Ridge of high pressure to build across the west coast, allowing for temperatures to surge several degrees above normal. Meteorologist Jessie Uppal has the details.
Ridge of high pressure to build across the west coast, allowing for temperatures to surge several degrees above normal. Meteorologist Jessie Uppal has the details.
CALGARY — A Calgary mayoralty candidate and a pastor who were both arrested for allegedly violating COVID-19 laws over the weekend were released from custody Monday pending future court appearances. Calgary police allege Kevin J. Johnston, who is running in this fall's municipal election and has been a vocal supporter of anti-lockdown protests, was in violation of a court order when he attended illegal gatherings Saturday. An injunction obtained by Alberta Health Services on May 6 mandates that event organizers comply with public health restrictions, including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits. The Court of Queen's Bench also imposed a restraining order on Johnston last week. It required that he stay at least 100 metres away from health officers and not publish any threats or hate speech directed at them. Johnston's lawyer asked the court if his client's interim release would preclude him from continuing to campaign for mayor. He was assured it would not. "From AHS' interests, as long as there is compliance with the two orders enjoining conduct, it doesn't matter to us what Mr. Johnston does or doesn't do," said Mark Jackson, who was representing Alberta Health Services, the agency that delivers healthcare in Alberta. Johnston has appeared regularly online, promoting far-right ideology, and AHS has said he has been aggressive and threatening towards two particular health workers as well as to its general workforce. He expressed concern from the prisoner's docket Monday about being required to wear a mask. "I simply cannot wear a mask. I'm already feeling the anxiety of this right now and I'm sweating. I'm bothered by having to have this on. I could not possibly wear a mask for that entire amount of time," he told the court. Johnston has been ordered to return to court June 16 to deal with contempt charges for violating the directive. About 20 people, meanwhile, gathered outside the Calgary court in support of Pastor Tim Stephens, who was arrested Sunday for organizing a church service at Fairview Baptist Church. Police allege the service did not comply with public health orders. Holding signs that said "Free Pastor Tim" the supporters prayed and sang hymns prior to the court appearance. Police said they received repeated calls from concerned citizens about services at Fairview Baptist Church in recent weeks, and that Stephens was proactively served a copy of the May 6 order last weekend. But his lawyer said the order has been modified by a judge, which narrows its scope, and Stephens was not in violation. "The effect of that amendment to our understanding was essentially that the May 6 order would only be applicable to the respondents and people who were under their direction. That would not include Mr. Stephens," said Leighton Grey. The contempt matter will also be heard June 16. Edmonton Justice Adam Germain said he has been directed to deal with all matters related to violations of the COVID-19 court orders. "The reality may be there are going to be other arrests in the Calgary area and elsewhere and that I may see the same personnel appearing in front of me," Germain said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
The U.S. Senate voted 86-11 Monday to open debate on a measure authorizing more than $110 billion for basic and advanced technology research over five years in the face of rising competitive pressure from China. The Endless Frontier Act would authorize most of the money, $100 billion, to invest in basic and advanced research, commercialization of the research, and education and training programs in key technology areas like artificial intelligence (AI). Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate will debate the bill for a week or two beginning on Tuesday.
As the province starts to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone aged 18 and above, Island Health's chief medical officer said he's relieved to see the number of active cases in the Vancouver Island Health region continuing to trend down. "What we are seeing is a general decrease both in south and central Island," Dr. Richard Stanwick said on CBC's On the Island on Friday. "The numbers are absolutely bang on ... and that means our contact tracers are able to make sure we get a hold of anybody who has been exposed at this point." On Friday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Arian Dix reported 494 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including eight that were reported in the Vancouver Island region. The region has now recorded 4,875 cases since the pandemic began, and on Friday, there were 149 active cases, including 16 people in hospital and five in critical care. Stanwick said the warmer spring weather could be a contributing factor to the overall downward trend as more people head outside to enjoy the sun. "Fortunately, people are taking advantage of our spectacular weather and amazing things to see on the Island," he said. "So that reduces the ability of the virus to spread." He said over 400,000 vaccines have been administered to more than half of the population and approximately three per cent have received a second dose. "I think the key word ... is register, register, register," Stanwick said. "Our immunization clinics have been doing phenomenal." On Thursday, more than 11,000 people received their vaccine at the immunization clinics. Stanwick said he is advising the provincial heath office that vaccine administration for students can be done more effectively and efficiently at the larger clinics rather than at schools. "This could be a totally different approach because we've got other vaccines we would like to administer to students and we normally do that in the schools," he said, "so we may have a different program, a different look in the fall." LISTEN | Dr. Richard Stanwick talks about the number of active COVID-19 cases on CBC's On the Island.
Prince Albert police have released more details about their investigation into the death of Braden Herman. They say that on May 11, veteran RCMP officer Cpl. Bernie Herman phoned a co-worker and said he had "killed someone." He agreed to go to his co-worker's house, located just north of Prince Albert. The RCMP, whose district the house was in, were then contacted and Bernie Herman was taken into custody. On May 12, 53-year-old Bernie Herman was charged with first-degree murder. He had served on the force for 32 years. He and Braden Herman are not related but knew each other for several years, according to police. During the initial RCMP response, Bernie Herman provided information as to where police could find the victim. Police say that when they located 26-year-old Braden Herman on the edge of Prince Albert near Little Red Park, he was dead and appeared to have been shot. At that time, the Prince Albert Police Service took over the investigation. Braden Herman, 26, was found dead on the edge of Prince Albert near Little Red Park. (Braden Herman/Facebook) Investigation continues, motive unknown Braden Herman's siblings have told CBC News the 53-year-old Mountie was known to them as having a "personal" and oftentimes "controlling" relationship with their brother. Braden Herman came from Clearwater River Dene Nation and Bernie Herman comes from the neighbouring community of of La Loche. Police say they cannot confirm what weapon was used in the homicide at this time. But Prince Albert police have seized Bernie Herman's service pistol and other "use-of-force equipment." Police say he was not on duty at the time of the offence. But upon investigation it was been determined that he left work in full uniform and utility belt after finishing his shift at 5 p.m. on May 11. Police have taken statements from family members of both Bernie Herman and Braden Herman. Investigators are continuing to gather statements in order to gain insight into the nature of their relationship, as well as the possible motivation for the offence. Bernie Herman made his first court appearance on May 13. His next court appearance is expected to be on May 26.
NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s total virus cases since the pandemic began swept past 25 million on Tuesday as the country registered more than 260,000 new cases and a record 4,329 fatalities in the past 24 hours. The numbers continue a trend of falling cases after infections dipped below 300,000 for the first time in weeks on Monday. Active cases in the country also decreased by more than 165,000 on Tuesday — the biggest dip in weeks. But deaths have continued to rise and hospitals are still swamped by patients. India has recorded nearly 280,000 virus deaths since the pandemic began. Experts warn that both the number of deaths and total reported cases are likely vast undercounts. Infections in India have surged since February in a disastrous turn blamed on more contagious variants as well as government decisions to allow massive crowds to gather for religious festivals and political rallies. In the last month, cases have more than tripled and reported deaths have gone up six times — but testing has only increased by 1.6 times, according to Bhramar Mukherjee, a biostatistician at the University of Michigan tracking India's battle with the virus. With infections outrunning testing capabilities, there are fears that many cases are going undetected. Experts also say India has lagged behind in doing the testing needed to track and better understand a worrisome virus variant first detected in the country. On Monday, the Health Ministry said 17 new labs will be brought online to help track variants. The variant first identified in India has prompted global concern — most notably in Britain, where it has more than doubled in a week, defying a sharp nationwide downward trend in infections. Meanwhile, ever since India opened up vaccinations to all adults this month, the pace of administering shots has plunged. Many states have said they don't have enough stock to give out. The southern state of Karnataka, for example, has temporarily halted its drive to inoculate those aged between 18 and 44 at government-run centers due to a shortage of doses. The Associated Press
Vancouver police have released the names and photos of six known gangsters they believe pose a significant risk to residents as the Lower Mainland gang war continues to claim victims and play out during the daytime in busy public places. Vancouver police Chief Const. Adam Palmer said the men are being identified because, according to police intelligence, they are the most likely next targets of rival gangs and a danger to anyone who happens to be nearby. "I want to make it clear that today's announcement is not about naming and shaming," he said on Monday. "We are providing these photos and names so Vancouverites can know them and take steps to ensure their own safety and safety of friends and family." The Lower Mainland has recorded 20 gang-related homicides in 2021 and 20 gang-related attempted murders. In the past three weeks alone, seven men tied to gangs have been shot dead in public settings that include Vancouver International Airport, a recreation centre, a community park, a mall parking lot and outside shops and restaurants. The men identified by the VPD are Garinder Deo, 35; Harjit Deo, 38; Barinder Dhaliwal, 38; Meninder Dhaliwal, 28; Ekene Anigbo, 22; and Damion Ryan, 41. 2015 murder attempt Ryan, a full-patch member of the Hells Angels, was the target of a wild 2015 murder attempt at the Vancouver airport food court, carried out by a teen disguised in a black burka. Would-be killer Knowah Ferguson was from Ontario, had no previous criminal record and was promised $200,000 for the hit. WATCH | Surveillance video shows failed assassination of Hells Angels member: Security video played at his trial shows a burka-clad Ferguson walking up to Ryan and putting a gun to his head. The gun jams and both men flee. The 18-year-old was later sentenced to seven years in prison for attempted murder and four years for conspiracy. Palmer said neither Ryan nor the other five men identified on Monday are currently wanted by police. He said releasing their names is in the interest of public safety, similar to when police release the name and photo of a sex offender who has moved into the community. "[The six] not only pose a risk to friends, family and acquaintances, but also to people who don't even know them every time they go to the gym, go shopping, to the grocery store, to a restaurant or a bar, when bars are open." Palmer said he expects other police agencies to follow Vancouver's lead and release more names and photos of gang members in their jurisdictions. He said the VPD is deploying a suite of overt and covert operations in an attempt to tamp down the violence and that officers would be seizing gang members' cars, homes and other valuables gained through crime. RCMP officers stand near a body covered with a tarp in the parking lot of a shopping complex in Burnaby, B.C., on May 13. Police later said the victim, Jaskeert Kalkat, was connected to gangs and targeted.(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) A new department task force that was recently formed to react quickly to gang activity stopped a retaliation shooting last week, according to Vancouver police Supt. Lisa Byrne. Two men were arrested in a stolen car loaded with gas canisters. One of the individuals was a youth, the other had a loaded firearm. Deputy Chief Howard Chow said citizens should report any suspicious cars they notice to police. "We know gang members park stolen cars in neighbourhoods in advance of targeted hits that they later use as getaway vehicles that we find later burned," he said. Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers announced Monday that it is reviving its gang violence awareness campaign.(CBC) Earlier Monday, Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers announced it is reviving a gang violence awareness campaign thanks to new funding. The campaign encourages people with information on gangs and illegal guns to report anonymously. "If you see something, say something," said Crime Stoppers executive director Linda Annis. "We only want your information so we can pass it on to police. We do not want to know who you are." The widow of Paul Bennett, who was killed in 2018 in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity, said she is pleased the Crime Stopper guns and gang campaign is coming back. "Every arrest, every gun seized means a threat to an innocent life will be reduced," Darlene Bennett said. "Next month marks three years since Paul's life was so senselessly taken. Our lives will never be the same."
BEIRUT (Reuters) -Lebanon's president said on Tuesday that critical comments made by the foreign minister about Gulf states did not reflect official policy, seeking to avoid further strain on ties with countries that have been Lebanon's allies and donors. Mired in its worst economic crisis since a 1975-1990 civil war, Lebanon has lost the financial backing it once relied on from wealthy Sunni Muslim Gulf states, which are increasingly frustrated over the rising influence of Hezbollah, a Lebanese group backed by regional rival Shi'ite Iran. Lebanese Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe stoked tensions in a television interview on Monday, when he appeared to blame Gulf nations for the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
MADRID (Reuters) -A Spanish study on mixing COVID-19 vaccines has found that giving a dose of Pfizer's drug to people who already received a first shot of AstraZeneca vaccine is highly safe and effective, preliminary results showed on Tuesday. The Combivacs study, run by Spain's state-backed Carlos III Health Institute, found the presence of IgG antibodies in the bloodstream was between 30 and 40 times higher in people who got the follow-up Pfizer shot than in a control group who only received one AstraZeneca dose.
Ice on the Mackenzie River began to move freely Monday evening near Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., without incident. This came as residents in low-lying areas of town had been preparing for the kind of flooding seen in Jean Marie River and Fort Simpson. According to a government news release, flood watch has begun in the community and residents should start to prepare in the event of an evacuation. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has completed assessments in the community to prevent spills should there be flooding, the release says. Roger Plouffe, the director of emergency services in Fort Good Hope, said Monday evening that most of the hamlet is on high ground, but there are about 14 homes at the lowest elevations. He said just about everyone has already been relocated. "We've done a lot of things. We're pumping out fuel tanks and we're still at the final stages for some people who want to move, and there are about three or four families who will hang on to the end," he said. "They already got a place to go to, so they can just get up and go." Plouffe said community leaders were planning to hold a meeting Monday night to re-evaluate the situation on the Mackenzie River.
If Canadians were to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in Detroit, they might be able to do so without having to quarantine upon reentry to Canada. That's according to a letter sent from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj. Musyj, who is one of a number of local officials pushing for Canadians to gain access to U.S. vaccines, wrote to the federal agency requesting a ruling on whether getting a vaccine would be considered receiving an "essential medical service or treatment" under the current emergency measures at the border. Receiving such services is one of the reasons a traveller could be exempt from the two week-quarantine and COVID-19 testing requirements laid ut by the federal government. In a follow up note to PHAC, Musyj indicated that a large health-care institution in Detroit is interested in providing vaccines to Canadians. David Musyj, CEO Windsor Regional Hospital(CBC) PHAC told Musyj that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine would be considered essential, and if Canadian travellers meet certain requirements, they "may" be exempt from the re-entry requirements. The exception would be in place for a traveller as well as a support person, and they must arrive in a private vehicle with a letter from a health-care professional indicating that the treatments are essential, as well as written evidence from a professional on the other side of the border stating that the treatment had occurred. The letter said that the onus is on the traveller to provide the proper documentation, and suggested that no other stops could be made on the trip. As Musyj pointed out in a note to staff at the hospital, any Canadians entering the U.S. would also be subject to U.S. entry requirements.
Galina Ermakova was looking forward to Mother's Day. The 28-year-old Edmonton mom planned to have a physically distanced, over the gate visit with her own mother, Anna. "Unfortunately, that morning I woke up to two policemen at my door telling me that my mom has passed away, " Galina Ermakova told CBC News as she struggled to hold back tears. Anna Ermakova, 49, was found dead on May 8. RCMP said officers were called to a firearms complaint at a rural property in Redwater, Alta., at about 9:45 p.m. and Ermakova's body was discovered at the scene. The man who lived with her, Robertas Kalkius, was severely injured and taken by ambulance to hospital, police said. Kalkius was charged with first-degree murder five days later. On Monday, he made his first court appearance in Vegreville provincial court, appearing virtually from a hospital bed where he remains under police guard. An autopsy is expected to be performed this week on the much-loved daughter, mother and grandmother. Galina Ermakova did not want to elaborate on any problems her mother and common-law partner may have been experiencing but in a recent Facebook post, she wrote that she believes her mother was a victim of domestic violence. On a fundraising page, the victim's friend called Anna's death a "senseless tragedy." Sheila Wilson said her friend came to Canada from Russia to escape domestic abuse and to give her daughter a better life. "We came to Canada when I was 11-years-old," Galina said. "We came with $5,000 and just the two suitcases … We didn't have much but we kind of almost had everything we needed. Because we had each other." When she came to Canada, Anna forged a new career as an insurance broker. She eventually traded in the insurance business and purchased a 169-acre farm outside of Redwater. Galina said she met Lithuanian immigrant Robertas Kalkius about four years ago at a Polish hall and he moved in with her shortly thereafter. Robertaas Kalkius in a 2015 photo with a family member.(Facebook) "At first, I would love to think she was happy," Galina said. Previous assault charge Court records show Kalkius was charged with assaulting Anna on Dec. 27, 2018. The charge was withdrawn in October 2019. The 46-year-old was also charged with impaired driving on March 2, 2020, and was scheduled to appear in court on May 13, 2021. By that time, he was in hospital and the court issued a warrant for his arrest. Galina said it's regretful that the impaired driving trial was delayed due to the pandemic. "Maybe if things went a little bit differently, my mom would still be here," she said. "There are not many things I can say at the moment, but if I could have done something, I would." The victim's mother was living with her and has now moved in with Galina as both women try to cope with the loss and make funeral arrangements. Galina tries to focus on the love and stability her mother brought to her life. Three generations of Ermakova women.(Facebook/Galina Ermakova) "She was my rock. She was just the most wonderful grandmother," Galina said. "She was a beautiful soul and she did touch so many hearts." Galina said she agreed to an interview with CBC News with the hope it might help someone else who could be struggling. "I do believe people need to have a certain awareness of domestic violence, especially being cooped up at home," she said. "We do need to make sure everybody is safe." Galina is asking people to consider placing a flower and light near a window or in a front yard to remember those impacted by domestic violence.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki says the Biden administration is using "quiet and intensive diplomacy" to try and halt the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians. But the US signals it will not pressure for a cease-fire. (May 17)
Just a few weeks ago, Janine Fisher was on the brink of death. The healthy, active 51-year-old Sherwood Park mother had been diligently following public health guidelines and was just two weeks shy of becoming eligible for her coronavirus vaccine when she suddenly fell ill with the variant first discovered in the U.K. Doctors battled to save Fisher — placing her on a ventilator and then moving her to ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), the most extreme form of life support available — and while she survived, she's not sure if she'll ever fully recover. "There was no reason for me to get very sick — no previous conditions — and yet I almost died," said Fisher. "This variant is insidious. It just seemed that it was unstoppable." One of her family members caught the B117 variant in late March, and the virus swept through her household. One by one, each person tested positive despite their attempts to stay apart and follow the rules. "Everyone was struck down by it," said Fisher. 'I was afraid I was going to die' Fisher tested positive and immediately checked into an isolation hotel on April 7, the day after developing a sore throat and cough. Two days later, she was struggling to breathe and was rushed by ambulance to hospital. With her entire immediate family in isolation, she was alone — and frightened. "I was afraid that I was going to die," Fisher recalled. "I spent several days feeling like I was … drowning." Within five days her condition was so critical she was sedated and placed on a ventilator. A single, hazy memory lingers from that traumatic time. "My son sat beside me and held my hand and sang to me for hours," she recalled. "And my husband also would come … and sing to me. Even though I wasn't conscious, I do remember." Janine's husband took this photo of Janine Fisher (and her son, Cohen) when she was hooked up to an ECMO machine, a treatment considered a last line of defence. As a safety precaution, visitors are not allowed to remove their phone from plastic bags in this intensive care unit.(Janine Fisher) Cohen Fisher, 25, was the first family member out of isolation and allowed to visit. As she lay, eyes closed and hooked up to a ventilator, he sang the same children's hymns his mother sang to him years earlier. "My first impression was she looks pretty lifeless … And I was dying for any ounce of response," he said. But his mother's lungs were so severely infected it became clear she wouldn't survive on a ventilator alone. Doctors decided to try ECMO, the most advanced form of life support. It gives the lungs a chance to heal by pumping blood through a heart and lung machine, and is considered a last line of defence for patients who will otherwise die. "That was one of the worst days of my life," said Cohen. 'They saved my life' Fisher is one of a just a few dozen Albertans with COVID-19 who have been treated with ECMO since the start of the pandemic, and one of fewer yet who have survived. As her lungs improved, doctors and nurses weaned her off the machine and later off the ventilator. She was released from hospital just in time for Mother's Day. "They're heroes. They saved my life," she said. Janine Fisher and her son Cohen pose for a photo after she was moved out of the ICU onto the COVID-19 ward. She says she's grateful to her medical team and to members of her faith community who prayed for her during her ordeal.(Janine Fisher) Fisher is now recovering at home. But her battle is far from over. She relies on a walker to get around, she's extremely short of breath and she needs help with basic tasks. It's unclear whether she'll ever fully recover and she hopes her story prompts other Albertans to follow public health rules and get vaccinated. "I would not wish my experience on anyone. It was a traumatic, debilitating, painful experience for me and for all of my family," Fisher said. "Respect the virus that's still with us. The variant is no joke. It nearly killed me. And it is ferocious." 'It's easy to say it hasn't affected you and it won't affect you … and everyone's over-reacting, until your mom almost dies," said Cohen, pictured here with his mother a week after she was released from hospital. He's urging Albertans to take the virus seriously.(Janine Fisher)
VICTORIA — British Columbians who've had a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will have the option of choosing their second shot within a four-month interval, the provincial health officer says. Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday that 20,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are set to expire at the end of June and were reserved for people who, for a variety of reasons, may not be able to get an mRNA vaccine such as the one made by Pfizer-BioNTech. However, further data are expected by the first week of June from a study in the United Kingdom on the effectiveness of switching vaccines for the second dose, and Henry said that information will be shared with B.C. residents. "I ask people to be patient," she said. "We know that we have some time in which your immune system is developing its protective response to your first dose," she said of evidence from the U.K. and other countries suggesting it may be more beneficial to wait up to 12 weeks for the second dose. "You will have the option of receiving the second dose of AstraZeneca and we have stock coming in to be able to support that. Or you can take the information once we have it and make your own decision about what you want for your second dose." An increase in the supply of vaccines in the coming weeks means everyone can expect to have their second dose moved up following a strategy that allowed for more people to get their first doses in order to provide greater community-wide protection, Henry said. British Columbia reported on Monday 1,360 cases of COVID-19 over a three-day period. Fourteen more people died, for a total of 1,648 fatalities, including one person in their 40s and another in their 50s. Over 55 per cent of B.C. residents have now received their first dose of a vaccine, while three per cent, or 130,023 people, have had their second shot, she said. Details about vaccination of children aged 12 to 17 are expected to be announced later this week. Henry said COVID-19 restrictions will not be eased by the Victoria Day long weekend to allow any non-essential travel as protective measures such as wearing masks must continue, even as more people are being immunized. "We now have 400 to 500 people a day that are still testing positive for COVID-19. And that reminds us that the virus continues to circulate and we have to do what we can to stop those transmissions as we are all developing this protection. We can't be travelling and we can't be having large gatherings this weekend." Four extra vaccination clinics have been set up in Surrey this week to ramp up immunizations in a COVID-19 hot spot with a high number of essential workers. The first 1,000 people to show up will be given wristbands for same-day appointments at the clinics, and residents aged 18 and up must present identification proving they live in Surrey, the Health Ministry said in a release. Everyone in B.C. aged 18 and up can now book an appointment to get immunized as part of the province's age-based approach. An independent COVID-19 modelling group said continuing restrictions such as a ban on indoor dining until June 15 would keep case counts low, while reopening too soon could risk a surge. Sarah Otto, a professor at the University of B.C. and a member of the modelling group that includes researchers from Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria, said behaviour changes such as a ban on indoor dining and social gatherings inside were probably the two most important factors in driving down cases. However, an uptick in vaccinations last month helped lower transmission of the virus in areas like Whistler before more widespread immunizations elsewhere in mid-April, leading to fewer cases two weeks later as immunity developed, she said. "We're now seeing vaccines make a big difference and it is causing the case numbers to decline even faster," she said. — By Camille Bains in Vancouver This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
The Yukon government has delivered on one of its promises to the NDP — a residential rent cap that came into effect over the weekend. The move has already drawn fire from the opposition Yukon Party, and some landlords who say they won't be able to afford their properties anymore. The cap came into effect on Saturday, and it limits any residential rent increases this year to one per cent, which is the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Whitehorse in 2020. The percentage will be reviewed each year after the CPI is published. Housing was a central focus of the NDP's campaign platform this spring, and the party later made a rent cap a condition in their agreement to prop up the Liberals' minority government until at least 2023. Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn said the Liberals didn't support rent caps during the election campaign, but a deal's a deal. 'We're going to honour the agreement we signed with [the NDP],' said Richard Mostyn, Yukon's minister of Community Services.(Jane Sponagle/CBC) "Yukoners have spoken. They want us to work together with the New Democratic caucus. The New Democratic caucus wants a rental cap," Mostyn said. "We're going to honour the agreement we signed with them." 'I'm going to keep falling behind' The rent cap is already proving unpopular with some residential landlords. Louisa Williams says it's the "catalyst" for her selling her rental property. She bought a two-bedroom condo in Whitehorse two years ago as part of her retirement plan, and she's been renting it out for $1,600 per month. Now, she doesn't feel like she can afford to keep it any longer. "I'm going to be losing the small profit margin I had, because of the rent freeze. I am not going to be able to keep up with the fixed and variable costs that are being imposed. So I'm going to keep falling behind," she said. Williams is not evicting her tenants — she said they were already moving out. Now she'll take the opportunity to sell the place. Costs are going up all the time, she says, and rent is the only way to help cover those costs. "To make it fair, I think the government should impose a freeze on electrical fees, on Northwestel fees, on oil and renewable energy and on anything else, like insurance. So a freeze on all that, just like the rent, and then it would be fine, [it] would all equal itself out," Williams said. Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon said the rent cap is simply bad policy, and it's not going to improve Yukon's housing market for anybody. "It's going to result in fewer people wanting to be landlords, and therefore fewer rental properties, and fewer rental properties means fewer options for people in the housing market," Dixon said. Dixon also called the introduction of the rent cap a "masterclass in poor governance and bad policy-making." 'It's been messy, it's been ugly,' said Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon.(Mike Rudyk/CBC) "I mean, nobody seems to know what's going on ... there's been absolutely no communication with the public, there's been no consultation, there's no implementation plan, no communication plan. It's been, quite frankly, terrible," Dixon said, just before the change came into effect. "It's been messy, it's been ugly. And unfortunately, it's going to result in a whole lot of negative implications for our housing market." Tenants are relieved, says NDP leader NDP Leader Kate White dismisses the doomsaying. She says she's heard from landlords who are concerned about the change — but she's also heard from tenants. White argues that vulnerable tenants are rarely as outspoken as landlords, and don't have any sort of organization comparable to the Yukon Residential Landlords' Association. "I can tell you that I have heard from tenants who are relieved because those increases that they were facing are not going to come into effect right now," White said. White says the rent cap is in place until 2023, allowing plenty of time for the government to review it and also plan and consult about any long-term changes to rental legislation. White said it was important to do something now, and not wait to consult. "If there's a tenant right now facing a $300-a-month increase, and there's no flexibility around that, do they have the time to wait for that consultation? And my answer is no," White said. "Right now, this is a measure of protection and it's in place for 20 months."
CEUTA, Spain (AP) — Spain deployed its military to the Moroccan border Tuesday as thousands of migrants jumped fences or swam onto European soil for the second day in a row after Rabat loosened border controls amid a deepening diplomatic spat. Overwhelmed soldiers separated the adults from the young and carried children in their arms while Red Cross workers helped an endless trickle of migrants who were emerging from the water shivering and exhausted. One unconscious woman laid on the sand before she was carried away on a stretcher. The sudden influx of migrants has fueled the diplomatic spat between Rabat and Madrid over the disputed Western Sahara region and created a humanitarian crisis for Ceuta, the Spanish city of 85,000 in North Africa on the Mediterranean Sea, separated from Morocco by a double-wide, 10-meter (32-feet) fence. Amina Farkani, a 31-year-old Moroccan woman who commuted to jobs in Ceuta for 18 years until foreign workers were banned from entering last year when coronavirus outbreaks began to surge, said she saw an opportunity to go back to work when she heard that police were not controlling the border., “They let people pass and stood there without speaking,” Farkani told The Associated Press. “People just pass and pass and pass.” Video cameras captured how some people rushed up the hills surrounding the city and jumped over the fences. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez canceled a trip to Paris, where he was to attend a summit on international aid to Africa, and flew by helicopter to Ceuta. While calling Morocco a “friend of Spain," Sánchez also urged authorities to “respect the shared border.” By Tuesday morning, more than 7,000 sea-soaked people had crossed the border into the city since early Monday, the Spanish government said, including 1,500 thought to be teenagers. The number getting in slowed but didn't stop Tuesday even as Spain deployed additional police and soldiers. At least 3,800 adults already have been returned to Morocco, according to Spain's Interior Ministry. Morocco and Spain signed an agreement three decades ago to expel all those who swim across the border. Yet many arriving Tuesday were sub-Saharan Africans who often migrate to flee poverty or violence at home. Spain has agreements to return some of those migrants to their native countries, but not all of them. One young man drowned and dozens were treated for hypothermia or small injuries, the Red Cross in Ceuta said, adding that it was performing coronavirus tests on the new arrivals. The adults were being transferred to Ceuta’s main soccer stadium, while those thought to be minors were sent to warehouses run by charity groups. By Tuesday afternoon, Moroccan authorities closed the road leading to the border post with Ceuta and anti-riot police dispersed crowds of would-be migrants. Neither the government in Rabat nor local officials have commented about the mass influx or responded to queries by The Associated Press. “It’s such a strong invasion that we are not able to calculate the number of people that have entered,” said Juan Jesús Vivas, the president of Ceuta, an autonomous city of about 20 square kilometers (7.7 square miles). “The army is at the border in a deterrent role, but there are great quantities of people on the Moroccan side waiting to enter,” he told Cadena SER radio. Four Spanish armored vehicles parked Tuesday at Tarajal beach in Ceuta, where the border fence leads to a short breakwater. In a video shared by a Spanish police union urging authorities to send in reinforcements, anti-riot officers behind the border fence were using shields to protect themselves from stones being thrown by people in Morocco. Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska denied local media reports saying that unaccompanied Moroccan migrants under 18, who are allowed to remain legally under the tutelage of Spanish authorities, were being deported. The European Union’s top migration official – Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson – described the incidents as “worrying” and called on Morocco to prevent people from setting out in the first place. “The most important thing now is that Morocco continues to commit to prevent irregular departures, and that those who do not have the right to stay are orderly and effectively returned,” Johansson told the European Parliament. “Spanish borders are European borders. The European Union wants to build a relationship with Morocco based on trust and shared commitments. Migration is a key element,” she said. Morocco's loosened border watch came after Spain decided to grant entry for medical treatment to the chief of a militant group that fights Morocco for the independence of Western Sahara. Morocco annexed the sprawling region on the west coast of Africa in 1975. Morocco’s Foreign Ministry has said Madrid’s move to assist Brahim Ghali, head of the Polisario Front, was “inconsistent with the spirit of partnership and good neighborliness” and vowed there would be “consequences.” Vivas, Ceuta's conservative regional president, said residents were in a state of “anguish, concern and fear" and 60% of the city's children had not shown up for school on Tuesday. He also linked the sudden mass arrival to Spain's compassionate assistance to Ghali. The Spanish government itself, however, officially rejects the notion that Morocco is punishing Spain for a humanitarian move. The prime minister appeared on live television to announce he would visit Ceuta and that his top priority was to ensure safety in the city “in the face of any challenge, any eventuality and under any circumstance.” Over the decades, Spain has built a close relationship with Morocco to crack down on illegal border crossings but also to increase economic exchanges and fight extremism. Sánchez on Tuesday avoided any direct criticism to Rabat in his speech. “To be effective,” he said, “that cooperation must always be based on respect — respect for the shared border.'' Sánchez was also facing a political storm at home, with the far-right Vox party blaming the migration crisis on the government's “inaction" and sending its leader on a quick visit to Ceuta. Many African migrants regard Ceuta and nearby Melilla, another Spanish territory, as a gateway into Europe. In 2020, 2,228 chose to cross into the two enclaves by sea or land, often risking injuries or death. On Tuesday, another 80 African migrants reached Melilla, 350 kilometers (218 miles) east of Ceuta, by jumping over the enclave’s double fence. Morocco scored a diplomatic victory last year when the previous U.S. administration under Donald Trump recognized Rabat’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, paving the way for normalizing relations between Israel and Morocco. ___ AP journalists Tarik El Barakah in Rabat, Lorne Cook in Brussels, and Elaine Ganley in Paris contributed to this report. ___ Follow AP’s global migration coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/migration Renata Brito And Aritz Parra, The Associated Press
A Mill Cove, N.S., man has been charged with kidnapping and robbery after an incident where fishermen in Terence Bay were threatened and told to hand over their catch. Halifax District RCMP were called to Terence Bay Road around 9:40 p.m. Sunday. Two fishermen reported seeing a vehicle driving erratically toward the area where they had placed their nets. RCMP said seven men in three vehicles confronted the two fishermen, demanded their catch and blocked them from leaving the area. Police said the men were armed and told the fishermen to drive to another area where other nets had been set. After the men left, the fishermen called RCMP. Fisherman injured Police said one fisherman had minor injuries after being struck with a weapon. That same evening, Halifax Regional Police located a vehicle believed to be involved in the incident and arrested the driver. Jared Luben Young, 34, was charged with kidnapping, robbery, forcible confinement, uttering threats, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and theft over $5,000. RCMP said they are still looking for six other suspects. Anyone with information about the incident or the men involved is asked to contact Halifax District RCMP at 902-490-5020. Anonymous reports can be made to Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers by calling toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), by submitting a secure web tip or by using the P3 Tips App. MORE TOP STORIES
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia opened COVID-19 vaccine appointments to people 30 and older on Monday, and health officials said they hoped to lower that age to 12 by next week. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang told reporters the province's vaccine program is ramping up and officials should be able to administer 72,000 doses of vaccine this week alone. "Today marks the beginning of a big week on the vaccine front," Strang said. "We hope to open to all remaining age groups by next week." About 64,300 Nova Scotians in the 30-to-34 age group are eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines. The announcement came as the province reported 91 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Nova Scotia had opened vaccine appointments to people as young as 35 on Friday. Its vaccine rollout expands access in descending order of five-year age groups as supply becomes available. Strang said to date, 40 per cent of the province's population has received one or more doses of vaccine, but he cautioned that Nova Scotia's "magic number" is to get 75 per cent of the entire population vaccinated. As of Sunday, the province had administered 430,856 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 39,235 people having received their booster shot. "To hit our target … we need 85 per cent of eligible Nova Scotians to get their vaccine," Strang said. He issued a challenge to younger age groups to go out and get a shot in large numbers in order to keep the province on track to meet its target. Meanwhile, Premier Iain Rankin said he and other eastern Canadian premiers are exploring the possibility of receiving excess vaccine from the United States. Rankin said he met with New England governors earlier on Monday, adding that he and the governors sent letters to the Canadian and United States governments asking that extra vaccine be used to help open the border between the two countries more quickly. Nova Scotia's case count on Monday included 66 infections identified in the Halifax area, 17 in the province's eastern zone, five in the northern zone and three in the western region. The province has 1,435 active reported cases of COVID-19 and 95 people in hospital with the disease, including 21 in intensive care. The other areas of virus activity outside Halifax include Bridgewater, N.S., and the Annapolis Valley, but Strang said the Sydney, N.S., area is his greatest concern because fewer people are being tested. Health officials said two more patients at the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been transferred to the hospital's COVID-19 unit. Dr. Brendan Carr, CEO of Nova Scotia Health, said 12 patients and four staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. "We don't yet know the source of the infection," Carr told reporters. Nova Scotia reported 126 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and 86 on Saturday. Saturday's case count was the first time since May 1 that the province's daily reported figure dipped below 100. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press
Pharmacists on Prince Edward Island are now delivering first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Islanders 40 and over. Last week they stopped administering AstraZeneca-Oxford shots, on the direction of the province. Twelve pharmacies across P.E.I. are part of the vaccine program. "The use of AstraZeneca was suspended," Erin MacKenzie, executive director of the P.E.I. Pharmacists Association, told CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin Monday. "Any of the AstraZeneca doses that they had on hand has been returned to [the] provincial pharmacy." Pharmacies are only giving first doses of vaccines for now, and are continuing to give shots of Moderna. Moderna uptake has been good The province does have enough AstraZeneca to deliver second shots to anyone who received it in the first round, but MacKenzie said the Chief Public Health Office will let pharmacies know around the end of May whether that will happen. She said the uptake of Moderna vaccines at pharmacies has been very good, especially since those 40 and over can now book appointments either at pharmacies or through the province's mass clinics. She said she is excited to hear pharmacies will be getting more Moderna delivered by the end of this week. Watch for online bookings at pharmacies to open up soon as the vaccine supply arrives, she said. She said pharmacists are getting a lot of questions about which vaccines are best, but she believes they are all safe and people should get vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. More from CBC P.E.I.
A four-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl have died in hospital after an out-of-control car mounted the curb and struck them on their family’s driveway in Vaughan on Sunday. Catherine McDonald reports.