P.E.I.'s seasonal residents have formed an association to help members enjoy their second homes on the Island. The biggest issue Seasonal Residents of P.E.I. is facing right now is the COVID-19 pandemic, and the public health rules that are preventing them from coming to the Island. Last month, P.E.I.'s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced that seasonal residents wouldn't be approved to arrive until at least May 17, and on Tuesday she confirmed that will be pushed further, though she didn't give an exact date. The group started last year on Facebook, with people trying to figure out under what conditions they could come to P.E.I. and how to apply. "It grew pretty quickly," founding president Jen Harding told CBC's Mitch Cormier on Island Morning. "It became a place where people would come for facts and information. Also for commiseration as people were challenged with the process and challenged with not being able to access their homes. But it's really grown into not only that but a source of community and help." 'Being official helps' Harding said most members have family on the Island, and many were born in the province, though she is not of that group herself. She just fell in love with a piece of property near North Lake. About two thirds of the group are Canadians with most of the rest Americans, a few being from outside North America. Most come every year and have been doing so for decades. "They have really deep connections to P.E.I.," said Harding. "Their family is still there so they come every year to properties they consider their other homes." The Facebook page is free but there is a membership fee for the association. That money is currently going to legal fees, mostly just the cost of setting up. The group is registered as a non-profit in P.E.I. "Being official helps. It's helpful to say that we actually have an association. That we are a group with similar interests that we think needs representation," said Harding. Improving application process As an association Seasonal Residents of P.E.I. has been in contact with the Chief Public Health Office to provide its perspective. It worked with the CPHO last spring to make the application process more consistent and clear. It has issues it is addressing this year as well. In particular, the need for three COVID-19 tests during the two-week self-isolation period. "What we're asking is, help us understand how that minimizes the risks, for people to then leave their homes three times during the self-isolation period," said Harding. "Our understanding of the science is that staying at home for two weeks and not seeing anyone would resolve any issues." The group is also trying to make the case that seasonal residents carry minimal risk. Many of them have been vaccinated, she said, and they all arrive with their own private location to self-isolate in. Harding expects the seasonal residents group will continue beyond the pandemic, and is already offering support on issues that are not connected, such as how to prepare your property to be vacant for the winter, and where to find tradespeople. More from CBC P.E.I.
CALGARY — Leslie Echino had planned on serving more than two dozen patrons at a time on an expanded patio at her Annabelle's Kitchen restaurant in Calgary's Marda Loop neighbourhood. She hauled extra furniture from the patio at her shuttered downtown location and invested thousands in a cover to keep the outdoor space open for longer. But, instead, Echino is looking to lay off staff for the fourth time during the COVID-19 pandemic after the province on Tuesday ordered an end to outdoor dining. It was one of several measures Premier Jason Kenney announced in an attempt to stop a sharp spike in infections. Indoor dining had been permitted for a brief while earlier this year, but was shut down against in April. The off-and-on closures have taken a toll, especially on employees with families who rely on a steady paycheque, Echino said Wednesday. "It's getting expensive. It's expensive on cost. It's expensive on mental well-being and health," she said. "How long can my staff go through this?" Echino said she doesn't want the restaurant to be open with COVID-19 spread so rampant. Alberta has by far the highest rate of active infections in Canada at 534 per 100,000 --- nearly 2 1/2 times the national average. "We all have to buckle down. We all have to take a hit for the greater good," she said. "But I think what is important is the support to the people who need it: my staff. "When you're forced to close and you cannot operate, you need that support." The Alberta Hospitality Association, for which Echino is a board member, is urging the government to help with utility bills, wage top-ups, patio costs and property taxes. It also wants clearer communication about what a path to recovery looks like. "As an organization, we have maintained a commitment to work with government using open dialogue and communication to ensure the needs of the hospitality industry are met," the association said in a release. "The latest lockdown shows a complete disregard to those efforts." Kenney said Wednesday that his United Conservative government is rolling out the third instalment of a program that provides grants of up to $10,000 for small- and medium-sized businesses that have experienced at least a 30 per cent drop in revenues. That tranche of funds would be worth a total of $350 million. He said his government has also been providing relief on Workers' Compensation Board premiums and, with Ottawa, commercial rent assistance. "We'll look at whether we need to do anything additional," Kenney said. "My hope is that if people really get the message here and act responsibly, that ... those businesses can hopefully get back to a decent summer." Ben Leon, an owner at The Dandy Brewing Co. in Calgary, said tougher measures are necessary, but they should have been brought in months ago. The brewery invested $10,000 to spruce up its patio in anticipation of the summer season. It's not as simple a job as setting up some tables outside, Leon said. "There is a good amount of infrastructure that needs to be put in and built to make it safe and make it comfortable," he said. "I'd rather have lost four weeks in February-March to get everything back and be able to have a good, solid, even patio season all summer." This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2021. Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
A Whitehorse man is dead after losing control of his skateboard and suffering a fatal head injury, according to the territory's chief coroner. 28-year-old Robert Thompson died early Sunday morning. According to a Wednesday news release from the coroner, Thompson was found injured on Hamilton Boulevard at around 6 a.m. on Sunday. He was taken to hospital and pronounced dead shortly after. The coroner says it appears that Thompson had been riding his skateboard eastbound on a downhill stretch toward the Alaska Highway when he lost control. The coroner says Thompson was not wearing any protective gear when he fell. An autopsy determined that he suffered a fatal head injury. In her news release, Chief Coroner Heather Jones advises that helmets, wrist guards, gloves, knee and elbow pads and protective clothing should always be worn while skateboarding.
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. There are 1,257,328 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 1,257,328 confirmed cases (81,671 active, 1,151,207 resolved, 24,450 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 7,379 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 214.89 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 54,593 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 7,799. There were 57 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 338 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 48. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 64.33 per 100,000 people. There have been 32,127,668 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,114 confirmed cases (62 active, 1,046 resolved, six deaths). There were six new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 11.88 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 48 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is seven. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 245,764 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 183 confirmed cases (seven active, 176 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 4.39 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of four new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 145,944 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 3,182 confirmed cases (1,203 active, 1,910 resolved, 69 deaths). There were 175 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 122.84 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 892 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 127. There were zero new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.03 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 7.05 per 100,000 people. There have been 634,189 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,969 confirmed cases (146 active, 1,784 resolved, 39 deaths). There were 11 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 18.68 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 79 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 11. There was one new reported death Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of three new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.05 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 4.99 per 100,000 people. There have been 307,677 tests completed. _ Quebec: 354,390 confirmed cases (8,895 active, 334,531 resolved, 10,964 deaths). There were 915 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 103.74 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 6,700 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 957. There were five new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 61 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is nine. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.1 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 127.87 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,422,822 tests completed. _ Ontario: 479,633 confirmed cases (34,976 active, 436,470 resolved, 8,187 deaths). There were 2,941 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 237.38 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 24,027 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 3,432. There were 44 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 199 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 28. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.19 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 55.57 per 100,000 people. There have been 14,113,727 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 40,085 confirmed cases (2,780 active, 36,323 resolved, 982 deaths). There were 272 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 201.56 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,876 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 268. There were two new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 11 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 71.2 per 100,000 people. There have been 695,895 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 42,203 confirmed cases (2,250 active, 39,452 resolved, 501 deaths). There were 197 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 190.89 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,589 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 227. There were two new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 15 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.18 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 42.51 per 100,000 people. There have been 781,228 tests completed. _ Alberta: 200,924 confirmed cases (24,156 active, 174,666 resolved, 2,102 deaths). There were 2,271 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 546.28 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 14,245 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,035. There were three new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 29 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.54 per 100,000 people. There have been 4,212,709 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 132,925 confirmed cases (7,079 active, 124,252 resolved, 1,594 deaths). There were 572 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 137.52 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,036 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 719. There were zero new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 18 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is three. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.05 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 30.97 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,526,871 tests completed. _ Yukon: 82 confirmed cases (one active, 79 resolved, two deaths). There were zero new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 2.38 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of one new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 4.76 per 100,000 people. There have been 9,065 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 85 confirmed cases (34 active, 51 resolved, zero deaths). There were 14 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 75.29 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 34 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is five. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 19,056 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 540 confirmed cases (82 active, 454 resolved, four deaths). There were five new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 208.37 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 62 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is nine. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 10.16 per 100,000 people. There have been 12,645 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published May 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
David Lertzman, a beloved Calgary professor, is dead following what is suspected to be a bear attack near Waiparous Village, northwest of the city. Cochrane RCMP were notified of a missing man in the area late Tuesday night and began a search with the help of the Calgary police helicopter. Crews found a body just off Moss Trail near Waiparous Creek early Wednesday morning, according to a release. RCMP tentatively identified the deceased as the missing person, a 59-year-old man from Waiparous. A community Facebook group identified Lertzman as the man who had gone missing, and others have posted online tributes. Provincial officials say evidence at the scene indicates it may have been a bear attack, but they are still investigating. They say Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers are conducting a scene investigation to identify and locate the bear that may have been involved. 'A profound impact' Lertzman was an assistant professor of environmental management and sustainable development at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary. Jim Dewald, dean of the Haskayne School, described his colleague as "one of a kind." "Every professor waits their whole life for one student to say 'your course changed my life.' That happened to David every single time he did his course. He had a profound impact on hundreds, hundreds, possibly thousands of students, and a profound impact on all of his colleagues as well," he said. "It's just an unbelievable loss." Dewald said Lertzman's passion for the environment was only overshadowed by his passion for honouring and respecting different people's ways of life, specifically Indigenous views. "Where the environment is something we protect, something that is a part of us … and David really truly believed that. He helped so many people understand what it means to live at one with the environment, so he had a very unique perspective and it was very powerful." Lertzman would take students on a week-long wilderness retreat course that included rigorous academic material but also using senses to navigate, and meditation to find your place within the environment. Lertzman was also a brilliant musician and a beautiful singer — if you weren't his friend, he probably called you his brother, Dewald said. A man was killed in what's suspected to be a bear attack near Waiparous Village, northwest of Calgary.(Google) Dewald said Lertzman's family is hoping to retain their privacy at this sad time. The area will remain closed as officers attempt to capture the animal. The medical examiner's office is working to determine the exact cause of death. Waiparous Village is about 70 kilometres northwest of Calgary.
With demand high and more buyers on the wharfs, lobster prices for P.E.I. fishermen are looking stronger than they have in 15 years. With the season along the North Shore and the eastern end of P.E.I. opening Monday, Charlie McGeoghegan, chair of the Lobster Marketing Board of P.E.I., said early prices are running around $8 for canners and $8.50 for markets. "The price in Nova Scotia was high all winter so we expected it to be better than last year, and it is, so we're glad to see that," said McGeoghegan. "There's lots of demand around and lots of orders. And they didn't get enough to fill the orders last year. So that's kind of a scenario that we haven't seen before, so that's a good thing." There is no inventory left from last year, said McGeoghegan. At the end of last season prices were mostly running between $5 and $6, with some buyers paying up to $6.50. In 2006 prices went as high as $7, which with the increase in costs since is comparable, he said. Prices are expected to go up as the season progresses. "A few of the big [fishing] zones in the Maritimes and the Fundy region close down at the end of May, so there's a lot less product around at that time," said McGeoghegan. "That usually helps the price." The lobster industry faced a lot of unknowns in 2020. Public health restrictions in the pandemic made it difficult for processors to get temporary foreign workers into the country, and the impact on demand from the shutdown of restaurant dining rooms and cruise ships was not known. But the industry is finding itself in a much stronger position at the start of the season this year. More from CBC P.E.I.
Ontario education unions, advocacy groups and parents are raising concerns about a government plan to offer an online learning option for the next school year, saying it could be the start of a permanent change with serious implications for students and workers. At a news conference hosted by the The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario on Wednesday, the groups argued the change would divert funds from in-person learning and weaken the public education system. "At a time when the top education priority for the (Premier Doug) Ford government should be to ensure schools across Ontario remain open safely for in-person learning, they're planning to make virtual learning permanent," said ETFO president Sam Hammond. He and other union and stakeholder panelists argued that in-person learning is crucial to student development, and raised concerns about pressures placed on educators balancing in-person and online teaching demands during the pandemic. Harvey Bischof, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, said online learning has widened inequalities among students. "We are left to wonder why a government that claims to be committed to equity would choose to push an instructional model that creates inequitable learning conditions for students," he said. The union leaders were reacting to a Tuesday announcement from Education Minister Stephen Lecce that online learning would be offered during the next school year amid continued uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic. Ontario schools are currently operating fully remotely during a third wave of infections that's sickening Ontarians by the thousands each day. Lecce also said on Tuesday that the province has committed to "consulting" on making online learning available to students beyond the pandemic. A proposed permanent online learning plan first sparked concern in March when the government shared with stakeholders a draft that outlined different options, including synchronous remote learning and an independent online model for secondary students run by TVO and TFO. Annie Kidder with advocacy group People for Education said a permanent change to the education system shouldn't be made during a crisis like COVID-19. "We need to take the time to look at all the implications of online learning," Kidder said Wednesday. "Some of it's working really, really well, but a move to this kind of massive change right now is simply wrong." A spokeswoman for Lecce did not comment Wednesday on any permanent plans to offer online learning, but said the government wants children to be learning in schools. "Parents deserve a choice next September, as we continue to face uncertainty as a consequence of this global pandemic," Caitlin Clark said. Shameela Shakeel, a York Region parent with Ontario Families for Public Education, questioned whether the choices being offered to parents will reduce resources and teachers available for in-person learning. "I think that if they're going to provide choices, then they need to provide the funding that goes along with those choices," she said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2021. Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press
Cape Breton Regional Police say a body has been found inside a burning shed in Sydney Mines. The department was called to Crescent Street around 4 a.m. Wednesday, where firefighters found the body. Residents of a home located on the property reported the fire after seeing smoke coming from the building. Police say the victim is not a resident of the house. An autopsy will be performed to determine the person's identity and cause of death.(CBC News) CBC News reached out to police, but they did not provide an explanation as to why the victim was in the shed. Spokesperson Desiree Magnus said no further details would be released at this time. Magnus said an autopsy will be performed to confirm identity and cause of death. Officials with the provincial fire marshal's office and police forensic Identification unit are working to determine the cause of the fire. MORE TOP STORIES
A Rwandan woman who was deported by the United States and is facing charges related to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda appeared in court on Wednesday and denied the charges against her. Last month, the 51-year-old woman was flown into Kigali, accompanied by U.S. federal agents. A spokesman for the Rwanda Bureau of Investigation then said on state TV that she would face seven charges related to the genocide ranging from murder to complicity in rape.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, May 6, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 283,833 new vaccinations administered for a total of 14,568,067 doses given. Nationwide, 1,173,962 people or 3.1 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 38,438.905 per 100,000. There were 120,572 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 16,834,204 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 86.54 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 20,902 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 188,204 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 359.421 per 1,000. In the province, 1.85 per cent (9,676) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland and Labrador for a total of 209,050 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 40 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.03 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 6,208 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 56,104 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 353.681 per 1,000. In the province, 6.71 per cent (10,648) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 64,335 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 41 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 87.21 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 41,012 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 334,775 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 343.043 per 1,000. In the province, 3.78 per cent (36,858) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 388,450 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 40 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 86.18 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 26,380 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 279,259 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 358.006 per 1,000. In the province, 3.61 per cent (28,188) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 310,995 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 40 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 89.8 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 57,033 new vaccinations administered for a total of 3,365,575 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 393.329 per 1,000. There were 43,452 new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 3,893,539 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 46 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 86.44 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 132,603 new vaccinations administered for a total of 5,599,723 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 381.217 per 1,000. In the province, 2.59 per cent (381,123) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 6,635,725 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 84.39 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 8,081 new vaccinations administered for a total of 510,022 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 370.385 per 1,000. In the province, 5.38 per cent (74,056) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 575,990 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 42 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 88.55 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 9,968 new vaccinations administered for a total of 470,715 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 399.197 per 1,000. In the province, 3.83 per cent (45,193) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 502,955 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 43 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 93.59 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 26,220 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,694,675 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 384.974 per 1,000. In the province, 6.94 per cent (305,511) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 1,774,065 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 40 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 95.52 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting 33,068 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,943,230 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 378.681 per 1,000. In the province, 1.83 per cent (93,656) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 77,120 new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 2,320,280 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 83.75 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting 286 new vaccinations administered for a total of 48,941 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 1,172.773 per 1,000. In the territory, 54.75 per cent (22,848) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 55,920 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 130 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 87.52 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 48,007 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 1,064.009 per 1,000. In the territory, 48.04 per cent (21,674) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 58,800 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 130 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 81.64 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting 125 new vaccinations administered for a total of 28,837 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 744.642 per 1,000. In the territory, 32.59 per cent (12,621) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 44,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 110 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 65.39 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published May 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
A Conservative motion aimed at unseating the prime minister's top adviser over how the Liberal government has handled the sexual misconduct crisis in the military was defeated easily in the House of Commons today. The Bloc Québécois sided with most government MPs in voting down the non-binding motion that called for the dismissal of Katie Telford, the prime minister's chief of staff. The final vote tally was 209 to 122. One Liberal MP — Bob Bratina of Hamilton East-Stoney Creek — sided with the Conservatives on the vote, which followed a day-long debate on Tuesday. The outcome was a foregone conclusion because the Bloc released a statement saying they would stand with the Liberal government on this matter. The political manoeuvring is the latest episode in a military leadership crisis that erupted three months ago when allegations of inappropriate behaviour involving the country's former top military commander — now-retired general Jonathan Vance — were published in the media. In a media statement, Conservative deputy leader Candice Bergen expressed deep disappointment over the motion's defeat. Conservative deputy leader Candice Bergen leaves a press conference with party leader Erin O'Toole on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.(Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press) An informal allegation of misconduct against Vance was flagged to both the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and the Privy Council Office (PCO) in early 2018. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has acknowledged his staff were aware of the 2018 allegation but has insisted he was not privy to the details until the reports surfaced publicly. More recently, he said that Telford was not aware that it was a "#MeToo" allegation. Bergen said she doesn't believe Trudeau himself was unaware of the substance of the claim. The political fight over Telford is not over. Another Conservative motion before the Commons defence committee calls on her to testify there; it has not been resolved. It was introduced last Friday and prompted a filibuster by Liberal MPs. The committee meeting was suspended without a vote taking place and a follow-up meeting was cancelled earlier this week. The Liberals balked at the notion of calling another witness when the committee had decided already to move on to the report-writing stage. Telford's testimony, however, is considered significant by both the Conservatives and New Democrats, who want to know how an informal allegation of misconduct involving Vance — which was raised by former military ombudsman Gary Walbourne with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan in 2018 — was handled. Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner federal politics is also rife with sexual misconduct.(Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press) Sajjan handed off the allegation to both the PCO and the PMO, but a review by federal officials went nowhere because the complainant refused to step forward and had asked to not be involved. The debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday over whether the prime minister should fire Telford was at times heated and bitter. Several Liberal MPs argued points of process and said that Sajjan and PMO staff followed the proper procedures with the information they had before them. That argument drew an exasperated response from the NDP defence critic. "Does she believe these procedural arguments excuse the failure to investigate and remove [Vance] from office?" asked New Democrat Randall Garrison. Former chief of the defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance.(Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press) Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner took all the parties to task, saying sexual harassment and misconduct is not confined to the military and that politics is rife with it as well. "Silence gives cover to the sins of powerful men," said Rempel Garner. "And I have heard a lot of sanctimony here today. A lot of sanctimony. Every political party who has participated in debates here today has members who have been silent and given cover for the sins of powerful men. So let's not kid ourselves about that." She said she does not believe the prime minister's office was unaware of the full nature of the allegation against Vance. As part of their arguments, the Liberals noted that concerns about Vance's personal conduct were raised when the former Conservative government appointed him in 2015. The national security adviser at the time, Richard Fadden, testified before the House of Commons Canada-China committee on Wednesday, but was asked about the controversy involving in the former general. He painted the concerns as minor when they were raised. "I would like to point out also that appointments by the Governor in Council at that level don't involve investigation into individuals' private lives, because at the time we had no indication that there was a problem with Gen. Vance's life except in one instance where I did a bit of an inquiry into what was happening with a lady who subsequently became his wife when he was stationed at NATO headquarters in Naples, not NATO but Naples," said Fadden. "That was the extent of the involvement."
Demolition of the former Woolworth's store is set for May 17, as the developer searches for a grocery store to anchor a new building for that prime corner in uptown Saint John. The demolition of the building at the top of King Street will make way for a 12-storey development with apartments and commercial space. "We'll be tearing it down and starting a whole new project," said Percy Wilbur, the developer behind the project. Neighbouring buildings, 85 and 87 King, will also be torn down. Percy said barriers will be set up in the area and traffic will be redirected. Charlotte Street will be narrowed from three lanes down to two lanes. South Market Street will be closed for safety reasons, and King Street will lose some of its parking. 'People want to come back' For the past eight weeks, Percy said, crews have been cleaning out mould, mildew and lead paint from the property. Construction will mean 50 to 75 people working on site at one time. The corner across from King Square was once home to Woolworth's, but the old building has gone through exterior changes and then been in decline and empty for a while. The next building will include retail space and 95 rental units. "People want to come back to the city," he said. "There's a new vibe." Postcards from 1960 show the Woolworth's building in better days at the head of King Street, across from King's Square.(Submitted by New Brunswick Museum — Musée du Nouveau-Brunswick) Wilbur says construction on the project could be completed within two and a half years. But that timeline could change because an anchor tenant has not yet been secured. Percy said he has been looking for tenants for several months now. Sights set on a grocery store Percy has his sights set on a local grocery store in that area, an increasingly popular place to live. "I think that would be the best fit in that neighbourhood," he said. "And there seems to be quite a public outcry for that type of business to go in there." The climbing price of building materials also poses a challenge because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But Percy said he has received a lot of support from the public, as well as government officials with the city and the province. "Everything seems to be moving forward," he said.
EDMONTON — Alberta has doubled fines for disobeying public health measures meant to fight COVID-19 and Justice Minister Kaycee Madu is promising a renewed effort to stop public health scofflaws will succeed. “Enforcement will be done, and Albertans will see it being done,” Madu told a news conference Wednesday. “It has become clear that there are a small few who refuse to comply with reasonable and legitimate public health orders" The United Conservative government passed an order in council Wednesday that doubles fines for public health violations to $2,000. Madu said there is also a new protocol for health officials, police and government to co-ordinate and target repeat individuals and groups that flout the law. He said he discussed with police chiefs this week what further tools and resources they need to step up enforcement. Premier Jason Kenney on Tuesday announced stronger measures to reverse soaring COVID-19 cases that threaten to overwhelm hospitals by month’s end and to force doctors to decide which patients get life-saving care. Kenney’s government has been criticized for being a paper tiger on lawbreakers. In January, it allowed some restaurants to flout dine-in restrictions. GraceLife church, in Spruce Grove, Alta., west of Edmonton, was able to hold Sunday services for months that officials have said ignored rules on masks, capacity limits and physical distancing. Police physically blocked off the church just a month ago. The enforcement issue made headlines again on this weekend when hundreds of people gathered near Bowden in central Alberta for a pre-advertised maskless "No More Lockdowns" protest rodeo. Edmonton and Calgary have also seen maskless mass protests against health restrictions. Action was taken Wednesday against one accused repeat offender. Alberta Health Services announced the Whistle Stop Café in Mirror, Alta., had been physically closed and access barred. The café had been flagged for repeatedly breaking COVID-19 health restrictions by staying open and serving customers. Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley said Kenney’s government set its enforcement policy up for failure from the get-go by stressing education first and enforcement as a last resort. Referring to the protocol Madu outlined, Notley said: "The fact there is a protocol to tell them to talk to each other is not new. It is a policy dressed up to look like action, but it is not significant, and that’s why we're calling on them to do more." She criticized the plan to target only repeat offenders: "(That) says to me their plan is to give everybody their first rodeo free, which is in effect what they did with the Bowden rodeo. "This has to stop because that Bowden rodeo will turn out to be a super-spreader. People will get sick from that rodeo. People will get seriously ill." Kenney announced tighter rules Tuesday, some of which came in effect Wednesday. Outdoor gatherings, which had been limited to 10 people, are now capped at five. Worship services, which were allowed at 15 per cent capacity, have been reduced to 15 people maximum. Retailers, which had been open at 15 per cent customer capacity, are restricted to 10 per cent. On Friday, all kindergarten to Grade 12 students will learn from home. On Sunday, restaurants must close their patios and offer takeout service only. Personal wellness services, including hair salons and barber shops, will have to close. Indoor social gatherings remain banned. Entertainment venues, including movie theatres and casinos, also remain closed. As of Wednesday, Alberta had 24,156 active cases of COVID-19, with 666 people in hospital. It has experienced the highest infection rates in North America in recent weeks. There are almost 1.7 million Albertans who have received at least one dose of vaccine. About one in three adults have had a shot. Kenney said the vaccination rollout will be expanded drastically, with everyone in the province 12 and older to soon be eligible. Every Albertan born in 1991 or earlier will be able to book vaccinations starting Friday. On Monday, appointments will be offered to anyone born between 2009 and 1992. Earlier Wednesday, Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children as young as 12. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2021. Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press
Construction in Newfoundland and Labrador continues to boom despite the price of lumber. (Colleen De Neve for CBC News) Sticker shock over lumber prices that have soared over the last year does not seem to have beaten down a desire to build or do repairs in Newfoundland and Labrador homes, a trade group says. The Canadian Home Builders' Associations says supply and demand are driving the skyrocketing prices of lumber, although it also says the industry is still booming. A key factor: the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected supply last year and which also inspired consumer demand, particularly among many people who have been working from home. CHBA executive officer Alexis Foster told CBC News the pandemic shut down lumber mills across Canada and the United States, and they have yet to fully return to pre-pandemic levels state side Rising transportation costs, Foster added, are also fuelling high prices. Then, there is the demand. "We have people looking to do renovations to their homes, new home builds, you're in your home a lot more, you're finding out what's bothering you more, so you want to fix that," Foster said Tuesday. Home renovations are up 26 per cent over the last year across Canada, Foster said. In Newfoundland and Labrador, she said, work has been driven by the provincial government's residential construction rebate program. CHBA-NL president Grant Cooper said the rebate program has done wonders for the construction industry over the pandemic. The program offered a 25 per cent rebate for renovation projects up to $10,000, and the same for new home construction. Canadian Home Builders' Association Newfoundland and Labrador executive officer Alexis Foster lumber prices aren't expected to fall this year, and possibly into 2022. (Mike Simms/CBC) "We've been hurting for a number of years leading up to this. It was quite slow — the demand was down," Cooper said. "In May to June last year, things started to pick up, which it typically does in the summer. But this year was like no other and we're getting more and more calls from homeowners, that despite the increase in prices, [they] are still inquiring about getting work done on their house." Not predicting a drop this year Art Hicks, owner of Home Hardware Building Centre in Witless Bay, told CBC News lumber prices today are three to four times what they were before they started climbing in 2020. Pre-cut two-by-four was $3.39 before the pandemic, but now it's about $13, Hicks said. Oriented strand boards, or OSB, were once $13 and now cost around $62. Plywood has tripled, from $21 to $65. Hicks said retailers have had no choice but to pass on wholesale hikes at the cash register. Cooper said he feels for anyone looking to complete renovations and home projects right now, but said there are silver linings for those looking to build a new home. Canadian Home Builders' Association Newfoundland and Labrador president Grant Cooper says despite the increase in lumber prices, people are still inquiring about getting work done on their homes. (Mike Simms/CBC) "Interest rates are at an all-time low. They may be saving more than they ever have because travel is restricted. They're not spending money that they used to spend," he said. "So, this may be a great time to save up that deposit and put that toward the new build." For those who are willing to wait, Foster said the CHBA is predicting lumber prices will not drop this year, and maybe not even next year, either. Cooper said prices may never return to pre-pandemic levels. "This is something that we're seeing in our national office, [this] lasting until at least 2022," said Cooper. "At the end of the day, it very much is supply- and demand-driven, and until demand comes off, we're still going to see shortages and price increases. This may be the new norm going forward for quite some time." Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
More than 325,000 people, roughly three in 10 Nova Scotians, have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. But two experts say that is not enough to have an effect on the spread of the virus across the province. "We need to get up closer to 50 to 60 per cent before we can really see that," said Dr. Scott Halperin, the director of the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology in Halifax. "We're well on our way to that. "Hopefully, we'll start seeing that effect soon." Part of the problem, according to Halperin, is that few people were infected during the first two waves of the pandemic. As a result, Nova Scotians have had to rely on vaccines for protection. He said had the third wave arrived after more people had their jabs, we might have been spared community spread in the Halifax area. "If that could have been held off for another three or four weeks we might have gotten to the point where we wouldn't have seen this surge," he said. 'The vaccine should do just fine' This surge is being driven primarily by the variant strain first detected in the U.K., but Halperin said the three vaccines currently available in Nova Scotia offer enough protection against it. "The vaccine should do just fine," said Halperin. "What the future holds? That's what we don't know." Halperin said the race is on to protect enough people before the virus mutates to the point where current vaccines provide so little protection that new vaccines have to be created to deal with the new strains. Dr. Rodney Russell is an immunology and virology professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland.(Memorial University of Newfoundland) Meanwhile, Dr. Rodney Russell, an immunology and virology professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, has a warning for those who think they don't need to be vaccinated because herd immunity will protect them against COVID-19. "It's very, very important for people to realize that we may not be able to rely on herd immunity," he said. "If you want immunity, you have to get the vaccine yourself because I think the virus will find the unvaccinated people and keep spreading in them." It's also unclear how many people will need to be vaccinated to create herd immunity or community protection, but Russell said the current thinking is that it will take at least 75 per cent of the population. "Seventy-five per cent should give us enough immunity that we won't have massive outbreaks and explosions in cases like we see now in Halifax, like we saw in Newfoundland back in February," said Russell. "If three-quarters of the population are vaccinated, then three out of four times that the virus tries to spread it gets blocked," he said. "So then you won't have outbreaks and that means we can have a normal life." Disagreement on vaccinating children But the two experts disagree when it comes to the importance of vaccinating children as part of the plan to protect all Nova Scotians. Russell isn't concerned because children "for the most part ... haven't gotten that sick from this virus." "Usually if your symptoms aren't too bad, you're not spreading too bad either," he said. Halperin takes a different view, suggesting the province will need to vaccinate as many people as possible, regardless of their age. "Until we get down into children, 25 or so per cent of our population is staying fully susceptible, and while they may not have the most severe disease they may provide a sufficient susceptible pool to keep the virus circulating," he said. Halperin said if the Nova Scotia government is able to remain on track to immunize at least 75 per cent of its population by the end of June, Nova Scotians should see a return to more normal activities. "I think the new normal will be towards the fall, mid-fall, maybe," he said. "I think we have to hang in there." MORE TOP STORIES
PHOENIX — The U.S. Department of Justice expressed concern Wednesday about ballot security and potential voter intimidation arising from the Republican-controlled Arizona Senate's unprecedented private recount of the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa County. In a letter to GOP Senate President Karen Fann, the head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division said the Senate's farming out of 2.1 million ballots from the state's most populous county to a contractor may run afoul of federal law requiring ballots to remain in the control of elections officials for 22 months. And Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan said that the Senate contractor's plans to directly contact voters could amount to illegal voter intimidation. “Past experience with similar investigative efforts around the country has raised concerns that they can be directed at minority voters, which potentially can implicate the anti-intimidation prohibitions of the Voting Rights Act,” Karlan wrote. “Such investigative efforts can have a significant intimidating effect on qualified voters that can deter them from seeking to vote in the future.” Karlan wants Fann to lay out how the Senate and its contractors will ensure federal laws are followed. She pointed to news reports showing lax security at the former basketball arena where the ballots are being recounted by hand. Fann said Senate attorneys were working on a response she promised to share when it was completed. The Justice Department letter came six days after voting rights groups asked federal officials to intervene or send monitors to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix at the state fairgrounds, where the ballots are being recounted. “We are very concerned that the auditors are engaged in ongoing and imminent violations of federal voting and election laws,” said the letter sent by the Brennan Center for Justice, the Leadership Conference and Protect Democracy. In other developments Wednesday, the Arizona Democratic Party has reached a deal with the Republican-controlled state Senate to ensure that voter and ballot privacy is guaranteed during an unprecedented recount of the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa County. The agreement reached Wednesday puts teeth in a court order that already required the Senate and its contractor, Florida-based Cyber Ninjas, to follow state laws around ballot privacy. Any violations of the agreement would be enforceable by seeking an emergency court order. The agreement also puts in writing a verbal agreement between the Senate and Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs that allows her to have three observers inside the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the state fairgrounds. Under the court order, the Senate and Cyber Ninjas last week released their policies and procedures for the recount. Hobbs' elections director, Bo Dul, told The Associated Press there were major problems with those rules, including that they seemed haphazard, lacked specifics and left much room for interpretation — something that is never allowed in ballot counts. Dul noted that the policies allow counters to accept a large enough error rate to perhaps show Trump won the state. Such an outcome would not change the outcome of the election because the results were certified months ago in the state and Congress. Hobbs on Wednesday sent a letter to the Senate's liaison to its recount contractor, former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, formally laying out a series of problems with the policies. "Mr. Bennett, as a former Secretary of State, you know that our elections are governed by a complex framework of laws and procedures designed to ensure accuracy, security, and transparency," Hobbs wrote. “You also must therefore know that the procedures governing this audit ensure none of those things.” The developments come as the counting of 2.1 million ballots from the November election won by President Joe Biden are off to a slow pace. Bennett told the Associated Press Tuesday night that teams doing a hand recount of the presidential race lost by former President Donald Trump and the U.S. Senate race won by Democrat Mark Kelly has tallied less than 10% of the ballots since starting on April 23. Bennett said it is clear the count can't be done by the time the deal allowing the Senate to use the Coliseum ends on May 14. Several days of high school graduations are set to begin on May 15. Bennett said the plan was to move the ballots and other materials into a secure area of the Coliseum to allow the events, then restart counting and continue until that is completed. That seems far from certain, though, after a state fair board official told the Arizona Republic that extending the Coliseum lease is “not feasible.” The fair board didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from the AP. Trump and his backers have alleged without evidence that he lost Arizona and other battleground states because of fraud. Fann said she wants to prove one way or the other whether GOP claims of problems with the vote are valid and use the results of the audit to craft updated election laws. Bob Christie, The Associated Press
Police in Saskatoon are hoping a voice recording will help them locate Megan Gallagher, a 30-year-old woman who has been missing since September. The recording contains two people using Gallagher's cellphone to call a cab. It was recorded one day after she was last seen. Police said the two people asked to be picked up on the 700 block of Weldon Avenue and were dropped off on the 100 block of Avenue P S. at about 3:30 a.m. CST ob Sept. 21, 2020. Police hope to identify the people on the call so they can be questioned. Gallagher was last seen on video surveillance at a convenience store in the 3700 block of Diefenbaker Drive one day before the call was made. Police said Gallagher's cellphone has not been found. In January, Saskatoon police said the woman's disappearance is being treated as a homicide. The major crimes unit has been investigating along with the missing persons unit. On Sept. 20, Megan Gallagher was captured on a surveillance video at a convenience store on the 3700 block of Diefenbaker Dr. in Saskatoon at around 6 a.m. CST, say police.(Saskatoon Police Service) Police said Gallagher was wearing a black Cabella's hoodie, black pants and a light blue shirt underneath her hoodie at the time of her disappearance. Gallagher has several tattoos, including a half-sleeve with a large owl from shoulder to elbow, a crossbow behind her ear, a rainbow coloured feather on her ankle and the names Jake and Adam beneath her arm. She also has "#13" on her hand. Anyone with information is asked to contact Saskatoon police or Crime Stoppers.
Whale sharks are the biggest sharks in the ocean. In fact, they are the biggest fish of any kind. Second in size only to a few species of whales, they are truly enormous. But despite their size, they are truly the gentle giants of the deep. They have no teeth and they cannot bite a human or cause any harm, unless they crash into one who does not move out of their way. These scuba divers were in complete awe and wonder as they witnessed these mammoths up close in the remote waters off the Galapagos Islands. The sharks come here each year to bear their young and to feed in the currents around the islands. These waters are filled with hammerhead sharks, white tipped sharks, Galapagos sharks, sea turtles and fish of all shapes and sizes. Scuba divers also come here to explore the waters and see these animals in their natural environment.
A Vancouver Island mother is pleading for more long-term drug treatment programs at facilities for children after her 12-year-old died last month from what she suspects was a drug overdose. The BC Coroner's Office says Allayah Thomas' case is under investigation but the cause of death has not yet been confirmed. Adriana Londono spoke to CHEK news and said her daughter Allayah,who went by Ally, died on April 14 in hospital in Victoria after overdosing on drugs at a friend's home in Langford. She got the news of her daughter's death in a phone call. "I just broke down and I was in shock, like, I'm still in shock. And I didn't know how to process it. I just ran to the bathroom and cried and screamed," said Londono. Adriana Londono, the mother of pre-teen who died last month of a suspected drug overdose, says her daughter needed care in a drug treatment facility but was too young to qualify.(Chek News) She described Ally as sweet and loving and said she wanted to be makeup-artist but her life took a turn last year when her daughter started experimenting with drugs including methamphetamine and heroin at 11-years-old. Londono said her family tried to get her help but was told her daughter was too young to qualify for rehab services at a facility which she believes Allayah desperately needed. She explained that she had her daughter when she was 19-years-old and has been struggling with her own mental health issues and substance abuse issues and felt helpless. "I haven't been helped for my problems so I felt how can i help her? I can't even help myself," said Londono. Londono said her daughter was living with her grandparents who also tried to get help. "That was what we really wanted and there was no rehab. They just sent us counsellor numbers, outreach workers and all these things that really weren't enough. Like she needed to go to rehab. There needs to be a rehab facility for kids under 14." Her grandparents told CHEK news, the Grade 6 student refused to go to counselling. Gaps in treatment services B.C.'s Representative for Children and Youth Jennifer Charlesworth acknowledged there are significant gaps in treatment services especially for families living outside of urban areas. She said overdose deaths among children are rare and most treatment services in facilities are geared toward helping older teens. "So it's a wake up call for us to think developmentally how would we work with these young people and 12 year olds shouldn't be with 16 year olds either." Charlesworth said sometimes young people in crisis who are using drugs feel they don't need help so it is important to first reduce the shame and stigma for families seeking help and use harm reduction as a way to prevent overdose deaths. "Harm reduction, again, is really important. Because the child, we need to join with them and then say okay if you are going to use, let's use safely. Then once we've that handled what are some of the options for you to care of yourself without using substances." She said there is a need for residential treatment for serious addictions which can't be addressed with out-patient or outreach services. The Ministry of Children and Family Development said in a statement that it cannot comment due to privacy restrictions but it's practice is to conduct a review of these types of cases. Londono said she wants people to be aware of the toxicity of the drugs that are available and said every family should have a naloxone kit at home to reverse opioid overdoses. She says kids should not be afraid to tell their parents what drugs they have done. "They shouldn't be in fear of being punished. They should be in fear of dying."
For the second time in less than a week, the public health authority in Windsor-Essex is warning about a high number of opioid overdoses. According to an opioid-overdose alert issued on Wednesday, there were eight overdoses recorded in the three-day period between April 30 and May 2. The overdoses occurred primarily in Windsor, according to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, and seven out of the eight involved use of the highly powered opiate fentanyl. The health unit also issued an alert about overdoses on Saturday, saying there had been eight overdoses between April 26 and April 29. In total, there were 16 overdoses in between April 26 and May 2. Additionally, there were 10 EMS overdose notifications flagged by the monitoring system. "Compared to historical weekly comparisons for the same time period, these indicators surpass our threshold levels for an extreme alert," the statement said. The statement said that partners involved in the Windsor-Essex Community Overdose and Substance Strategy (WECOSS), are monitoring the increase and working to understand more about the cases reported. So far this year, WECOSS has issued seven alerts about spikes in overdoses. Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health for Windsor and Essex County, said Wednesday that the pandemic is affecting those with substance use and mental health problems more severely than others. "These high rates of overdoses [are] ringing alarm in our community and we want to make sure that all the agencies that are working with this population are aware and are creating that awareness, distributing naloxone kits, ensuring that all the proper education is provided to them," he said at the WECHU daily briefing on Wednesday.