Child bullied over dwarfism leads out all-star rugby team as crowdfunding nears half a million dollars

Vincent Wood
Quaden Bayles runs onto the field before the NRL match between the Indigenous All Stars and the New Zealand Maori Kiwis All Stars at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast, Australia: Getty

A nine-year-old Australian boy who prompted a public outpouring of support after being bullied at school for his dwarfism has led out an all-star indigenous rugby league team as crowdfunding for the child nears the half a million mark.

Quaden Bayles, who lives with dwarfism-causing genetic disorder achondroplasia, was filmed by his mother Yarraka in a state of distress as she attempted to highlight the pain that bullying can cause.

Following a global display of empathy, the boy - who himself is aboriginal Australian - was asked to lead the Indigenous All Star rugby league team onto the field at the Cbus Super Stadium ahead of their clash with the Maori All Stars in Queensland.

In an invitation video to the child, fullback Rabbitoh Latrell Mitchell said: “We’ve got your back and just want to make sure that you are doing alright ... we want you around, we want you to lead us out on the weekend”.

As the pre-game procession began Quaden could be seen holding the hand of team captain Joel Tompson while walking onto the pitch to the roars of the crowd.

The team went on to lose to the Maori All Stars with a final score of 30-16.

The gesture came after Quaden’s pain and his mother’s frustration were shared across the globe in a video now viewed more than 20 million times.

“This is what bullying is doing and I want people to know how much this is hurting us as a family,” his mother says in the clip as the child threatened to harm himself.

“This is the impact that bullying has on a nine-year-old kid that just wants to go to school, get an education and have fun.”

The video has triggered outpourings of support and solidarity from members of the public and celebrities alike including actors Hugh Jackman, Mark Hamill and Warwick Davis, and musician Cardi B.

Comedian Brad Williams, who also has achondroplasia, set up a crowdfunding page to raise A$10,000 (£5,100) in an attempt to send the child to Disneyland. In the space of two days, sympathetic donors had offered up more than A$450,000.

“We could never have dreamt in our wildest dreams that it would’ve gone worldwide and created such a media frenzy,” Ms Bayles told reporters on Friday.

“There are way too many people suffering in silence and my heart goes out to those families that have already lost their children to bullying. It’s an international crisis and it demands urgent attention.”

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Hugh Jackman sends message to schoolboy bullied for dwarfism

  • Death at home: the unseen toll of Italy's coronavirus crisis
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    Reuters

    Death at home: the unseen toll of Italy's coronavirus crisis

    It took Silvia Bertuletti 11 days of frantic phone calls to persuade a doctor to visit her 78-year-old father Alessandro, who was gripped by fever and struggling for breath. When an on-call physician did go to her house near Bergamo, at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy, on the evening of March 18, it was too late. Alessandro Bertuletti was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m. on March 19, 10 minutes before an ambulance called hours earlier arrived.

  • Trump suggests firing watchdog was payback for impeachment
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    The Canadian Press

    Trump suggests firing watchdog was payback for impeachment

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump suggested that he fired the inspector general for the intelligence community in retaliation for impeachment, saying the official was wrong to provide an anonymous whistleblower complaint to Congress as the law requires.Trump called Michael Atkinson a “disgrace” after informing Congress late Friday night that he intended to fire him. In letters to the House and Senate intelligence committees, Trump wrote that he had lost confidence in Atkinson but gave little detail.A day later, Trump was more blunt, telling reporters at the White House: “I thought he did a terrible job, absolutely terrible.” The president added: “He took a fake report and he took it to Congress with an emergency, OK? Not a big Trump fan, that I can tell you.”The whistleblower report was not fake, but a detailed complaint written by an anonymous intelligence official who described Trump's pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrat Joe Biden and his son. Atkinson determined the complaint was urgent and credible and therefore was required by law to disclose it to Congress, but he was overruled for weeks by the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire.After a firestorm sparked by media reports of the complaint, it was turned over and made public. A congressional inquiry led to Trump's impeachment by the House in December. The GOP-led Senate acquitted Trump in February.On Saturday, Trump questioned why Atkinson didn’t speak to him about the complaint, though Atkinson’s role is to provide independent oversight.“Never came in to see me, never requested to see me,” Trump said. He added: “That man is a disgrace to IGs.”Atkinson’s removal is part of a larger shakeup of the intelligence community under Trump, who has always viewed intelligence professionals with skepticism. His ouster came under immediate fire from Democrats and a handful of Republicans.Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican who leads the Finance Committee, said that Congress has been “crystal clear” that written reasons must be given when inspectors general are removed for a lack of confidence.“More details are needed from the administration," Grassley said.Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a GOP member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she didn't find Trump's reasoning in his Friday letter to be persuasive, and said Atkinson's removal “was not warranted.” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said an inspector general "must be allowed to conduct his or her work independent of internal or external pressure.”Trump's criticism Saturday came after Atkinson's peers had rushed to his defence. Michael Horowitz, the inspector general at the Justice Department, said Atkinson was known for his “integrity, professionalism, and commitment to the rule of law and independent oversight." He said that included Atkinson's actions in handling the Ukraine whistleblower complaint.Asked during his daily coronavirus briefing about firing Atkinson, Trump returned to his attacks on the Democratic-led impeachment investigation and trial and his defence that his phone call with Ukraine’s president was “perfect” but had been inaccurately described in the whistleblower’s account. In fact, the partial transcript later released by the president largely supported the whistleblower’s account.Atkinson is at least the seventh intelligence official to be fired, ousted or moved aside since last summer. In his letters to the intelligence committees informing them of the firing, which were obtained by The Associated Press, Trump said that it is “vital” that he has confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general, and “that is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general.”Trump said Atkinson would be removed from office in 30 days, the required amount of time he must wait after informing Congress. He wrote that he would nominate an individual “who has my full confidence” at a later date.According to two congressional officials, Atkinson has been placed on administrative leave, meaning he will not serve out the 30 days. One of the officials said Atkinson was only informed of his removal on Friday night. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Atkinson’s administrative leave had not been announced.Atkinson’s firing thrusts the president’s impeachment back into the spotlight as his administration deals with the deadly spread of the coronavirus. As Trump was removing Atkinson, the number of U.S. deaths due to the virus topped 7,000. By the time of his remarks Saturday, it was over 8,100.The top Democrat on the Senate intelligence panel, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, said it was unconscionable that Trump would fire Atkinson in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.“We should all be deeply disturbed by ongoing attempts to politicize the nation’s intelligence agencies,” Warner said.House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who led the House impeachment inquiry, said “the president’s dead of night decision puts our country and national security at even greater risk.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the firing “threatens to have a chilling effect against all willing to speak truth to power.” And Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Trump “fires people for telling the truth.”Tom Monheim, a career intelligence professional, will become the acting inspector general for the intelligence community, according to an intelligence official who was not authorized to discuss personnel changes and spoke only on condition of anonymity. Monheim is currently the general counsel of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.Atkinson had hinted of frustration on the job in a March letter to Schumer, in which he said “the past six months have been a searing time for whistleblowers.” Atkinson was responding to a letter Schumer had sent to agency inspectors general asking them to document and investigate any instances of retaliation after Trump had threatened the anonymous whistleblower.In the letter to Schumer, obtained by the AP, Atkinson said support for whistleblowers would be rendered meaningless if “whistleblowers actually come forward in good faith with information concerning an extraordinary matter and are allowed to be vilified, threatened, publicly ridiculed, or — perhaps even worse, utterly abandoned by fair weather whistleblower champions.”Late Saturday, Schumer tweeted that he had spoken to Atkinson and thanked him for his service. Schumer said he told Atkinson that "history will remember him as a hero and those who retaliated against him as scoundrels.”Mary Clare Jalonick, Kevin Freking And Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press

  • Quebec extends halt on non-essential activity until May 4, province approaches 8,000 cases
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    CBC

    Quebec extends halt on non-essential activity until May 4, province approaches 8,000 cases

    * The city has closed Île Notre-Dame and parking at Mont-Royal Park. * All business except dépanneurs, gas stations and pharmacies are closed today.The shutdown of non-essential economic activity in Quebec will last at least another month, and won't end on April 13 as the provincial government originally hoped.Premier François Legault said that with the number of new cases of COVID-19 continuing to rise, Quebecers should expect businesses to remain closed until May 4. "If we relax our efforts, we'll just delay the moment when we'll be able to go back to our lives," Legault said Sunday at the government's daily news conference in Quebec City."The battle is far from over. In fact, we're entering the decisive phase of this battle."Public health officials announced 947 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total to 7,944. Percentage wise, that's one of the lower daily increases over the past two weeks. Hospitalizations also appear to be increasing at a weaker rate than earlier in the crisis. But 19 more people have died from causes related to the disease, bringing the total number of deaths in Quebec to 94.Legault said that as long as the number of new cases continues to increase, the government's priority will remain protecting the public's health, even if it means enforcing measures that are painful for businesses.The province is likely still several weeks away from hitting its peak number of cases, Legault said. Only after that will his government consider relaxing its strict physical distancing policies. "We put all our effort in the public's health because we needed to allow the health-care system to get ready to handle the first wave," Legault said."I'm looking forward to getting over that peak. That's when we'll begin looking at what businesses and organizations to re-open."Preparing for the post-COVID economy  In an effort to ease the pain of a longer lockdown, the Quebec government revealed details of an ambitious buy-local program called Panier Bleu. Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon, who accompanied Legault at Sunday's news conference, compared the initiative to an Amazon-style inventory, which will allow Quebecers to find products made in the province and buy them directly from retailers."It's an approach to unite communication channels to allow our small businesses to compete with corporations that have huge marketing resources," Fitzgibbon said.It is part of an effort to use the coming months to re-tool the Quebec economy, and make it better adapted to life after COVID-19.The long-term goal, said both Legault and Fitzgibbon, is to make the provincial economy more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports.  They described the global marketplace, post-crisis, as one where supply chains will continue to be unstable and free-trade increasingly rare. Legault said his priority will be making both the health-care industry, which is struggling to find supplies abroad, and the agriculture sector more autonomous. More powers for police to fine people, Île Notre-Dame closed The prospect of a longer shutdown, and continued physical distancing, will not be easy for many Quebecers to swallow, especially as the weather continues to warm. Scores of people flocked to Montreal's parks on a sun-filled Saturday, despite public health directives against gatherings, be they inside or outside. Montreal city officials were concerned about the large numbers of people in the parks. On Sunday, the city announced it was closing one vast green space — Île Notre-Dame — and shutting the parking lot at another, Mount Royal Park.Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante urged people to use the parks and green spaces closer to home to get fresh air. In Sherbrooke, Que., a security guard at a Walmart was allegedly run over by a 25-year-old man who police say was irate at the store's physical distancing measures. The guard remained in critical condition on Sunday. Authorities say the suspect is likely to be charged with armed assault with a vehicle, aggravated assault and committing a hit-and-run.

  • Labrador Indigenous groups plan how to use federal COVID-19 relief
    News
    CBC

    Labrador Indigenous groups plan how to use federal COVID-19 relief

    Indigenous communities in Labrador are already planning on what to do with recently allocated federal funds for COVID-19 relief.Ottawa has earmarked $305 million to be shared among First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities around Canada. The money will be split up into four different sections: * $215 million will be given to each First Nation community and will be distributed based on population, remoteness, and community well-being; * $45 million will be given to the four different Inuit organizations, the funds will be distributed by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and regional Inuit land claims organizations; * $30 million for Métis Nation communities; * $15 million for regional and urban Indigenous organizations supporting their members who are living away from their respective communities.The money is still trickling down to Indigenous communities in Labrador, but governments are already planning on how to use the money.NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) is one of three Indigenous governments in Labrador and the president, Todd Russell says he's concerned about how much money they'll be able to access."We were not part of the $45 million that went to other Inuit in Canada and we are now finding ourselves having to compete in a much smaller envelope of funding — $15 million, Canada-wide," Russell told CBC's Labrador Morning.Despite having a smaller pot of money to pull from and even though the government never received any money, Russell adds that efforts are already being put in place to meet the needs of NCC members, starting with the community of Black Tickle."Airlifts of food, and water to make sure they're well provisioned — we also have three contracts where we have individuals hauling fuel wood and gas into Black Tickle," he said. "We can't have a community so isolated going through a health crisis without fuel, without heat, without gas." Community protection key, Sheshatshiu chief saysThe Innu Nation has also been been developing plans for the new funding. Sheshatshiu chief Eugene Hart is focused on keeping the community safe during the pandemic, and says the money will be a great help. "We're looking to get financial support for the security that we put in place to protect the community from COVID-19," Hart said."We are also looking for funding for supplying community members with enough cleaning supplies and food during our containment procedures."Hart added that they don't know how much money will be provided, but  community has a common focus. "Most members of the community have embraced the concern and want to keep themselves protected."In the northern Innu community of Natuashish, chief John Nui has been busy deciding what to do with the money, including some land-based projects. "At the same time we submitted a proposal for a crisis team for a hotline for our youth to call in," Nui said.The Inuit government of Nunatsiavut has also been busy in finding ways to help its residents cope with the impacts of the virus.Financial support will be provided to community food banks and freezer programs, and cleaning supplies have been provided to families.Various support packages with puzzles and games will be provided to promote mental wellness during self-isolation.A program is being developed to ensure wood and fuel is provided to those in need. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    B.C.'s health officer says decrease in COVID cases 'heartening'

    VICTORIA — British Columbia's medical health officer says the province seems to be holding its own against COVID-19, which is why officials are so cautious about people returning from other areas of the world.Dr. Bonnie Henry said Saturday that repatriation flights from India and others are in the works and health officials in B.C. are consulting with federal agencies to determine what will happen with those people."I think it's safe to say we were, we had some concerns that the strength of the response at all of the airports and land border crossings were not strong enough yet. So, we want to look at how we can support the federal agencies in making sure that everybody is aware of the requirements when they come back."Henry said people travelling may not be aware of the rapid changes that have taken place because of COVID-19 or that they need to be isolated for 14 days after travel.She said some B.C. residents who were on a cruise ship that arrived in Florida on Friday have been allowed to return to the province and are self-isolating in their homes.Three more people died of the virus since Friday for a total of 38. Henry said there were 29 new cases diagnosed in the same time period, bringing the number of cases to 1,203. Just over 700 people have fully recovered from the virus.Henry said the lower number of cases diagnosed indicates the curve may be flattening."But I am heartened that we are seeing that decrease in acceleration. If we had continued to see that 24, 25 per cent increase, we would have had many, many more cases and that's very concerning."If the numbers hold, that would allow the province to deliver health care for both COVID-19 patients and other ailments that are affecting people, she said.Henry said B.C. scientists and health experts are working with others around the world to understand the virus."There's some evidence that this coronavirus is behaving like other coronaviruses, which means that when we have increased UV light and warmer temperatures it tends to fade away."That would mean it could come back in the fall like many other respiratory viruses, even with all the measures being taken, Henry said."The one caveat to that is when a new virus is introduced into a human population, for which we have no immunity, it may not fade away in the ways we would see once it's been circulating for a while."It's still unclear how COVID-19 might spread in the months ahead, she said.COVID-19 has been diagnosed in another long-term care facility in the province, bringing the total to 23 care homes affected. Henry said in all but two of those facilities, the outbreak has been limited to one or two positive cases.This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 4, 2020. The Canadian Press

  • Pope opens Holy Week amid pandemic; says now is the time to serve
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    Reuters

    Pope opens Holy Week amid pandemic; says now is the time to serve

    Pope Francis marked a surreal Palm Sunday in an empty St. Peter's Basilica, urging people living through the coronavirus pandemic not to be so concerned with what they lack but how they can ease the suffering of others. The service, kicking off Holy Week events leading to Easter, usually attracts tens of thousands of people to a St. Peter's Square bedecked with olive and palm trees. The service normally includes a long procession of cardinals, priests and faithful carrying palm fronds.

  • 'There is some upside': Optimism in natural gas sector a result of oil industry's crisis
    News
    CBC

    'There is some upside': Optimism in natural gas sector a result of oil industry's crisis

    While record low oil prices are costing the vast majority of companies money on every barrel they produce, the natural gas sector is optimistic that 2020 could turn out to be a pretty good year.In short, all of the problems plaguing the oil industry — including a sharp drop in fuel demand and OPEC countries flooding the market with oil — could mean higher prices for natural gas.Much of the natural gas to hit the market in the U.S. is produced from oil wells. Companies pull oil from the ground, but some natural gas comes up with it.As many oil companies are now cutting back on oil production, there will likely be much less natural gas on the market. That could mean higher prices."Most of us are still needing our homes heated and so on, so demand isn't down much," said Jonathan Wright, the chief executive of Calgary-based NuVista Energy.About two-thirds of the company's production is natural gas, while the remainder is condensate, a very light type of oil.Wright said he has "no joy at all" at seeing oil prices so low, but he's optimistic about what it will mean for his company."The oil price is going to take some time to recover, in my best estimate, and that means with less gas being produced with it, there is some upside to natural gas," he said.Natural gas prices are likely to be volatile this summer, he said, as the repercussions of the COVID-19 virus have shifted demand for the energy source.So far this year, natural gas in Western Canada has averaged about $2 per million British Thermal Units, although the price now sits at about $1.60.Martin King, a Calgary-based commodities analyst with RBN Energy, expects the price to average about $1.90 for this year."For the summer and a good portion of the rest of the year, I think we could see respectable pricing for natural gas here in Canada and especially Western Canada," he said.King said there is also plenty of storage space available north of the border."If we keep producing at a reasonable level and there is a pullback in demand or exports to the U.S., we do have a place to put the gas," he said.Possible downside, tooConsidering how long the pandemic may last and how unpredictable the impacts will be of the virus, there is some concern the natural gas sector won't be immune.Rory Johnston, the managing director at Toronto-based market research firm Price Street, is cautious about predicting how the sector will perform for the rest of the year."There's a small silver lining there," he said of how reduced oil production should improve natural gas prices."Then again, you have such a demand drop in this. Power demand and commercial heating demand and other things that are all part of that COVID demand disruption story that are affecting oil," he said. "I think a lot of that could also batter natural gas."

  • What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, April 5
    News
    CBC

    What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, April 5

    Recent developments: * An outbreak has been declared at both the Chartwell Willowdale and Chartwell Van Horne retirement residences in Smiths Falls, Ont., after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. * The Outaouais now has 109 confirmed cases of the virus, with the majority in Gatineau. * This weekend, Ottawa's municipal officials are crunching numbers to see how much the pandemic is costing the city.Here's what's happening this weekendNeed cannabis or hardware supplies? You'll have to order them online now, as the province has ordered those stores closed — part of its increasing efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19.The decision to reduce the number of businesses in Ontario deemed essential came Friday after public health officials shared stark projections suggesting between 3,000 and 15,000 people could die over the course of the pandemic.The deadline to close was midnight.The Ottawa Hospital, meanwhile, is dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 at its Civic campus. One patient is ill and is in isolation, hospital officials say.If you are an essential worker and need childcare, registration is underway this weekend for free daycares in both Ottawa and Kingston, Ont, for children between the ages of 18 months and five years old. Ottawa bylaw officers say after issuing dozens of warnings, they will start to fine people for breaking COVID-19 rules.Other communities such as Kingston, Ont. and Gatineau are in a similar boat.How many cases do we have?As of Sunday, there were 345 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and more than 640 in the region. The virus has killed four people in Ottawa.Confirmed cases are just a snapshot because of the limits of testing. There are likely thousands more.Distancing and isolatingPhysical distancing means avoiding non-essential trips, working from home, cancelling all gatherings and staying at least two metres away from others when out for a walk.WATCH: Here's what you can and can't do in Ottawa's parksTravellers who return to Canada must now self-isolate for 14-days: staying home and asking others to leave supplies at the door.Anyone who is older than 70, or who has a compromised immune system, or who has been in close contact with  someone who either has tested positive or has symptoms after recent travel should also self-isolate for 14 days.People who feel sick should self-isolate for 14 days or until their symptoms are gone for 24 hours, whichever is longer.How daily life is changingQuebec has banned non-essential travel into and through western Quebec, which police are enforcing with moving checkpoints.Ottawa is set to release more details this week on how the drop in revenues from physical distancing will affect the city's balance sheet. Parks are only open to walk through and authorities are watching for gatherings in many communities.WATCH: Ontario could have seen 100,000 COVID-19 deathsOntario and Quebec schools are closed until May and all non-essential businesses should be closed. Public transit authorities are scaling back service. Essential services like waste collection continue. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?They range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection. The most common symptoms include fever, fatigue and a dry cough.Older people, those with compromised immune systems and those with underlying medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes are more likely to develop serious problems.WATCH: Ontario's ICU capacity at risk, says head of Ontario HealthThe coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.Ottawa Public Health says unless you need an N-95 mask for your job, only people with respiratory illnesses and those caring for sick people should wear them.Homemade masks may do little to stop the spread of the virus — aside from stopping people from touching their faces and muffling a cough or sneeze. Kingston General Hospital has banned staff from wearing them.The germs can also spread through close, prolonged contact, such as handshaking, and via surfaces such as door handles, phones and light switches.Most people with mild symptoms can self-isolate and get better. If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Where to get testedAnyone concerned they have COVID-19 in Ontario can fill out its online assessment tool. Ottawans who have a new or worsening cough or fever and have left the country — or have spent time with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days — should visit the COVID-19 screening centre at the Brewer Arena.The centre is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 151 Brewer Way. You don't have to call ahead.WATCH: At least 2,000 waiting to get tested for COVID-19 in OntarioStarting Monday a former school in Bells Corners will become a care centre for people with moderate symptoms from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.The assessment centre at the Kingston Memorial Centre at 303 York St. is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for anyone with symptoms.The public health unit in the Belleville area is asking people only call it at 613-966-5500 if they still have questions after the province's self-assessment.Same for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark's unit at 1-800-660-5853 extension 2499.It has testing sites by referral from a family doctor or the health unit only in Brockville, Almonte and Smiths Falls and a new home test service for people in care or with mobility challenges. Call the health unit to ask about one.There is a drive-thru test centre in Casselman, Ont. open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 872 Principale St. for people with worsening symptoms, like the test site at 750 Laurier St. in Hawkesbury, Ont., open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. No need to call ahead.There are others by appointment only in Winchester, Ont., by calling your family doctor or Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000, and Cornwall, Ont. Call 613-935-7762 if you have worsening symptoms.Only people older than age 70 in that area or who have chronic health problems or compromised immune systems can call 613-933-1375 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to ask about a home visit from paramedics.Renfrew County is providing home testing under some circumstances.Call Telehealth, your health care provider or it at 613-735-8654 if you still have more questions.Anyone who doesn't have or can't reach a family doctor can call its new primary health-care centre at 1-844-727-6404 if they have any health questions.In western Quebec:Outaouais residents should call 819-644-4545 if they have a cough or fever, whether they've travelled or not. You could be referred to Gatineau's testing centre.If your symptoms require a trip to the ER, call ahead if you can to let them know your travel history.First Nations communitiesAkwesasne, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte (MBQ) and Pikwakanagan have declared states of emergency..With a confirmed case in the American part of Akwesasne, anyone returning from farther than 80 kilometres away is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.Anyone in MBQ who has symptoms can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nursePikwakanagan's new council has ordered all businesses to close.Kitigan Zibi has scaled back non-essential services.For more information, visit:

  • Exclusive: Planned $1 billion U.S. aid cut would hit Afghan security force funds
    News
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Planned $1 billion U.S. aid cut would hit Afghan security force funds

    A planned $1 billion cut in U.S. aid to Afghanistan would come from funds for Afghan security forces, according to three U.S. sources, a step experts said would undercut both Kabul's ability to fight the Taliban and its leverage to negotiate a peace deal with them. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the reduction on March 23 and threatened to slash the same amount next year to try to force Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his political rival Abdullah Abdullah to end a feud that has helped stall U.S.-led peace-making efforts in Afghanistan.

  • Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario long-term care homes preparing families for the worst
    Global News

    Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario long-term care homes preparing families for the worst

    Long-term care homes in Ontario are being told not to send seniors to hospital if they're showing symptoms of COVID-19. But as Morganne Campbell reports, a document obtained by Global News suggests home administrators start preparing families for the worst.

  • UBC graduate student advocates for summer tuition waiver
    News
    CBC

    UBC graduate student advocates for summer tuition waiver

    A PhD student at the University of British Columbia Okanagan is asking for summer tuition to be waived for graduate students due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Like many universities across the country, UBC announced in mid-March it would be moving classes online for the rest of the semester and non-essential research would be curtailed until the end of April.Rina Garcia Chua, an international student from the Phillippines, says the move has disrupted research and project timelines for many graduate students, as well as on-campus employment and child care. She says the last few weeks have been stressful."And it's not just me. All my colleagues," Chua told host Sarah Penton on CBC's Radio West."They have been really affected by this mentally, physically and emotionally, just thinking about where to find that money."Chua says graduate students have no access to the study spaces and facilities — or even library books — they would normally have in order to complete their projects.Financially, many rely on off-campus and on-campus employment — like research assistant positions — to help cover costs during the year.Chua usually teaches at a summer camp but says "obviously, I don't think that's going to happen now."Although the province announced on Thursday a one-time, $3.5-million investment in emergency financial help for post-secondary students struggling due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is only available to domestic students. As an international student, Chua doesn't qualify. She is also extremely worried about the situation back home in the Phillippines. She has been checking in with her family every day and has been trying to secure them supplies. President Rodrigo Duterte's recent threats to shoot anyone who violates lockdown orders have done nothing to calm her fears. "I couldn't sleep last night just thinking about those strong words and all my colleagues there who are facing this kind of threat," she said."We're going through such complex situations right now, financial worries should be the least of our problems." In response, Matt Ramsay, director of university affairs at UBC, said the university acknowledges "these are not ideal circumstances for our graduate students but these are exceptional times that require exceptional responses to keep the community safe."He said the university is working with faculty supervisors and students to support alternative means for them to continue their scholarly development, as well as looking into potential supports for affected graduate students. He added any student experiencing financial need can contact an enrolment services advisor for information on UBC assistance programs.If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at impact@cbc.ca.

  • Victoria helps with food production for 1st time since WWII, due to COVID-19 demand
    News
    CBC

    Victoria helps with food production for 1st time since WWII, due to COVID-19 demand

    The city that has been deemed the flower capital of Canada won't be planting as many flowers this year.Instead, Victoria's city council passed a motion Thursday to grow more food plant seedlings in the city's greenhouses, in order to increase food security for residents with low incomes, or who've lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The baby plants would then be delivered to residents in need, who would continue to grow them.Victoria councillors say it's the first time the City has helped with food production since the Second World War. "Parks staff will be growing between 50,000 and 75,000 food plants in the nursery" located in Beacon Hill Park, as part of an expansion to council's existing Growing in the City initiative, Mayor Lisa Helps announced Thursday. "Growing food is a way to build community, it's a way to feed yourselves and your families," she said.Helps added that the project would only require City staff to "repurpose a bit of time to respond to a pressing need that we've heard from the community." More people want to grow their own food during the pandemicAaren Topley, a member of the Victoria Urban Food Table, the city advisory group that brought the idea to council, said there's been an increase in the number of residents interested in growing their own food since the pandemic started. "It gets [residents] connecting to the land which I think, as humans, we've done for a very long time, and in moments of scarcity, there's something really empowering about that," he explained. Topley said the Urban Food Table conducted a city survey a year ago that found around 300 Victoria households were growing their own food. Based on those numbers, Topley said the group has estimated around 150 to 200 other households might be interested in learning to grow their own food. The group is currently working with the City, School District 61, and local farmers to devise a strategy to deliver the baby plants to residents in a way that follows the Province's physical distancing recommendations. It will also be looking into the capacity for people who don't have backyards to grow their own food. Topley added that the Food Table is collaborating with local partners, like the Mason Street Farm and the Compost Education Centre, to decide which kinds of food would be appropriate to grow, and also hopes to put together educational materials for residents on how to care for their plants.He said he hopes the City will begin the project in the next few weeks.

  • Big lines at pot shops, hardware stores ahead of midnight closure
    News
    CBC

    Big lines at pot shops, hardware stores ahead of midnight closure

    There were long lineups at cannabis retailers and hardware stores throughout Ottawa Saturday, as customers rushed to make purchases ahead of temporary closure order that take effect at midnight across the province.On Friday, Premier Doug Ford announced more businesses would be shuttered after public health officials outlined their pandemic projections.Unless more stringent action was taken, Public Health Ontario said that 1,600 people could die from COVID-19 — and 80,000 could be infected by the end of the month. As a result, the provincial government has pared down its list of essential services from 74 categories to 44.Grocery stores, pharmacies, utilities, public transit, taxis and animal care services can all remain open. Cannabis shops, which had been deemed essential two weeks earlier, have now been ordered to close — although recreational users can still order online through the government-owned Ontario Cannabis Store.  On a bright sunny Saturday, the noon lineup outside Stash and Co. in Centretown stretched around the block.Staff wearing face masks and gloves limited the number of people who could enter the store. Customers left about two metres between each other and surfed on their phones as they waited more than an hour to get inside.A similar scene played out on Wellington Street West in front of the Superette cannabis store.Meanwhile, hardware stores can now sell their goods online and offer curbside pick-up or delivery — but must shut their retail stores. Around 10 a.m., the parking lot at the Home Depot on Bank Street was already half full. David Attwater, 63, was among those scrambling to get last minute supplies to renovate a house."A long-term tenant moved out on Tuesday and I started a full renovation to prepare to sell it. I heard on the news they were closing the big box stores, so I came here first thing in the morning to get all the stuff my contractor said he would need," said Attwater.Attwater said he's "prone to getting colds and the flu," so he wore a mask and gloves on the way into the store.He said he wasn't comfortable buying some of his supplies online, without seeing them first in person. "I was buying tile, I was buying grout. For some of those things you need to be able to be there — to see it, to feel it and get a sense of it."Another customer, Ken White, was stocking up on garden supplies.He said staff were diligent about limiting the numbers of customers inside the store, and understood they needed to close so that people would stay home."I'm surprised they stayed open this way this long, to be quite honest," White said. "I thought what [the province is] doing tomorrow, they would have done sooner."

  • Contractors facing tough choice after province limits construction activity
    News
    CBC

    Contractors facing tough choice after province limits construction activity

    With new rules limiting construction projects set to kick in at midnight Saturday, Ottawa contractors are faced with the choice of whether or not to stay open.Steve Barkhouse, owner of Amsted Design-Build, said his company continued working on its 19 home renovation projects over the past few weeks, as cases of COVID-19 rose across the region.As of Sunday, however, that's all changing."We've tried to fight the good fight," said Barkhouse. "[But] Premier Ford made it pretty clear that he wants people at home, and that we're going to step it up another notch. And we're taking that to heart."The province is limiting the types of construction projects that can remain in operation — even with physical distancing measures in place — after public health officials released projections Friday showing previous actions taken by the Ontario government had dramatically reduced the number of deaths and confirmed cases of COVID-19.Only construction related to health care and critical infrastructure, residential projects with permits, and home renovations already in progress can continue after midnight.Physical distancing measures took tollBarkhouse said he plans to speak to his clients and start winding down operations in the coming days.While his business qualifies as essential, he said it's become difficult to manage projects as physical distancing measures took their toll on the industry."Small companies that we work with, subcontractors and cabinet makers and things like that, were slowly shutting down because they weren't able to get materials, or their staff weren't comfortable crossing the border or travelling," said Barkhouse.In addition, Quebec's shutdown of the construction industry two weeks ago led to disruptions in the supply chains Amsted relies on for windows, cabinets and other building materials.Halting half-finished projects 'very problematic'Fares Elsabbagh, president of Ottawa General Contractors, said workers at his company will continue working.His company currently has over 40 projects on the go. "That could be very problematic to just stop a project right in the middle of construction," said Elsabbagh."Somebody in that home might need their kitchen finished or their secondary dwelling where an elderly parent or the child … are supposed to move into."When asked why the government continued to sanction home construction and renovation, Premier Doug Ford said 45,000 Ontario families were weeks or months away from moving into a new home."Nothing would be more dangerous than having a whole bunch of families on top of each other, living in the same house because their house isn't ready," said Ford. "We're trying to minimize construction to the best of our abilities."Elsabbagh said he's also trying to his best to balance the needs of his business with his responsibility to keep his workers safe."We've put safety protocols in place to try to mitigate the risk with with regards with what's going on," he said."Ultimately, we want to get through this as fast as possible, because this uncertainty makes it really difficult to navigate a business like ours where there's a lot of moving parts."

  • Self-employed Calgary man wants to know why he's being denied provincial emergency money
    News
    CBC

    Self-employed Calgary man wants to know why he's being denied provincial emergency money

    Dustin Milne is usually quite busy this time of year, ramping up for busy summers with his audio-visual company Digital Media Integrations.But Milne's contracts — which include the Calgary Stampede, various concert productions and projects in the restaurant scene — started falling away one by one by the second week of March."It was obviously the right call to make but that basically took my income from being, you know, looking like it was going to be a really good year, to nothing," Milne said.So last week, when the Alberta government announced emergency one-time funding for people who have been directed by a health authority to self-isolate and are unable to work, Milne breathed a sigh of relief.Milne hasn't been directed to self-isolate by 811 but said he is following provincial government recommendations regarding self-isolation, and said he knows of others in the same boat who applied for and received the funding.Eligible Albertans can receive $1,146Under the plan as outlined, eligible recipients of the funding receive a one-time payment of $1,146 through an Interac e-transfer. If approved, the government has said payments are processed within 24 to 48 hours.Albertans are asked to create a digital ID, which is required to complete the application. As part of the verification process, applicants' identities are verified with information from their drivers' licence or ID card.All of that seemed straightforward to Milne as he started the application process.But due to so many other Albertans trying to access the portal at the same time, Milne said it took six days to access the website.When he finally got through, he said he waited in a 12-hour queue. Payment deniedBut after the long wait, the response from the government arrived much quicker. "I got the confirmation email and within 12 minutes I got the denial," Milne said.Milne said he tried a dozen more times and received the same result. The possible reasons given for denial were either that he may be under 18-years-old — Milne is 34 — or that his self-isolation may have started more than 14 days before the application was submitted.Milne said he even compared his questionnaire answers with friends who did receive support and their answers were identical to his.Milne said he called his local MLA and was told to keep reapplying.Application being 'periodically shut down'Many Albertans have had trouble since the government launched the emergency isolation funding on March 25.The program first ran into issues when a flood of simultaneous applications crashed the system as thousands of Albertans responded to the offer.At that time, the province said it was working on expanding the system's capacity. The application was unavailable on Saturday afternoon, with a message posted to the website stating that "the system is working but we need to periodically shut it down in order to manage the flow of applications. We will make it available as soon as possible."The website also asks those who are having issues to call Alberta Connects at 403-310-4455, which is open daily from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.CBC News did not receive a response to requests for comment on Milne's situation from the province by press time."I don't know what I'm going to have for money in a month, a year. Who knows how long this is going to take," Milne said. "So while they're waving the flag of, 'Hey, we're here to help and we're trying to give you support,' I would like to get it."

  • Community associations don't want to be 'left behind' as COVID-19 strains reserves
    News
    CBC

    Community associations don't want to be 'left behind' as COVID-19 strains reserves

    For community associations, some say right now it feels like they are drinking out of a fire hose.There have been funding announcements for not-for-profit organizations, but Leslie Evans, the executive director of the Federation of Calgary Communities, said community associations (CAs) don't squarely fit in those opportunities. "Once our vulnerable populations and those funding sources have been taken care of, we need to think about the other not-for-profits that are really knitting the social network of our community," Evans said.Among the city's community associations, many are eyeing their funding runways. Evans said some have weeks or a handful of months of funding to get by as it stands with what is left in reserves.That's because many operate buildings and facilities that normally take bookings from sports groups, Girl Guides, Scouts and charity events — you name it, it's happening down the road at your local community hall.According to statistics published in a 2016 University of Calgary School of Public Policy paper,100 of 151 community associations operate facilities. These amenities can include meeting rooms, lounges, outdoor pools, community gardens, hall space — even hockey rinks."If we don't start addressing this funding gap now, we're just going to pay for it in the future," Evans said. "So it's really important that we find resources to help pay for the expenses that are happening in the absence of programs and hall revenues."Taking things week by weekEvans said since the inception of Calgary's CAs, there have only been three or four instances where the city has stepped in and taken over community-owned buildings. "That's not a bad stat," she said. Lisa Boychuk is the treasurer at the Brentwood Community Association. She said they are taking it week by week.Her association was supposed to have a casino fundraiser in April. All teams scheduled to use their arena have cancelled, their banquet hall will sit empty and refunds for various bookings are being processed."In terms of expenses, we know what our projections are, for our expenses, say till the end of June or July," Boychuk said. "We are fortunate enough to be able to weather the storm in the short term and not jeopardize the association or the facilities at all."But as Evans highlighted, there's a lot of uncertainty right now with the measures in place to flatten the curve. It's unclear how long these groups will have to hang on with dwindling reserve money as Canada continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.Peter Oliver with the Beltline Neighbourhoods Association said while they do operate McHugh House as a community and arts hub, there's enough going on outside of that building to help keep the group afloat."The last few weeks have really just been adjusting to the new normal," Oliver said. "I think the big thing for us is really going to be at the end of all of this, being able to really help be part of the reinvigoration of the community and activating public spaces and giving something really positive for people to come together and celebrate."Because I think people are really going to be looking for that at the end of all of this.Volunteers still working hardOf course, while many in-person community initiatives have stalled, there are still meetings happening between community volunteers and the City of Calgary on various planning and city-building projects — just online. "New parks and different public spaces and revitalization projects continue to happen in the background, much in the same way they were before," said Oliver.Larry Leach is the executive director of 12 Community Safety Initiative and former president of the Crossroads Community Association in the northeast.Leach is the past president of the Crossroads Community Association and is still very involved. The association was going to do a "North Yeast Brew Fest" — but that won't go forward as planned because of the pandemic.People immediately recognized 'need for connection'"We're looking at maybe how can we do that online? And how does that look? And what are the logistics around that?" he said.Many community-minded people see this difficult time as a time to make lemonade. And some, like Leach, believe Calgary will come out on the other side of this pandemic changed."I'm already feeling among my friends that are involved in other community associations … that feeling of, 'Man, isn't it going to be fantastic when we finally get together?'" Leach said. "One thing that I'm happy to see is that people quickly recognized their need for other people, their need for connection."As soon as it was gone and lost, they realized it right away. And that's exciting."

  • 'Not all families have this option': Sask. woman takes father out of care home due to COVID-19 pandemic
    News
    CBC

    'Not all families have this option': Sask. woman takes father out of care home due to COVID-19 pandemic

    Donna Pasiechnik considers herself lucky. When she got a temporary layoff notice on Monday, she knew it meant she could do something not many others can do: bring her father home. Pasiechnik's father Joseph recently moved to a care home in Invermay, Sask. after a lengthy stay in hospital in Yorkton. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about three and a half years ago and just starting to get used to his new place when the pandemic broke out. "We'd become more and more concerned about his risk as an 87-year-old man living in a communal setting," she said. "We'd been watching the news and really worried about losing him."News from other provinces shows that if COVID-19 gets into a care home, it can be devastating.Pasiechnik's concern didn't have to do with the level of care at his Invermay home. She praised staff there for the kindness and support they showed her and her family. Pasiechnik knew she would be off work for at least three months, so after some conference calls with her family and difficult decisions — but ultimately her husband's blessing — she left her home in Regina to move in with her mom and dad in Canora, Sask. to help care for her father.  I know they're trying to do everything to keep residents connected with their families through technology, but it's hard. It's really hard. \- Donna PasiechnikThe thought of losing her father and not being able to see him was unimaginable for Pasiechnik and her family. He had even started to deteriorate near the outset of the pandemic, when they shut down the home and visitors weren't allowed anymore. Pasiechnik's mom used to visit him almost every day, spending the afternoon. "We were finding a rhythm. But once we were no longer able to do that, my dad went into a deep depression and we were really concerned about his mental health and what this would do to him," she said.  "It's going to be a challenge I'm sure."Pasiechnik knows not everyone has this opportunity. Right now, she is just taking it one day at a time and trying to settle into a routine. "I know not all families have this option available to them and I just felt heartbroken yesterday picking dad up and seeing these folks in the home kind of left behind," she said."I know they're trying to do everything to keep residents connected with their families through technology, but it's hard. It's really hard."

  • Gas pumps saved, Saint-Sauveur's only convenience store destroyed in fire
    News
    CBC

    Gas pumps saved, Saint-Sauveur's only convenience store destroyed in fire

    Firefighters from three volunteer fire departments in northeastern New Brunswick were able to save the gas pumps from a fire that destroyed the only convenience store in Saint-Sauveur early Saturday morning. "The way we put the water on, we made sure nothing would fall on the tanks and the garage on the back of the building," said Paolo Gionet, the fire chief of the Saint Sauveur fire department. The building that housed the business, Epicerie G M L Ltee, and the Ultramar gas bar owned and operated by Carolyn Ayoub was completely destroyed. Saint-Sauveur is 40 kilometres east of Bathurst. The call to report the fire was received at midnight Friday night. After arriving on the scene, Gionet said he called for backup from the neighbouring fire departments in Allardville and Saint-Isidore. The fire chief said he thinks the cause of the fire was electrical but the investigation is continuing. "When we came in that is where the fire was concentrated ... where all the electrical cables were going in the building." Gionet said the person who lives in the building was out of town and there was no one inside at the time. The convenience store and gas station was the only one remaining in the community. Gionet said it had everything that people needed. But a fire wasn't the only thing firefighters had to deal with. Gionet said trying to maintain a distance of two metres apart because of COVID-19 is hard. "We try the most we can to stay away from each other."

  • Toronto police enforcing city bylaws, provincial orders to stop COVID-19 spread
    News
    CBC

    Toronto police enforcing city bylaws, provincial orders to stop COVID-19 spread

    Toronto police are enforcing city bylaws and provincial orders this weekend to stop the spread of COVID-19.Police say they are prepared to issue fines of up to $1,000 to people who violate a new physical distancing city bylaw enacted on Thursday. An enforcement blitz, announced on Thursday, began on Friday and runs all weekend.Any two people who don't live together and who fail to keep two metres apart in a park or public square could be ticketed. Meaghan Gray, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, said in an email on Saturday that 160 officers have been dedicated to patrolling areas where police have determined that people have been not complying with bylaws and orders.The officers have been pulled from the service's primary response units, community response units, mounted and marine units and members of its parking enforcement unit. The officers are also working with city bylaw officers.Gray said the blitz is focused on part on ensuring the new physical distancing bylaw is respected."While education about this bylaw is the preferred method of enforcement, if necessary tickets of $1,000 will be issued," Gray said in the email.People who park in parking lots of parks that have been closed can also face tickets of $100 and be towed.Police, she added, are also enforcing bylaws and orders that forbid social gatherings of more than five people, as well as the use of parks amenities that have been closed and non-essential businesses remaining open.Fines for violating a provincial order under the Emergency Measures Act can range from $750 to $100,000, including up to one year in jail.As of Saturday at 12:30 p.m., police have issued tickets to 21 people for non-compliance, summonses to two businesses and nine notices for failure to comply with provincial orders in Toronto.As well, the city's 311 line has received 1,409 complaints related to irresponsible or illegal behaviour in its parks since the province prohibited gatherings of more than five people and the city closed park amenities, parking lots and playgrounds.Toronto Public Health reported on Saturday that the city now has 1,026 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 101 cases from Friday. Of the cases, 823 cases are confirmed and 203 are probable, 66 cases have recovered, 125 are in hospital, with 53 in intensive care units. In Toronto, 25 people have died of COVID-19.Community spread is responsible for 27 per cent of COVID-19 cases in the city. Mississauga city bylaw officers patrolling parksMeanwhile, in Mississauga, the city's bylaw enforcement officers are enforcing the rules at 10 "favourite hotspots" where people gather, according to Mayor Bonnie Crombie.The officers will try to educate people first, but could fine people $750 if they're "being obstinate and don't care," she said.In a news release, the city of Mississauga said the officers are patrolling parks to enforce emergency orders to limit gatherings and promote physical distancing. They will issue fines of at least $750 where applicable, and are barricading the entrances to park parking lots. Vehicles in parked in lots will be ticketed and towed."We are in the midst of a health emergency and we need everyone to do their part. While it is exciting that spring has arrived and we all want to enjoy the beautiful weekend weather, we cannot enjoy parks and outdoor spaces like we have in the past," Crombie said in the release."I have received countless e-mails, tweets and messages about people not respecting physical distancing and reports of vandalism in our parks. We have enforcement in place to protect people — we aren't doing this because we want to, we are doing this because we have to. We are asking people to listen and please follow the rules."Const. Bancroft Wright, spokesperson for Peel Regional Police, said Peel police also have the ability to issue tickets. "We are able to ticket, but our main goal is to educate the public," he said.Over 100 vehicles turned away from Humber East, West lotsIn a news release on Saturday, the city of Toronto said enforcement teams had turned away more than 100 vehicles from Humber East and West parks parking lots as of 1 p.m.Since March 24, the city's municipal licensing and standards division has responded to 407 complaints and issued 34 notices for failure to comply with provincial emergency orders. Since that time as well, Toronto Public Health has gone to 409 bars and restaurants that were identified as not complying with provincial orders. Of the bars and restaurants, 162 were closed and 18 warning letters were issued for failing to stick to takeout and delivery only. And Toronto Public Health has gone to 109 businesses such as nail salons and hair dressers, closing 105 and issuing four warning letters.According to the city, the new physical distancing bylaw is in effect for at least the next 30 days.

  • News
    CBC

    1 bus driver, 2 other Calgary Transit workers test positive for COVID-19

    Calgary Transit says three workers have tested positive for COVID-19.Two have had no contact with the public, Transit said on Twitter on Saturday, while a third has had "limited to no contact with customers."A City of Calgary spokesperson told CBC News that the first two employees work within training operations, while the third is a bus driver.The city spokesperson said that the bus driver would have limited to no contact with the public due to physical distancing measures that have been put in place.That bus driver works out of Spring Gardens with some contact with the Stoney Transit Facility, Calgary Transit said.CBC News reached out to inquire what transit routes the driver was on, when the driver tested positive and when the driver was last at work. The city spokesperson said that the bus driver tested positive on April 3, but did not state when the driver was last at work or what routes the driver was on, adding that notifying Calgarians would be up to AHS and reiterating that customers likely had no contact with the driver.All employees who have come into close contact with those three workers have been contacted, Calgary Transit said, and any locations or buses they came into contact with have been deep cleaned and sanitized.Calgary Transit tweeted that it's also implemented the following measures to keep passengers and drivers safe: * Rear-door boarding on big buses. * Two-metre physical distancing requirements. * Shuttle-bus front-seat closures. * A 50 per cent seat capacity limit on all buses.In Ottawa, after a driver tested positive, OC Transpo released information about which routes that driver had been assigned to, and the day and time the driver was on each route.As of Saturday afternoon, 734 people in Calgary have tested positive for COVID-19, out of 1,181 in Alberta.

  • Actress-author Patricia Bosworth dies from coronavirus at 86
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Actress-author Patricia Bosworth dies from coronavirus at 86

    LOS ANGELES — Patricia Bosworth, an actress who once starred alongside Audrey Hepburn and later wrote biographies on several stars including Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift, has died due to the coronavirus. She was 86.Bosworth’s stepdaughter, Fia Hatsav, told The New York Times that pneumonia brought on by the virus was the cause of death. Bosworth died on Thursday in New York.Bosworth played a nun opposite of Hepburn in the 1959 classic “The Nun’s Story.” Along with penning bios for Brando and Clift, she also wrote biographies on actress Jane Fonda and famed photographer Diane Arbus, who photographed Bosworth in a Greyhound bus advertisement.Her biography on Arbus served as the base for the 2006 film “Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus,” which starred Nicole Kidman.Under the tutelage of Lee Strasberg, Bosworth studied acting at the Actors Studio alongside Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and Fonda. Bosworth worked on Broadway and starred in television shows including “Naked City” and “The Patty Duke.”Bosworth turned her attention from acting to focus on a career in journalism as a successful editor and writer. She wrote for The New York Times and New York magazine, and was an editor for several publications including Screen Stars, McCall’s and contributed to Vanity Fair.She wrote memoirs about her own life in 1998's “Anything Your Little Heart Desires: An American Family Story" and 2017’s “The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan."The Associated Press

  • News
    CBC

    Moving homes in the middle of a pandemic

    Edmontonians have had to postpone travel plans, weddings, and birthdays due to the pandemic, moving homes can still go ahead.That's due to moving companies being deemed an essential service. Eager Beaver Moving, a company based in south Edmonton, continues to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic and has been kept busy."The last three weeks have been insane, we have been completely swamped," said owner John Watson.Watson said the company has a number of measures in place, listed on their website for customers to know. They work to thoroughly disinfect trucks and equipment used as well as ask employees to regularly wash their hands.The company also has measures for customers to follow, including keeping a safe distance from employees, not bringing in extra people to help, and doing a wellness check where they call their customer a day before a move to make sure they are healthy. But despite all these measures, Watson still finds sending his crew into people's homes stressful. "I feel really anxious about sending my people out there," Watson said. "I almost sometimes wish that we were just shut down so it would make it easier, but then of course you would have the financial stress that everybody else is living with."Some of Watson's crew members — those living with senior parents or with kids who have compromised immune systems — decided to self-isolate and stay at home. His full staff of 22 movers is down to only 16."We had to hire new guys to make up for the shortfall," he said.To keep his employees safe, Watson is currently on the lookout for masks and gloves but has had trouble finding them."You phone suppliers and unless you have ordered them in the past, they are not selling them to you," he said. Watson credits the busy schedule not only to the pandemic — he believes many people who had put off moving to later months are now doing it earlier — but also because he claims some moving companies will cancel at the last minute if they believe it's not safe for them to operate. He said he has received calls from customers that were cancelled on from other companies. 'I cannot imagine the stress'One of Watson's customers, Bernadine Whitford, actually had to put off moving due to quarantine. She was supposed to move sometime at the end of March but had to go into quarantine for 14 days after returning from travel. She hired Eager Beaver for her move on Saturday. Whitford said the company came highly recommended and she appreciated the extra precautions that were listed in the email they sent her. "I don't feel like I'm going to Lysol everything as soon as I get home," she said. "They are very conscientious and I appreciate that a lot."Despite content customers, Watson said he still worries about his staff. "Especially in apartment buildings, you are riding up in elevators, people are touching stuff, it's a very anxious time for them," he said. "I cannot imagine the stress that they must be feeling."Watson said he tries to be there for his crew and listen to them if they ever need to talk."That's often all they really need to do," he said.Although they had a busy run in March, Watson believes business might slow down as the pandemic continues. "I think we are really going to feel a slowdown in a month or two," he said.

  • New Orleans calliope tribute for jazz great Ellis Marsalis
    News
    The Canadian Press

    New Orleans calliope tribute for jazz great Ellis Marsalis

    NEW ORLEANS — A tourist riverboat calliope blasted hymn and gospel tunes across New Orleans' French Quarter on Friday as a tribute to the late jazz pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis.Marsalis, who taught generations of jazz players, including four of his six sons, died Wednesday of pneumonia brought on by COVID-19.On Friday, a medley including “How Great Thou Art” and “I’ll Fly Away” climaxed with “When the Saints Go Marching In” and the “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.Most of the city has been staying inside, but Tristan Dufrene was among several people making cellphone videos of the performance, which she said she'd learned about from an Instagram post."It was beautiful,” she said afterward.About two dozen people, many of them journalists, spaced themselves along the Bienville Street wharf for the 15-minute performance by Debbie Fagnano, who plays calliope on the riverboat Natchez.New Orleans has been especially hard-hit by the coronavirus outbreak and the state's governor has warned that the region is projected to run out of ventilators by Tuesday and hospital beds five days later.The boat may host brief Friday concerts as a morale-booster, since the sound carries a long way, said Adrienne Thomas, a spokeswoman for the steamboat company. “Perhaps next week we might be playing the tunes we usually play for Good Friday,” she said.A few miles away, at the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, a sign saying classes are suspended until further notice was partly covered by one reading, “Rest In Peace Ellis. Forever in our hearts.”Saxophone player Branford Marsalis, one of Ellis Marsalis' sons, and singer and pianist Harry Connick Jr., who was among the elder Marsalis' students, founded the centre in 2011 to preserve New Orleans music and culture.Ellis Marsalis' son Wynton, a Pulitzer- and Grammy-winning trumpeter, is America’s most prominent jazz spokesman as artistic director of jazz at New York’s Lincoln Center.Janet McConnaughey, The Associated Press

  • San Francisco park's 150th birthday celebration goes online
    News
    The Canadian Press

    San Francisco park's 150th birthday celebration goes online

    SAN FRANCISCO — Golden Gate Park turns 150 years old on Saturday, and the huge party to celebrate San Francisco's beloved treasure will, for the time being, take place online.Originally, city officials planned a yearlong celebration that included free museum admission, concerts and the participation of more than 150 cultural institutions and community groups. A giant Ferris wheel that lifts passengers 150 feet into the sky was brought in for the occasion.But the spread of the coronavirus forced them to postpone the event.Instead, they launched an online concert series featuring musical sets performed in the park over the years. They include an appearance by Boz Scaggs at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in 2016 and Metallica's headlining performance at the Outside Lands festival in 2017.“Golden Gate Park has served as a place of inspiration, hope and refuge for San Franciscans for 150 years,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement.“We hope these virtual experiences will bring some joy and entertainment during this challenging times.”April 4 marks the day the park was chartered by order of California State Legislature 150 years ago. Skeptics doubted the city's sand dunes could be converted into park land, but field engineer William Hammond Hall and master gardener John McLaren figured out a way to blanket more than 1,000 acres on the city's west side with trees.Associated Press, The Associated Press

  • The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada
    News
    The Canadian Press

    The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada

    The latest numbers of confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 8:22 p.m. on April 4, 2020:There are 14,018 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada._ Quebec: 6,997 confirmed (including 75 deaths, 306 resolved)_ Ontario: 3,630 confirmed (including 94 deaths, 1,219 resolved)_ British Columbia: 1,203 confirmed (including 38 deaths, 673 resolved)_ Alberta: 1,126 confirmed (including 20 deaths, 196 resolved), 55 presumptive_ Nova Scotia: 236 confirmed (including 50 resolved)_ Saskatchewan: 231 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 55 resolved)_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 203 confirmed (including 1 death, 18 resolved)_ Manitoba: 172 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 17 resolved), 22 presumptive_ New Brunswick: 98 confirmed (including 28 resolved)_ Prince Edward Island: 22 confirmed (including 6 resolved)_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed_ Yukon: 6 confirmed_ Northwest Territories: 4 confirmed (including 1 resolved)_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases_ Total: 14,018 (77 presumptive, 13,941 confirmed including 233 deaths, 2,569 resolved)This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 4, 2020.The Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected file. An earlier version, based on information on a government website, did not differentiate between Alberta's confirmed and presumptive cases.