Calgary's Catholic school board is trying to explain why students were suspended after recording a principal using the N-word and sharing it online.
Some American travellers may have been targeted during an overnight stop in Haines Junction, Yukon, last week.Americans travelling through Canada to Alaska have reported being harassed because of the licence plates on their vehicles.There have been ongoing complaints from Canadians who say Americans should not be allowed into the country during the COVID-19 pandemic or that some are not following the rules.Todd Fuhrmeister and his partner are now in Alaska after driving up from Utah. He was transferred to a military base there.They stopped in Haines Junction Thursday night where they checked into the Raven's Rest Inn, he said.They parked their SUV and trailer with a car on it alongside the access road in front of the hotel.Fuhrmeister said when his partner went out to the vehicle in the morning, she saw the back window of the SUV had been smashed.He said nothing was stolen. He wasn't going to call police, but said the hotel owner did. An RCMP officer spoke with Fuhrmeister and took some information. The hotel owner also arranged for some construction workers to tape down a plastic covering over the smashed window, Fuhrmeister said. He said they did a great job."I didn't expect it to last, but it will be like this until I get moved in my new house and can get a new one from the junkyard," he said.He and his partner followed the rules for travelling through Canada, he said, and wore masks when around other people.The people they talked to along the way were all pleasant to them. And he said the Yukon government employees at the checkstop outside Watson Lake were "very polite."The RCMP officer in Haines Junction mentioned there had been similar incidents targeting vehicles with American plates in Whitehorse, Fuhrmeister said.He said he doesn't blame Canadians for what happened."My guess is someone who is ignorant about the situation saw an opportunity to express their anger," said Fuhrmeister."It's the actions of an individual, or small group of people that don't represent anyone else."The RCMP says it is investigating the incident.
OTTAWA — The federal New Democrats on Tuesday were once again grappling with a decision about whether to support the minority Liberal government or potentially force an election upon Canadians struggling with the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. But NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh refused to see it that way, saying that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's decision to make a confidence matter out of the Conservatives' motion to create a special COVID-19 pandemic investigation committee was a "farce."If the result is an election, that's on Trudeau to explain to Canadians, Singh said."I can't imagine how the prime minister of Canada would look those people in their eyes, people who are afraid and worried, and say, 'I know you're worried and afraid, but we're going to election because I don't like a committee,'" he said."That is outrageous and is absurd."At issue is a Conservative motion that would create a special committee to probe allegations of misspending in COVID-19 programs, a move the Liberal say essentially means the opposition has no confidence in the government and an election should be held. The Bloc Québécois have already said they support the Conservatives, meaning the pressure is on the NDP to decide which way to go: side with their opposition colleagues and bring down the government, or with the Liberals. Singh was not clear on whether his party will back the motion but said negotiations are ongoing on a path forward. What concerns him, he said, is whether the Liberals are even interested in negotiating. "The prime minister is not looking for solution here, the prime minister is looking for an excuse to go to an election," he said."And I will not give the prime minister an excuse to go to an election … He is not going to be able to hide behind the opposition." The Liberals have countered with their own version of a special committee, one a Liberal MP would chair and that would have a much broader mandate than the Tory proposal. The Conservative version would focus on three COVID-19 relief programs having links to individuals or organizations with close ties to the Liberals. Among them, the student grant program the Liberals intended to have managed by WE Charity, an organization with long-standing connections to the Trudeau family. Several parliamentary committees had been probing that deal before the Liberals prorogued Parliament in August. Efforts to resume their work last month have been stymied by the Liberals' decision to filibuster committees where they have control. The new committee proposed by the Conservatives would be chaired by an Opposition MP and have a majority of non-Liberal MPs, have the power to call everyone from the prime minister to civil servants as witnesses, demand the production of documents related to the various programs and take precedence over any other House of Commons committees to carry out that work. The Liberals have argued that would paralyze government, a notion the opposition dismissed Tuesday. Among the proposals from the NDP is to have the COVID-19 committee chaired by a member of the opposition to avoid the filibustering taking place at other committees right now. "We can't trust a Liberal chair," NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus said during debate on the motion Tuesday."Let's vote on someone that all parties can agree would be a good solid opposition chair. That way we know we can get the job done. That's about working together. That's the offer that's on the table."The Liberals gave no clear sign Tuesday that they were open to that, holding tight to their assertion that the more aggressive proposal from the Tories crosses a line. The proposal is in the form of an Opposition day motion, a day in the parliamentary calendar when an opposition party can put forward an issue and call it for a vote.Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said earlier Tuesday the Liberals' confidence-motion gambit underscores the opposition's point that the government is trying to avoid scrutiny of controversial deals. "In many parts of Canada kids can't go trick-or-treating but the Liberals think Canadians should go to the polls rather than their answering several simple questions," he said."They don't want the truth to come out." Still, O'Toole said the goal of the motion is not to force an election but to get accountability. He offered to amend it, including changing the name away from "anticorruption" and potentially broadening its mandate upon consultation with the NDP and BQ in order for it to be able to function. The Tories were also willing to include language that would make it explicit forming the committee was not a vote of non-confidence.None of that changed the government's mind. "If you write a book about Frankenstein and call it 'Cinderella,' it's still a book about Frankenstein," said Liberal House leader Pablo Rodriguez.A vote on the motion is likely to be held on Wednesday, which also marks the one-year anniversary of the Liberals' being re-elected with a minority government. They've already survived a confidence vote on their speech from the throne, thanks to support from the New Democrats after they won concessions on pandemic benefit programs. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020. Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press
France ordered the temporary closure of a mosque outside Paris on Tuesday, part of a crackdown on Muslims who incite hatred after the decapitation of a teacher who showed his class caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad. The Grand Mosque of Pantin, a low-income suburb on the capital's northeastern outskirts, had shared a video on its Facebook page before the attack that vented hatred against history teacher Samuel Paty. Police plastered notices of the closure order outside the mosque as the authorities promised a tough response against the disseminators of hate messages, preachers of radicalised sermons and foreigners believed to pose a security threat to France.
A coalition of advocacy groups in Chinatown is calling on the City of Vancouver to keep the historic neighbourhood thriving through the pandemic.Susanna Ng, co-owner of New Town Bakery and Restaurant, says business at the eatery has changed drastically since the start of the pandemic. While Ng says they are surviving with a contingent of loyal customers, most neighbourhood seniors who used to hang out in the cafe have stayed away."We haven't seen them since we re-opened in May," Ng said. Other establishments have reduced hours or shuttered completely, like Goldstone Bakery, a beloved community hub.Michael Tan, the co-chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Legacy Stewardship Group, says struggling businesses can pull the neighbourhood into a "vicious cycle." "When you have stores starting to close or, you know, reduce their hours, it's a negative effect because ... there's less traffic, there's less foot traffic, less people visiting," Tan told host Michelle Eliot on CBC's The Early Edition.According to information Tan's group obtained from city staff, 17 per cent of Chinatown businesses are empty compared to the citywide average of 10 per cent."We're hurting a little bit more than most neighbourhoods in Vancouver," he said.That's why Tan's group has written a letter to Vancouver city council asking for measures to help support Chinatown businesses and arts organizations.These measures include reducing street parking rates, opening up a city-owned parking lot to free parking, temporarily widening curbs, increasing street cleaning and investing in the community stewards program. Tan says his group has received positive feedback from a number of councillors on the measures. "What they've indicated to us thus far is they are ready to take some of these measures to city council in the next month or so. So we are expecting very quickly for them to move," he said. He says these measures are urgently needed to help these business survive, and also preserve the less tangible community connections inherent to the neighbourhood."It's not just about those goods and services," he said. "It's the conversations that take place, [it's] that living culture and when we lose places like that, that's losing that cultural heritage."
The report https://bit.ly/34gTD3L from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 299,028 more people died between Jan. 26 and Oct. 3 than the average numbers from past years would have indicated. The CDC did not provide specific explanations for the excess deaths but said it expects the deaths to include those related directly or indirectly to COVID-19. The agency defines excess deaths as the difference between the observed numbers of deaths in specific time periods and expected numbers of deaths in the same time periods.
Recent developments:What's the latest?Seventy-eight more Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and one more has died.The city's COVID-19 testing task force is trying to figure out why there's been a drop in the number of people getting tested the last couple of weeks.The Eastern Ontario Health Unit, which oversees communities including Hawkesbury, Clarence-Rockland and Cornwall, will likely follow Ottawa and return to a modified Stage 2 status, according to its medical officer of health.About one in every 700 children in brick-and-mortar classrooms in Ottawa's largest school board have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the school year, according to data analyzed by CBC News.Other school boards are showing a similar pattern.WATCH LIVE | Update from Quebec's premier, health leaders:How many cases are there?As of Tuesday's update from Ottawa Public Health, 6,166 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 745 known active cases, 5,117 resolved cases and 304 deaths.Public health officials have reported more than 9,400 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 7,800 of them resolved.Seventy-one people with COVID-19 have died elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 35 in western Quebec. What can I do?Both Ontario and Quebec are telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with or one other home if people live alone.In Ottawa — which has been rolled back to a modified Stage 2 — and Gatineau, Que., health officials are asking residents not to leave home unless it's essential. Indoor dining at restaurants has been prohibited, while gyms, cinemas, casinos and performing arts venues are all closed.The province changed its mind on dance classes in these regions this week and is now allowing them.Dr. Vera Etches, the capital's medical officer of health, has said the national capital's health-care system is on the verge of collapse, with hospitalizations rising swiftly and people experiencing delays getting test results.Both OPH and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit are urging people not to have a Halloween party with other households or go trick-or-treating.Ontario's chief medical officer of health said to listen to local officials but rule of thumb if trick-or-treating is allowed, people should stick to their neighbourhood and do it outside with their household only.Gatineau and parts of the Outaouais are now on red alert, which means restaurants and bars can't serve people indoors, organized sports are suspended and theatres must close.Quebecers are also urged not to travel to Ontario or between regions at different levels on its scale except for essential reasons.Even though most of the region has been declared a red zone, Premier François Legault said kids can trick-or-treat as long as they don't go with friends and precautions are taken when giving out candy.What about schools?There have been more than 180 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19:Few have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there's a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.People can be contagious without symptoms.This means people should take precautions such as staying home when sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone they don't live with — even with a mask on.WATCH | Restaurants trying to keep up with rules:Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and are recommended outdoors when people can't stay the proper distance from others.Anyone with symptoms should self-isolate, as should anyone told to by a public health unit. If Ottawans don't, they face a fine of up to $5,000 per day in court. Kingston, Ont., has slightly different rules.Some people waiting for test results in Quebec don't have to stay home. Most people with a confirmed COVID-19 case in Quebec can end their self-isolation after 10 days under certain conditions.Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.What are the symptoms of COVID-19?COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic and resources are available to help.Where to get testedIn eastern Ontario:Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you've been told to by your health unit or the province.Anyone seeking a test should now book an appointment. Different sites in the area have different ways to book, including over the phone or going in person to get a time slot.People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select pharmacies in Belleville, Kingston and Ottawa.WATCH | Ottawa's low test numbers:A new COVID-19 testing clinic at the Ray Friel Recreation Complex in Orléans opened Monday. Going forward, it will offer tests using the appointment-based model from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.Ottawa now has five permanent sites, with additional mobile sites deployed wherever demand is particularly high.The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Limoges, Rockland and Winchester.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls. Pop-up test sites are scheduled for Thursday in Carleton Place and Friday in Perth.In Kingston, the test site is at the Beechgrove Complex. Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call ahead.People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with questions, COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly.In western Quebec:Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms. People without symptoms can also get a test.Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.First Nations, Inuit and Métis:Akwesasne has a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only.Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.For more information
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's privately operated ambulance services lack oversight and underserve rural communities, the province's auditor general said in a report released Tuesday. Kim Adair-MacPherson says the government's contract with Medavie Health Services New Brunswick gives a financial incentive to the company to understaff its operations. Between 2007 and 2019, the province paid the company $8.8 million because of paramedic shortages. Adair-MacPherson said the company shouldn't have an incentive to keep staffing low. "It obviously impacts the quality of the service when you don't have these paramedic vacancies filled," Adair-MacPherson said in an interview. "You want to put performance measures in place that do not negatively impact the service and motivate the contractor appropriately." As of 2019, Medavie Health Services said there were 96 permanent paramedic positions vacant. The report also noted that the performance-based payment system allowed Medavie Health Services to be paid fully even though it failed to meet service targets in some rural communities. Adair-MacPherson's office reviewed the company's response times in fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19 and discovered, "out of 67 communities, 19 fell below the 90% performance expectation in responding to emergencies, non-emergencies or both." But the company still received full performance-based payments, she said, because it combined its urban response times with rural response times, increasing its overall performance. Health Minister Dorothy Shephard told reporters Tuesday her department will review the recommendations but said, "I don't want to come to a conclusion until we have bigger conversation about where we can take this." "I think that we really need delve into some of what she said," Shephard said. "I can't ignore the fact that recruitment and retention has been a significant challenge in health-care sector throughout our province and throughout Canada." The auditor general issued a slew of recommendations, including that the provincial government modify performance targets so the private operator is incentivized to deliver better services to citizens. Adair-MacPherson said she was "encouraged" by the province's response to the report. "I hope that the parties involved will agree to revisit the contract and address the issues and the sooner the better if it will improve the service," she said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020. - - - This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Danielle Edwards, The Canadian Press
Calgary-based Swimco has gone bankrupt after 45 years in business. The swimwear retailer had filed a notice of intention to restructure in June, when it had closed five of its 25 stores, but was unable to make a viable proposal, according to a notice posted to the swimwear retailer's website. Deloitte has been appointed as trustee to handle the bankruptcy. "It's time we say, sea you later," the website states. "Canada is a country built on family business, and with that drive and determination we will see bluer skies and greener seas in the future."In a June court filing, Swimco Group estimated it had $6.5 million in unsecured claims, including $1.6 million in landlord rent. The company's online store remains open, with all products marked 45 per cent off. Swimco started selling swimsuits through the mail in 1975, before opening its first store in Calgary in 1982.It had stores in Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.
Spotty research and inconsistent monitoring have made it impossible to evaluate the health of most Canadian watersheds, a study has found."It's still largely unknown," said Elizabeth Hendriks of the World Wildlife Fund, which has just released its second evaluation of the condition of Canada's freshwater environments.Hendriks said the report points to the need for standardized, national water monitoring done by local communities. The report, the result of two years of study and advice from both academic and government researchers, finds that there's so little known about most watersheds that no conclusion can be made on their health.There's enough known about 67 of Canada's 167 watersheds to assess how well they're standing up under the pressures of development, loss of biodiversity and climate change. That's a slight improvement over 2017.For those 67, the news is encouraging. Nearly two-thirds are rated good or better, evaluated on the basis of water abundance, quality, invertebrate life and fish health."Where we do have information, it's looking good," Hendriks said. "What we're doing seems to be working." But for large swaths of the Prairies, the Arctic, northern Ontario, northern Quebec and Nova Scotia, there's just no way to tell how well rivers, creeks, streams and lakes are doing. Data on water quantity and quality is mostly available. But when it comes to the health ecosystems, the gaps are large. Assessing the health of fish and other life is only possible in one-third of watersheds. That's important information that's just not there, Hendriks said."We're in the middle of a biodiversity and climate crisis. We feel the climate crisis through water — floods, drought, increasing temperatures of lakes, the flow of water, melting glaciers." John Pomeroy, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan and head of the Global Institute for Water Security, agreed much of Canada's fresh water is poorly understood."I'm sure we don't have enough information," he said.Water flow can be adequate and contaminants might be below health thresholds, Pomeroy said. But that doesn't tell you what's happening over the long term — or in the lake and river beds where bugs and snails and other crucial species live."Unless you're sampling lake sediments, you won't even know that the lake is slowly accumulating toxic substances." Hendriks and Pomeroy suggest consistent, long-term water monitoring has been a victim of government cuts since the 1990s, which have never been fully reinstated. Both call for a national program — potentially using community-based monitoring — to create a standardized, consistent way to monitor and compare the health of Canada's freshwaters. Pomeroy said the responsibility is currently divided between the federal government, provinces, territories and First Nations."As a result, water-quality monitoring is terribly fragmented." Hendriks said the Canada Water Agency, which the federal Liberals recommitted to in the recent throne speech, could provide that framework. "It will help ensure where investment in monitoring is happening, so you're not guessing what monitoring has to happen where, (or) where do we begin investing in restoration."Without a framework, how are decisions being made?"This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020.— Follow @row1960 on TwitterBob Weber, The Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A earlier version spelled the last name of Elizabeth Hendriks incorrectly.
After 20 years of addiction, one overdose, and six weeks of waiting to get into a treatment centre, Tyler Strachan is 91 days clean — and counting.The 38-year-old crane operator began his recovery at Last Door Recovery Centre, an addiction treatment facility with a waitlist that's never been longer. He believes there needs to be more focus on prevention and recovery in the suburbs. It's where many drug users, like him, use alone and overdose alone, and where five people were found unconscious after overdosing in a Surrey home this weekend."Overdose happens everywhere," he said."It could be your next-door neighbour, it could be anywhere at any time and most likely it is happening in your neighbourhood."The five victims this weekend were in a "nicer neighbourhood" and required four doses each of naloxone to be revived, RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu said. They don't fit the image of what many people picture when it comes to what a drug user looks like, she added. Giuseppe Ganci, director of community development at Last Door Recovery, says he's been advocating for years for health-care and government leaders to focus more on more preventative measures, particularly for drug users in the suburbs.The centre serves around 80 people at a time. Now, the waitlist is around six to eight weeks and can't keep up with demand, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Ganci said. A safe supply is a good first step for people who live in the Downtown Eastside, he said, but doesn't help people who use alone in the suburbs because they don't want to use with other people."Addiction seems to always start in the 'burbs," said Ganci, a former user who has been in recovery for 10 years. "That is the starting point, so why aren't we focusing on more preventative measures for that population?"Addiction will often escalate if people aren't given access to and encouraged to get treated at the start, Ganci said. Work is being done to focus on where overdoses are happening and support people who would benefit from recovery, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.Ganci says there needs to be more money put toward prevention and treatment."There's been no awareness campaign to encourage people to even seek recovery and seek treatment," he said. "I think we need to take a look at the idea that recovery is possible and attractive, and even offered. In most cases it's not even offered in this province anymore. Our treatment centre is like a last resort. It should be the first resort."Strachan agrees. He would often use drugs in the parking lot at the end of the workday, a ritual he and his coworkers in construction called "safety meetings," he said. After, he drove home to the suburbs where he'd continue using alone.The best part of his past three months in treatment has been regaining relationships with his loved ones and close friends, he said. "This really works. I feel really good and I love myself again," he said."Residential treatment works and it's definitely an avenue that needs to be explored."
Some issues at the centre of a violent dispute over a First Nation lobster fishery in Nova Scotia date back to a decision about treaty rights made 20 years ago. The National’s Andrew Chang talks to Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack and Colin Sproul, who heads the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association.
THESSALONIKI, Greece — Greece’s government says it has finalized plans to build a wall along its northeast border with Turkey, over concerns that migrants may try to stage mass crossings into the European Union country.Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said Monday that 26 kilometres (16 miles) of wall would be added to an existing 10-kilometre (six-mile) section of fence in a 63-million-euro ($74 million) project due to be completed by the end of April.A standoff occurred at the border earlier this year after Turkey said it would no longer prevent migrants trying to reach the EU, and tens of thousands tried to cross into Greece.The two countries are also at odds over energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean in a dispute that has triggered a dangerous military buildup in the region and fears of conflict.Four Greek construction companies have been selected to build the new wall and upgrade the existing section of fencing, running along or close to the Evros River, which forms much of the border between the two countries.The five-meter (15-foot) wall will be made using galvanized square steel tubes and concrete foundations, according to Greece’s public order ministry. Police officials on Monday told The Associated Press that a surveillance camera network was also planned to cover the entire 192-kilometre (120-mile) Greek-Turkish border, while police have already started trials with high-powered mobile sirens, aimed at deterring migrants as they attempt to cross“The cameras will be a vital resource for us,” Ilias Akidis, head of the police officers’ association in the Greek border region, told the AP.“We have been asking for them for five years and we think they will be very effective.”The number of migrants and refugees travelling from Turkey to Greece fell sharply this year during the pandemic and after the border standoff prompted tougher border policing. Turkey has accused Greece of illegally pushing back migrants reaching its islands in the eastern Aegean Sea, a charge that Athens denies.Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees worldwide, at nearly 4 million people, mostly from Syria, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency.Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the border region on Saturday after a test installation of a section of the new wall.___ Follow Costas Kantouris at https://twitter.com/CostasKantouris and Derek Gatopoulos at https://twitter.com/dgatopoulosCostas Kantouris And Derek Gatopoulos, The Associated Press
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is appealing a Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador decision upholding restrictions banning most travel from other provinces because of the COVID-19 pandemic introduced by the Newfoundland and Labrador government this spring.Cara Zwibel, director of the CCLA’s fundamental freedoms program, says the appeal was filed Monday after a careful review of the decision showed there were questions about the court’s ruling that though the restrictions violated mobility rights, the violation was justified. “We think there needs to be a careful look at the evidence on which that decision was based, and also the legal analysis that the court used in making that decision,” Zwibel said in an interview Monday.Halifax resident Kim Taylor sued the Newfoundland and Labrador government after she was initially denied an exemption to the province’s travel ban after her mother died in St. John’s in early May.Lawyers for Taylor and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which was granted intervener status in the case, argued that the province overstepped its authority and violated Taylor’s charter rights. In September, Justice Donald Burrage agreed that Taylor’s right to mobility was infringed, but he found the infringement was a justified response to the pandemic.Based on the evidence, the CCLA does not believe it was justified, Zwibel said. When the travel ban was introduced, there was already a rule in place requiring everyone entering the province to quarantine for 14 days, Zwibel said. Public health officials argued the ban was needed because they were concerned people weren't following the isolation requirements. Zwibel said there wasn't any evidence to back up this concern, like tickets issued to people found breaking the rules. “To us, the suggestion is that this concern about people not self-isolating was a concern, but it wasn’t a fact. And we don’t want our courts to make decisions based on governments’ fears about what might happen, we want it to be based on evidence,” she said.The CCLA also has questions about some of the modelling presented this summer when the case was in court. The modelling was done after the travel ban decision was made, “largely in response to the litigation,” Zwibel said. The methods behind the modelling were questioned in court, but those discussions did not appear in the judge’s discussion of his ruling, she said.Both the original suit and Monday's appeal are about ensuring governments are making good decisions, especially in a global pandemic, she said. “Governments are under a lot of pressure to get it right and it’s not always easy or straightforward, and that’s how a democracy like ours works," she said. "The courts take a look at what governments are doing and say whether they’re acting within the bounds of the law and the bounds of the Constitution.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2020.The Canadian Press
LA PAZ, Bolivia — Bolivia appeared Monday to be shifting sharply away from the conservative policies of the U.S.-backed interim government that took power last year after leftist President Evo Morales resigned, with the self-exiled leader's party claiming victory in a weekend presidential election.The leading rival of Morales's handpicked successor, Luis Arce, conceded defeat as did interim President Jeanine Áñez, a bitter foe of Morales.Officials released no formal, comprehensive quick count of results from Sunday's vote, but two independent surveys of selected polling places gave Arce a lead of roughly 20 percentage points over his closest rival — far more than needed to avoid a runoff.Áñez asked Arce “to govern with Bolivia and democracy in mind.”Arce, meanwhile, appealed for calm in the bitterly divided nation saying he would seek to form a government of national unity under his Movement Toward Socialism party.“I think the Bolivian people want to retake the path we were on,” Arce declared, surrounded by a small group of supporters, some of them in traditional Andean dress in honour of the country’s Indigenous roots.To win in the first round, a candidate needs more than 50% of the vote, or 40% with a lead of at least 10 percentage points over the second-place candidate. The independent counts, sponsored by the Catholic Church and civic groups, indicated Arce had a little over 50% of the vote and a roughly 20-point advantage over centrist former President Carlos Mesa, who acknowledged defeat.The formal official count showed Arce and Mesa in a close race for much of Monday, but by the night Arce was pulling away. With about 40% of ballots counted, Arce had over 45% and Mesa had about 35%. The early counted votes appeared to be largely from urban areas rather than the rural heartlands that have been the base of support for Morales and his movement. Officials said final results could take days.Arce, who oversaw a surge in growth and a sharp reduction in poverty as Morales’ economy minister for more than a decade, will struggle to reignite that growth. The boom in prices for Bolivia's mineral exports that helped feed that progress has faded, and the new coronavirus has hit impoverished, landlocked Bolivia harder than almost any other country on a per capita basis. Nearly 8,400 of its 11.6 million people have died of COVID-19.Arce, 57, also faces the challenge of emerging from the long shadow of his former boss, who remains polarizing but whose support enabled the low-key, British-educated economist to mount a strong campaign.Áñez's government tried to overturn many of Morales' policies and wrench the country away from its leftist alliances. Newly installed electoral authorities barred Morales from running in Sunday’s election, even for a seat in congress, and he faces prosecution on what are seen as trumped-up charges of terrorism if he returns home.Morales, who turns 61 this month, said at a news conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Monday that he plans to return to Bolivia, though he did not say when.Like Arce, he took a conciliatory tone and called for “a great meeting of reconciliation for reconstruction.”“We are not vengeful,” he said.He declined to say if he would have a role in the government. But few expect the sometimes-irascible politician — Bolivia's first Indigenous president — to sit by idly.“Arce is not Morales, but the question is, who is going to govern Bolivia facing the approaching crisis," said political science professor Franklin Pareja.A boyhood llama herder who became prominent leading a coca grower’s union, Morales was immensely popular as Bolivia boomed, but support was eroding due to his reluctance to leave power, increasing authoritarian impulses and a series of corruption scandals.He shrugged aside a public vote that had set term limits, and competed in the October 2019 presidential vote, which he claimed to have narrowly won outright. But a lengthy pause in reporting results fed suspicions of fraud and nationwide protests followed, leading to the deaths of at least 36 people.When police and military leaders suggested he leave, Morales resigned and fled the country, along with several key aides. Morales called his ouster a coup.All seats in the 136-member Legislative Assembly also were also being contested Sunday, with results expected to echo the presidential race.“Bolivia’s new executive and legislative leaders will face daunting challenges in a polarized country, ravaged by COVID-19, and hampered by endemically weak institutions,” said the Washington Office on Latin America, a Washington-based human rights advocacy organization.Morales led Bolivia from 2006 until 2019 and was the last survivor of the so-called “pink wave” of leftist leaders that swept into power across South America, including Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.Arce’s victory is bound to reenergize Latin America's left, whose anthem of economic justice has broad appeal in a region where poverty is expected to surge to 37% this year, according to the United Nations.The Trump administration had celebrated Morales’ ouster as a watershed moment for democracy in Latin America, but on Monday a State Department spokesman said the U.S. looks forward “to working with whomever the Bolivians elect.”___Associated Press writers Joshua Goodman in Medellin, Colombia, and Paola Flores in La Paz contributed to this report.Carlos Valdez, The Associated Press
TUCSON, Ariz. — An angry President Donald Trump came out swinging Monday against Dr. Anthony Fauci, the press and polls that show him trailing Democrat Joe Biden in key battleground states in a disjointed closing message two weeks out from Election Day.On the third day of a western campaign swing, Trump was facing intense pressure to turn around his campaign, hoping for the type of last-minute surge that gave him a come-from-behind victory four years ago. But his inconsistent message, another rise in virus cases and his attacks on experts like Fauci could undermine his final efforts to appeal to voters outside his most loyal base.“I’m not running scared," Trump told reporters before taking off for Tucson, Arizona, for his fifth rally in three days. "I think I’m running angry. I’m running happy and I’m running very content 'cause I’ve done a great job.”His aggressive travel comes as Trump plays defence in states he won four years ago, though the president insisted he was confident as he executed a packed schedule despite the pandemic.“We’re going to win," he told campaign staff on a morning conference call from Las Vegas. He went on to acknowledge that he "wouldn’t have told you that maybe two or three weeks ago," referring to the days when he was hospitalized with COVID-19. But he said he felt better now than at any point in 2016. “We’re in the best shape we’ve ever been,” he said.Seeking to shore up the morale of his staff amid growing private concerns that he is running out of time to make up lost ground, Trump blasted his government's own scientific experts as too negative, even as his handling of the pandemic that has killed nearly 220,000 Americans remains a central issue to voters.“People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots," Trump said of the government's top infectious disease expert. “Every time he goes on television, there’s always a bomb. But there’s a bigger bomb if you fire him. But Fauci’s a disaster."At a rally in Prescott, Arizona, Trump assailed Biden for pledging to heed the advice of scientific experts, saying dismissively that his rival “wants to listen to Dr. Fauci."The doctor is both respected and popular, and Trump's rejection of scientific advice on the pandemic has already drawn bipartisan condemnation.At his rally, Trump also ramped up his attacks on the news media, singling out NBC's Kristen Welker, the moderator of the next presidential debate, as well as CNN for aggressively covering a pandemic that is now infecting tens of thousands of Americans every day.Fauci, in an interview with CBS's “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, said he was not surprised that Trump contracted the virus after he held a series of large events with few face coverings.“I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded, no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask,” Fauci said of the president.Biden was off the campaign trail Monday, but his campaign praised Fauci and criticized Trump for “reckless and negligent leadership” that "threatens to put more lives at risk.”“Trump’s closing message in the final days of the 2020 race is to publicly mock Joe Biden for trusting science and to call Dr. Fauci, the leading public health official on COVID-19, a ‘disaster’ and other public health officials ‘idiots,'" the campaign said.Monday's professed confidence in victory stood in contrast to some of Trump's other public comments in recent days reflecting on the prospect that he could lose.“Could you imagine if I lose my whole life? What am I going to do?" he asked a rally crowd last week in Macon, Georgia. "I’m not going to feel so good. Maybe I’ll have to leave the country. I don’t know.”Biden, meanwhile, was in Delaware for several days of preparation ahead of Thursday's final presidential debate. His running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, returned to the campaign trail after several days in Washington after a close adviser tested positive for the coronavirus.Late Monday, the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced that Trump and Biden will each have his microphone cut off in Thursday’s debate while his rival delivers his opening two-minute answer to each of the six debate topics.The rule changes come three weeks after a chaotic opening faceoff between the two presidential contenders that featured frequent interruptions — most often by Trump. The open discussion portion of the debate will not feature a mute button, but interruptions by either candidate will count toward their time.The commission has faced pressure from the Trump campaign to avoid changing the rules, while Biden’s team was hoping for a more ordered debate. In a statement, the commission said it “had determined that it is appropriate to adopt measures intended to promote adherence to agreed upon rules and inappropriate to make changes to those rules.”Trump's campaign said he would participate in the debate despite his concerns about the new rule.“I just think it’s very unfair,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One as he returned from Arizona. “I will participate but it’s very unfair that they changed the topics and it’s very unfair that again, we have an anchor who’s totally biased.”In addition to public polling that indicates Biden has an edge, the former vice-president enjoys another considerable advantage: money.Over the past four months, Biden has raised over $1 billion, a massive amount of money that has significantly eclipsed Trump's once-overwhelming cash advantage.That's become apparent in advertising, where Biden and his Democratic allies are on pace to spend twice as much as Trump and the Republicans in the closing days of the race, according to data from the ad tracking firm Kantar/CMAG.“We have more than sufficient air cover, almost three times as much as 2016," said Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who insisted Trump has the advantage with the campaign's field staff and data targeting.Though Trump has pulled back from advertising in Midwestern states that secured his 2016 win, he's invested heavily elsewhere, including North Carolina, where he is on pace to slightly outspend Biden.Concerns about a possible loss to Biden that have been spilling into the open in recent days have been percolating behind the scenes at the Trump campaign. Trump himself has alternated between disbelief and anger at the idea that he could lose to a candidate whom he views as washed up and incompetent, according to three campaign and White House officials not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.Trump has directed anger at press coverage but also has vented about his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, whom he blames for mishandling his hospitalization for the virus and COVID relief talks.He has asked some of his closest advisers if a campaign shakeup was needed, according to the officials. The president was encouraged to hold off on any moves so close to Election Day.Meanwhile, aides have started privately wondering whether or not Trump's campaign rallies, which have helped define American politics for the last five years, were in their final days.In recent weeks, meanwhile, some White House staff offices have also tried to rotate in aides who have never flown on Air Force One or have done so infrequently so they can do so before Election Day.___ Miller reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Will Weissert in Wilmington, Delaware, Jonathan Lemire in New York and Brian Slodysko in Washington contributed to this report.Zeke Miller And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
VICTORIA — British Columbia has reported 499 cases of COVID-19 as more than 150 cases were detected each day between Friday and Monday.Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C. is in the midst of a second wave, but it's still not recording new infections at the same rate as other provinces."One can say that we are in our second wave here of our COVID-19 storm in B.C. But we have control over what that wave looks like," she told a news conference on Monday."Encouragingly, we in B.C. are not seeing exponential growth."Henry reminded people once again to minimize social interactions in order to avoid a steep increase, which she said is still possible.The number of people in hospital has stabilized in recent weeks, said Henry. It includes 67 people among 1,639 active cases.Two more people have died since the province's last update, bringing the death toll to 253.Henry said the province is recording "many small clusters" of the illness, particularly within families, as well as some larger clusters in settings like workplaces."We were seeing quite a lot more large spreader events when we had nightclubs open, when there were large parties through the summer, but mostly those have settled down or become smaller and more easy for us to contain," she added.Four new outbreaks of COVID-19 have been detected in assisted-living or long-term care homes, including The Village in Langley, Rosemary Heights Seniors Village and Zion Park Manor in Surrey, as well as the Royal Arch Masonic Home in Vancouver. Outbreaks are ongoing at 17 care homes and two acute care facilities, while they have been declared over at Banfield Pavilion and Yaletown House in Vancouver.Henry said B.C. has purchased as much of this year's high-dosage influenza vaccine as possible. It's aimed at protecting vulnerable seniors, particularly in long-term care homes, but Henry said there are effective and safe vaccines available for older people at pharmacies as well.There are now 4,028 people under public health surveillance after exposure to a known case and 9,753 people who tested positive have recovered. B.C. has confirmed 11,687 cases of COVID-19 so far.Henry noted it will be difficult for the province to address other critical health issues, including the ongoing overdose crisis, if there is a spike in the spread of COVID-19.There has been a dramatic increase in the toxicity of the street drug supply, she said, and this weekend saw a number of overdoses related to stimulants, such as cocaine, that had been contaminated. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2020.The Canadian Press
Adding 11 proposed new communities to Calgary's outskirts would add $23 million in costs for the city annually, a council committee heard Monday alongside arguments for and against the developments. Administration is recommending that council reject all 11 applications given the current state of the market and the diminished demand for new housing.Unsold homes in the city are in the hundreds, nearing a two-decade high. "That's actually a lot, considering our net in-migration is negative right now," Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said following the meeting, which ran late into the evening. The first half of the lengthy day for committee saw developers make the case for the new communities — like Ricardo Ranch which would be south of Seton, or Caban, west of Livingstone in north Calgary — saying that some areas come with no increased costs for the city as they are next to communities already approved, meaning the utilities are already in place.Following the developers' pitches, council heard from a number of concerned Calgarians who cited increased costs, emergency response times and pollution among the reasons to vote no. Matt Osborne with the Calgary Firefighters Association cited worries that the city continues to grow while the fire department's budget shrinks, referencing a fire that destroyed two homes in the suburbs last year when no engine was immediately available to respond. "It should not be more dangerous to live on the edges of the city," he said. The new suburbs would be low to medium density, and would add nearly 13,000 single or semi-detached homes and nearly 7,000 multi-family buildings over the next two to 15 years, to house a total of 56,000 people. City administration said the city would have to grow as quickly as it did in the early 2000s to fill that land in the next five years. A total of 41 new communities are currently either under construction or approved for construction in Calgary. In 2018, council approved 14 new communities despite the fact city administration only recommended approving eight, based on lower demand for new housing.Last year, council learned it was too late to renege on that decision in light of a worsened financial situation that saw cuts to emergency services, transit and affordable housing, as the land was already in the hands of developers.If all 11 are approved, it would add $23 million in annual operating costs — "which is a 1.5 per cent tax increase for every Calgarian … if that's not a subsidy I don't know what is," Nenshi said. Nenshi said snow clearing is an example of how costs can be driven up for the city."Even if the developer is building the roads, we've got to go plow them. And even if there's only a few houses on the road, you still plow them, and that's where the additional costs come in," he said. "You're taking additional cost and spreading it across more land."Coun. Joe Magliocca suggested council approve all 11 new communities to keep investment in Calgary, saying council would be "fools" to let investment leave Calgary. A decision on the new communities will be referred to an upcoming council meeting in early November.
EDMONTON — Alberta politicians are to return to the legislature Tuesday with a plan to discuss up to 20 new bills — many of which are focused on the province's economic recovery.Government house leader Jason Nixon said Monday there's a variety of legislation prepared for the fall sitting that's aimed at speeding up an economic rebound."We know times are tough for folks right now," Nixon said during an online news conference. "The commodities slump, the oil price wars and the COVID-19 pandemic have hit our province hard."He said the sitting, which is to run until Dec. 3, will set the stage for geothermal development in the province, accelerate job creation and reduce red tape. That would include legislation to reduce barriers to labour mobility in certain industries and reduce obstacles for forestry companies, he added.Nixon said the bills are all aimed at creating good jobs for Albertans.Opposition house leader Heather Sweet said the NDP will focus on holding Premier Jason Kenney and his government responsible for their "self-inflicted job crisis and the chaos he is creating in health care during a pandemic."She said she's concerned that Kenney is not taking the economic crisis seriously enough and will not level with Albertans about what she said are his policy failures."Among those failures is the layoff of 11,000 front-line hospital workers, which was announced last week," said Sweet, who called the announcement "cruel, irresponsible and downright stupid."The latest chaos, she said, comes on top of the government's ongoing fight with Alberta doctors.On the weekend, the United Conservative Party also narrowly endorsed a resolution at its annual general meeting that supports a privately funded and privately managed health-care system that would operate parallel to the public one.Sweet said the UCP government has historically accepted its membership's resolutions and has already started its attack on the public system with recent health-care changes.Earlier Monday, Kenney denied that his government is "Americanizing" the health system."It is the oldest scare tactic in the book," he said during an interview with a Calgary radio station. "In Saskatchewan, they call it the medi-scare play. It's just catnip for socialists to try to make people afraid about their health care."The United Conservative Party, in member-approved policy and in our platform that we campaigned on, made an unqualified commitment to publicly funded, universally accessible medicare. That is not the U.S. system." Kenney said there's no plan for his government to move away from a publicly funded system."What I heard 52 per cent of the members who voted this weekend saying was that there should be more choices and options. Alberta has the least choices and options in how health care is delivered."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2020.The Canadian Press
ASBESTOS, Que. — The Quebec town synonymous with the cancer-causing fibre asbestos has voted for a new name: Val-des-Sources.During a livestreamed council meeting Monday night, Mayor Hugues Grimard announced that Val-des-Sources beat five other proposed names with 51.5 per cent of the vote after three rounds."It's a name that represents our area, and especially, it's inspiring for the future," he said. The 7,000-person town of Asbestos, located about 130 km east of Montreal, had been looking to shed its association with the toxic mineral. Political and business leaders in the town complained for years the name attracted ridicule and disgust in the rest of the country and internationally. Asbestos, Que., helped make Canada one the world's leaders in asbestos exports. The Jeffrey mine, once Canada's largest, closed in 2012.Asbestos residents over the age of 14 and local property owners were eligible to cast their votes among six proposed names: L'Azur-des-Cantons, Jeffrey-sur-le-Lac, Larochelle, Phenix, Trois-Lacs and Val-des-Sources.Grimard said the new name reflects "the landscape and our roots." The word "source," he said, describes how the town is located at the confluence of three lakes. And it's a symbol, he said, of what the town wants to become."Together, we will be the source of the development of our city."Long used in building materials such as ceiling tiles and cement, asbestos is now banned in many countries.The name Val-des-Sources was officially adopted by council and Grimard said it will be proposed to the provincial government for approval. He said there is no prescribed deadline for the Department of Municipal Affairs to accept or reject the proposed new name. In total, 2,796 people voted between Oct. 14-18, representing about 48 per cent of eligible voters.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2020.The Canadian Press
In the crucial battleground of Pennsylvania, suburban white women turned off by U.S. President Donald Trump could swing the balance of power in favour of Joe Biden and Trump knows it.
U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at public health officials, especially infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, over the COVID-19 pandemic as his election campaign enters the final stretch.