Driving down a tree-lined road amid fall colours.
A Washington state entomologist said discovering a nest of Asian giant hornets in the backyard tree of a home in Blaine was at first exciting, and then concerning."The first thing we saw was their children's play set about 20 feet from the location," said Sven-Erik Spichiger. "It was a little terrifying."The nest of invasive insects is the first ever discovered in the U.S. and was found just south of the Peace Arch border crossing that separates South Surrey, B.C., and Blaine, Wash.Last year, a nest of Asian giant hornets was found and destroyed in a downtown Nanaimo park on Vancouver Island.As an invasive species with a voracious appetite for important pollinators like honey bees, "murder hornets" as they are sometimes called, are considered a major threat to apple, berry and other fruit crops in the Pacific Northwest. Researchers were led to the nest in Blaine after attaching tiny radio trackers to three specimens they captured live. Over the weekend crews wearing protective suits worked to seal the nest and insects in the tree using foam filler and shrink wrap, before vacuuming out as many individual specimens as possible. "When we first started vacuuming the hornets were not very upset with us and only a few were coming up,' said Spichiger. "Then we hit the side of the tree and that worked ... they came pouring out."All 85 Asian giant hornets taken from the tree alive will now be used in research, he added.Any individuals and larvae that remained in the tree were asphyxiated with carbon dioxide gas for 10 to 15 minutes, before expanding foam was sprayed into the nest crevice. The tree is now being removed for further examination."At this point we believe everything in the nest to be dead," he said. "No one was stung or even attacked by a hornet during this procedure, so from my perspective that is a huge success." According to Spichiger, the Washington state team has been working in close collaboration with Canadian counterparts who are also tracking the hornet. "[The Canadians] have traps up all along the border where we've been operating … and we are sharing capture and eradication data as it's happening," he said.The Asian giant hornet can grow up to five centimetres long and is native to Japan, the Korean peninsula and coastal China.Spichiger expect more nests will be found and eradicated, but because the hornets haven't been found outside of Whatcom County in Washington state, doesn't think the pest is out of control in the U.S. at this time."If we start finding [nests] all over the place, that's when I'll start thinking we have a problem we can't deal with," he said.
A disturbing video showing a Calgary police officer slamming a handcuffed woman into the ground face-first has been released by a judge at the constable's trial. Const. Alex Dunn is on trial on a charge of assault causing bodily harm stemming from an arrest in 2017.Dalia Kafi, who is Black and was 26 years old at the time, had been arrested on the accusation she breached a court-ordered curfew. She was at the CPS arrest processing unit when she was taken to the ground in what one 30-year officer says was the "worst use of force" he'd ever seen. Kafi, whose head can be seen bouncing off the concrete floor, needed surgery for a broken nose and stitches in her lip. On Monday, provincial court Judge Michelle Christopher agreed to release the video exhibit to members of the media, including CBC News. WATCH: See Const. Dunn throw the handcuffed woman to the ground in the video belowKafi was the first of three witnesses to be called by prosecutor Ryan Pollard.Kafi told Pollard she'd been at a friend's house braiding hair on Dec. 12, 2017, when she realized she was out past her curfew. Though it was not mentioned in court, Kafi was subject to a court-ordered curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.A friend offered to drive her home, but on the way, she says, the driver was pulled over for turning on a yellow light. At first, Kafi says, she gave the officers her sister's name because she knew she'd be in trouble for being out late. Once she told Dunn her real name, Kafi was arrested, placed in handcuffs and taken to the arrest processing unit.There, Kafi was told to stand against a wall to have her photo taken. At that point, Dunn tried several times to remove a scarf she was wearing in her hair. 'Judo-style throw'Kafi can be seen "shrinking away" from the officer, as Pollard described in his opening statement. Staff Sgt. Gordon Macdonald, who was the commanding officer at the APU described Kafi as "flinching back."Then, in a swift move, Dunn slams the handcuffed woman face-first onto the ground in what Macdonald described as a "judo-style throw."Kafi's head can be seen bouncing off the concrete floor.Kafi's mother, who had been sitting quietly in the gallery, watched the video of her daughter's head bouncing off the concrete floor and let out a guttural noise. She quickly left the courtroom. 'Worst use of force'Macdonald testified he not only witnessed the incident but also heard the unmistakable sound of Kafi's head hitting the ground."There's only one type of sound when somebody's bone hits the floor and that's what I heard," he said from the witness box.Macdonald testified that he feared the worst for Kafi's condition and called paramedics. Dunn backed off. Normally, the arresting officer accompanies an arrestee to the hospital, but Macdonald felt it wasn't appropriate for the constable to continue to be in Kafi's presence."I advised him that it was the worst use of force that I had seen," said Macdonald.Surgery and stitchesMacdonald said that when Kafi arrived, she was complaining about her arrest. He said she was belligerent though not threatening or aggressive.Pollard asked the 30-year officer if he'd seen Kafi act in a way that would have justified Dunn's reaction. "No," said Macdonald. Immediately after the take-down, Kafi was motionless on the ground. Once other officers rushed to her side, Dunn stepped away.A pool of blood can be seen on the ground, becoming a trail when Kafi is moved.Dunn back at work Kafi says that when she came to, her face was bleeding and she was taken to hospital, where she was stitched up. Eventually, she had surgery for a broken nose. According to CPS, Dunn was suspended with pay for a year after he was charged but has been brought back for an administrative role with the service. In a written statement, CPS said its internal disciplinary process will be completed after the trial and will determine whether Dunn's use of force was considered reasonable. Under the Police Act, depending on the outcome, discipline could include dismissal."In general terms, police officers are trained to de-escalate conflict and to use the least amount of force necessary to safely resolve a situation. We expect them to follow the law, our policies and our training."
The RCMP officer who arrested Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018 said he knew immediately that her extradition case was "high-profile."Const. Winston Yep testified in B.C. Supreme Court Monday about the hours leading up to the Huawei chief financial officer's arrest on Dec. 1, 2018.He said he was handed the file the day before and even though he didn't know who exactly Meng was — he knew she was important."I didn't know too much about it. All I know is that Huawei was the largest telecommunications company in the world," Yep said."She's the CFO of Huawei and a high-profile person."Ten witnesses expectedYep is the first of 10 witnesses expected to take the stand over two weeks of testimony from the RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency officers who were involved in Meng's arrest for extradition to the U.S.The testimony will be broken into two weeks — one now, and one at the end of November. The witnesses will be questioned and cross-examined as both sides gather evidence for a hearing in February at which Meng's lawyers plan to argue that her rights were violated during her arrest.The 48-year-old sat in court listening through a translator as she watched the man who arrested her, setting off a legal odyssey that has lasted nearly two years.She is charged with fraud and conspiracy for allegedly lying to HSBC about Huawei's control of a subsidiary that was accused of breaching U.S. economic sanctions against Iran.Prosecutors claim that by relying on those alleged lies to continue financing Huawei, the bank put itself at risk of loss and prosecution for violating the same set of sanctions.Much of the questioning is expected to centre around the decision to have CBSA officers detain Meng for three hours before Yep arrested her.They questioned her during that time without a lawyer and seized her electronic devices, compelling her to give the passwords, which the Crown has admitted the CBSA then passed along to the RCMP by mistake.'It's a risky situation'Yep was working in the RCMP's foreign domestic liaison unit when he was asked to get a provisional arrest warrant for Meng. He said he didn't treat Meng's arrest any differently than any of the other arrests he has made as an RCMP officer. But Yep said the case is only the third extradition he has been involved in, and he was in the process of carrying out his second extradition arrest with a partner when his supervisor called him about Meng.It was a Friday. Yep said they were short staffed and his boss said they had an "urgent extradition request" and she couldn't find anyone to go down to the Department of Justice Office to swear an affidavit for the provisional arrest warrant.Yep said the U.S. had also asked for Meng's electronic devices to be seized and provided special bags for that purpose, which prevented them from being remotely accessed."It didn't cause me any concern," he said. "It was part of the execution of the arrest process."Yep said he and his partner went to the airport the same evening in order to ascertain that Meng was actually on the Cathay Pacific flight that was scheduled to arrive from Hong Kong the next day. But he said it hadn't taken off before they left for the evening.In the meantime, he said a supervisor sent a note suggesting they board the plane on landing and arrest Meng then. But Yep said he didn't "think that was a good idea.""We didn't know Ms. Meng," he said. "We didn't know who she was travelling with and what she was capable of. Plus, you have other passengers there. It's a risky situation."'This is your jurisdiction'Yep insisted that the RCMP and CBSA officers had no clear plan for how the arrest would play out when they met on the morning before Meng's flight landed. But he insisted that he always understood that the CBSA was the agency that had jurisdiction."I said, 'this is your jurisdiction, we want to work with you guys,'" Yep said. "What do you suggest we do here?"Yep said the CBSA officers claimed that Meng had outstanding immigration issues involving her ownership of two multimillion dollar homes on Vancouver's west side, so they settled on a plan that would see the CBSA detain her first.But he said, "it was always going to be me who was effecting the arrest. Because I had the warrant and this was an RCMP matter."Yep said the CBSA officers agreed to seize Meng's devices, but he said they were never asked to search the contents.And he insisted that no one asked the CBSA officers to question Meng about anything with regards to the allegations against her."I did not give CBSA any directions on what to ask Ms. Meng," Yep said. "We left it up to them to do their process and when they were done their process I was going to execute the warrant. We let them do their job."Yep described sitting in a room, waiting for the CBSA to deal with Meng before she was finally brought in for he and a fellow officer to arrest. He was in a suit, and his colleague was in full uniform.He said Meng was surprised, but cooperative."It went smooth," Yep said.He said he also made the decision to handcuff Meng with her hands in front of her body, and not behind as is usual."Why handcuff her at all?" asked Crown prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley."That's just the arrest process," Yep answered.Gibb-Carsley asked Yep about the wording of the warrant which commanded him to "immediately" arrest Meng. The defence has accused the CBSA and RCMP of ignoring the judge's directions by having customs officers interrogate her beforehand.Yep said he understood "immediately" to mean "just as soon as practical" taking into account public safety, officer safety and passenger protection."You don't just rush in to arrest somebody without knowing your environment," Yep said.Meng has denied the allegations against her.
You might think that Nissan, the first car-maker to achieve widespread success with a zero-emissions electric vehicle, cares deeply about the environment. But Clayton Brander isn't so sure. Three years ago, the Powell River, B.C., resident chose to buy a used 2013 Nissan Leaf, motivated by a keen interest in sustainability. "I love the car," he said. "Honestly, in three years and 40,000 kilometres, I've replaced a set of tires and windshield wiper fluid. Nothing breaks down. It's a fantastic little vehicle. I think electric vehicles are the way to go."But nowadays, instead of being able to drive the 120 km that 2013 Leafs could initially go on a full charge, Brander can't get much more than 80 km. He has even become hesitant about turning on the heat or window defroster, since using those features require battery power and will reduce his driving range even further. Brander always knew that batteries lose capacity over time, and he figured it wouldn't be a problem getting a new one. "The dealership where I bought the car said that in a few years, you can replace the battery for about $5,000," said Brander.But now, he can't find one. He's tried two nearby Nissan dealerships, three local repair shops and contacted Nissan Canada."Nissan hasn't been helpful. I've sent probably six emails to them," said Brander. "They keep telling me to go to the dealership. I called my local dealership and they sent emails to Nissan Canada. Six weeks later, neither of us has gotten a response."Both dealerships told him that a new battery — if he can find one — could cost him at least $15,000, which would be more than he paid for the vehicle in the first place.WATCH | Brander's struggle to replace his car's battery: His local dealership has encouraged him to solve the issue by simply purchasing a brand-new Nissan Leaf. The basic 2020 model costs $42,000 and can travel about 240 km on a full charge. That suggestion doesn't seem very sustainable to Brander. "It seems like these things are going to end up in the landfill," he said. "It makes more sense for them financially, I imagine, to sell new cars than to service the old cars."U.S. class-action lawsuit The Nissan Leaf has long been the world's best-selling electric vehicle, surpassed for the first time in 2020 by Tesla's Model S, according to Nissan and Tesla's own figures.Olivier Trescases, a professor at the University of Toronto's Electric Vehicle Research Centre, said Nissan deserves credit for being a pioneer."They were one of the first to release a compelling electric vehicle with a reasonable range and most importantly, a low price point," he said.But he added that one of the design "compromises" Nissan initially made in order to keep production costs down was to not install an advanced cooling system for its batteries. "They were using a chemistry that was particularly temperature-sensitive, and they did not use expensive liquid cooling."That means the battery's capacity is reduced more quickly. In 2012, Leaf owners in California and Arizona launched a class-action lawsuit claiming the car's driving range was lower than advertised.The company settled the suit and extended the battery capacity warranty to five years on models made from 2013 onward. Later, Nissan extended the warranty to eight years on models made after 2016. As well, a battery replacement program for first-generation Leafs was launched in the U.S. A new one cost $5,499 US, plus labour, but the program was discontinued in early 2018.Where's the loyalty? After an inquiry about Clayton Brander's situation from CBC's Go Public team, Nissan declined an interview but released a statement via email. It said Nissan Canada will conduct an inspection of Brander's vehicle and is "hopeful to find a resolution." Contacted by phone, the head of corporate communications for Nissan Canada wouldn't clarify if that means that they would find him a new battery, or at what price. The statement also pointed out the environmental impact of the Leaf, saying owners around the world have driven 4.8 billion kilometres and helped to prevent "more than 2.4 billion kilograms of CO2 emissions."Trescases believes Nissan should show more loyalty to its first customers. "Some of these early adopters helped them to get the car out on the market, get some acceptance and go from there."Nissan Canada says more than 3,300 Canadians have purchased Leafs built prior to 2015.Trescases said the challenge of replacing batteries in older electric cars shouldn't discourage buyers of newer models, explaining the latest EV batteries are incredibly efficient."Today, companies are talking about million-mile batteries," he said. "That's a big buzzword, but let's say they even get close to that — that means that the battery will actually outlive the car by a long stretch."Last year, Nissan began powering streetlights in Japan and a stadium in the Netherlands with batteries from cars no longer in use.Keeping car on the roadAt just seven years old, Brander's Leaf is newer than most cars on the road in Canada, where the average vehicle is 10 years old. (In B.C., the average is 11.)He remains determined to hang on to the vehicle, ideally with a new battery. He's happy that Nissan Canada finally got in touch with him after the inquiry from CBC News, but he's puzzled why the company says the vehicle needs to be tested. He said he already paid $130 for a battery test at a local dealership."The fact that I don't get enough driving range out of this one is all that's needed to determine that I need a new battery," he said.He'd like to see Nissan show some loyalty to its most faithful fans, by helping keep the cars on the road for as long as possible."They got all the kudos for introducing the electric vehicles to the masses, so that looks really good," he said. "But they're losing them now by not supporting these older models and just pushing new vehicle sales, instead of saying, 'Look, we can still keep these out of the landfill.'"
Public health officials introduced new measures today to curb transmission of COVID-19 at gatherings in people’s homes, which they say fuelled a record weekend of new cases in British Columbia. The province reported 817 new cases in the three days since Friday, with 317 cases reported on Saturday, setting a new record total for the third time in less than a week. Of these cases, 665 occurred in Fraser Health. Cases have almost doubled since Oct. 9 in the Delta, Surrey and Langley areas. Two schools have been closed as a result of COVID-19 cases. “It is concerning to us that we continue to see growth, particularly in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Health region,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. “This is a bit of a sobering weekend for us.” A new public health order from Henry now limits gatherings in homes to the household members plus their “safe six” individuals — the six people they have included in gatherings. Henry said she is “stepping up” her messaging on masks in public indoor spaces but stopped short of mandating them as in some other Canadian jurisdictions. Whether going to the grocery store, liquor store or ICBC to renew a driver’s licence, “it is now the expectation that people will wear non-medical masks in public spaces,” she said. Two schools, including one where the province’s first outbreak took place in Kelowna and a school in the Fraser Health region, have now closed because mandated isolation “has meant that the schools can no longer safely operate.” “To me it indicates that the plan is working, that we’re detecting these and detecting them early,” said Henry. So far, there are two outbreaks in more than 2,000 schools in B.C. These outbreaks signal there is spread in the community, and Henry urged people to limit their contacts and gatherings to keep essential settings like schools and health care safe. She also advised that for larger families or those living in multi-generational homes, even six additional people may be too many. “When you come together with others, you bring the risk with you,” Henry said. “Orders as we know are a last resort, but it does indicate where we need to take this now.” Last week Henry said social gatherings were significant sources of transmission in the community and urged people to limit them to immediate family. Cultural and religious leaders have a role to play in this critical time, Henry stressed, particularly as flu season begins. Thanksgiving weekend brought the “next level” of transmission as a result of social gatherings, leading to the surge the province sees today, she said. “We need to take action in these areas.” It appears unlikely these orders will change before the holiday season, and Henry suggested people begin planning holiday gatherings within their households. “It’s going to be some months until we are through this part of the pandemic,” said Henry. Moira Wyton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Tyee
Thousands of children appear to have fallen off the Toronto District School Board's radar in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic — and the board's budget is taking a serious hit because of it, board staff say in a new report.A meeting of the TDSB's finance committee last week was told it will be short about $42 million in provincial government funding this school year. That's because boards are funded per pupil, and far fewer children have shown up for class this fall compared to last, the report states. TDSB chair Alexander Brown told CBC Toronto about 5,500 students who had been expected back this fall — either online or in class — are unaccounted for as of October. That number includes about 800 high school students and roughly 4,700 elementary school kids, Brown said.According to the TDSB's website, there are normally about 255,000 children enrolled, and its annual operating budget is $3.4 billion.Brown said board staff are working to find out what's become of the missing students."Hopefully, we'll know where all those kids are by mid-November to the end of November," he said. Of the missing elementary school-aged students, about 2,100 had been registered for junior or senior kindergarten classes this school year, which officially started in September. TDSB appealing to province to let it keep $42MThose youngsters do not legally need to be in school under Ontario law, he said, but any child six or older has to be enrolled in an approved learning environment, whether it's in-class or online. Parents are supposed to inform the board in writing if they plan to pull previously enrolled children out of the TDSB and homeschool them.What, if any, schooling the missing students are receiving "is a concern," he said."Obviously, we need to find out. There were a lot of kids in our system for the first couple of weeks of school that didn't have teachers, so it's been a hard year and we have to still work on it to get it right."Although board staff are in the midst of the painstaking task of tracking down the parents of all 5,500 no-shows, Brown said the TDSB probably won't know exactly how they're being schooled until December.In the meantime, he said the board has appealed to the province to allow it to keep the $42 million per-pupil funding allotment that's at risk because of the missing students.Brown said he believes some of those students are being home-schooled informally by their parents, while others have likely switched to the Toronto Catholic District School Board or private schools..Several parents contacted by CBC Toronto said they'd pulled their kids from the TDSB this school year because of health concerns brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak. Others said they felt the board was too disorganized in launching the 2020-2021 school year.Vince Gerrie pulled his two sons from their TDSB schools in Leaside and enrolled them in a private online school, which is costing about $1,200 a month.'Had to become teachers'"My wife and I both have very demanding careers and in March when the lockdown happened, it was a very difficult time for us. Not only were we dealing with how COVID was affecting our businesses, but we also had to become teachers," he said."And as the school year was approaching rapidly, you could anticipate that the COVID case counts were going to go up...If the kids did attend in person, is the school going to get shut down or are they going to get sick? We wanted to make a decision where we actually knew what was happening and we could control our circumstances."He said his sons, 10-year-old Jasper, and Sebastian, 13, have thrived in their new learning environment — so much so that he's considering leaving them in the online private school even after the pandemic is under control.Mom Ashley O'Rourke, of Scarborough, said safety was her motivator.Her son Max had been registered to start junior kindergarten this fall. But he recently underwent a liver transplant, and doctors at the Hospital for Sick Children advised her that the pandemic posed a serious health threat should he attend school.She instead planned to have him take part online, but quickly learned that was not a viable option."We did about two weeks and the teacher was excellent," she said. "But having a three-year-old sit in front of a computer for four-and-a-half hours a day, which is the recommended time, was just not possible for us. "He was getting distracted, and ... at minimum, I figured I could be more effective with him one-on-one for an hour than it would probably be in front of the computer."Brown said the board will present the province with an updated budget proposal in December, at which time he'll have a more exact enrolment number. Whatever that number is, though, Brown said he wants the province to assure the board that it won't cancel the $42 million that the board would be getting, if not for the missing students."We are going to push hard and advocate for that money," he said. "It's always a shell game in this province in a regular year. COVID just exacerbates this to the nth degree."
A trial already fraught with emotional outbursts, intense witness examination lasting hours and bitter workplace feuds played out on the stand resumed Monday for a former principal accused of assaulting multiple young students.Despite previous testimony, five staff members — all called to the witness box by the defendant's lawyers — said they did not observe Robin McGrath scream at or threaten anybody.Two of those witnesses, who were working in close proximity to McGrath at the time, emphasized he did little more to discipline his students than speak firmly to them.It's a vast dissimilarity to the man characterized as a tyrant who dragged one disabled child into a cold shower and grabbed another by the face.McGrath, a former principal of a Conception Bay South elementary school that can't be named due to a publication ban, is charged with four counts of assault, all allegedly against minors with disabilities. He also faces one count of uttering threats.Prior testimony described him carrying out bizarre forms of punishment, such as squeezing a child in a bear hug until he cried, stepping on a child's hand and threatening to cut a student's fingers off while brandishing a pair of scissors.Monday's testimony, in contrast, painted McGrath as a standard authority figure who was called on to take disciplinary action, and who developed friendly relationships with some students. > I'd even go so far as to say they had a good relationship. One staff member said students would drop by just to speak with him, sometimes to show him hockey cards.A staff member who worked a stone's throw from McGrath's office during the 2017-2018 school year said he would always talk to children with his door open. Sometimes he'd speak sternly and with a raised voice, she said — but it never crossed a line."I wouldn't say [he was] yelling. He was loud ... I felt he was stern when he needed to be stern and that he was good with the kids," she said.The children who McGrath allegedly assaulted showed no signs of fear around him, she said.One child in particular would sit in McGrath's office after misbehaving. On one occasion, the witness said, she poked her head in the door; nothing seemed amiss."[The child] would be sitting on the chair swinging his legs, talking away to Robin," she said, frequently nodding her head toward the former principal from the witness stand as she referred to him.Another member of the school staff described similar behaviour from the alleged victims. One of those students, who McGrath often needed to physically lift from his mother's car to coax him into class, said the child did not appear harmed or frightened by him."He'd be skipping down the hall and he'd wave and smile at Mr. McGrath," the teacher testified. "I'd even go so far as to say they had a good relationship."Divided staffMuch of Monday's questioning attempted to untangle the complex workplace relationships between school staff, sometimes veering into territory the relevance of which Judge David Orr questioned more than once.Lawyers pressed witnesses on personal opinions of their colleagues, with the prosecutor repeatedly asking a staff member, at one point, how she felt about the staff members who'd made the allegations.The staff member emphatically denied that she disapproved of any of her colleagues. But upon cross-examination she revealed she did, in fact, have a strong emotional reaction to staff members who criticized McGrath's alleged affair with a married staff member.She said she didn't think it was anyone's business what McGrath did in his romantic life, but insisted she was on "friendly terms with everybody in the school."It was one more instance added to an emerging picture of a work environment divided along enemy lines.The staff member said she also observed daily closed-door meetings between two other staff members, both major players in the allegations against McGrath.She said if she had any inkling McGrath had harmed children, she would have spoken up."As a mother and a grandmother I would not be able to stand by and let anybody do anything to hurt a child," she said.Testimony continues Tuesday.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Loblaw Companies Limited has been granted an injunction prohibiting striking Dominion employees from picketing at a Mount Pearl distribution centre but has also lost dozens more.Striking Dominion employees claimed victory Monday despite being hit with an injunction that prohibits them from picketing at the Loblaw distribution centre in Donovans Business Park.That's because Loblaw Companies Limited lost dozens more injunctions filed to prevent striking employees from picketing at about 50 other locations either owned by or connected to the company.Picketers shifted spaces overnight on Monday from the distribution centre to Weston Bakeries, owned by Loblaw and the Weston family. "You got to love it. It's given us an opportunity to say to the company, 'Look, come back. We want to get this done and over with,'" said Carolyn Wrice, president of Unifor Local 597, which represents 1,400 Dominion employees across 11 stores in Newfoundland and Labrador."We're going to stay here as long as we got to. We're ready to stay. I'm happy about the decision, very happy, and so are my members behind me."Wrice said members on the picket line outside Weston Bakeries are not preventing people from entering or leaving the property. 2nd injunctionWorkers have been on strike since August — after the company ended a $2-an-hour wage increase for essential workers, implemented during the pandemic — calling for more full-time jobs. The union says more than 80 per cent of Dominion workers are part time and 60 full-time jobs were converted into part-time positions last year.In August the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court granted the company an injunction that prohibited strikers from blocking entrances and exits to Dominion grocery stores.In Monday's court application, Loblaw sought to prohibit picketing at 30 Shoppers Drug Mart locations, three No Frills stores, three independent grocers, the company's wholesale club store, the distribution centre and other locations."You never know what the future holds in the next few days, where we'll pop up," said Wrice. "Of course, this was a surprise for the company, I'm sure, this morning."The company also asked the court to limit picket line numbers to four people, but the union says the judge denied that request.'We've been waiting too long'Chris MacDonald, assistant to Unifor national president Jerry Dias and lead negotiator for Dominion workers, told CBC News both sides have to get back to the bargaining table."The company is never going to resolve this issue in court. It's not going to be decided by the courts. Labour disputes are resolved at the bargaining table," he said. "They can take us to court all they want, but, frankly, that's not where this is getting resolved."MacDonald said Unifor called the conciliation officer on Monday to request both parties reconvene. He said the union's bargaining committee is coming to St. John's on Tuesday and is prepared to meet with Loblaw and work out a deal. But, MacDonald added, the company has not indicated to him that it is prepared to move on its offer. "We've been waiting too long. We've got to get back to the table. If it takes us putting forward an offer I'm going to talk to our committee tomorrow and see how that goes," he said. CBC News has asked Loblaw's Atlantic director of corporate affairs for comment.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
There has been chatter for weeks that Vale NL is in talks with Tesla about the Voisey’s Bay mine in northern Labrador. The mine, which is poised to go underground in the next couple of years, is a significant source of nickel, a mineral Tesla needs for electric car batteries. Lela Evans, MHA for Torngat Mountains, the riding where Voisey’s Bay is located, thinks it’s a great opportunity for the government to see if it can kill a few birds with one stone. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in July his company is looking to offer a significant contract if a supplier could produce nickel in an environmentally sensitive way. Evans said Vale has been doing work for years on reducing its environmental footprint and has done a good job of it at the Labrador site. As a remote site with no road access one thing the company can’t avoid, though, is diesel usage, which is expected to increase when the mine goes underground. Evans said in her opinion this ties in perfectly with a recent pre-feasibility study announced on the north coast of Labrador road. “I think it should take into consideration the huge opportunity for the province to tie Muskrat Falls energy into the Vale mine site. It would be a huge market for Muskrat Falls power, it would benefit Voisey’s and it would benefit the province.” Since Voisey’s Bay is only about 35 km south of Nain, she said, any proposed road would pass right by the site, not really increasing the cost. She’s hopeful identifying another need for the road may speed the process along and said a commitment to taking Vale off diesel might help their negotiations with Tesla. An informal estimate prepared on the road by scientist Robert Way a few years ago gave the cost, conservatively, as somewhere between $800-900 million. “If you look at the economic saving, the carbon taxes, the consumption of fuel for Voisey’s and for power plants in the communities, that would be nothing,” she said of the potential cost, adding it would also save on materials that currently have to be flown to the site. Evans said as far she’s concerned it would be a win all around for the province, the people on the coast, Vale, and the environment. “I wouldn’t want to see Vale penalized because they’ve on diesel,” she said. “If there was a way to get off it, they would. I think this is a good motivator and a good opportunity.” Vale did confirm it is in talks with Tesla but no other information has been made available. “As a world leader in the production and supply of responsibly-sourced nickel, Vale has engaged in talks with stakeholders at all points along the supply chain, including Tesla, to explore the possibility of partnerships,” said a statement from Kristie Cochrane, manager of corporate affairs and communications with Vale NL. Cochrane said the talks are consistent with Vale’s positioning in the market and the increasing demand for nickel as a critical component of battery manufacturing for electric vehicles. SaltWire reached out to Tesla but did not receive a reply by deadline. Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
A senior officer with the Kennebecasis Regional Police Force, who has been suspended with pay for more than four years pending the outcome of a conduct complaint over alleged sexual harassment and other Police Act offences involving a female civilian employee he supervised, now plans to retire.Insp. Jeff Porter was scheduled to face an arbitration hearing before the New Brunswick Police Commission in Fredericton on Monday.But last Friday, Porter "formally indicated he will retire at the end of 2020," Chief Wayne Gallant confirmed in an email to CBC News."The arbitration process has been adjourned until December 31st."The New Brunswick Police Commission only has the authority to discipline active police officers. Once an officer leaves the force, the provincial policing oversight body has no jurisdiction to investigate or impose sanctions, which can range from a verbal reprimand to dismissal.Gallant did not provide an explanation for the adjournment."I will not be offering any further comment on the matter," he said.Jennifer Smith, the commission's executive director and CEO, could not immediately be reached for comment.Porter, a 31-year veteran of the force, which covers Rothesay and Quispamsis, has been suspended with pay since June 2016, shortly after the female employee filed a written conduct complaint against him.An inspector's annual salary ranges from about $104,000 to $115,000.Municipal and regional forces in New Brunswick cannot suspend an officer without pay.An independent investigator hired by the commission found Porter committed 81 breaches of various sections of the provincial Police Act, including sexual harassment, abuse of authority, corrupt practice and discreditable conduct.Porter also committed five violations of internal policies, including workplace harassment, according to the investigator's report obtained by CBC News.Porter was subsequently accused of three more offences related to alleged retaliation against the original complainant.An independent investigator hired by the commission found he violated three sections of the professional code of conduct, including abuse of authority by harassment/intimidation, discreditable conduct while off duty, and insubordination.None of the allegations have been proven and Porter has maintained they are false.Earlier this year, Porter lost his bid for a judicial review of his case. He "failed to establish any exceptional circumstances that would justify judicial intervention before the administrative process has been completed," Court of Queen's Bench Justice Terrence Morrison ruled."One could be forgiven for suspecting that this motion is a veiled attempt at delay," Morrison remarked.He ordered Porter to pay $5,500 to the New Brunswick Police Commission for the "significant expense and delay" his application caused.Porter was previously investigated by the New Brunswick RCMP for alleged intimidation, sexual harassment, obstruction and mischief involving the complainant. No criminal charges were laid.Case dates back to February 2016The Porter case dates back to February 2016, when the alleged victim confided in Const. Kelley McIntyre that she felt threatened and intimidated by Porter and wanted to quit.McIntyre told another female officer, who told Steve Palmer, the deputy chief at the time, who took the information to then-chief Stephen McIntyre, of no relation to Kelley, and requested the allegations be investigated.Four days later, the chief ordered an investigation — not into Porter but into McIntyre, accusing her of "workplace harassment" for allegedly "poisoning the work environment" of Porter.Kelley McIntyre subsequently filed a Police Act complaint against the chief.An independent investigator found the chief committed 23 breaches of various sections of the police code of conduct by, among other things, failing "to ensure that the improper or unlawful conduct of Insp. Porter was not concealed."None of the allegations were proven.McIntyre, the chief, retired in the wake of the scathing report.
The endorsement of same-sex civil unions by Pope Francis last week was both in line with current church teachings and a huge change, says a professor of gender studies.In a documentary released last week, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church said homosexual people are the children of God and have the right to be in a family."This is fully consistent with messages the church has issued around homosexuality for years, to respect the human dignity of gay and lesbian persons," Dalhousie gender studies Prof. Margaret Denike told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier.But Denike said the explicit endorsement of civil unions is significant."What makes this such a remarkable and even revolutionary moment for the Catholic church is the inconsistency between church doctrine, and particularly the doctrine that was reiterated in 2003 that the church has an obligation to oppose same sex marriage or equivalencies to those," she said.'They're made in the image of God. Continue to love them'Charlottetown Bishop Richard Grecco said he was not surprised by the statement from Francis, saying the pope has been moving in this direction for some time.He noted people should not confuse the support for civil unions as support for marriage."He's not seeing this as a marriage. He's not changing the church's teaching," said Grecco.But the statement also confirms the right of LGBT to form relationships, he said, and this will make a big difference within many Roman Catholic families. There have been some difficult and even tragic consequences when people have come out to their Roman Catholic parents, and then those parents have rejected them, he said."It advises priests to say, look, you can disagree with what your children are doing. We disagree all the time in families on matters of marriage, on matters of politics, and yet you continue to love them," said Grecco."They're made in the image of God. Continue to love them. That's your job as parents."Civil unions are important in providing basic rights for people in society, he said."If you're going to bring love, and you're going to bring happiness, and you're going to bring dignity," he said, "we shouldn't be trying to make people's lives miserable by opposing things like civil unions."More from CBC P.E.I.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration was unable to inspect the company's South Korea-based manufacturing plant, a step required before the approval of the drug, the company said. "We are actively working with the FDA to find a way to expedite the plant inspection," Chief Executive Officer Joe Turgeon said in a statement. Spectrum said the move was not a Complete Response Letter (CRL) from the FDA.
The usage of ATVs on walking trails is becoming an increasing problem in Whitestone, according to council. The municipality received two emails from residents concerned about off-road vehicles tearing up Nesbitt trail, which is a designated walking trail. Whitestone Coun. Joe Lamb said he understands the issue but unfortunately a lot of these trails are crown land and there’s little the municipality can do aside from involving the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. “We can’t enact, in terms of bylaws, things on crown land,” said Lamb. “This is a problem above our weight class. We can only do certain things – we can encourage other departments specifically the provincial government to take action.” “I want to acknowledge the letters and acknowledge that we have a problem. We’ve got a problem on the trails.” Echoing Coun. Lamb’s statement, Coun. Brian Woods said that ATV use on these trails is an “ever-increasing” problem. “It’s not just our walking trails – we’re having this problem through private property as well,” said Woods. “I’m all for crown land use but what we’re seeing here is crown land abuse … they’re destroying a lot of the hard work people have put into these walking trails." According to the email sent by Whitestone resident Jim Alexander, he has been concerned about the Nesbitt trail and how it's used for a few years. “The last few months have multiplied my concerns exponentially,” wrote Alexander. “I and others enjoy walking on Nesbitt, but it is being made impassable by 4-wheelers.” “People are making illegal campsites on that trail as well as trail-blazing off of it,” he alleged in the email. Whitestone Mayor George Comrie said that he was in the process of setting up a meeting with the district manager of Parry Sound to talk about what can be done about ATV misuse. “The only effective solution has to come from the MNR and that is to place restrictions on the lands in question which they can very easily do,” said Comrie. “Prohibiting ATVs from Nesbittt trail is not a big deal – I know some people who would not be happy about it.” “ATVs and people are walking are not necessarily compatible uses for the same trail.” Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Parry Sound North Star
Multiple infected inmates at the Calgary Correctional Centre tell CBC News they are living through inhumane conditions — in cells typically reserved for those deemed to be the jail's most disruptive prisoners — while a wave of COVID-19 rapidly spreads through the facility.Over the past number of days, some inmates who contracted COVID-19 at the facility have been moved into "the hole" — otherwise known as solitary confinement or administrative segregation.That form of imprisonment is typically reserved for those prisoners who are deemed to have violated the rules of the provincial jail.But as of Monday, the cells were filled with exhausted and frightened inmates who say they are living in filthy conditions while they feel sick, scared and depressed.CBC News interviewed six inmates currently in solitary confinement at the facility for this story. Using "a little bit of teamwork," inmates moved the unit's phone on wheels cell by cell and put their hands through bars to take their turn at the receiver and describe their situations.On Monday, Alberta announced the outbreak at the facility had more than tripled since being announced Thursday — jumping to 65 cases, including 53 inmates.CBC News has agreed to use pseudonyms for the inmates and their relatives outside of the facility, as they fear punishment in the facility should they be identified."I mean, they're criminals, but they're scared," said Linda, whose loved one tested positive for COVID-19. "[My loved one] was in tears on the phone yesterday, because he didn't know what the hell was going on."Put into 'the hole'"I don't know why we're in solitary," James said. "We're not in trouble or anything, right? But it sure feels like we are."Prison rights advocates and health experts have long said solitary confinement amounts to "cruel and unusual punishment" and the United Nations, under the Mandela Rules for the treatment of prisoners, says prisoners can only be kept in such conditions for a maximum of 15 consecutive days.Exacerbating the fear and anxiety among the prisoners in the hole at the Calgary Correctional Centre is their recent diagnosis of COVID-19.Many expressed their unfamiliarity with the particulars of the virus, its lasting effects or the typical scope of recovery. They said they had received intermittent and limited medical attention while in solitary, one adding that all he was told was that "99 per cent of you will survive."The cells themselves typically are used to house just one inmate. But amidst the outbreak, many cells have been doubled up, two inmates sharing the tiny space.There's only one bed in these cells. With two to a cell, inmates said it means one of them is forced to sleep on an uncomfortable mattress on the concrete floor."My head is right where the doorway is supposed to be, against the bars. I have my pillow right against the bars," said Noah.Smelly, buggy, dirtyMany inmates expressed disgust at the state of their cells as they arrived into solitary. Many wondered whether their cells had ever been cleaned.Others said they requested cleaning supplies so they could clean their own cells, but none had been provided as of publication time."You should see our toilets," Liam said. "It's like, nasty. It's not only that, but it's the smells in here too."Some of the toilets are not currently functioning, so some inmates said they frequently smell the scent of urine and feces. Others said the walls in the unit are scattered with lumps of phlegm and feces, thrown at the walls by past embittered prisoners.> I haven't had fresh water to wash my hands. \- Mark, an inmateIt makes it difficult to eat the food, which isn't exactly appetizing to begin with, they say."We're both sick, barely getting outta bed here. They should be giving us soup," Liam said. "My roommate here hasn't eaten the food in four days. Like, he's sick, right? And it makes us more sick when we eat it, it seems like."Elijah said on Sunday, they were served what was called meatloaf, but added he never had meatloaf that smelt like dog food."I looked at the meatloaf and I almost puked. I had my face in the toilet yesterday, because just the smell of it made me want to puke," Elijah said.Inmates were finally given "freezing cold" showers on Sunday morning, the first time in three days, but Mark said afterwards they had to change back into clothes that haven't been washed in a couple of weeks."It's pretty rough. My toilet [isn't working]. It's not a sterile environment whatsoever," Mark said. "I haven't had fresh water to wash my hands."The inmates were also finally given the opportunity to leave their cells during yard time on Sunday morning, but their only opportunity to do so was at 6 a.m. The weather at 6 a.m. Sunday was -17 C. "Who wants to go outside at 6 a.m. when they're sick and it's freezing?" Elijah said. "That's what they do to the people who are being punished."Inmates also said the large fans that circulate fresh air within the facility have been turned off so as to reduce spread of the virus."The condensation was so thick, that they couldn't even see through their windows," Linda said.The mental strainSince he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and moved into solitary confinement, Noah said he started to feel extremely depressed.Much of those feelings he attributed to being abandoned as a child, feeling as though he didn't belong anywhere."I feel like I'm an outcast, and I feel like I'm being treated differently, even in here," he said. "I don't know what to do. I'm very depressed, and this makes things a lot worse. I feel lost."Another inmate with a serious pre-existing health condition said he is worried that his body won't be strong enough to fight off COVID-19."I'm nervous, I'm scared, I wanna get out of this unit right now," he said.Others, who say their sentences were drawing to a close before they caught COVID-19 and were put into confinement, worry about what the illness means for their future."It's making me feel worried, and lost hope, and I'm worried about my family," Logan said. "I feel like I'm stuck here to die."Government says safeguards are in placeCBC News provided a list of charges levelled against the conditions at the facility by the inmates to the province.In an email, a spokesperson for Alberta Justice Minster Kaycee Madu said the province had put many safeguards in place in partnership with the onsite health-care provider, Alberta Health Services."At the Calgary Correctional Centre, additional measures are being taken to further help prevent the entry and spread of COVID-19," said spokeperson Ina Lucila. "By their nature, many of these protective health measures, such as isolating inmates to prevent the spread of infection, can result in changes such as separating inmates into different spaces than normal."Lucila said other changes might include adjusted routines, such as when an inmate is out of their space, as well as the timing of meals, phone access and laundry."Inmates still receive their basic needs, including meals, medications and mattresses, and maintenance such as unclogging pipes is done as quickly as reasonably possible," Lucila said.Staff and inmates are encouraged to raise their concerns, Lucila said, adding that concerns are reviewed and corrective action is taken as needed."Provincial correctional and Alberta Health Services staff are working hard to maintain safe and secure centres while taking many precautions to protect everyone's health," she said.Lawyer says inmates should be taking notesEdmonton-based lawyer Tom Engel said that the situation described by the inmates was "absolutely unacceptable.""It would be found by any court to be cruel and inhumane, and in violation of international standards, domestic standards," Engel said. "Certainly violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms."Engel said he hoped the situations described would "outrage any member of society outside the prison walls.""Medical care in Alberta jails is bad generally. This absolute lack of medical care, for people who are [panicking] because they're put in isolation, all with COVID-19," Engel said. "So you have somebody who is sick, and worried about their health, put in with a bunch of other sick prisoners, and some of them may have mental health issues, who knows."It's a terrible, terrible situation for anybody, let alone prisoners who are very vulnerable to this type of situation."WATCH | Edmonton-based lawyer Tom Engel says he would advise prisoners currently in solitary confinement to "take notes"Engel previously told CBC News that given the large numbers, it was necessary to immediately reduce the population at the facility.But beyond that, Engel said that these prisoners now needed to contact lawyers."If any prisoner is hearing this or reading this, start taking notes. Start taking a diary of what's going on here, because they may be called to testify about it later," he said. "That's my advice."
Andrew Scott and Ian McKellen were among acting winners as Britain’s Laurence Olivier Awards celebrated the best of the London stage in bittersweet fashion Sunday night — most U.K. theatres remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Stage curtains came down when Britain went into lockdown in March, and the virus also scuttled the planned springtime ceremony for Britain’s leading awards for theatre, opera and dance. “Fleabag” star Scott was named best actor in a play for his turn as a narcissistic actor in Noel Coward’s “Present Laughter.”
The Muskoka Women’s Hockey League is back on the ice for another season — with some major changes to keep safe during the pandemic. The hockey league is hosting scrimmage games for 110 players this year from the region, divided into bubbles of less than 50 people in line with current COVID-19 gathering requirements. They played their first game at the Baysville Arena in Lake of Bays on Sunday, Oct. 18. The arena closed March 14 when the pandemic was declared and reopened Wednesday, Oct. 14 for the ice season. “The women are just anxious to get out there and have fun,” said Kim Knight, one of the league’s executives. “They just love the opportunity to play hockey any way they can, even with all the new rules.” There are two recreational bubbles and one competitive bubble this season. The league is hosting 4-on-4 scrimmage games as opposed to games in previous years featuring referees and timekeepers. Because of COVID-19, their participation numbers are down from last year: 140 players were in the league for the 2019-20 season. “There's a lot of protocols in place. It’s very different this year,” Knight said. All players have to wear face masks at the arena up until they hit the ice. They also have 10 minutes to exit the arena. “We can’t stay and visit. We have to undress and leave, no showering or anything,” she said. The games are also closed to the public: no spectators allowed. Knight said the league wasn't sure if they were going to host a season this year or what the game would look like this season. “We had people register without payment until we knew where we were at, as far as COVID, and then we got the go-ahead that, with all the health regulations — what we could do and couldn’t do — we decided to go ahead,” she said. Knight said the league only accepted payment until December as executives are unsure what the plans will be come January. “We’ll play it by ear to see if rules and regulations change by the new year,” she said. Zahraa Hmood, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com
If the Supreme Court throws out the Affordable Care Act, your finances and your future could pay the price. Retiring early or starting a business might become too hazardous if your access to health insurance isn’t guaranteed. You might have to wait a year before preexisting conditions are covered by an employer’s plan.
Algoma Public Health is reporting the region’s 42nd COVID-19 case. The case subject is said to have contracted the virus through close contact with an infected person and is connected with the rapidly increasing caseload in southern Ontario. The new case is said to be self-isolating. APH is reminding everyone to limit non-essential travel to other regions in the province.Mike McDonald, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, SaultOnline.com
Several teenagers sprayed graffiti on a piece of art outside one of Berlin's most famous museums and that the vandalism was unrelated to the damaging of more than 60 other art works on the city's Museum Island that were smeared with an oily liquid early this month, police said Saturday. A huge granite bowl in front of the Altes Museum, which is part of the German capital's museum complex and houses antiquities, was defaced Friday night by some teenagers and adults, Berlin police said.
The House of Commons health committee will begin a wide-ranging investigation into the federal government's COVID-19 pandemic response after MPs passed a Conservative motion today that calls for sweeping document disclosures and the testimony of several cabinet ministers.New Democrats and the Bloc Québécois joined the Official Opposition to pass the motion this afternoon by a vote of 176 to 152.The motion passed over the strenuous objections of the Liberal government and multiple industry groups, companies and other experts who warned that such a broad investigation could hamper the federal response to the pandemic's second wave and undermine the relationship between the government and key suppliers of medical equipment.The motion directs the government to hand over to the committee a trove of documents, emails and other records from several departments and agencies by Nov. 30.The investigation itself is to cover a variety of topics, ranging from the Public Health Agency of Canada's communications strategy and the data used to inform federal public health guidelines to the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the country's level of preparedness for another pandemic.The Conservatives have argued the scrutiny will help Parliamentarians learn from the mistakes of the first wave, do a better job of dealing with the ongoing second wave and prepare for future outbreaks.""There are people worrying about continued business shutdowns, being isolated from family members. And because of this, now is the perfect time for Parliament to be working together, to be questioning whether what we're doing in terms of a response from the federal government is working," Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner told reporters this morning.WATCH: MP Michelle Rempel Garner on pandemic probeThe Liberals originally argued that gathering the requested material would distract civil servants from their work on the COVID-19 response. Today, Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the investigation would jeopardize the ability of the federal government to secure adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), COVID-19 rapid tests and vaccines."As we are in the middle of the second wave and the number of COVID cases continues to increase, this is not the time for this motion to be passed," Anand told reporters."This is not the time to threaten and weaken our relationships with our suppliers, on whom Canadians' health and safety depends."Anand said the extensive disclosure requested by the Official Opposition — particularly of documents related to the purchase of PPE, medical devices and pharmaceuticals — could lead to the accidental release of sensitive corporate information.If that happens, Anand said, it could undermine the federal government's relationship with key companies at a time when it remains locked in tense contract negotiations to secure medical supplies in a competitive global environment.Rempel Garner, who originally presented the motion, rejected Anand's comments as "hyperbolic" and "bombastic." She said the government was "fearmongering" and that the motion includes appropriate safeguards to ensure that sensitive corporate information remains under wraps.She accused the Liberals of trying to trigger an election, although the government has pledged not to treat this motion as a confidence matter.Disagreement over redactionsPart of the dispute between the Liberals and Conservatives came down to who will get to decide which information is redacted from the documents.The final text of the motion includes language providing for the withholding of information from the committee due to concerns about personal privacy, national security or cabinet confidentiality, along with any information that, if disclosed, could "interfere with contractual or other negotiations between the Government of Canada and a third party."The House of Commons law clerk will decide which information should be redacted, according to the motion. Anand warned that the clerk does not have the expertise in procurement needed to properly redact records that would surface through the probe."It's not just a question of violating existing contracts that, for example, may have confidentiality clauses in them," said Anand. "It's also a question of undermining current negotiations, which the House of Commons law clerk may not have knowledge of, and therefore may undermine the approach that we have been taking to our procurements."WATCH: Procurement minister says releasing COVID-19 response documents could put contracts in jeopardyAnand said the Liberals proposed putting the the Privy Council Office (PCO) in charge of making redactions, but the Conservatives rejected that idea. The PCO co-ordinates the actions of the government across departments and serves as the bureaucracy for the Prime Minister's Office.Rempel Garner said the law clerk's office has the expertise necessary to determine what information should be redacted and that the PCO is not independent enough from the government to do so."I don't believe that the government should be redacting its own documents," said Rempel Garner.Opposition from health experts, industryA variety of industry groups, companies and other experts spoke out against the Conservative motion before it passed.Dr. David Naylor, co-chair of the federal government's COVID-19 immunity task force, said the proposed study is too expansive and will ultimately create more work and distractions for the federal public service at a time when it is already working flat-out.Last week, a major industry association said releasing confidential documents detailing the federal government's business deals with suppliers of personal protective equipment and testing devices could hurt Canadian manufacturers and sully Canada's global business reputation.Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Canada is the latest to express concerns about the probe. In a statement, Pfizer says it wants to know how its commercial secrets will be protected."We are deeply concerned with the implications and unintended consequences of the motion on our COVID-19 vaccine studies and program as well as the ongoing discussions around the procurement of the vaccine," the statement said."We respectfully invite parliamentarians to consider including stronger language in a new motion that would specifically cover scientific and commercial sensitive information."
Two Peterborough residents will be running 50 kilometres next month to raise money and awareness for the protection of the Cerro Pelon Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Macheros, Mexico. Carlotta James and her husband, Tim Haines, plan to complete their run on Nov. 1. They will start their run at 100 Water St., run east on The Great Trail (formerly the Trans-Canada Trail) toward Hastings, then turn around. James said she came up with the idea for the run a couple of weeks ago after learning that the sanctuary in Mexico was threatened as a result of the pandemic. "Almost 90 per cent of their income has disappeared, " she said. Money raised will go toward salaries of the forest protectors, according to James. "We’re working with a non-profit in Mexico called Butterflies and Their People, and they hire forest protectors to protect the forest 365 days a year, " she said. Forest protectors patrol the forest, ensuring there’s no illegal logging or deforestation going on, Jame said. They clean up garbage and they make certain trails are safe for tourists to visit the monarch colonies. Last fall, James embarked on a 47-day journey to complete seven ultra-marathons from Peterborough to Macheros, to follow the monarch migration, which she titled the Monarch Ultra. Several other individuals partook in the run from Ontario to Mexico, too, she said, as each day they had a different ultra-runner. "Every day, we ran 100 kilometres and we mimicked the monarch migration. We left Peterborough when the monarchs started to migrate south. We followed their route all the way through southern Ontario, through the United States, and through Mexico, and the last place was Macheros, Mexico, " James said. While they were there last year raising money for a monarch conservation group in the U.S., the 400 people or so living in Macheros opened their arms to them, she said. "They threw us a big party with food and music and dancing and we just became really close with that community. They work tirelessly to protect the monarch sanctuary. They don’t get any funding from anywhere else other than private donations and from tourists who visit the sanctuaries, " James said. Through her business, Three Sisters Natural Landscapes, James has been building pollinator gardens in Peterborough for a number of years, she said. "With that comes a deeper understanding and love of these little critters that people often ignore or don’t see. As my relationship developed with plants and pollinators, I started to learn more about monarch butterflies and that they’re at the moment in danger, " she said. "One third of the food we eat relies on pollination services, " she said. Most of the fruits people enjoy here in Ontario such as strawberries, watermelon, apples, pears and peaches all require pollination, James said. So do vegetables, including eggplants, peppers and tomatoes. "They also bring ecological benefits as well to our ecosystem. So, without them, our entire food system would collapse. They’re keystone species. If pollinators disappear, then everything else will start to collapse around us, " James said. While James said she’s loved running since she was 10 years old, the Monarch Ultra was the first ultra-run she had ever done. "The more I learned about the monarch migration, they’re essentially ultra-runners themselves, because every day they can fly up to 80 to 100 kilometres when they’re going to Mexico for the winter, and so that’s what inspired the Monarch Ultra, " she said. To donate, visit gofundme.com/f/50km-popup-fundraiser-for-monarch-sanctuary. 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: firstname.lastname@example.orgMarissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
Lisa Hill made the decision to raise chickens in her family’s backyard after COVID-19 hit Canada. On Oct. 17, following a complaint, she was told by a McDougall bylaw officer that she had 30 days to relocate the birds. “I have four chickens and had one rooster,” said Hill. “He was only here temporarily as I was looking for a new home for him. I believe the complaint stemmed from him; however, I will never know.” There are about a dozen other families in the municipality who have chickens, according to Hill, and she said she had discussions with her immediate neighbours regarding her coop and there was no issue. “My boys were insanely devastated,” said Hill, adding that it was unfortunate that the member of the community who complained didn’t come and speak to her first before calling the municipality. Living in the Taylor Subdivision in McDougall, Hill said she considers her property to be rural residential which is why she thought it would be fine to build a backyard coop and she purchased the baby chicks from a local farm. “I thought it would be an amazing learning experience for us all and we have the perfect yard space for it,” she said. “Watching them grow was such a neat experience for my children.” The benefits of having chickens are endless, according to Hill. “It has shown my boys great responsibility and if we take good care of the chickens, feed and water them we get yummy eggs – eggs that are handled with care – to eat,” she said. The West Parry Sound district is no stranger to backyard chickens. Amelia Wilkinson said that her family got their chickens in April as “day olds” and raised them in the house to get them used to people while they built the coop. “I connected with bylaw after reading the bylaws which weren’t clear on chickens,” said Wilkinson. “I also connected with my neighbours to see what they thought/how they felt.” “If you are a responsible chicken owner there is no reason not to have them in town.” For those looking to begin the journey into sustainable living, backyard chickens are an excellent way to start, according to Wilkinson. “They create great fertilizer for your garden. Usually chickens and growing your own food go hand-in-hand,” she said. “They have a very small carbon footprint in smaller numbers and the obvious benefit – they lay eggs.” “I feel like there is no reason not to have them if you are a responsible pet owner,” she said. “… Do your homework to keep them happy and safe.” For Hill, rehoming her chickens is like losing members of her family. “It may sound silly to some, but they are a part of our family now,” she said. “I am hopeful McDougall will revise its bylaws, to allow backyard chickens” “So many other communities have already made these changes many years ago. It’s time for us to follow suit.”Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Parry Sound North Star
Four episodes into her new YouTube show, “Stump Sohla,” part of the expanding “Babish Culinary Universe" channel, Sohla El-Waylly has yet to be stumped by a food challenge. El-Waylly became a familiar face on YouTube as a standout on Bon Appetit's test kitchen channel. A Conde Nast representative said race wasn’t a factor in setting pay.
Trail running is not just a sport for elite athletes, but an activity for anyone who wants to step out of the gym, off the pavement and discover new and amazing places. And in the Swiss alpine town of Verbier they've made it even easier to hit the trails.View on euronews