Comedians Ivan Decker and Ali Hassan talk to The National’s Ian Hanomansing about the realities of standup during the COVID-19 pandemic and why laughter can sometimes be the best medicine during times of uncertainty.
Comedians Ivan Decker and Ali Hassan talk to The National’s Ian Hanomansing about the realities of standup during the COVID-19 pandemic and why laughter can sometimes be the best medicine during times of uncertainty.
Police have arrested a man and a woman in connection with a Tuesday homicide, involving a man who was pushed or fell from a car at the intersection of Memorial Drive and 36th Street S.E.The names of the suspects will be released if charges are formally laid, police said.As of 6 p.m. Thursday, police were executing a search warrant in the 2600 block of 17 Street S.W., following up after initially seeking a vehicle with the licence plate CHG-6058 and a distinctive "Jesus" bumper sticker.Police said a vehicle of interest believed to be connected to this incident had been located and seized.The victim has been identified as David Bawden, 59, of Calgary.Police are investigating the homicide as a possible random attack. It is believed the victim was walking east in the curb lane of eastbound Memorial Drive, between the Bridgeland and Zoo LRT stations, when at 8:37 a.m., a Volkswagen Jetta pulled over. The victim got inside the vehicle, police said in a release.The victim was pushed or fell from the vehicle about 4.4 kilometres later, at Memorial Drive and 36th Street S.E.Police and EMS were called to the scene around 8:50 a.m. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.Police are now asking anyone who was travelling on Memorial Drive between Edmonton Trail and 36th Street N.E. at that time, and who may have dashcam footage, to come forward.No other information will be released at this time, police said, as the investigation is ongoing.This is Calgary's 27th homicide of the year. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 403-266-1235, the homicide tip line at 403-428-8877 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers.
An outbreak of COVID-19 at a long-term care home in Moncton, N.B., is raising concerns about transmission of the virus inside the Atlantic bubble.On Wednesday, officials in New Brunswick confirmed 17 new cases amid efforts to contain the outbreak at the Manoir Notre-Dame special care home in Moncton, where 13 residents, four staff and two family members tested positive. Officials also identified potential public exposure to the virus at the Moncton Costco Optical Centre and Moncton St-Hubert restaurant."We have lots of connections with New Brunswick, and the Moncton area, and it does raise concern for us here on Prince Edward Island," P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison told CBC News: Compass in an interview Thursday afternoon. "At this time it is a concern, but [we are] watching carefully what is going on," she said. P.E.I. currently has three active cases of COVID-19, and 58 recovered.Changes to the bubble?With Thanksgiving weekend approaching, Morrison said it has her thinking about public health measures and how careful people need to be"I think New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I. in particular will all be looking at whether or not we need to make any changes to the Atlantic bubble," Morrison said."At this point, I think we will be trying to make sure that anyone coming to the Island, whether they're visitors or Islanders returning for the weekend, are reminded that if they have any symptoms that they should be tested."A news release issued late Thursday addressed how this reminder will be delivered: "Additional information will be distributed to everyone entering Prince Edward Island via the Confederation Bridge and the Wood Islands ferry to reinforce the need to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, follow public health measures and avoid large gatherings." Think twice about travelIn the interview with CBC News: Compass, Morrison also urged people to think about whether they really need to travel, until officials know more about how the Moncton outbreak is going.After Morrison spoke with CBC, officials in New Brunswick held a briefing and said there are three new cases in that province, although not related to the long-term care home. That brings the total number of active cases in that province to 24.New Brunswick officials also announced wearing masks will be mandatory in most public spaces as of midnight.The COVID Alert app is available to Islanders beginning Thursday, and Morrison urged Islanders to download it. She said it's one more tool officials can use to identify contacts and lessen the spread of the coronavirus. "The more people who download the app, of course the more useful it will be," she said. More from CBC P.E.I.
Some Canadians are moving back to Atlantic Canada to ride out COVID-19.The Atlantic Bubble — which includes Nova Scotia, P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick — has among the lowest number of COVID-19 cases in North America."We just thought ... we don't need to fight this fight anymore," said Amy Reitsma, who along with her Australian husband, Aneurin Pascoe, recently moved to Seabright, N.S., from the United Kingdom."We love London," she said. "But we got to a point where we were thinking there's got to be a better way."Reitsma, who has roots in Halifax, found out she was pregnant in February. Discovering she and Pascoe were expecting a child led them to make the journey back home to Nova Scotia."We just kind of watched the U.K. government make mistake after mistake after mistake in terms of managing the pandemic," said Reitsma."It was just such a glaring difference in how the governments were kind of wrapping their heads around this situation."Reitsma said she's confident in their decision."What the Maritimes have been able to do is really unique and it's very, very worth protecting."'Every story was the same'Like Reitsma and Pasco, Ian Yule made the decision to move home to Nova Scotia from California because of COVID-19."They're still getting thousands of cases in California a day," he said. Knowing the numbers are smaller in Nova Scotia, Yule said he "would just generally feel safer, not as paranoid all the time."He also wants to be closer to family and his job allows him to work from home in Canada.When he arrived in Canada, he overheard several fellow travellers telling customs agents they were coming from L.A. and moving home. "It seemed like every story was the same," he said.The Canada Border Services Agency doesn't track the number of people crossing the border to move home, because Canadians have an inherent right to do so. 'A huge draw'But there is evidence more Canadians are relocating — in some cases, moving to the Atlantic region from other parts of the country.Megan Holwell, a realtor with Royal LePage Atlantic, said she's seen growing interest from outside the region."Mainly what's making me so busy is I have several out-of-province buyers that are looking to relocate because of COVID," she said. "That was a huge draw for them."With people increasingly working from home, Holwell said buyers are more flexible with where they can live."It's kind of created opportunity for a lot of people there as well," she said.Howell said some of her clients are finding it difficult to view homes in person because of the 14-day quarantine rule, which she said is both a huge time and money commitment. As a result, she ends up showing homes via video conference calls.She said most of her clients who are looking to relocate are coming from Ontario, but she's also getting clients from Alberta and the U.S."I actually showed someone from California a house in Halibut Bay recently," she said.MORE TOP STORIES
The province is reporting another big jump in COVID-19 cases, especially in Winnipeg. Eighty-four new cases are being reported across the province, with 64 of them in the provincial capital. Canada's deputy chief public health officer says Canada is at a crisis point in the COVID-19 pandemic and he's cancelled his Thanksgiving plans.
Recent developments:What's the latest?As of midnight, Ottawa is returning to a modified version of Stage 2 pandemic restrictions along with Ontario's other COVID-19 hot spots, Toronto and Peel region.That means dine-in bars and restaurants, gyms, movie theatres and casinos must close their doors once again. Schools will stay open.The premier is expected to speak at 2:30 p.m. ET.WATCH LIVE | Ontario's news conference:Ontario has set a new high with 939 cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Ottawa has 126 of those cases.The federal government is announcing renewed support for businesses as the coronavirus spreads, including direct rent support for business owners. Previously, the government offered subsidies to commercial landlords, but not all took advantage of the program.WATCH LIVE | Prime minister makes COVID-19 announcement :How many cases are there?As of the most recent Ottawa Public Health (OPH) update on Friday, 5,279 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19.That includes 875 known active cases, 4,108 resolved cases and 296 deaths.Overall, public health officials have reported more than 7,900 cases of COVID-19 across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with nearly 6,300 of those cases considered resolved.COVID-19 has killed 104 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 people have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 34 in the Outaouais and 18 in other parts of eastern Ontario. What can I do?Ontario is telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with or one other home if people live alone.In general, occasionally seeing a small number of other people at a time they don't live with outdoors and more than two metres apart carries a lower risk of transmission.Involving food is riskier and OPH has asked residents not to go to a restaurant with people they don't have as a close contact.In Ottawa, the second wave is being driven by people ignoring health rules.Ottawa's medical officer of health has said the entire health-care system is on the verge of collapse and is advising people to celebrate Thanksgiving only with members of their immediate household.Ottawans are now being told not to have a Halloween party and consider alternatives to trick-or-treating and usual late-December gathering plans.Other health units with different COVID-19 situations may have slightly different Thanksgiving advice.Western Quebec's health authority says residents need to stop seeing all people they don't live with, even outdoors, until the end of October.The region is currently on orange alert, which means private and organized gathering limits, earlier closing hours for restaurants and recommendations against travelling to other regions.WATCH | Post-secondary students weigh going home for Thanksgiving:What about schools?There have been more than 160 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19:Few have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there's a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.Ontario updated its COVID-19 school symptom rules last week.Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.People can be contagious without symptoms.This means people should take precautions like staying home when sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone you don't live with — even when you have a mask on.Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and recommended outdoors when people can't stay the proper distance from others.Ottawa will start fining people who don't wear a mask on OC Transpo without a valid reason on Oct. 22.WATCH | At Issue on the COVID-19 Thanksgiving:Anyone with symptoms should self-isolate, so should anyone told to by a public health unit. If Ottawans don't, they face a fine of up to $5,000 per day in court.Kingston's medical officer of health said people living with someone waiting for a test result now do not need to self-isolate and someone with COVID-19 now has to isolate for at least 10 days from the day they first experience symptoms.Most people with a confirmed COVID-19 case in Quebec can end their self-isolation after 10 days under certain conditions.Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.What are the symptoms of COVID-19?COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.Getting tested any sooner than five days after potential exposure may not be useful since the virus may not yet be detectable, says OPH.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic and resources are available to help.Where to get testedIn eastern Ontario:Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you've been told to by your health unit or the province.Anyone seeking a test should now book an appointment. Different sites in the area have different ways to book, including over the phone or going in person to get a time slot.People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select Ottawa pharmacies.Most of Ottawa's testing happens at four permanent sites, with additional mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.There is limited walk-up capacity and telephone booking for some sites for people without internet access and priority groups such as health-care workers.Its Coventry Road clinic will be closed on Monday.In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, the Limoges drive-thru centre is now taking appointments.The health unit also has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester. All are closed on Monday.In Kingston, the test site is at the Beechgrove Complex and online booking isn't available yet. For now, people are asked to go to the complex to make an appointment.Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call ahead.People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls.Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly.In western Quebec:Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms. People without symptoms can also get a test.First Nations, Inuit and Métis:Akwesasne has a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only.Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.For more information
RCMP say a 23-year-old woman from Ontario was charged under the Health Protection Act for failing to self-isolate, after police attended several large house parties in Antigonish, N.S., over the weekend.Antigonish RCMP also charged three people at parties last weekend for failing to physically distance, according to spokesperson Cpl. Lisa Croteau.Four people were also charged under the Liquor Act and one person was charged under the Town of Antigonish municipal noise bylaw.RCMP Sgt. Andrew Joyce said the ticket for failing to self-isolate was issued on Thursday, after an investigation related to an incident on Saturday.Now, St. Francis Xavier University said it is also investigating the "event" last weekend.A spokesperson for the university, Cindy MacKenzie, said in an email that any St. FX student found to have violated the school's code of conduct will be subject to the school's disciplinary process."Recommended outcomes are a suspension of a minimum academic term, up to a maximum of a full year, depending on the specifics of each case," MacKenzie said. "We take this matter very seriously."St. FX students were required to sign a code of conduct waiver before they could attend classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.All university students returning to Nova Scotia from outside of the Atlantic bubble also had to quarantine for two weeks before classes began, but several university students across the province have been fined and one student was even expelled for failing to do so.MORE TOP STORIES
Quebec Premier François Legault has chosen a former high-ranking Montreal police officer to take over as Indigenous affairs minister in the wake of the death of an Atikamekw woman last week.Ian Lafrenière replaces Sylvie D'Amours, who had come under fire for the province's inaction in addressing discrimination facing Indigenous people.Legault said he chose Lafrenière, in part, because he's a former police officer. "I think one of the main challenges is to rebuild trust between Indigenous nations and police officers, and who better than a police officer, who understands that problem, to solve it?" he said Friday."I'm convinced that Ian will succeed in developing good relations with the Indigenous nations."Joyce Echaquan, a 37-year-old mother of seven, died last Monday in a Joliette, Que., hospital, after a video captured staff making derogatory remarks about her.Legault said he will ensure Lafrenière takes concrete and immediate action in response to the final report by the Viens Commission, which was released a year ago.The report documented the discrimination Indigenous people face when receiving public services. It laid out 142 recommendations, including several to address problems in access to health-care services. The commission was launched in 2016, following a Radio-Canada investigation into allegations of police misconduct against Indigenous women in Val-d'Or, Que.The province has so far failed to act on the bulk of the recommendations. D'Amours said earlier this month she had a plan in place to address 51 of them.Lafrenière promises swift actionLafrenière, who was elected in 2018, is the former head of communications at Montreal police, an organization that has had its own problems with racial profiling and discrimination. A report from three independent researchers released last year found systemic bias in street checks done by Montreal police. According to that report, Indigenous women were over-represented and 11 times more likely to be stopped by police than white women.But Lafrenière said he is dedicated to working with Indigenous communities and will begin reaching out to chiefs as soon as possible."I'm going to talk to them. This is the first priority," he said.Lafrenière refused to give any examples of concrete actions he will take, saying he would like to hear from Indigenous communities first. Chance for new start, First Nations Assembly saysIn a release Friday, the Assembly of First Nations Quebec and Labrador said it was pleased with the announcement, as it will allow for new relationships between the Quebec government and Indigenous leaders. But the assembly said it will be keeping a close eye on Legault's actions in the coming months. "There are many issues, including several emergencies, that require his immediate attention. I am making myself available right now for a meeting," said Ghislain Picard, regional chief for Quebec and Labrador. Before the official announcement was made, Nakuset, executive director of the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal, said she would have preferred to see someone who had been advocating for Indigenous rights take on the role, rather than someone who routinely defended the actions of police."He was the face of the SPVM," she said, referring to Montreal police. "It's disheartening." Calls to recognize systemic racismEchaquan's death has renewed calls for Legault's government to acknowledge systemic racism exists in the province. But both Legault and Lafrenière said Friday the government's position remains unchanged."I recognize that there is racism and profiling and discrimination. I also recognize that currently the term of systemic racism is not accepted unanimously and instead of fighting over this, I think that what people want is action, concrete action," Lafrenière said. Constant Awashish, grand chief of the Atikamekw Nation, said that while he believes Lafrenière will be a good fit for the job, acknowledging systemic racism is an important step in gaining people's trust. "It doesn't [mean] all Quebecers are racist. We've been saying that from the beginning," said Awashish. An open letter, made public Friday and signed by more than 470 university professors and health professors, called on Legault to recognize systemic racism.WATCH | Joyce Echaquan's husband pleads for justice:
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 2:11 p.m. EDT on Oct. 9, 2020: There are 177,697 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Quebec: 84,094 confirmed (including 5,936 deaths, 69,586 resolved) _ Ontario: 57,681 confirmed (including 2,997 deaths, 49,032 resolved) _ Alberta: 19,718 confirmed (including 283 deaths, 17,338 resolved) _ British Columbia: 10,066 confirmed (including 245 deaths, 8,398 resolved) _ Manitoba: 2,428 confirmed (including 30 deaths, 1,465 resolved) _ Saskatchewan: 2,012 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,845 resolved) _ Nova Scotia: 1,089 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,021 resolved) _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 279 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 269 resolved) _ New Brunswick: 238 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 199 resolved) _ Prince Edward Island: 59 confirmed (including 57 resolved) _ Yukon: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved) _ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved) _ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved) _ Nunavut: No confirmed cases _ Total: 177,697 (0 presumptive, 177,697 confirmed including 9,586 deaths, 149,243 resolved) This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 9, 2020. The Canadian Press
Alberta' s chief medical officer of health introduced new voluntary measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Edmonton Thursday as the province surged past the all-time high of new cases in one day. "While these voluntary measures are focused on the Edmonton zone, everyone in the province should take note," Dr. Deena Hinshaw said at a news conference."We must all take precautions to limit the virus's spread to our friends, family and loved ones. I especially caution Albertans against planning large get-togethers this weekend. Now is not the time to be gathering in large groups, travelling long distances for the holidays or sharing food or utensils."Keep your Thanksgiving small, keep it safe and protect one another."Hinshaw is recommending all private gatherings in Edmonton be limited to 15 people, that masks be worn in all indoor work settings except when employees are at their desks, and that people limit their cohort groups to three."These measures are voluntary because we still have sufficient hospital beds and capacity to meet the current needs in Edmonton," Hinshaw said. "But we are moving forward with them because it is important to use our current data as a call to action."The Edmonton zone now faces a crucial juncture, she said."It typically takes between one to two weeks before a rise in cases contributes to a rise in hospitalization," she said."We must take action to slow the virus's spread in the zone and make sure the health system can continue supporting Albertans with COVID-19, influenza and many other needs."WATCH | Dr. Hinshaw announces new voluntary measures for Edmonton zoneAll private and family social gatherings should be limited to no more than 15 people, rather than the current 50 people, Hinshaw said."The fewer people we come into contact with, the lower risk of exposure or of us exposing others," Hinshaw said. Masks should be worn in all indoor work settings except when alone in work spaces such as cubicles or work spaces where workers can be safely distant from others, or where an appropriate barrier is in place, she said.Finally, she asked people living in the Edmonton zone to limit the number of their cohorts groups to three — such as family, school and a sport or social group.All parts of Edmonton affectedAll parts of the Edmonton zone are being affected by the rising spread of the virus, Hinshaw said.While case ratios are highest in the northeast portion of the city of Edmonton, they're also high in south Edmonton.Where transmission is known, household or community contacts appear to be a key driver in spreading the virus throughout the city as social and family gatherings continue to be a factor, she said.Hinshaw said about 11 per cent of active cases in Edmonton worked or attended social gathering while symptomatic.Almost two out of five cases in Edmonton were exposed to the disease by a close contact, she said. Another 26 per cent of cases are linked to an ongoing outbreak."We have also seen several workplace outbreaks, where spread between employees has occurred, showcasing an opportunity to improve prevention measures within workplaces," Hinshaw said.Alberta reported 364 new cases of COVID-19, the highest new-case count ever, and two new deaths Thursday.Three-quarters of all new cases in the province — 276 — in Edmonton.The Edmonton zone now has 1,250 active cases 169 more cases than Thursday's record number.Over the past week, the positivity rate increased to four per cent in Edmonton, Hinshaw reported. At the same time, the reproductive value — which measures how many new cases on average are infected by each person who already has the virus — rose from 1 to 1.3.City had asked for new measuresCity of Edmonton administrators asked the province Wednesday to further reduce limits for gatherings, encourage more businesses to let their employees work from home, restrict non-essential travel and pare down cohort sizes. While Edmonton has had higher case counts for several weeks, those counts were only increasing slightly, even staying relatively stable, Hinshaw said. "It's only in this past week that we have seen an increase in that reproductive number moving from around 1 to 1.3."And that tipped up very quickly." Hinshaw said Edmontonians may have become careless because they hadn't felt the personal impact of COVID that others in the province have experienced. "We have done some focus groups in the last month or so to look at the opinions of people and those who maybe aren't following restrictions and what would prompt them to do. Unfortunately the answer is that they would follow restrictions if they were personally impacted."For some people, unfortunately, they are more strongly motivated when it hits closer to home."Hinshaw rejected that easing health restrictions in the spring is to blame. "This issue in my mind is not the province-wide easing of restrictions but rather, unfortunately, some trends in Edmonton right now that I believe we can turn with these voluntary health measures." Latest numbersAs of Thursday, Alberta had 2,097 active cases of COVID-19 and recorded 283 deaths.There are now 77 people in hospital, nine more than Wednesday, while 13 of those are in intensive care.The new deaths include a man in his 70s and a woman in her 80s, both from the Calgary zone.Both deaths are linked to the outbreak at Foothills Medical Centre and were reported Wednesday by AHS. The regional breakdown of active cases on Thursday was: * Edmonton zone: 1,250 cases * Calgary zone: 604 cases * North zone: 97 cases * South zone: 92 cases * Central zone: 39 cases * Unknown: 14 casesThe total number of completed COVID-19 tests is 1,472,658.Hinshaw will provide her next update on Tuesday, after the Thanksgiving weekend.
"The dynamics always change, every year is different," Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said. It all adds up to what should be another interesting period in league history no one envisioned back in March.
Government crackdowns on social gatherings in parts of Quebec, Canada's epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, could drag on longer in hotspots like bars and restaurants, public health experts warned, as COVID-19 hospitalizations have kept rising. The province reported 1,078 new cases on Thursday, accounting for about 60% of Canada's daily tally, and Quebec Premier Francois Legault urged Quebecers to stay home this long weekend when Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving holiday on Monday. "I will not go to see my mother this weekend," Legault told reporters in Quebec City.
A school board north of Toronto is scrapping its virtual elementary school program in favour of a hybrid model that will combine in-class and remote instruction, saying it was making the move to support a growing number of online learners. Previously, remote elementary students with the York Catholic District School Board were taught separately online. In a letter sent to parents Wednesday, the board said that in-person students and their remote-learning peers will now be taught lessons together. The change takes effect next week. "Given the various operational and staffing challenges faced in the current remote learning model, and the need to find a solution that is sustainable for the remainder of the school year, a decision has been made in the best interest of all elementary students," wrote Mary Battista, the board's interim director of education. Battista did not provide details on the board's challenges but said in a separate statement that the change would help accommodate the number of students moving from in-person to virtual learning. "Since the start of the school year, we have received numerous inquiries from families requesting to move their child from in class to remote learning," she said. Remote students will now be taught virtually from their home schools, which will allow them to learn alongside their friends, she said. The new model will also allow for a more seamless transition from in-class learning to remote learning throughout the school year, Battista said. "If parents wish to transition their child from face-to face to remote learning, they may now do so at any time," she said in the statement. "As well, if students or classes need to self isolate, or schools closed due to COVID-19 cases, the transition to full remote learning will be seamless." All elementary schools in the board will be closed on Tuesday next week and the new hybrid model will launch the following day, Battista said. In-person classes will continue as usual, she said, while remote learners will join every day through Google Classroom. "It will not mean more students in the classroom because any additional students will be remote learners," Battista said. "Most face-to-face students will remain in the same class with the same teacher." The same hybrid model has been successful with the board's secondary schools since the start of the school year, she said. Filomena Ferraro, president of York unit of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association, said the schools in the board have seen major shifts from in-class to the virtual learning as parents pulled their kids out of physical classrooms on a daily basis over the last month. "A lot of students were in limbo and had no teacher in the virtual system," she said. "The board did what they had to do to make it work." Meanwhile, teachers in the nearby Peel District School Board said they received memos from principals about a similar shift expected to get underway in mid November. Mary Fraser-Hamilton, a high school drama teacher with the Peel board, said she was dismayed. The idea sounds good in theory but presents a range of issues in practice, she said. "Teaching online and teaching in person requires different skill sets, it requires different strategies, it requires different practices, you do different activities and you teach in different ways," she said. "It's going to turn into park-and-bark where teachers just stand up and lecture." The Peel board said it is currently exploring what adjustments would be needed if there are significant enrolment changes in both elementary and secondary schools. Families have until next Wednesday to decide if they want in-class or remote learning. "We'll have a better idea of what changes will be needed following the deadline to switch learning models," said spokeswoman Kayla Tishcoff. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2020. Liam Casey, The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — Members of the oldest sovereigntist party in Quebec's legislature will elect a new leader tonight who will take over a caucus smaller than its been since the early 1970s. Four white men are vying to replace Jean-Francois Lisee, an author and former journalist who led the PQ in the 2018 election to a disappointing tie for third place with 10 seats. Comedian Guy Nantel, 52, is possibly the most well-known candidate, who grew his fan base from years of standup across the province and from making funny videos. Sylvain Gaudreault, 50, is the only member of the legislature in the race and considered the establishment candidate. Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, 43, is a lawyer and boasts he is best able to rejuvenate the party by attracting young, new members. Finally, there is Frederic Bastien, 51, a historian and junior college teacher who wants to slash immigration and only select immigrants who speak French and who are educated. Slightly more than 35,000 people are registered to vote for the next party leader with the result expected to be announced around 8:30 p.m. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 9, 2020. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The COVID-19 pandemic is underscoring weaknesses in Canadian privacy law that place people's personal information at risk, a federal watchdog warns. In his annual report presented Thursday, privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien said the pandemic is fuelling rapid societal and economic changes at a time when outdated laws provide inadequate protection. The spread of the virus and the resulting need to distance oneself from others has accelerated the digital revolution, bringing both benefits and risks for privacy, Therrien said. He cited the heated debates about contact-tracing and exposure-alert applications and their effect on privacy, and the fact many have been asked to provide details about their health at airports or before entering workplaces and stores. Telemedicine creates risks to doctor-patient confidentiality when virtual platforms involve commercial enterprises, he said. In addition, e-learning platforms can capture sensitive information about students’ learning disabilities and other behavioural issues. "It should be obvious for everyone that privacy protection is weak," Therrien told a news conference. The commissioner's office gave the thumbs-up to the government's COVID Alert app, intended to tell people when they have come near someone who has the virus. However, government officials declared during discussions about the digital tool that federal privacy law did not apply to the app, Therrien said. "This assertion certainly gives one pause: An extremely privacy-sensitive initiative is defended by the government of Canada as not subject to its privacy laws. "Privacy is considered by the government as a good practice but not a legal requirement. How long can this go on?" Therrien has repeatedly called for modernization of Canada's privacy laws, which lag behind many around the globe. He has pressed for new authority to issue binding orders to companies and levy fines for non-compliance with privacy law. Therrien also wants powers to inspect the information-handling practices of organizations. Rachel Rappaport, a spokeswoman for Justice Minister David Lametti, said the government is committed to reviewing the Privacy Act, which applies to government agencies and federally regulated industries, to ensure it keeps pace with the effects of technological change and evolving Canadian values. The government has already solicited the views of experts and interested parties, and it plans to consult the broader public soon, she said. Canadians are understandably anxious about how their data is being used in an increasingly digital world, said John Power, a spokesman for Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains. The government is moving to strengthen the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, which covers private-sector organizations, he said. "Our government will ensure respect for the privacy of Canadians, support responsible innovation and enhance reasonable enforcement powers. "We expect to have more to say on this soon." A recovery from the pandemic based on innovation will be sustainable only if rights are protected through stronger legislation, Therrien said. "It is more than time for Canada to catch up to other countries," he said. "All Canadians deserve strong privacy protections." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2020. Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press
Shifting gears later in their careers, “The War with Grandpa” stars Robert De Niro and Jane Seymour who are loving their comedic roles. (Oct. 8)
WINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister promised Thursday to open more COVID-19 testing sites and train more staff in an attempt to cut long waiting lines that have left many people frustrated or simply turned away. "I have never found it difficult to admit my own failures when it comes to sports, business or political life and I am perfectly willing to take charge of my own improvement," Pallister said. "I have to now tell you that I believe Manitobans deserve to get an improved system with better testing, shorter lineups (and) faster response times." The government will open a new test site in Winnipeg next week and another the following week, Pallister said, along with more sites in Brandon, Winkler and other communities. The government is also in discussion with doctors to have access to their offices after hours for testing. And a new course will be up and running at Red River College in the coming weeks to train workers to perform swabs and other duties, the premier added. COVID-19 numbers have been spiking in recent weeks, especially in Winnipeg. Health officials reported 67 new cases across the province Thursday, 57 of which were in Winnipeg. The number of active cases in Manitoba reached a record-high 863. The Opposition New Democrats accused the government of being slow to react. Case numbers started climbing in the latter part of summer. Demand for tests skyrocketed in Winnipeg more than a month ago as kids returned to school. "There are serious questions about why the government is only making these moves at this late date," NDP Leader Wab Kinew said. Pallister said the health system did not anticipate the late summer surge in demand for testing. "We had anticipated that demand would come a little later than this," Pallister said. "This (pandemic) is an unprecedented thing." The government is also looking to set up separate areas for seniors and other higher-risk people to get tested. The province may rent space in large venues such as convention centres, Pallister said. "Some of those arrangements have already been made, but … the detail and the materials and the staffing all have to be ironed out yet," This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2020. Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
Metro Vancouver can expect a mostly wet Thanksgiving long weekend, with the best chance of dry weather expected during the first half of Sunday.A system moving onto the South Coast is forecasted to bring rain overnight Thursday and through most of Friday.CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe says 15 to 30 millimetres of rain is expected, along with gusty winds and a drop in the daytime temperature to the mid- to low teens. The rain is expected to taper to showers Saturday afternoon but the drying trend won't last long.According to Wagstaffe, a "little atmospheric river" will arrive Sunday night bringing more rain through Thanksgiving Monday.
OTTAWA — Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says he's convening a high-level meeting with Indigenous leaders to tackle systemic racism in health care as communities brace for the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The problem gained new attention with the death of Joyce Echaquan, who livestreamed racial slurs directed at her by the nurses in a Quebec hospital last month. "There are many instances across Canada where this continues to occur," Miller said in a solemn news conference Thursday. "It is systemic. It is racist in nature. It's unfair." Miller said Indigenous people have become too used to just being treated "like garbage" when they go to hospital, and that is unacceptable. Miller said the risk that Indigenous people won't seek care, or an eventual vaccine, for the virus that causes COVID-19 is real if the problems in the health care system are not dealt with. Miller said the COVID-19 infection rate among First Nations people living on reserves has been one-third of the rate in the general Canadian population. "Thanks to amazing leadership, Indigenous communities have done exceedingly well during the first wave," he said, but the number of cases in First Nations communities is at risk of getting out of hand now. The government knows of 123 active cases in First Nations communities as of Wednesday, and a total of 768 confirmed cases since March. "There's little doubt that the second wave of COVID will hit Indigenous people harder than the first wave," he said. The government is also concerned about influenza, Miller said, with annual flu season imminent. "We know that the uptake for the flu vaccine is lower among Indigenous Peoples," he said. He said the deployment of the H1N1 vaccine into those communities, which are often small and remote from urban centres, was extremely challenging when that threatening strain of flu appeared in 2009. "This points to a pattern that we must avoid at all costs when we get to the deployment of a COVID-19 vaccine." The speech from the throne committed the government to co-develop Indigenous health legislation and a mental health and wellness strategy with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, with reforms that recognize the different needs and wishes of different communities. "The reform of the health-care system is culturally sensitive," Miller said. "We've heard the urgent call for change." Details of the meeting are forthcoming but Miller suggested it will include an effort to set measurable objectives with short timelines. "It's urgent," he said. Miller said the meeting will provide "space" for those experiencing racism and those working in the health care area. Solving the problems will take federal and provincial co-operation, he said. "There is a challenge, jurisdictionally, in reforming a system that has been, frankly, a source of tension." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2020. ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press
It will cost taxpayers $1.8 million to remove a derelict former navy vessel from a jetty on the LaHave River in Bridgewater, N.S.On Thursday, RJ MacIsaac Construction of Antigonish was awarded the federal government tender to dispose of the rusted hulk that was once the HMCS Cormorant.The abandoned navy dive support ship has been tied up in Bridgewater for 20 years and has changed hands several times after it was decommissioned by the Canadian Navy in 1997.The Cormorant partially sank in 2015 and and was designated as an imminent pollution threat after a ship inspection last year.Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan represents Bridgewater in Parliament and has promised action."This issue of abandoned and derelict vessels is a passion of mine, and the Cormorant vessel has been a personal priority for me both as a community member and a Member of Parliament for years," Jordan said in a statement to CBC News. "Our ports are not dumping grounds – they are hubs for community and industry."The 57-year -old vessel contains 6,500 litres of oil and 8,500 litres of oil-contaminated water in machinery spaces, bilges and other compartments.Tanks contain another 116,000 litres of water of unknown quality and is assumed to be oil-contaminated until proven otherwise.A risk assessment prepared for the Canadian Coast Guard in 2019 deemed the Cormorant a "grave and immediate threat of pollution."The estimated the budget for removing pollutants, towing within Nova Scotia and demolition was pegged at $1.9 to $2.6 million.According to the tender document, the process of pumping out contaminants will start this fall.The vessel is to be towed, dismantled and recycled in nine months.This is just the latest disposal for RJ MacIsaac. In 2017 the company removed the abandoned anti-sealing vessel Farley Mowat from Shelburne's harbour.It has also disposed of three former navy vessels at the Port Mersey commercial park in Brooklyn, N.S.MORE TOP STORIES
Opportunities for dramatic change rarely arise in the Middle East. But now is such a time.