A B.C. First Nation is applying to argue its case at the Supreme Court of Canada for the protection of its drinking water in relation to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. "This application is unlike any other proceeding concerning the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project," states the Coldwater application, filed on Friday. "It is about ensuring that the sole source of drinking water within the Coldwater Indian Band's reserve is protected." Coldwater, a band within the Nlaka'pamux Nation whose reserve is located about 100 kilometres southwest of Kamloops, B.C., has concerns about the approved route of the Trans Mountain expansion and the risks of moving diluted bitumen through a pipeline so close to its water supply. Chief Lee Spahan said the decision to go ahead with the application to the Supreme Court happened in consultation with band members who agreed "we need to fight for our water," he said. "You know, COVID-19 reminds us about the importance of being able to meet our own needs, such as food and water." The existing Trans Mountain pipeline runs through the Coldwater reserve and there is a spill site on the reserve that has yet to be remediated. The expansion line is slated to be built just outside the reserve boundaries. The aquifer the community is concerned about flows around and beneath the reserve. Coldwater's application to the Supreme Court states, "where clean water exists on a reserve, it must be a top national priority to protect that water; and it is a matter of public importance for this Court to ensure that legal mechanisms that can give that protection are robustly applied."Specifically, its application asks the Supreme Court to clarify the scope of Canada's duty to consult when it comes to on-reserve drinking water in comparison to asserted Aboriginal rights. "At risk for Coldwater is not just an asserted Aboriginal right, but a defined Aboriginal interest (its reserve) and particularly the Aquifer within that reserve which provides the band's only source of drinking water," the application states. Federal Court of Appeal ruled consultation was adequateThe Federal Court of Appeal ruled in February that the court would not interfere in Canada's re-approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and dismissed the appeals of Coldwater and several other B.C. First Nations. The Federal Court also ruled that Coldwater was adequately consulted and accommodated in the federal government's revisited consultation process after the earlier quashing of the project approval. It found Canada addressed the band's routing concerns and had provided "more certainty that the risk to Coldwater's aquifer will be addressed." The Federal Court of Appeal noted in its ruling that "Coldwater remains dissatisfied."Coldwater's application says, if granted leave to make its case to the Supreme Court, the band will argue that the Federal Court of Appeal ruling did not hold Canada to the right standard regarding the level of consultation and accommodation owed to Coldwater when it comes to the pipeline and its drinking water. Now, it will be up to the Supreme Court of Canada to decide if Coldwater will have the opportunity to make its case before the country's highest court. The Supreme Court chooses which cases it will consider. According to the court's website, it receives up to 600 applications to appear before the court every year and accepts about 80 applications annually. Spahan said his community remains hopeful that the court will grant them leave to make their case. In an emailed statement, Natural Resources Canada said it's aware of Coldwater's application to the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as the applications from three other First Nations who were party to the same Federal Court of Appeal decision. It said the federal government will file its replies according to the court's deadlines. "We will continue to take the necessary steps to ensure this project moves forward in the right way, every step of the way, including by working with Indigenous peoples," said the statement.Trans Mountain did not respond to a request for comment.Hydrogeological study expected next monthIn the meantime, a hydrogeological study of the aquifer beneath the reserve remains incomplete.In its conditions of approval, the National Energy Board (now the Canada Energy Regulator) told Trans Mountain it needed to complete a hydrogeological study before it could build the expanded line through the Coldwater area. Trans Mountain wrote to the Canada Energy Regulator in March that it plans to submit that study to the regulator in mid-May. Trans Mountain is also expected to submit a feasibility study to the regulator in the coming days regarding the possibility of an alternative route for the pipeline. Coldwater and Trans Mountain are expected to appear before the regulator in the coming months for a detailed route hearing where the aquifer and routing will be debated as well.
The province reported another 379 cases of COVID-19 Tuesday but saw a continued decline in testing since the start of the month, with a drop from 6,200 test results on April 1 to just 2,568 today.The province's total number of confirmed cases is now 4,726. The official tally includes 153 deaths, though CBC News has compiled data from local health units and counted at least 193 deaths throughout the province.Of those confirmed cases, 1,802 are considered resolved. More than 500 health-care workers in the province have tested positive, representing about 11 per cent of all of the confirmed cases in Ontario. Another 691 people are awaiting test results. The number of tests Ontario has completed daily has dropped steadily over the past week — a worrying trend, according to doctors who argue that widespread testing is the only way to get an accurate picture of the spread of COVID-19 and a crucial tool to make sure those who are infected don't transmit the virus further.The number of tests "is definitely not the curve we want to see flattening," tweeted Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa.Province not trying to limit tests, health officials sayThe province's Ministry of Health had targeted conducting 5,000 tests per day by the end of March, increasing weekly to reach a goal peak of 19,000 tests per day by the third week of April.Ontario now has the lab capacity to run 13,000 tests per day but the province's COVID-19 assessment centres are only submitting about 3,500 tests daily, said Hayley Chazan, director of media relations for Health Minister Christine Elliott in an email."This surplus in capacity means that we can now look at testing more people, particularly priority populations, including health care staff, residents and staff in long-term care and retirement homes and Indigenous communities," wrote Chazan."We expect to have more to say about a new testing strategy that makes full use of this capacity shortly."Ontario has administered a total of 81,364 tests, more than any other province, said Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health. Williams said testing centres aren't at capacity, and urged anyone with symptoms, or who may have been exposed to someone with the virus, to get tested. "We have been encouraging people with any of those [symptoms] to go forward and get assessed ... We aren't trying to limit that." 51 outbreaks at long-term care homes, 3 more at Ontario jails Of the 614 total current cases that have required hospitalization: * 233 are in intensive care units. * 187 are on a ventilator.There have been a total of 51 outbreaks at long-term care homes in Ontario. Markhaven Home for Seniors, a long-term care home in Markham, Ont. confirmed on Tuesday that two more deaths related to COVID-19 have occurred at its facility, bringing its total deaths to six. Meanwhile, the province confirmed that three Ontario jails experienced outbreaks between March 20 and March 27: * One inmate tested positive at Monteith Correctional Complex. * Three inmates and one staff member testes positive at Toronto South Detention Centre. * One staff member tested positive at Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre. One outside contractor also tested positive at South West Detention Centre.Another five inmates at Grand Valley Institution for Women, Canada's largest prison for women, also tested positive for the virus last week.There have also been 15 COVID-19 outbreaks reported in hospital settings.Cannabis stores to partially resume business Ontario passed an emergency order to temporarily allow legal cannabis retails to reopen, according to Jenessa Crognali, spokesperson for the province's attorney general Doug Downey. Last week, cannabis stores were forced to close after being taken off the province's list of essential businesses. Under the emergency order, the shops can now offer curbside delivery and pickup service. Maple Leaf Foods employees in Hamilton, Brampton test positive Workers at Maple Leaf Foods plants in Hamilton and Brampton have also tested positive for COVID-19, the company said in a news release on Tuesday. "We informed all of our employees the same day we learned of the positive test results," the release read. "These cases are the first two to occur among Maple Leaf Foods' 13,000 employees." The company said infected staff, one at each plant, are staying at home and anyone who was in contact with them has been directed to self-quarantine for two weeks.First Ontario-produced masks ready for use, Ford saysFord announced that the first made-in-Ontario face masks are ready, one day after he warned that the province would run out of personal protective equipment in one week.Ford was at Woodbridge's manufacturing facility in Vaughan Tuesday where the first 1,000 Level 3 masks have been produced.The company hopes to eventually produce one million a week and have them certified as N95 masks to be used in all health-care settings.Meanwhile, a shipment of badly needed medical masks is expected Tuesday.At a news conference Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford called the news from 3M about the deal it reached to continue supplying masks a welcome one, after U.S. President Donald Trump earlier tried to compel the company to halt distribution outside that country. But Ford also said, "There's still a lot of work to be done to secure enough PPE for the province of Ontario." Ford has said the province is still facing a major shortage of key supplies and could be out of masks in less than two weeks, even with the new shipment.The premier said Monday a shipment of about 500,000 masks had been held up at the Canada -U.S. border, but was expected in the province by the end of the day. For now, domestic supply is ramping-up and the first made-in-Ontario face masks are ready for use.Ford said Tuesday that Ontarians cannot solely rely on the global supply chain, adding "we need the federal government to come through" on its supply, at the same time underscoring the need for the province to produce its own supplies.Faulty masks recalled Meanwhile, the City of Toronto is recalling thousands of poorly-made surgical masks that were given to front-line workers.In a news release on Tuesday, the city said a recently-purchased order of 4,000 boxes containing 50 masks each — equivalent to more than $200,000 — do not meet "specifications the city requires for such masks." Some 62,600 masks had already been distributed to long-term care homes on March 28. The city is now investigating to determine how many employees were caring for patients while wearing the masks and whether there was possible exposure to COVID-19.Williams said all shipments of masks should be inspected to ensure they are up to par with the province's requirements. "We have to investigate to see how it got into the field," he said Tuesday. New online portal matches skilled workers with employersFord also announced the launch of a new online portal to match skilled front-line workers with employers who need positions filled. "Join the fight today, because we need every person in Ontario in this fight," Ford said."We need an army of 14.5 million people...Whether it's staying home, working in our hospitals or long-term care homes, or putting food and medicine on our shelves, we're all part of this and with your help we will win this battle and our province and our economy will come back stronger than ever before."The province says the Health Workforce Matching Portal will allow health-care providers with a range of experiences —including retired or non-active health-care professionals, internationally-educated health-care professionals, students, and volunteers with health care experience — to join in the province's fight against COVID-19. "The portal will match the availability and skill sets of frontline health care workers to the employers in need of assistance to perform a variety of public health functions, such as case and contact management," the province said in a news release.Asked to what extent the new measures will include internationally-trained professionals, Health Minister Christine Elliott said those people may or may not be called on specifically to practice medicine depending on their skills, but that the province needs "all hands on deck."The sort of experience gained during COVID-19 will be important in helping internationally-trained professionals obtain their Ontario credentials, Elliot said. But as for whether any long-term changes could be coming to the credentializing process, she said: "That's something we will have to take a look at once we're through this."Elliott said foreign credentials may not be immediately and fully recognized."What we're trying to do is match the employer's needs with the skill set of the person that's coming forward," she said."They may or may not, depending on their skill sets, their experience and so on, be able to practise medicine, but they certainly will have a place in our health-care system."The jobs will come with pay, Elliott confirmed.Warnings for first respondersOntario's first responders will now be warned before they go to a site where they will come into contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19.Health Minister Elliott says the alerts will ensure the health of those working on the front lines.The information disclosed will be limited to the person's name, address, date of birth and whether the individual has had a positive test result.Layoffs at the ROMThe Royal Ontario Museum is temporarily laying off some employees, while others — including executives — are taking a 20 per cent pay cut amid the COVID-19 outbreak.In a memo sent to staff, ROM director and CEO Josh Basseches said that the institution will likely not reopen to the public until the end of June, or possibly later.The museum will continue to pay full and part-time staff through April 10.Donation bins overflowingWith donation bins overflowing and in some cases surrounded by illegally dumped garbage, Diabetes Canada has issued an open letter to community leaders and elected officials to help raise awareness about the issue.The association, which stopped donation pickups on March 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said the bin situation is "posing a serious health and safety issue."The city of Toronto said its solid waste management services workers have launched a blitz to collect items dumped at overflowing clothing drop boxes to clean up the mess.Meanwhile, Ford made what for many little Ontarians will be a highly anticipated add to the list of essential workers in the province: the Easter Bunny.The bunny will be expected to comply with all existing orders. He is authorized to deliver chocolate, candy and other treats, but cannot do so in parks, playgrounds or any other outdoor areas where Ontario has prohibited groups from gathering.
Portia de Rossi has been teaching herself how to cook during the coronavirus lockdown. It's been an eye-opening experience for the actress — and for her fans.She's cut herself and been burned, yes. She's also discovered she doesn't like some Indian flavours and that her longtime wife, talk show host Ellen Degeneres, isn't a fan of curry and garbanzo beans.“We’re learning a lot about each other in quarantine!” she admits on Instagram.We are indeed learning a lot about each other these days, and that's especially true with our celebrities. Social distancing has meant they have no army of publicists or glam squad. They're bored and unfiltered — and often incredibly relatable.Cardi B recently inexplicably ran headfirst into a massive Jenga tower and a daffy Madonna sang her hit “Vogue” into a hairbrush but changed the lyrics to include fried fish. Hillary Swank learned to crochet — and now has a new knit hat to prove it. Ariana Grande showed off her natural hair and Marlee Matlin put on her old Oscar-winning dress. “I’m losing my mind but what else is there to do?” she wrote.Stuck inside, Justin Bieber reverted to a childhood objective. Clad in a onesie and a winter hat, the singer attempted a round of “ The Floor Is Lava ” in his massive living room, leaping onto cushions, chairs, foot stools, two skateboard and a roller. The video has been seen over 9 million times.“I think now people need the human touch even more, and I think celebrities really understand that,” says Neal Schaffer, a social media strategy consultant whose new book is “ The Age of Influence.” "People want to relate to real things, real people.”While some influencers and stars continue to post a flood of flattering, carefully stage-managed images with every hair in place, others are indeed mirroring us — unshaven, unwashed and not ashamed.“When I drink, I get really, really brilliant ideas,” the singer Pink confessed recently. "And last night, I got an idea — I can cut hair.” She then reveals some choppy, shaved spots on her head.Celebrities, it turns out, really are just like us: They get drunk and do stupid stuff, too. And they're like us in another way, too: Pink later announced that she also had contracted the virus.The coronavirus has also unlocked places we never expected to go, like Selena Gomez's bathroom and inside Broadway star Adrienne Warren's bathtub. We've gotten to inspect Rosie O’Donnell's messy garage/art studio.Theater icon Patti LuPone was taking part in a livestreamed benefit led by O’Donnell when theatre fans grew enchanted by something they'd never seen before: Lupone's cool basement. They could see a colorful, light-up vintage jukebox and a wall rack stacked with cassette tapes.So LuPone leaned into the interest, later making little video tours on Twitter that include her subterranean one-armed bandit, a massage table, mementos, her desk and a pinball machine. “I have so much to show you,” she says.Yuval Ben-Itzhak, the CEO of Socialbakers, a social media marketing company, has noticed the trend and encourages it. He suspects fans will reward the more honest of celebrities at the other end of this crisis.“By giving their audience a glimpse into their lives — from showing their homes, their families or themselves looking casual, like people typically do at home — celebrities are likely to actually increase their engagement,” Ben-Itzhak says. “Users seem to really engage with natural, authentic-looking content, especially right now. It gives a feeling of 'We're all in this together.'”We may be all in this together, but we're not equal. After all, celebs may be just like us, except they're usually much richer. The new intimate view we have of the famous reveals a chasm: Bieber's living room is large enough to fit several regular living rooms. Not everyone can self-isolate on a yacht.A few weeks into the virus' onslaught in America, some commentators had soured on the shenanigans of celebrities. “I don't care what celebs are doing in their mansions,” one wrote on Instagram. Another posted a warning: “Funny how irrelevant they become when real problems curse us.”The first real sign that celebrity exposure was curdling was when “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot led a sing-along of "Imagine" with such stars as James Marsden, Zoe Kravitz, Amy Adams and Mark Ruffalo. Pushback came quickly, with some commentators calling it “cringeworthy” and “out of touch.” They asked for donations, not songs.Akshaya Sreenivasan, a social media marketing expert at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School, says as the COVID-19 crisis drags on, celebrities are bound to face more online hate.“Even Oprah is not going to be immune,” she says. “The big guys in Hollywood are going to be shredded to pieces, especially if they continue to post on Instagram, ‘Oh my God, I’m so bored. I'm drinking martinis in my private pool.'”Sreenivasan anticipates some celebs will lose followers if they continue posting without sensitivity to the losses outside their mansions. And she thinks many will open their wallets to compensate for all the years of Instagram glam. “They need to do something to protect that brand,” she says.There's also danger if celebrities unartfully choose to profit off the virus. Social media experts warn that this may not be the time to be pushing products for gain.Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson walks toward that line when he relentlessly floods his Instagram account to highlight and hype the brand of tequila he owns."You really need to be sensitive to your audience, and you need to be very careful if you want to walk that line,” says Schaffer. “It is a dangerous subject. A celebrity is only as good as their community. It can work against them as quickly as it works for them.”Despite this new and unvarnished look at celebs and the pushback it has triggered, Sreenivasan is skeptical that anything will really change once normal life resumes.“We've had this conversation forever,” she says. “We're going to move on until the next problem comes, and we'll have this inequality conversation again.”——Follow AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwitsMark Kennedy, The Associated Press
The Alberta government's decision to commit billions of dollars to support the Keystone XL oil pipeline came as a surprise when it was announced last week, despite the government working with TC Energy for about six months, according to officials.What was unsurprising about the announcement was the continued unabashed support by the government for the province's oilpatch, which some tech sector companies say is driving them to consider leaving Alberta.Premier Jason Kenney's campaign promises during last year's election included setting up a $30-million "war room" to attack those who criticize the industry on social media or elsewhere, urging oil companies to sue environmental groups like Greenpeace for defamation and, like U.S. President Donald Trump, pulling back regulations on oil and gas companies.> 'What is Alberta doing to become a successful player in the 21st century?' \- Trent JohnsenOnce in power, the UCP quickly made good on those promises, while also cutting property taxes for natural gas producers, providing a loan to clean up oil and gas wells and sending Kenney himself to London and New York to try and attract investment back into Alberta's energy industry.In recent weeks, with the oilpatch on its knees because of plummeting fuel demand during the pandemic and OPEC countries flooding the globe with oil, the Alberta government announced it's granting extensions for oil and gas leases for one year and paying the industry's regulatory levies.The Globe and Mail recently stated "A single talisman has defined Jason Kenney's time as premier of Alberta: oil."The deep devotion to the oil and gas sector is why some technology companies in the province are now looking to relocate elsewhere."It's frustrating as hell," said Trent Johnsen, who has been involved in Alberta's tech sector for about 30 years, including as the founder of Hookflash Inc. and president of Shift Networks Inc. He has also been involved with Innovate Calgary and the Creative Destruction Lab, and currently, he's the founder and chief executive of Liveweb.io, which provides live video messaging services for companies to interact on their web sites with customers."We're betting exclusively on oil and gas," he said. "What is Alberta doing to become a successful player in the 21st century of the new economy?"The billions of dollars of support for the Keystone XL project seems to be the last straw for Johnsen, who now wants to leave the province. In general, he said the majority of Albertans believe the quality of life and future of the province is predicated on fossil fuels."Not only am I actively looking to relocate my family and business, I am also going to publicly work with other technology companies in Alberta to help them move to more technology ecosystem, future-friendly cities," he said. "My customers are in the U.S. and Europe. It doesn't matter where we live and work. We can go anywhere."Johnsen said Alberta is moving backwards by cutting funding to organizations like Alberta Innovates and eliminating important tax credits.The UCP faced criticism by some in the tech sector last fall for its decision to eliminate the Alberta Investor Tax Credit, which was introduced by the previous NDP government and provided a 30 per cent tax credit to investors who put money into specific industries such as clean technology and digital animation. The Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit and the Capital Investment Tax Credit were also wiped out, among other programs.Those tax credits made a difference, he said, and are a better approach than choosing to support a single company, like a profitable pipeline developer."They shouldn't be investing a billion dollars directly in anything. They should be making policy, where there is a billion dollars for the market to find its highest way to return. That's the structure of an investor tax credit, where the government says 'we're not picking any winners,'" he said. 'Like swimming upstream'Trying to grow a tech company in Alberta can feel like swimming upstream because of the lack of provincial support, according to Anthea Sargeaunt, founder and chief executive of 2S Water, an Edmonton company developing technology that detects metals in water in real-time."We expect the Alberta government to support oil and gas. That's what they have done up until now," she said. "But, there is a lot of new industry coming up that could really make a massive difference to Alberta's economy. We don't have to be tied to this perpetual oil and gas chain."Growth of her business has slowed because of the elimination of the tax credits, she said."It's been a difficult slog. Those tax credits were a really important part of our offering for investors. Knowing the government was supporting them coming in, was helping them take the risk," she said.So far, Sargeaunt said she has received more financial support from the federal government than the provincial government. Relocating her startup elsewhere is a possibility."It's a conversation we've had and will continue to have. It's a tough decision to make and we don't want to necessarily make, but we want our business to succeed more than we want to stay in Alberta at this point. That is something we are pretty seriously looking at."The provincial government did form a working group to develop ways to support tech companies in the province. Economic Development Minister Tanya Fir is currently reviewing the group's report and recommendations.Fir was unavailable for an interview, but in an email, her spokesperson said the tech sector will be a key part of diversifying Alberta's economy.Ninety-two per cent of Albertans think the province should do more to encourage the development of the technology sector, according to a recent poll by CBC News. The survey of 1,200 Albertans was conducted between March 2 and March 18, 2020, with a margin of error of +/-2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The government has often pointed to its decision to cut the corporate tax rate as a move that will help reduce costs for all industries in the province and compensates for the loss of some tax credits.Some in the tech sector dispute that argument since many startups don't turn a profit for several years.There are differing viewpoints in the tech sector right now between those who want to relocate and those who want to keep the faith and stay in the province, according to Johnsen."There's a lot of smart people who are trying to remain believers [in Alberta], but when you have provincial political leadership, with a singular focus, on a legacy industry — I honestly feel like we're trying to keep coal mines," he said.He wants to see the oil and gas industry be successful, but said other industries in the province should receive the same support."We should be all-in on diversification and we'd be wildly successful," he said.
The demand for homemade masks in Yukon is high — and it's been that way since even before Canada's chief public health officer said it could be beneficial to wear them in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a change from her previous stance, Dr. Theresa Tam now says non-medical masks could be worn as an additional measure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. But many Yukoners didn't wait for Tam's go-head to put in their mask order. The owner of a sewing and repair store in Whitehorse said she's already made about 200. "We need it, so I'm glad to [sic] help with the community," said Karin Martinez of Renueva. Martinez said she follows a pattern that's being used at a hospital in France, made from cotton and fleece. Sydney Wolf, an apprentice tailor by trade, is also making masks, but from the comfort of her home.Wolf is immunocompromised and said she first made masks for herself and her husband. After that, people started asking her to make them. She's made about 90 so far.Wolf said the repetition of making them helps her deal with the anxiety she feels about the pandemic."I love sewing. I figured I should do something to help other people, too. It makes me feel really, really good."Both Wolf and Martinez sell masks in various sizes.Cloth masks could reduce chance of infecting othersTam previously said there was no need for healthy people to wear masks.While she still maintains that medical masks should be reserved for frontline healthcare workers, she now says that wearing a non-medical mask, along with following physical distancing measures, can limit the transmission of COVID-19.She said they might help by preventing a person's respiratory droplets from reaching another person or surface. She said the masks should be well-fitted, with no gaps.In a press briefing Monday, Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon's chief medical officer, spoke about homemade masks."A homemade mask has not been shown to protect the person wearing it," he said. "It could be, though, that wearing a mask, particularly in crowded settings, can be a way to help the chance of you infecting others."In other words, think of cloth masks as another way to cover your face when you cough."Medical experts say that wearing a mask does not replace the need for physical distancing, hand-washing and other recommended measures.
THE LATEST: * A total of 1,291 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in B.C. * 805 of those cases have recovered from the illness. * As of Tuesday afternoon, 138 patients were hospitalized, including 66 in intensive care. * 43 people have died. * 23 long-term care homes now have cases. * The Vancouver Park Board is banning cars from Stanley Park and encouraging cyclists to stay off the seawall.Health officials are urging British Columbians to stick with physical distancing measures, as the evidence mounts suggesting B.C. is starting to flatten the COVID-19 curve.The number of patients hospitalized fell to 138 on Tuesday, down from 149 on Saturday. However, four new deaths have been recorded, bringing the province's total to 43.And the daily rate of new confirmed cases appears to have slowed. On Tuesday, B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 25 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed patients to 1,291 to date, with 805 recovered.With several religious holidays approaching, including Easter, Passover, Ramadan and Vaisakhi, Henry once again urged British Columbians to observe their faiths through virtual celebrations."Please, now is the time to pay attention to our seniors and our elders," Henry said. "We protect them by connecting safely from a distance."On Tuesday morning the Vancouver Park Board announced it is banning cars from Stanley Park effective Wednesday. Cyclists are being asked to start using Stanley Park Drive, which will be entirely car-free, and avoid the seawall to put more space between themselves and pedestrians.More than 25 staff have been assigned to crowded areas of the park to remind people to stay two metres apart. Employees have issued 1,600 warnings to date, for people who aren't staying far enough away from others in public.Breaking the chains of transmissionHenry and Health Minister Adrian Dix have cautioned against easing up on strict physical distancing measures that have kept most British Columbians at home for the past few weeks."We have to continue to break these chains of transmission. We have to continue to work very hard as a community and a health system, especially in the weeks to come," Dix told CBC's The Early Edition on Tuesday."So, on one hand there's positive news ... on the other hand, we have 39 deaths and every day there's a death from this is a very, very sad day for everybody."The most recent death in B.C. was a man in his 40s who died outside of hospital, marking one of the province's youngest deaths and only the second in the community. The B.C. Coroners Service is investigating, as it investigates any sudden or unexpected death in the province."It's an extraordinarily sad case and difficult case. All of these, every single one of them, is reviewed — both for the implications for COVID-19 and the implications for health care," said Dix."In cases such as this, which is different than other cases, we need to learn. We need to see, if anything, what we could have done better in responding to the case. We owe that both to the family of the person who died and to the whole system."Dix said for privacy reasons he could not confirm whether the patient was in contact with health-care professionals before his death.On Monday, Henry said she also continues to be concerned about new community outbreaks popping up, including in places like long-term care homes and correctional facilities. She has confirmed that a new outbreak had been detected at Mission Institution."These hotspots are concerning. They can quickly challenge our response," Henry said. "We must be steadfast in holding the line."The Vancouver Park Board is announcing new measures Tuesday morning to encourage physical distancing at Stanley Park. The park is one of the city's biggest tourist attractions, drawing millions of visitors every year.800K applications for CERBThe Canada Revenue Agency its opening applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) on Tuesday to those born in April, May and June.The agency said roughly 800,000 people applied after applications opened for the first time on Monday.More than two million Canadians lost their jobs in the last half of March as businesses across the country were forced to close or reduce their operations to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.Top stories todayImportant reminders:Health officials widely agree the most important thing you can do to prevent coronavirus and other illnesses is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. The World Health Organization said more than 80 per cent of COVID-19 infections are estimated to be mild.What's happening elsewhere in CanadaIn Canada, all provinces and territories except Nunavut have cases of COVID-19, with the total known case count surpassing 16,660. Quebec and Ontario have been hardest hit, followed by Alberta and British Columbia. Nova Scotia on Tuesday reported its first COVID-19-related death.The numbers, which are updated at least daily by the provinces and territories, are not a complete picture, as they don't account for people who haven't been tested, those being investigated as a potential case and people still waiting for test results. For a look at what's happening across the country and the world, check the CBC interactive case tracker.What are the symptoms of COVID-19?Common symptoms include: * Fever. * Cough. * Tiredness.But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.What should I do if I feel sick?Stay home. Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.What can I do to protect myself? * Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean. * Keep at least two metres away from people who are sick. * When outside the home, keep two metres away from other people. * Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. * Masks won't fully protect you from infection, but can help prevent you from infecting others.More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VANCOUVER — A group of British Columbia First Nations is seeking to challenge the federal government's second approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project in Canada's highest court.The Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Ts'elxweyeqw Tribes and Coldwater Indian Band say they have each filed applications with the Supreme Court of Canada.They are seeking leaves to appeal a Feb. 4 decision by the Federal Court of Appeal that found cabinet's approval of the pipeline project in June 2019 was reasonable under the law.While some court processes are paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, deadlines for leave to appeal applications at the Supreme Court remain in effect.The First Nations say they have fought and challenged the project through every federal court and now they want to take it to the next step.In a video news conference Tuesday, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish leaders said they're challenging the adequacy of Indigenous consultation leading up to the second approval of the oil pipeline project.Tsleil-Waututh Chief Leah George-Wilson said the Appeal Court's decision represents a setback for reconciliation."If unchallenged, it could change the way consultation and consultation cases happen in Canada, making it less meaningful for protecting our inherent constitutionally protected Aboriginal rights," George-Wilson said.The decision relied on a finding that cabinet's determination of its own consultation process was adequate, and the First Nations argue the decision should have been made at an arm's length, she said."Cabinet is not an expert in consultation and as owners of the project, they were unable to objectively assess the adequacy of their own consultation," George-Wilson said.The Federal Court of Appeal overturned cabinet's first approval of the pipeline expansion in 2018, citing insufficient consultation with Indigenous Peoples and a failure to take into account the affect on marine animals. After another round of consultations and a second look at how marine life would be affected, cabinet gave the project a green light.Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges from environment and Indigenous groups from British Columbia, which included the Tsleil-Waututh and the Squamish First Nations.Some of those groups challenged a Federal Court of Appeal decision in February not to hear their request to consider whether there had been sufficient consultation.Squamish Coun. Khelsilem said the First Nations are under increased pressure during the pandemic but construction on the Trans Mountain pipeline is still proceeding.While community members are asked to stay inside and avoid contact with one another, major resources projects have been allowed to proceed."For the nations it's challenging that the governments are asking us to be on lockdown for weeks or months while at the same time pushing projects through our territories," said Khelsilem, who goes by a single name."It creates an uneven playing field where we are not able to respond to the scale and scope of the requests for comment and consultation because our offices are closed and our staff are dealing with a crisis situation."The Squamish Nation, which has about 4,100 members centred around the Burrard Inlet and Howe Sound, believe the seven-fold increase in tanker traffic from the Trans Mountain expansion poses too significant a risk to their traditional territory."We are very disappointed to have to go to court over this over and over again with this government but we are doing this in the best interest of our community and our nation," Khelsilem said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 7, 2020.The Canadian Press
* Quebec has 9,340 cases and 150 deaths attributable to COVID-19. There are 583 people in hospital, including 164 in intensive care.A total of 150 people have now died from COVID-19 in Quebec, but Premier François Legault says the small increase in the number of hospitalizations, particularly in intensive care, is encouraging.In all, Quebec now has 9,340 confirmed cases. Of those, 583 people are in hospital, an increase of 50 cases, and there are 164 people in intensive care, the same as a day earlier. "It's the good news of the day," Legault said at Tuesday's briefing."This doesn't mean we can ease our efforts. We cannot spoil all that we've accomplished in the last few weeks."Legault acknowledged some caution is required when assessing the hospitalization numbers because not every sick person in a long-term care home (CHSLD) is being transferred to hospital.But even if that were the case, the rate would still be lower than the province anticipated, he said. The main area of concern remains CHSLDs, many of which are struggling to contain the virus. Nearly 45 per cent of the people who have died were residents at a long-term care home.Health Minister Danielle McCann said doctors and nurses who aren't needed at their usual jobs, given the closures to certain clinics and services amid the outbreak, are being redeployed to CHSLDs."We're doing everything we can to protect the elderly," she said.On Tuesday, public health experts with the Quebec government released their projections, estimating that between 1,200 and 9,000 people could die of COVID-19 by the end of April.The province released two scenarios:The optimistic scenario projects 29,212 confirmed cases, with as many as 1,404 people in hospital at once and 1,263 deaths by April 30.A second scenario projects 59,845 confirmed cases, with as many as 3,208 people hospitalized at one time and 8,860 deaths.Arruda had been openly reluctant to unveil the data, but the province has been under pressure to follow in Ontario's footsteps.Modelling revealed by public health officials there last week showed they expect COVID-19 could kill 3,000 to 15,000 people over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, the ramifications of which could last up to two years.Earlier in the day, Legault warned the most dire scenarios could be alarming to the public. But he said if Quebecers continue to follow the social distancing guidelines those will be avoidable.Legault and Arruda were not at the briefing detailing the projections, which were presented by Deputy Health Minister Yvan Gendron and an epidemiologist and government consultant, Richard Massé. The premier said he wanted to ensure the projections are not viewed as political."I think the answers, the figures, the forecasts they have to be done by expert not by politicians," he said.Outbreaks continue to grow in long-term care homesHundreds of seniors' and long-term care homes have reported cases of COVID-19, and there are outbreaks at several locations. In Laval, the long-term care home CHSLD Sainte-Dorothée has reported 105 cases, nearly half of its resident population. Eight people have died. At Montreal's hospital specialized in geriatrics, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, there have been nine deaths attributable to the disease and 52 patients who have tested positive for the virus. Hospitalizations in Quebec, Ontario and B.C.Quebec has been hit harder by the pandemic, experts say, because of an earlier March break, with more travellers coming or returning to the province in late February and early March.CBC journalists compared the growth in the number of hospitalizations in the three major provinces the pandemic has spread widely: Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. Quebec has seen the sharpest rise, while B.C.'s curve appears relatively flat.
This week's entertainment offerings have a decidedly familial feel to them, and not the Force Family Fun kind. On television, viewers have the chance to say goodbye to the Roses of “Schitt's Creek” and visit one last time with the “Modern Family” crew. “Parasite,” the Oscar best-picture winner, arrives on streaming this week, while “Trolls: World Tour” — which had its theatrical release quashed by the coronavirus pandemic — arrives for home rental. The Strokes are back with their sixth album, this one produced by Rick Rubin, while a host of friends including Christopher Guest helps Joe Satriani on his 18th record.Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.___MOVIES—“Parasite”: For the housebound, little could be more perfect than Bong Joon Ho’s best-picture winner. Two months back (or, emotionally speaking, roughly 80 years ago), “ Parasite” became the first foreign-language film to win the Academy Awards’ top honour. Bong’s sly and biting class satire, a cunningly engineered genre contraption, is set almost entirely inside the homes of two families — one poor, one rich. Now, you can stream it in yours, too. It debuts on Hulu on Wednesday.—“Columbia Noir”: A year ago, the Criterion Collection, which puts out immaculate discs of many of the best art-house, foreign and classic films, launched its own streaming service, the Criterion Channel. To commemorate its anniversary, Criterion is bringing back this fabulous inaugural series that gathers some classic noirs (“In a Lonely Place,” “The Big Heat”) along with some less well-known but equally delicious titles (“My Name Is Julia Ross,” “Murder by Contract”). Beginning Wednesday, “Columbia Noir” returns with 13 additional films.— “Trolls World Tour”: Most new movies that were headed to theatres have been postponed due to the pandemic. But this Universal Pictures release is heading straight to on-demand and digital rental beginning Friday. You can read that as either an olive branch to shut-in families or a hint that “Trolls World Tour” wasn’t worth saving.—Jake Coyle, Film Writer___TELEVISIONThere’s really no goodbye in television, given reruns and the potential for reboots, but two admired sitcoms will officially wrap up this week. ABC’s “Modern Family,” with five record-tying best comedy series Emmys over 11 seasons, airs its hour-long finale at 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday, following the retrospective documentary “A Modern Farewell” (8 p.m. EDT). Pop TV’s very different family circus, “Schitt’s Creek,” is signing off Tuesday with its finale at 8 p.m. EDT and, at 9 p.m., the tribute “Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt’s Creek Farewell.” The series built a devoted following during its six seasons and finally won over Emmy voters last year, earning a best comedy series nomination and nods for stars Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara.— A four-part town hall series addressing the pandemic’s effect on African Americans and steps to counter it will debut 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday on BET, which is working in partnership with the NAACP on the event. Among the aspects of the coronavirus crisis to be discussed: Its health and economic toll and how activists can press for equitable legislation, BET and the civil rights organization said. Viewers are able to join with an interactive toll-free conference call that also is to be streamed at https://naacp.org/call-to-action-program. The town hall will be available across BET’s social and digital platforms immediately after it concludes, the channel said.Tracy Morgan and TBS’ “The Last O.G.” returns for season three at 10:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, with Morgan’s Tray continuing to adjust to life after prison. The quest for a new home and source of income leads him to gentrified Brooklyn and a plan to give “hood legend” tours; what could go wrong? Tiffany Haddish plays Tray’s ex-girlfriend and mother of his twins, with JB Smoove, Katt Williams, Marla Gibbs, Sasheer Zamata and Mike Tyson among the guest stars.There’s a second chance to see a big-name concert raising money for charity, “Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America,” airing 9 p.m. EDT Monday on the Fox network. The hour-long concert was hosted by Elton John and features Alicia Keys, Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, the Backstreet Boys, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw and others, along with messages from health professionals. In announcing the encore presentation, Fox said the telecast had raised more than $10 million for Feeding America and the First Responders Children’s Foundation since it first aired on March 29, with both charities continuing to accept donations.— Lynn Elber, Television Writer___MUSICThe Strokes, “The New Abnormal”: With powerhouse player Rick Rubin in the production chair, The Strokes are back with their sixth studio album. Julian Casablancas, Nick Valensi, Albert Hammond Jr., Nikolai Fraiture and Fabrizio Moretti return with their first release in seven years, which is out Friday and has already earned an A- score from Entertainment Weekly and four out of five stars from NME. The album cover for “The New Abnormal” features the 1981 painting “Bird on Money” by Jean-Michel Basquiat and first single “At the Door” was performed at a Bernie Sanders rally.Joe Satriani, “Shapeshifting”: Joe Satriani is releasing his 18th studio album Friday and he’s worked with a wide range of musicians to put the project together. On “Shapeshifting,” the guitar maven has teamed up with Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty), bassist Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction) and keyboardist Eric Caudieux, who suggested that Satriani invite Lisa Coleman of The Revolution to the studio. Coleman plays on the tracks “Waiting” and album closer “Yesterday’s Yesterday,” which also features Emmy- and Grammy-winner Christopher Guest on mandolin.— Mesfin Fekadu, Music WriterCatch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.The Associated Press
Nova Scotia's police watchdog is investigating the death of a man who fell from a balcony in Halifax this morning.Halifax Regional Police say they were called to an apartment building on Carrington Place in Clayton Park around 6:30 a.m. after reports of a disturbance between a man and woman who knew each other.The Nova Scotia Serious Incident Response Team said in a news release that police noticed the man was on the balcony when they entered the apartment.The release said he went over the balcony, falling to the ground below, a short time later.Police tried to help the man, but he died at the scene.The Serious Incident Response Team investigates all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia.MORE TOP STORIES
Helen and John Dick got married 75 years ago, in the final months of the Second World War.April 7 is their anniversary, but the Leamington, Ont. couple will not be able to celebrate together because of the COVID-19 pandemic.John, 98, is in long-term care, and Helen, 96, is in the retirement residence at the Leamington Mennonite Home. While COVID-19 has not been reported at the facility, restrictions to slow the spread mean no one from one unit is allowed to visit another."I feel sad about this whole situation, not just today but for the past number of weeks," said Marlene Neufeld, one of the couple's five children.Neufeld said she wasn't able to see her mother on a recent birthday and is afraid Mother's Day won't be an option either. "They used to have some meals together, but that got complicated," said Neufeld, adding that the couple were able to visit and do things together before coronavirus precautions came into play. "Their understanding is a bit limited; they both have dementia," said Sharon Johnston, another daughter of the Dicks. "We just totally respect what the home is doing. I think they're getting excellent care where they are and they both have wonderful memories."The couple met in what was Mersea Township in the 1940s. "My mother, on their farm, had a big cherry tree and her sister invited a bunch of people in their church group to come and pick cherries," said Johnston.John showed up with a friend — and the rest is history. While the couple married in April 1945, they had to wait until October — when the farming season settled down — to take a three-night honeymoon."They were very proud of their farm in Mersea Township," said Neufeld. For their 75th anniversary, the five siblings had been planning a family gathering with some extended relatives, which will be rescheduled.Johnston said they'll just have to see "how things play out." For now, staff will be the ones celebrating with Helen and John individually. "I know that they're sending cards and some of the staff knows and will be wishing them a happy anniversary," said Neufeld. "We're just happy that they're where they are."Both daughters say the family calls their parents regularly."They're just living day by day — and we just try to do that too," said Neufeld.
All the animals at the P.E.I. Humane Society have been adopted — except for one, a German shepherd named Maggie who was abused as a puppy and is now described as "70 pounds of pure excitement."Even though its doors are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shelter has seen an increase in adoptions in the last few weeks, said development and communications manager Jennifer Harkness.She said 88 animals — mostly rabbits, cats and dogs — were adopted this March, compared to 71 during the same period last year.Only Maggie, who is in foster care, remains. Harkness said she's happy that people are looking for a companion animal at this time."What we're hearing from people is they have the time, they're working from home, their kids are at home, they're taking care of the kids at home and now is the time that they have to spend with an animal and they think it's a great time to adopt."She said it's good for the animals, as well, to have people around when they are adjusting to their new environment.Harkness said the shelter has stopped receiving animals unless it's an emergency. And since the shelter is temporarily closed to the public, there have been changes made to the adoption process.The applications are done online and interviews are done on the phone. People only get a few minutes with the animal they are interested in adopting. 'Come out of her shell'Harkness hopes Maggie will be adopted soon. According to Maggie's bio on the shelter's website, she was abused and under-socialized as a puppy. And though she has "come out of her shell," it says her ideal family would be a single person or a couple without kids or other pets."She does need ongoing training but she's a wonderful dog and we're just hoping for the best home for her," Harkness said.More from CBC P.E.I.
Alberta is working closely with Ottawa as the federal government crafts a strategy for helping the country's struggling oilpatch, says the province's energy minister, adding she's expecting a package to come "very shortly."Sonya Savage, speaking to an online audience of investors and companies, also expressed faith that the package would include methods of helping the oilpatch with its financing challenges."I'm still confident that something's coming out very shortly," Savage said Tuesday morning to the Scotiabank CAPP Energy Symposium."We're working very closely with them. And I'm not seeing anything at this point to be concerned that there's not a liquidity package coming."When commodity prices are so low, oilpatch companies often struggle to obtain financing from banks, investors and the broader finance community.Oil companies, drillers and service firms have been calling on the federal government to find some way to ensure there will be liquidity in the market during the current turmoil. The oilpatch is struggling because of three main factors: the decision by Saudi Arabia and Russia to flood the market with oil; problems with accessing funding from equity markets; and COVID-19, which has put the brakes on oil demand."Our finance minister, Travis Toews, has been in regular contact with [federal] Finance Minister Bill Morneau and our departments are working closely on what a liquidity package is going to look like," Savage said."I still believe that they're working very diligently on it, the federal government. These things take a bit of time. There's a number of option proposals before them on exactly how to get liquidity back into the sector."Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said last month that aid for the oil sector was "hours, potentially days" away. But his department confirmed Tuesday there's still no timeline for its release, while noting that federal wage programs can be used by energy employees.In an open letter on Monday, the Calgary-based oilfield services sector called for Ottawa to introduce a payroll relief plan and suggested it purchase their accounts receivable at a discount to give them instant cash flow to preserve jobs.The letter signed by 13 CEOs said the federal government could collect those debts at a profit when the crisis is over.The annual CAPP conference, held in Toronto for the past few years, is being presented as an online conference for the first time this year to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Matthew Shepard bundled up on Saturday morning for a run that would end up consuming his entire weekend.The 32-year-old, who lives in Valleyview, Alta., joined more than 2,000 runners from 57 countries in the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, a free virtual race hosted by the coaching company Personal Peak.Live streaming themselves on treadmills and on near-empty residential streets, participants covered 6.7 kilometres per hour until they could not continue. One man became a fan favourite for running loops of his living room. He ran for 20 hours in his Dubai apartment."We ended up really blowing away the expectations of what we were trying to do here," said Canadian ultrarunner Dave Proctor in a Monday interview with CBC's Radio Active.Proctor dreamed up the event two weeks ago after cancelling plans to race across Canada this summer. He hopped on the treadmill in his basement to participate in the ultra himself, running 31 hours and covering more than 200 kilometres.Like Proctor, Shepard also was looking forward to a spring and summer full of running. The former Alaska resident even quit his job last year to train and coach full-time.His ultimate goal is finishing the Barkley Marathons, a notoriously difficult Tennessee race that involves searching for book pages in the woods.With the Barkley Marathons cancelled, and just about every other major race now cancelled or postponed, Shepard was eager to compete in some form.When he started running at 7 a.m. on Saturday, the temperature in Valleyview was just shy of -30 C and the wind, he recalled, "was just whipping."It became warmer as the day went on, but when the temperature plunged again after sunset, Shepard figured he should stop running.He feared his body temperature would drop too much and did not want to push himself to the point of hospitalization, especially during a pandemic.His crew had other plans. They pushed tables together and set up a tiny race route inside the Tall Timber Coffee Corporation, a cafe in town.The coffee shop's owner, Travis Werklund, was happy to lend Shepard the space since he had temporarily closed the cafe due to COVID-19 a few weeks ago.Shepard ran around the 25-metre perimeter of the cafe, alternating direction every 500 metres. By hour 32, the constant turns were starting to take a toll on his ankles and knees, so he took off his shoes and started running in socks. Without shoes on, he could take slightly smaller steps, relieving a little knee pain.Delirium and sleep deprivation also took a toll on the runner, affecting his ability to communicate."I would try to have conversations with my crew, but sometimes my thoughts would dissolve into gibberish or if they would say a word, sometimes I wouldn't understand it," he said."I felt like I had to keep him occupied somehow," said Xeata Daugherty, who fed him Japanese omelettes, candy, chips and pizza throughout the race. She stopped only once to take a two-hour nap.After thousands of laps of the coffee shop, Shepard dropped out of the race shortly after midnight on Monday morning. Running had become too painful at that point.His final total: 41 hours of running, covering 275 kilometres.After he stopped, Shepard answered questions and thanked viewers on YouTube before crashing on a couch at the cafe."Don't judge me but I still have not taken a shower," he confessed Monday afternoon.The final two runners were Michael Wardian of the U.S. and Radek Brunner of the Czech Republic.Wardian ended up as the winner, earning the coveted "golden" toilet paper roll after running for 63 hours.
A Yellowknife-based company hopes to soon be supplying hand sanitizer for clinical use in hospitals, after getting approval to distribute it in non-clinical settings last week.62 Degrees North is a company that provides medical services and supplies to northern communities and camps, as well as other places in Canada.Since getting approval to make and distribute its product to the public last week, the company has distributed it for sale in Inuvik, Hay River, Yellowknife, Fort Smith and Rankin Inlet. Matt Vincent, the owner and CEO of the company, said his company has already distributed about 2,000 bottles — with 500 going out on Monday alone.Now, the company is awaiting the final stage of approval so that the product can be available to doctors and nurses on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Running low on critical suppliesVincent said the company never manufactured its own supplies. That changed however, as COVID-19 began to spread and many of their regular vendors across Canada started running low on supplies, including gowns, medical masks and hand sanitizer."Hand sanitizer was probably the biggest one that we were running into obstacles with especially ... in N.W.T. and Nunavut, just because we're so isolated."Vincent began to see other companies across the country, including distilleries, making hand sanitizer, so he researched how to make it, and came across the World Health Organization's recipe.Approval from the territorial government to buy, manufacture and distribute the product for non-clinical or public use went through last week, said Vincent. Dr. Kami Kandola, the territory's chief public health officer, now has the authority to make a decision under the public health emergency.The company was also able to get federal approval on the product last week, a process Vincent said can normally take months. But in response to the pandemic, Health Canada has implemented interim expedited licensing to support the manufacturing, packaging and labelling of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The approach will be in effect until March 31 of next year, or until a notice from Health Canada says otherwise. If 62 Degrees North gets final approval on its labelling, it will be able to supply its sanitizer to hospitals and health-care centres for health-care providers to use. Importance of locally made productsVincent said he hopes distributing the hand sanitizer as widely as possible can help prevent community spread of COVID-19. As of Monday, all confirmed cases of the disease in the N.W.T. have been travel-related. The territorial government did not immediately respond to a request about whether the territory's health centres and hospitals are facing hand sanitizer shortages.Regardless, Vincent said he hopes providing hand sanitizer on a local level can help protect the N.W.T. from global shortages."Their normal suppliers are also manufacturing for the rest of the world too ... a shortage in the U.S. or a shortage overseas will have a global effect as well."He said they will continue making the product as long as they are able to, and while there is a need."Sometimes it's a lot easier to get things locally, especially during times like this."Experts say one of the best ways to prevent spread of COVID-19 is to wash your hands properly with soap and water. If that's not an option, an effective hand sanitizer should have an alcohol concentration of at least 60 per cent.Health Canada is also cautioning people about the potential health risks of making your own hand sanitizer at home, and does not recommend doing so.
A youth from Chisasibi is the latest among Cree in Quebec to be diagnosed with COVID-19 and has been sent south for treatment.The young person had travelled with an escort to Montreal for a medical appointment and then back to Chisasibi, the largest of the Cree communities, before being diagnosed while in self-isolation. After the diagnosis was confirmed, the youth was medevaced to Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, a children's hospital in Montreal, as a precaution because of underlying health conditions."He was medevaced a couple of day ago," said Chisasibi Chief Davey Bobbish in a video message on the community's Facebook page Monday.> He was medevaced a couple of days ago. \- Davey Bobbish, Chisasbi Chief said on Monday"This confirmed case is in Montreal being well taken care of." Contact-tracing has been done and all close contacts are in isolation, according to a joint release from the Cree Nation Government and Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay. The person who accompanied the youth to his original medical appointment has tested negative for COVID-19, according to the release.This latest case brings the total to five Cree in Quebec who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 — four in the territory and one in Montreal.In the territory, there have been two cases diagnosed in Chisasibi, located 1,400 kilometres north of Montreal and two others in the Cree community of Nemaska, some 500 kilometres south of there. The two cases in Nemaska were related to travel to the Dominican Republic.1st Cree patient doing wellThe first Cree patient in Quebec was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 24. That patient is doing well despite underlying health conditions, according to the director of public health for the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay."Someone who had diabetes and renal failure [and is] on dialysis, this person is very well," said Faisca Richer. The board said 127 tests for COVID-19 have been carried out so far, with 88 coming back negative. Thirty-five people are still waiting for results.
The Vancouver Park Board is banning cars from Stanley Park and encouraging cyclists to stay off the seawall in an effort to stop crowding within the immensely popular park.Officials said the park will be closed to all vehicle traffic as of noon Wednesday. Cyclists are also now being asked to start using Stanley Park Drive, which will be entirely car-free, and avoid the waterfront path to put more space between themselves and pedestrians."Most people are trying their best ... but our job is to prevent people from getting sick," the board's general manager, Malcolm Bromley, said Tuesday."Social and physical distancing is working ... but we can't let up. And at the park board, we won't let up."The board tried to reduce the amount of traffic going through the park by closing all of its parking lots on March 22. A statement said visitors have been driving to the park anyway and parking illegally on the side of the road, especially on sunny days.The result has been a park still teeming with visitors, even though the public has been repeatedly asked to avoid crowds and maintain physical distancing.A stretch of warm, dry weather hasn't helped.The statement said new barriers will be put in place to block key access points to the park, with enforcement from park rangers and Vancouver police. Traffic signs before the entrance points from major roads will remind drivers that they cannot drive through the park. Roads through Stanley Park will remain open for emergency responders, parks staff and the No. 19 transit bus. Tenants will also have limited access. Bike traffic through the park will continue to flow in the normal one-way, counter-clockwise direction.1,600 warnings issuedMore than 25 staff have been assigned to crowded areas of the park to remind people to stay two metres apart from others to slow the spread of COVID-19. Bromley said employees have issued 1,600 warnings, to date, for people who aren't staying far enough away from others in public.Parking lots at all beaches and parks in the city are currently closed. Board director Howard Normann said closing Stanley Park entirely at this stage is "highly unlikely," but the board will do what it has to do to follow heath officials' advice for keeping people safe."We don't want to have to take further action to keep people safe, but will do so if needed," said Normann."We are asking people to leave their vehicles at home, visit Stanley Park if you are in the neighborhood, cycle responsibly on [Stanley] Park Drive and interior roads, jog and run the seawall, but please, leave enough distance between yourself and others."The board is encouraging people to avoid visiting the park at peak hours and on sunny days, when it is most crowded.The park is one of the city's most renowned tourist attractions, drawing eight million visitors in a typical year. It's also a favoured escape for thousands of locals, with vast green space and the longest uninterrupted waterfront path in the world.
For some elderly Moscow residents, the coronavirus lockdown has a familiar feel - they lived through something like it during a dramatic Soviet-era smallpox outbreak six decades ago. Moscow's rail, road and air links with the rest of the country were partially suspended, and anyone who came into contact with an infected person was traced and quarantined. "Immediately in Moscow a special headquarters was set up, which led the hunt for people who had been exposed," Victor Zuev, 90, a laboratory worker at the time, told Reuters.
With vast numbers of Albertans working from home, and even more of them isolated from family and friends, many are likely wondering if the province's strict social distancing rules are paying off.Are the province's efforts working to flatten the curve? And when will this nightmare come to an end?Unfortunately, experts say, a month after the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the province, it's just too early to tell.What is clear is that federal and provincial governments were able to follow social distancing policies in countries where the pandemic hit harder and earlier, while also learning what not to do.Quick action has helped, experts saySome countries, such as South Korea, took immediate action to slow the spread of the coronavirus by isolating COVID-19 cases and restricting travel.A handful of experts told CBC News that both federal and provincial governments in Canada were quick to act once COVID-19 crossed our borders."We are all hearing from the chief medical officers of health almost daily, which I think has helped to get the necessary information to the public so that the public takes [physical distancing] seriously," said Lorian Hardcastle, a University of Calgary law professor who works with the U of C's Cumming School of Medicine.Experts say the quick government action coupled with good communication has been key to making sure Canadians understand what is happening and what they can do to help."There is nothing more important than an understanding of the [decision-making] structure," said Manitoba-based epidemiologist Cynthia Carr. "And how those decisions are communicated with the command and control of the situation and outward to the public."Because you can see from our neighbours to the south, when the president and his chief medical officer of health are disagreeing on television, then that becomes the conversation for the next half hour on television. The result of that is absolute confusion."63,000 tests and countingOne of the biggest successes for Alberta, experts say, has been the number of tests administered. As of Sunday, more than 63,000 people had been tested in the province."That's been able to control the number of cases, by identifying the people who indeed have been struck by COVID-19, so that they can isolate and avoid contact," Hardcastle said.South Korea is seen as a model for what successful testing can achieve. One expert told CBC News the South Korean government's collaboration with labs to provide access to testing and early diagnosis has been a leading factor in that country's success in reducing the spread of COVID-19.Premier Jason Kenney told the legislature on April 1 that Alberta had surpassed South Korea's per capita number of COVID-19 tests.The percentage of positive tests, also known as the curve of infections, was running at about two per cent as of April 1. "Thankfully, we have not yet seen what epidemiologists would refer to as exponential growth in the curve of infections," Kenney said that day. "That exponential growth would see a doubling every two or three days. In Alberta, we have seen a doubling roughly every seven to nine days, so this seems to be some early success in our efforts to flatten the curve."Can we keep it up?It's been a month since Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, told Albertans that the province had detected its first coronavirus case. Along with physical distancing measures, the province's health-care system has undergone changes over the last month. > The response thus far here is on point, earnest and is focused as you possibly could be with this much fog \- Myles Leslie, associate director of research at University of CalgaryMyles Leslie, an associate director of research at University of Calgary's School of Public Policy and assistant professor in the department of community health sciences, is looking at how COVID-19 preparedness and response policies are being transmitted to, and implemented in, hospitals and doctors' offices in Alberta.He said the centralized system of Alberta Health Services has helped to spread vital information."We had the benefit of, if not the lessons learned, the fear of everywhere else," he said. "So I think all of that is very much to Alberta's advantage. And the response thus far here is on point, earnest, and is as focused as you possibly could be with this much fog."And so for a great big system like ours, I would say that people are adapting quite well and showing what's sexy to call resilience in remarkable ways. Can we keep this up? Can any of the jurisdictions keep this up is a particularly good question."When will we know if it's working?During an emergency debate in the legislature on April 1, Kenney said cases of COVID-19 could peak in Alberta in early May, when about 250 people are expected to be in intensive-care beds with the illness.Kenney said the province will release more detailed modelling projections about the spread of the virus, its impact on the health-care system and worst-case scenario Tuesday evening."At this point, I can assure the assembly and, through it, Albertans that we are confident of our capacity to cope," the premier said on April 1. "We are confident at this stage that we will have excess hospital and health-care capacity to deal with the peak of infections."Alberta is following in the footsteps of British Columbia and Ontario governments, which have already released modelling projections for COVID-19 in their provinces. Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro told the legislature last Wednesday that modelling work started about a month ago, but was "very difficult work" as there no specific Canadian or Alberta data was available."Now that we have Canada-specific and Alberta-specific information, I think that our modelling is getting quite sophisticated."The future is never certain and experts say predictions can vary in accuracy.Until more data is released, Hardcastle said it might be difficult for Albertans to know if their physical distancing measures are paying off."I think certainly there are countries where the situation is more alarming," she said. "I think the U.S. is an example where there are several states that you still see large public gatherings going on. And so I expect that we'll have done a better job than some of those jurisdictions that are still at this stage permitting large public gatherings and those sorts of things."But I do think it's too early to tell how big this will get in Alberta and in Canada, and also how long it will go on for."We don't yet know if they're going to pay off, and know how well we have done in terms of flattening that curve. And so we're in an interesting position where we're having to trust policymakers to make the right choices without seeing that immediate payoff. And I think that that can be difficult."
Some of Yellowknife's homeless people are saying an attempt to protect 30 of city's homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic is leaving them out in the cold.On Friday, 30 homeless people in the city began a quarantine at Yellowknife's sobering centre and day shelter. They will remain there day and night for a minimum of 30 days. During the quarantine, the facility will be closed to the rest of the city's homeless population.The quarantine was one of the ideas that came out of a meeting of non-government organizations a few weeks ago, said Denise McKee, executive director of the N.W.T. Disabilities Council. The council runs the day shelter."There are some really high risk people within the homeless community that have multiple [health conditions] that make them extremely vulnerable," said McKee. Because many of those who are self-isolating have alcohol addiction, organizers are giving them small amounts of alcohol regularly."It's just enough to sustain a person so they don't go through any kind of health concerns related to withdrawal," said McKee. "I think one of the things that may come out of this is we'll have people who have reached a level of consumption that is a lot lower than what they would have over a 30-day period, because they actually have all of their needs met and they're in a healthy environment."But those who are homeless and not among the 30 are now without a place to warm up, use the bathroom, shower, do laundry, access the internet, hang out or have a bite to eat."It's unacceptable," said one man who did not identify himself, but said he was a regular user of the day shelter. He said he now wanders the street. "We're exposed to everyone. We're all around people everywhere, we've got no shelter to be at."Another man outside the shelter who didn't identify himself said he socialized there regularly and stopped by for a bite to eat. He also said he now spends his days wandering the streets.A 2018 count indicated there were, at that time, 338 homeless people in the city.According to Jason Brinson, the executive director of the Yellowknife chapter of the Salvation Army, the territorial government is attempting to use part of the Salvation Army building as a temporary day shelter during the quarantine period."We've offered them the space," said Brinson. "They're just in the process of ironing out how that will work."One of the biggest challenges, said Brinson, was getting clients to practise physical distancing."We want to make sure the homeless people are safe, and that's a big challenge."The government is also looking at turning Aspen Apartments and the Arnica Inn into temporary housing for people to self-isolate in.Lydia Bardak, a longtime advocate for homeless people, said it would have been better to come up with an alternate space for those who want to self-isolate.She suggested the community arena, which the government used for a day shelter before finding a permanent home for it."It might have been nice to look at the Community Arena or some other vacant space for 30 people wanting to self-isolate, while still offering day shelter and sobering services to the community," said Bardak.Bardak noted that, with flights to smaller Sahtu communities cut off and the territorial government releasing people from jail early, the city's homeless population is likely to increase in the short term.Outside the day shelter on Monday, two of the people who are self-isolating there said everything is going well so far."Actually I like it, because I'm prone to get sick," said one man, who did not give his name. "Staying inside is the best answer right now, I guess."The N.W.T. government did not respond to a request for information about when, or if, it will be opening an alternative to the day shelter.
A woman in her 70s from Cape Breton has died from complications related to COVID-19, according to health officials, marking what they say is Nova Scotia's first death connected to the virus."To her family, there are no words that I can say to take away the pain and suffering that your family is experiencing today, other than I hope that you know this entire province has its arms wrapped around you as a family as you go through this very, very difficult time," Premier Stephen McNeil said, his voice wavering, during the provincial COVID-19 update on Tuesday.The Department of Health said Tuesday in a news release the woman had underlying health conditions. She died Monday in a hospital in the eastern zone, an area that includes Antigonish and Guysborough counties and Cape Breton.When asked by multiple reporters Tuesday, chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang declined to confirm reports that the woman had died at Cape Breton Regional Hospital.The province also announced it had identified 17 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 310. The cases ranged in age from under 10 to older than 90.Strang said Nova Scotians need to come together, "do what's necessary and stay home.""It's unfortunate that this death has happened, but we do know the sad reality to COVID-19 is that people do die from this disease," he added.Although the woman who died is someone who had an underlying health condition, Strang said COVID-19 can be deadly to people who don't have one."Even in North America, we are seeing previously healthy young people also getting severe disease and dying. This disease does not respect age," he said.Strang calls out Costco shoppersStrang said he saw a social media post showing a long lineup of customers at Costco in Bayers Lake who appeared to be standing too close together and weren't practising physical distancing of staying two metres apart from each other."I don't know what it takes to get people to understand that this is the kind of activity that actually easily spreads this disease," Strang said."I know we're moving into Easter. People are anxious to get groceries. But we need to understand that you have to do this in a way that respects the requirements around social distancing and numbers."Strang said he's concerned there could be a spike in cases because of people out shopping for Easter."I'm baffled when I see a picture like that, quite frankly," he said.'Stay at home and stop partying,' premier warnsWith his final remarks, McNeil doubled down on Strang's comments calling out shoppers at Costco."We are not in the business of calling companies out or communities, but today we have to. Not only are too many people showing up at stores unnecessarily when they get there, they're not physically distancing," McNeil said.McNeil said people need to stand two metres apart. He said the province is focusing on communities "we deem to be hotspots" and is setting up mobile testing units in Enfield, East Preston and North Preston.The premier also said he's heard people are hosting parties in those communities. He said parties could lead to more people getting sick and COVID-19 spreading within neighbourhoods. He said parties could lead to more health-care workers getting sick."Because you are the reckless and selfish, you don't listen and won't stop partying. Well, think about this, as you are planning your weekend, there is a Nova Scotia family planning life without their loved one because of this virus," McNeil said. "This virus kills and the only way we can kill it is if we keep our distance from one another. And for the love of God, stay home and stop partying please, for the sake of our province."Citadel Hill off limits starting WednesdayParks Canada will temporarily close the Halifax Citadel Hill National Historic Site grounds and roads to pedestrians and vehicles to curb the spread of COVID-19."Many Haligonians have used the green space and roads at Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, some of whom were in groups and not applying the physical distancing recommendations," Parks Canada said in a news release on Tuesday.The closure comes into effect Wednesday. It includes the pathway on Brunswick Street leading to the old town clock."We are implementing these closures to protect all Nova Scotians, especially those who are most at risk," said the release.Eleven people are in hospital and 66 are listed as recovered. There have been 10,621 negative COVID-19 test results in the province. On Monday, the province announced it was expanding the testing criteria to anyone showing these symptoms of COVID-19: a fever or a new or worsening cough.Since the state of emergency was declared in the province on March 22, RCMP have charged a total of 54 people with offences related to violations of that. Thirty-eight of the people have been charged since April 3.Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella told CBC's Mainstreet on Tuesday there have been 110 COVID-19-related calls in the past 24 hours.Kinsella said there has been 780 COVID-19 calls since the state of emergency was declared and 39 tickets issued so far.MORE TOP STORIES
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix has commended members of the Sikh community for heeding the call for more blood donations after Canadian Blood Services experienced a drop in donations because of measures around COVID-19. The community traditionally organizes a large blood drive every November, but this year brought it forward after a spike in cancelled appointments due to physical distancing requirements.On Monday, at his daily press conference with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Dix used the example of the campaign as an example of community coming together to support one another at a critical time."People in the South Asian community of the Sikh faith, who every year launch one of the biggest blood drives in Canada, are launching a new blood drive, really at the call of Dr. Henry and many others across the country, and we're so honoured and excited by that," Dix said."It's such an important thing to do and really heartening to see."Sukhdeep Singh, a volunteer with the blood drive, has donated blood for the past 21 years, and says it feels good to be recognized."If you're doing something year after year, and the health minister recognized it, to me it's a good gesture ... obviously, it feels great."'It's part of our duty to society'He says Canadian Blood Services reached out the group to solicit donations after seeing a drop in donations.Because of physical distancing measures, Singh says the community will not be doing any clinic take-overs or mobile donation clinics. Instead, they are encouraging participants to schedule their own personal appointments to donate."It's part of our duty to society," Singh said. "We're enjoying all the privilege, and sometimes we ignore what we're supposed to do to the neighbourhood, the community, the country as a whole."Canadian Blood Services says there is still an urgent need for blood for patients with chronic illness or traumatic injury, and for those undergoing surgery or cancer treatments.The organization says it has put in place enhanced cleaning measures and stricter eligibility requirements for anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, developed a fever and cough, or travelled abroad in recent weeks.It has cancelled walk-in donations to comply with physical distancing measures. Any interested and eligible donors are encouraged to make an appointment.If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at email@example.com.
While spring is the time of year when many people clean out their homes and donate their extra clothes, charities and shelters are asking the public to hold off on donating items until non-essential businesses can reopen.Some charitable organizations don't have the capacity to retrieve the donations because they are closed due to physical distancing measures, while others are seeing their donation bins overwhelmed."Both well-intentioned but misinformed donors, as well as clearly some bad actors, have been using bins like ours as basically dumping grounds," said National Diabetes Trust (NDT) CEO Sean Shannon.NDT is a social enterprise affiliated with charity Diabetes Canada, which operates a network of over 5,000 clothing donation bins across the country.Shannon said he's been getting reports that his organization's donation bins, including some in Orléans and Petawawa, Ont., have been overloaded with bags of clothes, furniture and garbage.This, despite the fact that many are padlocked and have signs posted which explain the organization is not currently receiving donations.Diabetes Canada temporarily laid off all 500 staff who run the organization's donation service after Value Village, the main customer for its donated textiles, closed its doors on Mar. 20."I'm the last person standing," said Shannon. "I can't go around personally and do this."Shannon said he's appealing to community leaders and politicians to spread the word to would-be donors to hold on to their donations until they can be properly handled.Diabetes Canada released an open letter to that effect on Monday."It's great that you are donating .... [But] keep it at home, keep it safe and dry, until such time that the industry is back and running again," said Shannon.Premier Doug Ford echoed that message at his daily news conference on Tuesday, pleading with people not to drop off donations for the time being. He said he was made aware of the issue after a call from Diabetes Canada."[People] are cleaning out their garage, and they start dumping everything in these boxes," Ford said. "Do not drop anything else off there because every box you go by just seems to be cluttered."Some organizations still accepting donationsWhile much of the retail sector, including most thrift stores, have shut down as part of ongoing measures to combat COVID-19, some charitable organizations are still receiving donations.The Gatineau, Que., chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters continues to accept donations from members of the public.President Pierre Deschamps said the organization no longer picks up items from people who want to donate, but donors can still donate at the centre's main building — they just can't come inside."They can drop them off at our door and then, taking great care, we take them in," said Deschamps. Deschamps said donations are down by about 90 per cent at the moment compared to normal times.Meanwhile, one of Ottawa's largest homeless shelters is also discouraging people from donating clothing to its donation program.The Ottawa Mission's clothing program provides clothes for shelter residents and members of the public who need them for job interviews, weddings and other events. It receives over 7,000 visits per year, communications director Aileen Leo said.Putting the clothing program on hold is necessary as part of a series of infection control measures meant to minimize the risk of residents becoming infected with COVID-19, Leo said, one of which is limiting visitors."Fortunately we have an existing inventory of clothes downstairs but we can't have people coming and going because we are limiting the numbers of contacts people have entering and exiting the shelter," said Leo.
A security guard at a Quebec Walmart was assaulted over the weekend when he tried to enforce physical distancing rules for the store.