Dr. Mario Picazo has more on how global oceans might be soaking up more carbon than most scientific models suggest.
Heather Abbey, a controversial Indigenous entrepreneur from Saskatoon, appeared on a Halloween-themed episode of Wheel of Fortune Tuesday night and walked away with $21,500 US after solving a puzzle with the phrase, "The Horror, The Horror."Indigenous artists who watched the game show say the real horror is that Abbey still owes them thousands of dollars for a failed trade mission to Tokyo in July 2019, on top of the $62,000 of public money she owes Creative Saskatchewan, a provincial arts agency.Abbey said she is making monthly instalment payments on her debt to Creative Saskatchewan. The arts agency confirmed that to CBC News.But it's little consolation to the artists who say they're owed money. "It kind of drains me emotionally to see her doing things like [appearing on Wheel of Fortune] still with no remorse for the artists and entrepreneurs she used and harmed," said Cree fashion designer Agnes Woodward, who lives in North Dakota, but is originally from Kawacatoose First Nation, about 115 kilometres north of Regina.To take part in the trade mission, Woodward and her husband Whirlwind Bull, a painter, spent more than $6,000 on flights, hotel, food, transportation and a delegate fee of $400 each. The trip did not go as Abbey promised it would. Afterward Abbey sent the couple messages — provided to CBC News — in which she pledged to repay them $3,000."If you owe a lot of money to people and you're on national TV? Like, she has no remorse and no conscience," said Bull. Bull said they paid $1,300 to cover hotel rooms, only to have Abbey check the Canadian delegation into a $20/night Airbnb at the last minute. CBC confirmed that a hotel in Tokyo is trying to collect $15,000 in cancellation and no-show fees after Abbey confirmed the group's reservation just hours before arrival, but failed to show up.Bull said he made a joke of Abbey's appearance on the game show. " 'Oh good, now she's going to pay us back.' But I know she's not going to." Abbey was prepared for backlashAbbey, a Cree woman from Little Pine First Nation, located 200 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon, has won numerous awards and government grants for empowering Indigenous artists and for her much-lauded website Indig Inc., an e-commerce platform that allows Indigenous artists to sell their homemade products. It is now offline.She now lives in West Hollywood, Calif., studies at Los Angeles Film School and delivers food part-time."I'm passionate about creating authentic Native American content for the big screen and the small screen," she told Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak on the show.In an article posted to West Hollywood Times, Abbey said she was hoping to win enough money to help pay for her education and take her family on a trip to Paris. WATCH | Heather Abbey's Wheel of Fortune win:However, in an email to CBC News, Abbey said that when she receives her winnings, she will spend the money in three ways: repaying Indigenous delegates that weren't able to attend the Tokyo trip, repaying Creative Saskatchewan and buying a new bed set for each of her two children."I knew that everything would flare up again if I made it on the game show, but I also knew it was an incredibly long shot in the first place — from application to audition to being selected onto the show to the actual game show itself!" she wrote."All in all though, I'm pretty proud of how I played, and that I have actual money coming to make my payments — delivering food isn't exactly keeping me in the money!"Government auditAfter a CBC News investigation last year, Creative Saskatchewan decided to audit five projects undertaken by Abbey and her e-commerce company Indig Inc., that received more than $160,000 total in taxpayer money between 2015 and 2019. The audit concluded that Abbey met expectations for three grants — worth nearly $100,000 combined — that helped to fund, among other things, website design and training for Indigenous artists to create leather mittens and beaded earrings.The two failed projects included a trade mission to Japan for Indigenous artists from Saskatchewan and a retail space for Indigenous artists in a Saskatoon shopping mall."I plan to repay every debt I have," Abbey told CBC News in January, when asked about her outstanding debts.Abbey also said none of her actions were malicious or fraudulent, rather that some business gambles didn't pan out.Creative Saskatchewan spokesperson Craig Lederhouse said the arts agency has an agreement with Abbey to collect the money owed over time."To date, Ms. Abbey is honouring that agreement and has been making monthly payments," he said. "Financial details of the agreement are confidential."Abbey has outstanding debts with more entities than the Saskatchewan government. Public records and court documents show two credit unions and two landlords are seeking $64,000 from Abbey for unpaid loans and rent.Abbey still maintains that some of the delegates are also responsible for the lack of sales on the Tokyo trip, insisting they treated it like a "vacation." A half dozen artists interviewed by CBC News deny that.As for her life now, Abbey said, "after the storm comes the rainbow. Cliché, but true.""Last year I was cancelled, and in retrospect it was probably the best thing to ever happen to me," she said. "Aside from these payments that I still plan to make, I'm free."So yeah, did last year destroy me? Hell yeah it did, but it also rebuilt me into someone that is stronger, and has even more empathy and life experience. Trying to better the world for a few people broke me completely, but it also gave way to being truly happy."
HALIFAX — People thinking about warm weather getaways in the coming months should probably plan to stay home, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health said Wednesday. Dr. Robert Strang responded to reports a Halifax-based travel agency is offering two weeklong trips to Cuba reserved exclusively for residents of Atlantic Canada. He questioned the "wisdom" of non-essential foreign trips while the COVID-19 pandemic rages around the world. "The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to advise against non-essential international travel," Strang told reporters. "Choosing to support our local hotels, restaurants and other businesses is the safest and wisest choice for Nova Scotians to make." Absolute Travel Specialists says it will charter two Air Canada flights -- one in February and another in March -- for Atlantic Canadians who want to get some sun in the winter and stay safe from COVID-19. The company said Tuesday a hotel in Cayo Coco will be reserved exclusively for Atlantic Canadians during their stay. Federal law stipulates that Canadians who leave the country must quarantine for 14 days upon their return. Atlantic residents who leave the Atlantic region -- even if they stay in Canada -- must also isolate for two weeks when they return home. Strang cautioned the second wave of COVID-19 is expected to last for at least the next two to three months. "There are no guarantees where we might be with COVID here in Nova Scotia during these coming months and we really don't know with any certainly what 2021 is going to bring either locally, nationally or internationally," he said. On Tuesday, Prince Edward Island's chief public health officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, said the planned trips to Cuba were "not realistic." Morrison said her province would maintain its two-week self-isolation requirement for the "foreseeable future," adding that it was unlikely any changes would be made before the Christmas season. Strang, however, said his province is considering employing rapid testing at its border with New Brunswick for travellers from outside the Atlantic region. He said rapid tests can shorten the two-week isolation period. Starting next month, officials in Alberta will be rapid testing foreign travellers at the Calgary airport and the Coutts land border crossing. Travellers who test negative will be allowed to end their isolation after taking a second test a week later. Strang said he is looking to learn from the Alberta pilot. "As evidence evolves, the epidemiology evolves, our goal is always to find the appropriate balance of keeping things open but also having the necessary level of safety," he said. Nova Scotia reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, leaving the province with five active cases of the disease. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020. Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press
It was the third attack in two months in France. The assailant was wounded by police and hospitalized after the killings at the Notre Dame Church, less than a kilometre (half-mile) from the site in 2016 where another attacker plowed a truck into a Bastille Day crowd, killing dozens. France's anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into the killings, which marked the third attack since the opening in September of a terrorism trial in the January 2015 killings at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket.
Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday that a warning from the FBI on hack-and-leak operations before the Nov. 3 presidential election played a role in its decision to limit the reach of stories from the New York Post that made claims about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's son. Zuckerberg said it had seen attempts by Russia, Iran and China to run disinformation campaigns. "One of the threats that the FBI has alerted our companies ... to was the possibility of a hack and leak operation in the days or weeks leading up to this election," he said.
OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole's efforts to straddle the divide between social conservatives and more moderate members of his caucus were on display Wednesday as the House of Commons gave approval in principle to a bill that would outlaw the discredited practice of conversion therapy. The bill passed easily by a vote of 308-7 but exposed divisions within Conservative ranks. O'Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs. But seven of his MPs voted against it, two abstained and eight others made it clear they were supporting it only grudgingly for now, in hopes that it will be amended by the Commons justice committee. Former leader Andrew Scheer was among those who simply did not show up for the vote. O'Toole allowed his MPs a free vote on the issue, part of his bargain with social conservatives that helped him secure the Conservative leadership in August. The bill would criminalize the practice of forcing children or adults to undergo therapy aimed at altering their sexual orientation or gender identity. Some Conservatives have expressed fears the bill would outlaw conversations between parents and their children or counsel from religious leaders. O'Toole himself has said "reasonable amendments" are necessary to clarify that point. During debate on the bill earlier this week, former leadership contender Derek Sloan went so far as to suggest it would outlaw prayer. Sloan has previously said the bill amounts to child abuse. Justice Minister David Lametti has dismissed those fears, arguing that the bill does not criminalize conversations that are meant to provide guidance to those questioning their gender or sexuality. Sloan was among the seven Conservatives who voted against the bill Wednesday. Others supported the bill for now but made their reservations crystal clear. "With the best of faith, I vote in favour of sending this flawed bill to committee," said Saskatchewan MP Cathay Wagantall as she registered her virtual vote. By contrast, all Liberal, Bloc Quebecois, New Democrat, Green and independent MPs who took part in the vote supported the bill. A number of Liberal MPs made a point of announcing that they were "proudly" voting in favour. The NDP questioned the validity of votes that came with "qualifiers," prompting Speaker Anthony Rota to remind MPs that when voting virtually, they are supposed to say simply whether they are for or against the motion, with no other comment. During question period moments before the vote, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a veiled shot at the sincerity of O'Toole's profession of support for the bill. "Conversion therapy is rooted in the harmful premise that one's sexual orientation or gender identity could and even should be changed," Trudeau told the Commons, in response to a setup question from a Liberal backbencher. "Our legislation will criminalize efforts to force someone to change or hide who they are. While Conservatives couch their support for conversion therapy behind misleading arguments, on this side, we will always stand up for the rights of Canadians." The bill would ban conversion therapy for minors and outlaw forcing an adult to undergo conversion therapy against their will. It would also ban removing a minor from Canada for the purpose of undergoing conversion therapy abroad and make it illegal to profit from providing the therapy or to advertise an offer to provide it. The practice has been widely discredited as cruel and traumatic. The Canadian Psychological Association says there is no scientific evidence that conversion therapy works but plenty of evidence that it causes harm to LGBTQ individuals, including anxiety, depression, negative self-image, feelings of personal failure, difficulty sustaining relationships and sexual dysfunction. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020. Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
The Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Yukon's largest, is celebrating the finalization of its modern Lands Act. The act allows the First Nation, the territory's largest private land owner, to allocate settlement land to its citizens.
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Oct. 29, 2020 ... What we are watching in Canada ... OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is speaking with the European Union's two top political leaders today and they are expected to discuss their shared commitment to international co-operation and what that means ahead of Tuesday's U.S presidential election. Today's three-way video conference between Trudeau, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and Charles Michel, the European Union Council president, will mark the first formal discussion they have been able to hold since the changing of the guard of Europe's top political leadership late last year. In a pandemic-free world, it would have been a formal summit, a followup to last summer's two-day affair that Trudeau hosted with one of Von der Leyen and Michel's predecessors, Donald Tusk. That gathering was marked by gushing displays of Canada-EU political fealty that saw Trudeau and Tusk position themselves as defenders of a world order that has been increasingly under attack from U.S. President Donald Trump. Now, in the COVID-19 world, Trudeau, Von der Leyen and Michel are poised to send the same signal. A senior EU official in Brussels, who briefed The Canadian Press ahead of the talks on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said the talks would affirm strong support for the United Nations World Health Organization. --- Also this ... VANCOUVER — A border officer who assisted in the three-hour detention and examination of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou before her arrest at Vancouver's airport two years ago says collecting phone passcodes is routine during secondary examinations of foreign nationals. Scott Kirkland told the B.C. Supreme Court yesterday that if he realized at the time that the piece of paper where he wrote the passcodes on would be passed on to RCMP along with her devices, he would have acted immediately. He says he typically returns the piece of paper with passcodes to the foreign national as a reminder that they should change the codes after the examination. Kirkland is the second in a series of witnesses called to testify this week at the request of Meng's defence team, which is gathering evidence for arguments it will make next year that she was subjected to an abuse of process. The defence has alleged there was a "co-ordinated strategy" to have the RCMP delay her arrest so border officials could question Meng under the pretence of a routine immigration exam. The case is scheduled to continue today. --- What we are watching in the U.S. ... NEW ORLEANS — A fast-moving Zeta has weakened to a tropical storm as it barrels northeast after causing havoc along the coast. Officials made a repeated call for residents to stay inside after the storm passed and not go outside in the dark to assess damage. One person died in New Orleans who was electrocuted. In the Mississippi city of Waveland, Mayor Mike Smith said he was expecting to see a lot of damage in the morning. In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards was expected Thursday to tour the coastal regions hardest hit by the storm. --- What we are watching in the rest of the world ... With cases surging in many central European countries, firefighters, students and retired doctors are being asked to help shore up buckling health-care systems. “This is actually terrifying,” Dr. Piotr Suwalski, the head of the cardiac surgery ward at a Polish hospital said on a day when daily COVID-19 cases rose 20 per cent nationwide. “I think if we continue to gain 20 per cent a day, no system can withstand it." Even before the pandemic, many countries in the region faced a tragic shortage of medical personnel due to years of underfunding in their public-health sectors and an exodus of doctors and nurses to better paying jobs in Western Europe after the nations joined the European Union in 2004. Now, with the virus ripping through their hospitals, many health workers have been sickened, compounding the shortfall. More than 13,200 medical personnel across the Czech Republic have been infected, including 6,000 nurses and 2,600 doctors, the doctors’ union indicated. It's not just clinicians these countries need. Both Poland and the Czech Republic are building field hospitals as beds fill up on wards, and authorities say there are only 12 ventilators left in all hospitals taking COVID-19 patients in the region around Warsaw, the Polish capital. --- On this day in 1967 ... Expo 67, which opened in Montreal on April 27, closed with a final attendance total of more than 50 million. --- In entertainment ... VANCOUVER — Ryan Guldemond says he believes luck, good timing and “a little pixie dust" led to his band Mother Mother catching fire on TikTok in recent weeks. The lead singer and guitarist for the Vancouver rock act says he was surprised when, seemingly out of nowhere, three tracks from their 2008 album “O My Heart” spiked in popularity on the music-fuelled social app. The songs started to find noticeable traction on the platform in August, and have since become the soundtrack to thousands of videos, many featuring teenagers dressed in cosplay or goth clothes and makeup. The phenomenon is powered by the young-lovers-scorned track "Hayloft," which led many creators to film themselves lip-synching to the frenetic refrain: "My daddy's got a gun, you better run." Clips tagged with "mothermother" have been viewed more than 65.5 million times on the platform as of Wednesday afternoon. That's helped push the band up the rankings of Rolling Stone's Artists 500, which monitors the most-streamed artists across the world. Mother Mother sits at No. 413 in their third week on the chart. The Juno-nominated band's "Arms Tonite" and "Wrecking Ball" are two other songs from their 2008 album that have found new life on the app. While many TikTok music trends are driven by hashtag-friendly "challenges," which encourage users to put their own spin on choreographed dances or copycat pranks, that wasn't the case for Mother Mother's decade-old songs. Figuring out why their catchy rock hooks suddenly took off is a mystery even the band hasn't cracked. "The pandemic certainly helped this app explode, and how that relates to us, I really can't tell ya," Guldemond said from a Vancouver studio where the band is finishing a new album. "We just fell into that mix somehow and it's worked out in our favour. We're pretty humbled by the whole gig." --- Looking ahead to Christmas ... TORONTO — Public health experts say it's unlikely most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, carolling and travel. They're advising the public to brace for a scaled-back holiday as the pandemic's second wave maintains its grip in many parts of the country. Political leaders acknowledged this week that Thanksgiving dinners resulted in new cases, while recent limits on social gatherings and businesses in targeted hot spots have not made enough of an impact. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has urged Canadians to step up efforts that could flatten the curve and allow for some modified festivities by Dec. 25. Toronto infectious diseases expert Dr. Andrew Morris says he expects COVID-19 cases will continue to rise in coming weeks. He says ongoing virus spread would preclude common annual traditions, such as family reunions and midnight mass. But that doesn't mean Christmas is cancelled. Morris suggests people plan new ways to create a safe but meaningful holiday. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2020. The Canadian Press
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — A southern Ontario restaurant says members of a recent private party that included a provincial politician ignored pandemic-related safety guidelines. In a post on its Facebook page this week, Betty's Restaurant in Niagara Falls, Ont., said the group was "reminded several times" to wear masks when not seated at their table, but chose not to do so. "We can remind guests but we cannot strong-arm them into following rules," the post reads. Progressive Conservative legislator Sam Oosterhoff has apologized for not wearing a mask while posing for a group photo at the restaurant. Oosterhoff, who is parliamentary assistant to the education minister, posted the picture on social media but later deleted it. He said the event was in line with provincial rules, but acknowledged he should have had a mask on when taking the photo. "I should have worn a mask when we took a quick pic, given the proximity of everyone, and I apologize for failing to do so," Oosterhoff said in a statement. Critics have called for Oosterhoff's resignation as parliamentary assistant, saying he was flouting his government's own pandemic guidance. Premier Doug Ford has brushed aside those concerns, saying everyone makes mistakes and he has "100 per cent confidence'' in the Niagara West representative. Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said Wednesday that it's important for all Ontarians — including members of provincial parliament — to "step up" in the fight against COVID-19. "As MPPs, we all have to lead by example — everyone in the province has to do more and take these precautions seriously to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That's the only way we're going to mitigate risks," McNaughton told reporters. Asked whether he would have attended a gathering as large as the one at Betty's Restaurant, McNaughton answered simply: "No." Betty's said Oosterhoff's party was in a private room with a separate entrance and washrooms and did not interact with other patrons. Staff sanitized and disinfected the room after the party, the restaurant said. "We are truly doing our best to follow all guidelines for your safety and ours," the company's Facebook post reads. "We humbly appreciate all of those who continue to support us." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020. The Canadian Press
Each year, Gleaners Food Bank’s annual city-wide food drive typically raises between 20-25 skids of food for community members in need. Due to the recent federal and provincial COVID-19 second wave restrictions, Gleaner’s Food Bank was unable to host its annual fall food drive. Not only does EXIT Realty Group help residents of Belleville, Trenton and surrounding areas find their new homes, but EXIT Realty Group agents have been supporting and participating with the annual Gleaners Food Bank food drive since 2012.
The Trump administration is conducting a wide-ranging antitrust probe into major tech companies. Last week, the Justice Department sued Google, accusing it of illegally using its market muscle to hobble rivals in the biggest challenge to Big Tech's power in decades. A Biden campaign spokesman declined to comment on the Google lawsuit but said the candidate has "long said that one of the greatest sins is the abuse of power."
The Park to Park Trail Association helps maintain over 230 kilometres of trails, from as far as Killbear to Algonquin Provincial Park. The association has been active since June 6, 2001, but has seen a decrease in membership over the last five years, according to association president Nick Ryeland. “When we first started, we had a membership that would be best described as people who were interested in the trail and used it in one or more fashions,” said Ryeland. “Over time, and I don’t know when it stopped, but basically, we no longer have people that are just members.” The association hopes to start a membership committee, said Ryeland, who has been a part of the association for four years. “In talking with all kinds of people, including our board, we’ve expressed interest in building a bigger base to get more assistance and advice as to what we should be doing and how we should go about it,” he said. For Les Purcell, a board member of the association, becoming a member was important due to where he lived. “We bought our house because it’s on the trail,” said Purcell, 47, who runs O’Rourke Electric in Parry Sound. “The governance and control of the trail I’m keenly interested in as my kids walk the trail to school and regulations that control the trail are vital to my life and happiness.” “So, I felt that joining the trail committee I have a lot to offer,” he said. “As a member of the business community here in Parry Sound, I know a lot of people and I also have eyes on the trail every single day.” Being a member of the committee is an investment, according to Purcell. “It does take an investment of time and money — you have to drive to these meetings,” he said. “It’s hard when you run your own business and have a small family at home.” “You’ve got to invest some of your time to help them. I can see my input is making a difference and I enjoy that.”Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Parry Sound North Star
Firewood sales are booming and Alberta suppliers say they've never seen anything like it.Spring is normally a slow season for Alberta's firewood suppliers, but this year, demand for their product shot up early and has remained high.The phone calls and online orders started piling up at Spruce Grove's Woodman Firewood in April.Sales doubled, so owner Tyler Cotter ordered more logs and hired additional workers. Staff started working weekends and racking up overtime, and the busy season has yet to end."We've been barely able to keep up," Cotter told CBC News.Darren Hinkel, who sells firewood through his Spruce Grove landscaping firm, the Black Dirt Company, said October sales have been double, perhaps triple, what they were in the same month of last year.Sales also shot up at Calgary-based Maverick Canada Firewood. Pierce Achtymichuk, the company's head of operations, estimates demand for firewood in the province could be 10 times higher than the available supply."I've been in this business for over 20 years and I've never seen a situation like this," he said.What's fuelling demand?Suppliers attribute the trend to the COVID-19 pandemic, which changed consumer behaviour. In March and April, Albertans spent more time than ever in their homes, stoking their fireplaces.Then in the summer, they gathered around backyard fire pits and made campfires in parks and on public land.Most Albertans heat their homes with natural gas, but firewood suppliers say customers are stockpiling wood as a comfort during what could be a long winter.James Moore, who handles firewood sales for Brickwood Landscaping in Thorsby, said new customers are telling him they usually travel every winter but have cancelled those plans."They're trying to stay occupied in the wintertime, so they're buying firewood," he said.The trend is also benefiting Cotter's chimney cleaning business, Chim Chimney, as more people refurbish long-neglected fireplaces and spend on cleanings and inspections.Supply chain problemsThough grateful for the sales spike, the industry's characteristically small businesses have struggled with supply chains during the pandemic.Stocks of other pandemic staples — like toilet paper and hand sanitizer — replenished quickly, but industry players say consumers should not expect the same of firewood.Forestry was declared an essential service in Alberta and British Columbia, but the initial shutdowns led to staff reductions. And pandemic restrictions like physical distancing and quarantining further reduced the industry's productivity.Rainy weather made a bad situation even worse, as loggers' trucks got stuck in mud. Jayme McCaffrey, who owns Sparks Firewood northeast of Edmonton, equalled last year's sales within the first seven months of this year, but he stopped selling bags of firewood at grocery stores and gas stations because he could not source enough inventory. Another challenge for suppliers has been drying out wood, explained Toso Bozic, an agroforester and woodlot specialist who runs a consulting company in Edmonton. Standing timber has between 45 to 65 per cent moisture, but that percentage needs to be much lower, between 20 to 25 per cent, for firewood to burn properly. The drying process is time-consuming, taking between six months to two years, Bozic said. Even suppliers who dry their wood in kilns cannot do it fast enough. Since it takes between six to eight days to run one load of wood through a kiln, Achtymichuk said he is currently fulfilling only a quarter of the orders he wants to. The rest are on a wait list, which he fears could lengthen if people start panic-buying.Sell out or sacrifice seasoningFirewood suppliers are already selling wood that is not fully seasoned, meaning wood is more wet and consumers will have to spend more time tending to their fires."There's only so much dry wood left at this point," said Cotter, who expects to sell out in four-to-eight weeks.Other sellers' supplies will last longer, but no one expects the market to return to normal anytime soon."This situation is not going to resolve itself this winter," Achtymichuk said."It's just going to get worse."
A month after Joyce Echaquan's death, her family members still don't know how the 37-year-old Atikamekw woman died, and the unanswered questions are taking a toll, according to the family's lawyer.Echaquan, a mother of seven, died shortly after recording herself as staff at Joliette Hospital hurled racist insults at her."Every day that passes, the family is looking forward to seeing the result," said Jean-François Bertrand, a lawyer who speaks on behalf of Echaquan's family. "It's also part of the grieving process to know the cause and exact circumstances of the death of someone you loved."Her death sparked protests around the province and, earlier this month, the coroner announced a public inquest will be held.Constant Awashish, the Grand Chief of the Atikamekw Nation, says as questions linger, members of the community become more skeptical about the process."People are asking themselves questions. They're worried these investigations won't be done right and that it'll be sloppy," Awashish said.In a letter sent to Quebec's premier on Oct. 19, Awashish, along with the chiefs of Manawan, Wemotaci and Opiticiwan, asked that an independent observer from the Atikamekw community be allowed to follow the inquiry closely.Awashish says they still haven't heard back from François Legault.A spokesperson for Quebec's newly appointed Indigenous Affairs Minister, Ian Lafrenière, says Quebec's chief coroner works independently and the government cannot assign an observer.Autopsies take time, says assistant chief coroner Luc Malouin, Quebec's assistant chief coroner, says it can take up to 30 months to perform an autopsy in some cases, especially when the pathologist needs to perform additional tests and seek other experts' opinions."It's only on TV that they do those in two minutes and 15 seconds," Malouin said.He says, ideally, an autopsy can be completed within three months, but that is rarely the case given the shortage of pathologists in hospitals."Pathologists are a rare commodity," Malouin said.The lawyer for Echaquan's family also expects delays because, according to him, Quebec's chief coroner — who's in charge of the public inquiry — has asked for additional tests to be conducted."Those are often done in specialized hospitals," Bertrand said. "I'll be frank, those hospitals right now have a lot on their plate."The Quebec coroner's office says the process for the public inquiry is confidential.Over the last few weeks, the council of the Atikamekw nation held public consultations referred to as Joyce's Principles.The goal was to hear from members of Atikamekw communities about their experiences in health-care facilities, and present a report to the provincial and federal governments on Nov. 9.
NEW YORK — With love and pranks, Ian Paget and Chris Olsen are among millions of U.S. newbies looking to soak up social media stardom on TikTok. The Los Angeles boyfriends have amassed a steady stream of fans, with more than 4 million followers laughing and encouraging them in comments on their goofy dance videos, heartfelt vlogs, and affirmations during a tumultuous time for the world and for the popular platform. While Paget and Olsen, along with millions of other creators, aren't breakout stars like dancer Charli D'Amelio or Nathan Apodaca (the guy with the cranberry juice and long board), they symbolize something else on TikTok. Their care for each other shines through for a range of supporters, from middle-age moms to LGBTQ youth struggling to come out. And they've grabbed their chunk of success after meeting last year and moving in together just a few months ago to wait out the coronavirus crisis as their new love blossomed. Paget, 33, is an actor thrown out of work by the pandemic. Olsen, 22, is a college senior finishing school on Zoom. Paget is the wildly articulate one who's endlessly surprised by Olsen, the deadpan trickster. They've made more of the platform than the average TikToker, sharing their coming-out stories and milestones, their daily lives and kisses, along with some tears and rough times, like Olsen's hard-fought victory over alcohol. You'll find no maskless “Karens” on their account, @olsennchris, or police confrontations, natural disasters or bullying neighbours. What you'll discover are two guys who have become the two gay dads to many of their “bloomers,” as they've nicknamed their tribe. And they often do it with shirts off and sculpted six-packs on display. “We’re going to make the most of it and enjoy doing what we do,” Paget told The Associated Press. Added Olsen: “We're letting people into our lives. It's something new that people hadn’t seen, especially from two gay men.” Adorable uncles would be more like it. And politically engaged ones at that. They recently chatted on Instagram about the need to vote with Rep. Katie Porter, the California Democrat who loves her white boards. For the record, Olsen and Paget don't have kids or plans to marry any time soon, to the chagrin of some diehard followers. Other fans fret that TikTok will pull them apart. They make it clear to their audience that they’re still getting to know each other after celebrating their first anniversary in September. In 2018, TikTok had more than 11 million active users in the U.S. By this August, more than 100 million Americans were on the platform, according to legal documents filed by the company. Globally, it went from about 55 million users at the start of 2018 to nearly 700 million this July. Olsen and Paget arrived on TikTok in April, considering it a fun distraction in lockdown. By July, they were gaining about 120,000 new followers a day, with their count now at more than 4.3 million and climbing. After President Donald Trump threatened to shut down TikTok in the U.S., the pair added YouTube about two months ago and hit 100,000 in a month. With admirers following them over from TikTok, they have more than 134,000 YouTube subscribers (find them at Chris & Ian) and continue to draw more. Their audience is a bit surprising, Olsen said. It's mostly women and girls in a range of ages and ethnicities. The couple's support and advice for LGBTQ young people has landed on grateful ears, reflected in the mostly positive comments left under their minute-long videos. “I thought when we started it as two gay men, maybe our following was going to be mostly gay people,” Olsen said. ”Part of it is that we are not playing into our gayness, in a way. Not that there's anything to play into. We are just being ourselves. That just is. With our comfortability with each other, it's kind of just showing people these are people that you know.” Paget is in it for that, but also for the art and theatre of it all. His stream-of-consciousness reactions to Olsen's pranks (stock-in-trade on TikTok) just might make him one of the planet's most patient people. After Olsen flicked his hand away to gauge his reaction in one video, Paget thought-travelled to homophobic hydrangeas that can't focus on their blooming because they're filled with hate, leading to one of the catchphrases — “focus on your blooming” — that adorn the thousands of dollars in merch they sell. "I just want to say what I want to say and be real. There was no pretense. That's how I talk. This is how I passionately convey what I'm feeling in a sometimes loving and sometimes emphatic way," Paget said. His at times edited reactions have led some fans to wonder whether scripts are involved, especially as Olsen continues to ensnare Paget with crazy couples challenges that have him fake sniping at his loved one or hopping in his boyfriend's shower, clothes and all. Is Paget truly surprised all these challenges later? "Certain ones, yes. Sometimes I get a morning briefing,” he admits. Whether dancing, vlogging or pranking, they're a pandemic success story no matter where the coronavirus and TikTok lead them. “Ian and I found each other at a perfect time in each other's lives, I think,” Olsen said. “There was an instant attraction.” And they found TikTok at the perfect time as well. Now, they're soaking up product placements like Timberland boots and the meal prep service Hello Fresh, and companies are dropping into their comments in search of collaborations. “TikTok really found its way into everyone's life during the pandemic," Paget said. "It was like a medicine everyone needed. The way Instagram makes you compare yourself in a sort of perfect world, TikTok was not that. TikTok is like silly, fun, quirk, enjoy, imperfection, support. There's a lot of rooting for the stranger who's a great singer who lives in Ohio. It just came at the right time and brought people a lot of joy.” Leanne Italie, The Associated Press
Premier Doug Ford said a "positive" projection report on COVID-19 numbers in Ontario is coming from the government Thursday, even as Ontario's seven-day average of new cases hit a record high today.Ontario reported another 834 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, driving the seven-day average up while the number of tests being processed stayed well below capacity for a third day. Ford said Dr. Adalsteinn Brown will present a report showing the spread of the virus is going "downwards.""That's really positive," Ford said. The premier also said he understands people are feeling fatigued as the pandemic has stretched on for several months."You see the fatigue out there, you see people frustrated … I'm here to give them hope," Ford said.Consistent with recent months, most of the newly confirmed cases in today's report were found in four public health units: * Toronto: 299 * Peel Region: 186 * York Region: 121 * Ottawa: 76The seven-day average of new daily cases, a measure that helps limit noise in the data to provide a clearer picture of longer-term trends, rose to 886. That's the highest the average has been at any point in the COVID-19 pandemic.Ontario's labs processed just 30,010 tests for the novel coronavirus, despite capacity for around 45,000 daily. The relatively low number of tests means there was, roughly, a 2.8 per cent positivity rate, down from yesterday's record high of about 3.45 per cent but still above the threshold for serious concern (2.5 per cent), according to Ontario's own public health standards.More positively, however, after several consecutive days of a markedly lower number of samples being collected for processing, some 41,000 were taken since the last provincial update. That suggests that the level of tests being processed could potentially rebound by tomorrow. At the province's daily news conference Wednesday, Ford was asked if the parts of the province that have been placed in a "modified Stage 2" would see things like gyms and restaurants reopen in November. When restrictions were put in place in those regions, they were to last for at least 28 days.Ford did not give a firm answer, but did say that nobody wants to open the economy up more than him — a phrase he has used multiple times when asked similar questions over the last several months."We have to be collaborative, we have to work together," Ford said.Meanwhile, the number of people in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 stayed steady Wednesday at 312. Those being treated in intensive care dropped by four down to 71, and the number of patients on ventilators fell slightly to 51.Five more COVID-19-linked deaths were added to the province's toll, which now stands at 3,108.Ontario has now seen 72,885 confirmed cases of the illness since the first was reported on January 25. About 85 per cent of all cases were resolved.There are currently 7,474 confirmed, active infections of the novel coronavirus provincewide, a new record high.(Note: All of the figures used in this story are found in the Ministry of Health's daily update, which includes data from up until 4 p.m. the previous day. The number of cases for any particular region on a given day may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit, which often avoid lag times found in the provincial system.)Province orders hospital management at Niagara Falls LTC HomeOn Wednesday, the province issued a mandatory management order requiring the Millennium Trail Manor long-term care home in Niagara Falls to be temporarily managed by Niagara Health System. The hospital will manage the home for 90 days following increasing numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases among residents and staff. "We are grateful to the Niagara Health System and Millennium Trail Manor for working together to stabilize the home and stop the COVID-19 outbreak," said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, the minister of long-term care, in a provincial release. The ministry has previously issued four mandatory management orders to hand over management of long-term care homes to hospitals.
The Bank of Canada said on Wednesday it expects interest rates to remain at current record lows into 2023, as it shifted its asset purchase program to focus on long-terms bonds and warned of a "long slog" towards a post-pandemic recovery. The central bank, in an update of its economic projections, also said a second wave of coronavirus infections would have a pronounced effect on Canada's near-term growth. The BoC held its key overnight interest rate at 0.25%, as expected, and reduced its bond-buying program to C$4 billion per week from C$5 billion.
Three Yukon communities don't have banking services for the time being after the government awarded a new bank contract this summer.The Yukon government awarded it to CIBC, which will take over from TD Canada Trust.The changeover was supposed to be complete by early October. However, Carmacks, Pelly Crossing and Mayo still do not have access to kiosk banking service.Communities have typically had the services for six to 18 hours per week. Only Whitehorse, Dawson City and Watson Lake have conventional bank branches."We anticipate that this issue will be resolved in the coming weeks and we are in daily contact with CIBC as they work through this transition for benefit of all community members," said Matthew Cameron, a Yukon government spokesperson.Carmacks Mayor Lee Bodie says residents lost daily banking service roughly three weeks ago."It's a pain in the neck in that a lot of people here do not have bank accounts," he said. "So then then they have to go into town and try cashing it at a bank … by showing I.D."Bodie says Hotel Carmacks is cashing cheques for people until the banking problem is solved.The new contract includes an emphasis on online banking. In a letter to Community Services Minister John Streicker, Kluane MLA Wade Istchenko wrote that since the change, his constituents are having problems cashing cheques and paying bills at the counter."This is becoming a major problem for rural Yukoners, and especially those who do not have access to internet banking," Istchenko wrote. "These individuals should be able to continue accessing all the services they were able to utilize through their previous bank without having to make special trips to Whitehorse."Speaking in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, Premier Sandy Silver said most community members will not need to change their accounts."We do admit that [in] a couple of communities right now, that there's some problems to be worked out," he said. "But we are pleased with the the competitive bid process that got us to this place."The government says banking services are still available in most small communities and representatives are working with customers to provide help at the counter and assist with online banking.The government said it is working to address concerns about online banking and said CIBC has been dealing with some staffing issues, which delayed opening.
An original member of the Jamaican bobsled team featured in the 1993 movie "Cool Runnings" is imploring whoever stole the nose cone from a sled that appeared in the film to return it to a Calgary bar. Devon Harris, who is also chairman of the Jamaican Bobsled Federation, says he's not going to lose sleep over the missing bobsled shell, but is disappointed over the news. "It's gone too far now," Harris said in a phone interview Tuesday.
LOS ANGELES — Jon Stewart is returning to TV, more than five years after bowing out as host of “The Daily Show” and with a new home at Apple TV+. Stewart will host an hour-long, current affairs series that will explore topics of national interest as well as his advocacy work, the streaming service said Tuesday. He has been a passionate supporter of military veterans and 9-11 first responders, last year pressing Congress to approve legislation to help the latter and their families. He and his wife, Tracey, are animal rights proponents. The series is expected to debut in 2021 — so if Stewart wants to weigh in on a presidential race, as he relished doing on his long-running Comedy Central show, he'll have to wait until the 2024 contest. Each season of the show will have a companion podcast to “continue the discussion,” Apple TV+ said. The platform also has a deal with Stewart and his production company that gives it first shot at other projects. Stewart, writer and director of the recent film “Irresistible" with Steve Carell and Rose Byrne, is also an executive producer for CBS' “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Stewart will be an executive producer along with host of his new Apple TV+ show, with the title yet to be announced. The Associated Press
The federal government has approved the Willow oil project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, allowing construction near a prized conservation area in a largely undeveloped region. U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt signed the government’s record of decision Monday that lets ConocoPhillips Co. to establish up to three drill sites, a processing facility and gravel roads and pipelines on the North Slope, The Anchorage Daily News reported. Two more drill sites and additional roads and pipelines proposed by ConocoPhillips can be considered later, the Interior Department said in a statement Tuesday.
The race to win the White House may be getting all the headlines, but there's real suspense in the battle for control of Capitol Hill. Overshadowed by the main event of election season, the races to establish the partisan rosters of the Senate and the House of Representatives are no less important in shaping what lies ahead on America's political terrain. "If there's anything that I'm most confident about going into this election, it's that the Democrats are going to retain majority control of the House," said Bob Oldendick, a politics professor at the University of South Carolina.
Teachers surveyed by CBC News say the return to school this fall has left them with overwhelming stress and a never-ending workload. "There's no time to prep.… You really are go, go, go," says one Ottawa teacher.
A week before Election Day, living statues depicting a golden Donald Trump in unflattering poses were on temporary display at the Lincoln Memorial and Trump International Hotel. (Oct. 27)