Canada’s health officials presented new projections for the COVID-19 pandemic if no measures are taken to control the virus’s spread and warned new lockdowns could happen if the public doesn’t take matters into their own hands.
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is reminding the public about the most common scams to be on the lookout for.
Ontario Provincial Police cruisers watched from a distance Friday morning as a backhoe dug up a road in Caledonia, Ont., by the entrance to a First Nations land reclamation camp that has put a halt to a planned housing development.Members of Six Nations of the Grand River set up camp at the McKenzie Meadows housing development in July and renamed it 1492 Land Back Lane. It's now the centre of a land dispute that's over 200 years old. Six Nations of the Grand River, a Haudenosaunee community that has the largest on-reserve population in the country, neighbours Caledonia, which is about 22 kilometres south of Hamilton.A skirmish between some members of Six Nations and the OPP on Thursday afternoon by the back entrance to 1492 Land Back Lane led camp members to move to establish control over road and highway access points to the two site entrances. The back entrance to the camp links onto Argyle Street before connecting with Highway 6.McKenzie Road, which runs by the front entrance to the site, was dug up overnight on two sides.By Friday morning, on one side of Argyle Street, which runs by the back entrance to 1492 Land Back Lane, a crushed school bus lay on its side with the spray painted words, "Land Back Tours."Nearby, a hydro pole leaned precariously, its base chewed up by fire. Up the road on Argyle Street, a transformer station sat with its gates mangled.WATCH | New clashes in Caledonia land dispute in Ontario:Part of Highway 6 that connects to Argyle Street was also torn up overnight by heavy machinery that members of Six Nations said they commandeered from a road work site. Another part of the highway was blocked by dirt and concrete barriers. A set of CN railway tracks was also dug up, the warning lights knocked across the rails.Injunction granted ThursdayOn Thursday, Superior Court Justice R.J. Harper granted a permanent injunction against the 1492 Land Back Lane camp that had been requested by the developer, Foxgate Development. Haldimand County was also granted an injunction against road blockades.Six Nations members then confronted several OPP cruisers that were parked near the back entrance of 1492 Land Back Lane. Camp spokesperson Skyler Williams said the OPP used a Taser and fired rubber bullets.The OPP issued a statement on Twitter saying that its officers were confronted and police cruisers were heavily damaged in the confrontation and that in response, officers used "appropriate non-lethal force."The property is part of the Haldimand Tract granted to Six Nations of the Grand River in 1784 for allying with the British during the American Revolution.The granted land encompassed 10 kilometres on both sides of the 280-kilometre Grand River, which runs through southern Ontario and into Lake Erie. Six Nations now has less than five per cent of its original lands.Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett's office said in an emailed statement that it wants to meet with the community "at the earliest opportunity."The statement said "Canada deeply values its relationship with Six Nations" and wants to work "collaboratively" to deal with the "historical claims and land right issues."
There are growing concerns — and signs — that the idled North Atlantic refinery in Come By Chance could be reduced to a storage and distribution terminal for imported fuels, and that could mean a devastating economic blow to Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as to hundreds of workers connected to the industrial site.Silverpeak, the New York investment management firm that owns the refinery, its marketing division and a chain of North Atlantic service stations, has reserved the name NARL Terminal Inc. with the provincial government's Registry of Companies. The law firm that represents Silverpeak in this province, Stewart McKelvey, filed a request to reserve the name on Oct. 6. According to online records, that request was approved.Silverpeak has declined repeated interview requests from CBC News, with a representative writing in an email that "the company has no comment at this time."But industry sources say that unless a new buyer can be found, it's possible a scenario similar to one that played out in Dartmouth, N.S., seven years ago could be repeated in Come By Chance.And with Silverpeak taking steps to form a new company that could oversee such a facility, one of the companies interested in buying the refinery is speaking out.> 'The conversion of the facility into an import terminal could have unfavourable outcomes for the province and the local community, including permanent job losses, increased fuel prices, and potentially unresolved environmental liabilities.' \- Origin International"The conversion of the facility into an import terminal could have unfavourable outcomes for the province and the local community, including permanent job losses, increased fuel prices, and potentially unresolved environmental liabilities," a representative for Origin International, a U.S.-based private company that specializes in recycling used oil products, told CBC News. Worst-case scenarioThe Imperial Oil refinery in Nova Scotia was closed in 2013, and converted into a marine terminal, requiring only a small fraction of the roughly 400 workers with ties to the refinery.The union representing most of the workers at NARL Refining Inc., better known as North Atlantic, says outside of a complete shutdown, the downsizing to what's known as a "tank farm" would be a worst-case scenario."It would be a big loss of jobs. A huge impact on the economy and the price of fuels here," said Glenn Nolan, president of Local 9316 of the United Steelworkers.Energy Minister Andrew Parsons said he became aware of the the possible creation of a new company through the media on Thursday, when he was asked about the development by allNewfoundlandLabrador.com."The biggest thing I can say is I'm aware, the second thing I can say is it's not a part of any discussions I'm having, and the third thing I can say is obviously I'm not supportive of it," Parsons said during an interview Friday.The 135,000-barrel-a-day refinery was idled in March, when the COVID-19 pandemic caused a global drop in demand for fuel.A proposed sale to Irving Oil collapsed in early October without either side offering an explanation, and now at least two companies have expressed interest in a possible acquisition.Origin International, based in Maryland, issued a statement to CBC News this week saying it plans to reopen the refinery in the second quarter of 2021, and that it will recall all the roughly 500 employees as soon as a deal is inked.A second company is also showing an interest, but has asked not to be identified, said Parsons.'Warm idle' modeWhile backroom discussions are underway, talk is intensifying about the need to keep the refinery in what's called "warm idle" mode as the winter approaches.Silverpeak has requested financial assistance from the provincial government to keep the refinery in what's known as a "steady state." When asked about this on Friday, Parsons said: "We have said at no point are there any options that are off the table."But he said the primary focus is to help steer the current owner and potential buyers toward a possible deal."Most hours of each day are spent with this process," said Parsons.While the province does not have an ownership in the refinery, it has more than passing interest in what's happening.The province is responsible for environmental liabilities that existed at the refinery prior to Silverpeak's purchase in November 2014.An assessment to determine the site's environmental conditions for indemnity coverage is currently ongoing, according to the energy department.In recent years, the refinery has represented as much as five per cent of the province's economy."We have a very significant vested interest in this," Parsons said.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Police in New Brunswick say missing writer Richard Vaughan has been found dead. The author and video artist, who wrote under the name RM Vaughan, was a revered figure in Canada's LGBTQ arts scene. Fredericton Police say his body was found on Friday, 10 days after he was reported missing, and that his death is not being treated as suspicious.
It was another day with double-digit cases of COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan as there were 33 cases reported Friday. There are five new cases reported in the North Central zone, which includes Prince Albert. In other zones there were nine in Regina, four in Saskatoon, South West and the North East, three in the Central East and North West and a single case reported in the Far North West. To date, 37 of Saskatoon’s confirmed cases have been linked to a single nightclub venue. The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) would not confirm which venue. Publichealth investigations are underway to determine the source of transmission for all new cases. The Saskatoon zone leads the Active Case breakdown with 128 cases, the North Central zone is second with 118 active cases. North Central 2, which includes Prince Albert, has 61 active cases. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 51 active cases and North Central 3 has six active cases. In third place is Regina with 70 active cases. Of the 2,591 reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, 511 are considered active. The recovered number now sits at 2,055 after 31 more recoveries were reported. The number of deaths from COVID-19 is currently 25. The number of people in hospital is 20 in total in the province. Sixteen people are currently receiving inpatient case; nine in the Saskatoon zone, five in the North Central zone and one each in the Regina zone and North West zone. Four people, three in Saskatoon and one in Regina, are in intensive care. The total number of cases is 2,591 Of those 563 cases are from the Saskatoon area, 480 cases are from the south area (228 south west, 211 south central and41 south east), 476 cases are from the north area (162 north west, 212 north central and 102 north east), 425 cases are from the far north area (375 far north west, zero in far north central and 50 far north east), 352 cases are from the central area (196 central west and156 central east) and 293 cases are from the Regina area. Two cases have pending residence location. There are currently 82 cases that are health care workers; however, the source of the infections is not related to their work environments in all instances. Of the 2,591 cases in the province: 338 cases are related to travel, 1,299 are community contacts, which includes mass gatherings, 690 have no known exposures and 264 are under investigation by local public health. The age breakdown shows 482 cases involve people 19 years of age and under, 912 cases are in the 20-39-age range,751 are in the 40-59-age range, 369 are in the 60-79-age range and 77 are in the 80-plus-age range. The gender breakdown shows 51 per cent of the cases being females and 49 per cent being males. Yesterday, 2,297 COVID-19 tests were performed in Saskatchewan, which was the highest number to date. As of today there have been 242,500 COVID-19 tests have been performed in Saskatchewan. Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
Voters in British Columbia are casting ballots today in an election campaign that was largely defined by the COVID-19 pandemic.NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date.He argued the province needs a majority government to deal with the uncertainty caused by the new coronavirus.Calling the election was a gamble for Horgan, who faced criticism from B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and Green Leader Sonia Furstenau for pulling the plug on his minority government.They called the move unnecessary at a time when people need stability, but Horgan said that's exactly what he is seeking.At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats, there were two Independents and one seat was vacant.In calling the election on Sept. 21, Horgan said the pandemic was a central factor in deciding to seek a new mandate, adding that he "grappled" with the decision."This pandemic will be with us for a year or more and that's why I believe we need to have an election now," he said."We can either delay that decision and create uncertainty and instability over the next 12 months — more speculation, more talk about what might be — or we can do what I believe is always the right thing and ask British Columbians what they think."The campaign featured promises for more affordable daycare and improvements to long-term care, as well as different ideas on ways to spur the economy after the pandemic subsides.The pandemic meant the election was mostly fought online. Gone were rallies, replaced by virtual town halls. "The hardest part of the campaign for me has been the lack of the ability to connect with groups of people because of COVID," Wilkinson said in a recent interview. "We've successfully run a few of these car rallies where people stay in their vehicles and honk their horns in approval. But it's kind of a disconnected campaign for everybody."The NDP platform was largely built on the party's record and promises to continue what it started, including expanding $10-a-day child care and implementing a rent freeze until the end of next year. There was also a promise to provide a $1,000 recovery benefit for families with annual household incomes under $125,000. The Liberals want to cancel the provincial sales tax for one year at a cost of $7 billion and eliminate the small business income tax to help with the economic recovery from COVID-19.Furstenau argued for another minority government, telling voters not to give all the power to one party. She campaigned on the influence the Greens have had on policy, particularly on the government's plan to transition to renewable energy.With more than 720,000 mail-in ballots requested and about 478,000 returned as of late Thursday night, it's unclear whether a result will emerge right away. Officials with Elections BC say they hope to deliver the final results by Nov. 16, but the date isn't firm as it's unclear how much time will be needed to count the mail-in ballots.Vote-by-mail packages are collected centrally and cannot be counted for at least 13 days after the election, allowing time for the ballots to be sent back to voters' ridings for sorting and screening.Chief electoral officer Anton Boegman said that 13-day period may be extended depending on how quickly they can handle the vote-by-mail packages.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 24, 2020. The Canadian Press
A large cleanup effort took place on the Credit River Friday, after 2,000 litres of diesel was dumped about five kilometres east of the embankment, making its way through the stormwater system into one of Mississauga’s most cherished waterways. On Thursday afternoon, a host of government authorities responded to a resident reporting a diesel slick on the surface of the river around Lakeshore Road and Port Street. The oily substance, clearly visible on the water’s surface, represents an immediate threat to one of Mississauga’s few truly natural spaces. “I understand that an owner and/or contractor dumped oil tanks on their property yesterday that they mistakenly thought were filled with water,” Mississauga-Lakeshore MPP Rudy Cuzzetto told The Pointer Friday. It took until Friday to locate the source of the spill: a business at 3473 Wolfedale Road. It’s the address of Danco Logistics Inc., a trucking transportation company. The contents of two oil barrels reportedly at the location ended up in the city’s stormwater system, and the contaminants eventually emptied directly into the Credit River approximately five kilometres to the west. “This is absolutely horrendous — this is the last thing that you would ever want to see,” Ward 1 Mississauga Councillor Stephen Dasko told The Pointer. “Our watersheds are fragile to begin with, we’re trying to go out of our way to rehabilitate and strengthen them with partners like Credit Valley Conservation. Something like this is hard to see.” Cleanup was expected to be completed by the end of Friday, with the Region of Peel standing guard over the contaminated waterway over the weekend. “The property owner has retained a company that is conducting cleanup of the spill at the property,” a spokesperson for the Province’s Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks told The Pointer, adding cities and regions could recover the costs of cleanup. “In all cases the first and preferred approach is to identify the owner or controller of the spill and require them to take action, rather than having the ministry undertake clean up and restoration.” The fragile watershed Dasko described begins at the headwaters above the Niagara Escarpment near Orangeville. Usually clean and crisp, surrounded by a rainbow of colours this time of year, the Credit River flows gently south. As the water meanders downwards toward Lake Ontario it enters Caledon, home to a growing number of illegal trucking operations. The land set aside for some of the last remaining agricultural operations in the GTA has for more than a decade been pocked by unlicensed, unregistered commercial logistics businesses that have been the cause of numerous complaints to local officials for years. On days with particularly heavy rainfall, these outfits pose an immediate threat to a beautiful river, teeming with wildlife. Further on, it runs through Brampton. The car-dominated city is home to a series of trucking, logistics and industrial manufacturing businesses that use a range of chemicals. Toxins can seep into the watershed, emptying into the Credit. In Mississauga, passing under the Queen Elizabeth Way, the river nears its end, carrying a range of chemicals and substances that pollute its waters. A 2018 report card prepared by the Credit River Conservation Authority (CRCA) reflects this, scoring the river’s northern sections a B (good) for quality and health, dropping its assessment to C (fair), D (poor) and F (very poor) through Mississauga and into Lake Ontario. If all this wasn’t bad enough, as years of converting Peel’s farmland erodes the quality of local watersheds and threatens wildlife, this week saw the river struck by an avoidable disaster. The spill offers a clear visual representation of the environmental degradation eating away at the Credit River throughout the years, and coincides with a stunning season. Along the water, salmon are spawning beneath a canopy of brilliantly colourful trees. The local conservation authority has said it cannot yet estimate the damage to local wildlife, but the news is unlikely to be good. “Credit Valley Conservation leads water quality monitoring in the Credit River and its tributaries through a network of real-time gauge stations,” a spokesperson for the provincially funded agency told The Pointer. “We also monitor aquatic habitat and fish communities through our environmental monitoring programs. At this time, it is too early to determine what the impact of this spill will be to aquatic habitat and local fish populations.” According to the Province, the spill stretched over a three-kilometre section of the river from the QEW to Lake Ontario. Birds covered in oil are being captured by Mississauga Animal Services and, in partnership with Toronto Wildlife Centre, are now being cared for. Peel Region, working with the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, said spill reports happen daily in Mississauga and Brampton, with around 600 incidents reported annually. At as much as 2,000 litres of diesel, Thursday’s disaster is estimated to be the most significant since the early 2000s. “They need to be held to account,” Ward 2 Councillor and Credit River Conservation Authority chair, Karen Ras, told The Pointer, speaking about the company responsible for the spill. “It sends a very bad message that other companies would be allowed to do this [if they go unpunished]... That could have detrimental impacts in the long-term.” Cuzzetto was one of the several local politicians hovering around the cleanup. Using his Twitter account, he updated residents on the status of the spill and what measures were being taken to help with the cleanup. The Progressive Conservative MPP is part of an administration at Queen’s Park that has worked consistently to reduce the scope of conservation authorities, telling them in August 2019 to “refocus” and “wind down” non-essential work. The Doug Ford government is also currently in the process of changing the legislation regarding Environmental Assessments (EA) to rush through projects including the GTA West Corridor. Cuzzetto characterized his government’s action, particularly the streamlining of environmental assessments, as “modernization”. “We will maintain strong environmental oversight on projects that have the highest potential impact to the environment, while also exempting low-impact projects, such as bike lanes and roadside parks,” he said in an email. His assessment stands in contrast to the words of Keith Brooks, programs director at Environmental Defence, who decried the plan as an ecological disaster. “I don’t see how they can suggest that they’re protecting the environment while rushing through an Environmental Assessment [plan that will reduce the work],” Brooks previously said. “Respectfully, the modernization of Ontario's EA process for infrastructure will not make future mistakes like this any more likely,” Cuzzetto said. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @isaaccallan Tel: 647 561-4879Isaac Callan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Pointer
WestJet says it will begin providing refunds to passengers whose flights were cancelled due to the pandemic. The Calgary-based airline said it will begin contacting all eligible flyers with WestJet and Swoop on Nov. 2. It will begin with those whose flights were cancelled in March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, to offer refunds in the original form of payment.The process is expected to take six to nine months, the company said. It asked customers to wait to be contacted, in order to avoid overloading its call centre. "We are an airline that has built its reputation on putting people first," said Ed Sims, WestJet president and CEO, in an emailed release."We have heard loud and clear from the travelling public that in this COVID world they are looking for reassurance on two fronts: the safest possible travel environment, and refunds."Sims said in a letter posted to the company's website that since March, it has done everything it can to reduce costs in the face of a 95 per cent drop in demand. WATCH | Airlines struggle and plead for aid amid stall in travel:"Up until this point, quite plainly, the financial position of airlines around the world has been precarious," Sims said."We went 72 days in a row where cancellations outstripped bookings, something that has not happened — ever — in our almost 25-year history. Thankfully, we are seeing bookings higher than cancellations now but still at a level that sees more than 140 of the 181 aircraft in our fleet parked and more than 4,000 WestJetters permanently laid off."The company said it's the first national airline in the country to proactively begin refunding customers during the pandemic — a comment that Air Canada contested."Misleading statement! WestJet is just now catching up to our policy to refund refundable fares. We have already refunded over $1.2 billion in refundable fares to date," Air Canada wrote on Twitter on Wednesday evening.Within 10 minutes of that tweet, more than a dozen replies from customers said they still had not received their refund. Air Canada said in an emailed statement that it has reimbursed refundable tickets since the start of the pandemic, and that vouchers are offered to those who have purchased non-refundable tickets. In June, both Air Canada and WestJet began offering refunds to some passengers whose flights originated outside of Canada. WestJet offered refunds on flights originating from or landing in the U.S. or U.K., and Air Canada offered refunds to those whose flights originated in the EU — but not in Canada. Air Canada made the most recent U.S. Air Travel Consumer Report, released in August, for having the most refund complaints of any foreign airline the previous month. It had 1,705 complaints, while WestJet had 346. The airline industry in Canada has lost billions due to border closures and grounded flights during COVID-19.Up until now, most Canadian airlines have offered travel vouchers to passengers with cancelled flights. The vouchers were redeemable for two years. The lack of cash refunds have led to petitions and even possible class action lawsuits against the industry. The Canadian Transportation Agency said in April that, given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, vouchers were a reasonable alternative to refunds.The CTA said in an emailed statement after this article was originally published that it has consistently emphasized that its position changes nothing when it comes to airline obligations and that under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations, airlines are not required to provide refunds when the disruption is outside of their control. "Any passenger who believes they're owed a refund under the relevant tariff and hasn't received one can file a complaint with the CTA. All complaints are dealt with on their merits," the statement read. The agency said that between March 15 and Oct. 16, it's received close to 10,000 complaints. It's still in the process of reviewing the complaints but said that so far, about 4,300 are related to refunds. WestJet's move comes days after opposition parties demanded the federal government ensure passengers receive refunds as a condition of any airline bailouts.Carriers' requests for financial assistance from Ottawa have failed to materialize in funding while the United States and some European countries have offered billions in financial aid, with strings attached including partial government ownership and emissions reduction commitments.Federal Transportation Minister Marc Garneau said WestJet's move was a step in the right direction."Canadians deserve refunds for cancelled trips as a result of [COVID-19]," he wrote on Twitter. Delays 'ridiculous'WestJet's website states those who cancelled their own flights or purchased basic fares will not be refunded. Passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs said the six to nine months WestJet estimates it will take to process refund requests is excessive, calling it "ridiculous" and a "non-starter."He also said the refund exclusions violate consumer rights."It doesn't matter whether it was a business class elite fare or a basic fare, they have to refund it equally," Lukacs said, citing provincial legislation and regulation.WestJet had started to bleed money from advance ticket purchases even before Wednesday's announcement.Of the nearly 16,300 guests who requested chargebacks from their credit card issuers between March and Aug. 19, only 11 per cent were denied, according to an affidavit WestJet regulatory affairs director Lorne Mackenzie filed to the Federal Court in August.Certification hearings on a class action against WestJet, Air Canada and Transat AT are to begin in Federal Court on Nov. 2, the same day WestJet's policy goes into effect.
Two of Lidia Choque’s close family members had already gotten sick with the new coronavirus when the mosquitos arrived. When she went to a hospital after coming down with a fever and body aches, doctors delivered a double diagnosis: COVID-19 and dengue. As Peru grapples with one the world’s worst SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks, another virus is starting to raise alarm: dengue.
It’s an ongoing issue exacerbated by the pandemic — crowds at Eagle’s Nest hiking trail in Calabogie. As word spreads about the spectacular local treasure, particularly beautiful during peak leaf-viewing season, and more people look for outdoor, physically distanced activities amid COVID-19, the crowds, along with the concerns, are growing. Hundreds of vehicles parked on both sides of Highway 508, increased traffic in the township, destroyed flora and fauna, garbage along the trails and vandalism are among the concerns arising from the huge crowds coming to the area recently. Greater Madawaska council met Oct. 19 to discuss solutions to the problem, which include limiting parking to one side of the highway, installing lights for pedestrians and building a second parking lot. Part of the problem is “the property is a county road and trails are through Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) property. That provides a challenge for us as we don’t have control, but we’re working on trying to get a parking spot to get the cars off the road,” Greater Madawaska Mayor Brian Hunt said Thursday. Calabogie resident Mary-Joan Hale talked about the impact of the trail’s popularity. “Our way of life has been turned upside down. ATVs burst through the bush destroying flora and fauna. Someone had spray-painted on one of the rocks a swastika and on another rock, a male genitalia,” Hale said. “This is a holy place. We treasure our area,” she said. The mayor is confident they will find a solution; however, “it may not be as quick as people would like it to be. Once we get our plans put together, we can start working on a parking lot for next year. The planning isn’t too bad; it’s finding a location and if they (county and MNRF) agree to let us have it. “It’s a great attraction, we welcome the people here, but we have to be able to provide a parking spot that they can come here and do it safely,” the mayor said. Hunt acknowledged the numbers have gotten to the point where “some of the enjoyment has gone away from it. The beauty of walking in nature trails is that it’s tranquil, (it’s) an experience. But if it becomes like a shopping mall, you’re rubbing shoulders with people all the time, that takes away from it,” Hunt said. Council recognizes that further steps are required to reduce the risk to pedestrians and is developing plans toward a solution to address these concerns. This newspaper has reached out to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s southern region offices, but a response had not been received at our press deadline. Eagle’s Nest is famous for its spectacular view on top of a 120-metre cliff, an easy hike, and for its rock outcroppings, which serve as a nesting area for eagles. “If it’s quiet, you will see eagles circling around,” Hale said. “I didn’t see many eagles flying around this year,” she acknowledged. This summer has not been a quiet one for Hale and for Calabogie residents. “It wasn’t a pleasant summer. Our trails are massacred,” Hale said. STORY BEHIND THE STORY: Eagle’s Nest hiking trail has been drawing larger and larger crowds, leading to concerns for safety and the environment. We checked in with a local resident about the issue and talked to council about what steps are being taken to address the issue.Yona Harvey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Smiths Falls Record News
This is a synopsis of the Election 2020 platform for the New Democratic Party. The full 22 page document can be found at saskndp.ca/platform Strengthen Health Care Going forward, we will: · End shorts taffing in primary care, long-term care and acute care by hiring 100 doctors, 150 registered nurses, 300 licensed practical nurses and 500 continuing care assistants. · Make it easier for seniors to stay in their homes longer by building the best home care in Canada. · Legislate minimum care standards in long-term care. · Open badly needed dedicated Mental Health Emergency Rooms in Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw. · Fund an opioid and crystal meth strategy, starting with a $2 million investment. · Invest $5 million in a suicide prevention strategy. · Increase addiction treatment support by $10 million to enable Saskatchewan Health Authority and community-based organizations to hire more staff. · Invest $1.5 million in public health to help ensure we are better prepared for future outbreaks. · Establish a fully independent Seniors’ Advocate. · Provide coverage for insulin pumps for everyone with Type 1 diabetes and cover the cost of continuous glucose monitoring for minors who require that care. Safer Schools and Smaller Classes Going forward, we will: · Help school divisions reduce class size, address classroom complexity and keep our schools safe with funding for 1,000 more teachers, 700 educational assistants and 400 caretakers. · Provide funding for school divisions to hire 50 school-based Mental Health and Addiction Nurses and other mental health supports. · Invest $3 million into a rural education strategy to ensure we meet the unique needs of small-town schools. · Bring in affordable and accessible $25/day childcare, fix the childcare subsidy and create 2,200 new spaces each year to help struggling families. · Eliminate interest from student loans, saving students and their families $4.8 million. · Provide free tuition for kids leaving foster care. · Restore funding to the Northern Teacher Education Program. · Work with First Nations in Saskatchewan to ensure First Nation schools receive equal funding. Putting Saskatchewan Workers and Companies First Going forward, we will: · Remove the PST from construction labour, putting more than $200 million back into the economy every year. · Introduce a Rural Reconnect program to provide high-quality Internet and cellular service everywhere in Saskatchewan. · Lower SGI rates by roughly $85 per vehicle and provide an immediate $100 rebate to all policy-holders – which the Sask. Party refuses to do even though SGI cannot legally hold onto surplus funds. · Build a new Saskatchewan Transportation Company that meets the needs of today’s families and businesses. · Restore balance to Saskatchewan’s labour legislation so that workers can join unions, have safe workplaces and get fair contracts from employers. · Enact pay equity legislation. · Work with small businesses and industry representatives on a province-wide Buy Saskatchewan campaign. · Institute a job creators’ plan to support local small businesses as they adapt to the vital and necessary $15/hour minimum wage. · Reinstate startup loans for rural small businesses. · Introduce a film employment tax credit to bring the film industry back to Saskatchewan. · Work with the tech sector to make Saskatchewan more competitive with other jurisdictions. · Reduce the craft beer levy to help our producers compete across the country. · Lower crop insurance rates for new farmers to help them get started and provide $20 million per year to increase AgriStability reference margins. Putting Saskatchewan companies and workers first 10 · Improve the recognition of foreign credentials to allow more of our newest Canadians to fully participate in the economy. · Invest $10 million to help workers train and retrain to stay competitive in a changing world of work. · Create a new internship program to help young people get their first good job working for the provincial government and with our Crowns. All of Us, Together · Work with the federal government and First Nations and Métis governments to close the gap in health, employment, justice and education between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. · Invest $10 million to act on the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. · Commit to a strong Saskatchewan within a strong Canada, by fighting for a fair deal on equalization. · Reintroduce an independent Ministry of Northern Affairs. · Reform our child welfare system, working with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and First Nations to increase control and autonomy over the child intervention on reserve. Invest $5 million to create a poverty reduction strategy and increase support for housing first. · Eliminate predatory lending through a cap on interest rates and a cap on cheque cashing fees. · Double the Sask. Party’s funding for gang prevention strategies to keep our communities and our young people safe. · Ban dress codes that make women less safe at work, including mandatory high heels. · Examine structural and systemic racism within provincial government in our education sector. · Teach kids about respectful relationships, including the importance of consent. · Introduce legislation officially recognizing GSAs to ensure safety and support for all our students. · Develop a disabilities strategy to ensure everyone in Saskatchewan is able to reach their full potential. · Work with the federal government to restore the family class of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program, allowing newcomer families to put down roots and succeed in Saskatchewan. Building Saskatchewan A New Democrat government will: · Implement a Sask-First procurement policy to ensure that Saskatchewan workers and companies build Saskatchewan schools, hospitals and roads. · End the Sask. Party’s preference for mega-schools and focus on ensuring neighbourhoods have small local schools that meet their needs. · End the use of expensive P3s that cost much more in the long run and shut out Saskatchewan companies. · Commit to fulfilling the government’s ten-year SaskBuilds capital plan, reprioritizing to the most needed projects. · Build a new bridge for Prince Albert and a new hospital – not just a glorified renovation as the Sask. Party has promised. · Build a new high school in southeast Regina. Æ Deliver on the Sask. Party’s decade-old promise of an all-season road to Wollaston Lake. · Build a new public surgical centre in Regina. · Increase SaskTel’s investment in highspeed and wireless infrastructure to ensure rural communities have high-quality broadband and cellular service. · Bring back the Community Rink Grant program to help keep community rinks in rural communities and First Nations open. · Clear the $5 billion backlog on upkeep for our schools and hospitals, starting by increasing spending on deferred maintenance in healthcare and education infrastructure by 50 percent. Renew Saskatchewan Going forward, New Democrats will: · Move to 50 percent renewable and non-emitting electricity by 2030, with a legislated target of 100 percent emissions-free electricity by 2050. · Make ambitious investments in energy efficiency to make us a leader instead of continuing to lag behind the rest of Canada. · Support the protection of wetlands and grasslands. · Empower people, small businesses, municipalities and First Nations and Métis communities to generate their own power and create a distributed energy grid. · Work with SaskPower to make Saskatchewan a leader in geothermal power production. Stopping the Cuts and Fixing the SaskParty’s Broken Politics A Saskatchewan NDP government will take quick action to bring trust and ethics back to our political system. We will: · Call a public inquiry into the Global Transportation Hub and Regina Bypass scandals. · Introduce stronger conflict-of-interest rules for MLAs. · Close the lobbyist registry loophole and require all lobbying to be made public. · End commercial development in our parks and reverse the Sask. Party’s takeover of Wascana Park. · Improve minimum standards for financial information provided to the public. · Require the Provincial Auditor to report on the state of public finances before each election.Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder
Nearly 20 years after Calgary musician Paul Hepher was shot in the head in his basement apartment, his killer has been convicted.On Friday, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Blair Nixon found Terrance Wardale guilty of second-degree murder following a trial in March.Hepher, 50, was fatally shot in the head sometime between Feb. 28 and March 4, 2001.During the trial in March, Wardale, 64, admitted he'd killed Hepher during a "botched robbery," but defence lawyer Adriano Iovinelli argued his client should be found guilty of the lesser offence of manslaughter. "I find Mr. Wardale neither credible nor reliable," said Nixon. "I do not believe Mr. Wardale."Wardale hung his head as the decision was read aloud.In 2001, investigators found "numerous pieces of forensic evidence" in the basement suite but did not identify any suspects in the initial investigation.The case went cold, but more than 10 years later, police re-launched the investigation.On top of securing DNA evidence linking Wardale to the scene, he also confessed to undercover police officers.Undercover confessionsWardale told undercover police that he took a Halloween mask and a loaded handgun and biked over to Hepher's northwest apartment with the intent to rob the victim. Wardale had bought marijuana from Hepher before.The killer, whose home was about to be foreclosed on, told police he thought Hepher would make an easy robbery target, believing he might keep cash in his apartment. But Hepher was not compliant and fought back.After the mask was ripped off and his identity was revealed, Wardale shot Hepher.Wardale told three different undercover officers that he had shot Hepher."He said you 'don't have the f--kin' balls to shoot me,'" Wardale said during the undercover operation."I says 'I'm sorry Paul,' f--kin pulled the trigger," he admitted.Nixon will hear sentencing arguments later this year from Iovinelli and prosecutors Gord Haight and Tara Wells.A second-degree murder conviction comes with a life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 to 25 years.
Basic information about young people who have used government services in Nunavut isn't being tracked because of "complacency and a lack of accountability," says the annual report from the territory's representative for children and youth. Jane Bates says her 2019-2020 report needed data from government departments to create baseline information on people under 19 that could help shape policies and legislation. In March, her office sent questions to the departments of Family Services, Health, Education and Justice about where, why and how youth were getting access to services.
Are antibodies that attack a patient's own organs contributing to severe forms of COVID-19? A new study suggests specific antibody tests that may reveal the answer.
Shares of Chorus Aviation Inc. surged 34 per cent after it confirmed receiving an acquisition proposal from an unnamed third party. The Halifax-based regional aviation company said in a brief news release Friday that it had received "a preliminary, non-binding acquisition proposal from a third party that is subject to a number of significant conditions." Chorus shares, which had been halted in trading, closed up 81 cents to $3.18.
LAGOS, Nigeria — At least 51 civilians have been killed in Nigeria's unrest following days of peaceful protests over police abuses, the president said Friday, blaming “hooliganism” for the violence while asserting that security forces have used “extreme restraint.” President Muhammadu Buhari's comments are expected to further inflame tensions in Africa's most populous country after Amnesty International reported that soldiers shot and killed at least 12 demonstrators Tuesday night as a large crowd sang the national anthem. The deaths sparked international condemnation. In a statement, Buhari also said 11 policemen and seven soldiers had been killed by “rioters” as of Thursday, and “the mayhem has not stopped.” He said another 37 civilians were injured in some of Nigeria's worst turmoil in years. The president said the well-intentioned protests were hijacked by thugs. But many Nigerians are upset by what the president hasn't said. Buhari in a national address Thursday night didn't mention the shootings, instead warning protesters against “undermining national security and law and order.” On Friday he said the government “will not fold its arms and allow miscreants and criminals continue to perpetrate acts of hooliganism." Resentment lingered with the smell of charred tires Friday in Nigeria's relatively calm streets. Soldiers remained in parts of Lagos, Nigeria's largest city, as a 24-hour curfew remained in place. A witness of Tuesday night's shooting, 33-year-old Isaiah Abor, ventured out anyway to visit the scene where solders had opened fire. He managed to escape the chaos. “When (the soldiers) were making comments that the flag is not bulletproof, that’s when I knew this was going to go out of hand,” Abor said. Empty ammunition shells still littered the ground. The president's speech annoyed him. “The blood that stained a whole Nigerian flag, those youths were not even mentioned,” Abor said. He added: “We are not cowards. We will always come to this ground, and we will always feel for those that are gone.” Another protester, Olatunde Joshua Oluwanifemi, said simply: “The speech killed our spirit.” The president's comments, “devoid of sympathy,” were worrying, said Okechukwu Nwanguma with the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Center. Shielding those behind the shootings will only lead to abuses by the police and military, he said: “If those who carried out the killings did so and nothing happens, it will encourage them and others to do the same thing next time.” But citing the president’s comments, one influential group behind the protests, the Feminist Coalition, urged youth to stay at home, saying that “we need to stay alive to pursue our dreams to build the future.” Others disagreed. If the protests have been hijacked, then Nigerian youth should not give up the struggle and instead should “go back and re-strategize,” said Seriki Muritala with the National Youth Parliament. This week’s scenes have touched a chord with Black Lives Matter supporters in the United States, while the U.S. government has strongly condemned the “use of excessive force by military forces who fired on unarmed demonstrators in Lagos, causing death and injury.” The protests turned violent Wednesday after the military's shooting as mobs vandalized and burned police stations, courthouses, TV stations and a hotel. Police battled angry crowds with tear gas and gunfire. The looting and gunfire continued Thursday. The demonstrations began early this month with calls for Nigeria’s government to shut down the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a police unit known as SARS. The squad was launched to fight crime, but it carried out torture and killings, according to Amnesty International. The #EndSARS campaign spread across the country and Buhari’s government announced that it would disband the SARS unit. The protest persisted with demonstrators calling for more widespread reforms of the police and an end to corruption. In one attempt at calming tensions, the Lagos state government on Friday shared a list of ongoing prosecution against police officers accused of human rights abuses. “Today seems like a good day to get on to the work of rebuilding Lagos and ending police brutality,” Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said. But an angry crowd shouted at him over the unrest as officials toured burned-out vehicles and the sacked palace of a Lagos ceremonial leader. The leader, or oba, isn’t popular with some Nigerians who see him as a product of the country’s often corrupt politics. Opulence and grinding poverty are in close contact in Lagos, a city of some 20 million, and the inequality sharpens Nigerians' grievances. After touring the battered city, the governor told reporters he was “very traumatized” and that “we lost people in several parts of the city.” He didn't give details. “Enough is enough,” he said. “We need to heal ourselves.” He said the curfew would begin easing Saturday morning and a panel looking into the unrest would begin receiving petitions on Monday. And yet nerves were frayed. Near the scene of Tuesday's shooting, police shouted, then fired into the air, to stop a convoy carrying the body of a Muslim who had died overnight; the cause of death was not clear. After questioning by police, the mourners were allowed to continue, to go on and bury the dead. ___ Bashir Adigun in Abuja, Nigeria contributed. Sam Olukoya And Lekan Oyekanmi, The Associated Press
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Friday he would not tolerate violence and called on people to come together and discuss possible solutions regarding a construction site at the centre of an Indigenous land dispute near Caledonia, Ont. A judge ordered on Friday that demonstrators, who say the development is on unceded land, must permanently leave the area, which allegedly led to tires being set on fire and a street being dug up.
A pilot bottom-trawl closure has been expanded to include more areas in Queen Charlotte Sound. Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) expanded seasonal closure is an temporary management measure intended to limit the harvest of spawning arrowtooth flounder and halibut. In a fisheries notice Oct. 23 DFO stated an agreement had been reached between the Groundfish Trawl Advisory Committee and the Halibut Advisory Board to expand the closure from Nov. 1 until March 31 next year. The fishing locations are known as the Circle Tow by the groundfish trawl fleet and the 800 Line by the Halibut fleet. The year-round pilot bottom-trawl closure was first implemented in March last year. See the DFO notice on their website for coordinates of the expanded closure. Quinn Bender, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View
Students from Edmonton's public and Catholic schools won't be required to write provincial achievement tests this school year. Both school divisions have opted out of PATs for Grades 6 and 9 for the 2020-21 school year. "This is not a standard year by any stretch of the imagination," Tricia Estabrooks, chair of the Edmonton public school board, said Friday. Students are learning in stressful conditions and don't need the added burden of PATs, Estabrooks said. "This is a year where students are experiencing perhaps some challenges and some additional stressors in their life that typically they wouldn't be experiencing." Edmonton Catholic Schools highlighted the same concerns in a letter sent to students and parents Thursday. "As we continue to navigate the educational impacts of COVID-19, we recognize that the added stress of PATs for our students needs to be avoided," wrote superintendent Robert Martin. Both school boards said PATs are one of many tools used to assess how a student is learning. "Student learning will continue to be assessed in many other ways to ensure that curricular outcomes are being met," said a statement from Edmonton Catholic Schools. Edmonton Public Schools is asking the province to cancel Grade 12 diploma exams as well. "It would really lend itself to all students being on the same playing field," Estabrooks said. "Grades and different ways of measuring student success can be done through teacher awarded marks." Cancelling the exams would also ensure that students who are learning online don't have to attend exams in person, she said. "All of a sudden, we're asking online students to come to an in-person exam and that didn't feel like it was really honouring the choice to allow students to stay home." Alberta Education announced earlier this month that Grade 12 diploma exams would be optional for the fall semester. Diploma exams scheduled for January, April or June continue to be mandatory. "We will of course continue to monitor how the school year progresses, and make decisions on the remaining exams prior to them being written," said a statement from Alberta Education.
Kyle Anthony Kennedy, 28, appeared in provincial court in Fredericton on Friday afternoon on seven charges related to a standoff that tied up a city neighborhood for much of Thursday. Appearing in court by phone, Kennedy was charged with pointing a firearm, uttering threats and assault with a weapon.He is also charged with two counts of forcible confinement. Fredericton police blocked off an area of the College Hill neighbourhood, on the city's south side, from about 8 a.m. Thursday after a neighbour called police about a man with a firearm on Gregg Court.nPolice said the man barricaded himself in a two-unit residence, and they negotiated with him most of the day until at 3:40 p.m., when he surrendered and was taken into custody.As Judge Kenneth Oliver read out the charges Friday, Kennedy had several outbursts and claimed he couldn't hear because of the phone line. Kennedy declined legal aid, citing a conflict of interest. While Oliver continued to read out the charges, Kennedy insisted on being in the courtroom in person and not over the phone.The judge paused and asked to have him brought into the courtroom in person from the holding cell. Oliver said he wanted to give Kennedy the benefit of doubt that there was a bad phone line.Twenty minutes later, Kennedy arrived in cuffs and was escorted into court by sheriff's officers. After Oliver resumed reading the charges, Kennedy had several outbursts, including one of disbelief when he found out he was charged with confinement. He shouted out over the judge and suggested he didn't know the people he allegedly confined had been in the building.Kennedy also shouted out that the firearms he'd had were inoperable. Kennedy did not have to enter a plea Friday. He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. for a bail hearing.
Brian Boucher is no longer a priest.Boucher was sentenced to eight years in prison last March for sexually abusing two boys when he worked as a priest in LaSalle in the 1990s and the Town of Mount Royal, around 2010.The news of Boucher's laicization came as a great relief to parishioner Kurt Reckziegel, who attends Our Lady of the Annunciation church in TMR."I'm glad to see it's happened," said Reckziegel. "It doesn't help the victims of the past, but maybe it will save some young people in the future."Montreal Archbishop Christian Lépine formally dismissed Boucher from the clerical state last year, but the decision was subject to appeal. No appeal was filed this summer, so the decision stands.Erika Jacinto, a spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal, said from the moment of Boucher's dismissal, all financial support to him stopped. He cannot exercise any priestly function or occupy any office reserved for clerics. He is also prohibited from teaching in Catholic schools and institutions, and cannot participate as a lector or assist a priest in administering communion.Boucher is the only diocesan priest in the history of the Archdiocese of Montreal to be sanctioned in this way, said Jacinto.External review will be made public next monthLast November, the archdiocese hired Pepita G. Capriolo, a former Quebec Superior Court justice, to get to the bottom of how complaints and concerns about Boucher were handled.Boucher worked in 10 Montreal-area churches between 1985 and 2015.CBC Montreal has reported extensively about complaints from parishioners about Boucher dating back to the mid-1980s, before he began studying for the priesthood.The external review was supposed to be completed last spring, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed it. Capriolo presented her findings to Archbishop Lépine at the beginning of September. The findings and recommendations will be released to the public at the end of next month.Reckziegel and several other parishioners who spoke to CBC Montreal on the condition of anonymity, are eager to see what Capriolo discovered."My hope is that this doesn't ever happen again in any parish, any jurisdiction," said Reckziegel, who hopes it will encourage the Archdiocese of Montreal to change its ways going forward."They have to be open, and hopefully with some of that openness about the situation, they are able to stop any further abuse of children and young adults in the future," he said.Broader external auditShortly after Boucher's sentencing last year, one of his victims became the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal.The suit is seeking compensation for anyone who may have been sexually assaulted by a Montreal priest or church staff member since 1940.Lawyer Virginie Dufresne-Lemire, said negotiations in the lawsuit are still ongoing, but she was pleased to hear the news about Boucher today."It's really important the church doesn't protect people who are convicted of the sexual assault of minors," Dufresne-Lemire said.She too was also looking forward to seeing Capriolo's findings, but said a broader audit is still needed.Last year, the Archdiocese of Montreal had planned a statistical audit of its archives dating back 70 years, looking into other priests who may have abused children.Retired Superior Court Justice Anne-Marie Trahan was appointed to do the external audit last year, but she died in the summer of 2019.Once the Capriolo report is released, Jacinto said it will be a priority.In the last 10 years, Dufresne-Lemire says more victims are speaking up about the abuse they suffered, but it's still a source of shame."Many of the victims thought they were the only ones being abused," she said. "People want answers. How come we let this go so far? How come there so many victims of sexual abuse by priests? It's really important. It's an event we need to understand to make sure it doesn't happen again. I think we owe it to the victims to shed light on these shameful events."
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden Friday attacked the Trump administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Eight months into the crisis, Biden said the president "still doesn't have a plan, " adding "he's quit on you." (Oct. 23)