COVID-19 is changing the way we work and companies like Google are trying to plan for a future that's more remote.
Last week's death of a 22-year-old St. Thomas University student from India has been ruled a drowning.RCMP Const. Hans Ouellette said the cause of death was determined after an autopsy. He said police do not suspect "criminality" in the case. Aranyam Bora was cliff jumping at the Mactaquac Headpond on Wednesday when he slipped below the surface of the water and disappeared. His body was found by RCMP divers on Thursday morning. Bora was a fourth-year St. Thomas University student, majoring in political science and international relations. He was from India and came to New Brunswick to study. He was a competitive bodybuilder and martial artist and was in incredible physical condition, said his girlfriend, Milly Squires, a McAdam native and third-year St. Thomas University student. Squires is still baffled by the details. She said her athletic boyfriend knew how to swim. In August, the pair visited a waterfall near Welsford, where they spent some time in the pool of water. She said she never would have dreamed he could have drowned. "He was adventurous and he was, at times, a little reckless, yes, but he wasn't stupid," Squires said Wednesday afternoon. "I don't think he would have gone if he didn't believe he could swim."Another friend, Sayan Chatterjee, also believes Bora could swim.Chatterjee, who was designated by Bora's family members to speak for them, said he saw a picture of Bora. swimming but had never witnessed it in person. Chatterjee said his former dorm mate was also an avid fitness buff, "always at the gym lifting weights." He said Bora will be missed by a lot of people. Neither Chatterjee nor Squires knew whether Bora jumped feet first or dove head first from the cliffs at the headpond. Squires said the thought that Bora, who often went by Ary, was conscious for a time before slipping under the water "keeps me up at night.""Knowing that it was drowning and knowing that he did surface and he was flailing, it haunts me every night thinking that he could have been terrified or he would have been scared. Because Ary didn't get scared of anything. "
TORONTO — A man in northwest Toronto was shot dead in broad daylight as he was heading to the hospital with his newborn baby, police said Thursday. Police said the man, whose identity has not yet been released, was getting into a vehicle with a baby approximately a month old and a female companion when he was gunned down in a drive-by shooting around 9:15 a.m. "This family unit was in the process of getting into the vehicle to take their child to the hospital," Insp. Paul Rinkoff said at the scene. Spokeswoman Const. Laura Brabant said it's not yet clear whether the man was the intended target, and no one else was hurt in the incident. Two men were seen leaving the area in a late-model four-door sedan, she said. While police believe there is no longer an immediate threat in the Lawrence Avenue West and Jane Street area, Brabant said the fact that the suspect remains at large is concerning. "You've got a potential shooter out there with a firearm in a vehicle, going around shooting in the middle of daylight, so that's always a concern," she said. The constable said the incident took place in a busy area that includes several schools, at a time when there would have been many people around. "We're lucky no one was the victim of any stray bullets," she said. Officers will be canvassing the area and seeking to speak with anyone who witnessed the incident or has security footage of the area, she said. The Toronto District School Board said three schools were placed in lockdown during the investigation and would soon switch to the less serious hold and secure. This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Oct. 1, 2020. The Canadian Press
Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said the province will not be returning to stage 2, as it existed earlier in year.
Lorna and Donald Burns are remaining optimistic they will get to their Arizona home in the new year.The retired couple are snowbirds — spending half of the year at their home in North Bedeque, P.E.I., and the other half in Mesa, Ariz. Despite land borders between Canada and the U.S. being closed to non-essential traffic until at least Oct. 21, they hope to travel to Arizona by air in January."We have been going there for five or six years in our RV, and then last November, we actually bought a mobile home in that park," said Lorna Burns."We're planning to go down and fly in and not do that long drive. Things are changing, or have changed, for us."The couple usually leave for their age 55+ active living community in October and return in the spring. They have pushed their departure date to early January due to the pandemic, but also said they'll change their plans if needed.Air travel OKDespite the land border restrictions, Canadians have still been able to fly to the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic, though P.E.I.'s Chief Public Health Office does not recommend it. "Non-essential travel outside of the Atlantic Bubble is still not recommended," said the office in an email to CBC News. "Islanders should give very careful consideration before travelling to areas outside Canada where case counts are high with widespread community transmission."According to Johns Hopkins University, the United States is still the hotspot for COVID-19 across the world with over seven million reported cases and over 200,000 deaths. The Burns said they are following the events south of the border as they prepare to potentially travel."We're watching for border restrictions at the moment. California, Arizona and Florida have no requirements for self isolation, but that could change, and those states have had high incidences of COVID, so we watch for those things," Lorna said."If we had to self isolate, it wouldn't be a big deal"No more repatriation flightsCanada's federal government is also not recommending non-essential travel at this time, but said the advice is not binding. "If Canadians deem their travel essential and choose to travel despite these advisories, they should be aware that there may be other safety and security considerations that may impact them at their destination," said Global Affairs Canada in an email to CBC."The Government of Canada may have limited capacity to offer consular services."> Hopefully the figures, the numbers in Arizona ... will be better than they have been. — Lorna BurnsA spokesperson for Global Affairs said Canadians may have a hard time obtaining essential products and services — including medications — while abroad and may suddenly be subject to curfews, lockdowns and quarantines under their government at their destination.Airlines may also suspend or reduce the number of flights without notice, making it difficult to return to Canada," the email said, adding that the Government of Canada is not planning additional repatriation flights, as it did in the spring when the pandemic first struck.Global Affairs also recommends Canadians travellers contact their travel insurance provider and verify the terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and requirements of their insurance policy before they leave the country.Though they have yet to book a flight to Arizona, the Burns have already purchased their travel insurance through the Canadian Snowbird Association. The association — which has more than 110,000 members — has said it's hard to gauge at this point what percentage of its members will actually head south this winter and that many are stuck in a holding pattern.The Burns, and many of their Canadian and American friends who also travel to Arizona, consider themselves in this group."If we have to cancel for any reason, they will give us most of our money back, so we'll just wait and see how things go in January," Lorna said. "A lot can change."'Might not be the same thing tomorrow'Overall, Lorna said she believes the information provided by the governments to be clear if one knows where to look and takes the time to search it out."You have to kind of take responsibility yourself and search out the answers and realize that what happens today and what you hear today might not be the same thing tomorrow, so it's up to the individuals," she said."Hopefully the figures, the numbers in Arizona, in the greater Phoenix area, will be better than they have been, but again, it's something that we will assess."In the meantime, Lorna and Donald intend to enjoy the Atlantic Bubble, travelling to Nova Scotia in a few weeks."We're hoping things will level off and settle down by January, if not, we'll have to make other plans," said Donald Burns. "Staying home, shoveling snow, putting up with winter, not near as much fun."More from CBC P.E.I.
For Guillermo Nieto, a Mexican businessman who grew up smoking pot, the cannabis greenhouse on his family's vast farmlands in Guanajuato state is part of a bigger dream. One that involves deep-pocketed pharmaceutical companies. Nieto and several Mexican businessmen have spent years positioning themselves for a time when the country opens up what would be the world's biggest legal cannabis market in terms of population, where the drug can be lawfully cultivated and sold.
There's lots to know before getting your nostrils swabbed for COVID-19 at a Windsor pharmacy, so make sure you check these boxes before heading out. Last week the province announced that it has expanded testing to pharmacies, with three Shoppers Drug Marts authorized in Windsor and two others in Sarnia.Across Ontario, strict guidelines have been put in place for those looking to get a test done at a pharmacy.The main rule is that only those who are asymptomatic and have not been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 can receive a test. The person must also fall under one of five categories: * Living or working in a long-term care facility. * Residing or volunteering at a shelter. * Have been given a clearance for international travel. * An international student travelling into the country to start school after the14-day isolation period ends. * An Indigenous person.In Windsor, locations started testing on Tuesday.CBC News spoke with the Devonshire Mall Shopper's Drug Mart pharmacist Matthew Thibert about how testing has gone so far. "It's been busy," Thibert said. "I wasn't really sure whether or not we would see such a demand for it, but I will say that we have definitely seen a lot of demand." He said they've been taking calls since Friday evening and have completed 20 tests so far, but have done 50 phone assessments. The pharmacy is not taking any walk-ins, Thibert said, adding that people must complete a phone assessment before coming in to the store. The assessment will determine whether the person falls under the outlined criteria. WATCH | Local pharmacist Matthew Thibert explains what people need to know before getting testedLocations approved for testing in Sarnia and Windsor include: * Devonshire Mall in Windsor at 3100 Howard Ave. * Tecumseh Mall in Windsor at 7720 Tecumseh Rd. E. * Huron Church in Windsor at 1760 Huron Church Rd. * 2600 Lakeshore Rd in Sarnia. * Michigan & Murphy in Sarnia at 1206 Michigan Ave.
Superstar Shania Twain is celebrating the 25th anniversary of her breakout record "The Woman in Me" with a deluxe reissue set; she says the 1995 album was "life changing." (Oct. )
Shia LaBeouf has been charged with misdemeanour battery and petty theft. Prosecutors allege that the 34-year-old actor fought with a man named Tyler Murphy and took his hat, according to a criminal complaint obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday from the Los Angeles city attorney. A representative for LaBeouf did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
A Neguac man who murdered two teenagers and left another for dead in two small communities near Miramichi 34 years ago has been permitted to continue his day parole for another six months. The decision by the Parole Board of Canada comes four months after Kenneth Esson, now 56, was denied full parole and had his day parole revoked after they said he had an "unrealistic belief" that he had no risk of reoffending. Esson has been serving a life sentence for first and second degree murder, attempted murder and sexual assault since March 3,1987 and his parole eligibility was set at 25 years."In coming to a decision to continue your day parole, the Board remains ever mindful of the nature and gravity of your offences. You are responsible for the violent and brutal murder, sexual assault and attack on two young girls and your ex-partner," the two board members wrote in the September decision. Esson pleaded guilty to murdering 13-year-old Tara Prokosh and 19-year Theresa McLaughlin and the attempted murder of 14-year-old Gina Guitard. Prokosh and Guitard were attacked by Esson on Aug. 11, 1986 after he followed them as the two were out biking on a dirt road in Lower Newcastle, N.B. He forced them to strip, raped the older girl and stabbed them repeatedly. Prokosh died but Guitard survived and was found the next morning by her family who had spent the night searching for the two girls. While RCMP searched for the person responsible for the attack, they released a police sketch. Esson took pains to alter his looks by growing a mustache and getting a perm in his hair. Victim known to himSix weeks after the attack on the young teenagers, Esson, who was in the process of separating from his wife, called McLaughlin, who also lived in Neguac, and the two met, drank together and had consensual sex. The two then argued over the identity of the father of McLaughlin's infant son and Esson choked her until she was unconscious. He then drove to a gravel pit where she regained consciousness and continued to argue. Esson then pushed her out of his vehicle, she lost consciousness and he hit her in the head with two large rocks, killing her. Esson fled the province but returned and was arrested after a witness said he had been with McLaughlin. He was then linked to the first attack through descriptions of his vehicle.The parole board decision, released from the Pacific Region which covers British Columbia, says Esson was denied full parole in Jan. 2018 but granted day parole for three months.The day parole was continued and reviewed without issues until it was revoked in May 2020 when Esson was seeking full parole again.At that time the board said they felt Esson's "lack of insight" into several issues including the sexual component of his reoffending, his lack of transparency with his case management team regarding a relationship and discontinuing his sex drive reducing medication found his "risk in the community was undue." Based on a psychiatric risk assessment requested by the parole board, it was noted by a psychiatrist that taking the medication was critical for Esson to manage his risk in the community. Esson's day parole was reinstated a month later with a change in the conditions and he was given a written reprimand. The decision states Esson "gained further insight and appreciation for the need to be open and attentive to the details" of his risk management. As part of his condition to be allowed out on day parole again, Esson has to take his sex drive reducing medication. 'Shock, horror, pain'CBC News has learned Esson is living in a halfway house in Victoria, B.C., works full time and has weekend passes to stay in a basement suite he maintains. In the decision the parole board tells Esson they "remain ever mindful of the nature and gravity of his offences." "The extreme seriousness of your offences, and the significance of the harm you have caused can not be understated. The long standing harm and impact on the victim and surviving family members is always front of mind." The parole board said the victim impact statements which describe the "shock, horror, pain, overwhelming grief and trauma your actions caused" show his violent actions still have a "profound effect on the surviving family members, and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future."
With 45 temporary foreign workers in isolation across the region, local politicians say they're trying to reopen the city's migrant worker isolation and recovery centre as the facility's contract ended Wednesday. Funding for the Canadian Red Cross to operate Windsor's isolation centre ran out this week and, while the city has decided it will continue operating the facility, it is still looking for continued federal support.Pressure is mounting to secure a federal government commitment as the need to isolate migrant workers resurfaced on the weekend, with two dozen more people requiring shelter, bringing the current number to 45. According to chief of staff Andrew Teliszewsky, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens had a meeting with Canada's Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair on Friday about funding. "We left that meeting feeling very positive that the minister and the federal government would come to the table," Teliszewsky said. "We're hopeful that we'll have confirmation shortly." Teliszewsky confirmed to CBC News that the city wasn't able to place the temporary foreign workers in isolation at the Holiday Inn over the weekend as federal funding to run the isolation centre out of the hotel would run out prior to the completion of the workers' two-week quarantine period. As a result the workers are isolating elsewhere in the region, though Teliszewsky could not confirm where. He said the workers are being looked after by farm owners and through privately-raised funding. He also could not confirm how long the isolation centre, located at the Holiday Inn on Huron Church Road, has sat empty. If funding is approved, it's unclear if the hotel would continue to be the designated isolation centre. City seeks 'equitable treatment'In a letter to the federal government on Sept. 24, the provincial government said it would also like to see "continued federal assistance." "Continued federal support for an isolation site for farm workers living on farms will ensure that all farm workers in Ontario and their communities remain healthy and safe," reads part of the letter to the deputy minister of health Stephen Lucas and the deputy minister of public safety, Rod Stewart. Teliszewsky said the city is looking for "equitable treatment" as the federal government recently announced $13.9 million in funding for a 12-month isolation centre in Toronto. "We're basically looking at them [to acknowledge] that Windsor and Essex County have a unique need as a result of the the migrant farm workers and this isn't news to the federal government, given all of the attention to this issue over the course of the summer," he said."So if they're prepared to cough up money for the City of Toronto, we're hopeful that the City of Windsor is also on their radar."Brian Masse, the NDP MP for Windsor West, is also advocating for more federal support on this issue saying that, "there's no doubt that the City of Windsor needs to be supported with regards to the isolation centre and migrant worker supports ... the migrant situation needs to be improved and this is part of the solution."Despite harvest season coming to an end, national representative with the United Food and Commercial Workers of Canada Santiago Escobar said there are still thousands who live in the area year-round. "It's important that we welcome the initiative that the city will be in charge of these facilities ... to centralize and especially ... when it comes to fighting COVID," Escobar said, adding what the industry went through in the first wave could have been prevented had these accommodations been in place earlier. Justine Taylor, the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers' science and government relations manager, said they want to see the centre be supported in case of a second wave. "As we begin to head into the second wave its really important to ensure that we have a regional response plan in place to effectively manage any new outbreaks that might arise," she said.
The RCMP has reversed its policy on mask-wearing after being accused of discrimination over the rule, which saw bearded Mounties — including Sikh and Muslim officers — reassigned to desk duty.The policy, which was condemned by both activists and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, required front-line officers to wear properly fitted N95 respirator masks — something that isn't always possible for RCMP members who wear beards for religious reasons.In a statement Thursday, the chief human resources officer for the RCMP said that, following a risk assessment by commanding officers, "impacted bearded members across Canada may [now] return to operational duties" with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)."Calls for service will be triaged from call centres, with bearded members being assigned to respond operationally only if the risk of exposure is low or multiple responding officers will be present," said the statement from chief human resources officer Gail Johnson. "Each case will be assessed on an individual basis."The original policy was described as discriminatory and disappointing by Prime Minister Trudeau, who added it "shouldn't have happened." Under questioning in the House of Commons this week, Trudeau said the policy was an example of systemic racism in the RCMP.Johnson said she was also disappointed in the policy."I share the frustrations of our police officers across Canada who are personally affected," she wrote Friday. "While these dedicated and valued members have been accommodated for medical or religious reasons in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, over the last few months they have not been able to serve Canadians on the front lines as we worked to find equipment and operational solutions."The policy was implemented at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki issued a directive on mask use for front line officers, saying the respirators had to be sealed correctly and that "one of the most common causes of a breached seal is facial hair."World Sikh Organization legal counsel Balpreet Singh said his organization, which liaised with a group of about 30 officers, wrote to Lucki and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair to ask for a resolution to the issue. Blair's office condemned the policy and said it expected the issue to be rectified "as quickly as possible.""Diversity in policing makes it more effective," Blair wrote in a statement Thursday. "We must always be vigilant against systemic discrimination. Respect for religious and cultural differences is our strength as a Nation and of the RCMP." "The RCMP will ensure that Sikh and Muslim officers can do their jobs safely, while respecting and accommodating their faith," he added. "We thank them for their service."Singh said the move was a step in the right direction."I'm going to be watching it very closely to make sure that everything goes smoothly," he said. "But the RCMP officers I've spoken to since this announcement are quite hopeful that it will mean a substantive change to their situations."
Premier Blaine Higgs has asked officials from the Department of Finance and Treasury Board to review New Brunswick's corporate rules and look at why they haven't been updated.That comes after a CBC/Radio-Canada investigation showed how easy it is to register a company in New Brunswick, a province where corporations aren't required to disclose who really owns or controls them, something called beneficial ownership.New Brunswick also doesn't require companies to have directors who are residents of Canada."I've asked finance and treasury to look at this," Higgs told reporters earlier this week."Is it a tax evasion situation? I know that departments are working with the federal government and what they made for changes back a few months ago. So if we are out of sync here and there's loopholes in New Brunswick, we need to close them."Oceanic Fisheries N.B. was flagged by banks for receiving millions of dollars in suspicious transfers, according to records in the FinCEN Files, a 16-month-long investigation of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), BuzzFeed News and partners. The suspicious activity reports are not proof of wrongdoing.The company's corporate records list a sole director in South Africa and a registered office address in Saint John. But there's no evidence that Oceanic Fisheries N.B. has any operations in New Brunswick, despite the initials in its corporate name.The company has not responded to a list of questions sent by CBC/Radio-Canada.New Brunswick Green Party MLA Kevin Arseneau has called for more transparent corporate rules, arguing that no one should be able to use the province's reputation in a misleading way. "I certainly agree with my Green Party colleague here in that regard because it's certainly not intentional and we need to fix it," Higgs said earlier this week. The premier hasn't yet said exactly how he plans to "fix" the issues.Changes considered in 2015, but never materializedFive years ago, the government wrote a 140-page proposal aimed at modernizing the Business Corporations Act.It suggested eliminating the option for corporations to use a post office box as its only registered address, with the idea that businesses should have a physical address where they can keep records.It also considered adding a residency requirement as a way to "lessen the potential misuse of a [New Brunswick] corporation being used as part of an international securities scam or fraud," but suggested the province could lose some legal and accounting work to another province that doesn't have a residency rule.Two government staffers were assigned full-time to the modernization, a job that included consulting a list of stakeholders. They ranged from law schools to other government departments, representatives from the insurance industry and major corporate players like Bell Aliant and the Irving and McCain groups, according to a copy of the list.But changes were never made and now, the proposed changes are out of date, according to emails obtained by CBC News through access to information.Since then, there have been "major structural changes in national and provincial statutes" to incorporate things like beneficial ownership and open data legislation, according to an email written by Charles Boulay, who the government directory lists as the executive director of registries with Service New Brunswick."It is my understanding that [the Executive Council Office] is way more interested in these new structural changes than some of the older house cleaning changes included in the 300+ revisions proposed during the last set of consultations," Boulay wrote in the June 23, 2020 email.Without sufficient corporate law expertise in-house, Boulay estimated it would cost "most likely well over $100,000 which is not budgeted anywhere" to acquire that expertise from outside.No one from Service New Brunswick was made available for an interview.'A threat to the province's reputation'The idea of a company setting up shop in New Brunswick, but not actually operating here, isn't new.Nearly 30 years ago, a company in Saint John owned by Robert Maxwell — the late British billionaire media mogul and father to Ghislaine Maxwell — was found to have defaulted on a $100 million loan after his death. The company was registered in the province, using a now-defunct Saint John law firm's address, but didn't actually operate here, according to a CBC News story at the time.Five years ago, when the government was discussing how to modernize its corporate legislation, it discussed the issue of "rogue companies" registering in New Brunswick and harming the province's reputation.That's according to notes from a 2015 meeting between government representatives and the province's Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB), a Crown corporation that serves as the financial and consumer services regulator.No one from FCNB was made available for an interview with CBC News. But in a written statement, CEO Kevin Hoyt said the government asked for feedback on the province's lack of residency rules for directors back in 2015."In our response, we suggested the non-residency requirement may contribute to shell companies setting up in the province to conduct securities fraud outside of Canada, relying on the good name of New Brunswick to imply integrity," Hoyt wrote in the statement."Although such circumstances may be exceptional, there is a threat to the province's reputation."FCNB also supported the government's plan to prohibit post office boxes from being designated as a corporation's registered office. Province lags behind other jurisdictionsNew Brunswick is lagging behind in making changes to its corporate rules, according to Vokhid Urinov, an associate professor in the University of New Brunswick's faculty of law."Everyone else is now moving to the direction of transparency — at the international level, at the federal level, in other provinces," said Urinov, who teaches tax law and other corporate law-related subjects."New Brunswick should simply follow these trends."He would like to see the government require corporations to collect information on the ultimate owner of a corporation's shares. The federal government has already changed its legislation to require corporations to collect this information, Urinov said.He said corporations should have to keep the information in a centralized registry so law enforcement agencies can easily access it. But the public also has a stake in being able to see information on beneficial ownership in a public registry, as the United Kingdom has already done."I think the public has a great interest that investment in Canada is legitimate, the Canadian economy is not contributing to money laundering, terrorist financing or tax evasion," Urinov said. At least five provinces have introduced or passed legislation that would require companies to at least collect information on beneficial ownership, according to a survey of all provinces and territories.Urinov would also like to see the province eliminate bearer shares, which allows ultimate shareholders to maintain a screen of anonymity."By allowing these corporations to be incorporated in Canada and with all these anonymity things, you may be contributing negatively to other countries' economy, if these corporations are doing some irresponsible things," Urinov said about the current rules."Why [should someone] come in, incorporate in Canada if their business is outside? There is something they are trying to probably hide."
P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison gave CBC News: Compass an update on changes that came into effect Thursday under the province's "new normal" that will be in effect until the spread of COVID-19 is broadly contained and a vaccine or effective treatment is available. One of the big changes under the new normal will be larger gatherings are permitted with an operational plan — that means hockey fans will be allowed in the stands at Charlottetown Islanders games, although tickets will be very limited to allow for physical distancing.A Charlottetown man who is awaiting sentencing for failure to self-isolate due to COVID-19 has had other criminal charges related to a domestic disturbance the day of his arrest sent to an alternative measures program.Organizers of the annual Coats for Kids campaign seeking donations of gently-used coats for babies, children and youth on P.E.I. hope Islanders recognize their neighbours will be even more in need of a hand this year due to COVID-19. Some Islanders living in Montreal say there's uncertainty and lowered morale as the city has been forced into lockdown again with COVID-19 case numbers climbing.A P.E.I. couple is hoping the U.S. border will reopen in time for them to spend time in their Arizona home this winter.A fiscal update shows the provincial government has added another $5.4 million to this year's deficit since the presentation of the spring budget.Coach Atlantic says it lost a $1 million contract after one of its top tour operators from the United States cancelled all visits to Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick for 2021.Following the announcement that all P.E.I. school Christmas craft fairs would be prohibited this year due to COVID-19, a new weekend craft shop for local artisans is opening on the Island leading up to the holidays.The P.E.I. giant pumpkin weigh-off is closed to the public this year but the scales will still be ready for growers on Thanksgiving weekend.There have been 59 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Island, with 57 considered recovered. There have been no hospitalizations or deaths, and there is no evidence of community spread.Also in the newsFurther resourcesMore COVID-19 stories from CBC P.E.I.
Vaccines normally offered in school to Grade 7 students will instead be delivered at community clinics and doctors' offices in parts of Ontario, meaning parents will have to make arrangements to ensure their children are immunized. The Ministry of Health says local public health units, which are responsible for immunization programs including those in schools, are working to let residents know where they can access the vaccines. Students in Grade 7 are typically given vaccines for Hepatitis B, Human Papilloma Virus and Meningococcal disease in school.
Participating in an election will be yet another part of Saskatchewan life made new and unusual by COVID-19 when voters go to the polls on Oct. 26. Hygiene precautions like mask-wearing and acrylic shields will be part of the in-person voting experience for the provincial election. 'As safe as going to your local grocery store'"We want everyone to know that we have been working with the chief medical health officer on an ongoing basis to adapt to our processes so that they are as safe as going to your local grocery store," said Michael Boda, chief electoral officer for Elections Saskatchewan. Elections Saskatchewan expects a huge jump in demand for mail-in voting and has put new procedures for it in place."What we want to be able to do is offer voters a choice as to where they feel they should vote," said Boda."We want to offer options to those who might feel that they are immunocompromised or that there's a health hazard."In-person votingFor those who choose to vote in person, a series of precautions have been put in place to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Some of the measures are similar to those practiced in other parts of daily life during the pandemic: * Voters will be required to physically-distance by staying two metres apart. * Elections Saskatchewan is "strongly" recommending mask use. * Hand sanitizer will be available at all polls . * Anyone who is feeling unwell is being told to stay home.Voters will be provided with single-use pencils and surfaces in the polls will be disinfected throughout the day.More than 5,000 acrylic shields have also been purchased for use at polling stations and more than 400,000 masks have been purchased for voters who don't bring their own.Elections Saskatchewan said it is also taking steps to protect more than 13,000 election workers. It said in July it had purchased 400,000 masks for workers, 8,750 litres of hand sanitizer for both election workers and voters, and 8,500 litres of disinfectant. Workers will be separated from voters using "acrylic sneeze guards" where available, it said. For the first time in a Saskatchewan election, anyone who does not want to handle a physical card can opt to receive their voter card electronically by text or email through the Elections Saskatchewan website.Voter information cards will include your assigned voting location for Oct. 26. Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST. There will also be five days of advance voting prior to Oct. 26. Again, your recommended voting location will be included on your voter information card. Advance polls are open from noon to 8 p.m. CST.Voting by mailApplications to vote by mail can be made online through the Elections Saskatchewan website and will require the applicant to upload a copy of their ID. The application form can also be sent in by mail by downloading and printing the application form and sending it in. Anyone who does not have access to a printer can request a mailed copy by calling 1-877-958-8683. The deadline for applications to be received is Oct. 15.People who are homebound due to a medical condition, a disability or their career can also vote by mail. A website address has been set up for applications from homebound voters, at homebound.elections.sk.ca. A service introduced for homebound voters in 2016, in which election workers would bring a ballot and ballot box to the person's home, will not be provided this election due to COVID-19. Voting in careVoting will be available in long-term care facilities and hospitals.Two elections workers will be stationed at a central location to provide voting for the majority of residents or patients, while those who cannot access the central poll will be visited by election workers in their room.Inmates in remand and correctional facilities will need to vote by mail in 2020.Elections Canada said a system has also been designed to provide access to the ballot for people who are either quarantined or under self-isolation during the voting period.It said there are also processes in place for people who are temporarily displaced and that arrangements have been made for members of the armed services to vote by mail.
Like many parents, Damian Kearns and Nicole Belcourt monitored the number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario as they grappled with the decision to either send their children physically back to class or attend school remotely. They ultimately chose the in-class option, but with the caveat that if the province hit 500 new cases a day, they'd pull Julian and Imogen out and enrol them virtually. The Toronto parents have applied to switch and will now keep their kids at home while they await their school board's next virtual start date after Thanksgiving."Having had pneumonia a number of times, having been on a respirator as a kid, I know what the end game is there, and it's really awful," Kearns said. "I also don't want them to be put in a position where maybe they pick something up at school: They themselves don't get sick, but they make a loved one sick through no fault of their own."Just weeks into the new school year — and as some provinces see a rise in COVID-19 cases — a growing number of families are looking to make the switch between in-person and virtual learning where it's offered.But with boards still working out the kinks for online schools — including the assignment of teachers and reorganization of classrooms — a fresh wave of remote students is expected to spark yet another major reorganization of classes later this fall.The Toronto District School Board (TDSB), Canada's largest with roughly 250,000 students, has already seen more than 70,000 of its students choose virtual school this fall — a vast number that pushed it to delay the start of its online offering twice. Some students and teachers are being matched up just this week."It is an absolute mess," Elementary Teachers of Toronto president Jennifer Brown said of the virtual school start so far. "We have had half-time teachers being given full-time assignments. We've had students registered for classes without a teacher or, vice-versa, a teacher registered for class with no accompanying student.... We have also had specialty programs that don't have the teachers with the specialty qualifications lined up. It's an administrative nightmare."Brown said it's reasonable that parents would want to switch to online learning given rising COVID numbers, but she predicts further upheaval if many more families make that choice. There may be the need to hire more teachers and, if educators already in schools are reassigned to virtual learning, further reorganization of in-person classes.A shuffle of the system is indeed on its way, said Ryan Bird, the TDSB's manager of corporate and social media relations.On Thursday night, a day after the Toronto board's first transition deadline since school started, Bird said a preliminary count has revealed approximately 7,500 more students want to switch from in-person classes to virtual. About 3,000 will be doing the opposite, moving from online to in-person, with the changes to go into effect Tuesday, October 13.WATCH | More students expected to switch to virtual school despite concerns:"We need the teachers where the students are. If they're in bricks-and-mortar buildings, then the teachers are there. But if they're in virtual school, we also need teachers virtually. So it's an adjustment that's coming up in the upcoming weeks," Bird said in an interview earlier this week, acknowledging that for students and families, as well as educators, this has been a challenging start to the school year."We know that for many, it has been frustrating, both on the teacher and student side, and we're just trying to do our best given the situation. We're working through our staffing process as quickly as possible, but in the end, there's only a certain amount of funds available to be able to staff a system of this size."Availability of teachers an issue before COVID-19Well before the coronavirus pandemic, the availability of teachers and substitute teachers in regions across the country was already an issue, said Shelley Morse, president of the Canadian Teachers' Federation."Gaps have existed, and provinces and territories haven't addressed it appropriately. One of the issues is that the pay is significantly less for a substitute than a regular classroom teacher," Morse said from Wolfville, N.S."Knowing that we've talked about a second wave ever since March, the work wasn't done to make sure that teachers were in place, that they entice more teachers to come. [Education ministries] could have raised that pay for this pandemic time to allow [more substitute] teachers to come back to school and do that work."Appropriate staffing for virtual schools has been a concern for many divisions this year, with some boards not offering the option of switching because of it. For example, the Calgary Catholic School District asked families to commit to the choice of in-person or online learning for the entire school year "to maintain continuity in education delivery," communications spokesperson Sandra Borowski said in a statement."Since staffing is done at the beginning of the year, we are not able to accommodate moving students from one school to another mid-year, beyond unique situations where this is identified as a necessity."Other districts — including Regina Public Schools and Edmonton Public Schools — have said there would be opportunities to transition between in-person and virtual learning after traditional reporting or assessment periods, but they have not yet indicated the specific deadline dates for families to apply."Our second learning quarter begins on Nov. 16," said Anna Batchelor, a spokesperson for Edmonton Public Schools. "A few weeks before that date, all families will be asked to indicate if their children will be learning through in-person or online instruction for the second quarter."Parents in 'an impossible position'For Calgary parent Tara Fleming, not having the option to switch is disappointing. Her daughters attend school in the Calgary Board of Education, which at this point has not allowed switching from in-person to its Hub online school following the initial late-August deadline to sign up (although its website notes the decision could be revisited). Just four days into the school year, her older daughter, Maddie, learned that someone in her English class had tested positive for COVID-19. The student's family subsequently tested negative for COVID-19, but Maddie was still required to self-isolate for 14 days. "I wish that I had [chosen] online just because it's more stable, rather than having to go to school every day with the constant wonder if I'm going to have to be sent home again," the 12th-grader said.A lot of things were still unclear when families had to make that decision in August, Fleming said, including how high-schoolers sent home to isolate would be supported in courses that were still continuing in-person. "That teacher now has to deliver in-person to those students, as well as support the kids that are in quarantine," she said. "Some of them are really great and can absolutely pivot and be creative and keep everyone up to date. Others aren't that strong."The family would now choose virtual school — if they had the option, and even knowing of the issues Hub has had in getting underway — to avoid further potential breaks in learning."I think some flexible options for parents and students should be considered as part of the overall solution here.... Having the option to join at some point, even if it was halfway through the year," Fleming said. "But to hear 'You made your choice in August with the information we provided you at that time,' you do feel a little bit stuck."There are also some families who aren't waiting for their school boards to act. Alarmed by the rise in new COVID-19 cases in the Ottawa region, Christopher Canning is ready to pull his seven-year-old daughter, who has asthma, out of in-person classes this week and plans to home-school her as he awaits an official date for her switch to virtual. "The process for us in the Ottawa Carleton District School Board now is to put her name on the wait list through the school, and from what I've heard, that list is growing.... We're not the only one saying it's time to go," said Canning, who is now working part time.It's putting parents into "an impossible position," he said.Many are already aware of the uncertainty around virtual schools — whether more teachers will be reassigned, when that will happen and what class sizes will actually look like — as well as the inherent challenges of remote learning in itself, Canning said. "We want to do what's best for [our daughter] ... but there's no right way to do this right now." WATCH | Ontario schools struggle to accommodate surge in requests for virtual learning:
More than four years after they were gifted a building to call home, the finish line is finally in sight for a group proposing a hospice centre in Grand Falls-Windsor.The board of directors of the proposed Lionel Kelland Hospice has hired an architecture firm and anticipates starting renovation work in early 2021, according to board chair Mark Griffin. It's a major step for the group, which started meeting in 2014 to plan, raise money and advocate for the first hospice centre in Newfoundland and Labrador."We always knew what the finish line would look like; we didn't always know how far, whether it was a 100-yard dash or a marathon," said Griffin. "It's certainly been a marathon."Fougere Menchenton Architecture has been hired to create a plan to convert their building — a former convent and residence used by the Presentation Sisters — into a 10-room hospice centre.After construction begins, Griffin said, it should take another 10 to 12 months before the first families enter the Lionel Kelland Hospice."What this hospice is going to provide is patient-centred, family-centred, end-of-life care for people who are living with terminal illness," said Dr. John Campbell, an emergency room physician in Grand Falls-Windsor.Campbell's been on the board of directors for the hospice project since the beginning."It will provide a home-like environment, with all the prerequisite professional and counselling supports for the last 30 days of someone's life," he said.According to Statistics Canada, the majority of deaths in Newfoundland and Labrador happen in hospitals. But that number has been decreasing, as families look for options outside an institutional setting.Newfoundland and Labrador's population is also rapidly aging: by 2030, more than a third of people in the Central Health area will be over the age of 65, according to government population projections. There will be more than 15,000 people over the age of 75.Despite the best efforts of his colleagues, Campbell said, most hospitals just can't offer the right environment for a patient in palliative care."There's not a lot of accommodation made for longer stays, for more comfortable environments and for families and especially extended families to be visiting," he said. "It's very much about, come in, be treated and move to the next case. It's just not the set up that you need for the last 30 days of life."The goal of the Lionel Kelland Hospice is to provide families in the province with a new option, one that combines services typically seen in hospitals with an environment that feels more like home."The death of a loved one is probably one of the greatest stressors that anybody endures in their entire life, and you only get one opportunity to do it right," Campbell said."It can actually be a reaffirmation of life, it can actually be about celebrating somebody's life, it can actually be about a meaningful conclusion to a rather substantial and unique journey. And that's all predicated on it actually being done properly, because it can also be an incredibly frightening, disorienting and terrifying experience for some people."Campbell said the hospice will support families who directly avail of its services, but will also provide a sense of comfort and security for patients and families who choose to leave hospital and spend their final days at home, as they will know they have another option available.The board's vision has won substantial public support: Since 2015, almost $1 million has come in via donations.Last year, George Hart walked from Bishop's Falls to Grand Falls-Windsor, along with two of his friends, to raise money for the hospice project. He hopes to continue his efforts, even after construction has been completed."I became more aware of it after one of my friends who I played hockey with got cancer," he said. "He was only about 60 years old, and he died. I went up to the hospital and, I mean, he was in a room that if you put two or three people in there, it was crowded.""There was carts around and everything else, and it just, you know, it wasn't the right way to die."The board behind the Lionel Kelland project campaigned for years to get government support for their proposal. During the 2019 election, the Liberals pledged more than a million dollars yearly in operating grants for the hospice.The provincial government also promised $3 million for construction and startup costs.Griffin says the group's plan to hire an architect was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but is now back on track.He said with this stage of the project, the board of directors is now starting to see tangible proposals and changes to their building — finding out which rooms will be turned into nursing stations, and which will be turned into spiritual and rest rooms.Griffin said his group is energized."It's been a long five years, but it's been a necessary five years.… Nobody ever said this was a bad idea; it just took some time to get to this stage."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
From the moment she was admitted to the hospital in Joliette, Que., Joyce Echaquan started filming her interactions with staff.It was an impulse, friends and family say, driven by long-held concerns about the way Indigenous people are treated at the hospital 70 kilometres north of Montreal.Ultimately, two days after she walked in with stomach pains, she would broadcast her final pleas for help, capturing insulting and foul language directed at her by attending staff.Sebastien Moar, Echaquan's cousin, said she had several health problems, and felt she didn't receive adequate care at the hospital."She always said, at the hospital, they never did anything. They just made sure she wasn't hurting. She always had appointments and she said the nurses seemed fed up with her," Moar said.Echaquan used her phone, Moar said, to make sure her experience was documented."She was able to communicate what was happening and what had already happened."Her mistrust in the health services provided at the Joliette hospital, the Centre hospitalier de Lanaudière, is widespread in Echaquan's Atikamekw community of Manawan, 180 kilometres further north.It was flagged as a problem in the Viens commission, a provincial inquiry into the discrimination faced by Indigenous people.One year after the Sept. 30, 2019 release of the report, Paul-Émile Ottawa, chief of Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan, said he has started advising people to seek services elsewhere, for example Trois-Rivières or La Tuque, where signs in the hospitals are translated in Atikamekw."The racism problems at [the Joliette] hospital did not start yesterday," he said Wednesday."Even during the commission we came to devote a whole week to listen to the testimonies of the people of Manawan who suffered discrimination in this hospital."According to the Grand Chief of the Atikamekw First Nation, Constant Awashish, people are hesitant to file complaints because they distrust the system.With no clear directives coming from the Quebec government following numerous recommendations and reports that have identified systemic racism, including the Viens commision, Awashish wants change."We're in 2020. I think we need the government to step up on this and we need them to work on mitigation," he said.WATCH | Video captured in hospital contains disturbing images and sounds: Mistrust in ManawanFor Alexia Nequado, who is also from Manawan, the death of her friend Joyce Echaquan was all too familiar.Like Joyce, Nequado said she was admitted to the Joliette hospital two years ago with stomach pain.Lying on a hospital gurney, Nequado said a nurse came to check on her. When she explained she was still in pain despite the dilaudid injection she had received, the nurse went to fetch a syringe of morphine.Nequado, who was wearing a bracelet that indicated she was allergic to the drug, passed out."When I came to, the nurse told me I was an idiot for not telling her I was allergic," Nequado said Wednesday."I didn't feel safe and I felt awful for being treated that way."Nequado said she filed a complaint to the hospital, but when she followed up later she was told it had not been reported to management.Alland Flamand, a witness at the Viens commission who is also from Manawan, said he's avoided going back to the hospital after trying and failing to get treated for an undiagnosed back problem.Over six months, he said he went five times and each time was told nothing was wrong then given pain medication and told to rest. He was often asked, he recalled, if he was on drugs.At one point, Flamand said, he saw a white man at the hospital for his own back problem being treated with a degree of respect he had not been given."It showed me clearly that there was racism there," he said Wednesday.After half a year of hardly being able to stand up, let alone walk, Flamand finally went to the hospital in Trois-Rivieres where he was taken in for emergency surgery for a herniated disc."I could have been in her place," Flammand said of Echaquan.The local health authority, the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de Lanaudière, did not return a request for comment Wednesday about those incidents.Health authority promises to work with ManawanEarlier, Daniel Castonguay, the executive director of the health authority, said he was "shocked and disappointed" to hear the language captured on video coming from one of his staff members.But he denied there is systemic discrimination at the Joliette Hospital against Atikamekw patients."We receive complaints from people from all backgrounds, and those complaints are taken very seriously," Castonguay said."But to say that residents from Manawan are systematically treated this way? No, that's not true."Castonguay said staff have to follow a cultural awareness training program. He wants to replace that with a working committee in collaboration with Atikamekw communities."The goal of that partnership is to ensure people feel safe, no matter where they are from."With pressure mounting on provincial authorities, Echaquan's death is now the subject of three investigations: a coroner's inquest, an investigation by the local health authority into her treatment and broader investigation by the same organization into practices at the hospital.One of the nurses involved has been fired.WATCH | Carol Dubé, Joyce Echaquan's partner, calls for change:Sylvie D'Amours, Quebec's minister responsible for Indigenous Affairs, said that whatever the outcome of the investigation, what was captured on video was "totally unacceptable and must be denounced loud and clear.""This shows that, unfortunately, there is still racism in Quebec, in particular against Indigenous communities," she said Wednesday. She also said that 51 of the 142 recommendations from the Viens report have an action plan. But she too, like Premier François Legault, has continued to deny systemic racism is a problem in the province.