North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said there will be no more war as the country's nuclear weapons guarantee its safety and future despite unabated outside pressure and military threats, state media said on Tuesday. Kim made the remarks as he celebrated the 67th anniversary of the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which fell on July 27, with a reception for veterans, the official KCNA news agency said. The country developed nuclear weapons to win "absolute strength" to stave off another armed conflict, Kim said in a speech carried by KCNA, emphasising the defensive nature of the programmes.
HALIFAX — Newly released court documents say witnesses told the RCMP that the gunman who carried out the April mass shooting in Nova Scotia smuggled drugs and guns from Maine for years and had secret compartments inside several of his properties.The gunman took 22 lives during his April 18-19 shooting and burning rampage before police killed him at a service station in Enfield, N.S.The documents that a media consortium, including The Canadian Press, went before a provincial court judge to obtain reveal a stark picture of the killer's alleged criminal activities prior to the shootings.Previously blacked-out details from police applications for search warrants, unsealed Monday by Judge Laurel Halfpenny MacQuarrie, quote a witness telling investigators that Gabriel Wortman had smuggled guns and drugs from Maine for years and "had a bag of 10,000 OxyContin and 15,000 Dilaudid from a reservation in New Brunswick."Another witness told police that neighbours spoke of concealed spaces on Wortman's properties in Portapique, N.S., and in Dartmouth, N.S.That included a "secret room" in his Dartmouth denturist clinic, a false wall at his property on Portland Street in Dartmouth and "secret hiding spots" at his warehouse property in Portapique.Prior releases from a witness who'd known Wortman since 2011 had stated the witness believed the killer had a stockpile of guns and a safe in his garage and "was controlling and paranoid."The newly revealed portion further describes Wortman as a man who "builds fires and burns bodies, is a sexual predator and supplies drugs in Portapique and Economy, Nova Scotia."The same witness told police, "Gabriel Wortman would tell ... different ways to get rid of a body and had lime and muriatic acid on the property. The barrels for these would be underneath the deck."The warrants say police were looking for firearms, ammunition, explosives, chemicals, surveillance systems, computers, electronic devices, police-related clothing, human remains and "documents related to planning mass murder events'' and the acquisition of weapons.Investigators obtained warrants to search properties owned by the killer — three of them in the northern Nova Scotia village of Portapique, where the 51-year-old started his murderous rampage.The warrants provide information on other areas, such as how police finally killed Wortman at a service station.In previously released documents, a paragraph describing how the gunman was shot dead on April 19 was blacked out.A newly released section suggests a chance encounter led to his death.Information provided by an RCMP investigator says that when Wortman pulled up to the Irving Big Stop in Enfield, "a peace officer and member of the RCMP was also at the gas pump and recognized Gabriel Wortman ... Gabriel Wortman ... died."One witness told Halifax police that Wortman has an uncle who was in the RCMP and the witness believed Wortman had one of the uncle's uniforms, "but it didn't fit." The gunman began his rampage wearing an authentic RCMP shirt and pants, police have said.Another person told Halifax police officers they had seen a compartment in Wortman's garage where he kept a high-powered rifle."The compartment was hidden underneath the workbench," the documents say.In addition, a previously blacked-out portion of a text exchange between Wortman and another individual on April 14 and 15 "with respect to some potential business" has been released.It says, "I am currently residing at my cottage in Portapique. I am enjoying this prelude to retirement, unfortunately not able to get to Maine."Previously released documents have detailed warning signals of paranoid behaviour and unusual purchases of gasoline by the gunman before his killings.Large portions of the documents remain blacked-out, and the judge wrote Monday that those redactions are necessary "because of the significant ongoing investigation."This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2020.Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press
Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli on Monday issued a scathing criticism of the Italian government's handling of the coronavirus, saying he was humiliated by a recent lockdown, and urged people to disobey rules still in place. A national lockdown began in early March and was eased in stages over three months.
The Canadian navy has found a very creative way to keep its second-hand submarines afloat until the late 2030s and early 2040s — a plan that emphasizes maintenance over age in predicting how long the vessels can remain seaworthy.The plan — according to a newly-released briefing note prepared in the run-up to the release of the Liberal government's marquee defence policy — would not see HMCS Victoria decommissioned until the end of 2042, giving the warship over 45 years service in Canada.That estimate does not include the time the boat served with Britain's Royal Navy, which would add at least a decade to its working life.The retirements of the other submarines — HMCS Chicoutimi, HMCS Windsor and HMCS Corner Brook — would be staggered throughout the 2030s, with Windsor being the first to go in 2033."The [Victoria Class Submarines] are a well-designed and solidly constructed class of modern conventional submarines that have had an unusual life since entering service with the [Royal Navy] in the early 1990s," said the August 2016 briefing analysis, recently obtained by Conservative Party researchers. "'While chronologically 20 years older, they have not been operated extensively during that time."The boats were first constructed for the Royal Navy in the 1980s, but Britain decided to sell them when the government of the day made the policy decision to operate only nuclear-powered submarines.One aspect of the Liberal defence policy, released in June 2017, that has puzzled military experts and opposition critics alike was its assumption that the submarines — which have had a tortured technical history that includes one fatal fire — will remain in service until at least the 2040s.The briefing note spells out in detail — and for the first time publicly — how the navy intends to squeeze more life out of boats it was supposed to start retiring in four years.It was originally envisioned, the briefing said, that the Victoria-Class submarines would retire one at a time, beginning in 2024.The report argues it is possible to operate the submarines beyond their expected working lives if the military assesses the "material state" of each boat rather than following "a simplistic calendar driven" evaluation of their operational condition.In others words, the report argues that what matters most is not how old the submarines are, but rather how hard have they been driven and how well have they been maintained.The submarines operate on what's called a "6-2 schedule" — six years of service at sea followed by two years of deep maintenance before returning to duty.The briefing note proposes that the boats do nine years of service and then go into a longer refurbishment of up to three years. The submarines would need a full life-extension overhaul in addition to the extended maintenance plan.As evidence to support the plan, the briefing note to senior defence officials pointed to a 2013 study of the Victoria-Class submarines — which said that "although there are numerous technical and supportability challenges, there was no single obstacle precluding a life extension of up to 12 years."'Lower expectations'The briefing offers one note of caution, however: "It is reasonable to assume that operational availability will decrease as the submarine ages."The briefing note predicted higher maintenance and sustainment costs as the boats get older. To save money, it said, the navy might have to lower expectations of what the boats can do.The existing plan "assumed that there would be no relaxation of operational performance requirements, although in fact some discretion by the Operational Requirements Authority in this regard may be feasible as a cost saving measure," said the note.Conservative defence critic James Bezan said he was astounded by the plan to stretch out the operational life of the subs. He said he doesn't blame the naval planners who drew up the document — but he does hold the Liberal government accountable, arguing it must have ordered the Department of National Defence to give it some justification for putting off the purchase of new submarines."It is ridiculous," Bezan said. "There was potential for some political direction on how this was written."In an interview with CBC News at the end of last year, the commander of the navy, Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, defended the plan to extend the life of the boats, saying he had full confidence in the "pretty resourceful and capable" submarine engineering community.The defence policy, he said, "directed us to operate and modernize" the submarine fleet and he's confident it can be done safely."We know there is still excellent life in the Victoria-class submarine," McDonald told CBC News. "I've seen that personally as an outsider who has come into the program and taken a look at it."The focus of the subs' modernization project — which was in the early stages of being developed when the pandemic hit back in late winter — will be on survivability and making the submarines more livable for crew members."We're going to be able to operate those boats into the 2030s, but to do that we have to continue with the routine investments we've made and modernize, as was directed" by the defence policy, McDonald said.Not everything can be replacedA series of assessments was conducted between 2008 and 2014. The defence department's naval board, which is charged with planning the future shape of the fleet, met in November 2014 to study the life expectancy of the second-hand boats. "While it is considered unrealistic to predict the material state of 40-year-old platforms, 20 years into the future, certain items such as the pressure hull and main motor will require additional monitoring and maintenance above the current regime, since unpredicted degradation in such areas may not be cost effective to repair and mitigate," said the 2016 briefing note.And that's the problem with the life-extension plan, said Bezan: some key parts of a submarine — such as the pressure hull and the engines — can't be upgraded. He also pointed to how the submarine fleet had "zero days at sea" in 2019 because all of the vessels were tied up for maintenance.The analysis, Bezan said, shows that the Liberal government should immediately begin looking for a replacement for the submarines — something the previous Conservative government was in the process of doing when it was defeated in 2015.The options that were discussed before the election, he said, included partnering with the Australians — who were in the process of acquiring their own submarine replacements — or buying an off-the-shelf design for inclusion in the federal shipbuilding strategy. None of those ideas got very far before the election, he added.
Nerissa Crichlow of Toronto has a lot of unanswered questions about what school will look like for her twin daughters in September."First and foremost, are they going to be splitting up the classes? What is that going to look like? Are there going to be testing measures in place?"She describes herself as "very concerned" about the risk of her seven-year-old daughters, Mila and Norah, contracting and bringing home the coronavirus if in-person classes resume in the fall. "I really need a good understanding of what the protocols are going to be. I'm asthmatic, my daughter is asthmatic, my father is asthmatic, and my mother has lung issues," she said. "For me, it's really important that the schools have some testing involved, because we are all susceptible to the virus, more so than others."Crichlow has plenty of company among Canadian parents who have questions about the looming school year, but the latest research shows young children are at low risk of getting or spreading the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and that missing school can have long-term costs for a child's well-being.Dr. Nisha Thampi understands parents' reticence about the return to class. The medical director of infection prevention and control at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa is both a pediatric infectious disease physician and a mother.She said she's been encouraged, though, by recent study results that give more insight into children's risk of contracting the illness and of spreading it to others."It is with more information around the risk of transmission and infection that we can inform the policies for school setting and other community settings," said Thampi.A large study from South Korea, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S., found that children nine and under infected others in their households just 5.6 per cent of the time, while children 10 to 19 spread the virus at the same rate as adults, nearly 19 per cent of the time.And research continues to show that illness is usually mild in children. A recent meta-analysis of 550 COVID-19 cases among children under 18 in China, Italy and Spain found just nine children had a severe case. One, who died, had underlying conditions.Parents must be 'partners in care' to prevent spread"There's good data that shows in the majority of cases, a child with COVID-19 has a symptomatic adult in the home who is also COVID positive," said Thampi. That means some of the power for controlling the spread of illness within schools hinges on parents acting as "partners in care," teaching their kids about good hand hygiene and making sound decisions about their own physical distancing practices, she said.While it made good sense to shut down schools at the beginning of the pandemic when we were just learning about COVID-19, we now have an opportunity to learn from other parts of the world that have reopened schools with new safety protocols in place, she said."I support families who are concerned about schools not being a safe place to return to, because I would suggest that a pre-pandemic school environment did not have the strategies in place to minimize infection spread," she said.One issue, she said, was that many parents faced work pressures that made it difficult to keep sick children at home.Working from home isn't possible for all jobs, but the pandemic has shown it is an option for many working parents. That, combined with a new vigilance around respiratory symptoms, may help establish new standards for keeping sick kids home from school."I think we will be returning to a school setting so long as the right policies are in place — a school setting that is safer in terms of infection transmission risks and that offers opportunities for learning, socialization and, importantly, peer-to-peer learning and development," Thampi said.That could mean measures such as spreading kids apart from one another in smaller groups, training children on hygiene practices in school and doing some learning outdoors when weather permits, she said.Now that children have been without the structure of school for many months, it's become apparent that eliminating all risk of school-based transmission comes at a cost, said Thampi.Getting kids back to class between wavesThat's a point Dr. Michael Silverman, chair/chief of infectious diseases at London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care London in London, Ont., wants to make clear."So many times I hear, 'Well, you can't be too careful,' without recognizing the risks of being home," he said.The research that's not getting enough attention these days are the studies on the repercussions of students being out of class, he said."If they miss school, there's long-term impact on their cognitive development, on their social development and their overall ability to function in society."Of course, all children will be at a similar disadvantage because of school closures, but the impacts will still be there, he said. A study from UNICEF Canada found that the COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on the lives of children and youth, citing disrupted routines and loss of education and other resources. The organization is calling on governments to "deliver new crisis mitigation measures" because children "cannot wait months or years to return to school." Given that children under 10 pose little risk of infection transmission to others, it makes sense to return their cohort to class, said Silverman."If they're the least likely to get sick, they're the least likely to transmit, and they do worse with distance learning, the priority should be at least the very young children should be able to get back to school," he said.As September approaches, teacher unions are asking for clear plans for safely reopening schools. The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, for example, has called on the provincial government to give direction to school boards about their responsibilities to ensure the safety of students and staff.Silverman points out that most infectious disease experts anticipate a second wave of the illness will come."If we don't take advantage of the time when we're at a relatively low level of transmission, when another high level of transmission comes ... and then we close the schools again, there will be an extremely long period of time with no education."Silverman said he believes the choice should remain with parents as to whether their kids learn in the classroom — with best practices for infection-control in place — or from home. "What I'm advocating is that we should not close all schools and take away all parents' choice. That parents should be able to make educated choices on behalf of their children as to what they feel is best for their family."
The women, detained between 2009 and 2019 after failing to flee the country, recounted in interviews with U.N. investigators in Seoul after their release, how they were deprived of food, sleep, daylight and fresh air while in the detention centres and prison camps. All of the women eventually managed to defect to South Korea.
MONTREAL — Quebec authorities said Monday the COVID-19 pandemic in the province remains largely under control, but described what they said was a worrying increase of infections among teens and young adults.A significant percentage of new daily cases in Quebec involve people between the ages of 15-34, who are becoming infected at private gatherings, Deputy premier Genevieve Guilbault told a news conference."They are not invincible," Guilbault said, referring to the "worrying spike in contagion" among Quebec youth. "That's why we're asking them to mobilize themselves and their friends ... to make sure they respect rules from public health and influence people around them too."Dr. Richard Masse of the province's public heath department told reporters Monday: "Right now, the majority of cases we have are young people between 15 and 34 years old."He shared statistics from the past week indicating that between July 8-14, positive COVID cases in people aged 20 to 29 years old went up 128 per cent compared with the previous week. For the rest of the age groups during the same time period, the increase observed was 40 per cent.Guilbault said even if most young people are less likely to suffer seriously from the disease, "they can be vectors of transmission to more vulnerable people, such as their parents or grandparents."The minister also said she was shocked to see images of anti-mask protests in Montreal and Quebec City over the weekend, during which protesters accosted a journalist and failed to follow health directives such as physical distancing.She said people have the right to demonstrate against the government, but not to put the lives of others at risk. Guilbault said the state is studying ways to crackdown on protesters who violate public health directives.Health officials reported 145 additional cases of COVID-19 since Sunday, bringing the total to 58,728. There were no new deaths reported.Quebec has had a total of 5,667 COVID-19-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. There are 200 people in hospital with the disease, including seven in intensive care.The province is planning on permitting indoor and outdoor public gatherings of up to 250 people beginning Aug. 3, but maintaining the 10-person limit in private gatherings, such as in homes and chalets.Masse said the data suggests COVID-19 transmission is not occurring in most public places. "It happens within families, within groups, in sports, areas where you don't have any social distancing."Meanwhile, Quebecers using public transit can now be denied service for not wearing a face covering as a two-week grace period came to an end Monday. But some transit agencies in the Montreal area said they'll continue to count on awareness campaigns and handing out masks to ensure compliance.In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Quebec has made masks mandatory since July 13 for anyone riding on public transit, except for those who can't wear one for health reasons. Quebec has also made masks mandatory in indoor public places since July 18.Health Minister Christian Dube said Monday that with few exceptions, most people have been wearing masks and the province has been conducting 100 inspections per day.At the moment, it's business owners who face fines of between $400 and $6,000 if those rules aren't followed. "But if we felt that we need to move towards individual fines, we won't hesitate to do so," Dube said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2020.Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou's defence team is pressing for the release of unredacted documents on communications between CSIS and the FBI. Government says releasing CSIS documents could further damage Canada-China relations.
Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Tuesday Israel had violated his country's sovereignty with a "dangerous military escalation" along the frontier on Monday and urged caution after a rise in border tensions. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country would do "everything necessary" to defend itself, a day after saying Israeli forces had thwarted an attempt by Hezbollah to infiltrate across the frontier. "I call for caution in coming days because I fear the situation will deteriorate in light of heightened tensions on our border," Diab said on Twitter.
When WE Charity founders Craig and Marc Kielburger appear before a House committee on Tuesday to answer questions about the partnership they'd struck with the Liberal government to administer a $900-million student grant program, they will be risking the very reputation of the charity they started, say pollsters. "Charities are feeling the pressure of the pandemic impacting their income and people's willingness to give, and corporations being able to give," David Coletto, CEO of the polling firm Abacus Data, told CBC News. "If their reputation is in any way affected it could have really big effects on the organization overall. This is going to be a test of that reputation in how they handle themselves."WE Charity was started by the Kielburgers, both human rights advocates, in 1995 and has gone on to form a close relationship with the Trudeau family. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his mother, Margaret, have appeared at a number of WE Day events, while Trudeau's wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, hosts a podcast for the group called "WE Well-being." That relationship came under scrutiny late last month when Trudeau announced that WE Charity would administer the Canada Student Service Grant; providing eligible students with grants of up to $5,000. The grants were intended to help students cover the cost of post-secondary education in the fall. The amount of each grant depends on how much time students spend doing volunteer work.How to watch today's hearingsCBC News will have full coverage of today's Commons committee hearings into the WE contract. Watch special coverage with host Vassy Kapelos on an early edition of Power & Politics, 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. ET on CBC News Network or CBC Gem. You can also watch the committee hearings live on cbcnews.ca and on the CBC News app, Facebook and Twitter starting at 12 p.m. ET.Initially, the federal government said WE Charity would get $19.5 million for administering the $900-million program, with $5 million of that going to not-for-profits to help them with administration costs. Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Bardish Chagger told a Commons committee last week that an additional $10.5 million would have been made available to WE to help smaller not-for-profits participate in the program, and another $13.53 million would have been given to WE to create an additional 20,000 volunteer placements, if necessary, raising the value of the contract to $43.53 million. Trudeau, Telford appearing ThursdayAfter the partnership was announced the relationship between WE Charity and the Trudeau family came under close scrutiny.> There is a high level of risk for them. — David Coletto, CEO, Abacus DataInitially, WE Charity said members of the Trudeau family were not paid for appearing at WE events, although Grégoire Trudeau had been reimbursed for travel expenses.On July 9, Canadaland and CBC News reported that Margaret was paid approximately $250,000 for speaking at 28 events, while Trudeau's brother Alexandre spoke at eight events and received about $32,000.As a result of those revelations and others Trudeau is now the subject of an investigation by Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion, as is Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Both the House of Commons finance and ethics committees are conducting separate inquiries. Trudeau and his chief of staff Katie Telford will appear before the finance committee on Thursday where their testimony will be compared to that of the Kielburgers. Tough questions"Anytime you have to step in front of a parliamentary committee that the national media is covering … there is a high level of risk for them," said Coletto of WE Charity's founders. Coletto says there is already a heightened attention to news because of the pandemic, and that as many people are following this story as were the SNC-Lavalin scandal."That raises the stakes for any organization that is in the crosshairs of opposition parties looking to inflict damage on a government, particularly one that has shown, whether actual or perceived, favour or [that] plays in the same playgrounds as Liberals, as the Kielburger brothers seem to have done," said Coletto."It means that Conservative and New Democrat and Bloc MPs are not going to feel that they need to be soft on them and so I think the scrutiny that this controversy has already brought to the organization will only get worse, potentially, unless the story somehow dies this week and everything sort of closes up; which I do not perceive happening."> You don't want to be the tall poppy making headlines for the wrong reasons. — Shachi Kurl, executive director, Angus Reid InstituteWith businesses and charities hurting because of the pandemic, any threat to a charity's reputation can result in a crisis, explains Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute."This is a time when donations have gone down, events have had to be cancelled. Those events are often big drivers of income so, just broadly, this isn't a time for any charitable organization, or frankly any public entity that depends on engagement with the public for its revenue, to be suffering a crisis of reputation," said Kurl. Coletto says, when it comes to corporate sponsorships, brands and organizations are quick to disassociate themselves with anything that seems even remotely controversial. "If you're a brand trying to manage your own reputation, there's lots of choice out there that you can associate yourself with. And it's just easier to associate with one that is not in the spotlight and has [not] been dragged before parliamentary committees and has the prime minister defending his government's actions on it," said Coletto."Based on my experience I would say this is not going to likely be, regardless of how it ends, an event in which [WE Charity] would have wanted or planned for from a reputation management perspective."Kurl says that research published by the Angus Reid Institute in the fall of 2017 found that, while many Canadians donate to GoFundMe campaigns or drop coins into a collection box, the people that give substantial donations are the most choosy about where they give. "This is already a tough year for charities in Canada. You don't want to be the tall poppy making headlines for the wrong reasons," she said. Michelle Douglas, former chair of the WE Charity board of directors, will also appear first before the House finance committee on Tuesday at 12 p.m. The Kielburgers initially were scheduled to appear with WE Charity's CFO Victor Li, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. But at the request of the Conservatives, committee members agreed Monday to have Li appear later in the week.
A vast section of Alberta backcountry once considered for a park is being overused by tens of thousands of campers who cut trees, strew garbage and trespass, says a provincial advisory committee. Camping numbers in the large undeveloped wilderness in central Alberta's foothills and Rocky Mountains, have been "insane," says the most recent report by Alberta Environment's Bighorn Backcountry Standing Committee. COVID-19 restrictions have strained all Alberta parks as people seek a safe place to enjoy the summer with their families.
Prior to descending into the secure zone, Edmonton Oilers winger Zack Kassian delivered a reality check to fans hoping for fisticuffs in tonight's exhibition clash with the Calgary Flames."There's so much at stake for both teams going into the playoffs," the agitating forward told reporters via Zoom. "Everyone is going to be smart."Exhibition matches rarely generate much excitement in the National Hockey League. Many veteran players quietly see them as a chore to endure – hopefully without getting hurt – before advancing to games that actually count.But the mentality is different this time for the Oilers and the Flames as the provincial rivals tangle in their one-and-only exhibition game prior to the Stanley Cup qualifiers.WATCH | NHL players arrive in Edmonton, Toronto bubbles:Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and the Oilers open their best-of-five qualifying series Saturday afternoon against the NHL's Chicago team. Later that evening, the puck will drop between the Flames and the Winnipeg Jets in their best-of-five.All of the Western Conference games will take place at Edmonton's Rogers Place."We have got to treat Tuesday like it's a playoff game," said Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk, who led the team in scoring this season with 23 goals and 61 points in 69 games."You look at the teams that win in the past and they're winning going in. We have to play the same way we want to play against Winnipeg. We have to dial it in and play a good, hard physical game and take advantage of our opportunities and not give up much defensively."Setting feuds asideClearly, Kassian and Tkachuk are not in the mood to renew their on-ice feud, which is widely considered one of the nastiest in the modern-day NHL.Tkachuk enraged Kassian – and the Oiler faithful – back on Jan. 11 with three questionable hits. He then refused Kassian's invitation to fight, and the Edmonton forward let loose with a flurry of punches regardless.Kassian earned a double minor for roughing and a two-game suspension. Tkachuk earned the nickname of "Turtle" in the Alberta capital for cowering under his gloves while Kassian unloaded.The pair fought on Jan. 29 in Edmonton and parked the rivalry, for the time being.WATCH | Oilers' Tippett preaches focus ahead of restart:"Obviously, you've got to ride the fine line," said Kassian, who isn't about to ask Tkachuk to go for a socially distant coffee inside the secure zone. "The Stanley Cup playoffs isn't a time to get redemption. It isn't a time to take stupid penalties. It isn't time to screw around. It's business, and we're looking forward to the opportunity to play a good Chicago team and hopefully move on."'I'm sick of losing in these first rounds'The likely future captain of the Flames, Tkachuk says he's tired of hearing people talk about his club as underachievers who can't win when it counts.The window for Mark Giordano, Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Backlund and Sean Monahan to win in Calgary is closing. Perhaps one final opportunity is before them.The Flames have not advanced to the second round of the playoffs since 2015.WATCH | Giordano says Flames learned lessons the hard way:"I'm sick of losing in these first rounds," said Tkachuk, clearly still bitter over Calgary's quick exit in the 2019 playoffs when they fell in five to Colorado. "I know a lot of guys are also sick of losing, who want redemption after last year."It's time for us to prove we're an elite hockey team."The mission starts tonight against Edmonton as both teams strive to build up the game speed and intensity necessary to win in the NHL post-season – and they'll have to do it without fans in the building."We know what we're here for," Tkachuk said. "The past four months, I've been waiting for this moment, waiting to see what it's going to be like."We're here now and we're here for a reason. We didn't come here for a vacation. We came here to win. This is a really great team, a group of guys, and we all want to win together."
Recent developments: * The City of Ottawa says it has a 15,000-person wait-list for cloth mask donations.What's the latest?Someone recently died of COVID-19 in Ottawa, according to Ottawa Public Health (OPH). That's the first COVID-19-related death in the region since OPH last reported one June 25.Ottawa has 25 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, which is around the city's average for the last several days. It's the highest number of case of any health unit in the province.The city's task force dealing with the effects of the pandemic on people in need says it's given out 7,500 non-medical masks to people who couldn't otherwise get one. But it's asking sewers for help because they still have 15,000 requests for cloth masks.How many cases are there?There have been 2,468 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the pandemic began. The number of deaths is at 264. The majority of cases in the city —1,935 — are classified as resolved. In all, public health officials have reported more than 3,800 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, and more than 3,100 are resolved.COVID-19 has killed 102 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 17 in other parts of eastern Ontario and 33 in the Outaouais.What's open and closed?Ottawa is now in Stage 3 of Ontario's reopening plan, which means many more businesses are allowed to reopen, including dine-in restaurants and movie theatres.WATCH: Ottawa parents making childcare choices during COVID-19Quebec has similar rules, with its distanced gathering cap going up to 250 people in public venues next week. More national museums open next month, starting with the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum on Saturday.Ontario has put three options for the next elementary and secondary school year on the table, promising an update next week, while post-secondary schools are moving toward more online classes in September.Quebec's back-to-school plans will bring students to classrooms again this fall.Distancing and isolatingThe coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People don't need to have symptoms to be contagious.That means physical distancing measures such as working from home, meeting others outdoors as much as possible and keeping distance from anyone they don't live with or have in their circle.Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 are now allowed in Ontario. People should keep their distance from people not in their circle.Ottawa's medical officer of health said in mid-July people should be ready for COVID-19 social restrictions well into 2021 or 2022.Masks are now mandatory in indoor public settings in all of eastern Ontario and Quebec, where transit officials and taxi drivers are now required to bar access to users over age 12 who refuse to wear a mask.Anyone who has symptoms or travelled recently outside Canada must self-isolate for at least 14 days.Specifically in Ottawa, anyone waiting for a COVID-19 test result must self-isolate at least until they know the result.The same goes for anyone in Ontario who's been in contact with someone who's tested positive or is presumed to have COVID-19.Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly urges self-isolation for people with weakened immune systems and Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recommends people over 70 stay home as much as possible. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a dry cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pinkeye. The Ontario government says in rare cases, children can develop a rash.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Where to get testedIn eastern Ontario:In Ottawa any resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptoms, can now be tested at one of three sites.Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.Testing has also expanded for local residents and employees who work in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area.There is a drive-thru centre in Casselman that can handle 200 tests a day and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don't require people to call ahead.Others in Alexandria, Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.In Kingston, the Leon's Centre is now hosting the city's test site. Find it at Gate 2.Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call for an appointment.WATCH | 3 new recent cases in Kingston area explainedThe public health unit in the Belleville area is asking people to call it, their family doctor or Telehealth if they have symptoms or questions.You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre and in Picton by texting or calling.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.It has a walk-in site in Brockville at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.Renfrew County is providing pop-up testing in five communities this week and home testing under some circumstances.Residents should call their family doctor and those without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 to register for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.In western Quebec:Outaouais residents now can get a walk-in test in Gatineau five days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond and at recurring clinics in communities such as Maniwaki, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.They can call 1-877-644-4545 if they have other questions or to make an appointment.First Nations:Local communities have declared states of emergency, put in a curfew or both.Akwesasne has had 12 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Eight of them are active and linked back to a gathering on an island with a non-resident who wasn't showing symptoms at the time.It has a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 80 kilometres away is asked to self-isolate for 14 days. It's 100 miles or 160 kilometres away on the American side.Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse. Face coverings are now mandatory in its public buildings.People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259.Kitigan Zibi is planning for an Aug. 29 election with changes depending on the status of the pandemic at that time. It plans on starting to open schools and daycares next month.For more information
ROME — Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who had COVID-19, said the pandemic lockdown made him feel “humiliated and offended” by depriving him of his freedom to come and go as he wanted.Bocelli spoke at a panel Monday in a Senate conference room, where he was introduced by right-wing opposition leader Matteo Salvini, who has railed against the government’s stringent measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak.The singer's announcement in May that he had recovered from the virus came weeks after his Easter Sunday performance in Milan's empty cathedral. At the time, Bocelli said that when he learned on March 10 that he had tested positive, just as the nation was going into lockdown, “I jumped into the pool, I felt well” and had only a slight fever. He apparently was referring to a private pool at his residence, as public gym pools were closed by then.Bocelli told the conference at the Senate that he resented not being able to leave his home even though he “committed no crime” and revealed, without providing details, that he violated that lockdown restriction.At the height of lockdown, Italians could only leave home to go to essential jobs, walk dogs or buy food or medicine.Dismayed, Health Ministry Undersecretary Pierpaolo Sileri on Tuesday said that perhaps Bocelli “wanted to express the inconvenience of every Italian who, because of lockdown, stayed home.”“I wouldn't have said those words, but I imagine he'll be able to explain it somehow,” Sileri added.The conference was held on the eve of Premier Giuseppe Conte's appearance in the Senate, set for later Tuesday, where he was expected to lay out his centre-left government's case for extending a state of emergency for the pandemic, which expires on July 31.The emergency status allowed Conte to bypass Parliament or even his Cabinet in decreeing a string of measures aimed at slowing the spread of the outbreak in the country where it first emerged in Europe, and would go on to claim more than 35,000 lives.Bocelli told the conference that at first his children told him to be careful about the virus when he first started having doubts about its severity, “but as time passed, I know lots of people, but I didn't know anyone who went into intensive care.”At the worst point of the outbreak, as many as 4,000 people were in intensive care in Italy, a country of 60 million, with several hundred virus-linked deaths on some days.Frances D'Emilio, The Associated Press
Brenda Ongahak has been waiting for about a year to get surgery on her knee. Last week, she travelled from Kugluktuk, Nunavut, to Yellowknife to get that surgery done — only to be told on the day of the procedure that the hospital would be delaying her surgery due to faulty equipment.The hospital started suspending some elective surgeries on Thursday, said David Maguire, spokesperson for the N.W.T. Health and Social Services Authority.On Friday night, the health authority sent a news release saying Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife had suspended or cancelled a "small number" of those surgeries after sterilization equipment malfunctioned at the hospital. Maguire confirmed in an email Tuesday that 31 surgeries were cancelled through July 23 to 31, and there's no timeline in place for when the equipment will be fixed. "We continue to evaluate each surgery scheduled and are cancelling elective surgeries that can be rescheduled at a later date," he said, adding that emergency surgeries will go ahead.The health authority says the sterilization equipment uses steam and heat to clean medical instruments and supplies. Last week, staff noticed the equipment was leaving moisture in the trays the items are sterilized in. That prevents the instruments from being stored for use again, Maguire explained.Pain in the kneeOngahak said she arrived in the Northwest Territories last Tuesday, and went for her pre-operation appointment the next day. On Thursday morning she was in the hospital for her surgery and everything seemed good to go."[The doctor] said I was ready to go into surgery once he was done with the other patient … and came back telling me that they have to reschedule me," she said.Ongahak has arthritis in her right knee and has injured it in the past.This has made it difficult to take part in the activities she used to love, such as going for walks, volunteering at the recreational complex, and playing with her niece and nephew's children.Travelling from Nunavut amid a pandemic requires some forethought, especially when you have five children ranging in age from 15 to 25. She says it can be difficult, but she was able to get help from other family members.Recurring sterilization equipment problemsLast October, CBC News learned that water leaks and mould have plagued the new hospital, and that staff repeatedly expressed concerns that vulnerable patients weren't protected from risks caused by cleaning up those problems. And this is not the first time the hospital has had issues with its sterilization equipment.In 2011, at least 290 surgeries were cancelled or postponed as a precaution after the hospital's sterilization equipment broke down twice that year, necessitating more than $100,000 in repairs.In 2017, elective surgeries at Stanton were cancelled when its main sterilizing machine failed.Last year, surgeries and other medical procedures at Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife were cancelled after the hospital's CT scanner and sterilizing equipment broke down. The health authority's spokesperson Maguire could not say if the current issues with the sterilization equipment are related to those in the past, saying the authority has not determined the cause in this instance. "When the new hospital was built an entirely new medical device reprocessing unit was built and all of the sterilizers are new," he said. "This is a new issue that needs to be solved as these are new systems in the new hospital."Maguire said environmental factors can also affect the quality of steam in the sterilizers, including increased chlorine in the system due to high rainfall or turbidity (cloudy water), increased humidity, and high water levels — an occurrence that's been well documented in Yellowknife this summer.He said the authority has put together a team that's meeting twice daily to manage the situation and work toward a solution.'I do trust them'Ongahak says that, overall, she is grateful that the hospital found out about the sterilization equipment issues before going through with her surgery"I do trust them because I know they should be checking their machines regularly and making sure everything is working," she said."I'm kind of thankful, but then I'm [also] not, because I didn't have the knee surgery," she added. "I guess safety first, which is good."But Ongahak said she has kept her bag mostly packed in case another surgery date comes along soon.
OTTAWA — Active discussions are taking place to potentially pre-order COVID-19 vaccine doses for Canadians, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Tuesday.She said an independent vaccine task force is advising the government on options for Canada's choice of vaccine, including exploring the possibility of manufacturing a potential pandemic cure at home.Tam was addressing concerns that Canadians will have to get in line behind other countries to wait for the COVID-19 vaccine.One senator and some health-care professionals are asking why Ottawa is delaying a decision on the $35-million pitch by Toronto-based Providence Therapeutics to begin human trials of a new, experimental vaccine technology that has been heavily funded in the United States.Providence says it could deliver five million doses of a vaccine to Canadians by mid-2021 if its trials bear fruit, but it can't move forward with testing or manufacturing without funding.At a media briefing in Ottawa, Tam said the task force is an independent body comprised of "people who have been experienced in the areas of vaccination, infectious disease but also in the area of vaccine development and that sort of industry knowledge."She said the task force reports to Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains."Their role is to provide advice," said Tam. "How the money is spent is up to the government itself."Providence's chief executive Brad Sorenson has told The Canadian Press he has yet to hear back from the government since late May after his company submitted its proposal in April, and after the government reached out to it as a possible vaccine-maker.Health-care professionals have also written to Bains to urge him make up his mind on the April proposal. Bains spokesman John Power has said he couldn't comment on specific proposals but said the evaluation process is ongoing.Meanwhile, Canada has been experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks as more people circulate in warm summer months and with the provinces allowing more economic activity.Tam says there has been a worrisome rise in COVID-19 infections that may have been fuelled by larger-than-recommended Canada Day gatherings."The Canada Day long weekend may have resulted in some big parties in certain areas of the country. Those social gatherings have accelerated the cases," she said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 28, 2020.The Canadian Press
As cases of COVID-19 continue to spread around the world, Canadians are concerned about their health and safety.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard launched missiles Tuesday targeting a mock aircraft carrier in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a drill that included such a barrage of fire the U.S. military temporarily put two regional bases in the Mideast on alert amid tensions between the two countries.The drill — and the American response to it — underlined the lingering threat of military conflict between Iran and the U.S. after a series of escalating incidents last year led to an American drone strike killing a top Iranian general in Baghdad. Tehran responded to that strike by firing ballistic missiles that wounded dozens of American forces in Iraq.While the coronavirus pandemic has engulfed both Iran and the U.S. for months, there has been a growing confrontation as America argues to extend a yearslong U.N. weapons embargo on Tehran that is due to expire in October. A recent incident over Syria involving an American jet fighter approaching an Iranian passenger plane also has renewed tensions.Iranian commandos fast-roped down from a helicopter onto the replica in the footage aired Tuesday from the exercise called “Great Prophet 14." Anti-aircraft guns opened fire on a target drone near the port city of Bandar Abbas.State television footage also showed a variety of missiles being fired from fast boats, trucks, mobile launchers and a helicopter, some targeting the fake carrier. A commander said the Guard, a force answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, planned to fire “long-range ballistic missiles” as well during the drill that will continue Wednesday.Ballistic missile fire detected from the drill resulted in American troops being put on alert at Al-Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and Al-Udeid Air Base, the forward headquarters of the U.S. military's Central Command in Qatar, the military said. Troops sought cover during that time.“The incident lasted for a matter of minutes and an all clear was declared after the threat ... had passed,” said U.S. Army Maj. Beth Riordan, a Central Command spokeswoman.Both bases are hundreds of kilometres (miles) away from where Iran put the replica aircraft carrier.Al-Dhafra also is temporarily home to five French-built Rafale fighter jets on their way to India for that country's air force.Other footage from the exercise aired by state television showed fast boats encircling the mock-up, kicking up white waves in their wake. While Iran's naval forces are dwarfed by the U.S. Navy, its commanders practice so-called “swarm” tactics aimed at overwhelming the U.S. carriers that pass through the strait on their way in and out of the Persian Gulf.It wasn't immediately clear if all the footage was from Tuesday, as one overhead surveillance image that appeared to be shot by a drone bore Monday's date. The exercise had been expected as satellite photos released Monday showed the fake carrier being moved into place by a tugboat.A black-and-white satellite photo taken Tuesday by Colorado-based firm Maxar Technologies showed damage to the replica's bow and several of its fake jet fighters.“Our policies to protect the vital interests of the dear nation of Iran are defensive, in the sense that we will not invade any country from the beginning, but we are completely aggressive in tactics and operations," Gen. Hossein Salami, the head of the Guard, was quoted as saying. “What was shown today at this exercise at the level of aerospace and naval forces was all offensive.”State TV footage also showed Guard scuba forces underwater, followed by a cutaway to a blast hole just above the waterline on the replica carrier.That appeared to be a not-so-subtle reminder of U.S. accusations last year that Iran planted limpet mines on passing oil tankers near the strait, which exploded on the vessels in the same area. Iran has repeatedly denied the actions, though footage captured by the American military showed Guard members remove an unexploded mine from one vessel.The replica used in the drill resembles the Nimitz-class carriers that the U.S. Navy routinely sails into the Persian Gulf from the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the waterway through which 20% of all oil traded in the world passes. The USS Nimitz, the namesake of the class, just entered Mideast waters late last week from the Indian Ocean, likely to replace the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Arabian Sea.It remains unclear when or if the Nimitz will pass through the Strait of Hormuz or not during its time in the Mideast. The USS Abraham Lincoln, deployed last year as tensions initially spiked, spent months in the Arabian Sea before heading through the strait. The Eisenhower came through the strait early last week.To Iran, which shares the strait with Oman, the American naval presence is akin to Iranian forces sailing into the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Florida. But the U.S. Navy stresses the strait is an international waterway crucial to global shipping and energy supplies. Even as America now relies less on Mideast oil, a major disruption in the region could see prices rapidly rise.Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet that patrols the Mideast, said officials were aware of an Iranian exercise she described as "attempting to intimidate and coerce.”“While we are always watchful of this type of irresponsible and reckless behaviour by Iran in the vicinity of busy international waterways, this exercise has not disrupted coalition operations in the area nor had any impacts to the free flow of commerce in the Strait of Hormuz and surrounding waters,” Rebarich said.___Associated Press journalists Amir Vahdat and Mohammad Nasiri in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report.Jon Gambrell, The Associated Press
CBC Vancouver is highlighting different parts of the Metro Vancouver region as part of the search for Metro Vancouver's best neighborhood. David beat Goliath. Mike Tyson knocked out Buster Douglas. Ross married Rachel on Friends.We've seen stunning upsets before but the victory Cedar Hills scored over City Centre in last week's battle of starkly different Surrey communities may put them all to shame.City Central consists of shiny, glass skyscrapers and two spectacular buildings, a library and the SFU tower that were designed by world-renowned architect Bing Thom.Cedar Hills is a sleepy, residential neighbourhood that's biggest attraction is the strip malls on 96 Avenue and 128 Street.Clearly, however, there must be something special about Cedar Hills that explains why 56 percent of voters chose it over City Central.A quick visit revealed the people who live there, not just the neighbourhood itself, have a lot to do with it.Pipe bandGarth Newlands has lived in Cedar Hills since 1976 and he's the Pipe Major of the Cedar Hills Caledonian Pipe Band.The original name was the Whalley Legion Pipe Band, but Newlands says when the neighbourhood was rebranded as City Central, the group decided to do a little rebranding of its own."We actually held a contest over a three month period and had people submit suggestions for different names and Cedar Hills Caledonian was the choice we came up with," he said."People are very inquisitive about where Cedar Hills is because it's not a well known community in the area but it's starting to gain some more popularity and notoriety."Newlands, who plays the same 106-year-old set of bagpipes that his grandfather played during the First World War, says his family has close ties to the community and he doesn't plan to leave anytime soon."There are a number of smaller, quaint houses that are still available that were built in the '60s and '70s that will get people into the area with large yards for kids to play in quiet streets," he said."It seems you can't go more than three or four blocks in any direction without a park."Snow angelA few winters ago, Mark Kang and a friend saw that other communities had programs to shovel snow for seniors.Surrey didn't have anything like that at the time, so he started one himself."It seemed like a lot of injuries happen when elderly people are shoveling their driveways or sidewalks," he said."We thought why not just try to start something in our community and then, slowly, we started getting volunteers in other areas as well."Kang started off shoveling driveways for his neighbours in Cedar Hills and as his volunteer base expanded, the program grew into other parts of Metro Vancouver.Like Newlands, he loves that there seems to be a park on every other corner."Playgrounds, fields to play in, you name it," he said. "You never get bored."Cedar Hills starPerhaps the most famous resident of Cedar Hills is Amrit Bains, who gained quite an online following by singing to his passengers while driving a bus for TransLink. He also writes and records his own music.People tried to convince Bains not to move to Surrey seven years ago, telling him it had a bad reputation for crime, but his wife convinced him to give it a try.Now, he loves his community so much that he wrote a song about it called Super Sweet City."When I came to Surrey and people started treating me in a friendly manner, I said, 'Man, I like these kinds of surprises,'" he said."It's something beautiful, you know? So, I said it's a super sweet city."Not an upset after all?Cedar Hills doesn't have a beautiful waterfront like Crescent Beach or a golf course like Morgan Creek.It's mostly a residential neighbourhood — the kind of place you wouldn't drive into unless you're visiting someone who lives there.In the next round, Cedar Hills faces Cloverdale, which will be a tough opponent with its historic downtown and rodeo that draws more than 100,000 people every year.It would be a mistake, however, to underestimate Cedar Hills. It's already defeated Bridgeview and City Central and the people who live there believe their neighbourhood stacks up well against everything else the region has to offer.
Lebanon was in a financial crisis before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but fresh lockdowns are pushing the country closer to economic collapse.