MILTON, Ga. — In a black face mask and cap, activist Garrett Bess walked up driveway after driveway of million-dollar homes in suburban Atlanta on a recent afternoon, placing a flyer in each door, ringing the bell and stepping away to make a socially distanced pitch to vote for the conservative candidates in Georgia's pivotal U.S. Senate runoff elections.Bess' group, Heritage Action for America, plans to knock on half a million doors before the state's two Jan. 5 contests that will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.“Everyone in Georgia knows the candidates,” said Janae Stracke, a colleague of Bess’ who also canvassed the subdivision. "There’s not a lot of convincing to do. They’ve made up their mind. It’s mostly knowing when to vote, how to vote, encouraging them to vote.”This election season, the coronavirus pandemic has upended traditional get-out-the-vote efforts where campaign workers go door to door to encourage people to cast ballots. With people staying at home and limiting contact with outsiders, an extended conversation with a campaign worker who shows up uninvited may actually encourage people to vote for someone else.But it's a sign of how important the two Senate elections are that both parties and independent advocacy groups are going all in on their in-person get-out-the-vote efforts.After the GOP lost the presidential election in Georgia for the first time in 28 years, conservatives are urging Republicans to get more aggressive with their turnout efforts in the state to match the outreach of former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.After Abrams lost the 2018 governor's race, she devoted herself to voter outreach, convinced that the state was a genuine battleground if Democrats galvanized young voters, minorities and people moving in from other states. She raised millions of dollars to organize and register hundreds of thousands of voters in the state — efforts credited with helping Democrat Joe Biden win Georgia.Republicans have to catch up, Republican operative Karl Rove told Fox News.“Let’s not kid ourselves: This is a real race,” said Rove, who is leading fundraising efforts for the runoffs.The National Republican Senatorial Committee expects to have 1,000 staffers on the ground in Georgia. For comparison, the Republican National Committee had a total of 3,000 paid field staff across the whole country during the presidential race.Democrats carry their own baggage into the runoff. In many parts of the country, they limited face-to-face campaigning ahead of the Nov. 3 election because of the pandemic, arguing that was the responsible thing to do. But that decision was second-guessed in places such as Florida.The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to spend millions on voter registration and turnout efforts.Outside groups are also hitting the ground, and the in-person appeals will be supplemented with a fusillade of phone calls, text messages, mailers and ads aimed at boosting turnout for the races pitting Republican Sen. David Perdue against Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democrat Raphael Warnock.Turnout tends to drop precipitously in runoff contests in Georgia. And activists fear there might be even more of a falloff this time, when the excitement of the Trump-Biden race is over. So getting voters to come back to the polls becomes more of a focus than “trying to find new voters or win over voters who voted for your opponent,” said Charles Bullock, an expert on Southern politics at the University of Georgia.Historically, that drop-off has disproportionately affected Democrats, so the party faces strong headwinds heading into January. The Republican candidate has beaten the Democrat in seven out of eight runoff elections since 1992, including two U.S. Senate races.Democrats have reason for optimism after Biden's win, but his margin of victory was tiny — less than 13,000 votes of nearly 5 million cast — and it’s been 20 years since the state elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.But groups whose efforts tend to favour Democrats are charged. On Friday, representatives of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America went door to door in a neighbourhood just outside Atlanta encouraging people to vote for Ossoff and Warnock.“If we don't get those two seats in Congress, everything we did to flip Georgia blue is not going to help us,” Phyllis Morrow told a couple that pulled over in their car.The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia, which has more than 150,000 parishioners in the state, is asking members to call eligible voters in their congregations, encourage them to vote early and assist with rides if they need help getting to the polls on Jan. 5.Bishop Reginald T. Jackson said Black voters are excited and “realize the eyes of the nation are on Georgia.”"They know people are going to be looking to see whether or not Blacks turn out,” he said.The New Georgia Project, a group founded by Abrams, will try to register some of the estimated 35,000 people who have finished their felony sentences and can requalify to vote as well as some of the estimated 23,000 people who are turning 18 before the runoff, Executive Director Nse Ufot said.Ufot said the group also aims to knock on 1 million doors before the runoff, up from 500,000 before the general election, and is training volunteers to take coronavirus precautions.In Milton, Bess and Stracke were in friendly territory. The affluent, mostly white city about 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of Atlanta showed strong support for President Donald Trump in the November election. The neighbourhood they canvassed last week featured manicured lawns and spacious homes set back from the street.“Oh, you have no problem here,” Holly McCormick, 73, told Bess after he rang her doorbell. The flyers he carried warned that Georgia was the country’s “last line of defence from a socialist takeover.”McCormick called the outcome of the presidential race “rigged” though there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and she said Trump’s claims of illegal votes made her more energized to vote for Perdue and Loeffler in January.“We have to hold the Senate,” she said.___Associated Press writer Jeff Amy in Atlanta contributed to this report.Sudhin Thanawala, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Rogers Sportsnet is parting ways with veteran Toronto Blue Jays radio announcer Mike Wilner.The broadcaster announced the split on its Twitter feed Friday. A reason wasn't given for the decision.Sportsnet said Wilner had a "voice that became synonymous with Blue Jays baseball."Wilner, the Blue Jays' first Toronto-born play-by-play broadcaster, became the full-time radio announcer alongside Ben Wagner prior to the 2019 Major League Baseball season. He also called most of the games in 2018 following the retirement of longtime announcer Jerry Howarth.Prior to joining the broadcast booth full-time, he served as a backup announcer and hosted the "Blue Jays Talk" pre- and post-game shows starting in 2002.Wilmer said on a social media post that "his heart is broken," but added he is grateful for getting a chance to "live an absolute dream."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
The mother of homicide victim Preston Thomas made a rose to honour her son and said she plans to take the rose with her to every court appearance of the man charged with his murder. “This rose is a symbol of the justice I want for my son,” Lillian Thomas posted on social media. Joel Yuzicapi, 28, appeared in Saskatoon Provincial Court Nov. 17. He has been in custody since his arrest on Aug. 4 in the 200 block of Avenue S North. Police charged him with second-degree murder in connection to the death of 27-year-old Preston Thomas. According to Saskatoon Police, they were called to a hotel on Airport Drive at about 7:20 a.m. on Aug. 1 for a report of an injured man in one of the hotel rooms. When they arrived they found Thomas deceased. Police say the victim and accused were known to each other. Yuzicapi is scheduled to appear again in Saskatoon Provincial Court on Dec. 2 for case management. Saskatoon Police Major Crimes continues to investigate. If anyone has information they are asked to contact the Saskatoon Police at 306-975-8300 and to ask to speak with an investigator in Major Crimes or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. email@example.com Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / The Battlefords News-OptimistLisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
A Pembroke, Ont., woman who was found guilty of impaired driving causing death in 2015 has lost her dentist's licence for six months.According to the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, Christy Natsis will also be monitored for the next two and half years through office visits, pay $7,500 in costs to the college and receive an official reprimand.The college cited Natsis breaking the law and acting with "disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional or unethical conduct."Those allegations were uncontested, a spokesperson for the college said, and the hearing proceeded with an agreed statement of facts and a joint submission for the penalty.The college held a teleconference on Thursday and announced its decision.Natsis was found guilty in May 2015 — after a 55-day trial that stretched over three years — of impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death in the March 2011 crash that killed Bryan Casey.She was eventually sentenced to five years in prison, which she unsuccessfully appealed.
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Walt Disney Co. announced plans to lay off 4,000 more workers in its theme parks division in California and Florida due to the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on the industry.The announcement by the company was made in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing earlier this week, saying 32,000 employees will be terminated in the first half of fiscal year 2021, which began last month. In late September, the company had already announced plans to terminate 28,000 theme park workers.In the SEC document filed on the eve of Thanksgiving Day, the company said it also put 37,000 employees not scheduled for termination on furlough as a result of the pandemic.“Due to the current climate, including COVID-19 impacts, and changing environment in which we are operating, the company has generated efficiencies in its staffing, including limiting hiring to critical business roles, furloughs and reductions-in-force,” the document said.The company also said they may make more cuts in spending such as reducing film and television content investments and additional furloughs and layoffs.In Florida, the company has been limiting attendance at its parks and changing protocols to allow for social distancing by limiting characters' meet and greets.The company has not specified the number of workers that would be affected in its Orlando theme parks.Disney’s parks closed in March as the pandemic started spreading in the U.S. The Florida parks reopened in the summer, but the California parks have yet to reopen pending state and local government approvals.The Associated Press
REGINA — The Saskatchewan government has inked a $100-million cushion into its mid-year financial forecast for any pandemic-related revenue shortfalls as the province deals with a spike in infections. The Ministry of Finance says that buffer is on top of $160 million left in a $200-million contingency fund to cover expenses tied to COVID-19. About $40 million was spent helping school divisions prepare for the resumption of in-class learning in the fall. Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said Friday the total $260-million buffer will give the government spending room to pay for unexpected costs in the remaining months of the 2020-21 fiscal year. "We're going to be there for our health system, for whatever it takes, and there is no way to say what the magic number will be," she told a news conference. She said no decision has been made as to whether more will be spent to support businesses struggling because of restrictions brought in to try to stem the spread of COVID-19. "Those conversations are taking place as we speak. Right now the restrictions are on for three weeks. There will be an impact. How much of an impact ... nothing has been designed or decided." The Finance Ministry attributes a rise in revenue at its mid-year forecast to be in part from $443 million more from Ottawa to help the province deal with the pandemic. How much federal cash has been spent varies from program to program, said Harpauer. "We will be spending it and it will be allocated accordingly as the year unfolds." Opposition NDP economy and jobs critic Aleana Young said the government should make available $18 million in unspent money that was for small business emergency grants during the spring shutdown of non-essential services. "I'm curious, as a small-business owner, why that money was left on the table when we have heard and I do know how stressful this has been for small businesses across the province," she said. "But when you're sitting on $260 million in a pandemic, my question would be do they know something we don't know? Why are you keeping this money in reserve instead of spending it now, when it could actually do some good?" Young added that the holiday season isn't going to be business as usual for restaurateurs and retailers. The province is projecting revenue of $14.2 billion and expenses of $16.2 billion, leaving a deficit of $2 billion. The financial hole is slightly lower than what was forecast in August, before the October provincial election, and is down about $380 million from the spring budget. The update includes $133 million in Saskatchewan Party election promises. Premier Scott Moe campaigned on eliminating the deficit by 2024-25 without raising taxes or major spending cuts. The ministry is also projecting non-renewable resource revenues to be better than imagined in the spring. The West Texas Intermediate oil price is forecast to be US$38 per barrel, up from $30. The government highlighted how Saskatchewan's economy has done well throughout the pandemic compared with other provinces and emphasized that last month's provincial unemployment rate was the lowest in Canada. "Our recovery has been relatively strong," said Harpauer. However, she said she is concerned about what impact the spread of the virus will have on consumer confidence, as well as trade with other jurisdictions also battling the pandemic. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press
A man is in hospital with lower-body injuries after being trapped in a trench collapse at a construction site in East Vancouver late Thursday.Personnel from Vancouver Fire Rescue used a vacuum truck and spent three hours freeing the man, whose legs were buried in debris."It was very complicated," said Assistant Fire Chief Trevor Connelly."Our technical team was called so they could get down in the hole and render first aid. Then they had to free him by carefully removing the dirt from around his legs. He was eventually removed from the excavation by rope."Two other men who were working in the trench when it gave way around 11 p.m. PT managed to free themselves.The excavation is part of a construction project underway at Vanness Avenue and Joyce Street.
When Royal Newfoundland Constabulary investigators zeroed in on a house as they investigated the James Cody homicide this summer, they found more than $434,000 in cash.Soon after, the Mounties launched a money-laundering and proceeds of crime investigation focused on the owner of the house, Kurt Churchill.Those new details are in court documents filed by the federal Crown and RCMP at provincial court in St. John's.Last month, the Mounties asked a judge to give them permission to hold onto the cash and other potential evidence seized through search warrants in July.On Friday morning, that application was granted, with some minor changes.The money laundering investigation is ongoing, and no charges have been laid.Churchill's lawyer, Robby Ash, declined to comment.According to court filings, the RNC asked the RCMP to take over the proceeds of crime investigation related to the seizure of the money.When they searched 40 Craigmillar Ave. as part of the Cody homicide investigation, police found more than 14,000 $20 notes, nearly 2,000 $50 bills, almost 500 $100 notes, and a combined total of about 200 in $5s and $10s.In addition to the cash, police also seized a money counter, vacuum sealer, cling wrap, and 10 boxes of "seal a meal" storage bags."As a result of the search warrants and the seizure of the [proceeds of crime] and RNC items, in particular the currency seized by the RNC, cash receipts and financial documents, [the Federal Serious and Organized Crime unit] commenced the investigation into Churchill and the possible link between his drug trafficking activities and possession of [proceeds of crime] and money laundering," RCMP Cpl. Laura Purchase wrote in an affidavit.The court filings link the "drug trafficking" reference to Operation Battalion, which saw Churchill arrested and charged in 2014 for his alleged role in a high-level cocaine operation.In 2017, Churchill was acquitted of all charges after his lawyer filed an application over unfair trial delays. The Crown called no evidence.Churchill has no criminal record. He was recently found guilty of threatening a police officer last year, but received a conditional discharge.Lawyers for Churchill and the provincial Crown have been fighting in court over whether he should have to provide DNA to a national police databank as part of that sentence.Churchill won the latest round, and won't have to provide DNA while he appeals his guilty verdict in the uttering threats case. This week, the Crown appealed that DNA decision to the province's top court.Cody was found shot to death on the street near Churchill's Craigmillar Avenue home this July.No charges have been laid in relation to the homicide, and the RNC has not publicly named any suspects.Police have not confirmed what, if any, connection Churchill has to the case.Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is lashing out at people protesting COVID-19 lockdown measures outside his house. During his daily briefing, Ford called the protesters "buffoons" and asked them to respect his family and neighbours.
Paralympian and world champion Maude Jacques has announced her retirement from the Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball team.Jacques first cracked the national team lineup and helped Canada capture a gold medal on home soil at the 2014 IWBF Women’s World Championship in Toronto.She also represented Canada at the London Paralympic Games, and helped her team earn a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, which have been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The Sherbrooke, Que. native competed at the inaugural IWBF under-25 Women’s World Championship, which was held in St. Catharines, Ont. She was an all-star at the 2015 edition of the tournament in Beijing.“Sometimes tough decisions have to be made, and I knew retiring would never be easy because basketball has been a part of my identity for so long," Jacques said in a release. "But I leave the team with my head held high and I am proud of everything that I have accomplished. I wish Team Canada the best for Tokyo 2021.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is “profoundly disappointed” that 20 recordings of private meetings of the provincial emergency response team were leaked to the public. The recordings, made public by a CBC story published Thursday morning, paint a picture of Premier Jason Kenney and the provincial government overruling the expert advice of Hinshaw and civil servants and pushing an early relaunch strategy focused on the economy. “I have always felt my ideas are respectfully considered. I have always had respectful discussions with public servants and elected officials,” Hinshaw said to reporters on Thursday. “I do not dictate every detail of each policy decision and I should not. I was not elected by Albertans. The final decisions are up to elected officials who were chosen by Albertans. This is how democracy works." Alberta's top doctors said while the 20 meetings were leaked, they were taken out of the broader context of the meetings, and don’t show the meetings before and after the ones recorded as part of ongoing discussions to keep Albertans safe. The meetings were supposed to be private and a safe space, Hinshaw said, and leaking them is a violation of trust and the oath that public servants take. “The safety and trust are now broken,” Hinshaw said. Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro sang Hinshaw’s praises Thursday afternoon, calling her one of the finest chief medical officers of health in the country. Shandro said the CBC story violated Hinshaw’s confidence and embarrassed her. “I called Dr. Hinshaw this morning to say she has nothing to apologize for and she has my complete confidence,” Shandro said. In the past 24 hours, the province confirmed another 1,082 cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total of active cases up to 14,052. There are currently 383 people in the hospital including 84 people in intensive care. Ten more people have died from the virus, bringing the total amount of people who have died to 510. Yesterday, there were 15,900 tests done. Around 100,000 COVID-19 rapid testing kits will debut in the province in December. The COVID-19 testing capacity will allow for the identification and notification of positive cases in less than 20 minutes, which will speed up care and isolation, reducing the risk of further spread. The tests will be used on patients who are within the first seven days of showing symptoms, allowing health officials to quickly identify positive cases at testing sites, reducing the need for patient samples to be transported to centralized public laboratories for processing. To ensure the validity of the results, two swabs will be collected from each patient, and all negative tests from both systems will be subject to confirmation by the existing lab-based testing method. This is because a negative result is not as reliable as traditional testing and the test may miss some COVID-positive samples. Alberta’s health officials said they will use these pilots to determine how to streamline processes related to patient management, results notifications and digital record-keeping before the tests are deployed widely across the province. The province is looking at expanding the use of the tests where it can be of the greatest value to the public, such as at homeless shelters and long-term care facilities.Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette
DETROIT — The U.S. government's road safety agency is investigating complaints that suspensions can fail on nearly 115,000 Tesla electric vehicles.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 43 complaints that linkages near the ball joints can fail, allowing contact between the tire and wheel liner.The probe, announced Friday on the agency's website, covers 2015 through 2017 Model S sedans and 2016 through 2017 Model X SUVs.The agency says 32 owners complained of failures at low speeds, but 11 said the links failed on roads while travelling above 10 mph including four at highway speeds. It says the number of complaints is increasing as the vehicles age, with 32 in the last two years. Three of the highway complaints came in the last three months.In addition, NHTSA says it has eight complaints that may involve suspension failures that haven’t been confirmed by photos or service records.The agency said it has no reports of crashes or injuries.The agency says it will investigate how often the problem happens and the safety consequences. The probe could lead to a recall.A message was left early Friday seeking comment from Tesla.NHTSA says that in 2017, Tesla issued a service bulletin describing the failure and saying that drivers could still control the vehicles “but the tire may contact the wheel arch liner.” The bulletin says vehicles with the problems were built from Jan. 19, 2016 to May 25, 2016.But NHTSA said the complaints include 41 vehicles built before or after the range cited in the bulletin. Twenty-nine were built after the range ended.The Associated Press
L'Association québécoise des centres d'intervention en dépendance (AQCID) et Drogue : aide et référence (DAR) ont dévoilé, le 18 novembre, leur nouvelle plateforme Trouvetoncentre.com. Celle-ci propose une carte interactive et des filtres de recherche qui permettent de trouver aisément les centres de prévention, traitement, réduction des méfaits en dépendance et usage de substance, ainsi que les points de distribution de naloxone. À Laval, un total de neuf centres sont identifiés parmi les ressources disponibles. L'objectif des organismes est que la plateforme devienne un outil incontournable pour le réseau de la santé et des services sociaux, tout comme pour les citoyens. «Il est d’une grande importance pour Trouvetoncentre.com de bien se positionner sur le Web et dans le réseau pour rejoindre les individus qui ont besoin de services en dépendance et usage de substance, précise Vincent Marcoux, directeur général de l’AQCID, par voie de communiqué. En cette période d’insécurité, il est d’autant plus important d’outiller ces personnes fragilisées et stigmatisées, souvent aux prises avec des problématiques de santé mentale.» Par ailleurs, les intervenants de DAR seront les ressources à contacter par téléphone ou clavardage afin de répondre aux questions. Ceux-ci seront disponibles à tous les jours de la semaine.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
Deaths from illicit drugs in Prince George edged closer to record-setting proportions last month. The year-to-date total stood at 43 as of the end of October, according to a monthly update from the B.C. Coroners Service issued Wednesday and increase of five from the month before. The city appears on pace to surpass the record 51 deaths recorded in 2018. Four of the deaths last month involved drugs in which fentanyl was detected and raised that year-to-date total to 33. Forty-six such deaths were reported in 2018. Since the start of 2018, there have been 127 drug-related deaths in the city and the rate per 100,000 people stands at 44.8. Only Hope and Vancouver have higher rates. Across B.C., it was the fifth month this year for which more than 160 suspected illicit drug deaths were reported to the BCCS and more than double the number of people who died as a result of illicit drugs in October 2019. "We are continuing to see record-breaking numbers of people dying in B.C. due to an unsafe drug supply in our province, and it's taking a toll on families and communities in this dual health emergency," chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said in a statement. "Challenges during COVID-19, such as access to key harm-reduction services and the toxic drug supply, including the extreme concentration of illicit fentanyl, are resulting in continuing significant and tragic loss of life across the province. Our hearts go out to those grieving the loss of family members, friends and colleagues. "We encourage clinicians to support those at risk of overdose by prescribing safe supply and reducing the numbers of lives lost to toxic substances. We also continue to advocate for an accessible, evidence-based and accountable treatment and recovery system for anyone experiencing problematic substance use who is seeking this medical assistance."Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen
Alberta reported 1,227 new cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths Friday. That brings the number of active cases to a record 14,217. Today is the final day of in-school classes for junior and senior high students in Alberta, and the waiting has begun to see what impact the government's new measures will have, if any, on the COVID-19 outbreak in the province. For the next three weeks, Grade 7 to 12 classrooms will remain empty. Indoor social gatherings are banned, outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people and access to some businesses will be restricted, while masks will be mandatory at indoor workplaces in Edmonton and Calgary. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, asked Albertans Friday to cut back on their in-person interactions with others. "I want to be clear, for the next few weeks every one of us needs to dramatically reduce the amount of contact we have with people outside our own household," Hinshaw said at a news conference. "This weekend, I am asking all Albertans to embrace this challenge. "The decisions each of us make this weekend will help determine whether cases fall or rise in the weeks ahead. So please be wise, be safe and let's all look out for each other." Province to enforce restrictions As the province moves forward with the new restrictions, Hinshaw asked Albertans to cooperate with health-care workers, business people and anyone else enforcing the rules. "I know that the restrictions currently placed on all of us are difficult, but they are not the fault of law enforcement or inspectors who are simply trying to enforce what is in place and to help stop the spread," she said. "I urge Albertans to exercise patience and kindness in the days ahead. If a line is a bit longer than usual or an employee asks you to follow a new policy that is in place, please do not take your frustrations out on these workers. "These new restrictions and measures create extra work and pressures for staff, owners and operators." Kaycee Madu, Alberta's minister of justice and solicitor general, said the province is ready to enforce the new rules. "My expectation is that those who are in violation of the measures that we have put in place would have to be held accountable," Madu said at the news conference. "I think you are going to see a heightened level of enforcement in those cases where there are individuals who are blatantly not compliant with the health measures." Up to 700 additional peace officers will help police and other law enforcement officers administer the new rules, Madu said. 10-day wait Hinshaw says it will be 10 to 14 days before we see if the new measures can dent surging COVID-19 case numbers. Until then, the numbers seem destined to soar as they have through November. On Thursday, the number of active cases in Alberta broke 14,000 while the number of dead broke 500. Public health critics and the most vocal of the province's doctors fear the government waited too long to act. They point to the number of people in hospital and in ICU, which Hinshaw herself sees as key metrics in the battle. Almost everyday those numbers set new records. On Friday, there were 405 people in hospital, 86 of them in ICU. Critics also claim the restrictions do not go far enough, saying if we have to wait 10 days to know for sure, it may be too late to get the disease under control. The active cases in Alberta breaks down among regions as: Edmonton zone: 6,614 cases Calgary zone: 5,164 cases Central zone: 950 cases North zone: 769 cases South zone: 634 cases Unknown: 86 cases The new deaths bring the total to 519. They include: A man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Rosealta Lodge in the Central zone. He died Nov. 16. A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at the Manor Village Varsity in the Calgary zone. She died Nov. 17. A man in his 60s in the South zone who died Tuesday. A woman in her 80s in the Edmonton zone who died Tuesday. A man in his 70s linked to the outbreak at Laurel Heights Retirement Residence in the Edmonton zone. He died Wednesday. A woman in her 90s in the Edmonton zone who died Wednesday. A woman in her 70s in the South zone who died Thursday. A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at Extendicare Eaux Claires in the Edmonton zone. She died Thursday. A man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Revera Bow-Crest in the Calgary zone. He died Thursday.
LONDON, Ont. — An outbreak that prompted a London, Ont., hospital to stop new admissions at its medical wards has expanded to some of its surgical units.Middlesex-London Health Unit has ordered a pause to all visitations at University Hospital.Only visitors for dying patients are allowed.London Health Sciences Centre did not say whether the newly affected surgical units will remain open.The health network had said that new medical patients at University Hospital will be transferred to Victoria Hospital.As of Thursday, there were two deaths, 21 patients, 23 staff cases linked to the outbreak.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.The Canadian Press
CALGARY — The Calgary Zoo says two giant pandas are on their way home to China today. The zoo said in May that it would be sending the pair back early because the COVID-19 pandemic was making it difficult to source bamboo.The plant makes up 99 per cent of the animals' diet and the zoo has said it was an expensive and all-consuming effort to cobble together supplies from across North America.The zoo says on Twitter it was a difficult decision to send the pandas home three years earlier than planned. It says it took months of hard work to secure international permits to get the pandas home. The zoo posted photos of reams of paperwork needed for the journey, the crates that were to carry the pandas and the Lufthansa Cargo plane that was to take them to China. The two adults, Er Shun and Da Mao, were on loan from China to Canadian zoos as part of a 10-year deal signed in 2012. They were to stay in Calgary until 2023.Two cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, were born in Toronto in 2015. They were sent to China as planned in January. The price tag to have the pandas in Calgary was around $30 million, including $14.4 million for the Panda Passage exhibit itself. Expanded parking lots, washrooms and restaurants were also required to accommodate an expected influx of visitors. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
THUNDER BAY — A Thunder Bay man accused of an armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver in late August appeared in court this week to plead guilty to several, unrelated charges connected to fraud from earlier this year. Colton Herneshuhta, 21, pleaded guilty to a total of 13 charges relating to fraud, forgery, a break and enter and breaching probation orders on Thursday, Nov. 26 in a Thunder Bay Zoom courtroom. Court heard several instances where Herneshuhta used fake cheques to defraud several agencies in the city from January to April. On Jan. 6, Herneshuhta attended a loan agency business on Red River Road and presented a forged cheque for $1,139. A few days later, the business learned the cheque was fraudulent and alerted police who identified Herneshuhta as the person who cashed the cheque. He was also on probation at the time. On Jan. 9, Herneshuhta again used more fake cheques at two different businesses on Red River Road totalling $900. In a different case, another complainant gave Herneshuhta her debit card and pin number after he lied about why he needed it, according to Herneshuhta lawyer's George Joseph. “Mr. Herneshuhta made attempts to withdraw money that were outside the perimeters of the representation he made to (the complainant),” Joseph said. He initially attempted to withdraw $1,499, but was only able to take out $500, court heard. In April, Herneshuhta used a fake cheque of $850 to defraud the Children’s Aid Society. A few months later in August, Herneshuhta was identified as a suspect of a break and enter at a business on Victoria Street on Aug. 2. The Crown stated there was no estimate provided by the business of the damage caused or items stolen. Joseph told the court his client has struggled with a cocaine addiction for 10 years which has fuelled his criminal behaviour. Since being in custody, Herneshuhta has remained sober and has been working on his education as well as taking advantage of programs while in custody, Joseph said. Herneshuhta was sentenced to a joint submission of six months in custody, less pre-sentence custody. Crown counsel Piera Pasloski said Herneshuhta’s criminal record is limited and acknowledged his addiction which has been driving his criminal behaviour. “Mr. Joseph shared with me at the counsel pre-trial that Mr. Herneshuhta has had an extremely hard-wired addiction problem since age 11,” she said. “The hope is he will get himself the treatment he needs once he is released and that this behaviour will cease.” Herneshuhta was given credit at an enhanced rate for the time he has spent in pre-sentence custody of 136 days. He has 44 days left to serve going forward. After his custodial sentence, he will be placed on probation. Part of his probation conditions include participating in any assessments for counselling and substance addictions as well as completing any treatment programs if he is directed by probation. He is also not to contact any of the complainants or enter the businesses he defrauded. He will have 12 months to pay a victim surcharge fine for each of the 13 counts. Herneshuhta was not ordered to pay a restitution order. Herneshuhta also has outstanding charged connected to an alleged armed robbery from Aug. 24 of a pizza delivery driver. He is scheduled to return to court for these matters in early December.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean will be one of the first regions in the province to get rapid COVID-19 tests, as part of new efforts to get the coronavirus under control in the hard-hit region.Dr. Horacio Arruda, the province's public health director, said Friday he expects the tests to be available by the middle of December.Like other provinces, Quebec has been slow to deploy rapid tests as it figures out how to best use them.Arruda described them as another "tool" in the fight against the pandemic."They must be used in the right way," he said at a news conference in Saguenay, explaining that rapid tests could be used to do a screening of the broader population.Arruda said the situation in Saguenay is "very fragile," but said "there is hope." He once again urged the public to follow the guidelines: hand-washing, distancing and limiting contacts."Please count the number of people you have had contact with in a day, and reduce that number."The tone of the news conference was slightly more upbeat than a week earlier, when local health officials warned the situation was nearing a tipping point.The number of new cases has hovered between 100 and 200 a day, below some of the daily counts seen last week.Andrée Laforest, Quebec's minister responsible for the region, who was also at the news conference, said the situation appears to be improving but that the health network is still strained. Nurses and doctors have sounded the alarm that the pandemic has made staffing difficult in the region, particularly in Chicoutimi.
Caesars Windsor says it will temporarily close on Monday.The closure of the casino comes as Windsor-Essex moves into the red or "control" level of Ontario's COVID-19 response framework Monday. Under the level, casinos and other gaming establishments are permitted a maximum of 10 patrons indoors and table games are prohibited, among other measures. The current maximum patrons permitted inside is 50.In a statement to CBC News, Susanne Tomkins, Caesars Windsor manager of public relations and communications, said the closure is a result of the upcoming new restrictions."As a result of the provincial restrictions under the Red Control Level, Caesars Windsor will temporarily close on Monday, November 30 at 12:01 a.m." she said. "The safety of our guests, team members and community is our top priority and as such we continue to follow the recommendation of provincial and local public health unit."On Oct. 8, the casino reopened for the first time since the pandemic began in March — but only for select members.The casino employs around 2,000 people in the region."There will be some temporary layoffs as a result of moving to Red Control Level however we don't comment on specific employee levels," Tomkins said.