A stormy day best spent inside in Simcoe, Ontario.
A stormy day best spent inside in Simcoe, Ontario.
Jennifer Coffman didn't expect to get hit with a double whammy at her restaurant in the tiny community of Field just west of the Alberta-British Columbia boundary this year. Coffman has been running the Truffle Pigs Bistro and Lodge for the last 12 years. Field, with a population of just under 200, sits along the Trans-Canada Highway, about 10 kilometres from the Alberta boundary, and relies pretty much on tourism. COVID-19 seriously cut into international visits last year, so Coffman shut down for a couple of months. She expected things would improve this year. But things are tough again with closure of a nearby section of the Trans-Canada for construction this spring and fall, and Albertans being urged by the B.C. government not to travel to the province as the pandemic continues. "I just keep going back to the Monty Python (movie scene) 'Not dead yet' and the guy's got his arms and his legs all cut off," Coffman said. "I don't know how many legs and arms that I can have cut off before I just close down, take a deep breath, and gear up when it's time." Coffman said Albertans accounted for about 80 per cent of business last year and about 50 per cent before the pandemic. "We rely on Calgarians so heavily, right? Especially through this. Albertans are a huge, huge part of why we survive," Coffman said. "Last summer was OK. I thought, 'I've got to count my lucky stars. I can stay open.' But ... this second one is hard." A B.C. RCMP spokeswoman said technically the boundary isn't closed and there won't be any checkstops. "There are no restrictions that preclude people from coming from Alberta," said Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet. "If people are coming from Alberta and travelling to a health region, then they're required to stay within that health region and can go no farther." Shoihet said any travel within B.C. has to be deemed essential. "Please do not come to our province. Stay in your own province unless it's for essential travel. "Stay home. We love you, but stay home." The picturesque resort town of Fernie in southeastern B.C., less than an hour from the boundary, is hoping Albertans will continue coming this summer. Brad Parsell, executive director of the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, says the community is reliant on Alberta visitors. "Fernie might as well be in Alberta for all intents and purposes. We're that reliant on Albertans, obviously in the tourism industry, but in our economy at large," he said. "It's been incredibly challenging for the tourism industry to not have the welcome mat out to those folks at the moment." Parsell said visits from Alberta probably account for 70 to 80 per cent of total business. "It's a huge chunk ... for sure," Parsell said. "This isn't just about arbitrary numbers. These are people's livelihoods and their lives." Business remains slow at the Fernie Hotel and Pub, but manager Alicia Dennis said part of that can be blamed on poor weather and restrictions on indoor dining. She said visitors from Alberta and Saskatchewan were a saving grace last summer. "We definitely noticed a huge spike in people from Saskatchewan and Alberta coming here for vacations. It was definitely one of our busiest summers I've seen so far." In Montana, the border closure between Canada and the United States is hurting the economy in Browning, a town on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. "A lot of our revenue for the local casino comes from folks in Lethbridge (Alta.), ... because we are a border town right next to the Canadian border," said spokesman James McNeely. "I think the state of Montana has seen some impact from the lack of Canadian visitors. We don't see those plates anymore." This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2021. — Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
Canada's chief public health officer reminded Canadians on Saturday that even those who are fully vaccinated remain susceptible to COVID-19. Speaking at a virtual townhall for Yukoners, Dr. Theresa Tam said the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower for anyone who receives two shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. "But it's not absolute. There's reduction in your risk of transmission, but it doesn't necessarily eliminate your risk of transmission," Tam said, adding that the danger dials down especially after the second dose. "Some studies have shown that it reduces the amount of virus in the back of your nose. If you sample people, there's less virus, which means less risk of transmission." Young people, who often work in frontline or essential services and sit at the bottom of vaccination priority queues, now have some of the highest case rates and can transmit the virus despite showing no symptoms, Tam added. "The groups that transmit the virus the most are actually younger adults, many of whom have to work. They can't stay at home," she said. "It's important that we protect them, as well as the fact that if they're protected, we reduce transmission of the virus in the community." Alberta and other parts of Canada remain mired in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as hospitalization rates have started to tick downward in provinces such as Ontario and Quebec. Many parts of the country face tight restrictions, with schools closed across Ontario and Alberta and patios shut down in Montreal, Toronto and — as of this Monday — Calgary. Some Albertans continue to chafe at the tougher measures, which Premier Jason Kenney announced Tuesday. Protesters went ahead with an anti-lockdown demonstration outside a highway diner in central Alberta on Saturday, despite pouring rain and a pre-emptive court injunction. Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the Whistle Stop Café in the hamlet of Mirror, Alta., for the "Save Alberta Campout Protest." The largely mask-free gathering follows a rodeo billed as an anti-lockdown event held last weekend in Bowden, about 100 kilometres southwest of Mirror. Alberta Health Services has said the provincial government will take legal action to stop any planned protests of COVID-19 public health orders, including the one outside the café. Mass vaccination efforts continue to broaden across swaths of the country. In Ontario, nearly 150 pharmacies started offering COVID-19 vaccines to all adults in some virus hot spots this weekend, a shift made to align with provincial efforts to protect the most vulnerable amid a third wave of infections. The province quietly announced the expanded eligibility — for anyone aged 18 and older — on a provincial pharmacy vaccine booking webpage on Friday afternoon, with slightly more than half of the locations in Toronto and Peel Region. On Thursday, Quebec said it vaccinated 102,762 people, the highest single-day number since the start of its vaccine rollout. The province set another record that day, when vaccinations opened to everyone 35 and over, with 272,000 people booking vaccinations, Health Minister Christian Dubé said Friday. Quebec's health situation remains relatively stable, with the number of new COVID-19 cases falling short of 1,000 for the sixth day in a row on Saturday and hospitalizations also on the decline. Dispiriting numbers kicked off the weekend in Nova Scotia, however. The province continues to log high case counts of COVID-19, reporting 163 new infections Saturday, mostly in the Halifax region. On the other side of the country, communities along the Alberta-British Columbia boundary said they're worried continuing COVID-19 restrictions could hit their economies hard this summer. The B.C. government is discouraging Alberta tourists from visiting. In Fernie, in southeastern B.C., the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce said about 80 per cent of tourism business comes from Alberta and Saskatchewan — and he's encouraging travellers to keep coming. A spokeswoman for the RCMP in B.C. clarified that Albertans are not prohibited from visiting British Columbia, but, once there, they aren't allowed to travel to other areas within the province unless it's deemed essential. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2021. — With files from Hina Alam in Vancouver, Fakiha Baig in Edmonton and Holly McKenzie-Sutter in Toronto Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press
HALIFAX, United Kingdom — Nova Scotia's top doctor has launched a social media meme with his comments imploring residents to cease shopping for non-essential items, including Birkenstock sandals offered at sale prices. As the province hit record-high numbers of new COVID-19 positive cases on Friday, Dr. Robert Strang referenced a sale of the sandals at Costco, where they were being sold for just under $60. Strang said during a briefing that "it is not the time to go to Costco for sandals you heard were in stock. It's critical you limit your trips." Former premier Stephen McNeil, who during the province's first wave famously coined the phrase "Stay the Blazes home," later posted a tweet of his feet in old Birkenstocks, writing, "Listen to the Good Doctor: this is not the time." This set off other postings from Nova Scotians, including one woman wearing multi-coloured, plastic fish sandals as her personal reminder to stay home. Despite chilly, freezing rain outdoors, Strang posted his own tweet of his feet in old Birkenstocks, responding to the premier under the hashtag #thisisnotthetime. Not all social media users got on board. "People of Nova Scotia need to stop showing their feet...We get you have sandals already," wrote one Twitter user. "Whip dee doo da day!" This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2021. The Canadian Press
Is Gerald Cotten, the late CEO of Canada’s largest cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX really dead? That's just one of the questions explored in the documentary Dead Man's Switch a crypto mystery (part of the 2021 Hot Docs festival), which takes you on a deep, but explanatory, dive into the mysterious death that left $215 million dollars in cash and cryptocurrency missing.
Two people are dead following a single vehicle crash in Mississauga on Saturday morning. Peel Regional Police responded to reports of a collision at Burnhamthorpe Road West and Promontory Crescent shortly after 7:15 a.m. Speaking to reporters from the scene, Peel police spokesperson Const. Heather Cannon said the vehicle was travelling westbound on Burnhamthorpe Road West when at some point, it veered off the road and struck a pole. Cannon said the vehicle was on fire when emergency crews arrived. The two victims were inside the vehicle at the time of the crash, Cannon said. They were both pronounced dead on scene. No details about the victims or what may have led to the collision have been released. Mississauga Fire assisted at the scene and the Peel Regional Police's Major Collision Bureau is helping with the investigation.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association says there should have been more education consultation ahead of the Greene report. The long-awaited report from the premier's economic recovery team, led by chair Moya Greene, was released Thursday, aiming to address what Greene calls a "fiscal crisis" with recommendations for everything from cuts and tax increases to privatization and a streamlining of the public service. President Dean Ingram said Friday that parts of the report are 'beyond disappointing' and even 'insulting.' "There was nobody on the premier's economic recovery team, including Dame Greene, with extensive background experience or expertise in public education," he said. According to Ingram, the NLTA met with Greene in November 2020. He said the meeting lasted less than an hour, and that was the only time they were consulted. "The report calls for increased support for students with disabilities, mental health issues and those at risk of dropping out of school, at the same time criticizing the recent resources added to the system to implement the 2017 recommendations of the Premier's Task Force on improving educational outcomes." Ingram has also taken issue with Greene's recommendation to ensure that principals, vice principals and other supervisory staff be removed from the NLTA. He said the NLTA will fight any attempt by the government to legislate changes to collective agreements or to remove any member from the association. Changes to school hours recommended In the report, Greene recommended changing school hours to create an eight-hour-day for teachers, so they can use some non-teaching time during the work day for professional development. Ingram said the reasoning behind that suggestion was offensive. "The suggestion that extending official school operational hours will somehow create more time for professional learning collaboration is ill-informed and insulting," he said. "To suggest that teachers engage in five hours of instruction per day without investing additional time in planning and preparation is naive." One of Greene's most significant recommendations was to "streamline" the administrative structure by eliminating the English and Francophone school districts, with a goal of spending less on administration and reinvesting that money directly at the school level. It will not be positive for students. It will not be positive for teachers. It will not be positive for the province. - Dean Ingram Ingram said he can't figure out how that move would help to improve educational outcomes. "The fact of the matter is that [the English and Francophone school districts] perform administrative support for the system," he said. "The report is very vague on how this will actually provide an economic benefit." He compared the idea to when the government reduced the number of English school districts in the province from four to one in 2013. "I know that in terms of the removal of support, it removes another layer of support for the system," he said. "Having those supports downloaded to our school administrators will not be positive for the system. It will not be positive for students. It will not be positive for teachers. It will not be positive for the province." Education Minister Tom Osborne is not ruling out the possibility of abolishing the French and English school districts, as recommended in the Greene report. (Patrick Buter/CBC ) Meantime, Education Minister Tom Osborne is not ruling out the possibility of abolishing the French and English school districts. "We need to analyze whether or not, constitutionally, it's even a possibility," Osborne said. "We need to consult with those affected, as well." Greene's report noted a few staggering facts, including three schools in the province that don't have any students and 10 schools in the province with less than 10 students. Those facilities, according to the report, are costing the province hundreds of thousands of dollars. Osborne said he wasn't surprised that Greene acknowledged the empty or near-empty facilities. Even so, he said stakeholders and the public will be consulted before any recommendations from Greene's report are implemented. "Over the past number of days and weeks, we have been looking at schools with no children and no children projected to go into them … I've had discussions with the English school district on what the future of those buildings are," he said. "I think the taxpayers of the province would have a lot to say as to whether or not it's practical or acceptable to continue to fund the building and the other costs associated with the building if there are no children to go into that building." Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
New Brunswick Public Health has reported the fifth death in a week related to a COVID-19 outbreak at a Grand Falls special care home. A person in their 90s in the Edmundston region has died "as a result of COVID-19," according to a news release from the province Saturday. The person was the oldest resident at Grand Falls special care home Pavillon Beau-Lieu, where there's an outbreak involving confirmed cases of the variant first found in South Africa. Abigail McCarthy, a spokesperson with the Department of Health, said in an email Saturday that most residents of the special care home have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. She said a first-dose clinic was held for the residents on Feb. 20 and a second-dose clinic was held on April 23. There are now 41 deaths from the respiratory disease in the province. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell said the news of another death is "difficult to learn." "I join all of New Brunswick in holding this person's grieving family and friends in my thoughts," Russell said in the release. There were eight new cases of COVID-19 reported in the province Saturday, which brings the total number of active cases to 141. The breakdown of new cases is as follows: Moncton region, Zone 1: two cases: Two people under 19. One case is travel-related and the other is the contact of a previously confirmed case. Saint John region, Zone 2: two cases: Two people 30 to 39. Both cases are travel-related. Fredericton region, Zone 3: one case: A person 50 to 59. Bathurst region, Zone 6: three cases: A person 20 to 29. A person 50 to 59. A person over 90. Each case is a contact of a previously confirmed case. There are 10 people in the hospital, including three who are hospitalized outside of the province, and two in intensive care. There have now been 1,996 confirmed cases in New Brunswick and 1,813 recoveries. Yesterday, 1,459 people were tested and a total of 303,596 tests have been conducted since the onset of COVID-19. This colourized scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. (NIAID) Magee House to release residents testing negative Public Health announced Saturday residents of Magee House on the University of New Brunswick campus, who test negative for COVID-19 will be allowed to leave as of midnight tonight. The remaining cases will continue to self-isolate in the apartment-style residence next week. The outbreak that involves the COVID-19 variant first reported in India, was declared nearly two weeks ago. Residents staying in the building have been under lockdown since. There were at least 12 confirmed cases of the virus involved in the outbreak. What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: Fever above 38 C. New cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
VANCOUVER — Demand for jade has sparked both a reality TV series set in the remote northwestern corner of British Columbia and opposition from an Indigenous nation over its lack of consent to jade mining in its territory. The Tahltan Nation has strong ties to the mining and mineral exploration sector, but the extraction of nephrite jade is "a very problematic industry for us," said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. B.C.'s consultation with the nation over jade mining permit applications has been "minimal," Day said in an interview, and in recent years the nation has expressed opposition to new permits and the industry overall. Abandoned machinery, shipping containers and jade boulders, cut open and discarded because they're too low in quality, are scattered across areas where caribou roam and Tahltan people hunt and go snowmobiling, he said. Day said he's also concerned that unlike major mines, smaller-scale jade extraction doesn't always require archeological assessment before work starts. Any discoveries are important evidence of Tahltan rights and title to the nation's territory that comprises 11 per cent of the province, he said. B.C.'s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources and to stop work in the event of a potential finding. Jade is mined from mountainsides or through placer mining, a smaller-scale excavation ranging from old-style gold panning to digging in and around riverbeds for deposits of minerals washed away over time. The Mines Ministry said it has been working with the industry and Indigenous nations to develop recommendations for higher operational and reclamation standards for the sector. The B.C. government paused decisions on new placer jade permits in Tahltan territory for two years as it works to "establish a long-term economic, reconciliation, wildlife and land-use partnership" with the nation, Mines Minister Bruce Ralston said in a recent statement. Ten jade mining permits remain active in Tahltan territory, the ministry said, while 34 are inactive after operating between 2015 and 2019. Another seven permits are not being used because the operators' certificates are suspended, it said. The ministry said it takes issues of non-compliance seriously and uses enforcement tools, such as monetary penalties, as a deterrent. There is no index for the price of jade, which refers to two different stones: nephrite and jadeite. The finest jadeite can be valued at a higher price than the same weight in gold, while the jade mined in B.C. is mainly nephrite. Its value is determined by different factors including its colour and clarity. While the Tahltan have signed engagement agreements with many mineral exploration companies, along with impact benefit agreements for three major mines, there are no such agreements with jade operators, said Day. "Is there any revenue sharing? Are there jobs? Are there contracts? Is there equity ownership? Where are the benefits?" he asked. "There's nothing." Day and other Tahltan leaders visited jade and placer mining operations by helicopter in 2019 to deliver letters expressing their lack of consent. Among those who received a letter were the Bunces, a mining family featured on the reality TV show "Jade Fever." The seventh season is set to launch Monday on Discovery Canada, which is owned by Bell Media. Concerns over the jade industry have "been on the radar of more and more Tahltan people because of Jade Fever," Day said. The show follows the Bunces' mining operation as they search for "million-dollar boulders of jade," according to promotional materials posted online. It's a small-scale, family-run operation with an exploration permit to work on one claim, which is not a placer claim, Claudia Bunce said in an email. The permit limits their land disturbance to 2.5 hectares over five years and it required a financial surety to ensure remediation of the land, she said. Every permit under the Mines Act includes a bond that's held until reclamation is finished, or the money may be seized, the Mines Ministry said. The B.C. government has improved environmental regulations for jade mining in recent years, said Bunce, adding she fully supports those measures and any additional recommendations the Tahltan have. Their target is to extract about 50 tonnes of jade each year, said Bunce, enough to fashion jewelry and other products sold at the family's store in Jade City, a tiny community between Dease Lake and the Yukon boundary. Revenue from the store funds their next mining season, she said. Bunce said she's had to fight for a voice in a male-dominated industry and she respects others' right to do the same, including the Tahltan. After receiving the letter from Tahltan leaders, Bunce said she immediately called the Mines Ministry to confirm their jade operation was lawful. "I was told by (the ministry) that my permit goes through a consultation process before being approved, with three Indigenous groups in the area, the Tahltan, the Tse'Khene, and Kaska Nation," she said. Tahltan consent is not required, but that's set to change as the B.C. government implements the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which it adopted through legislation in late 2019. The declaration requires governments to obtain free, prior and informed consent before taking actions that affect Indigenous Peoples and territories. Bunce said it's up to the B.C. government, not individual mining operations, to implement the UN declaration and she hopes the Tahltan can reach an agreement with the province that addresses their concerns. "I will abide by whatever agreement they make," she added. Jade Fever's producers at Vancouver-based Omnifilm Entertainment were aware of the Tahltan letter delivered to the Bunces, they said in a statement. At the time, they contacted the province and confirmed the Bunces have a work permit that provided for Indigenous consultation, they said. "As a documentary series, we are on site to follow the real-life story of a family run jade operation. We do not participate in the mining or intervene in the business side of their operation as that is handled by the family." A statement from a Bell Media spokesperson said the company had not been aware of the concerns over jade mining raised by the Tahltan Nation. "We take this matter seriously and are investigating further," it said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2021. This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press
Ontarians living in hot-spot communities now have more options when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines. The province has expanded the number of pharmacies administering the shots and has increased both the types of shots they can give and to whom.
Myanmar's army has struggled to impose order since seizing power on Feb. 1 and detaining elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The National Unity Government (NUG), which operates under cover and itself describes the army as a terrorist force, announced this week that it would set up a People's Defence Force. "Their acts caused so much terrorism in many places," state television MRTV said, announcing that the NUG, a committee of ousted lawmakers known as the CRPH and the new force would all now be covered by the anti-terrorism law.
With widely spaced sun loungers and regular disinfections, Greece reopened its organised beaches on Saturday as the popular Mediterranean holiday destination eases COVID-19 curbs in preparation for the return of foreign visitors next week. "We're pinning our hopes on tourism," said Nikos Venieris, who manages a sandy beach in the seafront suburb of Alimos, just outside the capital, Athens, where social distancing measures will remain in place. "We're one of the places along the Athens riviera ... that receives many tourists so the number of visitors from abroad will play a big role in our finances," he added.
While on a 911 call for help, Alicia Lewandowski was heard pleading for her attacker to stop, minutes before she was found shot and lying face down in the parking lot of her mother’s Mississauga townhouse complex, a Peel police officer testified Friday. Lewandowski was "in distress, out of breath and crying, " Const. Todd Chapman told a Brampton court of the information he was provided by the dispatcher as he raced to the address at Rathburn Road and Dixie Road. "The female was saying, ‘what are you doing, stop it, ’" Chapman said. "She even stated that she had been shot in the head. "She said she didn’t know if she was dead or alive, " Chapman recalls of the information he was given before arriving at the scene where Lewandowski was left to die. "She said she’s bleeding from the head and she said that her boyfriend was Joseph Chang and that the police are looking for him." Before the call ended, Lewandowski told the dispatcher that "he’s trying to hide his gun, " Chapman recalls. Chapman’s account of the emergency call that came in at about 5:02 a.m. on March 5, 2018, came Friday, day five of the first-degree murder trial of Joseph Chang, who’s accused of the shooting death of his then girlfriend, Lewandowski, 25. Chapman, who was sitting in his cruiser at the time, called for backup and made his way to the scene, arriving about six minutes after the call came in. Const. Adam Callan was among the first Peel officers to arrive at the housing complex, to find Lewandowski’s motionless body next to shards of broken glass and a cellphone in the parking lot adjacent to the Rathburn Road East house where she lived with her mother, Mira Lewandowski. "We rolled her over, to check on further medical status and her condition, " Chapman said. "We determined that she wasn’t breathing." The officers quickly started CPR to revive Lewandowski, whose hair and head was bloodied. Moments later, the victim’s frantic mother rushed to the scene, asking officers if her daughter was shot, but police refused to let her near. Chapman later told Mira that her daughter had died. The trial, conducted via Zoom video-conference before Ontario Superior Court Justice Jennifer Woollcombe, also heard how on March 3, just days before the shooting, firefighters had gone to Chang’s 23rd-floor midtown Toronto condo to respond to calls of flooding in the unit. Once inside the Balliol Street apartment, fire crews found a chaotic scene, with drugs and drug paraphernalia "all over the place, " as well as dozens of hypodermic needles floating in the pool of water gushing from a broken sprinkler head, Toronto firefighter Martin Suchma said. Even more bizarre to Suchma was that Chang, who was inside the chaotic unit, was scarcely responding to the crews commands to leave. "He sort of just carried about his business, " Suchma said. "Effectively, saw that we were there, but kind of ignored us." A seemingly confused and scarcely responsive Chang, who noted that he needed his keys, shuffled around the apartment before eventually following orders to leave. In his cross-examination of Suchma, Chang’s defence lawyer Randall Barrs honed in on his client’s seemingly bizarre state at the time. The trial has already heard testimony from neighbours at Lewandowski’s complex, who recall hearing four loud bangs the morning she was shot, followed by a woman screaming out and a dark vehicle leaving the scene. Lewandowski, a Humber College student, who was studying esthetics and spa management, was shot at least three times, including once to the chest and once to the head, when she called police. Video captured a dark-coloured vehicle entering the complex at 4:58 a.m., before exiting four minutes later. Lewandowski was pronounced dead at the scene. Police found three live rounds on the pavement of the parking lot. Her boyfriend, Chang, then 39, was arrested in Toronto about 14 hours later and charged with first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty. Alicia’s mother has told the court that Chang and her daughter had a "volatile" relationship and she tried unsuccessfully to keep her daughter away from the accused, and that, by 2017, she had become increasingly concerned after it became clear that the couple were drug addicts. Court has seen photographs of a black 2010 Infiniti G37S car, a handgun and two magazines seized by police. Investigators found several items in the car, including a purse and a wallet containing several items, including a health card belonging to the victim, and bail documents belonging to the accused. Jason Miller, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
Some Alberta physiotherapists are hiring additional staff to deal with a wave of COVID-19 long-haulers, an issue they expect to worsen as the province records its highest case counts of the pandemic. Jessica DeMars is a respiratory physiotherapist with Breathe Well Physio in Calgary, and she said around 80 percent of her patients are what's been termed "long COVID" patients — people with enduring and debilitating symptoms linked to a COVID-19 infection. Breathe Well Physio had to bolster their staff ranks to accommodate the increase in patients, a trend that dates back to last summer. "We were getting some patients that were referred for shortness of breath issues that we could trace back to a viral illness in March, but most of them at that time hadn't qualified for any testing because it was still really early," she said in an interview with CBC Edmonton's Radio Active on Tuesday. "All of the symptoms were in line with COVID, and we started realizing that, OK, this is interesting." Researchers estimate about 10 per cent of people who contract COVID-19 will develop long-haul symptoms — beyond three weeks — ranging from fatigue to heart palpitations. DeMars was prepared for an increase in COVID patients who had been in intensive care, but she started to notice an influx of people with ongoing symptoms who had not been hospitalized. Christy Pederson, and Edmonton physiotherapist, is also seeing a rise. She sees similarities between recovering cancer patients and long COVID patients. "We're doing a lot of very similar treatment methods of just that rest, pace, breathing," she said Pederson, who works at Leading Edge Physiotherapy Cancer Rehabilitation Centre. Pederson said the illness is earning its name, as some patients take several months to recover. A study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine found about five per cent of severe COVID-19 patients reported breathlessness a year after their release from hospital. "There's still lots of research that needs to be done to understand exactly what's going on and then to be able to successfully treat it," DeMars said. She said post-viral infections are common, but not at the scale of COVID-19 infection. "When we are talking the numbers of COVID infections that we're seeing, 10 percent of that number is huge. We are talking about tens of thousands of people in Alberta potentially being disabled for a long time," DeMars said. Pederson wants long COVID patients to know they are not alone and treatment available. "We are learning lots about this, and there are treatments out there that we can help them with so that they can return to some kind of functional level and get some quality of life back."
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Sunday May 9, 2021. There are 1,279,971 confirmed cases in Canada. Canada: 1,279,971 confirmed cases (81,052 active, 1,174,351 resolved, 24,568 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 6,805 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 213.27 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 52,103 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 7,443. There were 39 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 307 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 44. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 64.64 per 100,000 people. There have been 32,549,753 tests completed. Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,133 confirmed cases (71 active, 1,056 resolved, six deaths). There were six new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 13.6 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 52 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 248,761 tests completed. Prince Edward Island: 186 confirmed cases (10 active, 176 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 6.26 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of five 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 148,332 tests completed. Nova Scotia: 3,754 confirmed cases (1,538 active, 2,145 resolved, 71 deaths). There were 163 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 157.04 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,179 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 168. There was one new reported death Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of four new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is one. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.06 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 7.25 per 100,000 people. There have been 661,716 tests completed. New Brunswick: 1,996 confirmed cases (142 active, 1,813 resolved, 41 deaths). There were eight new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 18.17 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 63 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is nine. There was one new reported death Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of five new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is one. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 5.25 per 100,000 people. There have been 312,348 tests completed. Quebec: 357,174 confirmed cases (8,655 active, 337,538 resolved, 10,981 deaths). There were 958 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 100.94 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 6,300 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 900. There were seven new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 48 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is seven. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 128.06 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,540,951 tests completed. Ontario: 489,087 confirmed cases (32,888 active, 447,938 resolved, 8,261 deaths). There were 2,864 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 223.21 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 22,354 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 3,193. There were 25 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 182 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 26. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.18 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 56.07 per 100,000 people. There have been 14,264,950 tests completed. Manitoba: 41,425 confirmed cases (3,237 active, 37,198 resolved, 990 deaths). There were 488 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 234.69 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,432 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 347. There were three new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 14 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.15 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 71.78 per 100,000 people. There have been 709,668 tests completed. Saskatchewan: 42,964 confirmed cases (2,293 active, 40,169 resolved, 502 deaths). There were 269 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 194.54 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,604 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 229. There were zero new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of eight new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is one. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.1 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 42.59 per 100,000 people. There have been 792,177 tests completed. Alberta: 207,157 confirmed cases (25,155 active, 179,894 resolved, 2,108 deaths). There were 2,042 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 568.88 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 13,990 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,999. There were two new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 25 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.67 per 100,000 people. There have been 4,272,048 tests completed. British Columbia: 134,341 confirmed cases (6,940 active, 125,799 resolved, 1,602 deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 134.82 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 4,024 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 575. There were zero new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 21 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is three. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.06 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 31.12 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,556,533 tests completed. Yukon: 82 confirmed cases (one active, 79 resolved, two deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. 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 cases. 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 9,129 tests completed. Northwest Territories: 99 confirmed cases (48 active, 51 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 106.29 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 zero per 100,000 people. There have been 20,024 tests completed. Nunavut: 560 confirmed cases (74 active, 482 resolved, four deaths). There were seven new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 188.04 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 51 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 10.16 per 100,000 people. There have been 13,040 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published May 9, 2021. The Canadian Press
Russia is working on strengthening its military base in Tajikistan and will do all it can to support the former Soviet republic amid rising tensions in Afghanistan, the RIA news agency cited President Vladimir Putin as saying on Saturday. Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon, at a meeting with Putin in Moscow, said the situation in neighbouring Afghanistan had escalated since the United States' announcement last month that it would pull out its troops, with President Joe Biden promising the withdrawal of all troops by Sept. 11.
WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama’s dog Bo died Saturday after a battle with cancer, the Obamas said on social media. News of Bo's passing was shared by Obama and his wife Michelle on Instagram, where both expressed sorrow at the passing of a dog the former president described as a “true friend and loyal companion.” “He tolerated all the fuss that came with being in the White House, had a big bark but no bite, loved to jump in the pool in the summer, was unflappable with children, lived for scraps around the dinner table, and had great hair,” Barack Obama wrote. Bo, a Portuguese water dog, was a gift to the Obamas from the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., a key supporter of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign who became close to the family. Bo helped Obama keep a promise to daughters Malia and Sasha that they could get a dog after the election. A companion dog, Sunny, joined the family in August 2013. Both were constant presences around the White House and popular among visitors there, often joining the Obamas for public events. The dogs entertained crowds at the annual Easter Egg Roll and Bo occasionally joined Mrs. Obama to welcome tourists. The dogs also cheered wounded service members, as well as hospitalized children the first lady would visit each year just before Christmas. In a post featuring a slideshow of images of Bo — including one of him sitting behind the president’s Resolute Desk in the Oval Office — Mrs. Obama recounted his years bringing some levity to the White House. “He was there when Barack and I needed a break, sauntering into one of our offices like he owned the place, a ball clamped firmly in his teeth. He was there when we flew on Air Force One, when tens of thousands flocked to the South Lawn for the Easter Egg Roll, and when the Pope came to visit,” she wrote. Mrs. Obama wrote that she was grateful for the time the family got to spend with him due to the pandemic, and said that over the past year, “no one was happier than Bo.” “All his people were under one roof again,” she wrote. ___ Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report. Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press
Calgary police have arrested two organizers of a church service who have been defying public health restrictions throughout the pandemic. On Saturday, Artur and Dawid Pawlowski were charged with organizing an illegal in-person gathering, inciting or inviting others to attend an illegal gathering, as well as promoting and attending the gathering. Earlier this week, Alberta Health Services obtained a Court of Queen's Bench Order that applied to gatherings such as protests, demonstrations and rallies. AHS officials already took action using the order against the Whistle Stop Café in Mirror, Alta., physically closing the restaurant on Wednesday in advance of a planned anti-mask protest. On Saturday, that protest went ahead. Afterward, RCMP officers ticketed those leaving the event and arrested the protest's organizer. Calgary police said they proactively served the church organizers with the order to ensure citizens attending service on Saturday were abiding by public health orders. In a release, police said the Pawlowskis "acknowledged the injunction, but chose to ignore requirements for social distancing, mask wearing and reduced capacity limits for attendees" and went ahead with the event. Throughout the pandemic, the brothers have held large, maskless gatherings and have denied health officials entry to the church, which is located in the southeast neighbourhood of Dover. The Pawlowskis and other members of their church have been frequent participants at anti-mask rallies in Calgary. In this photo, from an anti-health restrictions protest on May 2, one of the church attendees can be seen wearing a fake nurses costume covered in dolls representing dead babies. (Submitted) AHS has said previously that attempts by health inspectors to enter the church have been met with abusive language and racial slurs. On Saturday, video from the scene showed one of the church's leaders scream at police, comparing the officers to Nazis. In another livestreamed video, following the Pawlowskis' arrest, mayoral candidate Kevin J. Johnston said if elected, he is prepared to arm himself and go to the homes of health officials who have taken enforcement actions against the church. Artur Pawlowski was fined last year for failing to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions, and has drawn controversy for past comments, like when he said Calgary's flooding in 2013 was caused by God's tears over homosexuality. Pawlowski has also been a speaker at several anti-mask rallies in Calgary. On Saturday afternoon, police attended the site of a planned anti-mask rally in northeast Calgary — advertised as a "massive exposure rally" — but said no attendees were present. Alberta currently has more than 25,000 active COVID-19 cases, and the highest rate of active cases in the country. If Alberta's case numbers don't come down, public-health officials have warned that hospitals could be overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients within a month. "It is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people's desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest. However, as we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone's safety and wellbeing," police said.
It doesn't look like much now, but baseball players in Bedeque, P.E.I., could be hitting home runs and catching fly balls at a fancy new baseball field by the end of the summer thanks in part to the Toronto Blue Jays. Construction on the new field began last fall and is expected to resume this month, said Ryan McKenna, co-president of the Bedeque and Area Minor Baseball Association "The goal of the project was to bring a state-of-art facility here to the community in Bedeque and hopefully attract some national tournaments along the way. We want to make it as nice of a field as possible and we're on our way there." On Friday, the Jays Care Foundation, a charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays, officially announced Bedeque as one of 14 recipients across Canada that will receive funding through the Field of Dream Program. Bedeque will receive $90,000 from the foundation. The P.E.I. government is contributing $100,000. Players in Bedeque currently play at another field in the community and others in the surrounding area, including Kowalski Park in Freetown. Some baseball teams in Bedeque play at Kowalski Field in nearby Freetown.(Shane Ross/CBC) The new field will give players in the U-15 league and above another place to play as the sport continues to grow and for people to gather. "It's also creating a great hub for the community as well with a beautiful walking trail along the perimeter and down the sidewalk of Linkletter Avenue," McKenna said. "I just think overall it is a really exciting project for the community." The other communities who received funding for from the Jays Foundation are: Bedeque, P.E.I. – Bedeque & Area Minor Baseball Association. Dartmouth, N.S. – Diamond Dawgs Baseball Club. Tobique First Nation, N.B. – Mah-Sos School. La Pocatière, Que. – Association de baseball mineur de La Pocatière Blind River, Ont. – Town of Blind River. Forest, Ont. – Forest Minor Baseball Association. Gananoque, Ont. – Town of Gananoque. Kenora, Ont. – Kenora Chiefs Advisory. Ottawa, Ont. – South Ottawa Little League. St. Mary's, Ont. – Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Toronto, Ont. – Variety Village. Toronto, Ont. – West Hill Baseball League. Moosomin, Sask. – Moosomin Minor Ball Association. Beaumont, Alta. – Beaumont Minor Baseball Association. More from CBC P.E.I.
The Iqaluit Elders' Home is being closed and elders are being moved out of the facility, after staff members were exposed to COVID-19 and ordered to isolate, according to Nunavut's Department of Health. Department spokesperson Chris Puglia did not say where the exposure had taken place in an email to CBC News on Saturday night. Six clients have been transferred to other facilities, four are being transferred to Embassy West Senior Living retirement home in Ottawa because of more advanced needs, while the rest are being cared for elsewhere in the territory, he said. The territory's chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, approved the transfers and has ordered a 14-day isolation period for residents moving to other facilities and for those who have opted to go to their home communities. Two clients are being chartered to Ottawa Saturday night, while the other two will fly tomorrow, said the statement. "There is currently no estimate when the Elders' Home in Iqaluit will be operational again," he said. "However, once the outbreak is over and staffing permits, residents will be able to return." Puglia also noted that all the clients have been fully vaccinated, and PPE will be worn during the transfer process. This comes as the number of COVID-19 cases in Iqaluit dropped to 74 on Saturday. According to data from public health, seven more people in the capital city tested positive for the virus but 10 cases throughout the territory were considered newly resolved.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Saturday condemned Israel's plans to evict Palestinians from homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers, following a night of violence in Jerusalem. Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades towards rock-hurling Palestinian youth at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque late on Friday. The clashes at Islam's third holiest site and around East Jerusalem, which injured 205 Palestinians and 17 police officers, came amid mounting anger over the planned evictions.