Why the fly that landed on Mike Pence during the vice presidential debate with Kamala Harris became an internet sensation. (Oct. 9)
Why the fly that landed on Mike Pence during the vice presidential debate with Kamala Harris became an internet sensation. (Oct. 9)
It's a quirky rule that has confounded many people: while the Canada-U.S. land border is closed to non-essential traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians can still fly to the United States for leisure travel. "It's like having your front door locked but your back door wide open," said U.S. immigration lawyer Len Saunders, whose office sits close to the Canadian border in Blaine, Wash."It just doesn't make sense."To add to the confusion, the flying rule isn't reciprocal: Canada bars American travellers from entering by any mode of transport, unless they get a special exemption. Saunders said he has been bombarded with calls from Canadians during the border closure inquiring about flying to the U.S."People are still calling me saying, 'I just want to clarify that this is OK. And why can I fly, but I can't drive?'"CBC News asked the U.S. government that same question, but didn't get a response. Foreign relations expert Edward Alden suggests the reason why Canadians can still fly to the U.S. may be rooted in the fact that, compared to Canada, the U.S. has less stringent travel restrictions for air passengers."The measures in the United States are just across the board far more relaxed," said Alden, a professor of U.S.-Canada economic relations at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash."[It's] certainly one of the reasons we have higher [COVID-19] case numbers."'I could have walked'To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Canada and the U.S. agreed in late March to close their shared land border to non-essential travel.Since then, many Canadians have flown to the U.S, after discovering that it's still allowed. But the flying exemption has also sparked bewilderment.Birgit Heinbach lives in Surrey, B.C., just seven kilometres from her American husband's home across the border in Blaine, Wash.Because she can currently only fly to the U.S., Heinbach said it took seven hours and two flights — from Vancouver to Seattle and then Seattle to Bellingham — to get to her husband's home when she visited him in July. "The whole thing was ridiculous," she said. "I could have walked in my own little shoes — in 45 minutes — to my husband's house."Canadian snowbird Tamara Carmichael lives in a non-winterized mobile home in Leduc, Alta., in the summer. Her winter home sits in an RV park in Yuma, Ariz.Although Carmichael can still fly to the U.S. this winter, she said that's not an option because she needs her truck to get around in Yuma, and can't afford the fee — upwards of $1,500 — to ship it. She argues the U.S. flying exemption is nonsensical because driving is a much safer way to travel during the pandemic."Sticking everybody on an airplane is not a solution," said Carmichael. "You're packed into a tin can with a bunch of other people."According to a U.S. government document, it sanctioned the land border closure because "non-essential travel between the United States and Canada poses additional risk of [COVID-19] transmission."CBC News asked several U.S. government departments and agencies why the government still welcomes Canadian air passengers. The Department of Transportation and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) referred CBC to the Department of Homeland Security's main office. That office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention referred CBC to CBP.No one provided an answer, despite repeated inquiries.Experts offer theoriesAlden theorizes that Canada — which has strict travel restrictions — prompted the land border closure, and that while the U.S. agreed, it had no desire to take it further. Canada has restricted most foreigners from entering the country by any mode of travel during the pandemic. But foreigners can still fly to the U.S. as long as they haven't visited Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, the U.K. or 26 European countries in the Schengen Area 14 days prior. Canada was never added to that no-fly list. Neither was Mexico, even though Mexico and the U.S. have also agreed to close their shared land border to non-essential travel. "Generally, the United States has a much looser regime in terms of trying to keep out travellers," said Alden. "They don't see casual travellers as much of a threat, because they're worried about drugs and illegal migrants and terrorism."WATCH | U.S. President Donald Trump tells people not to fear the coronavirus:Alden also said that the U.S. may have reasoned it would be too cumbersome for the country's airlines to weed out the non-essential travellers if the country expanded its land border bans to air passengers."If you were going to make distinctions between essential and non-essential travellers, the airlines were going to have to be involved in some way."Lawyer Saunders said he spoke this week with a senior U.S. CBP official who believes the U.S. still welcomes Canadian air passengers due to pressure from U.S. airlines to keep flights in operation."He said the airline industries would have lobbied hard when they were drafting this border closure," said Saunders.But the actual reason why Canadians can fly to the U.S. remains a mystery — until and unless its government offers an explanation.
The Trudeau government says it will not impose a quota on the Atlantic Canadian commercial inshore lobster fishery, rejecting a proposal floated by several Mi'kmaw leaders.Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan issued a statement Friday after meeting with commercial fishermen the day before."As confirmed in that meeting, there is no plan to move to a quota system for the commercial lobster fishery and it is not being considered," Jordan said.For decades, conservation in the billion-dollar commercial lobster fishery has been maintained by limiting the number of licence holders and traps. Stocks throughout Nova Scotia lobster fishing areas are healthy.Some Mi'kmaq have suggested a quota as a response to commercial fishermen concerned about the impact of unregulated, out-of-season lobster fishing by the Sipekne'katik First Nation in St. Marys Bay.Three Mikmaw parliamentarians have proposed the creation of an optional Atlantic First Nations fisheries authority to administer an Indigenous fishery.Quota systemIf First Nations did not agree to participate, a quota may be imposed in the area fished."We proposed a lot of different options and the last option is exploring the possibility of implementing a quota system," Jaime Batiste, a Nova Scotia Liberal MP, said Sept. 30."That may be something we need to look at."Earlier this week, the Sipekne'katik First Nation called for fishery quotas for both the commercial lobster and moderate livelihood fisheries after its council agreed "on the need to impose quotas to account for any evidence of reductions in lobster landings for conservation purposes."The First Nation proposed a joint conservation study Friday between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Mi'kmaw Conservation Group and academia.Jane Deeks, press secretary to the fisheries minister, said the department is not commenting on that proposal.Sipekne'katik and the Potlotek First Nation in Cape Breton have launched their own moderate livelihood lobster fisheries without DFO authorization or management.The out-of-season fishery has angered the industry and led to confrontations in southwest Nova Scotia.First Nation communities say they are exercising treaty rights recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in the 1999 Marshall case.That landmark decision affirmed the right of the Mi'kmaq to earn a moderate livelihood from fishing, but did not explain how that fishery would work. The high court later said the federal government could regulate that fishery and must justify any restrictions placed on it.Ottawa has not been able to define what constitutes the "moderate livelihood" promised by the court.In the meantime, it has spent over $500 million to integrate Maritime First Nations into the commercial fishery. Money was spent buying out commercial fishing licences and training.Today, those communities hold more than 2,300 commercial fishing licences for a wide variety of species.In Nova Scotia, Mi'kmaq hold 684 licences, including 107 commercial lobster licences.DFO is currently negotiating with the Sipekne'katik First Nation over its self-declared moderate livelihood fishery.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday his government will defend the rights enshrined in the Marshall decision."There's no question that 21 years is far too long to wait to see rights that have been recognized come into force," he said in Ottawa."This is a situation that is important to resolve peacefully."'A logistical nightmare'Inshore fishery groups do not want to see quotas in the lobster fishery. They say the system isn't broken, so don't fix it."Bringing in a quota system would be a logistical nightmare with dockside monitoring and third-party companies in every wharf where catch is landed. And is not necessary. The fishery is clearly sustainable as it is," said Martin Mallet, executive director of the Maritime Fishermen's Union.One option is buying out current licence holders, he said."We are talking about a one-in and a one-out strategy. If First Nations want more access — 350 traps or 400 traps or whatever — you take that out and you redistribute it in whatever manner you want."MORE TOP STORIES
A dozen years after the Little Mountain lands were sold for over $300 million to Malaysian developer Holborn Holdings Ltd., the majority of the purchase price remains unpaid, according to Selina Robinson, former NDP housing minister and candidate for Coquitlam-Maillardville. "We're still owed, I believe, well over $240 million," said Robinson. "We haven't been able to see the details of the deal that the former B.C. Liberal government made because it's a third party deal." Robinson said a $40-million deposit was paid by Holborn in 2013, five years after the previous government announced the sale in 2008.Because of third party concerns, almost all the details of the purchase and payment schedule remain unknown to the public. Meanwhile, the prime six-hectare parcel of Vancouver real estate has sat mostly empty amid a worsening housing crisis. "Had the previous government taken the responsibility to build affordable housing, if they had valued that, thousands of people's lives would be different as a result," said Robinson. "And that's disappointing and sad."CBC made a Freedom of Information request in June 2018 to see the purchase agreement, but the returned documents were mostly redacted.Holborn has argued releasing the information would be injurious to its business, however last week an adjudicator from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner ruled that B.C. Housing must release the agreement.Holborn CEO Tiah Joo Kim also heads the company that owns Vancouver's Trump Hotel, which recently declared bankruptcy.The Little Mountain site, which sits between 37th and 33rd avenues and Main and Ontario streets, was once home to a vibrant community of people living in 224 units of public housing built in the 1950s.It was originally managed by the federal government before being transferred to B.C. Housing in 2007. In 2008 it was privatized in the sale to Holborn.The following year, Holborn tore down the buildings with a promise to build 1,400 market value homes, 234 units of social housing, and other amenities like child care, a community plaza and park.Evicted residents were told they could return once the new social housing units were completed, but since then only one permanent building has been constructed while the remainder of the site looks like a giant abandoned lot.Housing activists and former residents have staged rallies at the site over the years, even erecting a plaque in 2017 commemorating the lands as The Rich Coleman Vacant Lot, in recognition of the former Liberal housing minister who oversaw the Holborn deal. Robinson says B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson should answer for the Little Mountain sale. Wilkinson was not an MLA when the deal was struck. "The B.C. Liberals made a bad deal, Holborn is deciding to withhold from the deal they benefited from, and we are essentially stuck," she said. "At the end of the day Wilkinson has to wear it and we'll have to fix it."The B.C. Liberals did not respond to a request for comment before publication.
For months, Ryan Imgrund has meticulously tracked the ebbs and flows of coronavirus transmission in Ontario.New weekly COVID-19 cases per capita. Infections tied to community transmission. The shifts in impacted regions and age groups.After the Civic Holiday weekend in early August, one rising metric stood out to the biostatistician: The virus's Rt value — the number of cases linked to every primary infection — went above 1.0 after a summer lull. It signalled a shift to exponential growth, where every one person carrying the virus could infect 1.1 more, and so on. "That's when my alarm bells started going off," said Imgrund, who works at Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, Ont.. As the weeks passed and summer turned to fall, those alarms rang louder and louder. Clinicians, epidemiologists and hospital leaders all started sharing other concerning metrics — including rising demand for testing, spikes in hospital admissions, long-term care outbreaks — and pushed Ontario to take action.But it wasn't until Friday that provincial health officials announced a sweeping rollback to earlier restrictions for the hot zones of Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa, including the closing of restaurants, gyms, movie theatres, casinos and other indoor gathering spots.A bid to curb runaway case growth before yet another holiday weekend, the move came the same day Ontario reported a new record high of more than 900 COVID-19 cases.So why now? Why not take action on Thursday, when critical-care physicians flagged a one-day spike in ICU admissions not seen since early June?Why not a week ago, when Toronto's medical officer of health called for indoor dining and fitness centre closures to stop "exponential growth" in infections?Why not in early October, after the province's own modelling data projected 1,000 new cases each day?Why not sometime in September, when cases and hospitalizations were rising while new infections shifted from mostly younger adults to more older, vulnerable Ontarians?Why not back in August, when the reproductive number Imgrund kept tracking hit the tipping point for case growth — an early signal of trouble to come?"A couple weeks ago, we didn't see these numbers," Premier Doug Ford told reporters on Friday, referring to this week's record-breaking case growth, which spiked despite lagging testing data and a hefty processing backlog."We saw them creep up, creep up, and then, over a day or two — bang — they doubled."WATCH | Ontario premier's changing message on COVID-19:Ford said closing businesses wasn't an easy decision and involved balancing both public health and the economy. He also said not acting would leave the province in "worse shape" down the road."But it's not too late, folks," the premier said.Others worry there's been a dangerous delay.Cases shifting to older adults"I think we're two to four weeks too late," warned physician epidemiologist Dr. Nitin Mohan, a partner at ETIO Public Health Consultants and adjunct professor at Western University in London, Ont."And frankly, even delaying a week we're going to see unnecessary cases and deaths," said Dr. Samir Sinha, director of geriatrics at Sinai Health in Toronto.That's because the concerning metrics of today foreshadow worse problems to come, and there's no going back in time to change the past.According to Imgrund's data analysis, the number of new cases reported among adults over 60 has tripled over the last month. The finding suggests more vulnerable seniors could soon be facing serious forms of COVID-19 as their illnesses progress, including hundreds of residents — and staff — infected amid outbreaks in long-term care.Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients over the last three weeks have also increased 250 per cent, the province revealed on Friday, while the number of intensive care unit beds being occupied is expected to cross the 150-bed threshold within the next 30 days. "This will have a direct, negative impact on the ability of some hospitals to provide access to other vital surgeries and procedures," Anthony Dale, president and CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association said following Friday's announcement.And while Mohan said the restrictions are a "step in the right direction," it will take some time before the impact is clear — with many recently infected Ontarians set to become sicker as the days pass."We've now created a situation in the province where we're going to have weeks of hardship," said Dr. Nathan Stall, a geriatrician at Mount Sinai Hospital. "The damage still needs to be mopped up."Ontario aiming to avoid full lockdownTo provincial officials, bringing Ontario back to a cleaner state involves curbing case growth enough to not only avoid an overwhelmed health-care system but also a lengthy lockdown.Health Minister Christine Elliott told reporters on Friday that rolling back to earlier restrictions now is a better bet than waiting until the situation "spirals out of control."Given that the risk that could still occur, Mohan said officials need to refocus their communication to the public during this next phase of the pandemic, since even with targeted restrictions, the takeaway for Ontarians may remain unclear, and enforcement could be a challenge.The closures apply to Toronto and Peel but not to the neighbouring regions of Halton and York; the province is pushing residents to avoid non-essential outings and has halted indoor dining in the three hot zones, yet patios can remain open."What we should be doing is providing these businesses with additional support to help them close down safely so we can curb the spread of the virus and drive case counts low," Mohan said. "If we take this sort of half-step approach, then we can't expect the results we really need to see."Ford said the province is investing millions of dollars to help businesses with fixed costs, including property taxes and hydro and gas bills, while the federal government announced targeted aid, including rent relief for some businesses hit by shutdowns.The question after weeks of alarming metrics and, for many, even more alarming inaction is whether all of the efforts will be enough to bring Ontario back from the edge of disaster."Have we missed the opportunity?" Stall said. "I still think we can control this — we can deal with this — but it's going to delay things."How damaging that delay proves to be only time will tell.
Molly McGrath had always wanted a pet pig — and this summer, one fell from the sky. At least, that's what they believe likely happened. McGrath works at a veterinary clinic, and a couple found a tiny piglet on a rural dirt road and brought her to the clinic for surrender. The vet said the piglet was newly born and had little chance of survival. She weighed less than 400 grams, just 0.87 pounds.McGrath, who with her family runs South Shore Soaps on a small farm with 20 goats in DeSable, P.E.I., wanted to give the piglet a chance. "The vet did give her a grave prognosis," McGrath said. "The umbilical cord was still attached, so we weren't sure if she had received colostrum from the mum yet." Colostrum is the first form of milk produced by the mother and contains antibodies to protect against disease and infection."It was literally hour by hour the first few days," she said. Family members took turns getting up every two hours around the clock to feed Lilith goat's milk and goat's colostrum."Luckily, I have a teenager who loves to be up most of the night," McGrath said. "It was really a family event." The vet continued to check on Lilith, and after the fist week gave a guarded thumbs-up to the piglet's chances of survival. Scooped up by a bird? That was 12 weeks ago. Lilith is now thriving and living in the McGraths' house. They're still not sure exactly what breed Lilith is, except that she is a miniature.And they're still not sure where she came from. McGrath said the people who found her said they'd searched the area and knocked on doors for a couple of days but didn't find anyone who knew anything about a miniature pig or even kept pigs. "We think that she may have been scooped up by a bird of some sort and then dropped," McGrath said. "Fortunately, her rescuers were at the right place at the right time." It looks like fate chose the right hands for Lilith to fall into. McGrath had already researched how to look after pot-bellied pigs. She also knew a breeder in Ontario, who helped advise her on caring for a newborn. "I like to help wherever I can, especially with animals," McGrath said. "And then, it pulled at my heartstrings seeing this poor little thing.… Everything for a reason, I guess."Like a puppy but 'smarter'Lilith has become South Shore Soap's mascot — a little ironic, since the soap is made with milk from the family's goats. She's also a bit of a scamp. For instance, when the family had the dishwasher open recently, she tried to climb up on the door to lick the dinner plates. "They are so intelligent, so smart," McGrath enthused. "You need to stay one step ahead."It's like having a puppy except, I think, a lot smarter," she said, noting it only took about three days to potty train Lilith. "She's really good at asking at the back door to go out." 'Squeaking at the door'Lilith sleeps at night and naps in a dog crate, and runs freely in the house with the family's other pets during the day, eating mini pig pellets from a dish on the floor as well as fruits and vegetables. She also likes to go outside."She does not like the cold, so she's squeaking at the door wanting back in pretty quickly," McGrath said. McGrath said she is planning not only a product line around Lilith — Hogwash, anyone? — but also a children's book and a puzzle from a local puzzle creator. "Why not celebrate a little miracle? A good news story, for a change," she said. She estimates Lilith will grow to be about 27 kilograms, or 60 pounds. And she said she can't imagine what she'd do if someone came along to claim Lilith."She has grown quite attached to us, and us to her," McGrath said. More from CBC P.E.I.
Einstein is perched on a kitchen drawer that is provided just for him. He starts to hum a tune, starts to dance, and tells his owner to "Shake your butt! Shake, rattle, roll!" Einstein, I bet you're fun at a party! Einstein the Talking Texan Parrot is a silly, smart, and popular parrot who loves to talk and entertain! He knows the names of several animals and likes to make their sounds. In addition to his silly vocalizations, he likes to have conversations with his owners, talking, doing animal sound imitations, and acting silly. He also enjoys singing and dancing in some of his video compilations. With his amazing talking abilities and funny antics, Einstein the talking parrot’s videos will keep you entertained for hours! Einstein parrot is also famous for some of his silly quotes and sayings. Online, Einstein, the talking parrot is popular across many social media platforms. Einstein’s favorite places to talk at home is perched on the shower wall, in the kitchen on his drawer, and on his screened-in back porch. As stated on his website, Einstein’s mission statement: “To entertain and bring joy, to foster the human-parrot bond, and to convey that parrots are deserving of immeasurable amounts of patience, nurturing, and companionship.” Einstein’s website, einsteinparrot.com is designed to inform you about the care of parrots and also entertain you. As previously mentioned, Einstein is popular on many social media sites such as YouTube @einsteinparrot, Instagram @einsteinparrot, Twitter @einsteinparrot, and Facebook @einsteintexanparrot. Living with a parrot is a big commitment. Parrots live a very long time. A parrot such as Einstein can live to be 50 or 60 years old. Many larger parrots like Macaws can live to be 100 years old. They all require a lot of care, proper nutrition, training, time, and patience. Parrots need a lot of attention and lots of toys and activities to keep from being bored. Parrots are also expensive, a large cage is an investment, and plenty of play perches to spend out of cage time. Specialized veterinarian care is also required. Most of all they require your companionship and a forever home. Many people decide after the first few years of parrot ownership that the responsibility is too great and the parrots become neglected and sometimes abandoned. When that happens they are sent to parrot rescue facilities to be adopted by a new family or some spend their lives in sanctuaries. It is often said, “Having a parrot is much like raising a raising a 2 to a 3-year-old child for the rest of your life!”
Wenhui Chen used to love visiting Loyola Park in Montreal's west end whenever she travelled to the city to see her daughter.The 72-year-old would go there on foot to exercise daily and usually return around mid-day. It was a routine she developed while visiting from China.It was on her way back to her daughter's house last October that she was hit by a car and suffered severe head trauma. She was in hospital for nearly a month before finally succumbing to her injuries."The coroner's report said she was crossing the street about five metres from the corner and cites human error as the root cause of the accident," said Linyan Tong, Chen's 43-year-old daughter.It wasn't just Chen who was in the wrong, the report concluded. The driver was inattentive as well and did not see her, meaning both motorist and pedestrian shared the blame,Tong, who lives in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, has since learned the hard way that sharing the blame means also sharing the cost as her mother, a citizen of China, racked up a substantial hospital bill.Tong is expected to pay her portion of the $135,000 invoice because her mother was not a Canadian citizen.Quebec's automobile insurance board, the SAAQ, has told Tong she owes nearly $70,000. The SAAQ covers the rest under Quebec's no-fault insurance.If Tong wants to dispute the claim, the SAAQ has told her to take it to court.Language barriers and mourningTong, who struggles in French and is unable to speak English, has already been turned down for legal aide and says she doesn't have the money to pay for a lawyer, as she lost her job soon after her mother's death.She was by her mother's side for a month in hospital, and after, she struggled to return to her job as a graphic designer — a job she had only recently earned after finishing school.Now she's trying to challenge the case on her own."There is so much pressure," said Tong, her voice cracking with emotion as she remembered her mother and looked ahead to a challenging battle in Quebec Superior Court."It is very sad," she said. "It's very difficult."She is planning to go to the scene of the collision to try to recreate the tragedy that unfolded, hoping to find something she can use in her mother's defence."I cannot accept that it was 50 per cent my mother's fault," said Tong, expressing concern for the intersection's design and with the investigation's findings.MUHC says it plays by the rulesTong's mother was treated at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). A spokesperson for the hospital, Annie-Claire Fournier, says in a statement that the facility follows the health ministry's rules when it comes to treating patients who are not covered by the public health system, known as RAMQ.Patients are treated no matter their insurance status and then billed accordingly, with rates dictated by the RAMQ, she explained.Patients can often reclaim these costs against their private medical or travel insurance, Fournier said.In the case of a car accident, an invoice detailing the care received will be sent to the SAAQ, which will determine the eligible amount for payment. Any remaining amount is then charged by to the patient.So as Tong readies to fight the charges in court, patients' rights advocate Paul Brunet says this situation is a reminder of why travel insurance is so important when visiting countries abroad."We should never travel, wherever we do travel, without insurance," he said. "We think it is a joke and not important, but it is important. Whatever the cost."
Shannon Delarosbil planned her Thanksgiving celebrations about a month ago — back when seeing more than one person at a time was allowed in Quebec.Originally from the Gaspé, she's established a ragtag group of Montreal friends who are transplants from elsewhere. They've established a "friendsgiving" tradition of hanging out together and eating every year.But Quebec's second wave of COVID-19 ruined her plans.The province's new public health guidelines say single-person households can only "bubble" with one other person — and both indoor and outdoor gatherings are banned.In lieu of celebrating in person, she and her friends are going to play an online murder mystery game and hang out via video chat."It's not quite the same as being together, but it could be fun nonetheless," Delarosbil said."I think we'll just be having takeout in our respective homes and drinking beers together, on camera."Delarosbil is in the same boat as tens of thousands of other Quebecers, who aren't able to gather and celebrate the holiday in the presence of loved ones.Single? You're not aloneAn expert in loneliness encourages people who may be feeling down about the weekend to take heart — lots of folks are in this boat right now."Without sounding paradoxical, you're not alone," said Dr. Rob Whitley, an associate professor of psychiatry at McGill University.Data from the 2016 census shows that nearly a third of Quebec households are single-occupancy. Many of those people, including Delarosbil, have been living and working in small apartments since March.Finding alternative plans is a good coping measure for what could be a long winter, he says, particularly for the group that reports feeling lonely most often — millennials.He says for people who love to go out and socialize, being unable to gather is a mental adjustment. When people are less accustomed to being alone, they may be more likely to experience loneliness, Whitley said.For Delarosbil, that feeling of aloneness is exacerbated by the steady barrage of bad news in the media, the worry that current restrictions will extend past 28 days, and the imminent long, dark winter."I think that it's been weighing heavier on myself specifically, but I know that I'm not the only one feeling this way," she said.Stay off social media, do something funWhitley urges people not to lump "alone" and "lonely" together.It's perfectly possible to have a good time by oneself — and for some, that might even be preferable, he said.But if loneliness is a concern, he recommends staying off social media, where other people might be posting pictures of their happy-looking gatherings.He also recommends scheduling something simple but pleasurable, such as yoga, walking, or prayer or meditation.Those tips aren't new to Marc Griffin, who is a mental health worker, but he's still planning on breaking the rules this weekend.He couldn't bear the alternative.His mother, Arlene, is turning 70 on Saturday. Like Griffin, she lives alone. But Griffin is "bubbling" with his partner — meaning technically, he's not allowed to meet with another person."I don't like taking risks like this, but sometimes there are unique situations that you have to take just a little bit of risk, for the sake of humanity," he said.Griffin works from home. He says he takes the public health guidelines seriously and has quarantined for 14 days in preparation to see his mother, who, he says, is struggling. "It's such a monumental birthday for my mom. I had been quarantining for 14 days. I don't have any symptoms," he said. "I'm kind of looking at the worst-case scenario, and this may be my last chance to spend some significant time with my mother."His own birthday is Sunday and he plans to spend it alone. Despite that, he encourages people to look on the bright side of single-living. No kids, fewer distractions and quiet time."I'm grateful for what I do have," he said.
FREDERICTON — Public health officials in New Brunswick reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 Friday as new restrictions were imposed on two regions and neighbouring provinces in the Atlantic bubble watched the situation closely. Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, announced 12 new cases in Campbellton in the north of the province and one new case in the Moncton area. "The pandemic is not done with us, and this week has shown us that in no uncertain terms," Russell said at a news conference in Fredericton. "It also has reminded us of the importance of keeping our circle small and also following all the public health measures." There are now 37 active cases in the province, and there have been 238 cases since the pandemic began. Premier Blaine Higgs said the Campbellton and Moncton regions would be moved into the orange warning level as of Saturday. "This recommendation was made because of additional potential public exposures to the virus identified through the investigation of existing cases, possible community transmission and reports of low compliance in some higher-risk settings," he said. Higgs said people in those zones will be allowed to form a bubble with just one other family. "Unlike the previous version of the orange level, this bubble can extend to include caregivers and immediate family members," he said. "Outdoor gatherings must be limited to 10 or fewer with physical distancing. Indoor religious services, weddings or funerals are permitted with 10 or fewer people." Higgs said the new rules mean that hairdressers, spas, gyms, casinos and bingo halls will have to close. He said people are discouraged from travelling in or out of the two regions. In Nova Scotia, chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang urged his province's residents to follow public health measures when visiting neighbouring provinces. "We are monitoring the situation in New Brunswick and are in close contact with our counterparts in that province," he said in a statement. "There are no changes to our border policy at this time." Currently, residents of the four Atlantic provinces can travel freely within the region, but anyone from outside the bubble must isolate for two weeks after entering. New Brunswick's Vitalite Health Network posted a message on its website to say that because of an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, visits to the Campbellton Regional Hospital are cancelled as a precautionary measure to protect patients, visitors and staff. It said 18 employees are in isolation either because they have COVID-19 or have been identified as close contacts through contact tracing. The principal of Sugarloaf High School in Campbellton, N.B., announced Thursday night that a case had been confirmed in the school and said the school board is working with public health officials to identify students or staff who may have had contact with the person. "We understand you may feel anxious over the coming days," the principal, Michael O'Toole, wrote in a Facebook post. "Children and young people look to the adults in their lives to guide them on how to react to worrying and stressful events. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about any anxieties and remind them to treat one another with kindness and respect, in person and on social media." O'Toole said his school, which is just across the border from Quebec, is temporarily closed to allow for cleaning and contact tracing. He also said students who live in Listuguj First Nation and Pointe-a-la-Croix on the Quebec side of the border will receive laptops and other technology to allow them to participate in remote learning. On Wednesday, the province reported 17 new COVID-19 connected to a special-care home in Moncton -- the largest one-day increase of cases in the province since the pandemic began. Russell said it's believed the source of the Moncton cases is someone who travelled outside of the Atlantic bubble, while the investigation into the Campbellton cases continues. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 9, 2020. Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press
Former Alaska state employees said they believe a $5 million government consulting contract was illegal as a result of narrow terms directing the award to a single company. Three former officials alleged the Alaska Department of Administration steered an efficiency planning and technology contract to a specific bidder last year, The Anchorage Daily News reported Wednesday. Barry Jackson, contracting and facilities manager of the Division of General Services until 1999, spoke to the the House State Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
Mike Keogh finds himself in a similar position to the surviving members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Miami remains the NFL's last unbeaten team, capping a perfect 17-0 run by downing Washington 14-7 in the Super Bowl. There've been reports over the years that whenever the league's last undefeated teams lose, some of the Dolphins' surviving members gather to toast the continuation of their record.
The Township of Puslinch is working towards creating a public access to Puslinch Lake after public access was closed this summer. Glenn Schwendinger, Puslinch CAO, said by email that the township is working towards possibly using some unused land in the area to create public access to the lake. “There is an unopened road allowance at the end of Travelled Road and the township is working towards potentially establishing public access,” Schwendinger said in an email.
Dean Koontz admits it was “kind of frustrating” a few months back when an idea that he predicted the coronavirus in his 1981 novel, "The Eyes of Darkness" took on a life of its own online. The author, 75, has a new book out called “Elsewhere” about Jeffy and Amity — a single father and his 11-year-old daughter — moving through life as best they can after their wife and mother, Michelle, disappeared seven years prior. Dad meets an eccentric scientist who presents Jeffy with what's described as a “key to everything,” holding the ability to time jump among among parallel universes.
St. Jerome Elementary School in Riverside South has been closed by COVID-19, according to the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB).The OCSB announced Thursday night that two staff members at the school had tested positive.Two schools in Ottawa were closed by an outbreak this week: École Horizon-Jeunesse and École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité.Neither St. Jerome nor the board has said what kind of virtual learning is being offered. It's not known how long the closure may last.Ottawa Public Health has active outbreaks in 10 schools, according to its most recent update Thursday. It has not listed St. Jerome yet.An outbreak is when public health officials have reason to believe the coronavirus spread during a school activity, including on a school bus or during before- or after-school care.More than 150 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region have now reported at least one case of COVID-19 since classes resumed.
At least three communities in a western Alaska region are under lockdown after residents tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said. Quinhagak, Kipnuk and Kasigluk in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta have been closed because of COVID-19 infections, KYUK-AM reported Thursday. Quinhagak is in the second week of a lockdown that began Sept. 29.
Canada's economy added 378,000 new jobs in September, Statistics Canada says, almost all of which were full-time positions.September's job gains mean that the job market is now within 720,000 positions of where it was in February, before the advent of COVID-19 in Canada. March and April saw a cumulative record of three million jobs lost in Canada, before the numbers started to bounce back in May. The economy has added jobs every month since, but the job market is still almost three quarters of a million positions short of where it was before this all started.Still, the September surge means the economy has officially recovered more than three-quarters of the jobs it lost. For comparison purposes, the U.S. has only gained back a little more than half of the jobs it lost.Most of the new jobs were full-time work. Only about 44,000 of them were part-time. The gains were also more than twice as many as economists had been expecting.Every province added jobs — except Prince Edward Island, which lost 800 — but most came in the four most populous ones: * Ontario added 167,000. * Quebec added 76,000. * British Columbia added 54,000. * Alberta added 38,000.September's hiring was enough to push the jobless rate down to 9 per cent. For context, in February, Canada's unemployment rate was 5.6 per cent, before COVID-19 walloped the economy, and pushed it up to a high of 13.7 per cent in May, the highest rate on record. It has fallen steadily in each of the four months since then.The last time Canada's economy was hit by anything remotely similar to the impact of COVID-19 was the recession of 2008 and 2009. That time, the jobless rate was 6.2 per cent when it headed into the slowdown in October, before peaking at 8.7 per cent eight months later in June 2009.It took nine years from that point on for the rate to get back to where it was before.Back to school, back to workThe influx of students and teachers going back to school in September seems to have given the job market a boost.The job market was buoyed not only by the 68,000 educational workers who got jobs during the month, but also because they allowed parents to do the same in their previous jobs.The number of mothers who got paid work during the month rose by 0.9 per cent, while for fathers the figure was up by 1.5 per cent. Employment for parents now back above where it was in February."The big question is, how long can that last?" said TD Bank economist Sri Thanabalasingam."School reopenings have proved to be very tricky with the pandemic now entering the second wave, and the pressure is increasing for provinces to undertake tighter restrictions to control the spread of the virus," Thanabalasingam said.Indeed, working mothers are still having a harder time getting back to their usual level of paid work. The number of mothers working less than half their usual hours was 70 per cent higher last month than what it was in February, Thanabalasingam said. For dads, that figure is just 23 per cent higher.Still not normalWhile the job market has recovered more than three-quarters of the jobs it lost to the pandemic, it's still anything but normal.About one-quarter of Canadians are still working from home. That's 4.2 million people and more than twice the number who normally do.And while the economy is adding jobs, there are still 1.8 million people in Canada officially categorized as unemployed, which means they want a job but can't find one. And there are still 1.3 million workers affected by the COVID-19 economic shutdown, which means they are employed but working less than they'd like to or normally do.While she was encouraged to see the employment numbers rebound for women, Leah Nord of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said there are still lots of reasons for concern on that front. "If you look at who dominates food services and accommodation and retail, it's female," she said, citing the three sectors of the economy that are farthest away from their pre-COVID-19 levels of employment.While encouraged by September's numbers, like many others she's worried about October's based on what they're already seeing, with climbing case numbers across Canada and school shutdowns in many places.She is worried about the toll of the millions of people having to once again isolate themselves for months on end."There is the economic income side of work, but I think there is a whole other mental health side here as well that is certainly a factor now. And the longer this goes on, the more the impacts they are going to have."Rebecca Haines-Saah knows those impacts first-hand. On top of her job as an assistant professor at the University of Calgary, Haines-Saah has been handling remote learning from home for her two kids, in grades 3 and 6, since March.That means assisting with four or five hours a day of school work in the mornings, until she manages to start doing her own work at around 2 in the afternoon. She makes up the gap by working evenings and weekends. While she says she feels lucky to be able to work from home and have the option to keep her kids safe at home, "I'd be lying if I said that I haven't been through periods of depression and frustration during this time," she said in an interview."It's emotionally exhausting for sure."Now that the academic year has started up for her again, her workload is as full as ever, and she worries about the long-term impact not just on those who've lost a job, but on those who've managed to keep one."I was going full speed in September and right now it's kind of hitting me that not all of what I thought was work is really sustainable," she said. "But we're all doing what we have to do."
Norway’s 83-year-old King Harald V on Friday underwent an operation to replace a heart valve at the main hospital in Oslo. Bendz said that the intervention was necessary to improve the king’s breathing, and added that this kind of operation is regularly performed. Last month, the king was hospitalized with breathing difficulties.
A Black man hired to watch Nova Scotia's police watchdog is slamming one of its decisions.The decision found two white Halifax Regional Police officers did not use excessive force in the arrest of Santina Rao, a Black woman, in front of her children at a Halifax Walmart.Tony Smith's contract with the Serious Incident Response Team involved "providing observations and recommendations about the investigation" to SIRT's director and lead investigator. SIRT was looking into the Jan. 15 arrest that left Rao with injuries that included a concussion and a fractured wrist.Police and security guards accused Rao of trying to steal some produce after she placed the items in the bottom of her child's stroller.The SIRT report said that Rao scratched the officer in the face during the arrest. When the officer took her to the ground, she scratched him again, which drew blood. Rao then struck the officer in the groin and he then struck her in the face.Rao accused police of racial profiling and excessive force, but they were cleared by SIRT in a decision released Wednesday.When SIRT's acting director, Pat Curran, brought Smith on board in February, Smith was a well-known advocate for Black voices. He was a commissioner on the public inquiry looking into abuse at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children.Smith informed Curran "what I say is going to be through the lens of a Black person."But the pandemic lockdown began barely one month into his work, and no arrangements were made for him to complete his job.SIRT director Felix Cacchione returned to work in June. Smith had no say in the final report. In his report, Cacchione wrote that "given the aggressiveness of the female, the actions of the officer in this matter were reasonable."Charges against Rao of causing a disturbance, assaulting a peace officer and resisting arrest were dropped."I totally disagree with this [SIRT] decision," said Smith on Thursday, a day after the report was released."You don't even take the time to listen or to meet with me. That's totally disgusting to me as well, and that's what I think about his report."What SIRT is sayingIn a statement, Cacchione said Smith's role was to provide input into the investigation. Cacchione said he was not obliged to include it in his director's report or its conclusions.Smith's position was created while Cacchione was off the job. Curran wanted to ensure the investigation, which involved a Black woman's treatment by white police officers, was given every opportunity to be viewed as fair, according to Smith. "He said that he's a retired white judge, there are white police officers investigating other white police officers, and that optic within itself doesn't look like it would be a fair process," said Smith.Cacchione stands by his call to absolve the officers "as a result of a complete review of all the evidence."Red flagsSmith's only briefing with SIRT's investigating officer was on Feb. 18, which raised several red flags for him. For the next couple of weeks, Smith went to Curran's office about a dozen times to review the file.Smith said he was led to believe the statements obtained from the officers were done by SIRT. After reviewing the file, he saw it was HRP that gathered the statements.Cacchione said officers under investigation are not required to give a statement or provide notes to SIRT. Despite that, one officer provided a written statement, while the other provided his report, notes and photos of his injuries, he said.Smith was also concerned about information that stated one of the officers was racist.Questioning the fairness of the investigationCacchione said that complaint was dealt with internally by the professional standards department of HRP. The allegation of a racist officer had no bearing on SIRT's investigation, said Cacchione.Tackling racism within the justice system is something that drives Smith. He's part of the premier's design team that's addressing racism, inequality and systemic failures in the justice system.Smith acknowledges he hasn't seen the full investigation. However, he questions its fairness."If you were looking at trying to somehow have me as a token, you got the wrong brother," said Smith.'I believe her,' Smith saysWatching videos of Rao being taken down brought back memories of his own childhood trauma. He was a resident at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, a home where he and many residents suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse. "When I see that video, these kids are traumatized," said Smith.He has a message for Rao."I just want to let her know that I believe her, I stand by her," he said. "I went into this position to look at and to seek the truth and justice, and she was denied that justice by not really truly getting a fair investigation."For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.MORE TOP STORIES
Another raid on a parcel of land slated for a subdivision in Caledonia, Ont., reclaimed by Six Nations members won't solve the historical land grievance but would potentially ignite an already volatile situation, according to a senior Ontario Provincial Police officer.OPP intelligence concluded that another raid could create an explosive confrontation — similar to the events of 2006 during the Six Nations reclamation of another development in Caledonia — that could see railways, bridges and hydro stations "attacked and damaged in retaliation for the use of force by police," according to an affidavit filed by OPP West Region Regional Commander John Cain in Ontario Superior Court on Oct. 5.The affidavit was filed ahead of Friday's hearing on a permanent injunction against the camp filed by the developer.Launching a second operation to enforce the injunction against the camp, known as 1492 Land Back Lane, established on the planned McKenzie Meadows subdivision won't resolve the "underlying land dispute" that has already led to clashes with police, roadblocks and flaming tires, said Cain's affidavit.Cain's affidavit said that the police are bound to enforce any injunction, but that "The OPP is concerned about the risks involved with using force to remove protesters from McKenzie Meadows and is actively involved in trying to bring about a peaceful resolution.""The use of force, except where required to keep the peace and maintain order, is a blunt instrument that cannot resolve the issues underlying land disputes of this nature."The affidavit said that some individuals connected to the site have "weapons" and "incendiary devices" that could be deployed in the event of another raid.The developer, Foxgate Development Inc., a partnership between Losani Homes and Ballantyne Homes, is seeking the permanent injunction, arguing that if the reclamation camp continues "it will render it impossible for [the developer] to complete" the project and deliver already "purchased homes," according to its filing.Foxgate also argues that if it fails to build the subdivision, it will "damage" its reputation and the rights of all developers in the province.Cain's affidavit said the 2006 conflict was resolved after Ontario stepped in to purchase the Douglas Creek Estates lands that it still holds."The best-case scenario is for the protesters to leave without further enforcement action and the use of force," said the affidavit.Land part of Haldimand TractMembers from Six Nations, about 20 kilometres south of Hamilton, took over the property in July to stop the development.The property is part of the Haldimand Tract granted to Six Nations of the Grand River in 1784 for allying with the British during the American Revolution. The tract ran along roughly 10 kilometres on each side of the 280-km Grand River from its source in the region around Waterhen, Ont., to Lake Erie. The land being developed was originally sold by a squatter to a settler who later paid and received a land patent from the colonial administration in 1853.Six Nations, which has the largest population of any reserve in the country, now has less than five per cent of its original land base. Today, 38 municipalities in southern Ontario sit on lost Six Nations lands.The land where the McKenzie Meadows subdivision is planned sits among 28 separate claims that form part of an ongoing court case filed by Six Nations against the federal government and Ontario in 1995. The claim also seeks compensation for money owed to Six Nations from land leases and sales, now worth between $7.5 billion and $6 trillion — depending on the interest rate.Affidavit says police pelted with rocks in AugustThe loss of land and funds has been a grievance from Six Nations for over 150 years and it has become a flashpoint.Cain's affidavit included an exhibit listing 29 people who have been charged in connection to 1492 Land Back Lane between Aug. 5 and Oct. 5.Cain's affidavit also described the events of Aug. 5 when OPP raided the camp, enforcing a temporary injunction. It led to widespread reaction — including blockades of roads, highways and a CN Rail line — that saw police pelted with rocks and bricks.Tires and wood pallets were then set on fire, a portable bathroom was thrown from a bridge onto Highway 6, police officers were swarmed while setting up checkpoints and pushed back by rocks, said the affidavit.A CN train was forced to stop after about 30 people and several vehicles blocked tracks, a train window was smashed, CN tracks and an electrical shed was set on fire, said the affidavit.Cain said the OPP planned to hold the site only for a short while until the developer deployed its own security detail, which they had been advised to prepare. It appears that never happened.Cain said the OPP continues to apply a framework created after an inquiry into the OPP shooting death of Dudley George during the Ipperwash provincial park occupation and it has worked to keep events from spiralling out of control.Developer calls federal willingness to discuss land claims an 'affront'While the developer pushes for a permanent injunction, the federal government continues to keep the door open for potentially restarting failed negotiations with the Six Nations elected council and its traditional government, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council.Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller and Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett wrote to both governments on Aug. 19 saying they were willing to "collaboratively design a process to address the unresolved land issues," according to the letter filed with the court.The offer remains on the table and has not been rejected.Creating a table to negotiate all claims as one connected entity was one of the key recommendations from a 2006 fact-finding report commissioned by then-Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice.However, Foxgate said the attempt by the federal ministers to open up channels of dialogue was "an affront" to the company and the "200 families that have bought their future development," according to a Sept. 17 letter sent by the developer's lawyer Kagan Shastri to Bennett and Miller."The voices of those who abide by the law and seek their remedies under the law appear to have been set aside by your ministries without a response," wrote Kagan, in the letter filed with the court."Any further delays in allowing my clients to proceed with their development will only worsen those damages and the damages to the Ontario families that are being impacted by these illegal protests."The Six Nations elected council signed an agreement with the developer for 42.3 acres and $325,000 put into a land banking account as accommodation for the development.However, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council opposes the development and says it is within a designated "red zone" that should be under a construction moratorium.A separate developer sold off the McKenzie Meadows project after the Six Nations elected council in 2013 rejected the development following community consultations.
Drumming and candlelight filled the darkness as friends and family gathered on Thursday night to honour the life of 13-year-old Sierra Chalifoux-Thompson. With the wailing melody of traditional drummers to accompany them, the crowd marched through the streets of central Edmonton, retracing her final steps. "I'm pretty sure my niece is probably smiling down and proud of everything we have done for her today," her aunt, Fran Chalifoux, told the crowd, her voice breaking. "And that she knows that she loved, that she was loved ever since she was born and that we are definitely going to miss her so much." More than 100 people gathered to pray and hold a moment of silence in the place where Chalifoux-Thompson was fatally injured. "This vigil, it's for everyone one to come together and help our family mourn in the tragedy of losing her, of losing someone so young to something so violent," Chalifoux said. "A person with a heart like hers didn't deserve this violence." Chalifoux-Thompson died on Friday after police were called to an assault in the area of 75th Street and Mount Lawn Road in the Eastwood neighbourhood. Officers arrived around 11 p.m. and found the girl suffering from serious injuries. She later died in hospital. Three days later, a youth was charged with second-degree murder in her death. The accused cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. On Friday, police released the autopsy results from the Edmonton Medical Examiner. Chalifoux-Thomspon died of a stab wound, police said in the news release. On Thursday night, the anguish of the mourners was still raw, her death incomprehensible to those who knew her. "When I first heard it, I couldn't believe it," Chalifoux said. "I said no, it has to be wrong. It was just devastating, I couldn't believe it. I didn't want to and I still don't want to." She urged other witnesses to come forward. "To the people that were with my niece that night, I wish the rest of them would come forward. We still want justice." Once her body is released, the family wants to bring her home to High Prairie. It has been hard to explain the tragedy to the youngest members of their large, tight-knit family. Her youngest siblings have been told simply that she has gone to heaven. Chalifoux said it's hard to reconcile the violence of her niece's death with the sweet girl she knew. Chalifoux-Thompson — who often went by her nicknames Brownie and Cece — loved music, drawing, watching anime, skateboarding or riding around on her BMX. She had just started Grade 8 at Cardinal Leger Junior High School and recently took up singing. The once shy child was becoming a strong and bold young woman. "She just turned 13 but she was starting to get into different things and come out of the nest a bit," Chalifoux said. "She was vibrant, she loved to laugh. There are not enough words to describe her."