MILTON, Ga. — In a black face mask and cap, activist Garrett Bess walked up driveway after driveway of million-dollar homes in suburban Atlanta on a recent afternoon, placing a flyer in each door, ringing the bell and stepping away to make a socially distanced pitch to vote for the conservative candidates in Georgia's pivotal U.S. Senate runoff elections.Bess' group, Heritage Action for America, plans to knock on half a million doors before the state's two Jan. 5 contests that will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.“Everyone in Georgia knows the candidates,” said Janae Stracke, a colleague of Bess’ who also canvassed the subdivision. "There’s not a lot of convincing to do. They’ve made up their mind. It’s mostly knowing when to vote, how to vote, encouraging them to vote.”This election season, the coronavirus pandemic has upended traditional get-out-the-vote efforts where campaign workers go door to door to encourage people to cast ballots. With people staying at home and limiting contact with outsiders, an extended conversation with a campaign worker who shows up uninvited may actually encourage people to vote for someone else.But it's a sign of how important the two Senate elections are that both parties and independent advocacy groups are going all in on their in-person get-out-the-vote efforts.After the GOP lost the presidential election in Georgia for the first time in 28 years, conservatives are urging Republicans to get more aggressive with their turnout efforts in the state to match the outreach of former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.After Abrams lost the 2018 governor's race, she devoted herself to voter outreach, convinced that the state was a genuine battleground if Democrats galvanized young voters, minorities and people moving in from other states. She raised millions of dollars to organize and register hundreds of thousands of voters in the state — efforts credited with helping Democrat Joe Biden win Georgia.Republicans have to catch up, Republican operative Karl Rove told Fox News.“Let’s not kid ourselves: This is a real race,” said Rove, who is leading fundraising efforts for the runoffs.The National Republican Senatorial Committee expects to have 1,000 staffers on the ground in Georgia. For comparison, the Republican National Committee had a total of 3,000 paid field staff across the whole country during the presidential race.Democrats carry their own baggage into the runoff. In many parts of the country, they limited face-to-face campaigning ahead of the Nov. 3 election because of the pandemic, arguing that was the responsible thing to do. But that decision was second-guessed in places such as Florida.The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to spend millions on voter registration and turnout efforts.Outside groups are also hitting the ground, and the in-person appeals will be supplemented with a fusillade of phone calls, text messages, mailers and ads aimed at boosting turnout for the races pitting Republican Sen. David Perdue against Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democrat Raphael Warnock.Turnout tends to drop precipitously in runoff contests in Georgia. And activists fear there might be even more of a falloff this time, when the excitement of the Trump-Biden race is over. So getting voters to come back to the polls becomes more of a focus than “trying to find new voters or win over voters who voted for your opponent,” said Charles Bullock, an expert on Southern politics at the University of Georgia.Historically, that drop-off has disproportionately affected Democrats, so the party faces strong headwinds heading into January. The Republican candidate has beaten the Democrat in seven out of eight runoff elections since 1992, including two U.S. Senate races.Democrats have reason for optimism after Biden's win, but his margin of victory was tiny — less than 13,000 votes of nearly 5 million cast — and it’s been 20 years since the state elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.But groups whose efforts tend to favour Democrats are charged. On Friday, representatives of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America went door to door in a neighbourhood just outside Atlanta encouraging people to vote for Ossoff and Warnock.“If we don't get those two seats in Congress, everything we did to flip Georgia blue is not going to help us,” Phyllis Morrow told a couple that pulled over in their car.The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia, which has more than 150,000 parishioners in the state, is asking members to call eligible voters in their congregations, encourage them to vote early and assist with rides if they need help getting to the polls on Jan. 5.Bishop Reginald T. Jackson said Black voters are excited and “realize the eyes of the nation are on Georgia.”"They know people are going to be looking to see whether or not Blacks turn out,” he said.The New Georgia Project, a group founded by Abrams, will try to register some of the estimated 35,000 people who have finished their felony sentences and can requalify to vote as well as some of the estimated 23,000 people who are turning 18 before the runoff, Executive Director Nse Ufot said.Ufot said the group also aims to knock on 1 million doors before the runoff, up from 500,000 before the general election, and is training volunteers to take coronavirus precautions.In Milton, Bess and Stracke were in friendly territory. The affluent, mostly white city about 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of Atlanta showed strong support for President Donald Trump in the November election. The neighbourhood they canvassed last week featured manicured lawns and spacious homes set back from the street.“Oh, you have no problem here,” Holly McCormick, 73, told Bess after he rang her doorbell. The flyers he carried warned that Georgia was the country’s “last line of defence from a socialist takeover.”McCormick called the outcome of the presidential race “rigged” though there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and she said Trump’s claims of illegal votes made her more energized to vote for Perdue and Loeffler in January.“We have to hold the Senate,” she said.___Associated Press writer Jeff Amy in Atlanta contributed to this report.Sudhin Thanawala, The Associated Press
The case of a Fredericton woman charged with first-degree murder in the death of a man found dead in Wilmot Park was adjourned Friday until the new year. In the meantime, twenty-one-year-old Angela April Walsh is to undergo an independent psychological assessment to determine if she can be found criminally responsible for her actions. Walsh, also known as Ali Morningstar, is charged in the death of 31-year-old Clark Ernest Green, whose body was found in the Fredericton park the morning of April 15.She was arrested May 25, along with Zachary David Murphy, who is also charged with first-degree murder.Walsh made a short court appearance via teleconference call from the New Brunswick Women's Correctional Centre in Miramichi, where she is being held. A psychological report on Walsh has already been done by the Restigouche Hospital Centre, but her lawyer wants a separate independent report. "We want this person to have the benefit of her full mental health history," TJ Burke told provincial court.Crown prosecutor Rodney Jordan took no issue with the extension.Walsh's case was already delayed once so the independent assessment could be done, but the psychiatrist assigned to Walsh, Dr. Julian Gojer, was working on the high-profile quadruple murder trial of Matthew Raymond. Walsh's case will be back in court on Jan. 29, 2021. She is also charged with theft from Walmart, breaching an undertaking, and fraud under $5,000. Proceedings of those charges have also been delayed until January.
TORONTO — Rogers Sportsnet is parting ways with veteran Toronto Blue Jays radio announcer Mike Wilner.The broadcaster announced the split on its Twitter feed Friday. A reason wasn't given for the decision.Sportsnet said Wilner had a "voice that became synonymous with Blue Jays baseball."Wilner, the Blue Jays' first Toronto-born play-by-play broadcaster, became the full-time radio announcer alongside Ben Wagner prior to the 2019 Major League Baseball season. He also called most of the games in 2018 following the retirement of longtime announcer Jerry Howarth.Prior to joining the broadcast booth full-time, he served as a backup announcer and hosted the "Blue Jays Talk" pre- and post-game shows starting in 2002.Wilmer said on a social media post that "his heart is broken," but added he is grateful for getting a chance to "live an absolute dream."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
Grocery chain Sobeys has reinstated a program that will see its workers in areas locked down because of COVID-19 get a pay bump.Empire Co., which owns Sobey's, has brought back so-called "hero pay" for its hourly workers in Winnipeg, Toronto and Peel region, which is just west of Toronto. All three regions are currently on some sort of lockdown because of rising COVID-19 cases, and all but essential retail has been brought to a halt.Sobeys workers who get paid by the hour in those regions will get between $10 and $100 extra per week, depending on how many hours they work per week. Although the figure may change as the situation improves or worsens, the company estimates that the initiative will cost it about $5 million.The chain, like others, had a similar program for its workers in the early days of the pandemic as grocery stores were inundated by shoppers panic buying, the initial bonus program was halted in June as supply chains and stores got back to some semblance of normal."Our teammates continue to work tirelessly to keep our stores safe and our communities fed," CEO Michael Medline said in a statement to CBC News."Launching the Lockdown Bonus, in the face of new government mandated lockdowns, was simply the right thing to do. I said that if we ever faced the same level of lockdowns in a region or province like we saw in the early spring, we would bring a recognition program back for our teammates."Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, our teammates' efforts to keep stores open, shelves stocked and Canadian families fed have been nothing short of heroic."In its most recent earnings release, rival grocery chain Loblaws stated it has no plans to bring back a similar pay bump despite raising its dividend to shareholders by two cents per share because of strong sales growth."The company remains steadfast in its commitment to put customers and colleagues first, as we sustained investments and safety measures at store level, while resisting pressure to raise prices at a time when Canadians need value more than ever," CEO Galen Weston said at the time.
CALGARY — The Calgary Zoo says two giant pandas are on their way home to China today. The zoo said in May that it would be sending the pair back early because the COVID-19 pandemic was making it difficult to source bamboo.The plant makes up 99 per cent of the animals' diet and the zoo has said it was an expensive and all-consuming effort to cobble together supplies from across North America.The zoo says on Twitter it was a difficult decision to send the pandas home three years earlier than planned. It says it took months of hard work to secure international permits to get the pandas home. The zoo posted photos of reams of paperwork needed for the journey, the crates that were to carry the pandas and the Lufthansa Cargo plane that was to take them to China. The two adults, Er Shun and Da Mao, were on loan from China to Canadian zoos as part of a 10-year deal signed in 2012. They were to stay in Calgary until 2023.Two cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, were born in Toronto in 2015. They were sent to China as planned in January. The price tag to have the pandas in Calgary was around $30 million, including $14.4 million for the Panda Passage exhibit itself. Expanded parking lots, washrooms and restaurants were also required to accommodate an expected influx of visitors. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
A bail hearing Friday morning for Adam Skelly, a BBQ shop owner facing lots of legal trouble for defying the Toronto health measures COVID-19 lockdown orders currently in effect in Toronto. Mark Carcasole has more
ÉMILIE PELLETIER Initiative de journalisme local — Le Droit Se faire des amis, et pas grâce à ses politiques Le ministre de l’Éducation Stephen Lecce ne quitte pas l’Assemblée législative immédiatement après une longue journée de travail. Souvent, il y reste pour s’exercer au piano à la disposition du public dans le lobby, dans l’aile Est de l’établissement, près des escaliers. Selon une source sûre de son bureau, M. Lecce aurait appris à connaître plusieurs membres de l’opposition, des gens «qui n’aiment peut-être pas ses politiques, mais qui apprécient sa musique». Les arcs-en-ciel nouveau genre Plutôt que d’afficher le classique arc-en-ciel dans la fenêtre de son bureau de députée à Queen’s Park, la progressiste-conservatrice Goldie Ghamari a choisi de lancer un message clair à l’un de ses collègues qui organise depuis plusieurs mois des manifestations anti-masque, le député indépendant Randy Hillier. Elle a récemment collé à sa fenêtre, lettre par lettre, les mots «Pandemic isn’t over just because you’re over it!!!», ce qui signifie «la pandémie n’est pas terminée simplement parce que vous en avez assez». Ce message, plus accusateur que celui d’encouragement qu’implorent les dessins d’arcs-en-ciel, la députée l’a aussi traduit dans une vidéo TikTok. Dans la vidéo, on aperçoit le député, devant Queen’s Park, participant à une manifestation anti-confinement de la COVID-19. D’où il est, M. Hillier peut voir clairement le message inscrit dans la fenêtre de Mme Ghamari. À la toute fin de la vidéo, la députée a pris soin de coller un emoji de masque au visage de son collègue Hillier, qui ne le porte habituellement jamais dans les couloirs de l’Assemblée législative. C’est une blague? «Monsieur le Président, les théâtres quotidiens du premier ministre ressemblent beaucoup à un feuilleton bon marché vendant du drame et de la peur.» C’est nulle autre que le député indépendant Randy Hillier, qui se questionne depuis plusieurs mois sur la sévérité de la pandémie de COVID-19 et qui s’oppose aux mesures sanitaires imposées par la province pour protéger la population contre le virus, qui a posé cette question au gouvernement Ford, en Chambre cette semaine. Comme il l’a fait plusieurs fois déjà, Randy Hillier a aussi comparé la COVID-19 à la grippe. «You must be joking. You MUST be joking», de répondre la ministre de la Santé Christine Elliott, qui est convaincue que le député Hillier se fout de sa tête. C’est à se demander si la ministre Elliott a eu la même réaction lorsque sa collègue, la ministre des Soins de longue durée Merrilee Fullerton, a elle aussi comparé le coronavirus à une «mauvaise année de la grippe». Fordisme de la semaine «Je ne crois pas au fait de changer de partenaire au beau milieu de la danse… Surtout quand ton partenaire est un danseur aussi incroyable.» Doug Ford était aux prises avec une décision importante, cette semaine: le prolongement du contrat du médecin hygiéniste en chef de l’Ontario, le Dr David Williams. Ce dernier devait prendre sa retraite en février 2021, mais le gouvernement Ford a décidé de prolonger son contrat jusqu’en septembre 2021. Les partis d’opposition n’ont pas du tout aimé que le gouvernement progressiste-conservateur ne les ait pas consultés pour cette décision.Émilie Pelletier, journaliste, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Droit
THUNDER BAY — A Thunder Bay man accused of an armed robbery of a pizza delivery driver in late August appeared in court this week to plead guilty to several, unrelated charges connected to fraud from earlier this year. Colton Herneshuhta, 21, pleaded guilty to a total of 13 charges relating to fraud, forgery, a break and enter and breaching probation orders on Thursday, Nov. 26 in a Thunder Bay Zoom courtroom. Court heard several instances where Herneshuhta used fake cheques to defraud several agencies in the city from January to April. On Jan. 6, Herneshuhta attended a loan agency business on Red River Road and presented a forged cheque for $1,139. A few days later, the business learned the cheque was fraudulent and alerted police who identified Herneshuhta as the person who cashed the cheque. He was also on probation at the time. On Jan. 9, Herneshuhta again used more fake cheques at two different businesses on Red River Road totalling $900. In a different case, another complainant gave Herneshuhta her debit card and pin number after he lied about why he needed it, according to Herneshuhta lawyer's George Joseph. “Mr. Herneshuhta made attempts to withdraw money that were outside the perimeters of the representation he made to (the complainant),” Joseph said. He initially attempted to withdraw $1,499, but was only able to take out $500, court heard. In April, Herneshuhta used a fake cheque of $850 to defraud the Children’s Aid Society. A few months later in August, Herneshuhta was identified as a suspect of a break and enter at a business on Victoria Street on Aug. 2. The Crown stated there was no estimate provided by the business of the damage caused or items stolen. Joseph told the court his client has struggled with a cocaine addiction for 10 years which has fuelled his criminal behaviour. Since being in custody, Herneshuhta has remained sober and has been working on his education as well as taking advantage of programs while in custody, Joseph said. Herneshuhta was sentenced to a joint submission of six months in custody, less pre-sentence custody. Crown counsel Piera Pasloski said Herneshuhta’s criminal record is limited and acknowledged his addiction which has been driving his criminal behaviour. “Mr. Joseph shared with me at the counsel pre-trial that Mr. Herneshuhta has had an extremely hard-wired addiction problem since age 11,” she said. “The hope is he will get himself the treatment he needs once he is released and that this behaviour will cease.” Herneshuhta was given credit at an enhanced rate for the time he has spent in pre-sentence custody of 136 days. He has 44 days left to serve going forward. After his custodial sentence, he will be placed on probation. Part of his probation conditions include participating in any assessments for counselling and substance addictions as well as completing any treatment programs if he is directed by probation. He is also not to contact any of the complainants or enter the businesses he defrauded. He will have 12 months to pay a victim surcharge fine for each of the 13 counts. Herneshuhta was not ordered to pay a restitution order. Herneshuhta also has outstanding charged connected to an alleged armed robbery from Aug. 24 of a pizza delivery driver. He is scheduled to return to court for these matters in early December.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
NORTH BAY, Ont. — Public health officials say the COVID-19 outbreak linked to Nipissing University's athletic community has grown to 16 cases.The outbreak was first declared on Tuesday when six people tested positive for COVID-19.North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit did not say how many were students or staff.The health unit says the growth in cases is expected as high-risk contacts are tested.It says close contact tracing has been completed for positive cases.The health unit had said that the individuals interacted with other people at the university's gym and at social gatherings in the community.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.The Canadian Press
Windsor-Essex is becoming a "red" zone as of Monday following a dramatic escalation in COVID-19 cases this month.It's the third straight week the region has moved up a category that mandates tighter pandemic restrictions on activities and behaviour.Yet another bump-up "hurts" says Mayor Drew Dilkins, but he called on the community to pull together to protect each other."The fact that we have moved three times in the past three weeks is an obvious indicator that the situation in our region is significant, and getting worse," he said in a statement."It hurts having to take another step back, but that's what we'll do, and together we'll regroup as a community and refocus our efforts on keeping each other safe."Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott announced the decision Friday afternoon as Windsor-Essex was one of five regions placed in new categories."Over the last week we have seen a shift in the trends of key public health indicators in regions across the province, and by moving these five regions to a new level in the framework, we can ensure that the necessary targeted measures are in place to stop the spread of the virus and allow us to keep our schools and businesses open."The "control - red" category is the second-highest tier of public health restrictions in the province's COVID-19 response framework. The next step would be a full lockdown.Under red-level restrictions, indoor dining is limited to 10 people and dining must close at 10 p.m., with alcohol sales ending an hour earlier. Gyms are limited to 10 patrons at a time, and indoor social gatherings have a limit of five people.A full list of the restrictions is available here.The announcement follows weeks of rising COVID-19 cases in the region. As recently as early November, Windsor-Essex was in the "prevent - green" restrictions category, the least strict tier.There are currently 354 active cases in the region, 51 of which were announced earlier on Friday. Two schools are shut down due to outbreaks, and there are four outbreaks in long-term care or retirement facilities.In response to the surge in cases, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced Friday that it will be adding at least 17 staff, including COVID-19 investigators.The move to the red tier of restrictions was anticipated. Dr. Wajid Ahmed, the region's medical officer of health, said Wednesday that Windsor-Essex technically meets the criteria though that call would be made by the province.Sarnia-Lambton will move into the yellow "protect" level starting Monday, according to Lambton Public Health.Response from cityIn a news release Friday, the City of Windsor said that it will be taking additional measures beyond those mandated by the red level.It said will suspend recreational services in pools, arenas and community centres for a two-week period starting Sunday. The suspension will be reassessed after two weeks.Concerns from businessesEarlier this week, one business owner, Tom Lucier of Phog Lounge, said he can't keep up with how quickly the rules and regulations have evolved."Right now, they're essentially closing us without closing us and we're jumping through hoops day-to-day and it's just not fair, it's kind of silly," he said. Caesars Windsor casino told CBC News that it would temporarily close on Monday due to the new restrictions.Brian Yeomans, chair of the Downtown Windsor BIA, previously told CBC News he's heard concerns and frustration from members."[Businesses] did a fantastic job through the summer and making sure that everything was safe, they followed all those guidelines, they followed all the rules," he said. "And when things aren't getting better, they're the ones that are still being punished instead of people that are having these house parties, that are leaving and going and doing other things and that's infuriating."
The P.E.I. government announced Friday the timing of its expansion of its current insulin pump program that will extend benefits to Islanders with diabetes up to age 25. The previous age cutoff for the program was 18.The province will also increase the number of glucose tests strips available through its diabetes drug program from 100 to 120 strips.It's a commitment the province made in its 2020 budget, announced in June. The other Atlantic provinces already cover insulin pumps for those up to age 25. The changes to the programs are scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2021."Diabetes [affects] more than 15,000 Islanders, and it is so important that we offer additional support to these individuals so they can live healthy, fulfilling lives without cost as a barrier," said Health Minister James Aylward in a news release.Insulin pumps allow people with diabetes to auto-administer insulin rather than injecting a syringe throughout the day multiple times. According to Diabetes Canada, there are more than 48,000 Islanders living with diabetes or prediabetes and prevalence is predicted to increase to 57,000 in 10 years as the population ages. Age restriction remainsAdvocates for more help for Islanders with diabetes have been calling on the province to lift the age restriction altogether, as Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and the three territories have. There was no mention of that in Friday's release.Aylward also announced a new diabetes strategy for the next four years aimed at three key areas: prevention, detection and management — exactly the same goals the province had for its very first diabetes strategy, in place from 2014 to 2017. "We want to work with Islanders to help reduce the risks of being diagnosed with diabetes; we want to make sure that more Islanders are screened for diabetes; and, we will help Islanders better manage diabetes so they can live healthy and active lives," the 2020-2024 strategy says.In addition to financial assistance, Health PEI's provincial diabetes program offers education and advice to Islanders living with diabetes or those who are at risk of developing it, the release said. Diabetes Canada said in the release it is pleased the province has aligned its goal with the organization's national strategy, called Diabetes 360°, and looks forward to working on it with government. More from CBC P.E.I.
Canada next week will reveal the breadth of the emergency spending it has made during the pandemic and lay the groundwork for future stimulus and social measures, like a national childcare program, government sources told Reuters. Canada did not release a budget for this fiscal year, which began in April, because of the economic uncertainty created by COVID-19, but in July projected a C$343.2 billion ($263.8 billion) deficit, the largest since World War II. The new fiscal document, dubbed the Fall Economic Statement, will be released on Monday and will include several scenarios for future spending and growth, and an update on this year's deficit, which one source said would be greater than the July estimate.
TORONTO — A man who drove a van down a Toronto sidewalk and killed 10 people showed no anger toward women during his psychiatric evaluations, court heard Friday.Dr. John Bradford, one of the country's foremost forensic psychiatrists, testified that Alek Minassian's complete lack of anger and emotion is in direct contrast with Elliot Rodger, an American mass murderer he purportedly idolized.Minassian has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 of attempted murder. The defence argues the 28-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., should be found not criminally responsible for his actions on April 23, 2018 due to autism spectrum disorder. His state of mind at the time is the sole issue at trial, which is being held by videoconference due to the pandemic.After a brief cross examination by the prosecution, Justice Anne Molloy, who is presiding over the case without a jury, took time to ask Bradford several questions."Did he ever talk to you about any degree of hatred or rage directed towards women?" the judge asked."In my contact with him, he didn’t show any anger whatsoever," Bradford said. "I don't think he expressed any particular hatred, other than in the context of what he focused on with Elliot Rodger and why he followed that."Rodger went on a rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., in May 2014, killing six people and injuring 14 others before killing himself. His "manifesto" and his video before the murders focused on his hatred towards women and has found an audience in the bowels of the internet where he is treated as the forefather of so-called "incels," men who are involuntarily celibate.Minassian told police hours after the attack that he killed innocent people as part of an "incel uprising." In that world, incels are on the bottom rung of society, below alpha males called Chads and the women they sleep with, called Stacys, and below them are "normies," or normal people. Minassiand told a police detective he hoped the attack would upend that societal order.But in his interviews with Bradford, Minassian changed his story."He denies that is part of incel although he has been disappointed in the past with his social interactions, but when confronted about being extremely angry, enraged, he denies this now categorically and maintains that he (has) only been disappointed and that he made this up about being enraged," Bradford wrote in his report.Bradford said Minassian told him while he was obsessed with the "incel theme," he was not a follower. "He talked about that theme, but without much emotion," said Bradford, who met with Minassian more than 15 times as part of a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation. Minassian also told Bradford his motivation was due to his anxiety about failing at a new job as a computer programmer he was set to begin a week after the attack. He also said he was motivated by the notoriety the attack would bring, even though he had planned to die in a "suicide-by-cop."Then in later interviews, Minassian reverted to the incel uprising as his motivation. Bradford testified Minassian's affect was flat through their meetings and he showed no emotion when describing in great detail the attack. Minassian also lacks empathy, Bradford testified, but he is not psychotic and, therefore, does not meet the test to be found not criminally responsible.Bradford did leave the door open to a "theoretical" pathway for Minassian to be found not criminally responsible through autism spectrum disorder, but noted he was not of that opinion, partially because he has little experience with that disorder.He said Minassian suffers from no other disorder, is not and has never been psychotic, is not a psychopath and did not have depression despite the suicide plan and a later suicide attempt in jail."This is a unique case of somebody with no autism co-morbidity who carried out a mass homicide and lived who by his own planning would be deceased," Bradford said."I knew that this was going to be unusual. As an expert, I believe my role is to give my opinion and give it as clearly as possible, but also to acknowledge that others may have a different opinion."Another psychiatrist testified that Minassian's autism spectrum disorder left him fixated on mass killings and vulnerable to the ramblings of an American mass murderer.Dr. Alexander Westphal, an American psychiatrist who is set to testify Monday, is expected to be the lone voice to say Minassian is not criminally responsible for his actions due to autism spectrum disorder.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Liam Casey, The Canadian Press
Rowley Ramy knows the support offered by Seasons Centre for Grieving Children in Barrie is making a difference in the lives of those who use its resources. “I know it works when I see someone having a fuller life trying to give back,” the centre's managing director said. “It comes full circle.” Since opening 25 years ago, the centre, which provides peer support to children between the ages of five and 24 who are grieving the death of immediate family members, has helped a lot of people. For Ramy, it’s been a deeply personal journey. On Jan. 18, 1995, his daughters Samantha and Jessica were killed in a car accident. Ramy described an outpouring of support and a realization. While there was support for grieving adults, the same could not be said for children. And so, Seasons Centre for Grieving Children was created, and dedicated to his daughters. “Unfortunately, what happens with loss is none of us think about it until it happens, and then we look for the resources,” Ramy said, adding he still feels there could be more resources available. “There should a Seasons Centre in every regional health centre in the country.” As part of the 25th anniversary, the centre unveiled a new stained-glass sign, designed by Norma Vowels, who spent 15 years working as an office manager at the centre. “I’ve seen firsthand the difference they make in children’s lives,” she said, explaining how she would meet children and their families when they would first come to the centre. Speakers at the event talked about the isolating effects of grief, and the difficulty children can have navigating those powerful emotions. “We gave them the tools so that they don’t act out,” she said. “It makes a huge difference in their careers at school and their lives out in the real world.” Seasons Centre for Grieving Children is located at 38 McDonald St. For more information, or to support the centre, visit grievingchildren.com.Shane MacDonald, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
Deaths from illicit drugs in Prince George edged closer to record-setting proportions last month. The year-to-date total stood at 43 as of the end of October, according to a monthly update from the B.C. Coroners Service issued Wednesday and increase of five from the month before. The city appears on pace to surpass the record 51 deaths recorded in 2018. Four of the deaths last month involved drugs in which fentanyl was detected and raised that year-to-date total to 33. Forty-six such deaths were reported in 2018. Since the start of 2018, there have been 127 drug-related deaths in the city and the rate per 100,000 people stands at 44.8. Only Hope and Vancouver have higher rates. Across B.C., it was the fifth month this year for which more than 160 suspected illicit drug deaths were reported to the BCCS and more than double the number of people who died as a result of illicit drugs in October 2019. "We are continuing to see record-breaking numbers of people dying in B.C. due to an unsafe drug supply in our province, and it's taking a toll on families and communities in this dual health emergency," chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said in a statement. "Challenges during COVID-19, such as access to key harm-reduction services and the toxic drug supply, including the extreme concentration of illicit fentanyl, are resulting in continuing significant and tragic loss of life across the province. Our hearts go out to those grieving the loss of family members, friends and colleagues. "We encourage clinicians to support those at risk of overdose by prescribing safe supply and reducing the numbers of lives lost to toxic substances. We also continue to advocate for an accessible, evidence-based and accountable treatment and recovery system for anyone experiencing problematic substance use who is seeking this medical assistance."Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen
OTTAWA — Champion ice-dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and Olympic champion swimmer Mark Tewksbury were among 114 athletes, artists, scholars and community leaders named to the Order of Canada.Gov. Gen. Julie Payette's office announced the new honourees Friday morning.Others in the group include Indigenous writer Thomas King, winemaker John Peller, dancer and choreographer Elizabeth Langley, geriatrician Roger Wong, Cree elder Doreen Spence, sports academic Dr. Sandra Kirby, wheelchair basketball coach Tim Frick and ex-politicians Bill Graham and Allan Rock.Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018.They're being honoured for their athletic excellence and for inspiring a new generation of figure skaters."Feeling all wrapped up in emotion ... Upon learning about being invested into the Order of Canada, I couldn’t help but think that as a kid, I would have never known to dream so big," Virtue posted on Twitter."I am humbled by this honour."Tewksbury, who is being named to the top companion rank, won gold in the 100-metre backstroke at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.The 52-year-old Calgary native came out publicly as gay in 1998 and has been an advocate of LGBTQ rights as well as a prominent member of Canada's Olympic movement, serving as chef de mission of the 2012 London Olympic team.He is being honoured for athletic excellence and sport leadership, and for championing human rights.Kirby, a rower at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, is being honoured for her research on athlete harassment and her advocacy for equity, inclusion and safety in sport. Frick coached Canada's women's wheelchair basketball team to three straight Paralympic gold medals from 1992-2000 and four straight world championship gold medals from 1994-2006.He is being honoured for his expertise in coaching and for his contributions to the advancement of parasports in Canada.The Order of Canada is one of the country's highest civilian honours.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
Le Témiscouata souhaite se présenter comme une destination de choix pour mener des études professionnelles, collégiales ou dans le cadre de la formation aux adultes. Afin d’attirer des étudiants et de les inciter à rester dans cette sous-région du Bas-Saint-Laurent, la campagne Espace Campus a été officiellement lancée, ce jeudi 26 novembre. Car même si le Témiscouata est une zone rurale dont la municipalité la plus peuplée, Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac, ne dépasse pas les 5000 habitants, il est possible d’y étudier. En effet, il existe depuis trois ans un centre d’études collégiales à Cabano, lequel donne quatre cours en présence (sciences humaines, tremplin DEC, techniques d’éducation spécialisée et soins infirmiers pour infirmière auxiliaire) et deux à distance (techniques juridiques et techniques de bureautique), pour un total de 57 élèves. Quant au Centre de formation professionnelle (CFP) du Fleuve-et-des-Lacs, il offre 13 options de formation, avec notamment plusieurs programmes en foresterie et en acériculture. Environ 200 étudiants y sont inscrits. « On veut consolider et développer les institutions d’enseignement postsecondaires professionnel et collégial et de formation aux adultes sur notre territoire, explique l’agente de développement Virginie Beauregard-Bouchard, de la SADC du Témiscouata. À plus long terme, on veut permettre aux entreprises de notre territoire d’avoir accès à un bassin de main-d’œuvre. » Le tout nouveau site web d’Espace Campus rassemble toutes les informations dont pourrait avoir besoin un étudiant qui veut aller vivre au Témiscouata, avec une mise en page qui facilite la navigation. On y retrouve notamment la description des programmes d’études, mais aussi toutes les activités sportives et culturelles qu’on peut faire dans la région en dehors de l’école. Un accompagnement de A à Z On explique aussi sur le site web toutes les étapes qu’un étudiant étranger doit suivre pour mener à bien son inscription, et comment obtenir des bourses ou aides financières. On y détaille même les ressources d’aide du Témiscouata et les emplois que l’on peut occuper pendant ses études ou à la suite de celles-ci. Une employée, Roxanne Morin, aura pour tâche de répondre aux questions des intéressés et de les aider dans leur cheminement. Par la suite, la campagne va se poursuivre sur les réseaux sociaux et par le biais de vidéos. Les commerçants témiscouatains vont également participer à l’attraction des étudiants : plusieurs offrent d’ores et déjà des rabais pour cette clientèle, et un autocollant dans leur vitrine permet de les identifier. Le directeur adjoint du CFP, Luc Soucy, entend « créer un sentiment d’appartenance » chez les nouveaux venus en organisant régulièrement des rassemblements lorsque ce sera à nouveau possible. En effet, la manière dont le CFP est organisé, avec des antennes à Dégelis, Cabano, Pohénégamook et même dans la MRC voisine des Basques, complique la tâche quand vient le temps de mettre en place une vie étudiante dynamique. Mais le Témiscouata a bien d’autres atouts : la proximité du personnel enseignant, un coût de la vie moins élevé qu’en ville, et une superbe nature. Du côté du Centre d’études collégiales, on se fixe un objectif modeste pour la première année d’Espace Campus : la directrice Édith St-Amand vise l’arrivée de quatre nouveaux étudiants attirés par ce biais. Parallèlement, les établissements d’enseignement vont poursuivre leurs missions à l’international (notamment en France) pour recruter des étudiants.Rémy Bourdillon, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Mouton Noir
As COVID-19 progresses into the holiday season, there is an overwhelming urgency to support individuals, families and children throughout the community. The Salvation Army has served Trenton and surrounding areas for over 100 years, but this year due to circumstances beyond their control, the Salvation Army is unable to operate their annual Christmas Food Hampers program. Owner of Smylie’s Independent in Trenton John Smylie explained that the Christmas Food Hampers program is a great annual initiative that typically supports from 380-450 families in the community. This has posed a challenge for families seeking support during the holiday season in the Trenton community and surrounding areas. Thankfully, At the Crossroads Church didn’t skip a beat in finding a solution. At the Crossroads Church in downtown Trenton has stepped up this year and filled the gap in the community, undertaking the local Christmas Food Hampers operation. “Normally, the Salvation Army would have their kettles,” explained At the Crossroads Chruch program coordinator Allen Robinson. “So, this is part of our fundraising to support the Christmas Food Hampers. All the money stays local and goes towards supporting families in the community during Christmas time.” On Thursday, November 26th at Smylie’s Independent, At the Crossroads Church launched their fundraising operations and is inviting residents to support the Christmas Food Hampers campaign. “COVID-19 makes what we’re doing much more difficult, from our perspective, in order to keep everybody safe,” explained Smylie. “The Trenton Salvation Army left a gap in the community this year, and the At the Crossroads Church has stepped forward to provide this great program for our community.” John Smylie and Mayor Jim Harrison made the first official donations at Smylie’s Independent, and afterwards At the Crossroads Church then stopped by The Treasure Chest, a local consignment and thrift store in support of the Trenton Christan School Society, to collect a generous donation of $2575.11 for the Christmas Food Hampers. Christmas Food Hampers provide families in need with the requirements to make a Christmas dinner for four and are distributed on the Sunday before Christmas. At the Crossroads Church is encouraging residents to consider donating one of the donation boxes located at Smylie’s Independent and Metro in Trenton. Donation boxes will also be onsite at Freshco in Trenton all day on December 11th and 12th. Residents looking for more information on how to participate can visit atthecrossroads.ca/ministries/christmas-hampers or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Virginia Clinton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Intelligencer
The Pentagon's acting defence secretary has made a rare visit to Somalia, a conflict-plagued nation in the Horn of Africa where American forces have been assisting in the fight against al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabab.In a brief statement, the Pentagon said Christopher Miller, who was installed as acting defence secretary Nov. 9 when President Donald Trump fired Mark Esper, met Friday with U.S. troops in Mogadishu, the capital, to express appreciation for their work and to reiterate the U.S. commitment to combating extremist groups.Just hours after Miller's visit, the Somali government announced that a suicide bombing in Mogadishu killed at least seven people, and the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility.Trump is expected to order a withdrawal of most or all of the 700 U.S. troops based in Somalia before he leaves office Jan. 20.Miller has been in the Middle East and parts of north Africa this week on his first international trip as acting defence secretary. Miller, who previously headed the National Counterterrorism Center, has not been nominated by Trump for Senate confirmation as Pentagon chief.Associated Press, The Associated Press
Public Health reported 12 new cases of COVID-19 in the province on Friday.Of those, seven are in the Saint John region (Zone 2), three are in the Moncton region (Zone 1), and two are in the Fredericton region, which rolled back to the orange phase of recovery on Thursday. The new cases are:Moncton region: * two people 50 to 59; and * one individual 60 to 69.Saint John region: * three people 20 to 29; and * four people 30 to 39.These people are self-isolating and their cases are under investigation.Fredericton region: * Two people 60 to 69.These people are also self-isolating, and their cases are travel-related."There should be no non-essential travel in and out of, or between orange zones," said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. "Get tested even if you have mild symptoms."The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 477 and 356 have recovered. There have been seven deaths, and the number of active cases is 114, with one person in hospital. As of today, 121,542 tests have been conducted, including 1,297 since this time yesterday.Shannex reports 5 new cases in Saint JohnShannex is reporting five new cases at its Parkland complex in Saint John.The new cases include one employee at Tucker Hall nursing home and one employee at the Carleton Hall retirement living building, as well as three additional resident cases at Tucker Hall.That brings the total cases to nine: two positive employee cases and six positive resident cases at Tucker Hall, and one positive employee at Carleton Hall.In a message posted on its website, Shannex said retesting of all employees and residents of Carleton Hall and Tucker Hall took place on Friday, and results were expected within 24 hours."Anyone with a positive test result will be notified immediately and it will be our priority to communicate with all individuals about their test results as soon as they are available," Shannex said.Fredericton region could have a yellow Christmas, Russell saysIf people living in the Fredericton zone adhere to rules set out by Public Health, the region might be able to return to the yellow phase by Christmas.Public Health has sent the Fredericton region, also known as Zone 3, back to the orange phase because of high numbers of social interactions and settings, multiple settings for exposure to the disease, including schools, pubs, gyms, health facilities and sports clubs, and "significant" population interaction between the Fredericton region and the two other regions already in the orange phase. The Moncton and Saint John regions were moved back to orange earlier this month. In the orange, the allowable size of bubbles has been reduced to single households.Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, said she's cautiously optimistic that residents will be able to gather by Christmas."It really depends on how quickly we can mobilize the public," she said.The orange phase will help slow the spread of COVID-19, by changing the interaction between residents. Russell said at least 377 people are self-isolating in the Fredericton region and at least 1,700 people are self-isolating across New Brunswick."It's a fluid situation and the holiday season is coming up," she said.Russell said Public Health is also taking steps to speed up wait times for COVID-19 tests. The aim is to have appointments scheduled within a couple of days and results back within 72 hours of having a test done.The province failed to meet that target this week in the Fredericton and Saint John regions, but Russell said improvements have been made. People who fall into a priority group aren't facing the same long waits.Residents encouraged to shop local this holiday seasonIf local businesses are going to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, more residents need to purchase goods from local stores, the CEO of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce says. Krista Ross is encouraging people in Fredericton to support local businesses this holiday season, particularly retail stores, restaurants and local hotels."If we want to have these businesses in our community in the future, we need to support them now," Ross said during an interview with Information Morning Fredericton."This is the time when they need us."Typically, local businesses will see a bump in business this time of year, as residents gear up for the holiday season.But now that Fredericton region has returned to the orange phase, Ross is afraid that won't happen. "It's up to us as a community to make a concerted effort and intentional community intention to support those small businesses."Residents can do this by dining as a single family household, ordering products online or purchasing gift certificates. They can also share a business's social media post or give a good review online."Whatever it takes, they're looking to serve their clients in any way possible," Ross said.Members of the Fredericton business community have expressed concern and anxiety, and Ross said she doesn't know how many businesses will close because of COVID-19."We really don't know what's going to happen," she said.MLA says guidelines still unclear for those working outside N.B.Green Party MLA Megan Mitton says she's concerned the loss of the Atlantic bubble will cause problems for residents who travel outside the province for work every day."This is something that I think a lot of people in my riding, including myself, have been dreading the possibility of," Mitton told Information Morning Moncton the day after New Brunswick tightened its border with Nova Scotia.Mitton said government's decision to not have checkpoints between borders is a positive step, especially in Aulac, near the Nova Scotia border, where residents dealt with hefty traffic lines this spring to cross and get to and from work every day. Travellers are required to register if they want to enter New Brunswick. But Mitton hopes government creates a special registration for frequent travellers so they don't have to fill out a form everyday."Ideally, people in this area would just be given a pass … to be able to travel," she said.Mitton said some of the border restrictions aren't clear enough, which is a problem for some Sackville and Amherst residents who need to travel through the border for work daily. "That's one of the challenges that we've seen throughout this pandemic," said Mitton."When it comes to the borders, people want clear rules because they want to be able to follow them and there needs to be consistent enforcement."She's also worried the new restrictions will reduce overall traffic flowing to local businesses and will hurt the local economy in turn.'Potential public exposure warnings for Fredericton, Saint John, MonctonNew Brunswick Public Health has warned of the following possible exposures to COVID-19 in Moncton and Saint John, including gyms, stores, bars, restaurants and on flights.Anyone who visited these places during the identified times should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days.Anyone who develops any COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and take the self-assessment online to schedule a test.Fredericton area * The Snooty Fox on Nov. 18 and 19, 66 Regent St., between 8:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. * GoodLife Fitness Fredericton on Nov. 18 at 1174 Prospect St. between 10:20 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. Nov. 19 between 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. * The YMCA of Fredericton on Nov. 17 at 570 York St. throughout the evening. Saint John area * Vito's Restaurant on Nov. 16, 111 Hampton Rd., Rothesay, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. * Rothesay Route 1 Big Stop Restaurant on Nov. 14 between 12:45 p.m. and 2 p.m. (2870 Route 1, Rothesay). * Pub Down Under on Nov. 14, between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (400 Main St., Saint John) * Fish & Brew on Nov. 14 between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (800 Fairville Blvd., Saint John) * Cora Breakfast and Lunch on Nov. 16 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (39 King St., Saint John). * Goodlife Fitness McAllister Place on Nov. 16 between noon and 1 p.m. and on Nov. 18 between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (519 Westmorland Rd., Saint John). * NBCC Grandview campus on Nov. 16, 17, and 18 between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (950 Grandview Ave., Saint John). * Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio on Nov. 19 between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. (47 Clark Rd., Rothesay) * Let's Hummus at 44 Water St. between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. * Eighty-Three Bar Arcade at 43 Princess St. on Nov. 14 between midnight and 2 a.m. * Callie's Pub at 2 Princess St. on Nov. 14 between midnight and 2 a.m. * O'Leary's Pub at 46 Princess St. on Nov. 14 between midnight and 2 a.m. * Five and Dime Bar at 34 Grannan St. on Nov. 14, between 12:30 to 2:30 a.m * Freddie's Pizza at 27 Charlotte St. on Nov. 14, between 2:30 to 3 a.m. * Big Tide Brewing Company at 47 Princess St. on Nov. 16, between 12:30 to 2 p.m. * Java Moose at 84 Prince William St. Nov. 16, between 2 to 2:30 p.m. * Rocky's Sports Bar at 7 Market Square on Nov. 13, between 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Potential public exposure was also reported on Nov. 14 between 10:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m.Flights into Saint John:Public Health identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18 while on the following flights: * Air Canada Flight 8421 on Nov. 17 and 18 from Kelowna to Vancouver, arrived at 8 p.m. * Air Canada Flight 314 on Nov. 17 and 18 from Vancouver to Montreal, arrived at 07:11 a.m. * Air Canada Flight 8792 on Nov. 17 and 18, from Montreal to Saint John arrived at 9:22 p.m.Moncton * RD Maclean Co. Ltd. on Nov. 16, 17 and 18 at 200 St. George St., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. * GoodLife Fitness on Nov. 21 at 555 Dieppe Blvd, Dieppe, between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. * Fit 4 Less at 165 Main St. on Nov. 6-12, at various times between 5 p.m. and midnight. Full list on Public Health website. * GoodLife Fitness at Moncton Junction Village Gym on Nov. 6, between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Potential public exposure was also reported on Nov. 9, between 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. * Aldo Shoes at Moncton Champlain Mall on Nov. 6-10 at various times between 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. * CEPS Louis-J. Robichaud fitness room at 40 Antonine-Maillet Ave. on Nov. 6, 9, 10 and 12 at various times in the evening from 5:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. * Tandoori Zaika Cuisine and Bar at 196 Robinson St. on Nov. 8, between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. * Keg Steakhouse and Bar at 576 Main St. on Nov. 17, between 7:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.Flights into Moncton: * Air Canada Flight 170 on Nov. 14 from Edmonton to Toronto, arrived at 6:55 p.m. * Air Canada Flight 8918 on Nov. 14 from Toronto to Moncton, arrived at 11:43 p.m. * Air Canada Flight 8954 on Nov. 15 from Winnipeg to Toronto, arrived at 8:16 p.m. * Air Canada Flight 8918 on Nov. 15 from Toronto to Moncton, arrived at 11:43 p.m. * Air Canada Flight 0992 on Nov. 7 from Mexico City to Toronto, arrived at 7:20 p.m. * Air Canada Flight 8918 on Nov. 7 from Toronto to Moncton, arrived at 11:43 p.m. * Air Canada Flight 178 on Nov. 19 from Edmonton to Toronto, arrived at 5:58 a.m. * Air Canada Flight 404 on Nov. 19 from Toronto to Montreal, arrived at 10:16 a.m. * Air Canada Flight 8902 on Nov. 19 from Montreal to Moncton, arrived at 4:17 p.m.What to do if you have a symptomPeople concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: * A fever above 38 C. * A new cough or worsening chronic cough. * Sore throat. * Runny nose. * Headache. * New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. * Difficulty breathing.In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.People with one of those symptoms should: * Stay at home. * Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. * Describe symptoms and travel history. * Follow instructions.