A historic meeting between Israel's prime minister and Saudi Arabia's crown prince has sent a strong signal to allies and enemies alike that the two countries remain deeply committed to containing their common foe Iran. Last Sunday's covert meeting in the Saudi city of Neom, confirmed by Israeli officials but publicly denied by Riyadh, conveyed a coordinated message to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden that Washington's main allies in the region are closing ranks. It was the first publicly confirmed visit to Saudi Arabia by an Israeli leader and a meeting that was unthinkable until recently as the two countries do not have formal diplomatic relations.
OTTAWA — The first COVID-19 vaccine could be approved for use in Canada within two weeks, Health Canada's chief medical adviser said Thursday.The department's medicine review team is currently reviewing three COVID-19 vaccines — one from Pfizer and BioNtech, a second from Moderna and a third from AstraZeneca.Dr. Supriya Sharma said at a briefing to reporters in Ottawa that the Pfizer review is the most advanced of the three and that Health Canada is working alongside similar review teams in the United States and Europe."We're basically looking at the same data packages. We have very similar authorization pathways that are available for public health emergencies," she said."The way that the reviews are progressing is that we're expecting to make a final decision on the vaccines around the same time as the (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and the European Medicines Agency."The FDA is to meet Dec. 10 to decide on approving the Pfizer vaccine. Pfizer is set to ship more than six million doses as soon as that happens.Sharma was less definitive about when Canadians will start getting vaccinated. She said it is possible the first doses could arrive before the end of December but seemed to think it more realistic for them to start shipping here in January.Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses from Pfizer and the option to buy another 56 million. The first four million are supposed to arrive between January and March.A Pfizer spokeswoman told The Canadian Press Thursday there is no exact date yet for shipments to Canada, adding the timing will depend on when it gets approved."We are working with urgency in collaboration with stakeholders, including Health Canada and public health decision makers, to bring our vaccine candidate to Canada in a timely manner," Christina Antoniou said.Pfizer reported preliminary results from its clinical trials earlier this month, claiming their genetics-based vaccine is 94.5 per cent effective.Sharma said Health Canada typically assigns seven to 12 people to review a new vaccine for approval, and that those people will go through hundreds of thousands of pages of data. It's normally a process that takes more than 2,000 hours.Sharma said they are dedicating even more people to the process for COVID-19, but said safety is a top priority when it comes to deciding if the vaccine can be used in Canada."We will only authorize a vaccine if its benefits outweigh its risks," said Sharma.Pfizer is just one of seven vaccines Canada has a purchase agreement to get. None of the vaccines have completed clinical trials yet and Health Canada would still need to approve all of them once they do.Opposition MPs are growing weary of the lack of specific information the federal Liberals are providing on the vaccine plan. They peppered Health Minister Patty Hajdu with questions about it at a committee hearing in the House of Commons Thursday night, including about Canada's own vaccine production capacity, details of the negotiations to get the Can-Sino vaccine from China which fell apart in the summer, and when Health Canada first learned the Pfizer vaccine needed specialty freezers to keep it at temperatures below -70C.Hajdu dodged every question with talking points that referenced her pleasure at how many doses of vaccine Canadians will get and how there was a "whole of government approach."Conservative leader Erin O'Toole said sarcastically that he was certain Canadians would be thrilled to find they'll get the most doses two years from now.NDP health critic Don Davies was equally exasperated when he got no answer to when provinces are being asked to have their vaccine administration plans ready, or why Australia has a fully laid out vaccine rollout plan and Canada does not."Perhaps if the minister isn't going to answer the questions she can do it succinctly," he suggested.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press
Phog Lounge owner Tom Lucier says he can't keep up with the constant change in COVID-19 regulations. In the last few weeks, Windsor-Essex has seen three different sets of regulations fall into place — on top of additional ones from the local health unit — after moving from the province's prevent "green" category to the protect "yellow" and finally landing in the restrict "orange" zone this week."Right now, they're essentially closing us without closing us and we're jumping through hoops day-to-day and it's just not fair, it's kind of silly," he said. When the categories first rolled out, Lucier said he anticipated the region would spend longer than a week in each category to fully see the impacts of those new restrictions. "I think some of the smarter business owners that I know have seen the writing on the wall so they've been expecting these changes," Lucier said. "I haven't been, I've been expecting longer chunks, my understanding was that we would switch to zones for a month or two weeks but they make changes faster."And he's not the only one feeling the overwhelmed and frustrated, according to chair of the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association Brian Yeomans, who said there is increasing frustration and concern among business owners. "[Businesses] did a fantastic job through the summer and making sure that everything was safe, they followed all those guidelines, they followed all the rules. And when things aren't getting better, they're the ones that are still being punished instead of people that are having these house parties, that are that are leaving and going and doing other things and that's infuriating," he said. The most upsetting part, Yeomans said, is that at the same time people are championing the "shop local" cause, they are also breaking the rules, which negatively impacts businesses. "We've listened to people talking about supporting local and supporting your small businesses. But every time you're going to a house party, you're putting those businesses at risk, because you're causing the cases to rise ... and it's infuriating," he said. Windsor-Essex health officials said Wednesday that based on case rate, the region technically already qualifies for the province's control "red" category. The next category after that is total lockdown. With this in mind, Yeomans said he hopes that the government has supports in place should Windsor-Essex need to lockdown again. I'm really hoping that the federal government will have some preparations in place, some plans, so that when, god forbid, we get put into a lockdown situation, that these small businesses aren't left in the lurch and left to fend for themselves," he said. "The whole city is is suffering from carelessness and irresponsibility of some." On Thursday, the health unit said it recognizes how changing categories can harm locals, and hopes to have a conversation with the province Friday before any decisions are made on whether the region will move into the red zone. Businesses hope to avoid lockdownSince the first wave of COVID-19, Cafe March says business isn't great but with the local farmers' market, now holiday market, they've benefited from the extra foot traffic. Yet with the red category looming, they worry the market could come to a premature end. "If we are moving to red then it's going to impact a lot more businesses," Cafe March 21 owner Henry Kim said. "I think it's going to impact us like really bad. And hopefully the farmer's market or the holiday market happening downtown Windsor right now it's staying because it's been helping us a lot."He said they'll continue to follow all the proper protocols but at the end of the day, it's out of their control. 'Rolling with the punches'All they can do is continue what they're doing, which includes "rolling with the punches," Lucier said. "It's frustrating because we are following a protocol and we are following that situation and it just keeps getting trimmed back and trimmed back and for us it'd be better if they just closed everything, subsidized and supported the staff," he said. And while times are tough all around, he said he appreciates the support from the community. "We're doing what we've been told, according to health officials. We are really grateful for that solidarity," he said. "I think all of us are I would have never expected people to be so responsible when they're here and responsive to all these wacky changes. So we're just grateful. We just hope that we can weather the worst of what's coming."
Places for People (P4P) will build Haliburton’s newest not-for-profit housing development on Wallings Road with the blessing of the municipality. Dysart et al council passed a resolution of support in principle to dispose of the property to begin the process of providing it for P4P. The not-for-profit is planning to develop 10-12 affordable housing units for $2-$2.5 million by fall 2022, raising money with community bonds. Since P4P first proposed this in August, deputy mayor Patrick Kennedy said the municipality has worked with them to find a municipal property that would work for the development. The road is off County Road 21 just past the high school, next to the First Student Canada site. “It’s a suitable piece of property, we believe. It’s close to the town for walking, very close on the sewage line,” Kennedy said. “I’m excited about moving this project forward.” Mayor Andrea Roberts said the municipality will work on a memorandum of understanding and a subcommittee with P4P to get all the needed elements in place to advance the project. P4P chair, Jody Curry, said the group has assembled a design team including an architect and a planning consultant ready to go to work. She said they know how to develop this land and plan to incorporate green space. “We’re excited to hear it may absolutely be possible you may grant us this property,” Curry said. “For us, this is just a perfect fit, so we can’t say enough about this piece of property. “Thanks, Dysart, for providing a great, big, exciting light in our future. And we’re hoping you’re going to make it a green light.” Coun. Larry Clarke said the project is vital to address the housing shortage in the area. “You talk to any business in town and there’s no place for them to house staff, even if they want to hire,” Clarke said. “This is a critical element for this community.” “We’ll keep the ball rolling on this one,” Roberts said. “You guys are shining lights of volunteerism in our community.”Joseph Quigley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Highlander
EDMONTON — The Venezuelan woman who believes she was used as part of Jason Kenney's argument not to lockdown restaurants in Alberta remembers her encounter with the premier as less dramatic than he suggested.Carolina De La Torre says Kenney got her central feelings correct, but she said she did not break down into tears the way Kenney recalled."No crying," the 57-year-old woman said with a laugh during a phone interview Thursday.She also said it was Kenney who approached her Calgary food court booth called Arepas Ranch for lunch in October, not the other way around as the premier told it.After weeks of mounting COVID-19 cases, as more than 1,000 new cases and 16 deaths were reported on Tuesday, Kenney announced new rules that included making indoor private social events illegal.During the news conference, Kenney gave an example of how much a lockdown would hurt businesses by telling the story of a Venezuelan refugee he met. "A couple of weeks ago, I was in my constituency, at a little food court thing and a new Albertan, a refugee from Venezuela socialism, came up to me," Kenney said."She had just opened a little food kiosk, she recognized me, she came up to me, and she broke down in tears in front of me saying, 'sir, I put my entire life savings as a refugee into this business, we're struggling to pay the bills, if you shut me down, I'm going to lose it all, everything, and I'll be in abject poverty.'""For some, perhaps, it is a little bit too easy to say just flick a switch. Shut them down," Kenney said."I would ask people who have the certainty of a paycheque to think for a moment about those individuals whose entire life savings are tied up in businesses."De La Torre and her husband run the booth, which is located a 10-minute drive from Kenney's constituency office. Born in Venezuela, De La Torre said she and her husband came to Canada with refugee status in 1989 when it became no longer safe to live there. They settled in Montreal for 25 years before they packed their bags and moved to Calgary to follow their daughter who was starting school at the University of Alberta.They have been living in Alberta for seven years and have been running Arepas Ranch for two years. They are known for making specialty arepas, which is a cornmeal patty, filled with a choice of shredded beef, chicken salad, black beans, ham, cheese, or other vegan and veggie options.At first, De La Torre said she didn't recognize Kenney when he stopped to order food and then someone from another booth told her it was the premier.De La Torre doesn't recall exactly what Kenney ordered, but she remembers the "very short" conversation they had when he came back to let them know the meal was "fantastico." She posted a picture of the premier on her Instagram. De La Torre said Kenney got her feelings right.She said it’s true that the couple put their money into the business and closing the economy would be bad for them. But she understands it’s about people’s health, which is what she told Kenney."What I said is, 'There has to be a balance between the economy and the health. There is not only me in this food court, we are more than 40 small businesses in the court that need to be open to make a way of life'."No one from Kenney's office immediately responded to a request for comment. De La Torre said when she heard Kenney mentioned her during a news conference, she was at first surprised.But now, "I didn't know what to think about it," she said."I don't know. What can I say? It's OK."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News FellowshipFakiha Baig, The Canadian Press
Premier John Horgan says his new cabinet appointed Thursday will focus on keeping people healthy and safe during the pandemic. The B.C. premier says he kept current Health Minister Adrian Dix in his same post and appointed former municipal affairs minister Selina Robinson as minister of finance to replace Carole James who did not run in last month’s election. Horgan says Ravi Khalon will be his point person to lead pandemic recovery efforts.
The new projected launch date for The Link rural bus service is May 3. Due to delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic in launching the service, Selwyn Township and project partners submitted a formal request to the Ministry of Transportation to extend the granting period to March 2025, according to Ann Currier, the township’s climate change co-ordinator. As a result, the service may be able to operate for four full years to ensure the service is sustainable. The ministry is still deliberating the request, Currier said. Updates will be provided throughout the winter months as officials continue preparing for the service’s launch, she said.Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
Two people arrested by the RCMP Gang Task had more court appearances but the matters were adjourned. Matthew Greer, 34, of Biggar, and Rae Ahenakew, 40, of Mosquito First Nation, were scheduled to enter pleas in North Battleford Provincial Court on Nov. 23. They were arrested Sept. 2 after police say they saw two parked vehicles “interacting” with one another in a parking lot on Railway Avenue. Police also noticed weapons in one of the vehicles and one of the occupants was known to have an outstanding arrest warrant. Police searched the vehicle and found a firearm, weapons, a Taser, quantities of cocaine, crack cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. Desiree Hinse, 24, of Biggar, and Shynia Skeavington, 24, of Mosquito First Nation, were also arrested. They were charged with weapons and drug offences. Greer is scheduled to enter a plea in North Battleford Provincial Court on Jan. 25, 2021. Ahenakew is scheduled to enter a plea on Jan. 12, 2021. Both Skeavnington and Hinse failed to appear in North Battleford Provincial Court and bench warrants for their arrest were issuedLisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
VICTORIA — B.C. Premier John Horgan's new cabinet relies on some familiar faces in key positions with Adrian Dix remaining in health and David Eby at attorney general, but he appointed new finance and education ministers Thursday in an expanded inner circle that will focus on keeping people safe through the pandemic.Selina Robinson, the former minister of municipal affairs and housing, was named finance minister, replacing Carole James, who did not seek re-election last month due to health reasons.Horgan said his government will rely on a variety of ministers in the fight against COVID-19 and to steer the province's economic recovery efforts. But Dix, Robinson and Ravi Kahlon, who was appointed jobs, economic recovery and innovation minister, will carry many of the pandemic duties.Khalon is taking on "an enormous responsibility" and will be responsible for the province's recovery plan announced in September, Horgan told a news conference."Ravi will be the point person and I'm confident that he is going to make sure everything we can do will be done," Horgan said.Khalon, a former Olympic field hockey player, served as Horgan's parliamentary secretary in the forests ministry in the last NDP government.Horgan had similar praise for Robinson, saying her work ethic is unprecedented and she's well known across B.C. from her work as the municipal affairs and housing minister. She is also a former city council member in Coquitlam."I have tremendous trust in her capacity," he said. "I gave her an awful lot to do on the housing file, on the municipal affairs file. Her understanding of the people of B.C. is unmatched."James will continue to work with Horgan as a special adviser, taking a post that pays $1 a year, Horgan said.Newcomer Jennifer Whiteside, a former official with the Hospital Employees' Union who ran for the New Democrats in New Westminster, was named education minister, replacing Rob Fleming, who was moved to the transportation portfolio.Horgan says his 57-member caucus will be engaged in the government's decision making either as parliamentary secretaries or through new government caucus committees that have been put in place. He described the cabinet as "a diverse and dynamic team."The NDP won a majority government in last month's election, capturing 57 of the 87 seats in the legislature.The new cabinet includes 20 ministers and four ministers of state. Horgan named 12 men and 12 women to cabinet posts, who are supported by 13 parliamentary secretaries.The premier kept some of his most senior ministers in their previous cabinet posts, including Mike Farnworth as solicitor general and Harry Bains as labour minister. Eby was given the added responsibility of housing.Three former MPs were handed cabinet posts, with Murray Rankin being named Indigenous relations and reconciliation minister; Nathan Cullen as minister of state for lands, natural resource operations; and Sheila Malcolmson, who served in the last legislature after leaving federal politics, becoming the minister of mental health and addictions.Fin Donnelly, also a former MP, was named parliamentary secretary for fisheries and aquaculture.Among the newcomers to cabinet are Mitzi Dean at children and family development; former Tofino mayor Josie Osbourne at municipal affairs; and Nicholas Simons at social development and poverty reduction.The swearing-in ceremony was different because of the pandemic. Horgan was with Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin at the University of Victoria for the ceremony, while all the cabinet ministers, except Eby who was at the university, were sworn in through video links.People across B.C. are struggling with the burdens of the pandemic, now in its ninth month, Horgan said."But we are buoyed by the good news of vaccines on the way, but until then, we have to continue to do our level best to keep the second wave of COVID-19 under control and prepare for the new year." Horgan has recalled the legislature for a brief session with a throne speech on Dec. 7.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.Dirk Meissner, The Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected story. Previous version spelled the last name as Khalon. It is Ravi Kahlon.
With COVID-19 cases projected to spike dramatically across the province, health officials say Haliburton County can still mitigate the impact within the area. Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table provided an update Nov. 12 that the province could reach more than 6,000 new cases per day by mid-December. That has yet to be felt in Haliburton, which has reported five new cases since Nov. 4. Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) medical officer of health, Dr. Lynn Noseworthy, said the district is seeing more cases. But she added the local trajectory of the virus is still in our hands. The projection “is a worrisome finding, but also a call to action,” Noseworthy said. “People have the power to bend the curve – just as we did last spring – by following important public health measures that control the spread of COVID-19.” Minden’s Dr. Nell Thomas echoed the sentiment. She said higher case numbers are avoidable if people are responsible, such as by limiting close contact to only people within their social bubble. “It is not inevitable,” Thomas said, adding countries such as New Zealand have successfully contained the virus. “It is simply a reflection of human behaviour.” However, the medical world has criticized the public policy measures in place for virus control as insufficient. Thomas said frontline healthcare workers and emergency responders are hurting and being treated as fodder. “How long is that going to happen? Because pretty soon, we won’t have enough of them.” Haliburton Highlands Family Health Team Dr. Norm Bottum said an increase amount of cottagers staying in the area over the winter months will also add more pressure to acute care and ER. “We want to remind everyone if they have an issue of a minor nature or need medication renewal they should contact their primary care provider, regardless of where their practitioner is in the province,” Bottum said. “Our ER continues to be busy and given COVID protocols will be significantly pushed to keep up with the usual winter demand if it is significantly busier than usual.” Some cases excluded As more cottagers opt for extended stays in Haliburton, the exact number of COVID cases within the community is uncertain. Cases are tracked via primary address, meaning a case assessed here for someone from elsewhere but staying in Haliburton, would not be included in the local count. Thomas said that is a significant problem for accuracy. “When people say the numbers are low, we say, ‘no, not really’,” she said. “Those numbers aren’t shared with our community and it’s falsely reassuring.” Noseworthy said there is an effective contact-tracing system in place and health units are in daily contact with individuals who test positive and their close contacts. “The bottom line is that regardless of where a person lives or is tested for COVID-19 in Ontario, the provincial case and contact management system is very methodical, comprehensive and thorough.” Holiday caution needed The holiday season is approaching, but doctors advised health precautions need to be maintained. Noseworthy said it would likely be prudent to celebrate with immediate household only. For those farther away, she said people could connect virtually or over the phone. “I would strongly recommend local residents avoid any non-essential travel outside of our region – especially to areas with high COVID-19 case counts,” she said. “All of us need to redouble our efforts to follow important public health guidelines.” Thomas said it is a manageable thing to do. She further said people can take solace that COVID-19 is something they can help control. “Do not be complacent, do not be overwhelmed, do not feel hopeless,” Thomas said. “Be empowered.”Joseph Quigley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Highlander
Fort McMurray could see local air traffic controllers replaced as NAV Canada, a private entity tasked with operating Canada's civil air navigation system, considers multiple layoffs at seven airports across Canada. The company is studying if air traffic controllers are still needed at airport towers in Fort McMurray, Whitehorse, Regina, Prince George, Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor, Ont. and St. Jean, Que. The controllers will be replaced with flight service specialists, which are cheaper, if the report concludes controllers are not needed. A flight service secialist does not have the ability to control air traffic and keep planes separated while in the air or on the ground. Instead, they provide advice and information on weather, runway conditions and air traffic. Pilots then make their own decisions on how to keep planes a safe distance from each other. RJ Steenstra, president and CEO of the Fort McMurray Airport Authority, said Thursday the potential changes bring serious safety risks. He also estimates eight to 12 air traffic controllers could lose their jobs locally if the cuts happen. Transport Canada did not confirm how many people could lose their jobs across Canada if the cuts happen, but a September memo obtained by CBC News said 720 jobs, or 14 per cent of its workforce, could be let go. “We have long and dark northern winters and having actual eyes and binoculars in the tower—communicating with maintenance and ground crews—is really important to us,” he said. “We don’t want to see any diminishment of safety at our airport.” If the cuts happen, Steenstra said the airport would have to scale back services for safety reasons. This could result in more layoffs at the airport, which is already struggling financially. Commercial flights have dropped to one-third they would usually be in a year. The airport authority has also seen drops of roughly 66 per cent in commercial traffic and 85 per cent in charter traffic. Steenstra said the airport authority's leadership was caught off guard when told of the potential cuts. He also said there was no previous indication NAV Canada planned to conduct any service reviews. “We’re already struggling,” he said. “I’m not going to sit idly by for circumstances that challenge our ability to regain our traffic.” Sau Sau Liu, a spokesperson for Transport Canada, said the federal agency is aware of NAV Canada's review but any actions would need to be approved by Ottawa. She also said the federal government is aware commercial traffic has dropped across the country since COVID-19 restrictions began. “No compromise to safety will be tolerated,” said Liu. “Transport Canada must ensure that any reduction or termination of service proposed maintains rigorous aviation safety standards.” email@example.comSarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today
SPORTS. La ministre déléguée à l'Éducation, Isabelle Charest, annonce la mise en place, par l'ensemble des fédérations sportives québécoises, d'une politique de gestion des cas d'abus et de harcèlement, qui devra inclure un officier indépendant des plaintes. La ministre confirme également des mesures financières totalisant 1,4 million de dollars pour favoriser la pratique sécuritaire de sports et de loisirs. «Les mesures que j'annonce aujourd'hui sont le fruit d'un an de travail qui a débuté en novembre 2019 avec mon énoncé ministériel. Toutes les fédérations y ont adhéré avec enthousiasme et se doteront d'une politique de gestion des cas d'abus et de harcèlement et d'un officier indépendant des plaintes d'ici février 2021. Cette réponse claire aux enjeux de la violence, des abus et du harcèlement en contexte sportif aura pour effet de placer l'ensemble des intervenants dans un environnement où ils pourront avoir confiance pour dénoncer», explique Isabelle Charest, ministre déléguée à l'Éducation. Dorénavant, le processus de dénonciation sera standardisé et équitable, et les plaintes seront analysées de manière objective et indépendante. Il s'agit d'une avancée majeure dans le monde du sport, puisque jusqu'à présent, le traitement des plaintes était géré de manière différente par chaque fédération, faute de ressources rapporte-t-on. Cette nouvelle politique et l'officier indépendant des plaintes qui l'accompagne partageront non seulement la responsabilité de la gestion des cas d'abus et de harcèlement dans l'ensemble de la communauté sportive, mais permettront aussi d'offrir le même service à l'ensemble des victimes d'abus et de harcèlement dans le milieu sportif à travers le Québec. De plus, pour faire de la prévention et sensibiliser les personnes concernées, des outils d'information et de formation seront mis à la disposition des athlètes, des entraîneurs, des officiels, des administrateurs et des bénévoles impliqués dans le loisir et le sport. Également, une contribution additionnelle de 400 000 $ est aussi accordée pour soutenir la création de la Chaire de recherche en sécurité et intégrité en milieu sportif (SIMS) de l'Université Laval. Cette somme s'ajoute à l'enveloppe budgétaire accordée cette année en raison de la COVID-19, portant le financement total du Ministère à 800 000 $ pour les trois prochaines années. Les recherches qui découlent de la Chaire SIMS permettront de soutenir l'évaluation du phénomène de la violence en contexte sportif à partir d'outils validés, d'identifier les facteurs de risque et de soutenir la conception d'interventions visant à prévenir le phénomène et d'évaluer les mesures préventives élaborées. Notons qu’un montant de 187 500 $ est accordé à l'organisme Sport'Aide. Cette somme servira, entre autres, à l'opérationnalisation de la ligne d'aide pour les jeunes sportifs victimes ou témoins d'abus et de violence. L'organisme offre également divers services d'accompagnement, d'écoute et d'orientation. Par ailleurs, une aide supplémentaire de 850 000 $ est prévue pour assurer la pratique saine et sécuritaire d'activités physiques, particulièrement en période de pandémie. Ces sommes serviront à soutenir la réalisation d'initiatives porteuses visant à modifier les structures, les environnements et les comportements ayant trait à la sécurité et à l'éthique dans le loisir et le sport. De plus, on souhaite la mise en place d'activités de sensibilisation adaptées, d'outils de prévention et de trousses informatives actualisées contribuant à assurer à l'ensemble de la population une pratique saine et sécuritaire du sport en contexte de pandémie. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
The Timmins Police Service says it has increased its presence in the downtown area over the past year or so in response to concerns from the community. “Absolutely. We’ve heard the concerns from the downtown BIA (business improvement association) members and the community at large, and we’ve done, I think, a very good job of throwing resources to the downtown,” said TPS Chief John Gauthier on Wednesday. “Especially right in the middle of the summer when, traditionally, I have the least amount of staff working because everyone wants the summer off,” he said. “But we re-organized a little bit and we threw a bunch of bodies to the downtown area.” Gauthier, and two inspectors, were part of an online roundtable discussion hosted by the Timmins Chamber of Commerce called “Keeping Our Business Community Safe” where business owners and other concerned parties could participate and hear directly from TPS leaders. He said the response to increased TPS presence has been mostly positive. “I can't say one way or another whether it led to arrests. I did get some really good feedback from certain members of the BIA over the summer, that it seemed to create an atmosphere for the members of the BIA that the police were now a little bit more visible.” Gauthier explained that staff sergeants have been instructed to assign an officer to the downtown beat whenever possible. He added that officers also had a presence in other commercial areas such as the Timmins Square, and downtown South Porcupine. In January of this year, a meeting was held involving BIA and Timmins Chamber members, TPS brass, representatives from Living Space and Mayor George Pirie to discuss the overall safety and security of the city’s commercial areas. Break-ins, petty thefts, drug use, loitering, and hazards such as discarded syringes have been among the most common complaints received by the various parties. The TPS has been operating a Street Outreach Team, which is an initiative that was launched in the summer of 2019. “They were out there as well, walking the beat downtown,” said Insp. Darren Dinel. Dinel explained that the definition of where “downtown” starts and ends is somewhat debatable. He also pointed out the focus TPS made throughout the summer to crack down on well-known drug hotspots. “In the streets adjacent to our downtown core, and I don’t want to say just around Fifth Avenue, we did do a lot of drug enforcement for traffickers that were on the streets, or in close proximity to our downtown core,” said Dinel. “It was two-fold for a few things. It was a priority we were looking at, because of opioid dealers, as well as it really beefed up our presence in that downtown area. On a number of occasions, our Emergency Response Team was utilized to execute those search warrants, so it brought a number of police officers down in those areas.” Dinel said the law-abiding residents in the neighbourhood were appreciative of the efforts. “Again, very well received by a number of the residents that were in those adjacent streets,” he said. “Residents were happy about police presence there, and were very thankful that we were out there dealing with some of those drug dealers in the area.” TPS Insp. Rick Blanchette, who leads the Emergency Response Team, said he didn’t walk to just talk the talk, he wanted to walk the walk. “I took it upon myself this summer to go out, probably about a dozen times, to walk the streets and walk the alleyways. I took one of our staff sergeants with me at all times, just to advise people what it is that we expected of our officers to be doing.” Blanchette also mentioned the TPS has a full-time community services officer. “Her sole duties right now — because she’s not performing other duties she typically would because of COVID — is to walk downtown, and I’m sure a lot of our business owners would have probably seen her. She probably would have walked into their establishments and presented herself.” He emphasized the TPS has seen and heard the myriad of concerns from the public in recent years concerning safety in the downtown. “We certainly are taking it seriously,” said Blanchette. “We understand what people want from our service. I like to think we are actually doing what people want us to do, and we’re certainly committed to continue as best as we can.” Downtown Timmins BIA executive director Cindy Campbell applauded the increased presence by police. “I have had nothing but a phenomenal response anytime I’ve reached out to the Timmins Police Service for information, answering questions, factual information, separating myth from reality, separating perception from reality, so our partnership with the Timmins Police Service cannot be understated or overstated,” said Campbell. “We rely on them for their information and for their help. Their community service officers have all been in the office here, introducing themselves, they’ve been in and out of the businesses downtown.” She spoke on behalf of her membership suggesting that the changes haven't gone unnoticed. “The word on the street is that there is much more of a feeling of safety, because they see the officers in uniform, and they feel they have that open connection with the Timmins Police Service.”Andrew Autio, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Daily Press
Among a series of new measures instituted by the province to attempt to quell the spread of COVID-19 was an expanded mask mandate for schools. The announcement, made Wednesday, non-medical masking will be extended to all students, employees and visitors in all schools and daycares in the province. Children aged three years old to 12 years old now should wear a mask if they are able to. As has been the practice before children ages up to two-years old are exempt from wearing masks. Both the Prince Albert Catholic School Division and Saskatchewan Rivers School Division have adapted to the new measures. The Catholic Division had already put out a notice to schools that mandatory masks would be required for Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 3 students in the division, previously the only group excluded. “I realize that came out in the public health order this afternoon but we had initiated that out today to our schools. We had decided that we would do so regardless of what the province is doing,” Trumier said. They used prior experiences in the pandemic as part of the decision. “We know that there was good support for it earlier when children over two-years of age had to wear them in public places. At that point we deliberated and said we would do the same,” she explained. Trumier explained that they have tried to stay ahead of the curve on the evolving public health orders in the province. In Saskatchewan Rivers, similar changes were instituted, according to director of education Robert Bratvold. Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 students and staff will wear masks throughout the day. Bratvold explained that the division would be following the measures including exemptions for medical or other reasons. This makes a change from the previous Sask. Rivers measures where Pre-Kindergarten staff and Grade 4 to 12 students are already wearing masks. “The new measures will pose some challenges for some, but in SRPSD many early years students have been voluntarily wearing masks and this suggests we can overcome the challenges that young students may experience in adjusting to the wearing of masks,” Bratvold said. Some schools had already been encouraging increased mask use in younger grades. Bratvold credits staff in the division for doing excellent work thus far and explained that the staff will rely on support from families to adjust to the new measures. “Safety protocols in schools do support our communities by reducing the risk of transmission in schools but schools also depend on the people in our communities to be diligent in taking precautions to prevent COVID transmission,” he said. Both divisions emphasized that despite the challenges it is important that everyone continues to be diligent in performing the daily health screening and self-monitoring, stay home if not feeling well, call the HealthLine at 811 if exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, practice proper hand hygiene, maintain physical distancing as much as possible, wear a mask when appropriate. Both divisions also emphasized that they each want people to do whatever they can to keep each other safe. So far, neither division has seen a case of COVID-19 transmitted through the school system.Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
VANCOUVER — City councillors in Vancouver voted unanimously this week to ask the federal government to decriminalize small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use, a decision advocates hope will blaze a trail in other municipalities.It's within Health Minister Patty Hajdu's power to grant an exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to allow decriminalization across Canada, said Sandra Ka Hon Chu, the director of research and advocacy for the Toronto-based HIV Legal Network."She can issue a very sweeping exemption across the country, and that would be the ideal outcome," said Ka Hon Chu, who is a lawyer.But the process may be faster if requests for an exemption to the law are made locally, she said, noting the Toronto Board of Health voted last week to repeat an earlier call for decriminalization.The motion also mentioned that the opioid crisis is worsening during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted the flow of illicit drugs into Canada, resulting in a more toxic supply. It's also curtailed access to key harm reduction services, such as supervised consumption sites."We hear public health officials across the country saying drug decriminalization is really necessary, it's a necessary piece of the puzzle, but that's not happening," said Ka Hon Chu. The vote in Vancouver came after the BC Coroners Service reported 162 people died from using toxic illicit drugs in the province last month, a 116 per cent increase from October 2019.City staff will now write to federal officials seeking an exception to the act, which is the same process used to create the city's first sanctioned supervised drug injection site in 2003.Mayor Kennedy Stewart has said the city will work with police, the local health authority, community groups and people who have experience with drug use to hammer out the plan for decriminalization.Caitlin Shane, a staff lawyer focused on drug policy for Pivot Legal Society, said she's cautiously optimistic Ottawa will approve Vancouver’s application.B.C. Premier John Horgan, the Vancouver Police Department and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry support the elimination of criminal consequences for possessing small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use. Led by Vancouver Chief Adam Palmer, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police also endorsed decriminalization earlier this year.But Shane is concerned about how decriminalization would work in practice. She and other advocates want the plan to be broad and long lasting.If granted, the exemption should include everyone in Vancouver, she said, not only those who are deemed at risk. It should also cover all illicit drugs, not just certain ones."Street drugs are vastly contaminated at this point and it would be really impractical and difficult to parse out which substances are included and which aren't."Shane said she's also wary of the role of law enforcement after decriminalization, because police continue to confiscate drugs from her clients in the Downtown Eastside, even if they're not criminally charged."That comes with a whole host of other problems, you know, people get their drugs confiscated and then they have to hustle all day to get a new supply and it kind of perpetuates this whole cycle."If simple possession is decriminalized, police would have no legal grounds to confiscate the drugs, she said."In my eyes, it would amount to theft of personal property."In Portugal, which decriminalized simple possession 20 years ago, people found using drugs are required to undergo health assessments and may be fined by a so-called dissuasion commission, Shane added."We don't want to replace a criminal regime with an administrative regime," she said."We need to come up with a Vancouver model."Drug use is still heavily stigmatized in Portugal, said Ka Hon Chu."If police are still surveilling you, watching your every move and potentially branding you as someone who uses substances, you're less likely to access health services because of the stigma," she said. "We're hoping there's no mandatory referral to treatment in Canada."Simi Heer, the director of public affairs for the Vancouver Police Department, said it's not a general practice to seize drugs from people using them, but there are times when they must be seized."For example, if an officer finds drugs while searching someone for a criminal investigation, they are not allowed to give those drugs back," she said in an email.On fines and sanctions, she said police believe "a system needs to be in place to direct people down the health-care path" and there must be additional support services."It's too early to speculate on what systems need to be in place to make that happen, but that can be determined by health, government and public safety partners working together."There's no indication how long Ottawa might take to review Vancouver's request once it's submitted, but Stewart has said Hajdu has the authority to move quickly.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press
Air traffic controllers are being warned that layoffs are coming as Nav Canada pursues a "full restructuring" in response to a revenue slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, CBC News has learned.CBC News has obtained a confidential memo sent internally to air traffic controllers on Thursday. In it, Ben Girard, Nav Canada's vice-president and chief of operations, told staff that the company has seen a $518 million drop in revenue compared to its budget.He said he's been pushing the federal government for help, but — unlike some other countries — Canada has not released an industry-specific bailout package yet."We anticipate that until air traffic returns to higher levels, which will not occur until the end of this fiscal year, we will continue to operate in a daily cash negative position and this will be made worse as funding from the [Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy] program is ratcheted back," Girard wrote. Girard did not say in the memo how many air traffic controllers will lose their jobs or which locations will be affected. The memo said it's looking to reduce the number of "IFR controllers." These controllers are higher on the pay scale and work at area control centres in Gander, N.L., Moncton, N.B., Montreal, Winnipeg, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.The workers are responsible for controlling large amounts of airspace between airports using radar. Their job is to make sure planes keep proper distance from one another."I know this is very difficult news to hear. It is also very difficult news to deliver," Girard wrote. "This is a decision that has been made at my level based on what needs to be done to ensure Nav Canada's financial sustainability."Nav Canada manages millions of kilometres of airspace over Canada and used to provide air navigation services for more than three million flights a year. It's funded through service fees paid by air carriers.The Canadian Air Traffic Control Association said it is very concerned with the memo. "It is the opinion of this union that safety is not being taken into consideration in making sound decisions," president Doug Best and executive vice-president Scott Loder wrote in a letter to members."Safety is the number one priority for Nav Canada and it has somehow taken a backseat to cost containment as the number one and only priority."'We're facing years of a downturn in air traffic'In November, Canadian air traffic was down 54 per cent compared with the same time period in 2019, according to the memo."Over the summer and fall months, the outlook for the aviation industry has deteriorated significantly and it has become increasingly clear that we're facing years of a downturn in air traffic that is much larger and broader in scope than we all initially believed, and will be much deeper and longer than any downturn in the history of the industry," Girard wrote.Nav Canada says it is conducting studies of air traffic control towers in Whitehorse, Regina, Fort McMurray in Alberta, Prince George in B.C., and Sault Ste. Marie and Windsor in Ontario that "will result in workforce adjustments." The company is also looking into closing a control tower in St. Jean, Que.Government 'pressed' for help The company has been focused on securing liquidity and tapped into the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to pay up to 75 per cent of employees' wages, he wrote. Girard added that these payments are being reduced and will run through December, but Nav Canada isn't sure if it can continue receiving that wage support."While an extension for the CEWS program through June 2021 was recently announced, NAV CANADA's eligibility is uncertain," he wrote. Girard said the federal government has so far failed to come up with a bailout package for the airline sector, despite "significant lobbying."Last month, the Globe and Mail reported that the federal cabinet is working on a package for the airline sector that would include low-interest loans. Since Sept. 22, Girard wrote, the company has cut more than 700 managers and employees — 14 per cent of its workforce. It also let go of 159 students earlier in the pandemic, he added, and in November cut even more, "leaving just a few in the system." Along with the cuts, seven air traffic control towers are being considered for a downgraded level of service, and another 25 sites that are already Flight Service Stations — which provide only advisory services — could face more cuts.Nav Canada's board of directors has cut its fees by 20 per cent, and executives and managers have dropped their salaries by up to 10 per cent, Girard wrote.These cost reductions, as well as access to government support through the wage subsidy program, have saved the company $200 million since March 1, he added. "However, that number still pales in comparison to the $518 million reduction in revenues as compared to budget," Girard wrote."Despite these cost-containment efforts, we find ourselves in a situation where we expect our revenues to continue falling far short of our costs for several years, and we continue to require further cost-containment measures and indeed, a full restructuring of our business."In an environment where 30 per cent of costs are associated with 'things' and 70 per cent of costs are associated with 'people,' when all possible cuts with 'things' have been done, any further cuts will directly affect people." Girard added that he hopes the company can bring back some of the laid-off staff once the pandemic passes.The Canadian Air Traffic Control Association said it will continue to challenge Nav Canada. The union hopes there will be "enough interest" in departure incentives for older controllers to offer them a package to retire. "The views of Nav Canada at this point are violating the vision, mission and overarching objectives of this company," Best and Loder said in their letter to members.
Food banks across the province regard the holiday season as being among their most important periods — and that will be doubly felt in what has been a difficult year for many Albertans. "[Food banks] are a little bit worried, because this time of year is certainly our largest food and fundraising period," said Arianna Scott, senior project manager for Food Banks Alberta. "With the restrictions in place, it makes it very difficult to run food drives and volunteer-based activities and fundraising activities. "But I think that, overwhelmingly, they are here and they are ready to serve." Scott said 75 per cent of the 99 food bank members represented by Food Banks Alberta are reporting a week-over-week increase in clients — and as volunteers brace for what could come between six and 18 months from now, human resources is a big priority. "One of the things we're really focused on with our food banks is making sure they are taking care of their human resources," Scott said. "We're trying to make sure that they're setting boundaries with them, and working clear hours and allowing staff and volunteers to take time off as well." James McAra, CEO of the Calgary Food Bank, said the organization is seeing an eight per cent increase in clients week after week, but overall is doing well. "For us, well means that we think we've got the support," McAra said. "So it's going to be food, it's going to be volunteers, it's going to be funds — we've got that in place." After the pandemic hit, many food banks experienced increased demand and shortages of food, volunteers and funding.
On Thursday evening the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) identified a positive COVID-19 case in an individuals at Ecole St. Mary High School in Prince Albert. In a news release by the Prince Albert Catholic School Division on Sunday evening the division explained that communication has been shared with the specific classroom/cohorts, as well as the school community. These cases were acquired outside of the school setting, the division said. The SHA is proceeding with their assessment of the situation, and all individuals deemed to be close contacts are being notified. “The class/cohorts, impacted by this case, barring any other cases, are required to Self-Isolate until midnight on Dec. 3. The class/cohorts will be moved to remote learning until the isolation period is complete,” the release said. These specific class/cohorts are advised to contact 811 Healthline for advice. “École St. Mary High School will resume classes Nov. 27 for all other students and staff that are not deemed to be close contacts. Public Health officials are advising all students and staff to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms daily and not to enter the school if ill.” No further information was made available citing privacy concerns. “Our thoughts and prayers are with this member of our school community, and we hope they are doing well.” They emphasized that everyone has a shared responsibility to decrease the risk of COVID-19 entering schools. “Thank you to everyone for continuing to be diligent in performing daily health screening, staying home if ill, calling HealthLine 811 if exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, practicing proper hand hygiene, maintaining physical distancing as much as possible, wearing a mask when appropriate and doing everything we can to keep each other safe,” the release stated.Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
Vivian Zayas can’t keep herself from scrolling through photos of last Thanksgiving, when her mother stood at the stove to make a big pot of rice and beans and then took a seat at the edge of the table. That was before anyone had heard of COVID-19 and before it claimed the retired seamstress. Ana Martinez died at 78 on April 1 while recovering at a nursing home from a knee replacement. The family is having their traditional meal of turkey, yams, green beans and rice and beans — but Zayas is removing a seat from the table at her home in Deer Park, New York, and putting her mother’s walker in its place. “It’s a painful Thanksgiving. You don’t even know, should you celebrate?” asked Zayas. “It’s a lonely time.” The family is left with “an empty chair at the table forever," another daughter, Alexa Rivera, said Thursday. Americans are marking the Thanksgiving holiday amid an unrelenting pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than a quarter of a million people in the United States. Turkey and pies will still come out of ovens, football will still be on TV, families will still give thanks and have lively conversations about politics. But this holiday has been utterly altered after months filled with sorrows and hardships: Many feasts are weighed down by the loss of loved ones; others have been cancelled or scaled back with the virus surging. Zoom and FaceTime calls have become a fixture at dinner tables to connect with family members who don't want to travel. Far fewer volunteers are helping at soup kitchens or community centres. A Utah health department has been delivering boxes of food to residents who are infected with the virus and can't go to the store. A New York nursing home is offering drive-up visits for families of residents struggling with celebrating the holiday alone. “The holidays make it a little harder,” said Harriet Krakowsky, an 85-year-old resident of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale in New York who misses the big Thanksgiving celebrations of years past and has lost neighbours and friends to the virus. “I cry, but I get over it. We have to go on.” On any normal Thanksgiving Day, Kara McKlemurry and her husband would drive from their Clearwater, Florida, home to one of two places: his family’s home in another part of the state or her family’s house in Alabama. This year, McKlemurry informed her family there would be no visits. When her in-laws offered to stop by, the couple said no. She and her husband didn’t want to risk infecting anyone or getting the virus themselves. Not everyone followed McKlemurry’s example. Millions of Americans bought tickets to fly somewhere for the holiday, crowding airports despite pleas from officials to avoid travel and gatherings. Still, McKlemurry, 27, wanted to do something unique to mark this unusual holiday — something to let everyone know that she and her husband still feel blessed this year. So, a week before Thanksgiving, armed with colored pens and stickers of owls with scarves, she hand wrote notes of gratitude to every member of the family. “We’re so grateful to have you in our lives,” she wrote on a card with a cartoon fox, “even if we can’t actually be together this year for the holidays.” In the nation’s capital, the convention centre is empty unlike in previous years, when volunteers have worked together to serve a meal to about 5,000 people. In the era of social distancing, the sponsored event had to be reimagined. Ahead of the holiday, organizers delivered to 20 nonprofits 5,000 gift bags, each with winter clothing accessories, hand sanitizer and a mask, and 5,000 boxes that included a turkey sandwich with condiments, a side potato salad, a cookie and utensils. From start to finish, Thanksgiving is different this year for Jessica Franz, a nurse who works the graveyard shift at Olathe Medical Center, in a Kansas City suburb. For one, Franz, 39, is celebrating without her mother-in-law, Elaine Franz, who died of the coronavirus on Nov. 10, just one day before her 78th birthday. In previous years, her mother-in-law, who was Mennonite, would lay out a spread for her children and grandchildren. At Franz's work, in a typical year, co-workers would bring food for a potluck. None of that is happening this year. The family is shifting the festivities to Zoom and FaceTime. It’s been hard for her daughters — ages, 2, 8 and 11. Her middle daughter was exposed to the coronavirus at school and is quarantined until Dec. 3, and her oldest daughter is struggling with the concept of a scaled-back holiday. “We had a good conversation that was, ‘This year may be different, and that’s OK. It is one year. If things are different this year and that means we get to see all the rest of our family next year, it is OK,’” said Franz, who has personally cared for patients dying of coronavirus. The Thanksgiving gathering at David Forsyth's home in Southern California, meanwhile, comes with a uniquely 2020 feel: rapid virus tests at the door to decide who gets inside. The kit costs about $1,000 for 20 tests, each of which involve pricking a finger and putting a drop of blood on a tray. Ten minutes later the results either show someone is negative, has antibodies or is positive. Normally, about 15 to 20 people attend the family’s Thanksgiving dinner in Channel Islands Harbor. But this year, it will only be eight of them: Forsyth, his wife, her four adult sons and the partners of two of them. His wife started cooking Tuesday. She’s planning a cold cucumber soup for a starter and bunch of appetizers for the early afternoon meal. The sons are bringing side dishes. Turkey and the fixings are the main course. Champagne may be cracked. Forsyth hasn’t seen his family much during the pandemic but wanted to save the holiday. “People are trying to live a normal life," he said. "And, you know, with the second wave coming now, it’s not a bad idea to be prepared.” Kerry Osaki longs to see his now-grown children, without masks, and hug them. But instead he and his wife are celebrating just the two of them after their traditions were upended. Osaki's 93-year-old mother, Rose, who lived with the couple in Orange County in California, died from the virus after all three got sick. With his mother gone, Osaki, 67, and his cousin decided to pass on the family's annual Thanksgiving get-together. His wife, Lena Adame, typically spent the holiday cooking a spread of turkey and stuffing with her relatives — but some had seen virus cases at their workplaces, so the couple decided to skip that, too. “It’s just been a long, rough and sometimes sad year,” he said. In Ogden, Utah, Evelyn Maysonet stepped out of her home Tuesday morning to find boxes overflowing with canned goods, desserts and a turkey. She has been isolating with her husband and son since all three tested positive for COVID-19. None of them has been able to leave to buy groceries, so they were thrilled to receive the health department’s delivery — and the chance to cherish the things that matter most. “As long as you have a life and you’re still alive, just make the best of it with you and your family,” Maysonet said. ___ Associated Press journalists Tamara Lush, Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Sophia Eppolito, Amy Taxin and John Minchillo contributed to this report. Regina Garcia Cano, Matt Sedensky And Heather Hollingsworth, The Associated Press
VICTORIA — British Columbia has recorded 887 new cases of COVID-19 as the province nears 30,000 infections from the illness. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry say in a joint statement Thursday that 13 more people have died, for a total of 384 fatalities.The statement says 294 patients are in hospital, 64 of them in intensive care. Dix and Henry are calling on the public to keep their contacts small as a way to support health-care teams working to track the virus.A total of 10,307 people are being monitoring by public health-care providers as a result of identified exposure to known cases.They say it's important to pay attention to where you go and who you see in case COVID-19 is transmitted to help contact tracers quickly prevent spread of the disease."Let's support our public health teams, which are tirelessly working to track the virus, break the chain of transmission and keep all of us safe. The best way to do that is for each of us to keep to as few faces as possible right now," the statement says. The majority of the new cases, 612, were diagnosed in the Fraser Health region. Five hospitals and dozens of long-term care and assisted-living facilities have outbreaks and Henry has said many of the latest deaths involve seniors. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.The Canadian Press