A violent confrontation in Red Deer, Alta., this weekend has sparked a criminal investigation by the RCMP after what was supposed to be an anti-racism rally deteriorated into blows.
MONTREAL — The second wave of COVID-19 in Quebec will be younger, more spread out across the province, and possibly more challenging for the health network compared to the first wave, Health Minister Christian Dube said Tuesday.Most COVID-19 deaths during the first wave were concentrated in Montreal-area closed living environments such as long-term care homes. The second wave, however, is being driven by community spread in regions that were largely untouched the first time around, Dube said.Quebec reported 489 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, one day after the province's public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, announced that the second wave of the pandemic had begun."We noticed that the start of this second wave is not all like the first wave," Dube told reporters in Quebec City. Regions that were spared in the spring, such as the Quebec City area, "are now very affected by the virus."The second wave is also driven mostly by younger people who may be less likely to fall seriously ill but who are more likely to spread the virus in the community, where it is more difficult to trace, Dube said.Eventually, he said, those cases will make their way into the health network, which has been "weakened" by an exhausting spring and summer fighting the novel coronavirus. "People are tired. Our employees are tired. It was difficult, we gave them holidays, but that's not sufficient. I think we need to protect them."Dube said projections on hospitalization levels will be released Wednesday.Also on Tuesday, the health minister raised the alert level for three more regions. Dube said the Laval region north of Montreal and the Outaouais region in western Quebec will be moving to the orange, or moderate, alert level. The Centre-du-Quebec region in central Quebec will move from green to the yellow, early-warning level, he said.Orange is the second-highest level in the province's COVID-19 risk-assessment system, which measures the risk posed by COVID-19 in specific geographic areas.Laval and Outaouais join Montreal, the Quebec City area as well as the Chaudiere-Appalaches region in the orange list, which involves tighter restrictions on bars and restaurants as well as lower limits on most indoor gatherings.In orange zones, bars and restaurants will need to stop selling alcohol at 11 p.m. and close by midnight, while a maximum of six patrons will be allowed to sit at the same table, down from 10 patrons. Indoor private gatherings in orange zones will be capped at six people, down from 10 people.When asked how they would enforce the measures on private gatherings, Dube did not rule out giving police increased powers to intervene without having to obtain a warrant, although he said such a measure would be a last resort."If we have to go there, we'll go there," he said. "But I'm telling you our government, we've said it and we'll repeat it in the coming days, I think we can do without going there," he said.Dube also put out a call for retired dentists, nutritionists, medical technicians, midwives and other professionals who are interested to help with COVID-19 testing to put their names forward through a government website. He said the government also needs to recruit more contact tracers to meet the growing demand.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2020.Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
VICTORIA — British Columbia's top doctor said she's received death threats in her role as a public figure during the COVID-19 pandemic.Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told a panel discussion at the annual convention of the Union of B.C. Municipalities that she's had to have security in her home and has been targeted by people who don't agree with her."There are many people who don’t like what I do … and feel quite able to send me nasty notes, leave phone calls, to harass my office staff," she said on Tuesday. "I've had to have security in my house. I've had death threats. How do we deal with that?"Henry said she believes it's partly due to her status as a woman in a high-profile position, and that people feel comfortable targeting her in ways they would not necessarily do to male leaders."I sense that people find that it's OK to do that for a woman who's up front more so than some of our male leaders. But I could be wrong," she said.The panel discussion was on leadership during the pandemic and also featured Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin and former Tsawwassen chief Kim Baird.Henry also discussed the importance of trust and transparency in responding to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.'s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with shoe designer John Fluevog naming a pair of shoes after her.She told the audience it's important to discuss these issues when trying to mentor the next generation of leaders.Henry is the latest female figure to talk about the abuse women in high-profile positions face.Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna has previously spoken about the threats she and others have faced, and called for new measures to better protect Canadian politicians from threatening behaviour.A police investigation was launched last month after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna's staff, with the footage posted to social media.\-- By Nick Wells in Vancouver.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2020.The Canadian Press
A family court judge will decide whether three eastern Ontario kids can continue attending school, or must begin learning remotely to protect their father and his new wife, who both have asthma, from COVID-19.The father, who has joint custody of the children, ages 13, 11 and eight, has petitioned the court to begin home-schooling them in Brockville, Ont. He and his wife argue their medical condition puts them at higher risk of severe illness if they're exposed to the virus. On Tuesday, the man and the children's mother will present their cases in a teleconference hearing before Justice Ken Pedlar. An advocate from the Ontario court's Office of the Children's Lawyer (OCL) will also be present. There's a publication ban on the names of the parents and the children. CBC requested a comment from both parents: the father declined and the lawyer for the mother did not respond.Asked by the judge during a hearing last week about how the kids are doing through the process, OCL lawyer Judy Millard said the experience has been "tough."Growing number of casesThe case is part of a growing number of disputes between joint-custody parents that began moving through the Ontario courts in late August as schools demanded decisions about whether parents preferred remote or in-person learning for their children.Ottawa family lawyer Beverley Johnston said her office has been dealing with a number of similar disputes and welcomes a local case to help guide families, especially when it comes to parents with underlying health conditions.It's also the first case dealing with kids already in school. If the judge finds on behalf of the father, they would be removed from the classroom and begin learning remotely.A difficult decision"If in-class learning meant that a parent couldn't continue in a shared parenting regime, I think that would be a very difficult decision for a court to make," said Johnston. "It's unfortunate because it does create conflict for children, and the court wants to minimize that conflict."So far courts have leaned in favour of sending kids to in-person classes.The first judgment of this kind in Ontario came Aug. 25, when Superior Court Justice Andrea Himel ruled the government, not the court, is the best arbiter in deciding whether it's safe to send children back to school. The case has now been cited in subsequent decisions.Lawyer Melanie O'Neill, who represented the mother in the August case, said that earlier judgment has done a lot to clarify the court's position on future cases. But while Himel said the best interest of the child in that case was to return to school, she left the door open to remote learning in circumstances where "the child or someone in either parent's home would face unacceptable risk of harm."Kids caught in the middleOn Sept. 8, such a circumstance came up in a case before Ontario Justice Darlene Summers. In that case the mother petitioned the court to keep her children home in order to protect a 15-month-old baby, as well as her new husband who has an underlying health condition.Summers decided in favour of remote learning in that case, however an element that helped tip the scale was the fact that both parents are elementary school teachers who are specially equipped to support their child's learning at home.Pedlar told the parents during last week's phone conference that leaving the issue to the courts risks taking a heavy toll on the children, who generally "just want the conflict between the parents to stop — that's the greatest gift that you could give our kids."Himel made a similar comment in her judgment in August. "I would encourage the parents to return to mediation as this is a process that empowers them to make these important decisions," Himel said.
Hong Kong has no legal basis to demand that any particular rights be extended to 12 Hong Kong people detained in China as they tried to flee by boat and they will have to face the law there, the city's chief executive said on Tuesday. The 12 were arrested on Aug. 23 for illegal entry into mainland Chinese waters after setting off from Hong Kong in a boat bound for self-ruled Taiwan following a crackdown on pro-democracy activists in the former British colony. China's foreign ministry has called them "separatists."
The chiefs of P.E.I.'s two First Nations, Abegweit and Lennox Island, say they are in the first phases of community consultation over what launching a moderate livelihood fishery in the province may look like — regardless of whether they reach an agreement with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.This comes after the Sipekne'katik First Nation launched its new self-regulated fishery in Saulnierville, N.S. last week. It was launched on Thursday, exactly 21 years after a landmark Supreme Court of Canada ruling in the case of Donald Marshall Jr.On Sept. 17, 1999, the court ruled that Marshall, charged with fishing eels outside of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans regulated season, was justified in doing so — under the 1760s Peace and Friendship Treaties.The decision recognized the First Nations' right to earn a moderate living from fishing, but also comes with a limitation: the federal government retains the authority to regulate that fishery in the public interest and for conservation.Tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishers have been running high in Saulnierville since the Sipekne'katik First Nation launched their fishery.Meanwhile, in P.E.I., the chiefs of both First Nations say they have also been looking for clarity on what a moderate livelihood means since the Marshall decision."We will launch a livelihood fishery," said Lennox Island First Nation Chief Darlene Bernard. "When we're going to do it, I don't know the answer to that, because I have to consult with my community."Regardless of what happens in the next weeks or months, we are going to continue to engage our community and we're going to have to put together our plan.""It's not all of the sudden, you know, it's been ongoing for 21 years," said Abegweit First Nation Chief Junior Gould. "We're not being counterproductive and we're trying to be a part of the industry. We want to work with the industry to help us determine it. "Federal talks going nowhereOn Friday, Bernard and Gould put out a joint statement. In it, they outlined the difference between the commercial fishery, with a set season and catch limits, and the moderate livelihood fishery granted under treaty rights, which grants Indigenous people the ability to provide necessities, such as food, clothing and housing."It is important to note that our current commercial fishery is not a rights-based fishery and it follows DFO limits and rules," the statement read. "Our increased commercial access happened as a result of the Marshall decision and it has been very valuable for our community, but it is not the moderate livelihood fishery we have been fighting to have implemented since Marshall."According to a release from the Sipekne'katik First Nation, previous discussions with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have been unsuccessful due to a lack of shared understanding about what a "moderate livelihood" means.The P.E.I. chiefs echoed this in their statement and said they have communicated this on many occasions, including in a letter to the minister last month. They said the letter indicated that they would be preparing to go ahead with their own livelihood fishery if the federal government was not willing to help them find solutions to implement the rights granted under Marshall."We're at the beginning stages of consultation with our communities to see what they envision the livelihood fishery to be," said Bernard. "When we implement our livelihood fishery, it's going to be well thought out, well planned, have solid governance structures and enforcement things in place."The Sipekne'katik First Nation has so far distributed licenses and lobster trap tags to seven Mi'kmaw fishers. Each license can fish up to 50 traps, a process which will be monitored and governed by the First Nation. "This is a culmination of many, many years of trying to bring the federal government to the negotiating table to discuss the livelihood fishery for the Mi'kmaq," Bernard said. "It comes from frustration. It comes from government not truly wanting to engage the First Nations and how that we shape our livelihood fishery."Tensions high in SaulniervilleLast Tuesday morning, hundreds of non-Indigenous commercial fishermen set up lobster-trap blockades in Saulnierville to protest what they said were "illegal" fisheries in St. Marys Bay.Officials with the Sipekne'katik First Nation said their first livelihood traps were cut and when Mi'kmaw fishermen went back out to recover their gear, they were chased by boats wielding flares.On Friday morning in Saulnierville, a group of boats belonging to non-Indigenous fishers could be seen circling the mouth of the harbour in front of the docked Mi'kmaw vessels. Two people were later arrested and the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs declared a state of emergency in response to "violence occurring over Mi'kmaq fisheries across the province."Abegweit First Nation Chief Junior Gould saw the scene playing out over social media and went over to Saulnierville with about 20 other people on the weekend."It looked like an unfair situation and something that was needing support, so I made the decision as chief and as a leader to be there as an observer and a supporter," he said."We have a right to feed our family. We have a right to take care of our children. We have a right to determine our own destiny."Gould said following the lead of the Sipekne'katik First Nation in launching its own fishery is not the first choice for his First Nation, but may be necessary if negotiations don't progress."We've always fished within the seasons, within the parameters, but it hasn't gotten us anywhere in 21 years," said Gould."I'm hoping that people will come to the table in good faith negotiations and we'll be able to come to a resolution and determine what a moderate living is."The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs has called for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, RCMP, and the government of Nova Scotia to assist in the protection of Mi'kmaw fishers, families, and supporters."DFO should have been, like, really working hard to educate the non-Indigenous people about the fishery and about the rights," Bernard said."They have to be out there right now protecting this livelihood fishery. They need to come to the table and negotiate with us. They need to help us to move forward into the future and keep the peace."Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan has said she wants to have a sit-down meeting with commercial harvester representatives and Indigenous leaders to find the best path forward.More from CBC P.E.I.
Local school boards say they're prepared to pivot to remote learning if and when an outbreak of the coronavirus forces them to halt classes and send students home.An Ottawa elementary school has become the first in Ontario to close due to COVID-19 after two staff members and two students tested positive.> It's not ideal, but it's something that we're prepared for. \- Mike Dubeau, West Quebec School BoardParents of students at Monsignor Paul Baxter Catholic School in Ottawa's Barrhaven neighbourhood have been told that for the next two weeks their children's learning will move online."The entire class including the teacher will move to distance learning," Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) spokesperson Sharlene Hunter wrote in a statement to CBC.Hunter said it may take a couple of days to iron out technical issues, but she said both students and staff already have the basic tools they'll need to continue learning online."All of our staff have received training on the use of the learning management system (Hapara) in order to be prepared for this scenario," Hunter wrote. "They have been posting resources on the learning management system even when students were attending in person." Hunter said students have had instruction on how to use the remote learning system. Students who don't have access to a laptop will be provided with one. The OCSB says students' marks won't be affected while they're learning remotely, and those who require educational assistance will continue to receive it online.These remote classes are different from the full-time remote learning program some students have opted to take instead of attending school in person.Outbreaks elsewhereMonsignor Paul Baxter isn't the only school in the region that's had to pivot to Plan B. Last week, a COVID-19 outbreak closed Fellowes High School in Pembroke, Ont., while 45 students at South Hull Elementary School in the Aylmer sector of Gatineau, Que., were sent home to isolate for 14 days after two tested positive. Mike Dubeau, director of education with the West Quebec School Board (WQSB), said a plan for online learning was already in place and went into effect as soon as the school was notified about the positive tests."If students have to go home for two weeks or if we have to shut down the school, we switch to online learning," Dubeau said. "It's not ideal, but it's something that we're prepared for."Currently 250 students are enrolled in the WQSB's virtual learning program. Dubeau said given the unpredictability of the current situation, online learning now has a bigger role to play than ever in education."I believe it's an opportunity for lasting change because we're learning new ways to deliver the curriculum, new ways to assess, new ways to teach," he said. "So when we come out on the other side of this pandemic, there's going to be a richness of knowledge on how to teach online and how to evaluate."Similarly, teachers at Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) schools have been set up to teach remotely through Google Classrooms or Virtual Learning Environments. "These were created prior to the start of the school year and are maintained weekly by educators," OCDSB spokesperson Joe Koraith wrote in an emailed statement Monday evening. "Key learning, resources, tasks, etc. are posted to support student learning. Students who are away or who may be isolating would have full access to the virtual classroom."Koraith said in the event that an entire classroom, cohort or entire school is closed or can no longer meet, students can shift to remote learning "with enhanced synchronous requirements.""Knowing that we may be required to move from in person to remote with little notice, we are ready to support students," he said.
Moncton councillors rejected a plan to cover part of Rabbit Brook in the north end to allow a restaurant to expand its parking lot, with councillors calling it a precedent-setting vote on how the city approaches environmental issues. The 6-3 vote means Skipper Jack's Maritime Restaurant on Mapleton Road can't expand its parking lot over the small waterway multiple people described as devoid of life. "It's probably not over," owner Robert Holmes told reporters after the vote Monday. Staff told councillors that the rejection would still require sorting out a tangled history of land and legal issues since there's a requirement the city provide the business six to eight parking spaces to replace some lost to a previous expropriation. The debate over the request touched on the city's approach to parking and the environment. City staff recommended rejecting the restaurant's plans to install a 40-metre culvert and cover the brook because it would violate Moncton policies around protecting waterways. The city's planning advisory committee also rejected the plan. The plan required city approval to rezone the land from community use and conservation to suburban commercial. "If we do something like that, where does it place all other conservation land in our community," Mayor Dawn Arnold said. "Nothing will be safe."More than 30 objections to the plan and two letters of support were received ahead of the public hearing. Eight people spoke at Monday's meeting against the idea.Holmes told council his business needed to expand the restaurant to add more seats to accommodate its customer base and deal with physical distancing rules implemented because of COVID-19. "It's critical for our proposed changes to materialize" for the viability of the business," he said.After the vote, however, Holmes said, "it doesn't mean anything for our business, we just have to go with what we have." Ahead of the meeting, the Atlantic Wildlife Institute has suggested the brook was habitat for wood turtles. The species is listed federally and provincially as a species as risk.Andrea Kalafut, an environmental engineer with Hive Engineering Ltd. hired by the restaurant, said a survey around the brook found no signs of turtles or fish. "That is not suitable turtle habitat," Kalafut said.Lindsay Gauvin, executive director of the Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance, told council that Rabbit Brook is one of the few cold water brooks in the watershed and with water quality improvements it could once again be a viable habitat.Holmes at several points suggested the restaurant's plan would improve the health of the brook. "That environment where Rabbit Brook is right now is very despicable," Holmes said, calling it a garbage-filled inhospitable hole.The plan would have required federal and provincial environmental approvals, though Kalafut told councillors she had been verbally told that would be granted if council voted to allow the changes. She said the brook above the business already runs through culverts under a strip mall and other parking lots before running through culverts under residential areas of the north end. "For the most part, the damage has been done," Kalafut said.Several speakers said that while they support the restaurant, they don't think its plan is appropriate. "We have the chance today to be proactive to save the stream that we have," said Claire Kelly, who recently ran for the Green Party in Moncton Southwest, which includes the brook. Antoine Zboralsk suggested people use other parking spaces already built in the neighbourhood. He said to continue increasing parking spots and keep the car central to life "is a strategy of the past, it's a strategy of the last century."Arnold and councillors Pierre Boudreau, Susan Edgett, Blair Lawrence, Charles Leger, Paulette Theriault voted against allowing the rezoning. Deputy mayor Shawn Crossman as well as councillors Brian Hicks and Bryan Butler voted for the restaurant's request. Coun. Paul Pellerin declared a conflict of interest and didn't vote. "I think it shows the direction we're heading in as a city and as a community," Krysta Cowling, one of the speakers opposed to the plans, said after the vote.Cowling and Kelly both expect more people will speak out at future council meetings when councillors are considering proposals affecting the environment.
Vice President Mike Pence's airplane struck a bird upon take-off from a New Hampshire airport, causing the pilot to return to the airport out of caution, The White House said on Tuesday. (Sept. 22)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has offered condolences to the family of a volunteer caretaker who was stabbed to death at a Toronto mosque earlier this month — while also saying reports that the incident is connected to Neo-Nazism and Islamophobia are worrisome."My heart goes out to the loved ones of Mohamed-Aslim Zafis," Trudeau tweeted Tuesday morning."The reports that his murder was motivated by Neo-Nazism and Islamophobia are extremely concerning. We stand with Muslim communities against such hatred, which has no place in Canada. We are with you."Guilherme "William" Von Neutegem, 34, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the killing of Mohamed-Aslim Zafis.Zafis, 58, was stabbed when he was sitting outside an Etobicoke mosque on Sept. 12, controlling the number of people who entered in order to comply with public health regulations. In the days after his death, Zafis was mourned by his family and friends as a "kind, gentle soul" who would hand out food to the hungry and keep his fellow worshippers safe.Von Neutegem shared what appears to be content from a satanic neo-Nazi group in social media posts, according to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, a non-profit organization that monitors, researches and combats hate groups.CBC News knows the name of the hate group but is choosing not to use it to avoid giving it any additional exposure.Evan Balgord, the network's executive director, describes the group Von Neutegem is linked to as a satanic neo-Nazi death cult."They are explicitly anti-Semitic and they're explicitly racist," Balgord previously said. "They worship Hitler as a God figure."Calls for action mountIn the wake of the incident, the National Council of Canadian Muslims is calling on the federal government to take immediate action in dismantling white supremacist groups."When the Quebec City Mosque attack happened, many of us prayed that this would be the last time we lost community members to Islamophobia and hate. We were wrong," said Mustafa Farooq, CEO of the council, in a statement. "As the number of alt-right and neo-Nazi groups grow in Canada, we now know that without action today, it will simply be a matter of time before the next attack."When I saw Brother Mohamed on the ground outside the mosque, that was the last time that anyone in Canada should have to see such a sight. That's why we're calling for immediate action."The actions the group is calling for include banning white supremacist militias, enacting online hate regulations, ensuring national security agencies take white supremacist violence seriously, and a commitment from the nation's political parties to include taking action on white supremacist-linked violence as part of their platforms.The organization points out that while two white supremacist groups were banned under the current government, there are hundreds more operating."When I grew up as a kid we were taught that — in Grade 3 you learn about World War Two, that Nazism is a thing and it's gone away. I didn't think that I was going to be in a situation that I'd be walking into a mosque that I've prayed in so many times and see somebody lying on the ground murdered because of a neo-Nazi return," Farooq said on CBC Radio's Metro Morning Tuesday.Still, he says, "We've been here before."Following the Quebec City Mosque incident in 2017, when it emerged that the shooter Alexandre Bissonette had accessed various Islamophobic and far-right material online, Farooq said, "People thought there was going to be a change.""No church, no synagogue, no temple should ever have to see anyone go to through this," he said. "It has to be investigated for what it is... We cannot look away." Police refuse to comment on social media postsCBC News has confirmed Von Neutegem follows at least one Facebook group devoted to the group, has a Nazi symbol on his Instagram account and has posted a chant linked to the hate cult on YouTube. A source with knowledge of the investigation confirmed to CBC News that the accounts belong to Von Neutegem."Because of the length of his social media postings and the very specific knowledge he has about the movement, we can definitely say he's deeply-versed and has been for a long time," Balgord said.Von Neutegem's social media posts also include the use of terms, symbols and videos used by the group.After his arrest, Toronto police didn't provide details about when Von Neutegem is set to appear in court. It's unclear if he has hired a lawyer at this time. He is set to make another court appearance on Sept. 25.Police would not comment on Von Neutegem's social media posts.
Vatican officials have defended their intention to renew an accord with Beijing that gives the pope say over the appointment of Chinese bishops, following a highly unusual public call from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to abandon it. In a series of Tweets and an editorial in a conservative U.S. Catholic journal published on Saturday, Pompeo said the Vatican should not renew the agreement, which was signed two years ago and expires next month. "The Vatican endangers its moral authority, should it renew the deal," Pompeo Tweeted.
OTTAWA — The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 4:45 p.m.Nova Scotia is reporting a new case of COVID-19 for the first time in more than two weeks.Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, says the new case involves an essential worker who travelled outside Canada.Strang also announced that starting Sept. 28, residents of long-term care facilities will be allowed to leave their residences to visit family and friends.\--- 4:30 p.m.A long-term care home in Winnipeg says one of its residents has died after testing positive for COVID-19. Parkview Place says the resident was one of seven people living at the facility who has the novel coronavirus, as does one staff member. The death has not yet been reported by the Manitoba government, which lists 18 COVID-19 deaths in the province since the pandemic began.\--- 3:10 p.m. Public health officials in the nation's capital are making self-isolation mandatory for those who might have COVID-19, until a test rules it out. Ottawa public health officer Dr. Vera Etches issued a sweeping order today saying those who flout it could be subject to fines as a high as $5,000 per day. Among others, the order applies to those who have symptoms of COVID-19 or are known contacts of someone who has tested positive. Ottawa is seeing a rapid rise in the number of new cases, reporting 93 new positive tests today, the most in a single day since April. \---2:15 p.m.Manitoba is reporting 24 new COVID-19 cases, 20 of them in Winnipeg. Active case numbers continue to rise in the city and health officials are warning of a case connected to College Louis Riel high school in Winnipeg. The province also says two previously announced cases have been connected to Maplewood Manor, a long-term care home in Steinbach.Visitor restrictions have been put in place.\--- 1:45 p.m.Ontario Premier Doug Ford says expanding access to the flu shot is the first pillar of his province's COVID-19 fall preparedness plan.Ford says the government is spending $70 million to obtain at least 5.1 million doses of the flu vaccine.He says the push to get people immunized against the seasonal flu is to preserve capacity in the province's hospitals.Ontario's health minister says the first batch of flu shots is expected to arrive next week and will first be distributed to long-term care homes, hospitals and other congregate living facilities.\--- 1:20 p.m.Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says capacity for COVID-19 testing in Canada continues to be built up.But she says it is a finite resource and testing must be carried out "smartly."In many corners of Canada, people have complained of waiting in line for nearly the entire day to obtain tests or being turned away from testing centres at capacity.Tam says officials are trying to broaden available test options. But she says no amount of testing will be enough if people don't shrink their social bubbles to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. \---1 p.m.Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says staving off future lockdowns will depend on whether people can follow COVID-19 mitigation measures.She says keeping gatherings small and respecting the rules is a sacrifice everyone needs to make. But she says virus activity is not the same across the country, or even across single provinces. So she says a "surgical approach" is needed to determine whether restrictions need to be tightened and it should be targeted to regions of concern.\--- 12:57 p.m.Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo says it is difficult to declare whether Canada as a whole is in a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. He says in Ottawa itself, there is a second wave, and his colleagues in Quebec say a second wave is underway there. He says he agrees, considering what is happening in those jurisdictions, but the situation isn't the same throughout the country. Njoo says what might happen elsewhere is up to how closely everyone follows public health guidelines.\--- 12:44 p.m.Tam has wrapped her update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada with a direct message to young people:The novel coronavirus's spread in their cohort must be pared back for the good of the rest of the country. Tam says young people played a crucial role in crushing the spring wave of the pandemic and they can do it again. A review of known cases in Canada shows the incidence has remained highest among young adults since late June.\---12:37 p.m. Canada's chief public health officer says the country is now at a crossroads when it comes to avoiding a major resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Theresa Tam says if the status quo is maintained when it comes to how many people are in contact with each other, there will be a surge in infections. If people's contacts increase, the epidemic will bounce back faster and stronger, as contagious people spread the virus. But she says if the rate of contacts gets pared back, the epidemic will come under control in most place. \--- 12:35 p.m.New federal figures are being released to show the national picture of the COVID-19 pandemic. The data suggests that based on recent infections, the number of new cases could raise as high as 155,795 by Oct. 2. The potential number of deaths could be as high as 9,300.\--- 12:30 p.m.Dr. Theresa Tam says COVID-19 outbreaks are now occurring in a wider variety of settings across Canada. She says while it's not unexpected to have cases in schools, they do need to be monitored to see if they are settings for transmission. She says that the severity of outbreaks in long term care homes has declined, but they do remain a concern. The rate of hospitalizations currently lags behind increases in reported cases but shows early signs of rising. Tam says the potential for the novel coronavirus to spread into more high-risk settings could also mean a rise in deaths.\--- 12:10 p.m. Canada has now committed more than $1 billion to buy doses of COVID-19 vaccines after securing a fifth deal with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline.Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada has a deal in place to buy up to 72 million doses of their experimental vaccine candidate, which is just starting the second of three trial phases this month.In all, Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies, and most of that money will not be refunded even if the vaccines never get approved.\---12:05 p.m. Rebecca O'Toole, the spouse of federal Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole, has tested positive for COVID-19. The party says she began showing symptoms on Sunday, was tested that night in Ottawa, and her results came back late Monday night. Erin O'Toole tested positive on Friday for the novel coronavirus and has been in isolation. Their two children are being monitored for symptoms. \---11:50 a.m.Quebec is reporting 489 new cases of COVID-19 — almost 100 fewer cases than were reported on Monday.Health authorities also reported today one death attributed to the novel coronavirus they said occurred between Sept. 15 and Sept. 20.The province says the number of hospitalizations rose by 20 in the last 24 hours to 168. Of those, 28 patients are in intensive care, two fewer than on Monday.There have been a total of 68,617 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 5,805 deaths attributed to the virus in Quebec since the pandemic began.On Monday, the province's public health director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, said he thought Quebec had entered a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.\---11:00 a.m.Ontario is reporting 478 new cases of COVID-19 today, along with three new deaths related to the virus.Health Minister Christine Elliott says 68 per cent of the new cases involve people under the age of 40.The province is also reporting 52 new COVID-19 cases related to schools, including at least 26 among students.Ontario is expected to announce part of its COVID-19 fall preparedness plan today, which comes as daily virus case counts continue to climb to levels not seen for months.\--- 10:00 a.m.The Canadian government will sign on to a global vaccine-procurement program and by week's end hopes to announce how much money it will pledge to the cause.Procurement Minister Anita Anand is set to announce further deals with vaccine developers today as the federal government seeks to make sure Canadians have access to a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is approved.But Canada is also joining what's known as the COVAX Facility, a global program focused on ensuring equitable access to a vaccine for all countries, regardless of their income levels. \---9:40 a.m.The federal Public Health Agency of Canada says it will release updated modelling today on the spread of COVID-19. The agency's predictions will provide a look at what the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths might be in the short-term, based on how the virus has been spreading in recent days.Their new figures come amid rising case counts that have seen some jurisdictions already say they are officially into a second wave of the pandemic. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2020.The Canadian Press
Giaci Miceli has had to change a lot of his routines during the COVID-19 pandemic, but one thing his family was not expecting was for him to become an online sensation. The 24-year-old Windsor man has autism and his twin sisters Carolina and Maria, who are very involved in his life and care, started creating videos with him early this spring. They never could have predicted that more than 8 million people would like those videos with more than 500,000 people following them, eager for more. "It kind of [started] by accident, it was honestly just a video that I had taken because of something that I wanted to do with Giaci," said Carolina. "It just took off, and people literally were like: 'We want more content of him. Like, basically, no more of you — more of your brother.'"The videos started out as sharing slices of Giaci's everyday life. One particularly sweet moment shows Giaci and his sister playing hide-and-seek while their mom makes dinner — as Giaci relentlessly asks for snacks. Maria said that since the kids got their first cell phones they've been taking photos and videos of Giaci to share with family and friends. "It wasn't anything out of the norm for him. He was used to us," she said, chuckling, but once the videos hit TikTok and Giaci's charisma gained more of a following, the sisters saw an opportunity to offer something more. "Those videos ended up turning into educational videos where we could educate and advocate for autism awareness, which has been something that we have always done our whole lives," said Carolina. "But now we're doing it on a social media platform."Those education videos offer tips and advice for others by sharing how the family has worked with Giaci to overcome encounters, like getting a haircut, which can be unsettling for people with sensory issues. Maria said she finds it important to share some of Giaci's mannerisms too, to break down the stigma she says surrounds those with autism.People with autism often self sooth, or self-stimulate, with behaviours such as rocking, pacing or hand flapping.WATCH | Here's how the Miceli family helped Giaci become comfotable with getting his hair cut:Another video explains Giaci's hand movements and why he does them. "We thought that was important because ever since I was little, I remember we'd go to a grocery store or something and he would stand and people would kind of look at him funny because they don't know what it is," said Maria."So it's nice to be able to spread that awareness and educate people and normalize this behaviour because autism is not going away any time soon. There's no cure for autism. So people need to really educate themselves on these characteristics."The educational videos are becoming a big hit, and Giaci's followers are asking for more. They want to see what Giaci eats in a day or learn more about his job experience. "Honestly, the reactions have been really, really positive, which we are so grateful for," said Carolina. "And quite a lot of people have been grateful, not only to us, but especially to Giaci for being the hardworking individual like he is and showing them that their child, if they have a toddler or a nephew, brother, sister, cousin with autism, that the sky's the limit, they can beat the stigma and still be an independent person on the spectrum."Along with that education and awareness, the Miceli family is hoping to do more with their online fame. The siblings — along with their parents John and Rita and older sister Lauren — are all involved in Autism Ontario's Windsor-Essex chapter.The non-profit charitable group is unable to hold their annual Give your Heart to Autism gala due to COVID-19, so the sisters are hoping to fill the funding gap by asking for donations. "For intensive therapies that are pretty necessary when a child is diagnosed with autism, they can cost upwards of $60,000 per year," said Maria. "So a lot of families can't afford to put their children through therapy that they need. So that's why it's so important to us to raise this money and to give back to our little chapter that has done so much for us and our family."Livia Congi, chapter and program manager for Autism Ontario Windsor Essex said the much needed donations stay local, going directly into services like parent, sibling or caretaker support groups. COVID-19 has not only cancelled the annual gala but has also shown there is a greater need for support, she said. "We found during quarantine that we met several families we had no idea were out there," said Congi. "More families than normal are reaching out for support."Last year's annual gala raised $190,000 of funding for the volunteer-run organization said Congi, adding that the group is supporting the Miceli family with their fundraiser. "The drive and ambition for these 22-year-olds to orchestrate this is unbelievable ... we can't say enough about all they've done," she said. The family has an ambitious goal of raising $200,000 for the organization by February 2021, but until then, they plan on sharing more about Giaci and his favourite things. "It's important for us to normalize things about autism — like autism so different across the spectrum," said Maria. "People believe that it's high-functioning and maybe antisocial. But that's not always the case. So for Giaci, it's completely different. It's very social."
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé says his team is looking into "erroneous" comments made by a prominent Montreal health official on a local news station last week.Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, head of the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest de l'île de Montréal, has come under fire for comparing COVID-19 to the seasonal flu on CTV News."It probably isn't much more dangerous than the seasonal flu," he said in an interview on Sept. 14."It probably is at least equally as transmissible as seasonal flu, and unlike the seasonal flu, which has a tendency to affect the very old and very young, this seems to have been a virus that affected the very old and those with existing medical conditions."Health experts across the nation and around the world have cautioned against comparing COVID-19 to the flu as the mortality and transmission rate is considerably higher. Rosenberg's comments have been circulating widely online, providing fodder to pandemic deniers while frustrating those who recognize COVID-19 as a potentially fatal disease that can leave survivors with long-term health consequences.Regardless, a spokesperson for the CIUSSS, Carl Thériault, told CBC that Rosenberg stands by his comments.Speaking during a news conference on Tuesday, Dubé said he hasn't heard Rosenberg's full interview yet, but based on what he has learned so far, it "was not appropriate."COVID-19 is more severe than flu, expert saysDubé said, with more than 5,000 Quebecers dead after the first wave of COVID-19, Rosenberg's comments were wrong as far as he can tell. But, the minister said, he would like to further understand the full context of the comments."We need to have a discussion with him," Dubé said.Dr. Karl Weiss, chief of infectious diseases at the Jewish General Hospital, said Rosenberg may want to explain the context of his comments as COVID-19 is a new coronavirus with particular characteristics that are much different than the flu."It is clear that COVID-19 is much more severe than the seasonal flu," he said on Radio-Canada's Tout un matin Tuesday."It's not the same illness at all."COVID-19 death rate compared to fluThe rate of deaths related to COVID-19 in Quebec is 68 per 100,000 residents, according to the latest federal data.Though the majority of cases are in Quebec and Ontario, the rate of deaths nationwide is 25 per 100,000 residents. More than 145,000 Canadians have caught the disease and 9,199 have died since March.The death rate for influenza in Canada on an annual basis is usually between nine and 13 deaths per 100,000 people, depending on severity of the flu season according to Dr. Allison McGeer.Watch Dubé share his thoughts on Rosenberg's comments: McGeer is an infectious disease specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. She spoke to CBC this summer when comparisons to the flu began circulating online in the form of memes.According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, which has been tracking the spread of the coronavirus worldwide, the mortality rate in the U.S. is even higher than Canada, at 35.75 deaths per 100,000 people.By comparison, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shows the age-adjusted death rate in the U.S. for both influenza and pneumonia has varied quarterly over the past few years from around 9 to 16 deaths per 100,000."COVID is unquestionably much worse than a bad flu season," McGeer said, but noted Canada's influenza death rate is kept in check by vaccines.
The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus topped 200,000 Tuesday, by far the highest in the world, hitting the once-unimaginable threshold six weeks before an election that is certain to be a referendum in part on President Donald Trump's handling of the crisis.“It is completely unfathomable that we’ve reached this point,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins University public health researcher, eight months after the scourge first reached the world’s richest nation, with its state-of-the-art laboratories, top-flight scientists and stockpiles of medical supplies.The number of dead is equivalent to a 9-11 attack every day for 67 days. It is roughly equal to the population of Salt Lake City or Huntsville, Alabama.And it is still climbing. Deaths are running at close to 770 a day on average, and a widely cited model from the University of Washington predicts the U.S. toll will double to 400,000 by the end of the year as schools and colleges reopen and cold weather sets in. A vaccine is unlikely to become widely available until 2021.“The idea of 200,000 deaths is really very sobering, in some respects stunning,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, said on CNN.The bleak milestone was reported by Johns Hopkins, based on figures supplied by state health authorities. But the real toll is thought to be much higher, in part because many COVID-19 deaths were probably ascribed to other causes, especially early on, before widespread testing.Trump said it was “a shame” the U.S. reached that number but argued the toll could have been much worse.“I think if we didn’t do it properly and do it right, you’d have 2.5 million deaths,” Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for a campaign rally in Pittsburgh. He added that the United States is now “doing well” and “the stock market is up.”He also gave his often-repeated broadside that China was at fault for the pandemic. In a prerecorded speech to the U.N. General Assembly, he demanded that Beijing be held accountable for having “unleashed this plague onto the world.” China’s ambassador rejected the accusations as baseless.On Twitter, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said, “It didn’t have to be this bad."“It's a staggering number that’s hard to wrap your head around,” he said. “There’s a devastating human toll to this pandemic — and we can’t forget that."For five months, America has led the world by far in sheer numbers of confirmed infections — nearly 6.9 million as of Tuesday — and deaths. The U.S. has less than 5% of the globe’s population but more than 20% of the reported deaths.Brazil is No. 2 with about 137,000 deaths, followed by India with approximately 89,000 and Mexico with around 74,000. Only five countries — Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Spain and Brazil — rank higher in COVID-19 deaths per capita.“All the world’s leaders took the same test, and some have succeeded and some have failed,” said Dr. Cedric Dark, an emergency physician at Baylor College of Medicine in hard-hit Houston. “In the case of our country, we failed miserably.”Black and Hispanic people and American Indians have accounted for a disproportionate share of the deaths, underscoring the economic and health care disparities in the U.S.Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 31 million people and is closing in fast on 1 million deaths, by Johns Hopkins' count, though the real numbers are believed to be higher because of gaps in testing and reporting.For the U.S., it wasn’t supposed to go this way.When the year began, the U.S. had recently garnered recognition for its readiness for a pandemic. Health officials seemed confident as they converged on Seattle in January to deal with the country's first known case of the coronavirus, in a 35-year-old Washington state resident who had returned from visiting his family in Wuhan, China.On Feb. 26, Trump held up pages from the Global Health Security Index, a measure of readiness for health crises, and declared, “The United States is rated No. 1 most prepared."It was true. The U.S. outranked the 194 other countries in the index. Besides its labs, experts and strategic stockpiles, the U.S. could boast of its disease trackers and plans for rapidly communicating lifesaving information during a crisis. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was respected around the world for sending help to fight infectious diseases.But monitoring at airports was loose. Travel bans came too late. Only later did health officials realize the virus could spread before symptoms show up, rendering screening imperfect. The virus also swept into nursing homes and exploited poor infection controls, claiming more than 78,000 lives.At the same time, gaps in leadership led to shortages of testing supplies. Internal warnings to ramp up production of masks were ignored, leaving states to compete for protective gear.Trump downplayed the threat early on, advanced unfounded notions about the behaviour of the virus, promoted unproven or dangerous treatments, complained that too much testing was making the U.S. look bad, and disdained masks, turning face coverings into a political issue.On April 10, the president predicted the U.S. wouldn't see 100,000 deaths. That milestone was reached May 27.Nowhere was the lack of leadership seen as more crucial than in testing, a key to breaking the chain of contagion.“We have from the very beginning lacked a national testing strategy,” Nuzzo said. “For reasons I can't truly fathom, we’ve refused to develop one.”Sandy Brown of Grand Blanc, Michigan, called the death toll “gut-wrenching.” Her husband of 35 years and their 20-year-old son — Freddie Lee Brown Jr. and Freddie Lee Brown III — died of COVID-19 just days apart in March, when there were fewer than 4,000 recorded deaths in the U.S.“The thing that really gets to me is ... if things had been done properly, we could have put a lid on this,” said Brown, who has no other children. “Now it's just unbelievable. It's devastating.”The real number of dead from the crisis could be significantly higher: As many as 215,000 more people than usual died in the U.S. from all causes during the first seven months of 2020, according to CDC figures. The death toll from COVID-19 during the same period was put at about 150,000 by Johns Hopkins.Researchers suspect some coronavirus deaths were overlooked, while other deaths may have been caused indirectly by the crisis, by creating such turmoil that people with chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease were unable or unwilling to get treatment.Dark, the emergency physician at Baylor, said that before the crisis, “people used to look to the United States with a degree of reverence. For democracy. For our moral leadership in the world. Supporting science and using technology to travel to the moon.”“Instead,” he said, "what’s really been exposed is how anti-science we’ve become.”___Associated Press writers Kelli Kennedy in Miami and Tammy Webber in Fenton, Michigan, contributed to this story.___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Carla K. Johnson, The Associated Press
Toronto parents say it's "just insane" that thousands of children have been without teachers this week when virtual elementary classes were set to begin.Angela Matich, a Toronto mother, said her two children were both without teachers on Tuesday and both were disappointed. One is in Grade 3, while the other is in Grade 6. She said she herself is frustrated with the delay.Every day this week, she said it'll be a question of finding out: "Did we win the teacher lottery?"Matich estimated that up to 30,000 children did not have teachers assigned to them as of Tuesday. She said it's as though more than 40 per cent of children showed up on the first day of school and were told: "We don't have a teacher for you. Go home." "That's just insane to me. I can't understand how we've gotten to this point."On Monday, the Toronto District School Board said 60,000 elementary school students had signed up for online classes as COVID-19 cases continue to climb and it had planned for all of them to begin studies on Tuesday.But the board said it wasn't able to assign staff to all classes, which means some students have had to wait to begin online school until there is a teacher in place. On Monday, the board said it had to hire about 500 elementary teachers to accommodate the number of students registered for online learning.Ryan Bird, spokesperson for the TDSB, said on Tuesday the board has hired about 300 teachers, and still needs to hire about 100 to 150 more. But he said the board hopes to have the majority of them secured by Wednesday. WATCH| CBC's Ali Chiasson talks to parents about the delay in online classes for some students:Parents were not impressed that the board waited until the very last minute to tell parents that virtual school would not be and running for all.Matich said parents took time off work on Tuesday to be there on what they believed would be the first day."Kids were crying this morning," she said.She said she hopes the children will have teachers by later this week or next week. In the meantime, there has been anxiety, stress and confusion. It has affected the mental health of parents, she added.Online learning challenging since March, parent saysMatich said online learning has been challenging since the pandemic hit in March and online learning began."From the get go, on March 13, it's been nothing but confusion, lack of communication and frustration for most TDSB parents and I would assume also TDSB staff," she said."Resoundingly, what you will hear from TDSB parents is that there's a complete lack of timely, relevant and concise information. Parents have to really dig."Adrienne Mitchell, another parent, agreed."We didn't tell our JK student Blair that she could potentially have school this morning. It wasn't worth getting her hopes up again," Mitchell said."She's been looking forward to school for quite a while. She's been fairly upset seeing kids go off to school in her neighbourhood and her not being able to participate."In a message on its website on Monday, the board said students not assigned teachers would begin the school year with independent learning.The board said it is implementing what it calls a "rolling start" to virtual school."We know that this will be a disappointment for some and is not how we had hoped to begin the school year. Please let me assure you that efforts to hire more teachers have been ongoing and staff have been working around the clock and through the weekend to keep things moving forward," the message said.Board turning to supply teachers to fill the gapsTo fill the gaps, the board said it has "predominantly" pulled from its roster of occasional teachers, who have already been vetted, according to Bird.That list should be enough to meet its staffing needs, but if it isn't, the board could urge other teachers to apply to join the pool, he said."It is a challenge because we've taken a staffing process that typically takes months to complete and organize ... and we've really condensed that to two to three weeks," he said."Given the reality that we're facing right now and the changing information over the summer, we could not begin that as early as we had hoped, so the timelines have been quite tight, and then over the weekend it became abundantly clear that the numbers just weren't adding up."The newly hired teachers can't immediately start their classes since they need to be trained to use the board's online learning platform, among other things, he said.
It's a stormy start to fall in Nunavut, with no relief expected until the weekend. On the first day of fall, Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a winter storm warning for Kinngait — the first of the season in Nunavut. Southern Baffin Island and Nunavik are in for a week of rain, snow and gusting winds. A low-pressure system made its way from Hudson Bay toward the island on Tuesday. The system will likely get stronger later in the week from the remnants of Hurricane Teddy, which is currently approaching the Maritimes. Tracking the systemThis low-pressure system will move toward southern Baffin Island tonight, and continue over communities Wednesday and Thursday.Here's how it will play out: * Kinngait will be the first to see winter storm conditions, and will get the brunt of the heavy, wet snow. Gusty conditions to 90 kilometres per hour will intensify overnight and into Wednesday. * Kimmirut will see rain and wind Tuesday night, with more precipitation building through the early hours of Wednesday. Gusting winds will begin Tuesday evening. * Iqaluit will have snow Tuesday evening, and gusting winds beginning after midnight to 90 kilometres per hour. * Pangnirtung will see stormy conditions Wednesday morning with the beginning of a rain-snow mixture. Gusts will increase to 90 kilometres per hour early Wednesday afternoon. These conditions will last through Thursday as this system continues to spin around until it absorbs further energy from the remnants of Hurricane Teddy. The most intense conditions will occur on Wednesday with the storm clearing into Saturday. Current warnings in placeA winter storm warning is in effect for Kinngait, and the conditions will continue through the next few days. Wind gusts will increase to 90 kilomtres per hour overnight, and up to 25 centimetres of wet, heavy, messy, snow is expected to fall through Thursday.This will create near-blizzard conditions, with reduced visibility for the community through the next 24 to 36 hours.Meanwhile, Kimmirut currently has a wind warning in effect, for gusts up to 90 kilometres per hour. As for marine warnings, in the regions surrounding Nunavik and southern Baffin Island, gale warnings are in effect for gusts to 47 knots. Waves may increase to five meters through Wednesday. Messy mix of snow, rain on the wayThis system will bring a messy mixture — particularly to Kimmirut, Iqaluit and Pangnirtung — in which snow will change to rain and back to snow over the week. Kinngait is more likely to just have wet snow.Winter storm conditions are likely over the next few days, which means reduced visibility, blowing snow and wind causing potential damage to buildings.Environment Canada recommends postponing non-essential travel during the winter storm warning.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday issued an order that he said will expand a ban on the use of federal money for certain diversity training. Trump earlier this month ordered his administration to stop paying for critical race theory diversity training in federal agencies. “A few weeks ago, I BANNED efforts to indoctrinate government employees with divisive and harmful sex and race-based ideologies,” Trump tweeted shortly before issuing the order.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday it's "a shame" that the U.S. reached the grim milestone of 200,000 deaths due to COVID-19. But he said had his administration not taken the actions it did, that number would've been "substantially more." (Sept. 22)
Bulgarian anti-government protesters, who started a movement against Prime Minister Boyko Borissov back in July, are still calling for the entire government to resign.View on euronews