With Kim MacDonald.
With Kim MacDonald.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Trump administration on Wednesday effectively killed a contentious proposed mine in Alaska, a gold and copper prospect once envisioned to be nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon and could produce enough waste to fill an NFL stadium nearly 3,900 times — all near the headwaters of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.The Army Corps of Engineers “concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest” and denied a permit to build the Pebble Mine under both the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act, the agency said in a statement.The rejection was a surprise. It's at odds with President Donald Trump’s efforts to encourage energy development in Alaska, including opening up part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, and other moves nationwide to roll back environmental protections that would benefit oil and gas and other industries.The Corps of Engineers also seemed to signal just a few months ago that after almost two decades of political wrangling, Pebble Mine was on a fast track to approval, a reversal from what many had expected under the Obama administration.But unlike drilling elsewhere in Alaska, the mine proposed for the southwestern Bristol Bay region could have negatively affected the state's billion-dollar fishing industry. Conservationists and even Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., sounded the alarm on the project before the administration changed course again.The CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership, the mine’s developers, said he was dismayed by the decision, especially after the corps had indicated in an environmental impact statement in July that the mine and fishery could coexist.“One of the real tragedies of this decision is the loss of economic opportunities for people living in the area,” CEO John Shively said in a statement. The environmental review “clearly describes those benefits, and now a politically driven decision has taken away the hope that many had for a better life. This is also a lost opportunity for the state’s future economy.”He said they are considering their next steps, which could include an appeal of the corps’ decision.“Today Bristol Bay’s residents and fishermen celebrate the news that Pebble’s permit has been denied; tomorrow we get back to work,” said Katherine Carscallen, executive director of the group Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay.The group wants Congress to pass laws protecting the region. “We’ve learned the hard way over the last decade that Pebble is not truly dead until protections are finalized,” Carscallen said.In July, the Corps of Engineers released an environmental review that the mine developer saw as laying the groundwork for key federal approvals. The review said that under normal operations, Pebble Mine “would not be expected to have a measurable effect on fish numbers and result in long-term changes to the health of the commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay.”However, in August, the corps said it had determined that discharges at the mine site would cause “unavoidable adverse impacts to aquatic resources” and laid out required steps to reduce those effects.Canada-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., which owns Pebble Limited Partnership, said it had submitted a mitigation plan on Nov. 16.Even if the corps had approved the project, there was still no guarantee it would have been built. It would have needed state approval, and President-elect Joe Biden has expressed opposition to the project.Critics saw Pebble Mine as getting a lifeline under the Trump administration. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency withdrew restrictions on development that were proposed — but never finalized — under the Obama administration and said it planned to work with the corps to address concerns.However, Trump’s eldest son was among those who voiced opposition earlier this year. After senior Trump campaign adviser Nick Ayers tweeted in August that he hoped the president would direct the EPA to block Pebble Mine, Trump Jr. responded: “As a sportsman who has spent plenty of time in the area I agree 100%. The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with.”The president later said he would “listen to both sides.”“The credit for this victory belongs not to any politician but to Alaskans and Bristol Bay’s Indigenous peoples, as well as to hunters, anglers and wildlife enthusiasts from all across the country who spoke out in opposition to this dangerous and ill-conceived project," said Adam Kolton, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League.Alaska’s two Republican U.S. senators, who support oil and gas development and mining, hailed the rejection of the Pebble Mine permit. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the decision affirmed her position that it’s the wrong mine in the wrong place.“It will help ensure the continued protection of an irreplaceable resource — Bristol Bay’s world-class salmon fishery,” she said.Sen. Dan Sullivan said he would remain an advocate for good-paying jobs derived from resource development.“However, given the special nature of the Bristol Bay watershed and the fisheries and subsistence resources downstream, Pebble had to meet a high bar so that we do not trade one resource for another,” he said. “Pebble did not meet that bar.”___Associated Press journalist Becky Bohrer in Juneau contributed to this report.Mark Thiessen, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange: Toronto Stock Exchange (17,313.07, up 38.82 points.) Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. (TSX:NDM). Materials. Down 54 cents, or 51.43 per cent, to 51 cents on 19.34 million shares.Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU). Energy. Down 16 cents, or 0.7 per cent, to $22.83 on 13.09 million shares. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX: CNQ). Energy. Down 35 cents, or 1.13 per cent, to $30.76 on 9.28 million shares. Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX: ACB). Health care. Down 70 cents, or 5.84 per cent, to $11.29 on 9.27 million shares. Enbridge Inc. (TSX: ENB). Energy. Up 57 cents, or 1.4 per cent, to $41.31 on 8.7 million shares. Trevali Mining Corp. (TSX:TV). Materials. Down 2.5 cents, or 11.11 per cent, to 20 cents on 7.63 million shares. Companies in the news: Imperial Oil Ltd. (TSX: IMO). Down 59 cents, or 2.37 per cent, at $24.32. Calgary-based Imperial Oil said Wednesday it is laying off about 200 of its 6,000 employees across Canada as part of a cost-cutting initiative due to low oil prices. The oilsands, refining and energy retailing company, which has been reluctant to cut staff during the current and previous industry downturns, also confirmed Wednesday it has reduced the number of contractors it employs by about 450 since the start of the year.Cargojet Inc. (TSX: CJT). Up $10.83, or 5.4 per cent, at $211.51. Cargojet says it is preparing for record levels of online shopping over the holidays — as Canadians buy gifts digitally during restrictions at brick-and-mortar stores — and the company is taking unprecedented measures to try to keep package deliveries on time. The Mississauga-based company says it is hiring additional pilots and staff, and added a new plane to its fleet this month for the second time this year.Spin Master Corp. (TSX:TOY). Up 29 cents, or 0.99 per cent, at $29.52. Toymaker Spin Master has announced a deal to develop toys and games based on the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movies. The company says it has signed a global licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products for the Wizarding World franchise.BRP Inc. (TSX:DOO). Up $2.21, or 3.25 per cent, at $70.24. BRP reported an improved outlook for the rest of the year on Wednesday as the company’s third-quarter earnings results beat analysts’ expectations and it raised its guidance for its full financial year. The maker of Ski-Doos and Sea-Doos reported higher third-quarter profit compared with a year ago, buoyed by strong sales worldwide despite COVID-19 lockdowns that hampered inventory and distribution.Cascades Inc. (TSX:CAS). Down 30 cents, or 2.02 per cent, at $14.55. Cascades says it will close its napkin plant in Laval, Que., at the end of June next year. The plant currently employs 54 workers. Cascades says it will offer to relocate as many employees as possible to its other operations in Quebec and employees who are not able or do not wish to relocate will be offered help in their search for other employment.CAE Inc. (TSX:CAE). Down 69 cents, or 2.05 per cent, at $33.03. CAE Inc. has signed a deal with Textron to buy TRU Simulation + Training Canada Inc. for US$40 million. The company says the acquisition expands its installed base of commercial flight simulators and customers.Exro Technologies Inc. (TSXV:EXRO). Up 16 cents, or 3.6 per cent, at $4.60. Exro says it has priced its shares at $3.25 each. The Canadian company, which is developing new control products to improve efficiency and performance in electric motors and powertrains, is aiming to raise between $30 million and $36.5 million through a public offering.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.The Canadian Press
Two men accused of human trafficking appeared in Saskatoon Provincial Court Nov. 24 and Nov. 25. There is now a court ordered ban on publication of the two men’s names. At their first appearance the court placed a publication ban on the identity of the woman who was allegedly being held captive by the two men. One man is a 23-year-old from Kindersley and the other is a 30-year-old from Saskatoon. The Kindersley man is charged with trafficking persons, material benefit from trafficking, two counts of uttering threats, theft under $5,000, breach of a release order, and breach of a conditional sentence order. He was denied bail. The Saskatoon man is charged with trafficking persons, uttering threats, and two counts of breach of a release order. He was granted bail during a show cause hearing in October. The Saskatoon Police Guns and Gang Unit arrested the two men in the 1500 block of Rayner Avenue on July 2. The Guns and Gang Unit became involved after the Saskatoon Police received a report June 29 that a 23-year-old woman was being held at a residence over a period of time. The Saskatoon VICE Human Trafficking Unit assisted police and warrants were issued for the two men. The Saskatoon man is scheduled to appear in Saskatoon Provincial court Dec. 10 to enter a plea and elect how he wants to be tried. The Kindersley man is scheduled to appear in Saskatoon Provincial Court Dec. 9 to enter a plea. email@example.com Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Battlefords News-OptimistLisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Millions of Americans are taking to the skies and highways ahead of the Thanksgiving day holiday, posing a risk of a major virus spread around the country. The CDC is asking Americans to limit travel and stay at home this holiday season. (Nov. 25)
Une contrôleuse aérienne qui travaille de soir, une mannequin qui a voyagé dans les plus grandes capitales de la mode et une adepte de plein air qui a grandi avec un sac à dos sur les épaules. Et si je vous disais que toutes ces caractéristiques étaient rassemblées en une seule personne ? Oui, c’est possible ! Marie-Ève Bergeron a 29 ans et vit à Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs depuis quelques années. Enfant, elle a été initiée aux randonnées et aux montagnes dès son jeune âge. Le plein air a toujours occupé une place majeure dans sa vie. « Mes parents me trainaient partout quand j’étais jeune. On voyageait surtout dans les Adirondacks et au Vermont. J’ai aussi vécu de 2 à 5 ans à Kuujjuaq dans le nord du Québec. C’est probablement l’endroit le plus nordique où je suis allée dans ma vie », raconte-t-elle. C’est il y a quelques années qu’elle a fait sa première randonnée seule durant une semaine dans le sud des Alpes françaises. « J’étais assez stressée de partir seule au début, mais j’ai vraiment adoré mon expérience ! Je dormais dans de petits refuges et le soir, il y avait des personnes qui faisaient des soupers. Comme c’était durant une période moins achalandée, je n’ai pas croisé beaucoup de monde. » Il y a deux ans, elle est partie pour le Népal ayant en tête le camp de base du Mont Everest. Sans trop y penser, elle a pris la décision de s’envoler pour l’Asie, seule, 10 jours avant son départ. C’était un voyage qu’elle rêvait de faire depuis longtemps. « Mon père me parlait souvent quand j’étais jeune du camp de base de l’Everest. On était même censés y aller à la fin de mon secondaire, mais ça n’avait pas fonctionné. Ça m’est toujours resté dans la tête, c’était un peu mythique comme endroit. » Elle a donc fait affaire avec une agence de voyages au Népal et elle est partie pour 20 jours en prenant en note quelques conseils à gauche et à droite. « Pour moi, partir seule fait partie de la découverte. Parfois, les amis n’ont pas toujours les mêmes disponibilités et je ne veux pas me restreindre parce que je ne trouve personne avec qui partir. Quand tu es seule, tu es plus ouvert à rencontrer des gens et à connecter avec eux. » Quand on lui demande ce qui la fait le plus sortir de sa zone de confort, Marie-Ève ne répond pas le Népal. Bien que dépaysant, elle relate que c’est plutôt le milieu de la mode en tant que mannequin qui l’a mise au défi. Dès l’âge de 18 ans, la jeune femme partait seule durant des périodes de quelques mois en Europe, même durant sa scolarité. « J’ai longtemps été déchirée entre mes études et le mannequinat. Mes agences n’aimaient pas trop ça parce que souvent, dès que ça commençait à bien aller en Europe, je quittais pour retourner à l’école. Ou encore, quand ils m’appelaient pour aller à un shooting, je me trouvais à deux heures de marche dans le bois ! Je pense qu’ils n’étaient pas habitués à ça. » Depuis 4 ans, elle travaille comme contrôleuse aérienne, un emploi qui lui permet d’avoir de la liberté à l’extérieur. « Même si ça peut être stressant par moments, quand je termine de travailler le soir, je n’ai plus à penser à ça, je n’ai pas de courriels qui entrent. Ça me permet de vraiment profiter de mon temps libre. » Ce travail lui permet aussi de vivre dans les Laurentides, un endroit qu’elle affectionne particulièrement. « J’aime aller marcher le matin, faire du vélo, aller promener mon chien. Quand j’habitais à Montréal, je faisais toujours des aller-retour pour venir jusqu’ici. » Pour son enfant, Marie-Ève souhaite lui transmettre cette passion pour le plein air, comme ses parents lui ont transmis ce mode de vie d’aventures et de montagnes. Malgré ses intérêts qui se sont parfois opposés au cours de sa vie, Marie-Ève a toujours trouvé une place et une importance pour chacun. Comme quoi les étiquettes que nous nous imposons parfois ne sont pas toujours la voie à suivre.Marie-Catherine Goudreau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
It's a play that remains fresh in soccer coach Peter Pinizzotto's mind even though it happened nearly 25 years ago.Argentine great Diego Maradona — making a one-off appearance to play with brother Lalo in an exhibition game for Pinizzotto's Toronto Italia team — set the ball on the grass at Birchmount Stadium for a corner kick. He used that famous left foot to curl the ball into the net for the winning goal. "He scored from a corner kick and he was celebrating like he was a young kid still," Pinizzotto recalled Wednesday after news broke that Maradona had died at age 60."You could see how much he loved to win. He hated to lose."A person close to Maradona told The Associated Press that he died Wednesday of a heart attack. Maradona was released from a Buenos Aires hospital two weeks earlier following brain surgery.The legendary midfielder led his country to a World Cup title in 1986 and is considered one of the sport's all-time greats. A junior star in the mid-1970s in Argentina, he later played for Barcelona, Napoli and Sevilla before retiring in 1997 after a three-year run back home with Boca Juniors.Maradona was well past his playing prime when he came to the Ontario capital in September 1996 to visit his brother, who spent a few seasons with Toronto Italia in the defunct Canadian National Soccer League. Team owner Pasquale Fioccola suggested to Lalo that perhaps his brother might like to dress for the exhibition game against the CNSL all-stars. With Diego on board and the necessary hurdles cleared, No. 10 eventually trotted out on the modest pitch — some 6,000 spectators packed the stands — in Toronto Italia colours."It was unbelievable," Fioccola said from Toronto. "I still don't believe it now, that I had Maradona play for my team."For a player who had shone on the sport's biggest stages in front of massive audiences, this exhibition in a lower-level league was a tad different. Still, Maradona was passionate and energetic on game day, making sure that he warmed up properly and that team motivation was high, Pinizzotto said."For him, it was almost like another important game," he said.Maradona's second-half goal ended up being the difference in a 2-1 victory. "He was friendly. He didn't play a show-off," Fioccola said. "He was normal, friendly (with) everybody. He shook hands with everybody and he gave (an autograph) if anybody asked him for it."Maradona came off as a substitute with a few minutes left to play, mainly to avoid the crush of fans at game's end. ""I remember all our players were so excited," Pinizzotto said from Woodbridge, Ont. "They all wanted to be a part of being on the field with him. He was not what he was when he was a few years younger but you could see that he still had magic. "For him to score out of the corner, he still had the left foot that was like magic."Fioccola said Maradona, who grew up in a poor area near Buenos Aires, told him he didn't have proper shoes when he first learned how to play and that he'd kick a small rock instead of a ball."He became the best because he played with his heart," he said. "One thing I've got to say about Diego, when he had a uniform on he played for the uniform he wore. He didn't play just for money. He gave his heart when he played."On one memorable day in 1996, he played for the Toronto Italia uniform.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020. With files from The Associated Press. Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press
Government and election officials frequently call on shredding companies to dispose of personal and sensitive documents that are no longer needed.But in a suburban county of Atlanta this week, those routine waste removal appointments were twisted into yet another election misinformation story when social media users falsely claimed shredding trucks were destroying ballots and “evidence of voter fraud.”The unfounded allegations continue to spread online as Georgia officials carry out a machine recount of ballots after certified results showed Joe Biden had a 12,670-vote lead over President Donald Trump. Trump requested the recount, which follows a statewide hand tally.L. Lin Wood Jr., a conservative attorney who had unsuccessfully sued in an attempt to block the certification of Georgia’s election results, on Tuesday shared a series of videos taken by a Georgia resident. They showed a shredding truck outside the West Park Government Center in Marietta.“Evidence of voter fraud is being destroyed in Cobb County, GA TODAY,” Wood captioned one of his tweets. “Many people, powerful & not so powerful, are going to PRISON.”The real explanation for the truck’s visit was far less scandalous: a routine shredding of county tax documents.The county tax commissioner’s office, which shares a building with the county’s main elections office, has documents shredded twice a month, according to Ross Cavitt, communications director for the county.“No items from Cobb Elections were involved,” Cavitt told The Associated Press in an email.The false claims built on similar rumours from last week, when the same Georgia resident captured photos and video of a truck destroying election-related waste outside the Jim R. Miller Event Center in Marietta and claimed it was evidence of “ballots being shredded.”After Wood amplified those photos and videos on Friday, Cobb County officials refuted the claim, explaining that the shredding company was summoned to destroy non-relevant election materials, as happens after all elections.“Everything of consequence, including the ballots, absentee ballot applications with signatures, and anything else used in the count or re-tally remains on file,” Janine Eveler, the county’s director of elections and voter registration, said in a statement.Some of the photos shared on Friday appeared to show a trash can with a paper labeled “ABSENTEE BALLOT” inside. But Eveler said that was an inner privacy envelope used by voters to seal absentee ballots, and had “no evidentiary value.” County officials will hold on to the actual absentee ballots, as well as the outer envelopes signed by voters, for two years.Wood did not respond to a telephone call and email seeking comment.Despite the county’s responses, Wood’s tweets with the debunked claims continued to receive massive engagement on Wednesday, collectively amassing more than 200,000 retweets. And a separate Facebook user’s post falsely claiming a shredding company was “hired by Democrats” to destroy evidence was viewed nearly 150,000 times.County officials told the AP they have not seen any evidence of fraud or anomalies in vote tabulation in the 2020 election.“People nowadays, they post stuff immediately without asking any questions and without any proper context, and it spreads like wildfire,” Cavitt said of the false claims.Jude Joffe-Block And Ali Swenson, The Associated Press
Liberal MLA Robert Henderson said he wants to know why the health minister isn't doing more to reduce the wait-list for a family doctor on P.E.I. In the legislature Wednesday, Henderson said the number of doctors being licensed in Canada is on the rise. But on P.E.I., there are still thousands waiting for a family doctor."We're just watching the patient registry, it's like a ticker it just keeps going up and up and up," Henderson said."So why is the minister of health struggling to recruit doctors?"The province recently contracted the Medical Society of P.E.I. to begin recruiting more physicians.The plan is to pay P.E.I. doctors to recruit other doctors to come practise on the Island, and it was negotiated over the last several months.The Health Department and doctors will form a physician recruitment task force. Doctors will consult with the government's existing recruitment team to come up with a marketing strategy, and create a "more efficient and positive" experience for doctors considering moving to P.E.I.P.E.I., like many jurisdictions in Canada, has been experiencing a shortage of doctors and other health-care professionals, and there is currently a waiting list of 14,530 patients on the patient registry seeking a family doctor on P.E.I., according to the province's website. "Islanders without access to a family physician, per capita it's actually the worst record in Atlantic Canada. Even this doctors-recruiting-doctors initiative will need to recruit a doctor to recruit other doctors, which takes a doctor away from providing health-care services to Islanders," Henderson said."When will Islanders expect to see the patient registry begin to decline?"Minister hopes to announce more doctors soonHealth Minister James Aylward said the wait-list does fluctuate, and the province is trying to improve the situation."It is a challenge to recruit doctors here on P.E.I., but you know we made a great announcement the other day for Tignish, which was lacking a family doctor for far too long," Aylward said.Last week, the heath minister announced Dr. Peter Entwistle will begin his practice at the Tignish Health Centre in February. He said the province also has letters of offer out to four other doctors that it's waiting to be signed and sent back.Aylward said government has also introduced other initiatives to help provide care to Islanders."We've done the virtual program with Maple, it has capacity for 10,000 patients to be connected to that service and so far the individuals that have accessed that service have had glowing, glowing reports," Aylward said.Aylward said the province still wants Islanders to have access to a doctor in person. He hopes to be able to announce some new doctors coming to the Island in the near future. More P.E.I. news
It's a demonstrably difficult task to find a comic screen partner worthy of standing opposite Melissa McCarthy, so you have to appreciate “Superintelligence" for throwing in the towel. In it, McCarthy plays Carol Peters, a former Yahoo executive who's chosen, purely for her extreme averageness, by a newly liberated, megalomaniacal artificial intelligence that presents her with a three-day test to prove humanity isn't worth destroying. It's the kind of set-up that would have once presided over by the devil or some demigod, but now that role goes to Alexa. That means that for much of “Superintelligence," a new comedy streaming Thursday on HBO Max, McCarthy is walking around on her own, her only foil a disembodied voice (James Corden's) or an occasional talking screen. That's not as good as McCarthy with either of her best recent on-screen partners — Sandra Bullock ("The Heat"), Richard E. Grant ("Can You Forgive Me?") — but it's not bad. It means McCarthy has the movie if not completely to herself (Corden's cheery warmth still comes through, and Bobby Cannavale winningly plays her love interest) then nearly so. Even though the innocuous “Superintelligence” is on the bland side, it remains hard not to enjoy two hours with McCarthy. The more telling companion of McCarthy's in “Superintelligence” is her husband, the director Ben Falcone. This is their fourth film together with Falcone behind the camera, and it may be the best of the bunch. That, however, isn't saying much considering their run of “Life of the Party" (2018), “The Boss” (2016) and “Tammy” (2014). Those films have their moments, and they're always shot-through with affection for their leading lady. But they're easily the weaker, more forgettable side of McCarthy's filmography. “Superintelligence," written by Steve Mallory, is the most high-concept of their films together, and it's ultimately an excuse to bring apocalyptic stakes to a rom-com plot. Faced with the possible end of the world, Carol resolves to reconnect with an old flame (Cannavale). Their chemistry together is easy and relaxed, if not especially funny. The cast overall feels wasted, especially the supporting performances of Brian Tyree Henry (as a computer scientist), Jean Smart (the president) and Sam Richardson — the talented “Veep” performer who I sincerely hope soon gets his own movie. Like a lot of studio comedies of late, it feels like there's space here for jokes that mostly never quite got filled in. The real romance in “Superintelligence” might not be between any of the characters, but McCarthy and Falcone (who also makes his typical cameo). Their collaborations are uneven but warmhearted, and their movies together feel like an almost sweet sacrifice of quality for the sake of family. “Superintelligence,” a Warner Bros. release, is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for some suggestive material, language and thematic elements. Running time: 105 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four. ___ Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP Jake Coyle, The Associated Press
EDMONTON — On a day Alberta hit a sobering 500 COVID-19 deaths, the Opposition accused Premier Jason Kenney of implementing short-sighted, half-baked health restrictions that will provoke the very economic collapse he seeks to avoid.“The premier is continuing his discredited, libertarian approach of pitting the economy against the health of Albertans, and he’s going to sacrifice both as a result,” NDP Leader Rachel Notley told the house Wednesday in a fiery exchange with Kenney during question period.“Let me be perfectly clear to this premier,” she added. “Your negligence is far, far more dangerous to our economy and the people who rely on their jobs than sound public-health measures.”The exchange came a day after the United Conservative premier announced new restrictions to reverse rates of COVID-19 that are consistently over 1,000 a day and threaten to overwhelm intensive care beds and trigger a disastrous domino effect throughout the health system.Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, announced 1,265 new cases Wednesday, with 355 people in hospital, including 71 in intensive care. There were eight more deaths, bringing that total to 500.“This is a tragic milestone,” Hinshaw said, adding that health officials are now working on moving and reassigning patients to free up more ICU beds for COVID-19 cases as needed.The new health rules include a provincewide ban on indoor extended gatherings, even in people’s homes. There are new restrictions on bars, restaurants and pubs, retailers, casinos, movie houses, hair salons, schools, places of worship and other businesses, backed up by fines of $1,000 to $100,000.The changes will be reviewed in three weeks.Kenney said the goal is to reverse COVID-19 case increases while keeping the economy afloat to prevent further harm to those who are relying on it to get by.Notley’s NDP, and hundreds of physicians and infectious disease specialists, have demanded Kenney institute a much sharper business lockdown, even for a short period, to give the beleaguered health system a chance to rest and reset. They say without it, cases will keep climbing and Alberta is headed for a devastating Christmas community lockdown.Kenney accused Notley of wanting to impose a blinkered, one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t mesh with COVID-transmission data and would ultimately do more harm than good.“They’re socialists. They’re addicted to command and control of people’s lives,” Kenney told the house.“What they want to do is put hundreds of thousands of people out of work.”The two leaders vehemently disagreed on the contact-tracing data, with Notley saying the government is flying blind and Kenney responding that it has nine months’ worth of numbers to draw on.In recent weeks, Alberta’s contact tracing system has failed to keep up with the surge of cases. Of the 13,719 active cases, the government says it doesn’t know where 83 per cent of them are coming from.Hinshaw said the lack of recent data has been a challenge but officials also rely on earlier numbers and data from comparable jurisdictions.As of Friday, restaurants can have no more than six diners per table and they must all be from the same household. Owners say they are grappling with how to enforce that."At this point, it's looking like it's an honour system," said Ernie Tsu, an owner of Trolley 5 Restaurant and Brewery in Calgary and founding board member of the Alberta Hospitality Association. The association is meeting with government officials to get "refined details" on how restaurants should enforce the rule.Tsu said he’s pleased restaurants have not been closed to sit-down customers, as has been the case in some other provinces. “We still have to make sure that everyone understands that these restaurants are still paying full rent while employing Albertans and trying to work with diminished capacities," Tsu said.— With files from Lauren Krugel in CalgaryThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press
P.E.I.'s Department of Justice and Public Safety says it is dealing with a spike in people seeking approval to come to the Island.Officials say since the closure of the Atlantic bubble and the chief public health officer's recommendations to not travel during the holidays, the province has seen five-times the amount of inquiries.Justice and Public Safety Minister Bloyce Thompson says the province was bracing for a spike following the announcement P.E.I. was pulling out of the Atlantic bubble because of increased COVID-19 cases in neighbouring New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. He says people need to be patient, adding the province will get through the backlog within the next couple of days. "We've been doing this for almost eight months now and as every announcement comes there's an influx of inquiries, applications," said Thompson. "So to address this announcement Monday we've brought in six new staff to deal with some of the backlog."On Monday, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer announced P.E.I. was pulling out of the Atlantic bubble and said Islanders should only travel outside of P.E.I. for essential purposes or work. 'They haven't received an approval or denial'Anyone who needs to travel to the Island, including residents of Atlantic Canada, now has to apply for pre-travel approval.Island residents do not require pre-travel approval, but will be required to self-isolate 14 days once they return to the Island. Frustrations over the growing wait times spilled over onto the floor of the P.E.I. Legislature Wednesday. Cory Deagle, PC MLA for Montague-Kilmuir, said he had been contacted by a couple that had been waiting 168 hours for a response, much longer than the 72-hour response time the province tries to achieve.The couple is moving from B.C. to his district, and the couple's parents — who have also reached out to him — are his constituents.Deagle said they first sent their letter to the province on Nov. 18, long before P.E.I. pulled out of the Atlantic bubble. He said the couple was asked for more information on Nov. 21. "It's now Nov. 25 and they haven't received an approval or denial letter and they are travelling across Canada," said Deagle.'What they are going to do when they get here?'"They received approval to enter New Brunswick but they don't know about P.E.I. What they are going to do when they get here?"Thompson said he would get the name of the family and follow up immediately to ensure they have an answer before they get to the Confederation Bridge.Deagle said the family is growing increasingly frustrated."These two individuals are travelling across Canada, they said today they tried calling, no one's answering the phone, they tried leaving voicemail but the inbox is filled."Thompson did admit wait times have increased significantly because of the closure of the Atlantic bubble."We will be back to 72 hours very soon," Thompson said from the floor of the legislature. 'I hate making politics out of something so important'But Deagle fired back saying, "You shouldn't have to contact your MLA to find out if you can get approval to come to P.E.I."Thompson then took a shot at his PC colleague."This is a very important question and I hate making politics out of something so important," said Thompson. "I sat beside this member in caucus, I wish he had brought this to me then."In an interview after question period, Deagle said he makes no apologies for raising the concerns of his constituents."The premier has said that we can ask tough questions, even though it's our own party, we can ask tough questions that are important to our constituents and Islanders," Deagle told CBC News."We've never been told one way or another to not do something, if we feel it's important and we want to ask it, we can ask the questions."More from CBC P.E.I.
The Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL) has cancelled its senior men’s ‘AA’ 2020/21 season, but league officials are keeping the door open to the possibility of exhibition games in the new year. The league includes the Terrace River Kings and teams in Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Smithers, Hazelton, Williams Lake and Quesnel. “We had a schedule to start December 4th but with recent restrictions feel that in in any circumstances less than a super miracle vaccination, we would probably not return to play with spectators in time to salvage a 20-21 season,” said Ron German, CIHL President, in a media release. German thanked the communities, fans, volunteers and sponsors for their support. He said that if conditions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic change in 2021, the league would explore the possibility of playing exhibition games if BC Hockey and local guidelines could be met.Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
TORONTO — Ontario's response to the COVID-19 pandemic was slower and more reactive than that of other provinces, hampered by "delays and confusion in decision-making" as public health experts took a secondary role to government officials and politicians, the province's auditor general said Wednesday.Outdated provincial emergency plans played a role in slowing down the response in the winter and spring, as did systemic issues such as a lack of laboratory surge capacity and old IT systems, Bonnie Lysyk said in a report.Lysyk also pointed to a cumbersome command structure, and one that was not led by public health expertise despite the creation and expansion of a provincial health command table that she says now involves more than 500 people.As well, she found the province's chief medical officer of health did not fully exercise his powers in responding to the pandemic, or issue directives to local health officials to ensure a consistent approach across regions. A provincial message on masking for the general public didn't come until October, she noted as an example, and was then issued by the province, not Dr. David Williams."Despite COVID-19 being a public health pandemic, we noted that those with public health expertise did not play a leading role in the ministry's response," the report said. "Local medical officers of health informed us that they were confused by provincial politicians delivering critical public health advice in place of the chief medical officer of health."Asked whether Williams had lacked leadership, Lysyk said he "worked with the system that was there," one in which he had an advisory role.The auditor general also raised concerns that lab testing, case management and contact tracing were not being conducted in a timely enough manner to limit the spread of the virus, noting that between January and August, all but one public health unit failed to meet the target of reporting test results within a day 60 per cent of the time.The findings are part of a special report that examines Ontario's emergency management in the context of the pandemic, and its outbreak planning and decision-making, among other things.The governing Progressive Conservatives took issue with many parts of the report, with Premier Doug Ford dismissing it as "21 pages of inaccuracies" while accusing Lysyk of overstepping her authority."The auditor general's job is not to be the chief medical officer, not to be the ombudsman, not to sit there and give us health advice," Ford said."Stick with looking for value for money, stick with the job that we hired you for."The premier further suggested that co-operating with the audit process had siphoned government resources away from tackling the pandemic.Health Minister Christine Elliott, meanwhile, said that while the government welcomes some of the points raised by the auditor, the report is a "disappointment" and "in many respects, a mischaracterization of the province's pandemic response.""We have been decisive at every turn," she said, adding Ontario was the first province to designate COVID-19 as a publicly reportable infectious disease and the second to declare a health emergency due to the pandemic. Ontario also has the lowest active case rate of any province outside Atlantic Canada, at 89 per 100,000 people, she said.Elliott took issue with the auditor's finding that Williams did not lead the provincial pandemic response. The government has always followed Williams' recommendations, though it may have discussed "some potential small changes" at various points, she said.The government has faced repeated requests to publicly release Williams' advice to the minister and cabinet but has yet to do so, an issue the auditor's report noted. Ford said Wednesday he would consider taking that step but insisted his government has been transparent in its decision-making.The government announced earlier this week it planned to extend Williams' term - which was set to end with his retirement in February - until September.Lysyk said many of the issues her office identified would have been avoidable if the province had acted on lessons from the 2003 SARS outbreak.Among the recommendations from the SARS Commission were reforms to streamline operations and management of the province's 34 public health units, which continue to function independently, often without sharing best practices, she said. As a result, Ontario's COVID-19 response was often "disorganized and inconsistent," the report said.Another key lesson highlighted by the SARS Commission was the need for preventative measures, the document said. "Following this principle means taking decisive action early. This is not what the audit found; instead we found systemic issues and delays in decision-making," Lysyk said in a statement.Recommendations made in previous auditor general's reports to regularly update emergency response plans and address weaknesses in public health lab and information systems were also not acted on, the report said. Information systems currently in use have "limited functionality for case management and contact tracing," and the system used in labs is not integrated with the public health system, the audit said. Lab testing still follows a "substantially manual, paper-based process," it added. The auditor acknowledged several of the issues highlighted in the report began to emerge under the previous Liberal government.Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca admitted "there were things that could have been done differently" while his party steered the province, but said the Tories have nonetheless mismanaged the health crisis.The Opposition New Democrats, meanwhile, expressed outrage that health experts had been "sidelined" by the government.The auditor general's office said it will issue a second report on the provincial COVID-19 response that will examine health-related expenditures, personal protective equipment and long-term care. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press
A request for the names, addresses and Farm Business Registration (FBR) numbers of Ontario farmers has been withdrawn. According to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), a Freedom of Information request (FOI) asking for potentially sensitive information on farmers in the province has been withdrawn following a period of mediation led by the OFA and supported by their legal counsel. Initially received by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in June, the FOI request was made by an unknown individual and sought to access a list of Ontario farmers that included the names of their businesses, where they were located and their FBR number, an identifier that’s is issued to any farm businesses in Ontario that make declare a gross farm income of $7,000 or more. An FOI request can be made by members of the public under Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), which says “every person has a right of access to a record or a part of a record in the custody or under the control of an institution,” with exceptions. OFA president Keith Currie celebrated the FOI withdrawal, citing concerns around how the information in the FOI could have been misused to harm farm owners’ businesses. “Together, our farm organizations strongly opposed the release of this information as it has the potential to greatly impact the health, safety and security of our farm operations,” Currie said. “We are very pleased to report that the matter has been resolved, the FOI has been dropped and we can move forward with the significant priorities of the Ontario agriculture sector.” While there was no evidence that the names and FBR numbers that stood to be acquired through the FOI were planned to be used maliciously, the OFA and other farm organizations in the province moved quickly to stall the request when it was first made, citing concerns that bad actors could use the information on a large scale, targeting businesses with protests or making their information public to others. Additionally, online sources speculated that the information could be used to create a database like one created in Australia following a similar information request. That database was subsequently used by activists to stage protests around the country. At the time the FOI request was still pending, Rainy River Federation of Agriculture (RRFA) president Lisa Teeple noted that while the request in and of itself wasn’t reason for area farmers to panic, the uncertainty of who was requesting the information and what they intended to use it for caused the most concern. “The original request, we don’t know where it came from,” Teeple explained at the time. “Who was asking for this information? Is it a university study looking to do a study on farm economics? Is it a think-tank group and how they market more to farm businesses? We don’t know. Is it an environmental activist group? That potentially gives a reason for pause, because we are in a business where environmental and animal activists have been known to be destructive. The big thing is ‘who asked for it’? We can’t find that out.” The OFA, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO and the National Farmers Union–Ontario (NFU-O) collaborated to file a formal appeal against the FOI before the request was withdrawn.Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
The City of Toronto will ramp up winter maintenance so residents can spend more time outdoors.Mayor John Tory says the city wants people to stay active despite COVID-19, even in sub-zero temperatures. He says residents can spend time in parks alone or with members of their household during the lockdown.He says there are also 23 toboggan hills, eight new snow loops at golf courses and numerous outdoor ice rinks.The rinks will have a capacity of 25 people to follow provincial pandemic rules. The city will also maintain an extra 60 kilometres of paved trails and pathways."Much as the pandemic makes things different, we're committed to giving people more things to do outside safely," Tory said on Wednesday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Newly released documents show the navy will need help resupplying its fleets at sea even after two multibillion-dollar support vessels are built. The documents obtained by The Canadian Press show that the navy plans to rely on Chantier Davie's MV Asterix and allies to ensure there is no “capability gap” even after the two new joint support ships are finished in next few years. Canada originally planned to buy three new navy support ships when it launched the project more than a decade ago, but cost overruns saw the order cut down to two. The vessels are being built in Vancouver at a combined cost of $4 billion. Yet navy officials have continued to indicate that two support ships are not enough to meet the maritime force's long-term needs, as the government’s policy requires the military be able to operate two fleets at sea at the same time. The fear is that the navy will be hamstrung whenever one of the two so-called joint support ships is out of commission, either for repairs or for some other reason. While the documents play down such a threat, they also acknowledge that to prevent a “capability gap,” the navy will need to rely on the Asterix as well as “sailing with and leveraging allies and partners who have support-ship capabilities.” Canada was forced to rely on allies when its previous two support ships were taken out of service earlier than expected in 2014. Yet such an approach has been criticized as undermining the Canadian military’s autonomy and flexibility, which is why the government decided to start leasing the Asterix from Davie in January 2018 until the two new joint support ships arrived. The vessel is in the midst of a five-year leasing arrangement between Ottawa and the Quebec company, with an option to extend the lease by another five years in 2023. The government could also buy the vessel. Parliamentary budget officer Yves Giroux last week estimated the cost of buying the Asterix at $633 million, while extending the contract could cost more than $500 million. Giroux estimated Asterix’s sister ship, MV Obelix, could cost $797 million. The Liberal government has so far resisted calls to purchase the Asterix or Obelix, despite pressure from opposition parties as well as Davie and the Quebec government. It has instead repeatedly described the Asterix as a stopgap until the two new joint support ships arrive, the first of which is due in 2023. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s spokeswoman Floriane Bonneville repeated that message Wednesday. “Our investment into the new joint support ships will provide the full suite of military requirements for at-sea support that the Royal Canadian Navy requires to do the challenging work we ask of them to protect Canadians,” Bonneville said in an email. “Until the arrival of the two Protecteur-class joint support ships … the RCN is mitigating its gap of at-sea support capability through the interim auxiliary oiler replenishment commercial-based service contract involving MV Asterix and collaboration with Canada’s allies.” In a separate email, Defence Department spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande said a decision on whether to buy the Asterix or extend the lease with Davie “will come in due course and while considering the broader context of the needs of the CAF as a whole.” The Asterix, which was at the heart of the failed prosecution of now-retired vice-admiral Mark Norman, is currently docked in Halifax. Since entering service with the navy, it has sailed on a number of Canadian military missions around the world. Conservative defence critic James Bezan, who has been among those pushing the government to buy the Asterix as well as the Obelix, said it is clear the Navy needs the vessels to be able to function properly at sea. "We believe that Asterix should stay in service, that Obelix should be built and that both (joint support ships) be built so that we have the ability to maintain that blue-water fleet,” Bezan said. “That way we can send the navy out and if one of our supply ships happens to be out of service, we can backfill it with (Asterix or Obelix)." NDP defence critic Randall Garrison said it has long been clear that Canada needs more than two support ships to ensure the navy isn't impaired whenever one is out of service, though he questioned whether the Asterix is the best fit. The military has previously said the new joint support ships have better systems to avoid mines, protect against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, a better propulsion system, a bigger helicopter hangar and more self-defence capabilities. "We've always supported three joint supply ships," Garrison said. "Can the Asterix serve as the third in some capacity even though it has reduced capability? I think we should ask the navy that." Davie spokesman Frederik Boisvert in a statement described the Asterix and Obelix as "a class-leading design which has become the envy of global navies." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA, Ill. — Canada's watchdog for crime victims is calling on Parliament to overhaul their bill of rights, saying the five-year-old legislation has fallen "far short" of delivering on its promise.Rules meant to amplify victims' voices in the justice system have failed to make them heard following "sporadic" implementation of a regime that needs more teeth, clarity and public awareness, federal ombudsman Heidi Illingworth said in a report Wednesday."The situation of victims of crime has not fundamentally changed since it was passed," she wrote.The previous Conservative government introduced what it called a victims' bill of rights in 2015 that allowed crime victims to get information about offenders in the corrections system and have their views considered when decisions are made about those perpetrators.Illingworth said the legislation should be amended to provide a legal remedy for violations, such as allowing victims to formally challenge authorities on whether their rights have been honoured."There was no right to appeal, there was no right to seek damages," Illingworth said Wednesday in a phone interview.The 2015 statute was an important firs step but "really more of a statement of principles," she added. "It did not give people real rights, because in law you have to be able to have a remedy for rights to be real."The justice system demands heavy lifting from people subjected to a criminal act, including those involved in the 2.2 million crimes reported to police each year."They are expected to report the crime, provide evidence, bear witness, be cross-examined on the stand and relive their traumas over and over again as they tell their truths — yet we provide them with little assistance to do so," Illingworth wrote."Unsupported victims are less likely to come forward. When victims are not treated as full partners in the criminal justice system, the system is less effective."Victims should automatically receive information about their rights, rather than having to ask for it, she said.Up to two-thirds of crime victims do not go to the police, said Irvin Waller, professor emeritus in criminology at the University of Ottawa.Other reforms demanded in the report include a simplified complaint process filtered entirely through the ombudsman's office rather than a patchwork of agencies, more clearly defined obligations for criminal justice officials and more funding to train front-line workers in treating victims with "courtesy, compassion and respect."The ombudsman is also calling for better data collection by courts, prisons and law enforcement agencies to understand police interactions with targeted populations, including Indigenous women and LGBTQ individuals."We know that there’s distrust, and this is especially concerning among communities of colour, racialized communities, Indigenous people. And how survivors of sexual violence are cheated by the justice system has been very, very problematic," Illingworth said.Waller pointed to England and France as models on training guidelines for officials and restitution for victims, respectively. He said up to half of French criminal cases result in restitution payments, access to which should be guaranteed, according to the ombudsman's report.In contrast to Canada, France also grants victims legal "standing" to appeal to courts for review when their rights are not upheld."We are a long, long way behind these countries," Waller said.Illingworth's report further recommends amendments that commit to core funding for community-based restorative justice programs as well as a list of officials who have direct responsibilities to crime victims.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press
There's a rose-coloured opportunity for would-be hoteliers looking to flaunt their wealth in small-town Canada. A landmark location from the beloved CBC sitcom "Schitt's Creek" hit the market Wednesday, offering buyers the chance to re-enact the show's riches-to-rags saga for a listing price of $2 million. The Hockley Motel in Mono, a town of about 8,000 people northwest of Toronto, served as the exterior set for the Rose family's home on the Emmy Award-winning series. The listing presents the 6.7-acre riverside property as a fixer-upper that would appeal to travellers seeking rural refuge from the commotion and contagion risk of city life in the COVID-19 era. It's a sales pitch that may sound familiar to "Schitt's Creek" fans who have followed the Rose family as they refurbished their motel-turned-home in a town they once purchased as a joke, said property owner Jesse Tipping. "The show obviously created a script that seems to be very fitting for the actual property," said Tipping. "I hope (whoever buys it) can find that happiness that the Roses did on the show." In addition to its status as a stand-in for the Rosebud Motel, the property has appeared onscreen in the 2005 thriller "A History of Violence" and Netflix's superhero series "The Umbrella Academy." Tipping purchased the building in 2012 in hopes of using it as housing for athletes at the basketball academy he was starting at the time. The sale has been in the works for about a year, and while Tipping is sad to part ways with the landmark, he admits he's a bit relieved that he'll no longer have to ward off "Schitt's Creek" sightseers. Colliers Hotels says buyers who are interested in the property can put in offers until Dec. 14. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020. Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press
COVID-19. En date du 23 novembre, 3492 cas actifs de COVID-19 (2847 élèves et 645 membres du personnel) étaient rapportés dans 1023 établissements préscolaires, primaires et secondaires du Québec. Par conséquent, un total de 1139 classes sont fermées. Les élèves concernés suivent donc leurs cours à distance. Le nombre total d’écoles comptant un ou des cas positifs rapportés avec diagnostic depuis le début de l’année scolaire est de 1999. Notons que l’on peut consulter la liste des écoles concernées sur cette page publiée par le gouvernement du Québec : https://cdn-contenu.quebec.ca/cdn-contenu/adm/min/education/publications-adm/covid-19/reseauScolaire_listeEcoles.pdf?1600113647 Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
Dr. Juveria Zaheer eagerly volunteered to work the sleepless overnight shift on the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health’s new emergency department. Other clinicians, she said, requested the same. “There’s just so much excitement happening,” said Zaheer, a psychiatrist at CAMH. This excitement is driven by the long-awaited unveiling of two new buildings at Canada’s leading mental health hospital: a new emergency department and a state-of-the-art recovery complex at CAMH’s Queen Street West campus, both featuring central themes of bright, open space and natural light. The new spaces are part of an ongoing, ambitious redevelopment plan that began in 2006 to integrate CAMH into one campus and build a vision for what the future of mental health care could look like, CAMH’s CEO Catherine Zahn said. The goal, Zahn said, is for CAMH to move away from an institutional environment by building a bridge with the community that surrounds it, lending to “the acceptance of mental illness, not as something that’s behind walls anymore,” but something that is central to the overall health of the community. “There’s no health without mental health,” Zahn said. Over a two-day period starting Wednesday, more than 200 patients were to be transported from the old building on College Street to the new buildings: The Crisis and Critical Care Building, which includes the new emergency department, and the McCain Complex Care and Recovery Building. It’s a challenging feat due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but one that proved to be timely due to the new buildings’ abundance of space. “Moving into these new spaces is actually extremely desirable for us during the pandemic,” Zahn said. The new emergency department is double the size of the old one and features more spacious patient rooms, each equipped with a private bathroom, which will limit the sharing of common spaces. As of Tuesday, CAMH had two patients and seven staff who tested positive for COVID-19, according to the hospital’s website. Zahn said patients will be transported to the new building with the help of moving companies who are following rigorous sanitation procedures to ensure a safe move. The move includes COVID-19 positive patients, where Toronto Public Health was also consulted. In addition to more physical space, the Crisis and Critical Care Building features an outdoor terrace for patients to access fresh air, and more rooms for group therapy sessions and other recovery programs. It also offers more space dedicated to triaging patients. “In our current space, I’ll walk into the (emergency) department and there will be people in rooms, but there will also be people in stretchers and people sitting in seats and sleeping there,” Zaheer said. “Having more rooms will make a world of a difference.” There are 235 new patient beds in total between the new Critical Care Building and the Complex Care and Recovery Building. This includes an increase of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units from nine to 41 — more than quadrupling the previous capacity of beds that were fully at use by both CAMH and patients from other area hospitals. Alongside housing patient beds, the McCain Complex Care and Recovery Building will also serve as a unique, transformative hub for patients to learn life skills needed on their path to recovery. Part of this is a “therapeutic neighbourhood,” which holds a laundry room, an exercise room and an industrial-sized kitchen affiliated with George Brown College, where patients can take classes and learn how to perform daily tasks. The building is also home to music and art studios for various forms of art therapy. Erin Ledrew, a recreation therapist at CAMH, said the McCain complex was created with the help of existing literature on what mental health care can and should look like, and will serve as “a central programming space” for patients. “I think that will create a real sense of community,” Ledrew said. The McCain building also features a library that is open to the public and tied to CAMH’s larger vision of connecting the hospital with its surrounding community. Both buildings also feature artwork from previous CAMH patients, some of whom are Indigenous and channelled their culture and recovery journey into their art. For now, patients will be engaged in physically distant in-person tours of the new space, while virtual ones will be offered simultaneously. Ledrew said the building is large enough to offer some programming in a safe and distant manner as well. “Right now, we have a hybrid model that will allow us to still offer all of that programming, while maintaining not mixing (units) and continuing to follow all the protocols during COVID,” Ledrew said. The hope is that the new buildings will offer better care for patients and their families while providing the space and facilities to guide them in life beyond their time at CAMH, Ledrew said. “We’re really trying to offer spaces for people to feel safe to explore the strategies that work for them in their recovery,” she said. Nadine Yousif is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering mental health. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Follow her on Twitter: @nadineyousif_ Nadine Yousif, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star