The Biden administration's border czar says the White House is restarting a program allowing some Central American minors to reunite with parents legally in the United States. Still, Roberta Jacobson warns, "the border is not open." (March 10)
The Biden administration's border czar says the White House is restarting a program allowing some Central American minors to reunite with parents legally in the United States. Still, Roberta Jacobson warns, "the border is not open." (March 10)
Recent developments: What's the latest? Ottawa Public Health is reporting 370 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, tying the city's one-day record. This April has now seen more confirmed cases than any other month since the pandemic began. Public health officials in the Outaouais are reporting 167 more cases and three more deaths. Vaccine manufacturer Moderna is facing a persistent "quality assurance" backlog at its production facilities, resulting in days-long delivery delays of doses destined for Canada. Joanne Chianello is highlighting a gap between the grim messaging and the steps Ottawa is taking in its parks to slow the spread. How many cases are there? The region is in a record-breaking third wave of the pandemic that includes more dangerous coronavirus variants, straining test sites and filling hospitals. As of Thursday, 20,966 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 2,953 known active cases, 17,534 resolved cases and 479 deaths. Public health officials have reported more than 38,500 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 32,600 resolved cases. Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 158 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 183. Akwesasne has had more than 580 residents test positive, evenly split between its northern and southern sections. Kitigan Zibi has had 27 cases. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had 11, with one death. CBC Ottawa is profiling those who've died of COVID-19. If you'd like to share your loved one's story, please get in touch. What can I do? Eastern Ontario: Ontario is under a stay-at-home order until at least the first week of May. People can only leave home for essential reasons such as getting groceries or health care and exercising. They're asked to only leave their immediate area or province if absolutely necessary. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has said bylaw officers will inspect stores and respond to complaints about homes and parks. Rules may tighten in city parks this weekend. WATCH | Some of the facts about Ottawa's worst wave yet: The vast majority of gatherings are prohibited, with exceptions such as people who live together, those who live alone and pair up with one other household, and small religious services. The National Capital Commission is again opening some stretches of road for active use this weekend. People are pictured praying inside Mosque of Mercy during Ramadan on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (Jean Delisle/CBC) Most non-essential businesses can only offer curbside pickup. Access to malls is restricted, and big-box stores can only sell essential items. Gyms and personal care services must close, while restaurants are only available for takeout and delivery. Ontario is indefinitely moving to online learning after April break. Daycares remain open for now. Local health units and communities can also set their own rules, as Prince Edward County's is doing around travel and Kingston is doing for Breakwater Park. Western Quebec Premier François Legault has said the situation is critical in Gatineau and is asking people there to only leave home when it's essential. Schools, gyms, theatres, personal care services and non-essential businesses are closed until April 25 in the Outaouais. Private gatherings are banned, except for a person who lives alone seeing one other household. Distanced outdoor exercise is allowed in groups up to eight people and masks are no longer mandatory if doing so. The curfew starts at 8 p.m. A sign on the window of Chez Renaud in Val-des-Monts, Que., April 14, 2021. It indicates it has to close ahead of the region's 8 p.m. curfew.( Christian Milette/Radio-Canada). People there are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact and only leave their immediate area for essential reasons — under threat of a fine if they go to a yellow or green zone. The director of its health authority said Wednesday the provincial border checkpoints of spring 2020 may return if the situation doesn't improve. Distancing and isolating The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets that can hang in the air. People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine. Coronavirus variants of concern are more contagious and are spreading quickly. This means it is important to take precautions now and in the future like staying home while sick — and getting help with costs if needed — keeping hands and surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don't live with, even with a mask on. Masks, preferably ones that fit snugly and have three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec. OPH says residents should wear masks outside their homes whenever possible. WATCH | Inside one hospital at a crisis point: Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems get help with errands. People have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine and have to pay for their stay in a quarantine hotel if entering by air. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who've been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length varies in Quebec and Ontario. WATCH | A doctor's paintings make a lasting impression: Vaccines Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada. Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second. More than 500,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including about 221,000 doses to Ottawa residents and about 90,000 in western Quebec. Eastern Ontario Ontario is now in Phase 2 of its vaccine rollout, with the first doses during Phase 1 generally going to care home residents and health-care workers. All health units in eastern Ontario are now vaccinating people age 60 and older at their clinics. It's 55 and over in Renfrew County. People can book appointments online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900. People who are above or turning age 55 can contact participating pharmacies for a vaccine appointment. Phase 2 includes people with underlying health conditions starting this month, followed by essential workers who can't work from home in May. Phase 3 should involve vaccinating anyone older than 16 starting in July. Local health units have some flexibility in the larger framework, so check their websites for details. The province has opened up appointments for people age 50 to 54 in Ottawa's K1T, K1V and K2V "hot spot" postal codes, though supply is currently limited. Separately, some Ottawans in certain priority neighbourhoods can check their eligibility online and make an appointment through the city. This should soon include all education workers and staff in large workplaces. Indigenous people over age 16 in Ottawa can make an appointment the same way. Western Quebec Quebec also started by vaccinating people in care homes and health-care workers. The vaccination plan now covers people age 55 and older, along with local essential workers and people with chronic illnesses. People age 55 to 79 can line up in their vehicles to get a ticket for a walk-up appointment at Gatineau's Palais des Congrès. Officials expect everyone who wants a shot to be able to get one by by Fête nationale on June 24. People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone. Pharmacists there have started giving shots with appointments through the province, not individual pharmacies. Symptoms and testing COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and loss of taste or smell. Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash. WATCH | Woman who had COVID-19 participates in stem cell trial: If you have severe symptoms, call 911. Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic, and resources are available to help. In eastern Ontario: Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment. Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, if you've been told to by your health unit or the province, or if you fit certain other criteria. People without symptoms but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. This week that includes school staff and students. Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one. Check with your area's health unit for clinic locations and hours. Some are offering pop-up or mobile clinics. In western Quebec: Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts. Outaouais residents can make an appointment and check wait times online. Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby. WATCH | The national scope of the third wave: First Nations, Inuit and Métis: First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, or someone travelling to work in a remote Indigenous community, are eligible for a test in Ontario. Akwesasne has a COVID-19 test site by appointment only and a curfew of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days. People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-1175. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and in Kitigan Zibi, 819-449-5593. Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing and vaccines, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays. For more information
Toronto FC's Patrick Mullins and Justin Morrow acknowledged their goals against Club Leon on Wednesday night came with an outpouring of emotion. For Mullins, the reason was simple. His grandmother passed away recently. His teammates knew and captain Michael Bradley was quick to get to Mullins after he opened the scoring in Toronto's 2-1 win over the Mexican side in the second leg of their Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League round-of-16 tie at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The result gave TFC a 3-2 victory on aggregate, moving the MLS side into the quarterfinals of CONCACAF's flagship club competition against Mexican league leader Cruz Azul. Starting in place of the injured Jozy Altidore, the 29-year-old Mullins got the job done with some help from his friends. Bradley helped trigger the Mullins goal, driving into the Leon half and finding Jacob Shaffelburg open to the left. The pacey winger sent a perfect cross through the legs of one Leon defender and out of the reach of another, to find Mullins who was in the right place and the right time for a simple tap-in in the 55th minute. "Things happened very quickly in that goal … And once the ball was in the net, a lot of things hit me," Mullins recalled after the game. "But then I heard Michael come over and say, 'That's for the Mullins family.' "Then things really came down to earth to me. I had lost my grandmother this past week, so I had very much had a heavy heart in this game, and I think the team supported me so much through that loss of my family." Morrow made it 2-0 in the 71st minute, five minutes after entering the game. "It felt really good. It felt like a little emotional release, to be honest," said Morrow, who did not dress for last week's first leg in Mexico. "It's been a couple of months since I've been on the field. (I've been), dealing with some little injuries. I was out most of pre-season. So to make my way back — I was in contention to maybe be subbed into the game in a couple of different positions. At the end of the day I was happy just to get on the field and make a difference for the team." Taking a pass from teenage midfielder Ralph Priso, Morrow somehow bundled the ball in as he collided with goalkeeper Rodolpho Cota. TFC's high press made the goal with a Leon defender, under pressure, giving the ball way to Priso. "Not the most pretty goal but I'll take it. Any goal is a goal for me," said the 33-year-old fullback. "So it was really emotional to get that." Toronto kicks off the MLS regular season Saturday against CF Montreal in Fort Lauderdale. Both Canadian teams have taken up residence in Florida while the Vancouver Whitecaps have shifted their base of operations to Sandy, Utah, because of pandemic-related travel restrictions. The Whitecaps host the Portland Timbers at Rio Tinto Stadium on Sunday. --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
HALIFAX — A Mi'kmaq man who has been battling for Indigenous fishing rights says the recent seizure of his crab traps suggests Ottawa is becoming more aggressive on the water. Robert Syliboy said in an interview Tuesday that Fisheries Department officers in a Canadian Coast Guard vessel confiscated two of his $400 traps set in waters off Sherbrooke, N.S., last weekend. The 27-year-old fisherman from Sipekne'katik First Nation says his chief had authorized the setting of the 10 traps as a food, social and ceremonial fishery for the community in central Nova Scotia. "I told fisheries officers I was fishing under the chief and council's authority, and all the fish was going for food," Syliboy said. "They disregarded the treaty I was fishing under." The Indigenous band has cited Supreme Court of Canada rulings, including the Sparrow case in 1990, as affirmations of the Mi'kmaq practice of harvesting fish for ceremonies, food and gatherings. Last fall, Syliboy was among the more prominent Mi'kmaq fishers who attempted to launch a self-regulated lobster fishery off southwest Nova Scotia. One of his vessels caught fire at the wharf and was damaged beyond repair. The federal Fisheries Department says it believes existing law means Sipekne'katik requires a communal licence for fishing snow crab under provisions of the federal Fisheries Act. Spokeswoman Megan Gallant said by email that the band doesn't have such a licence. The department says on its website that it retains the right to regulate Indigenous fisheries for conservation purposes under both the Sparrow decision and the more recent Donald Marshall Jr. decision, which allowed Indigenous fishing in pursuit of a moderate livelihood. Gallant said on Wednesday that fishery officers first warned Syliboy against fishing in an April 6 phone call, and that his snow crab traps were seized the following weekend. "These operations are part of routine gear inspections by fishery officers to ensure compliance with the Fisheries Act and associated regulations," she wrote. Syliboy said he disagrees with the federal interpretation of the Supreme Court's rulings, arguing he retains the right to operate without a federally approved licence if his band has authorized him to fish. As the possibility of another season of unrest off southwestern Nova Scotia approaches, the fisher said he believes the enforcement action signals Ottawa will not tolerate self-regulated Indigenous fisheries. "The (coast guard vessel) was very close to my vessel. It was more intimidation than anything, I think. They were on a 100-foot vessel doing circles around me," he said. "I believe it's getting worse for Mi'kmaq fishers and not better. It's becoming harder to access waters." Syliboy said he would be pleased to go to court and argue against the seizures, as he feels existing judicial rulings support his view. However, Colin Sproul, a spokesman for the Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance — a lobby group representing various non-Indigenous, commercial fishers — said Ottawa's right to regulate remains a key part of Supreme Court of Canada decisions. "The Sparrow decision is very clear that the right of First Nations are administered through the federal government and the minister, and that she has the ultimate authority for conservation," he said. Asked whether setting 10 traps for a community feast poses a conservation issue, Sproul responded, "there is a conservation issue on every single pound of fish taken out of the ocean." He said all uses of the resource need to be accounted for "so that all the participants can make responsible management decisions." This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2021. Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press
Body camera footage released by the Chicago police board shows 13-year-old Adam Toledo with his hands raised as he was fatally shot by an officer. WARNING: This video contains graphic images.
Daimler AG on Thursday unveiled the electric "sibling" of its flagship Mercedes-Benz S-Class luxury sedan, taking the fight to market-leader Tesla Inc in the battle for market share as electric car sales take off. The EQS is the first in a family of Mercedes-Benz cars built on a dedicated electric vehicle platform built from the ground up. Sales of electric and plug-in hybrid cars in the European Union almost trebled to over 1 million vehicles last year, accounting for more than 10% of overall sales.
Ontario could see well over 18,000 new daily COVID-19 infections — despite continuing vaccinations — if current trends continue, CBC News has learned from a government source. New modelling details show additional public health measures could bring that number down closer to 10,000, sources say, however those measures would have to be considerably more restrictive to curb the rate of infection. The modelling also shows up to 1,800 patients in intensive care by the end of May, according to the sources. Projections released by the province two weeks ago had forecast up to 12,000 new cases per day with around 800-1,000 people in ICU by the end of April. The Ontario cabinet is also considering the following proposals, which have not yet been formally approved: Closing all non-essential retail, no curbside pick-up or delivery. Further restricting retail hours of operation. Restricting curbside pick-up (only permit non-essential retail to deliver). Shutting down non-essential construction, warehouses and manufacturing not related to health, food or automotive. Prohibiting all outdoor gatherings for non-family members in the same household. Tightening capacity of indoor events like places of worship, weddings and funerals. Increasing fines, increase policing powers. Sources say Premier Doug Ford asked Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to send health-care workers to Ontario to help. Alberta has not yet made any commitments, the sources say. Sources with knowledge of the request tell CBC News that Ford also made a similar request to Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe. CBC News has also learned Ontario will make a formal request to the federal government for more than 600 critical care staff to support the province's hospitals with ICU occupancy. The formal request has not happened yet. "We have received Ontario's draft letter," said Mary-Liz Power, spokesperson for federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair. "We are currently in discussions with the province to determine how best we can support them with more resources," she said, adding that the federal government is working closely with all provinces and territories to help support them amid the pandemic. According to sources, the Ministry of Health has requested access to additional provincial money to tackle the third wave of the pandemic. In a request that has not yet been formally approved, sources say the ministry is asking for up to $346 million for more health workers to support the creation of 1,000 incremental critical care beds in Ontario hospitals with high COVID-19 in-patient and ICU numbers. The ministry is also looking at redeploying 1,000 staff from hospitals with lower COVID-19 patients and ICU occupancy to those with the highest ICU and in-patients. This proposal has also not yet been formally approved. "Premier Ford has said from the very beginning of this pandemic, that all options are on the table," Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said Thursday. "And that continues to be our philosophy as a cabinet and a caucus." Jones, however, acknowledged the challenges a curfew would present in Ontario, pointing to the anti-curfew protests in Quebec. "I think the Montreal riots speak to the challenge of both enforcing, and people's willingness to do a curfew," she said. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) said a curfew would not help the public health crisis, and urged the government not to go down that road. "Imposing a curfew is an admission that the government has run out of ideas," said Cara Zwibel, director of fundamental freedoms at the CCLA. "It is an unnecessary and disproportionate measure that is likely to do more harm than good." On Thursday night, sources with knowledge of the discussions told CBC News the cabinet has decided against imposing a curfew. The cabinet is expected to resume meeting Friday to discuss imposing further measures. All-time high Ford's cabinet met Thursday as the province reported a record 4,736 new cases of COVID-19 and 29 more related deaths. Meanwhile, the coronavirus has sent 1,932 people to the province's hospitals despite a stay-at-home order. There are 659 patients in intensive care and 419 on ventilators. Hospitals have been ramping down non-essential and non-urgent medical procedures this week to ensure they have the capacity to care for COVID-19 patients. The government said a COVID-19 field hospital could be opened in Toronto later this month. The Ministry of Health said a mobile health unit at Sunnybrook Hospital, set up in the facility's parking lot, is expected to take patients in the coming weeks. It is one of two field hospitals in the province designed to help address growing capacity challenges. The province said the temporary beds will provide increased capacity to the health system as a whole by freeing up acute and critical care capacity within hospitals. Variants surge in Grey-Bruce The government said it will also help expand capacity by allowing the hospitals to transfer non-critical care patients to these general medicine beds. Meanwhile, the Grey Bruce Health Unit told residents to stay home for the next two days as COVID-19 variants of concern surge in the region. Public health authorities said all residents should consider themselves a COVID-19 carrier for the next 48 hours. Authorities said the steps are necessary after 70 new cases were confirmed in the region in the past 36 hours. The public health unit said it needs to slow the spread of the virus in order to do contact tracing. It is also shutting down the Grey Bruce Health Unit info-line and cancelling a mass vaccination clinic on Saturday to redeploy staff to case management and contact tracing. The province says 105,430 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since Wednesday's update, bringing the total number of vaccinations to 3,528,404.
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador's house of assembly opened on shaky foundations Thursday, with Lt.-Gov. Judy Foote delivering a throne speech less than three weeks after an election that faces several court challenges. Though the speech was meant to inspire, there was no escaping the grim financial outlook facing Liberal Premier Andrew Furey and the unease around the election that returned him to power. "The road before us starts with fully coming to terms with the extensive economic crisis facing this province," said the speech read by Foote. A few lines later, the government pledged a complete review of the province's Elections Act. The legislature's opening came after a protracted 10-week election that was upended in mid-February by a COVID-19 outbreak in the St. John's area. With the province in lockdown, chief electoral officer Bruce Chaulk cancelled in-person voting and instead held the election by mail. Furey's Liberals were re-elected March 27 with a slim majority, winning 22 of the province's 40 seats. The Progressive Conservatives won 13 seats, down from 15, and the NDP was reduced to two seats from three. Three Independents were also elected. Voter turnout was 48 per cent, marking a historic low for the province. One of those Independents, Paul Lane, announced he'd be putting forward a motion on Monday to request an independent investigation into the election. "There are so many very serious allegations," Lane told reporters. "We need to confirm what is fact, what is fiction. Were there breaches of the Elections Act?" When asked whether he felt the troubled election left Furey with a legitimate mandate, Lane said that was a decision best left for the courts. NDP Leader Alison Coffin said she'd happily support Lane's motion. She and her party launched a constitutional challenge of the election on Monday, asking that the results be thrown out and a new vote be held. Her suit claims Chaulk failed to run a fair, impartial vote and that the election violated charter rights. Her application lists 28 specific irregularities, including an allegation that Chaulk encouraged his staff to include people on the voters list without verifying their identity. Coffin has also requested a judicial recount in her St. John's East-Quidi Vidi district, where she lost her seat to Liberal John Hogan by 53 votes. Two unsuccessful Progressive Conservative candidates are also challenging the results in their ridings. Sheila Fitzgerald lost the race in St. Barbe-L'Anse aux Meadows to Liberal Krista Lynn Howell by 216 votes. According to court documents viewed by The Canadian Press, Fitzgerald signed an application Monday to have the results in her district tossed out. The application alleges that Chaulk misled Furey when he told the premier it was safe to hold an election and that he failed to let Furey know changes to the Elections Act were needed. Fitzgerald did not respond to a request for comment. Jim Lester said he also filed his legal paperwork on Monday claiming that some voters in his riding never received ballots and others were added to voting lists without proper verification. He had held the Mount Pearl North seat but lost to Liberal Lucy Stoyles by 109 votes. The Progressive Conservatives have said they will not be challenging the election in court as a party. When asked Thursday if he felt Furey had a legitimate mandate, interim party leader David Brazil said that "will be determined by the courts." Furey and the Liberals have shied away from commenting on the election, pledging instead to revisit the Elections Act. As for the financial sinkhole ahead of him, Furey said his first goal is to find a solution for the cash-sucking Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project. The massive dam and generating station in Labrador has run over schedule and over budget, essentially doubling in cost to $13.1 billion. Without outside assistance — ideally from Ottawa — power rates across the province could also double in order to pay for it. "And that effects the economy," Furey told reporters. "Muskrat Falls is an incredible anchor around our souls and our finances." Furey said the province's next budget, which should be tabled in June, will be another "COVID-19-style budget," aimed at maintaining stability as the province navigates the global pandemic. "This is not time for austerity," he said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Thursday, April 15, 2021. There are 1,087,152 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 1,087,152 confirmed cases (80,201 active, 983,506 resolved, 23,445 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 8,590 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 211.03 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 59,113 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 8,445. There were 53 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 272 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 39. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.1 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 61.69 per 100,000 people. There have been 29,363,293 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,034 confirmed cases (18 active, 1,010 resolved, six deaths). There were three new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 3.45 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 13 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 229,026 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 165 confirmed cases (six active, 159 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 3.76 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of five new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 132,097 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,783 confirmed cases (42 active, 1,675 resolved, 66 deaths). There were two new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 4.29 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 34 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is five. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.74 per 100,000 people. There have been 454,970 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,752 confirmed cases (142 active, 1,577 resolved, 33 deaths). There were 16 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 18.17 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 73 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 10. There were zero new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.04 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 4.22 per 100,000 people. There have been 278,484 tests completed. _ Quebec: 331,031 confirmed cases (13,660 active, 306,608 resolved, 10,763 deaths). There were 1,559 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 159.31 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 11,229 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,604. There were seven new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 54 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is eight. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 125.52 per 100,000 people. There have been 7,638,706 tests completed. _ Ontario: 398,835 confirmed cases (36,808 active, 354,417 resolved, 7,610 deaths). There were 4,156 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 249.82 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 28,018 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 4,003. There were 28 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 135 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 19. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 51.65 per 100,000 people. There have been 13,087,321 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 35,539 confirmed cases (1,439 active, 33,146 resolved, 954 deaths). There were 80 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 104.33 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 885 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 126. There were three new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 11 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 69.17 per 100,000 people. There have been 617,554 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 37,085 confirmed cases (2,525 active, 34,102 resolved, 458 deaths). There were 193 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 214.22 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,914 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 273. There was one new reported death Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 13 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.16 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 38.86 per 100,000 people. There have been 709,016 tests completed. _ Alberta: 164,531 confirmed cases (15,569 active, 146,933 resolved, 2,029 deaths). There were 1,412 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 352.09 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,055 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,294. There were eight new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 27 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 45.89 per 100,000 people. There have been 3,863,365 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 114,870 confirmed cases (9,989 active, 103,360 resolved, 1,521 deaths). There were 1,168 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 194.05 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 7,885 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,126. There were six new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 30 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 29.55 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,317,181 tests completed. _ Yukon: 76 confirmed cases (two active, 73 resolved, one death). There was one new case Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 4.76 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been two new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.38 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,706 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 43 confirmed cases (one active, 42 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 2.21 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 16,734 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 395 confirmed cases (zero active, 391 resolved, four deaths). There were zero new cases Wednesday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 10.16 per 100,000 people. There have been 10,057 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published April 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
The former CEO of a Saskatoon lab that develops vaccines, including one for COVID-19, says Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer has no game plan for dealing with the novel coronavirus. Andrew Potter, who worked at VIDO-InterVac for 22 years, first made the comment on Twitter following Tuesday's provincial update on COVID-19. "I must admit that I think Dr Shahab is way over his head with COVID based on what he has said so far at the press conference," the University of Saskatchewan professor tweeted Tuesday. "He dwells on the past and present but no game plan for the future (which is what counts right now)." In an interview with CBC News on Wednesday, Potter said he hadn't "seen any evidence yet that they're taking this seriousIy. "I recognize that there are medical decisions and recommendations and then there are political ones. And he doesn't control the political ones obviously." The Ministry of Health did not respond to a request for comment before publication. Potter said the government needs to communicate better with the public. He said the province has to stop comparing current cases with past waves — especially since the third wave involves coronavirus variants which are more transmissible. "Nobody's looking into the future as to where do we want to be and how we're going to get there," Potter said. "Right now, we're essentially repeating history that we know didn't work." Andrew Potter, former CEO of VIDO-InterVac, is now a professor at the University of Saskatchewan. (Andrew Potter) Variant cases erupting across province On Tuesday, Saskatchewan implemented a province-wide ban on private indoor gatherings while limiting crowds at places of worship to 30 people. Nazeem Muhajarine, a Saskatoon-based epidemiologist, said "it's a bit too little, too late." "We are going back to what should have been done on March 9 when public health measures were relaxed on that day," Muhajarine said on CBC's Saskatoon Morning. When the province allowed residents to expand their bubbles to a maximum of ten individuals in a home at any one time, Saskatchewan had 35 coronavirus variant cases. "And in the intervening five weeks, numbers increased a hundredfold." As of Thursday, Saskatchewan reported 4,183 coronavirus variant cases. "Expanding the bubbles has really backfired here in Saskatchewan, and especially knowing that the variant was spreading quite aggressively in the province," intensive care specialist Dr. Hassan Masri said. With variants erupting across the province, Muhajarine said the government is still doing "too little." "It's almost like, you know, trying to put off a raging house fire with a home fire extinguisher," Muhajarine said. Call to close bars and restaurants Masri, who works in intensive care units in Saskatoon, said "the variant is making people really sick." "We would not be in the situation that Regina is in, but certainly with the rising numbers ... we won't be surprised if that's our fate in the next week or so," Masri said. Intensive care specialist Dr. Hassan Masri says bars and restaurants in Saskatchewan should be closed.(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press) He said further restrictions, like closing bars and restaurants across the province and further reducing gathering sizes at religious institutions, could prevent further strain on the health-care system. Muhajarine agreed. "The question can be asked whether these cases, hospitalizations and even deaths could have been averted had timely action been taken," he said.
While the age of consent was previously 15, prosecutors in France used to be required to prove sex was non-consensual to obtain a rape conviction. "This is an historic law for our children and our society," Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti told the National Assembly. As a consequence, a "Romeo and Juliet" clause that allows for sexual relations between a minor and an individual up to five years older.
WINDSOR, England (Reuters) -When Prince Philip's coffin is conveyed to church for his funeral service, it will be taken in a specially-commissioned Land Rover that the British royal himself helped design. Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth, died last week aged 99 and his funeral will be held entirely at Windsor Castle on Saturday, with no public allowed. Although the event has been scaled down because of COVID-19 restrictions, many traditional elements will remain, with a military procession inside the castle and pall bearers from units with close links to Philip.
VICTORIA — The B.C. government is investing $2 billion in a low-interest loan program for builders of affordable housing. Housing Minister David Eby said Thursday the financing will be offered to private developers and community groups through the province's HousingHub program, a division of BC Housing. The funding will target projects for renters and buyers with average household incomes of $75,000. Eby said the loans will be provided at below-market rates and in return, developers will commit to passing the construction savings on to residents through more affordable rents and housing prices. The loans will be repaid once construction is complete, allowing HousingHub to reinvest in more units, he added. Finance Minister Selina Robinson said the funding is part of Budget 2021, which will be unveiled in full next week. "For far too long, housing in British Columbia was viewed as a commodity and a tool for building wealth, rather than a basic necessity of a home," said Robinson, who was the housing minister before taking on the finance portfolio. "The simple truth is, affordable housing is life changing." In order to ensure the savings are passed on to the residents, each developer must make a 10-year commitment around affordability. The agreements signed are unique to each project, Eby said. Financing rates will depend on factors like a developer's credit rating and relationship with banks, he said. BC Housing has already received about 90 applications from builders interested in accessing a loan, he said. "There's lots of demand and competition for the funding," Eby said. Applications will be prioritized based on maximizing affordability, such as the number of units and the price per unit offered to tenants or buyers, he said. Developments will also be assessed through a geographic lens to ensure the benefit of the program is felt across the province. "There's really not a community in our province that isn't facing some aspect of the housing crisis, although it looks different in different communities," Eby said. Paul Kershaw, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia's school of population and public health, said the HousingHub is a positive and important program. The program has seen private developers partner with non-profits to deliver the housing, which is an effective way to ensure the supply is affordable for middle-income households, said Kershaw. But increasing supply should be complemented with other policy measures if the government truly wants to dampen the escalating housing market, he said. "Anything being built and offered anew in a setting where ... home prices continue to rise on average is going to erode the affordability that the provincial government is aiming to bring in by offering these low-interest loans," he said. Complementary measures could include similar low-interest loans aimed at strengthening other parts of the economy, such as small businesses, he said. British Columbia is in an unhealthy situation when 18 per cent of B.C.'s economy is real estate rental and leasing, but only two per cent of the population is employed in that sector, Kershaw said. "It is a massive gap and as a result, that's why there's big growth in that industry but it's not generating earnings that are spread out to a whole bunch of people," he said. The Opposition Liberals said skyrocketing housing prices during the pandemic show the NDP government's housing plan is failing. The party referenced a report from the B.C. Real Estate Association that found the average home price in the province increased by 20.4 per cent last month compared with the same time last year. At the same time, active residential listings dropped by 24.4 per cent as the housing supply sunk to the lowest level seen in decades, it said. "It’s clear that the NDP’s supposed solutions for affordability have had no meaningful effect on the housing market," housing critic Ben Stewart said. "Young British Columbians are still watching their dreams of home ownership fade away, while this government takes an undeserved victory lap.” — By Amy Smart in Vancouver. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
On any given day, go for a drive in southwest Alberta and expect to hear the wind whistling through your windows as it blows across the prairie. Lethbridge is one of the windiest cities in the country so it's no wonder this region is a hotbed for the growing wind energy industry. Wayne Oliver looks after more than 400 wind turbines in the area. He's also responsible for a new battery project that could fuel the sector's growth even further. "It's performed very well, it's exceeding our expectations," said Oliver. Also, the facility "is profitable right now." TransAlta's $16-million WindCharger project consists of three Tesla lithium-ion battery storage groupings, capable of holding 20 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity. That's enough power to fully supply the nearby town of Pincher Creek, with a population of 3,600, for about 90 minutes. The project was the first of its kind in Alberta, but less than a year later, two other storage facilities are already operating in other parts of the province, with another nine in development. "Having a way to store energy that's generated by the wind, and then having the ability to put that back into the grid ... makes renewable energy, wind energy more attractive," said Oliver. Some are already hailing the nascent technology as game-changing for the renewable energy sector, offering intermittent wind and solar power a consistent low-carbon backup. However, at this point, the impact of storage projects to encourage more renewables, and provide other benefits, may be limited by just how much power they can hold. Inside a wind turbine, TransAlta's Wayne Oliver checks to see how much power is being produced.(Kyle Bakx/CBC) The benefit The knock against solar and wind farms is the unpredictability of the electricity they generate, as the wind isn't always blowing and the sun isn't always shining. Batteries can help provide the power when it's needed most. That could mean charging up during the day and distributing the power on the grid to customers in the evening when the sun is down and wind isn't as strong. Batteries can also provide instant electricity to the power grid if, for instance, a power plant elsewhere in the province has to shut down unexpectedly. That's referred to by some in the industry as providing a "fast frequency response." "That power is going to be available in that instantaneous moment when you may need it," said Mike Deising, spokesperson for the Alberta Electric System Operator, which manages the grid. Storage facilities can be "a little bit" of a game changer, he said, because of these benefits. Batteries can also improve reliability for communities. Fortis is building a battery project near Waterton National Park in southern Alberta. The community only has one transmission line providing electricity, so if it's damaged, the battery can provide power to the town while crews fix the problem. The batteries will be charged using solar panels, and are expected to be able to power the community for four hours. Construction is expected to begin in September. In Alberta, wind turbines can produce about 11 per cent of overall electricity generation. By 2030, the province has a goal of meeting 30 per cent of its energy needs with renewables.(Kyle Bakx/CBC) The limitations For all the perks of storage projects, they typically face the same constraint in their size and strength — able to store energy, but not as much as we need. In early-February, Alberta was stuck in a bitter cold snap and wind wasn't strong enough to move the turbines and produce much electricity for five days. The battery projects in Alberta only provide a few hours of electricity. "Five days is asking more than what they can really provide," said Blake Shaffer, an assistant professor in the department of economics and school of public policy at the University of Calgary. "So we're going to need other solutions to deal with the storage challenges that we face." That doesn't mean batteries couldn't deliver more power in the future. Some projects elsewhere in the world are much larger, like the 182 MW Moss Landing system in California, and experts anticipate prices will decrease as more of the facilities are built and more innovation takes place. In the meantime, pumped hydro storage projects can provide much more electricity, but would likely still fall short under certain weather conditions like those experienced in February. TC Energy is one of the companies involved in developing a pumped hydro project in northern Alberta with the capacity to store 75 MW for 37 hours of full-capacity generation. Still, Shaffer isn't concerned because renewables aren't heavily relied upon in the province; wind makes up about 11 per cent of electricity generation, while solar and biomass contribute about 4.5 per cent. Alberta has a goal of relying on renewables for 30 per cent of its electricity by 2030. It's only when wind and solar together generate 30 to 40 per cent of the province's power that storage will have to play a much bigger role, said Shaffer. WATCH | Why renewables and storage go hand-in-hand: Alternatives There are other ways of storing electricity and ensuring more reliable power. Some experts say there should be more transmission lines built between provinces to provide low-emission sources of electricity. For instance, Alberta could share more wind power with British Columbia in the future, while B.C. could also provide hydroelectricity for when renewables in Alberta aren't generating much power. As for storage, there are other methods such as underground pumped storage and gravity storage. Still, experts say more research is important to improve the performance and scale of the projects. "There's some great stuff in storage, but the need for storage like for Tokyo during a typhoon or for the U.S. when the Midwest is shut down, this is very daunting," said Bill Gates, one of the founders of Microsoft and an investor in long-duration storage projects, during the CERAWeek by IHS Markit conference earlier this year. What's next? Those in the industry expect more of these storage projects in the province, including Craig Barnes of Teric Power, which developed one of the battery facilities that's operating and is involved in five other proposed projects. "They just provide alternatives to the incumbent fossil fuel fired infrastructure systems," he said. "We do need the incumbent assets, but what happens is that storage provides that springboard or that leverage to move from the more carbon intensive grid to a more renewable grid." As more wind and solar projects are built, he expects additional storage projects to be constructed too. In addition, large industrial companies could also invest in batteries so they have electricity available to help reduce costs when power prices spike. For Oliver, with TransAlta, he said the company is already considering new battery storage projects for its proposed and existing wind farms. "I've been in the wind industry for 15 years and I marvel at the change I've seen just in my short career," he said. "So I'm excited to see what comes in the next 10 years for sure." WATCH | Companies can use battery storage to take advantage of peak electricity prices:
Canada's red-hot housing market continues to defy expectations, with sales in March up 70 per cent compared to a year ago and average prices up by more than 30 per cent. The Canadian Real Estate Association said Thursday that more than 70,000 homes were sold last month, obliterating the previous record for the month by 22,000 transactions. The figure was 76 per cent higher than the same month a year ago, which saw sales slow because it was the first month of restrictions related to COVID-19. Those restrictions put a temporary chill on the market, but things started heating up in May 2020 and haven't cooled down since. On the price side, the average selling price for a home sold on CREA's MLS system was $716,828. That's up by 31.6 per cent in a year, and the biggest annual pace of gain on record. While sellers and owners are doubtless ecstatic with record selling prices, the torrid pace is causing anxiety among economists and policy-makers who worry that first-time buyers are being locked out of the market unless they take on massive mortgages that they may not be able to afford if interest rates rise. Last week, Canada's top banking regulator proposed to raise the stress test level on mortgages to make sure that borrowers can afford higher rates. That move would reduce the purchasing power of buyers by about five per cent. CREA chair Cliff Stevenson said the biggest factor pushing prices higher has been an imbalance between supply and demand, and he said the market is showing signs of finding an equilibirum. "The shortages in supply we have across so much of Canada, a lot of that demand has been pressuring prices. So the big rebound in new supply to start the spring market is the relief valve we need the most to get that demand playing out more on the sales side of things and less on the price side," he said. "That said, it will take a lot more than one month of record new listings, but it looks like we may finally be rounding the corner on these extremely unbalanced housing market conditions." The Realtors at CREA argue that prices going up is a natural reaction to what they call an "imbalance between supply and demand" — in other words, there are more people who want to buy houses than there are houses for sale, which drives up the price of those that are. But economist Doug Porter at BMO says March's numbers show there's a lot more going on. Seasonally adjusted, the number of new listings hit their highest level on record in March, he notes. "Please keep that simple fact in mind when you hear the inevitable onslaught of rhetoric about how the housing market's imbalance is all about weak supply," Porter said. "The only possible world in which supply can be considered anything remotely in shortage is when stacked up against the extraterrestrial level of demand. " Economist Rishi Sondhi with TD Bank says the numbers for April and May should be interesting to watch because the move to raise the stress test doesn't come into effect until June, which means it could have the unintended consequence of making the market even hotter in the short term as people rush to borrow and buy before the new rules are in place. "It's déjà vu all over again [and] with markets remaining historically tight, more near-term gains are in the cards," he said. "This frothy price backdrop could prompt a response from policy-makers in coming months."
Three people have been arrested following reports of a person with a weapon in Saint John on Thursday afternoon, police say. The Saint John Police Force responded to Charlotte Street in the south end just after 2:30 p.m. in response to reports of a person with a weapon and "a short time later, a suspect was located in a nearby building," said Jim Hennessy, spokesperson for the force, in a news release. Three people were taken into custody just after 3:30 p.m., he said. Members of the Patrol Unit and Emergency Tactical Services were called and cleared the scene just before 5 p.m. without incident, Hennessy said. In an email, Hennessy said he couldn't share information on the persons arrested as police are investigating the incident.
DÜSSELDORF, Germany — Erling Haaland walked off the field looking physically and emotionally drained, clutching a shirt he’d been given by an opponent after Borussia Dortmund lost to Manchester City in the Champions League quarterfinals. Haaland may have his own City shirt next season. Dortmund is in danger of failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League for the first time since 2010-11, and that could fracture the squad. The club is in fifth place in the Bundesliga with six games left to make up a seven-point gap for the final Champions League place. With each loss, the chance of seeing Haaland in the yellow and black of Dortmund next season seems to drop further. Players like Haaland, Jude Bellingham, Jadon Sancho and Gio Reyna didn’t choose Dortmund so they could play in the Europa League. Haaland’s agent has already made it clear he is looking at other clubs for his client, and there’s no lack of interest. City manager Pep Guardiola raved about the 20-year-old Haaland’s talent, and Bellingham’s, too, after the win Wednesday in Dortmund. That all raises the question of what Dortmund is trying to achieve. At its best, the team is exhilarating to watch, the young stars combining with more experienced players such as Marco Reus to produce exciting soccer and challenge for trophies — but never quite win them. At its worst, it’s an underperforming team trapped in an endless rebuild as bigger clubs pick off its best players. The rise of Leipzig means there’s now another German club following a Dortmund-style model of focusing on young talent, but with more league success. Dortmund is making a show of stability. Sporting director Michael Zorc insisted last week that the club plans to keep Haaland in its squad next season. Club officials point to Dortmund’s healthy financial position amid the coronavirus pandemic, a relic of past big sales like Ousmane Dembele’s move to Barcelona in 2017. Addressing “the rich clubs in the world,” CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told the BBC on Wednesday that Dortmund could not be browbeaten into selling players at a discount. “They must know this is the price. It is not another price,” he said, pointing to last year’s prolonged and ultimately fruitless talks with Manchester United over Sancho. Dortmund has also made some missteps when it comes to coaches. Before he was fired in December, Lucien Favre’s two-year tenure produced spectacular high-scoring games, but also farcical defensive collapses. Dortmund named Edin Terzic as interim coach and went about seeking a successor, settling on Marco Rose for next season. Since that move was announced in February, though, Rose has won only two of 10 games with Borussia Mönchengladbach while Terzic has won praise for his Dortmund team’s combative performance against City. Dortmund’s game against Werder Bremen on Sunday could offer the ideal breather after the Champions League exit. Bremen has lost its last four league games and Dortmund could cut the gap to the top four if third-place Wolfsburg drops points against leader Bayern Munich. If Dortmund can’t beat Bremen, though, a season in the Europa League looks all but certain while Haaland could be back in the Champions League with a City shirt on his back. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports James Ellingworth, The Associated Press
Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez and former New York Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez called off their engagement because "we are better as friends," announcing the breakup on Thursday just months after denying their four-year relationship was on the rocks. “We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so," Lopez, 51, also known by her nickname J.Lo, and Rodriguez, 45, known as A-Rod, said in a joint statement. "We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects,” Lopez and Rodriguez said.
From its leather bar stools and checkered walls to the bright neon cowboy galloping over the front door, Surrey's Round Up Cafe has long connected B.C.'s fastest-growing community to its humble roots. The post-war family-run diner, known for its home-style breakfasts and Ukrainian fare, has lasted more than six decades on Surrey's King George Boulevard. "It was a gathering spot," said co-owner Dennis Springenatic, whose parents bought the restaurant in 1959. It quickly became a cornerstone in the emerging Whalley neighbourhood. "There was a lot of history here in the '60s and '70s. A lot of families grew up here," said Springenatic. Bacon, eggs and perogies are among the specialty dishes at Surrey's Round Up Cafe.(Round Up Cafe/Facebook) But like many restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Round Up Cafe has fallen on hard times. It shut down for eight months in 2020, reopening in December. But Springenatic says it won't be able to recover from the latest round of "circuit breaker" restrictions, which have prohibited indoor dining throughout B.C. Public health is expected to extend the health measures into May, according to the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association. The measures were originally set to expire on April 19. Springenatic says the family plans to close the Round Up Cafe for good, as its limited patio seating can't generate enough business to keep the doors open. "It wasn't on our terms to go out," he said. "It took a pandemic to shut us down, and it's disappointing." Local landmark The bright neon sign on the front of the building has been there longer than the Springenatic family has owned the business. Husband and wife restaurateurs Orest and Goldie Springenatic, Dennis's parents, purchased the property from its previous owners, who operated the restaurant under the same name. After the first five years, the family got involved with Whalley Little League and helped build it up. The restaurant became a go-to spot for families after baseball and hockey tournaments. A picture of Goldie and Orest Springenatic hangs on the wall inside the Round Up Cafe.(Round Up Cafe/Facebook) At night, more boisterous crowds would roll in. For the first two decades, it was open 24-7, and was steps away from local party hot spots like the since-demolished Flamingo Hotel. "Back in the '70s when the nightclubs were rocking, a lot of people would come here after the bar shut down, and have fries and gravy," said Dennis Springenatic. "It was a very family and community oriented place over the years." Owner Goldie Springenatic bought the restaurant with her husband in 1959. The pair previously ran a restaurant in Boston Bar.(Round Up Cafe/Facebook) Last stand The cafe is one of the few landmarks of its era still standing as new developments and highrises replace aging buildings. Despite the family owning the building, the pandemic has made it difficult for them to keep up with operating costs. The recent indoor dining restrictions and their expected extension is enough to make them call it a day. The restaurant's makeshift patio can sit about a dozen customers while the empty indoor dining area can seat more than 40. "It's made it tough to even break even, and try to get ahead," said Springenatic. "It's discouraging for all the restaurants." Springenatic says he doesn't know what's next for the decades-old site, but he says the family will likely try to rent out the building. As for the neon sign above, he hopes it can be maintained and displayed inside a local museum or heritage centre. "The legacy is just ... really good memories."
The RCMP say a body found near Saint Andrews last weekend was that of a 68-year-old woman who disappeared in the area last December. Police don't believe foul play was a factor in her death. Wilhelmina (Wilma) Catherine Montgomery was reported missing on Dec. 8, 2020, after not being seen since around noon in Saint Andrews the day before. Her disappearance triggered a response from the Charlotte County Ground Search and Rescue team, which mobilized 20 searchers to look for her in the days after she was last seen. On Saturday, RCMP said the body of a woman was found by a kayaker on Navy Island, near Saint Andrews. "Even though this is not the outcome we were hoping for, we are glad to be able to bring closure to the family," said RCMP Sgt. Christopher Henderson.
EDMONTON — The Alberta Teachers’ Association wants the province to immediately scrap its draft education curriculum for young students and to start over. Association president Jason Schilling says most of his members feel teaching what's being proposed for kids in kindergarten to Grade 6 could damage their development. “This curriculum is fatally flawed,” Schilling said Thursday. “Many of the teachers believe that putting it before children will cause harm. We cannot allow that to happen.” Schilling said the plan is not developmentally appropriate for young kids, is jammed with random facts, and too loosely structured with concepts well over students’ heads. He said it pushes Eurocentric history while giving short shrift to francophone and Indigenous cultures and perspectives. He noted that since the curriculum was introduced by Education Minister Adriana LaGrange two weeks ago, more than 20 school boards have said they will not pilot it in classrooms this fall. They include the public school boards in Edmonton and Calgary. Schilling pointed to a survey of teachers released last week that revealed an overwhelming call for the draft to be overhauled. The proposal has also faced accusations that parts of it have been cribbed or lifted verbatim without citation from Wikipedia and other sources. Advocates, including LaGrange, say it takes a common-sense approach that includes basic concepts, such as multiplication tables, along with real-life skills for the information age, including how to budget and computer code. LaGrange spokeswoman Nicole Sparrow said in a statement that the Alberta government "has been very clear that we want feedback from Albertans on the draft curriculum. "Teachers have been very involved and will continue to be involved in the curriculum development process. Alberta’s government brought together more than 100 Alberta teachers, many who are members of the teachers’ union, to review the draft K-6 curriculum and provide feedback." Schilling said the participation was short and secret. “We had 100 teachers who met for two days that had to sign a non-disclosure agreement," he said. "We have no idea what they said, what they saw, and if the feedback they provided to government was actually taken into account and is reflected in the draft.” He acknowledged teachers can face disciplinary measures if they do not follow lawful direction, such as implementing a curriculum, but added there is a higher principle at stake. “Teachers who believe this curriculum is flawed and potentially damaging to student learning have the professional responsibility and moral right to refuse to participate in any voluntary piloting.” Schilling said he hopes school boards will respect such refusals, but declined to say specifically what the teachers association will do, legal or otherwise, should co-operation turn into confrontation down the road. “We’ll have to cross that bridge when we get to that point, but my hope is that we don’t.” The K-6 curriculum is part of a broader overhaul. A new learning plan for Grades 7 to 10 is to be in place in the fall of 2023, and one for Grades 11 and 12 in September 2024. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2021 Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press