Norman Powell learned a valuable lesson while the Raptors were losing games despite playing good enough to win.
Norman Powell learned a valuable lesson while the Raptors were losing games despite playing good enough to win.
Former President Donald Trump has clashed again with his Republican Party, demanding that three Republican groups stop using his name and likeness for fundraising, a Trump adviser said on Saturday. The adviser, confirming a report in Politico, said lawyers for Trump on Friday had sent cease-and-desist letters to the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Campaign and National Republican Senate Campaign, asking them to stop using his name and likeness on fundraising emails and merchandise.
A group of residents in Chelsea, Que., has banded together to purchase 23 hectares of forest in their community. Last summer, the residents learned a developer was interested in the land and looked at ways to protect the forest. "I just felt the urgency of that moment," said Calina Ellwand, who has lived in Chelsea for three years and found out about the plan to purchase the land from a neighbour. "I felt that if we didn't act, if we didn't kind of come together as a community, we'd lose this space and our kids, our grandkids, they'd never know it the way that we have come to know it." Kids will be running around in this area for generations to come. - Calina Ellwand, Chelsea resident The forest sits on land near Juniper Road, near Highway 105. "It's a wildlife corridor. It's a sensitive wetland area," said Ellwand. "So we really want to protect this forest in perpetuity, forever." Time was of the essence Though efforts to raise awareness — and the money — were hindered by the pandemic as residents weren't able to hold town halls, they spread the news the old fashioned way: word of mouth, often when coming across their neighbours in that same forest. A group of residents in Chelsea, Que., pooled their money and bought this 23-hectare forest near Juniper Road.(Submitted by Carolyn Farquar) Protecting the area forever came with a deadline. The community had to raise the money by the end of January. About 180 residents, each giving what they could, raised $850,000 a week ahead of schedule. "We all did it together," said Carolyn Farquar, who has lived in Chelsea for 30 years. The group also benefited from a donation of $20,000 from the municipality. The money, which comes from a green fund program, and will be used to cover land transfer taxes, said Lyne Daigle, co-manager of the Chelsea forest project. The forest will be owned by the Action Chelsea for Respect of the Environment group, while local residents plan to create a stewardship committee.(Submitted by Sam Smith) While the residents raised the funds to buy the land, the owner will be Action Chelsea for Respect of the Environment (ACRE), an organization that works to protect the ecological integrity of Chelsea. ACRE will act as a land trust, while community members will create a stewardship committee to manage and care for the land. "It doesn't belong to any one of us anymore. It belongs to all of us," said Ellwand. "Kids will be running around in this area for generations to come. They won't know our names or faces, but they'll continue to enjoy this as a forest."
SYDNEY, Australia — Sydney’s annual iconic Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras went ahead on Saturday, only in a different format due to coronavirus restrictions. It was being held at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where people can socially distance in their seats rather than on the traditional route down Oxford Street. Up to 23,000 spectators will be allowed in the stands while the performers will be on the pitch. Organizers say this year’s parade will move away from the traditional large floats and instead focus on the outlandish pageantry of costumes, puppetry and props. Face masks will be mandatory for participants and there will be temperature checks and screening at entry points. Meanwhile, LGBTQI rights protesters have been given the green light to march down Oxford Street in a separate event before the parade. Health officials in New South Wales state agreed to make an exception to the 500-person limit on public gatherings after organizers agreed to enhanced contact-tracing processes. The marchers are protesting social issues including transphobia, the mandatory detention of asylum-seekers and the criminalization of sex work. The Associated Press
A registered nurse who openly refused to comply with quarantine rules and other mandated COVID-19 safety requirements after returning from an international trip at a Toronto airport could face disciplinary action by the body that regulates nurses in Ontario. In a series of videos posted to her social media account from Pearson International Airport on Thursday, Toronto registered nurse Jessica Faraone appears maskless and says she refused to take a COVID-19 test as well as to quarantine in a hotel. Both of these regulations were made mandatory for air travellers returning to Canada from outside the country on Feb.1 and Feb. 21, respectively. In one of the videos, an airport official can be heard telling Faraone that while she's entitled to her opinion, she must respect others by complying with the public health guidelines, to which Faraone replies she's a registered nurse. "I'm a front-line worker," she can be heard saying. "Actually, I'm considered a hero." Jessica Faraone is pictured here second from the left in Arusha, Tanzania. She says she worked at a public hospital there for five weeks and arrived back at Toronto's Pearson airport on Thursday. (GoFundMe) In an emailed statement to CBC News, Faraone said she had gone to Arusha, Tanzania to volunteer as a nurse at a hospital for five weeks. When she returned on Thursday, she said she refused to comply with the public health guidelines because they are "100 per cent against our Charter of Rights and Freedoms." She also said when the pandemic began, she decided to work in long-term care homes that were hard hit by the virus. It is not clear whether she will be returning to long-term care homes by her own volition or if she'll even be allowed to. Anti-masking statements grounds for discipline: CNO The province's nursing regulatory body, the College of Nurses of Ontario, says it is aware of the videos posted online and according to the conditions outlined on their website, Faraone could face disciplinary action. When nurses communicate with the public and identify themselves as nurses, they are accountable to the CNO and the public it protects, the regulatory body says. And that applies to public health measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. "Nurses have a professional responsibility to not publicly communicate anti-vaccination, anti-masking and anti-distancing statements that contradict the available scientific evidence. Doing so may result in an investigation by CNO, and disciplinary proceedings when warranted." On multiple videos in her series, Faraone tagged the Instagram account of Chris Saccoccia, also known as "Chris Sky," an anti-masker who has consistently rallied against health measures meant to keep people safe during the pandemic. His social media posts are rife with conspiracy theories and misinformation. "I got the courage to stand up for myself by watching Chris Sky stand up for his own rights at the airport. This made me dive deeper into actually learning and studying the Charter of Rights," Faraone said. RNAO calls behaviour offensive, unprofessional Doris Grinspun, CEO of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, say Faraone displayed "offensive behaviours that are unprofessional and that contravene public health measures." "To have this video surfacing on social media at the same time thousands and thousands of RNs, RPNs, NPs and other health professionals are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week protecting Ontarians and trying to save lives is unfathomable," Grinspun said in an emailed statement to CBC News. Grinspun added that if Faraone is a practising nurse in Ontario, the CNO should deal with this matter "as they are obligated to do." Having any health professional acting in this way compromises the collective effort to mitigate the damage caused by COVID-19, she said, and she urges the public to continue following public health measures advised by the province. Violators of Quarantine Act could face $750K fine: PHAC In a statement, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) told CBC News it is aware of Faraone's conduct and it is looking into the incident. Although the PHAC couldn't provide additional details of the case citing privacy concerns, it said travellers are legally obligated to follow the instructions of a screening officer or quarantine officer on testing and mandatory hotel quarantining. "Violating any instructions provided to you when you entered Canada is an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to up to six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines," the agency said. "It's a very difficult situation when that happens but I think we have the right people and the right professionals to manage through it accordingly," said Dwayne Macintosh, the director of safety and security for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, referring to the conduct of Faraone and passengers like her. "There are rules that we all have to follow and we are following the guidance that is provided to us by the Public Health Agency of Canada."
At first, Hugo Hamel-Perron did not understand why he received a form from the federal government showing that he had earned $8,000 in extra income last year. The teacher at Marianopolis College in Montreal had been working through the pandemic, so he did not expect the call from his accountant telling him government records show he received that money through the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB). That surprise quickly turned to frustration when he realized he had been the victim of fraud. "I don't even know how you would request CERB," said Hamel-Perron. Those fraudulent CERB payments are, at least for now, costing him thousands of dollars in income tax. The investigation into what happened could take months. "I'm not expecting that money any time soon," he said. According to data provided to CBC News by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, by the end of January there were more than 8,500 cases of identity theft related to CERB reported across the country. But that number is likely to rise now that Canadians are starting to do their taxes. Andrea O'Brien, an accountant based in Quebec City, says she was the one to inform her clients, including Hamel-Perron, that CERB payments were made in their name — when in fact they never applied. "He does have to pay the taxes on it because right now it's associated to his SIN number," said O'Brien. Hamel-Perron has spent hours on the phone with the Canadian Revenue Agency, Service Canada, the police, credit bureaus and other agencies trying to sort it all out. "They did not seem surprised," he said of the brief conversations he's had with the CRA. "I think they are all overwhelmed because there are thousands of similar cases right now." In a statement, the CRA told CBC News that anyone who believes they are the victim of identity theft related to CERB payments should call them as soon as possible at 1-800-959-8281 and select the "report suspected fraud or identity theft" option. "Taxpayers who are confirmed victims of identity fraud will not be held responsible for any money paid out to scammers using their identity and the CRA remains dedicated to resolving these incidents," wrote Sylvie Branch, a media relations officer with the CRA. Once the fraud is confirmed, taxpayers need only declare the income they actually received. But it's unclear if these investigations would be concluded by the April 30 filing deadline. O'Brien said seven of the 45 clients she's handled so are victims of fraudulent CERB claims. But it's early in tax season, and she has hundreds of more files to go through. 'I didn't do anything wrong' Eileen Addicott also received a T4A slip in the mail informing her that she received one $2,000 CERB payment. Working at a church on Montreal's South Shore, her employer had taken advantage of the Canada emergency wage subsidy. But Addicott never applied for CERB. She initially thought it was a mix up at the CRA, but then she heard from friends about cases of fraudulent CERB claims. "I'm hoping that they take care of it," said Addicott, who hadn't yet contacted the CRA due to her apprehension about long wait times to get through. "Maybe that's naive of me. I didn't do anything wrong." As for Hamel-Perron, he has an idea of how his personal information was obtained. He was one of the millions of Desjardins customers whose information was stolen as part of a data breach in 2019. And as a teacher, his personal information was also stolen in a breach of Quebec's Education Ministry's system a year earlier. "I've done basically all that I can at this point," he said. "Now I have to pay taxes on it until the CRA can finalize its own inquiry." The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre advises suspected victims of fraud to contact their local police service. If they learn their social insurance numbers have been stolen, they should call Service Canada as well. O'Brien says it's not immediately clear to everyone that box number 202 on T4A slip is referring to CERB. She says she's been making sure to double check with all her clients that they did, in fact, request the benefit. "I think that it's the CRA's job to inform," O'Brien said. "They need to make people more aware and vigilant.… For my clients, I'm the one informing them right now."
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia has long proclaimed itself “Almost Heaven,” a nod to a song and soaring mountaintop vistas. Now some joke the state name-checked in “Take Me Home, Country Roads” could take things up a notch as Democratic U.S. Sen Joe Manchin bargains his way through Congress. “Maybe we’ll get to heaven status,” said longtime Democratic Party official Nick Casey. Reviving West Virginia’s economically battered coal towns and reversing a persistent population decline is a tall order. But Manchin, who grew up in the mountain town of Farmington, has emerged as a key swing vote in a divided Senate. Now he has his best shot in years to steer federal dollars back home. Manchin put himself in the middle of things again this week over the COVID relief bill making its way through Congress, singlehandedly halting work on the measure Friday as Democrats sought to placate his concerns about the size and duration of an expanded unemployment benefit. As for his own agenda, Manchin has dropped hints publicly about “common sense” infrastructure investments sorely needed back home: expanding rural broadband and fixing roads among them. He declared that West Virginia could supply the manufacturing firepower to “innovate our way to a cleaner climate.” And more than once, he's said coal miners can build the best solar panels if given a chance. Some wonder if his newfound clout might help him do something former President Donald Trump promised but couldn’t deliver — reignite a state economy long overly dependent on a coal industry in freefall. Manchin's Senate colleagues have good reason to study the needs of small towns beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains. Manchin, 73, was already a recognized dealmaker on Capitol Hill, but deference to the most conservative Democrat in a 50-50 Senate has ratcheted up since November. A senator from Hawaii recently teased him as “your highness.” The guessing game of which way he'll vote has become fodder for late night television. In recent days, Manchin's opposition helped sink Neera Tanden as President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the federal Office of Management and Budget. Not since Robert Byrd’s death in 2010 has a senator from West Virginia wielded this much influence. Over half a century, Byrd brought home billions of dollars in federal buildings, landmarks and roads, many bearing his name. “This is hardscrabble country, man — our population is dropping, the demise of coal,” said Casey, an attorney and former chair of the state Democratic Party. “We got a guy now who can maybe do something legacy-wise. And I think there’s a lot of hope and some expectation that Joe’s going to do things that are significant, exceptional.” Pam Garrison, a retired cashier, said she told Manchin at a meeting seeking a $15 federal minimum wage that Byrd has universities and hospitals named after him because “when he got into power, he used that power for the good of the people.” “If you do what’s good for the people, even after you’re gone, you’re going to be remembered.” Manchin, though, sees himself not as a seeker of pork-barrel projects but as a champion for policies that aid Appalachia and the Rust Belt. “What we have to do now, and I think it’s appropriate — we show the need, and that the base has been left behind,” he said. He started down that road by joining Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in co-sponsoring a proposal for $8 billion in tax credits to boost clean energy manufacturing for coal communities and the auto industry. Robert Rupp, a political history professor at West Virginia Wesleyan College, says Manchin can use his position in a 50-50 Senate to put his small state in the forefront of everyone’s mind. “He’s at the centre of attention, and he could assert power,” Rupp said. A former governor, Manchin has deep roots in West Virginia politics. That helps explain why he is the last Democrat to hold statewide office in a state Trump carried twice by large margins. Manchin maintains an air of unpredictability. He opposed a $15 minimum wage provision in the $1.9 billion pandemic stimulus package, even after activists rallied outside his state office in Charleston, leaving some to question his future legacy. “We’re either going to smell like a rose in West Virginia, or we’re going to smell like crap, and it’s going to be attributed to Joseph Manchin,” said Jean Evansmore, 80, an organizer with the Poor People’s Campaign in West Virginia. Days later, the Senate parliamentarian ruled an increase couldn’t be included in the COVID-19 relief bill. That was a win for Manchin and his reverence for Senate customs, including the filibuster, which helps sustain a 60-vote hurdle to advancing most legislation. Manchin has vowed never to support ending the filibuster. On a recent morning in Charleston outside the golden-domed state capitol, saving it was a rallying cry for anti-abortion advocates, who held signs stating, “Thank you Senator Manchin.” “We need to encourage him to stand strong,” said Marilyn Musgrave, who works for the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion non-profit. Musgrave's group looks to Manchin now after campaigning against his 2018 bid for a second full term, which he won with just under 50% of the vote. Manchin opposes public funding for abortions but stops short of supporting an outright ban. Still, he typically scores a low rating from abortion-rights groups, which puts him more in line with West Virginians who collectively have sent mixed signals on abortion. With his centrist instincts in such a red state, Manchin has occasionally been the subject of rumours he'll switch parties. “Republicans kind of have this day-dream that just because he’s conservative on some issues that would mean he would jump parties,” Rupp said. That's unlikely, especially given Manchin's newfound clout, he said. And that's fine with Matt Kerner, a 54-year-old West Virginian who wants Manchin to never forget that 16% of the people in his state live below the poverty line, the sixth-highest rate in the nation, according to the U.S. Census. “We're hoping Senator Manchin remembers that he represents some of the poorest people in this country,” Kerner said. Cuneyt Dil, The Associated Press
A provincewide, year-long book club is about to be launched on P.E.I., and everyone is invited to join in by picking up a copy of Desmond Cole's The Skin We're In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power. The club grew from an idea during February's Black History Month events at the University of Prince Edward Island. Organizers mulling a book club decided to expand it to all Islanders. This is a perfect opportunity to read a book like this all together. — Yolanda Hood "It just made sense, especially because so much has been going on in the past year concerning BIPOC people in Canada and of course the United States," said Yolanda Hood, the metaliteracy and student engagement librarian at UPEI. "Right now there are so many people who want to learn more, and want to know more, about what's going on with BIPOC people in our community. This is a perfect opportunity to read a book like this all together." They've formed a group called P.E.I. Community Reads, which can be found on Facebook, and the official launch will be March 16. 'It's such an exciting thing that this is happening, and I wish I could be there for it in person,' says author, journalist and activist Desmond Cole.(Doubleday Canada, Chris Young/Canadian Press) "We just became really excited and decided 'Yeah, let's do this!'" Hood said. How will it work? The club is seeking volunteers in communities across P.E.I. to help lead monthly chapter discussions. They've reached out to interest groups including P.E.I.'s Black Cultural Society and Indo Canadian Association of P.E.I. Meetings will be both virtual and face to face. The book cataloguing injustice and anti-Black racism in Canada in 2017 is divided into months, with each telling a different story, so it's already perfectly portioned for a book club. Hood said everyone can start together on the March chapter in the book, but participants are welcome to read the first two chapters on their own. "We thought that having it year-long would be a more comfortable pace for people and give them time to think about the book, the chapter, the experiences," Hood said. 'We want everyone on the Island to feel like they can participate in this,' says Hood. (Sara Fraser/CBC) She notes "it's a heavy book," and they wanted people to take time to process the information and experiences shared in it, and discuss it with others. Why this 'heavy' book? When Cole published it in February 2020, The Skin We're In immediately became one of the best-selling books in Canada, hitting bookshelves during Black Lives Matter marches and protests here and around the world. UPEI and the P.E.I. Public Library Service have both stocked extra borrowing copies of The Skin We're In for the book club. (Josie Enemuoh) It chronicles Cole's personal journalism, activism and experiences alongside stories that made headlines across the country, including refugees crossing the Canada-U.S. border in the middle of winter and the death of Somali-Canadian Abdirahman Abdi at the hands of the Ottawa police. "So often we — we meaning Canada — like to look at the U.S. and say gosh, it's so horrible over there! Look at the horrible things Americans are doing to BIPOC people!" Hood said. "It's very easy for us to overlook the fact that these same things are happening, unfortunately, in Canada." Cole's consistent linking of individual experiences back to systemic racism will lead readers to consider how racism has been woven into the fabric of modern North America. "Those systems that have been put in place, were put in place because of white supremacy, and to hurt a group of people in order to reward another group of people," Hood said. Desmond Cole says choice unexpected Cole, 38, said he is honoured his book was chosen for the club, calling the news unexpected and "heartwarming." 'It's also an opportunity for Islanders who live these concerns every day to really have their voices heard as well,' says Cole of the book club discussions.(Kate Yang-Nikodym) What does he hope Islanders take away from The Skin We're In? "I hope that they see the stories that I am talking about reflected in their own communities and their own lives," he said. "I also hope that if they've been hearing Black people, Indigenous people and others in their communities talking about these issues, and dismissed that before — didn't inquire, didn't understand why people were talking about those issues in Prince Edward Island — I hope they'll take a second look at that now." He said P.E.I., in common with the rest of Canada, has a history of colonialism and anti-Blackness that he'd like to see people learn about, "not running from it, not feeling defensive or in denial about it, but really just confronting it and beginning to grapple with that history that is affecting all of us today." The book club has invited Cole to come to P.E.I. when possible, and he said he is eager to come to discuss the book and meet with P.E.I.'s Black community. How will people get their hands on the book? P.E.I.'s Public Library will provide community leaders with some book club kits, which include eight to 10 books, and librarians have ordered extra copies for borrowers. Hood said they're hoping to be able to lend electronic copies of the book too. The club will also get a hand from the Rotary Club of Charlottetown and UPEI's Rotaract Club, which will each donate some books to those who can't afford the $29.95 cost. Hood said people can contact her through the P.E.I. Community Reads Facebook page and she will arrange to get them a copy. This information in this book, these experiences, they matter to all of us. — Yolanda Hood UPEI's library has stocked extra copies, and Hood said anyone with a P.E.I. library card can borrow them. The Bookmark in Charlottetown will give a 15-per-cent discount to customers who indicate they are taking part in this book club. "We always think of P.E.I. as this warm community that's kind to each other," Hood said. "And you know, we've heard a lot of brown people in various venues speak about the fact that that's not really always the case." (CBC) For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here. More from CBC P.E.I.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 6, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 85,376 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,253,514 doses given. Nationwide, 561,238 people or 1.5 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 5,946.061 per 100,000. There were 8,190 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,622,210 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 85.94 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland is reporting 4,472 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 24,757 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 47.279 per 1,000. In the province, 1.61 per cent (8,427) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 35,620 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 69.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 1,105 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 13,281 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 83.724 per 1,000. In the province, 3.32 per cent (5,273) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 14,715 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.25 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 6,657 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 38,676 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 39.631 per 1,000. In the province, 1.48 per cent (14,395) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 61,980 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 62.4 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 7,424 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 33,741 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 43.255 per 1,000. In the province, 1.56 per cent (12,142) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 46,775 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 72.13 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 19,975 new vaccinations administered for a total of 510,479 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 59.659 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 638,445 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 79.96 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 35,886 new vaccinations administered for a total of 820,714 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 55.872 per 1,000. In the province, 1.83 per cent (269,063) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 903,285 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.86 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 2,358 new vaccinations administered for a total of 84,937 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 61.682 per 1,000. In the province, 2.17 per cent (29,847) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 8,190 new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 124,840 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 68.04 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 2,789 new vaccinations administered for a total of 86,879 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 73.679 per 1,000. In the province, 2.37 per cent (27,945) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 74,605 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 116.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 9,488 new vaccinations administered for a total of 275,719 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 62.634 per 1,000. In the province, 2.06 per cent (90,486) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 274,965 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 100.3 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting 12,357 new vaccinations administered for a total of 311,208 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 60.646 per 1,000. In the province, 1.69 per cent (86,865) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 385,080 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.82 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting 1,279 new vaccinations administered for a total of 19,437 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 465.769 per 1,000. In the territory, 17.00 per cent (7,093) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 18,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 102.8 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 19,775 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 438.285 per 1,000. In the territory, 10.10 per cent (4,558) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 19,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 42 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 103.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting 158 new vaccinations administered for a total of 13,911 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 359.216 per 1,000. In the territory, 13.28 per cent (5,144) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 23,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 62 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 58.21 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
After questioning in the legislature Friday from Liberal Heath MacDonald, Prince Edward Island Health Minister Ernie Hudson has committed to opening a supervised injection for drug users in the province, but did not put a timeline on when that might happen. Supervised injection sites can be found in most major cities across Canada. Staff do not supply or administer illegal drugs, but are there to supply clean needles, test a consumer's drugs for fentanyl, and to watch and help if anything goes wrong, such as an overdose. Depending on staffing, they might also offer other help for users, such as accessing social services and shelter. In question period in the legislature Friday, Hudson said he personally thinks supervised injection sites are a good idea, and his government will more forward with opening one, but that he needs time to discuss implementation with experts. "I do support it, I will move forward on this, I'm not going to stand here and give a date though," Hudson said. "Are we going to have safe injection site harm reduction in the next week, in the next two weeks? No, that's not going to happen. And at the end of the day, what is this going to look like? I really couldn't say," Hudson said. Hudson said he would be discussing the matter with groups such as the harm-reduction group PEERS Alliance (formerly AIDS P.E.I.). Advocates for harm reduction on the Island have been calling on the government to create a supervised injection site as soon as possible. Overdose deaths on P.E.I. From January to September of last year, six people died of opioid overdoses on P.E.I., three of them involving fentanyl. A week ago, P.E.I.'s coroner said a young woman died after accidentally consuming cannabis laced with fentanyl. Health Minister Ernie Hudson didn't make an announcement of a supervised consumption site on Friday, but under questioning he did commit to one. (P.E.I. Legislature) Just last week in neighbouring New Brunswick, the government announced it plans to implement overdose prevention sites this year as part of a new mental health and addictions strategy. A harm reduction group there, Ensemble Moncton, estimated the sites would each cost $100,000 to $300,000 a year to run, and would be less elaborate than a supervised injection site. Some supervised injection sites, like one opened last year in Saskatoon, are in the same building as drop-in centres which offer coffee and food, and family and shelter supports. More from CBC P.E.I.
China's proposal for Hong Kong electoral reforms could prevent a "dictatorship of the majority", pro-Beijing Hong Kong lawmaker Martin Liao told Reuters on Saturday. The Chinese parliament is discussing plans to overhaul Hong Kong's electoral system to ensure Beijing loyalists are in charge. Hong Kong representatives, in Beijing for an annual session, say the change is necessary and desirable.
The 27-nation EU also wants Washington to ensure the free flow of shipments of crucial vaccine ingredients needed in European production, the FT report on Saturday said. "We trust that we can work together with the U.S. to ensure that vaccines produced or bottled in the U.S. for the fulfilment of vaccine producers' contractual obligations with the EU will be fully honoured,” the FT quoted the European Commission as saying. EU countries started inoculations at the end of December, but are moving at a far slower pace than other rich nations, including former member Britain and the United States.
Police are now patrolling Brazil's most famous beach after its many stalls were closed on Friday.View on euronews
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said Thursday that when it comes to funding for health care, the provinces aren't looking for the federal government to be their "banker" — they're looking for a "partner." He's at least half right. The premiers certainly aren't looking for a banker, because bankers typically apply pretty stringent conditions to any money they hand out (and they usually expect you to pay it back). For the same reasons, it's not clear how much the premiers want a "partner" either. The money they seek is money they can spend without the federal government being able to say much of anything about it. What the provinces actually seem to be looking for is a donor. WATCH: Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister calls out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on health transfers You can see the likely compromise here: the federal government increasing funding while acting like something in between a donor and partner. But underneath the political negotiation are some long-term questions about taxes, spending and debt — questions about whether governments at all levels will have enough money to do what citizens want or need them to do in the years ahead. Officially, the premiers are demanding that the federal government give them enough funding through the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) to cover 35 per cent of all health care costs. There's nothing particularly magical about the number — the last time federal cash transfers covered that share of health costs was in the mid-1970s. But the premiers have decided that it feels like a fair number, or a sufficiently ambitious opening bid. There is no requirement that CHT funds be spent on health care. Right now, the funding provided by the CHT is equal to about 22 per cent of all health costs incurred by the provinces (though there is a long trail of context behind that number). In 1977, the federal government transferred "tax points" to the provinces — effectively reducing federal taxes so that provinces could raise theirs — to cover health care costs. The current Liberal government also has signed separate agreements to provide $11 billion over ten years to the provinces to cover specific costs related to mental health and home care. The provinces have a point Raising the CHT to cover 35 per cent of all health costs incurred by the provinces would amount to an increase of $28 billion in new annual spending for the federal government. The provinces argue that the federal government is in a better position to carry that cost. But that's not the same as saying it would be easy. The provinces have a case for calling on the federal government to pay more. The parliamentary budget officer's latest fiscal sustainability report, released last November, repeated a warning that has been offered on a regular basis over the last several years: assuming that an aging population leads to rising health care costs, the combined "subnational" debt-to-GDP ratio will continue to climb unsustainably into the future. According to the PBO, provinces would need to either raise taxes or cut annual spending by a combined $12 billion to stabilize their collective debt-to-GDP ratio at the pre-pandemic level of 24.1 per cent. The federal government's debt-to-GDP ratio, meanwhile, is set to decline over the long term. In fact, according to the PBO's calculations, the federal government could cut taxes or increase spending by $19 billion and still expect to get back eventually to its pre-pandemic debt-to-GDP ratio of 28 per cent. It's time to talk about taxes A transfer of $28 billion from the federal government to the provinces would flip those calculations. The premiers have their own report from the Conference Board of Canada that says the federal debt-to-GDP ratio would increase to 60 per cent and then very slowly decline to 57 per cent by 2038 — though the Conference Board calculates that provincial debt-to-GDP eventually would continue to rise. It's debatable what sort of debt-to-GDP ratio the federal government can now carry responsibly. While provincial conservatives might be happy to take that $28 billion, federal Conservatives might be even happier to criticize the federal debt levels that would result. But it's also possible that someone here needs to think about raising taxes — and most federal governments are going to be reluctant to surrender fiscal room to the provinces if it means those provinces can avoid raising taxes, or even cut them. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney's government is cutting the corporate tax rate — a decision that could lead to some awkward moments when the provinces and Ottawa get down to negotiating a boost in the federal health transfer.(Jason Franson/Canadian Press) The Alberta government, for instance, is in the process of cutting its corporate tax rate from 12 per cent to eight per cent. (When he was Quebec's premier, Jean Charest semi-famously used a boost in federal transfers in 2007 to hand out a pre-election income tax cut.) One way or another, a conversation about the resources needed to tackle the challenges of the post-pandemic world is necessary — and maybe inevitable. But Trudeau seems to be in no rush to start the health care aspect of that conversation. "As I've said to the premiers, we will be there to increase those transfers," he told reporters on Friday. "But that conversation needs to happen once we are through this pandemic." Room for compromise While the Liberals might be willing to increase the unconditional transfer to some degree, they also have other health care priorities that they'd like to pursue — expanding pharmacare and improving the conditions of long-term care (including a commitment to new national standards). Put those things together and the provinces might end up with an offer to increase the federal contribution through a combination of conditional and unconditional funds — though perhaps not nearly equivalent to $28 billion in new money. Conservative leader Erin O'Toole has insisted that he would be prepared to increase the transfers without conditions. He's also stopped short of saying that a Conservative government would actually put up the full $28 billion. Barring a quick change in government, though, the premiers and the prime minister might realize — as any number of first ministers before them have done — that they're ultimately tied together. The provinces want money. The federal government wants to advance some legacy-defining priorities. And the public might not be terribly interested in jurisdictional arguments right now. These are the makings of a beautiful, if acrimonious, partnership.
CAIRO — A trailer-truck crashed into a microbus, killing at least 18 people and injuring five others south of the Egyptian capital, authorities said. The country’s chief prosecutor’s office said in a statement the crash took place late Friday on a highway near the town of Atfih, 100 kilometres (62 miles) south of Cairo. The Cairo-Assiut eastern road, located on the eastern side of the Nile River, links Cairo to the country’s southern provinces and is known for speeding traffic. Police authorities said the truck’s tire exploded, causing it to overturn and collide with the microbus. The victims were taken to nearby hospitals, the statement said. The truck driver was arrested. Traffic accidents claim thousands of lives every year in Egypt, which has a poor transportation safety record. The crashes are mostly caused by speeding, bad roads or poor enforcement of traffic laws. The country’s official statistics agency says around 10,000 road accidents took place in 2019, the most recent year for which statistics are available, leaving over 3,480 dead. In 2018, there were 8,480 car accidents, causing over 3,080 deaths. The Associated Press
After a stalled rollout, Ontario is aiming to approve dozens of cannabis retail outlets each week with the goal of hitting 1,000 stores across the province by the fall. But the prospect of more competition, especially during a pandemic, has some in the industry predicting a shakeout in the marijuana marketplace. Vivianne Wilson, the founder and president of GreenPort Cannabis on College Street in the heart of Little Italy, opened her story on Oct. 17, 2020 after waiting almost a year to get it approved. "We opened during the pandemic, so we don't know what normal is. As soon as we opened we were on lockdown again so people can't come into the store," she said. Wilson added that the retail experience is how she hoped to differentiate her store. GreenPort Cannabis employees fill orders during the store's grand opening on Oct. 17, 2020.(CBC) By last summer, Ontario had authorized just 100 cannabis retail stores, fuelling criticism that the slow rollout was hurting legal sales and helping the black market. Now the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, which regulates the cannabis industry, is aiming to approve 30 retail store authorizations per week. But with in-store shopping curtailed in many regions due to COVID-19 restrictions, Wilson says it's been tough times for cannabis startups like hers. She's concerned about the impact all those new stores will have. "We opened a brand new business in a brand new industry during the pandemic, so those are huge strikes against any new business to begin with," she said. "It's inevitable that independent stores will feel that impact and I guess we'll have to wait to see see how dramatic it truly is." Trevor Fencott. the CEO and president of Fire and Flower, Canada's largest cannabis retail chain, says despite adding so many stores, Ontario's model doesn't work. He says having the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), the Crown corporation that manages online retail also handle the wholesale distribution to private retailers, is a mistake. "There's an attempt to change the narrative, but really we're still where we were before, which is that the government is operating a monopoly in direct competition with private retailers." Trevor Fencott, president and CEO of Fire & Flower, says Ontario's private cannabis retailers must compete against a Crown corporation with a monopoly on wholesale distribution.(Fire & Flower) Fencott prefers the Saskatchewan model, where the government is the regulator, but not the wholesaler and retailer. He predicts that the OCS "taking gross margins from private retailers" will make them less competitive. "They are going to end up with fewer stores and perhaps that's the clarion call if these mom and pops are not able to sustain themselves. So it might take some business failures." Daffyd Roderick, the Ontario Cannabis Store's senior director of communications, says the cannabis sector is not immune to the factors that affect other retailers. "You see a real range of creative expression about what a cannabis store should look like across the province and that's the real gain in having the private sector involved. And that means some will be very successful and some are going to struggle." But Roderick says the last report for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2020 showed gains for the industry and healthy margins for private retailers. Ontario hit a high with $251 million in legal sales in the fourth quarter of last year. That's about about 32 million grams of weed, up 23 per cent over the previous quarter. That means the legal market has now captured 40 per cent of all cannabis sold in Ontario, up from 36 per cent. Daffyd Roderick, Ontario Cannabis Store’s senior director of communications, says COVID-19 has hit the cannabis sector hard, just as it has all other retailers. (Zoom) As for bankruptcies, consolidations and failures, he says the figures don't show there's a problem. "You're still seeing some stores changing hands. There will be successes there will be failures, but that's the nature of an open marketplace," he said. "We have yet to see a store close its doors since legalization occurred." Jay Rosenthal. the co-founder and president of the research and analysis firm Business of Cannabis, says while many stores are clustering in some Toronto-area communities, there are still many parts of Ontario where getting legal cannabis is still inconvenient. "Even with the ramp up ... saturation of cannabis retail stores is a long way off," said Rosenthal. He says where there is strong competition, retailers with capital and experience, such as, Value Buds, Fire & Flower, High Tide will thrive, but there is room for neighbourhood stores rooted in the community. Jay Rosenthal, co-founder and president of the Business of Cannabis, says while some communities in the Toronto area have complained of too many stores, there are still many parts of Ontario that are underserved.(supplied) In fact, even though the OCS offers lower prices online than private retailers, $6.40 per gram versus $9.45 per gram, customers seem to prefer their local stores. Almost 90 per cent of all legal cannabis in Ontario is bought from private retailers. "If consumers prefer buying from private retailers and COVID has shown that private retailers can responsibly and responsively offer products through e-commerce and delivery, why does the OCS have an e-commerce function at all?" asked Rosenthal. Back at GreenPort, Vivianne Wilson says OCS is appreciated by small and medium operators. "Having the OCS as a wholesaler negotiating for us, especially as an independent, is fantastic," she said. "I don't think that if they took that away we would be able to get the same price as a lot of wealthier corporations with more stores."
News this week that Dr. Seuss Enterprises will stop publishing six books by the children's lit icon — titles that "portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong" — doesn't come as a surprise to some book-lovers, but it's forcing many others to revisit what might have been childhood favourites through a new, more modern lens. Decades might have passed since reading one of these titles, or perhaps there's a book that you've shared with a child in your life more recently, but many are pondering just what to do. Get rid of problematic books? Just skip certain pages? Keep them around and try to explain? It's a complex, layered discussion and one that Vancouver parent Aisha Kiani welcomes, since it can apply beyond just the six Dr. Seuss titles in the news this week. The Dr. Seuss books that will no longer be published. All six will be pulled from publication because of racist and insensitive imagery, Dr. Seuss Enterprises said Tuesday.(CBC) "I'm happy that we can start talking about the lens in which stories are written," they said. "I think it's important to use [these Seuss books] to explain examples of what we don't need to be doing anymore." Kiani has had difficult talks over literature with their own son, for instance when the youngster brought home Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory after "all his friends loved it." Be wary of nostalgia "We kind of did a deep dive into what the characters represent, the time in which the story was written and the political background and the beliefs of the author," said Kiani. Vancouver parent Aisha Kiani founded I Dream Library to highlight titles by queer, trans, Black, Indigenous authors and authors of colour to help Canadian schools and families access a greater diversity of books.(CBC) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, first published in 1964, saw Dahl use offensive, anti-Black colonialist stereotypes when introducing factory owner Willy Wonka's "Oompa-Loompa" workers (a characterization that was revised in later editions). More recently, Dahl's family apologized for anti-Semitic remarks the late author made during his lifetime. We shouldn't simply succumb to nostalgia, which can result in passing prejudices and biases onto the next generation, said Kiani, who founded an educational resource highlighting books by queer, trans, Black and Indigenous authors and authors of colour. The goal of I Dream Library is to help Canadian schools and families access a greater diversity of books. "What ends up happening is sort of a generation-to-generation subconscious bias is handed down, where we are not conscious of stereotypes that are present in story structure, dynamics, characters and the way we speak to each other in books.... Prejudices that we are then teaching our children just by the nature of sharing things that we love," they said. "We need to feel excited about offering solutions to creating a more kind world and not hold on to these relics of the past for the sake of nostalgia." Remember that kids 'pick up on a lot of things' How impressionable children and young people are is something else to keep in mind: while they may be eagle-eyed in discerning certain details, they're still forming the ideas about the world around them, says children's book author and teacher Nadia L. Hohn. Canadian author Nadia Hohn said she supports the move to stop publishing six of Dr. Seuss's books. 'There are a lot of classics that are just out of step with right now, and they have been problematic for a long time,' she said.(Groundwood Books) "Children pick up on a lot of messaging.... They pick up on a lot of things, stereotypes and roles, and they are very aware," noted the Etobicoke, Ont.-based writer, who recalls experiencing racism from as young as kindergarten. "[This is] the time to be aware of how the messages come across to them. And if they've seen one group in particular portrayed in a very negative light, they may start to form ideas about that group." Books that include depictions reinforcing negative stereotypes can be harmful to some students and internalized and carried by others long afterwards, Hohn noted. Because of this, she is considerate of the books she brings to her classroom. "I want to make sure that all the students feel affirmed, and they don't feel put down, and they feel represented, and they don't have to hide and feel like they have to be embarrassed about who they are." Encourage critical thinking Encountering offensive content while reading with your child might force a parent to pause, but just turning or hiding the page isn't the answer, says Toronto educator D. Tyler Robinson. "When you skip over that work, you fail to bring an important conversation to that young person who's looking to you as the primary educator in their lives," he said. "What they learn and what they internalize over time is that, instead of doing the hard work of being critical about racist notions, about prejudice that exists in popular culture ... it's normal for Dr. Seuss to make a children's book and it's normal for him to have racist depictions of non-white cultures." WATCH | D. Tyler Robinson on building an inclusive mindset with his toddler: In order to help move society to a better place, we need to dig into challenging discussions and put work into educating the younger generation, said Robinson, who led development of a new anti-racism course for high schoolers. "That means that if you need to do a little bit of homework and you need to reach out to folks and have conversations, or you need to do some research and ... educate yourself so that you can better educate your kids, then that is what's required." Robinson also encourages pushing children and teens to think critically about what they see. At the youngest ages, it might start with reading a book together, asking a child what they think about certain aspects and hearing their thought process. With the Grade 12s taking his anti-racism course, he and his colleagues are marshalling conversations and teaching students to really listen before responding to what classmates are saying — "getting them to focus on the substantive differences between their opinions instead of getting into ad hominem attacks." Just like reading and writing begins with the alphabet before gradually learning more and more sophisticated communication, a step-by-step approach is needed in teaching students anti-racist thinking and "building up their capacity to have conversations that involve conflict," he said. Revisit with context Children's author Hohn noted that books like the six Dr. Seuss titles can be useful for older students, teachers in training or children's literature scholars to study because "we also have to avoid the possibility [of] sweeping it under the rug like they didn't exist. All these things did exist and we need to make sure that they don't come back again." WATCH | Seuss scholar Philip Nel on being ready for uncomfortable talks about race: Appropriate context and being fully prepared for uncomfortable conversations are both needed to properly re-examine Seuss, whose oeuvre includes books with positive messages about treating people fairly as well as racist imagery, says Kansas State University English professor Philip Nel, author of Was the Cat in the Hat Black? The Hidden Racism of Children's Literature and the Need for Diverse Books. "[Seuss] is on the one hand writing these parables which intend to promote equality and tolerance but he's also embedding in his books other images which do the opposite," said the children's literature scholar. "If you grew up in a racist culture, that's in your head and it stays there unless you really want to root it out." Nel sees hope in the wider cultural shift of people being more willing to ask themselves tough questions in order to broaden their understanding. "Some of us are more willing to ask questions.... 'What if the book that I loved as a child might be damaging to children today? What should I do? Should I continue to read that book, teach that book, or how should I teach it? What should I say about it?' And I think that's a positive development."
OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. Internal reviewers found several of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's preparatory steps for the execution of warrant powers needed strengthening. Among the shortcomings were insufficient training of personnel and a lack of quality-control measures. In underscoring the importance of the process, the report notes warrants are authorizations issued by a federal judge that enable CSIS to legally undertake actions, including surveilling people electronically, that would otherwise be illegal. "Failure to properly apply or interpret a warrant at the time of its execution exposes the Service to the risk of its employees committing unlawful actions, and in certain situations, criminal offences," the report says. "The investigative powers outlined in warrants must be exercised rigorously, consistently and effectively." Potential misuse of these powers could result in serious ethical, legal or reputational consequences that might compromise the intelligence service's integrity, the report adds. The Canadian Press requested the 2012 audit under the Access to Information Act shortly after its completion, but CSIS withheld much of the content. The news agency filed a complaint through the federal information commissioner's office in July 2013, beginning a process that led to disclosure of a substantial portion of the document more than seven years later. CSIS operates with a high degree of secrecy and is therefore supposed to follow the proper protocols and legal framework, particularly concerning warrants, said Tim McSorley, national coordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, which includes dozens of civil society organizations. "Seeing a report like this, it just raises a concern ... to what degree they're really following that framework with the most rigour possible." CSIS can apply to the Federal Court for a warrant when intrusive collection techniques are needed because other methods have failed or are unlikely to succeed. Once a judge approves a warrant but before it is executed, a step known as the invocation process takes place. It involves a request from CSIS personnel to use one or more of the authorized powers and a review of the facts underpinning the warrant to ensure appropriate measures are employed against the correct people. However, the reviewers found CSIS policy did not "clearly define or document the objectives or requirements of the invocation process." "When roles and responsibilities are not documented, they may not be fully understood by those involved. As a result, elements of the process may not be performed, or be performed by people who do not have sufficient knowledge or expertise to do so." Overall, the report found the invocation process "needs to be strengthened" through a clear definition of objectives, requirements and roles, and better monitoring, training and development of quality-control procedures. In response, CSIS management spelled out a series of planned improvements for the auditors. But concerns have persisted about the spy service's warrant procedures. A Federal Court of Canada ruling released in July said CSIS had failed to disclose its reliance on information that was likely collected illegally in support of warrants to probe extremism. Justice Patrick Gleeson found CSIS violated its duty of candour to the court, part of a long-standing and troubling pattern. "The circumstances raise fundamental questions relating to respect for the rule of law, the oversight of security intelligence activities and the actions of individual decision-makers," he wrote. Gleeson called for an in-depth look at interactions between CSIS and the federal Justice Department to fully identify systemic, governance and cultural shortcomings and failures. The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, the key watchdog over CSIS, is examining the issues. Another review, completed early last year by former deputy minister of justice Morris Rosenberg, called for improvements, including better training and clarification of roles, but stressed they would not succeed unless the "cultural issues around warrants" were addressed. CSIS spokesman John Townsend said the intelligence service continuously works to improve training and updates its policies and procedures accordingly, informed by audits, reviews and best practices. The Rosenberg review prompted CSIS to launch an effort last year to further the service's ability to meet its duty of candour to the court, resulting in a plan that was finalized in January, Townsend said. "The plan includes specific action items directed at ensuring the warrant process is more responsive to operational needs, documenting the full intelligence picture to facilitate duty of candour and ensuring CSIS meets expectations set by the Federal Court," he said. "In addition to training on CSIS's duty of candour already provided under the auspices of the project, additional training on a variety of operational issues including warrant acquisition will be developed by the project team and offered to employees." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press
YANGON, Myanmar — Security forces in Myanmar again used force Saturday to disperse anti-coup protesters, a day after the U.N. special envoy urged the Security Council to take action to quell junta violence that this week left about 50 peaceful demonstrators dead and scores injured. Fresh protests were reported Saturday morning in the biggest city of Yangon, where stun grenades and tear gas were used against protesters. On Wednesday, 18 people were reported killed there. Protests were also reported in Myitkyina, the capital of the northern state of Kachin, Myeik, in the country’s far south where police fired tear gas at students, and Dawei in the southeast where tear gas was also used. Other places included Kyaikto, in the eastern state of Mon, Loikaw, the capital of Kayah state in eastern Myanmar, and Myingyan, a city where one protester was killed on Wednesday. The escalation of violence has put pressure on the world community to act to restrain the junta, which seized power on Feb. 1 by ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy in Myanmar, which for five decades had languished under strict military rule that led to international isolation and sanctions. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party led a return to civilian rule with a landslide election victory in 2015, and with an even greater margin of votes last year. It would have taken a second five-year term of office last month, but instead she and President Win Myint and other members of her government were placed in military detention. Large protests have occurred daily across many cities and towns. Security forces responded with greater use of lethal force and mass arrests. At least 18 protesters were shot and killed last Sunday and 38 on Wednesday, according to the U.N. Human Rights Office. More than 1,000 have been arrested, the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said. U.N. special envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener said in her briefing to Friday’s closed Security Council meeting that council unity and “robust” action are critical “in pushing for a stop to the violence and the restoration of Myanmar’s democratic institutions.” “We must denounce the actions by the military,” she said. “It is critical that this council is resolute and coherent in putting the security forces on notice and standing with the people of Myanmar firmly, in support of the clear November election results.” She reiterated an earlier appeal to the international community not to “lend legitimacy or recognition to this regime that has been forcefully imposed and nothing but chaos has since followed.” The Security Council took no immediate action. Council diplomats said Britain circulated a draft presidential statement for consideration, a step below a legally binding resolution. Any kind of co-ordinated action at the U.N. will be difficult because two permanent members of the Security Council, China and Russia, are likely to veto it. Schraner Burgener earlier this week warned Myanmar’s army that the world’s nations and the Security Council “might take huge, strong measures.” “And the answer was, ‘We are used to sanctions, and we survived those sanctions in the past,’” she said. When she warned that Myanmar would become isolated, Schraner Burgener said “the answer was, ‘We have to learn to walk with only a few friends.’” The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies urged immediate protection for all Red Cross volunteers and health workers. The statement came after video from a surveillance camera that was circulated widely on social media showed members of an ambulance crew in Yangon being savagely beaten after they were taken into custody by police on Wednesday. “We express profound sadness that Myanmar Red Cross volunteers have been injured while on duty providing lifesaving first aid treatment to wounded people, in line with fundamental principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality. Red Cross volunteers should never be targeted," the federation said. The Associated Press
HONG KONG — A group of 11 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists accused of subversion will stay in jail for at least another five days while judges consider whether to release them on bail, a court said Saturday. The group, which includes three former legislators, will have hearings Thursday and on March 13, the High Court said. A court agreed this week to release them but prosecutors appealed the decision. They are among 47 people who were charged under a national security law imposed on the Chinese territory last year by the ruling Communist Party after pro-democracy protests. They were arrested after opposition groups held an unofficial vote last year to pick candidates for elections to the territory’s Legislative Council. Some activists planned, if elected, to vote down major bills in an attempt to force Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to resign. The national security law was imposed following months of rallies that began over a proposed China extradition law and expanded to include demands for greater democracy. The law prompted complaints Beijing is undermining the “high degree of autonomy” promised when the former British colony returned to China in 1997, and hurting its status as a business centre. People convicted of subversion or other offences under the law can face penalties of up to life in prison. Hong Kong traditionally grants bail for non-violent offences but the new law says bail cannot be granted unless a judge believes the defendant “will not continue to commit acts endangering national security.” On Friday, four of the 47 people charged were released on bail after prosecutors dropped a challenge to the decision. The group due to appear in court Thursday includes former legislators Helena Wong, Jeremy Tam and Kwok Ka-ki. The next hearing for the 47 defendants is May 31. The Associated Press
As a physiotherapist, Matthew Laing is seeing first-hand the consequences for many people who have been working from home for nearly a full year because of the pandemic. He says he frequently hears the same complaints from clients: neck, back and shoulder pain that bothers them throughout the day because they're stuck and not moving. "I've got clients who just don't move for eight hours a day," said Laing, who is based in Toronto. "We're human beings, we're not meant to be in a sedentary position, not moving at all." Back in March 2020, when many companies directed most of their staff to leave the office and telecommute in an effort to slow the spread of a scary new coronavirus, the experience of working from home felt novel, perhaps even exciting for some workers. At the very least, it was considered a blessing to have the option, particularly as workers in other sectors, such as health-care workers and grocery store staff, didn't have the same choice, and many other workers were laid off because of the pandemic's economic toll. But working from makeshift setups with non-ergonomic chairs and unorthodox workspaces has caused its share of physical strain. And collaborating with colleagues remotely for so long has only worsened a COVID 19-era ailment of another kind: Zoom fatigue. WATCH | Zoom fatigue is taking its toll: "The novelty has worn off," said Peter Flaschner, a director of the marketing firm Klick Health, who started working from his Toronto living room and kitchen a year ago. He's since turned a room upstairs into a temporary office. "We've become quite adept at this," he said, referring to collaborating with colleagues remotely. A year ago, few would have foreseen how widespread videoconferencing would become. Trials are held online, world leaders attend international summits virtually, and even Queen Elizabeth makes appearances via a webcam at Windsor Castle. Queen Elizabeth has been holding virtual meetings while staying at Windsor Castle during the pandemic.(Twitter/Royal Family) Downloads of the pandemic's hottest video chat software, Zoom, exploded. The company said last spring 300 million daily participants were meeting on the platform. This past week, it reported total revenue of $882.5 million US, up a whopping 369 per cent year-over-year for the quarter ending Jan. 31. But with that added usage came increased complaints of Zoom fatigue, the term given to the unique brand of mental exhaustion caused by hours of videoconferencing on any app, including Microsoft's Skype and Teams, Cisco Webex and Google Meet. "I've never put my finger on why being on Zoom all day is so mentally and physically exhausting," Giancarlo Fiorella, a Toronto-based investigator for the website Bellingcat, tweeted. "There's a reason why TED talks are 18 minutes," said Anthony Bonato, a Ryerson University mathematics professor, referring to the popular series of online lectures. "Zoom fatigue is real." Researchers at Stanford University recently considered what makes videoconferencing so tiring. They pointed to four factors: The unnaturally prolonged simulation of close-up eye contact. The mental strain of watching other attendees for visual cues. A reduction in mobility from staying in the same spot. Constantly seeing yourself in real time. Their work was published in the journal Technology, Mind and Behavior. Stanford communication professor Jeremy Bailenson points out in the article, "The arguments are based on academic theory and research, but also have yet to be directly tested in the context of Zoom, and require future experimentation to confirm." Still, "this is a huge transformation to the way we normally talk," fellow Stanford communication professor Jeff Hancock told CBC News over Zoom from his home in Palo Alto, Calif. "It's like walking around with a mirror hanging around in front of us." He said Zoom fatigue is bound to affect people of different genders and races to varying degrees, particularly when it comes to the way individuals pay attention to — and perceive — their own image, what's known as self-focused attention. "There's a lot of work in psychology that shows people that have higher levels of self-focused attention are more likely to feel anxious or even more likely to get depressed," said Hancock, a B.C. native. "And we find the same kind of thing here [with Zoom fatigue]." What to do about it Bailenson recommends turning off "self-view" mode as much as possible, as well as reducing the size of the videoconference window so it doesn't take up the entire screen. He hopes platforms such as Zoom will change default settings so the user isn't automatically faced with their own image any time they enter a video meeting, unless that's what they choose. As for the aches and pains, Laing, the physiotherapist, recommends doing small exercises between meetings to break up the time spent in front of the computer screen. "It's not about changing what they're doing during those meetings … instead, it's actually to get them to maximize the time between meetings," he said. Matthew Laing, a registered physiotherapist and the owner of Foundation Physiotherapy in Toronto, says it's important to move around between online meetings.(Taylor Simmons/CBC) Laing recommends at-home workers get up — even for 30 seconds at a time — to do a few squats or stretches. Even going up and down stairs can help break the monotony and physical inertia. "Just pacing around between meetings … can go a long way," he said. Others have a longer-term solution. While vaccines start to help fight the spread of COVID-19, the eventual return of face-to-face meetings may prove to be the only cure for Zoom fatigue. "If we could do hybrid [meetings], that would be just great, if it means more people are able to participate," said Dipika Damerla, a municipal councillor in Mississauga, Ont. A hybrid meeting would have a mix of virtual and in-person attendance, once public measures allow for it. The city, like many others, has been holding public meetings via videoconference. And it hasn't always gone according to plan. A presenter at a recent council meeting asked for her presentation to be delayed. "What issues are you having?" staff asked. "My Powerpoint presentation isn't opening," the presenter replied, reflecting a recurring pandemic-era scenario. Damerla herself shared a habit to which many videoconference participants can relate, even a year into the pandemic. "I still start to speak with the mute button on."