Warning: This story contains disturbing details.The Nunavut Court of Appeal handed down a stiffer jail sentence to a mother convicted twice of serious abuse against her young child — and then stayed that sentence. The decision from a three-judge panel was issued on Wednesday. The judges called it an "exceptional" case, and "very sad from everyone's perspective." They decided it was better to keep the young mother out of jail, in order to avoid sending her child into foster care. The woman was convicted of failing to provide the "necessaries of life" and aggravated assault against her five-year-old son in 2017. "[His] body was covered in bruises and bite marks. He suffered severe internal injuries — a lacerated liver and spleen, a kidney contusion, a fractured rib and an obstructed bowel," the appeal court's decision reads. "He could not recall the last time he ate," it said. It was the second conviction against the woman for assaulting her son. When the boy was two weeks old, "she threw her baby down a flight of stairs, the baby landed on his head, and broke his clavicle," the court said. She was convicted of assault causing bodily harm in that incident, and in 2012 received a four-month conditional sentence and 18 months of probation. A conditional sentence is a sentence that is spent in the community instead of jail but the convicted individual must follow conditions — otherwise they may be sent to jail. In December 2019, Justice Sue Charlesworth sentenced the woman to a three-year suspended sentence for her second assault conviction. A suspended sentence is when no sentence has been imposed, as long as the convicted individual follows conditions. Otherwise a sentence, including a conditional sentence, may be imposed. The appeals court decided Charlesworth was too lenient, and instead sentenced the woman to just under two years of jail time, followed by three years probation. The court said it would have imposed a higher sentence had prosecutors at appeal asked for that. Young mother still has four-year-old at homeThe woman has already served the "most arduous part" — six months of house arrest — of her original sentence, her lawyer argued. Then, in an unusual turn, both prosecutor and defence lawyer agreed that sending the woman to jail would do more harm than good. That's because the woman still has another, four-year-old child at home, and there are no indications of abuse against that child. The lawyers argued that the negative effects of sending a small child into foster care outweighed whatever good might be gained from sending the woman to prison. "With considerable reluctance," the appeals court agreed, and stayed the woman's jail sentence. The court said it was "very much influenced by [the prosecutor's] first-hand account of the limited resources available in the north to care for children ... and the bleak future of those in foster care." The woman's son has since been adopted by his grandmother, the court said.
The coronavirus began showing up among day-shift workers on Olymel's butchering floor in Vallée-Jonction, 70 kilometres south of Quebec City, around Thanksgiving.By last Saturday, the initial trickle had become a fast-moving current.The company quickly arranged a testing blitz for 160 employees. By Wednesday night, union officials said, at least 60 had tested positive."We expect more in the coming days. The 20 who tested positive (Wednesday) don't have any symptoms. They were working on the floor next to other people who don't have their results yet," Martin Maurice, president of the Syndicat des travailleurs d'Olymel Vallée-Jonction, said in an interview. As the second COVID-19 wave gathers force in Quebec, just under half the active outbreaks in the province have been traced back to workplaces: factories, construction sites, kitchens, hospitals and the like.That matters because workplace infections are way stations for community spread, experts say.The provincial public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, said on Thursday 46 per cent of all outbreaks involve a workplace. He also pointed out that, in most cases, the number of people affected is small, typically fewer than five.That's the good news when it comes to stamping out localized infections.But it provides little comfort when overburdened public health authorities are forced to deal with scores of flare-ups in geographically disparate areas. That is what's happening.According to Dr. Karl Weiss, a microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at the Université de Montréal, the second coronavirus wave is following a familiar autumn pattern, that of influenza.Children spread the virus to each other at school, then to their parents, who take it to work. From there, it spreads into still older, more vulnerable populations."There is a spillover effect of the younger population into the older one," Weiss said in an interview. "This is what we are witnessing right now and hopefully we will be able to contain it as a society."'Health first, then the rest comes after'Premier François Legault knows the strict health measures could be the death knell for many restaurants, whose dining rooms have been closed all month, and that they've made him unpopular with the industry. He told a news conference he has friends who own restaurants. Then he checked himself and half-jokingly said: "I should almost say: I used to have friends who owned restaurants."He may also be making a few more former friends in the province's largest city.In September, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and the city's Chamber of Commerce issued a joint plea for the provincial government to make it easier for office workers to return to their cubicles.On Thursday morning, Plante unveiled a new plan to attract shoppers and kickstart her city's beleaguered downtown.A few hours later, Legault said this: "it's health first, then the rest comes after."For good measure, he said "all those who can work from home must work from home. I know the the Montreal Chamber of Commerce isn't going to like hearing me say that ... but what I'm telling you is we need even more people to work from home."The rationale is fairly straightforward. In August and September, social gatherings were one of the pandemic's key drivers. Now, it appears workplaces have supplanted parties.By their own admission, the workers at Olymel's factory in Vallée-Jonction have been a little less careful lately than they were during the spring and even summer.There's greater proximity in the lunchroom, more chatting between shifts, perhaps even a little social time outside working hours. People who work together have a way of becoming friends, in the Beauce and everywhere else."There are things maybe we haven't always done that we probably should have done, but look, there's been more of a casual attitude all over Quebec," said Maurice.The same goes for the company, which Maurice says relaxed overtime restrictions and limits on worker interactions during shift changes.WATCH | Quebec premier says decision about what will reopen in red zones coming next weekHospital workers are having trouble following the rules tooThe problem is not limited to factory floors. Even hospital staff slip up from time to time.Leaders at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec sent a memo to the institution's 15,000 workers cataloguing a number of incidents from a safety audit earlier this fall.According to the document, which was obtained by Radio-Canada, they range from workers bringing extra chairs into meal rooms so they could sit closer together, to employees crowding into break areas, to people simply not following distancing measures.As Legault and Arruda have repeatedly said, it's predictable that a population weary from months of social distancing and other public health measures might slack off.And so, a reminder."All workplaces must reinforce their measures," Arruda said. "I think maybe we've forgotten them. And I'm here to tell you that at work, during lunch time, before work, after work, it's very easy to get within two metres."A few 'recalcitrant people' On Thursday, Arruda met with the province's workplace safety board (CNESST) to discuss "a large operation to raise awareness once again and, if necessary, to use coercive intervention."A CNESST spokesperson said it has conducted 12,297 COVID-related inspections provincewide since the spring, roughly one-quarter of which stemmed from complaints. The rest were targeted inspections. Of the total, only 22 resulted in formal citations."Generally I'd say co-operation has been excellent, but you're always going to find a few recalcitrant people," said Nicolas Bégin, who also indicated the CNESST was called in to Vallée-Jonction on Tuesday.The small bands of "recalcitrant people" may be a fact of life, but Legault had a message for them too: "think about the 20 additional people who died (Wednesday)."In fact, an investigation is currently under way to establish whether one of Olymel's Vallée-Jonction workers should be added to that grim total.Early Wednesday morning, longtime employee Alain Grenier, a 65-year-old who was described as a generous and beloved colleague, died in his sleep.He had tested positive for COVID-19 the previous day.
Ontario Provincial Police cruisers watched from a distance Friday morning as a backhoe dug up a road in Caledonia, Ont., by the entrance to a First Nations land reclamation camp that has put a halt to a planned housing development.Members of Six Nations of the Grand River set up camp at the McKenzie Meadows housing development in July and renamed it 1492 Land Back Lane. It's now the centre of a land dispute that's over 200 years old. Six Nations of the Grand River, a Haudenosaunee community that has the largest on-reserve population in the country, neighbours Caledonia, which is about 22 kilometres south of Hamilton.A skirmish between some members of Six Nations and the OPP on Thursday afternoon by the back entrance to 1492 Land Back Lane led camp members to move to establish control over road and highway access points to the two site entrances. The back entrance to the camp links onto Argyle Street before connecting with Highway 6.McKenzie Road, which runs by the front entrance to the site, was dug up overnight on two sides.By Friday morning, on one side of Argyle Street, which runs by the back entrance to 1492 Land Back Lane, a crushed school bus lay on its side with the spray painted words, "Land Back Tours."Nearby, a hydro pole leaned precariously, its base chewed up by fire. Up the road on Argyle Street, a transformer station sat with its gates mangled.WATCH | New clashes in Caledonia land dispute in Ontario:Part of Highway 6 that connects to Argyle Street was also torn up overnight by heavy machinery that members of Six Nations said they commandeered from a road work site. Another part of the highway was blocked by dirt and concrete barriers. A set of CN railway tracks was also dug up, the warning lights knocked across the rails.Injunction granted ThursdayOn Thursday, Superior Court Justice R.J. Harper granted a permanent injunction against the 1492 Land Back Lane camp that had been requested by the developer, Foxgate Development. Haldimand County was also granted an injunction against road blockades.Six Nations members then confronted several OPP cruisers that were parked near the back entrance of 1492 Land Back Lane. Camp spokesperson Skyler Williams said the OPP used a Taser and fired rubber bullets.The OPP issued a statement on Twitter saying that its officers were confronted and police cruisers were heavily damaged in the confrontation and that in response, officers used "appropriate non-lethal force."The property is part of the Haldimand Tract granted to Six Nations of the Grand River in 1784 for allying with the British during the American Revolution.The granted land encompassed 10 kilometres on both sides of the 280-kilometre Grand River, which runs through southern Ontario and into Lake Erie. Six Nations now has less than five per cent of its original lands.Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett's office said in an emailed statement that it wants to meet with the community "at the earliest opportunity."The statement said "Canada deeply values its relationship with Six Nations" and wants to work "collaboratively" to deal with the "historical claims and land right issues."
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is reminding the public about the most common scams to be on the lookout for.
Recent developments:What's the latest?Five more people with COVID-19 in Ottawa have died, adding to what has been the city's deadliest month of the pandemic since spring.Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 88 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.While public health officials are urging more people to get a flu shot this year, the Ontario government ordered enough doses of the influenza vaccine to cover only about 35 per cent of its population.The commission looking into conditions in Ontario's long-term care homes is recommending the province hire more full-time staff for the facilities. The commission's early recommendations also include sending long-term care residents who test positive for COVID-19 elsewhere to recover.WATCH LIVE | Update from Quebec's deputy premier:How many cases are there?As of Thursday's update from Ottawa Public Health (OPH), 6,384 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19.There are 676 known active cases, 5,394 resolved cases and 314 deaths.Public health officials have reported more than 9,700 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 8,200 of them resolved.Seventy-two people with COVID-19 have died elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 36 in western Quebec. What can I do?Both Ontario and Quebec are telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with or one other home if people live alone to slow the spread of the coronavirus.In Ottawa — which has been rolled back to a modified Stage 2 — and Gatineau, Que., health officials are asking residents not to leave home unless it's essential. Indoor dining at restaurants has been prohibited, while gyms, cinemas and performing arts venues are all closed.Dr. Vera Etches, the capital's medical officer of health, said earlier this month the national capital's health-care system is on the verge of collapse.OPH and some eastern Ontario health units are urging people not to have a Halloween party with other households or go trick-or-treating.Ontario's chief medical officer of health said to listen to local officials but a rule of thumb if trick-or-treating is allowed, people should stick to their neighbourhood and do it outside with their household only.The Kingston area's health unit is one that says it can be done safely this year if done differently.Gatineau and parts of the Outaouais are now on red alert, which means restaurants and bars can't serve people indoors, organized sports are suspended and theatres must close.Quebecers are also urged not to travel to Ontario or between regions at different levels on its scale except for essential reasons.Even though most of the region has been declared a red zone, Premier François Legault said kids can trick-or-treat as long as they don't go with friends and precautions are taken when giving out candy.WATCH | Ottawa nurse compares the first and second waves:What about schools?There have been more than 180 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19:Few have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there's a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.As of mid-October, a small fraction of Ottawa students and staff had tested positive.Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.People can be contagious without symptoms.This means people should take precautions such as staying home when sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone they don't live with — even with a mask on.Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and are recommended outdoors when people can't distance from others.Anyone with symptoms or who's ordered to do so by their local public health unit should self-isolate. The duration is subject to a range stipulated by health officials in both Ontario and Quebec.Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.What are the symptoms of COVID-19?COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic and resources are available to help.Where to get testedIn eastern Ontario:Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you've been told to by your health unit or the province.Anyone seeking a test should now book an appointment. Different sites in the area have different ways to book, including over the phone or going in person to get a time slot.Testing numbers have been lower than the groups running it would like and they want people to know there are often same-day appointments available.People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select pharmacies.Ottawa has five permanent test sites, with additional mobile sites deployed wherever demand is particularly high.The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Limoges, Rockland and Winchester.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls.Kingston's test site is at the Beechgrove Complex. The area's other test site is in Napanee. Both are open seven days a week.People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with questions, COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly.In western Quebec:Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.First Nations, Inuit and Métis:Akwesasne has a COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. It expects to bring back its mobile site in the spring.Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.For more information
When Von took his mother out of his home and placed her in Craiglee Nursing Home in Scarborough, Ont., he and his wife, Mary, thought they were doing what was best for her.But instead of loving care, Von's mother, Kostadinka, was met with physical and emotional abuse at the hands of at least four different care workers, caught on a camera they had hidden in her room."It was like a horror film," said Mary. "I will never be able to unsee those things."What they didn't know at the time was that the home had a long and repeated history of staff physically abusing the residents. They didn't know — but the government did.WATCH | Son says he 'couldn't believe' what hidden camera caught workers doing to his mother:A data analysis of the most serious breaches of Ontario's long-term care home safety legislation reveals that six in seven care homes are repeat offenders, and there are virtually no consequences for homes that break that law repeatedly.CBC Marketplace reviewed 10,000 inspection reports and found over 30,000 "written notices," or violations of the Long-Term Care Homes Act and Regulations (LTCHA), between 2015 and 2019 inclusive. The LTCHA sets out minimum safety standards that every care home in Ontario must meet.Marketplace isolated 21 violation codes for some of the most serious or dangerous offences, including abuse, inadequate infection control, unsafe medication storage, inadequate hydration, and poor skin and wound care, among others. The analysis found that of the 632 homes in the Ontario database, 538 — or 85 per cent — were repeat offenders.Jane Meadus, a lawyer with the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, said the high number of repeated incidents shows that non-compliance with the law has been normalized within care homes.Meadus said lack of proper care can lead to bedsores, for example, which residents can die from."If that person was in your home, if you were caring for your parent and they had these giant bedsores, you would likely be charged criminally for that," she said. "A home has never been charged criminally for what I think is criminal behaviour."'We couldn't believe what we saw'Craiglee Nursing Home was one of at least 248 homes that have been written up twice or more for abuse and 101 homes that have repeatedly failed to report abuse.Craiglee also had repeated violations for neglect, lack of infection control, medication errors, and poor skin and wound care. Unaware of the home's history, Von and Mary entrusted the home with Kostadinka's care in 2017 when her needs became more than a two person job.Marketplace has agreed to tell their story using only their first names because they fear retaliation against them and their business.When they saw Kostadinka's health declining, the couple put a camera in Von's mother's room as a precautionary measure in April of 2019, not expecting to see any problems. The camera ran for weeks before they were able to see what it had captured."We couldn't believe what we saw," said Von. "Abuse, torture, her holding onto the bed rails for dear life."The videos showed several employees yanking on Kostadinka's arms, swatting her hands, or rubbing spilled food in her face. Although the videos have no audio, employees could be seen yelling at Kostadinka as she lay in bed, unable to move without their help.More residents abused after videos submitted to ministryAfter Von and Mary saw the extent of the abuse, they decided to call police. A personal support worker was arrested and ultimately entered into a three-year peace bond, agreeing not to work with vulnerable people. Kostadinka was moved to a different care home, where she died late last year. The home would not agree to an interview with CBC. But Candace Chartier with Southbridge Care Homes, Craiglee's parent company, offered a statement."We strongly condemn the actions of the individuals involved," Chartier said in the statement. She said the home investigated Kostadinka's abuse in July of 2019 and reported it to police, after which one staff member was criminally charged and "several others were terminated."Chartier said they also "re-educated all staff in the home on [the] zero-tolerance policy" for abuse, and enhanced their training.The Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care's inspection report from September 2019 that detailed Kostadinka's abuse revealed a lack of staff training on abuse policies. Yet, four months later, another report revealed 9.2 per cent of actively working staff had still not completed the mandatory training. Six months later, another incident of staff-to-resident abuse was documented in yet another report. There have also been incidents of financial abuse and resident-on-resident abuse.Von said he was "disgusted" to learn that even after he sent video evidence of his mother's abuse to the ministry, there have been more written notices at Craiglee for abuse."What does it take?" said Von. "We brought it to the ministry's attention, brought it to the director of care's attention, we brought it to the authorities, to the police.""Everything my mom endured was all for naught."Family fights for criminal charges for nursing homesWhile physical abuse is fairly clear, neglect can take on many forms such as lack of hydration or failure to provide baths. Two hundred and twenty-six homes had repeat offences for failing to "ensure that residents are not neglected by the licensee or staff," but many more incidents were filed under different codes for specific acts of neglect, like improper skin and wound care — 278 homes had repeat offences.Beverley Haines died in February of this year, only six weeks after she moved into Hope Street Terrace in Port Hope, Ont., because of large bedsores she sustained at the home. Sparky Johnson and Sherry Schernitzki, Haines's niece, are fighting to have the home's administration held criminally responsible for her death.The partners, now separated, said that on the day Haines moved from a hospital into the home in January 2020, the staff identified a "hot spot," or patch of red skin. These spots must be monitored or treated so they don't get worse, and the pair left with confidence that it would be taken care of.But the pair weren't informed that the hot spot had become an open bedsore until 23 days later. At that point, it had already progressed to a wound the size of a saucer with bone exposed. "If the treatment had started when this bedsore was small, it should never ever have gotten to that," said Schernitzki."It's horrific. It's criminal," said Johnson.The home had been written up for lack of proper wound care before. Reports from 2016 and 2018 both found the home was not following proper protocols for caring for "altered skin integrity."WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGEJohnson called the ministry to report the bedsore, but was told an inspection would take some time. She made another call to police, and an investigation was launched.She began documenting problems at the home, including multiple instances where Haines was left in bed all day, lying on her back on the open bedsore.The ministry published a report in June finding the home's records didn't show proper monitoring of the bedsore, which should have included repositioning every one to two hours to ensure she wasn't lying on the wound."It was an excellent report, but what happens now? Who follows up?" said Schernitzki. "There are no consequences."By the time that report was released, it was too late to address the issues within it. Haines died on Feb. 29. The family says they were told by the investigating coroner that she died of sepsis from the bedsore. The couple felt strongly that the home was criminally negligent, but the police investigation was closed after Haines died without charges being laid. They continue to fight, filing a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, a civilian body that oversees complaints about police in Ontario. The case has since been reopened.The home said it is "deeply saddened about the passing of this resident" and that its "utmost priorities are the safety and well-being of our residents."'No tolerance' for abuse, says ministerMost homes have not faced any punishment for failure to comply with the law. Only two Ontario homes have been shut down in the last decade for repeatedly failing to meet safety standards. Other sanctions available to the ministry appear to be ineffective in preventing future repeat offences.Marketplace host David Common called into a press conference with Minister of Long-Term Care Merrilee Fullerton earlier this week to ask her to speak to the fact that despite orders that are available to inspectors, homes still appear to make the same behaviours repeatedly."There's no tolerance whatsoever for negligence or abuse," she said, noting that she feels her government is prioritizing serious offences in their inspections. "They must be dealt with in a fulsome way."'No consequence,' says former inspectorBut a former inspector said that in her experience, issues weren't dealt with in a fulsome way, and that's part of the reason why she left the job.Rebecca de Witte, who worked as an inspector for three years up until March of 2017, said she felt identifying problems in the homes wasn't helping get rid of them. "When you arrive, everything looks really good. And then as time goes by, old habits crop up again," she said.She said she would often inspect a home and find the same problems that she saw when she had last been there."There is no consequence if the homes completely ignore everything you find," she said.Federal government proposing new rulesIn its speech from the throne in October, the federal government promised to work with the provinces and territories to set out a national standard of care for long-term care, and would amend the Criminal Code in order to "explicitly penalize those who neglect seniors under their care."For de Witte, governments need to focus on the big picture instead of what she calls "band-aid" fixes."Funding for air conditioning isn't going to help long-term care, but changing the buildings will," she said. "Pandemic pay isn't going to help long-term care, but changing the funding model will." Meadus wants to see criminal charges for negligence and monetary penalties for repeat offenders. "If the home is not able to provide safe care they shouldn't be in business," she said.Click here to see the methodology of our investigation and statements from those featured in our story.
Mark Carney, the former central banker whose long list of titles includes United Nations Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, says the world of business is going through a period of dynamic transition as it joins the battle against climate change.Carney, who served as governor of the Bank of Canada from 2008 to 2013 before moving on to other roles, described a financial sector that has been energized by a green transformation almost invisible to most of us outside the finance industry.While ordinary Canadians may observe a few more electric cars on the road, a few more solar panels on roofs, the finance whiz outlined at a virtual conference on Thursday a multitrillion-dollar realignment that is changing the way the world's money is invested.Rather than being a laggard because of our commitment to oil and gas, Carney, born in Fort Smith, N.W.T., painted a picture of western innovation and financial-sector success that puts Canada in a leadership position.'Commercial opportunity of our time'In February, Carney famously described the process of stopping the rise of global temperatures as turning "an existential risk into the greatest commercial opportunity of our time."Addressing Thursday's conference organized by the Institute for Sustainable Finance at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., he spoke of a Canadian pension and money-management sector that punched above its weight in global influence."Part of the reason why the Canadian banks are profitable is because they are very good at managing risk," Carney said. "It's going to take a couple of years for everybody to be better at managing climate risk and really understanding it, but there's every reason why our banks could be some of the leaders."When Carney was governor of the Bank of England, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson convinced him to take a key role at COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference originally scheduled for next month in Glasgow.COVID-19 has forced a delay in the 26th world climate conference until November 2021, but a key focus of next year's gathering over which Carney will help preside remains the same: helping people with money avoid the risk as a changing climate affects the economy."It's going to be the suppliers of capital who will be making the decisions here," quipped Jim Leech, the chancellor of Queen's University and former head of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, who moderated Carney's talk in Kingston. "It's not pulled out of the air."But as Carney has discussed before, conventional ways of judging the future value of investments you make today just don't work if in 30 years crops fail and coastal cities begin to flood because of rising temperatures. Assets once considered to have enormous future value, such as coal deposits or pipelines, suddenly have to be reconsidered.Brown to greenIndustries that spew out greenhouse gases will lose value, and those that contribute to reducing global warming will be worth relatively more. Companies actively making the gradual transition from brown to green will be more valuable in any investment portfolio.But so far, a set of standardized rules to measure those changing values remains a work in progress — although it is coming quickly. Carney said COP26 will work toward that problem by examining issues around reporting, risk, returns and mobilization.In simplest terms, the financial industry must create conventions for how companies measure and disclose to investors their climate impact, along with a way of judging how badly failure to act will hurt an investment or portfolio, a standard way of measuring the payback from an investment in climate mitigation or adaptation and ways of redirecting capital toward lower climate damage.One of the concepts under development is to create a percentage "warming potential" of any portfolio, just one way of taking a set of abstruse concepts of risk management and turning them into a user-friendly indicator.Part of the pressure to make companies follow a standard set of climate accounting principles is coming from $150 trillion in global private capital that wants that risk quantified. There is social pressure, too, as citizens watch their forests burn and ice caps melt.But Carney says that is not enough. Governments and market regulators must make climate disclosure mandatory so that investors have a transparent view of the climate value and risk of any company as it follows its business plan."We're not flipping a switch here," Carney said, "but we are transitioning."Follow Don Pittis on Twitter: @don_pittis
What a difference a few months make. Over the summer, Canadians were riding high on the notion they had flattened the curve. In comparison, COVID-19 infections in the neighbouring United States had spiked to new highs. Then the fall arrived, and coronavirus case numbers in Canada started to surge. In response, the European Union removed Canadians from its list of approved travellers on Thursday. Also, U.S. President Donald Trump made a point of noting Canada's COVID-19 "flare-ups" in a recent speech.Now, Canada must face an uncomfortable fact: while we're still faring better than many countries, we've lost our coveted image as a nation widely recognized as having flattened the curve.The turn of events is a reminder that the stealth coronavirus can rebound at any moment, and no country can rest on its laurels in its battle with COVID-19. WATCH | Trump takes note of Canada's COVID-19 problems:"Just because we got through the first wave didn't mean that we were prepared for what was to come," said Ashleigh Tuite, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto."I think we got a little bit smug in terms of comparing ourselves to the United States.… I think maybe it adds a sense of complacency."EU change of heart not surprising, expert saysBack in June, Canada got a big vote of confidence when European countries began reopening their borders. The EU placed Canada on a list of just 14 countries whose citizens EU officials recommended should be welcome in the 27-nation bloc. The U.S. didn't make the cut.Based on the EU's recommendation, many member countries flung open their doors to Canadian travellers — with no restrictions.But that may now change as the EU has officially removed Canada from its approved travel list. The EU said it based its revised list on a number of factors, including COVID-19 case counts and containment efforts.Global health specialist Steven Hoffman said the EU's change of heart isn't surprising because Canada has entered the second wave of the virus. Over the past month, COVID-19 infections in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta have soared to record highs. "Our numbers are getting worse and so it makes sense that countries are reacting," said Hoffman, a professor of global health, law and political science at Toronto's York University. What happened?Health experts have offered up a myriad of reasons why Canada's COVID-19 case numbers have climbed since the summer. First, there was the inevitable rise in cases as provinces eased lockdown restrictions in the spring and summer.Also, some provinces struggled to keep up contact tracing and testing as COVID-19 cases began to mount. "The testing, the tracing just wasn't up to the job in terms of handling these larger numbers of people," said Tuite. "As a result, the whole system got bogged down."But Hoffman said that Canadians shouldn't get too distraught over the EU decision because Canada is still faring better than Europe.Infections are surging in many European countries including France, which last week declared a state of emergency. On Wednesday, Spain became the first Western European country to surpass a million cumulative coronavirus cases. "In Europe, we're seeing quite the acceleration to the point where it's quite scary," said Hoffman. He added that Europe currently isn't a good travel destination. "If Canadians want to be protected from this pandemic … I would recommend they stay right where they are in Canada."Canada vs. U.S.Although the U.S. still allows Canadians to fly to the country, Canada's shifting COVID-19 status hasn't gone unnoticed. Trump highlighted Canada's problems in a speech earlier this month. "All over the world, you see big flare-ups," he told a crowd of supporters. "Big flare-ups in Canada, very big flare-up."This is in sharp contrast to the summer when Canadian COVID-19 case numbers remained low while U.S. infections spiralled out of control. The jarring difference inspired many Canadians to chastise the U.S. on social media for not being able to control the virus. Some even suggested that Canada build a wall. But times have changed. The U.S. infection rate is still far above Canada's rate, but some provinces are now rivalling U.S. states once considered hot spots.According to New York Times data on Thursday, Quebec's COVID-19 infection rate over the past seven days is nearing Florida's rate and has surpassed the rate in Arizona and California. Manitoba's rate is hovering close to that of California's. But Hoffman said Canada can still lay claim to the country where both Canadians and Americans would rather be — when it comes to batting the virus. "I think every American wishes they were living in Canada right now, because our numbers and our ability to contain this outbreak is far better than what we've seen from the United States."He also suggested that Canada's slipping COVID-19 status doesn't constitute a crisis, but instead it's a wake-up call to ramp up our efforts."This represents a warning for why we need to take this pandemic seriously," said Hoffman. "We are maybe at this turning point for whether the second wave of this outbreak will be like the first one, or will it be a lot worse?"
Two new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the province Friday, both in the Campbellton area, Zone 5.The cases involve one individual in their 40s and one in their 70s, and both people are self-isolating, the Health Department said in a news release Friday.The province also reported eight recoveries from COVID-19.This brings the total number of active cases down to 75. There have been a total of 324 cases of the disease in New Brunswick, with 245 recoveries and four deaths.There were 548 tests conducted on Thursday, bringing the total number of tests to 95,584.Premier confident Zone 5 can get handle on virusAs residents of Restigouche County head into the weekend under a more restrictive orange phase or recovery, Premier Blaine Higgs says the region is very close to being put back into the red phase as more positive cases of COVID-19 are announced.After looking at the numbers, Public Health recommendations and where to find the balance, the premier said the government decided to limit interaction in the Campbellton region to single household bubbles to see if it would help limit the spread of the virus. "Can we get a handle on this," Higgs said he and others asked. "And so we believe that we can, but we won't do it without the residents being part of it."Three new cases were announced Thursday in the Campbellton region, or Zone 5, which now has 55 active cases and 300 people in self-isolation. Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, said were four separate chains of infection in the region that cannot be linked, a strong indication of community spread of the virus. Mass testing will take place Saturday and Sunday in Zone 5 as a way for Public Health to get a more accurate picture of the prevalence of the virus in the community. Russell said Public Health would have the data from the two days of testing by Tuesday.Testing of non-symptomatic people will be held Saturday at the Memorial Regional Civic Centre in Campbellton and on Sunday at Inch Arran Arena in Dalhousie. Testing will be done from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. This testing isn't for people who have symptoms, since they would follow the usual route to get tested at a testing centre. Zone 1 hospitals allow more visitors, surgeries Hospitals in Zone 1 are beginning to loosen restrictions now that the region has moved back into the yellow phase of recoveryy.The Vitalité Health Network said it will start allowing more visitors and increase elective procedures at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton and Stella-Maris-de-Kent Hospital in Sainte-Anne-de-Kent. "The return of Moncton and surrounding area to the yellow phase allows us to now adopt somewhat less restrictive rules for visitors and to gradually re-establish service delivery," said Vitalité CEO Gilles Lanteigne in a news release.Visits to patients will be allowed between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.Patients can only have one visitor at a time, except when in palliative care, when two are allowed.Patients who have, or are suspected of having, COVID-19 are not allowed to have visitors.Many questions from public for Higgs, RussellPremier Blaine Higgs and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell answered COVID-related questions from New Brunswick residents on CBC New Brunswick's Information Morning shows. One of the most touching calls came from Edwina Baldwin. She said she has not been able to touch her husband, in a nursing home and in the late stages of Alzheimer's, since the province went into lockdown on March 15.While she has been able to visit him, they must be six feet apart and supervised, and she can't touch him, despite a Sept. 2 announcement that nursing home residents are now allowed to hug one designated person. "Why can I not touch my husband's hand? Next call I get he'll be on his way," Baldwin said. Russell explained it is up to each home to determine how it can handle visits with family, based on the home's operational plan and directions from Public Health."I find it really sad, obviously," Russell said. Testing possible for essential workersAfter addressing a question about travel outside the Atlantic bubble, Higgs said the government is looking at putting new measures in place to test essential workers who are coming back to New Brunswick.At present, these workers who come into the province from outside the bubble are not required to self-isolate for 14 days, as most other people are. Higgs said the province plans a testing program."We would do it maybe on the first day and tenth day, but we would work out some formula there that basically we'd stay in touch and we'd do the testing just to be sure," Higgs said.Another caller asked how soon the province would see rapid testing similar to the pilot project being tested in Alberta that will test essential workers coming into Canada.If the test comes back negative in 48 hours, the person is no longer required to self-isolate but will have to have another test on Day 6 or 7 after arrival. Participants in the test project will be closely monitored through daily symptom checks and be required to follow preventive health measures such as wearing masks in public places and avoiding visiting high-risk groups. Russell said her department will be watching what happens in Alberta to see if the ultimate goal of expanding it to other travellers can be done. "In the meantime, you know, we do have to as, as the premier said, follow the public health directions right now." Campbellton business community sufferingLuc Couturier said people in Campbellton are scared as the region continues to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. "We put our guards down and that's what happens." Couturier owns and operates a family restaurant, Cafe Chez Wes, is the president of the business group Downtown Campbellton, and sits on the board of the Restigouche Chamber of Commerce. He says businesses have been hit hard, including his own."I've lost 50 to 60 per cent of my customers in a week or so. Business is very slow right now." In addition to losing customers because of the suspension of the mini-bubble with Quebec's Avignon region Oct. 8, Couturier said now some businesses are dealing with a closure because of restrictions under the orange phase. "We already see businesses downtown that will be closing their doors shortly. They can't keep up like that." Couturier said he gets frustrated when he hears Premier Higgs claims that the economy is good in the province."Well I'm sorry, sir, but get out of your office and go in the malls and go in the downtowns. Businesses are suffering." As a small business owner himself, Couturier said it isn't acceptable that no help was offered to them by the government.What to do if you have a symptomPeople concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test on the government website at gnb.ca. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: a fever above 38 C, a new cough or worsening chronic cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, new onset of fatigue, new onset of muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell, and difficulty breathing.In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.People with one of those symptoms should: * Stay at home. * Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. * Describe symptoms and travel history. * Follow instructions.CBC's Journalistic Standards a
Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces clashed in several parts of Nagorno-Karabakh on Friday, as the United States stepped up diplomatic efforts to try to end the deadliest fighting in the mountain enclave for over a quarter of a century. In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met separately with the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in a new attempt to end nearly a month of bloodshed that Russian President Vladimir Putin said may have killed 5,000 people.
Nine municipalities in Nova Scotia have a "high risk of financial instability," according to the province.The latest financial condition index was done prior to the pandemic and is based on financial information from fiscal 2018-19.Municipalities were assessed in 13 different categories, including the size of their debts, the amount of savings set aside and their reliance on other government transfers. The municipalities were given an evaluation of low, moderate or high risk for each category. Each of Nova Scotia's 50 municipalities were then given an overall rating.The nine municipalities that fell into the high-risk category are: * Bridgewater. * Clarks Harbour. * Cumberland County. * Lockeport. * New Glasgow. * Oxford. * Trenton. * Westville.Oxford and Trenton had the most categories flagged as high risk.Wayne Teasdale, CAO of Trenton, said in an email he was hopeful the financial information for 2020 would show "a major shift" in both cash flow and profitability.Oxford CAO Rachel Jones said her town plans to work on reducing its debt and increasing its reserves by focusing on core municipal services."We have a very streamlined budget," said Jones. "We don't have a lot of money to put into reserves, so we will need to find areas to reduce, at least in the short term."The financial assessment of Clarks Harbour included comments from town officials, who blamed the high-risk indicators on an unexpected bill from the province.Clarks Harbour had budgeted $30,000 for social housing units located in the town, but the province carried out extensive renovations during the 2018-19 fiscal year and unexpectedly sent a bill of $87,749, said town officials. The money had to come from the town's reserves to cover the deficit.The only county on the list — Cumberland — placed some blame for its budget deficit on a merger with the Town of Springhill in 2015. In a response sent to the province, county officials said they believe Cumberland would have been assessed as having moderate financial risks if it hadn't been for the merger.A spokesperson for the Department of Municipal Affairs told CBC News in an email that staff support high-risk municipalities by "providing advice and guidance and helping them prepare actions." Krista Higdon also wrote that the province has created a $380-million, low-cost loan program to "help municipalities with pressures created by COVID-19."The department has no plans to make any adjustments to the financial assessment of 2020 because of the pandemic.More than half — 60 per cent — of Nova Scotia's municipalities were assessed as low risk for financial instability, including Halifax.The Region of Queens and Inverness County were the only two that scored low-risk assessments in all 13 categories.MORE TOP STORIES
The medical officer of health for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is pushing back on Premier Doug Ford's comments that health units are "passing the buck" when they ask the province to put in COVID-19 restrictions in their areas, rather than issuing their own.Medical officers of health can issue a Class Section 22 order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to implement rules for the pandemic.In a media briefing Wednesday, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said he had asked the province to impose restrictions in his region, similar to those put in Ontario's hot spots earlier this month. The case numbers in his unit east of Ottawa, covering communities such as Hawkesbury and Cornwall, have been climbing: 156 active cases as of Thursday, with more cases in September and October than the rest of the pandemic combined.In his own media event Thursday, the premier called those medical officers of health out. Ford said he would not be issuing any new regulations and instead suggested the health units issue Class Section 22 orders themselves."Sometimes, I feel like some regions want to pass the buck. And I'll be the bad guy, I have no problem. I'm the premier, I'm responsible, I'll be accountable," Ford said."But some regions pass the buck and say, 'no, no, you do it. I don't want to be the bad guy.'"EOHU to issue a Section 22 orderRoumeliotis said that is simply not true."I do not agree with that at all," he said. "I was prepared to act ... I was trying to see what the most efficient way of doing it." Roumeliotis said one of the reasons he was asking the province to issue regulations was because those regulations are easier to enforce than an order made by him. Provincial regulations give police at all levels the power to enforce the rules, whereas with a Section 22 order, health inspectors have to go through a judge to get permission or a warrant, he said. Roumeliotis said he now plans to issue that order Friday, but it won't come into effect until sometime early next week."I will be sitting down and finalizing it. As a matter of fact, we have a draft ready to go, it was just a matter of when. I wouldn't want to impose things in the middle of a weekend," he said.That would mean that restaurants could stay open but their capacity would be restricted to 100 people, and six people at a table.Exercise classes would be limited to 10, and 50 people total would be allowed in gyms. Meeting and banquet halls would also be limited to 50. "We want to limit the amount of people getting together at one given time, just because we're seeing the numbers increase in our area," Roumeliotis said
As renewed scrutiny grows around the death of 15-year-old Wally Rich, Newfoundland and Labrador's child and youth advocate says the situation is a tragedy, and her office's ability to investigate is held up in bureaucratic limbo.Rich, from Natuashish, died by suicide while at a group home in Labrador in May, nearly three years after the provincial government promised an inquiry into Innu children in care.Jackie Lake Kavanagh, the child and youth advocate, said any ability to do her own investigation into Rich's death is on hold, as by law she cannot look at or investigate a matter until the Child Death Review Committee has completed its own review. She has yet to receive a file from that committee, she said, and added the awaited inquiry is also standing in the way.She wants to see if Rich's case will be included in that inquiry, which will determine whether she can proceed with her own investigation. That's one more reason she feels the years-long delay for the inquiry is unacceptable."When you look at the sense of urgency, this should have been happening already, and Innu children are struggling in the system and this is a prime example of it," she said. Kavanagh said it's inexplicable to her how the province hasn't moved ahead with the inquiry yet. "This inquiry was committed more than three years ago, and if you look back beyond that, the Innu people were demanding and asking for that inquiry before it was committed. So, it goes back much more than three years," said Jackie Lake Kavanagh. "I think the piece that they want is, they want answers, they want accountability and they want reconciliation, and they've said that. And I think those are very reasonable requests to make."Troubling statisticsAs of March, there were 165 Innu children in provincial care. It's clear to Kavanagh that Rich is not the only one who encountered problems with the system."It's not unique which is really, really tragic," she told CBC Radio's St John's Morning Show.Her office is seeing troubling statistics in the province.Legislative changes to the Child and Youth Advocate Act in 2018 meant her office has to be notified if a child is critically injured or dies while in care and custody, or within the last 12 months of care and custody."Between April 1, 2019 and the end of September this year, we have had 75 reports, and 60 per cent of those have been around suicide attempts or suicide ideation," Kavanagh said. "That's really, really significant in this little province of ours."Kavanagh said Indigenous children and their communities have been marginalized for a long time, and the impact of intergenerational trauma is working its way through younger generations. She said Rich's death is heartbreaking, and it's part of larger, systemic issues that are pervasive across Canada."When you look at the situation across the country, in fact, between 10- and 24-year-olds suicide is the second leading cause of death, and that is really, really troubling," Kavanagh said."I think all of us should be left with a whole sense of unrest about that."Kavanagh said a lot more work needs to be done, particularly a plan dedicated to youth and children in the province's suicide prevention strategy as well as services dedicated to Indigenous children based in their culture. Where to get help:Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566 (phone) | 45645 (text) | http://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/ (chat)In Quebec (French): Association québécoise de prévention du suicide: 1-866-APPELLE (1-866-277-3553)Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (phone), Live Chat counselling at www.kidshelpphone.caCanadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisisRead more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
President Donald Trump reviewed his debate performance against Democrat Joe Biden, saying he thought it was "very, very successful" and called it an "exciting night." The president also predicted a win Nov. 3, predicting a "great red wave." (Oct. 23)
While public health officials are urging more people to get a flu shot this year, the Ontario government ordered enough doses of the influenza vaccine to cover only about 35 per cent of the population.The province has ordered 700,000 more flu doses than last year, for a total of 5.1 million doses, which is a record number for Ontario.The provincial levels are on par with the national supply — the federal government ordered 13 million flu vaccine doses, enough for about 34 per cent of the country's population. As both politicians and health officials implore people to get the shot — Ottawa Public Health (OPH) officials are hoping to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population this year — it's unclear whether the supply can meet the overall demand.Supply at odds with messagingFor weeks, health officials from every level of government have been urging Ontarians to get a flu shot, which is thought to be especially important during this COVID-19 pandemic.> This is short-sightedness and incompetence at both levels of government. - Amir Attaran, Professor at University of OttawaThousands of people are hospitalized and hundreds die due to influenza each year in Ontario and there are concerns that flu patients could overwhelm the health-care system during the pandemic. As well, because the symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are similar, people with flu symptoms will likely need to be tested for coronavirus, putting further strain on COVID-19 testing and laboratory resources.This is why officials have been pressing the flu shot — which provides protection against contracting influenza, or can lessen the severity of symptoms if you do get it — like never before."Please make sure you get yours. It's never been more important," Premier Doug Ford said last month.Toronto Public Health "would like to see everyone who can receive the vaccine to be vaccinated" and OPH's Dr. Trevor Arnason pleaded this week: "If you don't normally get a flu vaccine, please get one this year." High-dose shots for fewer than half of seniors"People are being told it's very important to get a flu vaccine, and that message is exactly correct," said Amir Attaran, a professor in both the the faculties of law and the school of epidemiology at the University of Ottawa."But our federal and provincial governments have yet again bungled it, and not really laid the plans to vaccinate as many people as will respond to that reasonable, excellent request to be vaccinated for flu."This is short-sightedness and incompetence at both levels of government."Attaran told CBC he is concerned in particular about a shortage of the high-dose versions of the shot for seniors.The province's order of 5.1 million flu shots includes 1.3 million of the high-dose variety, although there are about three million people over the age of 65 in Ontario.The province has said it will order more vaccines if they are needed, but Attaran wonders whether that will be possible as many countries in Europe and Asia are running low."Canada is going to have to go up against all those countries and try to get some more and good luck with that."'Avoiding wastage': provinceProvincial officials have said recently there is no shortage of the vaccine, as people have complained that their local pharmacies are running out of initial orders."It's important to remember that the province does not receive its vaccine order in one shipment," reads an emailed statement from the Ministry of Health."Distribution timelines may vary by public health unit and wholesale distributors. As avoiding vaccine wastage is very important due to the expected increase in demand this year, multiple shipments of the flu vaccine helps to ensure that doses are being used as efficiently and effectively as possible."However, the fact that more shipments of the vaccine are on the way does not address the question of whether there will be enough overall. The ministry was not able to provide comment on why the province ordered enough vaccines for 35 per cent of the provincial population.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping condemned “unilateralism, protectionism and extreme egoism” in a jab at the United States made during a rally Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of China’s entry into the 1950-53 Korean War. China refers to the conflict, in which it sent troops to aid North Korean forces against a United Nations coalition led by America, as the “War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea.”
A commercial passenger plane flew from the Libyan capital Tripoli across front lines to the eastern city of Benghazi for the first time in more than a year on Friday after talks between the country's warring parties in Geneva. Flights between them had stopped in the summer of 2019 as shelling by Khalifa Haftar's eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) targeted Tripoli's Mitiga airport. The Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), which is recognised by the United Nations, drove the LNA back from the capital in June.
Nova Scotia's business minister is apologizing for the way a $50-million fund directed to the largest tourism operators was announced, and he's pledging more help is coming soon."I probably should have been managing expectations and making sure that it wasn't as though this announcement was going to solve all their issues," said Geoff MacLellan. "So, that's probably a mistake on my part and my fault."The government has faced blowback from tourism operators and industry representatives since news on Friday that $50 million in loan guarantees would only be available for the largest tourism operators in the province. Government officials estimate about 11 companies could qualify for the help.MacLellan said he was concerned going into the announcement last week that the government would face a backlash. He said the aim throughout the pandemic has been to identify issues and address them as best as possible.'That was my mistake'While he stands by the loan guarantee program, MacLellan said he knows more support for the industry is required and that's in the works."This type of program [announced Friday] exists in other places and is valuable," he said."The difference is they announced the other supports at the same time. That was my mistake not recognizing that."Tourism revenue for 2020 is on pace to come in around $900 million, well below the $2.6 billion in 2019. The industry has been crushed by travel restrictions, public health restrictions and people generally choosing to stay closer to home to avoid the risks associated with COVID-19.Issmat Al-Akhali is one of many operators under pressure and frustrated with the province's response to date.Al-Akhali operates Granville Hall, a 30-room accommodation site in downtown Halifax that caters to students during the school year, tourists in the summer and anyone else looking for a hostel-style space.The pandemic forced him to lay off his two employees and to find efficiencies wherever he could. Al-Akhali said he's extended himself as far as he can and been as patient as possible, but he and many others are running out of time."Placating the small business owners or medium business owners in this sector with promises of more discussions does not work anymore. We've been through this for months," he said."We're coming into the winter months, which is typically the hard period for tourism operators, let alone without the financial cushion that comes from summer bookings."Government focused on property taxesAl-Akhali said small and medium operators need something that will keep them alive for the next six months. That could be money to help them pay their bills or programs that will help address the needs of people to whom they owe money.MacLellan said his department has tried to work as fast as possible and his immediate attention now is focused on concerns from operators related to property tax bills."That's happening now. It's going to happen quickly and we want to make sure that we get something back to the sector as soon as possible," he said."I certainly feel the urgency to get something done on their behalf."MORE TOP STORIES
One of the most remote areas in the United States has become more isolated than ever.That's because the Northwest Angle cannot currently welcome any visitors by road — even those from its own country.The Angle, as it's affectionately known, is a geographical oddity, created by surveying errors stretching back more than 200 years. Technically part of Minnesota, it's surrounded on three sides by Canada, and by a body of water to the south. Its only land link is its western border with Manitoba.But pandemic-related border restrictions mean American visitors can't take the nearly barren road in southeastern Manitoba into this isolated slice of their own country. The ban is devastating for fishing lodge owners in the Angle, as upwards of 90 per cent of their normal customers cannot return."We've only had like seven parties all summer — we've had a week's worth of business," said Paul Colson, who owns Jake's Northwest Angle resort with his wife, Karen. 80-km stretch of roadAhead of the lucrative winter fishing season, residents are pleading with Canadian officials to exempt an 80-kilometre stretch of road in Manitoba from travel restrictions, allowing tourists to drive from the rest of Minnesota into the Northwest Angle.They'll do whatever it takes to ensure anybody crossing into Canada doesn't make any stops in the country en route, Colson said."We floated the idea of escort vehicles, ridiculous fines, cameras, whatever you want to do. Whatever … makes them feel warm and fuzzy, we'll do that," he said."We are not asking for the border to be opened, OK? We are asking for Americans to be able to travel from America back into America."Aside from essential travellers, the only people currently permitted entry by road are the 120 residents of Angle Inlet, Minn. Some visitors have travelled by boat through Lake of the Woods, but that mode of transportation is neither practical nor safe for many people, Colson said.Meanwhile, some vehicles with Canadian licence plates were entering the Angle over the summer to travel by boat into a nearby First Nation, where a water treatment facility has been under construction.The workers were allowed to enter the States because their work is essential, which is fine by Colson. But "essential travel for us is our tourists," he said. "That's how we make our living up here."'Do not want Americans in Canada, period': congressmanResidents of the Angle have Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson and several senators on their side, and they have sought sympathy from their Canadian counterparts. WATCH | Northwest Angle residents live with odd 'geographic reality':Peterson has tried speaking with Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, but he said his calls haven't been returned. "I tried all kinds of things. I tried to see if they would allow us to have a lead car to take a group up … to make sure that nobody stops, nobody gets out of their car."I also suggested that we put a GPS tracker on cars when they leave the border patrol station," but that didn't curry favour, either, Peterson said. "They think they've done a pretty decent job" at keeping COVID-19 case numbers relatively low, Peterson said of his Canadian neighbours, "and they just do not want Americans in Canada, period."The closure of the Canada-U.S. land border came into effect in March, and has been repeatedly extended. Public opinion polls found the ban is popular in Canada as COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in the United States.The Canadian government says it isn't entertaining a border exemption for the Angle, nor at Point Roberts, Wash., a community similarly cut off from the United States."The decision to bring forward the significant restrictions at our borders was difficult, but we know that they are necessary to keep our communities safe throughout the pandemic," said Mary-Liz Power, spokesperson for Minister Blair.'You're ... lonely for your customers'Joe Henry, executive director of the Minnesota-based Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau, said the economic beating is tough to take, but he won't stop lobbying.The situation is increasingly dire for the dozen fishing lodges in the area, he said."You've worked perhaps for generations, certainly decades, to build up your resort business," Henry said. "Everything you do to gain clientele and build their trust, those are your repeat customers. Now, all of a sudden, they can't come all year long. They may to go other places and they might like those other places."Richard McKeever, who owns Young's Bay Resort in the Northwest Angle, is grateful the vast majority of his bookings pushed their reservations to next year. In the meantime, he's keeping busy running his small store selling bait, food and gas. He's getting by financially because his parents, from whom he purchased the fishing lodge, are letting his payments slide. But he said these days, the Angle is feeling even more secluded than before."You're almost lonely for your customers. You get used to seeing these people every year, year after year after year, and they've become friends," McKeever said."With nobody around, it just feels strange — it's just like a ghost town."
Hospitals and long-term care homes are nearly at capacity and won't be able to handle a surge in COVID-19 patients during the second wave of the pandemic, an independent commission has heard. While there are plenty of physical spaces set to handle an influx in patients, which include many field hospitals ready to go, there is no one to staff them, the Ontario Hospital Association told the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission earlier this month. Barbara Collins, the CEO of Humber River Hospital, testified that about 5,000 hospital patients in the province could be transferred to long-term care homes to continue their recovery.
After the first wave of coronavirus hit Myanmar in March, 36-year-old Ma Suu closed her salad stall and pawned her jewelry and gold to buy food to eat. During the second wave, when the government issued a stay-home order in September for Yangon, Ma Suu shut her stall again and sold her clothes, plates and pots. With nothing left to sell, her husband, an out of work construction labourer, has resorted to hunting for food in the open drains by the slum where they live on the outskirts of Myanmar's largest city.
Libya's warring factions signed a permanent ceasefire agreement on Friday, but any lasting end to years of chaos and bloodshed will require wider agreement among myriad armed groups and the outside powers that support them. Acting U.N. Libya envoy Stephanie Williams said the ceasefire would start immediately and all foreign fighters must quit Libya within three months. As a first commercial passenger flight in more than a year crossed front lines from Tripoli to the eastern city of Benghazi on Friday, Williams noted Libya's "fraught" recent history, one of numerous broken truces and failed political solutions.
Health Minister Roman Prymula has come under fire after he was photographed leaving a restaurant in the capital that should have been closed under the country's COVID-19 rules.View on euronews