British Columbia has announced sweeping new COVID-19 measures, including mandatory masks in indoor public spaces and retail spaces, as well as limiting social gatherings to household members only across the entire province until at least Dec. 7.
British Columbia has announced sweeping new COVID-19 measures, including mandatory masks in indoor public spaces and retail spaces, as well as limiting social gatherings to household members only across the entire province until at least Dec. 7.
PHILADELPHIA — President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the campaign's latest effort to challenge the state’s election results.Trump’s lawyers vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court despite the judges' assessment that the “campaign’s claims have no merit.”“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” 3rd Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, wrote for the three-judge panel, all appointed by Republican presidents.The case had been argued last week in a lower court by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who insisted during five hours of oral arguments that the 2020 presidential election had been marred by widespread fraud in Pennsylvania. However, Giuliani failed to offer any tangible proof of that in court.U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, another Republican, had said the campaign's error-filled complaint, “like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together” and denied Giuliani the right to amend it for a second time.The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called any revisions “futile.” Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith and Judge Michael Chagares were on the panel with Bibas, a former University of Pennsylvania law professor. Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, sat on the court for 20 years, retiring in 2019.“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” Bibas said in the opinion, which also denied the campaign's request to stop the state from certifying its results, a demand he called “breathtaking.”In fact, Pennsylvania officials had announced Tuesday that they had certified their vote count for President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump by more than 80,000 votes in the state. Nationally, Biden and running mate Kamala Harris garnered nearly 80 million votes, a record in U.S. presidential elections.Trump has said he hopes the Supreme Court will intervene in the race as it did in 2000, when its decision to stop the recount in Florida gave the election to Republican George W. Bush. On Nov. 5, as the vote count continued, Trump posted a tweet saying the “U.S. Supreme Court should decide!”Ever since, Trump and his surrogates have attacked the election as flawed and filed a flurry of lawsuits to try to block the results in six battleground states. But they’ve found little sympathy from judges, nearly all of whom dismissed their complaints about the security of mail-in ballots, which millions of people used to vote from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.Trump perhaps hopes a Supreme Court he helped steer toward a conservative 6-3 majority would be more open to his pleas, especially since the high court upheld Pennsylvania’s decision to accept mail-in ballots through Nov. 6 by only a 4-4 vote last month. Since then, Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett has joined the court.“The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud,” Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tweeted after Friday's ruling. “On to SCOTUS!”In the case at hand, the Trump campaign asked to disenfranchise the state’s 6.8 million voters or at least “cherry-pick” the 1.5 million who voted by mail in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other Democratic-leaning areas, the appeals court said.“One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption,” Brann, a member of the conservative Federalist Society, wrote in his scathing ruling on Nov. 21. “That has not happened.”A separate Republican challenge that reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week seeks to stop the state from further certifying any races on the ballot. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is fighting that effort, saying it would prevent the state’s legislature and congressional delegation from being seated in the coming weeks.On Thursday, Trump said the Nov. 3 election was still far from over. Yet he said for the first time he would leave the White House on Jan. 20 if the Electoral College formalizes Biden’s win.“Certainly I will. But you know that,” Trump said at the White House, taking questions from reporters for the first time since Election Day.On Twitter Friday, however, he continued to baselessly attack Detroit, Atlanta and other Democratic cities with large Black populations as the source of “massive voter fraud.” And he claimed, without evidence, that a Pennsylvania poll watcher had uncovered computer memory drives that “gave Biden 50,000 votes” apiece.All 50 states must certify their results before the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14, and any challenge to the results must be resolved by Dec. 8. Biden won both the Electoral College and popular vote by wide margins.___Follow Maryclaire Dale on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MaryclairedaleMaryclaire Dale, The Associated Press
The federal government is laying plans for the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, inking contracts with seven potential manufacturers and saying six million doses could arrive in the country in the first quarter of 2021. The most recent development from Ottawa came Friday when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tapped former NATO commander Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin to lead the national distribution effort. But various provinces have started spelling out their plans as well. Here's a look at what they've said so far: —Nova ScotiaThe province's chief medical officer of health says he will release a detailed plan for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine once Ottawa shares more information. Dr. Robert Strang said Friday there is no certainty yet about the availability of a vaccine, but expressed hopes an initial supply will trickle into Nova Scotia early in the new year.Strang said a detailed provincial plan, to be released once the federal government has shared more specifics on its end, will include tight control of the supply and clear rules dictating who can be first in line for immunization. He said he's waiting for more federal guidance on issues ranging from priority groups to transportation and storage logistics. —QuebecThe province will be ready to start rolling out its vaccine plan as of Jan. 1, say senior politicians. Premier Francois Legault said Thursday that public health officials have already settled on the list of priority vaccine recipients, but did not release details. Legault said the province is also working to put the necessary infrastructure in place to support a vaccine rollout. That includes obtaining fridges capable of maintaining the extremely low temperatures needed by one of the most promising potential vaccine options, currently in development through pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.Quebec has also tasked assistant deputy health minister Jerome Gagnon, and former provincial public health director Dr. Richard Masse to oversee the province's vaccination effort. —OntarioPremier Doug Ford is among those leaders calling on Ottawa to provide more clarity as officials scramble to develop a provincewide vaccination strategy.Early speculation on the number of doses the province could receive was put to rest earlier this week when federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said such details were still in the works. But Ford has forged ahead, naming former chief of national defence Gen. Rick Hillier to oversee the province's vaccine rollout. Hillier said on Friday he hopes to have a plan developed by year's end, while Ford urged Ottawa to provide detailed information on potential vaccine delivery. "We need a clear line of sight into the timelines of the shipments," Ford said.—AlbertaThe province's top medical official has said she expects to receive 680,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine early in the new year, a figure not yet confirmed by the federal government. Dr. Deena Hinshaw has also said a number of hurdles and unknowns remain as the province works to devise its vaccination scheme. "These (vaccine) numbers, of course, depend on many factors,'' Hinshaw said on Nov. 18. "They depend on the final pieces of the trials that are underway going well. They depend on ensuring that the safety and the effectiveness of the early vaccines can be assured. All of those checks and balances must be cleared."On Friday, Hinshaw said the province is working with Ottawa to get vaccine, but it is "a bit of a moving target" on when vaccines might be available."But our goal is that whenever vaccine is available, we will be ready to start immunizing individuals on that highest priority list."—British ColumbiaProvincial health officials announced on Wednesday that a vaccine strategy for the province is already in the works. Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province's top doctor, said Dr. Ross Brown of Vancouver Coastal Health will join the group working to organize the logistics around the distribution of vaccines.Henry said front-line workers as well as those in long-term care homes will likely have priority for vaccinations.She cautioned that while the province has contracts with vaccine makers, there can be challenges with offshore manufacturing."It's very much focused on who is most at risk and how do we protect them best," Henry said. "There's a lot of discussion that needs to happen."Henry said the province hopes to have vaccines in hand by January.—YukonPremier Sandy Silver told the legislature on Wednesday that the territory has been in discussions with various levels of government on a vaccine rollout plan. He said the goal will be to provide vaccines to elderly people and health-care providers.Silver said rural and remote communities should also get priority status in northern regions, a fact he said he's emphasized with federal authorities. The premier said he has joined the other provincial and territorial leaders in pushing for a national strategy to distribute the vaccine. “How confusing would it be for 13 different strategies right across the nation?” he said. Silver said the Pfizer vaccine could cause logistical problems for remote communities because of its cold-storage requirements, but those issues may not apply to other vaccines under development. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
ATLANTA — A panel of U.S. advisers will meet Tuesday to vote on how scarce, initial supplies of a COVID-19 vaccine will be given out once one has been approved. Experts have proposed giving the vaccine to health workers first. High priority also may be given to workers in essential industries, people with certain medical conditions and people age 65 and older. Tuesday's meeting is for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The panel of experts recommends who to vaccinate and when -- advice that the government almost always follows. The agenda for next week's emergency meeting was posted Friday. Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have asked the Food and Drug Administration to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Moderna Inc. is expected to also seek emergency use of its vaccine soon. FDA's scientific advisers are holding a public meeting Dec. 10 to review Pfizer's request, and send a recommendation to the FDA. Manufacturers already have begun stockpiling coronavirus vaccine doses in anticipation of eventual approval, but the first shots will be in short supply and rationed. The Associated Press
EDMONTON — A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths on railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed was one of the biggest factors. The research, published earlier this week in Nature's Scientific Reports, studied animals killed by trains between 1995 and 2018: 59 bears; 27 wolves, coyotes, cougars and lynx; and 560 deer, elk, moose and sheep. "The top predictor was train speed," said lead author Colleen Cassady St. Clair, a biological sciences professor at the University of Alberta. "More animals died where trains were travelling faster. "Next was distance to water, then the (amount of) water near the site and then curvature in the tracks." Train speed and track curvature, she said, make it difficult for wildlife to detect trains, while being close to water — particularly a lot of water — hinders their ability to get off the tracks before being hit. The study builds on a five-year research project funded by Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific Railway from 2010 to 2015 that focused on grizzly bears being struck by trains in the same two parks. It concluded that giving grizzlies better travel paths and sightlines along the railway was the best way to keep them safe. Cassady St. Clair said she hopes the latest study "will make it possible to identify types and locations for mitigations that will reduce the problems for all wildlife, not just grizzly bears." The research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and the ability of wildlife to see trains, especially at curves in tracks near water. Canadian Pacific noted in a statement Friday that the company has worked with Parks Canada for the last decade to learn more about how wildlife interacts with the railway. "CP has engaged with Parks Canada and the University of Alberta throughout this program to ensure the mitigation measures CP implemented were based on science," it said. The statement didn't address whether the company would consider reducing train speeds. Co-author Jesse Whittington, a wildlife ecologist for Banff National Park, said trains are one of the leading causes of death for animals in the two parks. "The trains (that) travel through Banff and Yoho national parks kill almost 30 animals a year," said Whittington, who added that animals use rail lines for travel and access to food. The latest study, he said, helps Parks Canada understand where wildlife are getting killed, why they are getting hit in that location and the time of year when they are most likely to get hit. "Mortality risk was highest in areas where animals had difficulty detecting trains and where they had difficulty escaping trains," he said. "Animals had challenges detecting trains where trains were travelling fast and in areas with high curvature. "Trains can be surprisingly quiet when they are travelling downhill or coming around a corner." Whittington gave as an example an adult female grizzly bear killed by a train in September. She was in an area with a steep slope next to the Bow River. "There were few places for her to get off the tracks." The latest study also found that grizzly bears were more likely to be killed in late spring when, Whittington noted, water in the Bow River is often higher. Other carnivores and ungulates were more likely to get hit by trains in the winter. "When we have deep snows, we'll often find elk and deer along the tracks." Whittington said some of his Parks Canada colleagues have been working to enhance travel routes for animals away from the rail line by creating more trails through the forest. The agency's fire crews have also been working to create better wildlife habitat throughout the park with prescribed fires. "We have a lot of thick shrubs and deadfall that has accumulated over the years that makes it difficult for animals to travel across the landscape," he said. "To date, we've cleared over 50 kilometres of wildlife trails throughout Banff — both in areas around these hot spots and in other areas that are pinch points. "We're hopeful that will help." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2020. Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 6:54 p.m. EST on Nov. 27, 2020: There are 359,055 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Quebec: 138,163 confirmed (including 6,984 deaths, 119,727 resolved) _ Ontario: 111,216 confirmed (including 3,595 deaths, 94,366 resolved) _ Alberta: 53,105 confirmed (including 519 deaths, 38,369 resolved) _ British Columbia: 30,884 confirmed (including 395 deaths, 21,304 resolved) _ Manitoba: 15,632 confirmed (including 280 deaths, 6,487 resolved) _ Saskatchewan: 7,691 confirmed (including 44 deaths, 4,384 resolved) _ Nova Scotia: 1,257 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,078 resolved) _ New Brunswick: 477 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 356 resolved) _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 331 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 296 resolved) _ Nunavut: 159 confirmed (including 8 resolved) _ Prince Edward Island: 70 confirmed (including 68 resolved) _ Yukon: 42 confirmed (including 1 death, 29 resolved) _ Northwest Territories: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved) _ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved) _ Total: 359,055 (0 presumptive, 359,055 confirmed including 11,894 deaths, 286,500 resolved) This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. The Canadian Press
This week over 100 Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators and representatives from across the country convened to work on setting the stage for systemic change in Indigenous land-based education. The Actua network, a self-professed leader in land-based STEM education, hosted the gatherings. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied way. As parents and educators nationwide struggle with how to make education work in a pandemic environment, Indigenous students, particularly in northern remote parts of the country, have headed back to the land. “We really found that there is a national consensus on the importance of bringing this into the school system. Certainly there are challenges, but the benefits far outweigh those challenges and that there is huge opportunity here for Indigenous learning to actually really contribute to the future classroom,” Doug Dokis, Actua’s Director of Indigenous Youth in STEM (InSTEM) program, said. According to Dokis, grounding lessons in Indigenous knowledge provides Indigenous students with a sense of pride in their identity and shows them that their cultural perspectives are valued. A press release said that as Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers take the lead, there is an opportunity to work with Indigenous communities, education authorities, industry and post-secondary institutions in reshaping the classroom of the future for Indigenous youth and for all Canadian youth. Dokis explained that with COVID-19 shutting down schools and creating other problems the education system is scrambling to find ways to create safe classrooms. “A lot of those conversations are revolving around more outdoor experiences for kids and what we are saying is that Indigenous land-based … models are ideal for aligning with school systems and existing programming and building that out,” Dokis explained. “It would be beneficial not only to Indigenous kids but all kids.” Actua is a national non-profit whose membership consists of 42 universities and colleges across Canada. “We deliver our STEM outreach through those networks of undergrad students at those universities an colleges. So we are present in all of these regions and territories across Canada,” Dokis said. The member organizations in the province include the University of Regina who hosted through their EYES (Educating Youth in Engineering and Science) program; the other member organizations are the University of Saskatchewan and First Nations University of Canada. Actua works with over 200 Indigenous communities, also building partnerships with the local education sector. “I reached out to a lot of the contacts that I have at a national level in these high level Indigenous or education portfolios and began to build a list of people that were and are actively involved in Indigenous education at the provincial level. From there we also got suggestions from existing relationships,” Dokis explained. The national forum set the groundwork for what is hoped will result in vastly improved educational outcomes for Indigenous students and a real path forward towards reconciliation. “We looked to address some of the systemic problems and challenges within the education system,” Dokis said. “Part of that is that Indigenous knowledge is not recognized or included in or inclusive of mainstream education systems. So we wanted to create an opportunity to better integrate and align Indigenous knowledge and education within the whole system across the country,” Dokis explained. Typically teams from Actua go to communities and work on coding or robotics or other STEM activities. With land-based STEM they work with what is happening at the cultural level around things such as land management. “We would build STEM activities to support the local cultural knowledge and cultural aspects (such as) harvesting fish or harvesting game. Then we would build activities to support that within the land programming.” Students that participate get high school credits. “That helps address high school graduation rates and encourages more Indigenous youth to participate or to follow into STEM careers.” The program has been working in Indigenous communities for over 25 years and the credit component has been around for four years. A national forum held this week presented the outcomes of a series of seven regional roundtable events on Indigenous land-based STEM education. “Part of our outreach consists of Indigenous communities doing workshops in school programs. So the roundtables were primarily focused on Indigenous leadership, Indigenous educators, education authorities, school boards and regional or provincial or territorial ministries that are responsible for that segment of education,” Dokis said. “We are producing a discussion paper from all of these roundtables and the national forum and this discussion paper will be circulated widely across the country. And then we are moving towards the next steps of facilitating some of the conversations that would need to happen around curriculum development, curriculum assessment, all of those kinds of things,” Dokis said. He explained that he didn’t know how long the process would take. “We really are wanting to see systemic change and systemic recognition that this is valuable to the education system in this country,” Dokis said there needs to be recognition at all levels of government in order to make these ideas spread through the education system. “We will continue to advocate and continue to build out this at a local level with the idea that we have recognized through these conversations that these can move quite quickly in the sense of how systems typically move. Certainly the COVID situation with the classroom has kind of opened the door and the conversation more targeting outdoor education or land based learning opportunities,” Dokis said.Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's attempt to call out the Conservative Party for promoting misinformation about COVID-19 stumbled tonight when PMO staff sent out a draft statement that itself contained misinformation.Trudeau and Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole had a call scheduled for this evening. The usual practice after these calls is for both parties to put out a statement — a "readout" — describing what was discussed during the call.Shortly after 4:30 p.m. this evening, the Prime Minister's Office issued just such a note saying Trudeau "raised concerns around COVID-19 misinformation being promoted by Conservative members of Parliament, given Conservative MPs recently downplayed the deaths of Canadians in Alberta due to COVID-19 and compared COVID-19 to the flu."The call with O'Toole was not scheduled to take place until 5:15 p.m. Peter MacKay's former director of communications director Michael Diamond saw the message and was quick to retweet out an image of part of the statement with the caption, "Why is the PMO pushing out misinformation? This is very concerning."The premature press statement also said the pair spoke about U.S. president-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration, the fight against COVID-19, climate change, trade, NATO, support for Canadian detainees Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in China, the Keystone XL project and the Buy America policy. A spokesperson for the PMO told CBC that staff typically draft a readout before the call to act as a placeholder, updating it once the meeting is over.The spokesperson said a member of the prime minister's staff accidentally sent out the draft readout early.Later in the evening, the PMO sent out an edited readout saying the two leaders talked about the issues mentioned in the premature statement. It made no mention of Trudeau chastising O'Toole over misinformation, however.After the call, O'Toole's office put out a statement describing the discussion — which touched on many of the subjects the PMO mentioned in its premature statement earlier in the evening.O'Toole's statement also mentioned a call for Trudeau to work harder to counteract China's recent acts of aggression and the Conservatives' disappointment with the prime minister's efforts to date.On the climate front, the Conservative leader's readout expressed a willingness to support "net zero legislation" providing it supports Canada's energy industry.
Peterborough County politicians are shocked by the tragic death of a one-year-old baby boy who was fatally shot on Thursday after being abducted by his father from a home in Trent Lakes. “There’s now a mother out there without a little boy and I would expect grandparents without a grandson … it’s just a tragic series of events,” said Joe Taylor, former warden of Peterborough County and mayor of Otonabee-South Monaghan Township. The incident began at about 8:48 a.m. Thursday when Peterborough County OPP officers were called to a location northeast of Bobcaygeon in Trent Lakes after a 33-year-old father abducted his son in what police called a domestic dispute involving a firearm. The baby was found dead of a gunshot wound in his father’s pickup truck after it collided with an OPP cruiser on Pigeon Lake Road, east of Lindsay, which was followed by altercation in which three officers shot at the man. Emily Poulin, executive director at Victim Services of Peterborough Northumberland (VSPN), said since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a huge increase in the need to help high-risk victims of domestic violence. While there are many tools the agency offers, as well as several service providers that do work in tandem to try and support these high-risk individuals in both Peterborough city and county, Poulin said there also needs to be prevention of domestic violence. “With COVID, we’re seeing a lot of differences in the way people are arrested and released, because they don’t want to overcrowd the jails, but when you’re talking high-risk offenders, more has to be done on that end,” she said. “It can’t all be on the victim to try and stay safe. There should be more measures put in place to try and keep offenders from doing this in the first place.” Lisa Clarke, executive director at the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre, said in just six months of the pandemic, their crisis services at the centre have doubled those of the MeToo movement in 2017 and 2018. “There are alarming rates of sexual and gender-based and internet-partner violence happening in this community, and the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre encourages all families and friends to check in and support and listen without judgment, to those who may be experiencing family violence in the home,” she said. There are many barriers for people living in rural areas to seek services, Clarke said. “Everybody knows everybody and so it can feel like reaching out means that family and friends will know what’s happening in the home. Our services are confidential and can be anonymous. We recognize that those are the types of services needed for people in rural areas to reach out and we have many survivors each year reaching out from more rural areas of our region,” she said. What happened is incomprehensible, Poulin said. “I mean it’s an absolute tragedy what happened and my heart goes out to the family and friends,” she said. The loss of a life, but particularly the loss of a young life, is heartbreaking, said Andy Mitchell, deputy warden of Peterborough County. “It’s a really, really tragic event and my heart is heavy and sorrowful for all of the folks that are being impacted by this,” he said. Trent Lakes Mayor Janet Clarkson said the outcome of Thursday’s incident is extremely unfortunate. “It’s hard to say when it all comes out, just exactly what happened,” she said. Taylor said he believes the community is going to do what they can to support the family in this time of need. “There’s no point in trying to understand it, or rationalize it, or explain it, or make any sense out of it,” he said. “It’s just really, really sad.” The Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre’s 24/7 crisis phone line is 1-866-298-7778. Their new 24/7 crisis text line is 705-710-5234. VSPN’s toll-free number is 1-888-822-7729 and its website is at victimservicespn.ca/. Marissa Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: email@example.comMarissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) released a ruling on Nov. 25, which impacts how First Nations children can access funding for services. The ruling says that First Nations children who live on or off-reserve, who do not have Indian Act Status, but who are recognized by their respective Nations for the purpose of applying for funding through Jordan’s Principle, can now apply for support. The ruling also opens up funding for children living on or off reserve who “are not eligible for, Indian Act status, but who have a parent or guardian with, or eligible for, Indian Act status.” The ruling comes after years of pressure from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (the Caring Society) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) to address health service inequities, including delays or denial of services, that First Nations children experience. In memory of the late Jordan River Anderson, of Norway House Cree Nation, Jordan’s Principle is a principle that ensures “First Nations children get the services they need when they need them,” according to the Caring Society. Anderson, who was born with complex medical needs, spent more than two years in hospital while both the federal and provincial governments argued over who should finance his home care. Jordan died at the age of five, never having spent a day at home with his family. Jordan’s Principle calls on the government to pay for a child’s services and seek reimbursement later, so the child does not get caught in the middle of a similar dispute. Beginning in 2007, the Caring Society and the AFN filed an official complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) saying Canada was “racially discriminating against First Nations children.” According to a timeline by the Caring Society, the Tribunal case found that the inequitable funding for First Nations child welfare was insufficient and ‘amounts to discrimination.’ In 2016, the Tribunal found that the Government of Canada was “racially discriminating against 165,00 First Nations children and their families,” and that Canada was “failing to implement the full scope of Jordan’s Principle.” In this recent ruling, the Tribunal emphasized its “commitment to respecting First Nations self government,” saying that recognition of the right to self-determination is consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.Anna McKenzie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
Olympic champion wrestler Erica Wiebe feels it's time to get back on the competition mat.She and teammate Amar Dhesi of Surrey, B.C., intend to represent Canada at a December World Cup in Belgrade, Serbia, unless the COVID-19 virus derails those plans.It's been almost nine months since the two Canadians competed in the Pan American Olympic qualification tournament in Ottawa. Wrestling in front of zero fans in mid-March, they punched their tickets to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Less than two weeks later, the Summer Olympics were postponed until 2021.Wiebe is ready to navigate the pandemic pitfalls and complications of international travel to reboot her competitive journey to Tokyo."It's been really crazy because in my 10 years on the Canadian national team, I've never not competed for this long," said the 31-year-old from Stittsville, Ont."I'm wrestling and training better than I ever have. I've just taken so much time to develop, to really dig into some technical and tactical skills. The training volumes are so different compared to when we're traveling to Europe every month. "When I think about competing in Serbia in three weeks, it's really exciting to just see where I'm at, to experience a competitive environment and go through that process."The reigning Olympic champion in the 75-kilogram class trains in Calgary. Dhesi, a 25-year-old who wrestles in the men's heavyweight division, is currently training at the University of Ohio."All this training doesn't doesn't actually prepare for the real thing on the mat," Dhesi told The Canadian Press from Columbus. "I need to get in front of a real referee and stand beside a real opponent, blow the whistle and see what happens. I'm just grateful Canada is letting us go."The tournament Dec. 12-18 in Serbia's capital city was initially the world championship. With some countries unable or unwilling to attend, it was downgraded to a World Cup.Both Wiebe and Dhesi say there will be enough high-calibre opponents to warrant travelling there.Wrestling Canada wrestled with risk and reward in deciding the World Cup was an option for the Canadian team. Some athletes chose not to go. "We've had athletes that training wise are probably ready to go and compete in Serbia, but don't feel comfortable doing so," high-performance director Lúcás Ó’Ceallacháin said."We haven't forced anybody to do that. We have some athletes that still live at home, that have elderly relatives that live with them that will be considered high risk."Canada's six-person contingent will consist of Ó’Ceallacháin, Wiebe, Dhesi, their coaches and an athletic therapist. Wrestling Canada used the return-to-competition assessment tool developed by Own The Podium and the Canadian Olympic Committee, as well as consulting medical experts, to determine how safe it was for Canadian athletes to compete in Belgrade."They are precious cargo," Ó’Ceallacháin said. "We take it very seriously how we're going to take care of them."Serbia has been very good at providing extensive documentation in terms of what their plans are and what they're going to do. We feel they're doing everything they possibly can."We're full of trepidation, anxiety, but we're also excited to get back at it."Ó’Ceallacháin says he also sought advice from Canada's winter-sport teams already competing in Europe, as well as the Canadian judo team that travelled to Guadalajara, Mexico, and Budapest, Hungary for competition in recent weeks.Wiebe intends to take part in Alberta's rapid-testing pilot program for international travellers at the Calgary airport upon return.That could shorten her quarantine from the required 14 days if Wiebe tests negative.Competing in Belgrade means she won't spend the holidays with her family in Ontario."It's a really big sacrifice that's really important for me right now," Wiebe said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press
Andrea Bolitho discusses this week's arts and entertainment news.View on euronews
There has been a record 911 new cases of COVID-19 in BC since yesterday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said today. This brings BC’s cumulative total to 30,884. There were 11 new deaths announced today, bringing BC’s total to 395. In just the last two weeks, there have been 105 new deaths. “The vast majority of these people (who died in the last 24 hours) were people in their 70s and 80s—our seniors, our elders, grandparents, spouses, family members,” said Henry. “Most of the cases today were also people who were living in longterm care, and we know how challenging that has been this last year.” Of today’s new cases, 153 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region (including Richmond), 649 are in the Fraser Health region, 27 in the Island Health region, 47 in the Interior Health region and 35 in the Northern Health region. There are 301 people in hospital, 69 of whom are in critical care. Across the province, 10,430 people are being monitored by public health. While virus-related hospitalizations continue to rise in BC, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the acute care sector continues to have adequate capacity and staffing. Hospital occupancy is at 71.5 per cent, with critical care occupancy at 55.6 per cent. Henry announced three new healthcare outbreaks and declared one existing outbreak over. There remain 59 total outbreaks in the healthcare system, 54 in longterm care or assisted living facilities and five in acute care facilities. The healthcare outbreaks affect 1,162 people in total, including 718 residents and 434 staff members. Henry said until recently, health officials have included testing of all people in the province together in the testing statistics. But there has been increasing separation in the positivity percentages between MSP funded tests—which test people with symptoms in an attempt to find cases—and non-MSP funded tests, which are often for travel, sport or other industries that test mostly people with no symptoms. “As our cases and our surge has increased in BC, we’ve seen an increase in the difference of percent positive between these two groups,” she said. These two testing numbers will now be reported separately in BC’s weekly situation report, in order to more accurately reflect community transmission across the province. In response to some questions about why certain activities have been stopped, Henry said community transmission has been much higher than in previous months. “This means that things that were safe, using the guidelines we had developed over the last 10 months, are no longer in that safe zone,” she said. “Now we are facing a storm surge, and that is something that we are facing globally.” During the lead-up to the holiday season, Henry has a request of people planning to shop. “If you do plan on shopping, remember to keep your COVID safety plans in mind—and that means keeping your distance, wearing your mask, washing your hands, keeping your numbers small and keeping local,” she said. “Support local businesses who need our support, whether that’s shopping online and picking up, booking ahead or going at a time when it’s not so busy. Support the businesses in your community.” For a list of community exposure events, click here. For the latest medical updates, including case counts, prevention, risks and testing, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/ or follow @CDCofBC on Twitter.Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel
Residents of a house in East York were left with minor injuries after an explosion Friday evening. Toronto Fire Platoon Chief Peter Chow said crews were called to the area of Woodbine and Lumsden avenues shortly after 5 p.m. following reports of a small fire in the basement of a residence.Soon after fire crews arrived, they quickly put out the small fire, Chow said.Chow told reporters that a family of four lives in the basement but were able to make it out. He also said three men live on the second floor and one woman lives on the first floor.Wendy Giera, an area resident, said she saw "the front windows blown out of the house, there was smoke pouring out."Police say people were treated for "non life-threatening" injuries at the scene. Chow said crews are waiting for engineers to arrive and inspect the building before they go back in. Investigators have also been called to the residence."We have to wait until the building is actually deemed safe," Chow said.He said a hazardous materials truck has also been called to the scene to do air monitoring to ensure the building is safe for crews to re-enter. Chow said there is also a strong odour coming from the residence.Toronto police aren't sure what caused the blast, spokesperson Laura Brabant said.Roads in the area have been closed and police are asking people to avoid the area.
SÉCURITÉ. Avec les premières bordées de neige qui tombent, les Québécois ajustent leur conduite. Il demeure que des accidents peuvent survenir. À ce sujet, sauriez-vous quoi faire en cas de collision avec un poteau électrique? Grande règle de base: restez dans votre véhicule et signalez le 911. Cependant, si le fait de rester dans votre véhicule mettait votre vie en danger, voici les étapes à suivre suggérées par Hydro-Québec : 1\. Ouvrez grand la portière en restant dans le véhicule et en ne touchant qu’à la poignée. 2\. Collez vos deux pieds ensemble et placez-les sur le pas de la portière. Gardez les bras près du corps. 3\. Sautez à pieds joints hors du véhicule de manière à ne jamais entrer en contact en même temps avec le véhicule et le sol. 4\. Éloignez-vous en faisant des petits bonds, en gardant toujours les pieds joints, jusqu’à ce que vous ayez atteint une distance d’au moins 10 mètres du véhicule ou des fils au sol. De même, si vous êtes témoin d’une collision avec un poteau électrique et que vous devez porter secours aux victimes, composez d’abord le 911 pour signaler et décrire l’accident. En tout temps, tenez-vous à une distance d’au moins 10 mètres du véhicule et des fils au sol. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
In a story Nov. 25, 2020, about a new U.S. estimate of missed coronavirus infections, The Associated Press erroneously reported an earlier calculation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previously, the CDC estimated nine of every 10 cases were being missed, not one of every 10.The Associated Press
SANTÉ. Dans l’optique qu’une ventilation adéquate des milieux intérieurs constitue une mesure de gestion efficace des contaminants de l'air intérieur, incluant les aérosols qui peuvent contenir des virus, le ministre de l'Éducation, Jean-François Roberge, dévoile l'état de situation sur les mécanismes mis en place par les centres de services scolaires (CSS). La compilation des données collectées jusqu'à maintenant montre que les mécanismes de contrôle de la qualité de l'air sont en place dans la presque totalité des établissements. «Je veux rassurer la population : nos milieux scolaires sont sains et sécuritaires. Dans le contexte de la pandémie de COVID-19, il est encore plus primordial d'assurer une qualité de l'air adéquate dans toutes les écoles. Je suis rassuré de constater que les données compilées démontrent que les mécanismes de contrôle mis en place sont efficaces, alors que pour les précédents gouvernements, l'entretien de nos écoles n'était pas une priorité. Nos actions des derniers mois ont porté leurs fruits et nous continuons le travail, en collaboration avec l'ensemble du réseau scolaire», souligne Jean-François Roberge, ministre de l'Éducation. Ainsi, l'implantation d'une approche systématique de gestion de la qualité de l'air est complétée à 96,55 %. Il s'agit d'une série de mesures, comme l'entretien des systèmes, le remplacement des filtres et des grilles d'inspection exhaustives que les CSS doivent appliquer pour garantir la qualité de l'air dans les écoles. L'entretien ménager des systèmes de ventilation a été complété de manière conforme à 97,5 % tandis les normes ont été respectées à 99,5 % pour la ventilation électromécanique et naturelle. Le plan d'entretien électromécanique a été mis en place de façon satisfaisante dans 92,6 % des cas indique-t-on. Rappelons que le réseau des CSS et des CS compte un total de 4 000 bâtiments scolaires, soit approximativement 16,5 millions de mètres carrés et que de nouveaux tests seront effectués, à compter du 1er décembre, pour garantir que la qualité de l'air des classes est conforme aux normes actuellement en vigueur. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 7:04 p.m. Nunavut is reporting four new cases of COVID-19, all in Arviat. The territory says it now has a total of 151 active cases of COVID-19. The Government of Nunavut says it will spend $1 million towards community food programming, including extra funding for communities affected by the pandemic. The government says its message to people is to stay well, stay safe and stay home. 6:49 p.m. Health experts have warned that COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan could climb to more than 10,000 by early next month. The Ministry of Health has released a presentation delivered to physicians at a town-hall meeting last night about the virus's current spread and possible trajectory. Information updated to Nov. 20 indicates that, based on the recent average rise in positive tests, the caseload could hit 10,000 in the first week of December if there is no further intervention. The data also states that as of Monday, the number of active cases and hospitalizations had gone up 400 per cent in the last 30 days. It forecasts that in four to six months, acute care demand for COVID-19 patients could account for half of all available beds and the need for intensive care could be five times total capacity. The Saskatchewan Health Authority says it is working to validate the data and will share more information next week. --- 6:34 p.m. COVID -19 infections keep surging in B.C. with the latest peak at 911 new positive cases. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says there have also been another 11 deaths for a total of 395 deaths since the pandemic started. There have been three more outbreaks in long-term care or assisted-living facilities, bringing to 54 the number of sites that have outbreaks. More than 10,000 people are under active health monitoring, while 21,304 people who were infected are considered recovered. --- 5:30 p.m. The Alberta government is empowering 700 more peace officers to enforce COVID-19 public health orders. Justice Minister Kaycee Madu says fines for breaking the rules can range from $1,000 to $100,000 in extreme cases that end up in court. New rules announced this week include a ban on private social gatherings and capacity limits in stores. Alberta reported 1,227 new infections on Friday and nine more deaths. Chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw says 405 people are in hospital, including 86 in intensive care. She says one way to free up space for the growing number of severely ill COVID-19 patients in hospital is to postpone surgeries. --- 3:52 p.m. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has tested negative for COVID-19. He was tested Monday after eating at a restaurant in Prince Albert where the Saskatchewan Health Authority says someone there was positive with the virus. Moe's office says he will remain in isolation at his home in Shellbrook until Sunday, as per the advice from public health. He will be in Regina Monday for the opening of the legislature and delivery of the throne speech. --- 2:54 p.m. Saskatchewan is reporting four more people have died from COVID-19 and says there are 329 new infections in the province. Health officials say those who died were 70 and older. The Ministry of Health reports the seven-day average of daily cases sits at 268. There are 111 people in hospital and 16 receiving intensive care. As of Friday, no team sports are allowed in the province and capacity at public venues like churches, movie theatres and casinos is limited to 30 people. The measures are part of the latest round of restrictions Premier Scott Moe announced earlier in the week to stem the virus's spread while avoiding a second shutdown of non-essential businesses. --- 2:44 p.m. Manitoba is cracking down on retailers not following public health orders as health officials say COVID-19 is starting to impact vulnerable populations at a higher rate. Officials announced 344 new cases and 14 more deaths. Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, says there is significant community spread in lower-income neighbourhoods and among the homeless population. He discouraged people from leaving their homes for any non-essential reason and cautioned retailers against trying to find loopholes in the health orders. The province issued a $5,000 ticket to a Winnipeg Costco this week for selling non-essential items. --- 1:57 p.m. Nova Scotia is reporting nine new cases of COVID-19, all in the central health zone, which includes Halifax. The province now has 119 active cases of novel coronavirus. Health officials say one new case identified today is at Bedford South School, which is a pre-primary to Grade 4 school in the central zone. Starting today, ongoing voluntary testing is being introduced to monitor, reduce and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care. --- 12:51 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting four new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 31 active cases across the province. One of the individuals is a man in his 60s in the eastern region of the province whose infection is related to another identified case. A man and a woman in their 50s in the eastern region and a woman in her 40s in the western region have also tested positive. The source of those three infections is under investigation. --- 12:48 p.m. New Brunswick is reporting 12 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its number of active cases to 114. Public Health says seven cases are in the Saint John area, three are in the Moncton region and two are in the Fredericton area. All three health regions are under the province's heightened "orange'' pandemic alert level. Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, says there should be no non-essential travel in and out of these zones. --- 12:10 p.m. Nunavut's chief public health officer says four members of the Canadian Red Cross touched down in Arviat today to assist with a COVID-19 outbreak. Dr. Michael Patterson says the team will help with isolation and contact tracing in the community of around 2,800 people. The Government of Nunavut has also announced it will give $1 million to municipalities for community food programs as the territory heads into its second week of a lockdown. Nunavut is currently under a territory-wide, 14-day lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. --- 11:40 a.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Major-General Dany Fortin has been tapped to lead the Canadian military’s role in coordinating logistics for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine across the country. Fortin most recently served as the chief of staff for the Canadian Joint Operations Command. He was also commander of the NATO military training mission in Iraq from November 2018 until last fall. The announcement follows days of criticism over the Trudeau government's vaccination strategy and uncertainty about when Canadians might have access to an eventual vaccine. --- 11:24 Ontario is reporting 1,855 new cases of COVID-19 in another record-high daily increase. Twenty more Ontarians have died from the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says new infections remain concentrated in the Greater Toronto Area, including 517 more cases in Peel Region and 494 in Toronto. Provincial data say the seven-day average for infections in the province is 1,489 per day. --- 11:13 a.m. Quebec is reporting 1,269 new COVID-19 infections and 38 more deaths linked virus, including nine that occurred in the past 24 hours. Health officials said today hospitalizations decreased by six, to 669, and 90 people were in intensive care, the same number as the day prior. The province says 1,236 more people recovered from COVID-19, for a total of 119,727 recoveries. Quebec has reported 138,163 COVID-19 cases and 6,984 deaths linked to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. --- 11:02 a.m. Nunavut is announcing four new cases of COVID-19, all in the community of Arviat. This brings Arviat’s total number of cases to 119. Three more cases in Arviat and Rankin Inlet are now considered recovered. There are 151 active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. The Canadian Press
VICTORIA — British Columbia's top doctor has a message for people who don't follow a provincial order to wear a mask in indoor public spaces: order takeout, shop online or stay home. Dr. Bonnie Henry said Friday she was saddened after hearing about store and restaurant employees facing aggressive customers who refuse to wear masks as COVID-19 numbers rise. "I remind all of us about the severity of this illness and the fact that we have people who are suffering in our hospitals right now, and their families are suffering too," she said. The RCMP say they arrested a shopper at a Walmart in Dawson Creek this week after he allegedly assaulted an employee who asked him to wear a mask. B.C. set another single-day record with 911 cases of COVID-19, Henry said, adding that a total of 30,884 cases have been diagnosed in the province. Eleven more people have died, bringing the number of fatalities to 395, while a record 301 patients are in hospital. Some faith leaders have questioned Henry's order to ban even limited gatherings at churches, temples and other faith locations while restaurants and bars remain open. Henry said outbreaks have occurred in multiple faith locations despite safety measures in keeping with what is happening around the world. "I'd like to be clear that these locations are not doing anything wrong," she said, adding COVID-19 precautions were being followed at the majority of worship places. "These are not decisions that we make lightly," she said. "We are facing a storm surge, and that is something we are facing globally." Henry said events that were safe even a few weeks ago now threaten the most vulnerable people who attend them as well as entire communities. However, she said most faith leaders understand the measures as they support their congregants from a distance. "It is a cruel irony in many ways that when we most need to be with people, that is the most dangerous thing that we can do with this level of transmission we are seeing in communities across the province." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — The Mountie who says he warned against arresting Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou by boarding her plane when it landed in Vancouver says he made his own decision to come into the airport and help that day. Sgt. Ross Lundie agreed under cross-examination at a B.C. Supreme Court hearing Friday that the RCMP members making the arrest in December 2018 did not ask him to be present that day.But he said when the arresting officers called him the night before the incident asking for advice, he suggested they arrange a meeting with Canada Border Services Agency officials for the next morning and decided he would attend."It was obviously very important from what I'd heard," Lundie testified."Were you concerned that by asserting yourself, that would assist in avoiding some kind of major problem between CBSA and RCMP?" Meng's lawyer Richard Peck asked."I wanted to ensure that went smoothly as well, yes."Lundie, an officer with national security experience based at the airport, said he believed it was important to keep CBSA in the loop because he understood they had their own mandate and responsibilities.His testimony is part of an evidence-gathering hearing in Meng's extradition case where her lawyers are gathering information to bolster their allegations that Canadian officials improperly collected evidence against her.Meng is wanted on fraud charges in the United States that both she and Huawei deny. Meng's lawyers allege that an early plan to arrest her aboard the plane was changed to allow for a "covert criminal investigation" under the guise of a routine immigration exam at the behest of U.S. authorities. Ultimately, Meng would undergo screening by border officers for nearly three hours before she was informed of her arrest and right to counsel.Border officers working at the airport that day have testified they had their own concerns about Meng's admissibility to Canada and deny the allegations made by her lawyers. Lundie told the court that he always discourages his officers from conducting arrests aboard flights unless there is an immediate public safety concern. Meng herself didn't pose any risk to his knowledge, he said, but planes are tight spaces and there can be dangers. It's safer to conduct an arrest in the gate, border screening area or elsewhere, he said. Lundie testified the arresting officers phoned him the night before the arrest while they were driving to the airport to confirm if Meng would be on the flight. That's when he learned of the plan to board the plane, he said.Peck suggested that couldn't be. Phone records show that the arresting officers' boss, Sgt. Janice Vander Graaf, phoned them later that night after speaking with her own superior, whom court has heard was the source of the plane-arrest plan. If Vander Graaf's records are correct, then Lundie couldn't have learned the arrest plan when he said he did, earlier that evening, Peck suggested. "My final suggestion is that you're confused in your memory," Peck said. "OK," Lundie said. Court has also heard that phone records suggested Lundie did have three-minute phone call with a national security Mountie in Ottawa with knowledge of the case that night. Lundie said he has no memory of the call.The hearing will continue on Dec. 7. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Amy Smart, The Canadian Press
THUNDER BAY — A Brampton, Ont., man facing charges in connection with an alleged home takeover case where Thunder Bay police arrested five people and seized various drugs from a Limbrick Street residence was granted bail on Friday. Nathaniel Joshua Matthews, 22, is charged with possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking, possession of oxycodone for the purpose of trafficking, possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 and failure to comply with a judicial release. On Friday, Nov. 27, a Thunder Bay justice of the peace granted Matthews bail after approving his proposed surety. Both Matthews and his surety promised to pay a total of $6,000 for his release. Before Matthews can be released, $1,000 needs to be deposited to an Ontario courthouse. His release conditions will require Matthews to reside in Brampton, Ont., and remain in his residence at all times except for certain conditions including medical emergencies. He is also not to be in the city of Thunder Bay except for court purposes. He is not allowed to communicate with his co-accused: Anthony Kaplanis, Dana Nobis and Amanda Owen. A 17-year-old male youth from Brampton, Ont., was also arrested by police in connection to this case. The youth accused, whose name cannot be published per the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was on a court-ordered condition not to attend the city of Thunder Bay, according to a previous media release by police. Police were initially called to a Limbrick Street address on Nov. 15 following complaints of a possible home takeover. Officers located five unwanted individuals inside the residence and located suspected fentanyl and percocet pills, cash and drug trafficking paraphernalia. Owen and Nobis were granted release from custody earlier this week. Kaplanis is scheduled to appear in court next on Nov. 30 for bail planning. Matthews is scheduled to return to court in January.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source