Year in review: A look at news events in October 2021

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A look at news events in October 2021:

1 - An experimental COVID-19 pill developed by pharmaceutical company Merck reportedly reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half in people recently infected with the virus. The study results were released by the company and had not been peer reviewed.

1 - Toronto police said they would charge former Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard with multiple counts of sexual assault. The charges were announced as Nygard was in a Winnipeg court for an extradition hearing related to different charges. Nygard consented to being extradited to the United States, where he was facing charges in New York for sexual assaults.

1 - Canada's top court upheld an Ontario law that slashed the size of Toronto's city council nearly in half during the last municipal election. In a split 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada found the change imposed by Ontario Premier Doug Ford did not violate the free-expression rights of candidates or voters. The municipal campaign was well underway when the Ontario legislature passed a law that reduced the number of council seats in Toronto to 25 from 47, aligning them with federal ridings.

2 - The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 had now surpassed 700,000. That's a greater number than the population of Boston.

2 - U.S. federal officials announced a Canadian man alleged to be a leading Islamic State media figure and foreign fighter was charged with conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization resulting in death. Thirty-eight-year-old Mohammed Khalifa was captured overseas by the Syrian Democratic Forces in January 2019. He was recently transferred into FBI custody and brought to the Eastern District of Virginia where charges were laid.

2 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized to the chief of B.C.'s Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation for what many Indigenous people considered his tone-deaf behaviour. The community that recently found the remains of hundreds of children on the site of a former residential school invited Trudeau to visit on Canada's first National Truth and Reconciliation Day. Instead, Trudeau flew to Tofino on vacation the week prior, setting off a firestorm of controversy.

4 - The Nobel Prize in the field of physiology or medicine was awarded to U.S.-based scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian. They were cited for their discovery of receptors for temperature and touch. The Nobel Committee said Julius used the active component in chili peppers to identify the nerve sensors that allow the skin to respond to heat. And Patapoutian found separate pressure-sensitive sensors in cells that respond to mechanical stimulation.

4 - The governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick reached an agreement that would see Nova Scotia's police watchdog agency act as the oversight body for both provinces. The Serious Incident Response Team would investigate deaths, serious injuries and sexual assaults involving police officers.

4 - Canada got involved in a dispute over an oil pipeline in Michigan. Canada informed a judge that it was invoking a 1977 treaty with the United States. That step was expected to suspend a lawsuit by Michigan to shut down the Line 5 pipeline, which is operated by Enbridge, based in Alberta. It runs from Wisconsin to Michigan to Ontario.

5 - The 2021 Nobel Prize for physics was awarded to three scientists from Japan, Germany and Italy for discoveries in climate and complex physical systems. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann were cited for their work in "the physical modelling of Earth's climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming.'' The second half of the prize was awarded to Italian theoretical physicist Giorgio Parisi for "the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales.''

5 - Victims of abuse by Roman Catholic priests and other church officials in France were calling it a historic turning point. A report estimated that 330,000 children in France were sexually abused over the past 70 years, and that Catholic authorities covered up the wrongdoing.

5 - The Montreal neuroscientist who gained a worldwide following while spending her dying months raising funds for scientists from under-represented backgrounds died at age 43. Concordia University said Nadia Chaudhri died after a yearlong battle with ovarian cancer. Chaudhri gained a large Twitter following as she openly shared the highs and lows of her journey with cancer, advocating for improvements to women's health care and more funding for scientists.

6 - Pope Francis expressed "shame'' for himself and the Roman Catholic Church for the scale of child sexual abuse within the church in France and acknowledged failures in putting the needs of victims first. The pontiff spoke to an audience at the Vatican about a report released a day earlier estimating 330,000 French children were abused by clergy and other church authority figures dating back to 1950.

6 - The Nobel Prize for chemistry was awarded to two scientists for a tool to build molecules. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the winners were Germany's Benjamin List and Scotland-born American David W.C. MacMillan from Princeton University. They were cited for their independent work back in 2000 developing a new way for building molecules known as "asymmetric organocatalysis.''

6 - The military re-assigned Maj.-Gen. Peter Dawe following outrage from survivors of sexual misconduct. Dawe was suspended as commander of Canada's special forces in April after he wrote a reference for a convicted sex offender. He was then quietly given a new job collecting and reviewing ways to eliminate military sexual misconduct.

6 - Federal workers would be put on unpaid administrative leave if they weren't fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of October.

6 - Elections Canada confirmed another election victory for the Liberals, giving the minority government one more seat in the House of Commons. The agency said following a recount that incumbent Brenda Shanahan would be returning to Parliament for the Chateauguay-Lacolle riding, edging out the Bloc's Patrick O'Hara.

7 - The Nobel Prize for literature was awarded to Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah. The Swedish Academy said the award was in recognition of his "uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.''

7 - Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price voluntarily entered the NHL's player assistance program, which helps players and their families with mental health, substance abuse and other matters.

8 - The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia. The two were cited for their fight for freedom of expression.

8 - The Bloc Québécois was confirmed as the winner of the Quebec riding of Trois-Rivières after a judicial recount. Elections Canada said the Bloc beat the Conservatives by 83 votes. The Tories went to court to request a recount to check the original result, which had the Bloc winning the seat by 92 votes.

10 - Parks Canada was going to update the commemorative plaques at the graves of 16 former prime ministers to reflect changes in how they are remembered. Officials were rethinking what the panels should say to reflect how the country views its past, specifically in light of historical mistreatment of Indigenous Peoples.

10 - Parents in British Columbia could now register their children aged five to 11 for the COVID-19 vaccine. Exactly when the shot for children would be approved remained up in the air, but Pfizer Canada said a week earlier that it was preparing to seek Health Canada's authorization for its COVID vaccine for younger kids.

11 - The 2021 Nobel Prize for outstanding work in the field of economics was awarded to Canadian David Card and two others -- Joshua D. Angrist and Guido Imbens. The 65-year-old Card was born in Guelph, Ont., but all three recipients are considered U.S.-based economists. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the trio "completely reshaped empirical work in the economic sciences.''

11 - British police would not be taking any further action against Prince Andrew after a review prompted by a Jeffrey Epstein accuser who claimed that he sexually assaulted her. Thirty-eight-year-old Virginia Giuffre claimed she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Andrew in London. She was 17 and a minor under United States law at the time. In August, the Metropolitan Police began a review of allegations connected to late convicted sex offender Epstein. The Met now said it had concluded its review and wouldn't be taking further action.

12 - Health officials in northern Saskatchewan declared a tuberculosis outbreak. The Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority said it had recently identified outbreaks in two communities -- six cases in Black Lake and seven in Fond du Lac.

12 - Federal Court Justice Ann Marie McDonald ruled the federal government did not have to reinstate Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin as the head of Canada's vaccine distribution campaign. Fortin's lawyers tried to argue that their client was removed back in May for purely political reasons while government lawyers argued that if Fortin was not happy with his removal, he should file a formal complaint with the military.

13 - Iqaluit residents were dealing with serious drinking-water issues. The Nunavut government said tests found evidence of petroleum hydrocarbons, or fuel chemicals, in the city's tap water and residents were being told not to drink, boil or cook with it.

13 - William Shatner said his trip into space wasn't like anything that was described to him and he couldn't believe the beauty of the colour of blue surrounding the planet. The 90-year-old Canadian actor blasted off aboard a Blue Origin rocket in a flight that lasted about 10 minutes and included a brief period in zero gravity.

13 - The incoming commander of Canada's army was under investigation by the military police for alleged sexual misconduct. A statement said Lt.-Gen. Trevor Cadieu was set to pick up the reins on Sept. 7, but the change of command ceremony was put off after officials were informed of the investigation.

14 - Freight train traffic was scratched off the list of possible causes of the deadly wildfire that destroyed much of Lytton, B.C.

14 - A 14-day state of emergency was declared in the Nunavut capital of Iqaluit, prompted by what appeared to be an undrinkable water supply tainted with petroleum. Officials said the first shipment of potable water for residents touched down and more was expected to be delivered in the coming days.

15 - British Conservative MP David Amess died after being attacked during a regular meeting with constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, a town east of London. British police were only saying a 25-year-old man had been arrested after a reported stabbing in eastern England.

15 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people who received doses of two or more different COVID-19 vaccines would be considered eligible to enter the United States next month. While the agency stopped short of recommending the mixed-dose practice in the U.S., it now acknowledged that it was an increasingly common vaccination strategy elsewhere in the world.

15 - Military police said they were investigating what they called ''historic'' allegations of sexual misconduct involving yet another senior commander. This time, it was the officer responsible for human resources in the Canadian Armed Forces, Lt.-Gen. Steven Whelan. It came five months after he was installed as the head of military personnel command, which is responsible for everything from recruitment to promotions to health care.

15 - The City of Iqaluit said testing showed a high concentration of fuel in a tank that supplies water to the Nunavut capital. It said the fuel may have come from outside the city's water treatment plant. The city said it had isolated and bypassed the tank in question, and it had started flushing its entire water system.

16 - The U.S. State Department and the FBI were working to free 17 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti. Christian Aid Ministries said the group included five children and a Canadian.

18 - Former U.S. secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell died from complications related to COVID-19. His family said the 84-year-old was fully vaccinated. The reputation of the first African-American to serve in both posts suffered when he went before the United Nations in 2003 and made faulty claims to justify the U.S. war in Iraq. Powell cited faulty information claiming Saddam Hussein had secretly stashed away weapons of mass destruction.

18 - Russia suspended its mission to NATO and closed NATO's military liaison and information offices in Moscow. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the moves were in response to NATO's recent decision to expel eight members of Russia's mission to the military alliance. NATO said the eight were secretly working as intelligence officers.

18 - Hong Kong banned all direct flights from Vancouver operated by Air Canada for two weeks in response to an imported COVID-19 case. The territory's Health Department website said officials detected nearly 60 imported cases of infection in the first two weeks of this month, including one passenger that was aboard an Oct. 13 Air Canada flight from Vancouver.

18 - The prime minister got quite the scolding during a visit to a First Nation in Kamloops, B.C. Justin Trudeau was publicly reprimanded for vacationing in Tofino on Canada's first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Trudeau had declined an invitation to join the Indigenous group's Sept. 30 event.

19 - Calgary elected its first female mayor and Edmonton elected its first mayor of colour. Calgary city councillor Jyoti Gondek would replace retiring, longtime mayor Naheed Nenshi. And in Alberta's capital, former federal cabinet minister Amarjeet Sohi defeated 10 other candidates to become Edmonton's first mayor of colour.

19 - Newfoundland and Labrador was going to slap a tax on sugary drinks -- a first in Canada. Government officials said the tax would hike prices on drinks with added sugars by 20 cents a litre beginning in September 2022. Provincial officials said the tax was expected to raise roughly $9 million a year.

19 - The Green Party temporarily laid off half its staff -- or about 10 people. Sources told The Canadian Press the party needed to cut costs as it faced financial and political problems.

20 - The Conservative party didn't agree with a committee's decision to bar unvaccinated people from Parliament. The Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois were all in favour of the all-party board of internal economy ruling that only people who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 would be allowed to enter the House of Commons precinct.

20 - This year's winner of the Sakharov Prize -- the European Union's top human rights award -- was imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. In a clear slap at President Vladimir Putin, the European Parliament praised Navalny's immense personal bravery and called for his immediate release. The 45-year-old activist was poisoned with a nerve agent last year and promptly arrested upon his return to Moscow from treatment in Germany and then imprisoned.

20 - The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The committees said Olympic and Paralympic athletes had to be vaccinated if they wanted to compete at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

20 - The Newfoundland and Labrador government was getting rid of the term "savages'' from its official description of the Indigenous people depicted on the province's nearly 400-year-old coat of arms. Premier Andrew Furey said amendments to the Coat of Arms Act were introduced for second reading in the legislature. The amendments included replacing "savages'' with "Beothuk,'' the name of the Indigenous people who inhabited the island portion of the province when European settlers arrived.

21 - Nova Scotia's Mount Saint Vincent University formally apologized for its connection to Canada's residential school system. Interim president Ramona Lumpkin noted the school's founders and previous owners, the Sisters of Charity Halifax, had members who staffed residential schools in Shubenacadie, N.S., and in Cranbrook, B.C., for decades until their closures more than 50 years ago.

21 - The lone Canadian finalist won a prestigious international piano competition in Poland. Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu of Canada was named as the winner of the $45,000 first prize in the Frederic Chopin competition. The jury's announcement came hours after Liu played as the last entrant among the 12 finalists at the pandemic-delayed event. He performed Chopin's concerto in E minor, opus 11 with the orchestra at the packed National Philharmonic in Warsaw.

21 - The provinces and the federal government agreed on a new national vaccine passport for domestic and international travel. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the provinces and territories agreed on the look, feel and security measures based on the international standard for smart health cards.

21 - British authorities said a man had been charged with murder and preparing acts of terrorism in the recent stabbing death of a Conservative lawmaker. Police say Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British man with Somali heritage, was charged in the death of David Amess. The 69-year-old had served in Parliament for almost 40 years and was killed as he met with constituents at a church hall. The case shook a nation accustomed to having face-to-face contact with its leaders.

21 - A prop firearm discharged by veteran actor Alec Baldwin, who was starring in and producing a western movie, killed his director of photography and injured the director. It happened on a movie set outside Santa Fe, N.M. Police say Halyna Hutchins, director of photography for the movie "Rust,'' and director Joel Souza were shot. The 42-year-old Hutchins was airlifted to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

22 - Pfizer released details of its study looking into the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine in five- to 11-year-olds. The study found that pediatric doses -- about a third of what's given to teens and adults -- appear safe and nearly 91 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic infections in kids.

22 - Canadian Blood Services launched a pilot project in two cities as it moved toward allowing more gay and bisexual men to donate blood and plasma. The pilot project in London, Ont., and Calgary allowed men who had had sex with another man in the past three months to donate plasma, so long as both partners had been monogamous.

22 - Canada's vaccine advisory committee offered some new guidance around COVID-19 vaccines, including a longer, eight-week recommended wait time between doses. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization also said research showed that people who experienced severe allergic reactions to their first mRNA dose, likely wouldn't have another severe reaction to their second dose.

22 - The Canadian Armed Forces was deployed to help with the water emergency in the capital of Nunavut. Iqaluit's 8,000 residents hadn't been able to consume tap water for 11 days after fuel was found in samples. Mayor Kenny Bell said three to five members of the Armed Forces had already arrived.

23 - Afghans already approved to come to Canada were being told there wasn't enough funding to keep them in safe houses as they waited to flee Afghanistan. Hundreds of Afghans who helped the Canadian military and non-governmental organizations would be left on their own in Kabul as those safe houses were set to be closed in two weeks.

23 - A U.S. Food and Drug Administration review found child-size doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine appeared effective in young children. The FDA posted its review ahead of a public meeting to consider opening vaccinations to kids five to 11.

24 - James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther on hit TV sitcom ''Friends,'' died of prostate cancer at age 59. Tyler played Central Perk's manager, and was a highly popular character through the show's 10 seasons for his unrequited love for Jennifer Aniston's Rachel.

25 - Sudan's top general declared a state of emergency, arrested the acting prime minister and other senior officials and announced the military would run the country. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan went on TV and said quarrels among political factions prompted the military to intervene and that a new technocrat government would lead the country to elections set for July 2023. After the early morning arrests of government officials, thousands flooded the streets of the capital, Khartoum, and its twin city of Omdurman to protest.

25 - Moderna said its low-dose COVID-19 vaccine was safe and appeared to work in six- to 11-year-olds. It was the second U.S. vaccine aimed at eventually being offered to children.

26 - The federal government quietly changed the criteria for its special humanitarian program for vulnerable Afghan refugees including women leaders, journalists and persecuted religious or ethnic minorities. It initially applied to Afghans stuck in their country, but now applied only to Afghans who are already out of Afghanistan. A second program, aimed at embassy staff, interpreters and others who helped Canada during its military mission, still allowed those inside Afghanistan to apply.

26 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave his cabinet a major overhaul -- dropping Harjit Sajjan from defence, Carolyn Bennett from Crown-Indigenous relations, Marc Garneau from global affairs and Patty Hajdu from health.

26 - Carolyn Bennett was shuffled out as minister of Crown-Indigenous relations. First Nations leaders had been deeply critical of her performance, saying she hadn't lived up to the government's mandate of reconciliation with Indigenous people. She was tapped to become the first minister of the new portfolio of mental health and addictions.

26 - An independent review found that the Chicago Blackhawks mishandled allegations that an assistant coach sexually assaulted a player during the team's Stanley Cup run in 2010. Stan Bowman resigned as the Blackhawks' general manager and president of hockey operations. He was among team officials who knew about the allegations and did nothing. The NHL fined the team $2 million for "the organization's inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response.''

26 - Nunavut residents elected 11 new members to the territory's legislative assembly, but voter turnout was low. Elections Nunavut said turnout in the territorial vote a day before was 49.9 per cent -- down from 63 per cent in 2017. Six women were elected to the 22-person assembly, tying a 2017 record for the most women elected in Nunavut.

26 - The Trudeau government now had one cabinet member from Alberta. Randy Boissonnault is minister of tourism and associate minister of finance. Boissonnault was elected in Edmonton Centre in 2015, defeated in 2019 and re-elected in the most recent federal election in September. He was one of only two Liberals elected in the province.

26 - A legend of comedy has died. Mort Sahl was 94. He helped pioneer a new, socially minded kind of comedy during an era when many comedians dressed in tuxedos and told mother-in-law jokes. Sahl faced his audience wearing slacks, a sweater, and an unbuttoned collar and carrying a rolled-up newspaper.

26 - U.S. health advisers endorsed kid-size doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for young children. The vote by the Food and Drug Administration panel moved the nation closer to vaccinating children ages five to 11.

27 - The UN's Medicines Patent Pool said Merck had agreed to let other drug makers around the world produce its COVID-19 pill. The move was aimed at helping millions of people in poorer countries get access to the potentially life-saving drug. Neither Merck nor its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics would receive royalties under the agreement for as long as the World Health Organization deems COVID-19 to be a global emergency.

27 - The Vatican issued a brief statement saying Pope Francis was willing to come to Canada as part of the process of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

27 - The United States issued its first passport with an "X'' gender designation -- a milestone in the recognition of the rights of people who don't identify as male or female. The U.S. State Department expected to be able to offer the option to non-binary, intersex and gender-nonconforming people early next year.

27 - Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said his caucus accepted a requirement that members of Parliament be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a medical exemption to sit in the House of Commons. But he dodged multiple questions from reporters about what will happen with his MPs who are not vaccinated.

27 - Kyle Beach came forward as "John Doe No. 1'' in the Chicago Blackhawks' sexual assault investigation. Beach identified himself as the first accuser of former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich. Beach, who is from B.C., filed a lawsuit against the Blackhawks over their handling of the alleged assault. He had previously only been identified as "John Doe No. 1'' in court filings.

28 - The former Canadian Armed Forces reservist at the centre of a violent plot to trigger a race war in Virginia was sentenced to nine years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Patrik Mathews of Beausejour, Man., pleaded guilty to weapons charges related to his role in a white supremacist plan to disrupt a gun-rights rally in January 2020.

28 - Senators would have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 if they want to participate in person in Senate proceedings. That's the same rule as for MPs in the House of Commons. A spokesman for Speaker George Furey said the mandatory vaccination rule would apply to senators attending proceedings in the Senate chamber itself and also to Senate committee meetings. There would be an option of providing proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test for those with a valid medical exemption.

28 - Joel Quenneville resigned as coach of the Florida Panthers. This came two days after the second-winningest coach in NHL history was among those implicated for not swiftly responding to allegations by a Chicago Blackhawks player in 2010 of being sexually assaulted by another coach.

29 - The National Advisory Committee on Immunization was now recommending booster shots of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for people who received two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. It was also recommending boosters for adults over the age of 70, front-line health-care workers with a short interval between their first two doses, and First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.

29 - NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the league wouldn't discipline Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff. Bettman said the former Chicago Blackhawks assistant GM was not responsible for that team's handling of sexual assault allegations against former assistant coach Brad Aldrich during the team's 2010 Stanley Cup run.

29 - The office of New York congressman Brian Higgins said the United States wouldn't be requiring fully vaccinated Canadian travellers to produce a negative COVID-19 test to cross the land border.

29 - The federal government appealed a ruling that ordered Ottawa to compensate First Nations children removed from their homes -- but said the parties had agreed to keep talking outside the court. In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found Ottawa discriminated against First Nations children by knowingly underfunding child and family services for those living on reserves. It ordered compensation that could have reached $2 billion.

30 - Canada would donate 10 million doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine to the COVAX vaccine sharing initiative. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also said Canada would donate $15 million to help make mRNA vaccines in Africa. Trudeau announced the donations in Rome while attending the G20 leaders summit.

30 - Manitoba's governing Progressive Conservatives chose Heather Stefanson as their new leader and the province's next premier. Stefanson, the province's former health minister, was running against former member of Parliament Shelly Glover, and won by a margin of fewer than 400 votes.

The Canadian Press

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