Senate Majority Leader sits down with 'FOX News @ Night' host Shannon Bream
Milly Squires is still trying to figure out how her athletic and healthy 22-year-old boyfriend died after jumping off the cliffs at the Mactaquac Headpond on Wednesday afternoon. Aranyam Bora, who usually went by Ary, was a competitive bodybuilder and martial artist and was in incredible physical condition, said Squires, a McAdam native and third-year St. Thomas University student. Squires said Bora told her he was going cliff diving at the headpond, about 20 kilometres west of Fredericton, with a friend on Wednesday.She said he was a bit of daredevil and had previously talked about jumping off bridges. She said she didn't worry about him until he didn't text her "good night" at the end of the day. Several text messages to him went unanswered and, by Thursday morning, she started to panic. She contacted the friend who was with him at Mactaquac the day before and heard what happened. His body was found by RCMP divers just before noon on Thursday. Bora was a fourth-year St. Thomas University student, majoring in political science and international relations. He was from India and came to New Brunswick to study. Squires said she and Bora were opposites — she the introvert, and he "just the absolute opposite." She recalls sitting with him under a bridge this past summer and him trying to flag down boaters to try to make new friends. "He was wonderful … kind, caring, so compassionate. He loved life. He loved his family so much. He loved India and he loved just making people smile."Squires said he was the life of the party. "He brought a smile to everyone's face who knew him. His energy was just contagious as soon as you walked into any room with him." She has spoken with the friend who was with Bora. She said the woman used his phone to film his cliff diving for his Instagram account. Squires hopes the footage will help determine what happened to him. The RCMP, although they haven't named him, said Bora initially surfaced but soon started to appear in distress. They say a witness jumped in to try to help but was unsuccessful and he went under and didn't resurface. Squires was told that Bora appeared to be fine after the jump, but soon started flailing his arms. The friend tried to help, but "he just kept pushing her under." She managed to get back to shore, but he didn't. Squires hopes the cellphone footage will help give some answers. RCMP Const. Hans Ouellette said an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. No other details were available, he said. Squires said she had never been to the cliffs at the Mactaquac Headpond and doesn't think Bora had ever been there either. Sarah Kohut, the president of the St. Thomas University Students' Union, wasn't familiar with the cliffs either and said she wasn't sure how well-known they were to students. But locals say the spot has been popular with young people for decades. Larry Jewett, who owns the Mactaquac Marina, has lived in the area his whole life and people have been jumping off the cliffs for as long as he can remember. He said people continued to frequent the site even after NB Power, which owns the land, erected a fence and signs a few years ago. The cliffs are located between the dam and the Riverside Resort. A dirt road leads from the main road, but there's a gate across it. "People were still getting around," said Jewett. Mactaquac fire Chief Murray Crouse is also familiar with the area. He said the fencing, even with signs, "doesn't seem to deter them." He said it's about a six or seven-metre drop to the surface of the headpond and about 15 metres (50 feet) of water below. "There's lots of water there, so I'm not sure what happened," Crouse said on Friday. The water on Thursday morning was still about 19 C, he said. When asked about whether young people should dive at the site, he said, "They probably shouldn't, but I don't know how you would stop it." One of the signs, posted at the gate says, "Danger. Keep out. Access beyond this point may result in drowning."Since the measures were put in place in 2015, the gate has been wrecked, barbed wire at the top of the fence has been cut, and a hole was made through the fence. Despite repeated attempts by CBC News, a spokesperson for NB Power did not not respond to a request for an interview. The impact of Bora's death, meanwhile, has "resonated" across STU's small campus, where "everyone knows everyone," said Kohut. She encourages anyone who may be struggling to reach out. She said the university is providing a number of resources, including drop-in sessions in the student lounge in Sir James Dunn Hall on Saturday and Monday from noon to 4 p.m. For those off-campus, an online Zoom session has been organized for Saturday at noon.
For 16 years, Edmonton retiree Jack McGuire and his wife wintered in Mexico. But like countless other snowbirds, the pandemic has interrupted their usual migration south.Instead, McGuire is planning a 10-day canoe trip in B.C. while he polishes up his snowblower. He'll see snow for the first time in eight years."I'm really disappointed," McGuire told CBC News. "Winter is not real healthy here for a lot of people because the streets are slippery. Older people have to be a little more cautious and we get a lot more exercise down in Mexico than we do here."I'm going to look for a pair of winter boots. I've got some cross-country skis that I never sold in the last garage sale."Although Mexican resorts have reopened, McGuire remains cautious."I don't have any underlying health problems, but you still don't want to end up in a hospital in a foreign country," he said.Quarantining 'real deterrent'According to the Canadian Snowbird Association, McGuire is one of roughly 350,000 Canadians who travel south annually, now faced with an abrupt change in retirement plans.Some, like McGuire, are travelling in Canada, according to Lesley Paull, owner of Paull Travel in Edmonton. But international travel is slow."These next three or four months, people are just kind of hanging on," Paull said."A lot of people really want to travel, but the thought of going for a week or two or three somewhere — and coming back and quarantining for two weeks — is a real deterrent." At the Leduc Lions Campground, manager Tamara Carmichael and her husband are trying to figure out what to do.The couple, like many full time RV dwellers, prepaid last year for their usual spot in Yuma, Ariz."So it leaves us in a position here where you're basically paying your rent twice," Carmichael said. "And honestly, a lot of snowbirds go south in the winter because it's cheaper. So now we're looking at paying twice and paying more money if we have to go in somewhere here. And financially, we're not in that tax bracket."As RV parks in B.C. that offer winter camping fill up, some are choosing another option.Terry Shoemaker is storing the motorhome he usually takes down to Arizona and settling into a hotel suite in Edmonton where he's determined to make the most of it."I might buy myself a heat lamp and a bag of sand and a little kiddie pool, put it in the suite and that'll be my summer place," Shoemaker joked.
The world's nations must do all they can to understand the origins of COVID-19, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday, comments that could worsen tensions with China. Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Morrison said an inquiry into the roots of the virus would minimise the threat of another global pandemic. Morrison's comments came after similar comments by the prime minister earlier in the year soured ties between Australia and China.
The dry summer shrank a lake in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley, revealing ancient Mi'kmaw artifacts and starting a conversation about how to best preserve such finds.Aaron Taylor, an archeologist, has seen both recent finds — a point likely prepared for a spear and an arrowhead. "They're works of art," he told CBC News in a phone interview. "The person making this, their family ate or didn't eat, depending on how well their tools are [made]." Taylor, who teaches at Saint Mary's University and Acadia University, has excavated sites such as the Grand Pré UNESCO World Heritage site, Beechville Black Refugee site and the Gaspereau Lake pre-contact site.Both recent finds were likely made and used about 1,500 years ago, he said, as the material came from a quarry Mi'kmaw people used around that time. The larger point was left half undone. "Which means that the person using it was trying to make it into a point, but for some reason gave up on it, Taylor said. "It's a beautiful piece, well-worked, but they didn't continue on to create what was going to be an arrowhead or a point."Location shows Mi'kmaw trade routesTaylor said it would likely have taken a skilled toolmaker half a day to turn the raw materials into a completed point. He speculates they may have detected a flaw in the stone that would have led it to break, so they abandoned it. The point was found about 100 kilometres from the quarry, showing the long-distance trade routes Mi'kmaw people used, he said. "The Mi'kmaq used rivers like we use highways," he said. "All the rivers are places with high potential to find First Nations materials: points, arrowheads, scrappers, pottery."He said the people who made the artifacts likely lived in villages of 30-50 people and would have been well connected to other similarly sized Mi'kmaw villages and traded across Mi'kma'ki and into today's Ohio Valley. Taylor is working to create a better way to study the land and predict where Mi'kmaw people would have lived in different periods of their 13,000 years — and counting — in this land. That will make it easier to find artifacts and learn more about their lives, he said.Currently, most finds are like these two recent ones where people stumble over them while hunting or fishing. "It's great to have it, but most of the information comes from what it was associated with. Where it was found, where in the stratum it was found," he said.A window into the deep pastMany such finds are eventually preserved at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax.No one from the museum was available for an interview about these finds, but Katie Cottreau-Robins, curator of archeology at the museum, said the artifacts are "significant and speak to Mi'kmaw pre-history in the province." She said the changing climate has been exposing artifacts that long lay covered. More people contact the museum these days to share their finds, she said in an email. She said if someone finds such an artifact, they should leave it in place and contact the museum. "A new find may represent a new site. New sites contribute very important information to our collective understanding of the Mi'kmaq before and after the colonial presence," she wrote. "Some individuals have donated private collections of artifacts to the museum. The artifacts are visited and studied by the Mi'kmaq, students, community members, and the archeology professional community. They are exhibited and loaned to organizations and used in teaching and training."Roger Lewis, curator of ethnology at the museum, said publishing the location of such finds can lead to treasure hunting and "looting," so CBC is not publishing the name of the lake where they were discovered. Two modern fishers find ancient toolsLeah Stultz found the point while on a fishing trip in the Annapolis Valley. "We were walking along where normally it would be filled with water, the lake bed, and I found it," she said. "I noticed the colour first. It was so vibrant and out of place."She picked it up and put it in her pocket as a curiosity. She later learned of its significance. Nicholas Clark found the arrowhead in the same area as he walked over the cracked earth that would usually be flooded. "I was looking where I was walking so I wouldn't break an ankle," he said. "I noticed what looked like an arrowhead sitting in the mud."He collected the find and has stored it in his home for now.MORE TOP STORIES
NEW YORK — At a University of Maryland lab, people infected with the new coronavirus take turns sitting in a chair and putting their faces into the big end of a large cone. They recite the alphabet and sing or just sit quietly for a half hour. Sometimes they cough.The cone sucks up everything that comes out of their mouths and noses. It's part of a device called “Gesundheit II” that is helping scientists study a big question: Just how does the virus that causes COVID-19 spread from one person to another?It clearly hitchhikes on small liquid particles sprayed out by an infected person. People expel particles while coughing, sneezing, singing, shouting, talking and even breathing. But the drops come in a wide range of sizes, and scientists are trying to pin down how risky the various kinds are.The answer affects what we should all be doing to avoid getting sick. That's why it was thrust into headlines a few days ago when a U.S. health agency appeared to have shifted its position on the issue, but later said it had published new language in error.The recommendation to stay at least 6 feet (2 metres) apart — some authorities cite about half that distance — is based on the idea that larger particles fall to the ground before they can travel very far. They are like the droplets in a spritz of a window cleaner, and they can infect somebody by landing on their nose, mouth or eyes, or maybe being inhaled.But some scientists are now focusing on tinier particles, the ones that spread more like cigarette smoke. Those are carried by wisps of air and even upward drafts caused by the warmth of our bodies. They can linger in the air for minutes to hours, spreading throughout a room and build up if ventilation is poor.The potential risk comes from inhaling them. Measles can spread this way, but the new coronavirus is far less contagious than that.For these particles, called aerosols, “6 feet is not a magic distance,’’ says Linsey Marr, a leading researcher who is studying them at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. But she says it's still important to keep one's distance from others, “the farther the better,” because aerosols are most concentrated near a source and pose a bigger risk at close range.Public health agencies have generally focused on the larger particles for coronavirus. That prompted more than 200 other scientists to publish a plea in July to pay attention to the potential risk from aerosols. The World Health Organization, which had long dismissed a danger from aerosols except in the case of certain medical procedures, later said that aerosol transmission of the coronavirus can’t be ruled out in cases of infection within crowded and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.The issue drew attention recently when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted and then deleted statements on its website that highlighted the idea of aerosol spread. The agency said the posting was an error, and that the statements were just a draft of proposed changes to its recommendations.Dr. Jay Butler, CDC's deputy director for infectious disease, told The Associated Press that the agency continues to believe larger and heavier droplets that come from coughing or sneezing are the primary means of transmission.Last month Butler told a scientific meeting that current research suggests aerosol spreading of the coronavirus is possible but it doesn’t seem to be the main way that people get infected. Further research may change that conclusion, he added, and he urged scientists to study how often aerosol spread of the coronavirus occurs, what situations make it more likely and what reasonable steps might prevent it.Marr said she thinks infection by aerosols is “happening a lot more than people initially were willing to think.”As a key piece of evidence, Marr and others point to so-called “superspreader” events where one infected person evidently passed the virus to many others in a single setting.In March, for example, after a choir member with coronavirus symptoms attended a rehearsal in Washington state, 52 others who had been seated throughout the room were found to be infected and two died. In a crowded and poorly ventilated restaurant in China in January, the virus evidently spread from a lunchtime patron to five people at two adjoining tables in a pattern suggesting aerosols were spread by the air conditioner. Also in January, a passenger on a Chinese bus apparently infected 23 others, many of whom were scattered around the vehicle.Butler said such events raise concern about aerosol spread but don’t prove it happens.There could be another way for tiny particles to spread. They may not necessarily come directly from somebody's mouth or nose, says William Ristenpart of the University of California, Davis. His research found that if paper tissues are seeded with influenza virus and then crumpled, they give off particles that bear the virus. So people emptying a wastebasket with tissues discarded by somebody with COVID-19 should be sure to wear a mask, he said.Scientists who warn about aerosols say current recommendations still make sense.Wearing a mask is still important, and make sure it fits snugly. Keep washing those hands diligently. And again, staying farther apart is better than being closer together. Avoid crowds, especially indoors.Their main addition to recommendations is ventilation to avoid a buildup of aerosol concentration. So, the researchers say, stay out of poorly ventilated rooms. Open windows and doors. One can also use air-purifying devices or virus-inactivating ultraviolet light.Best of all: Just do as much as you can outdoors, where dilution and the sun's ultraviolet light work in your favour.“We know outdoors is the most spectacularly effective measure, by far,’’ says Jose-Luis Jimenez of the University of Colorado-Boulder. “Outdoors it is not impossible to get infected, but it is difficult.”The various precautions should be used in combination rather than just one at a time, researchers say. In a well ventilated environment, “6 feet (of separation) is pretty good if everybody’s got a mask on” and nobody stays directly downwind of an infected person for very long, says Dr. Donald Milton of the University of Maryland School of Public Health, whose lab houses the Gesundheit II machine.Duration of exposure is important, so there's probably not much risk from a short elevator ride while masked or being passed by a jogger on the sidewalk, experts say.Scientists have published online tools for calculating risk of airborne spread in various settings.At a recent meeting on aerosols, however, Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, noted that preventive steps can be a challenge in the real world. Keeping apart from other people can be difficult in homes that house multiple generations. Some old buildings have windows that were “nailed shut years ago,” he said. And “we have far too many communities where they simply don’t have access to clean water to wash their hands."It might seem strange that for all the scientific frenzy to study the new coronavirus, the details of how it spreads can still be in doubt nine months later. But history suggests patience.“We've been studying influenza for 102 years," says Milton, referring to the 1918 flu epidemic. “We still don't know how it's transmitted and what the role of aerosols is."___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all contentMalcolm Ritter, The Associated Press
Coughing or sneezing in public has always been part of allergy and flu season, but today people might get a worried glance from their fellow citizens if they show any symptoms that are related to COVID-19.The Saskatchewan Health Authority has published a list that compares the symptoms of COVID-19 with those of allergies.According to the SHA list, fatigue, sore throat, shortness of breath and congestion are symptoms that can occur sometimes in both cases.Runny noses, which are commonly associated with seasonal allergies, are rare in cases of COVID-19.Itchy and watery eyes, and sneezing are also commonly associated with allergies, but are not COVID-19 symptoms.Challenges for people with allergiesFor people with allergies, it hasn't been an easy fall. Shannon Stumph said the smoke from forest fires has been irritating her allergies and she's been on the receiving end of funny looks if she coughs or sniffles in public."I have taken probably way more allergy medication in the last few months than I have in my entire life, just so that I can avoid that in public."Especially in the spring and fall, coughing, itchy eyes, a scratchy throat and a runny nose are not unusual reactions of her body. Usually the Regina woman chooses more natural alternatives to treat her allergy symptoms, like teas. Now she wants to make sure that the symptoms are always allergy-related. If she is unsure, she takes an allergy pill to see if symptoms go away within a certain time period. "It's on me, too, to just make sure that I'm actually healthy."The Saskatchewan Health Authority also recommends on its website that if your go-to allergy medication does not work to improve symptoms in the usual timeframe, your should stay home and call the Health Line or your physician in order to arrange a COVID-19 test.Allergy stigmaStumph believes there will continue to be a stigma during COVID-19 toward anybody who coughs or sniffles in public."It would be great if those of us who have allergies would have T-shirts to wear when we go out in public ... that just say, 'Oh, it's allergies,' or something like that."The Saskatchewan Health Authority notes that the information on the chart is broad and "does not apply to every individual circumstance." People should contact their physician for advice if they have questions about their situation.People who have had allergies chronically for years often know the difference between their allergy symptoms, a cold or a flu, according to Stumph."I'm stuffed up every single morning when I wake up, regardless of what's going on," she said.Seasonal allergies in schoolsSeasonal allergies with COVID-like symptoms can be particularly challenging for school children. Regina Catholic Schools, for example, asks families to use their daily screening questionnaire each day, which also lists symptoms such as runny nose.Parents should talk to the principal or teacher if they know that a symptom is specific to another condition, said spokesperson Twylla West in an email."Depending on the situation, we will react accordingly," she said."A school might ask for a doctor's note, as we will always err on the side of caution while conducting the business of education during a global pandemic."Reducing exposure to allergy triggersAccording to the Saskatchewan Health Authority, people suffering from seasonal allergies can also try to reduce their exposure to things that trigger allergies. This includes: * Staying indoors on dry, windy days. * Delegating lawn mowing and other gardening chores to others. * Showering after spending time outdoors. * Washing outdoor clothes. * Closing windows at night. * Using high-efficiency filters in the furnace. * Vacuuming often.CBC Saskatchewan wants to tell more stories about how the pandemic is touching the province's most vulnerable and marginalized populations. How has COVID-19 affected you? Share your story using our online questionnaire.
WARSAW, Poland — Nobel Prize-winning writer Olga Tokarczuk has declined an honorary citizenship from the region of Poland where she lives because she would have had to share the honour with a Roman Catholic bishop who has made hostile comments about the LGBT community.Tokarczuk said in a tweet Friday that while she appreciated being considered, she “sadly” couldn't accept Lower Silesia’s honorary citizenship. She said that receiving it at the same time as Bishop Ignacy Dec would highlight the “painful rift” in Poland over LGBT rights.“I do not want to become an object of such actions and an element in this game,” said Tokarczuk, the winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in literature and a vocal supporter of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.Dec has repeatedly described the LGBT rights movement as a threat to the Catholic Church and to Poland, which is predominantly Catholic.Local councillors linked to Poland's centrist opposition Civic Coalition party nominated Tokarczuk as a honorary citizen, while members of the right-wing Law and Justice party that governs the country recommended Dec.Tokarczuk, who lives in the southwestern city of Wroclaw, explained her reasons behind declining the honour.“Instead of being a joyous celebration of a sense of community, it is a vivid illustration of the painful rift in our society,” she said.Poland has produced heated debates over LGBT rights in recent months, including after right-wing President Andrzej Duda described the movement as worse than communism as part of his reelection campaign earlier this year.The Associated Press
TORONTO — Bars and restaurants across Ontario will shut down earlier and all strip clubs will close, Premier Doug Ford announced Friday, saying the new rules were needed to fight a surge in COVID-19 cases.Ford said the latest restrictions would help reduce transmission in high-risk businesses.Bars and restaurants will now be required to close at midnight, except for takeout and delivery, and will have to stop serving alcohol by 11 p.m."We've seen doubling in cases in a very short period of time and it's very, very concerning," Ford said. "There's been outbreaks and ... we just can't chance it."Some mayors in the Greater Toronto Area had requested similar measures for weeks, and Ford had initially resisted taking action, saying municipalities had the power to impose restrictions on businesses under public health regulations if they wanted to.On Friday, however, Ford said a change was necessary."We just can't have these places open until three o'clock in the morning," he said. "But we're being very balanced, I feel."The new rules follow a decision by the province last week to change limits on social gatherings, lowering the number of people permitted at outdoor events to 25 and indoor events to 10.A spokesman for Restaurants Canada said Friday that the government had not shown that organization any data to backup the restrictions, but the businesses will continue to do their part to fight the pandemic.James Rilett, the group's vice-president of Central Canada, said the new restrictions would have a detrimental impact on night clubs and bars, many of which are already struggling to survive."It will have an incredibly bad impact on some restaurants at a time where you have historic debt loads and you're starting to close down outdoor patios," he said.Green party Leader Mike Schreiner said with the new restrictions on bars and restaurants in place the province must offer some financial support."I feel for owners and employees who will be affected by these new restrictions," he said in a statement. "(They) must be accompanied by help for small businesses to stay afloat during a second wave."NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the Ford government has let COVID-19 infections rise by delaying putting new public health measures in place."We are teetering on another health and economic disaster because this government has not been listening, and not been acting," she said in a statement.Ford also announced Friday that the province will spend an additional $741 million to help clear a backlog of surgeries that has developed at Ontario hospitals during the pandemic.Health Minister Christine Elliott said the funds will help the health-care system to build more capacity to manage surges in COVID-19 cases and outbreaks."We are working directly with our health-care partners to ensure our ... system is ready to respond to the challenges that we face with future waves of COVID-19," she said.The president of the Ontario Hospital Association warned Friday that the pandemic is straining health-care resources across the province and further action will be needed to respond to rising case rates.Anthony Dale said currently hospitals are running assessment centres, processing COVID-19 tests, helping manage some long-term care homes, working to cut the surgical backlogs and handling their normal operations."Any serious wave of COVID-19 means that it will be impossible for hospitals to continue all those roles at once, full stop," he said. "And the only way to keep hospitals functioning in the way that the public wants and expects is to help stop the spread of COVID-19."Dale urged people across the province to follow basic health guidelines like practising physical distancing, hand-washing and wearing a mask to stop the rise in case numbers."I think it's about helping people understand that things have changed, and change very quickly, in just a little under two weeks," he said. "And we don't have much time at all."Ontario reported 409 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, and one new death related to the virus.The province said it processed 41,865 tests over the previous day, with another 65,227 under investigation.Meanwhile, Toronto's top public health official ordered four hospitality businesses to close on Friday.The businesses were flouting public health protocols and evading investigators, Dr. Eileen de Villa said, adding that some were pressuring staff to work, even when sick.The businesses, whose names she did not share because the operation to shut them down was not yet complete, will be allowed to reopen once the city is satisfied they'll follow the rules.Also in Toronto, officials declared an outbreak at Glen Park Public School in North York — the city's first school-based outbreak — after two students tested positive for the virus.Two class cohorts — one with 17 children and the other with 18 — were sent home to self-isolate for 14 days, as was one staff member, de Villa said."All steps have been followed as expected in a situation of this nature," she said."One of the realities of living in a world with COVID-19 is that there will be cases in schools. Today's news is expected. I expect there will be similar announcements in future and you can be confident the steps developed to manage the situation and reduce the risk of spread will be followed."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2020.Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said he was “disappointed” to hear of an RCMP policy that calls for all officers to shave their beards and wear medical-grade face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic as a safety measure. It is being criticized as discriminatory against Sikh and Muslim officers whom keep facial hair for religious reasons.
Paula Tulk will never know exactly what kind of mushroom her son ate on his first day of school, but it will be hard to forget the stress of the ensuing ordeal that sent her son to hospital with his entire family fearing for his life.Alexander Tulk, 6, came home from his first day of Grade 1 on Sept. 9 at Lumsden Academy "pretty happy, but pretty lethargic as well, saying that he had a tummy ache," said Tulk.Shortly after supper, still in pain, Alexander told his parents he had eaten a mushroom at school, sending his mom into "pure panic, absolute panic," she said.Tulk, her husband and Alexander went to the schoolyard to try to figure out what type of mushroom it was, but there were several types growing and they couldn't tell, despite taking pictures and sharing them on a Facebook mushroom page for help.Tulk took Alexander to a medical clinic while a friend, and local forager, continued to search the yard with Alexander's father. They all reconvened at home after Alexander was discharged, with Tulk advised to monitor her son for certain symptoms.Alexander's pain and diarrhea grew worse, and at 11 p.m., a stranger knocked at the door — a mushroom expert who had caught wind of what happened. Tulk said they were advised there was "a 50-50 chance your child ate a poisonous mushroom" — possibly a white amanita, the most toxic of all North American mushrooms — and urged them to go to the emergency room at the Gander hospital.ER experienceThe family hit the road, and the doctors were waiting for them when they arrived."They came and they briefed us of the things that they were going to be doing to him," Tulk said, as doctors hooked him up to an IV to flush his system, drew blood and tested it every few hours, and continually monitored him.There were discussions of airlifting Alexander, Tulk said, as the doctors worried about the type of mushroom involved."This poisonous mushroom starts liquefying your organs, it starts with your liver and your kidney first. At that point there's absolutely nothing that they can do for you here, because it's such a remote area that there is not antidote," she said.> Children need a safe place to play at school. \- Paula TulkBut as continual rounds of blood work came back with stable results, Alexander was discharged, and his family were told to stay nearby and return for samples the following day. More testing followed, and by Sept. 13, doctors declared Alexander in the clear.Relief flooded through the household."It's something I'm never going to be able to describe to anybody. You just have this huge weight off of your chest and off of your heart," Tulk told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.School yard safetyNearly two weeks later, the ordeal's aftermath lingers, and Alexander is still having a hard time."We have to have daily talks with him about it. He's still scared that something's going to happen to him," said Tulk.Tulk doesn't want her son, or any child, to have to relive that experience, and she wrote to the school board asking for changes — to install warning signs, and to spray the yard with a fungicide. "Their concerns was that the anti-fungal spray would not be safe for the children to play in," she said. "If that's the case, they need to come up with a brand new area for our children to play that is safe."The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District confirmed it is not considering using fungicide, but in a statement to CBC News said staff are conducting daily inspections of the yard until colder weather sets in."Staff have also spoken with students about the potential dangers of consuming something unknown," the statement reads, in part."There has also been an added emphasis placed on supervision during free time outdoors, particularly for the younger grades."Still, Tulk would like to see greater safety after all her family has been through. Adding to the burden, two days after Alexander got the all-clear, his father had a massive heart attack."We were told that the panic and the worry and the concern and the stress from Alexander's ordeal put Steven into a massive heart attack," said Tulk.Her husband is on the mend, she said, crediting family and friends for stepping up during the medical emergencies to see them through. She hopes lasting changes come to her child's school."Children need a safe place to play at school. We shouldn't have to worry about our children's safety while they're there."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
With the U.S. election just over four weeks away and U.S. President Donald Trump announcing his pick today to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Democrats will be seeking any means to try and scuttle the confirmation.Trump's choice is expected to be Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who, if confirmed, will tilt the court toward a 6-3 conservative majority. But there's very little the Democrats can do to prevent the Supreme Court nomination from going through.There's one potential deal Democrats could try to make, says George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin.The idea, which has gained traction among some academics and commentators, is simple: If the Republicans agree not to ram through a nominee, the Democrats would agree not to "pack the court" — meaning, they would scrap their threat to, if they win power, increase the number of Supreme Court justices on the bench to tilt the ideological makeup back to their side."In order to make [the deal] work, you only need a relatively small number of key senators on both sides," Somin said.As for the likelihood of both sides to agree to such a deal, Vanderbilt University political science professor Bruce Oppenheimer offered a two-word response:"Dream on."Or, as Charles Jacobs, a political science professor at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin, explained: "The Democrats are holding very weak cards and [Republican Senate majority leader Mitch] McConnell knows it. No reason to make the deal."Indeed, as Oppenheimer, Jacobs and other political science experts suggest, that leaves few avenues for the Democrats."Their procedural options are very limited," Oppenheimer said. "They could delay things somewhat, but not stop it."The decision by the Republican-controlled Senate to rush through Trump's nominee has outraged Democrats, still stinging from McConnell's refusal to allow an Obama Supreme Court appointment in 2016 because, he said, it was an election year. Democrats argue the appointment should be made by whomever wins the upcoming election.But Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate chamber and can confirm a justice by a simple majority.Procedural optionsIn 2013, then-Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid and the Democratic caucus were frustrated that the Republicans were blocking Obama's picks to the federal judiciary through use of the filibuster, a procedure to delay or prevent a vote on a particular issue from taking place.Reid decided to use the so-called nuclear option (overriding the need for a supermajority in favour of a simple majority) to scrap the use of the filibuster when it came to court appointees below the Supreme Court. WATCH | Trump booed as he pays respects to Ruth Bader GinsburgIn 2017, with the Republicans in charge of the Senate, McConnell took it a step further and scrapped the filibuster for Supreme Court justices.That's how the Democrats find themselves without the most effective procedural weapon to prevent Trump's Supreme Court nominee from going forward. "I think it is a consequence of the action that the Democrats originally took in 2013," said Richard Arenberg, author of Congressional Procedure: A Practical Guide to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress.While Reid's move may have been understandable at the time, "it was short-sighted," Arenberg said. "It was clear that it was a slippery slope." So, procedurally, what are the Democrats left with? There are things they can do to slow down the process at the margins, said Molly E. Reynolds, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution.They could force repeated roll call votes on the Senate floor on items that are usually dispensed with by unanimous consent without a vote, she said. Or they could deny committees the ability to meet after the Senate has been in session for two hours, under a convoluted "two-hour rule.""They may well try some of these things in order to slow down the process and to draw attention to the fact that Republicans are trying to move very quickly," she said.Impeachment again?In an interview with ABC News This Week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wouldn't rule out moving to impeach the president or Attorney General Bill Barr to try and prevent the Senate from voting on Trump's court pick.But Reynolds said even if the Democratic-controlled House moved quickly enough to send articles of impeachment over to the Senate, Republicans could dispense with it quickly with a simple majority vote.McConnell has said the Senate has "more than sufficient time" to vote on the nominee before the election.But Jacobs cast doubt on such plans."A contemporary nomination to the United States Supreme Court takes, give or take, six to 10 weeks to complete," he said. "If they kind of follow what is typical, it's highly unlikely this person gets confirmed before the election."The process includes a comprehensive FBI background check, time for the Senate judiciary committee to prep for hearings, the hearings themselves, which can last a few days, and the days relegated for debate on the floor."If you just sort of plot out all of those processes, it takes a long time," Jacobs said.Even if Trump loses the election, he remains on the job until Jan. 20, 2021, and the current Senate remains in place until Jan. 3 — plenty of time to get Trump's nominee through. Yet Arenberg believes the vote will happen before the election."The Congress moves very slowly 95 per cent of the time," Arenberg said. "And when they want to do something quickly and they have the votes, it can happen with amazing speed."What next?It is possible that something controversial emerges from the nominee's past, which would put more pressure on the time constraints."The only thing that could change all of this, as has happened in the past, if something appears in the nominee's record ... such that a sufficient number of Republicans are upset and don't want to confirm," Oppenheimer said.For example, in 1987, Judge Douglas Ginsburg was forced to withdraw his nomination after it was revealed he had smoked marijuana as a college student and Harvard law professor. In 2018, allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh prolonged his nomination process, with an additional hearing held for his accuser, though his nomination was ultimately confirmed.If the vote to confirm is not held before the election, the Democrats have one hope of derailing Trump's nomination: If Biden takes the White House, some Republicans might be more inclined to vote with them.For instance, Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins has already said the appointment of the Supreme Court justice should be made by the president who is elected on Nov. 3. And Republican Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski appears to be on the fence on the matter. "[After the election] it might be hard to hold all Republican senators," Oppenheimer said.Which is why Oppenheimer believes McConnell will do what he can to have the vote held before the election."I think strategically, they think the risks of doing it after are too great."
Canadians in need of sports equipment and fitness gear to stay healthy and have fun during a pandemic winter have learned a valuable lesson: Shop early to avoid disappointment."People saw what happened with kiddie pools and fitness equipment in the spring," said Gillian Montgomery, who co-owns Skiis and Biikes, a sporting goods chain with three locations in southern Ontario. Her stores are already unusually busy."Normally we don't have interest in winter products until we see the snow and even until Christmas, but this year we've had maybe 30 calls just since September about getting cross-country skiing equipment."At Calgary's Abom Ski & Board, owner Randy Ahl already has a "big, long" waiting list for entry-level cross-country ski packages that haven't even arrived at the store yet.Wait lists already growing"Whether it's a couple or a family, they're saying, 'We want a phone call when those things come in,'" said Ahl, who has already outfitted entire families with boots, poles and skis that he does have in stock. "I consider over $2,000 to be a fairly big purchase, and that's happened already more than a dozen times."People who plan to exercise indoors are prepping as well. Drew Berner has installed a home gym in his Toronto garage.I fully intend to be out there all winter long," said the father of three-year-old twins. "My garage is detached, but it is insulated, and I'm going to get a little space heater."Early in the pandemic with gyms locked down, health-conscious Canadians made alternate arrangements, following along with exercise instructors on YouTube, joining classes held in parks, or buying exercise gear to use at home. But many retailers were unable to satisfy demand for sporting goods and fitness equipment. Canadian Tire experienced triple-digit growth in the category. "Consumer demand far exceeded both historical demand and available inventory," the company said in a statement to CBC News. A sense of urgencyWhen Berner tried to find a set of weights, an exercise bike and a rowing machine for his garage gym, he found most were already sold out. Only by persisting was he able to get what he needed. He spent $3,000 on a mix of new and second-hand equipment."That involved everything from having alerts set on Kijiji ... to having email alerts from stores so I would be notified as soon as they had things I wanted in stock," said Berner, noting that he had to act fast before another buyer scooped them up. Now, as cases of COVID-19 surge across Canada, national fitness chains such as GoodLife Fitness and F45 Training remain open — with limited capacity. Even so, some gym members are unwilling to return to an environment where people breathe heavily and sweat. And the market for used goods is again red hot.The most popular search terms on online seller Kijiji are still dumbbells, ellipticals and exercise bikes, said company's manager of community relations, Kent Sikstrom. Second-hand Peloton Bikes have more than doubled since this time last year, while inquiries about elliptical machines are up 39 per cent and treadmills inquiries are up 15 per cent. "Probably in the next couple of weeks we may see snow shoes, cross-country skis, sleds, and snowboard begin to create a new trend for the season," said Sikstrom. eBay Canada, which sells both new and used goods, is also reporting significant increases. Stair machines are up 230 per cent from this time last year, while treadmills sales are up 280 per cent, according to the head of the Canadian operation, Rob Bigler.Gear not essential"We've been super busy," said Bigler. "It's a great time to sell that treadmill that's been sitting in your basement, maybe being used to hang up laundry."But Samantha Monpetit-Huynh, a fitness coach and trainer in Toronto, pointed out that a lot of gear isn't essential to stay active and healthy."People forget your body is probably the best piece of equipment you've got," she said. "You don't need all this stuff — you just need to move and you need to do it regularly. More than once a week."Monpetit-Huynh said it's possible to use laundry detergent bottles or soup cans as weights, and go for walks or runs. However, she recently invested $3,000 in a brand-new Peloton exercise bicycle that allows her to join spinning classes remotely."I love going to the gym, but I thought, 'You know what? I should get something because if we get a second wave I want to be prepared.'"Berner said for him, there's more to it than fitness."Exercise is crucial for my mental health," he said. "I notice even if I go for a couple of days without exercise my mood starts to drop."Other Canadians who feel the same and haven't yet made a plan would be well advised to start considering their options — or risk getting left out in the cold during a long pandemic winter.
While the pandemic hit the bottom line of restaurants across the country, as summer arrived it was restaurateurs on P.E.I. who were hit the hardest.Tourism numbers released by the province last week showed the Atlantic bubble, which opened July 3, did not bring large numbers of travellers to the Island, and a Statistics Canada report released this week showed that impact on restaurants.Compared to last July, P.E.I. showed the largest percentage drop in revenues among the provinces, down 34.6 per cent. Nationally the decrease was 24.5 per cent.Table service is bearing the brunt of the pandemic. Limited-service restaurant business was running at more than 90 per cent of 2019 levels, while full-service restaurant business was cut in half. (Full service means table service, and limited service is everything else from cafeteria style to takeout). Shrunken dining roomsBeyond the lack of tourists, full-service restaurants suffered cuts to the number of tables allowed under public health measures brought in to limit the spread of COVID-19.For restaurants that could manage it, patios became a saving grace.The deck overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence has always been an important feature of the Sou'West Bar and Grill in New London."Obviously it's a tough season," said Sou'West owner Mitch Gallant."We're certainly happier with the numbers than what I had originally forecasted. Coming into the season, I didn't think we'd be anywheres close to where we are now."Locals turned out to support the business, said Gallant, and because of the deck, sunny weather was also a factor."The weather was awesome so basically the deck was in business every day we were open," he said.'Patio has been a lifesaver'In Charlottetown, Slaymaker & Nichols Owner Steve Murphy is doing what he can to extend the deck season.Slaymaker & Nichols was always a small restaurant, but with pandemic restrictions inside, space shrunk to seven tables. A patio was added in the spring."The patio has been a lifesaver for us," said Murphy."Without it we would have had such limited seating inside we would never have survived."As the weather gets cooler, Murphy is trying to extend the season. He has put Plexiglas up on top of the low wooden walls, providing wind protection to a height of just over two metres. With patio heaters and blankets, he hopes to create a cosy outdoor space well into October, and reopen it as early as April."We're going to go as long as people are willing to sit outside," he said."With only seven tables inside we really need to make this work."'We have seats inside'Kevin Murphy, CEO of Murphy Hospitality Group, which operates 16 restaurants, is not making any changes to patios. He doesn't see the benefit of investing in a few extra weeks of added space."A small restaurant with fewer seats inside might look at closing in a patio and heating it," he wrote in an email to CBC News."Very difficult for us to go there when we have seats inside."Murphy would like to see P.E.I. change its rule about a maximum of 50 people in a dining room. He would like the Island to adopt restrictions similar to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which focus solely on the distance between tables, without setting a maximum room occupancy.More from CBC P.E.I.
The Ontario government's move to axe its out-of-country health insurance program violates the Canada Health Act, a court ruled this week as it ordered the province to reinstate the coverage. The province overstepped its bounds in eliminating the Out of Country Travellers' Program at the beginning of 2020, which reimbursed Ontario residents who experienced medical emergencies when outside of Canada, a three-judge panel with the Superior Court of Justice found. If a province doesn't meet the portability pillar — one of five pillars in the Canada Health Act — after consulting with the federal health minister, Ottawa can "by order direct that the cash contribution to that province for a fiscal year be either reduced or withheld," the court said.
The year 2020 has been anything but normal for New Brunswickers, but a Pennfield man is maintaining an annual fall tradition that always brings a smile to people's faces. For the past four years Brian Golding has taken his winter wood and created large woodpile sculptures in his front yard.He's made boats, fish and tigers, but he decided to go meta this year by constructing a massive chainsaw."I have to work with the idea that, you know, is compatible with the firewood because it can't be something that needs to be tremendously supported," said Golding."So I'd seen a picture of a chainsaw and I just said immediately, 'I know I can do that.'"He named the woodpile sculpture Chain Reaction and Golding thinks it's probably the biggest and most complex project he has ever done.At 32 feet long and nine feet high, it has a level of intricate detail his other sculptures lacked."There's a lot of round pieces that come with our firewood," said Golding."So I used just strictly round pieces all the way around to make the chain, and you can tell when you look at it that it's different than the rest."Distraction in trying timesWhile no woodpile sculpture is easy to build, Golding always enjoys the challenge and the reactions it provokes. But this year was a little more difficult than usual. "It was a really tough year for me. I went through a job change, that type of thing because of all the COVID stuff and I just didn't have the time to devote to it like I usually do."Golding says the happiness he sees in people people driving by to look at the sculpture makes it all worthwhile."With the way things are today, if I can give somebody that one second of that little bit of happiness then that's all the satisfaction you could get from it," he said.As the cold weather advances Chain Reaction will start to diminish. The logs in the sculpture are going to keep Golding warm this winter, but he hopes to keep it intact until at least Remembrance Day."I think a lot of people need a little light in their lives right now."
Belarusian security forces detained dozens of protesters on Saturday as crowds rallied in central Minsk accusing President Alexander Lukashenko of rigging last month's election. One group of women chanted "Our president is Sveta" - referring to opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya who they say won the vote. Riot police dragged many of them into vans and arrested other protesters nearby.
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé is asking the public to avoid social gatherings for 28 days.Dubé said the province's public health experts believe that, if transmission can be minimized for two consecutive two-week stretches, the second wave of the virus will be contained."I insist on this," he said Friday. "It is for a month."He said the public should take it "one day at a time." (He later added that, if the public had already started avoiding gatherings a day earlier, when he made a similar plea, then there's only 27 days left.)Dubé also moved the entire greater Montreal region into the heightened, orange level of alert on Friday, given what the health minister described as an increasingly worrisome situation.The change applies to parts of the Laurentians, Lanaudière and the Montérégie. Dubé said an increase in cases, outbreaks and hospitalizations prompted the move.No region has been driven into the red alert level, which would mean further restrictions, even though Montreal public health is preparing for the possibility.But the designation no longer carries as much meaning given that, for the past two days, Dubé has urged Quebecers in all parts of the province to avoid getting together.The province reported 637 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the highest daily number since May 21, while the number of hospitalizations also climbed for the sixth consecutive day.'Please, take the call' The province also conducted more than 36,000 tests on Friday, the most ever in a day. The increase, coupled with a higher number of positive results, has put a strain on the province's contact tracers.Contact tracing is viewed by experts as a crucial tool in both understanding how the virus is spreading, and containing outbreaks.In recent weeks, public health workers have complained that people weren't picking up the phone, in part because their caller ID was blocked.Dubé has estimated that up to 30 percent of people contacted due to potential exposure don't pick up the phone.On Friday, Dubé announced that now, when health workers call to give a test result or get in touch with someone who may have been exposed, the caller ID will show "Santé publique.""Please, take the call," he said.No plans to close bars, restaurants or schoolsDespite the rise in cases, the province has no immediate plans to close bars, restaurants or other businesses.Quebec's public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, said doing so wouldn't necessarily mean a decrease in outbreaks.He said that people who would otherwise go out for dinner, where the distancing rules are in effect, could end up having a party at their home, where the potential for spread is greater.Arruda also reiterated that the province has no plans to close schools and that they have not been a major source of transmission.As of Thursday, there were 1,163 cases across the province's network of 3,089 public and private schools. There are more than 1 million students in the province.Université de Montréal epidemiologist Hélène Carabin said that, for now at least, the government's decision is understandable."In most of those cases, the case was not acquired at school. It was acquired in the community," she said."The data is still very new. It's an emerging disease so it's difficuilt to know, but from what we have seen so far it doesn't look like school is a really big source."
Leanne Sharpe and her fiance had the perfect summer wedding all planned. The couple from Surrey, B.C., had booked a dance hall on Newcastle Island, near Nanaimo, for an event that would include dinner and dancing with about 100 guests. And then, like for so many couples this summer, COVID-19 changed all that.At first they thought of postponing the wedding until next year, but with no end to the pandemic in sight the couple opted to go ahead with a much smaller event this year."I was kind of relieved. I think it just ended up way less stressful," Sharpe said. "It was a bit of a blessing in disguise."Over the past few months the pandemic has transformed lives, businesses and personal interactions — including major life events like weddings.Industry experts say most couples have put off the big day until 2021, hoping that restrictions on gathering will be lifted by then. But as the pandemic continues, an increasing number of couples are opting for so-called "micro-weddings" with very few guests instead.The industry is quickly responding. 'Let's get this done'The Vancouver Public Library is the latest public entity to offer micro-weddings with a maximum of 10 participants, including vendors like photographers, on the rooftop patio of its main branch. Vancouver City Hall hosted 41 micro-weddings this summer as part of a pilot project. Staff will be presenting a report to council this fall on whether to continue the program. The City of North Vancouver started to offer micro-weddings at its shipyards in July. Nick Chau, creative director of B.C.-based SoWedding Photo and Cinema, says the majority of his wedding work vanished in the first couple of months of the pandemic. But now business is trickling in again, with some couples opting for a small ceremony this year, followed by a bigger celebration when the pandemic ends."That was precisely everyone's reaction — 'You know what? Let's get this over with. Let's get this done. I want to get married. I don't want this pandemic to dampen our celebration,' " Chau said. New servicesOne of Chau's latest selling features for weddings is livestreaming via internet, so couples can broadcast the event for guests around the world who are no longer able to attend.But wedding vendors like Chau say the increased interest in micro-weddings is no match for the losses sustained in the past few months. Large, opulent events are the bread-and-butter of the wedding industry, and most suppliers are suffering because of restrictions on gatherings.Holly Anne Halter, co-owner and lead planner for Vancouver-based Pop-Up Weddings, says earlier this year she had 50 weddings scheduled for this summer."That just completely was decimated as soon as the quarantine hit and the pandemic became a real thing in Canada," Halter said. Destination weddings on holdA lot of Vancouver's wedding industry caters to out-of-town couples looking for a destination event, Halter says. But most of them can no longer travel or don't want to put older family members at risk. And Halter says couples hit financially by the pandemic are looking for a bargain — an easy find, she says, because the market is now over-saturated with vendors. Halter says couples who may be willing to sacrifice having a larger wedding may not be willing to also comply with provincial health orders for venues that restrict guests to six per table and prohibit dancing and mingling. "Every event right now that we've had that is coupled with a reception has either postponed till the end of next year or they've cancelled altogether," she said.'It's a lot more casual'Wedding officiant Barbara Densmore, who marries couples on Vancouver Island, says that may be the case for some couples.But Densmore has discovered that those who have gone ahead with a smaller ceremony over the summer have had no regrets. "Everything this year is a lot more relaxed and it's a lot more casual," Densmore said."I think with some things the pandemic has done is it's made us really be grateful for what we've got and who we've got."
New details have come to light about a controversial Ocean Choice International proposal to put an industrial complex in Long Pond harbour, in Conception Bay South, including what the seafood company paid for access in an area that recreational boaters use. The 2018 transfer of land from the Long Pond Harbour Authority to OCI was done for $1 and "other good and valuable consideration." When contacted by CBC News, both the company and the port authority declined to comment on the details of the bargain-basement price stating they are confidential. In total, a waterlot — the land underneath the water — of 12 acres was sold to OCI. The company is proposing an infill project of 17,000 square metres to build a wharf and cold storage facility in the middle of the harbour.So far the town council has approved the proposal in principle but will still have to give a final decision through a vote. Unusable land? The reasoning behind the sale of the waterlot came up this week at the Long Pond Harbour Authority's annual annual general meeting, which was open to the public and hosted on the Zoom videoconferencing platform. About 30 people joined the call, including numerous residents from the Long Pond area who had questions about the details of the sale. "We sold land that was deemed unusable to an investor for the long-term sustainability and business development of the port," said Jennifer Lake, the town of Conception Bay South's director of community development and town representative on the harbour authority's board. The harbour authority is a non-profit organization, with a board of directors made up of of port users, community, recreational and business representatives, and town employees. Residents on the call disputed the assessment of the middle of Long Pond harbour as useless, since it is used as a channel for recreational boating, with hundreds of users moving through the area in a typical week. Residents also wanted more information about how the decision was made to sell the land — something that the board has thus far refused to do, citing privacy. For her part, Lake said that in two decades of operation, the port authority had never been asked for so much information and thus is now working on better communications.She also referred questions about the OCI proposal to the town. 6 letters sent out, followed by apologyTim LeGrow, a resident of the area and self-described avid port user who was on the call, said he has no issue with a commercial development in the pond, but said it must be done in conjunction with everyone else. "These people are showing a lack of respect for the constituents of the town and the people that use [the port]. So as far as I'm concerned either they shape up or ship out," he said. Meanwhile, the call for more communication has been a big part of the unfolding story about the OCI proposal. When speaking with CBC News last week, C.B.S. Deputy Mayor Richard Murphy said the town made sure to mail letters to each person it thought would be affected by the project. The CBC spoke with harbour users, however, who had heard nothing about the plan. It emerges that the town's policy is to send letters to businesses and property owners within 100 metres of a proposed project. In this case, that ended up being six letters, according to an email sent by the town's Director of Planning and Development to a resident in the area. The town has since hand-delivered letters to residents in the area that includes an apology along with the original notification that was dated July 29. "The Town of Conception Bay South realizes that given the size of this project, the notice should have been distributed to more residents. We apologize for this oversight." Mayor declares conflict of interest Mayor Terry French, who was originally a booster for the project, has been silent on the debate for the past few months because he since declared a conflict of interest.French owns a property at the end of Terminal Road near the proposal. French made it clear even though he declared a conflict, he will not have any financial gain from the project. "I've never had a discussion with OCI from a business nature when it comes to me personally. I've never bought anything off of them. I don't know if I ever bought a pound of cod tongues off of them from the supermarket," said French. He did say that he was a big proponent of the project back in 2018 because the town needs more of a commercial tax base. > I've never bought anything off of them. I don't know if I ever bought a pound of cod tongues off of them from the supermarket \- Terry FrenchFrench said the town is struggling because only about eight per cent of its revenue comes from commercial taxes, unlike other municipalities, where that share is 25 per cent. He said because of that, the town is dealing with a deficit of roughly $1.7-million."Nobody wants to see their taxes go up. Sometimes the not-in-my-backyard-syndrome creeps into the decision makings of people like me. So you have to weigh the options," said French. Residents form group, press for environmental reviewResidents of the area, meanwhile, have organized a community group called Advocates for the Responsible Development of Long Pond. In the course of a week, it gained more than 600 members. "It's really important in this day and age that there's transparency in all public properties," said organizer Moya Cahill. "Certainly we're not getting that sense that there's an appropriate amount of attention given to transparency." Cahill said the group still wants an effective public consultation and an environmental assessment for the project. The latter of the two demands, however, is not looking likely. CBC News asked the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Municipalities whether there would be an assessment. An emailed response stated: "The proposed area to be infilled is less than five hectares and is not located within an estuary, and the Department advised OCI in a letter dated Sept. 20, 2018 that registration for environmental assessment is not required."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) introduced in April by the Liberal government to help Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic expires this weekend. The government has proposed a replacement that needs to be approved by Parliament.