Senators continue debating the merits of Amy Coney Barrett's expected confirmation to the Supreme Court. Republicans are expected to overpower Democratic opposition and vote to confirm President Trump’s nominee Monday evening. (Oct. 26)
Senators continue debating the merits of Amy Coney Barrett's expected confirmation to the Supreme Court. Republicans are expected to overpower Democratic opposition and vote to confirm President Trump’s nominee Monday evening. (Oct. 26)
The cousin of Antoinette Traboulsi, who was found dead on a beach in Cuba earlier this month, says Global Affairs Canada confirmed an arrest has been made in her death. Traboulsi, a 52-year-old Montrealer who worked at Sacré-Coeur Hospital and had four children, often vacationed in Cuba, which her cousin, Sami Soussa, called her second home.Soussa says the only information he received from Global Affairs was that an arrest had been made and that a suspect is in custody. He says he was given no details about the person's identity. But he says he's received eight messages from people he doesn't know, all pointing to one person they believe is responsible for her death."We're getting hopeful with the situation but at the same time it's not a lot of info for us to cheer and claim victory. But it does give a little light in our days," Soussa said. "The family is pretty happy with this information, but at the same time we're trying to be reasonable until we get the full conviction of the suspect."
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Trump administration on Wednesday effectively killed a contentious proposed mine in Alaska, a gold and copper prospect once envisioned to be nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon and could produce enough waste to fill an NFL stadium nearly 3,900 times — all near the headwaters of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.The Army Corps of Engineers “concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest” and denied a permit to build the Pebble Mine under both the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act, the agency said in a statement.The rejection was a surprise. It's at odds with President Donald Trump’s efforts to encourage energy development in Alaska, including opening up part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, and other moves nationwide to roll back environmental protections that would benefit oil and gas and other industries.The Corps of Engineers also seemed to signal just a few months ago that after almost two decades of political wrangling, Pebble Mine was on a fast track to approval, a reversal from what many had expected under the Obama administration.But unlike drilling elsewhere in Alaska, the mine proposed for the southwestern Bristol Bay region could have negatively affected the state's billion-dollar fishing industry. Conservationists and even Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., sounded the alarm on the project before the administration changed course again.The CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership, the mine’s developers, said he was dismayed by the decision, especially after the corps had indicated in an environmental impact statement in July that the mine and fishery could coexist.“One of the real tragedies of this decision is the loss of economic opportunities for people living in the area,” CEO John Shively said in a statement. The environmental review “clearly describes those benefits, and now a politically driven decision has taken away the hope that many had for a better life. This is also a lost opportunity for the state’s future economy.”He said they are considering their next steps, which could include an appeal of the corps’ decision.“Today Bristol Bay’s residents and fishermen celebrate the news that Pebble’s permit has been denied; tomorrow we get back to work,” said Katherine Carscallen, executive director of the group Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay.The group wants Congress to pass laws protecting the region. “We’ve learned the hard way over the last decade that Pebble is not truly dead until protections are finalized,” Carscallen said.In July, the Corps of Engineers released an environmental review that the mine developer saw as laying the groundwork for key federal approvals. The review said that under normal operations, Pebble Mine “would not be expected to have a measurable effect on fish numbers and result in long-term changes to the health of the commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay.”However, in August, the corps said it had determined that discharges at the mine site would cause “unavoidable adverse impacts to aquatic resources” and laid out required steps to reduce those effects.Canada-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., which owns Pebble Limited Partnership, said it had submitted a mitigation plan on Nov. 16.Even if the corps had approved the project, there was still no guarantee it would have been built. It would have needed state approval, and President-elect Joe Biden has expressed opposition to the project.Critics saw Pebble Mine as getting a lifeline under the Trump administration. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency withdrew restrictions on development that were proposed — but never finalized — under the Obama administration and said it planned to work with the corps to address concerns.However, Trump’s eldest son was among those who voiced opposition earlier this year. After senior Trump campaign adviser Nick Ayers tweeted in August that he hoped the president would direct the EPA to block Pebble Mine, Trump Jr. responded: “As a sportsman who has spent plenty of time in the area I agree 100%. The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with.”The president later said he would “listen to both sides.”“The credit for this victory belongs not to any politician but to Alaskans and Bristol Bay’s Indigenous peoples, as well as to hunters, anglers and wildlife enthusiasts from all across the country who spoke out in opposition to this dangerous and ill-conceived project," said Adam Kolton, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League.Alaska’s two Republican U.S. senators, who support oil and gas development and mining, hailed the rejection of the Pebble Mine permit. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the decision affirmed her position that it’s the wrong mine in the wrong place.“It will help ensure the continued protection of an irreplaceable resource — Bristol Bay’s world-class salmon fishery,” she said.Sen. Dan Sullivan said he would remain an advocate for good-paying jobs derived from resource development.“However, given the special nature of the Bristol Bay watershed and the fisheries and subsistence resources downstream, Pebble had to meet a high bar so that we do not trade one resource for another,” he said. “Pebble did not meet that bar.”___Associated Press journalist Becky Bohrer in Juneau contributed to this report.Mark Thiessen, The Associated Press
MONTREAL — The percentage of COVID-19 cases in Quebec among people over the age of 70 is increasing, but the number is significantly below what was reported during the peak of the pandemic's first wave. However, Dr. Quoc Dinh Nguyen, a gerontologist and epidemiologist at the Universite de Montreal hospital centre, said he's still worried about the rise in cases among the elderly. "It might be slight, but one 85 year old who gets COVID will count for 600 20-year-olds in terms of mortality," he said in an interview Wednesday. "If we use the metric of deaths, even a slight increase in the number of cases is a huge increase in terms of mortality." Data from Quebec's national public health institute indicates 18.4 per cent of Quebecers with active COVID-19 cases since Nov. 22 were over the age of 70, up from 14.9 per cent the previous week. In September, 9.5 per cent of COVID-19 cases involved seniors, while in the first 24 days of November, it was 14.4 per cent. But that number is far below what was reported during the peak of cases last spring, when seniors over 70 years old accounted for 35.2 per cent of total COVID infections in Quebec. More than 90 per cent of people who have died in Quebec from COVID-19 were over 70, according to public health institute data. Many seniors who haven't caught the virus are faring badly as a result of the pandemic and the efforts to slow its spread, said Nguyen, who headed a team of experts appointed by the government last spring to improve COVID-19 prevention measures in long-term care homes. “They are more stressed out and worried about contracting COVID, righteously so because the chances of having a severe form of the disease is much greater,” he said. “So they're very worried, so they really respect this whole idea of social distancing and not seeing anyone, but they're also the most vulnerable to all of these new measures because, as we age, we're more vulnerable to anything that will disrupt our baseline activities.” People who are at the threshold of losing mobility or have few contacts will be more affected by those changes than others, he said. Nguyen said he and other gerontologists are still seeing the effects of the first lockdown in their patients. He said the government needs to do a better job of explaining to older people what activities are risky and how much risk those activities involve. Nguyen said he would also like to see health authorities focus on controlling the number COVID-19 infections in people over 70 and in health-care workers, rather than focusing on schools and the general population. "What we'll remember about COVID is not going to the number of schools that had COVID — it's going to be the number of nursing homes residents who've died," he said. Syeda Nayab Bukhari, program coordinator at the Telehealth Intervention Program for Isolated Older Adults in Montreal, said many people using her services are feeling increasingly isolated as a result of the pandemic. Bukhari said volunteers in the program, which is run by the Jewish General Hospital, have told her that the older adults they speak to are no longer able to see friends, neighbours and family members and that some have lost friends to COVID-19. Mental health is a serious issues among older people, Bukhari said. "Some of them are struggling with other mental health issues, for example, stress, late-life depression, dementia," she said in a recent interview. "Losing that connection with the outside world makes it worse." Health authorities said Wednesday there were 18 private seniors residences where more than 25 per cent of residents have active cases of COVID-19. There are public two long-term care homes where more than 25 per cent of residents have confirmed cases of the disease. But Nguyen said that's an arbitrary cutoff. "The need to reinforce infection prevention control, screening, isolation and all of that starts as soon as there's a single case," he said. "If we get to 25, 50 per cent, it's because something has not been done correctly." Meanwhile, public health officials in Montreal said that hospital facilities — which already have a shortage of workers — will face a particular challenge over the holidays. Sonia Belanger, the CEO of the regional health authority that covers much of central Montreal, told reporters more than 200 health-care workers have active cases of COVID-19, while she said more than 150 are waiting for test results. Quebec reported 1,100 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and 28 more deaths attributed to the virus, including 12 that occurred in the past 24 hours. The province has reported a total of 135,430 cases of COVID-19 and 6,915 deaths linked to the virus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020. ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press
The Salvation Army and 93.1 The Border are joining forces again this year for an event that’s a little different than what they’ve done in the past. Following the decision to hold off on their annual “Burst a Bus” program, which generally sees toys collected for the Salvation Army’s Christmas hamper program, the two organizations are going to try out a different way to ensure kids in the area get something new and exciting on Christmas morning. “Last year we had Burst A Bus, but due to the circumstances we’ve had to modify that a little bit,” said Salvation Army corps officer Arthur Heathcote. “The Border has been very inventive in coming up with 93.1 the Border Toy Drive this year. On November 28 they’ll be broadcasting all day asking children and families to come to the Salvation Army at 351 Scott Street and drop off new, unwrapped toys to us.” The 93.1 the Border Toy Drive ill run from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 28, allowing people in town to stop by the Salvation Army and drop off their toys for the organization to distribute. While the season corresponds with the Salvation Army’s Christmas hamper program, Heathcote stressed that the organization is encouraging people with food donations to drop them off sometime other than November 28. “Every family that applies for a hamper, we make sure that each child receives a toy for Christmas,” Heathcote explained. “On [Nov 28] it’s a toy drive: toys, toys, toys.” Heathcote said that throughout the day, the radio station will be holding a special broadcast with hosts David Hannah and Johnathan Price that will feature dignitaries from the Salvation Army, including Heathcote himself. However, the excitement of the day won’t just be limited to what;s on the radio. “On that day we have a very special guest coming to Fort Frances for the first time ever,” he said. “Sally Ann will be making an appearance all day at the Salvation Army. She’ll be waving at families and children from our front plate glass windows as well. She was so excited that the Border was on top of this that she cleared her schedule and is going to come down to Fort Frances and spend the day with us.” The COVID-19 pandemic has forced changes in almost every event that’s usually held in Fort Frances over the course of the year. If a function hasn’t been outright cancelled, like the Fort Frances Bass Tournament, then organizers have had to think outside and around the box to come up with a pandemic-friendly way to hold their events. The 93.1 the Border Toy Drive is functionally similar to the usual Burst a Bus in that it is collecting toys for those in need, and Heathcote said that both events are all about coming together for a good cause. “Every year this community comes through with toys,” Heathcote said. “It’s about letting people know that the community is here for them. It’s about support, and more than anything at this stage of the game, we need to know we’ve got each others back. That’s what the toys do. It’s one thing to be confronted with Christmas looming and wondering how you’re going to get toys for the kids, and just to know that the community cared enough that they came together and made sure that there were toys available for their children makes all the difference in the world.”Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
It's a demonstrably difficult task to find a comic screen partner worthy of standing opposite Melissa McCarthy, so you have to appreciate “Superintelligence" for throwing in the towel.In it, McCarthy plays Carol Peters, a former Yahoo executive who's chosen, purely for her extreme averageness, by a newly liberated, megalomaniacal artificial intelligence that presents her with a three-day test to prove humanity isn't worth destroying. It's the kind of set-up that would have once presided over by the devil or some demigod, but now that role goes to Alexa.That means that for much of “Superintelligence," a new comedy streaming Thursday on HBO Max, McCarthy is walking around on her own, her only foil a disembodied voice (James Corden's) or an occasional talking screen. That's not as good as McCarthy with either of her best recent on-screen partners — Sandra Bullock ("The Heat"), Richard E. Grant ("Can You Forgive Me?") — but it's not bad. It means McCarthy has the movie if not completely to herself (Corden's cheery warmth still comes through, and Bobby Cannavale winningly plays her love interest) then nearly so. Even though the innocuous “Superintelligence” is on the bland side, it remains hard not to enjoy two hours with McCarthy.The more telling companion of McCarthy's in “Superintelligence” is her husband, the director Ben Falcone. This is their fourth film together with Falcone behind the camera, and it may be the best of the bunch. That, however, isn't saying much considering their run of “Life of the Party" (2018), “The Boss” (2016) and “Tammy” (2014). Those films have their moments, and they're always shot-through with affection for their leading lady. But they're easily the weaker, more forgettable side of McCarthy's filmography.“Superintelligence," written by Steve Mallory, is the most high-concept of their films together, and it's ultimately an excuse to bring apocalyptic stakes to a rom-com plot. Faced with the possible end of the world, Carol resolves to reconnect with an old flame (Cannavale). Their chemistry together is easy and relaxed, if not especially funny. The cast overall feels wasted, especially the supporting performances of Brian Tyree Henry (as a computer scientist), Jean Smart (the president) and Sam Richardson — the talented “Veep” performer who I sincerely hope soon gets his own movie. Like a lot of studio comedies of late, it feels like there's space here for jokes that mostly never quite got filled in.The real romance in “Superintelligence” might not be between any of the characters, but McCarthy and Falcone (who also makes his typical cameo). Their collaborations are uneven but warmhearted, and their movies together feel like an almost sweet sacrifice of quality for the sake of family.“Superintelligence,” a Warner Bros. release, is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for some suggestive material, language and thematic elements. Running time: 105 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.___Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAPJake Coyle, The Associated Press
When Treyton Middleton found out who was suspected of shooting his stepfather in the street outside their home on Saint John's lower west side, he looked him up on Facebook. On Wednesday afternoon, the jury heard that Middleton, now 19, sent a message to the man that night, threatening to round up some friends and kill him. In fact, when Const. Connor Bodechon arrived at 321 Duke St. West to take photos about an hour after the shooting, Justin Breau's Facebook profile is on the computer screen photographed in Middleton's bedroom. Breau, 37, is on trial for second-degree murder in the death of 42-year-old Mark Shatford. He is accused of shooting Shatford at about 4:25 a.m. on Nov. 17, 2019. Despite numerous surgeries at the Saint John Regional Hospital, Shatford died on Dec. 18. During testimony on Wednesday, Middleton said he awoke to banging and yelling in the early morning hours of Nov. 17, 2019. He peeked out of his bedroom and saw two masked men moving through the second-floor apartment where he lived with Shatford, his mother, three siblings, and his sister's boyfriend. Middleton said he followed the men down the stairs and managed to grab one of them at the front door. He said he threw the man to the ground outside and started punching him. As he continued to fight with the man, he saw his mother and Shatford pass by, heading to a vehicle parked on the street. Middleton said he continued to fight with the man until he heard a gunshot. As he turned, he said, he saw Shatford fall to the ground. He immediately went to Shatford's side. He testified that the man with the gun then pointed it at him and his mother and told them to shut up. Middleton said he tried to grab a large wrench that Shatford had dropped, but his mother wouldn't let him take it. As the vehicle pulled away, Middleton said, he threw the wrench at it but missed. What became of the wrench before police seized it in January remains unclear.Middleton and his mother, Melissa Daley, both testified they don't know how the wrench got back inside the apartment. But pictures taken by Bodechon, who arrived at the scene at 5:50 a.m., appear to show the item on top of the fridge. Bodechon took several pictures inside the home, including the one that show's the computer screen in Middleton's bedroom. "I did that on my own," Middleton said of the Facebook search. "I just wanted to see him."It was under cross-examination by defence lawyer Brian Munro that Middleton was asked about sending a Facebook message to Breau not long after the shooting. Middleton admitted sending a message that he was going to round up some people and kill Breau. He was also asked about his actions immediately after the shooting. Middleton said he went to a "buddy's" place but the person wasn't at home. He was repeatedly asked to name the "buddy" but he refused each time. "I'm not answering it," he insisted, before the jury was led out of the courtroom. After a short time — and some discussion in the absence of the jury and Middleton — the jury was brought back in and cross-examination resumed. Middleton was again asked to name the person and said it was his ex-girlfriend, Bella McCutcheon. He told the court that he called her "buddy" because they were not dating at the time. The trial is scheduled to resume Thursday morning.
Government and election officials frequently call on shredding companies to dispose of personal and sensitive documents that are no longer needed.But in a suburban county of Atlanta this week, those routine waste removal appointments were twisted into yet another election misinformation story when social media users falsely claimed shredding trucks were destroying ballots and “evidence of voter fraud.”The unfounded allegations continue to spread online as Georgia officials carry out a machine recount of ballots after certified results showed Joe Biden had a 12,670-vote lead over President Donald Trump. Trump requested the recount, which follows a statewide hand tally.L. Lin Wood Jr., a conservative attorney who had unsuccessfully sued in an attempt to block the certification of Georgia’s election results, on Tuesday shared a series of videos taken by a Georgia resident. They showed a shredding truck outside the West Park Government Center in Marietta.“Evidence of voter fraud is being destroyed in Cobb County, GA TODAY,” Wood captioned one of his tweets. “Many people, powerful & not so powerful, are going to PRISON.”The real explanation for the truck’s visit was far less scandalous: a routine shredding of county tax documents.The county tax commissioner’s office, which shares a building with the county’s main elections office, has documents shredded twice a month, according to Ross Cavitt, communications director for the county.“No items from Cobb Elections were involved,” Cavitt told The Associated Press in an email.The false claims built on similar rumours from last week, when the same Georgia resident captured photos and video of a truck destroying election-related waste outside the Jim R. Miller Event Center in Marietta and claimed it was evidence of “ballots being shredded.”After Wood amplified those photos and videos on Friday, Cobb County officials refuted the claim, explaining that the shredding company was summoned to destroy non-relevant election materials, as happens after all elections.“Everything of consequence, including the ballots, absentee ballot applications with signatures, and anything else used in the count or re-tally remains on file,” Janine Eveler, the county’s director of elections and voter registration, said in a statement.Some of the photos shared on Friday appeared to show a trash can with a paper labeled “ABSENTEE BALLOT” inside. But Eveler said that was an inner privacy envelope used by voters to seal absentee ballots, and had “no evidentiary value.” County officials will hold on to the actual absentee ballots, as well as the outer envelopes signed by voters, for two years.Wood did not respond to a telephone call and email seeking comment.Despite the county’s responses, Wood’s tweets with the debunked claims continued to receive massive engagement on Wednesday, collectively amassing more than 200,000 retweets. And a separate Facebook user’s post falsely claiming a shredding company was “hired by Democrats” to destroy evidence was viewed nearly 150,000 times.County officials told the AP they have not seen any evidence of fraud or anomalies in vote tabulation in the 2020 election.“People nowadays, they post stuff immediately without asking any questions and without any proper context, and it spreads like wildfire,” Cavitt said of the false claims.Jude Joffe-Block And Ali Swenson, The Associated Press
P.E.I.'s Department of Justice and Public Safety says it is dealing with a spike in people seeking approval to come to the Island.Officials say since the closure of the Atlantic bubble and the chief public health officer's recommendations to not travel during the holidays, the province has seen five-times the amount of inquiries.Justice and Public Safety Minister Bloyce Thompson says the province was bracing for a spike following the announcement P.E.I. was pulling out of the Atlantic bubble because of increased COVID-19 cases in neighbouring New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. He says people need to be patient, adding the province will get through the backlog within the next couple of days. "We've been doing this for almost eight months now and as every announcement comes there's an influx of inquiries, applications," said Thompson. "So to address this announcement Monday we've brought in six new staff to deal with some of the backlog."On Monday, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer announced P.E.I. was pulling out of the Atlantic bubble and said Islanders should only travel outside of P.E.I. for essential purposes or work. 'They haven't received an approval or denial'Anyone who needs to travel to the Island, including residents of Atlantic Canada, now has to apply for pre-travel approval.Island residents do not require pre-travel approval, but will be required to self-isolate 14 days once they return to the Island. Frustrations over the growing wait times spilled over onto the floor of the P.E.I. Legislature Wednesday. Cory Deagle, PC MLA for Montague-Kilmuir, said he had been contacted by a couple that had been waiting 168 hours for a response, much longer than the 72-hour response time the province tries to achieve.The couple is moving from B.C. to his district, and the couple's parents — who have also reached out to him — are his constituents.Deagle said they first sent their letter to the province on Nov. 18, long before P.E.I. pulled out of the Atlantic bubble. He said the couple was asked for more information on Nov. 21. "It's now Nov. 25 and they haven't received an approval or denial letter and they are travelling across Canada," said Deagle.'What they are going to do when they get here?'"They received approval to enter New Brunswick but they don't know about P.E.I. What they are going to do when they get here?"Thompson said he would get the name of the family and follow up immediately to ensure they have an answer before they get to the Confederation Bridge.Deagle said the family is growing increasingly frustrated."These two individuals are travelling across Canada, they said today they tried calling, no one's answering the phone, they tried leaving voicemail but the inbox is filled."Thompson did admit wait times have increased significantly because of the closure of the Atlantic bubble."We will be back to 72 hours very soon," Thompson said from the floor of the legislature. 'I hate making politics out of something so important'But Deagle fired back saying, "You shouldn't have to contact your MLA to find out if you can get approval to come to P.E.I."Thompson then took a shot at his PC colleague."This is a very important question and I hate making politics out of something so important," said Thompson. "I sat beside this member in caucus, I wish he had brought this to me then."In an interview after question period, Deagle said he makes no apologies for raising the concerns of his constituents."The premier has said that we can ask tough questions, even though it's our own party, we can ask tough questions that are important to our constituents and Islanders," Deagle told CBC News."We've never been told one way or another to not do something, if we feel it's important and we want to ask it, we can ask the questions."More from CBC P.E.I.
Residents of the city of Halifax say the closure of indoor dining is necessary to stop the recent upward trend in COVID-19 cases in the region. Yeah Yeahs Pizza manager Josh Fagan says the restaurant has plans to boost takeout orders to ensure a steady revenue stream over the coming weeks.
EDMONTON — Two emergency room doctors say Alberta's increased public health restrictions don't go far enough to deal with rising COVID-19 cases that are already straining hospitals in the province.The government brought in tighter restrictions Tuesday that include a ban on gatherings in people's homes and changes for schools, churches, restaurants and retailers.Dr. Shazma Mithani, who works at two Edmonton hospitals, said she saw first-hand why more restrictions were necessary a day earlier when she arrived for her shift at the Royal Alexandra Hospital."I saw the most COVID patients ever," Mithani said Wednesday in an interview with The Canadian Press. "I didn't even see that many patients that shift because we were so bed-blocked."Some patients, she explained, were taking up emergency department beds because there weren't enough staffed beds available in the ward they needed.Mithani said she saw about 10 or 11 patients that night."Three of them were confirmed COVID and three were presumed COVID ... and one of them I actually had to put a breathing tube in and send to the ICU," she said."It's here. It's just the beginning."Alberta Health reported 1,265 new cases on Wednesday — the seventh consecutive day with numbers above the 1,100 mark. There were 355 patients in hospital, 71 of them in intensive care. Eight more people died, bringing that total to 500.Mithani, who's also a spokeswoman for the emergency medicine section of the Alberta Medical Association, said the rising numbers have been hitting Edmonton particularly hard.There were 175 COVID-19 patients in Edmonton hospitals, with 40 in intensive care. In Calgary, there were 121 infected patients in hospitals and 20 were in intensive care.Dr. Joe Vipond, who works at Rockyview General Hospital in Calgary, said he hasn't worked an ER shift in about a week, but noted that he's had COVID-19 patients every day in the last month."I've had two deaths in a month," said Vipond, who added he typically only sees a few deaths a year in the emergency department.Both Vipond and Mithani said they would have liked to see stronger restrictions."We're now at the stage that nothing short of a strong lockdown is going to help," said Vipond. "These middle measures are not going to do it, unfortunately."Mithani said the restrictions simply turn earlier recommendations into rules.The only positive step, she said, was banning indoor gatherings, which she suggested should have happened long ago.Dr. Daniel Gregson, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Calgary, agreed it was good to see recommendations on gatherings turned into actual restrictions."The other thing we've done is moved to mandatory masking from a suggestion to a requirement," he said. "That's a good thing as well."However, Gregson said some areas have been left open to interpretation."They've said 10 (people) for weddings and 10 for funerals, which is good to have an absolute number because people focus on what they can do," he said. "But other settings such as faith-based activities, which can be fairly widely interpreted, are not limited to that 10."That's a concern. A lot of our problems have been in group settings where people are not using appropriate precautions ... and that really translates into transmissions in households."Mithani added that the decisions don't appear to be based on data, since contact tracing has broken down and up to 80 per cent of cases have no information about where they were contracted."I'm really disappointed with the half measures that were put in," she said. "I, 100 per cent, understand there needs to be a balance between the economy and managing this pandemic, but we are now at a point where our health-care system is about to break and that needs to be made the priority right now."Our economy relies on the health of Albertans."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press
The City of Toronto will ramp up winter maintenance so residents can spend more time outdoors. Mayor John Tory says the city wants people to stay active despite COVID-19, even in sub-zero temperatures. He says residents can spend time in parks alone or with members of their household during the lockdown. He says there are also 23 toboggan hills, eight new snow loops at golf courses and numerous outdoor ice rinks. The rinks will have a capacity of 25 people to follow provincial pandemic rules. The city will also maintain an extra 60 kilometres of paved trails and pathways. "Much as the pandemic makes things different, we're committed to giving people more things to do outside safely," Tory said on Wednesday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020. The Canadian Press
Les entreprises peuvent créer des connaissances au sein de domaines existants en absorbant des expertises externes ou alors en générant de nouveaux champs.
Invest in the comfiest pants you can find.
A request for the names, addresses and Farm Business Registration (FBR) numbers of Ontario farmers has been withdrawn. According to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), a Freedom of Information request (FOI) asking for potentially sensitive information on farmers in the province has been withdrawn following a period of mediation led by the OFA and supported by their legal counsel. Initially received by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in June, the FOI request was made by an unknown individual and sought to access a list of Ontario farmers that included the names of their businesses, where they were located and their FBR number, an identifier that’s is issued to any farm businesses in Ontario that make declare a gross farm income of $7,000 or more. An FOI request can be made by members of the public under Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), which says “every person has a right of access to a record or a part of a record in the custody or under the control of an institution,” with exceptions. OFA president Keith Currie celebrated the FOI withdrawal, citing concerns around how the information in the FOI could have been misused to harm farm owners’ businesses. “Together, our farm organizations strongly opposed the release of this information as it has the potential to greatly impact the health, safety and security of our farm operations,” Currie said. “We are very pleased to report that the matter has been resolved, the FOI has been dropped and we can move forward with the significant priorities of the Ontario agriculture sector.” While there was no evidence that the names and FBR numbers that stood to be acquired through the FOI were planned to be used maliciously, the OFA and other farm organizations in the province moved quickly to stall the request when it was first made, citing concerns that bad actors could use the information on a large scale, targeting businesses with protests or making their information public to others. Additionally, online sources speculated that the information could be used to create a database like one created in Australia following a similar information request. That database was subsequently used by activists to stage protests around the country. At the time the FOI request was still pending, Rainy River Federation of Agriculture (RRFA) president Lisa Teeple noted that while the request in and of itself wasn’t reason for area farmers to panic, the uncertainty of who was requesting the information and what they intended to use it for caused the most concern. “The original request, we don’t know where it came from,” Teeple explained at the time. “Who was asking for this information? Is it a university study looking to do a study on farm economics? Is it a think-tank group and how they market more to farm businesses? We don’t know. Is it an environmental activist group? That potentially gives a reason for pause, because we are in a business where environmental and animal activists have been known to be destructive. The big thing is ‘who asked for it’? We can’t find that out.” The OFA, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO and the National Farmers Union–Ontario (NFU-O) collaborated to file a formal appeal against the FOI before the request was withdrawn.Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
VICTORIA — Doctors and nurses are being asked to support British Columbia's safe supply drug program and other substance use measures, as an average of five people a day die from illicit drug overdoses, the B.C. Coroners Service says.There were 162 overdose deaths in B.C. last month, more than double the 75 recorded in October last year.The number of deaths in each health authority is at or near the highest monthly total ever recorded, the coroners service said Wednesday in a news release. Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the supply of street drugs and is disrupting access to harm-reduction services such as supervised injection sites."We encourage clinicians to support those at risk of overdose by prescribing safe supply and reducing the numbers of lives lost to toxic substances," she said in the statement. The coroners service continues to advocate for an accessible, evidence-based and accountable treatment and recovery system for drug users, Lapointe added.Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry authorized registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses to prescribe pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs in September.Before that, only doctors and nurse practitioners were able to prescribe drugs, including substitute medications for illicit-drug users.But advocates for drug users say there is still a lack of medical personnel prescribing safe, prescription alternatives to illicit drugs."They're not prescribing to the extent they should be," said Karen Ward, a drug rights advocate and a drug policy and poverty reduction consultant with the City of Vancouver."They need to be prescribing assertively and doing outreach," she said in an interview. Ward said drug users and advocates feel as if the relentless death toll is like an "ongoing tidal wave."She questioned why there is still a lack of prescribing guidelines related to Henry's September order."That was two months ago … why aren't they done? This should have been done that day," Ward said.Leslie McBain, the co-founder of Moms Stop the Harm, said she's devastated by the latest numbers from the coroners service."I don't know if it can get much worse than this for people," she said in an interview. There needs to be more people willing and able to prescribe prescription alternatives to illicit drugs, McBain said, and the provincial government needs to listen to drug users about the type of alternative drugs they want."The drugs being offered to people were not the drugs they were used to or would keep them in a balanced, stable place," she said.October is the fifth month this year that more than 160 people have died and the eighth consecutive month with more than 100 deaths.The latest toxicology testing suggests an increase in the number of cases with extreme concentrations of the opioid fentanyl between April and October compared with previous months, Lapointe said in her statement.Henry echoed Lapointe's concerns, saying the pandemic is having a devastating effect on the overdose crisis."Now more than ever, we must remove the stigma of drug use and remove the shame people feel, which keeps them from seeking help or telling friends and family," she said in a statement on Wednesday.There have been 1,386 deaths from suspected overdoses since January, nearly 400 more deaths than when a public health emergency was declared by the provincial government in April 2016.— By Nick Wells in Vancouver.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.The Canadian Press
A charity community fridge was removed in Parkdale this week, despite the high-profile Adamson Barbecue being allowed to continue operations in Etobicoke.
TORONTO — Canada's main stock index ticked higher Wednesday after a mixed day for U.S. markets, as investors paused to digest the week's record-setting rally ahead of a U.S. holiday tomorrow.The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 38.82 points at 17,313.07, while in New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 173.77 points at 29,872.47, falling below the 30,000 mark it hit for the first time earlier this week.“It’s been quite a wild month. We had the Dow hit 30,000, we had different sub-indices like energy and banks have their best months in years,” said Greg Taylor, chief investment officer of Purpose Investments. “The market was due for a bit of a pause, and you’ve also got U.S. Thanksgiving holidays starting tomorrow, and a lot of people travel on Wednesday.”The S&P 500 index was also down 5.76 points at 3,629.65. Taylor said the prominence of energy companies in the TSX has boosted it compared to U.S. counterparts, although energy companies’ shares ended the day less than one per cent lower.The January crude contract was up 80 cents US at US$45.71 per barrel and the January natural gas contract was up more than six cents US at about US$2.96 per mmBTU.“The big story, I think, for Canada for the last few weeks has been the bounce-back in energy prices,” said Taylor. “A lot of people are realizing that with the benefit of the vaccines, and further economic stimulus coming, that energy and banks could have a fairly good run next year.”Taylor also pointed to Wednesday’s better-than-expected earnings report from BRP Inc., which makes Ski-Doo and Sea-Doos. Shares of the company ended the day 3.25 per cent higher in Toronto.“They had a really good quarter, and that just speaks to the amount of pent-up demand for people buying recreational products and different things for outdoor activities," said Taylor."That theme has been going on through the pandemic, and that’s a good example of a Canadian company that’s benefiting from it.” Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite was up 57.62 points at 12,094.40. Taylor said that Wednesday’s headlines about Salesforce.com Inc. buying Slack Technologies, Inc. could be a bellwether for further deals in the sector.“Certainly, we have seen the tech stocks underperform, but they're coming back a little bit today,” said Taylor. “We could start to get some excitement in the tech stocks again. They are still really some of the best business models out there.”The Canadian dollar traded for 76.91 cents US compared with 76.73 cents US on Tuesday. Taylor said that the Canadian dollar could benefit from increasing investor appetite for risk, but said that investors may also be limited by uncertainty around government spending.The December gold contract was up 90 cents at US$1,805.50 an ounce and the December copper contract was up one cent at nearly US$3.31 a pound.“Gold is interesting because it’s a commodity that has definitely lagged this month. It has been one sector that's really underperformed in one of the best months the TSX has had in a long time,” said Taylor. “Gold has had a good year. But I think there are people that were using it as an insurance policy, and they were selling that to buy some of the other commodities, like copper or even energy … Now, we could be seeing some people come back to the sector.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X, TSX:DOO)Anita Balakrishnan, The Canadian Press
The town of Fort Frances is being asked to give our local bee population a helping hand next spring. At last Monday night’s town council meeting, mayor and councillors heard a deputation from Reagan Breeze of Dryden in regards to an initiative he is at the forefront of that aims to protect honeybees and give them every possible fighting chance to thrive as the weather begins to warm up in April and May. “We are looking at something that is more than climate change,” Breeze told council. “It’s a decline in our honeybees and as much as somebody may think that that is not that important, we have to understand the fact that there’s a lack of education about honeybees and what they give to us. Every time we have our supper or lunch or breakfast, it’s one third of our food source that comes from our pollinators and our honeybees.” As part of his efforts, Breeze asked the town to declare April and May as Honeybee Appreciation Month, something he said he’s seen movement on from other municipalities he’s spoken with, including Dryden, whose council passed a motion at the end of October declaring April and May of 2021 to be their own Honeybee Appreciation Months. In addition to asking the town to recognize special months for bees, Breeze also took aim at one of the town’s bylaws, asking that council work with him in order to provide a temporary easement of bylaw enforcement to allow more protection for bees. “Your bylaws are very easy... I appreciate that and amongst all of us other beekeepers within Ontario, in Canada... appreciate it as well,” Breeze said. “Within your regulations we also have your bylaws 3.03, subsection 3, which is the weeds for four inches of growth only. I am not asking for everybody within the Fort Frances area to grow a hay field, but I am asking for mayor and council, respectively, to have an easement to show remorse for the fact that we need to sustain our honeybees and our pollinators that are the most viable species for our existence.” According to the Town of Fort Frances bylaw 14/09, Section 3 (General Standards for All Property), subsection 3.03 declares: “Every yard, including vacant lots shall be kept free from: (3) long grass, brush, undergrowth and noxious weeds as defined by the Weed Control Act; a. all grassed and lawned areas shall be maintained to a maximum height of 100mm (4in).” Springtime is generally when honeybees emerge from their hives and are at their most active, with the Sioux Honey Co-op, located in Sioux City, Iowa, explaining that bees will use the season to expand their numbers following the cold winter months. “The first action of business for the colony as the weather changes is increasing its population in advance of summer’s warmth,” they explain on their website. “Spring is the busiest time of year for the bees, not only because of restocking food but it’s also the season when new colonies are started and established colonies re-emerge.” Part of the crop of flowers that bloom in those early months is the dandelion, which is an important food source for bees, but is also viewed as a pesky weed by many homeowners, some of whom go to great lengths to remove them from their yards. The easement of the bylaw would therefore allow homeowners in Fort Frances to grow their lawns out, along with any flowering plants in their yard, during the months of April and May when honeybees are trying to get back on their feet without potentially incurring a fine. Breeze also called on council to amend other parts of bylaws including references to injurious insects, which he said should be reworded in order to exclude honeybees from the likes of wasps and hornets. Honey is also a multi-billion dollar industry on a global scale, according to Breeze, which makes honeybees worth protecting and supporting on an economic level. Mayor June Caul thanked Breeze for his presentation to council and the recommendation was made that his request be presented to the Planning and Development Executive Committee for recommendation. At their meeting on Monday, November 16, the Planning and Development Executive Committee made the recommendation that the town proclaim April and May as Honey Bee Appreciation months in town, but that existing bylaws be left unchanged. The item will return to council at their November 23 meeting for a final decision.Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
A Regina mother says she is noticing children, including her five-year old son, experiencing anxiety about COVID-19.Kara Gurski, a daycare operator, is rethinking how she talks about the illness around her son after seeing how scared he was after coming down with a stomach bug."He looked at me and said, 'Mom, I don't want the kids to know that I'm sick, because I don't want them to know I have the virus. Nobody will play with me if I have the virus,'" Gurski said."I just thought it was so profound because obviously to get COVID, that would be very undesirable. But I don't think it's any of our intentions as adults to make it seem like it's a bad thing, or makes that person bad."On top of the stigmatization, Gurski said there seems to be anxiety stemming from the frequent school closures and reopenings, and seeing kids missing because one classroom got shut down."I can see the kids asking different questions like, 'Are we going to be staying home again? What happens if I get sick? Will I die?'" she said."I do really encourage parents and care providers to be really open about the questions that our kids have around [COVID-19] and to watch their tone around the virus, just to eliminate a little bit of anxiety in the kids."Dr. Lila McCormick, a clinical psychologist in Saskatoon, said she believes Gurski is describing a fear of physical symptoms and the anxiety that comes with potentially contracting COVID-19 — something many adults and front-line workers face as well."Anytime something bad happens, we have a human nature... to look for something or someone to blame," McCormick said. "It helps us feel less vulnerable and less likely to have the same fate."As parents, we really want to model acceptance and compassion, focusing on the facts and helping our children realize that just because somebody gets [COVID-19]... doesn't mean that they've done anything wrong."The first way to help is to recognize if a child is experiencing anxiety, says McCormick.The signs can show in different ways, from different behaviour, to trouble sleeping or nightmares, or even physical symptoms like head or stomach aches, she said.The latter "can get tricky," she said, because the child's anxiety could be increased if they interpret the pain as a COVID-19 symptom.Once recognized, McCormick suggests guardians answer any questions their child may have about the illness, and do so in an honest, direct and simple way."We don't want to overwhelm them with information about it," said McCormick. "We want them to be able to ask more questions. But we also just want to be there as a sounding board or someone for them to talk to about those feelings that they have."Simple questions such as, 'Are you worried about anything at school?' or 'How are you feeling about what's going on with COVID-19?' can allow children to open up, she said.If they do respond and express their feelings, McCormick said guardians need to validate those feelings, let them know they are not the only child or person feeling that way and empathize with them.What's yours? CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
In addition to of Nunavut’s COVID-19 caseload — which reached 153 today — there are several Nunavummiut outside the territory who are infected with the virus, Dr. Michael Patterson, the territory’s chief public health officer. “Off the top of my head I think they’re all in Manitoba,” he said Wednesday at a news conference in Iqaluit. If a person who tests positive in another jurisdiction lists Nunavut as his or her home, the local health authority advises the Government of Nunavut of the case. A spokesperson for the Department of Health said there are fewer than five Nunavummiut who have COVID-19 and are out of the territory. Patterson said these people may isolate in hotel rooms, in a family home, in the hospital or in isolation hubs. None have isolated in boarding homes run or contracted by the GN, he said. Nunavut announced 11 new COVID-19 cases in the territory Wednesday. Arviat remains the community most affected by reported cases with eight new cases, for a total of 115. Two other communities have reports of active cases — Whale Cove, where three new cases were reported Wednesday, and Rankin Inlet. The number of people infected by COVID-19 is expected to rise in the coming weeks before it falls, Patterson said. Wednesday marks the halfway point in the territory-wide lockdown that is meant to prevent the territory’s outbreak of COVID-19 in the Kivalliq from spreading further. If cases are contained to Arviat, Whale Cove and Rankin Inlet, restrictions in other communities will be lifted after one more week. But public health restrictions will remain in the affected communities. “I need everyone to dig deep,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq. “We’re in this for the long run, and we need each other and every person doing their part.” There are 115 people in Arviat with COVID-19, and more than 300 people in isolation because they were in contact with someone who has the disease, Patterson said. He doesn’t know the number of people in isolation in Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove. Public health staff who are contact tracing and communicating with people who are sick or isolating in the three communities are doing it by phone, or in person. “I can’t remember how frequently we’re in contact with them,” Patterson said, “it varies a bit depending on resources and how easy it is to get ahold of them.” He said people are reminded “every few days” about needing to stay in isolation. Savikataaq said the GN is working with the three affected communities to provide food for families who need it. “We don’t want anyone to go hungry,” he said, “but we’re still working on [getting people food].” Family Services offices are closed due to public health restrictions, but income support workers are contacting clients “using phones and other means to make sure no one falls through the cracks,” Savikataaq said. The two people who had COVID-19 in Sanikiluaq are now classified as recovered. But people they were in contact with are still in isolation, and public health staff are still monitoring the community. Once the last person is out of isolation, elementary schools will re-open full time, and middle and high schools in the community will be open on a staggered schedule, with some remote learning. “And public health measures will be pretty much where we were in July,” Patterson said of Sanikiluaq. As Christmas approaches and more people are being infected in Nunavut and the rest of Canada, Patterson said he continues to advise against non-essential travel. However, people who live in Arviat who are not infected, and who have not had contact with anyone infected, can apply to the public health office to travel, Patterson said. As well, Agnico Eagle Mines has confirmed the first case of COVID-19 at its Meadowbank complex north of Baker Lake. The company’s previous cases all involved its Meliadine mine near Rankin Inlet. On Nov. 20, a worker en route to Meadowbank tested positive for COVID-19 while stopped at the company’s testing facility in Val-d’Or. The worker and 10 other potential contacts were kept in isolation and then flown from the mine site on Nov. 21. COVID-19 cases at Nunavut’s mines are not included in the territory’s case counts because mine workers fly directly from southern Canada to the mine sites. Across Canada, more than 342,000 cases have been reported since March when the pandemic began. More than 11,600 people have died. No deaths have been reported in Nunavut. In March, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. In Nunavut, Nunavik and across the country, public health officials have encouraged physical distancing, hand-washing and wearing masks in public places as measures people should take to prevent the spread of the disease.Meagan Deuling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Nunatsiaq News