The odds of experiencing a fatal blood clot following inoculation with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine are less than one in a million, but that was enough to spook Argus Research.
SAINT-MICHEL-DES-SAINTS, Que. — A father and a child were found dead on Wednesday after their car went off the road and plunged into a river in Quebec's Lanaudiere region. Quebec provincial police confirmed Thursday that the bodies of Jonas Dubé, 29, and Weyko Jacob, 7, were discovered in the submerged car in St-Michel-des-Saints, Que., about 170 kilometres north of Montreal. The Atikamekw band council of Manawan said in a news release the father and son were members of the community who had been missing since Tuesday night. "Like all members of the community, I was very shocked when I heard about the terrible accident," Manawan Chief Paul-Emile Ottawa said in the release. "The two victims were esteemed people in our community. Their departure will certainly leave a great void in the hearts of many of us." Ottawa described Jacob as a very cheerful young boy, while he said Dubé was "an excellent father." A citizen called police at about 1 p.m. on Wednesday about a car that had skidded off the road and gone into the water. Officers on the scene found the car upside down and underwater and called in fire and rescue services, who discovered the bodies inside the car. Police say a collision specialist is investigating the cause and time of the accident and a mechanical inspection of the car has been ordered. "We know it took place sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon," said Jean Raphaël Drolet, a spokesman for the provincial police. Ottawa said in a recent interview that Dubé and his son were heading toward Manawan to see other family members when the accident occurred. "The family lives in Joliette, Que.," Ottawa said. "Dubé's wife is a nurse at the Manawan health centre and she had been working on the vaccination campaign for the last few days. The father and son were coming back to see her." The band said the accident happened on a stretch of highway that is known to be dangerous. Ottawa said the band council continues its efforts with Quebec’s Transport Department to make the road safer — a discussion the community has been having with the provincial government for the past two years. "The safety on the Manawan road has been concerning the community for a long time," Ottawa said. "When it comes to security, it is our duty to do everything possible to prevent another tragedy from occurring." Ottawa said he intends to ask the Quebec government to install fences between the road and the nearby rivers, something he argues could have saved Dubé and his son's lives. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus unveiled on Thursday a phased rollback of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions over the next month, including a shortened curfew and a reopening of all schools next week. But the island will demand the compulsory display of proof of vaccination, virus testing or convalescence from COVID-19 in areas where people gather in numbers — including restaurants and churches — together with mask-wearing and social distancing. A strict, two-week lockdown has curbed the record-high number of infections, although some health officials had wanted restrictions to be slightly extended. Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou told a news conference that the primary purpose of the rollback that starts May 10 is to “lift the spirits of the public after months of sacrifices,” without jeopardizing public health by abolishing all restrictions at one go. He said some restrictions will remain in place until at least the end of June, when authorities hope to have 60-65% of the population vaccinated. As of next week, people will no longer need to secure text message permission to leave home. There will be caps on capacity at bars, restaurants, malls and parks that will be gradually increased from 30% to 50% over the next few weeks. Retail stores, gyms and hair dressing salons will also reopen. But Ioannou said people will need to display to police either a vaccination card, a health services text message proving convalescence from COVID-19 or a negative PCR test carried out 72 hours prior to an outing at any place where people gather en masse. Some exceptions will be made, including for going to supermarkets, pharmacies, beaches, parks and outdoor farmers' markets where people will be simply required to wear masks and keep distances. Ioannou said the measure will be “temporary” and authorities are working on a smartphone application to simplify the procedure. Authorities said already a third of Cyprus’ population of roughly 875,000 people have received at least one shot as part of a ramped-up vaccination program that’s seen as key to buoying the tourism-reliant country’s chances of attracting more vacationers. ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak The Associated Press
A Vancouver Island mother is pleading for more long-term drug treatment programs at facilities for children after her 12-year-old died last month from what she suspects was a drug overdose. The BC Coroner's Office says Allayah Thomas' case is under investigation but the cause of death has not yet been confirmed. Adriana Londono spoke to CHEK news and said her daughter Allayah,who went by Ally, died on April 14 in hospital in Victoria after overdosing on drugs at a friend's home in Langford. She got the news of her daughter's death in a phone call. "I just broke down and I was in shock, like, I'm still in shock. And I didn't know how to process it. I just ran to the bathroom and cried and screamed," said Londono. Adriana Londono, the mother of pre-teen who died last month of a suspected drug overdose, says her daughter needed care in a drug treatment facility but was too young to qualify.(Chek News) She described Ally as sweet and loving and said she wanted to be makeup-artist but her life took a turn last year when her daughter started experimenting with drugs including methamphetamine and heroin at 11-years-old. Londono said her family tried to get her help but was told her daughter was too young to qualify for rehab services at a facility which she believes Allayah desperately needed. She explained that she had her daughter when she was 19-years-old and has been struggling with her own mental health issues and substance abuse issues and felt helpless. "I haven't been helped for my problems so I felt how can i help her? I can't even help myself," said Londono. Londono said her daughter was living with her grandparents who also tried to get help. "That was what we really wanted and there was no rehab. They just sent us counsellor numbers, outreach workers and all these things that really weren't enough. Like she needed to go to rehab. There needs to be a rehab facility for kids under 14." Her grandparents told CHEK news, the Grade 6 student refused to go to counselling. Gaps in treatment services B.C.'s Representative for Children and Youth Jennifer Charlesworth acknowledged there are significant gaps in treatment services especially for families living outside of urban areas. She said overdose deaths among children are rare and most treatment services in facilities are geared toward helping older teens. "So it's a wake up call for us to think developmentally how would we work with these young people and 12 year olds shouldn't be with 16 year olds either." Charlesworth said sometimes young people in crisis who are using drugs feel they don't need help so it is important to first reduce the shame and stigma for families seeking help and use harm reduction as a way to prevent overdose deaths. "Harm reduction, again, is really important. Because the child, we need to join with them and then say okay if you are going to use, let's use safely. Then once we've that handled what are some of the options for you to care of yourself without using substances." She said there is a need for residential treatment for serious addictions which can't be addressed with out-patient or outreach services. The Ministry of Children and Family Development said in a statement that it cannot comment due to privacy restrictions but it's practice is to conduct a review of these types of cases. Londono said she wants people to be aware of the toxicity of the drugs that are available and said every family should have a naloxone kit at home to reverse opioid overdoses. She says kids should not be afraid to tell their parents what drugs they have done. "They shouldn't be in fear of being punished. They should be in fear of dying."
Canada Revenue Agency officials are being "outgunned" by "tax giants" when it comes to cracking down on offshore tax cheats, the head of the union representing CRA auditors told members of Parliament Thursday. Debi Daviau, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), said her members are passionate about their jobs but they need a better structure and the right tools to do their jobs. "Our CRA professionals are amongst the best in the world at what they do but they face great challenges," Daviau told member of the House of Commons finance committee. "Their job is to go after individuals and entities that, in effect, have unlimited resources and can aggressively exploit legal and international grey areas for their own gain. "The CRA employees, by comparison, often feel outgunned by those trying hardest to avoid taxes." Daviau said the CRA unit that specialized in highly complicated international tax avoidance and evasion structures was broken up several years ago and its members were reassigned to other, more generalized groups. "That has reduced the capacity of employees at the CRA to be able to deliver on getting international tax avoiders to pay their fair share," she said. As a result, Daviau said, CRA has better resources for catching tax cheats within Canada than for pursuing those who have set up elaborate international tax avoidance schemes. 'Precarious positions' "Employees at the Canada Revenue Agency are up against tax giants," she told MPs. "These are people who have immense skill, technology, expertise and other big companies on their side, so they need to be on a level playing field." Daviau said an important step in improving the situation would be to enshrine better protection for whistleblowers. "CRA officials are frequently put in precarious situations where they are asked to hold powerful players to account in a high-stakes setting," she said. "Whistleblower protection is crucial to ensuring professional integrity is paramount during the tax assessment process." The government should curtail practices such as transfer pricing — which sees companies declare the profit on products in low-tax jurisdictions that had little to do with production — and implement the beneficial ownership registry promised in the recent budget, Daviau added. Thursday's hearing came after CBC's the Fifth Estate and Radio-Canada's Enquete reported earlier this year that shell companies set up in the Isle of Man are suspected of involvement in a massive fraud scheme. The scheme cost some investors — like Quebec resident Janet Watson, who recounted her story to the committee — much of their life savings. Janet Watson, who lost money in the Mount Real fraud, wants politicians to reopen an inquiry into Isle of Man shell companies after a Fifth Estate/Enquête investigation exposed links to the massive offshore fraud.(Radio-Canada) Some experts believe KPMG may have had a hand in creating those companies — something the company denied repeatedly Thursday. "Any implication that KPMG had anything to do with the CINAR fraud is false," Lucia Iacovelli, Canadian managing partner for tax and legal for KPMG, told the committee. "Any implication that KPMG was in any way involved with the sword companies is also false." Iacovelli said corporate services companies often supply the names of directors and officers for companies they set up for different clients. Iacovelli said repeatedly that KPMG has not set up any new Isle of Man offshore structures since 2003 and has turned over information about its offshore structure, and the clients for which it was set up, to the CRA. MPs like NDP MP Peter Julian and Bloc Québécois MP Gabriel Ste-Marie made it clear, however, that they have a long list of questions they will be asking KPMG to answer in writing. Senator Percy Downe, who has doggedly followed the question of offshore tax avoidance and evasion over the years, said other countries are doing a better job than Canada in investigating the tax evasion revealed by leaks like the Panama Papers. Downe recommended the parliamentary budget officer be empowered to measure the tax gap between what is actually being collected and what taxes should be paid. He said the government should make it a criminal offence to fail to declare an overseas bank account, implement plans for a public registry of beneficial owners behind companies, and boost the salaries of CRA experts to reduce the number being recruited to work for companies aiding tax avoidance. Thursday's hearing was the first step in what Julian said will be a renewed push to look at the impact of offshore tax avoidance on Canada and to come up with recommendations. The finance committee will now turn its attention over the next few weeks to the omnibus budget implementation bill — but Julian said he expects the committee to return after that to the probe of tax avoidance and evasion. Julian said he did not know how far the committee will get before Parliament is scheduled to rise for the summer the week of June 21. Elizabeth Thompson can be reached at email@example.com.
TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan's capital on Thursday asked the government to extend until May 31 its state of emergency aimed at curbing coronavirus infections, a move that could spark more questions about its ability to host the Olympics. Japan had hoped a "short and powerful" emergency would contain a fourth wave of infections just under three months before Tokyo is set to host the Olympic Games from July 23. "Based on the analyses from various angles, my thinking is that we need an extension of the state of emergency," said Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.
OTTAWA — The federal government is facing increasing pressure to close a loophole preventing new mothers from having their maternity leave fully covered. The Opposition Conservatives are asking the Liberals to allow expecting mothers to qualify for their full employment insurance parental leave, even if they currently receiving federal unemployment aid. The call follows a similar request made by the federal New Democrats to Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough that said a current workaround to allow unemployed mothers to qualify for EI wasn't working. As is, eligible workers need a minimum number of hours on the job to qualify for EI benefits. When a new mother receiving EI benefits gives birth, they have to file a new EI claim, meaning they need to meet the hours requirement, even though they have been unable to work because of the pandemic. Opposition critics say they worry new parents might be forced to stay home without income support, or potentially be forced to look for work before they're ready and able. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
Vivian Hermanson heard story after story from First Nations people around Campbell River, B.C., experiencing years-long delays in registering children for Indian status and delays in receiving their secure status cards from Indigenous Services Canada. "I was hearing the biggest need of all was coming out of the young parents generation, waiting two to three years sometimes to have their child registered," she said. Hermanson, a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, launched a petition to the House of Commons last month that calls on the government to take no longer than the time needed to process a Canadian passport — 20 business days — to process status cards and to find solutions to do this such as hiring more staff. Indigenous Services Canada's website says the processing time for a secure status card is 16 weeks. It says registering for Indian status takes six to eight months, or in "complex cases," up to two years. The petition says current wait times are an example of systemic racism being perpetuated by the Canadian government. "Our systems don't recognize the systemic racism that is built into them, or if they recognize it, they're unable to interact with it in a meaningful way," Hermanson said. She said she doesn't have a lot of knowledge about petitions but felt she had to do something. "When we're in community and things are happening, we participate in supporting. If there was something that I could do based on the stories I was hearing, then that's what my teachings tell me." 'It's almost like doing a passport, but worse' Kelly Shopland shared her story with Hermanson and also signed the petition. The mother from K'òmoks First Nation didn't expect she'd have to apply for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status card for her infant when he was born or that it would be four years before he finally received one. "It's a very frustrating process," said Shopland. "It's almost like doing a passport, but worse because you're not getting the feedback quick." The old Certificate of Indian Status cards are still being produced at some First Nations offices. They are laminated paper templates manually typed out by an Indian registration administrator who verifies an individual's information in the Indian registry. Secure Certificate of Indian Status cards, which have security features included in them, were introduced in 2009. They are administered through Indigenous Services Canada and printed by a third party. In April 2017, with the assistance of an Indian registration administrator at her community's band office, Shopland sent her baby's application for status to Indigenous Services Canada and received a response that was hard to understand in terms of what was missing or what the next steps were. She said they returned his long form birth certificate and indicated that he would be entitled to status under Bill C-3. She put the application for her baby's SCIS card on the back burner while on maternity leave, picked up the process in early 2019 and finally received her son's secure status card in January 2021. She's not looking forward to having to renew it when it expires. "That's leaving everyone with a period where they may not have a valid status card for whatever reason they may need it, whether that's in businesses or for tax exemptions or for health benefits." 'This is systemic racism' NDP MP Rachel Blaney, who represents a riding in B.C. with over 20 First Nations, introduced Hermanson's petition to the House of Commons on Apr. 30. "This is systemic racism, whenever there are systems that target a particular group of people because of who they are," she told CBC News. "We need to make sure that the government is responsible for the actions that they're taking and the implication it has on families and communities." Rachel Blaney, NDP MP for North Island-Powell River, presents petition e-3281 to the House of Commons on April 30.(Rachel Blaney/YouTube) During the 30 days the petition was open, 1,164 people signed it from across Canada. "We continue to have a government that steps in that place between the community and their own people," said Blaney. "We're asking them to create a meaningful solution that makes sure that people get acknowledged." A Canadian passport on the left, a Secure Certificate of Indian Status on the right; the petition calls for both of these secure federal government documents to be processed in the same time frame, 20 business days.(Francine Compton/CBC) Denis Poirier, director of the Individual Affairs Branch at ISC, said the department is working to help with the application process through partnerships and with the introduction of a new app. "When we launched the photo app, basically what we were trying to do is make the service more accessible," he said. "I think for us, what's important is to give the most timely feedback to applicants, to make sure that they get the services that they applied for and it's also important for us to be able to issue the cards to those who who want them as quickly as possible, so that the process has to be streamlined and as simple as possible." Danielle Shaw, elected chief councillor for the Wuikinuxv Nation in B.C., has been their Indian registration administrator for over eight years and started when the secure cards began rolling out. She said she thinks there were good intentions behind the department providing a legitimate looking piece of ID but she signed the petition because she feels providing the service hasn't been made a priority. "We're not looking for anything more than what any other demographic gets access to when issuing any sort of identification," she said. Once a petition is tabled in the house, the government is mandated to respond within 45 days.
Recent developments: What's the latest? Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting 106 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and two more deaths. Quebec is set to offer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to children age 12 to 17 teens after it was approved by Health Canada. Health Minister Christian Dubé says the goal for the first dose is the end of June and the second, by the start of the next school year. Full details were not announced. WATCH | Ontario probably won't be ready to leave stay-at-home order on May 20: How many cases are there? The region is in a record-breaking third wave of the pandemic that includes more dangerous coronavirus variants, straining contact tracing and pushing hospitals past their limits. As of Tuesday, 24,998 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 1,622 known active cases, 22,859 resolved cases and 519 deaths. Public health officials have reported more than 45,600 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 42,200 resolved cases. Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 178 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 201. Akwesasne has had more than 660 residents test positive and 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections. Kitigan Zibi has had 34 cases. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had 11, with one death. Pikwakanagan hasn't had any. CBC Ottawa is profiling those who've died of COVID-19. If you'd like to share your loved one's story, please get in touch. The transfer of COVID-19 patients from other regions to Ottawa hospitals continues. As of the most recent update Tuesday, there were about 35 COVID-19 patients from other communities in Ottawa ICUs. What can I do? Eastern Ontario: Ontario is under a stay-at-home order until at least May 20. People should only leave home for essential reasons like getting groceries, seeking health care and exercising. They should stay within their immediate area and province unless it's absolutely necessary to leave. The vast majority of gatherings are prohibited. Exceptions include small activities with households and small religious services. Golf courses and tennis and basketball courts are among the closed recreation venues. An empty tennis court is seen May 4, 2021 in Ottawa. Outdoor tennis courts are part of the Ontario government's stay-at-home measures.(Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press) Police checkpoints between Ontario and Quebec are not running 24/7. Officers in Ontario have the power to stop and question people if they believe they've gathered illegally. Ontario has indefinitely moved to online learning. Daycares remain open. WATCH | We check back in with the Class of COVID-19: Most non-essential businesses can only offer curbside pickup. Access to malls is restricted and big-box stores can only sell essential items. Gyms and personal care services are closed, while restaurants are only available for takeout and delivery. Local health units and communities can also set their own rules, as Ottawa's is doing around playgrounds, Prince Edward County's is doing around travel and Kingston is doing for Breakwater Park. Western Quebec Premier François Legault has said the situation is critical in Gatineau and is asking people there to only leave home when it's essential. Schools, gyms, theatres, personal care services and non-essential businesses are closed until Monday across the Outaouais. Some rules start to loosen that day. WATCH | Managing post-secondary stress in the pandemic: Private gatherings are banned, except for a person who lives alone seeing one other household. Distanced outdoor exercise is allowed in groups up to eight people. The curfew is from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. People are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact and only leave their immediate area for essential reasons — under threat of a fine if they go to a yellow or green zone. Distancing and isolating The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets that can hang in the air. People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine. Coronavirus variants of concern are more contagious and are taking over. This means it is important to take precautions now and in the future like staying home while sick — and getting help with costs if needed — keeping hands and surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don't live with, even with a mask on. Masks, preferably ones that fit snugly and have three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec. OPH says residents should wear masks outside their homes whenever possible. Masked pedestrians wait at an intersection in downtown Ottawa in May 2021.(Andrew Lee/CBC) People have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine and have to pay for their stay in a quarantine hotel if entering by air. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who've been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length varies in Quebec and Ontario. Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems get help with errands. Vaccines Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada. WATCH | Epidemiologist says the language used by NACI is 'troubling': Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second. About 845,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including about 381,000 doses to Ottawa residents and about 165,000 in western Quebec. Eastern Ontario Ontario is vaccinating people age 50 and older at its clinics. People can book appointments online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900. The province has opened up appointments for people age 18 and up in Ottawa's K1T, K1V and K2V "hot spot" postal codes. Ottawans in the city's priority neighbourhoods above age 18 and Indigenous people above age 16 can check their eligibility online with the city. People who are 40 or will be this year can contact participating pharmacies for a vaccine appointment. Pharmacies can offer walk-in vaccines if they wish. Ontario has a staggered rollout plan to expand its vaccination campaign week-by-week, allowing everyone over age 18 to make an appointment starting the week of May 24. The province expects to have given a first dose to about two-thirds of adults by the end of May. Next week, people as young as age 40 can book through the province. Eligibility is also expected to include a wider range of health conditions and job types, such as transit and grocery store employees. Local health units have some flexibility in the larger framework, so check their websites for details. Some have said they won't have the vaccine supply to cover everyone who becomes eligible right away. Western Quebec Quebec's vaccination plan covers people age 40 and older in the Outaouais, along with essential workers and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, including pregnancy. It's also doing a staggered expansion, reaching down to children as young as 12 in June. Its next expansion is people aged 35 to 39, starting tomorrow. WATCH | Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for kids as young as 12: People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone. Pharmacists there have started giving shots with appointments through the province. Symptoms and testing COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and loss of taste or smell. Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash. If you have severe symptoms, call 911. Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic, and resources are available to help. In eastern Ontario: Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment. Check with your health unit for clinic locations and hours. Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, if you've been told to by your health unit or the province, or if you fit certain other criteria. People without symptoms but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one. In western Quebec: Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms, their contacts and people who have been told to get tested. Outaouais residents can make an appointment and check wait times online. Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby. First Nations, Inuit and Métis: First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, or someone travelling to work in a remote Indigenous community, are eligible for a test in Ontario. Akwesasne has a COVID-19 test site by appointment only and a curfew of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days. People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-1175. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and in Kitigan Zibi, 819-449-5593. Tyendinaga's council is asking people not to travel there to camp or fish. Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing and vaccines, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays. For more information
WASHINGTON — The top U.S general for Africa is warning that a growing threat from China may come not just from the waters of the Pacific but from the Atlantic as well. U.S. Gen. Stephen Townsend, in an interview with The Associated Press, said Beijing is looking to establish a large navy port capable of hosting submarines or aircraft carriers on Africa’s western coast. Townsend said China has approached countries stretching from Mauritania to south of Namibia, intent on establishing a naval facility. If realized, that prospect would enable China to base warships in its expanding Navy in the Atlantic as well as Pacific oceans. “They’re looking for a place where they can rearm and repair warships. That becomes militarily useful in conflict,” said Townsend, who heads U.S. Africa Command. “They’re a long way toward establishing that in Djibouti. Now they’re casting their gaze to the Atlantic coast and wanting to get such a base there.” Townsend's warnings come as the Pentagon shifts its focus from the counterterrorism wars of the last two decades to the Indo-Pacific region and threats from great power adversaries like China and Russia. The Biden administration views China's rapidly expanding economic influence and military might as America's primary long-term security challenge. U.S. military commanders around the globe, including several who may lose troops and resources to bolster growth in the Pacific, caution that China's growing assertiveness isn't simply happening in Asia. And they argue that Beijing is aggressively asserting economic influence over countries in Africa, South America and the Middle East, and is pursuing bases and footholds there. “The Chinese are outmanoeuvring the U.S. in select countries in Africa," said Townsend. “Port projects, economic endeavours, infrastructure and their agreements and contracts will lead to greater access in the future. They are hedging their bets and making big bets on Africa.” China's first overseas naval base was built years ago in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa and it is steadily increasing its capacity. Townsend said as many as 2,000 military personnel are at the base, including hundreds of Marines who handle security there. “They have arms and munitions for sure. They have armoured combat vehicles. We think they will soon be basing helicopters there to potentially include attack helicopters,” said Townsend. For some time, many have thought that China was working to establish a Navy base in Tanzania, a country on Africa's eastern coast, that has had a strong, longstanding military relationship with Beijing. But Townsend said it appears there's been no decision on that yet. He said that while China has been trying hard to get a base in Tanzania, it's not the location he's most concern about. “It's on the Indian Ocean side," he said. “I want it to be in Tanzania instead of on the Atlantic coast. The Atlantic coast concerns me greatly," he said, pointing to the relatively shorter distance from Africa's west coast to the U.S. In nautical miles, a base on Africa's northern Atlantic coast could be substantially closer to the U.S. than military facilities in China are to America's western coast. More specifically, other U.S. officials say the Chinese have been eyeing locations for a port in the Gulf of Guinea. The Defence Department's 2020 report on China's military power, said China has likely considered adding military facilities to support its naval, air and ground forces in Angola, among other locations. And it noted that the large amount of oil and liquefied natural gas imported from Africa and the Middle East, make those regions a high priority for China over the next 15 years. Henry Tugendhat, a senior policy analyst with the United States Institute of Peace, said China has a lot of economic interests on Africa's west coast, including fishing and oil. China also has helped finance and build a large commercial port in Cameroon. He said that any effort by Beijing to get a naval port on the Atlantic coast would be an expansion of China's military presence. But the desire for ocean access, he said, may be primarily for economic gain, rather than military capabilities. Townsend and other regional military commanders laid out their concerns about China during recent congressional hearings. He, along with Adm. Craig Faller, head of U.S. Southern Command, and Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, are battling to retain their military forces, aircraft and surveillance assets as the Pentagon continues to review the shift to great power competition. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin is conducting a global posture review to determine if America's military might is positioned where it needs to be, and in the right numbers, around the world to best maintain global dominance. That review is expected to be finished in late summer. Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will hear an appeal in a case where the conviction of four people accused of money laundering on behalf of the Hells Angels was quashed over unreasonable legal delays. The high court said today it will hear the appeal brought by Quebec's Crown against four co-accused, including three members of the same family. Mélanie, Michel et Dax Ste-Marie and a fourth person, Richard Felx, were found guilty in 2016 of conspiring to launder the proceeds of crime, money laundering and of committing an offence for the benefit of a criminal organization. The Quebec court found there had been unreasonable delays but refused to order a stay of proceedings, a decision overturned last September by the Quebec Court of Appeal, which ordered a stay. In July 2016, the Supreme Court issued what is known as the Jordan ruling, establishing strict time limits for legal proceedings. The trial of the four co-accused was heard before the Jordan ruling was rendered. Charges were laid in 2009 and the trial judge calculated that the trial concluded in March 2016 — a 77-month delay. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
A former Saskatoon police officer has joined the ranks of "crackpots" who spread COVID-19 misinformation online, says a professor who specializes in social media. University of Regina professor of educational technology and media Alec Couros says these conspiracy theorists will do their best to "leverage" the statements made in an eight-minute Facebook video by former officer Nathan Lynchuk. "They reject most science. They reject most experts. But when they find a dissenter, they latch onto them because it fits their particular narrative," Couros said. Lynchuk was identified at a recent anti-mask children's festival in downtown Saskatoon. A crowd of maskless parents hugged and talked without physical distancing while their kids played games and got their faces painted. Saskatoon police have issued nearly a dozen tickets so far to those in attendance for violating public health laws. The current legal maximum gathering size is 10 people. In the Facebook video posted this week, Lynchuk said he was assigned temporary desk duty and told he'd have to be tested while the matter was investigated. Lynchuk said he decided to quit. A large crowd attended a maskless children's festival at a downtown Saskatoon park on Saturday in violation of public health laws which limit outdoor gatherings to 10 people. No tickets have been issued.(CBC) Lynchuk said the children's event was simply a group of "normal people" who believe in freedom. He dismissed the seriousness of COVID, saying most people who contract it don't get sick. He said he didn't want to follow the government's agenda anymore. "I haven't been believing in what's being enforced," Lynchuk. Lynchuk could not be reached for comment Thursday. Couros said Lynchuk is "parroting" many of the anti-science conspiracy theories floating around the internet. Couros said any message from a former police officer will have an impact, but that he hopes it will be limited. "It becomes very powerful, especially for those who already believe and who already drink this Kool-Aid. It may bring a few people over, but most people will probably see right through this," he said. Public health physician Dr. Cory Neudorf said COVID-19 being a major threat should be obvious to everyone, especially to police officers and other front-line emergency responders. He said Lynchuk's video makes it harder to educate the public and keep everyone safe. "It just adds to confusion for people. I don't think this is the view of the majority of police or their leadership," Neudorf said. University of Regina professor Alec Courose says COVID-19 conspiracy theorists will latch on to anyone in authority who makes a statement matching their anti-science beliefs.(Submitted by Alec Couros) Neudorf said COVID-19 restrictions are an attempt to keep people safe, similar to impaired driving or speeding laws. He said they need to be enforced to be taken seriously. Neudorf agreed laws must not infringe on freedoms unnecessarily, but said COVID-19 laws are a temporary, reasonable response to a global threat. The Saskatoon Police Service declined to comment on Lynchuk or the video, but did say in an email that police are "committed to upholding and enforcing the restrictions under the Public Health Order in our community's fight against COVID-19." The Saskatchewan Health Authority also sent an email response. It said the SHA is "highly concerned" about these continued "freedom" rallies and anti-masking events spreading misinformation. "This is not only offensive but dangerous, as it publicly downplays the significant risk of harm and death created by community transmission of this virus," read the statement.
GUATEMALA CITY — Canada lost 5-1 to two-time defending champion Costa Rica on Wednesday but still advanced for the first time to the knockout round at the CONCACAF Futsal Championship. Canada (1-1-0) placed second in Group C and will play Group B winner Panama (1-1-0) in Friday's quarterfinal with a berth in the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Lithuania in September on the line. The Canadian men have not qualified for the Futsal World Cup since the inaugural event in 1989 in the Netherlands, where they failed to make it out of the first round after beating Japan and losing to Argentina and Belgium. The 13-team CONCACAF Championship, which runs through Sunday, will determine the four representatives from North and Central America and the Caribbean at this FIFA Futsal World Cup. The top two in each of the four groups advance to the quarterfinals with the final four booking their ticket to Lithuania. Gilberth Garro, scored twice while Jose Guevara, Pablo Rodriguez and goalkeeper Cesar Vargas had singles for Costa Rica (2-0-0). Veteran Ian Bennett scored for Canada. Trailing 4-0 after the first half, the Canadians hung tough against the talented Ticos in the final 20 minutes. The three-time CONCACAF champions lived up to their billing, controlling the game and showing a depth in attack. Still the Canadians, after yielding three early first-half goals, managed to put a check on the Ticos thanks in large part to some fine work by Canada goalkeeper Louis-Philippe Simard. That was until late in the half when, after a Toronto corner, Vargas scored from distance to increase the lead to 4-0 with Simard pulled for an attacker. Vargas was rock-solid at the other end, stopping a pair of penalty kicks. Garro and Bennett traded goals in the final 20 minutes. Canada, under head coach Kyt Selaidopoulos, rallied from 2-0 down to defeat Haiti 4-2 in its opening match Tuesday. It marked just Canada's second win in seven games — and three trips — at the tournament. Panama hammered Surname 11-1 before losing 3-2 to Mexico. Costa Rica blanked Haiti 7-0 on Monday. The Ticos, CONCACAF champions in 2000, 2012 and 2016, have appeared at four Futsal World Cups (2000, 2004, 2012 and 2016). Canada, meanwhile, had taken part in two previous CONCACAF championships finishing sixth in 2016 and seventh in 2012. The 2021 CONCACAF tournament was originally scheduled for last May but was delayed due to the pandemic. French Guiana, Martinique and Guadeloupe withdrew in the interim, reducing the field to 13. The indoor futsal game is five-a-side with two 20-minute halves. The clock stops whenever the ball goes out of play or there is a break in play. Each team starts with one goalkeeper and four outfield players on the pitch, with unlimited substitutions. Canada came close to making the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup, denied by a 7-4 loss to Cuba in its final group game at the CONCACAF qualifier. The Canadians lost to Costa Rica 3-2 and beat Curacao 7-4 before falling to Cuba. Costa Rica, Cuba, Panama and Guatemala represented CONCACAF at the 2016 World Cup. Brazil has dominated the world futsal scene, winning five of the eight FIFA World Cups. Spain has won twice and finished runner-up to Brazil three times. Argentina is the defending champion. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2021 The Canadian Press
TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan's Nintendo Co Ltd on Thursday forecast annual Switch console sales to fall 11.5%, in what would be the first decline for the five-year-old device after riding a pandemic-induced boom in home gaming. In announcing the figures, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa also said a shortage of chips, which has affected electronics makers worldwide, was affecting production and adding to uncertainty. Last week, the share price of rival Sony Group Corp fell after the firm said the chip shortage would likely prevent it from drastically boosting console production.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a backlog of more than 250,000 surgeries in Ontario, including cancer operations, forcing patients to wait for procedures that could save their lives.
The municipality of North Cowichan, B.C., is stepping up patrols of the region's forest reserve, after an increase in timber theft in the area, which lies 70 kilometres north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. Since January, approximately 100 trees, including Douglas fir and Western red cedars have been poached and local residents and officials believe the spike is likely tied to the surge in lumber prices. North Cowichan resident Larry Pynn stumbled upon a large cedar tree stump along slabs of crudely cut wood while he was out for a walk two weeks ago in a forested area known as Stoney Hill. "I immediately thought that this had to be the work of a poacher," he said in an interview with CBC News. "Something like this is not being taken for firewood. It's a valuable tree." Pynn estimated the tree was 87 years old because he counted the rings on the remaining stump. At least four Western red cedars and dozens of Douglas fir trees have been cut down and removed in a number of areas within the forest reserve in North Cowichan. (Submitted by Larry Pynn) Not far from it, the mossy ground had been torn up by what appeared to be ATV tracks. Local officials say it's not clear who took the tree or how they managed to get it out of the woods, but it is one of several large trees that have been poached since the beginning of the year in the North Cowichan Municipal Forest Reserve. Community forest The 5,000-hectare forest is owned by the municipality and is part of the coastal Douglas fir ecosystem, which is considered endangered because of logging and development. While the area has been logged in the past, the activity is on hold while the community and nearby First Nations discuss how to manage the forest going forward. Municipal officials say they have learned of several timber thefts in recent months, including one incident where 50 Douglas fir trees were taken. "It was definitely a concentrated effort," said Shaun Mason, the municipal forester for North Cowichan. "That is something we haven't seen in the past before and what is more concerning is that other areas are popping up despite our efforts to try and curb it." The municipality says it has stepped up patrols and increased signage as a result of the increasing number of trees being poached.(Briar Stewart/CBC) Mason said patrols are now taking place in the forest seven days a week, up from about once a week. However, he said it is a challenge to try to cover a vast and densely wooded area. The municipality is also considering installing cameras at certain locations in the forest. Under North Cowichan's bylaws, a person can be fined $200 if they "remove forest products without a permit." Penalties questioned When it comes to trees taken from provincial Crown land, the penalty could be as much as $1 million, but legal experts say those who are caught are usually fined just $173. "It's really important that people feel that if they are caught, that there will be real consequences and a $200 penalty doesn't cut it," said Andrew Gage, a lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law who reviewed a provincial database that detailed the fines levied by the province. The B.C. ministry responsible for forests said that in the past 10 years, it has issued 728 penalties to people who removed or destroyed Crown timber without authorization. Together, the fines totalled more than $500,000. WATCH: Resident Larry Pynn describes why he thinks trees are being stolen: Soaring lumber prices In North Cowichan, officials are considering increasing the financial penalties to try to deter theft at a time when lumber prices are soaring and even selling firewood can be lucrative. According to the provincial government, the current price for two-by-fours of B.C. spruce, pine or fir is $1,420 per thousand board feet. In 2020, the average price was $570. Cedar, which is more valuable, is currently going for $1,700 per thousand board feet. Dozens of Douglas fir trees have been found cut down in numerous sites in the forest reserve.(Submitted by Larry Pynn) Terry Sunderland, a professor in the faculty of forestry at the University of British Columbia, said he believes rising prices are the main driver for timber theft, and it is crime of opportunity with low technical requirements: the only equipment a poacher would need is a chainsaw and a way to haul the wood out, such as a pickup truck. He said in order to move and sell timber legally, wood has to be imprinted with a stamp issued by the province. However a growing demand for bespoke products like rustic tables could be fuelling a black market. Damage left behind For Icel Dobell, a North Cowichan resident who roams the forest reserve daily and is co-founder of a local group trying to preserve it, the issue is much bigger than just the missing trees. Those who are hauling away the wood are driving trucks and quads into sensitive ecological areas. Icel Dobell has been organizing a movement to permanently protect the community forest and is disappointed someone has been logging it on their own. (Briar Stewart/CBC) "The biggest issue is this damage, this destruction," she said referring to the muddy ruts in the ground. She also wants to see an increase in penalties, but said the community is mobilizing and keeping an eye on the woods. "More and more people are watching and so hopefully that will be another deterrent." WATCH: Tree thefts spark calls for more enforcement:
Neighbourhood groups are calling for a public inquiry into how the social housing component of a $400-million development at the site of the old Montreal Children's Hospital disappeared from the building plan. Maryse Chapdelaine, a project manager with the Peter McGill Community Council, was surprised to learn that nearly three years after it was announced, the social housing project was dead. "We're trying to figure out, maybe not who's to blame, but how could this happen?" said Chapdelaine. "Without the social housing units, the project makes no sense." The proposed social housing units made the highrise development acceptable to some community members. Now they're not only off the table, but the subject of an ongoing legal dispute. The situation has become so acrimonious that the developer says he would build a tower of social housing for free — if Mayor Valérie Plante resigned. Community groups want to know what went wrong — and whether this saga might serve as a cautionary tale as the city tries to confront a housing crisis. Maryse Chapdelaine, a project manager with the Peter McGill Community Council, said her group is calling for a public inquiry into what happened to the social housing project at the old Montreal Children’s Hospital site.(Charles Contant/CBC) The old hospital site is located on the square bordered by René-Lévesque Boulevard, Atwater Avenue, Sussex Street and Tupper Street. In addition to more than 1,000 rental and condo units, the new development is set to include an enlarged park, community centre, library and auditorium. The original plans also called for 174 social housing units, something for which there is an urgent need, say neighbourhood advocates. The average rent in the Peter McGill neighbourhood is about $1,200 per unit, said Éric Michaud, project manager for the neighbourhood housing group, the Comité logement Ville-Marie. He calls the lack of social housing at the old hospital site "a terrible failure." "It's scandalous, what happened," he said. Michaud said he hoped from the start that the public land on which the hospital sat would be returned for public use. He said he was dismayed when a private buyer bought the land for about half its appraised value in 2015. Residents 'excited' for original plan Public documents show the McGill University Health Centre sold the land for $25 million in 2015. The land is being developed by Philip Kerub's company High-Rise Montréal (HRM) and the developer Devimco Immobilier. The two developers proposed the six tower project. Devimco is responsible for four of those housing towers. HRM was responsible for two housing towers. The first is 1111 Atwater, a posh skyscraper being marketed as the most luxurious condos outside of Dubai. There was also Tower 6, where the social housing was supposed to be built. "We were very happy to hear when it was announced that there was going to be social housing units for families," said Chapdelaine of the original plan. Graham Singh, a pastor and father who moved to the neighbourhood several years ago, said the prospect of a mixed development attracted him to the area. "We were really excited to be living in this part of Peter McGill, where we were expecting this development to come out in the way that it had been proposed," he said. Rev. Graham Singh, a pastor and father who lives in the neighbourhood of Peter McGill, said he was attracted to the neighbourhood because of the development at the old Montreal Children’s Hospital, but he is disappointed by how the city has handled it. (Credit: Esteban Cuevas) Developer met with city 'countless times' The president of HRM, Philip Kerub, says he went in with good intentions. "I was trying because I wanted to do it," he said in an interview with CBC News. "It was important for me to actually make a deal and get this social housing." According to documents filed to the Quebec Superior Court, HRM signed a contract with the City of Montreal in June 2017, during the tail end of the Coderre administration. It includes a clause allowing the developer to pay a penalty of $6,235,000 if a deal could not be reached to build social housing after nine months of negotiation. CBC News has reviewed the relevant part of the contract. Kerub said his team met with the city "countless times" to work out a deal. He said the requirements for social housing are strict, and court documents claim HRM paid more than $750,000 to engineers, architects and other staff to draft plans for the housing. Per legal documents, HRM was looking at building a turnkey social housing project which would then be sold to the City and the City's housing office, the OMHM. According to the court filing, the developer says a tower that adhered to the standards of social housing would cost at least $40 million, but the city was able to offer a maximum of only $34.5 million. Kerub says he elected to pay the $6,235,000 penalty included in his contract rather than lose millions of dollars and build the housing. "I said, that's just not reasonable. Now, [the city] delayed me long enough… now we have to go our separate ways," he said. Publicly, Mayor Valérie Plante started calling out HRM as early as July 2019. By September 2019, negotiations had stalled. Kerub decided to pay the penalty and propose his Plan B for Tower 6. Plante retaliated by proposing changing the zoning of the sixth tower, so the building would have a maximum of four storeys instead of the approved 20. "There was a social contract that was made by the developer," Plante said during the council meeting on Sept. 16, 2019. "It's sad. It's a shame." In September 2019, Mayor Valérie Plante announced to the municipal council that HRM did not intend to fulfil its "social contract" and build social housing at the development at the old Montreal Children's Hospital.(City of Montreal) This was news to Kerub, who says he says he signed a legal contract — not a social contract — and that the city is both smearing his name and breaking the contract. "I'm tired of being attacked and being called the villain when it's the exact opposite," he said. Last month, HRM filed an injunction to prevent the rezoning of Tower 6, saying the city broke its contract and the developer ought to be allowed to build a 20-storey tower. "It's absurd. It's really outrageous. And now they've drawn themselves into a lawsuit, which they're going to lose miserably," he said. Kerub said he offered them other locations for social housing, and proposed creating student housing or a condo hotel in the sixth tower, where the social housing was supposed to go. "You know what I said to my friends? I said, the city still wants me to build social housing? No problem. You tell Valérie Plante to resign, and I'll build it for free," he said. He also questions the logic of blocking a 20-storey tower of potential housing amid a housing crisis. "How does that benefit the population?" he said. "You lost everything now and you cut it down to four storeys to try and penalize me. But how are you going to penalize me? I tripled my money here." The City responded with a statement, saying it could not comment on the matter because it is before the court. The statement said that the contract with HRM was signed by the previous administration, and that social and affordable housing is a priority of the Plante administration. The ordeal has left people who live in the neighbourhood scratching their heads, wondering how a municipal government that promotes social housing could have let this happen. "I would support a public inquiry not to see something change on this site because it is too little, it is too late," said Singh, "But I would support a public inquiry to try to do much better with figuring out how we're actually going to see downtown Montreal developed in the future." For now, because of the legal proceedings, any project for the sixth tower is in limbo. Kerub said so far, no court date has been set. WATCH | See what the work looks like at the site of the old Montreal Children's Hospital:
Hopes that India's rampaging second wave of COVID-19 is peaking were set back on Thursday as record daily infections and deaths were reported and as the virus spread from cities to villages that were poorly equipped to cope. Government modelling had forecast a peak by Wednesday in infections that have overwhelmed the healthcare system, with hospitals running out of beds and medical oxygen. A record 412,262 new cases and 3,980 deaths were reported over the past 24 hours, taking total infections past 21 million and the overall death toll to 230,168, Health Ministry data showed.
The Interior Health authority has taken the unusual step of forcibly closing a Kelowna, B.C., martial arts studio for flouting public health orders. On Tuesday, Interior Health officers — accompanied by the City of Kelowna staff and RCMP — changed the locks of Flow Academy at 1151 Sutherland Avenue. The health authority says it took aggressive measures to close the premises because owner Tonya Aguiar ignored provincial health orders against indoor group exercises. Flow Academy provides classes such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, yoga and meditation. In February, Aguiar was ticketed for interfering with health officers' inspection of the premises and was ordered by the health authority to stop hosting indoor group activities. Interior Health's chief medical health officer Dr. Albert de Villiers said the authority issued a closure order on April 20, but the studio ignored it and kept operating. "We still saw people coming and going and they were contravening the gathering order and … the closure order," de Villiers told CBC's Brady Strachan. "Unfortunately, [we] had to change their locks because there was nothing else we could do at that point." "This is the first time I actually had to go this far in changing locks and spending a lot of time to actually do this," de Villiers said. "It's the first time we've done that, and hopefully [it's] the last time." CBC News has reached out to Aguiar by email but hasn't heard back. Last month, Flow Academy announced on its website that it wouldn't take new membership applications from anyone who had taken a COVID-19 vaccine, inaccurately characterizing the vaccines as dangerous and a liability concern. Interior Health's closure notice posted on Flow Academy's door says the business failed to follow the authority's closure order issued on April 20.(Brady Strachan/CBC) Although the announcement was removed, de Villiers said he's troubled by the misinformation about coronavirus vaccines being spread in the local community. "It's always concerning to us because unfortunately … the public will actually believe and act on that [misinformation] as well, and then they might put other people at risk," he said. Flow Academy, which has been operating without a business licence since February, submitted an application for one but was turned down by the city due to non-compliance with provincial health orders. The City of Kelowna's risk manager Lance Kayfish said the city issued four violation tickets totalling $4,000 to Flow Academy for an unlicensed operation and failing to permit city inspections. "It [the amount of tickets issued] is quite unusual," Kayfish said. Group indoor fitness activities in gyms, yoga studios and other spaces are currently prohibited. The order is valid until May 25.
BEIJING (Reuters) -China condemned on Thursday a joint statement by G7 foreign ministers that expressed support for Chinese-claimed Taiwan and cast Beijing as a bully, saying it was a gross interference in China's internal affairs. G7 foreign ministers said in a communique after a London summit that China was guilty of human rights abuses and of using "coercive economic policies", which the G7 would use collective efforts to stop.
A geriatrician on P.E.I. is urging seniors to review the medication they are taking to see if it's still beneficial or, worse, causing undue harm. But Dr. Martha Carmichael emphasized the practice of "deprescribing" should only be done with the help of a health-care professional, such as a doctor or pharmacist. "Deprescribing really is just one part of appropriate prescribing," she said in an interview with Island Morning host Mitch Cormier. "So it asks two questions. One, what medications or vitamins or supplements am I taking that might no longer be of benefit to me or that might be causing harm? And what medications am I not taking that might actually be appropriate for me or that may confer me some benefit?" Carmichael says 'deprescribing' should only be done with the help of a health-care professional.(Submitted by Dr. Martha Carmichael) Research suggests up to 80 per cent of Canadians 65 and older report having at least one chronic condition and about one-quarter take at least 10 prescription medications, Carmichael said. "We tend to get more and more medications over the years to help manage those chronic conditions. But at the same time, the risks and benefits of medications change as we age, and we often forget or don't prioritize regular medication reviews and deprescribing is really just one part of a regular medication review." The more medication a person takes, she said, the greater risk of harmful consequences such as drug interactions, falls, fractures, memory problems, hospitalizations and, especially in older adults, death. Data shows that in 2016, about one in 143 seniors in Canada — about 41,000 — were hospitalized because of an adverse drug reaction or a harmful effect of medications. Carmichael said that's obviously bad for seniors, but it also puts a strain on the health-care system. "In Canada, we spend about $400 million a year on potentially harmful prescription medications. That's just the medications themselves. And we spend over a billion dollars a year on the health-care costs related to those harmful medications. And again, things like fall, fractures, emergency department visits and hospital admissions. So it really is a serious issue." Carmichael suggests not only discussing which medications might be appropriate to reduce or to stop, but also talking about non-drug therapy that might be more helpful, such as cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia, for example. "The goal really is for optimal health for all Island seniors. We want to live longer and we want to live well. And this is one way to kind of increase our chance of being able to do that." More from CBC P.E.I.