ATLANTA — Bishop Reginald Jackson stepped to the microphone at a drive-in rally outside a church in southwest Atlanta as his voice carried over a loudspeaker and the radio to people gathered in, around and on top of cars that filled the parking lot.“Let’s keep Georgia blue," Jackson said. “Let’s elect Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock to the United States Senate.” The presiding bishop of more than 400 African Methodist Episcopal churches in Georgia added a pastoral flourish as horns honked and supporters cheered: “If I have a witness, somebody say amen!"As Georgia becomes the nation’s political hotspot this winter before twin runoff elections Jan. 5 that will determine control of the Senate, faith-based organizing is heating up.Conservative Christians are rallying behind Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, while Black churches and liberal-leaning Jewish groups are backing Democratic challengers Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The Democrats' fates are seen as intertwined in a state that this year turned blue in the presidential election for the first time since 1992 by a razor-thin margin.“These runoffs are critically important,” Jackson said. “We want to make sure there is no decrease in turnout.”Across Georgia, the African Methodist Episcopal Church is implementing a program designed to ensure its members, and Black voters overall, cast ballots in the runoff — focusing on votes by mail and early in-person voting. Pastors at each church remind tens of thousands of congregants every week to apply for an absentee ballot and of early voting dates, Jackson said in an interview. Each local church also follows up with congregants to make sure they have a plan to vote.The New Georgia Project, a nonpartisan voter mobilization group founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams, who ran for governor in 2018, is also preparing to tap the influence of faith communities in stoking turnout.Rev. Billy Honor, director of faith organizing at the group, said the conservative Christian Faith & Freedom Coalition — founded by former Georgia GOP chairman Ralph Reed — has long positioned Georgia “as the home of evangelical fundamentalist types when it comes to the political space."“But the truth is, for a very long time, there has been an active, effective movement of progressive-minded, justice-centred clergy” who have worked in the state on voting rights, health care and other issues, Honor added. He said Warnock was part of that work before his candidacy. Warnock is senior pastor at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, the congregation led by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.Meanwhile, Loeffler and Perdue can expect to benefit from a conservative Christian base that has long boosted the state’s Republicans. Faith & Freedom made Georgia one of its top three spending targets in a $50 million get-out-the-vote program during the general election and plans increased organizing for the runoffs.The reach of "the evangelical vote in Georgia is very large and very strong,” Timothy Head, the group’s executive director, said in an interview.Head noted that while President Donald Trump kept a strong hold on white evangelical voters this year, Perdue out-performed Trump in Georgia during the general election. President-elect Joe Biden may have won over some evangelicals by contrasting his character with that of Trump, Head said, but he argued that the same sort of case would be harder for Democrats to make against Loeffler and Perdue.Another faith-focused conservative group, the legislative affiliate of the Family Research Council, is holding trainings and pastor briefings before the runoffs. The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, whose president advised Trump’s reelection campaign on Catholic outreach, has announced a $4.1 million plan to boost Loeffler and Perdue through a partner political action committee.Religious issues already have become a campaign flashpoint in the runoff. The GOP has resurfaced excerpts from past Warnock sermons to assail him as insufficiently supportive of the military as well as anti-Israel. The Democrat signed a letter last year comparing Israel's policy toward Palestinians to “previous oppressive regimes" and criticized it in a 2018 sermon, while also calling for a two-state solution in the region.Warnock pushed back in a recently released television ad, saying the attacks are “trying to scare people by taking things I’ve said out of context from over 25 years of being a pastor.”One group criticizing Warnock as too left-leaning on Israel, the Republican Jewish Coalition, is also mobilizing on behalf of the GOP incumbents.Jewish Democrats in Georgia predicted that the GOP attack on Warnock’s Israel record would fall flat, citing his record of friendship with the Jewish community through his pulpit at Ebenezer.Sherry Frank, president of the Atlanta section of the National Council of Jewish Women, said she sees “no doubt in the Jewish community about (Warnock’s) stance on Israel and anti-Semitism.” Frank's group is conducting nonpartisan voter turnout work for the runoffs.Georgia’s Jewish Democrats also see, in Ossoff and Warnock, candidates whose joint push for the Senate harkens back to a tradition of Black and Jewish leaders working together during the civil rights movement. Warnock has a bond with a prominent Atlanta rabbi whose predecessor at the synagogue was close with King.Warnock is viewed “as the inheritor" of King’s legacy, said Michael Rosenzweig, co-chair of the Georgia chapter of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, which has endorsed both Democrats. “And to the extent that Jews were supportive of the civil rights struggle and supportive of (King), I think they look supportively on Rev. Warnock.”Ossoff, who is Jewish, has defended Warnock against GOP criticism over Israel and fondly recalled his own connection to the late Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia civil rights leader who endorsed Ossoff before his death in July. In October, Ossoff said he and Lewis talked during their first meeting about “the bond between the Black and Jewish communities, marching alongside rabbis and young Jewish activists in the mid 1960s ... and how important it was that these communities be brought together."___Schor reported from Washington.___Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through the Religion News Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for this content.Elana Schor And Ben Nadler, The Associated Press
Recent developments: * Ottawa is reporting 79 new COVID-19 cases and two new deaths on Sunday.What's the latest?Ottawa reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and two new deaths. The city's death toll stands at 374. Sunday's case total marks the highest single-day total in more than two weeks. Eighteen cases were reported in people in their 20s, more than any other age group. In western Quebec, public health officials recorded 30 new cases on Sunday. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) says it supports the province's decision to dispatch education and enforcement teams to the region to ensure businesses are following COVID-19 protocols.The teams will show up in the EOHU later this week, although the head of the chamber of commerce in Cornwall, Ont., says businesses aren't to blame for spreading COVID-19.Cornwall also chose to hold a physically-distanced Santa Claus parade this weekend — an event many other communities have decided to cancel due to the pandemic.How many cases are there?As of Sunday, 8,458 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa. There are 374 known active cases, 7,741 cases now considered resolved and 374 people who have died of COVID-19.Public health officials have reported more than 13,800 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 12,400 resolved cases.Ninety people have died of COVID-19 elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 80 in western Quebec. CBC Ottawa is profiling those who've died of COVID-19. If you'd like to share your loved one's story, please get in touch.What can I do?Both Ontario and Quebec are telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with, or one other home if people live alone, to slow the spread of the coronavirus.Ontario says this will apply through December's holidays, with people who live away from home such as post-secondary students asked to reduce close contacts for 10 to 14 days before going back.Quebec has shared what it will take to have at most two small holiday gatherings next month. Rules won't be loosened until mid-January at the earliest.Travel from one region to another discouraged throughout the Outaouais.WATCH: Vanier BIA head urges people to shop local this holiday seasonOntario says people shouldn't travel to a lower-level region from a higher one and some lower-level health units want residents to stay put to curb the spread.Ottawa is currently in the orange zone of the provincial pandemic scale, which allows organized gatherings and restaurants, gyms and theatres to bring people inside.Ottawa's medical officer of health, Dr. Vera Etches, has said Ottawa's situation is stable and people should focus on managing risks and taking precautions, such as seeing a few friends outside at a distance, to bring the spread down further.Communities in the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) and Eastern Ontario health units are under yellow zone restrictions, while the Hastings Prince Edward region will enter the zone just after midnight tonight.That means restaurant hours, table limits and rules around capacity fall somewhere between those in place in Ottawa and the rest of eastern Ontario, which is currently green, the lowest level.In Gatineau and the surrounding area, which is one of Quebec's red zones, health officials are asking residents not to leave home unless it's essential.There is no indoor dining at restaurants and gyms, cinemas and performing arts venues are all closed.The rest of western Quebec is orange, which allows private gatherings of up to six people and organized ones up to 25 — more in seated venues.What about schools?There have been about 200 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19:Few have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there's a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air.People can be contagious without symptoms.This means people should take precautions such as staying home when sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone they don't live with — even with a mask on.Ontario has abandoned its concept of social circles.Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and should be worn outdoors when people can't distance from others. Three-layer non-medical masks with a filter are recommended.Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who've been ordered to do so by their local public health unit. The duration depends on the circumstances in both Ontario and Quebec.Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.What are the symptoms of COVID-19?COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic and resources are available to help.Where to get testedIn eastern Ontario:Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you've been told to by your health unit or the province.People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select pharmacies.Ottawa has nine permanent test sites, with mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.Kingston's test site is at the Beechgrove Complex. The area's other site is in Napanee.The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Limoges, Rockland and Winchester.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls and a mobile test site visiting smaller communities.People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with questions, COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly.In western Quebec:Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.First Nations, Inuit and Métis:Akwesasne has had its most known COVID-19 cases of the pandemic this month, with 22 and counting in its Ontario portion and more on the American side of the border. Its council is asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel.Akwesasne schools and its Tsi Snaihne Child Care Centre are temporarily closed to in-person learning. It has a COVID-19 test site available by appointment only.Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte reported its first confirmed case this month.People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.For more information
The top doctor for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) says he's pleased provincial COVID-19 education and enforcement teams will soon be visiting businesses in the region.Starting this week, the teams will be showing up at local businesses to ensure they're complying with pandemic guidelines and to educate them on the protocols. "We're seeing that's kind of a blind spot for us," Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said at a media briefing on Friday.The aim of the campaign — which will see enforcement teams travel across Ontario — is to help businesses stay safe and open by ensuring they're taking steps to protect employees, customers and the wider public from the virus. As of Saturday morning, 835 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in the EOHU, which includes communities like Hawkesbury, Alexandria, Clarence-Rockland and Cornwall. There were 90 known active cases, 714 cases considered resolved and 31 deaths. Business not to blame: chamber of commerce"We just want to make sure that people have that heightened awareness, despite the fact that our numbers are going down," Roumeliotis said. "Because they could easily turn around."The executive director of the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce, Greg Pietersma, doesn't believe businesses are to blame for the virus spreading, however,"We're dealing with the potential that asymptomatic people are spreading the virus, and I don't know what screening and what requirements can stop that," he said."The common cold is still moving around, despite our best efforts."The EOHU has also been shifting back and forth between the yellow zone — where it currently sits — and the orange zone on the province's pandemic scale, and that's caused confusion and frustration for business owners, Pietersma added.Businesses are also supposed to have a safety plan developed, something the province's teams will be checking on when they visit the region from Dec. 3 to Dec. 5.While the focus of the visits is education, the teams are able to lay fines if they find significant non-compliance.
Through late summer and early fall, Tim Ball spent as much time as possible underwater in his dive gear, scouring the seabed off the Burin Peninsula for scallops. It's an ocean-to-table operation that sees his hand-harvested scallops quickly making their way to dinner plates in the downtown of St. John's. "I try to keep it all local," said Ball about his business philosophy. With a provincial economy that's in dire straits and in need of reversing its course, Ball thinks every little bit can help— especially if the focus is keeping as many of those little bits as possible in the province. For Ball, that means, among other things, using locally made bags and boxes for packing his scallops and using a Burin Peninsula cab company for sending his catch into St. John's. "Because this is a primary industry ... we are in, and we are getting the actual resources from the bottom, this is creating new money for the economy," Ball said. "If the money is staying in Newfoundland, then great."Terre Restaurant in St. John's is one of the destinations for Ball's scallops. Before the season ended last month they could be found listed on the menu as "Seared Diver Scallops.""They're amazing," said head chef Matthew Swift. "Anywhere else in the world ... the idea of marketing day boat scallops is sort of a pipe dream. If I were to tell friends in other places that Tim gets out of the water, and I get the scallops in as long as it takes to drive in from Burin? It's insane," he said. On top of the quality, it's Ball's business recipe that also interests Swift. "Just in terms of having a diverse and smaller economy, where we can support people on a more individual level," he said. This way of thinking is something that also strikes a chord with John Schouten — Memorial University's Canada Research Chair in Social Enterprise.Schouten says Ball's operation means more than just local spending on his supply chain. There's also a spillover effect which would also see Ball spend money at local businesses in and around Garnish, where he fishes from. "So every hundred dollars that passes from me, to you, to somebody else here locally, that $100 is working the whole time in our favour here in the province," said Schouten in an interview last month.Patch the bucketIt may be a small example, but there's a bigger lesson in it for the provincial government, said Schouten. He thinks the government should treat the economy like a leaky bucket, where money comes in and goes out. "If the government could, using that metaphor, start patching the bucket to keep the money in the province longer, working harder for local businesses, local people, people who are making a living wage — that would do wonders for the stability of the economy here," he said. Speaking of helping the economy, Ball thinks what he's doing is scalable. In addition to scallops, Ball also hand harvests sea urchin, but he thinks there's more that can be harvested as well — including kelp, sea cucumbers and periwinkles. For that to happen, there would have to be consistent licensing periods from the federal government and more divers with commercial dive training. Eventually Ball would like to see a special school that trains up to a dozen divers a year for this type of work.If a community had a handful of divers, Ball said, the economic spin-off is easy to see — you need people shucking scallops and spotting the divers, gear needs repairing, supplies need to be bought. "I think it's just a win-win situation for small communities," he said. "It could be a good economic boon."Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Megan Brake is relatively new to New Brunswick. But it's just possible that she knows its nooks and crannies better than most people who were born here.Brake moved here four years ago from Ontario, and realized pretty quickly that she'd found a special place."The mountains, the wide-open spaces – I just fell in love," she said.A photographer at the time, Brake brought her camera along as she explored the province, trekking through fields and back roads, capturing moody, atmospheric landscapes, sunsets and beach scenes. But none of those would compare to the breathtaking views she was about to discover.About a year after she moved here, Brake stumbled across a YouTube video on drone photography, and her interest was piqued.She bought a $500 drone and hit the road, and suddenly the skies – and entirely new vistas – opened up to her."I started finding all these spectacular locations," she said in an interview from her home in the western New Brunswick village of Centreville."The perspective it gives you on what's around that you would never see through the lens of a camera on the ground – I completely fell in love with it."Brake began spending all her available free time studying drone videos, experimenting with different angles and heights and locations, making some mistakes, just basically being "really curious and really patient."Eventually, she got her drone pilot's licence.And that's when things really took flight, so to speak. Dream-like images as seen from the skyThe results, captured from about 100 metres up, were dream-like and stirring, even to Brake, who was there when the shots were captured.She started posting some of her favourites to Facebook and on her Instagram account, searchin4serenity, and people started taking notice.People who had never been to New Brunswick were "stunned" by the views, she said. And people who knew it well were just as gobsmacked."I've heard from a lot of people who have moved away from New Brunswick," Brake said. "They message me all the time and say that I'm making them homesick, that they want to come home. Or they'll say 'Oh I think I know where that is,' and it's a guessing game."Three years later, Brake's weekend hobby is muscling its way into becoming a career.She now has a $2,200 drone, more than a thousand followers on her Instagram account and occasional commissions for her photos.She's working on a coffee table book depicting the cabins of New Brunswick, since these "surprises" that she finds tucked away in the middle of nowhere have become the accidental stars of some of her most beautiful shots – with the cabin owner's permission. Brake spends the weekends hitting the road with her fiancé and their ATVs, taking the drone to new locations and new heights, then coming home and uploading her favourites.She has criss-crossed much of the province – Upper Kintore is a current favourite – but there are still "so many more places to see," Brake said.A respect for nature, a passion for preservationBrake's deep-rooted love of and respect for nature is at the heart of every drone shoot.There have been some near run-ins with birds who weren't keen on sharing their fly-zone with a humming drone, for example, and that's an instant "down tools." "As soon as I see something flying in the sky, I'll bring the drone right down because I'm not trying to stress anything out, out there," she said.That respect has taken on a political edge of late. "Lately, I've been trying to bring awareness to all the clear-cutting that's been going on in the woods," she said. "It used to be that I would take a photo and I would crop out where the clear-cuttings were. Because it's not pretty, it's not pleasing to look at."But then she began to think maybe she should leverage the power of that unpleasantness."So I decided, you know what, I'm going to share this photo and try to bring some awareness to it. And, well, it blew up pretty big."Turning her lens on activismEarlier this week, Brake released one of the starker images, one that says more about "what's going on in the woods of our province" than she can say in words, Brake said. With its denuded, tobacco-brown sprawl as a focal point, it's a stark contrast to most of her shots."It's a pretty powerful photo," she said. "There's not a lot of people who can see what's going on in the woods, and it's devastating."There's also the matter of the one that keeps getting away.That, Brake said, will keep her searching, and droning, for a while."I'm still waiting for my bucket-list shot: finding that a moose has wandered into the scene I've captured," Brake said. "It hasn't happened yet, but I have a place in mind. I'm waiting."BEEN THERE, DRONE THAT: MEGAN BRAKE'S TOP 5 TIPS1) Know thy drone: Take the extra time to get to know its settings, and find the best ones for smooth movement in videos2) Frame your shot, and take the time to try different angles and altitudes3) Shoot in RAW if your drone allows it. It makes for higher-quality image and can make editing/correcting a lot easier4) Plan your flight before getting into the air so you can utilize all of your batteries5) Seek out symmetry, patterns, lines and contrasting colours
If citizens disbelieve the institutions that count ballots and the organizations that accurately report on those results, it will impossible to agree on what a legitimate election looks like.
Olivier Roy-Baillargeon loves the sound of snow crunching under his feet when he's running."This is an activity you can do whatever the conditions," said Roy-Bailargeon."Whereas cycling, it's too cold, too icy, too windy. You can't play volleyball. You can't play basketball. Running, you can actually do it over the winter."Now that the gyms are closed in Quebec's red zones for a second time, outdoor exercise equipment sales are booming, and many are turning to running — one of the cheapest ways to work out.But when it comes to hitting the streets during Quebec's harsh, unpredictable winter weather, running coaches and trainers like Roy-Baillargeon say you need to follow some key rules to stay safe and have fun.Dress appropriatelyRoy-Baillargeon said there is a way to dress for 10 C, a way to dress for between 10 C and -10 C, and for anything under -10 C.On a -3 C day, for example, he always wears mittens and a hat because hands get cold and heat is lost through the head. He wears two layers, the first being tight to his body so it wicks away sweat.As for footwear, he's always wearing the lightest, most breathable shoes he can find for fast drying. Regular running shoes or trail running shoes are both good, he said.Be visibleThe short, dreary days of winter create poor visibility for motorists, meaning runners are at risk while out for a jog.Julie Graham, a kinesiologist who has a clinic in Boucherville on Montreal's South Shore, said reflective, bright colours are important.Affordable lights can also be attached to the body, facing back and forward, she said."I run in the winter for many reasons, the first being to keep my routine going all year round," said Graham."It's good to go outside. We are always inside. It's more fun to run outside in the winter on a nice day, than in the summer when it's hot and humid."Check your health before heading outPeople who suffer from respiratory or heart disease should get the green light from their doctor before exercising outdoors in the winter, said Graham.From there, new runners with health conditions should start slowly and gradually ease into outdoor winter running as it speeds up the heart, burns a lot of energy and can irritate the respiratory tract.To reduce that irritation, she suggests inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. She says the nose and mouth should be covered with a scarf, and people should avoid suddenly going from an overheated place out into the cold.And everybody, no matter their health, should pay attention to their body and not ignore any warning signs, she said.Plan your route accordinglyFooting can be bad in the winter, and roads can be narrower. Graham said people should use caution to avoid getting hurt.She suggests slowing down and taking shorter strides when running on slippery surfaces. Some people use spikes or crampons on icy days.She said people should also consider changing their usual running route as needed to avoid dangerous situations, such as icy conditions or large snow banks that make it hard to keep a safe distance from traffic.Warming up is crucialGraham said people need to make sure they are properly hydrated and warmed up when heading out into the cold.She suggests warming up inside to gradually get the body moving, and says it can take longer for the body to get ready when it's cold out.Roy-Baillargeon said static stretching before a run can lead to injury, and instead, people should start from a fast, walking pace and work their way up to full speed over 10 to 15 minutes.Stay motivatedStaying motivated to run when the temperature drops isn't easy, but Roy-Baillargeon said running from A to B rather than A to A — a loop — can make those cold, winter runs more enticing.He suggests, for example, running to a store to pick something up or running back from the store after shopping.Any occasion where running can be incorporated will make it easier to face the elements, he said.
What was Coun. George Darouze caught doing during a livestream of a city meeting?What was the subject of a city report that one councillor described as "95 pages of horror stories?"And what does a recently passed bill from a local MPP propose to abolish in Ontario?These are just a few of the questions designed to vex and perplex you in this week's CBC Ottawa news quiz.On a desktop computer? For the best quiz-taking experience, click on the arrows in the bottom right-hand corner of the quiz widget to expand it.
TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $8.9 million jackpot in Saturday night's Lotto 649 draw.However, the guaranteed $1 million prize went to a ticket holder in the Prairies.The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Dec. 2 will be approximately $11 million.The Canadian Press
Saskatoon's Luther Special Care Home continues to fight the largest long-term care home outbreak in the province. As of Saturday, 40 residents have tested positive at the facility's outbreak unit, according to the latest update to families and residents. This number is up from 38 on Thursday.According to its website, the care home also has four active COVID-19 cases among staff.Greg Meldrum's 85-year-old father Tom is one of the 40 seniors who have been diagnosed with COVID-19."He hasn't had a fever or anything," said Meldrum. "So fingers crossed that he continues to hold the virus back."He says the rise in numbers is concerning, but he is not surprised. "The type of care that my father requires is very hands-on. So, you know, I think it was almost inevitable that there was going to be cases amongst the residents."One confirmed case at Luther TowerA spokesperson of LutherCare Communities Saskatoon confirmed on Saturday morning that there is now one COVID-19 case at Luther Tower, an independent living community. Access between Luther Tower and Luther Special Care Home has been restricted since March, said Nicole Semko, the manager of fund development and community relations in an email. "Both communities operate independently from one another but are part of the LutherCare Communities organization."Marcus Grundahl's father Allan is one of the residents at Luther Tower. "He is in good character, as he always is," said Grundahl."He understands the gravity of COVID-19 and the ... potential spread of it."Grundahl's 82-year-old father told him that residents of the facility are all staying in their suites, which are independent apartments. Like Meldrum, Grundahl is not surprised that COVID-19 has reached his father's residence."It doesn't matter if it is a home-care facility for any age or a high school or a mall," he said."This is going to happen and we have to be realistic about that."Staff at Luther Special Care HomeAccording to the organization's website, "the number of staff who work on the outbreak unit who are self-isolating has stabilized."The high number of employees away from work, however, continues to cause concern, the website states. According to an update to families on Thursday, public health officials advised three members of the management team on Wednesday to self-isolate for 14 days. "To ensure staff working within the building receive the support they need we enacted a contingency plan and have brought in four individuals to be the hands and feet of those working remotely and allow us to ensure the twomembers of our labour team can focus on filling vacant staffing shifts," Thursday's email update said.The facility is working with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, other long-term care homes in Saskatoon and Home Care, according to their website. "We also have a couple of staff who have temporarily moved from Regina to help support our efforts," the website says.According to Saturday's update to families and residents, Luther Special Care Home will be one of nine long-term care homes in the province that take part in a Point of Care Testing pilot. The testing device would provide results in approximately 15 minutes, the Saturday update said, and training for staff is expected to start next week.It's tough not to see your loved ones, family member saysBoth Grundahl and Meldrum say they both approve of how Luther Special Care Home and Luther Tower have been dealing with the situations, especially in regards to communication with families and residents."They were told to stay in their suites until Monday," said Grundahl.That will give the facility some time to assess the situation and to see if there is any spread, he said. Meldrum's main concern right now is his father's health."It's tough not not to see [your loved ones] in person," he said."Not many family members have set foot inside of the unit there where my father is, probably since March 15th."Staff has been really helpful with FaceTime calls, Meldrum said, but he can't really have a conversation with his father.During the last call "I could see him ... but he was very noncommunicative, unfortunately."On Saturday, LutherCare Communities also listed one active employee COVID-19 case at Luther Riverside Terrace on their website.
The ruling coalition of Burkina Faso President Roch Kabore, who was re-elected to a second term last week, has retained its majority in parliament, the electoral commission said on Sunday. Kabore's People's Movement for Progress (MPP) and allied parties won about 90 of 127 seats in the Nov. 22 vote, official results showed. The Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) party of former president Blaise Compaore, who was ousted from power by an uprising in 2014, has become the largest opposition party in parliament with 20 seats, according to the results.
Independent consultants are recommending Ottawa city council grow by one member in the next municipal vote in 2022, but the final electoral map they propose no longer redraws wards dramatically the way earlier controversial options did.Ottawa's electoral map needs to redistribute populations because some wards were simply growing so quickly that their residents' votes had become diluted — notably Barrhaven, Gloucester-South Nepean and the growing suburban area of Cumberland ward.The consultants started work nearly a year ago, but the first five maps they produced seemed to please few. Council had set the goal to stay the same size, at 23 seats, but doing so while adjusting for growing populations meant the shapes of wards needed to change extensively.Despite some councillors' objections that politicians shouldn't meddle in drawing electoral lines, council voted in July to ask consultants to draw up a sixth option.They have now carved up the city into 24 wards instead of 23: 12 inside the Greenbelt, nine in the suburbs, and three rural wards.If approved, one of the biggest changes would see Barrhaven and Riverside South represented by three councillors instead of two. Two rural wards would also merge, creating the physically largest ward, stretching from Osgoode in the south to Wilhaven Road in the city's north-east. After residents opposed folding rural Cumberland into its southern neighbour, however, consultants tweaked the area along Highway 174 so that Cumberland Village would join with urban Orléans.Kanata South weighs inLinda Dunn still doesn't think the map goes far enough, and leaves rural, French-speaking rural residents and the eastern villages of Sarsfield and Navan aligned with communities they've never belonged to, in a "gigantic" ward."It's going to take an hour to drive from one end ot the other," said Dunn, a former councillor in what was then Cumberland Township, who drew east-end residents' attention to the ward boundary changes this past fall. "I don't know how any one person is going to manage that. It's a recipe for disaster."Coun. Matthew Luloff agrees the map isn't perfect, but is glad Cumberland Village, at least, has been brought into Orleans' fold.Luloff is also glad many wards are now outlined by natural boundaries such as Bilberry Creek or Innes Road — helping residents know which councillor to call with an issue — rather than arbitrarily splitting neighbourhoods such as Queenswood Heights and Fallingbrook."I'm really pleased to see the consultants took a long hard look and kept those neighbourhoods together. I think that it makes a really big difference," he said. Kanata residents also seemed to take great interest in the ward boundary changes. Half of the 2,150 surveys that came in this fall were from residents in Kanata South.Their councillor, Allan Hubley, had been frustrated this past summer that all options had used Terry Fox Drive rather than the Carp River as the dividing line, putting the Kanata Recreation Centre and Walter Baker Park into Stittsville. In the final proposed map, those amenities remain in Kanata South and the river remains the boundary.Consultants aimed for the average population to be 47,900 per ward by 2026, although rural wards will remain below average.The recommended new ward boundaries go to finance committee Tuesday for approval, then on to city council Dec. 9.
Despite promises of an "iron ring" around Ontario's long-term care homes, the second wave of COVID-19 has brought hundreds of cases and deaths among their elderly residents.More than 100 homes are currently battling an outbreak of the novel coronavirus among either staff or residents, according to the latest figures published by the Ministry of Health. So far in November, the deaths of 259 long-term care residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported by the province. With an additional 598 active confirmed cases among residents, and experience showing as many as one in three people over age 80 who contract the virus succumb, there's fear that hundreds more will die before a vaccine campaign rolls out in Ontario's long-term care homes. "Families are scared and they're angry," said Vivian Stamatopoulos, an associate professor at Ontario Tech University and advocate for long-term care residents."The scale of the outbreaks, these exploding outbreaks that we're seeing is really evidence that we wasted the summer months not properly safeguarding the sector," Stamatopoulos said in an interview with CBC News. One of her greatest concerns is that some homes continue to house seniors three or four to a room. "Right now those poor residents are effectively sitting ducks, because the second one of those individuals in that ward room gets COVID, it's a slippery slope at that point," Stamatopoulos said. After the carnage of the springtime, deaths in long term care slowed dramatically, once the spread of the virus slowed around the province. Over a stretch of nearly eight weeks (from July 22 to Sept 13) Ontario's long-term care facilities reported just four deaths of residents that tested positive for COVID-19.But as the number of infections among the general public grew in the second wave, long-term care staff and residents got infected too. And inevitably, deaths among residents followed, "The greatest predictor of whether a home is going to experience an outbreak is community transmission," said Dr. Nathan Stall, a geriatrician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. "Where you have more community transmission, you have a worse number of outbreaks."Premier Doug Ford has faced questions about why long-term care residents are getting infected with COVID-19 during the second wave, long after he promised to protect them with what he called an "iron ring" back in the spring. Health Minister Christine Elliott made a similar pledge earlier this month as the deaths mounted. In separate interviews, both Stall and Stamatopoulos brought up Ford's iron ring comment, without prompting. When the virus is spreading widely in the community, "it's predictable you're going to have outbreaks (in long-term care) in spite of trying to create an iron ring," said Stall. "Really what you're left with is more like an iron sieve." "People assume that you can place this iron ring around homes, that it's completely sealed environments, and that's just not how it exists," said Stamatopoulos. "Staff live in the communities. So if there's rising transmission — and we know a lot of the staff live in communities with the highest rates of transmission — of course it's going to get in." Once the virus is brought into a home, Stall says it spreads most quickly in older, less spacious homes where residents are living in multi-occupancy rooms. He's urging the province to help more crowded homes expand and make it easier for infected residents to isolate, such as building temporary "field hospital" structures or taking over hotels. At the same time, he is concerned about the impact of certain restrictions put on the lives of residents that he says are not actually protecting them from the virus. "I'm not aware of any evidence that allowing a long term care resident outdoors to get fresh air or for a small walk around the premises has led to transmission of COVID-19," said Stall. The province announced Saturday that the management of two more long-term care homes battling outbreaks — Rockcliffe Care Community in Toronto and Langstaff Square in Richmond Hill — is being temporarily handed to local hospitals. At the peak of its outbreak earlier this month, Rockcliffe reported more than 130 of its 165 residents had tested positive for COVID-19. The latest provincial figures show 17 Rockcliffe residents with the virus have died.
It was 26 days before Christmas, and all through the malls, not a Santa could be sighted, except through Plexiglas walls. In the year of COVID-19, precautions were taken, to make sure young and old would not be forsaken. Malls great and small got creative, it's true, to make sure that Saint Nick could come to you.Some malls are using high-tech holograms, while others are making Plexiglas shields to protect Santa Claus.In Sydney, Mayflower Mall is using its social media accounts to connect kids with Santa. In a normal year, Mayflower Mall has up to 3,000 kids flock to Santa for a picture, said Greg Morrison, the mall's general manager. "It is such a great … boost in morale for a lot of people," said Morrison, "Maybe it might have even been taken for granted over the years, but I'll tell you [Santa] will be missed and we hope to have him back up and running again for 2021."It's the first time since the mall was founded 40 years ago that Santa hasn't made an appearance. However, with the possibility of COVID-19 spreading among those waiting to see Santa, the jolly old elf decided to stay away. But the Mayflower Mall has sent out a special video message from Santa through their Facebook and Twitter accounts. The mall has also posted a giant-sized letter in the area Santa usually occupies in the mall. In the letter, Santa explains he won't be able to stop by the mall this year but will still be making all his Christmas deliveries. At Sunnyside Mall in Bedford, planning combined with technological magic is allowing Santa to come to the mall — as a hologram. "It'll be 3D," said Jillian Mason, the mall's marketing manager. "It will look like Santa is floating in thin air because he is, because Santa is magic. He will be in his office in the North Pole writing letters, eating cookies and drinking milk. When he sees a child pass by he'll wave to them."Another hologram of reindeer racing through the sky has also been set up. People can get pictures taken there."It is pretty spectacular and magical," said Mason. "We started back in June. "You know, we realized that COVID wasn't necessarily going anywhere so we'd have to get creative."So Mason and the mall reached out to a local advertising company that uses holograms to set up the technology. She wouldn't say how much it cost, but that it was within the mall's budget.The holograms are expected to be up and running by Dec. 4 and will continue until Christmas Eve. The mall also has a mailbox so children can send letters to Santa and receive a personalized response. A few dozen letters a day are coming into the mailbox, said Mason. For an in-person Santa experience, the Highland Square Mall in New Glasgow is the place to go. Guests have to stand two metres apart in a Christmas-themed waiting area and are eventually led to meet Santa, who is seated behind Plexiglas.The Halifax Shopping Centre has done the opposite. It has gone virtual with its visits, offering in-mall and at-home online visits with Santa.Children also have the option of getting a pre-recorded message from Santa, according to the mall's website. "Even though we're not able to sit on Santa's knee this year and talk to him in person, Santa himself is very magical," said Mason. "So whether it is appearing out of thin air or being able to respond to letters all over the world, we will have some sort of interaction with him. I think magic is what makes the holiday season so special."MORE TOP STORIES
When Agnes Rendell found out a robot would be used in her life-saving surgeries, she couldn't wrap her head around it."You have a vision of this R2-D2 coming in and doing surgery," she said. "It was just crazy to me."Rendell is celebrating eight months later as it appears the robot pilot program will become a permanent addition to the QEII Hospital in Halifax. That follows a significant donation from the Joyce Foundation.Rendell was shocked to learn she had two tumours, one on each kidney, during a routine checkup earlier in the year. She was told she needed two major surgeries immediately, but they would be done using the hospital's new surgical robot, DaVinci. "It's amazing today," said Rendell. "If I didn't have the scars … I don't think I would know I had surgery."Surgeons in Halifax have advocated for a surgical robot for years as their counterparts in bigger cities received them.But the massive price tag proved to be a major hurdle. DaVinci, for example, costs $8.1 million for equipment and training.But for Dr. Ricardo Rendon, a urolologic oncologist, DaVinci was a valuable investment that could take his work in an entirely new direction.The robot has four arms, each with an attachment to help with a procedure. It's controlled by a surgeon in a console a few feet away from the patient.Rendon said it took a while to be comfortable working with his back to his patients."Now, I'd actually rather be here than be there because I'm able to do more and better things here than actually standing beside the patient."Rendon said the machine can move in ways a hand can't, so physicians can take on more complex surgeries. DaVinci is also precise, leading to faster recovery times."For kidney cancer, before it was four or five days, now we keep them for one or two days," Rendon said.A few years ago, Rendon took those arguments to the QEII Hospital Foundation and convinced the team to launch one of its biggest fundraising campaigns.The foundation collected big and small donations from the community. Last year, it raised enough to borrow the robot and launch a pilot program. It is the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada.Little did the surgical team realize how valuable it would be when the pandemic reached the region a few months later.While hospitals stopped nearly all services, surgeries using the robot were able to start up again within weeks because the physicians could distance from their patients.The shorter hospital stays were another benefit."We're decreasing the number of days they can be exposed to people who potentially have COVID, and we're keeping our beds available for other situations," said Rendon.While Rendon was adapting to a new way of work, the financial aspect of the program was leaving the team in limbo, wondering if they'd be able to buy the robot outright.But a new donation from the Joyce Foundation has the QEII Foundation's giant goal in reach. The charity wrote a cheque for $1 million.There's now just a $350,000 gap to fill to make DaVinci a permanent resident of Halifax.That's great news for Rendell, who is now speaking out as much as she can to help people understand what it can do. "I'm still marvelled at it. I just don't have the words all the time because I just can't believe how fast everything healed up."Seven weeks after her second surgery, she was back on the golf course, swinging the club better than ever."We always say DaVinci made me a better golfer. I think it's a he! He's my hero."It's my favourite robot," she laughed.MORE TOP STORIES
When Lenny Panigayak and his family were out seal hunting near Taloyoak, Nunavut, they came across a rare sight, even for experienced hunters. It was a full-size, beached, frozen bowhead whale. "That was a very, very amazing sight. It's my first time to see a bowhead," said Panigayak. When they got close to it, Panigayak said he saw a polar bear in the distance. He thinks there may have been three.The bear he had the clearest view of was about 12 feet tall, he guesses. Polar bears looking 'very healthy'"I could tell that that polar bear down there was walking down the flow and walking along the side of the flow edge. And I can tell it was not hungry. It was eating the bowhead way up on the shore," he said.Looking in another direction, he also saw a mother and cubs in the distance, looking very fat, healthy and big."It [was] very exciting, but nerve racking as well. Gets your blood pumping, because here you see all along the shore polar bear tracks that are fresh," he said.While he said it was scary to be there, he knew they were safe because they had their guns to defend themselves if they needed to. Panigayak said the area has a lot of polar bears throughout the year. He expects that when the ice becomes more stable, there will be more people going to look at the frozen bowhead whale."It's hard to describe the feeling," he said. "That was the first that I've seen any whales that died of natural causes. And it's very amazing. It's a very exciting feeling."
Polling done exclusively by Ipsos for Global News showed that 60 per cent of Canadians surveyed approve of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's performance in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and that Trudeau’s Liberals maintain their advantage over the Conservatives, with a five-point lead over the party.
LOS ANGELES — Mike Tyson showed glimpses of his destructive prime Saturday night during the 54-year-old boxing icon's return to the ring for a lively exhibition bout with 51-year-old Roy Jones Jr.Both fighters had impressive moments during a fight that was unofficially ruled a draw by the WBC judges at ringside. Tyson and Jones fought eight two-minute rounds, and both emerged smiling and apparently healthy from a highly unusual event at Staples Center.“This is better than fighting for championships,” Tyson said of the heavyweight exhibition, which raised money for various charities. “We’re humanitarians now. We can do something good for the world. We've got to do this again.”The former heavyweight champion of the world's return to the ring after a 15-year absence attracted international attention, and Iron Mike did his best to show the form that made him a legend to a generation of boxing fans. Tyson tagged Jones with body shots and a handful of head punches during a bout that was required to be a fairly safe glorious sparring session by the California State Athletic Commission.“The body shots definitely took a toll,” said Jones, the former four-division world champion widely considered the most skilled boxer of his generation. “It’s something to take the punches that Mike throws. I'm cool with a draw. Maybe we can do it again.”Jones walked to the ring with gloves and trunks honouring Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, while Tyson wore his signature all-black trunks. After the traditional pre-fight pomp and an introduction by Michael Buffer, the 50-something champions both came out throwing punches that evoked echoes of their glorious primes.They also tied up frequently on the inside, and their occasionally laboured breathing could be heard on the microphones in the empty arena.Hip hop star Snoop Dogg's witty television commentary was among the loudest noises inside Staples, and he had a handful of zingers: “This is like two of my uncles fighting at the barbecue!”Tyson and Jones were the headliners in the most improbable pay-per-view boxing event in years, engineered by social networking app Triller and featuring fights interspersed with hip hop performances in an empty arena.The event was derided as an anti-sporting spectacle by some critics, yet both Tyson and Jones appeared to handle themselves capably and safely. Fans were clearly enamoured, with the show getting enormous traction on social media.“I hit you with some good shots, and you took it,” Tyson said. “I respect that.”In the co-main event, YouTube star Jake Paul knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson, stopped in the second round of Robinson's pro boxing debut. Paul, in his second pro fight, recorded three knockdowns against Robinson, the three-time NBA Slam Dunk contest champion, before an overhand right put Robinson flat on his face and apparently unconscious.Tyson retired from boxing in 2005, saying he longer had “the fighting guts or the heart” after he quit in a dismal loss to journeyman Peter McBride. Finally free of his sport's relentless pressure, Tyson gradually straightened out his life, kicking a self-described drug addiction and eventually succeeding in acting, stage performance, charity work and even marijuana cultivation while settling into comfortable family life in Las Vegas with his third wife and their children.The idea of a boxing comeback seemed preposterous, but Tyson started toward this unlikely fight when he started doing 15 daily minutes on a treadmill a few years ago at his wife's urging in a bid to lose 100 pounds. The workouts soon became multi-hour affairs encompassing biking, running and finally punching as he regained a measure of his athletic prime through discipline and a vegan diet.Tyson posted a video of himself hitting pads on social media early in the coronavirus pandemic, and the overwhelming public response led to several lucrative offers for a ring comeback. With the chance to make money for himself and for charity, Tyson eventually agreed — but he had to find an opponent.Jones fought steadily into his late 40s, but thought he was done with the sport after winning his last bout in 2018. He couldn't resist the chance to take on Tyson after the greats never met during their first professional careers because Tyson was a heavyweight and Jones mostly was a light heavyweight (178 pounds).Tyson and Jones negotiated with the California commission over the limitations of their bout, eventually arriving at eight two-minute rounds of hard sparring with only ceremonial judging and no official winner. The WBC still stepped in to award a ceremonial “Frontline Battle Belt” to both fighters.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsGreg Beacham, The Associated Press
Rebellious forces from Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray said they had shot down a military plane and retaken a town from federal forces on Sunday, as war dragged on a day after the government announced its military offensive was over. There was no immediate comment from the government or the military on the claims made by Debretsion Gebremichael, leader of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), in text messages to Reuters.
Hundreds marched through downtown Calgary on Saturday to protest against mandated masks and other public health measures intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the same day record highs in new cases and hospitalizations were reported in the province.The protests, or "Walk for Freedom," have been a weekly occurrence in the city and across the country for months, but Saturday was the first since the province's 10-person limit on outdoor gatherings was announced on Tuesday."To see that there is a group of people in the Canadian population that is against masking, and to say that it infringes on their freedom, is taking the word out of context — it's actually an insult on all those civil rights heroes who fought for freedom," said Dr. Sajjad Fazel, a public health researcher at the University of Calgary."When we look at the word freedom, we're talking about when people's rights are taken away … you're not allowed to drink and drive without any consequences, right? Everything has a consequence … when it's for the public good, the scenario changes."Fazel is part of a team of researchers and scientists studying COVID-19 misinformation to provide recommendations as to how it can be addressed. Some signs at Saturday's protest expressed misinformation, saying vaccines can alter DNA or that masks cause bacterial or fungal infections. Others expressed economic concerns, or anger at the federal or provincial government. Members of at least two far-right or white supremacist groups were also seen in attendance. Fazel said anti-mask protests show the need for clearer public health messaging — and he said empathy is an important tool when having these conversations about science and health.He suggests more conversation can help people understand the roots behind concerns, whether it's a small business owner worried about their livelihood or someone with anti-government sentiment frustrated by mixed messages."Misinformation isn't just lies, it's a mix of truth and lies mixed up together," Fazel said. "One thing that I always tell people is don't look at what one particular doctor, scientist, researcher sees, but look at what the overall body of science and literature is."One of those in attendance at Saturday's protest, lawyer Doris Reimer, said she was there to make sure Canadians know what their rights are."They're violating our human rights over and over and over again — they're bombarding us with mandates left right and centre, and it's unbelievable," Reimer said. Reimer said she doesn't know what the province's latest enforcement measures include, but said the restrictions are pitting families against each other.The new restrictions include a ban on indoor social gatherings, limiting outdoor gatherings to 10 people and moving Grades 7-12 students to online learning until winter break. Most businesses can remain open, subject to capacity rules, and masks are mandatory inside workplaces in Calgary and Edmonton. Protester Charles Haskett said he's concerned the government could use a heavy-handed approach to fines as an income source. Those who break the rules could be subject to a $1,000 fine and up to $100,000 through the courts. "I don't see the value in condemning people and publicly shaming them and fining them for expressing our opinions," Haskett said.No protesters ticketedNo tickets were handed out at Saturday's protest, but police say they are considering a plan for strategic enforcement going forward. In a release issued Sunday, police said their primary objective is to ask for voluntary compliance and to educate the public on the restrictions."With that said, participants in these events are being investigated. Our ticketing is strategic and will take into consideration a number of factors," police said in a release. "Although citizens may not witness the summons at the time, that does not necessarily mean we are not exploring those options."We know this is a difficult time right now and we will use discretion as we do in many aspects of our job."In Ontario on Thursday, two police services announced charges related to anti-mask "freedom" rallies.Haskett said he's concerned with a lack of transparency and inconsistency in messaging.That's something Fazel also said has been a problem."I think the government, really both provincial and federal, need to invest heavily on tailored and targeted public health messages," he said."I'm sorry to say this, but it doesn't help to have politicians and political leaders who aren't adhering to public health recommendations, who aren't supporting public health recommendations fully … that further steels people's belief in [misinformation]."Beyond conversation, Fazel said enforcement of restrictions also remains an important tool —especially as the second wave builds."Definitely having people with no masks congregating on the streets doesn't help anybody. In fact, it does lead to outbreaks and cases increasing," Fazel said."It's just like when somebody is drunk driving, there [are] some consequences. And I believe there need to be consequences for breaking public health orders, especially at this scale. Alberta Justice Minister Kaycee Madu said Friday that police have independence to make some determinations as to how to enforce health measures, but that he expects those who violate health measures will be held accountable.