The jury presented its decision against fired officer Brett Hankison Wednesday to a judge in Louisville, Ky., where the shooting of Breonna Taylor took place.Criminal charges »
Canada's first known case of COVID-19 was detected eight months ago this week. As of Sept. 22, the coronavirus has been confirmed in 146,663 people across the country.CBC News has dug deep into the data collected by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to examine how COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, affects the young, the elderly, men and women in order to better understand what's most likely to land you in hospital — or worse.The data contains details on 121,795 cases up to the first week of September. See the methodology at the bottom to learn more.Here are our findings.Who is getting the virus?In the early days, people over 80 years old made up the largest group getting sick as long-term care homes were hit hard, resulting in more older people getting tested.But CBC's analysis reveals that since mid-August, infections among young people (under 30) have surged and now, after a summer of provincial reopenings and expanded testing, cumulatively outnumber the elderly.COVID-19 infections are also on the rise among the very youngest (under 20) as schools, colleges and universities reopen.How is the virus affecting us?Symptoms can vary by age group from youngest to oldest. Chills, sore throat and runny nose were reported more frequently among those under 50.PHAC only has symptom data on seven per cent of cases in the detailed data as not every province records this. The way symptoms are defined and recorded may also vary across jurisdictions. But the 9,000 cases that do list those details suggest that people with COVID-19 suffer differently depending on age and symptoms.*Other symptoms can include loss of taste and smell.Who's being hospitalized?Close to 10 per cent of people who tested positive for coronavirus ended up in hospital, according to the cases tracked by PHAC.Two per cent of cases landed in intensive care units (ICU) across all ages but mostly among people over 50.In people admitted to hospital, shortness of breath and fever were more common symptoms while headaches, sore throat and runny nose were seen more often in less severe cases.In fatal cases, shortness of breath and fever were also more common. "Keep in mind that mortality is often through respiratory distress," said University of Ottawa epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan."It's not surprising that those showing an early symptom of that distress [shortness of breath] would be on a shorter path to death."Deaths and serious illnessMore than 9,200 people have died in Canada with COVID-19.Of all confirmed infections in Canada, six per cent, or 9,274 cases, have been fatal, with the elderly hit the hardest. Only two people under 20 are known to have died from the disease so far.The age gap in deaths is so wide that the chart below had to be stretched for the younger victims to be visible:More women in Canada have died from COVID-19, especially in the 80+ age group where they outnumber men. Outside that age group, more men are dying from the virus.Deonandan says differences between men and women's health might be affecting COVID-19 outcomes."Older men are more likely than women to have serious heart disease. COVID-19 might be expressing mortality through these disproportionate vulnerabilities that already exist," he said.But more men have been hospitalized or ended up in an ICU with COVID-19.RecoveryBy Sept. 22, of the 146,663 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada, 126,905 had recovered.Canada's public health data only shows recovery times for about 10 per cent of cases.Older people tend to suffer longer (based on this small sample), not surprising given the greater presence of other medical conditions among the elderly.Some COVID-19 cases took as many as 11 weeks to resolve, though the average recovery time is two to three weeks."Older people are more likely to be hospitalized and need more intensive interventions, which in turn are associated with longer recovery periods," said Deonandan.Similarly, more severe cases that required hospitalization had longer recovery times.The futureThe fall return to school has health officials bracing for a rise in exposures and new infections, particularly among young people.The data shows that, while cases among 20-somethings rise, the youngest cohort, age 19 or younger, is also making up an increasing share of Canada's overall cases and by early September had overtaken people in their 70s.METHODOLOGYThe main data source for this article is the detailed preliminary information on confirmed cases of COVID-19 compiled by the Public Health Agency of Canada and published by Statistics Canada.The data is based on a case report form that provincial authorities send to PHAC for each confirmed case.Provinces might define a confirmed case, symptoms and recovery time differently, so that must be taken into account when interpreting the data.WATCH | Older Canadians still at risk even as more young people get COVID-19: Not every province reports symptoms and recoveries, and those that do don't report them for every case. Only about 9,000 cases out of 121,795 in the data contain symptom information, and only about 12,500 cases contain the recovery date.Symptom onset and recovery dates are noted only with the week of the year. Recovery times were calculated by subtracting the recovery week from the diagnosis week and do not account for possible variations in days.In some cases, details are excluded or modified by Statistics Canada if there is a risk of identifying a patient in the data. For example, the data does not show any fatal cases under 50 years of age, even though there were nearly 80 such cases in the daily epidemiological report from PHAC, which contains the most recent confirmed numbers. CBC used the daily epidemiological data for the chart on deaths by age and gender.The data analysis was done in Python. Questions about how it was done? Contact data journalist Roberto Rocha at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A bright, teal-coloured houseboat is upside down and slowly sinking in Porlier Pass in B.C.'s Gulf Islands after a towing mishap Sunday evening.Royal Canadian Marine Search And Rescue responded to the incident at around 5 p.m.It says a towing vessel was struggling to get the houseboat through the pass, located between Valdes Island and Galiano Island. Suddenly, a strong current ripped out what it calls the "bottom floatation" that was holding the houseboat up.It started sinking and pulling the towing vessel down with it. Rescue crews were able to secure the towboat, although the houseboat remains in the water. No one was injured in the incident.Transport Canada says the houseboat is an obstruction and it is making arrangements to have it removed.Dan White, a Valdes Island resident, witnessed the houseboat initially go by as it was being towed."I didn't see the actual incident when it broke free ... but a few minutes later I saw the houseboat coming back through the pass without the boat attached to it and, yeah, upside down," White said.He says the community is mostly worried about debris from the houseboat washing up on shore for the foreseeable future — especially with a storm on its way that could smash it up."It's more of an eyesore than anything," he said. "Over the years to come, there's going to be lots of styrofoam from underneath the boat that was used for the floatation. It's going to be washing up on the beach and that'll be concerning for the environment for sure."
Lawyers representing the federal and some provincial governments made their cases before Canada's highest court today for keeping or killing the carbon tax — the cornerstone of the Trudeau government's climate agenda.For the first hearing in the Supreme Court of Canada building since the pandemic began, all nine justices arrived wearing face masks. They spread out over two rows to maximize physical distancing, with Plexiglas barriers between their red seats.Their first day back saw lively exchanges between justices and lawyers from all sides, who were pressed on three separate appeals from Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan, the three provinces challenging the national carbon policy on constitutional grounds. The question before the high court is whether Ottawa overstepped its authority by imposing a carbon pricing backstop in provinces that don't have mechanisms to curb greenhouse gas emissions that meet Parliament's standards.The problem with the federal policy, said lawyer Mitch McAdam — who is acting for Saskatchewan — is the federal government is telling provinces like Saskatchewan how they ought to reduce their emissions."This legislation is an Ottawa-knows-best. It's a big brother type of legislation," McAdam said.In 2019, the appeal courts in Saskatchewan and Ontario upheld the federal law. Alberta's Court of Appeal ruled it unconstitutional earlier this year.The lawyers for Saskatchewan, Ontario and Alberta said the environment falls under provincial jurisdiction and greenhouse gas emissions continue to be monitored by provincial governments. 'Pollutants without borders'But federal lawyer Guy Pratte argued climate change is a national concern that's too big for any one province to tackle on its own."Greenhouse gases are pollutants without borders," Pratte said in his opening remarks.Ottawa is making the argument that it has the constitutional responsibility to respond to the threat of climate change by implementing a national price on pollution — something that has been recommended by experts as an effective way to reduce emissions. Pratte told the high court the provinces have flexibility and substantial power to adopt the kind of carbon pricing systems they like, as long as they meet Ottawa's minimum standards.But Justice Malcolm Rowe said the tax is a preference, not a necessity."There are various ways to control emissions and they don't all involve price," Rowe said.Lawyer Joshua Hunter, representing Ontario, argued this point when he told the court the province already has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 22 per cent through the closure of coal plants — something that didn't score the province any points under the federal carbon pricing policy.Justice Rosalie Abella pushed back, pointing out that in the absence of that policy, provinces could choose not to act."They [provinces] don't have Plexiglas at their borders and the effect of not choosing to engage in strategies that are ultimately helpful to the rest of the country has enormous implications," Abella said. Debate over climate change as a national concernChief Justice Richard Wagner asked McAdam whether the threat of climate change should be considered when considering the limits of the federal government's powers in the Constitution."Science has evolved, things that happened, were present in 1867 are different today, and should we take somehow this context into consideration when we interpret the Constitution?" Wagner asked. McAdam said the "living tree" doctrine — the legal theory that the Constitution must be read in a broad and progressive manner to adapt to changing times — must be applied with great caution. "This isn't about pruning the tree or recognizing a new branch or a new leaf. This is about ripping the tree out by the roots and replacing it with a new tree," McAdam said.Justice Michael Moldaver called that analogy a "gross overstatement" and asked McAdam why he does not see climate change as an overriding, critical concern.Justice Suzanne Côté also touched on this point by asking McAdam what would happen if one province opted to do nothing about curbing emissions — which led to an uncomfortable exchange with the chief justice."That's federalism and that's democracy," McAdam said. "If it's an unpopular decision, then they have to go to the polls and face the electorate.""Are you saying that a national concern does not exist in the Constitution?" Wagner replied."I think it is an illegitimate power," McAdam said."That would be contrary to all our jurisprudence," Wagner said.
A woman who was captured on video throwing a bottle at a Black runner in New York City and yelling a racial slur at her has been charged with attempted assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment, authorities said Tuesday. (Sept. 22)
MONTREAL — The second wave of COVID-19 in Quebec will be younger, more spread out across the province, and possibly more challenging for the health network compared to the first wave, Health Minister Christian Dube said Tuesday.Most COVID-19 deaths during the first wave were concentrated in Montreal-area closed living environments such as long-term care homes. The second wave, however, is being driven by community spread in regions that were largely untouched the first time around, Dube said.Quebec reported 489 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, one day after the province's public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, announced that the second wave of the pandemic had begun."We noticed that the start of this second wave is not all like the first wave," Dube told reporters in Quebec City. Regions that were spared in the spring, such as the Quebec City area, "are now very affected by the virus."The second wave is also driven mostly by younger people who may be less likely to fall seriously ill but who are more likely to spread the virus in the community, where it is more difficult to trace, Dube said.Eventually, he said, those cases will make their way into the health network, which has been "weakened" by an exhausting spring and summer fighting the novel coronavirus. "People are tired. Our employees are tired. It was difficult, we gave them holidays, but that's not sufficient. I think we need to protect them."Dube said projections on hospitalization levels will be released Wednesday.Also on Tuesday, the health minister raised the alert level for three more regions. Dube said the Laval region north of Montreal and the Outaouais region in western Quebec will be moving to the orange, or moderate, alert level. The Centre-du-Quebec region in central Quebec will move from green to the yellow, early-warning level, he said.Orange is the second-highest level in the province's COVID-19 risk-assessment system, which measures the risk posed by COVID-19 in specific geographic areas.Laval and Outaouais join Montreal, the Quebec City area as well as the Chaudiere-Appalaches region in the orange list, which involves tighter restrictions on bars and restaurants as well as lower limits on most indoor gatherings.In orange zones, bars and restaurants will need to stop selling alcohol at 11 p.m. and close by midnight, while a maximum of six patrons will be allowed to sit at the same table, down from 10 patrons. Indoor private gatherings in orange zones will be capped at six people, down from 10 people.When asked how they would enforce the measures on private gatherings, Dube did not rule out giving police increased powers to intervene without having to obtain a warrant, although he said such a measure would be a last resort."If we have to go there, we'll go there," he said. "But I'm telling you our government, we've said it and we'll repeat it in the coming days, I think we can do without going there," he said.Dube also put out a call for retired dentists, nutritionists, medical technicians, midwives and other professionals who are interested to help with COVID-19 testing to put their names forward through a government website. He said the government also needs to recruit more contact tracers to meet the growing demand.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2020.Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
The First Nation community operating a new, self-regulated lobster fishery in Nova Scotia says its harvesting regulations rival and may even exceed the standards of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans."They're pretty much the same regulations when it comes to the [DFO regulated] commercial season," said Brandon Maloney, director of fisheries for Sipekne'katik First Nation, which launched its first Mi'kmaq-regulated fishery in Saulnierville, N.S., last Thursday. The launch followed decades of disagreement with government officials over the Mi'kmaq treaty right to earn a "moderate livelihood" from fishing, affirmed by the 1999 Supreme Court ruling in the Marshall case. A rare clarification by the Supreme Court stated that the federal government could regulate treaty fishing if it was justified and if the Mi'kmaq were consulted.Debate on the issue has been tense online and in communities near Saulnierville, and has often focused on DFO's yet-to-be-determined position on what qualifies as a "moderate livelihood."Following recent claims from non-Indigenous commercial fishers that Mi'kmaq are using illegal bait and equipment, Maloney said the band's regulation policies on safety, conservation monitoring and fishing gear are to the same standards as the commercial fishery."The trap sizes, escape hatches … all of those have been adopted from the commercial [DFO regulated] season," he said. "It's just easier because all of the traps are already equipped that way."Maloney said in some cases, the regulations specific to monitoring and counting the catch at the wharf may even exceed DFO's, given that the Mi'kmaw operation yields so few lobster in comparison.Photos of modified trapsOn Sunday, a news release by Coalition of Atlantic and Quebec Fishing Organizations, which represents numerous fishing associations in the Atlantic region and the Maritime Fishermen's Union [MFU], called on DFO to "publicly haul-in thousands of lobster traps set out of season.""This is about conserving the fishery for everyone – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen," said Bernie Berry, president of the Coldwater Lobster Association, in the release. "Unless there is one set of rules driven by conservation of the fishery, Canada's fishery will be destroyed."The release included a photo of lobsters in what appears to be a damaged, modified trap. "Illegal sea trap with escape mechanism blocked with tie wraps," the caption reads.A spokesperson for the coalition did not provide sources for the photos, but said they were "pretty confident" the photos came from the commercial fishers in St. Mary's Bay. Further requests for comment on the release were not returned.Maloney, who has seen the photos circulating on social media, said he believed they were evidence that non-Mi'kmaw fishers were violating DFO general regulations."The only thing that's clearly illegal in that whole situation is [commercial fishers] pulling up someone else's gear. It doesn't matter what pictures they take, they've already had the time to sabotage it," he said."They're illegally pulling them up to vandalize them and make us look bad…. It's disturbing."DFO declined to comment on whether or not citations have been issued since last Thursday in the area surrounding the Mi'kmaw traps, instead referring to a joint statement issued Monday by DFO Minister Bernadette Jordan and Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett. "DFO fishery officers, Canadian Coast Guard vessels and personnel, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Public Safety officials are co-ordinating their efforts in the sea, on the land, and in the air, and are working with officials from the Province of Nova Scotia to respond to any dangerous situations as they may arise," the statement reads."We want to work with First Nations leaders on the path forward of the implementation of their treaty right, and look forward to upcoming conversations on this matter." According to the list of 2020 convictions related to fisheries law on the DFO website, there are 2 convictions that can shed light on the legality of actions by Mi'kmaw and non-Indigenous fishers in the dispute.In July, a $3,000 fine was issued to a person under the DFO general fishery regulations, for "tampering with traps, nets, bait or any other thing used for fishing [and] interfering with the conduct of fishing activities by another person." A few months before, in April, a $1,500 fine was issued to a person under the DFO Atlantic fishery regulations for "fishing for lobster during a closed time." Rights 'protected in perpetuity' According to Maloney, the seven Mi'kmaw harvesters who received moderate livelihood licences from Sipekne'katik on Thursday also received the Rights Implementation and Fishery Management Plan, an 18-page document that explains the band's policies on areas like licensing and harvesting, the sale and intended use of lobsters, and a section of 27 general regulations. The plan includes a list of eight objectives that "advance the principles defined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and form the basis for fishery decision making," the document reads.According to the list, their objectives are: * To ensure conservation of the resource to protect and exercise Mi'kmaq Treaty and Aboriginal Rights to harvest natural resources for the benefit of the community and its members. * To alleviate family poverty and advance the size and security of the middle class within the Sipekne'katik community * To ensure community adherence to the traditional Mi'kmaq principles of Netukulimk. * To contribute to the social and economic well being of the community. * To develop and promote livelihood fishing activities that will provide stable and effective employment and income for community members. * Provide food to meet the nutritional and social needs of local Sipekne'katik band members. * To ensure the public and harvester safety are protected. * To have economically self-sufficient fishing operations, including management and administration."Conservation" refers to the protection and preservation of fisheries resources "to ensure the Mi'kmaq Rights are protected in perpetuity," the document reads.Maloney said the plan has been in the works for three years, and was based on community consultation through multiple surveys and in some cases, house-to-house visits. Maloney said the captains and crews remain positive despite the opposition the Mi'kmaq have faced harvesting under the new fishery. "A lot of them were born into this, they don't know anything else," he said. "They're just really proud people. It's half and half for them — they want to fish and make a living, but they also want to stand up for their rights."
Two RCMP officers charged in the shooting death of a 31-year-old man in northern Alberta will be getting a jury trial. Jessica Brown of the Whitecourt RCMP detachment were arrested in June and initially changed with criminal negligence causing death. The pair appeared Tuesday in Whitecourt provincial court and, court documents say, there was an election for a jury trial.
It's a stormy start to fall in Nunavut, with no relief expected until the weekend. On the first day of fall, Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a winter storm warning for Kinngait — the first of the season in Nunavut. Southern Baffin Island and Nunavik are in for a week of rain, snow and gusting winds. A low-pressure system made its way from Hudson Bay toward the island on Tuesday. The system will likely get stronger later in the week from the remnants of Hurricane Teddy, which is currently approaching the Maritimes. Tracking the systemThis low-pressure system will move toward southern Baffin Island tonight, and continue over communities Wednesday and Thursday.Here's how it will play out: * Kinngait will be the first to see winter storm conditions, and will get the brunt of the heavy, wet snow. Gusty conditions to 90 kilometres per hour will intensify overnight and into Wednesday. * Kimmirut will see rain and wind Tuesday night, with more precipitation building through the early hours of Wednesday. Gusting winds will begin Tuesday evening. * Iqaluit will have snow Tuesday evening, and gusting winds beginning after midnight to 90 kilometres per hour. * Pangnirtung will see stormy conditions Wednesday morning with the beginning of a rain-snow mixture. Gusts will increase to 90 kilometres per hour early Wednesday afternoon. These conditions will last through Thursday as this system continues to spin around until it absorbs further energy from the remnants of Hurricane Teddy. The most intense conditions will occur on Wednesday with the storm clearing into Saturday. Current warnings in placeA winter storm warning is in effect for Kinngait, and the conditions will continue through the next few days. Wind gusts will increase to 90 kilomtres per hour overnight, and up to 25 centimetres of wet, heavy, messy, snow is expected to fall through Thursday.This will create near-blizzard conditions, with reduced visibility for the community through the next 24 to 36 hours.Meanwhile, Kimmirut currently has a wind warning in effect, for gusts up to 90 kilometres per hour. As for marine warnings, in the regions surrounding Nunavik and southern Baffin Island, gale warnings are in effect for gusts to 47 knots. Waves may increase to five meters through Wednesday. Messy mix of snow, rain on the wayThis system will bring a messy mixture — particularly to Kimmirut, Iqaluit and Pangnirtung — in which snow will change to rain and back to snow over the week. Kinngait is more likely to just have wet snow.Winter storm conditions are likely over the next few days, which means reduced visibility, blowing snow and wind causing potential damage to buildings.Environment Canada recommends postponing non-essential travel during the winter storm warning.
OTTAWA — The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 4:45 p.m.Nova Scotia is reporting a new case of COVID-19 for the first time in more than two weeks.Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, says the new case involves an essential worker who travelled outside Canada.Strang also announced that starting Sept. 28, residents of long-term care facilities will be allowed to leave their residences to visit family and friends.\--- 4:30 p.m.A long-term care home in Winnipeg says one of its residents has died after testing positive for COVID-19. Parkview Place says the resident was one of seven people living at the facility who has the novel coronavirus, as does one staff member. The death has not yet been reported by the Manitoba government, which lists 18 COVID-19 deaths in the province since the pandemic began.\--- 3:10 p.m. Public health officials in the nation's capital are making self-isolation mandatory for those who might have COVID-19, until a test rules it out. Ottawa public health officer Dr. Vera Etches issued a sweeping order today saying those who flout it could be subject to fines as a high as $5,000 per day. Among others, the order applies to those who have symptoms of COVID-19 or are known contacts of someone who has tested positive. Ottawa is seeing a rapid rise in the number of new cases, reporting 93 new positive tests today, the most in a single day since April. \---2:15 p.m.Manitoba is reporting 24 new COVID-19 cases, 20 of them in Winnipeg. Active case numbers continue to rise in the city and health officials are warning of a case connected to College Louis Riel high school in Winnipeg. The province also says two previously announced cases have been connected to Maplewood Manor, a long-term care home in Steinbach.Visitor restrictions have been put in place.\--- 1:45 p.m.Ontario Premier Doug Ford says expanding access to the flu shot is the first pillar of his province's COVID-19 fall preparedness plan.Ford says the government is spending $70 million to obtain at least 5.1 million doses of the flu vaccine.He says the push to get people immunized against the seasonal flu is to preserve capacity in the province's hospitals.Ontario's health minister says the first batch of flu shots is expected to arrive next week and will first be distributed to long-term care homes, hospitals and other congregate living facilities.\--- 1:20 p.m.Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says capacity for COVID-19 testing in Canada continues to be built up.But she says it is a finite resource and testing must be carried out "smartly."In many corners of Canada, people have complained of waiting in line for nearly the entire day to obtain tests or being turned away from testing centres at capacity.Tam says officials are trying to broaden available test options. But she says no amount of testing will be enough if people don't shrink their social bubbles to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. \---1 p.m.Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says staving off future lockdowns will depend on whether people can follow COVID-19 mitigation measures.She says keeping gatherings small and respecting the rules is a sacrifice everyone needs to make. But she says virus activity is not the same across the country, or even across single provinces. So she says a "surgical approach" is needed to determine whether restrictions need to be tightened and it should be targeted to regions of concern.\--- 12:57 p.m.Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo says it is difficult to declare whether Canada as a whole is in a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. He says in Ottawa itself, there is a second wave, and his colleagues in Quebec say a second wave is underway there. He says he agrees, considering what is happening in those jurisdictions, but the situation isn't the same throughout the country. Njoo says what might happen elsewhere is up to how closely everyone follows public health guidelines.\--- 12:44 p.m.Tam has wrapped her update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada with a direct message to young people:The novel coronavirus's spread in their cohort must be pared back for the good of the rest of the country. Tam says young people played a crucial role in crushing the spring wave of the pandemic and they can do it again. A review of known cases in Canada shows the incidence has remained highest among young adults since late June.\---12:37 p.m. Canada's chief public health officer says the country is now at a crossroads when it comes to avoiding a major resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Theresa Tam says if the status quo is maintained when it comes to how many people are in contact with each other, there will be a surge in infections. If people's contacts increase, the epidemic will bounce back faster and stronger, as contagious people spread the virus. But she says if the rate of contacts gets pared back, the epidemic will come under control in most place. \--- 12:35 p.m.New federal figures are being released to show the national picture of the COVID-19 pandemic. The data suggests that based on recent infections, the number of new cases could raise as high as 155,795 by Oct. 2. The potential number of deaths could be as high as 9,300.\--- 12:30 p.m.Dr. Theresa Tam says COVID-19 outbreaks are now occurring in a wider variety of settings across Canada. She says while it's not unexpected to have cases in schools, they do need to be monitored to see if they are settings for transmission. She says that the severity of outbreaks in long term care homes has declined, but they do remain a concern. The rate of hospitalizations currently lags behind increases in reported cases but shows early signs of rising. Tam says the potential for the novel coronavirus to spread into more high-risk settings could also mean a rise in deaths.\--- 12:10 p.m. Canada has now committed more than $1 billion to buy doses of COVID-19 vaccines after securing a fifth deal with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline.Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada has a deal in place to buy up to 72 million doses of their experimental vaccine candidate, which is just starting the second of three trial phases this month.In all, Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies, and most of that money will not be refunded even if the vaccines never get approved.\---12:05 p.m. Rebecca O'Toole, the spouse of federal Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole, has tested positive for COVID-19. The party says she began showing symptoms on Sunday, was tested that night in Ottawa, and her results came back late Monday night. Erin O'Toole tested positive on Friday for the novel coronavirus and has been in isolation. Their two children are being monitored for symptoms. \---11:50 a.m.Quebec is reporting 489 new cases of COVID-19 — almost 100 fewer cases than were reported on Monday.Health authorities also reported today one death attributed to the novel coronavirus they said occurred between Sept. 15 and Sept. 20.The province says the number of hospitalizations rose by 20 in the last 24 hours to 168. Of those, 28 patients are in intensive care, two fewer than on Monday.There have been a total of 68,617 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 5,805 deaths attributed to the virus in Quebec since the pandemic began.On Monday, the province's public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, said he thought Quebec had entered a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.\---11:00 a.m.Ontario is reporting 478 new cases of COVID-19 today, along with three new deaths related to the virus.Health Minister Christine Elliott says 68 per cent of the new cases involve people under the age of 40.The province is also reporting 52 new COVID-19 cases related to schools, including at least 26 among students.Ontario is expected to announce part of its COVID-19 fall preparedness plan today, which comes as daily virus case counts continue to climb to levels not seen for months.\--- 10:00 a.m.The Canadian government will sign on to a global vaccine-procurement program and by week's end hopes to announce how much money it will pledge to the cause.Procurement Minister Anita Anand is set to announce further deals with vaccine developers today as the federal government seeks to make sure Canadians have access to a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is approved.But Canada is also joining what's known as the COVAX Facility, a global program focused on ensuring equitable access to a vaccine for all countries, regardless of their income levels. \---9:40 a.m.The federal Public Health Agency of Canada says it will release updated modelling today on the spread of COVID-19. The agency's predictions will provide a look at what the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths might be in the short-term, based on how the virus has been spreading in recent days.Their new figures come amid rising case counts that have seen some jurisdictions already say they are officially into a second wave of the pandemic. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2020.The Canadian Press
Toronto parents say it's "just insane" that thousands of children have been without teachers this week when virtual elementary classes were set to begin.Angela Matich, a Toronto mother, said her two children were both without teachers on Tuesday and both were disappointed. One is in Grade 3, while the other is in Grade 6. She said she herself is frustrated with the delay.Every day this week, she said it'll be a question of finding out: "Did we win the teacher lottery?"Matich estimated that up to 30,000 children did not have teachers assigned to them as of Tuesday. She said it's as though more than 40 per cent of children showed up on the first day of school and were told: "We don't have a teacher for you. Go home." "That's just insane to me. I can't understand how we've gotten to this point."On Monday, the Toronto District School Board said 60,000 elementary school students had signed up for online classes as COVID-19 cases continue to climb and it had planned for all of them to begin studies on Tuesday.But the board said it wasn't able to assign staff to all classes, which means some students have had to wait to begin online school until there is a teacher in place. On Monday, the board said it had to hire about 500 elementary teachers to accommodate the number of students registered for online learning.Ryan Bird, spokesperson for the TDSB, said on Tuesday the board has hired about 300 teachers, and still needs to hire about 100 to 150 more. But he said the board hopes to have the majority of them secured by Wednesday. WATCH| CBC's Ali Chiasson talks to parents about the delay in online classes for some students:Parents were not impressed that the board waited until the very last minute to tell parents that virtual school would not be and running for all.Matich said parents took time off work on Tuesday to be there on what they believed would be the first day."Kids were crying this morning," she said.She said she hopes the children will have teachers by later this week or next week. In the meantime, there has been anxiety, stress and confusion. It has affected the mental health of parents, she added.Online learning challenging since March, parent saysMatich said online learning has been challenging since the pandemic hit in March and online learning began."From the get go, on March 13, it's been nothing but confusion, lack of communication and frustration for most TDSB parents and I would assume also TDSB staff," she said."Resoundingly, what you will hear from TDSB parents is that there's a complete lack of timely, relevant and concise information. Parents have to really dig."Adrienne Mitchell, another parent, agreed."We didn't tell our JK student Blair that she could potentially have school this morning. It wasn't worth getting her hopes up again," Mitchell said."She's been looking forward to school for quite a while. She's been fairly upset seeing kids go off to school in her neighbourhood and her not being able to participate."In a message on its website on Monday, the board said students not assigned teachers would begin the school year with independent learning.The board said it is implementing what it calls a "rolling start" to virtual school."We know that this will be a disappointment for some and is not how we had hoped to begin the school year. Please let me assure you that efforts to hire more teachers have been ongoing and staff have been working around the clock and through the weekend to keep things moving forward," the message said.Board turning to supply teachers to fill the gapsTo fill the gaps, the board said it has "predominantly" pulled from its roster of occasional teachers, who have already been vetted, according to Bird.That list should be enough to meet its staffing needs, but if it isn't, the board could urge other teachers to apply to join the pool, he said."It is a challenge because we've taken a staffing process that typically takes months to complete and organize ... and we've really condensed that to two to three weeks," he said."Given the reality that we're facing right now and the changing information over the summer, we could not begin that as early as we had hoped, so the timelines have been quite tight, and then over the weekend it became abundantly clear that the numbers just weren't adding up."The newly hired teachers can't immediately start their classes since they need to be trained to use the board's online learning platform, among other things, he said.
According to researchers at Dalhousie University, the Atlantic provinces are experiencing significant increases in food costs that are outstripping the rest of Canada, and New Brunswick may be the worst off.Sylvain Charlebois, a professor at Dalhousie University and director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab, looked at numbers from Statistics Canada and found that over the past 20 years, the cost of food has risen faster than the cost of products and services that make up the consumer price index.And nowhere more so than in New Brunswick.Charlebois said the problem is New Brunswick's "food comes from far away and logistical costs are really a problem."Another issue, according to Charlebois, is that there is little to no processing of food happening in New Brunswick."Without processing, you don't control the supply chain," he said."So you are likely very vulnerable to factors you don't control like the currency and energy costs and things like that."He said more processing means more control of the province's food and its costs.Months ago, when the pandemic first changed people's daily lives by limiting outings and supply chains, gaps in food security came into focus.Charlebois said it seems the government took notice and started working with his lab on ways to extend the growing season, in an effort to make local food available year-round."Which is really critical," said Charlebois."And it's not just about potatoes, it's about celery, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, everything which is important for New Brunswickers diets," he said.While the pandemic has caused food prices to rise, "really the food inflation rate has been a challenge for most Canadians for many, many years now."In Saint John at On the Vine Meat and Produce, owner Sean Fillmore said that as prices crept up over the years, he's noticed people being more careful about what they're paying for food."They're loyal to their wallets."But it's understandable," Fillmore said."It's getting harder to put supper on the table so they shop around."And his customers agree.Mireille Savoie said she's had to change the way she eats to accommodate her growing food budget. She cut down on meat because she couldn't afford it."The price is sky high and it's so hard to try to eat healthy," said Savoie.When she couldn't cut back anymore, she put in a garden."I do intend in the winter to try to grow a little something inside."David Eagles has taken to strict budgeting and using apps to find the best prices for food. "So if it means I'm spending an extra four or five bucks on gas, I will go to four or five different stores to meet my budget every week," he said.Eagles said he was a cook in Alberta and Saskatchewan, where he was able to compare prices."You could get a six-litre jug of milk for three bucks and you're paying six bucks for four litres here," said Eagles. "The price of living when it comes to the food is absolutely astronomical."
When Derek and Emilie Muth left Calgary to adopt their daughter Zoe in Nigeria last October, they had no idea that nearly a year later — after a terrifying medical ordeal and the onset of a global pandemic — they'd still be stuck abroad with no word on when they can come home.That's because despite their 2½-year-old daughter's adoption being completed, her citizenship is not yet finalized. Canadian immigration staff have been repatriated from the only government office in West Africa that can finish processing their paperwork.The family has gone months with government officials seemingly not even opening their documents, according to an access-to-information request, and, until CBC News reached out, no reply from the immigration minister to their urgent requests.They still have no update on their application.> We definitely feel forgotten and left behind. \- Emilie Muth"This family has done every single thing that every authority and every expert has recommended to them in order to comply with the federal, the domestic, the international laws, and they are just stuck," said Alicia Backman-Beharry, a lawyer who is representing the family pro bono. "If there's anything that can be done to have their file reviewed in a timely fashion, it is going to make a difference in a toddler's life. She's not getting the medical care that she requires right now."A spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said Zoe's application has been identified as a priority and officers continue to assess applications, but the Canadian High Commission in Accra, Ghana, is currently limited in its processing capacity. "The adoption is complete. It's legal. It's done. We're just waiting on a visa to come home. It's been 10 months, and we haven't been able to work. We've been away from our family. The pandemic has been really scary, navigating that abroad. She has a lot of medical difficulties," Emilie Muth said. "We definitely feel forgotten and left behind."Derek Muth said they started their adoption journey in 2017. His wife is a nurse who has worked with children with blood disorders, so when they heard of a child with sickle cell anemia in government care in Nigeria, it seemed like it was meant to be. "It just felt natural," Emilie Muth said.Life-threatening infection, malariaThe couple finalized Zoe's adoption in Nigeria on Oct. 28, 2019, and shortly after submitted the second part of her application to the office in Accra, which would grant her Canadian citizenship and the ability to enter Canada.The same week as the second and final part of their application was submitted, Zoe contracted a life-threatening infection, leading to sepsis, and severe anemia requiring a blood transfusion.The quality of health care in Nigeria was poor, and while Derek Muth was able to donate blood to Zoe — saving her life — both father and daughter contracted malaria. A doctor at the hospital recommended the family leave the country for Barbados, as it's one of the few countries that allows Canadian and Nigerian visitors to stay for months without visas, so they could receive better medical care for Zoe. The family arrived in Barbados in mid-December, after receiving permission to travel from Nigerian adoption authorities. Zoe's condition improved somewhat, and the family continued to communicate with the office in Accra, waiting for their daughter's citizenship to be finalized.Then the pandemic hit.> We've really taken a beating as a family. We need help. \- Derek MuthIn February, the Muths asked the Canadian High Commission in Barbados for help to get home, given Zoe's medical concerns that put her at additional risk if she catches COVID-19. Barbados gave residents and visitors just 24 hours' notice before the country went into full lockdown. The family couldn't leave their apartment or access groceries — they spent weeks eating just the canned food they had in their cupboards. Alberta Children's Services requested an expedited review of the family's case from the Accra office, but no action was taken.By May, no flights home were available. The family was told that they had just two days to make it onto a repatriation flight. They quickly filed a visitor visa request but were denied. Their requests for a compassionate grant of a temporary resident permit or visa have been denied. They haven't heard from the office in Accra since April. Two other families who were also in West Africa have received completed applications and have been able to return home."We've really taken a beating as a family," said Muth. "We need help."Family spent nearly $70K while in limboNot including their initial costs to travel to Nigeria and complete the adoption, they've spent nearly $70,000 waiting to return home. That figure includes Zoe's health-care costs, which have been entirely out of pocket. The family may not be able to stay in Barbados much longer.They've been granted a second visa extension until the end of November. After that, they'll likely be forced to return to Nigeria, a country that Canada warns against travelling to due to the risk of terrorism or kidnapping, and where they may not be able to access proper medical care for Zoe. If they can stay in Barbados, the situation isn't much better — every day abroad costs the family more, and access to medication on the island is uncertain given the pandemic. There have been times the island has run out of Zoe's medications since the lockdown. Soon, Muth will likely need to return to Canada for work, leaving his wife to navigate Zoe's care alone."I feel emotional talking about that because we worked so hard at building trust with her and attachment … so leaving her, one of us having to leave her, it feels really hard," Emilie Muth said through tears.No updates to their applicationIn mid-September, after CBC News reached out, the Muths finally received a reply from the immigration minister's office after months of sending letters."Due to the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, IRCC is unable to provide processing times for applications at this time. Please rest assured that you will be contacted when there are updates to this application," the letter read, acknowledging that the response was likely not what the family "had anticipated.""Understandably, adoptive parents are anxious to complete the adoption process as quickly as possible," a spokesperson for IRCC told CBC News but added that time frames can vary widely from case to case.The IRCC spokesperson also said that the government is obligated under international conventions to ensure children are not trafficked or removed from their biological families without legal consent, and the process is a complex one. 'Health of child is in jeopardy'An access-to-information request filed by the Muths for the notes from IRCC's centralized Global Case Management System shows the second part of their application (filed in November) seemingly hasn't been started, and documents that show the adoption is complete do not even appear to have been opened, as there are no substantive updates to their file.None of the letters the family sent between March and August requesting updates, nor multiple letters of support sent from an MP, Alberta Children's Services and International Adoption Services, are recorded, either. There's a comment on the file that states "email sent to visa office as health of child is in jeopardy because of lack of access to medication" — but no response from the office in Accra. "If Canada truly valued the best interest of the vulnerable, they would prioritize this adoption. Otherwise, we're just paying humanitarian lip service in this country," Derek Muth said. Mike Long, director of communications for Alberta Children's Services, said in an emailed statement that staff have been working with the Muth family and have advocated on their behalf to the immigration department."It is now up to the federal government to work with the family to get the necessary documentation to return to Canada," he said.For stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
Police in Saskatchewan are checking-up on people who are in mandatory self-isolation after returning from international travel.Regina Police Service spokeswoman Elizabeth Popowich said Tuesday that police receive a daily list prepared by the Public Health Agency of Canada of people who have recently travelled. "We dispatch a police car to the home address to ensure that the person is in fact doing that mandatory 14-day isolation," said Popowich. Saskatoon police and the RCMP are also doing visits to check on compliance with the provincial order, which states anyone who has travelled internationally must isolate for two weeks. People who are isolating are allowed to be outside on their own property, such as a backyard or balcony, and they can take solitary walks if they do not have symptoms. Non-compliance referred back to health authorityPopowich said police do not issue immediate fines if a person does not open the door. Instead, they report back to the SHA to follow up. CBC has contacted the SHA for more information about the police visits and who initiated them.Regina and Saskatoon police have both been doing check-ups since April.'There are consequences' Police could issue a fine if someone is found to be repeatedly violating isolation after multiple checkups, but Popowich said she is not aware of any such fines being issued so far.She said there are some instances where people may not receive a visit from police, for example if there is a mistake in the address or if police receive the information late in the quarantine period."Don't risk getting a fine. Certainly don't risk potentially carrying an infection to someone who is not as easily able to handle the illness," she said."Treat it as though you could be paid a visit if you've been out of the country and you're not self-isolating. If you're not, then there are consequences."Popowich said Regina police have enough resources to take on the role of checking compliance. "Those calls get dispatched at a time when typically our other call loads are lower," she said. In April, a Regina woman who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 was fined $2,800 for allegedly not complying with the order to self-isolate.
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé says his team is looking into "erroneous" comments made by a prominent Montreal health official on a local news station last week.Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, head of the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest de l'île de Montréal, has come under fire for comparing COVID-19 to the seasonal flu on CTV News."It probably isn't much more dangerous than the seasonal flu," he said in an interview with CTV Montreal on Sept. 14."It probably is at least equally as transmissible as seasonal flu, and unlike the seasonal flu, which has a tendency to affect the very old and very young, this seems to have been a virus that affected the very old and those with existing medical conditions."Health experts across the nation and around the world have cautioned against comparing COVID-19 to the flu as the mortality and transmission rate is considerably higher. Rosenberg's comments have been circulated online by conspiracy theorists, who don't believe the pandemic poses a threat to public health. At the same time, his comments have frustrated those who recognize COVID-19 as a potentially fatal disease that can leave survivors with long-term health consequences.Since his interview with CTV, several media outlets have given Rosenberg the opportunity to clarify his statement. A spokesperson for the CIUSSS told CBC last week that Rosenberg stands by his comments.Speaking during a news conference on Tuesday, Dubé said he hasn't heard Rosenberg's full interview yet, but based on what he has learned so far, it "was not appropriate."COVID-19 is more severe than flu, expert saysDubé said, with more than 5,000 Quebecers dead after the first wave of COVID-19, Rosenberg's comments were wrong as far as he can tell. But, the minister said, he would like to further understand the full context of the comments."We need to have a discussion with him," Dubé said.Dr. Karl Weiss, chief of infectious diseases at the Jewish General Hospital, said Rosenberg may want to explain the context of his comments as COVID-19 is a new coronavirus with particular characteristics that are much different than the flu."It is clear that COVID-19 is much more severe than the seasonal flu," he said on Radio-Canada's Tout un matin Tuesday."It's not the same illness at all."COVID-19 death rate compared to fluThe rate of deaths related to COVID-19 in Quebec is 68 per 100,000 residents, according to the latest federal data.Though the majority of cases are in Quebec and Ontario, the rate of deaths nationwide is 25 per 100,000 residents. More than 145,000 Canadians have caught the disease and 9,199 have died since March.The death rate for influenza in Canada on an annual basis is usually between nine and 13 deaths per 100,000 people, depending on severity of the flu season according to Dr. Allison McGeer.Watch Dubé share his thoughts on Rosenberg's comments: McGeer is an infectious disease specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. She spoke to CBC this summer when comparisons to the flu began circulating online in the form of memes.According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, which has been tracking the spread of the coronavirus worldwide, the mortality rate in the U.S. is even higher than Canada, at 35.75 deaths per 100,000 people.By comparison, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shows the age-adjusted death rate in the U.S. for both influenza and pneumonia has varied quarterly over the past few years from around 9 to 16 deaths per 100,000."COVID is unquestionably much worse than a bad flu season," McGeer said, but noted Canada's influenza death rate is kept in check by vaccines.
Recent developments: * Ottawa Public Health is reporting 65 new cases of COVID-19 and has declared 106 cases resolved.What's the latest?Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced select pharmacies in the province can begin testing asymptomatic people for COVID-19 on Friday, offering more options as established testing sites remain busy.Testing at pharmacies will be free with an appointment, said Health Minister Christine Elliott.Thirteen phamacies in Ottawa will offer these tests.Medical officer of health Vera Etches told Ottawa city council Wednesday she's close to escalating the city's COVID-19 status from orange to red, which signals increasing spread, outbreaks and limited hospital capacity.WATCH | Ottawa may change to 'red' alert status:Ottawa logged 65 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, again one of its highest single-day counts days ever. This time, it was surpassed by the 106 people whose cases are now considered resolved.There are two major speeches today that should include updates on the national pandemic plan: this afternoon's speech from the throne and this evening's national address by the prime minister.WATCH LIVE | Coverage of the speech from the throne:How many cases are there?As of the most recent Ottawa Public Health update on Tuesday, 3,837 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. That includes 545 known active cases, 3,012 resolved cases and 280 deaths.Overall, public health officials have reported 5,600 cases of COVID-19 across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 4,600 of those cases considered resolved.COVID-19 has killed 104 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 people have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 34 in the Outaouais and 18 in other parts of eastern Ontario. According to data shared by Ottawa's four boards, 47 schools had reported at least one case of COVID-19 involving a staff member or student. Sixty-one students or staff have tested positive. What's open and closed?As the number of active COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Ottawa, its public health officials are ordering anyone who fits one of these descriptions to immediately self-isolate or face a fine of up to $5,000 per day in court: * Tests positive for COVID-19. * Has signs or symptoms of COVID-19. * Was in close contact with someone who has tested positive. * Is waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test. * Has reasonable grounds to think they have COVID-19.They're allowed to end their isolation after 14 days or if they test negative.Ontario and Quebec have rolled back some public health rules because of the widening spread of the coronavirus, considered the second wave in Quebec and some parts of Ontario, such as Ottawa.Private, unmonitored gatherings across Ontario are now limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors until at least mid-October.Quebec has introduced tighter restrictions in the province's "orange zones," which now includes the Outaouais.Physically distanced gatherings in public venues can still include up to 250 people, although in "orange zones" like western Quebec the maximum in a place of worship, a rented hall, or festival is now 25.WATCH | Outaouais moves to 'orange':Ottawa will resume ticketing drivers who park longer than allowed in unmarked areas on Oct. 1.Kingston, Ont., has tightened its distancing rules in city parks and increased fines.Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.People don't need to have symptoms to be contagious.That means physical distancing measures such as working from home, meeting others outdoors as much as possible and keeping distance from anyone you don't live with or have in your social circle, including when you have a mask on.Ottawa's medical officer of health and Quebec's top health official are pleading with residents to reduce the number of people they're in close contact with as new cases of COVID-19 continue to surge.Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in all of eastern Ontario and Quebec, including transit services and taxis in some areas.Masks are also recommended outdoors when you can't stay the proper distance from others.Most people with a confirmed COVID-19 case in Quebec can end their self-isolation after 10 days if they have not had a fever for at least 48 hours and has had no other symptom for at least 24 hours.Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.Getting tested any sooner than five days after potential exposure may not be as useful since it takes about that long for the virus to grow to be detectable by a test, said Ottawa's medical officer of health Vera Etches in early September.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Where to get testedWait times and lines have been long at many of the area's test sites, causing some to reach capacity before closing time or even before opening.It's also taking up to five days for laboratories to process tests, according to OPH's Etches on Wednesday.Health officials have said they're trying to add more test capacity.In eastern Ontario:In Ottawa any resident can get tested, but record wait times have led Ottawa Public Health (OPH) to ask that testing be limited for now to people with symptoms or who have been referred for a test because of contact tracing.Testing for the general public happens at one of four permanent sites, with additional mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high. Some tests are also done in hospitals.The Brewer Arena's CHEO area for children age two months to 17 years old is now primarily by appointment, which you can book online.Ottawa's two care clinics on Moodie Drive and Heron Road are open later today, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., because of maintenance on their computers systems.A test clinic is expected to open at the Ray Friel Recreation Complex in Orléans, likely by mid-October.WATCH | Reaction from a school with a recent case:In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, there is a drive-thru centre in Casselman and walk-up site in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don't require people to call ahead.Its medical officer of health says the Casselman centre will be moved to reduce its impact on traffic.Others in Alexandria, Rockland, Cornwall and Winchester require an appointment.In Kingston, the Leon's Centre is hosting the city's test site though Gate 2. There's another test site at Queen's University's Mitchell Hall open 5 to 8 p.m. on weekdays.Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call ahead.You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre and in Picton by texting or calling. Only Belleville and Trenton run seven days a week.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.It has a walk-in site in Brockville at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor and those without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.People can also visit the health unit's website to find out where testing clinics will be taking place each week.In western Quebec:Outaouais residents can get a walk-in test in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond.There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.They can call 1-877-644-4545 to make an appointment or if they have other questions.First Nations, Inuit and Métis:Akwesasne has had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases, most linked to a gathering on an island in July.It has a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only.Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.Inuit in Ottawa can also call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse.For more information
The War and Treaty, “Hearts Town" (Rounder)It says something about an act when much of their work would fit neatly onto just about any music playlist. That's certainly true of The War and Treaty, the category-defying married duo of Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount-Trotter.On their second full-length album, “Hearts Town," the colossally talented pair continue their commando, no-limits journey to the top of the music world. Named last year as the Americana Music Association’s emerging act of the year, they've won critical acclaim that has only made them more confident, sure-footed and, if possible, less bound by category.And none of the acclaim has made them any less adventurous.Their sound starts in Southern soul and gospel, but leaving it there feels too confining. Country influences are evident as well, and the sound is rangy enough to incorporate a blazing guitar solo by Americana rocker Jason Isbell on “Beautiful," a song about the loss of Blount-Trotter's mother.Comparisons are risky here, but you can hear the kind of label-defying versatility found in classic Staples Singers songs and the contemporary work of John Legend.The duo's power emanates from the interchangeable lead singing of two people with glorious voices, elegant when offered up together or apart. The crescendo peaks on the closer, “Take Me In," a towering work of passionate, fearless pleading for a sense of belonging — and so, in a sense, an anthem for our times.The album's name is derived from an affectionate nickname for the couple's fan base, a devoted and diverse community they say is built on the belief that racism can be erased and empathy encouraged in everyone — a place where “everything broken can be fixed."That's a tall order these days, but “Hearts Town" is a pretty good place to start looking for it.Scott Stroud, The Associated Press
The tropical storm watch and rainfall warning have ended for P.E.I. as post-tropical storm Teddy passes over the eastern end of the Island Wednesday, but CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland said strong winds are still ahead this afternoon. A tropical cyclone information statement has also ended.Strong northwest winds will follow the storm's passage, said Scotland. Islanders can expect winds of 50 km/h with gusts to 80, and higher gusts possible along the coast. The Confederation Bridge recorded gusts up to 100 km/h."With these strong winds, Islanders should be prepared for power outages," said Scotland."Also, please stay away from the coast as these strong winds, occurring near high tide, will result in elevated water levels, large waves and pounding surf. Coastal flooding is possible, particularly along the North Shore."Classes are cancelled at the P.E.I. Public Schools Branch and French Language School Board.P.E.I.'s Emergency Measures Organization provided an update at 1:30 p.m. in which Public Safety Minister Bloyce Thompson acknowledged the storm has so far had only minor effects on P.E.I. but added "it never hurts to be safe."Teddy was downgraded from hurricane status before it hit the Nova Scotia coast, between Halifax and Cape Breton, at about 9 a.m., but it still has sustained winds of 100 km/h near its centre. * Islanders can call in cancellations to 1-877-236-9350.Northumberland Ferries cancelled all sailings for the day. At 10 a.m. traffic restrictions were in place on Confederation Bridge. The bridge forecast shows windy conditions will persist into the afternoon.There are no major outages being reported at Maritime Electric so far.The rain will taper off to showers in the early evening on P.E.I. More from CBC P.E.I.
Edmonton Public Schools will become the first jurisdiction in Alberta to collect race-based data for students in areas such as achievement, discipline and attendance.The motion was formally endorsed at Tuesday's school board meeting when trustees voted unanimously in favour of directing administration to develop a model to collect race-based data to dismantle systemic racism and racial discrimination."I think that if we are serious about addressing it, which I believe that we all are, then collecting race-based data is the first and necessary step," said Trisha Estabrooks, board chair, in her opening remarks."And I'd also say if we want change, which again, I believe we all do, then we must first understand the gaps and the inequities in order to come up with policies. This is about finding ways to best support students, in particular racialized students."The move comes as protests around racial inequality have swept across North America this year with many in Edmonton demanding better from police, schools, media and government.Edmonton's public school board has grappled with its own issues around systemic racism, which led to the resignation of a trustee and the endorsement of a new model to replace the controversial resource officer program. The board also recently voted to rename two schools: Dan Knott School and Oliver School.The board will consult with Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities impacted by racism on how the data will be collected."Their voice is absolutely essential," Estabrooks said.Improved policy making, resource allocationThe administration will also seek advice from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), which has been collecting race-based data since 2006. "The results and findings of this first Student and Parent Census have been leveraged both within and outside the school board for improvement planning, programming, policy making, resource allocation, as well as solicitation of funding and resources for high needs school communities," states a report provided to Edmonton Public Schools trustees.The TSBD's first survey drew a response from students of 84 per cent despite optional participation, which would also be the case in Edmonton."But I think that we need to do a really good job of building that compelling case to participate in the student census, because it does give us good information to inform decision making and resource distribution in our division," Darrel Robertson, the board's superintendent, told trustees at Tuesday's board meeting.Provincial data-collection?The motion also calls for a letter to be sent to Alberta's minister of education requesting the implementation of data-collection in all provincial schools — a step trustee Michael Janz spoke about enthusiastically."Because ultimately we are all in this together as many of our students move back and forth between various jurisdictions … but also looking at how we can better support students all throughout Alberta," Janz said, adding it would also provide an opportunity to collaborate.In 2017, the Ontario government began collecting and analyzing the data of students' ethnicity to eliminate discriminatory practices, systemic barriers and bias from schools to support all students to succeed.The unanimous vote comes as little surprise given trustees collaborated to craft the recommendation. While the data would be collected anonymously, trustee Bridget Stirling said some families are concerned it could lead to profiling of students. Robertson said it's an issue the board will work through in consultation with the privacy officer and the province, as well as drawing on the TSBD's experience.A few trustees emphasized the importance of being able to provide a timeline to the public but Robertson said it's difficult with such complex work. He estimated it could take two years.Estabrooks said the work prior to data-collection is critical."I think we're hearing that it's important to take our time on the consultation," she said. Trustee Nathan Ip asked if the collection of the data would include the composition of staff but Robertson urged the board to tackle one project at a time."I highly encourage all of us to just manage expectations because we are dealing with a pandemic right now," Robertson said. "I just would highly encourage lots of patience as we move through this process."
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — An asteroid the size of a school bus is headed our way, but NASA says the space rock will zoom safely past Earth on Thursday.The newly discovered asteroid will come within 13,000 miles (22,000 kilometres) of Earth, well below many of the communications satellites orbiting the planet, scientists said this week. The closest approach will occur Thursday morning over the southeastern Pacific Ocean.Once it’s gone, the asteroid won’t be back to Earth's neighbourhood until 2041.Scientists estimate the asteroid is between 15 feet and 30 feet (4.5 metres to 9 metres). By asteroid standards, that’s considered puny. Asteroids of this size hit Earth’s atmosphere and burn up once every year or two, said Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. There could be as many as 100 million of these little asteroids out there.The real threat are considerably bigger asteroids. The good news is that these are easier to spot much sooner than just a few days out.Asteroid 2020 SW, as it is known, was discovered last Friday by the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona in Tucson.___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Up to 60 Ontario pharmacies will offer COVID-19 tests starting Friday, an initiative the government hopes will help reduce long waits at assessment centres across the province.Premier Doug Ford announced the pharmacy testing Wednesday as the second part of a fall pandemic preparedness plan, saying it would be expanded in the coming weeks.Pharmacies will only test individuals with no symptoms after they have made an appointment. Ford stressed that those experiencing symptoms must continue to go to the hospital-run assessment centres."We need to make it easier to get a COVID test," he said. "It's easy to get a flu shot, we have to make sure that (getting) a COVID test is just as easy."Ford has been under increasing pressure to address long lines at some of the province's 147 assessment centres as the demand for tests surged following the return to school earlier this month. Hours before Wednesday's pharmacy announcement, a hospital in Kitchener, Ont., closed its drive-through COVID-19 testing centre for the day over concerns for the safety of its staff and the public.The Grand River Hospital said vehicles began to line up at 2:30 a.m., five hours before opening time, and "aggressive behaviours" from some of those waiting contributed to the decision to temporarily shut down. Health Minister Christine Elliott said the pharmacy testing — which will be free — will help the province get ready for future waves of COVID-19. She noted, however, that anyone getting a pharmacy test will need to be pre-screened ahead of their appointment."With a recent increase in the number of cases we are providing people with more options for testing to identify cases of COVID-19 early," she said.A union representing hospital workers raised concerns that pharmacy testing could bring people with the virus in contact with vulnerable seniors or other medically compromised people."Sending the public to a pharmacy and mingling with people who fear that they have COVID-19, and may be symptomatic … seems to me to be unwise and potentially not very safe," said Michael Hurley, president of the Council of Hospital Unions, a branch of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.But the Ontario Pharmacist Association has said testing can be conducted safely in pharmacies.Jen Baker, a pharmacist from a community near Kingston, Ont., said last week that along with pre-screening, pharmacies will follow strict infection control and cleaning procedures to ensure safety."We’ll be using the best practices to screen and there will be infection control protocols that are in place at pharmacies in the instance that someone does come back as a positive test," she said.Ford also said Wednesday that three Ontario hospitals will begin offering saliva testing as a less invasive testing option. He urged Health Canada to approve saliva testing to help speed up COVID-19 assessments."Health Canada, we need your help," he said. "I just can't stress it enough, all I'm hearing is crickets right now from Health Canada on the saliva tests."The government is expected to continue to announce other parts of its pandemic preparedness plan over the coming days. The first piece involved purchasing millions of seasonal flu shots that all residents are encouraged to get.Ontario reported 335 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, along with three new deaths related to the virus.The province also reported 42 new COVID-19 cases related to schools, including at least 21 among students. Those bring the number of schools with a reported case to 153 out of Ontario's 4,828 publicly-funded schools.The total number of cases in Ontario now stands at 48,087, which includes 2,835 deaths and 41,600 cases classified as resolved.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2020.Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Canada's largest school board is drawing on its pool of supply teachers as it rushes to meet a surge in demand for online learning. The Toronto District School Board said it hired 300 teachers Monday and was working Tuesday to bring on another 100 to 150 to fulfil its staffing needs for virtual elementary school classes.The board anticipates the hiring will be complete in the next few days so the virtual classes can be set up by the end of the week, spokesman Ryan Bird said.The board has "predominantly" pulled from its roster of occasional teachers, who have already been vetted, in filling those gaps, Bird said.That list should be enough to meet the board's staffing needs, but if it isn't, the board could urge other teachers to apply to join the pool, he said."It is a challenge because we've taken a staffing process that typically takes months to complete and organize ... and we've really condensed that to two to three weeks," he said."Given the reality that we're facing right now and the changing information over the summer, we could not begin that as early as we had hoped, so the timelines have been quite tight, and then over the weekend it became abundantly clear that the numbers just weren't adding up."The newly hired teachers can't immediately start their classes since — they need to be trained to use the board's online learning platform, among other things, he said.The TDSB announced Monday it was again delaying the start of some virtual elementary classes as more students signed up for online learning.It said while the online courses were set to begin Tuesday, some classes had not yet been assigned a teacher.Students with no teacher assigned were expected to start off with independent learning.The board said 60,000 students have signed up for online learning at the elementary level, and another 18,000 at the high school level. In total, about 2,200 teachers are needed for the elementary virtual classes and 800 for the high school ones, it said.The latest employment survey conducted by the Ontario College of Teachers found that the province's decade-long teacher surplus has come to an end, with early-career teachers reporting very low unemployment rates in 2019."Teacher shortages are expected over the next several years that could reach well beyond the already challenging French-language shortages of the past few years," the report said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 22, 2020.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press
BERLIN — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been released from a Berlin hospital after more than a month's treatment for poisoning, with doctors now believing that a “complete recovery” from the nerve agent is possible, the facility said Wednesday.Navalny spent 32 days in treatment in Berlin's Charite hospital, 24 of which were in intensive care, before doctors deemed his “condition had improved sufficiently for him to be discharged from acute inpatient care.”As he was released Tuesday, the 44-year-old displayed his characteristic sarcastic sense of humour. In an Instagram post, he took swipe at Vladimir Putin, scoffing at reported comments by the Russian president suggesting he might have intentionally poisoned himself.Navalny, Putin’s most visible opponent, was flown to Germany two days after falling ill on Aug. 20 on a domestic flight in Russia.German chemical weapons experts have determined he was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok — findings corroborated by labs in France and Sweden.The hospital said that based on Navalny's progress, treating physicians believe that a “complete recovery is possible,” but added that it ”remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning.”During his convalescence, Navalny has in recent days been posting regular photos from the hospital on Instagram, first showing him sitting up in his bed surrounded by his family, then up and about in the building.In his post Tuesday night accompanied by a close-up photo, he laughed off reports that Putin suggested to French President Emmanuel Macron in a call that he might have “swallowed the poison himself.”“Good theory, I believe it deserves the most careful attention,” Navalny wrote in Russian.“Cooked Novichok in the kitchen. Took a sip from a flask on the plane. Fell into a coma.”He wryly wrote then the “ultimate aim of my cunning plan” must have been to die in Siberia, where the cause of death would be “lived long enough.”“But Putin outmanoeuvred me. You can’t fool him,” Navalny wrote. “As a result, I lay in coma for 18 days like a fool, but didn’t get my way. The provocation failed!”The nerve agent used in the attack was the same class of Soviet-era agent that Britain said was used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, in 2018, and Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders have called for Russia to fully investigate.Navalny was kept in an induced coma for more than two weeks as he was treated with an antidote. Members of his team accused the Kremlin of involvement in the poisoning, charges that Russian officials have vehemently denied.Russia has bristled at the demands for an investigation, saying it needs Germany to share medical data or compare notes with the Russian doctors who said they found no trace of poison in his system while he was at a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk.Germany has noted that Navalny was in Russian treatment for 48 hours, and that Russia has its own data.Germany has also enlisted the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for technical assistance in the case.Last week, the international agency said its experts had “ independently collected biomedical samples from Mr Navalny for analysis by OPCW designated laboratories”Results have not yet been announced.The Charite statement was released in consultation with Navalny and his wife, and the hospital would not comment further on whether he would continue to receive outpatient care there.Navalny's team has said he eventually plans to return to Russia, but had no immediate statement after his release from the hospital.____Litvinova reported from MoscowDavid Rising And Daria Litvinova, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Encouraging Ontario residents to get the flu shot is the first part of the province's plan to combat COVID-19 this fall, Premier Doug Ford announced Tuesday, as critics said rising case counts warranted far more decisive action.Ford said the rest of his government's pandemic preparedness strategy would be released in the coming days, adding that a robust flu vaccination campaign would help preserve hospital capacity."The flu shot helps reduce visits to our emergency rooms and doctors' offices," he said. Ontario will spend $70 million to purchase 5.1 million doses of the flu vaccine — 700,000 more than the previous year — and high-dose shots geared towards seniors will be available in pharmacies for the first time, Ford said.Other yet-to-be announced elements of the province's plan will focus on expanded testing, case and contact management, as well as quick identification, management and prevention of COVID-19 outbreaks, Ford said.The strategy will also address ways to reduce health service backlogs, prepare for case surges and recruit and train health-care workers, he said.Health Minister Christine Elliott said the flu shot campaign will be a key piece of the province's COVID-19 response this fall. The first shipments of the flu shots should be arriving next week."We will be supplying that vaccine to residents of long-term care homes and staff members as well and people in hospitals and retirement homes and other places of congregate living," Elliott said. "This is a top priority to keep these very vulnerable citizens safe and healthy."In recent weeks, opposition politicians have repeatedly pressed the government to deliver the fall preparedness plan, asking questions daily about the timing of its release and for details on how it will impact schools, the health-care system and long-term care homes where more than 1,820 people have died during the pandemic.NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called Ford's Tuesday announcement "disappointing", saying it didn't immediately address some of the key threats of a potential COVID-19 second wave."Just to make a pronouncement that you've got to get your flu shots this year ... it's just not even good enough," she said. "Nevermind, the fact that there really isn't a plan on any of the other pieces, whether it's schools, whether it's long-term care, whether it's hospital pressures."Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca criticized the staggered roll-out of the plan, saying the approach is not clear or transparent."I just don't understand, and I think most Ontarians agree with me, why we haven't seen the plan before today," he said.Green party Leader Mike Schreiner said the government spent much of the summer hearing from Ontario residents during legislative committee testimony and should have been better prepared."(People) clearly stated over and over again that the government needed to have a plan for the second wave and it needed to be communicated clearly," he said. "I'm shocked they're failing to do that."Ford said the plan is complex, which is why the government decided to release it in stages."This is a massive, massive plan, very jammed with items," Ford said. "If we laid it all down at once, the message isn't going to get out to the people."The province reported 478 new cases of the novel coronavirus Tuesday, along with three more associated deaths.Meanwhile, Ottawa's medical officer of health imposed strict new self-isolation rules for that city Tuesday to limit the spread of the virus in one of the province's hot spots.The public health order requires anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms of the virus to self-isolate immediately. Those rules also apply to anyone who is a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been tested for the virus and is awaiting their results.Failure to follow the public health order can result in daily fines of up to $5,000."I don’t take these types of decisions lightly; however, I must do everything possible to reduce the transmission that is currently occurring in Ottawa," Dr. Vera Etches said in a statement. "We must once again plank the curve through our actions and this order is another intervention that targets the increasing non-adherence with the basic prevention measures such as staying home when you have symptoms."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2020.Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will address the country about the COVID-19 pandemic hours after his government delivers a throne speech to lay out a new vision for Canada.
Some media outlets are banking their survival on Ottawa's attempt to regulate big tech companies, saying they're suffering financially while the tech companies benefit from their work. But those tax benefits can come at a cost for media companies.