PHILADELPHIA — President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the campaign's latest effort to challenge the state’s election results.Trump’s lawyers vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court despite the judges' assessment that the “campaign’s claims have no merit.”“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” 3rd Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, wrote for the three-judge panel, all appointed by Republican presidents.The case had been argued last week in a lower court by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who insisted during five hours of oral arguments that the 2020 presidential election had been marred by widespread fraud in Pennsylvania. However, Giuliani failed to offer any tangible proof of that in court.U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, another Republican, had said the campaign's error-filled complaint, “like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together” and denied Giuliani the right to amend it for a second time.The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called any revisions “futile.” Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith and Judge Michael Chagares were on the panel with Bibas, a former University of Pennsylvania law professor. Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, sat on the court for 20 years, retiring in 2019.“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” Bibas said in the opinion, which also denied the campaign's request to stop the state from certifying its results, a demand he called “breathtaking.”In fact, Pennsylvania officials had announced Tuesday that they had certified their vote count for President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump by more than 80,000 votes in the state. Nationally, Biden and running mate Kamala Harris garnered nearly 80 million votes, a record in U.S. presidential elections.Trump has said he hopes the Supreme Court will intervene in the race as it did in 2000, when its decision to stop the recount in Florida gave the election to Republican George W. Bush. On Nov. 5, as the vote count continued, Trump posted a tweet saying the “U.S. Supreme Court should decide!”Ever since, Trump and his surrogates have attacked the election as flawed and filed a flurry of lawsuits to try to block the results in six battleground states. But they’ve found little sympathy from judges, nearly all of whom dismissed their complaints about the security of mail-in ballots, which millions of people used to vote from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.Trump perhaps hopes a Supreme Court he helped steer toward a conservative 6-3 majority would be more open to his pleas, especially since the high court upheld Pennsylvania’s decision to accept mail-in ballots through Nov. 6 by only a 4-4 vote last month. Since then, Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett has joined the court.“The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud,” Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tweeted after Friday's ruling. “On to SCOTUS!”In the case at hand, the Trump campaign asked to disenfranchise the state’s 6.8 million voters or at least “cherry-pick” the 1.5 million who voted by mail in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other Democratic-leaning areas, the appeals court said.“One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption,” Brann, a member of the conservative Federalist Society, wrote in his scathing ruling on Nov. 21. “That has not happened.”A separate Republican challenge that reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week seeks to stop the state from further certifying any races on the ballot. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is fighting that effort, saying it would prevent the state’s legislature and congressional delegation from being seated in the coming weeks.On Thursday, Trump said the Nov. 3 election was still far from over. Yet he said for the first time he would leave the White House on Jan. 20 if the Electoral College formalizes Biden’s win.“Certainly I will. But you know that,” Trump said at the White House, taking questions from reporters for the first time since Election Day.On Twitter Friday, however, he continued to baselessly attack Detroit, Atlanta and other Democratic cities with large Black populations as the source of “massive voter fraud.” And he claimed, without evidence, that a Pennsylvania poll watcher had uncovered computer memory drives that “gave Biden 50,000 votes” apiece.All 50 states must certify their results before the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14, and any challenge to the results must be resolved by Dec. 8. Biden won both the Electoral College and popular vote by wide margins.___Follow Maryclaire Dale on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MaryclairedaleMaryclaire Dale, The Associated Press
Some online requests for COVID-19 tests got lost in the "technical glitch" involving fax machines that contributed to a backlog of requests, CBC News has learned."We are investigating and do no believe this is widespread," Public Health spokesperson Bruce Macfarlane said in an emailed statement late Friday.It's unclear whether those affected will now drop to the bottom of the wait list.As of Friday at 4:30 p.m., the backlog stood at 690 people — 350 in the Saint John health region (Zone 2) and 340 in the Fredericton region, said Macfarlane.He did not say what the backlog was at its peak.The number of people self-isolating has reached 1,760 — 1,000 in the Saint John region, 386 in the Moncton region (Zone 1) and 377 in the Fredericton region. All three regions are in the orange phase of COVID-19 recovery.Contact tracing has established links between at least two of the regions, Macfarlane confirmed, without elaborating.He did not say how many of those in isolation are health-care workers, but there was "upwards of about 74" in the Saint John area alone on Thursday, Russell had said."Some" of the people isolating "may be waiting on their Day 10 test if they got caught in the fax backlog," said Macfarlane.New goal to clear backlogDr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, had hoped to have the backlog rectified by Friday, at the latest.Public Health now anticipates clearing the backlog by the end of the weekend, said Macfarlane.Processing capacity continues to be expanded, he said.Another testing queue has been established at the Capital Exhibit Centre in Fredericton, and another assessment site will be operating within the city limits "very shortly."In Saint John, an additional assessment site is now operating at St. James the Less Church, 1750 Rothesay Rd., and additional queues have been set up at the Ropewalk Road location.Why faxes are usedDuring Wednesday's COVID-19 news conference, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard told reporters that a "technical glitch" earlier this week had delayed online test requests getting through to schedulers.On Thursday, Russell revealed that it "had to do with fax machines" in the Fredericton health region, Zone 3."My understanding is that's been resolved," she added.Asked for more information about the glitch, Macfarlane said only: "There was some backlog created by fax machine but largely was the result of an increase in demand for COVID-19 testing."The online registration forms for COVID-19 tests are received by the designated testing centres by fax, said Macfarlane.Asked why faxes are used, he replied: "With assessment centres being set up and taken down throughout the province on a as needed bases, fax machines have been used in this infrastructure due to their ease of mobility and for confidentiality."He did not elaborate. The Department of Health has electronic medical records. The transition program to an e-health system was implemented in 2012.Positivity rateNew Brunswick's COVID-19 positivity rate between Nov. 11 and Nov. 25 was 0.9 per cent, said Macfarlane.That means of the 690 backlogged, waiting to be tested, about six will likely test positive.By comparison, the national positivity rate is 3.1 per cent. Across Canada, 5,967 cases were reported Friday.
REGINA — Health experts have warned doctors in Saskatchewan that COVID-19 cases could climb to more than 10,000 by early next month.The Ministry of Health on Friday released a presentation delivered to physicians at a town-hall meeting the night before about the virus's current spread and possible trajectory.Information updated to Nov. 20 indicates that, based on the recent average rise in positive tests, the caseload could hit 10,000 in the first week of December if there is no further intervention.The province on Friday reported 329 new cases for a total of more than 7,600 infections since the pandemic arrived in March. There were more than 3,200 active cases — more than 1,000 of them in and around Saskatoon.There were four new deaths of individuals 70 or older, bringing the province's death toll from the pandemic to 44. Officials said 111 people were in hospital, with 16 of them receiving intensive care.The data shown to doctors states that as of Monday the number of active cases and hospitalizations had gone up 400 per cent in the last 30 days. It forecasts that in four to six months, acute care demand for COVID-19 patients could account for half of all available beds and the need for intensive care could be five times total capacity. "These results should be interpreted with extreme caution and may point to the need to go further with public health restrictions," Dr. Jenny Basran, senior medical information officer for the Saskatchewan Health Authority, said in a statement. "The SHA is currently working on updates to further validate this data and incorporate the projected impact of the latest public health measures put in place this week. We expect to be able to share more information by the end of next week."The health authority said modelling for the pandemic changes daily, and some of the latest shows "early positive signs" about the impact of a provincewide mask mandate and five-person limit on household gatherings. Team sports are now banned in the province and capacity limits at public venues such as bingo halls, churches, and wedding and funeral receptions are capped at 30.Only four people can sit together at a restaurant or bar and large retail stores have had to cut their capacity by half.The measures are part of the Saskatchewan Party government's latest effort to reverse the pandemic's spread without ordering non-essential businesses closed.Premier Scott Moe's office also announced Friday that he had tested negative for COVID-19 after eating at a restaurant where he may have been exposed to the virus."The premier is fully satisfied with receiving his test result in four days. He feels that a four-day turnaround is very reasonable given that test results are prioritized for symptomatic individuals," said spokesman Jim Billington, who added that Moe was asymptomatic.Moe planned to stay isolated at his home in Shellbrook, Sask., until Sunday as per public health advice before returning to Regina for the reopening of the Saskatchewan legislature on Monday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) released a ruling on Nov. 25, which impacts how First Nations children can access funding for services. The ruling says that First Nations children who live on or off-reserve, who do not have Indian Act Status, but who are recognized by their respective Nations for the purpose of applying for funding through Jordan’s Principle, can now apply for support. The ruling also opens up funding for children living on or off reserve who “are not eligible for, Indian Act status, but who have a parent or guardian with, or eligible for, Indian Act status.” The ruling comes after years of pressure from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (the Caring Society) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) to address health service inequities, including delays or denial of services, that First Nations children experience. In memory of the late Jordan River Anderson, of Norway House Cree Nation, Jordan’s Principle is a principle that ensures “First Nations children get the services they need when they need them,” according to the Caring Society. Anderson, who was born with complex medical needs, spent more than two years in hospital while both the federal and provincial governments argued over who should finance his home care. Jordan died at the age of five, never having spent a day at home with his family. Jordan’s Principle calls on the government to pay for a child’s services and seek reimbursement later, so the child does not get caught in the middle of a similar dispute. Beginning in 2007, the Caring Society and the AFN filed an official complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) saying Canada was “racially discriminating against First Nations children.” According to a timeline by the Caring Society, the Tribunal case found that the inequitable funding for First Nations child welfare was insufficient and ‘amounts to discrimination.’ In 2016, the Tribunal found that the Government of Canada was “racially discriminating against 165,00 First Nations children and their families,” and that Canada was “failing to implement the full scope of Jordan’s Principle.” In this recent ruling, the Tribunal emphasized its “commitment to respecting First Nations self government,” saying that recognition of the right to self-determination is consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.Anna McKenzie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
Port Hardy has its first publicly confirmed case of COVID-19. Lawrence O’Connor shared in a Facebook post that he tested positive for the disease while in quarantine after a trip to the U.S. “There’s nothing pleasant about this painful illness; I feel like I’ve been eaten by wolves, and s**t off a cliff,” he wrote. The good news, if there is any, is that O’Connor has self-isolated since arriving at the Vancouver Airport Nov. 16, so there’s been no one for the B.C. Health Authority to do contact tracing with. “I was lucky enough that I didn’t stumble around in public, not knowing I was carrying it,” he told the Gazette over the phone. O’Connor travelled to Las Vegas to participate in a charity stock car race for Amnesty International. Planning ahead for the required 14-day traveller quarantine, he’d enlisted friends to drop off food and supplies at his door. After a few days of hanging around the house, he started to feel body aches. By Saturday (Nov. 21) it was full on sickness. He contacted B.C. Health and scheduled a drive-through COVID-19 test for Sunday. We’ll call within 48 hours if it’s positive, they told him. Two days passed. I’m in the clear, he thought until at hour 48-and-a-half, he got the call. O’Connor is determined to keep the virus contained to himself, and plans to stay home even though his quarantine is technically over this weekend. “Hopefully this particular strain will die inside of me. That’s the only way this thing will be defeated, is contact tracing and isolation.” He was surprised to learn from the B.C. Health officer who called with the positive test news that for someone at his level of viral load, he’s only contagious for two days before and 10 days after symptoms start to show. B.C. Health confirmed that this is generally the case, but recommendations are adjusted on a case-by-case basis. O’Connor sat beside one person on the plane from Las Vegas to Vancouver, but felt he had to insist that the CDC take his flight and seat numbers. They said they’d post it on their website, but he didn’t get the impression they were going to contact other passengers. B.C. Health does not have purview over flight contact tracing, but confirmed that 48-hours before symptom onset is the standard for regular contact tracing. As for the stock car race, it wasn’t his best, but he’s glad that the event raised a lot of money for Amnesty International. Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgZoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
Andrea Bolitho discusses this week's arts and entertainment news.View on euronews
ATLANTA — A panel of U.S. advisers will meet Tuesday to vote on how scarce, initial supplies of a COVID-19 vaccine will be given out once one has been approved.Experts have proposed giving the vaccine to health workers first. High priority also may be given to workers in essential industries, people with certain medical conditions and people age 65 and older.Tuesday's meeting is for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The panel of experts recommends who to vaccinate and when -- advice that the government almost always follows. The agenda for next week's emergency meeting was posted Friday.Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have asked the Food and Drug Administration to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Moderna Inc. is expected to also seek emergency use of its vaccine soon.FDA's scientific advisers are holding a public meeting Dec. 10 to review Pfizer's request, and send a recommendation to the FDA.Manufacturers already have begun stockpiling coronavirus vaccine doses in anticipation of eventual approval, but the first shots will be in short supply and rationed.The Associated Press
The New Brunswick Legislature could be holding virtual sittings within the next two weeks.MLAs from four parties sitting on the legislative administration committee agreed Friday to get equipment and technology installed quickly so the assembly can resume its business.It adjourned on Tuesday because almost half of the MLAs are from the two zones that were under COVID-19 orange phase restrictions at the time. The province is discouraging travel into and out of those zones.Since then, a third zone, which includes the legislature itself, has been put into the orange phase.MLAs from the Green Party complained Tuesday that there was still no set-up for virtual sittings eight months after COVID-19 first appeared in New Brunswick.Liberal Leader Roger Melanson said in a statement that a service provider will start installing the system on Monday."The legislature must keep on working through COVID-19 outbreaks and beyond," he said. "This system will allow us to do just that."The new hybrid system could be up and running in time for committee hearings on legislation scheduled for next week.MLAs are scheduled to return for full sittings Dec. 8. Speaker Bill Oliver said he hopes the system will be ready for then, though that date could be pushed back if necessary.
Peterborough County politicians are shocked by the tragic death of a one-year-old baby boy who was fatally shot on Thursday after being abducted by his father from a home in Trent Lakes. “There’s now a mother out there without a little boy and I would expect grandparents without a grandson … it’s just a tragic series of events,” said Joe Taylor, former warden of Peterborough County and mayor of Otonabee-South Monaghan Township. The incident began at about 8:48 a.m. Thursday when Peterborough County OPP officers were called to a location northeast of Bobcaygeon in Trent Lakes after a 33-year-old father abducted his son in what police called a domestic dispute involving a firearm. The baby was found dead of a gunshot wound in his father’s pickup truck after it collided with an OPP cruiser on Pigeon Lake Road, east of Lindsay, which was followed by altercation in which three officers shot at the man. Emily Poulin, executive director at Victim Services of Peterborough Northumberland (VSPN), said since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a huge increase in the need to help high-risk victims of domestic violence. While there are many tools the agency offers, as well as several service providers that do work in tandem to try and support these high-risk individuals in both Peterborough city and county, Poulin said there also needs to be prevention of domestic violence. “With COVID, we’re seeing a lot of differences in the way people are arrested and released, because they don’t want to overcrowd the jails, but when you’re talking high-risk offenders, more has to be done on that end,” she said. “It can’t all be on the victim to try and stay safe. There should be more measures put in place to try and keep offenders from doing this in the first place.” Lisa Clarke, executive director at the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre, said in just six months of the pandemic, their crisis services at the centre have doubled those of the MeToo movement in 2017 and 2018. “There are alarming rates of sexual and gender-based and internet-partner violence happening in this community, and the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre encourages all families and friends to check in and support and listen without judgment, to those who may be experiencing family violence in the home,” she said. There are many barriers for people living in rural areas to seek services, Clarke said. “Everybody knows everybody and so it can feel like reaching out means that family and friends will know what’s happening in the home. Our services are confidential and can be anonymous. We recognize that those are the types of services needed for people in rural areas to reach out and we have many survivors each year reaching out from more rural areas of our region,” she said. What happened is incomprehensible, Poulin said. “I mean it’s an absolute tragedy what happened and my heart goes out to the family and friends,” she said. The loss of a life, but particularly the loss of a young life, is heartbreaking, said Andy Mitchell, deputy warden of Peterborough County. “It’s a really, really tragic event and my heart is heavy and sorrowful for all of the folks that are being impacted by this,” he said. Trent Lakes Mayor Janet Clarkson said the outcome of Thursday’s incident is extremely unfortunate. “It’s hard to say when it all comes out, just exactly what happened,” she said. Taylor said he believes the community is going to do what they can to support the family in this time of need. “There’s no point in trying to understand it, or rationalize it, or explain it, or make any sense out of it,” he said. “It’s just really, really sad.” The Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre’s 24/7 crisis phone line is 1-866-298-7778. Their new 24/7 crisis text line is 705-710-5234. VSPN’s toll-free number is 1-888-822-7729 and its website is at victimservicespn.ca/. Marissa Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: email@example.comMarissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
The latest updates from Ontario and around Canada as officials try to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Alberta Justice Minister and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu has temporarily authorized 700 provincial peace officers to enforce new COVID-19 restrictions. These officers will be able to give tickets and fines to anyone caught breaking those restrictions, which were announced earlier this week. Depending on the severity of the violation, fines for breaking health restrictions could range from a $1,000 ticketed offence to a $100,000 fine through the court system. When asked how officers would handle people intentionally ingoring the new rules out of protest, Madu said there would be no exceptions. “We are now faced with a very serious situation that requires that we hold people not compliant with these measures accountable,” he said. “You are going to see a heightened level of enforcement in those cases where there are individuals blatantly non-compliant with health measures.” At the press briefing, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said many new health restrictions announced earlier this week are now in effect. She urged Albertans to be patient with each other as citizens and businesses familiarize themselves with the rules. “If a line is a bit longer than usual or an employee asks you to follow a new policy that is in place, please do not take your frustrations out on these workers,” she said. “These new restrictions and measures create extra work and pressures for staff, owners and operators.” Father Mercredi Catholic High School has been placed on the provincial COVID-19 watch list after five positive cases have been reported in relation to the school. Schools are put on the provincial watch list after five or more cases have been acquired or transmitted in the school. After being added to the list, additional health measures may be put into place within a school to control the spread. The province then works with Alberta Health Services (AHS), the school and the school board to monitor cases. Currently, 89 Alberta schools are on the watch list. firstname.lastname@example.org Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today
Par ailleurs, 22% des adultes québécois qui ne possèdent pas déjà un des appareils intelligents évalués dans l'enquête ont l'intention de s'en procurer, ce qui représente une augmentation de 7 points de pourcentage par rapport à 2019. Malgré tout, plusieurs freins persistent, comme c'était le cas en 2019. Le principal frein à l'acquisition d'appareils intelligents pour le foyer demeure la perception d'un manque d'utilité ou de pertinence (62 %). Par ailleurs, plus du tiers des non-détenteurs d'appareils intelligents interrogés affirment qu'ils repoussent l'achat de ce type de produits parce qu'ils ne croient pas qu'ils les utiliseraient assez souvent (39 %). Parmi les deux freins à l'achat ayant la plus forte augmentation depuis 2019, nous retrouvons le prix (37 %) avec une augmentation de 11 points de pourcentage de même que la confidentialité et la sécurité des données (36 %) avec une hausse de 7 points de pourcentage. À propos de l'Académie de la transformation numérique (ATN) L'Université Laval, en partenariat avec le gouvernement du Québec, a créé l'Académie de la transformation numérique (ATN) pour répondre aux besoins des entreprises, des organismes publics, des ministères et des municipalités en matière de transformation numérique. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
The federal government is laying plans for the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, inking contracts with seven potential manufacturers and saying six million doses could arrive in the country in the first quarter of 2021. The most recent development from Ottawa came Friday when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tapped former NATO commander Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin to lead the national distribution effort. But various provinces have started spelling out their plans as well. Here's a look at what they've said so far: —Nova ScotiaThe province's chief medical officer of health says he will release a detailed plan for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine once Ottawa shares more information. Dr. Robert Strang said Friday there is no certainty yet about the availability of a vaccine, but expressed hopes an initial supply will trickle into Nova Scotia early in the new year.Strang said a detailed provincial plan, to be released once the federal government has shared more specifics on its end, will include tight control of the supply and clear rules dictating who can be first in line for immunization. He said he's waiting for more federal guidance on issues ranging from priority groups to transportation and storage logistics. —QuebecThe province will be ready to start rolling out its vaccine plan as of Jan. 1, say senior politicians. Premier Francois Legault said Thursday that public health officials have already settled on the list of priority vaccine recipients, but did not release details. Legault said the province is also working to put the necessary infrastructure in place to support a vaccine rollout. That includes obtaining fridges capable of maintaining the extremely low temperatures needed by one of the most promising potential vaccine options, currently in development through pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.Quebec has also tasked assistant deputy health minister Jerome Gagnon, and former provincial public health director Dr. Richard Masse to oversee the province's vaccination effort. —OntarioPremier Doug Ford is among those leaders calling on Ottawa to provide more clarity as officials scramble to develop a provincewide vaccination strategy.Early speculation on the number of doses the province could receive was put to rest earlier this week when federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said such details were still in the works. But Ford has forged ahead, naming former chief of national defence Gen. Rick Hillier to oversee the province's vaccine rollout. Hillier said on Friday he hopes to have a plan developed by year's end, while Ford urged Ottawa to provide detailed information on potential vaccine delivery. "We need a clear line of sight into the timelines of the shipments," Ford said.—AlbertaThe province's top medical official has said she expects to receive 680,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine early in the new year, a figure not yet confirmed by the federal government. Dr. Deena Hinshaw has also said a number of hurdles and unknowns remain as the province works to devise its vaccination scheme. "These (vaccine) numbers, of course, depend on many factors,'' Hinshaw said on Nov. 18. "They depend on the final pieces of the trials that are underway going well. They depend on ensuring that the safety and the effectiveness of the early vaccines can be assured. All of those checks and balances must be cleared."On Friday, Hinshaw said the province is working with Ottawa to get vaccine, but it is "a bit of a moving target" on when vaccines might be available."But our goal is that whenever vaccine is available, we will be ready to start immunizing individuals on that highest priority list."—British ColumbiaProvincial health officials announced on Wednesday that a vaccine strategy for the province is already in the works. Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province's top doctor, said Dr. Ross Brown of Vancouver Coastal Health will join the group working to organize the logistics around the distribution of vaccines.Henry said front-line workers as well as those in long-term care homes will likely have priority for vaccinations.She cautioned that while the province has contracts with vaccine makers, there can be challenges with offshore manufacturing."It's very much focused on who is most at risk and how do we protect them best," Henry said. "There's a lot of discussion that needs to happen."Henry said the province hopes to have vaccines in hand by January.—YukonPremier Sandy Silver told the legislature on Wednesday that the territory has been in discussions with various levels of government on a vaccine rollout plan. He said the goal will be to provide vaccines to elderly people and health-care providers.Silver said rural and remote communities should also get priority status in northern regions, a fact he said he's emphasized with federal authorities. The premier said he has joined the other provincial and territorial leaders in pushing for a national strategy to distribute the vaccine. “How confusing would it be for 13 different strategies right across the nation?” he said. Silver said the Pfizer vaccine could cause logistical problems for remote communities because of its cold-storage requirements, but those issues may not apply to other vaccines under development. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
The grey clouds above Vancouver sent down the cold heavy rain of November Monday morning. In an industrial corner of the Downtown Eastside, Bill S. had left the tent he’d pitched against the side of a building to go have breakfast at the city’s Evelyne Saller Centre, which serves low-cost meals. When he returned, his tent and all his belongings were gone — taken, he assumed, by city workers, who had told him to pack up at around 8:30 that morning. “Where do they expect us to go?” asked Bill, who requested The Tyee not use his last name because of the stigma of being homeless. “We’re people too.” A health worker who Bill spoke with that day called Sarah Blyth, the founder of the Overdose Prevention Society on East Hastings. People donate sleeping bags and blankets to the society all the time, so Blyth was able to set Bill up with a new sleeping bag and a blanket. But it just kept raining, and the Overdose Prevention Society had no tents to give out that day, so Bill spent Monday night in a makeshift shelter that wasn’t up to the task of keeping the weather out. “Everything in it was in a puddle, including me,” Bill said, calling the experience “the worst alarm clock ever.” Precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 have had a devastating impact on the Downtown Eastside. The number of people living on the street has grown as many housing providers limited or banned visitors to their buildings. Meanwhile, many drop-in spaces are closed or have reduced capacity. There are 379 fewer shelter spots open this winter in Vancouver than in 2019, because shelters need to limit the number of people allowed inside. Still, every day, city sanitation workers, often accompanied by police officers, spend their days scooping up homeless people’s belongings with pitchforks and dumping them into trucks. Overdose Prevention Society staff give people new sleeping bags and blankets, knowing the replacement items could very well end up in the back of a city sanitation truck the next day. “It’s a terrible cycle and it’s wasteful in a lot of ways,” Blyth said, adding she’d rather see city workers employed trying to help people find housing or make their lives on the street a little more comfortable. “I can’t imagine it’s a very fun job for whoever’s doing it — whether it’s a city worker or the police,” she said. “It can’t be rewarding at the end of the day to go home and say ‘I threw a bunch of homeless people’s stuff out.’” The city says sanitation crews “only clean up what is determined to be garbage,” and work with police to ask people to remove structures that have been put up on city property. Crews ask people who are camping on the sidewalk to “move along” and “will remove structures and material that is clearly garbage but not personal possessions,” the city said in a statement. But both Blyth and Andrew Ledger, the president of the union that represents city sanitation workers, say that’s not what happens. Blyth said she’s watched people cry as the only bedding they have is taken away. “I wouldn’t say we’re forcibly removing things, that’s not the case, but it’s not just unwanted debris that gets removed,” said Ledger, the president of CUPE 1004. “It could be someone’s life in a shopping cart that they’ve left somewhere, and all of a sudden it gets removed — those are the instructions that our members are given.” The Tyee caught up with Bill on East Hastings Street on Tuesday, the day after he’d had all his stuff taken away. Sheltering from the rain under a large black umbrella, Bill said he was planning to sleep outside again that night. Two small bags wedged between a railing and a building wall held all his possessions. Bill has been homeless since August. He can’t stand being in a shelter because of psychological problems that stem from once being in a coma, he said. Staying in a shelter with a lot of other people also brings up the trauma of losing his young son, who was apprehended by the Ministry of Children and Family Development. “I was a single father for nine months, and after I lost my place I lost control of my depression,” he said. “Being indoors made me think of my son too much. I can’t be indoors, I cry the whole night and I can’t deal with it.” Bill tries to find an out-of-the way spot every night, somewhere he won’t be blocking the sidewalk or the entrance of a building. “You don’t want to impede on somebody’s business because if you’re setting up on a sidewalk, what if you impede customers going in and out, so you’re costing them money,” Bill said. “You’re taking food off their kid’s plate.... It’s hard to find a spot that makes you comfortable and you’re not going to make someone and their business feel uncomfortable.” The place he’d found at Railway Street and Jackson Avenue ticked all those boxes. But he won’t go back there now. Bill said he tries to have good relations with the city sanitation workers, but he admits he’s yelled at them in the past when they tried to hurry him along as he tried to pack up. Then he apologized. “I shook his hand man-to-man and said sorry I was just having a bad day,” he said. “So there weren’t any hard feelings.” Ledger said the job city workers do is challenging, and they’re following instructions from the City of Vancouver to enforce existing bylaws. He said the real problem is that senior levels of government have not done enough to house people who are homeless. But Ledger said even before COVID-19 there weren’t enough spaces for people who are homeless to go during the day. For instance, the Drug Users Resource Centre — a low-barrier gathering place — was closed by Vancouver Coastal Health three years ago, Ledger said. “You could access laundry services, you could access food, washrooms and showers — you could just be in a space and not have to be on the streets all day.” Now because of COVID-19 precautions, there are even fewer places for people to go. “There is nowhere for homeless people to be except on the street,” Ledger said. “To continue to enforce a bylaw, when folks don’t have any other option of where they can be, is a questionable piece.” Ledger added that the city is likely trying to find a balance between the needs of people who are homeless with complaints from business owners and residents about street disorder. Earlier this fall, tenants of a rental building on West Hastings complained they couldn’t access their building because people were always in the entrance way. For several months Canada Post stopped delivering to over a dozen Downtown Eastside buildings because of crowding and blocked doorways. Blyth said it’s common to find a lineup of people waiting to get into the overdose prevention site when she opens the doors in the morning. Recently, staff helped a woman who was so cold that she was shivering uncontrollably. “I see people in the morning when I go in to open up, shaking and sleeping in doorways. People in wheelchairs, people with disabilities, people with mental health issues sleeping outside,” Blyth said. “It’s as bad as you can imagine."Jen St. Denis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Tyee
Derek Mueller, a senior researcher at Carleton University, cut his scientific teeth studying mats of microbes on some of Canada's oldest, thickest and most remote sea ice. "They have some very interesting pigments in their cells to fend off harmful UV radiation," Mueller said in an interview. "It's kind of a tricky thing to do, physiologically. You never know. It could very well be that someday we discover something useful out of that life."That's one reason why he, along with colleagues and Inuit groups, are calling for stronger protections for Canada's northernmost waters as the so-called Last Ice Area rapidly lives up to its name. "It's so poorly understood," said Mueller, co-author of an article in the journal Science that urges the federal government to expand and make permanent the conservation of Tuvaijuittuq, 320,000 square kilometres of frozen ocean off the northern coast of Ellesmere Island.Tuvaijuittuq, which means "the place where ice never melts" in Inuktut, has the thickest and oldest ice in the Arctic. Because of how ice moves in ocean currents, Tuvaijuittuq is likely to be the last place it remains. The region is provisionally protected until 2024. But Mueller said the pace of Arctic warming argues for permanent status as a Marine Protected Area connected to Quttinirpaaq National Park on Ellesmere's north coast.Just last July, 40 per cent of the area's Milne Ice Shelf collapsed within two days -- 80 square kilometres of ice that had been stable for millennia now adrift. It happened so quickly an uninhabited research camp was lost."(The area's) under threat and we're hoping for conservation measures to mitigate that," Mueller said.The Qikiqtani Inuit Association is working with the federal and Nunavut governments to determine if Tuvaijuittuuq should be permanently protected and, if so, how. "QIA is leading an Inuit knowledge study which will really try to tackle what is current and historical Inuit use of the area," said Andrew Randall, the association's director of marine and wildlife stewardship. "(We're) looking at cultural sites, some of the impacts associated with climate change."Inuit want to understand what resources might lie in the area, Randall said. They also want to ensure Inuit play a role in managing and studying it, he added. "(Research) doesn't only mean bringing in more western scientists," he said.The Arctic sea ice ecosystem may seem desolate, but it's anything but, said Mueller. The ice supports a whole range of life important to humans and animals a long way away. As the rest of the circumpolar world shifts under climate change, ensuring that a piece of the frozen Arctic remains free of human disturbance is key to understanding both how things used to be and what they are becoming, said Mueller. Just this year, scientists discovered a whole ecosystem of shellfish, anemones, starfish and brittle stars living on shelves in pockets within the ice."What a wonderful surprise!" said Mueller. "We are now just beginning to understand this environment." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2020. Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
Selwyn Township council members unanimously decided they want to create more parking spaces as part of the planned project to reconstruct Water Street in Lakefield. Angela Chittick, the township’s manager of community and corporate services, told councillors Tuesday that they have two options to consider for the street which runs along the Otonabee River. “One is to extend the trail from the dam to the bridge, that would create about 16 parking spaces. The other option would be there would be no bridge extension, and with that you would be creating about 21 parking spaces there,” she said. Some residents that provided feedback were interested in the trail connection, while other individuals, particularly from of the business community, were more concerned about parking spaces, Chittick said. Coun. Gerry Herron said he’s all for having additional parking spaces. “We need as much traffic down in the economic engine of Selwyn as we can get. I’ll give you a quick example; when Sears was in operation in Peterborough, each parking spot was about $200 an hour. So, if we factor that down to these five spots, if we’re gaining say $20 an hour and it’s an eight-hour day, it’s $800 per parking spot put into the local economy there,” he said. “We’ve set out on a mission to support our local businesses and I think we need to continue that trend.” Deputy Mayor Sherry Senis said lack of parking in Lakefield has been a perennial issue, so now that there’s the opportunity to add space, they should jump on it. “The parking spaces on Water are invaluable,” she said. “I also presented the options to the economic development business committee last night and their consensus was more is better. So, they also favour option two.” Adding more parking spaces isn’t leaving out the trail connection, Senis added. “There’s still the connection to the trail at the bridge, and it will still accommodate the concrete pad to do any bike repairs that we had heard about,” she said. Chittick said council’s decision will get incorporated into the final design for Water Street. “Then, moving forward from there, we’ll get the concept tidied up, sent back out to the residents and those that provided feedback on the design concepts, and we would post it online,” she said. “That would allow us to get the final engineered drawings prepared and ready for tendering and the hope would be that we could get this tendered in the new year and bring that price proposal back to council with some funding options as well as some staging options, depending on what the quoted amount is.” Marissa Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: email@example.comMarissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
CALGARY — Alberta is giving 700 more peace officers the power to enforce COVID-19 restrictions as hospitalizations for the virus continue to climb in the province. "We are not asking these officers to stop cold their day-to-day priorities or to harass responsible Albertans going about their everyday lives," Justice Minister Kaycee Madu said Friday, as Alberta reported 1,227 new COVID-19 cases and nine more deaths. Police officers and health inspectors also have the ability to enforce the rules. Federal data shows that as of Friday, Alberta had the highest seven-day infection rate in Canada with 209 cases per 100,000 people. Alberta has 405 COVID-19 patients in hospital, including 86 in intensive care. A week ago, there were 55 patients in intensive care with COVID-19. Postponing surgeries is one of the ways the province is freeing up space to accommodate more people severely ill with the virus. New measures came into effect Friday to help blunt the spike in cases. Private indoor social gatherings are banned, capacity limits have been imposed on stores and students between grades 7 and 12 switch to remote learning on Monday. Fines for breaking the rules range from $1,000 to $100,000 in extreme cases that make it to court. When asked whether there would be crackdowns on anti-mask rallies, Madu said police will make independent decisions. "But as minister of justice, my expectation is that those who are in violation of the measures that we have put in place would have to be held accountable." Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said she is disappointed to hear about Alberta Health Services inspectors being verbally abused. "Nobody deserves that, least of all the people who are working to keep all of us safe," she said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
We may not have Christmas parties or visits to Santa at the mall, but there is still one holiday tradition going strong this year: the Hallmark Christmas movie, and this year's run will feature the first Indigenous woman in the main cast.Five Star Christmas features Barbara Patrick, originally of Burns Lake, B.C., in one of the supporting leads as the member of a family who has to pose as staff at her father-in-law's fledgling bed and breakfast.The character is also a fashion blogger, and though her Indigenous identity never comes up in the script itself, Patrick says she was asked to dress in a way that reflects her heritage as a member of the Stellat'en First Nation.The result is subtle touches, including on screen appearances from Patrick's personal wardrobe, such as beaded mukluks and earrings made in her home community of Burns Lake."It's really cool," she said. "I really think that Indigenous people need to be represented on-screen and allowed to play these characters instead of being depicted in a negative or stereotypical light."The Hallmark Channel has come under fire in past years for a lack of diversity in its annual holiday films, which are big business for the B.C. film industry. But Patrick believes the approach taken by the director at incorporating her identity into the character's look is a sign of change."Hopefully, I will be the first of many Indigenous people to be playing on Hallmark," she said.Big break in 'big city' of Prince GeorgePatrick's journey to the small screen started back in 1998 when as a teenager she was shopping in the "big city" at Pine Centre Mall in Prince George.She was approached by a modelling agent about being in a local runway show and within months she had won a contest in Vancouver and was on a flight to a shoot in Japan."It was a whirlwind," Patrick said. "I hadn't even been into a Starbucks before."After going out for a few roles in commercials, Patrick decided she wanted to transition into acting and eventually made her way back to British Columbia and Vancouver where she now lives.In 2021, she will be seen in Kiri and the Dead Girl directed by Prince George, B.C.'s Grace Dove who starred in The Revenant and Monkey Beach.But for now, Patrick is excited to become part of people's holiday tradition of sitting down and watching an uplifting Christmas tale — so long as she can find a TV."My parents [in Burns Lake] have actually subscribed to the channel to watch me," she said. "I might have to Facetime in with them."Subscribe to Daybreak North on CBC Listen or your favourite podcast app, and connect with CBC Northern British Columbia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 7:04 p.m. Nunavut is reporting four new cases of COVID-19, all in Arviat. The territory says it now has a total of 151 active cases of COVID-19. The Government of Nunavut says it will spend $1 million towards community food programming, including extra funding for communities affected by the pandemic. The government says its message to people is to stay well, stay safe and stay home. 6:49 p.m. Health experts have warned that COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan could climb to more than 10,000 by early next month. The Ministry of Health has released a presentation delivered to physicians at a town-hall meeting last night about the virus's current spread and possible trajectory. Information updated to Nov. 20 indicates that, based on the recent average rise in positive tests, the caseload could hit 10,000 in the first week of December if there is no further intervention. The data also states that as of Monday, the number of active cases and hospitalizations had gone up 400 per cent in the last 30 days. It forecasts that in four to six months, acute care demand for COVID-19 patients could account for half of all available beds and the need for intensive care could be five times total capacity. The Saskatchewan Health Authority says it is working to validate the data and will share more information next week. --- 6:34 p.m. COVID -19 infections keep surging in B.C. with the latest peak at 911 new positive cases. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says there have also been another 11 deaths for a total of 395 deaths since the pandemic started. There have been three more outbreaks in long-term care or assisted-living facilities, bringing to 54 the number of sites that have outbreaks. More than 10,000 people are under active health monitoring, while 21,304 people who were infected are considered recovered. --- 5:30 p.m. The Alberta government is empowering 700 more peace officers to enforce COVID-19 public health orders. Justice Minister Kaycee Madu says fines for breaking the rules can range from $1,000 to $100,000 in extreme cases that end up in court. New rules announced this week include a ban on private social gatherings and capacity limits in stores. Alberta reported 1,227 new infections on Friday and nine more deaths. Chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw says 405 people are in hospital, including 86 in intensive care. She says one way to free up space for the growing number of severely ill COVID-19 patients in hospital is to postpone surgeries. --- 3:52 p.m. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has tested negative for COVID-19. He was tested Monday after eating at a restaurant in Prince Albert where the Saskatchewan Health Authority says someone there was positive with the virus. Moe's office says he will remain in isolation at his home in Shellbrook until Sunday, as per the advice from public health. He will be in Regina Monday for the opening of the legislature and delivery of the throne speech. --- 2:54 p.m. Saskatchewan is reporting four more people have died from COVID-19 and says there are 329 new infections in the province. Health officials say those who died were 70 and older. The Ministry of Health reports the seven-day average of daily cases sits at 268. There are 111 people in hospital and 16 receiving intensive care. As of Friday, no team sports are allowed in the province and capacity at public venues like churches, movie theatres and casinos is limited to 30 people. The measures are part of the latest round of restrictions Premier Scott Moe announced earlier in the week to stem the virus's spread while avoiding a second shutdown of non-essential businesses. --- 2:44 p.m. Manitoba is cracking down on retailers not following public health orders as health officials say COVID-19 is starting to impact vulnerable populations at a higher rate. Officials announced 344 new cases and 14 more deaths. Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, says there is significant community spread in lower-income neighbourhoods and among the homeless population. He discouraged people from leaving their homes for any non-essential reason and cautioned retailers against trying to find loopholes in the health orders. The province issued a $5,000 ticket to a Winnipeg Costco this week for selling non-essential items. --- 1:57 p.m. Nova Scotia is reporting nine new cases of COVID-19, all in the central health zone, which includes Halifax. The province now has 119 active cases of novel coronavirus. Health officials say one new case identified today is at Bedford South School, which is a pre-primary to Grade 4 school in the central zone. Starting today, ongoing voluntary testing is being introduced to monitor, reduce and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care. --- 12:51 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting four new positive cases of COVID-19, for a total of 31 active cases across the province. One of the individuals is a man in his 60s in the eastern region of the province whose infection is related to another identified case. A man and a woman in their 50s in the eastern region and a woman in her 40s in the western region have also tested positive. The source of those three infections is under investigation. --- 12:48 p.m. New Brunswick is reporting 12 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its number of active cases to 114. Public Health says seven cases are in the Saint John area, three are in the Moncton region and two are in the Fredericton area. All three health regions are under the province's heightened "orange'' pandemic alert level. Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, says there should be no non-essential travel in and out of these zones. --- 12:10 p.m. Nunavut's chief public health officer says four members of the Canadian Red Cross touched down in Arviat today to assist with a COVID-19 outbreak. Dr. Michael Patterson says the team will help with isolation and contact tracing in the community of around 2,800 people. The Government of Nunavut has also announced it will give $1 million to municipalities for community food programs as the territory heads into its second week of a lockdown. Nunavut is currently under a territory-wide, 14-day lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. --- 11:40 a.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Major-General Dany Fortin has been tapped to lead the Canadian military’s role in coordinating logistics for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine across the country. Fortin most recently served as the chief of staff for the Canadian Joint Operations Command. He was also commander of the NATO military training mission in Iraq from November 2018 until last fall. The announcement follows days of criticism over the Trudeau government's vaccination strategy and uncertainty about when Canadians might have access to an eventual vaccine. --- 11:24 Ontario is reporting 1,855 new cases of COVID-19 in another record-high daily increase. Twenty more Ontarians have died from the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says new infections remain concentrated in the Greater Toronto Area, including 517 more cases in Peel Region and 494 in Toronto. Provincial data say the seven-day average for infections in the province is 1,489 per day. --- 11:13 a.m. Quebec is reporting 1,269 new COVID-19 infections and 38 more deaths linked virus, including nine that occurred in the past 24 hours. Health officials said today hospitalizations decreased by six, to 669, and 90 people were in intensive care, the same number as the day prior. The province says 1,236 more people recovered from COVID-19, for a total of 119,727 recoveries. Quebec has reported 138,163 COVID-19 cases and 6,984 deaths linked to the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. --- 11:02 a.m. Nunavut is announcing four new cases of COVID-19, all in the community of Arviat. This brings Arviat’s total number of cases to 119. Three more cases in Arviat and Rankin Inlet are now considered recovered. There are 151 active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. The Canadian Press
P.E.I. Premier Dennis King expressed some concerns Friday about whether or not his capital budget will pass — if it doesn't, it would be a vote of non-confidence in the government, which would trigger an election. King says he wants Opposition support to approve the budget, but said the tone of debate in the legislature right now suggests that might not happen."If we have a couple of members who are not in the house because they're sick or otherwise, it's very realistic that this budget may not pass because it doesn't seem to have any support from the Opposition," King told reporters. "That would be a tragedy — I hope that doesn't happen — but I think that Islanders want us to keep doing what we've been doing as a legislature to serve the interests of Islanders, nobody wants an election and I hope one isn't thrust upon us."Opposition leader Peter Bevan-Baker told reporters that's not something his caucus intends to have happen."Nobody wants an election at this time for a whole host of reasons," Bevan-Baker said. "We have no intention of bringing government down."Bevan-Baker said he wouldn't seize a moment when some PC members are absent to vote down the capital budget."We have no interest in doing that whatsoever," he said, adding he doesn't think an election is in the best interest of Islanders.Opposition feels 'blocked'However, Bevan-Baker said the tone of debate has changed — he said the Opposition has been frustrated that it has not been getting answers to its questions on the capital budget. "We weren't able to provide the sort of level of scrutiny that I have become used to," Bevan-Baker said. "It felt blocked, in the last week."Taxpayers' dollars, how we spend them, is of utmost importance," he said, adding government's capital budget does not provide enough detail on programs it has planned, nor has government been able to answer the Opposition's questions on projects on which they are spending tens of millions of dollars."I'm not going to pass that section of the budget until I know what I'm saying yes to," he said. King said his PC party is still trying to work as collaboratively as it did when they were in a minority position for the last year. He also said it is a "false narrative" to assume Speaker Colin LaVie will always vote with the government if he must break a tie."We're just doing our best to provide the answers. If we don't have them, we provide that information back as quickly as we can," King said. Debate on the capital budget is scheduled to continue in the legislature next week.More from CBC P.E.I.