• 4-H Club kids and their animals deal with disappointment of cancelled Stampede events
    Entertainment
    CBC

    4-H Club kids and their animals deal with disappointment of cancelled Stampede events

    Harriet the sheep and Classic Lady the cow had big plans this week. Both were to be shown as part of 4-H competitions during the 2020 Calgary Stampede.The Stampede was, of course, cancelled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, leaving Harriett, Classic Lady and their young owners in the lurch."I was disappointed at first because it was such a good experience for me last year," said Harriet's owner, 14-year-old Ellie Woolf. "I learned so much through that event."Woolf, who is from Welling, south of Lethbridge, had a number of sheep entered in the competition. And 15-year-old Lexi Dietrich of Forestburg, in northern Alberta, had planned to show a number of cattle, including Classic Lady. "I was planning on taking three of my heifers," Dietrich told The Homestretch. "They're all very different in their own ways. They're different colours. I have a heifer named Jujube that's yellow coloured and then a black heifer named Mistress, and then Classic Lady's my red heifer, and I would have been taking them to Calgary for the first time each of them."Dietrich said she puts a lot of time into preparing her animals for the Stampede."It is a lot of work, a lot of hours spent in the barn working with them making sure that they're used to the people and everything that goes on in Calgary, and getting their hair trained," she said. "We need to ensure that their hair is good, and keep them clipped and trim their hooves sometimes, and just keep them healthy."Both girls have substituted the big show with competing in some smaller-scale virtual shows with their animals, which they entered by submitting videos. The results aren't in yet. Woolf said it's not the same as a live competition, though the judges are looking at the same criteria."They are looking for good confirmation, so good teeth, you want a long straight back, you want good balance, even muscling, and you want them to be tame and docile," Woolf said. "What I love about showing sheep is that there is a lot less risk and they're super easy to handle and they're just super awesome."Dietrich will miss having the live experience and the excitement of Stampede; she enjoys travelling to shows, meeting people and seeing the cattle be presented. "I just love doing it," she said. "I've always done it and it's my favourite hobby."Dietrich is the youngest of four in a ranching family."I was born into it. My family has always had a cattle herd," Dietrich said. "All my siblings have done it and I've learned everything I know about cattle from my family, and I'm very fortunate that I love to do it."Woolf said she got started when her family moved to a small farm eight years ago and got three sheep. She joined 4-H four years ago, and plans to raise her own flock some day.Dietrich, also a 4-H member, plans to stay in the industry. "I'm hoping to stick with some of our cattle genetics and create my own cattle herd," she said. "I am fortunate enough to own a couple beef cattle, like a small herd, but I'm looking forward to expanding it to keep producing cattle and stay in the industry."Both Dietrich and Woolf say the animals are among their favourite creatures."The way to a sheep's heart is through their stomach," Woolf said. "So if you're the one doing the chores, they are starting to love you."Dietrich agrees. "I consider some of my favourite show cows to be my best friends," she said. " I love going out to the pasture, and even if they aren't in the show pen, giving them a good old scratch and making sure that they still know that I care about them."Listen to the full interview on The Homestretch here:

  • Conservatives say police should be called in to investigate WE charity scandal
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Conservatives say police should be called in to investigate WE charity scandal

    OTTAWA — The Conservatives said Friday they want a criminal investigation into the Liberal government's decision to have the WE organization run a $900-million program for student volunteers.Their call for police to step in comes after it was revealed that the group has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees to members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's family over several years.Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest with regard to the contract, as his long-standing family ties to the group are well known.But that review was launched prior to revelations the prime minister's mother, brother and wife have been paid in the past by the WE organization."The revelation that $350,000 in cash was paid by this organization to immediate members of Justin Trudeau's family, that organization that he awarded a sole-sourced $1-billion contract to, that revelation raises the need for the police to take a look at it," Conservative ethics critic Michael Barrett said Friday.The WE organization said Thursday that it had paid Trudeau's mother Margaret about $250,000 for 28 speaking appearances at WE-related events between 2016 and 2020.The prime minister's brother Alexandre has been paid $32,000 for eight events, according to WE. The organization that represents them as speakers was paid additional commissions, WE said.And Trudeau's wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau received $1,400 in 2012 for a single appearance that year.Besides being Trudeaus, Margaret Trudeau has profile as a mental-health advocate and has been in the public eye for decades; Alexandre Trudeau is a filmmaker; and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau has had a career in television.Most of the payments went from the for-profit component of the organization called ME to WE Social Enterprise, which sponsors the charitable component, WE Charity said in a statement.About $64,000 went from WE Charity to Margaret Trudeau's speaker's bureau because of "an error in billing / payment" that WE said was later corrected."Justin Trudeau has never been paid by WE Charity or ME to WE Social Enterprise for any speeches or any other matters," WE Charity said.Trudeau's office said Thursday said "the prime minister's relatives engage with a variety of organizations and support many personal causes on their own accord."Trudeau has maintained the non-partisan public service recommended WE to administer the Canada Student Services Grant programThe volunteer program promised to pay students $1,000 toward education costs for every 100 hours of volunteering they do between now and early fall, through approved charities and non-profits.Trudeau said in announcing WE as the program's manager in late June that it was the only organization in Canada with the reach and expertise needed to run it properly.He did not recuse himself from cabinet approval of the deal.Placements are uncertain now that WE has withdrawn and the government itself is taking the program over.Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet said late Thursday that Trudeau should step aside until the matter is fully probed, turning power over to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.The Conservatives did not echo that call, suggesting it is up to the Liberal caucus to look itself in the mirror and decide what should happen with their leadership.Liberal cabinet ministers must also reveal what they knew and when, Barrett said.The Conservatives do not intend to try to bring down the minority Liberals over the scandal."We're looking to get the truth and accountability," he said.In a statement, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said Trudeau, his office and cabinet must comply fully with the ethics commissioner and in particular, waive cabinet confidentiality in the case.Trudeau has twice before been investigated by the ethics commissioner, but the watchdog has said he's been hampered by a refusal by the government to lift the customary veil of secrecy on cabinet discussions."Canadians deserve to know the truth and need to know this won't happen again," Singh said. The section of the Criminal Code the Conservatives are suggesting could apply in this case is the same one that was once used to charge former Conservative senator Mike Duffy in the Senate expenses scandal.It deals with frauds on the government, and creates offences related to government officials, or their families, benefiting from government contracts.Duffy had been charged under this section for taking a $90,000 cheque from then-chief of staff to the prime minister, Nigel Wright, to repay his housing expenses.Duffy was found not guilty on that, and all, charges.The volunteer program that began under WE's management promises to pay students $1,000 toward upcoming education costs for every 100 hours of volunteer work they put in between now and early fall, through approved charities and non-profits.Trudeau said in announcing WE as the program's manager in late June that it was the only organization in Canada with the reach and expertise needed to run it properly.Placements are uncertain now that WE has withdrawn and the government itself is taking the program over.This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2020.The Canadian Press

  • Business
    CBC

    Saskatchewan economy adds 30,000 jobs in June as businesses open up again: Statistics Canada

    Saskatchewan added more than 30,000 new jobs in June as businesses began to open back up from the COVID-19 pandemic.Saskatchewan's unemployment rate dipped to 11.6 per cent in June from a high in May of 12.5 per cent, according to a Statistics Canada report on Friday. That's still more than five per cent higher than the pre-pandemic unemployment rate of 6.2 per cent in February, 2020.In June there were an additional 22,000 full-time jobs and 10,000 part-time jobs in the province.On a seasonally adjusted basis, there were 537,800 persons employed in Saskatchewan in June 2020. That's about 40,0000 fewer jobs than in February of this year.In mid-March, the Saskatchewan government and others across Canada ordered the closure of schools, businesses and public events as the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed.In May, the province started to slowly open back up with medical professionals allowed to open followed by businesses such as hair salons and campgrounds.In June bars, restaurants, fitness facilities and other businesses were allowed to open, though with a number of restrictions.At the national level Canada added almost one million jobs in June.The jobless rate fell to 12.3 per cent, down from the record high of 13.7 in May.There are still 1.8 million fewer jobs in Canada today than there were in February.

  • PHOTOS: How Walt Disney World will change for the COVID-19 pandemic
    Lifestyle
    Yahoo News Canada

    PHOTOS: How Walt Disney World will change for the COVID-19 pandemic

    After being closed for almost four month due to COVID-19, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will be welcoming guests again on Jul 11, beginning with Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.“Our deliberate and phased approach at Walt Disney World Resort emphasizes multiple layers of health and safety measures,” Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said in a statement. “We’re taking a multi-pronged approach to our reopening, after considering the guidance of various governmental authorities and health agencies, and recommendations from our team of health and safety experts.”Although the resort may be open, the experience for guests will look quite different to what a Walt Disney World trip was in the past. Some of the new rules that will be in place include:Limits on capacity in theme parks each dayTemperature screenings before entering a theme parkGround markings and physical barriers to promote physical distancingLimited capacity on transportation servicesAll guests, and cast members, over the age of two must wear a face covering at all times (excepting when eating and drinking)Cashless payment options are encouraged, including mobile ordering through the My Disney Experience app for diningWhile children, and adults, may love taking a photo with their favourite Disney character, traditional greeting and parades are still on hiatus. These beloved characters will still be around to wave at guests throughout the day, but they’ll be saying hello from a safe physical distance.EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will follow with reopening on Jul. 15. The Disney Skyliner also resume operation on that date, with on party per gondola.

  • News
    CBC

    Security having protesters remove tents at Nathan Phillips Square

    A week after the city issued a trespassing order to anti-racism protesters who had set up an encampment at Nathan Phillips Square, security officers began having people remove their tents Friday."Security is asking protesters to gather their belongings including their tents and temporarily vacate the tent area," said city spokesperson Bruce Hawkins in an email."Tents are not permitted structures under the Nathan Phillips Square Bylaw, and the protesters have unlawfully erected on them on the square and the protesters have had plenty of notice to remove them. Today, the protesters are being compliant with the request being made of them."Hawkins also noted that the protesters aren't being told to leave the square, as protests and gatherings are permitted there — it's sleeping on the square specifically that isn't permitted.The protest, which has been ongoing since June 19, was organized by Afro Indigenous Rising, which describes itself online as a "collective working towards action for de-funding the police, and for justice for Afro-Indigenous peoples affected by colonial violence."The encampment is one of several protests against racism that have sprung up in Toronto in recent weeks, alongside calls to defund police.At the end of June, city council voted in favour of a series of reforms that could alter the future of policing in the city, including the creation of a non-police response team for mental health calls and a mandate to require all officers to have body-worn cameras by 2021.The changes do not, however, include a targeted reduction of the policing budget.

  • Civil servants to get up to $2,500 each for Phoenix 'pain and suffering'
    Business
    The Canadian Press

    Civil servants to get up to $2,500 each for Phoenix 'pain and suffering'

    OTTAWA — Federal employees stand to collect up to $2,500 each in cash payments for "pain and suffering" resulting from the government's failed Phoenix pay system under an agreement reached with the country's biggest civil-service union.The settlement comes as government workers scramble to get emergency benefits out to individual Canadians and businesses affected by the economic crisis that has flowed from the COVID-19 pandemic.The lump-sum payments are contained in a side deal reached late Thursday alongside a tentative contract settlement for about 70,000 civil servants that includes average annual wage increases of 2.11 per cent over a three-year term.The Public Service Alliance of Canada said the payments are compensation for the problems caused to federal workers by the broken Phoenix pay system, which created underpayments, overpayments or in some cases no pay cheques for tens of thousands of government employees."After four years of stress, uncertainty, and financial hardships because their employer couldn't pay them correctly or on time, our members will finally be compensated for the Phoenix pay disaster," PSAC national president Chris Aylward said in a statement.The compensation agreement affects about 140,000 PSAC members but could also affect members of other unions that last year agreed to compensation of five days of cashable leave.PSAC, Canada's biggest civil service union, had rejected that settlement, calling the five extra vacation days "meagre."The other unions may benefit from the PSAC deal, however, because their agreements included clauses that would provide their members with compensation equal to whatever PSAC was able to negotiate.The PSAC agreement, which does not require ratification by its members, would see general damages paid to federal public service employees working for a range of government departments between 2016 and 2020.It also includes compensation for the late implementation of collective agreements during those years caused by the Phoenix pay system.Compensation totals $1,000 for employees working in the fiscal year 2016-17 and $500 in each of the following three years.Beyond the lump sum, government employees who suffered severe losses due to the Phoenix pay system, such as losing their homes, cars or investments, or who had their credit ratings harmed, can claim damages.When conceived in 2009, the Phoenix system was supposed to streamline the public service payroll and save taxpayers more than $70 million annually.But after its launch in 2016, more than half of civil servants experienced pay problems, forcing the government to hire extra staff and set up satellite pay centres across the country in an effort to chip away at problem cases.As of June 24, the backlog of problem files had been reduced to 125,000 financial transactions beyond normal workload, according to the public service pay centre dashboard, which tracks pay issues.The most recent estimated cost of stabilizing Phoenix was pegged at more than $1 billion, not including the amount it will take to create, test and launch a new pay system that works.Separately, PSAC and the Treasury Board Secretariat, which is responsible for negotiating contracts with federal employees, said they had reached a tentative settlement late Thursday for about half of PSAC's members.The three-year deal for program and administrative services group employees includes wage increases of 2.8 per cent in the first year, followed by 2.2 per cent in the second and 1.35 per cent in the final year.The tentative agreement applies to close to 84,000 federal employees, including non-unionized workers, according to Treasury Board.It also contains new provisions for caregiver leave, extended parental leave, and up to 10 days of domestic violence leave.Details on when a ratification vote will be held are expected next week.This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2020.Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press

  • The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Friday, July 10
    News
    The Canadian Press

    The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Friday, July 10

    The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 12:10 p.m. on July 10, 2020:There are 107,021 confirmed cases in Canada._ Quebec: 56,316 confirmed (including 5,612 deaths, 25,675 resolved)_ Ontario: 36,464 confirmed (including 2,710 deaths, 32,155 resolved)_ Alberta: 8,519 confirmed (including 161 deaths, 7,774 resolved)_ British Columbia: 3,028 confirmed (including 186 deaths, 2,667 resolved)_ Nova Scotia: 1,066 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 999 resolved)_ Saskatchewan: 813 confirmed (including 15 deaths, 750 resolved)_ Manitoba: 314 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 314 resolved), 11 presumptive_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 262 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 258 resolved)_ New Brunswick: 166 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 163 resolved)_ Prince Edward Island: 33 confirmed (including 27 resolved)_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)_ Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases_ Total: 107,021 (11 presumptive, 107,010 confirmed including 8,759 deaths, 70,811 resolved)This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2020.The Canadian Press

  • Former Hay River teacher shares story of racism in N.W.T. school system
    News
    CBC

    Former Hay River teacher shares story of racism in N.W.T. school system

    Storm Lynn will never forget the memory of walking into a classroom as a substitute teacher, and witnessing a white teacher screaming at her Indigenous students. A member of the K'atl'odeeche First Nation, Lynn said the incident at Diamond Jenness Secondary School in Hay River, N.W.T., brought back memories of how teachers mistreated her and her Indigenous friends at the same school, almost a decade ago."It was super frustrating to see that that was still happening," Lynn told CBC News. "I don't think yelling at kids and making them feel like they're awful human beings is a way to foster trust." Recognizing the discomfort on the students' faces, Lynn decided to take her concerns to the school's principal at the time. However, she said they dismissed her concerns by justifying the white teacher's behaviour, leaving her feeling unable to further question the event — until today.Now, Lynn is sharing her experience to help people learn about systemic racism in the N.W.T.'s school system, which she says primarily targets Indigenous students and other kids of colour.'We felt powerless' When Lynn was most recently teaching at the school in 2018, she says she was one of four people of colour on a staff of about 20.At meetings, teachers often brought up students' complaints of problematic or racist behaviour, but Lynn said they were quickly brushed off.> The segregation of students is a choice made by the administrators — and that's problematic. \- Storm Lynn, former substitute teacher"A lot of our time working together centred around us just venting about the problematic, racist stuff that was happening," Lynn said. "We [as teachers of colour] felt powerless." CBC has contacted the school's principal and the South Slave Divisional Education Council and has not heard back. The local district education authority would not comment.R.J. Simpson, the N.W.T.'s education minister, said southern teachers receive training when they first arrive in the territory — mostly focusing on the legacy of residential schools. Still, he admitted more training should be done so teachers can better understand their Indigenous students. "There's a lot more to Indigenous people than residential schools," Simpson said. "I think we need to let the people coming up here from the South, who aren't familiar with the culture, know that."Simpson noted the territory also needs to find creative ways to hire and train more Indigenous teachers.Students divided by language class choice  At Diamond Jenness Secondary School, students choose whether to take South Slavey or French as their second language. The school's administration then splits the students into two homeroom classes based on their language class choice.Indigenous students often pick South Slavey and non-Indigenous students tend to choose French, Lynn noted. "That essentially divides the class by race," she said. "The segregation of students is a choice made by the administrators — and that's problematic." Simpson said he does not believe there is "overt racism" in the territory's schools. Instead, he said the division at Hay River's high school comes down to scheduling issues. "I don't think anyone has bad intentions," the minister told CBC. "But I think we need to look at what our system is and what our system is based on."Simpson said it's up to district education authorities to include cultural elements, like on-the-land outings. The government keeps track of which schools and districts bring those elements into their classrooms, he added.The teachers and curriculum for the South Slavey language class are more "flexible" than it is for French, Lynn said. That's because there are fewer teaching materials, like dictionaries, available to students so they can practise. Oftentimes, that means there are fewer students who are fluent in South Slavey by graduation. A best practices guide for Indigenous language education is now in the works by the territorial government.Territory to make 2 new northern studies courses All students take a mandatory northern studies class in Grade 10.For children in the French stream, this is their only chance to learn elements of local Indigenous culture, Lynn said. The Grade 10 class is divided into five sections, focusing on Indigenous identity, the legacy of colonialism and land claims. The final part of the class asks students to work with local Indigenous knowledge keepers on a subject of their choice.When Lynn was in high school, she noted the course was taught by a white teacher. "Since so much of our culture, history and language has been stolen from us, I think it's inappropriate to have a non-Indigenous person ... teaching that," Lynn said. The territorial government is reviewing its curriculum, Minister Simpson said, to include more "made-in-the-North" content. Right now, the territory closely follows Alberta's model. Two new northern studies courses will also be introduced for students in Grade 11 and 12. Indigenous leaders and governments, Simpson continued, will be the ones telling the ministry what needs to be taught. "That will give all of our students, and people who will grow up to be all of our residents, a better view of what the North is about," Simpson explained. "Once you know the people, you have more tolerance." According to the government, the Grade 11 course will start in the 2022-23 school year. The Grade 12 class will be rolled out next year.

  • America's worsening COVID-19 crisis has some Canadians barring the border door
    Politics
    The Canadian Press

    America's worsening COVID-19 crisis has some Canadians barring the border door

    WASHINGTON — A Canadian cabinet minister was among the guests waiting in the virtual wings of a recent Zoom panel when the moderator posed one last question to the chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, promising the discussion would "move to Canada" next.Rep. Adam Schiff couldn't resist: "We may all be moving to Canada soon," he deadpanned.But as a resurgent COVID-19 ravages the U.S., fuelled by cavalier openings in states like Florida and Texas and a White House determined to resurrect the economy at all costs, the red-alert status spreading across the continent's lower half has more Canadians than ever ignoring America's increasingly persistent knock.An online poll by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies released this week found a whopping 86 per cent of respondents in Canada opposed to letting U.S. tourists north of the border, compared with 11 per cent who supported it. An Abacus Data poll out Friday found much the same thing.And when Rep. Brian Higgins, a New York Democrat, updated his bipartisan call for a plan to reopen the border, the ensuing Twitter barrage of sarcasm, satire and outright anger belied Canada's reputation as a bastion of civility, replete with memes of building walls, slamming doors and Bugs Bunny taking a handsaw to the 49th parallel. Higgins took it all in stride."I don't blame them for wanting us out of there," the congressman said Friday of the Canadian reaction."I have an obligation to be honest, and I have an obligation to always keep trying. And if anything, what I hope will come from all of this is an appreciation for the tale of two neighbouring countries' response to COVID-19: America's has been deplorable, and the Canadian response has been fast, strong and united."When the outbreak first took hold in North America in March, Canada and the U.S. agreed to close their shared border to discretionary travel while allowing the movement of goods and essential workers to continue. That initial 30-day agreement has been extended three times now, and will surely be extended again before its next July 21 expiry date.Since March, the U.S. has seen more than 3 million cases and 133,000 deaths, and the crisis is accelerating in states across the union. Florida is breaking records daily for new COVID-19 cases and deaths. In Arizona and Texas, one in four tests is coming back positive. Further north, states like Wisconsin and Michigan are seeing fresh spikes in their active caseloads. Hospitals are again rapidly nearing capacity.In their letter last week to acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Canada's Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, Higgins and 27 other members of Congress, Democrat and Republican alike, urged the two countries to stop kicking the can down the road and draft a detailed plan for the gradual reopening of the border."The continual 30-day extensions without a plan for how restrictions will be modified prolongs uncertainty for both communities and creates unnecessary tension as we approach each new expiration," they wrote."We are asking that the United States and Canada immediately craft a comprehensive framework for phased reopening of the border based on objective metrics and accounting for the varied circumstances across border regions."That doesn't mean throwing open the border to Americans, Higgins said. But it could mean redefining essential travel to include foreign property owners and people with business interests or family members on the other side, provided they wear masks and practice physical distancing."Never in our lifetime have we had a situation where the health of you and your family is dependent on your fellow citizens to do the right thing," he said. "A phased opening could expand the category of 'essential traveller,' but (include) certifying some way that you are adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's protocol as it relates to stopping the spread of COVID-19."Ontario Premier Doug Ford, a pro-trade conservative and longtime champion of Canada-U.S. ties, has been among those urging zero tolerance at the border until the crisis in the U.S. has passed — a position spokeswoman Ivana Yelich reiterated Friday."The premier has been clear: the border must remain closed to non-essential travel until the U.S. has made significant progress in containing COVID-19," Yelich said. "The recent spike in the number of COVID cases in the U.S. is very concerning. As such, the premier will continue to support restrictions at the U.S. border beyond the July 21 deadline."The worsening public health situation in the U.S. has not diminished the importance of cross-border business travel, including face-to-face meetings or technical on-site visits, to the health of Canada's economy, said Mark Agnew, director of international policy with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.Despite the best efforts of both countries, the current border measures have been confusing for some, causing stress and delays even for those who have work permits that allow them to cross, Agnew said."It would be helpful for the government to set out the circumstances under which border measures will start to normalize, to enable companies to plan."Despite the political challenges the U.S. outbreak now poses for the federal Liberal government in Canada, it's past time to start thinking about how to ease the border restrictions, said Laurie Trautman, director of the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash."There is an immediate need to be more thoughtful and strategic about how our countries go about doing that," Trautman said, floating the idea of wider family exemptions and allowing homeowners to visit their foreign properties.In northern Washington state, law enforcement is growing concerned about the challenge of protecting vacant homes owned by Canadians, she added."Grandparents should be able to see their grandkids," Trautman said. "Exempting these two groups from the restrictions would not ‘open up the floodgates’ and seem reasonable and empathetic to me."This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2020.— Follow James McCarten on Twitter @CdnPressStyleJames McCarten, The Canadian Press

  • Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

    LEVIS, Que. — Police are continuing their search around a Quebec City suburb after they issued an Amber Alert Thursday for two young girls and their 44-year-old father who investigators believe disappeared following a highway car crash.Quebec provincial police spokeswoman Audrey-Anne Bilodeau said Friday police aren't ruling out anything in their search for Norah and Romy Carpentier, and their father, Martin Carpentier."All the hypotheses are on the table, and kidnapping is among them," Bilodeau said, "but the priority for us is that we have missing people that could be injured."She said the father's motives remain unclear."We don't know his motivations," she said. "Are they good? Are they bad? Is he simply injured badly and not able to call anyone? It’s really hard to say right now, but our main concern is really trying to locate him and his two daughters."Police issued the Amber Alert Thursday afternoon for Norah, 11, and Romy, 6, from Levis, Que., south of Quebec City.Investigators said they believe the three people were involved in a car crash and left the area on foot Wednesday night in St-Apollinaire, Que. Bilodeau said the search is being concentrated around the Highway 20 crash site, in the Quebec City suburb."There’s some other information that leads us to think that the people involved may be moving and still in this area," said Bilodeau.She said police are asking nearby residents to check their properties, including sheds, barns and cottages. K-9 units have been deployed, Bilodeau added, and searches are also being carried out on foot and on ATVs.Police said the father was last seen wearing a grey T-shirt and jeans and could be wearing glasses. They asking anyone with information about the three people's whereabouts to call 911.This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2020.The Canadian Press

  • World hunger on the rise due to COVID, hurricane season won't help
    News
    The Weather Network

    World hunger on the rise due to COVID, hurricane season won't help

    The number of severely food insecure people has risen 70 per cent over the past four years, a compound effect of climate change, conflict and socio-economic shocks, say health officials.

  • You had COVID questions, and Dr. Mark Joffe had answers
    Lifestyle
    CBC

    You had COVID questions, and Dr. Mark Joffe had answers

    Are playgrounds safe in the COVID-19 pandemic? Yes, but bring hand sanitizer for the kids.What about hotel rooms? Also yes, but bring your own disinfectant wipes to use on high-touch surfaces in your room.Should I wear a mask in public places?"Here's the bottom line," said Dr. Mark Joffe, an Alberta Health Services vice-president and medical director for northern Alberta."I think Albertans should be wearing a mask when they are in public places when they cannot be assured that they can stay six feet away from other individuals."Joffe fielded questions Thursday in a live event hosted by Nancy Carlson, host of CBC's Edmonton News at 6. Here's some of their conversation, edited for length.How concerning is the full facility outbreak at the Misericordia?It's exactly why we are concerned about COVID-19. We know that it's in our community, we know that it will continue to be with us for months to come. We know that we need to remain vigilant, and the experience at the Misericordia really just highlights just how potentially infectious and devastating this virus can be.So we all need to remain on our guard and we need to do everything we can to prevent the transmission, the spread of COVID-19 in the community, and of course in our health-care facilities.How did so many people get infected at the Misericordia?We've got teams of people who are involved with looking very carefully at exactly what happened, how it happened. I am going to speculate that there won't be major surprises. We know how COVID-19 is transmitted … it's transmitted at close range, direct contact, spread by droplets. And so I suspect that what we will learn is that those were the mechanisms of transmission.What we do need to understand is, did the personal protective equipment work, did it not work, was it used appropriately, was it not used appropriately?The events at the Misericordia are an opportunity for us to learn and to get better … We are looking into the mechanisms of transmission, how individuals acquired infections at the Misericordia, and again that will help us prevent that as we move forward.We're seeing more cases now in Edmonton. Is that a concern?As we began to reopen services that had been closed for two to three months, we knew we would start to see more cases, and that's exactly what's happened.We are seeing low numbers of cases overall. We've certainly seen more cases in Edmonton than what we had seen in the month or two prior. It's not unexpected. And I think the important thing to understand is when we look into the cases we are seeing, they are all linked.You can see exactly how the transmission is occurring. We've had some family events — meals, funerals, those sorts of events — where there has been transmission. So when we do our contact tracing, it's usually fairly apparent where an individual has acquired their COVID-19.There are very, very few surprises. So, someone who comes to an assessment centre, for example, is screened and is found to be positive, and has absolutely no link to anybody. That is very, very, very rare.What this tells us is that COVID-19 is not rampant, widespread in our communities. It's fairly contained and there are little pockets of infection. And again, it's a warning to Albertans that the virus is still here, and you still need to be cautious.Is interprovincial travel still not recommended?Dr. [Deena] Hinshaw, our chief medical officer of health, is discouraging non-essential travel, and I think that would be the official recommendation. So if you don't have to travel between provinces, it's best to stay within Alberta. I think this is a great time to celebrate Alberta. It's a great time to support Alberta businesses, the Alberta hospitality industry.Enjoy our beautiful province. Travel to parts of the province you've never been to before. Grande Prairie, High Level, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat — wonderful places to visit. Red Deer of course, many other places that I haven't mentioned. Peace River — beautiful part of Alberta.Maybe stay in Alberta, spend your tourist dollars here in Alberta.

  • Tropical Storm Fay develops, Canadian impacts outlined, here
    News
    The Weather Network

    Tropical Storm Fay develops, Canadian impacts outlined, here

    Fay will lash parts of the U.S. East Coast with heavy rain, with some of it spilling into eastern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes this weekend.

  • Health
    CBC

    After surge in COVID-19 cases linked to house parties, Montérégie towns make masks mandatory

    Health officials in the Montérégie are scrambling to contain an outbreak caused by large house parties they say have so far led to nearly 70 new COVID-19 cases. The outbreak, linked to two parties in the Montérégie and a bar on Montreal's South Shore, has caused some towns in the region to make wearing masks mandatory when in enclosed public spaces.Dr. Julie Loslier, director of public health for the Montérégie, is urging residents to stop having large indoor gatherings, and for anyone who sees one to report it to police."It worries me. I see the impact of private parties," Loslier said in a video posted to the public health authority's Facebook page Thursday afternoon.She said that when an asymptomatic carrier goes to a house party, everyone present is put at risk.That was the case last month in Saint-Chrysostome, Que., a town about 50 kilometres south of Montreal where more than 100 young people attended a party.She says that party is a major contributor to the outbreak in the region, and that it is difficult to track the spread of the disease as it is carried from party to party."When we talk about recent events where 100 people are gathered in a home, it's not acceptable," she said.A number of businesses in the region have closed either out of caution or because an employee tested positive for the virus.As of Friday, Saint-Chrysostome made it mandatory to wear masks inside businesses, and masks are also now mandatory in enclosed public spaces in Ormstown, also in the Montérégie.Across Quebec, gatherings of more than 10 people in private homes are currently banned and those who do not comply can be fined.While indoor public places such as shops and restaurants can have up to 50 people inside, the province announced new rules for bars on Thursday.They must now close at 1 a.m., operate at less than half capacity and have clients remain seated.The new rules come after several people who attended the Saint-Chrysostome party went to Mile Public House, a bar on Montreal's South Shore, and infected other patrons.

  • Nova Scotia reports zero new COVID-19 cases, extends state of emergency
    Health
    CBC

    Nova Scotia reports zero new COVID-19 cases, extends state of emergency

    Nova Scotia reported no new COVID-19 cases in the province on Friday, with three active ones remaining.The QEII Health Sciences Centre's microbiology lab completed 579 Nova Scotia tests on Thursday, and is operating 24-hours, according to a provincial release. It's been three days since the last new case was identified on Tuesday.The province is also renewing the state of emergency to protect the health and safety of Nova Scotians and ensure the safe reopening of businesses, according to the release. As well, there is a moratorium on commercial tenancy evictions during the state of emergency.The order takes effect at noon on Sunday and extends to noon on July 26, unless the government terminates or extends it.There are currently no licensed long-term care homes in Nova Scotia with active cases of COVID-19.To date, Nova Scotia has 56,614 negative test results, 1,066 positive COVID-19 cases, and 63 deaths.One thousand cases are now resolved, and one person is currently in hospital although their COVID-19 infection is considered resolved.Symptoms listPeople with one or more of the following COVID-19 symptoms are asked to visit 811's website. * fever (i.e. chills, sweats)  * cough or worsening of a previous cough * sore throat * headache * shortness of breath * muscle aches * sneezing * nasal congestion/runny nose * hoarse voice * diarrhea * unusual fatigue * loss of sense of smell or taste * red, purple or blueish lesions on the feet, toes or fingers without clear causeMORE TOP STORIES

  • News
    CBC

    Man's body pulled from water near Ontario Place Marina

    A man's body was pulled from Lake Ontario near Ontario Place Marina early Friday morning, Toronto police say. According to Const. Caroline de Kloet, police received a medical call around midnight about a man who had dropped his phone in the water and had gone in to retrieve it. De Kloet said officers, paramedics and fire crews arrived to the scene to help locate the man. They found the man in the water near the marina, which is located on the West Island. He was transported to hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

  • Business
    CBC

    Windsor's unemployment rate improved in June, as region entered Stage 2 of reopening

    Windsor no longer takes the top spot in the country for the highest jobless rate, as the number of people unemployed in the city fell by more than one per cent between May and June.As Windsor's economy started to reopen during Stage 2 at the end of the month, its unemployment rate slipped from 16.7 per cent in May to 15.2 per cent in June, according to Statistics Canada. Windsor held the highest jobless rate in the country during the peak of the pandemic, but has now fallen behind Edmonton and Calgary. Across the country, unemployment fell from 13.7 per cent in May to 12.3 per cent in June. During the month of June, nearly a million jobs were added to the economy. These numbers have come out the same day FCA ends its third shift at the Windsor Assembly Plant, cutting about 1,500 jobs in the region. Job losses worst in provinceNearly 20 per cent of Windsor's working population became unemployed as a result of COVID-19-related job losses, making the city the hardest hit labour market for such losses across the province. A June report from Ontario's Financial Accountability Office found that between February and May, Windsor topped the charts with a 19.1 per cent decline in employment as a result of pandemic-related shutdowns. The region even "fared worse" than the provincial average, according to Ontario's Financial Accountability Officer Peter WeltmanCompared to Ontario, which saw a 15.3 per cent drop in employment, Windsor lost 3.8 per cent more positions.

  • Tuktoyaktuk gets $5.5M from feds to address climate change and eroding shoreline
    News
    CBC

    Tuktoyaktuk gets $5.5M from feds to address climate change and eroding shoreline

    The federal government is giving more than $5.5 million to help monitor and address the effects of climate change in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T.Canada's Minister of Northern Affairs Dan Vandal announced the new funding Friday in a government news release.The government says the money will help with clean energy projects, among other more pressing climate-related issues for the community.He said $3.6 million of the funding will go specifically to the hamlet and the N.W.T. government to support efforts in the community's response to its eroding shorelines. The money will help relocate residents to safer areas and will help with measures to protect the shoreline, states the news release."Since the 1970s, the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk has witnessed the rapid deterioration of our peninsula, which as threatened our homes and our livelihoods," said Mayor Erwin Elias in the news release. "We decided to tackle the problem head on."Across Canada's North, thawing permafrost, wetter summers and warmer winters are drastically affecting vital infrastructure, like roads, airports, buildings and cemeteries.As global temperatures rise, the coastline at Tuktoyaktuk retreats further inland. Coastal erosion in Tuktoyaktuk has been threatening residents' homes for decades and several homes have been relocated as parts of the community are at risk of falling into the Arctic Ocean. Some residents were forced to relocate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.Estimates suggest costs related to permafrost degradation could cost the territory hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a climate change report from the Council of Canadian Academies, funded by the federal government.On Friday, the federal government said it's continuing to work with the N.W.T. government, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, and other northern communities to monitor climate change in the North.Specifically in Tuktoyaktuk, it noted that elders, youth and scientists are documenting changes to help find solutions to its climate-related issues."The government of Canada remains a strong supporter of these locally-led efforts, and will continue to be there," said Minister Vandal in the news release.

  • Tories ask police to investigate prime minister over WE Charity deal
    News
    CBC

    Tories ask police to investigate prime minister over WE Charity deal

    The opposition Conservatives are calling for a criminal investigation into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ties to the WE Charity after the federal government handed the organization a $900 million sole-sourced contract.The call comes a day after CBC News reported that, despite initial claims, WE had financial dealings with some of Trudeau's family members, most notably his mother Margaret and brother Alexandre.WE and its affiliates paid out some $300,000 in speaking fees to the two through the Speakers' Spotlight Bureau over the last four years.CTV News also reported that the prime minister's wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, received $1,500 for participating in a WE event in 2012, before Trudeau became leader of the Liberal Party. She currently hosts a podcast for the charity.Federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion announced last Friday that he was investigating Trudeau over the choice of WE to run the grants program.But Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre said a probe by the ethics commissioner alone is insufficient, given the new revelations about payments to Trudeau family members before Ottawa awarded WE the contract to administer the the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG)."It's not just a conflict of interest. It's much more serious than that. We have a prime minister that has used his powers to get a benefit out of an organization related to himself and his family," he said in French.Poilievre cited Section 121 of the Criminal Code as a potential avenue for the police.That section, titled "frauds on the government," says it's an offence for someone to give an elected official or any member of their family "a loan, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind as consideration for co-operation, assistance, exercise of influence or an act or omission in connection with the transaction of business with or any matter of business relating to the government.""We're asking the relevant authorities if this could apply," Poilievre said.The initial decision to outsource this work to a third party with ties to the prime minister's family was criticized by some in the charitable sector and by the opposition Conservatives.WE decided to pull out of the contract last week, citing the "controversy" over the partnership. WE agreed to give up the $19.5 million it was to be paid to administer the program.Trudeau had defended the partnership, saying WE was the only group with a nationwide network capable of operating a program of this sort for young people. Other charitable organizations have questioned that assertion.Conservative ethics critic Michael Barrett said it's "essential" that the police probe the government's decision to hand such a valuable contract to a "Trudeau and Liberal-friendly firm.""Canadians deserve to have a prime minister and a cabinet and a Parliament that they have confidence in," he said. "It is clear that confidence has been shaken yet again."

  • Ontario Police Chiefs Demand Singh Apologize For Remarks On Rideau Hall Arrest
    News
    HuffPost Canada

    Ontario Police Chiefs Demand Singh Apologize For Remarks On Rideau Hall Arrest

    Singh suggested the peaceful arrest of an armed Rideau Hall intruder would’ve ended differently if he had been a person of colour.

  • Coronavirus cases in Canada: More than 106,000 infections and 8,700 deaths
    Health
    Yahoo News Canada

    Coronavirus cases in Canada: More than 106,000 infections and 8,700 deaths

    Here’s a list of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada.

  • Geoparks in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland earn official UN designations
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Geoparks in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland earn official UN designations

    HALIFAX — Two geological parks in Atlantic Canada have earned special status from the United Nations.The Cliffs of Fundy in Nova Scotia and the Discovery Geopark in eastern Newfoundland were both designated UNESCO Global Geoparks Friday by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.UNESCO says global geoparks are places that offer visitors a glimpse of exceptional geological heritage.The Cliffs of Fundy Geopark stretches 125 kilometres, from Debert, N.S., to the Three Sisters cliffs past Eatonville, N.S. — and out to Isle Haute in the Bay of Fundy."We have about 40 different geosites along that location. It's not a one-stop shop. You can spend many days visiting our different sites," manager Beth Peterkin said.The site is well known for having the world's highest tides, Canada's oldest dinosaur fossils and stunning landscapes steeped in Mi'kmaq and Acadian legends."We are the site where the Pangaea continent split apart 200 million years ago. You can see where the rocks split apart. You can see the different types of rocks. You can see the cliffs, and the clam flats, and the shores," Peterkin said."At low tide you can walk out on the floor of the Bay of Fundy for a mile or more in many places, but watch the tide, because in six hours and 13 minutes it's going to be 50 feet higher up the shore," she said. Peterkin and others have been working to get the UNESCO designation for the last five years.Meanwhile staff at the Discovery Geopark, located on the upper half of Newfoundland's Bonavista Peninsula, have been working for the past 13 years to get their designation.The park contains some of the earliest fossils of animal life, with rock dating back more than a half-billion years."You can see really unique geology that is of national and international significance," said John Norman, chairman of Discovery Geopark."There are some of the oldest complex life fossils on the planet," he said.Many of the fossils are still in place in the rocks, while others have been removed for display in the provincial museum, The Rooms, in St. John's.The Discovery Geopark now has 10 sites with interpretation, trails and other infrastructure."We have dozens of other sites within our geosites inventory that aren't yet showcased to the public," Norman said. "Some of them will never be. Some of them are for research. Some of them are for academic only and others will be showcased to the public as more infrastructure is added."There are now 163 global geoparks in 44 countries, and Peterkin said being part of that group provides important exposure."People who travel to one geopark will soon learn about the next geopark. We'll be able to reach visitors that we were never able to reach on our own," she said.Norman said the designation puts them on the world stage, especially in Asia and Europe where geoparks are popular.Cliffs of Fundy and Discovery join three other UNESCO Global Geoparks in Canada: Stonehammer in New Brunswick, Perce in Quebec and Tumbler Ridge in British Columbia.This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2020.— By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.The Canadian Press

  • Politics
    CBC

    Federal quarantine site in Halifax holding 8 people as of Monday

    A hotel near the Halifax airport has become the temporary home for individuals from outside Canada who arrive in Nova Scotia without a place or plan to isolate themselves for the mandatory 14 days.As of Monday, there were eight people being housed at this "federally designated quarantine site," according to André Gagnon, communications advisor with the Public Health Agency of Canada.One of those was the U.S. citizen who was allowed into Canada on a student visa on June 26. Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Officer of Health Robert Strang said that man tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on Sunday. He was told to be tested after Nova Scotia officials were notified he had been denied entry to Prince Edward Island for failing to have the proper paperwork to enter the province.He returned to Halifax the day he arrived in the country, but did not self-isolate.Travellers in quarantine provided with food, essentialsThose being held under the federal Quarantine Act are provided transportation to the designated holding facility and are looked after at taxpayer's expense. At the end of the 14-day period, travellers return to their regular living quarters."Travellers who are required to quarantine or isolate in a designated quarantine site are not required to pay for the costs associated with their stay or transportation to the facility," wrote Geoffroy Legault-Thivierge, spokesperson for the Public Health Agency of Canada. "When travellers are in a quarantine facility, they are provided with three meals daily and other essentials.""Travellers also receive regular health assessments throughout their quarantine period."According to the agency, there are 13 quarantine sites in nine cities across Canada.  As of July 6, there are 285 travellers in federally designated quarantine sites — 45 in Vancouver, 11 in Calgary, 20 in Winnipeg, 140 in Toronto, 60 in Montreal, one in Fredericton, and eight in Halifax.No tickets in Nova ScotiaThose who fail to self-isolate or do not follow mandatory quarantine requirements are subject to fines and/or up to six months jail time but most people have received warnings or been detained."As of July 6, eight tickets have been reported (to the Public Health Agency of Canada) to be issued under the Contraventions Regulations for offences under the Act. In addition, 25 verbal warnings and four written warnings were reported to have been issued for offences under the Act," wrote Gagnon in an email to CBC.None of those tickets have been issued in Nova Scotia.The federal government is refusing to provide any information about where the people they have quarantined have come from, or how they came to the attention of authorities, citing reasons of privacy and confidentiality.MORE TOP STORIES

  • Presumptive Nunavut COVID case turns out negative after further testing
    Science
    The Canadian Press

    Presumptive Nunavut COVID case turns out negative after further testing

    IQALUIT, Nunavut — Tests for what would have been Nunavut's first case of COVID-19 have come back negative.The territory's chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, is confirming the result this morning.A fly-in worker at the Mary River iron mine on the northern tip of Baffin Island was originally diagnosed positive on June 30.Medical officials have said the initial result was on the low end of the infection spectrum.Patterson says the worker, originally from Western Canada, and all of that person's eight contacts will no longer have to isolate.None of the contacts have developed symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19.Nunavut remains the only jurisdiction in Canada without a confirmed case of the infection. A presumed positive case in the spring also turned out to be negative. The Canadian Press

  • News
    CBC

    B.C. jobless rate down to 13% as economy hints at rebound

    The jobless rate in British Columbia dropped slightly last month, reaching 13 per cent as the economy continued its rebound from the shutdown triggered by the pandemic.The unemployment rate slipped by 0.4 per cent in June after rising for three straight months, Statistics Canada reported Friday.The agency said the number of people employed in B.C. rose by 118,000 last month, after an increase of 43,000 in May. The province has continued to lift restrictions put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 in recent weeks, allowing more businesses to reopen.B.C. Finance Minister Carole James is set to address the jobs numbers at 9:15 a.m. PT.Nationally, the economy added 953,000 jobs last month, more than doubling the 290,000 added in May. Despite two months of growth, there are still 1.8 million fewer jobs in Canada than there were in February.The unemployment rate dropped to 12.3 per cent, down from the record-breaking 13.7 reached in May.The agency noted men are closer than women to pre-shutdown levels of employment, in every age category. Jobs in sectors dominated by men, such as construction and manufacturing, have rebounded faster than those in service industries, tourism, and accommodation, where women tend to be employed in bigger proportion.