Ana Liza Ochotorena didn't know her father's birthday in May would be his last. No one did. Her oldest son, Daniel, even paid for food to be delivered to his grandparents' place in metro Manila for his papa's 74th birthday celebration. The last time Ana Liza saw her father, Manuel Paz, was six years ago when she travelled from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Manila City for a vacation. She struggles to find words knowing that she can't go back home now. "My father, he's alway on my heart and he's always on my prayer," she said in a Labrador Morning interview.Little did they know that a few months after Manuel's birthday, they would be grieving for a man they say is the reason they're in Canada. It all happened so quickly.Manuel's younger daughter, Khaty Balaan, and her family, who also live in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, are still in shock. "It's hard to believe that my father pass away because of the COVID-19. It's hard to accept, but I'm trying to accept what's going on for that," she said, noting there are thousands of cases in the Philippines. Ana Liza says her father would go to the mall to get food for himself and their mother, Lydia, who isn't able to walk due to health issues. Then Lydia started feeling unwell, and about two weeks later, the couple went to hospital after having difficulty breathing.Ana Liza says her father lost his appetite and his ability to walk. He was admitted into the ICU immediately to be intubated, while Lydia was put into an isolated room as her condition wasn't as severe.Manuel died at hospital about a week later, on Aug. 27.His wife is at home recovering.Grieving far away Daniel, 27, remembers his grandfather being active and always telling jokes.He hadn't seen his grandfather since he left the Philippines to come to Labrador eight years ago, and he was on vacation when he got the call that his grandparents were in hospital. "I was so shocked they got the COVID-19. I just, like, keep on praying both of them survive, they recover," he said.He says his grandfather waved and looked strong on a video call.> I cannot express my sadness. I want her to be strong. To recover from that COVID virus. \- Ana Liza OchotorenaA couple of days later, Daniel heard the sad news. "I thought it was like, 'No, he's not going to pass away. He was strong the last time I seen him.' Like, I don't belive that it's happening, that he's gone," he said.Ana Liza is grateful to doctors and nurses who let them see their father via the video call right up until his final breath. Khaty says the manager of the Canex grocery store, where she works, was supportive."It's hard to work when your mind is over in the Philippines. I'm trying to work, but need to be strong for our family over here," she said, adding that they feel blessed to live in Labrador at a time when COVID-19 is hitting other provinces hard. "COVID is real. It is not a joke. Take the precautions not to spread the virus. Love your family. Be careful," said Khaty's husband, Andreo. The families are trying to stay positive, drawing strength from each other, but it's also difficult being so far away from home, said Ana Liza."We want to go to the Philippines but we're not allowed to go. It's very hard. It's a lot of sacrifice being here in an isolated place," Ana Liza said. About $10,000 in medical expenses is another burden on the family's shoulders, and Ana Liza says they still don't have her father's ashes. The family needs to complete a death certificate and they're waiting for the hospital to provide details so they can settle the bill from a half a world away, and it's all the more difficult because Manila is in lockdown, which means no funeral for their father either.The family has been raising money by selling items online, holding yard sales, even borrowing money from relatives. Kitchen staff at the Manila hospital helped with donations to offset some the costs while their employers in Labrador have also contributed money, much to the family's gratitude.Keeping spirits up Lydia is at her home in Manila, where she's been recovering from the coronavirus in isolation. Ana Liza calls her frequently to make sure she's OK, and buys her much-needed items like Lysol online, because other family members in Manila can't visit her due to the lockdown.> COVID is real, it is not a joke. Take the precautions not to spread the virus. Love your family. - Andreo BalaanHer mother said after she came home from the hospital, people were scared of her. Ana Liza says her mother told her, "'I feel like I'm condemned by the people. I have a great sin because of having that coronavirus,'" she said. "That's why she was crying."Still, their mother is strong and funny despite having lost her husband and is now alone. Ana Liza says she tried to bring her parents to Labrador but her mother was ill at the time and wasn't up for making the move.Ana Liza and Khaty now want to bring their mother to Labrador, especially now that their older sister, who lives in the Philippines, is going to the U.S. and there won't be anyone there to take care of their mother. They say Lydia's last checkup shows that she tested negative for COVID-19, and is now clear of the virus. A loving father One of the hardest parts for Daniel is not being able to keep a promise he made to his grandfather. He told his papa that he wanted to go home to visit him this year, before COVID-19 made that impossible. It's all the more painful for him, because he was raised by his grandparents while his mother was working away from home. "This is like a promise that I'm going to visit him, and spend time with him, but I couldn't do it no more. He's gone. Until now I can't believe he's gone," he said.At one point, Ana Liza worried she wouldn't be able to get passports for her children to travel with her to Canada in time, but her father helped, reassuring her that everything would be OK. "He's a very thoughtful father. We are grateful and thankful for him for everything. That's why we're in Canada because of him," Ana Liza said. "He is our inspiration, a loving father," she said. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
TORONTO — A man in northwest Toronto was shot dead in broad daylight as he was heading to the hospital with his newborn baby, police said Thursday. Police said the man, whose identity has not yet been released, was getting into a vehicle with a baby approximately a month old and a female companion when he was gunned down in a drive-by shooting around 9:15 a.m. "This family unit was in the process of getting into the vehicle to take their child to the hospital," Insp. Paul Rinkoff said at the scene. Spokeswoman Const. Laura Brabant said it's not yet clear whether the man was the intended target, and no one else was hurt in the incident. Two men were seen leaving the area in a late-model four-door sedan, she said. While police believe there is no longer an immediate threat in the Lawrence Avenue West and Jane Street area, Brabant said the fact that the suspect remains at large is concerning. "You've got a potential shooter out there with a firearm in a vehicle, going around shooting in the middle of daylight, so that's always a concern," she said. The constable said the incident took place in a busy area that includes several schools, at a time when there would have been many people around. "We're lucky no one was the victim of any stray bullets," she said. Officers will be canvassing the area and seeking to speak with anyone who witnessed the incident or has security footage of the area, she said. The Toronto District School Board said three schools were placed in lockdown during the investigation and would soon switch to the less serious hold and secure. This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Oct. 1, 2020. The Canadian Press
Shia LaBeouf has been charged with misdemeanour battery and petty theft. Prosecutors allege that the 34-year-old actor fought with a man named Tyler Murphy and took his hat, according to a criminal complaint obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday from the Los Angeles city attorney. A representative for LaBeouf did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
An estimated $10-billion liquefied natural gas project proposed for Guysborough County is slowly pressing ahead, despite opposition from an international group of environmentalists.This week, Pieridae Energy said it expects to have detailed design and costs for the Goldboro LNG plant by next spring, and it awarded a contract to Black Diamond Group of Calgary for construction of a camp that would house up to 5,000 workers who will build the Goldboro LNG plant, if it goes ahead.That deal includes hiring Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw companies to provide catering and cleaning services at the camp.However, also this week, a gathering of international environmental groups asked the German government to withdraw a loan guarantee backing the plant.Ken Summers of the Nova Scotia Fracking Resource and Action Coalition said the proposal should be scrapped because LNG plants are notoriously large polluters."If this project were to go ahead, Nova Scotia's greenhouse gas emission targets would be gone out the window," he said.Nova Scotia's emission targets have been met since they were first set a decade ago, Summers said, but an LNG plant would reverse any gains in greenhouse gas emissions."If this project were to come online, we would vastly increase them," he said. The province's cap-and-trade system allows large emitters to acquire emission capacity from other companies that are below their targets, but Summers said he doesn't know how an LNG plant would fit into Nova Scotia's plans."There are no offsets available for a company the size of Pieridae, as a new emitter," he said. "It's just not possible."I don't know what the government has in mind. It's a mystery to those of us who watch it closely."Summers also said Pieridae would have to use gas acquired through hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — in order to meet its supply needs.James Millar, director of external relations for Pieridae, said that's not true. In fact, he said, a provision of the German loan guarantee precludes the use of fracked gas.Millar said Pieridae's largest customer is Uniper, a German company looking for a 20-year supply of natural gas to ease the reliance on supply from Russia."The German government has been a great partner since the beginning," he said.Millar said Pieridae is still negotiating with the province to meet potential emission targets under Nova Scotia's cap-and-trade system."It can be something along the lines of a partnership with Nova Scotia Power ... retiring their coal fleet and then there's more room for other companies," he said.Environment Minister Gordon Wilson said making room for a large emitter such as an LNG plant would make meeting emission reduction targets "challenging," but greenhouse gas emissions overall are coming down."It's a moving target, but we'll always look at opportunities to reduce and again hold those targets," he said.Millar also said a recent deal signed with engineering firm Bechtel Corp will provide Pieridae with detailed design and costing next spring that is the last piece of the puzzle needed to make the final investment decision on the project.He said Pieridae has signed a benefits agreement with Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq that will mean the inclusion of Indigenous workers and companies when it comes to construction of the plant.Membertou First Nation Chief Terry Paul said the Mi'kmaq welcome the LNG development.There are always concerns about the potential environmental impacts, he said, but the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs has been working on a deal with Pieridae for a long time."Discussions on that have been going on for a number of years and a lot of the concerns that the chiefs had, and the communities had, have been mitigated, so we look forward to a good relationship with them," Paul said.MORE TOP STORIES
It's going to be a tough 28-days for Quebec bar and restaurant owners as new COVID-19 restrictions went into effect Thursday in parts of the province. While some residents will find lockdown difficult, others are taking the measures in stride.
The man deemed the kingpin of a western Canadian drug-trafficking ring and his "right-hand man" were handed lengthy prison sentences last month, says a judgment filed in Manitoba's Court of Queen's Bench.Mohammed Khan of Vancouver and Mason Burg of Winnipeg both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic cocaine, says Justice Chris Martin's judgment, dated Sept. 24.Khan was sentenced to nine years in prison. When his time in custody is taken into account, that comes out to just over six years.Meanwhile, Burg was given a six-and-a-half-year sentence; with time in custody considered, his remaining sentence is just over three years, seven months.Khan, who investigators said ran the smuggling and distribution operation, also pleaded guilty to extortion. He was handed another nine months for pleading guilty to that charge, which will be served at the same time as the rest of his sentence.The police investigation, which spanned 10 months and involved five forces, determined drugs were flowing into Winnipeg by semi-truck from British Columbia. Deals were then made at truck stops in Headingley, or in the parking lot of a nearby restaurant, police said in late 2018, when they announced the charges against Khan, then 39, and Burg, 24 at the time, along with several others.Khan and Burg were headed to trial on a joint indictment that included other charges that were stayed in a plea deal. Those charges included possession of cocaine and ketamine for the purposes of trafficking, possession of cash knowing it was derived from criminal activity and possession of a loaded restricted firearm, the judgment says. Khan was also charged with additional firearm offences. 13 arrested in drug bustKhan and Burg were among 13 people arrested as part of a 2018 bust police dubbed Project Riverbank, which saw the seizure of nearly $3 million worth of drugs and other property — including a semi-truck — and the interruption of a major criminal network, police said.Ten of those people, including Khan and Burg, were arrested in a single "takedown" day, while three others were arrested shortly after, the judgment says. Of the 13, most of the accused pleaded guilty, Justice Martin's judgment says. One person's charges were stayed, while one other went to trial.Five of those who pleaded guilty, including a pair of Winnipeggers who oversaw a distribution network selling drugs that arrived in the city by semi-trailer, are serving multi-year sentences behind bars.Khan and Burg elected for a provincial court trial in March 2019. But months later, the Crown pursued a direct indictment, which moved the trial process to the higher Court of Queen's Bench.The judgment last month was meant to deal with an application by defence counsel that included three motions.One of those motions asked that prosecutors disclose what materials they sent to the director of public prosecutions, the deputy attorney general of Canada and/or the deputy attorney general of Manitoba to get a direct indictment.A second asked that the direct indictment be quashed, arguing it constituted an abuse of process and violated the defendants' Charter rights.But Martin wasn't swayed by those claims."Essentially, defence counsel accused Crown counsel of deliberate misfeasance or, at minimum, a serious ethical lapse," Martin wrote. "These claims were never justified. Vigorously advocating on behalf of a client is one thing; lightly tossing out irresponsible insinuations is entirely another. It is unacceptable advocacy."Motions dismissedThe defence's third motion asked for a stay of proceedings or bail, saying the defendants' Charter rights to be tried within a reasonable time were breached.Martin noted the "unwieldy" list of roughly two dozen pre-trial or Charter applications brought in by the defence, and said he found the time required to prosecute the case fell within "an acceptable, tolerable range."He dismissed the defendants' applications to get rid of the direct indictment and have a stay of proceedings entered, finding the Crown's actions were justified under the "unique circumstances" of the case, the judgment says.When Martin announced that decision at application hearings on Sept. 14, the court took a break before it was scheduled to hear the 15 pre-trial applications brought by the defence.Twenty minutes later, counsel announced the plea bargain that included a joint sentencing recommendation for the pair, the judgment says.At that point, the remaining pre-trial applications were abandoned, the judgment says, though the plea arrangement leaves open the possibility of appealing the decision.
The Ontario government plans to find out whether people are following COVID-19 prevention measures such as physical distancing and wearing a mask — and if not, why not. It's called "health behaviour surveillance," and while that term might sound like it involves the province spying on you, that's not what will be happening. In this case, surveillance means doing surveys. Premier Doug Ford's government will ask questions about people's compliance with public health guidelines to try to better understand some of the behaviours driving Ontario's upsurge in COVID-19 cases. Experts in the field say health behaviour surveillance is crucial work that can help rein in the spread of infections, provided the government does it right. However, they question why the province has waited until the pandemic's second wave has already hit to commence the research. The government plans to start the work this month by surveying representative samples of the population across the province.Good data could help the province understand what actually influences people's behaviours around preventing the spread of COVID-19, said Scott Leatherdale, a professor at the University of Waterloo's School of Public Health and Public Health Systems. "It would be incredibly important to know what's working and how we can learn from that," said Leatherdale, whose specialty is researching the health behaviours of youth. "You can collect high-level insight on what people are doing, why they may be doing it or why they may not be doing it, and some of the knowledge and beliefs that may underpin those decisions.," Leatherdale said in an interview with CBC NewsPeople under age 40 have accounted for a disproportionate number of new cases of COVID-19 reported in Ontario since the second wave started building at the end of August.While Ford repeatedly condemned young people for "wild parties" as a source of infections, health officials have suggested lack of fear of the virus, fatigue with pandemic restrictions and a growing number of less-than-wild social gatherings contributed to the spread of cases among that age group. The survey work could shed more light on the factors at play, albeit not quickly enough to halt Ontario's expected trajectory toward an average of 1,000 new cases a day in mid-October. "The health behaviour surveillance initiative would involve conducting research on Ontarians' attitudes towards, barriers associated with, and compliance with public health measures," said a Ministry of Health spokesperson in an email to CBC News. The goal of the research is "obtaining a better understanding of people's adherence" to guidelines on physical distancing, face coverings, social circles and rules on gatherings, said the spokesperson. The ministry said it would obtain "third-party support" to conduct the surveys, but did not indicate what methods would be used for gathering responses.The results would inform the advice that public health experts give the government on adjusting pandemic restrictions, targeting prevention measures to certain groups or locations, or strengthening its messaging to improve compliance. Some of Ontario's public health units already participate in what's called the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS), a mechanism for collecting and analyzing data on health-related attitudes and behaviours. It has developed 100 survey questions related to COVID-19, including on compliance with prevention measures. "If you have sufficient resources, both human and financial, to ask the questions and process the data quickly, these surveys can be done in a number of days," said Michael King, chair of the provincial steering group for RRFSS. "We have been hearing from public health and governmental leaders for months that the only way that we're going to flatten the curve of COVID-19 is to change our behaviours," said King, who works as an epidemiologist with Public Health Sudbury and District."It's really important that we are monitoring the degree to which our communities are undertaking this behaviour change." Adherence to COVID-19 guidelines has been the subject of some national surveys conducted by the Angus Reid Institute.The polling firm reported in August that the younger Canadians are, the less likely they are to follow recommended protocols. Its survey also found some correlation between how people voted in the last federal election and their adherence to public health measures. The experts say getting valid, reliable data requires care, as the pitfalls of surveying health behaviours can be similar to those in political polling, such as loaded questions that would torque the results. "It's quite difficult to get young males to pick up the phone and answer a survey," said King.. "If you're trying to get a representative population sample, that can be incredibly challenging because getting people to get engaged in survey research is hard enough to begin with," added Leatherdale. He said the precise wording of survey questions is important, adding that the surveys should be repeated as time passes to find out whether behaviours are changing."That would be really important if you really want to understand what's happening, and too often that side of things is overlooked," said Leatherdale. "There are teams in Ontario who have the capacity to run with this nationally right now, where data could be collected in real-time rather quickly."
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, warned the public that as many areas continue to see high COVID-19 infection rates, local public health, health care and laboratory services are “at risk of being overwhelmed."
With 45 temporary foreign workers in isolation across the region, local politicians say they're trying to reopen the city's migrant worker isolation and recovery centre as the facility's contract ended Wednesday. Funding for the Canadian Red Cross to operate Windsor's isolation centre ran out this week and, while the city has decided it will continue operating the facility, it is still looking for continued federal support.Pressure is mounting to secure a federal government commitment as the need to isolate migrant workers resurfaced on the weekend, with two dozen more people requiring shelter, bringing the current number to 45. According to chief of staff Andrew Teliszewsky, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens had a meeting with Canada's Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair on Friday about funding. "We left that meeting feeling very positive that the minister and the federal government would come to the table," Teliszewsky said. "We're hopeful that we'll have confirmation shortly." Teliszewsky confirmed to CBC News that the city wasn't able to place the temporary foreign workers in isolation at the Holiday Inn over the weekend as federal funding to run the isolation centre out of the hotel would run out prior to the completion of the workers' two-week quarantine period. As a result the workers are isolating elsewhere in the region, though Teliszewsky could not confirm where. He said the workers are being looked after by farm owners and through privately-raised funding. He also could not confirm how long the isolation centre, located at the Holiday Inn on Huron Church Road, has sat empty. If funding is approved, it's unclear if the hotel would continue to be the designated isolation centre. City seeks 'equitable treatment'In a letter to the federal government on Sept. 24, the provincial government said it would also like to see "continued federal assistance." "Continued federal support for an isolation site for farm workers living on farms will ensure that all farm workers in Ontario and their communities remain healthy and safe," reads part of the letter to the deputy minister of health Stephen Lucas and the deputy minister of public safety, Rod Stewart. Teliszewsky said the city is looking for "equitable treatment" as the federal government recently announced $13.9 million in funding for a 12-month isolation centre in Toronto. "We're basically looking at them [to acknowledge] that Windsor and Essex County have a unique need as a result of the the migrant farm workers and this isn't news to the federal government, given all of the attention to this issue over the course of the summer," he said."So if they're prepared to cough up money for the City of Toronto, we're hopeful that the City of Windsor is also on their radar."Brian Masse, the NDP MP for Windsor West, is also advocating for more federal support on this issue saying that, "there's no doubt that the City of Windsor needs to be supported with regards to the isolation centre and migrant worker supports ... the migrant situation needs to be improved and this is part of the solution."Despite harvest season coming to an end, national representative with the United Food and Commercial Workers of Canada Santiago Escobar said there are still thousands who live in the area year-round. "It's important that we welcome the initiative that the city will be in charge of these facilities ... to centralize and especially ... when it comes to fighting COVID," Escobar said, adding what the industry went through in the first wave could have been prevented had these accommodations been in place earlier. Justine Taylor, the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers' science and government relations manager, said they want to see the centre be supported in case of a second wave. "As we begin to head into the second wave its really important to ensure that we have a regional response plan in place to effectively manage any new outbreaks that might arise," she said.
The RCMP has reversed its policy on mask-wearing after being accused of discrimination over the rule, which saw bearded Mounties — including Sikh and Muslim officers — reassigned to desk duty.The policy, which was condemned by both activists and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, required front-line officers to wear properly fitted N95 respirator masks — something that isn't always possible for RCMP members who wear beards for religious reasons.In a statement Thursday, the chief human resources officer for the RCMP said that, following a risk assessment by commanding officers, "impacted bearded members across Canada may [now] return to operational duties" with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)."Calls for service will be triaged from call centres, with bearded members being assigned to respond operationally only if the risk of exposure is low or multiple responding officers will be present," said the statement from chief human resources officer Gail Johnson. "Each case will be assessed on an individual basis."The original policy was described as discriminatory and disappointing by Prime Minister Trudeau, who added it "shouldn't have happened." Under questioning in the House of Commons this week, Trudeau said the policy was an example of systemic racism in the RCMP.Johnson said she was also disappointed in the policy."I share the frustrations of our police officers across Canada who are personally affected," she wrote Friday. "While these dedicated and valued members have been accommodated for medical or religious reasons in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, over the last few months they have not been able to serve Canadians on the front lines as we worked to find equipment and operational solutions."The policy was implemented at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki issued a directive on mask use for front line officers, saying the respirators had to be sealed correctly and that "one of the most common causes of a breached seal is facial hair."World Sikh Organization legal counsel Balpreet Singh said his organization, which liaised with a group of about 30 officers, wrote to Lucki and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair to ask for a resolution to the issue. Blair's office condemned the policy and said it expected the issue to be rectified "as quickly as possible.""Diversity in policing makes it more effective," Blair wrote in a statement Thursday. "We must always be vigilant against systemic discrimination. Respect for religious and cultural differences is our strength as a Nation and of the RCMP." "The RCMP will ensure that Sikh and Muslim officers can do their jobs safely, while respecting and accommodating their faith," he added. "We thank them for their service."Singh said the move was a step in the right direction."I'm going to be watching it very closely to make sure that everything goes smoothly," he said. "But the RCMP officers I've spoken to since this announcement are quite hopeful that it will mean a substantive change to their situations."
Danté Bazard and Sobia Ali-Faisal meet in their small office in downtown Charlottetown, focused on their work. There's a lot to do.Bazard and Ali-Faisal are two of the co-founders of BIPOC USHR, an advocacy group which stands for Black, Indigenous, People of Colour United for Strength, Home, Relationships.When pandemic restrictions started coming into effect, the group worked to raise money for international students who were struggling financially because of COVID-19 and didn't have access to government aid.Now, after successfully raising thousands of dollars to support dozens of those students, BIPOC USHR is focused on becoming an official non-profit organization on P.E.I."There's no other organization like us that does advocacy and support work for all marginalized, racially marginalized people," Ali-Faisal said, with the group's main focus on "helping our own communities thrive."Ali-Faisal said the group wants to get non-profit status to "expand as a community organization." "As a non-profit, we can apply for funding and get more support from people and we can collaborate more with other organizations as well, which we really want to be able to do. So it's really to enable us to do more for the BIPOC community."Since the group's beginning on the UPEI campus a year ago, it has been hosting workshops and advocating for the Island's BIPOC community, growing its team of five to a team of 10.'Racism is well alive'BIPOC USHR was also recently behind protests against what they believe was the unfair arrest and detainment of 22-year-old Javan Nsangira. Nsangira is a Black international student who pleaded guilty to charges of failing to self-isolate. He was kept in custody for seven weeks. Other charges against him have been sent to alternative measures. Ali-Faisal said the group believes BIPOC USHR's advocacy for Nsangira "really helped his case and helped make his situation a lot better."Bazard said Nsangira's arrest and treatment by law-enforcement is an example of racism on P.E.I. and why the existence of BIPOC USHR is so important."A lot of people might not think that racism is well alive in Canada at large and P.E.I., but it is," said Bazard."We see it every day happening in Canada and in P.E.I., so it's very relevant. It's very necessary." As a non-profit, Ali-Faisal said the group will be able to host even more workshops focused on "mental health, navigating the justice system, navigating financial issues, employment."Filling 'the gap'The work is all being done in the spare hours outside of each member's job. BIPOC USHR is currently fundraising to be able to offer more services and for team members to be paid for their work.It's a busy schedule for those involved, but Ali-Faisal said their work and advocacy fills a much needed gap on the Island."I grew up on P.E.I. as a non-white person and I know what it feels like to be such a small minority and stand out and not have any sort of supports at all," Ali-Faisal said."So one of the things that I wanted BIPOC USHR ... to fill was the gap that I knew that I experienced when I was growing up."For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.More from CBC P.E.I.
Recent developments: What's the latest?Ottawa's medical officer of health told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning the city's health-care system is in the midst of a crisis because of the growing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. WATCH | Ottawa's health-care system on the verge of collapse:Ottawa has set another one-day record with 142 new COVID-19 cases, Etches said during an update later Friday morning. The previous high was 105.COVID-19 testing in Ontario is moving to an appointment-only model starting Tuesday.The province is lowering capacity at gyms, restaurants and event spaces in Ottawa, Toronto and Peel, and is repeating the message to limit close contacts to household members, effectively cancelling the previous strategy of social circles.How many cases are there?As of the most recent Ottawa Public Health update on Friday, 4,530 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. That includes 767 known active cases, 3,472 resolved cases and 291 deaths.Overall, public health officials have reported more than 6,800 cases of COVID-19 across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 5,300 of those cases considered resolved.COVID-19 has killed 104 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 people have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 34 in the Outaouais and 18 in other parts of eastern Ontario. What's open and closed?Health officials are telling people to see fewer people in person or they will be forced to by stricter rules.Ottawa's medical officer of health said Wednesday there's been an "alarming" increase of positive COVID-19 tests, urging residents to cut almost entirely back on close contact with people they don't live with or risk letting the illness spiral out of control.Western Quebec's health unit says residents need to stop gathering until the end of October or, like Montreal and Quebec, it will go into the final level of its alert system and they won't be allowed to see anyone they don't live with.Private, unmonitored gatherings across Ontario are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.Western Quebec is in orange alert, which means private and organized gathering limits, earlier closing hours for restaurants and recommendations against travelling to other regions.WATCH | What red alert means in Quebec:Ottawa and Kingston, Ont., public health officials are ordering anyone with symptoms or who has been identified as a close contact of someone who's tested positive to immediately self-isolate or face a fine of up to $5,000 per day in court.Kingston has also tightened its distancing rules in city parks and increased fines.Ottawa has closed the McNabb Arena respite centre for people without housing and has expanded services at nearby support centres.As of Monday, visitors to long-term care homes in Ottawa will be restricted to staff, essential visitors and one or two caregivers only.What about schools?There have been nearly 120 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff or student, most of them in Ottawa.Not all of them have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there's a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.Many school boards have a list of affected schools.Ontario updated its COVID-19 screening protocols for children Thursday, no longer telling them to isolate and get tested if they have just a runny nose, headache, sore throat, fatigue or diarrhea.They'll still be asked to stay home, but can return after at least 24 hours if they feel better.Some health units tweak the province's guidelines, so check with the unit in your area. OPH says it will use the province's rules.WATCH | How the pandemic is changing school lunch breaks:Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.People can be contagious without symptoms.This means precautions such as working from home, keeping your hands and frequently-touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and keeping distance from anyone you don't live with, including when you have a mask on.Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in all of Ontario and Quebec, including transit services and taxis in some areas.Masks are also recommended outdoors when you can't stay the proper distance from others.Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.Most people with a confirmed COVID-19 case in Quebec can end their self-isolation after 10 days if they have not had a fever for at least 48 hours and has had no other symptom for at least 24 hours.What are the symptoms of COVID-19?COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.Getting tested any sooner than five days after potential exposure may not be useful since the virus may not yet be detectable, says OPH.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Where to get testedWait times and lines have been long at many of the area's test sites, though they have been better this week.There have also been delays processing tests at laboratories. Ontario's testing backlog reached an all-time high Thursday.Ontario health officials have said they're trying to add more test capacity and are requiring an appointment for all tests as of Tuesday.In eastern Ontario:The Ontario government recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you've been told to by your health unit or the province because of your work.Most of Ottawa's testing happens at one of four permanent sites, with additional mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.A test clinic is expected to open at the Ray Friel Recreation Complex in Orléans, likely by mid-October.People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select Ottawa pharmacies.WATCH | The National's At Issue on the second wave:In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, there are drive-thru centres in Casselman and Limoges and a walk-up site in Hawkesbury that doesn't require people to call ahead.Its medical officer of health says the Casselman centre will be moved to reduce its impact on traffic.Others in Alexandria, Rockland, Cornwall and Winchester require an appointment.In Kingston, the city's test site is now at the Beechgrove Complex near King Street West and Portsmouth Avenue.Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call ahead.People can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville, Picton or Trenton by calling the centre. Only Belleville and Trenton run seven days a week and also offer online booking.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit has walk-in sites in Kemptville and Brockville. There are permanent testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment, along with a pop-up site by appointment in Perth today.There is a first-come, first-served site at the Merrickville Community Centre tomorrow.Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor. Those without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.People can also visit the health unit's website to find out where testing clinics will be taking place each week.In western Quebec:Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.They can call 1-877-644-4545 if they have other questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms. People without symptoms can also get a test.WATCH | Three Quebec regions now in red alert:First Nations, Inuit and Métis:Akwesasne has had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases, most linked to a gathering on an island in July.It has a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only.Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.Inuit in Ottawa can also call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse.For more information
A Neguac man who murdered two teenagers and left another for dead in two small communities near Miramichi 34 years ago has been permitted to continue his day parole for another six months. The decision by the Parole Board of Canada comes four months after Kenneth Esson, now 56, was denied full parole and had his day parole revoked after they said he had an "unrealistic belief" that he had no risk of reoffending. Esson has been serving a life sentence for first and second degree murder, attempted murder and sexual assault since March 3,1987 and his parole eligibility was set at 25 years."In coming to a decision to continue your day parole, the Board remains ever mindful of the nature and gravity of your offences. You are responsible for the violent and brutal murder, sexual assault and attack on two young girls and your ex-partner," the two board members wrote in the September decision. Esson pleaded guilty to murdering 13-year-old Tara Prokosh and 19-year Theresa McLaughlin and the attempted murder of 14-year-old Gina Guitard. Prokosh and Guitard were attacked by Esson on Aug. 11, 1986 after he followed them as the two were out biking on a dirt road in Lower Newcastle, N.B. He forced them to strip, raped the older girl and stabbed them repeatedly. Prokosh died but Guitard survived and was found the next morning by her family who had spent the night searching for the two girls. While RCMP searched for the person responsible for the attack, they released a police sketch. Esson took pains to alter his looks by growing a mustache and getting a perm in his hair. Victim known to himSix weeks after the attack on the young teenagers, Esson, who was in the process of separating from his wife, called McLaughlin, who also lived in Neguac, and the two met, drank together and had consensual sex. The two then argued over the identity of the father of McLaughlin's infant son and Esson choked her until she was unconscious. He then drove to a gravel pit where she regained consciousness and continued to argue. Esson then pushed her out of his vehicle, she lost consciousness and he hit her in the head with two large rocks, killing her. Esson fled the province but returned and was arrested after a witness said he had been with McLaughlin. He was then linked to the first attack through descriptions of his vehicle.The parole board decision, released from the Pacific Region which covers British Columbia, says Esson was denied full parole in Jan. 2018 but granted day parole for three months.The day parole was continued and reviewed without issues until it was revoked in May 2020 when Esson was seeking full parole again.At that time the board said they felt Esson's "lack of insight" into several issues including the sexual component of his reoffending, his lack of transparency with his case management team regarding a relationship and discontinuing his sex drive reducing medication found his "risk in the community was undue." Based on a psychiatric risk assessment requested by the parole board, it was noted by a psychiatrist that taking the medication was critical for Esson to manage his risk in the community. Esson's day parole was reinstated a month later with a change in the conditions and he was given a written reprimand. The decision states Esson "gained further insight and appreciation for the need to be open and attentive to the details" of his risk management. As part of his condition to be allowed out on day parole again, Esson has to take his sex drive reducing medication. 'Shock, horror, pain'CBC News has learned Esson is living in a halfway house in Victoria, B.C., works full time and has weekend passes to stay in a basement suite he maintains. In the decision the parole board tells Esson they "remain ever mindful of the nature and gravity of his offences." "The extreme seriousness of your offences, and the significance of the harm you have caused can not be understated. The long standing harm and impact on the victim and surviving family members is always front of mind." The parole board said the victim impact statements which describe the "shock, horror, pain, overwhelming grief and trauma your actions caused" show his violent actions still have a "profound effect on the surviving family members, and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future."
PARIS — News that the world’s most powerful man was infected with the world’s most notorious disease dominated screens large and small, drawing shock, sympathy and some barbs for President Donald Trump. The outpouring from world leaders and flagging markets Friday left little doubt that Trump's illness will have global implications — even if they're still unknown. Trump's announcement on Twitter that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus prompted a multitude of responses on the same platform, as well as others. The positive test reading adds to investors' worries, especially about its effect on the Nov. 3 election between the Republican president and Democrat Joe Biden. U.S. stock futures and most world markets fell on the news as did the price of oil. From India to Qatar to Mexico, world leaders were quick to offer official sympathy from the top, many in the form of tweets directly to Trump, while something approaching schadenfreude bubbled up from elsewhere. Trump is the most prominent on a growing list of powerful people who have contracted the virus, including many who were skeptical of the disease. Among his well-wishers were at least two who have recovered from the illness. “I'm sure that your inherent vitality, good spirits and optimism will help you cope with the dangerous virus,” Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote in a direct message to Trump released by the Kremlin. World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted “My best wishes to President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS for a full and speedy recovery.” The Trump administration in July formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from WHO, although the pullout won’t take effect until next year. Trump claims the U.N. health agency is in need of reform and is heavily influenced by China. The U.N. secretary-general also sent in best wishes. Italian right-wing opposition leader Matteo Salvini tweeted: “In Italy and in the world, whoever celebrates the illness of a man or of a woman, and who comes to wish the death of a neighbour, confirms what he is: An idiot without soul. A hug to Melania and Donald.? British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalized for a week in April after he contracted COVID-19, wished Trump a “speedy recovery.” Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who also recently recovered from a serious bout with coronavirus, has sent a message to Trump and the first lady extending his best wishes for a speedy recovery. “I know this illness from direct experience, that can manifest itself also in an insidious way, but which can be overcome with correct and courageous behaviour,? Berlusconi said in a message. Dr. Bharat Pankhania, who advises Johnson's government on communicable disease control, said he hopes that Trump’s positive test sends a message. “We need politicians, especially politicians like President Trump who has a lot of power and influence, to take this seriously and to support their scientists and clinicians in leading the outbreak management, rather than have political influence in trying to deny that this virus is in circulation and drag your feet around control measures because it suited your agenda.” Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, speaking at a weekly news conference, did not mention Trump's reluctance to wear masks when asked about his infection, but she said the news “reminded me of how widely masks are worn in Japan.” Major media across the globe played up the announcement, with bulletins crawling across TV screens in Paris and Rome, Seoul and Beijing. “To say this potentially could be a big deal is an understatement,” Rabobank said in a commentary. “Everything now takes a backseat to the latest incredible twist in this U.S. election campaign.” China’s official Xinhua News Agency flashed the news, and an anchor on state broadcaster CCTV announced it. Late Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying tweeted that he was “saddened to learn President and the FirstLady of the US tested positive. Hope they both have a speedy recovery and will be fine.” The positive test result was the most searched topic in China on the widely used social media app Weibo for hours after the announcement, with most comments mocking or critical. One user darkly joked that Trump had finally tweeted something positive. The Chinese government has bristled at Trump’s attempts to blame China, where the disease emerged, for the pandemic and called for global co-operation in fighting it. It's a message that has resonated with the public. Hu Xijin, the outspoken editor of the state-owned Global Times newspaper, tweeted in English that “President Trump and the first lady have paid the price for his gamble to play down the COVID-19.” Multiple Arab news media outlets continuously broadcast footage of Trump and his wife after the virus announcement. Al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned satellite channel based in Dubai, cut to a long live shot of the White House. Qatari state-owned Al Jazeera channel brought in four commentators to discuss the “prevailing state of uncertainty” in the United States, questioning whether Trump could effectively steer a reelection campaign and run the country from quarantine. Middle East leaders closely allied to the U.S. sent out their best wishes, including Kuwait's new ruling emir. Iranian state television announced Trump had the virus, an anchor breaking the news with an unflattering image of the U.S. president surrounded by what appeared to be giant coronaviruses. Later, an anchor noted that “the American president, who treated the coronavirus almost like it was nothing, finally caught it.” U.S.-Iran ties have suffered since Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers and reimposed crushing sanctions. Social media platforms were ablaze with questions and quick reactions to all the unknowns. Would Trump blame the Chinese? Would he thumb his nose at his critics and enemies by breezing through the quarantine without serious symptoms, tweeting away from the White House? Would he become gravely ill, or worse, and, if he did, what would that mean for the U.S. election, one of the most contentious in recent history? What would it mean for U.S. leadership during tumultuous times? While the uncertainty seemed palpable on a scroll through various social media in an array of languages, many seemed to revel in the announcement. And the satirical Australian news site, the Betoota Advocate, posted a story with this headline: “Trump Family Records More Cases Of Community Transmission Than Entire State Of Queensland.” ___ Foster Klug reported from Tokyo. Associated Press writers Danica Kirka in London, Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, Ashok Sharma in New Delhi, Ken Moritsugu in Beijing, Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, Mari Yamaguchi and Elaine Kurtenbach in Tokyo, and Colleen Barry in Milan contributed to this report. Lori Hinnant And Foster Klug, The Associated Press
With the prospect of being turned over to the private sector at any moment hanging over its head, Cannabis NB rushed its second-quarter financial results out in record time Thursday to report significant sales and profit increases through the summer. "A year ago we were asked to fix Cannabis New Brunswick and we did," president Patrick Parent said at a rare quarterly report news conference. "Cannabis New Brunswick has the most profit per capita in Canada, something we should all be proud of."According to unaudited results reported by the agency, sales over 13 weeks between June 29 and Sept. 27 rose to $20.1 million. That returned a $3.3-million profit.Both these figures are records and a stunning improvement over a year earlier.During the same quarter last summer, sales at Cannabis NB were just over half as much, or $10.7 million, and the Crown corporation lost $1.5 million.At the time, results were such a disappointment that Cannabis NB did not report them until Oct. 29, the full 30 days allowed by New Brunswick legislation after the quarter end. Thursday's results come less than four days after the most recent quarter, which ended on Sunday.CEO wants to keep it a Crown corporationParent did not directly say he was personally delivering the record results in record time to make a point with the Blaine Higgs government about its pending decision whether to unload the agency to the private sector.But he made it clear he wants Cannabis NB to remain a Crown corporation."We have a background plan we've been working on in the event where we are the chosen retailer," said Parent."We'll wait for the result. We all have to understand that everything we do — our profits go back to the community. It goes back to pay for services, schools, hospitals, repaying the debt, so we take that duty very seriously."Parent said he sees more opportunity to crowd out illegal sellers to further improve results. He said Cannabis NB, once known for high prices and poor selection, has shed that reputation and was the first legal retailer to offer cannabis for $100 per ounce ($3.53 per gram) after cutting corporate expenses and renegotiating prices with suppliers."We believe there is still a lot of potential within the market from a market share standpoint. We believe there is still a lot of room to grow," he said.Last November, following Cannabis NB's dismal performance in the first half of 2019, the Higgs government said it could not tolerate the losses and launched a country-wide search for a private-sector operator to take the agency over."This is part of our efforts to energize the private sector, get our financial house in order and maximize the benefits for taxpayers and the government," Finance Minister Ernie Steeves said at the time.Bids from several private parties have since been evaluated by the province, and during the recent provincial election Higgs said a privatization decision would be made by the new government.In an email, Finance Department spokesperson Jennifer Vienneau said that decision is coming soon, and Cannabis NB's recent success will be taken into consideration."We will continue to objectively compare Cannabis NB's latest projected figures with the offers we have on the table from the private sector," wrote Vienneau."We want to ensure New Brunswickers have a cannabis retail model that focuses on public health, education and safety and offers the best value for the New Brunswick taxpayers."
Big changes are coming to the look of this year’s Polaris Music Prize due to the pandemic. Organizers of the $50,000 award celebrating the best Canadian album of the year say they’ve commissioned a group of directors to bring to life each of the 10 nominated albums as short films. The “cinematic event” will be streamed online later this month, in lieu of the Polaris gala, which usually features live performances from most of the nominated artists.
Wisconsin's top election official said Thursday there were no Wisconsin absentee ballots amid mail that was discovered in a ditch outside of Appleton last week. Meagan Wolfe, administrator for the Wisconsin Elections Commission, said the U.S. Postal Service investigation into what was found is ongoing, but she had been told there were no Wisconsin ballots among the mail found. Wolfe said she did not know if ballots from another state were in the mail.
On Aug. 29, 1964, five men stormed the International Firearms, a Montreal gun shop, with lethal consequences. In this later report, Radio-Canada describes the incident.