Mariah Carey hopes her new memoir can serve as a tool for her children to learn about how to deal with racism. Unfortunately, it’s something one of her 9-year-old twins recently experienced.
Mariah Carey hopes her new memoir can serve as a tool for her children to learn about how to deal with racism. Unfortunately, it’s something one of her 9-year-old twins recently experienced.
A historic meeting between Israel's prime minister and Saudi Arabia's crown prince has sent a strong signal to allies and enemies alike that the two countries remain deeply committed to containing their common foe Iran. Last Sunday's covert meeting in the Saudi city of Neom, confirmed by Israeli officials but publicly denied by Riyadh, conveyed a coordinated message to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden that Washington's main allies in the region are closing ranks. It was the first publicly confirmed visit to Saudi Arabia by an Israeli leader and a meeting that was unthinkable until recently as the two countries do not have formal diplomatic relations.
Executive government ministries, agencies and CIC Crown corporations in Saskatchewan are moving toward more employees working from home.A statement from the province said management teams are planning to reduce the number of employees in offices while ensuring services can still be offered to Saskatchewan residents. The statement said not all positions will be able to work from home or remotely. "As each organization has its own operational needs and service continuity plans and the numbers are changing on an ongoing basis, we don't have an estimate of what per cent of employees will be rotating or working from home," the province said.Last week, the union representing some government employees called on the province to let people work from home.Following complaints from Crown employees, Premier Scott Moe last week said he would revisit the possibility of Crown employees working from home.Barry Nowoselsky, a Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union (SGEU) chairperson, said the union has been expecting the province to move toward work from home for a long time. He said he'd seen numerous news conferences where Moe and chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab recommended people work from home where possible."It's late and quite frankly … they've dropped the ball on some of these things," Nowoselsky said. "If they're going to have people start to work from home again, it's a step in the right direction."He said he felt delays from the province in both mandating mask-use and getting employees back to working from home was dangerous, caused avoidable cases of COVID-19 and was ultimately disappointing.Nowoselsky said he wasn't aware of a percentage of employees who were currently working from home, or who would be allowed to work from home with the change, but hoped those numbers would be provided by the government in the near future.
WinSport is opening its season on Friday for a year unlike any other — but for now, only pass holders will be allowed to participate."No walk-up or day tickets will be available, at least for the foreseeable future," said Dale Oviatt, senior manager of communications for WinSport. "[At least] until we can get a start on things and see how our processes are working."Pass holders are required to book times online with WinSport's reservation system as the organization seeks to control the capacity on the hill.The organization is also seeking to keep numbers down in indoor spaces. When guests arrive, they are asked to put their masks and equipment on and proceed directly to the hill."If you've decided to bring your own lunch, or you just want to warm up, just pop back out to your car, and use that for your items as well," Oviatt said.WATCH | Learn how venues like WinSport's Canada Olympic Park keeps ski runs open and in tip-top shape, even during iffy weather conditions:With the new restrictions announced this week by the Alberta government, Oviatt said WinSport is not allowed to operate warming areas.The hill's food court area will be open, but will follow restaurant guidelines."So, not a lot of indoor space," Oviatt said. "That's why we want you to use your car as your day lodge."Increased security will be onsite, but Oviatt suggested guests not bring valuables to the hill. In a typical season, WinSport sees families come out to watch kids participate in lessons. That will be changed due to the pandemic."We're not allowing any foot traffic or spectators anywhere on snow," Oviatt said. "That's just to keep the physical numbers down on the hill."The organization is requesting guests review all of the hill's COVID-19 protocols before visiting.The tube park at the facility is scheduled to open Dec. 19.
The P.E.I. government should place a moratorium on all new high-capacity wells that are not for residential use. That's one of the recommendations from a legislative standing committee examining the Water Act. The moratorium on high-capacity wells on the Island currently only applies to the agriculture sector, and has been in place since 2002.The standing committee on natural resources and environmental sustainability says the moratorium needs to be expanded "until research is available to make evidence-based decisions."PC MLA Cory Deagle, who chairs the legislative committee, said expanding the moratorium would mean the province may not approve things like new car washes, golf courses or food processing facilities — anything that might need high-capacity wells — outside of urban centres served by central water systems. "Our recommendation was that it be extended to all those other sectors to ensure fairness because right now the agriculture sector is singled out," Deagle said in an interview with CBC News. 'Fear that is out in the public'"Our committee is whole-heartedly in agreement that we need to look at the science. And whether that takes three, four, five years to look at the science and make an evidence-based decision on what are the facts in front of us and not really the fear that is out in the public on high-capacity wells," said Deagle.The legislative committee is also calling on the province to immediately proclaim the Water Act. Legislation creating the act passed in the P.E.I. Legislature in December 2017, but the regulations were never finalized which means the act is still not law.Environment Minister Natalie Jameson said she'd like to see the Water Act proclaimed "as soon as possible."The minister said the act will go into effect 90 days after the regulations are approved. That will happen early in the new year, she added. 'Human needs and ecological considerations'But the environment minister is less clear on what will happen to the call for the inclusion of all high-capacity wells in the moratorium."I don't necessarily know if there's been enough consultation around it," Jameson said."I firmly believe that current and future policy decisions need to be science-based. They need to be informed by results of local research and certainly strike a balance between human needs and ecological considerations."When asked where that leaves farmers, some of whom say they desperately need access to high-capacity wells to deal with increasingly dry summers, Jameson said, "My heart goes out to farmers, this year especially, it was an extremely dry year."Jameson said she wants to work with farmers to find a solution.In a statement to CBC News, Jameson's department said expanding the moratorium "may have an additional unintended consequence of encouraging commercial and industrial users to try to set up in cities/towns where there is more of a concern on water use."'Agricultural sector is feeling singled out'The Environment Department statement went on to say expanding the moratorium on high-capacity wells would prevent the province from approving wells for a number of other sectors including aquaculture, food processing, firefighting, fun parks and some larger geothermal heating units. The legislative committee is also recommending government refer all future research proposals on the impacts of high-capacity wells to the legislative committee. Lynne Lund, Opposition environment critic, said while some scientists told the committee that additional high-capacity wells would not impact the province's water supply the issue is "massively more complicated" than that. She wants to see a wider discussion on what sustainable agriculture is going to look like.Until then, Lund said she supports expanding the moratorium on high-capacity wells. "A clear theme that we heard is that the agricultural sector is feeling singled out, that use for high-capacity wells for agriculture doesn't have a different impact on an aquifer than, let's say a high-capacity well for a car wash," said Lund. More from CBC P.E.I.
Just when you thought 2020 couldn't get worse, it turns out southern Saskatchewan's mouse population is exploding.The phones at Poulin's Pest Control in Regina have been ringing off the hook, said general manager Shawn Sherwood.He said this has been the busiest year for mice complaints that he has seen in two decades.That goes for residential calls and insurance claims."We clean trailers and cars that have had mice in them," Sherwood said. "Normally we will see them starting in March or April, and we'll be done by July. We're doing one tomorrow."And the problem isn't localized to just the Queen City.Sherwood said the company's Saskatoon office is seeing similar infestations.Jan Shadick, who runs Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation in Saskatoon, said one way youu can tell there's been a bounty of mice is that last spring, birds who feed on the rodents had a large brood."When they're struggling to feed themselves, they're not going to have a whole bunch of babies that they know that they can't feed," Shadick said.On the downside, she says her research shows while bird numbers went up this year, so did the number of birds injured in traps. "We went from sort of one sticky trap last year to seven this year, so it's a huge increase," Shadick said. "We had four snap-trapped birds last year and seven this year. "We had one that came in, and [the trap] had actually caught on the beak of the bird and just broken it."That being said, when it comes to getting rid of mice, Shadick prefers people use snap traps."When they work, they're incredibly effective and quick and humane."But why are there are so many mice this year? That's hard to explain, but both Shadick and Sherwood said the increase is abnormal. Spikes like this usually happen when there's been a lot of snow the winter before — but that isn't the case this year in Saskatchewan. Sherwood has a simpler explanation. "People ask me, 'Why are we seeing so many mice?' It's 2020, man. What do you expect?"
More than 100 students from a Saskatoon high school are in self-isolation.On Thursday, Veronica Baker, a spokesperson for the Saskatoon Public School Division, confirmed 107 students from Marion M. Graham Collegiate are in isolation, under direction from the Saskatchewan Health Authority.It's not clear what grade the students are in, but Baker said the self-isolation applies to four classrooms at the high school. Students in the affected classes — almost a fifth of the school's 599 students — will transition to online learning. Late last week, parents in Saskatoon were informed that any student in a classroom where a case of COVID-19 was recorded is now considered a close contact and will have to self-isolate. Previously, public health officials determined which students and staff were close contacts of a case.A frequently asked questions document from Saskatoon Public said the change was made to manage increased caseloads and address "challenges of contacting everyone in a timely manner."However, while tight restrictions are in place for Saskatoon schools and there have been some cases among students across the province, Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer says there have been "very few outbreaks.""The last two and a half months have shown that all of the layers of protection that schools have have protected them from large transmission events within the school," said Dr. Saqib Shahab, adding most cases have been imported from the community. He hopes new restrictions put in place on Wednesday, which include limiting team sports and making masks mandatory for anyone in schools, will stabilize the number of cases in schools and allow students to complete the fall term.Shahab says while he understands there have been challenges for students, staff and parents, it seems measures being taken in schools are having an effect. "I think so far schools have done extremely well and the credit really goes to the teachers, the staff in the school, the parents and the children themselves who have been following the protocols." An assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan's college of education says while transitions from in-school to online learning have been challenging for everyone, they're in place to keep everyone safe, and it's important people continue to work together."We're definitely learning many lessons this year, and some of them are perhaps the most powerful lessons that we need to learn … which is that we, at a basic level, really need to take care of each other," said Paula MacDowell, who teaches educational technology and design.MacDowell says parents and teachers need to work together with students as they attend school through the pandemic, which presents some opportunities among numerous challenges."For students who are at home, this is an opportunity where parents can also learn with their children," she said. "We just have to make the best of things.… With every challenge there is also opportunity and there are ways we can innovate and do things different." Earlier this week, Saskatchewan Minister of Education Dustin Duncan said school divisions across the province are working directly with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and local medical health officers to determine what restrictions are needed."School divisions have plans and procedures in place that allow for quick, responsive modifications to the delivery of education in their schools — if there is a need to move to a different level of the plan," Duncan said in a statement. "As the situation with COVID-19 in Saskatchewan is fluid, the Saskatchewan Safe Schools plan provides consideration for changes, as needed." As of Nov. 24, 2020 there were at least 125 cases of COVID-19 in schools across the province.There were 299 new COVID-19 cases reported across Saskatchewan on Thursday, along with three more deaths due to the illness.
If all goes well, Prince Edward Islanders could start being vaccinated against the coronavirus early in 2021, Premier Dennis King said following a conference call with his fellow premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Thursday evening.Face coverings will be mandatory for everyone at the Mark Arendz Ski Park in Brookvale, P.E.I., this winter, officials say, even when on the ski hill. On the hill, those coverings can be a knit balaclava.Nearly two-thirds of students who replied to a voluntary survey at UPEI reported struggling more with mental health issues during the pandemic and 11 per cent said they have had thoughts related to suicide.Bluefield High School student Sophie Flower has organized a food drive for the South Shore Food Share to help out people in her own community of Crapaud, P.E.I., her second during the pandemic.Contact tracing is underway at three potential COVID-19 exposure sites in Charlottetown — the Atlantic Superstore, Gahan House pub and Terra Rossa restaurant and so far, all tests have come back negative. New Brunswick's premier announced Thursday that as of midnight, everyone returning to that province — including people from P.E.I. — must self-isolate for 14 days to help curb the spread of coronavirus.Starting this coming Monday, masks will be mandatory for staff and students in Grades 10-12 at all times inside a school building, including while sitting at their desks. Exemptions will be made for when students are eating or drinking, and certain other situations.There are two active COVID-19 cases in the province. P.E.I. has seen a total of 70 cases, with no deaths and no hospitalizations.Also in the newsFurther resourcesMore from CBC P.E.I.
If you're venturing into the world of Black Friday sales — whether online or in-store — the owner of one e-commerce business in Port aux Basques says there are some things to be on the lookout for, as some deals aren't all they appear to be.Jay Mathur says some retailers use limited quantity or 'buy now' campaigns to keep people's shopping impulse high.Some products, such as televisions, even have specific models that are rolled out during Black Friday events, he said, but may have less functions than other models. He said most lower-end models, specifically in televisions, will be the ones on sale with dramatic price reductions. "Those TV models are actually very limited. They have a limited number of [outputs]. Maybe they'll only have one HDMI port, no ethernet port, it won't have any smart features, the processor may be very slow, it may not have a lot of memory," Mathur told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show."So the door-buster model that you're actually buying, it may actually be one of the worst TVs for sale."Mathur said looking at the fine print on products, especially in electronics, will tell shoppers everything they need to know, and people should balance that against the "non-holiday" model.Most products sold online will have a reviews section, written by happy or disappointed shoppers which should be used to help in decision making, according to Marthur.But it's important to remember that some product reviews are compensated, he said, meaning the company paid for the review. "That doesn't mean that it's fake, it just means that the retailer provided the product for free or maybe gave some additional incentive, but consider maybe the reviews you're reading may not all be 100 per cent factual," he said. American tradition comes to CanadaBlack Friday means deep price cuts for shoppers looking to save a little extra on holiday gifts for friends and family as December draws nearer. The annual savings event that has become a staple across the United States has quickly become a save-the-date for many Canadian consumers' calendars.Tom Cooper, an associate professor in the Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University, said the event became popular first within border provinces who would make the journey to the United States to save on gifts, well before the boom in online shopping. "Now it's almost become part of the culture whereby people start to prepare their Christmas shopping and start to think about, 'Is this a good time to go out, is this a good time to get the best deals of the season?'" Cooper told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show. Cooper said the event has eclipsed Boxing Day sales events, in which companies are pivoting to have their stock out ahead of Christmas rather than after. Now in the middle of a pandemic, and the current state of COVID-19 surges in pockets across Canada, Cooper said he believes most shoppers will now hold out until Cyber Monday — a similar concept to Black Friday but with a focus on online shopping. Shopping localCooper said he would like to see a local Saturday event rather than Black Friday, where people flock to their local retail stores to buy gifts. For small businesses, especially after a year in which many have closed and many more have struggled due to the pandemic, Cooper said the holiday season is going to be important for them."The benefits stay in the community, the benefits stay locally, both in terms of jobs but also in terms of making this a better place to live," he said. "Although chains are great, and I'll still continue to shop at Sportchek and all those other great chains that provide really good products that you can't necessarily get locally, if there is a choice then I think, once again, this is a great time to help local retailers," he said.Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Ontario resident Madelyn MacNeill considered herself healthy and didn't expect to be rushed to hospital for emergency surgery while visiting her parents in Nova Scotia this past summer.Nor did she expect the almost $13,000 bill for ground and air ambulance transportation that arrived weeks after she returned to Ontario."When I opened up the bill and saw it was $12,800, my jaw dropped. I was in quite a bit of shock," the 27-year-old said. "I can't afford to pay that amount of money all upfront. It boggles my mind."MacNeill has been offered an interest-free payment plan of $50 a month. She figures it will take her 21 years to pay off the bill.Back in June, MacNeill, who lives in Toronto, was working from home and hadn't seen her family for a while. She figured she'd drive home to Nova Scotia, self-isolate for 14 days and continue to work out there, while also enjoying some family time.However, on the last day of isolation, MacNeill experienced back problems. Days later, an ambulance was required to take her to the hospital in New Glasgow.Once there, it was determined she had herniated two discs and needed emergency surgery in Halifax, about 150 kilometres away. MacNeill was told there were no ground ambulances available, so she was transported by air and underwent surgery right away. Although she expected a bill for the ground ambulance, she said, "at no time was I told I would be footing the bill for the air ambulance or any sort of cost associated with the inter-hospital transfer."It's a cautionary tale for anyone travelling between provinces, especially during COVID-19. MacNeill said she has Ontario provincial health coverage as well as insurance through her work, and never imagined she would need travel health insurance while in another part of Canada."Every time I travel out of the country, I always purchase traveller's insurance, but I honestly never thought that I would need travel insurance for inter-provincial travel. I always thought in Canada we had universal health care," she said.Out-of-province visitors pay moreAmbulance travel within a province can be pricey and cause financial hardship, a situation highlighted by CBC's Marketplace in 2015.Fees for ground ambulance for provincial residents vary from a low of $45 in Ontario to a high of $385 in Alberta. Manitoba, which in 2015 had the highest ground ambulance fees in the country, has lowered its fee to no more than $250. Some provinces, such as Alberta, provide free ground ambulance service for seniors.All provinces charge non-residents more for ambulance services, though not all provinces post the fees online. Despite numerous requests, some did not provide CBC News with this information.Of those that did, Nova Scotia had the highest fee: $732.95 for ground ambulance for people from other provinces. (The fee for residents is $146.55.)Air ambulance fees are even costlier for out-of-province residents. Of those provinces that post fees or provided information, P.E.I. and Nova Scotia do not charge residents for air ambulance service, but people from other provinces who require it are billed $12,000. Both provinces, along with Newfoundland and Labrador, say the fees cover the cost of providing the service.Health-care consultant Mary Jane Hampton said ambulances are not part of the Canada Health Act, the federal legislation that sets out what is universally covered. "It's a complicated business, but when the Canada Health Act was written, the only things that were covered in that legislation that would be insured were things that happened inside a hospital and services that are performed by a doctor," Hampton said.She notes that ambulances in Nova Scotia used to be based at funeral homes and were used for basic transportation in a medical emergency. Today, they are staffed by highly qualified paramedics. "I'm not suggesting that it's an easy issue to fix, but from a public point of view and from a patient point of view, it would make a great deal of sense to me for us to figure out how to get the [ambulance] user fees off the table and come up with a different funding model altogether," Hampton said.She urged people to contact their member of Parliament about rewriting legislation to make ambulances an essential service.Chris Hood, the former president of the Paramedics Association of Canada, agrees. Back in 2015, he told CBC's Marketplace, "You don't pay for a police officer to come to your house when you've got somebody breaking into it. You don't pay for the fire department to come and put your fire out. Why is paramedic service or ambulance service any different? It's the same thing." In an interview last week, Hood said that question remains valid today.Are fees a deterrent to use?Michael Nickerson, president of the union that represents Nova Scotia paramedics, said he hopes fees don't deter anyone from calling an ambulance if they need one."Anecdotally, we've heard from paramedics and patients alike that have concerns around the cost of an ambulance, and that some people have waited and not called at all or drove themselves to the hospital while experiencing a medical emergency," Nickerson said.He worries someone driving to hospital while having a heart attack, for example, could have an accident, injuring themselves further and perhaps others on the road — or worse."There's a danger of losing your life if you're having a heart attack and you're not being treated promptly," Nickerson said. He noted Nova Scotia paramedics are highly trained and the province is one of the few jurisdictions that allows paramedics to administer a medication specifically for heart attacks.The Nova Scotia government said in 2018 there were 1,649 ambulance bills, for a total of about $1.2 million. It said 44 bills were written off, for a total amount of $31,554.80.In an email to CBC News, a spokesperson for the province said the government has no immediate plans to review the fees.Will McAleer, executive director of the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada, said travel health insurance is easy to purchase and affordable, but many people don't realize they need it until they have an out-of-province emergency and are facing a big bill. "When you're looking at an interprovincial or within-Canada policy, you can purchase that for a dollar, maybe two dollars, a day," McAleer said. He emphasized the importance of discussing your needs with the insurance provider and identifying any pre-existing conditions prior to buying insurance to ensure you get the coverage you need. Payment options availableAs for MacNeill and her $12,800 ambulance bill, a small portion of it is covered by her work insurance.Most provinces offer an appeal process for those who feel they are unable to pay their ambulance bills, but it varies from province to province. According to government information online, the Nova Scotia Ambulance Fee Assistance Program will use your net household income as the primary eligibility test to determine whether you qualify to have the debt written off. MacNeill said she's been told the appeal criteria in Nova Scotia are very limited and that fees would only be waived if there's a paramedic error. In this case, there was not."The paramedics were very kind and helpful," MacNeill said.
A mother in Deer Lake wasn't satisfied with a negative COVID-19 test when her child continued to show symptoms of the virus, and her insistence on getting retested likely saved more people from becoming infected.The woman, who CBC is not naming to protect the identity of the child, wants people to know that they handled the situation with more caution than was even necessary.Her daughter, a student at Elwood Elementary School, was a close contact of the cluster that started in Deer Lake last week. She went into isolation right away and was tested late last week. She got news on Friday that she tested negative.Despite the test result, her mother worried when she wasn't acting like herself, had a fever and was lethargic. She felt the test was performed too soon after her daughter's contact with a known case."It was definitely a false sense of security," she said of the initial test result. "It was a huge relief, but you know, with that sense of false security I'm hoping that others are doing what I did in monitoring their children."The child was tested again, and it came back positive on Monday morning.> I do want people to know that even though they may test negative, a positive unfortunately may be around the corner. \- Mother of child with COVID-19The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District shut her school down later that morning. Health officials have said more than 30 children in her class cohort went into self-isolation."As of right now, there haven't been any positives linked directly to her," her mother told Newfoundland Morning on Thursday. "Her classroom has all quarantined. So I'm hoping that, given all her close contacts are all quarantined since this weekend, I'm hoping that it will end with us."Shortly after speaking with CBC News, the provincial government announced a person under the age of 19 did test positive in the Western Health region. It was not related to the five-year-old's case, and the person has been quarantined since coming into contact with the virus.The mother doesn't want other positive cases to be treated as rule-breakers. She also doesn't want parents to take a negative result as an all-clear."I'm not out to scare anybody or anything like that, but I do want people to know that even though they may test negative, a positive unfortunately may be around the corner," she said.Elwood Elementary was closed Monday and Tuesday, and the town's other two schools saw a combined 20 students in attendance for those same days.The elementary school reopened on Wednesday.The young girl seems to have a mild case, her mother said, and she hopes to recover soon. After testing positive, her first reaction was relief that she didn't have to endure the nasal swab again."I think given her age, and she doesn't have any pre-existing conditions, she's doing quite well thankfully," her mother said.She is concerned about the reaction her child might get when she returns to school. Some families going through COVID-19 have had to deal with an online witch hunt and widespread negativity, though the mother said most people she's spoken with have been supportive.Chief Medical Officer of Health Janice Fitzgerald has repeatedly asked people to act with empathy and kindness, but not everyone has been listening."I am fearful her classmates may know she's the reason that they are out of school for two weeks," the mother said. "But her and I do have an amazing relationship and we have awesome coping skills for our own mental health. I think with the support she has from myself and her stepdad and everybody else in her circle who [loves] her, I think she'll do just fine."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian police have moved a female transgender Instagram celebrity, Millen Cyrus, to a special cell following public outrage over her initial placement in a male detention cell after she was arrested as a suspect in a drug case.“As for her status on her ID, she is a male, and we do not have a transgender status here. So to avoid something we do not want, we placed her in a special cell by herself. That is our policy on it,” Jakarta Police spokesperson Yusri Yunus said Friday.Cyrus, 21, whose birth name is Muhammad Millendaru Prakasa, has more than 1 million followers on Instagram. Her account of her experiences as a transgender woman on YouTube has been viewed more than 6 million times.She was arrested on Sunday in a police raid on a hotel room in which 0.36 grams of crystal methamphetamine was found. Police announced then that she had been placed in the men’s detention cell at Tanjung Priok Port Police Station, following her identity on her ID card.That triggered criticism from rights groups and on social media in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.Yunus said police are still determining whether she was a drug user or dealer.The group Human Rights Watch said moving Cyrus to a special cell was a good decision by police.“Most trans women are imprisoned in male prisons, so they experience sexual harassment there,” said Andreas Harsono, the group's senior researcher in Indonesia.“The simplest one is verbal abuse. Some physical abuse happens too. It is not in the cell at the prison but in closed areas,” Harsono said.He said more than 2,000 LGBT people have been arrested in Indonesia because of their sexual orientation since 2014.LGBT communities have recently come under siege, although homosexuality is not illegal, except in conservative Aceh province.In February, some members of the House of Representatives proposed a bill that would define homosexuality as deviant and require lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to report to authorities for rehabilitation.Edna Tarigan, The Associated Press
BRUSSELS — Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny urged the European Union to reject the results of Russia's parliamentary election next year if any candidates are blocked from taking part and he called Friday on the EU to impose sanctions on oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin.Navalny, a corruption investigator and longtime foe of Putin's, has been recovering in Germany from a poisoning attack with what experts have said was a Soviet-era nerve agent. He told EU lawmakers he thinks it’s “important that Europe not remain silent” on conditions in Russia.Navalny described next September’s election for Russia’s lower house of parliament as “an absolutely crucial event.” He said that while he and other opposition politicians expect some vote-rigging, what “is most important is the right to participate.”Navalny, who has been blocked several times from registering as a candidate, said the EU’s approach should simply be: “If everyone is allowed to participate, we can discuss it further. But if some are not allowed to participate, the results of such an election will never be recognized.”He urged the 27-nation bloc to change its approach to sanctions, saying there is little point in slapping travel bans or asset freezes over poisonings or election irregularities on military officers because they generally don’t move much outside of Russia, own real estate or hold bank accounts in Europe.Navalny said the EU should ask itself why these alleged crimes are happening.“The answer is very, very simple: money," he told EU lawmakers via video-link. "So, the European Union should target the money, and Russian oligarchs” notably the new circle of the ultra-rich business people around Putin.Navalny said most Russian citizens would support such an approach.Last month, EU foreign ministers imposed sanctions on six Russian officials and a state research institute over Navalny’s poisoning. Russia announced retaliatory action, saying that it would target French and German officials close to the leaders of France and Germany.Vladimir Kara-Murza, head of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation in Russia, urged the EU to stay true to its values.“Stop enabling those corrupt, abusive officials and oligarchs who want to steal from our people in Russia and enjoy their loot in European Union countries by spending their holidays, sending their wives and their mistresses on shopping trips, buying up yachts and real estate properties and so on,” he said.Lorne Cook, The Associated Press
Canada Post is promising changes at Iqaluit's post office, but Iqalummiut can forget about home mail delivery or a single, larger post office facility coming any time soon.The corporation, facing mounting pressure as wait times grow and winter sets in, says it isn't just delivering "lip service" this holiday season. And Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell — a longtime critic of Canada Post — is optimistic the community should start seeing a difference very soon.Along with the extended hours and additional staff customers expect around Christmas, the corporation's general manager of government and community affairs says, fundamentally, they're trying to find a solution to systematically change how mail is delivered in Iqaluit.In the short term, Chad Schella says Canada Post is looking at how it can make it easier for post office staff to find parcels, thereby reducing the wait times — in which customers are sometimes waiting up to an hour in line to pick up mail.> If all the things we're working on don't result in a better experience for our customers, don't result in better service, then we would have failed. - Chad Schella, Canada Post's general manager of government and community affairs"It's just doing it differently than the way we've done it and the way we do it in other communities. Because everything is flown in, we're looking at how we can pre-sort a lot of this stuff so that it then doesn't have to be resorted when it gets to Iqaluit," said Schella."He's been very good," Bell said of Schella, noting a stark difference in the level of communication between Canada Post and the city than in previous years. "He told us a bunch of things, and then things were changing. I do feel like they're trying."The situation at Iqaluit's post office — namely long lines, staff shortages and parcel backlogs — became so dire that Canada Post brought together a special team from different departments specifically dedicated to coming up with solutions for Iqaluit. The group was formed this summer and has been "meeting weekly to help solve problems in the short term," Schella said."It's like putting together a puzzle. Every change you want to make has implications on four or five other pieces of our operation," Schella said.'Nothing is off the table'In the long term, Schella says the organization is trying to redesign a system — and facility — to replace a network the city has long outgrown.Schella says Canada Post knows there aren't enough PO boxes (there are roughly 400 people on the wait list right now); it knows the demand on general delivery has "gone through the roof"; it knows going to two places to pick up mail is brutal; and it knows it doesn't have enough space and storage.The trouble is trying to find a facility, and a mail-delivery system, that not only fits today's needs, but also anticipates future growth."We don't want to move into a facility that we're going to outgrow in a year or two from now, and we're back in the exact same situation," Schella said."So we are looking at the projections for not only the growth of Iqaluit, but for our own e-commerce volume growth and what patterns and projections we have.""We understand how hard it is to find a location," Bell said, adding the city has "demanded" Canada Post operate in one location in order to improve service."We fought for and finally got our new city hall. It's not easy to have to get a new location."Home delivery 'not an easy or simple fix'While Schella says "nothing is off the table," home delivery is not an option under the current system.Although the idea has been an opportunity private businesses in the city have jumped on, Schella said Iqaluit's civic addressing system makes it impossible for Canada Post to pursue."We'd have to ensure that there was municipal addressing in place so that every building had a designated physical address as well as a mailing address. And then that would have to match up with all of our systems and address management systems and everything that goes with it," Schella said."I don't know if I'm giving it justice or not, but that would not be an easy or simple fix to this solution."Also at play is the fact Canada Post home delivery workers are represented by a different union than the workers at Iqaluit's post office. Although Schella said bringing in "parcel lockers" is also an idea being floated."I guess what I would ask for the community is for them to judge us by their experience, and that experience will hopefully improve," Schella said"Because at the end of the day, if all the things we're working on don't result in a better experience for our customers, don't result in better service, then we would have failed. There's no question about it."
The Nunatsiavut government will be holding a by-election after an ordinary member of the Nunatsiavut Assembly had his Inuit land claims beneficiary membership revoked.Edward Blake Rudkowski has been a beneficiary since 1986, first as a member of the Labrador Inuit Association before the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act was passed in 2005. He was also Speaker of the Nunatsiavut Assembly.He said he was advised by Nunatsiavut officials that because he was removed from the Labrador Inuit Enrolment Register, he could no longer hold his seat in government."I feel no differently about myself this morning than I did this time last week," Blake Rudkowski told CBC's Labrador Morning. "I don't feel any less Inuit, any less Indigenous."According to a press release from Nunatsiavut, the decision to revoke his membership was due to a review. > My grandparents would be upset beyond belief to see this sort of thing going on. \- Edward Blake RudkowskiBlake Rudkowksi said the day after he won the 2018 election, a losing candidate went to the Office of the Registrar of Beneficiaries and asked for a review of his membership, which under the land claims agreement is allowed. But he said after 34 years as a beneficiary, the timing seems odd. "When we are living in an era with so many concrete issues to deal with, when we have so many people dealing with homelessness and addiction and food insecurity … people turning upon their own and people fighting among themselves … is unimaginably counter-productive," he said. 'Blood quantum' too lowBlake Rudkowski said he was told he only had 17.14 per cent Inuit blood quantum. According to the land claims agreement, a member needs to have 25 per cent. "I couldn't begin to hazard a guess at how someone comes up with a number of 17 per cent," said Blake Rudkowski.The government said it plays no role in determining the membership of any individuals, as the beneficiary enrolment process is independent from Nunatsiavut.However, Nunatsiavut said there are other ways to become a beneficiary other than hitting a genetic benchmark for Inuit heritage. An individual can either apply as an Inuk or they can enrol as a person with 25 per cent Inuit descent, although it is unclear as to how the membership committee arrives at a percentage.CBC News has left messages with the beneficiaries registrar for clarification on Blake Rudkowski's situation. There also is a method that allows an individual to apply for a membership if they have settled on the land and follow the customs and traditions. "There's quite a few opportunities for an individual to highlight how they have connection to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement," said Nunatsiavut First Minister Tyler Edmunds."The process tries to demonstrate and test how an individual is connected."Edmunds said there also is an appeal process that can be taken if an applicant is unsuccessful in obtaining a membership and has further proof of their Indigenous heritage.Future unclearBlake Rudkowksi said he is undecided whether he will appeal, and doesn't yet know what his future holds. "What the next steps are is still unclear. I truly have not decided on where to go with this at this point," Blake Rudkowksi said."My grandparents would be upset beyond belief to see this sort of thing going on."Edmunds said he wanted to thank Blake Rudkowski for the work he has done for the beneficiaries over the years. "I can remember my first call with him when I was Speaker, and he was just ready to dive head first into his responsibilities as ordinary member," said Edmunds."I worked closely with Ed over the last couple years and I know he has had a tremendous passion for his work. I think a lot of people can easily see that."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Around 2,500 Amazon workers across the country are predicted to take part in walkouts, according to the union Ver.di.View on euronews
More than 150 people staked out Cuba's culture ministry on Friday to show solidarity with dissident artists facing a state crackdown, in an unusually large display of public dissent on the Communist-run island. The demonstrators demanded a dialogue over limits on freedom of expression and what they call state repression after the authorities cracked down on the San Isidro Movement of dissident artists and activists. The Dutch and Czech governments and Amnesty International, as well as other rights groups, voiced concern on Friday about human rights in Cuba.
Tracy Cloud can still remember the eruption on social media in response to the behaviour of a high-ranking Edmundston police officer who appeared to laugh when a reporter asked him a question about the shooting death of Chantel Moore. "It was shared many times over and over within our communities," said Cloud, a member of Metepenagiag First Nation. "There was just an explosion of many comments and of course, none of them were positive."Cloud says she's puzzled as to why the officer wasn't directed to participate in a localized cultural training program in response to a complaint filed against him by TJ Burke, the lawyer who represents Chantel Moore's estate. According to Burke, Insp. Steve Robinson has been ordered by the Edmundston police chief to take the Indigenous Canada course available online through the University of Alberta.Cloud is puzzled as to why the police are not using resources closer to home. She says the nine Mi'kmaw communities of New Brunswick, under the non-profit umbrella organization Mi'gmawe'l Tplu'taqnn Inc., or MTI, do have programs that explain treaty principles and their historical context."In fact, this afternoon, we have a treaty session with about 85 people that will be happening through one of the federal government departments," said Cloud.The MTI also offers a regional variation of a teaching tool known as the blanket exercise. That's when a group of people, for example, a class of high school students, would gather in one room and stand in a space where the floor is covered with blankets that represent the land inhabited by Indigenous people that eventually became Canada.Participants read about chapters of Indigenous history, including the impact of disease, poverty, residential schools and the Indian Act. Progressively, they themselves are increasingly confined to fewer blankets and less space or rejected altogether from the circle. "We have people walking away in tears," said Cloud. "People who say, 'Had I known, I could have done better."Cloud says the cost to facilitate a program depends on factors such as preparation time, staff time and travel expenses. "The exercise is just a couple of hours long. People are able to put their feet in our moccasins for that brief moment and reflect on generations and hundreds of years of history and what Indigenous people have gone through."Cloud says MTI has been trying to get more people involved, including non-governmental agencies. "Really, anyone who's willing to have us in, we're happy to provide the discussion."Education shouldn't be discipline Lawyer Derek Simon, who works as legal counsel for MTI, says education shouldn't be used as a sanction. "I work for the Mi'kmaw chiefs in New Brunswick and they've been advocating for some time now for cultural awareness and treaty training and treaty education for all police officers in New Brunswick. They feel that's something that all officers should be receiving as a matter of course and not as discipline for bad behaviour," said Simon.In addition to completing the online course, Burke says Robinson must also meet with a Wolostoqi elder to discuss what he discovered on his journey for knowledge. Simon says it's a good idea but "sits wrong as a sanction.""It's something that should be a standardized part of the police experience," he said.Simon says the Mi'kmaw chiefs want to see Indigenous representation on the New Brunswick police commission.They also want every police department to have an elder they can turn to, who can provide guidance. "So instead of this one officer being singled out and told, 'You've done a bad thing, go speak to an elder about it,' this is something that should be provided as a cultural resource on an ongoing basis," said Simon.CBC News did ask to speak to Edmundston police Chief Alain Lang but he declined to be interviewed. A spokesperson for his office explained that Lang would not comment because under the New Brunswick Police Act (NBPA), disciplinary and corrective measures are confidential.
The protesters demand the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader who seized power in the last coup in 2014, but say they do not want him replaced by another general. Prayuth's putsch was the 13th successful coup since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932. "The 14th coup will not happen because the people will come out and resist," one of the protest leaders, Panupong “Mike Rayong” Jadnok, told the crowd.
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Nov. 27 ...What we are watching in Canada ...Black Friday, the one-day shopping bonanza known for its big bargains and large crowds, has arrived.While rising COVID-19 cases and weeks of staggered deals have muted the usual fanfare of the shopping event, retailers are banking on today's sales to bolster their bottom line. Retail analysts say some bargain hunters are still expected to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, where possible, in the hopes of snagging a doorbuster deal.But they say the majority of this year's Black Friday purchases are expected to be made online. Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.He says given ongoing lockdowns and in-store capacity limits, online sales are expected to be strong today and remain heightened over the holiday shopping season.Indeed, big box stores, which often attract the largest lineups and crowds on Black Friday, have moved most promotions online.Yet although Black Friday's top sellers tend to be big-ticket electronics, some shoppers might be on the hunt for deals on more basic items. Lisa Hutcheson, managing partner at consulting firm J.C. Williams Group, says some shoppers may take advantage of today's sales to "stock up and hunker down for the winter."\---Also this ...REGINA — Group sports are suspended in Saskatchewan starting today and no more than 30 people are allowed to gather inside public venues as the province tries to contain its spread of COVID-19. The cap applies to bingo halls, worship services, casinos, and receptions for weddings and funerals.The Saskatchewan Party government announced added health measures on Wednesday after weeks of rising cases that have driven up hospitalizations.Although formal competition is prohibited, athletes and dancers who are 18 years old and younger can still practise in groups of eight if they stay far enough apart and wear masks — now required in all indoor fitness facilities. No more than four people can sit together at a bar or restaurant and tables must be three metres apart if they are not separated by a barrier. Large retail stores have to cut their capacity by half.The measures are to be in place until Dec. 17.\---What we are watching in the U.S. ...Americans are marking the Thanksgiving holiday amid an unrelenting pandemic that has upended traditions at dinner tables all around the country. Zoom and FaceTime calls are fixtures this year, and people who have lost family members to the virus are keeping an empty seat to honour their loved ones. Far fewer volunteers will help at soup kitchens or community centres. A Utah health department has been delivering boxes of food to residents who are infected with the virus and can’t go to the store. A New York nursing home is offering drive-up visits for families of residents struggling with celebrating the holiday alone.\---What we are watching in the rest of the world ...SEOUL — South Korea's spy agency has told lawmakers that North Korea executed at least two people, banned fishing at sea and locked down its capital as part of frantic anti-coronavirus steps. The lawmakers cited the National Intelligence Service as saying that North Korea also ordered diplomats overseas to refrain from any acts that could provoke the United States because it is worried about president-elect Joe Biden’s expected new approach toward the North. One lawmaker cited the agency as saying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is displaying excessive anger and taking irrational measures over the pandemic and its economic impact.\---On this day in 1998 ...Hells Angels kingpin Maurice (Mom) Boucher was acquitted of killing two Quebec prison guards.\---ICYMI ...A Venezuelan woman who believes she was used as part of Jason Kenney's argument not to lockdown restaurants in Alberta remembers her encounter with the premier as less dramatic than he suggested.Carolina De La Torre says Kenney got her central feelings correct, but she said she did not break down into tears the way Kenney recalled."No crying," the 57-year-old woman said with a laugh during a phone interview Thursday.She also said it was Kenney who approached her Calgary food court booth called Arepas Ranch for lunch in October, not the other way around as the premier told it.After weeks of mounting COVID-19 cases, as more than 1,000 new cases and 16 deaths were reported on Tuesday, Kenney announced new rules that included making indoor private social events illegal.During the news conference, Kenney gave an example of how much a lockdown would hurt businesses by telling the story of a Venezuelan refugee he met."A couple of weeks ago, I was in my constituency, at a little food court thing and a new Albertan, a refugee from Venezuela socialism, came up to me," Kenney said."She had just opened a little food kiosk, she recognized me, she came up to me, and she broke down in tears in front of me saying, 'sir, I put my entire life savings as a refugee into this business, we're struggling to pay the bills, if you shut me down, I'm going to lose it all, everything, and I'll be in abject poverty.'""For some, perhaps, it is a little bit too easy to say just flick a switch. Shut them down," Kenney said."I would ask people who have the certainty of a paycheque to think for a moment about those individuals whose entire life savings are tied up in businesses."\---This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020The Canadian Press
After spending nine months and counting doing health outreach work in his home community of Thorncliffe Park, Aamir Sukhera fears that slowing the spread of COVID-19 has become a nearly impossible task."It's a 1.5-kilometre radius of just giant towers with thousands of people," said Sekhra, who is with the local non-profit The Neighbourhood Organization."So we did anticipate having a lot of cases, we just didn't think it would be this high."Like many of Toronto's high-density, low-income neighbourhoods, COVID-19 rates in Thorncliffe Park have outpaced other areas of the city for much of the pandemic.According to data from Toronto Public Health, the area is logging 649 cases per 100,000 residents, nearly three times higher than neighbouring Leaside.Those figures are the result of a combination of deep-rooted systemic issues and a lack of support for low-income residents, according to several community health organizations across Toronto. Tackling those challenges is becoming an increasingly urgent task, they say, as the city enters another lockdown and looks to fend off the second wave of the pandemic."We don't want to be a burden for the rest of our city," Sukhera said. "But the circumstances here prevent people from doing the right thing for the greater community."He said dense high-rises, multi-generational homes and a workforce dominated by front-line essential workers have made it difficult to slow the novel coronavirus."This is the time to just get resources into the hands of those that need it the most," added Cheryl Prescod, executive director of the Black Creek Community Health Centre, where local COVID-19 cases have reached 773 per 100,000 residents.Toronto to roll out 'enhanced' supportsThe City of Toronto on Monday announced what it calls enhanced COVID-19 supports for communities in the city's northwest and northeast corners.Those enhancements include initiatives around testing, including the introduction of some mobile testing and transportation to other testing sites, as well as an education and outreach program that will lean on local agencies."We owe it to the most vulnerable to make sure that extra measures are provided, extra supports are provided in their fight against COVID-19," Mayor John Tory said.The province has also noted the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities like Thorncliffe Park and Black Creek. In a COVID-19 modelling update Thursday afternoon, provincial public health officials said "long-standing structural factors" have been shown to increase risk for the disease.But despite those acknowledgements of inequity and expressions of support, community outreach workers say the authorities aren't doing enough to help residents living in the city's pandemic hot spots.Sukhera said programs to assist COVID-19 patients with rent payments and food are a must. Without them, he said people cannot be reasonably expected to strictly follow public health recommendations, since being tested or self-isolating could mean losing a paycheque."There's the right thing to do, and everyone sort of knows what that is," Sukhera said. "But in their defence, they've still got to pay rent and not get their families kicked out of their homes."Despite those obstacles, Prescod of the Black Creek Community Health Centre said her organization will continue its outreach work throughout the winter. She said she's hopeful that gains can be made, but not without more help for communities like hers."Without proper resources and sufficient funds to address some of our broken systems, we cannot hold on to that hope for very long."