P.E.I.'s landscape was very different in the Bygone Days

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Reginald "Dutch" Thompson's column The Bygone Days brings you the voices of Island seniors, many of whom are now long-departed. These tales of the way things used to be offer a fascinating glimpse into the past. Every second weekend CBC P.E.I. will bring you one of Dutch's columns. 

Biking on the Confederation Trail through P.E.I.'s stunning countryside, it's fun to imagine being in the cab of a steam engine with a former driver like Ernie Deighan, Joe Paquet or Shifty Cantwell.

The "fire man" is working hard to keep up the steam. It's Thursday, hog day, so the train is loaded with pigs on their way to Canada Packers or Swifts over in Moncton. Rounding the turn at Royalty Junction, about nine kilometres to go heading for Charlottetown, when out by the airport we suddenly meet a train with the engine draped in black bunting — a funeral train slowing down at the Sherwood cemetery.

Pat Martel/CBC

Allan Graham, author of the book A Photo History of the P.E.I Railway, said the original train station on the Sherwood Road near the present-day airport, was called Cemetery because people went out to it by train if someone had died. 

"The special train would leave Charlottetown station all draped in black with the casket in the baggage car and the mourners in the passenger car and friends and so on and they would go out and the train would stop, very dignified, at the cemetery station on the Sherwood Road," he said.

'Major thing here on the Island'

"All the mourners would get off, the pallbearers would get the casket from the baggage car and then the whole procession would proceed up the hill to the graveyard," said Graham.

Shane Ross/CBC

"The train would wait until they were a respectable distance away and then it would start out very slowly and as noiselessly as possible and proceed to Royalty Junction where it would turn very quietly on the Y and then come back in 20 minutes time approximately, to pick up the mourners and all those people at the same cemetery station and proceed back into the Charlottetown station, where they would remove the black bunting and so on from the train.

"It was certainly a major thing here on the Island."

Trains in general were once a central part of Island life. The late Byron Burns, who wrote a book about the railway on P.E.I. called The Narrow Gauge Railway on Prince Edward Island, said that back in the 1930s you could rent the steam engine, the rail cars, the crew — the whole works — for one dollar a mile.

Islanders would rent the trains for events like the hockey specials, carrying fans and teams between Summerside and Charlottetown. It would cost about $95 to rent that train to go to Summerside and back. 

Good dog

Burns also told Thompson about Ernie Cameron, who was an engine driver for years on the Island. Cameron used to throw The Guardian newspaper to a dog every morning at the Clyde station. The dog was waiting at the station and then he would trot home with the paper in his mouth to deliver to a farmer.

We had a bit of a livestock there on School Street. — Robert Farquarson

Even bootleggers got in on the action, recounted Roy Clow, who told Dutch a story about a Charlottetown bootlegger who exported rum and oysters to Montreal by train.

"He put it in wooden crates. He put a stamp across the top of the crates — First Class Oysters. And there was an awful big trade in Vernon Bridge that time," Clow said. 

'Shipped kegs of rum'

"He shipped kegs of rum, a 10-gallon keg of rum was just the width of an oyster barrel. They'd jam it in tight and he used to put some kind of heavy seaweed and stuff underneath the keg, on top of the keg. And then he had a stamp — Vernon River or West River Oysters — and he'd trip a whole truckload of rum to Montreal wholesalers up there. They all went by train."

Submitted by Dutch Thompson

It's not just the Confederation Trail. Biking at a leisurely pace around Charlottetown is a great way to see things you might miss when you're zooming around in a car, like old horse barns in backyards. 

Some of them have been torn down, such as the old blue horse shed at the Rogers House on Fitzroy Street that's now the Fairholm National Historic Inn next to the old YMCA. 

In the bygone days, almost everyone had a horse and a garden, even folks who lived in town like the late Robert Farquarson. 

Farms in the city

Farquarson was born in 1913 at 58 School St., which is now Walthen Drive in downtown Charlottetown. His father Ernie was a brakeman and conductor on the railway around 1910. The Farquarsons pastured their cows on the Connolly estate on St. Peters Road where Pope Pius X Church is now.

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"Our job was to stay home and do his work. He was a great gardener so you had a great garden, which became our job to look after," Farquarson said. 

"He was a farmer, had been a farmer. We had a cow and a pig and a few hens. We had a bit of a livestock there on School Street."

The neighbours didn't mind, Farquarson said, because many of them were also farmers. It's a long way from today — where Charlottetown has a bylaw against raising even backyard chickens.

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  • Federal officer killed guarding courthouse near protest
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    The Canadian Press

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    CBC

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  • B.C. records 11 new COVID-19 cases, announces ban on overnight camps for children this summer
    Health
    CBC

    B.C. records 11 new COVID-19 cases, announces ban on overnight camps for children this summer

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  • 'What do we do now?' Labour dispute at Regina refinery nears 6 months
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    The Canadian Press

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  • 'Vicious dogs' and 'ominous weapons': The politics behind Trump's latest protest threats
    Politics
    CBC

    'Vicious dogs' and 'ominous weapons': The politics behind Trump's latest protest threats

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And a certain politician: Trump."I was pretty struck when we did the data analysis," said Kevin Wozniak, who studies the politics and public opinion of criminal justice at the University of Massachusetts.He and colleagues examined voters' reaction during the 2016 election to being shown different images, including one of police officers in riot gear atop an armoured vehicle.They found that whites who called themselves independent voters became 10 percentage points likelier to declare support for Trump after seeing that image.The findings are pertinent politically following fury over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a policeman kneeled on his neck, prompted nights of protest, arson, looting and vandalism in several American cities.Authorities in Minneapolis accused white agitators from outside the state of committing much of the vandalism, a claim Trump has echoed on his Twitter feed.WATCH | Minneapolis mayor calls in National Guard:Trump's track recordEarlier this week, one of Trump's tweets was slapped with a warning label from Twitter for glorifying violence. Trump later insisted that he was not, in fact, endorsing extrajudicial execution when he tweeted: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts." He said he was simply calling for peaceful protests, and warning about the danger of violence: he noted that seven people were shot in Louisville, Ky., during protests over another police-involved death — that of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician.But there's history leading up to that Trump tweet and his latest comments Saturday.He's the same president who referred to mostly black NFL players, peacefully protesting police violence during the national anthem, as sons of bitches.He's gotten cheers from a crowd of police officers for telling them that when arresting violent suspects, "Please don't be too nice."The history behind the quoteBooks such as The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander, and Dog Whistle Politics, by Ian Haney Lopez, chart how politicians, from way back when the U.S. was still a colony, have used punishment of blacks to their own political ends.One famous law-and-order devotee was the originator of the slogan Trump tweeted about looting and shooting.The Miami police office who coined the phrase, Walter Headley, was a nemesis of civil-rights leaders described in a New York Times article as a hardline police chief of the old school.His obituary talked about his willingness to use shotguns, dogs and stop-and-frisk tactics to fight crime in black neighbourhoods, culminating in several deaths and numerous injuries in 1968.He died that same year after three marriages, two divorces, and one fatal heart attack. Yet his own legacy, like America's race history, includes twists and turns that defy storybook conclusions.Crime dropped for a while under Headley in some rough areas.He drew a positive profile from the Associated Press, which mentioned that some black residents of Miami were said to welcome his tough approach and expressed relief at their safer neighbourhoods. His Times obituary also said Headley frequently expressed pride at having hired the city's first black police officers.There's a meandering trajectory to Trump's own recent history with race.Trump now speaks frequently about the criminal-justice bill he signed, which softened prison sentences. It's a frequent topic in his appeals in swing states, where he's hoping to win a few more black votes.Yet one of the first things his own electoral base relished about him was his law-and-order attitude.In a 2016 interview, Trump's original data director Matt Braynard said a desire for tough justice was the No. 1 defining characteristic among Trump's earliest primary supporters.Braynard rejected two common depictions of them — as authoritarian or racist. In the same interview, the ex-Trump campaign official also disparaged "Black Lives Matter terrorists" in referring to the 2016 killing of Dallas police officers.WATCH | Protests spread beyond Minneapolis:The Obama effectThere's also evidence from the last presidency of how a police controversy and race can have combustible political effects.Among the sharpest declines in support former president Barack Obama ever experienced happened in July 2009  after he commented on the arrest of Henry Luis Gates Jr, an African-American Harvard University professor who was detained after someone saw him forcing open the door to his own house and called police.Pew Research cited that as one of the factors as it recorded a seven-point drop in support for Obama among white voters within one single week.Early in his presidency, Obama had largely steered clear of talking about race.But Americans talked about race a lot. The author of one book, Post-Racial or Most-Racial? ,argues that simply having a black president quietly drove racial resentment that infected numerous conversations. The author, political scientist Michael Tesler, found a huge racial divide between whites and blacks in support for Obama's Affordable Care Act — it was 20 percentage points greater than the gap in white-black attitudes during Bill Clinton's failed health care reform effort years earlier. Other research has suggested that American whites adopt more conservative attitudes when they hear about the country's changing racial demographics. So what does Wozniak think will happen in 2020 as a result of this recent fury over police brutality and the eruption of civil unrest?"Our findings would suggest that the Minneapolis uprising will benefit Donald Trump — that it will be a mobilizing force for his base," he said.  "I would add a great, big caveat to that, though."WATCH | Former NAACP leader Cornell Brooks says lawmakers must hold police to account:His caveat: there are so many monumental issues rocking American politics right now that voters might be more focused on the pandemic, the economic collapse and impassioned debates about Trump himself. Meanwhile, Trump's opponent, likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden, is promising voters his own version of stability — different from law and order. His pitch is a less dramatic presidency. In an address to the nation posted on his campaign website, Biden said he'd called Floyd's family and said now was the time to address 400-year-old racial wounds, not add gasoline to a race controversy. "This is no time for incendiary tweets," he said. "The very soul of America is at stake."

  • No new COVID-19 cases Saturday after double-bubbles expanded
    Health
    CBC

    No new COVID-19 cases Saturday after double-bubbles expanded

    There are no new cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador for the second straight day.According to a news release from the provincial government Saturday, the province's total caseload remains at 261. By region, there are 243 cases in the Eastern Health region, eight cases in the Central Health region, four in the Western Health region and six in the Labrador-Grenfell Health region.There are three active cases of the virus in the province, as 255 people have recovered. Active cases are the total cases minus recovered cases and deaths.The province has had only four new cases of COVID-19 in the month of May.By age, there are: * 22 people with the virus 19 and under * 38 between 20 and 39 * 39 between 40 and 49 * 58 between 50 and 59 * 57 between 60 and 69 * 47 aged 70 and aboveOne person is in hospital due to the virus.The province crossed 12,000 tests Saturday, as 12,095 people have now been tested for the virus — up 188 from Friday.The number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province remains at three.Expanding bubbles to help people reconnect: FitzgeraldAs the province moves closer to Alert Level 3, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald announced Friday each double bubble in Newfoundland and Labrador can expand their bubble by up to six people.She said the move was made to help people reconnect outside of digital means, such as Zoom or Skype."We want to give people some break from this social separation that we've had," she said. "Even though people can connect virtually, there's nothing like being able to see someone in person.""The intent here was to expand it to somebody who could give you that kind of support that you need. That friendship, camaraderie, and someone you frequently saw [before the pandemic.]"New members of a bubble do not have to be from the same household, but people cannot be changed once they have decided who is introduced into their double bubble.Fitzgerald said the move to expand a double bubble is not mandatory, and encouraged people to keep the number of close contacts as low as possible in an effort to keep the risk of spreading the virus low.The province's next live COVID-19 briefing will be on Monday.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • News
    CBC

    3 teen boys charged in Brampton elementary school arson that caused $8M in damage

    Three teen boys have been arrested and charged in connection with an arson at a Brampton elementary school earlier this month that caused $8 million in damage, Peel police say.The fire happened at St. Leonard Elementary School, near Evalene Court and Conestoga Drive, around 5:45 p.m. on May 10. Police received reports of black smoke coming from the school.Officers arrived to find that the school office had been set ablaze, according to a news release issued on Saturday. Firefighters were able to locate and extinguish the fire quickly, police said. No injuries were reported. Police said it is estimated the damage will take 12 to 18 months to repair at a cost of as much as $8 million. On Friday, police arrested two Brampton boys, ages 13 and 14, in connection to the incident. On Saturday, police arrested a Toronto boy, 13.The names of the suspects cannot be released because their identities are protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. All three teens have been charged with breaking and entering as well as arson causing damage to a property. Police said the suspects are expected to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton "at a later date."

  • Dragon-riding astronauts join exclusive inner circle at NASA
    Science
    The Canadian Press

    Dragon-riding astronauts join exclusive inner circle at NASA

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken join NASA’s exclusive inner circle by catching a ride on a SpaceX rocket and capsule.It’s only the fifth time that NASA has put people aboard a brand new spacecraft line for liftoff. And it’s the first time the spacecraft belongs to a for-profit company in charge of the launch.Their destination is the International Space Station, where they’ll spend one to four months before guiding their capsule to a splashdown in the Atlantic.Meet NASA’s first commercial crew:DOUG HURLEY, spacecraft commander:The retired Marine colonel and former fighter pilot flew on NASA’s last space shuttle flight in 2011, closing out a 30-year era. He was tapped in 2015 as one of four NASA astronauts assigned to fly the first commercial crew capsules under development by SpaceX and Boeing. He drew the SpaceX Dragon.Hurley, 53, served as pilot on both of his shuttle missions, the No. 2 spot. He’s now serving as spacecraft commander, overseeing the most dangerous parts of the Dragon’s flight: launch, reentry and ocean recovery.He grew up in Apalachin, New York, and, after earning an engineering degree, devoted his career to the Marines and attended test pilot school. NASA chose him as an astronaut in 2000.Wife Karen Nyberg, a former space station resident, retired two months ago from NASA. She, too, was a member of the Astronaut Class of 2000. Their son, Jack, is 10.BOB BEHNKEN, joint operations commander:The Air Force colonel and former flight test engineer has six spacewalks to his credit and may rack up more during his space station stay. As joint operations commander, he'll oversee the Dragon’s rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station. He’ll also manage many of the activities while the capsule is there, including any possible spacewalks for station maintenance.While growing up in St. Ann, Missouri, Behnken was mesmerized by photos of Jupiter and Saturn streaming from NASA’s Voyager spacecraft. He studied physics and mechanical engineering in college, earning a doctorate in the latter.Behnken had risen to chief astronaut after a pair of shuttle flights when, in 2015, he was assigned to one of the first commercial crew flights. He teamed up with Hurley in 2018 on the SpaceX Dragon.Behnken was also in the Astronaut Class of 2000. And also like Hurley, he married a fellow classmate: astronaut Megan McArthur, who flew on NASA’s final mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Their son, Theodore, is 6.___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.¶Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press

  • Alberta's campers turn to public land due to COVID-19
    News
    CBC

    Alberta's campers turn to public land due to COVID-19

    On Monday the province's campgrounds will reopen but COVID-19 restrictions will keep half the sites closedCampgrounds in Alberta's national parks will remain closed until at least June 21.Meanwhile, British Columbia and Saskatchewan have followed Alberta and closed their campgrounds to out of province visitors.If the Crown Land Camping Alberta Facebook group, recently launched by Calgarian Ryan Epp, is any indication, many Albertans are looking for alternatives.In the seven weeks since launching the page, Epp has welcomed nearly 29,000 members with more joining all the time."I started it up basically looking to find some new people to go camping with," Epp said. "I was expecting to get maybe 50, 60 people to join up."We're still growing at almost a thousand a day," he told CBC News. "It's been crazy." Epp believes the interest in his group is connected to conventional campgrounds being closed or restricted.Now he's sharing his knowledge with people who have never used Crown land before, something the 46-year-old has been doing since he was a kid."We'd hit the forestry trunk road with our tents and some other family friends," he said.As an adult, Epp upgraded to a tent trailer and he's recently purchased a hard-walled trailer."It's got bathroom facilities and a water tank and everything, it's a little more comfortable," he said. "I've got a generator to supply power so that way I'm all set-up."It's a long way from the five-gallon pail he once used for a toilet."There's no services, so there's no water, no electricity, no toilet facilities," Epp said. "If you head out there you have to have all that with you."Epp is also quick to remind members of the etiquette and rules when it comes to Crown land camping."The big one with a lot of us is we try to haul out more than we take in," he said. "We look for garbage, we'll pick it up and bring it out."There are options for those looking for peace and quiet and options for those who might want to let loose and make a little noise."It's so much more quiet," he said. "If you want to make more noise you can because there's not really anyone right beside you that you're going to disturb."Epp says there are also Crown land camping areas ideal for specific hobbies like quading or fishing. The tricky part is finding those spots and Epp is fielding a lot of questions from people wanting to know where to go."We all have our secret spots that we're not going to divulge to anybody," he said. "The fun of it is going out and scouting out and finding your own secret spot to go to because there's thousands upon thousands of kilometres to travel and find these throughout Crown land."CJ Blye, a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta in the faculty of kinesiology, sport and recreation, agrees."There are a lot of places; actually 60 per cent of the province is public land," Blye said."We do have a number of wildland provincial parks that are north of Edmonton and then most of our public land use zones follow along that Rocky Mountain corridor all the way down to the south of the province."Much of the land is not easily accessible and Blye encourages people to check regulations before heading out.Each public-land-use zone has its own rules and regulations, which are more important than ever, Blye said."The pressure that we're going to be placing on our natural areas will be more significant because we're going to see more folks wanting to get out," she said."We want to be really careful that we're not overloading our natural environments."Leave no trace camping and leave no trace travel is a great way to look at how we can be in these areas and reduce our impact," she said.Blye encourages people to check the online information provided by the provincial government and Alberta Parks before they head out.Nobody from the province would talk about the pressure on Crown land.In an email, Jess Sinclair, press secretary for the minister of Environment and Parks, said that over the May long weekend, staff saw an increase in public land use in parts of southern and central Alberta."It remains to be seen if campers that traditionally use our provincial parks will increasingly move onto public land for their fill of outdoor recreation," Sinclair said. Sinclair urges users pack out what they pack in and limit stays in one spot to 14 days.

  • News
    CBC

    Two children fall out of windows over one weekend in Edmonton

    Two small children have been transported to hospital with injuries after falling out of windows, less than 24 hours apart.On Friday night at 10:20 p.m., a six-year-old boy fell out of a second-storey window at 7 Avenue and Edwards Drive SW, Alberta Health Services confirmed on Saturday. The boy was transported to hospital in serious condition. AHS said they did not have an update on the boy's condition as of Saturday afternoon. Police said they were not called to the fall.Less than 24 hours later, AHS responded to a one-year-old boy who fell out of a fourth-floor window of the Ramada by Wyndham West Edmonton just after 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.Police said the boy suffered minor injuries and the event was non-criminal.With both of these falls occurring so closely to one another, AHS said they wanted to remind people to be aware of how much they're opening windows and to keep an eye on children around those windows for safety.

  • China media, Hong Kong government bristle at Trump's pledge of curbs, sanctions
    News
    Reuters

    China media, Hong Kong government bristle at Trump's pledge of curbs, sanctions

    China's state media and the government of Hong Kong lashed out on Sunday at U.S. President Donald Trump's vow to end Hong Kong's special status if Beijing imposes new national security laws on the city, which is bracing for fresh protests. Trump on Friday pledged to "take action to revoke Hong Kong's preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory", and to impose sanctions on unspecified individuals over Beijing's new laws on the Asian financial centre. "The baton of sanctions that the United States is brandishing will not scare Hong Kong and will not bring China down,” China's Communist Party mouthpiece, the People's Daily, wrote in a commentary.

  • Chief: Most arrested at Detroit protest are not from city
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Chief: Most arrested at Detroit protest are not from city

    Nearly two-thirds of the 60 people arrested Friday night during protests in downtown Detroit over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis were from the city’s predominantly white suburbs.Thirty-seven of those taken into custody were from places like Warren, Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield and even Grand Blanc, which is about 60 miles (96 kilometres) northwest of Detroit, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Saturday.Detroit was one of a number of U.S. cities where protests were staged, but didn’t see the levels of violence, damage or altercations with law enforcement that occurred elsewhere.Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz blamed destruction Friday night in Minneapolis — including setting a police station on fire — on out-of-state instigators.In Detroit, the message given Saturday by Craig, Mayor Mike Duggan and local activists to outsiders was clear: Stay home.“To those who threaten the safety of our community, our police officers, who damage property, we will not tolerate your criminal actions,” Craig told reporters. “Our response will be both measured and effective.”Although Detroit is about 80% black, many of those arrested were white.“We support the right to free speech. We support peaceful protests,” Craig added. “If you want to disrupt, stay home and disrupt in your own community.”One person died in downtown Detroit after someone fired shots into a vehicle during a protest over Monday's death of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes.The shooting occurred about 11:30 p.m. Friday near Detroit’s Greektown entertainment district as officers were confronted with dozens of protesters. A police report released Saturday said the shooting victim, a 21-year-old Eastpointe man, was sitting in the driver’s seat of a silver Dodge Caliber in a parking lot with two other male occupants when an unknown person fired shots into the vehicle and fled on foot.About an hour after the shooting, police initially said the shooting suspect had pulled up in a Dodge Durango and fired shots into a crowd. That information was corrected following further investigation Saturday morning by officers.Authorities were still investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.Levels of violence also were high in other cities.Protesters in Washington threw pieces of bricks, bottles and other objects at Secret Service and U.S. Park Police officers behind barricades around the White House. Some officers were kicked and punched.Protesters in Richmond, Virginia, smashed windows Friday at police headquarters. Police in Houston said about 200 people were arrested and four officers were injured.As protesters blocked traffic in Chicago, some threw bottles and other objects at police vehicles and shattered the windows of downtown businesses.In Detroit, the demonstration began earlier in the day Friday and was peaceful as protesters marched by police headquarters. As evening wore on, some in the crowd became belligerent.Objects were thrown at police. A police captain was hospitalized after being struck in the head with a rock. Another officer injured a shoulder during a fall. Seven police vehicles were damaged.Officers, many in riot gear, confronted the demonstrators and formed lines across streets during the demonstration. But by midnight, the crowd had thinned considerably as police shot canisters of gas toward the protesters.If people from outside Detroit want to protest, they should do it in their own communities, said Ray Winans, one of several activists who participated in Saturday’s news conference.“If black lives matter, advocate with those officers in your community and those suburbs and let them know (that) sometimes you don’t have to pull over black folks just because they’re driving through (your) communities,” Winans said.But, if African Americans behaved the same way in some suburban cities, the result could be far different, he added.“If any of our black and brown boys from Detroit would have went to any of those suburbs and threw bricks and rocks ... they probably would have got murdered," Winans said.Corey Williams, The Associated Press

  • 'It's taking a toll': former Sask. resident volunteers as nurse in NYC hospital during pandemic
    News
    CBC

    'It's taking a toll': former Sask. resident volunteers as nurse in NYC hospital during pandemic

    A former Saskatchewan resident has volunteered to be a nurse in New York City — the epicentre of COVID-19 in the United States. He knew it would be tough, but didn't know just how much of a toll it would take on him. Anil Gorania, who moved from Saskatchewan to the U.S. in 2008 and became a nurse, says he was compelled to volunteer at New York's busy hospitals during the pandemic. "I saw people suffering on the news and I immediately thought of the nurses," said Gorania."I thought of how overwhelmed they were … I know what those words mean when they're saying there's a four-to-one patient ratio in the ICU and patients in the hallway. That means some of those patients were dying alone. And I couldn't stand by and do nothing."Anil Gorania was born in Swift Current and spent more than 30 years living in Regina. He and his family now reside in Oregon. But Gorania says he still considers Regina to be his home. Gorania has been working at multiple hospitals in New York City for the past month. He says nurses are under immense emotional, mental and physical stress as they deal with high COVID-19 death tolls and constant interruptions to their duties, like new emergency room arrivals and patients crashing. "I don't think I can do another month. It's ravaging my mind," Gorania said. "I'm going to need a psychiatrist, or a therapy group at the very least. These stories of these people and all these patients gather in my mind. And every one of them is there for life. They're not going to leave. Those patients are in my mind forever."Gorania says nurses are used to saving more people than they lose in intensive care units. But that has not been the case during the pandemic. Gorania says it's very common to see nurses crying in the hall either because of the stress or because of losing another patient. "It's hard to see a battle-hardened nurse fall apart. But when you see a battle-hardened attending doctor who's been there for years and seen everything turn his head away to hide his tears ... it's amazing. It's shocking."Constant sirensGorania says the shocking reality of the pandemic hit him as soon as he arrived in New York City a month ago, "It was traumatizing from day one. Before I even reached the hospital, the wail of sirens shrieking through the night was constant."He says he was initially shell-shocked because healthcare workers are required to put on a mask before they even enter the hospital. This is because all the air is contaminated in the building.  "The fear struck right then," he says. Gorania says there are story cards on patients' doors that show the patients when they were healthy, as well their families. The purpose of this is to humanize the person with COVID-19. "You look at the picture and then you walk in the room and they're unrecognizable. You can count 10 to 20 different lines coming in and out of every part of their body."Gorania says this is taking a toll on healthcare workers. He says is not just the elderly and unhealthy that are dying — it is the young as well."These scars are going to cut deep and they're going to cut forever. I find myself crying three times a day, randomly."Many nurses express their concerns about having or getting PTSD, says Gorania. But he says the New York hospital he is currently working at has done a good job of providing meditation options, emotional support and respite for struggling healthcare workers.Gorania says that while the COVID-19 situation in New York hospitals is improving, it is still bad. He says he will stay and help as long as he can, as there are not enough nurses working on the front lines. "But I'm struggling to see that I can do another month."

  • Cancelled cruise ship season 'devastating', say P.E.I. business owners
    Business
    CBC

    Cancelled cruise ship season 'devastating', say P.E.I. business owners

    Joan Judson was bracing for a tough year, but she didn't realize how bad it was going to get. Judson operates Rusty Rover Tours in Stratford, which has provided guided tours of Prince Edward Island for the past seven years.Nearly 90 per cent of Judson's business comes from cruise ships.When the federal government announced the cruise line industry was effectively shut down this summer, she decided to shut down her business permanently.  The company employed five people part-time. "We had planned on easing back this year, we're not quite as young as we used to be," said Judson. 'We're closing down permanently'"We did have reservations, but once the virus started the reservations were cancelled one right after the other. So we just decided that was it, we're closing down permanently."The federal government extended its ban on cruise ships with overnight accommodations for more than 100 people in Canadian waters until Oct. 31, effectively ending the cruise ship season for P.E.I.Transport Canada's measures are meant to contain the spread of COVID-19. In March, the government had banned cruise ship visits to Canadian ports until at least July 1. In early May that was extended until the end of August.Shane Campbell's restaurant, Water Prince Corner Shop in Charlottetown, is usually lined up in every direction when there is a cruise ship in port.This year, the restaurant — which has been operating for nearly 30 years — sits empty. Instead of 33 full and part-time staff, Campbell said he's operating with eight staff focused on take-out food. Campbell described it as "devastating." He said they were hoping the cruise ships may have returned later in the summer season, but those hopes were dashed with Friday's announcement. 'You're looking at a 90 per cent loss in revenue'"We'll survive but it won't be easy," said Campbell. "No one ever would have predicted this in their wildest dreams." Victoria Row, the pedestrian mall in historic downtown Charlottetown, is usually teeming with shoppers when there is a cruise ship in port.   Bill Watters owns Northern Watters Knitwear, one of the dozen or so businesses on Victoria Row.Watters said his stress level is through the roof as he looks across at an empty store. On Saturday, Watters said he had only one customer through his door. "It's scary," said Watters, who has been in business for 13 years."Businesses like ourselves with cruise ships and bus tours, especially in the fall with the bus tours and the extra cruise ships, you're looking at a 90 per cent loss in revenue for the year."   'A lot of hardship'Northern Watters Knitwear usually employs 18 people with its stores in Charlottetown and Halifax. This year, it will operate with eight people.  "There will be businesses that will not be able to recover from the last two months of shutdown because everybody had hoped that we'd get back to some kind of a good tourism [season] and it's not going to happen so it's devastating," said Watters.  Port Charlottetown was preparing for a banner cruise ship season.  They were projecting 154,000 passengers and about 73,000 crew, which they say would have pumped more than $60 million into the P.E.I. economy.Judson said she's one of the lucky ones because she's out of the business now. She says she is going to miss it, especially the people she got to meet while on the tours. But she feels for those who are still trying to keep their doors open. "Some of the guys that are still in are going to face quite a lot of hardship," she said.  "I guess, just dig in your heels and hope for next year." COVID-19: What you need to knowWhat are the symptoms of COVID-19?Common symptoms include: * Fever. * Cough. * Tiredness.But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.Health Canada has built a self-assessment tool.What should I do if I feel sick?Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.How can I protect myself? * Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. * Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. * Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.More COVID-19 stories from CBC P.E.I.

  • Protests over police killing of George Floyd hit Washington and Atlanta
    News
    CBC

    Protests over police killing of George Floyd hit Washington and Atlanta

    Demonstrations continued for another night in U.S. cities following killing of a black man by police in Minneapolis.

  • Planning a Canadian vacation? Some provinces may be off limits. Here's what you need to know
    News
    CBC

    Planning a Canadian vacation? Some provinces may be off limits. Here's what you need to know

    This summer, many Canadians may choose to explore their own country due to closed borders and concerns about contracting COVID-19 while travelling abroad. "People will be sticking closer to home, going out in the cars because they [have] control. It's their bubble," said Allison Wallace, spokesperson for travel agency Flight Centre. Despite the pandemic, Canadians will still be able to visit national and provincial parks and stay in hotels.But before hitting the road or booking a flight, it's important to first check the rules of the province you want to visit.Currently, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and the territories are banning visitors from other provinces.Provinces in the rest of Canada are advising against non-essential travel, but their borders are still open to Canadian travellers. Visitors to Manitoba and Nova Scotia, however, will first have to self-isolate for 14-days — a rule that's likely to keep many people away. Staying close to home safest bet Provinces may ease — or tighten — their travel rules this summer, depending on their COVID-19 numbers, so it's also important to stay up-to-date on your desired destination. "Everybody is navigating this differently based on the situation they have locally, so we may see some provinces move at a different pace than others," said Elliott Silverstein with CAA Insurance. The CAA — the Canadian Automobile Association — provides both auto and travel services. And if the current restrictions and advisories remain, your safest bet this summer may be to stay close to home. "If these barriers — if they're not removed — it will effectively lead people … to travel within your own province," said Silverstein. The current travel rules for each province are listed below. Note that Canadians entering any province from another country must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. N.B., N.L. and P.E.I.Until further notice, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island have closed their borders to out-of-province visitors to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. In New Brunswick and P.E.I., peace officers stationed at land border crossings are authorized to turn travellers away if they attempt to enter. "It goes against Islanders' nature to not welcome visitors to the province, but it is what is needed at this time," said P.E.I. government spokesperson Vickie Tse in an email.However, the island is set to make an exception for some out-of-towners: Canadians with seasonal properties on P.E.I. can request entry by submitting an application on June 1. Those who get approval will be allowed to drive through New Brunswick to get to P.E.I.New Brunswick may also let in cottage owners from other provinces sometime this summer. Provinces shutting their borders to fellow Canadians has raised concerns from both legal experts and some travellers.Kim Taylor of Halifax was devastated when Newfoundland and Labrador refused her request earlier this month to attend her mother's funeral in the province. She was allowed in 11 days later — after speaking publicly about her case. Last week, Taylor and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association launched a court challenge against Newfoundland and Labrador, alleging its border ban is unconstitutional.  The Newfoundland and Labrador government told CBC News it couldn't comment on a case before the courts.WATCH | Travel bubbles considered for regions with low COVID-19 cases:Residents in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and P.E.I. can visit other parts of Canada, but must self-isolate for 14 days upon their return — a high price to pay for an out-of-province vacation. Residents may also pay a high price if they break the rules. A New Brunswick doctor recently travelled to Quebec for personal reasons, didn't self-isolate when he returned and wound up infecting at least eight other New Brunswickers with COVID-19. He has since been suspended from practising in the province.Man. and N.S.Manitoba and Nova Scotia haven't shut their borders, but they aren't putting out the welcome mat, either. Anyone visiting Manitoba or Nova Scotia — or returning from a trip to another province — must self-isolate for 14 days. Travellers driving through Manitoba are asked to stop only when necessary to access essential services. Manitoba has also banned non-essential travel to its northern and remote regions to help prevent the COVID-19 spread in the province. Alta., B.C., Ont., Que. and Sask.Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan aren't banning travellers from other provinces or mandating that they self-isolate for 14 days. However, they all advise against non-essential travel at this time. > Don't cross the border. We love our Quebec neighbours, but just wait until this is all over. \- Ontario Premier Doug Ford"Don't cross the border. We love our Quebec neighbours, but just wait until this is all over," Ontario Premier Doug Ford stated earlier this month when asked about Quebecers visiting Ontario.If you do decide to visit Alberta, B.C. or Saskatchewan, don't plan on pitching a tent at a provincially run campground; until further notice, their campsites will only be available to residents in their province. Quebec and Saskatchewan have also restricted non-essential travel to certain remote northern regions in their province as a precautionary measure during the pandemic. Anyone entering Saskatchewan from another part of Canada is advised to self-monitor their health for 14 days and to self-isolate at the first sign of any COVID-19 symptoms. What about the territories?Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon prohibit non-essential travel to their regions, and returning travellers must self-isolate for 14 days.

  • Residents of small Quebec town want popular campground closed over COVID-19 fears
    Health
    CBC

    Residents of small Quebec town want popular campground closed over COVID-19 fears

    Every summer, a small town about an hour southwest of Montreal fills with folks looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life — cramming into Lac des Pins campground near the New York border.Residents of nearby Franklin, Que., were already tired of the crowds, but now with the threat of COVID-19 looming, more than 2,000 people have signed an online petition to keep the campground closed.Camping is allowed across the province as of June 1, but Lac des Pins isn't opening until June 12, and its owner, Nancy Rochefort says it will not be business as usual."We are very aware of the virus and do not want to infect anyone at all," Rochefort wrote in an email to CBC News.Rochefort did not comment about the petition itself, but did outline some of the new rules. Only seasonal campers will be allowed, day visitors will be prohibited and seasonal employees won't be required to report for duty.Disinfectants will be on hand, food services will be take-out only, employees will adorn personal protective equipment and there will be signs everywhere people will have to sign a contract saying they will keep a safe distance from each other."[Campers] must do their shopping in their municipality before arriving at the campground," Rochefort said. "If they have flu symptoms, they should leave immediately and go home."Petition calls for campground to stay closedRegardless of those efforts, residents are still worried.The Haut-Saint-Laurent region is a "tight-knit rural community that has seen minimal impact from the COVID-19 pandemic to date" and that's largely due to public health restrictions, the online petition says.Concerned that people from Montreal, the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada, may spread the virus when they come to town, the petition asks the government to consider the campground as a large gathering, which are prohibited until Aug. 31.Catherine Bélanger, a family doctor and medical co-ordinator for the region, says she is worried about outbreaks in the community if symptomatic people access local health-care services."They don't always know the best way to access health services," she said. "They'll just go to the emergency room."Bélanger said the area has been spared the devastation COVID-19 has caused in other parts of Quebec."We have very few cases," she said. "We have to keep that hospital COVID free."Public health officials preach cautionDr. Gaston De Serres, epidemiologist from Quebec's public health research institute (INSPQ), said travellers must adhere to public health guidelines."If you are travelling to other regions, you have to be very cautious," De Serres said."You really have to apply, 100 per cent of the time, all these measures that we are repeating that are necessary to prevent transmission. If that happens, even if people are travelling within regions, the risk will be much lower."Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec's public health director, is discouraging Montrealers from travelling far from the city."Stay around. We'll see what will happen in the next two weeks.... Try not to mix up with others," he said on Friday. "Keep your mask on."

  • News
    CBC

    Protesters block downtown Vancouver streets as unrest over killing of George Floyd grows in U.S.

    Around 100 people marched through downtown Vancouver on Saturday evening protesting the police killing of George Floyd earlier this week in Minneapolis.The demonstrators marched in the Downtown Eastside area chanting "black lives matter" in the rain as protesters in the U.S. condemn the deaths of black people by police, leaving cities from New York to Seattle with broken windows and ransacked buildings and stores.The protests began in Minneapolis after a police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes as the man said "I can't breathe."In an email, the Vancouver Police Department said the protest is disrupting traffic in all directions in the East Hastings and Main Street area."For the most part people are behaved and there have not been any arrests," Sgt. Aaron Roed said."We will be updating any traffic disruptions on our social media channels."National Guard mobilized as riots intensify across U.S.The officer who held his knee to Floyd's neck as he begged for air was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Many protesters are demanding the arrests of the three other officers involved.At least a dozen major U.S. cities have imposed overnight curfews as protests intensify.Hundreds of people were arrested Friday, and police used batons, rubber bullets and pepper spray to push back crowds in some cities. Many departments reported injured officers, while social media was awash in images of police using forceful tactics, throwing protesters to the ground, using bicycles as shields and trampling one protester while on horseback.Police in St. Louis were investigating the death of a protester who climbed between two trailers of a Fed Ex truck and was killed when it drove away. And a person was killed in the area of protests in downtown Detroit just before midnight after someone fired shots into an SUV, officers said. Police had initially said someone fired into the crowd from an SUV.Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz fully mobilized the state's National Guard and promised a massive show of force."The situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd," Walz said. "It is about attacking civil society, instilling fear and disrupting our great cities."

  • UN sets pandemic voting rules for Canada's Security Council campaign
    News
    The Canadian Press

    UN sets pandemic voting rules for Canada's Security Council campaign

    OTTAWA — The United Nations has confirmed that the election for non-permanent seats on the Security Council — which pits Canada against Norway and Ireland — will take place in June under unprecedented new rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19.The 193 ambassadors will cast their votes on behalf of their countries in a secret ballot with the three candidates vying for two available temporary seats on the UN's most powerful body.But the vote won't take place during a full meeting of the General Assembly because New York has become the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak and that has forced UN diplomats to work from home and rely on videoconferencing.Instead, the ambassadors will be notified in advance to come to a designated venue at UN headquarters — a staggered, solitary procession that will see the world's leading diplomats presenting their UN security passes and then being given paper ballots. The ambassadors will be assigned different time slots to come to the UN to cast their ballots to avoid a mass gathering during the pandemic.The details were released in a memo that has been under consideration by the UN ambassadors for more than a week, and that carried a Friday-night deadline to reach a consensus."Enabling the (General Assembly) to carry out its essential duties is one of my top priorities during this challenging time," Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the Nigerian diplomat currently serving as the president of the General Assembly, said in a tweet on Friday night. Marc-Andre Blanchard, Canada's ambassador to the UN, said the country is ready for a June vote if it can be done in a safe way and carried out with respect for UN voting rules."This is uncharted territory. This has never been done," Blanchard said in a recent interview."We need to make sure the institutions are actually adapted to this reality," he added."This is not a military war we are facing. It's a health-care crisis and the biggest economic and financial crisis that we have seen since 1929."The vote was originally set for June 17. The new rules do not specify exactly when the ballot will occur, other than sometime in the month.Two of the competing countries will need at least 128 votes each, or two-thirds support of the assembly, to win a two year-term that would begin next year. That could mean multiple rounds of voting.Blanchard said he expected the race to be hotly contested in the "Western European and Others Group," the most competitive of the UN's geographic blocs, where Canada faces formidable opponents.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been courting the support of large voting blocs in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean because European countries are expected to rally around Norway and Ireland. This past week, Trudeau co-hosted a major UN meeting on rebuilding the global economy after the pandemic.Canada is running on a platform of trying to help rebuild the post-pandemic world. In a joint press video press conference with Trudeau, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tacitly endorsed Canada's ability to convene larger groups of countries to serve the greater international good — a key plank in Canada's platform for the council.Blanchard wouldn't say how much support Canada has been able to garner, but the secret balloting process in the UN has been notorious for deception that has seen countries promise support but take it away when an ambassador casts his or her secret vote.Blanchard said Canada's campaign for the council rests on what it has been doing to help fight the pandemic. That includes convening like-minded countries to ensure food security in developing countries, keeping vital supply chains open across the globe, and working on new financing models to help struggling countries whose economies have been devastated by the pandemic."In other parts of the world, one of the biggest threats is access to food at this time of pandemic when the supply chain is disrupted, where there's no transportation," said Blanchard.Canada hopes to bridge the differences on the security council — where permanent members Russia and China have been at odds with the U.S., Britain and France — by proposing they all work together towards a common good: the need to elevate economic conditions in all countries after the pandemic.Canada lost its last bid for a security council seat in 2010 when tiny Portugal won more support. Canada had previously served six stints on the council, one each in the six previous decades.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2020.Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press

  • Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

    TORONTO — Thousands of protesters took to the streets of downtown Toronto on Saturday, chanting "justice for Regis" as they rallied in the aftermath of high-profile, police-involved deaths in both Canada and the United States.The protest follows the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto on Tuesday, which is currently being probed by the province's police watchdog. The 29-year-old fell from the balcony of a 24th-floor Toronto apartment while police were in the home.As the demonstration moved through the city's downtown, people shouted in support from their balconies and protesters held signs proclaiming "Blue Lives Batter, Black Lives Matter" and "We Want Answers.""We've been protesting and now everyone is watching and now people are mobilizing. We can see the power we have in numbers so this won't stop any time soon," said Cara McArthur, who is black, Cree and Sioux.The peaceful rally, organized by a group dubbed Not Another Black Life, also came on the heels of an incident in Minnesota that has triggered protests in the United States, some of which have turned violent.A police officer is now facing a murder charge in the death of George Floyd, a black man caught on film pleading for air as an officer knelt on his neck.In Toronto, protesters chanted "not another black life," "abolish the police," and "no justice, no peace" as they wound through the downtown streets clad in face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.Their chants could be heard from several blocks away during what was a passionate but organized march.Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence.A heavy police presence followed the rally, which ended at Toronto police headquarters instead of its scheduled finish at Queen's Park.A small group protesting COVID-19 lockdowns was gathered there on Saturday, and Not Another Black Life explained the change of plans on Instagram."We are not going to Queen's Park due to white supremacy," they wrote.Speakers during the march said they understood people's anger, and tried to get those marching to do breathing exercises when the march stopped due to the detour.Organizers asked the crowd to disperse shortly after arriving at police headquarters, but a small group of protesters stayed and continued chanting slogans at officers.A lawyer representing Korchinski-Paquet's family said her relatives do not want to see violence, only answers as to how and why she died.In a statement released Saturday, lawyer Knia Singh says the family did not organize or plan the protest. The family says it thanks organizers for bringing attention to a "very serious matter."Earlier in the week, Korchinski-Paquet's mother said that she called officers to the apartment asking them to take her daughter to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. She said she never thought her daughter could have ended up dead.At the protest, McArthur said that was incomprehensible."A mother shouldn't call the police for help and the result of the call is her being taken away in a body bag," she said. "It shouldn't happen when someone calls the police. They're supposedly here to help."She added that the support of non-black demonstrators was vital to their cause. McArthur said it was good that some white people attended, but she wanted to see more people in future protests."I just hope that we can continue to do this and it's not forgotten after today," she said.Following the rally, Toronto Mayor John Tory said he shares in the protesters' rejection of anti-black racism and desire for answers in Korchinski-Paquet's death."An independent investigation is being conducted by the Special Investigations Unit and I repeat my urgent request for this investigation to be conducted on an expedited basis," he said on Twitter."The investigation itself must be thorough and transparent and must include frequent public updates, not usually a feature of SIU investigations. The results of that investigation will tell us exactly what happened."Tory said it's time to renew efforts to combat racism and descrimination.The Toronto Raptors issued a statement expressing their support for the movement late Saturday, though they didn't name any specific people involved."While we grieve for those we have lost, we know grieving is not enough. We must honour their memory by acknowledging these ills exist, confronting them, and coming together to create a better society," they wrote. "It is far past time."Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders also appeared during the protest. He called for calm earlier in the week and has said he wants to expedite the roll-out of police body cameras as a result of Korchinski-Paquet's death.Meanwhile, police said hundreds attended a similar protest in Halifax on Saturday. No arrests were made."We respect the public's right to a peaceful protest," Staff Sgt. R. Scott MacDonald said."Police were on hand simply to ensure the safety of the participants and the public. We appreciate that attendees conducted themselves in a peaceful manner."A rally also is scheduled for Montreal on Sunday.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2020.— With files from Kevin Bissett.Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected story. An incorrect date for the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet appeared in a previous version.

  • Police cars burn, windows shatter as protests roil New York
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Police cars burn, windows shatter as protests roil New York

    NEW YORK — Street protests spiraled into New York City’s worst day of unrest in decades Saturday, as fires burned, windows got smashed and dangerous confrontations between demonstrators and officers flared amid crowds of thousands decrying police killings.A day that began with mostly peaceful marches through Harlem and neighbourhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens descended into chaos as night fell.Demonstrators smashed windows, hurled objects at officers, torched and battered police vehicles and blocked roads with garbage and wreckage. A handful of stores in Manhattan had their windows broken and merchandise stolen.Officers sprayed crowds with chemicals, and video showed two police cruisers lurching into a crowd of demonstrators on a Brooklyn street, knocking several to the ground, after people attacked it with thrown objects, including something on fire. It was unclear whether anyone was hurt.It was the third straight day of protests in the city over the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota, a remarkable outburst after most New Yorkers spent the past two months stuck inside as the coronavirus devastated the city. A night earlier, several thousand people faced off with a force of officers on the streets around a Brooklyn sports arena.The NYPD said at least 120 people were arrested and at least 15 police vehicles damaged or destroyed.New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, blamed the destruction on a small number of agitators who he said “do not represent this city” and were purposely trying to incite violence against police.“We appreciate and respect all peaceful protest, but now it is time for people to go home,” de Blasio told reporters outside the city's emergency management headquarters just after 11:30 p.m.“What we’re seeing is people coming in from outside, a lot of them are purporting to speak about the issues of communities of colour, but a lot of them are not from communities of colour,” de Blasio said on the local cable news station NY1.Elsewhere in the state, the mayor in Rochester declared a state of emergency and a 9 p.m. curfew after demonstrators destroyed police cars, setting one on fire, and officers responded with tear gas canisters. Albany police used tear gas and rode horses in efforts to quell demonstrators throwing objects. In Buffalo, numerous storefronts had their windows smashed and a person tried to start a fire in City Hall.The protests in each city were all held in defiance of a statewide ban on gatherings imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.“This is bigger than the pandemic,” said Brooklyn protester Meryl Makielski, referring to the outbreak that, until recently, was killing hundreds of New Yorkers each day. “The mistakes that are happening are not mistakes. They’re repeated violent terrorist offences and people need to stop killing black people. Cops seem as though they’ve been trained to do so.”Earlier in the day, de Blasio had expressed solidarity with demonstrators upset about police brutality, but promised an independent review of demonstrations Friday night in which a mob set fire to a police van and battered police cruisers with clubs and officers beat people with batons.Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he had asked the state's attorney general, Letitia James, to lead an inquiry and make a public report.The mayor said he was upset by videos of confrontations “where protesters were handled very violently” by police, including one that showed a woman being needlessly thrown to the ground.But he defended officers in the streets, saying they were being subjected “to horrible, vile things.” Of the video of officers driving into a crowd Saturday, de Blasio said it would be investigated, but that the officers acted because they were being attacked.Violence early Saturday resulted in federal charges against three people suspected of building and throwing Molotov cocktails at police vehicles in two separate incidents in Brooklyn.The U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn said Samantha Shader, 27, of Catskill, New York, admitted under questioning to throwing her device at a van occupied by four officers. It did not ignite and the officers were unharmed, police said. Shader’s sister, Dorian, was also arrested and will face charges in state court, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office said.Colinford Mattis, 32, and Urooj Rahman, 31, both of Brooklyn, are accused of targeting a police van. They were charged under a federal statute regarding the use of fire and explosives to cause damage to a police vehicle and each face 5 to 20 years in prison if convicted.Information on their lawyers was not immediately available.Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said more than 200 people were arrested and multiple officers were injured in Friday night's protests, including one who lost a tooth.Asked to comment on videos that showed officers shoving peaceful protesters to the ground and hitting people with batons, Shea said those acts would be investigated.But, he said, “It is very hard to practice de-escalation when there is a brick being thrown at your head.”“It is by the grace of God that we don’t have dead officers today,” he said.In a peaceful gathering Saturday afternoon, the Rev. Al Sharpton addressed several hundred people in Staten Island at the spot where Eric Garner died after being placed in a chokehold by a police officer in 2014. He was accompanied by Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr.Sharpton noted that Floyd, who died Monday in Minneapolis after an officer pressed his knee into his neck, had also fallen unconscious gasping for air.“Right at this spot is where we heard Eric Garner say what six years later was said by George: ‘I can’t breathe.’”Cuomo noted that Floyd's death was just the latest in a long list of similar deaths, and he said he shared in the outrage over “this fundamental injustice.”“But violence is not the answer. It never is the answer," he said. “The violence obscures the righteousness of the message and the mission.”___Associated Press writers Karen Matthews, Jennifer Peltz, Michael R. Sisak, Tom Hays, Maria Sanminiatelli and Robert Bumsted in New York, Dave Collins in Hartford, Connecticut, and John Wawrow in Buffalo contributed to this report.Jake Seiner, The Associated Press

  • Minneapolis violence shows police learned few lessons from Ferguson riots, experts say
    News
    CBC

    Minneapolis violence shows police learned few lessons from Ferguson riots, experts say

    The fires, violence and looting sparked by video of a Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee on the neck of an unarmed black man who later died show that law enforcement has learned little since the riots in Ferguson, Mo., experts say."It's just like Ferguson didn't happen; because we failed to learn the lessons that came out of understanding the root cause of mass protests in this country and how to handle mass protests in this country," said Roy E. Alston, a former member of the Dallas Police Department in Texas.Alston was part of the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) assessment team that wrote a 188-page report into the 2014 demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo. Those riots followed the shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown.The report found a number of problems in the police response, including inconsistent leadership, failure to understand endemic problems in the community, withholding information that should have been made public and reliance on military-style equipment.'Police are handling very poorly'"Here we find ourselves in 2020 with mass protests in Minneapolis based on a event that the police are handling very poorly," Alston said.There is a complete void in trust between the police and communities of colour, the former officer added.WATCH | Anger over killing of Floyd George sparks protests across U.S.:Charles Drago, a former police chief for Oviedo, Fla., is a police instructor and career police officer who specializes in police practices and use of force. He agreed that the lessons of Ferguson have been lost."Have we not learned anything from Ferguson? My answer is we have not," Drago said. "We have very short memories, unfortunately. And in policing, I guess we've been famous for that."The streets of Minneapolis have been the scene of arson, looting and vandalism since the death of George Floyd, who had been arrested by police on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill. Floyd was on the ground face down and handcuffed while one officer held his knee on his neck for more than eight minutes, according to a criminal complaint. At one point, Floyd stopped breathing.On Friday, Derek Chauvin, 44, who has been fired from the force, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the case.That same day, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz acknowledged the "abject failure" of the response to the protests.Alston suggested the Minneapolis police force has done a poor job in communicating to the public about the arrest and death of Floyd."We learned in Ferguson, Missouri, communication was the most important. When an incident happened, the foremost authority on that incident must be the police. They must speak to the incident and be transparent in what they know and what they deliver," he said."They must allow people to respond in a manner in which people feel respected and that their voices are being heard."Alston said while Minneapolis police don't look militarized, they appear to be ready to respond in a manner that will actually incite more anger."So you show up heavily armed, heavily positioned against the protesters. That literally excites protest."Reach out to communityAlston said police officials need to reach out to community, business, religious leaders and protest organizers, get them all in a room, and come up with a strategy to suppress the violence."The police can't do that. They can't show up in all of their police glory and tell people 'Enough is enough.' You can't do that. They have to work through their intermediaries.""And within a very short period of time if it's done very effectively, this will become very quiet."Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice professor David Carter was a leader of that Ferguson assessment in 2014. He said it is important to keep in mind that demonstrators are often angry at the institution of policing, not individual officers.However, police need to be hyper-cognizant of appearances, he said."Officers standing shoulder to shoulder with riot gear and stern looks will be extensively shared in social media and will continue to enrage the community with false narratives," he said in an email to CBC News. "In Ferguson this was like a wildfire that couldn't be put out."To avoid such violent flare ups, Drago stressed that police departments need to have a rapport and a relationship with their community before the incident happens."We see what happens when there's no relationship. We've seen it over and over again across the country.""And if that community doesn't trust the city, the municipality, the police department, this is what happens," he said. "It's not just protests. It's not just people speaking out. It's just out of control because there's so much frustration."To help quell the anger, police need to be absolutely transparent on every aspect of the Floyd investigation, he said. "And that may mean every day, two times a day, alerting the press as to what's happening or where they're going, what occurred, what they know occurred, what video they may have, whatever it is."Drago said he didn't know enough of the details to comment on the overall policing ground strategy in Minneapolis. But he did criticize the tactics of some of their arrest teams."[They] are chasing people down alleys, over several streets. And I don't know why they're doing that, because that's not a proper tactic. If they flee from you and they're running, you let them go. You don't just keep chasing them and throw tear-gas grenades at them.""They need to focus on what's important, that is protecting people's lives. And then second, protecting property and taking up positions in those places."WATCH | Protesters set police station on fire:David Couper, the former chief of police in Madison, Wisc., and a proponent of de-escalation strategies which became known as the Madison Method, said Minneapolis officials could take lessons from at least one of the officers involved in policing the Ferguson riots. Lt. Jerry Lohr of the St. Louis County Police was heralded by some for his non-confrontational approach." He would stand out in front of the Ferguson station and just talk to people," Couper said.Couper, who is now a priest, said it was also important for the Minneapolis police chief to have apologized for the incident, over and over again."That's never been a practice of policing. You've got to be able to apologize. You're going to make mistakes out there. You've got to be able to say, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry.'"

  • Police accountability must be addressed by lawmakers, says former NAACP leader
    News
    CBC

    Police accountability must be addressed by lawmakers, says former NAACP leader

    Protests against the killing of George Floyd continued Friday night, even after charges were laid against one of the officers involved. Cornell Brooks, the former leader of the NAACP, says police accountability must be addressed by national and state lawmakers.