Canadian Michael Spavor was tried for espionage in a Chinese court today, but no verdict was delivered. Canada's chargé d'affaires, Jim Nickel, said the process lacked transparency.
Canadian Michael Spavor was tried for espionage in a Chinese court today, but no verdict was delivered. Canada's chargé d'affaires, Jim Nickel, said the process lacked transparency.
EDMONTON — The Alberta legislature has turned down a request for a special debate on an Opposition bill intended to protect the province's Rocky Mountains from coal mining. The refusal from United Conservative MLAs to grant unanimous consent for the debate probably means the bill won't get any further and is likely to die on the order paper. "People from all walks of life, all kinds of backgrounds and all kinds of political views — they want to see this bill debated," NDP Leader Rachel Notley said in a release. "Today's action by the Kenney government is a betrayal of these Albertans." Notley had asked the legislature to push the proposed legislation up the agenda to be debated on Monday night. She said the debate was needed because drilling and road-building are going ahead on the eastern slopes of the mountains — even as the United Conservative government says it's gathering public feedback on coal mines. "The fact is, this is urgent," Notley told the legislature. "We want to provide a forum for that discussion to be heard in this house." The bill calls for cancellation of leases that were issued after the government scrapped a policy last May that protected a vast swath of summits and foothills along the western spine of the province. It would also stop the province's energy regulator from issuing development permits. Open-pit mines would be permanently prohibited in the most sensitive areas and mines elsewhere could not be approved until a land-use plan was developed. On the weekend, a letter signed by 35 scientists from the University of Alberta's biology department urged the government to allow the debate. "There is no reliable method to stop leaching of hazardous waste produced by surface coal mining into groundwater where, inevitably, it will pollute precious watersheds we all depend on that are already under severe stress," said the letter. The law is needed to at least slow development down, said Shelagh Campbell, the biologist who started the letter that went to all UCP caucus members. "The bill at least has a chance of getting these issues more out in the open," she said. "A lot of Albertans feel right now pretty desperate in terms of the tools we have at our disposal to slow down the mass destruction that's being visited on us." The provincial government originally gathered no public input before removing the measures that protected the landscape, but it later opened an online survey and appointed a panel to hear from people. The survey closed Monday. "The Coal Policy Committee is currently reviewing and analyzing the survey results and will provide an update in the near future," said Alberta Energy spokeswoman Jennifer Henshaw. "The results will also serve as a road map for the next steps in the coal policy engagement process." The panel has been widely criticized after its terms of reference made it clear its five members won't be allowed to hear concerns about water or land use — the two issues most Albertans are concerned about. Energy Minister Sonya Savage said that the university professors should consider making their points to the panel. "We would strongly encourage them to participate in the coal policy consultations which are currently ongoing," she said in an email. Campbell said she's received no substantive responses yet to the letter. She said the stakes involved in coal mining are too high to gamble with. "When they tell us that we can keep this or that out (of the water) and make it safe, it's not true. They don't know that." This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2021. — Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960 Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
The Liberal member of parliament for Labrador, Yvonne Jones, demanded an apology from Nunavut's NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq in the House of Commons Monday, after Qaqqaq said Jones was "not an Inuk" in a recent response to a 2019 tweet. "I ask the member to respect all Indigenous people in Canada, and apologize for her statement, and stop committing racial erosion against her own culture," Jones said. "It is attitudes like hers that have set Inuit back decades in modern society." Jones is a member of the NunatuKavut Community Council, a group formerly known as the Labrador Metis Nation, a non-status group representing people of mixed Indigenous and non-Indigenous descent in southern Labrador. Since 2018, the group has been pursuing recognition of Indigenous rights in the region, and completed a memorandum of understanding with the federal government in 2019. A screenshot of Qaqqaq's reply to a 2019 election night tweet identifying Jones as Inuk.(John Last/CBC) But shortly thereafter, the Nunatsiavut government, which represents Inuit in northern Labrador, joined the Innu Nation in seeking to block the MOU, arguing that it overlapped with their claims. The Innu Nation additionally argued that the group was not Indigenous under terms set out in Section 35 of the Constitution Act. "As a descendant of Inuit and white parents, I was raised with a deep connection to the land, and I continue to practice the traditional ways of our people," Jones said in her statement to the House of Commons. "Unfortunately, I've never seen such disrespect from another parliamentarian in my 25 years in political office." Qaqqaq's offending tweet was made in response to a profile of Jones tweeted during election night in 2019, where the account @InigPoli refers to Jones as an Inuk. Shortly after replying, Qaqqaq took aim at Jones on Twitter over the review process for the expansion of an iron ore mine in her territory. Qaqqaq accused Jones, who is also parliamentary secretary to Minister of Northern Affairs Dan Vandal, of sidestepping a question about her meeting with executives of the Baffinland Iron Mines company. "If [she] is 'confident that all parties will continue their dialogue through the [review board] process and it's not up to us to prejudge the outcome' then why do we have records of her and [Vandal] meeting with Baffinland's CEO and their lobbyists behind closed doors?" she tweeted. Vandal replied that the meeting took place before the hearings had begun. "Her comments are laterally vicious and threatening to myself as an Inuk woman and to Inuit who are members of the NunatuKavut Inuit Council," Jones said Monday. "I expect an apology and a withdrawal of her statement on Twitter." In a response to CBC, Qaqqaq said she did not realize Jones claimed Inuk identity when she sent the tweet. "I made a statement I believed to be fact," she wrote. "I did not mean to upset Ms. Jones." Qaqqaq said there is "much debate around NunatuKavut and whether or not that should be recognized as Inuit," and that "the conversation around identity and reclamation of identity is an important one." But "after having conversations with other well respected Indigenous individuals, I realize I may have made a mistake in missing the full picture," she wrote. Jones did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
It's dark on the north side of the Stanley Park seawall at night. Thus, a man riding his electric scooter in the area just before midnight on Sunday likely didn't see it coming before he crashed into a coyote in his path. The impact — according to police, who highlighted the bizarre encounter on Monday — knocked the man off his scooter. Officers said he fell to the pavement and injured his collarbone. Then it got worse. "While he was on the ground, a couple of coyotes began to nip at him — biting at his jacket and his clothing," said Const. Steve Addison. Addison said the man fended off the animals and flagged down a passerby, who called 911. B.C. Emergency Health Services confirmed paramedics were called to respond to a "multiple animal situation" on the seawall between Lumbermen's Arch and the Lions Gate Bridge. The man was hospitalized in stable condition, according to an email. The run-in is at least the 17th incident since December in which a coyote has bitten a human in Stanley Park. All the biting incidents since Christmas have involved adults walking or running in the park, most often between dusk and dawn. People in the park should not feed coyotes or leave food out for animals, say wildlife officials. Anyone who has an encounter with an aggressive coyote is asked to call the provincial RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says the Liberal government's budget is a "letdown" and Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet expressed dismay over a lack of investments for seniors and no mention of increased health transfers to the provinces. But any suggestion the minority government might immediately fall over this budget has been quashed, with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh saying he won't be responsible for triggering an election during a pandemic.
WASHINGTON/BERKELEY (Reuters) -Texas police will serve search warrants on Tesla Inc on Tuesday to secure data from a fatal vehicle crash, a senior officer told Reuters on Monday, after CEO Elon Musk said company checks showed the car's Autopilot driver assistance system was not engaged. Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4, said evidence including witness statements clearly indicated there was nobody in the driver's seat of the Model S when it crashed into a tree, killing two people, on Saturday night. Herman said a tweet by Musk on Monday afternoon, saying that data logs retrieved by the company so far ruled out the use of the Autopilot system, was the first officials had heard from the company.
A London alliance of primary care doctors says up to 60 patients from the Toronto area are expected to be transferred to the Windsor and Chatham area this week to help with the crush of patients from the third COVID-19 wave in the GTA But both Windsor area hospitals, Windsor Regional Hospital and Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, have told CBC News the memo from the London Middlesex Primary Care Alliance is inaccurate, saying they have asked the authors to correct it. The internal memo by the Alliance says that the Windsor/Chatham/Sarnia region (known as the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network) can expect 60 of 100 patients being transferred from Trillium Health Care in Toronto. The other 40 are heading to the London area.There are currently five patients in WRH transferred from the Greater Toronto Area with three in the ICU. There are four hospitals in the Erie-St.Clair LHIN. In a statement to CBC, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare says at the moment,the four hospitals are collectively being asked to take 14 ward/medical patients a week, and to independently take ICU patients "as demand increases." Windsor regional tweeted out a similar statement that also said the number mentioned in the memo was inaccurate. The Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network declined to comment. The memo says the condition of patients coming to Windsor area will vary from having COVID-19 to not having the virus and also differ in severity of care. The memo says many will have to be accommodated in hospitals in the region. Impact of redeployment The possible redeployment of London's primary care physicians is brought up in the memo and while there is not a present request to redeploy family physicians, the memo notes "we are in a day-to-day situation and the landscape could change rapidly. Thus we are asking for 'all hands on deck to be on deck.'" Dr. Jessica Summerfield is the president of the Essex County Medical Society and says there has not been mention of redeploying primary care physicians to other locations. "We haven't yet been asked about redeployment other locations but we are certainly accepting patients, mostly from the GTA area to try and help out with the resources that we have locally." Asked about difficulties of bringing primary care physicians into the ICU, Summerfield says it depends on experience and background of the physician. "I mean that's total opposite ends of the spectrum in the field of medicine, but someone like myself, I work as a primary care physician, but I also work as a hospitalist, and we work in patient medicine as well. That's much more transferable." Summerfield said there are 959 physicians in Windsor-Essex comprised of family practice and specialty-based doctors.
Ten people who were on board American fishing charters that crossed into Canadian waters on the Detroit River are facing fines, according to the RCMP. Four U.S. fishing charters were spotted on the Canadian side of the border on Thursday morning. Authorities were able to intercept two of them while the other pair of vessels fled back into U.S. waters, the RCMP said in a media release on Monday. The operation, which involved Windsor police and Canada Border Services, was launched in response to "public concerns" about American fishing boats violating the Quarantine Act, the Customs Act and the Reopening of Ontario Act, the RCMP said. The fishing boats were escorted to a port of entry and examined by CBSA officers. Windsor police issued tickets to 10 people under the Reopening Ontario Act, and they were served with a notice to return to the U.S. In total, $8,800 in fines were levied against those on board the boats.
The world can bring the global COVID-19 pandemic under control in the coming months provided it distributes the necessary resources fairly, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) told a news briefing on Monday. Global climate change activist Greta Thunberg, joining the briefing as a virtual guest from Sweden, took a swipe at "vaccine nationalism" and said it was unethical that rich countries were prioritising their younger citizens for vaccination ahead of vulnerable groups in developing countries. "We have the tools to bring this pandemic under control in a matter of months, if we apply them consistently and equitably," said the head of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
It was a whirlwind weekend for Doug Ford after an announcement of controversial new COVID-19 lockdown measures led to a rollback of several aspects of the announcement less than 24 hours later. On Monday Ontario's Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, said that limiting mobility was the guiding principle for last week's announcement. "The changes we made were based on the medical advice that we received from Dr. [David] Williams and the public heath measures table...and we were advised that we need to limit mobility to stop the transmission of the COVID variants in Ontario," Elliott said.
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is tightening some of its COVID-19 restrictions due to rising case numbers.Starting Tuesday, weddings, funerals and outdoor public gatherings will be capped at 10 people — down from 25. People will no longer be allowed to designate another entire household to be in their bubble. Instead, they will only be allowed to designate two people to be permitted guests inside their homes. Capacity at religious services will drop to 25 per cent and a maximum of 50 people, down from 25 per cent and a cap of 100.Another change will take effect Wednesday morning. Retail stores will have to drop the number of shoppers allowed inside to one-third capacity from half."We see that our (case) numbers are climbing, so we needed to do more," Dr. Brent Roussin, chief public health officer, said Monday."I do think, from a public-health perspective, this really is our last shot at reducing our numbers before we do need to move into more of a lockdown scenario. We cannot overwhelm our health-care system."Health officials reported 108 new COVID-19 cases Monday and no additional deaths. Manitoba has had lower infection rates in recent months than other provinces west of the Maritimes, but daily case counts have risen in recent weeks.The rise has been noticeable in younger age groups. Some cases among students and staff at schools in Gimli, a town of 2,000 people an hour's drive north of Winnipeg, prompted the regional school division to close three schools for the day Monday."We're definitely seeing increasing growth in those younger cohorts," Roussin said."There certainly is transmission that occurs there, but most of the transmission in that cohort is occurring outside of school — gatherings with friends, sleepovers, house parties, these types of things."The province also expanded its vaccine eligibility Monday. The minimum age for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, distributed through channels including mass vaccination centres, dropped by two years to 34 for First Nations people and 54 for others. The eligibility for Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, administered through pharmacies and medical clinics, was reduced to anyone 40 years of age and older following similar moves on the weekend by Ontario and Alberta. Previously, it was only available to Manitobans 65 and over and people 55 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions.Health Canada has approved the vaccine for people under 55. But the National Advisory Committee on Immunization has recommended it only be offered to those 55 and older due to a potential slightly elevated risk of an extremely rare blood clot disorder in younger people receiving the shot.NACI recommends the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine should not be used in adults under 55 years of age at this time while the safety signal of Vaccine-Induced Prothrombotic Immune Thrombocytopenia (VIPIT) following vaccination with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is investigated further.There have been two cases of blood clots in Canada out of more than 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca given so far. Premier Brian Pallister said the expanded vaccine eligibility and tightened restrictions will help Manitoba avoid the kind of surge in cases it saw in the fall, when it led all other provinces in daily infections per capita."We know that the days of COVID beating us were hard days for all of us and most certainly, we don't want to go back to COVID beating us," Pallister said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2021. Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
A group of East Vancouver parents is questioning the Vancouver Park Board's decision after their children's soccer program was denied a permit at their neighbourhood park and forced to move to a different field 30 blocks away. Union Soccer Club started a learn-to-play program at Slocan Park in Renfrew-Collingwood in January, attracting upward of 50 enthusiastic youngsters from the surrounding streets and those who came via SkyTrain, thanks to the next door 29th Avenue Station. But starting this week, the program is longer welcome at Slocan Park. The grass fields, which were recently upgraded, have now been designated "Grade A" by park board, meaning they are reserved for "official games" only. Ryan Lamourie, parent of five-year-old Lola, says he can't understand the decision to deny the permit, especially given that the fields are sitting empty because of provincial health orders banning games. "[The Union soccer program] has been a really positive thing for our community when we really need it. And to be told we have to leave just because this field is reserved for something else is really disappointing," he said. Union Soccer Club co-owner Judith Davalos said the program will now run out of Clinton Park in Hastings-Sunrise, but is losing families because of the move. "We are so sad," she said. "We really want to be back there. If now they give us the permission, we'll be back [at Slocan Park]." Parent Gerhard Breytenbach questions why families are being forced to drive to a different field when there's a perfectly good one within walking distance sitting empty. "Bureaucratic idiocy mixed with red tape snafus for absolutely no logical reason," he said. "The city is telling us that because we want to use this for adults in the future when COVID is not a problem, your kids can't use it in the meantime." Rule linked to maintenance budget In a statement to CBC, the park board said the Grade A Slocan Park fields are still open to the general public for things like picnics. "Artificial turf fields and Grade B fields (and lower) are permitted for practices, camps and other activities. This is a citywide procedure that is linked to the field maintenance budget and we apply it consistently throughout the city to preserve quality facilities for their intended use," said the statement. Parent Mariana Rueda wonders why park board officials couldn't be more flexible. "I cannot believe a community can say that an open space... that was created for enjoyment, is not for kids. It's not right," she said. Lamourie said the Union soccer program quickly became a community focal point as a safe and affordable outlet during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said attempts to appeal to park board officials have been frustrating. "What I find disappointing is that they've told us that there are many departments involved, so it will take a long time to reverse any decisions," he said. "These kids, more than ever, need social activities and physical activities. We're really letting down these children by not letting them play on these fields."
VANCOUVER — Canada must remedy problems in commercial fishery regulations arising from a legal battle that was first launched in 2003 by a group of Vancouver Island First Nations, the British Columbia Court of Appeal has ruled. While there is no demonstrated need to make mandatory orders, they would "remain available if Canada does not act diligently to remedy the problems," Justice Harvey Groberman wrote in a decision released Monday. A three-judge panel unanimously upheld parts of an April 2018 ruling by the B.C. Supreme Court that found Canada's management of regular commercial fisheries unjustifiably infringed on the First Nations' rights. In that judgment, Justice Mary Humphries gave Ottawa one year to offer the plaintiffs opportunities to exercise their rights to harvest and sell salmon, groundfish, crab and prawn in a manner that remedied those infringements. The decision outlined several specific infringements related to the allocation of Pacific salmon and directed Ottawa to take a more "generous approach" to chinook allocations for the First Nations, noting the policy at the time gave recreational fishers priority over them. But the five Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations — Ehattesaht, Hesquiaht, Ahousaht, Tla‑o‑qui‑aht and Mowachaht/Muchalaht — appealed the decision, which dismissed their argument that Canada failed in its duty to consult them by refusing to implement proposals raised in discussions outside the courts to resolve the dispute and negotiate new policies. The Appeal Court found Humphries did not err in that part of her decision. But the court said she did make an error in limiting certain commercial fishing rights to vessels of a particular size and fishing capacity. Humphries "went too far" in her interpretation of a 2009 B.C. Supreme Court decision that upheld the nations' right to commercial fisheries, Groberman wrote. She found that right should be interpreted as a "non-exclusive, small scale, artisanal, local, multi-species fishery ... using small, low-cost boats with limited technology and restricted catching power, and aimed at wide community participation," the Appeal Court judgment says. Humphries was entitled to interpret the earlier ruling, Groberman wrote, but she did not have the authority to diminish the nations' commercial fishing rights. If upheld, her interpretation would have done so, he said. "The limitations the judge placed on the levels of technology and the types of vessel that could be used do not take into account the need to allow Aboriginal rights to evolve to meet modern conditions and requirements." Nuu-chah-nulth leaders hailed the decision as a major victory, while pushing Fisheries and Oceans Canada to implement their rights immediately. "Why does it take all these years and all these court battles when the federal government should be sitting at the table with our nations and working this out, especially in times now of reconciliation," Judith Sayers, president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, told a news conference. "We look forward to seeing these five nations being able to go out and fish as they have since time immemorial." Fisheries and Oceans Canada said it will "take the necessary time to properly review the decision" by the Appeal Court. The department will continue to work with the five First Nations on implementation of their rights to fish and sell fish, and on their participation in commercial fishing more generally, it said in a statement. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2021. This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press
Former Premier Christy Clark will testify Tuesday at the official inquiry investigating the scope and impact of money laundering in B.C., answering questions as to how much her cabinet knew about the crisis that grew during its tenure. Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.'s money laundering problem over the past decade. Clark's testimony marks a rare occasion: a former head of government appearing before by a fact-finding inquiry. "The presumption is, of course, that they were in charge of things when something went terribly wrong. The buck does sort of stop there, so to speak," said Gerald Baier, a political science professor at the University of British Columbia. "This is a big deal to have somebody like a former premier there in front and facing some degree of accountability." The commission, which started more than two years ago, has so far examined provincial policing, flaws in the casino enforcement structure and a gap between provincial and federal priorities in addressing the issue. The inquiry has also heard allegations that political leaders weren't willing to crack down on the problem as it brought in significant gaming revenue. Clark's name has seldom been raised. Despite the attention her testimony is likely to draw, Baier isn't counting on fireworks. "I'm sure it won't be nearly as dramatic as those circumstances suggest it might ... I think people might end up being a little bit frustrated by it all," he said. Baier predicted Clark will likely answer questions about her response to the problem by saying her government did the best it could with the information it had at the time. She might also cite cabinet confidentiality in declining certain questions, he said. Former B.C. Liberal cabinet ministers Rich Coleman, Michael de Jong and Kash Heed will also testify later this month, along with Shirley Bond, the party's interim leader, who served as Clark's public safety minister and attorney general. Attorney General David Eby will also testify. Former B.C. Premier Christy Clark walks from her office at the B.C. Legislature to the Legislature Chamber to attend a confidence vote in Victoria on June 29, 2017. Clark, who was defeated in the 2017 confidence vote, will be testifying at B.C.'s money laundering inquiry on Tuesday.(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) Baier said Coleman will have "more to answer for" as the former minister responsible for gaming, but it won't excuse Clark. "What we know from political science, for the most part, is that the buck does stop at the top ... these things don't happen in ministries without people having some sense at the top of what's happening," he said. "Policy is ultimately set in the premier's office." Problems started before Clark premiership, witnesses say While Clark's appearance Tuesday will be the most high-profile of the commission to date, the inquiry has heard the problem began before her time in the premier's office. Investigators reported noticing more suspicious cash at casinos beyond loan-sharking activities in 2007. The problem reportedly grew as the 2010 Winter Olympics neared, then peaked in 2015. Then-B.C. Premier Christy Clark, second from left, looks on as then-Finance Minister Michael de Jong, second from right, shakes hands with then-Minster of Energy and Mines Rich Coleman on budget day at the Legislative Assembly in Victoria on Feb. 16, 2016.(Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press) A report in 2018 said a "collective systemic failure" had cleared the way for unwitting casinos to become "laundromats" for proceeds of crime. The in-depth review said more than $100 million has likely been cleaned in B.C. over the last decade and a half. The province appointed Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen in May 2019 to lead the public inquiry into money laundering after three reports detailed how the dirty cash distorted B.C.'s real estate, luxury vehicle and gaming sectors. Hearings are expected to wrap up this May. The commission's final report is due Dec. 15.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Monday the province expects to face a delay in the supply of AstraZeneca Plc COVID-19 vaccine, as he faces significant blowback for his handling of the pandemic in Ontario. "The Premier was notified today by our officials to be prepared for delays to two shipments of AstraZeneca expected from the federal government later this month and next," a statement from Ford's office said. Ford has faced widespread criticism in recent days as Ontario's pandemic spirals out of control, and he has sought to shift the blame to the sluggish supply of vaccines coming from the federal government.
Seasonal residents from outside Atlantic Canada will not be allowed to travel to P.E.I. until at least May 17, even if they had already been granted approval to enter the province, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said in a previously unscheduled news conference Monday. Morrison made the announcement as she detailed stricter new border measures to limit the importation and spread of COVID-19, and confirmed three new cases of the illness on Prince Edward Island. "We need to buy more time," she said. For the next four weeks, she said, the province is pausing non-resident travel to the province from outside Atlantic Canada. Morrison also advised Island residents to avoid non-essential travel off P.E.I., and said the timeline for the reopening of the Atlantic bubble, scheduled for May 3, would be re-examined in the coming days. More than 7,000 approved to date in 2021 Applications for permanent relocation to P.E.I. for work or school will continue to be processed, Morrison told reporters. However, people in that situation will need a negative pre-departure test within 72 hours of arrival, and will be tested three times during their two weeks of isolation. People intending to move to P.E.I. without a job or post-secondary admission in place will have to wait for things to open up again. Applications for travel to P.E.I. for compassionate reasons will continue to be processed and approved with the same restrictions in place, Morrison said. To give context, Morrison's office later told CBC News that 7,153 people had been approved for travel to P.E.I. so far in 2021. Of those, 115 will be notified by the end of this week that they must now defer their arrival until at least May 17. Rotational workers and commercial truckers who are residents of P.E.I. but travel outside Atlantic Canada will now need to isolate until their first negative test even if they have been vaccinated. Workers from other places who are coming to P.E.I. will need to show a negative COVID-19 result from no more than 72 hours before their arrival on the Island The news comes after P.E.I. reported three new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, and eight in the last week. At least four of the recent travel-related cases are the highly transmissible B117 variant, Morrison said. Details on off-Island help to come Premier Dennis King was also at the briefing, and addressed the request from Ontario to help with human resources. He said the province will do whatever it can to help, being mindful that P.E.I. does not have an abundance of resources to offer. The premier said would be very easy "to revert to a protectionist instinct… or an us-versus-them mentality," but instead urged citizens of the province to "revert to the instincts of kindness and generosity." Two patients with COVID-19 are now being cared for at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown.(Rick Gibbs/CBC) He added: "I know Canadians from other provinces would help if it was Prince Edward Island asking." He promised more details later in the day on health care help that could be available, noting that some P.E.I. health care workers have expressed interest in travelling to Ontario to assist. P.E.I. has now had 173 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Thirteen remain active. There have been no deaths. The first hospitalization due to the illness was confirmed on Friday, in a person aged between 40 and 49 with a recent history of travel outside Atlantic Canada. On Sunday, a news release announced three more cases, including a young child who needed hospital treatment. As well, the release said the person hospitalized earlier was now in intensive care. Morrison cited privacy rules as she declined to give an update on the two patients' condition on Monday. More from CBC P.E.I.
Joan Wright, a well-known psychologist in Fredericton, has been suspended by the College of Psychologists of New Brunswick for professional misconduct, incompetence and violating the boundaries of the psychologist-client relationship, according to a recent decision by the college. Wright is disputing the decision. Wright is a senior psychologist and owner of MindShift Clinic in Lincoln and Joan Wright & Associates in downtown Fredericton, where nine other therapists work, according to her LinkedIn page. In its decision released Friday, the college's hearing committee ordered the immediate suspension of Wright's registration and said she was "prohibited from engaging in the practice of psychology while her registration is suspended." Wright has also been ordered to pay a $2,000 fine before the suspension is lifted and $134,510.63 to the college within a year for costs related to the complaint. Wright's lawyer, Kelly Lamrock, said he will file an application for judicial review, which will challenge the college's decision, and will also request an injunction to stop the suspension until the review can take place. "I think as the court documents come out, it will be clear they've reached some conclusions the facts cannot support, and they've followed a process that is unreasonable in law," Lamrock said. Lamrock said he will file with the court Tuesday morning. Hearings of the complaint against Wright took place over several days last September. The decision outlined a list of several failings on Wright's part, including "using experimental and non-evidence-based interventions" without presenting the risks or benefits of the treatment to her client. The decision also said that Wright "failed to use evidence-based treatments" for post-traumatic stress disorder in treating her client and did use experimental techniques without the informed consent of the client. It also said Wright administered therapy she was not trained to provide. Wright was also found to have "failed to provide the client with a copy of the clinical file when requested" and "to keep adequate records and notes of her sessions with the client." More specific transgressions cited by the board include asking her client to "remove articles of clothing in order to take photographs of the Client's naked body parts without the Client's informed consent, touching various parts of the Client's body, including massaging the Client's neck and asking the Client to get into various positions such as bending over on a ball." Wright also "showed a gross lack of judgment" by requesting the client purchase and use an "anal device at home." Wright "had no expertise to recommend such a device —the device being outside her scope of practice as a psychologist," the decision said. Wright was also found to have committed boundary violations by borrowing a sleeping bag from the client, soliciting the client to participate in a promotional video, and eating a "cannabis-laced" cookie given to her by the client, even though it was illegal at the time. The college didn't give a specific duration of the suspension but said Wright would have to do several things to qualify for a conditional registration. She would have to complete and pass post-secondary-level educational courses on cognitive behavioural therapy for the treatment of PTSD, on the ethics in psychological treatment of clients, and on psychometrics. She would also have to pass an examination for the professional practice of psychology and pay the $2,000 fine. The College of Psychologists of New Brunswick declined to comment.
OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government plans to spend more than $18 billion over the next five years to try to narrow the socio-economic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and to help these communities fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said in her budget speech the government has made progress in righting the historic wrongs in Canada’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples, but a lot of work remains to be done. "It's important to note that Indigenous Peoples have led the way in battling COVID," Freeland said. "Their success is a credit to Indigenous leadership and self-governance." National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations said the new budget is a move in the right direction but progress doesn't mean parity. "We need to maintain momentum to close the socio-economic gap that exists between First Nations and the rest of the Canadian society," Bellegarde said in an interview with The Canadian Press. In its 2021 budget blueprint, the government says the new funding for Indigenous Peoples will address inequalities they continue to face in Canada and advance reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and the Métis. The government says Indigenous communities have faced extraordinary health challenges since the start of the pandemic and continue to be vulnerable to the novel coronavirus and its variants. The budget pledges to provide Indigenous communities with an additional $1.2 billion this fiscal year to support their response to the COVID-19 pandemic including money to hire nurses, provide mental health assistance, address food insecurity and support children. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government has announced more than $4 billion in COVID-19 funding for Indigenous communities and organizations supporting them since the beginning of the pandemic. Part of Monday's budget pledge is $1.4 billion over five years to maintain essential health-care services for First Nations and Inuit, to continue work to transform First Nations health systems and to respond to the health impacts of climate change. The government promises to provide $1 billion over five years to increase funding under the First Nations child and family services program. The budget also promises to invest an additional $2.2 billion over five years to address the roots of the tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The government proposes to spend more than $6 billion for infrastructure in Indigenous communities including funding for clean water projects, housing and other projects. Trudeau’s government has failed to deliver on its 2015 promise to end all drinking water advisories in First Nations communities by March 2021. As of April 9, 52 long-term drinking water advisories remain in effect in 33 First Nation communities across the country. The government says it’s still committed to ending all remaining advisories, without providing a new deadline. Bellegarde said Parliament has not yet passed Bill C-14 to implement the government's fall economic statement, which included about $1.5 billion in funding to end drinking water advisories in First Nations. "I would encourage all the MPs to get that bill passed as soon as possible. So that First Nations can have access to those resources to keep moving towards ending those 50-plus boil water advisories." Bellegarde also called on all parties to support the 2021 budget. "If they don't support it, there's gonna be a (federal) election. I don't think anybody is ready for (an election)." Bellegarde said the government should maintain a strategy of investing in First Nations communities over the coming 10 to 15 years because First Nations are the fastest-growing segment of Canada's population. "You have an aging workforce in Canada, and you have to make sure that First Nations will have the skills and the training and education so that they can get good employment opportunities. And then that'll help Canada's overall economic growth." This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2021. ------ This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday — more than double the number of infections reported a day prior — as the province expanded vaccine access to people 60 and older. The province has reported 30 new cases since Friday's report, and Premier Iain Rankin says the steady rise in infections reflects how fast the number of COVID-19 infections can jump. "As we've seen in other provinces, the situation can change rapidly," Rankin said Monday in a news release. "Our public health teams are working hard to contain the virus and we can support them by following all the public health protocols." Rankin stressed the importance of getting tested, calling it the key to detecting cases early and "limiting the spread of the virus." The jump in cases came as the province announced that people 60 and older can begin booking appointments for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which will be available at community clinics and some pharmacy and primary care clinics. Health officials also said some appointments for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine remained open for people 55 to 64 years old. "We need to continue to keep each other safe, follow public health protocols and get the vaccine when it is our turn," chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang said in a news release. As of Sunday, the province said it had administered 207,563 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 32,496 people having received their booster shot. Monday's case total included two school-based infections that were identified late Sunday. Both cases were in the central health zone: one at St. Joseph's-Alexander McKay Elementary School in Halifax and the other at South Woodside Elementary in Dartmouth, N.S. Both schools are closed until Thursday and officials are advising all students and staff to get tested for COVID-19. Eight of Monday's cases were identified in the Halifax area, six were in the eastern zone and one in the western area of the province. Seven of the 15 news cases were related to travel outside Atlantic Canada, five involved contacts of previously reported infections and three were under investigation. Nova Scotia reported seven new cases on Sunday and eight on Saturday. The province has 63 active reported infections and two patients in hospital with the disease. "The increase in case numbers is a reminder of the importance of the restrictions that are in place to protect the health of fellow Nova Scotians," Strang said. On Sunday, the province reported 22 new variant cases, including the first case in the province of the mutation first identified in Brazil. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2021. Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press
LAS VEGAS — A convicted killer who is fighting a possible June execution date that would make him the first person put to death in Nevada in 15 years is calling for the state to consider the firing squad as an option, a rare method in the United States. Attorneys for Zane Michael Floyd say he does not want to die and are challenging the state plan to use a proposed three-drug method, which led to court challenges that twice delayed the execution of another convicted killer who later took his own life in prison. “This is not a delaying tactic,” Brad Levenson, a federal public defender representing Floyd, said Monday. But a challenge of the state execution protocol requires the defence to provide an alternative method, and Levenson said gunshots to the brain stem would be “the most humane way.” “Execution by firing squad ... causes a faster and less painful death than lethal injection,” the attorneys said in a court filing Friday. Three U.S. states — Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah — and the U.S. military allow capital punishment by gunfire. The last time that method was used in the United States was in Utah in 2010. Floyd's attorneys are asking a federal judge in Las Vegas to stop Floyd from being executed until prison officials “devise a new procedure or procedures to carry out a lawful execution.” Levenson said he and attorney David Anthony are fighting multiple issues in state and federal courts, with the possibility that Floyd’s death could be set for the week of June 7. Prosecutors will seek an execution warrant at a state court hearing next month. The 45-year-old was convicted in 2000 of killing four people with a shotgun in a Las Vegas supermarket in 1999 and badly wounding a fifth person. Floyd appeared to exhaust his federal appeals last November, and the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear his case. Floyd wants a chance to seek clemency at a June 22 meeting of the Nevada State Pardons Board, Levenson said. Floyd's attorneys argue that a three-drug combination the state wants to use — the sedative diazepam, the powerful synthetic painkiller fentanyl and a paralytic, cisatracurium — would amount to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of his constitutional rights. Anthony made similar arguments on behalf of Scott Raymond Dozier before Nevada's last scheduled execution was called off in 2017 and 2018. Dozier killed himself in prison in January 2019. A judge blocked the first date after deciding that use of the paralytic might cause painful suffocation while Dozier was aware but unable to move. Pharmaceutical companies that made the three drugs stopped the second date with arguments against using their products in an execution, an issue several states are facing. Floyd would be the first person executed in Nevada since 2006, when Daryl Mack asked to be put to death for his conviction in a 1988 rape and murder in Reno. Nevada has 72 men awaiting execution, a state Department of Corrections spokeswoman said. Ken Ritter, The Associated Press
They're popular places to grab a brewski or two on spacious patios, and now they're on the market. Both the Orangeville and Grand Valley locations of Mill Creek Pub and Restaurant are up for sale. The establishments, which have liquor licences and full kitchens, are known for their outdoor dining options. “Half the people either had an experience on the patio themselves or are just enamoured by the fact it is three storeys,” said manager Donnie Beattie, whose parents, Don and Loraine Beattie, own the restaurants and are planning to retire. “We decided we would help staff in the pandemic, so we took back ownership and ran the place. Now that the pandemic is starting to ease up, my parents are ready to retire,” Beattie said. The Orangeville location, at 25 Mill St., is 6,500 square feet and seats 182 people inside, plus 120 people on the patio. It is available for $449,000. The Grand Valley location, at 30 Main St., is 2,480 square feet and seats 116 inside, plus an additional 16 on the patio. It is available for $199,000. Beattie would like the new owners to continue the namesake, as it has a footprint in Dufferin County. “What you’re going to buy is the business,” said Beattie. “Coming up with something new might not be the best business decision unless you’re coming in as a chain. I don’t think you’re going to see a chain coming. It will most likely be a family that continues the Mill Creek Pub.” Beattie said it was a difficult decision to give up the reins, as they had run the restaurant in Orangeville for eight years. The establishment has a storied history. The Orangeville location was previously Orangeville Bottling Works, owned by Alexander Walker, who made and sold whistle orange soda. The Beattie family took over the building in 2012 and made substantial changes. Everything was renovated from top to bottom, leaving only the brick walls for historical significance. They have been active in the community, donating to the Bethell Hospice Foundation and hosting Brewzapalooza, a popular craft beer festival in the winter in Orangeville. “I know it’s going to be bittersweet for them because they do love being part of the community and heading a lot of stuff," said Beattie. "However, there’s always a time and place, and we finally hit ours. It’s time to allow the next generation to take over all the events.” They were involved with the Orangeville Blues and Jazz festival, during which they would have musicians playing at their pub. “We had a big impact when it came to the Blues and Jazz festival in Orangeville,” said Beattie. “Here in Grand Valley, we started in conjunction with the BIA, yearly car shows. We had the first one off the ground, and of course, the pandemic hit. We’re hoping to get a second one later on in the summer.” The Grand Valley location opened in June 2018, after being home to many different establishments in the past. It was recently Houley’s Sports Bar and Grill, but was also well known as Robbie’s and The Olde Tavern. A bar and restaurant were on the main floor, while a dance hall was upstairs. The dance hall is now apartments, and the basement has become coolers, freezers and dry storage for the restaurant above. Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner