Details with meteorologist Tyler Hamilton.
Details with meteorologist Tyler Hamilton.
Questions are still outstanding around what Ontario will do with its AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses.
Prince Albert police have released more details about their investigation into the death of Braden Herman. They say that on May 11, veteran RCMP officer Cpl. Bernie Herman phoned a co-worker and said he had "killed someone." He agreed to go to his co-worker's house, located just north of Prince Albert. The RCMP, whose district the house was in, were then contacted and Bernie Herman was taken into custody. On May 12, 53-year-old Bernie Herman was charged with first-degree murder. He had served on the force for 32 years. He and Braden Herman are not related but knew each other for several years, according to police. During the initial RCMP response, Bernie Herman provided information as to where police could find the victim. Police say that when they located 26-year-old Braden Herman on the edge of Prince Albert near Little Red Park, he was dead and appeared to have been shot. At that time, the Prince Albert Police Service took over the investigation. Braden Herman, 26, was found dead on the edge of Prince Albert near Little Red Park. (Braden Herman/Facebook) Investigation continues, motive unknown Braden Herman's siblings have told CBC News the 53-year-old Mountie was known to them as having a "personal" and oftentimes "controlling" relationship with their brother. Braden Herman came from Clearwater River Dene Nation and Bernie Herman comes from the neighbouring community of of La Loche. Police say they cannot confirm what weapon was used in the homicide at this time. But Prince Albert police have seized Bernie Herman's service pistol and other "use-of-force equipment." Police say he was not on duty at the time of the offence. But upon investigation it was been determined that he left work in full uniform and utility belt after finishing his shift at 5 p.m. on May 11. Police have taken statements from family members of both Bernie Herman and Braden Herman. Investigators are continuing to gather statements in order to gain insight into the nature of their relationship, as well as the possible motivation for the offence. Bernie Herman made his first court appearance on May 13. His next court appearance is expected to be on May 26.
CALGARY — A Calgary mayoralty candidate and a pastor who were both arrested for allegedly violating COVID-19 laws over the weekend were released from custody Monday pending future court appearances. Calgary police allege Kevin J. Johnston, who is running in this fall's municipal election and has been a vocal supporter of anti-lockdown protests, was in violation of a court order when he attended illegal gatherings Saturday. An injunction obtained by Alberta Health Services on May 6 mandates that event organizers comply with public health restrictions, including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits. The Court of Queen's Bench also imposed a restraining order on Johnston last week. It required that he stay at least 100 metres away from health officers and not publish any threats or hate speech directed at them. Johnston's lawyer asked the court if his client's interim release would preclude him from continuing to campaign for mayor. He was assured it would not. "From AHS' interests, as long as there is compliance with the two orders enjoining conduct, it doesn't matter to us what Mr. Johnston does or doesn't do," said Mark Jackson, who was representing Alberta Health Services, the agency that delivers healthcare in Alberta. Johnston has appeared regularly online, promoting far-right ideology, and AHS has said he has been aggressive and threatening towards two particular health workers as well as to its general workforce. He expressed concern from the prisoner's docket Monday about being required to wear a mask. "I simply cannot wear a mask. I'm already feeling the anxiety of this right now and I'm sweating. I'm bothered by having to have this on. I could not possibly wear a mask for that entire amount of time," he told the court. Johnston has been ordered to return to court June 16 to deal with contempt charges for violating the directive. About 20 people, meanwhile, gathered outside the Calgary court in support of Pastor Tim Stephens, who was arrested Sunday for organizing a church service at Fairview Baptist Church. Police allege the service did not comply with public health orders. Holding signs that said "Free Pastor Tim" the supporters prayed and sang hymns prior to the court appearance. Police said they received repeated calls from concerned citizens about services at Fairview Baptist Church in recent weeks, and that Stephens was proactively served a copy of the May 6 order last weekend. But his lawyer said the order has been modified by a judge, which narrows its scope, and Stephens was not in violation. "The effect of that amendment to our understanding was essentially that the May 6 order would only be applicable to the respondents and people who were under their direction. That would not include Mr. Stephens," said Leighton Grey. The contempt matter will also be heard June 16. Edmonton Justice Adam Germain said he has been directed to deal with all matters related to violations of the COVID-19 court orders. "The reality may be there are going to be other arrests in the Calgary area and elsewhere and that I may see the same personnel appearing in front of me," Germain said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
As the province starts to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone aged 18 and above, Island Health's chief medical officer said he's relieved to see the number of active cases in the Vancouver Island Health region continuing to trend down. "What we are seeing is a general decrease both in south and central Island," Dr. Richard Stanwick said on CBC's On the Island on Friday. "The numbers are absolutely bang on ... and that means our contact tracers are able to make sure we get a hold of anybody who has been exposed at this point." On Friday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Arian Dix reported 494 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including eight that were reported in the Vancouver Island region. The region has now recorded 4,875 cases since the pandemic began, and on Friday, there were 149 active cases, including 16 people in hospital and five in critical care. Stanwick said the warmer spring weather could be a contributing factor to the overall downward trend as more people head outside to enjoy the sun. "Fortunately, people are taking advantage of our spectacular weather and amazing things to see on the Island," he said. "So that reduces the ability of the virus to spread." He said over 400,000 vaccines have been administered to more than half of the population and approximately three per cent have received a second dose. "I think the key word ... is register, register, register," Stanwick said. "Our immunization clinics have been doing phenomenal." On Thursday, more than 11,000 people received their vaccine at the immunization clinics. Stanwick said he is advising the provincial heath office that vaccine administration for students can be done more effectively and efficiently at the larger clinics rather than at schools. "This could be a totally different approach because we've got other vaccines we would like to administer to students and we normally do that in the schools," he said, "so we may have a different program, a different look in the fall." LISTEN | Dr. Richard Stanwick talks about the number of active COVID-19 cases on CBC's On the Island.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in is hoping to use his first summit with U.S. President Joe Biden this week to revive long-stalled talks with North Korea and urge the White House to embrace the issue with more urgency. South Korean officials say they were heartened by the new administration's recent policy review, which called for a focus on practical diplomatic steps to reduce tensions while maintaining the final goal of removing North Korea's nuclear weapons. But amid the global coronavirus pandemic, domestic economic and political challenges, and foreign policy crises elsewhere, the Biden administration has not signalled North Korea is a top priority, potentially complicating Moon's hopes of cementing his legacy.
MADRID (Reuters) -A Spanish study on mixing COVID-19 vaccines has found that giving a dose of Pfizer's drug to people who already received a first shot of AstraZeneca vaccine is highly safe and effective, preliminary results showed on Tuesday. The Combivacs study, run by Spain's state-backed Carlos III Health Institute, found the presence of IgG antibodies in the bloodstream was between 30 and 40 times higher in people who got the follow-up Pfizer shot than in a control group who only received one AstraZeneca dose.
Vancouver police have released the names and photos of six known gangsters they believe pose a significant risk to residents as the Lower Mainland gang war continues to claim victims and play out during the daytime in busy public places. Vancouver police Chief Const. Adam Palmer said the men are being identified because, according to police intelligence, they are the most likely next targets of rival gangs and a danger to anyone who happens to be nearby. "I want to make it clear that today's announcement is not about naming and shaming," he said on Monday. "We are providing these photos and names so Vancouverites can know them and take steps to ensure their own safety and safety of friends and family." The Lower Mainland has recorded 20 gang-related homicides in 2021 and 20 gang-related attempted murders. In the past three weeks alone, seven men tied to gangs have been shot dead in public settings that include Vancouver International Airport, a recreation centre, a community park, a mall parking lot and outside shops and restaurants. The men identified by the VPD are Garinder Deo, 35; Harjit Deo, 38; Barinder Dhaliwal, 38; Meninder Dhaliwal, 28; Ekene Anigbo, 22; and Damion Ryan, 41. 2015 murder attempt Ryan, a full-patch member of the Hells Angels, was the target of a wild 2015 murder attempt at the Vancouver airport food court, carried out by a teen disguised in a black burka. Would-be killer Knowah Ferguson was from Ontario, had no previous criminal record and was promised $200,000 for the hit. WATCH | Surveillance video shows failed assassination of Hells Angels member: Security video played at his trial shows a burka-clad Ferguson walking up to Ryan and putting a gun to his head. The gun jams and both men flee. The 18-year-old was later sentenced to seven years in prison for attempted murder and four years for conspiracy. Palmer said neither Ryan nor the other five men identified on Monday are currently wanted by police. He said releasing their names is in the interest of public safety, similar to when police release the name and photo of a sex offender who has moved into the community. "[The six] not only pose a risk to friends, family and acquaintances, but also to people who don't even know them every time they go to the gym, go shopping, to the grocery store, to a restaurant or a bar, when bars are open." Palmer said he expects other police agencies to follow Vancouver's lead and release more names and photos of gang members in their jurisdictions. He said the VPD is deploying a suite of overt and covert operations in an attempt to tamp down the violence and that officers would be seizing gang members' cars, homes and other valuables gained through crime. RCMP officers stand near a body covered with a tarp in the parking lot of a shopping complex in Burnaby, B.C., on May 13. Police later said the victim, Jaskeert Kalkat, was connected to gangs and targeted.(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) A new department task force that was recently formed to react quickly to gang activity stopped a retaliation shooting last week, according to Vancouver police Supt. Lisa Byrne. Two men were arrested in a stolen car loaded with gas canisters. One of the individuals was a youth, the other had a loaded firearm. Deputy Chief Howard Chow said citizens should report any suspicious cars they notice to police. "We know gang members park stolen cars in neighbourhoods in advance of targeted hits that they later use as getaway vehicles that we find later burned," he said. Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers announced Monday that it is reviving its gang violence awareness campaign.(CBC) Earlier Monday, Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers announced it is reviving a gang violence awareness campaign thanks to new funding. The campaign encourages people with information on gangs and illegal guns to report anonymously. "If you see something, say something," said Crime Stoppers executive director Linda Annis. "We only want your information so we can pass it on to police. We do not want to know who you are." The widow of Paul Bennett, who was killed in 2018 in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity, said she is pleased the Crime Stopper guns and gang campaign is coming back. "Every arrest, every gun seized means a threat to an innocent life will be reduced," Darlene Bennett said. "Next month marks three years since Paul's life was so senselessly taken. Our lives will never be the same."
TORONTO — Canadian residents are allowed to head to the United States for a COVID-19 vaccine and avoid quarantine on return if they meet some straightforward conditions, the Public Health Agency of Canada confirms. Those conditions include having a note from a licensed health-care provider in Canada that the inoculation is medically necessary, and written proof from the licensed U.S. vaccine provider. Quarantine regulations passed by the federal government contain an exemption for essential medical services obtained abroad. A coronavirus shot, the agency says, falls under that definition. The exemption offers people within driving range of border states awash in vaccines a relatively simple way to get a coveted shot quickly. While supplies are ramping up in Canada, distribution in many areas remains tenuous and age and other eligibility limits remain in place. Information on the regulations and exemption, created by federal cabinet and contained on the government's website, was confirmed by the Public Health Agency of Canada in an email to David Musyj, head of the Windsor Regional Hospital in the border city of Windsor, Ont. Musyj had pressed Health Canada for answers after noting that people could easily drive over to Detroit for a shot, but having to isolate for 14 days on return would be a major obstacle. "It does verify our interpretation of the current order in council/website information is accurate — that a COVID-19 vaccine is an 'essential medical service or treatment,' Musyj said. "It makes it clear the exemption is permissive." However, public health also said in a written exchange with Musyj that crossing the border — which remains closed to non-essential travel — for a vaccine would not be licence to tack on shopping or other activities. In addition, to qualify for an exemption, the trip has to be in a private vehicle but can include a support person. "Very clear: You need to go to the appointment only and return immediately," Musyj said. "Cannot stop anywhere else for anything." On return, health authorities said, quarantine-exempt travellers must wear a mask in public spaces at all times and keep a list of close contacts and places visited for 14 days. Importantly, Health Canada noted U.S. border agents have final say on who they let in, and that it is up to returning travellers to provide the required documents to Canada Border Services agents for a final decision on a quarantine exemption. "The onus is on the traveller to clearly demonstrate they meet an exemption under the order in council," the public health agency said. Musyj said he was still pushing for federal approval to allow an organized effort to retrieve surplus vaccines from Detroit and bring them back to Canada for use here. The same vaccines produced in Kalamazoo, Mich., are also distributed in Canada but demand in the U.S. has lagged supply. The federal government has said millions of COVID-19 inoculation doses are set to start arriving in the coming days, but supplies remain limited in many areas. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 18, 2021. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
CEUTA, Spain (AP) — Spain deployed its military to the Moroccan border Tuesday and expelled nearly half of the thousands of migrants who jumped fences or swam onto European soil over two days after Rabat loosened border controls amid a deepening diplomatic spat. Overwhelmed soldiers separated the adults from the young and carried children in their arms while Red Cross workers helped an endless trickle of migrants who were emerging from the water shivering and exhausted. One unconscious woman laid on the sand before she was carried away on a stretcher. The sudden influx of migrants has fueled the diplomatic spat between Rabat and Madrid over the disputed Western Sahara region and created a humanitarian crisis for Ceuta, the Spanish city of 85,000 in North Africa on the Mediterranean Sea, separated from Morocco by a double-wide, 10-meter (32-feet) fence. Amina Farkani, a 31-year-old Moroccan woman who commuted to jobs in Ceuta for 18 years until foreign workers were banned from entering when coronavirus outbreaks began to surge last year, said she saw an opportunity to go back to work when she heard that police were not controlling the border. “They let people pass and stand there without speaking,” Farkani told The Associated Press. “People just pass and pass and pass.” Farkani was among the thousands of migrants who were sent back to Morocco. AP reporters saw Spanish military personnel and police officers ushering both adults and children through a gate in the border fence. Some tried to resist and were pushed and chased by soldiers who used batons to hasten them. Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska denied that unaccompanied migrants under 18, who are allowed to remain legally under the tutelage of Spanish authorities, were being deported. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez canceled a trip to Paris, where he was to attend a summit on international aid to Africa, and flew by helicopter to Ceuta. While calling Morocco a “friend of Spain," Sánchez also urged authorities to “respect the shared border.” A senior Moroccan Foreign Ministry official said the government had recalled its ambassador to Spain for consultations. The official wasn't authorized to be identified by name in media reports. By Tuesday afternoon, nearly 8,000 sea-soaked people had crossed the border into the city since early Monday, the Spanish government said, including some 2,000 thought to be teenagers. The number getting in slowed after Spain deployed additional police officers and soldiers, but the arrivals didn't stop even when anti-riot police on the Moroccan side dispersed crowds of people hoping to cross over. At least 4,000 were returned to Morocco, according to Spain's Interior Ministry. Morocco and Spain signed an agreement three decades ago to expel all those who swim across the border. Yet many arriving Tuesday were sub-Saharan Africans who often migrate to flee poverty or violence at home. Spain has agreements to return some of those migrants to their native countries, but not all of them. One young man drowned and dozens were treated for hypothermia or small injuries, the Red Cross in Ceuta said, adding that it was performing coronavirus tests on the new arrivals. The adults were being transferred to Ceuta’s main soccer stadium, while those thought to be minors were sent to warehouses run by charity groups. Neither the government in Rabat nor local officials have commented about the mass influx or responded to queries by The Associated Press. “It’s such a strong invasion that we are not able to calculate the number of people that have entered,” said Juan Jesús Vivas, the president of Ceuta, an autonomous city of about 20 square kilometers (7.7 square miles). “The army is at the border in a deterrent role, but there are great quantities of people on the Moroccan side waiting to enter,” he told Cadena SER radio. Four Spanish armored vehicles parked Tuesday at Tarajal beach in Ceuta, where the border fence leads to a short breakwater. Some people also rushed up the hills surrounding the city and jumped over the fences. In a video shared by a Spanish police union urging authorities to send in reinforcements, anti-riot officers behind the border fence were using shields to protect themselves from stones being thrown by people in Morocco. The European Union’s top migration official – Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson – described the incidents as “worrying” and called on Morocco to prevent people from setting out in the first place. “The most important thing now is that Morocco continues to commit to prevent irregular departures, and that those who do not have the right to stay are orderly and effectively returned,” Johansson told the European Parliament. “Spanish borders are European borders. The European Union wants to build a relationship with Morocco based on trust and shared commitments. Migration is a key element,” she said. Morocco's loosened border watch came after Spain decided to grant entry for medical treatment to the chief of a militant group that fights Morocco for the independence of Western Sahara. Morocco annexed the sprawling region on the west coast of Africa in 1975. Morocco’s Foreign Ministry has said Madrid’s move to assist Brahim Ghali, head of the Polisario Front, was “inconsistent with the spirit of partnership and good neighborliness” and vowed there would be “consequences.” Vivas, Ceuta's conservative regional president, said residents were in a state of “anguish, concern and fear" and 60% of the city's children had not shown up for school on Tuesday. He also linked the sudden mass arrival to Spain's compassionate assistance to Ghali. The Spanish government officially rejects the notion that Morocco is punishing Spain for a humanitarian move. Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya summoned Morocco's ambassador, however, to express the government’s “disgust” and to communicate that Spain rejected “the massive entry of Moroccan immigrants.” Moroccan Ambassador Karima Benyaich was later recalled by Rabat. Sánchez appeared on live television to announce he would visit Ceuta and that his top priority was to ensure safety in the city “in the face of any challenge, any eventuality and under any circumstance.” Over the decades, Spain has built a close relationship with Morocco to crack down on illegal border crossings but also to increase economic exchanges and fight extremism. Sánchez on Tuesday avoided any direct criticism to Rabat in his speech. “To be effective,” he said, “that cooperation must always be based on respect — respect for the shared border.'' The prime minister also faced a political storm at home. The far-right Vox party blamed the migration crisis on the government's “inaction" and sending its leader on a quick visit to Ceuta. Many African migrants regard Ceuta and nearby Melilla, another Spanish territory, as a gateway into Europe. In 2020, 2,228 chose to cross into the two enclaves by sea or land, often risking injuries or death. On Tuesday, another 80 African migrants reached Melilla, 350 kilometers (218 miles) east of Ceuta, by jumping over the enclave’s double fence. Morocco scored a diplomatic victory last year when the previous U.S. administration under Donald Trump recognized Rabat’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, paving the way for normalizing relations between Israel and Morocco. ___ Aritz Parra reported from Madrid. AP journalists Bernat Armangué in Ceuta, Spain, Tarik El Barakah in Rabat, Lorne Cook in Brussels, Iain Sullivan in Madrid and Elaine Ganley in Paris contributed to this report. ___ Follow AP’s global migration coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/migration Renata Brito And Aritz Parra, The Associated Press
VICTORIA — British Columbians who've had a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will have the option of choosing their second shot within a four-month interval, the provincial health officer says. Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday that 20,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are set to expire at the end of June and were reserved for people who, for a variety of reasons, may not be able to get an mRNA vaccine such as the one made by Pfizer-BioNTech. However, further data are expected by the first week of June from a study in the United Kingdom on the effectiveness of switching vaccines for the second dose, and Henry said that information will be shared with B.C. residents. "I ask people to be patient," she said. "We know that we have some time in which your immune system is developing its protective response to your first dose," she said of evidence from the U.K. and other countries suggesting it may be more beneficial to wait up to 12 weeks for the second dose. "You will have the option of receiving the second dose of AstraZeneca and we have stock coming in to be able to support that. Or you can take the information once we have it and make your own decision about what you want for your second dose." An increase in the supply of vaccines in the coming weeks means everyone can expect to have their second dose moved up following a strategy that allowed for more people to get their first doses in order to provide greater community-wide protection, Henry said. British Columbia reported on Monday 1,360 cases of COVID-19 over a three-day period. Fourteen more people died, for a total of 1,648 fatalities, including one person in their 40s and another in their 50s. Over 55 per cent of B.C. residents have now received their first dose of a vaccine, while three per cent, or 130,023 people, have had their second shot, she said. Details about vaccination of children aged 12 to 17 are expected to be announced later this week. Henry said COVID-19 restrictions will not be eased by the Victoria Day long weekend to allow any non-essential travel as protective measures such as wearing masks must continue, even as more people are being immunized. "We now have 400 to 500 people a day that are still testing positive for COVID-19. And that reminds us that the virus continues to circulate and we have to do what we can to stop those transmissions as we are all developing this protection. We can't be travelling and we can't be having large gatherings this weekend." Four extra vaccination clinics have been set up in Surrey this week to ramp up immunizations in a COVID-19 hot spot with a high number of essential workers. The first 1,000 people to show up will be given wristbands for same-day appointments at the clinics, and residents aged 18 and up must present identification proving they live in Surrey, the Health Ministry said in a release. Everyone in B.C. aged 18 and up can now book an appointment to get immunized as part of the province's age-based approach. An independent COVID-19 modelling group said continuing restrictions such as a ban on indoor dining until June 15 would keep case counts low, while reopening too soon could risk a surge. Sarah Otto, a professor at the University of B.C. and a member of the modelling group that includes researchers from Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria, said behaviour changes such as a ban on indoor dining and social gatherings inside were probably the two most important factors in driving down cases. However, an uptick in vaccinations last month helped lower transmission of the virus in areas like Whistler before more widespread immunizations elsewhere in mid-April, leading to fewer cases two weeks later as immunity developed, she said. "We're now seeing vaccines make a big difference and it is causing the case numbers to decline even faster," she said. — By Camille Bains in Vancouver This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia opened COVID-19 vaccine appointments to people 30 and older on Monday, and health officials said they hoped to lower that age to 12 by next week. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang told reporters the province's vaccine program is ramping up and officials should be able to administer 72,000 doses of vaccine this week alone. "Today marks the beginning of a big week on the vaccine front," Strang said. "We hope to open to all remaining age groups by next week." About 64,300 Nova Scotians in the 30-to-34 age group are eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines. The announcement came as the province reported 91 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Nova Scotia had opened vaccine appointments to people as young as 35 on Friday. Its vaccine rollout expands access in descending order of five-year age groups as supply becomes available. Strang said to date, 40 per cent of the province's population has received one or more doses of vaccine, but he cautioned that Nova Scotia's "magic number" is to get 75 per cent of the entire population vaccinated. As of Sunday, the province had administered 430,856 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 39,235 people having received their booster shot. "To hit our target … we need 85 per cent of eligible Nova Scotians to get their vaccine," Strang said. He issued a challenge to younger age groups to go out and get a shot in large numbers in order to keep the province on track to meet its target. Meanwhile, Premier Iain Rankin said he and other eastern Canadian premiers are exploring the possibility of receiving excess vaccine from the United States. Rankin said he met with New England governors earlier on Monday, adding that he and the governors sent letters to the Canadian and United States governments asking that extra vaccine be used to help open the border between the two countries more quickly. Nova Scotia's case count on Monday included 66 infections identified in the Halifax area, 17 in the province's eastern zone, five in the northern zone and three in the western region. The province has 1,435 active reported cases of COVID-19 and 95 people in hospital with the disease, including 21 in intensive care. The other areas of virus activity outside Halifax include Bridgewater, N.S., and the Annapolis Valley, but Strang said the Sydney, N.S., area is his greatest concern because fewer people are being tested. Health officials said two more patients at the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been transferred to the hospital's COVID-19 unit. Dr. Brendan Carr, CEO of Nova Scotia Health, said 12 patients and four staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. "We don't yet know the source of the infection," Carr told reporters. Nova Scotia reported 126 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and 86 on Saturday. Saturday's case count was the first time since May 1 that the province's daily reported figure dipped below 100. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press
Environmentalists say a report from the International Energy Agency that concludes investment in new fossil fuel sources must end if the world is to meet its climate goals has a strong message for Canada. "We now have an analysis from the most authoritative energy body in the world that shows a direct link between a climate-safe future and a sharp decline in demand for oil and gas," said Chris Severson-Baker of the Pembina Institute, a clean-energy think tank. "Within the decade, this will have a significant impact on the price and therefore production levels of oil and gas in Alberta." The report, released Tuesday, says there is a narrow but viable pathway for a global energy sector with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It calls for an end to investment in new fossil fuel supplies and a fourfold increase in solar and wind power by 2030. The Paris-based agency adds no new internal combustion engine passenger cars should be sold after 2035. Several countries, including Canada and the United States, have pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century. That means only as much planet-warming gases would be released into the atmosphere as could be absorbed. The report sets out 400 steps needed to transform how energy is produced, transported and used. Fatih Birol, the energy agency's executive director, said the change would create millions of new jobs and boost economic growth worldwide. But he warned that while countries and companies have begun to set bold targets for cutting greenhouse gases, actual emissions continue to rise. The agency said last month that 2021 will see the second-largest annual increase in emissions since 2010. “There is a growing gap between the rhetoric we hear from governments and industry leaders, and what is happening in real life,” Birol said. Richard Masson of the University of Calgary said demand for fossil fuels in the next few years is expected to increase. "The difference between what the IEA says we need to do and what we're actually going to do are night and day, because there's not a chance in the world we're hitting this path," said Masson with the School of Public Policy. He said the agency anticipates North America will still be the world's second-largest producing area in 2050, which suggests there will still be demand for oilsands oil. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said in its June 2019 oil production forecast that Canadian crude oil production would increase to 5.86 million barrels daily by 2035. New-York-based energy analyst Phil Skolnick said no growth might not hurt the Canadian oilpatch since pipeline capacity issues have already forced companies to restrain expansion. He noted the report seems to ignore carbon capture and storage. Mark Jaccard, an energy economist at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, said the agency's report confirms what other researchers have been saying for a decade. "This is not a disaster for Alberta," he said. "Even in this climate-stabilizing scenario, oilsands output can be sustained at close to current levels for a couple of decades, provided that there are ongoing innovations and investments that reduce GHG production emissions." Still, many said the agency's report only serves to emphasize big changes are in store for Canada's energy sector and those who regulate and invest in it. "Alberta must take action to reduce emissions in the oil and gas sector to remain carbon-competitive as demand declines," Severson-Baker said. "This means attracting large-scale investments in decarbonization by demonstrating that the Alberta government is committed to achieving net-zero emissions." The Canadian Energy Regulator and the country's financial sector — one of the most heavily exposed to fossil fuel development in the world — also face changes, said Adam Scott of Shift, an initiative that works to move investment into climate-friendly industries. "The (agency's) definitive new outlook forces meaning into empty net-zero pledges made by governments, finance institutions and companies in recent years," he said. "Financial decisions made today must assume a future where we are successful in achieving our climate goals. Continuing to make decisions based on the assumption of climate failure locks in that failure." Greenpeace climate campaigner Keith Stewart called the report a "death blow" to any belief that Canada can increase production and reach its climate targets. “It won’t be easy, but the report shows that a zero-carbon world is better for our health, creates more jobs, has lower energy costs and is more equitable, while avoiding climate catastrophe." — With files from Dan Healing and The Associated Press This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 18, 2021. Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s total virus cases since the pandemic began swept past 25 million on Tuesday as the country registered more than 260,000 new cases and a record 4,329 fatalities in the past 24 hours. The numbers continue a trend of falling cases after infections dipped below 300,000 for the first time in weeks on Monday. Active cases in the country also decreased by more than 165,000 on Tuesday — the biggest dip in weeks. But deaths have continued to rise and hospitals are still swamped by patients. India has recorded nearly 280,000 virus deaths since the pandemic began. Experts warn that both the number of deaths and total reported cases are likely vast undercounts. Infections in India have surged since February in a disastrous turn blamed on more contagious variants as well as government decisions to allow massive crowds to gather for religious festivals and political rallies. In the last month, cases have more than tripled and reported deaths have gone up six times — but testing has only increased by 1.6 times, according to Bhramar Mukherjee, a biostatistician at the University of Michigan tracking India's battle with the virus. With infections outrunning testing capabilities, there are fears that many cases are going undetected. Experts also say India has lagged behind in doing the testing needed to track and better understand a worrisome virus variant first detected in the country. On Monday, the Health Ministry said 17 new labs will be brought online to help track variants. The variant first identified in India has prompted global concern — most notably in Britain, where it has more than doubled in a week, defying a sharp nationwide downward trend in infections. Meanwhile, ever since India opened up vaccinations to all adults this month, the pace of administering shots has plunged. Many states have said they don't have enough stock to give out. The southern state of Karnataka, for example, has temporarily halted its drive to inoculate those aged between 18 and 44 at government-run centers due to a shortage of doses. The Associated Press
The U.S. Senate voted 86-11 Monday to open debate on a measure authorizing more than $110 billion for basic and advanced technology research over five years in the face of rising competitive pressure from China. The Endless Frontier Act would authorize most of the money, $100 billion, to invest in basic and advanced research, commercialization of the research, and education and training programs in key technology areas like artificial intelligence (AI). Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate will debate the bill for a week or two beginning on Tuesday.
Pharmacists on Prince Edward Island are now delivering first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Islanders 40 and over. Last week they stopped administering AstraZeneca-Oxford shots, on the direction of the province. Twelve pharmacies across P.E.I. are part of the vaccine program. "The use of AstraZeneca was suspended," Erin MacKenzie, executive director of the P.E.I. Pharmacists Association, told CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin Monday. "Any of the AstraZeneca doses that they had on hand has been returned to [the] provincial pharmacy." Pharmacies are only giving first doses of vaccines for now, and are continuing to give shots of Moderna. Moderna uptake has been good The province does have enough AstraZeneca to deliver second shots to anyone who received it in the first round, but MacKenzie said the Chief Public Health Office will let pharmacies know around the end of May whether that will happen. She said the uptake of Moderna vaccines at pharmacies has been very good, especially since those 40 and over can now book appointments either at pharmacies or through the province's mass clinics. She said she is excited to hear pharmacies will be getting more Moderna delivered by the end of this week. Watch for online bookings at pharmacies to open up soon as the vaccine supply arrives, she said. She said pharmacists are getting a lot of questions about which vaccines are best, but she believes they are all safe and people should get vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. More from CBC P.E.I.
Brig.-Gen. Krista Brodie, an army logistics officer who's spent more than 30 years in uniform, has been named the officer in charge of the Public Health Agency of Canada's vaccine rollout. She replaces Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who left the post after an allegation of sexual misconduct was raised.
TORONTO — "Canada's Drag Race" crossed the finish line as the big winner on the first of four nights of presentations for the Canadian Screen Awards.The inaugural season of Crave's drag-queen competition took a leading five trophies in a pre-recorded livestream, including best reality/competition program or series, and honours for production design, direction and writing.The show's judges Brooke Lynn Hytes, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and Stacey McKenzie also won an award for best host or presenter on the series, which is similar to "RuPaul's Drag Race" and has been renewed for a second season.Monday's CSA presentations honoured nominees in the TV categories of lifestyle, reality, news and documentary.The livestreams are running through Thursday on the website and social media channels of the Academy Of Canadian Cinema & Television.The CBC's "Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade" had the second-highest count with three awards, including best history documentary program or series.Canadian-Israeli director Simcha Jacobovici executive produced the six-part project alongside actor Samuel L. Jackson, who is seen on camera tracing his roots and the tragedy of the sunken ships during the transatlantic slave trade.Several projects won two awards apiece, including the CBC documentary "Toxic Beauty," about chemicals in cosmetics products. It took writing and directing honours for Phyllis Ellis.CTV's cooking show "Mary's Kitchen Crush" was named best lifestyle program or series, while its culinary star Mary Berg nabbed best lifestyle host.Best entertainment news program or series went to CTV's "Stronger Together, Tous Ensemble," a star-studded fundraiser and show of support for frontline workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The special from last year also got a trophy for picture editing.Also getting two CSAs apiece were "CBC News: The National" and "CTV National News with Lisa LaFlamme.""The National" won best live news special and best national reporter for Christine Birak, while "CTV National News" was named best national newscast and best national news anchor for LaFlamme. This is the second time the CSAs, which honour TV, film and digital media, have had to present virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.Thursday's presentation is the big event, with prominent awards and narration by actors Stephan James and Karine Vanasse.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press
BEIRUT (Reuters) -Lebanon's president said on Tuesday that critical comments made by the foreign minister about Gulf states did not reflect official policy, seeking to avoid further strain on ties with countries that have been Lebanon's allies and donors. Mired in its worst economic crisis since a 1975-1990 civil war, Lebanon has lost the financial backing of wealthy Sunni Muslim Gulf states, which resent the rising influence of Hezbollah, a Lebanese group backed by regional rival Shi'ite Iran. Lebanese Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe stoked tensions in a television interview on Monday, when he appeared to blame Gulf nations for the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
As Levi Cayen, a key witness in a first degree murder trial, took the stand without counsel of his own, the lawyer for his co-accused paused his questioning over concerns Cayen may incriminate himself. Defence Lawyer John Hale is representing James Thomas, who is on trial in the N.W.T. Supreme Court for murder and robbery in the death of Alex Norwegian near Hay River in 2017. Cayen is a key witness in Thomas's trial. He faces the same charges in Norwegian's death and has pleaded not guilty, but his trial is not until January, 2022. "My concern is that you're saying things in court that could affect your own trial," said Hale. Cayen appeared before the court, at first, without representation. Though his testimony has changed repeatedly since he was first arrested, on Friday he agreed with nearly everything the defence put to him. During one line of questioning, Hale paused to ask Cayen whether he had been counselled by a lawyer on his rights. Cayen said he hadn't. Hale told the court "it's not clear" whether Cayen understood his rights under section 13 of the Charter of Rights and Freedom, which states that a witness testifying has the right not to give incriminating evidence against themselves. Cayen was briefly removed from the courtroom, before a judge decided Cayen had sworn an oath, that his lawyer was aware he was testifying, and that he could continue to provide testimony. Conflicting evidence Cayen's statements to police and the courts have been conflicting — first, he said he was never at the portage, then, that he was there with James Thomas, then that it was a lie and he acted alone. On Friday, Cayen went back on his statement once again, and confirmed during cross-examination and without his own lawyer present, that he arrived by snowmobile with Thomas, opened and closed a gate, and that he "probably" smashed out Norwegian's car windows. Cayen appeared to agree with nearly every aspect of the defence's theory of what happened that night, despite flip-flopping in earlier testimony. "The things you've said … have varied significantly over time," Hale said. "Yeah," replied Cayen. When asked about an affidavit sworn at his bail hearing, Cayen said he doesn't remember testifying. Cayen said he's suffered memory loss and neurological problems since being attacked by another inmate at the North Slave Correctional Complex, where he has been held since his arrest. He went to Stanton Territorial, had staples for his injury and was released shortly after. Cayen said he had no follow up treatment because, based on past experiences being treated for minor injuries at the jail, he's skeptical they would be able to treat a brain injury. Cayen explained that since the incident, he's been unable to remember certain details and needs reminding. Testimony wavers On Friday Cayen said he had "a little bat" and that he "might have" smashed the windows of Norwegian's vehicle but he "didn't think there was a plan." Cayen said it was "possible" that he was attacking Norwegian while Thomas searched the vehicle and replied "yup" when asked if he had kicked Norwegian in the head. He was also "pretty sure" he and Thomas left by snowmobile but wasn't clear if he saw Norwegian get his car stuck in a snowbank, which is where he was eventually found dead. Hale told Cayen that he was at liberty to disagree with statements he put to him and that the court was interested in finding the truth. Crown lawyer Duane Praught said that Cayen's first statement to police is "the only … direct evidence of what happened at the portage that night." That statement is admissible in court. The trial for James Thomas continues in Yellowknife this week, with further cross-examination of Cayen.
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 8:30 p.m. ET on Monday May 17, 2021. There are 1,334,104 confirmed cases in Canada. Canada: 1,334,104 confirmed cases (67,639 active, 1,241,482 resolved, 24,983 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 4,586 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 177.97 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 39,905 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 5,701. There were 35 new reported deaths Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 301 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 43. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 65.74 per 100,000 people. There have been 33,592,273 tests completed. Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,203 confirmed cases (97 active, 1,100 resolved, six deaths). There were 10 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 18.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 62 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is nine. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 256,309 tests completed. Prince Edward Island: 192 confirmed cases (nine active, 183 resolved, zero deaths). There was one new case Monday. The rate of active cases is 5.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been five new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 154,580 tests completed. Nova Scotia: 4,827 confirmed cases (1,434 active, 3,320 resolved, 73 deaths). There were 91 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 146.42 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 793 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 113. There was one new reported death Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.03 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 7.45 per 100,000 people. There have been 725,813 tests completed. New Brunswick: 2,073 confirmed cases (119 active, 1,913 resolved, 41 deaths). There were 10 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 15.23 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 60 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is nine. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 5.25 per 100,000 people. There have been 323,946 tests completed. Quebec: 363,847 confirmed cases (7,011 active, 345,794 resolved, 11,042 deaths). There were 551 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 81.77 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,051 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 722. There were eight new reported deaths Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 49 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is seven. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 128.78 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,862,183 tests completed. Ontario: 511,486 confirmed cases (25,869 active, 477,128 resolved, 8,489 deaths). There were 2,170 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 175.57 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 16,467 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,352. There were four new reported deaths Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 162 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 23. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.16 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 57.61 per 100,000 people. There have been 14,619,412 tests completed. Manitoba: 45,579 confirmed cases (4,568 active, 40,000 resolved, 1,011 deaths). There were 430 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 331.19 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 3,129 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 447. There was one new reported death Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 14 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.15 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 73.3 per 100,000 people. There have been 747,968 tests completed. Saskatchewan: 44,709 confirmed cases (1,965 active, 42,225 resolved, 519 deaths). There were 178 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 166.71 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,414 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 202. There were two new reported deaths Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 17 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.21 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 44.03 per 100,000 people. There have been 820,209 tests completed. Alberta: 219,682 confirmed cases (21,288 active, 196,246 resolved, 2,148 deaths). There were 721 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 481.42 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,295 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,328. There were five new reported deaths Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 31 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.1 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 48.58 per 100,000 people. There have been 4,404,789 tests completed. British Columbia: 139,664 confirmed cases (5,175 active, 132,841 resolved, 1,648 deaths). There were 424 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 100.53 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 3,556 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 508. There were 14 new reported deaths Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 26 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.07 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.01 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,631,197 tests completed. Yukon: 84 confirmed cases (one active, 81 resolved, two deaths). There were zero new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 2.38 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 4.76 per 100,000 people. There have been 9,129 tests completed. Northwest Territories: 121 confirmed cases (38 active, 83 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 84.14 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 19 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 22,405 tests completed. Nunavut: 624 confirmed cases (65 active, 555 resolved, four deaths). There were zero new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 165.17 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 52 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is seven. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 10.16 per 100,000 people. There have been 14,257 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published May 17, 2021. The Canadian Press