of what we accomplished together," Rajewicz said. "It shows what you can achieve when you place priority on caring for each other on this planet," she added.Now the community is hoping to inspire and share the lessons learned with other co-operatives in Alberta and beyond.
Caramel is a wonderful cow who lives on a beautiful free range farm in Millbrook, Ontario. Her days here are happy as she wanders with her herd over lush, green meadows and grazes contentedly. She has ponds for water, a forested area to explore, and rolling hills that create a scene like a landscape painting. The farmers place the emphasis on herd health and happiness, refusing to cut corners for profit. They will not produce veal and they never separate calves from their mothers, which is a heart breaking part of the dairy industry. Every drop of the mother's milk goes to her new baby. Caramel is giving birth to a new calf. As instinct tells her to do, she finds a quiet spot away from the rest of the herd and she lies down on a slope, waiting as the contractions start. Her water has broken and her amniotic sac is bulging. She knows it is time. The birth was going smoothly for a few moments but then Caramel seems agitated and distressed. Her baby isn't moving and it is encased in the thick amniotic sac. Caramel begins to bellow loudly and she sniffs at her calf before it is even fully out. It's possible that this is a pain reaction, but it's also possible that she is trying to make the baby move so she is reassured that it is alright. With the baby almost all of the way out, Caramel shrieks and stands up abruptly, causing the baby to fully enter the world. The herd had been grazing contentedly until they heard Caramels cries. They began to call loudly and they ran in her direction. They seem concerned for both Caramel and the bay and they inspect it closely. This show of surprising intelligence and compassion is a clear demonstration that cows have more emotional capacity than we give them credit for. In the wild, cows are prey animals and they know that predators will be attracted to the smell of the afterbirth. For the safety of both, she frantically tries to eat all of the amniotic sac as quickly as possible. While the calf is unable to stand, she must be sure to avoid attracting any attention. Licking the calf clean is also for protection, but it provides stimulation and helps the mother and calf bond and recognize the scent of the other. Within 15 minutes the calf is much more alert and it tries to stand. Caramel is eager to encourage the calf and she licks and nudges the calf repeatedly. It needs the first milk that she produces for antibodies and high protein. This colostrum is very important for the calf's immune system and future health. Being highly social herd animals, some of their behaviour is protective. Some of it is curiosity and some of it may be their way of congratulating Caramel, relieved that the bay is healthy. Once on her feet, little "Holly" found her way to the milk supply and nursed greedily. She stood back legs first with an adorable clumsiness that resembled a newborn deer. Holly is one of more than 25 calves born in this herd this spring. She will grow quickly and have a wonderful life on this incredible farm.