Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia accepts endorsement Thursday from Marjorie Taylor Greene, a congressional candidate who has embraced baseless QAnon conspiracy theories. (Oct. 15)
A former star of the popular television series Ice Road Truckers was sentenced to 18 months of house arrest in Yellowknife on Wednesday.Arthur Burke had previously pleaded guilty to causing arson by negligence.In court documents he admitted that in November 2018 he caused an explosion in the bathroom of his Yellowknife apartment while he was trying to make a concentrated form of cannabis called "shatter." A key ingredient in the process is butane, a highly-flammable substance commonly used in disposable lighters.The explosion blew the bathroom door off its hinges, lifted the ceiling of the apartment and caused more than $60,000 damage to the building. Burke spent 12 days in hospital recovering from burns and other injuries he suffered.The 18-month conditional sentence was recommended by both the prosecution and defence.Burke, who is in his mid-60s and lives on Prince Edward Island, is allowed to serve some of that sentence in the cab of his truck to allow him to continue to earn a living while serving his sentence.He starred in Ice Road Truckers for its final five seasons.
Health officials are keeping a very close eye on hospital capacity as Alberta's COVID-19 cases continue to surge, driving hospitalization numbers to a new high.Between Friday and Monday, 961 new cases were identified in the province. Another 243 people tested positive on Tuesday.Hospitalization numbers for COVID-19 are now the highest they've been since the start of the pandemic.According to provincial data, Alberta hit an all time high on Monday with 102 Albertans hospitalized and 13 of those patients in intensive care. As of Tuesday, 100 people were hospitalized with 14 in ICU. * Saturday: 98 people in hospital, 13 in ICU. * Sunday: 100 people in hospital, 15 in ICU. * Monday: 102 people in hospital, 13 in ICU. * Tuesday: 100 people in hospital, 14 in ICU.The recent numbers surpass previous peaks of 93 hospitalizations in July and 88 in April."We've seen an increase in acute care admissions in recent weeks," Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said on Tuesday, pointing to outbreaks Calgary's Foothills Medical Centre and Edmonton's Misericordia hospital as key drivers of that increase.The patients are concentrated in Alberta's two major cities, with 48 of them in the Edmonton zone, 39 in the Calgary zone and the remaining 13 spread throughout other parts of the province."Forty-one per cent of our current COVID hospitalizations are due to acute care outbreaks. We are watching our province's health system carefully to ensure that hospitalizations and ICU admissions remain within our province's capacity," Hinshaw said.Alberta currently has 70 ICU beds dedicated to COVID-19 treatment. As of Tuesday, 14 Albertans were in intensive care.Hospitalization numbers manageable for nowDoctors are tracking the number of hospitalizations closely as well."It's concerning, for sure," said Dr. Jim Kellner, a pediatrics infectious disease specialist with the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine."Certainly that number is meaningful and it's significant. But it's not pushing our capacity in hospital. When you look at the initial planning for peak capacity at that time, [the province] was looking at many hundreds of beds being occupied for COVID-19 patients."Kellner says the slow burn Alberta started seeing after the province began lifting restrictions is being replaced by a steeper rise in case numbers. And what happens in the next two to three weeks will be key."The question is, are we still going to be able to maintain this as a slow burn or — to use the other terms — are we going to head into a second wave with a big rise? Or will this be the other scenario of coming to a much lower peak that will then drop off again?" he said.Even with the recent spikes, Kellner says Alberta is still faring better than other harder hit parts of the country."On a per capita basis, our hospitalizations have risen, for sure. But the level of hospitalization is still low. If you compare us some of the other places in Canada — most notably Quebec — our hospitalization rate and our severe outcome rate, like fatalities, is still much much lower," he said.Meanwhile, Alberta Health Services says it has plans in place to care for a substantial increase in critically ill patients. That includes stockpiling equipment such as ventilators and having enough trained staff on hand."At this point in time, we are able to accommodate the current demand for COVID-19 patients within our usual bed capacity. We have plans in place to increase our ICU capacity should the need arise," a spokesperson said in a statement emailed to CBC News.Key triggersDespite the recent spikes, Alberta's hospitalization rates have not yet met thresholds that would trigger further mandatory restrictions.One such trigger is a cumulative increase of five per cent or more in hospitalizations over the previous two weeks.According to Hinshaw, Alberta's hospitalization rate has increased 3.8 per cent over that period.Another statistic that officials are monitoring is ICU bed capacity. The province has said that if 50 per cent of the ICU beds allocated for COVID-19 are full, that would trigger further restrictions.On Tuesday, 14 of the 70 dedicated ICU beds were full."[We are] watching those triggers very very carefully, making sure that we are monitoring the ability of our acute care system to manage new cases," Hinshaw said."And, of course, having put these voluntary measures in place in the Edmonton zone — where we are seeing the majority of our new cases right now — as a measure to try and bend that curve down so that we don't end up hitting those triggers, ideally."
The government of the Northwest Territories and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation have "reset" their relationship and have agreed to move forward with the $1.1-billion Slave Geological Province Corridor project.The project in part would see a 413-kilometre, two-lane, all-season road built between mineral-rich areas northeast of Yellowknife and western Nunavut.The idea is to create new economic opportunities that benefit both territories. The road would connect Nunavut to Canada's highway system and link up to a potential deep-water port on the Arctic Ocean.Earlier this summer, Dettah Chief Edward Sangris said the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) was pulling the plug on its support and cited concerns about "antiquated methods of procurement and Indigenous engagement."YKDFN said in a news release that it hoped there would be more priority given to "capacity building, benefits for Northern and Indigenous business, local hiring, and community engagement." In an interview with CBC, Sangris said the decision-making processes are "outdated" and therefore do not reflect the needs and interests of Northern people.He also said they do not acknowledge the value that local knowledge can add to projects which involve natural resource extraction, especially when it comes to environmental impact assessments. The best people to work and to study the environment "are the people who depend on the land," he said, because "most environmental concerns are actually being addressed at every stage of development."He says Northern firms, such as the Indigenous-operated Det'on Cho Corporation, have expertise that extends beyond economic value, and that expertise could more accurately reflect the needs and interests of all Northern peoples. 'More work to be done'The groups have now agreed to work together once again to move the project forward, according to a joint news release issued on Wednesday.The release says after a meeting on Sept. 25, all parties agreed that "strong relationships" between the territory, Indigenous governments and other organizations are necessary for major infrastructure projects.Sangris and Yellowknives Dene Chief Ernest Betsina were at the meeting, along with Premier Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Infrastructure Diane Archie and Minister of Finance Caroline Wawzonek.However, "there's more work to be done," said Sangris. The relationship between the territorial government and YKDFN will take some redefining, he said. "The government always talks about reconciliation [but] in order for reconciliation to work, you have to understand, you know, the culture, the tradition, the spirituality of the people," Sangris said. Wednesday's news release says projects like the Slave Geological Province Corridor are "critical" for the territory's COVID-19 recovery.It also says road access will help the mining industry by "enhancing the feasibility of expanding the Taltson hydro system.""Economically, the Northwest Territories is at a critical juncture," Sangris said in a statement."Indigenous, territorial, federal and municipal governments must work together to move projects forward that will stimulate the economy, create employment, attract investment and ensure a bright future for all Northerners while respecting Indigenous traditions, culture, Treaty rights and title."Betsina says the First Nation looks forward to working with the government on the projects.In a statement, Cochrane said partnerships between Indigenous governments and organizations are important for projects such as the Slave Geological Province Corridor. Such projects help expand and diversify the economy, she said."I am pleased to report the success of this meeting and look forward to many more in the future," she said.
Outbreaks in two regions of New Brunswick have led to new and sometimes confusing rules to limit the spread of COVID-19. After months of relatively low cases in the province, an outbreak at a special care home in Moncton and a separate outbreak in the Campbellton region affecting multiple schools sent both health zones back to the orange recovery phase.The remainder of the province remains in the yellow phase. We've compiled information about questions people have raised about the new rules.What are the mask rules?Masks became mandatory in most indoor public spaces Oct. 9.That affects places from office kitchens to apartment building hallways.Exceptions include children under two, situations involving lip-reading and certain medical conditions.What about in the orange zones?People in the Moncton and Campbellton health zones must also wear masks outside in public places where people gather. Examples include sidewalks, trails, parks, plazas, markets and dog parks. It doesn't apply in the yard of a private single-family home.Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, says the rule is meant to apply when others are in close proximity, not when someone is walking or jogging alone on a sidewalk.Those who travelled to orange zones over the long weekend and have gone home are urged to monitor for symptoms and follow the mask rules as if they're in the orange zones. The Anglophone West School District, for example, said in a notice those who travelled to the zones since Oct. 9 must wear a mask inside Anglophone West schools and classrooms, outside the school at noon/recess, and while on the bus for 14 days from the day they returned from either health zone. What are the rules around travel within the province?With two health zones in the orange phase, New Brunswick's premier recommended avoiding travel in or out of the Moncton and Campbellton zones except for essential reasons. Russell said travel outside a zone for a haircut doesn't count as essential. The premier said those driving on the Trans-Canada Highway through the Moncton region should not stop there. Asked about the impact on sports teams in the Moncton region, Higgs said teams shouldn't be travelling into or out of the Moncton zone. Russell has encouraged businesses in areas of the province outside the Campbellton and Moncton zones not to ask customers whether they are from those zones.Who can enter the province?The Atlantic Bubble remains open. New Brunswick has removed screening checkpoints to other Maritime provinces.Those entering New Brunswick from somewhere other than Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador must pre-register at least five days ahead of time.Russell said about 12,000 people enter the province daily, though she didn't say where they are coming from.What about Quebec?The bubble with two regions of Quebec along New Brunswick's northern border has been suspended.Residents of Listuguj First Nation and Pointe-à-la-Croix, Que., can cross into Campbellton to obtain essential services. Those who have travelled across the Quebec border into the Campbellton region are eligible for twice-weekly COVID-19 testing even if they don't have symptoms.What about from elsewhere?New Brunswickers returning from travel outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days unless exempt.A list of exemptions is available on the province's website. It includes workers who are healthy who provide or support things essential to the health, safety, security or economic well-being of New Brunswickers, residents of Campobello Island who must cross the U.S. border as part of daily life and for shared child custody. While there are exemptions, the province's website says essential workers must travel directly to and from work and accommodations, self-monitor for symptoms and avoid contact with vulnerable people. Those returning to the province from work in another province or territory aren't required to self-isolate when they return. The U.S. border remains closed to most cross-border travel. Canadians are allowed to cross back into Canada. Foreign nationals can enter Canada under certain conditions, including if they are immediate family of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and will stay in Canada for at least 15 days. They must have a quarantine plan.How long will the Campbellton and Moncton regions be in the orange phase? On Oct. 9, Russell said it will last as long as the outbreaks last and the province will reassess roughly every two weeks.Higgs said he hopes it will only be days and weeks in the orange phase, not weeks and months. What triggers moving from orange to red?Public health needs to be aware of three unlinked cases of community transmission within six days to go back to the red phase. That phase would result in more businesses closing and tighter limits on gatherings, including the end of the two-household bubble allowed in the orange phase. Are there cases of community transmission? The province hasn't listed any of the cases related to the Campbellton and Moncton outbreaks as community transmission.The Moncton outbreak at the special care home has been traced to someone who travelled. Russell won't clarify if this was a traveller who failed to isolate or one who was exempt from isolating.It spread when others were in contact with that original source."We can rule out community spread with the cases in that region," Russell said Wednesday. She said contact tracing is still underway to determine the original source for the Campbellton outbreak, though all of the cases are connected so far.What happens to Halloween in the orange zones? Things like door-to-door activities aren't supposed to happen in the orange phase, Russell said. That would mean no door-to-door trick-or-treating this Halloween in those areas.What triggers school closures? There have been at least five cases connected to schools in the province, all in the Campbellton region. Several of the schools temporarily closed for cleaning and to give time for contact tracing.According to guidance to schools, Public Health will contact people who must self-monitor or self-isolate because of potential exposure. They will then decide if a class, classes or an entire school must be sent home. If a zone moves back to the red phase, students won't be allowed inside schools but teaching is expected to continue remotely.
WARSAW, Poland — Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski returned to Poland, the country of his youth, and paid tribute on Thursday to a Polish couple who took him in and protected him when he was a child, saving him from the Holocaust during World War II. Stefania and Jan Buchala were posthumously declared as “Righteous Among the Nations,” an honour bestowed by Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, in a ceremony attended by their grandson. The 87-year-old Polanski, who now lives in France, travelled to Poland for the occasion. That's one of the very few countries Polanski can travel to safely given that he remains a fugitive from U.S. law after pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in 1977 and fleeing the United States the following year. Polanski recalled Stefania Buchala as an “extremely noble and religious person” who had the courage to risk not only her own life in sheltering him, but also the lives of her children. In occupied Poland, Nazi Germans punished anyone helping Jews with instant execution of the person involved and their entire family. The couple's grandson, Stanislaw Buchala, received the medal and the diploma on behalf of his late grandparents from Israel's deputy ambassador, Tal Ben-Ari Yaalon, at a Jewish memorial centre in Gliwice, in southern Poland. City authorities also attended the ceremony. Polanski and Buchala posed for photos together, but any emotional gestures were made impossible by the anti-COVID-19 social distancing and masks. Polanski was nine years old in 1942 when his parents made him escape from the Krakow Ghetto and hide with a Polish family that they knew and had paid to shelter him. Both of his parents were soon after deported to death camps. The Krakow Ghetto was one of many where Nazi Germans isolated Jews from the outside world as they occupied Poland during World War II. Polanski was eventually given lasting shelter by the Buchalas, from 1943-45, in the small southern village of Wysoka. In his request for the Yad Vashem honour, Polanski wrote that Stefania “did not hesitate, but was driven by the love for another human being” when she decided to hide him. “During all that time, despite poverty and scant food, she made sure that I was safe and fed,” he added. The Buchalas died in 1953. They are among some 7,000 Poles now recognized by Yad Vashem for saving Jews from certain death at the hands of Nazi German forces. More people from Poland have been recognized for such heroism than from any other country. Polanski's mother died in Auschwitz, but his father survived the Mauthausen camp and the two were reunited after the war. Among Polanski's awarded projects is a story of Holocaust survival, the 2003 Oscar-winning film the “The Pianist." Two years ago Polanski was expelled from the organization that bestows the Academy Awards for raping a minor. His request to have his membership reinstated was rejected this year. Monika Scislowska, The Associated Press
The Montreal Canadiens have signed forward Brendan Gallagher to a six-year contract extension with an average annual value of US$6.5 million. The 28-year-old Gallagher had 43 points in 59 games with the Canadiens in 2019-20. It marked the third straight season Gallagher has led the Canadiens in goals.
It seems like just yesterday Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19. So why is he allowed out of quarantine? Well... This could be why.
Half of Indigenous and Black Calgarians do not feel the city is accepting of people from diverse backgrounds, according to the 2020 Vital Signs report.The report is released annually by the Calgary Foundation, and combines research with a citizen survey on issues tied to quality of life that include living standards, the environment and nature, and giving back and values.The results help the foundation, which funds hundreds of charities every year, determine where it directs its resources.According to its website, new contributions last year totalled $35.4 million. The foundation had an asset base of $1.0 billion and it granted $54.9 million to 996 charitable organizations."This is a very important resource for us," said Taylor Barrie, the foundation's vice-president of communications, on the Calgary Eyeopener on Wednesday."But we also feel this is a really important tool for Calgarians, whether personally or professionally, to have some conversations about what role they play in addressing some of these results."Equity and racial justiceThis year, and for the first time since the reports were first published in 2007, it segmented some of the survey results by race, and dedicated a section to equity and racial justice."There is one data set we feel is especially relevant to 2020," Calgary Foundation president and CEO Eva Friesen wrote in the report."As the data indicates, for Black, Indigenous and people of colour, the experience of our city is often harder. By reflecting on the inequality, discrimination and hardship many of us unfairly experience, we can begin to change."The results indicated that while 82 per cent of Calgarians believe racism toward Black, Indigenous and people of colour exists, many Black Calgarians — nearly 70 per cent — have felt unsafe or threatened in the city.Meanwhile, 56 per cent of those surveyed believed that Calgarians are committed to anti-racism, equity and inclusion — but that belief drops to 53 per cent among Indigenous people and 35 per cent for Black Calgarians.Sixty-one per cent of Calgarians believe that Black and Indigenous people experience higher levels of violence by police and the RCMP, but that figure jumps to 72 per cent among those who are Black and Indigenous themselves."If you have felt threatened or unsafe because of differences in skin colour or gender or religion, then you are 20 per cent more civically engaged than people who generally don't feel unsafe," Barrie said.Living standardsThe majority of Calgarians continue to worry about their finances, which is the continuation of a trend for the report."That sort of holds true for the last few years — 73 per cent of Calgarians told us they're stressed about money," Barrie said."It's harder to find work. In 2019, 50 per cent of us felt we could find suitable employment. And this year, that number dropped to 27 per cent. So concerns around stretching your dollar, father, continues to be true."Thirty-three per cent of Calgarians sometimes struggle to afford the necessities, including rent, groceries and utilities. Meanwhile, 17 per cent always struggle.And this year, 67 per cent of Calgarians feel pessimistic about the economy — which is a jump from 42 per cent in 2019.The weight of the pandemicInterestingly, and in spite of COVID-19, respondents rated their quality of life higher in 2020 than they did in 2019."I would say one thing we were pleased to see is that, generally, quality of life held pretty steady," Barrie said."And we conducted the survey in June, sort of in the height of some of the uncertainty and concerns around the pandemic. And still, 75 per cent of Calgarians said their quality of life was good or excellent, and that's actually up from 69 per cent last year."Seventy-nine per cent of Calgarians also believe the city is a great place to raise kids in 2020, compared with 68 per cent in 2019, and Calgarians reported an increase in happiness with their social networks, sense of belonging and ability to cope with daily stress."We learned that, you know, even though we've been socially distant for the last seven months, we're doing all right," Barrie said. "So, some good news navigating the past few months."The exception, according to the survey, was primarily reflected in Calgarians under 25, who are more likely to be lonely and suffer from poorer mental health."You are definitely carrying more of the burden of the stress of the future of the city, I would say," Barrie said.The full report can be found online.Its results are based on the survey responses of 1,000 Calgarians. A probability sample of 1,000 results in a margin of error of +/- 3.10 per cent, 19 times out of 20.With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
With just hours to go before a midnight strike deadline, the master bargaining committee for Unifor workers at FCA reports "little progress." The two sides are meeting in Toronto, where a tentatively planned press conference scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday was cancelled.The union says they have a strong strike mandate and the negotiations follow what Unifor's national president Jerry Dias calls a home run deal that was struck with Ford Motor Company last month. The union is trying to achieve the same pattern agreement with FCA that it reached with Ford.Union says FCA pushing back on wages This week started with a post from Unifor Local 444 saying that talks were "not quite where we feel we should be."In the latest national bargaining update posted online Unifor said "FCA continues to challenge the union on key elements of the pattern agreement including items relating to wages, lump sumps, and health care benefits.""The committees remain hopeful that we will reach a tentative settlement by the deadline," reads the post."However if FCA continues to push back on the pattern and refuses to deliver concrete investment commitments the likelihood of job action grows."FCA spokesperson Lou Ann Gosselin wrote CBC News that the company can't comment on the talks, but offered this quote in an email."We are committed to reaching an agreement that will allow us to continue investing in our future and create opportunities for our employees, their families and the communities where we live and work," wrote Gosselin. The workers at the Windsor Assembly Plant are on layoff this week but ready to strike. "If it has to happen, it has to happen. At the end of the day we're fighting for our futures right?" said FCA worker Joshua Lamont, adding he feels on edge about the approaching deadline.
Charlottetown officials say the city's finances are in good shape, despite the COVID-19 slowdown and related revenue shortfalls. Earlier this year, municipal number crunchers projected the city would suffer a $2.2-million decrease in revenue, largely because people were allowed to park downtown for free between March and the end of June. But after paid parking was reinstated for the months of July, August and September, that revenue shortfall is now estimated to be only $1.4 million. Coun. Terry Bernard, chairperson of the finance committee, says the city plans to use funds from its extraordinary expenditures allocation to cover that shortfall and keep Charlottetown out of the red.> It's always good to have a cushion. You always have a rainy day. — Coun. Terry Bernard"During budget time, we were showing this extra money in extraordinary expenses and some people wanted to spend it," said Bernard. "But we cautioned that it's always good to have a cushion. You always have a rainy day." Last year, Charlottetown budgeted $1.6 million for extraordinary expenditures, but only about $100,000 of that budget was spent."If we hadn't had it set up, then yeah, we would probably be debating whether you raise taxes or not," Bernard said of this year's challenges. Municipal departments were also asked to find savings where they could. By that means, Bernard said about $1.5 million was found to replenish the extraordinary expenses fund. Those savings came in part from the fact that politicians and employees couldn't travel and some events didn't move forward because of COVID-19. More from CBC P.E.I.
While the number of new and active COVID-19 cases in the Alberta rarely mushroom, they are climbing inexorably upward. On Wednesday, Alberta reported 243 new cases of the disease as well as one more death. Since March, the province has seen 21,199 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The latest numbers show there are 2,689 active cases in Alberta, up from 2,615 on Tuesday. Two weeks ago, the number of active cases was still hovering around 1,500, where it had remained for much of September. But since Oct. 1, the number of cases has been growing. There are now 100 people in hospital with the disease, another number that has been inching up for weeks. Fourteen of those patients are in intensive care. The death involves a woman in her 30s from the Edmonton zone. She is only the second death in the 30-39 age group in Alberta and only the third death of an Albertan under the age of 40. A total of 287 Albertans have now died from COVID-19. Here is the regional breakdown of active cases: Edmonton zone: 1,473 cases, up from 1,444 Tuesday Calgary zone: 791 cases, up from 754 North zone: 124 cases, down from 127 South zone: 177 cases, up from 160 Central zone: 108 cases, down from 109 Unknown: 16 cases, down from 21 The number of tests completed Tuesday was 14,881, which takes the total number of tests done in the province to 1,571,176. There are now 21 schools under watch, meaning they have recorded at least five cases of COVID-19. There are 68 schools with two to four cases.
Fashion retailer Aritzia Inc. has reopened all the stores it closed due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns in March, but ongoing related issues are blamed for lower revenue and a net loss in its most recent fiscal quarter. The Vancouver-based company behind the TNA, Babaton and Wilfred brands reported a net loss of $900,000 on revenue of $200 million in the 13-week period ended Aug. 30, beating analyst expectations for a net loss of $5.3 million on revenue of $191 million, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv. Aritzia's optimism about the upcoming holiday season is tempered by recent increases in COVID-19 positive case rates and new government restrictions in some of its key markets, Hill cautioned.
Opposition MPs are bracing for another marathon meeting of the House of Commons ethics committee today as they ramp up efforts to revive their investigation into the WE Charity affair. Indeed, Conservative MP Michael Barrett says he and his colleagues are prepared for the meeting to drag on for days, if that's what it takes to finally force an end to a filibuster by Liberal committee members who've been blocking opposition demands for more documents. At issue is a motion put forward by Barrett last week calling on Speakers' Spotlight, the agency that arranged speaking engagements for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's mother and brother at WE events, to hand over 12-years' worth of receipts for those paid appearances.
A bid by two dads to force the provincial government to implement mandatory masks and strict physical distancing in classrooms has been rejected by a B.C. Supreme Court judge.Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster filed an application in August for an injunction, arguing that without tougher COVID-19 safety measures, B.C.'s plan for reopening schools "not only endangers the lives of students and teachers, but also that of the broader community."But in a Sept. 30 judgment, Justice Jasvinder Basran dismissed that application, writing that the two parents have not laid the necessary groundwork for a case showing they've suffered irreparable harm as a result of the government's decisions.The judge said the public interest is best served by relying on the advice of Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and her team, who have supported the government's reopening guidelines."The evidence before me shows that their guidance, advice and policies such as the Restart Plan are firmly rooted in current scientific knowledge and best practices. The fact that some of this advice is not universally accepted is insufficient to conclude that the government has clearly chosen the wrong approach in terms of the public interest," he wrote.On the question of masks, Basran noted that face coverings are currently required in hallways and other high-traffic areas of schools.He said a blanket mandatory mask policy covering all school areas might be counterproductive because it "could detract from the effectiveness of more effective means of limiting transmission" like hand-washing and physical distancing."The evidence shows that public health officials thoughtfully and comprehensively considered the use of masks in schools. They considered the research and current scientific information regarding the use of masks and concluded that some masking in schools was required, but a widespread mandatory masking policy is not necessary at this time," Basran wrote.As for physical distancing measures, the judge said that the creation of learning groups of 60 to 120 students who aren't required to keep a two-metre distance from each other "is based on sound scientific advice applied in conjunction with the need to provide children with an education."No requirement to attend school in personTrest, who has a son in the Surrey school system, and Shuster, whose daughters go to school in Vancouver, both live with immunocompromised family members.Trest and his 10-year-old son Max have asthma triggered by viral infections, while Shuster's wife has cancer. They told CBC this summer that they feared their children could bring home potentially fatal infections with the novel coronavirus."I don't want to put my wife at risk and I don't want my kids to … walk around the rest of their lives thinking, 'I injured my parent,' " Shuster said in August.But Basran notes that both the Surrey and Vancouver school districts offer options for remote learning that would allow the Shuster and Trest children to learn from home."There is no requirement for their children to attend school in person," he said.Basran acknowledged that Trest wants his son to be in class so he can participate in a specialized program for gifted children, but said that preference isn't enough to mandate masks and physical distancing across the board."Mr. Trest's son is certainly entitled to receive an education, but he is not entitled to attend a specific in‑person program on terms that are not consistent with prevailing scientific knowledge and best practices," Basran wrote.The return to in-class learning this fall has prompted anxiety in parents and teachers across the province, and dozens of potential COVID-19 exposure events have been reported in schools.But in Henry's most recent modelling presentation on the pandemic's effects in B.C., she said opening schools has not caused an increase in transmission of the virus.She said school-age children account for less than 10 per cent of new cases, a percentage that has remained relatively steady throughout the pandemic.
B.C. health officials announced 158 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 10,892 provincewide. There are currently 1,496 active cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus as well as 3,608 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of exposure to known cases, according to a news release Wednesday from the Ministry of Health.Of those active cases, 84 people are in hospital with 24 in intensive care. There have been no new deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, leaving the total provincial death toll at 250.Health officials say 9,112 people in B.C. have recovered from the virus.St. Paul's outbreak overOfficials also announced that the outbreak at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver has been declared over.There are still active outbreaks at 17 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities.Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says while there are no new community outbreaks to announce, there continue to be exposure events around the province."One of the best things that we can do to protect ourselves and those around us is to pay close attention to how we are feeling, by doing our own personal health check each day," she said in a written statement."If you are at all feeling unwell, be the COVID-19 champion who makes the choice to stay home and stay away from others. If you have any symptoms, contact 811 or your health-care provider to arrange for testing.On Tuesday, the Surrey School District reported it had registered at least 56 COVID-19 exposure events at schools and district offices since schools reopened on Sept. 10.Surrey school superintendent Jordan Tinney said in a district with nearly 85,000 staff and students, COVID-19 coming into schools was inevitable. Tinney says he expects the number of cases to rise to 100 by Remembrance Day.
Dozens of people attended a candlelight vigil on Wednesday night in honour of a YMCA health and fitness instructor gunned down in his vehicle a week ago.Shane Shannon Stanford, 33, was killed on Oct. 7. The event in his honour came amid calls for action on gun violence. Community members walked along Ranee Avenue, near the scene of the shooting, in the city's Lawrence Heights neighbourhood.Stanford, 33, who was part of the health and fitness team at the Central YMCA on Grosvenor Street near Yonge Street, had locked up the facility and headed home in the north end of the city when someone in another car opened fire. Police received a call about gunshots at 11:38 p.m.The shooting happened in the area of Regina and Khedive avenues, near Bathurst Street and Ranee Avenue, north of Lawrence Avenue West.Moments after the gunfire, Stanford's car crashed into the side of a home. At the scene, the back window of the vehicle appeared to have been shot out. Stanford was found behind the wheel suffering from a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead in his vehicle. He is Toronto's 58th homicide victim of the year.Ronnie Ferreira, Stanford's older brother, said he and the rest of his family still haven't fully come to terms with his death."We're still in a bit of shock, as to why and how this could happen. At times, since this is happened, I'll be looking out the window and I'm trying to imagine him coming home," he said.Ferreira said he can't understand why anyone would want to hurt his little brother, who he described as calm and caring and who he says still had so much to give."He worked with a lot of youth. I'm like, 'Wow, he really touched a lot of young kids' lives.'"Dejazmatch James, a long-time friend, said he was one of those kids who looked up to Stanford and they eventually became close friends.He was "really like a big brother to us, he was the one that was always mature. Like Ronnie was saying, he was levelheaded," James said.'He had a beautiful soul'At the Central YMCA in downtown Toronto, a bouquet of flowers and a photo of Stanford, wearing his Y uniform and smiling, is displayed in the front window.Mehdi Zobeiry, general manager of the YMCA, said Stanford was kind, giving and a role model for youth."It has been devastating to all of us. He had a beautiful soul," Zobeiry told CBC Toronto. "He became very quickly one of our best instructors."Zobeiry said the YMCA is mourning his loss."He was telling me that his big goal was to become a general manager of a big facility one day and knowing that he just finished work and this tragedy happened, it broke everybody's heart."Homicide unit hoping to identify suspect vehicleDet. Sgt. Tim Gallant, the lead homicide investigator on the case, said police are continuing to canvas the area for surveillance video and are reviewing video that officers have obtained."We are actively pursuing numerous leads that we are hoping will lead us to identifying the suspect vehicle and the suspects responsible," Gallant said.Gallant said the car containing Stanford was shot at and the rear window was broken. A description of the suspect vehicle and any suspects has not been released.Stanford had 'warm, friendly personality'A GoFundMe page in support of Stanford, which is filled with comments and donations from his students, coworkers and young people he had mentored at camp, has been set up."For those of you who don't know Shane, he was a beloved member of our Health & Fitness team at the Central YMCA," the GoFundMe page reads."If you ask his co-workers about him, they'll tell you about Shane's warm, friendly personality; the strong relationships he built with everyone around him, including Y staff, volunteers, and members; his drive to learn more and advance his career, how he always wanted to contribute to the team and pitch in to help whenever he could; and his passion for helping others through fundraising and championing the Y's charitable activities."According to the GoFundMe page, Stanford started at YMCA as a co-op college student 10 years ago. "Over the last decade, Shane has worked hard to build up his credentials and advance his full time career at the Y as a personal trainer, fitness and aquatics specialist and camp counsellor. He was a caring and impactful community leader. It is absolutely devastating that his life was cut short."At the walk, organizers were expected to present a list of homicide victims from the past 20 years in the neighbourhood.A visitation for Stanford will take place on Friday at the Vescio Funeral Home, Toronto Chapel, 2080 Dufferin St., from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Shares in Big Hit Entertainment defied the pre-listing hype to dip on their first day of trade on Thursday, giving the management label of South Korean superstar K-pop group BTS a market valuation of 8.7 trillion won ($7.61 billion). Big Hit, which relies heavily on the boy band for revenue, doubled its initial public offering price to debut at 270,000 won per share, for a 9.6 trillion won valuation. Analysts said the closing share price of 258,000 won, still around 90% above the IPO price, should be viewed as a more reasonable price based on fundamentals, rather than a sign of listing failure.
Ongoing tensions surrounding the First Nations lobster harvest in Nova Scotia erupted Tuesday night when several hundred commercial fishermen and their supporters raided two facilities where Mi'kmaq fishermen were storing their catches.
The coronavirus pandemic is threatening the future of a generation of the world's children, depriving them of schooling and sending them to work. (Oct. 15)