LANSING, Mich. — President Donald Trump did not ask Michigan Republican lawmakers to “break the law” or “interfere” with the election during a meeting at the White House, a legislative leader said Sunday, a day before canvassers plan to meet about whether to certify Joe Biden's 154,000-vote victory in the battleground state.House Speaker Lee Chatfield was among seven GOP legislators who met with Trump for about an hour on Friday, amid his longshot efforts to block Biden's win.“There was this outrage that the president was going to ask us to break the law, he was going to ask us to interfere, and that just simply didn't happen,” he told Fox News of the highly unusual meeting. He did not elaborate on what was discussed, except to say the delegation asked for additional federal aid to help Michigan's coronavirus response.Michigan’s elections agency has recommended that the Nov. 3 results — including Biden's 2.8-percentage point victory — be certified by the Board of State Canvassers, which has two Democrats and two Republicans. The Republican National Committee and the state Republican Party want the board to adjourn for 14 days to investigate alleged irregularities in Wayne County, the state's largest and home to Detroit.Staff for the state elections bureau said that claimed irregularities, even if verified, would not significantly affect the outcome. The Michigan Democratic Party said the total number of Detroit votes implicated by imbalanced precincts — where the number of ballots does not equal the number of names on the pollbook — is at most 450, or “0.029% of the margin” separating Biden from Trump.“The certification process must not be manipulated to serve as some sort of retroactive referendum on the expressed will of the voters. That is simply not how democracy works,” chairwoman Lavora Barnes wrote to the board on Sunday.If the board does not confirm the results and the Michigan Supreme Court does not subsequently order it to do so, Chatfield said “now we have a constitutional crisis." He and other Republicans, however, have indicated that they would not undermine the voters' will.“Michigan election law clearly requires that the state’s electors must be those nominated by the party that received the most votes — not the Legislature,” says a stock email House Republicans are sending in response to people who contact their offices.Experts on Michigan election law have said the state board's authority is limited in scope and that it must certify the results now that all 83 counties have reported theirs to the state. There is concern, though, because Trump personally called the two Republicans on Wayne County's board last week and they said a day later that they were rescinding their previous vote — following an earlier deadlock — but it was too late.Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Republican who met with Trump, suggested in a Sunday tweet that the state canvassers might “take the full time allowed by law to perform their duties" instead of voting Monday and said “it's inappropriate for anyone to exert pressure on them."The deadline is Dec. 13, but that is five days after the federal “safe harbour” date — when Congress cannot challenge any electors named by that date in accordance with state law.There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. In fact, election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went well and international observers confirmed that there were no serious irregularities.The issues Trump’s campaign and its allies have pointed to are typical in every election.Republican U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan's current longest-serving member of Congress, told CNN on Sunday that “the voters spoke" and the state had no razor-thin presidential race.“No one has come up with any evidence of fraud or abuse,” he said. He called the request to delay the certification “out of bounds.”The trip to the White House has come under heavy scrutiny. The lawmakers stayed at the luxury Trump International Hotel, and two of them were photographed with expensive drinks at the hotel bar after the meeting.Spokespeople for Shirkey and Chatfield said the legislators covered their expenses and that no taxpayer money was used. However, they did not say if the men paid for the trip themselves or if it was paid for in some other way such as by them tapping into their non-profit “administrative” accounts that can accept contributions from corporate or other donors.Finding out about who runs such lawmaker-connected organizations, who donates to them and what the money is spent on can be extremely difficult, according to a 2016 joint investigation by MLive and the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. Such accounts can be used to reimburse legislators for travel.___Follow David Eggert: https://twitter.com/DavidEggert00David Eggert, The Associated Press
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Kevin Molino scored two goals, Robin Lod added another and Minnesota United beat the Colorado Rapids 3-0 on Sunday night for the first playoff victory in franchise history.Fourth-seeded Minnesota, unbeaten in its last nine games, will play top-seeded Sporting Kansas City in the conference semifinals. Sporting beat San Jose in a shootout earlier Sunday.Molino rolled a left-footer from the top of the area inside to post to open the scoring in the 22nd minute.Dayne St. Clair, a 23-year old in his first playoff appearance, had six saves for Minnesota.Lod ran onto a long through ball from Emanuel Reynoso at the top of the area, cut back to evade a defender and flicked in a left-footed side-netter to make it 2-0 in the 54th minute. Jan Gregus tapped a cross to a charging Molino who chipped it over sliding goalkeeper William Yarbrough to cap the scoring in the 79th.Molino also scored twice in Minnesota's 3-0 win over Dallas in the regular-season finale.Colorado had won three in a row heading into the playoffs.The Associated Press
EDMONTON — A member of Jason Kenney's cabinet is backtracking on a comment that seemed to suggest Alberta was waiting for hospitals to reach their limit before tightening COVID-19 restrictions. The move comes amid mounting calls for the premier to impose tougher public health measures. Jason Luan, the associate minister of mental health and addictions, says he was wrong to suggest that anyone is waiting until the system reaches capacity. In an online town hall on Friday, he said that the province was waiting to see where hospital capacity and intensive care units "will be pushed to our limit, and then gradually reduce more activities that way." In a social media post on Sunday, he said the government is "making evidence-based decisions" based on expert advice from the top doctor "to avoid getting to that point." COVID-19 cases have been rising at an alarming rate for weeks in Alberta, but it still has no mandatory mask directive and bars and restaurants remain open for in-person service. Luan said Sunday that he is not a spokesperson or involved in any decision making around introducing new restrictions or increasing hospital capacity. "I truly regret any confusion my statement has caused. My responsibility during this pandemic has been to ensure that mental health and addiction services are available for all Albertans," Luan wrote. "I encourage all Albertans to follow the public health restrictions. Wear a mask. Avoid unnecessary contacts. Together, we can get through this." NDP Opposition Health Critic David Shepherd responded that if Luan's remarks on Friday weren't true, Kenney needs to say what the real thresholds for action are. Shepherd also rejected Luan's claim that he is not a spokesperson. “This is an unforgivable attempt to duck responsibility by a cabinet minister,” Shepherd said. “As the associate minister of health, Luan is absolutely a spokesperson and a decision maker and he gave Albertans false information about the government’s response to COVID-19.” Another member of Kenney's United Conservative caucus was also criticized in recent days for a flyer that was mailed to constituents last week claiming the worst of the pandemic was over. Alberta reported 1,584 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the fourth straight day the province announced a record-breaking number of new cases, and more than 12,000 cases were active. In a statement on her Facebook page on Saturday, Miranda Rosin said the newsletter was sent to print in early fall when Alberta's active cases were still below 2,000. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2020. The Canadian Press
Les membres de la communauté autochtone Wolf Lake sont une centaine à habiter au sud du Témiscamingue et à North Bay, et environ 140 vivent ailleurs au Canada. S'ils sont aussi dispersés, c'est parce qu'ils n'ont pas de territoire attribué, bien que Wolf Lake soit reconnu en tant que Première Nation. Pour pallier ce manque, le centre de santé et de bien-être Mahingan Sagahigan (Wolf Lake en langue algonquine) situé à Témiscaming se propose comme l'élément rassembleur de la communauté. En offrant des services touchant aux domaines de la santé, de la culture et du sport, l'équipe veille à ce que les 240 membres anichinabés et leur famille immédiate soient bien servis. Un centre tout-en-un « On donne des soins qui sont culturellement adaptés, c'est-à-dire que chacun d’eux est axé sur la culture, qui est au centre de tout. On intègre le mental, le spirituel, le physique et l'émotionnel », explique Jessie Bond, gérante de programme au centre et infirmière. Native de Témiscaming et membre de Wolf Lake First Nation, elle a joint le centre Mahingan Sagahigan il y a trois ans afin de retrouver ses origines et redonner à sa communauté. Lorsqu'elle a débuté au centre, celui-ci était établi déjà depuis quelques années, mais l'offre de service se limitait à la santé et au transport médical. Maintenant, en plus de ces services, des activités culturelles sont organisées, des guérisseurs traditionnels sont invités, de l'aide alimentaire est distribuée à une soixantaine de famille et un accès à des entraînements physiques est offert. En santé, le centre fait de la prévention et accompagne ses membres dans leurs défis en santé mentale, dépendances et tabagisme. Une psychologue native de Timiskaming First Nation voit des patients deux fois par mois et une hygiéniste dentaire sera aussi prochainement disponible. La culture, pandémie ou non À la fin de l'été, les membres de la communauté avaient droit à une série de sept ateliers virtuels sur une variété de pratiques traditionnelles. La pêche, la cuisine, la cueillette de baie et la fabrication de paniers ne sont que quelques exemples. Pour tous les ateliers nécessitant du matériel, le centre Mahingan Sagahigan avait tout prévu : des boîtes contenant le nécessaire étaient distribuées aux gens de la région et d'autres étaient envoyées par la poste pour ceux habitant à l'extérieur. « C'était notre moyen de livrer notre programmation malgré la pandémie », souligne Jessie Bond. Elle a aussi constaté avec joie que la livraison des ateliers « en boîte » permettait aux membres de Wolf Lake ailleurs au Canada de s'intégrer plus facilement que lorsque les cours se donnaient en personne. Un endroit juste pour eux Près d'un an d'efforts plus tard, l'un des projets les plus marquants pour madame Bond verra le jour prochainement : l'inauguration d'un healing lodge (pavillon de ressourcement) et d'un site culturel sur une terre près de la ZEC de Kipawa. Ce sera l'endroit idéal pour que les membres de la communauté puissent finalement se rassembler et tisser des liens intergénérationnels. « Ce qu'on veut, c'est ramener le monde sur le territoire. On pense que cette connexion est super importante pour la guérison de la communauté. On veut aussi commencer à montrer à nos enfants des choses qui ont été perdues justement parce que Wolf Lake n'a pas de réserve et que nous sommes dispersés. Beaucoup de savoirs traditionnels et de cérémonies ont été oubliés parce que nous n'avons pas eu la chance d'avoir cette transmission de savoir », estime la gérante de programme. Par exemple, l'équipe souhaite offrir de l'enseignement de pêche sur glace et de fabrication de raquettes traditionnelles pour l'hiver à venir. Les échanges entre les jeunes et les aînés de la communauté pourront aussi se faire plus naturellement à ce lieu. Le pavillon sera en quelque sorte un cercle de partage. Une travailleuse sociale sera sur place si des dialogues sont plus difficiles pour certains. « C'est comme avoir une approche traditionnelle et d'ajouter un peu de moderne en même temps », constate Jessie Bond. Un statut particulier Bien que les réserves autochtones soient controversées, madame Bond considère qu'obtenir un territoire officiel serait bénéfique pour la Première Nation de Wolf Lake. L'accès au financement de soins de santé adaptés à la réalité autochtone serait plus simple et la vie culturelle serait enrichie si les membres étaient tous réunis. La Nation est toujours en processus de revendication particulière de territoire (négociation) avec le gouvernement fédéral. À venir Récemment, le Mahingan Sagahigan Health and Wellness Centre inaugurait une petite bibliothèque dans ses locaux où des auteurs autochtones garnissent les étagères. Une première planification stratégique est en route et des ressources culturellement adaptées pour contrer l'intimidation dans les écoles sont en développement. Plusieurs projets sont sur la table pour 2021 et viendront donc s'ajouter à l'éventail de services offerts pour la communauté.Bianca Sickini-Joly, Initiative de journalisme local, Reflet Témiscamien (Le)
VANCOUVER — A hearing continues today in the extradition case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested at the Vancouver airport in 2018 at the request of American officials. B.C. Supreme Court heard last week the border officer who led Meng's immigration exam before her arrest doesn't believe RCMP asked him to collect the passcodes to her phones. Sowmith Katragadda told an evidence-gathering hearing he couldn't recall where the idea came from. The court has heard the passcodes were collected as part of the border exam process and shared with the Mounties by mistake, along with Meng's electronic devices. Meng is wanted in the United States on fraud charges based on allegations related to American sanctions against Iran that both she and Chinese tech giant Huawei deny. Her lawyers are collecting information they hope will support their allegation that Canadian officers improperly gathered evidence under the guise of a routine border exam. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2020. The Canadian Press
With more and more parts of the country imposing restrictions and implementing lockdowns to try and stop the second wave of COVID-19, small business owners are worried about surviving the economic crisis even as a new aid program launches Nov. 23. Grace Ke reports.
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan is resigning. Khan, who has led the party since 2017, will be accepting a new employment opportunity in law, the party said in a release emailed Sunday evening. Khan said it has been an honour to serve the party. "During my time as Alberta Liberal Leader, we were powerful advocates on significant issues including regulating Political Action Committees, remediating orphan wells, eliminating school segregation rooms, and addressing the 'red alerts' crisis with EMS," he said. "We pushed the provincial government to take action on these matters of concern to Albertans. We also raised awareness and grew support for Universal Basic Income, and the necessity of a sales tax. I was proud to advance these forward-thinking ideas to improve the lives of Albertans." Khan was born and raised in Calgary. He is the first openly gay leader of a major Alberta political party, and is a lawyer specializing in Indigenous rights and land-claims litigation In the 2019 election, Khan finished fourth in his riding of Calgary-Mountain View, with 5.6 per cent of the vote. The Liberals were once the province's official Opposition, but after a high of 32 seats in 1993, the party suffered from ups and downs until it fell to third-party status in the legislature in 2012 and elected only one member in 2015. The party thanked Khan, noting in the release he "developed bold new policies, modernized party operations and recruited a new generation of young Albertans to the Alberta Liberal Party." The party said its board of directors will meet soon to decide on next steps.
BAIE-COMEAU, Que. — Brandon Frattaroli scored twice while Nathael Roy scored the shootout-winning goal as the Baie-Comeau Drakkar vanquished the Val-d'Or Foreurs 3-2 in Baie-Comeau on Sunday afternoon.Frattaroli scored his first of the game in the second period, before scoring the game-tying goal with 10:01 to play in the third. Jacob Gaucher and Marshall Lessard scored for the Foreurs.Roy and Julien Hebert scored in the shootout for Baie-Comeau. Justin Ducharme scored in the shootout for Val-d'Or.Olivier Ciarlo turned aside 31 shots for Baie-Comeau. William Blackburn saved 16 shots for Val-d'Or. Val-d'Or outshot Baie-Comeau 33-18. The Drakkar (4-8-0) went 1-for-2 on the power play. The Foreurs (7-1-4) went 0-for-3 with the man advantage.ARMADA 4 VOLTIGEURS 1BOISBRIAND -- The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada defeated the Drummondville Voltigeurs 4-1 in Blainville-Boisbriand on Sunday evening. Luke Henman, Alexis Gendron, Yaroslav Likhachev and Zachary Roy also scored for the Armada.HUSKIES 3 OCÉANIC 2RIMOUSKI -- The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies defeated the Rimouski Océanic 3-2 in Rimouski on Sunday afternoon. Xavier Bouchard scored the game winning goal for the Huskies at 13:26 of the third period.OLYMPIQUES 3 SAGUENÉENS 2 (OT)CHICOUTIMI -- The Gatineau Olympiques beat the Chicoutimi Saguenéens 3-2 in overtime in Chicoutimi on Sunday afternoon. Samuel Savoie scored the game winning goal for the Olympiques at 2:44 of overtime.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2020.The Canadian Press
Alberta's associate minister of mental health and addictions said he misrepresented government policy in a town hall when he said the province was waiting for hospital capacity to be pushed to the limit before announcing further restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19."Our criteria is measured against our hospital capacity to handle ICUs and hospitalizations. So we're waiting to see where that threshold will be pushed to our limit and then gradually reduce more activities that way," Jason Luan said during the virtual town hall for his Calgary-Foothills constituency, in a video posted to social media. However, Luan said in a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday that his comments were inaccurate."Yes, hospital capacity is a critical consideration in any COVID-19 response … but I was incorrect in suggesting anyone is waiting until we are pushed to the limit," he wrote.Luan said the government is making evidence-based decisions, based on recommendations of public health officials, to avoid getting to that point. He said he regrets any confusion his statement caused and said he is not involved in making decisions around new restrictions or hospital capacity.Luan's comments come as Alberta hits new record high COVID-19 case numbers, with some of the fewest restrictions but highest infection rates in the country. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, had said Friday that the impact of the province's most recently introduced restrictions — put into place last Friday — would start to be seen this weekend. Instead, cases have continued to rise dramatically.On Sunday, the province saw 1,584 more people test positive, for a total of 12,195 active cases (both new records).That's more new cases than were reported in Ontario on Sunday, which has more than three times Alberta's population. Toronto and Peel region will introduce further restrictions Monday, including limiting retail to curbside pickup or delivering, closing indoor and outdoor dining, and prohibiting indoor gatherings. Alberta saw record hospitalizations as well with 319 people in hospital, 60 in intensive care (the province has 70 ICU beds for COVID-19 patients). A total of 471 Albertans have died.Opposition to seek emergency debateThe spiking cases and lack of new restrictions prompted a trending Twitter hashtag — WhereIsKenney — drawing attention to the fact Premier Jason Kenney, who is self isolating, hasn't made a public appearance by phone or video call in days. CBC News reached out to both the premier's office and health minister's office for comment Sunday, and did not receive a response. Alberta Health said Dr. Hinshaw would next be available to answer questions from media on Monday afternoon.Kenney had posted on social media Saturday asking Albertans to do their part and stay home if sick, wash their hands and wear a mask."As Dr. Hinshaw says, COVID-19 is deadly serious. Albertans, we can slow the spread and protect one another, but only if all of us together do the right things," he wrote. The Opposition said in an emailed release Sunday that it would be seeking an emergency debate Monday to call for action to slow the coronavirus' spread. "This is the greatest public health threat we have faced in our lives," said Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley in the release. "We have seen premiers across the country address the public in recent days and provide modelling and other information that makes it clear just how big of a threat COVID-19 is. In Alberta, we've seen nothing of the sort."Opposition Health Critic David Shepherd said that if Luan's remarks on Friday weren't true, Kenney needs to say what the real thresholds for action are.Shepherd also rejected Luan's claim that he is not a spokesperson."This is an unforgivable attempt to duck responsibility by a cabinet minister," Shepherd said. "As the associate minister of health, Luan is absolutely a spokesperson and a decision maker and he gave Albertans false information about the government's response to COVID-19."
The Dukling, a traditional Chinese junk boat frequently spotted around Hong Kong's picturesque Victoria Harbour, has readjusted its tour routes to survive the coronavirus pandemic, now mainly catering to locals. Its 12 staff serve mainly foreign tourists looking to see Hong Kong's glitzy skyline from a different angle. "This disease has had a massive impact on the entire planet and Hong Kong is really dependent on trade and tourism,” said Li, seated in the wooden boat.
More than 2,000 people have signed an online petition demanding that students at Dawson College not be forced to do in-person exams at the end of term.Most of the school's end-of-term tests will be done online, but a handful of science programs have decided to schedule on-site exams.The student union has come out in opposition to the plan, saying it puts students at risk, especially as COVID-19 cases in Montreal continue to rise."It is in a red zone, we cannot possibly go in school in the centre of this pandemic," said Kevin Contant-Holowatyj, chair of the Dawson Student Union.The union released a statement saying that student health should come first."Finals are already a stressful time for students, and we believe that having to be in a room with other students can augment the stress to many of the student population. While we understand that some students and faculty may be concerned with academic integrity, this cannot outweigh in any way the risk of contracting the virus," reads the statement.The petition, which has a goal of 2,500, had more than 2,100 virtual signatures as of Sunday evening.Dawson students also circulated a petition asking for online exams in the summer term, which only garnered 500 signatures.For its part, Dawson said the decision to hold some exams in-person was made to protect academic integrity, and was done in consultation with public health experts.It said the decision could be revisited if new health concerns come to light.
JANESVILLE, Wis. — U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, according to a statement from the Republican lawmaker, who represents Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district.The congressman said he began experiencing mild symptoms over the weekend and contacted his health care provider while at home in Janesville, Wisconsin.Steil said he spent all of last week working in Washington, D.C.“Following CDC guidelines, I am immediately quarantining and will continue serving the people of Southeast Wisconsin from my home in Janesville,” he said.Steil was first elected in 2018 and held on to his seat in November for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district, which includes Kenosha and Racine counties and portions of Milwaukee, Rock, Walworth and Waukesha counties.The Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Tim Melia stopped all three of San Jose's shootout attempts and Sporting Kansas City converted all of its tries to beat the Earthquakes on Sunday after they finished overtime tied at 3 in the Western Conference semifinals.Top-seeded Sporting advanced to face play No. 4 Minnesota or No. 5 Colorado.Gianluca Busio scored in the first minute of stoppage time to give Sporting Kansas City a 3-2 lead, but Chris Wondolowski scored about six minutes later, heading home a high cross to the far post by Cristian Espinoza to force extra time. It was just the second career playoff goal for Wondolowski, who has an MLS-record 166 goals in the regular season.In the shootout, Johnny Russell opened the tiebreaker with a goal, Melia stopped Oswaldo Alanís, and Ilie Sánchez connected for Sporting. Jackson Yueill was stopped, Khiry Shelton scored, and Melia stopped Espinoza to end it.Melia is 6-0 in shootouts. The 34-year old goalkeeper went into the match allowing goals on just 54% (14 of 26) of the penalty kicks he’s faced, the lowest percentage in MLS history.Kansas City's Roger Espinoza opened the scoring in the fourth minute. Carlos Fierro answered in the 22nd, and Shea Salinas scored in the 34th minute to give the Earthquakes a 2-1 lead.Sánchez put away a corner kick by Busio in the 47th minute. It was the 10th goal off a corner kick by Sporting Kansas City this season, most in MLS.The Associated Press
A man was sprayed with a sensory irritant at a Halifax Transit terminal in Halifax on Sunday morning.Police responded to 320 Lacewood Drive after receiving a call at 11:25 a.m. According to a police release, a man who was not known to the victim sprayed him with an unknown substance before fleeing toward the nearby Canada Games Centre.He entered a vehicle described as a Toyota or a Nissan and left the area.Following the incident, a friend of the victim helped him flush his eyes. No one else in the area was injured.The suspect is described by police as large male wearing black pants and a red hooded sweater.A similar incident occurred at Shoppers Drug Mart on Quinpool Road on Nov. 10. Several people were affected.Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call 902-490-5016. Anonymous tips can be sent to Crime Stoppers.MORE TOP STORIES
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's approval rating has risen to its highest level in a year with barely six months to go before legislative elections, an opinion poll showed on Sunday. The face-to-face survey of 1,000 Mexicans between Nov. 12-18 by polling firm Buendia & Laredo showed Lopez Obrador had the support of 64%, bolstered by his social spending programs. The rating was up from the 59% he scored in the pollster's prior August telephone survey, reaching the highest level since November 2019 - well before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed over 100,000 people in Mexico.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — President Donald Trump is appealing a federal judge's dismissal of his campaign's effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania.The president and other plaintiffs filed notice of appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Sunday, a day after the judge issued a scathing order shooting down claims of widespread irregularities with mail-in ballots.The case was always a long shot to stop President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, but given Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes at stake, it was the campaign's best hope to affect the election results through the courts. Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, appeared in court for the first time in decades to argue the case this past week.U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann wrote in his order that Trump had asked the court to disenfranchise almost 7 million voters. In seeking such a “startling outcome," he said, a plaintiff could be expected to provide compelling legal arguments and “factual proof of rampant corruption" — but “That has not happened.”The Associated Press
Dozens of activists constructed green "foam domes" for unhoused people at a demonstration outside Mayor John Tory's condo on Sunday to make the point that there is a housing crisis in Toronto.The event, part of National Housing Day, was held to draw attention to the plight of people living in encampments. Snow fell as the activists put together the insulated foam structures that will be distributed to people experiencing homelessness across the city.Organizers said volunteers built 14 insulated foam structures on Sunday. The event, on Bedford Road near Bloor Street West, also drew a handful of uniformed police officers from 53 Division.Lesley Wood, a member of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, told the activists that there is a city-wide movement to support unhoused people in Toronto, but that the city must do more now to prevent deaths this winter."It's cold here today and it's only starting to get colder. It's National Housing Day and it's the beginning of a second lockdown with this pandemic," Wood said in front of the condo at 1 Bedford Rd."People are going to die and there's no need for it. This is a rich city, these are rich buildings, this is a rich mayor. And people have a right to housing and they also have a right to survive."Wood said Toronto residents need to take care of each other as the pandemic continues."We need to make sure that people are survive together in the way that makes sense for them in this city," she said. "This city needs to step up."Wood urged the city to meet the demands of the Encampment Support Network, made up of groups of volunteers delivering essential supplies to people in encampments. The network wants the city to make an investment in "permanent, safe, dignified and affordable" housing, implement a moratorium on evictions, stop the criminalization of encampments, issue a moratorium on the clearing of encampments, and ensure all shelters and supportive housing are user-friendly and have overdose prevention and harm reduction services."People trying to survive is not a crime. People helping people to survive is not a crime. Nobody should be ticketed or harassed by police or security for living in a park," she said.After she spoke, Wood told CBC Toronto that the event was held outside the mayor's condo because activists believe he is not listening.Street pastor Doug Johnson Hatlem poked fun at the mayor, reading a passage from A Christmas Carol, a novella by Charles Dickens, to suggest that "Mayor Ebenezer John Scrooge McTory" needs to have a change of heart and make fighting poverty a priority."This mayor, who lives in this plush condo, has failed to use his emergency powers to stop evictions," Hatlem said.Don Peat, spokesperson for Tory, said in a statement on Sunday that the mayor and city have been "working non-stop" during the pandemic to help homeless people and provide safe housing options."Since the COVID-19 emergency began, the City and community organizations have helped more than 1,100 people move from encampments to safe indoor spaces. That work on safe housing is continuing and will continue because we are committed to helping people move from homelessness into safe, indoor housing," Peat said."This is on top of the more than 6,000 people the City works to shelter every night in a system that has been dramatically expanded in the last few years and further expanded across Toronto to respect physical distancing and other public health requirements to keep people safe," he added.Estimated 1,000 people living outside in TorontoAccording to the city, the foam domes are made of "rigid" polystyrene, a material considered highly flammable. The city said using the foam domes close to any flame or heat source is dangerous."Our Toronto Fire officials have been absolutely clear that these temporary structures featured at the protest today are not safe. Longstanding laws focused on public safety also preclude these kinds of temporary structures being located in public parks," Peat continued."The Mayor and City Council have been clear that all governments need to work together to provide more safe housing options, especially supportive housing, to tackle homelessness."According to the activists, the foam-based sleeping structures are outfitted with LED lights, air vents and a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. The activists said the foam domes are made with a fire retardant and are safer than highly flammable and freezing cold tents. Homeless advocates estimate that there are roughly 1,000 people living outside in Toronto, while the city estimates the number is closer to between 400 and 500 people.
TORONTO — A thoroughbred racing season that was delayed due to COVID-19 is also ending prematurely because of the pandemic.Woodbine Entertainment has announced that Sunday will be the final day of the 2020 season. Several races planned for Sunday were cancelled due to weather, including snow, fluctuating temperatures and mixed precipitation. News of the truncated sesaon came two days after the Ontario government revealed its new COVID-19 measures.On Friday, the government moved Toronto and Peel Region — two COVID-19 hot spots — into lockdown. That means the shutdown of businesses such as salons and gyms, while restaurants will move to takeout only and retail to curbside pickup.The new restrictions come into effect at 12:01 a.m. ET on Monday. The revamped 2020 thoroughbred season was slated to end Dec. 13.“We have been, and continue to be, extremely supportive of the Government’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 throughout our province and appreciate the many difficult decisions they have to make," Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson said in a statement Sunday. "We have approached the government to explain the impacts this decision will have on our business and the horse racing industry in Ontario."With a better understanding of our operations and based on our safety record in operating live racing at our racetracks, we hope that the government will consider these impacts in the future and assist us in managing the potentially devastating impact to horsepeople and animal welfare this early shutdown will cause.”Woodbine Entertainment said it has about 1,300 employees either temporarily or permanently laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It added this shutdown also negatively impacts the about 2,000 horsepeople on the Woodbine backstretch, putting many of them out of work. “Since we started racing at Woodbine and Mohawk Park in early June, we have demonstrated that racing without spectators poses no greater health risk to participants than training,” Lawson said. “We have been a leader in health and safety since the beginning of the pandemic and we are extremely proud of our record and the co-operation of our racing participants in maintaining safe racing environments.” Under the new restrictions, horses can train only without spectators and not run in actual races. While there's been racing at Woodbine since June, all events have been conducted without fans in the stands.The start of Woodbine's 2020 racing seasons — thoroughbred and standardbred — were delayed for several weeks due to the global pandemic before being allowed to begin on June 5. Standardbred racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Campbelleville, Ont., which also began June 5, will continue. That track is located roughly 64 kilometres west of Toronto and outside of the lockdown boundaries.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2020.The Canadian Press
Saskatchewan announced 236 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 2,683.Of the new cases, 82 are in Saskatoon, 52 in Regina and 24 in the north central region of the province.17 of the cases are in the north west zone of the province, with 13 in the south west. The central west, south central and north east zones of the province all have nine cases.The far north west reported eight new cases, the south east reported six while the far north east and the central east both reported two new cases. The far north central part of the province reported one new case of COVID-19.Two cases are pending residence information.Hospitalizations are now at a record high with 99 people receiving care. 80 people in in-paitent care and 19 people in the ICU.Ninety more people have recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of recovered people to 3,757There are now 6,473 total reported cases of COVID-19 in the province.The province said the seven-day average of daily cases increased to 211, with 17.4 new cases per 100,000 population.It said that daily cases numbers are expected to fluctuate as a result of factors such as weather-related and logistical delays in lab specimens reaching the testing centre.
HALIFAX — About 150 people showed up to the Dome nightclub in Halifax on Saturday night, but it wasn’t to dance or get a drink.They were there to get a rapid COVID-19 test, as part of a pilot screening program aimed at bar staff and patrons in downtown Halifax. The Nova Scotia government launched the project amid growing concerns about community transmission in Halifax, particularly among young people.“We are having a problem with 18- to 35-year-olds,” Premier Stephen McNeil told a press conference on Friday afternoon. “They are going out when they are feeling sick, they are going out in large groups, and quite frankly different groups, and they’re not distancing. They’re living as if COVID does not exist.”Of the approximately 150 rapid tests done on Saturday night, one patron's test came back positive, according to a Sunday release from the provincial department of health. That positive test was not included in the 11 new cases announced in the province on Sunday. Instead, officials are waiting for the results of the person’s regular COVID-19 test, which they say is much more accurate.Nova Scotia reported 19 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the total number of active infections in the province to 44. Saturday and Sunday’s case increases were the largest the province has seen in several months. "The majority of new cases we are seeing involve social interactions -- people who may or may not be symptomatic going downtown with friends and staying for several hours," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, in Sunday’s release. "Last night's pilot provides us more information as our testing and screening strategy continues to evolve."Dalhousie University also confirmed Sunday that two of its off-campus students are among the province's latest cases. In a release, the school said the students are self-isolating and studying virtually, and that they are “not associated with our residence community.”Beginning Monday, anyone in the province eating at a restaurant will have to provide their name and phone number for contract tracing and close social gatherings in most of the Halifax Regional Municipality will be limited to five people.Nova Scotia has had 1,170 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, including 65 deaths.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2020.The Canadian Press