Republicans are mobilizing thousands of volunteers to watch early voting sites and ballot drop boxes leading up to November's election, part of an effort to find evidence to back up President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated complaints about widespread voter fraud. Across key battleground states such as Pennsylvania, Florida and Wisconsin, Republican poll watchers will be searching for irregularities, especially with regard to mail-in ballots whose use is surging amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to more than 20 officials involved in the effort. The mission, the officials said, is to capture photos and videos Republicans can use to support so-far unfounded claims that mail voting is riddled with chicanery, and to help their case if legal disputes erupt over the results of the Nov. 3 contest between Republican incumbent Trump and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden.
TORONTO — A student found at her high school prom with cocaine in her purse has failed to have her case thrown out as a violation of her rights. In convicting the young woman, Ontario court Judge Amit Ghosh said there was nothing wrong with the mandatory search that turned up the drug. "Despite the absence of reasonable grounds, the mandatory security search of bags at a prom is reasonable in all the circumstances," Ghosh said in his recent decision. "This was a voluntarily attended prom party." The teen, Maria Calabretta, was charged with possession in June 2019 when she went to her prom at a banquet hall in Vaughan, Ont. She had a two-gram bag of cocaine in her purse. Evidence was that Calabretta had bought an entry ticket that stated drugs and alcohol were prohibited. She stood in a security line at the hall while school administrators briefly checked bags and purses for illicit substances, alcohol or weapons. Men searched the male students' belongings, women the females'. About 300 students attended the prom and about half were younger than 18, court records show. The mandatory bag searches and hiring of off-duty officers, the school said, were to ensure the safety and security of attendees, not to investigate criminal activity. When it was her turn, Calabretta opened her purse for the vice-principal, who, after spotting a small straw inside that could be used for snorting a drug, found the baggie. The teen quickly admitted it was coke. At that point, the vice-principal alerted nearby paid-duty officers, who arrested her for possession. Calabretta argued at trial the mandatory searches were done without reasonable grounds in violation of the charter. She wanted the cocaine evidence thrown out. Ghosh, however, was having none of it. He noted a charter search violation occurs when a person has a "reasonable expectation of privacy." While the accused did have such an expectation regarding her purse, it was lessened given the situation, the judge said. Calabretta, he said, could simply have chosen to leave the prom to get rid of the drugs, and then returned. The off-duty officers were not involved in the search, he noted. It was not, he said, similar to a situation in which police stop a motorist and demand a breath sample or search the vehicle. In this case, the vice-principal testified the student could have refused to open her bag when asked, and would then likely have just been asked to leave. Any impact on her charter rights, Ghosh said, was "negligible at best." Calabretta's lawyer said his client would have no comment. This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Oct. 7, 2020. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer, and health minister Patty Hajdu commented on a recent report from the Toronto Star revealing that some areas of Toronto are seeing more than 10 per cent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive.
"I've had so many people write me letters saying, 'Thank you so much,'" said Hilton, 39, who said she did not speak to her parents for 20 years because they sent her to Provo Canyon School in Utah. In the documentary, which premiered on her YouTube page this month, Hilton alleges she was mentally and physically abused, placed in solidarity confinement for hours at a time and forced to take unknown medications. Hilton said she was sent to Provo and several other schools for troubled teens after years of rebellion.
Authorities are continuing to search Lake Ontario for a missing sailor from Oakville after the U.S. Coast Guard found his boat without him three kilometres off Rochester, New York on Wednesday.The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ont. said in a tweet that "poor weather and high waves" are making the search difficult.Halton Regional Police said they believe Eric Quimby, 65, left the Oakville Club marina on Tuesday at about 10:40 a.m. in his 30-foot sailboat for a recreational trip to the Stoney Creek, Ont. area.Quimby is said to be a long-time member of the club and that he likes to get out on the water as often as possible. He also likes to go out alone."Quimby is a skilled sailor with more than 30 years' experience and makes this trip often," police said in a news release on Tuesday.Police said they were contacted on Tuesday evening when Quimby did not return home. He is believed to be the only person on board the boat, which is equipped with a motor. The boat has a red and white hull.Quimby was not on board the boat when it was discovered adrift by a concerned citizen out on the lake. The person said the boat looked suspicious and called the U.S. Coast Guard, which towed the boat into Rochester, where it remains.Halton police said the sailboat was "unoccupied."The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre has taken the lead on the search, which involves two Hercules aircraft, one from Canada and one from the U.S., and a Griffin helicopter. Halton police said the search is now in U.S. waters.Halton police said its marine unit is working with marine units from Peel Regional Police, Toronto Police Service and the Canadian Coast Guard.There are also volunteer coast guards helping in the search.Quimby is described as white, five-foot-10, 220 lbs., with a medium build, short blond hair and blue eyes.When he left on his trip, he was wearing a white t-shirt, a dark sweater and red shorts. He is believed to have more clothing on the boat, including sweaters and wind breakers.Anyone with information is urged to call police immediately.
The end is coming for plastic grocery bags, straws and cutlery after the federal government announced today which single-use plastics will be covered by a national ban coming into effect next year.Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson unveiled the list of soon-to-be-banned items Wednesday morning at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que.As it was compiling the list, the government said it considered plastics that are harmful to the environment and hard to recycle, and whether there are readily available alternatives.The single-use plastics that will be banned are: * Grocery checkout bags * Straws * Stir sticks * Six-pack rings * Plastic cutlery * Food takeout containers made from hard-to-recycle plastics (like black plastic packaging)The regulations to introduce the ban will be finalized by the end of 2021, said Wilkinson."When a ban comes into effect, your local stores will be providing you with alternatives to these plastic products, like reusable or paper bags in place of plastic," he said."I know it is presently hard to come back from the grocery store without a single use plastic item ... You use it, you throw it in the recycling bin and more often than not, it ends up in a landfill. This has to change, which is why we'll be working with grocers and industry leaders and provinces and territories to keep more plastic in our economy through recycling."While Wilkinson emphasized the importance of reducing plastic waste, he also said the ban is only a small step."I would say to you, if you put up the number of plastic products we use, the ban is probably a fraction of ... one per cent of the products," he said.As part of its efforts to reach its goal of zero plastic waste by 2030, the federal government said it's developing new standards for other plastic items that will require them to contain a minimum amount of recycled material."What we're talking about is enhancing the rate with which we're recycling, reusing those products and keeping those materials in our economy," Wilkinson said.Watch | A more 'systemic approach' to how we make and use plastics needed, says ecologistAshley Wallis, the plastics program manager with Environmental Defence, said she's like to see more items added to the list and wants the government to set clear targets for plastic reuse and recycling. "We need to see the economy fundamentally shift away from this linear, disposable economy," she said.Changes coming for restaurantsWhen asked how small businesses — especially restaurants surviving on takeout sales during the pandemic — will handle the shift, Wilkinson said the government was careful to choose items with environmentally-friendly alternatives already on the market."We've been very sensitive to try and ensure this can be done in a very much affordable way for all businesses," he said. "I mean, most of the beer industry has already moved away from [plastic six-pack rings] and moved to hard caps on the top of them, which are recyclable "Restaurants Canada, a not-for-profit association representing Canada's food service industry, says it will keep pushing for policies that "avoid any undue burden on businesses continuing to rely on single-use items to safeguard the health and safety of staff and customers.""The COVID-19 crisis has made the critical need for single-use items very clear. Throughout the pandemic, restaurants have quickly and effectively adapted to evolving public health guidance," said spokesperson Marlee Wasser in a statement."Businesses are willing to adapt their practices and make investments to support progress toward the implementation of a Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste. But they want to ensure these investments are effective."Watch | Liberal government bans some single-use plastics to 'achieve zero plastic waste by 2030.'Paul Shufelt, a chef who owns five restaurants in Alberta, said he isn't too worried."I think it's a great initiative. I'm happy to see it," he said."Is it going to make things tougher for some? Perhaps. But I think we can all learn to live without plastic straws and those plastic grocery bags and things like that. We just have to adjust our life a little bit."Shufelt said that while the change likely will come with increased costs, he's happy to see it happen."Is this going to be the thing that breaks us? I don't think so. Is it going to cost a little more? Probably," he said."But in the grand scheme of things, I feel like this is something we can do for the greater good."Wilkinson said the ban will not include plastics used to make personal protective gear or medical waste. Report flagged wildlife concernsThe ban, which follows some local bans on single-use plastics, is happening under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, which required a scientific assessment of the problem first.That assessment report, released in January, said that in 2016, 29,000 tonnes of plastic garbage — the equivalent of about 2.3 billion single-use plastic water bottles — ended up as litter in Canada on beaches, in parks, in lakes and even in the air.The report looked at the impact of all types of plastics and pointed to evidence that macroplastics — pieces bigger than 5 mm — are hurting wildlife.Watch | 'We are not leading the world in this'Dead birds have been found with plastic in their intestines, whales have washed up on shore with stomachs full of plastic (including flip flops and nylon ropes). In one case cited by the study, an emaciated turtle was found with plastic in its digestive tract.The evidence was less clear about the harmful impacts of ingesting microplastics for people and wildlife, and the scientists recommended further study. At the time, Wilkinson said the evidence on the effects of macroplastics was enough to go ahead with the ban.
TORONTO — A "Battle of the Blades" executive producer says a woman from the show's team who tested positive for COVID-19 is in self-isolation in Toronto with no symptoms, and the creators are confident the case is isolated and production can resume next week. Lindsay Cox, who is also senior vice-president at Insight Productions, says they can't reveal the woman's name or her role on the upcoming sixth season of the televised skating competition due to privacy issues. But Cox does say the woman was tested for COVID-19 on Monday through a private testing agency on-site, as part of the production's regular pandemic protocols. The result came back later that evening and Cox says they notified the appropriate parties and used contact tracing on the woman, who was already alone at the time the positive test result came in. Cox says anyone who had been in contact with the woman is now isolating, has not tested positive and is not symptomatic. "We feel very confident that we have isolated this," Cox said in a phone interview, noting their intention is to go back into production on Tuesday. Insight Productions revealed the case on Wednesday, noting it's halting preparations and training for the show as a "precautionary measure" to ensure the safety of cast and crew, who Cox said "are truly being responsible" about the situation. CBC, which airs the show, said it supports the decision and will postpone the planned Oct. 15 premiere. The network said it will share scheduling updates as soon as possible. Cox said the woman is abiding by Toronto Public Health guidelines for self-isolation and is not to go outside, except for a medical appointment, if required. Producers are monitoring her health and ensuring that a doctor speaks to her regularly. "The person who tested positive will not be returning until following quarantine, but then will be returning to the show, and we are confident she'll remain asymptomatic," Cox said. "Anyone who was in touch with her who is in isolation also will not return until all the guidelines have been followed, and as testing continues to show negatives coming back." "Hockey Night in Canada" personality Ron MacLean hosts "Battle of the Blades," which returned to the CBC last year, nearly six years after it left the air. This year's instalment of the celebrity on-ice contest has already started training and filming interviews with COVID-19 protocols at the CAA Centre in Brampton, Ont. Video screens in the arena will show a virtual audience watching and reacting to the live performances from their homes and communities. Olympic ice dance champion Scott Moir, hockey champion Natalie Spooner and professional skater Elladj Balde are this season's judges, alongside world champion figure skater Kurt Browning as "elite battle expert." The live-competition series sees hockey players and figure skaters pairing up to perform on-ice dance routines for an audience and judges, with the winners getting $100,000 in prize money that they donate to charities of their choice. The production administers COVID-19 tests either daily or twice weekly, depending on the department, said Cox, noting they have "very strict" protocols and guidelines to ensure safety on set. The private testing agency sends the results to a lab and usually gets the results back within the same day, she said. The production works with doctors, a wellness director, a COVID-19 compliance officer and other experts. Other pandemic protocols on set include temperature checks, masks and pods of people to limit contact. For instance, each hockey player and figure skater pair is in a contained pod with a coach and choreographer, who don't work with any of the other teams. This season has eight pairs of 16 skaters: Violetta Afanasieva and Anthony Stewart; Meghan Agosta and Andrew Poje; Jennifer Botterill and Eric Radford; Jessica Campbell and Asher Hill; Meagan Duhamel and Wojtek Wolski; Carlotta Edwards and Kris Versteeg; Vanessa James and Akim Aliu; and Kaitlyn Weaver and Bryan Bickell. This isn't the first Canadian production to be derailed by COVID-19 concerns. In August, two people involved in the St. John's-shot television series "Hudson & Rex" tested positive for the virus. Cox said Insight Productions has been evolving its COVID-19 protocols as things change with Health Canada, and it is now looking at further ways to reduce contamination between departments. It is also working closely with the wardrobe department to figure out ways to ensure the skaters' masks stay on their faces while they're on the ice. "There have been moments where they fall off, they slide down, so we're working really closely with how we can create new technologies such as glue-on technology, how masks can get affixed into hair," she said. "We are looking at that really, really closely and determining what's required for the on-air performances." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2020. The Canadian Press
Saskatchewan NDP leader Ryan Meili has promised a new surgical centre for southern Saskatchewan. Meili estimates the project will cost $60 million.Meili said he plans to fund this and other projects with a wealth tax — a one per cent tax on families in the province with a net wealth of $15 million — and by "stimulating the economy" by making investments rather than opting for austerity.The new surgical centre would include services like surgery, outpatient cancer care and diagnostic imaging, he said."[Scott Moe] wants us to believe we have no choice. But Saskatchewan people are not satisfied and neither am I. We don't have to accept more of the same," Meili said at a news conference Wednesday. "These investments not only mean that people won't be sitting on long waitlists in pain, wondering when they'll get the care they need. Building a new surgery centre will create new jobs and help stimulate the local economy."Meili also vowed to build the centre using Saskatachewan companies.In 2012, the Sask. Party had plans for a centre similar to this one. but it was never built. "Heck, maybe we'll call it the Brad Wall Surgical Centre," Meili mused Wednesday. Meili had Donna Smith, a woman who has been waiting for surgery since June 2019, with him at the event. Smith said waiting this long for surgery has negatively impacted her life. "I also live in chronic pain, using medication I worry will have longer term effects such as stomach issues or kidney damage," she said. "The longer people wait, the more they suffer, the more outcomes can be worse."
The Alberta government has announced an ambitious plan to use existing infrastructure to build a hydrogen export industry, but critics point out they're planning to use fossil fuels to make the hydrogen instead of trying to use renewable energy in the first place.
Hip Deranger, a member of the Blackfoot Nation, had been thinking about making his way up to see the traditional medicine wheel located in Nose Hill Park for the past couple of weeks.On Wednesday, he dropped his son off for work and decided to make his way up to the sacred spot, which was built in 2015.But upon arrival, he discovered the rocks that were constructed in the shape of the Siksikaitsitapi logo — representing the Blood, Siksika, and Northern and Southern Peigan tribes — had been vandalized."It shouldn't look like this. It shouldn't look like this at all," Deranger said. "As soon as I came up there, there's these two empty cans of liquor and a phone case, and as soon as I seen that, honestly, it hurt."The medicine wheel is a sacred spot for reflection and prayer. Those who visit the site are expected to follow specific customs and protocols on how to enter and exit.Deranger said it was hurtful to see how a vandal had rearranged the stones carefully arranged by the Blackfoot Confederacy, some of which were even removed from the site."It's ignorance for people who do that. It's not right," Deranger said. "And so first, is how I feel is hurt. Then, right after that, I feel mad. So when I sat here and prayed, I asked for forgiveness for those people who did that."Dave Anderson and his young sons know the customs. When they came across an individual on Monday moving the rocks around and sitting in the middle, Anderson knew he had to say something."I just said, 'Hey, this isn't yours to be touching. What you're doing is wrong, and you don't have any right to be doing what you're doing to it,'" Anderson recalled. "'It's a culturally significant location that you need to respect, and you've destroyed it.'"Anderson said he hadn't reported the incident to police, but did post about it on his social media feed.Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu said most Calgarians had been respectful of the medicine wheel, but added that he was open to discussing adding more signage at the site."Obviously, we need to do something about this," he said.Kaila Lagran, a spokesperson with the city, said in an email that the city was aware of the situation and was working with the Blackfoot Confederacy to determine the best way to repair the monument.Meanwhile, Deranger said he hoped the site would be protected moving forward."It has to be maintained, it has to be taken care of," he said. "This hill in itself, it's a landmark within our nations … it's not just a hill."These are sacred spots, and they have to be respected in that manner. Not how it is like this."
New Brunswick health officials have identified potential public exposure to COVID-19 at the Moncton Costco Optical Centre and Moncton St-Hubert restaurant.Both sites are popular with Prince Edward Islanders and Nova Scotians making day trips to shop in the Moncton area.The news led P.E.I.'s chief public health officer to issue a statement late Wednesday."Out of an abundance of caution, Islanders who accessed services at the Costco Optical Centre or St-Hubert Restaurant in Moncton since Thursday, October 1 should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19," said the news release from Dr. Heather Morrison. "Islanders who are experiencing symptoms should immediately visit a drop-in testing clinic to be tested."The public health warning came from Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, as she and Premier Blaine Higgs gave a grim update on the province's latest COVID-19 outbreak. They confirmed 17 new cases of COVID-19 amid efforts to contain the outbreak identified Tuesday at the Manoir Notre-Dame special care home in Moncton.Russell said 13 residents, four staff and two family members have now tested positive for the coronavirus, up from two residents whose illnesses were announced a day earlier.New Brunswick now has 20 active cases in the Moncton region and two in the Saint John region.As of a briefing on Tuesday morning, P.E.I. still had three active COVID-19 cases. Word of the possible exposure locations in Moncton comes as Prince Edward Island prepares to sign on with the COVID Alert contact notification app, as of Thursday morning. Meanwhile, despite the increase in cases in New Brunswick, a spokesperson for the Nova Scotia government said the province has no intention of changing its border protocols at this time. More from CBC P.E.I.
Pompeo on Tuesday visited Japan and called for deeper cooperation with Australia, India and Japan to counter China's growing regional influence. "Pompeo has repeatedly fabricated lies about China and maliciously created political confrontation," the Chinese embassy in Japan said in a statement.
The Fed adopted that approach in September with promises to keep interest rates near zero until its 2% inflation target and full employment are reached. The minutes showed continued worry over weak inflation globally, and a more acute emerging concern that the Trump administration and Congress might fail to deliver the fiscal support many central bankers say is needed – a point hammered home by the collapse in talks this week over a further stimulus bill. It also showed the opening of a debate over possible changes to the Fed’s current $120 billion pace of monthly bond purchases, but only that “some” participants felt it would be appropriate to assess that “in future meetings.”
An artificial ice rink in Dufferin Grove Park is slated to be updated and replaced despite an outcry from local residents who say they need the outdoor public space now more than ever this winter.The city says it has consulted the community, done an assessment on the condition of the rink and completed the tender process for the renovation work. It has yet to award a contract but says Dufferin Grove Park artificial ice rink will not be open for use this winter."In order to maintain this facility in a state of good condition, the rink and equipment must be replaced imminently," the city said in an email to CBC Toronto this week."A condition assessment of the rink itself was completed, and indicated that since it is at the end of its 25-year life cycle, there is a realistic chance of equipment failure." Ian Merringer, a resident who lives near the park, said the timing could not be worse, given that the city is in the middle of a pandemic, and residents don't believe the rink is in a state of disrepair. Merringer said he has been taking his family to the rink for the past 12 years. The rink has two pads, one usually used for pleasure skating, with the other usually used for shinny, and the frozen surfaces are some of the busiest in the city."This has been the heart of the community every winter," Merringer said."Where are people going to go to have the release, the escape that they need, or the exercise, or just the bare social interaction?"In an email, Merringer said: "Skaters come from all over the west end to glide across the ice, night and day. There is an innovative skate rental system and an always open café. Any night of the winter you can see neighbourhood kids whizzing around, new skaters trying to keep their feet from flying out from under them and hockey players on the shinny rink dividing up sticks to start new games."According to Merringer, residents were told that construction was supposed to start soon after last year's skating season. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that work didn't get underway.Merringer said he thinks it makes more sense to wait until next spring to start the rebuild."There's nothing to say that it couldn't serve this community for another three, maybe four months."He said dozens of residents have written letters to the city, asking for a stay of demolition of a few months so the skating pads could be a place people can exercise and socialize during a winter when options for doing either inside will likely be limited due to the pandemic.According to the city, if work on the rink replacement begins this year, the work will be completed before the 2021-2022 skating season. But if the work is delayed until March 2021, the rink will not be completed in time for it to open for next year's season.The city said staff will create and maintain a natural ice rink at the location beginning in January, weather permitting.Coun. Ana Bailao, who represents Ward 9-Davenport, said there is no question that the rink needs to be replaced."There's two reports that say that rink shouldn't even be operational anymore," she said.Bailao said she has pushed her staff to examine every option, but at the end of the day, there are just too many safety risks to reopen the rink."There are professionals here at the city that are engineers, that review those reports, I am not an engineer, I have to rely on the information and the safety parameters and concerns that staff put in front of us," she said.Merringer, however, has said he has also read those reports and doesn't believe the safety risk is as great as the city is suggesting."The health risk is having this closed, not having it open."WATCH | CBC's Greg Ross reports on Dufferin Grove Park artificial ice rink:
OC Transpo hopes to start changing the mask habits of some of its riders with a two-week project it's calling "operation mask up." "We heard about ... some people not wearing their masks," said James Babe, chief special constable with OC Transpo. "[We decided] to move to the next phase, which is warnings."The transit agency has had a mandatory mask rule since mid June, and while most people are wearing masks, Babe said OC Transpo has been getting complaints that some people are not following rules.While OC Transpo bus and train operators will continue to let all customers aboard — masked or not — special constables will travel across the transit system and speak with customers who aren't wearing a mask starting Friday, says a city news release sent Tuesday.Those constables will remind mask-less riders to wear one. For those people who continue go disobey the policy, constables could give them a written warning under the city's temporary mask bylaw, and will give them a disposable mask, said the city. Special constables may also ask customers to not enter stations without a mask.And if people are wearing a mask but not properly, like just on the chin, constables will remind them about proper use, said Babe.Won't ask for proof of medical exemptionOC Transpo says it will keep in mind medical conditions and disabilities that may exempt some people from wearing a mask. Those people won't be issued warnings, the city said. Young children will also be exempt."Let's be COVID-kind," Babe said. "If you see someone without a mask, there may be reasons for that." Babe said conversations about exemptions will be done "in private." "We're not going to ask for proof. I mean, we're going to take them at face value. We're going to trust our customers, that they're being honest with us," he said. The city said its bylaw officers have been laying charges since Sept. 17, and enforcement "could be an eventual next step for transit customers."Babe said OC Transpo will start looking at fining people if it finds "a lot of non-compliance" during the two weeks."[The written warning] gives us some tracking," explained Babe. "If we're dealing with the same person multiple times, it gives us an indication. And if we do move to issuing the fines down the line, in the future, it certainly gives the track record."
Families, workers and health-care advocates are wondering how outbreaks in Ottawa's long-term care homes continue to grow, despite the lessons learned during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. "We've been really shocked and appalled by what's going on," said Natalie Mehra, the executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition. "The measures that needed to be put in place — a clear plan, systematic intervention, getting staff into the long-term care homes — just hasn't happened." Once a care home finds one or two cases, that's the time to bring in extra infection control, isolate patients and test quickly, according to Mehra. "None of those things happened in Ottawa," she said of the recent outbreaks.As of Tuesday, 10 of the city's long-term care homes were on Ottawa Public Health's outbreak list. A home is added to that list if it has one or more cases of COVID-19. Half of those homes are run by Extendicare, including West End Villa where at least 130 residents and staff have been infected since Aug. 30.No break from COVID-19So far Jerry O'Brien, a resident of West End Villa, does not have COVID-19, but 83 fellow residents have tested positive, 19 have died and the home is still waiting for the results of 33 tests. "I don't understand why the numbers are still going up," said Sharon O'Brien, Jerry's wife. "I think they're desperately understaffed."During this outbreak at West End Villa, 47 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19."One of the real issues is burnout," said Miranda Ferrier, president of the Ontario Personal Support Workers Association. "We did not have a break from the first [wave of] COVID. We're dealing with a burnt-out workforce. They're going to make mistakes."Staff members at West End Villa tell CBC that during the outbreak, the home has relied on workers from outside agencies. Agency staff go from 'home to home'While the province said employees of long-term care homes could only work in one facility, this directive does not actually apply to agency workers. "Agency staff going from home to home, it is definitely happening," said Ontario Health Coalition's Mehra, and she questions if this is the potential cause of spread throughout the Extendicare homes in Ottawa.In an effort to hang on to the staff members they have, Extendicare is currently paying all its workers time and a half and putting up workers in hotels at the company's expense."We have hired new employees and brought staff in from other areas of the province to replace those sidelined by COVID-19," said Extendicare communications in an email to CBC.'They're cutting corners'At Laurier Manor, another Ottawa Extendicare home, 25 residents died of COVID-19 during an outbreak in the spring. The home is currently in its second outbreak, with 13 residents and seven staff testing positive for COVID-19 since Sept. 1. The Ottawa Hospital has taken over management there, as well as West End Villa.Provincial reports show that inspectors were inside Laurier Manor in May, June and July after complaints. Issues raised included infection control and prevention, the treatment of a COVID-19 patient and staff not properly wearing masks. WATCH | Suzanne Zagallai says it's hard to get information from West End Villa:"If you look at the inspection reports, it's really bad ... It's because they're short staffed there. They're cutting corners and as soon as they do that, they're going to spread infection," said Patricia Spindel with Seniors for Social Action Ontario.But Extendicare said it has enhanced infection prevention control policies for all its homes. In the spring, new directives from the province stated that incoming residents must be "placed in a room with no more than one other resident."But in many of the older homes it will take some time to reach the goal."That's definitely an ongoing issue," said Ferrier with Ontario Personal Support Workers Association. "These homes were built in the day when four beds to a room worked, now it does not. They may not be accepting any new people into the home, but they still have the ones that are still there." Testing backlogLong-term care homes in Ottawa are also having issues with COVID-19 testing."Families are reporting it took days to get tests for their loved ones even in shared rooms with people that were showing symptoms of COVID-19. That should never have happened," said Mehra. Extendicare notes that the testing backlog is a problem."Delays in test results mean delays in accurate cohorting and delays in sending staff home to isolate, leading to greater risk of spread in the meantime," said Extendicare communications.Sharon O'Brien now waits for her own negative test so she can soon become a caregiver to her husband.At West End Villa, managers hold weekly video conferences for families, but O'Brien says she needs to see for herself what conditions are like inside. "It's kind of like talking to politicians," said O'Brien of the video meetings. "Sort of feeling you're not getting a straight answer."
A recommendation has been put forward to Summerside council to rezone a portion of land for a possible combination of row houses and an apartment building with underground parking.The recommendation from the planning committee for the P.E.I. city asks council to consider rezoning 565 Water St. from medium density to high density residential. The rezoning would allow for a four-storey building. The current zoning allows only three."The city owns that land and the city had a request for interest for developing that land back, oh probably six months to a year ago," says chair of the planning committee Coun. Brian McFeely.A developer has proposed the apartment and row houses and it is "an ambitious plan." McFeely said he wasn't willing to name the developers yet.There was a public meeting held about the development a couple weeks ago. McFeely said there have been some concerns about the environment from some residents in the area of the proposed development."There are some concerns around some of the environmental issues around the little stream that runs through there and those are certainly being taken into consideration and the appropriate buffers will be in place," McFeely said.There is also a proposed green way for the development that would run through the ice pond in the area and would connect to the Confederation Trail and Green's Shore Park.Nearby business, Highland Bottle & Metal Exchange, also sent a letter to council — not opposing the development, but making it clear the business plans continued operation for the foreseeable future and the work being done is often dirty and noisy.Council will vote on the zoning at their regular monthly meeting on Oct. 19.More from CBC P.E.I.
Tourists in Mexico's top Caribbean resort Cancun picked their way through battered streets, broken glass and trees downed by Hurricane Delta on Wednesday, though damage was less severe than some feared as the storm tore across the Yucatan peninsula. Delta lost force before it reached land.
The Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan slid deeper into chaos as rival opposition factions made grabs for power on Wednesday, a day after they stormed government buildings, forcing the prime minister to quit and a parliamentary election to be annulled.Left isolated by the resignation of Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov's government late on Tuesday, President Sooronbai Jeenbekov called for all party talks during an interview with the BBC.Two presidents have been overthrown in Kyrgyzstan in the past 15 years, and longtime ally Russia expressed concern as protests spread across the country, which borders China, in the wake of Sunday's vote.Kyrgyzstan hosts a Russian military airbase and a large Canadian-owned gold mining operation.Late on Tuesday, its parliament agreed to nominate opposition politician Sadyr Zhaparov — freed from prison by protesters just hours earlier — for prime minister, but an angry mob then broke into the hotel where it convened, forcing Zhaparov to flee through a back door, according to Kyrgyz media.On Wednesday morning, the self-proclaimed People's Coordination Council set up by several opposition parties said it would not recognize Zhaparov's interim cabinet and was assuming all state powers itself and dissolving parliament.Country plunged into uncertaintyA total of 16 parties took part in Sunday's election and 11 refused to accept the results, which had handed victory two establishment groups. As protests grew, the election commission annulled the vote.Making a late night appearance on television, Zhaparov said he would propose a constitutional reform before holding presidential and parliamentary elections in two to three months.But the split among opposition parties and power grabs by competing factions has plunged the nation of 6.5 million people into uncertainty.Residents in the capital, Bishkek, quickly formed vigilante neighborhood watch units to reinforce police, having suffered during violent revolts followed by looting in 2005 and 2010.There were scuffles overnight between vigilantes and protesters who tried to force their way into government buildings or attacked businesses such as shops and restaurants, according to a report by local news website 24.kg.
Highlights of this day in history: U.S. and Britain strike Afghanistan; Achille Lauro hijacked; Supreme Court pick Clarence Thomas faces damaging claims; Matthew Shepard beaten to death; Singer John Mellencamp born; 'Cats' hits Broadway. (Oct. 7)