OTTAWA — Conservative members sought stability Monday in choosing Erin O'Toole as leader after a campaign where he focused on keeping the party close to its "true blue" fundamentals.O'Toole secured his victory in the leadership race after three rounds of counting.The results had been expected Sunday night but were delayed into the early hours of Monday morning after problems opening the envelopes containing several thousand of the estimated 175,000 ballots sent in by mail."To the millions of Canadians that are still up, that I'm meeting tonight for the first time: Good morning. I'm Erin O'Toole, you're going to be seeing and hearing a lot from me in the coming weeks and months," O'Toole said in his victory speech."But I want you to know from the start that I am here to fight for you and your family."His victory over rival Peter MacKay could spell the end of MacKay's political career. It is also likely to immediately raise questions about the future for progressive Conservatives in the party, who hoped that with MacKay, the party could finally move past the debates around social conservative issues.In a message on social media, MacKay offered his congratulations to O'Toole after the hard-fought campaign."It's now time for our (Conservative) party and movement to come together, and to focus on what's most important: ensuring our country gets moving in the right direction again," he said. Even if MacKay had won, he would have found himself grappling with the surprise success of Leslyn Lewis, the Toronto lawyer who placed third in the contest, despite never holding office and entering the race as a near-total unknown to most, but not all.Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who had endorsed O'Toole, called Lewis a friend, and said her showing in the campaign remarkable."Leslyn has broken through many barriers to become a significant voice in Canadian political life. I hope and expect to see great things from her in the future!" he wrote on Twitter early Monday. Derek Sloan, who was also running with the support of social conservatives, placed fourth with 4,864 of the available points after the first round of counting.O'Toole's victory reflects a pitch he'd made to both their supporters in the waning weeks of the race, asking them to use the ranked ballot to make him their number 2 or number 3 choice.His sell: with a seat in Parliament, and the political experience necessary for the job, he was the best choice to lead the party forward, but he would ensure their views would remain respected as well.Bringing together the party's various factions will be one of O'Toole's challenges, and the results also showed some fault lines regionally.In the first round, Lewis beat out both O'Toole and MacKay in Saskatchewan and placed second to O'Toole in Alberta, a reflection of her ability to connect strongly with the grassroots there.With none of the four candidates hailing from the West, all eyes had been on how the party's western base would voice its concerns over the candidates and the campaigns in the vote.O'Toole spoke to them, to voters in Quebec, and to all prospective Conservative voters in his speech Monday morning, saying that no matter a person's race or religion, sexual orientation, how long they've been in Canada, income level or education, they matter."You are an important part of Canada and you have a home in the Conservative Party of Canada," he said.O'Toole takes over the party — and the job of Official Opposition leader — exactly a month before the minority Liberal government will deliver a throne speech laying out a post-pandemic recovery plan.The vote on the speech is a confidence motion and the Liberals have all but dared the Tories to try to bring them down.The Liberals congratulated O'Toole but also warned him."We have a real chance to build a Canada that is healthier and safer, greener, more fair, and more competitive, and while we will have our differences, we hope the Conservative leader will join us in that work," party president Suzanne Cowan said in a statement. "We also hope Mr. O'Toole will reconsider continuing to push the same policies of Stephen Harper and Andrew Scheer that he also proposed in this leadership campaign. They would take Canada backward by making harmful cuts to services that Canadians count on, weakening Canada's gun control laws, rolling back our work to fight climate change, and much more."Much of the leadership race itself was shaped by the pandemic. The vote was supposed to take place in June, but was pushed back and for a time, the campaign itself was paused.A leadership convention, the kind filled with thousands of supporters, was jettisoned in favour of a hybrid in-person and virtual results reveal after an entirely mail-in ballot vote.Those had to be returned by Friday. While counting was underway throughout Sunday, the machines tasked with slicing envelopes malfunctioned, requiring several thousand ballots to be extracted and replicated by hand under the close eye of scrutineers.It led to an excruciating wait for the candidates, their campaigns, and the party staff and volunteers. MacKay passed the time doing push-ups in his hotel suite, O'Toole doing live Zoom chats with supporters.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 24, 2020.Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press
Temporary plaques exposing the history of the families behind Toronto's street names have been spotted around the city.But who's behind it? Well, they're choosing to remain anonymous.Essex County Black Historical Research Society president Irene Moore Davis was sent a photo of these plaques by an acquaintance who noticed Davis was quoted on them. "They wanted me to be aware of it because my name was on it," she said. The plaques give a brief history behind the name of the streets, emphasizing the relationship between the name and Black history.In total, five temporary plaques were installed around the city, but it's unclear how many still remain.One of the plaques, installed in the Baby Point area of Toronto, reads, "These roads are named after Jacques 'James' Baby. He was a member of the Baby family who enslaved at least 17 Black and Indigenous people in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Canada. Some of these enslaved people were 'passed down' through the generations of the Baby family."Davis says while they were "fairly well-to-do," people citing their involvement in the military and the Legislative Council of Upper Canada rarely recognize their slave-owning history."In all of that glorification of the Baby family, no one ever mentions they were slave owners," she explained, adding that these slaves "were passed around like property."She was quoted in the plaque saying "what we accept, what we honour, who we choose to honour, says a lot about what we value as a society."Another plaque outlines the history of the Jarvis family, explaining, in part, that William Jarvis "vehemently opposed" making slavery illegal in Upper Canada in 1793, "which meant that enslavement was gradually phased out instead of being abolished."When Davis saw the photos of the plaques, she said she was "just amazed" and keen to find out who was behind it. She reached out to all of her friends in the Black history community, but came up short."Nobody had any clue who was doing this," she said.After posting the photos to her social media, Davis said the person behind the plaques messaged her directly, but asked to remain anonymous. Renewed focus on systemic anti-Black racismThe plaque instalments follow a similar call for education on street names, when thousands signed a petition to change the name of Dundas Street, which was named after Henry Dundas, an 18th-century politician who delayed Britain's abolition of slavery by 15 years. Both are part of a renewed focus on systemic anti-Black racism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, putting the issue of street names and historical monuments back in the spotlight. While there has been a lot of discussion on what to do with these street names and monuments, Davis says she thinks people will be better educated with more context and education."Unless it was something like a Confederate general statue, which nobody needs to see in a public place ... I'm in the mind that we educate people better by adding to what's already there."From her interactions, she finds people share a similar mindset."What I'm seeing across social media, and just in conversations with people, is that they want to see more of that," Davis said.She suggests investing in more durable and permanent plaques to outline the historical context in different parts of the city. At a city hall briefing in June, Mayor John Tory said he had asked city manager Chris Murray to form a working group of staff from relevant departments, including the Confronting Anti-Black Racism and the Indigenous Affairs office, to examine the issue of renaming streets in a broader sense.
While B.C. as a whole is dealing with climbing COVID-19 infections, some parts of the province — particularly Prince George, the Kootenays and North Vancouver Island — have gone weeks and even months with nearly no new cases of the virus.Health Minister Adrian Dix called it "a tale of two pandemics," urging people in those regions to keep following public safety guidelines to keep transmissions low.According to numbers released Thursday, Vancouver Island recorded just 12 cases of COVID-19 over the previous two weeks, while the Okanagan recorded 15. The Northern Interior, which includes Prince George, recorded just one positive case in the last 10 weeks, and the Kootenays only 36 since the pandemic began."Yesterday we tested 1,265 people in the Northern, Interior and Vancouver Island health authorities, and found two cases of COVID-19, which is really a miniscule rate of transmission," Dix said in an interview Friday morning. Greater Vancouver, in contrast, has recorded more than 300 cases since August 7.One obvious reason is the region's higher population. But the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health authorities have also consistently recorded higher infection rates per 100,000 people than other parts of the province, and for this Dix offered several theories.Quick control of outbreaksTo start, he highlighted the fact that outbreaks in long-term care homes and hospitals — which have driven up numbers in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health authorities — aren't occurring elsewhere.Proximity to the United States and the status of Vancouver as a travel hub were also cited as challenges. "We've had uncontrolled transmission in Washington state and we have essential workers that do go back and forth, lots of people coming through the airport," Dix said.Indeed, the few outbreaks recorded elsewhere in the province have been linked to travel.B.C.'s northwest, for example, had an infection-free streak ended by an outbreak on Haida Gwaii that was linked to off-island travel. Similarly, northeastern B.C. is dealing with a surge in cases connected to residents attending a religious event in Alberta.And in Kelowna, a huge uptick was recorded following a Canada Day marked by visitors attending private parties in the area.But in all those examples, health officials quickly identified the likely source of infection in time to warn others who may have been impacted to self-isolate.Now, Haida Gwaii has no active cases and Interior Health has just 17, down from 88 four weeks ago.Fewer young people, fewer partiesThe lower number of young people in these regions could be factors, as well.Dix said while young people attending private gatherings are driving the province's new infections, people in B.C.'s north, Interior and on the Island skew older, reducing the likelihood of similar transmissions.But that doesn't mean there aren't risks.On Monday, RCMP in Prince George confirmed they attended a weekend house party of more than 50 teenagers, sparking concerns of complacency in the city."It's really dangerous," said Dr. Jessica Zimbler, a Prince George-based physician. "If this is the [gathering] that we know about, what's happening that we don't?"She also said people returning from summer vacation could pose a risk to the city's success."The worry is they come back from their travels and then congregate in Prince George before they're symptomatic, and then suddenly we have huge outbreaks in huge numbers," she said.Dix echoed that warning, noting how quickly Kelowna, Haida Gwaii and Fort St. John saw infections spike into double digits following travel."I think the lesson is that this can come, and this can happen anywhere," he said. "Remain vigilant."
She cut a lonely figure — a sole swimmer slicing through the chilly blue-green water, her eyes on the wind turbines rising above the distant shore."Everything seems pretty quiet when you're in the water, lots of time to reflect on things," said Nichole Robinson.On Saturday, Robinson had nearly five hours to reflect on why she had chosen to tackle the 14-kilometre swim across the Oldman River Reservoir in southern Alberta.The now 26-year-old swam competitively while she was a student at the University of Alberta, where she studied environmental science.With those interests, it's no surprise that she views water as Canada's most important resource."We're so lucky to have the water that we have and so many places around the world don't have that same kind of luxury where I can swim in it, I can fish from it, I can drink right from it," she said. So when the Lethbridge resident heard that the provincial government had rescinded a decades-old policy that banned open-pit coal mining in many parts of the province, she felt that despite not being an activist, she had to find a way to draw attention to the situation.The government has said it's committed to protecting watersheds and ecologically sensitive areas.But Robinson has concerns, especially because the Oldman River watershed provides all of Lethbridge's water, and the new rules open the door for open-pit mines in the Crowsnest Pass area, near where the headwaters of the Oldman River are located.In B.C., open pit mines have leached selenium into rivers in the Elk Valley area for years. Selenium is a metal that is safe in water in low levels, but in high levels can cause nausea or even neurological problems from long-term exposure. "The way the province rescinded the coal policy from the '70s, they did it with no public consultation and it happened really quietly," she said. "I get that we need jobs and I get that we're struggling, but I think that even in a desperate time we need to think long term and not forget that what we do today will impact 50 to 100 years down the road and it's not just about the next 10 to 20 years."Robinson's swim took her from North Fork campground to Windy Point campground. Her husband followed her progress in a kayak, recording her on a GoPro along the way.Around 20 people gathered on the shore to cheer her on.She said while the swim initially seemed intimidating — especially due to strong winds during the first part of the day — the experience was better than she had anticipated."We're stronger than we think we are and if we can get together and stand up for what we believe in, it can make a difference," she said.
OTTAWA — A new research paper says Canadian intelligence assessments on Iraq were generally accurate in the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion of 2003 — unlike reports produced in Washington and London that were used to justify war.Almost nothing has been said outside government circles about Canadian judgments that Saddam Hussein had no active weapons of mass destruction program, the paper says — partly to avoid embarrassing American and British counterparts."Canada's intelligence assessments on Iraq in 2002 and 2003 subsequently turned out to be largely correct, while the analysis of most other countries on key Iraq issues — as far as is publicly known — was flawed," concludes the paper, recently published in the journal Intelligence and National Security."The most notable difference in the Canadian case was the lack of any significant political or other outside pressure on assessment organizations to slant the Iraq analysis in a particular direction.""Getting it Right: Canadian Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, 2002-2003" was researched and written by Alan Barnes, a senior fellow at the Centre for Security, Intelligence and Defence Studies at Carleton University's Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.He is far from a neutral party on the topic, having been closely involved with the production of the Canadian assessments on Iraq during this period. He was lead drafter of 21 analyses by the Privy Council Office's Intelligence Assessment Secretariat (IAS) and, as director of the secretariat's Middle East and Africa Division, supervised the production of 20 others.Barnes also drew on documents released by key federal agencies over the years — though much classified material remains under wraps — as well as interviews with 11 managers and analysts from the intelligence community who were involved in the assessments.He found that Canada's assessments of U.S. policy on Iraq, Baghdad's weapons capabilities, the regional implications of an invasion and the subsequent internal instability of Iraq proved to be generally on the mark.The paper also points to evidence the information was included in briefings given to then-prime minister Jean Chretien, whose Liberal government decided not to participate in the Iraq War.In late August 2002, a Canadian interdepartmental experts group completed an assessment of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs, including chemical, biological and nuclear arms.It concluded any remaining chemical agents or ballistic missiles from prior to the 1991 Gulf War could only exist in very small quantities, and would likely no longer be useful because of poor storage conditions, Barnes writes.The question of whether Baghdad was rebuilding its WMD capabilities since the departure of United Nations inspectors in 1998 got to the heart of the U.S. administration's claims that Iraq was a growing threat to the world, the paper says.Canadian analysts "could see no convincing indications that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program. They did not have confidence in the soundness of the evidence being cited by the U.S. as proof of Iraqi nuclear activity."Nor could the analysts detect signs that Baghdad had restarted production of chemical weapons or was preparing to do so.The extensive sharing of intelligence meant that analysts in the Five Eyes alliance — the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — were largely working with the same body of information in trying to make sense of things.Analysts in Ottawa were well aware of the disagreements taking place in the other Five Eyes countries over Iraq's purported WMDs, as well as the pressure put on analysts in those countries by senior officials to come up with specific conclusions to support the policy line, Barnes says.He detected a fairly consistent pattern:— In their one-on-one interactions with their Canadian counterparts, allied analysts often expressed reservations about the evidence and avoided firm judgments;— The classified written intelligence products that Canada received from allies would express firmer, but still qualified, conclusions while acknowledging the limits of the information;— Finally, the public position of allied governments — in statements by senior officials or documents released to the public — would express unconditional conclusions on the basis of what was claimed to be conclusive evidence."The knowledge that many allied analysts shared similar reservations about the quality of the information on Iraq's WMDs gave Canadian analysts and managers greater confidence that they were on the right track," the paper says.Even so, there were differing views.Canadian Security Intelligence Service analysis of Iraq's mass-destruction capabilities tended to support the claims coming from Washington, Barnes found."This is likely a reflection of the discomfort of CSIS managers and analysts at being out of step with the U.S. intelligence community on a critical issue which might compromise their close operational links."A CSIS report that said Saddam appeared eager to quickly acquire a nuclear weapons capability was withdrawn after the IAS raised concerns, Barnes says."However, by then it had been shared with the U.S., giving Washington the impression that the Canadian intelligence community concurred with the U.S. claims when this was not the case."In contrast, National Defence analysts had extensive knowledge of these issues, gleaned from participation in the earlier UN inspections in Iraq and "intimate familiarity with the available intelligence over the previous decade." In early March 2003, Defence published "Iraq: No Smoke, No Gun," which deemed it unlikely that WMDs would be found.Indeed, only a small number of abandoned chemical munitions from prior to 1991 were ultimately discovered in Iraq.The IAS assessments were a significant element of verbal briefings on Iraq given to Chretien by Claude Laverdure, the foreign and defence policy adviser to the prime minister, the paper says.Chretien, skeptical of the U.S. rationale, took the position that Canada would support military action against Iraq if it were sanctioned by the UN Security Council.In his memoirs, Chretien says he told then-U.S. President George W. Bush in September 2002: "I have to tell you, I've been reading all my briefings about the weapons of mass destruction and I'm not convinced. I think the evidence is very shaky."Laverdure said to Barnes he remembers tough discussions in various meetings with Bush and then-British prime minister Tony Blair, as well as with other senior U.S. and U.K. officials, who demanded to know why the Canadians refused to accept the conclusions in the American and British reports.During one meeting, Laverdure recalled, Blair "was mad, mad, mad and Chretien became irritated ... Blair kept saying to Jean Chretien, 'Can't you see it, we get the same reports,' and Chretien replied, 'No, I don't see it.'"In normal circumstances, almost all Canadian intelligence assessments dealing with foreign and defence matters are shared, in whole or in part, with the Five Eyes allies, Barnes writes."This did not happen with IAS assessments on Iraq, which were classified 'Canadian Eyes Only' in order to avoid uncomfortable disagreements with the U.S. intelligence community which would exacerbate the sensitivities affecting relations at the political level."Barnes says that when Robert Wright became Canada's security and intelligence co-ordinator in April 2003 he asked to see all of the IAS reporting on Iraq's WMDs.Wright would later make it clear "that there was to be no 'triumphalism' for having made more accurate assessments."Barnes notes the only public acknowledgment of the Canadian record was an op-ed piece by Paul Heinbecker, Canada's ambassador to the UN during the Iraq crisis, which discussed U.S. intelligence and included a cryptic comment: "The Canadian analysis was better."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 23, 2020Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — "We can rebuild our great country — while protecting Canadians from the ongoing threat of COVID-19. We can get Canadians back to work, be proud of the things we grow, build and produce in Canada again. We must have a government that will keep us safe, and ensure that we are never ill-prepared again."— Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole, in his victory speech\---"Congratulations to (Erin O'Toole) on a hard-fought campaign. It’s now time for our (Conservative) party and movement to come together, and to focus on what's most important: ensuring our country gets moving in the right direction again.— Peter MacKay, who placed second in the leadership race\---"Let's all come together and focus on the things that unite us. We must stay squarely concentrated on working together and focusing on the many things we share in common."— Andrew Scheer, in his farewell speech as Conservative leader\---"Congratulations as well to my friend (Leslyn Lewis) on her remarkable showing in the (Conservative) leadership election. Leslyn has broken through many barriers to become a significant voice in Canadian political life. I hope & expect to see great things from her in the future!"— Alberta Premier Jason Kenney\---"Congratulations to the (Conservative party's) newly elected leader (Erin O'Toole)! I look forward to working with you as we move forward in rebuilding and strengthening Ontario's economy."— Ontario Premier Doug Ford\---"We have a real chance to build a Canada that is healthier and safer, greener, more fair, and more competitive, and while we will have our differences, we hope the Conservative leader will join us in that work.— Suzanne Cowan, Liberal Party of Canada president\---"We expect that Erin O'Toole will ensure that social conservatives are respected and their values represented within the party going forward. If he disrespects the tens of thousands of grassroots members who voted for (Leslyn) Lewis and (Derek) Sloan, he will definitely lose the next general election. Everybody knows you can't win a general election without your base."— Jeff Gunnarson, national president of Campaign Life CoalitionThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 24, 2020.The Canadian Press
Since the onset of the pandemic, doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners who find themselves working closely with COVID-19 patients have traded their familiar white coats and scrubs for plastic gowns, vinyl gloves, respirator masks and face shields.A number of physicians have written about how much more difficult it is to build rapport with patients through the barrier of all this personal protective equipment. Some have even taken to wearing photographs of themselves on their gowns to help their charges, many of whom are facing a life-or-death struggle, feel less alienated, less alone.Our modern equipment, though, has nothing on the medical garb of the Renaissance. If today's protective clothing is impersonal, its 17th-century equivalent was downright sinister.Even if you've never heard of a plague doctor, you've almost certainly seen an image of one: an imposing figure in an ankle-length cloak, a wide-brimmed hat and, most strikingly, a beak-shaped mask.Far from your approachable family physician, the plague doctor looks like something out of a nightmare. His outfit, though, was actually an early example of personal protective equipment.The plague, an illness caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis, circulated Eurasia and North Africa for thousands of years, occasionally exploding into devastating pandemics that killed millions. During the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, European cities employed plague doctors — physicians who were tasked with treating plague victims, and plague victims only, to avoid spreading the disease.Tending to plague patients paid well but was risky business. Of 18 plague doctors who worked in Venice during the Black Death of the 14th century, five died and 12 fled.French royal physician Charles de Lorme believed there must be steps that could be taken to make the occupation of plague doctor safer. He was practising medicine at the height of the Scientific Renaissance, when scientific principles were being applied to solve a wide range of problems. Why not use the advances that had been made in the field of medicine to protect doctors themselves?In 1619, de Lorme had an idea for a head-to-toe protective garment that would shield doctors working with plague patients from infection. The garb included boots connected to breeches, a shirt tucked in at the waist, and gloves, with an overcoat worn over the entire outfit. Made entirely of wax-coated leather and constructed so none of the physician's skin would be exposed, this outfit would be impervious to body fluids.The most arresting feature of the ensemble was the birdlike mask. If you see someone dressed like a plague doctor today, their mask will typically be a long, white curve sculpted from papier-mâché. These modern masks are based on the Medico della Peste costumes from Italian Commedia dell'Arte and the annual Venetian Carnival, where the plague doctor became a prominent character.The original plague doctor masks, on the other hand, the ones worn by physicians, were fashioned from leather like the rest of the doctor's protective gear and had a much less ornamental appearance. More than anything else, they resembled the early gas masks or gas hoods that were used in World War I, shortly after their invention by Newfoundlander Cluny Macpherson.The 17th-century medical devices were hoods that covered the doctor's entire head and overlapped his overcoat at the base of the neck. They had glass lenses over the eyes and a cone-shaped protuberance over the nose and mouth with two small holes on either side to let air in.De Lorme, of course, invented this protective equipment long before we discovered that germs and microbes are responsible for the spread of contagious disease; nonetheless, it was probably at least somewhat successful in safeguarding doctors against illness.At the time of De Lorme's innovation, the most popular explanation for disease epidemics was miasma theory, which posited that outbreaks were caused by noxious vapours in the air. These fumes, produced by rotting waste or stagnant water, were thought to explain why many people in the same vicinity would fall ill around the same time.Still, despite the prominence of miasma theory in the medical community, even laypeople could see that the more closely someone interacted with a plague victim, the more likely they were to take ill themselves. In the 1500s and 1600s, some scientists began to think that diseases like plague might be spread by tiny particles that a sick person exhaled or that sloughed off a sick person's body.The plague doctor's ensemble responded to both of these theories of infection. The impenetrable clothing prevented the doctor from coming into contact with any contagious particles, and the tip of the mask's "beak" was filled with a mixture of herbs meant to purify the air the doctor was breathing.The types of plague that were circulating in the 17th and 18th centuries, when the plague doctor outfit was in use, were spread mostly by airborne respiratory droplets, similar to COVID-19. Although the beaked mask was no N-95 respirator, it might have slightly reduced the doctor's chances of inhaling these droplets.More significantly, the interconnected leather garments would have prevented plague bacteria from touching the doctor's skin, whence they could later be transported to his mouth, nose and eyes. Plague doctors also carried a rod that they used to examine patients from a safe distance, in a kind of enforced physical distancing.Whatever its effectiveness, the plague doctor's getup popularized the idea that protective clothing could play a role in preventing the spread of illness and paved the way for the protective equipment our medical professionals rely on in today's pandemic.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Parents and teachers continue to voice their concern about Quebec's back-to-school plan. On Sunday, about a hundred gathered outside the Montreal office of Quebec's Education Ministry, calling for stronger COVID-19 prevention measures. The protest was organized by a group of Quebec educators advocating for more progressive policies in education, the Travailleuses et travailleurs progressistes de l'éducation. The protesters say they want smaller class size and more custodian staff hired at the schools to regularly disinfect common spaces. "We think the idea of having upwards of 35 students per class in high schools is completely unrealistic," said Alex Pelchat, an organizer of the protest and a Grade 5 French and math teacher for the Centre de services scolaires de Montréal.Pelchat said classes should be reduced to about a third of their current size. "There is no way teachers will be able to clean everything themselves without additional budgets and additional human resources," he added.Earlier this month, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge unveiled the province's revised plan for elementary and high school students' return to school this fall. Students in Grade 5 and up must wear masks in common areas, except classrooms. Physical distancing will not be enforced in classrooms, though children must remain two metres away from teachers.The return to class is mandatory for all students unless they or a close family member present a doctor's note exempting them because of an underlying health condition. Those students will be allowed to access an online-learning program.Amid calls for smaller class sizes, teachers' unions have denounced a shortage of educators, pointing to hundreds of unfilled positions across the province.The Health Ministry has released a set of guidelines for doctors issuing medical exemption notes, including a list of medical conditions and severity levels that would qualify for a note.Paul Robichaud, whose children are going into Grade 7 and Grade 4 at English Montreal School Board schools, wants online-learning to be available to every family."I'm very, very worried. We have existing health conditions in our family that aren't on the list," Robichaud said, referring to the guidelines set out by the Health Ministry."If one of us catches COVID-19, it could be a disaster."Laura Wills, a mother of two children going into Grade 5 and Grade 2, says she worries about class sizes. "Every child has a life outside of school — a social life and a family life — and that bubble will be exponentially exposed to many other bubbles," she said.In an emailed statement to CBC, an Education Ministry spokesperson said there are no plans to further revise the back-to-school measures. "We understand some may have worries, but they have to trust our public health experts, who are in a better position than anybody to judge the efficiency of the measures we're putting in place," the statement said.Anti-maskers gather in Quebec CityIn Quebec City, a much larger crowd of about a thousand protested against children wearing masks in schools at all, saying it infringes on children's freedom.Conservative pundit Eric Duhaime co-organized the protest. He said although he believes the virus is real, the government's measures against it are "exaggerated.""Now, they're attacking 10-year-olds," Duhaime said. "What unites us is we don't want the government to touch our children, and putting a mask on a 10-year-old doesn't make sense."For most Quebec students, the new school year begins within the next week.
Would you use a see-through public washroom?Japan is giving park-goers the chance, with imaginative new transparent public restrooms courtesy of the Tokyo Toilet Project, a Nippon Foundation initiative supported by the local government. The clear glass box clouds over when users lock the door, giving them privacy, the group promises.The futuristic facilities were originally timed to debut during the now-postponed Summer Olympics.Japan has been steadily boosting its tourism numbers in recent years, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had set a target of 40 million inbound tourists in 2020. What would have been a record-breaking achievement has now collapsed under the coronavirus, with overseas visits to Japan down by 99.9 per cent in June compared with last year, according to the JTB Tourism Research and Consulting Co.'s latest findings.Public necessity meets performance artSixteen world-renowned architects — including four prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize winners — were tasked with reimagining restrooms, and the results merge public necessity with performance art.Shigeru Ban's translucent glass toilets are now open to the public in two Tokyo parks and drawing flocks of curious residents. "I've never seen a toilet like this anywhere in the world," said Yuki Kikuchi, who lives in the Shibuya neighbourhood. "At first, I didn't think this was an actual toilet people could use. It's nicer than the one in my apartment."Kikuchi's friend, Sho K., said he was wary about trusting the glass to cloud over. "When I saw it at first, I didn't trust it, I don't know, a gimmick or something," he said.Sachila Niroshani also expressed skepticism."I am a little afraid it would stop working and people would see me," she said.WATCH | The CBC's Katharine Starr on the reaction to the translucent toilets:Ban's purpose in designing the see-through toilets was to allow people to check that stalls were clean and empty before going in."There are two things we worry about when entering a public restroom, especially those located at a park," the architect's entry on the Tokyo Toilet Project website reads. "The first is cleanliness and the second is whether anyone is inside."Give young architects a chance, tooKevin Chan, an architect from Hong Kong, came to check out the toilets out of professional interest. He applauded the decision to focus on something as humble as a public restroom. "Architecture is not just for the rich; the public facilities are most important," he said.WATCH | Architect says such projects bring architecture to everyone:But Chan also had a suggestion for future projects."I think the country or the government have to give more chances, more opportunities, for young architects to make more innovative designs ... not just only find some famous architect to make a noise."The public toilets are indeed creating a stir — and contributing to an international image of Japan, Sho said."When people ask me what Japan is, I answer we are very creative and nerdy, very weird but creative," he said. "I thought, 'What the heck is this?' but I think it shows off Japan."
Tougher enforcement measures have been announced to deter people from flouting public health orders. Our political panel weighs in on whether the crackdown will work.
A 75-year-old book containing the thoughts, sketches and hopes of Holocaust survivors is the subject of a new virtual exhibit by the Victoria Shoah Project.Scrolling through the pages of the Theresienstadt Autograph Book, Richard Kool, a member of the Victoria Shoah Project, says he is struck by how hopeful it is."These people had all just survived this extraordinary event. They were among very, very few people who walked into concentration camps and came out alive," said Kool on CBC's All Points West. The book, which was created in 1945 just before the camp was liberated on May 8, contains about 40 pages of handwritten autographs, sketches and aphorisms from people in the Theresienstadt concentration camp and ghetto, located in a Nazi-occupied region of then-Czechoslovakia.It belonged to a Danish violinist named Mænni Ruben, a 21-year-old man who was sent to Theresienstadt with his family in 1943 by the occupying Nazis. They were among tens of thousands of other Jews from the Czech Republic, Austria, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands sent to the site.According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Theresienstadt mainly served as a transit site to deport people to further camps in Eastern Europe. Approximately 140,000 Jews were transferred to Theresienstadt, according to the museum, and nearly 90,000 were deported to other camps further east, where they faced almost certain death. Roughly 33,000 died in Theresienstadt itself.There were many artists, writers, professors, musicians, and actors at Theresienstadt. They attempted to create a rich cultural life at the site and hold clandestine schooling for children in the camp who were forbidden from receiving an education. The autograph book is a collection of these survivors' thoughts and memories, as well as hopes for the future. "They were great rabbis, religious leaders, composers of music, some of whom went on to very distinguished careers afterwards," said Kool. "They came out alive with their art, with their artistry, with their music and their ability to go back to a life of creativity."Ruben died in 1976 and his wife Susi Deston ended up remarrying and moving to Victoria. The Victoria Shoah Project received access to the book after Deston gave it to Rabbi Harry Brechner of Congregation Emanu-El for safe-keeping before her death in 2018.The Victoria Shoah Project has created an online exhibit with translations of the pages of the autograph book. The actual book is in the final stages of being donated to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.Listen to the segment on CBC's All Points West here:
Real Canadian Superstore and No Frills say starting Saturday, Aug. 29, masks or face coverings will be mandatory at all their locations across Canada, according to posts to customers on social media.A Vancouver Superstore location says there will be exemptions to the policy for children and people unable to wear masks due to medical reasons. The reactions online to the posts were mixed, but the two companies say they're doing it to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Loblaws, which owns the companies, previously said it has physical distancing and disinfection policies in place at its stores.The new mask policy will align them with other grocery chains like Walmart and sister brand, T & T, who already require their customers to wear masks. "We believe wearing a face mask or face covering is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19," said T & T CEO Tina Lee in the statement.Real Canadian Superstore has 28 locations around B.C., while No Frills has 23.There's no word on whether the policy will soon extend to other Loblaws companies like Shoppers Drug Mart, which requires masks in Alberta and Ontario where companies have been mandated to do so by local health authorities. Since April, workers at three Real Canadian Superstores and one No Frills in the Lower Mainland have tested positive for COVID-19.
Canadians are being warned to avoid some fresh peaches from a California company after a salmonella outbreak in the United States.The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued the Class 1 recall on Saturday.Prima Wawona, located in Fresno, Calif., has recalled fresh peaches with various brand names due to possible salmonella contamination. Various importers in Canada are also conducting a recall of the affected products.Various brand names on recall listThe recall report lists 11 different products with various labels, including Prima Sweet Value Wawona, Sweet 2 Eat, Sweet O, Wegmans and Extrafresh.The recall affects these specific products, mostly sold from June 1-Aug. 22.The peaches may have been sold loose or in bulk, with or without a brand name. They might also have been repackaged into a variety of formats.The advisory was triggered by a similar recall in the U.S. by Prima Wawona. On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out a food safety alert for certain peaches.As of Sunday, there were 68 reported cases in nine states, with 14 hospitalizations and zero deaths.The CFIA is also conducting an investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. People are being urged to check whether they have these peaches in their home or restaurant. They should be thrown out or returned to the location where they were purchased, according to the CFIA.Food contaminated with salmonella might not look or smell spoiled but can cause sickness, the recall said. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may contract "serious and sometimes deadly infections," while others might experience short-term symptoms like fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Other recent outbreaksThis outbreak comes after 13 salmonella cases were confirmed in New Brunswick between June and July, but it is unclear how they started.The province's health department said the cases were not related to the more than 300 Canadians who became ill from salmonella, which have been linked to a recall of U.S. grown red onions.Class 1 recalls are considered "high-risk" since the product is available for sale or could be in people's homes.MORE TOP STORIES
The U.S. Postal Service said on Sunday that a bill passed by the Democratic-led House of Representatives would hamper its ability to "improve service to the American people" and assured it could handle mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 presidential election. The House voted on Saturday to provide the cash-strapped Postal Service with $25 billion and block policy changes that have stirred concerns that it would botch the handling of an unprecedented surge in pandemic-driven mail-in balloting. President Donald Trump has strongly criticized the measure and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned the Senate would "absolutely not pass" the stand-alone bill.
Warning: This story contains graphic detailsIt happened at the end of a long shift serving tables at Earls restaurant in Regina.Mary, not her real name, stopped by the general manager's office to hand over cash and credit card slips."I asked him if there was anything else he wanted me to do before leaving work, and he goes, 'Just suck my c—k and you'll be good,'" she said.Mary is one of 17 women who came forward last month and accused Jim Demeray, a high-profile mental health advocate and former restaurant manager, of verbally sexually harassing young female staff on a daily basis during his time at two Earls restaurants in Regina.Demeray, who has since resigned from his mental health position, called the allegations "baseless and untrue.""That was a slap in the face. Honestly he could have said, 'I'm sorry. I worked in the restaurant industry, it was six years ago, I've changed, I've grown.' But he didn't," Mary said.But in an era when so many apologies are fraught with defensiveness and denial, would "sorry" make a difference? Does one man's resignation lead to any systemic change?If one measures the success of the MeToo movement by taking "a head count of the number of prominent people who have been fired, sued, prosecuted, or forced to resign as a result of MeToo claims … the movement is certainly a failure," said law professor and former employment lawyer Charlotte Anderson.> We have seen a lot of public apologies that are slippery, sleazy, dishonest, gaslighting and really totally void of accountability. \- Dr. Harriet Lerner, psychologist and authorThe list of shamed men may seem long — movie producer Harvey Weinstein, presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi, former Canadian senator Don Meredith, Toronto theatre founder Albert Schultz and more — but in reality the number of people who have been held accountable on some level is a tiny fraction of those who have perpetuated sexual harassment and unwelcome sexual behaviour in the workplace.Anderson decided to study more than 200 public statements made by people accused of work-related sexual harassment and misconduct since the MeToo movement began in October 2017 to determine whether their words offer any hint of individual or structural change."The text offers up little hope," Anderson concluded in her paper, "Sorry (Not Sorry): Decoding MeToo Defences," slated for publication this fall in The Texas Law Review.She found only a third of statements including an apology of any kind, and most included denials or defences.A breakdown of her findings in a moment, but first, why apologies matter.Don't ask for forgiveness, says psychologistDr. Harriet Lerner is a psychologist and author of Why Won't You Apologize? Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts."When done right, the apology is deeply healing," said Lerner. "A good apology can help free the hurt person from life-draining anger, bitterness and pain. It validates their reality."Lerner says people resist giving apologies because we're all "wired for defensiveness.""There are certain emotions that we are wired to try to deny or avoid, like shame, like guilt," she said. "We need to protect a certain image of our own self and defensiveness is part of surviving in this world… It really gets us into trouble when we need to apologize."Actor Kevin Spacey's apology triggered even more anger. The two-time Oscar winner was accused of trying to seduce actor Anthony Rapp when he was just 14 years old.Spacey posted on Twitter, "[I]f I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology," then went on to say he didn't remember the alleged encounter from 30 years earlier and would have been drunk.Then, Spacey chose that moment to come out as gay, which was slammed by many in the LGBTQ community who said it distracted from the allegations of sexual assault.Lerner says most people muck up their apologies by inserting explanations, 'ifs' and 'buts,' and by asking for forgiveness."In a real apology, one doesn't ask for forgiveness. A real apology does not ask the hurt party to do anything, not even to forgive," she said.The psychologist hasn't been impressed by the flood of public apologies, and non-apologies, in the MeToo era."We have seen a lot of public apologies that are slippery, sleazy, dishonest, gaslighting and really totally void of accountability," she said.Defences and DenialsIn Charlotte Anderson's research, she separated 219 public statements into four categories — full admission, full denial, defence, and other — then she examined the text for apologies, emotion, authenticity, and any acknowledgement of structural issues, such as power imbalances and the need for change.Even statements that had apologies, often included a defence too.Among the most popular defences, the accused would argue that there was a difference in perception of what happened, that the accused's actions were not violent, not illegal, and had not resulted in any previous complaints, that it was a joke or that "times have changed."The "it was a different time" defence was put forward most famously by movie producer (and now convicted rapist) Harvey Weinstein in 2017 in response to multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment."I came of age in the '60s and '70s, when all the rules about behaviour and workplaces were different. That was the culture then," said Weinstein.WATCH | Advocate for sexual assault survivors explains why apologies matter:Anderson also found that more than half of the statements extolled the accused person's accomplishments or framed him as an "ally" of the women's movement, feminism and the MeToo movement generally.For example, when TV icon Charlie Rose was accused by eight women of unwelcome sexual advances, including exposing himself and groping, he issued a statement that positioned himself as a champion of women in the workplace, and suggested there were different perceptions of what happened."In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked," Rose said. "[T]hough I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken."Comedian Louis C.K. issued a 10-paragraph statement that confirmed allegations of sexual misconduct were true. Critics noted that he didn't actually apologize and managed to insert four times how much he was admired.Road to RedemptionOne of Regina's feistiest feminists and most vocal advocates for sexual assault survivors gets a little frustrated when men who have been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment can't seem to take responsibility and apologize."We need people to be accountable. 'I'm sorry I did this. I didn't know better then, I do know better now. And, I will be better,'" Jill Arnott said, offering up her own script.Arnott, the executive director of the University of Regina Women's Centre, yearns for apologies and introspection because she believes it's one of the first steps toward meaningful change.The MeToo movement has reverberated through Regina this summer with several high-profile men being accused of sexual misconduct — including a mayoral candidate, a musician, and leaders in the nonprofit community. An Instagram account has contributed to that by inviting anonymous accusers to name Regina men who they allege assaulted, harassed or abused them.The focus on redemption for sexual harassers can irk some advocates who see it as more evidence that society cares less about the pain and trauma inflicted on victims than about the careers and reputations of men.But Arnott believes merely casting a handful of men aside as pariahs won't achieve deep changes within the patriarchal culture that perpetuates sexism. "I don't want to live in a world where redemption isn't possible and where we don't have space for people to learn to be better once they know," Arnott said. "There has to be room for change or what are we doing this for? Why are we talking about it?""People can't undo the things they did but what they can do is pursue something better. Acknowledge it. Apologize. Right? And then pursue something better," Arnott said.Need more than public statements and shamingNeither Dr. Harriet Lerner nor professor Charlotte Anderson see knocking a powerful man off his pedestal, or receiving a public apology, as a benchmark for progress in the MeToo movement."Public apologies are performances," said Lerner. "At the time of a public apology, the wrongdoer wants to save his own skin. That is a perfectly normal human impulse. But the person that the wrongdoer feels genuinely sorry for is himself."And if those apologies are performances, then Anderson would rate them as bad ones.She said her bleak findings reveal that there is still a lack of awareness of what counts as sexual harassment, how engrained it is in our society and institutions, and what actions must be taken to stamp it out."'Take downs' have become a distraction ... a sideshow," she said. "The real work has got to be rolling up our sleeves and looking at the assumptions of what it means to be a woman at work, and what it means to be a man at work."
Among Erin O'Toole's jobs in the military was navigating a Sea King helicopter over the skies of Canada, and now he takes on the challenge of journeying through political terrain as the new leader of the federal Conservative party. For the next five years, he steadily built up his political profile, including as veterans affairs minister. In the wake of the 2015 election that saw the Conservatives lose power, he decided to take a run at the top job when it became vacant after the resignation of Stephen Harper.
Workers at Dominion grocery stores across the province are on the picket line after they overwhelmingly rejected the latest contract offered by parent company Loblaw.Workers, who have been without a contract since October 2019 and were prepared to strike as early as July 31. The initial strike was avoided just hours before the July 31 deadline when a tentative deal was reached.Members of Unifor Local 597, which represents Dominion workers, voted overwhelmingly to reject the contract offer made by Loblaw, and began strike action at 10:01 p.m. Saturday night.> "Make a call, we are ready." \- Carolyn WriceIn a news release, Unifor President Jerry Dias said the contract made gains in some areas, but the monetary offer fell short, leading to a strike.Unifor Local 597 President Carolyn Wrice said they are calling for more full-time jobs as more than 80 per cent of the workers are part-time. In 2019, 60 full-time jobs were converted into part-time positions."Fair wages, good benefits, full-time jobs. They need stability," Wrice told reporters standing in an empty parking lot outside a Dominion store in Mount Pearl."The members want to show their employer that they mean business, they want a good collective agreement."The call for a strike began in June after Dominion's parent company, Loblaw Companies Limited, ended a $2-an-hour wage increase for essential workers during the pandemic. Wrice said when COVID-19 started the company vocalized their appreciation for their employees during a difficult time but said it doesn't feel like that now. "The majority of our workers are barely making over minimum wage. We have a lot of single parents that are trying to raise families, it's hard to do," she said.There are about 1400 members and workers are striking at 11 locations across the province.In a statement, unifor said the pharmacies in the Dominions will remain open. "Picketers will not prevent customers from getting their prescriptions and... medical staff will be allowed access at locations that have health clinics," read the statement.As for when the employees will go back to work, Wrice said that's up to the employer. "Make a call, we are ready, we are ready to sit back at the table."In an emailed statement Sunday, a spokesperson for Loblaw said the company believes the tentative agreement they had with the union was fair and addressed important issues."We are disappointed that this agreement was not accepted by our colleagues, despite being recommended by their union," the statement read. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
A Danish journalist working on a documentary about Indigenous resistance to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in British Columbia was banned from entering Canada, despite presenting press credentials and a 14-day quarantine plan.Kristian Lindhardt was forced to board a flight back to Copenhagen from the Vancouver airport on Saturday afternoon, after a day of questioning from border officials, B.C. news website The Tyee first reported."Have been denied entry into Canada despite all press accreditation and paperwork in order. Should continue [my] documentary and coverage for [DR P1, a Danish news radio station] how the Canadian government uses COVID-19 to condense oil projects in secret and step on Indigenous people. Concerned about press freedom," he said on social media, in a post which has been translated from Danish to English."It is an important issue for democratic rights and freedom of the press in the midst of the climate and coronavirus crisis."Journalists must prove they need to be in Canada, CBSA saysThe Canada Border Services Agency declined to comment on Lindhardt's specific case, but said that all optional or discretionary travel into Canada by non-residents, like tourism, is currently banned to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic."Seeking entry for a professional visit as a journalist may be considered non-discretionary/non-optional provided there is a requirement for the journalist to be physically in Canada. The foreign national must clearly demonstrate and substantiate why they need to be in Canada to carry out the journalistic activity in order to be considered as coming to Canada for a non-discretionary purpose," a CBSA official said in an emailed statement.The CBSA also said anyone entering Canada must quarantine for 14 days upon entering the country. But Susan Bibbings, a long-time friend of Lindhardt, said he presented press credentials and made the arrangements to spend his 14-day quarantine period in a self-contained suite at her home in west Vancouver before travelling north to Tsleil-Waututh reserve land.Bibbings said Lindhardt had documentation from his employer DR (the Danish Broadcasting Corporation) and a letter from Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sundance Chief Rueben George explaining the necessity of his trip."Kristian had done all of his homework to make sure he could enter into Canada during the current pandemic," she said."He was pulled aside at the very last moment before exiting the airport and was questioned for four hours by immigration regarding the reason for him coming and the subject matter of the journalism that he was hoping to be reporting on."Bibbings said it appeared to Lindhardt that the border officer was skeptical of his press credentials and took exception to the subject matter of his journalism, even going so far as to conduct a lengthy phone call with George questioning the reason for Lindhardt's visit. George said he told the border officer that Lindhardt needed to conduct his journalism in person, to witness the continuing work on the pipeline expansion to tell their story to a non-First Nations audience."[The border guard], he's saying 'why now? Why not later?' Well, there might not be a later, because a spill happened while [Lindhardt] was away a month ago and … construction's still going on, we're still forced to go deal with our Supreme Court. So they're not stopping," George said.Both George and Bibbings said that the border guard told Lindhardt that after consultation with Ottawa, where the CBSA is headquartered, the decision was made that he would have to return to Denmark. The CBSA told CBC News that upon arrival, travellers must demonstrate that their travel is not discretionary, and that decisions by CBSA officers are made on a case-by-case basis.Journalists are not explicitly listed on the Chief Public Health Officer's list of essential services that are exempt from the travel restriction, but technicians who maintain critical infrastructure like pipelines are included."I appreciate it's a pandemic but there are many crises that are more serious than this. And to use that as an excuse to deny international press into the country is really appalling," Bibbings said."This really begs the deeper question of the conflict of interest of the Canadian government owning a pipeline expansion project."The federal government purchased the pipeline project for $4.5 billion. It currently moves 300,000 barrels of crude oil each day between Alberta and the B.C. coast, and the expansion would increase its capacity to 890,000 barrels a day.Work on the project is currently underway.In July, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from a group of First Nations in B.C. looking to challenge the federal government's second approval of the project, due to what they said was a lack of Indigenous consultation."There's very little coverage within Canadian media about the growing opposition to this pipeline … so it takes international coverage to draw attention to this issue, of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous opposition to the pipeline, when we're in the middle of a climate emergency," Bibbings said.CBC has reached out to Lindhardt and DR for comment and has yet to receive a response.
Kellyanne Conway, one of President Donald Trump’s most influential and longest serving advisers, announced Sunday that she would be leaving the White House at the end of the month. Conway, Trump’s campaign manager during the stretch run of the 2016 race, was the first woman to successfully steer a White House bid, then became a senior counsellor to the president. Conway cited a need to spend time with her four children in a resignation letter she posted Sunday night.
Penticton, B.C. fire chief Larry Watkinson said on Sunday during an update on the wildfires burning in the province that the threat to homes and businesses from the Christie Mountain wildfire was "pretty limited" because of the work done ahead of time. He said they raised the humidity around the homes in the vicinity of the fire to the point they haven't seen other ignitions aside from small brushes they were able to extinguish. He added they had fires burn up to lines they established but it did not ignite the homes.