Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse discusses how Gary Trent is meshing with the team, why they were better on the glass and the biggest margins of victory he's been apart of.
Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse discusses how Gary Trent is meshing with the team, why they were better on the glass and the biggest margins of victory he's been apart of.
Ontario's new COVID-19 rules and restrictions - from cutting outdoor gatherings to extending police powers - have drawn out mass criticism and condemnation by medical experts, residents.
SANTIAGO (Reuters) -China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine was 67% effective in preventing symptomatic infection, data from a huge real-world study in Chile has shown, a potential boost for the jab which has come under scrutiny over its level of protection against the virus. The CoronaVac vaccine was 85% effective in preventing hospitalizations and 80% effective in preventing deaths, the Chilean government said in a report, adding that the data should prove a "game changer" from the vaccine more widely. Rodrigo Yanez, Chile's vice trade minister who forged a deal with Sinovac to host the drug's clinical trial and buy 60 million doses of the drug over three years, said the results showed Chile had made "the right bet".
Former prime minister Stephen Harper is working with former leaders of three major intelligence agencies — the Mossad, the CIA and MI5 — in a Canadian private investment company. AWZ Ventures invests in Israeli cybersecurity, intelligence and physical security technologies. Despite the many prominent individuals behind it, the company remains low-profile in Canada. The head office of AWZ (pronounced Oz) Ventures is at 20 Eglinton Ave. West in Toronto, on the 10th floor of an office tower at the corner of Yonge Street. Stephen Harper with AWZ Ventures founder Yaron Ashkenazi (right) and EnsureDR CEO Uri Shay (left).(Business Wire) Harper is one of AWZ's partners and president of its advisory committee. A glance at the company's website shows that, along with the former prime minister, AWZ has assembled an impressive list of leaders from the counter-intelligence and business worlds. According to his bio, the company's founder and managing partner, Yaron Ashkenazi, served for a decade in the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) VIP Protection Division, leading teams that protected several Israeli prime ministers. Edward Sonshine, founding partner of AWZ and chairman of the board, is the founder of RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns the building that houses AWZ Ventures. Former Conservative public safety minister Stockwell Day is also involved with the company. Then-CSIS director Richard Fadden waits to testify before a committee on Parliament Hill on July 5, 2010.(Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press) AWZ Ventures has recruited former executives of the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. They include Haim Tomer — who spent more than 30 years with the agency, serving as head of Mossad's intelligence, counter-terrorism and international divisions — and Gary Barnea, a former deputy director of Mossad's special operations division. Richard Fadden, former director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and a former national security adviser to Harper, also works for the company. Fadden sits on AWZ Ventures' advisory committee. In an interview with Radio-Canada, he described the business philosophy of founder Ashkenazi, who he said reached out to him after attending a conference where Fadden was a speaker. Former Mossad officials Haim Tomer and Gary Barnea.(AWZ Ventures) "Yaron has had a lot of contact with the Israeli security community. But more to the point, Israel is very successful in developing new technology, both for the private sector and for government," said Fadden. "He decided — you'll have to ask him — but I think he decided it would be a good way to make some money while promoting some companies from his home country." Ashkenazi turned down Radio-Canada's request for an interview, saying the company is "extremely occupied with a few major deals." "We are keeping a 'below the radar' position at this point," he added. Harper, who joined the company in 2019, did not reply to Radio-Canada's interview request. The company's website says AWZ Ventures was launched in 2016. According to Ontario government records, it was incorporated in 2013. Two major figures from U.S. and U.K. intelligence circles are also part of AWZ Ventures — former CIA director James Woolsey and former MI5 director general Stella Rimington. "I think they are like many other investment, venture companies on the planet. They picked an area where they think they can make some bucks," Fadden said of AWZ Ventures' leadership. James Woolsey was the director of the CIA under President Bill Clinton.(Reuters) The company manages $130 million and has invested in 17 companies, according to its website. All of those companies have been Israeli so far, said Fadden. "A lot of this technology is useful in fighting terrorism and that was my main interest," he said. "Some of the technology that has been developed helps develop a sense of what's going on, on the one level on social media, so you can accumulate information. But mostly it's defensive." As an example of AWZ's targeted investments, Fadden cited an investment in what he calls "cybersafe control mechanisms for trains or planes. The idea is to simply develop technology that protects whomever from attacks, mostly cyberattacks these days." Israel is not a NATO member, nor is it part of the Five Eyes — the intelligence-sharing alliance that includes Canada, the United States, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. Fadden said he's comfortable with helping to advance technological development in Israel, a friendly country. "We have a very firm policy that there are a number of companies that we do not invest in, that we do not sell to in any shape, way or fashion," he said. "For example, we don't deal with China or Russia, just to pick two." The companies that have benefited from AWZ Ventures' investments include NanoLock — which has developed a remote tool for protecting internet-connected devices from unauthorized access — and Assac, which has come up with an "anti-tapping, anti-hacking and threat management product available for the emerging corporate smartphone security and encryption market," according to AWZ Ventures' website. The Israeli cyber-tech sector continues to grow at a record pace despite the pandemic, according to the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD). The Israeli government agency said the sector raised $2.9 billion in 2020 — an increase of more than 70 per cent over the same period in the previous year. The sum of investments in such technology in Israel has reached 31 per cent of the value of such investments worldwide, according to INCD.
These kittens are having a wonderful time playing with their new toys at the Black Dog Farm and Rescue. They are in the best possible place they could be, but this might have been a narrow escape for these tiny creatures. Black Dog Farm and Rescue is an amazing facility that operates in Texas. The owners, Jennifer and Jim have been rescuing animals for several years and their sanctuary is home to dogs, cats, cows, hens and a guinea pig. They have hearts of gold and they cannot turn away an animal in need. As Jennifer and Jim were parking and preparing to go into a store for food, they saw a truck in the parking lot behind the store. A man stood by a kennel with a sign that advertised "free kittens". Although there were no signs of abuse or neglect, and the kittens seemed to have been well cared for, Jennifer knew this situation was a recipe for disaster. Jennifer recorded the kittens in the back of her truck, moments after she adopted them, and she narrates as she shows the kittens drinking some fresh water. Jennifer explains that not all "free" animals end up in good homes. In fact, some animals end up being sold to illegal dog fighting rings, or for food for other pets. Jennifer explains how she accepted all four kittens without even laying eyes on them, and that they are on the way to Black Dog Farm. She also records their first moments at the farm as they play and explore happily. Jennifer makes an excellent point when she refers to the tragedy that can befall kittens or any other pets that are given away without proper background information on their prospective owners. Black Dog Farm and Rescue accepts some of the neediest and most desperate animals. Many are permanently adopted, and some move on. But every single animal that comes into their care will be provided a carefully selected forever home, or they simply never leave. The farm is a wonderful place with acres for the animals to run and play. They are provided with vet care and excellent nutrition. Socialization and mental stimulation are important here as well, and the animals thrive and respond well to the kindness and love that they find here. Please look them up on Facebook and follow the heart warming stories or see what you can do to help them accomplish the magic that they make happen for these deserving souls.
INDIANAPOLIS — The former employee who shot and killed eight people at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis was interviewed by FBI agents last year, after his mother called police to say that her son might commit “suicide by cop,” the bureau said Friday. Coroners released the names of the victims late Friday, a little less than 24 hours after the latest mass shooting to rock the U.S. Four of them were members of Indianapolis' Sikh community. The attack was another blow to the Asian American community a month after six people of Asian descent were killed in a mass shooting in the Atlanta area and amid ongoing attacks against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. The Marion County Coroner's office identified the dead as Matthew R. Alexander, 32; Samaria Blackwell, 19; Amarjeet Johal, 66; Jaswinder Kaur, 64; Jaswinder Singh, 68; Amarjit Sekhon, 48; Karli Smith, 19; and John Weisert, 74. The shooter was identified as Brandon Scott Hole, 19, of Indianapolis, Deputy Police Chief Craig McCartt told a news conference. Investigators searched a home in Indianapolis associated with Hole and seized evidence, including desktop computers and other electronic media, McCartt said. Hole began firing randomly at people in the parking lot of the FedEx facility late Thursday, killing four, before entering the building, fatally shooting four more people and then turning the gun on himself, McCartt said. He said he did not know if Hole owned the gun legally. “There was no confrontation with anyone that was there,” he said. “There was no disturbance, there was no argument. He just appeared to randomly start shooting.” McCartt said the slayings took place in a matter of minutes, and that there were at least 100 people in the facility at the time. Many were changing shifts or were on their dinner break, he said. Several people were wounded, including five who were taken to the hospital. “You deserved so much better than this,” a man who identified himself as the grandson of Johal tweeted Friday evening. Johal had planned to work a double shift Thursday so she could take Friday off, according to the grandson, who would not give his full name but identifies himself as “Komal” on his Twitter page. Johal later decided to grab her check and go home, and still had the check in her hand when police found her, Komal said. “(What) a harsh and cruel world we live in,” he added. Smith, the youngest of the victims, was last in contact with her family shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday, family members said in social media posts late Friday. Dominique Troutman, Smith’s sister, waited hours at the Holiday Inn for an update on her sister. “Words can’t even explain how I feel. ... I’m so hurt,” Troutman said in a Facebook post Friday night. Weisert had been working as a bag handler at FedEx for four years, his wife, Carol, told WISH-TV. The couple was married nearly 50 years. President Joe Biden said he had been briefed on the shooting and called gun violence “an epidemic” in the U.S. “Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation,” he said in a statement. Later, he tweeted, “We can, and must, do more to reduce gun violence and save lives.” A FedEx employee said he was working inside the building Thursday night when he heard several gunshots in rapid succession. “I see a man come out with a rifle in his hand and he starts firing and he starts yelling stuff that I could not understand,” Levi Miller told WTHR-TV. “What I ended up doing was ducking down to make sure he did not see me because I thought he would see me and he would shoot me.” Paul Keenan, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis field office, said Friday that agents questioned Hole last year after his mother called police to say that her son might commit “suicide by cop.” He said the FBI was called after items were found in Hole’s bedroom but he did not elaborate on what they were. He said agents found no evidence of a crime and that they did not identify Hole as espousing a racially motivated ideology. A police report obtained by The Associated Press shows that officers seized a pump-action shotgun from Hole’s home after responding to the mother's call. Keenan said the gun was never returned. McCartt said Hole was a former employee of FedEx and last worked for the company in 2020. The deputy police chief said he did not know why Hole left the job or if he had ties to the workers in the facility. He said police have not yet uncovered a motive for the shooting. Police Chief Randal Taylor noted that a “significant” number of employees at the FedEx facility are members of the Sikh community, and the Sikh Coalition later issued a statement saying it was “sad to confirm” that at least four of those killed were community members. The coalition, which identifies itself as the largest Sikh civil rights organization in the U.S., said in the statement that it expected authorities to “conduct a full investigation — including the possibility of bias as a factor.” Varun Nikore, executive director of the AAPI Victory Alliance, a national advocacy group for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, said in a statement that the shootings marked “yet another senseless massacre that has become a daily occurrence in this country.” Nikore remarked that gun violence in the U.S. "is reflective of all of the spineless politicians who are beholden to the gun lobby.” FedEx Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frederick Smith called the shooting a “senseless act of violence.” “This is a devastating day, and words are hard to describe the emotions we all feel,” he wrote in an email to employees. The killings marked the latest in a string of recent mass shootings across the country and the third mass shooting this year in Indianapolis. Five people, including a pregnant woman, were shot and killed in the city in January, and a man was accused of killing three adults and a child before abducting his daughter during at argument at a home in March. In other states last month, eight people were fatally shot at massage businesses in the Atlanta area, and 10 died in gunfire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said the community must guard against resignation and “the assumption that this is simply how it must be and we might as well get used to it.” ___ This story has been edited to correct the spelling of several names. ___ Associated Press reporters Michael Balsamo and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report. Casey Smith is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Casey Smith And Rick Callahan, The Associated Press
While British Columbia's latest COVID-19 modelling shows a "levelling off" in some key data points, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, stressed that with variants of concern spreading, people need to continue to diligently follows the public health measures in place.
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — La Soufriere volcano shot out another explosive burst of gas and ash on Friday as a cruise ship arrived to evacuate some of the foreigners who had been stuck on a St. Vincent island coated in ash from a week of violent eruptions. The explosions that began on April 9 forced some 20,000 to flee the northern end of the eastern Caribbean island for shelters and contaminated water supplies across the island. Friday morning's blast “wasn’t a big explosion compared to the ones that we last weekend, but it was big enough to punch a hole through the clouds," said Richard Robertson, lead scientist at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center, in an interview with local NBC radio. “Probably got up to 8,000 metres (26,000 feet)." During a comparable eruption cycle in 1902, explosive eruptions continued to shake the island for months after an initial burst killed some 1,700 people, though the new eruptions so far have caused no reported deaths among a population that had received official warning a day earlier that danger was imminent. Meanwhile, British, U.S. and Canadian nationals were being evacuated aboard Royal Caribbean Cruises' Celebrity Reflection from the harbour in the Kingstown, capital of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The ship was due to arrive Saturday in Dutch Sint Maarten. Dozens of foreigners toting luggage descended from tour buses and cars at the port terminal in Kingstown and patiently waited in a line that began in the parking lot and reached deep into the terminal. They included students from the Trinity School of Medicine along with stranded tourists, including families with young children in arms. “As of right now, we are being evacuated for our safety and to keep the island as safe as possible," said LLeah Ransai, a Canadian student at Trinity. "Between the school, the government and the embassies of the US and Canada, we’re being evacuated now.” The U.S. Embassy said those aboard would have to make their own travel arrangements home. It also noted in an official statement that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had recommended against travel on cruise ships because the chance of getting COVID-19 and said people who had been in close contact with suspected COVID-19 cases were barred from the trip. All aboard were supposed to have a negative rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of boarding. Meanwhile, thousands of locals were stuck n emergency shelters with no idea when they might be able to return home. Levi Lewis, 58, a retired public servant from the town of Fancy, said the eruption had left him trying to get by with practically nothing. “I just reusing clothing cause i didn't walk with much," he said. "Plus water is an issue, so I’m trying to conserve it still.” “I want to go back home, or to whatever is left of it," he added. A few people, however, never left, defying evacuation orders. Raydon May, a bus conductor in his late 20s who stayed in Sandy Bay throughout the eruptions, said he had always planned to stay if the volcano erupted and was trying to protect properties in the community while making occasional trips outside the evacuation zone to pick up water and supplies. He said so much ash had fallen that the roofs of houses were collapsing under the weight. “One roof might get on like three truckloads of sand," he said. “We trying to help ... but we can’t help everybody.” Kristin Deane, The Associated Press
WARSAW, Poland — Three members of an advisory council for the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum in Poland have resigned after the government appointed a former Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, a top member of the country's right-wing ruling party, to serve on the council. Culture Minister Piotr Glinski recently appointed Szydlo to a four-year term on the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Council, a nine-member body made up of Poles who meet once a year to advise the museum's director. It is separate from the International Auschwitz Council, which is made up of Holocaust survivors and international experts. The first advisory council member to resign was philosopher Stanislaw Krajewski, who said he took the step Tuesday to protest what he called the “politicization” of a group that so far had been made up of experts. He was followed by historians Marek Lasota, who also belongs to the ruling party, and Krystyna Oleksy, a former deputy director of the Auschwitz Museum. Krajewski, who was about to begin his third four-year term, told The Associated Press on Friday that he does not remember a politician ever being named to the council and he did not feel comfortable with the step, particularly given the of the populist and nationalist Law and Justice Party. “It’s hard to say what would happen, but it would change the nature of the body very considerably,” Krajewski said. “I don’t want to be on the same council with a major politician of the ruling party today.” Krajewski is a co-creator of a post-World War II history section at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw and a co-founder of the Polish Council of Christians and Jews. He is also a leading member of Warsaw's Jewish community who since the 1970s has worked to revive the Jewish life in Poland that was nearly wiped out by the Holocaust. After Law and Justice took power in 2015, its leaders launched what they described as a “historical policy offensive” aimed at building national pride in the nation's past. The party has used museums, state media and other tools to push a patriotic vision of Poland which critics say has veered into an abuse of history and distortion. Poles are extremely proud of the nation's role in resisting the German occupation during nearly six years of World War II, both at home and abroad. The government has sought to focus on that aspect of Polish behaviour during the war, including the Poles who saved Jews, while seeking to discourage examinations of the role some Poles had in helping occupying German forces in their roundup and mass killing of Jews. The strategy has led to accusations of historical whitewashing and created international controversies in recent years. “The fear is that this would be another move in the direction of making also the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum part of their historical policy," Krajewski said. Szydlo, who was prime minister from 2015-2017, made commented at a memorial observance at Auschwitz in 2017 that appeared to defend her government's tough anti-refugee policies. Szydlo later denied that her comments were about migration. Szydlo is now is a member of the European Parliament for the Law and Justice party. She has studied ethnography and history, and is from the area of Oswiecim, the Polish town where the site of the former Auschwitz death camp is located. Earlier this week, she called her appointment “an honour and a great duty for me, an inhabitant of the Oswiecim region.” Emails to her office and the Culture Ministry seeking comment on the council resignations went unanswered. Vanessa Gera, The Associated Press
EDMONTON — Alberta’s Opposition says Premier Jason Kenney is sowing distrust by recounting misleading anecdotes to illustrate COVID-19 policy decisions. “I think this is about trust. I think this is about telling the truth,” NDP critic Sarah Hoffman said Friday. “I think we’ve seen many examples where the premier tries to bolster his own narrative. “This is a trend of being dishonest, and I think it really does call into question what trust and confidence we can have in the things the premier says and does.” Hoffman’s comments came a day after Kenney’s office confirmed the United Conservative premier “misspoke” when he used an anecdote about a super-spreader birthday party in Athabasca as a key driver of recent soaring COVID-19 rates in the town north of Edmonton. Kenney used the party as an example of how super-spreaders are not necessarily driven by in-school transmission but by social gatherings. "Apparently the virus had a 100 per cent attack rate at that birthday party. All of the kids who came to that birthday party got sick,'' Kenney said Monday. He repeated the same information at a news conference again Tuesday. An official with Alberta Health later said there was no data to suggest there had been an outbreak from a children's party in the community. Athabasca Mayor Colleen Powell said the publicity the community of 13,000 people has received since the premier's comments is not the kind it wants. "Why are you saying these things when you don't know?" Powell asked in an interview. "I had a couple of people get in touch with me (asking) who held the party. News spreads like wildfire." Just over 100 people, including students and a dozen staff, from three different schools in Athabasca tested positive for COVID-19 and its variants. Kenney’s spokesperson, Jerrica Goodwin, responded Friday in a short statement. “The premier was using the very real example to illustrate a point of the serious nature of COVID-19 and ease of transmission. As we've acknowledged, he misspoke on the specific location,” said Goodwin. “All the NDP's ridiculous criticism shows is that they can only attack and criticize.” Kenney has used anecdotes before to illustrate the rationale for COVID-19 policy decisions taken by his government. In late November, he cited an impromptu encounter with a food court kiosk owner — a refugee from Venezuela — as an example of the devastating impacts that COVID-19 health restrictions can have on businesses. “She came up to me, and she broke down in tears in front of me saying, 'Sir, I put my entire life savings as a refugee into this business. We're struggling to pay the bills. If you shut me down, I'm going to lose it all, everything, and I'll be in abject poverty,’” Kenney recounted at the time. When reached later by a reporter, the owner, Carolina De La Torre, said Kenney accurately recounted her core concerns of balancing health and the economy. But she dismissed the colourful drama, saying she did not cry and did not approach him, rather it was Kenney who approached her. Earlier this week, the premier came under criticism for challenging a radio host for saying Kenney once downplayed COVID-19 as the flu, telling the host he had never done so. Hansard, the official record of house debate, recorded Kenney calling the virus “influenza” multiple times during debate on May 27, 2020. In late February, just before Kenney’s government released its first COVID-era budget, he announced that due to oil and gas revenues the revised forecast deficit for the 2020 fiscal year would be about $14 billion — a third lower than expected. Treasury officials refused reporter requests to confirm the accuracy of that figure and, two days later, the budget revealed the 2020 deficit forecast was $20 billion. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2021. — With files from Fakiha Baig in Edmonton Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press
A series of attacks in Iraq this week illustrates the increasingly dangerous tangle of local and regional rivalries confronting the country's security in an election year, Iraqi security and government officials say. The violence appears linked to militias seeking to help ally Iran oppose Western and Gulf Arab adversaries in a tussle for influence playing out across the Middle East, as well as to growing domestic strains head of elections in October, they say. Drone and rocket attacks in northern Iraq by pro-Iran groups indicated that militias are expanding the arsenal they are prepared to deploy against U.S. forces stationed in the country.
Coronavirus variants are fuelling a COVID-19 surge in southern Saskatchewan, including the city of Moose Jaw, says medical health officer Dr. David Torr. Torr, who is medical lead for south rural Saskatchewan, said the variant first detected in the U.K. has become the dominant strain in the city, adding pressure on the local hospital. More beds were created at the Dr. F.H. Wigmore Regional Hospital after the intensive-care unit reached capacity. "One of the challenges we're having is the hospitals are full.... You can add a couple of beds," he said. "It's not like you can add 10 more beds. Remember also we have limited staff; we can not expand beyond what our staff can manage." ICU beds have been added to the Dr. F.H. Wigmore Regional Hospital in Moose Jaw to meet the needs of a rising number of COVID-19 patients. (Neil Cochrane/CBC News) In the past month, the south central region has seen a 46 per cent increase in COVID-19 cases, with nearly 400 new cases reported in the area. Not only is the region seeing a surge in cases, but there's also a surge in the number of towns and villages that are impacted. "It's a real fast spread," Torr said. "Where it has not been previously, it is becoming pretty much the dominant factor, the variants of concern." The variants of concern appear to be more transmissible and potentially more deadly, and may also transmit for longer periods of time in infected individuals and bind to our cells more easily — providing more opportunities for infected people to spread the virus. On Wednesday, the Saskatchewan Health Authority issued a public health alert warning residents in Maple Creek, Swift Current, Rosetown, Kindersley, Davidson, Moose Jaw, Outlook and their surrounding areas of increased risk of coronavirus variants. A day later, Health Minister Paul Merriman confirmed a superspreader event in southwest Saskatchewan has been linked to at least 21 cases. New surge stems from Easter gatherings Torr said the recent surge stems from Easter activities, including outdoor gatherings like barbecues where people did not follow public health orders. "We're sort of paying for that with the cases we're seeing and the surges we're seeing," Torr said. He said people were socializing outside of their bubble, and "there was a lot of inter-town and inter-provincial travel" that occurred. Torr said several of the functions had people eating and drinking together while not wearing masks. Before the Easter weekend, Torr was among the province's medical health officers that pleaded with the public in an open letter to stay put over the long weekend. He's still pleading. "Let's not take this as a joke," Torr said. "It's serious stuff." Dr. David Torr says people can help by getting vaccinated and wearing a proper mask.(CBC) Torr said a major driving factor in cases rising has been non-compliance with health orders. "The most important thing, no matter how many measures you put into place, they are only as effective as people complying with them," Torr said. "That's where the challenge is. People need to realize: stay away as much as possible from crowds or forming of gatherings. Now is not the time to do that. We need to stay in our bubbles." His last pieces of advice: get vaccinated and get a proper mask with three layers. "There are so many types of fancy masks out there, and they're unfortunately not effective."
An Iqaluit man under the protection of Nunavut's public guardian is being forced into homelessness while government officials struggle to figure out how to help him and who should pay for that help, according to a case at the Nunavut Court of Justice. The Inuk man in this case, whose identity CBC is withholding, has schizophrenia and an intellectual disability. He was placed into the care of the public guardian according to an order under Nunavut's Public Guardianship Act in November last year. Those who fall under such protective orders do not have the capacity to make some basic life decisions for themselves. Last month, the man left Iqaluit's men's shelter in order to attend a court appearance in Kinngait. When he got back, the shelter was full. A couple days later, his defence lawyer noticed bruising and scratches on his face. The man reported the injuries were a result of frostbite due to homelessness. Legal aid lawyers quickly filed documents with the court demanding the public guardian secure temporary housing for the man under its care. But the guardian's office filed its own court documents refusing. It says it contacted numerous facilities in Iqaluit, none of which could house the man. It added that it is not its responsibility to house people under its care, especially in light of Nunavut's longstanding housing crisis. If it were their responsibility, the public guardian argued, it would have a long line at its door of people looking to be placed in its care for housing purposes. And the budget approved by the Legislative Assembly for the Office of the Public Guardian does not include such housing costs, the office argued. But Beth Kotierk, the man's legal aid lawyer, argued that the government cannot allow a person in its care to go homeless while it figures out which agency should pay for their care. Jordan's Principle should apply: legal aid lawyer In documents submitted to the court, Kotierk argues that Jordan's Principle should apply in the man's case. That principle was approved by a motion in the House of Commons in 2007, two years after five-year-old Jordan River Anderson died. The child, who was from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba, died while different levels of government argued in court about who should pay for his care. The principle named in his honour aims to prevent a similar situation from occurring. Although the man in Nunavut's public guardianship case is not a child, the same principle applies, Kotierk argued. The case went before Justice Paul Bychok on April 1, but due to administrative errors by legal aid lawyers, the case was dismissed without prejudice, which means it can be brought to court again. It was scheduled to go before the court again in late May. But the discovery of a case of COVID-19 in the capital suspended operations at Nunavut's Court of Justice on Thursday, and it's not clear when the case may be heard again. In the mean time, Kotierk said Nunavut's legal aid agency is working to secure a hotel room for the man.
Some trappers and elders from Little Red River Cree Nation in northern Alberta are urging the province to protect a dwindling Wabasca wood buffalo herd. In a letter to Environment Minister Jason Nixon, they ask for immediate action to end unregulated hunting by legally protecting the herd. "Our Woodland Cree Trappers and Elders have seen the Wabasca wood buffalo herd plummet without suitable recovery management actions," says the March 26 letter, which was signed by trappers Johnson Alook, Sylvester Auger and Lorne Tallcree. "We have not seen more than nine animals at a time of this herd this past season." A spokesman for Nixon said in a statement Friday that the province recognizes the importance of the Wabasca herd to Indigenous people and other Albertans. "The Wabasca bison population plays an important role in the conservation and recovery of wood bison in northern Alberta," said the emailed statement from press secretary Paul Hamnett. "Currently the Wabasca bison population is at low levels and at risk of local extinction. At this time, the Wabasca bison population cannot sustain any level of harvesting." The statement said the province is looking at all potential measures and actions that could be taken to conserve and recover the population. The trappers said they have yet to receive a response from the province, but hope officials will take steps to protect the herd before it disappears completely. "When I started trapping, I used to see 40, 30 buffalo," Alook said in an interview. "For a few years now, I haven't seen any buffalo. "There's some buffalo out there, but I haven't seen them. I used to see them every time we'd go out there." Other trappers and elders noticed the same thing, added Auger, so they decided to form a group to express their concerns. "We want to get them protected," he said. 'At this point it's dire' Kecia Kerr, executive director for the northern chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, said it has worked with the group and shares its concerns. "There isn't a very good estimate of population size for this herd. But when you are talking about 20 individuals, at this point it's dire," she said. Kerr said the society would like to see the herd get subject animal status, which is a category that allows for legal protection. It would also like to see hunting become regulated, she said. "Ultimately, in Alberta, there needs to be a change to how bison are provided status across the province." The letter says the herd is culturally and ecologically important as one of the few disease-free, free-ranging wood buffalo herds in Canada. There are only two other healthy herds in Alberta — in Ronald Lake and Hay Zama — and both have protections that prohibit unregulated hunting. "The persistence of this genetically unique, disease-free herd is critical to the recovery of the species," says the letter. "It has been our observation that unregulated harvesting targets the largest members of the herd and that when this herd is faced with the threats originating from predators, the largest members of the herd protect the young by forming a protective shield around them. "Thus, we believe the unregulated harvesting weakens the protective capacity of the herd and has a compounding effect towards herd extinction." Urgent action must be taken so that future generations of the Little Red River Cree Nation can exercise ceremonial use and have food security from the herd, it says. "The current situation, as it trends now towards herd extinction, does not uphold the honour and integrity of the Crown in protecting our treaty right."
British Columbians relishing the sunshine and warm weather over the past week can expect another few days of delight, according to Environment Canada, with more blue skies in the forecast. The weather agency said the "very high ridge" of pressure over the province is expected to stay in place over the next five to seven days. Inland temperatures in the Lower Mainland could reach up to 23 C over the weekend — well above seasonal averages of 14 C — with equally toasty temperatures elsewhere in B.C. Temperatures in B.C. Interior cities such as Kamloops, Merritt and Kelowna could reach up to 26 C over the weekend. "This ridge is pretty well covering the whole province right now. It's essentially blocking any of the moisture air coming in from the Pacific," said meteorologist Gregg Walters. "Everywhere is above normal for this time of year, as far as temperature is concerned." People enjoy the waterfront in downtown Kelowna Thursday. Temperatures in the city could hit 24 C this weekend.(Winston Szeto/CBC) Temperature records set A number of temperature records were shattered across B.C. on Thursday, including one that hadn't been broken in 95 years. Pemberton hit 26.4 C, breaking the record of 25 C set in 1926. The Powell River area reached 21.2 C, edging past the old record of 20 C from 1947. Squamish was a hot spot at 27 C. Sunscreen would be a good idea over the next few days, Walters said. "The UV index is getting up," he said. "The sun angle is about the same as it is at the end of August, so it's like summertime intensity for sunlight." A cyclist is pictured along the seawall in Vancouver on Monday.(Ben Nelms/CBC) Public health restrictions remain in place, even for those heading outside. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday that outdoor gatherings with people outside of one's own household are discouraged — though outdoor gatherings with up to 10 people are currently allowed under B.C.'s health restrictions. "Even if we can see people outside of our household, we shouldn't. Outside is lower risk, it's not zero, but it's lower risk," she said. "If you're going to be in close contact, wear a mask, even if it is outside." Fire risk Fire dangers will also be higher, since April has been unusually dry. A brush fire broke out Thursday off Highway 1 in Chilliwack and quickly burned through bone-dry grass. A brush fire in Chilliwack, B.C., on Thursday burned quickly through dry grass after weeks of sunny weather across the province.(Shane Mackichan) The B.C. Wildfire Service told CBC fire fuel in Cariboo, Kamloops, Prince George and coastal areas have been incredibly dry and outflow winds could fan the flames. "Under conditions of low humidity and little precipitation, it will not take long for the grass to dry out and become flammable, especially in windy conditions," read a tweet from the service.
BERLIN — New polls Friday bolstered Bavarian Governor Markus Soeder's bid to be the candidate of Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right bloc in fall elections, showing a wide margin of popular support for him over Armin Laschet, the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia. Laschet is the leader of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, and has rallied the party's leadership behind his bid to run as chancellor. Soeder, the leader of the CDU's smaller Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, has resisted pressure to resolve the matter immediately, however, saying it needs to be discussed with people beyond senior party officials. Soeder has emphasized his superior poll ratings, and two new surveys further boost that argument. One, conducted this week by the infratest dimap agency for ARD television, showed 44 per cent of Germans, and 72 per cent of union-bloc voters, preferred Soeder to Laschet. By contrast, 15 per cent of Germans and 17 per cent of union-bloc voters preferred Laschet. The poll of 1,174 people had a margin of error of plus or minus two to three percentage points. Perhaps more important as the bloc considers whom to choose, was an INSA poll done this week for Bild newspaper and released Friday. It indicating that with Laschet as the candidate the union bloc was polling at 27 per cent support, one point below its current ratings as measured by the agency, while with Soeder it sat at 38 per cent support. INSA's poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Laschet has dismissed the importance of the polls, noting that the elections are months away and that he has overcome poor numbers in state races in the past. After a meeting on Tuesday of the two parties’ joint parliamentary group in Berlin, both men emerged to say that the talks were productive and that they hoped to have a decision by week’s end. There was no indication early Friday, however, that any announcement was imminent. Germany’s parliamentary election on Sept. 26 will determine who succeeds Merkel, who isn’t seeking a fifth term after nearly 16 years in power. The Associated Press
Most of Ontario's public health units wasted dozens of COVID-19 vaccine doses last month. One wasted hundreds. But they argue that's not the full story. CBC News contacted all 34 Ontario public health units to ask how many, and why, doses were wasted in March as vaccination capacity ramped up significantly. While wastages happen, health units say they also pull extra doses from vials, which they didn't expect to have. That helps make up for doses they don't use. Wastages are a mix of manufacturer, equipment and human error. This includes cracked vials, particulate in vials and needle and syringe malfunctions. Clinic staff have dropped syringes on the ground, while patients have moved during injections and messed them up. Some health units report having vaccine doses expire. Once you puncture a vial, you have six hours to use all its doses. Only one health unit explicitly said it wasted vaccines because it had trouble finding people to immunize. The most common example across health units was not being able to pull the last dose from the vial. Vaccine companies allocate a certain number of doses per vial. If you can't get all of them, it's considered waste. Leftovers can't be mixed in different vials. Scroll down to see how many wasted and extra doses in March Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Peterborough's medical officer of health, blames this on manufacturers. Her health unit reported 44 wasted doses in March of the 17,194 shots it administered. "Some vials have a little more. Some vials have less," she said. "You need really good eyesight because you are extracting such small amounts of vaccine into the syringes and you need good manual dexterity." She said some older physicians have opted out of helping with syringes because their eyes are going. Her health unit has been training newly graduated nursing students to help. Note on wasted and extra doses These don't represent total wastages, extra doses or vaccination amounts in each area, as places like local hospitals and pharmacies are vaccinating too, sometimes independently of public health units. Some public health units would not report specific numbers, like Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and Halton. Others did not respond at all, including Thunder Bay, Renfrew County and Porcupine Health Unit. Extra doses make up for waste The amount of extra doses pulled from vials ranges wildly between health units. Hamilton wasted 125 doses in March, but pulled 1,207 extras of the 63,482 shots it administered. In the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, 63 doses were wasted compared to 64 extra doses pulled. The unit gave 19,891 shots in total. "It's an incomplete and inaccurate picture to report only wasted doses," said Suzette Taggart, of the Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health (KFLA), in an email. "We draw extra doses more often than we waste doses so our net difference is positive, not negative." Indeed, KFLA wasted 115 doses from March 11 to early April, but had 345 extra doses in the same time frame. It gave 51,398 shots in March. Dr. Rosana Salvaterra and her team at Peterborough Public Health are trying their best to make sure no doses go to waste. 'The elderly come in and say they’ve been prisoners in their homes for the last 15 months and they’re desperate to see their families again.'(Evan Mitsui/CBC) The head of York Region Public Health Services, which reported 1,220 wastages in March, the most of the public health units that responded to CBC News, isn't too worried either — calling it "not true wastage." "In the grand scheme of things, the actual numbers of doses [wasted] are quite small relative to the number of doses that we administer," said Dr. Karim Kurji, York's medical officer of health. Ontario's ministry of health has set a maximum vaccine wastage rate at no more than five per cent of the vaccines over a 12-month period. 'Every dose is precious' Health units say they have learned a great deal and adjusted procedures. They will only thaw and prep enough vaccine for appointments that have been booked. The province also requires they have plans in place in case there are cancellations, no-shows or extra vaccines left at the end of the day. This includes standby waiting lists for priority populations who can get to vaccination sites on short notice. York Region reports the vast majority of its wastage comes from the inability to draw that pesky final dose. It's learned longer, skinnier syringes (1 cc) are better at drawing the final dose than shorter, wider syringes. But it is having trouble acquiring them. A York Region public health staffer demonstrates the differences between syringes. The syringe on the right is better at drawing the pesky final vaccine dose from a vial. It's where the majority of its wastage comes from.(Martin Trainor/CBC) "We're trying so hard to get that last drop out of the vial," said Ann Ciniglio, a public health nurse with York managing a vaccine clinic. "I see the people that are trying to get appointments. They are high risk groups. They're essential workers ... We're not able to potentially draw out extra doses that could have more people coming." Ciniglio says she knows many people are working hard to acquire more of these syringes. With all the demand, Salvaterra and her team are trying their best to minimize wastages and maximize extra doses. "These vaccines are worth their weight in gold," she said. "Every dose is precious."
John Rustad, B.C. Liberal MLA for Nechako Lakes, is standing by his defence of carbon dioxide after Minister for Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman denounced the comments and questioned whether Rustad believes climate change is real. Rustad's statement came during the throne speech debate in the legislature on Thursday. He took the opportunity to quibble with the use of the word "pollution" to describe CO2. "Carbon dioxide is an essential component of life on this planet. It is not a pollution and that sort of misinformation out there is just ridiculous. It's ridiculous to do that, it doesn't serve anybody well," said Rustad. "It doesn't serve the environmental movement well, it doesn't serve us as a province well, so poor choice of words and that's the raspberry," he continued. Heyman posted the excerpt from the debate on social media, asking for the statement to be retracted. "Deeply concerned to hear B.C. Liberal MLA John Rustad say carbon dioxide isn't a pollutant. Increased levels of #CO2 are causing floods, fires and droughts right here in B.C.," said Heyman on Twitter. "Rustad's denial raises real questions about his beliefs on climate change," he said. "This is the time to recognize our growing climate emergency." Asked about his comments by CBC News, Rustad repeated the view that CO2 is essential for life. "Virtually any scientist will tell you that carbon dioxide is an essential component to life, that you need to have about 130-150 parts per million [ppm] in the atmosphere for plant life to even survive," he said. "If something is labelled as pollution, our goal should be to get rid of it, and if we get rid of it, we essentially kill life on this planet," said Rustad. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is now believed to be about 412 ppm — much more than scientists consider a safe level for the planet. It hasn't been below 280 ppm since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Even reducing the amount of additional greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere by humans has been an enormous struggle for humankind. "I'm not suggesting current levels are healthy. I don't know what's healthy — I'm not a scientist," said Rustad. Asked directly if he believes climate change is real and caused by humans, the MLA declined to answer. "I know you asked a very specific question, but at this point I'm not prepared to answer that question," he said, adding that that wasn't the issue he was addressing in his speech to the legislature. "I'm talking about the language that was used in the throne speech, which I believe was erroneous," said Rustad. The B.C. Liberals sent CBC News a statement from interim leader Shirley Bond, which didn't address Rustad's statement in the legislature, but acknowledged the threat posed by climate change: "Our party has been recognized as a leader in global climate policy and we remain fully committed to actions that are necessary to battle climate change here in British Columbia and around the world." Do you have more to add to this story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Rafferty Baker on Twitter: @raffertybaker
It was a report that likely prompted alarm for many women: rare, serious blood clots following vaccination for six Americans. All women, all of child-bearing age. That update this week also came on the heels of similar global blood clot reports among mostly women following AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccinations, sparking fears that younger women — including those on hormonal birth control — may be more at risk. But leading medical experts say it's not that simple. More research is needed, several of them told CBC News, in order to confirm what role each vaccine may play in causing clots, and whether women truly face higher risks. Serious clots tied to 2 vaccines When it comes to the blood clot reports following Johnson & Johnson vaccinations, information is limited. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Drug Administration made a joint announcement on Tuesday, revealing that out of nearly seven million doses administered, the half-dozen women between the ages of 18 and 48 all started having symptoms up to two weeks post-vaccination. In each case, the potentially deadly type of blood clot in the brain — called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, or CVST — was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets. The news followed weeks of controversy over AstraZeneca-Oxford's two-dose shot, which has also been linked to a similar type of clot dubbed vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia, or VIPIT. WATCH | Health Canada's chief adviser talks about risk of blood clots: "Obviously, there's going to be speculation," said Dr. Menaka Pai, a clinical hematologist at McMaster University in Hamilton and a member of Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. "Is there something about these two vaccines?" Both options are approved in Canada and use similar mechanisms, though only AstraZeneca's shot has been used here so far, with the country's first shipment of Johnson & Johnson doses expected at the end of April. One VIPIT case has also been confirmed in this country to date from that vaccine — also in a woman, though her age hasn't been revealed by public health officials. There are reports among men in other countries as well, but so far the global trend appears to be skewing toward women making up the bulk of the growing number of cases. Not clear women at higher risk But while it seems women may be more at risk of developing these severe, post-vaccination blood clots, medical experts warn it's not that cut and dried — with far more research and data needed to draw any firm conclusions. "Right now, not only is the information really preliminary, this is a really small number of cases," said Pai. Currently, Health Canada doesn't have any restrictions on the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine and deems it safe for use, though advisory committee recommendations followed by the provinces stipulate it should only be used for people 55 and older. Alyson Kelvin, a vaccinologist with VIDO-InterVac, a vaccine developer affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan, said the recent recommendation to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine south of the border made sense to allow for further research to see if the vaccine actually caused the reported clots. "There's a difference between an association and a causal link — and a causal link, if there is one, is going to take time," she said. That hasn't stopped speculation over the potential causes, with theories circulating online over whether there could be ties to women's hormonal birth control. No known links to birth control But medical experts say it's highly unlikely there's a connection or any layered risk between vaccines and hormonal contraceptives — even though birth control contains a clotting risk of its own. "Those are not the same types of clots that we're seeing with the vaccine," said Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, while speaking to reporters at a technical briefing earlier this week. Notably, none of the women with CVST cases tied to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were on birth control, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control panel on Wednesday heard from the chief medical officer for Johnson & Johnson's vaccine division. Most did, however, have pre-existing health issues, including hypertension, hyperthyroidism, asthma and obesity, according to U.S. media reports, and the cases were severe, including one death. Toronto-based family physician Dr. Tali Bogler, chair of family medicine obstetrics at St. Michael's Hospital, stressed the mechanism behind blood clots tied to birth control appears to be completely different from what may be happening post-vaccination. Blood clots that occur while taking hormonal birth control — or during pregnancy, or for older women on hormone replacement therapy — are linked to the hormone estrogen, Bogler explained, which ramps up the body's clotting system. That's typically beneficial during pregnancy so a woman doesn't bleed at dangerous levels while giving birth, but it does increase someone's blood clot risk. Medical experts say it's highly unlikely there's a connection or any layered risk between vaccines and hormonal contraceptives — even though birth control contains a clotting risk of its own.(iStock) Something else is likely going on when it comes to the two rare-but-similar forms of clots linked to these vaccines. The clots raising serious concerns are occurring in the veins that drain blood from the brain — and, somewhat strangely, happened at the same time as people were experiencing low levels of platelets, the tiny cell fragments in our blood that help form clots in the first place to stop us from bleeding. More research is needed to understand the exact mechanism, though there's speculation among some members of the medical community that it could be tied to someone's immune system going haywire. It's already well known that women are more likely to develop autoimmune conditions than men, but again, Bogler says ties to post-vaccination symptoms aren't yet clear. Reports remain 'vanishingly rare' All the medical experts who spoke to CBC News agreed far more research is needed to understand the exact mechanism at play, who's most at risk, and whether there's any clear causation playing out at all between these vaccines and certain individuals, women included. What's challenging now is that until there's more clarity on these potentially deadly clots, experts simply can't answer some of the burning questions around these vaccines, which could increase vaccine hesitancy during the pandemic. "We're not trying to gloss over the real concerns of women," Pai said, "but we really have to be honest about the science." Community health volunteer Menusha Manokumar, 20, gets her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic run by Humber River Hospital in Toronto on April 14.(Evan Mitsui/CBC) What is clear are the risks associated with COVID-19. From severe blood clotting to lung damage to other serious symptoms, the infection remains dangerous and stubborn to treat, with women who are pregnant or anyone with autoimmune disorders even more at risk of dire outcomes, including death. "Whether they're women between the ages of 18 to 48, or otherwise, everybody should keep in mind that your risk of having a severe complication of any kind from a vaccine is much, much, astronomically much lower than having a complication from getting COVID-19," said Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Georgetown University's Center for Global Health Science and Security in Washington, D.C. That prompted Rasmussen to recently get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine herself, and she stands by that decision despite being in the age range for the clotting issues later reported in the U.S. "Rest assured that, even if this is related to the vaccine, it is vanishingly rare — and it's very unlikely that it's going to happen to you," she said.
When Joe Hughes of Charlottetown scanned the bar code on his scratch ticket and saw he had a major winner, he was expecting four zeros. "I scanned the barcode and it said, 'Major winner - contact Atlantic Lottery,'" Hughes said in a news release. "We didn't know what the amount was since I didn't scratch it. The ticket says there are lots of $10,000 prizes so I assumed that's what it was." But when he scratched it and counted up the zeros he found six. He shared the news first with his children. "My daughter said, 'It's too late for April Fool's,'" he said. "She and my son were looking at the ticket and finally realized it's real and that I did win the grand prize." Financial flexibility Hughes said his children will be the main beneficiaries of the prize. "The main focus is the kids' education. This is a big help there, for sure," he said. Hughes has worked for Bell Aliant for 36 years and said he has no intention of stopping any time soon. But in addition to the comfort of knowing his children's education costs will be covered, the win gives him the flexibility to consider early retirement, and maybe some renovations for his home. Hughes is the second major lottery winner in Charlottetown this year. In January, restaurant owner Seyedazim Sharif won $2 million. More from CBC P.E.I.
Wabush mayor Ron Barron said he'd rather not see Air Canada return to the region.(Darryl Dinn/CBC) While news of a bailout package for Air Canada is being greeted with relief in some parts of Labrador, others aren't so jovial. For Ron Barron, mayor of Wabush — which has not been listed as one of the reinstated services, and instead will be served through interline agreements with third-party regional carriers — it makes no difference whether the airline returns or not. "We've seen this in the past from them, that they've pulled out of here before," he said. "But when we had other airlines here that set up shop — regional carriers — they drove them out of here by undercutting them." On Tuesday, the federal government announced a $5.4-billion bailout package for Air Canada, which in exchange has agreed to refund customers, keep jobs and bring back regional air services that were suspended last year. But Barron said carriers like PAL Airlines and Pascan Aviation continued to serve Wabush despite the pandemic, something he's disappointed the nation's largest airline didn't do. Labrador West Chamber of Commerce president Toby Leon says the real barrier for the community is cost, rather than availability. (Darryl Dinn/CBC) "They just cut and run, and that's not acceptable," said Barron. "Personally, I hope they don't come back. Let's get somebody else in here." Toby Leon, the president of the Labrador West Chamber of Commerce, likewise doesn't see the return of Air Canada as a solution to the region's needs. In the midst of the pandemic, Leon said, they'll have to trust Ottawa's judgment in the bailout but Labrador West has long been overlooked. "There's never been a great solution to our air link to the province and the rest of the world," he said. "I don't think Air Canada has ever really been a great asset to us." Goose Bay Airport Corporation CEO Goronwy Price says they're happy to see the return of Air Canada service. (John Gaudi/CBC) Leon said the region needs to look elsewhere for a better solution to what he says is more an issue of cost than availability. "There's never been a huge problem in the interim with getting flights; it's always been the price," said Leon. While Leon would happily see the return of Air Canada to Labrador West, if only for their seat sales, he said there needs to be a more long-term solution. "Whether that's the Q400s that PAL bought being more inexpensive to operate, and being able to compete, or this charter coming in and putting pressure on," he said. "I know that there are opportunities out there." Welcome news for airport CEO But for Goronwy Price, the general manager and CEO of the Goose Bay Airport, the bailout package is a welcome development. The loss of Air Canada flights, Price said, had a substantial impact on the airport and the community. "In 2020, we saw a 60 per cent reduction in our traffic," he said. "In 2019, we had 160,000 passengers go through our airport. In the year in 2020, we only had 69,000." Due to the fixed costs of maintaining the airport at operational capacity, said Price, they lost between 60 and 80 per cent of their revenue throughout 2020, depending on the area of operations. As a regional airport they're thankful to have had two other carriers, he said, but are eagerly anticipating the return of Air Canada services. "The fact that Air Canada has come out and said that they are reinitiating their routes is a very positive sign for us." Air Canada declined an interview request from CBC's Labrador Morning, but said in an emailed statement that discussions are ongoing with all regional carriers. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador