Public health expert Amir Attaran shares his insights on how Ontario is handling the second wave of COVID-19 compared to other provinces.
Warning: This story contains disturbing details.The Nunavut Court of Appeal handed down a stiffer jail sentence to a mother convicted twice of serious abuse against her young child — and then stayed that sentence. The decision from a three-judge panel was issued on Wednesday. The judges called it an "exceptional" case, and "very sad from everyone's perspective." They decided it was better to keep the young mother out of jail, in order to avoid sending her child into foster care. The woman was convicted of failing to provide the "necessaries of life" and aggravated assault against her five-year-old son in 2017. "[His] body was covered in bruises and bite marks. He suffered severe internal injuries — a lacerated liver and spleen, a kidney contusion, a fractured rib and an obstructed bowel," the appeal court's decision reads. "He could not recall the last time he ate," it said. It was the second conviction against the woman for assaulting her son. When the boy was two weeks old, "she threw her baby down a flight of stairs, the baby landed on his head, and broke his clavicle," the court said. She was convicted of assault causing bodily harm in that incident, and in 2012 received a four-month conditional sentence and 18 months of probation. A conditional sentence is a sentence that is spent in the community instead of jail but the convicted individual must follow conditions — otherwise they may be sent to jail. In December 2019, Justice Sue Charlesworth sentenced the woman to a three-year suspended sentence for her second assault conviction. A suspended sentence is when no sentence has been imposed, as long as the convicted individual follows conditions. Otherwise a sentence, including a conditional sentence, may be imposed. The appeals court decided Charlesworth was too lenient, and instead sentenced the woman to just under two years of jail time, followed by three years probation. The court said it would have imposed a higher sentence had prosecutors at appeal asked for that. Young mother still has four-year-old at homeThe woman has already served the "most arduous part" — six months of house arrest — of her original sentence, her lawyer argued. Then, in an unusual turn, both prosecutor and defence lawyer agreed that sending the woman to jail would do more harm than good. That's because the woman still has another, four-year-old child at home, and there are no indications of abuse against that child. The lawyers argued that the negative effects of sending a small child into foster care outweighed whatever good might be gained from sending the woman to prison. "With considerable reluctance," the appeals court agreed, and stayed the woman's jail sentence. The court said it was "very much influenced by [the prosecutor's] first-hand account of the limited resources available in the north to care for children ... and the bleak future of those in foster care." The woman's son has since been adopted by his grandmother, the court said.
Ontario Provincial Police cruisers watched from a distance Friday morning as a backhoe dug up a road in Caledonia, Ont., by the entrance to a First Nations land reclamation camp that has put a halt to a planned housing development.Members of Six Nations of the Grand River set up camp at the McKenzie Meadows housing development in July and renamed it 1492 Land Back Lane. It's now the centre of a land dispute that's over 200 years old. Six Nations of the Grand River, a Haudenosaunee community that has the largest on-reserve population in the country, neighbours Caledonia, which is about 22 kilometres south of Hamilton.A skirmish between some members of Six Nations and the OPP on Thursday afternoon by the back entrance to 1492 Land Back Lane led camp members to move to establish control over road and highway access points to the two site entrances. The back entrance to the camp links onto Argyle Street before connecting with Highway 6.McKenzie Road, which runs by the front entrance to the site, was dug up overnight on two sides.By Friday morning, on one side of Argyle Street, which runs by the back entrance to 1492 Land Back Lane, a crushed school bus lay on its side with the spray painted words, "Land Back Tours."Nearby, a hydro pole leaned precariously, its base chewed up by fire. Up the road on Argyle Street, a transformer station sat with its gates mangled.WATCH | New clashes in Caledonia land dispute in Ontario:Part of Highway 6 that connects to Argyle Street was also torn up overnight by heavy machinery that members of Six Nations said they commandeered from a road work site. Another part of the highway was blocked by dirt and concrete barriers. A set of CN railway tracks was also dug up, the warning lights knocked across the rails.Injunction granted ThursdayOn Thursday, Superior Court Justice R.J. Harper granted a permanent injunction against the 1492 Land Back Lane camp that had been requested by the developer, Foxgate Development. Haldimand County was also granted an injunction against road blockades.Six Nations members then confronted several OPP cruisers that were parked near the back entrance of 1492 Land Back Lane. Camp spokesperson Skyler Williams said the OPP used a Taser and fired rubber bullets.The OPP issued a statement on Twitter saying that its officers were confronted and police cruisers were heavily damaged in the confrontation and that in response, officers used "appropriate non-lethal force."The property is part of the Haldimand Tract granted to Six Nations of the Grand River in 1784 for allying with the British during the American Revolution.The granted land encompassed 10 kilometres on both sides of the 280-kilometre Grand River, which runs through southern Ontario and into Lake Erie. Six Nations now has less than five per cent of its original lands.Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett's office said in an emailed statement that it wants to meet with the community "at the earliest opportunity."The statement said "Canada deeply values its relationship with Six Nations" and wants to work "collaboratively" to deal with the "historical claims and land right issues."
Recent developments:What's the latest?Five more people with COVID-19 in Ottawa have died, adding to what has been the city's deadliest month of the pandemic since spring.Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 88 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.While public health officials are urging more people to get a flu shot this year, the Ontario government ordered enough doses of the influenza vaccine to cover only about 35 per cent of its population.The commission looking into conditions in Ontario's long-term care homes is recommending the province hire more full-time staff for the facilities. The commission's early recommendations also include sending long-term care residents who test positive for COVID-19 elsewhere to recover.WATCH LIVE | Update from Quebec's deputy premier:How many cases are there?As of Thursday's update from Ottawa Public Health (OPH), 6,384 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19.There are 676 known active cases, 5,394 resolved cases and 314 deaths.Public health officials have reported more than 9,700 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 8,200 of them resolved.Seventy-two people with COVID-19 have died elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 36 in western Quebec. What can I do?Both Ontario and Quebec are telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with or one other home if people live alone to slow the spread of the coronavirus.In Ottawa — which has been rolled back to a modified Stage 2 — and Gatineau, Que., health officials are asking residents not to leave home unless it's essential. Indoor dining at restaurants has been prohibited, while gyms, cinemas and performing arts venues are all closed.Dr. Vera Etches, the capital's medical officer of health, said earlier this month the national capital's health-care system is on the verge of collapse.OPH and some eastern Ontario health units are urging people not to have a Halloween party with other households or go trick-or-treating.Ontario's chief medical officer of health said to listen to local officials but a rule of thumb if trick-or-treating is allowed, people should stick to their neighbourhood and do it outside with their household only.The Kingston area's health unit is one that says it can be done safely this year if done differently.Gatineau and parts of the Outaouais are now on red alert, which means restaurants and bars can't serve people indoors, organized sports are suspended and theatres must close.Quebecers are also urged not to travel to Ontario or between regions at different levels on its scale except for essential reasons.Even though most of the region has been declared a red zone, Premier François Legault said kids can trick-or-treat as long as they don't go with friends and precautions are taken when giving out candy.WATCH | Ottawa nurse compares the first and second waves:What about schools?There have been more than 180 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19:Few have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there's a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.As of mid-October, a small fraction of Ottawa students and staff had tested positive.Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.People can be contagious without symptoms.This means people should take precautions such as staying home when sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone they don't live with — even with a mask on.Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and are recommended outdoors when people can't distance from others.Anyone with symptoms or who's ordered to do so by their local public health unit should self-isolate. The duration is subject to a range stipulated by health officials in both Ontario and Quebec.Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.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 cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic and resources are available to help.Where to get testedIn eastern Ontario:Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you've been told to by your health unit or the province.Anyone seeking a test should now book an appointment. Different sites in the area have different ways to book, including over the phone or going in person to get a time slot.Testing numbers have been lower than the groups running it would like and they want people to know there are often same-day appointments available.People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select pharmacies.Ottawa has five permanent test sites, with additional mobile sites deployed wherever demand is particularly high.The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Limoges, Rockland and Winchester.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls.Kingston's test site is at the Beechgrove Complex. The area's other test site is in Napanee. Both are open seven days a week.People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with questions, COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly.In western Quebec:Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.First Nations, Inuit and Métis:Akwesasne has a COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. It expects to bring back its mobile site in the spring.Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.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.People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.For more information
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Friday slammed Turkey for taking a new step toward fielding a Russian-made air defence weapon. The U.S. complaint marked a deepening rift that threatens the future of a security relationship that has been central to the NATO military alliance for seven decades. After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that his country had tested the S-400 air defence system and brushed off American complaints, saying, “We aren't going to ask America,” the Pentagon hit back. “The U.S. Department of Defence condemns in the strongest possible terms Turkey’s October 16 test of the S-400 air defence system,” the top Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, said in a statement. “We have been clear and unwavering in our position: an operational S-400 system is not consistent with Turkey’s commitments as a U.S. and NATO ally.” The State Department separately called Turkey's test unacceptable and a “clear step in the wrong direction.” “The United States has been clear on our expectation that the S-400 system should not be operationalized,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. “We have also been clear on the potential serious consequences for our security relationship if Turkey activates the system.” For months, the administration has warned Ankara that it risks U.S. sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act if the S-400 system is activated. On a technical level, the U.S. government's concern is that the S-400 could be used by Turkey to gather data on the capabilities of the American-made F-35 stealth fighter jet, and that the information could end up in Russian hands. More broadly, Washington sees this weapon purchase as a slap at NATO and a violation of allies' commitment to move away from Russian defence equipment. The U.S. kicked Turkey out of the F-35 program in 2019 after it took possession of the S-400 system. Turkey was making components for the F-35 and had planned to purchase 100 of the stealth fighters. The Trump administration has held out the possibility of easing the dispute if Turkey decides not to move forward with activating the air defence system, but Erdogan seems ready to go ahead. "We are determined. We will continue on our path,” Erdogan said Friday. Turkey, which neighbours trouble spots such as Syria, Iraq and Iran, has long sought to address shortcomings in air defence. It says it was forced to negotiate with Russia for the purchase of the S-400s after the U.S. refused to sell the American-made Patriot system. Turkey has also argued that the S-400 is one of the best available systems and says the deal with Russia involves joint production and technology transfers that meet its long-term goals of defence self-sufficiency. The United States says talks on a potential Patriot deal failed over Turkey’s insistence on technology transfer rights that would have allowed it eventually to make the missiles themselves. This ran against U.S. manufacturers' propriety interests in addition to any national security concerns. The dispute has created unease between allies at a time of heightened U.S. tensions with Russia. Turkey’s rapprochement with Russia and its decision to buy the Russian system also coincides with growing Turkish mistrust of the U.S. over its policies in Syria. Turkey has been angered with U.S. support for a Syrian Kurdish group in Syria that is affiliated with Kurdish rebels fighting Turkey. — AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee contributed to this story. Robert Burns, The Associated Press
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is reminding the public about the most common scams to be on the lookout for.
The coronavirus began showing up among day-shift workers on Olymel's butchering floor in Vallée-Jonction, 70 kilometres south of Quebec City, around Thanksgiving.By last Saturday, the initial trickle had become a fast-moving current.The company quickly arranged a testing blitz for 160 employees. By Wednesday night, union officials said, at least 60 had tested positive."We expect more in the coming days. The 20 who tested positive (Wednesday) don't have any symptoms. They were working on the floor next to other people who don't have their results yet," Martin Maurice, president of the Syndicat des travailleurs d'Olymel Vallée-Jonction, said in an interview. As the second COVID-19 wave gathers force in Quebec, just under half the active outbreaks in the province have been traced back to workplaces: factories, construction sites, kitchens, hospitals and the like.That matters because workplace infections are way stations for community spread, experts say.The provincial public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, said on Thursday 46 per cent of all outbreaks involve a workplace. He also pointed out that, in most cases, the number of people affected is small, typically fewer than five.That's the good news when it comes to stamping out localized infections.But it provides little comfort when overburdened public health authorities are forced to deal with scores of flare-ups in geographically disparate areas. That is what's happening.According to Dr. Karl Weiss, a microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at the Université de Montréal, the second coronavirus wave is following a familiar autumn pattern, that of influenza.Children spread the virus to each other at school, then to their parents, who take it to work. From there, it spreads into still older, more vulnerable populations."There is a spillover effect of the younger population into the older one," Weiss said in an interview. "This is what we are witnessing right now and hopefully we will be able to contain it as a society."'Health first, then the rest comes after'Premier François Legault knows the strict health measures could be the death knell for many restaurants, whose dining rooms have been closed all month, and that they've made him unpopular with the industry. He told a news conference he has friends who own restaurants. Then he checked himself and half-jokingly said: "I should almost say: I used to have friends who owned restaurants."He may also be making a few more former friends in the province's largest city.In September, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and the city's Chamber of Commerce issued a joint plea for the provincial government to make it easier for office workers to return to their cubicles.On Thursday morning, Plante unveiled a new plan to attract shoppers and kickstart her city's beleaguered downtown.A few hours later, Legault said this: "it's health first, then the rest comes after."For good measure, he said "all those who can work from home must work from home. I know the the Montreal Chamber of Commerce isn't going to like hearing me say that ... but what I'm telling you is we need even more people to work from home."The rationale is fairly straightforward. In August and September, social gatherings were one of the pandemic's key drivers. Now, it appears workplaces have supplanted parties.By their own admission, the workers at Olymel's factory in Vallée-Jonction have been a little less careful lately than they were during the spring and even summer.There's greater proximity in the lunchroom, more chatting between shifts, perhaps even a little social time outside working hours. People who work together have a way of becoming friends, in the Beauce and everywhere else."There are things maybe we haven't always done that we probably should have done, but look, there's been more of a casual attitude all over Quebec," said Maurice.The same goes for the company, which Maurice says relaxed overtime restrictions and limits on worker interactions during shift changes.WATCH | Quebec premier says decision about what will reopen in red zones coming next weekHospital workers are having trouble following the rules tooThe problem is not limited to factory floors. Even hospital staff slip up from time to time.Leaders at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec sent a memo to the institution's 15,000 workers cataloguing a number of incidents from a safety audit earlier this fall.According to the document, which was obtained by Radio-Canada, they range from workers bringing extra chairs into meal rooms so they could sit closer together, to employees crowding into break areas, to people simply not following distancing measures.As Legault and Arruda have repeatedly said, it's predictable that a population weary from months of social distancing and other public health measures might slack off.And so, a reminder."All workplaces must reinforce their measures," Arruda said. "I think maybe we've forgotten them. And I'm here to tell you that at work, during lunch time, before work, after work, it's very easy to get within two metres."A few 'recalcitrant people' On Thursday, Arruda met with the province's workplace safety board (CNESST) to discuss "a large operation to raise awareness once again and, if necessary, to use coercive intervention."A CNESST spokesperson said it has conducted 12,297 COVID-related inspections provincewide since the spring, roughly one-quarter of which stemmed from complaints. The rest were targeted inspections. Of the total, only 22 resulted in formal citations."Generally I'd say co-operation has been excellent, but you're always going to find a few recalcitrant people," said Nicolas Bégin, who also indicated the CNESST was called in to Vallée-Jonction on Tuesday.The small bands of "recalcitrant people" may be a fact of life, but Legault had a message for them too: "think about the 20 additional people who died (Wednesday)."In fact, an investigation is currently under way to establish whether one of Olymel's Vallée-Jonction workers should be added to that grim total.Early Wednesday morning, longtime employee Alain Grenier, a 65-year-old who was described as a generous and beloved colleague, died in his sleep.He had tested positive for COVID-19 the previous day.
With some small businesses still struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has announced plans for new or extended targeted supports. The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy would provide rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations, including businesses, charities and nonprofits. It would subsidize a percentage of expenses, up to a maximum of 65 per cent eligible expenses to Dec. 19, 2020, with organizations being able to make claims retroactively for between Sept. 27 and Oct. 24, according to a government press release. Organizations temporarily shut down by a mandatory public health order could receive a top-up Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy of 25 per cent, in addition to this 65 per cent subsidy. This program replaces the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses, which has supported over 130,000 businesses across the nation. An extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to Dec. 19, 2020 is also being considered. This would keep employees on the payroll and encourage employers to rehire workers. Since launching, over 3.7 million Canadians have had their jobs supported through this program, with more than $41 million paid out in subsidies as of Oct. 4, 2020. The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) provides interest-free loans to eligible businesses and not-for-profits up to $20,000 – in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000. If repaid by Dec. 31, 2020, a total of $20,000 would be forgiven. The funding is eligible to small businesses that have experienced lowered revenues due to COVID-19, but still face costs such as rent, utilities, insurance, taxes and employment costs. Over 765,000 CEBA loans have been approved as of early October, representing more than $30 billion.Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times
Two new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the province Friday, both in the Campbellton area, Zone 5.The cases involve one individual in their 40s and one in their 70s, and both people are self-isolating, the Health Department said in a news release Friday.The province also reported eight recoveries from COVID-19.This brings the total number of active cases down to 75. There have been a total of 324 cases of the disease in New Brunswick, with 245 recoveries and four deaths.There were 548 tests conducted on Thursday, bringing the total number of tests to 95,584.Premier confident Zone 5 can get handle on virusAs residents of Restigouche County head into the weekend under a more restrictive orange phase or recovery, Premier Blaine Higgs says the region is very close to being put back into the red phase as more positive cases of COVID-19 are announced.After looking at the numbers, Public Health recommendations and where to find the balance, the premier said the government decided to limit interaction in the Campbellton region to single household bubbles to see if it would help limit the spread of the virus. "Can we get a handle on this," Higgs said he and others asked. "And so we believe that we can, but we won't do it without the residents being part of it."Three new cases were announced Thursday in the Campbellton region, or Zone 5, which now has 55 active cases and 300 people in self-isolation. Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, said were four separate chains of infection in the region that cannot be linked, a strong indication of community spread of the virus. Mass testing will take place Saturday and Sunday in Zone 5 as a way for Public Health to get a more accurate picture of the prevalence of the virus in the community. Russell said Public Health would have the data from the two days of testing by Tuesday.Testing of non-symptomatic people will be held Saturday at the Memorial Regional Civic Centre in Campbellton and on Sunday at Inch Arran Arena in Dalhousie. Testing will be done from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. This testing isn't for people who have symptoms, since they would follow the usual route to get tested at a testing centre. Zone 1 hospitals allow more visitors, surgeries Hospitals in Zone 1 are beginning to loosen restrictions now that the region has moved back into the yellow phase of recoveryy.The Vitalité Health Network said it will start allowing more visitors and increase elective procedures at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton and Stella-Maris-de-Kent Hospital in Sainte-Anne-de-Kent. "The return of Moncton and surrounding area to the yellow phase allows us to now adopt somewhat less restrictive rules for visitors and to gradually re-establish service delivery," said Vitalité CEO Gilles Lanteigne in a news release.Visits to patients will be allowed between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.Patients can only have one visitor at a time, except when in palliative care, when two are allowed.Patients who have, or are suspected of having, COVID-19 are not allowed to have visitors.Many questions from public for Higgs, RussellPremier Blaine Higgs and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell answered COVID-related questions from New Brunswick residents on CBC New Brunswick's Information Morning shows. One of the most touching calls came from Edwina Baldwin. She said she has not been able to touch her husband, in a nursing home and in the late stages of Alzheimer's, since the province went into lockdown on March 15.While she has been able to visit him, they must be six feet apart and supervised, and she can't touch him, despite a Sept. 2 announcement that nursing home residents are now allowed to hug one designated person. "Why can I not touch my husband's hand? Next call I get he'll be on his way," Baldwin said. Russell explained it is up to each home to determine how it can handle visits with family, based on the home's operational plan and directions from Public Health."I find it really sad, obviously," Russell said. Testing possible for essential workersAfter addressing a question about travel outside the Atlantic bubble, Higgs said the government is looking at putting new measures in place to test essential workers who are coming back to New Brunswick.At present, these workers who come into the province from outside the bubble are not required to self-isolate for 14 days, as most other people are. Higgs said the province plans a testing program."We would do it maybe on the first day and tenth day, but we would work out some formula there that basically we'd stay in touch and we'd do the testing just to be sure," Higgs said.Another caller asked how soon the province would see rapid testing similar to the pilot project being tested in Alberta that will test essential workers coming into Canada.If the test comes back negative in 48 hours, the person is no longer required to self-isolate but will have to have another test on Day 6 or 7 after arrival. Participants in the test project will be closely monitored through daily symptom checks and be required to follow preventive health measures such as wearing masks in public places and avoiding visiting high-risk groups. Russell said her department will be watching what happens in Alberta to see if the ultimate goal of expanding it to other travellers can be done. "In the meantime, you know, we do have to as, as the premier said, follow the public health directions right now." Campbellton business community sufferingLuc Couturier said people in Campbellton are scared as the region continues to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. "We put our guards down and that's what happens." Couturier owns and operates a family restaurant, Cafe Chez Wes, is the president of the business group Downtown Campbellton, and sits on the board of the Restigouche Chamber of Commerce. He says businesses have been hit hard, including his own."I've lost 50 to 60 per cent of my customers in a week or so. Business is very slow right now." In addition to losing customers because of the suspension of the mini-bubble with Quebec's Avignon region Oct. 8, Couturier said now some businesses are dealing with a closure because of restrictions under the orange phase. "We already see businesses downtown that will be closing their doors shortly. They can't keep up like that." Couturier said he gets frustrated when he hears Premier Higgs claims that the economy is good in the province."Well I'm sorry, sir, but get out of your office and go in the malls and go in the downtowns. Businesses are suffering." As a small business owner himself, Couturier said it isn't acceptable that no help was offered to them by the government.What to do if you have a symptomPeople concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test on the government website at gnb.ca. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: a fever above 38 C, a new cough or worsening chronic cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, new onset of fatigue, new onset of muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell, and difficulty breathing.In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.People with one of those symptoms should: * Stay at home. * Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. * Describe symptoms and travel history. * Follow instructions.CBC's Journalistic Standards a
A U.S. Navy training plane that took off from Florida crashed Friday in an Alabama residential neighbourhood near the Gulf Coast, killing both people in the plane, authorities said. Zach Harrell, a spokesperson for Commander, Naval Air Forces, said both people in the T-6B Texan II training plane died, but they weren't immediately releasing their names. Foley Fire Chief Joey Darby said responders encountered a “large volume of fire” with a home and several cars engulfed in flames.
WASHINGTON, Wash. — Donald Trump appeared to do something Thursday he rarely does: follow someone else's advice. The U.S. president showed a measure of restraint in the final presidential debate, shrugging off Joe Biden's attacks over his handling of the pandemic and accusing the Democratic nominee of planning to shut down the country. The first part of the debate in Nashville, Tenn., focused on the COVID-19 crisis and featured measured exchanges and cool tempers, a far cry from the hectoring and haranguing that was a dominant feature of last month's initial clash. The relative calm didn't last the whole 90 minutes, however. There were flashes of anger and frustration on both sides throughout the night, although this time the discussion didn't immediately collapse into insults and name-calling thanks to brief two-minute periods with muted microphones.More than 220,000 Americans are dead of the novel coronavirus, Biden said at the outset — deaths that happened on the president's watch. Nearly as many more could die before the end of the year, he added, describing the coming months as a "dark winter.""If you hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this," Biden said. "Anyone who's responsible for not taking control — in fact, saying ... 'I take no responsibility,' initially — anyone who's responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America." Trump, as he often does, insisted that a vaccine is imminent — "a matter of weeks," he claimed, though he added that timeline is not guaranteed — and that the severity of the pandemic is fading, even though the opposite is true. "We're rounding the corner," he insisted. "It's going away." After last month's interruptive, insult-riddled clash, Biden and Trump were each given a two-minute window every 15 minutes when their rival's microphone was turned off. White House advisers reportedly implored the president to follow that example. For the most part, he did — perhaps because he's been sliding in the polls, particularly since the last debate. Even though more than 47 million Americans have already cast ballots, the rest of the country may only now be paying close attention to the race. As a result, Biden was able to better enunciate positions on issues like health care, immigration, climate change and raising the minimum wage — and to rebut Trump's efforts to brand him and his family as having enriched themselves during his tenure as vice-president. But Trump managed to land a few blows of his own, accusing Biden of planning to ban fracking, a major issue in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania, and of stumping for the costly Green New Deal, a climate-change plan championed by progressive Democrats in Congress. Biden insisted neither claim is true. But he saved his most strenuous denial for Trump's most dubious charge. In a report last week as widely disputed as it was explosive, the New York Post disclosed emails supposedly retrieved from a laptop belonging to the former vice-president's son that refer to a meeting between his father and an adviser to Ukrainian energy giant Burisma. Subsequent Post reports based on the material, which was provided to the newspaper by longtime Trump operative Rudy Giuliani, allege a business agreement involving the Bidens and a Chinese company. Indeed, one of Trump's guests at the debate Thursday was Tony Bobulinski, a former associate of Hunter Biden who told the Post the emails are legitimate and make reference to the elder Biden as "the big guy.""All of the emails, the emails, the horrible emails of the kind of money that you were raking in — you and your family," Trump said. "It should have never happened. And I think you owe an explanation to the American people."The former vice-president, who has dismissed the whole saga as a "last-ditch effort" to smear him and his family, laughed off Trump's allegations, and pointed out the president's steadfast refusal to release his tax returns. "I did my job (as vice-president) impeccably," Biden insisted. "The guy who got in trouble in Ukraine was this guy," he said, pointing at Trump, "trying to bribe the Ukrainian government to say something negative about me, which they would not do, and did not do because it never, ever, ever happened."One of the night's most powerful exchanges came during the segment on immigration, when Biden flagged recent reports that officials have been unable to locate the deported parents of some 545 children separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border. "We're trying very hard," Trump said, claiming some children arrive in the U.S. without their parents as part of the activity of illegal cartels and so-called "coyotes."Not these children, Biden shot back. "Their kids were ripped from their arms and separated, and now they cannot find over 500 sets of those parents, and those kids are alone," he said."Nowhere to go. It's criminal." Trump insisted that the children are well cared for and that the cages used to detain them were originally built under the Obama administration. "They are so well taken care of," he said. "Just ask one question: Who built the cages?" The debate, hosted by Belmont University, was moderated by NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker. Topics included American families, race relations, climate change, national security and leadership.During last month's clash in Ohio, Trump interrupted, antagonized and irritated his Democratic rival from the outset, vexing moderator Chris Wallace and eliciting an exasperated plea for order from Biden himself: "Will you shut up, man?" The version of Trump on display that night showed up a few times Thursday. This time, Biden mostly laughed him off. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2020. James McCarten, The Canadian Press
Donald Trump and Joe Biden offered sharply different visions of how to handle the surging pandemic, with the incumbent declaring that the virus will go away and his challenger warning that the nation was heading toward "a dark winter." (Oct. 22)
Suicides are on the rise among Japanese teens and that worries 21-year-old Koki Ozora, who grew up depressed and lonely. The online Japanese-language chat service has grown since March to 500 volunteers, many living abroad in different time zones to provide counselling during those hours when the need for suicide prevention runs highest, between 10 p.m. and the break of dawn. What makes Ozora’s idea work during the pandemic is that it’s all virtual, including training for volunteers.
Federal polar bear research near Churchill has been put on hold for the first time since 1980 because of restrictions on travel due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Nick Lunn, an Alberta research scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, travels to northern Manitoba every year in September to conduct polar bear monitoring programs. Lunn’s work involves sedating more than 100 bears so measurements and other biological samples can be taken. The long-term data set that has been cultivated over the past 40 years is the best in the world for this species, he says. But this year that unbroken stream of information will be fractured. “Long-term data sets can handle a missed year in the time series more easily than short-term data sets,” he said in an email from Edmonton. “Techniques in analysis have advanced so much over the past 30 to 40 years that there are now ways to deal with gaps for certain types of questions. So while (it’s) disappointing to miss fall 2020, it won’t be the end of the world for the long-term nature and value of the program.” That said, it doesn’t mean the missed data is inconsequential. “Without knowing what was missed, it is not possible to assess the significance,” he said. For example, one of the first strong signals that polar bear health was linked to climate change came from a single year of data in 1992. That year the bears weighed significantly more than usual, and researchers were able to link that event with the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. The eruption launched so much particulate matter into the atmosphere that it blocked sunlight, temporarily cooling the Arctic in the spring of 1992. As a result, among other things, there was a later breakup of the sea ice in western Hudson Bay that year — and consequently better-fed, fatter polar bears. If there had been no data collection in 1992, this specific event and link might have been missed, Lunn said. As researchers look to better understand the effects of climate change on these animals, they are expanding their understanding of what influences the bears’ health. “We know that (sea ice) breakup was later this year than last, so we would have expected bears to be in better condition this year, which hopefully translates into (more and bigger) cubs in the spring. Unfortunately, we won’t know how much better condition they may have been in,” Lunn said. During the summer when travel restrictions to northern Manitoba were lifted, many researchers, including Lunn, were hopeful they’d be able to get to northern communities. However, this fall the northern travel ban was reinstated. While provincial health officials allowed an exemption to the travel ban for research and tourism, many universities and government institutions have opted for more stringent restrictions internally. Thus, Lunn and his colleagues at Environment and Climate Change Canada have been grounded. On Thursday, more stringent public health orders were implemented for the northern region and Churchill, however there was no mention of ending the Churchill travel exemption. Andrew Derocher, professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta, has worked with the polar bear population near Churchill on and off since the early 1980s. He says the impact of the missing research is significant. “Losing the monitoring conducted by Environment and Climate Change Canada this year was a huge loss to polar bear science and to Arctic monitoring on a global scale. The western Hudson Bay population is the baseline study from which we have learned about how climate change affects polar bears,” he said. “Other polar bear populations have far less data and far less insight into the mechanisms of change brought by warming.” Derocher’s research is among the work being affected this year, as he is also unable to travel to northern Manitoba. Much of his research is conducted in concert with federal researchers.Sarah Lawrynuik, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
The superintendent of the school district at the centre of B.C.'s first COVID-19 school outbreak says the school may have to close while many of its students and staff self-isolate.About 160 students and staff are staying home after B.C. health officials declared an outbreak Wednesday at Kelowna's École de l'Anse-au-sable.Five cases have been confirmed at the school as of Thursday. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said both students and staff have tested positive. Interior Health has shut down all classes between pre-kindergarten and Grade 3 at the school, and ordered students and some staff to self-isolate for 14 days. Michel St-Amant, the superintendent of School District 93, which oversees all of B.C.'s French-language schools, said the school had to quickly enlist extra staff the day after the outbreak was declared, and that decisions will be made day to day."I'm expecting that at one point we're going to have to make the choice to close the school just because we don't have enough staff," he said.Investigation underwayHenry said health officials are containing the spread to the involved cohort. The timing of the first exposure isn't known, but the investigation started on Sunday, she said.Health officials determined someone brought the virus in from outside, and it spread within the school.Interior Health said students and staff were exposed Oct.13, 14 and 15."While it is obviously not what any of us want to see, it is not unexpected as we know COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities," Henry said. Public health teams are on site and piecing together how students and staff were infected, Henry said.If their investigation finds other exposures, it may mean another cohort might isolate or the school will close, but Henry said those options are unlikely. She said the school is working with families to make sure they can continue with lessons. Interior Health's Dr. Kamran Golmohammadi, who is the lead on managing this particular outbreak, said it could still be a few days before all cases associated with the outbreak come to light.This, he said, is because there are many people who may have been exposed currently self-isolating and it can take up to 14 days before symptoms appear.'Best to stay positive'Brigitte Diemand, who has two kids in grades 2 and 8 at the school, said some parents are surprised that not all students have been asked to stay home, given there are siblings in different grades. But she said she's happy overall with how the school responded."The school did everything it could to keep our kids safe," she said."And unfortunately, we just happened to get the first case in Kelowna at a school." Her son Joseph, a Grade 8 student, said he's still waiting on school work, and is filling his time with video games, books and board games. "There's really nothing else we can do, so it's best to stay positive about it," he said.Speaking Friday on CBC's Daybreak South, Golmohammadi offered some words of encouragement."Less than one per cent of children tested who are tested so far in B.C. show they become ill with the virus," he said.
WATERLOO REGION — After 122 days at Victoria Park, Indigenous activists and allies from O:se Kenhionhata:tie’s Land Back camp have relocated to Waterloo Park. Only their firepit, now filled with cement, and an imprint from their teepee remain. “We felt this was the perfect time to move,” said Shawn Johnston, co-organizer of Land Back camp. “We created this beautiful space in the middle of the park, but the cold weather is coming and we wanted to move somewhere a bit warmer and with less foot traffic.” Earlier this week City of Kitchener council approved a plan to create and hire five full-time positions to address racism and inequity in the city. This past August, Kitchener and Waterloo waived all rental fees for Indigenous communities to hold ceremonial events on city space. Johnston said that while these recent moves have been encouraging, “two of the four demands have been met. The one that has had little discussion is land.” Indigenous activists have asked for land in Victoria Park and Waterloo Park to be given back to Indigenous peoples. The other ask is for cities to create Indigenous advisory committees to address the 94 calls to actions from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, published nearly five years ago. “We want to hear from all cities what their plans are,” Johnston said. “Our communities still don’t have any public gathering spaces. We would also like to know what are the City of Waterloo plans are for its own anti-racism and Indigenous Initiatives team.” Both Johnston and their co-organizer Amy Smoke know Waterloo Park well — 2020 marked their fifth year of organizing the annual Waterloo Pow Wow in the park. Johnston said their existing relationships with the City of Waterloo’s parks operations and community service departments factored into their decision to relocate there. “We know by moving here they would be willing to work with us in creating a new safe space for Land Back camp.” As the region grapples with its identity and future development, Johnston said their cement-filled firepit challenges the erasure of Indigenous histories and immortalizes their efforts to reclaim space. “We aren’t done yet and there is still a lot of work that needs to be done across the entire region.” Fitsum Areguy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Waterloo Region Record
The final U.S. presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden was far more civilized than the first time around, with far fewer interruptions
A driver who picked up what he thought was a dead bald eagle off a B.C. highway got quite the shock after the bird started to show signs of life in the back seat of his van en route to the conservation office.William Rice told CBC he was driving north on Highway 97 when he stopped to scoop up the apparently lifeless bird because it was being attacked by crows.While en route to 100 Mile House, Rice heard a rustle from the back of his van and looked back to see the eagle staring at him."I'm like, hey, crap, this bird is alive!" Rice wrote in an email to CBC News.Staff Sgt. Svend Nielsen with 100 Mile House RCMP said Rice drove his van into the detachment parking lot saying he had a bald eagle in the back of his van.Nielsen said it's possible the eagle had a concussion of sorts and was completely knocked out before it revived in the moving vehicle."You can kind of imagine it, you know, sort of spreading its wings around and trying to get readjusted again and I mean, how much of an impact it would have to you in a vehicle [that] was moving down the highway ... you wouldn't want that there," Nielsen said.Rice said RCMP contacted the B.C. Conservation Officer Service and an officer arrived quickly and transferred the bird to a crate."The bird got more lively and stood up for the first time and had its wings now partially up," said Rice, who took this as a good sign.Conservation officer Joel Kline was able to put a blanket around the full-size adult and it was taken to a local veterinarian to be examined.There are plans to take the eagle to a rehabilitation centre in the Lower Mainland. Under the provincial Wildlife Act, it is illegal to possess a bald eagle in British Columbia. Rice says this isn't his first raptor rescue. He told CBC this is the second bald eagle he has found in distress and helped, the first being near Pitt Meadows, B.C. He said he also rescued an owl about three years ago, and it was rehabilitated at a Lower Mainland facility.
Hong Kong's brokerages are readying billions of margin-lending dollars to tap an expected surge in retail demand for China's fintec giant Ant Group's likely $35 billion dual-listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai in the next few weeks, industry officials said. Margin lending, or the amount brokers can lend to individual investors to purchase shares, has been a big business in Hong Kong in recent years with a large number of equity floats luring retail buyers. Hong Kong had 851,157 margin lending accounts with total loan volume of HK$161.8 billion ($21 billion) in the first half of 2020, according to the city's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), up sharply from 601,842 at the same time last year.
“The problem with this disease is it’s a journey.” — Cyndi Lauper on psoriasis In 1936, New York dermatologist Paul Bechet summed up the frustration of psoriasis in the first sentence of an article for the Journal of the American Medical Association. “Psoriasis is an antidote for dermatologists' ego,” he wrote. “It is the most vulnerable point in their armour as experts, and it remains the most baffling of dermatoses despite the great advances recently made in dermatology.” References to the painful skin condition go as far back as Hippocrates in 400 BC, who used coal tar and topical arsenic to treat it. A lot has changed since then. Today, an increasingly broad line of biologics is being developed that can often completely clear up the nagging problem. You’ve heard or seen the commercials for Otezla, Humira, Skyrizi and other drugs. Bouncy, upbeat music accompanies carefree people twirling around at beaches and barbecues with their arms in the air, shoulders and bellies bare. That wasn’t the case for Deva Murthy when she was first diagnosed with the condition in the 1980s. From the age of 11 on, Murthy underwent tedious bouts of coal-tar baths, ultraviolet light therapy and even slathering her skin in ointments and enveloping herself in Saran wrap. “As you can imagine, it’s very dehumanizing,” the Long Harbour resident said in an interview Thursday. “As an adolescent, it was particularly difficult.” In elementary school she spent an entire year in hospital, the skin condition was so bad. Eventually she was prescribed immunosuppressants like methotrexate and cyclosporine to control the autoimmune condition, despite the risk of harsh side effects and organ damage. “It was a tough decision, but I was desperate. My whole body was covered, so I took whatever they offered me.” That was before biologics came along about 15 years ago. Since then, she’s been virtually rash-free, except for an outbreak last year when she got too much sun on a trip down south. A newer line of drug cleared that up. “I can’t say enough,” she said “These are life-changing medications.” Psoriasis, which causes red, crusty patches of skin covered with scales, is more common in Newfoundland and Labrador than the rest of Canada. It can cause pain, including joint involvement, and can be an agonizing source of social stigma. Many people mistakenly believe it’s contagious. It’s not. St. John’s dermatologist Dr. Wayne Gulliver has witnessed the changes in treatment over 30 years, and the impact they’ve had on patients. “Before it was, ‘if we get you better.’ Now it’s, ‘when are we going to get you better.’” Usually within six months to a year, he says, patients end up between 75 and 100 per cent clear. “The response is usually, ‘Doctor, you’ve given me back my life,’” he says. “Before, everything was around their psoriasis. What they wore, when they went out.” The drugs are much better targeted and safer than the suppressants he used to prescribe. “If we look at the safety profile, we don’t see the severe infections or things that you see with other immune drugs.” While he prefers patients ask their doctors for advice, Gulliver downplays the obligatory litany of risks cited on television advertisements. “During the clinical trial, with 10,000 patients, if someone got an ingrown toenail, was it caused by the drug? Probably unlikely. Do they end up listing it? Yes.” Those advertisements slip through on American channels, because Health Canada prohibits linking a specific drug to a condition in ads. In some ways, Murthy was lucky her condition was as bad as it was, because she received authorized use of the drugs for trials. They are otherwise extremely expensive. This has been a problem for Newfoundland patients, but the tide is finally changing. Effective Sept. 20, the province listed one of the latest drugs, Skyrizi, in its formulary. Murthy has been an executive with Psoriasis NL (psoriasisnl.com) for many years, and is proud of the work it does as the only support group in the province. They were holding support-group meetings the third Wednesday of every month, but they’ve been on hold since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s also grateful for Gulliver’s guidance as her specialist since she was a teenager. “He was an immense emotional support for me and my family because it took a heavy toll back in those days,” she said. Peter Jackson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
The weekend is coming up fast and the Homestretch's Ellis Choe has a roundup of entertainment options for us.Calgary Arab Film Nights FestivalThe Calgary Arab Film Nights Festival is celebrating its eighth year. Because of COVID-19, they're presenting a hybrid format with both in-cinema and online programming. Noha Mohamed is with the Calgary Arab Arts Society, the group behind the festival."The opening night is going to be the Canadian film called Jasmine Road. It's locally produced in Alberta about a Canadian family and a Syrian family and their story together," Mohamed said."On the second night, we have a Lebanese movie called 1982. And in light of what had happened in Beirut in August, the explosion and the government offer to match donations for relief efforts, we are making that night kind of special for Beirut. Some of the proceeds are going to go to the Canadian Red Cross." The Arab Film Nights Festival kicks off Oct. 23. The in-cinema viewings will be at the Globe Cinema with a cap of 100 people, but the online films are accessible until Nov. 1. Visit the Calgary Arab Art Society for tickets. Third Action Film FestivalThere's another film festival on this weekend — the Third Action Film Festival celebrates aging and older adults. Mitzi Murray is the executive director of the festival. "We're trying to replicate our in-person festivals so we get all the same great film," Murray said. "We have about 12 fantabulous speakers and there'll be a host who's actually hosting the event."They'll do a live introduction, we'll go straight into streaming the film, and then afterwards, if there's a Q&A involved with speakers, then the host will come back. Everything will be live."The online live festival kicks off Friday night. This year, the films will be available all over Alberta. Go to Third Action Film Festival for tickets and more information.ScreamFestThere are a couple of events that'll just be a scream this weekend, starting with ScreamFest at the Stampede Grounds. This year there will be a nightmare market at the BMO Centre as well as several terrifying haunted houses.Tara Connors is a show director of ScreamFest. "The market area is indoors. It's inside at the Big Four. Our games are inside as well as our axe throwing," Connors said. "And then the haunts themselves — there are six haunted houses — they are all outside."They include themes like Clown Town, which I will never go in, Reapers and Grim, the Bates Motel, What Lurks in the Dark, Walking with the Dead and What Lies Beneath."This event is recommended for ages 12 and up. Screamfest kicks off Thursday and runs this weekend and next weekend until Halloween. Go to ScreamFest for tickets and COVID-19 protocols. Field of ScreamsNow for something for the entire family to enjoy. The creators of ScreamFest are also turning Cobbs Adventure Park and Corn Maze into a field of screams.That also kicks off this weekend and goes every Friday and Saturday night until Halloween. There will be six "diabolical" haunted houses and something called a Death Trap. So go to Field of Screams for tickets and more information and dress warmly. Calgary Philharmonic OrchestraThe Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra has been rolling out a free virtual concert series like a gradual crescendo. They launched the series with just a string solo and duet, and now it's grown to a concert with six and seven performers this weekend, which includes woodwinds and brass as well as strings.That's Saturday night at 7 p.m. Go to Calgaryphil.com for tickets.Tom Phillips and the DT'sCalgary six-piece band Tom Phillips and the D.T.s have released a new CD called Satellites and Stars. It was recorded back in February as part of the Artist in Residence program at the National Music Centre. Phillips is debuting the new tunes throughout the weekend at the Ironwood, starting tomorrow night at 8 p.m.With files from The Homestretch
A defining moment in Thailand's growing protest movement started with the unannounced arrival of a champagne-coloured Rolls Royce stretch limousine on a Bangkok street. When Queen Suthida's motorcade slowed as it encountered a few dozen protesters jeering outside Bangkok's Government House on Oct. 14, royalists denounced it as unforgivable harassment in a kingdom whose constitution demands reverence for the monarchy.
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. A possible federal election has been averted again at least for now after the Liberals decided they will not turn a Conservative motion into a test of confidence in their minority government. Kevin Lamoureux, parliamentary secretary to the government House leader, told the Commons the government will do everything it can to respond if the motion passes, but the 15-day timeline in it "will be physically impossible for the government to meet."