This carry-on suitcase will change your life — and it's on sale for a limited time

The brilliant carry-on that takes away your packing stress. (Photo: Genius Pack)

There’s only so much space inside an airline-approved carry-on, right? Wrong.

Although its dimensions are airline-friendly, the Genius Pack G4 Carry-On Spinner Case manages to create more room for your things and works like a brilliant personal assistant to efficiently organize everything you need.

Magic? Kind of. This well-crafted luggage does the thinking for you, with labeled compartments for essentials like socks, underwear, chargers and more. It also has a built-in Packing Checklist— simple but thorough— that covers clothing, toiletries, tech, and travel items (Passport! Itinerary!).

Design-wise, it’s as if Genius Pack engineers have been following us around, listening to us lose it at the airport. There’s a built-in spot for a small umbrella, a water bottle compartment — even a pull-out bungee to strap your jacket to the top of your bag while you’re cruising the terminal deciding between Cinnabon and a banana.

Dirty laundry has never been so fun

That’s all very well and good, you say, but somehow packing for the trip home is a whole lot more chaotic than prepping for the way there, right? Genius Pack has thought of this. And one of its most impressive functions has got you covered: A laundry compression feature that takes the air out of dirty clothes with the press of a button, reducing their bulk by up to 50 percent.

Dirty stuff is in its own sealed laundry bag that zips right out when you get home, so you can take it straight to the basement and toss those clothes in the wash without ever having to worry about them intermingling with the nice new pieces you bought while away. (Vacation shopping is the best shopping!)

The Genius Pack G4 has a space-saving laundry compression system. (Photo: Genius Pack)

A pleasure to drive

Frequent travelers know none of the above makes a difference if a carry-on does not have a smooth ride. The Genius Pack G4 Carry-On Spinner Case delivers, gliding through the airport on high-quality 360-degree rotation wheels.

The handle is sturdy and substantial, with multiple lock positions — so it’s ergonomic for all heights — with a memory foam grip that will keep you comfy even when speed-walking to that gate change.

And if you still need more space? The exterior zipper lets your Genius Pack expand by 25 percent, while remaining within the approved carry-on dimensions.

The Genius Pack G4 glides on 360-degree rotation wheels. (Photo: Genius Pack)

The bottom line

This suitcase’s quality and cleverness will make every trip a little less hectic. It normally retails for $298. But right now you can get your own Genius Pack G4 in one of five color options for as low as $179 (that’s almost 40 percent off). A small investment to make that upcoming trip — and all your future travel —smoother, sweeter and more enjoyable.

Get the deal


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  • How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens
    News
    The Canadian Press

    How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

    When there's only one ventilator but two patients who need it, how should a doctor decide who gets the chance to survive?Medical ethicists across the country are working to help frontline workers answer weighty questions should the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelm hospitals the way it has in northern Italy and New York City."These are not decisions we want to make," said Dr. Timothy Christie, who convenes an ethics committee that gives advice on pandemic response policy in New Brunswick."The planning that people are doing right now, they're doing the best to make it so we don't end up there."On Wednesday, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam warned that Canada's health-care system could be deluged in each of Ottawa's pandemic scenarios. The system is not designed to deal with a surge of COVID-19 cases, which could mean facing difficult decisions about how to allocate sparse resources, she said.Since the novel coronavirus was first confirmed in Canada, officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don't feel alone in making life and death decisions.British Columbia's ethical framework builds on work started during the H1N1 epidemic and Ebola crisis. It addresses specific ethical questions on everything from distributing personal protective equipment and ventilators to "decision making about who will get scarce treatment if that comes to pass," Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, said last week."No single individual physician or clinician will have to make that decision on their own."In Ontario, officials have announced the formation of an "ethics table" led by the University of Toronto's joint centre for bioethics.Alberta is working on a framework too."The focus will be on ensuring as many patients as possible receive the care they need," Tom McMillan, a spokesman with Alberta Health, said in an email.In New Brunswick, clinicians will be given a principle to help them make decisions based on their expertise.Christie's committee is recommending a fundamental shift in the underlying principle that doctors use to make treatment decisions if there aren't enough hospital beds and ventilators."In cases where resources are limited, we would allocate the resources to people for whom we think will have the best outcome," said Christie, who is also regional director of ethics services for the Horizon Health Network, the province's anglophone health authority."That's fundamentally different than the way we'd do it in normal circumstances."Under normal circumstances, Christie said doctors ask patients what their goals are. A patient with terminal cancer might wish to spend one last Christmas with his family, and treatment plans can be adjusted to help reach that goal.COVID-19 could create a scenario where using a ventilator to keep someone alive for an extra few months comes at the expense of another person's life, he said.The challenge is determining how you define outcomes when comparing patients."There's a lot of debate about how you define the best outcome. Some people would say it's the amount of life you could live," Christie said. In other words, choosing to save the younger of two patients."We reject that approach," Christie said.A 20-year-old and a 55-year-old both have "significant" amounts of life left, so the difference between them is not morally relevant, he said.Age isn't the only factor being debated by the New Brunswick committee as it considers how to avoid discriminating against someone who develops COVID-19 after all ventilators are already in use.Rather than stockpiling ventilators in anticipation of future cases, Christie said they are advising that a new patient be assessed against those already being ventilated. If the new patient has a good chance of surviving, doctors could ethically end the treatment for another patient who isn't responding, he said.But an ethical framework won't help doctors who have to decide between two patients with nearly identical outcomes."In that circumstance you have an arbitrary decision. It's going to be tragic, it's going to be heartbreaking and it's going to be arbitrary — and there's no ethical principle that all of a sudden can make it better," Christie said. "That's no one's fault."This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2020.Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

  • First Nations In Canada Left To Fend For Themselves During Coronavirus Pandemic
    News
    HuffPost Canada

    First Nations In Canada Left To Fend For Themselves During Coronavirus Pandemic

    An outbreak will have devastating consequences, especially to fly-in and remote communities.

  • Chief medical officers are leading Canada through COVID-19 crisis — and many are women
    News
    CBC

    Chief medical officers are leading Canada through COVID-19 crisis — and many are women

    There they are on Canadian televisions and smartphones day after day — chief medical officers tirelessly updating the country on the COVID-19 pandemic and what needs to be done to fight it.Many of them are women who were unknown to most Canadians prior to the pandemic, but are becoming household names, earning respect and even fan clubs along the way.Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, is leading the charge to not just "flatten the curve" but "plank it." She provides the daily media briefings, and she's the one featured in the government's public awareness campaign, not Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or Health Minister Patty Hajdu.Indeed, several provinces have women leading their responses: Dr. Bonnie Henry in B.C., Dr. Deena Hinshaw in Alberta, Dr. Jennifer Russell in New Brunswick, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald in Newfoundland and Labrador, Dr. Heather Morrison in P.E.I., Dr. Kami Kandola in Northwest Territories and Dr. Barbara Yaffe in Ontario.At a more local level, Ottawa has Dr. Vera Etches, Toronto has Dr. Eileen de Villa and Vancouver has Dr. Patricia Daly.Women who work in medicine say these chief medical officers are points of pride and inspiration for their field."They all come across as fierce advocates for public health, but they are combining it with calm, expert, compassionate dispositions and that increases their ability to influence change," said Dr. Clover Hemans, president of the Federation of Medical Women in Canada.Hemans, a family doctor who is currently working in a COVID-19 assessment clinic, said it's unfortunate that it's taken a public health crisis to show these women can shine. But she said their skills are on full display."They represent something that now other women can aspire to, and young girls for that matter. I love it."Some people 'revere them' Dr. Sandra Landolt, president of a grassroots group called Canadian Women in Medicine, agreed these medical officers are role models and said her and her colleagues "feel proud" to share a profession with them. "They truly are inspirational."She's also happy that Canadians are taking note of their roles and are showing their gratitude."People are starting to almost revere them. They feel comfortable, they feel they can trust these women," Landolt said. "There is something really geeky-cool about these women becoming icons."Sarah Elder-Chamanara owns a Calgary-based clothing company called Madame Premier, which teamed up with artist Mandy Stobo, who created portraits of Tam, Hinshaw, Henry and de Villa that are featured on T-shirts. (Proceeds are going to food banks and charities.)The first batch of 400 quickly sold out online. Then another 800 sold out.Elder-Chamanara said that while Canadians seem to be rallying around the entire medical community, it's significant that so many women are guiding the country through this pandemic."I think we are so used to seeing men in these roles. There's never been a time like this, there's never been an experience like this and we've never had such incredible women at the forefront of something like this," she said.'She is so calm'Admiration through art is also on display in Vancouver, where murals of Tam and Henry were painted on a boarded-up store.Others are expressing their appreciation for the doctors online, especially on Twitter. There's a "Dr. Bonnie Henry Fan Club" account with more than 8,000 followers, and someone started an anonymous account to pay homage to de Villa's signature fashion accessory — scarves.Not all commentary online is favourable for the doctors. For example, some Canadians have questioned their decisions and found their messaging, especially on the use of face masks, confusing.Others, however, praise them and their communication styles."She is so calm. She makes me feel safe when I listen to her," one person tweeted about Hinshaw. Another called her "an Alberta Treasure."Henry a 'brilliant communicator'Henry, who worked in Toronto during the SARS crisis and has also battled against Ebola, H1N1 and polio, has been lauded for her calmness, honesty and humanity.Following an outbreak at a long-term care home in] B.C., tears welled in Henry's eyes during a media briefing when she talked about the risk of COVID-19 to seniors. People responded with appreciation that she showed compassion."Bonnie is a brilliant communicator," said Isobel Mackenzie, B.C.'s seniors advocate. Mackenzie emphasized that Henry's demeanour is low-key, but she's no pushover. "I admire her more and more all the time."Mackenzie also noted how elected officials are often deferring to these medical experts, and letting them communicate directly with Canadians.One of those politicians, Toronto Mayor John Tory, said in an interview that these top women doctors have helped Canadians understand the pandemic."They speak in a way that is obviously informed, is articulate, is straightforward," he said. "I think that is what people are looking for, people they can trust."WATCH | Dr. Eileen de Villa speaks to the public about the COVID-19 outlook for TorontoTory described de Villa, his city's top doctor, as smart, fair and collegial, but added that "she is the original iron fist in the velvet glove.""When it comes to speaking up for the public's interest, speaking up for public health … she does it, and she does it as firmly as anybody I've ever seen."

  • Wuhan official urges vigilance as China plans to mourn coronavirus 'martyrs'
    News
    Reuters

    Wuhan official urges vigilance as China plans to mourn coronavirus 'martyrs'

    The top official in China's coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan warned residents to stay vigilant and avoid going out, even as the latest data showed a decline in new cases in the mainland and no new infections in the central city. China appears to have curbed the epidemic with draconian curbs that paralysed the world's second-biggest economy for two months. On Friday, the National Health Commission reported 31 new cases, down from 35 a day earlier and dramatically lower than February's peak.

  • COVID-19 cases in First Nations spur leaders to call for field hospitals
    News
    CBC

    COVID-19 cases in First Nations spur leaders to call for field hospitals

    As COVID-19 cases rise on reserves, First Nations leaders are calling for "outside of the box" thinking to deal with the pandemic.Chief Jason Henry of the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation, near Sarnia, Ont., said he is in discussions with the Department of National Defence in the hopes of turning two arenas into a self-isolation centre and a regional field hospital to serve eight surrounding First Nations, along with the surrounding county and municipality."What I envision is a collaborative effort," Henry said."Thinking outside of the box, where we put our jurisdictional boundaries aside [instead] of arguing politically about who has responsibility for health care ... and we work collaboratively to battle this."Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said Thursday there have been 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in First Nations across the country.Two of the cases are in Saskatchewan, four are in Ontario and nine are in Quebec, said the department. At least two patients required hospitalization, officials said.But the numbers on First Nations in Ontario appear low. Six Nations near Hamilton, Ont. said Thursday it has seven confirmed cases in its community, and Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation has one confirmed case. Henry said one of his members developed symptoms of COVID-19 while in hospital for an unrelated ailment. He said he is worried the hospital may release the patient in the coming days while still coronavirus-positive, with orders to self-isolate."For many Canadians, that might be OK," Henry said. "But on First Nations, with the chronic overcrowding, multi-generations living in single-family dwellings … it becomes very difficult to self-isolate and contain the virus."Ottawa exploring scenarios involving militaryThere have been several requests for military support to deal with the pandemic from other First Nations, including Pimicikamak, also referred to as Cross Lake, and Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba.Miller said Thursday the federal government is looking at various scenarios which would see the Canadian Armed Forces deployed, and is engaging with communities and provinces about their needs."These are very, very grave requests that we need to consider as a country," he said."It would be foolish to exclude those scenarios, even though they would be ones we don't want to contemplate."Lloyd Phillips, commissioner of public safety for the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake near Montreal, said his community doesn't want or need military assistance, given the still-fresh memories of the 1990 Oka Crisis."It's a very hard no," Phillips said."We have our ability to take care of what we need inside Kahnawake. Obviously, we have a history … That's still fresh in people's minds."Kahnawake has five confirmed cases of COVID-19. Phillips said those community members are on their way to recovery. "The overall situation in the community is obviously tense, like anywhere else," Phillips said. "But we are managing quite well."Phillips said Quebec has funded a drive-thru testing facility for the community in the parking lot of the hospital.Money coming, says ministerIndigenous Services Canada has set aside $305 million for the COVID-19 response in First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities.Miller said the money would be flowing within the next week. "We are continuing to be focused on supporting the most vulnerable of the vulnerable," he said."There is a historical mistrust of government in a number of Indigenous communities. This is a gap that needs to be filled by Indigenous leadership and they are filling it exceptionally well."Communities can apply for access to the $305 million COVID-19 fund through their regional offices. There is also a separate $100 million envelope that communities can qualify for to address short-term needs, get out public health messages and create or update pandemic plans.The pandemic isn't the only challenge facing Indigenous communities.Some First Nations, such as the Kashechewan along Ontario's side of the James Bay Coast, are preparing for the annual flood season.Miller said his department is working on flood mitigation plans that take COVID-19 into account. As part of his community's preparations, Henry has asked Indigenous Services Canada for testing kits, but has not heard back yet.Department officials said they are ordering swabs to send to those First Nations that want them.Henry said the situation is urgent. He has a message for other Indigenous leaders."Take this seriously," Henry said. "Don't look in the rearview mirror and say we should've done things ahead of time. Do them now."

  • Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario health officials say COVID-19 testing backlog ‘pretty well gone’
    Global News

    Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario health officials say COVID-19 testing backlog ‘pretty well gone’

    Ontario chief medical officer Dr. David Williams said Thursday a backlog of testing in the province’s central laboratory has been brought down to under 2,000 and that labs outside the central laboratory have had their backlog cleared, stating to reporters that the backlog is “pretty well gone.”

  • Ontario returns to table with last teachers' union as backdrop for talks changes
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Ontario returns to table with last teachers' union as backdrop for talks changes

    TORONTO — The Ontario government is attempting to close an ugly round of bargaining as it restarts talks with the only remaining teachers' union without a contract, and an expert says the COVID-19 pandemic may create a path to labour peace.University of Toronto professor and former deputy education minister Charles Pascal says the unprecedented crisis, and the dramatic response that has altered daily life, have also changed the tone coming from the government.Pascal said Premier Doug Ford's government has abandoned the inflammatory rhetoric and divisive public bargaining it had engaged in with the province's teachers' unions since last summer, focusing instead on calm, clear pandemic response.That new approach appears to have had an effect on the once-turbulent talks that led to near-daily walkouts and strikes, closing schools just weeks ago."It takes the pressure off so that people can sit at the table, quietly, while attention is being paid elsewhere," he said. "All of a sudden the government wants to appear genuine about being fair in every direction."In recent weeks, the province has secured tentative agreements with three of four teachers' unions that had been without contracts since August.On Thursday, the government returned to the bargaining table with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, which is the last union without a deal.But with schools now shuttered until at least May because of the pandemic, and the government and teachers working together to help students learn from home, Pascal said the tension built up between all parties appears to have diminished."There's a kind of fairness that's arisen on the scene that's led to deals with the other federations," he said. "That's a good thing."Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Thursday the government is ready to work with the OSSTF to reach an agreement."The time is now to drive deals with all remaining union partners," Lecce said in a statement. "We will remain a positive and driving force at the bargaining table, advancing the priorities of parents and students."OSSTF president Harvey Bischof said the union, which has been engaged in only informal discussions with the government since December, is also ready to get back to the bargaining table.He acknowledged that the pandemic has affected talks, even on a logistical level, with all future bargaining taking place via teleconference."Negotiations never happen in a vacuum, they happen in an environment," Bischof said. "The environment has an effect on bargaining. What exactly that will be isn't something I'm prepared to pre-judge."Bischof said he's not concerned that the public support he felt the teachers had built over the past few months has disappeared."I'm not worried," he said. "I'm cognizant of the reality within which we find ourselves. I have to tell you, it's the reality in which my members are ... doing their very best to provide continuity of learning for students, have reached out to students and are worried for them and their well-being."In recent weeks, the province has reached agreements with the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens.This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2020.Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press

  • Words to remember: Canadian newsmakers have their say on COVID-19
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Words to remember: Canadian newsmakers have their say on COVID-19

    A look at some of the top quotes from across Canada on Thursday in relation to COVID-19: "It's kind of a done deal we're getting off this pleasure cruise." — Ottawa's Catherine McLeod, aboard a cruise ship stricken with COVID-19 after hearing news passengers were close to being let off in Florida.———"Lives are potentially at stake, and we will turn up the heat in the hopes that the few who still don't get it, or pretend not to get it, will get with the program." — Toronto Mayor John Tory as he announced a new bylaw imposing a two-metre spacing rule for people in parks and squares for next 30 days, with fines of up to $5,000.———"Being a physician is not a job, it's a lifestyle. And words cannot express the loss I feel of losing my identity." — Tetiana Psaras of Grand Manan, N.B., who has a medical degree from a Ukrainian university but can't practise medicine in Canada.———"It's true that they play hardball in certain countries, but we're in the game too. ... That means sometimes you have to arrive with cash, you have to have police, you have to follow the whole transportation." — Quebec Premier Francois Legault on the competition for medical supplies.———"Let me warn you, if you use Tinder or Grindr and you swipe right, you might get more than you bargained for. Please, be careful when you use these applications." —Newfoundland and Labrador Health Minister John Haggie on using dating apps during the pandemic.———"I know a lot of people are still wondering when this will get better or how much worse it might become. You want to see the numbers and predictions. You want to plan. You want to prepare for the worst, you want to know what to be hopeful about. I know, and we will have more information ... soon." — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.———"It felt good to say this is my family. We dance. We sing. We do performances." Toronto professional party dancer Christian Ocampo, who shot his own "Lady Corona" video with his family, including his 83-year-old grandmother, during the pandemic.This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 2, 2020. The Canadian Press

  • Drunk driver who killed a family of four in 2016 given day parole
    News
    CBC

    Drunk driver who killed a family of four in 2016 given day parole

    Lou and Linda Van de Vorst will never get over the shock and grief of their son and his family being killed in a drunk driving crash."Never, never in a million years — and especially in the crash that happened — you never lose that," said Linda Van de Vorst.In early 2016, Jordan Van de Vorst and his wife Chanda died on scene while their kids Kamryn and Miguire died in hospital after Catherine McKay, who had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit, failed to stop at a stop sign and crashed into their vehicle just north of Saskatoon.McKay received a 10-year sentence after pleading guilty to impaired driving causing death and was serving her time at a healing lodge.The Parole Board of Canada recently granted McKay six months of day parole to a community correctional centre or community residential facility when bed space is available. You don't have the laughter and the giggles like you used to have. And that's sad. And that was stolen from us four years ago. \- Linda Van de Vorst"They're always in the back of your mind," Linda said. "Even when you do come together for a meal, you look at one quarter of the table and you know that those four faces were sitting there and you just know you miss them. It's never ending. That is the part of life that just doesn't go away."The pain you see on your kids when a birthday comes up or an anniversary or any special occasion. Who wants to celebrate because it's just not the same anymore."You don't have the laughter and the giggles like you used to have. And that's sad. And that was stolen from us four years ago."The Van de Vorsts say they were opposed to McKay receiving full parole, which was denied."As far as we're concerned, parole itself — we would not be in favour of that," Lou said. "But at the same time we know that there are steps for her rehabilitation and reintegration into society and we would sooner have it step by step rather than right away throw her into the whole full thing of having full parole."The parole board says the 53-year-old McKay has not made excuses for her crimes and has consistently worked on dealing with her personal trauma and substance abuse issues.The board said in its decision that McKay had a good upbringing, but was sexually abused by an acquaintance of her family for several years.As a teen, she began using drugs and alcohol. In 2015, she suffered a concussion and lived with chronic pain.In the months leading up to the crash, the board said, McKay admitted to drinking to cope with pain, anxiety and panic attacks."You recognize your behaviours were becoming more impulsive and trips at the local bar were becoming more frequent," the board said.The day of the crash, McKay recalled meeting up with a man and intending to only have one drink."You said if you could go back to that day to change one thing, you would not have been drinking at all," the board said.While at the healing lodge, McKay has looked to elders for help, the board noted. She participated in an Indigenous sundance ceremony, in which she fasted and earned the spirit name "Sky Woman.""You said you had an 'incredible spiritual awakening' and then described the four days where you stood and prayed into a tree and danced to the tree and could feel a power greater than yourself."McKay plans to rely on Alcoholics Anonymous for help and said she feels repulsed by the thought of drinking, said the board.Linda Van de Vorst said she will always hold McKay responsible for taking the lives of her four family members."And I know that she will live with that for the rest of her life, and unfortunately her children will also live with that memory as well for the rest of their lives," she said."But she made a promise in court four years ago and that promise was that she would do everything possible (to) carry on the message to not drink and drive and I'm going to hold her to that."It doesn't matter if she's in jail, in a halfway house or full parole... I'm holding her to her promise to change things."The Van de Vorsts have been strong voices against drinking and driving and said they will continue their work with organizations like Madd Canada."For those people that (continue to drink and drive) I would wish and I pray that they would really think before they go out to not drink and drive," Linda said."Because if they kill someone you can't repair that. They will never repair that. They will never live that down for the rest of their life. And everyone gets affected by that."

  • Kept apart from elderly father in care home, a B.C. family waits anxiously
    News
    CBC

    Kept apart from elderly father in care home, a B.C. family waits anxiously

    Della Gough has a new ritual: looking at the website of Haro Park long-term care home to check the latest numbers of residents who are infected with COVID-19 — or have died.Gough's 82-year-old father, William Lomax, lives at the complex care centre in Vancouver's West End that has become the scene of one of the province's most troubling coronavirus outbreaks."It's stressful," Gough said. "My concern is that he could die from that and many other residents there may die as well."On Thursday, Haro Park announced 2 more residents had died from the disease, bringing the total number of dead to eight. Over 30 other residents have tested positive for the virus along with more than 20 staff members.Her father is in good health, she explained. She and her two siblings can't visit him but they talk on the phone.All they can do is wait and hope for the best like many other anxious families.Connecting distantlyAcross Canada, families have been kept physically apart from loved ones in care homes to reduce the risks of spreading COVID-19.Some are getting creative to remain connected. At Haro Park, Sam Monckton played her trumpet for her father from outside the building as a way of giving him — and the other residents — some joy. Unfortunately, her father Garry, 78, who was among the residents fighting COVID-19, died early Thursday morning."[I'm] pretty much in a state of shock still," Monckton said on CBC's On The Coast late Thursday. A sense of powerlessnessGough said for families there remains a sense of powerlessness and not knowing what comes next."I feel like my hands are tied behind my back and I can't do anything to help my dad," Gough said.Bruce Hampson has been through that feeling as well. His father, Arthur "Bill" Hampson, was the first resident of Haro Park whose death was connected to COVID-19."It's just a horrible virus. Somehow, it got into the home. Somehow, it killed my father," Hampson said. "Would I like to know how it got there? You bet I'd like to know. But can I live without knowing? I guess so."'They should be high priority'Gough says there is no way of knowing if staff are able to keep up with the new demands of the pandemic. There is nothing she can do to help keep her father's environment disinfected.She and her family want more to be done to protect people like her father including Health Minister Adrian Dix taking a personal oversight role."These are the most vulnerable people in our society," she said. "They should be high priority."B.C.'s Ministry of Health declined to comment for this story but referred CBC News to a statement from Vancouver Coastal Health, which works in partnership with the Haro Park Society to run the facility."We recognize the increased concern families have about the safety of their loved ones," a health authority spokesperson said in an email. "Our hearts go out to family, friends and staff of Haro Park Centre."The authority says a medical health officer is leading the outbreak response at the facility. That response involves increased decontamination, including high-use surfaces like phones. All staff are wearing appropriate protective equipment, the authority said.An infection control practitioner is also at the facility, it said, and the focus is on preventing COVID-19 spreading to any other residents.

  • CAF members begin 14-day isolation in Halifax prior to COVID-19 mission
    News
    CBC

    CAF members begin 14-day isolation in Halifax prior to COVID-19 mission

    Members of the Canadian Armed Forces, mostly members of the Royal Canadian Navy, began 14 days in isolation at a Halifax hotel on Thursday.It is a precaution against COVID-19 infection prior to setting out to sea for potential deployment to Canadian communities during the crisis.The isolation order covers about 260 crew members of the HMCS Moncton and HMCS Ville de Quebec, along with a Cyclone helicopter air detachment.The members will not be permitted to leave their rooms, or to interact with one another physically, for the two-week period.They will communicate electronically to prepare for deployment, say officials, and will follow a structured routine that includes online workout programs. Military staff, with at least one wearing a mask, operated a checkpoint at the hotel's main entrance Thursday as the crew members bid their spouses and children goodbye before entering the building with their bags in tow.Rear Admiral Craig Baines, commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic, said the isolation period gives the military the best chance of avoiding community spread on one of its ships."We're seeing right now around the world that our allies are having situations in ships where the virus is spreading," said the admiral."(Coronavirus) spreads very quickly because of the close proximity of sailors. We think this is the best way to lower the risk as much as possible to protect the health of our sailors and aviators so that they're available and healthy to help Canadians in their time of need."None of the crew members sequestered in Halifax on Thursday had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday, according to the military, which has assessed them as low risk for getting the virus given their actions so far.'Maximum flexibility'Baines said once the two weeks are up, the ships would likely head to sea for manoeuvres and equipment tests.The crews would be on standby "over the next couple months," the admiral added, with the vessels working together or separately depending on the situation."We would retain maximum flexibility," he said. "Primarily it would be being prepared for any sort of domestic response that might be required — all the way from a search-and-rescue situation that could occur on the water to something that might be required to support a community that has an issue with the COVID-19 situation."The military is organizing up to 24,000 full-time and part-time members into "rapid reaction" teams to deliver supplies and to support provinces and municipalities. HMCS Moncton and HMCS Ville de Quebec would also be available for international deployment during the pandemic that has killed more than 45,000 people worldwide, including more than 100 in Canada.You're 'alone'The crew members in Halifax isolation range from new recruits on their first mission to veterans such as Maj. Norman Hanley, who admitted the start of his deployment was unlike any he had experienced in his 30-year career."It's interesting, isn't it?" he said. "When you're on ship you're alone with your own thoughts but there's people around all the time. In this case you're going to be alone physically."He added he's more concerned about his children than himself."[I've been] freaking out the last week knowing that I'm coming here," he said. "I've got five kids and my wife is at home having to deal with that. And I can't leave the room. I can't do anything to help her."Mental health checksThe military is monitoring the sequestered sailors' mental health, said Baines. "In this particular case we're going to make sure that we're talking to them multiple times a day, checking in with them," he said, adding that members underwent medical screening to confirm their fitness for the unusual mission.The sequestered sailors will have access to alcohol and marijuana edibles in their rooms after hours, but not cigarettes. Therefore about 50 crew members were disqualified from the mission because they are smokers. As Rhiannon Morgan saw off her 20-year-old son, Niall, on Thursday, she said the leading seaman is "a little nervous" about his first deployment, but that he's taking the two-week isolation order in stride."He lives at home, still spends most of the time in his room," said Morgan. "He socializes with his friends on Xbox. I think his generation is way better set up for this. It will probably be easier for him than it would be for me."MORE TOP STORIES

  • Australia closes internal borders to capitalise on fall in new coronavirus cases
    News
    Reuters

    Australia closes internal borders to capitalise on fall in new coronavirus cases

    Australian officials closed internal borders on Friday and warned people to stay home over the upcoming Easter holiday as the country seeks to capitalise on a further fall in the rate of new coronavirus cases. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was shifting to a "suppression" phase in its fight against the highly contagious illness, but stressed that people had to continue to follow orders restricting socialising in public. Chief Health Officer Brendan Murphy said the daily increase in new infections had fallen to about 5% from between 25% and 30% two weeks ago.

  • N.L. campsite owners question shutdown order
    News
    CBC

    N.L. campsite owners question shutdown order

    Newfoundland and Labrador on Tuesday ordered the closure of all private and municipal camp sites to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but some site owners disagree with the decision.Backside Pond Park owner Ed Singer is one of them. His park, in Whiteway, 112 kilometres west of St. John's, allows RVs to park on its site year-round.Singer told CBC News the park is full right now and everyone has already paid for their season. He wonders why the provincial government is allowing people to continue to go to their cabins if the same can't be said for those wanting to go to their RVs."They're not really campgrounds. Those trailers are there year-round. They're cabins. They're no different than cabins," Singer said."I don't think they really know what they're doing."On Monday, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation announced Newfoundland and Labrador provincial parks would not open due to COVID-19.Physical distance concernsSinger said his park provides water and electricity to its tenants, and is gated to control access."I don't understand why they didn't have a discussion with me."On Wednesday Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, the province's chief medical officer of health, clarified the difference between going to a cabin and going to an RV park.She said it's not possible to isolate in an RV or a tent, if you get sick."[It's] just really more to do with the congregation of people in those areas and difficulty in keeping people apart and physical distancing," she said. "That was the main concern."But Singer said there's a pharmacy nearby and Carbonear General Hospital is only a 30-minute drive away.He said his business isn't being hurt by the shutdown, since all residents have paid for the season in full.However, he's not so sure what's going to happen to his customers in about six weeks when the park opens up for the year. The RVs owners could pack up and leave.Singer said there are two communities in close proximity that rely heavily on those customers to boost the local economies."We're seasonal, OK? We have two towns there that depend on this, for their livelihoods, basically all summer long."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Potential flooding issues have conservation authorities, city worried
    News
    CBC

    Potential flooding issues have conservation authorities, city worried

    The Essex Region Conservation Authority has issued a long-term flood watch.The watch is due to elevated lake levels in Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, and other lakes in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River system. Tim Byrne, the director of watershed management service for the Essex Region Conservation Authority said today's levels are significantly higher than they were last year. He said don't be fooled by the pleasant weather this week."It would be nice if we have this type of calm wind and sunny day from now on in, but any change in weather could cause the lake to be brought on shore," Byrne said.If the lake comes on shore, the extent to how far it will spread will now be broader and deeper than have been historically planned for because our starting point is that much higher. Water levels are anywhere between 200 and 300 mm above last year's levels."Just after New Year's Eve we received 60 mm of precipitation, that amount of precipitation basically was more than we would typically receive for an entire January for water equivalency in snowfall or rainfall," he said.That event caused a dramatic jump in lake levels. As the year goes on, July and August tend to be where peak water levels are recorded."Well today we are at where we were in May of last year. So we're going to see levels likely exceed last year's levels by a significant amount," Byrne said.The potential high water levels mean serious issues for the shorelines on Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair. He said low lying areas like Pelee Island, southeast Leamington shoreline, Cedar Island, and Cedar Creek shorelines are in danger."The reason that we are threatened is that it will take a breath of wind to bring the lakes in on us," said Byrne. Last weekend Pelee Island Drive was flooded. He said there was a significant rainfall, but the winds were fairly light. Normally flooding would occur if there was very significant wind for a long duration of time."As it stands today with the level being as high as it is today, it doesn't take a lot of wind to create a setup and push it on shore," Byrne said.The City of Windsor and all county municipalities have been actively updating their emergency response plans."We most recently had further discussions with county personal to give consideration to deploying county equipment to assist municipalities should we see an event of a magnitude that we are unfortunately forecasting we could get," said Byrne.Windsor imposes 30 metre ban on Detroit RiverThe City of Windsor is once again temporarily creating a 30-day buffer zone of 30 metres along the Windsor shoreline of the Detroit River.All motorized watercrafts are not to operate within 30 metres of the shore unless its docking.The city did this at the request of Windsor Port Authority.The ban was in place during last year's high water levels.Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority standing April messageThe Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority sent out a press releasing saying the area is also at risk of shoreline flooding on both lakes as well as erosion and damage to shoreline protection work.Jason Wintermute, the manager of watershed and information services for LTVCA writes the difference between the current water levels and peak water levels last year are not significant. He said the current risk of flooding and shoreline damage are essentially the same as they were last year during the peak water level summer months.   He recommend that those living along the shoreline pay attention to local conditions and to prepare accordingly.   Wintermute said this is a standing message for the month of April, but he will upgrade the message should weather forecasts suggest a sustained wind event which could cause shoreline issues.Funding for Pelee Island shorelineThe province is providing the Township of Pelee up to $104,201.82 in financial support. Rick Nicholls, MPP for Chatham-Kent-Leamington said its to help with recovery efforts related to the flooding that happened in the spring of 2019.Funds will be directed toward shoreline repair. It's provided  through Ontario's Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance program, which helps municipalities recover costs after a natural disaster.The government also launched another pilot project, called one million dollar Build Back Better, where communities can get up to 15 per cent above the estimated cost of rebuilding damaged infrastructure.  The press release said $14,757 of the total provincial funding being provided is going toward reinforcing shorelines infrastructure.

  • Dramatic drop in traffic at Confederation Bridge due to COVID-19 pandemic
    News
    CBC

    Dramatic drop in traffic at Confederation Bridge due to COVID-19 pandemic

    Confederation Bridge has seen its car traffic plummet as travellers heed health officials warnings to stay home.Car traffic is down 90 per cent of what it was this time last year, according to Michel LeChasseur, general manager of Strait Crossing Bridge Ltd.Truck traffic is down too, but not as dramatically. It's down about 12 per cent of what it was last year, because many big trucks continue to bring essential loads, including food, to the Island, he said.LeChasseur said he started to see a drop in traffic immediately after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. He said that drop was even more dramatic once P.E.I. and New Brunswick put checkpoints in place on either side of the 12.9 kilometre bridge, starting on March 23. LeChasseur says it's important that everybody follows the direction of the chief public health officer, so the drop in traffic is not unexpected. "Is the bridge suffering financially? Of course. But so is everybody else," said LeChasseur."Everybody is affected so we're certainly not unique and like everybody else we want to work together to make sure we have this under control." New protective measures for staffThe Confederation Bridge is an essential service so they have maintained staffing levels, he said.The company has 45 employees working at the bridge. They used to work in teams, sharing the same shifts and workdays.But now their hours have been staggered, so if one person gets sick, the whole team doesn't have to stay home for 14 days, he said.Toll booth operators no longer share booths and they no longer accept cash.They have also temporarily suspended the pedestrian shuttle to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.'We have to work together'LeChasseur said they have not had any complaints. He said people understand that these measures are necessary. As for whether the losses now could impact tolls later, LeChasseur said those discussions are for another day. LeChasseur said the bridge may see a further reduction in traffic if construction projects on the Island come to a halt."We have to work together to follow the orders of the public authorities," he said.COVID-19: What you need to knowWhat are the symptoms of COVID-19?Common symptoms include: * Fever. * Cough. * Tiredness.But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.Health Canada has built a self-assessment tool.What should I do if I feel sick?Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.How can I protect myself? * Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. * Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. * Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.More COVID-19 stories from CBC P.E.I.

  • At Brazil's biggest cemetery, grave diggers take own measure of coronavirus toll
    News
    Reuters

    At Brazil's biggest cemetery, grave diggers take own measure of coronavirus toll

    As Oswaldo dos Santos watched several men in protective suits dig a hasty grave for his 36-year-old son, his grief was mixed with fear: What if he had the coronavirus? Dos Santos lived with his son until Sunday, when he was suddenly hospitalized with severe respiratory problems. Like so many now filling the graves in Brazil's biggest cemetery, the son died before getting the results of a coronavirus test.

  • P.E.I. tenants advised to act quickly if they get an eviction notice during COVID-19 pandemic
    News
    CBC

    P.E.I. tenants advised to act quickly if they get an eviction notice during COVID-19 pandemic

    P.E.I.'s Office of Residential Rental Properties is urging tenants who get an eviction notice to act quickly if they want to challenge it. On Monday, the rental office announced it would be suspending rental hearings because of COVID-19, except in urgent cases where there are serious threats to the health and safety of tenants and landlords.However, the office said if a tenant gets an eviction notice, they need to contact the office within approximately 10 days.Andrew MacDonald, a rental property officer, said if tenants don't register their challenge of the eviction, in a few months time when the pandemic is hopefully over — they would have to leave."Even though they're not going to get forced out tomorrow or this month, they need to still challenge it in that timely manner or they're going to be deemed to have accepted it," he said.3 prior eviction ordersOn Thursday, the P.E.I. Supreme Court ruled that sheriffs would not have to enforce rental evictions in the province. That ruling was made at the request of P.E.I.'s attorney general's office. In its application, the province said the ban is necessary to protect the health and safety of anyone involved in an eviction, including tenants and sheriffs. They don't have a right to go in and use force to remove someone. — Andrew MacDonald, rental property officerThe P.E.I. Housing Corporation has suspended all evictions in government-run accommodations until the end of June.While private landlords can still issue eviction notices to tenants, MacDonald said it's important for landlords to realize they are not allowed to use force to remove someone from their premises."It doesn't matter what's going on, it doesn't matter if their building is getting damaged," he said."They don't have a right to go in and use force to remove someone."He said if a tenant is being harassed or bullied into leaving, they don't have to leave and should probably phone the police if the problem continues to escalate. MacDonald said the office issued three eviction orders for the month prior to the province declaring a public health emergency on March 16.MacDonald said when landlords serve a notice of eviction, they must state the reason for the tenant being asked to leave.He said the most common reasons are damage to property, not paying rent or the landlord's need to renovate a property.'The most stressful thing'Renovation was the reason Andrew Wood received when he was given an eviction notice in January after renting the same place for more than 10 years.Wood said his landlord adhered to all of the rules in P.E.I.'s Landlord and Tenant Act, but said it was difficult for him to find a new place to live in March amidst Charlottetown's housing crisis and a pandemic. We are taking every step that we possibly can. — Andrew MacDonald, rental property officer"The most stressful thing I've ever gone through," he said.Wood contested the notice, but said he didn't go through with the hearing because he had recently become a single father and was more concerned about finding a place for him and his son.Wood said he was lucky to have found new accommodations and moved in on Tuesday. Increase in call volumeMacDonald said on average the office receives 20 to 30 calls a day, but on March 24, the office had one of its busiest days with 95 calls. He said the office is intent on working with those who have problems accessing the online forms to contest an eviction notice."If you can get a picture on your phone, you can text it, you can email it," he said."There are people on the Island who still don't have access to internet, who don't have computers in their houses … so we are taking every step that we possibly can."The province has, however, announced a $1 million fund to help tenants who are on a reduced income because of the pandemic.But MacDonald said if tenants are able to pay their rent, they should."If they think that this has been forgiven and they don't pay because they need to put that money into somewhere else, they're really not going to be in the position in a month to pay two months [rent]," he said."And then going down the road that's going to be grounds for them to get evicted."MacDonald said tenants are encouraged to call 902-892-3501 or email rentalinquiries@irac.pe.ca if they have questions or need help filling out the form to contest their eviction.COVID-19: What you need to knowWhat are the symptoms of COVID-19?Common symptoms include: * Fever. * Cough. * Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. * Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. * Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.More COVID-19 stories from CBC P.E.I.

  • News
    CBC

    Not enough space, nowhere to go: Mustard Seed clients question pandemic response

    Some residents of the Mustard Seed are complaining about cramped conditions, fear of illness in large sleeping areas and being left with nowhere to go during Calgary's cold spring days. The shelter was quick out of the gate to open an overflow space — in the First Alliance Church in southeast Calgary — to spread out its clients during the pandemic.But each morning those residents are bused back downtown to eat at the main shelter and then sent outside for the rest of the day. And while some of the clients at a higher risk from COVID-19 are allowed to stay in the Beltline shelter through the day, according to Mustard Seed CEO Stephen Wile, the rest are not."You know, everyone from the prime minister is saying if you don't feel safe, stay inside, but they just don't care," said Jame Kaerne, who has been staying at the Beltline shelter. "They kick us out every day for eight hours a day."Forced to rent an officeKaerne says he is unable to spend the day on his feet due to a previous injury — a broken back — that landed him on AISH.He says he has spent his money on renting an office space for $600 a month in order to have somewhere to rest and use a washroom during the day. Most of the city spaces, including the library, malls and Plus-15s, are all shut down, leaving others without the resources to rent a space on their own. Kaerne says he feels stuck, with landlords unlikely to rent during the pandemic and under new rules that stymie evictions. He also says that, regardless, there is nowhere to go, like a computer room, to search for rentals. "I'm doing this because I need to have a bathroom available," he said, citing one of the side-effects of his injuries. "I need to have, you know, warm. Cold air, it makes my back spasm and it's extremely painful and I can fall from that."Not enough physical distanceKaerne says there is not enough physical distancing at the shelter, and when residents are bused between the church and the Beltline facility, they are crammed into the vehicle. He says people are on edge and unable to sleep, lying in fear as another resident coughs nearby."They're just doing enough to make it look they're trying to do something," he said. Another resident, who is staying at the First Alliance Church space and who CBC News agreed not to identify because he feared repercussions for speaking out, says they are loaded onto buses to the Beltline shelter starting at 4:30 a.m. and then left with nowhere to go. He says the older people are finding it particularly hard amidst the cold snap.In addition to having nowhere to go during the day, he says there are no laundry facilities at the church and that everyone has "got stinking clothing."CEO acknowledges situation isn't idealThe Mustard Seed CEO says the agency is doing what it can to maintain physical distancing, including meal times where only 100 are allowed to eat at once. Wile acknowledges the situation is far from perfect and that there are issues with busing clients downtown. "Well, we certainly try to space them. Right now, I would say that we're not necessarily providing that one or two metre distance," he said. Wile says the city offered the shelter 100 hotel rooms to use for their clients, but the Mustard Seed declined the offer. "There's a lot of other unknowns if we took hotel rooms. One of the major problems we have with our client population is bedbugs," he said. "And so if they go into a hotel room, there's a good chance that those rooms are going to get infested with bedbugs. There's also some questions around respect for the property in the hotel room. That sometimes becomes a challenge for some of our clients."Where to go?As for where clients of the Mustard Seed might go for the day?"To be honest, they're just basically wandering the streets," said Wile. "It's really unfortunate that we're getting such a late spring, because typically we would, we would just, you know, the weather would be nice enough that it wouldn't bother them to do that, but this is a cold week this week."Keeping people inside and spaced on transportation isn't the only issue where rules are different for the homeless population.The province also provided an exception to physical distancing rules when it comes to sleeping arrangements at overflow shelters, allowing beds to be one metre apart instead of the recommended two metres.Alberta's chief medical officer said on Wednesday that was the result of a balance between the need for distancing and the need to keep people off the streets.Hotels vs. sheltersThat's not good enough for NDP Leader Rachel Notley, whose party has been attacking the UCP government over its handling of homeless Albertans during the pandemic. She says her party favours housing them in hotels. "We believe these people, these people in Alberta who do not have homes, are entitled to the same dignity and the same rights as other Albertans. And we also believe that the kind of setup that we see these folks living in right now is bound to create a concentration of infections and disease spread."On Monday, Community and Social Services Minister Rajan Sawhney said one of the reasons the province opted to go for overflow shelter spaces over hotel rooms, as favoured by the city, is because it would take too long to retrofit hotel rooms for suicide prevention measures.Alpha House, a shelter near downtown Calgary, has already moved clients into a hotel and says it did not require those retrofits. The Calgary Drop-In Centre, meanwhile, started accepting clients at its new facility at the Telus Convention Centre on Thursday with cots set six feet apart. If you are staying in a shelter and would like to get in touch, contact Drew Anderson in confidence at drew.anderson@cbc.ca.

  • News
    CBC

    Toll-free Sask. COVID-19 hotline also acting as way to report non-compliance with guidelines

    A toll-free line designed to answer Saskatchewanians' non-health questions about COVID-19 also acts as a way to report alleged violations of mandatory public health orders.The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency said in a news release Thursday that toll-free line operators, available at 1-855-559-5502, work with both police and public health officials to follow up on concerns. The line is operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week.Non-compliance concerns can also be submitted online.On March 20, Premier Scott Moe said he had given police the powers up to and including arrest to enforce the chief medical health officer's orders for the public to maintain physical distance.Nine days later, RCMP arrested 11 people for, among other things, violating the public health order issued by the chief medical health officer prohibiting gatherings over 10 people. On Thursday, RCMP said that between March 20 and March 30, officers responded to 436 calls for service related to COVID-19. Gatherings of more than 10 people yielded 57 complaints, resulting in seven warnings and one charge laid. There were 110 reports of people failing to self-isolate when allegedly required to do so, resulting in 27 warnings. There were also 13 complaints of businesses not complying with the public health order, resulting in three warnings. "The vast majority of these calls for service were resolved by educating members of the public of the potential health and enforcement consequences that can result from non-compliance with the Public Health Order," the RCMP release said.Municipal police direct public to lineA statement from the Regina Police Service said some matters brought to their attention through the tip line will be enforced by police, while other matters will provide an opportunity for education of the public."Since the line is just being promoted as the go-to for concerns about people not complying with public health orders, there have been no tickets issued by police yet," the statement said. "There may be some investigations underway."Both the Saskatoon Police Service and the Moose Jaw Police Service said the directive was a provincial one. A spokesperson for the Prince Albert Police Service said the force had seen an increase in COVID-19 related calls, many of them related to health and other concerns, but no arrests or tickets were issued directly related to the public health orders. "We are urging voluntary compliance [with the public health orders] and hoping people will follow this public health order so police members don't have to come out and enforce it," Charlene Tebbutt said.

  • N.W.T. RCMP advise public on dangers posed by life in isolation — exploitation and abuse
    News
    CBC

    N.W.T. RCMP advise public on dangers posed by life in isolation — exploitation and abuse

    In a pair of news releases sent Thursday afternoon, RCMP in the Northwest Territories offered the public some advice on how to navigate the new potential dangers of life in isolation.First, the RCMP's Internet Child Exploitation Unit advised parents of the increased risk of online exploitation as children spend more time at home and online.Police followed up with a release highlighting the elevated risk of domestic violence under isolation."As a community, we can support each other, by looking out for one another, and keeping an eye on those we believe may be at risk," the second news release reads.Children at risk of sexual exploitationIn their first release, the RCMP highlighted some of the ways that kids, left unsupervised on the internet, could fall victim to child predators.Often, predators pose as children online to coerce sexually explicit images, police say. Other times, "predators come across as a trusted adult forging a relationship with a young person online.""Then later arrange to meet and abuse the young person," the release states. "Often in cases involving adults and youth, they are manipulated into believing the person is their boyfriend/girlfriend."The release advises parents to educate children on online safety, review games and apps before downloading, keep electronic devices in a common room, and encourage kids to report requests for explicit photos.It also advises parents to "pay attention to interactions between adults and children … [and] model appropriate boundaries," as well as keep an eye out for sudden changes in behaviour."Often children will communicate more through behaviour than words when distressed," the release reads.Heightened risk of abuse for women, children, LGBTQ+RCMP's second news release highlighted a further risk to children and adults: domestic abuse."Stress and the disruption of social and protective networks can exacerbate the risk for violence against women," the release reads. "Children, men and Two-Spirit-LGBTQ community may also be at risk."In the release, the RCMP says it's "responding to all calls for service 24/7/365.""If you are a victim or you believe [someone] is experiencing violence, please call," say police. "Family, friends and neighbours can all be part of the support network."Local RCMP detachments can still be contacted via local -1111 emergency numbers or, now, via 911.The release also says family violence shelters continue to be "available 24/7" in Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk and Yellowknife.In addition to those resources, residents have access to three 1-800 help lines: * the N.W.T. Help Line at 1-800-661-0844; * Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868; * and the Hope for Wellness Line at 1-855-242-3310.Due to the high volume of calls to the 1-800 number system, some calls are not immediately being connected.

  • Toronto taking steps to protect seniors in long-term care
    Global News

    Toronto taking steps to protect seniors in long-term care

    COVID-19 cases have continued to multiply among seniors. Outbreaks have been confirmed at several nursing homes across Ontario. A Toronto man is celebrating a milestone with his family at a distance. Shallima Maharaj reports.

  • The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada
    News
    The Canadian Press

    The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada

    The latest numbers of confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 6:14 p.m. on April 2, 2020:There are 11,283 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada._ Quebec: 5,518 confirmed (including 36 deaths, 224 resolved)_ Ontario: 2,793 confirmed (including 53 deaths, 831 resolved)_ British Columbia: 1,121 confirmed (including 31 deaths, 641 resolved)_ Alberta: 968 confirmed (including 13 deaths, 174 resolved)_ Saskatchewan: 206 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 36 resolved)_ Nova Scotia: 193 confirmed (including 16 resolved)_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 183 confirmed (including 1 death, 10 resolved)_ Manitoba: 152 confirmed (including 1 death, 11 resolved), 15 presumptive_ New Brunswick: 91 confirmed (including 22 resolved)_ Prince Edward Island: 22 confirmed (including 3 resolved)_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed_ Yukon: 6 confirmed_ Northwest Territories: 2 confirmed_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases_ Total: 11,283 (15 presumptive, 11,268 confirmed including 138 deaths, 1,968 resolved)This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 2, 2020.The Canadian Press

  • News
    CBC

    Windsor police board appoints new deputy chiefs

    The Windsor Police Service will have two new deputy chiefs later this month. Starting April 20, current inspector Jason Bellaire will take on the role of deputy chief of operations, while current superintendent Frank Providenti will take on the role of deputy chief of operational support. "On behalf of the Windsor Police Services Board, I congratulate the successful applicants and look forward to both of them working with Chief Pam Mizuno to help move the Windsor Police Service in a positive direction," said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, in a Thursday media release. "Now, more than ever, we recognize the incredible public service that our police services undertake on a daily basis on behalf of our entire community."Outgoing Deputy Chief Brad Hill will remain in his role until May 31, at the request of Mizuno and the Windsor Police Services Board as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "I'm especially grateful that Deputy Chief Hill has agreed to postpone his planned retirement," said Dilkens, in the same media release. "It's clear that our community has no shortage of local heroes."

  • News
    CBC

    Edmonton closes fenced off-leash dog parks amid pandemic

    The City of Edmonton is closing fenced off-leash dog parks, council's emergency advisory committee heard Thursday. As of Saturday morning, Lauderdale, Alex Decoteau, Manning Village and Paisley will be closed to the public. The city's 38 other off-leash areas will be switched to on-leash. Keeping dogs on-leash reduces the potential for owners to have to intervene with other people if their dog runs off, the city says. Councillors said they expect complaints from residents about the decision. During the meeting, Coun. Scott McKeen asked if there was a way to be able to keep the Alex Decoteau park open, such as having a volunteer monitor behaviour. "[It's] a very popular amenity in a very high-density area," McKeen said. "That is an incredibly important amenity for people living in the downtown." But David Aitken, the chair of the city's COVID-19 task team, said the closure is a necessary measure to prevent overcrowding."We think as we move deeper into the pandemic, that this is the first step of many." Aitken said the city will continue to monitor the crowds in the park. "We certainly understand the frustration that comes with shutting down those facilities that are well-used but we think it errs on the side of caution and safety and it's something right now that we think is needed." All off-leash parks in cities like Toronto and Montreal are closed, he noted. In further measures announced Thursday, the city is looking at closing lanes of Saskatchewan Drive between 105th and 109th Streets and Victoria Promenade to vehicles.The city is also considering limiting traffic on River Valley Road but it's not clear when lanes will be closed. The new measures come as the emergency advisory committee agreed to renew the city's state of local emergency to deal with COVID-19.It's the second time council has extended the order after it was initially declared on Mar. 20.By law, the state of local emergency, which gives the city extraordinary authority to impose restrictions on public activity, needs to be renewed every seven days.The city has imposed several restrictions on the Edmonton public in the past two weeks, including strict rules for taxis and ride-sharing services on Wednesday. Edmonton transit service announced Thursday it is adding more security on buses and LRT stations after receiving more reports of aggressive behaviour and homeless people using public transit as a shelter. @natashariebe

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    CBC

    A psychologist's advice to maintain your routine during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Normal, everyday tasks like showering, eating proper meals and exercising may no longer be the No. 1 priority — but a clinical psychologist in Halifax is reminding people that maintaining a routine is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic."Our frontal lobe, which is the part that controls behaviour — it's like a battery, you have to keep it charged," Dr. Dayna Lee-Baggley with the Nova Scotia Health Authority told CBC's Information Morning Thursday."And so it's especially important in this time to be deliberate and purposeful about charging our batteries."Lee-Baggley says one way to recharge that battery is to stick to a daily routine.But even professionals can have bad days."On Monday, I was focused on my kid. I was focused on patients. I was focused on getting things done. And it was three o'clock in the afternoon, and I realized I hadn't eaten anything. I was dehydrated," Lee-Baggley said.She said she was surprised by how much effort it took to focus on ordinary tasks like eating meals, but during the COVID-19 pandemic when routines are thrown out of balance, she said it is understandable.Routines were disrupted again Thursday, when Premier Stephen McNeil announced Nova Scotia's state of emergency was extended for another two weeks.Now, Lee-Baggley keeps a list of important daily tasks on her fridge to remind her to recharge her mental battery.Her conversation with Information Morning host Portia Clark has been edited for clarity and length.Q: To maintain your routine, you have this personal checklist on your fridge. What do you have on your checklist?A: Sometimes my frontal lobe is so tired I can't even remember what the things are I'm supposed to do to recharge. I literally made a checklist to put on my fridge to remind me and to be deliberate and conscious about trying to check them off each day. Some of the things that are on my list are exercise, drinking water, eating green things, stretching, sleeping, socializing — having a sense of purpose. Over the last couple of days, I actually had to add showering because I realized I wasn't even doing that regularly and that actually is a recharge for me. It makes me feel like I'm ready to start my day, that I've got a few things together and ready to go.Q: Do you have fun things on your list?A: Absolutely. I have a couple. These are kind of luxurious things for me. I have "do face masks" and "paint my nails" because they are things I don't normally do. I get some of those fancy teas from David's Teas and I have a fancy mug. I've also learned how to have Zoom drinking parties. So I've learned how to socialize through Zoom. We all bring a cocktail and we chat together because those are definitely things that will charge your batteries.Q: What about having pets or having other people in the home? Do they help keep you on routine and remind you to do the things you need?A: The thing about building a routine is that it's going to take less frontal lobe energy if you start doing things as routine, so if you get up at the same time every day [or] have the same breakfast every day. The more you can turn it into routine, then you just make it easier for the frontal lobe. But then also things get in the way of that. So life's going to get in the way, meetings are going to get away, other people in your household — things will change. At that point, we also just want to be really kind to ourselves about the fact that we're not going to follow the routine, this is not going to be the most productive time in your life and to be kind to ourselves and other people.Q: How can routine be useful to health-care providers?A: In particular, I think that health-care providers need to be really conscious about charging their batteries. I spent most of the entirety of my career working with physicians and nurses and on average, health-care providers have pretty good immune systems. They're pretty good at fighting off illness. What I think sometimes is getting in the way now is that they're overworked, they're burnt out dealing with a COVID-19 crisis, and so they don't have the reserves necessary to fight off this illness the way they might normally. There's also a lot of free resources that have come about to support health-care providers. The Canadian Psychological Association, for example, is offering free therapy to health-care providers. There's also lots of businesses that have offered free resources and so healthcare providers need to be really conscious about charging their battery.MORE TOP STORIES