Here's the latest for Thursday October 15th: Senate Judiciary Committee to consider Barrett nomination; Trump holds rally in Iowa; Coronavirus cases and deaths surge in Wisconsin; Wildfire forces evacuations in northern Colorado.
On July 13, 2018, two separate groups of friends made plans to meet up that night on Saint John's boardwalk to listen to live music. Hours later, the groups would cross paths briefly, leaving one man unconscious on the pavement with a fatal head injury and another man in police custody. William Ronald Jordan, 21, is charged with manslaughter in the death of 54-year-old navy veteran Anthony Dwyer. On the second day of the trial, Marilyn Steeves, 64, testified that she met up with Dwyer and his partner, Catherine Geldart, at a pub in Petitcodiac. The couple was heading to Saint John to watch a friend perform on the boardwalk. Steeves agreed to go along and five of them piled into Dwyer's van. She said they had a pleasant evening on the boardwalk and were preparing to leave when she heard that Dwyer had been injured. Under cross-examination from defence lawyer James McConnell, Steeves said Dwyer was the kind of person to approach complete strangers and strike up a conversation. She agreed with McConnell that Dwyer also had a "strong personality" and "wouldn't hesitate to argue his point." Steeves said Dwyer had been drinking that night and that another member of their group was going to drive Dwyer's van back to Petitcodiac. Another witness, Sam Mallett, said he's best friends with Jordan. He told the jury that he joined Jordan that night and shared a joint with him and a few other people at the amphitheatre near the boardwalk. The two, along with Jack Rabb, then made their way along the boardwalk, heading to a bar for a drink. Along the way, said Mallett, they were approached by an acquaintance of Jordan's who was wearing a neck brace. The man gave them a small cigar and then moved a short distance away. Mallett said Dwyer approached soon after and asked Jordan where he got the cigar. He said Dwyer demanded it back. Jordan refused and Dwyer got more agitated, said Mallett. He said Dwyer kept getting closer to Jordan and became "more assertive." He said the exchange escalated very quickly. Jordan asked Dwyer what he was going to do about it. Mallett recalled Dwyer responded by saying that he would take his two fingers and push them into Jordan's throat — as he did just that. "It was quick, but not a jab," testified Mallett. It was at that point, he said, that Jordan swung a closed fist and punched Dwyer in the face. "I really don't think, at that point, there was anything else he could do," said Mallett. Witnesses differed on the nature of the physical contact Dwyer made. Mallet says it was pressure to the throat with two fingers, while Rabb says it was more of a jab to the throat with four straight fingers. Another man, Jeff Kyle, who watched the exchange from a nearby patio, said it was a two-handed push to the chest. But all agree that Jordan responded by punching Dwyer in the face and that he fell back and struck his head on the pavement with a sickening sound. Again, there was a difference of opinion about Jordan's punch. Some said it was a left hook to right side of Dwyer's face, others say a right hook to the left side. One said it was a left-handed punch that landed on the left side of Dwyer's face. Jordan was arrested on the boardwalk by police a short time later.His girlfriend, Sarah Taylor, testified Wednesday that she had been with Jordan on the boardwalk that night, but had parted company shortly before the incident. The two met up immediately after and Jordan told her, "I think I just knocked somebody out."She said he looked shocked and confused and that he told her the man he punched "had his hands all over me." Taylor said she was with Jordan a short time later when he was taken into police custody. Rabb, testifying by video link from his home in Ottawa, said the exchange between Dwyer and Jordan happened right in front of him. He called Dwyer a "provocateur" and said Jordan wasn't aggressive or threatening as Dwyer continued to invade his personal space. Before Dwyer made contact with Jordan, Rabb said he believed the entire exchange to be an absurd joke over "what amounted to a third-hand cigarillo" that was half-smoked by that time. Then came the "judo-chop motion" from Dwyer, said Rabb, that sent Jordan back a couple of steps and caused him to cough. He said Jordan responded with the punch to the face that appeared to knock Dwyer out immediately because he made no effort to break his fall. "He fell down like a sack of bricks," said Rabb of Dwyer. "He fell back absolutely still, like a plank, straight backward." On Tuesday, jurors heard that two emergency room nurses who happened to be on the boardwalk tended to Dwyer immediately and stayed with him until the ambulance arrived. Dwyer died in hospital three days later. The trial continues Thursday morning.
Mexico's Sinaloa, Jalisco Nueva Generacion, Zetas and Beltran Leyva drug cartels are the top buyers and traffickers of cocaine produced by criminal groups in Colombia, including current and former leftist rebels, according to a high-ranking Colombian security official. The country at the northern tip of South America is one of the world's top producers of cocaine, largely consumed by customers in the United States and Europe.
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki gives assurances to the Canadian public that her force is fully engaged in the lobster dispute that has seen eruptions of violence. Lucki says RCMP units have been working “tirelessly” to maintain the peace in southwestern Nova Scotia.
OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said his party doesn't have confidence in the Liberal government, but that doesn't mean every issue needs to turn into a confidence vote. Yet his party is using its second chance this week to set Parliament's agenda to propose a motion calling for a sweeping probe by the House of Commons health committee into a host of issues relating to the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The motion is so broad and the demand for documents so massive the Liberals are expected to argue its passage would paralyze the government — the same argument used to declare an earlier Conservative motion on the WE Charity affair a confidence matter. The government survived the subsequent confidence vote on that motion — which would have created a special committee to investigate the WE Charity affair and other alleged examples of corruption — with NDP, Green and Independent MPs grudgingly joining with the Liberals on Wednesday to defeat the motion. But all opposition parties blamed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for turning the issue into a confidence matter that threatened to plunge the country into an election. The point of the health committee motion is to get the answers that will improve upon Canada's response to the pandemic, not force an election, O'Toole said Thursday. "How would an election in the second wave of a pandemic improve our response?" O'Toole said. "How would that help the well-being of Canadians? Mr. Trudeau is willing to put his own political fortunes, a continued coverup, ahead of the well-being of Canadians." The new motion was actually introduced by Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner at the health committee several weeks ago, where it appeared to have the support of Bloc Québécois and NDP members. But Liberal members argued strenuously at that time that they needed more time to digest such a massive motion. On Thursday, Liberals argued the motion brings an overly broad scope that would bog down public servants and swamp caucus members with papers and information requests. The move is "intentionally meant to overwhelm the department," Health Minister Patty Hajdu said in the House of Commons. That is similar to an argument Liberal MP Darren Fisher had made at the health committee. "The motion asks public health officials basically to stop what they're doing to protect Canadians and sift through emails and documents instead," he said earlier this month. While the motion will be debated in the House of Commons Thursday, it will not be put to a vote until Monday. Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said Thursday he would back the Conservative motion, insisting that a broad probe into "bad spending" is warranted. “We don’t know what the WE Charity scandal hides," he said in French. Among other things, the motion would direct the health committee to scrutinize the government's slow progress in approving rapid COVID-19 testing, the impact of the government's reliance on World Health Organization recommendations that delayed travel restrictions and wearing of face masks, the Public Health Agency of Canada's communications strategy, the partial shutdown of the Global Public Health Intelligence Network early warning system and the adequacy of federal health transfer payments to the provinces. And it would order the government to turn over a raft of documents from the Prime Minister's Office, the Privy Council Office, various ministers' offices and departments, and the Public Health Agency of Canada related to the government's preparation for the pandemic, the purchase of personal protective equipment and testing products. It would also order the government to release all records related to the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force and its subcommittees and its plans for distributing an eventual vaccine. The demand for documents concerning the purchase of personal protective equipment could be particularly sensitive for the government. It has used a national security exemption to keep some procurement contracts secret, arguing that the intense global competition for PPE makes it prudent to protect the names of suppliers of items that are particularly hard to come by, such as N95 respirators, gloves and swabs. A national security exemption also allows the government to purchase supplies more quickly. The Conservative motion makes some allowance for national security concerns, stipulating that any redactions to the demanded documents be made only by the parliamentary law clerk and only for national security or personal privacy reasons. O'Toole said all the questions on the table are reasonable. It's the government's response that isn't. "We're going to let them play politics," he said. "We're going to ask about rapid testing. We're going to ask about a better response. We're going to improve. That is the job of an Opposition." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2020. The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly stated Liberal MP Darren Fisher said something in the House of Commons on Thursday, Oct. 22, when he said it at health committee earlier this month.
HALIFAX — The chief of the First Nation behind a disputed moderate livelihood lobster fishery in Nova Scotia says recent vandalism and the loss of potential sales have cost the band more than $1.5 million — and he wants those responsible to be held accountable.Mike Sack, chief of the Sipekne'katik First Nation, also alleged the band had been blacklisted by lobster buyers."The (non-Indigenous) commercial fishery has systematically boxed us out of the market," Sack said in a statement. "It will take time to rebuild our relationships in the supply chain of people and companies we did business with who are now rightly afraid of retaliation."Sack told reporters the band filed an application for a court injunction aimed at preventing people from harassing Indigenous fishers at the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., where the livelihood fleet is based."We want the injunction to make sure people are safe in and around the wharf," Sack told a news conference in Digby, N.S.Later Wednesday, Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice James Chipman granted the interim injunction, which among other things prohibits anyone from "threatening, coercing, harassing or intimidating" band members or people doing business with them.It prohibits any interference with Sipekne'katik fishing activities, including interfering with their gear at sea or on land. The order, which is in force until Dec. 15, also says the Saulnierville wharf, another in Weymouth and a lobster pound in New Edinburgh used by the band cannot be blockaded.The First Nation attracted national attention on Sept. 17 when it launched a "moderate livelihood" fishing fleet in St. Marys Bay in southwestern Nova Scotia, almost two months before the federally regulated fishing season was set to open.Sack has said the Mi'kmaq band's members are exercising their constitutionally protected treaty right to fish where and when they want, as affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in a 1999 decision.Citing treaties signed in the 1760s, the court said the Mi'kmaq, Maliseet and Passamaquoddy bands in Eastern Canada can hunt, fish and gather to earn a "moderate livelihood."However, non-Indigenous protesters have asked federal authorities to stop the Indigenous harvest because the Supreme Court ruling also said Ottawa could continue to regulate the fishery — so long as it can justify such a move. The dispute has escalated into confrontations marked by violence, arrests and allegations of assault and arson. Two buildings storing lobsters caught by Indigenous harvesters were vandalized last week, and one of them was burned to the ground on Saturday.Amid rising tensions, the First Nation says it can't sell lobster caught by those taking part in its moderate livelihood fishery or the band's commercial communal operation to the east in the Bay of Fundy."It's like we've been blacklisted, and we're just hopeful that we can quickly come to some resolution and expedite getting our lobster to market," Sack said, adding that the band is also having a hard time buying new lobster traps."Pulling our commercial fishery this week and for the upcoming seasons will financially devastate our community," he said.A spokeswoman for the First Nation said the 11 boats taking part in the moderate livelihood fishery will continue to haul in their catches from Lobster Fishing Area 34 and put them in storage.However, Sack said the band's three boats used for the communal commercial fishery, which were operating in an adjacent area that opened for fishing last week, have been pulled from the water due to "intimidation and market embargoes."The chief said the three boats will be dispatched to St. Marys Bay to provide protection for the livelihood fleet. As well, he said the band is looking for a way to sell the 6,800 kilograms of lobster the band has harvested from the bay since Sept. 17.The provincial government regulates the sale of lobster by granting licences to approved lobster buyers. Sack said the band is looking for a provincial exemption, but he indicated the province wasn't in a co-operative mood."(Premier Stephen) McNeil just seems to be hiding behind the federal government," he said.Meanwhile, the RCMP continues to draw fire for their response to the violence, which included an alleged assault on Sack last week.Speaking at a news conference Wednesday in Ottawa, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki defended the police force, disputing Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller comment Monday that the Mounties had "let down" Indigenous people."We are fully committed to keeping the peace, keeping people safe and enforcing the law," she said. "Our actions to date are indicative of our strong commitment to this mandate." Lucki confirmed additional officers from the other Maritime provinces had been dispatched to Nova Scotia: "When we saw that this situation was evolving, we felt that there was a need to bring in additional resources."Senator Murray Sinclair, who was chief commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said Wednesday he was dismayed by the RCMP's lack of enforcement in Nova Scotia.During an online conversation with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the senator criticized the RCMP for "literally standing by and doing nothing" while criminal acts were being committed."To me, (it) was an act of negligence," Sinclair said, adding that he had submitted a complaint to the RCMP's complaints commission. "They were in fact facilitating the actions of the (non-Indigenous) fishers."On another front, Mi'kmaq leaders in Cape Breton are accusing the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans of illegally removing lobster traps set recently in St. Peters Bay. The 200 traps were placed in the bay as part of a similar moderate livelihood fishery, which is also operating outside the federally regulated season."The seizure of these traps by local officers are without the authorization or authority of their department or the minister," the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs said in a statement. "This is unacceptable and unlawful."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2020. Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press
WestJet says it will begin providing refunds to passengers whose flights were cancelled due to the pandemic. The Calgary-based airline said it will begin contacting all eligible flyers with WestJet and Swoop on Nov. 2. It will begin with those whose flights were cancelled in March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, to offer refunds in the original form of payment.The process is expected to take six to nine months, the company said. It asked customers to wait to be contacted, in order to avoid overloading its call centre. "We are an airline that has built its reputation on putting people first," said Ed Sims, WestJet president and CEO, in an emailed release."We have heard loud and clear from the travelling public that in this COVID world they are looking for reassurance on two fronts: the safest possible travel environment, and refunds."Sims said in a letter posted to the company's website that since March, it has done everything it can to reduce costs in the face of a 95 per cent drop in demand. WATCH | Airlines struggle and plead for aid amid stall in travel:"Up until this point, quite plainly, the financial position of airlines around the world has been precarious," Sims said."We went 72 days in a row where cancellations outstripped bookings, something that has not happened — ever — in our almost 25-year history. Thankfully, we are seeing bookings higher than cancellations now but still at a level that sees more than 140 of the 181 aircraft in our fleet parked and more than 4,000 WestJetters permanently laid off."The company said it's the first national airline in the country to proactively begin refunding customers during the pandemic — a comment that Air Canada contested."Misleading statement! WestJet is just now catching up to our policy to refund refundable fares. We have already refunded over $1.2 billion in refundable fares to date," Air Canada wrote on Twitter on Wednesday evening.Within 10 minutes of that tweet, more than a dozen replies from customers said they still had not received their refund. Air Canada said in an emailed statement that it has reimbursed refundable tickets since the start of the pandemic, and that vouchers are offered to those who have purchased non-refundable tickets. In June, both Air Canada and WestJet began offering refunds to some passengers whose flights originated outside of Canada. WestJet offered refunds on flights originating from or landing in the U.S. or U.K., and Air Canada offered refunds to those whose flights originated in the EU — but not in Canada. Air Canada made the most recent U.S. Air Travel Consumer Report, released in August, for having the most refund complaints of any foreign airline the previous month. It had 1,705 complaints, while WestJet had 346. The airline industry in Canada has lost billions due to border closures and grounded flights during COVID-19.Up until now, most Canadian airlines have offered travel vouchers to passengers with cancelled flights. The vouchers were redeemable for two years. The lack of cash refunds have led to petitions and even possible class action lawsuits against the industry. Canada's Air Passenger Protection Regulations state that if an airline is unable to provide a reasonable alternative itinerary, refunds "must be paid by the method used for the original payment and to the person who purchased the ticket or additional service."But the Canadian Transportation Agency said in April that, given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, vouchers were a reasonable alternative to refunds.WestJet's move comes days after opposition parties demanded the federal government ensure passengers receive refunds as a condition of any airline bailouts.Carriers' requests for financial assistance from Ottawa have failed to materialize in funding while the United States and some European countries have offered billions in financial aid, with strings attached including partial government ownership and emissions reduction commitments.Federal Transportation Minister Marc Garneau said WestJet's move was a step in the right direction."Canadians deserve refunds for cancelled trips as a result of [COVID-19]," he wrote on Twitter. Delays 'ridiculous'WestJet's website states those who cancelled their own flights or purchased basic fares will not be refunded. Passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs said the six to nine months WestJet estimates it will take to process refund requests is excessive, calling it "ridiculous" and a "non-starter."He also said the refund exclusions violate consumer rights."It doesn't matter whether it was a business class elite fare or a basic fare, they have to refund it equally," Lukacs said, citing provincial legislation and regulation.WestJet had started to bleed money from advance ticket purchases even before Wednesday's announcement.Of the nearly 16,300 guests who requested chargebacks from their credit card issuers between March and Aug. 19, only 11 per cent were denied, according to an affidavit WestJet regulatory affairs director Lorne Mackenzie filed to the Federal Court in August.Certification hearings on a class action against WestJet, Air Canada and Transat AT are to begin in Federal Court on Nov. 2, the same day WestJet's policy goes into effect.
OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Navy is investigating an unexplained breakdown on its brand-new, $400-million Arctic patrol ship. The problem first emerged last week as HMCS Harry DeWolf's crew were training off the coast of Halifax, 2 1/2 months after Irving Shipbuilding delivered the vessel to the Navy. Commodore Richard Feltham, commander of Canadian Fleet Atlantic, says the ship was forced to return to port after its freshwater generator and communications systems didn't work. It was while the ship was docked that the crew found the cooling pumps on two of the ship's four diesel generators had broken. The problems with the freshwater generator and communications system have been resolved, according to Feltham, who said the navy is confident about the causes and solutions. Though the cooling pumps were also fixed and the Harry DeWolf is back at sea for training, Feltham said the navy is investigating why to ensure there isn't a systemic problem. "This pump issue that we're facing now, we will figure out if it's just an anomaly of a certain pump or something else," he said in an interview from Halifax on Thursday. "Right now I don't know if I need to replace all the pumps or not. Perhaps it was just organic material on the pump. I don't know yet. It'd be premature to say. So we'll do an investigation." Despite the uncertainty, Feltham expressed confidence in the Harry DeWolf, which was finally delivered to the navy at the end of July, five years after Irving started work on it and two years later than scheduled. It is the first of six new Arctic offshore patrol ships being built for the Navy by Irving. The Halifax shipyard is building two more for the Canadian Coast Guard, for a total cost of around $5 billion. That amount includes jetty and fuelling infrastructure, initial spare parts, technical data, crew training and a contingency fund in addition to the cost of the actual ships. "This is the first of that class coming out of the shipyard and I think the shipyard has built us a really fantastic ship," said Feltham, noting the Harry DeWolf headed back to sea on Saturday. "And unlike cars or planes, there are no prototypes, right. So when we make the shift for the first time, it's inevitable that we will find things that are different, or we want to work on or fix or work through." University of Calgary shipbuilding expert Timothy Choi expressed surprise at the problems and wondered why Irving didn't uncover them during its own sea trials before delivering the ship to the navy. Irving did not immediately respond to a request for comment. While the navy's assertion that the problem was with the seals on the pumps narrows the search for a cause, Choi said such seals have little tolerance for error. That raises concerns about a broader issue. "The seal ensures a gap of no more than tiny fraction of a human hair between the rotating and non-rotating parts, which means incredibly minute factors can affect the seal's effectiveness," he said. "Identifying the cause of this will be of direct application and relevance to the rest of the Harry DeWolf class." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2020. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
Provincial police say they have found the body of a GTA man missing in Chemong Lake since the weekend after a boat with four people in it capsized while fishing off the shores of Curve Lake First Nation. The initial incident occurred in the early morning hours on Oct. 18, according to the OPP's Peterborough County detachment.Three people, one man and two females, were rescued that same day by police with the help of residents from the area.The man pulled from the water later died in hospital. He was identified as 48-year-old Wei Liu of Scarborough. One of the females sustained life-threatening injuries while the other was treated for minor injuries, police said. No further details, like their ages, were provided.Then, in the afternoon on Oct. 21, OPP said they had found the second man, who was still missing from the incident. He was recovered by the Underwater Search and Recovery Unit and was pronounced dead at the scene.He was identified as 52-year-old Lie Cao of Markham."The Peterborough County OPP thanks the community members of Curve Lake First Nation for their support and assistance during this tragic accident," a news release issued Wednesday night said.
PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron promised Wednesday that France will not renounce freedoms taught by a schoolteacher beheaded by a radical Islamist last week after showing caricatures of the prophet of Islam to his class. At a national memorial at the Sorbonne University in central Paris, Macron praised history teacher Samuel Paty as the “face of the Republic” who “believed in knowledge.” Paty, 47, was murdered on Friday by an 18-year-old of Chechen origin who had become radicalized. He was in turn shot dead by police. “Samuel Paty ... became the face of the Republic, of our will to shatter terrorists, to (do away with) Islamists, to live like a community of free citizens in our country," Macron said. “We will continue." A ceremonial military guard carried the teacher's coffin into the cobblestone courtyard of the Sorbonne where the memorial took place before his family, government members and select guests. A giant screen was installed outside. The stirring ceremony, with readings that included a poem by Albert Camus to his own teacher, came hours after the prosecutor sketched out how the teenager came to kill Paty, with the suspected help of two young students at the school in a northwest Paris suburb. Jean-Francois Ricard said a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old are among seven people taken before an investigating magistrate on accusations of “complicity in murder in relation with a terrorist undertaking” and “criminal conspiracy.” The killer offered students at the school where Paty taught 300-350 euros ($355-$415) to help him pick out the educator, Ricard said during a news conference. “The investigation has established that the perpetrator knew the name of the teacher, the name of the school and its address, yet he did not have the means to identify him," the prosecutor said. "That identification has only been possible with the help of students from the same school.” He said the implication of the two young adolescents “appeared to be conclusive.” Authorities have identified the killer as Abdoullakh Anzorov., a Moscow-born Chechen refugee. Anzorov claimed responsibility in a text accompanied by a photograph of the victim found on his phone. The other suspects include a student's father who posted videos on social media that called for mobilization against the teacher and an Islamist activist who helped the man disseminate the virulent messages, which named Paty and gave the school's address, Ricard said. Two more men, aged 18 and 19, are accused of accompanying the attacker when he bought the weapons, including a knife and an airsoft gun, the prosecutor said. One of them allegedly drove Anzorov, who lived in the Normandy town of Evreux about 90 kilometres (56 miles) away, to near the school about three hours before the killing. Another 18-year-old suspect had close contacts with the attacker and endorsed radical Islamism, Ricard said. All three of them, who were friends of Anzorov, allegedly said that "he was ‘radicalizing’ for several months, marked by a change of behaviour, physical appearance, isolation, an assiduous frequentation of the mosque and ambiguous remarks about Jihad and the Islamic State group.” “Samuel Paty was the victim of a conspiracy of stupidity, hate, lies ... hate of the other ... hate of what we profoundly are," Macron said during his speech, which blended honours to the victim and the teaching profession with his government's efforts to root out Islamist radicals. On Wednesday morning, the French government issued an order to dissolve a domestic militant Islamic group, the Collective Cheikh Yassine. Government spokesperson Gabriel Attal said it was “implicated, linked to Friday’s attack” and it was used to promote anti-republican hate speech. Other groups will be dissolved “in the coming weeks” for similar reasons, Attal said. Named after a slain leader of the Palestinian Hamas, Collective Cheikh Yassine was founded in the early 2000s by the Islamist activist who is among the seven people accused of being accomplices to the attacker. Attal also confirmed that the government ordered a mosque in the northeast Paris suburb of Pantin to close for six months. The Pantin mosque is being punished for relaying the angry father’s message on social media. Authorities say it has long had an imam following the Salafist path, a rigorous interpretation of the Muslim holy book. A national memorial event is scheduled to be held Wednesday evening in the courtyard of the Sorbonne university. ___ Elaine Ganley in Paris contributed to this report. Sylvie Corbet, The Associated Press
The announcement highlights the dominance that Netflix, Amazon's Prime Video, Disney+ and Apple TV+ hold over smaller streaming service providers, which struggle to keep up against their large content budgets and vast libraries of shows. "The world has changed dramatically since Quibi launched and our standalone business model is no longer viable," founder Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement.
A pair of rudderless sailors were towed to Port Hardy just hours before a massive storm hit on Thanksgiving night, and are under quarantine on their boat in Hardy Bay after a 119-day journey. “We are thankful, thankful, thankful to be here,” Sherry Pryde, 54, told the Gazette through the Quarterdeck Marina gate on Tuesday. “It’s a happy ending to a long story.” Sherry and her husband Ron Pryde, 65, live on sailboats year round — summer in Lund and winter in Mexico. They have a boat in each place, and drive back and forth twice a year. Except this year. The Prydes had been in Mexico since Dec. 2019, living on their 30-tonne green aluminum sailboat, the Second Star, in the Gulf of California near the port town Guaymas, back before anyone had any idea of how the coronavirus would change everything. As the virus spread worldwide and Canada issued advisories for citizens abroad to return home, the Prydes felt stuck. They were already relatively isolated living on the small boat, and things in Mexico were changing chaotically. “There were roadblocks, stores were closed, you weren’t really allowed to leave, but you couldn’t be there either,” said Rod. They thought about storing the boat and driving home through the States, but there was talk of borders closings, and their boat yard was down to a skeleton staff accommodating only essential customers. And so the Prydes decided to sail. They’d done it before, and knew it would take 40 to 60 days. They got supplies to last for 70 days so they wouldn’t need to stop in Hawaii. Ron charted a route along the Pacific High, a semi-permanent weather system that would let them ride the winds north of Hawaii all the way home to the Juan de Fuca strait. They set sail from Mexico on June 18 right into a hurricane. A strange weather season had the Prydes dodging one storm after another as they moved west, but the real problem started when the storms stopped. The dreaded windless sea stranded them for three weeks. Ron spent days on his paddle board, the open Pacific ocean between Mexico and Hawaii was so calm. What should have taken a couple of weeks had stretched into a month, and they started to notice how much water they were going through. “We probably could have made it if we rationed, and went down to rice and beans by the end,” Sherry said. But why bother? Hawaii has a sea-time exception, allowing the couple to restock without quarantining. So they made a 10-day detour for some gloriously fresh tropical fruit, water and other essentials, and set off north again in late August. RELATED: Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks The Second Star was 1,287 kilometres (800 miles) from Canada when gale force winds stirred up the ocean. It was the fall equinox, and the seas were “crazy and confused,” Sherry recalled. On Sept. 21, the last day of summer, the Second Star’s 4×4-ft. metal rudder bent and flexed one too many times, and broke off. “It deep-sixed to Davy Jones’ locker,” she said, amused now, though at the time they’d just lost the ability to steer their boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Ron’s been on and around boats his whole life and regards sailing like most people feel about driving. The couple – he a retired tug boat worker, and she a retired nurse – liquidated their two-property life about 14 years ago for a tiny-house-on-the-seas lifestyle. The first five years or so they had their son with them, now 25, who homeschooled from the boat. Ron does most of the sailing tasks, while Sherry runs the interior. She has a sourdough starter and makes bread or pizza every few days. They have a collection of DVDs and a flatscreen, and books – many books. Life on a sailboat is like a prison or a resort, Ron says – it’s you who decides. Losing the rudder 800 miles off shore was an expletive moment, Sherry said, but she knew Ron thrived in chaotic moments like this and neither of them were overly worried. They stopped for a few days while he jury-rigged a steering paddle, which he says was like using a spoon to steer a canoe. “A boat sails 90 degrees to the wind. I could choose which 90 degrees, but that was it.” On the calm days they could make some progress, but if winds picked up, they had no choice but to sail backwards. Still though, Ron thought he could make it, between zigzagging and using the small motor once they got closer to land. A small group of sailors they were in touch with over satellite texting were confused by their progress — it’s good weather, why aren’t you making progress? they’d ask. ]“We definitely did some donuts and lazy-eights out there,” Sherry joked. The closer to B.C. they got the harder it was to maintain course. Winds forced them right past Juan de Fuca Strait. They were going up Vancouver Island now. At around 200 kilometres away (130 miles), Ron checked to find out if there even was a Coast Guard on the North Island. He figured if there was, he’d get to within 20 miles and then call for help to land. But the Coast Guard answered, we’ll be there in 24 hours. What the Pryde’s didn’t know was there was a massive storm coming, which cut off power to over 40,000 people on Vancouver Island on Oct. 14. RELATED: Power restored to most after wind leaves thousands without power on Vancouver Island, including schools The CCGS Gordon Reid found the Second Star and towed it into Hardy Bay Thanksgiving morning, hours before the storm. The Prydes were extremely grateful for the Coast Guard’s help, and for the warm welcome they’ve received from RCMP and marina staff in Port Hardy. Though Ron is still confident he could have navigated with his rudder “spoon.” It just would have taken longer. After 119 days at sea, 49 days since they last saw another human, they are still required to isolate for 14 days, but they aren’t complaining. They’ll be out just in time to celebrate Halloween where Sherry will be a fairy-godmother-accessory to her granddaughter’s Cinderella costume. Ron says he’ll be the grumpy old grandpa, holding the bag of candy. Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgZoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
Indigenous Manitoba leaders held a Horse Spirit Ride on Portage Avenue to the Manitoba Legislative Building on Wednesday to show their support for the well-being of Mi’kmaq relations in Nova Scotia. The event was organized due to non-Indigenous commercial fishers in Nova Scotia and their supporters having raided and burned two facilities where Mi’kmaq fishers had stored their catch last week. Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack had also been physically attacked by the commercial fishers. “What we have witnessed is an attack and assault on our Aboriginal and treaty rights. The Aboriginal and treaty rights are constitutionally protected under Section 35 of the Constitution of Canada,” said Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Grand Chief Garrison Settee on Wednesday. “Today, Canada has broken its constitution by failing to intervene in the protection of our people in Nova Scotia. That is not acceptable and we will not stand for it here in Manitoba. With all our First Nations here, we stand in solidarity.” Manitoba's Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Kevin Hart has written a letter to the European Union to boycott Canadian lobsters until the Mi’kmaq’s rights are recognized. “The European Union purchases $175 million of Canadian lobster each year. We are going to tell them to make sure that when they purchase lobsters in the future that they are certified Mi’kmaq lobsters,” he said. “We stand collectively with our brothers and sisters out east, our Mi’kmaq people, our relatives and our family to let them know that we will never negotiate our treaty and inherent rights. Period.” The Spirit Ride participants are calling on the Canadian government to facilitate meaningful dialogue and resolution between all parties in the fishery dispute, and that traditional harvesting rights are honoured and upheld. They are also requesting that the RCMP fulfil its mandate and protect all people from further acts of violence. “We are here today because we want to stand with our relatives in the east and let them know that they are not alone. We echo their sentiments and no more will we listen to our government policies that persecute and oppress our people,” said Southern Chiefs’ Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “On behalf of President Chartrand, I want to say that unequivocally the Metis Nation supports the Mi’kmaq fishers as they stand for their inherent rights today. We are with the Mi’kmaq people,” said Manitoba Metis Federation Minister of Housing and Property Management Will Goodon Before the Spirit Ride, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) held a Facebook Live event addressing the issue. During the virtual conference, AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas noted that they will be amplifying the issue further as there needs to be a meaningful discussion about the Mi’kmaq fisheries. Senator Murray Sinclair, who was also present at the Facebook Live, added that the videos displayed violent, racist behaviour by the commercial fishers against Mi'kmaq people. "If we are a nation of laws, then the highest law in this country is the constitution, and our constitution recognizes and affirms the treaty rights of the Mi'kmaq people to conduct themselves in accordance to their fishing rights under those treaties," said Sinclair, who was a former judge and chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun
The B.C. Securities Commission says an alleged fraudster bilked three people out of more than $3 million through false investment schemes and instead spent the money gambling and paying an immigration lawyer to fight her removal order, among other things.According to the BCSC, Meiyun Zhang convinced two Vancouver residents and one Richmond resident to lend her money between 2014 and 2016, promising a no-risk return on investment of between six and 10 percent.Two of the investors were told their money would fund a business that helped Chinese students get a Canadian visa.The third investor was told their money would be used to exchange foreign currency into Canadian dollars to be used by Chinese students and tourists visiting Canada.The BCSC alleges Zhang instead spent the money on: * Paying returns to investors in Canada and China. * Repaying a personal loan to a Calgary real estate agent. * Retail purchases. * Utility bills. * Paying an immigration lawyer to dispute her removal order by Canada Immigration. * Cash withdrawals. * Gambling at casinos.Allegations against Zhang under the B.C. Securities Act have not been proven. The commission will schedule a hearing date in December 2020. Zhang is also the subject of two civil claims filed in B.C. Supreme Court. It is not clear if the plaintiffs are the same investors cited by the BCSC.One claim says Vancouver businesswoman Wendy Hau Wan Parker lost $60,000 to Zhang, who lives in Richmond according to court documents.Parker's claim says she signed seven credit agreements with Zhang between February and December 2017, before Zhang defaulted on a $60,000 payment due to Parker on Jan 31, 2018.A second claim says retired Richmond resident Nan Ping Zhou advanced personal funds and money from third parties to Zhang between July 2016 and December 2017, after Zhang represented the money would be invested in a "business venture that provided services in the foreign currency market." Zhou's claim goes on to say that some of the money invested was paid back, but in January 2018 Zhang stopped making payments, "leaving a substantial portion of the advances outstanding.""The business venture did not exist and at all material times the defendant knew the business venture did not exist," says the claim.Zhang has not filed a response to the two claims. None of the allegations has been tested in court.
A presumptive case of COVID-19 at the Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine in the N.W.T. was a false alarm, the territorial government announced on Wednesday evening.Earlier on Wednesday, health officials announced the new presumptive positive case at the mine. They later said that a second test on the person had come back negative.An investigation of the case was begun Wednesday morning, and all possible contacts were tested and results were negative, the government said. During a press briefing Wednesday evening, the territory's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola clarified a letter shared on Facebook that appeared to be on letterhead from École St. Joseph School in Yellowknife. The letter said two after hour school program workers had been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.Kandola said the alleged case was linked to a contact of the case at the mine."There is no exposure risk at St. Joe's," she said."Any organization, any institution, any business that have concerns when they hear that someone's a contact of a possible case, before they issue advice please contact our office directly and we can help you, we can help you do a risk assessment. But please don't go ahead and issue advice," she added.Meanwhile, two other presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Yellowknife announced last week were confirmed on Wednesday. The individuals with confirmed cases in Yellowknife are still isolating at home, a Wednesday news release from the government says.Public health isolated one identified contact.It says it also followed up on more than 50 potential contacts from a gym, Anytime Fitness, where the infected person was believed to have been. Many of the individuals on the list were not at the gym at the date and time identified in the exposure notification. More than 20 people were given isolation advice so far, the release says.The territory says the "chances are very high that we would have had patients presenting with symptoms already" which is a "promising sign."But to be safe, it says it's requesting all contacts to be tested on Thursday "for added assurance" and said these tests will be "completed on short-order."There is no indication of further transmission, the territory says.However, the release says the territory will continue to monitor the situation and that the exposure notification associated with these positive cases will remain active until at least 14 days after the dates and times listed for each place.The territory says this is because it can't guarantee whether it has reached all possible contacts."An aggressive contact investigation has been initiated and every possible step is being taken to minimize risk to our communities," the release says.People at gym or police station should isolateThe territory added that there may be "outstanding potential contact" from the Yellowknife RCMP public waiting area.Last week, health officials advised that anyone who was in the RCMP Yellowknife Detachment public waiting area on Oct. 13 between 11 and 11:30 a.m. must self-isolate at home for 14 days, and monitor for symptoms closely."We urge anyone who was in this location at the identified date and time to contact Yellowknife Public Health at 867-767-9120 and isolate immediately," the Wednesday release says.Anyone who may have been at either of the potential exposure locations are also asked to isolate immediately at home and contact the Yellowknife Public Health unit.N.W.T. case counts jumps by 3The new confirmed cases on Wednesday, along with a confirmed case in Inuvik on Tuesday brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the N.W.T. to eight. The territory warns that even though the cases and contacts are being monitored, residents should be vigilant and must take steps to prevent the spread of the virus including keeping physical distance from others, wearing non-medical face masks when distance is not possible, and frequent hand-washing."Despite [the case at the mine] being a false positive, I want to emphasize we need everyone to do their part to limit community spread," said Premier Caroline Cochrane on Wednesday.Territory has 2 certified COVID-19 testing machinesKandola said the territory now has two machines at Stanton Territorial Hospital that are now fully accredited as of Tuesday.That means the machines are able to confirm whether a case in positive or negative without having to send it down to Alberta for clarification.
Windsor's unique take on pizza is being celebrated by the city with its own club, in an effort to cement the importance of the culinary staple.
DONAGH — Shawn Curley received the devastating news at about 5:30 a.m A family friend was returning home from a night shift on Oct. 20. As they were driving through Donagh, they saw that the main building for Curley's family-owned business, Outlaw Paintball, was engulfed in flames. "By the time we got down here it was pretty well gone," Curley said. Fire crews and the RCMP Queens detachment responded shortly after. Sgt. Craig Eveleigh said that the fire was put out but that the building was a total loss. An arson investigation was soon launched. "We believe that it was set deliberately," he said. "Given that there was no power source to the building." There's also an investigation into theft as it's clear the building, which housed most of the businesses paintball equipment, was broken into before being burned down. "We don't know exactly what was stolen as opposed to what was burned," Curley said, "but we know some of the items for sure that wouldn't have burned in the fire are missing." This is the paintball field's second run-in with outlaws this year — back in June a few thousand dollars' worth of paintball equipment was stolen, forcing the business to close temporarily. P.E.I.'s other paintball fields had pitched in to help, and ultimately the police were able to retrieve about 60 per cent of Curley's gear, allowing him to re-open for the season. But now Curley is left with nowhere to store what he has left. He wasn't sure whether re-opening the business was going to be a possibility following the June theft, so this time his family is even more discouraged and they fear reopening might put the rest of Donagh in harm's way. "We haven't gotten much sleep," Curley said. "We're kind of tired of being targets." The business is closed for the rest of the year and the family will take the winter to mull over their next steps. The Guardian also asked Curley whether he believed this incident was connected to the June theft. "Oh yeah, for sure," he replied. "Exact same people. No doubt on my mind." While the investigation is ongoing and Eveleigh wished not to speculate, he noted that RCMP is working with Curley to identify people of interest. He sympathizes with the Curleys as he's seen first-hand how charitable of a family they are, he said. "They're very community involved and minded, so it is kind of a senseless act and it's a shame that it had to happen." Twitter.com/dnlbrown95Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian
LGBTQ Catholics and their allies in the U.S. welcomed Pope Francis’ endorsement of same-sex civil unions, the first time he’s done so as pontiff, while some prominent members including a bishop said Wednesday that he was blatantly contradicting church teaching. Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, was one of the first conservative Catholic leaders to go public with criticism. “The Pope’s statement clearly contradicts what has been the long-standing teaching of the Church about same-sex unions,” Tobin said in a statement.
Dundurn– The Saskatchewan Liberal Party is rebuilding, fielding just three candidates in this election. But they have numerous issues they would like to see addressed through their platform, and many of them focus on renewable energy implementation. Liberal Leader Robert Rudachyk spoke about their platform by phone from his acreage near Dundurn on Oct. 17. Climate change and power generation “Some of the major issues for me, are dealing with climate change and getting up and working on improving our energy portfolio in this province,” Rudachyk said “One of the big issues for me is the fact that Scott Moe is spending all his time saying that, as his solution to climate change, we're going to go into small modular nuclear reactors. Now, the problem with that is this: there are no small modular nuclear reactor prototypes that are licensed for commercial use in Canada yet. And the timeline for those things being licensed is a minimum of five to 10 years. “Following that you're going to have the choosing of locations for these things. You're going to have the environmental assessment reviews. You're going to have the protests. You're going to have the court challenges. You're going to have all that stuff. You're looking at another minimum five to 10 years after these things get licensed before they're even going to be approved for construction. And then you're going to have the construction phase, which you're looking at another five to 10 years before they're fully built and tested and online, producing power.” He continued, “The coal fired plants in Estevan must be shut down by law in 2030. We are bound by international treaties and laws set that have we're signed, by the Sask. Party themselves even, that stated that those plans will be shut down in the year 2030. That's 10 years from now.” Rudachyk continued, “It's going to be a minimum 20 years before nuclear comes online. That's a 10-year gap. How do we cover that? How do we cover our power needs during that 10-year gap? We can't get an extension on this one. And any government that tries to do that is committing political suicide.” He said, “Our party has a plan to go full into renewable energies and power storage. We want to change the SaskPower Act, to mandate SaskPower to purchase renewable energy from local producers at a fair market rate, and then offer financial incentives to any farmer, any rancher any First Nations reserve, and any homeowner, or recreational homeowner that wants to convert to wind, solar, or geothermal, and produce power there, so that whatever they produce that is above and beyond what they're using is going to be paid. They're going to receive a fair market rate for that power.” The Liberals want to offer a feed-in tariff at 50 per cent of what SaskPower is charging retail customers. If SaskPower charges 14.3 cents per kilowatt hour to its customers, it would pay small power generators 7.15 cents. Doing so would be “more than cost effective for large scale solar, wind and geothermal operations,” he said. He used the example of Western Australia using Tesla mega-battery farms for energy storage. Another option would be to create hydrogen from electrolyzing water, and then store that hydrogen underground, to use in peak times. Regarding carbon capture and storage, he said, “We pay a financial penalty every month we don't send them (Whitecap Resources) enough carbon. And as the last numbers I looked at last year, we only have one month out of the entire time that CCS was online where we did not pay a penalty. That project is a white elephant, that is going to be costing us for decades to come.” He called it a boondoggle, saying, “This one makes Spudco look like small potatoes.” The Liberals would like to set up 1,000 rapid-charging stations for electric vehicles across the province, 100 per year. If they were set up at local hotels and restaurants in small towns, it would benefit those businesses as people could eat there while their vehicle charges, and those businesses could make some money off the charge, too. Mid-Canada corridor Rudachyk is also a strong proponent of the concept of a mid-Canada corridor, building road and rail links in a corridor across the northern part of Canada. Those areas are becoming more habitable, and there is “so much resource development up in the north,” he said. Asked if that corridor would include an oil pipeline to the east. He’s not against a pipeline, but Quebec is. “Unless they can be turned around on that. It's not going to happen,” he said. Education On education, Rudachyk said, “Our education system in this province is terrible, especially in the rural areas. Consistently Saskatchewan ranks either ninth or 10th in quality of education, amongst all the provinces, year in, year out. “We are not seeing the results of all that revenue that came in during the boom times. Why was that money not invested into education that way? We're getting saddled with large long-term debts for P3 schools that will not benefit this province over the course of the 30 years that these contracts are usually signed up for. We need to focus on training and retaining teachers in this province, both in rural areas and in urban areas, reducing classroom sizes, especially during this time of COVID, and giving our students the resources they need so they can thrive in the modern era,” he said. Health Regarding health, he would rather see less money put towards management and administration, and more on front-line workers. “We do need to spend more money on our health care because we do have an aging population,” Rudachyk said. “If that means that the wealthy have to pay more in taxes, the big corporations have to pay more in taxes here, then I'm comfortable with that. I'm comfortable with that, I know that the people in this province are getting the health care they need,” he said. Deficits and revenue The terms “deficit” and “revenue” did not appear once on their website’s platform statements. Asked where the money would come from for these programs, Rudachyk said the Sask. Party has run deficits for the nine of the last 10 years. He said they would bring back the film tax credit, which would bring in $200 million a year for the Saskatchewan film industry. “We put all our eggs in one basket with the commodity prices with oil with potash with uranium, then the oil prices collapsed. So what happens? We lose a huge chunk of our revenue. During the 10 years prior to that, did the Sask. Party do anything to diversify our economy and to come up with new revenue streams that would increase our tax base and increase provincial revenues? No, they did not. They just basically they acted like rig workers when the oil prices were booming. They blew the money as fast as it came in and they didn't get any thing of value for it. “Now that we're stuck in a situation where we are not seeing that revenue coming in, and suddenly we have to pay for it. Our idea of diversifying into renewables, that increases our revenue streams, it increases our opportunities. We want to look for new newer and better ways to do that as well, bringing back the film tax credit would bring in a huge amount of revenue into this province as well. Making large corporations pay a reasonable provincial income tax, rather than trying to always be the lowest one of the low, when it's not bringing in new businesses into this province, is just foolish and short sighted. “Look at what happened in Alberta. Jason Kenney cut the corporate income tax even further, when the when oil prices bottomed out and all it happened was the big oil companies started leaving in droves even more, because they knew what was going on.” He added, “I would support that I would also support higher taxation for the, for the wealthy in this province, because the rest of us are low, the lower income people and the middle income people were paying taxes through the nose.” Three candidates The Liberals are only running three candidates in this election, and their leader, Robert Rudachyk, is in fact the interim leader, taking the position just weeks before the election writ was dropped. Asked why bother running with only three candidates, Rudachyk said, “We want to keep the party alive right now, and I mean we have to run a minimum number of candidates to keep our official status. At this point, I still want to have our voice going into the Legislature. And the reality is that we do have a very solid platform and we do have some very strong ideas for how to improve the local economies, and the economy of Saskatchewan overall that none of the other parties have even looked at.” “Our previous leader left us in a very weak situation,” he said, referring to Naveed Anwar, who stepped down on Sept. 9. “Essentially what we know that we are not going to be forming government. So, promising the moon as to what we want to see as a government is really a waste of time and an insult to the intelligence of every voter in this province. The reality is basically we're in the process of rebuilding the party after our previous leader left us in a bad situation and that rebuilding process is going to be starting on October 27, the day after the election. And what we're doing is we're wanting to build bridges. I'm trying to build bridges and build dialogue with all those parties involved with all these concerned individuals who would want to see some of these things happen, so that we can flesh them out a little more and to build them up stronger.” Rudachyk works in a Saskatoon meat processing plant, noting, “I’m a working Joe.” He has worked in mining and manufacturing as well as construction, transport and logistics. He’s spent nine years working in health and safety management. Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
Saskatchewan reported 57 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. This was the third highest daily bump in cases since the beginning of the pandemic. One of the new cases is located in the far north east, one is in the north west, 17 are in the north central, four are in the north east, 14 are in the Saskatoon area, two are in the central west, 11 are in the Regina are and seven are in the central east zone. The province said public health investigations into the source of transmission are underway for all new cases. Saskatoon's new cases continue to be primarily linked with outbreaks at local nightclubs. The province declared outbreaks at The Longbranch on Oct. 16 and Divas Nightclub on Oct. 18. There were 15 new recoveries reported on Wednesday. The news cases from Saskatchewan bring total reported cases of COVID-19 to 2,496 — 469 of which are considered active. To date a total of 2,002 people have recovered.Seventeen people are in hospital, 15 of whom are receiving inpatient care. Seven are in the Saskatoon zone, two in the Regina zone, five in the north central zone and one in the central east zone. There are two people in intensive care — one in Saskatoon and one in Regina.Testing On Tuesday, 2,483 COVID-19 tests were performed throughout the province. As of Wednesday, 238,013 COVID-19 tests have been performed in Saskatchewan. The province's per capita rate was 162,549 people tested per million population as of Monday. The national rate was 234,139 people tested per million population.
A presumptive positive case of COVID-19 at a Nunavut mine has been confirmed, according to Nunavut's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Michael Patterson.The case, announced in a government news release Wednesday, is at the Mary River Mine, 176 km southwest of Pond Inlet.The person is asymptomatic and in isolation, the release says.The territory says mine staff have begun contact tracing, as per mine protocols. The identified contacts have also been placed in isolation.According to the release, there is no evidence of transmission at the mine owned by Baffinland Iron Mines.The territory's public health team says it's "ready to provide support and respond if, and when, it becomes necessary."According to the news release, there are no Nunavut residents working at the Mary River Mine and the risk of COVID-19 spreading to communities is "very low."The territory says public health measures along with its common travel areas with Churchill, Man., and the Northwest Territories remain unaffected.Symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, the release states.The territory says the "best protection from spreading or catching the disease" is to remain physically distant from others, handwash for at least 20 seconds, cough and sneeze into an elbow and stay home as much as possible.Nunavut still has zero confirmed cases so far. Other mines in Nunavut have previously confirmed cases, but those have been counted in the affected individuals' home jurisdictions.This is the second confirmed case of COVID-19 at the Mary River Mine. The earlier case was confirmed last month.
A new bill which formally recognizes First Nations police forces under policing legislation in Alberta proposes several changes to the province's justice system.Bill 38, the Justice Statutes Amendment Act, 2020, also enables the province to hold referendums and Senate elections in concert with municipal elections, allows courts to summon juries electronically, changes the way police grants are calculated for communities over 5,000 and enables the use of telephone and video conferencing for trials and hearings. The act also allows matters like entering an plea and setting a court date to be done by email, phone and other electronic means instead of requiring the accused, lawyers, judges and court staff to appear in court. Justice Minster Kaycee Madu said formal legislative recognition of First Nations police services means changes resulting from the current review of the Police Act will apply to them. On a practical level, the change will give these police services the ability to enforce the First Nation's bylaws, Madu said. "With this amendment they will now be able to issue that ticket and go to the court to enforce them rather than having to bring charges with respect to traffic violations," Madu said. "It is one problem that we have heard time and time again from our First Nations people."Insp. Farica Prince of the Blood Tribe Police Service in southern Alberta said Bill 38 is "first step towards equity for Indigenous police services.""Since our creation, we have faced many inequities that have made it difficult to provide the community with the service they deserve and our employees with the support they require," Prince said in an emailed statement. "We have not had access to the same resources or opportunities as our policing partners and we are significantly underfunded in comparison."Recognition under the Alberta Police Act empowers us to govern ourselves and it will provide a sense of stability and security, to the hard working people of our organization and to the community."The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the justice system to work in ways to keep people appropriately distanced and safe. Madu says the amendments in the bill build on that. "We have made a lot of changes to make sure that the citizens can still deal with the justice system [from] the comfort of their homes and offices and whatever they may be in our province," he said.Bill 38 also enables Alberta to hold senate elections and referendums in tandem with municipal elections.The bill aims to bring the Police Act in line with the rest of the Government of Alberta, by using population figures determined by Treasury Board and Finance for communities over 5,000. Population is one factor used in determining how much municipalities pay for policing. The government says the change in statistics is a housekeeping matter.
IQALUIT, Nunavut — Health care, housing and internet access for Inuit in Nunavut all lag far behind what a majority of Canadians expect for themselves, says a new report. The 300-page document was commissioned by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the land-claim organization that represents Inuit in the territory, to measure the difference in infrastructure between Nunavut and the rest of Canada. "The infrastructure gap directly contributes to poverty and lowers the quality of life for Nunavut Inuit. It is felt in food insecurity, overcrowded housing and limited economic opportunity," the report says.It says 14 per cent of Nunavut residents have a regular health-care provide compared with 85 per cent of Canadians. It also points out that 67 per cent of Canada's electricity is produced by renewable resources, while all of Nunavut's electricity comes from diesel. Just over 40 per cent of Nunavut's homes require major repairs compared with a seven per cent Canadian average, the report notes.And Nunavut is the only province or territory without residential access to broadband delivered by fibre cable. That also means it has the slowest download speeds in the country. The gap will continue to get worse unless major investments are made, the report says.Aluki Kotierk, Nunavut Tunngavik's president, says Nunavut's infrastructure deficit has frequently been discussed at local and federal levels, but what that gap looks like has not always been clear."Infrastructure is something that is consistently raised when we have meetings with federal ministers ... But how do we move this forward rather than continue to always talk about how there’s an infrastructure gap in Nunavut?" Kotierk told The Canadian Press in an interview. The report, which was completed done between July 2019 and last June, analyzes existing data and includes 21 interviews with policy-makers and stakeholders. It identifies 18 priority areas and uses 55 indicators to compare Nunavut's infrastructure to the rest of Canada's.Kotierk says the report not only shows the gaps between what Inuit "grow up with" and "what other Canadians expect and take for granted," but also provides information to public policy officials "to see where the gap is rather than having it as a theoretical reference."She hopes it will support Nunavummiut to advocate for what they need at all levels of government."Growing up in our communities, if you’ve never lived anywhere else ... what you grow up with you think is normal. It’s only when you start understanding that others have it better that you realize we are we not afforded the same kind of standards and expectations that other Canadians can enjoy.” Kotierk says the report will help Nunavut's federal and territorial partners develop a new collective understanding of the infrastructure Nunavut needs to meet the expectations of Inuit."It’s easy to characterize Indigenous peoples or stereotype Indigenous peoples as people who are always complaining, and always whining for things, and always wanting money for other things."We wanted it to be clear that we are not asking for anything above or beyond what other Canadians enjoy. All we are merely expecting is to get to the same level playing field as other Canadians.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2020.--- This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship Emma Tranter, The Canadian Press