A former star of the popular television series Ice Road Truckers was sentenced to 18 months of house arrest in Yellowknife on Wednesday.Arthur Burke had previously pleaded guilty to causing arson by negligence.In court documents he admitted that in November 2018 he caused an explosion in the bathroom of his Yellowknife apartment while he was trying to make a concentrated form of cannabis called "shatter." A key ingredient in the process is butane, a highly-flammable substance commonly used in disposable lighters.The explosion blew the bathroom door off its hinges, lifted the ceiling of the apartment and caused more than $60,000 damage to the building. Burke spent 12 days in hospital recovering from burns and other injuries he suffered.The 18-month conditional sentence was recommended by both the prosecution and defence.Burke, who is in his mid-60s and lives on Prince Edward Island, is allowed to serve some of that sentence in the cab of his truck to allow him to continue to earn a living while serving his sentence.He starred in Ice Road Truckers for its final five seasons.
The government of the Northwest Territories and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation have "reset" their relationship and have agreed to move forward with the $1.1-billion Slave Geological Province Corridor project.The project in part would see a 413-kilometre, two-lane, all-season road built between mineral-rich areas northeast of Yellowknife and western Nunavut.The idea is to create new economic opportunities that benefit both territories. The road would connect Nunavut to Canada's highway system and link up to a potential deep-water port on the Arctic Ocean.Earlier this summer, Dettah Chief Edward Sangris said the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) was pulling the plug on its support and cited concerns about "antiquated methods of procurement and Indigenous engagement."YKDFN said in a news release that it hoped there would be more priority given to "capacity building, benefits for Northern and Indigenous business, local hiring, and community engagement." In an interview with CBC, Sangris said the decision-making processes are "outdated" and therefore do not reflect the needs and interests of Northern people.He also said they do not acknowledge the value that local knowledge can add to projects which involve natural resource extraction, especially when it comes to environmental impact assessments. The best people to work and to study the environment "are the people who depend on the land," he said, because "most environmental concerns are actually being addressed at every stage of development."He says Northern firms, such as the Indigenous-operated Det'on Cho Corporation, have expertise that extends beyond economic value, and that expertise could more accurately reflect the needs and interests of all Northern peoples. 'More work to be done'The groups have now agreed to work together once again to move the project forward, according to a joint news release issued on Wednesday.The release says after a meeting on Sept. 25, all parties agreed that "strong relationships" between the territory, Indigenous governments and other organizations are necessary for major infrastructure projects.Sangris and Yellowknives Dene Chief Ernest Betsina were at the meeting, along with Premier Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Infrastructure Diane Archie and Minister of Finance Caroline Wawzonek.However, "there's more work to be done," said Sangris. The relationship between the territorial government and YKDFN will take some redefining, he said. "The government always talks about reconciliation [but] in order for reconciliation to work, you have to understand, you know, the culture, the tradition, the spirituality of the people," Sangris said. Wednesday's news release says projects like the Slave Geological Province Corridor are "critical" for the territory's COVID-19 recovery.It also says road access will help the mining industry by "enhancing the feasibility of expanding the Taltson hydro system.""Economically, the Northwest Territories is at a critical juncture," Sangris said in a statement."Indigenous, territorial, federal and municipal governments must work together to move projects forward that will stimulate the economy, create employment, attract investment and ensure a bright future for all Northerners while respecting Indigenous traditions, culture, Treaty rights and title."Betsina says the First Nation looks forward to working with the government on the projects.In a statement, Cochrane said partnerships between Indigenous governments and organizations are important for projects such as the Slave Geological Province Corridor. Such projects help expand and diversify the economy, she said."I am pleased to report the success of this meeting and look forward to many more in the future," she said.
Health officials are keeping a very close eye on hospital capacity as Alberta's COVID-19 cases continue to surge, driving hospitalization numbers to a new high.Between Friday and Monday, 961 new cases were identified in the province. Another 243 people tested positive on Tuesday.Hospitalization numbers for COVID-19 are now the highest they've been since the start of the pandemic.According to provincial data, Alberta hit an all time high on Monday with 102 Albertans hospitalized and 13 of those patients in intensive care. As of Tuesday, 100 people were hospitalized with 14 in ICU. * Saturday: 98 people in hospital, 13 in ICU. * Sunday: 100 people in hospital, 15 in ICU. * Monday: 102 people in hospital, 13 in ICU. * Tuesday: 100 people in hospital, 14 in ICU.The recent numbers surpass previous peaks of 93 hospitalizations in July and 88 in April."We've seen an increase in acute care admissions in recent weeks," Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said on Tuesday, pointing to outbreaks Calgary's Foothills Medical Centre and Edmonton's Misericordia hospital as key drivers of that increase.The patients are concentrated in Alberta's two major cities, with 48 of them in the Edmonton zone, 39 in the Calgary zone and the remaining 13 spread throughout other parts of the province."Forty-one per cent of our current COVID hospitalizations are due to acute care outbreaks. We are watching our province's health system carefully to ensure that hospitalizations and ICU admissions remain within our province's capacity," Hinshaw said.Alberta currently has 70 ICU beds dedicated to COVID-19 treatment. As of Tuesday, 14 Albertans were in intensive care.Hospitalization numbers manageable for nowDoctors are tracking the number of hospitalizations closely as well."It's concerning, for sure," said Dr. Jim Kellner, a pediatrics infectious disease specialist with the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine."Certainly that number is meaningful and it's significant. But it's not pushing our capacity in hospital. When you look at the initial planning for peak capacity at that time, [the province] was looking at many hundreds of beds being occupied for COVID-19 patients."Kellner says the slow burn Alberta started seeing after the province began lifting restrictions is being replaced by a steeper rise in case numbers. And what happens in the next two to three weeks will be key."The question is, are we still going to be able to maintain this as a slow burn or — to use the other terms — are we going to head into a second wave with a big rise? Or will this be the other scenario of coming to a much lower peak that will then drop off again?" he said.Even with the recent spikes, Kellner says Alberta is still faring better than other harder hit parts of the country."On a per capita basis, our hospitalizations have risen, for sure. But the level of hospitalization is still low. If you compare us some of the other places in Canada — most notably Quebec — our hospitalization rate and our severe outcome rate, like fatalities, is still much much lower," he said.Meanwhile, Alberta Health Services says it has plans in place to care for a substantial increase in critically ill patients. That includes stockpiling equipment such as ventilators and having enough trained staff on hand."At this point in time, we are able to accommodate the current demand for COVID-19 patients within our usual bed capacity. We have plans in place to increase our ICU capacity should the need arise," a spokesperson said in a statement emailed to CBC News.Key triggersDespite the recent spikes, Alberta's hospitalization rates have not yet met thresholds that would trigger further mandatory restrictions.One such trigger is a cumulative increase of five per cent or more in hospitalizations over the previous two weeks.According to Hinshaw, Alberta's hospitalization rate has increased 3.8 per cent over that period.Another statistic that officials are monitoring is ICU bed capacity. The province has said that if 50 per cent of the ICU beds allocated for COVID-19 are full, that would trigger further restrictions.On Tuesday, 14 of the 70 dedicated ICU beds were full."[We are] watching those triggers very very carefully, making sure that we are monitoring the ability of our acute care system to manage new cases," Hinshaw said."And, of course, having put these voluntary measures in place in the Edmonton zone — where we are seeing the majority of our new cases right now — as a measure to try and bend that curve down so that we don't end up hitting those triggers, ideally."
VANCOUVER — NDP Leader John Horgan says he regrets making hurtful comments in answering a question about white privilege during the leaders debate in the B.C. election, while Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson acknowledged the advantages he has because he is a white male. Both party leaders were asked Wednesday about their answers in the debate the previous evening after being criticized for their responses. Horgan shared his experience playing lacrosse as a youth, telling the debate moderator he doesn't see colour. On Wednesday, Horgan said he needs to be reminded daily that he does not face the challenges of systemic racism that many others do. "As a personification of white privilege, I misspoke, words matter," he said at a campaign stop at Richmond. "I deeply regret it, but I'm also committed to making sure that every day I'm reminded of the discomfort that I cause to people and I will work to correct that." Horgan said he did not intend to hurt people with his debate comments. “I was jolted out of my comfort last night and I’m going to reflect on that," he said. "I profoundly regret that I alienated and hurt people last night.” In an earlier statement on Twitter, Horgan said he wished he had given a different answer during the debate when the three party leaders were asked how they have reckoned with white privilege. "Saying 'I don’t see colour' causes pain and makes people feel unseen," he wrote. "I’m sorry. I’ll never fully understand, as a white person, the lived reality of systemic racism. I’m listening, learning, and I’ll keep working every day to do better." At the debate, Wilkinson discussed his time working in rural B.C. as a doctor in Indigenous communities, saying all people must be treated equally. He expanded on his comments Wednesday at a campaign stop in Kitimat. "In medical practice, I became very much aware of the particular struggles of Indigenous people in dealing with the health-care system and in dealing with society's other structures," Wilkinson said. "The idea that people in our society are somehow treated differently because of the colour of their skin or where they grew up or who their parents are is not acceptable." He said he grew up fortunate as a white male and it wasn't until his teenage years that he realized he received different treatment than others. "It's wrong. It's not fair," said Wilkinson. "I've suggested in the (Liberal) platform there should be anti-racism training for everybody in the provincial government." He said that training would include elected people. The Green party's Sonia Furstenau said at the debate she cannot comprehend that some mothers tell their children to be wary of the police. She pledged to work to end systemic racism, but admitted neither she nor the other two party leaders could ever grasp its nuances. Prof. Annette Henry of the University of British Columbia's Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice said she believes Furstenau gave the strongest answer in the debate, but Wilkinson and Horgan didn’t seem to understand what systemic racism is. "I don't really think they understand how they are implicated in everyday systemic racism and how the structures that we live in prevent people from access, prevent people from opportunities, prevent people from being educated, from getting adequate health care from getting adequate housing," she said. Lama Mugabo, a community engagement co-ordinator for the Hogan's Alley Society, which advocates for Black people in Vancouver, said he wants a premier who sees colour. "When you say you don't see colour, what does that really mean?" he said. "I don't want people not to see that I'm Black. I want them to appreciate that I'm Black and recognize my Blackness. I don’t want any special treatment, but I want to be acknowledged as such.” — By Dirk Meissner in Victoria and Amy Smart in Vancouver. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2020. The Canadian Press
The Montreal Canadiens have signed forward Brendan Gallagher to a six-year contract extension with an average annual value of US$6.5 million. The 28-year-old Gallagher had 43 points in 59 games with the Canadiens in 2019-20. It marked the third straight season Gallagher has led the Canadiens in goals.
Half of Indigenous and Black Calgarians do not feel the city is accepting of people from diverse backgrounds, according to the 2020 Vital Signs report.The report is released annually by the Calgary Foundation, and combines research with a citizen survey on issues tied to quality of life that include living standards, the environment and nature, and giving back and values.The results help the foundation, which funds hundreds of charities every year, determine where it directs its resources.According to its website, new contributions last year totalled $35.4 million. The foundation had an asset base of $1.0 billion and it granted $54.9 million to 996 charitable organizations."This is a very important resource for us," said Taylor Barrie, the foundation's vice-president of communications, on the Calgary Eyeopener on Wednesday."But we also feel this is a really important tool for Calgarians, whether personally or professionally, to have some conversations about what role they play in addressing some of these results."Equity and racial justiceThis year, and for the first time since the reports were first published in 2007, it segmented some of the survey results by race, and dedicated a section to equity and racial justice."There is one data set we feel is especially relevant to 2020," Calgary Foundation president and CEO Eva Friesen wrote in the report."As the data indicates, for Black, Indigenous and people of colour, the experience of our city is often harder. By reflecting on the inequality, discrimination and hardship many of us unfairly experience, we can begin to change."The results indicated that while 82 per cent of Calgarians believe racism toward Black, Indigenous and people of colour exists, many Black Calgarians — nearly 70 per cent — have felt unsafe or threatened in the city.Meanwhile, 56 per cent of those surveyed believed that Calgarians are committed to anti-racism, equity and inclusion — but that belief drops to 53 per cent among Indigenous people and 35 per cent for Black Calgarians.Sixty-one per cent of Calgarians believe that Black and Indigenous people experience higher levels of violence by police and the RCMP, but that figure jumps to 72 per cent among those who are Black and Indigenous themselves."If you have felt threatened or unsafe because of differences in skin colour or gender or religion, then you are 20 per cent more civically engaged than people who generally don't feel unsafe," Barrie said.Living standardsThe majority of Calgarians continue to worry about their finances, which is the continuation of a trend for the report."That sort of holds true for the last few years — 73 per cent of Calgarians told us they're stressed about money," Barrie said."It's harder to find work. In 2019, 50 per cent of us felt we could find suitable employment. And this year, that number dropped to 27 per cent. So concerns around stretching your dollar, father, continues to be true."Thirty-three per cent of Calgarians sometimes struggle to afford the necessities, including rent, groceries and utilities. Meanwhile, 17 per cent always struggle.And this year, 67 per cent of Calgarians feel pessimistic about the economy — which is a jump from 42 per cent in 2019.The weight of the pandemicInterestingly, and in spite of COVID-19, respondents rated their quality of life higher in 2020 than they did in 2019."I would say one thing we were pleased to see is that, generally, quality of life held pretty steady," Barrie said."And we conducted the survey in June, sort of in the height of some of the uncertainty and concerns around the pandemic. And still, 75 per cent of Calgarians said their quality of life was good or excellent, and that's actually up from 69 per cent last year."Seventy-nine per cent of Calgarians also believe the city is a great place to raise kids in 2020, compared with 68 per cent in 2019, and Calgarians reported an increase in happiness with their social networks, sense of belonging and ability to cope with daily stress."We learned that, you know, even though we've been socially distant for the last seven months, we're doing all right," Barrie said. "So, some good news navigating the past few months."The exception, according to the survey, was primarily reflected in Calgarians under 25, who are more likely to be lonely and suffer from poorer mental health."You are definitely carrying more of the burden of the stress of the future of the city, I would say," Barrie said.The full report can be found online.Its results are based on the survey responses of 1,000 Calgarians. A probability sample of 1,000 results in a margin of error of +/- 3.10 per cent, 19 times out of 20.With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
The mayors of two New Brunswick border communities say most of their residents are in no rush to increase the flow of traffic to and from the United States."We've been very concerned about keeping our community safe," said Woodstock mayor Arthur Slipp.Likewise, St. Stephen Mayor Allan MacEachern estimated that about 90 per cent of residents of his town would be in favour of continuing the current restrictions.The Canada-US border remains closed to non-essential travel until at least Oct 21. But Maine and New Hampshire are urging the Trump administration to re–evaluate border restrictions.Their senators are asking for restrictions to be assessed on a local basis. They claim the risk of significant cross-border transmission of COVID-19 is low. The State of Maine reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and nearly 400 confirmed new cases in the past 14 days. Only 12 of the cases during the past two weeks have been in the border counties of Aroostook and Washington.Still, Slipp said he feels it's "very fortunate" there have been no major outbreaks along the border yet.That kind of event would present greater difficulties for contact tracing, he said.MacEachern echoed the idea that there are not sufficient resources to support increased travel across the border at this time.Canada Border Services said it cannot provide provincial data, but in total, land crossings into Canada from the United States are down significantly. Last week's, for example, were down 83 per cent compared to the same period last year.Truck traffic however, is up.Canada-wide, 125,351 trucks entered the country from the U.S. at land crossings between Oct. 5 and Oct. 12. During the same week last year, 122,109 entered.Slipp said his town is a hub for the trucking industry and he's not sure people realize how much traffic is still flowing across the border.There are also many Mainers in the farming industry, he said, who are allowed to cross to pick up parts for their equipment or to have equipment serviced."You have to be very vigilant they don't do other business while here," said Slipp.Likewise, Canadians who work in health care in Maine are still crossing regularly, he said, as are people who work in other designated essential industries who have mailboxes on the American side."That's been one of the concerns that our citizens are wondering about," the mayor said.Slipp added, however, that business leaders in his community and surrounding areas are also concerned about their sales figures and whether they'll have enough staff and personal protective equipment for the upcoming Christmas shopping season.Without a doubt, he said, economies on both sides of the border are suffering from the decline in cross-border business.MacEachern said that's not the case in St. Stephen.Most local businesses, he said, are doing better in the absence of cross-border shopping.That includes downtown shops, restaurants and supply stores."As a whole, we're doing OK," said MacEachern.One exception, he said, is the Garcelon Civic Centre, which typically attracts large crowds from Maine for sports and entertainment events.And for some people who have close friends and family across the border, the end of pandemic restrictions can't come soon enough. MacEachern said it's been a challenge for many people to maintain their social connections.He said those challenges were obvious at a wedding last weekend on the waterfront.A ceremony was held on the wharf in St. Stephen, and "the Calais people" had to sit on the wharf on the American side or in boats in the St. Croix international waterway."It does pull at the heartstrings," MacEachern said.
Outbreaks in two regions of New Brunswick have led to new and sometimes confusing rules to limit the spread of COVID-19. After months of relatively low cases in the province, an outbreak at a special care home in Moncton and a separate outbreak in the Campbellton region affecting multiple schools sent both health zones back to the orange recovery phase.The remainder of the province remains in the yellow phase. We've compiled information about questions people have raised about the new rules.What are the mask rules?Masks became mandatory in most indoor public spaces Oct. 9.That affects places from office kitchens to apartment building hallways.Exceptions include children under two, situations involving lip-reading and certain medical conditions.What about in the orange zones?People in the Moncton and Campbellton health zones must also wear masks outside in public places where people gather. Examples include sidewalks, trails, parks, plazas, markets and dog parks. It doesn't apply in the yard of a private single-family home.Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, says the rule is meant to apply when others are in close proximity, not when someone is walking or jogging alone on a sidewalk.Those who travelled to orange zones over the long weekend and have gone home are urged to monitor for symptoms and follow the mask rules as if they're in the orange zones. The Anglophone West School District, for example, said in a notice those who travelled to the zones since Oct. 9 must wear a mask inside Anglophone West schools and classrooms, outside the school at noon/recess, and while on the bus for 14 days from the day they returned from either health zone. What are the rules around travel within the province?With two health zones in the orange phase, New Brunswick's premier recommended avoiding travel in or out of the Moncton and Campbellton zones except for essential reasons. Russell said travel outside a zone for a haircut doesn't count as essential. The premier said those driving on the Trans-Canada Highway through the Moncton region should not stop there. Asked about the impact on sports teams in the Moncton region, Higgs said teams shouldn't be travelling into or out of the Moncton zone. Russell has encouraged businesses in areas of the province outside the Campbellton and Moncton zones not to ask customers whether they are from those zones.Who can enter the province?The Atlantic Bubble remains open. New Brunswick has removed screening checkpoints to other Maritime provinces.Those entering New Brunswick from somewhere other than Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador must pre-register at least five days ahead of time.Russell said about 12,000 people enter the province daily, though she didn't say where they are coming from.What about Quebec?The bubble with two regions of Quebec along New Brunswick's northern border has been suspended.Residents of Listuguj First Nation and Pointe-à-la-Croix, Que., can cross into Campbellton to obtain essential services. Those who have travelled across the Quebec border into the Campbellton region are eligible for twice-weekly COVID-19 testing even if they don't have symptoms.What about from elsewhere?New Brunswickers returning from travel outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days unless exempt.A list of exemptions is available on the province's website. It includes workers who are healthy who provide or support things essential to the health, safety, security or economic well-being of New Brunswickers, residents of Campobello Island who must cross the U.S. border as part of daily life and for shared child custody. While there are exemptions, the province's website says essential workers must travel directly to and from work and accommodations, self-monitor for symptoms and avoid contact with vulnerable people. Those returning to the province from work in another province or territory aren't required to self-isolate when they return. The U.S. border remains closed to most cross-border travel. Canadians are allowed to cross back into Canada. Foreign nationals can enter Canada under certain conditions, including if they are immediate family of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and will stay in Canada for at least 15 days. They must have a quarantine plan.How long will the Campbellton and Moncton regions be in the orange phase? On Oct. 9, Russell said it will last as long as the outbreaks last and the province will reassess roughly every two weeks.Higgs said he hopes it will only be days and weeks in the orange phase, not weeks and months. What triggers moving from orange to red?Public health needs to be aware of three unlinked cases of community transmission within six days to go back to the red phase. That phase would result in more businesses closing and tighter limits on gatherings, including the end of the two-household bubble allowed in the orange phase. Are there cases of community transmission? The province hasn't listed any of the cases related to the Campbellton and Moncton outbreaks as community transmission.The Moncton outbreak at the special care home has been traced to someone who travelled. Russell won't clarify if this was a traveller who failed to isolate or one who was exempt from isolating.It spread when others were in contact with that original source."We can rule out community spread with the cases in that region," Russell said Wednesday. She said contact tracing is still underway to determine the original source for the Campbellton outbreak, though all of the cases are connected so far.What happens to Halloween in the orange zones? Things like door-to-door activities aren't supposed to happen in the orange phase, Russell said. That would mean no door-to-door trick-or-treating this Halloween in those areas.What triggers school closures? There have been at least five cases connected to schools in the province, all in the Campbellton region. Several of the schools temporarily closed for cleaning and to give time for contact tracing.According to guidance to schools, Public Health will contact people who must self-monitor or self-isolate because of potential exposure. They will then decide if a class, classes or an entire school must be sent home. If a zone moves back to the red phase, students won't be allowed inside schools but teaching is expected to continue remotely.
The cancellation of Skate Canada International didn't come as a surprise to Kirsten Moore-Towers. It was still a huge disappointment. Seven months after the world championships in Montreal were shelved due to COVID-19, Skate Canada International was cancelled on Wednesday amid concerns of rising cases in Ontario and tighter provincial government restrictions.
French President Emmanuel President Macron’s office says France will restore a state of health emergency that expired on July 10. France initially declared a state of health emergency in March, paving the way for the government to oblige citizens to stay home in lockdown. Macron is addressing the nation on television Wednesday night and could address further measures.
Earth sweltered to a record hot September last month, with U.S. climate officials saying there’s nearly a two-to-one chance that 2020 will end up as the globe’s hottest year on record. Boosted by human-caused climate change, global temperatures averaged 60.75 degrees (15.97 Celsius) last month, edging out 2015 and 2016 for the hottest September in 141 years of recordkeeping, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday. That’s 1.75 degrees (0.97 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average. This record was driven by high heat in Europe, Northern Asia, Russia and much of the Southern Hemisphere, said NOAA climatologist Ahira Sanchez-Lugo. California and Oregon had their hottest Septembers on record. Earth has had 44 straight Septembers where it has been warmer than the 20th century average and 429 straight months without a cooler than normal month, according to NOAA. The hottest seven Septembers on record have been the last seven. That means “that no millennial or even parts of Gen-X has lived through a cooler than normal September,” said North Carolina state climatologist Kathie Dello, herself a millennial. What’s happening is a combination of global warming from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas and natural variability, Sanchez-Lugo said. But the biggest factor is the human-caused warming, she and Dello said. The globe set this record despite a La Nina, which is a cooling of parts of the central Pacific that changes weather patterns and usually slightly lowers temperatures. “A La Nina is no match for how much we’re warming the planet,” Dello said. The first nine months of 2020 are the second warmest on record, a shade behind 2016 when there was a strong warming El Nino. But Sanchez-Lugo said her office’s calculations show that there’s a 64.7% chance that 2020 will pass 2016 in the last three months to take the title as the warmest year on record. And if it doesn’t make it, she said it’ll easily be in the top three, probably top two. “We’re catching up” to 2016, Sanchez-Lugo said. “It’s a very tight race.” With the climate trend, heat records that looked like it would take many years to break get passed quicker, said Colorado University weather data scientist Sam Lillo. ___ Follow AP’s climate coverage at https://www.apnews.com/Climate ___ Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter at @borenbears . ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Seth Borenstein, The Associated Press
Shortly after the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration can end the 2020 census, a text message went out to field supervisors in Northern California telling them to start collecting the iPhones their census takers use for gathering household information during their door-knocking. It was the fifth time in two months that they were given a new end date — this one Thursday — for the head count of everyone living in the U.S. The Supreme Court decision Tuesday was just the latest case of whiplash for the census, which has faced starts and stops from the pandemic, natural disasters and court rulings, as well as confusion over when it was going to end and questions over whether minorities, immigrants, poor people and others would be counted accurately.
Communities in northern Saskatchewan are noticing a wave of new cases of COVID-19.On Tuesday, the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) posted there were 39 active cases of COVID-19 in its area. Five days earlier, on Oct. 8, there were only 10 active cases.Northern First Nations are concerned about an increase of cases due to the remote locations of some communities and potential overcrowding in homes.Communities have already begun to take action. This week, the Lac La Ronge Indian Band's community of Stanley Mission implemented a roadblock and a curfew to stop the spread of the virus.Stanley Mission has managed to keep the total number of cases at six, but other communities within Lac La Ronge have not been as lucky.The Little Red River reserve now has seven active cases and La Ronge has two active cases."There's a lot of uncertainty and people are worried," said Lac La Ronge Indian Band Chief Tammy Cook-Searson. "We try and reassure them. We try and provide the support that they need," she said.Red Earth Cree Nation reports 10 casesThe spike in cases is not limited to one First Nation. According to a Facebook post from the band's public health unit, the Red Earth Cree Nation has 10 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning.NITHA has declared a COVID-19 outbreak in the community and is linking those cases to a wedding that was held on the reserve Oct. 9.Red Earth closed its health centre Wednesday to free up staff for drive-through mass testing in the community.Last weekend, the community brought in a 72-hour lockdown and closed all public buildings in an attempt to slow the virus's spread.Best solution is tried and true measuresDr. Nnamdi Ndubuka, medical health officer for NITHA, said the best solution to stopping the rise of cases is to rely on tried and true measures such as masking, social distancing and staying at home."All communities have done well so far during the initial wave," he said. "We don't need to let our guard down at this point. It's the time when we all need to be more vigilant."Ndubuka said with the reopening of schools, as well as the looming flu season, everyone needs to be even more careful."If people don't follow the rules, then we run the risk of resurgence," he said. "This is not the time to give up."Ndubuka said he was impressed with Stanley Mission's efforts to keep the spread of COVID-19 limited."The chief and council have already moved very quickly to impose travel restrictions in the community," he said. "And there's a lot of communication and awareness that is happening through social media and also through the local radio station."The Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority is a partnership between the Prince Albert Grand Council, Meadow Lake Tribal Council, Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, and Lac La Ronge Indian Band and works to help health-care delivery in northern Saskatchewan.
OTTAWA — The Senate of Canada will pay nearly half a million dollars in compensation to nine employees of disgraced former senator Don Meredith who say they suffered abuse, including sexual harassment, on the job. The decision revealed Wednesday to award $498,000 in compensation — plus $30,000 in legal fees — comes more than a year after a four-year Senate investigation concluded there was a pattern of inappropriate behaviour by Meredith while he was a senator. That included demeaning, belittling and humiliating staff members as well as kissing, touching and intimidation that created what the Senate ethics officer described as a "poisoned work environment." But it was only this summer that former Quebec appeals court judge Louise Otis was brought in to look at potential compensation for the employees following complaints about a lack of recognition of their suffering. The Senate says the compensation amount announced Wednesday was based on Otis's recommendations. "Harassment was experienced by almost all complainants in various forms which, however, had the same constant: an abuse of authority that created a poisonous work environment," Otis's report says. "These acts of misconduct manifested themselves in particular by humiliation, denigration, sudden attacks of yelling and screaming, telephone calls during the night to perform additional work, requirement of work during sick leave, threats, bullying, intimidation. "Almost all complainants described their work experience as 'the worst thing that ever happened to me in a workplace.' " The Senate's slowness in dealing with the complaints is an aggravating factor in determining what the victims should be paid, the report says. It does not specify how much should be paid to each complainant. Brian Mitchell, a lawyer who represents some of the victims, declined to go into detail, saying all his clients signed non-disclosure agreements. Still, Mitchell said: "We are pleased that all parties worked together to arrive at a settlement of an issue that has been dragging on for over seven years. "It's our hope that this is indeed the end and that this matter has drawn to a satisfactory conclusion." Mitchell had previously complained about the compensation process on his clients' behalf — among other things, they weren't initially permitted to have lawyers assist them in dealing with the Senate. Meredith, who was first appointed to the Senate by former prime minister Stephen Harper in 2010, resigned from the upper chamber in 2017 rather than face probable expulsion. The Senate's ethics committee had just recommended he be expelled after concluding he had used his position to pursue a sexual relationship with an underage girl. Meredith, a Pentecostal minister, has not been charged criminally in connection with any of these matters. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2020. The Canadian Press
The city has hired a consulting firm to help select an outside group to manage Calgary's public art program.The public art program was frozen in 2017 after several controversial public art projects, such as the art installation known as Bowfort Towers and the giant blue ring sculpture dubbed Travelling Light.City council voted last year in favour of transferring the program's operation to an independent or external body, citing Edmonton and Winnipeg as examples of cities where arm's-length organizations run the public art programs.On Wednesday, the city said Art + Public UnLtd has been contracted to develop a process to find a public group with the right qualifications to manage the art program.A request for proposals has been posted on the city's website. Interested organizations can apply until Nov. 19.The city is also looking for four people to be part of the selection panel. The deadline to apply is Oct. 29.The successful bidder will be chosen by the selection panel in December and announced next March once contract negotiations are completed.The city plans to begin transitioning the public art program's operation to the outside group by April 2021.Under the new arrangement, the city will still maintain a corporate public art budget that dedicates one per cent of capital project funds to pieces of public art. And the public art collection will continue to be owned by the city.But the procurement process will be simpler, more accessible, and will promote more diversity among the artists commissioned under the program, the city says.
It seems like just yesterday Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19. So why is he allowed out of quarantine? Well... This could be why.
While “The West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin was gratified to bring an episode of the drama series to life on the stage, he’d rather discuss the bigger return he wants to see. “We’re just trying to push fans of ‘The West Wing’ to the polls,” Sorkin said. The re-enacted “Hartsfield’s Landing,” from season three of the acclaimed White House saga, is the centerpiece of a HBO Max voting special debuting Thursday.
B.C.'s Green party leader took aim at previous provincial governments during the release of her party's election platform Wednesday, saying not enough had been done to help all residents. The platform would target people who need help now by building a stronger, more equitable and sustainable province, Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said. Part of the platform includes bolstering income security with a move toward a basic income program, she said.
Less than 3 weeks from Election Day, a majority of Americans are highly critical of President Donald Trump's handling of both the coronavirus pandemic and his own infection, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center. (Oct. 15)