Following a months-long standoff with a landlord who was trying to get them to leave, a Halifax couple say they had to move hundreds of kilometres away because they couldn't find any shelter beds locally.Melody Baldock and Laurissa Forrest said they wanted to stay in their Fairview apartment at the end of April because the COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage of affordable housing made it impossible for them to find anywhere else to go.Their lease expired and their landlord — Adam Barrett, the owner of Blackbay Real Estate Group — would not renew. When they stayed anyway, he turned off the power.Four months later, Baldock and Forrest came home to find the door to their apartment and some interior doors removed, two windows missing and the tap gone from the kitchen sink.With the help of Dalhousie Legal Aid lawyer Fiona Traynor, Baldock and Forrest filed a bylaw complaint with the Halifax Regional Municipality to have their doors reinstalled, but according to Traynor, the bylaw office never came to investigate.No shelter beds availableBy Wednesday of last week, almost a week after the landlord removed the apartment fixtures, Baldock and Forrest came to an agreement with Barrett to finally vacate the apartment by Saturday at 2 p.m. AT."We probably made around 10 to 15 calls last week ... just calling day after day to find out whether or not there are any shelter beds. We were told that there are no shelter beds in Halifax, which is pretty dismaying to hear," said Traynor.So Forrest and Baldock started looking further afield, and left for the first shelter where they found a bed, which was in Moncton, N.B."We didn't have much of a choice," said Baldock.She said they left most of their possessions behind and got a ride to Moncton with a friend on Friday night.But the shelter in Moncton did not work out. Baldock said she and her partner felt unsafe after witnessing violence between other residents; and Baldock, a trans woman, slept on a couch because shelter staff wouldn't allow her to sleep in the women's wing.Hoping for normalcy in Cape BretonAfter two nights, they moved again, this time to a shelter in Cape Breton, where Baldock grew up.Baldock said on Monday that she and Forrest were much more comfortable in the new shelter, and she said she was optimistic about finding some normalcy after months of stress and uncertainty.She and Forrest were disqualified from income assistance when their lease expired, but now that they're in the provincial shelter system, they have access to support workers who are helping them to reapply for aid and find permanent housing.Baldock said she and Forrest are hoping to find "a normal life," which would include having "doors on and [being] able to eat properly again and not to have the anxiety of not knowing what your landlord is going to do and stuff like that. And just go back to not having to worry if you're going to be OK or not."Barrett did not respond to CBC's request for comment Monday. He previously said Baldock and Forrest were bad tenants who had fallen far behind on their rent, fought with neighbours and caused damage to the building.Baldock and Forrest have filed a claim against Barrett through the residential tenancies board for losses incurred after their lease ended, including $600 in food that went bad when the fridge and freezer lost power. They have a hearing set for later this month.Traynor said looking in vain for shelter beds with Baldock and Forrest was an "eye-opener." She said some of the community organizations she contacted offered to help the couple find a tent, as a last resort."A tent is not a home and a tent is not a safe place to put anyone, especially during the time of COVID," said Traynor.MORE TOP STORIES
Monday's demonstration came after a fifth night of street protests in Rochester ended peacefully and with no arrests. Video posted by the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper showed the demonstrators later being wrapped in blankets and led away from the protest site.
A parliamentary e-petition sponsored by Conservative Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner that calls for the federal government to scrap its firearms ban has been certified with more than 230,000 signatures — the most on the online platform since it was introduced in 2015.The petition asks the prime minister to immediately scrap his "firearms confiscation regime," calling it "undemocratically imposed without debate during a pandemic while Parliament is suspended, [and] an assault on Canadian democracy.""[Canadians] are wondering why the government has chosen to confiscate legally-owned firearms during a suspended parliament," Rempel Garner said in an interview with CBC News."When we know that that is going to do little to reduce the issue of violent crime in Canada, in terms of firearms that are obtained illegally."In May, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a ban on 1,550 makes and models of "assault-style" weapons in Canada. A two-year amnesty period was granted before Canadians are required to dispose of the weapons.In making the announcement, the prime minister said that assault-style weapons had "no place" in Canada."These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time," he said at the time.Instead of a ban on assault-style weapons, Rempel Garner's petition calls on the government to crack down on firearms obtained illegally, specifically targeting the prevention of smuggled firearms across the U.S. border."Canada has one of the most rigorous firearms acquisition licensing regimes in the world," she said. "When we're looking at the very important issue of preventing firearms violence in Canada, we have to look at where firearms that are used in violent crime are coming from and we know that the vast majority of those are illegally obtained and primarily smuggled in from the United States."Advocate says weapons are 'designed to kill'Heidi Rathjen, a gun control activist and survivor of the 1989 Polytechnique massacre, pushed back against Rempel Garner's petition, saying the banned weapons are "designed to kill.""There's no legitimate justification for allowing that kind of power in the hands of ordinary civilians. These weapons belong to the military. These are weapons of war," Rathjen said. "They're not needed for hunting or even legitimate target practice … these are civilian versions of military weapons that, you know, many, if not most, have been put on the market in the last couple of decades."Following the Polytechnique massacre, Rathjen said students of the school garnered more than 500,000 signatures on a paper petition, signed by hand and gathered through regular mail, over a period of four months."But again, petitions are one thing. I think, what really matters, is what the public wants," Rathjen said. "A majority of Canadians support the ban on assault weapons. I think the Liberal government did the democratic thing when they passed these orders in council."Parliamentary petitionAs Parliament is currently prorogued until Sept. 23, Rempel Garner will need to wait to table the petition."Because it is an official parliamentary petition, the government is required to respond to all the signatories that are on there," she said."So I think that the government is going to have to think really carefully about its response, because there's a lot of people in Canada that cross political boundaries that are concerned with this issue and are not pleased with the government's response."According to a spokesperson in the House of Commons, Rempel Garner's petition has surpassed any other petition on the number of signatures since the launch of the new system for electronic petitions in 2015.Historically, however, a number of paper petitions have also obtained a large number of signatures, including an anti-abortion petition in 1975 that contained more than one million signatures. That contradicts Rempel Garner's claim in social media that hers is the largest Parliamentary petition in Canadian history.As part of the e-petition platform, signatories are required to enter a valid email address and click on a link sent to that address, and additional monitoring tools are in place to ensure the integrity of signatures, the spokesperson said.
Five of the eight doctors working at the Moose & Squirrel Medical Clinic in Sundre, Alta., have given written notice to their patients that they will be leaving to work elsewhere.The clinic made the announcement on its Facebook page Sept. 4, and cited the provincial government's fraying relationship with family physicians as the catalyst."As promised back in February and March, we at the clinic have been transparent and open about the actions of the government and its impacts on our clinic and community," the post read."We are deeply saddened to announce that five of our physicians have provided written notice that they will be leaving our community and province at the end of April 2021."The announcement follows the withdrawal of the clinic's services from the Sundre hospital in July, when doctors said provincial health care funding cuts forced them to choose to keep the clinic running instead.Terry Leslie, mayor of Sundre, said he had not heard about the clinic's announcement, but acknowledged that the issue was ongoing in the community.In a statement, a spokesperson for the health ministry said the government wished the five physicians the best in their careers and thanked them for their service to their patients."When physicians from the Moose & Squirrel Medical Clinic decided to cease providing services at the Sundre hospital, AHS worked with physicians from a different clinic to ensure that the hospital remained fully covered," said Tara Jago in an email."Our government will continue to ensure that services at the hospital are fully covered and that Sundre residents have access to family doctors."Jago said the province's budget deficit contributed to recent changes in how Alberta's doctors are paid."It's not unreasonable for the government to want to manage the budget for doctors, which is 10 per cent of Alberta's entire budget," Jago said. "Our goal through this process has been simply to hold spending to current levels."A 'heartbreaking' decisionAccording to the Rural Sustainability Group, which was created to draw attention to what it calls an impending health-care crisis in Alberta's rural communities, the exodus will leave about 5,000 to 6,000 Albertans without a doctor.One of the physicians who will be ending her services at the Moose & Squirrel next spring is Dr. Carly Crewe.She has been working there for the last five years — since she started practicing medicine, Crewe said. It was where she imagined spending the entirety of her career.This made the decision especially painful."I really believe that I won't find colleagues and a culture and a staff that supports physicians … like that anywhere else when I leave. And so, it's a really, really heartbreaking decision to have to make," Crewe said."But it has come down after months of, really, my joy and my career being degraded … there has just been so much disrespect thrown our way, and I cannot remain in a province where my skills are not valued anymore."The unwilling sacrificeThe province has not been honest with the public about the changes that they are making to the healthcare system, Crewe said.Furthermore, doctors are being vilified on social media, and she is tired — of being called greedy, or money hungry.For the last two and a half months, she has been working in the Northwest Territories, and to get what she described as some "fresh air" away from Alberta."Coming to a new location … put into stark contrast how different my enjoyment for my job was — in Alberta versus somewhere else, where I was away from the government," Crewe said."I had really started to lose the love for my career in Alberta. And it's not because the medicine changed, and it's not because the patients changed."Crewe has given up a lot for her career, she said. Her family has made sacrifices, too. "I'm just not willing to really sacrifice everything I've put into becoming what I am ... to work in a province where I'm so disrespected."Escalating tensionsAfter coming to power in April 2019, the UCP signalled early on that health care — which at $20.6 billion eats up 42 per cent of the province's operating budget — would be a key target for cuts to rein in spending.Tensions between family physicians in Alberta and the provincial government escalated in February, when Health Minister Tyler Shandro unilaterally ended the Alberta government's master agreement with the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) under Bill 21, and imposed a new funding framework. The AMA, which represents the province's doctors, filed a lawsuit against the government in April, alleging Shandro's actions breached their charter rights because they were denied arbitration. The province filed a statement of defence in July that denied doctors' charter rights had been breached and accusing the doctors of "job action" for either withdrawing, or threatening to withdraw, their services.That same month, the AMA released a survey that suggested 42 per cent of the 1,740 doctors who responded are planning to leave the province.Another 87 per cent said they would alter their practices in response to the pay changes. Nearly half said they would change or withdraw services they provide to hospitals and other AHS facilities.Shandro responded to the AMA survey by threatening to publicly release the billings of individual physicians."Since Albertans should know the facts, the government is also exploring introducing physician compensation transparency, as exists for public servants in Alberta and physicians in a number of other provinces," he said in a news release at the time.'Albertans are going to suffer'The state of the relationship is so fractured that Dr. Sam Myr, who is with the Rural Sustainability Group, said she believes it will actually be difficult to recruit new doctors to replace the ones that are leaving Alberta.And in the spring, Crewe said that Bill 21 will also allow the province to tell new doctors where they must practise medicine in Alberta."In reality, what we need is some sign that [the] government is actually willing to listen to our very real concerns of how they are changing health care for the worse in this province, and how much Albertans are going to suffer," Myr said.Physicians in at least 10 communities, including Sundre, Pincher Creek and Lac La Biche, have already either withdrawn services or indicated they plan to leave.Because they are an essential service, physicians can't strike, Myr said. And because Alberta's doctors have lost the right to arbitration, the only recourse for those who want change is to leave the province, themselves."That's the only option to get out of the situation that we're in right now," Myr said.But the government attempted to challenge that, too.The final strawIn a letter written by Health Minister Tyler Shandro to the College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSA), he implored the CPSA to change its standards of practice for physicians by July 20 in an attempt to stop the province's doctors from leaving their practices en masse due to an ongoing dispute over pay."Patients in these communities," Shandro wrote, referring to rural communities, "should not have to face an entire group of physicians withdrawing services."The letter asked the CPSA to change its standards of practice for physicians, and in order to stop the province's doctors from leaving their practices en masse, or withdrawing services.This letter was the final straw for Crewe. She said that it was what prompted her resignation."I feel like [Shandro was] threatening our profession's right to self-regulation," Crewe said. "I just have no trust for what that means for this government with my profession."According to Myr, the government's actions are unconstitutional. The fallout from eroding programs, and a shortage of physicians, could take a decade or more for the province to recover from.She believes it will get worse before it gets better."It's quite terrifying to be a contractor in a situation like that, where you have absolutely no rights, and you might be able to be told exactly where to go, and that you're at fault if you leave," Myr said. "I really don't blame physicians for leaving at this point."
The University of Guelph is mourning the loss of a student, Bradley Traynor, one of four victims in a shooting in Oshawa on Friday."This is devastating news; a shocking tragedy that touches and affects us all," University of Guelph President Charlotte Yates said in a statement.Traynor was a third-year bachelor of commerce student with a major in management economics and finance at the university's Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics. The university said he was a member of its Model United Nations Club and was the club's director of financial relations. Traynor, his father Chris Traynor, and his two younger siblings, Adelaide and Joseph Traynor, were shot and killed in their Oshawa home on Friday by an "uninvited person."Durham police have identified the shooter as 48-year-old Mitchell Lapa from Winnipeg who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The homicide unit is still investigating the motive and there has been no information released on Lapa's relation to the victims. Traynor's mother, Loretta Traynor, was injured but survived. Traynor's other brother, Sam Traynor, was not home at the time of the shooting."Bradley's future was full of promise and possibilities, and our campus community is mourning this tragic loss," Yates said. "We send heartfelt sympathy to Bradley's surviving family members, to his classmates and instructors at U of G, to his friends and to the Oshawa community and all those who knew him and his family."The university says it understands this time is difficult for many members of its community, especially for people who were close with Traynor. It is reminding people who have been affected by the tragedy of the resources and support available, including: * Student Counselling Services, ext. 53244. * Multi-Faith Resource Team, ext. 58909. * Employee assistance program for faculty and staff, 1-800-265-8310. * Crisis Text Line, text "UofG" to 686868. * International Student Adviser, ext. 58698. * Good 2 Talk Help Line: 1-866-925-5454. * Here 24/7, 1-844-437-3247.
An eyewitness who snapped photos of a man using a slingshot to harass a cougar in Banff National Park likely provided key evidence that has now led to charges against a 40-year-old man from Prince Albert, Sask.According to Parks Canada, the witness provided a number of photos to wardens that were used to build a case against the accused, who's been charged with two offences under National Parks Wildlife Regulations. "Using a vehicle description and photos provided by the public, park wardens located the vehicle and arrested the individuals within," said Parks Canada in a statement to CBC News.The arrest happened approximately 25 kilometres east of where the slingshot incident was reported on May 31.Charges were laid against one person — disturbing an animal in a national park and possession of a loaded firearm outside of a vehicle in a national park, charges that are rarely laid. Parks Canada said under the regulations, a slingshot is considered a firearm.Parks Canada said the cougar was on the wrong side, or the highway side, of the wildlife fence that runs along the Trans-Canada highway near Lake Louise when a man used a slingshot and an unknown projectile to "harass" the animal.It's unclear how long the incident lasted. Parks Canada said wardens were on scene within 10 minutes of receiving the call.The Public Prosecution Service of Canada said it believes it has strong evidence against the accused."Our position is that the evidence exists to establish those things [the offences] beyond a reasonable doubt," said Tyler Lord, crown counsel for the PPSC. Charges in the public interestLord said weighing the evidence is key in assessing whether a prosecution will commence, but Lord said it's not the only consideration."The other aspect is public interest," he said."When it comes to files coming from the national park, there's very high public interest in things which might seem to be relatively minor, we take a great deal of interest in because Banff National Park is obviously very well visited, it's known internationally. And, so this kind of allegation is something that I think the public would take very seriously."It's unclear if the animal was hit or suffered any injuries. Wardens were able to coax it back into the fenced area. Parks Canada said the animal was not trapped or cornered during the incident, but it was "contained" by the wildlife fence along the highway corridor.Lord was asked if the decision to pursue charges is sending a message to people who might consider this type of behaviour in a national park."If there was a conviction and sentence in this case, that's when a message would be sent."The charges carry maximum penalties of $25,000 and $100,000. The accused is scheduled to appear in provincial court in Canmore in November.Bryan Labby is an enterprise reporter with CBC Calgary. If you have a good story idea or tip, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @CBCBryan.
Mounties say one woman is dead and another is seriously injured after two different hiking accidents along the Sigurd trail system near Squamish, B.C. RCMP say the first call came on Friday for a woman who had fallen into Crooked Falls, where she was located clinging to a log about 70 feet from a lookout point. RCMP say they worked with Squamish Search and Rescue to locate the woman, who was in her early 30s and came from Vancouver, but she had died of her injuries.
CALGARY — A central Alberta doctor says some clinics have stopped allowing patients to carry bags and backpacks since a family doctor was killed on the job last month.Dr. Walter Reynolds, a 45-year-old father of two, was attacked by a patient wielding a weapon at a walk-in clinic in Red Deer, Alta., on Aug. 10. Deng Mabiour has been charged with first-degree murder. He is to appear in court this week.Dr. Peter Bouch, who knew Reynolds, says members of the Red Deer Primary Care Network have set up a committee to work with Alberta Health Services and Occupational Health and Safety in an effort to make clinics safer.Some clinics, he says, are already asking patients to leave their bags at the front desk and, going forward, there need to be standards for how to manage difficult patients who might be demanding, aggressive or suffering from mental illness."There's no way we can completely stop an event like what happened," Bouch told The Canadian Press. "Even though this was a rare thing physicians and their staff are vulnerable every single day."Bouch said the committee is to met with professionals that have expertise in workplace safety. He hopes there will be a list of general recommendations within the next six months.The president of the Alberta Medical Association says Reynolds's death highlights the need for changes to make the profession safer across Canada."The horrific attack on Dr. Reynolds has highlighted the issue of safety in physician offices and other practice settings. It's essential that physicians, staff and patients are safeguarded. This is a large and complex issue that no single party can address on their own," said Dr. Christine Molnar, a diagnostic radiologist and nuclear medicine specialist based in Calgary.Molnar said the medical body's healthy working environments advisory committee will discuss whether there's an expanded role for the association in the area of safety and workplace violence.She said it's not just a problem in Alberta."I have been speaking with the Canadian Medical Association and my counterparts at the provincial and territorial medical associations and there are concerns on a pan-Canadian basis regarding everything from physical security to psycho-social safety."Alberta's health minister has called Reynolds's death a terrible loss. But Tyler Shandro stopped short of saying anything would be done by the government."Family physicians are part of the front line of health care. They put themselves at the service of every patient in need, but that should never mean being exposed to violence," Shandro said in an email."The RCMP have confirmed this was an isolated incident and indicates no increased risk to the people of Red Deer."Shandro suggests physicians or others with concerns about their security should contact the RCMP's victim services division.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2020— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
Diane Costello's dying wish is to see her parents who live in Michigan, but COVID-19 restrictions are keeping them from reuniting. "It would mean the world to me, this will be the last time I ever see them," she said from her hospice room in Windsor. Two years ago, Diane was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and in March she was told that there were no other options because treatment had stopped working, her daughter Shayla confirmed to CBC News. Unsure of how much time she has left, Diane said she just wants to be able to see her American parents — Marolyn Hotchkiss, 77, and Norman Hotchkiss, 80 — who haven't visited her in person for six months. Under the Quarantine Act, the federal government has made it mandatory for anyone crossing the border to self-isolate for 14 days to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. But Diane's parents have their own health concerns, which prevent them from quarantining without medical treatment for two weeks once they cross the border. Shayla and Diane have been pleading with local government officials, including the region's MP Brian Masse and MP Irek Kusmierczyk, to grant their family and exemption from the order. Kusmierczyk has brought the matter to federal Minister of Health Patty Hajdu's office. "It's heartbreaking," Shayla, 22, said. "It's not just us whose in [this] situation and like my mom said, it's her wish, it's her parents … it's so hard just to be here alone … we've been trying and we're not going to give up."Government not making exceptions for 'compassionate reasons' In an email to CBC News, the federal government said while they cannot directly comment on Shayla and Diane's situation, they "recognize the challenges this pandemic and temporary border measures have posed for families and [the government] has sought ways to keep families together and support family unity while respecting measured public health controls."The statement continues to read that the federal order under the Quarantine Act "requires anyone entering Canada, unless exempt, to isolate for 14 days if they have symptoms of COVID-19, or to quarantine (self-isolate) themselves for 14 days if they are asymptomatic in order to limit the introduction and spread of COVID-19.Under this order, there are currently no exemptions for compassionate reasons, such as visiting critically ill loved ones in hospitals/long-term care facilities, or the attendance of funerals."'I just want to see my parents'While Shayla and Diane understand the federal order, they don't know how much longer Diane has to live and said they are willing to do anything to bring their family members over. "Please I don't care who has to do it, I just want to see my parents ... that's all I want, even just a five minute visit," Diane said through tears. "When I need them now the most, they can't come." Though they've been able to do video calls, Diane said nothing compares to an in-person visit. Shayla said she wants to make this happen, even if it's a window visit, just so that "my mom can hear their voice and hear their laugh, just [to] bring some normalcy back in our life." Despite all the Costellos have faced over the past two years, they said they remain positive that a miracle will happen and have felt the support from many people across Windsor and Michigan.
Demonstrators took to the streets of Halifax on Monday to demand paid sick days for all workers in Nova Scotia.Hailie Tattrie, an organizer with Fight for $15 and Fairness Halifax, says they're fighting for 10 paid sick days a year."We believe that everybody deserves 10 paid sick days. If you're sick, you're sick. You can't go into work," said Tattrie."Folks shouldn't have to be deciding about paying bills or going into work sick, and I think that's especially relevant now during a global pandemic."The Nova Scotia government doesn't require employers to give their staff paid sick leave, so sick leaves are often based on contracts or collective agreements.Tattrie said that leaves a gap for people like grocery store workers or those in the service industry, who would need to miss a day's wages if they call in sick.She noted that many of these non-unionized, low-wage workers have been working throughout the pandemic to provide essential services to the public."These essential workers, they stepped up for us during the pandemic, and now it's time for us to step up for them and fight for what they deserve," said Tattrie.While COVID-19 "truly highlighted this need" for paid sick days, Tattrie said it's a fight that needs to last beyond the pandemic.She said the 10 days should also cover caregivers, such as parents who need to stay home and care for sick children.Federal program 'clunky'Mark Culligan, another organizer with Fight for $15, said they're calling specifically for employer-paid sick days, not the new sick leave benefit recently announced by the federal government.Culligan described the Canada recovery sickness benefit, which begins at the end of the month, as "clunky." It requires workers to miss 60 per cent of their scheduled work in the week that they claim the benefit, and it only covers workers who must miss work for reasons related to COVID-19."The other big problem with the program is that it's temporary. It's only going to last for a year," said Culligan. "We think this is a long-term problem that requires a permanent solution."He said mandating paid sick days is "the only way that we're going to prevent workers from showing up sick."The rally also called for better protections for migrant workers. Since the pandemic began, many migrant workers in Canada have gotten sick from COVID-19 and at least three have died.Stacey Gomez, a member of the Halifax-based group No One Is Illegal, said some do not qualify for subsidies like the federal government's emergency response benefit. "This is what inequality looks like," she said.Gomez called for permanent immigration status for all migrant workers.NDP plans to introduce legislationKendra Coombes, the MLA for Cape Breton Centre and NDP labour spokesperson, said people without paid sick leave are forced to choose between staying home and missing a day's worth of pay, or going to work sick and potentially spreading an illness."That is an unfair, unattainable position that we put workers in every day," she said. "And it is necessary that it is enshrined in the labour codes to ensure all workers have that right."The NDP plans to introduce legislation for 10 paid sick leave days this fall."COVID-19 is not [the only] issue," said Coombes. "We're going to have influenzas, and potentially other pandemics, so we need to be ready, and we need to be allowing our workers to be safe."Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil has previously said that he doesn't believe government should impose paid sick days."I'll let the employers and their representatives come to determine what benefits they want," he said in early March.MORE TOP STORIES
The Nunavut Employees Union is criticizing the Government of Nunavut for mandating its public servants use their annual leave to quarantine for two weeks before returning to Nunavut. In a letter to sent to members and posted online last week, union president Bill Fennell called the decision a "slap in the face" for public servants, and said the government isn't consistent about who has to isolate and who doesn't."The NEU supports mandatory quarantine," Fennell writes. "We also support consistency and fairness."Fennell said he is calling on the territorial government to change the policy, which he said "arbitrarily [forces] their indeterminate employees to use their annual leave to cover time spent in the hubs while allowing others to skip quarantine completely."Any residents coming back to Nunavut who are not considered essential workers are required to quarantine in certain hotels contracted for this purpose by the territory. Essential workers are not required to isolate when coming into Nunavut. They are required to physically distance and stay where they are living when not working. As of Aug. 28, 2,462 essential worker travel requests had been approved by the Department of Health.Politicians are also allowed to skip the hotel quarantines for work travel.As of late August, the territory has spent over $31 million to quarantine residents, including medical travellers, and non-resident construction workers. Human Resources says policy won't changeThe government of Nunavut said it will not be responding to the union's letter. "The NEU hosts its own website and is able to post whatever it wants. The [territorial government] does not respond to website postings," Sheila Kolola, deputy minister for the Department of Human Resources, said in an emailed statement. The department said employees are allowed to ask their managers in advance to work remotely from the isolation hotels. "If approved, they will be expected to work their regular hours and will not need to take annual leave or leave without pay," Kolola said. Staff can choose to take leave without pay to quarantine, she said."For as long as the isolation sites are in place, [government] employees who voluntarily travel outside of Nunavut will also need to request annual leave for the time spent in isolation sites, or request approval from their department to work remotely while in the isolation site," she said. This policy has been communicated with employees since isolation sites were put in place by the chief public health officer, she said. Fennell said government workers began making complaints about the policy back in March. At that time, Nunavut public servants who could work remotely did work from home during spring COVID-19 shut downs but have been back to work since June. "They were able to work from home there, but now they're not — what changed?" Fennell said to CBC.Union asks for 'a break' for indeterminate health workers Fennell said some health-care staff are threatening to quit. He says health staff worked long hours at the beginning of the pandemic and now they deserve a break. "Nurses are needed all over this country and they're not being treated this way anywhere else," he said. "I know some health-care professionals have left the territory just because of the injustice." Fennell said it is unrealistic to ask everyone to stay in the territory, and that people who do leave shouldn't be penalized. He said workers could be using time in lieu or special leave to cover quarantine. "The GN employees who are forced to quarantine and use their annual leave to do so are the same people who have chosen to make Nunavut their home and contribute to our communities and economy," he said.Fennell said he hopes the policy will change, but from what he's been told, it's a "non-issue" for the government.In Nunavut, public servants start off with three weeks of vacation for the first two years in their jobs. "To use their annual leave it's just not fair when others are waltzing right through and not even stopping at the hub," Fennell said. The issue is not covered by the collective agreement, Fennell said.
Dominique Boucher has watched her friend's health decline in recent years, feeling helpless as she watched her suffer through several dialysis treatments each week.But instead of letting that feeling of helplessness get her down, Boucher started researching kidney transplants and realized there was a way to give her friend a new lease on life."At first, my goal was to donate a kidney to my friend, but unfortunately we are not compatible," said Boucher.Then she discovered the Kidney Paired Donation Program which has matched more than 500 Canadians with compatible donors since 2009.The Kidney Paired Donation Program matches living donors and recipients across the country. The program is run by Canadian Blood Services in collaboration with kidney transplant centres across Canada."I donate a kidney to a stranger," said Boucher, who is from Quebec's Mauricie region. "I will never know to whom I donated a kidney, because it remains confidential, but the same day that I am going to be operated on, there is also a stranger who will donate a kidney to my friend."Undeterred by risksBoucher said her children and extended family are worried about how the decision will impact her own health and quality of life. There are short-term and possible long-term challenges that come with donating a kidney, ranging from risk of infection to diabetes.But Boucher is undeterred."The day she receives her kidney, her life will change drastically," she said. "Considering that the only thing I'm going to have to do is avoid the salt shaker and stop taking Advil, it's well worth the risk."Her spouse, Pierre Plourde, will be by her side every step of the way."I will be the driver, her nurse, her first responder," Plourde said."Dominique is someone who thinks a lot, and analyzes a lot before making decisions. She has strong passions and values."Giving her kidney falls in line with those values, Plourde said, and there was never any doubt that she would do this for a friend.Encouraging others to giveBoucher will soon be heading to Toronto to undergo the operation. She told Radio-Canada her story with hopes that others will at least become organ donors.In Quebec, you can register as an organ and tissue donor with the Registre des consentements au don d'organes et de tissus or affix a signed sticker to the back of your health insurance card.Quebec public health says each donation may save up to eight lives and help 20 people improve their quality of life. It is also possible to donate a kidney or a portion of the liver through Transplant Québec programs.However, Boucher said, the more people who register as organ donors when they die, fewer living people will need to donate their kidneys to loved ones.Now that the surgery is fast approaching, Boucher has no plans to back down."When you've been working on something for a year and a half, it's like the grand finale, she said. "I am more excited than I am stressed."
Bridlewood School, St. Angela School and Lester B. Pearson High School in Calgary, as well as Raymond High School in Raymond and Lawrence Grassi Middle School in Canmore, have all reported in letters to parents that a case of COVID-19 has been diagnosed.In a statement, Alberta Health Services said they were working directly with the schools to limit risk of spread."This includes assessing the [classroom] setting, and identifying and assessing the close contacts of the case," the statement reads. "Any individual considered exposed to this case will be contacted directly by Alberta Health Services."Infection prevention control measures (physical distancing, masking, hand hygiene, environmental cleaning) have also been reviewed with the school."AHS said that a single case in a school population is not considered an outbreak, so no case-specific details will be shared.All five facilities will remain open to in-person learning as the schools work closely with AHS to "ensure necessary measures are in place to protect all students."The five facilities are the latest to report cases of COVID-19 since reopening last week. A case was also confirmed at Bowness High School earlier this week.Calgary had 638 active COVID-19 cases as of Friday. Cases were also reported at Canyon Meadows School in Calgary and Meadow Ridge School in Okotoks before classes resumed last week. Premier Jason Kenney said last week that his government has accepted that such infections are inevitable and don't warrant closing down all classrooms.Similarly, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, said there was no perfect way for the province to relaunch — and no matter the levels of protection implemented, some cases will occur."We'll continue to watch, because we all continue to learn through COVID. We will take the learnings and put them into our models and our guidance moving forward," she said in an interview with CBC News last week.
A windstorm knocked out power to thousands of homes in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island on Monday afternoon.As of 3 p.m. PT, about 3,600 customers had lost power in Langley, Maple Ridge and Abbotsford, and another 4,200 were in the dark on Vancouver Island, according to BC Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott."We have seen a number of trees and branches come down on our wires and in some cases we do have wires down," Scott told CBC."Crews are working hard right now to make the necessary repairs and we hope to have everyone's power up as quickly and safely as we can."Fallen trees and power lines also closed a section of Highway 7 between Mission and Maple Ridge on Monday afternoon.An Environment Canada special weather statement remains in effect for parts of Metro Vancouver, including Surrey, Langley, Richmond and Delta, as well as the southern Gulf Islands, greater Victoria and east Vancouver Island, as gusts of 50-70 km/h are expected into the evening.
After years of court battles, the city is enacting a new set of regulations this week that will only allow people to rent out their primary residence on short-term rental sites.It's a move to ensure that homes, condos and apartments aren't funnelled off into the short-term rental market as investment properties, instead of being available for Torontnians to rent long-term. The rules, which come into effect Thursday, bring hope some in Toronto's challenging rental market. "We've been waiting for this since December 2017," said Thorben Wieditz, with FairBnb Canada, a coalition of hotel workers and housing advocates. "This could eliminate all the ghost hotel operators that have stockpiled investment properties and run them as exclusive Airbnb units."Starting Thursday, anyone wanting to rent out their entire primary residence, or up to three rooms in their primary residence, must register their short-term rental with the city.From there, they'll be issued a unique number, which is now mandatory for advertising your home on any short-term rental site, from Airbnb to Hotels.com. A short-term rental is defined as a property listed for less than 28 consecutive days. Without that number, Airbnb policy director Alex Dagg says people won't be able to place their property on the site. "Part of the requirement for us as a platform is to provide data to the City of Toronto," Dagg said. Fines range from $300 to $1,000Exactly what format that data will take hasn't been figured out yet. People have until December 31 to register their home with the city. There's a yearly fee of $50 and it's up to the city, not the individual rental platforms, to enforce the new regulations. In theory, someone could list two properties under the same registration ID, but because of the data that the city will be getting from these rental platforms, Carleton Grant, Toronto's executive director of municipal licensing and standards, says they will eventually be caught and fined. "It's going to give us a number of tools to allow us to enforce and know who is participating within the rules and who isn't — and it's going to allow us to go after them" said Grant. "There are five different fine amounts, they range for $300 to $1,000," said Grant, adding that offenders could also be removed from the rental sites. 'We need to hold the company accountable'Although Wieditz believes Toronto's new short-term rental rules are some of the strictest out there he thinks companies like Airbnb should do more to enforce them.But even though Toronto is responsible for catching offenders based on the data city officials are provided from hosting sites, he said it shouldn't solely be left up to the city. "We know that in many cities across North America and Europe, Airbnb has done very little to help municipalities enforce local bylaws and rule," said Wieditz."We need to hold the company accountable." When the COVID-19 pandemic hit back in March, it exposed another layer of Toronto's extensive and problematic short-term rental market.With travel halted, many of the condos that were listed as short-term rentals weren't making a profit so they became available as long-term properties. "The Ice Condos for example, there's an unusually high number of furnished rentals now available to long-term tenants and this is definitely something that is a result of the pandemic," said Wieditz. Wieditz says that by December, when the grace period is over and registration numbers are mandatory on short-term rental sites, more properties will either hit the long-term market or go up for sale. "Looking at the data, there are over 7,000 homes that are currently advertised that are not going to be legal under the city's bylaws and regulations," said Wieditz. When San Francisco implemented similar rules, Wieditz says, Airbnb lost over half of its inventory overnight. In addition to the $50 yearly registration fee, short-term rental operators will have to start collecting and remitting a four per cent Municipal Accommodation Tax on a quarterly basis starting in the new year.More information on exactly how that will work is expected this fall.
Students in Ontario will begin returning to the classroom in person today for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This fall, boards will offer a mix of in-person classes and online learning for students who opt to stay home. Last month, Education Minister Stephen Lecce gave boards permission to stagger school reopenings if they required more time to put pandemic safety protocols in place.
OTTAWA — Canada's chief public health doctor says a slow but steady increase in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 is a cause for concern.Dr. Theresa Tam says today the average daily number of people testing positive over the last week is 545 — a 25 per cent increase over the previous week which saw a daily average of 435, and 390 a week before that.That number increased every day over the last week prompting Tam to remind Canadians not to get complacent about their risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.Overall, in the last week, 3,955 people tested positive across Canada, and 28 people died of COVID-19.That compares to 3,044 positive tests and 44 deaths in the week prior.Tam says most Canadians are following public health advice and that has allowed Canada to keep the COVID-19 pandemic "under manageable control" but says she is concerned about the uptick in positive cases."This is a concern and a reminder that we all need to maintain public health measures to keep COVID-19 on the slow-burn path that we need," she said in a statement."As we enter the fall, Canadians will need to be even more vigilant about following public health guidance, particularly as the cold weather shifts activities indoors."She said people need to assess both their personal risk if they contract COVID-19, and the risk of severe illness in people in their household or their COVID-19 bubble.Any event people want to attend should be assessed to determine what COVID-19 precautions are in place and if the event can allow for social distancing or the use of masks, she added.As of today, 131,895 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Canada, and 9,145 people have died. Almost nine in 10 people diagnosed with COVID-19 have recovered.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2020.The Canadian Press
Schools are welcoming students back to class on P.E.I. for the first time since March.Here is a FAQ for parents and students about the return to school.P.E.I. confirmed four new positive COVID-19 cases Monday.The Chief Public Health Office said there will be more updates on travel related to the cases at a news briefing on Tuesday.There was another case of COVID-19 confirmed on the Island Friday, which was a man in his late teens who arrived following international travel.That news came after two other cases were confirmed during routine testing of self-isolating essential workers on Thursday. The workers had travelled to the province from another country.P.E.I. has confirmed a total of 51 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with no deaths or hospitalizations. There are seven active cases on the Island.Students and staff at UPEI will be required to wear non-medical masks in campus buildings.Many students at Summerside Intermediate School won't have to worry about buying non-medical masks for the first day of class. A local business organization donated hundreds of masks to the school.Masks will be required when students get on the bus. Bus drivers have extras to hand out to students who may have forgotten theirs. Additional cleaning protocols have also been put in place.Also in the newsFurther resourcesMore COVID-19 stories from CBC P.E.I.
After being out of school for months due to COVID-19, students in Durham Region head back to school on Tuesday. Morganne Campbell has the latest.