President Joe Biden on Friday paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, as he sent condolences to Queen Elizabeth II. "He was a heck of a guy," Biden told reporters in the Oval Office. (April 9)
President Joe Biden on Friday paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, as he sent condolences to Queen Elizabeth II. "He was a heck of a guy," Biden told reporters in the Oval Office. (April 9)
TORONTO — Ontario is considering extending a stay-at-home order set to expire next week in an effort to control a devastating third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The move would keep thousands of businesses closed and outdoor recreational facilities shut, despite critics saying the latter would help boost deteriorating mental health among residents. Health Minister Christine Elliott said Monday that experts are advising the government to "stay the course" with restrictions set to lift May 20, even as case counts and hospitalizations have begun to decline."We're looking at that information on a daily basis," she said, of the province's COVID-19 figures. "(Medical experts) have advised us to stay the course for now, but we really need to see a pretty significant drop in the numbers of cases."The province reported 2,716 new cases of COVID-19 Monday, along with 19 more deaths. The cases were based on more than 27,000 tests.The province's top doctor said he would like to see "well below 1,000" daily cases before Ontario lifts the stay-at-home order. Dr. David Williams stressed that while the province is bending the pandemic curve, it has not brought the numbers down far enough.Ontario declared a state of emergency and invoked the stay-at-home order in early April amid skyrocketing cases.The government has already taken steps towards maintaining restrictions – last week it extended the state of emergency to June 2, paving the way for Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet to prolong the stay-at-home order under that declaration.Under the order, stores providing essential goods remain open but are only permitted to sell grocery and pharmacy items. Non-essential retailers are limited to curbside pickup and delivery. Restaurants and gyms are closed for in-person service. The province has also shut outdoor recreational facilities, except playgrounds, saying the measure is meant to discourage mobility at a time when residents are expected to stay home as much as possible. The government's science advisers criticized the restriction of outdoor activities, saying they will not control COVID-19 and disproportionately harm children and those who don't have access to their own green space. On Monday, Toronto's board of health called on the province to reopen outdoor recreational amenities."People need ways to get outside and enjoy the outdoors safely," board chairman Joe Cressy said in an online statement, adding the province must ensure " access alongside rigorous safety measures."The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Mayors and Chairs, meanwhile, asked the province to provide "predictability" when it comes to restrictions. "As the Victoria Day long weekend approaches, people and businesses have begun to ask perfectly reasonable questions as to where things will stand as of that time, so they can make plans of all kinds, business and pleasure," the group said Monday. "We think it is important that the Ontario government communicate clearly and as soon as possible whether or not its order will be extended further or modified based on public health advice."The latest developments come as Ontario hospitals remain under immense pressure. Non-urgent surgeries have ramped down, patients are transferred between facilities and staff have re-deployed in an effort to handle an onslaught of COVID-19 patients. There are currently 1,632 people hospitalized with the virus, with 828 in intensive care units.Ontario's fiscal watchdog said it will take approximately three and a half years to clear the surgical backlog from the pandemic.In a report Monday, the Financial Accountability Officer projected that the backlog of cancelled surgeries will reach 419,200 procedures by the end of September.Peter Weltman estimated it will cost the province $1.3 billion to clear the backlog, and noted the government allocated $610 million in its latest budget to address the issue. He also said his projections on clearing the backlog assume hospitals will be able to operate at 11 per cent above pre-pandemic volumes.Overall, the FAO said the province will have a $61.9 billion spending shortfall in the health-care sector over the next nine years and will need to introduce spending restraints to reach health sector spending targets."I hope our report sort of pulls the cover off and says there's a big problem here," Weltman said. "The problem is only going to get bigger, and I think the pandemic may have accentuated that."Meanwhile, Ontario said it is adding health-care workers to a list of high-risk employees prioritized for their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.Health-care workers were among the first groups to be prioritized for a first dose of the shot. However, the province later extended dosing intervals for COVID-19 vaccines from 21 days to four months, which means many workers are still waiting for the second dose.The province said the workers can begin booking second doses by the end of this week.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2021. Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press
Premier Scott Moe has announced that Saskatchewan has now reached the COVID-19 vaccination threshold, and Phase One of the province's reopening plan is expected to begin later this month. On Sunday, Premier Moe announced 71 per cent of people over the age of 40 have now been vaccinated, meeting the criteria the provincial government has set out to begin reopening the province. The reopening date is now tentatively set for May 30, three weeks after the vaccination target is reached. Phase One of the plan will mean household bubbles can expand to ten people and public indoor gatherings will be allowed to be up to 30 people. As well, restaurants and bars will be able to reopen, with a maximum of six people at a table, with two metres between tables. Places of worship will be allowed to open at 30 per cent of capacity, or 150 people, whichever is less, with physical distancing between households. On Sunday, Moe said the province had the highest number of vaccinations in one day, at 13,651 people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The province noted 59 per cent of adults 30 and older have been vaccinated so far. For Phase Two of the province's reopening plan, 70 per cent of people over 30 will have to be vaccinated. Business plan Business leaders in downtown Saskatoon are ready to welcome back patrons as the province sets a timeline for its reopening plan, but they know they'll have to take it slow and experts say a calm, and cautious approach is needed. "Unless we want to have a resurgence and a fourth wave we're going to have to do so very, very cautiously and very carefully, so I think all businesses need to get that message," said Dr. Cory Neudorf, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan's Department of Community Health and Epidemiology and public-health physician. Neudorf says business leaders need to take care to maintain best practices, similar to what they adapted last spring after Saskatchewan's initial COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, but said with the presence of variants, even more care must be taken. He also noted a more complete reopening won't be able to happen safely until more people get their second dose of the vaccine. "I think we have a bit of work ahead of us yet," said Neudorf. The relaxed restrictions will allow an increase in the number of people who are allowed to sit at a table in a restaurant, climbing from four to six, will see households be able to mingle again and also see gathering numbers climb as well. Brent Penner is the executive director of the DTNYXE Business Improvement District in Saskatoon. He says businesses have been following best practices closely for months and he's confident that work will continue, even as businesses get busier. "We're certainly looking forward to the ability to have more people in restaurants, hopefully more people willing to travel, those sorts of things, but I think the mere fact we've been doing this now for well over a year, people know what to expect." Penner says in his own experiences shopping downtown, he constantly sees people keeping their distance from one another and businesses taking steps to protect themselves like counting customers and offering hand-sanitizing stations. He also stressed its important for people to continue being respectful and patient as businesses see a pick up in patrons. "It's basic," he said. "Treat those employees as you'd like to be treated in that situation." Premier Scott Moe said in a news release on Sunday while the Government of Saskatchewan has reached its first threshold for re-opening, its ambitions around vaccinations are "not slowing down." "In fact, they are speeding up," said Moe in the release. As of Sunday, more than 50 per cent of all Saskatchewan adults have now received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
A contractor in Ontario's cottage country already accused of bilking cottagers through alleged renovation scams has been arrested again, provincial police say. Scott "Scottie" Eisemann, who works in the Muskoka region northwest of Toronto, was already awaiting trial on fraud charges laid last November when he allegedly defrauded more individuals. OPP Const. Ted Dongelman says Eisemann, 51, is facing charges for a handful of new offences. "This past week, the OPP arrested and charged the individual with ... three counts of fraud over $5,000 and two counts of obtaining [money] by false pretence," he told CBC News. They relate to four separate investigations launched between November 2020 and February 2021. Two involve cottagers in southern Georgian Bay and the Orillia area who claim they paid Eisemann for construction work that was never completed. The others relate to a loan police say Eisemann obtained using allegedly fraudulent information, and a subcontractor who claims he was paid with a fraudulent cheque. Police won't say how much money the alleged victims lost, but CBC news has learned one of the charges relates to a deposit of about $17 000 a GTA couple paid Eisemann for work on their Georgian Bay property. 'Buyer beware' Eisemann was previously arrested in November and accused of bilking other cottagers in Parry Sound and the south Muskoka area. Eisemann ran Cottage Life Construction, which filed for bankruptcy last year owing cottagers and contractors more than $316,000. "If you are considering hiring a contractor, I suggest doing your homework, finding a reputable company or contractor and check references, check numerous references, do your homework. and buyer beware," Dongelman told CBC News. Eisemann has not responded to emails or calls from CBC News. He's also used the names Scott Evan and Scott Daniels. In July, 2014, Eisemann pleaded guilty to defrauding a 92-year-old, legally-blind Toronto woman out of more than $130,000. Eisemann convinced the woman her home needed urgent repairs. A court ruled the repairs, in most cases, were unnecessary. Eisemann was sentenced to two years in prison as a result. In 2106, he opened Cottage Life Construction. Cottager still high and dry, out $60K Liz Saunders is another cottager who's filed a fraud complaint against Eisemann to the OPP in Bracebridge. For the past 10 months, her modest cottage has been suspended on blocks two metres in the air after she allegedly paid Eisemann about $64,000 to raise it, build a new foundation, and have the cottage set back down. She says she had researched Eisemann's company but only found out later he hadn't given her his real name. Liz Saunders's Bracebridge cottage has been sitting on blocks since last summer. She's filed a police complaint against Scott Eisemann. (John Lancaster/CBC News) She claims Eisemann walked off the job with her money, leaving the cottage her grandfather built in 1931 in a precarious position. "I was devastated because the whole point was to save the cottage for future generations. And he talked a good talk, walked a good walk," she told CBC News. She says the OPP continue to investigate her complaint. "The day I had to go and tell my mom, because my mom and I owned the cottage jointly, was one of the worst days of my life because I had to say, 'You know, all that money you gave me, mom, it's gone.'" Eisemann is scheduled to appear in court later this month on the latest charges.
For more than a year now, the state of America's live music industry has been a grim one. The COVID-19 pandemic threw hundreds of thousands of musicians, roadies and other touring industry professionals out of work, according to the Country Music Association. In Tennessee alone, the industry's unemployed number around 50,000. Compounding the problem, the jobs in restaurants and other hospitality businesses that have long sustained out-of-work entertainers were drastically slashed, too. Now, in response to the crisis, the music association is expanding its efforts to help the industry's needy. It's announcing Monday that it will provide 4 million meals in cities with large populations of musicians and music industry professionals in a new partnership with Feeding America. The trade organization’s foundation will also launch a donation challenge to fund an additional 1 million meals throughout all of Feeding America's food banks. And its Music Industry COVID Support (MICS) Initiative will help those in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. All of that will come on top of $3 million that the CMA has invested in numerous nonprofits that serve music professionals. “Nobody wants to think about their friends or colleagues going without food,” said Sarah Trahern, the association’s CEO. “But I’ve been out at a couple of the food banks that we’ve done work with over the last year, and it’s us. As people, you think, ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’” “I feel like by next year we’re going to be in good stead,” she said. “But a lot of those people will have gone 18 months to 24 months without salaries in their chosen fields. And then you can’t put a roof over your head or put braces on your kids or put food on the table.” The need to help those musicians and music industry professionals make it through the next few months is why the CMA opted to expand its MICS initiative. And it’s why country superstar Blake Shelton said he is proud to have been part of the initiative in helping drum up financial support for the food banks. “There are a lot of people struggling in our country, and COVID has only made that worse,” Shelton said in an interview with The Associated Press. “People are going to bed hungry at night now more than ever, and I just can’t live with that. I’ve been passionate for a long time about helping folks get the food they need.” Since beginning his recording career in 2001, Shelton has never been off the road for as long as he has now, though his work on “The Voice” has kept him busy when he hasn’t been on his Oklahoma ranch with his fiancée, Gwen Stefani, and their families. He said he feels fortunate to have been able to keep paying his band and crew over the past year, allowing his band members to be “busy working on different musical projects, keeping their skills sharp!” “This pandemic has affected people all across the country, working in all different kinds of industries, from restaurants to schools to travel,” Shelton said. “What more can be done? The world is starting to open up again, and tours and shows are being announced daily. So go support your favourite artists, bands, orchestras, theatres. Of course, do it safely, but let’s have some fun again!” That’s what Amberly Rosen yearns to do. Rosen, one-half of the folk-dance duo The Rosen Sisters, has toured with numerous artists. She has played arenas and major festivals with country star Terri Clark and “Late Night with David Letterman” with Maddie and Tae. And she wants very much to get back to entertaining people. "There was a ton of disappointment last year,” said Rosen, a violinist who was trained at the Berklee College of Music and now lives in Nashville. “I can’t wait to have joyful moments with people again, when we can be with each other just a little bit.” Rosen remembers the day early in the pandemic when she received one call after another cancelling concerts, tours and other gigs for months into the future. When even her backup job as a violin teacher slowed to a crawl, she grew worried. “It was totally terrifying,” said Rosen, 34. “I’ve always worked in music. It’s what I do. It’s who I am. All of a sudden, I couldn’t do my job.” As she looked for ways to cut costs, Rosen heard about a program from Musically Fed, one of the initiatives the CMA began supporting in 2020, that would give unemployed musicians $100 vouchers to spend at a local farmers market. “It was so helpful, and I was so grateful to have that,” Rosen said. “But it was a personal struggle because I worried, ‘Am I needy enough for this?’ I’ve always been capable of taking care of myself, but this time there were really no jobs in my field.” That’s a common feeling, especially during the pandemic, when so many found themselves so quickly in need, said Nancy Keil, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, one of the nonprofits that will benefit from the expanded MICS initiative. About 40% of people who visited food banks in the past year, she said, had never come before. Part of her group’s challenge is to educate people to accept help when they need it. “When people just don’t have jobs, you have a need,” Keil said. “You can’t just find food somewhere. You need someone to help. It’s so basic.” Second Harvest, it turns out, needs some help of its own. In 2020, the food bank experienced a 50% increase in demand for its services — which, Keil said, meant that about 450,000 more people in Middle Tennessee became food insecure. Financial donations rose last year. But they didn’t completely cover the costs of increasing staff and buying more supplies because food donations from now-closed restaurants tumbled. “This funding support from the CMA is going to be huge,” Keil said. “When we looked at the numbers from the last recession, it took 10 years to get back to pre-recession numbers. We’re hoping that this time it will take much shorter.” ___ The Associated Press receives support from the Lilly Endowment for coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits. The AP is solely responsible for all content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy. Glenn Gamboa, The Associated Press
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The debate over Newfoundland and Labrador's troubled, pandemic-delayed election moved to the courtroom today in the form of several challenges of results.Three former candidates have applied to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador to have the results in their ridings overturned, and one of them — NDP Leader Alison Coffin — is also seeking a judicial recount of her narrow loss.Coffin was defeated in the St. John's East-Quidi Vidi riding by just 53 votes and has asked that the ballots be recounted, alleging issues with the original count.She has also filed a separate application to have the results in her district overturned and a byelection called, as have former Progressive Conservative candidates Jim Lester and Sheila Fitzgerald.Lester lost his seat in the Mount Pearl North district by 109 votes and Fitzgerald lost the race in St. Barbe-L'Anse aux Meadows by 216 votes.The three applications to nullify results will be back in court at a later date, while Justice Donald Burrage said he will rule by Wednesday on the NDP arguments for a recount in Coffin's district.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2021. The Canadian Press
Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health wants to see less than 1,000 daily reported COVID-19 cases to ease provincial restrictions.
BERLIN — Germany's powerful Catholic progressives are openly defying a recent Holy See pronouncement that priests cannot bless same-sex unions by offering such blessings at services in about 100 different churches all over the country this week. The blessings at open worship services are the latest pushback from German Catholics against a document released in March by the Vatican’s orthodoxy office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which said Catholic clergy cannot bless same-sex unions because God “cannot bless sin.” The document pleased conservatives and disheartened advocates for LGBTQ Catholics around the globe. But the response has been particularly acute in Germany, where the German church has been at the forefront of opening discussion on hot-button issues such as the church’s teaching on homosexuality as part of a formal process of debate and reform. The dozens of church services celebrating blessings of gay unions are the latest escalation in tensions between conservatives and progressives that have already sparked alarm, primarily from the right, that part of the German church might be heading into schism. Germany is no stranger to schism: 500 years ago, Martin Luther launched the Reformation here. Pope Francis, who has championed a more decentralized church structure, has already reminded the German hierarchy that it must remain in communion with Rome during its reform process, known as a “synodal path." In Berlin, the Rev. Jan Korditschke, a Jesuit who works for the diocese preparing adults for baptism and helps out at the St. Canisius congregation, will lead blessings for queer couples at a worship service May 16. “I am convinced that homosexual orientation is not bad, nor is homosexual love a sin,” Korditschke told The Associated Press in an interview Friday. “I want to celebrate the love of homosexuals with these blessings because the love of homosexuals is something good.” The 44-year-old said it is important that homosexuals can show themselves within the Catholic Church and gain more visibility long-term. He said he was not afraid of possible repercussions by high-ranking church officials or the Vatican. “I stand behind what I am doing, though it is painful for me that I cannot do it in tune with the church leadership,” Korditschke said, adding that “the homophobia of my church makes me angry and I am ashamed of it.” The head of the German Bishops Conference last month criticized the grassroots initiative for gay blessings which is called “Liebe Gewinnt” or “Love Wins.” Limburg Bishop Georg Baetzing said the blessings “are not suitable as an instrument of church political manifestations or political actions.” However, Germany's powerful lay organization, the Central Committee of German Catholics, or ZdK, which has been advocating for gay blessings since 2015, positioned itself once more in favour of them. It called the contentious document from Rome “not very helpful" and explicitly expressed its support for ”Love Wins." “These are celebrations of worship in which people express to God what moves them," Birgit Mock, the ZdK's spokeswoman for family affairs, told the AP. “The fact that they ask for God's blessing and thank him for all the good in their lives — also for relationships lived with mutual respect and full of love — that is deeply based on the Gospel,” Mock said, adding that she herself was planning to attend a church service with gay blessings in the western city of Hamm on Monday in which she would pray for ”the success of the synodal path in which we, as a church, recognize sexuality as a positive strength." The ZdK has been taking part in the “synodal path” meetings for more than a year with the German Bishops Conference. They are due to conclude in the fall. The meetings include talks about allowing priests to get married, the ordination of women and a different understanding of sexuality, among other reforms. The process was launched as part of the response to revelations of clergy sexual abuse. “We're struggling in Germany with a lot of seriousness and intensive theological discourses for the right path,” Mock added. “Things cannot continue the way they did — this is what the crimes and coverups of sexual abuse showed us." "We need systemic changes, also regarding a reassessment of the ecclesiastical morality of sexuality,” Mock said. Kirsten Grieshaber, The Associated Press
Regina police have charged a man and two boys with attempted murder after two people were found with apparent stab wounds. On Sunday at about 1:15 a.m. CST police were called to an alley in the 1500 block of Retallack Street. for a report of an injured man, according to a police news release. A member of the canine unit found a 41 year-old man who was bleeding profusely from several apparent stab wounds. Officers provided first aid to the man until EMS could transport him to hospital. Police then found a second man, 49, who appeared to have also sustained stab wounds and was taken to hospital. Additional officers were called in and set up a perimeter around the area. They found two suspects who were arrested without incident. Further investigation led police to a third suspect believed to be in a home in the 3400 block of Dewdney Avenue. Police said they entered the house with a warrant and arrested the suspect without incident. A 37-year-old man and two boys have each been charged with two counts of attempted murder — along with break, enter and commit robbery — as a result. They all made their first court appearance on Monday morning.
Two men from Cape Breton have been fined for getting too close while in the process of allegedly stealing a TV. Cape Breton Regional Police responded to a reported theft from the Superstore in Glace Bay on Friday. Officers charged a 41-year-old man from River Ryan and a 56-year-old man from New Waterford with theft. They also issued each man a ticket under the Health Protection Act for failing to self-isolate from one another, which now carries a fine of $2,000. Under current Public Health restrictions, residents can only come in close contact with their household, or allow one or two others in their bubble if they are a small household. Man fined for leaving own municipality On Sunday, officers also responded to a George Street address in Sydney where a woman was complaining of an unwanted male, whom she knew, "causing mischief" at her home. Officers found a 48-year-old man from Victoria County nearby. He was charged with public intoxication and fined $697.50 for failing to comply with the Emergency Management Act, which bans any non-essential travel outside one's own municipality. Two people ticketed in Halifax In the Halifax area, police also issued three tickets last week in two separate incidents. Officers were called to a Bedford apartment building Friday morning after a report that a man was not following provincial regulations while in the public areas of the complex. A 40-year-old Bedford man was ticketed for not wearing a mask, which carries a fine of $2,000. Halifax Regional Police also fined the same teenager twice. On Friday, police ticketed a 17-year-old for not self-isolating as required. The same youth was ticketed again Sunday for the same reason. Both tickets carry fines of $2,000. MORE TOP STORIES
Drone video of two critically endangered North Atlantic right whales swimming in Cape Cod Bay shows the animals appearing to embrace one another with their flippers. (May 10)
Alberta reported 1,597 new cases of COVID-19 Monday and seven new deaths, as the province's COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opened up to everyone in the province age 12 or older. The province has now seen 1,916,957 doses of vaccine administered, an increase of 27,918 from the previous day. So far, 318,841 Albertans have been fully immunized with two doses of vaccine. As of end of day Sunday, about 35.7 per cent of Alberta's population had received at least one dose. In a social media post, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said more than 112,000 Albertans age 12 and older had booked vaccine appointments as of 2:30 p.m. Monday, the first day of the newly expanded eligibility. Labs completed 13,921 tests for COVID-19 Sunday, with a positivity rate around 11.4 per cent. Hospitalizations from COVID-19 continue to rise. Across the province, 690 people were being treated in hospital for the disease, an increase of 22 from the previous day. Included in the total were 158 patients in intensive care. Alberta had 25,438 active cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday. Here's how those cases break down regionally: Calgary zone: 11,539 Edmonton zone: 5,944 North zone: 3,762 Central zone: 2,807 South zone: 1,335 Unknown: 51 The latest R-value information, the number of people infected by each infected person, shows that spread of COVID-19 had slowed across the province last week, except for the Calgary zone. Here are the latest R-value numbers from May 3 to May 9: Alberta, province-wide: 1.00 Edmonton zone: 0.96 Calgary zone: 1.06 Rest of Alberta: 0.94 On Monday, the World Health Organization classified the B1617 variant, first found in India, as a global variant of concern. So far, six cases of that variant have been detected in Alberta. There are currently 10,673 active variant cases in Alberta, though the province recently reduced its variant testing and is no longer screening all positive cases for variants of concern.
OTTAWA — New Democrats have joined forces with the Liberals to cut short initial debate on a bill aimed at ensuring a federal election could be held safely, if need be, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The move ensures that Bill C-19 will be put to a second reading vote Tuesday, allowing it to be referred to a House of Commons committee for greater scrutiny and potential amendments. Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet says the move short-circuits democracy on a bill meant to protect democracy. Conservatives are complaining bitterly that they've had only four hours to debate the bill since it was introduced almost five months ago. But they also ate up the three hours that were supposed to be devoted to C-19 today, using a procedural tactic that forced the Commons to debate instead a committee report on the Line 5 pipeline dispute with Michigan. NDP MP Daniel Blaikie says his party supported time allocation on C-19 after the Conservatives made it clear they're only interested in blocking the bill. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2021. The Canadian Press
Dwayne De Rosario's soccer credentials are well-established. Named one of Major League Soccer's 25 greatest players, MLS MVP (2011) and two-time MLS Cup MVP (2001 and 2007), the Canadian attacker scored 104 league goals in an MLS career that stretched from 2001 to 2014. Internationally, he earned 81 caps for Canada and tops the list of Canadian men's goal-scorers with 22. De Rosario's attempts to play in Europe and his salary-related frustration in his first go-round at Toronto FC have also been well-documented. But there's plenty more to De Rosario's story and the 42-year-old from Scarborough, Ont., (he turns 43 on May 15) delivers in his autobiography "DeRo: My Life," written with Brendan Dunlop. "It's a lot of things that I haven't really opened up to (before)," De Rosario acknowledged in an interview. It's an enjoyable, easy read. And you will know and understand De Rosario much better for it. From being shot in the eye during a somewhat wild youth (it wasn't a real bullet but it caused a torn retina that still affects him) to his difficulties adjusting to life after soccer, De Rosario does plenty of dishing. Toronto FC and Canada Soccer will not like some passages of the book. De Rosario does not spare either, although he makes it clear that both have come a long way in recent years and are worlds ahead of where they were. "There's something special happening right now," he writes of the current Canadian men's team. "There's a hope and a belief among the national team that wasn't always there. (Coach) John Herdman deserves a lot of credit for that." It's a far cry from having to return Canadian jerseys at a national camp "because we're giving them to the youth team." Or the Sony gift card De Rosario got from Canada Soccer for his second Canadian Player of the Year award in 2006. He sees Canada co-hosting the 2026 World Cup as a "unique opportunity." "I hope that we get it right,'" he said. "There are still things that need to be heavily focused on." As for TFC, De Rosario says the club — in his first stint there — didn't deliver on a promise to make him a designated player and screwed him out of a chance to play for Scotland's Celtic on loan. "Bottom line: treat your stars like they're stars. The people in charge at the time didn't do that, and I had to say goodbye to Toronto," he writes. Looking back, he says "it was a learning curve for both parties, myself and for TFC as well, at that time." De Rosario was eventually traded to first the New York Red Bulls and then D.C. United during the 2011 season, a nomadic campaign that amazingly did not stop him from winning MVP honours. Off the field, he details in the book the toll that that string of moves took on his family. "I think that (2011 season) just encompasses my life in a nutshell," he said in the interview. "Just how I was able to use those obstacles, to use those adversities, to fuel my passion and my hunger on the field. "Because at any time I could have said 'Forget this.' Or I could have given up or went to the team with a bag of emotions. But I knew that wasn't going to serve me (well) so I wanted to go there and prove (to) everyone 'You know what? This is what you're losing.'" De Rosario finished out his career in Toronto, painting a vastly different picture of the franchise in 2014 under then-MLSE boss Tim Leiweke. "The only things that were the same when I went back to TFC were the crest on the shirt and the fans in the stands," De Rosario writes. 'It wasn't the same organization that traded me away. They were different from top to bottom. It was like moving back into your old house after somebody else fully renovated it. "All the little things mattered, and all the big things were done big." TFC is now "up there with the best clubs in the world," he added in the interview. De Rosario retired as Toronto's career leader in goals, assists, shots, shots on goal, game-winning goals and multi-goal games. He remains a club ambassador. In the book, he also details the many steps he took on the soccer ladder before finding a home in MLS — he had tryouts at England's Portsmouth, Hungary's MTK Budapest, Italy's AC Milan and Spain's Barcelona, to name a few. The deals or teams weren't right and he ended up with fellow Canadian Jason Bent — now an assistant coach at Toronto FC — at Germany's FSV Zwickau in a nightmarish European experience that saw both players racially abused. He believes the adversity he faced throughout his career helped shape the man and player he became. "I have no regrets," he said in the interview. "Maybe if certain things, if they had gone different, it would have been interesting to see. I realized in life there are no guarantees and you have to continue to find ways to make it happen, regardless of things you sometimes can't control." Today, he focuses on his DeRo Foundation, which among other things, helps inner city kids with after-school programs. He also runs his own soccer school, the DeRo United Futbol Academy. He believes he has more to give to his sport. And he is a proud father of four. One son, 19-year-old Osaze, is a forward who has spent time with both the Toronto FC academy and the New York City FC system and is currently trying out for a team in Spain. Another, 16-year-old Adisa, is a goalkeeper in the TFC academy. He also has a 22-year-old daughter, Asha, and nine-year-old son, Tinashe. De Rosario says the process of writing the book, which started in 2016, was an "emotional roller-coaster." "I realized I was holding onto a lot of stuff," he said. "It was therapeutic too. It was also refreshing to tell my story. Brendan made it easy." "DeRo: My Life," by Dwayne De Rosario with Brendan Dunlop, ECW Press, 208 pages, $34.95 --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
P.E.I. has one new case of COVID-19, public health officials said Monday shortly after the province confirmed someone was fined over public exposures in Charlottetown in the first week of May. The latest case involves a person in their 20s with a recent history of travel outside Atlantic Canada, a news release said. The person is self-isolating. There is a flight alert associated with the case. People are asked to be on high alert for symptoms if they were on Air Canada flight AC8302 from Montreal to Charlottetown on Saturday, May 8. As well, a person in their 30s who tested positive after recent travel outside Atlantic Canada has been charged for failing to obey public health orders, provincial health officials confirmed to CBC News Monday. When that case was announced, the Chief Public Health Office said it was linked to three new public exposure notifications in Charlottetown: Pilot House on Grafton Street, Montana's on Babineau Avenue and Home Hardware on St. Peter's Road. P.E.I. now has nine active cases of COVID-19. There have been 187 positive cases in total over the past 14 months, with two hospitalizations and no deaths. Reminder about symptoms The symptoms of COVID-19 can include: Fever. Cough or worsening of a previous cough. Possible loss of taste and/or smell. Sore throat. New or worsening fatigue. Headache. Shortness of breath. Runny nose. More from CBC P.E.I.
The federal government, province of P.E.I. and Abegweit First Nation are partnering to reconnect the Scotchfort community to the Hillsborough River. The river was an essential transportation route and food source for previous generations of the Abegweit First Nation, but the Scotchfort community is now separated from the river by Route 2, a major highway that runs through the centre of the province. "I think today's step one," said Abegweit First Nation Chief Roderick Gould Jr. "It's important to appreciate where we were historically and where we've come today." In a joint announcement on Monday morning, the province said it would transfer six hectares of land, between the highway and the river, to the band for a nominal fee of $1. The federal government announced $4.4 million for active transportation and social infrastructure on the land, which will link the corridor to the Confederation Trail as well as to the Hillsborough River. "It's very significant," said Gould Jr. "More so than just a monetary value or just an opportunity for future development and economic, it's historically accurate. It's a respect for where we came from, who we are as a community." 'A really big day' According to a government news release, this plan includes building several structures to ensure safe access to the waterfront and multi-use trail. One of those is a tunnel under the highway. "You just kind of have to run across the highway and it's pretty dangerous," said community member C.J. Cleal. "There will be a tunnel going under the ... highway, It'll just link us to our old heritage land and it'll be safe and it's very good." Community member C.J. Cleal says the announcement is welcome news and he hopes it will make the area safer. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC) Some of the funding announced Monday will go toward the development of the Epekwitk Mena'taqug Centre, a business and retail centre. Initial funding for that project was announced in August 2019. Premier Dennis King said it's "an important day, a big day for P.E.I. and a really big day for the Abegweit First Nation." King said construction on the project is slated to begin this summer and will hopefully wrap up by the fall. "When everyone works together toward the same end we can do really incredible things here in this province," he said. More from CBC P.E.I.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 10:30 p.m. ET on Monday May 10, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 340,118 new vaccinations administered for a total of 16,257,673 doses given. Nationwide, 1,267,117 people or 3.3 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 42,897.053 per 100,000. There were 112,500 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 18,154,594 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 89.55 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 24,249 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 205,902 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 393.22 per 1,000. In the province, 1.85 per cent (9,676) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland and Labrador for a total of 244,930 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 47 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 84.07 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 6,556 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 59,758 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 376.715 per 1,000. In the province, 6.78 per cent (10,750) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 76,725 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 48 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 77.89 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 45,179 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 366,089 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 375.13 per 1,000. In the province, 3.86 per cent (37,699) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 450,600 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 46 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 81.24 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 36,324 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 308,215 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 395.127 per 1,000. In the province, 3.83 per cent (29,878) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 373,815 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 48 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 82.45 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 63,377 new vaccinations administered for a total of 3,781,451 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 441.931 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 4,119,439 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 48 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 91.8 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 94,093 new vaccinations administered for a total of 6,238,778 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 424.722 per 1,000. In the province, 2.68 per cent (393,884) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 7,056,415 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 48 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 88.41 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 7,799 new vaccinations administered for a total of 565,219 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 410.47 per 1,000. In the province, 5.52 per cent (76,060) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 686,160 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 50 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 82.37 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 9,124 new vaccinations administered for a total of 527,257 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 447.149 per 1,000. In the province, 3.93 per cent (46,393) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 542,935 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 46 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 97.11 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 27,918 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,916,957 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 435.47 per 1,000. In the province, 7.24 per cent (318,841) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 2,002,215 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 95.74 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting 116,661 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,159,103 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 420.749 per 1,000. In the province, 2.07 per cent (106,058) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 112,500 new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 2,442,540 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 48 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 88.4 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting 397 new vaccinations administered for a total of 49,836 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 1,194.22 per 1,000. In the territory, 55.72 per cent (23,253) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 55,920 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 130 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 89.12 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting 1,804 new vaccinations administered for a total of 49,811 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 1,103.992 per 1,000. In the territory, 49.87 per cent (22,501) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 58,800 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 130 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 84.71 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting 201 new vaccinations administered for a total of 29,297 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 756.52 per 1,000. In the territory, 33.25 per cent (12,878) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 44,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 110 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 66.43 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published May 10, 2021. The Canadian Press
A Venezuelan non-governmental organization said on Monday eight soldiers from the OPEC nation were being held by a faction of a Colombian rebel group that had issued a statement naming the officers, after fighting broke out along the countries' shared border zone. Javier Tarazona, director of the NGO Fundaredes, showed photos of two pages of a supposed communique from the 10th front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombian (FARC) rebels in which they gave the names of the soldiers calling them "prisoners of war." The document is undated and is addressed to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
After being detained off and on in Dubai since December 2015, Quebec geologist André Gauthier has finally returned to Canada. Originally from the Saguenay–Lac-St-Jean region, Gauthier was a whistleblower who alerted authorities in the United Arab Emirates to irregular dealings in a gold-trading company, Gold AE. But instead of being thanked for his efforts, he was arrested, charged and convicted with committing 73 counts in the very fraud he uncovered. After his arrest, Gauthier spent nearly 16 months in detention in Dubai from December 2015 to April 2017. He later attempted to escape and return to Canada but was stopped in Oman before he could board his flight and was detained there before being extradited back to the UAE. After years away from home, Gauthier, now 68, was finally released and allowed to return to Canada this month. He arrived in Toronto on Wednesday May 5 and is completing the mandatory quarantine for travellers. Cleared of all charges Radha Stirling, Gauthier's laywer, said her client has now been cleared of all charges in connection with the fraud case. Stirling told CBC that the real culprits responsible for the multimillion-dollar fraud fled Dubai before they could be caught and used her client as a scapegoat. She said that Gauthier didn't even have access to the bank accounts that would have allowed him to commit the crimes he was accused of. Stirling is the founder and CEO of the U.K.-based legal and human rights organization Detained in Dubai. "We're so happy that André is finally home," said Stirling in an interview with CBC's Breakaway. "He's been through a lot. He's been stuck in the UAE for years, potentially facing prison for the rest of his life and he had no idea, was this ever going to end?" Stirling said it was thanks to the intervention of Global Affairs Canada that Gauthier's release was secured. "I'm so impressed with what the Canadian government did, essentially. They really went way out of what other governments have done for their citizens: negotiating with the UAE, presenting all of the evidence of André's innocence. And together, both governments worked to ultimately exonerate him and get him home," she said. Years of detention In 2019 two Dubai court-appointed experts who analyzed the facts in the case exonerated Gauthier of any wrongdoing. However, due to a a technicality, Gauthier was only cleared of 11 counts of the total 73. That same year, Gauthier's son Alexis, told The Canadian Press that the family had spent almost $2 million in court fees since his father had been arrested. The family had also lobbied the Canadian government on Gauthier's behalf. Alexis wrote a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2019, appealing for help in his father's case. "I cannot emphasize enough how painful this situation has been for him and all of us who love and miss him," he wrote. "We are scared, exhausted, and heartbroken after years of struggling to free my father from the torment he has endured in the UAE." In June of 2020, after years of detention and legal battles, Gauthier was finally ordered released. However, he had to remain in the country to face civil charges related to the same affair. This explains why his return to Canada was delayed another 10 months.
Recent developments: What's the latest? A new program in Ottawa is making the COVID-19 vaccine as accessible as possible to some of the city's most vulnerable by having a team of health care workers offer them door-to-door in apartment complexes. Vaccine eligibility in Ontario expands at 8 a.m. ET to include jobs such as transit and grocery store employees and the final category of at-risk health conditions. How many cases are there? The region is in a record-breaking third wave of the pandemic that includes more dangerous coronavirus variants, straining contact tracing and pushing hospitals past their limits. As of Monday, 25,446 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 1,374 known active cases, 23,547 resolved cases and 525 deaths. Public health officials have reported more than 46,400 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 43,300 resolved cases. Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 181 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 205. Akwesasne has had more than 670 residents test positive and 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections. Kitigan Zibi has had 34 cases. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had 11, with one death. Pikwakanagan hasn't had any. 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. The transfer of COVID-19 patients from other regions to Ottawa hospitals continues. As of the most recent update Friday, there were 32 COVID-19 patients from other communities in Ottawa ICUs. What can I do? Eastern Ontario: Ontario is under a stay-at-home order until at least May 20. Its health minister says that it will likely be extended. People should only leave home for essential reasons like getting groceries, seeking health care and exercising in their immediate area. The vast majority of gatherings are prohibited. Exceptions include small activities with households and small religious services. Golf courses and tennis and basketball courts are among the closed recreation venues. Ontario has indefinitely moved to online learning. Daycares remain open. 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 are closed, while restaurants are only available for takeout and delivery. Police checkpoints between Ontario and Quebec are not running 24/7. Officers in Ontario have the power to stop and question people if they believe they've gathered illegally. Local health units and communities can also set their own rules, as Ottawa is doing around playgrounds and Prince Edward County is doing around travel. 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. High schools, gyms, theatres, personal care services and non-essential businesses are closed in Gatineau, the Pontiac and Collines-de-l'Outaouais. A view of Gatineau, Que., from across the Ottawa River on May 5, 2021.(Christian Patry/CBC) Private gatherings are banned in those areas, except for a person who lives alone seeing one other household. Distanced outdoor exercise is allowed in groups up to eight people. The curfew is from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Vallée-de-la-Gatineau and Papineau are red zones with looser restrictions, meaning a 9:30 p.m. curfew and allowing secondary schools and non-essential businesses to reopen. People 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. 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 now established. 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. 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. Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands. 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 910,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including about 420,000 doses to Ottawa residents and about 180,000 in western Quebec. Eastern Ontario Ontario is vaccinating people age 50 and older at its clinics. People can book appointments online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900. The province has opened up appointments for people age 18 and up in Ottawa's K1T, K1V and K2V "hot spot" postal codes. Outside the provincial system, Ottawans in the city's priority neighbourhoods above age 18 and Indigenous people above age 16 can check for eligibility and pop-up clinics online with the city. WATCH | Convenience matters for those who can't travel to vaccine clinic: People who are 40 or will be this year can contact participating pharmacies for a vaccine appointment. Pharmacies can offer walk-in vaccines if they wish. Six Ottawa pharmacies in hot spots are offering Moderna vaccines, though supply is limited. Ontario has a staggered expansion plan, allowing everyone over age 18 to make an appointment starting the week of May 24. It expects about two-thirds of adults to have a first dose by the end of May. People as young as age 40 can book through the province starting Thursday. Today, eligibility will include a wider range of health conditions and job types, such as transit and grocery store employees. Ontario is speeding up the second dose for some groups, such as frontline health-care workers and Indigenous people. Local health units have some flexibility in the larger framework, so check their websites for details. Western Quebec Quebec's vaccination plan covers people 30 and older in the Outaouais, along with essential workers and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, including pregnancy. The province is doing a staggered expansion, reaching down to children as young as 12 in June. The next expansion is tomorrow, when people as young as 25 can get immunized. People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone. 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. 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 make an appointment. Check with your health unit for clinic locations and hours. Ontario recommends only getting tested if you fit certain criteria, such as having symptoms, exposure or a certain job. People without symptoms but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one. In western Quebec: Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts. People can make an appointment and check wait times online. Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby. 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. Tyendinaga's council is asking people not to travel there to camp or fish. 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
A former Calgary councillor violated city policies by hiring his assistant's daughter to also work in his office, according to one of his council colleagues. In August 2018, former Coun. Ray Jones hired the woman on what's called a special project contract. She was paid $1,568 every two weeks and ended up staying in the position for 2.5 years. In total, the woman received $96,236 over that time. Jones also used his office budget to provide her with $2,236 in monthly transit passes during her time on contract. Councillors are allowed to hire people on special project contracts for a limited time and for specific purposes, but council policy prohibits councillors from hiring a relative or the common-law spouse of any assistant they already have under contract. Long-time head of council committee Jones, who represented Ward 10, resigned his seat on council last October for health reasons. He had been on council for 27 years. He was also the long-time head of a secretive council committee, the Coordinating Committee of the Councillors' Office (CCCO). The panel oversees the councillors' offices but it doesn't hold any public meetings nor publish any minutes of its deliberations. Ray Jones, who represented Ward 10, resigned his seat on council last October for health reasons.(CBC) After he resigned from council, Jones was replaced by Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart as the chair of CCCO. When she found out that an assistant in the Ward 10 office had a daughter working in the same office, Colley-Urquhart said she acted quickly to remedy the situation. "The contract was coming to an end. I didn't give a reason. I just gave notice that the contract would not be renewed," said Colley-Urquhart. As chair of CCCO, Colley-Urquhart became responsible for the operation of the Ward 10 office after Jones resigned. A short time after the special project contract was terminated, she also let the woman's mother go from that office. CBC News has confirmed that some people who work in the office of the councillors were aware that the mother and daughter were both working in Ray Jones's office. Breach of council policy However, councillors interviewed for this story denied knowing about the situation until after Colley-Urquhart took action. When asked why no one filed a complaint or raised a concern about the breach of council policy, she said it's mystifying. "I wish I knew. The office manager at the time would have known because they execute the contract in partnership with the councillor." That office manager is currently away on long-term disability leave. Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart replaced Coun. Ray Jones as chair of the coordinating committee of the councillors' offices after he resigned from council last October.(Mike Symington/CBC) Even as chair of CCCO, Colley-Urquhart said she still doesn't know what special project the woman was hired to do or why the employment went on as long as it did. "It's unfortunate. I can't claim to know how these things went on for so long but it really points to the role of governance," she said. Council is looking at tightening up rules regarding councillor expenses as well as the rules that govern the operation of their offices. 'This has been a massive cleanup' Colley-Urquhart said it's possible CCCO itself might be done away with. "This has been a massive cleanup to do," she said. "But it really has opened the door to transparency and in the end, we're better for it." Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he didn't know about the situation in Ray Jones's office. But he said that when he found out, he asked questions. "What I can tell you is when that came to my attention and to the attention of others within the city, the situation was handled," said Nenshi. The mayor said that, unlike the mayor's office, the office of the councillors runs fairly independently. "They have different rules. The mayor's staff work for the city," said Nenshi. "The councillors' staff actually personally work for the councillor. So it's always been a little unclear as to which human resources rules apply in situations like that." Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he didn't know about the situation in Ray Jones's office, but said he asked questions when he learned about it.(Adriean Wyld/The Canadian Press) Nenshi said he expects new rules will help prevent such situations in the future. But he also points to a turnover in membership on CCCO as making a difference. "A CCCO that sees its role as oversight and more stringently perhaps than it did before," said Nenshi. Currently, the members of CCCO are Colley-Urquhart (chair), Coun. Jyoti Gondek, Coun. Druh Farrell, Coun. Evan Woolley and Coun. Shane Keating. Prior to October 2020, CCCO members were Jones (chair), Coun. Sean Chu, Coun. Jeromy Farkas, Coun. Joe Magliocca and Coun. Keating.