Details with meteorologist Tyler Hamilton.
Update: The family announced in an Instagram post Saturday evening that their fundraising efforts surpassed $3 million.A family in Surrey B.C. hopes to raise enough money to pay for a possibly life-changing but pricey therapy for their baby boy.One-year-old Aryan Deol struggles with muscle weakness and limited mobility. His parents say he relies on the assistance of a breathing tube to eat and a machine to breathe, and he cannot sit up on his own or hold his head up.He was diagnosed with Type 1 spinal muscular atrophy, also known as SMA, a rare recessive neuromuscular disease that results in muscular atrophy and respiratory issues for mostly children.Aryan's parents said doctors advised them to research possible treatments.'Maybe he'll be able to do everything'"Maybe he'll be able to do everything, he'll be able to live a normal life," said the boy's mother Harpreet Kaur Deol.A relatively new therapeutic drug called Zolgensma is available in the United States — at a cost of more than $2 million US. So far, Deol has been taking Spinraza, a medicine approved in Canada. Channel Punjabi, a Vancouver-based radio station, hosted a fundraiser on Friday, which also marked Aryan's first birthday, to help collect funds to pay for the new drug.Aryan's parents say they are thankful for the community's support.Since March, an online fundraiser has collected more than $2.7 million. The family hopes to reach $2.8 million.The family says donations started off slowly but took off after celebrity Neeru Bajwa, a Canadian-born Indian actress, director and producer, began supporting the cause.Getting treatedAryan's mother said Zolgensma would provide the therapy required for her son's body to begin producing proteins needed to eat, breath and walk on his own.Zolgensma has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but Health Canada has not yet approved it.An online statement from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. in June announced the filing of an application for AVXS-101, known elsewhere in the world as Zolgensma, for approval by Health Canada. It states the company anticipates a decision will be made by the end of the year.The FDA's prescribing information sheet indicates the gene therapy is a one-time dose used to treat patients under age two. It warns of acute serious liver injury as a possible adverse effect of the infusion.In addition to the Deols, other families in Canada are also holding out hope that they too can find a way to get Zolgensma for their children diagnosed with SMA.Gaganpreet Singh Deol, Aryan's father, said he has seen success stories coming out of the U.S. from families of children who have tried the drug there.The family hopes an equivalent drug will be allowed for use north of the border soon, so their son can be treated in Canada. They are staying optimistic despite the circumstances."I don't want to go negative. I want to be positive," Gaganpreet said.He believes his son will get the therapy he needs and his condition will improve soon.
Residents of a home in Richmond Hill awoke recently to find a large two-wheeled trailer parked on their front lawn, equipped with a large digital screen that displayed messages to passing motorists. How it got there and who asked for it remained a mystery for days."I saw this big giant thing and I don't know what it is," said Leila Ohadi. She said it appeared overnight — with no explanation or warning. "I thought they can't just put it here without telling us. At first I thought it was a joke."The electronic sign on a trailer is parked in front of her house on Driscoll Road taking up about a third of their lawn. It flashes the speed of passing motorists reminding them of the speed limit.Her father Bijan Ohadi said they first tried to contact the City of Richmond Hill then the police — but each referred him to the other."Without any notice or permission — we wondered whose device is this really?"No one responded to email or returned callsThe Ohadis said for days no one responded to their email or returned their calls.But a spokesperson did get back to CBC Toronto."In response to resident concerns about speeding in the neighbourhood, the city placed a temporary trailer-mounted radar board on city-owned property on Driscoll Road earlier this week," Lynn Chan, communications advisor wrote in an email to CBC News."These signs act as a traffic calming measure, educational tool for drivers and allow the city to collect data to inform if further efforts are required to increase safety on that street."'You are at the mercy of the municipality,' lawyer saysJohn Mascarin, a lawyer who specializes in local government and municipal law, said while the trailer-mounted radar board may appear to be on private property, the city actually owns the land a few metres either side of the roadway in a municipality."So really you are at the mercy of the municipality," he said. "The municipality doesn't have to give any notice, ask permission or give forewarning, but it would probably be common sense for the municipality to do that in order to preclude a lot of upset residents." 'We need some respect,' resident saysThat lack of courtesy is what upsets the Ohadis."We need some respect. You think they would tell us. If we want to have a party, we would talk to our neighbours and ask. Why wouldn't they just ask us? Public safety, I'm okay with that. My concern is why they didn't inform us? Just a notification," Ohadi said.Chan said the temporary trailer-mounted radar boards capture and display the speed of vehicles travelling along the street; and to "ensure accurate data collection, it is not usual practice to notify residents."She said the boards are rotated throughout the city, usually in two-week periods, and the board in question is scheduled to be moved to a different location on August 17.
With many office spaces left vacant because of COVID-19, some owners are turning to alternative ways to make the most out of the space.La Finca was once a cafe and a shared office space rented out on an hourly basis on Bleury Street, but co-owner Geneviève Loignon-Houle says with so many people working from home, she had no choice but to change course."No one is coming downtown anymore. We hope they are going to come back soon, but we don't plan it to be any sooner than probably next year," she said.The office space, which was often fully booked, lost 80 per cent of its clientele, Loignon-Houle said. Now it is a market selling local spices, fresh produce, coffee, pasta, beer and natural wine.For two weeks at the beginning of the pandemic, Loignon-Houle says she sat outside, asking people what they thought was needed. She converted the space into a local market based on what she heard from those who were passing by.Now, she says, she's seeing people coming back to pick up local produce and grab a cup of coffee.Lloyd Cooper, the executive vice-chair of Cushman and Wakefield, a commercial real estate firm, says about 10 per cent of clients will end up closing their offices for good."Working from home is working, and [they] might not need as much space as they did before and are rethinking going forward," he said.Some clients have opted to have employees go into the office only two or three times a week, he said, while others are choosing to take on shorter leases.The pandemic, Cooper said, has already forced business to rethink the way they work, and to get creative about how work will function in the future.But some firms say demand for downtown real estate may increase, despite more people working from home. Some clients are looking to lease more space — not less — in order to make sure their workers can maintain physical distancing in the office.
Juan Carlos, who abdicated in 2014 in favour of his son Felipe, abruptly announced his decision to leave on Monday but there has been no official confirmation of where he went, setting off an international guessing game. "We have to clean up the system of corruption and we should start with the crown," said Jose Emilio Martin, a bus driver, who was among about a hundred protesters in Madrid on Sunday.
In the 10 days since Ian Campeau, former member of A Tribe Called Red, issued a Twitter apology for his "destructive behaviours and toxicity," Indigenous women have come forward with their experiences with the former DJ — and to talk more broadly about misogyny, abuse and assault in their own communities. Polaris Prize winner Lido Pimento wrote a Facebook post alleging Campeau made unwanted advances toward her and used his fame and success to "prey on innocent people."Roseanne Supernault, a Cree and Métis actress who took to Instagram to post allegations about Campeau aggressively coaxing her to have sex with him, says silence — for victims or witnesses — is no longer an option. "There is this bystander culture that is so incredibly toxic," said Supernault.Indigenous perpetrators, she says, have sometimes been protected by those in Indigenous communities out of a desire to protect the community and a fear of furthering the already present racism, shame and blame sustained by colonization. "I would initially just jump to protecting my family, protecting the people around me, instead of holding them accountable," Supernault said. Now, she's taken a hard line to protect victims rather than offenders. "We have to let [offenders] learn their lesson and I will step forward and tell any victim I believe them," Supernault said.Colonization and toxic masculinity Lauraleigh Paul, who came forward in 2018 alleging The Revenant actor Duane Howard had sexually assaulted her when she was barely 16 years old, agrees with Supernault, saying it's important to look at the roots of toxic masculinity and rape culture. "Colonization came about and implemented these toxic ideologies within our nations and communities and the oppression was very real," Paul said from her home in Vancouver. She says in colonial times, at the height and in the fallout of residential schools and the Sixties Scoop, Indigenous people went into survival mode and had very little support to get help for intergenerational trauma."Silence was their survival tool," Paul said."It's been kept quiet for so long and that worked for generations past, but it's not going to work for future generations."She says there is a lack of fairness in the justice system for Indigenous people, and accountability has been difficult to obtain.Paul says, as a child, she and her family took a high profile Indigenous leader to court and, while was charged, the justice system, the media and her own community treated her as if she was to blame for his behaviour and the charges.'Hold them accountable'Paul and other Indigenous women are now looking at ways to hold abusers to account. She and Supernault have used social media as a means to achieve accountability, while others have been proponents of restorative justice or fought for ways to strengthen the current justice system.Rachelle George, a filmmaker and poet of the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations, says for too long victims have felt afraid to speak out, but it's time for the abusers to be afraid to abuse. "Maybe they'll look at somebody they want to abuse and get scared ... and think, 'I can do 20 years in jail if I do this,'" said George, who is a survivor of sexual abuse.George, who is the granddaughter of Chief Dan George, says if more survivors came forward, it would be safer for others to also speak out."It's hard to be the first to come forward, but until you do, there will be no change," George said. Supernault is a strong believer in restorative justice."I'm not making excuses for these men and their behaviour, but if we forgive them and hold them accountable that's where that healing can happen and we can't do that if we remain silent," she said. She believes sexual assault and abuse can be lethal."So many of us take these wounds and internalize them and inflict them on ourselves," Supernault said. She believes survivors benefit from building a close tight-knit support system, to prevent suicide and addictions. "Please stay alive," she said.Paul — whose post about a once rising star in Hollywood sexually assaulting her led to him losing jobs and credibility in the industry — wants survivors to know they are not alone."I believe you," she said."And I believe in you. You didn't deserve what happened to you. You are not alone and you can rise above this."
A 145-year-old southern Alberta church went up in flames three years ago, and now its restoration has ripped open old wounds of residential schools — illustrating two opposing paths in a time of reconciliation.The people behind the restoration of the McDougall Memorial United Church hope it can be a symbol of communities that were once united and a starting point for conversations about the future.McDougall Church was built on land adjacent to the Stoney Nakoda First Nation community of Morley — roughly halfway between Calgary and Banff — by missionary George McDougall and his son, John, in 1875.A second church opened in the heart of Morley years later, followed by a residential school in 1926.While the McDougall Church was not directly part of the residential school system, its symbolism as a Christian church blurs that distinction for some who live nearby.McDougall's great, great, great-granddaughter says she knows the restoration is not without critics, but she hopes something positive can arise from the ashes."I feel energy for the future. Working together and coming forward to understanding our histories: the McDougalls and the Stoney Nakoda Nation," Brenda McQueen told CBC News."Listening to each other's stories and making a better future for the next generations by understanding what happened in the past and being able to learn from that, so that we can move forward."McQueen is the president of the McDougall Stoney Mission Society, the driving force behind the project."I am very proud of what we have done with the restoration, but I am even more excited about what we are going to be doing next."That's an interpretive walk named Through the Eyes of the Stoneys."It's going to be an opportunity for the elders and the youth to have that talk with us, so we can all share stories and understand the history," McQueen said.But one Stoney elder is very much against bringing any of the churches back."A lot of abuses took place there," Tina Fox said regarding the Morley Residential School."Students have been physically abused, spiritually abused, sexually abused and mentally abused. We were called stupid Indians, dirty little Indians. 'You will never amount to anything,' and things like that. When we came out of school, we had no sense of self-esteem. We felt worthless, unworthy. It's a reminder of bad things that happened to us as residential school students."Fox acknowledges that while many people at Morley share her view, others are supportive of the project.In fact, it's not the only divide. For example, Fox and her son disagree on the issue of removing historic monuments that honour people like Canada's first prime minister, John A. Macdonald, who mistreated Indigenous people.Her son says leave them up so people can learn. Fox says bring them down, unless they tell the full story.The Stoney Nakoda Nation administration opposes reconstruction, even appealing to the provincial government to withdraw the site's historic status.The province approved the project in February of last year, recognizing that though there are many views on a complex issue like this, the building still has historic value.
Based on its appearance, you likely wouldn't think the American woodcock would turn out to be a phenomenal athlete.Spending most of its life on the ground, hunting earthworms with its long beak, the chubby, bug-eyed bird looks more couch potato than marathon champ.But an international study on the bird's migration patterns is showing researchers the woodcock is a remarkable flier.The researchers have been placing GPS transmitters on woodcock captured all along the eastern seaboard, from the Carolinas to Nova Scotia.And this spring, their movements during their annual migration north has shown some amazing achievements.Erik Blomberg, an associate professor in the department of wildlife ecology at the University of Maine, is one of the leads on the project, which is in its third year."They're not necessarily built like they should be able to do really long, really athletic flights," Blomberg said.In fact, Blomberg said, when they are not migrating, they don't move around much at all. It's not unusual to find a bird staying for long periods of time in areas no larger than an acre or so.The researchers came to the Maritime provinces last summer to place transmitters on woodcock here. Part of the reason for doing that was to see how these birds deal with crossing open water.Blomberg said that in the fall, two of the birds travelled from the Truro area to the tip of Nova Scotia, near Yarmouth, then headed out over the Gulf of Maine."From there, one bird made landfall in southern Massachusetts, one bird made it all the way to western Long Island, so that's a trip of about 250 miles over water, which is a pretty remarkable thing to see a small bird like a woodcock do."The spring migration also brought a remarkable and surprising over-water migration north.In December 2019, a woodcock was captured in Cape May, N.J., and fitted with a transmitter.Alexander Fish, a PhD candidate at the University of Maine who is also working on the study, said the bird went on to spend the winter in North Carolina and in late February began to head north. Fish said, as far as they can tell, after stops in Pennsylvania and coastal New York, the bird flew non-stop across the Gulf of Maine and up the Bay of Fundy, and eventually set down on Cape Breton Island. After spending some time there, it headed out again across the North Atlantic, finally stopping on the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland on April 16, a flight of about 520 kilometres over open water.Bomberg said it's exciting to have followed the path of a bird to the farthest eastern extent of the woodcock's breeding range.Record setting tripThen there's the female caught in south-central Alabama and had an extra-long migration, thanks to bad weather, to the western extremes of the breeding range.She left Alabama in early March and headed northwest, making it all the way to Winnipeg by late March.But a series of snowstorms in the area forced her south into Minnesota. She didn't get to her final nesting area until early May."That bird, if you sum up all of her steps for her migration path from the Alabama area to that breeding area in Manitoba," said Blomberg, "She travelled over 3,300 kilometres, which is the longest single migration track that we've recorded since the project started." The average migration distance recorded by the study is about 1,400 kilometres, so she more than doubled that.The study has also brought a surprise for the research team. This year, they've been able to get data about the altitudes of the migration flights, which may hold a clue to how they're able to accomplish these feats."Some of those altitudes have been surprisingly high," Blomberg said, "with the tags recording values as high as a thousand metres above the ground."A good tailwindBlomberg said it raises questions about how much the woodcock are relying on high altitude tailwinds to help during migration. Take the example of a female bird flying south from Saguenay, Que.She stopped in Michigan, close to the southern border with Indiana, and the next leg of her trip was the longest non-stop flight recorded — and it was accomplished in record time."The very next day it was in western Mississippi, with a distance of 797 kilometres," Blomberg said, "Almost 800 kilometres in one overnight period, and presumably, in order to do that, it had to have one heck of a tailwind to blow it that far, that fast."Since the GPS transmitters don't typically last longer than one migration cycle, the researchers will be back in the field later this summer to fit transmitters on new birds.Beause of COVID-19 restrictions at the border, Blomberg said, the researchers won't be travelling to Canada.Instead, they've sent transmitters to their Canadian partners, so they can do the field work themselves.That way, the researchers will be ready to plot new migration routes this fall.You can see the results of the last migration cycle by heading to woodcockmigration.org.
Former Vert et Or football player Dominic Frappier is back home in Sherbrooke after 13 months of rehabilitation in Montreal, and is urging Quebecers to avoid diving. Frappier was celebrating finishing his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from l'Université de Sherbrooke in June of 2019 when he dove off a dock and fractured his C5 and C6 vertebrae. "When I dove, I felt my legs shut off, so I pushed in the lake with my arms, with all the adrenaline that I had," he said. Frappier's friends pulled him from the water, and he woke up in a Montreal hospital. The 26-year-old said he's adjusting to a new normal, continuously getting stronger and more efficient at his day-to-day tasks, like getting from bed into his wheelchair, getting dressed and putting on his shoes. "It's really hard to proceed and go through that," Frappier said. "But in the end I want to get better so I work hard and do a lot of rehab.""After one year, I can do a lot of stuff I couldn't think of doing at the beginning," he said. Frappier also underwent nerve transfer surgery. Now, he's home and adapting with his parents as caregivers, and is glad to be reunited with his friends after the pandemic made visits impossible. He has started rehabilitation in Sherbrooke, uses bands to strengthen his arms, exercises in the pool and wants to learn adapted cycling, track and rugby.But mostly, he wants to tell people to be safe around the water, and to avoid diving. Five young people were treated at Montreal's Sacré-Coeur hospital with spinal injuries from diving last month and all were paralyzed. Montreal emergency physician Dr. Éric Piette said he believes the heat and deconfinement have people taking unnecessary risks. "Be careful," he said. "Really, really careful, because it can change your life," Frappier said. "If I can educate just one person so they avoid what I did, I have done my job."Frappier has a degree in kinesiology, but is switching gears to study business after his injury, which he hopes to combine with his love of sports. "My body does not work so well, but my head is good," he said. The athlete's father, Alain Frappier, said he's proud of his son for being an optimist and working to make a difference in the world.
Looking for a fun, physical-distancing activity in the coming days? The best meteor shower of the year is upon us. The Perseid meteor shower is one of the best summertime treats. Under optimal conditions — clear, moonless dark skies — at its peak, the shower can produce up to 100 meteors an hour.The meteor shower runs from July 17 to Aug. 26, with the peak occurring this year on the night of Aug. 11–12.Meteor showers occur when Earth, as it orbits the sun, plows through debris left over from a passing comet or asteroid. These small, grain-sized pieces of debris burn up in our atmosphere, produce beautiful streaks of light, often referred to as "shooting stars."In this case, Earth is passing through a stream left from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Try out this interactive map showing how Earth passes through the meteor shower:When and where to watchWhile last year's shower was hampered by an almost full moon, the good news is that this year, the moon will only be 44 per cent illuminated and rise after midnight.The biggest key to enjoying a meteor shower is getting away from light sources. That means finding a good, dark-sky location, such as a park or a beach. Also, stay away from your cellphone. As it takes our eyes some time to adjust to the dark, the phone's bright light will make it more difficult to do so. Typically, it can take 30 minutes or longer for your eyes to adjust.The greatest thing about meteor showers is that everyone can enjoy them. There's no need for a telescope or even binoculars. All you need to do is grab a blanket or two, find a good location and look up.See some 'Earth-grazers'Meteor showers are named after the constellation from which the meteors seem to originate, called the radiant. In this case, the radiant is in the constellation Perseus, hence the name.The constellation rises in the northern sky at about 9:30 p.m. local time and continues to rise in the northeast. But you don't have to look exactly in that direction to see the meteors. You can simply look up. In fact, if you're doing your meteor-gazing at that time of night, the meteors will leave much longer trains — or streaks — in the sky as they skim the upper atmosphere. These are called "Earth-grazers" and can be seen low in the east moving from north to south. Though earlier in the night isn't the most active time for meteors, the ones that you will see will likely be more spectacular as a result.And you don't have to look straight up because more meteors will be seen at somewhat lower elevations.As the constellation rises higher in the sky, you will likely see more meteors. Of course, as the constellation rises, so, too, does the moon. That means that only the brightest meteors will be visible. The good thing is, the Perseids do tend to put on a show with some brilliant meteors seen even over urban areas. Now, if the weather doesn't look like it'll hold up, you can try watching on either side of the peak night, on Monday or Wednesday when meteor activity will still be high.And, if you're willing to go the distance, you can pull an all-nighter or wake up very early in the morning, as the best time to see meteors will be in the few hours before sunrise on Wednesday.
A group of Newfoundland dairy farmers say they're missing one final piece of the puzzle to go forward with their plans to build a processing plant on the island to turn milk into butter and other products, but are hoping it falls into place soon.The Real Dairy Company of Newfoundland — a co-op-style organization of 13 of the province's milk producers along with an Irish dairy company — is looking to build its plant in Deer Lake's industrial park, which members say could handle all the excess milk produced on the island."Our vision, first of all, is to provide stability for our dairy industry, by having a home to process all on-island production," said Brent Chaffey, who runs New World Dairy in St. David's and has been among those working for years on the project."We need to do more. We can do more."Milk has long been a bright spot in the province's agriculture scene, as one of only a handful of products that are made in enough quantities within Newfoundland and Labrador to satisfy the province's needs. There might even be too much of it, as — barring a few tiny companies — none of the leftover milk is turned other dairy products, and about 16.5 million litres of excess milk is shipped each year to the mainland to be processed.That's always been a risky endeavour, with the short shelf life of unprocessed fluid milk meaning any slight travel delay creates waste, as Chaffey knows all too well: in 2015 he lost $100,000 worth of milk after thick ice prevented Marine Atlantic from making crossings."We always knew that we were vulnerable," he said."Anything that would affect that service, that ferry service, also affects our ability to move milk."Butter's business caseOne major hurdle behind the scenes has been the business plan for the project. Secondary processing has come and gone from Newfoundland before, most recently with the St. John's Scotsburn ice cream plant closing in 2016, citing cost pressures. Central Dairies at one time also had its hand in secondary processing, and a yogurt facility in Stephenville, which Chaffey part-owned, burned down in 2006, never to be rebuilt.Part of what's different about the new processing plant, according to Chaffey, is its all-Newfoundland and Labrador ownership system, plus the expertise of Ireland's Glenstall Foods, who were sourced by a consultant through an intensive search.Sales of fluid milk have been slipping for years, even prior to the pandemic causing demand to plummet, creating a glut that mainland processors managed by turning into other products, said Chaffey. He also said evolving consumer habits show people are more frequently choosing dairy products other than milk, and he and his team want to capitalize on that.The business plan starts with butter and skim milk powder, a product found in baking mixes and other industrial uses, but it doesn't end there."We want to find ways to get creative, and bring some value-added products in there. Products that would be of more commercial interest, in yogurts and cream cheeses and other products," he said.Cash crunchThe processing plant doesn't come cheap. It has a $25-million price tag, of which Chaffey said $17 million has been secured so far, including last week's promise from the provincial government to chip in $5 million."Their financial support is reflective of the encouragement that they've placed at our feet throughout this process. The province has been humongously supportive of this project," he said.The remaining $8 million is a dealbreaker to seeing the project succeed. Chaffey hopes the federal government will step in. Talks between the farmers and the feds are in their final stages, he said, adding $8 million is not too much to ask compared with what other agriculture projects elsewhere in Canada receive."There's a couple of small policy issues that have to be ironed out, and those are being worked out as we speak. We're not over the finish line, as it relates to the federal participation, but we expect it shouldn't be too much longer," he said.While Chaffey couldn't guess when his group might get an answer, if the cash does come through, he estimates it will take 18 to 24 months to get the plant up and running.The company estimates the plant would employ eight to 10 people.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
HALIFAX — Christopher Downey finished building his home in 2002 on a parcel of land in North Preston, N.S., that has been in his family for generations.But it was only in late July that Downey says he found out the province intends to issue him a certificate of claim to the land upon which his house was built — the first step in his years-long fight for title."It’s been a long journey, but the truth always prevails, and I think it came down to just the government doing the right thing," the 66-year-old said in a recent interview.Downey is among scores of African Nova Scotians who have struggled for years to have their title claims recognized. But now, after he won his case in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, the province says it is going to make it easier for Black Nova Scotians to settle land claims.The problem dates back to the 1800s when the Nova Scotia government distributed land to white and Black Loyalists — people who stayed loyal to the British Crown and moved to Canada following the American Revolution.Downey said his ancestors fought alongside the British in the War of 1812 on the promise they would be granted land in what is now North Preston.Yet while white settlers received title to fertile ground in present-day Nova Scotia, their Black counterparts were allowed to use and occupy the lands they were given, but were not granted legal title.In 1963, Nova Scotia passed what is now known as the Land Titles Clarification Act, which aimed to provide African Nova Scotians with a pathway to legal ownership of lands that in many cases had been in their families for decades.The act applies to 13 predominantly Black communities, including Cherry Brooke, East Preston and North Preston, all on the outskirts of Halifax. But lawyers, human rights advocates and African Nova Scotian communities have long complained of a burdensome, costly and time-consuming process to apply for title.Downey took his case to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, which last month ordered the government to reassess his application for a certificate of claim after it was rejected on the basis the father of four could not prove he had lived on the land for 20 consecutive years.The court said the government was unreasonable in applying that standard, known as adverse possession, in Downey’s case. Downey's great-grandfather, Peter Beals, and wife, Heidi, settled on the land in 1913, the ruling states."African Nova Scotians have been subjected to racism for hundreds of years in this province," Justice Jamie Campbell wrote in the decision. "That has real implications for things like land ownership. Residents in African Nova Scotian communities are more likely to have unclear title to land on which they may have lived for many generations."Downey said he and his wife, Christselina, were "overjoyed" by the court's decision. "The impact is tremendous ... With this case, we feel that now it will open the door for most of the residents in this community to actually obtain their certificate of claim," he said.Scott Campbell, the lawyer who represented Downey at the Supreme Court, said the minister of lands and forestry will issue Downey a certificate of claim "subject to the resolution of any outstanding liens," or any debts that have been registered against the land."While we're not there yet, this is a significant step forward and we appreciate the minister's efforts in this regard," Campbell said in an Aug. 4 email.Lisa Jarrett, spokeswoman for the Department of Lands and Forestry, told The Canadian Press in a July email the province had accepted the Supreme Court's decision in Downey's case and was working to quickly change its adverse possession policy. Jarrett later confirmed on Aug. 5 the government was finalizing Downey's certificate of claim.The province is looking at whether the 20-years adverse possession test affected other applicants, but Jarrett did not say how many people could have been impacted. Nova Scotia has received over 360 land claims to date, she said, and the owners of 130 parcels of land have received title."We will continue to look for ways to streamline this process and remove barriers wherever possible," Jarrett said.Campbell said the government indicated in court it had applied the 20-years adverse possession test since at least 2015 — meaning many families may have had their claims denied on that basis. He said he hoped the court's ruling would push Nova Scotia to engage with historical experts and Black community members to better understand how to implement the 1963 Land Titles Clarification Act."With all of that information, my hope is that it will provide the minister and his department with a framework by which they can more appropriately and fairly assess applications," Campbell said.Downey said while his certificate of claim is nearly approved, he and his family still have several steps ahead of them before they can get ownership of the land.After a certificate of claim is issued, a notice must be posted to allow anyone wishing to make their own claim to the land to come forward. If there are no competing claims, then a certificate of title can be issued.But Downey said his case shows the government can — and should — recognize the land claims of African Nova Scotians."It would have been nice to have it corrected years ago, but it can be done," said Downey." It’s not a long process. It can be done within days, minutes, and they proved that it can be done without waiting years and years.""People have actually died waiting, so it doesn't have to come to that."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2020.— By Jillian Kestler-D'Amours in Montreal.Jillian Kestler-D'Amours, The Canadian Press
In about a month, Nina Jeffery will begin her fourth year studying media production at Ryerson University, and like many post-secondary students in Canada, most of her courses will be online.But even though her education now looks radically different, she says her tuition breakdown doesn't. "The fact of the matter is that I am not paying for the same type of education I signed up for when I started my program," she told CBC Toronto in an email. "Fees should reflect that."Maeve McNaughton, a fellow Ryerson student, explains it this way: "We are paying a good amount towards campus maintenance, campus building access, athletics access, recreation... and we can't access any of them." That frustration isn't limited to students at Ryerson. Nate Denaro, a student at York University, has calculated that even with a reduced fee, he'll spend about $270 this coming school year on athletics and recreation, saying the school's decision to not drop the fee altogether is "outrageous." Fifi Wei, set to start her first year at Sheridan College, was also surprised by what she saw when she looked at the fine print of her tuition. "I realized, 'Oh my god, they charge a lot of fees that actually aren't applicable for students who study at home,' she said, citing an on-campus health centre charge as an example. Wei wrote Sheridan, asking them to reconsider, but was told the fees are not optional. Petitions call for reduced tuitionAlmost as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic began and university classes began migrating online, students began lobbying for refunds and tuition and fee reductions. At Ryerson and other schools, online petitions have sprung up to ask university administrations to reconsider how much they charge. Julia Pereira, president of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA), says the frustration around fees and tuition in general reflect the deep economic uncertainty students are facing."We know that students have really struggled to find a job over the summer," she said. Pereira says student unions at the eight universities her organization represents have been trying to bring down fees to reflect that. For example, at her own school, Laurier University, Pereira says the student union has reduced clubs fees, while other universities have negotiated to remove the fee for bus passes. Pereira also says that OUSA has been trying to address the larger affordability problem by calling on the province to "enhance OSAP and give students more financial aid" as well as asking it to better fund universities so they don't need to rely on ancillary fees paid by students. Some schools reduce, cut feesFor their part, the post-secondary institutions contacted by CBC Toronto say they are sensitive to the economic difficulties their students are facing, and some are adjusting fees to reflect that.At Sheridan, for example, fees that support athletic facilities have been cut altogether. York and Ryerson stress that many services, like career and library services, are being moved online, so the fees must remain in place. Ryerson also says it's still exploring a mix of online and on-campus learning for students and that it's hopeful it will open its athletic facilities soon, given that Toronto has now entered Stage 3 of its reopening plan. The two universities told CBC Toronto that overall tuition can't be changed, saying virtual instruction costs the same amount and has the same outcome as in-person classes. Meanwhile, the burst of student lobbying to lower costs that began with the pandemic began appears to be winding down, says Jeffery. People feel "burnt out" after months of pushing, she said. Between paying for housing, finding jobs and trying to stay safe during a pandemic, young adults "have so much else to worry about," she said.For her part, McNaughton isn't hopeful that anything will change in the final weeks before school begins, but says she'll continue to advocate all the same. "I do think it's the university's responsibility to prepare for events like this. And they shouldn't be asking students individually to pay for their maintenance when we can't use the campus."
In an effort to keep its COVID-19 case count at zero, the Nunavut government has paid nearly $5 million for more than 1,200 of its residents to quarantine at an Ottawa hotel before returning home.The territory is the only place in Canada that hasn't had a single confirmed case of the virus and has imposed strict entry regulations to ensure it stays that way. In order to return home, residents require a letter from Nunavut's chief medical officer of health confirming they have completed a 14-day self-isolation.The letter is written based on a report from a hotel nurse.The territorial government has been paying the expenses of a resident's stay in one of four cities — Ottawa, Edmonton, Winnipeg or Yellowknife. The Yellowknife centre has since closed.So far, the government has spent $21 million for residents to isolate, the territory's department of health wrote in a statement to CBC News.> We have pretty good resources but because of our remoteness ... I think that it could get really out of hand in a hurry." \- Heidi Nowicki, a Nunavut resident who's currently in quarantine in OttawaOf the approximately 3,200 people who have been required to self-isolate, more than a third — 1,263 — did so in Ottawa, and that number continues to climb as more people prepare to return home, the health department said. Heidi Nowicki is currently isolating with her husband at the Residence Inn by Marriott near Ottawa's Macdonald–Cartier International Airport.Nowicki is a healthcare worker in Iqaluit. She's had to use her own vacation days to cover the two-week quarantine period. She said she and her husband are trying to treat it as a "vacation after my vacation." "It's been actually nice and relaxing and the hotel is very accommodating."Daily check-upsEvery morning, Nowicki and her husband get a call from a nurse asking how they are feeling and if they have any COVID-19-related symptoms. Nowicki said security guards are stationed throughout the hotel, reminding guests to wear a mask outside their rooms. Unlike some others who have to self-isolate, she and her husband have been allowed to leave their room and walk around outside, she said."I've been doing a lot of walking around, like, laps around the parking lot. So I figured I got lots of time to get in shape," she said. The couple are hoping to board a plane back to Iqaluit on Aug. 13 after getting their required letters.Zero casesEven though Nunavut has had zero confirmed cases of COVID-19, it has had some presumptive case scares. Last month two workers from the Mary River Mine tested negative for the virus. At the time, the territory's chief public health officer said the mine workers could have had the illness before, but recovered.Nowicki believes the government has done a good job keeping the virus out of the territory and said it could be a burden on the health care system if there were an outbreak."We have pretty good resources, but because of our remoteness ... and then some of the respiratory disorders that we already have there, I think that it could get really out of hand in a hurry and really harm the Nunavut population as a whole."
At the age of 17, Mohammed Jafar married three women, widows of his three brothers killed in a suicide bombing in 2016 in Afghanistan's eastern Kunar province, as he decided to make peace with the diktats of local Pasthun tribal elders. On Sunday, Jafar said he made peace for a second time after he heard about the government's decision to release 400 Taliban prisoners accused of conducting some of bloodiest attacks on civilians, including the deaths of his brothers. "This idea to forgive and forget war criminals is very depressing for me," Jafar told Reuters after the decision by the Loya Jirga, a grand assembly of more than 3,200 Afghan community leaders and politicians, to approve the release of Taliban fighters.
The only thing cuter than puppies is golden retriever puppies in new pajamas. This is Charlotte and she is eight weeks old. This is a big celebration for Charlotte and for the rest of her brothers and sisters because today is the day that she will be going to her forever family. Charlotte was born at a wonderful breeding facility called As Good As Gold, near Peterborough, Ontario. They take puppy production very seriously with excellent veterinary care, the best nutrition available, and loving care from a family that adores dogs like nobody else. By the time these pups are ready to go to their new families, they have been checked thoroughly and they have had all the shots and treatments needed to give them the best start possible. The puppies have also been treated with love and affection, as the parents are, so they will all be expecting nothing but adoration when they get to their homes. Charlotte and her siblings are having a little puppy party to celebrate their exciting new start, and also to say goodbye, as they will be sorely missed. The party involves treats, extra love, playtime, a little swimming pool, and a new set of pajamas for each puppy. The pajamas make a golden retriever just a little cuter than ever. Charlotte approaches everything with enthusiasm and when she sees the camera pointed at her, she wants to head over and check it out. She bounces happily in front of this curious new object. But Charlotte is adorably clumsy and she rolls and tumbles as she tries to run, scratch, and play. Their tails constantly wagging, these puppies are the perfect example of happiness. When selecting a puppy, a little care goes a long way. Ethical breeders will happily provide health details and also a reference from their veterinarian. They will provide references from satisfied customers, and they will enthusiastically show their facilities and the parents that produced the pups. Any hesitation in these areas might be an indication of a puppy mill, or at least an issue worth investigating. Supporting the breeders who treat their animals well is the best way to ensure that cruelty and abuse does not continue. It's also the best way to get a healthy and happy best friend for your family!
The next time you finish a beverage that comes out of a plastic bottle, a St. John's entrepreneur wants you to think of him.Trevor Bessette is looking for bottle caps to recycle and then turn them into something usable. "Our goal is to recycle all kinds of different plastics but we are focusing and starting with the bottle caps because they are extremely common plastics and one that ends up in the landfills quite often," said Bessette. Bessette started Seaside Apparel, a clothing line made from recycled plastic bottles and sewing scraps two years ago and is now trying to eliminate more plastic from hitting the landfill. The bottle caps he collects will go into a shredder, which will turn the plastic into flakes. Then the flakes will be melted down and put into moulds to make other products.Bessette said he wants to start with small items like key chains, coasters and flower pots, but is hoping to make useful items with long life spans, in the future."I guess the name of the game is to extend the life cycle of the material for as long as possible," he said. "Ultimately we would like to take back the product we sell again, once people are finished with them, and recycle them again."A collection bin has been set up at the St. John's Farmer Market where bottle caps can be dropped off and Bessette is hoping to sell his recycled products at the market in the near future.Bessette said he is working on partnering with organizations and municipalities across the province to set up more collection bins."I think even more importantly than the … physical recycling of these caps is that I am hoping it starts the conversation and gets people thinking about the plastic." On top of the recycling efforts, he is also looking at bringing his recycling machine into classrooms to demonstrate. He hopes that when children see how their trash can be reused it will encourage them to think about what they are throwing away."If you have something that interests people or gets them curious about something I think you can start conversations a little bit easier. Once you have someone's attention you can give them that crucial information as to why recycling is so important."Read more stories from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.Over 50 hand sanitizers have been recalled by Health CanadaNot all hand sanitizers are effective against COVID-19, and some even include ingredients that may cause skin irritation, eye irritation, upper respiratory system irritation and headaches. Read more about what to look for when purchasing hand sanitizers to help protect you from the novel coronavirus.Most consumers want to buy local, but it's tough to resist deals during a pandemicMany of us are being urged to shop local and support small businesses struggling to survive in the wake of COVID-19. But while polls show that most Canadians support this idea, experts say it's hard to get consumers to prioritize shopping locally when they can often secure better deals online from big-box stores. And with more and more people facing financial insecurity, it can be difficult to make decisions based on things other than price. Read more about the challenges facing small businesses.Everything you need to know about using face masks properlyNow that wearing a mask is an everyday activity for most Canadians, it's a good time to make sure we're using them effectively. For example, pulling a mask down to your chin in between uses might be convenient, but experts say that's not a good idea. Get answers to your burning questions about masks here.It doesn't look likely that the Canada-US border will open any time soon. With COVID-19 cases still rising in many American states, the border closure is set to continue. "There's really no reason why the Canadian government, at this point, would want to open it up and subject Canadians to an increased rate of COVID infections," says U.S. immigration lawyer Len Saunders. Canadians can still fly to the U.S., but that rule isn't reciprocal. U.S. visitors remain prohibited from entering Canada via any mode of transport unless they're visiting immediate family members, including dependent children, spouses, and common-law partners. Read more about where the status of the border here.What else is going on?Opinion: Virtual care can make all the difference when treating the most vulnerable patients Beyond the pandemic, we need to ensure virtual medicine remains a permanent fixture of our health-care system, writes Dr. Lester Liao.Sales at Tim Hortons owner fell 31% during pandemic, Restaurant Brands earnings show But the owner of Tim Hortons, Burger King, and Popeyes says sales are now back to 90% of what they were before.Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to American red onions Health officials are urging retailers and restaurants in some provinces to not use, sell or serve red onions imported from the U.S.Marketplace needs your helpMany of us are looking to get our driveways freshly paved this summer, but not all contractors are created equal. Have you had a challenging experience with a paving contractor? Or has a door-to-door contractor taken your money and not finished the job? Tell us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.Do you have a buzzworthy product that you think is bogus? Whether you've seen products that seem too good to be true on Instagram, trendy items on TikTok, or fishy ones on Facebook, we want to hear about it. Email us at email@example.com.Catch up on past episodes of Marketplace any time on CBC Gem.
When the Saskatchewan government announced their back to school plan, I knew that Aug. 31 would be the last day I could hug my grandparents for the rest of the school year. I'm going into Grade 11. My parents are both teachers and my siblings are both in elementary school. That means contact in four different schools. I live in the same household as two of my grandparents and down the street from my other grandma. I got to hug them for the first time since March just a few weeks ago. I hadn't realized how much I was missing them until I was wrapped in their embrace. I didn't want to let go.I fear bringing this virus home. I know many other families are in similar situations. I even delayed applying for a summer job to keep my family safe. Now it seems like a summer job would've been safer than going back to school.'Frustrated, disappointed and confused'I knew that once school started the likelihood of physical contact with my grandparents was low, but I was still hopeful. When I watched the live announcement of the province's plan, it felt hazy and unreal, like something from a bad movie. We are being thrown into buildings with hundreds of people right as COVID-19 cases increase across our province. I feel betrayed.After all we have learned about the virus so far, how could the government create a plan that goes against all of the precautions that every other part of society has in place. Reconfirming the 'return to school as normal' plan makes me frustrated, disappointed and confused. I worry for my teachers, friends and peers who are putting their lives on the line for education. Or those who are putting their guardians, siblings, or household members in danger by attending school during a pandemic. How the government could so casually put us at risk? 'It seems like they don't even care about us'Our nervousness around the situation has left many of my friends and I considering online school or learning from home. I'm not saying this because I do not like school and would rather stay home. I actually love school and the learning atmosphere it holds. I was looking forward to going back in the fall to see my friends again, connect with teachers and peers, and to start a new program. The newfound anxiety and danger around school will rob me of some of these experiences. Students will be focused on trying to keep safe more than their lessons. We shouldn't be forced to learn from home just because the government won't support and fund our schools. I would feel more comfortable going to school if the class sizes were smaller and more reasonable for physical distancing, if masks were mandatory and if we knew details about when the next phase of the plan will be implemented.I would feel more comfortable if we started with a stricter plan and then lightened up if things are going well.I know the teachers and staff at my school will try their best to keep us safe, but without the right support and funding, their hands are tied.The adults have control here and they are supposed to keep us safe, but it seems like they don't even care about us. They are OK with letting some people suffer and die when they have the power to reduce risks.I don't want to mourn the loss of any students or staff at my school. I don't want to be the cause of somebody's death. I don't want to watch friends and family and the citizens of Saskatchewan suffer. I don't want to mourn the death of a loved one and not even be able to hug them goodbye. I do not want to take part in this back to school experiment and be the government's lab rat.I just want to learn and be safe.This column is part of CBC's Opinion section. For more information about this section, please read this editor's blog and our FAQ.Interested in writing for us? We accept pitches for opinion and point-of-view pieces from Saskatchewan residents who want to share their thoughts on the news of the day, issues affecting their community or who have a compelling personal story to share. No need to be a professional writer!Read more about what we're looking for here, then email firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea.
More than a year after winning the chance to open one of Ontario's first cannabis stores through a provincial lottery, Lisa Bigioni has walked away from her Niagara Falls pot shop. The store had become like a second home and it was painful to leave, but Bigioni wanted to make good on a deal she signed with a large cannabis brand that helped get her shop up and running under the tight deadlines set by the province. "(Choom Holdings Inc.) offered a whole bunch of expertise that I needed after the lottery, but then in exchange for that, they said, 'we'd like to buy your store when the time is right.'
Premier Blaine Higgs says it will be at least another week before New Brunswick even considers opening up to the rest of Canada, but in a way, it already has through its Atlantic bubble agreement with Nova Scotia.So has P.E.I.Nova Scotia's borders have never been closed to visitors.Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, anyone from any province or territory has been able to enter Nova Scotia for any reason as long as they self-isolated for 14 days, confirmed Heather Fairbairn, spokesperson for the Department of Health and Wellness.Since the Atlantic bubble started on July 3, those visitors have been able to travel freely within the three Maritime provinces once their isolation is complete. (Newfoundland and Labrador allows only Maritime residents to enter, unless they have been granted exemptions.)So even though New Brunswick has kept tight reins on those it allows in, and the conditions they have to meet, anyone who wants to get into the province could get in by going through Nova Scotia first.Higgs told CBC News he was "fully aware" of Nova Scotia's open-door policy and that their visitors could continue on into New Brunswick."We have the Atlantic bubble, and the idea of doing that was to allow free travel to people that have isolated, people that we considered that should have free movement within this region," he said."We too have been bringing family and friends to New Brunswick, and they would self-isolate for 14 days and then they're allowed to travel around to different provinces in the Atlantic region."For example, New Brunswick dropped requirements in June for out-of-province workers to self-isolate, even though Nova Scotia still requires workers living in the province and working elsewhere to self-isolate for 14 days when arriving home. "So this is a reciprocal kind of program and … so far, it's been working well," said HiggsEpidemiologist Raywat Deonandan, calls it "surprising" and "strange." "I thought the bubble idea was that the borders were sealed entirely," said Deonandan, an associate professor with the faculty of health sciences at the University of Ottawa.It also "makes little sense in terms of control of seeding [COVID-19] events," said Deonandan."The entire idea behind a contiguous bubble of adjacent provinces is that there should be consistency of policy around how you manage the borders. That's the only way this works."> It sounds that Nova Scotia is the most lenient partner, therefore everyone has de facto the same policy as Nova Scotia, whether they like it or not. \- Raywat Deonandan, epidemiologist"If there isn't consistency, what are you doing?"Deonandan draws a comparison to social bubbles."You're only as good as the people you trust." he said."The [Atlantic] bubble is only as good as its most lenient partner. So it sounds that Nova Scotia is the most lenient partner, therefore, everyone has de facto the same policy as Nova Scotia, whether they like it or not."Deonandan points out there's "nothing magical" about the 14-day isolation requirement either. It's a median only, based on the estimated incubation period of the coronavirus."It's possible that you can pass the 14-day quarantine and still be positive."Having said that, Deonandan thinks the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks within the Atlantic bubble from Canadian travellers who have self-isolated for 14 days is "low."If outbreaks do occur, he believes they'll be driven by people who have travelled internationally, which has been the recent experience in some other jurisdictions.Isolation won't be requiredWhen New Brunswick does open up to the rest of the country, Higgs said the 14-day isolation period will no longer be required."I'll be … having calls with my Atlantic colleagues about the next step, but at this point we don't have any date in mind for reopening with the rest of Canada," he said Aug. 5.He wants to evaluate the second week of expanding the New Brunswick bubble to residents of two Quebec border regions without the need to self-isolate, he said.Residents of Avignon Regional County Municipality, which borders Restigouche County and includes Listuguj First Nation and Pointe-à-la-Croix, and of Témiscouata Regional County Municipality, which borders Madawaska County have been able to cross into the province for day-trips only since Aug. 1.Other approved reasons for entry include: * travelling through New Brunswick to reach another destination. * returning home to New Brunswick. * work-related travel. * child custody arrangements in New Brunswick. * moving to New Brunswick to take up residence. * travel related to medical appointment. * resident of the Atlantic provinces * visiting immediate family in New Brunswick. * property ownership in New Brunswick. * travelling to pick up/drop off student. * attending a funeral. * compassionate exemption.Once someone has completed a 14-day isolation in one of the Atlantic provinces, however, they are welcome to enter New Brunswick, confirmed Department of Public Safety spokesperson Geoffrey Downey.New Brunswick has six active cases of COVID-19, all temporary foreign workers in Moncton who immediately went into self-isolation upon arrival.The province has recorded 176 cases of the respiratory disease since the pandemic began in mid-March. Two people have died and 168 have recovered.Higgs has said the resurgence of the virus some jurisdictions have seen is "very concerning," and any expansion must be done with caution with the start of the school year around the corner."We want to be able to continue to get kids back to school and not be in a situation that we've seen a resurgence of the virus in advance of that, or certainly during," he told reporters on July 30, during the Quebec bubble announcement."So I would say, you know, we go through this 14 days, we'll look at other provinces and see where they're going, are they trending up, trending down. And then we look again at the prospects of how we can open."Nova Scotia is looking into possible ways opening up could work, but is "not there yet," Premier Stephen McNeil has said.No decision has been made by P.E.I. either.Last week, the Island began allowing recreational visits by family members of residents who are Canadian citizens or have permanent residency status, but who live outside Atlantic Canada, provided they self-isolate for 14 days.In June, P.E.I. opened its borders to family members of Islanders in need of support, such as those living in long-term care, as well as to seasonal residents.The government of Newfoundland and Labrador and its Public Health officials are in regular discussions with federal, provincial and territorial partners on pan-Canadian strategies related to COVID-19, including border measures, according to a Department of Health and Community Services spokesperson."No decision has been made relating to any further lifting of the current travel ban," she said in an emailed statement."Newfoundland and Labrador's borders are closely monitored and protocols for entry are strictly enforced as they relate to the Atlantic Canada Bubble. One of these protocols is the requirement for persons travelling to provide proof of residency in Atlantic Canada."
The teen, according to officials and witnesses, got through three security checkpoints on his way into a courtroom in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on July 29, pulled out a pistol and fired multiple shots into Naseem, 57, at a bail hearing. The United States and human rights groups decried the killing and urged changes to Pakistan's blasphemy statutes, among the harshest in the world. "It's one of those cases where everyone wants to be his lawyer," Inamullah Yusufzai, who represented Khan at his first court hearing last week, told Reuters.
First, it was disposable face masks. Then, it was hand sanitizer. Soon, toilet paper, flour, and even some canned goods also disappeared from store shelves in Metro Vancouver. Over the past few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted supply chains and prompted panic among shoppers eager to avoid going without the essentials.Here are some of the items that have made a comeback — and some that are still in short supply. Face masksOne of the first products to disappear from store shelves were disposable face masks. As early as February, they were in short supply. Garment-makers quickly filled that void as they shifted production to make reusable masks. Retailers say they're no longer experiencing shortages of this item. Hand sanitizer Soon after face masks disappeared, hand sanitizer vanished as well. Smaller producers, including some distilleries, quickly rerouted or ramped up production. On the less positive side, Health Canada has recalled more than 50 hand sanitizers that contain ingredients "not acceptable for use" that may pose health risks.Disinfectant wipesSmaller producers were able to step in to produce more hand sanitizer, but not so as of yet for disinfectant wipes. Retailer London Drugs says disinfectant wipes are available but in limited supply because demand continues to be high for these products, and the store is still seeking new suppliers. Lysol, one of the main producers for disinfectant wipes, acknowledges it can be difficult to find some of its products. The company says its teams are "actively working around the clock to increase production and delivery" but demand "remains extraordinarily high." Flour and yeastAs people hunkered down at the beginning of the pandemic, many turned to baking their favourite comfort foods. Flour and yeast quickly became hard to find, but flour producer Rogers Foods says those initial issues have worked themselves out. Company representative Joe Girdner says the spike in demand, combined with distribution bottlenecks, drove the initial problem. Now, Girdner says, most customers seem to be well stocked and demand has evened out. Girdner says Rogers is now ramping up for fall and Christmas baking season — as well as preparing for a potential second wave of COVID-19. Toilet paperEmpty aisles of toilet paper were a common sight in April, but supplies appear to have stabilized. Rebecca Leung, store manager at City Avenue Market on Commercial Drive, says demand is still high but customers don't seem to be stockpiling as much as they were a couple of months ago. Leung thinks people have been reassured enough to stop panic-buying essential supplies. Bikes and cycling accessoriesEarly on during the pandemic, cycling sales soared as people sought outdoor activities and safe travel alternatives. Bike shops say their stocks are still low, especially for lower-priced, entry-level rides. Denman Bikes sales manager Julie Bischoff says "it's still an epic volume of bike sales" over at her shop. And with 2021 models not expected to come in until November or December, Bischoff says, finding a more affordable model in your size is likely to continue to be a challenge. Bike shops say even stock for some common bicycle parts is getting low. Outdoor gearAlong the same lines, outdoor stores have seen more demand than ever as locals take to exploring their own backyard this summer because of the pandemic. Outdoor retailer Mountain Equipment Co-op says its tent stock is still low. MEC's director of merchandise, Brodie Wallace, says indoor climbing gear has also flown off the shelves as people found ways to train at home. Boats and water sportsNothing says social distancing like sitting in a boat miles from shore — a fact that appears to be reflected in the water sports industry. B.C. boat dealers continue to report record-breaking sales amid COVID-19 restrictions. Salim Ladha, co-owner of Steveston Marine and Hardware, says sales have been brisk but many manufacturers based in the U.S. have been closed because of the pandemic. Ladha says he's down to a quarter of the boats he normally has in stock. Over at Galleon Marine, owner Ian Binstead says he's got the same issue. And he doesn't expect new boats anytime soon. "When the inventory is gone, it's gone," Binstead said. It's not just boats that are in high demand. MEC's Wallace says sales of stand-up paddle boards and kayaks continue to soar. PetsCat and dog lovers hoping to snuggle up with a furry new friend during the pandemic were faced with the reality of a short supply of animals. Demand soared but the number of rescued dogs making it across the border came to a halt. B.C. SPCA spokesperson Lori Chortyk says the same number of animals have been surrendered or rescued in B.C. during the pandemic, but demand continues to be high. Chortyk says, as usual, there are many more cats than dogs available because of the province's continued feline overpopulation issues. Are there other items you're still having trouble finding? Mention it in the comments below.
Private cannabis retailers in Ottawa are fighting to have home delivery reinstated after seeing a decline in sales and worrying people might be turning to the black market.When COVID-19 hit this spring, the government closed all cannabis shops, but later allowed private retailers to operate delivery and curb-side pickup. That ability was rescinded in July as the province moved into Stage 3 reopening. The Ministry of the Attorney General explained that the shops were allowed to reopen with pandemic measures in place, including booking appointments or using a "click and collect" service which allows customers to schedule a pick up time.Yet, private retailers point out the government-run Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) is still doing deliveries, the same as it had been since legalization. OCS also acts as the wholesale cannabis provider for private retailers."Most other industries have been afforded an extension on these sort of temporary measures during the pandemic because, of course, the pandemic still exists," said Harrison Stoker, vice-president of Donnelly Group, which owns Hobo Cannabis in Ottawa. "It's 2020. These kinds of features should certainly be available to the average Canadian."Stoker said deliveries made up about 24 per cent of his sales at the height of the pandemic, and hovered around 18 per cent even as retailers began to reopen their doors. He noticed an immediate drop in sales once delivery was cancelled. Treated differentlySales have also declined at Superette in Wellington West.The company had to lay off six employees who were hired specifically for deliveries, said Mimi Lam, Superette's CEO.She said she put a lot of work into delivery plans, including purchasing new software and staff training."To not be able to use that going forward — it seems a bit of a waste, and also kind of counterintuitive in terms of what this legal industry is trying to achieve," she said "If this was going to be an open, private market industry, set us up for success. Give us the tools to allow us to run the businesses and reach our customers the way that any other private businesses are able to do … it seems that oftentimes cannabis just seems to be treated differently."The province is considering how to best support the cannabis market as it grows, Ontario's Ministry of the Attorney General wrote in a statement to CBC Ottawa.Black Market increase Both Lam and Stoker worry the cancellation of delivery is handing over customers to the black market on a "silver platter" because of the convenience delivery and pickup provides. They think one way to curb people's shift to the black market is to increase the number of Retail Store Authorizations (RSA) being approved by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Currently the commission is only issuing 20 RSAs a month.Since the Ontario government allowed private retailers to apply for RSAs in April, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has received 915 submissions, but has only processed 80. "Increasing the private retail network in Ontario, and therefore increasing wholesale sales of cannabis out of OCS, is more of a surefire way to make money and create access for customers," said Stoker. He plans to continue to lobby for the return of delivery by private retailers.For its part, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission said it's working to increase the number of RSA approvals and make the application and approval process more efficient.
It has been one year since the government launched a program offering Canadians with a criminal record for simple pot possession a fast, free pardon — but only 257 people have been granted one so far.Critics say the low number proves the program is "unconscionable" and a "total failure." They're calling on the government to deliver an automatic removal of those criminal records.According to figures provided by the Parole Board of Canada (PBC), 458 people have applied to the program. Of those, 259 were accepted for consideration, with 257 granted and two discontinued. Another 194 applications were returned because the person was ineligible or the file was incomplete, while five more are still in the works.PBC spokesman Jon Schofield said the pandemic has slowed the process."Due to the COVID-19 situation, the PBC experienced limited capacity to process record suspension applications, which has resulted in delays in their processing," he said in an email.The government had estimated that about 10,000 Canadians would be eligible for the pardons which, in this instance, are officially known as "record suspensions."A government official, speaking on background, said numbers may be "lower than anticipated" because people with other criminal convictions apart from simple possession, whether drug-related or not, are ineligible. Others may have already sought a pardon before the program was brought in, the official suggested.Fees eliminated, process acceleratedThe Liberal government passed a law last year to eliminate the program's $631 application fee, waive its five-to-10-year waiting period and to speed up its application process; after it legalized and regulated the possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana for recreational use in 2018.At the time, the PBC sent letters to about 2,000 police and other justice partners, and several hundred organizations that deal with youth, mental health and addictions and Indigenous or Black Canadians, to raise awareness about the program and its eligibility criteria.It also produced an application guide with step-by-step instructions and set up a toll-free information line and email address to answer questions.While the uptake remains low, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair's office said the pardons system supports the rehabilitation of people who are living crime free."Our government delivered on our promise to work toward removing the stigma of a criminal record for people who have shown themselves to be law-abiding citizens. We know that a criminal record for the simple possession of cannabis creates barriers to accessing employment, housing and education. That's why we passed legislation in the last Parliament to waive pardon wait times and application fees for those convicted of simple possession of cannabis," said spokesperson Mary-Liz Power.Power said the streamlined process removes barriers so those people can "meaningfully participate in their communities, secure good and stable jobs and become fully contributing members of society."Application process cumbersome, complexNDP public safety critic Jack Harris said it's "inexcusable" that the government acknowledges the detrimental effects a criminal record for pot has on peoples' lives, yet designed a process that is inaccessible to many because it is cumbersome and complex."I think the whole program is a total failure by the Liberals, who promised that they were going to get rid of criminal records for people with simple possession of marijuana," he said.Harris said the government has acknowledged that systemic racism has led to more marginalized people being convicted, including Indigenous and Black Canadians, yet failed to address it."I think the government has to put up on this and not claim to be concerned about systemic racism in our country, in our justice system, in our policing, and not do the right thing," he said.The NDP has called for the automatic expungement of criminal records for pot possession, a measure many advocates and legal experts agree on.Expungement is different from a record suspension or pardon because the individual is deemed to have never been convicted of the offence in the first place. It usually occurs when the government deems that law should not have been on the books.All judicial records are destroyed through an expungement order, while a record suspension keeps those records separate without permanently removing them.Barriers to housing, employmentStephanie DiGiuseppe of the Criminal Lawyers Association called it "unconscionable" that the application process still puts up barriers such as ancillary costs and requirements to produce records."It basically means that a large number of Canadians continue to suffer barriers to housing, employment, volunteering and living a full and meaningful life in this country due to simple personal possession of cannabis," she said. "So that is not good for those individuals, it's not good for the health of our society generally."University of Ottawa drug policy expert Eugene Oscapella says one of the reasons people may not be anxious to get a criminal record suspension is because the stigma of a conviction may be less severe now that cannabis has been quickly "normalized" through legalization. Still, he said there should be blanket amnesty instead of making people go through a difficult application process — especially during the global COVID-19 crisis."[Marijuana's] social acceptance is certainly much greater than it was before. It's not considered the enormous evil that it once was. Why not just go ahead and wipe these records off the books?" he said.
This is a Hawksbill sea turtle in Papua New Guinea. He's a critically endangered turtle, and one of the rarest sea turtles in the ocean. He's also a curious little fellow. As he was at the surface of the water, catching a few breaths of air, he spotted a scuba diver below who was filming him. He descended straight to the diver and swam up curiously to investigate the diver and his camera. Normally, shy and reclusive, this little fellow was actually rescued and cared for by a scuba dive master when he was very small. He was undernourished and in need of a little help. The dive master fed and looked after the turtle until he could be released. The turtle frequents a popular dive site and is always happy to see his friend return. The dive master will often dig out sponges from crevices to feed the hungry turtle. Divers who are on an exploration with the dive master are always thrilled to see this friendly animal and to interact with him on his own terms, in his own environment. The reef where he lives is extremely remote and it is unlikely that his fondness and trust for humans will actually do him any harm. At this size, the only serious threat to the turtle is a large shark and he seems well equipped for avoiding those. Papua New Guinea is rated as one of the world's top ten dive destinations. With clear water, abundant animal life, healthy reefs, and superb dive operations, this is a part of the planet that is unmatched for beauty.