California prepares for vote-by-mail effort
A Nova Scotia man whose wife tried to stop him from having a medically assisted death has followed through with the procedure, which was delayed by court proceedings for the past two months.Jack Sorenson of Bridgewater, N.S., died with medical assistance at the Fishermen's Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg, N.S., on Saturday at the age of 83, according to his obituary. He was approved and scheduled for medical assistance in dying (MAID) this summer, but his plans were put on hold when his wife, 82-year-old Katherine Sorenson, applied to Nova Scotia Supreme Court to stop him.Jack Sorenson had Stage III chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and was assessed with only 49 per cent lung capacity. In an interview in August, he said his shortness of breath caused him immense suffering.Katherine Sorenson has acknowledged her husband's suffering, but she said it was mental, not physical. She opposed his request for MAID because she said his wish to die was rooted in anxiety and mental delusions. She has also said she has a moral opposition to MAID.The day before Sorenson's death, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal had rejected his wife's latest bid to block her husband's efforts. Justice Cindy Bourgeois, who authored the decision on behalf of the three-judge panel, ruled that, with only rare exceptions, courts should not intercede if medical authorities have followed the proper procedures for assessing a patient's MAID request.A divisive dispute in a long marriageThe Sorensons had known each other for more than 60 years and were married for 48. After Katherine Sorenson launched her legal efforts to stop her husband from accessing MAID, he moved out of their shared home and the couple stopped speaking.In an interview Tuesday, Katherine Sorenson said she last spoke to her husband on Aug. 15, when she called him and learned he had made a suicide attempt. At that time, a temporary injunction was legally preventing him from MAID.She learned of his death when the funeral home called to tell her they had his body.She said that after months of separation, his passing was not a shock and she was doing "pretty well, considering.""I've had a wonderful life with Jack. There have been, as with any marriage, lots of varying opinions between the spouses and I thought we did a pretty good job of reconciling two pretty opposite views," she said, referring to their difference of religion. She is a practising Christian and he had been an atheist since his early adulthood.She said they dealt well with their differences "until this issue came up of end of life."In the obituary she wrote for her husband, Katherine Sorenson asked for donations to the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition in lieu of flowers. That organization has been paying her legal fees throughout her court challenge.As for what her husband would make of that request appearing in his obituary, she said, "I don't think he would like it.""But I don't know where he is right now, so I haven't got any idea what his frame of mind would be."Pursuing a Supreme Court of Canada appealAfter last week's decision from the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, Katherine Sorenson's lawyers said they had instructions to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. On Tuesday, she said that plan had not changed."Because this is an important issue that has not been dealt with, and it isn't just for Jack. It's for any vulnerable person. I think MAID is not very concerned about mentally ill people," she said.Kate Naugler, one of Katherine Sorenson's lawyers, said she and her colleagues were in the midst of drafting their application to the court.In addition to Jack Sorenson, the Nova Scotia Health Authority and Schelene Swinemar — a nurse practitioner with the health authority — were also listed as respondents in Katherine Sorenson's court challenge.A spokesperson for the health authority told CBC Tuesday, "we are confident that in this case appropriate steps and processes were followed, in accordance with current legislation and policies."Brendan Elliott also said the health authority recognizes Katherine Sorenson's right to apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, and respects the legal process.Jocelyn Downie, a Dalhousie University law professor who has been a member of multiple expert panels on MAID, said she believed that if Katherine Sorenson were granted leave to appeal to the high court, she would lose.In an email to CBC, Downie said the decisions from the courts in Nova Scotia were "incredibly robust.""The judges (six in all) walked carefully through all the relevant case law, applied the relevant tests to the evidence, and came to correct decisions."Downie said she suspected this case may have given some clinicians pause about whether to continue providing MAID if they could end up in court."These decisions, especially the Court of Appeal decision, should provide reassurance to clinicians and to the lawyers who advise them."Sorenson remembered as great musician, teacherJack Sorenson's obituary said he was born May 3, 1937, in the small mining town of Wallace, Idaho.Carrying a masters and a doctorate in music from the University of Washington at Seattle, he taught at Dalhousie University in Halifax from 1970-1974. Following that, he was a music producer for CBC for several years before he and his wife bought a restaurant in Mahone Bay on Nova Scotia's South Shore. The couple ran two Mahone Bay restaurants over the years, selling the last one in 2003. He also taught private piano lessons, and many students and employees remember him with fondness for his kindness in encouraging them in their skills whether in music or cooking."Many good friends will miss Jack for his interesting, quirky, challenging ideas," the obituary said.MORE TOP STORIES
Victoria's iconic 112-year-old Empress Hotel will be out of commission this winter.Fairmont Hotels and Resorts announced late Monday that the hotel will close completely for 87 days, starting Jan. 3, to complete a necessary $3-million renovation to its heating system. A release from Fairmont Hotels and Resorts says there'll be "periods of time where the building will be without heat ... or hot water," as the project involves replacing the building's steam heating system with a high-efficiency hot water heating system, along with replacing two 1960's-era steam boilers and hot water tanks.The hotel's automation system, which controls things like heating, lighting and security features, will also be upgraded. The building is expected to reopen on April 1.The hotel's general manager Indu Brar said in a press release that "being able to leverage the slower season and reduced tourism due to COVID-19 travel restrictions gives us the opportunity to complete these necessary upgrades."Union 'disappointed,' as workers laid off yet againPublic Relations director Tracey Drake said employees will be laid off during the three-month closure, and the hotel is extending its recall time period from 12 months to 24 months, so 90 per cent of employees can return. "[These] are always our quietest months of the year, so many of our colleagues do not work during these months anyways," added Drake.She couldn't say how many employees will be out of work, as many remain laid off from when the hotel closed in March due to COVID-19.Stu Shields, a national representative of Unifor, the union representing the hotel workers, said he's upset that around 75 employees who'd returned to work when the hotel reopened will be out of work yet again. The workers are voting on whether to approve the one-year recall extension that would allow them to reclaim their jobs until March 2022. Results will be known next week. "They are understandably disappointed. They were really hoping that business would open up. It's back onto [Employment Insurance] for the vast majority of the workers there," he said, adding the union is skeptical that the hotel has to close entirely to complete its upgrades.A prudent time to renovate, say tourism advocatesPaul Nursey, CEO of Destination Greater Victoria, said it's a "prudent time" for the Empress Hotel to renovate, given the slow season expected."They're making a strategic investment ... and it shows a commitment to improve the guest experience," Nursey said.Anthony Everett, CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island said he's surprised the Empress will be closing completely, but expects tourism numbers to drop significantly in Victoria and across Vancouver Island this winter. "Successful businesses … have been using this time to do those things that they otherwise might not be doing, [such as] improvements," he explained. Nursey said he's sympathetic to those businesses who cannot afford to make improvements for the long-term this winter."There's a lot of anxiety as we're heading into the fall," Everett said, adding that "there are going to be some tough decisions this winter" as many businesses decide whether to keep their doors open.
The COVID-19 outbreaks at Foothills Medical Centre, the largest hospital outbreak in terms of sheer numbers to hit Alberta since the start of the pandemic, are taking a devastating toll on heart patients and prompting at least one doctor in southern Alberta to keep less-urgent heart patients closer to home.According to Alberta Health Services, as of Monday afternoon, six of the eight deaths are connected to outbreaks on cardiac wards at the Foothills hospital and 34 of the 42 infected patients have been on impacted cardiac units.All five of the visitors who have tested positive are connected with patients on cardiac wards.As of Monday afternoon a total of 80 patients, staff and visitors had tested positive for COVID-19, and seven units were battling outbreaks, including two cardiac care wards and a cardiac intensive care unit.Because Foothills hospital has one of just three cardiac catheterization labs in Alberta (the other two are in Edmonton) many heart patients from southern and central Alberta often need to be sent there for diagnostic procedures and specialized treatment.For years, doctors in both Lethbridge and Red Deer have been calling for their own cardiac catheterization labs so they don't have to send patients to Calgary or Edmonton for potentially life-saving treatment.'Conservative approach'And doctors outside of Calgary are now weighing the risks of sending patients who are not in urgent need of care.Lethbridge cardiologist Dr. Sheila Klassen said a seriously ill patient she helped care for had be sent to Foothills hospital, just before the outbreak was discovered."That transfer was medically necessary.," she said. "He required advanced care in Calgary but unfortunately he ended up in the middle of the Foothills outbreak. Sadly that was something that we didn't want to see."According to Klassen, the man ended up on one of the cardiac wards with an outbreak. He tested positive for COVID-19 and later died of cardiac arrest."I don't know whether the cardiac arrest was due to COVID-19 or due to his underlying cardiac disease in absence of COVID-19," she said. "But I am concerned he was a very vulnerable patient in terms of COVID-19 infection. So I"m concerned that COVID-19 may have caused the cardiac arrest."It's an ongoing worry for doctors and patients in southern Alberta as the pandemic drags on.There are are only 47 confirmed cases in all of the south zone, while staff inside the walls of Foothills hospital are battling an outbreak that is nearly double that number."Throughout the course of COVID-19 over the last few months and certainly during the recent outbreak … there are many patients who are reluctant to travel up to Calgary because of fear of infection and them knowing that they are in a more vulnerable… population in terms of consequences from COVID-19," Klassen said.When cases aren't urgent, Klassen is finding ways to keep her patients close to home."I lean toward a more conservative approach in terms of medical management and local testing just to avoid inter-hospital transfers recently because of COVID-19," she said.But there are bigger implications to the Foothills hospital outbreaks, according to Klassen.The outbreaks have underscored the need for services, including cardiac catheterization labs, in Lethbridge and Red Deer. "The fact that we're deferring these procedures because of location and distance from a [catheterization] lab and because of COVID-19 cases that differ between locations, I think it speaks to again the inequity in access to care for Albertans living in certain areas of the province versus others."John Church, a health policy expert in the department of political science at the University of Alberta, said the disparity between the healthcare services available in urban and rural Alberta is an ongoing issue and a problem that is very expensive to fix."The stress that the system is currently under [due to the pandemic] is highlighting some of these flaws in our system," said Church."There is a problem in the province with the distribution of healthcare resources, in particular the south of the province … and the Calgary zone in particular gets way more resources than other parts of the province."Church said it's a budgetary issue for AHS which decided long ago that certain expensive services — including cardiac catheterization — would be centralized."And it's not an ideal situation from the point of view of the patient at all."
Islanders may be exchanging face masks for bibs when the COVID-19 pandemic finally comes to an end.Ontario Premier Doug Ford has promised to host "the best Fordfest barbecue that P.E.I. has ever seen" to thank the province for sending 2,000 COVID-19 kits — which equals 8,000 tests — to Ontario."This is a province with 157,000 people helping a province of 14.5 million people," Ford said Tuesday at a news conference in Toronto."I just want to tell the people from P.E.I., I absolutely love you folks."Ford also thanked P.E.I. and Premier Dennis King for sending a tractor-trailer full of meals in the early days of the pandemic, an example of what he called working together in the "great Canadian spirit."He said East Coasters are the type of people who "give their shirts off their backs" in a time of crisis."So Premier King and to all of the folks of P.E.I., I love you, I will be there… This is amazing. I'm getting chills just talking about this."Ontario announced it had 547 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing its total to 55,362. It has 5,469 confirmed active cases.More from CBC P.E.I.
An open letter with more than 900 signatures has been sent to B.C.'s provincial health officer and the chief medical officer of Vancouver Coastal Health asking them to improve the strategy for responding to positive COVID-19 cases in schools.The letter was organized by parents of children at Caulfeild Elementary in West Vancouver after two exposure events last month resulted in several cases of infection.Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) says potential exposure to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 occurred Sept. 16-18 and Sept. 21-24. However, as per provincial guidelines, the health authority does not specify how many individuals tested positive and which cohorts were affected.Coralynn Gehl, who launched the open letter, says as a result parents started letting each other know which of their children had tested positive for COVID-19. She says many parents decided to keep their kids at home until test results came back, even if their children weren't part of the affected cohorts."My feeling was I would keep [my son] at home and just wait and see if there were any more positive test results and then decide where to go from there," said Gehl.According to the parents Gehl has been in touch with, there are 18 positive cases associated with a cluster in a Grade 2 class at Caulfeild. She says that includes students in the class as well as parents, siblings and grandparents.Gehl says she and other parents at the school are worried contact tracing and notifying close contacts of people who have tested positive is taking too long. The open letter asks that as soon as a child tests positive, their entire cohort is required to self-isolate until contact tracing can determine who can go back to school."It makes more sense to me that as soon as there's a positive test, Vancouver Coastal Health contacts the entire cohort and says 'everyone needs to stay home until we figure out who's actually at risk,'" Gehl said.The letter says siblings of students in the affected cohort should also be required to self-isolate so they don't risk transmitting to other cohorts or other schools.VCH currently lists 14 schools that have had exposure events since students returned to classes in September.No outbreaks in B.C. schoolsWhen asked about the Caulfeild cluster on Monday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry acknowledged that there had been some early miscommunication about exposure events, but that overall the current strategy has prevented COVID-19 outbreaks at B.C. schools."When people have been notified, transmission has stopped," she said. "We have to balance that with the disruption of students for no reason."But Gehl says it was the actions of parents going beyond public health guidelines that helped prevent further transmission."The fact of the matter is, the parents in that class collectively decided to keep the siblings of those kids at home," said Gehl.She wonders why the number of positive cases is made public for outbreaks at long-term care centres and at food processing facilities but not for cases in schools.Henry has repeatedly said health authorities are not sharing the number of cases in schools. "We have to find that balance that doesn't identify people and make sure that people feel confident that they're going to be protected if they have been a case, if there have been exposures," she said."Some students and teachers and staff who have shared information have been recipients of nasty notes and bad behaviour and that makes people very concerned and afraid to share their information and in many cases reluctant to go for testing."
MONTREAL — The second wave of COVID-19 infections in Quebec is already looking "very different" from the first, provincial Health Minister Christian Dube said Tuesday. The provincial government reported 1,364 new confirmed cases on Tuesday morning – the highest daily total since the beginning of the pandemic. There have now been 81,014 cases of the novel coronavirus confirmed in Quebec, more than half of all cases in Canada. While the first wave was marked by serious outbreaks in long-term care centres, there was limited community transmission outside of those facilities, Dube told reporters at an afternoon press conference. "This time, this is totally different," Dube said, noting there are currently more than 500 active outbreaks across the province. But Dube said the government doesn't know how the virus is spreading through the community. "It's really hard to say, when you have a student being diagnosed at school, where he got it. Did he get it from his parent? Did he get it from his friend? From an uncle who got it at work? It is very difficult to know exactly where you got it," he said. "That's the reason we are saying right now, we are shutting down all those places where we can get together, because we don't know exactly." Schools remain open in the province, but on Monday the government announced high school students in maximum-alert regions will be required to wear masks in class and those in Grades 10 and 11 will spend one day out of every two at home. As of Oct. 2, the most recent date for which data is available, 666 schools had active cases of COVID-19 among staff or students. Restaurant dining rooms, bars, theatres and other venues were shut in the so-called red zones, including greater Montreal and Quebec City, on Oct. 1 for a period of four weeks. The Health Department reported three deaths in the previous 24 hours on Tuesday and said 14 earlier deaths have been linked to the novel coronavirus. Two deaths previously attributed to the disease were determined to have been from other causes, leaving the provincial death toll at 5,899. There are now 397 people in hospital, an increase of 36 from the previous day, while 67 people are in intensive care — an increase of five. But while the number of new cases is now higher than at any other point in the pandemic, the number of hospitalizations remains lower than during its previous peak. Throughout most of April, there was an average of more than 100 hospitalizations a day. Part of that may be due to the fact that younger people, who are less likely to have severe symptoms, are now getting the disease, said Ashleigh Tuite, an epidemiology professor at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health. But it's also likely that the number COVID-19 cases in the spring were underestimated. "Comparing the number of positive cases this month to the number of positive cases in April, isn't a fair comparison, because we're just doing more tests in the population," she said. On average, Quebec is now conducting more than three times as many tests as in April and more than twice as many as in May. "There's no such thing as one measurement that tells us everything we need to know," said Dr. Matthew Oughton, an infectious disease specialist at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital. One important factor, he said, is the percentage of tests that are positive. The higher that number, the more likely the disease is widespread in the community. "We usually consider anything less that one per cent to be indicative of good control. In the middle of August, we were at around half a percent," Oughton said. "Whereas, from these numbers today, we're at six per cent provincially." That figure could be even higher in hard-hit areas of the province, he said. While the provincial government releases data on the number of new cases by region, it doesn't do that for testing. As the number of cases grows in the community, there's a greater chance that the disease will once again spread to a high-risk community, which could lead to a sudden rise in the number of severe cases, Oughton said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2020 ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press
TORONTO — It's been a banner week for Writers' Trust Fiction Prize finalist Gil Adamson. The Writers' Trust announced on Wednesday that the Toronto author's sophomore novel, "Ridgerunner," published by House of Anansi Press, is one of five books up for the $50,000 honour. Adamson's western-meets-mystery also secured a spot on the Scotiabank Giller Prize short list on Monday. The Writers' Trust Fiction Prize winner will be named at a virtual event on Nov. 19. Each finalist receives $5,000. Acclaimed writer Thomas King from Guelph, Ont., is among the authors vying for the literary prize with his anti-travelogue "Indians on Vacation," from HarperCollins Publishers. Also in the running are debut novelists Maria Reva, Michelle Good and Zsuzsi Gartner. Vancouver-raised, Texas-based Reva, who received the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers in 2018, has graduated to the big leagues with a nomination for her novel-in-stories set in Soviet-era Ukraine, "Good Citizens Need Not Fear," published by Knopf Canada. Good, a Cree writer and lawyer, earned a nod for "Five Little Indians," from HarperCollins Publishers. The book follows a group of residential school survivors grappling with their traumatic pasts while trying to forge new lives in Vancouver. Gartner, Vancouver-based author of the 2011 Giller-nominated short story collection "Better Living through Plastic Explosives," is being recognized for her long-form talents in "The Beguiling." Published by Hamish Hamilton Canada, the gothic-inflected read centres on a lapsed Catholic thrust into the role of confessor for strangers' sins. The short list was selected by a jury composed of writers Elisabeth de Mariaffi, Waubgeshig Rice and Yasuko Thanh. Organizers say 123 titles from 61 publishers were submitted for consideration. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2020. The Canadian Press
Combating systemic racism experienced by Indigenous women and girls requires better training and education starting in childhood, says former Opposition leader and ongoing advocate for girls' rights Rona Ambrose. "For me, it's about teaching kids to be better and great global citizens," she said.
“More action is needed,” Michael Garron Hospital president and CEO Sarah Downey is saying after three incidents of racism in four months at an EllisDon construction site on the East York hospital’s grounds. Downey penned an open letter on Oct. 6 to EllisDon president and CEO Geoff Smith regarding three incidents taking place at the same construction site over the summer and fall. On Sept. 24, another noose was found on the site, and on Oct. 2 an employee found racist graffiti in a bathroom stall for workers.
A back-to-school high school party may have led to an outbreak at an Etobicoke High School. So far eight students have tested positive for the virus. As Morganne Campbell reports, the school remains open and concern is mounting among students.
NEW YORK — For the 21 years while Sibil “Fox” Richardson’s husband, Rob, was imprisoned, they were, she says, “a telephone, letter-writing, visitation, just-stay-alive and keep-your-head-above-water couple.” How long is 21 years plus four days? Garrett Bradley’s acclaimed documentary about the Richardson family, “Time,” measures its passage through a father’s absence. It’s seen in children growing up, graduations coming and going, faces changing with age. Made with family video diaries shot by Fox of herself and their six children that span more than two decades, “Time” lends a powerfully intimate portrait of the toll of mass incarceration. Many films have sought to capture the impact of America’s prison industrial complex, but “Time” is something else. The film, which Amazon will release in select theatres Friday and launch on Amazon Prime next week, is a lyrical, black-and-white montage that digs into the long-term ache of incarceration. In footage that unspools more circularly than chronologically, toddlers turn into young men and then back again. It’s also about an enduring love. Throughout the two decades, Fox remains steadfastly devoted to her husband. She becomes a social rights advocate and works tirelessly to get him freed from the Louisiana State Penitentiary where he’s serving a 60-year sentence for robbing a bank. “Love never left off,” says Fox, speaking by Zoom alongside Rob from New Orleans. Says Rob: “Instead of a story of crime and punishment, a story of love and conviction was put before our people to see.” Rob and Fox were high-school sweethearts. They married, bought a house and planned to start a business. But when their plans for a hip-hop clothing store fell through in 1997, they held up a branch of the Shreveport Credit Union. The scheme was poorly thought out; they didn’t steal any money and no one got hurt. But their sentences were harsh. Fox, the getaway driver, got 19 years. Rob got 60 years. “It was hard to even admit out of pride and out of guilt that our actions had led us to such a lowly place,” says Fox. “We’re good people. And sometimes good people do the darnedest dog-gone things.” They never claimed they were innocent but the length of sentence seemed to them excessive. Fox was three-months pregnant with twins at the time of sentencing. In “Time,” she grows furious, weary and increasingly impatient with the bureaucratic appeals process. “These people have no respect for other human beings’ lives,” she says in the film. “We want to believe that justice is not just some imaginary thing that we’ve conjured up inside of our minds,” Rob says now. “When you find yourself up against a system, the system, you realize how heinous and harsh and unusual such a system is, it takes you back to another space in time where people wanted to justify slavery.” Bradley, 34, was working on “Alone,” a 2016 short about incarceration from the point of view of a single mother, when she met Fox. Bradley first began filming Fox imagining she would make a sister short to “Alone." On what was to be her last day shooting, Fox handed her 100 hours of mini-DV tapes. Her plans went out the window. “Getting a hundred hours-worth of Fox’s family archive and personal footage was very much a thwarting of the vision I thought I had,” says Bradley. “But it was completely necessary and opened up doors that needed to be opened.” With editor Gabriel Rhodes, Bradley sifted through the tapes and something larger took shape that captured the hard-to-see family reality of incarceration. She scored it partly with the piano solos of Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, an Ethiopian nun who released a handful of records in the 1960s. At the Sundance Film Festival in January, “Time” won the award for documentary directing. Bradley credits the films of the L.A. Rebellion by filmmakers like Charles Burnett and Julie Dash as inspiring her formally adventurous but deeply humanistic approach to filmmaking. She envisions “Time” as a kind of meeting of her film and Fox’s. Next month, she’ll present an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art of vignettes interspersed with footage from 1913’s “Lime Kiln Field Day,” one of the first films made with an all-Black cast. “I’m interested in seemingly opposing ideas or communities or individuals and thinking about filmmaking as a tool to bring these things together to create sort of third ideas or proposals for a blending and communication,” says Bradley. Bradley kept shooting, too, including the day Rob finally got out of prison. So ecstatic to finally be reunited, Fox and Rob quickly set to making love in the backseat even with a cameraperson from the documentary crew in the front seat. You’d say they picked up right where they left off, but Fox disagrees. “This is a well-oiled machine over here,” she says, laughing. “Our sex life at 50 is so much better.” So is everything else. Fox sees the difference most in their children’s eyes, in their sense of security. “It’s better than I ever imagined,” she says. Early in the pandemic, Rob and Fox each contracted COVID-19, and as difficult as the experience was, they had the chance for the first time in a long time to take care of each other. They’ve since regularly posted videos of their family workouts on Instagram. “Time” resurrected a lot of what they — and Rob, in particular — are also trying to get past. Watching and talking about the film, he says, has been both therapy and torture. “You’re aware of a lot of things that took place because you’ve been there by way of phone, but it’s something else when you put video with audio,” he says. “You can hear the voices and hear the sounds and hear the lectures, but it’s another all together different when you can see the images and the faces.” Bradley screened the film for the family shortly before its Sundance premiere. “We’ve been crying ever since,” says Rob, smiling. ___ Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP Jake Coyle, The Associated Press
The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has released data showing a decrease in the amount of lobster caught between 2016 and 2018 in St. Marys Bay, the body of water at the centre of a disputed Mi'kmaw fishery in southwest Nova Scotia.Lobster landings in St. Marys Bay were 1,691 metric tonnes in the 2016-2017 season with a record high value of $25 million, according to data released to CBC News by the department.Two years later, landings were down 46 per cent by weight and 32 per cent by value.Some non-Indigenous commercial fishermen blame the reduced landings on an increase in fishing in the area by Mi'kmaw fishermen when the commercial season is closed. Chief Mike Sack of Sipekne'katik First Nation says there is no evidence that Mi'kmaw fishing is responsible for the decrease. "We are very conservative and we want to preserve the lobster and make sure it's there for our seven generations to come," he told CBC News. "That includes our people, the commercial, whoever is on the water. But lobster also do have that seven-year life cycle. Stocks are up, they are down." Sack says a quota system could be put in place on all commercial licences if there is concern about conservation of lobster stocks in St. Marys Bay. Decreases vary in wider fishing areaIn a statement, the department said the rate of change "is not dissimilar to that observed in others areas of Lobster Fishing Area 34 during the same period."LFA 34, as it is known, is the largest lobster fishing area in Canada with more than 900 licensed commercial fishermen harvesting from the southern tip of Nova Scotia up to Digby in the Bay of Fundy.The average decrease in LFA 34 over the period was 6 per cent by weight and 17 per cent by value. The department says landings varied overall within LFA 34 with "some being higher and some being lower," than St. Marys Bay.Fishing effort dropped The data also shows the number of licensed boats fishing in St. Marys Bay dropped by 16 per cent over the two-year period.Colin Sproul of the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association says increased out-of-season fishing by the members of the Sipekne'katik First Nation is why the commercial effort went down."There's no lobster there to fish for, so they had to leave. Normally they'd fish every day there for the first three weeks [of the season]. Now the [lobsters] are gone in four or five days because they were already caught by Shubie," Sproul said.Waiting on official 2019-2020 dataSproul says he received data for landings for St. Marys Bay from the 2019-2020 season from the federal government. He says they show a continued decline to below 600 metric tonnes, making the three-year decrease 68 per cent.The department declined to provide 2019-2020 landings from St. Marys Bay to CBC News, saying it has not received all the log books back from commercial fishermen.Sproul says the department is hedging."They're deliberately working the data by refusing to analyze the entire three years that we were talking about," he said.Landings have ebbed and flowed since 2002The department provided CBC News with lobster landing data from 2018 back to 2002.It shows a decrease in landings in both LFA 34 overall and St. Marys Bay starting in 2016.However landings have not yet gone down to their lowest point in St. Marys Bay. In 2006-2007, landings were 900 metric tonnes, similar to the landings in 2018-2019.After 2007, the landings rose for several years before peaking at 1,855 metric tonnes in 2012-2013, followed by a two year dip.Why St. Marys Bay is disputedSince 2017, commercial fishermen have repeatedly complained about an increasing Mi'kmaw lobster fishery in St. Marys Bay in summer months when the commercial season is closed.The Sipekne'katik First Nation has insisted their fishing in St. Marys Bay has been too small to impact stock health. At the end of September, the Mi'kmaw-run lobster fishery had 10 boats, with a total capacity of 500 traps.In the 2018-2019 fishing season, there were 965 boats licensed to fish LFA 34, with most permitting 375 to 400 traps per licence.MORE TOP STORIES
More than forty years since its original release, Fleetwood Mac's Dreams is back on the charts, thanks to a viral video posted on TikTok. Dreams, which was a chart-topper upon its release in 1977, had its best streaming week of all time in the week ending Oct. 1, according to Billboard. The song gained 8.47 million streams in the U.S., up 125 per cent from the previous week, when it had 3.76 million. In Canada, the song sits at No. 47 on Spotify's Top 50, No. 21 in Apple's Top 100 and at No. 15 on Shazam's most-searched tracks. That bump came primarily from 37-year-old Nathan Apodaca, an Idaho father of two and labourer at a potato warehouse. On Sept. 25, Apodaca — under the TikTok handle 420doggface208 — shared a video in which he's seen longboarding down a highway, sipping from a bottle of cranberry juice, with Dreams playing in the background. The post soon racked up over 20 million views on the TikTok app, adding millions more when the footage was shared on Twitter.It has spawned numerous recreations, including one by the band's co-founder Mick Fleetwood, who created a TikTok account to join in. As of Tuesday morning, his version had more than 6 million views. "@420doggface208 had it right," Fleetwood wrote as the video's caption."Dreams and cranberry just hits different."This isn't the first time Dreams has seen a resurgence in popularity.In March 2018, a widely circulated tweet in which the song was dubbed over footage of a college dance team performing on a track field pushed download sales for the song up 36 per cent. That instance saw the track jump to roughly two million streams and 2,000 download sales in the U.S.Billboard's report this week puts current download sales for Dreams at 7,000.Rumours, the album that Dreams first appeared on, has also moved up the Billboard 200 albums chart to 27.It's the first time the album been in the top 40 since 2013. Three years ago, it also saw a rebound in popularity when another track — The Chain — was used in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.TikTok as a hitmakerThough older songs can return to the spotlight in myriad ways, TikTok's emergence as a musical tastemaker has made it a popular platform for resurfacing previously released tracks. Earlier this year, Matthew Wilder's 1980s hit Break My Stride trended on TikTok, catapulting the song into Spotify's Viral 50 playlist and Apple Music's Top 100 chart.Around the same time, L'Trimm's Cars with the Boom — released in 1988 — made a huge comeback after it was featured in millions of videos on the app.That effect is even more powerful with tracks released in the more recent past.Lizzo's Truth Hurts was already two years old when it found fame on TikTok, catapulting the American singer to eight nominations and three wins at the 2020 Grammys.Rock band Paramore's 2009 track All I Wanted moved back into the spotlight after a TikTok trend earlier this summer and Canadian musician CARYS (Aviva Mongillo) saw her 2017 song Princesses Don't Cry become a viral sensation in late 2019 after it trended on the app.Dreams' time in the spotlight has done more than just help Fleetwood Mac. After his video went viral, Apodaca received over $10,000 US in donations once fans discovered he's been living in an RV with no running water. According to the Los Angeles Times, Apodaca said that money will likely go toward helping his parents, car repairs and buying a new RV.
The mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh, where deadly new fighting erupted last week between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces, has been in a tense limbo since a 1994 truce. WHAT AND WHERE IS NAGORNO-KARABAKH? Nagorno-Karabakh is a region within Azerbaijan that has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by the Armenian government for more than a quarter-century.
Kneehill County council granted a three-year subdivision extension to Badlands Motorsports Resort during their regular council meeting on Tuesday, September 22. Badlands Motorsports Resort (BMR), located near the hamlet of Rosebud and within the boundaries of Kneehill County, previously received approval for development with certain conditions applied, which was due to expire January 30, 2021. “We feel with the current economic conditions, extenuated by the coronavirus situation, the road construction commencement date of September 15, 2020 is difficult to meet,” Badlands Motorsports Resort development manager James Zelazo stated in a letter to Kneehill County dated September 7.
Saskatchewan's highest court has ruled in favour of a nurse who was disciplined after she complained on Facebook about the care her grandfather had received in a long-term care facility.In a decision delivered Tuesday, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal set aside a decision by the province's Registered Nurses Association that found Carolyn Strom guilty of unprofessional conduct. The court also set aside a decision by the association's discipline committee to impose a fine and costs, totalling $26,000, on Strom, who is from Prince Albert.She said she is relieved, and looking forward to moving on and focusing on her family and life without the case hanging over her head. She's waited over a year for a decision in the appeal hearing, which took place in September 2019. Strom says it has been a difficult wait, but she felt some optimism. "I remember feeling hopeful, but also scared because we had so much bad news leading up to it. We just kept getting pushed down. And I was just like ... 'no, this isn't the right decision. It can't be.' And so I just pushed forward and hoped that somebody would understand and get it right," said Strom. "After leaving that courtroom last September, that was the first time I remember feeling this. That is the first time in four years that I felt understood."5-year fightStrom was off-duty when she aired her concerns on Facebook in 2015, a few weeks after her grandfather's death. In her Facebook post, she said staff at St. Joseph's Integrated Health Centre in the town of Macklin, about 225 kilometres west of Saskatoon, needed to do a better job of looking after elderly patients.The lawyer for the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association argued that Strom personally attacked an identifiable group without attempting to get all the facts about her grandfather's care.In 2016, she was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $25,000 to cover the cost of the tribunal.After the association's decision, she received support from the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, as well as nurses and civil liberties groups across the country."Once I understood what this case meant ... once it was past being just about me, I didn't want someone else to have to go through the same thing. Because it's been rough," Strom said. She appealed the association's decision to the province's Court of Queen's Bench, but that appeal was dismissed in 2018.Strom says she continued to fight the decision because she wanted nurses to be able to talk about, and advocate for, better care for family members publicly and in a respectful manner."You should be able to properly advocate for family members, regardless of whether you're a health-care member."And I felt that if this decision went wrong, it would actually hurt people who have health-care members as family members. because they would have to be a little more careful and not express concerns for fear of of punishment."Appeal court Justice Brian Barrington-Foote wrote in his decision that Strom's freedom of expression was infringed, and she had a right to criticize the care her grandfather received.The judge ruled that criticism of the health-care system is in the public interest, and when it comes from front-line workers it can bring positive change.The appeal court said Tuesday that it makes no finding with regard to the care Strom's grandfather received at St. Joseph's.CBC News has reached out to the Registered Nurses Association for comment.
Rank, Book Title by Author Name, ISBN, Publisher 1. The Return by Nicholas Sparks - 9781538728567 - (Grand Central Publishing) 2. Battle Ground by Jim Butcher - 9780593199329 - (Penguin Publishing Group) 3. The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey - 9781250164698 - (Henry Holt and Co.) 4. The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett - 9781984882028 - (Penguin Publishing Group) 5. Total Power by Kyle Mills & Vince Flynn - 9781501190674 - (AtriaEmily Bestler Books) 6. The Coast-to-Coast Murders by J. D. Barker & James Patterson - 9780316457439 - (Little, Brown and Company) 7. Whiskey Lullaby by Liliana Hart - No ISBN Available - (7th Press) 8. Crush by Tracy Wolff - 9781682815854 - (Entangled Publishing, LLC) 9. The Billionaire’s Wake-up-call Girl by Annika Martin - 9781944736064 - (Annika Martin) 10. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman - 9781501160851 - (Atria Books) The Associated Press
Thirteen mayors from British Columbia's largest cities want the province's political leaders to state their positions on four key issues including housing, addictions and transit. The BC Urban Mayors' Caucus has sent letters to NDP Leader John Horgan, B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson, the Green party's Sonia Furstenau and Conservative Leader Trevor Bolin.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney responds to a movement by the Alberta Federation of Labour to boycott businesses that support the United Conservative Party.
COVID-19 has thrown a major wrench into Thanksgiving planning this year and that became a hot topic at Queen’s Park. As Travis Dhanraj reports, the public health advice coming from the province is a bit tricky to pick through.