Canadians continue to hear about the importance of getting the influenza vaccine this year as the healthcare system prepares to tackle COVID-19, the flu and other respiratory viruses, but everyone should consider getting the vaccination as soon as possible.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — An asteroid the size of a school bus is headed our way, but NASA says the space rock will zoom safely past Earth on Thursday.The newly discovered asteroid will come within 13,000 miles (22,000 kilometres) of Earth, well below many of the communications satellites orbiting the planet, scientists said this week. The closest approach will occur Thursday morning over the southeastern Pacific Ocean.Once it’s gone, the asteroid won’t be back to Earth's neighbourhood until 2041.Scientists estimate the asteroid is between 15 feet and 30 feet (4.5 metres to 9 metres). By asteroid standards, that’s considered puny. Asteroids of this size hit Earth’s atmosphere and burn up once every year or two, said Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. There could be as many as 100 million of these little asteroids out there.The real threat are considerably bigger asteroids. The good news is that these are easier to spot much sooner than just a few days out.Asteroid 2020 SW, as it is known, was discovered last Friday by the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona in Tucson.___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
Ontario's education minister says he's considering shortening the list of COVID-19 symptoms that require kids to stay home from school — shortly after British Columbia announced it's doing the same. Stephen Lecce says he's working with the province's medical officials to consider possible changes to the list, which right now includes sore throat, nasal congestion and abdominal pain. Those three symptoms are among the 10 that B.C. opted to remove from its checklist, "given the very low probability of these symptoms by themselves indicating COVID," the ministry said in an emailed statement.The British Columbia health ministry also says since the symptoms are "very common" in kids, "there are concerns that it would unnecessarily exclude children." Ontario's school reopening plan requires parents to screen their children for a list of COVID-19 symptoms and keep them home if they display signs of the novel coronavirus.They're allowed to return to class when they no longer display symptoms.'Conservative approach' best, says doctorTwo experts contacted by CBC Toronto expressed concern about making any changes to Ontario's list at this point, given the province's recent increase in cases. "Because the community transmission issues have not been resolved we are going to see more cases in schools," said Prachi Srivastava, an associate professor in global education at Western University. Srivastava says schools need to do everything they can to keep COVID-19 out, given that some of the major ways to reduce transmission — like substantially reducing classroom sizes and doing thorough updates to ventilation systems — haven't happened. Dr. Dina Kulik, a pediatrician and emergency room physician, agrees it's not the right time to revisit the symptom list. "I personally believe that as we see rising numbers, the conservative approach is the better way to go," she said. "We do know that COVID-19 can present with just a runny nose in kids." So far this fall, there have been 180 COVID-19 cases in Ontario schools, 77 of which are students. Two schools have had to close due to outbreaks. A recent analysis by CBC News of Canadian COVID-19 cases shows that runny nose, cough and sore throat are among the most common symptoms in people under the age of 19. 'Clear guideline' for parents would be helpfulBut Kulik does say there is room for improvement when it comes to communication around which kids should get tested or stay home, and for how long. "I think people would appreciate having a clear guideline where there wouldn't be any ambiguity," she said.Kulik described speaking with parents who have been confused by shifting or unclear rules, giving the example of two families who had their kids tested on the same day.One was told by the tester that if the result was negative, the child could return to school the next day, the other was told that they would have to stay home for two weeks. Ottawa parent Cameron Grant has direct experience with that kind of confusion.This past weekend, he took his three-year-old son to get tested for COVID-19 after the boy developed a runny nose. His son's test returned negative and he went back to school on Monday.But, while at school, his nose started running again — and Grant was called in to pick him up based on advice from Ottawa Public Health.The confusion came when Grant read another set of rules — ones posted to the school door — which indicated that the child should only be sent home again if new symptoms develop. "It's not a new symptom if [he has] a runny nose," said Grant."If they're being kept out of school when we know they don't have COVID-19 that might not be a good use of parents' time." "I don't know about getting rid of it as a symptom. I'll leave that to the doctors," he continued."But I'd say there's definitely a little more nuance to it available."
The mountains have been sprinkled with gold as larch season arrives in Alberta.Already the trails are busy with hikers making their fall pilgrimage to see the autumn colours, but some trails may be too crowded to ensure physical distancing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Larch Valley is such a popular trail that hikers can't get a parking spot after 6:15 a.m.However, there are plenty of trails not as well known that might be less busy, so Friends of Kananaskis Country lists 33 hikes that include larch sightings.Derek Ryder, co-chair of the Friends of Kananaskis Country, told the Calgary Eyeopener some of his favourite spots. The list includes some recommendations from Calgarians."Larches are all over. They literally can be found all the way from Bow path to all the way down into Waterton, if you know where to look," said Ryder.Kananaskis CountryFor the most part, Ryder says, anywhere near Highwood Pass has a great view of larches. * Buller Pass: 20.4-km hike, in Kananaskis Country. * Burstall Pass Trail: 16.4-km hike, in Kananaskis Country. * Chester Lake up to Three Lakes Valley: 15.3-km hike, in Kananaskis Country. * Mount Allan via Centennial Ridge: 15.6-km hike, in Kananaskis Country, visible from Highway 40. * Rummel Lake Trail: 12.4-km hike, located near Canmore. * Sparrowhawk Tarns: 11.6-km hike, in Kananaskis Country, one of Ryder's personal favourites.Banff National Park * Arnica Lake Trail: 9.2-km hike, located near Banff. * Boom Lake: 10.6-km hike, located near Lake Louise. * Egypt Lake Trail: 24.3-km hike, located near Banff. * Taylor Lake: 14-km hike, located near Lake Louise.Other favourite spots in Alberta * David Thompson Country: located in West Central Alberta, just north of Calgary. * Lower Rowe Lake: 12.9-km hike, located in Waterton Lakes National Park. Larches in your communityOne thing about larches is that after they turn gold, their needles fall off only a few weeks later.Ryder says they should all be gone by Oct. 5, so if you can't escape to the mountains, check out these spots in Calgary.To help you along, here's an interactive map of every larch on public property in the city:(Tree location data via the City of Calgary's open data catalogue.)As you can see, some spots in the city are more heavily treed than others.But there are plenty to explore.If you'd prefer to know what you're getting into before you go, here are a few of our recommendations. * Baker Park: Along the Bow River in northwest Calgary are several rows of mature larches. You'll find another dozen or so if you wander slightly to the west, and then a few more if you loop back to the main lot via the Bow River Pathway. * Crowfoot Park: If you're visiting the Crowfoot Library or Robert Thirsk High School, look just to the north and you'll see a few stands of larches. * Coventry Hills: The kilometre-long pathway that runs between Coventry Hills Way N.E. and Coventry Drive N.E. is flanked on the west side by a long row of larches. * North Glenmore Park: Numerous larches are spread throughout this green space on the north shore of the Glenmore Reservoir.Have you been out larch hunting? Share your photos in the comments below!With files from Robson Fletcher and the Calgary Eyeopener.
Some parents are fuming over rules requiring toddlers to wear masks on airplanes — after they were turfed from flights in Canada and the United States, thanks to their non-compliant two-year-olds."It's foolishness," said Aaron Munn, who was kicked off a WestJet flight on Aug. 24 when his two-year-old son, Emmett, refused to mask-up. Transport Canada mandates that air passengers aged two and older wear face coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The policy aligns with recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but is stricter than similar regulations in the European Union and other countries.Despite Canada's rules, Emmett wasn't interested in donning a mask when he and his dad boarded their flight from Fredericton to Toronto."As soon as it went to his face, he was screaming and ripping it off," said Munn, who lives in Holtville, N.B. "He just lost it."Munn and Emmett were travelling to Toronto to reunite with his wife, Carolyn, and another son, seven-month-old Josiah, who's sick and awaiting a heart transplant in the city.But due to Emmett's refusal to wear a mask, WestJet told the pair to leave the plane. In an email to CBC News, WestJet called the situation "regrettable" but said that it's obligated to follow Transport Canada regulations.Munn argues the regulations don't add up. "Whoever made this law, give them a case of face masks and send them to a daycare and see how successful he is. It's unrealistic."Transport Canada told CBC News in an email that it introduced its mask-wearing rules to protect air passengers from COVID-19. Department spokesperson Frédérica Dupuis said the regulations allow for "some flexibility" in that airlines can exempt passengers with "special circumstances" from wearing a mask, if warranted. People who can't wear a mask for medical reasons are also exempt if they supply documentation. But Transport Canada's regulations don't state specifically that misbehaving toddlers can get a reprieve — allowing airlines to make their refusal to wear a mask grounds for removal. U.S. airline rules anger parentsSeveral parents in the U.S. are also speaking out in protest after they were removed from flights when their two-year-olds refused to wear a mask. Most major U.S. airlines mandate that passengers aged two and older wear face coverings. Tiffani Jett said in an interview that she was forced off a Southwest Airlines flight departing from Nashville for Orlando, Fla., on Sept. 13, after her two-year-old declined to wear a mask at the request of a flight attendant. "To kick a mother and her child off a plane is very heartless," said Jett, who lives in Orlando. "There just needs to be more compassion, understanding, empathy."She had flown to Nashville to visit her mother and said that on the outbound flight, the air crew was fine with her daughter not wearing a mask. Southwest Airlines declined to comment on Jett's case but said its mask policy is a protective measure that follows current recommendations from the CDC in the U.S.The CDC confirmed it recommends that children who are two and older wear masks in public, but it said it also recognizes that younger children may not be able to wear one properly, particularly for a lengthy period.Other countries mandate masks for older childrenMany other Western countries mandate mask-wearing for children starting at a much older age. For example, England requires masks for air passengers aged 11 and older. New Zealand, which has been commended for its handling of the coronavirus, sets the age at 12 for air travel. The European Union requires that children aged six and older wear a mask on airplanes and said it based the rule on World Health Organization recommendations. The WHO recommends that children younger than age six not wear masks due to challenges with compliance and wearing them correctly. The organization also said that research so far suggests that younger children are less likely to spread the virus.WATCH | WestJet's CEO explains why the airline is cracking down on unmasked passengersTransport Canada said it based its mask-wearing rules on recommendations from the CDC and the Public Health Agency of Canada. The agency told CBC News that research demonstrates children aged two and older can be taught how to wear a face covering.What happened to the passengers?After Munn and his son Emmett were kicked off their WestJet flight, Munn paid more than $1,000 to rebook them on a flight that same day with Air Canada. He said Air Canada didn't require Emmett to wear a face mask. The airline declined to comment except to say that it follows Transport Canada regulations.WestJet didn't offer Munn a refund for his tickets, which were paid for by a charity providing financial support to families with children in need of organ transplants.The airline said it offered to rebook Munn and his son on the next available flight the following day, but that didn't fit with the family's schedule. WestJet declined to say what action it would have taken if Munn had accepted the offer, and Emmett once again refused to wear a mask on the flight.In Tiffani Jett's case, she said Southwest Airlines rebooked her on a later flight, and this time her daughter managed to wear a mask — at least for parts of the trip.Jett said she hopes airlines relax their mask-wearing policy for toddlers — the same way they have relaxed the rules by allowing passengers to remove their masks while eating. "There's flexibility around eating snacks and drinking juice, but there's not flexibility with a two-year-old that is just having a moment."
OTTAWA — Montreal lawyer Meryam Haddad has appealed her expulsion from the Green party leadership contest and is expecting to find out tonight if she will be let back in.A spokesperson for Haddad's campaign said the appeal was filed this afternoon and the party's leadership committee is to make a decision this evening.Haddad said she was informed Tuesday afternoon that the party was taking her off the ballot, citing violations of the party's code of conduct."I truly hope the Green party reconsiders for the sake of the members and democracy," she said in a tweet.The decision comes just days before electronic voting begins for the party to choose its next leader.Almost 35,000 people are signed up to vote in the contest, with the winner to be announced in Ottawa Oct. 3. Electronic voting begins Sept. 26. Fewer than 300 members requested a mail-in ballot, leaving the rest to cast their vote electronically.Haddad is the second Green candidate to be expelled from the race. In June, Montreal environmental activist Dylan Perceval-Maxwell was forced out after he made a comment during a virtual debate that police should have to pay $20 to every person of colour they stop, as compensation for the trauma and as an incentive for police to think twice about why they are stopping someone.Haddad was among those who complained about the comment, and in that debate called it "super racist."Nova Scotia veteran Judy Green withdrew herself from the contest in August and endorsed British Columbia lawyer David Merner.Without Haddad, seven people remain in contention for the Green leadership. Haddad says she believes the decision to remove her is motivated by fear her campaign has been upsetting the "status quo.""This is not the first time the (Green Party of Canada) establishment has attacked our movement or myself personally," Haddad said.She noted that former leader Elizabeth May, who remains a strong force within the party as an MP and parliamentary leader, recently retweeted a comment slamming Haddad after she threw her support in the B.C. provincial election to the new B.C. Ecosocialists party, over both the provincial NDP and Green party.May retweeted a tweet accusing Haddad of "stabbing your provincial cousins in the back" and saying Haddad did not "deserve to be leader of anything."In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, May said she shared the wrong tweet in that case and doesn't intend to take a position on any of the candidates to succeed her.But she said she stands behind the sentiment that federal Greens need to back their provincial cousins.A party spokeswoman says there will be no further comment until after Haddad's appeal is heard.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2020.Mia Rabson, The Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had incorrect spellings of Meryam Haddad's last name.
CALGARY — More than a hundred staff are isolating as a busy Calgary hospital confirmed 26 cases of COVID-19.Alberta Health Services says the infections include 17 patients and nine staff at the Foothills Medical Centre. The cases are in two cardiac care units and one general medicine unit and the health agency has said it does not appear that they are connected. Three deaths have been linked to the outbreaks. Officials say 114 staff are in isolation and the hospital is using overtime and reassignment to cover shifts. Alberta reported 143 new daily infections in its latest update and says there are 1,520 active infections. Fifty-nine people are in hospital and 13 are in intensive care. A total of 260 Albertans have died from COVID-19. At the Foothills hospital, visitors are only being allowed for end-of-life situations or if they have been pre-approved as essential. There are temperature checks at all entrances and students and volunteers are not allowed on the affected units. The hospital has set up multiple swabbing sites and staff and patients in the affected units are being screened for symptoms twice daily. "At this time all of the services usually offered at FMC continue to be provided," the agency said in a statement Wednesday."We are working hard to ensure the availability of specialized and staff physicians to continue to provide these services."The agency says the hospital remains a safe place to visit and receive care, as any COVID-positive or symptomatic patient is being isolated and treated in designated rooms. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2020.The Canadian Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A wild brown bear tunneled under perimeter fencing and killed a popular alpaca at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, officials said Wednesday. It was killed a day later by wildlife officials.The bear had been hanging around the zoo, knocking over trash bins and breaking bear-proof latches before it got under the fence early Sunday when the facility was closed to the public.“It went through the zoo and killed our older male alpaca, Caesar,” executive director Patrick Lampi said. “He was a crowd favourite.”He said the 16-year-old alpaca had arrived at the zoo when he was a year old.Caesar’s companion, a younger alpaca named Fuzzy Charlie, escaped and was found unharmed.Alaska Fish and Game officials helped search the zoo for the bear after it killed Caesar. They used forward-looking infrared scopes, but the bear had left the zoo.“We made sure that all of our animals were where they belong, all our bears were still in their enclosure and our tigers and all the other animals were unharmed,” Lampi said.Fish and Game officials set up cameras to watch for the bear to return. It was killed the second time it came back.Lampi said everyone was sorry the bear had to be put down.“It was kind of a bizarre incident,” he said.The zoo is located near the foothills of the Chugach Mountains.“There are occasionally bears in the area but they are usually not a problem,” Lampi said. “This one just had developed some bad habits.”This isn't the first time a bear has tunneled into the Alaska Zoo, but the outcome of the incident about 20 years ago ended a little differently. Lampi said that bear was captured and relocated to a zoo in Duluth, Minnesota.Mark Thiessen, The Associated Press
A high school in Coxheath, N.S., has ended a tradition spanning nearly 50 years by rebranding its sports teams.Officials at Riverview Rural High announced last year they would drop the name Redmen and begin the search for a team name more culturally respectful toward Indigenous people.The school said this week that more than 900 students had voted in favour of the Ravens.School principal Joe Chisholm told CBC Cape Breton's Mainstreet that more than 100 names were submitted for consideration, including the Rats and the Rascals, but the final vote came down to a choice between Fusion and the Ravens.Chisholm said the new name is more appropriate."With what's going on in the United States and Canada, and around the world, everybody seems to be taking this to heart and understanding that it's the way we should be going," said Chisholm.The move comes as several professional sports teams have come under intense pressure to drop Indigenous nicknames, logos and mascots on the grounds that they're offensive.Edmonton's CFL team said this summer it will discontinue the use of the word Eskimo in the team's name. Washington's NFL team said it would drop the name Redskins and its logo featuring the head of a Native American.Officials with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education said Redmen was originally chosen because of the school colours, and did not refer to Indigenous people.Allison Bernard, of Eskasoni First Nation, attended Riverview and played hockey for the school in the 1980s.He said he didn't give the name much thought at the time, because he was just a young kid and people weren't as "outspoken" about racism as they are now.But Bernard, who now works with the Mikmaq Rights Initiative, and has spoken to students at Riverview about treaty rights, said there's much more recognition now about the hurt such names can carry.He said he senses a willingness, especially among younger people, to acknowledge that."Students are more compassionate these days, the younger generation," said Bernard. "They know, through social media and education, that Aboriginal Canadians have gone through a lot. And they understand our plight."Chisholm said students were involved in the rebranding, from voting on the name to helping design the new logo. The school will retain its traditional colours of red and white.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Anger, frustration and sadness over the decision not to charge Kentucky police officers for Breonna Taylor’s death poured into America’s streets as protesters lashed out at a criminal justice system they say is stacked against Black people. Violence seized the demonstrations in her hometown of Louisville as gunfire rang out and wounded two police officers.Activists, celebrities and everyday Americans have been calling for charges since Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by white officers who entered her home during a narcotics investigation in March. While the officers had a no-knock warrant, the investigation showed they announced themselves before entering, said state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican and the state’s first Black top prosecutor.A grand jury returned three charges of wanton endangerment Wednesday against fired Officer Brett Hankison over shooting into a home next to Taylor’s with people inside.Hundreds of demonstrators chanted Taylor’s name and marched in cities like New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Las Vegas. People gathered in downtown Chicago's Millennium Park, chanting demands for justice as passing drivers on Michigan Avenue honked their horns. Authorities unleashed chemical agents on some protesters after they tried to climb on a SWAT vehicle in Atlanta and others were arrested.While protests in Louisville had been largely peaceful, scuffles broke out between police and protesters and some people were arrested before the two officers were shot while investigating reports of gunfire Wednesday night.Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder said a suspect was in custody but did not offer details about whether that person was participating in the protests. He says both officers are expected to recover, and one was undergoing surgery.Taylor's case has exposed the wide gulf between public opinion on justice for those who kill Black Americans and the laws under which those officers are charged, which regularly favour police and do not often result in steep criminal accusations.Carmen Jones has protested in downtown Louisville every day for nearly three months. She said she felt despair after the grand jury's decision and didn’t know what was next.“We’re tired of being hashtags. We’re tired of paying for history in our blood and our bodies and being told to respond to this violence and aggression with peace,” she said. “We did it the Martin way for the entire summer, and it got us nowhere. Maybe it’s time to do things the Malcolm way.”Jones said her remaining hope was that their demonstration would cause systemwide change in the U.S. But the decision in Taylor's case made her feel like her life doesn’t matter in America.“I don’t think I’ll sleep the same ever again, cause it would happen to any of us" she said. “The system does not care about Black people. The system chews Black people up and spits us out.”Along with George Floyd, a Black man killed by police in Minneapolis in May, Taylor’s name became a rallying cry during nationwide protests that called attention to entrenched racism and demanded police reform. Taylor’s image has been painted on streets, emblazoned on protest signs and silk-screened on T-shirts worn by celebrities.The FBI is still investigating potential violations of federal law in connection with the raid at Taylor’s home on March 13.After the announcement in Kentucky, Ben Crump, a lawyer for Taylor’s family, denounced the decision as “outrageous and offensive.” Protesters shouting, “No justice, no peace!” took to the streets, while others sat quietly and wept.Morgan Julianna Lee, a high school student in Charlotte, North Carolina, watched the announcement at home.“It’s almost like a slap in the face,” the 15-year-old said by phone. “If I, as a Black woman, ever need justice, I will never get it.”Authorities themselves also expressed dismay. At a news conference, Cameron, the attorney general, said, “Criminal law is not meant to respond to every sorrow and grief.”“But my heart breaks for the loss of Miss Taylor. ... My mother, if something was to happen to me, would find it very hard,” he added, choking up.However, Cameron said the officers acted in self-defence after Taylor’s boyfriend fired at them. Kenneth Walker told police he heard knocking but didn’t know who was coming in and fired in self-defence.The warrant was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside. The city has since banned such warrants.“According to Kentucky law, the use of force by (Officers Jonathan) Mattingly and (Myles) Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves,” he said. “This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Miss Breonna Taylor’s death.”At a news conference, Trump read a statement from Cameron, saying “justice is not often easy.” He later tweeted that he was “praying for the two police officers that were shot.”Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, called for policing reform.Biden says that while a federal investigation continues, “we do not need to wait for the final judgment of that investigation to do more to deliver justice for Breonna.” He said the country should start by addressing excessive force, banning chokeholds and overhauling no-knock warrants.“We must never stop speaking Breonna’s name as we work to reform our justice system, including overhauling no-knock warrants,” Harris said on Twitter.Hankison was fired on June 23 and the three wanton endangerment charges he faces each carry a sentence of up to five years. A termination letter said he had violated procedures by showing “extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “wantonly and blindly” fired his weapon.CNN reported that his attorney, David Leightty, declined to comment.Last week, the city settled a lawsuit against the three officers brought by Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, agreeing to pay her $12 million and enact police reforms.___Lovan reported from Frankfort, Kentucky. Associated Press writers Claire Galofaro, Bruce Schreiner and Rebecca Reynolds Yonker in Louisville, Kentucky, Kevin Freking in Washington, Aaron Morrison in New York and Haleluya Hadero in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, contributed.___Hudsbeth Blackburn is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.Dylan Lovan, Piper Hudspeth Blackburn And John Minchillo, The Associated Press
However grandly it's staged, a throne speech is a difficult thing to judge. Just ask the opposition parties.The first official review of Wednesday's speech came from Candice Bergen, the deputy Conservative leader, who stepped to the podium and said that the 6,800-word address was "full of Liberal buzzwords and grand gestures with very little to no follow-up plan."In fairness, though, that's really all a throne speech is. It's a statement of intent, a collection of promises and interests, laid out over several thousand words. If the Conservatives have a real complaint to make here, it's that they would've chosen different words (although they probably weren't looking to support the throne speech anyway).Going next, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said those words were "nice words" but also "just words," and that he was much more interested in talking about the first piece of legislation the government plans to introduce.Words are easily dismissed, but words also make up a significant part of what we call politics. One way or another, they often end up mattering. Ideally, they should have power — not just over the listener, but over the speaker as well.A promise to do (almost) everything at onceIn that respect, the words of Justin Trudeau's government gave that government a lot to do — and another set of benchmarks against which it can be measured.There is a lot going on around the world right now. A pandemic is spreading illness and death, people are struggling, the planet is burning, communities are demanding redress for long-standing injustices and the structures of society are being questioned. In so many words, the Liberals signalled an interest on Wednesday in dealing with a lot of it."This is our generation's crossroads," said Gov. Gen. Julie Payette, reading the speech in the Senate chamber.Some 2,000 words were given to what the government has done, is doing and will do to address the health threat and economic consequences of COVID-19. Included therein was a significant extension of temporary wage subsidies. But the Liberals are also speaking to a post-pandemic world.They're promising "a significant, long-term sustained investment to create a Canada-wide early learning and childcare system" and an employment insurance system for the "21st century." It wants "new, national standards for long-term care" and says it will "redouble" its efforts to combat systemic racism.The Liberals promise to make "the largest investment in Canadian history in training for workers" and "generational investments" in modernizing the government's computer systems to better deliver services to Canadians. Combating climate change is to be the "cornerstone" of a plan to create one million new jobs.New speech, old promisesThose were just the new bits. Many of the promises the Liberals made during the 2019 campaign were restated on Wednesday; if there's anything in the government's pre-pandemic agenda that it's willing or ready to set aside now, it's not saying so yet.The speech offered eight commitments to "accelerate" existing efforts. The government says it will "immediately" bring forward a plan to meet and exceed Canada's greenhouse gas emissions target for 2030. Legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will be introduced before the end of the year.The Conservatives suggested that the Liberals should have had more to say about "national unity" and the resource sector. The word "pipeline" does not appear anywhere in the text — though the construction of a federally owned pipeline is one thing that was able to carry on as planned over the last six months.Watch: Erin O'Toole responds to Trudeau's speechBut almost everything else one might expect the government of a Western country to concern itself with right now was at least mentioned in the speech.Trudeau has never shied away from talking about the overarching challenges and concerns of the moment. Over the last five years he has spoken about economic inequality, inclusion and pluralism, gender equality, reconciliation, racism, climate change and resource development. He has shown himself to be keenly aware of the value of speaking to issues that resonate.That includes the current health emergency — which served as the basis for his request for time on the major television networks on Wednesday evening."We're on the brink of a fall that could be much worse than the spring," he told Canadians in those remarks — an attempt to shake off any complacency that set in over the summer.Watch: Trudeau warns Canadians that a second COVID wave is underwayTrudeau's challenge has been to live up to his words. Whenever he's not making unnecessary trouble for himself, he is being asked (largely by his progressive critics) to explain how his actions match his statements. When those statements are lofty and loud, the gulf between words and deeds can be glaring.The agenda Trudeau's government laid out yesterday would be a lot for any government (though this throne speech was still somehow shorter than the 7,000-word opus that Stephen Harper's government presented in 2013).The provinces will have something to say about a national child care system and new standards for long-term care. EI reform is politically perilous. If reducing this country's emissions enough to meet Canada's target for 2030 was easy, it would have been done by now.A plan for governing, campaigning — or both?If the pandemic isn't brought under control in this country — and if it appears to Canadians that the fault lies with the federal government — the Liberals might not get much of a chance to do any of it.A majority government with four years ahead of it would find this a heavy agenda. Trudeau's government can't be sure that it won't be in an election campaign next week.If that happens, of course, this throne speech becomes a campaign platform.For a long time, Trudeau's assumption seems to have been that there's value in speaking to great things, and to a great many things. It fits with a certain idea of what and how much a government should do.It also can't be said that there isn't a lot worth talking about right now. But actions — or a lack of them — always end up speaking louder than words.
The Ottawa public health recently shared a real life example of what community transmission looks like. Forty people gathered for an outdoor BBQ party at a park in Ottawa, before the Ontario government lowered the number on social gatherings. Two people from the BBQ developed COVID-19 symptoms which eventually led to more than 100 people being quarantined.
Ron Antoine thought he was following COVID-19 safety protocols when he rigged up a plastic barrier between the front and back seats of the cab he runs in Fort Simpson, N.W.T. Then he came to Yellowknife and found that none of the taxis he saw had done the same. "Is this mandatory? Or is it required? I don't know," Antoine said in a call to CBC North's bi-weekly phone-in show with Dr. Kami Kandola, the territory's chief public health officer. Antoine is not the only person to notice inconsistencies in rules established to prevent the spread of COVID-19. "I know of two restaurants, right across the street from one another, and they have two totally different rules going on right now," said Renée Comeau, executive director of the NWT Chamber of Commerce."Pretty much any hospitality business that you walk into in the N.W.T., the rules are completely different from one another, including capacity. Menus, masks, gloves, everything." Comeau says the onus is being put on businesses to establish safety protocols."It's a little unfair." From 'requirements' to 'suggestions'In response to Antoine's question, Kandola referred to the territory's Emerging Wisely re-opening plan."There are requirements on cleaning the taxis and for the taxi drivers, if they can't physically distance, to be wearing masks or to have protective barriers, even if it's putting up a plastic sheet with duct tape between the front and the back," she said. N.W.T. government spokesperson Mike Westwick later clarified in an email that all of the above are "possible mitigation measures.""There are many other ways to mitigate risk, like wearing non-medical masks. All should have hand sanitation supplies available. We sincerely appreciate the work being done by the driver you've spoken with in Fort Simpson. But just because barriers are not in-place in a taxi does not necessarily mean they are being non-compliant," Westwick wrote. The territory's Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) also recommends taxi drivers "create a physical barrier" between themselves and passengers." It's the first recommendation in its COVID-19 Safe Work Procedures for Taxi Operators document. But Cary Ingram, the WSCC's chief mining and occupational health and safety inspector for the N.W.T. and Nunavut, characterized the barrier as a "suggestion," and said a COVID-19 exposure plan could be sufficient without it, for example by using masks. Ingram said it's up to taxi companies to create "exposure control plans," using the documents the WSCC has created as a starting point. WSCC staff are available to help draft a plan, but the plan doesn't have to be approved by the WSCC.If a WSCC inspector visits the company, they can ask to see the plan to ensure the company is following it. Asked what would happen if a company's plan was inadequate, Ingram said his office would talk with the employer and ask them to reconsider."But we can't tell them [something] is a hazard and how to control it," he said. "We can't provide that type of guidance."However, territorial public health could, Westwick said, noting that "WSCC will communicate with public health if they believe there are systemic issues afoot."'We haven't been told to do anything'Gailani Hamad Dawoud, a director with Yellowknife's Aurora Taxi, said drivers are wearing masks and sanitizing their cars regularly, but not because they've been instructed to do so. "We haven't been told to do anything."Dawoud agrees that the safety of cab drivers is critical. A single driver, he said, can meet 30 to 40 people in a shift. "If I have anything, then I pass it to those 30, 40 people, then it's going to be a disaster." > If I have anything, then I pass it to those 30, 40 people, then it's going to be a disaster. \- Gailani Hamad Dawoud, director with Aurora TaxiA spokesperson for Yellowknife Cabs also said they've received no directives from the chief public health officer or the WSCC. However, that company did share a letter, dated March 20, from Yellowknife's Municipal Enforcement Division, which enforces the city's bylaws. It offers a list of "safe work practices," including asking passengers to sit in the back seat and carrying hand sanitizer. The letter said nothing about adding a barrier between front and back seats. CBC News reached out to the city for comment but did not hear back by deadline.Adding the barrierEmilie Boucher, a VP with YK Motors, oversaw the installation of a plastic barrier in shuttle vehicles that are used to give rides to people who drop their vehicles off for service. "That was the only way we could make it work," given the need for physical distancing, Boucher said. The company initially used a makeshift barrier with plastic sheeting — the kind you put on windows and doors to seal out drafts in winter. They later ordered plexiglass that their service division was able to install. Antoine, the Fort Simpson driver, saw the example while he was in Yellowknife getting some work done on his truck, then he started looking around for materials. One shop he visited wanted to charge him $800 for a piece of plastic, he said. He ended up buying a sheet of Lexan and using his experience as a mechanic to fit it into his car about a month ago. "I came up with something that worked." Similar barriers have been installed in taxis in Ottawa and Newfoundland and Labrador. In Montreal, the city offered $190 per vehicle to help taxis take safety precautions. Comeau, from the NWT Chamber of Commerce, said the WSCC has been proactive in helping businesses create control plans and conduct risk assessments. She also pointed to a "very well-defined excel spreadsheet" from the territorial government's public health unit that outlines which businesses can be open. But, she said, she's aware of tension over the different application of protocols in different businesses. "I know that there have been a lot of complaints that have been filed against businesses anonymously because none of this is posted anywhere."
As the United States presidential election campaign enters its last 40 days, voter registration is taking place across the US — and Canada.Dual citizens retain the right to vote, as do Americans living in Canada. This means a few hundred votes could be cast from Yukon.Michael Dougherty, who lives in Whitehorse, is a dual citizen who is planning to vote by mail. He hasn't received his mail-in ballot yet, but says he'll give it another week before starting to worry. "I have received notification, so I expect to see it in the box any day soon," he said.On Tuesday, a group called Democrats Abroad Canada, part of the Democratic Party arm for Americans living outside the US, set up an information table in downtown Whitehorse. A few people signed a get-well card to "an ailing democracy," and looked at information about voting. "We want to increase the vote, have more people participating," Dougherty said. "We have a responsibility to participate in two democracies, not just one."The Yukon Bureau of Statistics says that in 2016 the census recorded 655 residents of Yukon who were born in the United States. Of those residents, 460 were Canadian citizens and of that number, 320 were Canadian citizens only, which left 140 dual citizens. In 2016 the census recorded 195 Americans living in Yukon without having Canadian citizenship. Voters hold dear 'their one little say'Dianne Homan is another dual citizen who still votes in US elections. As per the rules, she votes in her last state of residence, which is Wisconsin."I have to say, Wisconsin makes it difficult,' Homan said of the experience of obtaining a ballot.Homan credits Democrats Abroad with helping her with the process. "I just feel like it's really important to have my one little say in how the country is being governed," she said.Democrats Abroad shoring up support Stacy Lewis is another dual citizen and also part of Democrats Abroad. She has lived in Canada since 1986 and has never missed a US presidential election, casting her vote in her home state of Washington."I still feel a strong tie to all the issues there. My family is still there. I immigrated to Canada and this is my home but I am still from America and I feel a duty, really, as an American citizen, to vote," she said. Lewis notes the word Democrat in Democrats Abroad "is a capital D," meaning the organization has ties to the Democratic Party, but that it pledges to help anyone vote, regardless of political affiliation. A similar organization called Republicans Overseas has not announced any events in Yukon.According to Democrats Abroad, more than 600,000 people in Canada retain their American voting rights, however in 2016, only about five per cent of those voters cast a ballot.
Raptors Uprising GC has retained its star trio of point guard Kenneth (Kenny Got Work) Hailey, centre Jerry (Sick One) Knapp and lockdown defender Trent (Timelycook) Donald for the 2021 NBA 2K League esports season. Hailey was league MVP and joined Knapp was on the league's first team all-star squad. All three played their part in a historic campaign that saw the Raptors win all 16 regular-season contests and two in-season tournaments before losing to eventual champion Wizards District Gaming in August in the semifinals of the US$920,000 NBA 2K League playoffs.
No new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Nova Scotia on Wednesday, but there remains one active case in the province's western zone, according to the Department of Health.On Tuesday, Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, said the person is an essential worker who travelled outside of the country.Strang said it seems the person had "very few close contacts" and the case is still under investigation.One individual is currently in intensive care, however Public Health would not confirm on Tuesday if it is the essential worker.A probable case was also reported on Monday. That involves a Dalhousie University student who travelled outside of the Atlantic bubble.The student lives off campus and has been self-isolating, but the case is being treated as a lab-confirmed positive to ensure all precautions are taken.Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed 972 tests on Tuesday.To date, Nova Scotia has had 1,087 positive COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths.The latest numbers from around the Atlantic bubble are: * New Brunswick reported no new cases Tuesday and had three active cases. * Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases Tuesday and had one active case. * P.E.I. had no new cases and no active cases as of Tuesday. SymptomsAnyone with one of the following symptoms of COVID-19 should visit the 811 website to see if they should call 811 for further assessment: * Fever. * Cough or worsening of a previous cough.Anyone with two or more of the following symptoms is also asked to visit the 811 website: * Sore throat. * Headache. * Shortness of breath. * Runny nose.MORE TOP STORIES
Teddy brought a deluge of rain and a powerful storm surge to Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley, but farmers in the area are breathing a sigh of relief because winds were not as powerful as expected."It definitely could have been much worse, we didn't see those winds they were predicting at all on our properties," said Geena Luckett, general manager at Luckett Vineyards in Wallbrook, Kings County.About a quarter of the grape crop had already been harvested at Luckett Vineyards. But the grapes are sitting in a warehouse without power. That brings another concern."As long as we can keep those doors shut to keep the temperature cool in there then they should be fine for at least another day and by that point we're really hoping that the power is back on," said Luckett.Seventy-five millimetres of rain fell in the area over 24 hours.Some fruit producers brought in what crops they could to avoid them being damaged in the storm."Some of the apple crop, a lot of the guys went through in the last few days and picked out a lot of their higher value apples," said Victor Oulton, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. "I think most of the corn crop seems to be still right."Oulton was reached late Wednesday morning as post-tropical storm Teddy was still moving through the Eastern Shore of the province and Cape Breton Island.MORE TOP STORIES
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The archdiocese of St. John's will ask the Supreme Court of Canada to overturn a decision that declared the city's Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation liable for sexual abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage in the 1950s.The archdiocese says in a release that its lawyers today petitioned for leave to appeal the July decision from the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal.Geoff Budden, the victims' lawyer, had said the Appeal Court ruling meant the archdiocese would have to pay about $2 million to four lead plaintiffs in the case.Budden said today's decision to appeal was expected, although his clients would rather be getting their settlements.The archdiocese said that the decision was not made lightly, but the Appeal Court ruling set a precedent with "profound implications" for its future operations.It expressed sympathy for victims of abuse and said it regrets that legal proceedings will be prolonged.This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 23, 2020The Canadian Press
Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime is out of the Hamburg Open clay-court tennis tournament. Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik downed the 20-year-old from Montreal 6-4, 6-2 in a second-round match on Wednesday. Bublik broke Auger-Aliassime four times on eight opportunities, while saving five of the six break points he faced.
Kentucky's Black attorney general choked up when he spoke about why no police officers are facing criminal charges directly related to Breonna Taylor's death. Daniel Cameron said he understands how important it is to make sure justice was done. (Sept. 23)