Increasing the employment rate and boosting the green economy are among the main priorities.
Organizations representing family physicians and teaching staff say there's an uptick in the number of Ontario teachers requesting medical exemptions from work amid growing concerns over potential COVID-19 transmission in schools.Those inquiries have prompted the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) — which represents more than 12,500 family doctors across the province — to provide new guidance to its members on how to handle work accommodation requests from people coping with chronic illnesses.Family physicians are "increasingly" getting the requests, including many from teachers, said Dr. Jennifer Young, president of the OCFP."The guidance is if you have a chronic disease that is severe, a chronic disease that's not well controlled, a chronic disease that requires immuno-suppressants ... the severity of the disease requires more than average accommodation," Young said.That could mean requests for an in-class work exemption or other accommodations for someone with severe asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, for instance, or patients taking drugs that suppress their immune system for a variety of conditions ranging from cancer to inflammatory bowel disease."We have educators who were able to work in a classroom pre-pandemic, but have underlying conditions that now make being in that face-to-face situation too great a risk," said Harvey Bischof, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF).Bischof said the union's members are making a rising number of requests, while a spokesperson for the Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) also confirmed its members are hearing of an increase "anecdotally."While the organizations CBC News contacted don't have hard data on the spike, numbers from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) show roughly one in five returning permanent staff members may have some kind of accommodation request for the new school year.Out of more than 24,000 permanent staff members who completed a survey from the board, roughly 95 per cent said they are returning to work, with 20 per cent of those requiring some form of accommodation, according to figures provided by the TDSB.Meanwhile, in the Peel District School Board, more than 440 teachers have so far asked for personal medical accommodations for the start of the school year. Of those, 366 teachers have been offered online assignments as a medical accommodation, said spokesperson Kayla Tishcoff.Boards 'directed' to prioritize medical exemptionsAccording to the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO), there are typically no "cookie cutter" accommodations, which can also be either temporary or permanent. A member with a vascular condition might be excused from yard duty in extreme weather, or someone with diabetes might require coverage when carrying out necessary blood testing or going for snacks, examples ETFO offers from before the onset of the pre-pandemic."When an accommodation is being sought, the employer is entitled to request documentation from a medical professional, and will usually do so," the union explains on its website.As for who actually grants those accommodations — it's not family doctors."Family physicians are expected to use their clinical judgment and knowledge of their patients as it relates to any potential requirements for that individual to be exempt from working in person, or to work remotely," said David Jensen, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, in a statement."It is not up to the family physician to determine the necessary accommodation."WATCH: Province pauses any further reopening for four weeks:Instead, it's "up to the employer based on the Human Rights Code to make the accommodation for their employee," notes the guidance for family physicians from their college.In this case, that means school boards. And so far, teachers' requests are typically being granted across the province."School boards have been directed to prioritize those with medical exemptions when granting COVID-19 workplace accommodations," noted T.J. Goertz, a spokesperson for the Ontario Public School Boards' Association, in a statement."We are not aware of any boards having trouble managing the current volume of workplace accommodation requests."Speaking for the Peel board, Tishcoff said a medical accommodation to work out-of-school has not been offered in the past for teaching staff, but that's changed this year."Given the significant number of students who will be moving to fully-online learning, the board will be able to offer online assignments in the PDSB Online School to teaching staff who requested the accommodation within the specified time period and that demonstrate a need to be accommodated by working remotely," she explained.Bischof said when it comes to teacher requests across the province, things are "going pretty well."The safety issue at hand, he added, isn't boards accommodating teachers, but provincial officials implementing proper policies to protect staff and students who will be in class this year.While the government maintains safety is at the forefront of back-to-school plans, Bischof maintains the province has "failed" to ensure there is safe ventilation or physical distancing in many Ontario schools.
TORONTO — Ontario's courts are wading into the debate over sending students back to school during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with one judge ruling a nine-year-old boy should return to in-person classes despite his father's objections.In a decision released late last month, Ontario Superior Court Justice Andrea Himel said the case is one of many such disputes currently before the courts and seeking urgent resolution as schools prepare to reopen.She says the parents, who are divorced and share custody of their son, disagreed on whether the boy should attend classes in person or continue with the remote learning system put in place when schools were forced to close in March.The mother argued it was in the boy's best interest to return to his French immersion school in person, partly because neither parent speaks the language well enough to help with school work, and because the child has struggled with isolation.The father, meanwhile, countered that COVID-19 continues to pose significant risks that can be better managed through at-home, online learning.Himel sided with the mother, saying the Ontario government is better placed than the justice system to assess and address the health risks of going to school.While there is a consensus between officials and medical experts that it is not 100 per cent safe to return to in-person classes, those risks are being balanced against children's psychological, social and academic needs, along with parents' need for child care, the judge wrote."There is no end in sight to the pandemic and, as such, no evidence as to when it will be 100 per cent safe for children to return to school," she wrote."The Ontario government has determined that September 2020 is an appropriate time to move on to a 'new normal' which includes a return to school."What's more, neither the boy, who is entering Grade 4, nor anyone in the two households will face an unacceptable risk of harm if he goes back to class, she said, noting none have any underlying medical conditions that would make them particularly vulnerable to the virus or its effects.One Toronto lawyer said the ruling could set a precedent as separated parents across the province grapple with similar issues."The health, safety and well-being of children and families remains the court's foremost consideration during COVID-19. Parents may be surprised to find that even their strong and well-meaning preferences can be overridden," Diana Isaac, a partner at Shulman & Partners LLP, said in a statement."It is highly recommended that parents, even those that don't see eye-to-eye, reach an accord on their child's school attendance. Otherwise, they might find themselves in court with an undesired solution imposed on them," she said.Himel, too, urged parents to reach an agreement rather than turning to the courts, noting the justice system is already stretched thin as a result of the pandemic.The judge highlighted several "significant problems" with the father's proposed schooling plan in laying out her reasons for ruling against him.The father's plan included online learning provided by the school, exercise such as playing hockey in the driveway and unsupervised outdoor play, and using Goodle Translate and a dictionary to assist the boy with assignments, according to court documents.But Himel noted that while the father has a flexible work schedule and a partner who can help, the mother has neither."The father's plan fails to address how the mother will be able to implement his plan, nor does it address the mother's concerns respecting the constraints on her ability to work if (the child) is enrolled in the online education program," the judge wrote."This plan may necessitate a dramatic change to the current parenting schedule or may result in two diverse approaches to online learning and the rules respecting technology in the respective homes. Either outcome may well be a recipe for further conflict between the parties."This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 8, 2020.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press
The Chinese government accused Australia on Wednesday of "blatant irrational behavior", harassment and violation of the rights of its journalists by searching and seizing items from the homes of four Chinese state media reporters. Relations between the two major trading partners have become increasingly strained, and Beijing's revelation that Australia had conducted the raids in late June came as a well known Chinese academic confirmed that his Australian visa had been canceled on security grounds. A day earlier, two Australian journalists flew home from China with the help of consular officials, having been questioned by China's state security ministry, and initially barred from leaving the country.
CLEVELAND — Three teenagers were charged Tuesday with fatally shooting a Cleveland police detective and another man during what authorities said was a robbery attempt.David McDaniel Jr., 18, of Cleveland, was charged with two counts of aggravated murder in Cleveland Municipal Court, records show. A 17-year-old male and 15-year-old male, who were not identified because of their ages, faces aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and felonious assault charges in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court.Court records don’t indicate whether McDaniel has an attorney to speak for him.McDaniel and the two juveniles are accused of killing Cleveland police detective James Skernivitz, 53, and Scott Dingess, 50, as they sat in Skernivitz's unmarked police car Thursday night.A police statement of facts filed with the charges against McDaniel say he and two juveniles approached Skernivitz's car, which was parked behind a store, and shot Skernivitz and Dingess during an attempted robbery. McDaniel was arrested Sunday.A Cleveland police official knowledgeable about some details of the shooting, but who was not authorized to speak publicly, told The Associated Press that Skernivitz, a 25-year member of the force, was working undercover that night during a drug operation and that Dingess was a police informant.Skernivitz along with other law enforcement officers were sworn in last Wednesday as members of the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force in support of Operation Legend, a Justice Department effort to crack down on violent crime in Cleveland and other cities.He was also assigned to the Cleveland police gang unit. Authorities have not said whether Skernivitz was working with the federal task force or the gang unit when he was killed.Skernivitz's funeral is scheduled for Friday.Mark Gillispie, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole unveiled Tuesday the list of who will sit on the Opposition front benches, ahead of the party's first caucus meeting since he won the leadership race last month.Wednesday's gathering comes two weeks before the return of the House of Commons and the minority Liberal government's throne speech laying out its priorities for the COVID-19 recovery in Canada.O'Toole said Tuesday his own party's plans won't be far behind."In the coming weeks, we will be presenting a plan to put hardworking Canadians first, lead our nation out of this crisis and rebuild our great country," he said in a statement. In choosing those who will serve as critics for the Liberal government ministries, O'Toole picked a mix of loyal supporters, some who backed his rivals and several key players in the party who had remained entirely neutral in the leadership race.Among them: his predecessor Andrew Scheer, who will serve as infrastructure critic; Ontario's Pierre Poilievre, who remains as finance critic; and Alberta MP Michelle Rempel Garner, who will take on the health portfolio.Ontario MP Michael Chong becomes the Conservatives' critic for foreign affairs, considered one of the most high-profile portfolios.That was the portfolio O'Toole himself was granted in 2017 after he lost the leadership race that year to Scheer.Unlike Scheer, however, O'Toole didn't have a long list of MPs who had challenged him for leadership to try and place on the front benches. There were only three other contenders, including only one other MP — Ontario's Derek Sloan.Sloan's campaign had been primarily focused on winning support among social conservatives, though he secured no endorsements from MPs from that cohort of the party during the race.A controversy over remarks he made about the country's chief public health officer nearly saw him kicked out of caucus, and he ultimately finished last in the leadership contest.He didn't get a critic's job.But, O'Toole did acknowledge the supporters of his other rivals.Two MPs who backed Leslyn Lewis, the Toronto lawyer who ran with the support of many social conservatives and finished in a strong third place, were given critic roles. Richard Bragdon, a New Brunswick MP who backed her bid will serve as the critic for fisheries, while Rosemarie Falk from Saskatchewan will be the critic for seniors.Lewis herself has said she will run in the next election for the Conservatives.Several of those who backed Peter MacKay for leadership were given critics jobs, including some who had supported O'Toole in 2017 but switched sides this time around.They include James Bezan, who O'Toole has left in place as defence critic and Todd Doherty, who was given a special position by O'Toole as an adviser on mental health issues.Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet said Tuesday that Quebecers need to scrutinize O'Toole.He is against many of the province's priorities, Blanchet said, including its support for medical assistance in dying, and its opposition to pipelines."We want Quebecers to really know him," he said. Blanchet, who had previously suggested his party was ready to trigger an election on the basis of the ethics scandals plaguing the Liberals, appeared to tone down his battle rhetoric Tuesday.Speaking at his party's own caucus meeting in St-Hyacinthe, Que., he put down some new markers, including a desire for the conclusion of the various ethics reports into the government's decision to award the operation of a student grant program to the WE Charity, known for its ties to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's family.He said he also wants to see the Liberals put in place an amnesty for people who may have to pay back some of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit due to eligibility problems.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2020.Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press
At least 20 Alberta schools have reported cases of COVID-19 since students across the province started returning to classrooms a week ago.Support Our Students Alberta, a non-partisan, non-profit public education advocacy group, has a COVID-19 tracker for kindergarten to Grade 12 schools on its website.It suggests 23 schools have had cases — including eight in Calgary and four in Edmonton — based on recent letters and emails sent to parents."We get parents to send us a screenshot of correspondence from principals, school districts or directly from Alberta Health Services," Wing Li, communications director for the advocacy group, said Tuesday."We are seeing this explosion of case reports."Some of those reports include a positive case at Bowness High School in Calgary last week and a student from Saint Francis High School in Calgary whose COVID-19 test result was revealed this week.At Ross Sheppard School in Edmonton, a letter posted online Tuesday noted that students in three Grade 10 classes need to be tested and must self-isolate at home for 14 days."If your child is required to isolate, you will have received a call from the school," said the letter from principal Rick Stanley. "A deep clean of the school was completed before students returned to class today."No outbreaks have been declared at the schools and all remain open at this time.Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical health officer, said officials have counted 11 cases at 11 schools but none of the infections were acquired at the schools.There may be reports of more school cases, she said, but those people may not have been in school while infectious.Officials are taking all school cases seriously, Hinshaw added.She said she's concerned with the rise in case numbers across the province. There were 619 new cases over the long weekend and 1,692 active cases on Tuesday — the highest active infection count since May 9.But overall, with the majority of Alberta's 750,000 students and 90,000 staff back in school, the infection rate in the school community is low, Hinshaw said."We need to remember that there are no risk-free options when it comes to COVID and that we must support every aspect of our children's health. We need to be nimble and continue adapting our approaches bases on emerging evidence and the needs of schools and students."Masks are mandatory in schools for students in grades 4 to 12 when there cannot be physical distancing. But Hinshaw said she has allowed an exemption for the Fort Vermilion School Division in the northern part of the province with six of its schools.Those schools have a detailed physical-distancing plan that includes having only one cohort in a hallway at one time.Hinshaw said she may amend rules for other schools, and schools with more than five COVID-19 cases will be listed on a health website.Opposition NDP education critic Sarah Hoffman said the United Conservative government needs to bring in daily online reporting of cases in schools and provide more resources to schools to keep students safe."This is a very disturbing trend just days into the school year," Hoffman said."We knew kids would be back in schools for months and the government has done nothing to plan for it."This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 8, 2020.The Canadian Press
CALGARY — Several of the 28 women a Calgary neurologist sexually assaulted over three decades told a judge Tuesday that what happened during their 15-minute appointments led to years of anxiety, shame, self-doubt and fear of doctors.Court heard 20 victim impact statements at the sentencing hearing of Keith Hoyte, 72, who pleaded guilty to the charges in January.Prosecutor Rosalind Greenwood read half of the statements on behalf of victims in the Calgary Courts Centre's spacious ceremonial courtroom, where those in the gallery could adhere to COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines.One by one, the rest stood or sat behind Plexiglas, removed their face masks and detailed the pain their assaults caused.Greenwood and defence lawyer Alain Hepner jointly suggested Hoyte serve three years behind bars.Queen's Bench Justice Jim Eamon questioned whether that was a harsh enough punishment, given the number of victims and the vulnerable position in which each found themselves.But Eamon said he was bound by legal precedent to accept the proposed sentence."They rightly hoped you could relieve their suffering," Eamon said of the women, as Hoyte stood in the prisoner's dock."You used them as sexual objects."He called Hoyte's harm to his former profession a "sorry state of affairs.""You brought dishonour upon the medical system."An agreed statement of facts described how the victims, between the ages of 17 and 46, were seeking help for brain ailments such as migraines or seizures. The assaults took place between the early 1980s and 2013, when Hoyte retired.Yet the victims described how Hoyte fondled their breasts and pricked them with pins, while he made little eye contact or conversation."I carried this dirty secret with me, letting it destroy me," said one woman who, for 14 years, only told four people about the assault.Many of the women who spoke out said they refuse to refer to Hoyte as doctor, because he broke his oath to do no harm.Virtually all described how the assaults sowed a sense of mistrust in the medical profession and fear of seeing doctors.One woman told the courtroom she was uncomfortable with male doctors even before she was assaulted by Hoyte."I couldn't avoid you. You wore the armour of the specialist. You knew we had nowhere else to go," she said."You caused this sense of betrayal."She said she felt like "a desperate soul seeking help reduced to nothing more than a plaything."Another woman, who described Hoyte as a "monster," said she relives her assault like a video playing in slow motion in her head."Every little detail is highlighted, from the chairs in the waiting room to the pictures on the wall. "I'm on guard all the time and the feeling of being vulnerable never goes away."The woman said she can't forgive Hoyte."We are here because he got caught, not because there's any remorse for his actions."Hoyte told court that his sense of remorse is "palpable.""I wish I had a magical power to help you heal from the memories. I don't," he said in a prepared statement."I do not expect forgiveness, but I am truly sorry."Court heard one victim went to police in 1991, another in 2008 and a third in 2018. Police charged Hoyte with three counts of sexual assault in June 2018. After media reports, 25 more women came forward.Some complainants said they did not report Hoyte sooner because they thought they wouldn't be believed, would be judged or would be thought of as difficult patients.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2020.Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
Late-stage studies of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate are on temporary hold while the company investigates whether a recipient’s “potentially unexplained” illness is a side effect of the shot.In a statement issued Tuesday evening, the company said its “standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow review of safety data.”AstraZeneca didn't reveal any information about the possible side effect except to call it “a potentially unexplained illness.” The health news site STAT first reported the pause in testing, saying the possible side effect occurred in the United Kingdom.An AstraZeneca spokesperson confirmed the pause in vaccinations covers studies in the U.S. and other countries. Late last month, AstraZeneca began recruiting 30,000 people in the U.S. for its largest study of the vaccine. It also is testing the vaccine, developed by Oxford University, in thousands of people in Britain, and in smaller studies in Brazil and South Africa.Two other vaccines are in huge, final-stage tests in the United States, one made by Moderna Inc. and the other by Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech. Those two vaccines work differently than AstraZeneca's, and the studies already have recruited about two-thirds of the needed volunteers.Temporary holds of large medical studies aren't unusual, and investigating any serious or unexpected reaction is a mandatory part of safety testing. AstraZeneca pointed out that it's possible the problem could be a coincidence; illnesses of all sorts could arise in studies of thousands of people.“We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline,” the company statement said.It’s likely the unexplained illness was serious enough to require hospitalization and not a mild side effect such as fever or muscle pain, said Deborah Fuller, a University of Washington researcher who is working on a different COVID-19 vaccine that has not yet started human testing.“This is not something to be alarmed about,” Fuller said. Instead, it’s reassuring that the company is pausing the study to figure out what’s happening and carefully monitoring the health of study participants.Dr. Ashish Jha of Brown University said via Twitter that the significance of the interruption was unclear but that he was “still optimistic” that an effective vaccine will be found in the coming months.“But optimism isn’t evidence,” he wrote. “Let’s let science drive this process.”Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in New York, tweeted that the illness may be unrelated to the vaccine, "but the important part is that this is why we do trials before rolling out a vaccine to the general public.”During the third and final stage of testing, researchers look for any signs of possible side effects that may have gone undetected in earlier patient research. Because of their large size, the studies are considered the most important study phase for picking up less common side effects and establishing safety.The trials also assess effectiveness by tracking who gets sick and who doesn’t between patients getting the vaccine and those receiving a dummy shot.The development came the same day that AstraZeneca and eight other drugmakers issued an unusual pledge, vowing to uphold the highest ethical and scientific standards in developing their vaccines.The announcement follows worries that President Donald Trump will pressure the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve a vaccine before it’s proven to be safe and effective.The U.S. has invested billions of dollars in efforts to quickly develop multiple vaccines against COVID-19. But public fears that a vaccine is unsafe or ineffective could be disastrous, derailing the effort to vaccinate millions of Americans.Representatives for the FDA did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday evening.AstraZeneca’s U.S.-traded shares fell more than 6% in after-hours trading following reports of the trial being paused.___Associated Press writers Matthew Perrone and Carla K. Johnson contributed to this report.___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Lauran Neergaard, The Associated Press
Vancouver is the epicentre of an overdose crisis that is claiming the lives of 175 people a month in British Columbia.The benchmark price for a detached home in Greater Vancouver is $1.5 million, up seven per cent this year and 81 per cent in the last decade. A global pandemic has forced politicians to make tough decisions on a regular basis on health and safety protocols, many of which currently centre around schools. And yet, at least for the moment, the most acrimonious political debate in the city is not about any of those things. "The conflict over streets and street cleanliness and order: It's definitely top of mind for lots of Vancouverites. It's probably the single issue we hear [most] about, and for good reason," said Councillor Pete Fry. "Certainly, we see a lot more garbage on the street, we see a lot more human waste on the streets, we see a lot more needles, more violence, more folks who are in the throes of psychosis or other crisis, and it's scary for a lot of folks."It's caused Mayor Kennedy Stewart to call an emergency council meeting for Sept. 11, after months of growing rhetoric over a growing homeless population, which includes the city's third tent encampment this year. The reason for the tension is clear: an increase of hundreds of homeless people that the city and province attribute mostly to COVID-19 shelter policies enforcing physical distancing; a summer of highly visible homeless camps in the province's two biggest cities; and a noticeable increase in petty crime and theft in neighbourhoods like Yaletown and the West End, causing some residents to worry about a tipping point. One can debate whether the issue is overblown, or over-focused on the anxieties of homeowners at the expense of the most marginalized. What's clear is the city has decided it's a top priority — whether the city has the capacity to solve the issue is a different matter.From friendly neighbours to concerned citizensIn the same way that the rising home prices galvanized regular citizens into concerned activists, so too has the increase in crime."In Strathcona we've been used to dealing with a certain level of petty crime … but in the last 10 weeks, we've seen an incredible shift in our neighbourhood, and it's just not sustainable," said Katie Lewis, vice-president of the Strathcona Residents' Association. That timeline coincides with the arrival of the Strathcona Park encampment, along with the traffic through the neighbourhood from the park to the Downtown Eastside. It took 19 months to end the Oppenheimer Park encampment — complete with endless buck-passing and emergency motions from politicians that changed little — and Lewis and others in Strathcona worry of a repeat. "Government hasn't learned its lesson from the Oppenheimer experience," said Jamie MacLaren, a lawyer leading a movement by residents in the area to withhold their property taxes next year unless the encampment is closed and more social housing is created throughout the city. "It needs to happen immediately. Modular housing in the spring of next year won't do the trick; winter is coming and they have real safety needs in the camp."Fry is a long-time Strathcona resident and politician, not known for stigmatizing the homeless or prioritizing "tough on crime" policies. But he believes the anxieties of residents — not just in Strathcona, but in Yaletown, the West End, Crosstown and other neighbourhoods where there's been an increase in crime — are warranted. "What we're doing right now is not working, and we're all dreading the inevitable second wave of the pandemic that might make this crisis more extreme."Managing, not endingBut what short-term changes are possible?The province has already committed to 450 more units of modular and social housing, but they won't start coming online until next spring — and for its part, the province is adamant that its approach to the issue has been effective. "People are witnessing more [homelessness] than they have historically, but we also used to have the [Surrey] Strip, we used to have Sugar Mountain," said Housing Minister Selina Robinson."We have some work to do, but we're working hard."Mayor Stewart asks people for compassion, but he's also aware the public wants concrete movement more than before."I agree there has been a change in public tone, and it's our job as politicians to move resources to where they're most needed," he said."It's about trying to build these partnerships that are delivering, rather than lots of talk. I can understand the frustration, and that's how I'll be judged when the next election comes along: how well did we tackle this?"It's why Stewart's motion for Friday's meeting calls on staff to come back with solutions by early October that haven't been seriously considered before, including an emergency relief encampment.However, with an independent park board that permits continuous overnight camping and a section of the population leery of social housing guidelines, he's trying not to overpromise."Cities, it's never about ending anything, it's about managing it better. When I talk to mayors around the world, those kinds of promises, they shouldn't be made, because you can't keep them."One might remember the city's last mayor, Gregor Robertson, making a bold promise on the cusp of the 2010 Olympics that he would end street homelessness. Now, the city is promising to manage the issue rather than end it. It might be pragmatic. It might be pessimistic. But it's definitely a sign of how the city's mood has changed.
PHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Kanye West’s bid to appear on the state’s Nov. 3 ballot as an independent presidential candidate, just hours before eight of the state’s 15 counties faced a deadline for printing ballots.The decision marked the end of the rapper’s attempt to run in Arizona. He had appealed a lower-court decision last week that barred him from the ballot.The Supreme Court concluded West’s electors — who would have cast Electoral College votes if he had won the most votes of any candidate in Arizona— failed to file an election document stated their names and political parties. The justices said any nominating signatures collected before presidential electors filed their “statements of interest” are invalid.West has qualified to appear on the ballot in several states, including Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Tennessee, Utah and Mississippi. He didn’t qualify in Ohio, Montana, West Virginia, Virginia, Wisconsin and other states.Maricopa, Pima, Apache, Mohave, Pinal, Cochise, Coconino and La Paz counties face a late Tuesday afternoon deadline for printing ballots. The deadline for the remaining counties is late Wednesday afternoon.A message left Tuesday for Tim LaSota, an attorney representing West, wasn't immediately returned. The attorneys who challenged West's candidacy said in a statement that they were pleased that the court prevented "a candidate who didn’t follow Arizona’s election laws from getting on the ballot at the last minute.”Last week, West’s campaign turned in nearly 58,000 nominating signatures, well over the 39,000 needed to appear on the Arizona ballot.Over the last two weeks, more than 140 people living in other states have registered in Arizona as paid signature gatherers for West, who announced his presidential campaign on July 4. His campaign has spent more than $1 million in Arizona.State resident Rasean Clayton filed a lawsuit seeking to bar from appearing on the ballot, accusing the rapper of serving as an election spoiler and argued that state law barred him from running as an independent candidate because West is a registered Republican.West’s lawyers said their client’s status as a registered Republican in Wyoming was irrelevant to getting on the Arizona ballot. They said when West filed federal election paperwork, he listed his political party as “BDY,” an abbreviation for Birthday Party.Despite those claims, Clayton’s attorneys said West remains a registered Republican. They also said nearly all of West’s electors were Republicans until they changed registrations to independent last week.It’s unclear whether Clayton has any connections to the Democratic Party. He said in a statement that he filed the legal challenge to West’s campaign because he didn’t want voters to be confused by seeing unqualified candidates on the ballot.Attorneys for West brushed aside criticism that West was trying to be a spoiler aimed at hurting Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s chances in Arizona. They said Clayton’s lawsuit was aimed at denying voters a choice.Jacques Billeaud, The Associated Press
Rambo, a rambunctious Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is ecstatic about his new big brother Samson, a 140 pound Newfoundland. Samson is a gentle giant and knows he needs to be careful with the tiny pup. Rambo follows Samson wherever he goes and showers him with pure love. Samson might not be ready for so much love from little brother. Too cute!
Recent developments: What's the latest?The principal of the Ottawa Catholic School Board's virtual school is asking parents for patience following a chaotic first day, including a lot of waiting around at home for instructions.WATCH | What went wrong with the OCSB online learning launch:Ottawa-Carleton District School Board Grade 9 students made the major transition to secondary school on Tuesday — a day of orientation that included meeting teachers, touring classrooms and plenty of first day jitters.Organizations representing family physicians and teaching staff say there's an uptick in the number of Ontario teachers requesting medical exemptions from work amid growing concerns over potential COVID-19 transmission in schools.How many cases are there?There have been 3,134 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the start of the pandemic, 242 known active, 267 people whose deaths have been linked to the respiratory illness and 2,625 considered resolved.Overall, public health officials have reported more than 4,800 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 4,000 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?Every local school board or service centre has started bringing students back except for the Upper Canada District School Board, which starts tomorrow.All classes should have started by Sept. 18.WATCH | Reviews from new Grade 9 students in Ottawa's English public board:Ontario is in Stage 3 of its reopening plan, which means more businesses are open including dine-in restaurants and movie theatres.Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 are now allowed in that province but attendees must follow physical distancing guidelines.Its health minister announced Sept.8 there won't be any further loosening of rules for four weeks, or Oct. 6, because of the concerning upward trend in its numbers.Kingston, Ont., has tightened its distancing rules in city parks and closed the Breakwater Park beach because of what the city says has been risky behaviour.PR Transpo transit service in Prescott-Russell resumes Monday.Quebec has similar reopening rules to Ontario, with its cap on physically distanced gatherings in public venues now up to 250 people, allowing smaller festivals.Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.People don't need to have symptoms to be contagious.That means physical distancing measures such as working from home, meeting others outdoors as much as possible and keeping distance from anyone you don't live with or have in their circle, including when you have a mask on.Masks are now mandatory in indoor public settings in all of eastern 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.Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.In Ontario, that's the same period of self-isolation for anyone with symptoms. When self-isolating, only leave home or see other people if it's critically important, such as to go see a doctor.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.Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. 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 pinkeye. Children can develop a rash.People should not get tested any sooner than five days after potential exposure, since it takes approximately five days for the virus to grow to levels where it's detectable by a test, said Ottawa's medical officer of health Vera Etches in early September.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Where to get testedIn eastern Ontario:In Ottawa any resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptoms, can be tested at one of four sites — including a new drive-thru testing centre.Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area, there is a drive-thru centre in Casselman and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don't require people to call ahead.Others in Alexandria, Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.In Kingston, the Leon's Centre is hosting the city's test site. Find it at Gate 2.Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call ahead.You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre and in Picton by texting or calling. Only Belleville and Trenton run seven days a week.WATCH | Masks as art at the ROM:The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.It has a walk-in site in Brockville at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor and those without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 to register for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.It's testing in six communities this week with an appointment.In western Quebec:Outaouais residents now can get a walk-in test in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond.There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.They can call 1-877-644-4545 to make an appointment or if they have other questions.First Nations:Akwesasne has had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Most are linked back to a gathering on an island with a non-resident who wasn't showing symptoms at the time.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.Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse. Its office and well-being centre will be open by appointment, with bookings starting Sept. 14.People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Kitigan Zibi's fitness centre and playground park are opening up with restrictions..For more information
VICTORIA — British Columbia's top doctor ordered nightclubs and banquet halls to close on Tuesday to control the spread of COVID-19 and placed new restrictions on the sale of alcohol at pubs, lounges and restaurants.Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said she amended the orders after recent spikes in cases linked to establishments where alcohol is sold.The revised health orders also include a 10 p.m. cut-off for alcohol sales at bars and restaurants, and they must close at 11 p.m. unless they provide full food service.Henry said the province needs to make adjustments now that the summer is coming to a close."We had a bit of a grace period in the summer, we were able to manage the cases," she told a news conference.Health Minister Adrian Dix said the measures taken by the province reflect "an assessment of the evidence, as they have from the beginning."The province has adjusted its approach to COVID-19 since the pandemic began to protect the public, he said."And these measures are ... part of the same effort," he added.Henry said as the summer ends, people need to change the way they are socializing."We're moving from the summer where we all needed a break, but we are now at the point where we're seeing cases continue to increase," she said. "As we get back to work for many people and back to school for many people, it is the time for all of us to cut back on our social interactions."Henry said there have been 429 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. since Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 6,591 cases.The province also recorded two additional deaths, both of them in long-term care homes. The two deaths bring B.C.'s COVID-19 death total to 213 people.She said the new restrictions also place noise limits on pubs, lounges and restaurants to limit close contacts between people. Henry said the lower volumes will make it easier for people to communicate without raising their voices."And that means music or other background sounds, such as from televisions in bars, lounges and pubs and restaurants, must be no louder than the volume of normal conversation," she said.Henry said the province must focus on getting students back to school and people back to work."We now need to put our focus and attention on the important things," Henry said. "This is what we all need to do now to reduce our risk of contracting COVID-19 for ourselves and for everyone else."Henry said the stricter health restrictions are necessary because COVID-19 cases were linked to clubs and halls, especially in Metro Vancouver."Yes, I do think these are necessary actions right now," she added. "We do it for things we think will make a difference. It became apparent that some venues were really high-risk environments."This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 8, 2020.Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — A new survey suggests that while Canadians are divided over removing monuments to politicians who harboured racist views or pushed racist policies, many oppose the "spontaneous" toppling of statues of Canada's first prime minister, John A. Macdonald.The online poll by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies follows the controversial tearing down and vandalism of a Macdonald statue in Montreal last month by activists angry over his anti-Indigenous views and policies.The incident, which was condemned by political leaders of various stripes, occurred during an anti-racism protest Aug. 30. Video showed a group of activists chanting and cheering as the statue was pulled to the ground before its head snapped off. The episode represented the latest chapter in a growing debate about what to do with such statues, given Macdonald's legacy as an architect of both Canada and the country's residential school system, where thousands of children suffered abuse, or even death, during efforts to stamp out Indigenous culture.Half of respondents to the survey said they oppose the idea of removing statues or monuments to politicians who espoused racist views or implemented racist policies, while 31 per cent said they support such moves and 19 per cent did not know.The divide was smaller when it came to streets, schools and other public institutions bearing the names of historic figures shown to have been racist, with 47 per cent against renaming them and 34 per cent in favour.Yet 75 per cent of respondents to the poll were against the Montreal-style "spontaneous" tearing down of Macdonald statues by activists while only 11 per cent said they were in favour.The numbers suggest Canadians are more supportive of a deliberate process of dealing with such statues — but take a critical view of activists taking matters into their own hands, said Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque."If it was not through vandalism, would that number be different? Most likely. Because fully a third of Canadians say they would support removing a monument or statue if it were for the reasons described there," Bourque said."But support for doing so through vandalism or some form of illegal action is not supported. In the context that it was done in Montreal, it doesn't get support from anybody."The results show respondents are also divided over how they see Macdonald.Forty-four per cent said they considered him first and foremost as the architect of Canadian confederation while 15 per cent viewed him as having set in motion policies that attacked the rights of Indigenous Peoples and sought to assimilate them.Yet 37 per cent said they did not know enough about him to say either way, while in another question, only 15 per cent said they had a positive view of Macdonald while 47 per cent were neutral, 12 per cent were negative and 26 per cent did not know.The online survey of 1,529 Canadians took place Sept. 4-6. An internet poll cannot be given a margin of error because it is not a random sample.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2020.The Canadian Press
SALEM, Ore. — Hundreds of people gathered Monday afternoon in a small town south of Portland for a pro-President Donald Trump vehicle rally — just over a week after member of a far-right group was fatally shot after a Trump caravan went through Oregon's largest city.Later, pro-Trump supporters and counter-protesters clashed in Oregon's Capitol city of Salem.Vehicles waving flags for Trump, the QAnon conspiracy theory and in support of police gathered at about noon at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City.The rally’s organizers said they would drive to toward Salem and most left the caravan before that. A smaller group of members of the right-wing group the Proud Boys went on to Salem, where a crowd of several dozen pro-Trump supporters had gathered.At one point Monday afternoon, the right-wing crowd rushed a smaller group of Black Lives Matters counter-demonstrators, firing paint-gun pellets at them.Videos on social media showed right-wing protesters chasing, tackling and assaulting left-wing protestors with weapons, their fists and with pepper spray, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Paintballs were also fired between the two groups.After unfolding a large American flag on the steps of the Capitol, right-wing protesters charged counter-protesters, leaving several of them injured, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Right-wing protesters made a second rush later, tackling and beating at least one person, leading to two arrests, the media outlet said.Organizers of the earlier vehicle rally in Oregon City said they did not plan to enter Multnomah County, where Portland is located. Oregon City is about 20 miles (32 kilometres) south of Portland.In Portland on Monday, Black Lives Matter supporters rallied in a city park and demonstrated peacefully, KOIN TV reported.“Teacher unions are part of the labour movement, and I feel like it’s really important for people who are members of a union to step up and say, ’Our labour supports Black Lives Matter and we are ready to organize in support of systemic change,' ” educator Joanne Shepard told the TV station.On Aug. 29 Aaron “Jay” Danielson, a supporter of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, was killed in Portland after a pro-Trump caravan went downtown. Trump supporters fired paint ball canisters at counter-demonstrators, who tried to block their way.Danielson’s suspected killer, Michael Forest Reinoehl, was fatally shot by police Thursday. Reinoehl was a supporter of antifa — shorthand for anti-fascists and an umbrella description for far-left-leaning militant groups.Demonstrations in Portland started in late May after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and have continued for more than 100 days.A fire started outside a police precinct on Portland's north side resulted in about 15 arrests during protests Sunday night into Monday morning, police said.Demonstrators protesting police brutality began marching about 9 p.m. Sunday and stopped at the North Precinct Community Policing Center, the site of several volatile protests in recent months.Officials warned demonstrators against entering the precinct property, saying they would be trespassing and subject to arrest.Shortly after arriving, the crowd began chanting, among other things, “burn it down," police said. Some in the group lit a mattress on fire.Most of those arrested were from Portland. Others were from San Francisco; Sacramento, California; Mesa, Arizona; and two from Vancouver, Washington.Charges included interfering with an officer, resisting arrest, reckless burning and possession of a destructive device.Andrew Selsky, The Associated Press
Toronto has a speeding problem, the city's mayor said Tuesday after officials analyzed the first month of data from automated speed cameras that have been rolled out.Mayor John Tory said the cameras have been operational in 50 school zones across the city since July 6.Over the following month the automated machines issued more than 22,000 tickets, he said. "These are very sobering numbers and this is a very serious problem that we collectively as a city have to come to grips with," Tory said.The cameras were installed just before the pandemic hit, but weren't being used until the summer due to COVID-19, he said.There were more than 2,000 repeat offenders in the first month the speeding cameras were turned on, including one vehicle that was issued 12 tickets.He said one camera in northwest Toronto near two schools issued more than 2,700 tickets.The highest speed the cameras recorded came at the same spot where a driver was nabbed going nearly 50 km/h over the posted 40 km/h limit."Who would drive in the city near two schools at 50 km/h above the limit?" Tory said.The mayor said he is hopeful the cameras will alter behaviour."The data tells a frustrating story, but I'm confident that will ultimately will lead to a change in behaviour, which is the whole idea," Tory said.It has taken years to get the automated speed cameras on Toronto's streets.In 2016, Toronto's city council formally requested the province to allow it to use the technology as part of its overall strategy to eliminate road fatalities and serious injuries.In 2017, the Liberal government at the time amended the Highway Traffic Act to allow for use of the cameras and in late November 2019, the Conservative government made it law to allow municipalities to operate the machines in certain spots, dubbed community safety zones.Toronto re-zoned about 750 elementary schools to community safety zones in order to comply with provincial regulations.The tickets do not come with the loss of demerit points and do not affect a person's driving record.Toronto police got rid of its traffic enforcement squad in 2013, but brought it back temporarily after an outcry from advocates last year amid growing pedestrian and cyclists deaths across the city.Police said Monday a permanent squad with highly visible officers will be out on the streets later this fall."The officers will conduct intelligence-led enforcement activities in locations determined by data from collisions, speed monitoring and more," Toronto police said in a statement.In 2019, six people died and 40 more were seriously hurt in collisions where speed was a factor, according to Toronto police data.The year before, speed was a factor in collisions where 16 people died and 58 people suffered major injuries.This article by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2020.Liam Casey, The Canadian Press
REGINA — Saskatchewan's education minister said he expects the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to a need for more substitute teachers but funding for those staff isn't an immediate priority.On Tuesday, as thousands of students were back in school for the first time in almost six months, Gord Wyant said officials don't yet know what the impact will be."We do anticipate that there will be a demand on substitute teachers, an increased demand over what likely is in the budgets of school divisions," Wyant told a news conference."But we don't know what that number's going to be."At the elementary school in Indian Head, a town east of Regina, all students started the year with online learning because a staff member tested positive for the novel coronavirus.The Prairie Valley School Division said other staff at the school have to isolate for 14 days and the plan is to start in-person classes next week.Wyant said COVID-19 cases in schools are inevitable and divisions have processes in place to respond when there are infections.Terri Leniuk sent her 14-year-old daughter to her first day of high school in Regina on Tuesday. The mother said her daughter felt apprehensive about going, and the regular back-to-school excitement was missing because of all the changes to routines."We were nervous, we didn't really know what to expect," Leniuk said."Am I planning on pulling her out if we have a case there or two? No. We need to give this some time and see how it goes."On Tuesday, the government outlined how it would spend about $40 million in provincial funding to help divisions safely reopen schools, and that's on top of $10 million boards can spend to cover pandemic-related costs from their own savings.Wyant said priority for funding was given to sanitization supplies and helping immunocompromised students. Some staff are also to be hired — 190 custodial staff, 150 teachers to assist those students with weaker immune systems and 102 staff to help with distance learning.Elya Lam, one of the mothers behind a community group pressing the province to bring in tighter safety measures in schools, said her family chose online learning for her kids going into Grade 2 and kindergarten because they have some immunocompromised relatives."We know that is not an option for a lot of families."In terms of support, Wyant said the province has yet to receive $75 million in federal money pledged to safely reopen schools. He added it will be accepting more funding requests from school divisions.Money for supplies like yoga mats and pencil cases, as well as paying for substitute teachers, were things that didn't make the cut this time around, Wyant said.Opposition NDP education critic Carla Beck said the Saskatchewan Party government should have announced the teacher positions earlier and it's foreseeable that divisions will need more money to pay for substitutes."I've heard from a number of substitute teachers that they're fully booked for the first week," she said.For many parents taking first day of school photos, their children's smiles were shielded by masks, as nearly all school divisions are requiring them to be worn in certain circumstances, such as on buses.Six million masks were ordered by the province and distributed to school divisions.Stacey Wempe is part of a group of parents behind an effort against mandatory masks in the South East Cornerstone Public School Division, which requires they be worn by grade 9 to 12 students when staying far enough apart isn't possible and they are outside their assigned cohorts.As of Tuesday afternoon, an online petition against masks in the division had more than 2,000 signatures.Wempe said her daughter starts Grade 12 at Estevan Comprehensive School on Wednesday and has been informed that if she doesn't wear a mask, she will be sent home.Parents weren't involved in deciding the mask policy, said Wempe, and she doesn't understand the rationale behind it when the rate of transmission of COVID-19 remains low in Saskatchewan.The province reported seven new COVID-19 cases and 58 active infections Tuesday."All we want actually is the dialogue with the school division. That's all we really want," Wempe said. "They're not giving us choices here. We have a right to have our own say and make our own decisions."Wyant says when it comes to masks, parents should follow the rules of their school divisions and any exemption to wearing one should be granted in "exceptional" circumstances.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2020Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press
An intruder smashed a bottle containing a chemical fluid in the campaign office of allies of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in the Russian city of Novosibirsk on Tuesday, forcing them to evacuate the premises, opposition activists said. Two people were treated by medics and at least one was taken to hospital, said Sergei Boyko, an opposition politician and ally of Navalny, who is being treated in hospital in Germany after what Berlin said was an attempt to kill him by poisoning. Boyko, who is running for the city council of Novosibirsk in Siberia in an election on Sunday, said it was unclear what substance had been thrown in the campaign office but that police had said it was not toxic.
Two officers sustained injuries after responding to an incident of an alleged driver with a machete ramming a vehicle on the DVP. Miranda Anthistle reports.
Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said on Tuesday that the increase of daily COVID-19 cases reported in the past week is concerning as students return to schools across the country. She added that what happens at schools is a reflection of what’s happening in the community and calling on everyone to keep up the effective public health practices.