Republican Sen. John Kennedy says some of his Democratic colleagues believe Amy Coney Barrett is lying about being impartial and not letting her personal beliefs influence her decisions.
Republican Sen. John Kennedy says some of his Democratic colleagues believe Amy Coney Barrett is lying about being impartial and not letting her personal beliefs influence her decisions.
A historic meeting between Israel's prime minister and Saudi Arabia's crown prince has sent a strong signal to allies and enemies alike that the two countries remain deeply committed to containing their common foe Iran. Last Sunday's covert meeting in the Saudi city of Neom, confirmed by Israeli officials but publicly denied by Riyadh, conveyed a coordinated message to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden that Washington's main allies in the region are closing ranks. It was the first publicly confirmed visit to Saudi Arabia by an Israeli leader and a meeting that was unthinkable until recently as the two countries do not have formal diplomatic relations.
An Ottawa-based retailer of lab equipment says global demand for ultra-cold freezers needed to store one of the COVID-19 vaccine contenders could mean Canada won't get access to the specialized equipment until well into 2021.Molly Stopford, director of sales for Canadawide Scientific, said the company has already placed hundreds of orders for the special freezers on behalf of its government and private-sector customers, but expects hundreds more if Health Canada approves the Pfizer vaccine."There is a decent supply across the country, but that would be for normal usage, so as [demand] increases there's going to be back order issues," she said.> If it were just Canada looking for them then it probably wouldn't be a problem, but we also are competing with the U.S. and Europe and Asia. \- Molly Stopford, Canadawide ScientificPfizer's RNA vaccine, which the company says may be available in the United States next month, requires temperatures as low as –70 C for proper storage. The AstraZeneca vaccine, another promising contender, can be stored between 2 C and 8 C, while the Moderna vaccine can be stored in a regular freezer for up to 30 days.The Trudeau government said Canada could begin to receive COVID-19 vaccines by January, pending approval.But as vaccine development speeds ahead, Stopford said freezer manufacturers are already warning customers to expect delays."You're pretty much past the deadline if you're looking for ... multi-unit orders [this year]," she said.Typical shipping time is 3 monthsNormally, it takes about three months to ship a container of 40 ultra-cold freezers from Asia to Canada. But with global demand, Stopford expects that wait to increase."If it were just Canada looking for them then it probably wouldn't be a problem, but we also are competing with the U.S. and Europe and Asia," she said.Governments at all levels in Canada have approached Stopford's company to either buy freezers or inquire about pricing, she said. Hundreds of orders have already been placed, including orders for smaller units that could be used in a hospital or pharmacy. Last week, a spokesperson for Public Services and Procurement Canada said it's already ordered 26 –80 C freezers and 100 –20 C units. Overall, the federal government has secured freezer capacity for approximately 33.5 million ultra-frozen (–80 C) and frozen (–20 C) vaccines.The vaccines that require ultra-low temperatures can be shipped long distances on dry ice, said Stopford.Ontario said the province is relying on its vaccine distribution task force to make recommendations on specific storage requirements, while Ottawa Public Health said it will take cues from the province on vaccine distribution and storage, but added it believes the city is "months away" from a vaccine campaign. Typical ultra-low freezers that can store about 20,000 vaccine doses, are about the size of a large kitchen fridge and are typically sold for between $8,000 to $20,000, said Stopford.
Indigenous leaders have secured an allotment of funding to clean up old oil and gas wells on First Nation and Métis land in Alberta, after more than half a year of lobbying, including several meetings with the premier and energy minister.The provincial government has agreed to set aside a total of $100 million for reclamation work, which is the amount the Indian Resource Council (IRC) had originally requested in the spring.The funding comes from the federal government, which announced in the spring it would provide $1.5 billion to clean up aging oil and gas infrastructure in Western Canada. The funding was meant to stimulate the oilfield service sector while reducing the environmental risk from the old wells.Indigenous leaders were concerned none of the cash would be spent cleaning up their land, so they asked for a portion of the funds to be set aside by the provincial governments, which are in charge of dispersing the federal money.Initially, the Alberta government balked at the request, although it was open to working with Indigenous leaders. Now, Indigenous leaders are hopeful this could set a precedent for similar large funding programs."It was really gratifying to see that this provincial government is prepared to work with the First Nation communities here in Alberta," said Stephen Buffalo, president of the IRC, which represents more than 100 First Nations with oil and gas reserves."It sure took some time, but we just kept giving them a reason not to say no. To me, it just made a lot of sense."The federal money was divided between B.C. ($120 million), Alberta ($1 billion) and Saskatchewan ($400 million).The IRC was requesting that each province allocate 10 per cent of the federal money it receives to First Nations, which would represent about $150 million in total. In Alberta, $85 million will be set aside for reclamation work on First Nations land and $15 million toward Métis land. Local communities will have control over which oil and gas sites are cleaned up."Absolutely. They're in the best position to understand what's on their land and which are the priority wells," said Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage.Savage said the money will be dispersed during a specific phase of the program that will exclusively apply to First Nations and Métis lands.In Saskatchewan, Indigenous-owned service companies have received $1.5 million through 10 different projects, while $3.4 million in contracts have been issued for work on First Nations, according to Robin Speer, spokesperson for the energy department."Discussions continue with First Nations and Métis communities and leaders to ensure that there is meaningful Indigenous participation in the Accelerated Site Closure Program," said Speer, in an emailed statement.WATCH | Stephen Buffalo on the opportunity to clean up inactive wells:The B.C. government could not provide comment on Thursday. Previously, officials had signalled a willingness to set aside funding specifically for First Nations.
If you're venturing into the world of Black Friday sales — whether online or in-store — the owner of one e-commerce business in Port aux Basques says there are some things to be on the lookout for, as some deals aren't all they appear to be.Jay Mathur says some retailers use limited quantity or 'buy now' campaigns to keep people's shopping impulse high.Some products, such as televisions, even have specific models that are rolled out during Black Friday events, he said, but may have less functions than other models. He said most lower-end models, specifically in televisions, will be the ones on sale with dramatic price reductions. "Those TV models are actually very limited. They have a limited number of [outputs]. Maybe they'll only have one HDMI port, no ethernet port, it won't have any smart features, the processor may be very slow, it may not have a lot of memory," Mathur told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show."So the door-buster model that you're actually buying, it may actually be one of the worst TVs for sale."Mathur said looking at the fine print on products, especially in electronics, will tell shoppers everything they need to know, and people should balance that against the "non-holiday" model.Most products sold online will have a reviews section, written by happy or disappointed shoppers which should be used to help in decision making, according to Marthur.But it's important to remember that some product reviews are compensated, he said, meaning the company paid for the review. "That doesn't mean that it's fake, it just means that the retailer provided the product for free or maybe gave some additional incentive, but consider maybe the reviews you're reading may not all be 100 per cent factual," he said. American tradition comes to CanadaBlack Friday means deep price cuts for shoppers looking to save a little extra on holiday gifts for friends and family as December draws nearer. The annual savings event that has become a staple across the United States has quickly become a save-the-date for many Canadian consumers' calendars.Tom Cooper, an associate professor in the Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University, said the event became popular first within border provinces who would make the journey to the United States to save on gifts, well before the boom in online shopping. "Now it's almost become part of the culture whereby people start to prepare their Christmas shopping and start to think about, 'Is this a good time to go out, is this a good time to get the best deals of the season?'" Cooper told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show. Cooper said the event has eclipsed Boxing Day sales events, in which companies are pivoting to have their stock out ahead of Christmas rather than after. Now in the middle of a pandemic, and the current state of COVID-19 surges in pockets across Canada, Cooper said he believes most shoppers will now hold out until Cyber Monday — a similar concept to Black Friday but with a focus on online shopping. Shopping localCooper said he would like to see a local Saturday event rather than Black Friday, where people flock to their local retail stores to buy gifts. For small businesses, especially after a year in which many have closed and many more have struggled due to the pandemic, Cooper said the holiday season is going to be important for them."The benefits stay in the community, the benefits stay locally, both in terms of jobs but also in terms of making this a better place to live," he said. "Although chains are great, and I'll still continue to shop at Sportchek and all those other great chains that provide really good products that you can't necessarily get locally, if there is a choice then I think, once again, this is a great time to help local retailers," he said.Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Some property management companies in Windsor-Essex advertise rental properties by marketing them specifically to students even though the Ontario Human Rights Commission makes clear that language which shows a landlord's preference for some people over others should not be used in a rental advertisement.Danielle Gilliard spent months trying to find a place to rent, calling the search "frustrating." She found herself scrolling through multiple rental advertisements, including ones by property management companies.She says if those companies were to stop allowing student-preferential language to be posted in rental advertisements, it may influence individual landlords from doing the same — eliminating any hesitancy that non-students may have from renting out whatever home or unit they like."It discourages you because you're looking for a home for your family — and these people are looking for students."The mother of four said that on multiple occasions, she would be discouraged from applying to rent certain properties since many of them contained language like "great for students.""It makes you feel almost belittled in a way," said Gilliard, who receives government assistance. "I've been denied because I'm not a student and I'm thinking — I have a guaranteed income every month."The Ontario Human Rights Commission states that indicating a rental unit as being "great" or "perfect for students" is the wrong way of writing a rental advertisement since this wording suggests that "the landlord prefers some people over others.,"There's a bit of a grey area and the issue is more about what happens after the advertisement. Students aren't listed as a ground under the Ontario human rights code, meaning that distinguishing between students and non-students in a rental advertisement isn't directly prohibited by the code as long as no subsequent discrimination takes place.But problems can lie with the wording of the ad itself. That's according to Matthew Horner, a senior lawyer with the Ontario Human Rights Commission, who says marketing rentals to students can be deemed "contrary to the code" if a family — or other code-protected groups — can demonstrate they have been pushed out of the opportunity to rent a desired unit."If it turns out that you don't rent to families, you don't rent potentially to racialized people, you don't rent to anybody with a disability, then that would raise the concern of ... [the] seemingly-neutral rule of renting to students, in fact, having an effect on on other code-protected groups."Moreover, if a rental advertisement indicates an "intention to only rent to students," the party responsible for posting the ad runs the risk of having a claim to the human rights tribunal brought against them."[They could] argue that what you are effectively doing is excluding other groups ... and thereby discriminating against them," he said.Company pegs student-preferential language on 'transparency'CBC News reached out to three property management companies in Windsor operating websites which contain student-preferential rental advertisements. Property Hunters refused to comment and Maximum Property Solutions did not respond to email requests.Marda Management, however, did agree to speak with CBC News. When asked if she's aware that the use of student-preferential language in rental advertisements is discouraged by the human rights commission, company CEO Marla Coffin said "we welcome 100 per cent of clientele in 100 per cent of our units.""We absolutely do not discriminate and we are grateful and welcome any and all clientele across the board to all of our units, because our number one goal is to find a great home for each and every individual that looks to live within our system while simultaneously working diligently to achieve the goals of our property owners, which is to avoid vacancies," she said.Coffin pointed to "transparency" regarding the presence of ads for "student rentals" and "student rooms" on Marda Management's website, adding it's all about "being honest and open about the clientele" with whom renters may share space."We do try to be clear with people about what an ideal clientele can be," said Coffin, adding rentals that are advertised as "great for students" don't necessarily mean that they're "only for students."Coffin said she has not received feedback to suggest that non-students have been discouraged about inquiring about a house on Marda's website that's been marketed to students.She added her company would never deny housing to a non-student who could afford to rent a room or home — even if an advertisement indicated preference toward students.Gilliard says whenever she came across a home described as a "student rental," it usually meant there was no way her family would be able to occupy it. She recalled one instance when she attended a home to inquire about renting it only to find out that the bottom floor was already being occupied by students.> It discourages you because you're looking for a home for your family — and these people are looking for students." \- Danielle Gilliard Gilliard finally secured a place to rent after eight months of searching.
This column is an opinion from political scientists Duane Bratt, of Mount Royal University, and Lisa Young, of the University of Calgary.Jason Kenney is a shrewd and experienced politician.He has years of experience as a cabinet minister in Stephen Harper's government, and was instrumental in helping Harper win a majority in 2011. Returning to Alberta politics, he successfully merged the Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties and won a resounding victory in the 2019 provincial election.And yet, in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, he and his government are floundering.Alberta has the largest absolute number of COVID cases in Canada, despite having the fourth largest population. For 10 days in mid-November, Kenney did not appear in public despite rapidly increasing case counts, hospitalizations and deaths.Eight months into the pandemic, his cabinet had to meet for eight hours to devise responses that many dismissed as inadequate. And most recently, a public servant has taken the unusual move of leaking information to journalists to highlight the growing divide between the Kenney government and its chief medical officer of health. Opinion polling shows that the Kenney government is paying a price for its handling of the pandemic.Even in the early days of COVID-19, it was noticeable that the Kenney government missed out on the "COVID bump" that most other political leaders enjoyed. This was despite the fact that, in many ways, the Alberta government had responded effectively to the first wave.But unlike other provincial governments, Kenney and his cabinet were engaged in a very public fight with doctors at a time when the public was banging pots and pans in appreciation of front-line workers.Not taking a lesson from this, the government engaged in a broader dispute with health-care workers through the fall, and its poll numbers continued to drop.A slide in public supportLast week, Leger reported that only 37 per cent of Albertans believed that their provincial government was handling COVID-19 well; the lowest, by far, of any province. Then, ThinkHQ reported that 81 per cent of Albertans would support a province-wide mask mandate.It is unlikely that the measures announced on Nov. 24 will reverse, or even halt, this slide in public support.How did a skilled politician like Kenney end up in this situation? We offer a few hypotheses. First, Kenney is almost certainly concerned about an electoral split on the right. Public opinion on appropriate responses to COVID is split along partisan lines, with those further to the right more resistant to mandatory measures.Common Ground Politics survey research conducted in Alberta in August found that UCP voters were more likely than others to think that the reopening was too slow. A national survey conducted by Vox Pop found that Conservative voters were less likely to wear masks.WATCH | Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announces new COVID-19 restrictions for AlbertaIn his comments on Tuesday, the premier focused a great deal of attention on acknowledging the concerns of those on the right, who argue that restrictions are unconstitutional, for example. The Alberta separatist (or "Wexit") movement has gained momentum since the 2019 federal election and Justin Trudeau's re-election.With his experience merging conservative parties at both the federal and provincial level, the premier is presumably concerned about vote splitting on the right. By appeasing conservatives, especially in rural Alberta, Kenney is consolidating his base.With 41 of the 87 seats in the Alberta legislature outside of Edmonton and Calgary, consolidating that base makes electoral sense.The restrictions that were announced on Tuesday, and the exemptions that were offered, lend support to this hypothesis.Certainly, the decision to extend mask mandates only in Calgary and Edmonton (where they were already required through municipal bylaws) speaks to a desire to please conservative rural voters.Similarly, the decision to permit in-person religious services to continue while junior high and high schools had to close speaks to a desire to keep voters in conservative-leaning faith communities onside. Response informed by ideologySecond, Kenney and many of his close advisors are strong partisans prone to demonizing their political opponents.Although Alberta has elected conservative governments for decades, we have to go back to the Social Credit governments of the 1950s and 1960s to find a more ideologically conservative government than the current UCP. Although Ralph Klein's government was driven by fiscal conservatism in its early years, its policies moderated in later years. The Kenney government's strong ideological conservatism has informed its pandemic response, particularly since the end of the spring lockdown.The government's approach has been to emphasize personal responsibility rather than implementing restrictions.Citing the economic cost of the lockdown, Kenney has repeatedly minimized the toll of the pandemic while emphasizing the negative consequences of restrictions on the economy broadly, and small business in particular.This helps to explain why restaurants, bars, casinos, movie theatres and gyms are permitted to remain open, although with some further restrictions.While other conservative provincial governments — notably Ontario and Manitoba — are placing greater restrictions on retail, Alberta is not. WATCH | University of Alberta's Tim Caulfield says the province needs a transparent approach to pandemic policyThird, having been elected on a mandate of "jobs, economy, pipelines," the Kenney government remains focused on economic performance.Its promise of balanced budgets are, of course, no longer feasible, but the government remains deeply concerned about the province's balance sheet. This helps to explain the decision to push forward on cost savings in the public sector — including health-care — during the pandemic, as well as decisions that prioritize the economy. These three explanations — electoral considerations, ideology, and a focus on the economy — have resulted in a pandemic response that looks weak when compared to other provinces.This is a moment that tests political leaders, requiring them to set aside political considerations in favour of the public good. Lives are at stake.As the death toll continues to rise, the government's tepid response will come under greater public scrutiny, and the political calculations that have informed it will appear increasingly out of touch.If the Kenney government is unable to adjust to these new realities, it may pay a steep political price in 2023, as the electorate holds it accountable for both the economic and human cost of the pandemic.This column is an opinion. For more information about our commentary section, please read our FAQ.
In September, scientists announced they had found a chemical signature in the clouds of Venus that they said could be associated with life. However, in a new follow-up, pre-print study, the authors announced that the level of the chemical is seven times lower than they had initially reported.In the original paper, published in the journal Nature Astronomy, the researchers claimed they had found high traces of phosphine, a toxic chemical known as PH3. On Earth, phosphine is either produced by organisms that don't require oxygen to survive, or it can be created in laboratories.In a reanalysis of the data, which has not been peer-reviewed, the study's authors now say there may be less phosphine than initially reported, but that doesn't entirely rule out a phosphine detection. They also reported that they are detecting variations of phosphine over time. So does that mean there's no chance of life in the clouds of Venus?"No, not at all," said Jane Greaves, lead author of both studies and a professor at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, in an email. "The discovery of time-variation is particularly exciting, as other things change too over time (like how much water is seen in the clouds)." WATCH | Scientists discuss their original finding of phosphine in the clouds of VenusVenus, roughly the same size as Earth, is often called our sister planet. It's believed to have had oceans billions of years ago. But today, it's considered inhospitable to life. The cloud-covered planet is the hottest in the solar system with temperatures hot enough to melt lead and a crushing carbon dioxide environment. Over the past few decades, some astronomers hypothesized that life could exist in a narrow region of the clouds, between 48 and 60 kilometres above the surface. That's where the phosphine was detected, which is why the study's findings were so exciting to some.However, there has been increasing skepticism about the September study. Several papers were published in response questioning not only the conclusions that the astronomers reached, but also the data itself.Questions aboundThe initial observations were taken by the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii in 2017 and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile in 2019. The high concentrations of phosphine detected with these telescopes, the researchers said, could not be accounted for by natural sources such as volcanoes, lightning or meteors burning up in Venus's atmosphere. The only thing left on the table, they said, was biological production. The study's authors knew there was "noise" in the data obtained from ALMA, perhaps from Earth's own atmosphere, but said they had ruled it out.A follow-up look at the telescopes at ALMA revealed some calibration errors that did explain some of the noise, which led other astronomers to further question the findings. One independent study suggested that instead of phosphine, the observations might have been detecting sulphur dioxide (SO2), a gas that is abundant in the planet's atmosphere.Another study, led by Therese Encrenaz, an astronomer at l'Observatoire Paris-Site de Meudon, looked at infrared data collected in 2015, where no phosphine was detected. The authors conclude that if phosphine does exist at all, it would be found in the upper atmosphere of Venus — above both where it was detected and that narrow region where life has been hypothesized.Even with the reanalysis by Greaves, Encrenaz doesn't believe the phosphine is produced biologically."Even if phosphine was present, they had no proof at all that there is life behind it, because they have no scenario to explain how microorganisms could form," Encrenaz said. "It's just an idea because they don't know how to explain it with regular processes.… I was a bit disappointed when I read their paper, because they should not have said so."Interactive | Click, drag and zoom to see Venus in 3DHowever, in another paper published in September on the pre-print server arXiv, researchers reanalyzing data collected by the Pioneer-Venus probe from the 1970s found the "data support[s] the presence of phosphine; although, the origins of phosphine remain unknown."David Grinspoon, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, said he welcomes the follow-up studies. Grinspoon was not involved in any of the studies but has been vocal in his support for the potential of life in the clouds of Venus."Whenever a new result is reported, especially one with potentially great significance, made with a difficult technique, it must be scrutinized and followed up with further observations and analysis," he said. "This is how science works."But he doesn't rule out the possibility that life could still exist in the clouds of Venus."If the phosphine goes away it certainly doesn't change my view of the possibility of life there, or really rule anything out. Why would the lack of an unlikely biosignature in an environment where it was never expected or predicted rule out life in a place? The logic does not make sense," Grinspoon said. "What we know about the clouds of Venus suggests that it is a possible habitat that should be explored further."So the jury is still out on whether or not the phosphine detection could be an indication of life, but astronomers hope that future observations — or a mission to the planet itself — could provide a better answer."We need new missions to Venus to directly probe the atmosphere with modern instruments," Grinspoon said. "No 21st century mission has ever directly studied the atmosphere of Venus."
Recent developments: * The Belleville, Ont.,-area health unit moves from green to yellow on Monday.What's the latest?Ottawa has had 55 more people test positive for COVID-19.One more death was also recorded on Friday, bringing the city's toll to 373. Across the river in western Quebec, officials reported 36 new cases and one more death.The Hastings Prince Edward Public Health region is moving from green to yellow as of Monday. It's had more residents test positive this month than any other.How many cases are there?As of Friday, 8,333 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa. There are 293 known active cases, 7,667 cases now considered resolved and 373 people who have died of COVID-19.Public health officials have reported more than 13,600 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 12,300 resolved cases.Ninety people have died of COVID-19 elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 79 in western Quebec. CBC Ottawa is profiling those who've died of COVID-19. If you'd like to share your loved one's story, please get in touch. 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, to slow the spread of the coronavirus.Ontario says this will apply through December's holidays, with people who live away from home such as post-secondary students asked to reduce close contacts for 10 to 14 days before going back.Quebec has shared what it will take to have at most two small holiday gatherings next month. Rules won't be loosened until mid-January at the earliest.Travel from one region to another discouraged throughout the Outaouais.Ontario says people shouldn't travel to a lower-level region from a higher one and some lower-level health units want residents to stay put to curb the spread.Ottawa is currently in the orange zone of the provincial pandemic scale, which allows organized gatherings and restaurants, gyms and theatres to bring people inside.Ottawa's medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches has said Ottawa's situation is stable and people should focus on managing risks and taking precautions, such as seeing a few friends outside at a distance, to bring the spread down further.Communities in the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) and Eastern Ontario health units are yellow. The Belleville area will join them on Monday.That means restaurant hours, capacity and table limits and other rules that are between orange Ottawa and the rest of eastern Ontario, which is green, the lowest level.In Gatineau and the surrounding area, which is one of Quebec's red zones, health officials are asking residents not to leave home unless it's essential.There is no indoor dining at restaurants and gyms, cinemas and performing arts venues are all closed.The rest of western Quebec is orange, which allows private gatherings of up to six people and organized ones up to 25 — more in seated venues.What about schools?There have been about 200 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.Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air.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.Ontario has abandoned its concept of social circles.Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and should be worn outdoors when people can't distance from others. Three-layer non-medical masks with a filter are recommended.Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who've been ordered to do so by their local public health unit. The duration depends on the circumstances in both Ontario and Quebec.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:Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you've been told to by your health unit or the province.People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select pharmacies.Ottawa has nine permanent test sites, with mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.Kingston's test site is at the Beechgrove Complex. The area's other site is in Napanee.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 and a mobile test site visiting smaller communities.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.In western Quebec:Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.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 had its most known COVID-19 cases of the pandemic this month, with 22 and counting in its Ontario portion and more on the American side of the border. Its council is asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel.Akwesasne schools and its Tsi Snaihne Child Care Centre are temporarily closed to in-person learning. It has a 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.The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte reported its first confirmed case this month.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.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.For more information
The Nunatsiavut government will be holding a by-election after an ordinary member of the Nunatsiavut Assembly had his Inuit land claims beneficiary membership revoked.Edward Blake Rudkowski has been a beneficiary since 1986, first as a member of the Labrador Inuit Association before the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act was passed in 2005. He was also Speaker of the Nunatsiavut Assembly.He said he was advised by Nunatsiavut officials that because he was removed from the Labrador Inuit Enrolment Register, he could no longer hold his seat in government."I feel no differently about myself this morning than I did this time last week," Blake Rudkowski told CBC's Labrador Morning. "I don't feel any less Inuit, any less Indigenous."According to a press release from Nunatsiavut, the decision to revoke his membership was due to a review. > My grandparents would be upset beyond belief to see this sort of thing going on. \- Edward Blake RudkowskiBlake Rudkowksi said the day after he won the 2018 election, a losing candidate went to the Office of the Registrar of Beneficiaries and asked for a review of his membership, which under the land claims agreement is allowed. But he said after 34 years as a beneficiary, the timing seems odd. "When we are living in an era with so many concrete issues to deal with, when we have so many people dealing with homelessness and addiction and food insecurity … people turning upon their own and people fighting among themselves … is unimaginably counter-productive," he said. 'Blood quantum' too lowBlake Rudkowski said he was told he only had 17.14 per cent Inuit blood quantum. According to the land claims agreement, a member needs to have 25 per cent. "I couldn't begin to hazard a guess at how someone comes up with a number of 17 per cent," said Blake Rudkowski.The government said it plays no role in determining the membership of any individuals, as the beneficiary enrolment process is independent from Nunatsiavut.However, Nunatsiavut said there are other ways to become a beneficiary other than hitting a genetic benchmark for Inuit heritage. An individual can either apply as an Inuk or they can enrol as a person with 25 per cent Inuit descent, although it is unclear as to how the membership committee arrives at a percentage.CBC News has left messages with the beneficiaries registrar for clarification on Blake Rudkowski's situation. There also is a method that allows an individual to apply for a membership if they have settled on the land and follow the customs and traditions. "There's quite a few opportunities for an individual to highlight how they have connection to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement," said Nunatsiavut First Minister Tyler Edmunds."The process tries to demonstrate and test how an individual is connected."Edmunds said there also is an appeal process that can be taken if an applicant is unsuccessful in obtaining a membership and has further proof of their Indigenous heritage.Future unclearBlake Rudkowksi said he is undecided whether he will appeal, and doesn't yet know what his future holds. "What the next steps are is still unclear. I truly have not decided on where to go with this at this point," Blake Rudkowksi said."My grandparents would be upset beyond belief to see this sort of thing going on."Edmunds said he wanted to thank Blake Rudkowski for the work he has done for the beneficiaries over the years. "I can remember my first call with him when I was Speaker, and he was just ready to dive head first into his responsibilities as ordinary member," said Edmunds."I worked closely with Ed over the last couple years and I know he has had a tremendous passion for his work. I think a lot of people can easily see that."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Hats for Hides, an Ontario program that encourages hunters to donate deer and moose hides to Indigenous craftspeople, appears to be on its last legs thanks to a combination of COVID-19 and shifting global economics.The initiative, which dates back to the early 1970s, was originally set up by the Ministry of Natural Resources to prevent hides from being wasted and get them into the hands of Indigenous craftspeople. In exchange, hunters would receive a bright orange hat and crest proclaiming a successful hunt.> It's going to mean that a lot of hunters are throwing their hides in the bush. \- Cheryle Brant-Maracle, former Hats for Hides depot operatorBut a combination of factors has rendered the Hats for Hides program virtually defunct. There are now just 11 depots accepting donated hides, down from 35 last year and 50 not long ago. The remaining depots are spread unevenly across the province, making it inconvenient for many hunters to drop off hides.The private company that administers the program, BRT Provisioners of Peterborough, Ont., warned hunters that Hats for Hides would be extremely limited in 2020."Unfortunately, COVID has affected all markets and deer hides are no exception," the company said in a letter to hunters.Now, instead of receiving a free hat, hunters who donate a deer hide may purchase a crest. A moose hide will earn you a free crest. "The only reason we're doing crests is that they were all pre-ordered before COVID hit," said Barb Thompson, the Hats for Hides program coordinator at BRT Provisioners."It's just a trophy, but for the avid hunter it's very important," said Cheryle Brant-Maracle, a former depot operator in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. "It's going to mean that a lot of hunters are throwing their hides in the bush.""It's what they hang above the fireplace on the wall," said Steve Lantz, a depot operator in Durham, Ont., who refused to charge hunters for the 2020 crests, instead paying for them out of pocket. "If we don't do that, we'd never get enough hides." According to BRT Provisioners, "deer hides have little to no value in this current COVID market," because the pandemic has sidelined the community gatherings where tanned leather is bought and sold. Virtually all powwows were cancelled in 2020 as organizers complied with public health directives."I travel from powwow to powwow selling leather and fur. I haven't been able to travel all year, and that's how I make my money," said Brant-Maracle.Rodney St. Denis, an Algonquin artisan and cultural practitioner from the Kibaowek First Nation, now living in North Bay, Ont., would also sell his crafts at local powwows. He makes miniature teepees, canoes and tikinagans (baby cradle boards) using leather as embellishments.But COVID-19 has closed that avenue off. "I didn't have the means to go out into public gatherings as I normally would," St. Denis said."With no powwows, we're sitting on leather and hide that we haven't moved since last year," said Greg Mance of White Tanning Co. in Rockwood, Ont. Ultimately, it's what caused depot operators such Brant-Maracle to reluctantly bow out. "I know a gentleman that has every single crest … for as long as they've been given out. So to not get a 2020 crest from me is a little disappointing for him," she said.Not just COVID-19But COVID-19 is only part of the picture, according to Steve Lantz, a depot operator in Durham, Ont. He blames cheap leather imports.Lantz said a tanner in Guelph told him they're able to source leather from China "cheaper than they can by a rawhide from an abattoir here.... This one you can't blame on COVID." Offshore competition pushed Barrett Hides Inc. of Barrie, Ont., out of business in 2019. It had been picking up hides across much of southern Ontario. When it went bust, Hats for Hides depot operators had to truck their own hides, driving more of them out of the business, according to Lantz.Ultimately, cheap leather may be the death knell for the Hats for Hides program. "You can't even get [a hide] for free, put salt on it … and get it to a tannery and come out with any money," said Thompson.In May 2019, on the heels of the Barrett Hides Inc. closure, the Ontario government stepped in to save Hats for Hides with a one-time injection of $100,000 for BRT Provisioners to help buy and distribute hats and crests.When contacted by CBC, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said in a statement it "has not received any request for support or funding for 2020," nor is it "aware of how COVID-19 has impacted the supply, collection and sale of hides.""I don't want their money. It comes with way too many strings attached," said Thompson. "They don't do it to help the program. They do it for political votes."
An Iranian diplomat and three other Iranians went on trial in Belgium on Friday accused of planning to bomb a meeting of an exiled opposition group in France in 2018, the first time an EU country has put an Iranian official on trial for terrorism. Belgian prosecutors charged Vienna-based diplomat Assadolah Assadi and the three others with plotting an attack on a rally of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The rally's keynote address was given by U.S. President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
Around 2,500 Amazon workers across the country are predicted to take part in walkouts, according to the union Ver.di.View on euronews
WinSport is opening its season on Friday for a year unlike any other — but for now, only pass holders will be allowed to participate."No walk-up or day tickets will be available, at least for the foreseeable future," said Dale Oviatt, senior manager of communications for WinSport. "[At least] until we can get a start on things and see how our processes are working."Pass holders are required to book times online with WinSport's reservation system as the organization seeks to control the capacity on the hill.The organization is also seeking to keep numbers down in indoor spaces. When guests arrive, they are asked to put their masks and equipment on and proceed directly to the hill."If you've decided to bring your own lunch, or you just want to warm up, just pop back out to your car, and use that for your items as well," Oviatt said.WATCH | Learn how venues like WinSport's Canada Olympic Park keeps ski runs open and in tip-top shape, even during iffy weather conditions:With the new restrictions announced this week by the Alberta government, Oviatt said WinSport is not allowed to operate warming areas.The hill's food court area will be open, but will follow restaurant guidelines."So, not a lot of indoor space," Oviatt said. "That's why we want you to use your car as your day lodge."Increased security will be onsite, but Oviatt suggested guests not bring valuables to the hill. In a typical season, WinSport sees families come out to watch kids participate in lessons. That will be changed due to the pandemic."We're not allowing any foot traffic or spectators anywhere on snow," Oviatt said. "That's just to keep the physical numbers down on the hill."The organization is requesting guests review all of the hill's COVID-19 protocols before visiting.The tube park at the facility is scheduled to open Dec. 19.
Just when you thought 2020 couldn't get worse, it turns out southern Saskatchewan's mouse population is exploding.The phones at Poulin's Pest Control in Regina have been ringing off the hook, said general manager Shawn Sherwood.He said this has been the busiest year for mice complaints that he has seen in two decades.That goes for residential calls and insurance claims."We clean trailers and cars that have had mice in them," Sherwood said. "Normally we will see them starting in March or April, and we'll be done by July. We're doing one tomorrow."And the problem isn't localized to just the Queen City.Sherwood said the company's Saskatoon office is seeing similar infestations.Jan Shadick, who runs Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation in Saskatoon, said one way youu can tell there's been a bounty of mice is that last spring, birds who feed on the rodents had a large brood."When they're struggling to feed themselves, they're not going to have a whole bunch of babies that they know that they can't feed," Shadick said.On the downside, she says her research shows while bird numbers went up this year, so did the number of birds injured in traps. "We went from sort of one sticky trap last year to seven this year, so it's a huge increase," Shadick said. "We had four snap-trapped birds last year and seven this year. "We had one that came in, and [the trap] had actually caught on the beak of the bird and just broken it."That being said, when it comes to getting rid of mice, Shadick prefers people use snap traps."When they work, they're incredibly effective and quick and humane."But why are there are so many mice this year? That's hard to explain, but both Shadick and Sherwood said the increase is abnormal. Spikes like this usually happen when there's been a lot of snow the winter before — but that isn't the case this year in Saskatchewan. Sherwood has a simpler explanation. "People ask me, 'Why are we seeing so many mice?' It's 2020, man. What do you expect?"
The P.E.I. government should place a moratorium on all new high-capacity wells that are not for residential use. That's one of the recommendations from a legislative standing committee examining the Water Act. The moratorium on high-capacity wells on the Island currently only applies to the agriculture sector, and has been in place since 2002.The standing committee on natural resources and environmental sustainability says the moratorium needs to be expanded "until research is available to make evidence-based decisions."PC MLA Cory Deagle, who chairs the legislative committee, said expanding the moratorium would mean the province may not approve things like new car washes, golf courses or food processing facilities — anything that might need high-capacity wells — outside of urban centres served by central water systems. "Our recommendation was that it be extended to all those other sectors to ensure fairness because right now the agriculture sector is singled out," Deagle said in an interview with CBC News. 'Fear that is out in the public'"Our committee is whole-heartedly in agreement that we need to look at the science. And whether that takes three, four, five years to look at the science and make an evidence-based decision on what are the facts in front of us and not really the fear that is out in the public on high-capacity wells," said Deagle.The legislative committee is also calling on the province to immediately proclaim the Water Act. Legislation creating the act passed in the P.E.I. Legislature in December 2017, but the regulations were never finalized which means the act is still not law.Environment Minister Natalie Jameson said she'd like to see the Water Act proclaimed "as soon as possible."The minister said the act will go into effect 90 days after the regulations are approved. That will happen early in the new year, she added. 'Human needs and ecological considerations'But the environment minister is less clear on what will happen to the call for the inclusion of all high-capacity wells in the moratorium."I don't necessarily know if there's been enough consultation around it," Jameson said."I firmly believe that current and future policy decisions need to be science-based. They need to be informed by results of local research and certainly strike a balance between human needs and ecological considerations."When asked where that leaves farmers, some of whom say they desperately need access to high-capacity wells to deal with increasingly dry summers, Jameson said, "My heart goes out to farmers, this year especially, it was an extremely dry year."Jameson said she wants to work with farmers to find a solution.In a statement to CBC News, Jameson's department said expanding the moratorium "may have an additional unintended consequence of encouraging commercial and industrial users to try to set up in cities/towns where there is more of a concern on water use."'Agricultural sector is feeling singled out'The Environment Department statement went on to say expanding the moratorium on high-capacity wells would prevent the province from approving wells for a number of other sectors including aquaculture, food processing, firefighting, fun parks and some larger geothermal heating units. The legislative committee is also recommending government refer all future research proposals on the impacts of high-capacity wells to the legislative committee. Lynne Lund, Opposition environment critic, said while some scientists told the committee that additional high-capacity wells would not impact the province's water supply the issue is "massively more complicated" than that. She wants to see a wider discussion on what sustainable agriculture is going to look like.Until then, Lund said she supports expanding the moratorium on high-capacity wells. "A clear theme that we heard is that the agricultural sector is feeling singled out, that use for high-capacity wells for agriculture doesn't have a different impact on an aquifer than, let's say a high-capacity well for a car wash," said Lund. More from CBC P.E.I.
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian police have moved a female transgender Instagram celebrity, Millen Cyrus, to a special cell following public outrage over her initial placement in a male detention cell after she was arrested as a suspect in a drug case.“As for her status on her ID, she is a male, and we do not have a transgender status here. So to avoid something we do not want, we placed her in a special cell by herself. That is our policy on it,” Jakarta Police spokesperson Yusri Yunus said Friday.Cyrus, 21, whose birth name is Muhammad Millendaru Prakasa, has more than 1 million followers on Instagram. Her account of her experiences as a transgender woman on YouTube has been viewed more than 6 million times.She was arrested on Sunday in a police raid on a hotel room in which 0.36 grams of crystal methamphetamine was found. Police announced then that she had been placed in the men’s detention cell at Tanjung Priok Port Police Station, following her identity on her ID card.That triggered criticism from rights groups and on social media in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.Yunus said police are still determining whether she was a drug user or dealer.The group Human Rights Watch said moving Cyrus to a special cell was a good decision by police.“Most trans women are imprisoned in male prisons, so they experience sexual harassment there,” said Andreas Harsono, the group's senior researcher in Indonesia.“The simplest one is verbal abuse. Some physical abuse happens too. It is not in the cell at the prison but in closed areas,” Harsono said.He said more than 2,000 LGBT people have been arrested in Indonesia because of their sexual orientation since 2014.LGBT communities have recently come under siege, although homosexuality is not illegal, except in conservative Aceh province.In February, some members of the House of Representatives proposed a bill that would define homosexuality as deviant and require lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to report to authorities for rehabilitation.Edna Tarigan, The Associated Press
The protesters demand the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader who seized power in the last coup in 2014, but say they do not want him replaced by another general. Prayuth's putsch was the 13th successful coup since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932. "The 14th coup will not happen because the people will come out and resist," one of the protest leaders, Panupong “Mike Rayong” Jadnok, told the crowd.
The lead plaintiff in a one-billion-dollar-plus lawsuit alleging bullying and harassment within the RCMP says he hopes a recent report calling out the force's toxic culture will convince Ottawa to drop its fight against his claim.Last week, former Supreme Court justice Michel Bastarache released a report describing a police force in crisis. The report — "Broken Dreams, Broken Lives" — points to systemic cultural problems within the RCMP and called for an external review of the future of the iconic Canadian institution.The report grew out of the Merlo-Davidson settlement, which was the result of a class action lawsuit on behalf of women who were sexually abused or discriminated against while serving in the RCMP.Those findings hit home for Mountie Geoffrey Greenwood, who is helping to front a separate class action alleging "systemic negligence in the form of bullying, intimidation, and general harassment."Greenwood alleges he endured torment after reporting allegations of bribery and corruption against fellow drug officers in 2008.The Greenwood vs. Canada lawsuit — which seeks compensation for what could be thousands of officers, civilian employees, students and volunteers — argues that internal remedies for such complaints are ineffective because they are dependent upon the "chain of command," which is often made up of those who were either responsible for the offending behaviour or acted to protect others.According to the lawsuit, this chain of command perpetuated a toxic work climate, characterized by abuses of power.Greenwood said the RCMP's workplace culture ends up affecting almost every member.> The scars will never, ever go away. \- Geoffrey Greenwood"It does affect everybody, from the new recruit walking in the door to the member at my service. It affects everyone and it affects them both professionally and personally," he said."It's a very, very lonely road to walk and the scars will never, ever go away.". A Federal Court Justice certified the $1.1 billion lawsuit earlier this year. The federal government is appealing that decision. The Crown, on behalf of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is fighting against the lawsuit, saying the claims are "workplace disputes" for which there are various legislative remedies and avenues for redress within the RCMP. A hearing on Ottawa's appeal of the lawsuit's certification is expected in the new year.A spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said it's too early to know if the Bastarache report will affect future litigation.Lawyer Megan McPhee, class counsel in the Greenwood suit, said there are parallels between her client's case and the one that led to the Merlo-Davidson settlement."The RCMP is continuing to fight this case and argue that the policies work, even though the reports say they don't," she said."They say that they are workplace disputes, when the reports confirm that it's a toxic culture that's at issue."Pressure mounts for external reviewThe Bastarache report also shows that the force can't be trusted to fix itself, McPhee said.In the report, Bastarache writes that he believes that "culture change is highly unlikely to come from within the RCMP." One of his main recommendations is for an external, independent review of the RCMP's future as a federal policing organization."We've seen decades of reports now, and they've come from different mandates and from different perspectives, but the findings of the reports have been consistent and that's what the RCMP can't fix itself internally," said McPhee."The processes and the policies in place for dealing with harassment aren't working for members."Greenwood said the only way forward for the force is to accept outside help in the form of an external review."Whenever there is a report, or whenever there is a decision, or whenever there is something that's contentious within the RCMP, their immediate fallback is to take out the old policy, dust it off, add a couple of new words or a couple of phrases and see if that works," he said."And nine times out of 10, that fails. So the membership, they're waiting."When asked about Bastarache's call for an external review during a committee meeting Wednesday, Blair said the government already committed to reform in September's speech from the throne."We have very clearly stated our commitment to bring about reform of the RCMP and in particular to deal with issues of governance, oversight and accountability," he said.
A Quebec court decision that calls stacking life in prison sentences unconstitutional raises the possibility that Justin Bourque's sentence for killing three RCMP officers in Moncton could change, his former lawyer says.Bourque fatally shot constables David Ross, Fabrice Gevaudan and Douglas Larche and wounded constables Darlene Goguen and Eric Dubois on June 4, 2014. He was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole for 75 years after pleading guilty.The sentence used a 2011 law passed by the federal Conservative government allowing judges to impose life sentences for multiple murders consecutively instead of concurrently.Bourque would be 99 years old when he is finally eligible for parole. Quebec's Court of Appeal issued a unanimous decision Thursday on a case involving a man who killed six people in a Quebec City mosque. The court reduced Alexandre Bissonnette's life sentence to 25 years without parole while also invalidating sections of the Criminal Code allowing consecutive sentences.The Quebec decision noted the "absurdity" of handing out life sentences that only allow a prisoner to apply for parole after they are likely to have died, saying rehabilitation is a fundamental concept in Canadian criminal law.David Lutz represented Justin Bourque and told CBC he was surprised by the decision that only affects cases in Quebec."I could not just go to the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick and say, reconsider this, because Quebec ruled in the manner it did," Lutz said of Bourque's sentence.Lutz said he expects the Crown will want to appeal the Quebec decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. A spokesperson for Quebec's prosecution service told CBC on Thursday it is studying the decision and would decide later whether to appeal.The supreme court only hears a select few cases each year that have national significance."I would think that this is a situation of national importance. When you're looking at constitutionality, I would assume that the supreme court has to rule on it," Lutz said.If it does, Lutz said it will likely be six months to a year before there's a decision. If that court strikes down the Criminal Code sections, then it would apply nationally and open the door to Bourque challenging his sentence."If the Supreme Court of Canada upholds the Court of Appeal of Quebec, then he would have an opportunity for an earlier parole application," Lutz said. "That does not mean that necessarily the parole board is going to look at it favourably."Lutz said he would contact his former client to tell him about the ruling.Radio-Canada reported in 2015 that Joëlle Roy, a lawyer in Quebec, was preparing to appeal Bourque's sentences. However, Roy was later appointed as a judge and no appeal was filed.The sentence by then-Court of Queen's Bench Justice David Smith was considered the most severe in Canada since the abolition of the death penalty.While Bourque pleaded guilty, avoiding the need to hold a trial, a two-day sentencing hearing included a detailed timeline of the killings."I found it the most difficult case I've done in my career," Smith said in an interview with CBC after he retired in 2019. "It was so emotional. Normally you don't get that much emotion in a case. … It was devastating listening to it."At the time of the sentencing, Lutz told reporters that Bourque was "resigned" to the prison sentence since pleading guilty.
Here's the latest for Friday November 27th: Trump says he'll leave if he loses the Electoral College; Fire danger prompts Southern California blackouts; Small private funeral for Diego Maradona; Shorter-than-usual lines expected for Black Friday.