Dispension, a Nova Scotia company, is launching the MySafe Project to help address Canada's opioid crisis. As Jesse Thomas explains, it comes as British Columbia reports record high deaths from opioid overdoses.
Victoria police are asking the public to be mindful of their surroundings while walking or cycling in the Vic West and Burnside areas of the city, after trip wire was discovered in multiple locations over the past week. On Aug. 20, police discovered semi-transparent fishing line set across a staircase in Cecilia Ravine Park near the Galloping Goose trail, hanging about a foot from the ground. Last Wednesday, police received another report of fishing line set two inches off the ground deliberately tied across a dock ramp at Regatta Landing.Both incidents occurred within a couple kilometres of each other, and police are investigating the likelihood of the same person or group having been involved in both.Spokesperson Bowen Osoko said trip wire could pose deadly or life-altering risks to pedestrians and cyclists, citing a local cyclist who sustained a serious injury after riding over trip wire a few years ago.Falling from height onto concrete and striking your head can kill you," he explained.Osoko said it's "possible that there have been other cases" that haven't been reported, noting that the person who discovered the fishing line at Regatta Landing wasn't initially going to notify police. Corey Burger from the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition said he's discouraged. Trip wire cases don't happen often in the area, but when they do, they can be very difficult to spot before it's too late. "If you've ever been hit in the face with a branch while biking, that'll tell you how hard something even smaller would be to see," said Burger, adding that trip wire cases "create the perception that biking is less safe." Similar trip wire cases in the last few yearsBurger said that, in the past, trip wire has been discovered on local mountain biking trails.In the summer of 2013, trip wire left a large gash in a mountain biker's throat as he was cycling in Gowlland Tod Provincial Park. A year later, police on Vancouver Island removed over 30 metres of fishing line that had been strung across roads in Langford, B.C, after a woman reported that she had driven through it. In one incident in 2010, an Edmonton woman suffered cuts to her face and neck after she rode her bicycle into a fishing line strung across a bike path in Rundle Park.'Document it and report it'Osoko said as police continue to investigate, they ask the public to be aware of their surroundings if they happen to be near Regatta Landing or in Cecilia Ravine Park along the Galloping Goose trail.If you come across trip wire, "document it first with your phone, then please call our non-emergency line," he said, noting that if you happen to see someone stringing up trip wire in a public space, you should call 911, as you're witnessing a "crime in progress."
MONTREAL — Quebec is reducing the mandatory isolation period required for people infected with COVID-19 from 14 days to 10 because health officials felt it wasn't right to keep people home longer than necessary, the province's top doctor said Friday.Dr. Horacio Arruda, director of public health, said the country's hardest-hit province waited longer than other places before shortening the isolation period out of a desire to be cautious."If we think that in 10 days there's no danger for others," he told reporters. "We won't leave people who have been sick for more days at home when it's not necessary."The Health Department said the change is in response to evolving science regarding the transmission and the duration of contagiousness of the novel coronavirus.Premier Francois Legault said Friday the announcement brings Quebec in line with other jurisdictions in Canada and around the world."The knowledge of specialists evolves," Legault told a news conference in L'Assomption, northeast of Montreal. "I'm not a specialist, but I saw over the past weeks that many areas in Canada and abroad have gone from 14 to 10 days."From now on, people can end their isolation period 10 days after their first symptoms appear, or 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19 if they don't show symptoms.Authorities added, however, that people must also meet other criteria to end their isolation after 10 days, including having no fever for at least 48 hours, and having no symptoms for at least a day — other than coughing or loss of taste.The new rules apply only to confirmed COVID-19 cases involving people who are isolated at home and whose symptoms are considered mild or moderate. People who are in preventive isolation due to having been in contact with a confirmed case must still isolate for 14 days to see if symptoms develop.Those who are immunocompromised or who require hospitalization for COVID-19 will still need to isolate for at least 14 days.Speaking in Ottawa, Canada's chief public health officer said Friday the new directive in Quebec aligns with existing federal guidelines regarding isolation that have already been adopted by several other jurisdictions."Our recommendation is, based on the evolving science, those who have experienced 10 days post onset of symptoms, asymptomatic, no fever, can come out of the actual isolation," Dr. Theresa Tam said.She said that out of caution, some provinces including Quebec chose to impose the same 14-day period that is required for people who are quarantining to see if symptoms develop.B.C. and Alberta have already been using the 10-day minimum period for self-isolation, according to their respective Health Department websites. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland require 14 days, as does Ontario, according to the website for Ottawa's public health department.The new rules for Quebec come as more than 20 teachers from a high school northwest of Montreal were sent into preventive isolation, forcing the school to ask some 500 Grade 10 and 11 students to stay home Friday because there was no one available to teach them.Spokeswoman Anik Gagnon said the decision was made after two members of the teaching staff at Polyvalente Deux-Montagnes tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the first day of classes.She said the students were asked to stay home until Monday while the school tries to recruit substitute teachers or explores other options to overcome the lack of personnel. The 20 teachers will be in isolation until Sept 4, and will all be tested for COVID-19.Sylvain Mallette, president of a federation of teachers' unions, the Federation autonome de l'enseignement, says the incident highlights the need for schools to have access to an accelerated testing process."The question is, how long did it take to get access to a test, and how long to get the results of the test?" Mallette said in an interview Friday. He said the Quebec government hasn't followed through on a promise to offer teachers quicker access to tests and to results.Meanwhile, Quebec reported 98 new cases of COVID-19 Friday and one additional death attributed to the novel coronavirus.The number of total deaths remained unchanged, however, at 5,750, following an investigation that showed one previous death attributed to COVID-19 was found to be unrelated.Health authorities also announced Friday that 78 test results were confirmed as false positives due to a contamination of samples in a Montreal lab. That's almost double the number of cases that were originally under investigation when news of the contamination was announced Wednesday.Health officials said those cases would be gradually removed from the province's total case numbers, which stood at 62,124 on Friday.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 28, 2020.Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Sen. Mike Duffy has lost his bid to overturn a court decision blocking him from suing the Senate for millions of dollars over his suspension without pay.The Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a 2018 lower court ruling that said the Senate's decision to suspend Duffy is protected by parliamentary privilege.In a unanimous ruling released Friday, the three-judge panel said the courts do not have jurisdiction to rule on matters decided by the Senate."They may be adjudicated only by the Senate itself," Justice Mahmud Jamal wrote in the decision. Duffy's lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, said the ruling effectively means the Senate is above the law. He said Duffy will consider seeking leave to appeal it to the country's highest court."In these troubled times it's especially important to ensure that the government is not above the law and that's what has not happened in the Court of Appeal decision and which is why we'll be considering over the coming days ... an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada," he said Friday in an interview.The case is part of the Prince Edward Island senator's efforts to receive $7.8 million in reimbursement and damages from the Senate, RCMP and the federal government.Duffy was suspended without pay for nearly two years over the Senate expenses scandal, for which he was ultimately acquitted of 31 criminal charges in 2016.Greenspon had argued the decision to suspend Duffy in November 2013 came at the direction of then-prime minister Stephen Harper's office, making it a politically motivated decision that forfeited the Senate's immunity.Duffy was named to the Senate on the advice of Harper in 2008. He left the Conservative caucus in May 2013 and now sits with the Independent Senators Group.In his submissions, Greenspon said Harper's office threatened Duffy that he'd be kicked out of Senate unless he admitted to inadvertently abusing his expense account and repaid $90,172 in housing expenses.The threats, the lawyer argued, amounted to extortion and it should be fundamental to the rule of law that courts are able to review illegal conduct within the Senate, even in matters of privilege.But Jamal said Duffy's allegation of illegal conduct by the Senate involves no "ordinary crime," and that any alleged interference by the Prime Minister's Office in the Senate's decisions was "integrally connected with proceedings in Parliament.""Raising these issues before the courts would unavoidably call into question the disciplinary and internal decisions taken by the Senate and the (Senate's internal economy committee) on matters that ordinarily fall within established categories of parliamentary privilege," the ruling stated.The judges said all of Duffy's arguments fall within the scope of that Senate immunity and "the courts therefore lack jurisdiction to adjudicate these allegations.""Sen. Duffy is very disappointed with the result and we all should be," Greenspon said shortly after the ruling was issued Friday."If at the end of the day there's a branch of government that is immune to the rule of law, that's something that is way bigger than Mike Duffy and he knows it and Canadians should be very concerned about that."The Senate voted to suspend Duffy without pay — along with two other senators, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau — before any charges were laid against him.Despite his eventual acquittal on all charges by a judge who found all his expenses to be reasonable, the Senate refused to reimburse Duffy for his lost salary or his legal fees and demanded that he repay almost $17,000 in disputed expenses.Since then, however, Greenspon noted that the composition of the Senate has changed dramatically, with an influx of non-partisan senators unaffiliated with any political party. He and Duffy will consider "in the very near future" whether there's any point in asking the Senate to reconsider the matter.While any "step in the direction of doing the right thing" would be welcome, Greenspon said the Senate's track record thus far is not encouraging.Philippe Hallee, the Senate's law clerk and parliamentary counsel, welcomed Friday's ruling."Parliamentary privilege is a vital feature of Canada's system of parliamentary democracy and ensures that legislative bodies have the level of autonomy required to enable them, and their members, to conduct their legislative and deliberative work with dignity and efficiency," he said in a statement."It is one of the ways in which the fundamental constitutional separation of powers is respected. Today's decision reaffirms the importance of several elements of parliamentary privilege, including the Senate's control over the conduct of its proceedings and internal affairs, its disciplinary authority over its members as well as the right to free speech in the context of parliamentary proceedings."Sen. Marc Gold, the government's representative in the Senate, declined to comment on Friday's ruling.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 28, 2020.Teresa Wright and Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
We're taking on your questions about the pandemic. Send them to us via email at COVID@cbc.ca, and we'll answer as many as we can. We're putting some of your questions to the experts during The National and on CBC News Network. We're also publishing them here on our website. You're keeping us busy. So far, we've received more than 52,000 emails from across Canada and beyond.Can mouth shields replace cloth masks?Mask questions continue to be a major theme in our inbox, but this week, a bunch of you are writing to ask us about mouth shields. The plastic guards cover the lower half of a person's face and are marketed for stopping the spit of food-service workers.Tal S. is wondering if they can be worn instead of non-medical masks. The experts say no."I don't think they're a really good alternative at all," said Dr. Susy Hota, medical director for infection prevention and control at the University Health Network in Toronto, in a recent interview on The National."These are developed for the food-service industry, and they're really not studied or designed for this purpose at all."Of course, the purpose of wearing non-medical face coverings, according to public health officials, is to protect others from the droplets spewing from your mouth and nose.There is also evidence that non-medical masks may offer some protection for the wearer, too. But because mouth shields are not tight fitting and are open at the top, Hota said, there are "lots of opportunities for droplets to get in." "I would avoid using them," she said.Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, also said he's "not a fan" because mouth shields don't collect droplets like a mask would."Cloth masks actually get damp," Furness said in an email. "But I'm guessing [shields] don't have rivulets of water running down them, and that would be because the droplets aren't staying."Instead, he explained, the droplets are just forced sideways around the shield."Full face shields have the same problem," Furness said. Read more about the issues with face shields here.I'm hosting an outdoor wedding. Is it OK to dance?With the gradual lifting of limits on the size of gatherings, Canadians are asking us about good practices for get-togethers.Joanne L. told us she's hosting a backyard wedding at her home in Aurora, Ont., but she wasn't sure if dancing was advisable.The answer is: It's complicated.Dancing, like singing, is one of the activities that is still considered to be higher risk. In some settings, like in restaurants and bars in the province of Ontario, for example, they fall under explicit restrictions and regulations.For example, performers must: * Work for the establishment. * Maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person. * Be separated from others with a physical barrier, like plexiglass.However, the Ontario Ministry of Health explained in an email that those regulations don't apply to events outside of restaurants and bars. That means dancing is allowed at your backyard wedding, though distancing and gathering limits still apply. Outdoors, that's up to 50 people for the service or ceremony and up to 100 people for the reception. But just because it's allowed doesn't mean it's without risk. It's particularly risky, Furness said, because people tend to get close and start breathing harder, "which means expelling more droplets and expelling them further."Dr. Anand Kumar, a professor of medicine at the University of Manitoba, added that loud speech, shouting and singing also increase the potential distance of droplet spread. He recommended that guests wear masks "particularly if [there is] loud music which would force participants to shout."Health Canada also advises wearing non-medical masks when distancing is difficult. Furness suggested painting big circles on the dance floor, two metres apart, to keep people from getting too close. But he warned that things could become challenging when guests start cutting loose. "The problem with a wedding is that it's not certain that people would keep their mask on or their distance from each other," he said.That said, being outdoors would offer "excellent protection," Furness said, "and either really hot weather or a firm breeze is even more protective." But the benefits of being outdoors might be reduced if you've erected a tent.If it has open sides with a breeze coming through, Furness said he'd consider that "outdoors." But if it has walls, it's indoors."I did attend one family dinner in a tent with sides earlier this month, and it was easily the riskiest thing I have done since COVID began," he said. "I wouldn't do that again for any reason."Is there a safer way to hug?It's not just weddings that make people want to get close. The pandemic has left many Canadians longing to wrap their arms around their friends and family.But what about people not inside your bubble? Carol F. wrote to us to ask if there is a safer way to squeeze them."It's a difficult one to call," Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease physician at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, said in an interview on The National."We know that routine closeness can lead to increased transmission."Hugs, for example, should be reserved as a "special occasion," she said.If you were to give someone a special occasion hug, brief contact while wearing masks and with your faces turned away "would be the safest way to do it," she said.It might not be a bad idea to hold your breath as well, said CBC News medical contributor Dr. Peter Lin.Hold your breath before "going in for the hug," he told CBC News Network. "The virus is not moving at that point." Lin said he even recommends this move to elderly grandparents."Once the hug is over, hold your breath again as they pull away, and the virus can't be breathed into your system."That said, physical embraces aren't without risk, and that might increase when the grandkids go back to school."Some people might say, 'You know what. I'm still OK hugging my grandchildren,'" said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, infectious disease specialist at Toronto General Hospital. "Other people might say, 'The risk is too high, and I'm not going to do this anymore, and we'll get our hugs in before school starts,'" he said.Bogoch advised keeping an eye on community transmission in your area. If rates go up, you may want to pump the brakes on close activity with the little ones. We looked at how grandparents might mitigate the back-to-school risks in a previous FAQ.
The two Edmonton city councillors who served on the city's police commission when it approved the purchase of a $500,000 new armoured vehicle are defending the decision that Mayor Don Iveson has called "remarkably tone-deaf". Councillor Scott McKeen said he doesn't remember a discussion about the armoured vehicle that was held in-camera in July 2017 or exactly what was said when the purchase was approved behind closed doors in February 2018. The new Cambli Black Wolf will replace the 1978 vintage "Grizzly" that was donated to the Edmonton Police Service in 2007 by the Department of National Defence. Edmonton police will continue to use the Ballistic Armoured Tactical Transport vehicle that was purchased new in 2013 from Michigan-based The Armored Group for $315,000."I'm not enough of an expert to tell you that this purchase was the wrong thing to do," McKeen said. "I have to accept that Chief McFee and Rod Knecht before him were giving us their best advice with rationale for it that looked at public safety and officer safety."McKeen admitted that the delivery next month of the Cambli Black Wolf "looks tone deaf"."I think the mayor, like all of us, is suffering from secondary PTSD," McKeen said. "The phone calls and emails we're getting from everybody right now are very high pitched. People are angry, people are scared, people are frustrated and we're facing a barrage of that all the time." 'Emotions were running really high at the time'Councillor Sarah Hamilton was on the police commission in early 2018 when the purchase was approved. She said public sentiment was different at that point. The city was still reeling from an attack in Sept. 2017, when Adulahi Sharif stabbed a police officer at Commonwealth Stadium then used a U-Haul van to injure four pedestrians in downtown Edmonton. "A lot of emotions were running really high as it related to properly funding the police," Hamilton said. "A lot of the messaging of the police service after that was about how the equipment and talent that they had at that time allowed them to safely apprehend the young man." Sharif was taken into custody after the Edmonton police tactical team used a specialized vehicle to intentionally make contact with the U-Haul and push it over to its side. Hamilton also pointed to the death of Const. Daniel Woodall in 2015 and the armoured vehicle that was used to safely extract his body. Her biggest problem with the purchase is the lack of transparency."Decisions made behind closed doors are not serving either the interests of the commission or the interests of the public nor the interests of the service," she said. "I think transparency would have helped this." Hamilton admitted the release of the information this week took her by surprise. "I think it's fair to say that this story caught everybody off guard," she said. "I think fundamentally the question for us as a commission, as a council, is why and how did that happen?" Hamilton thinks the arrival in September of the new armoured vehicle might have been more palatable if the purchase was publicly announced after a contract was signed. Police commission chair Micki Ruth told CBC News she has no good explanation for the secrecy surrounding the purchase. "It's public money and so we'll be reviewing this," Ruth said. The police chief was hired after the armoured vehicle purchase was approved, but he also believes it's important to be transparent about spending taxpayer money. "This should not be hidden in any way, shape or form," Chief Dale McFee said.Councillor Hamilton said she plans to make the issue of transparency a top priority at the next police commission meeting on Sept. 17.
Your child wakes up in the morning and says she has a headache. Or a tummy ache. Or a sore throat. New policies to keep COVID-19 from spreading in daycares and camps mean minor symptoms like that can upend the lives of your entire family for days, requiring COVID-19 testing and for siblings to stay home, too.So what does this mean for school, which has just begun in Quebec and is soon to start in other provinces?Experts say public health officials are doing their best to keep everyone safe. That may mean a range of policies, from requiring parents to screen their kids for symptoms daily, to requiring a child to get a COVID-19 test for seemingly minor symptoms. And parents should expect those policies to change as the pandemic ebbs and flows in their community.Camp experiences offer school previewWhile school doesn't start until September, many parents got a preview of just how much things have changed when they sent their children to daycare or camp this summer. Among them was Joshua Ramisch, an Ottawa father of two boys, aged 9 and 12, who attended an outdoor day camp in August.One morning, his younger son, Felix, woke up complaining about a headache and a tummy ache. Ramisch, thinking the symptoms were related to Felix's anxiety about trying to physically distance from other campers and having to get up unusually early, suggested he might feel better after some breakfast. Then he packed the boys off to camp. Once they arrived, Felix was asked about a long checklist of possible COVID-19 symptoms. When he mentioned his headache and stomach ache, his father was told that: * Both Felix and his brother, who had no symptoms, had to go home. * Felix needed a COVID-19 test. * Other parents would be notified that a camper had to be withdrawn and get a COVID-19 test due to possible symptoms.Ramisch said he was shocked."It was a surprise. It was heavy," he recalled. "I had to figure out how we were going to reconfigure the rest of the day."CBC News talked to a number of parents in different cities in Canada about what happened after they reported symptoms of illness to their daycare or camp. While it was common across the country for camps and daycares to have lists of symptoms to screen for, they varied even within the same city — even between two different Ottawa camps where Ramisch sent Felix. Some institutions also differed in when a test was required in order for the child to return, depending on their symptoms. It was also common for daycares or camps in Canada to require siblings to stay home while the symptomatic child was being tested. Ontario provincial guidelines say camps should bar anyone who has had close contact with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19.Ramisch's first tasks were dealing with older son Isaac's confusion and disappointment at having to miss camp and taking Felix for COVID-19 testing, despite the fact that his symptoms subsided shortly after leaving camp. After Felix was tested, the family had to stay in self-isolation until they got the results.Fortunately, they didn't have to wait long to get a test and received a negative result at 11:30 p.m. the same night.But it wasn't over. The camp's policy also said Felix had to be symptom-free for 24 hours, which meant he couldn't go back to camp the next day until a couple hours after his brother was dropped off.The whole experience made Ramisch and his wife wonder what the school year would look like."It does raise way more questions than it answers," he said. "That adds to my anxiety about the return to school for sure."He hopes schools will be up-front with parents about what will happen if one of their children shows symptoms and said he would like policies to clearly refer back to the decisions of public health authorities."That will probably also help inspire confidence," he said. "I defer to a doctor [more] than somebody who's a camp director or a school principal, at least on matters of health."No 'best practices' existMost provinces have announced back-to-school plans that include policies similar to the ones camps and daycares have been following, such as daily screening for symptoms, but they vary from province to province.For example, in Alberta, a child who says yes to any symptom on the list, including runny nose, sore throat, muscle or joint aches or headache, is asked to stay home.In Prince Edward Island, parents have been told "no child will be going home because they have one symptom" unless it's something extreme like a fever. Many back-to-school policies in Canada are missing details about what happens if a child develops COVID-19 symptoms, including whether siblings would also have to go home.Dr. Andrew Morris is an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto and the Sinai Health system who contributed to a report on medical experts' recommendations for a return to school.He said the reason policies vary so much is because best practices for situations like this haven't been established yet. "Really, nobody knows what the right thing to do is."Expect policies to change by region, over time However, Morris said policies should be made by public health authorities, not schools, and should be based on the local epidemiology."So if there's rampant COVID in your neighbourhood ... then maybe you handle it differently than if there's very little disease."That also means that policies may — and should — change depending on the rate of spread of the disease in a community.For example, given the low rate of spread in Canada right now, Morris doesn't think it makes sense to send siblings home if a child has symptoms, since it's unlikely those symptoms are related to COVID-19. (Of course, if they test positive, the whole household would need to self-isolate).But if an outbreak happens in a given region or school, policies like sending all siblings home when just one child has a symptom may make sense, given the possibility of asymptomatic spread."That's why you need public health by region to be very clear about how they're handling these cases," he said. "And it needs to be nimble. It can't be one size fits all."The Winnipeg School Division says parents in its district can expect school policies to be fluid. Chris Broughton, chair of the division's board of trustees notes that right now, parts of Manitoba are under more stringent restrictions, and "what school looks like in Winnipeg may not be what it looks like in Brandon or Swan River."Likewise, procedures like symptom screening could look one way at the beginning of the school year, but a few months later "it could be completely different."So far, the Winnipeg board isn't planning to send siblings home if a child shows symptoms but hasn't tested positive for COVID-19, and is deferring to public health when it comes to telling parents what to do."We won't be directing people to any kind of testing or anything along those lines," Broughton said. "Our staff aren't medically trained."When a child has symptoms, Manitoba currently directs camps, daycares and schools to send families to its online COVID-19 screening tool, which prioritizes some symptoms over others when determining if a test is needed.Is one symptom enough to stay home?When it comes to the symptoms required to keep a child out of school and get them tested, Morris leans toward stricter policies."I think one thing we've learned pretty well, especially with kids, is that [COVID-19] has many different symptoms." In fact, he noted many kids have no symptoms at all.He recommends making testing easy, ideally collecting test samples at the school to encourage it.But he also warns against schools erring too much on the side of caution with overly strict isolation and quarantine policies when the prevalence of the disease is low. If applied too frequently, those rules could be challenging for schools to enforce and make parents reluctant to report all symptoms.There's "an art to this," he said.Shift in attitudes toward illness neededBoth Morris and Broughton say parents and families also need to step up by taking public health policies seriously to protect the community and keep schools open. Morris thinks governments could help by offering paid sick leave and parental leave for parents who have to care for sick children.But they also say Canadians need to change their attitudes toward going to school or work with minor symptoms.Morris noted that not taking the spread of illness seriously in schools has meant absenteeism rates of up to 15 per cent during a bad flu season. "This is probably a good time to get it right."Broughton said that as a society, we need to shift how we look at being ill. "Like: 'I'm only a little bit ill, I'll take some symptom relief medications potentially and go to work anyway,' " he said. "That sort of mentality that we used to have is no longer going to be acceptable."The upside, he added, is that kids are learning some important lessons."They will have gone through this education and learned properly right from the get-go how to prevent the spread of illness. And that may benefit all of us in the future."
Recent developments: * The University of Ottawa is opening its own COVID-19 testing centre for students and staff. * Long-term care home residents in Ontario are now permitted to leave for short visits. * Ottawa recorded 20 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, which was among 148 across Ontario.What's the latest? Ottawa Public Health reported 20 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the city's total number of active cases to 209.There are currently 11 people in hospital, including two who are in intensive care. WATCH | Successful return to school depends on everyone, epidemiologist saysAcross Ontario, there were 148 new cases of COVID-19 reported Saturday, the highest number of daily cases since July 24.The University of Ottawa is opening a COVID-19 assessment centre on campus for students, professors and staff — the first of its kind at an Ontario university, according to administrators. Long-term care residents are now permitted to leave their homes for short stays and temporary absences, the province announced Friday, provided the facilities meet certain requirements.Homes are expected to provide the residents with medical masks they must wear at all times during their absence.What's the latest on schools?There was a mix of emotions at English schools in western Quebec as students returned on Friday. In a letter to parents, the Upper Canada District School Board said once the school year starts it "may not be possible" for students to switch between classroom and online learning.The board said it had previously planned to allow that to happen at set intervals, but after the "unanticipated amount of interest in remote learning," it's now rethinking that. Approximately 20 per cent of the board's student population chose remote learning. Parents had until Friday at 9 a.m. to contact schools and change their decision on their preferred learning model. The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has delayed the start of classes until Sept. 8.WATCH | Ottawa school board pushing for smaller class sizes in COVID-19 hot spotsTrustees also rejected a proposal to require masks for younger students, voting instead to encourage their use among children in kindergarten to Grade 3. Students in grades 4 to 12 must wear masks while indoors, including in hallways and classrooms.Teachers with the board say they're still waiting for information about what courses they'll be expected to teach come next month, and what the expectations are for how classes will run in the midst of the pandemic.The Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) has also delayed the return to school. Students in kindergarten to Grade 3, as well as Grade 7, will now start Sept. 8. Kids in grades 4 to 6, along with Grade 8, will start Sept. 9. High school students will be separated into two separate cohorts, with group A starting on Sept. 14, and group B on Sept. 15.The OCSB's starting date for online learning remains unchanged.Quebec updated its school plans in early August, including making masks mandatory in hallways for students Grades 5 and up.WATCH | Here's why some Ottawa parents are sending their kids back to schoolHow many cases are there?There have been 2,930 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the start of the pandemic, with 209 current active cases and another 2,455 cases considered resolved. There have been a total of 266 deaths related to the illness in the city.Overall, public health officials have reported more than 4,400 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 3,800 resolved. COVID-19 has killed 102 people in the region outside Ottawa.As of Aug. 26, 52 people have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties. Additionally, 17 people have died in other parts of eastern Ontario and 33 in the Outaouais.What's open and closedOttawa is in Stage 3 of Ontario's reopening plan, which means more businesses are open including dine-in restaurants and movie theatres.Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 are now allowed in that province but attendees must follow physical distancing guidelines.Quebec has similar rules, with its cap on physically distanced gatherings in public venues now up to 250 people, allowing smaller festivals.Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes on another person or object. People don't need to have symptoms to be contagious.That means physical distancing measures such as working from home, meeting others outdoors as much as possible and keeping distance from anyone they don't live with or have in their circle, including when you have a mask on.Masks are now mandatory in indoor public settings in all of eastern Ontario and Quebec, where transit officials and taxi drivers are now required to bar access to users over age 12 who refuse to wear one.WATCH | Ottawa city council extends mask requirement into OctoberMasks are also recommended outdoors when you can't stay the proper distance from others.Anyone who has symptoms or travelled recently outside Canada must self-isolate for at least 14 days.Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly urges self-isolation for people with weakened immune systems and OPH recommends people over 70 stay home as much as possible. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a dry cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pinkeye. Children can develop a rash.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Where to get testedIn eastern Ontario:In Ottawa any resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptoms, can be tested at one of three sites.Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area, there is a drive-thru centre in Casselman that can handle 200 tests a day and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don't require people to call ahead.Others in Alexandria, Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.In Kingston, the Leon's Centre is hosting the city's test site. Find it at Gate 2.Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call for an appointment.You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre and in Picton by texting or calling.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.It has a walk-in site in Brockville at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.There are test clinics in five Renfrew County communities this week.Its residents should call their family doctor and those without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 to register for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.In western Quebec:Outaouais residents now can get a walk-in test in Gatineau five days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond and at recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.They can call 1-877-644-4545 to make an appointment or if they have other questions.As of mid-August, there were longer wait times for test results here compared to some other regions of Quebec.First Nations:Local communities have declared states of emergency, put in a curfew or both.Akwesasne has had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Most are linked back to a gathering on an island with a non-resident who wasn't showing symptoms at the time.It has a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or to Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse. Face coverings are now mandatory in its public buildings.People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259.Kitigan Zibi is planning for an Aug. 29 election with changes depending on the status of the pandemic at that time. It plans on starting to open schools and daycares next month.For more information
"We need a new New Deal," Chrystia Freeland said back in June 2013, invoking the reforms and support programs President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented in the United States in the face of the Great Depression.This was before Freeland was elected as the Liberal MP for Toronto Centre, before the Liberals formed government in 2015 and before she was appointed to cabinet — and long before she became the finance minister who will end up playing a significant role in designing and defending a plan to rebuild the economy coming out of the global pandemic."Today, we are living through an era of economic transformation comparable in its scale and its scope to the Industrial Revolution," she said at the time. "To be sure that this new economy benefits us all and not just the plutocrats, we need to embark on an era of comparably ambitious social and political change."If anything, the case for such ambition is only more obvious now.But when Erin O'Toole — who became leader of the Conservative Party just days after Freeland became the minister of finance — began to make his argument against the Liberal government this week, he offered a twist on that idea of unequal advantage.Watch: Erin O'Toole lays out priorities as Conservative leader"If you want to stop insiders from getting ahead while you are falling back, you should be voting Conservative," O'Toole told a news conference Tuesday.Freeland's words from seven years ago might now seem even more suited to the current political moment. But if Freeland and the Liberals are to successfully implement their own kind of new deal, they'll have to overcome the claim that they themselves have become members (or enablers) of the lucky elite.In 2013, Freeland was promoting her second book, Plutocrats, which focused on the rise of the super-rich, the increasing concentration of wealth at the top of western societies and the hollowing-out of the middle class. Her survey of the situation included the concept of "crony capitalism" — the notion that those at the top have waged "successful political efforts … to tilt the rules of the game in their favour."The ideas and trends that she wrote about became the backbone of the Liberal election campaign in 2015, with its signature promises to eliminate tax breaks for the wealthy, raise taxes on the top one per cent and provide greater support (largely through the Canada Child Benefit) to the middle class and low-income earners. Now, five years later, a global pandemic has exposed, exacerbated or generated a set of weaknesses and inequalities in this country that are crying out for renewed attention."We need a long-term plan for recovery and renewal that addresses the fundamental gaps that have been revealed by the pandemic," Freeland said in an email to Liberal supporters on Thursday. "We need more better-paying middle-class jobs in a resilient, fairer economy. And we need to keep building a future that gives everyone a real chance at success, not just the wealthiest one per cent."One crisis, many victimsThe potential basis for an agenda focused on equality, security and resilience is broad. The pandemic will leave behind profound economic damage that must be addressed. Significant doubts about the future of the oil and gas industry have been amplified. COVID-19 has dampened the career prospects of young people, has aggravated racial disparities and threatens to put further obstacles in the way of women in the workforce. It has exposed the vulnerability of low-wage workers and the fragility of global supply chains.Meanwhile, the Black Lives Matter movement has refocused attention on systemic racism. And the work of Indigenous reconciliation remains incomplete.The argument for significant action now is that long-term economic security depends on maximizing the inclusion of all citizens and preparing for anticipated future shocks (climate change, another pandemic). Freeland's task will be to fit the pieces together within a defensible fiscal track.The Conservative Party's response to this moment remains to be seen. But the last eight months also have undercut the Trudeau government's claim to be the champion for the 99 per cent.A question of trustThough Conservatives have not embraced economic inequality as a primary policy concern, they've found a group at which to direct their scorn — the prime minister and the members of his government. Through the WE Charity affair and recent revelations about lobbying conducted by the husband of Trudeau's chief of staff, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other Liberals have supplied Conservatives with ample material to paint a caricature of a governing cadre of out-of-touch elites.In neither of those cases, nor in any of the previous controversies involving this government and questions about its adherence to ethics rules, has actual corruption been found. But in politics, that's a limited defence.In 2015, when the Liberals won power, internal Liberal polling showed that Trudeau still trailed Conservative leader Stephen Harper when Canadians were asked who they trusted to manage the economy. But Trudeau had a 20-point lead when voters were asked who would do the most for the middle class.The Liberals likely can't afford to surrender that advantage. But every ethical lapse risks weakening the government's ability to insist that it is focused on average families.O'Toole — as Andrew Scheer did before him — has been keen to emphasize his own middle class upbringing and lifestyle. When he accepted the Conservative leadership in the wee hours of Monday morning, O'Toole said that the country needed a leader with "real world experience."Freeland's previous career in journalism was international and cosmopolitan, but she does not have the personal or family wealth of her predecessor, Bill Morneau. She frequently mentions her family farm in Alberta. Crucially, she has not been implicated in the WE affair or any other previous controversy. So Freeland could counterbalance (rather than exacerbate) the prime minister's own personal weaknesses.The best response to accusations of self-interest will always be smart policies that address the real concerns of Canadians. But a government's ability to get a hearing for those proposals inevitably will suffer if there is a lingering lack of trust.
Mabyn Armstrong said she felt like a child waiting for Christmas Day every time she and her husband travelled to the western edge of Kingston, Ont., to check on 400 turtle eggs that were on the verge of hatching.They volunteer with Turtles Kingston and have been checking in on the nests every 11 hours. But when the couple arrived last Sunday morning, they discovered several of the screened covers protecting the nests had been lifted and nearly 300 eggs taken. Armstrong believes it was the work of poachers."We're devastated," she told CBC Radio's All In A Day. "We realized it wasn't an act of vandalism because there was no intentional damage to the equipment. We saw a clear set of footprints on both sides of the nest protectors."Eggs removed with 'surgical' precisionThe nest protectors were anchored with 30-centimetre galvanized spikes, with heavy landscaping bricks placed on top, Armstrong said. The footprints beside the protectors were deep, showing where the suspected thief had strained to hoist the boxes off the ground."We could not believe the precision with which those eggs were extracted," she said. "He did not remove one teaspoon of soil more than what was necessary to get at the eggs. It was surgical." Volunteers had also dug a tunnel system to help the baby turtles survive their journey to the nearby wetlands. Armstrong said she doesn't want to identify the species of turtle that were taken for fear of attracting further theft.Thriving black marketArmstrong said there's a thriving black market for turtles that's "much larger than anyone could imagine," and said China, where the turtle population has been decimated, is often the final destination. There, the animals are often used as food or in medicine, she said.While these hatchlings will take up to 18 years to reach sexual maturity, poachers are often willing to invest that time to sell them in countries that value the reptiles."This is a way for them to replenish an item that is very important to them," Armstrong said.Steve Marks, a Windsor-based herpetologist who has studied many of Ontario's reptiles, said turtles are sometimes stolen to be sold as pets, both in Canada and overseas. He said people also eat them."In Ontario, our eight species are all at risk and yet people still consume them," Marks wrote in an email.Poaching isn't the only threat: Marks said raccoons often feed on turtle eggs, and turtles are crushed trying to cross busy roads. "There are many places in our province where no turtles hatch," he said. $100K fineThe Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has confirmed its conservation officers are investigating the apparent theft.Under Ontario's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, anyone caught buying or selling "game wildlife or specially protected wildlife" can face fines of up to $100,000. For now, Armstrong's main concern is returning the stolen animals to their home turf."It's really important that turtles never be relocated," she said. "If they are, it seriously jeopardizes their survivability."Turtles Kingston did discover the shells of 60 eggs still buried in the ground, suggesting those hatchlings made it to the nearby water.Armstrong said one possible way to prevent future thefts is to remove the eggs shortly after the mother lays them, then incubating them in a licensed facility until they hatch. The hatchlings can then be returned to the nest to make their own way to the water. "That's guaranteed, that method," she said.
Most nights all Zena Gardner can hear from her window is engines blaring and tires screeching.Her home overlooks the Don Valley Parkway and stunt driving has always been an issue in her area, but with streets emptier than usual because of the pandemic, the noise has become a nearly nightly occurrence. "It's like having a Boeing 747 in your bedroom. It jolts you out of sleep," said Gardner. She's not the only one hearing vehicles zooming by at top speeds. Since mid-March, complaints about street racing and stunt driving have increased, police say. The Ontario Provincial Police charged hundreds of drivers weekly between the months of March and June. "When the pandemic hit, we had a lot of driving complaints coming in. Not just at night, but during the day," said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, spokesperson for the OPP Highway Safety Division. York police crack downIn Toronto, there was a 357-per-cent increase in stunt driving charges between mid-March to the end of June compared to the same time last year.The Toronto Police Service has issued 443 racing and/or stunt driving tickets during that time, which is nearly 350 more tickets than they gave out during those months in 2019. York Regional Police cracked down on organized street racing in July. Officers targeted locations known for gatherings of drivers with modified vehicles and organized street races. What they found was hordes of vehicles gathering, some facing off against each other. The operation, called Project Dragnet, resulted in 13 arrests, 20 stunt driving charges and 116 offences related to illegal car equipment. Helicopter captures street racingThe term stunt driving covers a variety of offences. Primarily, it's driving 50 km/h over the speed limit or 150 km/h on any street or highway anywhere in the province. It also means drifting or having someone hanging onto the outside of a moving vehicle. It can lead to a seven day licence suspension, having your vehicle impounded for seven days and multiple fines. On Aug. 9, a York Regional Police helicopter spotted a car going 186 km/h on Highway 400.When officers tracked down the car they arrested the driver and found his girlfriend, who was seven months pregnant, inside. In Peel Region, stunt driving has also been an issue. There has been a 26-per-cent increase in stunt driving charges between March and August compared to the same time frame last year.A CBC Toronto cameraman followed Peel Regional Police last weekend to a drag race. When officers arrived cars dispersed. "We've issued so many tickets since May," said Peel Regional Police Const. Donna Maurice. "We just hope the public is aware of what we're doing."Speed-related deaths remain high Even though the OPP say they've issued fewer stunt driving tickets in July and August as reopening has led to more traffic on the roads, speed-related deaths remain high. On the highways, speeding is still the leading cause of death, says Schmidt. "We've already had 31 speed-related deaths in the province."Gardner says she and other residents in her area have complained to the police about the dangerous driving they've witnessed, but most of the time she says they feel like nothing is done. "We call the non-emergency line and they tell us to call 311. When we call 311 they tell us to call police. It's a vicious circle," she said. But police in Toronto and surrounding regions say they have been cracking down. With more traffic back on the roads there have been fewer calls. Gardner says she and others have complained to the mayor and want speeding cameras installed throughout the area.
Tens of thousands of people gathered Friday below the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to pay tribute to Jacob Blake, the latest Black American to be gunned down by police, and to renew their calls for an end to systemic racism in the United States. Among them was Blake's father, Jacob Blake Sr. The march, organized by Rev. Al Sharpton, coincided with the 57-year anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s seminal "I Have a Dream" speech.
One of the two women who run the victimsvoicesregina Instagram page says their lawyer advised them to remove hundreds of posts from anonymous accusers that name Regina men and allege sexual assault, harassment or abuse.CBC has agreed not to name the woman, who is a survivor of sexual assault.The woman was unaware of a $1 million lawsuit filed in Court of Queen's Bench earlier this month by a Regina teacher who was accused of sexual assault on the Instagram page. She said she received several warnings that men who had been named in posts were planning to sue them for libel — publishing a false statement that hurts a person's reputation — but the anonymous publishers had not yet received any formal legal notice.Regina lawyers Sharon Fox and Madlin Lucyk of Nychuk & Company confirmed the law firm filed a statement of claim on August 10 on behalf of a Regina teacher seeking a million dollars in damages for the publication of "untrue and defamatory allegations of sexual assault arising from the Victims Voices of Regina Instagram account." The action is against Facebook, which owns Instagram, as well as not-yet-identified administrators of the Instagram page.Fox said the firm is working with more than 10 other men seeking to make similar claims.The woman said she pulled down the posts on August 25 because she couldn't risk being dragged into an expensive civil suit. She doesn't investigate the truth of posts and, if sued for defamation, she could be expected to prove their truth in court with evidence and witnesses."We have named businesses, and we have named individuals, and while that's an important part of the page, it does open us up to consequences," she said."We don't know who these people are and how much money they, or their dads, have."She started the Instagram page, also known as Survivor's Stories Regina, in July in response to the numerous allegations of verbal sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour against mental health advocate and former Earls manager Jim Demeray, which came to light in a CBC News Investigation. The Instagram page has since named several high-profile people, including a Regina city councillor, a musician, and leaders in the non-profit community.> I should receive an unequivocal apology and retraction. \- Andrew Hitchcock, Regina lawyer Similar pages exist in many forms across Canada. They've been praised by many advocates for giving a voice to sexual assault survivors who lack faith in the criminal justice system.The Regina page didn't just share posts. It solicited stories through private messages and removed the anonymous accuser's name before publishing screen shots of the story online with the name of the accused and, often, his workplace. Going forward, the page will only allow people to include the initials of the person they're accusing and no information on where the person works.The creator has already heard from many followers who feel angry that their post has been removed and that future posts won't name people."I understand the frustration that people must feel, not having that vindicated moment of having the person named, and held accountable," she said.Cease and desist letterThe woman's concerns over legal action aren't unfounded.Regina legal aid lawyer Andrew Hitchcock, who was identified in a post that accused him of sexual misconduct on a date, said he was falsely accused and has hired well-known defence lawyer Aaron Fox to take action against the publishers of the page."The accusations were false, and in fact, complete fiction," said Hitchcock in an email to CBC News. "I do not know why someone would wish to attack me in this way. Perhaps it is an occupational hazard for a defence lawyer."This experience brings home the essential nature of fair, due process of law. Without that due process I have been left with few options to refute an entirely anonymous, undated accusation," he said.Hitchcock isn't satisfied with the removal of posts from the Instagram page on Aug. 25."While this is a relief ... a malicious lie was posted about me that was seen by thousands of people," he said. "I should receive an unequivocal apology and retraction and anonymous, public accusations should not be permitted to continue in a liberal democracy."Hitchcock is not certain yet how damaging this will be to him and his career, but said he will continue his work within the justice system.Like the Regina teacher's legal team, Hitchcock's team is having a tough time serving the anonymous publishers.Earlier this week, his defence lawyer Aaron Fox sent a cease and desist letter to the woman Fox's law firm believed was behind the Instagram page.The problem is, they identified the wrong woman."A witch hunt"Regina businesswoman Tara Osipoff received a letter written Aug. 26 from Fox, on behalf of Hitchcock, that said the law firm had been "provided information through multiple sources" that Osipoff and her company, Ayden Creative, make and control posts on the Instagram page."I find it ironic, really. I'm being falsely accused by someone who claims they are being falsely accused," Osipoff said.Osipoff is a vocal advocate for women's rights in Regina and believes that's why she was targeted. She said it underscores the lack of strong voices on issues of sexual harassment and assault."I want a better Regina where women feel safe, where there are more women leaders, where women can safely advocate for other women without worrying there will be a witch hunt," she said.Fox said he could not comment on the cease and desist letter."It was a private communication and I am surprised that the recipient decided to disclose it to the media," he said.The letter states that the publisher of the Instagram page is liable for damages to Hitchcock and others for information posted that is untrue."The most basic journalistic standards have not been adhered to," the letter said.It demands that Osipoff remove the post, issue a public retraction and apology, and preserve any evidence about the person who made the allegation. Finally, it said Osipoff would be "required to disclose the names of the individuals who have provided the false information to share online."Anonymous allegations are 'high risk'Catherine Willson is a civil litigator in Toronto who published an article titled Social Media & Defamation – Be Careful What You Post From Behind A Screen!"If the comments are true, even if it's an ugly truth, it's not defamatory," said Willson, who was not speaking about any specific allegations.She said many people who post false accusations online are naive about the potential legal consequences."I want them to know that it could be very expensive for them... It's not a question of a simple apology. And it's not $5,000 or $10,000 [in damages], it could be hundreds of thousands of dollars," she said."I don't know how an account owner on Instagram who solicits these stories can in any way ascertain truth. So it's a high risk," she said, adding that a person who publishes on social media in this way could be subject to the same standards of due diligence as traditional media outlets.Instagram allows people to report defamatory posts online. Willson noted that unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, Canada does not protect online platforms such as Facebook and Instagram from defamation suits.However, Willson said it's very difficult for people who feel they were defamed to take civil action against anonymous publishers. Willson said she is sympathetic to women who feel they've been failed by the criminal justice system, but that she doesn't believe a social media page that names and shames people is an appropriate alternative."Just allowing every victim, or person who claims to be a victim, to publicly name names and point fingers could lead to a different kind of injustice, so there has to be a better way," she said.The woman who controls the Victims Voices Regina Instagram page is hopeful that people will continue to share their stories and find compassion and healing. She also hope the page can be a resource to help people advocate for change to stop sexual assault and harassment.Tara Osipoff is calling for more people to step up and speak out."I've been advised by many business people that it's best to stay silent in regards to the MeToo movement in Regina. We obviously have a long way to go when people of this city view it as bad for business to be advocating for women."
About 100 people gathered at a Halifax park on Friday to show solidarity with a Dartmouth, N.S., woman who says she was racially profiled by police last month."We've been fighting this for a very long time," Kayla Borden, a local music and arts promoter, told CBC Nova Scotia News At Six at Murray Warrington Park on Friday."...[Halifax Regional Police] don't realize that they continue to do this to us and a lot of it goes unreported. I feel like people feel ashamed or like nothing is going to be done, but I feel like we need to speak up because something has to be done and it needs to start now."Borden said she was racially profiled by Halifax Regional Police officers in the early morning hours of July 28 when her vehicle was surrounded by five or six police vehicles with their flashing lights on.She said she was approached by two white officers who later handcuffed her without providing a reason.After an officer explained they had actually been pursuing a white man in a high-speed chase, Borden said she was let go. But they still took her information.She submitted a complaint to Halifax police later that day. "I'm still waiting for information. I've gotten some of the police officers' names, but I'm still waiting for the incident report to be released to me," she said. The rally was held on Friday afternoon — exactly a month after the incident — to encourage healing for Borden, as well as for others who've had similar experiences with police.Samm Reid, a friend of Borden who helped organize the event, said the community must make time for healing."We know [that] what we've been facing for a long time here is not right. We know that. We've been loud about that and it's amazing," Reid said."But at the same time, do we focus on healing enough? ...We can't keep mobilizing together, talking about trauma and not having a healing piece, so let's continue to do this in our own circles with each other."Borden said she appreciates the support she received and hopes the Halifax police are listening and are held accountable."Maybe these police officers need to lose their jobs. I have to deal with this for the rest of my life," she said.She said she also wants the Halifax Regional Police to ensure that all officers take anti-racism training that addresses anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism.On Friday, a spokesperson with the Halifax Regional Police said the complaint is being "thoroughly investigated.""We recognize the importance of training and continue to look at ways to evolve our programs to be more responsive to community concerns and needs. Any actions will [be] determined by the investigation," said Wendy Mansfield, a communications advisor with the Halifax police.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 TOP STORIES
CALGARY — The Sofina Foods/Lilydale poultry processing plant in Calgary will remain open despite a growing COVID-19 outbreak.An Alberta Health official said Friday there had been 19 cases of the virus with 18 of them still considered active.But an official with the company said the number is now higher than that."Alberta Health Services (AHS) confirmed that, after we encouraged all our employees to take a second test, 9 additional individuals tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This brings our total to 27 employees, all from the same shift," said spokesperson Daniele Dufour said in an email to The Canadian Press.The Calgary facility, which had another outbreak in April, manufactures fresh chicken products and employs about 450 people.Sofina Foods operates 16 plants across Canada."Sofina Foods has been working diligently with AHS and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to properly manage this outbreak," said Dufour."This includes asking all employees on the shift to stay home while we continue assessing the needs for additional measures in order to contain any risk of further spread. In concertation with AHS and the CFIA, the plant remains operational."An official with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 401, has called for the immediate closure of the facility until the outbreak has been contained and the workplace is safe.President Thomas Hesse said the growing number of cases at the plant is worrisome."Unfortunately, in spite of recent interventions, positive case numbers continue to increase. Whatever is being done is clearly not enough. The risk of spread is too high, and the possible costs are too grave."Hesse said there are no assurances that work scheduled for next week will be halted and workers have the right to refuse dangerous work.The meat processing industry has been particularly hard hit by the novel coronavirus.The Cargill plant at High River, Alta., was forced to shut down for two weeks in April, and nearly half of its 2,000 employees eventually tested positive. Another Cargill meat-processing plant in Calgary, Case Ready Meats, had an outbreak declared earlier this month.There have also been shutdowns at an Olymel plant in Quebec and Harmony Foods near Calgary.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 29, 2020.Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Protesters in Montreal toppled and defaced a statue of John A. Macdonald at the end of a demonstration calling on cities to defund police departments.A spokesman for the Montreal police confirmed the statue of Canada's first prime minister was unbolted, pulled down and sprayed with graffiti at around 2:45 p.m.Jean-Pierre Brabant said police were on hand but did not intervene other than to ask the crowd to disperse on a loudspeaker.No arrests were made.The incident came at the end of a peaceful protest in which police estimate some 200 people marched to call for police defunding as part of what they called a nationwide day of action.Images from the event show a crowd of protesters marching in the rain under umbrellas and carrying signs demanding change.The organizers, who call themselves the Coalition for BIPOC Liberation, are asking for cities to reduce their police budgets by 50 per cent.They say the diverted funds could be used to invest in alternatives to policing such as better mental health treatment, civilian conflict resolution services, and trauma-based emergency services.Calls to withdraw funding from police forces have multiplied in both Canada and the United States in recent months after the death of George Floyd during a police stop in Minnesota.Organizers said protests were also scheduled to take place in Toronto, London, Montreal, Fredericton, Moncton and Halifax.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 29, 2020The Canadian Press
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign has hired a Kentucky teenager known for his viral encounter with a Native American man at the Lincoln Memorial last year. Nick Sandmann landed a paid position as grassroots director for McConnell's reelection effort in Kentucky, the senator's campaign said Friday. Sandmann started his new role this month, and McConnell campaign manager Kevin Golden said they're “excited" to have him on board.
Another 20 cases of COVID-19 were reported by public health officials in Ottawa Saturday, bringing the city's total number of confirmed cases of the illness to 2,930 since the start of the pandemic. Of the total, approximately 84 per cent – 2,455 – are considered resolved.This is the sixth straight day Ottawa Public Health reported new case numbers in the double digits.Since Friday, the number of active cases remaining in Ottawa has risen by 16, and currently sits at 209. Compared to the same time last week, the number of active cases in the city has increased by 64. There are currently 11 people in hospital with the illness, including two who are in intensive care. There are also eight outbreaks ongoing at city institutions such as long-term care facilities and child-care centres.The city's total number of deaths from the illness remains at 266.No new deaths reported in OntarioProvincewide, there were another 148 cases of COVID-19 reported Saturday, the highest daily case count since July 24.The latest numbers the province's total number of cases to 42,083 since the outbreak began in January.No new deaths have been reported in Ontario. The province reports the total number of deaths from the illness sits at 2,809, however, a CBC News count based on data from public health units — a measure that avoids lag times in the provincial reporting system — puts the actual toll at 2,839.
Two Toronto pediatricians are warning parents that if their kids display symptoms that could be related to COVID-19, they should keep them at home even if they test negative for the novel coronavirus — because tests can produce inaccurate results in children.They say with flu season just weeks away, children with a runny nose, cough or sore throat could have COVID-19, influenza or just the common cold, and it won't always be possible for health experts to tell.Dr. Dina Kulik, a pediatrician and emergency room physician, told CBC's Here and Now Thursday that if kids have a fever, runny nose, rash or nausea, parents should simply proceed as if their children have the novel coronavirus."I think all of that should be considered to be COVID because the testing is inaccurate and unreliable, particularly in children," she said. "I can say that with 100 per cent certainty."Kulik said even though the province will allow children to return to school 24 hours after their symptoms subside if they test negative for the virus, parents should keep those kids isolated at home for two weeks.Dr. Anna Banerji, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, said since children often experience milder symptoms, or none at all, they should stay home from school for at least a week if they are experiencing any new symptoms."We know that kids are going to get sick," she said. "There's going to be so many competing viruses around that we won't know what's caused it."Kulik, who is also the founder and director of the Toronto medical clinic Kidcrew, said parents should keep kids at home and isolated for 14 days if they feel unwell, and extends that to other family members.As a mother of four school-aged children, she said she understands how stressful that could be."I get it, totally," she said. "But, if we send our kids that are even a little bit sick, we're going to be increasing the risk that other people get sick."Kulik said given the fact that an asymptomatic student could spread the virus in a classroom, it's especially important to practise physical distancing, hand hygiene and to wear masks.Parents put in impossible situation, says mother of 3Romana Siddiqui, a mother of three who lives in Mississauga, says she had high hopes for the government's back-to-school plan because additional federal funding was announced, but says she was left disappointed."I feel that it's still not a safe plan," she said.Siddiqui, who is part of a parent group advocating against the government's previous cuts to education, was hoping for more protocols to be put in place and is mainly concerned about class sizes being too large.She says she's fortunate that her work schedule is flexible and her children are old enough to stay home by themselves, but says many parents will be left in an impossible situation."I don't want to send my kids to school sick, I don't want other parents to send their kids to school sick," she said. "But I know based on my experiences [working in a daycare] parents do that sometimes out of necessity."She would like to see the province provide more paid sick days for parents who have to keep their kids at home. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development says the government passed job-protected leave for workers, which allows them to stay home for reasons due to COVID-19."This includes if you are caring for a child who becomes ill, needs to self-isolate, whose school is closed, or if you are following the advice of a medical professional," Janet Deline said in a statement.She also pointed to the federal government's $19-billion 'safe restart' funding, which will include $1.1 billion to create a temporary national sick leave program that will provide 10 days of paid sick time to those who don't already have it through their employer.Banerji said those who keep kids home if they're unwell shouldn't be penalized, but supported, especially by employers."We have to find solutions to support parents to keep that child at home if they're sick," she said.False negative test results a major concernBoth Banerji and Kulik said Ontario's COVID-19 school outbreak plan relies too heavily on testing that can often result in false negatives, which could lead to a student bringing the virus to school.Under the province's plan, a child who has symptoms but receives a negative COVID-19 test can return to school 24 hours after their symptoms have resolved, but some experts say that could still put others at risk.The guide says if there's a single positive test in a class cohort, all members must be sent home to self-isolate. It says those people should be tested "as soon as possible," but doesn't mandate it.Kulik said there's a lot health experts don't know about testing and that it's "unwise to put all our stock" into tests when determining if a child should go back to school."I think we are putting ourselves in a dangerous position until we know exactly the statistics on how reliable and accurate these tests are," she said.Banerji pointed to scenarios in which members of a family test positive for COVID-19, but a child with the same symptoms does not."There's this ongoing narrative that if your test is negative, you don't have COVID, despite your symptoms and we know … there's a high rate of false negatives depending on when the test is done," she said.Province's plan open to change, ministry saysA spokesperson for Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said the government's plan to reopen school has been informed by the best medical and scientific minds in the country.In an emailed statement to CBC Toronto, Caitlin Clark said Ontario is spending more money on reopening schools than any other province, has implemented an "aggressive" mask policy, has hired more than 1,300 custodians and is spending $75 million in additional cleaning and on the hiring of more than 600 public-health nurses.Clark said the province's plan will adapt to the best advice as new evidence emerges."We will never hesitate from taking further action to protect the health and safety of Ontario's students and education staff," she said.
A Calgary teen is being commended for her project to connect young women in Alberta with feminine hygiene kits to help their mental health during the pandemic.Deep Braich, 17, came up with the idea this spring when she realized her friends were facing difficulty accessing products like sanitary pads, razors, shampoo and body wash because it was hard for some to leave the house during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.Braich began raiding her mom's linen closet, gathering extra supplies from her own home and packing them discreetly into brown lunch bags. She would leave them on her doorstep for girls to collect.She started to finance the project using her own savings, which she'd been patiently gathering for the past three years. "I wanted women to feel pampered because during COVID we tend to ignore our mental health and we feel really down. It's important that with these small things we can make ourselves feel better," said Braich."I've always had a passion for helping others, and a lot of people in my family have grown around people who always put others first before themselves," she said.Word quickly spread to community organizations and other groups in and around Calgary. Before long, Braich was making hundreds of hygiene kits for women of all backgrounds and cultures.Braich, with the help of local organization Khalsa Aid, made more than 100 of her care kits for women on the Eden Valley Reserve who were under quarantine and couldn't access stores."They were under lockdown and were really in need of supplies," said Braich."At first, I was shocked and was like, 'how am I going to do this?'" she said.Braich was contacted with offers of help by several organizations, including the Northeast Women's Group, Southwest Communities Resource Centre and One Voice Canada.Braich graduated from Calgary's Queen Elizabeth High School and hopes to pursue a career in social work after graduating university, which she starts this fall.She says the high school helped and supported her in the early days of her project, along with several e-transfer donations sent to her from community members who wanted to help."It made me smile to make people super happy because for me mental health is really important.… This project, even though it isn't really big, it's still something to help, and it made me happy they were smiling and would feel good about themselves," Braich said.Braich just received an Alberta Northern Lights award from the provincial government for her volunteer efforts."I am super happy and really grateful and it wouldn't have been possible without all the different organizations that I helped and who helped me," Braich said.Braich's work is a huge source of pride for her mother, Reyme Sekhon, who has taken a back seat and tried as much as possible to leave the work to her daughter."I feel very proud. I raised her as a single mom and this is a huge thing," said Sekhon."When a child is doing something good and taking the initiative, as a parent we should help and support them and see where it goes," she said.Sekhon says the only help she has given is taking Deep on shopping trips and helping her choose the cloth bags that replaced the brown paper bags she was using."Getting the recognition from the provincial government, nobody from our family has reached to this level. It feels like a Nobel prize for our family," said Sekhon."We see big actors and community workers doing big things and we think we don't have the funds or that we're not good enough," said Braich.Braich says she hopes her project inspires other young people to try similar projects to help others.Braich is still collecting donations and building kits and can be contacted through her organization Youth Helping Youth Calgary.
Dispension, a Nova Scotia company, is launching the MySafe Project to help address Canada's opioid crisis. As Jesse Thomas explains, it comes as British Columbia reports record high deaths from opioid overdoses.