Greta Thunberg criticises world leaders for 'acting like children' at Bristol climate change protest

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg has addressed protestors at a climate change rally in Bristol - and criticised world leaders for “acting like children”.

The march has attracted thousands of protestors, including schoolchildren, to the city’s College Green.

An estimated 30,000 people gathered to march through the city on Friday.

After arriving in the city by train at Bristol Temple Meades train station, Thunberg travelled to the city centre by electric car.

Greta Thunberg addressed protestors at the Bristol Youth 4 Climate march on Friday. (PA/SWNS)
A huge crowd gathers in front of the Council House in Bristol on Friday, where climate campaigner Greta Thunberg gave a speech to climate change protestors. (SWNS)

Asked why she had chosen to visit Bristol particularly, she said: “Many different reasons, the movement is very strong here and I had contact with people who were here.”

She added that she hoped the event would be a “gathering of people standing together in solidarity”.

Read more: Greta Thunberg climate march in Bristol so big it 'could be unsafe for children'

Thunberg took to the stage to chants of “Greta, Greta” from the children gathered.

Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg in Bristol shortly before addressing thousands of activists at a climate change event in Bristol, (SWNS)

She told the crowd during her speech: “This emergency is being completely ignored by the politicians, the media and those in power.

“Basically, nothing is being done to halt this crisis despite all the beautiful words and promises from our elected officials.

“So what did you do during this crucial time? I will not be silenced when the world is on fire. Our leaders are behaving like children. So it falls on us to be the adults in the room.

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg speaks at a Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate protest in Bristol. (PA)
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg (right) joins protestors during the Bristol climate march. (PA)

“Once again, they sweep their mess under the rug for us – young people, their children – to clean up for them.

“But we must continue and we have to be patient. Remember that the changes required will not happen overnight since the politics and solutions needs are far from sight.”

“We will not be silenced because we are the change, and change is coming whether you like it or not.

“Thank you and let’s march.”


Speaking before Thunberg addressed the crowd, student Mya-Rose Craig, also 17, called for change.

Read more: Greta Thunberg's parents 'thought her climate activism was a bad idea'

Craig was the youngest person to be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bristol last week.

Calling for greater diversity in the climate movement, she told the crowd: “Greta, welcome to our amazing city and thank you for being with us today.

Climate campaigner Greta Thunberg arrives at Bristol Temple Meads train station. (SWNS)

“We have to engage with all of our communities in order to properly fight climate change. An unequal world can never be a sustainable one.”

After the march, Greta is due to head to the Southville area of Bristol to view a mural of herself.

The work, by local artist Jody Thomas, was previously used by Greta as her profile picture on Instagram and Facebook.

Greta Thunberg takes to the stage as environmental activists gather at College Green in Bristol. (PA)

Avon and Somerset Police said a number of road closures are in place around the city centre between 9am and 5pm to “minimise risk of harm”.

Two years ago, Greta started missing lessons most Fridays to protest outside the Swedish parliament building, in what turned out to be the beginning of a huge environmental movement.

Read more: Meat Loaf denies climate change, says Greta Thunberg is 'brainwashed'

The 17-year-old become a leading voice for action on climate change, inspiring millions of students to join protests around the world.

She was named Time magazine’s Person of The Year in 2019.

  • RCMP facing 'systemic sustainability challenges' due to provincial policing role
    News
    The Canadian Press

    RCMP facing 'systemic sustainability challenges' due to provincial policing role

    OTTAWA — The RCMP's costly contract policing obligations across Canada are draining resources from the force's federal duties in areas such as organized crime and national security, an internal government memo warns.The demand for contract officers in the provinces and territories where they provide regular local policing services outstrips the RCMP's capacity to recruit and train them, causing shortages that have led to officer health and wellness concerns, says the Public Safety Canada document.In turn, there is "growing dissatisfaction" in contract jurisdictions about costs and officer vacancies, and the resulting effect on community safety, the starkly worded memo says."Public Safety Canada and the RCMP have confirmed there are systemic sustainability challenges impacting the whole of the RCMP."The coming unionization of rank-and-file Mounties will only intensify these pressures, the memo says.The heavily censored memo, newly released under the Access to Information Act, was included in a collection of briefing materials prepared for the incoming cabinet following the fall election.Over 60 per cent of RCMP's multibillion-dollar budget and over 70 per cent of the force's officers are assigned to contract policing in 153 municipalities, the three territories, and all provinces but Ontario and Quebec, the memo notes.This makes the RCMP the police of jurisdiction for over one-fifth of Canada's population in a geographic area accounting for three-quarters of the country.Under 20-year agreements signed in 2012, provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP's services.The federal share is approaching $750 million annually, up from $618 million in 2012-13.Policing is part of the provincial responsibility for the administration of justice and the federal government has been aiming since the 1960s to "decrease its contract policing financial liability," the memo says.At the same time, the national force's federal policing responsibilities include serious and organized crime, financial crime, terrorism, espionage, cybercrime, protective security for officials, criminal intelligence and other areas."Federal policing responsibilities have been and are being eroded to meet contract demands," the memo says.Since 2010, the number of contract RCMP officers increased 17 per cent while federal officers decreased 30 per cent.Meantime, Surrey, B.C. — the largest RCMP contract municipality, in suburban Vancouver— is pursuing creation of its own police force and, the memo says, "others are also considering alternatives."The challenges come as the national police force tries to modernize, including unionization of frontline officers, following a series of revelations about internal bullying and harassment.The National Police Federation is the certified bargaining agent for more than 20,000 RCMP members and reservists, and officer salaries are expected to increase under a negotiated agreement.A second Public Safety memo, on RCMP governance and transformation, says a recent review of the force's budget looked at gaps in programs and needed technical improvements."Some of the pressures identified have been addressed, while others remain," it says."The pending unionization of officers — which will magnify fiscal and human-resource pressures — heightens the need to modernize the RCMP."Public Safety is working with the RCMP and the Treasury Board Secretariat to develop a bargaining strategy that goes beyond human-resource issues to consider bringing the force into the future, controlling costs and the overall impact on contract jurisdictions, the memo says.The RCMP says a $508-million injection in the last federal budget has helped stabilize the force's funding over the medium term. Obtaining additional monies will mean showing that existing resources are being used effectively, the force adds.However, the RCMP referred questions about the contract policing challenges to Public Safety.Mary-Liz Power, a spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, declined to provide details of behind-the-scenes discussions.The government is working with the RCMP and provincial and territorial partners "to address issues of mutual interest" such as frontline policing priorities and modernization, she said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2020.—Follow @JimBronskill on TwitterJim Bronskill , The Canadian Press

  • Pandemic isolation takes on whole new meaning in a university dorm
    News
    CBC

    Pandemic isolation takes on whole new meaning in a university dorm

    When Laurent Francis Ngoumou was asked to check in on his fellow international students living in residence at Université Laval, the last thing he thought he'd hear was that people were going hungry.Ngoumou is a doctoral student in social work, originally from Cameroon, who specializes in immigration issues. He acts as a big brother figure to younger international students who live on campus.When COVID-19 hit Quebec, Ngoumou could see people struggling, far from home with no support system.In mid-March, the Quebec government decreed the closure of universities. Université Laval asked the thousands of students in its residences to move home or off campus. Two-thirds of them left. But among the other third were many international students, who were watching borders close and apartment rents rise. Université Laval finally decided to keep its residences open for about 700 students who didn't have other options, but public health officials put in place a list of rules: no visits, no socializing, and strict physical distancing in common areas.There were no guarantees the residences would stay open past the end of session. If at any point there was an outbreak of COVID-19, the rooms could be emptied. Ngoumou said having the threat of expulsion hanging over their heads meant the students were constantly worried."People didn't want to go out. They didn't want to be in contact with other people."Students ended up staying in their rooms for fear of being infected, kicked out, and ending up on the street, Ngoumou said. That meant they also weren't going to the grocery store.On April 11, Ngoumou got a call from a local Quebec City coalition of community groups called SOS Ensemble Quebec, which was offering emergency aid to people during the COVID-19 pandemic.The organization worked out the logistics with university administration to start weekly grocery deliveries. They started with 60 students, a number that has since ballooned to 120.Ngoumou said the need for food aid points to the precarious situation students left in residence have been living for the past two months. Cooking, sleeping, eating in 100 square feetNoor is an Iranian doctoral student who lives in the largest of the Laval residences, Pavillon Alphonse-Marie-Parent.CBC has agreed to use a pseudonym in order to protect her identity, because she had concerns about her academic future.Her room, a 100-square-foot space with a desk, a bed, and a sink, is where she has been making her meals and eating alone for weeks to avoid getting sick.Noor finally started making appointments with other friends in residence to go out and walk together, two metres apart. "It's the only way we can communicate and talk with each other. You don't know what will happen. And you're alone."Noor has been preparing for her oral doctoral exam — which took place the week of May 11 — while in lockdown. It went well, but she said she would have been in a better place if the rules had permitted her and her friends to gather (at a distance) in residence lounges at the end of their long days. Threat of expulsion leads to isolationNgoumou said the threat of expulsion from residence has only added to the worry for international students, many of whom have families in countries hit hard by the pandemic.Some have temporary financial problems because banks back home closed, causing delays in money transfers.Others counted on revenue from jobs on campus — in the cafeteria or at the PEPS, Laval's sports facility — lost when the university closed down.In response to a query from the CBC, a Université Laval spokesperson said the school has established a COVID-19 emergency fund, which had distributed $900,000 in aid to 1,138 students as of last week.But there was no indication how many recipients are non-Canadians.The spokesperson said the university also created a "support cell" of professionals offering logistical, financial and psychological help. An email was sent to students in residence, offering them the opportunity to make an appointment. For Ngoumou, that approach shows a lack of understanding. He said support staff should have met with people living in residence face-to-face rather than assuming everything was fine because no one was complaining.Students feeling watchedShortly after campus security was assigned to enforce public health measures, AELIÈS, Laval's graduate student association, started getting complaints."What we heard is that students were feeling watched in the common areas," said Nicolas Pouliot, the association's president."They seemed to be worried that there were always security agents checking to see if they were respecting the rules."AELIÈS took the concerns to the administration, and Pouliot said there was some easing of surveillance.Université Laval confirmed that over the last eight weeks, 20 students have been asked to leave their rooms because of non-compliance with the rules. A reprieve for the summerUniversité Laval's vice-rector for student affairs announced on May 12 that students should be allowed to stay in their residence rooms through summer.Robert Beauregard said public health has the last word, but that there was "no reason to anticipate" the residences would be cleared. A spokesperson for the university also confirmed to CBC that 50 ensuite residence rooms could be used to isolate any student who tests positive for COVID-19, eliminating the need to ask everyone to leave.Noor has already decided she's going to move off campus into a shared apartment with friends. She said not knowing if she'll be able to stay in her room has been too stressful.She's also been telling her family in Iran that everything is fine, even if the past two months have been very difficult. Now she just wants to see them before she continues her studies."I hope the borders become open and I can go to my family and then come back. That's the only thing I really look forward to."

  • Kirk 2.0: Capt. Pike of new ‘Star Trek’ a welcome new icon
    Entertainment
    The Canadian Press

    Kirk 2.0: Capt. Pike of new ‘Star Trek’ a welcome new icon

    In the beginning, in the "Star Trek” universe, there was only Captain Kirk. At least to the general public.When the Starship Enterprise first whooshed across American television screens on Sept. 8, 1966, William Shatner’s James T. Kirk was the smart leader sitting in the captain’s chair. He was stouthearted, eloquent, curious, fair. Kennedylike, even. He was a principled explorer committed to spreading New Frontier values to the 23rd-century stars.And yet: Kirk could also be something of an interstellar Don Draper — brooding, arrogant, a top-down manager who earned his privilege but also often presumed it. Despite being progressive for his era, he could be condescending to anyone but his top righthand men — and sometimes creepily appreciative of the women he encountered.But Kirk had actually been preceded as captain of the Enterprise by Christopher Pike — a stoic, vague figure played by Jeffrey Hunter in a rejected 1964 “Trek” pilot who made only a fleeting appearance in the original series, mainly so the pilot footage could be recycled. The character reappeared in two recent movie reboots, portrayed ably by Bruce Greenwood, but was never a foundational fixture of “Star Trek” lore.Until now.“Trek” aficionados were thrilled this month to learn that Pike (now played by Anson Mount), his first officer “Number One”(Rebecca Romijn) and the still-evolving, pre-Kirk version of Spock(Ethan Peck) would be following up their season-long stints on “Star Trek: Discovery” with a brand-new show. Called “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” it is set in the decade before Kirk takes command.And as played today by Mount, Captain Pike — now framed through a creative lens that has captured 54 years of captaining by Kirks, Picards, Siskos, Janeways and Archers — may be the finest, most intuitive leader that the “Star Trek” universe has ever produced.“Both within the show’s world and our own, Captain Pike is a breath of fresh air," Jessie Earl, whose Trek-focused “Jessie Gender” YouTube videos explore social and political issues, said in an episode about Pike last year.“Pike’s lack of ego makes him a perfect model of leadership worth aspiring to," Earl said. “Pike represents what `Star Trek' has always been about: showing us what we could be if we strove to actively pursue and cultivate the best parts of ourselves.”It's not accidental that Pike is the son of a father who taught science AND comparative religion — an embodiment of the empiricism-faith equation that “Star Trek” and its captains have always espoused. In many ways, in fact — even more so than Chris Pine in the movie reboots — Pike functions as James T. Kirk 2.0.Both are utterly principled and committed to their missions. But where Kirk could be arrogant, Pike is steadfast. Where Kirk was expansive and welcomed attention, Pike is wary of it — but seamlessly claims centre stage when needed. Most of all, where Kirk was deeply committed to his responsibility to ship and crew — crippled by it, even — Mount's Pike adds the view of himself as a humble servant-leader who derives his sense of command not only from the success of his mission but directly from the successes of his crew.This is very much in line with how the captains who came after Kirk evolved the notion of command in “Star Trek” through changing times.Jean-Luc Picard — in the 1987-94 “Next Generation” series and movies, and in this year's “Star Trek: Picard” — reframed the captaincy as both more cerebral and less dogmatic. Benjamin Sisko from “Deep Space Nine” was effectively sharing authority with an alien race in whose backyard his space station sat.The strong and intuitive Kathryn Janeway from “Voyager” was the first woman to lead both a starship and the series it populated. And Jonathan Archer, the captain of an earlier version of the Enterprise, was both authoritative and — as the most far-flung Starfleet explorer of his era — deeply self-doubting at times.Even on “Discovery,” putting aside the troubled Capt. Gabriel Lorca of the show's first season, the real leader of the show is Michael Burnham(Sonequa Martin-Green) — an amalgam of conflicts and setbacks and self-recriminations who emerges as the ship's biggest influencer because of her difficult road, not in spite of it.And let's not forget Kirk himself — the aging iteration from the 1980s movies that Shatner shepherded into someone who was more introspective, sometimes regretful and more willing to listen.All of these are ingredients that, in 55 years, led the character of Pike from its 1964 iteration ("I can't get used to having a woman on the bridge") to the current version ("Starfleet … is a promise. I give my life for you. You give your life for me. And nobody gets left behind.").Of the many “Star Trek” sequels and movies that have emerged over the decades, this will be the first live-action one to take place aboard the starship that started it all — that original Enterprise.And while television storytelling has come many light years since the original series’ era, to hear the producers and actors tell it, “Strange New Worlds’ will strive for the sensibility of the original — a spirit of exploration and optimism, and even nonserialized, single-episode arcs.“We’re going to get to work on a classic ‘Star Trek’ show that deals with optimism and the future,” Mount said from quarantine this month in a YouTube video revealing the show.They'll also be exploring the rich history of the original Enterprise itself, a ship so storied that a mail-in campaign by fans in the mid-1970s led NASA to rename the first space shuttle after it. Lovingly reconceived to appear in the second season of “Discovery,” it is sleek and moody and rich with the colours and layout that made it so compelling in the 1960s — updated for today's HD audiences but holding onto the soul of its low-budget predecessor.And smack in the middle, in a chair familiar to generations of fans, will sit Christopher Pike, charged with embodying everything in a half-century of “Trek” that made captains effective and memorable.James T. Kirk was a master class in leadership for the 1960s, just as Jean-Luc Picard was a thoughtful, more introspective model for the carpeted, richly paneled bridge of the late-1980s Enterprise-D.But yanking a thinly developed character from the beginning of “Star Trek” lore and offering him up as a model of leadership for the 2020s — well, that's not an easy task. “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds," expected in 2021, will be doing that every week.In first developing the character that would evolve into Captain Pike, “Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry described him this way: “He is a complex personality with a sensitivity and warmth which the responsibilities of command often forces him to hide.”That was 1964. Today, for this latest captain of the Enterprise, sensitivity and warmth are no longer hidden. They're right there front and centre, along with all the complexity. And “Star Trek”— which even in its darkest hours is about building a brighter future — is better off for it.___Ted Anthony, director of digital innovation for The Associated Press, has been writing about American culture since 1990 and watching “Star Trek” since his older sister plopped him down in front of her favourite show when he was 2. His younger son’s middle name is, not coincidentally, Kirk. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/anthonytedTed Anthony, The Associated Press

  • More confusion over e-bikes in Vancouver after police issue warning to dealership
    News
    CBC

    More confusion over e-bikes in Vancouver after police issue warning to dealership

    The ongoing confusion surrounding e-bikes that look like scooters continues in Vancouver, where police recently told a dealer that some of the models he sells are now illegal because of a landmark ruling in B.C. Supreme Court.Steve Miloshev, owner of a company that imports Motorino e-bikes and runs a flagship store in Vancouver, says he has sold thousands of models the Vancouver Police now consider illegal. They're e-bikes that look like mopeds or motorcycles, but have limited speed and small pedals attached so they fit the province's legal definition of a motor-assisted cycle and therefore don't require a driver's licence or insurance."I feel that there is some kind of negative attitude towards these bicycles," Miloshev said.The Vancouver Police Department confirmed that a member of the Targeted Enforcement Team visited the Motorino store in Vancouver last week to advise staff about the change in legal status for some of its e-bikes.The VPD visit puts into question what will happen to the thousands of people in B.C. who currently ride e-scooters without a licence or insurance. Miloshev says some of his Vancouver customers have started to tell him they've been fined hundreds of dollars for doing so.The officer's visit to the store comes on the heels of a recent decision in B.C. Supreme Court, which upheld fines against a man riding a Motorino XMr e-bike in Surrey without a licence or insurance. Miloshev says the officer came to his store with copy of the decision in hand."He told us that we cannot sell the bikes that cannot be powered by pedaling," he said.The VPD didn't respond to questions about which specific models it now considers illegal, or if it has also advised other dealers and manufacturers of similar e-bike models of the change.Pedal powerIn the B.C. Supreme Court decision, the judge ruled the pedals have to be the bike's main source of power for it to qualify as a motor-assisted cycle.Referring to a 2012 decision in B.C. Supreme Court, Justice Robert W. Jenkins said the electric motor on the bike is supposed to "supplement, not supplant, human propulsion." Defendant Ali Ghadban testified that he had never used the pedals on his Motorino XMr. Ghadban says he intends to appeal the ruling. Miloshev says he intends to seek intervenor status for the appeal and he expects some of his customers will do the same.'Something has to be done'In Parksville, Motorino rider Luke Charie says he'll be hesitant to ride his XPi into Vancouver to visit friends and family until there's clarity on his bike's legal status."Something has to be done because this impasse is going to get worse," Charie said, referring to the ongoing confusion about the legality of e-bikes that look like motorcycles. Miloshev says he intends to continue selling his Motorinos as motor-assisted cycles because, as far as he's concerned, they fit within the province's legal requirements. He points out that even ICBC's website says e-bikes should be capable of being propelled by pedals, "but it is not necessary to always be pedalling."On its website, B.C.'s public auto insurer says some motor-assisted cycles, which have pedals, may look like mopeds and scooters. ICBC doesn't provide coverage for them. Legal landscape 'always shifting'The province has said it intends to review the Motor Vehicle Act in order to take new electronic modes of transportation into consideration. Meanwhile, RoadSafetyBC, the lead provincial government agency responsible for road safety in B.C., said in a written statement that "government continuously monitors court decisions to inform next steps, preserve the integrity of legislation, and help keep everyone on the road.""The technological and legal landscape around these modes of transportation is always shifting."RoadSafetyBC said ICBC can only sell insurance for cycles that meet provincial and federal classifications.Alternative to public transitMiloshev says the VPD's visit is particularly troubling given that COVID-19 has made his Motorinos more popular than ever now that people want to get around while maintaining a safe distance from others.Such is the case for Dave Leblanc, who says he recently spent nearly $3,000 on a Motorino XPb with some accoutrements so he could get to work without having to cram onto a busy bus. "I'm scared of getting on these buses," Leblanc said, adding that he has no intention of paying any fines, should officers issue him any."I'm trying to do my best. I'm doing something that's environmentally conscious. I'm not wasting gas. And I'm keeping my social distance."

  • Ontario churches, mosques and synagogues open for drive-in worship this weekend amid COVID-19
    News
    CBC

    Ontario churches, mosques and synagogues open for drive-in worship this weekend amid COVID-19

    Just like retail, colleges and yoga instructors, religious leaders have gone online during the pandemic with live-streamed services.But starting this weekend in Ontario, churches, synagogues and mosques are allowed to hold drive-in services.Roger Berg, executive associate pastor of Church on the Queensway, says they've been live streaming since in-person services were put on hold in late March. But with a parking lot designed for 900 cars, he says it made sense to roll out a drive-in service.A two-metre space will be left around each parked vehicle. And while service will be held at the usual times, they'll only be 45 minutes long."No one's allowed to leave their vehicle. And they can't come to use the washroom, so it'll be a short service," Berg told CBC Toronto.The church's senior pastor will deliver his message standing on the roof of the educational wing of the building at 1536 The Queensway. He says the drive-in service will be in addition to the weekly live-streamed offering, which has been very popular with worshippers.But Berg says his congregation needs something more."Where there is a real problem is the fact that they can't connect to one another; they feel isolated," he said. "They are used to a gathering of two to three thousand people in the building and they have the opportunity to see one another," Berg added. "Even though they can't get out of their cars they can wave to one another in their vehicles and it's a change of scenery."U.S. President Donald Trump declared houses of worship essential services on Friday, and some church leaders here have signed a letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford asking to reopen.At least one house of worship, the Church of God in Aylmer, Ont. sparked numerous complaints and faced the threat of fines when it held a drive-in service last month.But Berg says his church is not in a rush."We're anxious to reopen, but not at all if it would cause any risk or potential harm to any of our congregants."Others are quite content to continue with online services. For Eid celebrations this weekend, many mosques are marking the end of Ramadan online using social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.The Islamic Centre of Toronto at 1630 Neilson Rd. will also be offering an Eid Sweets Drive Thru with loot bags for kids.Yael Splansky, the senior Rabbi of At Holy Blossom Temple on Bathurst Street near Eglinton Avenue West, says during the pandemic she's turned to the online meeting app Zoom to conduct everything from bar mitzvahs to prayers for the dead.'This is a gift that we've been given'"People are very grateful. People are expressing real gratitude because we're able to provide connections while they're sitting in isolation," she said.."We're providing an anchor in something that is old and lasting. Prayer ritual brings them to something larger than themselves and when the world has been turned upside down, it is very reassuring to go back to things that endure."And she says, the streamed services have been so successful, they will likely continue post-COVID-19."In some ways, this is a gift that we've been given, to slow down a little and return to the things that last and that ground us."

  • Canadian-led NATO battlegroup in Latvia targeted by pandemic disinformation campaign
    News
    CBC

    Canadian-led NATO battlegroup in Latvia targeted by pandemic disinformation campaign

    The Canadian-led NATO battle group in Latvia was the target of a pandemic-related disinformation campaign that alliance commanders say they believe originated in Russia.Reports circulated recently in some Baltic and Eastern European media outlets that suggested the contingent at Camp Adazi in Kadaga, outside the capital of Riga, had "a high number" of cases of the deadly virus."That was definitely not true," said Col. Eric Laforest, commander of Task Force Latvia.When the reports first surfaced, ahead of a major exercise late last month, the Latvian defence ministry swung into action to counter the false information."The Latvian authorities here were the ones to set the record straight because it was information about troops stationed in their country," said Laforest. "Rapidly, within a matter of a few hours, they went out and explained what the situation was. It actually happened fairly fast."NATO was also quick to spot and swat down reports that the camp was a pandemic hot zone, he added.A pattern of propagandaIt's not the first time Russian-backed media outlets in the Baltic country have been accused of working to drive a wedge between the western military contingent and the Latvian public. Not long after the deployment began three years ago, reports emerged online that specifically smeared Canadian troops.NATO and Canadian commanders have countered disinformation campaigns in the past by staying active in the local community and being seen doing good deeds.The pandemic has put a lid on that activity for the time being, but Laforest said the battle group remains active on social media.He said he believes the effort to discount the false reports was successful because they have witnessed no further attempts to sow discord.A European agency that tracks disinformation said the rumours and conspiracy theories surrounding the pandemic are more insidious than most — because when people believe their health is being threatened, they will lash out, sometimes irrationally.Dangerous rumoursPeter Stano of the European External Action Service (an arm of the European Union) pointed to the spread online of reports advising people to drink bleach to avoid being infected, or blaming 5G technology for the pandemic and calling on people to attack cellphone towers."This is very dangerous because then you have people who are acting on this disinformation and this misguided advice, and it can lead to problems," Stano said in a recent interview with CBC's Investigative Unit.The propaganda campaign directed at NATO troops emerged around the time they were engaged in a training exercise which took them just outside their base.Known as Exercise Steele Crescendo, the training involved troops and tanks simulating defences against an armoured attack on the Baltic country.The troops had to operate in a "constrained environment" and soldiers wore masks whenever it made sense to wear them, Laforest said.He said they also tried to respect the two-metre physical distancing rule.Unlike the military training mission in Ukraine, which is largely shut down because of the pandemic, the rotation of troops from Canada into Latvia, scheduled for July, will go ahead as planned."That hasn't changed and we have all of the plans in place to ensure that we conduct a safe relief in place," said Laforest.The other nations that are part of the battle group — Albania, the Czech Republic, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain — will also switch up their contingents.To ensure safety, Laforest said, all of the incoming troops will be required to isolate themselves on military bases for two weeks prior to deployment.Earlier this month, to mark the third anniversary of the deployment, the president of Latvia, Egils Levits, wrote to Governor General Julie Payette to express his country's gratitude for the Canadian presence.In his letter, Levits made special mention of the fact that it's very difficult for soldiers to be away from their families and loved ones during a pandemic, adding Latvia is taking all necessary safety measures to protect the health of allied troops.Laforest agreed, but said the troops stayed connected with home throughout the crisis.

  • News
    CBC

    RCMP shot at by distraught man at residence in Chilliwack

    Update: The incident has ended and residents are now safe to leave their homes, RCMP said Sunday morning.Police in Chilliwack say they are in a standoff with a distraught man in a home who has fired shots at officers.The RCMP is asking residents on Christina Drive to stay in their homes as the situation unfolds.Chilliwack RCMP says officers were called to a residence on Christina Drive because of a distraught man around 9 p.m. PT Saturday.Upon arriving, officers say they were shot at by the man, according to a release from Sgt. Krista Vrolyk. She did not say if any officers were injured."This situation remains very fluid," said the release.There are numerous police officers in the area including an emergency response team, members of Chilliwack RCMP, crisis negotiators and a police helicopter.'Very high risk situation'Vrolyk said she was hopeful police would be able to bring the incident to a close without further violence."This is a very high risk situation and all police efforts are being directed to bring this incident to a safe conclusion," said the release.Chilliwack RCMP are also asking the public to avoid the area and not share details on social media about the scene such as the movement of officers or their location.Vrolyk said she would provide an update to the situation upon its conclusion.

  • If the deficit makes you nervous, what about our other problems?
    News
    CBC

    If the deficit makes you nervous, what about our other problems?

    It's probably not too early to worry, if only a little, about the federal deficit.It's also probably not too early to worry that worrying too much about the deficit might unnecessarily crowd out all the other things we'll have to worry about after the COVID-19 pandemic finally ends.If nothing else, the current crisis and the massive use of public funds to respond to the threat might forever bury the notion — promoted by generations of politicians — that a government's budget is neatly analogous to a household budget.Governments, unlike people, are eternal (at least in theory). A government can accumulate and carry debt without necessarily having to worry about ever fully settling the tab.A tradition of red inkThe federal government, for instance, has always carried some debt. At Confederation, with the new national government taking on the liabilities of the provinces, the federal debt stood at $75.7 million. The first budget was balanced, with $14 million in expenses matched by $14 million in revenue. But the federal government ran an annual deficit in three quarters of its first 150 years, according to a 2017 history of federal finances written by Livio Di Matteo, an economist at Lakehead University.By 1914, the federal debt was $336 million. In 1945, after the Second World War, the debt had reached $11.3 billion. By 1972, after the post-war expansion of social welfare programs, the debt was $26.2 billion.There was much excitement recently over the prospect of the federal debt reaching $1 trillion as a result of recent pandemic relief measures. But the accumulated debt almost certainly would have reached that mark at some point in the near future anyway.By 2006, the debt was $481 billion. A decade later, it was $634 billion. Heading into this crisis, the debt stood at $685 billion.What the debt-to-GDP ratio meansNone of those numbers constituted a crisis. But the fact of public debt is not a licence to spend without limits.If a government's debt begins to grow faster than the national economy, public finances can become unsustainable. Financial markets can lose faith in that government's ability to repay its loans, while higher interest rates can make it more expensive to carry the debt. Higher spending and debt-to-GDP levels also can limit a government's ability to respond to a crisis — like the one we're experiencing now.In the 1990s, for example, the federal debt-to-GDP ratio reached 66 per cent and borrowing rates were nearly 10 per cent. Under pressure from international markets, Jean Chrétien's Liberal government implemented deep cuts to get federal finances under control.Our current situation is not nearly that bad. Not yet, at any rate.Heading into this crisis, the federal debt-to-GDP ratio was 30.9 per cent. In April, the parliamentary budget officer projected that — even after a sudden drop in economic activity and a surge in federal spending — the ratio would reach 48.4 per cent. Borrowing rates are around one per cent and are likely to remain low for the foreseeable future.A fragile consensus on the need to spendAnd there's little controversy right now about the need to spend public funds to support Canadians and keep the economy on life support. In fact, with a few exceptions, opposition MPs — including the Conservatives — have been calling on the government to do more and do it faster.Still, some are beginning to express concerns about the rapid accumulation of debt and asking what might need to be done once this crisis has passed.Watch: Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer calls on government to offer an economic planIn the short term, priority has to be given to fighting a deadly virus and helping people and businesses get through the resulting interruptions to normal life. Failing to provide that support now would only make the situation worse.But it's hard to know how events will unfold, or what the fiscal situation will look like once the health crisis has passed. In an op-ed published last week, economists Paul Boothe and Christopher Ragan explained why they see "good reasons to worry about Canada's emerging fiscal situation." As a counterpoint, three former analysts from the office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer argued that the federal government's finances should remain sustainable and concerns to the contrary are "unwarranted."The last time there was a real focus on reining in federal spending was from 2010 to 2015, when Stephen Harper's Conservative government made a concerted effort to re-balance the books after the Great Recession.Too much austerity, too soonThat restraint might have given the federal government a bit more room to act now, but the Harper government's cuts in federal spending actually undercut economic growth at the time, as an analysis co-authored by former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge in 2016 demonstrated.The Conservatives could boast during the 2015 campaign that they had balanced the budget, but the price was an economy that was more sluggish than it needed to be, while income inequality and other pressures on households were allowed to linger.Beyond Canada, the post-recession push for austerity has been linked to deepening inequality.That doesn't mean that fiscal restraint is bad, of course — but it might remind us that balancing the budget should not been seen as an end in itself.The Conservative government's focus on quickly eliminating the deficit lined up with Harper's desire to reduce the reach of the federal government. It also fit within a post-1990s consensus in and around federal politics that still focuses intently on whether the government's ink is red or black.Justin Trudeau shook up that consensus, but the Trudeau years haven't proved that restraint is unnecessary, or that the voting public doesn't care about balanced budgets any longer. Some of the Trudeau government's pre-pandemic spending might look wise in hindsight (one of the larger increases in spending was for Indigenous programs) but even Liberals might struggle to justify every additional dollar they've spent.Bigger problems, higher prioritiesThe post-pandemic years also might require a capacity for restraint that the Trudeau government has not yet demonstrated.But the federal deficit isn't going to be the only thing worth worrying about in the wake of this pandemic.COVID-19 has exposed the failings of long-term care in Canada and highlighted the importance of child care. Women and low-income earners have been hit hard by the economic shutdown and could face lasting setbacks.Climate change will still be a profound threat. Indigenous reconciliation will still be an unfinished project."The choice isn't to carry a debt [or] austerity," said Lindsay Tedds, an economist at the University of Calgary. "There are way more choices than that."The path forward might, for instance, involve both a review of federal spending and new investments. The focus, Tedds suggests, should be on "inclusive growth" — a notion that emerged in recent years in response to concerns about income and gender inequalities and existing barriers to greater economic growth.A better, fairer approach to government spending?"In the aftermath of the recession, and as the calls for austerity mount, the question that will, in my view, be important is how that austerity is addressed," said Miles Corak, a Canadian economist who has done influential work on income inequality."If we have concerns about inequality, and particularly its long-run consequences, then it will be important that spending on government services — municipal governments, education, housing and health care — are all adequately supported."To that end, Corak said, it could be worthwhile to look at the revenue side of the equation to see whether the federal tax system is "progressive and fair."Ideally, the threat of this virus will subside in time to give us all a moment to take stock. When that moment arrives, it might be good to remember that the measure of this country's health can't be reduced to how close the budget is to balance.

  • Ontario premier makes public plea to 'go get tested' after province misses target 7th straight day
    Health
    CBC

    Ontario premier makes public plea to 'go get tested' after province misses target 7th straight day

    Ontario Premier Doug Ford made a public plea on Sunday, asking people to "please go get a test" — even if they are asymptomatic — after the province fell short of its testing target for the seventh day in a row. "I am here to ask for your help today," Ford said on Sunday.  "If you feel you need a test, you'll be able to get a test. So please don't wait." Ford touted the province's efforts to ramp up testing capacity at hospitals. He said Ontario has opened 129 COVID-19 assessment centres.The announcement marks the first time Ford has told people without symptoms that they can get tested. The premier said mass testing is the province's best defence against the virus, and said the only way for the province to reach testing capacity is for people to go to provincial assessment centres.The messaging is a marked change from earlier Ministry of Health guidelines for the general public, which said that only people displaying one or more symptoms of the novel coronavirus should be tested.WATCH | Ford stresses the importance of getting tested:"I'm asking the people of Ontario, if you are worried if you have COVID-19, or that you've been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, even if you're not showing symptoms, please go get a test," Ford said. "Go get tested ... you will not be turned away." The province processed 11,383 tests on Saturday out of a 16,000 daily benchmark.New testing regulations started Saturday, with asymptomatic front-line health-care workers being tested across the province.Ford says the province will release a new "detailed" testing strategy, which will target various sectors and COVID-19 hot spots across Ontario. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued a statement Sunday, criticizing the Ford government for a week of "abysmally low" COVID-19 testing numbers. "For weeks, Doug Ford's restrictive testing rules were turning people away from assessment centres," Horwath said in the statement."He blamed a lack of swabs. Then he blamed a lack of reagent. Then he blamed public health leaders. In all that time, he hasn't expanded testing, or taken it outside the existing assessment centres."Horwath is now calling for "systemic testing" of all asymptomatic people outside of assessment centres, saying the current method is "not enough.""Testing needs to be expanded far beyond those assessment centres. That's Ford's job, and he's been negligent in failing to do it."Province reports highest new case count since May 8 The announcement comes as Ontario confirmed 460 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, marking the highest new COVID-19 case count since May 8. The province now has a total of 25,500 cases, which includes 19,477 resolved cases and 2,073 deaths.However, a count by CBC News, compiled from regional public health units, puts the current toll at at least 2,164 deaths.The rise in cases represents a 1.8 per cent increase over Saturday's total, and the daily growth rate has hovered between 1.5 and 1.9 per cent over most of the last two weeks.The Ontario health ministry said 878 people remain in hospital with the virus, a decrease of 34 from Saturday.Some 148 people remain in intensive care, 104 of whom are on a ventilator.  Toronto officials condemn 'dangerous' behaviour in park Meanwhile, city officials in Toronto are condemning the "dangerous" behaviour of people who flooded a popular downtown park on Saturday, saying they could cause a surge in COVID-19 cases.A statement released by the city late Saturday night says thousands of people packed Trinity Bellwoods Park on one of the first warm days of the year despite physical distancing regulations."Images today of thousands of people gathered in Trinity Bellwoods Park were unacceptable," the city said in a statement issued late Saturday evening."Gatherings like this, where people aren't keeping their distance from others, run the risk of setting Toronto back significantly in its efforts to stop the transmission of COVID-19." Ford also condemned the behaviour on Sunday, saying images he saw of the park "looked like a rock concert.""We opened the parks so people could get out there and enjoy the weather," Ford told reporters. "But the images I saw — we just can't have that right now because there is still a deadly virus among us."Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's chief medical officer of health, agrees. "Like many others, I was disappointed and, frankly, saddened by what I saw," she told CBC News Sunday. "Especially knowing the many sacrifices that have been made by Torontonians for the last several weeks and the progress we have made as a result of those sacrifices." De Villa said when there's congestion between people in one spot, the risk of transmission increases. "Here's the thing. We also know that increasingly there are people who don't have signs or symptoms or have very mild signs or symptoms and they may inadvertently pass the infection from themselves to other people," she said.  "We're not saying don't go out, we're just asking that people do it in a responsible way so that we can better control the virus and then get our city back."

  • How N.S. mass shooting could bring law that makes abusers' tactics a crime
    News
    The Canadian Press

    How N.S. mass shooting could bring law that makes abusers' tactics a crime

    HALIFAX — The repeated threats and isolation a Nova Scotia mass shooter allegedly used against his spouse show why such cruelty should be a criminal offence in Canada, experts on domestic violence say.Acquaintances and former neighbours have described the 51-year-old killer as a clever and manipulative millionaire who would threaten harm to his spouse's family, control her money or cut off her means of escape by removing the tires from her car or blocking the driveway.Carmen Gill, a professor at the University of New Brunswick, says if there's a public inquiry into the shooting, she expects it will demonstrate how a law similar to the United Kingdom's 2015 "coercive control" offence may help prevent other abusers from escaping detection."Coercive control is a horrible form of violence because it's a way of controlling people and depriving them of their basic rights," the sociologist said in a telephone interview.Wortman's killings were preceded by a domestic assault against his spouse on the night of April 18 at one of his properties in Portapique, N.S. After the woman escaped, the 51-year-old denturist killed 22 victims before police shot and killed him at a service station on April 19.The woman has spoken to the police about her partner's use of a replica police vehicle and his guns, but requests by The Canadian Press to speak to her directly have been declined by a family member.However, neighbours and multiple police witnesses have said there were many forms of intimate partner abuse before the night of the rampage.In court documents released last week, acquaintances told police they'd witnessed "abusive," "controlling" and "manipulative" behaviour by Wortman in the past, though details are blacked out.In an April 20 interview with The Canadian Press, Portapique neighbour John Hudson, who knew Wortman for 18 years, described one of the gunman's methods of isolating her.He witnessed Wortman locking his partner out of their home to prevent her from gathering her belongings after an argument and then removing the tires from her vehicle and throwing them in a ditch.Gill said this is the kind of isolation and intimidation that would likely lead to prosecution under Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act passed in the United Kingdom."Someone who is controlling their spouses will take all kinds of tactics to minimize their ability to reach out," she said. "This was a disturbing situation which clearly shows he was isolating his partner."Another former neighbour, Brenda Forbes, has told The Canadian Press that in the early 2000s, the spouse came to her front door saying Wortman had harmed her, but she was afraid to report the abuse to authorities because he said he would hurt her family."She was afraid. He had blocked her car so she couldn't get out," she recalled.Forbes said her neighbour had little financial security, as Wortman had encouraged her to leave her prior job and sell her car, while he provided a vehicle and employment.Gill said a U.K.-style coercion law would allow acquaintances and colleagues to report exactly these patterns of threats and control.It would shift police focus from trying to pin down specific incidents of physical assault, allowing them to instead look for repeated actions abusers take to control their spouses over time, she added.The sociologist recently submitted a paper to the federal Justice Department's ombudsman for victims of crime on this potential legal reform.It notes Criminal Code provisions prohibit specific abuse, such as criminal harassment, uttering threats, making indecent and harassing phone calls, trespassing at night, and mischief but says there is no offence that fully captures the ongoing, coercive control of intimate partners.Provincial laws in Nova Scotia and other provinces allow for protection orders giving victims the right to stay in their home and use the family vehicle, and they may also restrain the abuser from having any direct contact with the victim, children or other family members."This is an important support to victims, but it is not fully addressing the problem," Gill wrote.The British law, first enacted in England and Wales, says coercion applies if the partner's behaviour is repetitive and has "a serious effect" on the spouse and they know or ought to have known it will.A guideline by prosecution services outlines a number of examples of coercion, including isolating a person, monitoring their phones, depriving them of access to support services, threatening family members, and controlling their finances — all activities that Wortman was reported to have carried out.By the end of 2018, over 308 people had been convicted and sentenced under the law in the United Kingdom, 97 per cent of them male.Heidi Illingworth, the federal ombudsman for victims of crime, said she'd been thinking of recommending similar coercive control legislation prior to the killings in Nova Scotia. She said the case, along with Gill's research paper, is giving her further reason to make such a recommendation."I'm definitely in favour of bringing a piece of legislation forward that would amend our Criminal Code in Canada, because we can only really deal with physical (intimate partner) violence," she said during a telephone interview.Statistics Canada compiles police reports of violent crime that indicated in 2018 about one-third of reports of violence — more than 99,000 cases — were intimate partner violence, with about 80 per cent of this violence committed against women.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2020. Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press

  • Toronto Mayor John Tory Apologizes For Not Wearing His Mask Properly
    News
    HuffPost Canada

    Toronto Mayor John Tory Apologizes For Not Wearing His Mask Properly

    He was spotted talking to people at Trinity Bellwoods Park.

  • Door-to-door COVID-19 testing wraps up in La Loche and area, with more than 800 households tested
    News
    CBC

    Door-to-door COVID-19 testing wraps up in La Loche and area, with more than 800 households tested

    Door-to-door COVID-19 testing in and around the northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche has concluded, the province says — an effort some hope will have long-lasting positive effects on health care in region.The far north was at the heart of the pandemic in the province, with roughly 39 per cent of the province's total confirmed cases located in the region, and the majority of those cases concentrated in the village of La Loche.  Premier Scott Moe said recently that health officials have gone to "each and every door" in the community as part of the mass testing effort. On Friday, Dr. Rim Zayed, the Saskatchewan Health Authority's northern medical health officer, said in total 813 households were tested in and around the La Loche area, with between 40 to 50 tests done daily."It was a lot of work — of course," Dr. Zayed said on Friday. Health officials worked closely with community leaders to ensure proper preparation and planning was undertaken around the effort, she said, which was a "unique experience" for the province due to the urgency of testing."It's a completely unique experience everywhere," she said. "Locally, nationwide and globally."Combined with aggressive contact tracing, strict travel restrictions and additional supports around self-isolation, medical staff in the north have started to stabilize the number of cases being recorded in Saskatchewan's far north.However, the case count isn't the only thing that's benefited from the collaboration. Dr. Zayed said engagement between the Saskatchewan Health Authority and local leaders in the north was "unprecedented," with the work starting the two groups down a more collaborative path on a long-term basis. "One virtue in disguise, or the silver lining of this crisis, is that we have more understanding, communication, engagement, solidarity," she said. "It's a very good thing to address the health needs [in the north] and we have more awareness and understanding on a mutual basis, for sure." La Loche Mayor Robert St. Pierre has been helping to co-ordinate the community's response since COVID-19 arrived in the community in mid-April. He said working so closely with the health authority has allowed those in the community to gain a better understanding of the role each individual plays. "What we have is a good working relationship and a better understanding of what we need to do to work together to combat this virus, and that's the common enemy right now," he said. St. Pierre noted the community of La Loche is a resilient one and said people are always willing to do whatever it takes to protect the region and its residents. "It's the understanding that we needed to go through these processes to understand where we are with the cases rising and the contact tracing," he said."The community is willing to undergo these steps just to ensure the safety of the whole. To work together, that's what we needed to do, and people in the community rose up to that."Chester Herman has lived in La Loche for the majority of his life and was one of the thousands of people in Saskatchewan's far north tested for COVID-19. He said the experience was relatively quick. "It was easy," he said. "They just do a swab test and that's it. There's nothing major to it."Herman said while there is "optimism in the air" as case numbers continue to fall, he has concerns about travel restrictions remaining in Saskatchewan's northwest, after the province relaxed restrictions in other parts of the north earlier this week."We're basically losing our human rights," he said. Herman said with numbers steadily dropping, he thinks conversations should be happening around lifting some of the restrictions still in place, which he says are "out of control" and "unjust.""We're not in 1920 anymore. We're in 2020," he said. "Our Aboriginal rights should mean a little more than what they did in 1920 compared to now. It's just ridiculous we're being locked up here." Kelly Kwan is a resident in Turnor Lake, Sask., and the president of the Local Metis 40, the branch of the Metis Nation-Saskatchewan for those in the Turnor Lake area.He said the pandemic has been weighing heavy on him and many in the north, but he's cautiously optimistic about the numbers. "It's definitely a positive sign," he said.He hopes the numbers continue to drop, because he'd like to see travel restrictions relaxed further as things improve, noting many in the north are anxious to move freely again. He's excited for when the restrictions are lifted, so he can see his extended family again."Being a grandparent is one of the most priceless and enjoyable things I've ever experienced," he said. "Just to hold them in my arms, and kiss them and everything — it will be all worth the wait, the struggles and challenges we face on a day-to-day basis."On Saturday, the province announced three new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases recorded in Saskatchewan to 630, of which only 88 are considered active.

  • Divers encounter a large crocodile in a cenote river in Mexico
    Sports
    Rumble

    Divers encounter a large crocodile in a cenote river in Mexico

    Scuba diving takes the lucky few to a world of adventure and thrilling sights. Most of us think of diving as drifting along, exploring coral reefs or swimming through schools of fish. Often it involves swimming near a sea turtle or watching a shark cruise past. But there is another side to diving that is less common and less frequently imagined when we say the words "scuba diving". Cenotes are rivers of fresh water that are a popular diving destination, especially in Mexico. Limestone formation and erosion caused an enormous system of underground lakes and rivers, many of which are connected by tunnels and crevices. Scuba divers have been able to explore these beautiful and crystal clear cenotes for many years. The fish are unique and so is the animal life, because it is fresh water, not salt water that runs through them. Cenotes offer tunnels, ledges, overhangs, open areas, and even mangrove roots to explore. These scuba divers had reached the turnaround point in their open cenote dive near Akumal, Mexico. They surfaced in a large pool in the mangroves from a depth of 12m (36 feet). The limestone ledges and mangrove bushes around the opening were the perfect habitat for crocodiles. This large male is 2.5m (7.5 feet) long and has a head and jaws that are full of very impressive teeth. The divers approached cautiously for a close look and some video and photographs of the formidable looking beast. Well camouflaged and large enough that he does not have any true predators, this male was not worried about a few people in his pool. But as they became braver and closed the distance, the crocodile gave them a warning that they had entered his personal bubble. With a display of his hundreds of teeth, the divers quickly got the message to move back. Crocodiles are ambush predators that patrol the shores of the waters they inhabit. They recognize land animals that come to drink as prey. They will move silently and slowly until they are close enough for a lunge attack and they will snap their powerful jaws on the creature, dragging it into the water. Animals that are not killed quickly will be drowned and then eaten. But crocodiles are not used to hunting food in the water and they rarely see.

  • Controversial appointment of new head of library service won't be reviewed, government says
    News
    CBC

    Controversial appointment of new head of library service won't be reviewed, government says

    The New Brunswick government will not order an independent review of the controversial appointment of the new executive director of the provincial public library service, according to an email to his predecessor, who requested the inquiry.Sylvie Nadeau said she's "extremely disappointed" Premier Blaine Higgs has decided not to look into what led to Kevin Cormier being put in charge of the province's 64 public libraries despite an apparent lack of library training or experience."It remains incomprehensible and unacceptable to me that the government of New Brunswick considers that it is acceptable to appoint people without the officially approved qualifications … as long as it can claim the legality of the appointment through a loophole such as the [corporate] talent management program," she said."This is indeed very sad and disturbing. As a citizen I expect much better from my government. I expect a fair, honest and transparent government."Cormier could not immediately be reached for comment.He was appointed in February through the corporate talent management program, which provides current and aspiring executives in the upper pay bands of government with opportunities to further develop their competencies within or outside their current department.Nadeau said the approved description of the job that pays up to nearly $114,000 a year states the minimum requirements are a master's degree of library and/or information studies, with nine years of progressive experience, including management and supervision of library operation."Knowledge of large network library system is essential," the description says.Cormier's LinkedIn profile lists his education as a single year at York University's Schulich School of Business in Toronto in 2005 and two years at the Moncton Flight College, from 1998 to 2000.He spent the past year as a strategic adviser in the Executive Council Office. He was previously the chief executive officer of Kings Landing Corporation, the historical settlement near Fredericton, for about seven years.Urges municipal councils to seek reviewNadeau, who served as the provincial librarian and executive director for 20 years until her retirement in December, maintains there were "irregularities and flaws" with the recruitment and appointment process.Last month, she called on Higgs to order an independent review. She followed up with requests to Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves and deputy minister Cheryl Hansen.Since then, she has written to every municipal council in the province where a library is located, urging them to write the premier to also request an independent review.Municipalities are a major partner in delivering the provincial library service, said Nadeau."Typically when we talk about the provincial budgets for libraries, 30 to 40 per cent is really municipal money."They provide the space and maintenance, as well as the furniture and equipment. They also appoint library boards, who serve as the "voice and ears" of the community. "So I believe they have a stake in what's going on."She sent a similar letter to the New Brunswick Library Trustees Association Inc.On Friday, Nadeau received an email from Kelly Cain, the deputy minister responsible for human resources, Finance and Treasury Board, which was copied to the premier, Steeves and Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder, who is responsible for libraries.Program review to be completed in JuneIn the email, Cain thanked Nadeau for her "input" on the matter but said the appointment of the new executive director of the library service "was done through careful consideration and in accordance with the Civil Service Act.""Although an independent review of the recruitment and appointment process for this position will not be conducted, the Department of Finance and Treasury Board takes your comments under advisement and will be examining the existing talent management program for areas of improvement as directed by the minister of post-secondary education, training and labour." That review, previously reported by CBC News, has started and is expected to be completed by the end of June if not before, said Vicky Deschênes, spokesperson for Finance and Treasury Board."The findings will help inform any gaps or shortcomings in the program and opportunities for improvement," she said in an emailed statement.A spokesperson for the premier's office has said Cormier's performance will be assessed when his probationary period ends. Deschênes said she was unable to comment on specifics related to an individual employee, but under the Civil Service Act, probation typically lasts six months and no more than one year.Filed Right to Information requestsNadeau has filed Right to Information Act requests to the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour and to the Department of Finance and Treasury Board about the recruitment process.She wants to know who wrote the ad when the job was initially posted as a competition last fall, who approved the ad, who selected the candidates to be interviewed, and who conducted the interviews.Nadeau said she knows of at least two "highly qualified" and fluently bilingual internal candidates who were interviewed for the job.I have the privilege of having served in the civil service for 25 plus years" she said. "I know how government works. I know what's right and I know what's wrong. … And this is wrong."And I cannot stay silent until I'm getting — and New Brunswickers are getting — answers that make sense here."

  • Tiny home village for veterans pitched for north Edmonton neighbourhood
    News
    CBC

    Tiny home village for veterans pitched for north Edmonton neighbourhood

    A village of tiny homes may house 20 of Edmonton's homeless veterans in a north-end neighbourhood if city council likes a proposal pitched by a Calgary-based non-profit. Homes for Heroes proposes to build the village, with structures measuring 300 square feet, on a one-acre plot of land in Evansdale, just south of 153rd Avenue and north of 94th Street. David Howard, president and co-founder of H4H, said they've designed the project to give veterans a home for about two years with access to programming to help deal with PTSD."I believe that we can end this issue in an eight to ten year time period," Howard said in an interview Friday. "This is solvable."Howard said there are close to 200 homeless veterans in the Edmonton area. His organization has consulted more than 100 homeless veterans, done research, consulted social service agencies and worked with Veterans Affairs Canada to come up with a holistic program for the vets to help them transition into their own homes.Why tiny homes?Howard said some people coming off the streets and placed in larger apartments tend to hoard to fill up the space. "What comes with that? Shame," he said. "You get the shame, then they're shutting themselves off from society.  When they do that when that guilt comes in, that can lead to drugs and alcohol."The tiny homes have a full set up just as a larger home — kitchen, bedroom, living area — but in a one-level compact form."This is what our veterans have said is that they want: a community of peers working together." The village includes a resource centre with an on-site counsellor's office staffed Monday to Friday and an outdoor amenity area. Coun. Jon Dziadyk, city councillor for Ward 3, said it's a unique plan for Edmonton. "It pushes the boundaries of different housing forms that we can have," Dziadyk said in a video interview Friday. "It serves our veteran community because it's specifically for homeless veterans and it's a shame that we do have homeless veterans to begin with." City planners support the idea: the report detailing the plan will head to a public hearing June 9, where residents can give their feedback. It would require council's approval so the city can rezone the land from the current agriculture use to a development use. Homes for Heroes has had feedback during drop-in meetings and from written submissions. Some residents expressed concern that mature trees would be chopped down, so H4H said it reduced the number of units from the original 27 to retain the majority of trees onsite. Others wondered whether the Griesbach area would be a more appropriate location — with former military housing already a theme of that neighbourhood — but H4H said Canada Lands told them there's no available land in Griesbach. A city-led engagement gathered other comments, including concerns that property values in the area would go down and that homelessness in the north end is already an issue. Many support the project, citing proximity to services, transit, amenities and a strong connection between the north side and the veteran community. Dziadyk said he also believes the proximity to the Canadian Forces Base Edmonton just north of the site, makes it a suitable location for the veterans. "Likely they served at the base in north Edmonton, and it's likely they have some familiarity with the area, being in north Edmonton is probably appropriate."There's also a Veteran Services office nearby on 97th Street, Dziadyk noted. He said he'll take concerns from residents seriously before voting in favour of the proposal after the public hearing. True passionThe $4-million project, which includes preparing the land and building the homes, relies almost solely on corporate and individual support, Howard said."The Edmonton community has been absolutely incredible," Howard said. "Edmonton has a true passion for those that served and those that continue to serve." He said H4H established a tiny home village in Calgary last November, funded 90 per cent through private sponsors. Despite some opposition, Howard is optimistic the project in Edmonton will get support from council and the majority of residents. "You have somebody that stood on guard for Canada, I think you should be thrilled that they're going to stand on guard for the community." @natashariebe

  • Mourning family of Cargill COVID-19 death feel left behind by company
    News
    CBC

    Mourning family of Cargill COVID-19 death feel left behind by company

    Two weeks ago, the union that represents the workers at the Cargill slaughterhouse near High River, Alta., announced that a third death had been linked to the facility: a 51-year-old union shop steward named Benito Quesada.At the time, that outbreak represented the site of the largest coronavirus outbreak tied to a single location in Canada.Quesada was described by the union as a quiet, gentle, and humble man. His family sought their privacy in the wake of his death.But as the days went on, the family decided together that they wanted to tell Quesada's story — especially with the facility and the larger economy reopening."We've had many people, even just neighbours, asking us what happened," 16-year-old Ariana Quesada said in an interview Saturday. "We don't want to give those answers, because we feel that those answers are really personal."But we realize this issue is bigger for us and our dad's suffering shouldn't be in vain."Hard workerQuesada started working for Cargill in 2007, travelling to Alberta from Mexico City. His family stayed behind in Mexico while Quesada sent money home until they too were able to join him in Canada in 2012."He was really proud to work at Cargill. If anyone asked him where he worked, he always said Cargill with such pride," Ariana said. "It was the job that brought his family here."Even if he needed to work more hours — which he did, even working two additional part-time jobs at one time — Quesada did so with dedication, loving to spoil his family with gifts when he could.Even though he often came home from work exhausted, he would still make time for his family."My little sister, she's five. That's who he had the closest bond with. He would come home and they would hug and my mom would ask how his day was," Ariana said. "He was a really, really caring person and he loved us very much."The outbreakBut as the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread, Quesada would tell his wife, Mary, about what he was seeing at work."He would tell my mom that compared to schools and to stores and other places where they were taking the proper measures, Cargill was not doing the same thing," Ariana said. "He did not have the proper gear to make this less risky and he was disappointed that such a great company was not able to provide the necessary gear."He often came back from work saying there was no distance between the workers themselves at all."His family began to quarantine, with the kids not leaving the home to go to school and only one family member attending a grocery store at a time.They tuned in constantly to the advice of Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, and began wearing masks and frequently cleaning.Amidst the pandemic, Cargill began to offer its workers a bonus. Ariana said Quesada kept going into work to get that bonus."They were going to give them a $500 bonus if they didn't miss a day of work," she said. "Unfortunately, we're a family of six, and a $500 bonus is going to make a difference in bills and in our lives. That was his main motivation to go to work. He wouldn't have gone without that $500."Up until today, they haven't paid it to him."Becoming illMore than 900 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in workers at the plant, most of whom have now recovered. As of May 21, five active cases of COVID-19 remain connected to workers.One of the workers who became ill was Quesada. He grew sicker and sicker and was eventually admitted to the ICU.At the start, his family was told they were not allowed to visit him unless signs emerged that indicated he may soon pass away. One morning that call came."We got to say goodbye. But he didn't get that chance," Ariana said.WATCH | Ariana and Mary Quesada describe why they're sharing their father's story now:Ariana and Mary were permitted to enter the room where Quesada lay in the hospital bed.There were tubes coming out of his mouth and machines everywhere. It was immediately clear that Quesada had lost a lot of weight."You could see it in his face. His jawline was really, really prominent," Ariana said. "His cheekbones were really raised and he looked really bad."Ariana said she always told her father that he was very pale compared to her siblings and her mother. That wasn't the case that morning."He was orange. He wasn't even pale, he was orange," she said. "His fingers were really stiff. It was a really horrible sight to see."The image, even in its retelling, is devastating for Ariana to recall. She said she wanted to share that image — one that conflicts with the father who could do anything, the father who overcame any obstacle — because she worries about pervasive attitudes surrounding the virus as the economy reopens."To those people who think it's not that serious or it's just a regular cold, I would say this … look at us. We're left without a dad. My mom is left without a husband," Ariana said.A family left behindAs the main provider for the family, Quesada's death has left Mary and her four children with an ongoing struggle. Ariana, still 16, expects to have to begin working multiple part-time jobs to help support the family."When I said goodbye to my dad I told him not to worry. I told him if for some reason he felt the need to go, he knew we were going to be able to handle things," Ariana said. "But the financial pressure, it's really devastating."After Quesada's death a Cargill spokesperson said in a statement that the company had been in recent contact with the family and would honour Quesada at the plant, flying a flag at half-mast in memory of the two employees who had died.The family said they were never contacted by the company."Cargill themselves have not contacted us — coworkers and workers with my dad have, but Cargill themselves have not," Ariana said. "I read somewhere that they had emailed their condolences, but we didn't even get that."In a statement provided to CBC News on Sunday afternoon, a spokesperson for Cargill said they extended their "sincere, heartfelt condolences" to Quesada's family.The company said a health services manager was in contact with the family during Quesada's hospitalization, and senior members of the High River facility undertook "multiple efforts" to contact the family. "It is completely understandable why they would not be taking calls at that time. In the past weeks, the company has been successful in making direct contact with the family and has had several conversations regarding any support the company may be able to offer," the statement reads.Ariana said representatives with Cargill's human resources department have contacted the family to help with documentation, but others from the company have not yet been in touch to offer condolences.Ariana said Quesada was always proud to work at Cargill and even "gave his life" for the plant.For now, the family continues to grieve alone, feeling unheard about what they say was a lack of safety measures implemented at the facility. "They only saw the outcome. But they didn't live it with us. They didn't see how we were crying everyday, they didn't see the trauma," Ariana said. "They didn't see me and my mom saying our goodbyes to him. They didn't see him in that bed, lying lifeless. They didn't see any of this."So they probably don't feel the same remorse. But they need to."

  • As province opens COVID-19 testing to all, Health Unit warns people not to have false sense of security
    Health
    CBC

    As province opens COVID-19 testing to all, Health Unit warns people not to have false sense of security

    Health officials in Windsor-Essex are looking to increase testing for COVID-19 after Premier Doug Ford's announcement that even asymptomatic people could get a test if they want one.  "The fact that he's basically saying that anyone that shows up to the assessment centre would be tested makes it a lot easier for the clinical staff," David Musyj, CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital said. Previous statements from the premier only allowed for people displaying one or more symptoms of COVID-19 to be tested. On Sunday, he said mass testing was the province's best defence against the virus. As of Saturday, the province was still nearly 5,000 tests short of its daily goal of 16,000 tests a day.Watch: President and CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital, David Musyj ,talking about the relaxation of rules around COVID-19 testingMusyj said that until now, a little more than 90 per cent of people who would come in would get swabbed. "Right now, they're basically saying, you come in, you're going to get swabbed, so it will be 100 per cent." Musyj said that anyone coming in to the hospital's assessment centre, which is in a white tent directly beside the Ouellette emergency department, would be swabbed and tested for COVID-19."It's a very quick in and out," he said, adding that anyone who wants to see a primary care physician for another medical issue would be able to do so there as well.> Having a test only means that today, on the day of testing, you are not infected." \- Dr. Wajid Ahmed"Instead of going to your primary care physician and or a clinic or possibly the emergency department you can get that looked at."The assessment centre is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Musyj said they're seeing about 80 to 100 people daily, but hours could be expanded."We could go 24/7 if we need to," he said.Hotel Dieu GraceJanice Kaffer, the president & CEO of Hotel Dieu Grace, said the hospital will now be discussing if there is a possibility to offer testing for its staff, physicians and patients onsite.Up until now, those who were tested at the hospital had to have symptoms and any staff who wanted to or needed testing had to go to an assessment centre.Windsor-Essex County Health UnitDr. Wajid Ahmed, the medical officer of health for the Windsor-Essex region, said that there has been about 400 tests being conducted in the region daily between the assessment centres in Leamington and Windsor City.Ahmed said that while allowing asymptomatic people to get tested will increase the numbers of people getting tested and is one way of understanding the virus spread in the community, he fears it may lure people into a false sense of security."We want to make sure that if it's available, then yeah, people should go and get it," Ahmed said. "But they shouldn't go with a false expectation or a false understanding of what this test means."He said the test doesn't differentiate whether you are at risk of contracting COVID-19 or not. He said it's a diagnostic test – not a screening tool. "We don't want to give that message that if you come back negative you are not at risk ... Having a test only means that today, on the day of testing, you are not infected."

  • Procession for Snowbirds crash victim makes its way through Halifax
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Procession for Snowbirds crash victim makes its way through Halifax

    HALIFAX — A procession honouring the Canadian Forces Snowbirds team member killed in a recent plane crash began under blue skies in Halifax Sunday evening, as the remains of the young officer remembered for her bright smile arrived in her hometown.Close friends and family members wearing black and the official Snowbirds colours of red and white laid flowers on Capt. Jennifer Casey's casket during a homecoming ceremony on the tarmac near Halifax Stanfield International Airport.The 35-year-old military public affairs officer and Halifax native died in the crash of a Snowbirds Tutor jet in a residential area of Kamloops, B.C., last Sunday.The national aerobatics team was on a cross-country tour to boost residents' spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic.Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Gov. Gen. Julie Payette wore face masks as they stood at the airport ceremony along with dozens of military members.Payette said the Snowbirds do a risky job, and added she was proud to be in Halifax honouring Casey."The fact that this happened during Operation Inspiration, where they were going around cheering us Canadians, is even more tragic," Payette said after the ceremony.A bagpiper played while military members carried Casey's casket from the CC-130J Hercules that had taken off from Abbotsford, B.C., Sunday morning after an earlier private ceremony with her Snowbirds teammates.A police-escorted motorcade then left the Halifax airport to transport Casey's remains on a loop through the north end of the city to Atlantic Funeral Home.Spectators were encouraged to wear red and white, and to respect social distancing measures while observing the procession.Footage showed supporters parked along Highway 102, many standing beside their vehicles holding Canada and Nova Scotia flags.Haligonians stood by to observe the motorcade as it travelled through the city, including military members and several people wearing Star Wars masks and Montreal Canadiens jerseys in a nod to Casey's personal interests.In the week since the crash, Casey's family said she possessed a beautiful smile and a "positively infectious personality" that made her the ideal person to carry out a mission aimed at stirring hope during a time of uncertainty.Friends and former colleagues have remembered her as upbeat, professional and enthusiastic with lasting pride about her hometown.Casey's "final journey home to Halifax" began on Sunday morning, according to a tweet posted from the official Snowbirds account.The Snowbirds thanked Canadians and singled out the residents of Kamloops and local First Nations for supporting Casey, the squadron and Capt. Richard MacDougall, who was piloting the aircraft and survived the crash that occurred shortly after takeoff. The military has said his injuries are not life-threatening."Your love and support is very deeply appreciated, and will never be forgotten," the tweet read.Casey earned bachelor's degrees in arts and journalism from Dalhousie University and the University of King's College in Halifax, as well a master's of interdisciplinary studies from Royal Roads University in Victoria.Before joining the Armed Forces, Casey had a career as a radio reporter, anchor and producer in Halifax and Belleville, Ont.She began her military career as a direct entry officer August 2014 and was assigned to the Snowbirds in 2018.The military is investigating the May 17 crash, and Operation Inspiration has been suspended while the team's jets are subject to an "operational pause," the team's commander said last week. Lt.-Col. Mike French said the events were the "absolute worst nightmare" for the Snowbirds.Casey's death is the latest in a string of tragedies to have touched the province of Nova Scotia in recent months, all during the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed 58 lives in the province. A gunman killed 22 people last month in a rampage that began in the rural community of Portapique, shocking residents of the area and Nova Scotians across the province.It's also the second time this month that the city of Halifax has observed a motorcade for a military member who called the city home.The remains of Sub.-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough, a Royal Canadian Navy sailor killed last month in a helicopter crash off the coast of Greece, were transported through the city by a police-escorted motorcade on May 11.Thousands of people attended the motorcade for the 23-year-old Cowbrough, who was originally from Toronto but had lived in the Dartmouth area.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2020.—by Holly McKenzie-Sutter in St. John's, N.L.The Canadian Press

  • Toronto officials say crowds eased at park flooded by thousands on Saturday
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Toronto officials say crowds eased at park flooded by thousands on Saturday

    TORONTO — A downtown Toronto park flooded by a crowd of thousands on Saturday had largely emptied on Sunday as police and bylaw officers turned up in full force.Officials condemned the gathering at Trinity Bellwoods Park on Saturday and reminded residents that people who aren't from the same household must keep two metres apart under city bylaws during the COVID-19 pandemic — a rule parkgoers respected on Sunday, according to police.Police Chief Mark Saunders said public drinking was a large part of the problem at the Queen Street West park, and unruly people were defecating and urinating near people's homes."(Homeowners) certainly didn't buy to have people defecating in their laneways, in their backyards," Saunders said. "If you're going to be bringing beer here and then utilize someone else's house as a toilet, then there's a bit of self entitlement there."Saunders pointed out that people in other parks around the city were acting responsibly, and even people in other ends of Trinity Bellwoods Park were keeping their distance.But police said that by Sunday, the crowds had eased significantly.City officials said they only issued four tickets at Trinity Bellwoods Park on Saturday. They say their focus remains on educating the community.Police did not immediately say how many tickets their officers issued.City spokesman Brad Ross implored residents to take advantage of the city's many other parks rather than crowding and drinking together at some of the most popular destinations."It became a bit of a party atmosphere frankly, and alcohol was a contributing factor to that," said Ross."There are 1,500 parks in this city, use them please, but please do so responsibly."He added that there are no plans to close popular parks like Trinity Bellwoods, and said a recent closure of High Park in the city's west end was only done because the space's cherry blossoms attract massive crowds in the spring.Mayor John Tory went to the park on Saturday in what he said was an effort to educate people while trying to understand their behaviour.But he faced criticism for adding to the crowd, and for failing to properly wear a mask — something he apologized for on Sunday evening."I want to apologize for my personal behaviour yesterday. I visited Trinity Bellwoods Park to try to determine why things were the way they were," he said in a written statement. "I fully intended to properly physically distance but it was very difficult to do. I wore a mask into the park but I failed to use it properly, another thing I'm disappointed about."He said that going forward, he'll set a better example.City officials are continuing to warn people that they can face a fine of up to $1,000 for not following social distancing orders.They say 370 people were spoken to or cautioned at parks around the city Saturday.Toronto remains one of the hardest hit cities by COVID-19 and the total number of confirmed cases in the city topped 10,000 on Sunday.A total of 759 deaths are related to the virus in the city.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2020.Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press

  • What's Coming And Going From Netflix Canada In June 2020
    Entertainment
    HuffPost Canada

    What's Coming And Going From Netflix Canada In June 2020

    We all really need a new season of "Queer Eye" at a time like this.

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

    The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada

    The latest numbers of confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 5:41 p.m. on May 24, 2020:There are 84,699 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada._ Quebec: 47,411 confirmed (including 3,984 deaths, 14,331 resolved)_ Ontario: 25,500 confirmed (including 2,073 deaths, 19,477 resolved)_ Alberta: 6,860 confirmed (including 135 deaths, 5,924 resolved)_ British Columbia: 2,517 confirmed (including 157 deaths, 2,057 resolved)_ Nova Scotia: 1,050 confirmed (including 58 deaths, 973 resolved)_ Saskatchewan: 632 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 538 resolved)_ Manitoba: 281 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 268 resolved), 11 presumptive_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 260 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 254 resolved)_ New Brunswick: 121 confirmed (including 120 resolved)_ Prince Edward Island: 27 confirmed (including 27 resolved)_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)_ Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases_ Total: 84,699 (11 presumptive, 84,688 confirmed including 6,424 deaths, 43,998 resolved)This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2020.The Canadian Press

  • Premier says anyone who wants a COVID-19 test will be able to get one
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Premier says anyone who wants a COVID-19 test will be able to get one

    TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that asymptomatic people can get tested for COVID-19 on Sunday, as cases continued to mount in the province and officials criticized thousands of people crowding in a Toronto park.The premier said mass testing is the province's best defence against the virus, and added the only way for the province to reach testing capacity is for people to go to provincial assessment centres."If you are worried you have COVID-19, or that you've been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, even if you're not showing symptoms, please go get a test," Ford said during a televised speech on Sunday."You will not be turned away, you don't need an appointment, just show up."The messaging is a marked change from earlier Ministry of Health guidelines for the general public, which said that only people displaying one or more symptoms of the novel coronavirus should be tested.Ford also said a new detailed testing strategy targeting specific sectors will be unveiled next week.The announcement comes as cases continue to mount in Ontario, with 460 confirmed cases reported on Sunday and 25 deaths related to the virus.The province now has 25,500 confirmed cases, which includes 19,477 resolved cases and 2,073 deaths.The Ministry of Health said it completed 11,383 tests yesterday, which is still well below the province's capacity of 21,000 tests per day.Meanwhile, the premier criticized Torontonians who flocked to a popular downtown park on Saturday.City officials said thousands of people were at Trinity Bellwoods Park flouting physical distancing rules."I thought it was a rock concert in the beginning when I went out there, I was in shock," said Ford."I get it, its a beautiful day out, everyone wants to get out and have a great time ... but the images I saw, we just can't have that right now, its just too many people too close."Toronto Mayor John Tory said more police officers and by-law officers were to be at the park Sunday to make sure the city's message on physical distancing is known.Toronto police said there were significantly less people at the park on Sunday.They said there will be an increased presence from multiple units and said people would be ticketed if necessary.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2020.Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Toronto officials condemn 'dangerous' behaviour of people who packed park

    City officials in Toronto are condemning the "dangerous" behaviour of people who flooded a popular downtown park on Saturday, saying they could cause a surge in COVID-19 cases. A statement released by the City late Saturday night says thousands of people packed Trinity Bellwoods Park on one of the first warm days of the year, flouting physical distancing regulations. "They are putting their own health at risk and by risking the spread of the virus to others, they could contribute to the kind of setback we are trying hard to avoid," Toronto Mayor John Tory said on Twitter.

  • Polar bear cub has some water fun during hot weather
    Sports
    Rumble

    Polar bear cub has some water fun during hot weather

    Hertha was born at the Berlin Tierpark in Germany on the 1st of December in 2018. She was named after the local football club Hertha BSC. This week she can't get enough of that ball and the ribbon during a hot day. Awesome!