A retired sheriff and his wife, grieving over the death of their son, set out to find their only grandson.
A retired sheriff and his wife, grieving over the death of their son, set out to find their only grandson.
PHILADELPHIA — President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the campaign's latest effort to challenge the state’s election results.Trump’s lawyers vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court despite the judges' assessment that the “campaign’s claims have no merit.”“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” 3rd Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, wrote for the three-judge panel, all appointed by Republican presidents.The case had been argued last week in a lower court by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who insisted during five hours of oral arguments that the 2020 presidential election had been marred by widespread fraud in Pennsylvania. However, Giuliani failed to offer any tangible proof of that in court.U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, another Republican, had said the campaign's error-filled complaint, “like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together” and denied Giuliani the right to amend it for a second time.The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called any revisions “futile.” Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith and Judge Michael Chagares were on the panel with Bibas, a former University of Pennsylvania law professor. Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, sat on the court for 20 years, retiring in 2019.“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” Bibas said in the opinion, which also denied the campaign's request to stop the state from certifying its results, a demand he called “breathtaking.”In fact, Pennsylvania officials had announced Tuesday that they had certified their vote count for President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump by more than 80,000 votes in the state. Nationally, Biden and running mate Kamala Harris garnered nearly 80 million votes, a record in U.S. presidential elections.Trump has said he hopes the Supreme Court will intervene in the race as it did in 2000, when its decision to stop the recount in Florida gave the election to Republican George W. Bush. On Nov. 5, as the vote count continued, Trump posted a tweet saying the “U.S. Supreme Court should decide!”Ever since, Trump and his surrogates have attacked the election as flawed and filed a flurry of lawsuits to try to block the results in six battleground states. But they’ve found little sympathy from judges, nearly all of whom dismissed their complaints about the security of mail-in ballots, which millions of people used to vote from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.Trump perhaps hopes a Supreme Court he helped steer toward a conservative 6-3 majority would be more open to his pleas, especially since the high court upheld Pennsylvania’s decision to accept mail-in ballots through Nov. 6 by only a 4-4 vote last month. Since then, Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett has joined the court.“The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud,” Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tweeted after Friday's ruling. “On to SCOTUS!”In the case at hand, the Trump campaign asked to disenfranchise the state’s 6.8 million voters or at least “cherry-pick” the 1.5 million who voted by mail in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other Democratic-leaning areas, the appeals court said.“One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption,” Brann, a member of the conservative Federalist Society, wrote in his scathing ruling on Nov. 21. “That has not happened.”A separate Republican challenge that reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week seeks to stop the state from further certifying any races on the ballot. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is fighting that effort, saying it would prevent the state’s legislature and congressional delegation from being seated in the coming weeks.On Thursday, Trump said the Nov. 3 election was still far from over. Yet he said for the first time he would leave the White House on Jan. 20 if the Electoral College formalizes Biden’s win.“Certainly I will. But you know that,” Trump said at the White House, taking questions from reporters for the first time since Election Day.On Twitter Friday, however, he continued to baselessly attack Detroit, Atlanta and other Democratic cities with large Black populations as the source of “massive voter fraud.” And he claimed, without evidence, that a Pennsylvania poll watcher had uncovered computer memory drives that “gave Biden 50,000 votes” apiece.All 50 states must certify their results before the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14, and any challenge to the results must be resolved by Dec. 8. Biden won both the Electoral College and popular vote by wide margins.___Follow Maryclaire Dale on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MaryclairedaleMaryclaire Dale, The Associated Press
MILTON, Ga. — In a black face mask and cap, activist Garrett Bess walked up driveway after driveway of million-dollar homes in suburban Atlanta on a recent afternoon, placing a flyer in each door, ringing the bell and stepping away to make a socially distanced pitch to vote for the conservative candidates in Georgia's pivotal U.S. Senate runoff elections.Bess' group, Heritage Action for America, plans to knock on half a million doors before the state's two Jan. 5 contests that will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.“Everyone in Georgia knows the candidates,” said Janae Stracke, a colleague of Bess’ who also canvassed the subdivision. "There’s not a lot of convincing to do. They’ve made up their mind. It’s mostly knowing when to vote, how to vote, encouraging them to vote.”This election season, the coronavirus pandemic has upended traditional get-out-the-vote efforts where campaign workers go door to door to encourage people to cast ballots. With people staying at home and limiting contact with outsiders, an extended conversation with a campaign worker who shows up uninvited may actually encourage people to vote for someone else.But it's a sign of how important the two Senate elections are that both parties and independent advocacy groups are going all in on their in-person get-out-the-vote efforts.After the GOP lost the presidential election in Georgia for the first time in 28 years, conservatives are urging Republicans to get more aggressive with their turnout efforts in the state to match the outreach of former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.After Abrams lost the 2018 governor's race, she devoted herself to voter outreach, convinced that the state was a genuine battleground if Democrats galvanized young voters, minorities and people moving in from other states. She raised millions of dollars to organize and register hundreds of thousands of voters in the state — efforts credited with helping Democrat Joe Biden win Georgia.Republicans have to catch up, Republican operative Karl Rove told Fox News.“Let’s not kid ourselves: This is a real race,” said Rove, who is leading fundraising efforts for the runoffs.The National Republican Senatorial Committee expects to have 1,000 staffers on the ground in Georgia. For comparison, the Republican National Committee had a total of 3,000 paid field staff across the whole country during the presidential race.Democrats carry their own baggage into the runoff. In many parts of the country, they limited face-to-face campaigning ahead of the Nov. 3 election because of the pandemic, arguing that was the responsible thing to do. But that decision was second-guessed in places such as Florida.The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to spend millions on voter registration and turnout efforts.Outside groups are also hitting the ground, and the in-person appeals will be supplemented with a fusillade of phone calls, text messages, mailers and ads aimed at boosting turnout for the races pitting Republican Sen. David Perdue against Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democrat Raphael Warnock.Turnout tends to drop precipitously in runoff contests in Georgia. And activists fear there might be even more of a falloff this time, when the excitement of the Trump-Biden race is over. So getting voters to come back to the polls becomes more of a focus than “trying to find new voters or win over voters who voted for your opponent,” said Charles Bullock, an expert on Southern politics at the University of Georgia.Historically, that drop-off has disproportionately affected Democrats, so the party faces strong headwinds heading into January. The Republican candidate has beaten the Democrat in seven out of eight runoff elections since 1992, including two U.S. Senate races.Democrats have reason for optimism after Biden's win, but his margin of victory was tiny — less than 13,000 votes of nearly 5 million cast — and it’s been 20 years since the state elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.But groups whose efforts tend to favour Democrats are charged. On Friday, representatives of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America went door to door in a neighbourhood just outside Atlanta encouraging people to vote for Ossoff and Warnock.“If we don't get those two seats in Congress, everything we did to flip Georgia blue is not going to help us,” Phyllis Morrow told a couple that pulled over in their car.The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia, which has more than 150,000 parishioners in the state, is asking members to call eligible voters in their congregations, encourage them to vote early and assist with rides if they need help getting to the polls on Jan. 5.Bishop Reginald T. Jackson said Black voters are excited and “realize the eyes of the nation are on Georgia.”"They know people are going to be looking to see whether or not Blacks turn out,” he said.The New Georgia Project, a group founded by Abrams, will try to register some of the estimated 35,000 people who have finished their felony sentences and can requalify to vote as well as some of the estimated 23,000 people who are turning 18 before the runoff, Executive Director Nse Ufot said.Ufot said the group also aims to knock on 1 million doors before the runoff, up from 500,000 before the general election, and is training volunteers to take coronavirus precautions.In Milton, Bess and Stracke were in friendly territory. The affluent, mostly white city about 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of Atlanta showed strong support for President Donald Trump in the November election. The neighbourhood they canvassed last week featured manicured lawns and spacious homes set back from the street.“Oh, you have no problem here,” Holly McCormick, 73, told Bess after he rang her doorbell. The flyers he carried warned that Georgia was the country’s “last line of defence from a socialist takeover.”McCormick called the outcome of the presidential race “rigged” though there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and she said Trump’s claims of illegal votes made her more energized to vote for Perdue and Loeffler in January.“We have to hold the Senate,” she said.___Associated Press writer Jeff Amy in Atlanta contributed to this report.Sudhin Thanawala, The Associated Press
Comme chaque année, les gens sont invités à faire preuve de générosité pour la Grande guignolée organisée par le Centre d'action bénévole (CAB) de Port-Cartier. L'organisme ne récolte que des dons en argent. La directrice du CAB de Port-Cartier, Laurencia Bond, explique qu'il y a deux façons pour faire un don. Les gens peuvent se présenter en personne aux locaux du CAB de Port-Cartier ou ils peuvent le faire en ligne en suivant ce lien. Il est possible de faire un don jusqu'au 16 décembre. Un reçu aux fins d’impôts pourra être remis pour les dons de 20$ et plus. L'argent récolté servira à offrir des bons en argent pour les familles dans le besoin. Avec ses bons, les personnes pourront se rendre dans les commerces pour acheter de la nourriture. Le CAB de Port-Cartier a commencé sa campagne en sollicitant les donations des entreprises de Port-Cartier. Jusqu'à présent, la grande guignolée a déjà réussi à amasser plus de 8 000$.Vincent Berrouard, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nord-Côtier
NEW YORK — Fans of Bad Bunny are used to expecting something different each time he releases new music.He's done it since his first studio album, 2018's “X 100pre” ("Forever"); then with “Oasis”, his collaboration with J Balvin in 2019, and last February with his award-winning “YHLQMDLG,” a 20-track project which explored love and loss through a combination of trap and reggaetón.Now he is surprising fans with “El Último Tour del Mundo” ("The Last Tour of the World"), a 16-song collection written during the pandemic and released Friday in which he plays with alternative music, punk, pop and even rock ‘n’ roll.“I am not a fan of repeating the same formula,” the singer says. “Each album that I've made has it's own identity.”“El Último Tour del Mundo” was mostly written by Bad Bunny and features collaborations with American singer-songwriter Abra, Spanish sensation Rosalía and Puerto Rican Jhay Cortez.The album arrives only a few days after Bad Bunny received a Latin Grammy, two American Music Awards and two new Grammy nominations, including for best pop duo/group performance for “Un Día (One Day)” with Balvin, Dua Lipa and Tainy.While recovering from COVID-19, the 26 year-old musician, whose real name is Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, spoke to The Associated Press from his home in Puerto Rico. Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.AP: You had to cancel your planned performance at the American Music Awards after testing positive for the coronavirus. How are you feeling?Bad Bunny: I am well, thank God. I am feeling better. There were days where I felt a little bad, but I feel that I'm almost totally recovered.AP: You have plenty of reasons to celebrate: A Latin Grammy, two American Music Awards, two new nominations to the Grammys, a new album. This has been an important week.Bad Bunny: I am very happy. Many things are happening. Despite being a difficult year for many, myself included, 2020 has also given me many things to be grateful for thanks to the music. We are very happy, enjoying the blessings and the good things that may come.AP: In “El Último Tour del Mundo” you play with new rhythms and elements. Tell us a bit about this production.Bad Bunny: I've always said that albums are for making new, different things and to discover yourself as an artist. I am not a fan of repeating the same formula... This new album is meant to be listened while relaxing at home, in your room, in your car, at night with some friends, with a glass (of wine) or a beer. It has many songs that are fun and it has a lot of emotion. It has a lot of me. More than a Bad Bunny album, this is a Benito album.AP: Besides the mood of your music, how do you feel that the pandemic has affected you as an artist?Bad Bunny: It forced me to be even more productive because I was alone at home doing nothing. At times I felt like writing songs that had to do with everything that was happening, but at the same time I told myself ‘No’ because I want people to forget reality when they listen to my music. But reality always touches your music: there are a few songs where you can feel that the muse was everything that is going on, like “Antes Que Se Acabe” ("Before It Ends"). That's a very special song that comes from that sensation that the world seems to be coming to an end, but before that happens we need to give love and share with one another.AP: Would you call it a more introspective album?Bad Bunny: You could say that, although it also has some songs about heartbreak, which people always love to hear and I do love to write... and other themes like “Maldita Pobreza” ("Damn Poverty"), which is very fun, one of my favourites. It starts with this boy that wants to give everything to a girl and he can’t because he’s poor, and then the song takes a turn and becomes a little social. There’s also “Yo visto así”, which is my story and the story of many people always criticized for the way they dress, and it’s like saying “If you don’t like it, well...” (laughs.)AP: Why “The Last Tour of the World”?Bad Bunny: When I released “YHLQMDLG,” this whole quarantine thing started and I wrote most of the songs during those first weeks. The only thing that gave me life was working on the album. At that moment, the images that we were seeing on TV and social media were apocalyptic, like the world was coming to an end. I think that had an influence in the album's title and it doesn't imply that this is going to be my last tour, but the last tour of the world, literally: No one will be able to go on tour. No one. Neither Maluma nor Lady Gaga. It’s like me moving forward a tour from 2032 to 2020, before the world comes to an end.___Follow Sigal Ratner-Arias on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sigalratner.Sigal Ratner-Arias, The Associated Press
There are no windows in Robyn O'Drowsky's classroom.Her walls would usually be plastered with posters and kids' art. Instead, she's staring at drab off-white brick, a few lockers and more coat hooks than she has coats.She's hunkered down in the girls' change room at St. Mary's Catholic School, in Elora, Ont., converted into her Grade 5 virtual classroom. She lives with her parents, who are older and more vulnerable to COVID-19, so she opted to teach online this year."It's strange because I am kind of just in here talking to a computer," she said. But she's made it work. "I have my en suite, which is my own private bathroom, and I'm set up in here pretty well."The province estimates as of mid-October, some 450,000 students were learning online. O'Drowsky, or Ms. O as students call her, is one of the teachers making it happen. It's been a steep learning curve, as teaching online is an entirely new concept for most teachers and many of Ontario's school boards.For the first few months, O'Drowsky was working and planning lessons pretty much whenever she was awake. She's now mentoring in-class teachers in case everyone has to pivot. "If that happens, my kids are already set. We are flying," she said. "I feel like these children are super resilient."The online model has given her a glimpse into student's lives that she wouldn't get in a regular classroom. She's met lots of pets and always knows when someone forgets to change out of their pyjamas. It's also helped with managing behaviours. She doesn't have to deal with humming, singing or fidgeting anymore."I find we're getting through lessons a lot faster."'Speaking into the void'The hardest part has been figuring out how to maintain a one-on-one connection. In a regular classroom, students would just come up to O'Drowsky's desk."It's a work in progress but as we go, I feel like the kids are getting more confident," she said.LISTEN Virtual teachers discuss how online school is going:That lack of connection has been challenging for Albert Fong, who teaches high school science and physics at The Woodlands School in Mississauga. He's got a hybrid classroom, with some students in-person and others online."This model we have is taking a lot of joy out of teaching because I'm often speaking into the void," he said. "They've muted their microphones and I don't know if they're listening."He's been trying to find joy in little things. Like when a student unmutes at the end of class to say bye.Fong has been teaching for 16 years. This year has been the most difficult. He's a hands-on teacher, teaching a hands-on subject. He's tried his best but it's hard to replicate when students aren't there in-person."I try to not think to June ... most teachers in my position are just thinking a couple days ahead."Parents now in the classroom tooTypically teachers wouldn't be sitting down, staring at a screen all day, so they've had to get used to that, too."It's exhausting," admits Alex Mitchell, virtually teaching a Grade 6/7 split for the Catholic school board in Pembroke, Ont. "I have a new found appreciation for desk workers."He's got a big office to himself, so he's brought a yoga mat and stretches during breaks, off camera of course.It's Mitchell's first year teaching in a public board so he's getting a far different experience than if he was starting in a physical classroom. He's finding parents are playing a bigger role than he thought."For the first time ever, parents are in the classroom," he said. "It's kind of new for me to have to manage adults as well as children."Mitchell's also learned snow days aren't a thing. While his in-person counterparts got a snow day a few days ago, he had to wake up early to dig himself out."That was the very first thing they told us at our very first staff meeting. There will be no snow days. Don't ask."He has been cherishing the "almighty" mute button though, something he hopes to bring when he returns to a physical classroom, post-pandemic."[It's] the ultimate classroom management tool."
Alberta reported 1,227 new cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths Friday. That brings the number of active cases to a record 14,217. Today is the final day of in-school classes for junior and senior high students in Alberta, and the waiting has begun to see what impact the government's new measures will have, if any, on the COVID-19 outbreak in the province. For the next three weeks, Grade 7 to 12 classrooms will remain empty. Indoor social gatherings are banned, outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people and access to some businesses will be restricted, while masks will be mandatory at indoor workplaces in Edmonton and Calgary. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, asked Albertans Friday to cut back on their in-person interactions with others. "I want to be clear, for the next few weeks every one of us needs to dramatically reduce the amount of contact we have with people outside our own household," Hinshaw said at a news conference. "This weekend, I am asking all Albertans to embrace this challenge. "The decisions each of us make this weekend will help determine whether cases fall or rise in the weeks ahead. So please be wise, be safe and let's all look out for each other." Province to enforce restrictions As the province moves forward with the new restrictions, Hinshaw asked Albertans to cooperate with health-care workers, business people and anyone else enforcing the rules. "I know that the restrictions currently placed on all of us are difficult, but they are not the fault of law enforcement or inspectors who are simply trying to enforce what is in place and to help stop the spread," she said. "I urge Albertans to exercise patience and kindness in the days ahead. If a line is a bit longer than usual or an employee asks you to follow a new policy that is in place, please do not take your frustrations out on these workers. "These new restrictions and measures create extra work and pressures for staff, owners and operators." Kaycee Madu, Alberta's minister of justice and solicitor general, said the province is ready to enforce the new rules. "My expectation is that those who are in violation of the measures that we have put in place would have to be held accountable," Madu said at the news conference. "I think you are going to see a heightened level of enforcement in those cases where there are individuals who are blatantly not compliant with the health measures." Up to 700 additional peace officers will help police and other law enforcement officers administer the new rules, Madu said. 10-day wait Hinshaw says it will be 10 to 14 days before we see if the new measures can dent surging COVID-19 case numbers. Until then, the numbers seem destined to soar as they have through November. On Thursday, the number of active cases in Alberta broke 14,000 while the number of dead broke 500. Public health critics and the most vocal of the province's doctors fear the government waited too long to act. They point to the number of people in hospital and in ICU, which Hinshaw herself sees as key metrics in the battle. Almost everyday those numbers set new records. On Friday, there were 405 people in hospital, 86 of them in ICU. Critics also claim the restrictions do not go far enough, saying if we have to wait 10 days to know for sure, it may be too late to get the disease under control. The active cases in Alberta breaks down among regions as: Edmonton zone: 6,614 cases Calgary zone: 5,164 cases Central zone: 950 cases North zone: 769 cases South zone: 634 cases Unknown: 86 cases The new deaths bring the total to 519. They include: A man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Rosealta Lodge in the Central zone. He died Nov. 16. A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at the Manor Village Varsity in the Calgary zone. She died Nov. 17. A man in his 60s in the South zone who died Tuesday. A woman in her 80s in the Edmonton zone who died Tuesday. A man in his 70s linked to the outbreak at Laurel Heights Retirement Residence in the Edmonton zone. He died Wednesday. A woman in her 90s in the Edmonton zone who died Wednesday. A woman in her 70s in the South zone who died Thursday. A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at Extendicare Eaux Claires in the Edmonton zone. She died Thursday. A man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Revera Bow-Crest in the Calgary zone. He died Thursday.
LONDON, Ont. — An outbreak that prompted a London, Ont., hospital to stop new admissions at its medical wards has expanded to some of its surgical units.Middlesex-London Health Unit has ordered a pause to all visitations at University Hospital.Only visitors for dying patients are allowed.London Health Sciences Centre did not say whether the newly affected surgical units will remain open.The health network had said that new medical patients at University Hospital will be transferred to Victoria Hospital.As of Thursday, there were two deaths, 21 patients, 23 staff cases linked to the outbreak.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.The Canadian Press
In the final part of our series on men’s mental health, the group of men meet each other on zoom for a candid and open conversation about emotional health.
After 46 years running his business, Brian Quinn of Quinn’s Meats in Yarker, Ont. is preparing to retire. He’s hoping to sell the commercial property to someone that will keep the abattoir and meat retail business intact, proving a challenge as fewer young people enter the industry. “The trade hasn’t passed down from generation to generation,” Quinn said. “Pretty much everybody here is in their 50s. There are no young kids stepping up.” Quinn describes his industry as “recession-proof, pandemic-proof and good, solid business.” “We don’t work nights, we don’t work Sundays. It’s a good, solid, full-time job and it pays really competitively,” he said. Still, during his career, Quinn said he has watched as abattoir after abattoir have closed all around him. “When I started there were six within 25 miles,” he said. His clients bring livestock from Perth, Smiths Falls and Frontenac County — anywhere within 100 mile radius, he said. If the person who buys his property does not maintain the abattoir, he said he doesn’t know what those farmers will do. Demand for his services is incredibly high, he explained. “In Eastern Ontario, east of Toronto, every abattoir is booked up a year in advance.” Quinn learned the trade from his uncle and grandfather when he was in high school. After completing a few years at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, he said the business came up for sale so he bought it. “The work is not that hard,” he explained. “It’s just when you mention ‘slaughter house’ or ‘abattoir,’ or ‘butcher,’ it just turns people off. It’s not a bad go. We have a modern facility, heated floors, all the modern equipment, so it’s not as labour intensive as it used to be. It’s repetitive work.” “If you’re working on the kill floor for example, there’s obviously going to be a smell there, and the stuff that goes on with the slaughter of an animal. It’s not a pleasant task by any means, no matter who you are. But it has to be done for the process,” he said. “I think that’s a major thing that people just can’t get their mind passed. That’s just my thinking.” He also cited increasing government regulation as a factor pushing existing business owners out of the industry. “A lot of the plants were older and weren’t up to standard, they weren’t willing to make the financial commitment to [update].” Quinn said that he has essentially rebuilt his entire facility over the years to keep it in compliance. The sale or distribution of uninspected meat is illegal in Ontario. Animals must be inspected and approved prior to slaughter, processed in a licensed facility and then stamped, labelled or tagged with an inspection license. “Most of the older plants that we’re talking about that have closed up, they were built before meat inspection was even compulsory. They were grandfathered in and regulations kept getting stricter and stricter. You either had to get up to standards, or get out,” he said. Quinn’s business, as well as the home on the adjacent property, are listed together for $1.3 million, including all equipment, license, existing inventory, a smokehouse and a stand alone generator. The processing area is suited to the custom cutting of beef, pork, lamb and goat. The retail area includes meat counters and coolers to sell beef and pork by the cut, as well as chicken and other products. According to the government of Canada, the beef industry reached retail sales of $5.4 billion USD in 2018, with beef representing 29.1 per cent of the overall retail Canadian meat sector. The sector is expected to grow by 2.4 per cent by 2023. “Meat substitutes,” or soy-based products such as burgers and grills, meatballs, sausage and other portions represented only $102.0 million USD in 2018. “Nevertheless, the sales of ‘meat substitute’ product categories are all growing faster than sales of most meat product categories… between 2014-2023,” says the federal sector overview of meat in Canada.Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
Selon un sondage effectué par Equifax Canada, 62 % des Canadiens prévoit dépenser un montant similaire ou supérieur à l'an dernier lors de leur magasinage des Fêtes. À l'inverse, seulement 33 % prévoient dépenser moins qu'à pareille date en 2019. La façon de magasiner sera quant à elle bien différente en raison du contexte de pandémie de la COVID-19. 65 % des répondants prévoient magasiner en ligne cette année. Le sondage révèle également que 56 % des citoyens canadiens ne visiteront pas leur famille élargie cette année. Ce nombre grimpe à 60 % pour les consommateurs de 55 ans et plus. Bien que 54 % des personnes sondées ont préparé un budget en vue de leur magasinage des Fêtes, plusieurs d'entre elles affirment avoir des difficultés à rattraper le retard dans le paiement de leurs achats (33 %) à la suite de cette période de l'année. Un même pourcentage (33 %) éprouve beaucoup d'anxiété au sujet de leur niveau actuel d'endettement personnel. On note aussi que 19 % des répondants regrettent leurs achats des Fêtes lorsqu'ils reçoivent leur relevé de carte de crédit. La COVID-19 a eu des effets sur la situation financière des répondants. 68 % d'entre eux ont dû reporter un achat important depuis le début de la pandémie, que ce soit des vacances (59 %), un projet de rénovation (25 %), l'achat d'un véhicule (22 %) ou d'une nouvelle maison (19 %). 31 % s'entendent également pour dire que leur emploi est moins sûr en raison de la pandémie. «Même si personne n’aime devoir reporter un achat important, les données de notre sondage confirment que la plupart des gens continuent d’agir de manière responsable par rapport à leur endettement, a expliqué Rebecca Oakes, vice-présidente adjointe, Analyse avancée chez Equifax Canada, par voie de communiqué. Le fait de trop s’endetter en période d’incertitude financière peut être stressant. L’optimisme est une bonne chose, mais il est très important de planifier les achats importants.» Par ailleurs, 45 % des personnes sondées disent s'attendre à ce que les finances de leur ménage se stabilisent au cours des six prochains mois.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
More than once during the weeks leading up to the provincial election Premier Moe referred to the province as being a supplier of raw materials to the world, but is this where the province should remain? Over 70% of Canada’s farmland is located in the prairies and historically, Saskatchewan was referred to as the “bread-basket of the world”, but with the shift away from primarily wheat production and the growth of the oil and gas sectors, that title has fallen into disuse. Yet, Saskatchewan remains in the realm of a primary producer. The problem with that status became evident earlier this year when COVID-19 arrived on our doorstep. As a province we are heavily reliant on other districts to supply our finished products and when they run into problems, such as the outbreaks of the coronavirus among their employees, the ripples are felt all along the food chain. But the authors of a new report just released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives highlights another factor that while many across the prairies realize its happening, may not realize the full extent nor the implications of the trend. For years ‘bigger is better’ has been mantra of our culture, bigger homes, bigger trucks, bigger toys, and this is true of farming as well. Since the 1980’s farmers in Saskatchewan have been encouraged become bigger. Marginal farmland was pulled into production to make for bigger crops. Bigger equipment could complete the farmers work in less time and well, bigger equipment meant that it was possible to work more land, and the cycle continued. The era of broadly distributed land ownership, of food production by small and medium-sized family farms, is fading and the small farm is all but extinct. The number of young farmers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba has, according to the report Concentration Matters: Farmland Inequality on the Prairies, declined by more than 70 percent, in just one generation—since 1991 (Statistics Canada Table 32-10-0169-01). The report authored by Darrin Qualman, Annette Aurélie Desmarais, André Magnan, Mengistu Wendimu for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) states that while it remains the case that local families do operate the vast majority of our farms, there are fewer and fewer of those families every year. Thirty-eight percent of the farmland in Saskatchewan is operated and controlled by just 8 percent of Saskatchewan farms or just over 2,400 operations. These 2400+ farms average 9,382 acres in size, though many are much larger. The reduction in the number of small farms, the concentration of farmland and farm income into fewer and fewer large operations, and barriers to entry created by rising land prices (See Farm Credit Canada, Farmland Values Report), all make it more difficult for young and new farmers to enter agriculture, the report goes on to say. This difficulty in gaining access to farmland is therefore, effectively stifling the possibility of farming as a career choice for young Canadians (Qualman, Akram-Lodhi, Desmarais, and Srinivasan, 2018). Farms larger than 10,000 acres make up less than 2 percent of total Prairie farms, yet those very large operations captured approximately 15 percent of gross revenues and net income. On average, these very large farms earned net incomes of more than $820,000 before depreciation. At the other end of the size distribution, farms smaller than 1,000 acres, though they make up 53 percent of total farms, captured just 21 percent of revenues and 18 percent of net income. On average, these farms earned net incomes of just over $34,000 each. Because margins are tight and per-acre net income is low on cattle farms and grain and oilseed farms, a young or new farmer on a small farm with few acres paid for has a very limited ability to pay for additional acres, large farms often have greater capacity to borrow money (on better terms than those usually offered to smaller farms), and as a result unless a young farmer can partner with another, either a family member or another farmer looking to start ‘slowing down’, there is no avenue for him or her to get in and fewer and fewer farm children are returning to the farm. In 2014, for instance, 73 percent of farmland transactions involving an ownership change were between arms-length parties (neighbours), whereas 27 percent were among family members (Magnan and Sunley 2017). The rate of farmland concentration however, is running far ahead of the rate of farm loss. Since 1966, Canada has lost half of its farms, but the number of farmers who control the vast majority of land is far smaller than the numbers above suggest. According to the report, across the Prairie Provinces, farms larger than 5,000 acres, which represents 7 percent of all farms, own 27 percent of all farmland that is owner-operated, also those same 7 percent of Prairie farms that are larger than 5,000 acres, lease 67 percent of government leased farm land and rent or lease 35 percent of all land rented or leased by farmers from non-government farmland owners. So, while it may remain the case that our farmland is owned by local families, it is also the case that most is owned by a very small percentage of families. In 2016, 37,622 farm operations owned about half of all Canadian agricultural land in private hands. Translated into number of people, the authors of the study made a rough assumption that each farming operation included, in some combination of parents, children, spouse/partner, about 2.5 landowners. Thus those 37,622 farm operations become 94,055 people (less than .3% of the Canada’s entire population) own half of the country’s food-producing acreage. The great exit of young people from rural to urban areas is well documented in report after report in Statistics Canada library, but to bring this into a more local perspective, the 1976 census shows the population of the RM of Fish Creek to be 591, by 1981 that number had dropped to 510. (https://archive.org/details/1981939081982engfra/page/n47/mode/2up?q=Fish+Creek+RM) Twenty years later, the population was 382 and while that number is now recorded as 345, in the intervening years it did drop as low as 307 at one point. The report concludes that unless government policies or economic shocks alter these trends, 20 years from now, the area of land operated by small farms will be negligible, and farms larger than 5,000 acres may operate 50 to 60 percent of Prairie farmland (up from about 37 percent today).Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder
OTTAWA — The federal government is sending $542 million to Indigenous groups to help them set up welfare services for children and families, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday. The Canadian government has been promising to transfer control over child and family services to Indigenous governing bodies so they don't need to rely on outsiders to protect children in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. In 2019, Parliament passed a law to reform the system, requiring that children on reserves have access to services equal to those who live off reserves. The legislation also recognize that Indigenous Peoples' constitutional right to self-government includes the right to run their own welfare agencies. "We are keeping our promise to give them the support they need to keep children within their families and their communities, so they can grow up surrounded by the strength of their culture to achieve their full potential," Trudeau said. Child-protection agencies have often removed Indigenous children not just from their parents but out of their communities entirely when workers decide the kids aren't safe — often because a lack of funding left them with few other options. That's broken up families and hurt children's connections to their heritage. Federal census figures say Indigenous children make up more than half the kids in foster care across the country, despite being fewer than eight per cent of the children in Canada. "Behind these devastating numbers, there are real children, real and terrible stories," Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said Friday in a separate news conference. The new money is for everything from research and expert advice to consultations on how those Indigenous governments will establish and run their own child and family services, as well as to support their negotiations with provincial and federal authorities. Miller said this is an "essential step to correct the errors of the past" and will help unleash the potential of Indigenous young people who have been held back for generations. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. The Canadian Press
TORONTO — The number of reported new cases of COVID-19 and related deaths surged in Ontario on Friday, a day after officials expressed cautious optimism the spread of the dangerous virus was moderating. Figures released show a record 1,855 new infections, a whopping increase of 25 per cent from the previous day. Public health authorities also reported 20 new deaths. There were slight decreases in the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital and on ventilators. The surge in new cases comes as the province grapples with how best to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in an effort to keep the health-care system functioning. Health Minister Christine Elliott said the sharp spike was not unexpected, given that stringent measures in the hard-hit Toronto area only kicked in on Monday. It would likely take two full weeks before the numbers start dropping, she said. "We're still seeing the results from some of the events that have happened and some of the celebrations that have happened in the last few weeks," Elliott said. Premier Doug Ford spent much of Friday's briefing looking forward to the day when an anti-COVID vaccine might be available. Former chief of national defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier will oversee a distribution task force, Ford said, as he called on the federal government to provide details as soon as possible about the doses the province can expect. "We need a clear line of sight into the timelines of the shipments," Ford said. Several hospitals have now experienced outbreaks, including a major facility in London, Ont. Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, Ont., became the latest hit after three patients and two staff tested positive. The facility said it had closed its clinical teaching unit to new patient admissions and was pondering whether to close one of its eight operating rooms. It also said it was suspending in-person visits in favour of virtual connections. Staff at high risk of exposure had been tested and asked to self-isolate, Cheryl Evans, a Grand River spokeswoman, said. In recent weeks, the provincial government and local health authorities have reimposed increasingly stringent anti-pandemic measures, forcing businesses to close and strongly advising people in hot spots to all but isolate. On Thursday, police ticketed a provincial politician, Randy Hillier, for his role in an anti-lockdown protest at the legislature. Supporters carrying placards that suggested the pandemic was fake did not wear masks. Ford called the politician totally "irresponsible." "Folks that believe this is just a big hoax, which I've never figured that out, this is a very serious virus, we're seeing it around the world, around our country," Ford said. Four of the hardest hit regions all saw significant case increases, with Elliott reporting 517 new infections in Peel, 494 in Toronto, 189 in York Region, and 130 in Halton. The most recent provincial projections indicate the province was on track to see more than 9,000 new daily COVID-19 cases by mid-December without the more stringent measures. Ford has warned against planning Christmas or other celebrations, while Elliott has said it would be "very optimistic" to expect much of an improvement in time for the holidays. While schools have remained open, the education minister has warned that an extended winter break or move to remote-only learning may be needed. "We are thinking ahead to be able to mitigate any increase of transmission in our schools because we've fundamentally, in this province, been able to keep that rate down,'' Education Minister Stephen Lecce said on Thursday. Latest figures show 122 new cases in schools, bringing the total infections to 4,470, with at least 2,769 involving students, and at least 614 involving teachers and staff. Public health authorities on Friday closed the private Northside Christian School in Listowel, Ont., until at least Dec. 1 after an outbreak. Huron Perth Public Health said the school reported one case but others might be connected. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — Manitoba plans to continue cracking down on retailers not following public health orders as officials say COVID-19 is starting to impact vulnerable populations at a higher rate. Dr. Brent Roussin, the province's chief public health officer, announced 344 new cases and 14 more deaths on Friday. "The weekend is coming up, so there’s always those urges to get together with others or to run non-essential errands," Roussin said. "But my ask to you is to stay home.” There's been a surge of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba over the last few months and the province has brought in significant restrictions, including mandated masks in indoor public spaces and the closure of restaurants and bars. Churches and stores that sell non-essential goods are also supposed to be closed. Retailers allowed to stay open are required to block off non-essential products, although they can still be purchased online for curbside pickup. The province issued a $5,000-ticket to a Winnipeg Costco this week for selling non-essential items. The Church of God near Steinbach was also issued a $5,000-ticket for holding a service last Sunday. The church has posted online its intention to hold another service this weekend. Roussin said enforcement will continue because Manitoba's health-care system cannot sustain its current rate of infections. There were 322 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Friday, with 45 of them in intensive care. "These orders are in place to save Manitobans' lives," Roussin said. "An organization or individuals trying to find ways around it need to understand you are putting Manitobans at risk." COVID-19 has begun to disproportionately affect vulnerable populations during the second wave, he added. There has been an increase of infections in homeless shelters, group homes and other services. The government announced earlier Friday plans to provide a wage top-up to people who work in group homes, homeless shelters and personal care homes. Families Minister Heather Stefanson said the $35-million wage support program is to provide an extra $5 an hour to about 20,000 front-line workers for two months. Stefanson said it will help workers who are facing a lot of stress as infections increase. Only workers making less than $25 an hour can apply. “Our homeless shelters are also experiencing staff shortages due to positive cases and we are seeing the virus spread into our child and family services group care homes,” Stefanson said. She did not provide numbers of infections in these facilities or populations, but said that as of Thursday there were infections among workers and participants in 16 disability service agencies. Employees who are unable to work due to a COVID-19 infection or are waiting for test results will not receive the money. Stefanson said she does not believe it will incentivize people to work while sick. Half the cost of the program comes from federal COVID-19 funding. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press
Marketing students at Burnett secondary are giving back to their community. Inspired by the sacrifices and generosity of frontline workers, they were tasked with contributing through three goals: reinforcing the government’s COVID-19 safety guidelines, starting a non-profit fundraiser to give back to frontline organizations and workers, and developing a project to create or revitalize community spirit. “Normally the marketing classes would run a school store as part of their experiential learning experience, but with COVID it just wasn’t possible,” says marketing teacher Chris Lee. “As an alternative, I changed this component to be more of a social non-profit pop-up venture format.” The students developed a mechanical hand sanitizer that uses a gravity-enabled foot pump. A virtual social gathering focused on a pre-recorded talent show as well as an online gaming tournament aimed at bringing people together. “In terms of the actual concepts regarding sales and marketing, the students really go through the entire gambit,” says Lee. “They learn to develop, source, cost, market, sell and provide customer feedback wherever applicable.” They also raised funds for the Richmond Hospital and Vancouver Covenant House through several initiatives. Student-designed Burnett clothing and tote bags were sold online, as well as a “pandemic kit” including masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. The last fundraising item was glass poster art, which was inspired by an online trend fusing art with music. Customized pieces of glass art capture favourite songs or artists designed to look like a Spotify music player. “All of these projects really focus on experiential, hands-on learning,” says Lee. “Given our limited time with the students in this new 10-week quarter system, the projects were designed to be like a pressure cooker, where basic entrepreneurial and marketing skills would be developed in a very short period of time. It is my personal belief that such an environment challenges students to learn in a very active way, while reinforcing what they’ve learned in class lessons.”Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel
Le bilan lavallois est désormais de 602 cas actifs selon les données émises par le Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de Laval. Cela signifie que le territoire connait une hausse de 62 cas actifs par rapport à la veille. Le total de décès demeure à 725 depuis le début de la pandémie. 80 tests positifs ont été effectués dans les 24 dernières heures. Ainsi, depuis le mois de mars, 11 163 citoyens lavallois ont été affectés par le virus. Parmi les personnes touchées par la COVID-19, 28 sont présentement hospitalisées, dont 5 aux soins intensifs. 19 employés de l’organisation de santé sont toujours absents du travail en raison de la COVID-19. Chomedey est le quartier le plus touché pour une deuxième journée de suite avec 22 nouveaux cas confirmés. Il devance désormais Pont-Viau/Renaud-Coursol/Laval-des-Rapides (+19) à titre de secteur le plus affecté par la pandémie en chiffres absolus sur les deux dernières semaines. Ce dernier demeure toutefois l'endroit avec le taux d'infection le plus élevé sur cette même période, soit 264 cas par 100 000 habitants. À l'inverse, Vimont/Auteuil connait la plus faible augmentation de l'île Jésus avec 5 nouvelles personnes touchées. Il est aussi le secteur le moins affecté des 14 derniers jours, que ce soit en chiffres absolus ou en taux d'infection. De leur côté, Duvernay/Saint-François/Saint-Vincent-de-Paul et Fabreville-Est/Sainte-Rose ont ajouté 12 et 7 cas à leur total respectif. Sainte-Dorothée/Laval-Ouest/Laval-Les Îles/Fabreville-Ouest/Laval-sur-le-Lac compte quant à lui 11 nouvelles personnes touchées. *** Prendre note que tel qu’indiqué sur le site Web du CISSS de Laval, ces données par secteur incluent l’ensemble des cas des citoyens testés positifs à la COVID-19, qu’ils résident dans des milieux fermés ou ailleurs dans la communauté. Les milieux fermés incluent des milieux de vie comme les centres d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée (CHSLD), les résidences privées pour aînés (RPA), les ressources intermédiaires (RI), ainsi que les centres correctionnels. Les données présentées sont calculées en fonction du lieu de résidence. Le CISSS tarde à déterminer le foyer de 63 cas jusqu’ici.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
MONTREAL — Officials at Montreal's Ecomuseum Zoo are pleading for whoever stole their bird, a raven named Kola who doesn't fly very well and has chronic health issues, to bring him back.The person or people who broke into the rear of the property late Monday or early Tuesday didn't harm or steal any other animal, leaving executive director David Rodrigue stumped as to why they took Kola. A hole was cut into Kola's aviary, either to steal him or to allow him to flee, Rodrigue said, adding that the act could have been a misguided attempt at activism. "I really have a hard time understanding why it could happen — why here?," he said in an interview Friday. "Just bring him back so we can ensure his well-being."Kola, who arrived from a rehab centre four years ago, requires medication and specialized food preparation, doesn't fly well and is unlikely to survive without proper care, Rodrigue said. If Kola was "freed" then he's probably not alive, he added. "This will most likely be a death sentence for Kola."Aside from chronic health issues, he had a broken wing and couldn't be returned to the wild after the rehab stint because it didn't heal properly, Rodrigue said. "In his case, he can't fly well or far and if he was left to go out, he wouldn't make it very long or very far," he said. "He would probably not live very long in someone else's care and that's really what we've been trying to say."Rodrigue said the animals who live at the zoo are all non-releasable, adding that his refuge takes in a lot of animals who are from rehab centres, have disabilities or who were born in captivity.The zoo has been closed since early October due to COVID-19 restrictions.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is “profoundly disappointed” that 20 recordings of private meetings of the provincial emergency response team were leaked to the public. The recordings, made public by a CBC story published Thursday morning, paint a picture of Premier Jason Kenney and the provincial government overruling the expert advice of Hinshaw and civil servants and pushing an early relaunch strategy focused on the economy. “I have always felt my ideas are respectfully considered. I have always had respectful discussions with public servants and elected officials,” Hinshaw said to reporters on Thursday. “I do not dictate every detail of each policy decision and I should not. I was not elected by Albertans. The final decisions are up to elected officials who were chosen by Albertans. This is how democracy works." Alberta's top doctors said while the 20 meetings were leaked, they were taken out of the broader context of the meetings, and don’t show the meetings before and after the ones recorded as part of ongoing discussions to keep Albertans safe. The meetings were supposed to be private and a safe space, Hinshaw said, and leaking them is a violation of trust and the oath that public servants take. “The safety and trust are now broken,” Hinshaw said. Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro sang Hinshaw’s praises Thursday afternoon, calling her one of the finest chief medical officers of health in the country. Shandro said the CBC story violated Hinshaw’s confidence and embarrassed her. “I called Dr. Hinshaw this morning to say she has nothing to apologize for and she has my complete confidence,” Shandro said. In the past 24 hours, the province confirmed another 1,082 cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total of active cases up to 14,052. There are currently 383 people in the hospital including 84 people in intensive care. Ten more people have died from the virus, bringing the total amount of people who have died to 510. Yesterday, there were 15,900 tests done. Around 100,000 COVID-19 rapid testing kits will debut in the province in December. The COVID-19 testing capacity will allow for the identification and notification of positive cases in less than 20 minutes, which will speed up care and isolation, reducing the risk of further spread. The tests will be used on patients who are within the first seven days of showing symptoms, allowing health officials to quickly identify positive cases at testing sites, reducing the need for patient samples to be transported to centralized public laboratories for processing. To ensure the validity of the results, two swabs will be collected from each patient, and all negative tests from both systems will be subject to confirmation by the existing lab-based testing method. This is because a negative result is not as reliable as traditional testing and the test may miss some COVID-positive samples. Alberta’s health officials said they will use these pilots to determine how to streamline processes related to patient management, results notifications and digital record-keeping before the tests are deployed widely across the province. The province is looking at expanding the use of the tests where it can be of the greatest value to the public, such as at homeless shelters and long-term care facilities.Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette
TORONTO — A man who drove a van down a Toronto sidewalk and killed 10 people showed no anger toward women during his psychiatric evaluations, court heard Friday.Dr. John Bradford, one of the country's foremost forensic psychiatrists, testified that Alek Minassian's complete lack of anger and emotion is in direct contrast with Elliot Rodger, an American mass murderer he purportedly idolized.Minassian has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 of attempted murder. The defence argues the 28-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., should be found not criminally responsible for his actions on April 23, 2018 due to autism spectrum disorder. His state of mind at the time is the sole issue at trial, which is being held by videoconference due to the pandemic.After a brief cross examination by the prosecution, Justice Anne Molloy, who is presiding over the case without a jury, took time to ask Bradford several questions."Did he ever talk to you about any degree of hatred or rage directed towards women?" the judge asked."In my contact with him, he didn’t show any anger whatsoever," Bradford said. "I don't think he expressed any particular hatred, other than in the context of what he focused on with Elliot Rodger and why he followed that."Rodger went on a rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., in May 2014, killing six people and injuring 14 others before killing himself. His "manifesto" and his video before the murders focused on his hatred towards women and has found an audience in the bowels of the internet where he is treated as the forefather of so-called "incels," men who are involuntarily celibate.Minassian told police hours after the attack that he killed innocent people as part of an "incel uprising." In that world, incels are on the bottom rung of society, below alpha males called Chads and the women they sleep with, called Stacys, and below them are "normies," or normal people. Minassiand told a police detective he hoped the attack would upend that societal order.But in his interviews with Bradford, Minassian changed his story."He denies that is part of incel although he has been disappointed in the past with his social interactions, but when confronted about being extremely angry, enraged, he denies this now categorically and maintains that he (has) only been disappointed and that he made this up about being enraged," Bradford wrote in his report.Bradford said Minassian told him while he was obsessed with the "incel theme," he was not a follower. "He talked about that theme, but without much emotion," said Bradford, who met with Minassian more than 15 times as part of a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation. Minassian also told Bradford his motivation was due to his anxiety about failing at a new job as a computer programmer he was set to begin a week after the attack. He also said he was motivated by the notoriety the attack would bring, even though he had planned to die in a "suicide-by-cop."Then in later interviews, Minassian reverted to the incel uprising as his motivation. Bradford testified Minassian's affect was flat through their meetings and he showed no emotion when describing in great detail the attack. Minassian also lacks empathy, Bradford testified, but he is not psychotic and, therefore, does not meet the test to be found not criminally responsible.Bradford did leave the door open to a "theoretical" pathway for Minassian to be found not criminally responsible through autism spectrum disorder, but noted he was not of that opinion, partially because he has little experience with that disorder.He said Minassian suffers from no other disorder, is not and has never been psychotic, is not a psychopath and did not have depression despite the suicide plan and a later suicide attempt in jail."This is a unique case of somebody with no autism co-morbidity who carried out a mass homicide and lived who by his own planning would be deceased," Bradford said."I knew that this was going to be unusual. As an expert, I believe my role is to give my opinion and give it as clearly as possible, but also to acknowledge that others may have a different opinion."Another psychiatrist testified that Minassian's autism spectrum disorder left him fixated on mass killings and vulnerable to the ramblings of an American mass murderer.Dr. Alexander Westphal, an American psychiatrist who is set to testify Monday, is expected to be the lone voice to say Minassian is not criminally responsible for his actions due to autism spectrum disorder.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Liam Casey, The Canadian Press
Brenock O'Connor, who plays Tom in the Amazon Prime Video series Alex Rider, spoke to Yahoo Canada about the auditioning process for the series, the audience response and what he wants to see in the next season of the show.