Enjoy the gorgeous sky at dawn on the Prairies.
Enjoy the gorgeous sky at dawn on the Prairies.
The U.S. House of Representatives delivered to the Senate on Monday a charge that former President Donald Trump incited insurrection in a speech to supporters before the deadly attack on the Capitol, setting in motion his second impeachment trial. Nine House Democrats who will serve as prosecutors in Trump's trial, accompanied by the clerk of the House and the acting sergeant at arms, carried the charge against Trump to the Senate in a solemn procession across the Capitol. Wearing masks to protect against COVID-19, they filed through the ornate Capitol Rotunda and into the Senate chamber, following the path that a mob of Trump supporters took on Jan. 6 as they clashed with police.
There's a new attempt to find a balance between the economy and the environment in northern Ontario's most watched forest. For decades, Temagami was gripped by logging road blockades, with environmentalists and Indigenous protesters chaining themselves to bulldozers. But now some of those who used to be on opposing sides are sitting around the same board table with the formation of the Temagami Forest Management Corporation. "This was the way to do it," says Temagami Mayor Dan O'Mara. "To get the people who were all involved in the past together to come up with a future for the Temagami forest that everybody could live with." The management corporation is the second of its kind in the province, after one created in the Pic River area in the northwest in 2012. It brings together logging companies, municipal leaders and First Nations to decide which trees to cut and find buyers for that wood. "Even by that happening it's a statement that we can work together for the benefit of all," says John Yakabuski, Ontario's Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. "We'll be talking about this in generations to come because it'll be managed in that regard." "It took us six years and a lot of frowns and raised eyebrows and talking and going back and forth around the table," says John McNutt, the woodland manager for Goulard Lumber in Sturgeon Falls. The company has cut in the Temagami forest for decades and some of its employees were forced into confrontations with protesters in years past. McNutt says about 20 per cent of the trees that arrive at their sawmill come from Temagami and he is "hoping it will increase in a positive way" particularly with new markets opening up through partnerships with First Nations. He is also hoping the new management corporation will cut down on wildfires, like the one that started in Lady Evelyn Provincial Park in 2018. It went on to scorch some 27,000 hectares and threatened towns like Temagami and Elk Lake. McNutt says from the air he has seen how older preserved stands of trees fuelled the flames, while younger trees in managed forest areas didn't catch. But John Kilbridge, who took part in the protests of the 1980s and has worked for years to promote wilderness tourism in Temagami, sees this as the province handing the forests over to the timber companies. "They don't want to be paying for all this oversight. They just want to sit back and collect stumpage fees," he says. Kilbridge also says the Ford government's decision to take forestry projects out of environmental assessment legislation was a "betrayal" because it was "our one way to call the industry to account." "I'm not imagining the scenario about the big bad logging companies giving us a hard time. They are giving us a hard time and the government is giving us a hard time. They're stonewalling us," he says. Kilbridge says more permanent logging roads are already snaking through the Temagami wilderness he and others were fighting to protect all those years ago. "I think it has been lost," he says of the battle over the Temagami forest that started in the 1970s. Much of that was led by the Indigenous peoples of Bear Island. No one from Temagami First Nation or the nearby Matachewan First Nation was available to speak about their involvement in the new management corporation. There is also a seat at the table for the Timiskaming First Nation, across the border in Quebec. Chief Sacha Wabie says 60 per cent of her community's traditional territory is in what is today called Ontario. "Currently, we are disappointed with the way the forest is being managed, as we are excluded from the decision-making process," she wrote in an email. "So, the creation of the new forest management corporation gives us hope that we will have a say in how our lands and territory will be managed." Wabie says she hopes the new corporation will lead to more jobs for her community of 2,200, 600 of whom live on reserve and "receive none of these benefits" from the Ontario forests that "generate a lot of profit for a few companies." "It is a highly bureaucratic and colonial process," she says. "The current forestry regime doesn't take into account our communities' traditional knowledge nor do they share the economics gained from our forested lands. These concerns still remain." Timiskaming, as well as several Ontario First Nations including Mattagami and Teme-Augama Anishnabai, say they are also concerned about the recently approved plan for the Timiskaming forest to the north of Temagami. They are worried about the impact of aerial herbicide spraying and the lack of revenue sharing with Indigenous communities.
SYDNEY, Australia — Australia’s medical regulator has approved use of its first coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for inoculations to begin next month. The Therapeutic Goods Administration on Monday gave provisional approval for people aged 16 and over to use the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. Residents and workers at aged-care facilities, frontline healthcare workers and quarantine workers are among the groups being prioritized for the first doses. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the development. He said Australia was among the first countries to complete a comprehensive process to formally approve a vaccine rather than just grant an emergency approval. Australia has an agreement for 10 million doses of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine and an option to buy more if supplies allow. Health Minister Greg Hunt said Monday the country overall had secured 140 million vaccines, one of the highest dosing rates per head of population in the world. The biggest of the pre-orders, conditional on regulatory approval, is 53.8 million doses of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, 50 million of which would be made in Australia in a partnership with Melbourne-based biopharmaceutical company CSL. Australia is aiming to complete inoculations by October. The nation of 26 million people has reported fewer than 30,000 virus cases and a little over 900 deaths. In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region: — Australia has suspended its partial travel bubble with New Zealand after New Zealand reported its first coronavirus case outside of a quarantine facility in two months. Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said Monday the suspension would last for three days and was being implemented out of an abundance of caution. Travelers affected need to cancel or face two weeks in quarantine upon arrival. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she’d told Morrison she had confidence in New Zealand’s systems and processes, but it was up to Australia to decide how they managed their borders. Health officials in New Zealand say genome tests indicate the woman contracted the virus from another returning traveller just before leaving quarantine. However, there was no evidence the virus has spread further. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said the 56-year-old woman had recently returned from Europe. During her mandatory two weeks in quarantine, she tested negative twice. She developed symptoms at home later and tested positive. Officials say the woman appears to have caught the more infectious South African variant of the virus from another traveller on her second-to-last day in quarantine, and they’re investigating how the health breach happened. — Bangladesh received 5 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine from an Indian producer on Monday. Under a three-way agreement, it plans to buy 30 million doses from the Serum Institute of India in phases. A Bangladeshi company, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd., received the 5 million doses as distributor for the South Asian country. Nazmul Hasan Papon, managing director of Beximco Pharmaceuticals, said the vaccine will be provided to government authorities across the country. The government is training thousands of volunteers to administer the vaccine. The country received 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine last Thursday as a gift from India, while Monday’s doses were purchased. The vaccine, manufactured under license by Serum Institute of India, will be given first to front-line workers, including doctors and nurses. Bangladesh has recorded more than 8.000 deaths from the coronavirus. — Sri Lanka's government says it will start administering a coronavirus vaccine this week. Sri Lanka is to receive a donation of 500,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India on Wednesday and will begin inoculations the next day, the government said. It will first be given to health workers, the military and police. Sri Lanka has also ordered supplies of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, and separately is to receive enough vaccine for 20% of its population through COVAX, a program led by the World Health Organization and others. Last week, Sri Lanka’s National Medicines Regulatory Authority approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine amid warnings from doctors that front-line health workers should be quickly inoculated to prevent the medical system from collapsing. On Saturday, health minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi tested positive for COVID-19. The disease resurged in October with two new clusters, one at a garment factory and the other at a fish market. Sri Lanka has reported 58,429 case, with 283 fatalities. — A lockdown in part of Hong Kong's Kowloon neighbourhood was lifted Monday after thousands of residents were tested for the virus. The lockdown that began early Saturday covered 16 buildings in the working-class Yau Tsim Mong district. During the lockdown, residents were not allowed to leave their premises until they had tested negative for the coronavirus. The district has been at the centre of a worsening coronavirus outbreak, with over 160 cases reported over the first three weeks in January. Higher concentrations of the virus were also found in sewage samples, prompting fears the virus could be transmitted via poorly installed plumbing systems in subdivided units that lack ventilation. The government said in a statement early Monday that about 7,000 people were tested for the coronavirus during the lockdown, with 13 positive infections found. As of Sunday, Hong Kong has reported 10,086 cases of the coronavirus overall, with 169 deaths recorded. — South Korea has reported another new 437 infections of the coronavirus as officials raised alarm over an outbreak at a missionary training school. Around 130 students and teachers were found infected so far at the church-run academy in the central city of Daejeon. Prime Minster Chung Sye-kyun during a virus meeting called for health officials to deal swiftly with the outbreak at the Daejeon school and prevent transmissions from spreading further. South Korea throughout the pandemic has repeatedly seen huge infection clusters emerge from religious groups, including more than 5,000 infections tied to the secretive Shincheonji Church of Jesus that drove a major outbreak in the southeastern region in spring last year. “We cannot let that situation repeat,” Chung said. The numbers released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Monday brought the national caseload to 75,521, including 11 deaths. The Associated Press
Officials with the Founders' Food Hall & Market want to expand the outdoor seating area next to the waterfront building to give it more of a street presence and create some space that works in these pandemic times. Port Charlottetown, which owns the building, is drawing up plans for more green space and a small bandstand stage for entertainment. "The objective is to use the exterior as much as possible," said Mike Cochrane, CEO of Port Charlottetown. "Obviously, in a post-COVID-19 era, the focus is a lot on exterior operations and making people feel safe." Cochrane said the port wants to create seating in six pod-type areas for groups of eight to 10 people to congregate; he calls them "cluster zones." They may look at installing some fire pits as well. He said the new outdoor space will be good for any kind of artisan demonstrations or local entertainment, as well as just socializing outdoors. The cost is expected to be around $150,000 and the port hopes the new space can be ready for this summer. City planners dealing with request In order to let the outdoor project proceed, the City of Charlottetown's planning department is looking at a request from the port to consolidate two pieces of property. When Port Charlottetown took over the building, land right beside the building was treated as a separate lot. Now the port says it makes more sense to treat it as one area, so that there is only one boundary line for any development. "it would have the whole, entire operation on one piece of land," said Mike Duffy, chair of the city's planning committee. "It makes it easier to administer," he said. Duffy said he believes the proposal would add to the atmosphere outside Founders' Hall, adding: "On a nice summer's evening, there's not much sense of being stuck inside." Planning documents related to the request note that the property in question used to be part of a larger plot of land, but the former owner subdivided it. No concerns with plan expected Duffy said he didn't feel there were many concerns with the proposal, noting that the city's existing bylaws would be able to deal with any noise concerns. "It's just a matter of making sure we're all on the same wavelength," he said. I think it's going to be a very pleasant change. - Mike Cochrane The proposal will get another look at the next planning meeting on Feb. 1. Then a recommendation will be made to council, and council members will vote on it Feb. 8. The application does not require any notice to residents, and no public meeting is required to deal with the change. "It's a heavily utilized area, and to make it more attractive — especially on Water Street, on the main point of traffic coming into Charlottetown — I think it's going to be a very pleasant change," said Cochrane. More from CBC P.E.I.
The San Francisco 49ers will take a greater role in the running of English Premier League club Leeds after raising their stake to 37% on Monday. Paraag Marathe, the president of 49ers Enterprises, will become vice chairman of the northern English club under Andrea Radrizzani, who remains the majority owner. The 49ers first bought 15% of the team from Radrizzani in 2018 and the club has since secured promotion back to the Premier League after a 16-year absence — making increased investment from the NFL franchise more desirable. “Our investment two-and-a-half years ago was to dip our toes in the water," Marathe told The Associated Press. "We really felt like Leeds had the bones of a powerful big global club and just from their global fan base and the supporter base and everything that they have. “As we’ve spent more time there we’ve realized that to be very true, and the opportunity to be very great and so it didn’t take us very long to realize we wanted to be involved in a much deeper way.” Leeds has won admirers with its style of football under Marcelo Bielsa, who has guided the team to 12th in the 20-team standings halfway through the season. “We want to be competitive and not just a flash in the pan competitive, but we want to be sustainably competitive,” Marathe said from San Francisco. "This is really about a deeper engagement. And not just me, but all of us at the 49ers, deploying our resources and expertise and blueprints for success over to Leeds and enable that club (to) really transform itself as well.” That means sharing resources and best practices. “We’re one big family now and it’s really about … and we’ve gone through a transformation at the 49ers over the last decade, decade and a half, and we feel like Leeds, LUFC is in the nascent stages of exactly that,” Marathe said. "First is showing we belong (back in the Premier League), next is competing in Europa (League) and eventually is competing in Champions League. That’s the goal. We’re just on the first step of that matriculation. But like I said, I think we’ve already shown that we belong.” ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Rob Harris, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials are examining a number of threats aimed at members of Congress as the second trial of former President Donald Trump nears, including ominous chatter about killing legislators or attacking them outside of the U.S. Capitol, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. The threats, and concerns that armed protesters could return to sack the Capitol anew, have prompted the U.S. Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement to insist thousands of National Guard troops remain in Washington as the Senate moves forward with plans for Trump's trial, the official said. The shocking insurrection at the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob prompted federal officials to rethink security in and around its landmarks, resulting in an unprecedented lockdown for Biden's inauguration. Though the event went off without any problems and armed protests around the country did not materialize, the threats to lawmakers ahead of Trump's trial exemplified the continued potential for danger. Similar to those intercepted by investigators ahead of Biden’s inauguration, the threats that law enforcement agents are tracking vary in specificity and credibility, said the official, who had been briefed on the matter. Mainly posted online and in chat groups, the messages have included plots to attack members of Congress during travel to and from the Capitol complex during the trial, according to the official. The official was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke Sunday to the AP on condition of anonymity. Law enforcement officials are already starting to plan for the possibility of armed protesters returning to the nation's capital when Trump’s Senate trial on a charge of inciting a violent insurrection begins the week of Feb. 8. It would be the first impeachment trial of a former U.S. president. Though much of the security apparatus around Washington set up after the Jan. 6 riot and ahead of Biden’s inauguration — it included scores of military checkpoints and hundreds of additional law enforcement personnel — is no longer in place, about 7,000 members of the National Guard will remain to assist federal law enforcement, officials said. Gen. Dan Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said Monday that about 13,000 Guard members are still deployed in D.C., and that their numbers would shrink to 7,000 by the end of this week. John Whitley, the acting secretary of the Army, told a Pentagon news conference that this number is based on requests for assistance from the Capitol Police, the Park Police, the Secret Service and the Metropolitan Police Department. Whitley said the number is to drop to 5,000 by mid-March. Thousands of Trump’s supporters descended on the Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress met to certify Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential race. More than 800 are believed to have made their way into the Capitol during the violent siege, pushing past overwhelmed police officers. The Capitol police said they planned for a free speech protest, not a riot, and were caught off guard despite intelligence suggesting the rally would descend into a riot. Five people died in the melee, including a Capitol police officer who was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher. At least five people facing federal charges have suggested they believed they were taking orders from Trump when they marched on Capitol Hill to challenge the certification of Biden’s election victory. But now those comments, captured in interviews with reporters and federal agents, are likely to take centre stage as Democrats lay out their case. More than 130 people have been charged by federal prosecutors for their roles in the riot. In recent weeks, others have been arrested after posting threats against members of Congress. They include a Proud Boys supporter who authorities said threatened to deploy “three cars full of armed patriots” to Washington, threatened harm against Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and who is accused of stockpiling military-style combat knives and more than 1,000 rifle rounds in his New York home. A Texas man was arrested this week for taking part in the riot at the Capitol and for posting violent threats, including a call to assassinate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y ___ Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report. Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
Earth’s ice is melting faster today than in the mid-1990s, new research suggests, as climate change nudges global temperatures ever higher. Altogether, an estimated 28 trillion metric tons of ice have melted away from the world’s sea ice, ice sheets and glaciers since the mid-1990s. “It was a surprise to see such a large increase in just 30 years,” said co-author Thomas Slater, a glaciologist at Leeds University in Britain.
On Jan. 25, 2020, officials in Ontario announced that a novel coronavirus that had sounded alarm bells around the world had reached Canadian shores. The diagnosis of Canada's first case of COVID-19 marked the start of a period of dramatic economic and social upheaval. Here's a look back at some of the comments in the days before and after the discovery of Canada's first case: — "The system is on alert, all the things are in place and we're monitoring. If it's a false alarm for Canada, so be it." -- Dr. David Williams, Ontario chief medical officer of health, in an interview with The Canadian Press on Jan. 22. — "We've seen this movie before. Our infection-control game is better than it was. But we still have this problem with the physical plant of our hospitals, with our emergency rooms, where people are stuck together cheek-by-jowl, and that creates vulnerability." -- University of Toronto epidemiologist Dr. David Fisman, discussing potential risks from the then emerging virus on Jan. 23. — "If a case comes here, and it is probably likely that we will have a case here, it will still be business as normal." -- Dr. Peter Donnelly, then president of Public Health Ontario, discussing the prospect of mass quarantines on Jan. 24. — "There's no reason for fear because sometimes the epidemic of fear is greater than what is going on." -- Quebec director of public health Dr. Horracio Arruda, on Jan. 24. — "The risk to Ontarians is still low and things are managed and well-controlled. As I hoped, the system is operating as it should." -- Williams at the Jan. 25 news conference in which he announced that Canada's first COVID-19 case had officially been diagnosed in Toronto. — "The patient has been managed with all appropriate infection and prevention control protocols, so the risk of onward spread in Canada is low. Nevertheless it would not be unexpected that there will be more cases imported into Canada in the near-term given global travel patterns." -- Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, speaking at Jan. 26 news conference held in reaction to the previous day's diagnosis. — "Be careful, be vigilant, but you don't have to change your life at the moment." -- Toronto Mayor John Tory on Jan. 27. — "Transmission of the virus is occurring among family members who have close and prolonged exposure to sick individuals. Canadians should not be concerned that they can pick up the virus from an infected individual by any casual contact, such as walking through the airport or another public place." -- Tam, speaking on a Jan. 27 teleconference hours after officials had confirmed the original patient's wife had also tested positive for COVID-19. — "The World Health Organization's global emergency status is really ... about helping countries that do not have the same level of sophistication as Canada, or perhaps the United States, to protect their citizens if in fact they have a citizen who returns from China who is ill, or has been close to someone who has returned from China who is ill. You know this has been working very well in Canada, because we have actually been able to detect cases very quickly, support those people to get better and prevent the spread of disease." - federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu at a news conference on Jan. 30. — "If we do not take all the measures that we can take right now to make sure that we eradicate this virus from human populations, then we may end up with yet another ongoing endemic infection like influenza that we will have to deal with every year that causes severe illness and some death." -- British Columbia health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, speaking on Jan. 31 days after confirming the province's first case of COVID-19. — This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
Professor Jean-Francois Delfraissy has called for swift government action, amid rising concerns about the spread of new variants of the virus.View on euronews
Families battered by the pandemic recession soon may discover that the tax refunds they’re counting on are dramatically smaller — or that they actually owe income tax. Congress offered a partial solution, but the fix hasn’t been widely publicized, consumer advocates say. Refunds are crucial to many lower- and moderate-income households, which use the money to catch up on bills and medical treatments, pay down debt and boost savings. But the unemployment insurance that kept many people afloat last year may cause problems at tax time this year. Unemployment benefits are taxable, but tax withholding is typically voluntary — and many people who lost jobs either didn’t know their unemployment checks would be taxed, or they decided against withholding. (Relief checks, such as the $1,200 sent out last year, are not taxable.) Further, unemployment benefits are not earned income and so don’t count toward two crucial tax benefits that keep millions of working families with children out of poverty: the earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit. “If you’re a single parent or a couple with kids living on, say, $25,000 a year, you might see 25% or more of your annual income in the form of your federal tax refund because of these credits,” says Timothy Flacke, executive director of Commonwealth, a non-profit that promotes financial security. THERE’S A FIX ON CREDITS, BUT NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT IT There isn’t an easy workaround for tax refunds shriveled by inadequate withholding. But Congress provided a potential fix for the tax credits issue in the $900 billion coronavirus relief legislation passed last month: Filers can choose to use their 2019 income to determine their credits rather than their 2020 income. But that fix hasn’t been widely reported, says Leigh Phillips, chief executive officer of SaverLife, a non-profit that encourages working families to save. Not everyone uses up-to-date tax software or well-informed tax preparers, and Phillips worries that many eligible people won’t learn about it before filing their returns. The IRS will begin accepting returns Feb. 12. “People are going to start trying to file taxes as soon as they possibly can,” Phillips says. “If you think that you’ve got thousands coming in the mail or to your bank account, you’re there day one with your paperwork ready to go.” THOSE WHO RELY ON REFUNDS TEND TO FILE EARLY Research confirms that the earliest recipients of refunds each year tend to be lower income, says Fiona Greig, co-president of the JPMorgan Chase Institute, which studies data from millions of customer bank accounts. “(A tax refund) tends to be a larger relative cash infusion event for them, and as a result, they tend to seek their refund earlier in the tax refund season,” Greig says. In typical years, tax refunds equal almost six weeks’ take-home pay for the average recipient, the institute found. Last year the average refund was more than $2,500. Families who qualify for the earned income tax credit can receive thousands more. The maximum credit for working families with three or more children is $6,660 for 2020, and it’s refundable, which means filers get the money even if they don’t owe any tax. The amount you can earn and still qualify rises with family size, so that a married couple with three or more children could get at least a partial credit with adjusted gross income up to $56,844. A single person without children may qualify for a small credit with an adjusted gross income up to $15,820. Meanwhile, the regular child tax credit for children under 17 is $2,000 and not refundable. But low-income families may qualify for a refundable credit, which can be up to 15% of earned income over $2,500, up to $1,400 per child. TAX CREDITS HAVE WIDESPREAD SUPPORT The credits have been around for decades and have widespread bipartisan support among lawmakers, Commonwealth’s Flacke says. “It’s one of the few areas of some consensus across the parties that rewarding workers on the low end of the wage spectrum with these tax credits makes sense,” Flacke says. If you might qualify for one of the tax credits, make sure your tax software or tax preparer looks at both your 2019 and 2020 incomes before submitting your return. If you find out too late that you could have received a bigger refund, you can file an amended return, but you may face a longer wait. Instead of getting your refund in a few weeks, an amended return can take up to four months to process. Going forward, President Joe Biden has proposed one-year expansions of the credits as part of his coronavirus relief package. He wants to increase the maximum earned income tax credit for childless adults from $538 to nearly $1,500 this year and to raise the income limit. He also wants to increase the child tax credit to $3,000, plus an extra $600 per child under age 6, and make the full amount refundable. If enacted, these credits could be claimed on returns filed in 2022. ____________________________________ This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Liz Weston is a columnist at NerdWallet, a certified financial planner and author of “Your Credit Score.” Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @lizweston. RELATED LINK: NerdWallet: Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC): What It Is and How to Qualify in 2020-2021 http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-EIC-2021 Liz Weston Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Press
Iran has asked Indonesia to provide details about the seizure of an Iranian-flagged vessel, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday, a day after Jakarta said it had seized Iran and Panama-flagged tankers in its waters. Indonesia said on Sunday its coast guard had seized the Iranian-flagged MT Horse and the Panamanian-flagged MT Freya vessels over suspected illegal oil transfer in the country's waters. Coast guard spokesman Wisnu Pramandita said the tankers, seized in waters off Kalimantan province, will be escorted to Batam island in Riau Island Province for further investigation.
SRINAGAR, India — Indian and Chinese soldiers brawled last week along the countries' disputed border, Indian officials said Monday, as a monthslong standoff between the nuclear-armed rivals continued. The clash in the Naku La area of Sikkim came four days before the countries held a ninth round of talks on Sunday on ending tensions in another disputed border area in the remote Ladakh region. The Indian army described the clash at Naku La as “a minor face off” and said it “was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols.” An army statement did not provide any other details, but asked media “to refrain from overplaying or exaggerating” the incident. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said he did not have information to provide on the incident but urged India “not to take any unilateral action that may further complicate or exacerbate the border tension.” Since a deadly clash last year, soldiers from the two sides have brawled occasionally and fired shots for the first time in decades, breaking a longstanding agreement not to use firearms during border confrontations. Two Indian security officials said at least 18 Chinese soldiers tried to cross into Indian-claimed territory at Naku La last Wednesday night and were blocked by Indian soldiers, leading to clashes with sticks and stones. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue and in keeping with government regulations, said soldiers on both sides were carrying firearms but did not use them. The two officials said over a dozen Indian soldiers and at least eight Chinese soldiers received minor injuries. There was no independent confirmation of the incident. Both sides rushed more soldiers to the area in an “aggressive deployment" that swelled the number of personnel to hundreds, the officials said. The leader of India’s main opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, accused China of “expanding its occupation into Indian territory” and questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence. Modi “hasn’t said the word ‘China’ for months,” Gandhi said in a tweet Monday. “Maybe he can start by saying the word ‘China.’” India and China have been locked in a tense military standoff since May high in the Karakoram mountains, with troops settling in for the harsh winter. Both sides have mobilized tens of thousands of soldiers, artillery and fighter aircraft along the fiercely contested border known as the Line of Actual Control, or LAC, that separates Chinese and Indian-held territories from Ladakh in the west to India’s eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims in its entirety. The frontier is broken in parts where the Himalayan nations of Nepal and Bhutan border China, and where Sikkim, the site of the latest brawl, is sandwiched. The LAC divides areas of physical control rather than territorial claims. Despite more than three dozen rounds of talks over the years and multiple meetings between Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, they are nowhere near settling the dispute. The standoff began last May with a fierce brawl, and exploded into hand-to-hand combat with clubs, stones and fists on June 15 that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. China is believed to also have had casualties, but has not given any details. Indian and Chinese army commanders met for the ninth round of talks after a gap of 2 1/2 months in Ladakh on Sunday but neither side released any details of the outcome. ___ Saaliq reported from New Delhi. Associated Press writer Ken Moritsugu in Beijing contributed to this report. Aijaz Hussain And Sheikh Saaliq, The Associated Press
BEIJING — Chinese rescuers have found the bodies of nine workers killed in explosions at a gold mine, raising the death toll to 10, officials said Monday. Eleven others were rescued a day earlier after being trapped underground for two weeks at the mine in Shandong province. One person was still missing. The cause of the accident at the mine, which was under construction, is under investigation. The explosions on Jan. 10 released 70 tons of debris that blocked a shaft, disabling elevators and trapping workers underground. Rescuers drilled parallel shafts to send down food and nutrients and eventually bring up the survivors on Sunday. Chen Yumin, director of the rescue group, told reporters that the nine workers recovered Monday died more than 400 metres (1,320 feet) below ground. He said there had been two explosions about an hour and a half apart, with the second explosion causing more damage. Search efforts will continue for the remaining miner until he is found, said Chen Fei, the mayor of Yantai city, where the mine is located. “Until this worker is found, we will not give up,” he said at a news conference. Chen and other officials involved in the rescue effort held a moment of silence for the victims, bowing their heads. “Our hearts are deeply grieved. We express our profound condolences, and we express deep sympathies to the families of the victim,” he said. Authorities have detained mine managers for delaying reporting the accident. Such protracted and expensive rescue efforts are relatively new in China’s mining industry, which used to average 5,000 deaths per year. Increased supervision has improved safety, although demand for coal and precious metals continues to prompt corner-cutting. A new crackdown was ordered after two accidents in mountainous southwestern Chongqing last year killed 39 miners. The Associated Press
Some nurses and doctors working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa's communities say they feel left out of the narrative, and invisible to government and public health officials making decisions about the vaccine rollout. Emily Rodney, a registered practical nurse in Ottawa who specializes in diabetic footcare, has been making house calls during the pandemic. "I definitely feel invisible," Rodney said. "I just think because we're not under that government funding, we just get lost." We're left out of the conversation, and that harms the community. - Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth, Ottawa family physician Rodney said community-based health-care professionals face the same risks from COVID-19 as their counterparts in hospitals, some of whom were first in line to get vaccinated in Ottawa. As of Friday, the province's phased vaccine schedule doesn't explicitly state when primary care workers can get vaccinated, but generally states health-care workers will get their turn sometime in or after January. Front-line essential workers and those who care for people with high-risk chronic conditions are scheduled for vaccination in Phase 2, between March and July. "We have a big impact in the community, but in the government's eyes I think we're just very small," Rodney said. She said her patients, many of whom are elderly and isolated, rely on her not just for health care, but for their social and mental well-being. They also look to her for answers. "I feel bad when I don't have more information for them as to when they'll possibly get vaccinated, or even when I might," Rodney said. "It's just an awful position." Heather Camrass, executive director of the Community Nursing Registry of Ottawa, said her primary role during the pandemic is making sure the registry's members have as much information as possible. She said it's still not clear to her where primary care providers fit into the vaccination plan. "They fit somewhere, but it's not obvious," said Camrass. That uncertainty adds stress to their already taxing jobs and give them the sense that "they're out there on their own," she said. "There's a lot fear, a lot of anxiety," Camrass said. "It's the fear of the unknown that makes it worse." Family doctor feels 'disposable' Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth, a family physician in downtown Ottawa, said she tried to volunteer to vaccinate people, but was turned away. Well into the new year, she says family doctors still don't have a "plan on the ground" for vaccinating patients. "We're so left out of this picture that it's just kind of mind-boggling," said Kaplan-Myrth. "We're left out of the conversation, and that harms the community." WATCH | Family doctor says she feels public health officials 'don't care' about her sector: To Kaplan-Myrth, primary care is the backbone of the health-care system. "And you want us to wait [until] when? Like, April?" she asked. "It's the sense of we're disposable, we're dispensable. They don't care." She said there's a disconnect between what officials are saying and what's actually happening on the ground, and that's taking a toll on her patients' well-being. "[That's] one of the most exhausting and frustrating things," she said. "This is life and death." 'Nature of the beast,' says doctor Meanwhile, family physician Dr. Alison Eyre says she's satisfied with the efforts of public health officials. Eyre, who works out of the Centretown Community Health Centre, said provincial and local officials have contacted her, and she's taken part in several meetings about community vaccine rollout. It's still in the works, she said. "The rollout hasn't been figured out yet, and there's huge frustration ... [but] no one was given a playbook on how to do this," said Eyre. "It is slow and the communications are slow, and we're just starting to learn about it. I do think that's the nature of the beast." WATCH | Family doctor says rollout delays are 'nature of the beast': She doesn't fully agree with how the first vaccine doses were distributed — mainly in and through hospitals — but she said she understands why those decisions were made. OPH says it's waiting for more info In an emailed statement, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) said it's waiting for more information from the province about the role community health-care workers will play in vaccine delivery, but is already working with a sub-group of local workers to plan their future involvement. "OPH has offered the opportunity to community physicians to participate in the vaccination campaign and to date, more than 300 physicians have expressed interest in participating," it said. CBC News has contacted the province's Ministry of Health for comment and is waiting to hear back.
Monday marks one year since the first case of the virus that causes COVID-19 was confirmed in Canada, in a patient who came to Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital after returning from Wuhan, China. While many of the lessons learned from the early days of the novel coronavirus are being applied in the pandemic's second wave, concerns remain about inadequate protections in long-term care and the disproportionate impact of the virus on people of colour. Among both long-term care residents and the general public, more people have now died of COVID-19 in Ontario during the second wave than in the six months after the global pandemic was declared in March. "These are all preventable deaths," said Dr. Nitin Mohan, an assistant professor at Western University in London, Ont., and a physician epidemiologist with the public health consulting firm ETIO. Long-term care crisis continues "The fact that we're this far along in the pandemic and we're still seeing the outbreaks and deaths in long-term care homes, it's almost embarrassing that this is happening," Mohan said in an interview. Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch of Toronto's University Health Network calls what happened in Ontario's long-term care homes last spring tragic. "What's more tragic is how it's unfolding in the second wave, because there certainly could have been steps taken between wave one and wave two to significantly protect the most vulnerable population among us," said Bogoch in an interview. "What we're seeing in the long-term care facilities just demonstrates, unfortunately, years and years of neglect," he said. "It was awful to watch this unfold, but sadly, it was predictable." Uncertainties characterized early days In the first two months of 2020, predictions varied about how Canada would be affected by the novel coronavirus first identified in China. Public health officials and political leaders seemed to tilt more toward calming fears about COVID-19 than sounding the alarm. There were repeated assurances that the risk in Ontario was low, that the general public should refrain from wearing masks. Well into March, officials were saying that no evidence could be found of community spread. "Those uncertainties in the early part of the pandemic were real because we just didn't know," said Bogoch. Although he acknowledged that public health messaging adapted over time, Bogoch said it didn't do so as fast as they would have liked. The system was slow to acknowledge that the virus was not just being imported by travellers returning from a handful of distant countries, said Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious diseases physician in Hamilton and an associate professor of medicine at McMaster University. "I think the pivot from this being a travel disease to this being an endemic disease was done relatively late," Chagla told CBC in an interview. "There's something to be said about understanding the evidence has changed and recognizing it quickly and making those changes quickly." Chagla said a crucial point came in late February when community transmission was identified in the U.S. and doctors in Canada were seeing people returning from the U.S. with COVID-19. "There was no hope that this was not going to (spread in) Canada at that point," he said. "I think probably that was the turning point to say, 'OK, there is a risk here to us. We need to start invoking public health measures.' " Ontario declared its state of emergency on March 17, and the federal government halted non-essential travel across the land border with the U.S. on March 20. Mohan believes governments acted decisively to impose lockdown measures in the spring. "We were dealing with something that was relatively new and unknown, getting data and making decisions in real time," he said. Lack of testing hampered tracking When experts look back to the early months of 2020, there's a general consensus that Ontario's hospital sector mobilized quickly to face COVID-19, readying for a potential surge of patients even as supplies of personal protective equipment were tight. However there's also strong agreement that Ontario's limited capacity to test for the coronavirus hampered the ability to track its spread. Until May, Ontarians couldn't get a test for COVID-19 unless they met a strict range of criteria that excluded much of the general public. Given the death rates in the first wave, scientists believe the actual number of infections in the spring was far higher than the officially reported case counts. "There were some clear limitations in our testing capacities that are a result of poor funding models of public health," said Mohan. "In a once in a generation pandemic, when we need to act quickly and decisively, it's hard to do that when you're sort of building a plane in the sky." The ability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to be transmitted by people before they showed any symptoms also confounded the experts. Early on, officials put a big emphasis on screening people for symptoms such as fever and cough. Although that helped identify a significant proportion of cases, it sent an inaccurate message that people couldn't spread the virus before showing symptoms. "Had we known clearly that there was pre-symptomatic transmission, I think the way we would have handled things would have been much different," said Chagla. He said quarantines would have been imposed on travellers sooner and the way public health officials traced cases would have changed significantly. Chagla, Bogoch and Mohan all say too little was done to protect people in racialized and low-income communities. Even this deep into the pandemic, people of Black and South Asian descent are over-represented among the COVID-19 caseload. 2nd wave shows signs of receding The one-year anniversary of the virus in Canada comes amid signs that the second wave is starting to recede, albeit with warnings that new case numbers will only continue to drop if public health restrictions stay in place. There are also fears that highly contagious variants of the coronavirus could either prolong the second wave or drive an even more widespread third wave before the bulk of the population gets vaccinated. Thousands of new infections are still being reported every day across the country, and the average daily number of deaths is not expected to decrease for weeks. About 200,000 Canadians have contracted COVID-19 in the past month alone. The case fatality rates among different age demographics suggest that hundreds of those will die. "It's hard for me to reconcile with the mistakes being made in the second wave," said Mohan. "We can't get back these lives lost."
EDMONTON — Some Alberta rivers and streams have already been heavily contaminated by coal mining, unreported government data suggests. The province's plan for large-scale expansion of the industry is fuelling widespread criticism that includes concerns over selenium pollution. The data shows that same contaminant has been found for years at high levels downstream of three mines and never publicly reported. The findings raise questions about Alberta Environment, said a former senior official who has seen the data. "There were lots of (selenium) numbers and it was consistently above the water quality guidelines and in many cases way higher," said Bill Donahue, the department's one-time executive director of science. "Why did Alberta Environment sit on these data for easily the last 10 to 15 years?" Donahue left the department in 2018 after the NDP government of the day dissolved the Alberta Environmental Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting Agency, an independent body intended to fill information gaps. Before resigning, he had become concerned about selenium in the Gregg and McLeod rivers and in Luscar Creek, all in the Rocky Mountain foothills east of Jasper, Alta. He took the data with him when he left and recently analyzed it for The Canadian Press. "The results are stark," he said. Since at least the late 1990s, Alberta Environment has monitored water upstream and downstream from the Luscar, Gregg River and Cheviot mines. Cheviot, owned by Teck Resources, still operates. The Gregg River and Luscar operations closed in 2000 and 2003, respectively. Gregg River, now managed by Coal Valley Resources, is considered reclaimed. Luscar, managed by Teck, is about 50 per cent reclaimed. Donahue looked at water samples from 1998 through 2016, taken upstream and downstream on the same day. He found that selenium levels averaged almost six times higher in the McLeod River downstream from the Cheviot mine. They were nearly nine times higher in the Gregg River and 11 times higher in Luscar Creek, despite years of reclamation. Selenium levels in all the samples from the Gregg River and Luscar Creek exceeded those considered safe for aquatic life: by nearly four times in the Gregg River and nearly nine times in Luscar Creek. The level was exceeded in about one-quarter of the McLeod River samples. "This is not a subtle story," said Donahue. "This is shocking." Alberta Environment and Parks spokesman John Muir said the department routinely monitors selenium at 89 waterways across Alberta. "We have key experts working on our own water quality studies to better understand the conditions of watersheds and aquatic life downstream of coal mining operations," he said. "(We) will make those findings publicly available." Muir pointed out that all raw monitoring data is available on a searchable database. He said the mines in question pre-date modern regulations and technology. An Alberta government document on reclaiming the mine sites states: "Current assessments indicate there is no risk to humans who drink water or eat fish containing excessive amounts of selenium." Selenium is a naturally occurring element vital in small amounts but toxic in excess. In fish, it can damage the liver, kidney and heart. It can reduce the number of viable eggs a fish can produce and lead to deformed spine, head, mouth, and fins. In humans, it can cause nausea, vomiting, hair loss and fatigue. The last time Alberta Environment reported on selenium in the three waterways was 2006. Using data collected in 2000 and 2001, it concluded "selenium concentrations in rainbow and brook trout were usually greater than toxicity effects thresholds." Why the subsequent silence? asks Donahue. "They knew when a report was published that selenium was a problem in these systems related to coal mining. It draws a lot of questions." Last May, the United Conservative government revoked a policy that protected much of the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains from open-pit coal mining. The area is home to endangered species, the water source for much of the southern prairies, and one of the province's best-loved landscapes. Hundreds of exploratory drill sites and kilometres of access roads have now been scribed into its wilderness, documents from Alberta's energy regulator show. One open-pit coal mine proposal is before a joint federal-provincial review panel. More than 100,000 Albertans have signed petitions opposing the plans. Opponents range from small-town mayors to ranchers to popular entertainment figures, including Corb Lund and Jann Arden. Mining opponents point across the boundary into British Columbia, where selenium from coal mines in the Elk Valley has created serious contamination problems. The lingering contamination from the three Alberta mines shows the stakes are high, said Donahue. "These pollution problems have persisted long after the closure of coal mines." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021 — Follow @row1960 on Twitter Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
TAIPEI, Taiwan — It didn't take long for relations with China to become an issue for new U.S. President Joe Biden. A show of force by the Chinese air force off Taiwan last weekend prompted a U.S. response, even as Biden and his administration focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and other pressing issues at home in what is still their first week in office. WHAT HAPPENED? Taiwan's Defence Ministry reported that China sent a dozen bombers and fighter jets into Taiwan's air defence identification zone on Saturday. Such a sizeable show of force is relatively rare, and the U.S. State Department issued a statement urging China “to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure against Taiwan" and expressing concern about “the pattern of ongoing ... attempts to intimidate its neighbours.” China then sent 16 military aircraft into the same area on Sunday, Taiwan said. China has not commented on the reports. WHAT SPARKED CHINA'S ACTIONS? It's unclear. China may have been responding to Taiwanese military drills last week against a hypothetical Chinese invasion. It also may have been testing Biden, after the de facto Taiwanese ambassador to the U.S. attended his inauguration. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Monday that China is determined “to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity” and urged the U.S. to “refrain from sending wrong signals to the Taiwan independence forces.” Tiehlin Yen, the deputy director of the Taiwan Center for Security Studies, said China's moves may give it some bargaining chips as it prepares to deal with a new U.S. president and any adjustments he may make to China policy. But Chinese international relations expert Zhao Kejin at Tsinghua University in Beijing said the actions are not aimed at the U.S. but at Taiwan, and its opposition to unification with the mainland. “China needs to show its determination,” he said. WHAT IS THE UPSHOT? The U.S. response reflects what is expected to be continued U.S. support for Taiwan under Biden. His administration may refrain from the more provocative steps taken under his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, but it will abide by American legal requirements to ensure Taiwan can defend itself. China will no doubt continue to demand the self-governing island come under its control. Given their respective positions, the issue will likely remain a source of friction in U.S.-China relations. WHY THE DIVIDE OVER TAIWAN? Taiwan, an island of 24 million people about 160 kilometres (100 miles) off China’s southeast coast, separated from China in 1949, when the Communist Party took power. For three decades, the U.S. recognized the Nationalist government in Taipei, Taiwan, as the government of China, though it had no actual control over the much larger mainland. The U.S. switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979, but now-democratic Taiwan still enjoys strong bipartisan support in Washington. The Associated Press
Dr. Jane Pegg couldn't believe her eyes when she saw the pot edibles that had poisoned a two-year-old who had been rushed to the emergency room in October. "It so shocked and appalled me … the package looked almost identical to gummies that are sold as candies in the store," the Nanaimo, B.C., pediatrician said. The boy wasn't moving and was having trouble breathing. His distraught mother had accidentally given him marijuana-laced gummies that contained a massive dose of THC — a psychoactive compound in cannabis — thinking it was candy. The edibles belonged to the child's grandfather, who has arthritis, and are sold under the names "Stoney Patch" and "Stoner Patch." They look so much like the Sour Patch Kids brand that the company behind that candy, Mondelēz Canada Inc., successfully sued last January for trademark infringement. "I don't know why the companies that are selling these products are not being shut down, not being fined, not being charged," said Pegg. Cannabis-infused edibles — including gummy candies, chocolate or baked goods —that are sold legally must follow Health Canada rules including a 10-milligram limit on THC. They also can't be packaged with images or bright colours that can appeal to children, need to have child safety warnings and be child-resistant. But copycat products often break all the rules. Go Public found hundreds of websites selling illicit edibles with packages designed to look like all types of candy and chocolate bars — everything from Sour Patch Kids, Pop Tarts, Snickers chocolate bars and more. The sites are part of a huge and illegal marketplace that operates openly, under the nose of the government and law enforcement. "These websites [are] operating quite flagrantly," said lawyer Trina Fraser, who specializes in cannabis regulatory law. "I think there is a certain amount of jurisdictional struggle over whose responsibility [it is], because these enforcement actions cost money and someone's going to bear the cost of that," she said, referring to provincial, territorial and federal governments and the multiple police forces that are tasked with enforcing the rules. The two-year-old Pegg treated spent the night in hospital and was released the next day. Pegg's colleague, Dr. Jodi Turner, has seen similar poisonings in the same ER. "Sometimes they [children] need to be kept on a monitor. You're looking for whether or not their heart is stable. You're looking at whether or not they develop seizures or need a ventilator to breathe," she said. Pot became legal in Canada in October 2018; edibles were legalized a year later. Since then, regional poison centres across the country have reported a spike in unintentional poisonings of children and teens involving edibles — though it is unclear how many of those cases involved illicit, lookalike packages. Data was not available from every province and territory. Such poisonings roughly doubled in B.C., Nova Scotia and Quebec between 2019 and 2020. B.C. saw almost 100 cases in 2020. Ontario, Manitoba and Nunavut, which report their poisonings together, reported 166. No fatal poisonings of children or youth involving just cannabis have been reported to Health Canada since legalization in 2018. After treating the toddler, the first thing Pegg did was contact Health Canada, to ask how to report the poisoning — but no one got back to her. "I followed their reporting guidelines, I followed up by phone … [but] had no response until you [Go Public] contacted them." Pegg finally heard back in January, more than two months after she reported the incident. WATCH | Go Public explores the prevalence of pot edibles that look candy: Health Canada tells Go Public that Pegg's email was sent to a "generic" email account which gets a lot of messages and there was a "delay in processing the information." Health Canada also said, via email, that after seeing an increase in such reports, it issued an advisory in August about accidental ingestion of illegal edible cannabis products by children and launched "extensive public education and advertising campaigns … to encourage adults to store all cannabis securely." Statistics Canada says an estimated 42 per cent of cannabis users — 743,800 Canadians who responded to the survey — got pot from illegal sources in 2019. 'Whack-a-mole' In its January email to Pegg, Canada Health said she should contact the RCMP or her local police department. But it's not quite that simple, according to the co-chair of the drug advisory committee at the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. Mike Serr says there are at least 1,100 illegal sites operating just in Canada, and while police have had success shutting some down, the problem is bigger than they can handle. "I wish I had a better term, but really whack-a-mole describes it quite well. When we hit one down and get rid of it, four more pop up," said Serr, who is also chief of the Abbotsford, B.C., police department. Serr says the websites are often run by organized crime and warns the products, which are often cheaper than the government-regulated cannabis, are untested, unregulated and run the risk of being contaminated. Police are talking with banks to see if they will flag pot purchases and stop the flow of money to the illegal sites, he says. "That will help disrupt the illicit market online … [banks] know that they should not be allowing those transactions, that they're illegal transactions. "It's just really a matter of being able to identify the illegal and the legal online stores correctly." He says he'd like to see the federal government fund a task force that specializes in shutting the illegal websites down. The RCMP tells Go Public it has implemented what it calls a "national investigative strategy," working with the Canada Border Services Agency, Canada Post, Health Canada and municipal and provincial police forces to go after the organized crime groups running the sites. Illegal websites look legit Complicating the issue is how the websites look. In many cases, it's hard to tell the difference between legal and illegal sites, says Fraser. Adding to that confusion, she says, are the different rules in different provinces about how pot is sold online. Ontario, for example, has one legal, provincially run cannabis website that can sell and ship and private licensed retailers that can sell online for in-store pickup. Saskatchewan and Manitoba allow private, licensed retailers to sell and ship online. "So, in some cases," says Fraser, "it becomes very tricky for the public to understand what is a licensed retailer and what is not." Possessing cannabis purchased from illicit websites is also a crime. Public Safety Canada says it has a plan that will crack down on the thriving, illicit market. That "action plan" was announced last March, but hasn't been implemented. It includes increasing public education and working more closely with police, the provinces and territories to identify and shut down the sites. The plan also proposes "putting search engines, social media, and payment platforms on notice about their legal responsibilities in relation to illegal online cannabis stores," wrote spokesperson Magali Deussing in an email to Go Public. She says, "work is underway" to put the plan into action and that Public Safety Canada will review the effort to displace the illicit market, as part of a its review of the Cannabis Act scheduled for the fall. 'Families feel terrible' Pegg says action is long overdue. "Surely in this day and age they can shut down these websites," she said. In the meantime, she's keeping a close eye on the reports of kids poisoned by pot edibles. She says the long-term impact on a child's developing brain is unknown. Go Public asked to speak with the two-year-old's mom about the family's experience, but she declined the interview. "Families feel terrible. Especially when it happens in another family member's home or... where [given] the packaging, there is no reason to think it contained THC," Pegg said. "They need to address this, online sales of these these products because it's really placing children and families at risk." Submit your story ideas Go Public is an investigative news segment on CBC-TV, radio and the web. We tell your stories, shed light on wrongdoing, and hold the powers that be accountable. If you have a story in the public interest, or if you're an insider with information, contact email@example.com with your name, contact information and a brief summary. All emails are confidential until you decide to Go Public. Follow @CBCGoPublic on Twitter.
Most young mothers don't have to make a choice between hugging their children and accessing the medical treatment that keeps them alive, but that's the situation Kherin Dimalanta says she faces here in Ottawa. Dimalanta, 33, is a Filipina nanny working for a family of two doctors, one of whom has become the face of the fight against COVID-19 in this city. While Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, a regular contributor to CBC, goes to work in the ICU and his wife Dr. Cathy Kyeremanteng sees patients at her private psychology practice, Dimalanta is at home caring for their three young boys. "We would not have been able to do what we did through the pandemic, to continue our work, if we did not have help at home," said Cathy Kyeremanteng. Dimalanta arrived three and a half years ago under a live-in caregiver visa. After a few years of working in Ottawa, she had hoped to apply for permanent residency and bring her own two children to live with her in Canada. But six months after she arrived, Dimalanta went for a routine blood test as part of an insurance application and discovered she had chronic kidney disease. The diagnosis meant she was no longer medically admissible to Canada, even though she had already worked and paid taxes in Canada for months before she fell ill. "It just turned my life upside down," Dimalanta said. "I feel like I don't have the right to dream anymore." Immigration system 'doesn't feel Canadian' Dimalanta's nightly dialysis costs around $40,000 a year. That's almost twice the annual health-care cost threshold set by the Liberal government in 2018. Prospective immigrants who would cost the health-care system more than $21,204 a year are ineligible for permanent residency because they're deemed an excessive burden. But Cathy Kyeremanteng believes that rule shouldn't apply to people who were already working legally and paying taxes in Canada. How could Canada send somebody home to die in front of their children, just because we have to pay for the medical treatment? - Dr. Cathy Kyeremanteng "She fell sick while she was here, by no fault of her own," Kyeremanteng said. "How could Canada send somebody home to die in front of their children, just because we have to pay for the medical treatment?… It doesn't feel Canadian to me." Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada was unable to provide a comment by deadline on the situation facing people who, like Dimalanta, are already living and working in Canada, but are not medically admissible. "It illustrates the structural problem in our immigration system," said Jamie Liew, an associate professor of law at the University of Ottawa. Liew says that while highly skilled immigrants often come to Canada with their permanent resident status pre-approved — which means they're not at risk of being sent home if they get sick — low-skilled migrant workers can only apply for permanent residency after a few years. "We, for whatever reason, don't value [them] the same way … despite the fact that a lot of skilled migrant workers provide essential services, as we've seen through the pandemic," Liew said. Nanny's difficult choice Dimalanta has applied for permanent residency on humanitarian and compassionate grounds because she cannot afford dialysis treatment in the Philippines. Without it, her doctors have told her she will die. While she waits for the humanitarian appeal, a process that often takes years, she has applied for both a temporary resident permit and an open work permit so that she's eligible for OHIP and has the freedom to return to the Philippines to see her children. Almost two years later, no decision has been made on Dimalanta's application. She has "implied status," so she's allowed to continue to work and pay taxes, but every few months she must appeal to the OHIP review committee for continuing coverage. She can't risk leaving the country in case she's not allowed back in. It's now been almost four years since she last saw her children. "My kids will always say, 'Don't worry, Mama. Just stay there and get well.' Even if I ask, you know, what gift do you want for Christmas? It's, 'Don't think about us, just get well,'" Dimalanta said. Without a reprieve, she has a stark choice: stay in Ottawa and access life-saving treatment, or go home to her children and watch her condition worsen. "Is it better for me to stay here and get the medication and work still? Or is it better for me to go home, see them, hug them?" she asked. "What would you choose?"
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Monday Jan. 25, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 15,213 new vaccinations administered for a total of 816,451 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 2,154.265 per 100,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 1,122,450 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 72.74 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland is reporting 3,258 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 8,549 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 16.326 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 16,500 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 51.81 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 1,423 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 6,525 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 41.134 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 9,225 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 5.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 70.73 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 2,975 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 10,575 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 10.836 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 28,850 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 36.66 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 2,704 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 10,436 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 13.379 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 21,675 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 48.15 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 8,503 new vaccinations administered for a total of 218,755 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 25.565 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 238,100 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 91.88 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 4,427 new vaccinations administered for a total of 280,573 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 19.101 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 411,650 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 68.16 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 1,389 new vaccinations administered for a total of 28,941 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 21.017 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 55,650 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 4.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 52.01 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 654 new vaccinations administered for a total of 33,039 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 28.019 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 32,725 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 101 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 240 new vaccinations administered for a total of 99,047 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 22.50 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 122,725 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.71 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 110,566 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 21.546 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 144,550 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 76.49 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 3,730 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 89.382 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 14,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 35 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 25.9 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,893 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 41.956 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 14,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 32 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 13.15 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 3,822 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 98.693 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 12,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 31 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 31.85 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press