A lion pride visits the washrooms at the Ngorongoro Crater picnic site due to a lack of people visiting the park. Check it out!
They are small towns along the Canadian-American border, marooned by geography, whose residents' lives have already been upended by the border closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Campobello Island, located off the coast of the U.S. state of Maine, is accessible only by a private ferry service that runs during the summer or by driving through Maine, which connects to the island via a bridge. The lack of easy access to the rest of Canada has long been an issue, but is compounded by the pandemic, said Justin Tinker, 34, a civil engineer whose family has lived on Campobello Island for 10 generations.
OSHAWA, Ont. — Police in Oshawa, Ont., have identified four people killed in a mass shooting early Friday morning as a father and three of his children, as they continue to seek a motive behind the carnage that took place in a family home.Durham regional police say the deceased are 50-year-old Chris Traynor and his children, 20-year-old Bradley Traynor, 15-year-old Adelaide Traynor and 11-year-old Joseph Traynor.A 50-year-old woman who was injured in the shooting is also related to the family and continues to recover in hospital.Police have identified the shooter as 48-year-old Mitchell Lapa, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and say he was an "uninvited person."Police have not yet specified Lapa's relation to his victims, and the homicide unit is still investigating the motive behind the shooting."Investigators also want to speak to anyone who knew the lone attacker, Mitchell Lapa, as they seek to understand the motivation and reasons for this attack," said Durham police in a statement."If anyone has details or background information about him, they are asked to contact their local police service or one of our lead investigators."Condolences for the Traynor family have been pouring in on social media throughout the weekend, with many describing the family as generous, caring and deeply involved in the local sports community."The Traynor family were beloved and active members of the Oshawa community," reads a GoFundMe page set up to support the surviving members of the family, which had raised more than $85,000 by Sunday evening."Their acts of kindness, love and generosity are unmatched. The impact the family had on everyone they touched will be forever remembered."The Durham Catholic District School Board's director of education offered support to students and families who knew the Traynors."Words cannot adequately express our profound shock and deep sorrow over this terrible event," Tracy Barill said in a statement."As a Catholic community rooted in faith, we continue to pray for the family members and those affected most directly by this heartbreaking news."Ken Babcock, president of Baseball Oshawa, said Chris Traynor had coached with the program for many years, while Joseph Traynor was a member of the Legionaires rep team."Words cannot describe the shocking and senseless tragedy that has struck our wonderful community in Oshawa and impacted our collective baseball family," Babcock said in a statement.Neighbours had described the Traynor family as caring deeply for each other, and said they were often seen spending time playing games and doing chores together in the yard.The City of Oshawa announced that flags would be lowered to half-mast at city hall and other facilities."Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends during this difficult time," Mayor Dan Carter said in a statement, while thanking police and first responders.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 6, 2020.The Canadian Press
Every three weeks for months, Kiera Norris would pack her many bags, board a train to Beijing Capital International Airport and hope — despite the fact that COVID-19 had shut down most flights — that she would be able to board a plane to take her home. But time and time again her flight was cancelled, which meant waiting even longer until she could go home to her husband in Windsor, Ont. "It was really hard," Norris said. She and her husband, Kevin Norris, have been married for 10 years. What made that distance even harder, they say, is the fact that, normally, they do everything together. "You know the couples that enjoy their time apart?" said Kevin Norris, "We're not like that." Separated in March The couple runs a small business together, which is what takes them to China every year. Not only that, but Kiera Norris's family lives in Shijiazhuang, a city about three hours south of Beijing by car.Usually they travel together, except this year, when Kiera Norris went alone. She arrived on January 10, planning to visit her family. Her husband planned to arrive two weeks later. But when COVID-19 hit — and airports across the globe shut down — the pair knew they were in trouble. The first flight Kiera Norris was able to schedule was set to fly out on March 19, but it was cancelled. "Every three weeks they rebooked it, and then it was cancelled again," Kevin Norris said. Facetime, Skype calls Time stretched on and, still, there was little hope of a reunion. And for a couple that's used to spending almost every minute together, the distance — all 9,750 kilometres of it — was hard. Both nature lovers, the pair spend much of their free time hiking, biking and taking pictures of the scenery. "Our life is more and more perfect, more hopeful, more meaningful and actually very happy every day to see each other," Kiera Norris said.So in place of in-person experiences, they turned to technology. Kevin Norris said they would Facetime and Skype everyday without fail because they "like to keep that connection strong." But they said it wasn't the same. Reunited at last In total, Kierra Norris made the trip to Beijing's international airport nine times unsuccessfully. Finally, after nine months, she was able to board a plane on Saturday that would bring her home. The flight departed from Beijing and took her to Shanghai. From there, she took a flight to Vancouver and then another flight that brought her to Toronto's Pearson International Airport early Sunday morning. The journey, which usually takes 12 hours, took a little over a day — but they said it was well worth it. When they saw each other, the couple shared a long embrace, mumbling words of affection. "Hi baby, I love you," were Kiera Norris's first words to her husband. When asked how they were feeling at the airport, they summed it up into one word: "incredible." "I'm so happy," Kevin Norris said.
OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Air Force's attempts to capitalize on the layoffs that have ravaged Canada's commercial airline industry during the COVID-19 pandemic have had some early — albeit extremely limited — success.The military has for years been struggling with a shortage of experienced pilots that has led to something of an existential crisis for the Air Force, leaving severely strained commanders without enough veteran aviators to both train new recruits and lead missions in the air.The federal government had started taking steps to try to lure some of those pilots back from the civilian aviation sector, where most had moved after leaving the Air Force, to address a shortfall that reached 275 pilots in December 2018.Those efforts were redoubled with a social media campaign in March, after COVID-19 forced airlines to ground their planes and furlough hundreds of pilots for the foreseeable future, raising hopes some might opt to come back to the stability of the military.The result: Four former military aviators have re-enrolled in the Air Force on a full-time basis, while five others have agreed to join as part-time reservists."The re-enrolment process involves a combined effort by the RCAF, the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group and various career managers, and is one that typically takes several months at minimum to complete," said Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Nora Amrane."This detailed process ensures the RCAF's staffing needs can benefit from returning valuable experience, that CAF enrolment standards are maintained ... and also that the re-enrollee's employment expectations/requests can be met."Yet while any addition is no doubt welcome, Amrane said the military still needs 149 more aviators — even as she attributed much of the gain made from December 2018 to a reorganization that saw fewer pilots needed overall.This reorganization saw the Air Force move several non-flying positions previously filled by pilots so trained aviators could focus on flying planes instead of flying desks."While the reduced requirement suggests the CAF is healthier with pilots, as people are transferred or recruited to fill these air operations officer positions, some pilots will still be required to complete the tasks over the next couple of years," Amrane added. Amrane could not say whether attrition among its pilots had slowed since the pandemic, saying such statistics are not kept on a month-by-month basis.The federal auditor general reported in November 2018 that the military didn't have enough pilots to fly Canada's CF-18 fighter jets. He also found that over a certain period when 40 fighter pilots left the Forces, only 30 new ones were trained.The civilian commercial sector has been hit hard by COVID-19, with hundreds of pilots in Canada furloughed, including 700 at WestJet, which recently tightened its policies and protocols around the pandemic in a bid to get more customers to fly.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 6, 2020.The Canadian Press
A Connecticut city won't waste an opportunity to get a sizeable donation from comedian John Oliver about a weeks-long joke pertaining to the name of a sewage plant in the area. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said on WTNH-TV that he would accept Oliver’s challenge to name the city’s sewage plant after him following Oliver's offer to donate $55,000 to local charities.
Florida-based shark researchers Ocearch are heading to Cape Breton this week, with the permission of the Canadian government, to kick off a Nova Scotia expedition.The team of scientists will fly into Sydney on Tuesday from a number of American states. They will head to their boat in Louisbourg and will wrap up the expedition in Lunenburg on Oct. 6.John Kanaly, communications manager for the group, said they've been working closely with the federal government and Canadian Border Services Agency to get approval. Team members will follow a strict protocol upon entering the country."Ocearch is taking [COVID-19] extremely seriously … we are taking very strict measures to make sure everybody is as safe as possible," Kanaly said.The ship sleeps 22 people, including crew. Everyone will get tested for the virus and will have to submit their negative test results prior to entering Canada.Local volunteers will drive the group to the ship in Louisbourg, where the group will enter isolation.The volunteers are required to follow the same public health guidelines as the researchers, and to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms after they drop off the group."They're a community that we've ... established connections with in the past to support us during these expeditions," Kanaly said.Once on board, there are only specific days certain members can get off the boat."No one except for the list of people that the Canadian government has is allowed on or off the ship," Kanaly said.CBSA has set up a direct hotline in case anyone starts to feel ill or exhibits COVID-19 symptoms.There is an area on the ship to quarantine in the event of illness.CBC News reached out to CBSA for comment Saturday but had not heard back by Sunday afternoon.This year's expedition is a continuation of the work Ocearch started in 2018, and the trip will support close to 20 research projects across North America.Kanaly said it's far more efficient than if each project had to handle and sample their own sharks."Every shark tagged or sampled will be one of the most comprehensively examined and studied sharks in the world," he said.Researchers will look at the reproductive and population health of white sharks, understanding how they're utilizing the province's waters, and identifying what bacteria they carry in their mouths.But this year's expedition will be different than previous years, Kanaly said. COVID-19 restrictions mean they won't be able to engage with Nova Scotians the way they normally would.All of Ocearch's community outreach will be done through their social media channels this year."We love opening up the ship to folks while we're at dock so that they can come aboard and see what it is that we do," he said."We can teach them about it and really inspire them to care about their oceans. Unfortunately, this year, that's just not something we can do."MORE TOP STORIES
The British Columbia government is working with the B.C. First Nations Justice Council to determine the locations for new Indigenous justice centres across the province. In a statement, Attorney General David Eby says Indigenous people have been over-represented in the criminal justice system for too long. Such centres have already opened in Merritt, Prince George and Prince Rupert, with 12 more planned in the next five years as part of B.C.'s broader First Nations justice strategy launched this year.
The commissioner of Alberta's public inquiry into alleged foreign-funded attacks on the oil industry has pushed back against a legal challenge to suspend his work, arguing an environmental law charity can't prove it will be harmed by his inquiry's findings.In an Aug. 27 legal brief, commissioner Steve Allan also says he still has not yet determined the process under which the organizations he is scrutinizing will respond to his investigation, even as the Oct. 30 deadline for his final report looms.In July, Ecojustice sought an injunction that would halt Allan's work until the court rules on an earlier legal challenge by the charity.Ecojustice filed a judicial review application in November 2019 that asked the Court of Queen's Bench to shut down Allan's inquiry. It alleged the inquiry was created for "partisan political purposes" outside the authority of the Public Inquiries Act and had been tainted by bias from the outset.A hearing on the application was originally scheduled for April but was delayed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Ecojustice's injunction application cited the fact that Allan had not provided information on how organizations will be allowed to respond to his findings. The charity said it and others may suffer "irreparable reputational harm" if Allan releases those findings under a process not yet fully defined, and before the court rules whether the inquiry is valid.But in his reply to the injunction request, Allan says the environmental law charity cannot show any risk of harm that would warrant an injunction before the court hears the legal challenge.He says Ecojustice was previously told that his final report, due to the energy minister by Oct. 30, will not be publicly released until January 2021, giving the court "ample opportunity to hear and determine the judicial review by then."Ecojustice has "suffered no damage, reputational or otherwise, and is under no imminent risk of this happening," Allan's brief states."Further, there are strong policy considerations, as well as practical considerations, in favour of public inquiries being allowed to proceed once commenced."In an Aug. 28 brief, the Alberta government called any harm Ecojustice has alleged "speculative," and said legislative acts like the creation of an inquiry are presumed to be valid and in the public interest.The government also said there is no evidence that the charity or any other organization will be called soon — or at all — to respond to Allan's findings.None of the allegations from any side has been proven in court.Inquiry procedural rules 'under development'Allan says Ecojustice's injunction request raised concerns about "procedural fairness" the charity did not include in its 2019 judicial review application."In any event, Allan has accommodated, or will do so, Ecojustice's procedural concerns for the conduct of the public inquiry," the brief says, adding the procedural rules of the inquiry remain "under development."There is no indication that evidence gathered in the course of the public inquiry's facts investigations or preliminary findings have been published or are soon to be published," it states.In July 2019, Premier Jason Kenney announced his UCP government would spend $2.5 million on a provincial inquiry into "foreign-funded special interests" and their campaigns to stop oilsands development. The move was widely condemned by environmental advocates and others, such as the non-profit Pembina Institute, as an attempt to intimidate and silence critics.Despite it being a public inquiry, the commissioner's work has been shrouded in secrecy. The government did not release Allan's interim report, provided in January, and Allan has not disclosed who he has interviewed as part of his investigation.Reframing of inquiryThe government has several times amended the scope and scale of the inquiry.On June 25, Energy Minister Sonya Savage said Allan would receive an additional $1 million and a four-month extension to complete his work. In an order-in-council, she also changed the wording of the inquiry's terms of reference in a way that hinted at the possibility that foreign funding of anti-Alberta energy campaigns may not have actually happened.A subsequent Aug. 5 order-in-council from Savage limited what the inquiry is expected to yield. It added a phrase that says Allan "may" make findings and recommendations related to raising awareness of any foreign funding of anti-energy campaigns, how the government can best respond to those campaigns, and any additional eligibility criteria for grants that the province should consider. All of those were outlined as expectations under the inquiry's original terms of reference.Allan's legal brief suggests this reframing gave him direction he lacked for nearly the first year of the inquiry.The orders-in-council "put Allan in a position, for the first time, to gauge the more precise and exact nature of the parties and activities regarding which he had an obligation to report," it states.Now, Allan's inquiry can progress to the second stage and allow parties to respond to his findings — with, the brief says, "a view to satisfying the obligations of procedural fairness which Ecojustice says is owed to it." 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Serbia's president accused Moscow on Sunday of stooping to "primitivism and vulgarity" in an attack on him, after Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman compared him to the actor Sharon Stone in an explicit film scene. Serbia is Moscow's closest ally in the Balkans, but President Aleksandar Vucic has long annoyed Russia by seeking better ties with the West.
The school playing field may not just be for gym class and recess anymore.When kids return to school, at least one B.C. teacher says the pandemic is the perfect time for educators to move lessons outside, not only because it could be easier to physically distance than indoors, but also because it may offer opportunities for students to learn old lessons in new ways.Cara Laudon, an inner city elementary school teacher in Vancouver who is currently working on a graduate degree in environmental education at Simon Fraser University, says a lot of the curriculum taught in the classroom can be taught anywhere.For example, she suggested, if students are studying geometry, they can practise calculating the perimeter of the school or playground. Or if they are studying the environment, they can learn about water cycles first-hand by exploring their surroundings."We talk about the 100 mile diet, we can do 100 foot field trips," said Laudon Tuesday on The Early Edition.In the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, the local school district has already incorporated some outdoor learning programs into its back-to-school plan.Further south on the island, Carolyn Howe, a Victoria elementary school teacher and a vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers' Association, would like to increase opportunities for outdoor learning in that school district as well."I would love to see much more support for outdoor learning spaces," said Howe in an interview on On The Island.She said, ideally, the district would have equipment students could sit on outdoors and methods for transporting supplies safely to and from the classroom.In Vancouver, Laudon suggests the school board and city staff connect and provide all schools in the district with a list of parks located within walking distance of each individual school."We need widespread support from families, from our staff, from our administrators and from the community," said Laudon.The grades 3 and 4 teacher said outdoor education is free, accessible and can be fun. If some students are unable to afford a rain jacket or waterproof shoes, Laudon said that, in her experience, school communities have been generous at finding ways to equip kids with what they need."And depending on the age of your students, you know, they don't mind getting wet. They're not made of sugar," she said.The idea of outdoor learning was recently suggested in a report released by Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. Hilary Inwood, head of the Environmental and Sustainability Education Initiative at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, said besides helping reduce the spread of COVID-19, learning outside also provides the benefit of physical movement.But she said it's unreasonable to expect inner-city schools to be able to hold class outdoors all day because of the limited size of some schoolyards. A rotation-based approach would work best, Inwood said.To hear the complete interview with Cara Laudon on The Early Edition, tap here.
A Toronto resident has created a giant globe in the shape of Earth out of plastic garbage collected on Woodbine Beach this past summer.Dora Attard, founder of Plastic Free Beach Toronto, revealed her new art installation on the beach on Sunday to focus attention on the problem of single-use plastics. The globe is made up of more than 500 water bottles and thousands of pieces of coloured plastic. She said the artwork is the result of weeks of picking up garbage in a bid to keep Woodbine Beach clean. It was displayed on the beach in front of Donald D. Summerville Olympic Pool.In the artwork, water bottles make up the world's oceans while plastics of different colours make up the continents."Today, I am showcasing a new installation using beach plastic that was found on the beach this summer," Attard said. "Plastic water bottles are supposed to be the water part of the globe. Then I have each continent covered with different bits of plastics found on the beach in different colours." After the COVID-19 pandemic hit Toronto, particularly in May and June, the amount of garbage left behind on Woodbine Beach was "unbelievable," she said. Attard appealed to the city through her councillor for help and the city brought more garbage bins for the boardwalk and beach and assigned more city workers to beach cleanup. In July and August, the amount of garbage lessened, she said."More people definitely means more garbage," Attard said.Attard said the pieces of garbage most commonly found on the beach are cigarette butts, lids and bottle caps, water bottles and plastic straws. The most surprising thing she found was plastic implants for a bikini. She also finds needles.When she finds toys, she saves them to allow them to be reused. She used to have a community beach toy box that she kept on the beach last summer, but she thinks it was used for firewood and it's disappeared.Attard also organized a beach clean up on Sunday, an activity that she has organized every Sunday since the start of spring. About four groups scoured the beach for garbage on Sunday, picking up individual items with garbage pickers. She also provides rubber gloves and garbage buckets. Attard collects the garbage, sorts it, counts it and weighs it."The majority of the little bits I find are washed up from lake that have been broken down in microplastics, which is more dangerous than a bigger piece. They're eaten by birds and fish, and if you're not a vegetarian and you eat the fish, then the plastic goes inside of you. It's bad cycle," she said.Bryan Bowen and his son Noah join the beach clean up on Sunday."We are here today to support our neighbour Dora's initiative to help keep Woodbine Beach clean. We are going to be picking up some plastic along the shoreline and along the boardwalk," Bowen said."We do live in the area. We use Woodbine beach for swimming and walking all the time. It's been disappointing to see the amount of litter accumulating this summer, so we wanted to come down and lend a hand to help to keep it clean," he added.The pandemic has brought out the crowds to Woodbine Beach, he said."It's great for local businesses and it's great to see so many people enjoying the lake, but we also want everybody just to do their part, pitch in and help to keep the beach clean so we can all enjoy it together."Plastic Free Beach Toronto describes itself as an organization that serves to educate people on the amount of single-use plastic that is used and thrown away daily and to encourage people to create a cleaner world for future generations.
Chris Blumhagen was working on his organic farm in central Alberta when Capital Power called to sell him on the idea of putting a wind turbine on his land.Blumhagen says the representative from the company pushed hard, telling him his neighbours were already on board with a plan to build 74 turbines in the 100 square kilometre area and that if he didn't sign on, he would miss out.So Blumhagen signed in exchange for $10 and a promise of more to come once the turbines started spinning, only to later learn that many of his neighbours hadn't done the same."They essentially tricked me," he said.That was 2015. Since then, Blumhagen and his neighbours have banded together to oppose the project, alleging dishonest tactics by the company in promoting the project to residents and risks to their health, land and livelihoods if it goes forward.Edmonton-based Capital Power, which operates coal, natural gas and wind power facilities in Alberta, and Alberta's utilities commission say all the residents' concerns have been addressed.This is the view from the rural front lines of Canada's energy transition — a move away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy that a majority of Albertans say they support but that few in the country's cities will have to deal with head-on.Not opposed to wind powerThat will be left to people like Blumhagen and his neighbours, who live on a sliver of Alberta prairie about 200 kilometres outside of Edmonton, wedged between the Battle River Valley to the north and the Paintearth Coulee to the south.Locals call it "the island," and a handful of families have lived here for more than a century, farming and ranching together.Along with agriculture, power generation has long been a part of daily life in Paintearth County. The area saw first the dawn of the coal industry and then the rise of the oil and gas industries in Alberta. Oil wells still draw black gold from the earth here, and a coal mine and power plant still operates in the area.Blumhagen says that experience is why most residents aren't against the idea of wind power or other forms of renewable energy."Wind has its place," he said.But Blumhagen says Capital Power, which already operates one wind farm in the area, near the village of Halkirk, has not taken the time to listen to the concerns of residents.Residents like Gerard Fetaz, whose family has lived here since 1904. Fetaz's concerns about the project are easy to see. He has a small runway on his property that he uses to fly his vintage 1957 Cessna. He used to make some money crop dusting in the area, though these days he flies just for the love of it.But that passion may be grounded for good if Capital Power's wind farm is built. The plans would see a turbine just 650 metres from his landing strip, despite recommendations from Transport Canada that turbines should be at least four kilometres from a runway."It's not safe," said Fetaz. "Somebody runs into a turbine, or gets caught in the turbulence or something — you could hit somebody's house."He says he has tried to reach out to Capital Power about finding a different location for the turbine but says "they aren't interested in talking about it at all."24 conditions placed on projectCapital Power didn't agree to an interview with CBC News, but in a statement, the company denied that it ignored the concerns of residents and said it would act with "integrity, work to address stakeholder concerns and abide by all laws and regulations governing the project development process."But Fetaz and others in the area say the rush to embrace sustainable energy has meant that their concerns have been passed over. Since the project was given the green light in 2018, local residents have challenged its approval at several levels, including at the Alberta Court of Appeal and, most recently, at the county, but to no avail. The province is moving ahead with wind power, with Alberta Electric System Operator, which oversees Alberta's electricity grid, predicting that the amount of wind power generated in Alberta will double over the next decade.The Alberta Utilities Commission, the regulator that approved the Capital Power project, says it is in the public interest. The AUC's Jim Law says every effort was made to accommodate the residents, including putting 24 conditions on the project's approval, which the company must meet to complete it. Among them, a commitment to move the turbine near Fetaz's runway by up to 50 metres and to make sure that any environmental impacts are mitigated."Those are in place to directly answer some of the concerns that the intervenors had about the project, and they range from airport considerations to wildlife and noise," Law said.Law said that, unlike with oil and gas developments, no one can be forced to have a wind turbine on their land in Alberta,"There's no forced entry. It's a voluntary agreement," he said.Law says the system is set up to make sure the public interest is served and that the concerns of the land owners are respected and that it generally works.'Backlash' in OntarioThat's not how Katrina Smith sees it. Three turbines will be visible from Smith's home, which sits just down the road from those of her parents and brothers. Smith likes the idea of renewable energy; her home is completely off-grid, powered by a solar array in her backyard.But she has concerns about how a large wind farm will impact the sensitive wetlands near her home and the community she grew up in. She sees a push to meet the green energy needs of urban Canada on the backs of rural communities like hers."There has to be mutual respect. There has to be an appreciation for what is already there," she said. "There has to be a goal for what we can maintain and sustain for the future."Dayna Scott says similar concerns about the location of turbines and their impact on residents and the environment were raised in rural Ontario more than a decade ago, when that province moved to embrace wind power. Scott, who holds a research chair in environmental law and justice at York University in Toronto, says that residents were not consulted adequately in Ontario and that ignoring local concerns caused "a huge amount of backlash in rural communities."Scott worries that repeating those mistakes in other parts of Canada could slow a shift toward green energy.That situation may already be playing out back on "the island." Local opposition and a sluggish economy mean the future of the wind farm is in limbo. Capital Power has yet to start construction on the project, which it has until December 2022 to finish.That's welcome news for many of the residents in the area if not for Canada's shift to a lower-carbon future.
The federal Conservatives have asked Canada's ethics watchdog to launch an investigation into allegations of improper lobbying related to the government's emergency wage subsidy program.The probe concerns possible breaches of the Conflict of Interest Act involving Michael McNair, a then-informal adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; Katie Telford, Trudeau's chief of staff; and Telford's husband, Rob Silver.Vice reported last month that Silver had contacted staff in the Prime Minister's Office and then-finance minister Bill Morneau's office to ask for changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Those changes would make MCAP, the mortgage and insurance company for which Silver works, eligible for the program. Silver was ultimately not successful in changing the eligibility criteria. "By indulging Mr. Silver's appeals, referring him back to Mr. Morneau's office, and directing Mr. Morneau's staff to speak to Mr. Silver, Mr. McNair, in our view, gave preferential treatment to Mr. Silver... based on his identity as both a friend and the spouse of his friend and immediate superior Ms. Telford," Conservative finance and ethics critics Pierre Poilievre and Michael Barrett wrote in a letter to ethics commissioner Mario Dion on Sunday.McNair was formerly Trudeau's top policy advisor, but returned to an advising role in an unofficial capacity at the onset of the federal government's COVID-19 response.The PMO confirmed to CBC News that McNair was not a paid employee of its office when the conversation was reported to have taken place and said he was working as a volunteer. McNair again became a paid employee of the PMO on June 15 as a special adviser to Trudeau. Telford followed protocol, PMO reiterates The Opposition has rejected explanations that McNair was only an informal adviser at the time, stating that he carried "formal weight and authority" given his previous role. On that premise, the Conservatives allege that McNair's actions could have furthered Silver and Telford's private interests.However, the PMO has repeatedly said that Telford took swift action to follow proper ethics procedures before her husband became MCAP's senior vice-president."Before Mr. Silver was hired at MCAP, Ms. Telford proactively reached out to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner in January to inquire if any action was required on her part," the PMO said in a previously released statement. "The Office said no additional measures were required. However, out of an abundance of caution, Ms. Telford implemented a voluntary conflict screen at that time. This screen applies to anything related to MCAP and it has been diligently followed since it was implemented."The PMO said that it takes all its ethics obligations "very seriously and follows the rules."Lobbying commissioner begins assessmentThe Conservatives have already asked Lobbying Commissioner Nancy Bélanger to investigate the matter.Poilievre and Barrett wrote to Bélanger in August asking her to look into whether Silver or MCAP should have been registered to lobby the federal government. While Bélanger opened a preliminary assessment, the Conservatives requested a second assessment on Thursday into unregistered communications between Silver, the PMO and Morneau's office related to amending the wage subsidy program. A spokesperson for MCAP said the company has "strictly complied with the letter and spirit" of the law regarding the matter. "MCAP, through counsel, consulted with Canada's Lobbying Commissioner in January to establish proper screens and protocols around any engagement with government," the statement said.
Jillian Batting says her son's skin sometimes crawls so bad he can barely wear a T-shirt at home.The middle-school student has a diagnosed sensory processing disorder that can cause him discomfort. While he can sometimes wear masks without issues, other times it's a problem that can't be ignored.Batting said the staff at her school in Warman have gone above and beyond when it comes to accommodating her son, as he has a medical exemption, but she worries about what the upcoming school year will hold for him and her three other children."One of my other concerns would be how the other students are going to handle, for example, my son," she asked. "Will the other students make fun of, or bully, my son because he gets a little bit of special treatment?"> Whether you're an anti-masker or a pro-masker, be kind to each other. \- Jillian Batting, Warman ParentHer youngest child, a daughter in Grade 3, also has some issues wearing a mask. Batting said her daughter finds it difficult to speak and has to readjust it regularly, which could lead to touching her face and exposing herself to risk. Unlike her son, her daughter does not have a medical exemption and will be required to wear the mask at school."We will provide them for her, but I'm not expecting her to wear it on a very regular basis," Batting said. Batting said these are just some of the concerns she has about making students wear masks. She also has questions about oral hygiene while wearing a cloth mask, mask costs and whether or not kids will be able to fully focus if they feel uncomfortable throughout the day."There are a lot of parents out there who are very concerned about how this will affect their child's health," she said.While Batting said she is not against masks, there are some people who are — but experts have countered claims by anti-mask groups."As a medical professional, we wear masks in our day-to-day practice and it has not caused doctors or nurses or surgeons any harm," Dr. Jennifer Kwan, a family physician in Burlington, Ont., told CBC News.The real risk, said Kwan, is wearing your mask incorrectly, including sharing it with others, reusing non-reusable masks, or not cleaning cloth masks properly. Dr. Susy Hota, medical director of infection prevention and control at Toronto's University Health Network, added that she has not "seen any medical or scientific evidence that shows that wearing a mask depletes your body of oxygen. Nor do they let any harmful gases, such as carbon dioxide, build up, she said.Students can be punished for repeated refusal School divisions must provide accommodation for students with medical conditions, but students without will be required to follow rules put in place by school divisions, which have been formulated with guidance from the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA), as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.The guidance says divisions can mandate mask use, as it is a matter of student and staff safety, and that requiring a student to wear a mask does not violate the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code."If, however, a student is unable to wear a mask because of medical reasons, that student must be accommodated in the same way as any student with medical restrictions," the guidance explained.It says discussions with parents and guardians should be the first step, but that students can be refused entry to a school or a bus if they refuse to follow the guidelines.Parents could be fined for keeping kids out of schoolThe SSBA also said parents have an obligation to ensure their children are attending school, even if they don't agree with the division's policies."If parents will not support the Division/school rules then the parent will have full responsibility for ensuring registration of the student in an alternate form of allowable education," the guidance says.If parents refuse to enrol their child, they may be subject to legal proceedings under Saskatchewan's Education Act, which could result in a fine of $5,000 for a first offence and $10,000 for a second.Many parents see no problems with masks Many Saskatchewan parents have fully embraced masks. Regina parent Danielle Mullinex has already taught her children how to wear them safely, noting she's tried a variety of masks to find some that are comfortable for her kids."I think it's important to try those things ahead of time," she said.Mullinex said she's had no issues getting her kids to wear masks."I think it's all about just telling them the honest truth about why we are wearing masks and that it's our responsibility to try to keep ourselves safe as well as other people safe," she said. "People don't sometimes give kids enough credit. They understand what's going on. You just have to talk to them."Research shows majority of Saskatchewan residents support mask useResearch conducted by The Angus Reid Institute back in July found that those with anti-mask sentiments are the vocal minority, as more than half — 55 per cent — of the Saskatchewan residents surveyed are in favour of making masks mandatory in public places.However, while the majority of those surveyed were in favour of mandatory masks, Saskatchewan had the highest percentage of people who were opposed to mandatory masks in the country, coming in at about 45 per cent. That's the highest opposition of any province in Canada.In comparison, Saskatchewan's neighbour to the west in Alberta came in at 60 per cent of respondents in favour of mandatory masks, and 40 per cent opposed."In most of the country it's actually quite an uncontroversial idea," said Dave Korzinski, research director at The Angus Reid Institute. "[But] there is less of a sense that it is necessary in Saskatchewan."Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine, a professor of community health and epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan, said data has shown that mask wearing, combined with social distancing and good hand hygiene, helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. He said masks in school will be an essential part of keeping students, staff and the wider community safe from further spread."We cannot afford to have any outbreaks in classrooms and schools because each of the children who are attending classes are connected, in turn, to a family," he said.Muhajarine said many people who hold anti-mask sentiments are not only opposed to wearing a mask, they're opposed to being told what to do. "I really don't think science or rational advice would really move them from the positions that they've taken," he said. "This is not science-driven or rational decision making, but I think ideologically driven." He said no parents should be telling their kids to refuse to wear masks, as they may be putting their kids, and their entire school, at risk. "Not only is it irresponsible it is actually, in my view, immoral," he said. Batting said that while she does have concerns about what masks will mean for her children she is not anti-mask, but feels parents should be given more choice. She said the dialogue around masking needs to improve, as no matter which side of the conversation you're on, people still need to be civil. "Whether you're an anti-masker or a pro-masker, be kind to each other," she said. CBC Saskatchewan wants to tell more stories about how the pandemic is touching the province's most vulnerable and marginalized populations. How has COVID-19 affected you? Share your story with our online questionnaire.
When Kearie Daniel flipped through the pages of a booklet her daughter worked on throughout the school year, the mother of two said it broke her heart."What I saw was at the beginning of the year when she said she drew herself, she drew herself as Black, as she was. By the end of the year, she was drawing herself as white, or colourless even, with yellow hair and blue eyes," Daniel told CBC News. Daniel, who lives in York Region, nearly 60 kilometres north of Toronto, believes her now seven-year-old daughter's desire at such a young age to be "like everyone else" is due to not seeing herself reflected in the school or the curriculum.But she says the recent push by Black Lives Matter to get people around the world to recognize of the importance of Black experience has led to an opportunity to change that.She's one of the founding members of Parents of Black Children, an advocacy group that began as a way to fight racism at the public and Catholic school boards in York Region, but has now expanded province-wide. The group is calling on the provincial government to "decolonize" the curriculum — in other words rebuild it to represent Canada's diverse population.Because Ontario's education system was designed in a period when the country was colonized, the group says, the views, lessons, and history are all from a Eurocentric perspective."It was not designed for Black or Indigenous or otherwise racialized people," Daniel said."It was designed to benefit some people and take power and disenfranchise other people. So that's the system that we're sending our kids in to every day," she added. "We're sending them into a system that didn't recognize their humanity."As well as decolonizing the current curriculum, the group is also calling on the province to: * Reform the Education Act. * Remove police resource officers from all schools. * Bring in 'system navigators,' people from outside the system to help families navigate and advocate for their kids in the education system. * Hold people in the system accountable for anti-Black racism experienced by students. Curriculum should be inclusive, diverse, professor saysCharmain Brown, the course director and practicum facilitator at York University's faculty of education, agrees with Daniel's group and would like to see Black history built right into courses."I think if we're going to truly be honouring all learners and all experiences and thinking of Canada, all the contributors to Canada, the Indigenous, the Black, the Japanese, the Chinese, all the communities that we have that make Canada who it is, we have to honour all those voices," said Brown, who is also an adjunct professor of education at Tyndale University, a Christian post-secondary institution in Toronto.Brown is one of the co-authors of 365 Black Canadian Curriculum, a resource for teachers initiated by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario that honours Black Canadian contributions to the country's history and is available on the union's website in French and English.But she points out that even though it is available to all teachers across the province, it really comes down to choice and whether teachers decide to incorporate it into their lesson plans or not.Black history 'not recognized'Natasha Henry, the president of the Ontario Black History Society, says if teachers are left to decide when and how to teach Black History, it can lead to what she sees as "the potential erasure of Black history.""People of African descent have been in Canada ... for over 400 years, and this is not recognized throughout the curriculum," Henry said.As a historian who also helped author 365 Black Canadian Curriculum, Henry says it's important to weave Black History into all subjects throughout the entire year for Black students' development as individuals.She says it's equally important for non-Black students to learn about Black experiences to get a fuller appreciation of Canadian history. Decolonizing in the classroomAt schools across Ontario, the first few days of September were set aside for teacher development. Part of the conversation, says Amesbury Middle School principal Salima Kassam, was focused on how to address anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism.Kassam says, even though it was a tough conversation to have, it's one she is used to."It's looking at anti-Black racism and looking at colonialism. You know, it's heavy. It's hard, it's theoretical, but we have to knowledge-build so that we can unlearn that at Amesbury." The student population at Amesbury is ethnically and racially diverse, so Kassam says the teachers are constantly working hard at educating everyone about the cultural differences in their community. That means incorporating Black history lessons right into the curriculum, she told CBC Toronto."At the end of the day, as educators, what we control, where our power is, is what we're doing in our pedagogy, through our practice in our classrooms, how we interact with students in the hallways, what we do for extra-curriculars. That's where our power is."Meanwhile, Daniel also recognizes the first steps the Ontario government has made, including ending streaming in Grade 9 and a ban on suspensions for students in junior kindergarten to Grade 3, can reduce the harm being done to Black children.But it's not enough, she said."There needs to be commitment to change from the Ontario government going beyond those little tiny steps into transformational change," she said. "I am hopeful. I think that there are a lot of educators who want to do the right thing, who are trying to learn, but we need the system to support them."
Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.Want to avoid a 'twindemic'? Experts say get a flu shot.While COVID-19 has already thrown a wrench in many of our plans this year, it could be worse. Doctors are warning that flu season might sneak up on us if we don't get our flu shots in time. They're hoping to avoid what some have termed a "twindemic" — an influx of people becoming ill as influenza and the new coronavirus circulate at the same time. Read moreCanada's first PPE testing facility is coming. Here's what you should know.When the pandemic hit, many provinces had to act fast to secure personal protective equipment (PPE) for health-care workers. But the global demand made it hard to source products from international suppliers. As a result, many local facilities pivoted to help produce equipment, but were held up by a 12-week testing period that was needed before the products could be delivered to essential workers. That's going to change with a new PPE testing facility in Winnipeg that will cut wait times down to less than two weeks. Read moreTelus slapped by advertising watchdog for claim that high Canadian wireless prices are a 'myth'In a recent decision from Ad Standards Canada, the industry regulator found that a full-page Telus newspaper campaign in Quebec mixed up issues of affordability and price to give the impression wireless prices were lower in Canada than other countries. The claim was based on a 2019 PricewaterhouseCoopers study on wireless affordability in Canada. But members of the self-regulating advertising industry council said the study didn't back up the claim. Read moreHere's another reason to wash your jeans less — it's polluting Canada's great lakesYup, researchers at the University of Toronto say they detected microfibres linked to blue jeans in places ranging from the shallow suburban lakes of southern Ontario, to the Great Lakes and all the way up to the Arctic Archipelago. The researchers found that a pair of used jeans can release approximately 56,000 microfibres per wash.They suggest that denim lovers try to get as much wear out of their jeans as they can before throwing them in the washing machine. Read moreWhat else is going on?WestJet boosts fees after Nav Canada rate hike, may appeal increase The company's CEO says the higher fee will result in even fewer fliers and undermine its economic recovery.China will resume direct flights to Beijing from Canada, 7 other nations In March, all flights were directed to other airports to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.Health Canada changes course on COVID-19 testing at home The rapid tests are similar to home pregnancy tests and currently exist as prototypes.McDonald's sued for racial discrimination in U.S. by over 50 Black franchisees The plaintiffs allege they were steered to stores requiring high security and insurance costs.These kids pillows have been recalled due to an excess of lead Owners are advised to stop using the U-shaped pillows and return them to a Ximi Vogue store.This wireless charger has been recalled for being a possible fire hazard The Merkury-branded product was sold at Canadian Tire.Marketplace needs your helpAre you actively trying to get your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer repaired? If so, we want to hear from you. Please share your stories, photos and documentation to email@example.comHave your wedding plans gone up in smoke? If you're having trouble with refunds, booking a new wedding date, or are still waiting for a call back from vendors who were supposed to work with you on your big day, we want to hear from you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.orgCatch up on past episodes of Marketplace any time on CBC Gem.
Public health officials say 23 COVID-19 cases have resulted from four events related to a wedding in the Greater Toronto Area, as they continue to track close contacts of people who were in attendance. The York Region Public Health Unit late Saturday warned anyone who attended the wedding events that they may have been exposed to the virus, and to monitor for symptoms until Sept. 12. Three of the events took place Aug. 28 at a private home in Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ont., Rexdale Singh Sabha Religious Centre in Toronto, and Lakshmi Narayan Mandir Temple in Toronto.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Julie Payette an "excellent" Governor General this week and said he has no intention of asking the Queen to replace her in the wake of CBC reports alleging harassment and a toxic workplace environment at Rideau Hall.