Three years ago Karen Gosbee's husband, George took his own life.To the outside world, George Gosbee seemed to have it all. He had built up two investment banks from scratch, he had a wife and three kids, and even owned a piece of the Arizona Coyotes NHL hockey team.The year after his suicide, Karen Gosbee spoke out about her late husband's struggles with mental health and dependence on alcohol and pills.But in her new book, My Perfect Nightmare: My Glittering Marriage and How It Almost Cost Me My Life, which was released on Tuesday she details her abusive marriage."I don't think that people understand all aspects of domestic abuse," she told the Calgary Eyeopener.She explains that people don't typically see it as an abusive marriage when there are three or four physical altercations, as well as when the abuse is mental or emotional."My identity was completely gone because it's so subtle and it's so hard to explain because typically it's not physical, it's psychological abuse. So it destroys your mind and not your body."Gosbee says she started picking her life apart and realized the many red flags over the years and everything that she had ignored."I didn't think I was in an abusive situation even though that had happened."She says she decided to come forward in order to build awareness."People find it very difficult and shameful to recognize the fact they might feel weak or they might be suffering from some panic, anxiety, depression, or have suicidal thoughts. And that was the first reason why I came forward," she said.And since speaking up, Gosbee says she feels like she has been given purpose."As I became an advocate for inequities with mental health and addiction, it became apparent to me that the greatest inequity was the gender inequity with the domestic abuse that I was experiencing," she said.She says she hopes in sharing her story, it can help both educate people about domestic abuse and reduce the shame and stigma attached to it. If you are thinking of suicide or know someone who is, help is available nationwide by calling toll-free 1-833-456-4566, texting 45645 or chatting online with Crisis Services Canada.If you feel your mental health or the mental health of a loved one is at risk of an immediate crisis, call 911.
For months, more than 150 teams around the world have been working at an unprecedented pace to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus. Ten of those vaccine candidates are now in Phase 3 clinical trials, in which each is given to thousands of people to ensure it's both safe and effective — the final leg of the process before their potential approval.In the fight against COVID-19, that feels like a light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.But once at least one vaccine is approved, what comes next? "Approval itself is not going to be an overnight solution," said Matthew Miller, an associate professor at the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research at McMaster University in Hamilton."There's going to be a significant amount of time required to distribute the vaccine and then have enough doses prepared to administer to the population."Public health and vaccination experts also say the months after Canada starts acquiring a vaccine will be rife with challenges, both logistically and ethically, as public health officials will need to determine which groups should get priority access — be it health-care workers or other vulnerable demographics — as production scales up to meet demand."There will inevitably be supply chain issues," Miller warned. "It's going to take time for the vaccine manufacturers to produce enough doses, and there's going to need to be prioritization over who will get those first doses when they become available."WATCH | Dr. Theresa Tam on the flu and COVID-19 vaccines:Canada preordering 6 candidatesEarlier this year, the federal government said it put $1 billion into preorders of six foreign vaccine candidates. It's a move that hedges our bets, with Canada set to receive 20 million to 76 million doses of each vaccine — if any successfully make it through clinical trials and gain approval from Health Canada.Should at least one of the preorders prove safe and effective, federal and provincial officials need a strategy in place to roll it out among different groups, ensuring there are no "inequities" between regions, noted Alison Thompson, an associate professor in the Leslie Dan faculty of pharmacy and Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto."This is something that we can get out in front of," she said. "We know a vaccine could become available in the next few months."In September, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said preparations for administering this year's flu vaccine offered a "good rehearsal" for mass immunization programs for a coronavirus vaccine.But some Ontario physicians recently warned those efforts fell short, with initial rounds of supplies drying up quickly amid early and higher-than-usual demand.The province, however, has said more shipments are coming — and stressed the program was meant to take a staggered approach to rolling out the vaccine, first targeting vulnerable populations like long-term care residents before the general public. Protecting 'vulnerable' firstThat "prioritization" approach could also prove crucial while rolling out a vaccine for the coronavirus, both to conserve supplies while production scales up and protect those most at risk."We may be looking at protection for really important health-care workers, first responders, people who keep the economy running," Thompson said. "We might want to be protecting vulnerable populations first before anybody else."But who should be deemed most vulnerable, and first in line?There's no "one size fits all" approach behind that decision, Miller said, and in Canada a lot of factors are at play, from residents' ages to their socioeconomic status to their pre-existing health conditions.Health-care workers have proved at risk across the country, with a dozen dying and more than 21,000 falling ill — representing roughly 20 per cent of cases — in the pandemic's first wave, according to a September report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).The largest death toll, however, was more than 5,300 elderly residents in long-term care, with those facilities accounting for more than 80 per cent of all Canadian COVID-19 deaths in the first wave, CIHI findings show.Racialized and marginalized communities have also been hard hit in areas like Toronto, where multiple diverse, lower-income neighbourhoods have experienced high case counts and test positivity rates for the virus have been more than triple the city's average, Toronto Public Health data shows.Alongside health-care workers on the front lines, it's remote Indigenous communities which "need to be first priority," based on the severe comorbidities, residential overcrowding and lack of access to health-care facilities found in many areas, according to Dr. Anna Banerji, an associate professor at the University of Toronto and faculty lead for Indigenous and refugee health. "All Indigenous communities are at highest risk compared to non-Indigenous communities — by far," she said.Scaling up could take 'many months'Miller said the process of scaling up vaccinations from priority groups to the broader public could take "many months," if not a year or more.That time frame could also involve a less-discussed stage of vaccine research: Phase 4 clinical trials, after candidates are already on the market.It's a time to evaluate vaccines' effectiveness and safety in a "real world" setting, Miller said, and could offer clues for future generations of COVID-19 vaccines."The first vaccines approved may not necessarily be the most effective vaccines," he said. The vaccine for human papillomavirus, or HPV, was later expanded to protect people against more strains of the virus, for instance, while an early version of the shot for shingles was far less effective than a later form which has an efficacy of more than 90 per cent.In those instances, people wound up getting additional rounds of newer vaccines to ensure the highest level of protection, Miller explained, adding it's still not clear if people will need revaccination to protect against this coronavirus. The more pressing concern now is getting at least one first option out to the public in hopes of winding down this months-long pandemic.While the threshold for achieving herd immunity — which occurs when a large portion of a community becomes immune to a disease, making its continued spread less likely — isn't clear yet for COVID-19, it could be as high as 70 per cent of people, said epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa.That's a level of protection Canada won't hit for quite some time after a vaccine becomes available, assuming enough residents get the shot."If we don't get there, then we have a functioning society, with some restrictions still in place, like distancing and mask wearing and maybe limits on gatherings, but no more lockdowns and things like that," he said. "So either way, the vaccine is going to help us."
Curriculum advisers hand-picked by the Alberta government are recommending changes to the kindergarten-to-Grade 4 curriculum for fine arts and social studies that would eliminate all references to residential schools and their harms to Indigenous people while removing references to "equity."The advisors also recommend that seven-and eight-year-olds learn about feudalism, Chinese dynasties and Homer's Odyssey in social studies classes.The drafts, obtained by CBC News, include lengthy lists of names, landmarks and events for young children to memorize. They say five- and six-year-olds in the first grade should be familiar with the artwork of Claude Monet, Georgia O'Keefe, Pablo Picasso and Edgar Degas.They also say first graders should learn Bible verses about creation as poetry and fourth graders should learn that most non-white Albertans are Christians.Curriculum experts familiar with the province's process say the suggestions are a huge departure from where work was heading before the United Conservative Party was elected in 2019.Educational experts also say the proposed changes are regressive, racist, unsupported by research and would put Alberta's school curriculum vastly out of step with most of North America."I would say it would be a laughingstock," said Prof. Keith Barton, a specialist in social studies curriculum and instruction at Indiana University in Bloomington. "To say that second graders are going to be learning about ancient China and ancient Rome, or in geography, that they're just going to be learning the names of capitals — nobody does this."Recommendations 'utter nonsense'Barton reviewed drafts of the social studies K-4 curriculum publicly released in 2018 and documents obtained by CBC containing recommended edits. The recommendations are "utter nonsense," he said."It just showed no familiarity with how children think and learn," he said. "And it certainly showed no familiarity with the past 30 or 40 years of research theorizing about what history and social studies education should look like."Dwayne Donald, an associate professor of education at the University of Alberta, is an expert in Indigenous teaching and curriculum.He said he felt hopeful about the potential for the previously proposed elementary curriculum to better include Indigenous perspectives. The suggested changes erase all of that work, he said."It makes me feel sick, actually, that we're at this point," said Donald, a member of the Papaschase Cree Nation.Colin Aitchison, press secretary to Education Minister Adriana LaGrange, said the documents only represent advice to the minister, and are not final. He also said curriculum writers are not obliged to include the advisers' recommendations.He said the proposals will go before hundreds of teachers and experts who serve on curriculum working groups for feedback later this fall before the minister signs off on the curriculum.Promise of curriculum 'without political bias'In 2016, the former NDP government announced curriculum writers would modernize the K-12 curriculum in every subject at once, simultaneously in English and French — a first for Alberta.That government promised better inclusion of different cultural and demographic perspectives. It assembled curriculum working groups consisting of 400 teachers and subject experts. Tens of thousands of Albertans gave feedback on curriculum drafts via government surveys.In opposition, conservatives accused the NDP of smuggling political ideology into the curriculum and claimed it was being written in secret.Once elected in 2019, the UCP government paused the process and appointed a new panel of advisers to review the work already done.In August, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced a new provincial direction for education based on the panel's advice. She pledged to deliver a social studies curriculum "taught without political bias" that offered an "objective understanding of Albertan, Canadian and world history and civic literacy."She said lessons would focus on "core knowledge" — a theory that all students should learn the same set of foundational information.Elementary school curriculum should be ready for classroom testing by next fall, she said, and be in all schools by fall 2022.She also appointed eight "subject matter experts" to give advice. All were men. The social studies adviser is Chris (C.P.) Champion, a history writer and former staffer for Premier Jason Kenney when he was an MP in Ottawa. Champion has written that including First Nation perspectives in school is a "fad," which prompted critics to call for his resignation.Lack of clarity on advisersLaGrange declined an interview request for this story. Her press secretary, Aitchison, said the social studies documents contain advice from multiple people, including Champion. Aitchison would not say how many people, or who the other advisers were.Advice for changes to the K-4 fine arts curriculum and K-2 music curriculum was signed by adviser William French, a board member of the Shakespeare Company in Calgary. He has also worked as a lawyer and a translator.Neither Champion nor French responded to CBC inquiries about this story.After facing public criticism about the all-male slate, the government brought on nine more advisers for September and October, including four Indigenous elders and seven women.Pat McCormack, professor emeritus of Native Studies at the University of Alberta, was contracted to provide advice on Indigenous teachings. When contacted by CBC last week, she had not seen any drafts of the curriculum. The other Indigenous advisers did not respond to messages.Michael Zwaagstra, a Manitoba high school teacher and author who favours traditional education approaches, said he likes the direction Alberta is heading with the proposed changes. He subscribes to the "core knowledge" theory that children need to accumulate a roster of facts before they can comprehend how systems work."Getting more knowledge in your head isn't about making it easier to test, that's not the point at all," he said."The point is ... ensuring students have enough common knowledge so that they are able to engage with the world around them [and] understand some of the basics of our country."Professors say proposals untenableAmy von Heyking, a University of Lethbridge education professor who served on the UCP-appointed curriculum panel last year, said the curriculum proposals are out of step with the panel's recommendations."The expectation that students memorize lists of facts is contrary to everything we know about meaningful learning," she said in an email.She said the social studies suggestions are "untenable," and she hopes the government brings all proposals back before the hundreds of experts in the curriculum working groups."To take programs in such a radically different direction would be incredibly disappointing," she wrote.University of Alberta education Prof. Carla Peck, an expert in social studies curricula, said the proposals would put Alberta so far behind other provinces "it would be embarrassing."She called it a century-old, "factory line" approach that assumes every child is the same and that their interests don't matter.The "core knowledge" theory has also been widely discredited by academics, she said.Residential schools 'too sad' for children, writers saySeveral experts said the proposed arts and social studies changes turn their back on Alberta's commitment to the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which say students must learn about the treaties and the harms of residential schools in all grades.The social studies draft authors propose residential schools be taught in later grades, alongside other examples of "harsh schooling."The authors say residential schools are "too sad" for young children to cover, while at the same time proposing they learn about Roman children and woman living as enslaved persons and hear of Julius Caesar's assassination.Melissa Purcell, executive staff officer of professional development for Indigenous education at the Alberta Teachers' Association, said the documents removed any allowances for students to hear history from Indigenous perspectives. It replaced them with token representations that make it sound as if Indigenous people only existed in the past, she said."This document is perpetuating systemic racism through whitewashing of the draft K-4 social studies and arts education curriculum," said Purcell, who is Dene and a member of the Smith's Landing First Nation.She said there is also a mismatch between the proposals and provincial teaching quality standards adopted last year, which require all Alberta teachers to be competent in teaching about treaties and residential schools.FIND OUT MORE: Don't know the history of the curriculum review process and its controversies? Read more here:___________________________________________________________________________
OTTAWA — The federal New Democrats on Tuesday were once again grappling with a decision about whether to support the minority Liberal government or potentially force an election upon Canadians struggling with the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. But NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh refused to see it that way, calling it a "farce" that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a confidence matter out of a Conservative motion to create a special COVID-19 pandemic investigation committee.If the result is an election, that's on Trudeau to explain to Canadians, Singh said."I can't imagine how the prime minister of Canada would look those people in their eyes, people who are afraid and worried, and say, 'I know you're worried and afraid, but we're going to election because I don't like a committee,'" he said."That is outrageous and is absurd."At issue is a Conservative motion that would create a special House of Commons committee to probe allegations of corrupt spending in COVID-19 programs, a move the Liberals say essentially means the opposition has no confidence in the government and an election should be held. The Bloc Québécois said Tuesday they will support the Conservatives, meaning the pressure is on the NDP to make a crucial decision: side with their opposition colleagues and bring down the government, or with the Liberals. Singh was pressed on which direction he would go but wouldn't say. Negotiations are ongoing, but what concerns him, he said, is whether the Liberals are even interested in negotiating. "The prime minister is not looking for solution here, the prime minister is looking for an excuse to go to an election," he said."And I will not give the prime minister an excuse to go to an election … He is not going to be able to hide behind the opposition." A vote on the motion is to be held on Wednesday, which also marks the one-year anniversary of the Liberals' being re-elected with a minority government. They've already survived several confidence votes, thanks to support from the New Democrats after they won concessions on pandemic benefit programs. The NDP could also abstain for Wednesday's vote, which would toss the choice into the hands of three Green and two Independent MPs, as there are 153 Liberal MPs (not counting the Speaker who votes only in the event of a tie) — the same as the combined number of Conservative and Bloc Québécois MPs.Green MP Elizabeth May questioned the Conservatives' motivation Tuesday, accusing them of chasing headlines."I certainly agree that we want to get to the bottom of matters that are being covered up, but this motion smacks of flavour of the day in the WE Charity scandal," she said.The Liberals have countered with their own version of a special committee that would look at all pandemic-related spending, including but not exclusively spending that the Conservatives allege smacks of corruption. It would have six Liberal members, including the chair who would vote only in the event of a tie, and six opposition members.The Conservative version would focus on three examples of spending that they've linked to individuals or organizations with close ties to the Liberals. It would have 15 members, nine of them from opposition parties, and a Conservative chair.The primary focus would be on the abandoned multimillion-dollar student grant program the Liberals intended to have managed by WE Charity, an organization with long-standing connections to the Trudeau family. Several Commons committees were probing that deal before the Liberals prorogued Parliament in August. Efforts to resume their work have been stymied by the Liberals' decision to filibuster the committees.The Conservatives' committee would have the power to call everyone from the prime minister to civil servants as witnesses, demand the production of documents related to the various programs within a specific amount of time and take precedence over any other House of Commons committees to carry out that work. The Liberals have argued that would paralyze government, a notion the opposition dismissed Tuesday. One of the NDP proposals is to have the Liberal version of the committee chaired by a member of the opposition, ostensibly to avoid Liberal filibustering although having an opposition chair was not enough to end a days-long filibuster last week at the ethics committee."We can't trust a Liberal chair," NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus said during debate on the motion Tuesday.The Liberals gave no sign Tuesday they were open to an opposition chair, holding tight to their assertion that the more aggressive proposal from the Tories crosses a line. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said earlier Tuesday the Liberals' confidence-motion gambit underscores the argument the government is trying to avoid scrutiny of controversial deals. "In many parts of Canada kids can't go trick-or-treating but the Liberals think Canadians should go to the polls rather than their answering several simple questions," he said."They don't want the truth to come out." Still, O'Toole said the goal of the motion is not to force an election but to get accountability. He offered to amend it, changing the name away from "anticorruption" and broadening its mandate upon consultation with the NDP and Bloc.The Tories were also willing to include language that would make it explicit forming the committee was not a vote of non-confidence.None of that appeared to change the government's mind. "If you write a book about Frankenstein and call it 'Cinderella,' it's still a book about Frankenstein," said Liberal House leader Pablo Rodriguez.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020. Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the Liberals filibustered committees where they have control.
Chris Rose and Alyssa Holland moved to Yellowknife in 2015. Five years and two kids later, they had no plans to leave. The couple had embraced the North. They paddled the North Arm with their kids this summer. Alyssa sang with Flora and the Fireweeds, a six-piece band that played gigs all over town. Their parents came to visit them and the children. Trips home to Ontario to see other family members, including a set of great-grandparents, were no big deal. Then the pandemic hit. Now, three-year-old Theo hasn't seen his paternal grandfather in nine months. Alistair, aged 18 months, doesn't remember him. "A switch kind of flipped for us at some point in the spring," said Holland. "I think it was just this moment when we realized ... how far we are from the people we still love." "It became pretty obvious that we hadn't spent much time with older grandparents and if we lost them, we would regret it," said Rose. The couple sold their house and made plans to move to Ottawa later this month. And they're not alone. Former CBC Yellowknife reporter Randi Beers moved to Nova Scotia this fall so her new baby, Wally, could be closer to his grandparents. "As a journalist, quitting your job and moving is kind of a scary thing right now," Beers said. "I was hesitant."After her husband pointed out that it could be challenging to get airline tickets, and how quickly their son was already growing, she came around. "Let's actually move closer to family," Beers said. "I think that's a good decision right now." Samantha Mtatiro and her partner moved up to Yellowknife from B.C. Their kids are now seven and nine. Mtatiro normally visits family, or hosts family visitors, every two months or so. The pandemic, and the 14-day isolation requirements, have put a stop to that kind of easy travel. "My family, and like my mom and especially my mother-in-law, they're actually pretty devastated about it." That mother-in-law lives in Tanzania. Before the pandemic, she'd made plans for a three-month visit. Those plans were cancelled, and now Mtatiro doesn't know when her mother-in-law will see her kids again. Mtatiro is a photographer. She often shoots stills of families with newborn babies. Now, she wonders how some of her clients cope without family members flying in to help. "I can't even imagine what that would be like, especially going into winter." She said the pandemic is not affecting everyone equally. "If you have your extended family here and your lifelong friends, it's easy to hunker down and stay here and not leave," she said. "But for a lot of the people that have moved to the North recently, or don't have those family connections, you kinda rely on your coworkers or your church groups and then all that closes down and you're just alone, right? "It's affecting everybody differently."
HALIFAX — Tensions remain high in the dispute over the Indigenous lobster fishery in Nova Scotia. Here are five things to know about the situation. 1. The dispute has a long history. In September 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the treaty rights of the Mi'kmaq, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy bands in Eastern Canada to hunt, fish and gather to earn a "moderate livelihood." The court decided that a Mi'kmaq fisherman from Cape Breton, Donald Marshall Jr., had the right to fish for eels and sell them when and where he wanted — without a licence. That ruling was based on the interpretation of the Peace and Friendship Treaties approved by the British Crown in 1760 and 1761, which describe long-standing promises, obligations and benefits for the Crown. The Supreme Court also said Marshall's treaty rights were protected by the Constitution. However, the court said those rights are limited to securing "necessaries" and do not extend to the "open-ended accumulation of wealth." 2. The Supreme Court of Canada clarified its ruling and muddied the waters. Two months after the Marshall decision, the Supreme Court provided a clarification that remains at the heart of the current dispute in Nova Scotia. The court stated that the constitutionally protected treaty rights cited in the first decision were not unlimited, and the Indigenous fisheries could be regulated. The court, however, also said those regulations had to be justified for conservation or other important public objectives. That key caveat is often cited by non-Indigenous commercial fishermen who say they would have no problem with a separate, Indigenous commercial lobster fishery, so long as it complied with federally regulated seasons. When the Sipekne’katik First Nation launched its self-regulated lobster fishery on St. Marys Bay on Sept. 17, the federally regulated fishing season in that area had been closed since May 31, and it doesn't reopen until Nov. 30. 3. The federal government has reached fishing agreements with other First Nations in the region. After the Marshall decision spelled out the extent of treaty rights in 1999, some First Nations started fishing for lobster right away, prompting a backlash from non-Indigenous protesters. The Mi'kmaq communities at Burnt Church in New Brunswick and Indian Brook in Nova Scotia — now known as Sipekne’katik — defied federal authorities and set traps outside the regulated season. That led to the seizure of traps, arrests, charges, collisions on the water, shots fired at night, boat sinkings, injuries and threats of retribution. At the time, the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans assumed an aggressive posture on the water, where DFO boats were spotted ramming Mi'kmaq boats from Burnt Church. Despite an ugly start, the federal government eventually started helping First Nations build their communal commercial fishing fleets. Between 2007 and 2015, the value of communal commercial landings rose from $66 million to $145 million for the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet First Nations. And in 2019, Fisheries and Oceans Canada signed two 10-year Rights Reconciliation Agreements with the Elsipogtog (Big Cove) and Esgenoopetitj (Burnt Church) First Nations in New Brunswick, and the Maliseet of Viger First Nation in Quebec. 4. Most Mi'kmaq in Nova Scotia say they aren't interested in selling out their treaty rights. Bruce Wildsmith, legal counsel for the Mi'kmaq Rights Initiative, has said the 2019 agreements don't meet First Nations' requirements for a licensed moderate livelihood fishery, which he sees as separate and distinct from a regular commercial fishery. These agreements require Indigenous fishers to adhere to federal regulations, including restrictions on when fishing can take place. Wildsmith, who represented Marshall before the Supreme Court, says the Mi'kmaq want a moderate livelihood fishery based on separate consultations with the federal government. The fishery would have its own set of regulations based on nation-to-nation agreements that have yet to be drafted, despite years of talks. 5. Conservation of the lobster stocks is central to the debate in Nova Scotia. Some commercial fishermen have argued that lobster fishing should not be permitted at this time of year because lobsters moult — shedding their undersized shells — in the mid-summer months, which is also when female lobsters can mate. The Sipekne’katik First Nation, however, has insisted that its fisheries management plan ensures conservation of the lobster stocks, noting that fishing didn't start until Sept. 17. The First Nation has already submitted a fisheries management plan to Ottawa. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020. Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press
Recent developments: * Organized sports are becoming a pandemic problem in Ottawa. * Ottawa has 57 more COVID-19 cases, according to the province.What's the latest?Ottawa Public Health (OPH) says participants in organized sports in the city are spreading COVID-19 before, during and after events.OPH is asking players not to carpool or eat with teammates who don't live under the same roof. Participants are also being advised against sharing gear or playing on more than one team.WATCH | COVID-19 spreading during sports:Ottawa has 57 more cases of COVID-19, according to the province. OPH usually shares more details by 1 p.m.The Prescott and Russell Residence in Hawkesbury, Ont., says it is eagerly awaiting help from the Canadian Red Cross to offset heavy workloads as it battles a COVID-19 outbreak. WATCH LIVE | Ontario's daily news conference at 1 p.m. ET:How many cases are there?As of Tuesday's update from OPH, 6,166 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 745 known active cases, 5,117 resolved cases and 304 deaths.Testing numbers have been lower than the groups running it would like.Public health officials have reported more than 9,400 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 7,800 of them resolved.Seventy-one people with COVID-19 have died elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 35 in western Quebec. What can I do?Both Ontario and Quebec are telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with or one other home if people live alone.In Ottawa — which has been rolled back to a modified Stage 2 — and Gatineau, Que., health officials are asking residents not to leave home unless it's essential. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) covering communities such as Hawkesbury and Cornwall has said it will likely have to roll back.Indoor dining at restaurants has been prohibited, while gyms, cinemas, casinos and performing arts venues are all closed.Dr. Vera Etches, the capital's medical officer of health, has said the national capital's health-care system is on the verge of collapse, with hospitalizations rising swiftly and people experiencing delays getting test results.WATCH | OPH's morning update:Both OPH and the EOHU are urging people not to have a Halloween party with other households or go trick-or-treating.Ontario's chief medical officer of health said to listen to local officials but rule of thumb if trick-or-treating is allowed, people should stick to their neighbourhood and do it outside with their household only.Gatineau and parts of the Outaouais are now on red alert, which means restaurants and bars can't serve people indoors, organized sports are suspended and theatres must close.Quebecers are also urged not to travel to Ontario or between regions at different levels on its scale except for essential reasons.Even though most of the region has been declared a red zone, Premier François Legault said kids can trick-or-treat as long as they don't go with friends and precautions are taken when giving out candy.What about schools?There have been more than 180 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19:Few have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there's a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.As of mid-October, a small fraction of Ottawa students and staff had tested positive.WATCH | Grade 5 student talks about this year's lunch breaks:Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.People can be contagious without symptoms.This means people should take precautions such as staying home when sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone they don't live with — even with a mask on.Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and are recommended outdoors when people can't stay the proper distance from others.Anyone with symptoms should self-isolate, as should anyone told to by a public health unit. If Ottawans don't, they face a fine of up to $5,000 per day in court. Kingston, Ont., has slightly different rules.Some people waiting for test results in Quebec don't have to stay home. Most people with a confirmed COVID-19 case in Quebec can end their self-isolation after 10 days under certain conditions.Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.What are the symptoms of COVID-19?COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic and resources are available to help.Where to get testedIn eastern Ontario:Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you've been told to by your health unit or the province.Anyone seeking a test should now book an appointment. Different sites in the area have different ways to book, including over the phone or going in person to get a time slot.People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select pharmacies in Belleville, Kingston and Ottawa.Ottawa has five permanent sites, with additional mobile sites deployed wherever demand is particularly high.The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Limoges, Rockland and Winchester.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls. Pop-up test sites are happening tomorrow in Carleton Place and Friday in Perth.Kingston's test site is at the Beechgrove Complex. Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call ahead.People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with questions, COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly.WATCH | Retired U of O prof's website watched by U.S. State Department:In western Quebec:Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms. People without symptoms can also get a test.Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.First Nations, Inuit and Métis:Akwesasne has a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only.Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.For more information
President Donald Trump on Tuesday abruptly ended an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that is set to air this Sunday. Trump’s interview with Leslie Stahl ended acrimoniously, according to one person familiar with the exchange who was not authorized to discuss it publicly. In a subsequent Twitter message, the president declared his interview with Lesley Stahl to be “FAKE and BIASED” and threatened to release a White House account of the interview before its Sunday airtime.
An Edmonton utility company says a sinkhole that’s about four times as deep as an adult giraffe is tall won't cause any structural risks to nearby homes and businesses, but it will cause traffic headaches. "Out of an abundance of caution and public safety, we have closed the intersection as we continue to investigate to determine the affected area and scope of the repairs," Epcor said in a message to people in the Parkallen neighbourhood. "As a result, there are significant traffic impacts in the area."
A teacher who was fired for hugging a former student and kissing her on the neck has been reinstated after the Kamloops Thompson Teachers' Association challenged his dismissal and had the ruling overturned.On Tuesday, however, Kamloops-Thompson School District superintendent Terry Sullivan told CBC News it will appeal."The board does not agree with the arbitrator's decision and they've determined they're going to appeal the decision to the Labour Relations Board."At issue is an incident between middle-school teacher Brett Edward Wasylik and a former student on Nov. 12, 2016.According to a 2019 consent resolution agreement published by the B.C. Ministry of Education, Wasylik behaved inappropriately with his former student at a Kamloops restaurant during an end-of-season celebration dinner with a sports team.He noticed a student he had taught in Grade 8 and Grade 9 was working there as a hostess.The middle-school teacher was first licensed to teach in B.C. in 2001 and the school district confirms the girl was 17 at the time of the incident and had recently graduated.The incidentAt one point, Wasylik approached the former student and spoke to her for five minutes, commenting on her appearance, saying she was looking "f--king hot." He showed her photos of himself, including a shirtless one, and later walked her to her car after her shift, hugging her and kissing her neck.In November 2016, Wasylik was suspended for three days without pay by the school district and he was required to complete a course on reinforcing respectful professional boundaries after denying the allegations.Less than one month after the incident, the school district says it submitted an investigation report to the teacher regulation branch.The subsequent consent resolution agreement revealed that Wasylik was dishonest in his denial to the school district. After this was revealed, he was fired in August 2019.Appealing the dismissalThe Kamloops Thompson Teachers' Association stepped in and grieved his dismissal and won based on the argument he was let go after already being punished for the same incident when he was suspended without pay for three days.The school district's Sullivan says officials are not satisfied with the decision because the teacher initially denied wrongdoing."One of the major reasons that they felt so strongly was because the original termination was for dishonesty in relation to the inappropriate sexual misconduct," Sullivan said.Arbitrator Ken Saunders said the argument of double jeopardy comes into play in reinstating Wasylik. That means the employer — the school district — could not punish him twice for the same case with both a suspension and then dismissal."It would be contrary to ... the finality of settlements to permit the employer to discipline the grievor in 2019 for substantially the same conduct [from 2016].""I conclude the employer has not established just cause for discipline. The dismissal fails at the first stage of the test for just cause ... and there is no basis to substitute another penalty. The grievor must be reinstated," Saunders said in the decision.Sullivan said there's no word on when the labour board will hear the appeal, but he said Wasylik is not currently teaching in the district."We have teaching standards in British Columbia and they apply to teachers whether they're on the job or off the job," Sullivan said.
HALIFAX — The chief of the First Nation behind a disputed moderate livelihood lobster fishery in Nova Scotia says recent vandalism and the loss of potential sales have cost the band more than $1.5 million. Mike Sack, chief of the Sipekne'katik First Nation, issued a statement today saying the band has also been blacklisted by lobster buyers. "The (non-Indigenous) commercial fishery has systematically boxed us out of the market," Sack said in a statement. "It will take time to rebuild our relationships in the supply chain of people and companies we did business with who are now rightly afraid of retaliation." The First Nation attracted national attention on Sept. 17 when it launched a "moderate livelihood" fishing fleet in St. Marys Bay, almost two months before the federally regulated fishing season was set to open. Sack has said the Mi'kmaq band's members are exercising their constitutionally protected treaty right to fish where and when they want, as affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in a historic 1999 decision. Citing treaties signed in the 1760s, the court said the Mi'kmaq, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy bands in Eastern Canada can hunt, fish and gather to earn a "moderate livelihood." However, non-Indigenous protesters have asked federal authorities to stop the Indigenous harvest because the Supreme Court ruling also said Ottawa could continue to regulate the fishery — so long as it can justify such a move. The dispute has escalated into ugly confrontations marked by violence, arrests and allegations of assault and arson. Amid the rising tension, the First Nation says it can't sell lobster caught by those taking part in its moderate livelihood fishery in St. Marys Bay or the band's commercial operation in the Bay of Fundy. "It's like we've been blacklisted, and we're just hopeful that we can quickly come to some resolution and expedite getting our lobster to market," Sack said. "Pulling our commercial fishery this week and for the upcoming seasons will financially devastate our community," A spokeswoman for the First Nation says the 11 boats taking part in the moderate livelihood fishery will continue to haul in their catches from Lobster Fishing Area 34 and put them in storage. However, Sack said the band's three boats used for the communal commercial fishery, which were operating in an adjacent area that opened for fishing last week, have been pulled from the water due to "intimidation and market embargoes." The chief said the band is looking for a way to sell the catch from the livelihood fishery through a provincial exemption. Meanwhile, Mi'kmaq leaders in Cape Breton issued a statement Wednesday accusing the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans of illegally removing lobster traps set recently in St. Peters Bay. The 200 traps were placed in the bay as part of a similar moderate livelihood fishery, which is also operating outside the federally regulated season. "The seizure of these traps by local officers are without the authorization or authority of their department or the minister," the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs said in a statement. "This is unacceptable and unlawful." The assembly was backed up by the councils from the Potlotek and Eskasoni First Nations, which have demanded the return of seized traps. As well, the two bands are asking the local community to donate traps for their livelihood fishery, which opened Oct. 1. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2020. Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press
In the crucial battleground of Pennsylvania, suburban white women turned off by U.S. President Donald Trump could swing the balance of power in favour of Joe Biden and Trump knows it.
The report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 299,028 more people died between Jan. 26 and Oct. 3 than the average numbers from past years would have indicated. CDC said that about 216,000 U.S. deaths from the coronavirus had been reported by the middle of this month. "This might underestimate the total impact of the pandemic on mortality," it said.
TORONTO — Author and psychologist Jordan Peterson says he's back in Toronto and eager for "something resembling a normal life" after spending much of the past year in and out of hospitals around the world.The controversial speaker and writer has released an eight-minute long YouTube video recounting months spent consulting specialists in Connecticut, Toronto, Moscow and Belgrade for health woes tied to his use of the anti-anxiety medication benzodiazepine.Peterson says he started taking the drug in early 2017 and followed "the prescribed recommendations" without a second thought but that it led to “severe post-use withdrawal and neurological damage” when he tried to stop.Peterson says he hopes that struggle is behind him, noting he has several plans for the future. They include a new video series dedicated to Exodus, the second book of the Bible. It's a follow-up to a biblical series on Genesis he released in 2017.The University of Toronto professor and bestselling author of "12 Rules for Life" has been little seen over the past year, with most media updates coming through his daughter Mikhaila. Peterson rocketed to notoriety over his objection to transgender human rights legislation and his refusal to use preferred pronouns for trans students.“I wanted to tell you that I'm back in Toronto, that I'm in much better health, although it's still severely impaired, especially in the morning. But I can work again and I really want to," says Peterson. "With God's grace and mercy, I'll be able to start generating original material once again and pick up where I left off.”Before the Exodus project, Peterson says he expects to release some videos devoted to the Book of Proverbs. Efforts are also underway to translate and dub his YouTube lectures into several languages.He says six will be rolled out over the next few months.Peterson thanked his family for their support, noting his daughter Mikhaila accompanied him to Russia and Serbia. “Both of those episodes were extremely grueling and lasted for months. But I'm alive and I have plans for the future,” he says.Mikhaila said earlier this year that she and her father contracted COVID-19 while in Serbia.Peterson says he hopes much of his health woes are behind him and that he "can return to something resembling a normal life."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020.The Canadian Press
The punch that appeared to knock out 54-year-old Anthony Dwyer is not in dispute. In their opening remarks, Crown and defence lawyers both agreed that 21-year-old William Ronald Jordan punched Dwyer once in the face before he fell over backward on the Market Square boardwalk in Saint John and struck his head.Defence lawyer James McConnell told the jury Tuesday morning that his client threw the punch in self-defence. While not obligated to do so, McConnell said, his client will testify to explain how the interaction with Dwyer made him feel afraid, and how he believed his only option to avoid becoming the victim was to punch Dwyer. Jordan is charged with manslaughter in Dwyer's death and is being tried by a judge and jury.By mid-morning, Mr. Justice Darrell J. Stephenson informed the 12 jurors that one of them had been excused. The trial will continue with 11 jury members. The details of why the juror was excused were discussed without the jury present so are protected by a publication ban. In their opening remarks, both Crown and defence described a similar picture of what happened on the boardwalk on July 13, 2018. Both agree that Jordan and Dwyer were there with separate groups of friends to watch live music on the boardwalk stage. They also agree that 54-year-old Dwyer approached then-19-year-old Jordan, who was standing with two friends. Crown prosecutor Jeremy Erickson told the jury that Dwyer inquired about a cigar Jordan was smoking. McConnell said Dwyer "demanded he hand over a cigar he was smoking" and became "agitated" when Jordan refused. He said Dwyer "jabbed him in the throat" and that's why Jordan threw the punch. Security footage from a nearby restaurant shows the brief interaction in a grainy video entered as evidence on Tuesday afternoon. It shows a person falling over backward without an obvious attempt to break the fall. McConnell said Dwyer hit his head on a hard surface, and it was that injury that eventually led to Dwyer's death. The first witness called by the Crown was Const. Matthew Weir, an officer with the forensic identification section of the Saint John Police Force. He said he was asked by the lead investigator in the case, Chris McCutcheon, to isolate and enhance video surveillance footage taken of the incident by a nearby security camera. The incident happened after 11 p.m., so the area is poorly illuminated by street lights and light from local restaurants and bars. He was able to isolate approximately 20 seconds of video that was entered into evidence Tuesday afternoon. Const. James Smith, another member of the forensic identification section, then presented a binder of five photos that was also entered as evidence, including photos of a package of Captain Jack cigars that was found in the clothing taken from Dwyer at the hospital. Bouncer Nick Bynkoski was working the night of July 13, 2018 and he was talking to a colleague, Shawn McKiel, when he noticed Dwyer approach Jordan and his friends. Although he couldn't hear the exchange, he said he could tell by the facial expressions of Jordan and his friends "that it wasn't a pleasant conversation." He said that's why he continued to watch the group. He said he saw Jordan swing a closed left fist and punch Dwyer in the face. "It looked like he was unconscious as soon as he got hit," said Bynkoski. He said Dwyer fell over backward, making no attempt to break his fall. Under cross-examination by McConnell, Bynkoski said it was possible that he missed parts of the exchange and said Dwyer could have struck Jordan first. McKiel said he heard a "slap sound" while he was talking to Bynkoski and turned around in time to see Dwyer fall backwards, hit his head on a pillar and then the ground. He said he called 911 and stayed on the phone relaying information from two emergency room nurses who happened to be on the boardwalk at the time and tended to Dwyer. The trial will continue Wednesday morning.
The acclaimed animator behind such powerful figures as Ariel, Aladdin, Tarzan and Rapunzel has a new heroine and she's going further than any of his creations — the moon.Twelve-year-old Fei Fei builds a handmade rocket to blast into outer space in the new Netflix movie musical “Over the Moon,” the first animated film backed by a major Hollywood studio to feature an entirely Asian cast.The film stars newcomer Cathy Ang as our plucky heroine, backed by such voice actors as “Hamilton” star Phillipa Soo, comedians Ken Jeong and Margaret Cho, “Star Trek” star John Cho, Broadway veterans Ruthie Ann Miles and Kimiko Glenn, and “Killing Eve” star Sandra Oh.It opens and closes in modern day China, but the bulk of the film is set in Lunaria, an imaginary kingdom on the dark side of the moon that's filled with glowing, bubblegum-colored blobs and where the laws of physics are tossed out.The transition — from hyperreal cooked crabs that glisten in a bowl in the first 30 minutes of the film to amorphous, gooey Candyland critters 30 minutes later — is jarring. The sequences on the moon grow tiresome, despite huge toads that fly and squeaky-voiced critters.It film starts with Fei Fei on her quest to meet the mythical Moon Goddess, Chang’e. The immortal goddess lives on the moon waiting to reunite with her mortal love, the archer Houyi. Fei Fei’s mother tells her the legend before she gets sick and dies.The film jumps four years into the future and Fei Fei's dad is considering re-marrying, a horrific prospect for his daughter. Fei Fei reasons that if she can prove that Chang’e — and eternal love — really do exist, her dad will ditch his new girlfriend. “I just want things back the way they were,” she says. So she starts building a rocket.Grief was part of the film’s DNA: Screenwriter Audrey Wells died of cancer in 2018 while the film was being made and the final product is dedicated to her memory, with some lines like “you have to move on” all the more poignant.Unfortunately, the film has echoes of previous animated fare — like the missing mother and engineering-bent of the young heroine from “Wonder Park” — and the assortment of adorable sidekicks from “Frozen 2.” It also recalls the trippy Technicolor shift from “The Wizard of Oz.”The original songs include eight varied and delightful ones by the writing team of Christopher Curtis (Broadway’s “Chaplin”), Marjorie Du?eld and Helen Park (off-Broadway’s “KPOP”).EDM, hip-hop, folk and Broadway all take turns shining in such songs as “On the Moon Above,” “Mooncakes,” “Rocket to the Moon,” “Ultraluminary,” “Hey Boy,” “Wonderful,” “Yours Forever” and “Love Someone New.” The movie also uses traditional Chinese instruments, like the pipa and guzheng, while singing in Mandarin is heard.Director Glen Keane, who worked on “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” among many others, brings much of his Disney experience to “Over the Moon,” this time making his feature directorial debut. He’s now helped Netflix get into the animated musical game, thanks to this collaboration between China’s Pearl Studio and Sony Pictures.Fei Fei's build up for her moonshot and the launch is perhaps the most thrilling element of the film and the animators have put a great deal of thought into expressions for both kids and adults. The food pops and even the wind is expressive. But the film looses coherence and urgency on the dark side of the moon.Truth be told, Chang’e — voiced fantastically by Soo — is a bit of an Oz-like dictator, a lunar diva whose emotions determine everything on Lunaria. She introduces herself with a boastful K-pop banger “Ultraluminary” — “Ya ready to watch me be legendary?” — like Katy Perry on steroids. “She's nothing like Mama said,” points out Fei Fei.There are also Angry Birds-like motorcycle-riding chickens — biker chicks, get it? — and a blobby lunar dog called Gobi which is a little too close to Josh Gad’s goofy and endearing Olaf character from “Frozen.”Add a small frog, an adorable bunny, a possible step-brother and a magical hare and things get overloaded. It's a shame that viewers after a while will long for the pull of gravity.“Over the Moon,” a Netflix/Pearl Studio release, is rated PG for “some thematic elements and mild action.” Running time: 99 minutes. Three stars out of four.___MPAA Definition of PG: Parental guidance suggested.___Online: https://www.netflix.com/title/80214236___Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwitsMark Kennedy, The Associated Press
The "index case" for a COVID-19 outbreak at a Mill Woods care home was a resident who had seen nine different visitors in the previous two weeks, a spokesperson for Shepherd's Care said Tuesday. The outbreak has since infected 102 people — 61 residents and 41 staff. Eight residents have died in the outbreak and 59 cases are still active. Zachary Penner, executive director of communications with Shepherd's Care, told CBC Radio's Edmonton AM on Tuesday that the outbreak is a consequence of a July public health order to relax visitation rules in long-term care facilities. On July 23, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, eased restrictions on visitors at long-term care facilities that had she had put in place in April. "It's not a coincidence that since then, we've seen a significant increase in the number of outbreaks in care homes around the province," Penner said. "So when we looked at the visitation patterns, we determined that our index case had actually seen nine different visitors in the previous two weeks." Penner said the first indication that COVID-19 was in the Mill Woods facility came on Sept. 22. "We took immediate action to isolate all of the residents into their rooms and do immediate testing. We do have two floors of long-term care at that facility and we have successfully isolated the outbreak to the third floor." New cases identified after the first resident tested positive are "attributable to spread that happened before we isolated everyone," he said. Visitor screening protocols were in place at the time, but the "insidious thing about COVID-19" is that people who have the disease can shed virus for many days without showing symptoms themselves, Penner said. "If you were positive and not showing symptoms, you would pass all of those screening checks," he said. "So really, the only thing we have that prevents the spread at that point is the proper use of personal protective equipment and social distancing, and unfortunately we suspect that there was a breach of that, and that's how it entered our facility." Penner said he doesn't envy Hinshaw for having to make the decision to loosen visitation restrictions. He said she tried to find a balance between protecting long-term care residents from COVID-19 and meeting their social needs. "Certainly she's faced with, you know, the safety and security of residents on one hand, but there was also a tremendous outpouring of frustration from individuals that felt that the restrictions were far too restrictive and that they couldn't come in and see their loved ones in care," he said. "So I think no matter which way you fall on that risk spectrum, there's going to be people that are unhappy with the decision. And the decision was made to kind of adopt an approach that did interject a bit more risk." Penner said his grandmother is in care and living with restrictions on visitors. "I would love to run up to her and pull my mask up and quickly give her a kiss and tell her I love her, but unfortunately something as simple as that can trigger an outbreak like the one we've seen." No visiting is allowed at the Mill Woods facility during the outbreak. Penner said said Shepherd's Care has suspended all in-room unsupervised visits at all of its other sites. But other visits, where staff can properly monitor for social distancing and use of personal protective equipment, are ongoing. Shepherd's Care has been working closely with Alberta Health Services, he said. "We believe we've successfully contained that outbreak," he said, adding that the rate of new cases "has slowed down almost to zero." It could still be three or four weeks, he said, before AHS declares the outbreak officially over.
TORONTO — Armed with masks, face shields, a minivan and an "ungodly" amount of hand sanitizer, a small team of producers from the CBC's "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" is in the U.S. to cover a rather unpredictable presidential election. Producer Nik Sexton says he and two others from the weekly Canadian news parody series have motored through several states to interview Americans about next month's vote and explore the U.S. electoral system.They're also doing fun bits, like visiting the deli Hank's Hoagies in Joe Biden's hometown of Scranton, Penn., where support for the Democratic presidential nominee is on full display, complete with a cutout of his likeness ready for selfies. "In rural towns I've gone to I've seen a lot of (U.S. President Donald) Trump support, and then in the cities we go to we see a lot of Biden support, so I think it's really going to come down to the swing states," Sexton said in a recent phone interview from Scranton."It's a tough one to call."Like many news satire shows these days, "22 Minutes" has to not only navigate shooting during COVID-19 but also keep up with rapidly changing headlines surrounding the pandemic, politics and other current affairs.U.S. President Trump's whirlwind journey with his COVID-19 diagnosis earlier this month, for instance, threw Sexton's team in Washington, D.C., a "curveball.""You can't shoot anything too far in advance, because he'll trump it," said Mark Critch, who plays the president on the show, which airs Tuesdays."I had a Trump sketch ready to go and then it's like, 'I've got COVID — surprise!' So now I'm like, 'Look, I'm not putting on the wig until the day of the show.'" Another challenge is striking the right tone on such delicate subject matter, while covering a nation that Sexton surmises has a "big divide" amongst voters."We're not here to put words into people's mouths. We actually want to hear what people have to say. And if you watch the pieces, they're more like a documentary," Sexton said of their U.S.-based segments, which are narrated by actor Graham Greene."We don't try to trick them or do anything like that. We tell them that we're a satirical show from Canada and then we ask them some questions."In September the series came under fire for posting and then deleting a tweet that said: "Conservative leader Erin O'Toole has tested positive for COVID-19, officially making that the most interesting thing about him."Critch said he didn't have anything to do with the tweet and was "disappointed" with it, adding the show "certainly apologizes for that."When it comes to such subject matter, he feels "it's a matter of finding that right moment" for satire."Personal health, there's nothing funny about that," Critch said."Taking a joy ride O.J. (Simpson)-style and putting other people at risk so that you can be Santa in the Santa parade — there's something funny about that," he added, referring to Trump arranging a motorcade ride so he could wave to supporters outside the hospital that was treating him for COVID-19.The new season debuted Oct. 6 and Sexton said he and his team are staying in motels and conducting interviews under COVID-19 safety protocols. They plan to return to Canada "after the election, or whenever they deem the next president, which who knows when that could be?" he said."I think he would love it if he loses, because he is already planning the: 'It was stolen from me' (speech)," jested Critch."There's no bloody way he's going to say 'OK, well, you made your choice.' He'll be like a stalker boyfriend. Like, 'Look, Donald, I don't want to see you anymore.' And he'll be like, 'Yeah, but we can still get together on the weekends.'"Critch is in Halifax, where the show tapes with a socially distanced audience at a new studio.The comedy star also played Trump during the 2016 election, when many polls didn't predict he'd be elected and it all seemed a joke, Critch said. The actor pointed to former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's famous quote about how being next to the U.S. is like "sleeping with an elephant.""Now Trudeau's son is sleeping next to the elephant — but the elephant is awake, it's no longer sleeping, it's wearing a MAGA hat, it just got out of the hospital, it's high on Regeneron and its trunk is in the air, so there is no sleep anymore," Critch said. "People often say like, 'Oh, that's like Trump on steroids.' Now Trump actually is on steroids. It's unlike anything we've ever seen — like a fire in a fireworks factory."And Critch isn't ruling out another Trump win."Biden isn't exactly electrifying. He's kind of like the man in those ads for the chair that lifts you up the stairs or a walk-in bathtub," he jested."He's very good looking, he's kind, he doesn't say that much. He's healthy for his age, but he might pass soon. It's not somebody that people rally behind. They're like, 'Oh, good. He's the other choice.' "I think there's a difference between voting against somebody and voting for someone. And Trump's followers are voting for him, because they do believe in him. Especially now that he came out of the cave three days after he was crucified. Now it's like, 'Oh, my God, look what he can do! He beat COVID!" This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020.Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press
A car that burned on the Cabot Trail while its driver and passenger watched helplessly nearby is raising concerns about cell service in the area.Cotter Oliver, who lives in Pleasant Bay on the western coast of Cape Breton, was driving with his family on the afternoon of Oct. 16 when they came across a frightening scene — a vehicle engulfed in flames with no emergency vehicles on the scene."We came to the crest of the North Mountain and we noticed big black billows of smoke on the horizon," Oliver told CBC's Maritime Noon on Tuesday.Oliver said he and his family pulled over when they saw a couple standing nearby, just watching their car burn."They were about 20 feet away when the car was engulfed in flames. It just took place that quick, so it was pretty scary," Oliver said, adding that no one was injured in the fire.He said the couple was lucky to get out of the car when they did, but without cell service in the area, there wasn't much they could do."Some people were calling 911 on their cell phones, but there's no cell phone service there," he said. Oliver said someone tried a phone in a nearby emergency shelter, but he was told it didn't work.> By the time they got there, the car was totally engulfed — just one big ball of fire. \- Cotter OliverAnother witness offered to drive to the Pleasant Bay volunteer fire department about 15 minutes away to report the fire.Firefighters and RCMP officers from the Cheticamp detachment arrived on the scene another 15 minutes later."By the time they got there, the car was totally engulfed — just one big ball of fire," Oliver said. Fire chief Murray Pattingale said it's not the first time something like this has happened in the area.Pattingale said there have been quite a few car accidents and motorcycle crashes on the mountain and it can take up to 30 minutes to respond.He said the lack of cell service, emergency phones and mile markers hinder the fire department's ability to respond to emergencies on the mountain.Pattingale said he would like there to be at least working emergency phones and better cell service."It would make a big difference on our part," he said. "Our response time would be quicker and we would know exactly where we're going." Communication improvement on the wayIn a statement Wednesday, Rob Howey, acting superintendent of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, said "the realities of connectivity and telecommunications in this remote area of [the park] are challenging.""While there used to be phone service in that area over two decades ago, the challenge on North Mountain today is that there are no phone landlines between Pleasant Bay and Big Intervale as well as unreliable cell service," he said in an email.Howey said Parks Canada has been working to improve emergency communications in this area for the past six months, and have recently purchased a specialized satellite phone that will be installed in the coming weeks.He also said the addition of more mile markers could help with initial response time. "Parks Canada is open to discussions with the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to explore the possibility of installing mile markers on the Cabot Trail within Cape Breton Highlands National Park," he said.Howey said Parks Canada is relieved that nobody was harmed in the incident and thanked the fire department for their response.MORE TOP STORIES
Spencer Davis, a British guitarist and bandleader whose eponymous rock group had 1960s hits including “Gimme Some Lovin’” and “I’m a Man,” has died. Davis’ agent, Bob Birk, said Tuesday that he died in a hospital while being treated for pneumonia. Influenced by the burgeoning British blues and skiffle scenes, he performed in bands with future stars including the Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman and Christine Perfect — later Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie.
OTTAWA — Quebec Premier Francois Legault says the University of Ottawa should have defended a professor who used a derogatory word for Black people in class.A student complained that part-time professor Verushka Lieutenant-Duval used the notorious word late last month in class to explain how some communities had reclaimed terms over time.The incident has sparked vocal disagreement between some students and faculty in a case that pits academic freedom and open dialogue against the rights and sensitivities of those in the classroom.Lieutenant-Duval apologized upon receiving the complaint and invited her students at the university, attended by many francophones, to discuss the issue in their next class.Legault says the professor wanted to raise an important subject, not insult anybody.He says in places of higher learning it is important that all subjects be open for debate.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020.The Canadian Press
The ImagineNATIVE Indigenous film and media arts festival is going online this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic but there's still lots to look forward to starting Tuesday, says the festival's artistic director."Film is really great in that it is quite adaptable, so we have a really great on-demand platform for everyone," said Niki Little. Works will be released every day of the six-day festival and will be accessible for 48 hours. The festival will still feature micro meetings, keynote panels and an online hub for the iNDigital space showcasing 17 Indigenous-made digital and interactive media works."ImagineNATIVE is usually the place where people come together to connect to talk about their work and to really just celebrate each other," said Little. She said the gathering part was missing because of going online, so in order to honour the community and everyone that comes together to make the festival happen this year, there will be over $20,000 worth of prizes given away. There is also over $50,000 in cash awards for the artists. "It's quite incredible how people have come together and rallied around this idea about the giveaway and about honouring our community and honouring the artists, because that's really what it's all about," said Little. ImagineNATIVE began by creating space for Indigenous content creators and has expanded to being a nearly week-long festival. Last year it became an Oscar qualifying festival for the short format live action category."At the end of the day, we're all about it being artist-centred and Indigenous-led and ensuring that Indigenous stories are being told by Indigenous people because that's paramount," said Little.There will be four short film programs, each named after one of the colours in the medicine wheel.The yellow shorts program will open the online festival, featuring works by artists from seven different nations across the world including: Theola Ross, Jack Steele, Ngariki Ngatae, Banchi Hanuse, Michelle Derosier, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu and Alisi Telengut.The red, black and yellow programs will all feature a question and answer component running Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.Special events include an hour of visual art, performances and curator talks from Toronto galleries in the form of a virtual art crawl led by Little. On Friday, the Night of Indigenous Devs will showcase international Indigenous video game talent. On Saturday, ImagineNATIVE's annual concert will stream online in partnership with the Tkaronto Music Festival.On Sunday, actor, producer, and director Lorne Cardinal will be presented with the August Schellenberg Award of Excellence.Five film picksShadow of DumontDirected by Métis writer and director Trevor Cameron, this documentary explores Cameron's cross-country road trip to the homelands of Gabriel Dumont. Dumont played a key role as a leader in the 1885 Métis uprising. Monkey BeachIn this adaptation of Eden Robinson's novel by the same name, Lisa Hill is brought back to her Haisla village of Kitamaat by her dead cousin's plea. Once she returns she has a vision of her younger brother Jimmy drowning. Jimmy goes out to sea to rid the village of a predator but then goes missing. This sets Lisa off on a journey to save her brother's soul. This dramatic feature is directed by Cree/Métis writer, director and producer Loretta Todd. The Legend of Baron To'aThis film marks Māori/Pasifika actor, writer and producer Kiel McNaighton's debut as a feature film director. The Legend of Baron To'a tells the story of Fritz, a Tongan entrepreneur, who after several years returns to his old neighbourhood to sell his family's home, still grappling with his wrestling superstar father Baron To'a's legacy.Love and FurySeminole and Muscogee Creek filmmaker Sterlin Harjo followed a set of Indigenous artists over the course of the year to explore the question, "who classifies Native American art and what does that mean?" The documentary profiles musician and composer Laura Ortman, who performed at the 2019 Whitney Biennial; artist and composer Raven Chacon; famed poet, musician and author Joy Harjo; singer and guitarist Micah P. Hinson; among others. Tell Me A Story: A Multi-Generational Film ProgramThis program asks families to share stories both old and new. Directors include Phyllis Grant, Darryl Nepinak, Amber Twoyoungmen, Kes Lefthand, Winona Bearshield, Christiana Latham, Tristan Craig, Dustinn Craig, Darlene Naponse and Amanda Strong.
OTTAWA — Canada's chief public health doctor says in the age of social media, fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading faster than the virus itself. Dr. Theresa Tam says all Canadians must play a role in not letting false facts destroy the collective effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.That means they should not share information online that they have not verified as accurate.There have been a number of false claims being spread about the Canadian pandemic effort in recent days, including one accusing the government of establishing COVID "confinement camps" and another alleging the government was planning to eliminate all personal debts, including mortgages and personal loans.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there are people trying to undermine credible sources on the pandemic and create chaos in democracies.He says Canadians should look for multiple sources on information they read online, and should verify public health advice given on official websites for public health agencies.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020.The Canadian Press
More than 100 people gathered in downtown Ottawa to protest after Ottawa police Const. Daniel Montsion was acquitted of all charges relating to the 2016 death of Abdirahman Abdi. Farhia Ahmed, the chair of the Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, told the rally the acquittal is "catastrophic."