A Spruce Grove man confessed to his son that he suffocated the woman he'd been married to for nearly 55 years, then didn't tell anyone what had happened. Robert Joyes, 76, was originally charged with the second-degree murder of his wife Freda in May 2018. The charge was downgraded to manslaughter at a preliminary hearing and withdrawn altogether on Wednesday when Robert Joyes pleaded guilty in Edmonton's Court of Queen's Bench to neglecting a dead body by not contacting the medical examiner. He was sentenced to 18 months of house arrest by Justice Terry Clackson, as recommended by a joint submission from the Crown and defence. Robert Joyes was the primary caregiver for his 74-year-old wife who was confined to a wheelchair, had severe heart disease and suffered excruciating pain from rheumatoid arthritis and migraines that were treated by opioids. Following a surgery in 2017, she was no longer able to raise her head. Freda Joyes relied on her husband for trips to the doctor and giving her medication. She also received regular home care visits from health professionals. The couple had three sons, one of whom suffered brain damage at age one from post-meningitis complications and needed constant care from his parents until he died in 2015. When that happened, Robert Joyes began to drink heavily. His alcohol abuse worsened as his wife's physical state deteriorated. According to an agreed statement of facts, one of their sons visited his parents at their apartment on Mother's Day in 2018. That's the last time he saw Freda Joyes alive. Two weeks later, he came to the apartment to check on his parents and found his mother dead in her bed in an advanced stage of decomposition. His father was nowhere to be found. "During that time, he was grossly intoxicated," the court document states. "He understood the victim had passed away but did not want to report her death. "Instead, he kept drinking heavily while sleeping in the same bed as his dead wife." Robert Joyes was arrested for impaired driving on May 26, 2018, and for public intoxication the next day. No one knows exactly when Freda Joyes died. Her husband kept turning away home care workers by telling them they were going away and that everything was fine. Confession After Freda's body was found and the death reported, Robert Joyes confessed what had happened to his son. "Your mother didn't die in her sleep," Joyes told his son. "I suffocated her. She wanted it. She was in a lot of pain." His son insisted they go to the RCMP, where Joyes told an officer, "I put a pillow over her face." An autopsy was performed on May 30, 2018. At a preliminary hearing, the medical examiner, Dr. Bernard Bannach, testified that he concluded the cause of death was undetermined. Had it not been for Robert Joyes' confession, Bannach said he would have found the cause to be heart disease. Justice Clackson said that having reviewed the agreed statement of facts, he was confident Joyes likely would have been acquitted on the manslaughter charge, given the findings from the medical examiner. "One is not always sure about the mechanism of death, especially when there's a heart condition," Clackson said. Robert Joyes has undergone extensive treatment for his alcohol addiction and said he hasn't touched a drop since the death of his wife. "I fully understand and feel a lot of shame for what happened," he told the judge. "I realize my alcoholism was totally out of control. ... I have no excuses per se for what happened, other than I was so under the influence." He told the court he plans to spend the rest of his life sober, helping others who suffer from the same addiction. "Nearly 900 days ago, my client lost his best friend and partner of nearly 55 years," defence lawyer Anthony Oliver told the judge. "He clearly loved his wife who was literally on her deathbed." But, Oliver noted, "Our society can't function if you permit bodies to be left around."
Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer, and health minister Patty Hajdu commented on a recent report from the Toronto Star revealing that some areas of Toronto are seeing more than 10 per cent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive.
TORONTO — A student found at her high school prom with cocaine in her purse has failed to have her case thrown out as a violation of her rights. In convicting the young woman, Ontario court Judge Amit Ghosh said there was nothing wrong with the mandatory search that turned up the drug. "Despite the absence of reasonable grounds, the mandatory security search of bags at a prom is reasonable in all the circumstances," Ghosh said in his recent decision. "This was a voluntarily attended prom party." The teen, Maria Calabretta, was charged with possession in June 2019 when she went to her prom at a banquet hall in Vaughan, Ont. She had a two-gram bag of cocaine in her purse. Evidence was that Calabretta had bought an entry ticket that stated drugs and alcohol were prohibited. She stood in a security line at the hall while school administrators briefly checked bags and purses for illicit substances, alcohol or weapons. Men searched the male students' belongings, women the females'. About 300 students attended the prom and about half were younger than 18, court records show. The mandatory bag searches and hiring of off-duty officers, the school said, were to ensure the safety and security of attendees, not to investigate criminal activity. When it was her turn, Calabretta opened her purse for the vice-principal, who, after spotting a small straw inside that could be used for snorting a drug, found the baggie. The teen quickly admitted it was coke. At that point, the vice-principal alerted nearby paid-duty officers, who arrested her for possession. Calabretta argued at trial the mandatory searches were done without reasonable grounds in violation of the charter. She wanted the cocaine evidence thrown out. Ghosh, however, was having none of it. He noted a charter search violation occurs when a person has a "reasonable expectation of privacy." While the accused did have such an expectation regarding her purse, it was lessened given the situation, the judge said. Calabretta, he said, could simply have chosen to leave the prom to get rid of the drugs, and then returned. The off-duty officers were not involved in the search, he noted. It was not, he said, similar to a situation in which police stop a motorist and demand a breath sample or search the vehicle. In this case, the vice-principal testified the student could have refused to open her bag when asked, and would then likely have just been asked to leave. Any impact on her charter rights, Ghosh said, was "negligible at best." Calabretta's lawyer said his client would have no comment. This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Oct. 7, 2020. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
Authorities are continuing to search Lake Ontario for a missing sailor from Oakville after the U.S. Coast Guard found his boat without him three kilometres off Rochester, New York on Wednesday.The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ont. said in a tweet that "poor weather and high waves" are making the search difficult.Halton Regional Police said they believe Eric Quimby, 65, left the Oakville Club marina on Tuesday at about 10:40 a.m. in his 30-foot sailboat for a recreational trip to the Stoney Creek, Ont. area.Quimby is said to be a long-time member of the club and that he likes to get out on the water as often as possible. He also likes to go out alone."Quimby is a skilled sailor with more than 30 years' experience and makes this trip often," police said in a news release on Tuesday.Police said they were contacted on Tuesday evening when Quimby did not return home. He is believed to be the only person on board the boat, which is equipped with a motor. The boat has a red and white hull.Quimby was not on board the boat when it was discovered adrift by a concerned citizen out on the lake. The person said the boat looked suspicious and called the U.S. Coast Guard, which towed the boat into Rochester, where it remains.Halton police said the sailboat was "unoccupied."The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre has taken the lead on the search, which involves two Hercules aircraft, one from Canada and one from the U.S., and a Griffin helicopter. Halton police said the search is now in U.S. waters.Halton police said its marine unit is working with marine units from Peel Regional Police, Toronto Police Service and the Canadian Coast Guard.There are also volunteer coast guards helping in the search.Quimby is described as white, five-foot-10, 220 lbs., with a medium build, short blond hair and blue eyes.When he left on his trip, he was wearing a white t-shirt, a dark sweater and red shorts. He is believed to have more clothing on the boat, including sweaters and wind breakers.Anyone with information is urged to call police immediately.
Ontario could be "on the brink of disaster," a Toronto epidemiologist said Wednesday, as officials continued to urge families to scrap Thanksgiving gatherings amid soaring COVID-19 cases.This week, the province — and public health officials in the hot zones of Toronto and Ottawa — stressed the safest way to celebrate is with only members of your own household.Should Ontarians not heed those warnings, some weekend gatherings could become superspreading events once infected attendees return to their homes, schools and workplaces, said Dr. Jeff Kwong, a professor of family medicine and public health at the University of Toronto."It's not just about this one transmission event; it's the onward transmission," he said. "Ten people gathering, say four or five get infected, then they go on to their social circles and infect another five or 10, and so on."The result could be like a "runaway train" given the millions of residents potentially congregating indoors with extended family members from different households, he said.Ontario is experiencing a seven-day average of more than 600 cases per day, up sharply from a seven-day average of fewer than 100 cases per day at the start of August.The province has also been struggling to tackle high demand for testing and an existing backlog of more than 55,000 tests. Most contact tracing efforts in Toronto have been suspended because of the dramatic rise in infections.Against that backdrop, Ontario officials are now encouraging household-only celebrations for Thanksgiving while saying people who live alone can pair up with one other household.Activities now 'much higher risk'Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford said residents let their guard down on previous holidays, such as Labour Day weekend, which led to increased cases.But there are several stark differences between those earlier festivities and Thanksgiving, Kwong said. Unlike the long weekend holidays of spring and summer, Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated indoors given the colder weather. Also, it often marks the first time college and university students return home from campus, and it now falls against a backdrop of already-rising cases."Things are a little bit out of control already," he said. "It's not like cases are going down steadily like they were earlier in the summer."Dr. Irfan Dhalla, vice-president of physician quality at Unity Health, which includes St. Michael's and St. Joseph's hospitals in Toronto, agreed the climate has changed."The same activities that we could do with relatively low risk at 50-70 cases per day are now much higher risk at 500-700 cases per day," he said.One park gathering, 27 casesAccording to Dr. Vera Etches, medical officer of health for Ottawa, even outdoor dinners aren't advised for Thanksgiving, given the risks tied to close contact in settings like a park.One outdoor gathering in that city already wound up becoming a superspreading event, she said.It was a barbecue in a park, Etches revealed last month, with 40 attendees, including two who went on to develop COVID-19 symptoms. Those infections led to outbreaks in their households, a workplace and a daycare — causing dozens of exposures and at least 27 cases. The messaging throughout the pandemic has long been "outdoors is better than indoors," said University of Toronto epidemiologist Ashleigh Tuite, but she stressed that only goes so far."I think the concern is still, you're eating a meal together, it's hard to keep a distance," she explained. "You're sharing food. You're passing dishes."Thanksgiving a 'potent accelerator' Experts say there are ways to avoid those risks while still celebrating the spirit of the occasion. Tuite said a family hike, if physical distancing is maintained, is one option. Kwong said he's carving up a turkey, offering curbside pickup for family and gathering online for the meal. The challenge, both agree, is people trying to gather together like usual and slipping up once food and drinks start flowing.With that in mind, Kwong issued a public plea for Ontarians, and particularly those in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel region, to cancel any planned gatherings."We are on the brink of disaster," he said in a tweet on Wednesday.WATCH | Canadians confused by advice on Thanksgiving celebrations Toronto warns of spring peakIn Toronto, where medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa is also calling on residents to celebrate Thanksgiving with only their own household, there's growing concern about rising case counts beyond just the holiday.The city's latest modelling shows without further public health interventions — like month-long restaurant and gym closures de Villa is requesting from the province — the spread of COVID-19 throughout October could exceed the April peak. "If the virus is left unchecked, heading into November, things can get much worse," she said. "Infections continue to rise week over week, peaking between early March and early May 2021."When asked when the city will know if Thanksgiving gatherings caused even more infections, de Villa's answer was blunt: "I hope we don't get there."
"I've had so many people write me letters saying, 'Thank you so much,'" said Hilton, 39, who said she did not speak to her parents for 20 years because they sent her to Provo Canyon School in Utah. In the documentary, which premiered on her YouTube page this month, Hilton alleges she was mentally and physically abused, placed in solidarity confinement for hours at a time and forced to take unknown medications. Hilton said she was sent to Provo and several other schools for troubled teens after years of rebellion.
Bold policy actions taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic were needed but will make Canada's economy and financial system more vulnerable to economic shocks down the road, the governor of the Bank of Canada said on Thursday. Tiff Macklem, speaking by video conference to a financial risk management group, said Canada came into the pandemic with a number of vulnerabilities and that it "seems certain" the country would exit with higher levels of government debt.
The Transport Canada report tells a harrowing tale. An Air Tindi Cessna leaves from Yellowknife on Sept. 26 and during its ascent, the plane experiences engine failure, and is forced to make an unexpected landing in Behchoko, N.W.T.According to the incident report posted on Transport Canada's website, the aircraft "glided" into the Rae/Edzo Airport, "landing safely." Thankfully, no injuries or damage were reported.But Air Tindi's president says the event was less dramatic than the federal department's Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (CADORS) would have readers believe. Actually, says Chris Reynolds, the report got some key details wrong. 'An incorrect report'"It's an incorrect report," he said bluntly, when reached for comment on Monday.Reynolds said the Cessna Caravan was flying from Yellowknife to Fort Simpson, N.W.T., on a scheduled trip when, in flight (not during the climb, as the report indicates), the flight crew got a warning that the back-up electrical power supply, "which is essentially an alternator for standby power," failed. The pilot elected to land at the Rae/Edzo Airport in Behchoko as a "precautionary measure," said Reynolds."So the engine did not fail," he added, and the aircraft "did not glide or anything like that. He landed uneventfully in Behchoko." If this was the case, how did Transport Canada get the incident so wrong?"I'm not sure," said Reynolds. "We're following up on that." He said the pilot was talking to air traffic control in Edmonton and something, apparently, "got jumbled up there." The pilot "definitely had power and landed with power." > Transport Canada endeavours to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the data contained within CADORS, however, the information within should be treated as preliminary, unsubstantiated and subject to change. \- Cybelle Morin, Transport Canada spokespersonOn its website, Transport Canada says it tracks airport or landing strip incidents that "could affect aviation safety."The purpose of CADORS, said spokesperson Cybelle Morin in an email on Tuesday, is to capture initial information on incidents involving aircraft in Canadian airspace and at Canadian airports."Transport Canada endeavours to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the data contained within CADORS, however, the information within should be treated as preliminary, unsubstantiated and subject to change," she said.A different spokesperson on Wednesday said Transport Canada followed up with Air Tindi after the incident and did not find any "non-compliances" with aviation regulations.Pilot 'did a great job'Reynolds said it's typical for the Cessna Caravan to fly with one pilot, and that the aircraft, which was built in 1998, is considered relatively young.This particular aircraft hasn't had issues in the past, he said, and for such a plane to lose its backup power supply is "not common at all." But given the circumstances, the pilot did "very well," said Reynolds. He said he radioed Edmonton air traffic control, got clearance to land in Behchoko, and landed as soon as was practical."He did a great job," said Reynolds. "He did what he was trained to do in the simulator and followed that through really well and kept us all in the loop." The passengers took a different aircraft on to Fort Simpson and the Cessna was flown back to Yellowknife, said Reynolds. Now, he said, Air Tindi is "starting fresh." It's replacing the problematic parts on all of its Cessna Caravans, as well as increasing the frequency of inspections of those parts, and training maintenance personnel to watch out for that kind of failure.The airline is investigating to find out exactly what happened.
HONG KONG — A 700-year-old Chinese painted scroll from the Yuan Dynasty fetched 306.6 million Hong Kong dollars ($41.8 million) at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong. The 6.6-feet scroll, titled “Five Drunken Princes Returning on Horseback” is by Ren Renfa, a renowned Chinese artist and government official. The painting depicts the princes riding horses, together with four attendants. One of the princes is Li Longji, who later became the longest-reigning Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty. The scroll has been documented in imperial collections and bears a collection of seals, including those of several emperors. In 1922, the “Five Drunken Princes Returning on Horseback” scroll was transported out of the Forbidden City by Pu Yi, the last emperor of China, after the fall of Qing dynasty. The artwork was initially estimated to sell between about $10 million and $15.5 million. Many of Ren’s 21 paintings are held in museums or owned by private collectors. “This painting depicts the story of the five drunken princes after they had a very happy time, and then they got drunk and went back home,” said Sally Fong, a specialist of classical Chinese paintings at Sotheby's. “Among the five princes, one of them is the future emperor. In this painting, we can see that he was depicted as the one who can tolerate the drunkenness, to go back home together with the other drunken princes.” Zen Soo, The Associated Press
TORONTO — A "Battle of the Blades" executive producer says a woman from the show's team who tested positive for COVID-19 is in self-isolation in Toronto with no symptoms, and the creators are confident the case is isolated and production can resume next week. Lindsay Cox, who is also senior vice-president at Insight Productions, says they can't reveal the woman's name or her role on the upcoming sixth season of the televised skating competition due to privacy issues. But Cox does say the woman was tested for COVID-19 on Monday through a private testing agency on-site, as part of the production's regular pandemic protocols. The result came back later that evening and Cox says they notified the appropriate parties and used contact tracing on the woman, who was already alone at the time the positive test result came in. Cox says anyone who had been in contact with the woman is now isolating, has not tested positive and is not symptomatic. "We feel very confident that we have isolated this," Cox said in a phone interview, noting their intention is to go back into production on Tuesday. Insight Productions revealed the case on Wednesday, noting it's halting preparations and training for the show as a "precautionary measure" to ensure the safety of cast and crew, who Cox said "are truly being responsible" about the situation. CBC, which airs the show, said it supports the decision and will postpone the planned Oct. 15 premiere. The network said it will share scheduling updates as soon as possible. Cox said the woman is abiding by Toronto Public Health guidelines for self-isolation and is not to go outside, except for a medical appointment, if required. Producers are monitoring her health and ensuring that a doctor speaks to her regularly. "The person who tested positive will not be returning until following quarantine, but then will be returning to the show, and we are confident she'll remain asymptomatic," Cox said. "Anyone who was in touch with her who is in isolation also will not return until all the guidelines have been followed, and as testing continues to show negatives coming back." "Hockey Night in Canada" personality Ron MacLean hosts "Battle of the Blades," which returned to the CBC last year, nearly six years after it left the air. This year's instalment of the celebrity on-ice contest has already started training and filming interviews with COVID-19 protocols at the CAA Centre in Brampton, Ont. Video screens in the arena will show a virtual audience watching and reacting to the live performances from their homes and communities. Olympic ice dance champion Scott Moir, hockey champion Natalie Spooner and professional skater Elladj Balde are this season's judges, alongside world champion figure skater Kurt Browning as "elite battle expert." The live-competition series sees hockey players and figure skaters pairing up to perform on-ice dance routines for an audience and judges, with the winners getting $100,000 in prize money that they donate to charities of their choice. The production administers COVID-19 tests either daily or twice weekly, depending on the department, said Cox, noting they have "very strict" protocols and guidelines to ensure safety on set. The private testing agency sends the results to a lab and usually gets the results back within the same day, she said. The production works with doctors, a wellness director, a COVID-19 compliance officer and other experts. Other pandemic protocols on set include temperature checks, masks and pods of people to limit contact. For instance, each hockey player and figure skater pair is in a contained pod with a coach and choreographer, who don't work with any of the other teams. This season has eight pairs of 16 skaters: Violetta Afanasieva and Anthony Stewart; Meghan Agosta and Andrew Poje; Jennifer Botterill and Eric Radford; Jessica Campbell and Asher Hill; Meagan Duhamel and Wojtek Wolski; Carlotta Edwards and Kris Versteeg; Vanessa James and Akim Aliu; and Kaitlyn Weaver and Bryan Bickell. This isn't the first Canadian production to be derailed by COVID-19 concerns. In August, two people involved in the St. John's-shot television series "Hudson & Rex" tested positive for the virus. Cox said Insight Productions has been evolving its COVID-19 protocols as things change with Health Canada, and it is now looking at further ways to reduce contamination between departments. It is also working closely with the wardrobe department to figure out ways to ensure the skaters' masks stay on their faces while they're on the ice. "There have been moments where they fall off, they slide down, so we're working really closely with how we can create new technologies such as glue-on technology, how masks can get affixed into hair," she said. "We are looking at that really, really closely and determining what's required for the on-air performances." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2020. The Canadian Press
New Brunswick health officials have identified potential public exposure to COVID-19 at the Moncton Costco Optical Centre and Moncton St-Hubert restaurant.Both sites are popular with Prince Edward Islanders and Nova Scotians making day trips to shop in the Moncton area.The news led P.E.I.'s chief public health officer to issue a statement late Wednesday."Out of an abundance of caution, Islanders who accessed services at the Costco Optical Centre or St-Hubert Restaurant in Moncton since Thursday, October 1 should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19," said the news release from Dr. Heather Morrison. "Islanders who are experiencing symptoms should immediately visit a drop-in testing clinic to be tested."The public health warning came from Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, as she and Premier Blaine Higgs gave a grim update on the province's latest COVID-19 outbreak. They confirmed 17 new cases of COVID-19 amid efforts to contain the outbreak identified Tuesday at the Manoir Notre-Dame special care home in Moncton.Russell said 13 residents, four staff and two family members have now tested positive for the coronavirus, up from two residents whose illnesses were announced a day earlier.New Brunswick now has 20 active cases in the Moncton region and two in the Saint John region.As of a briefing on Tuesday morning, P.E.I. still had three active COVID-19 cases. Word of the possible exposure locations in Moncton comes as Prince Edward Island prepares to sign on with the COVID Alert contact notification app, as of Thursday morning. Meanwhile, despite the increase in cases in New Brunswick, a spokesperson for the Nova Scotia government said the province has no intention of changing its border protocols at this time. More from CBC P.E.I.
A section of catwalks on the Johnston Canyon trail is closed indefinitely while parks staff attend to recent structural damage.According to David Dunbar, a spokesperson with Parks Canada, officials discovered damage to the footings of the section during a routine engineering inspection, deeming it unsafe."It is not clear yet exactly what has caused the damage, but Parks Canada officials and engineering professionals are assessing the infrastructure," Dunbar said in an email.The trail to the waterfalls is extremely popular and sees hundreds of hikers daily during the summer, according to the Town of Banff.The closure will impact the trail to the upper falls where it intersects with the catwalk that leads to the lower viewpoint of the Upper Falls, Dunbar said.The closure will not, however, impact access to the upper viewpoint of the Upper Falls, the Ink Pots or the viewpoint at the Lower Falls."Parks Canada understands that this closure will have some impact on the experience for visitors to the area and local businesses that use the attraction," Dunbar said. "However, the majority of the Johnson Canyon trail remains open and safe for public use."The closure is clearly marked and Parks Canada asks all visitors to respect the closure for their safety as officials assess the damaged infrastructure."Dunbar said there is no timeline for lifting the closure and updates will be provided when available.
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador is asking workers who returned to the province in the last two weeks from work sites in Nunavut and Alberta to get tested for COVID-19. The department issued three warnings today about outbreaks at the Hope Bay gold mine in Nunavut; at Syncrude Canada’s Aurora mine site, close to Fort McMurray; and at Methanex’s methanol plant in Medicine Hat. Authorities say these workers must isolate from household members for the full 14-day quarantine period regardless of test results.
Voters in P.E.I.'s District 10, Charlottetown-Winsloe are going to see a different look at the polling station during the Island's first COVID-19 pandemic election on Nov. 2.Elections P.E.I. has been preparing for a byelection since Robert Mitchell resigned his seat last month, and on Tuesday Premier Dennis King set the date for the election."It's nice to have the date, so now we have some firm timelines, but we've been making sure that all the safety protocols will be in place for our workers and the voters," Chief Electoral Officer Tim Garrity told Island Morning host Laura Chapin.Those protocols will include poll workers wearing masks or face shields, Plexiglas barriers, social distancing floor markers, and pencils will be one-time use. Voters will be strongly encouraged to wear face masks, and voting booths will be sanitized after every voter.Garrity said there will be extra staff at the polling booth to ensure all the extra work is done in a timely fashion."I don't think there'll be any additional wait times or lineups that we can anticipate," he said."We're strongly encouraging the mail-in ballot application as well, for anybody who doesn't feel that they would like to go out to the polling location."Elections P.E.I. is expecting more people to take advantage of mail-in ballots, which are available for all voters. Voters can get applications online or by calling Elections P.E.I.The deadline for mail-in ballot applications is Oct. 20 at 6 p.m.Advance voting will take place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24; Monday, Oct. 26 and Friday, Oct. 30. The same voting hours will apply on the day of the byelection as well. All the advance polls, and polling on election day, will be at Community Baptist Church at 162 Sherwood Rd.More from CBC P.E.I.
The number of doctors practising in Alberta has increased so far this year despite fears of an exodus due to a dispute with the UCP government — but the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta says the figures don't tell the full story. There was a net increase of 246 doctors for a total of 11,152 in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to the quarterly report released by the college on Wednesday morning.The gains so far this year are smaller than each of the past five years, but there is still an additional quarter left to report. From 2018 to 2019, the college registered a net gain of 274 doctors. Broken down further, the province had a net gain of 331 specialists year to year but a net loss of 85 non-specialists.Family doctors are considered specialists, but general practitioners, who can be family doctors, are not. Year-end numbers could change pictureRegistrations are for the full year and can't be changed mid-way through. In other words, if there is an exodus, it wouldn't necessarily show up in the third-quarter figures. Jessica McPhee, the communications director with the college, says while the numbers are promising, it's too early to tell whether the trend will hold for the year."Sometimes what can happen throughout the year is a physician may change the scope of their practice, perhaps they reduce their practice, maybe they're working part-time in our province but then in another province," said McPhee, regarding the nuance that isn't captured by the stats. "In those sorts of scenarios, we really don't have the full understanding of those types of situations."She said the third-quarter always sees a bump as residents transition from one register to another on July 1.'Massive drop off'Dr. Sam Myrh, a family physician in Pincher Creek who is part of a group that has raised the alarm over the impact of government actions on health care in the province, agrees these numbers aren't a strong indication of a trend. She says doctors not renewing their registrations won't be seen until the first quarter report of 2021. "I think that's when we'll see the the massive drop off," said Myrh. She said even these numbers show a slowdown in growth, and the loss of 85 non-specialists is telling."Losing 85 non-specialists is quite indicative of where these cuts and where these policy changes are having the most effect," she said."That's your, you know, everyday family doctor who is sitting in the office and in rural areas seeing you in emerge and taking care of you in the hospital. Those are the people that are leaving."Reports of doctor exodusThe figures so far paint a different picture than ongoing reports of doctors fleeing the province in the wake of Jason Kenney's United Conservative Party government unilaterally tearing up its master agreement with the Alberta Medical Association. That move by the province has sent relations with Alberta's doctors into a tailspin as the two sides try to negotiate compensation and contracts in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The health minister was quick to pounce on the positive take. "This report shows that doctors continue to choose to live and practise in Alberta in impressive numbers — and for good reason," Health Minister Tyler Shandro in a news release on Wednesday. "Alberta pays more than any other province, has lower taxes, and now has the most attractive compensation package available for rural and remote doctors in Canada."Recently revealed government documents, however, show some rural areas of the province were considered at risk of a doctor's exodus earlier this year and as noted by the CPSA, the figures could still change by the end of December. At the height of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the provincial government's dispute with doctors, more than 200 physicians were weighing the future of their practices, with 163 deemed to be at "high risk" of altering the services they provide or leaving Alberta altogether, according to internal documents.The documents, obtained by Alberta's Opposition NDP through Freedom of Information laws and provided to CBC News, laid out the decisions under consideration by some physicians in the spring and early summer.Rural communitiesAs of Oct. 1, those rural communities have not seen a mass exodus of doctors — however, many of them were on a confidential, internal watch list maintained by Alberta Health Services (AHS).According to the list, 205 doctors in 17 rural towns had told the health authority they were unsure what the future would hold for them.Only three communities have seen actual departures as of Oct. 1 but, according to the documents, some physicians have agreed to withhold any action until the immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.Dr. Myrh said she wants the government to take a hard look at what's happening with doctors in the province. "I would really appreciate a bit of honesty looking at these numbers, parsing them out for what they really mean instead of just putting out, you know, raw numbers that they can then spin to look good to support their cause," she said. "It's pretty clear, I think, to Albertans, that there's a problem and that physicians are leaving."The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta quarterly report, most regions show a net increase in doctors in 2020, with notable exceptions in Grande Prairie and Fort Saskatchewan.
Toronto police responded to a car crash involving a Porsche at College Street and Lansdowne Avenue that sent 4 young people to hospital. As Shallima Maharaj reports, all four occupants of the high-end vehicle were under 16.
A fire that started in a Heatherton, N.L., residence this morning grew to engulf nearby structures, but a local fire chief and police say the blaze is now under control, after burning for several hours.The RCMP closed the main road in the community on Newfoundland's west coast and evacuated residents, after the fire broke out, shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday.Fire crews are on the scene and fought the blaze amid heavy smoke, causing poor visibility, according to police.Shane Hulan, chief of the local service district volunteer fire department in Bay St. George South, said around 12:30 p.m. that the large house where the fire originated has been completely destroyed, with damage to a shed on the property. A smouldering foundation is all that's left.Bay St. George RCMP said the fire spread to a vacant store, and another three homes were damaged due to heat generated from the fire, but Hulan told CBC News that crews prevented the fire from spreading.The initial structure was unoccupied, police said earlier. The fire began near the Heatherton Mini Mart.The road ha been reopened, but police are asking the public to stay away from the area. Newfoundland Power crews are working to restore power to residents in the area. The investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
India's Future Retail Ltd <FRTL.NS> shares fell 9% on Thursday after Amazon.com Inc sent a legal notice to Future Group, alleging the retailer's $3.38 billion asset sale to Reliance Industries breached an agreement with the e-commerce giant. Amazon <AMZN.O>, Reliance <RELI.NS> and Walmart Inc's <WMT.N> Flipkart are in a race to gain market share in India's fast-growing online market for food and groceries, and analysts said Amazon's move was aimed at slowing down the Reliance-Future deal. Amazon had last year bought a 49% stake in Future Coupons Ltd, which owns a 7.3% stake in Future Retail.
Researchers are gathering samples from farms across the Island as the second season of the Living Laboratories project hits harvest time.The living lab concept brings together scientists, watershed groups and farmers on P.E.I. to do projects together in real fields."This co-development is the key part of it, to be able to go out and ask the questions, what concerns you on your farm," said Johanna Kelly of the Kensington North Watersheds Association, one of 14 partners in the project."How can we create climate change resilience on a farm, make sure that our soils are healthy enough that they are retaining more moisture."Kelly said the project will also look at how to improve yield for farmers."There will be a socioeconomic portion. What's the return to the farm? What's the cost to the farm?" Kelly said. "What's the effect of each management practice on soil health, water quality, and pay yield? What's the benefit to the actual farm as well?"Real life farmThe living lab program on P.E.I. is run by the East Prince Agri-Environment Association, a not-for-profit organization.The group represents 13 Prince Edward Island farms that are working together to create sustainable agricultural practices."To be able to gather together and have farmers ask questions directly to scientists, and for the scientists to have the experience of what are the realities of an everyday farm," Kelly said."There's climate change, there's weeds and there's pests and there's nematodes. There are a lot of things that are a challenge to a farmer every day and how do we work together to overcome those."Kelly said doing the research in actual farm fields across the Island is also more reflective of the realities of farming."Farming is a challenge, so many things are not predictable," Kelly said."They might be predictable on a study farm, and somewhat under control, but in the real world, there's far more challenges." Kelly said the return to watershed groups, like hers, is the relationships that she has built through the project."I have no problem picking up the phone if I have a question about an agricultural practice and calling either a farmer or an industry professional because we all know each other pretty well now," Kelly said."Sometimes there's a lot to be learned as a watershed group, we sometimes can take for granted some of the challenges that happen on a farm, so this answers a lot of questions."Bringing their experienceJudith Nyiraneza is the living lab co-lead scientist from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada."Research scientists, they have their own experience but when you add a watershed group or a grower, it makes the project interesting," said Nyiraneza."Because everyone brings his own experience and then it makes the project very interesting in that way,"Nyiraneza said her colleagues at Agriculture Canada are interested in watching the living lab model and the results the work is producing. "All scientists are interested because it makes our research more make sense because we know that the issues we are tackling, they are the issues that were identified by our stakeholders," Nyiraneza said. 'A feedback loop'For Matt Ramsay of Oyster Cove Farms in Hamilton, P.E.I., the living lab is adding to work he has already been doing to improve soil quality at his farm."Soil's been on the minds of most of us for many years," Ramsay said. "We've been looking a lot at soil organic matter, at what we can do, what we can't do, what we've been doing wrong. This has provided the beginnings of a feedback loop for us to know whether we're on the right page or not."Researchers have been collecting soil samples and harvesting small sections of potato fields by hand at Ramsay's farm this month.Ramsay said, even after just two seasons, there have been some interesting results."We've had some hunches that have been shored up by some of the data that's being produced here," Ramsay said."It's allowing us to see the areas that aren't producing well, the areas that are and some of them line up with what we thought and some of them don't. So shedding some new light on some questions that we've had." The living lab project on P.E.I. will receive $2.4 million of the $10 million that the federal government is investing in the program.P.E.I. is the first living lab in Canada, with others being rolled out now across the country.More from CBC P.E.I.
The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan talked exclusively to Euronews on Wednesday about the flare-up of deadly violence in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.View on euronews