Ontario's stay-at-home order and Canadians' mental health: In The News for Jan. 13

·6 min read

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 Jan. 13 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

TORONTO – The Ontario government is expected to provide more details today regarding its newly issued stay-at-home order, which takes effect tomorrow.

The province says it will publish the "legal parameters" for the order online today and offer more clarification on the measure.

As of tomorrow, residents will have to stay home except for essential purposes such as grocery shopping, accessing health care and exercising.

The province says police and bylaw officers will have the power to enforce the stay-at-home order and issue tickets to rule-breakers, but hasn't given details on how that will play out.

The order was announced yesterday as the province declared a state of emergency – its second of the COVID-19 pandemic – and unveiled a series of new restrictions meant to slow the spread of the virus.

They include prolonging the pause on in-person learning in schools in five southern Ontario hot spots – Toronto, Hamilton, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex – to Feb. 10.

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Also this ...

OTTAWA – New polling suggests some Canadians feel their mental health has declined as the pandemic has rolled on and that the effects might be worse for women, single parents and relatively recent immigrants.

The survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies shows female respondents were more likely than men to report their mental health as bad or very bad across a range of age groups.

More than one-third of unemployed respondents cited worsening mental health, with a greater percentage of women than men in this category reporting bad or very bad mental health.

Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies, says mental health may worsen with new lockdowns and restrictions as people lose the outlet of visiting friends and family, which some respondents to the survey said they did over the holiday period.

The online survey of 1,523 respondents was conducted Jan. 2-3.

It can't be assigned a margin of error because web panels are not considered random samples of the population.

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What we are watching in the U.S. ...

WASHINGTON – American President Donald Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time, the House planning the unprecedented vote one week after he encouraged a mob of loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and the U.S. Capitol became the target of a deadly siege.

While the first impeachment of Trump last year brought no Republican votes in the House, a small but significant number of leaders and other lawmakers are breaking with the party to join Democrats today, unwilling to put American decency and democracy at further risk, even with days remaining in the president's term.

The stunning collapse of Trump's final days in office, against alarming warnings of more violence ahead by his followers, leaves the nation at an uneasy and unfamiliar juncture before Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated Jan. 20.

Trump, who would become the only U.S. president twice impeached, faces a single charge of "incitement of insurrection."

The four-page impeachment resolution relies on Trump’s own incendiary rhetoric and the falsehoods he spread about Biden’s election victory, including at a White House rally on the day of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, in building its case for high crimes and misdemeanours as demanded in the Constitution.

Confronting his potential place in history, Trump warned lawmakers off it, suggesting it was the drive to oust him rather than his actions around the bloody riot that was dividing the country.

“To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” Trump said Tuesday, his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence.

A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot and killed a woman during the siege. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies. Lawmakers had to scramble for safety and hide as rioters took control of the Capitol and delayed by hours the last step in finalizing Biden's victory.

The outgoing president offered no condolences for those dead or injured, only saying, "I want no violence."

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What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

JAKARTA – Divers looking for a crashed plane’s cockpit voice recorder are searching in mud and plane debris on the seabed between Indonesian islands.

They're looking to retrieve information key to learning why the Sriwijaya Air jet nosedived into the water over the weekend.

The divers earlier recovered the flight data recorder from the jet with 62 people aboard.

The 26-year-old Boeing plane had resumed commercial flights last month after almost nine months out of service during the coronavirus pandemic.

Indonesian transportation officials say an inspection for engine corrosion was done in December before it returned to service.

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On this day in 1984 ...

Toronto social worker Anne Cooles became the first Black senator when she was appointed to the upper chamber by then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau.

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In entertainment ...

Neil Young is calling for empathy towards the people who stormed the U.S. Capitol, saying they’ve been “so manipulated and had their beliefs used as political weapons.”

The folk singer, who was raised in Omemee, Ont., recently shared a letter on his website addressing his sadness over the insurrection led by U.S. President Donald Trump supporters last Wednesday.

Young wrote that he “mostly felt bad for the people” at the Capitol who seemed determined to overturn the outgoing president’s election defeat.

He blamed Trump, as well as the social media platforms the president used, which the singer says are culpable in making political issues “psychological weapons and used to gather hatred.”

Young also denounced white supremacy and expressed dismay over the “double standard” at the Capitol riots, which he said contrasted the “way people were treated” at the Black Lives Matter marches last year.

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ICYMI ...

Lacing up skates for a game of shinny on an outdoor rink is a cold-weather ritual for many Canadians.

The treasured pastime has largely disappeared this winter, however, as many city-run ice surfaces across the country prohibit outdoor hockey in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.

One infectious disease expert says shinny isn't an ideal recreational activity during the pandemic, but in some cities, fervent fans continue to flout orders to play their game.

Close contact between players ups the risk of transmitting COVID-19 during a game, explains Dr. Brian Conway, head of the Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre.

“Outdoor shinny hockey is not the safest behaviour," he says.

"The way in which it will be made safe is by making sure that through that process, personal distancing is maintained as much as possible, that it is outdoors and that it is with people you know and have been around (in the same household, or in the same social bubble, where they are still permitted) through much of the pandemic.”

Several municipalities have gone further, limiting the activities allowed on outdoor rinks. Ice surfaces are open in Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon, but hockey is prohibited.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2021

The Canadian Press