Germany's houses of parliament are debating and then voting on providing a legal basis for the current lockdown measures aimed at tacling COVID-19, but some demonstrators are continuing to insist the measures are unconstitutional.
Germany's houses of parliament are debating and then voting on providing a legal basis for the current lockdown measures aimed at tacling COVID-19, but some demonstrators are continuing to insist the measures are unconstitutional.
La population de Sainte-Rose-du-Nord fait face à une surpopulation de chats errants sur son territoire, ce qui n’est pas sans créer des remous chez certains citoyens . Au cours des derniers jours, le citoyen Étienne Voyer a écrit une missive aux médias pour faire part qu’à l’automne, des citoyens ont contacté la Société pour la prévention de la cruauté contre les animaux (SPCA) pour faire part de leur inquiétude devant la croissance du nombre de félins dans les entourages. L’objectif était de se débarrasser des animaux de façon éthique. Ils ont alors été dirigés vers la municipalité à qui incombe le contrôle des animaux. Selon M. Voyer, les instances municipales auraient fait preuve d’indifférence et auraient fait part de deux options possibles, soit payer eux-mêmes les 300 $ pour capturer les animaux errants et les envoyer à la fourrière, ou régler le problème en tuant les bêtes de leurs mains, tout en l’informant qu’il n’existe pas de règlement encadrant les chats errants. Il aurait même été évoqué que les chats errants finissent dans une poche de jute coulée dans le fjord ou que l’hiver aurait raison de la population de chats. D’autres chats à fouetter Interrogé sur le sujet, le maire Laurent Thibeault reconnaît que le problème existe, qu’il y a beaucoup de chats dans le décor roserain et que la population féline augmente. « Je vois des chats tous les jours sur ma galerie. Il y a des chats. Est-ce une quantité problématique qu’on voit se promener dans le village ? », interroge-t-il. Il assure toutefois que ni la direction générale de la municipalité ni les élus n’ont émis de directives visant à éliminer les chats errants de façon cruelle en proposant de les tuer soi-même ou en les noyant dans le Saguenay. Il avoue du même souffle qu’il ne s’agit pas d’une préoccupation majeure pour lui et qu’il a d’autres chats à fouetter avec la préparation du budget municipal qui sera déposé le 14 décembre prochain. Le maire Thibeault ajoute que l’administration devrait enregistrer un surplus budgétaire pour l’exercice 2020. Du côté de la SPCA, il n’a pas été possible de discuter avec la directrice Claudia Côté, sauf qu’un membre du personnel nous a indiqué qu’habituellement, l’organisme intervient dans les municipalités qui accordent du financement pour obtenir le service.Denis Villeneuve, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
Israel handed over a backlog of billions of shekels in tax money to the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday, both sides said, in another sign of warming ties between the sides after the U.S. presidential election victory of Joe Biden. The taxes, managed by Israel under interim peace accords from the 1990s and usually handed over monthly, make up more than half of the budget of the Palestinian Authority (PA), whose economy has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The 3.77 billion shekels ($1.14 billion) transfer is the first since June, when the Palestinians snubbed the handover due to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plans, currently suspended, to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
Several P.E.I. appliance stores are dealing with a shortage of products to sell because COVID-19 is affecting the manufacturers of fridges, stoves, washers and dryers.P.E.I. is adding 55 new front-line positions to schools across the province to support students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.A program where Islanders share their Christmas traditions with newcomers has moved online.The collapse of the Atlantic bubble has left some Nova Scotia university students in a tough spot ahead of their end-of-semester exams and holiday break.Wednesday night's Santa Claus tour in Charlottetown was postponed to Sunday. Holiday shoppers are receiving their own gift from the City of Charlottetown this December: free parking downtown. The lack of activity at Charlottetown Airport is "surreal," the CEO says.P.E.I. has seen a total of 72 cases, with no deaths and no hospitalizations.Seventeen new cases of COVID-19 were identified in Nova Scotia on Wednesday, bringing its number of active cases to 127.In New Brunswick, six new cases were reported, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 119.Also in the newsFurther resourcesMore from CBC P.E.I.
Royal Bank of Canada reported a small rise in quarterly profit that beat analysts' expectations on Wednesday, driven by strength in its capital markets unit and reduced provisions to cover potential loan-losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.Canada's largest lender by market capitalization set aside $427 million in the fourth quarter, as economic disruptions from the pandemic raised the possibility of defaults. The amount was far lower than analysts' expectation of $798.75 million, and down 14 per cent from a year earlier.Net income from personal and commercial banking — RBC's biggest source of income — fell 7 per cent to $1.5 billion, largely reflecting the impact of lower interest rates.The country's banks have faced margin pressure this year from surging deposits and slower lending growth across retail and business segments.RBC's capital markets division, which includes trading, investment banking and advisory, however, saw net income soar 44 per cent to $840 million, helped by increased volatility in markets due to the health crisis.Overall profit was upTotal net income rose to $3.25 billion ($2.51 billion) for the quarter ended Oct. 31, or $2.23 per share, from $3.21 billion, or $2.19 per share, a year earlier.On an adjusted basis, the bank earned $2.27 per share, higher than analysts' average estimate of $2.05 per share, according to Refinitiv data.
VAGANESH, Kosovo — Blagica Dicic, 92 and in failing health, is the only resident of a remote ethnic Serb minority village in the mountains of eastern Kosovo that's been abandoned by all its other inhabitants — including her own children.Djordje, the eldest son, has moved to Serbia's capital, Belgrade, and has no room for her. She can't remember when they last met.The younger son, Slobodan, lives in council-provided housing in nearby Kamenica town with his paralyzed wife. He rarely visits Dicic.But now, she feels she's got a new son. It's all the more remarkable because Fadil Rama, 54, comes from the other side of Kosovo's bitter ethnic divide, being a member of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority and a Muslim.“I have three sons, not two,” she says, lying in bed with two blankets to cover her in her tiny home in Vaganesh village, 45 kilometres (30 miles) east of the capital Pristina.“Fadil is the other one, bringing me food and taking care of me,” she says, leaning on one elbow as she caresses Rama, who lives less than a mile away in the ethnic Albanian village of Strezovce.Until early November, Dicic enjoyed good health but has now grown weaker and has difficulty standing. Still, she refuses to move out of her dilapidated two-storey home, surviving on a 60-euro ($71) monthly pension and no other official support.It's one of about 50 stone-and-wood-built houses that are slowly collapsing from neglect.Before the 1998-1999 war, more than 200 people lived there. Now they've gone, the last being Dicic' son Slobodan, when his wife fell ill three years ago.The war in the former Serbian province killed more than 10,000 — mostly ethnic Albanians — and ended after a NATO bombing campaign forced Serbia to withdraw its forces that were fighting an ethnic Albanian insurrection.The United Nations ran the territory for nine years before Kosovo in 2008 declared independence, which Serbia doesn’t recognize. Relations between Belgrade and Pristina remain tense.Rama, who owns a small grocery shop, has known Dicic since he was a boy and she always had a gift of sweets for Strezovce's children, even during the fighting.“She has been such a good woman before, during and after the war and has treated us like her children," he said. "When I learnt she remained alone I felt very sorry and thought of paying back her good deeds.”“Belgrade’s or even Pristina’s politics are of no interest to us because we have always supported each other,” Rama said.Since the coronavirus outbreak in March, Rama has visited her twice a week, bringing food.He cleans her room as best he can, lights the stove and settles down to cook for her.Rama said he saw nothing strange in helping an elderly, Orthodox Christian Serb. His fellow villagers agree.“Why? For assisting an old lady? A Serb? So what?” two men in Strezovce responded together. “Good for him.”Since the war, Vaganesh has had no drinking water. Dicic used to walk to Strezovce for water and essential supplies, but now she's too frail.Rama says local shepherds who heard he's helping her have followed his lead, visiting Dicic regularly "to see how she is and bring water or anything else.”He's given his word to Dicic' son, Slobodan, that he will “take care of her to the last minute of (her) life with all I have.”“I will never leave her on her own,” Rama said.___“One Good Thing” is a series that highlights individuals whose actions provide glimmers of joy in hard times — stories of people who find a way to make a difference, no matter how small. Read the collection of stories at https://apnews.com/hub/one-good-thingLlazar Semini, The Associated Press
When the rain started to hit hard, Kelsey Richardson's main focus was to make sure her kids were safe. So, at around midnight, she packed them in the car and left her Sussex home. "We hoped to heck we were going to make it to the end of the street," she said, as she held two of her children, Abby, 8, and Bentley, 4.Richardson, her fiancé and her three children, including infant Cohen, live on Homan Avenue, one of the areas of Sussex hit hardest by Tuesday's rainstorm.As she was leaving her home, which she rents, the water was almost to the hood of her vehicle, she said."We were lucky to get out," she recalled as her kids played in the water left behind by the storm. "I thought we were going to float away."Richardson said she's distraught by the loss and didn't expect the water to ruin so many of her belongings.She lost her couches, her children's toys, window screens and her daughter's kindergarten materials. There's mud and sludge all over the house. The family was able to salvage a few teddy bears.She doesn't have insurance. And doesn't want to think about Christmas."Everything's gone," she said, hugging her daughter. Damages expected to be around $18MSussex Mayor Marc Thorne said people in the area were devastated by the downpourr, which he described as worse than the 2014 flood linked to a river ice jam that caused a state of emergency and forced neighbourhoods to evacuate from their homes."The water is a little dirtier and the damage a bit greater," Thorne said.He said the 2014 flood caused about $18 million in damage. "People are feeling heartbroken because they've been through this before."Thorne said he visited some of the homes in the area Wednesday morning, some of which have water all the way up to the first floor. He said flooding in the area has always been "one of intensity." "Many homes that had finished basements are destroyed."WATCH | Footage from the 2014 spring flood in Sussex At least 21 homes in the Sussex area have been evacuated as of 12 p.m. Tuesday because of the flooding caused by heavy rain Tuesday, according to Geoffrey Downey, a spokesperson for New Brunswick's Emergency Measures Organization.Downey said a few of those families have been able to return home."There's certainly reports of up to several feet of water in some homes, including some sewage," he said. "So this is something that's going to be going on for a little while."This week, Downey said the weather is favourable for recovery efforts. Temperatures are above freezing in the south and there's not much rain in the forecast this week."There shouldn't be anything in terms of the water rising anymore," he said. "It should just be consistently going down." The Sussex area and Sussex Corner were the areas hit hardest by the prolonged heavy rain across the province."It's just like spring — there's not much you can do," he said Wednesday. "Once the water goes up, you just have to wait for it to go down."So far, Downey said, people in the Sussex area are the only residents to report damage. However, there are some road and school closures in other parts of the province. Downey said flooding can happen anytime of year, including early December."It just goes to show that people need to be ready for anything, essentially year-round," he said. "It's not just flood season anymore."Visitors becoming an issue Downey said municipalities are reporting disaster tourism in the area and he is encouraging people to stay home."Not only do they hamper any recovery efforts, they could end up causing problems where they need to be saved as well," he said.He said many people are showing up at closed roads and taking photos."That's just getting in the way."'It's getting so close to Christmas'Scott Hatcher, chief administrative officer with the Town of Sussex, said 14 families in the Sussex area were forced from their homes late Tuesday night.But he said hundreds of properties in the area were affected by the storm, and many had water in their basements.Local fire departments were able to retrieve the stranded families with boats and bring them to shelter."We're getting too used to flooding, which is not a good thing," Hatcher said.Trout Creek, which passes through the area, reached flood stage Tuesday night. Conditions didn't improve until about 4 a.m. "It's getting so close to Christmas and with all of the extra precautions ... with the pandemic, it's just added a bit of angst in the community," he said."That's really just piled on when you didn't need it to be piled on."Canadian Red Cross volunteers arranged emergency lodging for at least 16 residents from 11 houses in the Sussex area, said Dan Bedell, a spokesperson for the Canadian Red Cross. Regional emergency management coordinators are also there to make sure any needs are met.Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning for most of the province on Tuesday. Central and southwestern parts of New Brunswick saw between 40 and 120 millimetres of rain Tuesday into Wednesday morning, and some southwestern regions were expecting up to 180 millimetres. Environment Canada showed 181 millimetres of rain in Mechanic Settlement, about 76 kilometres southwest of Moncton.Tina Simpkin, a CBC meteorologist said heavy rain is still expected in the Acadian Peninsula down through Moncton and into northern Nova Scotia on Wednesday. Power outages across the provinceNB Power said more than 4,000 NB Power customers are without electricity. That's after a peak of about 7,000 customers without power Tuesday afternoon.Marc Belliveau, a spokesperson for NB Power, said trees falling over power lines were the main problem. About 20 crews were working overnight to restore power.Belliveau said there was also a fire in a switch gear building in Bouctouche, probably because a piece of equipment failed.No one was hurt, but the damage is being assessed and repairs could take a bit of time.
The son of a Windsor pediatrician is hoping to tell his father's story in a documentary about the impact his dad had on the local community.Joseph Galiwango is the son of Dr. Joe Galiwango, who practised pediatric medicine in Windsor for over 30 years. Dr. Galiwango co-founded the former neonatal intensive care unit at Grace Hospital in Windsor, and was also instrumental in helping with the W.E. Care for Kids campaign fundraising, which supports local pediatric health care.Dr. Galiwango eventually retired to his native Uganda. He was found dead in his home in 2016.Joseph Galiwango says he's eager to tell his dad's story because of the effect he had on the local community."The story is kind of a Windsor story to be honest," he told Windsor Morning host Tony Doucette. "This is about this person who was embraced by this community, and found so much joy in helping the most vulnerable babies, up until teenagers, and their families — and that impact, it's still being felt."Affectionally known as "Dr. Joe," Dr. Galiwango was born in Uganda and studied in the United Kingdom. He later came to Canada and eventually settled in Windsor.Joseph Galiwango — who would often be at the office while his father was working — says what he remembers most about his dad was his cheerfulness."He had an innate joy from working with his patients and working with their families," he said. "The thing I remember most about him is how happy he was with his patients."A doctor's office is not always the happiest place, but Joseph Galiwango describes his father's as being "almost like Santa's workshop."Documenting a lifeThe passion and jubilance Dr. Galiwango brought to his work is why his son is so eager to start documenting his father's life and telling his story.While checking his Facebook, Joseph Galiwango came across a seven-month-old message from a friend, who is a documentary producer.The friend, as a baby, was a patient of his father's, and said he was interested in making a documentary about Dr. Galiwango."We got the conversation going, and he told me it's a passion project of his because when he was a baby he was quite sick, and my dad was responsible for bringing him back to health," Galiwango said.They'll be looking to interview medical colleagues of Dr. Galiwango's, people involved with the W.E. Care for Kids Foundation he was involved with, and, of course, patients.A sad end to a happy storyAfter Dr. Galiwango's death, his family held a memorial in Windsor in 2016.Joseph Galiwango suspects that his father was murdered, and the family is still looking for answers."We don't know a whole lot more to be honest with you," he said. "But we do have some people helping us get some more information, but we don't know a whole lot more than what we found out four years ago and what was in the papers and things.""That's a sad part of an otherwise amazing legacy," he added. "But, you know, the book on that is not really closed. So with the documentary, and to support that we hope to get more of a sense of closure."
A Halifax-area bank executive has been awarded more than $765,000 for post-operative advice that ultimately cost him the lower part of his left leg.David Robbins, 59, had what should have been a fairly routine hip replacement surgery on Jan. 26, 2012. The surgery itself went well, but Robbins started experiencing pain days after the procedure when he was back at home and performing the rehabilitation exercises he'd been instructed to do.Robbins tried to reach the doctor who'd performed the surgery, Dr. Michael Gross, but he wasn't available. Instead, Robbins was directed to the on-call orthopedic resident, Dr. Arpun Bajwa.The contents of their phone conversation on Feb. 6, 2012 was the subject of some dispute at the trial, which was conducted in September and October of this year.Robbins described Bajwa as being very abrupt on the phone and acting as though he was interrupting her. He said her advice to him was: "It doesn't sound like anything serious, stay home, do your exercises and everything should be fine".Robbins testified he was relieved when he heard this and didn't feel he had to go to the hospital or follow up with calls to other doctors.Leg needed to be amputatedDr. Bajwa claimed that she told Robbins to call his family doctor or go to a hospital emergency room but he disputed that version of the call. Bajwa said she didn't take notes during her phone conversation but said she had a clear recollection of what was said.Days later, when senior staff questioned her about the Robbins case, Bajwa drafted a letter which began with the line: "This letter is written for my lawyer in the event legal action is pursued against me with respect to patient Robbins, David."Robbins's pain persisted and on Feb. 9, 2012, he called the orthopedic clinic at the hospital. The nurse who returned the call told his wife, Natalie Robbins, to pinch her husband's toes. They were white and the colour did not return to them. The nurse instructed Robbins to bring her husband to the hospital.When Robbins arrived at the hospital, he was referred to a vascular surgeon. It was determined he had developed clots in arteries in both legs.He had surgery the next day, Feb. 10, but it was too late. The condition of his left leg had deteriorated to the point where it was amputated below the knee on Feb. 18, 2012.Robbins 'reliable and credible'Many of the facts in this case are not in dispute. Justice James Chipman had to assess the credibility of the key players."In assessing the witnesses in this case, I found Mr. Robbins to be both reliable and credible," Justice Chipman wrote in his decision.As for Bajwa, the judge focused part of his assessment on the letter she drafted for senior hospital staff when questioned about this case. "I am dubious about her denial that it was, in fact, written 'for my lawyer in the event legal action is pursued against me'", Chipman said. "I would add that I am similarly sceptical that she wrote this letter at a time when she says she cannot recall knowing whether or not Mr. Robbins' left leg had been amputated."Robbins had also named the surgeon, Dr. Michael Gross, as a respondent in his lawsuit. But the judge found Gross was not negligent in his conduct.Robbins's lawyer, Ray Wagner said medical malpractice suits like this one are difficult to win in Nova Scotia."It's a very difficult road to climb, we worked very hard," Wagner said Tuesday. "Our team here worked very hard on this case as did Mr. Robbins and so we're happy to have a positive result."Incident had a 'great impact'After finding the doctor liable, Chipman then had to assess damages.Prior to losing his leg, Robbins was an avid golfer and hiker. The court heard he has had to reduce both activities. While he used to look after his own yard maintenance and snow removal, he has had to hire companies to perform that work for him."It has a great impact on an extremely active individual who enjoyed a lot of outdoors activities, getting out and about, keeping fit and now that has been compromised so this is a recognition of how that has been compromised," Wagner said.Robbins was off work for some time while he recovered from both surgeries and did rehabilitation, but court heard he has been able to resume a full work schedule.The award includes $210,000 for general damages and more than $417,000 for future care. That figure includes the purchase of new and improved prosthetic devices.MORE TOP STORIES
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock says hospitals are ready to receive the new coronavirus vaccine and other modes of distribution are being set up. Britain approved the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for emergency use on Wednesday. (Dec. 2)
It's not going to be a very merry Christmas this year for a handicraft workshop in Islamist-run Gaza that has been an unlikely source of gifts for the holiday. Coronavirus lockdowns have made it difficult for the Zeina Cooperative Association to export its hand-crafted Christmas gifts from Gaza to Europe and to the Palestinian town of Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. About 24 Palestinian Muslim women, many of them veiled, work at the facility, making miniature Christmas trees, red-and-white puppets and Santa Claus marionettes.
Eeyou Istchee Tourism and Tourisme Baie-James have teamed up with a top chef at the Château Frontenac hotel in Quebec City to publish a book of recipes created with the help of Cree elders.The recipes are part of Northern Flavours - ᒌᐧᐁᑎᓅᑖᐦᒡ ᓂᓯᐧᑖᐤ, a cookbook released this Fall as part of efforts to promote the region."This project is part of our desire to develop this aspect of the regional tourism industry and to offer unique, quality culinary experiences to visitors," said Robin McGinley, executive director of Eeyou Istchee Tourism and the Cree Outfitting and Tourism Association, in a press release.Chef Stéphane Modat is the restaurants chef at Quebec City's Fairmont le Château Frontenac. He travelled to the Cree community of Chisasibi in the summer of 2019 to learn from Cree elders about Eeyou meechum, or Cree traditional cooking.> I learned that wasting things is not an option. \- Stéphane Modat, Chateau Frontenac hotel"I learned so much. I learned about cooking with the elders in a natural way and sharing plates and sharing with the people," said Modat, who is originally from France."It's important to know where we come from to know where we are going. I learned that wasting things is not an option."One of Modat's guides on his visit to Chisasibi was Edward Bearskin, who is the tourism coordinator for Chisasibi. He said he was also able to learn from Modat. "I was very surprised by the natural herbs and plants that Stéphane used," said Bearskin, in Cree. "I am going to try and cook and season ... my fish that way too." During his visit to Chisasibi, Modat spent time fishing, gathering edible plants and cooking with the elders. For Robin McGinley, the book is an invitation to discover the history and culture of the region through its cooking. "The region has infinite culinary treasures and opportunities," said McGinley from Eeyou Istchee Tourism, in a press release.One of the recipes Modat learned while in Chisasibi is how to make bannock with fish eggs cooked on sticks over an open fire. > The region has infinite culinary treasures and opportunities. \- Robin McGinley, executive director of EeyouIstchee Tourism and COTA"It's not fake cuisine. It's real cuisine with people and techniques," said Modat, adding he also learned Cree techniques to clean the fish and make a broth. He also tried what's called pemmican, which is often made from dried meat or fish that is pounded into a fine powder and mixed with grease from the goose or bear, as an example. "It's a taste we're not used to ... but it is so traditional and cultural. It's real life," said Modat. Modat said he is using some of the techniques he learned in Cree territory at the Chateau Frontenac, such as smoking the fish and making walleye chips and bannock.He hopes that people will use the Northern Flavours cookbook as a way to connect with the territory."I need for people to open themselves up to what is happening in the regions," said Modat. He said he hopes to be able to experience Cree cuisine in all the seasons. The cookbook is available on the Eeyou Istchee Baie-James Tourism website.
This column is an opinion from Rebecca Haines-Saah, a health sociologist at the University of Calgary. Last week, I became someone I might study. My job is to research how health-related stigma affects people and communities. Yet, as I listened to my supportive, non-judgmental doctor confirm their diagnosis that I have high blood pressure, I felt deep shame and self-blame. I've been working too much. I don't manage my stressors. I fuss over my family. I should have been more active, cut out all alcohol and the late-night snacks. I should have said no to committees, working groups and new projects. I need to quit Twitter. I should really lose 10 pounds. I've written extensively about how health is not just shaped by individual actions and access to health care. It's promoted by communities that provide belonging, fairness, supports and safety for all their members. I know very well the evidence showing that health is socially and structurally determined, shaped by the society in which we work and live. Yet, in that moment in my doctor's office, I forgot everything I've learned about public health and attributed everything about the diagnosis to my behaviour. My failures. That's why the move this week to list the presence or absence of comorbidities for each COVID-19 death in Alberta was a punch to the gut for a newly diagnosed person like me, and for the many who've been living with pre-existing conditions throughout the pandemic. An incorrect message Intended or not, there's a loud and clear (and incorrect) message: Those who died from COVID-19 died because of their own risk factors; the "otherwise healthy" person is safe. The attention to comorbidities shifts focus from the fact that every death from COVID-19, including those among older people and those with chronic illnesses, is wholly preventable. Left ineffectively checked, Alberta's exponential growth in cases threatens everyone. Dangerously, people who are "otherwise healthy" (and those who assume they are) may be emboldened to ignore public health restrictions or take them less seriously, assuming death from COVID-19 is near impossible and that recovery from the virus would be without complications. It's easy to blame people for their "unhealthy lifestyles," but 800,000 Albertans — about one in five — have a chronic condition. We are not exactly a small minority. That the incidence of diagnoses like asthma, diabetes and heart disease are higher in Alberta than the national rates suggests there's something about living here, something Albertan, if you will, that is contributing to our ill health. After all, health is shaped by where we live. By including comorbidities with Alberta's reports on recent deaths from COVID-19, the province is weaponizing the idea of "protecting the most vulnerable among us," perversely assuring everyone else they're not at risk. This contributes to chronic disease stigma by inferring that the dead, to borrow a term from the premier, bear "personal responsibility" for their deaths. It also neglects how the government's inadequate policy response has failed to protect all people and communities. But maybe that's the whole point. This column is an opinion. For more information about our commentary section, please readour FAQ.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority's contact tracing system is under a lot of strain. And that means some people who test positive for COVID-19 say they are not getting a contact tracing call, period. According to the SHA, a single positive case creates hours of work for contact tracers over the two-week time period.As cases in Saskatchewan continue to rise, it becomes harder and harder for the health authority to keep up, according to the province.One Regina mother experienced that strain herself recently."It was an unusually quiet COVID evening when I got a phone call from the principal of my son's school [saying] that he was deemed a close contact of someone in the class who had tested positive for COVID," said Tracy Thompson. She says she was in shock when she got the news. Then she realized her son, Rhett, was at hockey practice at that very moment. "I called my husband and was like, 'You need to get our son off of the ice stat, because he's deemed a close contact and we need to figure out what this looks like,'" Thompson said. Thompson's son tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 25. First, she heard from the doctor that had tested Rhett, then she heard from the SHA. "They said, 'Someone will call you to get all the pertinent information about contact tracing.' That hasn't happened."After the doctor that tested Rhett called to check in about his mild symptoms two days later, Thompson was told to take contact tracing matters into her own hands."I think [the health authority] is so overwhelmed with the amount of people that they're having to try and contact trace, they're just not getting there."According to the province, a close contact is anyone you have been within the two metres of for 15 minutes or more.The health authority recently said that close contacts should be limited to members of your immediate household and those you eat with, hug and see without a mask. Thompson says she worries that there is not enough communication from the provincial government about contact tracing. "All of [Rhett's] hockey team walked around school Monday to Friday potentially positive," she said."Give us clear direction so we can do it ourselves. I am a very responsible adult. I am capable and I did my own contact tracing on Friday," said Thompson."We are for the most part a clever society. We can be able to help the government out because they're working at max capacity just like everybody else."The Saskatchewan Health Authority is recruiting more contact tracers, including retirees, in anticipation of a potential surge in cases.But in the meantime, medical professionals are urging the public to be vigilant in tracking who they come in contact with, just in case they have to make contact tracing calls themselves. Dr. Dennis Kendel, a former Saskatchewan physician and current health policy consultant, says people should always prepare to do do their own contact tracing."It's optimally done by somebody with professional skills. But if there is delay in that, then you need to recall and actually sit down and write down the names of everybody you think you may have been in contact with during the period that you might have been infectious," said Kendel.Health professionals are hoping as close contact numbers go down, contact tracing efforts will be more easily carried out by professionals. "Have an awareness, a mindfulness of what sorts of contacts may put other people at risk. And if it's not essential, really try to avoid those contacts," Kendel said.
Construction work has started on a joint Turkish-Russian centre to monitor a ceasefire in the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday. Azerbaijan and Armenia last month signed a Russia-brokered ceasefire for the enclave, which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but mainly populated by ethnic Armenians. Russian peacekeepers were deployed to the region under the deal, which froze Azeri gains in six weeks of fighting.
A Peel police officer faces multiple charges after allegedly leaving three prohibited firearm magazines in the trunk of a police cruiser.Police announced the constable had been charged on Tuesday, but revealed few other details.They said the officer, an eight-year veteran, was investigated by the force's professional standards bureau for 14 months. "The officer reported off duty leaving behind three prohibited firearm magazines loaded with ammunition in the trunk of the police cruiser that he was operating," a news release said.The magazines were not work issued. The officer faces three counts of unauthorized possession of a prohibited device, three counts of careless storage of a prohibited device and one count of careless storage of ammunition.Police say the officer is set to answer to the criminal charges on Jan. 4, 2021, and that a Police Services Act investigation will follow that.
The proposal to have the former Capital Pointe site be a temporary parking lot for one year has been approved.Regina's new city council voted 6-5 in favour of the proposal. A developer has said it is interested in purchasing the land if it had approval to use it as a parking lot for a one-year term.The city is owed $2.8 million from the property. Councillors Landon Mohl, Jason Mancinelli, Terina Shaw, John Findura and Lori Bresciani voted in favour, along with Mayor Sandra Masters. "I feel that I need to put a little bit of a trust going forward," Findura said. "I would like to see it move forward, get out of that hole." Councillors Andrew Stevens, Bob Hawkins, Cheryl Stadnichuk, Shanon Zachidniak and Daniel LeBlanc voted against the proposal."I think it's a mistake, frankly," Stevens said. "There was such promise with that corner. It really fell short and went from a hole to a buried hole now to a parking lot. And I'm not sure what's worse from a planning perspective. There was absolutely no reason to approve this." Masters said that the city is not in the business of commercial real estate development."I have a bigger fear that if we don't provide what assistance we can in terms of facilitating a sale, that we end up ... we can end up with possession of it for years," Masters said. It was the first time the new council was together. It approved a new meeting schedule and will now meet twice a month instead of once a month. Councillor Lori Bresciani is in her second term. She said from her view, the first meeting went smoothly."Of course, there's the procedural things that take a little bit of time. But I thought overall it was very, very well done," Bresciani said. "Mayor Masters did a great job and actually all of councillors spoke. So I think, again, very inclusive. And at the end of the day, that's what we want."New wellness committee, no more mandatory written statements for delegatesCity council also created a new community wellness committee. The committee will discuss housing, poverty reduction, mental and physical wellness, addiction, discrimination and other social determinants of health and crime. Masters said this is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the city needs to support those combating the increasing number of overdoses. "The city needs to continue to support the services that are providing the [naloxone] kits and arriving on scene for the overdoses," Masters said. She said the city also needs to build relationships with different levels of government for funding initiatives. Masters said a safe consumption site is one of the options the committee could look into. She said she's interested in hearing from Prairie Harm Reduction about the one in Saskatoon."As well as looking at other best practices in other communities for the success stories that they've had or perhaps mistakes that have been made or learned lessons," she said. Stevens said the creation of the committee is symbolic right now and hopes it shows commitment to these issues. "I think what's really exciting about this new council and mayor is that everybody's talking about addictions, social determinants of health and community well-being," Stevens said.Also during the meeting, city council debated the mandatory written statements that previously had to be provided by people hoping to address the councillors.Councillor Stevens brought forward an amendment and said he has worked with people with intellectual disability who have trouble with the written requirement. People did not have to read their written statement verbatim. The idea passed with only Councillor Shaw opposed. Now people wanting to speak to the council will need to tell city administration in advance and will be encouraged to provide a written submission so the city administration can prepare answers, but the written submission is not a requirement. Both the priorities and planning committee and the finance and administration committee were cut, with their responsibilities transferred to the executive committee. The community and protective services committee and the public works and infrastructure committee also merged into a new operations and community services committee.
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller confirmed today that the Liberal government will not meet its commitment to lift all long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations by March 2021.At a press conference in Ottawa, Miller took full responsibility for the broken promise and pledged to spend more than $1.5 billion to finish the work."This was an ambitious deadline from the get-go," Miller said. "While there have been many reasons for the delay, I want to state as clearly as possible that, ultimately, I bear the responsibility for this and I have the ... duty to get this done."Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first promised to end all long-term boil water advisories within five years during the 2015 campaign. It was the first major promise on the Indigenous reconciliation file, which became one of the central goals of the Liberals' governing agenda. At the time, the Trudeau government said it would meet the target by March 2021."What communities want is not an Ottawa-imposed deadline. It's a long-term commitment for access to clean water," Miller said.WATCH | 'We didn't appreciate the state of decay of some of the public infrastructure,' minister saysIn October, CBC News surveyed all communities on the long-term drinking water advisory list maintained by Indigenous Services Canada.More than a dozen First Nations said their projects would not be completed by the promised deadline. Five communities said a permanent fix would take years.The Trudeau government has helped lift 97 long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations since 2015, according to Indigenous Services Canada. Currently, 59 advisories are still in place in 41 communities.Miller said another 20 advisories could be lifted by the end of December and that by spring 2021, the number of advisories remaining could shrink to 12. Since forming government, the Liberals have spent more than $1.65 billion of the $2.19 billion they set aside to build and repair water and wastewater infrastructure, and to manage and maintain existing systems on reserves.The $1.5 billion proposed in Monday's fiscal update is in addition to that $2.19 billion."Today, we are providing sustained funding in the spirit of partnership," said Miller. "We're listening to communities and we want to let them know that our government is going to be there for the long run."WATCH | Singh asks why the federal government has failed Neskantaga First Nation on clean drinking waterFunding for repairs, training and ongoing maintenanceThe new money is aimed at helping First Nations in three key areas.The first area is ongoing support for daily operations and maintenance of water infrastructure on reserves, to help keep that infrastructure in good condition even after long-term drinking water advisories are lifted. The money earmarked for this — $616.3 million over six years, with $114.1 million per year ongoing — will also fund training for water treatment plant operators and help communities better retain qualified workers. The second is continued funding for water and wastewater infrastructure on reserves: $553.4 million to prevent future drinking water advisories.And finally, $309.8 million of the total will pay for work halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other project delays. The pandemic caused some First Nation communities to close their borders to contractors and temporarily stop work on improving their water systems.National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations called the proposed new funding a move in the right direction, but warned more resources may be required in future budgets to lift all water advisories."Access to clean drinking water is a fundamental human right," Bellegarde said."It's not right that in a rich country like Canada, you still can't turn on the taps for potable water."NDP MP Charlie Angus said the new commitment is a recognition that the government initially low-balled the amount of money it would take to address water advisories on reserves. "The government has recognized that they can't keep doing this as a publicity exercise," Angus said. "So that money will go a long way."In 2017, the parliamentary budget officer found the federal government was spending only 70 per cent of what was needed to eliminate boil water advisories in First Nations.Conservative Indigenous services critic Gary Vidal said it's clear "there is no intent to meet the 2021 target."We know this is going to be an ongoing challenge."Miller told CBC's Power and Politics he wants to see target dates for lifting long-term drinking water advisories in individual communities.He also told CBC the government is moving to give First Nations more control over solving their water problems through self-determination.Most long-term on-reserve drinking water advisories are in Ontario. RoseAnne Archibald, the Assembly of First Nations regional chief for the province, said she has asked Miller to work with her team in the coming months to address the problem."Why do we have so many boil water advisories?" Archibald asked. "What barriers exist in Ontario that don't seem to exist anywhere else that we need to fix?"
Workplace safety-relatedcharges against the company managing construction at the Faro mine site and a site supervisor have been stayed.Parsons Inc. and Len Faber, who's also the mayor of Faro, were charged under the Yukon's Occupational Health and Safety Act in September 2019 for allegedly intimidating workers, obstructing safety officers in the course of their duties and failing to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.Both parties pleaded not guilty to all charges. The matter was set to go to trial on Nov. 16 but was adjourned to Nov. 24, when territorial Crown prosecutor Kelly McGill told the court that Parsons Inc. and Faber had successfully met the terms of a diversionary arrangement. The terms included Parsons Inc. augmenting its health and safety training program, while Faber had to complete coursework in psychological heath and safety. They also donated $5,000 and $1,000 to the Northern Safety Network Yukon, respectively, and paid $1,500 and $500 in administrative fees. McGill told Judge Karen Ruddy that, in light of the successful arrangement, there was no longer a public interest in proceeding with the prosecution and entered stays on all charges. Lawyers representing Parsons Inc. and Faber did not immediately return requests for comment. The federal government awarded Parsons Inc., an international engineering firm, an $80 million construction management contract for the Faro mine site in 2018. The firm held the care-and-maintenance contract before that. Faber won Faro's mayoral election in October 2018 by chance when his name was pulled out of a box after he and incumbent mayor Jack Bowers both received the exact same number of votes. The Faro mine was, at one point, the largest open-pit lead-zinc mine in the world but was abandoned in 1998. Remediation work, set to begin in 2024, is expected to cost upwards of $500 million and take about two decades, with officials needing to monitor the site indefinitely after that.
A "high-risk" COVID-19 exposure case was reported for Windsor's Northwood Public School Tuesday, according to the board's website. In a letter to parents, the board said it is working with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) by providing lists of students and staff in possible contact with the individual. WECHU is contacting anyone who may be at high-risk and will provide follow-up steps. It's unclear whether any cohorts have been dismissed as a result of the case. This case is one of 70 active in the public board. At this time, 16 schools have confirmed COVID-19 cases, the majority of which are from Frank W. Begley with 49 cases.The school continues to remain closed at this time. As for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, there are 10 active cases across six schools. W. J. Langlois remains closed at this time with three total cases.
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — The Supreme Court of Slovakia on Wednesday increased the prison sentence of a former soldier convicted of killing an investigative journalist and his fiancée, a case that triggered a political crisis and brought down the country’s government. In April, a lower court gave Miroslav Marcek a 23-year prison term for the contract killings of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova in February 2018. The high court increased the sentence to 25 years. Marcek had pleaded guilty to fatally shooting the two but appealed as did the prosecutors. The verdict by the Supreme Court is final. In September, a court acquitted a businessman, Marian Kocner, who was accused of masterminding the slayings, and one of his co-defendants. Prosecutors appealed the verdicts but the Supreme Court has yet to rule on that. Kuciak, 27, was shot in the chest and Kusnirova, also 27, was shot in the head at their home in the town of Velka Maca, east of Bratislava, on Feb. 21, 2018. Kuciak had been investigating possible government corruption. The killings prompted major street protests and a political crisis that led to the government’s collapse. Two other defendants have been sentenced in the case. One received 25 years in prison in September for his role. The other, who had acted as a go-between, agreed to co-operate with prosecutors in exchange for a lesser sentence and received a 15-year prison term in December. The Associated Press