HALIFAX — Newly released court documents say witnesses told the RCMP that the gunman who carried out the April mass shooting in Nova Scotia smuggled drugs and guns from Maine for years and had secret compartments inside several of his properties.The gunman took 22 lives during his April 18-19 shooting and burning rampage before police killed him at a service station in Enfield, N.S.The documents that a media consortium, including The Canadian Press, went before a provincial court judge to obtain reveal a stark picture of the killer's alleged criminal activities prior to the shootings.Previously blacked-out details from police applications for search warrants, unsealed Monday by Judge Laurel Halfpenny MacQuarrie, quote a witness telling investigators that Gabriel Wortman had smuggled guns and drugs from Maine for years and "had a bag of 10,000 OxyContin and 15,000 Dilaudid from a reservation in New Brunswick."Another witness told police that neighbours spoke of concealed spaces on Wortman's properties in Portapique, N.S., and in Dartmouth, N.S.That included a "secret room" in his Dartmouth denturist clinic, a false wall at his property on Portland Street in Dartmouth and "secret hiding spots" at his warehouse property in Portapique.Prior releases from a witness who'd known Wortman since 2011 had stated the witness believed the killer had a stockpile of guns and a safe in his garage and "was controlling and paranoid."The newly revealed portion further describes Wortman as a man who "builds fires and burns bodies, is a sexual predator and supplies drugs in Portapique and Economy, Nova Scotia."The same witness told police, "Gabriel Wortman would tell ... different ways to get rid of a body and had lime and muriatic acid on the property. The barrels for these would be underneath the deck."The warrants say police were looking for firearms, ammunition, explosives, chemicals, surveillance systems, computers, electronic devices, police-related clothing, human remains and "documents related to planning mass murder events'' and the acquisition of weapons.Investigators obtained warrants to search properties owned by the killer — three of them in the northern Nova Scotia village of Portapique, where the 51-year-old started his murderous rampage.The warrants provide information on other areas, such as how police finally killed Wortman at a service station.In previously released documents, a paragraph describing how the gunman was shot dead on April 19 was blacked out.A newly released section suggests a chance encounter led to his death.Information provided by an RCMP investigator says that when Wortman pulled up to the Irving Big Stop in Enfield, "a peace officer and member of the RCMP was also at the gas pump and recognized Gabriel Wortman ... Gabriel Wortman ... died."One witness told Halifax police that Wortman has an uncle who was in the RCMP and the witness believed Wortman had one of the uncle's uniforms, "but it didn't fit." The gunman began his rampage wearing an authentic RCMP shirt and pants, police have said.Another person told Halifax police officers they had seen a compartment in Wortman's garage where he kept a high-powered rifle."The compartment was hidden underneath the workbench," the documents say.In addition, a previously blacked-out portion of a text exchange between Wortman and another individual on April 14 and 15 "with respect to some potential business" has been released.It says, "I am currently residing at my cottage in Portapique. I am enjoying this prelude to retirement, unfortunately not able to get to Maine."Previously released documents have detailed warning signals of paranoid behaviour and unusual purchases of gasoline by the gunman before his killings.Large portions of the documents remain blacked-out, and the judge wrote Monday that those redactions are necessary "because of the significant ongoing investigation."This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2020.Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said there will be no more war as the country's nuclear weapons guarantee its safety and future despite unabated outside pressure and military threats, state media said on Tuesday. Kim made the remarks as he celebrated the 67th anniversary of the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which fell on July 27, with a reception for veterans, the official KCNA news agency said. The country developed nuclear weapons to win "absolute strength" to stave off another armed conflict, Kim said in a speech carried by KCNA, emphasising the defensive nature of the programmes.
Jason Spezza has worn a suit to nearly every game he's played since breaking into the Ontario Hockey League at age 15. Now 37 years old, the Toronto Maple Leafs forward doesn't know anything different. "I personally love a shirt and tie, and wearing a suit to games," Spezza said.
As cases of COVID-19 continue to spread around the world, Canadians are concerned about their health and safety.
Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli on Monday issued a scathing criticism of the Italian government's handling of the coronavirus, saying he was humiliated by a recent lockdown, and urged people to disobey rules still in place. A national lockdown began in early March and was eased in stages over three months.
The Canadian navy has found a very creative way to keep its second-hand submarines afloat until the late 2030s and early 2040s — a plan that emphasizes maintenance over age in predicting how long the vessels can remain seaworthy.The plan — according to a newly-released briefing note prepared in the run-up to the release of the Liberal government's marquee defence policy — would not see HMCS Victoria decommissioned until the end of 2042, giving the warship over 45 years service in Canada.That estimate does not include the time the boat served with Britain's Royal Navy, which would add at least a decade to its working life.The retirements of the other submarines — HMCS Chicoutimi, HMCS Windsor and HMCS Corner Brook — would be staggered throughout the 2030s, with Windsor being the first to go in 2033."The [Victoria Class Submarines] are a well-designed and solidly constructed class of modern conventional submarines that have had an unusual life since entering service with the [Royal Navy] in the early 1990s," said the August 2016 briefing analysis, recently obtained by Conservative Party researchers. "'While chronologically 20 years older, they have not been operated extensively during that time."The boats were first constructed for the Royal Navy in the 1980s, but Britain decided to sell them when the government of the day made the policy decision to operate only nuclear-powered submarines.One aspect of the Liberal defence policy, released in June 2017, that has puzzled military experts and opposition critics alike was its assumption that the submarines — which have had a tortured technical history that includes one fatal fire — will remain in service until at least the 2040s.The briefing note spells out in detail — and for the first time publicly — how the navy intends to squeeze more life out of boats it was supposed to start retiring in four years.It was originally envisioned, the briefing said, that the Victoria-Class submarines would retire one at a time, beginning in 2024.The report argues it is possible to operate the submarines beyond their expected working lives if the military assesses the "material state" of each boat rather than following "a simplistic calendar driven" evaluation of their operational condition.In others words, the report argues that what matters most is not how old the submarines are, but rather how hard have they been driven and how well have they been maintained.The submarines operate on what's called a "6-2 schedule" — six years of service at sea followed by two years of deep maintenance before returning to duty.The briefing note proposes that the boats do nine years of service and then go into a longer refurbishment of up to three years. The submarines would need a full life-extension overhaul in addition to the extended maintenance plan.As evidence to support the plan, the briefing note to senior defence officials pointed to a 2013 study of the Victoria-Class submarines — which said that "although there are numerous technical and supportability challenges, there was no single obstacle precluding a life extension of up to 12 years."'Lower expectations'The briefing offers one note of caution, however: "It is reasonable to assume that operational availability will decrease as the submarine ages."The briefing note predicted higher maintenance and sustainment costs as the boats get older. To save money, it said, the navy might have to lower expectations of what the boats can do.The existing plan "assumed that there would be no relaxation of operational performance requirements, although in fact some discretion by the Operational Requirements Authority in this regard may be feasible as a cost saving measure," said the note.Conservative defence critic James Bezan said he was astounded by the plan to stretch out the operational life of the subs. He said he doesn't blame the naval planners who drew up the document — but he does hold the Liberal government accountable, arguing it must have ordered the Department of National Defence to give it some justification for putting off the purchase of new submarines."It is ridiculous," Bezan said. "There was potential for some political direction on how this was written."In an interview with CBC News at the end of last year, the commander of the navy, Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, defended the plan to extend the life of the boats, saying he had full confidence in the "pretty resourceful and capable" submarine engineering community.The defence policy, he said, "directed us to operate and modernize" the submarine fleet and he's confident it can be done safely."We know there is still excellent life in the Victoria-class submarine," McDonald told CBC News. "I've seen that personally as an outsider who has come into the program and taken a look at it."The focus of the subs' modernization project — which was in the early stages of being developed when the pandemic hit back in late winter — will be on survivability and making the submarines more livable for crew members."We're going to be able to operate those boats into the 2030s, but to do that we have to continue with the routine investments we've made and modernize, as was directed" by the defence policy, McDonald said.Not everything can be replacedA series of assessments was conducted between 2008 and 2014. The defence department's naval board, which is charged with planning the future shape of the fleet, met in November 2014 to study the life expectancy of the second-hand boats. "While it is considered unrealistic to predict the material state of 40-year-old platforms, 20 years into the future, certain items such as the pressure hull and main motor will require additional monitoring and maintenance above the current regime, since unpredicted degradation in such areas may not be cost effective to repair and mitigate," said the 2016 briefing note.And that's the problem with the life-extension plan, said Bezan: some key parts of a submarine — such as the pressure hull and the engines — can't be upgraded. He also pointed to how the submarine fleet had "zero days at sea" in 2019 because all of the vessels were tied up for maintenance.The analysis, Bezan said, shows that the Liberal government should immediately begin looking for a replacement for the submarines — something the previous Conservative government was in the process of doing when it was defeated in 2015.The options that were discussed before the election, he said, included partnering with the Australians — who were in the process of acquiring their own submarine replacements — or buying an off-the-shelf design for inclusion in the federal shipbuilding strategy. None of those ideas got very far before the election, he added.
MONTREAL — Quebec authorities said Monday the COVID-19 pandemic in the province remains largely under control, but described what they said was a worrying increase of infections among teens and young adults.A significant percentage of new daily cases in Quebec involve people between the ages of 15-34, who are becoming infected at private gatherings, Deputy premier Genevieve Guilbault told a news conference."They are not invincible," Guilbault said, referring to the "worrying spike in contagion" among Quebec youth. "That's why we're asking them to mobilize themselves and their friends ... to make sure they respect rules from public health and influence people around them too."Dr. Richard Masse of the province's public heath department told reporters Monday: "Right now, the majority of cases we have are young people between 15 and 34 years old."He shared statistics from the past week indicating that between July 8-14, positive COVID cases in people aged 20 to 29 years old went up 128 per cent compared with the previous week. For the rest of the age groups during the same time period, the increase observed was 40 per cent.Guilbault said even if most young people are less likely to suffer seriously from the disease, "they can be vectors of transmission to more vulnerable people, such as their parents or grandparents."The minister also said she was shocked to see images of anti-mask protests in Montreal and Quebec City over the weekend, during which protesters accosted a journalist and failed to follow health directives such as physical distancing.She said people have the right to demonstrate against the government, but not to put the lives of others at risk. Guilbault said the state is studying ways to crackdown on protesters who violate public health directives.Health officials reported 145 additional cases of COVID-19 since Sunday, bringing the total to 58,728. There were no new deaths reported.Quebec has had a total of 5,667 COVID-19-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. There are 200 people in hospital with the disease, including seven in intensive care.The province is planning on permitting indoor and outdoor public gatherings of up to 250 people beginning Aug. 3, but maintaining the 10-person limit in private gatherings, such as in homes and chalets.Masse said the data suggests COVID-19 transmission is not occurring in most public places. "It happens within families, within groups, in sports, areas where you don't have any social distancing."Meanwhile, Quebecers using public transit can now be denied service for not wearing a face covering as a two-week grace period came to an end Monday. But some transit agencies in the Montreal area said they'll continue to count on awareness campaigns and handing out masks to ensure compliance.In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, Quebec has made masks mandatory since July 13 for anyone riding on public transit, except for those who can't wear one for health reasons. Quebec has also made masks mandatory in indoor public places since July 18.Health Minister Christian Dube said Monday that with few exceptions, most people have been wearing masks and the province has been conducting 100 inspections per day.At the moment, it's business owners who face fines of between $400 and $6,000 if those rules aren't followed. "But if we felt that we need to move towards individual fines, we won't hesitate to do so," Dube said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2020.Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
Who can't resist a bowl of freshly popped popcorn? The light and airy snack which expands and puffs up when heated. Einstein the parrot loves to snack on this treat as long as it is unbuttered and not salted. Listen as he entices you to partake in having some. "Pop-pop corn? Popcorn? Come here. Want some? Come on." He also provides the lip-smacking sound effects! "Eat some more", he says! Thanks, Einstein, now I'm hungry for popcorn! Einstein the Talking Texan Parrot is a silly, smart, and popular parrot who loves to talk and entertain! He knows the names of several animals and likes to make their sounds. In addition to his silly vocalizations, he likes to have conversations with his owners, talking, doing animal sound imitations and acting silly. He also enjoys singing and dancing in some of his video compilations. With his amazing talking abilities and funny antics, Einstein the talking parrot’s videos will keep you entertained for hours! Einstein parrot is also famous for some of his silly quotes and sayings. Online, Einstein, the talking parrot is popular across many social media platforms. Einstein’s favorite places to talk at home is perched on the shower wall, in the kitchen on his drawer, and on his screened-in back porch. As stated on his website, Einstein’s mission statement: “To entertain and bring joy, to foster the human-parrot bond, and to convey that parrots are deserving of immeasurable amounts of patience, nurturing, and companionship.” Einstein’s website, einsteinparrot.com is designed to inform you about the care of parrots and also entertain you. As previously mentioned, Einstein is popular on many social media sites such as YouTube @einsteinparrot, Instagram @einsteinparrot, Twitter @einsteinparrot, and Facebook @einsteintexanparrot. Living with a parrot is a big commitment. Parrots live a very long time. A parrot such as Einstein can live to be 50 or 60 years old. Many larger parrots like Macaws can live to be 100 years old. They all require a lot of care, proper nutrition, training, time, and patience. Parrots need a lot of attention and lots of toys and activities to keep from being bored. Parrots are also expensive, a large cage is an investment, and plenty of play perches to spend out of cage time. Specialized veterinarian care is also required. Most of all they require your companionship and a forever home. Many people decide after the first few years of parrot ownership that the responsibility is too great and the parrots become neglected and sometimes abandoned. When that happens they are sent to parrot rescue facilities to be adopted by a new family or some spend their lives in sanctuaries. It is often said, “Having a parrot is much like raising a raising a 2 to 3-year-old child for the rest of your life!”
The women, detained between 2009 and 2019 after failing to flee the country, recounted in interviews with U.N. investigators in Seoul after their release, how they were deprived of food, sleep, daylight and fresh air while in the detention centres and prison camps. All of the women eventually managed to defect to South Korea.
OTTAWA — Lawyers for a Huawei executive facing possible extradition to the United States are disputing the Canadian government's claim that it can't release some documents in the case because it would compromise national security.Meng Wanzhou is wanted on fraud charges in New York, but she denies the allegations against her.During a virtual Federal Court hearing on Monday, defence lawyer Ian Carter questioned how releasing the documents could hurt Canada's relations with China any more than a government affidavit that is already public."If there is a genuine concern from the ... government of Canada about damage to relations between Canada and China, one wonders why this affidavit would have been drafted and filed publicly," Carter said."It is a series of propositions and allegations that paint China in a negative light."The affidavit by Global Affairs Canada's director general in South Asia alleges that China regularly seeks to blame foreign governments for the consequences of its actions, he said.Carter also said the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the United States wouldn't expect any of its correspondences to remain confidential because it is a law enforcement agency, not an intelligence service.Robert Frater, a lawyer representing Canada's attorney general in the proceeding, told the judge the defence team is making "abstract" arguments because they haven't seen the documents.The application calls for proper arguments that can only be made in hearings closed to the public because of the sensitivity of the documents, he said."To discuss it in the abstract is not useful," Frater said. "All of these issues really have to be based on the fuller context that will be provided in the closed hearings."The public and media have been barred from the resumption of the hearing on Thursday.Meng is chief financial officer for the Chinese telecommunications giant and the daughter of Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengei.She is accused of misrepresenting Huawei's relationship with Skycom during a presentation to HSBC, putting the bank at risk of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. She has been released on bail during the proceedings and is living in one of her Vancouver houses.Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes of the B.C. Supreme Court has already tossed out arguments that the allegations against Meng would not be considered a crime in Canada. Meng's lawyers are now preparing to argue that her arrest and detention at Vancouver's airport in December 2018 was unlawful.Meng's lawyers are seeking further documents to support their case, pointing to a memo from Canada's spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, as evidence that there are further relevant documents that have not been disclosed.The heavily redacted two-page memo is evidence that the intelligence service was in on a plan to delay her arrest, Meng's lawyers allege.But Frater told the court Monday that Meng's lawyers have not proven that the documents they want are relevant to the case. The attorney general must be generous when it comes to disclosing documents, and it has already looked through a defence lens to consider what could be arguably relevant, he said."When we are asked to collect documents pursuant to a disclosure order, the Crown is obliged to cast a very broad net," he said.He said the Crown will argue "vigorously" against the defence allegations that Meng was subject to an abuse of process during her arrest, when the case returns in the B.C. Supreme Court."Just so that the record is clear, the attorney general does not accept that there was any conspiracy to deprive Ms. Meng of her rights. We do not accept that government officials failed to execute the arrest warrant properly. We do not accept that there was any violation of Ms. Meng's rights."— By Amy Smart in Vancouver.This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2020. The Canadian Press
Nerissa Crichlow of Toronto has a lot of unanswered questions about what school will look like for her twin daughters in September."First and foremost, are they going to be splitting up the classes? What is that going to look like? Are there going to be testing measures in place?"She describes herself as "very concerned" about the risk of her seven-year-old daughters, Mila and Norah, contracting and bringing home the coronavirus if in-person classes resume in the fall. "I really need a good understanding of what the protocols are going to be. I'm asthmatic, my daughter is asthmatic, my father is asthmatic, and my mother has lung issues," she said. "For me, it's really important that the schools have some testing involved, because we are all susceptible to the virus, more so than others."Crichlow has plenty of company among Canadian parents who have questions about the looming school year, but the latest research shows young children are at low risk of getting or spreading the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and that missing school can have long-term costs for a child's well-being.Dr. Nisha Thampi understands parents' reticence about the return to class. The medical director of infection prevention and control at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa is both a pediatric infectious disease physician and a mother.She said she's been encouraged, though, by recent study results that give more insight into children's risk of contracting the illness and of spreading it to others."It is with more information around the risk of transmission and infection that we can inform the policies for school setting and other community settings," said Thampi.A large study from South Korea, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S., found that children nine and under infected others in their households just 5.6 per cent of the time, while children 10 to 19 spread the virus at the same rate as adults, nearly 19 per cent of the time.And research continues to show that illness is usually mild in children. A recent meta-analysis of 550 COVID-19 cases among children under 18 in China, Italy and Spain found just nine children had a severe case. One, who died, had underlying conditions.Parents must be 'partners in care' to prevent spread"There's good data that shows in the majority of cases, a child with COVID-19 has a symptomatic adult in the home who is also COVID positive," said Thampi. That means some of the power for controlling the spread of illness within schools hinges on parents acting as "partners in care," teaching their kids about good hand hygiene and making sound decisions about their own physical distancing practices, she said.While it made good sense to shut down schools at the beginning of the pandemic when we were just learning about COVID-19, we now have an opportunity to learn from other parts of the world that have reopened schools with new safety protocols in place, she said."I support families who are concerned about schools not being a safe place to return to, because I would suggest that a pre-pandemic school environment did not have the strategies in place to minimize infection spread," she said.One issue, she said, was that many parents faced work pressures that made it difficult to keep sick children at home.Working from home isn't possible for all jobs, but the pandemic has shown it is an option for many working parents. That, combined with a new vigilance around respiratory symptoms, may help establish new standards for keeping sick kids home from school."I think we will be returning to a school setting so long as the right policies are in place — a school setting that is safer in terms of infection transmission risks and that offers opportunities for learning, socialization and, importantly, peer-to-peer learning and development," Thampi said.That could mean measures such as spreading kids apart from one another in smaller groups, training children on hygiene practices in school and doing some learning outdoors when weather permits, she said.Now that children have been without the structure of school for many months, it's become apparent that eliminating all risk of school-based transmission comes at a cost, said Thampi.Getting kids back to class between wavesThat's a point Dr. Michael Silverman, chief of infectious diseases at London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Hospital in London, Ont., wants to make clear."So many times I hear, 'Well, you can't be too careful,' without recognizing the risks of being home," he said.The research that's not getting enough attention these days are the studies on the repercussions of students being out of class, he said."If they miss school, there's long-term impact on their cognitive development, on their social development and their overall ability to function in society."Of course, all children will be at a similar disadvantage because of school closures, but the impacts will still be there, he said. A study from UNICEF Canada found that the COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on the lives of children and youth, citing disrupted routines and loss of education and other resources. The organization is calling on governments to "deliver new crisis mitigation measures" because children "cannot wait months or years to return to school." Given that children under 10 pose little risk of infection transmission to others, it makes sense to return their cohort to class, said Silverman."If they're the least likely to get sick, they're the least likely to transmit, and they do worse with distance learning, the priority should be at least the very young children should be able to get back to school," he said.As September approaches, teacher unions are asking for clear plans for safely reopening schools. The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, for example, has called on the provincial government to give direction to school boards about their responsibilities to ensure the safety of students and staff.Silverman points out that most infectious disease experts anticipate a second wave of the illness will come."If we don't take advantage of the time when we're at a relatively low level of transmission, when another high level of transmission comes ... and then we close the schools again, there will be an extremely long period of time with no education."Silverman said he believes the choice should remain with parents as to whether their kids learn in the classroom — with best practices for infection-control in place — or from home. "What I'm advocating is that we should not close all schools and take away all parents' choice. That parents should be able to make educated choices on behalf of their children as to what they feel is best for their family."
Premier Dwight Ball says a CBC story showing that a disproportionate number of people named in RCMP media releases during a 12-week period were from Indigenous communities in Labrador is "disturbing.""I read it and it was disturbing, the analysis that I seen there," Ball said Monday afternoon at an event in Corner Brook. "I've reached out to [the Department of] Justice and Public Safety, working with the RCMP, to do their own analysis and their response to this."A story published by CBC on Monday examined RCMP media releases in Newfoundland and Labrador issued on social media between May 1 and July 24. In that period, 85 news releases were issued announcing charges laid in connection with crimes, including impaired driving, assault, sexual abuse and theft.Of those, eight referenced crimes that occurred in Indigenous communities, and in almost every one of those cases (seven out of eight, or almost 88 per cent of the time), the alleged perpetrator was named.In the remaining 77 cases, people were named in only 20 releases, or 26 per cent of the time.Overall, out of 27 releases that included the name of the person charged, 26 per cent included the names of people from Indigenous communities in Labrador. Indigenous people make up just 8.9 per cent of the population of Newfoundland and Labrador, according to the 2016 census."Anyone that feels that there is unfair treatment needs attention … so we will work with the Indigenous groups, work with law enforcement, work with the department just to ensure that these numbers, if indeed they are accurate, there must be something done about that," Ball said Monday afternoon. Ball's comments come after several people interviewed for the original story cried foul about the seemingly high number of people named from Indigenous communities. "Everybody knows your name, and it's easier for non-Indigenous people to judge us," said Jodie Ashini of Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation. Criminal defence lawyer Mark Gruchy said, while court records need to be public, "it does seem to be a bit disproportionate to say the least," even if the sample size is a 12-week period.RCMP say it's not singling out Indigenous peopleCpl. Jolene Garland, media relations officer with the N.L. RCMP, said there is no effort on the part of police to single out Indigenous people."Race, gender, ethnicity and locations of crimes being committed are not factored into the release of the individual's name," she said.The only factor, Garland said, is whether the charges against a person have been sworn in court at the time the release is issued.If not, the accused's name is not public information and therefore cannot be published. If the charges have been sworn, Garland said, the accused person's name is included in a release.Garland said there are a number of reasons why police release the names of people charged with crimes when possible.Chief among them: accountability and transparency. Garland said the release of names is intended to instil confidence in the public that police are doing their jobs.Another reason, the officer said, is to attempt to discourage others from breaking the law.Ball will not deliver apology to residential school survivorsLast week, Ball acknowledged that he would not make good on a long-standing promise, made in November 2017, to apologize to Newfoundland and Labrador residential school survivors."It needs to be done, but unfortunately we've run out of time for me as premier to do this," he told CBC News late Friday.According to the premier the apology was set to happen in March, at the height of the pandemic.Then the province tried to make it happen this summer, but finally came to the conclusion — with the agreement of Indigenous leaders — that COVID-19 health measures made it impossible to apologize in the manner that Indigenous groups wanted.Ball also said he tried to make it happen before COVID-19 was a consideration."We've been in conversations with the Indigenous groups over the last few years. We really wanted to get this done, but more importantly, we wanted to get this done right," he said.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Brenda Ongahak has been waiting for about a year to get surgery on her knee. Last week, she travelled from Kugluktuk, Nunavut, to Yellowknife to get that surgery done — only to be told on the day of the procedure that the hospital would be delaying her surgery due to faulty equipment.The hospital started suspending some elective surgeries on Thursday, said David Maguire, spokesperson for the N.W.T. Health and Social Services Authority.On Friday night, the health authority sent a news release saying Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife had suspended or cancelled a "small number" of those surgeries after sterilization equipment malfunctioned at the hospital. Exactly how many procedures will be impacted remains unclear.Ongahak said she arrived in the Northwest Territories last Tuesday, and went for her pre-operation appointment the next day. On Thursday morning she was in the hospital for her surgery and everything seemed good to go."[The doctor] said I was ready to go into surgery once he was done with the other patient … and came back telling me that they have to reschedule me," she said.A pain in the kneeOngahak has arthritis in her right knee and has injured it in the past.This has made it difficult to take part in the activities she used to love, such as going for walks, volunteering at the recreational complex, and playing with her niece and nephew's children.Travelling from Nunavut amid a pandemic requires some forethought, especially when you have five children ranging in age from 15 to 25. She says it can be difficult, but she was able to get help from other family members.Recurring sterilization equipment problemsThis is not the first time the hospital has had issues with its sterilization equipment.In 2011, at least 290 surgeries were cancelled or postponed as a precaution after the hospital's sterilization equipment broke down twice that year, necessitating more than $100,000 in repairs.In 2017, elective surgeries at Stanton were cancelled when its main sterilizing machine failed.And just last year, surgeries and other medical procedures at Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife were cancelled after the hospital's CT scanner and sterilizing equipment broke down. The CBC asked the health authority if the incidents in the past were related, and if last week's incident was related to any of the previous issues. The health authority did not provide a response by the time of publication.Last October, CBC News learned that water leaks and mould have plagued the new hospital, and that staff repeatedly expressed concerns that vulnerable patients weren't protected from risks caused by cleaning up those problems. The health authority also has not responded to questions about whether or not those problems are related to last week's equipment malfunction.Ongahak says that, overall, she is grateful that the hospital found out about the sterilization equipment issues before going through with her surgery"I do trust them because I know they should be checking their machines regularly and making sure everything is working," she said."I'm kind of thankful, but then I'm [also] not, because I didn't have the knee surgery," she added. "I guess safety first, which is good."It is unclear when the sterilization equipment is expected to be up and running again. The health authority has not responded to the CBC's requests asking how many surgeries will be impacted and when the issues are expected to be fixed.But Ongahak said she has kept her bag mostly packed in case another surgery date comes along soon.
The World Health Organization on Tuesday warned against complacency about new coronavirus transmission in the northern hemisphere summer, saying that this virus did not behave like influenza that tended to follow seasonal trends. It's going to go up and down a bit.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr faces tough questioning on Tuesday by a Democratic-controlled House of Representative committee whose members believe he abused his power to bolster President Donald Trump's allies and silence his political enemies. The hearing's start was delayed after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler was involved in a car collision, CNN reported, citing sources. CNN said Nadler was not injured and had not been driving.
CBC Vancouver is highlighting different parts of the Metro Vancouver region as part of the search for Metro Vancouver's best neighborhood. David beat Goliath. Mike Tyson knocked out Buster Douglas. Ross married Rachel on Friends.We've seen stunning upsets before but the victory Cedar Hills scored over City Centre in last week's battle of starkly different Surrey communities may put them all to shame.City Central consists of shiny, glass skyscrapers and two spectacular buildings, a library and the SFU tower that were designed by world-renowned architect Bing Thom.Cedar Hills is a sleepy, residential neighbourhood that's biggest attraction is the strip malls on 96 Avenue and 128 Street.Clearly, however, there must be something special about Cedar Hills that explains why 56 percent of voters chose it over City Central.A quick visit revealed the people who live there, not just the neighbourhood itself, have a lot to do with it.Pipe bandGarth Newlands has lived in Cedar Hills since 1976 and he's the Pipe Major of the Cedar Hills Caledonian Pipe Band.The original name was the Whalley Legion Pipe Band, but Newlands says when the neighbourhood was rebranded as City Central, the group decided to do a little rebranding of its own."We actually held a contest over a three month period and had people submit suggestions for different names and Cedar Hills Caledonian was the choice we came up with," he said."People are very inquisitive about where Cedar Hills is because it's not a well known community in the area but it's starting to gain some more popularity and notoriety."Newlands, who plays the same 106-year-old set of bagpipes that his grandfather played during the First World War, says his family has close ties to the community and he doesn't plan to leave anytime soon."There are a number of smaller, quaint houses that are still available that were built in the '60s and '70s that will get people into the area with large yards for kids to play in quiet streets," he said."It seems you can't go more than three or four blocks in any direction without a park."Snow angelA few winters ago, Mark Kang and a friend saw that other communities had programs to shovel snow for seniors.Surrey didn't have anything like that at the time, so he started one himself."It seemed like a lot of injuries happen when elderly people are shoveling their driveways or sidewalks," he said."We thought why not just try to start something in our community and then, slowly, we started getting volunteers in other areas as well."Kang started off shoveling driveways for his neighbours in Cedar Hills and as his volunteer base expanded, the program grew into other parts of Metro Vancouver.Like Newlands, he loves that there seems to be a park on every other corner."Playgrounds, fields to play in, you name it," he said. "You never get bored."Cedar Hills starPerhaps the most famous resident of Cedar Hills is Amrit Bains, who gained quite an online following by singing to his passengers while driving a bus for TransLink. He also writes and records his own music.People tried to convince Bains not to move to Surrey seven years ago, telling him it had a bad reputation for crime, but his wife convinced him to give it a try.Now, he loves his community so much that he wrote a song about it called Super Sweet City."When I came to Surrey and people started treating me in a friendly manner, I said, 'Man, I like these kinds of surprises,'" he said."It's something beautiful, you know? So, I said it's a super sweet city."Not an upset after all?Cedar Hills doesn't have a beautiful waterfront like Crescent Beach or a golf course like Morgan Creek.It's mostly a residential neighbourhood — the kind of place you wouldn't drive into unless you're visiting someone who lives there.In the next round, Cedar Hills faces Cloverdale, which will be a tough opponent with its historic downtown and rodeo that draws more than 100,000 people every year.It would be a mistake, however, to underestimate Cedar Hills. It's already defeated Bridgeview and City Central and the people who live there believe their neighbourhood stacks up well against everything else the region has to offer.
A vast section of Alberta backcountry once considered for a park is being overused by tens of thousands of campers who cut trees, strew garbage and trespass, says a provincial advisory committee. Camping numbers in the large undeveloped wilderness in central Alberta's foothills and Rocky Mountains, have been "insane," says the most recent report by Alberta Environment's Bighorn Backcountry Standing Committee. COVID-19 restrictions have strained all Alberta parks as people seek a safe place to enjoy the summer with their families.
As it copes with claims of staff mistreatment and controversy over how its office is run, Rideau Hall is taking on a former manager from the world of live entertainment as its new chief of staff and special adviser to Gov. Gen. Julie Payette, CBC News has learned.Brigitte Carbonneau has been hired to replace a high ranking military officer who was serving as Payette's chief of staff before being recalled to the Canadian Armed Forces to help with its pandemic response.Carbonneau has more than 25 years of experience in senior leadership at Cirque du Soleil. She has been hired to help manage Rideau Hall and to ensure "deadlines and quality standards are met for all documentation related to the Governor General," according to a memo obtained by CBC News. Assunta Di Lorenzo, secretary to the Governor General, sent the all-staff email Monday morning announcing the hire. The memo says Carbonneau managed the Montreal-based entertainment company in China and also was a strategic adviser to the company's president and CEO on "high profile and sensitive files." "She will support the Governor General in fulfilling her various responsibilities," Di Lorenzo wrote in the email.Payette's press secretary Ashlee Smith said Rideau Hall "concluded its process to replace Lieutenant Colonel Marc-Antoine Fecteau as Chief of Staff to Her Excellency, who was recalled as a high ranking officer to help with the response of the Canadian Armed Forces to the COVID-19, and we are pleased to welcome Brigitte Carbonneau."Rideau Hall's workplace environment is under review by the Privy Council Office. Last week, PCO launched what it calls a "thorough, independent and impartial" workplace probe and is hiring a third party to investigate claims of harassment and verbal abuse in the office of Gov. Gen. Payette.The investigation follows a CBC News report Tuesday that included a dozen unnamed sources saying Payette has created a toxic work environment at Rideau Hall by verbally harassing employees to the point where some have been reduced to tears, have gone on leaves of absence or have left the office altogether.More than 16 sources with direct knowledge of the office under Payette's have now come forward to tell CBC News the Governor General has yelled at, belittled and publicly humiliated employees. They accuse her of throwing tantrums in the office and, on one occasion, tossing an employee's work aside and calling it "shit."Sources also accuse Di Lorenzo, Payette's secretary and longtime friend, of harassing employees and calling some "lazy" and "incompetent."A former lawyer and executive in Montreal, Di Lorenzo is supposed to keep Payette's office running smoothly. Multiple sources have said Di Lorenzo is struggling more than two years into the job — which is typically filled by a seasoned public servant — and still doesn't understand how the public service works.The government had to create an entirely new position to assist Di Lorenzo — an associate secretary post now being filled by Marie-Geneviève Mounier, who is a veteran public servant. This is an unusual organizational structure for a Governor General's office; multiple sources have said that taxpayers are now paying two salaries for work that's usually covered by one position.The salary for Di Lorenzo's position is more than $200,000, while the salary for Mounier's post is more than $160,000, according to the Privy Council Office's website reporting salary figures from 2017-2018.Carbonneau is coming from the private sector and doesn't have experience working in the public service, according to her profile on LinkedIn.Gov. Gen. Payette has not denied the claims in CBC's report. In a tweet on Thursday, Payette said she requested an independent review because she takes harassment issues very seriously. Di Lorenzo sent a memo to all staff saying the media report is "troubling to say the least." Rideau Hall scheduled a Zoom call with a government ombudsman after CBC's report was published.Payette's press secretary defended Rideau Hall's HR process and said no formal complaints regarding harassment have been made. But multiple sources who spoke to CBC News said staff did informally voice their concerns verbally to human resources and the ombudsman, but their complaints went nowhere.The Privy Council Office also said it has not yet received formal harassment complaints related to Rideau Hall. It did say, however, that it's aware of an annual government survey that shows 22 per cent of respondents working for Rideau Hall claimed to have experienced harassment. Of those Rideau Hall employees who reported harassment, 74 per cent attributed it to individuals with authority over them."The upcoming review will allow current and previous employees to come forward to share their perspectives, with an independent third party, in a confidential environment," wrote PCO spokesperson Paul Duchesne in an email to CBC News.The memo released this morning also notes Carbonneau will be responsible for managing special projects for the Governor General. Carbonneau is from Montreal area, like Payette and Di Lorenzo. She's also multilingual and can converse in Italian; sources say Payette and Di Lorenzo frequently converse in Italian in the office.Although Payette's role as the Queen's representative in Canada is mostly ceremonial, the vice-regal position can be an important one in a minority government situation. Payette is bound by constitutional convention to follow the advice of the prime minister if the PM requests a dissolution or prorogation of Parliament, but she is empowered to dismiss a government that has been defeated on a vote of confidence if it refuses to step aside.Have a news tip about Rideau Hall, email: email@example.com or confidentially through CBC's SecureDrop system: https://securedrop.cbc.ca/
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard fired a missile from a helicopter targeting a replica aircraft carrier in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, state television reported on Tuesday, an exercise aimed at threatening the U.S. amid tensions between Tehran and Washington.The drill, in a waterway through which 20% of all traded oil passes, underlines the lingering threat of military conflict between Iran and the U.S. after last summer saw a series of incidents targeting oil tankers in the region. In January, a U.S. drone strike killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad and Tehran responded by firing ballistic missiles targeting American forces in Iraq.While the coronavirus pandemic has engulfed both Iran and the U.S. for months, there have been increasing signs of a confrontation as America argues to extend a yearslong U.N. weapons embargo on Tehran that is due to expire in October. A recent incident over Syria involving an American jet fighter approaching an Iranian passenger plane also has renewed tensions.Iranian commandos fast-roped down from a helicopter onto the replica in the footage aired Tuesday from the exercise called “Great Prophet 14." Other footage showed fast boats encircling the mock-up, kicking up white waves in their wake.Iranian troops also fired anti-aircraft batteries at a drone target in the exercise from a location that state television described as being near the port city of Bandar Abbas. Troops also fired missiles launched from trucks on land and fast boats at sea, as well as shoulder-fired missiles.The Guard will use “long-range ballistic missiles with the ability to hit far-reaching aggressor floating targets” during the drill, said Abbas Nilforoushan, the Guard's deputy commander for operations, according to Guard website sepahnews.com. That suggests the drill could see a repeat of what happened in 2015, when the Guard mock-sunk a replica.It wasn't immediately clear if all the footage was from Tuesday, as one overhead surveillance image that appeared to be shot by a drone bore Monday's date. The exercise had been expected as satellite photos released Monday showed the fake carrier being moved into place by a tugboat.“Our policies to protect the vital interests of the dear nation of Iran are defensive, in the sense that we will not invade any country from the beginning, but we are completely aggressive in tactics and operations," Gen. Hossein Salami, the head of the Guard, was quoted as saying. “What was shown today at this exercise at the level of aerospace and naval forces was all offensive.”State TV footage also showed Guard scuba forces underwater, followed by a cutaway to a blast hole just above the waterline on the replica carrier.That appeared to be a not-so-subtle reminder of U.S. accusations last year that Iran planted limpet mines on passing oil tankers near the strait, which exploded on the vessels in the same area. Iran has repeatedly denied the actions, though footage captured by the American military showed Guard members remove an unexploded mine from one vessel.The replica used in the drill resembles the Nimitz-class carriers that the U.S. Navy routinely sails into the Persian Gulf from the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the waterway. The USS Nimitz, the namesake of the class, just entered Mideast waters late last week from the Indian Ocean, likely to replace the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Arabian Sea.It remains unclear when or if the Nimitz will pass through the Strait of Hormuz or not during its time in the Mideast. The USS Abraham Lincoln, deployed last year as tensions initially spiked, spent months in the Arabian Sea before heading through the strait. The Eisenhower came through the strait early last week.To Iran, which shares the strait with Oman, the American naval presence is akin to Iranian forces sailing into the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Florida. But the U.S. Navy stresses the strait is an international waterway crucial to global shipping and energy supplies. Even as America now relies less on Mideast oil, a major disruption in the region could see prices rapidly rise.Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet that patrols the Mideast, said officials were aware of the Iranian exercise involving “a vessel similar to a motionless aircraft carrier.”“The U.S. Navy conducts defensive exercises with our partners promoting maritime security in support of freedom of navigation whereas Iran conducts offensive exercises, attempting to intimidate and coerce,” Rebarich told The Associated Press.“While we are always watchful of this type of irresponsible and reckless behaviour by Iran in the vicinity of busy international waterways, this exercise has not disrupted coalition operations in the area nor had any impacts to the free flow of commerce in the Strait of Hormuz and surrounding waters,” she added.___Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press journalist Mohammad Nasiri in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report.Amir Vahdat And Jon Gambrell, The Associated Press
NASA is upping the ante with its newest rover headed to Mars. Set to rocket away this week from Florida, the spacecraft named Perseverance is NASA's brawniest and brainiest Martian rover yet. (July 27)