Strict restrictions are returning to Halifax and some surrounding communities as the region grapples with high numbers of daily new cases of COVID-19.
Strict restrictions are returning to Halifax and some surrounding communities as the region grapples with high numbers of daily new cases of COVID-19.
TORONTO — Ontario will likely mix and match COVID-19 vaccine doses in light of uncertain future supply of all the shots approved for use in Canada. Health Minister Christine Elliott says it's likely that recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine may receive a different shot for their second dose. The province is waiting for the results from a U.K. study on mixing different vaccines and on advice from a federal immunization panel. Quebec has also said that it plans to mix vaccines due to supply shortages, substituting the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the Moderna vaccines in order to quickly give booster shots to long-term care residents. It's unclear when more Oxford-AstraZeneca shots will arrive but Ontario is expecting millions of Pfizer-BioNTech shots in the coming weeks. Biologist and science communicator Samantha Yammine says some Canadians who have already received the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot may be comforted to know they have the option of a different dose. She says the pandemic has given rise to an "infodemic," with a flood of advice about areas like the low risk of blood clots from viral-vector shots compared with mRNA vaccines. Even with more mRNA vaccines on the way, Yammine says Canada should be careful about dismissing shots like Oxford-AstraZeneca's because they are important to ending the global pandemic. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization sparked controversy when it recommended that Canadians who aren't at high risk from COVID-19 may want to wait until a dose of Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna is available, calling them the "preferred" vaccines. The comments were met with harsh criticism from public health officials and members of the public, and the chair of the committee said last week that the recommendation was not "retrospective" and that those who got the AstraZeneca vaccine did the right thing to protect themselves and their families. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2021. The Canadian Press
Countries such as China, Russia, India and Cuba are developing and distributing their own COVID-19 vaccines, marking a biotechnology milestone for many of them. Here's a closer look at how they're doing it and what that means for the world, including Western countries such as Canada. Which countries outside Europe and North America are furthest along in developing COVID-19 vaccines? The highest-profile members of this group include Russia and China. The Sputnik V viral-vector vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute in Russia, and the inactivated vaccines from China's Sinovac and Sinopharm have already been ordered, donated or used in dozens of countries around the world. On May 7, the World Health Organization approved one of Sinopharm's vaccines for emergency use, paving the way for distribution through UN programmes. India's Bharat Biotech has also developed an inactivated vaccine, called Covaxin, that is in use in India. The company has also signed deals with firms in the U.S. and Brazil to produce versions of the vaccine domestically, pending approval. China, Russia and India all have other vaccines in late-stage clinical trials. Other developing countries with vaccines in late-stage trials include Cuba, Kazahkstan and Iran. Is this a surprise? Yes and no. Most people can't think of any time they've used a vaccine developed and exported by one of those countries, since "there haven't been products like that," said Achal Prabhala, co-ordinator of the accesIBSA project, a campaign to improve access to medicines in India, Brazil and South Africa. But many nations have built up the necessary infrastructure and expertise to develop their own vaccines, and weren't expecting easy access to vaccines developed in Europe and North America, which richer countries have been criticized for hoarding. A man flashes a victory sign after getting a shot of the Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 in La Paz, Bolivia, in April. The Russian vaccine and Chinese vaccines are the only ones available in many parts of the world.(Juan Karita/The Associated Press) U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba and the high cost of vaccines would make it difficult for the country to import any, said Helen Yaffe, a lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Glasgow who has studied and written about the development of Cuba's biotechnology industry. She said the country has produced its own vaccines for decades. "They had the capacity," Yaffe said, "but they also, arguably, had the need." Why are some of these vaccines controversial? 1. They were used for mass vaccination before clinical trials were complete. Russia was called "reckless" and criticized by health and science experts in Western media when the country became the first to approve a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use last August — before Phase 3 trials of Sputnik V had even started. It subsequently gave the vaccine to tens of thousands of health-care workers, teachers and military personnel before Phase 3 trial results were released. WATCH | Growing recognition of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine: But it wasn't the only country to use emergency approval to start vaccinating local populations before Phase 3 trials were complete — China, India, Kazakhstan and Cuba did the same. Prabhala, who is based in India, thinks domestic use by these countries before Phase 3 results may be justified during a deadly pandemic, given that vaccine developers typically know whether a vaccine is safe and whether it shows promise for protecting against a disease by the end of Phase 2 trials. 2. They haven't released or published enough data and ran trials differently. Colin Funk, an adjunct professor with Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., and a biomedical consultant with Vancouver-based Novateur Ventures, co-authored a paper in the journal Viruses earlier this year with another Novateur consultant, Craig Laferriere, comparing all the front-running vaccines around the world. Empty vials of the Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines fill a container at Tecnopolis Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in April.(Victor R. Caivano/The Associated Press) Funk said in an interview that it's been hard to get reliable information about the Chinese vaccines because most haven't published the results of clinical trials. Sputnik V's Phase 3 clinical trials were published in The Lancet in February, but results were hard to compare to other vaccines due to differing methods, Laferrière told CBC News. Sputnik V was recently rejected by Brazilian regulators. Meanwhile, the reported efficacy of Sinovac's vaccine varied from 50.4 per cent in Brazil to 91.25 per cent in Turkey. Some experts have said the lower efficacy in Brazil may have to do with the different protocols and virus variants in the population — even participants with very mild symptoms were tested for COVID-19, unlike other trials, and there was a highly transmissible P1 virus variant circulating. WATCH | Few people in China receive COVID-19 jabs despite vaccine development there: Prabhala thinks the fact that the trials were run in different countries under different conditions was actually a good thing. "I think they provide a sort of independent third-party analysis of the vaccine itself, and in a very real way for me, they give me more confidence than having one corporation release one set of data based on one very tightly controlled trial that it ran itself." However, he said, "I wish we could see little more detail of what the data looked like." 3. There may be biases rooted in culture and politics. "In general, there's incredulity at the idea that you could have original science that could work anywhere in the world that comes out of a place not in the West," Prabhala said. This exists even in non-Western countries, he said. He suggested Russia and China may face higher levels of mistrust than other countries "because of the autocratic nature of the state and sometimes the justifiable anger that people feel at the state's human-rights violations." But those aren't relevant to the actual performance of their vaccines, he said. "I think the question with any of these vaccines is: do they work and are they effective?" A nurse prepares to inject a health-care worker with a dose of the Soberana-02 COVID-19 vaccine in Havana, Cuba, in March. (Ramon Espinosa/Pool Photo via AP) How important are these vaccines for global immunization efforts? They've already been a big part of vaccination campaigns in their home countries. Vaccines from China and Russia have also been used in dozens of other countries around the world, many of which have limited or no access to other options. Chinese vaccines have made up tens of millions of doses delivered in Brazil, Turkey and Chile, Nature reported this week. In Brazil, vaccination of the elderly was linked to a quick decline in mortality compared to unvaccinated age groups, local researchers report in a study that hasn't yet been peer-reviewed. Meanwhile, in Europe, Hungary and Serbia have much higher COVID-19 vaccination rates than other countries on the continent. Prabhala said that's because they both ordered, evaluated and approved vaccines from Russia and China. A box of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is prepared for patients in Saint Margit Hospital in Budapest, Hungary, in April.(Zoltan Balogh/MTI via AP) The reach of the Chinese and Russian vaccines could increase with a listing for emergency use by the World Health Organization — something one of Sinopharm's vaccines has already achieved. The WHO recently found Sinovac's vaccine was effective but the company didn't provide enough data, while Sputnik V has been submitted for WHO review. A WHO listing would allow their use by UN agencies, worldwide distribution through the global vaccine-sharing initiative COVAX and use in countries that don't have the capacity to do their own regulatory approvals. Meanwhile, Yaffe says Cuba's vaccines bring hope to populations in the global south. "If they wait for the big pharma companies for vaccines, then it could be many years until they have the possibility of being vaccinated," she said. Prabhala said more options are better for everyone — even richer nations that have secured deals with some manufacturers. He noted that Canada's initial vaccine rollout was off to a slow start compared to countries like the U.S. and the UK, largely due to manufacturing delays at both Pfizer and Moderna. "I would imagine, therefore, that had Canada had a wider choice of vaccines available ... the rollout would have been smoother and faster and would have given the country and its people much more security."
Regina police have charged a man and two boys with attempted murder after two people were found with apparent stab wounds. On Sunday at about 1:15 a.m. CST police were called to an alley in the 1500 block of Retallack Street. for a report of an injured man, according to a police news release. A member of the canine unit found a 41 year-old man who was bleeding profusely from several apparent stab wounds. Officers provided first aid to the man until EMS could transport him to hospital. Police then found a second man, 49, who appeared to have also sustained stab wounds and was taken to hospital. Additional officers were called in and set up a perimeter around the area. They found two suspects who were arrested without incident. Further investigation led police to a third suspect believed to be in a home in the 3400 block of Dewdney Avenue. Police said they entered the house with a warrant and arrested the suspect without incident. A 37-year-old man and two boys have each been charged with two counts of attempted murder — along with break, enter and commit robbery — as a result. They all made their first court appearance on Monday morning.
JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) -Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired rockets toward the Jerusalem area and southern Israel on Monday, carrying out a threat to punish Israel for violent confrontations with Palestinians in Jerusalem. The Gaza health ministry said nine Palestinians, including three children, were killed "in a series of strikes in northern Gaza".
A Siberian doctor who treated poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny last year reappeared on Monday after being reported missing while on a hunting trip, Russian news agencies cited the regional government as saying. A search was launched in the forests of the Omsk region, about 2,200 km (1,370 miles) east of Moscow, after physician Alexander Murakhovsky left a forest hunting base in an all-terrain vehicle on Friday. Murakhovsky exited the forest himself and made contact with residents of the village of Basly, RIA news agency quoted the Omsk regional government as saying.
OTTAWA — Canada is scheduled to receive two million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week as provinces continue to ramp up their immunization efforts. The two million shots represent the only expected shipments in what should be a comparatively quiet week of vaccine arrivals after Moderna delivered one million doses ahead of schedule last week. The next shipment of Moderna jabs isn't due until next week, while the federal government has not said when Canada will receive more doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Johnson and Johnson vaccines. The arrival of more Pfizer-BioNTech shots comes as British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec are set to expand the list of people eligible for vaccines over the next seven days. The expansions are due largely to the steady supply of vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech, which are slated to deliver two million doses a week through the month of May before increasing the weekly figure to 2.4 million in June. Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military officer overseeing the federal government's vaccine distribution effort, said last week that Canada was expecting another 650,000 AstraZeneca shots from the COVAX initiative. The exact delivery schedule, however, has yet to be finalized. Canada has also been in negotiations with the United States for more AstraZeneca doses after President Joe Biden suggested last month that Washington may release some of its unused stockpile. Those talks come amid questions about the AstraZeneca shot, which has been linked to a new and very rare vaccine-induced blood clotting syndrome. Twelve cases had been confirmed in Canada after about two million doses given as of Friday. Three people have died. The AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines use a similar technology, while the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots use a new technology dubbed mRNA. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization last week recommended that Canadians who aren’t at high risk from COVID-19 may want to wait until a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna is available. That prompted allegations that NACI was sowing the seeds of confusion and vaccine hesitancy. Alberta and other parts of Canada remain mired in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as hospitalization rates have started to tick downward in provinces such as Ontario and Quebec. Many parts of the country face tight restrictions, with schools closed across Ontario and Alberta and patios shut down in Montreal, Toronto and — as of this Monday — Calgary. Provinces reported 265,509 new vaccinations administered on Sunday for a total of 15,917,555 doses given. Nationwide, 1,248,931 people or 3.3 per cent of the population had been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 41,999.627 per 100,000. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2021. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
Alberta reported 1,633 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths on Sunday, as Edmontonians enjoyed one last patio day before firmer restrictions take effect at midnight Sunday. There are now 25,197 active cases in the province, as Alberta contends with the highest provincial case rate in the country. Variant cases make up about 44.5 per cent of active cases in Alberta under the province's rolled back testing for coronavirus variants this week. Currently, 668 people are in hospital with the illness, including 155 in intensive care unit beds, up slightly from Saturday, when there were 661 people in hospital including 148 in intensive care unit beds. Since the pandemic began, 2,110 people have died from COVID-19 in Alberta. Of the two deaths recorded on Sunday, one involved a man in his 50s in the Calgary zone, and the other was a man in his 60s in the Central zone. Both deaths occurred on Friday. Provincial labs completed 15,509 tests for the disease on Saturday for a positivity rate of about 10.3 per cent, down from 18,809 tests from the previous day, with a positivity rate of about 11 per cent. Last rush The next slate of COVID-19 restrictions will come into force Monday, including the closure of patios and personal services, such as hair salons and tattoo shops. In Edmonton, downtown patios and hair salons were busy Sunday, the last day Albertans could get a haircut before the restrictions take effect. In Edmonton, some hair salons were overwhelmed with booking requests Sunday, the last day Albertans could get a haircut before new restrictions take effect.(Gabrielle Brown/CBC Radio-Canada) Christina Yun, salon owner Dollhouse Hair Boutique, said the changing restrictions have been "difficult." The rush before this third shutdown of the pandemic was busy, but not as busy as before the second round, Yun said. "With the restrictions it's kind of been like a yo-yo," Yun said. "It's been really busy and then really slow, and then really busy and then really slow. "I'm hoping with the vaccinations that we will only see three weeks of it." The ongoing vaccination program has now delivered 1,889,039 doses. As of Monday, Albertans 12 and older will be eligible to book a vaccine appointment. Here are the province's 25,197 active cases broken down by health zone: Calgary zone: 11,312 Edmonton zone: 5,917 North zone: 3,749 Central zone: 2,844 South zone: 1,333 Unknown: 42
Global Conversation interviews Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama ahead of the State of the Union conference in Florence and discusses the country's ongoing efforts to join the European Union.View on euronews
UPDATE, May 10, 2021: Victim identified in deadly afternoon shooting at Vancouver International Airport A 28-year-old man was shot and killed Sunday at Vancouver International Airport in what police believe was a gang-related killing. The shooting, which occurred mid-afternoon outside the departures terminal, was the latest in a spate of gang-related violence across B.C.'s Lower Mainland, police said. Sgt. Frank Jang with the Lower Mainland's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), said the victim was known to police. Richmond RCMP responded to reports of a shooting at around 3 p.m. local time. Police intercepted the getaway vehicle — an SUV — and were shot at by the suspects, who are still at large, said Jang. At a media briefing at the airport Sunday night, Jang and Chief Superintendent Will Ng, who is in charge of Richmond RCMP, said they're frustrated the latest violence occurred in a public area with innocent bystanders. "They will stop at nothing to target rivals, even if it's at an international airport in broad daylight on Mother's Day, and putting everyone at risk, including shooting at a police officer, which indicates to me these people have no care whatsoever," Ng said. Police called off car chase Added Jang: "There are just no further words, please don't kill one another, please stop the violence. "Enough is enough," he said. Officers weren't hurt when they were fired upon. They did not not fire back and stopped the pursuit because they were concerned people in the busy area would be hurt, Ng said. Police are looking for at least two suspects. An RCMP officer works at the scene after a shooting at Vancouver International Airport on Sunday.(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) There's been a string of shootings in Metro Vancouver over the last several days, including the murder of a prison corrections officer in the parking lot of a busy Delta, B.C., shopping mall. Delta's police chief said last week all police departments in B.C.'s Lower Mainland were working on the shootings. At the airport, traffic cones blocked off a section of the international and Canadian departure areas and police erected white screens in front of an entrance way. Inside the terminal, yellow police tape restricted the same doorway and most of the shops in the area were closed. On Sunday evening, the Vancouver Airport Authority said in a statement that the airport was open and safe for airport workers and those who need to travel. It said the safety and security of its employees, community and passengers remains its priority and it is fully co-operating with RCMP to support the investigation. The incident disrupted major traffic routes near the airport and police asked people to stay away from the area. Police say they are still searching for one or more suspects related to the shooting. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) The Alex Fraser and Queensborough bridges, as well as the Massey Tunnel, were temporarily closed but have since reopened, according to DriveBC. RCMP said it appears the airport shooting is connected to a burned-out vehicle that was found in nearby suburban Surrey, in the 9700 block of Princess Drive at 3:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Jang said police are looking for dashcam video from those who were in the area Sunday between the airport and the location where the vehicle was found on fire to help with their investigation. Both Jang and Ng called for a coordinated response between law enforcement agencies to solve the gang shootings and make arrests. Ng said police will use "next-level strategies," to target gang members, which include efforts to try and keep people from joining gangs. Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in a statement on Twitter that the shooting was disturbing news. "My thoughts are with the communities in the Lower Mainland who have been impacted by gun and gang violence far too often, particularly over the last week,'' Blair said.
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The debate over Newfoundland and Labrador's troubled, pandemic-delayed election moved to the courtroom today in the form of several challenges of results.Three former candidates have applied to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador to have the results in their ridings overturned, and one of them — NDP Leader Alison Coffin — is also seeking a judicial recount of her narrow loss.Coffin was defeated in the St. John's East-Quidi Vidi riding by just 53 votes and has asked that the ballots be recounted, alleging issues with the original count.She has also filed a separate application to have the results in her district overturned and a byelection called, as have former Progressive Conservative candidates Jim Lester and Sheila Fitzgerald.Lester lost his seat in the Mount Pearl North district by 109 votes and Fitzgerald lost the race in St. Barbe-L'Anse aux Meadows by 216 votes.The three applications to nullify results will be back in court at a later date, while Justice Donald Burrage said he will rule by Wednesday on the NDP arguments for a recount in Coffin's district.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2021. The Canadian Press
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 5:55 p.m. Alberta is reporting 1,633 new COVID-19 cases and two additional deaths. The new cases were identified from 15,509 tests, for a test-positivity rate of 10.3 per cent. There are 668 people with COVID-19 in Alberta hospitals, with 155 patients in intensive care. Variants of concern now make up 44.5 per cent of Alberta's active COVID-19 cases. --- 4:15 p.m. Saskatchewan is setting May 30 as the target date for the first step of its COVID-19 "Re-opening Roadmap." An announcement from the province says restaurants and bars will open with a maximum of six to a table, distanced between other tables. Places of worship will be able to hold services with 30 per cent capacity, or a maximum of 150 people, and group fitness classes can resume with three-metres distance between participants. Gathering limits will rise, although current protocols for schools and post-secondary institutions will remain in place, and the province-wide mask mandate will stay in effect. Premier Scott Moe says the province is able to move forward with the re-opening plan because so many people have been getting vaccinated, adding residents are also following public health orders. The province says more than 70 per cent of Saskatchewan residents age 40 and older have received their first shot of Covid-19 vaccine, surpassing the threshold for Step One of the Re-Opening Roadmap. Details of the plan came as Saskatchewan reported 177 new COVID-19 cases in the province and no new virus-related deaths in the past 24 hours. --- 2:15 p.m. Nova Scotia is reporting 165 new cases of COVID-19 today. Of those, 138 cases are in the central zone in and around Halifax, 16 are in the eastern zone, six are in the western zone and five in the northern zone. One case in the central zone is a homecare staff member with Northwood in Halifax. Nova Scotia Health says it has created a team that is immediately calling all positive patients to advise them of their test result and determine whether they need supports. --- 2 p.m. Manitoba is reporting new daily COVID-19 cases over the 500 mark once again, with officials logging 532 new infections in the past 24 hours. There are also three additional deaths, which the province says were all linked to the variant of concern first identified in the United Kingdom. Manitoba's daily pandemic update notes the five-day test-positivity rate is 10.9 per cent provincially and 13 per cent in Winnipeg. There are 3,499 active COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, with 210 people in hospital and 52 patients in intensive care. --- 1:10 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting five new confirmed cases of COVID-19. Three of the cases are in the Eastern Health region, and all are people in their 40s. The fourth new confirmed case is a man in the Central Health region in his 60s and the fifth is a woman in her 70s in the Western region. There are 67 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. --- 12:55 p.m. Public Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting six new cases of COVID-19 today, including one at the Kennebecasis Valley High School in Quispamsis. There are also three cases in Moncton, with two of those people in their 20s. The province is also reporting two cases in the Fredericton area. The total number of active infections in the province currently stands at 141. --- 11:30 a.m. Quebec is reporting 960 new cases of COVID-19 and six additional deaths linked to the pandemic, including one in the last 24 hours. Hospitalizations declined by eight in the previous 24 hours to 539, while the number of people in intensive care dropped by six to 124. The province gave 74,694 doses of vaccine on Saturday, and has currently administered at least one shot to almost 42 per cent of the population. --- 10:45 a.m. Ontario is reporting 3,216 new COVID-19 cases today and 47 deaths from the virus. The province says 1,640 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. That number includes 848 people in intensive care and 580 on ventilators. The data is based on 38,540 completed tests. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2021. The Canadian Press
Days after a 25-year-old man was found beaten and frozen in a car near Hay River, Northwest Territories, a tearful Levi Cayen confessed to police that he and his cousin, James Thomas, had beaten the man and left him in the car, bloodied and dazed, that frigid winter night. In court on Friday, Cayen said it was all a lie. Cayen now says he went alone to meet Alex Norwegian to buy drugs for someone else. Testifying at Thomas's first degree murder trial, the 23-year-old said he and Norwegian got into a fight. Cayen said he can't remember what led up to the fight, who he was buying the drugs for or what kind of condition Norwegian was in when he left him. Crown prosecutor Duane Praught suggested to Cayen that he was lying in court, but telling the truth when he spoke to police soon after Norwegian's death. Praught suggested Cayen is trying to protect his cousin and avoid being labelled a snitch at the North Slave Correctional Centre, where both he and Thomas are being held. "You're also worried about your cousin testifying against you at your trial, isn't that right?" asked Praught. Cayen is scheduled to be tried on the same charges as Thomas — first-degree murder and robbery — starting Jan. 17. His jury trial had been scheduled to begin at the end of February but was recently rescheduled. Cayen told Praught he was high from taking psilocybin mushrooms — better known as "magic" mushrooms — the day before he was questioned by police. He said he was scared during the interview and just told the police what they seemed to want to hear. He also said that at the start of the interview, the officers told him that Thomas and others charged in connection with Norwegian's death were trying to pin the crime on him. Police confession During a videotaped interview at the Hay River RCMP detachment on Jan. 4, 2018, part of which was played in court on Friday, Cayen gave what he repeatedly said was an honest account of what happened the night Norwegian died. As hard as it is, you are doing the right thing. - Const. Jack Keefe He said when he arrived at Thomas's house the night of Dec. 26, 2017, Thomas and two other cousins, Sasha Cayen and Tyler Cayen, were there and seemed to have planned something. He said Thomas suggested they go out for a ride on his snowmobile and Tyler and Sasha urged him to do so. "And the next thing you know, they're talking about jacking Alex," Cayen told Const. Jack Keefe. Earlier in Thomas's trial, Tyler testified he and Sasha had been smoking crack cocaine and drinking that night. He said it was Thomas who first suggested the idea of robbing Norwegian. Both Tyler and Sasha testified that they had bought crack from Norwegian earlier that night, then returned to pull him out after he got stuck. He gave them some crack as a reward. Sasha admitted she texted Norwegian pretending to set up another buy to pinpoint his location for the robbery. Both said Thomas and Levi Cayen followed through on the plan. An areal photo of the area near Hay River, N.W.T., shows the isolated area known as 'The Portage.' right, where the victim was found and the West Channel area of Vale Island, where the cousins accused in the death live. (Public Prosecution Service of Canada) Levi Cayen told police that at one point his cousins suggested that his girlfriend may be with Norwegian. "That's how they … got me to go," he said. "That's the only reason I found myself on that skidoo was because I was curious to see if my girlfriend was out there." Throughout the interview at the Hay River detachment, Cayen worries aloud about losing his girlfriend and spending many years in prison. Keefe and Special Constable Steve Beck reassure him and praise him for his honesty. "Right now, you should be proud of yourself," Keefe says in the tape. "Damn straight," Beck says. "Because you are doing the right thing," Keefe continues. "As hard as it is, you are doing the right thing." Cayen told Keefe that when he and Thomas arrived at Norwegian's car, Thomas tried to break the driver's side window with a small bat he had brought but could not. Cayen said Thomas told him to break it with a metal pipe he had given him, as Norwegian climbed into the back seat and tried to get out the passenger side door. Cayen said he and Thomas caught Norwegian and beat him. Then Thomas tied his hands behind his back and searched his car for drugs but found none. He said Norwegian offered to take Thomas to where his stash of cocaine was and leave town, but Thomas did not believe him. Cayen said he went along with what Thomas suggested because he was terrified. He said he was not dressed for the weather and his only way home was on the snowmobile they had come on. Cayen told police that just before they left, Thomas took Norwegian's coat and put him into the driver's seat of the car. Cayen said the dazed victim tried to drive away but the car stalled and rolled into a snowbank. He said he suggested driving Norwegian to the hospital in his car, but Thomas rejected the idea. "Like, I didn't even want to sit around at Jimmy's when we got back," Cayen told Keefe. "The first thing I asked him was, 'Can I go call this guy some help?' He seemed like he didn't know what to do so I just took the skidoo." Cayen said he went to a payphone and alerted police to Norwegian's location. Norwegian was not found until a passerby found him in the car more than a day after the attack. At the end of the interview, Norwegian told the officers, "I told you everything, every single detail. Everything I know about that night you guys know."
HALIFAX — A United Nations committee on racial discrimination is asking the federal government to respond to allegations it committed racist actions in its treatment of Mi'kmaq lobster fishers in Nova Scotia. The April 30 letter of notice from the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination asks Leslie Norton, Canada's permanent representative to the U.N., to respond to allegations by Sipekne'katik First Nation by July 14. The First Nation has argued that it has the right to fish for a "moderate livelihood" when and where they wish, based on a decision from the country's Supreme Court. The court later clarified that ruling to say Ottawa could regulate the treaty right for conservation and other purposes. Members of the Sipekne'katik band encountered violence from non-Indigenous residents last fall, resulting in the destruction of a lobster pound and the burning of a band member's van as the First Nation conducted a fishery outside of the federally regulated season in southwestern Nova Scotia. The federal minister has repeatedly noted the principle of closed seasons exists for conservation purposes and has said her department will negotiate the distribution of commercial licences, which occur within existing seasons, tailored to the needs of each First Nation. Talks with the band broke down earlier this year, and Sipekne'katik says it is planning to resume a self-regulated lobster fishery outside of federal seasons. However, the United Nations committee says it is considering allegations the RCMP and the federal Fisheries Department "failed to take appropriate measures to prevent these acts of violence and to protect the fishers and their properties from being vandalized," and that treaty rights weren't respected last year. "The committee is concerned about allegations of lack of response by the state party authorities to prevent and to investigate the allegations of racist hate speech and incitement of violence online as well as acts of violence and intimidation against Mi’kmaq peoples by private actors," says the letter of notice to the Canadian representative. The committee's letter noted its prior recommendations requesting governments that have signed the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination "take steps to prevent racist hate crimes against all ethnic and minority groups, migrants and Indigenous peoples." The letter asks Canada to respond to the allegations and indicate what actions have already been taken to deal with allegations of racism. The notice is signed by Yanduan Li, the chair of the committee and a representative of China. The First Nation's leader, Chief Mike Sack, said in a news release Sunday that it intends to proceed with a lobster fishery beginning in June, despite the lack of an agreement with the federal Fisheries Department. Sack has said he will request United Nations peacekeepers if federal enforcement officers remove his band's lobster fishing gear from the fishing area in southwest Nova Scotia. He said the involvement of the racial discrimination committee is encouraging. "Being recognized by a body that represents marginalized people experiencing the destructive and intergenerational effects of systemic racism is a new milestone in our community’s efforts to overcome poverty and oppression,” said Sack in the release. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2021. Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press
Case counts in Iqaluit's city's jails and shelters are rising, Nunavut's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, said at a press conference on Monday. However, most of the COVID-19 transmission in the city is still a result of parties and people visiting each other indoors, Patterson said. Last week three parties had been identified as causing virus transmission in Iqaluit; he said another party happened this weekend. No charges have been laid against people breaking isolation rules, but Patterson said the RCMP are investigating a few complaints. In one case, Patterson said he understood there was enough evidence to proceed with charges. Findings from contact tracing, like the parties, can't be turned over to law enforcement, Patterson said. The active investigations that could result in charges come from complaints that are not related to the parties, but to individuals with COVID-19 who broke isolation. Five individuals who are fully vaccinated have tested positive for COVID-19. All or most are asymptomatic, Patterson said. "The fact that only five have occurred indicates that the vaccine is effective and is consistent with all the data coming out about how effective it is at eliminating infection," he said. Just over 50 per cent of Iqaluit adults have been fully vaccinated, Patterson said. WATCH | Dr. James Patterson gives update at press conference Monday: Continuing a trend from the weekend as of Monday, the number of people recovering from COVID-19 was outpacing new cases, and all 70 of the territory's cases were concentrated in Iqaluit. There are now six cases of COVID-19 among the residents of the Uquutaq Society's men's shelter and 12 positive cases isolating at the Baffin Correctional Centre. After a mass screening last week, Patterson said the government will know in a week or so whether there is transmission in the jails. At this point, all inmates have been isolated for a while already. There are now two alternative isolation sites in the city: the Frobisher Inn and the Aqsarniit Hotel and Conference Centre. Thirteen people are isolating at the Aqsarniit Hotel and 10 at the Frobisher Inn. Anyone with "higher needs," such as addictions management, is at the Frobisher, where the government is providing the needed support. Patterson took a moment to discourage certain habits that can spread COVID-19, such as sharing cigarettes. Being outside gathering in groups — without masks and without physical distancing — can put the entire group at risk, he said. Staff member at Iqaluit Elders' Home tests positive A staff member tested positive for COVID-19 at the Iqaluit Elders' Home over the weekend, prompting it to be emptied. The Iqaluit Elders' Home has been closed and elders moved out of the facility after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. (Patrick Nagle/CBC ) Four elders were flown to Embassy West care home in Ottawa, one returned home to be with family and another went to another elders' home in the territory. All six elders were tested on Friday before they were moved out. That screening test, which happens weekly at the home, was how the case was initially detected. With most of the staff in isolating, Patterson determined there wasn't enough staff left to provide safe care for the next two weeks. "When we lose not only nurses but other staff to something like this, in most communities in Nunavut there's not a large pool to draw from on short notice," he said. While essential workers were some of the first in the territory to be offered the option to be vaccinated, not all decided to get the vaccine, which is how the virus entered the facility, Patterson said. Later in the press conference, he said he didn't know the vaccination status of the person who tested positive. "It's a personal decision for everyone and … it's not appropriate to start outing people in that way," he said. Kinngait restrictions to ease On Saturday, the last active cases in Kinngait recovered. With that change, Patterson said it is safe to ease restrictions in the community effective Wednesday. The travel ban in and out of the community will be lifted, though anyone returning from Iqaluit must still isolate for 14 days if they return to the community. Masks are still mandatory, but indoor gatherings of five people plus a household will be allowed. Outdoor gatherings can grow to 50 people with physical distancing. Arenas and other indoor public places are allowed to be open at 50 per cent capacity or 50 people, whichever is fewer. The community's schools will move into stage three, which is a blend of in-school and remote learning. Elementary school students will be in class three days a week and middle and high school students will attend in-person two days a week, with staggered schedules and no group activities. Daycares can reopen.
Call him Dr. Kyle Lowry. Philadelphia-born star guard of the Toronto Raptors became an honorary doctor of humanities at Acadia University's virtual spring convocation ceremony on Sunday. Acadia bestowed the honour on Lowry for his role in rallying the country during the Raptors' 2019 run the NBA title, the first for the franchise, and for establishing the Lowry Love Foundation with his wife, Ayahna Cornish-Lowry. Lowry's foundation is committed to improving the lives of disadvantaged people in Toronto and Philadelphia. Nova Scotia's two top public health officials were among seven people to receive honorary degrees from the university in Wolfville, N.S. Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer or health, and Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed, the deputy chief medical officer of health for the province, were bestowed honorary doctor of science degrees. In a news release, the university said the degrees were being given to recognize "the amazing work of the entire Nova Scotia Public Health department." The release said Strang and Watson-Creed had shown "outstanding leadership" in helping Nova Scotia deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Robert Strang accepted his degree on behalf of all public health professionals in Nova Scotia(Acadia University) In a video response, Strang said the pandemic has shown us that unity is important in times of crisis. "The way we get through all of these things is ... that we put each other first, and we come together as communities." Former prime minister Paul Martin delivered the keynote address by video. He was awarded an honorary doctor of civil laws. Rev. Malcolm Card, Nancy McCain and retired justice Murray Sinclair also received honorary degrees. MORE TOP STORIES
The joy of Komal Garg's first Mother's Day has been tempered with fear and frustration as she awaits the green light to start enjoying family life in the Toronto home she hasn't seen for months. She and her husband Hari Gopal Garg are stranded in India, where they flew earlier this year to adopt their first child and have since been held up as the country buckles under a tidal wave of COVID-19 infections. Baby Kaveri's first birthday came and went under a cloud of pandemic-related anxiety in March, coupled with an unrelated hospital stay for the little one around that time. The family had been looking forward to celebrating both that milestone and Mother's Day in the comfort of their Canadian home. But the federal government banned incoming flights from India just days before they were due to return to Toronto, leaving them to mark another occasion that's lost much of its festive feel. "We are really scared and just want to go back home as soon as possible," Komal Garg said. "We're desperate to go back and start our life there." The family's eventual return will mark the end of a four-year-long saga. It's taken that long for the couple to realize their dream of adopting a child from India, finally taking custody of Kaveri last December. The couple said they realized that COVID-19 infections in India were rising rapidly, but the wheel of bureaucracy turns slowly. Paperwork to return to Canada was completed on April 21, they said, and they were scheduled to fly home to Toronto on April 25. But Canada suspended all flights from India the day after the paperwork was completed, they said, leaving them with no option but to ride the pandemic out in a country with some of the highest infection rates in the world. "We don't have any option to go back home," Gopal Garg said. "We are stuck." Like many with family in India, they've experienced the loss associated with the pandemic first-hand. Three family members have died of COVID-19 over the last three weeks alone, they said. But the tragedy surrounding them, and the inconvenience associated with adjusting to family life far from home, hasn't dimmed Garg's delight in her new daughter. "You can't even imagine because me and my husband, we've been married for 20 years," Garg said. "I can't express in words my first Mother's Day. I cannot. I cannot." That occasion has been a far cry from the celebration the family intended to hold in Toronto. Garg said the new family intends to lie low in Punjab for the sake of Kaveri's health. Gopal Garg said the family had hoped to celebrate with a bit more pomp, but had to shelve those plans when it became clear they wouldn't be able to return to Canada. "We wanted to get a nice meal or order some food at home," he said. "So that we could feel that it's special — together. Be a family. And we wanted to cherish that and celebrate that at home, which is Toronto." But still, their small immediate family tries to keep some semblance of normalcy, spending quiet days together and not leaving the house for anything but grocery shopping. They're watching their daughter mark her first baby milestones as they await word they can finally go home. Kaveri took her first steps in March, and has now started to talk. "She says some little tiny words like baba, dada, mama," Garg said. Gopal Garg said the new family is now looking ahead to future holidays and hoping they can unfold at home. "We were hoping that we could start a family in Canada," he said. "We hope we'll be there for Father's Day." This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2021. Hina Alam, The Canadian Press
Named after Harley's first electric motorbike, which was unveiled in 2019, the "LiveWire" division is slated to launch its first branded motorcycle in July. "We are seizing the opportunity to lead and define the market in EV," Chief Executive Officer Jochen Zeitz said in a statement on Monday. "LiveWire also plans to innovate and develop technology that will be applicable to Harley-Davidson electric motorcycles in the future."
Halifax Regional Police have arrested a man for robbery in connection with an incident in March that sparked conversations about racial profiling among law enforcement. Police said the man, Robert Roech Chan, 28, was arrested Sunday night on an outstanding warrant. On March 26, officers were called to the 200 block of Wentworth Drive in Halifax for a weapons complaint. Three men were arrested at the scene, including two who were later released without charges. A fourth man fled on foot and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Videos shared online Hours after the incident, videos surfaced on social media showing an interaction between a white police officer and the fourth man, who is Black. The officer, who could be seen pointing a gun at the man — was heard saying something that sounded like, "I will fill you full of f--king lead." A number of people publicly condemned the language used by the officer, including Premier Iain Rankin, who called the comments "disgusting." The officer in the video was assigned to administrative duties while an internal investigation was carried out. That investigation is now complete and the officer has been returned to active duty. MORE TOP STORIES
The federal government, province of P.E.I. and Abegweit First Nation are partnering to reconnect the Scotchfort community to the Hillsborough River. The river was an essential transportation route and food source for previous generations of the Abegweit First Nation, but the Scotchfort community is now separated from the river by Route 2, a major highway that runs through the centre of the province. In a joint announcement on Monday morning, the province said it would transfer six hectares of land, between the highway and the river, to the band for a nominal fee of $1. The federal government announced $4.4 million for active transportation and social infrastructure on the land, which will link the corridor to the Confederation Trail as well as to the Hillsborough River. "This project includes the construction of several structures to create a safe and direct access to the waterfront and multi-use trail," said a government news release. "We are very grateful and excited for the support from our provincial and federal partners and look forward to our continued partnership as we advance these projects in the spirit of reconciliation and mutual prosperity," Abegweit First Nation Chief Junior Gould was quoted as saying in the news release. Some of the funding announced Monday will go toward the development of the Epekwitk Mena'taqug Centre, a business and retail centre. Initial funding for that project was announced in August 2019. More from CBC P.E.I.
LIMASSOL, Cyprus — The Islamic State group is using stealth to regenerate its forces by developing its military capabilities underground, and France is deploying its warships and aircraft in the region to help troops on the ground root out the threat, a senior French naval officer said Monday. Rear Adm. Marc Aussedat, who leads a task force centred around France’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, said that 18 advanced Rafale fighter aircraft are carrying out reconnaissance flights in Syrian and Iraqi airspace to gauge the actions of IS, and to bring their weapons to bear if necessary. “Why are we doing this mission? ... First of all, is to give to these forces, coalition and Iraqi security forces, the means to fight the regeneration of Daesh on the ground. Daesh is hiding, Daesh is developing its capacity underground,” Aussedat told reporters, referring to the Islamic State group's Arabic-language acronym. France’s regional military muscle-flexing has manifested itself in Task Force 473, a naval force of several warships including anti-submarine frigates and an air defence destroyer that’s centred around the De Gaulle. The country already has a frigate deployed in the east Mediterranean on a permanent basis. The primary mission of the task force’s five-month deployment in the east Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean is to assist Operation Inherent Resolve, a U.S.-led mission of forces from several countries tasked with eradicating IS remnants following its three-year occupation of large swaths of Syrian and Iraqi territory. Aussedat said the French task force has also helped in the fight against piracy and international trafficking in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean where it temporarily took command of Task Force 50, a U.S. naval force led by the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, to help build trust and co-operation between the two navies. According to Aussedat, the deployment also aimed to project French power and to “show the French flag” in regions where the country has “strategic interests” including the eastern Mediterranean. French energy company Total, along with Italian partner Eni, is licensed to drill for oil and gas off Cyprus. “The presence in these areas is made to prevent and to fight for stability, for the freedom of navigation, for our freedom of action and of course the interests of France but also of the partners which are linked with us,” Aussedat said. “It’s also a way to ensure our ability to appreciate, to assess the situation on a national basis, but also a European basis or on a NATO basis to prevent crises, but also to intervene if necessary.” Those partners include a Belgian and Greek frigate, as well as a U.S. destroyer that had earlier joined the task force. The French task force will end its deployment with a joint exercise in the western Mediterranean with U.K. aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. The Charles de Gaulle made a similar port of call to Limassol a little over a year ago when reporters were allowed aboard the ship, but this year COVID-19 restrictions prevented that. Cyprus’ Defence Ministry said it would carry joint manoeuvrs with the French task force as part of a bilateral defenceco-operation agreement. Menelaos Hadjicostis, The Associated Press