Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller confirmed today that the Liberal government will not meet its commitment to lift all long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations by March 2021.At a press conference in Ottawa, Miller took full responsibility for the broken promise and pledged to spend more than $1.5 billion to finish the work."This was an ambitious deadline from the get-go," Miller said. "While there have been many reasons for the delay, I want to state as clearly as possible that, ultimately, I bear the responsibility for this and I have the ... duty to get this done."Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first promised to end all long-term boil water advisories within five years during the 2015 campaign. It was the first major promise on the Indigenous reconciliation file, which became one of the central goals of the Liberals' governing agenda. At the time, the Trudeau government said it would meet the target by March 2021."What communities want is not an Ottawa-imposed deadline. It's a long-term commitment for access to clean water," Miller said.WATCH | 'We didn't appreciate the state of decay of some of the public infrastructure,' minister saysIn October, CBC News surveyed all communities on the long-term drinking water advisory list maintained by Indigenous Services Canada.More than a dozen First Nations said their projects would not be completed by the promised deadline. Five communities said a permanent fix would take years.The Trudeau government has helped lift 97 long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations since 2015, according to Indigenous Services Canada. Currently, 59 advisories are still in place in 41 communities.Miller said another 20 advisories could be lifted by the end of December and that by spring 2021, the number of advisories remaining could shrink to 12. Since forming government, the Liberals have spent more than $1.65 billion of the $2.19 billion they set aside to build and repair water and wastewater infrastructure, and to manage and maintain existing systems on reserves.The $1.5 billion proposed in Monday's fiscal update is in addition to that $2.19 billion."Today, we are providing sustained funding in the spirit of partnership," said Miller. "We're listening to communities and we want to let them know that our government is going to be there for the long run."WATCH | Singh asks why the federal government has failed Neskantaga First Nation on clean drinking waterFunding for repairs, training and ongoing maintenanceThe new money is aimed at helping First Nations in three key areas.The first area is ongoing support for daily operations and maintenance of water infrastructure on reserves, to help keep that infrastructure in good condition even after long-term drinking water advisories are lifted. The money earmarked for this — $616.3 million over six years, with $114.1 million per year ongoing — will also fund training for water treatment plant operators and help communities better retain qualified workers. The second is continued funding for water and wastewater infrastructure on reserves: $553.4 million to prevent future drinking water advisories.And finally, $309.8 million of the total will pay for work halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other project delays. The pandemic caused some First Nation communities to close their borders to contractors and temporarily stop work on improving their water systems.National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations called the proposed new funding a move in the right direction, but warned more resources may be required in future budgets to lift all water advisories."Access to clean drinking water is a fundamental human right," Bellegarde said."It's not right that in a rich country like Canada, you still can't turn on the taps for potable water."NDP MP Charlie Angus said the new commitment is a recognition that the government initially low-balled the amount of money it would take to address water advisories on reserves. "The government has recognized that they can't keep doing this as a publicity exercise," Angus said. "So that money will go a long way."In 2017, the parliamentary budget officer found the federal government was spending only 70 per cent of what was needed to eliminate boil water advisories in First Nations.Conservative Indigenous services critic Gary Vidal said it's clear "there is no intent to meet the 2021 target."We know this is going to be an ongoing challenge."Miller told CBC's Power and Politics he wants to see target dates for lifting long-term drinking water advisories in individual communities.He also told CBC the government is moving to give First Nations more control over solving their water problems through self-determination.Most long-term on-reserve drinking water advisories are in Ontario. RoseAnne Archibald, the Assembly of First Nations regional chief for the province, said she has asked Miller to work with her team in the coming months to address the problem."Why do we have so many boil water advisories?" Archibald asked. "What barriers exist in Ontario that don't seem to exist anywhere else that we need to fix?"
While 80-year-old Ron Rudoski and his 74-year-old wife Sandra have fans of all ages, their polkas, waltzes, and country tunes are particularly popular with an older crowd.Last year, the Rudoskis played nearly 60 shows. The couple have been playing together for more than 30 years and travelled all over southern Saskatchewan sharing their blend of accordion/guitar medleys guaranteed to keep your toes tapping. The couple would frequently play seniors centres and casino shows, and they developed a following of dedicated dancers. "I remember playing six nights in seven days and 75 per cent of the people were the same people every night, and most of these people are seniors," said Ron. Like so many things in the world, those dances came to a screeching halt when the pandemic hit in March. But unlike many musicians who turned to online shows or small, backyard concerts, their fans make up a segment of the population considered at higher risk for COVID-19. "It really wasn't the way we wanted to retire. We wanted to have a big gathering, you know, kind of a goodbye thing, and this just ended out of nowhere," said Sandra. > Some of them we have lost already, and it's really sad to think that maybe when we go back to playing, a lot of them will be gone. \- Sandra Rudoski Their dancers have become dear friends over the years. Sandra said she checks in with them by phone and she worries about what this isolation is doing to these once very active people. "It's got to be hard on a lot of them sitting at home. It's physical, it keeps you fit. Sometimes Ron plays his accordion and I just dance around the island for something to do. It makes me happy, music makes you happy, you know."Remembering happier timesRon's love of the accordion started when he was just a boy. He's been playing accordion for 66 years and he learned young that he liked performing in front of a crowd.His dad played fiddle in a band and used to tease him when his musical career started picking up steam. Back in the '60s, his band would charge $125 dollars for a dance. "Dad used to play for two dollars a night and he said he had to pay for lunch out of that as well," Ron said with a laugh. In the '80s, Ron was looking for a guitar player and singer for his band. He hired Sandra and ended up falling in love with more than just her voice. Sandra smiles when she talks about their courtship. "My father was German and he loved accordion music, and when I met Ron, to my dad's delight, every time we got together it was play accordion, play accordion."They started out playing in bars, but when Ron brought out his accordion, opportunities opened up. They were soon in high demand for anniversaries, weddings and cabarets.Melville and area was a hotspot for polka music, producing some of the best accordion players in Western Canada. The many German, Ukrainian, Slovenian, Polish, and Czechoslovakian descendents in the area made sure that their shows were always well attended, especially the annual Oktoberfest celebration. Ron is one of the few people left on the prairies who can repair accordions, so people from all over Canada send him their instruments. He has thousands of parts for accordions that he's collected in the more than 50 years of repairing the instruments.Ron says he'd like to pass on this skill and all his equipment to someone younger, so right now he is on the hunt for a young accordion player who wants to learn the craft. Lack of inspiration in isolationNot knowing when or if ever they'll be able to play in public again has been hard on the couple. Ron is also the treasurer of the local seniors hall and he wonders when they eventually do open again, if people will come back to the dances. "Some of them we have lost already, and it's really sad to think that maybe when we go back to playing, a lot of them will be gone," adds Sandra. The couple can play three dances without ever repeating a song, but they haven't learned anything since the pandemic started. "I have hardly touched my guitar since we quit playing," Sandra said. "I guess there's no incentive, but I guess I shouldn't think that way. I guess you should hope that there is hope."That hope includes looking forward to a day when they can end their long career on their own terms, surrounded safely by the people whose friendships have been forged over decades of performing. To hear the audio as it appeared on CBC's Morning Edition click here:CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
VIENNA — Austria will allow skiing to start on Dec. 24, but will limit the capacity of ski lifts and keep restaurants, bars and hotels largely closed until early January, officials said Wednesday. It also will require many people entering the country over the Christmas period to go into quarantine.Tough lockdown measures took effect Nov. 17 and are due to expire on Sunday. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said a limited curfew that has applied around the clock will be eased, and from Monday will apply only between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.Schools will be reopened next week, except for older students, as will nonessential shops, museums, libraries and some other businesses. But restaurants will remain closed for all but takeout and deliveries, as will bars, and hotels will remain closed except to business travellers.Austria has been hard hit by the resurgence of coronavirus infections in Europe, though its infection rate has declined over recent weeks. It currently is recording 335 new infections per 100,000 residents over seven days, down from around 600 last month — but still more than twice as many as in neighbouring Germany, which is in a milder partial shutdown.Kurz said that progress over recent weeks, and the expectation of more before Christmas, allows “cautious” reopening steps. But he said the tourism and catering sectors won’t start reopening until Jan. 7.That will effectively mean that, over the holiday season, skiing is possible in most cases only on day trips for those Austrian residents who live fairly close to the Alps. Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler said there will be mask-wearing and distancing requirements, and the capacity of cable cars will be limited.Kurz said that allowing skiing for locals but keeping the catering sector closed is “absolutely justified.”“Skiing is a sport that takes place in the open air, an individual sport, so epidemiologically it must be assessed differently from catering, where we know that there can time and again be infections,” he said.Kurz added that he, as a resident of eastern Austria, won't benefit but “for a large part of our population it will then be possible to go skiing at least for the day.”France and Germany, which has closed its ski resorts, are pushing for similar measures to be taken in other European countries, like Italy and Spain, for the Christmas season. Ski resorts are already open in neighbouring Switzerland, which has allowed skiing.Kurz rejected suggestions that Austria's limited reopening was a response to pressure from abroad.“We decide according to our infection situation, and our expectation is that we can push down our infections very, very strongly by Christmas,” he said.Austria also plans tougher border controls and quarantine rules in an effort to dissuade people from travelling abroad over the Christmas period. Austrian residents' summer trips to see relatives in the western Balkans, in particular, were blamed as a significant source of the resurgence of infections this fall.The quarantine rules will be imposed by mid-December and will apply “if you're coming from a country that exceeds a certain limit of infections,” Kurz said. He didn't specify that level.The requirement will be for new arrivals to go into quarantine for 10 days, which they can cut short by taking a test after five days, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said.___Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.___Geir Moulson reported from Berlin.Geir Moulson And Philipp Jenne, The Associated Press
A P.E.I.-born chef has launched a seafood canning business that is helping keep workers at an Island lobster-processing plant employed past the traditional season. Charlotte Langley lives and works in Toronto now, but she was born and raised in Summerside.She told Laura Chapin of CBC's Island Morning that the lightbulb that led to the business was illuminated a few years back after she couldn't find any canned chicken haddie. That is a blend of whitefish used for chowder and fishcakes, which she calls "comfort food from home." Babineau Fisheries told her they don't produce it anymore, leading her to try to make some herself."So I started experimenting with the art and history and heritage of canned food."Experienced already in the preparation and sale of seafood, Langley eventually co-founded the business Scout Canning, which launched in September. Change of focus due to pandemicThe original plan was to market the products direct to food services: restaurants, cafés, oyster bars looking to branch out into other types of seafood dishes, or "people who have seacuterie already." > Canned seafood has become more popular since the pandemic started. — Charlotte LangleyBut COVID-19 meant a pivot in focus, to the direct-to-consumer market. "Canned seafood has become more popular since the pandemic started," she said. "We've been actually quite overwhelmed with the support."P.E.I. mussels, Ontario rainbow trout and lobster are being canned for Scout at Acadian Supreme in Abram-Village, P.E.I. Langley said they were looking for a small company that "has the ability to grow with us." That means 30 workers who are usually laid off after the spring and fall lobster processing season are getting extra weeks of work. "Yeah, they're busy!" Products now on back orderDemand has been so high for Scout products they're currently on back order, but Langley told Island Morning that a shipment from P.E.I. is expected by the end of this week. "Everyone will have their products for Christmas, so that's really reassuring." They also have Pacific seafood processed by a B.C. plant to cut down on the distance West Coast seafood has to be transported before processing."It sort of is a nice little environmental touch." There aren't any Island locations selling Scout seafood at the moment, but Langley said she's working to change that. "I do think it's completely silly that it's not there," she said with a laugh, speculating that Atlantic-born people have more access to fresh product and may not be as open to a high-end canned alternative. More from CBC P.E.I.
When the rain started to hit hard, Kelsey Richardson's main focus was to make sure her kids were safe. So, at around midnight, she packed them in the car and left her Sussex home. "We hoped to heck we were going to make it to the end of the street," she said, as she held two of her children, Abby, 8, and Bentley, 4.Richardson, her fiancé and her three children, including infant Cohen, live on Homan Avenue, one of the areas of Sussex hit hardest by Tuesday's rainstorm.As she was leaving her home, which she rents, the water was almost to the hood of her vehicle, she said."We were lucky to get out," she recalled as her kids played in the water left behind by the storm. "I thought we were going to float away."Richardson said she's distraught by the loss and didn't expect the water to ruin so many of her belongings.She lost her couches, her children's toys, window screens and her daughter's kindergarten materials. There's mud and sludge all over the house. The family was able to salvage a few teddy bears.She doesn't have insurance. And doesn't want to think about Christmas."Everything's gone," she said, hugging her daughter. Damages expected to be around $18MSussex Mayor Marc Thorne said people in the area were devastated by the downpourr, which he described as worse than the 2014 flood linked to a river ice jam that caused a state of emergency and forced neighbourhoods to evacuate from their homes."The water is a little dirtier and the damage a bit greater," Thorne said.He said the 2014 flood caused about $18 million in damage. "People are feeling heartbroken because they've been through this before."Thorne said he visited some of the homes in the area Wednesday morning, some of which have water all the way up to the first floor. He said flooding in the area has always been "one of intensity." "Many homes that had finished basements are destroyed."WATCH | Footage from the 2014 spring flood in Sussex At least 21 homes in the Sussex area have been evacuated as of 12 p.m. Tuesday because of the flooding caused by heavy rain Tuesday, according to Geoffrey Downey, a spokesperson for New Brunswick's Emergency Measures Organization.Downey said a few of those families have been able to return home."There's certainly reports of up to several feet of water in some homes, including some sewage," he said. "So this is something that's going to be going on for a little while."This week, Downey said the weather is favourable for recovery efforts. Temperatures are above freezing in the south and there's not much rain in the forecast this week."There shouldn't be anything in terms of the water rising anymore," he said. "It should just be consistently going down." The Sussex area and Sussex Corner were the areas hit hardest by the prolonged heavy rain across the province."It's just like spring — there's not much you can do," he said Wednesday. "Once the water goes up, you just have to wait for it to go down."So far, Downey said, people in the Sussex area are the only residents to report damage. However, there are some road and school closures in other parts of the province. Downey said flooding can happen anytime of year, including early December."It just goes to show that people need to be ready for anything, essentially year-round," he said. "It's not just flood season anymore."Visitors becoming an issue Downey said municipalities are reporting disaster tourism in the area and he is encouraging people to stay home."Not only do they hamper any recovery efforts, they could end up causing problems where they need to be saved as well," he said.He said many people are showing up at closed roads and taking photos."That's just getting in the way."'It's getting so close to Christmas'Scott Hatcher, chief administrative officer with the Town of Sussex, said 14 families in the Sussex area were forced from their homes late Tuesday night.But he said hundreds of properties in the area were affected by the storm, and many had water in their basements.Local fire departments were able to retrieve the stranded families with boats and bring them to shelter."We're getting too used to flooding, which is not a good thing," Hatcher said.Trout Creek, which passes through the area, reached flood stage Tuesday night. Conditions didn't improve until about 4 a.m. "It's getting so close to Christmas and with all of the extra precautions ... with the pandemic, it's just added a bit of angst in the community," he said."That's really just piled on when you didn't need it to be piled on."Canadian Red Cross volunteers arranged emergency lodging for at least 16 residents from 11 houses in the Sussex area, said Dan Bedell, a spokesperson for the Canadian Red Cross. Regional emergency management coordinators are also there to make sure any needs are met.Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning for most of the province on Tuesday. Central and southwestern parts of New Brunswick saw between 40 and 120 millimetres of rain Tuesday into Wednesday morning, and some southwestern regions were expecting up to 180 millimetres. Environment Canada showed 181 millimetres of rain in Mechanic Settlement, about 76 kilometres southwest of Moncton.Tina Simpkin, a CBC meteorologist said heavy rain is still expected in the Acadian Peninsula down through Moncton and into northern Nova Scotia on Wednesday. Power outages across the provinceNB Power said more than 4,000 NB Power customers are without electricity. That's after a peak of about 7,000 customers without power Tuesday afternoon.Marc Belliveau, a spokesperson for NB Power, said trees falling over power lines were the main problem. About 20 crews were working overnight to restore power.Belliveau said there was also a fire in a switch gear building in Bouctouche, probably because a piece of equipment failed.No one was hurt, but the damage is being assessed and repairs could take a bit of time.
A Peel police officer faces multiple charges after allegedly leaving three prohibited firearm magazines in the trunk of a police cruiser.Police announced the constable had been charged on Tuesday, but revealed few other details.They said the officer, an eight-year veteran, was investigated by the force's professional standards bureau for 14 months. "The officer reported off duty leaving behind three prohibited firearm magazines loaded with ammunition in the trunk of the police cruiser that he was operating," a news release said.The magazines were not work issued. The officer faces three counts of unauthorized possession of a prohibited device, three counts of careless storage of a prohibited device and one count of careless storage of ammunition.Police say the officer is set to answer to the criminal charges on Jan. 4, 2021, and that a Police Services Act investigation will follow that.
Workplace safety-relatedcharges against the company managing construction at the Faro mine site and a site supervisor have been stayed.Parsons Inc. and Len Faber, who's also the mayor of Faro, were charged under the Yukon's Occupational Health and Safety Act in September 2019 for allegedly intimidating workers, obstructing safety officers in the course of their duties and failing to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.Both parties pleaded not guilty to all charges. The matter was set to go to trial on Nov. 16 but was adjourned to Nov. 24, when territorial Crown prosecutor Kelly McGill told the court that Parsons Inc. and Faber had successfully met the terms of a diversionary arrangement. The terms included Parsons Inc. augmenting its health and safety training program, while Faber had to complete coursework in psychological heath and safety. They also donated $5,000 and $1,000 to the Northern Safety Network Yukon, respectively, and paid $1,500 and $500 in administrative fees. McGill told Judge Karen Ruddy that, in light of the successful arrangement, there was no longer a public interest in proceeding with the prosecution and entered stays on all charges. Lawyers representing Parsons Inc. and Faber did not immediately return requests for comment. The federal government awarded Parsons Inc., an international engineering firm, an $80 million construction management contract for the Faro mine site in 2018. The firm held the care-and-maintenance contract before that. Faber won Faro's mayoral election in October 2018 by chance when his name was pulled out of a box after he and incumbent mayor Jack Bowers both received the exact same number of votes. The Faro mine was, at one point, the largest open-pit lead-zinc mine in the world but was abandoned in 1998. Remediation work, set to begin in 2024, is expected to cost upwards of $500 million and take about two decades, with officials needing to monitor the site indefinitely after that.
Two men who spent time at the Edmonton Convention Centre say it's a dangerous place to be. The facility has been operating as a shelter since late October. At times, more than 300 people have been staying at the facility that's being run by four organizations that work with homeless people. "No one feels safe there," Peter Noivo told CBC News. "There was constant fighting and screaming. It's a very bad place to be. " After spending four nights at ECC a couple of weeks ago, Noivo, 52, moved to a hotel with his partner. They're hoping to get into an apartment soon. He vows to never return to the convention centre shelter. Noivo said he concerned about widespread drug use inside the 24/7 facility, even though there is a safe consumption site. "When it gets to injection hour, you can't use the washroom," Noivo said. "There's needles all over. It's normal to get into a washroom and see blood and syringes on the floor." Ben Young agreed. He was staying at the convention centre for the past week and a half, but just tested positive for COVID-19 and he was transferred to a hotel to isolate. Young, 29, was alarmed by conditions at the shelter. He's been documenting his observations for the past two weeks on Reddit. "Something needs to change because people are dying, people are overdosing, people are getting sick," Young said. "If a light isn't shown on this, it's just going to get worse and worse and worse." Young said overdoses were a regular occurrence at the facility and said he personally administered Narcan three times. He also said he saw three people die inside the shelter. "Well, the first one that I saw was an older lady who I talked with a few nights," Young said. "When I walked into the food hall, she was on her back, dead, black in the face dead." He said nurses managed to revive the woman, but he found out she died later in hospital. "I freaked out the first few times," he said. "Now I see someone overdose, it's become regular. At one point there were five overdoses in seven minutes." When asked for comment the City of Edmonton referred CBC to contact one of the organizations operating the shelter. A spokesperson for the Boyle Street Community Services confirmed the overdose situation inside the convention centre mirrors what's happening in the inner city. Elliott Tanti said an overdose prevention site (OPS) wasn't in the original plan for the facility, but was opened after the first couple of weeks. "Certainly there were concerns in the first two weeks when we didn't have the OPS around the number of overdoses taking place in the building because there simply wasn't a safe place for people to go," Tanti said. "Since the OPS has opened, we've seen a dramatic reduction in the number of overdoses on site outside of the OPS and it's had a major impact." Tanti said security staff regularly check washrooms and there is a specialized team devoted to emergency overdose response on hand during the day and through the evening until 11 p.m. Outbreak at ECC Alberta Health Services confirmed there are 60 active COVID-19 cases at the convention centre linked to the current outbreak. Young is convinced he would not have contracted the virus if he had been staying somewhere other than ECC. His case has not been officially traced to the facility. "I would be shocked if everyone in that building didn't have it at one point or right now," Young said. "It's completely unsafe there. It's horrible." Young shared a picture of overflowing garbage cans inside the facility. He claimed he never saw any surfaces being sanitized. "There's no cleaning," Young said. "We take care of the cleaning ourselves. Like I mop, I clean the bathroom. I sanitize everything." Tanti disagreed with Young's assessment. "We had very stringent cleaning and hygiene standards when it first started, but we've increased the number of cleaning in public spaces to ensure the safety of the people that we serve," Tanti said. "Since the start, we've been conducting electrostatic decontamination every 24 hours of all the public shelter spaces." Tanti added that anytime that someone tests positive, the area they were in is also immediately decontaminated. "We're taking hygiene of the facility very seriously and working quite closely with our partners at the convention centre janitorial staff to make sure that the space is safe," Tanti said. Young believes there's a strong need for a 24/7 homeless shelter in the city and he applauded the work of the staff who are trying to help. But he thinks ECC needs to make dramatic changes in order to be safe for everyone who stays there. "We're struggling in the shadows out here," Young said. "We need help. We need a lot of help and we're not getting it.".
THE LATEST: * New restrictions mean indoor adult team sports are banned, kids' sports limited. * Health officials announced 834 new cases Wednesday. * There are now 8,941 active cases of COVID-19 across B.C. * 337 patients are in hospital with COVID-19, including 79 in intensive care. * 469 people have died of the disease since the pandemic began. * A total of 10,201 people are under active public health monitoring and in self-isolation because of exposure to known COVID-19 cases. * There have been 34,728 confirmed cases in the province to date.Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has announced a ban on all indoor adult team sports and new limitations on children's sports as the novel coronavirus continues to spread through the community.Meanwhile, she said news of vaccine approval in the United Kingdom is encouraging but urged British Columbians to double down on efforts to reduce transmission until vaccines are available in this province.Henry said she expects vaccines to be ready in coming weeks and is getting B.C.'s immunization plans together, but until then, provincial health orders must be followed to stem "unchecked" transmission."I am asking you all to continue and do a little bit more," Henry said at a Wednesday briefing with Health Minister Adrian Dix.On Wednesday, Henry reported 834 new coronavirus cases. The province now has 8,941 active cases and 34,728 cases to date.There are 337 patients with COVID-19 in hospital, including 79 in intensive care.Henry also announced 12 more COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the death toll to 469.Stay informed by joining our CBC Vancouver Facebook group on COVID-19Health officials have ordered British Columbians to pause all social interactions and be vigilant applying different layers of protection, including physical distancing, washing hands and using masks."Remember that events, which refer to anything that gathers people together — whether on a one-time, regular or irregular basis — are not allowed for now," Henry said in a release on Tuesday.Island Health outbreaksLate Tuesday, two outbreaks were declared on Vancouver Island — one at Saanich Peninsula Hospital in Victoria and the other at West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni.On Wednesday morning, Island Health Chief Medical Officer Richard Stanwick said health officials have a pretty good idea of where exposure occurred in Port Alberni, but are still at a loss when it comes to the Saanich Peninsula outbreak.For this reason, Stanwick said the Victoria facility is currently closed to the public, with the exception of some outpatient services and the emergency department.According to Island Health, the outbreak in Port Alberni is limited to one unit and the medical-surgical B-wing has been closed as a precaution while the rest of the hospital remains open.An Island medical health officer is also currently embedded in the Ehattesaht First Nation community near Zeballos and will remain until Thursday, to help bring an outbreak there under control.READ MORE:What's happening elsewhere in CanadaAs of Tuesday night, there have been more than 383,468 cases of COVID-19 in Canada.On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government will be ready to deploy vaccine shots soon after they receive the necessary Health Canada approvals.He also touted the government's plan to inject up to $100 billion into Canada's post-pandemic economy, calling it a "historic and appropriate" spending plan.Meanwhile in Alberta, there are signs that the hospital system is under "significant strain" because of a surge in cases.What are the symptoms of COVID-19?Common symptoms include: * Fever. * Cough. * Tiredness. * Shortness of breath. * Loss of taste or smell. * Headache.But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.What should I do if I feel sick?Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911.What can I do to protect myself? * Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean. * Keep your distance from people who are sick. * Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. * Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.
Hanover Deputy Mayor Selwyn Hicks has been elected as Grey County's warden for 2021. “I believe that my credentials speak for themselves. I'm an early riser with a strong work ethic and I have the capacity to build relationships that promote progress,” Hicks said while addressing county councillors during the virtual inauguration session held Tuesday afternoon. The position of warden is voted on by fellow county council members and holds a one-year term. Hicks was nominated for the position by Southgate Deputy Mayor Brian Milne and seconded by Meaford Mayor Barb Clumpus. Hicks was born in South American country of Guyana and moved to Toronto when he was nine. He moved to Hanover in 2003 and he entered politics in 2006, serving as a councillor from 2006 to 2014 and then as deputy-mayor since 2015. Hicks served as warden of Grey County in 2019. He is a lawyer by trade with offices in Hanover and Walkerton, which he operates with his wife of 24 years, Barbara. They have four children: Selwyn IV, Rylee, Connor, and Chloe. At Tuesday’s meeting, Hicks defeated current Grey County Warden Paul McQueen, who is the mayor of Grey Highlands. In the coming months, Hicks says he plans to meet with each lower-tier council representative to build relationships and seek out priorities. “I will also immediately reach out to our provincial and federal representatives to schedule a minimum of one formal meeting each quarter to build relationships and plan how we can work together to address important priorities for the people of Grey County,” he said. “I'm also now a member of the Western Ontario Wardens Caucus," Hicks added. "I have strong relationships from my first year as warden and I plan to continue to build those relationships.” For the coming year, Hicks said he would like to focus on affordable housing, rural broadband programs, and regional transportation. “We've got a number of things on the go. We're still in a COVID environment and we have to figure out how we pull out of this thing together, how to keep people safe, keep our good track record in public health, and take care of our seniors,” he added.Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
Several P.E.I. appliance stores are dealing with a shortage of products to sell because COVID-19 is affecting the manufacturers of fridges, stoves, washers and dryers.P.E.I. is adding 55 new front-line positions to schools across the province to support students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.A program where Islanders share their Christmas traditions with newcomers has moved online.The collapse of the Atlantic bubble has left some Nova Scotia university students in a tough spot ahead of their end-of-semester exams and holiday break.Wednesday night's Santa Claus tour in Charlottetown was postponed to Sunday. Holiday shoppers are receiving their own gift from the City of Charlottetown this December: free parking downtown. The lack of activity at Charlottetown Airport is "surreal," the CEO says.P.E.I. has seen a total of 72 cases, with no deaths and no hospitalizations.Seventeen new cases of COVID-19 were identified in Nova Scotia on Wednesday, bringing its number of active cases to 127.In New Brunswick, six new cases were reported, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 119.Also in the newsFurther resourcesMore from CBC P.E.I.
Ringette players in Ottawa say they've gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to ice time at one of the city's outdoor rinks.The Jim Tubman Chevrolet Rink in Canterbury Park, southeast of downtown, opened for the season last week, with ice time divided between public skating, pickup hockey and pickup ringette.While hockey was allotted 21 two-hour time slots each week — with two of those specifically for women — ringette was given a single slot between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesdays."How hard do we have to fight to get more ice time for the girls who want to try out the sport, who want to play the sport, who just want to be outside and play some shinny ringette?" said Phyllis Bergmans, president of the City of Ottawa Ringette Association (CORA).She calls the ice allotment "disappointing" and while she understands there's no comparison between ringette's popularity and hockey's, ringette still attracts around 3,000 players across the city.She said CORA does have enough indoor rink time for practices, but the two hours a week is the only chance kids have to play on a city rink with their friends and family."This is ringette for fun," she said. "There isn't a kid in Canada who doesn't want to play some sort of outdoor pickup games in the middle of wintertime."Allocation based on popularityCamdyn Wilson, 17, has been playing ringette since she was four and is now a coach.She said she wishes the female-dominated ringette was given equal consideration with male-dominated hockey."I think it's very significant and quite sad because so many young girls play ringette and aspire to get better," she said. "Why are boys superior to girls and they get more time and focus?"Different sports are allocated specific drop-in sessions each week, the city's general manager for recreation, cultural, and facility services wrote in an email to CBC."The frequency of each type of session is based on community demand in the prior season, with yearly adjustments to reflect demand," wrote Dan Chenier, adding that staff can adjust the schedule as they go.The city runs the rink in partnership with the Canterbury Community Association.COVID-19 restrictions limit playersCOVID-19 has added another layer to the struggle for ice time as each activity at the rink is limited to 20 people on the ice at any one time, according to the city, with a maximum 30 minutes for each person during busy periods.Some parents worry how players could be expected to abide by those restrictions under such tight time constraints while also letting everyone have a chance to play."We need to have more time slots so it's not as crowded and they can play a proper game of shinny," said Matthew Inniss, whose 12-year-old daughter was on the rink Tuesday.
OHSWEKEN, Ont. — Provincial police are assisting Six Nations Police Service with a homicide investigation on Six Nations territory just east of Brantford. Six Nations police say the shooting on a driveway in front of a home was reported Tuesday evening. A 27-year-old man died of a gunshot wound. Provincial police say two suspects who were known to the victim left before police arrived, and Six Nations police say there is no apparent danger to the public. An autopsy has been ordered and will be conducted in Toronto. Investigators ask anyone with information about the shooting to contact them. This report by The Canadian Press was first reported Dec. 2, 2020. The Canadian Press
La population de Sainte-Rose-du-Nord fait face à une surpopulation de chats errants sur son territoire, ce qui n’est pas sans créer des remous chez certains citoyens . Au cours des derniers jours, le citoyen Étienne Voyer a écrit une missive aux médias pour faire part qu’à l’automne, des citoyens ont contacté la Société pour la prévention de la cruauté contre les animaux (SPCA) pour faire part de leur inquiétude devant la croissance du nombre de félins dans les entourages. L’objectif était de se débarrasser des animaux de façon éthique. Ils ont alors été dirigés vers la municipalité à qui incombe le contrôle des animaux. Selon M. Voyer, les instances municipales auraient fait preuve d’indifférence et auraient fait part de deux options possibles, soit payer eux-mêmes les 300 $ pour capturer les animaux errants et les envoyer à la fourrière, ou régler le problème en tuant les bêtes de leurs mains, tout en l’informant qu’il n’existe pas de règlement encadrant les chats errants. Il aurait même été évoqué que les chats errants finissent dans une poche de jute coulée dans le fjord ou que l’hiver aurait raison de la population de chats. D’autres chats à fouetter Interrogé sur le sujet, le maire Laurent Thibeault reconnaît que le problème existe, qu’il y a beaucoup de chats dans le décor roserain et que la population féline augmente. « Je vois des chats tous les jours sur ma galerie. Il y a des chats. Est-ce une quantité problématique qu’on voit se promener dans le village ? », interroge-t-il. Il assure toutefois que ni la direction générale de la municipalité ni les élus n’ont émis de directives visant à éliminer les chats errants de façon cruelle en proposant de les tuer soi-même ou en les noyant dans le Saguenay. Il avoue du même souffle qu’il ne s’agit pas d’une préoccupation majeure pour lui et qu’il a d’autres chats à fouetter avec la préparation du budget municipal qui sera déposé le 14 décembre prochain. Le maire Thibeault ajoute que l’administration devrait enregistrer un surplus budgétaire pour l’exercice 2020. Du côté de la SPCA, il n’a pas été possible de discuter avec la directrice Claudia Côté, sauf qu’un membre du personnel nous a indiqué qu’habituellement, l’organisme intervient dans les municipalités qui accordent du financement pour obtenir le service.Denis Villeneuve, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
LOS ANGELES — People magazine has named George Clooney, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Selena Gomez and Regina King as the “2020 People of the Year.” The magazine revealed its list Wednesday morning as part of a year-end double issue with four covers. The four will be celebrated for their positive impact in the world during a challenging 2020. Clooney, Fauci, Gomez and King will be separately featured on the magazine covers of the issue, which is out Friday. Clooney has received some Oscar buzz for his upcoming film “The Midnight Sky,” but the actor was also in spotlight for his advocacy work. He donated $500,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative in wake of George Floyd’s death and $1 million for COVID-19 relief efforts in Italy, London and Los Angeles. As the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Fauci provided steady guidance during the turbulent pandemic. As the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he has been one of the nation's leading sources of information about the fight against COVID-19. Gomez released her chart-topping album “Rare” and hosted the cooking show “Selena + Chef” on HBO Max. But the pop superstar also spread her message of inclusion through her makeup brand Rare Beauty, which set the goal of raising $100 million in 10 years to help give people access to mental health initiatives. King, who won an Emmy in September, used her voice to encourage people to vote. The actor also called for support of marginalized communities during the pandemic and end police brutality of unarmed Black people. Her directorial debut, “One Night in Miami,” has also been talked about as a possible Oscar contender. Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
A "high-risk" COVID-19 exposure case was reported for Windsor's Northwood Public School Tuesday, according to the board's website. In a letter to parents, the board said it is working with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) by providing lists of students and staff in possible contact with the individual. WECHU is contacting anyone who may be at high-risk and will provide follow-up steps. It's unclear whether any cohorts have been dismissed as a result of the case. This case is one of 70 active in the public board. At this time, 16 schools have confirmed COVID-19 cases, the majority of which are from Frank W. Begley with 49 cases.The school continues to remain closed at this time. As for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, there are 10 active cases across six schools. W. J. Langlois remains closed at this time with three total cases.
Christian Serratos embodies late Tejano icon Selena Quintanilla in new show "Selena: The Series." (Dec. 2)
This December rain in Charlottetown is feeling more like late summer than Christmas.Charlottetown recorded a record temperature early Wednesday morning, beating the mark hit in 1985."The record high today is 10.4, and we are at 13 degrees," said CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin said at 6 a.m..Early morning temperatures peaked at 14.3 C at Charlottetown Airport at 4 a.m.The temperature will fall only a little over the course of the day, said Simpkin, holding steady around 12 C for much of the afternoon. Overnight the temperature will drop to about 3 C.Tuesday was almost as warm, topping out at 14.0 C, but that was well short of the 1927 record of 16.7 C.While weekend temperatures will be cooler, they will remain a few degrees above the average high of 2.5 C.More from CBC P.E.I.
Big data is playing a prominent role in life insurance this year.Interest in coverage has surged during the pandemic, but for many people, social distancing mandates took the life insurance medical exam off the table. As consumers look for quick, noninvasive ways to buy policies, insurers have turned to accelerated underwriting, a process that uses algorithms instead of exams to evaluate applicants.While accelerated underwriting isn’t new, more than a third of life insurers have expanded it due to the pandemic, according to a study by the Society of Actuaries. And no-exam life insurance appeals to many people. “They want it to be fast and easy,” says Gina Birchall, chief operating officer for the life insurance trade group LIMRA.Accelerated underwriting can help you get life insurance quickly online, but there are caveats. What you gain in speed, you may lose in flexibility and price.HOW BIG DATA HAS CHANGED LIFE INSURANCETraditionally, buying life insurance was a lengthy process involving bloodwork, urine samples and long waits for approval. “It was probably the hardest or most difficult product to buy left in the modern economy,” says Brooks Tingle, president and CEO of John Hancock Insurance.This changed as the world became steeped in big data. Insurers now typically check your prescription drug history and data from the MIB Group, an information-sharing service for insurers. Companies may also consider non-medical data, such as your credit history, driving record and shopping habits. Algorithms then combine these data points to quickly determine eligibility and cost of coverage.This data can be tricky to dissect, but industry experts expect the trend to grow.“The more information we have, the deeper the data that we have, the more capable we are of making sound decisions,” says Jackie Morales, chief insurance officer for Bestow, an insurer that uses accelerated underwriting.HOW ACCELERATED UNDERWRITING WORKSCompanies typically use accelerated underwriting techniques in two ways:1\. TO FAST-TRACK HEALTHY PEOPLE’S APPLICATIONS. Many major carriers approve low-risk applicants based on big data and then require medical exams for everyone else, says Jeremy Hallett, CEO of Quotacy, a life insurance broker. On average, it takes nine days for an insurer to reach a final decision using accelerated underwriting instead of the traditional 27, according to LIMRA. These policies are considered fully underwritten, even if you don’t take an exam.2\. TO PROVIDE INSTANT ANSWERS. Insurers like Bestow use information from your application and big data algorithms to assess risk, and never require a medical exam. Coverage is not guaranteed, but the application process is fast and you often get an answer within minutes.Accelerated underwriting is not to be confused with “simplified issue” life insurance, which considers the answers on your application but doesn’t tap into big data. These policies typically cost more and offer less coverage than standard policies because they rely on limited information.WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A POLICYWhen you shop for life insurance, be sure to ask how the policy is priced. Both instant-answer and fully underwritten policies have pros and cons, and your specific needs will dictate what is right for you.Before you apply, ask yourself these questions:HOW FAST DO YOU WANT COVERAGE?If speed is paramount, consider instant-answer policies that solely use big data and never require an exam. You will get an answer quickly, although the answer may be no.“What big data is providing people is speed,” says Bestow’s Morales. Nearly 85% of people who apply for a Bestow policy do so on a mobile device, she says.HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT TO PAY?A policy with full medical underwriting is likely to be the cheapest option. If the insurer chooses to use accelerated underwriting to fast-track your application, you are not penalized; your price and product will likely be the same as if you had taken the exam, Hallett says.Instant-answer policies may not offer rates in the cheapest brackets since the insurer doesn’t have the option of a medical exam to get more information. But Morales says, “Some people will trade off that ability to get a fast decision at a reasonable price.”DO YOU WANT FLEXIBILITY?Fully underwritten life insurance may offer more options, such as the ability to convert from term to permanent coverage. This is not always true of policies that rely solely on your application information and big data.“When you at least have that medical exam as a possibility,” Hallett says, “you get a more robust product.”___________________________________This article was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Georgia Rose is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: email@example.comRelated Links:NerdWallet: Options for No Medical Exam Life Insurance https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-medical-life-insuranceMIB Group: Request a copy of your report https://www.mib.com/request_your_record.htmlGeorgia Rose Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Press
UNALASKA, Alaska — An Alaska city that is home to one of the nation’s busiest fishing ports has included wastewater testing among the mitigation efforts that could help maintain a low number of coronavirus infections.Unalaska began testing its wastewater in July for traces of COVID-19, Alaska’s Energy Desk reported Monday.The island community of about 4,500 year-round residents located on Dutch Harbor, 800 miles (1,287 kilometres) from Anchorage, has recorded 107 coronavirus cases, including 85 from a single factory trawler.Despite the island’s first case of community spread two weeks ago, any virus in Unalaska’s waste remains below the detection level.“If somebody has COVID-19, they’re shedding this virus in fragments,” said Karie Holtermann, lab manager at Unalaska’s wastewater treatment plant. “It’s in their GI tract, they’re shedding it into their feces, into their urine. And so we’re trying to pick that up in our testing here.”The plant processes about 350,000 gallons (1,325 kilolitres) of waste and greywater daily, equating to about 70 gallons (265 litres) per Unalaska resident per day.Sewage testing has been successfully used as an early detection method for other diseases such as polio, Holtermann said.A Netherlands-based study concluded wastewater serves as an early warning system for coronavirus spread by detecting the virus in people who have not been tested or who have mild or no symptoms, Holtermann said.“What they’ve all seen is that wastewater monitoring can predict an outbreak a week before showing up at the clinic,” Holtermann said. “And once it is shown that COVID-19 is in a community, it’s able to show the beginning, the tapering and the resurgence of an outbreak.”If the virus levels increase with an influx of winter fishing season workers, the wastewater tests could pinpoint the part of town where the cases are focused, she said.Holtermann takes two to three wastewater samples during peak flow times, dipping a bucket hanging from a rope at some of the 10 lift stations on the island.“We go all around the clock,” she said. “So, at midnight, three o’clock in the morning — it’s a very interesting view of Unalaska.”For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.The Associated Press