The B.C. Lottery Corporation's one-time director of anti-money laundering and investigations faced a grilling from a government lawyer Friday over the lack of action on suspicious cash transactions at the River Rock Casino.A week of buy-ins by a single customer in December 2014 was a major focus of questions directed at John Karlovcec by Kaitlyn Chewka, a lawyer for B.C.'s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch (GPEB), during proceedings of a public inquiry on money laundering in this province.Chewka read from a Dec. 30, 2014 email written by Karlovcec, in which he noted that a patron who'd recently made several large cash buy-ins at the River Rock had appeared once again with $360,000 in cash."This patron brought in $1.8 million into the River Rock casino, largely in small bills, over the course of seven days … You'd agree with me that these types of transactions are suspicious?" Chewka asked Karlovcec.He agreed that was true, and said those transactions would have been reported to GPEB and police, along with Fintrac, Canada's financial transactions reporting centre.But Chewka pointed out that BCLC's role in addressing suspected money laundering involves more than just reporting unusual transactions. The corporation oversees gambling in B.C. and has the power to direct casinos to take action in situations like this."Despite being aware of this issue as early as Dec. 26, 2014 … BCLC did not direct the service provider to refuse the cash?" Chewka asked."BCLC did not direct the service provider to require the patron to source the funds?"Karlovcec said the patron in question would have been placed under investigation, but compelling the casino to take further action wasn't within his authority.Chewka pointed out that in Karlovcec's emails addressing the transactions, he'd written, "I recognize that we do not want to jeopardize revenue."But Karlovcec testified that he was under no pressure to prioritize casino revenue at the time.Friction between agenciesThe Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in B.C. was launched by the government after reports that illegal cash was helping to fuel the real estate, luxury car and gambling sectors in the province.Karlovcec's testimony on Friday also hinted at some friction between investigators at BCLC and their counterparts at GPEB, in the police and among casino staff when it came to taking action on money laundering.Karlovcec testified about how, in 2014, his team created profiles of the top 10 suspected "cash facilitators" — or loan sharks — operating out of the River Rock at the time. Those profiles, which included identifying details, photos and a list of known associates, were all provided to the anti-gang Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, and Karlovcec said he believed they would be used to open criminal investigations."But I don't think they actually did," he told the inquiry. "I think there were other tactical priorities for their group."Karlovcec also suggested that investigators at BCLC were often left in the dark when it came to the work going on at GPEB."It was like pulling teeth at times. Certainly we didn't get a lot of information from them," he told the inquiry.Meanwhile, Karlovcec has said he had a good working relationship with compliance officers at the River Rock, but emails read for the commission suggest there were situations where higher-ups at the casino bristled about BCLC investigators approaching high-rollers.In one of those emails, Great Canadian Gaming Corp.'s then-vice-president of corporate security and compliance, Patrick Ennis, suggested that investigators "could be a bit more polished" about speaking with VIPs in a high stakes room about large cash buy-ins at the River Rock.The commission is set to resume hearings on Monday morning.
An English teacher with 23 years of experience, who usually sees more than 300 Montreal students each week, has had no choice but to take an unpaid year off work to protect her young son from the novel coronavirus.Rebecca Belmonte's seven-year-old son, Samih Angelo Alame, has already undergone three open-heart surgeries and is immunocompromised. A case of COVID-19 could be disastrous for the boy, so he has been granted a medical exemption from physically going to school every day.However, Belmonte is still expected to lead classes in person — she's not allowed to teach remotely as she did in the spring and neither her school board nor the health ministry is willing to budge on the matter.Realizing she was out of options, Belmonte quickly crunched the family budget, minimized expenses and got ready to stay with her son every day, ensuring he's safely completing school from home."We went from two salaries to one in two weeks," she said, but stepping away from the classroom for a year wasn't something she wanted to do."I miss my students. I miss my colleagues," she said. "It's a passion to do what you do as a teacher."Education ministry says exemptions not an optionRegardless of her love for the job and willingness to teach online — something, she said, that went smoothly during the first wave — Quebec's education ministry has ruled that the compromised health of a loved one is not an exemption criteria.The employee must use leave benefits such as vacation time first, but sick leave is not permitted in this case, according to Geneviève Côté, a spokesperson for the minister of education.Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Premier François Legault said his government wants teachers and students in classrooms rather than online."We don't have extra teachers," he said. "In fact, it's the opposite. We have a shortage right now."Because communicating with students and their parents by video conference is common, many teachers are being trained in how to use the technology, Legault said. "But we cannot, and we don't want teachers to choose first to do video teaching," he said. School board follows the rulesMarguerite-Bourgeoys school service centre is following the government's instructions, according to spokesperson Chrystine Loriaux."Teachers whose physical condition prevents them from attending class can submit a request to our human resources department," Loriaux wrote in a statement.That request is reviewed as quickly as possible under the current rules set by the education ministry, she said.At Marguerite-Bourgeoys, nearly 150 employees are currently exempt from being in the workplace or they were reassigned, she said. Union says making exception won't hurtThe local teachers' union advisor, Yves Parenteau, believes many more teachers were denied the chance to work from home."This is more a lack of personnel management than public health management because we don't have enough employees or enough teachers," Parenteau said.He said public schools are being treated like a second-rate public service with a lack of staff, cleaning and building maintenance. "Give us the equipment," he said. "The schools were closed for six months and they didn't even change one window or clean one duct in one school."He said it is disrespectful to force teachers to go to work despite having a vulnerable family member at home. Because there are only about 100 to 200 teachers in all of Montreal who need this exemption, Parenteau said, it is possible to be flexible."You can make exceptions to protect those families," Parenteau said. "This is the baseline that they should look at."
Health Canada has asked pharmaceutical companies to put stronger safety labels on benzodiazepines and other sedative drugs prescribed for sleep and anxiety disorder to better reflect their serious risks.Doctors have long prescribed benzodiazepines such as lorazepam (brand name Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax) and clonazepam (Klonopin) in the short term to treat anxiety, insomnia and certain seizure disorders. But people can become dependent and an overdose can result in a coma or even death.Pharmacist Mina Tadrous is also a scientist at Women's College Hospital and an investigator with the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN)."They work really well, but they've also become part of popular culture," Tadrous said. "People talk about 'popping a Xanax' and using different types of drugs, so that's becoming more and more common."On Friday, Health Canada said its requested updated language around the risks of: * Problematic use and substance use disorder. * Severe withdrawal symptoms, * Harm when taken with opioids, which may cause deep drowsiness, respiratory depression, coma and death. * Falls and fractures in specified populations.Cheyenne Johnson of the BC Centre on Substance Use said benzodiazepines are frequently misused with opioids, which can be fatal.WATCH | Common pill kills in shadow of opioid crisis:Johnson said the new warnings shouldn't prompt doctors to suddenly take long-term users off benzodiazepines but taper off use to avoid adverse health effects that could increase risk if used with illicit drugs."The vast majority of overdoses are from multiple substances, including other CNS depressants like alcohol and benzodiazepines," said Johnson, a registered nurse.In British Columbia, more than a quarter of prescription overdose deaths included benzodiazepines, she said.Pharmacists say when the drugs are mixed, the risks don't just add, they multiply.Johnson said as with opioids, more careful prescribing could prevent problems from starting.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration added similar warnings to benzodiazepines in September.Warnings also apply to insomnia medications In Canada, the stronger warnings will also apply to newer drugs such as eszopiclone (sold as Lunestra) and zopiclone (Imovane) prescribed for insomnia. These medications technically aren't benzodiazepines but carry the same potential for misuse, Tadrous said."In the pharmacy, I saw patients chronically on these medications for long periods of time that were completely off label and sort of had telltale signs of potential misuse and abuse of these drugs, and yet we treated them like they were not like benzodiazepines," Tadrous said.He said it's a "thoughtful step" for Health Canada to add the warnings to sleep medications, which are also useful."But they do have some concerns and I think that the public should know about that."
For years, Danica Schiller has been living comfortably with her family in their house in Johnson Heights, a rural neighbourhood in eastern Revelstoke, B.C. — until recently.Last week, she was among 52 residents in the area who wrote to the city council opposing Revelstoke Mountain Resort's construction of temporary housing at their doorsteps, which will house the workforce for a new development.The resort company plans to build a hotel, conference centre and permanent employee housing units over the next three years.Following the city's requirements, it applied for a three-year temporary use permit to establish a makeshift residential complex for 60 workers — made of trailer units — on 12 hectares of land it owns at 1121 Johnson Way off the Trans Canada Highway. The site will also include parking for 75 vehicles.Many Johnson Heights residents are angered and concerned by the proposal.The workers' accommodation will be located near the already busy intersection with Highway 1 that residents have to drive through in order to get to and from downtown Revelstoke. They fear the increase in traffic will lengthen wait times at the intersection and raise the risk of traffic accidents in their neighbourhood. "To be able to turn up here and to leave the neighbourhood up here [by driving] is extremely difficult," said Schiller. "Obviously, they [construction workers] are going to have their personal vehicles."In their submissions to the council, some residents say they believe the white trailers as well as the noise and extra garbage created by temporary workers will harm the the neighbourhood's idyllic character and may depreciate the value of property there.On Tuesday, city council approved the resort's permit application, but, in the face of mounting public resistance, limited the permit's validity to two years.Mayor Gary Sulz favoured either a two- or three-year permit. He says his city's bylaw allows work camps to be built on rural residential lands like 1121 Johnson Way. Sulz says he cannot understand Johnson Heights residents' concern about increased traffic."They [Revelstoke Mountain Resort] are going to be using buses to shuttle people [construction workers]," he told Brady Strachan, guest host of CBC's Daybreak South. "I don't believe that there's going to be a problem."The mayor admits vehicle speeding has always been an issue at the junction of Johnson Way and the Trans Canada Highway. The city is working on a neighbourhood plan that includes building a road that connects Johnson Heights directly to downtown Revelstoke, but this plan has yet to be approved by the city council.Sulz says work camp trailers will be painted with earth colours in order to blend into the environment. Fences around the housing site and forests nearby could reduce noise, he said — not that he thinks there will be a lot of that."They [construction workers] will probably be working 10, 12 hours a day, and then they're going to want to get to sleep [at the camp]."Revelstoke Mountain Resort could potentially apply to the city council to extend the permit for three more years.Tap the link below to listen to Danica Schiller and Gary Sulz on Daybreak South:
Americans go to the polls Tuesday in a historic election, and nobody will be watching more closely than the approximately 628,000 U.S. residents living in Canada, including on P.E.I.It's been an intense election campaign. With just a few days to go, polls show Democrat Joe Biden leading, but nobody is ruling out U.S. President Donald Trump, who wants a second term. CBC News talked to some Americans living in Prince Edward Island about the campaign, the issues and what they expect to unfold south of the border next week, reaching out by phone, through social media, and through groups and organizations.Most voters said the campaign boiled down to one thing, leadership: Joe Biden versus Donald Trump.'A lot of drama'Carrie Marshall, 53, is a teacher and lives in New Dominion. She's originally from Illinois and has lived in Canada for more than two decades. She's following the election very closely, especially because she still has many family members living in Illinois. She grew up as a Republican, but said she supported Biden this time. In fact, she already cast her ballot by mail earlier this month. "It all comes down to leadership, a lot of drama. I'm concerned about the turn of the country and I'm hopeful that even if Donald Trump gets elected that what I am afraid of won't happen," she said. "I'd like to see people less divided 'cause I know people that vote for Trump and I like them and they are not bad people, do you know what I mean? I feel like right now we've got this, you're either good or bad, you're for or you're against and there is so much more about people than that." > I have to mute the TV actually now when he comes on — I can't stand listening to him. — Rosemary O'Malley-KeyesOf the U.S. residents CBC spoke to, Biden has the majority of the support — something also reflected in polls. Voting against TrumpRosemary O'Malley-Keyes of Stratford is not surprised by those poll numbers. She's originally from New York and has family who live throughout the U.S. "I take great pride in having voted for Joe Biden," she said, noting she has never voted along party lines, but rather for the candidate. She said his experience in government gives her confidence he could run the country. And, she is voting against Trump. "I really don't think that requires any explanation. Every time he opens his mouth, something spews out that is disrespectful, rude, you know I could go on and on. So, I have to mute the TV actually now when he comes on — I can't stand listening to him speak," O'Malley-Keyes said. O'Malley-Keyes has a daughter, two grandsons and three step-children who live in the U.S., along with several siblings.'Pulse of the people'Trump does have supporters in P.E.I. however.One of them is Don Wright of Charlottetown, originally from New York City, who has been using social media to support Trump. "I am a supporter of Donald Trump by 1,000 per cent compared to, let's say, Joe Biden and four years ago, Hillary Clinton," Wright said, who said he doesn't belong to any party. "He had a feel for the pulse of the people and he made promises and the thing about his promises is, he kept them. That's another thing most politicians have never done," Wright said. "When he does go out, there's nobody showing up for Biden, and then there's thousands, tens of thousands of people showing up for Trump so there's no question that he'll win."'Family relationships are falling apart'Jessica Strong said the divisiveness of U.S. politics right now scares her. She moved to P.E.I. last July and is an assistant professor at UPEI. She's originally from Kalamazoo, a city of about 75,000 in southwest Michigan."The stress level, I think, for me is that it feels like there's a lot more at stake in this election than there usually is," Strong said. "A lot of the rhetoric that is being used is particularly divisive ... and that is not only happening between the candidates but it's filtering down to my friends and family in the States where family relationships are falling apart and friendships are falling apart because people can't even talk about these things. That makes it feel like there's a lot more at stake on like, a very personal level." > As a woman, I can't agree with the way that he talks about and treats women. — Jessica StrongStrong said she usually tends to support third-party candidates, but this time around she voted for Biden and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris. "Trump scares me. Again, because of the language he uses towards any group that he can't identify with — you know, so as a woman, I can't agree with the way that he talks about and treats women. But that extends to any other intersectional identity that someone may hold who isn't a white male," she said. Strong believes the race is a lot closer than either side is willing to admit.That means people will be on the edge of their seats Tuesday night and possibly beyond, which she said will only prolong the anxiety. She believes no matter who wins, there is a lot of healing that will have to take place in the U.S., a tall order for whomever wins the White House. For more news and analysis of the U.S. election, check out CBC's Eric Grenier's Presidential Poll Tracker, here. More from CBC P.E.I.
The Sipekne'katik band will not fish its commercial lobster licences this season in southwest Nova Scotia, citing intimidation and violence that followed the launch of its moderate livelihood fishery in St Marys Bay.The decision followed an emergency meeting Friday with fishermen working in the band's commercial fishery."The consensus is that they don't want to fish in the upcoming season due to concerns of safety. There is also the concern of not being able to sell our lobster," said Chief Mike Sack."As of right now, our people aren't comfortable taking that big risk and especially risking their life for that."Sipekne'katik's decision means band members won't fish the nine lobster licences Sipekne'katik holds in Lobster Fishing Area 34 when the season opens next month.The First Nation still has the option to lease those licences to non-Indigenous fishermen, which could be worth as much as $450,000.The band's moderate livelihood fishery, which launched last month outside of the commercial season, will continue to operate out of the Saulnierville wharf.Sack said the fishery is concentrated in St Marys Bay and protected by a court injunction to end blockades, interference and threats against community members involved in the fishery.He said commercial vessels that fish farther out to sea are more spread out and vulnerable.'Co-ordinated and systemic'In a news release Friday, Sipekne'katik said it's been the victim of a "co-ordinated and systematic effort of the commercial fishery to undermine and destabilize" its fishery.Non-Indigenous commercial fishermen and their supporters have reacted with anger — and sometimes violence — to the fishery in St. Marys Bay, including swarming two lobster facilities storing Mi'kmaw catches. Commercial fishermen argue the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is ignoring its own regulations, which prohibit commercial fishing in areas where the season is closed.The Sipekne'katik First Nation has said hundreds of traps belonging to its members have been stolen, damaged or destroyed by commercial fishermen. The band has also said it's struggling to find buyers for lobster harvested under commercial licences it holds in an area of the Bay of Fundy where the season is open.Rumoured trap seizuresOn Friday evening, the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs issued a news release saying it has learned the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is poised to seize moderate livelihood traps across Nova Scotia."The assembly condemns this action and demands all planned action related to seizure is aborted," the assembly said in the release, which went on to accuse federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan of "acting in bad faith during ongoing consultations.""The assembly is gravely concerned for the well-being and safety of Mi'kmaw harvesters and they are demanding that the harassment ends immediately." Sack said he's also been told the department will be removing traps. In a statement, DFO did not confirm nor deny plans to seize traps."There are more than 600 DFO fishery officers working in communities across the country, and the compliance measures they take are based on numerous factors," the department said."The minister remains fully committed to working with First Nations in Nova Scotia to implement their treaty rights. These are complex, longstanding issues and the best way to resolve them is through dialogue."Other bands following suitSipekne'katik was the first Mi'kmaw band to proceed with a moderate livelihood fishery in Nova Scotia. Since then, at least seven others have said they plan to launch, or have already launched, their own moderate livelihood fisheries.Sipekne'katik said it would no longer wait for the federal government to set the rules for a treaty right recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada 21 years ago.On Thursday, four inshore commercial fishermen's associations from southwest Nova Scotia issued a news release again calling on federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan to shut down the moderate livelihood fishery in St. Marys Bay.They said the area is a lobster nursery, and fishing should not be allowed while lobster are breeding and molting there.Minister responds to commercial groupsDFO said Friday it would "never move forward" with any plans that pose a threat to lobster stocks.Jordan's office also responded bluntly to commercial fishery groups that have demanded to be part of the consultations with First Nations on the moderate livelihood fishery."The repeated insistence from industry leadership to join the nation-to-nation negotiations on treaty rights is unconstructive," the office said in a statement, adding that industry leaders have had continued access to the minister."The negotiations on moderate livelihood are between the government of Canada and First Nations. The nation-to-nation relationship is a cornerstone of reconciliation, and that will not be compromised."MORE TOP STORIES
A new Statistics Canada study on police-reported crime data from 2019 shows Kelowna with the fastest growing crime rate in Canada.Crime increased by 24 per cent, compared to 2018, according to StatsCan. The violent crime rate increased 65 per cent. And the crime severity Index — a measurement of the volume and severity of crime — rose 20 per cent, which is also more than any other city in Canada.The Kelowna census metropolitan area's crime rate is now 10,747 incidents per 100,000 residents, the second highest overall in Canada, just behind Lethbridge, Alta. The national average is 5,874 per 100,000 residents. The central Okanagan city's metropolitan area for census purposes includes the cities of Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland, Lake Country and their surrounding rural areas.Statistics Canada notes one reason for the crime rate increase, especially in violent crimes, was the new Kelowna RCMP reporting method.In 2018, the detachment faced public criticism over its handling of sexual assault cases. Statistics Canada revealed 40 per cent of sexual assault cases reported to Kelowna RCMP were dismissed as "unfounded" — three times the national average. A national RCMP sexual assault review team investigated and recently determined that there was an underlying clerical error in how the cases were being classified that skewed the statistics.Even so, the national team wound up recommending Kelowna RCMP reinvestigate 12 of the cases it had closed.The 2019 StatsCan report also shows increases in robbery, car theft, mischief, uttering threats and shoplifting.According to the report, Kelowna also has the highest rate of opioid-related offences in Canada, at 124 per 100,000 people, compared to 35 in Vancouver.'Communities remain extremely safe,' say RCMPRCMP Supt. Kara Triance, the new commander of the Kelowna detachment, responded to the new statistics in a written statement, blaming much of the increase in the overall crime rate on non-violent property crimes and a transient population."We recognize that this ranking appears concerning, but I would like to stress that Kelowna and the surrounding communities remain extremely safe," Triance stated."Kelowna is also a resort destination during the summer with a significant increase in visitor population. While that number is not reflected in our population statistics, it does affect reported crime."Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran also noted the increase in non-violent crime and called for more co-ordination and provincial support to tackle the problem. "We work with RCMP every day to address criminal behaviour, but we need senior levels of government to address the underlying problems of health, housing and poverty that contribute to these downstream issues," Basran stated. "RCMP need support from other agencies to deal with repeat offenders." Since 2015, the city has approved funding for 34 new full-time RCMP officers and 23 police safety support staff. The detachment has increased patrols on Friday and Saturday nights and bolstered investigative support teams involved in complex crimes.
One day before Halloween, Alberta is reporting a dramatic increase in the number of new and active cases of COVID-19. The province reported 622 new cases on Friday, a new daily record and significantly above the average of 450 new cases the province has been seeing for the last 10 days. The new cases also pushed the number of active cases in the province to a record 5,172, which is 251 more cases than the day before. Currently, 140 Albertans are in hospital with the disease, 25 of them in ICU, also both record numbers. The province also reported five more deaths Friday: A man in his 70s from Edmonton zone, not linked to continuing care. Two men, one in his 80s and another in his 90s, linked to the outbreak at the Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre in Edmonton. A man in his 80s linked to the South Terrace Continuing Care Centre in Edmonton Zone. A man in his 70s linked to the outbreak at the Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary. The deaths bring the total number in Alberta to 323. The regional breakdown of active cases on Friday is: Edmonton zone: 2,312, an increase from 2,277 the day before. Calgary zone: 2,034, an increase from 1,879 the day before. North zone: 353, an increase from 325 the day before. South zone: 276, an increase from 256 the day before. Central zone: 178 an increase from 162 the day before. Unknown: 19, a decrease from 22 the day before. These numbers will be the last until Tuesday when Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, holds her next news conference.
HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia RCMP released images Friday showing two men walking away from a fish plant on the night it burned to the ground amid an escalating dispute over an Indigenous lobster fishery. Yarmouth County RCMP described the men as persons of interest. The grainy images were captured Oct. 16 outside the plant in Middle West Pubnico, N.S., before a suspicious fire broke out near midnight, police say. "What I want to stress here is getting the identity of those persons," RCMP Sgt. Andrew Joyce said in an interview. "That information will help us move the investigation forward . . . . We are hoping to get the full co-operation from anyone who has any knowledge of these events and who these two persons are." The plant was storing lobster caught by the Sipekne'katik First Nation, which attracted national attention last month when it started setting lobster traps in St. Marys Bay before the start of the federally regulated fishing season. The Mi'kmaq band has said it has the treaty right to pursue a "moderate livelihood" by fishing, hunting and gathering where and when it want, as spelled out in a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision that cites treaties signed by the British Crown in the early 1760s. Non-Indigenous protesters have said they are opposed to the band's self-regulated commercial lobster fishing business because it is operating outside the regulated season and could have a negative impact on lobster stocks in the bay. As well, they note the Supreme Court of Canada clarified its landmark 1999 ruling — known as the Marshall decision — stating Indigenous fisheries could be subject to federal regulation to ensure fish conservation, so long as the measures were justified. A day after the fire at the unoccupied plant, police confirmed they were aware of a person of interest with life-threatening injuries believed to be related to the fire. Police also said they believe the blaze was deliberately set. In the security video footage released Friday, two men can be seen walking through the darkness along a gravel path beside what appears to be a large building flanked by refrigeration gear, crates and other equipment. A light on the side of the building illuminates the scene, which appears to show one man in a hooded jacket supporting the second man, who is wearing shorts and is limping as he appears to be wearing only one shoe. At the top of the frame, an intense orange light varies in intensity, but it's unclear what the source is. Joyce confirmed investigators believe the fire was set before the video was recorded. He said he could not draw a link between the individual who was injured by the fire and the two people in the video. As well, he said he had no additional information to release about the people involved, and no one is currently in custody. Later in the day, the chief of the Sipekne'katik First Nation, Mike Sack, issued a statement saying he was calling an emergency meeting to respond to the "co-ordinated and systemic efforts of the commercial fishery to undermine and destabilize Sipekne'katik's fishery." Sack said there now appears to be a "high degree of reluctance" to go fishing among the band's moderate livelihood fishers. "Ultimately, we believe this was the end goal of the commercial fishery's efforts all along," he said. "We recognize it as a drastic setback, not only for my community but for the Mi'kmaq people and Indigenous peoples across Canada overall." Meanwhile, the bands losses continue to mount, Sack said. The cost of lost or damaged fishing gear, coupled with the loss of potential sales of lobster, has reached more than $3 million, the chief said. The Oct. 16 fire followed a series of violent clashes and vandalism in southwestern Nova Scotia. At one point, Sack was allegedly assaulted by another man. On Oct. 21, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia granted the band a temporary injunction aimed at preventing people from interfering with their new fishery. The injunction, which recognizes the band's constitutionally protected right to harvest lobster, says some of those opposed to the new enterprise are using "criminal intimidation, threats, and property destruction." "No matter where an individual may stand on the myriad of issues in play right now in southwest Nova Scotia, I would hope everyone could agree that violence is not way to sort things out," Justice James Chipman said in a decision, the written portion of which was released Friday. "What has been going on over the past month or so has shocked all Canadians . . . . Canadians are better than this. The Acadian and Indigenous communities have a broader history of harmony, allegiances and alliances." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2020 Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press
Manitoba's health minister strongly hinted that further COVID-19 restrictions are coming, saying 'what we are doing is not yet working.' New cases in that province and in B.C. are being linked to private gatherings.
EU officials warned Europe to be ready for wider COVID restrictions as infections surged across the continent, France and Germany prepared curbs almost as strict as their spring lockdowns and cases soared across the United States. Europe and the United States have emerged as the current danger zones for COVID-19, which was first identified in China in December, in a global crisis in which more than 44.94 million people have been infected and 1,178,943 have died. "Given the very dynamic situation in all of Europe, we need to equally reduce contact in almost all European countries," German Health Minister Jens Spahn told journalists after a video conference of EU health ministers that he chaired.
A group from Ontario's restaurant industry is calling on the provincial government to explain its decision to impose tighter COVID-19 restrictions on the sector. A coalition that includes the industry association Restaurants Canada and a number of food service businesses has issued an open letter to Premier Doug Ford, asking to see what data the province relied on in setting its health measures.
Graham Thomson is an award-winning journalist who has covered Alberta politics for more than 30 years. This column is an opinion. For more information about our commentary section, please read our FAQ.For everyone who wants to see life return to pre-pandemic normal, I give you this week's wildcat strike by Alberta health support workers.This is the strike — or one quite like it — we would have seen earlier this year if it wasn't for the pandemic. Of course, COVID-19 screwed up the timetable, as it's done so effectively with everything else.In Alberta, this was set up to be the Year of the Picket before it became the Year of the Pandemic.COVID-19 mucked up the plans of the Alberta government to declare war on the public sector. And it mucked up the plans of unions to stage labour disruptions in protest.Think back to last fall. Both sides were gearing up for a fight. In November, the government notified public sector unions it would be cutting as many as 6,000 jobs over three years.Unions responded by holding a massive protest rally outside the United Conservative convention in Calgary.Kenney responded to the union outrage with a quip: "I'm reminded of what Premier Ralph Klein used to say: 'If a day goes by and there's not a protest, I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong.'"Union leaders mused ominously of a general province-wide strike by public sector workers.For his part, Kenney seemed to be itching for a fight. He had warmly embraced the government-sponsored MacKinnon panel's report recommending cuts to public sector spending. Finance Minister Travis Toews warned unions that if they won wage hikes in contract talks, they could expect layoffs. The Kenney government had already passed legislation allowing it to hire replacement workers in the event of a public sector strike.Union leaders were worried but confident their members would unite to stop Kenney in his tracks.And then COVID-19 crashed the party.It wasn't peace in our timeThe government pulled in its claws, made a temporary truce with the United Nurses of Alberta, and all seemed well with the labour relations world.It wasn't, of course.The government quickly resumed its war with doctors and over the ensuing months used the public's exhaustion with COVID-19 restrictions to argue for a return to life as normal-ish.For Albertans that meant eating out, seeing a movie and having someone other than their mother cut their hair.For the Kenney government, it meant returning to a pre-pandemic agenda of slashing government spending and fighting with public sector workers. And announcing the cutting of 11,000 health support positions.As far as Kenney is concerned, he has history on his side.Over the years, some provinces have welcomed unions, others have tolerated unions. Alberta has actively fought against the formation of unions.Under Ralph Klein, for example, Alberta arguably had the country's most oppressive labour laws that undermined the right to strike and the right to form a bargaining unit.Alberta — Canada's richest province — paid workers the lowest minimum wage in the country.Despite that, Alberta has been spared massive or regular labour unrest.Thanks to a booming economy.Consequently, labour leaders would be driven a little batty to realize their union members were as likely as the general public to vote for a Progressive Conservative government. Those unionized workers, especially those in the energy sector, were happy to reward the government during good times.Oh, there have been some major labour battles. In 2002, for example, 21,000 teachers staged the largest labour disruption in the province's history by walking off the job as part of a legal 13-day province-wide strike. The Klein government ordered them back only to have that order overturned by the courts. (Alberta Conservative governments of the past had a record of taking unions to court, only to lose).We haven't seen a nurses' strike in Alberta for more than 30 years, probably because the government had declared nurses essential workers who were denied the right to walk off the job. That right was reinstated by the courts in 2015.In 2017, the one-term NDP government introduced the province's first major overhaul of workplace rules in 30 years by, among other things, simplifying how unions could be formed and allowing workers to take unpaid sick leave without being fired.Kenney knows his audienceThe UCP government has kept some of those benefits but has also undercut the ability of unions to organize and collect dues.When it comes to fighting unions, Kenney knows his audience.Alberta is not a union friendly province. In fact, according to an online business data company, Statista, in 2019, Alberta had the lowest level of unionised workers in the country at 24.6 per cent. The national average is 30 per cent. Quebec has the highest rate at 39 per cent.As always, Kenney is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Ralph Klein, who cut government spending, privatized government services and went to war with public sector unions during an economic downturn more than 25 years ago. However, Klein knew when to ease up when, for example, he was faced with a mass walkout by health support workers and nurses in 1995.Unlike Klein, Kenney is not one to acknowledge making a mistake or admit to taking things too far.And unlike Klein, Kenney has declared war on doctors, reignited a fight with nurses, and announced a mass privatization of health jobs during a pandemic.Union leaders are warning of more labour unrest, including province-wide disruptions.Kenney is betting on history, believing that non-unionized Albertans won't rally behind unionized public sector workers. But as Kenney likes to say, we're in uncharted territory nowadays.Albertans have never been as dependent upon our unionized health-care workers as we are now.
COVID-19 protocols will have a profound effect on this year's Remembrance Day service at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The Royal Canadian Legion is asking people to pay their respects from home rather than in person this Nov. 11."Don't come down to the monument," said Danny Martin, the legion's director of ceremonies. "Stay home, watch it on television."> We feel it's important to have a live ceremony to remember our veterans, their sacrifices, but it's also important to protect people. \- Danny Martin, Royal Canadian LegionIf you do try to show up in person, you won't get very close: barriers will be erected to keep people away from the memorial, and police will be on hand to keep everyone moving along, Martin said.Provincial restrictions on public gatherings have forced organizers to plan for a service with fewer than 100 guests inside the perimeter, around the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.Ceremony scaled backMartin said the planning for this year's ceremony began months ago."We didn't see this pandemic loosing up, and I guess we were right in the long run," he said. "We feel it's important to have a live ceremony to remember our veterans, their sacrifices, but it's also important to protect people."The list of invitees has been kept as short as possible. This year's vice-regal party includes the prime minister, Governor General, veterans affairs minister and the Silver Cross Mother, all seated two metres apart from one another.Twenty-four veterans' groups will each lay a wreath, adding to the more than 200 that will have been laid in advance.There will be a 21-gun salute following two minutes of silence, but this year's ceremony will have no parades and very few dignitaries. In recent years, the ceremony has drawn crowds of up to 40,000, rain or shine.75th anniversaryThough they evaded bullets on Juno beach and tanks in the Rhineland, COVID-19 will stop the veterans who helped end the Second World War 75 year ago from attending this year's Nov. 11 ceremony.The youngest would be 93 years old, and an easy target for the coronavirus."[That's] the one part that really hits your heart," said Martin, who served 23 years in the Canadian Forces and grew up admiring the contributions of earlier vets."It's just too much of a risk," he said.For the past 48 years, the Ottawa Children's Choir has led the singing of O Canada and God Save the Queen on Nov. 11, but not this year. Instead, choir director Jamie Loback and his colleagues must select a single soloist."We as a choir are fortunate to have this honour every year, and for this individual, it will be a great honour," said Loback. "I think we will find beauty and meaning in whatever we are able to do as an organization."Flag campaignOver at the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre, the Remembrance Day ceremony must also be scaled back, according to development manager Courtney Rock.Instead of hosting visitors, the Perley Rideau Foundation is allowing family and friends of residents to sponsor a Canadian flag, with the hope that by Nov. 11, residents will look out onto the grounds and see 2,000 fluttering in the breeze. All the money raised will be reinvested in the care of the residents."Remembrance Day is a time to pay tribute and honour those who fought and served — that's our goal," Rock said.
The Canadian economy grew in August as real gross domestic product rose by 1.2 per cent in August, Statistics Canada reported Friday. That marked the fourth straight month of growth following the steepest drops on record back in March and April amid pandemic lockdowns. August's figure was down from the 3.1 per cent expansion seen in July.The August number was still ahead of what forecasters had been expecting. According to financial data firm Refinitiv, economists had been predicting growth of 0.9 per cent for the month.Despite the recent string of growth, overall economic activity is still about five per cent below February's pre-pandemic level, Statistics Canada said.September growth is forecastPreliminary information from Statistics Canada indicates real GDP was up 0.7 per cent in September, with increases seen in the manufacturing and public sectors, as well as in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction."This advanced estimate points to an approximate 10 per cent increase in real GDP in the third quarter of 2020," Statistics Canada said. Back in the second quarter, the country's GDP shrank by 11.5 per cent in the three-month period between April and June. Assuming the economy contracts in October and November as a result of a resurgence of coronavirus cases, fourth-quarter GDP looks likely to undershoot the Bank of Canada's "tepid" forecast for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of one per cent, said CIBC Capital Markets senior economist Royce Mendes."It appears that the economy was slowing more than expected heading into the fourth quarter, and the most likely outcome now suggests that GDP barely advanced during the period," Mendes said in a commentary.BMO chief economist Doug Porter said the way forward has been deeply clouded by the second wave and renewed restrictions, so growth will cool considerably in the fourth quarter."However, we suspect that with ongoing massive fiscal support, less restrictions than earlier, and, simply, that consumers and businesses have learned to operate in this new environment, the late-year setback should be relatively mild," Porter said. "In fact, we continue to expect modest growth overall for [the fourth quarter]."
Randy MacNichol, owner of MacNichol Landscaping near Salisbury, said he's seen an increase in his lumber sales every year since he got into the sawmill business four years ago, but this spring and summer were off the charts."We were starting to get low on stocks as far back as mid-May," he said. MacNichol looked at his lumber pile with dismay, especially the bare spot where he'd normally stack his two–by–fours."You could mill a hundred of them and the next day you could mill a hundred more," but he said he just couldn't get ahead of the demand.MacNichol also sells topsoil, crushed stone, mulch and wood pellets for pellet stoves, but he says it was the lumber that had him running off his feet."I saw a peak here, one day here, I know for a fact we took 74 phone calls," said MacNichol.Saw dust has to flySo he hired a full-time employee to help him out, running the sawmill five days a week, while MacNichol mans the controls on Saturdays."Sawdust has to fly," he said.Dwayne Carson's happy to have work, after not getting called back to his old job because of pandemic cut backs. "It's a fairly friendly operation," said Carson. "It's all hydraulically run, it turns your log and loads it, so it's fairly easy that way."But even with the mechanical help, it's still physical, outdoor work.The mill only deals with one log at a time. Carson lines up the log with the saw to remove the bark and square it up while making sure he gets as much out of each tree as possible.After the lumber is cut, he removes it from the mill by hand.MacNichol said in past years he's dealt mostly with contractors, but this year it was homeowners who came calling."We've seen a lot of new faces this year over any other year," he said.Some people just wanted to get a better understanding of what MacNichol has to offer, because the lumber he mills isn't used to build most homes."If you're borrowing the money for a mortgage to build a house, they're not going to let you build with rough sawn lumber," he said.While his lumber is ungraded, it's also thicker and wider. MacNichol is particular to Hemlock, which is well suited to outdoor constructions, like decks, sheds and flower and garden boxes.John Kilpatrick, a carpenter with EnerGreen Builders Co-operative in Sackville, said he's had more customers request wood from small mills than usual. "I've used the cedar mill several times this year, and some years we don't," said Kilpatrick.He said some customers prefer lumber that hasn't been pressure treated, and this building season it's been harder to get what's needed at hardware stores, so he's had to look farther a field.MacNichol said even his customers are having to wait as long as three weeks to get their orders.But, they do, and part of the reason might be that a sawmill like MacNichol's has a bit of old world charm."I've had a lot of comments about people seeing us out here working and doing it because it's not something you see every day anymore," said MacNichol.He said the calls have slowed as the temperature drops, but he doesn't feel that's necessarily a bad thing.MacNichol plans to run the mill all winter to catch up as much as he can, because he doesn't know what spring could bring.
A Yukon artist says transformative makeup isn't just for Halloween.It's her passion year-round.Visual artist Josée Fortin plays with colourful, weird and wonderful body paint and makeup.In the last few years, she's began painting herself and others to look like galaxies, fish, squirrels, neon cat people, landscapes, angels, demons, aliens, sheets of music and more.Sometimes she just plays with abstract colour like puzzle pieces or geometric shapes.Why does she do it? "I just think of Lady Gaga. I was born this way," she said with a laugh. "Before people called me crazy. Now they call me artist." Face painting not just for childrenFortin goes by the artist name Joe La Jolie. She said she started painting on herself as a child in northern Quebec. "I used to do it in hiding in my home, because it was not socially acceptable or normal," she said.She has painted on canvas before but says she prefers working with people, as every face and body is different."It's pretty alive," she said of painting on a face or body. "I try to find the soul in paint."Fortin does children's face painting as well. She enjoys birthday parties and Halloween. However, she says there's a magic in transforming adults. She recently even worked with model who was nude."I try to push adults because they become so vulnerable, so beautiful," she said.Art is washed awayFortin has worked with fire and circus performance. Lately she's been working with friends inside her COVID-19 bubble. The application of paint leads to some laughter and wonder as she takes a few pictures and then the paint is washed off. She calls it ephemeral art. It's chance for herself and her models to become someone else."It's a treat for them, it's empowerment. It's really a strong moment between two humans and I like it," she said.
Premier Doug Ford has advised against trick or treating in COVID-19 hotspots such as Toronto, Ottawa, York Region and Peel. While the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, says the risk is too high for transmission in those areas, Simcoe Muskoka is allowed to go forward. "We're really excited to be able to hold something during COVID times,” said library interim CEO, Graeme Peters.
Lakeshore Catholic High School in Port Colborne is reporting its first positive COVID-19 case. “Students and staff at Lakeshore Catholic High School were exposed to COVID-19 while this individual was infectious,” said Jennifer Pellegrini, a spokeswoman for Niagara Catholic District School Board. She said, “This person is currently in self-isolation. The principal of Lakeshore Catholic High School has sent a letter to all students and staff to notify them.” She didn’t say whether the case involved a student or adult staff member. While the online provincial school database will indicate if the individual is a staff or student, no update has been provided yet. Niagara Region Public Health is attempting to reach all students and staff who had direct contact with this individual. This is the first COVID-19 case for the Catholic board since Oct. 20. Sean Vanderklis is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter for the Niagara Falls Review, covering education issues across Niagara. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.Sean Vanderklis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara Falls Review
Gassan Akhmedov has one last wish - to return to the land of his birth, a land he says has been occupied for more than 25 years. "Our native village has been liberated," said Akhmedov, an elder in a run-down neighbourhood of the Azeri capital populated largely by exiles of the 1991-94 war over Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in the South Caucasus region's bloodiest fighting in decades.
Rob Ridley has run 40 marathons in his lifetime, with this past weekend marking his 41st. With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, and pressures with family, work and everyday life, the timing couldn’t be better for Rob as he prepares to run to support a local charity that is close to his heart. “I’m not an elite athlete,” said Ridley. “I run because I enjoy running and the long run is definitely my thing. I haven’t done a marathon in a few years and there really wasn’t any reason for that.” It all began when his father began to run to stay fit while working as a park ranger in Alberta. Rob took an interest in his father’s favourite pasttime, and eventually the two began running together. In 1996, Ridley sr. challenged his son to run a marathon. Rob agreed, and hasn’t looked back since. Ridley ran 42.2 kilometres across Peel Region on Saturday (Oct 24) in support of The Peel Learning Foundation, as a part of the 2020 Toronto Waterfront Marathon. From Oct 1 to Nov 21, marathon runners are participating in a virtual marathon of five, 10, 21 or 42 kilometres. The marathon is for anyone who simply wants to run, or take part in the annual charity challenge to raise funds for a chosen non-profit. “When this opportunity came up to do a virtual marathon, because of COVID-19, and basically run 42.2 kilometres anywhere you choose, I thought ‘well why don’t I run through Peel and actually support the students’,” said Ridley. Ridley has worked at the Peel District School Board for almost twenty years as the Coordinator of Outdoor Education, where students learn and enjoy through nature centres and have the opportunity to experience the outdoor environment. These nature centres include Jack Smythe, GW Finlayson, Britannia Field Centre. “We see all the students in Peel. We see the kids who don’t necessarily have the proper lunch, or we do see kids who come out without a proper rain-coat on a day that they should be wearing one, or winter boots,” he explained. “The whole idea of the Peel Learning Foundation is to help students that need help to be more successful. He added, “I’ve been supporting the Peel Learning Foundation since it started.” The Peel Learning Foundation is a community-based organization that raises funds for students in need in the Peel District School Board to reach their highest level of success with resources to overcome any barriers. Whether it’s school supplies, clothing, food and other basic necessities, the foundation aims to help. Two weeks prior to Ridleys run, he promoted the foundation and his supports to helping raise funds online through social media platforms such as Twitter and got a positive response from the community, with donations reaching $1,335. “Considering we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and everything that’s happening with the schools and everything else right now, we ended up raising almost $1,400 which is fantastic,” he said. “We did throw out a suggestion originally that if 42 people each donated $1, we’d raised $1,700, we just threw that out at the very beginning. With almost $1,400; I am not disappointed at all.” Ridley began his long run at Jack Smythe Field Centre on Winston Churchill to Royal Windsor Drive and finishing at Jack Darling Park in Mississauga. “I run to inspire, not so much others, but myself. Running is not about how quickly you can finish, but how you spend time on that journey and by focusing on the journey rather than the finish line or the destination” said Ridley. “It mirrors a well lived life.” To learn more about the Peel Learning Foundation or to donate, please visit peellearningfoundation.org. Alyssa Parkhill, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Caledon Citizen
Customers put off buying new devices in the second half of September, leading the company to report its steepest quarterly drop in iPhone sales in at least three years. "We think this was most blatant in China, where 5G service is more accessible, with sales in the region declining 29% - also a bigger decline than we anticipated," Angelo Zino, analyst at CFRA Research said on Thursday. Analysts also noted that the iPhone represents a larger portion of revenue in China than any other region, making the company more dependent on the business in the region.
Windsor police are investigating a stabbing in Walkerville, according to a news release. The incident occurred just before 4 p.m. Thursday at 1325 Pierre St. Police on scene report that there were "multiple victims" but wouldn't say how many.Police had the 1300 block of Pierre, which is just south of Ottawa Street, cordoned off with caution tape.Police say the injuries to the victims are non-life threatening and the victims were transported to hospital.They had no information about a possible suspect or suspects.An investigation is ongoing.More from CBC Windsor
Religious history was made in Abu Dhabi last year, when the Document on Human Fraternity was signed in February by Pope Francis and Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar.View on euronews
Angela Riley has decorated her house for Halloween with 45 kilograms of trash found on the shoreline. Her aim is to get trick-or-treaters and their parents thinking about ocean pollution.