In this near a bog in Newfoundland, these trees have slumped over from the weight of the ice.
In this near a bog in Newfoundland, these trees have slumped over from the weight of the ice.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans ousted Rep. Liz Cheney from her post as the chamber’s No. 3 GOP leader on Wednesday, punishing her after she repeatedly rebuked former President Donald Trump for his false claims of election fraud and his role in inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Meeting behind closed doors for less than 20 minutes, GOP lawmakers used a voice vote to remove the Wyoming congresswoman from her leadership post, the latest evidence that challenging Trump can be career-threatening. She was Congress’ highest-ranking Republican woman, a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, and her removal marked a jarring turnabout to what’s been her fast rise within the party. Cheney has refused to stop repudiating Trump and defiantly signaled after the meeting that she intended to use her overthrow to try pointing the party away from him. “I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office,” she told reporters. Cheney's fate had been clear for some time with Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and No. 2 GOP leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana all arrayed against her. GOP lawmakers complained that Cheney’s offense wasn’t her view of Trump but her persistence in publicly expressing it, undermining the unity they want party leaders to display in advance of next year’s elections, when they hope to win House control. Even so, stripping Cheney, 54, of her leadership job stood as a striking, perhaps defining moment for the GOP. One of the nation’s two major parties was in effect declaring an extraordinary requirement for admission to its highest ranks: fealty to, or at least silence about, Trump’s lie that he lost his November reelection bid due to widespread fraud. In states around the country, officials and judges of both parties found no evidence to support Trump’s claims that extensive illegalities caused his defeat. Cheney’s replacement was widely expected to be Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who entered the House in 2015 at age 30, then the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Stefanik owns a more moderate voting record than Cheney but has evolved into a vigorous Trump defender who’s echoed some of his unfounded claims about widespread election cheating. It was initially unclear when the separate vote on Cheney’s replacement would occur. Wednesday's voice vote averted a specific public gauge of how much support Cheney may have had, though it had become clear that sentiment among the 212 House Republicans was strongly for her removal. Cheney, who did little to try to rally support among her colleagues, made clear that she was plunging ahead on her anti-Trump path. “We must go forward based on truth," she said. "We cannot both embrace the big lie and embrace the Constitution.” Cheney has told Republicans she intends to remain in Congress and seek reelection next year in her solidly pro-Trump state. The former president has said he’ll find a GOP primary challenger to oppose her. In an audacious signal that she was not backing down, Cheney took to a nearly empty House chamber Tuesday night to deliver an unapologetic four-minute assault on her GOP adversaries and defense of her own position. “Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar,” she said, adding, “I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president's crusade to undermine our democracy.” Many Republicans consider a turn away from Trump to be political suicide and agree with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who’s said the allegiance many GOP voters have to the former president is so intense that the party can’t succeed without him. Trump raced to a rancorous victory lap after Cheney's removal. “Liz Cheney is a bitter, horrible human being. I watched her yesterday and realized how bad she is for the Republican Party. She has no personality or anything good having to do with politics or our Country. She is a talking point for Democrats, whether that means the Border, the gas lines, inflation, or destroying our economy. ” Before Wednesday's vote, Cheney all but erected billboards advertising her clash with Trump, declaring in a Washington Post column last week, “The Republican Party is at a turning point, and Republicans must decide whether we are going to choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution.” She arrived in Congress in 2017 with a well-known brand as an old-school conservative, favoring tax cuts, energy development and an assertive use of U.S. power abroad. By November 2018 she was elected to her current leadership job unopposed and seemed on an ambitious pathway, potentially including runs at becoming speaker, senator or even president. She occasionally disagreed with Trump during his presidency over issues like the U.S. withdrawal from Syria and his attacks on Dr. Anthony Fauci over the pandemic. But her career hit turbulence in January once she became one of 10 House Republicans to back his second impeachment for inciting his supporters' deadly Capitol assault. The Senate acquitted him. In a memorable statement before the House impeachment vote, Cheney said: “The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing.” Her words — and her pre-vote announcement, which allowed Democrats to cite her opposition during the debate — infuriated many House Trump supporters. She withstood a February effort to boot her from leadership in a 145-61 secret ballot, with a McCarthy speech on her behalf credited with saving her. That didn't happen this time. Stefanik also arrived in Congress with sterling GOP establishment credentials. A Harvard graduate, she worked in President George W. Bush's White House and for the campaign of the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, Wisconsin Rep. and later Speaker Paul Ryan. Her district, bordering Canada and Vermont, voted twice for Barack Obama and then twice for Trump in the past four presidential elections. She opposed Trump's trademark 2017 tax cut and his efforts to unilaterally spend billions on his Southwestern border wall. Stefanik grabbed center stage as a fierce Trump defender in 2019 as the House impeached him over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to produce damaging information about Joe Biden, his Democratic rival. Senate acquittal followed. While Stefanik has won admiration from Trump, some of Washington's hardest-right conservatives have remained suspicious of her moderate record. Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, wrote colleagues Tuesday chastising “Republicans who campaign as Republicans but then vote for and advance the Democrats' agenda once sworn in.” No Stefanik challenger has yet emerged, and other conservatives like Scalise and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, are in her camp. ___ AP reporter Jill Colvin contributed to this report. Alan Fram And Kevin Freking, The Associated Press
REGINA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canadians can expect a “one-dose summer" as more COVID-19 vaccines are delivered, but Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says people in his province can expect better than that. "The fact of the matter is, we’re not going to have a Trudeau summer here in Saskatchewan," Moe told a news conference Tuesday. “We’re going to have a one-dose spring and quite likely a two-dose summer, as we are planning to have second doses available to everyone in the province by sometime in the middle of July.” About 40 per cent of Canadians are vaccinated with at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Saskatchewan is running ahead of national numbers, with about 50 per cent of adults — and more than 70 per cent of those aged 40 and over — having already received their first dose. That 70 per cent marker is one of the key thresholds in the first step of Saskatchewan's reopening plan, which Moe said he expects will come into effect on May 30. That will be three weeks after 70 per cent of adults over 40 have had a first dose, and the province expects all Saskatchewan adults will be eligible to be vaccinated by that date as well. Moe said this gradual reopening plan meets the province’s public health and economic needs, even if the initial vaccination threshold is lower than the federal government’s recommendation to vaccinate 75 per cent of adults before loosening restrictions. “I think it’s important for us to recognize — and important for the prime minister to recognize — that we’re not going to just turn a switch and the economy comes on when we hit 75 per cent or some magic number,” said Moe. “You need to gradually reopen the economy, bring people back into their communities and allow people time to reintegrate back into what life used to be like.” The province is expecting to start administering second doses later this month. There were 186 new infections reported Tuesday, and four more deaths due to the virus. The province said there were 2,064 active cases and 162 people in the hospital, with 38 in intensive care. After hundreds of demonstrators attended protests over COVID-19 restrictions in Regina and Saskatoon over the weekend, Moe reminded those who are frustrated that vaccines — not protests — are the best way to get those measures lifted. “The absolute, bar-none, best way to have the public health measures removed is to make your appointment, go receive your first vaccine and as soon as you’re eligible … get your second shot,” he said. With "a very, very few" number of Oxford-AstraZeneca shots left in the province, Moe said health officials are also tweaking some of their vaccine rollout plans. Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Scott Livingstone said the province is no longer using AstraZeneca vaccines for first doses due to a lack of supply. “We simply don’t have enough of the vaccine in the province,” he said. Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, said he is following ongoing studies about the efficacy of mixing and matching vaccines. “There is good information emerging — and we will be confirming the same over the next two weeks — that Pfizer especially as a second dose is perfectly safe and effective if your first dose was AstraZeneca,” he said. “And if we have AstraZeneca at that time, it can be offered as well. (But) either vaccine is fine and, likely, based on supply, Pfizer would be the second dose." This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2021. — By Julia Peterson in Saskatoon The Canadian Press
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A man who fatally shot six people at a Colorado birthday party before killing himself was upset after not being invited to the weekend gathering thrown by his girlfriend’s family, police said Tuesday, calling the shooting an act of domestic violence. The shooter, 28-year-old Teodoro Macias, had been in a relationship with one of the victims, 28-year-old Sandra Ibarra, for about a year and had history of controlling and jealous behavior, Colorado Springs police Lt. Joe Frabbiele said at a news conference. Police said there were no reported incidents of domestic violence during the relationship and that the shooter didn't have a criminal history. No protective orders were in place. “At the core of this horrific act is domestic violence,” Police Chief Vince Niski said, adding that the gunman had “displayed power and control issues” in the relationship. About a week before the shooting, there was another family gathering where there “was some sort of conflict” between the family and Macias, Niski said. The other victims of the shooting early Sunday were Ibarra’s extended family. Investigators don’t know yet how the shooter got the weapon, which Frabbiele described as a Smith & Wesson handgun. He said it was originally purchased by someone else in 2014 at local gun store but was not reported stolen. The gunman had two 15-round magazines, one of which was empty, and police recovered 17 spent shells at the scene. The shooting occurred at a home in the Canterbury Mobile Home Park on the east side of Colorado’s second-largest city. Three children at the party, ages 2, 5 and 11, were not hurt. All were orphaned by the shooting and were transferred to the custody of relatives, Frabielle said. Police say the families of the victims had requested privacy. “In Colorado, we’ve had domestic terrorism incidents where lots of people were killed, we’ve had random acts like going into a King Soopers or a movie theater, but let’s not forget about the lethality of domestic violence,” Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said. He was referring to a March 22 attack on a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, that killed 10 people, including a police officer, and a 2012 shooting at a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora that killed 12 and injured 70. The weekend attack follows a series of mass shootings — defined as four or more dead, not including the shooter — to plague the U.S. this year. Before the Colorado Springs shooting, a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University showed there had been at least 11 mass shootings since Jan. 1, compared with just two public mass shootings in 2020. Colorado Springs saw a 2015 attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic that killed three people, including a police officer, and injured eight others. In 2007, a man killed two people and wounded three at Colorado Springs’ New Life Church before taking his own life. Earlier the same day, he’d killed two people and injured two at a Youth With a Mission Center in the Denver suburb of Arvada. After the Boulder shooting, Colorado lawmakers introduced a bill to create a state Office of Gun Violence Prevention to educate residents about gun safety and collect data on Colorado gun violence. Other bills advancing through the Democratic-led Legislature would tighten background checks, allow municipalities greater freedom to adopt gun control laws that are stricter than state law, and require a person facing a protection order related to domestic violence to report what firearms they possess. ___ Associated Press writers James Anderson and Patty Nieberg in Denver contributed to this report. ___ This story has been corrected to show that Colorado Springs police Lt. Joe Frabbiele's last name was misspelled. Thomas Peipert, The Associated Press
VICTORIA — British Columbia recorded 515 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, continuing a downward trend of infections as the vaccination rate accelerates. Health officials say in a news release that 6,020 people have active infections, 426 of whom are hospitalized, including 141 in intensive care. Two more people have died, bringing the death toll to 1,624. More than 2.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, 110,516 of which are second doses. The government is also extending the provincial state of emergency through May 25, saying it would allow health and emergency management officials to keep using extraordinary powers to support the pandemic response. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix urged every adult to register amid "ample" vaccine supply. “The number of people protected with a COVID-19 vaccine is going up every day, and the number of people requiring care in hospital is trending down," the joint statement says. "This is what we want to see and what we want to keep going." Most British Columbians are doing their part, but officials continue issuing tickets to owners, operators and event organizers who don't, Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general, says in a statement. "By following orders for the next while and avoiding non-essential travel, you'll be doing your part to get us all through this sooner,' Farnworth says. Non-essential travel outside of a person's health authority is currently prohibited. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2021. The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange: Toronto Stock Exchange (19,274.04, down 87.84 points.) Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Energy. Down 24 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $48.19 on 24.5 million shares. Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU). Energy. Down 57 cents, or 2.02 per cent, to $27.67 on 15.9 million shares. Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financials. Down 40 cents, or 1.54 per cent, to $25.62 on 13.7 million shares. Zenabis Global Inc. (TSX:ZENA). Health care. Unchanged at 14 cents on 11.7 million shares. Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc. (TSX:TBP). Health care. Down 9.5 cents, or 20.65 per cent, to 36.5 cents on 11.4 million shares. Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY). Down 97 cents, or 0.81 per cent, to $119.41 on 6.6 million shares. Companies in the news: Royal Bank of Canada — Royal Bank of Canada and Tangerine ranked highest among Canadian banks this year as overall customer satisfaction among major financial institutions dropped during the pandemic, a prominent market research company reported Tuesday. J.D. Power said this dissatisfaction was driven by people having their personal finances affected by the pandemic, which led to more disputes around issues like fees. Problem resolution had the greatest decline, while other factors such as lack of convenience and issues around products and fees contributed to the industry-wide drop, it said. A drop in satisfaction was most apparent with Canada's Big Five banks – RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, BMO Bank of Montreal and CIBC, the report says. The trend was at odds with its U.S. survey, where 63 per cent of customers said they felt supported by their bank, as opposed to only 43 per cent in Canada, the company said. Domtar Corp. (TSX:UFS). Up $9.68 or 16.9 per cent to $66.96. Paper Excellence is expanding into the U.S. with a deal to buy Domtar Corp. in an agreement with an enterprise value of about US$3 billion. The Richmond, B.C.-based company will pay US$55 per Domtar share in cash, a 37 per cent premium from May 3 when a media report disclosed a possible transaction. The companies say Paper Excellence intends to continue the operations of Domtar as a stand-alone entity. They say it will be led by its management team and Paper Excellence plans to keep its corporate and production locations. Domtar CEO John Williams said the Paper Excellence transaction allows its shareholders to realize cash value at a significant premium. Domtar's board unanimously approved the agreement, which is expected to close in the second half of the year, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. Suncor Energy Inc. — Oilsands producer Suncor Energy Inc. is partnering with utility Atco Ltd. on a "multibillion-dollar" project to produce more than 300,000 tonnes per year of hydrogen. The Calgary-based companies say the project will help Canada reach its 2050 target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions — and aid their own GHG reduction goals — by capturing and storing more than 90 per cent of the carbon dioxide produced from energy required to make the hydrogen. The project would reduce Alberta's CO2 emissions by more than two million tonnes per year, they said. There's no capital cost estimate yet for the project, but Atco chair and CEO Nancy Southern said it will certainly be a "multibillion-dollar" facility. The project as presented is a "positive" step by industry, but it's difficult to weigh its benefit against other choices with the available information, said Chris Severson-Baker, Alberta regional director for the Pembina Institute environmental think tank. Centerra Gold Inc. (TSX:CG). Up $1.03 or 12.5 per cent to $9.28. Centerra Gold Inc. reported a first-quarter profit of US$167.4 million as it faces trouble in the Kyrgyz Republic that may affect its ownership of the Kumtor mine. The Canadian gold miner says the Kyrgyz Republic Parliament passed a law last week that would allow the government to impose “external management” on the project if Kumtor Gold Co. violates certain Kyrgyz laws. Centerra also says Kumtor Gold Co. was ordered by a Kyrgyz Republic court last week to pay more than US$3 billion in damages after a ruling that its past practice of placing waste rock on glaciers was illegal. In addition, the company says it has received further tax assessments from the Kyrgyz Republic State Tax Service which, when combined with previous tax claims, amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. The company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, says its profit for the quarter ended March 31 amounted to 57 cents per share on US$401.9 million in revenue compared with a profit of US$20 million or seven cents per share on US$378.8 million in revenue a year ago. George Weston Ltd. (TSX:WN). Down $1.33 or 1.2 per cent to $113.29. George Weston Ltd. reported a loss in its latest quarter compared with a profit a year ago as it was hit by one-time charges. The company says its net loss available to common shareholders was $62 million or 41 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended March 27. The result compared with a profit of $582 million or $3.78 per diluted share a year earlier. George Weston says the loss came as it recorded an unfavourable fair value adjustment of a trust unit liability as a result of the increase in Choice Properties REIT unit prices in the quarter. On an adjusted basis, the company says it earned $243 million or $1.59 per diluted share for the quarter, up from an adjusted profit of $239 million or $1.55 per diluted share a year ago. Revenue for the quarter totalled $12.35 billion, up from $12.33 billion in the same quarter last year. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2021. The Canadian Press
LOD, Israel (Reuters) -Jews cleared Torah scrolls from a torched synagogue on Wednesday and burnt-out cars lined nearby streets after violence erupted in mixed Arab-Jewish towns in Israel over Israeli air strikes in Gaza and clashes in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a state of emergency in Lod, near Tel Aviv, after reports that members of Israel's 21% Arab minority had set fire to synagogues and that Jews had stoned cars driven by Arab residents.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged provinces today to maintain strict public health measures until COVID-19 case counts are much lower than they are now — so that Canadians can enjoy a "one-dose summer." Speaking to reporters at a COVID-19 briefing, Trudeau said that with the steady supply of vaccines now streaming into the country, there will be enough shots to immunize every eligible Canadian with at least one dose by the end of June. But vaccinations alone will not crush the third wave stretching the country's health care system to its limits, he added. Trudeau said tough public health restrictions, like the lockdowns in Ontario, should be kept in place for the foreseeable future to drive COVID-19 case counts to more manageable levels. Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, said Monday the number of new cases reported daily in the province needs to be well below 1,000 before he can recommend lifting restrictions. Ontario reported 2,073 new infections today. Alberta — the province with the largest per capita case count in the country — reported 1,597 new cases over the last 24 hours. 'We can have a better summer' Continued restrictions throughout May and early June, combined with a strong vaccine uptake, will allow Canadians to enjoy something like a normal summer, Trudeau said. "We all know, in some places, cases are really high. We can't ease public health restrictions until cases are way down. We all want to have a summer where we can see our loved ones and invite our friends over for BBQs," Trudeau said. "We can have a better summer, a one-dose summer." Pointing to modelling data from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Trudeau said provinces should begin to lift public health restrictions only once 75 per cent of the adult population has had at least one vaccine dose. WATCH: Trudeau urges Canadians to get their first vaccine Some provinces are on track to do that before Canada Day — but reaching that goal will require most Canadians to roll up their sleeves for a jab when their turn comes. "We need to crush COVID right across the country," Trudeau said. The prime minister said easing lockdowns and other restrictive measures too soon would only lead to another wave of COVID-19 cases that would disrupt the country's progress on vaccinations. According to federal data, 40 per cent of the adult population has had one shot already. Trudeau said that a one-dose summer would be followed a "two-dose fall," when many more Canadians will have access to a second booster COVID-19 shot. Trudeau said he's "excited" to think about a future when vaccines are plentiful and COVID-19 outbreaks can be managed through contact tracing and targeted measures, instead of indiscriminate closures. Getting there will require continued "vigilance" so that provinces "can get the new cases totally under control," he said. In question period in the House of Commons today, Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner said the prime minister's promise of a "two-dose fall" will leave many Canadians wondering when exactly they'll get their second doses, and whether they'll fall within the 16-week time frame recommended by National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). For some recipients, a second appointment in the fall would be well past the four-month interval recommended by the vaccine advisory panel, Rempel Garner said. "Many Canadians may now be wondering ... if this means a longer period of lockdowns due to delayed vaccines," she said. She asked Health Minister Patty Hajdu to give an exact date when all Canadians can expect to be fully vaccinated. Hajdu didn't answer the question but said Canada is now administering more COVID-19 doses daily than any other country in the G7. "We can see the finish line," the minister said. Canada following 'evolving science' around AstraZeneca shot: Tam Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said keeping up restrictions on social and economic life now will help the country avoid a fourth wave later. Tam has suggest provinces should follow a formula before easing lockdowns: 75 per cent of population should have at least one shot with at least 20 per cent fully vaccinated with both doses. The only way to beat back the virus once and for all is to get a critical mass of Canadians vaccinated, Tam said. Speaking to reporters before Ontario announced it was suspending the use of the AstraZeneca product for first doses because of the risk of vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), Tam said Canada will procure enough doses of that vaccine to give everyone who got a first dose a second shot of the same product. Concerns have been raised about rare blood clotting events in people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine. Tam said other options could be made available to Canadians based on the results of an ongoing U.K. study. Oxford University is studying a "mismatched" vaccine regimen to test the results of giving one dose of AstraZeneca followed by a Pfizer booster shot. While the trial data have not yet been released, some scientists have suggested such a mix could produce a stronger immune response than two doses of the same product. WATCH: Tam talks about AstraZeneca second doses and mixing vaccines "We are following the evolving science to provide the most up-to-date advice on whether a mix of schedule is the appropriate way to go," Tam said. The federal government "will continue to monitor" the AstraZeneca safety and supply situation — the next delivery dates for this product have not yet been finalized — but it will ultimately be up to the provinces to "make determinations about the exact details of their vaccine rollout," Trudeau said. Most of the 2.2 million AstraZeneca doses that have been delivered to Canada have been deployed already and it's not clear when the next batch will arrive. Facing this supply crunch, Alberta Health Services said Tuesday it will hold back the few AstraZeneca shots it has left — there are only 8,400 doses remaining — for second shots. "We will continue to monitor the emerging research and keep Albertans informed in the weeks ahead. We will continue to adapt to the supply available and emerging research," a spokesperson for the department said. Christian Dubé, Quebec's health minister, said today his province has "hardly any doses left." He said the province is waiting for guidance from NACI before proceeding with second doses for AstraZeneca recipients. "More AstraZeneca could be given as a second dose or we could mix vaccines if the studies agree," he said. "In Quebec, we are happy and we have succeeded and people are protected with AstraZeneca," he said.
MONTREAL — After years in and out of jail in Dubai, one escape attempt, and being embroiled in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme, André Gauthier is finally home.Gauthier, a geologist who spent years in legal limbo after allegedly uncovering fraud in a gold company, said on Tuesday he was at a Dubai hotel last week when he received a call from authorities telling him he could leave the country.The criminal charges against him had been dropped last June but it took nearly a year to get parallel civil cases dismissed and for authorities to negotiate his release."It was Day 328 that I'd been waiting for that call," he said in a phone interview from Quebec City, referring to the time he spent waiting to leave Dubai after the criminal charges were dropped."I don't have to tell you, I didn't sleep that night."The 67-year-old said he was first arrested in 2015 after he alerted authorities in the United Arab Emirates to irregular dealings in gold-trading company Gold AE.He and his lawyer, however, say he was made a scapegoat in the $30-million fraud case after the real perpetrators left the country and the company's investors filed complaints against him.Gauthier said the hardest thing about his ordeal was feeling unheard. "You think you’re doing the right thing by whistleblowing something and bringing it to the authorities, and bringing it to the leadership of the company,” said Gauthier, who was himself one of the company's directors.“(You feel) like you’re doing all this for nothing, basically because nobody wanted to solve it."A low point came when Gauthier, who was facing about 70 criminal charges, tried to escape to Oman in 2019 and was intercepted and jailed. It was the only time his faith in his release wavered."I just sent a message to my son, my wife and my daughter to say that they better be forgetting me because with what I had in front of me, I don't know when or if I would be back," he said.U.K.-based lawyer Radha Stirling credits the Canadian government for making a sustained diplomatic effort to free her client, as well as Gauthier's family for lobbying tirelessly for his release."I think the Canadian government's done a good job and set a very good example to other countries on how this can be done," she said in a phone interview on Tuesday. Her only criticism is that she feels it took too long to secure his freedom. The real perpetrators of the case, Stirling said, have not been brought to justice.Stirling, founder of the organization Detained in Dubai, said she also believes foreign governments need to do more to stand up to the U.A.E. government. "These money-laundering scams in the U.A.E. are going on all the time and we're getting more and more, and they're targeting Canadian investors and American investors, and we're turning a blind eye to this kind of abuse," she said.Gauthier said his father died in Quebec while he was detained, and he exhausted his financial resources fighting the cases. Now home quarantining with his wife, he says he'll spend the next few weeks and months getting his driver's licence and health insurance back, and wants to visit his extended family in Quebec's Saguenay region. Eventually, he's interested in getting back into the mining industry.He wants to pass on a message to the families of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the two Canadians who have been detained in China in an apparent retaliation for Canada's arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, to tell them not to give up."I can tell those families it’s important to keep the faith that the government will try to find a solution," he said."How long will it take, unfortunately it’s a file that’s much more complicated than mine, but they have to keep the hope that everything will work out in a reasonable time frame."This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2021. Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
The Higgs government is cutting income taxes to offset the impact of carbon taxes on the majority of New Brunswickers. Finance Minister Ernie Steeves introduced legislation Tuesday that would lower the tax rate on the lower income bracket from 9.68 per cent to 9.4 per cent, a rate that applies to the first $43,835 of income. The tax cut accounts for $28 million of the $163 million in carbon tax revenue the province will collect this year under a pricing system it adopted to comply with the federal government's requirements. "It is anticipated to benefit over 420,000 taxpayers, putting money back in the pockets of the taxpayers," Steeves said, as he introduced the bill. The Progressive Conservatives had faced calls to use the revenue on climate fund projects. Tax cut 'a sensible approach' But returning the money to New Brunswickers falls in line with calls by many economists and environmentalists. "It's a sensible approach," said University of Ottawa economist Nic Rivers, an expert on carbon pricing, who said it creates a disincentive to burn fossil fuels while giving people more money to stimulate the economy. Nic Rivers, an economist at the University of Ottawa, commended the province's tax cut in the context of offsetting the carbon tax.(Nicholas Rivers) "This is 'tax what you burn, not what you earn,'" Rivers said. Premier Blaine Higgs said it was always the goal of the federal plan to have at least a portion of carbon tax revenue refunded to consumers. "That was kind of the principle, and that's why we did it," he said. In provinces that have refused to adopt carbon prices, Ottawa is applying the tax and is sending people rebates. The national climate plan requires provinces to tax greenhouse gas emissions at $40 per tonne this year, which translates into 8.8 cents per litre of gasoline. Last year Higgs opted to slash the provincial gas excise tax to partially offset the carbon tax. But this year, rather than slash it even more — an approach Ottawa frowns on — he said he wanted to find another way to return some of the money to New Brunswickers. Use extra revenue to further reduce emissions, says opposition Opposition Liberal Leader Roger Melanson said he calculated the tax cut would work out to $68 per person per year. "It's not significant when you stop and do the math." Melanson said he'd rather see the $28 million used to pay for more government programs to reduce emissions. Opposition Liberal leader Roger Melanson says he wants to see the $28 million earned from income tax cuts used to fund programs to reduce emissions.(CBC News) Higgs said Melanson's per-person math "wouldn't be far off," but he said the reduction is an important signal the province wants lower taxes. "This is a start to continue the momentum that we're feeling right now in our province, the people who want to live here, who want to work here," he said. But he ruled out using the entire $163 million in carbon tax revenue for a much larger income tax cut. "There's a balance here," he said. The income tax cut only accounts for a small portion of the total carbon tax revenue this year, and $36 million will still be devoted to climate change projects, about the same as last year. Ottawa requires the carbon tax to increase each year, and the premier said he could lower income taxes further each year in tandem with carbon price hikes. "I'd like to say yes," he said. "A tax reduction is as good as a wage increase." Steeves's bill also raises the low-income tax threshold to $17,840 from $17,630. People below that threshold pay no provincial income tax.
Gerald "Spike" Peachey, a longtime Downtown Eastside resident and safe drug use advocate, has died at the age of 55. Sarah Blyth, executive director of the Overdose Prevention Society, says Peachey represented the Downtown Eastside community with his activism. "He was a really, really big champion of overdose prevention," said Blyth, who met Peachey almost 10 years ago. Blyth told Early Edition host Stephen Quinn that Peachey was one of the first volunteers at the Overdose Prevention Society, he spoke as an advocate for many organizations, and was a contributor at Megaphone Magazine. Sarah Blyth, executive director of the Overdose Prevention Society, is pictured in Vancouver on Tuesday. (Ben Nelms/CBC) Another friend of Peachey's, Kevin King, who is a founding member of OPS, described Peachey as "a warm, gentle character, with a heart of gold." King says Peachey's death came as a complete shock to him as he had seen him the day before. "He was always a big activist for removing the stigma of being an addict. And basically his main goal was to be able to walk side by side with normal people just like anyone else and not be judged or looked down upon," King said. Kevin King, a founding member of OPS, is pictured in Vancouver on Tuesday. (Ben Nelms/CBC) Peachey even took a shot at city council when he ran as an independent candidate in 2018 with the slogan "put a spike through Vancouver City Hall." "He cared really deeply and he did go to every different community. I mean, he campaigned harder than most people," Blyth said. As the overdose crisis continues to worsen in B.C., Blyth says the loss of Peachey will be felt by everyone in the community. "We really can't afford to lose voices like Spike because, you know, there's still so much stigma." In April, B.C. marked five years since declaring a public health emergency due to overdose deaths. The provincial government announced soon after that they are taking steps to become the first province in the country to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs. Jessica Hannon worked closely with Peachey at Megaphone Magazine. (Ben Nelms/CBC) Jessica Hannon, former executive director with Megaphone Magazine, worked closely with Peachey over the years. She believes that the thousands of overdose deaths during the crisis could have been avoided if it weren't for the stigma around drug use. "We need to keep pushing forward. We need to say this is not acceptable and that people deserve better and we need decriminalization that is led by drug users," Hannon said. "I think that's what I'll remember about Spike, is that he would want us to keep fighting." Listen to Sarah Blyth talk about Gerald "Spike" Peachey's advocacy to eliminate the stigma of drug use:
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. There are 1,299,572 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 1,299,572 confirmed cases (78,039 active, 1,196,819 resolved, 24,714 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 5,373 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 205.34 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 49,623 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 7,089. There were 32 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 321 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 46. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 65.03 per 100,000 people. There have been 32,867,352 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,156 confirmed cases (81 active, 1,069 resolved, six deaths). There were 15 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 15.51 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 48 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is seven. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 250,666 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 187 confirmed cases (eight active, 179 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 5.01 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of four new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 150,343 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 4,152 confirmed cases (1,591 active, 2,490 resolved, 71 deaths). There were 118 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 162.45 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,145 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 164. There were zero new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.03 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 7.25 per 100,000 people. There have been 681,459 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 2,015 confirmed cases (137 active, 1,837 resolved, 41 deaths). There were two new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 17.53 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 57 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is eight. There were zero new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of three new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.05 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 5.25 per 100,000 people. There have been 316,040 tests completed. _ Quebec: 359,456 confirmed cases (7,817 active, 340,637 resolved, 11,002 deaths). There were 660 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 91.16 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,981 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 854. There were nine new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 43 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is six. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.07 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 128.31 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,622,017 tests completed. _ Ontario: 497,092 confirmed cases (31,151 active, 457,599 resolved, 8,342 deaths). There were 2,073 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 211.42 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 20,400 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,914. There were 15 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 199 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 28. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.19 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 56.62 per 100,000 people. There have been 14,378,482 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 42,779 confirmed cases (3,837 active, 37,945 resolved, 997 deaths). There were 329 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 278.19 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,966 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 424. There were zero new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 17 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.18 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 72.28 per 100,000 people. There have been 722,766 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 43,481 confirmed cases (2,064 active, 40,911 resolved, 506 deaths). There were 186 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 175.11 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,475 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 211. There were four new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of seven new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is one. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 42.93 per 100,000 people. There have been 800,782 tests completed. _ Alberta: 211,836 confirmed cases (24,998 active, 184,719 resolved, 2,119 deaths). There were 1,449 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 565.33 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 13,183 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,883. There were two new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 20 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is three. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.06 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.92 per 100,000 people. There have been 4,320,308 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 136,623 confirmed cases (6,217 active, 128,782 resolved, 1,624 deaths). There were 515 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 120.77 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 4,270 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 610. There were two new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 30 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 31.55 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,581,120 tests completed. _ Yukon: 84 confirmed cases (two active, 80 resolved, two deaths). There were two new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 4.76 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 4.76 per 100,000 people. There have been 9,129 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 112 confirmed cases (61 active, 51 resolved, zero deaths). There were 10 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 135.07 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 41 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is six. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 20,761 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 586 confirmed cases (75 active, 507 resolved, four deaths). There were 14 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 190.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 51 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is seven. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 10.16 per 100,000 people. There have been 13,403 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published May 11, 2021. The Canadian Press
A major business lobby group is urging the Quebec government to "rapidly" implement a vaccine passport system to regulate who can get into restaurants, stores and events. The federation of Quebec chambers of commerce said in a statement Tuesday that restricting some businesses to clients and staff who have been vaccinated would allow them to reopen earlier. "Proof of vaccination would make it easier to reopen restaurant dining rooms and hold events that would greatly help the tourism sector with summertime approaching," said the statement by the the federation, which represents around 50,000 businesses in Quebec. It is also pitching the passport system as a way to revive downtown cores around the province by allowing workers to head back to the office and fans to attend sporting events. "We've already lost the Montreal Grand Prix this year, and such an event could have been possible if a requirement for proof of vaccination was in place. We're hopeful that we'll be able to attend Montreal Canadiens playoff games," said Charles Milliard, the federation's president and executive director. With the QR code that Quebec will begin distributing Thursday to people receiving the vaccine, Milliard said the technology is now in place to set up a passport system quickly. Starting Thursday, Quebecers will have the option of receiving a QR code as proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. (Sylvain Roy Roussel/CBC) Health Minister Christian Dubé explained that the QR code — a scannable image that contains information — will be offered as a digital alternative to the paper proof of vaccination that is currently handed out. The government will not, for the moment, make publicly available the algorithm needed to unlock the coded information, Dubé said. That means businesses, or other non-governmental entities, won't be able to use the QR code to impose their own access restrictions. "There is no application for this right now, at all," Dubé said Tuesday at a news conference in Quebec City. But Quebec's public health department is studying the possibility of setting up a passport system along the lines suggested by the federation. A decision isn't expected for several weeks, Dubé said. "In the meantime, people will have their QR codes and they will be, at one point, able to use it for something, but, at this stage, nothing has been decided," he added. Popular support, but political reticence The federal government has indicated it will develop a vaccine passport to allow Canadians to travel internationally to countries with public health entry requirements. Using a vaccine passport domestically poses thornier ethical issues, given inequalities in vaccine coverage based on income, geography or race. But the concept does appear to enjoy support within the Quebec government and the public at large. Quebec's economy minister, Pierre Fitzgibbon, said in a recent interview that he backed the passport idea as a way to speed up the recovery of businesses hit hard by restrictions. The federation of chambers of commerce said if rapidly deployed, the passport system could allow fans to catch some playoff action at the Bell Centre.(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press) A poll released Tuesday by the public opinion firm Leger suggested 61 per cent of Canadians supported the concept of a domestic vaccine passport system. Among Quebecers, support was 69 per cent, though the sample size in the province was only 359 respondents. Opposition parties are more reticent. The Parti Québécois leader, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, said a domestic passport system would create "a dangerous precedent" for access to health data. His hope is that sufficient numbers of Quebecers get vaccinated in short order, making the passport system unnecessary. "Before we rush into having a vaccine passport, we should, first of all, succeed with the operation of getting our population vaccinated and see the proportion we get," Plamondon said Tuesday. Québec Solidaire has been calling on the government to hold legislative hearings on the issue, in order to better understand the potential disadvantages. On Tuesday, Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade said the passport raised "ethical questions."
A Canada-wide warrant has been issued for a suspect in a stabbing death in downtown Calgary last month. Police said the victim, who was identified by police as Russell David Younker, 49, was stabbed on April 15 during a fight on 11th Street S.W. near the Downtown West-Kerby CTrain station. Younker collapsed at the scene while the attacker ran away. Younker later died in hospital. Police believe the victim and the accused knew each other, and the altercation resulted from a previous incident that occurred between them. Christopher Douglas Mathers, 34, was identified as a suspect because of a tip provided by a member of the public, police said Tuesday. Upon attempting to locate Mathers, investigators said they learned he had moved out of his house and had potentially left Calgary. Mathers is believed to have connections to British Columbia, Halifax and London, Ont. A warrant has now been issued for Mathers. He faces a second-degree murder charge. Police describe him as six-foot-one, about 220 pounds and having brown hair and blue eyes. Investigators are still hoping to speak with a potential witness.(Calgary Police Service) Investigators are still hoping to speak with a potential witness. The witness was seen wearing a blue hoodie with a red logo on the front, a baseball cap, sunglasses and a backpack. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mathers is asked to call the homicide tip line at 403-428-8877, or the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.
MONTREAL — Emergency COVID-19 measures will end on Monday in Quebec's Outaouais region, in the western part of the province by the Ontario border, Premier François Legault said Tuesday. Schools and non-essential business can reopen and the nighttime curfew will be pushed back to 9:30 p.m. from 8 p.m., Legault told reporters. That region will join Montreal and Quebec City in the red pandemic-alert level, where gyms and in-person dining at restaurants is still prohibited. "We are making it through the third wave," Legault said, sounding optimistic, adding that the province is "heading in the right direction." Three less-populated regions, however, are still worrying health authorities. Emergency measures will remain in most of the Bas-St-Laurent region, northeast of Quebec City on the southern shore of the St. Lawrence River — except for Rimouski, where emergency measures will end Monday. Emergency measures will also remain in Quebec's Estrie region, east of Montreal, and in parts of the Chaudière-Appalaches region, south of the provincial capital. Legault encouraged young people to get vaccinated. "Getting vaccinated means freedom, solidarity and a great summer," he said. Earlier on Tuesday, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé called on young adults to get vaccinated in an open letter, on the eve of appointments opening to those 25 and older. Dubé said on Twitter the beginning of the province's so-called "youth week" has been successful, as 50 per cent of those 30 to 34 have secured an appointment since Monday. In an open letter posted Tuesday on Facebook, Dubé said he appreciates how the past year has been difficult for young adults, who have made remarkable sacrifices to protect the most vulnerable and the health-care system. He said he recognizes that young people's mental health has taken a toll, as they have been relegated to distance learning and those in the hotel, restaurant and culture sectors have lost jobs. Quebec is nearing the finish line, Dubé said, adding that young people have a chance to play a crucial role in controlling COVID-19 transmission by getting vaccinated in large numbers. The provincial government has said that by the end of the week, all Quebec adults will be offered the chance to book a vaccine appointment. Quebec reported 660 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday and nine more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including one in the previous 24 hours. Health officials said hospitalizations dropped by three, to 540, and 128 people were in intensive care, a rise of five. The province said it administered 61,051 additional doses on Monday; more than 43 per cent of Quebecers have now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Quebec has reported a total of 359,456 positive cases of COVID-19 and 11,002 deaths linked to the virus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2021. Virginie Ann, The Canadian Press
Watch as this baby giraffe manages to stand up for the very first time! Too precious!
A message from some Yukoners today: "Fire them!" This, in reference to two MLAs who were part of a vulgar text chat about some of their political opponents that went public last week. The Yukon Party has said the MLAs will attend anti-bullying training but remain in caucus. Today a few dozen protesters in Yukon, both in Whitehorse and in Dawson City, said that is not enough. Mary Holozubiec was at the protest in Whitehorse, which was called End Transphobia and Sexism in the Yukon Legislative Assembly. She held a sign that said, "I voted Yukon Party. Not next time." "I feel like letting these MLAs work for full pay without doing their full job is not acceptable punishment," Holozubiec said. "It condones the texts that were sent." Grey Capot-Blanc spoke as part of a new group called Northern Voices Rising. They said the MLAs' comments were offensive and deserved greater censure. "I don't want people to see what they said to be normal. Having homophobic and transphobic remarks normalized is not good," Capot-Blanc said. Sean Ladue also attended today's protest. He's an activist and advocate for LGBTQ2S+ people in the territory who spoke this year at the raising of the Progress Price flag before the legislative assembly. "The people are coming together to show support for those who have been maligned by the MLAs ignorant text messages," he said. "Those texts are indicative of their thought processes, which are uncalled for at this time." Vanessa Thorson was also in attendance. "I think it's somehow the notion that your masculinity or femininity are defined by whether you have power, and your genitalia is a determinant of that," she said. "It's just so crude and disrespectful." Molly Hobbis, 16, holds a sign that reads 'Fire them' before the Legislative Assembly. "It's not OK for such comments to be said in a modern times! This is 2021 not the 1950s," she said.(Philippe Morin/CBC)
NAXOS, Greece (AP) — A vaccination program for Greek islands is being accelerated to cover all local residents by the end of June, the government announced Tuesday ahead of the launch of the tourism season. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said a nationwide priority system for age groups and medical vulnerability was being waived for permanent residents of nearly 100 islands. “This initiative is aimed at supporting local island communities and their economy and it also aspires to send a positive overall message for our tourism,” Mitsotakis said after a video conference with island mayors and regional governors. Greece is fighting to revive its key tourism sector that was battered by the pandemic in 2020 but its vaccination rates remain below the European Union average and the country has only recently stabilized a surge in cases. On the island of Naxos, a popular family holiday destination, officials welcomed the initiative. Mayor Dimitris Lianos told The Associated Press that the single dose vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson was also being deployed to speed up the program. “By the end of June, all our year-round residents will be vaccinated and that’s very important for us because it creates a sense of safety for the people that live here and for the people who will visit our island,” Lianos said. Robin Rose Varthalitou, and 69-year-old Naxos resident from Wales said she was relieved the vaccination drive was expanding. “There's been no problem. No worries. It’s fine,” she said of the immunization program so far. "I reckon everybody should do it by law... This (pandemic) is a tragedy everywhere, financially and for people. A tragedy.” Islanders make up around 1.5 million of Greece’s population of 10.7 million. Many holiday islands have a year-round population of under 10,000, while Crete has the largest with more than 600,000 residents, followed by Evia, Rhodes, Corfu, Lesbos, and Chios. The tourism season officially opens Friday. ___ Derek Gatopoulos and Theodora Tongas in Athens contributed. Thanassis Stavrakis And Srdjan Nedeljkovic, The Associated Press
A pair of red foxes who have caused tourist shutdowns in an area of Lake Minnewanka this spring are enjoying the space, reports naturalist Brian Keating. This is the second year the foxes have denned in the same spot, which is north of the second boat launch in the Lake Minnewanka day-use area. Keating spoke with Blair Fenton, who works for Banff National Park, to get an update on the foxes to share with The Homestretch listeners. "[Fenton] said they're doing fine," Keating told The Homestretch this week. "The closure was necessary because it's so close to a really busy tourist area where hundreds of people a day wander by just metres from the den." A map showing the part of the Lake Minnewanka day-use area that is closed to the public while a pair of foxes den there.(Parks Canada) Parks keeps track of the animals through the use of several cameras in the area. Those cameras, triggered by movement, showed the same pair had four or five pups last year. Keating asked Fenton why the number wasn't exact. "Blair said to me … 'Well, the kids all look the same, Brian, and it's just the luck of the draw to get them all to pose as a family in front of the camera.'" This recent photo of a fox was taken by a trap camera operated by Parks Canada in Banff National Park. Trap cameras are triggered by motion.(Parks Canada) 'Naturally shy' Besides protecting the animals from curious eyes, the benefit of making the area off limits to visitors to the lake is that they are less likely to be fed by people. "Foxes are naturally shy … over time, they'll habituate to people, especially in a heavily used area like Lake Minnewanka," said Keating. The naturalist says he's actually never seen a fox in Banff National Park. This may be because they most often are active at night and dusk, according to the the province's information. People shouldn't feed wildlife, says Keating — no matter how tempting — and should be careful when they are eating to dispose of the food properly. He says feeding foxes would hinder their natural foraging and hunting habits. Feeding wildlife can also land you a hefty fine — up to $25,000. "Last year, park staff witnessed fox adults running back and forth from the den, sometimes with dead ground squirrels in their mouths," said Keating. A red fox and her pup with a meal of a ground squirrel.(Nancy Hamoud) Foxes are omnivores and will naturally eat a variety of foods like birds, small mammals and even fruit, according to Alberta.ca. According to Fenton, the area will open to the public again when the foxes vacate the den, which last year was in mid-July. For more fascinating stories about Alberta's wildlife from naturalist Brian Keating, visit his website and check out these stories:
A couple out for a walk in a remote area of B.C.'s South Okanagan region this week discovered the bodies of two people that investigators now believe were the victims of a "targeted incident." The bodies were found Monday morning in the area of Naramata Creek Forest Service Road, and Penticton RCMP called in forensics experts to help investigate, according to a police press release. "Although we are still in the very preliminary stages of this investigation, early findings suggest that this was a targeted incident. At this time there is nothing to indicate a greater general risk to public safety," Penticton RCMP Supt. Brian Hunter said in the release. However, the police statement says they also received reports of two other people who were walking through the area "under suspicious circumstances," and additional police officers and RCMP Air Services were brought in to search for them. Despite what police describe as an exhaustive search, those two people could not be located. Investigators have not determined if they're connected with the two deaths. The B.C. RCMP's major crime unit is handling the investigation into the bodies. "The priority of major crime investigators will be to conduct a full assessment and gather any and all physical evidence at the scene. Simultaneously, RCMP and the BC Coroners Service will be working collaboratively to establish a positive identification for each of the [deceased] and work diligently to notify the families," Supt. Sanjaya Wijayakoon said in the release. Anyone with any information about what happened is asked to call the major crime unit's information line at 1-877-987-8477.
A woman who says she was sexually assaulted by a man she met online told a Charlottetown jury on Tuesday that she felt shocked and violated by what happened. Stephanie Douglas was testifying at the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island trial of the accused man. He is Edward Thomas Mundle, 58. The Charlottetown man has pleaded not guilty to the single charge of sexual assault. Douglas's name is not covered by a publication ban, as is usually the case in Canadian sexual assault trials, because she has told the Crown she wants people to hear what she has to say. Consensual relationship began in 2013 On Tuesday, Douglas testified that she had been in "a no-strings-attached relationship" with Mundle after they met on the dating website Plenty of Fish in 2013. This photo shows Stephanie Douglas in 2013, the year she met Edward Mundle through the dating website Plenty of Fish. (Court exhibit) That relationship included sex with dominant and submissive role-playing, both sides agree. "It was consensual so I had no issues with it," Douglas testified about those early dates. Yet Douglas told the court she did not give her consent for what she alleges happened to her in the early hours of New Year's Day, 2014. It was more painful than trying to give birth. It was the most physical pain I had been subject to up to that point in my life. - Stephanie Douglas She testified that Mundle disregarded their pre-arranged safe word, "Rumpelstiltskin," and sexually assaulted her using a handheld sex toy. "All I felt was excruciating pain," she said in court. "It was more painful than trying to give birth. It was the most physical pain I had been subject to up to that point in my life." Douglas said she couldn't at first process what had happened, as she'd been drinking rum: "I didn't have the capacity to think clearly." More than a week after the incident, she said, having experienced bleeding, fever and chills, she called for an ambulance. She was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown and spent three weeks there. She testified that the diagnosis was life-threatening sepsis, a severe type of bacterial infection. "I walk with a cane now," she said. "Back in 2013 I did not. I was quite active … I did not have chronic pain, PTSD, liver damage [or] kidney decline." Reliability, cause of infection disputed Mundle's lawyer's cross-examination is focusing on the reliability of Douglas's version of events — and the cause of her infection. Defence lawyer Peter Ghiz is pointing to hundreds of pages of medical records that he says suggest Douglas was dealing with psychiatric issues at the time of the incident, and for years leading up to it. Edward Thomas Mundle, 58, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexual assault against Stephanie Douglas. (Brian Higgins/CBC) On Tuesday afternoon, he cross-examined her about a diagnosis of PTSD in British Columbia in 2016, and her treatment by a psychiatrist in Halifax before she moved to P.E.I. for the second time in 2013. He also asked about prescription medications she had taken. Then he moved on to questions about the sex toy she said had been used to assault her. Douglas acknowledged it was hers. She said she took it home with her after the New Year's Day incident and threw it away years later. Complaint laid in 2017 Douglas told the court that she wrestled for a long time with the pros and cons of going to police, not sure they would believe she was assaulted. She finally laid a complaint in 2017, about three years after the alleged incident. Mundle elected trial by judge and jury, so a panel of four women and eight men is hearing the case. Proceedings resume on Wednesday. More from CBC P.E.I.