Watch and enjoy as this border collie shows the little puppy how to play and be social. Cuteness overload!
Watch and enjoy as this border collie shows the little puppy how to play and be social. Cuteness overload!
OTTAWA — Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says his department will appeal a Federal Court ruling that limits First Nations' ability to postpone the election of chiefs and councils during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indigenous Services Canada developed regulations last year to allow First Nation councils to delay elections and extend the terms of their chiefs and councillors to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Miller says the regulations help First Nations avoid a critical governance gap that might be caused by their inability to hold elections during the pandemic. Early this month, the Federal Court ruled that a section of the regulations, related to custom election codes, is invalid. Between April 8, 2020, and March 22, 2021, 116 First Nations used the regulations to postpone elections to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks. During the same period, 36 First Nations held elections under the Indian Act, 15 under the First Nations Elections Act and 65 under a community or custom process. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2021. ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship The Canadian Press
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, warned Canadians on Friday that "the race" between COVID-19 vaccines and variant cases is at a "critical point."
OTTAWA — Top Tory leaders of the past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole will be among panellists at the conference hosted by The Canada Strong and Free Network, formerly the Manning Centre. Organizers say at least 500 people are registered to attend the think tank's annual event, billed as the largest gathering of both small-c and big-C conservatives. The conference is taking place online and is set to feature discussions around how to "build back right," rather than "build back better." The latter is how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has described his Liberal government's plan to heal the Canadian economy from the toll taken by the novel coronavirus. Former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper will be joined on a panel by former British prime minister David Cameron, but organizers say that will be off limits to media. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 10, 2021. The Canadian Press
Brett Langdeau used to take the bus every day to his job at Home Depot in Coquitlam, B.C. But that all changed once the pandemic hit. "A large part of it was due to fear. I didn't want to be in an enclosed space with a bunch of other people," said Langdeau, who would take the bus from his home in the city. He borrowed his parent's car and has been driving to work ever since. Experts say Langdeau's story is common, and it's one of the reasons traffic levels are high in Metro Vancouver even though many people are still working from home. And traffic volume, they warn, will most likely exceed pre-pandemic levels as confidence in taking transit recovers slowly, even as more people get vaccinated and return to the workplace. Recent data from TransLink shows that crossings on three major bridges in Metro Vancouver owned by the transit authority — Golden Ears, Pattullo and Knight Street — are within 10 per cent of pre-COVID volume. The data from the transit authority compares the average number of weekday crossings every month from the beginning of 2019 until March 2021. On the Pattullo Bridge between New Westminster and Surrey, there was a definitive drop in crossings in the first few months of the pandemic, but traffic volume quickly rebounded. Last month, an average of 62,078 vehicles crossed the span on weekdays — only around five per cent less than the figure for February 2020, the month before sweeping pandemic restrictions were introduced. It's a similar story on the Knight Street Bridge between Vancouver and Richmond, where there were an average of 94,166 daily crossings on weekdays in February, a decrease of only nine per cent compared to February 2020. Meanwhile, last month, the Golden Ears Bridge connecting Langley with Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge saw its highest number of average weekday crossings since August 2019, at 67,174. While traffic levels are high on the roads, there's been a huge decrease in ridership of about 60 per cent on transit, according to TransLink. The pandemic caused a big disruption in travel behaviour, says SFU associate professor of health sciences Dr. Meghan Winters. "A lot of people did shift their travel modes. People who had choices stopped using transit. StatsCan data says that three-quarters of those people went to drive in their private vehicles," she said. Winters says people's travel behaviours generally only shift due to big disruptions in their lives like buying a house, finding a new romantic partner, retiring — or a global pandemic. "The kind of interruption or disruption we saw with the COVID lockdown was completely unprecedented," she said. Learned habits could lead to congestion Congestion levels on major crossings are something TransLink is keeping a close eye on, especially as transit ridership numbers have plummeted. "People are not sharing small spaces. Whether that be shared rides, carpooling, or on transit," said Geoff Cross, vice-president of planning and policy at TransLink. It's a problem Winters doesn't see going away once we are all vaccinated. Transit riders have developed new learned habits through the pandemic, she says — and she's not convinced vaccinations will be a big enough event to push them back to shared transit options. "When we are all vaccinated ... it's not going to feel like that same disruption. So it's not going to have that same kind of intervention feeling. And, I would say, it's likely that people will be slow to make those behaviour changes," said Winters. There were more than 62,000 crossings on the Pattullo Bridge in March 2021.(CBC) With traffic levels already close to normal, she predicts the return to in-office work and in-classroom studies will equal major congestion on the Lower Mainland's roads. "There's not capacity on our roads. We were in a state of congestion that was having social and economic impacts pre-COVID," said Winters. 'Robust' recovery in ridership predicted Once the government says it's safe to encourage larger numbers back to transit, Cross says TransLink expects some hesitancy over the first few months as riders test their comfort levels, but he's confident ridership will rebound. "We do believe that there will be a very rapid and robust recovery into 2022," he said, adding that congestion on the roads over the first few months post-vaccination could actually encourage more people to return to taking the bus or SkyTrain. He says the team is preparing a campaign to welcome riders back and convince them of the system's safety. Geoff Cross, vice-president of planning and policy at TransLink, says people no longer feel comfortable sharing tight spaces like buses and SkyTrain cars during the pandemic. But he's confident ridership in the transit system will rebound.(Maggie MacPherson) The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy — which is responsible for TransLink — says it's looking to the transit authority to convince the public to, once again, ditch their vehicles. "We are confident that British Columbians will make increasing use of transit as we emerge from the pandemic," it said in a statement. But Langdeau says his return to transit will be decided by the numbers, even if he has been vaccinated. "If we have a transmission rate that's going up, I would be hesitant to get on the bus at all," he said.
The proportion of relatively younger Saskatchewan COVID-19 patients under intensive care in Regina has grown at an alarming rate in recent days, says the province's chief medical officer. Dr. Susan Shaw of the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) tweeted new intensive care statistics for the city's hospitals on Friday morning, following a virtual town hall attended by SHA physicians on Thursday night. Up-to-date statistics about the COVID-19 situation in Saskatchewan are usually shared among doctors during those sessions and eventually posted online by the SHA. "I work in our ICUs. I follow our numbers throughout each and every day. I know we are seeing younger people admitted to ICU due to #COVID19SK. And this graph still made my jaw drop," Shaw's post read. Shaw included a slide from Thursday night's town hall presentation that broke down Regina's daily count of COVID-19 patients under intensive care by age group from early March to April 8. It showed a considerable bump in the number of patients aged 40 to 59 (shown in orange bars) compared to other age groups, as well as an uptick in patients aged 20 to 39 (blue bars). (Susan Shaw/Twitter) The findings come as cities like Regina face a rising tide of COVID-19 variants, which have been shown to be more transmissible among young people compared to the regular strain of COVID-19. As of Thursday, 206 Saskatchewan people were hospitalized with COVID-19 across the province, including 41 in ICUs. More than half of the ICU patients, 25, were in the Regina area. Health Minister Paul Merriman said Thursday that while Regina ICUs are at capacity, there remains room to send patients to Saskatoon if needed. Overall hospitalizations decreased in first quarter, but context is key Earlier this week, Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, shared slides of his own at a COVID-19 news conference he co-hosted with Merriman. The slides covered the first quarter of 2021 only. One slide showed that overall hospitalizations and ICU admissions in Saskatchewan decreased from January to March. (Government of Saskatchewan) Alex Wong, an infectious diseases specialist and practising physician at Regina General Hospital, said context was important when looking at that slide. "[There's] no question that the data is accurate, but it's misleading if you take it at face value," Wong said. "The majority of the hospitalizations right now are in one place [Regina]. They are not spread out throughout the province. We have never surged like this in [Regina], and if we're still trending upwards in terms of cases here, the rest of the province is going to be in big trouble when it hits everywhere else." Wong said the higher hospitalization numbers in January were distributed evenly across the province. "Central and northern Saskatchewan haven't even begun to feel this," Wong said. "It would be more meaningful to show [Regina] hospitalizations only as a way to understand what the rest of the province is truly in for." READ | The province's full presentation Wednesday on COVID-19 in the province during the first quarter of 2021. Prevention is key, Shaw says Shaw also had a message for people. "We can make COVID-19 pneumonia a preventable disease," she tweeted. "There is no cure better than prevention." At the news conference earlier this week, Moe said, "the only strategy through the pandemic is vaccines."
Dozens of troop carriers and missile launchers sit on flatbed wagons lining up along tracks running through southern Russia, in a region bordering Ukraine. Ukraine and Western countries accuse Russia of sending troops and heavy weapons to support proxy fighters who seized a swathe of the eastern Donbass region in 2014. Moscow denies it is part of the conflict in eastern Ukraine and says it provides only humanitarian and political support to the separatists.
Rising COVID-19 case numbers means it's "more likely than not" that schools will remain closed after the end of next week's spring break, Ottawa's medical officer of health says. Dr. Vera Etches delivered that news with "a heavy heart" during a city media briefing Friday afternoon. "I know how important schools are to the health of the community," Etches said. "Closing schools will underline the seriousness of the situation and will assist people to stay home as much as possible." Along with the rest of Ontario, Ottawa is now under a stay-at-home order until at least early May as cases surge during the pandemic's third wave. City health officials also reported new 242 COVID-19 cases on Friday, a one-day record. School transmission stable The fate of elementary and secondary schools would likely be decided by next Wednesday, Etches said. Certain details, including how child-care centres would operate, still need to be worked out. Etches maintained transmission in schools isn't "out of control," with the majority of cases connected to someone else who'd caught COVID-19 in the wider community. "There have been new school outbreaks this week, but the overall number of outbreaks has remained fairly stable, and it's still a minority of schools that are affected by people testing positive," she said. "My heart is heavy because I know how important schools are to the health of our community."
A small neighbourhood in the West Kootenay has been left in limbo after the only bridge providing access to it was deemed unsafe for large fire trucks to cross. In January, property owners along Pass Creek's Mountain Ridge Road — about seven kilometres north of Castlegar, B.C. — received a letter from Nora Hannon, the fire chief of the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), stating a 25-year-old privately-maintained bridge — which connects Pass Creek and Mountain Ridge Roads — doesn't have an engineer-verified load rating that certifies it's strong enough for heavy fire rescue equipment. "Effective immediately, Pass Creek Fire [Services] will not cross the bridge with large fire apparatus and will not be providing fire suppression to residents in the Mountain Ridge Road area," Hannon said in the letter released Jan. 15. "The safety of RDCK Pass Creek firefighters is paramount. Should further information become available on an engineered current load rating, the RDCK will reconsider this decision," the letter said. Skyrocketing home insurance premiums Vanessa Terwoort, representing the Mountain Ridge Road Users Cooperative Association, says district fire services discovered the bridge's situation after a homeowner in her neighbourhood applied for fire protection. Terwoort says after the fire chief's decision home insurance premiums for the 22 homes along the 700-metre pathway jumped 30 to 60 per cent. "If you do have a house fire, it'll be a complete loss," she said Wednesday to Chris Walker, the host of CBC's Daybreak South. "There won't be anything to save it." In a follow-up letter to Terwoort in March, the RDCK said Mountain Ridge Road has no fire hydrants, which means firefighters have to cross the bridge multiple times to replenish their water supply. Aerial view of the bridge connecting Pass Creek Road and Mountain Ridge Road.(Submitted by Vanessa Terwoort) Terwoort says Mountain Ridge Road property owners hired an engineer in 2012 to assess the bridge's load rating. The structure's maximum capacity was determined to be a seven-axle truck, which she says is more than double the weight of a fire truck. But Regional District of Central Kootenay Fire Services didn't recognize the certification because the engineer no longer works with the company that issued the load rating certification, according to Terwoort. "The decision was then made without a formal review, without a site visit, without hazard risk assessment," she said. "Because the load rating couldn't be confirmed nor denied, it was being considered unsafe and effective immediately, we would no longer have fire protection to our homes." Terwoort says she and fellow homeowners still have to pay property taxes, part of which are used to cover fire services. Early this week, they decided to spend $150,000 to build a new bridge to replace the existing one — in the hope of getting fire services restored. Medical services will continue The district's chief administrative officer, Stuart Horn, says he's mulling over the homeowners' request for property tax furlough until October, the time when the new bridge construction is expected to be complete. Horn also says first responder medical services from the fire department will continue. "We will be looking at everything we can do to support the community as they get this bridge replaced," he said Thursday on Daybreak South. Tap the link below to hear Vanessa Terwoort's interview on Daybreak South: Tap the link below to hear Stuart Horn's interview on Daybreak South:
Hong Kong authorities said on Friday they had seized nearly 9,000 Thai cleaning products suspected to have wrong labelling from a shop founded by a pro-democracy activist facing charges under the city's contentious national security law. Customs officers on Thursday raided 25 shops belonging to the chain, AbouThai, and arrested a 33-year-old male director of the group, the government said in a statement. "The product information marked on the packages of the products involved failed to bear Chinese and English bilingual warnings or cautions," it said, adding the estimated market value of the 8,805 products seized was about HK$400,000 ($51,400).
Tyler Gambln, the 20-year-old Saint John man who stabbed a friend to death last summer, apologized Friday to the victim's family. When asked at his sentencing hearing if he had anything to say, Gamblin turned to Nathan Gallant's family in the courtroom. "I'm sorry for what I did," he said. "I hope you guys forgive me." Gamblin was originally charged with second-degree murder in the July 8 death of Gallant, 29, but pleaded guilty in January to the lesser offence of manslaughter. He will be sentenced April 16. On Friday, Crown prosecutor Chris Titus asked the court to consider a sentence in the range of eight to 10 years. Defence lawyer Wesley McIntosh asked for considerably less, although he did not mention the range in open court. Justice Darrell Stephenson said he wanted to "take a few days to formulate my thoughts," although he did tell the defence that he "couldn't go there," referring to the sentence proposed by McIntosh. After a day of drinking and smoking marijuana last summer, Gamblin stabbed his friend six times and left him in the ditch on the side of the road near St. Martins. (RCMP) Several members of Gallant's family read their victim impact statements in court. His sister, Kyla Gallant, said she was so shaken by her brother's death that she missed work for six months and had to go to counselling. "Even after seeking help, I'm still finding it hard to piece my life back together and make it through a work day without breaking down." She finished by saying, "I miss you every day, Nathan." Gallant's mother, Diana Hachey, told the court that "grief has become my daily routine." Members of Gallant's family leave the Saint John courthouse on Friday afternoon. From left are his aunt, sister, father and grandmother. (Roger Cosman/CBC) "Living outside my body is the only way I can get through my days," she said. Gallant's aunt, Lisa Gallant, said the family is "physically and emotionally broken." She said her nephew spent several years in the army, but left because he missed his family. She said he was "caring, considerate and would literally give you the shirt off his back." Victim left in the ditch The court heard that Gamblin stabbed Nathan Gallant six times in the ribs after a day of drinking and "smoking weed." According to an agreed statement of facts, Gamblin was at home with his ex-girlfriend Bryanna McGaghey on July 8, when he contacted Gallant in the afternoon to ask if they could hang out. At around 5:30 p.m., the trio, along with Bailey Basque, who was driving, headed to Fairfield, near St. Martins. Along the way, Gamblin and Gallant were "bickering and arguing" about McGaghey, according to the statement of facts. While at their destination, they started getting physical and play wrestling. Kyla Gallant said her brother was a proud member of the gunner community.(Submitted by Kyla Gallant) On the way back, Gallant, who was in the front seat, was "intensely staring" and smiling at McGaghey, who was seated in the rear, behind the driver. At one point, he "lunged" at her. Gamblin told police on July 23 that Gallant was harassing McGaghey. When Gallant continued, Gamblin said, he "snapped" and stabbed him. Basque pulled over to the shoulder, and Gamblin pulled Gallant out of the vehicle and left him on the side of the road. Gamblin soon took off, hiding in the woods that night and eluding police for 15 days.
Rambo the Cavalier King Charles puppy loves nothing more than to swipe something only to be chased around the house. Today it’s mom’s entire roll of paper towels. Samson sees that mom is having trouble catching the adorable thief so he jumps into action. Unfortunately, Samson is also too slow and let’s put a frustrated but hilarious bark as he gives up quickly. These two are too funny!
More than four years after her son's death, Sherry Pollard appeared in a Corner Brook courtroom Thursday to read aloud her victim impact statement, at times breaking down as she put her pain into paragraphs. She spoke of the short life of Justyn Pollard, and her grief without him, via a video link, wearing a T-shirt with his image and a locket around her neck containing his ashes. "I wear it every day. I don't go anywhere without it," Pollard told CBC News after the day's court proceedings wrapped. It was a morning of submissions to the Supreme Court to help determine the sentence for Thomas Whittle, convicted of three charges for the snowmobile crash that killed Justyn, including driving the snowmobile dangerously and drunk in the early morning of Feb. 19, 2017. Justyn Pollard, 21, was riding behind Whittle when it crashed into a taxi van on the bridge to Humber Valley Resort. Pollard died from his injuries soon afterward, but the legal proceedings stemming from the crash continue to play out, with Thursday marking the first day Sherry Pollard could detail her and her family's heartbreak. "I felt I needed to tell my side, of how much pain we've gone through with this ordeal. We lost an only child. We lost an only nephew. An only grandchild," she said, a framed picture of Justyn surrounded by her, his uncle and grandmother — all of whom submitted victim impact statements to the court on Thursday — hanging beside her. Justyn remains both a presence and absence in her life. His childhood ukulele stands as one of the many reminders of him in her home, and friends of his still message her with memories. But those remnants are all she has left, and in contrast she said the losses Whittle talked about during the trial didn't compare. "He talked about losing his job and his friends, and these are material things. We lost a soul. And that's not replaceable," she said. 'There was no empathy' Whittle maintained throughout his trial it had been Justyn Pollard's hands steering the snowmobile at the time of the crash, despite Whittle sitting in the front seat. He also said the two had switched positions several times, a version of that night that Sherry Pollard said doesn't square with the son she raised. He was meticulous with his belongings, from keeping his sneakers spotless to caring for his French bulldog — and with no experience with snowmobiles, she said, he would never have driven one after a night of drinking. "There's no way Justyn was going to drive that Ski-Doo that night. Especially being impaired. He just wasn't careless that way," she said. The fact that he wasn't wearing a helmet "I thought was just beyond incomprehensible at first," she said, later accepting it as "just stupid." During her victim impact statement, she tearfully implored people to always wear theirs. Beyond the details of the night, Pollard said Whittle's comportment during the court proceedings was rude, and inconsiderate. He represented himself throughout, and on Thursday, Whittle was at times terse and dismissive, using his final moment of addressing the court to say to Justice George Murphy, "You're gonna do what you want anyway." "I thought he was extremely disrespectful. I found through the whole trial he was very disrespectful, he was very quick to say stuff to the judge that floored me," Pollard said. Thomas Whittle of Conception Bay South was convicted in January of all three charges he faced connected to the crash. He's scheduled to be sentenced on Monday.(Lindsay Bird/CBC) Whittle did apologize to the family on Thursday, saying he was remorseful and sorry for their pain and loss. Pollard doesn't buy it. "There was no remorse, there was no empathy," she said. "There was no feeling behind that apology. and to just throw it in at the end, as an afterthought, is pretty much how it felt to me." But even as Pollard struggles with her continued pain, she hopes for a future for Whittle, and that his time behind bars will serve a purpose. "I hope he's going to get some help for his actions, and he's gonna come out, I hope, a better man. and move on with his life," she said. She hopes he will get married, have children and his mother becomes a grandmother — all things denied to her and her son. "I don't get any of those things, you know, and I felt … that he needed to hear that. He needed to hear that this is what [he's] done to me." Whittle will be sentenced on Monday. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
VANCOUVER — People camping and living in a Vancouver park will have until the end of the month to pack up their tents. Vancouver's park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30. Donnie Rosa said the order builds on the board's work to take back bits of the park for the community. "The intention is the encampment doesn't grow and these folks are going to be moved indoors over the next few weeks," Rosa said. A statement accompanying the order called the shut down a "necessary next step" to return the park to community use. The order comes after the province, city and park board signed a formal agreement this week to end the 10-month encampment that has swelled to roughly 400 tents. The encampment has faced criticism from a local neighbourhood association, which alleges it has become a source of crime and violence. "There are a number of people in our neighbourhood that feel quite traumatized by the experience they've gone through in the last 10 months. I'm certain there's a section of the camp population that is as well," said Katie Lewis, the vice-president of the Strathcona Residents' Association. She said it's been a long 10 months of dealing with the encampment, and she's looking forward to the park being accessible to the wider community. "I'm looking forward to kids playing in the park, I'm looking forward to seeing the Chinese elders do their tai chi there in the morning," Lewis said. "It's a pretty magical place and I'm so looking forward to seeing it thrive again." Chrissy Brett, a spokeswoman for the encampment, said campers haven't yet decided if they'll abide by the order. "It is definitely a colonial response," she said. Brett said the campers want to see the development of an urban reserve or co-op, which would allow them to camp outside if desired. Earlier this month, the British Columbia government announced it had bought three more hotels with a total of 249 units to help house the homeless. About 114 units are expected to be available soon. The campers moved into Strathcona Park after the Vancouver Port Authority won a court injunction requiring them to leave nearby Crab Park. They previously camped at Oppenheimer Park, which was shut down by the B.C. government after nearly two years over fears of COVID-19 spreading. Rosa acknowledged the possibility of the campers following the previous pattern of moving to a new location, but said the board's new bylaw to restrict when tents can be in parks could impact that movement. "We're working on our plans to make sure we're enforcing our park control bylaw," she said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2021. Nick Wells, The Canadian Press
Two employees working at two different city-operated mass immunization clinics have tested positive for COVID-19. In a news release issued by Toronto Public Health (TPH) Friday, the city said one of the employees worked at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre clinic between April 2 and 5. The other staff member was on-site at the Scarborough Town Centre clinic from March 31 to April 2. "The risk to the general public who attended the clinics is extremely low," the news release reads. The employees and those who may have come into contact with them were all wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and maintained physical distancing, TPH said. Measures to ensure the safety of clinic staff and those with appointments for vaccination have been taken, the city says. "As a precaution, anyone who was at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre clinic between April 2 and 5 or the Scarborough Town Centre between March 31 and April 2 should monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after their visit," TPH advised. Any staff who may have come into contact with the individuals who tested positive have been informed and are following public health direction. TPH says the clinics have been cleaned and sanitized and are carefully following safety measures. All clinic operations are continuing and those with confirmed appointments should still attend at their scheduled time, the health unit says.
After seven years on the job, Estevan’s police chief, Paul Ladouceur, is to step down April 16 amid mounting pressure by the police union, which is urging changes after votes of non-confidence in his role as chief. Conversely, the city’s chairman of the board of police commissioners, Roy Ludwig, who’s also the mayor, says the union lacks “all the information,” alleging it has engaged in “conjecture.” Ladouceur tendered his resignation with Ludwig on Thursday afternoon. He resigns following union pressure for how he and the board of police commissioners allegedly handled Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) claims made by the late Jay Pierson, a former Estevan police constable. Ladouceur did not return the Leader-Post’s request for comment. Citing confidentiality, Ludwig said he couldn’t provide details about Ladouceur’s or the board’s handling of mental health concerns officers raised. “Unfortunately some of these people do not have all the information,” he said. “We cannot release confidential information. “As a result, some people will conjecture and make up their own opinions, not knowing all of the background, all of the facts and of course there's nothing we can do to prevent that.” Three different medical professionals diagnosed Pierson with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He died on March 5 of natural causes, his family says. Pierson first filed benefit claims for his PTSD in 2017. Estevan police administrators appealed those claims through a WCB appeal process. In June 2020 a Court of Queen’s Bench Justice ruled Pierson should have his benefits reinstated after they were denied through the WCB appeal. Casey Ward, president of the Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers (SFPO), told the Leader-Post he heard from Estevan police members “there was a real lack of support with mental health issues … They saw how Jay was treated. There are members that are hurting and they thought there would be no support if they came forward.” Two EPS members last week called Ward, he said, to tell him “‘we're not eligible for retirement, but we're quitting, we can't work there anymore.’” The SFPO president said Estevan members have twice called non-confidence votes for the chief over the past 12 months. In the fall of 2020, they voted — at the SFPO’s urging — to keep Ladouceur on board to work with him. This year shortly before Pierson’s death, Ward said all but four Estevan members voted for a non-confidence motion against Ladouceur. After their colleague’s death, they “came back to the (local) president (Kevin Reed) and said 'we want to change our vote,' and they had 100-per-cent agreement of non-confidence.” Reed did not respond to the Leader-Post’s phone calls for comment. The SFPO on Tuesday sent a letter to Saskatchewan’s policing and corrections minister, Christine Tell, requesting “a formal review of the leadership of the Estevan Police Service (EPS),” Ward said. Tell’s office confirmed it received the letter. In an emailed statement, Tell said, “at this time no decisions have been made regarding an inquiry into the Estevan Police Service.” She said her ministry “places a high priority on mental health for our police services and corrections staff.” Ludwig commended Ladouceur’s work in his service with the city. He said the chief’s securing “carbine (rifles)” for its members, getting funding through SGI to pay for new police cruisers and obtaining speed radar cameras are examples of that. “He was able to find revenue streams that we did not have the opportunity to even be aware of in the past. He had a great relationship with SGI and with the provincial government.” Ladouceur joined the Estevan Police Service as chief in April 2014, after working as a detective-sergeant with the Brockville, Ont. police service. Before that, he was with the London, Ont., police force for about 11 years. Sgt. Warren Morrical is to serve as the interim police chief, until the city finds a permanent replacement, Ludwig said. firstname.lastname@example.org Evan Radford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Regina Leader-Post, The Leader-Post
A Yellowknife-born actor is showing his range, from playing a veterinarian on Emmy award-winning show Schitt's Creek to voice acting for a new kids series. Dustin Milligan played a key role on Schitt's Creek, a show that chronicles a formerly-filthy-rich family as they are demoted from their opulence to lead normal lives in a rural town — their only remaining asset. Schitt's Creek just wrapped up its final season and is up for 22 Canadian Screen Awards. The popularity of the show couldn't have been predicted, but seeing its success has been "pretty wild" for Milligan. "As a Canadian actor there is always this sense of 'yeah, you do the Canadian work in order to pay the bills and keep yourself busy until the larger American jobs come through,'" he said. But, when Milligan was presented with the opportunity to work with Eugene Levy, who plays Johnny Rose and Catherine O'Hara playing the role of former soap opera star wife Moira Rose, he says taking the role was an easy choice. "I looked up to Eugene and Catherine a lot as a kid and to work with them — it was a no-brainer. You never know what a show like this is going to do in terms of the final outcome and how the audience is going to receive it," he said. "Truly an unexpected dream come true." He added the actors are both "kind and generous with their time and their talents." From sitcoms to kids' TV Milligan is on the up after the hit comedy series and has a few projects on the go. Among them is Rutherford Falls, an upcoming American TV sitcom that focuses on the relationship between a fictional Native American reservation and the residents of a neighbouring small town in upstate New York. He is also starring in a new show kids' show, Super Agent Jon Le Bon!. The show is fun and goofy, and the super agents help to deceive villains while delivering an environmental message. "A lot of the hijinx we get into are related to environmental issues — global warming, climate change as well as friendships, bonding and teamwork," he said. "It's a high energy show. I think it's a lot of fun for kids, the young at heart," he said. Raised by a northern community Milligan said the support of his teachers at Mildred Hall School in Yellowknife and community members have been a guiding force in his career. "It may be cliché to say, but, I do believe in that adage of it takes a village to raise a child," he said. "I believe it was a large group of people over many, many years that continued to encourage me over the years in those moments when I needed it that has led my to pursue this job," he said. And, he says, the longer he's been away from the North, the more he realizes just how much he loves Yellowknife.
More than 200 people in Saint John are self-isolating because of possible exposure to a COVID-19 variant during Palm Sunday service at RiverCross Church, after they were originally told they didn't need to, according to an email obtained by CBC News. An adult and child from the same family who attended the March 28 service at the church in the city's north end have tested positive, and "the exposure was likely a COVID-19 variant," senior pastor Rob Nylen advised parishioners on April 6 shortly before 10 p.m. "I can only imagine how disappointed and frustrated you were to hear the news that you had a potential exposure a few days ago," he wrote. "This can be shocking to hear." Parishioners who attended the service were initially notified on April 3 that someone had tested positive, but the Department of Health had deemed the risk "low," according to an email from Nylen and the co-chairs of the board of deacons. "While we are not required to notify you, we want to be fully transparent," the email stated. "We would ask that you monitor yourself for symptoms and if you are not feeling well, get a COVID test." The instructions changed on April 6, however, after tests showed a child from the same family, who attended the RiverKids child-care program on March 28, likely has the variant. "Because the virus is different, the advice from Public Health on how to respond is different," the email said. "Therefore, all 209 of you who attended worship on March 28th were (or will be) required to isolate until midnight Sunday April 11th and being asked to get a COVID-19 test." Public Health is treating the case as a "presumptive variant of concern," confirmed spokesperson Bruce Macfarlane. "Out of an abundance of caution and keeping the public's safety in mind, we are treating this case as a presumptive variant of concern that requires laboratory confirmation from National Microbiology Laboratory" in Winnipeg, he said in an emailed statement. Public Health spokesperson Bruce Macfarlane said officials are awaiting results from the national lab in Winnipeg.(CBC News file photo) Macfarlane could not say which of the highly transmissible variants it might be. So far, only the variant first detected in the U.K. has been confirmed in New Brunswick, but other variants, such as the P1, associated with Brazil, and the B1351, originally tracked in South Africa, have been quickly spreading across Canada. Asked why parishioners were not told to isolate as soon as the first person tested positive for COVID-19, Macfarlane said: "Once laboratory results revealed a variant of concern for the related case, Public Health directly called impacted contacts and provided public health guidance by Public Health staff." Pregnant mother among those isolating Kyle Rogers, his pregnant wife Celeste, and their 15-month-old son Benjamin are on Day 3 of their self-isolation. They got tested Thursday and their results all came back negative, he said. Still, Rogers worries that parishioners were going about their usual lives for 10 days. "It definitely always is a worry, given the asymptomatic nature [of COVID-19] and all of that. And that's why we decided to go get tested right away," he said. Celeste, Benjamin and Kyle Rogers are among the 209 RiverCross Church parishioners self-isolating until Sunday at midnight after being notified they could have been exposed to a COVID-19 variant.(Submitted by Kyle Rogers) "We just wanted to make sure that we were all good and just praying that everyone else is OK. We haven't heard anything else that's come about from it, which is fantastic so far." Rogers, 24, said it was the first time his family attended church since the pandemic began. "We thought, 'Well, it's getting closer to Easter. We might as well try and see how it was,'" he said. "Just our luck that it was the one time we would be there." They wore masks and sat at the back. "Everybody kept their distance and the place seemed fairly clean." Church seats 600 In an interview Friday, the pastor said all COVID-19 protocols were followed. The worship centre seats 600, but only 175 adults attended the service, while 34 children attended youth programs in other parts of the building, said Nylen. "So we're well under our provincial requirements there." The church also has a "pretty hearty operational plan," Nylen said. "Hand sanitizing, masks are mandatory for everyone for the whole service, we're physically distancing — four seats in between each person, and the row in front and the row behind are left vacant, contact tracing, one person at a time [in] the washroom, we have someone that roams around the building kind of cleaning as the morning goes on. So we have been pretty diligent with all of that stuff." Nylen said his voice mailbox has been filling up with people calling to let him know their tests came back negative, but he hasn't heard of anyone else testing positive. Certainly, people are wisely concerned, but I wouldn't say there's been any panic. - Rob Nylen, senior pastor When he was tested on Thursday afternoon, he was told the results could take up to 72 hours because of the number of people being tested around the city, he advised in an email. Parishioners have been coping well, he said. "Certainly, people are wisely concerned, but I wouldn't say there's been any panic." They've expressed concern for the people who tested positive and have offered to help them and any others in isolation by bringing them food or running errands. His family celebrated a birthday Wednesday and relied on the kindness of others to pick up a birthday gift and a cake, he said in an email. "So everybody's been pulling together." The situation has made people more mindful of their contacts, said Nylen. "I've heard people saying, you know, 'I've become a little bit more aware. I need to remember we're still in the middle of a pandemic.'" The church has no concerns with how Public Health handled the situation, according to Nylen. "They've been fast. They've been quick. They've given us clear instructions. … We've had nothing but helpful advice and clear advice right from the get-go."
COVID-19 cases continue to rise domestically and now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning people in the U.S. about international travel to Canada.
Hundreds of campers living in makeshift tents in Vancouver's Strathcona Park will be ousted from the city-owned park by the end of the month, according to the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. In a statement Friday, park board officials said a new general manager's order has been issued stating, "all existing tents, temporary shelters and structures must be removed from Strathcona Park by 10 a.m. Friday, April 30." The Strathcona encampment first appeared in June, 2020, immediately after a court injunction ordered campers to leave an encampment at the harbourfront's CRAB Park. In December, after the number of campers at Strathcona grew to take up a large portion of the community park, the board's general manager Donnie Rosa said that once indoor space had been secured for the encampment's residents, the board would move to enforce the city's no-camping bylaw, which prohibits any daytime camping from 8 a.m. until dusk. By February, an initial general manager's order was issued which set the wheels in motion to begin restricting campers to the park's west side. That order was extended to the northeast corner of the park on March 30. The statement said the authority to remove the entire encampment is granted through the Parks Control Bylaw. The board says it is a necessary next step in returning the park to community use, and placing everyone who is sleeping overnight outdoors into safe housing in the coming weeks.
B.C. RCMP are seeking witnesses and dashcam footage related to a homicide in West Kelowna in March. On March 21, a 35-year-old man was shot and killed near Highway 97 between Butt and Grizzly roads. RCMP said that the shooting appeared to be targeted. Investigators are still seeking eyewitnesses and dashcam footage from everyone who travelled in the area between 3:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. that Sunday. Investigators said in a written statement that they believe a vehicle headed toward West Kelowna stopped in the intersection for a brief time. They say they would like to speak to the occupants of the vehicle, which is described as a dark coloured and, possibly, smaller-style SUV. Police ask everyone with information to contact the B.C. RCMP Southeast District Major Crime Unit tipline at 1-877-987-8477.