Tampa Bay, FL, bartender Caroline Lease shows you how to make the perfect Crown Royal cocktail for Tampa Bay Buccaneers gameday, the Black Sails
Tampa Bay, FL, bartender Caroline Lease shows you how to make the perfect Crown Royal cocktail for Tampa Bay Buccaneers gameday, the Black Sails
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Russia came under renewed pressure Monday to explain the nerve agent attack on opposition figure Alexei Navalny as the annual meeting of the global chemical weapons watchdog got underway amid measures aimed at reining in the spread of coronavirus. Navalny fell ill on Aug. 20 during a domestic flight in Russia, and was flown to Germany for treatment two days later. His allies accused the Kremlin of poisoning its fiercest opponent. Tests carried out by labs in Germany, France and Sweden and by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons established that Navalny was exposed to a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent. The organization's director-general, Fernando Arias, told Monday's meeting that according to the Chemical Weapons Convention, “the poisoning of an individual through the use of a nerve agent is a use of a chemical weapon.” A group of 56 nations issued a statement as the start of the annual meeting of the OPCW's member states urging Moscow to disclose “in a swift and transparent manner the circumstances of this chemical weapons attack.” Russia, which denies involvement in Navalny's poisoning, reacted bullishly in its written statement to the conference. “Instead of trying to look into what had happened, Germany and its allies resorted to megaphone diplomacy, unleashed a mass disinformation campaign against Russia and started to demand some ‘independent international investigation’ under the auspices of the OPCW,” Moscow's statement said. In October, Moscow asked for OPCW experts to visit Russia to provide “technical assistance” in its investigations. Arias said talks are underway to define “all the legal, technical, operational and logistical parameters in order for this visit to take place.” The European Union has imposed sanctions on six Russian officials and a state research institute over the poisoning. Moscow responded earlier this month by announcing that it had adopted sanctions against a number of German and French officials. The OPCW's annual meeting has been broken into two parts amid the coronavirus pandemic. Two days of talks this week will focus on approving the proposed 71.74 million euro ($86 million) annual budget for 2021. The second half of the meeting will take place next year. Mike Corder, The Associated Press
If there's one thing Sheila Levy-Bencheton took for granted, it's that the safety deposit box her father rented from a big bank was secure. That's until her dad passed away in 2017 at age 103.The Toronto woman went to TD Canada Trust to empty the box a few months later, and discovered the bank had already done it years ago — forcing it open by drilling the lock then emptying the contents.The bank drilled open and emptied thousands of safety deposit boxes across the country in 2012 in an effort to get rid of those no longer being used or paid for. It says its policies require the contents to be set aside for safe keeping.But Levy-Bencheton says she's still missing her family's most valued possessions and fighting for compensation. And she's not the only one. Go Public also spoke to an Edmonton man who lost thousands of dollars' worth of irreplaceable 22-karat gold jewelry, who says the bank did the same thing to him."Once it is gone, it's gone," said Suraj Khatiwada.Both he and Levy-Bencheton say they can't believe the bank would open the boxes and remove their possessions."The reason you have a safety deposit box is to specifically put things in a very safe place and not to be tampered with. This was clearly tampered with," Levy-Bencheton said.Missing, she says, is her mother's diamond ring, an 18-karat gold watch bought in 1947, gold and silver coins and thousands of dollars in cash. Those are the items her father — still lucid in his older age — told her he'd stashed at the bank for safe keeping.She's not sure exactly how much cash, but says her father kept it there because her parents were Holocaust survivors, so were always anxious about having easy access to money and valuables in case they needed to run."That's the kind of mentality they lived with," she said.WATCH | Safety deposit boxes emptied:But instead of getting cash and jewelry, the bank handed Levy-Bencheton a pile of paperwork and receipts, a few silver dollar coins and an empty ring box, saying that's all that was in there.Experts say banks operate safety deposit boxes as a side business, with few rules except those they set for themselves."It's called the safety deposit box, but really it's just a contract that has all sorts of provisions in it to protect the banks from liability," said Duff Conacher, co-founder of Democracy Watch, an advocacy group for corporate responsibility and law reform.Levy-Bencheton says TD's rules mean it didn't need to prove anything.She asked for the bank's records showing who had accessed the box before it was drilled open, and for a copy of the registered letter the bank said it sent her father before opening it. The bank didn't have either, she says."It made me suspicious," Levy-Bencheton said. "God knows what happened there."TD tells Go Public the family's box was opened by accident, as part of a "network wide reconciliation process" — one of the 16,000 boxes it drilled open in 2012 for reasons including overdue rent, lost keys or where "required by law." The bank says it has one million boxes across the country and the need to drill them open is rare.Levy-Bencheton fought for more than a year to get any compensation.At first, a bank manager told her the box never existed, but she says that "didn't feel right" since the family had two sets of keys and her dad had told her all about it. So, on a whim, a family member called TD customer service about a week later and asked again."And within five minutes, he got back in the line. He said, 'Yeah, it was here [but] it was drilled in 2012,'" said Levy-Bencheton. "I couldn't believe it."When the family asked why it had been given two different stories, the bank said the manager "was newer to the role and not as resourceful" as the employee on the phone.The bank said there would be no compensation since the family couldn't prove what was in the box and the bank didn't have any records.Instead it offered $250 as a "goodwill gesture."Levy-Bencheton turned the offer down and then moved her complaint up to TD's ombudsman.That went nowhere. Three complaint levels later, in October 2018, the private national mediation company that handles TD complaints — ADR Chambers — said there was a 50-50 chance valuables and cash were missing.After doing a loose accounting, the company found the jewelry was worth about $8,400, and recommended TD to pay Levy-Bencheton and her family half that amount. ADR has been criticized for being biased toward the banks it investigates because they pay fees for its service.Levy-Bencheton turned down the offer, saying it doesn't begin to cover the family's losses. She also wants the bank to have to pay a hefty penalty."We really don't know how much was in there [but] it was more than that for sure," she said."It really caused us a lot of aggravation. We've lost a lot of sentimental things and the only language the bank knows is money … so we have to hit them where it hurts."The family has hired paralegal George Berger to help get answers from TD — and maybe file a lawsuit."They refused to provide information about what exactly happened," Berger said.'Once it is gone, it's gone'Suraj Khatiwada of Edmonton is still missing his wife's 22-karat gold wedding bangles, necklace and wedding ring after TD Canada Trust also "inadvertently" opened his safety deposit box without his permission.He says it happened sometime between 2015, the last time he opened the box himself, and 2017, when he discovered the bank had drilled the lock. After months of back and forth and an investigation by the bank's ombudsman, TD apologized and awarded him $12,000 for the missing jewelry. He says he didn't have any proof, but did provide photos of the jewelry to the bank.At the time the bank promised to investigate, but has yet to explain how the items went missing. "That is a very unfortunate thing … we cannot replace the sentimental value of those things," said Khatiwada, who immigrated from Nepal in 2010. "In Western culture, the wedding ring is very valuable. But in our culture, it's the necklace and also the ring. We have a special ring ceremony, so they are not replaceable."TD spokesperson Carla Hindman says the bank has protocols for forcing open safety deposit boxes including, "ensuring at least two employees, one of whom must be a manager, are always present as they [staff] remove, catalogue, package and securely store the contents." But she didn't say if those rules were followed in the two cases Go Public looked at.Banks have been reprimanded for not taking enough care with safety deposit boxes.In 2002, a B.C. court awarded a woman more than $20,000 in damages after TD drilled hers open, having wrongly concluded her rental was in arrears.And in 2001 and 2006, Canada's privacy commissioner broadly criticized banks for inaccurate record-keeping and for breaking privacy rules related to boxes being opened.The commissioner didn't name which bank or banks were involved in those complaints. Conacher, at Democracy Watch, says bank customers are forced to fight these long battles because rules for how banks manage safety deposit boxes are not part of Canada's Bank Act and are largely unregulated.He says the lack of government rules makes it hard for Canadians to get fair compensation when banks mishandle boxes.Provincial estate laws do mention safety deposit boxes but are limited to how beneficiaries gain access after someone dies."If [something] goes missing, then not only do you have a contract that protects the bank, but you also have the burden of proof to prove that the bank has not handled that box properly."That's a really big hurdle for any consumer to try and climb over to get accountability," Conacher said. He's calling on the federal government to update the Bank Act to include safety deposit boxes.Go Public asked the Department of Finance if Ottawa plans to make changes. In a statement, it would only say it regularly reviews laws, "to ensure that Canadians have the protections they need."Unlike regular bank deposits, Conacher says, the contents of safety deposit boxes aren't insured by financial institutions, so owners need to insure valuables themselves as part of home insurance policies and to regularly document what's inside with photos and witnesses.Both Levy-Bencheton and Khatiwada say, after their experiences, they're done with safety deposit boxes.Khatiwada says he still has an account with TD which includes the use of a deposit box, but he told Go Public it's sitting empty."I lost my trust," he said.Submit your story ideasGo Public is an investigative news segment on CBC-TV, radio and the web.We tell your stories, shed light on wrongdoing, and hold the powers that be accountable.If you have a story in the public interest, or if you're an insider with information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, contact information and a brief summary.All emails are confidential until you decide to Go Public. Follow @CBCGoPublic on Twitter.
SURREY, B.C. — Surrey RCMP say a man is dead following a shooting in Fleetwood Sunday evening. They say officers responded to a shooting call around 7:40 p.m. in front of a shopping complex at the corner of 152 Street and Fraser Highway. They say paramedics also attended and provided aid to a wounded man, but he died at the scene. Investigators say the victim is known to police and that they believe he was targeted. No names or suspect information was immediately released. The Mounties say they're assisting the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team with the case and are asking anyone who witnessed the incident or has pertinent video surveillance or dash-cam video to contact them. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020. The Canadian Press
Prince Wong was still in her mother's womb when the Chinese government reclaimed control over Hong Kong from the British in the summer of 1997. For her 23rd birthday this year, Wong posted a photo of herself on Instagram wearing a pastel-striped paper hat trimmed with pink pompoms. On a recent day, Wong spun a gold ring on her finger in continuous circles as she spoke quietly about the past year of her life.
Recent developments: * Ottawa has 29 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one more death.What's the latest?Ottawa has 29 of Ontario's 1,746 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and one more person's death of COVID-19.Ontario has announced another pandemic education payment for families for things such as technology, school supplies and developmental resources.Families can apply to receive $200 for each child under 12, or $250 for a child or youth under 21 with special needs.The federal government will release its long-awaited fiscal update at 4 p.m. ET.How many cases are there?As of Monday, 8,487 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa. There are 344 known active cases, 7,768 cases now considered resolved and 375 people who have died of COVID-19.Public health officials have reported more than 13,900 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 12,500 resolved cases.Ninety people have died of COVID-19 elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 80 in western Quebec. 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?Both Ontario and Quebec are telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with, or one other home if people live alone, to slow the spread of the coronavirus.Ontario says this will apply through December's holidays, with people who live away from home such as post-secondary students asked to reduce close contacts for 10 to 14 days before going back.Quebec has shared what it will take to have at most two small holiday gatherings next month. Rules won't be loosened until mid-January at the earliest.Travel from one region to another is discouraged throughout the Outaouais.Ontario says people shouldn't travel to a lower-level region from a higher one and some lower-level health units want residents to stay put to curb the spread.Ottawa is currently in the orange zone of Ontario's five-colour pandemic scale, which allows organized gatherings and restaurants, gyms and theatres to bring people inside.Three other eastern Ontario health units are under yellow zone restrictions: * The Eastern Ontario Health Unit. * Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health. * Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.That means restaurant hours, table limits and rules around capacity fall somewhere between those in place in Ottawa and the rest of eastern Ontario, which is currently green, the lowest level.In Gatineau and the surrounding area, which is one of Quebec's red zones, health officials are asking residents not to leave home unless it's essential.There is no indoor dining at restaurants and gyms, cinemas and performing arts venues are all closed.The rest of western Quebec is orange, which allows private gatherings of up to six people and organized ones up to 25 — more in seated venues.What about schools?There have been about 200 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19:Few have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there's a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air.People can be contagious without symptoms.This means people should take precautions such as staying home when sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone they don't live with — even with a mask on.Ontario has abandoned its concept of social circles.Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and should be worn outdoors when people can't distance from others. Three-layer non-medical masks with a filter are recommended.Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who've been ordered to do so by their local public health unit. The duration depends on the circumstances in both Ontario and Quebec.Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.What are the symptoms of COVID-19?COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic and resources are available to help.Where to get testedIn eastern Ontario:Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you've been told to by your health unit or the province.People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select pharmacies.Ottawa has nine permanent test sites, with mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.Kingston's test site is at the Beechgrove Complex. The area's other site is in Napanee.People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Limoges, Rockland and Winchester.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls and a mobile test site visiting smaller communities.Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with questions, COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly.In western Quebec:Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.First Nations, Inuit and Métis:Akwesasne has had its most known COVID-19 cases of the pandemic this month, with 22 and counting in its Ontario portion and more on the American side of the border. Its council is asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel.Akwesasne schools and its Tsi Snaihne Child Care Centre are temporarily closed to in-person learning. It has a COVID-19 test site available by appointment only.Its curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. is back and 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.The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte reported its first confirmed case this month.People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.For more information
Brothers Lou and Joe Mikail have found a way to go ahead with their annual turkey giveaway this year. The pandemic threatened to cancel it, but they've decided that instead of having people line up, they will do a drive-through event this year."We've been inundated with calls from individuals who basically rely on what we do each year. And this gets them through the holiday season," Joe said.He and Lou pondered how they can continue the annual event and still be risk-averse."We talked to the city and ... the city has approved us doing a drive-by for the turkey giveaway. And the city was generous enough to allow us to use the festival plaza," Joe said, adding that Windsor Police will be providing assistance with traffic control."So we'll have distancing, but we'll still be able to continue and offer the meals to the people that we've been doing for the past 15 years," Joe said.500 meal packages to be given awayFor the individuals who don't have a car and can't arrange a ride, the brother said they're setting up a system to deliver whatever packages remain from the event to people's homes from a safe distance.Lou added that it's been a difficult year for the community and they didn't want to disappoint those in need."The need is probably twice as much as it usually is in the previous years," he said.The family will be giving away 500 meal packages, made up of a large turkey, corn, potatoes and other trimmings.Each meal package costs about $70 and feeds about 12 people, according to the brothers.This year marks the 16th year the brothers have been running their giveaway.The giveaway will take place on Dec. 18 at 9 a.m. at the festival plaza.
The Niagara Falls of news releases into any journalist's in-box attest that there is always plenty of contention for the moving spotlight of media attention.As early as March of this year, the Pew Research Institute, a think-tank that studies media trends, observed that people had become "immersed in COVID-19 news."And while other issues have occasionally nudged the pandemic and its economic impact off centre stage, it is hard to think of many subjects that have so consistently hogged the limelight for so many months in a row.According to one of Canada's leading environmental economists, that single-minded focus has both diverted and delayed attention on a subject that he expected in 2020 would finally get its moment in the sun: climate change.Shut out by pandemic"For two months or even three, people like me were shut right out because ministers were dealing with aspects of COVID in cabinet," said Mark Jaccard, one of Canada's foremost climate scientists who is often described as an architect of the pioneering carbon-pricing scheme introduced by the B.C. Liberals back in 2008.With what may have turned out to be bad timing, the Simon Fraser University professor's political manual, The Citizen's Guide to Climate Success, finally hit bookstores in February — just before the pandemic began to dominate the news agenda.While inevitably disappointed, the longtime adviser to governments on practical climate economic policy remains philosophical. Jaccard's biggest idea — one that some climate activists may find frustrating — is that the only realistic path to defeating climate change is political action to install "climate-sincere" politicians and governments and then hold their feet to the fire.While personal attempts to eat less meat, say, or buy an electric car make individuals feel good about themselves and may influence a few others, Jaccard insists that the short-term economic advantages of adding carbon to the atmosphere are so lucrative that they require concerted government action to push things the other way.And putting political pressure on governments means garnering media and public attention, something harder to do when the whole world is worried about something that seems far more pressing — namely a deep economic recession caused by a deadly health crisis that just won't go away."You have policy windows," Jaccard said, referring to those moments such as after Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans and the surrounding area in 2005, or following the past year's devastating forest fires in Australia and the U.S. west, when the public and politicians are forced to take climate issues seriously.He said COVID-19 is just the 2020 version of a series of global events that have redirected attention away from the climate change issue just as it was beginning to take off.'We got really excited'"We got really excited about the Kyoto Protocol in the late 1990s, and then along came 9/11 — and everyone got diverted with the U.S. wanting to invade countries in the Middle East," Jaccard said, referring to terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001."And then you could say the same thing when we got excited about Hurricane Katrina, and you had Republicans and Democrats in the mid-2000s putting together policy ... and China started to say, 'Uh-oh we better get going.' And then along came the  financial crisis."As the world, and especially Canada, seemed to be getting the pandemic under control during the summer, climate advocates were hoping their issue would come to the top of the agenda. But subsequent waves of the disease once again pushed COVID-19 stories to the top of the "most read" columns, narrowing the news hole for climate coverage.While political analysts were expecting a nod to green spending in Monday's fiscal update, they say short-term allocations will mostly be diverted, quite reasonably, to bailing out parts of the Canadian economy devastated by a new round of pandemic lockdowns.Jaccard says that has added to delays, as the latest government plan — to use post-pandemic economic recovery spending to advance the green agenda in a way that will finally put Canada on a path to Paris 2030 — has meant previous policy plans and spending have been deferred.Despite the latest postponement, Jaccard remains hopeful. Conversations with conservatives have left him with the impression that even a change of government would not prevent Canada from moving forward on the climate change agenda.And while he thinks the Trudeau government remains "climate-sincere," he says media attention is essential to keep pressure on the Liberals not to spend too much money on political feel-good plans, such as tree planting, at the expense of real measures to cut carbon output. As The Economist reported recently, growing trees in one place doesn't mean they aren't being cut down elsewhere, and natural systems tend to return their carbon back to the atmosphere."If you're allowing someone to keep polluting and then you're sort of convincing yourself that you have offset that or compensated it," Jaccard said, "the careful evidence doesn't support that."Part of Jaccard's continued optimism is due to the election of what looks like a climate-sincere Democratic government south of the border that — even without the support of a Republican Senate — can begin to make greenhouse gas-limiting regulations.The election of a Joe Biden presidency may have created a new "policy window," he said, as the U.S. moves toward existing Canadian schemes such as the coal phaseout regulation, where Canada is a leader. Meanwhile, Jaccard expects a U.S. push toward such things as the clean fuel standard, which will coax Canada into following suit as manufacturers insist on one set of rules for all of North America.Follow Don Pittis on Twitter: @don_pittis
A South Korean court on Monday found former president Chun Doo-hwan guilty of defaming a former democracy activist who was involved in protests against his government in the 1980s and handed him an eight-month suspended jail sentence. The trial was held in the southwestern city of Gwangju, where hundreds, possibly thousands, were believed to have been killed when local citizens rose up against Chun's authoritarian government on May 18, 1980 and were crushed by police, paratroopers and tanks. Chun committed the defamation against Catholic priest and activist Cho Chul-hyun, also known as Cho Bi-oh in his 2017 memoirs, when Chun called Cho a "despicable liar" for testifying that government helicopters had fired on civilians, the ruling said.
Recently, Caroline Arsenault watched parcels being stolen in her own neighbourhood — and didn't even realize. "I happened to see a couple of people walking by the window where I sit for my work and then rapidly walk back toward the street and I didn't think anything of it really," said Arsenault. She later found her husband attempting to contact the police after observing the same people also pace up and down their driveway. He got suspicious. He was right. "He found Amazon packages in our green bin," she said.The thieves had taken two packages. One was emptied of its contents while the other was left torn open with the stuff still inside.Arsenault's North End Halifax neighbourhood had just been hit by a porch pirate. It's not just happening in Halifax."The porch pirate has been a little busier this year unfortunately and now a third of Canadians stated in 2020 that they have been victims of a package theft," FedEx spokesperson James Anderson told CBC News.FedEx has published a survey of 1,500 Canadians this holiday season and found that one in three online shoppers say they have experienced package theft in 2020, up from one in four in 2019. It also found that three in 10 are worried about their online purchases being stolen when delivered. Jon Hamilton, spokesperson for Canada Post, said they haven't seen a noticeable increase in complaints about packages being stolen, but cautioned that doesn't mean it's not a threat. He also noted that many people are now working at home and are able to get their parcel as soon as it is delivered.In other parts of the country, such as Toronto, where lockdown restrictions are more prevalent, more people are able to stay at home to receive their deliveries. In Nova Scotia many businesses and schools remain open in the province so some people are frequently not home and cannot receive their packages.Arsenault posted about the porch bandit on social media and was surprised by the reaction."I had quite a few neighbours chime in and say that they too had found open and empty boxes in their driveway or thrown somewhere it didn't really belong." After Arsenault's neighbour reported the incident to the police, Arsenault herself received a follow up call. "The police confirmed this is something that they see quite a bit of. It's something that we should all be mindful of if we're expecting to receive packages when we might not be available to answer the door or pick them up quickly," she said.Halifax Regional Police have not yet responded to a request for an interview. FedEx, along with Canada Post, DHL courier service, UPS, Amazon Canada and Purolator all offer tracking information online, which FedEx's James Anderson said is one of the primary ways to keep your package safe."We give package recipients digital tools to use at your disposal," said Anderson. "If you got a tracking number you can get a notification sent to you when you expect those packages to arrive so you can stay on top of it."Bob Mann, acting chair of the neighbourhood watch in Wilmot, Annapolis County, N.S., said there are more low-tech ways to protect your deliveries. He said you can try asking a neighbour to pick it up or leave the radio on. Mann said one of his favourite home safety tools is photosensitive lights."If you don't have one yourself, take note," said Mann, who has been with his neighbourhood watch since its creation in 1995. "They light up probably half of my driveway ... at dusk the bulbs will come on and they'll go off in the morning." Cpl. Lisa Croteau of the RCMP said package theft doesn't appear to be a big issue at this time, but that could change, so she does have some advice. "Have a different method to pick it up. Instead of dropping it off on your front porch, if you could go to a different location to pick up the package that would be a little safer."Arsenault said she wanted to make people aware of the incident but she also understands the situation."We know there are probably more packages being delivered at this time of year. Holidays are coming up and times are hard for people so we know this is something that happens," said Arsenault.MORE TOP STORIES
Joyce Quist-Therson's COVID-19 relief package came after months of stretching her pension cheque to cover her groceries."It was really God-sent," she said of the package from the African-Canadian Association of Ottawa (ACAO).The ACAO box includes staples like rice, pasta, potatoes and cooking oil, some of which Quist-Therson said have lasted more than a month so far.Quist-Therson lost her part-time job in March and has been reluctant to go from store to store, hunting for bargains. She's been taking COVID-19 seriously after her brother was hospitalized with the illness this spring. She said he has since recovered, but is still not back to his normal, energetic self."It was very close to home, so I'm not taking any chances at all," she said.Black community harder hit by COVID-19The ACAO, a collection of 53 community organizations, is distributing relief packages — including grocery staples — to help people who've lost income or are required to isolate due to public health restrictions.The city's Black community has been disproportionately affected with COVID-19 diagnoses. Data released last week by Ottawa Public Health shows Black people account for 37 per cent of cases, but just seven per cent of the city's population.Quist-Therson now volunteers for ACAO, scheduling the delivery of those relief boxes.She said she's spoken to parents juggling home schooling their children and nurses who've lost the second jobs they used to make ends meet.Help goes a long wayKerry Ann Thompson, project coordinator for the relief package program, said she tried to think like a recipient in designing the packages."We went through the list and said, what would stretch the most? As opposed to frozen things or even attempting poultry, when some people are vegetarian — we tried to stick to staples," she said.Thompson said they're responding to the needs of larger families and trying to help recently arrived immigrants overcome communication barriers.What's rewarding, she said, is "delivering to a single mom with four kids and just knowing that help will go such a long way."People don't expect that much food. They really think it's going to be a small ration … It's always, 'Wow!'"More help needed, ACAO saysThe program is using Africa World Market's warehouse to assemble and distribute the packages."When ACAO approached us asking for donations, asking to help them source the products at a lower cost so we could reach more families ... we jumped on board," said Mory Kaba, chief operations officer of the store on Cyrville Road.John Adeyefa, president of ACAO, said more donations and volunteers are needed."We have served over 100 families in the Ottawa community, we are expecting to serve much more," he said. "We have so much demand for assistance and we intend to do that."Adeyefa said the group is also distributing cloth masks and coordinating virtual mental health seminars. Those initiatives and the relief packages were funded, in part, by a $60,000 grant from the federal government distributed through the Red Cross.
THE LATEST: * On Monday, health officials announced the deaths of 46 people from over the weekend and 2,364 new cases of COVID-19. * There are 8,855 people with active cases of the disease across B.C. * 316 patients are in hospital with COVID-19, including 75 in intensive care. * 441 people have died of the disease since the pandemic began. * A total of 10,139 people are under active public health monitoring and in self-isolation because of exposure to known COVID-19 cases. * There have been 33,238 confirmed cases in the province to date.B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Monday an unprecedented 46 deaths from COVID-19 over the weekend.A total of 2,364 new cases were added to B.C.'s total, however 277 of them were historical cases previously missed due to an error in data reporting by the Fraser Health region.There are now 8,855 people with active COVID-19 cases in B.C., 316 of whom are in hospital, including 75 in intensive care.The Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions continue to see the greatest spread of the disease, accounting for 73 per cent of the new cases announced Monday. However, 212 of the new cases over the weekend were located in the Interior Health region.Monday's update includes five new outbreaks in the health-care system. Currently, there are 57 active outbreaks in long-term care and assisted living and five in hospitals.Health officials have told British Columbians to pause all social interactions and be vigilant applying different layers of protection, including physical distancing, washing hands and using masks.Review of PHSA spendingA review into spending by the Provincial Health Services Authority has been ordered by B.C.'s Minister of Health Adrian Dix, following allegations of misspending.On Monday, CBC News reported how whistleblowers with intimate knowledge into PHSA operations have come forward with numerous concerns.They accuse B.C.'s central health authority of squandering $7 million on the purchase of unusable face masks from China; hundreds of thousands of dollars on unnecessary renovations to executive offices; and tens of thousands of dollars on high-end catered meals for executives and their staff."I appreciate these allegations being raised to me," Dix said in a statement to CBC News. "I have directed the deputy minister of health to assess PHSA's decisions and conduct ... and provide advice and recommendations to me." COVID-19 finesSeveral fines were issued in Vancouver over the weekend as people continued to violate provincial COVID-19 health orders.The Vancouver Police Department says it issued fines following health order violations at a pair of house parties, a birthday party and inside a limousine.In all instances, there were too many people from different households gathering together.Violation tickets ranged from $230 - $2,300.READ MORE:What's happening elsewhere in CanadaThere have now been more than 370,278 cases of COVID-19 in Canada.On Monday, the federal Liberal government announced it's preparing to spend up to $100 billion to kick start the post-pandemic economy as it stares down a record-high deficit projection of more than $381 billion for this fiscal year.In a long-awaited economic statement, tabled today, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said the government's immediate priority is to do "whatever it takes" to help Canadians and businesses stay safe and solvent.What are the symptoms of COVID-19?Common symptoms include: * Fever. * Cough. * Tiredness. * Shortness of breath. * Loss of taste or smell. * Headache.But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.What should I do if I feel sick?Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911.What can I do to protect myself? * Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean. * Keep your distance from people who are sick. * Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. * Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Nov. 30 ... What we are watching in Canada ... OTTAWA - The federal Liberals will provide Canadians with a long-awaited update on the health of federal finances later today, and potentially unveil a suite of new spending. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will deliver the fall economic statement in the House of Commons this afternoon, after markets close. The economic statement should have a full accounting of pandemic spending so far, and the depth of this year's deficit, which in July was forecast at a historic $343.2 billion amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Estimates vary of how deep a deficit the Liberals will unveil today, with a Scotiabank report Friday saying a range of $400 billion to $450 billion is possible. The government is under pressure to help out industries like travel and restaurants that may take longer to recover from the pandemic. Observers are keeping a close eye on how much spending space new promises take up, which could limit the government's capacity to spend in next year's budget before deficits become permanent. The government is also expected to reveal a small step today towards a national child-care system. --- Also this ... OTTAWA - Erin O'Toole is accusing the Liberal government of putting too much emphasis on partnering with a Chinese company for a COVID-19 vaccine in what turned out to be a failed deal. The Conservative party leader say the Trudeau government only turned its attention to pre-ordering tens of millions of vaccine doses from companies such as Pfizer and Moderna in August when its collaboration between the National Research Council and Chinese vaccine-maker CanSino finally collapsed after months of delays. "I would not have put all our eggs in the basket of China," O'Toole told a Sunday news conference. The government announced its major vaccine purchases in August after it confirmed the CanSino partnership had fallen through. At the time, it said its decision had come after careful consultations with its vaccine task force of health experts. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau created a firestorm last week when he said Canadians will have to wait a bit to get vaccinated for COVID-19 because the first doses off the production lines will be used in the countries where they are made. --- ICYMI ... SAULNIERVILLE, N.S. - A Nova Scotia First Nation says it has received a draft agreement on a "moderate livelihood" fishery, which it calls a potentially groundbreaking recognition of Indigenous treaty rights in Canada. The chief of Sipekne'katik First Nation says he is reviewing a draft memorandum of understanding he received from the office of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan late Friday. Mike Sack says the Sipekne'katik Treaty Fishery has the potential to be a "historic recognition" of treaty rights, as it would allow the Mi'kmaq community to legally sell their catch. Mi'kmaq fishers faced violence and vandalism last month after launching a rights-based fishery in southwest Nova Scotia. The attacks prompted widespread condemnation and calls for clarification on Mi'kmaq treaty fishing rights. Sack says the agreement would make good on the Supreme Court of Canada's recognition of Indigenous treaty rights in its landmark 1999 Marshall decision. The ruling affirmed the Mi'kmaq treaty right to fish for a "moderate livelihood," though it was later clarified by the court that the federal government could regulate the fishery for conservation and other limited purposes. --- What we are watching in the U.S. ... WASHINGTON, D.C - U.S. president-elect Joe Biden is expected in the coming days to name several of his most senior economic advisers. The group includes liberal economists and policy specialists who established their credentials during the previous two Democratic administrations. Biden is placing a premium on diversity in his selection of Cabinet nominees and key advisers. Two expected to be named are former Fed chair Janet Yellen as treasury secretary and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget. Yellen would be the first female treasury secretary, while Tanden would be the first woman of colour and the first South Asian woman to lead the agency that oversees the federal budget. Biden, meanwhile, will likely have to wear a walking boot for the next several weeks as he recovers from fracturing his right foot while playing with one of his dogs. Biden's iffice says the 78-year-old suffered the injury on Saturday and visited an orthopedist in Newark, Delaware, yesterday afternoon. Fractures are a concern generally as people age, but Biden’s appears to be a relatively mild one based on his doctor’s statement and the planned treatment. --- What we are watching in the rest of the world ... TEHRAN - Iran held a funeral today for a recently slain scientist who founded the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program in the early 2000s. State TV broadcast the ceremony showing the service for Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Fakhrizadeh was killed in a military-style ambush Friday on the outskirts of Tehran which reportedly saw a truck bomb explode and gunmen open fire on the scientist. Iran has blamed Israel for the attack. Israel, long suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the last decade, has declined to comment on the killing. In response to the killing, Iran's parliament has begun a review of a bill that would stop inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Experts warn Iran now has enough low-enriched uranium to reprocess into fuel for at least two atomic bombs, if it chose to pursue them. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020 The Canadian Press
France to double police on coastline patrols as part of the new deal with Britain to stem the flow of migrants crossing the Channel.View on euronews
Residents in Ottawa's McKellar Park neighbourhood are upset by a proposed electoral map that would move them from Kitchissippi ward to Bay ward. The new map, which would see city council grow by one in the next municipal election, is favoured by independent consultants. It's the sixth map presented to council and was requested in July after the first five maps met with widespread disapproval. McKellar Park residents Stacey Coburn and her husband Matthew Baraniak said they feel there's been little transparency, given how late the changes came in the consultation process. "This really wasn't communicated well to residents," Coburn said. "It was handled in a way that was very complicated and somewhat withholding, to be honest with you — that this option wasn't even on the table several months ago.""We have a community here, and it's important that such big decisions be transparent," Baraniak said. "As citizens of the ward, we deserve that." Part of McKellar Park's identitySybil Powell, president of the McKellar Park Community Association, said the neighbourhood's residents feel a close identity with Kitchissippi: they shop and send their kids to school in neighbouring Westboro and are invested in ward's more urban issues. "We sort of thought of us as being part of that downtown, sort of semi-downtown ... feeling, which is not the same as being in the suburban ward," she said.Powell wrote an open letter to Mayor Jim Watson, posted on the association's website, that details a list of concerns McKellar Park residents have about the shift. Many residents, including Coburn and Baraniak, have also written to the mayor and to Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper. The neighbourhood isn't being moved to Bay ward, Powell noted, because the two wards' issues are closely aligned."They're moving the boundary on a numbers issue. And the numbers aren't big," she said. Ward overpopulatedLeiper told CBC he'd originally asked to keep Kitchissippi's boundaries intact, and while he's received dozens of letters from residents, the ward is becoming overpopulated — making it harder to offer proper representation. "Kitchissippi is well over the amount of population that it should have for one councillor to be able to serve effectively," he said, adding the proposed change would move around 7,000 residents out of the ward. But Powell said Bay ward will also become more dense, with developments going in around future LRT stations, and feels moving the eight blocks that make up McKellar Park won't make much of a difference. Concern over schoolingMany McKellar Park residents also expressed worry that school boundary lines will change and they will no longer be able to send their children to Broadview Public School. Leiper said he's asked the school board about this possibility and doesn't think it's likely to happen. "If you've got an elementary school across the street, the school board is not going to make the street the boundary," he said.The recommended new ward boundaries go to finance committee Tuesday for approval, then on to city council Dec. 9.Leiper said he hasn't decided how he will vote, but vowed to take all concerns into consideration before making up his mind.
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is putting a call out for Islanders to find their old phones and consider donating them. The phones would go to clients of the My Place Housing First program, run by the CMHA. Some of the clients of the program had told staff that securing a reliable cellphone was a challenge for them, said Tessa Rogers, a housing support worker with the CMHA.The program works with those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, trying to get them into more secure and stable housing situations. "A big part of this is weekly meetings with our clients, getting them into stable housing, but then also connecting them with different resources in the community and, you know, potential employers, things like that," she said."In order to do this effectively, it's very beneficial typically if they have a cellphone, just so you can reach them easily." The organization sometimes has trouble contacting clients, having to call neighbours or friends to get in touch with them, said Rogers. "Some of our clients have reported to us, you know, it's very challenging to book my appointments with you folks, book my appointments with my doctor, various community resources, just because they don't have that reliable communication tool," she said. Keeping connectedAny phone can be donated, said Rogers. Anything from an old brick, all the way up to the latest and greatest — it just needs to hold a charge and not have a shattered screen, she said. "Some of them are looking for something that they can just, you know, quickly answer and have a phone conversation," Rogers said. > Our goal is to meet clients where they are and, you know, connect them to those community resources. — Tessa Rogers, CMHA"And then some of our other clients are looking for something that's more up to date that they can use their social media on and maybe play games to reduce some isolation." The ability to use the internet is important, not only for reducing isolation in the time of COVID-19, but also to be able to access resources if public health measures tighten in the province. "If something does come up with the second wave, and having to shut down, this would allow those clients to still, you know, utilize those resources, whether it be Zoom meetings, Skype, anything like that," she said. Always a needRogers said they've had a number of people already reach out and offer to donate phones. All of the phones will be cleaned, sanitized, and staff will ensure that no data is left on them before passing them on. When the client gets that phone, if the phone gets a plan and how it's paid for is decided on a case-by-case basis, said Rogers. "Our goal is to meet clients where they are and, you know, connect them to those community resources. So a few of our clients are already connected with those resources. Some have it within their budget already. If not, it might look like us advocating for them," she said. "Some of our clients might not even necessarily want a phone plan and just want a phone that they can use with Wi-Fi. So it's really just meeting that client where they are and kind of assessing their needs and working with them to meet that goal." Rogers said there's no set number of phones they're looking for, because they constantly have new clients and there's always a need. More from CBC P.E.I.
BEIJING — China on Monday said it is sanctioning leaders of U.S. government-affiliated bodies that promote democracy around the world in response to what it calls practices that “blatantly meddle in Hong Kong affairs.”Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the measures would cover the senior director for Asia at the National Endowment Democracy, John Knaus, the regional director for the Asia-Pacific at the National Democratic Institute, Manpreet Singh Anand, and two of the institute’s officials responsible for Hong Kong.Hua gave no details and the institute said in a news release that it had no further information but that it “remains steadfastly committed to these core principles and to continuing our work in support of democracy worldwide.”China has long accused such groups of encouraging dissidents who built grassroots movements to push for greater direct democracy in Hong Kong. Those burst out into street protests in 2014 and again last year, prompting a harsh crackdown from authorities.The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials over the passage of a National Security Law that imposed strict penalties for critics of the Beijing-backed government that has ruled the former British colony since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.The sanctions ban the officials, including the head of Hong Kong’s local government, Carrie Lam, from travelling to the U.S. and freezes all dealings with American financial institutions.Hua told reporters Monday that “the relevant U.S. practices blatantly meddle in Hong Kong affairs, grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs, seriously violate the international law and basic norms governing international relations."“The U.S. should immediately cease interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs and avoid going further down the wrong path," Hua said at a daily briefing.Hong Kong is just one area where tensions between Washington and Beijing have risen over recent years.The Trump administration has cut off Chinese tech giant Huawei’s access to most U.S. components and technology on security grounds, part of a feud over trade and technology that has led the White House to press the Chinese owner of video service TikTok to sell its U.S. operation, which American officials say is a security risk.U.S. accusations of Chinese human rights abuses, particularly against Muslim minority groups in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, have resulted in frequent angry exchanges between the sides. Frictions have also built over Washington's support for Taiwan, which China claims as a breakaway province to be recovered by force if necessary, along with China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.The Associated Press
At least two people were injured Sunday night during three separate shootings in Montreal's Rivière-des-Prairies neighbourhood.Montreal police say it's still unclear whether the three incidents, which happened in the course of an hour, are related.Around 9:30 p.m., a 58-year-old man was shot at a home near the corner of 63e Avenue and Perras Boulevard. Police say the man had just gotten out of his car, which was parked in his driveway, when another car pulled up and someone started shooting.The victim was conscious on his way to the hospital. The suspects fled the scene.About 10 minutes later, someone walking through a residential parking lot opened fire on a man sitting in a parked car on Jean-Rainaud Avenue.The victim fled the scene in the car. Police have no information about the victim's status.And then at 10:20 p.m., another man was shot while standing on a second-floor balcony at a home on Armand-Bombardier Boulevard, near Jean-Vincent Avenue. Police say they believe the shooter was standing in the building's courtyard at the time.The victim was taken to hospital and is expected to survive. Police spokesperson Const. Raphaël Bergeron said in all three cases, there is no information about the suspects. A fourth shooting occurred earlier in the evening in Montréal-Nord. Around 5:30 p.m., police received a call about shots fired near the corner of Lapierre Avenue and Pascal Street.When they arrived, they found bullet casings but no suspects or victims.An hour later, a man showed up at an unspecified hospital with what appeared to be gunshot wounds, but it is unclear whether he was involved in the incident in Montréal-Nord.Police issued a statement Monday evening, saying they would increase their presence and visibility in the area over the next 24 hours.
WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden will have an all-female senior communications team at his White House, reflecting his stated desire to build out a diverse White House team as well as what’s expected to be a return to a more traditional press operation. Biden campaign communications director Kate Bedingfield will serve as Biden’s White House communications director. Jen Psaki, a longtime Democratic spokeswoman, will be his press secretary. Four of the seven top communications roles at the White House will be filled by women of colour, and it’s the first time the entire senior White House communications team will be entirely female. President Donald Trump upended the ways in which his administration communicated with the press. In contrast with administrations past, Trump’s communications team held few press briefings, and those that did occur were often combative affairs riddled with inaccuracies and falsehoods. Trump himself sometimes served as his own press secretary, taking questions from the media, and he often bypassed the White House press corps entirely by dialing into his favourite Fox News shows. In a statement announcing the White House communications team, Biden said: “Communicating directly and truthfully to the American people is one of the most important duties of a President, and this team will be entrusted with the tremendous responsibility of connecting the American people to the White House.” He added: “These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better.” Bedingfield and Psaki are veterans of the Obama administration. Bedingfield served as communications director for Biden while he was vice-president, and Psaki was a White House communications director and a spokesperson at the State Department. Others joining the White House communications staff are: — Karine Jean Pierre, who was Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris’ chief of staff, will serve as a principal deputy press secretary for the president-elect. She’s another Obama administration alum, having served as a regional political director for the White House office of political affairs. — Pili Tobar, who was communications director for coalitions on Biden’s campaign, will be his deputy White House communications director. She most recently was deputy director for America’s Voice, an immigration reform advocacy group, and was a press staffer for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Three Biden campaign senior advisers are being appointed to top communications roles: — Ashley Etienne, a former communications director for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will serve as Harris’ communications director. — Symone Sanders, another senior adviser on the Biden campaign, will be Harris’ senior adviser and chief spokesperson. — Elizabeth Alexander, who served as the former vice-president’s press secretary and his communications director while he was a U.S. senator from Delaware, will serve as Jill Biden’s communications director. After his campaign went virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic, Biden faced some of his own criticism for not being accessible to reporters. But near the end of the campaign, he answered questions from the press more frequently, and his transition team has held weekly briefings since he was elected president. The choice of a number of Obama administration veterans — many with deep relationships with the Washington press corps — also suggests a return to a more congenial relationship with the press. ___ Taylor reported from Washington. Alexandra Jaffe And Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press
Premier Stephen McNeil has repeatedly said it's not his job to detail what his government has spent this year on COVID-19 stimulus projects, but the three men who want his job are promising to do just that if they are chosen to succeed him.The $228 million in funding is being used for a variety of infrastructure projects across the province, in part to drive employment during the pandemic."Yes, I think public dollars should be transparent because they are public," Iain Rankin said when asked if a list of those projects and their associated cost should be released by the provincial government."I would certainly work to make the list of projects and cost estimates available," said Randy Delorey.Labi Kousoulis said if he were premier, he'd have already posted it, likely on a Nova Scotia government web page."Could even put it on our [access to information] portal or our open-data portal, and it's available to all," he said.Candidates say other changes in orderIt's not the only issue where the leadership contenders differ with McNeil on government transparency.Although he promised to change the law that governs Nova Scotia's access to information ahead of the 2013 election that made him premier, McNeil has since repeatedly said the law is fine as is.Just four days before election day, McNeil promised, in writing, that if he became premier he would "expand the powers and mandate of the [Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Nova Scotia], particularly through granting her order-making power."Though the leadership candidates aren't prepared to commit to those specific promises, Delorey and Rankin both think changes are in order."I do think it's time to look at revamping and modernizing those pieces of legislation," said Delorey."I think we can do more to be proactive with bringing documents forward and not having to go through that whole process," said Rankin, adding he would look at a review of the freedom of information rules."I believe in transparency and I think there's room we can improve."Kousoulis was noncommittal, especially about whether the commissioner should have the power to order that documents are produced, rather than simply recommended, and whether the office should be answerable to that the Nova Scotia Legislature rather than the Justice Department. "I have to think about it," he said. "I never actually gave it thought in terms of what powers the individual should have or not."Mixed response on lobbyist registryKousoulis also offered a similar response about the province's registry of lobbyists, which critics claim is ineffectual and outdated.The federal government system allows the public to know who is lobbying ministers and top officials, and when and how.But Nova Scotia's registry is just a list of lobbyists, the departments they plan to lobby and their general areas of interest."I'd be open to looking at it like I'd look at everything else," said Kousoulis. "But I've never really … given thought to the registry."His rivals were willing to go further."I do think our registry in Nova Scotia is dated," said Delorey. "I think it certainly needs more teeth.""I have been looking at other models like the federal one, actually, to see how we can modernize and bring some more teeth to that registry," he said.Virtual convention in February"Transparency has to be a guiding principle for our democracy," said Rankin. "And so I want Nova Scotia to have the most transparent process that we can practically implement."If Ottawa has a better system then we need to catch up and do that."Party members will elect their new leader, who becomes premier, on Feb. 6. There will be a virtual convention based at the convention centre in Halifax.MORE TOP STORIES
Louis-Joseph Couturier left the Gaspé on Nov. 14. He doesn't plan on returning home until he completes his goal of cycling all the way to Vancouver.The journey covers 5,250 kilometres. If he continues at his current pace — 100 km/day — he should arrive by mid-February or early March."I wake up usually at 4 a.m. to start cycling when it's still dark and traffic isn't too bad," he told Radio-Canada. At night, he pitches a tent wherever he can."If it wasn't for the pandemic, I would have tried to take advantage of people's hospitality along the route. But in the current crisis, I can't really do that," he said.Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 restrictions and the oncoming winter, Couturier felt his trip couldn't wait.Following the recent death of a friend and fellow cyclist, who died in a road accident, Couturier decided to embark on a journey to raise awareness about cyclist safety in Canadian cities."I realized my own vulnerability and wanted to make a difference," he said. "Each death of a cyclist on our roads is avoidable."Between eight and 11 cyclists are killed on Quebec roads every year, according to data from the SAAQ.Couturier is hoping his awareness campaign will help bring the public's attention to this issue."We made the choice to design our cities around cars. We can rethink this way of looking at our roads," he said.He also wants to raise $20,000 for the organization Vélo Fantôme (Ghost Bike), which erects a white bicycle in locations where cyclists are killed.