White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his team are headed to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week for talks in a region simmering with tension after the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist. A senior administration official said on Sunday that Kushner is to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Saudi city of Neom, and the emir of Qatar in that country in the coming days.
The head of a U.S. biotechnology company that is developing one of the most promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates says Canada is not far behind other countries when it comes to receiving doses of its vaccine, despite criticism of the government's procurement plan from the Conservative opposition. "Canada is not at the back of the line," Noubar Afeyan, co-founder and chairman of Moderna, told CBC's Chief Political Correspondent Rosemary Barton on Sunday. Afeyan said because Canada was among the first countries to make a pre-order with Moderna, the country is guaranteed to receive a certain portion of the company's initial batch of doses as long as the vaccine proves safe and effective and is given regulatory approval. "The people who were willing to move early on with even less proof of the efficacy have assured the amount of supply they were willing to sign up to," Afeyan said in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live. "Nothing that happened subsequently can affect that." Moderna's mRNA vaccine is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials and preliminary data released two weeks ago show it appears to be 94.5 per cent effective. Millions of doses procured The federal government secured an agreement on Aug. 5 with Moderna for 20 million doses of its vaccine, with the option to procure an additional 36 million doses. The U.S. announced a deal for up to 500 million doses just days later while the U.K. and European Union inked deals with Moderna only in the past two weeks. In total, Canada has procured some 358 million doses from seven companies — the most per capita of any country in the world, according to research from Duke University's Global Health Institute. WATCH | Federal government pressured on when Canadians will get COVID-19 vaccine Despite that promising news, the Liberal government came under intense pressure this week to lay out a timeline for when Canadians will begin receiving an inoculation as countries like the U.S., U.K. and Germany have all announced plans to begin vaccinating their populations in December. Opposition politicians and some premiers argued Canada was falling behind other countries in its planning after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadians would have to wait to get vaccinated because the first doses of any vaccine will go to people in the countries where the vaccines are being manufactured. Federal officials said on Thursday that if all goes well as many as three million Canadians — mainly those in "high-priority groups" — could be vaccinated in early 2021. One day later, Trudeau said that Canada is on track to vaccinate nearly every person who wants a shot by September 2021. But officials have provided few details about the government's plan to roll out a vaccine once Health Canada gives one the green light. Conservative critiques At a press conference on Sunday, Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole repeated his view that Canada is behind other countries in procuring a vaccine. "While the Americans and the British are talking about mass vaccination throughout December and January, our government is now talking about getting Canadians vaccinated by September," O'Toole said. "We need to show Canadians that there is a plan for the vaccine." O'Toole said the Trudeau government only turned its attention to pre-ordering tens of millions of vaccine doses from companies such as Pfizer and Moderna in August after its collaboration between the National Research Council and Chinese vaccine maker CanSino collapsed following months of delays. "I would not have put all our eggs in the basket of China," O'Toole said. Regulatory approval pending Companies have compressed the time it normally takes to develop a vaccine by initiating the manufacturing of doses even before studies into their efficacy are completed as part of a global effort to develop COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible to bring the pandemic to an end. Moderna is in the process of applying for emergency-use authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Once the company obtains that authorization, Afeyan said it will begin shipping doses to countries that have made pre-orders, including Canada. Afeyan said he expects to start shipping the vaccine to Canada in the first quarter of 2021 and the quantity of shipments should increase through the second quarter and throughout the rest of the year. The company expects to be able to produce a total of 20 million doses by the end of 2020 and between 500 million and 1 billion doses throughout 2021. Moderna submitted early safety and pre-clinical data from Phase 1 and 2 trials with Health Canada last month as part of the regulator's rolling regulatory review process. Health Canada must approve any COVID-19 vaccine before it can be distributed to Canadians. Experts say Moderna's vaccine — which requires two shots taken 28 days apart — will be relatively easy to store and distribute because the vaccine can remain stable at normal fridge temperatures of 2 C to 8 C for 30 days. By contrast, another leading candidate manufactured by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer must be shipped and stored at -70 C. WATCH | Health Minister on how the federal government should address vaccine hesitancy: Health Minister Patty Hajdu said it's difficult to nail down a delivery date at the moment for any of the leading vaccine candidates because of the long list of uncertainties stemming from unfinished clinical trials, ongoing regulatory reviews, and manufacturing and logistical challenges related to distribution. "We're all anxious to get out of this mess as a world, but certainly as a country as well," Hajdu said. "As Canada's health minister, I'm staying focused on Canadians and on our own process, making sure our delivery plans are well laid out and that we have what we need in terms of being able to deliver on the variety of different kinds of vaccines." Hajdu added that her top priority is ensuring that Health Canada has what it needs to make sure the regulatory process proceeds smoothly so that any vaccines that are approved are safe and effective.
Mummers might already wear masks, but they still have to abide by other COVID-19 restrictions. Having thousands of people disguised in doilies stroll down the streets of St. John's just doesn't jive with a recommendation from provincial health officials to only go mummering with close contacts this year. The annual Mummers Parade is moving online, along with most of the regular festival events leading up to it."Everything that we do, typically, is back. It's just in a digital platform," said Mummers Festival Executive Director Lynn McShane.No parade in pandemicA typical parade day starts with a "rig up," where people pick through tables of clothes to find a costume. This year, starting at 1:30 p.m. NT on Dec 12, organizers will be on Facebook Live offering up tips and ideas for what to wear.The parade itself will be replaced by a video of people in their mummering best. The festival is asking anyone who wants to be in it to dress up, record themselves, and send in a snippet by Dec 1.The parade day stream will end with a virtual concert.McShane said hosting most of the festival on the internet opens up possibilities for who can take part. "People who are not residents of Newfoundland and Labrador are just loving the opportunity to be able to join in from afar," she said. There are presentations, panel discussions and crafting lessons planned in the two weeks ahead of the parade.All the events and most of the required supplies are free, but donations are encouraged.Bring your own boot"The thing with mummering is eventually you take off your mask, so in terms of this year and COVID, I don't know if it offers much protection," Ryan Davis said in an interview ahead of his online ugly stick workshop Saturday. In past years, he's taught people how to put the instrument together in person.Festival volunteers predrilled the sticks and punched holes in bottle caps to ease at-home assembly. Participants could register and pick up a kit in St. John's containing all the ugly stick essentials at no charge — they just needed to have an old boot or sneaker for the bottom.For people who didn't have a kit from the festival, Davis offered up alternatives.He said they're not an essential mummering accessory, but they do amplify the experience."It's actually great if you want to go mummering because you don't want to take your nice guitar or your fancy instrument," Davis said."This is something you can beat up and beat around, so in that way, it's great for mummering."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
COVID-19 continues to force school divisions to make changes in how they deliver education.On Saturday and Sunday, multiple schools in different divisions announced changes ranging from classroom shutdowns to outright school closures. In Regina, one case of COVID-19 was reported in a person at Grant Road School, which will now be closed until Dec. 7. Regina Public Schools said close contacts were informed and given information about isolation.COVID-19 cases were found at École Elsie Mironuck School, Dr. L.M. Hanna School, Ruth M. Buck School and Thom Collegiate. Affected students at École Elsie Mironuck School and Ruth M. Buck School will begin remote learning and will not return to school until Dec. 10. Affected students at Dr. L.M. Hanna School will begin remote learning and will not return to school until Dec. 8. Affected students at Thom Collegiate will begin remote learning and will not return to school until Dec. 4.Two cases in Regina Catholic SchoolsRegina Catholic Schools announced a case of COVID-19 at Miller Comprehensive Catholic High School and a case at Archbishop M.C. O'Neill Catholic High School.The affected classrooms at Miller Comprehensive were closed and students in those classrooms will begin learning remotely. All other classrooms remain open.At O'Neill, the person who tested positive for COVID-19 attended class two days before the school switched to the hybrid model. Students in the affected classrooms were told to isolate until 11:59 p.m. Dec. 2. Classmates of the individual in the hybrid model are to isolate until 11:59 p.m. Dec. 10.All other classrooms at O'Neill remain open.To the north, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools announced two positive cases at Bishop James Mahoney High School, two cases at Bethlehem Catholic High School, one cases at École Sister O'Brien School and two cases at Holy Cross High School.Saturday evening, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools announced one more positive case at the Holy Cross High School and one at St. Joseph High School. The affected cohorts are to switch to online instruction as of Monday.
The Maimonides Geriatric Centre transferred most of its patients with COVID-19 to local hospitals on Sunday in an effort to contain an outbreak that has already killed 10 people.Public health authorities decided on Saturday to move 20 coronavirus patients offsite after growing concern that a cramped and poorly ventilated ward was contributing to the outbreak.Two patients, whose conditions are more severe, are going to the Jewish General Hospital and 18 less severe cases will go to Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal. Ten other patients who are recovering from infections will remain at Maimonides. Patient attendants and nurses from the facility will accompany the infected residents to hospital.The number of COVID-19 infections at Maimonides has jumped dramatically since the beginning of the month.Roughly a dozen staff members have also tested positive, despite taking the required safety precautions, health officials said.That raised suspicions about air circulation in the ward where COVID-19 patients are treated, which has become crowded as the outbreak worsened."We think that if we put too many acute cases together in the same area on one floor, it is possible that the ventilation is not strong enough to ventilate properly," said Francine Dupuis, the associate CEO of the health authority that oversees Maimonides.Dupuis added it was possible the outbreak at Maimonides will lead to new public health guidelines for long-term care homes, namely that they should avoid grouping many COVID-19 patients together in small spaces."These are nursing homes — they were not built for acute care," she said.Families remain concernedThe milder cases, who were sent to Hôtel-Dieu, are expected to return to Maimonides within eight to 10 days."When they are considered rehabilitated they can go back to their residence," Dupuis said.But an advocacy group for families of residents at Maimonides says health authorities still need to do more to contain the outbreak at the facility.They are calling for all staff members to be tested for the virus. The group is also concerned about low staffing levels and a shortage of N95 surgical masks."We're not out of the woods because there are issues that are not being addressed yet," said Joyce Shanks, a spokesperson for the advocacy group and whose father is a resident at the facility. Since the beginning of the second wave, 10 people have died of COVID-19 at Maimonides, according to the latest figures provided by the Quebec government.Last week, a staff member at Maimonides told CBC Montreal that nurses were being instructed to work in both hot zones and non-COVID wards ("cold zones"). The provincial government has tried to limit the number of health care staff who work in both hot zones and cold zones as the practise was blamed for hundreds of deadly outbreaks in long-term care homes this spring.Regional health officials denied the nurse's allegation.
ATLANTA — Bishop Reginald Jackson stepped to the microphone at a drive-in rally outside a church in southwest Atlanta as his voice carried over a loudspeaker and the radio to people gathered in, around and on top of cars that filled the parking lot.“Let’s keep Georgia blue," Jackson said. “Let’s elect Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock to the United States Senate.” The presiding bishop of more than 400 African Methodist Episcopal churches in Georgia added a pastoral flourish as horns honked and supporters cheered: “If I have a witness, somebody say amen!"As Georgia becomes the nation’s political hotspot this winter before twin runoff elections Jan. 5 that will determine control of the Senate, faith-based organizing is heating up.Conservative Christians are rallying behind Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, while Black churches and liberal-leaning Jewish groups are backing Democratic challengers Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The Democrats' fates are seen as intertwined in a state that this year turned blue in the presidential election for the first time since 1992 by a razor-thin margin.“These runoffs are critically important,” Jackson said. “We want to make sure there is no decrease in turnout.”Across Georgia, the African Methodist Episcopal Church is implementing a program designed to ensure its members, and Black voters overall, cast ballots in the runoff — focusing on votes by mail and early in-person voting. Pastors at each church remind tens of thousands of congregants every week to apply for an absentee ballot and of early voting dates, Jackson said in an interview. Each local church also follows up with congregants to make sure they have a plan to vote.The New Georgia Project, a nonpartisan voter mobilization group founded by Democrat Stacey Abrams, who ran for governor in 2018, is also preparing to tap the influence of faith communities in stoking turnout.Rev. Billy Honor, director of faith organizing at the group, said the conservative Christian Faith & Freedom Coalition — founded by former Georgia GOP chairman Ralph Reed — has long positioned Georgia “as the home of evangelical fundamentalist types when it comes to the political space."“But the truth is, for a very long time, there has been an active, effective movement of progressive-minded, justice-centred clergy” who have worked in the state on voting rights, health care and other issues, Honor added. He said Warnock was part of that work before his candidacy. Warnock is senior pastor at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, the congregation led by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.Meanwhile, Loeffler and Perdue can expect to benefit from a conservative Christian base that has long boosted the state’s Republicans. Faith & Freedom made Georgia one of its top three spending targets in a $50 million get-out-the-vote program during the general election and plans increased organizing for the runoffs.The reach of "the evangelical vote in Georgia is very large and very strong,” Timothy Head, the group’s executive director, said in an interview.Head noted that while President Donald Trump kept a strong hold on white evangelical voters this year, Perdue out-performed Trump in Georgia during the general election. President-elect Joe Biden may have won over some evangelicals by contrasting his character with that of Trump, Head said, but he argued that the same sort of case would be harder for Democrats to make against Loeffler and Perdue.Another faith-focused conservative group, the legislative affiliate of the Family Research Council, is holding trainings and pastor briefings before the runoffs. The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, whose president advised Trump’s reelection campaign on Catholic outreach, has announced a $4.1 million plan to boost Loeffler and Perdue through a partner political action committee.Religious issues already have become a campaign flashpoint in the runoff. The GOP has resurfaced excerpts from past Warnock sermons to assail him as insufficiently supportive of the military as well as anti-Israel. The Democrat signed a letter last year comparing Israel's policy toward Palestinians to “previous oppressive regimes" and criticized it in a 2018 sermon, while also calling for a two-state solution in the region.Warnock pushed back in a recently released television ad, saying the attacks are “trying to scare people by taking things I’ve said out of context from over 25 years of being a pastor.”One group criticizing Warnock as too left-leaning on Israel, the Republican Jewish Coalition, is also mobilizing on behalf of the GOP incumbents.Jewish Democrats in Georgia predicted that the GOP attack on Warnock’s Israel record would fall flat, citing his record of friendship with the Jewish community through his pulpit at Ebenezer.Sherry Frank, president of the Atlanta section of the National Council of Jewish Women, said she sees “no doubt in the Jewish community about (Warnock’s) stance on Israel and anti-Semitism.” Frank's group is conducting nonpartisan voter turnout work for the runoffs.Georgia’s Jewish Democrats also see, in Ossoff and Warnock, candidates whose joint push for the Senate harkens back to a tradition of Black and Jewish leaders working together during the civil rights movement. Warnock has a bond with a prominent Atlanta rabbi whose predecessor at the synagogue was close with King.Warnock is viewed “as the inheritor" of King’s legacy, said Michael Rosenzweig, co-chair of the Georgia chapter of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, which has endorsed both Democrats. “And to the extent that Jews were supportive of the civil rights struggle and supportive of (King), I think they look supportively on Rev. Warnock.”Ossoff, who is Jewish, has defended Warnock against GOP criticism over Israel and fondly recalled his own connection to the late Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia civil rights leader who endorsed Ossoff before his death in July. In October, Ossoff said he and Lewis talked during their first meeting about “the bond between the Black and Jewish communities, marching alongside rabbis and young Jewish activists in the mid 1960s ... and how important it was that these communities be brought together."___Schor reported from Washington.___Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through the Religion News Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for this content.Elana Schor And Ben Nadler, The Associated Press
Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.Fighting back against racism in Canada's oilsandsShane MacQueen and Garry Similien are speaking out about racial discrimination they've experienced working in Alberta's oilsands. Both say that they were the subject of racist jokes from co-workers and differential treatment on the job, even as they were just trying to do their work and provide for their families. "I went there to make a better life for myself," MacQueen said. Read moreAfter Marketplace's investigation, parents are pushing for better masks in schoolsSome parents are calling on the Toronto District School Board and the Ontario government to make sure students are being given proper face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19 when they forget to bring their masks to class.The controversy began after Cortleigh Teolis read about the Marketplace story on testing masks. She sorted through her family's basket of face coverings, pulling out the backup masks issued to her two children at their elementary school in Toronto, and comparing them to the results.The combination of fabrics, including a 100 per cent cotton inner layer and a 100 per cent polyester outer layer, was ranked among the "worst performers" from the more than 20 different masks tested. Read moreOntario moves to cap delivery app fees in regions where indoor dining bannedOntario is set to cap the fees third-party delivery apps impose on restaurants in regions where indoor dining is prohibited, in a bid to protect what profits restaurants can still make during the COVID-19 pandemic."Food delivery services companies have collected up to 30 per cent in commissions from these restaurants. And they're enjoying record sales and uptake," MPP Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria said.He said restaurants can expect to see a cap of 15 per cent on delivery fees, with a cap of 20 per cent inclusive of all fees. Read more Back in 2018, Marketplace investigated food apps like Uber Eats and SkipTheDishes for their delivery times and prices, and revealed hidden markups.COVID surge in dog demand has shelters, breeders urging cautionIn the 30 years Barry Harrison has bred and trained dogs in London, Ont., he says he's never fielded so many calls. "People are scrambling to buy any type of puppy," Harrison said. "You shouldn't breed dogs just to make money. I've been breeding for many years, and I don't think I've made a profit. I do it to better the breed, not to make a buck."As Marketplace reported last week, the surging demand for dogs has even created a market for puppies imported from Europe, a trade that is virtually unregulated and has animal experts worried it could bring new diseases to Canada. Read more What else is going on?Anti-mask hostility forces B.C. grocery store to hire security guard for 1st time in 45 years Kootenay Co-op has seen an increase in aggressive customers who refuse to wear masks since provincial mandate.Why the federal government lets Canadians travel abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic The decision is rooted in Canadians' constitutional rights.This crock pot is a burn hazard Consumers should immediately contact Sunbeam to obtain a free replacement lid.These kids' bikes are a chemical hazard Stop using the product and contact Decathlon Inc. for additional information and a refund.Miss Vickie's chips recalled in Eastern Canada were also shipped west The chips were recalled for possible glass contamination.This week on MarketplaceIt's been an extremely tough year. From the global pandemic to the reckoning on race.Over the last six months, since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, many of us have had really open and brutally honest conversations about racism and social injustice.There's also been a lot of talk about how to make meaningful change.That's part of the reason why we're launching this new series called Face Racism, about Canadians who are calling out discrimination on the job and in the marketplace.We're investigating how these issues affect consumers and workers in various sectors, including oil and gas, retail, education and real estate. You're going to hear from people who say they've been targeted because of their natural hair, profiled in a store or given a low home appraisal because of the colour of their skin.But we're not just focusing on the problem; we want to advance the conversation. We want to tackle the issues in new ways and identify possible solutions. We'll follow people as they search for justice and action, and sometimes we'll even bring them face to face with company executives and government officials.This week, two workers in Fort McMurray, Alta., are going public with their experiences of racism in the oilpatch. Shane MacQueen and Garry Similien will be sharing their personal stories with us. They'll also be laying out a unique idea to diversify the workforce.I hope you'll tune in for this very important episode.And if you have a story you want to share, email us at email@example.com -Asha Tomlinson and the Marketplace teamMarketplace needs your helpHave you seen a product claiming to cure COVID-19 that seems too good to be true? Maybe a miracle cure that has you asking questions? We want to hear about it. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Are you a COVID-19 survivor suffering from long-term side effects that impact your ability to function? Have you been able to access the medical care you believe you need? We want to hear from you. Email us at email@example.comCatch up on past episodes of Marketplace any time on CBC Gem.
Media depictions of youth during the pandemic are distorting the actual experiences, practices and attitudes of young adults during COVID-19, as well as the pandemic's impact on them.
TORONTO — Independent reviews of the hundreds of inmates placed in segregation over the past year found only a handful were inappropriate, new government data indicate. According to the previously unpublished information from Correctional Service Canada, only two per cent of reviews by independent external decision-makers resulted in inmates moved out of isolation, and then not always right away. "There can be rare cases where the removal may not be immediate, for example, if the inmate refuses to leave or a transfer is pending for a suitable placement," the service said. "Our goal is to ensure they can be safely returned to a different environment, which in most cases is to a mainstream population." The data, viewed with skepticism by critics, indicate that external reviewers weighed in 1,475 times as of Nov. 1. Of those, 905 were triggered by inmates isolated for longer than the legally allowed stretches. One year ago, after the courts had repeatedly struck down administrative segregation used to isolate prisoners who posed a threat to themselves or others, the government implemented a new system called structured intervention units. Key changes included allowing inmates out of their cells for at least four hours a day, giving them a daily minimum of two hours of meaningful interaction with others, and putting an external oversight mechanism in place that can result in binding directives. Since then, reviewers have looked at the confinement conditions of about 740 individual inmates. The aim was to see whether authorities were abiding by the new rules, such as giving prisoners a chance to be out of their cells and interact with others. Overall, the reviews concluded authorities took all reasonable steps to meet their obligations in 79 per cent of the cases, the service said. Critics, however, have called the new system rebranded solitary confinement. For example, criminologist Anthony Doob, who led a government advisory committee on the issue, and colleague Jane Sprott, concluded the government was failing to live up to the legislated requirements. Among other things, their analysis found a sizable percentage of inmates had spent more than two months in confinement and few had received the mandated four hours daily out of their cells and two hours of human contact. Dr. Adelina Iftene, an assistant law professor at Dalhousie University, said the new data raise questions about the review process or IEDMs. "Either there is a lack of clarity on what exactly are the role and powers of the IEDMs, or the IEDMs are tigers without teeth, or the IEDMs are not fulfilling their role," Iftene said. "The implication remains that there may still be no effective oversight of placements in the SIUs." The tiny number of reviews resulting in directives to move an inmate from confinement also raises questions about the quality of the information fed to reviewers, Iftene said. "Did they know that so many people were effectively experiencing solitary confinement?" she said. "If so, how is it possible that they recommended removal from the SIUs only in two per cent of cases?" Whether individuals’ rights are being upheld is a yes or no question, Iftene added. There are no “reasonable steps.” Correctional Service Canada defended its approach, saying the new system is part of a "historic transformation" that can't happen overnight. "It takes time to instill cultural and transformational change," the service said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2020. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
A retirement-living complex in Saint John has announced six new cases of COVID-19 after testing residents and staff Saturday.Shannex Parkland now has 15 confirmed cases, including five employees and 10 residents.Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer, said Public Health officials have members of a special team on site to assist Shannex."An outbreak in any long-term care facility is concerning because it's a vulnerable population," she told CBC News.Testing was completed for all residents at Tucker Hall and Carleton Hall on Saturday, but not all results are in.New Brunswick announced 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, mostly concentrated in the Saint John and Moncton regions. A positive case has been confirmed at Harrison Trimble High School in Moncton, according to a letter sent to parents and guardians by Anglophone East School District superintendent Gregg Ingersoll.Public Health officials will contact parents if their child has been in close contact with the confirmed case and needs to self-isolate. Ingersoll said if parents are not contacted by Public Health, their child can continue to attend school.The entire Saint John region is in the orange-level recovery phase and has 72 active cases.All residents isolatingPublic Health declared an outbreak on Nov. 20 at Tucker Hall, at the Parkland complex, after an employee tested positive. Shannex has rolled out several measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, including having all residents isolate in their rooms.Lisa Snodgrass, clinical practice director and infection control specialist, said anyone entering a resident room is wearing full personal protective equipment."We're into this now over a week," she said in an interview. "It can be troublesome for residents to have to stay in their rooms, for sure."Snodgrass said the facility's recreation team is ensuring residents have something to occupy their time, such as reading materials and exercises to do.COVID positive areaThe Shannex Parkland community has three buildings, including Tucker Hall, Carleton Hall, and an adult residential facility.There are about 250 residents and 200 staff members across the complex.Carleton Hall is an independent living building and Tucker Hall is a nursing home.The cases include 10 residents and four employees at Tucker Hall, and one Carleton Hall employee.Residents who have tested positive have been moved to a designated area where they are being cared for by staff working exclusively with COVID-19 cases.The area has a separate entrance and exit to control access.Snodgrass said residents were moved into the designated section of the building "shortly after" the first three resident cases were identified."We do have team members identified beforehand who have stepped and said that they would work in these areas should we end up in an outbreak situation," she said.The first few cases were already in the same part of Tucker Hall, which was used to create an area for COVID-positive residents.Under pandemic restrictions, most movement within buildings is limited to health-care personnel. Family of residents who tested positive have been contacted.Outbreak source unknownSnodgrass said Shannex is working with Public Health to investigate the primary source of the outbreak.The facility plans to conduct further testing of residents and employees on Monday and Tuesday.Some employees at the facility are currently self-isolating."It certainly does have an effect on staffing but we are working on that 24/7 to ensure that we have adequate staff on site and adequate roles of staff on site," Snodgrass said."We are so thankful for our employees that have been able to come to work, and willing to come to work."Staff from Public Health and the Department of Social Development have assisted as needed in gathering equipment and organizing recreation activities.Ambulance New Brunswick and Extra-Mural, the province's home health-care program, are also at the Parkland Saint John complex.119 active casesThere are now 119 active cases in the province, and no one is in the hospital.There are four new cases in the Moncton region (Zone 1), including an individual under 19, a person 20-29, and two people 40-49.In the Saint John region, nine new cases were announced on Sunday, including three people under 19, a person 30-39, a person 50-59, two people 80-89, and two people 90 and over.The cases in the Saint John and Moncton regions are self-isolating and remain under investigation.One new case was also reported in the Bathurst region (Zone 6). It is an individual 30-39 and is travel-related. In addition to the 72 active cases in the Saint John region (Zone 2), there are 28 active in the Moncton region, 16 in the Fredericton region and three in the Bathurst region.Russell said it's hard to predict at this time when the orange-level regions might return to yellow."Certainly if everybody's pulling in the right direction, I am cautiously optimistic," she said.There are more than 2,000 people self-isolating across the province this weekend.New Brunswick has confirmed 495 cases since the start of the pandemic in March. Seven people have died and 369 have recovered. The province conducted 942 tests on Saturday for a total of 123,883.
If citizens disbelieve the institutions that count ballots and the organizations that accurately report on those results, it will impossible to agree on what a legitimate election looks like.
Trade union Verdi on Sunday called on workers at a German Amazon warehouse to strike for the second time in a week to disrupt the processing of orders following the 'Black Friday' discount shopping sales on Nov. 27. Scheduled to begin on Monday's night shift and finish at the end of Tuesday's late shift, the strike follows a three-day walkout between Thursday and Saturday last week in which more than 500 workers took part, Verdi said.. Verdi has been organising strikes at Amazon in Germany - the company’s biggest market after the United States - since 2013, along with other unions hoping to force the e-commerce company to recognise collective bargaining agreements that apply to retail employees at other firms.
PARIS — France’s highest administrative court on Sunday ordered a rethink of a 30-person attendance limit for religious services put in place by the government to slow down the spread of coronavirus. The measure took effect this weekend as France relaxes some virus restrictions, but it faced opposition by places of worship and the faithful for being arbitrary and unreasonable. Even before the ruling, several bishops had announced they would not enforce the restrictions and some churches were expected to defy it. The Council of State has ordered that Prime Minister Jean Castex modify the measure within three days. French churches, mosques and synagogues started opening their doors again to worshippers this weekend — but only a few of them, as France cautiously starts reopening after its latest virus lockdown. Many people expressed irritation outside several Paris churches where priests held services for groups that numbered over 30. “People respected social distancing perfectly, each to his place and with enough space so I don’t think there’s anything to worry about here,” Laurent Frémont told The Associated Press on his way home after Mass. To attend Mass, they had to book tickets online and give their names on their way in. However, the church’s protocol didn’t seem to help limit the number of people inside the building. Asked whether they would stay if the crowd was too large, most said they would. “I really think you couldn’t do better from a sanitary point of view,” said Humbline Frémont. For some, the new rules stirred up fears. French Catholics were sharing rules and recommendations on social media for how to behave if the police arrive at a church for a head count. Farid Kachour, secretary general of the group running the mosque of Montermeil, a heavily immigrant suburb northeast of Paris, says that his mosque simply wouldn’t open with too few people permitted. “We can’t choose people” allowed to enter for prayer. “We don’t want to create discontent among the faithful,” he said. Kachour noted that Muslims pray five times a day, further complicating the situation. To respect the rules, the mosque would need 40 services a day to allow all the faithful to pray, he said. Places of worship were allowed to continue during France’s latest nationwide lockdown, which is coming to an end in December, but regular prayer services were banned due to health concerns. Around the world, some religious services have been linked to coronavirus clusters, including superspreading events. France has reported over 52,000 virus-related deaths, the third-highest pandemic death toll in Europe after Britain and Italy. “Non-essential” shops reopened in France on Saturday, museums and cinemas will reopen on Dec. 15 but bars and restaurants will stay closed for indoor dining until Jan. 20. ___ Alex Turnbull and Elaine Ganley contributed to this report. __ Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak The Associated Press
A man is dead after he crashed his vehicle into the Princes' Gates at Exhibition Place early Sunday, Toronto police say. Police said they were called to the area of Lakeshore Boulevard West and Strachan Avenue at 4:19 a.m.. The man was driving at high speed and slammed into the gates. He was pronounced dead at the scene.Police have not released his age. Officers are currently investigating the crash.
Most people know the benefits of physical activity. However, we tend to be less aware of how damaging inactivity can be, even for short periods — especially for older adults.
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin finished a recount of its presidential results on Sunday, confirming Democrat Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in the key battleground state. Trump vowed to challenge the outcome in court even before the recount concluded.Dane County was the second and last county to finish its recount, reporting a 45-vote gain for Trump. Milwaukee County, the state's other big and overwhelmingly liberal county targeted in a recount that Trump paid $3 million for, reported its results Friday, a 132-vote gain for Biden.Taken together, the two counties barely budged Biden's winning margin of about 20,600 votes, giving the winner a net gain of 87 votes.“As we have said, the recount only served to reaffirm Joe Biden’s victory in Wisconsin," Danielle Melfi, who led Biden's campaign in Wisconsin, said in a statement to The Associated Press.Trump campaign spokeswoman Jenna Ellis said in a statement that the Wisconsin recounts have “revealed serious issues” about whether the ballots were legal, but she offered no specific details to validate her claim.“As we have said from the very beginning, we want every legal vote, and only legal votes to be counted, and we will continue to uphold our promise to the American people to fight for a free and fair election,” Ellis said.With no precedent for overturning a result as large as Biden's, Trump was widely expected to head to court once the recount was finished. His campaign challenged thousands of absentee ballots during the recount, and even before it was complete, Trump tweeted that he would sue.“The Wisconsin recount is not about finding mistakes in the count, it is about finding people who have voted illegally, and that case will be brought after the recount is over, on Monday or Tuesday,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “We have found many illegal votes. Stay tuned!”The deadline to certify the vote is Tuesday. Certification is done by the Democratic chair of the Wisconsin Election Commission, which is bipartisan.The Wisconsin Voters Alliance, a conservative group, has already filed a lawsuit against state election officials seeking to block certification of the results. It makes many of the claims Trump is expected to make. Gov. Tony Evers’ attorneys have asked the state Supreme Court to dismiss the suit. Evers, a Democrat, said the complaint is a “mishmash of legal distortions” that uses factual misrepresentations in an attempt to take voting rights away from millions of Wisconsin residents.Another suit filed over the weekend by Wisconsin resident Dean Mueller argues that ballots placed in drop boxes are illegal and must not be counted.Trump’s attorneys have complained about absentee ballots where voters identified themselves as “indefinitely confined,” allowing them to cast an absentee ballot without showing a photo ID; ballots that have a certification envelope with two different ink colours, indicating a poll worker may have helped complete it; and absentee ballots that don’t have a separate written record for its request, such as in-person absentee ballots.Election officials in the two counties counted those ballots during the recount, but marked them as exhibits at the request of the Trump campaign.Trump’s campaign has already failed elsewhere in court without proof of widespread fraud, which experts widely agree doesn’t exist. Trump legal challenges have failed in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania.The Associated Press
Les producteurs laitiers se disent satisfaits de l’annonce de la ministre de l’Agriculture, Marie-Claude Bibeau sur la deuxième année de l’indemnisation promise pour les concessions faites dans le cadre des accords commerciaux ainsi que l’échéancier pour le solde des paiements. La ministre Bibeau a annoncé le paiement des indemnisations promises et réclamées depuis plusieurs mois par les producteurs et l’opposition à la Chambre des Communes. Ils recevront le reste des versements sur une période de trois ans dès 2020, soit environ 38 000 dollars par an pour un producteur ayant 80 vaches. Les producteurs laitiers du Canada (PLC) avaient besoin de plus d’assurance pour « investir et accroître leur efficacité » selon un communiqué. Ils aimeraient être mieux préparés pour faire face à l’intensification de la concurrence des produits laitiers importés et fabriqués à partir de lait produit ailleurs à la suite des concessions accordées par les accords commerciaux auxquels Ottawa a souscrit sur la scène internationale. « Ces investissements importants à la ferme ne peuvent être effectués qu’avec un certain degré de certitude par rapport aux compensations promises par le gouvernement. La réduction des délais pour les paiements est une reconnaissance par le gouvernement de l’importance de la concurrence étrangère à laquelle nous sommes confrontés. C’est pourquoi l’annonce d’aujourd’hui est si importante », a déclaré Pierre Lampron, président des producteurs laitiers du Canada. Passer à la dernière étape du plan Les PLC envisageaient de réaliser en 2020 trois étapes de leur plan de travail avec le gouvernement. Il s’agit de l’obtention du paiement de la deuxième année du programme de rémunération de huit ans, l’élaboration d’un échéancier des paiements pour les années restantes ; et l’élaboration d’un plan pour l’indemnisation complète et équitable pour l’ACEUM. « Nous tournons maintenant notre attention vers le dernier point de notre plan de travail, soit l’indemnisation pour l’ACEUM, et nous avons hâte d’entamer les discussions avec la vice-première ministre Freeland et la ministre Bibeau », a ajouté M. Lampron, reconnaissant à l’endroit du premier ministre Justin Trudeau qui a donné suite à son engagement. Les producteurs canadiens ont concédé d’importantes parts de marché dans l’Accord économique et commercial global (AECG), l’Accord de Partenariat transpacifique global et progressiste (PTPGP) et plus tard L’Accord Canada–États-Unis–Mexique (ACEUM). « La capacité de réussite du secteur a été mise en péril par la signature de ces trois accords commerciaux », a repris le PLC, signalant que d’ici 2024, 18 % de notre production laitière nationale aura été transférée à des producteurs étrangers qui fourniront du lait pour les produits laitiers importés qui se retrouveront sur les tablettes des épiceries canadiennes. Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
Polling done exclusively by Ipsos for Global News showed that 60 per cent of Canadians surveyed approve of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's performance in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and that Trudeau’s Liberals maintain their advantage over the Conservatives, with a five-point lead over the party.
Like so many things disrupted by the pandemic, Quincy Armorer's year didn't go exactly as planned.The artistic director for Montreal's oldest and longest-running Black theatre company was busy gearing up for the 2020-21 season, which would mark half a century of artistic achievement for the Black Theatre Workshop.Unfortunately, the restrictions on gathering and shuttering of performance venues meant that most of the company's plans were put on hold.Still, Armorer said the company will be marking its major milestone with some online material and saving the rest for a time when it's safe for everyone to return to theatres."Art is important and hopefully our audiences, when we finally are able to open up our doors again, will be there for us," he said.Faced with a subdued celebration this year and an uncertain future, Armorer said he's feeling a mix of emotions."We're very, very proud to have gotten where we are. We're a little bit annoyed that the pandemic isn't letting us do what we wanted. There's a lot going on," he told CBC's Let's Go.Armorer, who has served as artistic director for the Black Theatre Workshop for a decade, said he's "excited for the company to continue in the legacy of those that came before.""We wear that badge of honour with pride."In a normal year, the Black Theatre Workshop produces two mainstage productions each year as well as a school tour for Black History Month.The first event of the company's 50th season will feature a virtual staged reading of Sanctuary by Lydie Dubuisson. It's set to be streamed live on Facebook on Dec. 11.A home for Black artistsThe Black Theatre Workshop started out as a branch of the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Montreal. Its very first production under the BTW banner was in June 1971.Since then, the company has expanded its operations, going on to produce award-winning plays by emerging Montreal playwrights.Armorer described the company as a home for Black artists, saying that it provides a place where many get their foot in the door and gain valuable professional experience when just starting out in their careers."If we actually think about all the artists who had their first professional contract with the Workshop ... that's something very remarkable."It's also been a place to foster collaboration and community for Black artists."For a long time, working outside of Black Theatre Workshop, you'd run into other Black artists at auditions and things like that, and often you feel like we're going up against each other — we have to compete for these roles, with our colleagues and our friends — whereas with Black Theatre Workshop, we're afforded the opportunity to work with each other.""So that's really part of what we want to capture with Black Theatre Workshop — that sense of family, that sense of community, because it really is rooted in being storytellers for all of the stories that speak to our community."Armorer said looking ahead, he wants to focus on bringing new voices and experiences to Montreal stages."We're going into our second half century now. I think what we need to do is find out what are the stories that still need to be told. How can we serve our community in the best possible way?" While this year won't be the grand celebration they planned, Black Theatre Workshop still has some exciting projects in the pipeline including a hip-hop musical by Montreal writer Omari Newton that features a rap battle between a Black teenager shot nine times by police and the white police officer who shot him.The company is also committed to reaching out to Black French-speaking audiences, partnering with French theatre companies to produce translated productions of some of its plays.A collaboration between BTW and Théâtre La Licorne will stage a new version of Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau during the 2021-22 season, in both English and in French.For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
Stark photos released this week by a conservation group pushing hard for the province to protect what remains of B.C.'s largest and oldest trees is just one point of pressure the province's new forestry minister is facing as she comes into the job.On Thursday, MLA for Kootenay-West Katrine Conroy was appointed minister of forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development, taking over from Doug Donaldson, who did not seek reelection.Two days earlier, the Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) released dramatic before and after photographs of massive cedar trees on Vancouver Island, where they were logged as part of a government-approved tree harvesting licence.It's a technique the AFA has often used to illustrate the impact of logging in areas where trees can be up to 1,000 years old. The term old growth in B.C. refers to trees that are generally 250 years or older on the coast and 140 years or older in the Interior. The trees have significance to First Nations, they are good for the environment, help to clean air and water, store carbon and house other plants and animals.But they are also prized by loggers for their monetary value.Andrea Inness, a campaigner with the AFA, says the latest round of photos taken by TJ Watt have been shared hundreds of times on social media, with comments from people asking the province to end the practise of cutting down the large, iconic trees."[People] are sick and tired of seeing photographs like that," said Inness.In taking on the forestry portfolio, Conroy — who has represented the West Kootenays for 15 years, and was minister of children and family development from 2017 — has clear direction in her mandate letter to give conservationists like Inness what they want, but maybe not in time to save the trees that remain.The letter calls for her to implement 14 recommendations announced in September by a special panel, which travelled the province for months speaking with conservationists, unions, First Nations and the public to ask about the ecological, economic and cultural importance of old-growth trees and forests and how they fit into a new forestry strategy for B.C.The panel's most time-sensitive recommendation was to defer the cutting of old-growth forests most at risk of "irreversible biodiversity loss."In presenting the report from the panel, the province did announce the temporary protection of 353,000 hectares of forest in nine old-growth areas.Conservationists like Inness and Jens Wieting, a forest and climate campaigner with Sierra Club B.C., were initially pleased with the move, but maintain such a small number of these special trees remain in the province that if more dramatic action is not taken immediately, an insignificant amount could remain by the time the province comes up with a new forestry strategy."We have to look at their willingness to quickly defer more old growth from logging," he said.An independent ecological consulting firm used provincial data in the spring to determine that while old-growth forests make up about 23 per cent of forested areas in the province — or about 13.2 million hectares — less than three per cent, or around 400,000 hectares, support biologically significant old-growth trees.Sierra Club B.C. estimates that more than 140,000 hectares of old-growth forests — those with trees at least 120 years old — are logged each year along the B.C. coast and in the Interior. "We all know the data now, we all know that old-growth logging needs to come to an end," said Inness. "The government just needs to listen and start acting."Money requiredBoth Wieting and Inness estimate the province would need to spend about $1 billion to meet the 14 recommendations, which include involving Indigenous leaders in future decisions and declaring the conservation of "ecosystem health and biodiversity" an overarching priority for the province.That would need to include money to help First Nations assess the resources on their lands and transition away from logging old-growth trees, something the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs wants."For years, the government has enabled a debilitating and dangerous system that expunges the irreplaceable cultural value of old-growth forests, viewing not the immense roots these ancient and giant trees have set in our First Nation communities to sustain our cultures and livelihoods, but rather the pecuniary value of these trees that must be exploited in the short-term," Grand Chief Stewart Phillip said in a release in October.Financial support will also be needed for communities currently dependent on old-growth logging as they transition away from it, which could be tough for the province considering it's facing a more than $12-billion deficit due to the pandemic.Back in her days as an opposition MLA, Conroy frequently spoke up for the embattled logging communities she represents, saying the B.C. Liberals should have done more to achieve fair stumpage rates, reform forestry management, and encourage reforestation to help keep the industry viable.The new minister did not respond to a request for comment before publication of this story.