Paramedic foster mum ‘killed baby she was adopting after losing her temper in fit of rage’

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Sarah Higgins (centre) is accused of inflicting devastating brain injuries on the baby she was adopting. (SWNS)

A paramedic foster mum killed the baby she was adopting after "losing her temper" in a fit of rage before pretending the child fell from her knee, a court has heard.

Sarah Higgins, 42, is accused of inflicting devastating brain injuries on 10-month-old Skyla while caring for the baby at home.

Higgins dialled 999 and told the operator the child had slipped from her arms while being fed and had fallen to floor on to her bottom.

The paramedic is accused of causing the fatal injuries after losing her temper and subjecting the baby to a "non-accidental violent action".

Higgins denies manslaughter of the baby girl. (SWNS)

Jurors were told the child's injuries were the type consistent of a child falling from a first-floor window.

Higgins appeared in the dock at Leeds Crown Court on Tuesday charged with manslaughter at the start of of a five-week trial.

Read more: Murder probe launched after man dies in 'brutal and frenzied attack'

The court heard Higgins and her husband Martin Dobson, both paramedics, were in the process of adopting Skyla when she died on 26 August, 2017.

Jurors heard a recording of the 999 call Higgins made from her home in Huddersfield, in which she told the operator that the baby was unconscious and unresponsive.

Higgins told the operator she had been struggling to feed Skyla and dropped the child on to a carpeted floor from a low height as she tried to turn her around.

The defendant claimed Skyla had landed on her bottom or lower legs and did not strike her head during the fall.

Higgins appeared in the dock at Leeds Crown Court charged with manslaughter at the start of of a five-week trial. (Wikipedia)

Skyla was rushed to hospital where she underwent a scan, which revealed bleeding and swelling on the brain.

Prosecutor Richard Wright QC said there were also bruises on the baby's arm that could not be explained by the defendant.

Read more: At least 11 UK schools send pupils home amid coronavirus fears

He said doctors also found evidence of bleeding to her eyes, which indicated a severe trauma.

Wright said the baby's injuries clearly indicated that Higgins killed Skyla in a violent assault.

Skyla, who suffered devastating brain injuries, died at Leeds General Infirmary two days later.

Wright told the jury it was the crown's case that Higgins had experienced a "loss of temper".

Read more: Secret House of Commons doorway from 17th century discovered

He added: "Regrettably, that unlawful action caused Skyla's death and so we say that defendant is guilty of manslaughter."

Higgins denies manslaughter.

The trial continues.

  • Victims' family asks for delay of federal inmate's execution
    The Canadian Press

    Victims' family asks for delay of federal inmate's execution

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Family members of the victims of an inmate scheduled to be put to death next week asked a federal judge to delay his execution Tuesday, saying the coronavirus pandemic puts them at risk if they travel to attend it.The family members of Daniel Lewis Lee's victims asked that Lee's execution be put off until a treatment or a vaccine is available for the virus. Lee, convicted of killing an Arkansas family as part of a plot to establish a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest, is scheduled to be executed on July 13.Lee is scheduled to be the first federal inmate executed in 17 years. Lee, 47, was convicted of the 1996 murders of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife, Nancy, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell.The request to halt the trial was filed by Earlene Peterson, Nancy Mueller's mother and Sarah's grandmother; Kimma Gurel, who is Nancy Mueller's sister and Sarah's aunt; and Monica Veillette, who is Nancy Mueller's niece and Sarah's cousin. Peterson lives in Arkansas, while Gurel and Veillette live in Washington.The three have opposed Lee's execution, but have said they wish to exercise their right to witness it. In the filing, the three say the federal government is putting them in the untenable position of risking their lives by travelling to Indiana for the execution while coronavirus cases surge nationwide.“At each stage of these proceedings and their travel to participate in them, plaintiffs face grim risks of exposure to COVID-19, a disease which for these vulnerable plaintiffs, could prove lethal," the filing said.The three asked to join a lawsuit seeking to halt the execution of another inmate scheduled to be executed two days after Lee. A Zen Buddhist priest who is the spiritual adviser for that inmate has made similar arguments about the execution moving forward during the pandemic. A Roman Catholic priest and a spiritual adviser for a third inmate, scheduled to be executed July 17, also asked Tuesday to intervene in the case.Lee's attorneys last week filed a separate motion before a federal judge in Arkansas to delay his execution, also citing concerns about the virus.The Associated Press

  • COVID-19 in Canada: Ontario's Stage 3 of reopening could mean bigger gatherings, more testing as fall comes
    Yahoo News Canada

    COVID-19 in Canada: Ontario's Stage 3 of reopening could mean bigger gatherings, more testing as fall comes

    As cases of COVID-19 continue to spread around the world, Canadians are concerned about their health and safety.

  • News
    The Canadian Press

    Toronto police officer charged in London, Ont., killing of former warlord

    TORONTO — A Toronto police officer has been arrested in connection with the killing of a former Liberian warlord who was living in London, Ont.London police say Trevor Gregory was arrested Tuesday in Toronto in relation to the fatal shooting of Bill Horace on June 21.The 46-year-old was charged with breach of trust and released with a court date of September 29.Toronto police say the officer is a detective constable with 21 years of service and has been suspended with pay in accordance with the Police Services Act.Gregory's son, 22-year-old Keiron Gregory, is wanted on a charge of second-degree murder in the June 21 shooting.Police say forces across the province are co-ordinating in their search for the younger man, and they're asking for anyone with information to come forward.London police Supt. Chris Newton declined to offer further details on the charge against Trevor Gregory."Unfortunately for me to comment on any details with the breach of trust, I would be discussing evidence, which I'm not prepared to do at this time," Newton said in an interview."We do have a significant contingent of police officers in the (Greater Toronto Area) actively investigating this crime and we are getting daily, almost hourly, physical evidence as well as intelligence from other police services in the area."This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 7, 2020. The Canadian Press

  • Couple planned for new life in Mexico, but has now spent months stranded in Windsor

    Couple planned for new life in Mexico, but has now spent months stranded in Windsor

    Alex and Alejandra Grecu were supposed to be enjoying their new life in Cancun, Mexico, instead they've spent months stranded in a Windsor Airbnb after they were prevented from crossing the border. The couple, who has been married for four years, bought a house in Cancun earlier this year and sold their home in Kawartha Lakes in March. At the end of April, they came to Windsor with all their belongings to drive across the border. Alex is Canadian, while Alejandra is a permanent resident and Mexican citizen. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, U.S. Customs and Border Protection refused them entry. "We decided to stay [in Windsor], we had no place to go back to," said Alex, a retired bus driver for Toronto Transit Commission. "We rented this Airbnb on May 1 and we've been here ever since and we're waiting." But, they said the wait has been draining their savings. In total, the couple said they have spent $7,000 and can't afford to stay longer than two more months. A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said via email that travel restrictions remain in place until July 21. But, the spokesperson added that CBP officers make the final determination of whether travellers are admissible and that they take into account the totality of each traveller's circumstances."I'm very sad because we planned and we [were] expecting to stay in Mexico right now," said Alejandra, who is a dentist and was hoping to start a dental office in Mexico. While Alejandra is a Mexican citizen and could go back, she can't drive there as she doesn't have a license. The couple also said that flying and shipping all their belongings would be too expensive. "Right now I feel a little bit let down as a Canadian citizen," Alex said. "We consider Mexico the third North American country and we should have free access." Alex said he emailed NDP Windsor West MP Brian Masse's office last week and received a note that said they are working on the issue.

  • B.C. couple escapes from 'debris flood' that filled home with mud, logs, rocks

    B.C. couple escapes from 'debris flood' that filled home with mud, logs, rocks

    A B.C. couple escaped from waist-deep water and mud in their home after it was hit by a dramatic slide called a "debris flood" in the middle of the night.It happened early Saturday morning in their home of 37 years, near the Willox Creek, on a rural road near McBride, more than 200 kilometres east of Prince George. At about 1:30 a.m., Garry and Mabel Moore were startled awake by a noise that sounded like a freight train barrelling through the house.Then a flood of debris smashed through their bedroom wall."It took literally 35 seconds to have our house full of mud and dirt and gravel and rock," said Garry, 70. "We're both just shouting, 'Get out! Get out! Get out!' " said Mabel, 67.'You do what you have to do'As the debris reached their knees, Garry grabbed a floating log to break the kitchen window — which he said was difficult as it was new."You do what you have to do when the adrenalin's running and the flood's chasing you," he said.Mabel climbed up on the kitchen table to escape through the window."The table was bobbing in the water when I stood on it," she said. The couple managed to squeeze out through the window, bringing with them their granddaughter's small dog, Bean, a shih tzu-bichon frise that was staying with them. Once they'd escaped the house, the Moores still had to cross a long stretch of mud and slide down a steep embankment to alert their 81-year-old neighbour, Joyce Godfrey. "I was in bed sound asleep and Mabel came to the side of my bed and said 'Get up … we gotta go' and out of a dead sleep I got up and put my housecoat on and I followed her out through my kitchen," Godfrey said."I just thought, 'Please Lord, don't let another slide come down until we can get where we'll be safe,' " said Mabel.A helicopter later rescued Godfrey, the Moores and Bean and flew them to an ambulance just past the slide.Garry needed surgery for a deep cut to his arm that he received while escaping out the window. Mabel broke a toe and is covered in bruises."You had logs floating around [in the house] banging in to your legs and your back and [you're] tripping and stumbling," she said.Couple lost 'absolutely everything'Their house is now completely surrounded by mud and debris."It looks like a roof sitting on top of a mud pile," said Garry, who has only seen photos of the damage. No one is allowed in the area.The couple said they have lost everything — including Mabel's new false teeth — in the house where they raised their family. "Absolutely everything," said Mabel. "We have nothing."But they said they're grateful for the support of family, and from the McBride community, where they are staying with family for now.Godfrey, who has lived in her home for 50 years, said she's since been able to access the house by ATV to grab some essentials, but the yard was completely full of mud and debris."I won't be going home," she said. "It's really hard to believe what happened."Homes under evacuation orderThe Moores said they are amazed they managed to escape. "I always didn't think I was very tough, but I'm beginning to think I must be tough," said Mabel, who recently completed treatment for ovarian cancer."We're together, and we're still here, so that's the main thing."The Moores' house and several homes nearby are under an evacuation order.In addition, about 30 people were told to shelter in place Saturday, as the debris flood blocked the only access road when it swept past the Moores' home.But that wasn't the end of things for nearby residents. A second slide that day brought down 25,000 cubic metres of debris, according to emergency officials.The provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is monitoring the slide area daily to determine its stability and said they anticipate more slide events.The ministry said debris can accumulate in the channel as sloughing occurs very high up in the creek, which can be common throughout B.C. creek channels. Willox Creek has seen higher than normal water flows, which broke loose a significant amount of debris. Hilary Erasmus, public information officer with the regional district of Fraser Fort George, said the debris flood was caused by long periods of excessive rain combined with seasonal snowmelt from the mountains. Listen to the full interview with the Moores by clicking the play button below.

  • Pompeo says U.S. looking at banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok

    Pompeo says U.S. looking at banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok

    "I don't want to get out in front of the President (Donald Trump), but it's something we're looking at," Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News. U.S. lawmakers have raised national security concerns over TikTok's handling of user data, saying they were worried about Chinese laws requiring domestic companies "to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party." Pompeo said Americans should be cautious in using the short-form video app owned by China-based ByteDance.

  • Haskap 'super fruit' taking root in New Brunswick

    Haskap 'super fruit' taking root in New Brunswick

    A new and little-known berry is gaining recognition for its health value as production grows in northwestern New Brunswick.The haskap berry — which looks like a long blueberry — is packed with antioxidants and grows on more than 50 acres (about 20 hectares) of fields in the Haut-Madawaska region. It was first planted in the area five years ago by the Coopérative forestière du Nord-Ouest, a local co-operative of farmers and foresters. Michel Hédou, a director of the organization's council, said the group began planting haskap five years ago after sending a delegation to the Lac Saint-Jean region of Quebec to meet producers. "It's a fruit that can replace strawberries, raspberries or blueberries in any recipe," he said. "You just need to add a little more sugar because it's not as sweet as the other fruits."The co-operative opened a U-pick in Saint-Hilaire, near Edmundston, for the first time this season. About 20 people have come each day to pick a few pounds of fresh berries.Haskap berries can also be found in other parts of the province, including the Acadian Peninsula, where they're grown as small crops by blueberry producers. There are also growers in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.Roots in Siberia and JapanHaskap is gaining recognition for its health benefits and marketed as a "super food." The berries contain a high amount of Vitamin C and more antioxidants than blueberries."Haskap is a mix of a sweet blueberry with a touch of tartness of the raspberry," Hédou said. "And some people even find there is a kiwi taste."The plant is found naturally in Siberia and Northern Japan, where the waxy, green bushes have grown without cultivation for centuries. The plant came to Canada with the efforts of Bob Bors, head of the berry program at the University of Saskatchewan.Bors has been breeding the plant for more than 15 years to produce bigger, more flavourful berries that are suitable to harsh growing conditions in the Prairies and other parts of the continent.Hédou said haskap is proving to be a good addition for farmers, as its harvest fits between current berry crops, such as blueberries and raspberries, while allowing for efficient land use. "The fields that are not producing good hay or are let go because they are not farming anymore, they prepare the soil, and they plant haskap plants there," he said. The seedlings begin to produce fruit after just one year, but take two to three years before the plant is ready for harvesting. Emerging market for haskap productsWhen the berries are harvested with a machine, some fall to the ground and become slightly damaged. The co-operative uses that fruit to make two varieties of a haskap drink at its production plant in Clair, N.B. One kind is mixed with water and maple sugar to sweeten it, while the other is a mix with blueberry juice.The Coopérative forestière du Nord-Ouest also makes a syrup made with haskap concentrate and maple.After being harvested in late June or early July, haskap can be used for baking, served with cereal, or even added into liqueurs, beer and wine.Growing challenges The berries are generally suitable to New Brunswick's climate but growers have run into a few obstacles since starting to plant them. Haskap begins producing flowers early in the season, which requires a mild spring, so bees are able to pollinate all of them. The plants also require a moderate amount of heat and rain. High temperatures in late June matured the fruits 10 days earlier than last season. Hédou said the biggest threat to his haskap crops are birds that love eating the berries. His fields are covered in protective nets while growing and decoys are used to scare birds away. "The birds will empty our trees in a couple of hours," he said. The Coopérative forestière plans to open the U-pick one final time on Tuesday before closing to mechanically harvest the rest. Hédou said he expects the fruit to continue to grow in popularity and a larger turnout next year. "If you haven't had haskap before, you need to try them. You will probably like and love them."

  • Persian cat howls in delight while eating tasty treat

    Persian cat howls in delight while eating tasty treat

    How do we know if Oskar liked her food? It's because she is one talkative cat and is not afraid to say it out loud! Listen closely because the sound you are about to hear sounds nothing like a cat. We only know that she makes this sound when the food was very delicious and when there is no one around, hence the sneaky camera position. Hilarious!

  • News

    2 B.C. teachers fired for having sex with recent high school graduates

    In the last eight days, B.C.'s regulator for educators has announced the firing of two teachers who admitted to having sex with former students just weeks after their graduation from high school.In both cases outlined on the website of the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, the names of the teachers involved, the schools where they taught and even the school districts they worked for are not revealed.The regulator says this is "in order to protect the identity of students who were harmed, abused or exploited by the teacher."In the most recent case, posted online Tuesday, a teacher admitted to "an inappropriate sexual relationship" with a recent graduate.The teacher, whose gender is not specified, had taught the student in Grades 10, 11 and 12, and spent a "significant amount of time" with them during their senior year, both in and out of class, according to a summary of an agreement signed by the teacher.The student graduated in June and the teacher began having sex with them in September."The teacher engaged in boundary violations with other students at the school, such that students viewed the teacher more as a friend than a teacher," the summary says.The school district that employed the teacher fired him or her, and reported the teacher to the commissioner in December 2019.The teacher's licence has now been cancelled and they've agreed not to apply to teach again for the next 15 years.2nd teacher had sex with 2 former studentsThe same discipline was meted out to another unnamed teacher whose firing was announced on June 30.The male teacher admitted to having sex with two former students at the high school where he taught.One was an 18-year-old that he'd taught for two years before they graduated, and the second was a 17-year-old he gave alcohol to before initiating sex, just weeks after the student graduated, according to a summary of that case."The teacher was aware that at least one of the students was in a vulnerable state," the summary says.The regulator says the second teacher's misconduct happened "over an extended period of time."

  • Hundreds protest Ontario bill they say gives landlords more ways to evict tenants

    Hundreds protest Ontario bill they say gives landlords more ways to evict tenants

    Hundreds of people gathered at the Ontario legislature on Monday to protest a new bill they say would make it easier for landlords to evict tenants when COVID-19 restrictions ease.Protesters held placards, listened to speakers and chanted slogans at Queen's Park before they marched north and west to the condo of Toronto Mayor John Tory near Bloor Street West and Bedford Road.Once there, demonstrators pulled out a notice that indicated Tory could be evicted from his home under the new legislation. The protesters clashed with Toronto police at the entrance to the building.Const. Alex Li, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, said there were no arrests, no injuries, no pepper spray and no tear gas used, contrary to some claims on social media."They were pushing our officers. They tried to gain access into the building. They didn't succeed," Li said on Monday night.Earlier in the evening at Queen's Park, Hanna Mughal, an organizer of the protest, said the bill would likely increase homelessness in Toronto. "People will be losing their homes. Where will they end up? Will they be able to afford rent elsewhere? They'll probably be moving away from their communities if they can't afford rent. If not, they'll end up on the street," Mughal said.Mughal said the bill would enable landlords to evict tenants who have been unable to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.It would give landlords the power to create their own repayment plans without having to go to a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board, she added.The bill would also allow the Landlord and Tenant Board to issue quick eviction orders against tenants who were pressured by landlords to sign unreasonable rent repayment agreements and who cannot afford to follow through on those agreements, she said.Carly Tisdall, a tenant, said the bill is in favour of landlords and robs her of any legal defence. She said her landlord has not taken into account any economic realities faced by his tenants."I am afraid they'll evict me and I'm afraid that I will not be able to legally oppose it, that if I don't have the money, I won't be able to fight it at all," Tisdall said.Advocates for tenants say Bill 184, known as the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, would provide a number of new ways for landlords to evict and collect unpaid rent from current and past tenants.The bill would apply retroactively to March 17, when the provincial government declared a state of emergency due to the pandemic. It moved to third reading on Monday.Bryan Doherty, a tenant, said the bill paves the way for quick evictions."Once that tribunal opens, once those hearings go through, we are potentially looking at hundreds, if not thousands of families that will be faced with speedy, brutal evictions," he said.Bill to allow landlords to bypass Landlord and Tenant BoardUnder current law, all disputes over evictions and rent in arrears must be heard by the Landlord and Tenant Board, some of which result in rent repayment plans. Bill 184 would allow landlords to cut the board out of the equation and offer tenants their own repayment plan.If a tenant refuses the landlord's offer, they can still take their matter before the board, but some critics and legal analysts say it's more likely that vulnerable tenants will sign onto shady repayment plans because they don't know how to navigate the system.The Ontario municipal affairs and housing ministry said in an email on Monday that the changes would better protect renters and make it easier to resolve disputes with their landlords."The proposed Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act would strengthen protections for tenants and make it easier to resolve landlord and tenant disputes," the ministry said.The bill also increases maximum fines to discourage unlawful evictions, and allows the Landlord and Tenant Board to order up to a year's rent in compensation to tenants for eviction notices issued in bad faith, the ministry said."When rent is overdue, we want to encourage landlords and tenants to work together to come up with repayment agreements — rather than resorting to evictions," the ministry added.

  • Ottawa, AFN pen agreement to map out funding for First Nations child welfare overhaul

    Ottawa, AFN pen agreement to map out funding for First Nations child welfare overhaul

    The federal government signed an agreement with the Assembly of First Nations Tuesday to outline how it will fund an overhaul of the First Nations child welfare system — a detail that was left out of recent legislation.The Trudeau government last year passed Bill C-92 — officially known as An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families — to reduce the number of youth in care, and allow communities to create their own child welfare systems to bring and keep their youth home.The groundbreaking legislation came into effect this year but did not include any funding tied to the law.Today's agreement, signed by Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller and AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde, establishes a "joint fiscal table" on First Nations child and family services — a forum where Ottawa and First Nations can negotiate funding agreements to support communities who want to assume the responsibility of caring for children.Watch: Federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller and AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde on Indigenous child welfareThe agreement signed today has no dollar figure attached. Miller said "complex" discussions are underway now to settle on just how much money is needed. The AFN has pegged the cost of a new First Nations-led child welfare system at $3.5 billion.Miller said some communities are ready to take up this work now, but the pandemic has slowed progress. He said it will take "many years" of discussions to establish a First Nations system separate from the current model.Bellegarde said the agreement is about devolving power from the provincial care systems — where Indigenous children are vastly over-represented — to individual First Nations, so that more children can remain in their home communities."This is really about making a difference for children in care. First Nations law should be paramount," Bellegarde said.He said there are 40,000 First Nations kids in the child welfare system now. "We know it's not acceptable; we know it's not right. We need to start focusing on prevention," he said, referring to a system that is less reliant on apprehension of children.Some provinces have been more willing than others to hand over this authority to First Nations, Bellegarde said. Quebec has launched a constitutional challenge to the law, saying these social services are the exclusive responsibility of the provinces. Bellegarde said Quebec Premier François Legault shouldn't waste taxpayer dollars on a legal fight and instead commit money to supporting First Nations care for their children."I'd prefer to be in a discussion about who is doing the best job by Indigenous children, and not who has the right to be doing a miserable job — which is what we've been doing up to now," Miller said of the provincial squabbling.Beyond a promise to create this fiscal table, Ottawa and the AFN committed Tuesday to holding regular bilateral meetings to ensure C-92 is fully implemented.During these meetings, the two parties will develop a "national distinctions-based policy" to ensure standards of care are uniform. They will also co-develop "tools and mechanisms" to help First Nations implement this program.Ottawa has not yet been asked by the Métis or the Inuit national organizations to sign an agreement like the one penned today by First Nations, Miller said.Effectiveness questionedLongtime Indigenous child advocate Cindy Blackstock, the executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, has seen the draft protocol, which is not legally binding."It's really unclear to me what this actually is going to mean on the ground, and how it's going to be different from the countless other memorandums of understanding and other documents the federal government has signed over the years," Blackstock said.Blackstock said it's difficult for communities to establish and operate their own systems under the law without any attached funding. "This becomes kind of like a paper tiger," Blackstock said. "That's why the funding element is so critical to really making this bill a real game-changer for kids."Bill C-92 also created national standards on how Indigenous children are to be treated. For example, when looking to place kids in foster care, authorities are to prioritize extended family and home communities.Indigenous children make up seven per cent of Canada's population, but they represent more than half of youth in care, according to the 2016 census.There are more Indigenous children in care now than at the height of the residential school era.Blackstock said Ottawa always had money to address the inequalities within the Indigenous child welfare system, as shown from the billions of dollars being spent on COVID-19 relief."They simply chose not to do it," Blackstock said."They may be wanting to use this as political cover, but hopefully I'm wrong. Hopefully, it actually is something that's going to be meaningful change."

  • Health

    B.C. confirms 12 more cases of COVID-19 as province extends state of emergency to late July

    As B.C. once again extends its state of emergency, another 12 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, but no new deaths have been recorded.Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the latest numbers in a written statement Tuesday, saying there are now 162 active cases of the disease in the province.To date, 183 people have died of infection with the novel coronavirus, out of 2,990 confirmed patients. Sixteen people are in hospital with COVID-19, including four in intensive care."Regardless of your age, we know that COVID-19 can cause severe and serious illness. Until effective treatment or a vaccine is available, we all need to stay vigilant," Henry and Dix said."British Columbians have flattened the curve, and to weather this storm, everyone in B.C. needs to do their part, whether at home, at work or on vacation. We can protect our communities, our seniors, elders and our loved ones by working together while staying apart."The latest numbers were released just minutes before provincial officials announced that B.C. is extending its state of emergency over COVID-19 until July 21."We're starting to see some restrictions lifting, but there are measures we need to keep in place to continue battling COVID-19," Premier John Horgan said in a news release."We will continue to take the necessary steps to make sure British Columbians are safe and that the most vulnerable people are protected, while experts work to find a treatment or vaccine."Another outbreak ends in long-term careAnother outbreak in long-term care has been declared over — the Tabor Home in Abbotsford. That leaves two active outbreaks in long-term care and one in an acute care unit of a hospital.There are currently no active community outbreaks in B.C., but Henry and Dix caution that "new cases and community exposure events continue to occur."The includes possible exposure to the virus at Vancouver's Hotel Belmont bar and nightclub on June 27 and 29. Any patrons who were there on those nights have been asked to monitor themselves for symptoms."It is important to remember that the more people you see and the more places you go, the higher the likelihood is that you'll come into contact with someone with COVID-19," Henry and Dix said."To protect yourself, the best things you can do are to keep the number of people you see to a minimum and as much as possible, maintain a safe distance from others and use a mask when that is challenging."The new cases announced Tuesday include one that is epidemiologically linked, meaning that a patient has met the public health definition for COVID-19 but may not have had access to testing at the time of their illness.

  • Brazil's Bolsonaro catches coronavirus, shrugs off health risks

    Brazil's Bolsonaro catches coronavirus, shrugs off health risks

    Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday he tested positive for the novel coronavirus after months minimizing the severity of the pandemic and defying medical experts, even as the virus has killed more than 66,000 people in his country. The right-wing populist gave the news to reporters at his official residence standing just inches away from him, adding to criticism of his cavalier approach to the outbreak in Brazil, the world's worst outside the United States. The president said he was taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug with unproven effectiveness against COVID-19 that has been touted by Trump and some of his supporters and pro-government factions in Brazil as a potential cure.

  • Former WE Charity employee says staff tried to silence her by rewriting anti-racism speech

    Former WE Charity employee says staff tried to silence her by rewriting anti-racism speech

    A former employee of WE Charity says a speech she wrote for a WE Schools tour about her experiences as a Black woman was changed without her consent by a mostly white group of staff members.Amanda Maitland told CBC News that the speech was supposed to be delivered on an anti-racism tour of schools in Alberta in February and March 2019. She said WE staff initially made minor changes but later told her to deliver a different speech altogether, largely written by them."I felt like I was sinking in sand. I felt anger," said Maitland."They took my story, and they wanted me to elaborate on things that were just, I guess, more socially accepted."Maitland told CBC News that when she tried to speak up about some of the problems within the organization at a WE town hall a few months after her tour, she was "aggressively" shut down by WE co-founder Marc Kielburger in front of a room full of her peers.WE is an international organization that operates educational and social justice programs in Canada and internationally. WE Charity is the non-profit arm of the organization, with programs like WE Schools. Me to We is its for-profit social enterprise. Last week, WE Charity stepped back from a $19.5-million contract to administer a federal government student grant program amid criticism of the sole-source nature of the contract and WE's ability to carry it out.WE said in a statement to CBC News, it "stands firmly for inclusion, diversity and the equitable, open treatment of all.""We have directly and publicly apologized to Amanda and to all current and former BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, people of colour] employees for past instances involving unconscious bias," the statement said.But Maitland's story — which she first shared on Instagram — has sparked widespread discussion on social media about WE. Some have begun sharing their own experiences while working at the organization, and a petition signed by 150 current and former employees is circulating, calling on WE to take specific anti-racist measures. CBC News has spoken to 15 former WE employees, some of whom confirm Maitland's speech was changed, and some who were at the town hall where Maitland spoke out publicly. Most described a "culture of fear" within the charity when it came to challenging or criticizing decisions.Speech changeMaitland said she was hired by WE as a motivational speaker and leadership facilitator in the fall of 2018. She was asked to deliver a speech about her personal experience with racism on an anti-racism tour in Alberta in early 2019."I have a lot of experiences when it comes to racial injustice. So, I was excited — I was over the moon," said Maitland.She began writing the speech, initially going back and forth with a WE Charity team who made minor edits, she said.She said she delivered her speech several times on the tour, but on a brief return trip to Toronto, WE Charity staff gave her a different speech to deliver."I was literally ... told that there had to be changes made," said Maitland, who said it was the first she'd heard of any issues with her speech."I had no emails while travelling. I had no phone calls. No messages of anything within, like, an update that a speech may have to get changed."Maitland claims her personal experiences with racism as a Black woman were largely erased and watered down with subjects she hadn't written about."It wanted me to talk about cornrows, and it wanted me to talk about the Oscars, and the language was just completely different. I pride myself on being someone who's very raw with how I speak. So, they completely shredded that."Most of the former WE employees who CBC News spoke with asked not to be identified over fear of backlash from the organization. Most have signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that precludes them from speaking. Four former employees told CBC News they were aware of the speech change, including Brianna Polden, who was in Alberta at the same time as Maitland, on a parallel but separate speaking tour for WE Schools. "It became really obvious to me that this was done without her consent and also without her knowledge, and that it had kind of been forced on her," said Polden.She said Maitland told her about the changes to her speech made by the leadership team, "who I knew to be primarily white."Raia Carey, who was on a different speaking tour in Alberta at the same time as Maitland, was also aware of the speech change."I said, 'Do not read that speech,'" said Carey, who resigned from the organization a few months later. "That was the final straw for me. Especially because it goes against our standard protocol that our speeches are supposed to be collaborative."Maitland said she tried to amalgamate the WE team's version and her version, but ultimately decided to deliver the speech she'd written."I wasn't willing to shut down my story for anybody — definitely not WE," she said.Town hallMaitland also resigned, a few months after the anti-racism speaking tour, but not before attending a staff town hall with Kielburger to talk about issues related to workplace culture. Maitland said she was one of the first to speak."I began to speak about the culture of fear. I began to share that what is happening in this organization is that employees are having siloed conversations," said Maitland."There were a lot of people nodding their heads, and Marc Kielburger immediately … kind of stepped forward and shut me down."CBC News spoke to four former WE employees who were at that town hall. They all confirmed Maitland spoke up, and that Kielberger tried to quickly end the conversation. "The automatic response was her being shut down by Marc Kielberger, and him being visibly angry," said one former employee."Sitting in that room during the town hall, you could feel it," she said."Most staff — at least my group of peers — have talked about the things that we're uncomfortable with and don't feel we can bring up, or have brought up and have felt silenced." 'People were afraid'Maitland said she decided to post a video account of her experience on social media more than one year later because of the discussions about race following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. She said she wanted to highlight that Canada is not immune to racism. "[Racism] happens within the charitable spaces. I felt like I need to share, as a Black woman that was hired to go on an anti-racism speech, why it is not OK for a panel of white women and men to rewrite a Black woman's story.""I didn't want to just be another person that was OK with being silenced."Most of the former employees CBC News spoke to said there was a "culture of fear" within the organization.Carey said she was felt she was penalized when she tried to speak up and push back on decisions by management. "Never in my life before had I felt unsure about my opinion, my values and where I stand because of how they made it seem like I was negative or bad," said Carey.A former manager of the WE Schools team told CBC News: "People were afraid to speak out because they didn't want to lose their jobs."Another former employee of colour on the WE Day team said: "I was so scared to speak up. If you ever said anything that's out of line, or questioned anything [which they didn't like], you would end up not being in [my former supervisor's] good books. She would find any way to get you kicked off her team or fired."The explanation to the wider team would always be: They weren't a 'good culture fit,' a 'positive team player,' or 'It just didn't work out.'" WE Day is a recurring celebration of youth empowerment, hosted by the organization. In response to such allegations, WE Charity said in a statement to CBC News: "WE members can anonymously submit on a 'feedback portal' any concerns or issues they have. They can also request a phone call or in-person meeting with any of the human resources or leadership team."WE's apologyWE Charity did not respond to a request for an interview from CBC News. However, about 12 hours after CBC News submitted its request, Kielburger and his brother, Craig, the founders of the WE organization, apologized publicly on their personal Instagram pages."We want to start by unreservedly apologizing to you," the apology said in part."You shared in your video that the words of your speech were altered. It simply should not have happened."An apology was also posted on the WE website.In the statement to CBC News, WE Charity said it has publicly released a list of actions on how it can "do better" and has launched what it described as a listening tour to hear the experiences of its current and former BIPOC employees.Maitland confirmed WE also reached out to her personally last week — prior to CBC News contacting the organization — and said she's taking time to process the apology."I need to know that it's coming from a genuine place," she said. "I need to understand that it's not coming because there's havoc on social media."

  • Boy lands summer 'dream' job, starts giving back

    Boy lands summer 'dream' job, starts giving back

    It's a summertime chore most teens and tweens dread: mowing the lawn.Not 12-year-old Shan Gauthier, who lives in Alfred Plantagenet.For his birthday this year, Gauthier, who has autism, received a lawn mower. Now he's in business"Finally, a dream comes true. I am starting my small grass-cutting business," reads a Facebook message, posted by Gauthier's parents on his behalf, in French.That original post, meant to drum up a bit of business for the young entrepreneur, was shared more than 5,300 times.Gauthier's parents have now launched a separate Facebook page for their son's business, called Terra Shan, and said they've been overwhelmed by requests for his landscaping services.He recently cut grass for his first customer, and is now up to six or seven jobs per week."I earn money by cutting grass," Gauthier explained in a French-language interview with Radio-Canada. "This is my job."A job well doneHis mother, Martine Gauthier, said for her son, this is about far more than earning a bit of pocket money."The goal of the exercise is not just to cut the grass — it's the whole social side. We ask him to introduce himself, to say what he's doing," she said, also in French, adding the physical activity also helps to quell some of her son's anxiety.The Terra Shan Facebook page lets potential customers know that Gauthier can sometimes feel anxious and "always [has] a thousand and one questions," but also ensures a job well done.Martine Gauthier said several landscaping companies have even offered to help."There have been companies … who have offered him an edging cutter," she said. "I have one gentleman from Sherbrooke who gave us a small trailer to put the mower in."Paying it forwardShan Gauthier is already paying it forward, donating $50 to a local organization that offers programs for people with autism.Martine Gauthier said she's noticed her son has more confidence since going into business, and said he's proud of what he's accomplished."I don't know if he realizes how his story will be a ray of hope for other families and other autistic children," she said.

  • Lumber shortage raises big issues for construction industry

    Lumber shortage raises big issues for construction industry

    There's a lumber shortage in Nova Scotia and it's forcing big and small construction companies to make some tough decisions on what jobs they can complete.Some big construction companies are going to feel a lumber crunch this summer — the busiest time of year for their industry.One of the reasons for the shortage is the industry has been overwhelmed with people doing projects during COVID-19."Like everything else with COVID, the plants were brought down to about 50 per cent efficiency and it takes a couple months for that to trickle on down," said Scott Smith, president of the Nova Scotia Home Builders' Association and the president of Rooftight Construction Ltd. "So when the production slows down but the demand for it speeds up, you're going to run into these bottlenecks."Smith's company has been extremely busy over the last three months and currently have 34 new homes under construction in the Halifax area.Pressure-treated lumber is especially hard to come by."In talking with my supplier about it this morning, they sold five months worth of pressure treated inventory in one month," said Smith. "It's everybody who has been home due to COVID and they're all fixing up their back deck and other projects and it's really hard to keep up with that demand."Already some smaller contractors are feeling the effects of the lumber shortage.Mark Wartak mainly does roofing and construction jobs in the New Glasgow area. He says the lumber shortage is coming at a bad time."Any contractor you talk to right now would tell you the same thing: it is way busier now than it ever has been," said Wartak. "I was just trying to think about what kind of jobs I could do that don't require timber."Wartak said he had been planning to build a small barn but that's now on hold.He said he knows other contractors who are turning down jobs because supplies aren't available.Kent running low on suppliesAn email was sent to Kent Building Supplies sales associates last week."I just want to make sure everyone is aware of the current lumber and plywood market," stated Tim Liengme, district sales manager of Kent Building Supplies.The notice made it clear there is a lack of wood products available."The huge sales increase has completely stripped the supply chain," the email stated.Plywood has also been in high demand over the last two months."There is no supply left in Atlantic Canada. Replacement from Western Canada is 5-6 weeks away ... Costs are through the roof."Mary Keith, spokesperson for J.D. Irving Ltd., which owns Kent stores, said the email applies to most of the 49 stores in Atlantic Canada. She said the message was intended to support staff in their relationships with customers."It highlights challenges facing most home improvement stores right now — delays in securing supplies of plywood and pressure treated lumber," Keith wrote in an email."We are working to resolve the supply issue of plywood and pressure treated lumber as soon as possible and appreciate the patience of our local consumers and contractors."MORE TOP STORIES

  • 8-year-old boy reunites with man who rescued him from roaring Manuels River

    8-year-old boy reunites with man who rescued him from roaring Manuels River

    Moments before he jumped in the Manuels River and saved a young boy from peril last month, Darren Colombe had a feeling that something wasn't right."The water down by the bridge, it was quite treacherous," he said during an interview with CBC News at the river with his twin daughters. "The girls told me this is not normal, and that kept me on alert."The three were cooling off in a popular area near a gazebo on the river on a sunny Friday afternoon, but the calm mood ended abruptly when they saw someone was in trouble. "We were over by the river and then we were like, 'Dad! Dad! There's someone drifting down the river,'" said Colombe's 10-year-old daughter, Ava-Kate.Twin sister Lilly-Beth saw it too. "I see a head in the water," she said. "It was scary because he went under the water and then came back up."The boy was eight-year-old Franke Kelly, who was wading in the water with his mother when fast-moving water swept him away. "He got away from me really fast," said his mother, Gina Kelly. "I still close my eyes and I see him floating away from me."She ran along the shoreline looking for a spot to jump in and saw a man in pursuit of her son.> I could hear the panic in Franke's voice and he was screaming for me. \- Gina KellyThat man was Colombe, and he was in the right place at the right time.Colombe, a physical education teacher at Leary's Brook Junior High, said while his daughters sounded the alarm, he stayed calm."I heard other people screaming and when I looked over I saw Franke floating down. I kind of had no choice. I didn't hesitate. I ran along the rocks, I flicked my phone down and jumped in."Suspecting his leg hit a rock, he did not kick his feet.  "I was just using my arms only. Both of us were floating, and I was getting closer."'You're not going anywhere this time'He caught up with the boy and grabbed him underneath the Manuels River Bridge. But his work wasn't over."I had him and then he got sucked under for a few seconds. It was a small little panic and he popped right back up again," said Colombe.A few strokes more and Colombe had him again. He held the boy over his head."It was a little worrisome for a second. When I got him the second time I knew, OK, you're not going anywhere this time."Watching in horror, Gina Kelly was beyond relieved to see a stranger save her son."I saw them both slow down and I knew they were OK," she said. "I could hear the panic in Franke's voice and he was screaming for me and at that point I just jumped in.""It was a beautiful ending to a scary little day," Columbe said.A time to reflect, in safetyColumbe, Kelly and their kids went back to Manuels River this week to speak with CBC News."This is the first time back here since it happened and it's just flashback after flashback," Columbe said. "The river now is nothing like it was that day. None of these rocks were visible. The river was raging, it was slippery."Colombe said once he was in the water, he was confident he would get to Franke before the boy reached the steep rapids further downstream, beneath the bridge."When I [saw] him jump in the water, I was scared," Ava-Kate said of her father. "My heart was beating super fast. I didn't know what was going to happen."While Colombe downplays his bravery that day, the children don't let him off that easy. "I was really happy for him," said Lily-Beth. "It's like he was like a hero."The Kelly family also call Colombe their hero. The rescuer is simply glad no one got hurt."[Franke] doesn't have a scratch on him — he's able to enjoy his summer, we're all able to enjoy our summer," Columbe said.In an interview with CBC soon after the incident last month, Kelly said she wanted parents to know the dangers of not knowing or underestimating fast-flowing rivers this time of year.Colombe agreed. He wasn't familiar with Manuels River either, until he found himself being carried downstream after Franke."The river is beautiful but can be dangerous if you're not careful," he said. "The rapids down below, if you end up in that, you're in a bit of trouble. Visit but be careful."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Justice minister treads carefully, as RNC officers revolt against their chief

    Justice minister treads carefully, as RNC officers revolt against their chief

    Justice Minister Andrew Parsons did a delicate diplomatic dance Monday as a feud continues to grow between the association representing most frontline officers with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, and its chief of police, Joe Boland.In a series of interviews with the media on Monday morning, Parsons expressed complete confidence in both the RNC Association, which represents some 380 non-commissioned officers, and the man he hand-picked to lead the force three years ago.Parsons said the RNCA has brought forward "significant concerns" about Boland's leadership, and pledged to work with the association to address those concerns.But in almost the same breath, Parsons expressed "100 per cent confidence" in the chief, saying "I still think he is the right person for the job."Boland, a 37-year veteran of the RNC who made police accountability one of his top priorities from Day 1, is at the centre of a revolt among officers.Membership voteIn a rare move, the RNCA organized a membership vote on the chief's leadership last month. The results — posted to social media on Friday by retired Sgt. Tim Buckle — showed 76 per cent of members voted, and 90 per cent of them expressed a lack of support for the chief.It prompted Boland to issue a defiant statement, saying he planned to continue on as chief in the face of what he called a "scheme" to discredit and intimidate him by a "noisy minority." Boland also said it was orchestrated by officers who seek to avoid accountability and oppose progressive changes.In a press release sent to CBC, RNCA president Sgt. Mike Summers said that was not the case."We understand that this vote, by its very nature, is a divisive process, but we in no way seek to intimidate or coerce the chief from fulfilling his mandate, as we work to represent the women and men of the RNCA," Summers wrote."We agree, and believe, that all officers of the RNC should be held accountable and meet the high standards that are represented by the RNC core values. The issues at hand for the association extend beyond the imposition of discipline by the chief of police."Before releasing the voting results, Buckle also released the results of a 2019 job satisfaction survey that found most officers feared retribution if they filed a grievance, complaint or appeal.Buckle has waged a stinging campaign against Boland's character and leadership on social media, writing that Boland "failed to hold himself to the high standard he set for everybody else."Summers said the RNCA brass was disappointed in Boland's response to the vote."Unfortunately, rather than recognize the results of this vote, and begin a process to rebuild the relationship between the executive and the front-line members, Chief Boland has chosen to question the legitimacy of the process," he wrote.Relationships 'take work'Parsons confirmed Monday he has held several meetings with the association in recent days.Parsons said he wants to work with both sides to find a resolution, but in the meantime, he's not concerned that the friction is interfering with the RNC's duty to the public."There's nothing ever easy about these types of relationships or about this job. But these things take time. It's like any relationship that's out there. They take work. They take understanding. They take clear communication. And they take trust. I have that in both of these entities. I have that in the men and women of the RNCA. I have that in Chief Joe Boland. I'll continue to have that. And I hope they have that in me," said Parsons.And just how long is Parsons willing to tolerate the internal bickering?"I'll tolerate it as long as I have to, as long as there is a clear chain of communication or it doesn't impact the work that's being done. I've seen no indication that the work has been impacted. I think that public confidence in the RNC has risen each and every year since I've been here," he said.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

  • What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7

    What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7

    Recent developments * No new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Ottawa on Tuesday, but two new cases were reported in Gatineau. * Masks are now mandatory at public, indoor settings in Ottawa and the surrounding region in Ontario. * Ottawa businesses are uncertain how the mandatory mask policy will be enforced. What's the latest?Residents of eastern Ontario, including the City of Ottawa, are now required to wear masks inside public places like grocery stores and coffee shops. There will be exemptions for people who cannot wear masks, such as those who have trouble breathing, those who can't take their masks off safely on their own, and children under two. Businesses won't be expected to challenge customers who aren't wearing masks.Still, some businesses wonder how to approach customers who aren't wearing masks and are concerned about potential fines they could face — ranging from $500 to $800 — if their customers don't comply with the rules. How many cases are there?There have been 2,118 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 263 deaths, as of Tuesday. The vast majority of cases in the city, 1,808, are classified as resolved. On Tuesday, two more cases of COVID-19 were reported in Gatineau, increasing its total to 525 cases.Public health officials have reported more than 3,400 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, of which nearly 2,900 are resolved.Kingston now has 37 active cases of COVID-19. Most are linked to three nail salons: Binh's Nails and Spa, where the recent outbreak started, Kingdom Nails and Georgia Nail Salon. The Amherstview Golf Club has also seen new cases. Clients at all four businesses are being asked to self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19.COVID-19 has killed 102 people outside Ottawa: 52 in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 17 in other parts of eastern Ontario and 33 in the Outaouais.What's open and closed?Eastern Ontario is in "Stage 2" of the province's recovery plan, allowing more activities and "circles" of up to 10 people that don't have to distance.Some streets in Ottawa's ByWard Market have now turned into patio space, including parts of Clarence Street, William Street and a section of the north side of York Street.Ottawa's pools will start to reopen Monday, as will five city rinks.As of Monday, drivers are once again subject to tickets if they violate posted time limits at on-street parking spaces.The National Gallery of Canada reopens Thursdays to Sundays starting July 18. Quebec now allows indoor, distanced gatherings of up to 50 people, including in places of worship and indoor sports venues, and has relaxed rules at daycares.The province has also allowed bars, spas, water parks and casinos to reopen.Quebec's back-to-school plans bring older students to classrooms again. Ontario has put three options for next school year on the table, while post-secondary schools are moving toward more online classes in September.Distancing and isolatingThe coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People don't need to have symptoms to be contagious.That means physical distancing measures such as working from home and in Ontario, staying at least two metres away from anyone they don't live with or have in their circle.The City of Ottawa has made cloth face masks mandatory in indoor public settings. Anyone who has symptoms or travelled recently outside Canada must self-isolate for at least 14 days.Specifically in Ottawa, anyone waiting for a COVID-19 test result must self-isolate at least until they know the result.The same goes for anyone in Ontario who's been in contact with someone who's tested positive or is presumed to have COVID-19.Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly urges self-isolation for individuals who have weakened immune systems and Ottawa Public Health recommends people over 70 stay home as much as possible. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a dry cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pinkeye. The Ontario government says in rare cases, children can develop a rash.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Where to get testedIn eastern Ontario:In Ottawa any resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptoms, can now be tested at one of three sites.Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.Testing has also expanded for local residents and employees who work in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area.There is a drive-thru test centre in Casselman and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don't require people to call ahead.Others in Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.A COVID-19 assessment centre will open in Alexandria next week, running Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment only.In Kingston, the Leon's Centre is now open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, replacing the previous location at the Kingston Memorial Centre. Find it at Gate 2.Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call for an appointment.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.It has a walk-in site in Brockville open seven days a week at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.The public health unit in the Belleville area is asking people to call it, their family doctor or Telehealth if they have symptoms or questions.You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre, or in Picton by texting or calling 613-813-6864.Renfrew County is also providing pop-up and home testing under some circumstances. Residents without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 to register for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.If you're concerned about the coronavirus, take the self-assessment.In western Quebec:Outaouais residents should call 1-877-644-4545 if they have symptoms for further assistance.First Nations:Local communities have declared states of emergency, put in a curfew or both.Akwesasne has opened a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. Anyone returning to Akwesasne who's been farther than 80 kilometres away is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse. The community's reopening plan that's now underway.Kitigan Zibi is planning for an Aug. 29 election with changes depending on the status of the pandemic at that time.For more information

  • New studies confirm bizarre COVID-19 symptoms
    Yahoo News Canada

    New studies confirm bizarre COVID-19 symptoms

    The Italian-lead study relied on data from 187 COVID-19 patients who were being treated at Treviso Regional Hospital in Italy in March. "Furthermore, vascular damage could also explain some clinical features seen in patients with severe COVID-19."

  • Black parents call on francophone board to address systemic racism

    Black parents call on francophone board to address systemic racism

    Parents and students at a demonstration on Monday called on Edmonton's francophone school board to take immediate steps to address systemic racism in schools by hiring more Black teachers and issuing a formal apology.Roughly 35 people protested outside the Greater North Central Francophone Education School Board Monday afternoon. "We want the school board to acknowledge that systemic racism exists in the schools," said Dieudonne Bessasse, a coordinator for the Black Parents Association of Alberta (BPAA).They're also demanding an official apology from the board for racism experienced in francophone schools as well as the implementation of new policies, made in consultation with parents, to adequately address racism.Calls for change come as institutions across North America struggle to address anti-Black racism. The BPAA canvassed families about their own children's experiences at francophone schools in Edmonton."We discovered that our kids are literally living systemic racism that has been taking place at the French school board," Bessasse said.Black parents have long raised concern about the lack of Black teachers and administrators at Edmonton's francophone schools. But they're also worried that Black students are not receiving the support and services they are entitled to.Bessasse said schools with a majority of racialized students tend to be overlooked for renovations even though they are the ones most in need. Some parents are also concerned that Black students are not treated equally in disputes involving white students.Attempts by parents to work with the board to address racism in meaningful ways have been dismissed while policies implemented unilaterally haven't worked, Bessasse said."Systemic racism still exists within their own boundaries and we are fed up," he said.'Why daddy?'In 2014 hundreds of people signed a petition urging the board to hire more teachers of African descent. At the time one parent told CBC no teachers at his daughter's school, École Sainte-Jeanne-d'Arc, shared her ethnic background.Six years later Bessasse said he struggles to explain to his tearful seven-year-old son — who also attends École Sainte-Jeanne-d'Arc — why none of the teachers or administrators look like them."He cried asking me 'why daddy why?'" Bessasse recalled.In an email to CBC, a spokesperson with the board said senior staff attended the rally to listen to concerns being raised.Superintendent Robert Lessard acknowledged in a news conference that schools have not always done what they should to address racism but pledged to work collaboratively on solutions, the spokesperson wrote.The school authority has launched an anti-racism working group in collaboration with three community organizations. The group will engage the community through forums and consultations to develop a plan to address racism in schools, the email said.Actions taken by the board in the last six years have increased diversity at all levels of the organisation, the email added.

  • Deadly Syrian, Russian air strikes in Idlib amount to war crimes, U.N. says

    Deadly Syrian, Russian air strikes in Idlib amount to war crimes, U.N. says

    Syrian and Russian planes have carried out deadly aerial strikes on schools, hospitals and markets in Idlib province that amount to war crimes, U.N. investigators said on Tuesday in a report that also condemned attacks by Islamist militants. The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria also accused Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a jihadist group that controls part of northwest Syria, of firing artillery into civilian areas "with no apparent legitimate military objective".

  • Man, 51, charged after multiple firearms, drugs found during Mississauga traffic stop

    Man, 51, charged after multiple firearms, drugs found during Mississauga traffic stop

    A 51-year-old man is facing multiple charges after police officers allegedly found numerous firearms, ammunition and drugs in a vehicle during a traffic stop in Mississauga in June.In a news release issued Tuesday, Peel police said officers pulled over a Collingwood man in the afternoon of June 25 in the area of City Centre Drive and Robert Speck Parkway and seized two firearms, two airsoft imitation firearms, ammunition and Fentanyl.The next day, police executed search warrants at a residence in Toronto and at a home in Collingwood. They found one pistol and four long guns at the Toronto residence, according to the news release.Eighteen pistols and 11 long guns were found at the home in Collingwood, along with a "suspicious package," police say.The OPP Emergency Response Unit and the OPP Explosives Disposal Unit attended the scene and evacuated several homes in the area for safety concerns. The package was later deemed not to be a threat. A 51-year-old man has been charged with multiple firearm and drug offences, including possession of a weapon for dangerous purposes, and possession of an opioid. Peel police are asking anyone with information to contact their 11 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau or anonymously through Peel Crime Stoppers.

  • Museum: 'Dukes of Hazzard' car with Confederate flag to stay
    The Canadian Press

    Museum: 'Dukes of Hazzard' car with Confederate flag to stay

    VOLO, Ill. — A northern Illinois auto museum has no plan to stop displaying a Dodge Charger from the “Dukes of Hazzard” television show with the Confederate battle flag painted atop the vehicle.Statues of Confederate generals and soldiers are being taken down across the country, NASCAR has banned the flag from its races and the Confederate emblem is being removed from the Mississippi state flag.But the Volo Auto Museum about 50 miles (80 kilometres) northwest of Chicago says the famed “General Lee” from the first season of the TV show isn’t going anywhere, according to a report in the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights.“We feel the car is part of history, and people love it,” museum director Brian Grams told the newspaper. “We’ve got people of all races and nationalities that remember the TV show and aren’t offended by it whatsoever. It’s a piece of history and it’s in a museum.”Since the museum acquired in 2005 what it says is the last surviving 1969 Charger from the first season of the television program, Grams said nobody has complained. And the museum has continued to hear from people supporting the decision to keep the car as the push to rid the landscape of what is increasingly viewed as a symbol of racism, Grams said.“Several people have reached out with positive comments about us leaving it on display,” Grams said, “complimenting us for leaving it there and not having a knee-jerk reaction to remove it like a lot of places are.”Grams says the General Lee is a piece of history and the museum would not remove it any more than it would think of removing the Nazi memorabilia displayed in parts of the museum’s military section.“If we’re going to get complaints about the General Lee being here, we’ve got much worse items over in our military building,” he said.___This story has been corrected to show it was first reported by the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Illinois, not the Crystal Lake-based Northwest Herald.The Associated Press

  • First On-Screen Kiss: Colman Domingo and Riley Keough
    Canadian Press Videos

    First On-Screen Kiss: Colman Domingo and Riley Keough

    Actors Riley Keough and Colman Domingo think back to their first big on-screen kiss, with Domingo locking lips with a future Marvel superhero. (July 7)