When the rain started to hit hard, Kelsey Richardson's main focus was to make sure her kids were safe. So, at around midnight, she packed them in the car and left her Sussex home. "We hoped to heck we were going to make it to the end of the street," she said, as she held two of her children, Abby, 8, and Bentley, 4.Richardson, her fiancé and her three children, including infant Cohen, live on Homan Avenue, one of the areas of Sussex hit hardest by Tuesday's rainstorm.As she was leaving her home, which she rents, the water was almost to the hood of her vehicle, she said."We were lucky to get out," she recalled as her kids played in the water left behind by the storm. "I thought we were going to float away."Richardson said she's distraught by the loss and didn't expect the water to ruin so many of her belongings.She lost her couches, her children's toys, window screens and her daughter's kindergarten materials. There's mud and sludge all over the house. The family was able to salvage a few teddy bears.She doesn't have insurance. And doesn't want to think about Christmas."Everything's gone," she said, hugging her daughter. Damages expected to be around $18MSussex Mayor Marc Thorne said people in the area were devastated by the downpourr, which he described as worse than the 2014 flood linked to a river ice jam that caused a state of emergency and forced neighbourhoods to evacuate from their homes."The water is a little dirtier and the damage a bit greater," Thorne said.He said the 2014 flood caused about $18 million in damage. "People are feeling heartbroken because they've been through this before."Thorne said he visited some of the homes in the area Wednesday morning, some of which have water all the way up to the first floor. He said flooding in the area has always been "one of intensity." "Many homes that had finished basements are destroyed."WATCH | Footage from the 2014 spring flood in Sussex At least 21 homes in the Sussex area have been evacuated as of 12 p.m. Tuesday because of the flooding caused by heavy rain Tuesday, according to Geoffrey Downey, a spokesperson for New Brunswick's Emergency Measures Organization.Downey said a few of those families have been able to return home."There's certainly reports of up to several feet of water in some homes, including some sewage," he said. "So this is something that's going to be going on for a little while."This week, Downey said the weather is favourable for recovery efforts. Temperatures are above freezing in the south and there's not much rain in the forecast this week."There shouldn't be anything in terms of the water rising anymore," he said. "It should just be consistently going down." The Sussex area and Sussex Corner were the areas hit hardest by the prolonged heavy rain across the province."It's just like spring — there's not much you can do," he said Wednesday. "Once the water goes up, you just have to wait for it to go down."So far, Downey said, people in the Sussex area are the only residents to report damage. However, there are some road and school closures in other parts of the province. Downey said flooding can happen anytime of year, including early December."It just goes to show that people need to be ready for anything, essentially year-round," he said. "It's not just flood season anymore."Visitors becoming an issue Downey said municipalities are reporting disaster tourism in the area and he is encouraging people to stay home."Not only do they hamper any recovery efforts, they could end up causing problems where they need to be saved as well," he said.He said many people are showing up at closed roads and taking photos."That's just getting in the way."'It's getting so close to Christmas'Scott Hatcher, chief administrative officer with the Town of Sussex, said 14 families in the Sussex area were forced from their homes late Tuesday night.But he said hundreds of properties in the area were affected by the storm, and many had water in their basements.Local fire departments were able to retrieve the stranded families with boats and bring them to shelter."We're getting too used to flooding, which is not a good thing," Hatcher said.Trout Creek, which passes through the area, reached flood stage Tuesday night. Conditions didn't improve until about 4 a.m. "It's getting so close to Christmas and with all of the extra precautions ... with the pandemic, it's just added a bit of angst in the community," he said."That's really just piled on when you didn't need it to be piled on."Canadian Red Cross volunteers arranged emergency lodging for at least 16 residents from 11 houses in the Sussex area, said Dan Bedell, a spokesperson for the Canadian Red Cross. Regional emergency management coordinators are also there to make sure any needs are met.Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning for most of the province on Tuesday. Central and southwestern parts of New Brunswick saw between 40 and 120 millimetres of rain Tuesday into Wednesday morning, and some southwestern regions were expecting up to 180 millimetres. Environment Canada showed 181 millimetres of rain in Mechanic Settlement, about 76 kilometres southwest of Moncton.Tina Simpkin, a CBC meteorologist said heavy rain is still expected in the Acadian Peninsula down through Moncton and into northern Nova Scotia on Wednesday. Power outages across the provinceNB Power said more than 4,000 NB Power customers are without electricity. That's after a peak of about 7,000 customers without power Tuesday afternoon.Marc Belliveau, a spokesperson for NB Power, said trees falling over power lines were the main problem. About 20 crews were working overnight to restore power.Belliveau said there was also a fire in a switch gear building in Bouctouche, probably because a piece of equipment failed.No one was hurt, but the damage is being assessed and repairs could take a bit of time.
A local pharmacist says his pharmacies are struggling to keep up with an 'astronomical' increase in demand for the yearly flu vaccine.Tim Brady owns Brady's Drug Store in Belle River and Essex, and he says the latter store has a wait list for the vaccine of several hundred people.CBC News spoke to Brady early last month, and he says if anything demand has only increased since then."Like I said a while ago, I've never seen so much interest in it. And overall, it just hasn't been abated," he said. "I probably did as many shots at the beginning of November than I did all last year."At the time, his Belle River pharmacy had administered about 250 shots, and his Essex pharmacy was at 500.Rexall pharmacies temporarily suspended flu shots last month because of shortages.Brady, who is also the vice-chair of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, says he's depending on daily vial deliveries from the province. A vial contains about 10 doses of the vaccine, and he's only getting about two vials per day."And so we basically go on the [wait] list, call the top 10 people and go from there," he said.While the province is trying to secure more doses of the vaccine, Brady says he may actually be getting the nasal spray substitute soon."At this point, we'll take whatever we can get," he said.While people looking for the vaccine are still welcome to call his pharmacies, Brady recommends that they contact the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit for direction or see if they can get it from their primary care provider.But while the increased demand has put a strain on the supply, Brady says it's still a welcome change from previous years — he says many are getting the flu shot for the first time."It's a good thing. I'm glad people are interested in it," he said. "I'm hoping this will carry on if we have any other outgoing vaccines that are coming up for any other possible health issues that are presently in society."
The chief of the Shawanaga First Nation northwest of Parry Sound says two new businesses in his community will help spur economic growth and secure a better future for his people. Chief Wayne Pamajewon says a new service centre is set to open in the spring and the territory’s long-awaited cannabis store could possibly open later this month. The cannabis store is set to open behind the community’s existing gas bar. “Over the years, one of the shortfalls that we’ve always encountered is the shortage of revenues to be able to do the things that we want to do. We’ve always had to wait with our hands open. I think we’re going to change all of that now by building in the economic development for our community,” the chief said. The territory learned back in July 2019 that the Ontario Gaming Commission awarded it a licence to operate a cannabis retail store. It is one of eight First Nations in the province to receive a licence. Chief Pamajewon said that a lot of work has already taken place in order to get the store open. “We’ve hired a manager so we have a person that’s putting it together right now. The policies to govern this will have to be worked out,” said the chief. “The supply, we don’t know what that is yet, but I’m sure the individual that we have working for us will be working with his staff to put that together. We’ve been waiting a long time for this to happen.” Chief Pamajewon said that at this point, he sees no reason why people who don’t live on the territory wouldn’t be able to shop at the store, despite COVID, as long as all the necessary precautions are taken. He said he expects the service centre to open in mid-May of next year. The foundation is laid, he said, and the fuel tanks are in the ground. He added they are working with a couple of companies to see which one will operate the service centre. John McFadden is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering Indigenous issues for MuskokaRegion.com, ParrySound.com and Simcoe.com. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. John McFadden, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Parry Sound North Star
Calgarians with roots in India — and in some cases, land there, too — are supporting tens of thousands of farmers in that country involved in mass protests outside Delhi, fighting new laws that will change their industry and impact their livelihoods.The farmers have travelled to the Indian capital from rural regions like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, with many making the journey in tractors and on farm equipment.Watching from thousands of kilometres away, Calgarians with strong ties to Punjab and other parts of India are finding ways to support the farmers. That includes taking part in social media campaigns and a car rally, which attracted hundreds in northeast Calgary this past weekend. "These three new laws are against the farmers," said Sam Brar, who lives in Saddle Ridge."They're trying to bring in big corporations and kill all the smaller scale farming. The government won't even listen to them."In Delhi, there have been clashes with authorities, who turned water cannons and tear gas on protestors trying to enter the city.The new laws were introduced in September and change the rules around the sale, pricing and storage of produce.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the laws will let farmers set their own prices and allow them to sell crops to private businesses, ultimately giving them more freedom.But farmers are worried it will leave them open to being exploited by corporations and devastate them financially. Until now, farmers relied on selling crops direct to the government at guaranteed prices. They're also angry the changes are being made in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.To put the issue into context, more than half of India's 1.3 billion population is connected to agriculture and farming, so it's a huge issue for the country and involves a significant voter block.Modi says he hopes what he calls transformative changes will attract more private investment to the industry, but farmers and their unions say it will make life much tougher."Farmers don't want any dealings with these big corporates. They marched toward Delhi in huge numbers and now the government have used force to stop them," said Brar. "Some have been beaten like animals."Brar was one of many who attended at a socially distanced car rally that travelled in a convoy from the Genesis Centre in northeast Calgary into downtown on Sunday, waving flags and blasting horns."We want to raise our voice and add some pressure from here," he said."It felt really good. We thought 100 cars might come but it was more than 500 or 600 cars that gathered."Some families in Calgary still own land in rural India and the change in laws has direct implications for them."The majority of people from Punjab, their background would be farming, and some people still have farming lands back home. They're worried in the future the corporations would take over the land and they would lose their land," said Harvinder Gill.Gill says the car rally and support being shown on social media in Calgary are an opportunity to pressure local politicians to raise awareness of the issue."They can talk to the Indian government," he said. "Help put pressure on them."On Facebook, many Indians in Calgary have changed their profiles in support of the protests and added the popular standwithfarmerschallenge hashtag to their social media accounts.The Indian government has denounced comments made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in support of the farmers on Monday.Trudeau called the Indian government response to the protests "concerning." Trudeau's comments were labelled as "ill-informed" by a foreign ministry spokesperson.
UNALASKA, Alaska — An Alaska city that is home to one of the nation’s busiest fishing ports has included wastewater testing among the mitigation efforts that could help maintain a low number of coronavirus infections.Unalaska began testing its wastewater in July for traces of COVID-19, Alaska’s Energy Desk reported Monday.The island community of about 4,500 year-round residents located on Dutch Harbor, 800 miles (1,287 kilometres) from Anchorage, has recorded 107 coronavirus cases, including 85 from a single factory trawler.Despite the island’s first case of community spread two weeks ago, any virus in Unalaska’s waste remains below the detection level.“If somebody has COVID-19, they’re shedding this virus in fragments,” said Karie Holtermann, lab manager at Unalaska’s wastewater treatment plant. “It’s in their GI tract, they’re shedding it into their feces, into their urine. And so we’re trying to pick that up in our testing here.”The plant processes about 350,000 gallons (1,325 kilolitres) of waste and greywater daily, equating to about 70 gallons (265 litres) per Unalaska resident per day.Sewage testing has been successfully used as an early detection method for other diseases such as polio, Holtermann said.A Netherlands-based study concluded wastewater serves as an early warning system for coronavirus spread by detecting the virus in people who have not been tested or who have mild or no symptoms, Holtermann said.“What they’ve all seen is that wastewater monitoring can predict an outbreak a week before showing up at the clinic,” Holtermann said. “And once it is shown that COVID-19 is in a community, it’s able to show the beginning, the tapering and the resurgence of an outbreak.”If the virus levels increase with an influx of winter fishing season workers, the wastewater tests could pinpoint the part of town where the cases are focused, she said.Holtermann takes two to three wastewater samples during peak flow times, dipping a bucket hanging from a rope at some of the 10 lift stations on the island.“We go all around the clock,” she said. “So, at midnight, three o’clock in the morning — it’s a very interesting view of Unalaska.”For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.The Associated Press
Two men who spent time at the Edmonton Convention Centre say it's a dangerous place to be. The facility has been operating as a shelter since late October. At times, more than 300 people have been staying at the facility that's being run by four organizations that work with homeless people. "No one feels safe there," Peter Noivo told CBC News. "There was constant fighting and screaming. It's a very bad place to be. " After spending four nights at ECC a couple of weeks ago, Noivo, 52, moved to a hotel with his partner. They're hoping to get into an apartment soon. He vows to never return to the convention centre shelter. Noivo said he concerned about widespread drug use inside the 24/7 facility, even though there is a safe consumption site. "When it gets to injection hour, you can't use the washroom," Noivo said. "There's needles all over. It's normal to get into a washroom and see blood and syringes on the floor." Ben Young agreed. He was staying at the convention centre for the past week and a half, but just tested positive for COVID-19 and he was transferred to a hotel to isolate. Young, 29, was alarmed by conditions at the shelter. He's been documenting his observations for the past two weeks on Reddit. "Something needs to change because people are dying, people are overdosing, people are getting sick," Young said. "If a light isn't shown on this, it's just going to get worse and worse and worse." Young said overdoses were a regular occurrence at the facility and said he personally administered Narcan three times. He also said he saw three people die inside the shelter. "Well, the first one that I saw was an older lady who I talked with a few nights," Young said. "When I walked into the food hall, she was on her back, dead, black in the face dead." He said nurses managed to revive the woman, but he found out she died later in hospital. "I freaked out the first few times," he said. "Now I see someone overdose, it's become regular. At one point there were five overdoses in seven minutes." When asked for comment the City of Edmonton referred CBC to contact one of the organizations operating the shelter. A spokesperson for the Boyle Street Community Services confirmed the overdose situation inside the convention centre mirrors what's happening in the inner city. Elliott Tanti said an overdose prevention site (OPS) wasn't in the original plan for the facility, but was opened after the first couple of weeks. "Certainly there were concerns in the first two weeks when we didn't have the OPS around the number of overdoses taking place in the building because there simply wasn't a safe place for people to go," Tanti said. "Since the OPS has opened, we've seen a dramatic reduction in the number of overdoses on site outside of the OPS and it's had a major impact." Tanti said security staff regularly check washrooms and there is a specialized team devoted to emergency overdose response on hand during the day and through the evening until 11 p.m. Outbreak at ECC Alberta Health Services confirmed there are 60 active COVID-19 cases at the convention centre linked to the current outbreak. Young is convinced he would not have contracted the virus if he had been staying somewhere other than ECC. His case has not been officially traced to the facility. "I would be shocked if everyone in that building didn't have it at one point or right now," Young said. "It's completely unsafe there. It's horrible." Young shared a picture of overflowing garbage cans inside the facility. He claimed he never saw any surfaces being sanitized. "There's no cleaning," Young said. "We take care of the cleaning ourselves. Like I mop, I clean the bathroom. I sanitize everything." Tanti disagreed with Young's assessment. "We had very stringent cleaning and hygiene standards when it first started, but we've increased the number of cleaning in public spaces to ensure the safety of the people that we serve," Tanti said. "Since the start, we've been conducting electrostatic decontamination every 24 hours of all the public shelter spaces." Tanti added that anytime that someone tests positive, the area they were in is also immediately decontaminated. "We're taking hygiene of the facility very seriously and working quite closely with our partners at the convention centre janitorial staff to make sure that the space is safe," Tanti said. Young believes there's a strong need for a 24/7 homeless shelter in the city and he applauded the work of the staff who are trying to help. But he thinks ECC needs to make dramatic changes in order to be safe for everyone who stays there. "We're struggling in the shadows out here," Young said. "We need help. We need a lot of help and we're not getting it.".
Nearly every segment of society in British Columbia is affected by food insecurity — including the province's youngest residents. One program at the Surrey Food Bank is trying to provide support for those infants and their parents. The program, called Tiny Bundles, is a lifeline for one single mom, Lindsay, whose last name CBC News has agreed to withhold. Lindsay has two children, one who is 3½ and one who is six months old."Unfortunately, I'm only on welfare so I have to go to the food bank to make sure both my young children have food every day and healthy stuff as well," she said. Every week, in addition to getting a full hamper of food for herself and her son, Lindsay gets specific items for her baby. "We get the formula. Every week we get one, and it lasts a week. So that's money I don't have to spend," she said, adding formula is "really expensive.""Now that she's six months, they're giving the jar food and the cereal, so she's set to go."Advocates across the country say children are increasingly at risk of food insecurity as parents who were already living paycheque-to-paycheque lost jobs, fell ill or had to self-isolate because of COVID-19. Many support services reported an increase in families accessing their services this year. Feezah Jaffer, the executive director of the Surrey Food Bank, says the Tiny Bundles program is unique as it is specifically tailored to pregnant moms and infant children. "We provide milk and eggs for pregnant and nursing moms, formula, diapers, baby items, food, wipes, things like that," said Jaffer.Jaffer says the program has run smoothly thanks to the efforts of a group of volunteers from the Tzu Chi Buddhist Society, who have worked with the program for 14 years. "They're so helpful. They're so accommodating," she said. "They go above and beyond. They have been instrumental in the success of the Tiny Bundles program."For Lindsay, the program has proven to be a lifeline during a difficult time. "[Without it] I would be struggling — very, very much so," she said.On Dec. 4, join us virtually for special broadcasts and digital meet-and-greets with your favourite CBC British Columbia hosts, and donate to Food Banks B.C. from the comfort of your own home. For more, visit cbc.ca/openhouse
A P.E.I.-born chef has launched a seafood canning business that is helping keep workers at an Island lobster-processing plant employed past the traditional season. Charlotte Langley lives and works in Toronto now, but she was born and raised in Summerside.She told Laura Chapin of CBC's Island Morning that the lightbulb that led to the business was illuminated a few years back after she couldn't find any canned chicken haddie. That is a blend of whitefish used for chowder and fishcakes, which she calls "comfort food from home." Babineau Fisheries told her they don't produce it anymore, leading her to try to make some herself."So I started experimenting with the art and history and heritage of canned food."Experienced already in the preparation and sale of seafood, Langley eventually co-founded the business Scout Canning, which launched in September. Change of focus due to pandemicThe original plan was to market the products direct to food services: restaurants, cafés, oyster bars looking to branch out into other types of seafood dishes, or "people who have seacuterie already." > Canned seafood has become more popular since the pandemic started. — Charlotte LangleyBut COVID-19 meant a pivot in focus, to the direct-to-consumer market. "Canned seafood has become more popular since the pandemic started," she said. "We've been actually quite overwhelmed with the support."P.E.I. mussels, Ontario rainbow trout and lobster are being canned for Scout at Acadian Supreme in Abram-Village, P.E.I. Langley said they were looking for a small company that "has the ability to grow with us." That means 30 workers who are usually laid off after the spring and fall lobster processing season are getting extra weeks of work. "Yeah, they're busy!" Products now on back orderDemand has been so high for Scout products they're currently on back order, but Langley told Island Morning that a shipment from P.E.I. is expected by the end of this week. "Everyone will have their products for Christmas, so that's really reassuring." They also have Pacific seafood processed by a B.C. plant to cut down on the distance West Coast seafood has to be transported before processing."It sort of is a nice little environmental touch." There aren't any Island locations selling Scout seafood at the moment, but Langley said she's working to change that. "I do think it's completely silly that it's not there," she said with a laugh, speculating that Atlantic-born people have more access to fresh product and may not be as open to a high-end canned alternative. More from CBC P.E.I.
For months in British Columbia, it has been a tale of two pandemics: cases steadily rising in the Lower Mainland, but no serious outbreaks in the Vancouver Island, Interior or Northern health regions. No longer.In the past three weeks COVID-19 cases have stayed steady in Vancouver Coastal Health and doubled in Fraser Health areas — but they've gone up by nearly 500 per cent in the rest of B.C.There are 247 cases in Island Health, 535 cases in Interior Health, and 250 cases in Northern Health.Just as concerning, the positivity rates in tests for Interior and Northern health are at six and eight per cent each, and have grown steadily for weeks. In contrast, the Lower Mainland's positivity rate is around seven per cent, and has been decreasing over the past week. "It's here. It's legit," said Revelstoke Coun. Cody Younker, whose community is at the centre of the biggest hotspot outside the Lower Mainland at the moment. "I don't want to say that people were maybe naive, but I think there was a little bit of complacency that was coming into effect here because we had a pretty good summer … but now it's not good."Revelstoke outbreakThere was a time in June when there were zero active COVID-19 cases for all of British Columbia outside the Lower Mainland — but even after cases increased slowly, Revelstoke had zero outbreaks between July and September. Now, an outbreak in the community has infected at least 46 people, or more than one in 200 residents of the town of 8,000 people. A public notification was only made once 22 cases were declared. "I do believe we should have known sooner," said Younker, repeating a common criticism of the B.C. government, which only reveals the geographic location of cases once a month. "I think that would have given us the opportunity to get out ahead, get our bylaw officers enforcing, really letting the community know that we have to hunker down." Revelstoke isn't one of the six communities in Interior Health with dedicated COVID-19 beds, and Younker is worried about what will happen if cases surge further. Outbreaks at natural resource projects?While the exact location of the active cases in Northern and Interior Health outside Revelstoke aren't known, the biggest increase last week came in the health region for Prince George, Quesnel, Burns Lake, Vanderhoof and Mackenzie. There have also been recent cases at the LNG Canada construction site in Kitimat (52 recent cases, eight remain active) and the Site C dam, where 27 workers are now in self-isolation. David Bowering, the former chief medical health officer for Northern Health, has long called for tighter restrictions on those natural resource projects because of the risk of spreading the virus. "As much as these large companies would like to isolate themselves and have protocols that protect everyone involved, including their workers, there is inevitably a fair amount of back and forth between local communities," he said. "I think the government turned a blind eye because of their economic bias. They want to see all these jobs continuing, the political points continuing. But I don't think that's realistic or even fair or appropriate."'Exacerbating the things that were already in place'Ashleigh Weeden, a University of Guelph PhD candidate working with the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation on how the pandemic is affecting rural Canada, says these outbreaks can be very concerning when they reach smaller communities. "It's not exposing new issues in rural-urban dynamics. It's exacerbating the things that were already in place. We know that rural communities have far more limited health-care capacity and often health outcomes," she said. Weeden said clear communication of guidelines is important, along with understanding that isolation and limited travel become bigger challenges when the community is more remote. But she emphasized that the chances of getting COVID have less to do with where somebody lives, and more to do with a host of underlying factors. "This is something that maybe rural communities thought that because of their lower density and maybe higher distances between [communities] might have been more protected," she said."But as we found out very early in the pandemic and we're finding out again now, it has very little to do with density and more to do with inequity and inequality."
LOS ANGELES — People magazine has named George Clooney, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Selena Gomez and Regina King as the “2020 People of the Year.”The magazine revealed its list Wednesday morning as part of a year-end double issue with four covers. The four will be celebrated for their positive impact in the world during a challenging 2020.Clooney, Fauci, Gomez and King will be separately featured on the magazine covers of the issue, which is out Friday.Clooney has received some Oscar buzz for his upcoming film “The Midnight Sky,” but the actor was also in spotlight for his advocacy work. He donated $500,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative in wake of George Floyd’s death and $1 million for COVID-19 relief efforts in Italy, London and Los Angeles.As the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Fauci provided steady guidance during the turbulent pandemic. As the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he has been one of the nation's leading sources of information about the fight against COVID-19.Gomez released her chart-topping album “Rare” and hosted the cooking show “Selena + Chef” on HBO Max. But the pop superstar also spread her message of inclusion through her makeup brand Rare Beauty, which set the goal of raising $100 million in 10 years to help give people access to mental health initiatives.King, who won an Emmy in September, used her voice to encourage people to vote. The actor also called for support of marginalized communities during the pandemic and end police brutality of unarmed Black people. Her directorial debut, “One Night in Miami,” has also been talked about as a possible Oscar contender.Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
Albertans feeling cooped up by COVID-19, can take solace in some winter sunbathing. A high-pressure system hovering over Western Canada means the forecast across the province for the week ahead is downright balmy. By the weekend, most Alberta communities will hit double-digit highs. And the unseasonably mild temperatures will be accompanied by sunny, cloud-free skies, perfect for working on your tuque tan. A high of 10 C is expected in Edmonton on Sunday. Calgary will be even milder with a high of 17 C expected by Monday afternoon. Even northern communities like Fort McMurray will get a taste with a long-term forecast free of any icy wind chill. "This is almost tropical in a way," said Dave Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada. "It's clearly an atmospheric gift. You don't expect weather like this." The temperatures started to thaw over the weekend, melting mountainous snow banks, turning roads into skating rinks and giving sun-loving Albertans a welcome reprieve from winter temperatures. The province is being temporarily shielded from the cold by a massive flow of pressurized, sinking air, Phillips said. "It's like putting a dome over the Prairies and it doesn't allow any kind of weather to get in. "You're squeezing in all those air molecules; they're jiggling and jaggling and creating all kinds of heat. And this is what makes it so, so unseasonably mild. "And it doesn't matter where you are. It's not just that Edmonton's getting all the good weather. The entire region is getting this gorgeous kind of weather." 'Sweater weather' The temperatures expected are about 10 to 15 degrees warmer than average for this time of year, Phillips said. He said some temperature records could be broken but the most notable thing about this mild stint of weather is its duration. The balmy temperatures are expected to stick around for more than a week. "One- or two-day wonders are usually in the offing, but not a whole week or even longer with wall-to-wall sunshine, no weather to get in the way," Phillips said. "I mean, it's going to be well, not muscle shirts and tank tops, but hey, you'll be changing. "It'll be going to sweater weather rather than leather weather." After a frigid fall marked by the stress of the pandemic, the balmy forecast is likely a welcome weather anomaly. Phillips said temperatures will begin to cool off next week but the current forecast could be a tiding of things to come. "I mean, we've never cancelled winter in Alberta and we're not going to this year, but we certainly think that December looks milder than normal. "And you know, when you can claim that winter is maybe only three months long instead of five months long, you're already ahead of the game."
Brown paper packages, white plastic envelopes and large cardboard boxes are spilling beyond the confines of mailrooms and storage rooms at residential buildings throughout the Lower Mainland. With more people turning to online shopping since the beginning of the pandemic, and the year's biggest shopping events clustered within these final weeks of the year, one building manager says the volume of deliveries is presenting new challenges. "Generally most buildings have seen about 100 per cent increase in packages this year alone since the COVID-19 pandemic started," said Matthew Scott, an area manager with FirstService Residential, which manages more than 400 buildings in the Lower Mainland. Some buildings are receiving 70 to 100 packages a day and Scott expects that number will only go up with deliveries from Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas still to come. Scott says front-desk staff in the buildings have learned to be efficient, but processing each package still takes a few minutes. The packages have to be entered into a computer system, which tracks them and notifies residents that their deliveries have arrived. This is done on top of everything else staff have to manage, including approving visitors and overseeing tradespeople."You've got the daily machinations of running a building going on: people looking for trades, people being locked out, people moving, you know, all those other things going on, you need to get these packages out of the way," he said. He says some buildings were receiving so many packages their strata councils decided the concierge would no longer accept parcels, while others put restrictions on the size and weight of packages they will accept.Some higher-end buildings that had the budget decided to hire a dedicated staff person just to handle deliveries."That's all the person does, is receive packages and be prepared to hand them out," said Scott. Canada Post is expecting a significant increase in parcel volumes this holiday season. As a result, it's hiring 4,000 more temporary seasonal employees and adding 1,000 vehicles to its fleet.It's advising people to shop early for their own peace of mind as well as to help retailers, delivery companies, and Canada Post deliver the packages in time. As for how residents can help front-desk staff with the mountain of online shopping packages, Scott advises picking up parcels as soon as possible."Residents can be really helpful with us if they can collect their packages as soon as they get the notification or within 24 hours. You know, that just allows us to free up that space a little bit more."
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock says hospitals are ready to receive the new coronavirus vaccine and other modes of distribution are being set up. Britain approved the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech for emergency use on Wednesday. (Dec. 2)
Construction work has started on a joint Turkish-Russian centre to monitor a ceasefire in the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday. Azerbaijan and Armenia last month signed a Russia-brokered ceasefire for the enclave, which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but mainly populated by ethnic Armenians. Russian peacekeepers were deployed to the region under the deal, which froze Azeri gains in six weeks of fighting.
It's been three and a half years since P.E.I. RCMP trained its first five drone pilots and just last week, eight more members were added to the team. "As time goes on we're seeing more and more calls where a drone is useful," said RCMP Staff-Sgt. Kevin Baillie, the drone co-ordinator for RCMP on the Island."Drone technology has improved and we have expanded our drone fleet, increased our capabilities and also trained additional pilots." Baillie said these devices are primarily used as aerial cameras at collision scenes and crime scenes. But, he said they can also be used for search and rescue.> A picture is always worth 1,000 words, whereas now with a video it is worth 10,000. — Cst. Steve MacDonnell"Before we acquired drones, generally the only way to get an aerial photo was to use a helicopter or an aircraft which was much more expensive," he said. Saving moneyAccording to Baillie, the entire drone fleet in the province costs roughly $30,000. Approximately the same as 10 or 15 hours of helicopter time, he said. Currently, he said there are 14 active pilots in the P.E.I. RCMP. One of those is Cst. Steve MacDonnell. "I enjoy flying the drone, it's very useful for us at crime scenes," he said. "A picture is always worth 1,000 words, whereas now with a video it is worth 10,000." MacDonnell is a forensic expert and said having access to a drone makes looking for evidence faster and easier. "It's very useful for sure," said MacDonnell. "It saves getting a ladder and getting on a roof."We can look for paths the perpetrator could have taken to get to the home."So far, MacDonnell has only been trained to fly a smaller drone, but he said he'd like to upgrade and learn to operate one of the larger devices used for search and rescue. Drones are not for surveillanceFor MacDonnell and Baillie, tools like this improve the safety of officers and also allow a better understanding of incidents or crimes.But Baillie said the drones are never used to imvade people's private lives."We can't invade anybody's privacy unless we get a search warrant authorized by a judge," he said."To this point on P.E.I. we have not used drones for surveillance and nor do we have any plans to."For now, Baillie said he has no plans to train additional drone pilots on P.E.I. or purchase more devices. Instead, he prefers to watch how the technology grows and share his expertise with other RCMP in the Maritimes."We do all work together and we share information on the drones we're using," he said.More from CBC P.E.I.
NEW YORK — Chuck Rosenberg makes no secret of his admiration for Robert Mueller. Keep that in mind, along with the format of Rosenberg's podcast “The Oath,” now that NBC announced Wednesday that the former special counsel who looked into Russian interference in the 2016 election has given an extensive interview that debuts next week. Mueller, the ex-FBI director, rarely speaks publicly and has been virtually silent about his special counsel experience since testifying before Congress in July 2019. In two separate podcast episodes, each nearly an hour, Mueller doesn't talk about his work as special counsel. He isn't even asked. “There are some questions that you simply don't have to ask,” said Rosenberg, who worked for Mueller as an FBI counsel. “I knew he wouldn't talk about it and I had really no intention of asking about it.” He took Mueller at his word that he wouldn't talk about his work as counsel after his testimony. Mueller made an exception in September, pushing back after one of his former prosecutors suggested in a book that the counsel's team wasn't aggressive enough. Rosenberg's stance is consistent with the format of “The Oath,” in which present and former government officials who have taken an oath to protect the Constitution are interviewed about their lives and careers, while steering clear of current events and political controversies. Rosenberg, also a former federal prosecutor, has taken the oath nine times. He's been an analyst and podcast host for NBC News since quitting as acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2017, after President Donald Trump suggested to law enforcement officers that they “don't be too nice” to suspects in custody. Even in an era of suspicion about the “deep state,” or perhaps because of it, there has clearly been a public taste for “The Oath.” The Mueller interview leads its fourth season. The show has been in the Top 200 of the Apple Podcasts charts for more than a year, said Andy Bowers, co-founder of the podcast hosting company Megaphone. Rosenberg's extensive experience helps with access, so his guest list is consistently interesting, said Benjamin Wittes, editor in chief of the Lawfare blog. He's also unapologetically earnest, as are many of his guests, at a time of cynicism. “That's the winning formula on ‘The Oath,’ a serious person talking to serious people about public service at a time when people really want to remember what public service is supposed to be," Wittes said. The Mueller interview is a bookend to Rosenberg's two-parter with Mueller's successor as FBI director, James Comey, in the podcast's first season. The voluble Comey is a contrast to Mueller, who's quite comfortable with short answers. “I did OK,” Mueller said when Rosenberg was trying to draw him out about commendations he received during training with the Marines. Did you like law school? “Not particularly,” Mueller said. “Jim is a natural storyteller, so in some ways it is easier (to interview him),” Rosenberg said. “Bob also has a lot of stories to tell, you just have to let him tell them in his own way. I found that compelling — two very different styles, as our listeners will notice, but I think two men of substance.” Although there was talk after his congressional testimony that Mueller, now 76, had lost some sharpness with age, Rosenberg said “he seemed fine to me.” When coaxed, Mueller is most interesting in the first podcast talking about his experience in Vietnam. He volunteered for the Marines after a teammate on his Princeton lacrosse team was killed there, and commanded a unit that was — he found out later — essentially used as bait to draw out the North Vietnamese army. The experience inspired a lifetime of public service, primarily because Mueller was grateful to have survived. It's the type of service that's hard for the cynical to fathom. In another episode this season, Rosenberg speaks to Heather “Lucky” Penney, a former fighter pilot given the assignment on Sept. 11, 2001 of stopping United Airlines Flight 93 as it was bound for the U.S. Capitol. Since there was no time to arm the jet, her only choice was to ram the airliner; she was effectively sent on a suicide mission. Instead, the plane crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers overpowered the hijackers. In the Mueller interview, Rosenberg said he relished the opportunity to get to know someone he knew only as a boss. “There's a bit of a Marine Corps officer outer shell,” he said. “He can be a little bit intimidating. But underneath all of that, he is a remarkably kind and humble and civil man. Coming up in the ranks of the Department of Justice, Bob Mueller is an icon. Everybody that I worked with knew of him and admired him, but often from a distance.” David Bauder, The Associated Press
It's not going to be a very merry Christmas this year for a handicraft workshop in Islamist-run Gaza that has been an unlikely source of gifts for the holiday. Coronavirus lockdowns have made it difficult for the Zeina Cooperative Association to export its hand-crafted Christmas gifts from Gaza to Europe and to the Palestinian town of Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. About 24 Palestinian Muslim women, many of them veiled, work at the facility, making miniature Christmas trees, red-and-white puppets and Santa Claus marionettes.
Hanover Deputy Mayor Selwyn Hicks has been elected as Grey County's warden for 2021. “I believe that my credentials speak for themselves. I'm an early riser with a strong work ethic and I have the capacity to build relationships that promote progress,” Hicks said while addressing county councillors during the virtual inauguration session held Tuesday afternoon. The position of warden is voted on by fellow county council members and holds a one-year term. Hicks was nominated for the position by Southgate Deputy Mayor Brian Milne and seconded by Meaford Mayor Barb Clumpus. Hicks was born in South American country of Guyana and moved to Toronto when he was nine. He moved to Hanover in 2003 and he entered politics in 2006, serving as a councillor from 2006 to 2014 and then as deputy-mayor since 2015. Hicks served as warden of Grey County in 2019. He is a lawyer by trade with offices in Hanover and Walkerton, which he operates with his wife of 24 years, Barbara. They have four children: Selwyn IV, Rylee, Connor, and Chloe. At Tuesday’s meeting, Hicks defeated current Grey County Warden Paul McQueen, who is the mayor of Grey Highlands. In the coming months, Hicks says he plans to meet with each lower-tier council representative to build relationships and seek out priorities. “I will also immediately reach out to our provincial and federal representatives to schedule a minimum of one formal meeting each quarter to build relationships and plan how we can work together to address important priorities for the people of Grey County,” he said. “I'm also now a member of the Western Ontario Wardens Caucus," Hicks added. "I have strong relationships from my first year as warden and I plan to continue to build those relationships.” For the coming year, Hicks said he would like to focus on affordable housing, rural broadband programs, and regional transportation. “We've got a number of things on the go. We're still in a COVID environment and we have to figure out how we pull out of this thing together, how to keep people safe, keep our good track record in public health, and take care of our seniors,” he added.Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
A Halifax-area bank executive has been awarded more than $765,000 for post-operative advice that ultimately cost him the lower part of his left leg.David Robbins, 59, had what should have been a fairly routine hip replacement surgery on Jan. 26, 2012. The surgery itself went well, but Robbins started experiencing pain days after the procedure when he was back at home and performing the rehabilitation exercises he'd been instructed to do.Robbins tried to reach the doctor who'd performed the surgery, Dr. Michael Gross, but he wasn't available. Instead, Robbins was directed to the on-call orthopedic resident, Dr. Arpun Bajwa.The contents of their phone conversation on Feb. 6, 2012 was the subject of some dispute at the trial, which was conducted in September and October of this year.Robbins described Bajwa as being very abrupt on the phone and acting as though he was interrupting her. He said her advice to him was: "It doesn't sound like anything serious, stay home, do your exercises and everything should be fine".Robbins testified he was relieved when he heard this and didn't feel he had to go to the hospital or follow up with calls to other doctors.Leg needed to be amputatedDr. Bajwa claimed that she told Robbins to call his family doctor or go to a hospital emergency room but he disputed that version of the call. Bajwa said she didn't take notes during her phone conversation but said she had a clear recollection of what was said.Days later, when senior staff questioned her about the Robbins case, Bajwa drafted a letter which began with the line: "This letter is written for my lawyer in the event legal action is pursued against me with respect to patient Robbins, David."Robbins's pain persisted and on Feb. 9, 2012, he called the orthopedic clinic at the hospital. The nurse who returned the call told his wife, Natalie Robbins, to pinch her husband's toes. They were white and the colour did not return to them. The nurse instructed Robbins to bring her husband to the hospital.When Robbins arrived at the hospital, he was referred to a vascular surgeon. It was determined he had developed clots in arteries in both legs.He had surgery the next day, Feb. 10, but it was too late. The condition of his left leg had deteriorated to the point where it was amputated below the knee on Feb. 18, 2012.Robbins 'reliable and credible'Many of the facts in this case are not in dispute. Justice James Chipman had to assess the credibility of the key players."In assessing the witnesses in this case, I found Mr. Robbins to be both reliable and credible," Justice Chipman wrote in his decision.As for Bajwa, the judge focused part of his assessment on the letter she drafted for senior hospital staff when questioned about this case. "I am dubious about her denial that it was, in fact, written 'for my lawyer in the event legal action is pursued against me'", Chipman said. "I would add that I am similarly sceptical that she wrote this letter at a time when she says she cannot recall knowing whether or not Mr. Robbins' left leg had been amputated."Robbins had also named the surgeon, Dr. Michael Gross, as a respondent in his lawsuit. But the judge found Gross was not negligent in his conduct.Robbins's lawyer, Ray Wagner said medical malpractice suits like this one are difficult to win in Nova Scotia."It's a very difficult road to climb, we worked very hard," Wagner said Tuesday. "Our team here worked very hard on this case as did Mr. Robbins and so we're happy to have a positive result."Incident had a 'great impact'After finding the doctor liable, Chipman then had to assess damages.Prior to losing his leg, Robbins was an avid golfer and hiker. The court heard he has had to reduce both activities. While he used to look after his own yard maintenance and snow removal, he has had to hire companies to perform that work for him."It has a great impact on an extremely active individual who enjoyed a lot of outdoors activities, getting out and about, keeping fit and now that has been compromised so this is a recognition of how that has been compromised," Wagner said.Robbins was off work for some time while he recovered from both surgeries and did rehabilitation, but court heard he has been able to resume a full work schedule.The award includes $210,000 for general damages and more than $417,000 for future care. That figure includes the purchase of new and improved prosthetic devices.MORE TOP STORIES
When will COVID-19 vaccinations be available to the general public? Global’s Laura Casella turns to Dr. Mitch to find out what we can expect.