A colourful sunrise over Longbow Lake .
A colourful sunrise over Longbow Lake .
LOS ANGELES — The Elton John AIDS Foundation and TikTok are teaming up to raise awareness about the disease through a campaign and live event for World AIDS Day.John’s foundation and the social networking service announced their collaboration Tuesday for a live show on Dec. 1. The event will air on John’s TikTok channel featuring the singer and husband-filmmaker David Furnish along with performances by Sam Smith, Sam Fender and Rina Sawayama.The campaign kicks off Wednesday with an HIV/AIDS Education & Awareness quiz to test TikTokers’ knowledge of the disease. The campaign is also expected to help educate TikTokers about the prevention and own sexual health.The hope is to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.“We all need to care about HIV and end the discrimination around this disease,” John said in a statement. “There’s a great lineup for our TikTok Live to break down the myths around HIV, talk about safe sex and ensure that young people know how to protect themselves and others.”The Associated Press
Students at the University of Calgary are fighting to expand the school's African studies program.For more than two decades, only two African studies courses have been available at the U of C, and for the past decade they've been taught by just one professor. Students say they hope an expansion of the program would mean more classes and more teachers. Prof. Caesar Apentiik said it would make him very proud to see the program finally expanded. "The university is trying to decolonize its curriculum, and decolonizing its curriculum means bringing into focus studies like African studies," he said. "This fits well with the university's strategic plan of trying to internationalize our students' degrees to give them a global perspective, and Africa is an important part of that discussion."Student advocates looking to help the program grow are now applying for $300,000 through the Quality Money program — a partnership between the Students' Union (SU) and the university — which gives the campus community an opportunity to bring forward ideas to enhance the overall student experience. "Each year, the SU is provided with approximately $1.67 million from the UCalgary board of governors to invest in these projects. Through this unique program, students have a direct say in how a portion of their tuition is spent," said students' union president Frank Finley in a written statement to CBC News."Since 2004, over $26,000,000 has been awarded to more than 260 Quality Money initiatives that range from physical space upgrades to the creation of expanded academic and professional opportunities for students."Second year student Prudence Iticka with Black People United is one of the students behind the application to expand the African studies program.Iticka said she became passionate about making this change after she inquired about getting a minor in African studies. "When I went to look at the course offerings, I realized that there are only two courses offered in African studies every academic year," she said. "I reached out to the only professor in the department and I asked him, 'how does one actually major when there are so few courses available within this program?'"Iticka said she was told that the way the program is now, that option simply isn't available."When I found that out, I started reaching out to other students within U of C to find out what we can do. How can we rally behind this program not only to save it, but also to expand it so that students can minor?" she said."Because right now you can't, really. You have to go to another school if you're seeking a minor in African studies because the course offerings here are just mediocre."As an educator, Apentiik said it's been difficult telling students they can't major or minor in African studies, despite their interest."I will say that the saddest moment is to see your student struggling when they have genuine interest in a regional area and they can't minor in it," he said. "We anticipate that if we are able to achieve what we're trying to do now, it means that we'll have enough courses within the program and students can be assured that they will have enough courses if they make a decision to minor." The expansion of the program is also something the U of C's African-Caribbean Student Association (ACSA) would like to see. "By using the Quality Money application, we're able to hire more black professors to teach more African studies courses. That's something that the African Caribbean Student Association has been pushing alongside multiple other organizations on campus," said co-president Ganiyat Sadiq.With their application due on Friday, Sadiq said student advocates are collecting all evidence of community support for the expansion of the African studies program. "We have to get a lot of student support and community support just to show the university administration that it is something that is wanted on campus, too," she said. Sadiq said a petition organized by ACSA has already garnered more than 1,000 signatures of support. "We were able to show that there are over a thousand students that do want to have Africana studies courses and who do want to take those courses and would potentially want a minor in that degree. That's a primary thing we've been doing."Iticka said the existing African studies courses offered at the U of C are already very popular. "They're constantly wait-listed. The enrolment is incredibly healthy for those two courses," she said. Iticka said offering more African studies courses isn't just something that students are showing they want, but also something she believes will have a big impact on the greater Calgary community. "If we truly seek to develop the next generation of leaders, we have to give them a global perspective. This education is so necessary and we don't want people to think that we're doing this for African students," she said. "Everybody benefits from learning about Africa. We want people to understand that, you know, this is so much bigger than just the university." Iticka said that since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May, the U of C has made a lot of statements about anti-racism but she hasn't seen a lot of concrete steps to make change at the school."For now, we've just seen that it's a lot of lip service that is being paid to dismantling structural racism and tackling racism and discrimination, but there is actually nothing that is being done so far," she said. "We believe that you can actually tackle racism and undo its harm through education, because a lot of the unconscious bias and the stereotypes that a lot of people have about Black people comes from the fact they know nothing about Black people, about Black history, about African history," she said."We can combat this unconscious bias. We can combat these stereotypes with proper education about African people, where they come from, what is their contribution to humanity [and by] seeing Black professors and having black professors in their life."In a written statement to CBC News, the U of C's faculty of arts said that while it is too early to know what the outcome of the Students' Union process for selecting Quality Money recipients will be, the faculty is supportive of the student-led application for Quality Money funds to expand course offerings in African studies."The faculty has committed to providing some additional funds, in the event of a successful application, and in order to hire an instructor of African studies for the next three years," said Richard Sigurdson, dean of the faculty of arts.The funding amount from the faculty will be determined following the decision by the Students' Union about the application, as they may choose to offer partial funding or the full amount requested.Recipients of Quality Money will be informed in April 2021. For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
BERLIN — A court in Berlin heard Tuesday how witnesses alerted police after seeing a man dump a wig, clothes and a bicycle in a river last year, allowing officers to swiftly arrest the suspect in an alleged Russia-ordered political assassination.Testimony by the two men is central to the trial of the man German authorities have identified as Vadim Krasikov, a 55-year-old Russian citizen whose alleged killing of a Georgian man in broad daylight in downtown Berlin has fueled frictions between Germany and Russia.German prosecutors allege there is ample evidence indicating Russian officials ordered the killing of Zelimkhan “Tornike” Khangoshvili, who had fled to Germany with his family. Russia has accused Khangoshvili of killing scores of people during fighting in the Caucasus, but denied being behind his slaying.German news agency dpa reported that the two witnesses told the Berlin regional court they became suspicious when they saw the suspect disappear into bushes by the banks of the Spree River on Aug. 23, 2019. They moved to a bridge to get a better view and called police.When the suspect emerged from the bushes, his dark locks were gone and he was wearing completely different clothes, the witnesses testified.The suspect appeared to realize that he was being watched by the men, turning around to look at them repeatedly, but he was apprehended by police before he could flee on an electric scooter.No pleas are entered in the German trial system, and the defendant made only a short statement at the start of the trial, saying that he had been misidentified.The Associated Press
Regina's 2020 city council was sworn in last night before a small group at city hall.Attendees to the ceremony were limited due to COVID-19 restrictions; each member of council was allowed to bring two invited guests.Eleven members swore their oaths, including five new councillors and new Mayor of Regina Sandra Masters — the first woman to be mayor of a major city in Saskatchewan.Masters said she hopes to take action during her term."I think there's the sense that we talk about some things but we don't seem to strike action plans," she said, pointing to the Renewable Regina Plan that was first discussed in 2018."We might even make action plans but we don't have a lot of actions coming out and I think it's those types of things, if I had a hunch, that have been frustrating for some."Regina's council is full of new faces, with five of 10 city council members new to city hall.While they've only been working together for the past two weeks, Masters said the group has already started to build a rapport."They're inquisitive, they want to understand how it works … even just the debate about some of the priorities has been respectful and I think we've made some advances there."Masters said she's ready to get to work.The next regular meeting of the new city council will be on Dec. 2 at 1:30 p.m.
Traffic on the Confederation Bridge was steady but not record-breaking Monday night as Islanders hurried home following the announcement that P.E.I. would be leaving the Atlantic bubble for at least two weeks. "We immediately saw at midnight that a couple of cars were turned around already," Michel LeChasseur, the bridge general manager, told Island Morning's Mitch Cormier. "P.E.I. was applying the rules to the letter."The announcement that the province would be opting out of the bubble, at least temporarily, came during an unscheduled COVID-19 briefing just 13 hours prior to the new rule taking effect.Meaning, people had little time to get back into the province before 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. 'More a weather issue'But for those scrambling to return home, Premier Dennis King said that he would allow for some flexibility."The restrictions were put into place at 4:30 this morning," said LeChasseur. However, according to LeChasseur, on Monday night the main concern was not the influx of vehicles. "Overnight was more a weather issue than a traffic issue," he said. "The winds are howling."'Commercial traffic has been resilient'LeChasseur said he expects car traffic on the bridge will dwindle to what it was in the winter — which was about 10 per cent of the traffic the bridge would regularly have. As for commercial trucks, LeChasseur said this November saw more commercial activity than last November."We don't expect that to change much because of these new rules," he said. "Commercial traffic has been resilient throughout the pandemic."More from CBC P.E.I.
As Yukon health officials investigate a flurry of new COVID-19 cases, one Whitehorse business owner says he feels his establishment is being unfairly singled out as a potential exposure site."Since March, we've had 40,000 check-ins through this facility. There's three cases that are linked to us," said Jim Oster, owner of Better Bodies, a gym in Whitehorse."So you know, I just don't understand that our name gets [dragged] through the mud."Last week, health officials identified Better Bodies as one of several potential exposure sites associated with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Whitehorse. The exposure notice listed specific time periods and advised people who had been in those places at those times to get tested if they develop symptoms.Another potential exposure notice for Better Bodies was issued a couple of days later along with the announcement of more new COVID-19 cases. A third potential exposure notice for the gym came over the weekend.Oster voluntarily closed his business for three days to do a "deep cleaning" before a planned reopening on Tuesday morning.He said he's heard from people saying he should shut his business down during the pandemic, but he considers his facility an essential service for people's mental health."To be honest with you, I don't really care about somebody sitting on their couch eating chips or whatever, reading Facebook and pretending that they're experts on everything," he said."We're talking about a less than one per cent infection rate, and we're telling people not to be healthy, not to be active? To sit in their house and don't do anything? It is absolutely ridiculous."Oster said his business has followed all public health guidelines throughout the pandemic, keeping gym equipment well-spaced and disinfecting it often."I mean, you walk into the building, it smells like bleach."Oster said any potential COVID-19 exposure is not the fault of his gym. He said people need to take more responsibility for themselves. "There are people that work out together. They drive down here in the same car. They walk in, we're supposed to separate them, then they leave and they jump back in the same car and go to the same parties and hang out together," he said."That doesn't make sense to me, how we can be picked, that we're the exposure site, and these people hang out together."'Better to be safe than sorry'Meantime, other Yukon businesses are also dealing with potential COVID-19 exposures after months without any new cases in the territory. Since Friday, there have been 12 new cases confirmed in Yukon, and two more were considered probable cases on Monday.Sam Taneja, owner of Tony's Pasta & Seafood House in Whitehorse, said he also decided to shut down for four days of cleaning after his restaurant was identified as a potential exposure site one evening last week.Taneja said Friday it was a tough decision to temporarily close and lose some lucrative bookings, but it was about "social responsibility.""This is the busiest time of the year, and we were pretty busy," said Taneja. "It's better to be safe than sorry. That's all I think. Money is not everything."Yukon-based airline Air North also issued a potential exposure notice, associated with two flights in mid-November between Whitehorse and Vancouver. Passengers in certain rows on those flights were advised that they were at risk of exposure to someone who later tested positive for COVID-19."You know, generally speaking, the health professionals seem to regard this as fairly low-risk for passengers or crew," said Air North president Joe Sparling."But we felt it was appropriate to notify passengers in the affected rows and put a notice on our website."
WESTWOOD, Mass. — “Parting is such sweet sorrow” — especially for a theatre troupe hoping to stage a live performance of “Romeo & Juliet” in the middle of a pandemic that has closed schools and required social distancing. The solution, at least for high school students in the Boston suburb of Westwood? Make a movie version instead. This fall, the Westwood Stage cast has been recording themselves reciting lines from William Shakespeare's timeless story of star-crossed lovers. The audio tracks will then be set to images from a graphic novel version of the play. Producing an animated film meant students didn’t have to worry about memorizing lines, costume changes or many of the other things that go into a live theatrical performance. But it was still an interesting challenge to focus almost completely on their voice work, said Lucy Vitali, a 16-year-old junior who plays Juliet. “This was definitely a good one to do Shakespeare for,” agreed Ryan Kaplan, a 15-year-old sophomore who plays the friar. “The focus is much more on the words and the terminology, which is what Shakespeare is all about.” For Cassidy Hall, a 17-year-old senior who plays the nurse, the chance to remain active in theatre, even in a modest way, has been a welcome dose of normalcy. She’s among the students who have opted to study at home rather than attend in-person classes this year, so her interaction with peers has been limited. “It’s something I really look forward to,” she said. “Just to be able to rehearse with everyone.” Cast members said there was never any doubt they’d find a way to perform this fall. After all, their musical production of “The Addams Family” last spring was cancelled following its opening night performance because the state shuttered schools, businesses and many other institutions for weeks during the initial wave of the virus. Jim Howard, the school’s drama teacher, said he turned to the animated film idea after it became clear that performing the play live wouldn’t be possible under the state’s current guidelines, which require 6 feet (two meters) of separation between performers. “How do you do Romeo and Juliet at 6 feet?” he said. “It’s a love story. They dance. There’s fighting. There’s a lot of physical interaction.” Howard said he found an illustrated version of the play by Classical Comics, a British imprint, while searching online, and the creators readily agreed to let the students use the images for their project. Over the last few months, the cast has spent three days a week rehearsing their lines and getting acclimated to the quirks of the Bard's English before laying down audio tracks in the school’s closet-sized, soundproof music rehearsal rooms. They wrapped up recording last week, but not before a small setback: The school was forced to close for in-person classes recently after some students — none in the cast — contracted COVID-19. Howard said he’ll now send the best of the audio tracks to a technician who will merge them with the comic book images. He expects the finished product will run about an hour long and be ready sometime next month. Since a proper premiere isn’t possible under pandemic restrictions, the cast of 20 is planning to gather in the school’s auditorium for a viewing. The film will also be posted on the troupe's website, where Howard hopes it can replicate some of the joy and community of live theatre. “There's a great opportunity, at a time that is so difficult, to have some pride in our town and smile a little,” he said. “Because we all need that. Even if it's behind our masks." ___ “One Good Thing” is a series that highlights individuals whose actions provide glimmers of joy in hard times — stories of people who find a way to make a difference, no matter how small. Read the collection of stories at https://apnews.com/hub/one-good-thing. Philip Marcelo, The Associated Press
The City of Yellowknife can apply for $25 million in federal money for new, supportive housing for people facing homelessness, but a city official warns that a new housing initiative could displace other city projects."This would be a very ambitious undertaking for the city, and ... if this were to be managed by city staff, I do need to stress that this would mean a reallocation of other priorities," Sheila Bassi-Kellett, the city's senior administrative officer, said during a governance and priorities committee meeting on Monday."Other projects and responsibilities would not be achieved if this one came to the top of the list."The federal money is part of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's Rapid Housing Initiative, a $1-billion program prompted by the COVID-19 crisis that's meant to quickly create affordable housing across the country.The city says the amount for which Yellowknife is eligible would be used to buy and renovate an existing building, or build a modular structure, for permanent, supportive housing, as well as space for programming and possibly a "social enterprise" that could employ residents. The city hasn't yet picked a specific location for the project.Permanent supportive housing is long-term housing and support for people who are homeless and living with mental health or physical issues, or addiction. According to a Nov. 23 city memo and Yellowknife's 10-year plan to end homelessness, the city needs 80 new permanent supportive housing units.Capacity a 'huge concern'Bassi-Kellett said a new supportive housing development would advance Yellowknife's 10-year plan to end homelessness, but whether it has the resources to undertake a major new housing initiative is a "huge concern."There are "some big, big projects that are going on within the same window as this," she said, listing a proposed new aquatic centre, replacement of the city's aging submarine water intake line, and development in the Kam Lake neighbourhood."I'm very much in favour of having permanent supportive housing within Yellowknife," said Bassi-Kellett. "I am a bit concerned about our capacity on the ground to be able to deliver a project of this magnitude." The city's administration says the federal funding would allow the city to hire a project manager for the housing initiative.An absolute no-brainerCouncillors broadly endorsed increasing the city's supportive housing stock. "You hear a shifting of priorities being used by administration. But the reality is, if somebody says, 'Hey, there's $25 million here to help you solve one of the biggest problems you have in your community,' that becomes the priority," said Coun. Niels Konge.Konge, who owns Yellowknife building company Konge Construction, said applying for the funding is "an absolute no-brainer."Coun. Robin Williams echoed Konge's support for the application."Twenty-five million dollars worth of infrastructure spending, not on the backs of the municipal taxpayer, would be a huge win for the community," he said. "I can't support this enough."As far as what we're going to sacrifice, great, let's sacrifice as much as we can for $25 million of federal dollars coming into our community."The city says the hope is the new housing and programming would be sustained through rental payments, and that a Yellowknife NGO would handle day-to-day operations.Bassi-Kellett said the YWCA is submitting its own proposal to expand Lynn's Place, the organization's temporary housing for women. She said the territorial government is also looking into applying, but it would not necessarily put the money toward permanent supportive housing in Yellowknife. The funding application is due Dec. 31.
Good morning! This is our daily news roundup with everything you need to know in one concise read. Sign up here to get this delivered to your inbox every morning.As COVID-19 cases soar and regions lock down, Dr. Tam has a blunt message about holiday planningOn a day that saw Ontario and Manitoba announce record-high numbers of new COVID-19 cases, two provinces pull out of the much-lauded Atlantic bubble and close their borders, and millions of people in different regions of the country plunge back into lockdowns reminiscent of last spring, Canada's chief public health officer said the tighter rules are a necessary evil right now. "The longer you wait to increase the measures, the longer it would take to come out of the restrictions," Dr. Theresa Tam told The National co-host Andrew Chang. She said that over the past several months, provincial and territorial medical officers of health tried hard to achieve a balance where they could keep up with COVID-19 testing and contact tracing while keeping society open. "It's just something that people have never tried in the history of the last hundred years," Tam said. "They were trying really hard to minimize impact on the economic side, on schools, on work.... It's just not an easy thing to do."WATCH | Tam says the message around holidays is the same no matter where in Canada you live:In the past month alone, Canada's number of confirmed or presumptive cases rose by more than 125,000, increasing from 211,732 on Oct. 23 to 337,555 on Monday. Provinces are seeing daily case counts higher than they ever saw during the first wave. And so now, with the holiday season just weeks away, Canadians are wondering if one of the bright spots in Canada's long, dark winter will be another casualty of 2020 — and whether the country will ever get off the roller-coaster of flattening the curve only to see cases soar again. Tam is blunt when it comes to the upcoming holiday season: No large gatherings. Keep it small. Keep it within your own household. "Christmas is not going to be having any kind of large group interactions," she said. "Even with family, you've got to really think twice. Avoid non-essential travel. Keep to your current household contacts as much as possible." Read more on this story here.Simian serenade(Prapan Chankaew/Reuters)British musician Paul Barton plays the piano for the macaques that occupy the Phra Prang Sam Yot temple site in Lopburi, Thailand, in this photo taken Nov. 21. The audience was a bit unruly as they climbed all over him, pulled his hair and tried to eat his sheet music. Barton said he hoped the music might calm the animals at a time when the pandemic-caused drop in Thailand's tourism industry means fewer visitors to feed them, and less money for their welfare.In briefAlberta has reached a "precarious point" in the coronavirus pandemic, the province's top doctor said Monday upon reporting 1,549 new cases and five more deaths. The province's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw also said there were 13,166 active cases in Alberta — surpassing Ontario's 13,004 for the most in the country. Hinshaw said she was meeting with a cabinet committee "to discuss a series of new measures to reduce the rising spread of COVID-19," and said a detailed update would be coming today. "We must take action. Waiting any longer will impact our ability to care for Albertans in the weeks and months ahead," she said. Read more on this story here.WATCH | Alberta faces pressure for increased restrictions as COVID-19 cases 'snowball':The Canada Revenue Agency says it's warning about 213,000 Canadians who may have been paid twice through the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) program that they could be called upon to repay the money. But repayment isn't required right away, says the agency. The CRA has suspended collection of debts for the duration of the pandemic emergency. "The Canada Revenue Agency … has issued letters to individuals who may have applied for the Canadian emergency response benefit … from both Service Canada and the CRA, and who may be required to repay an amount to the CRA," an agency spokesperson said in an email. "We will resume collections activities when it is responsible to do so, including collection of debts related to CERB payments." The agency is still recommending people pay back any CERB funds to which they're not entitled by the end of the year, warning that if they don't, the sum will appear on T4A tax slips and will need to be reported as income on next year's tax return. Read more about the possible CERB repayments. Canada has turned away at least 4,400 asylum seekers at the U.S. border since 2016 — including some who were hoping to find refuge here at the height of the global pandemic — according to newly released government figures. Nearly half of those trying to enter Canada over that nearly five-year period made the attempt in the year after U.S. President Donald Trump took office. The figures were released in response to a parliamentary request from NDP MP Jenny Kwan. Under the Safe Third Country Agreement, which has been in effect since 2004, Canada and the U.S. consider each other to be "safe countries" for refugees and require them to make their claims in the country they arrive in first. The agreement has long faced criticism and legal challenges from refugee advocacy groups, who say the agreement is an inhumane way to limit the number of people Canada accepts as refugees. They say the U.S. is not a safe country for all refugees and that the dangers they face have increased under the Trump administration. Read more about the figures on asylum seekers. NAV Canada, hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, is considering cutting air traffic controller jobs at seven towers across Canada in an effort to save money as the global health crisis continues to drag down air traffic. CBC News obtained an internal memo from Nav Canada president and CEO Neil Wilson informing staff that the not-for-profit company that operates Canada's civil air navigation system is conducting studies of air traffic control towers in Whitehorse, Regina, Fort McMurray, Alta., Prince George, B.C., and Sault Ste. Marie and Windsor in Ontario, which "will result in workforce adjustments." The company also is looking into closing a control tower in St. Jean, Que. These locations were identified as having low air-traffic levels, even prior to the pandemic, the memo said. Some aviation experts and airlines warn that the cuts would amount to removing a layer of protection. "It would degrade the level of safety at Whitehorse," said Joe Sparling, president of Whitehorse-based airline Air North. "We would encourage Nav Canada to look for other cost reduction measures." Read more about possible NAV Canada cuts here. U.S. president-elect Joe Biden can start the formal transition of power process after the federal agency that must sign off on it said Monday that he could. "I take this role seriously and, because of recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results, am transmitting this letter today to make those resources and services available to you," General Services Administration (GSA) chief Emily Murphy wrote in a letter to Biden. Yesterday, Michigan certified Biden's victory in that state, while a judge in Pennsylvania over the weekend threw out a lawsuit from U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign that sought to block certification in that state. The move by the GSA means Biden's team will now get federal funds and an official office to conduct his transition. Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris will also get access to the regular national security briefings that Trump gets. Read more about the transition here.WATCH | Trump allows co-operation in presidential transition as Biden chooses cabinet:Now for some good news to start your Tuesday: Why do bees have sticky hair? Because they use honey combs. Tristan Kennedy, 5, shared that joke and more than 100 other knee-slappers outside his home in Pitt Meadows, B.C., this spring in an effort to brighten up the days of his neighbours during the pandemic. For 155 days straight starting in April, Kennedy and his mother, Naya Kohout, searched for jokes and then shared them on a sign at the end of their driveway, with the setup line written up and posted on one side and the punchline on the other. Despite hearing a few groans from those bemoaning the jokes, the response was so positive they asked passersby if they would be interested in a book of jokes. Kohout says the demand was there, so they put together an offering. To date, they have sold more than 120 books, and raised more than $1,200, which they are donating in equal parts to the Ridge Meadows Senior Society and the Friends in Need Food Bank. Read more here about the joke book.Front Burner: Virus rages in 'precarious' AlbertaIn the first wave of the pandemic, Alberta was one of the provinces that seemed to have things relatively under control. Now, the province has daily case rates three times as high as Quebec or Ontario, and ICUs in Calgary and Edmonton have been hitting 90 per cent capacity. But Premier Jason Kenney hasn't addressed the province at a COVID-19 briefing for almost two weeks, and has resisted repeated calls for lockdowns from doctors and other experts. It's leading some Albertans to tweet the hashtag WhereIsKenney. Today, Jason Markusoff of Maclean's joins us to talk about how Alberta got here, and what happens now.Today in history: November 241892: Sir John Abbott, third prime minister of Canada and the first PM born in Canada, steps down due to ill health. He is succeeded by Sir John S. D. Thompson. 1937: The Canadian Authors Association sets up the Governor General's Literary Awards. Bertram Brooker wins the first award for his 1936 novel Think of the Earth. 1980: Moretta (Molly) Reilly, the first woman in Canada to get an airline transport pilot's licence and a member of the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame, dies in Edmonton at the age of 58. 1981: The Metric Commission of Canada announces the full conversion to the metric system in food stores across Canada. The changeover from imperial units to metric was implemented simultaneously in 21 areas across Canada in January 1982 and covered the rest of the country within two years. 1987: Jehane Benoît, called Canada's first lady of cuisine who published 25 cookbooks and was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 1973, dies at age 83.
U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday and the Dow breached the 30,000 level for the first time, as investors anticipated a 2021 economic recovery on coronavirus vaccine progress and the formal clearance for President-elect Joe Biden's transition to the White House. Of the 11 major S&P sectors, 10 gained ground, led by economically sensitive stocks such as financials, materials and energy, while industrials hit a record. President Donald Trump finally gave the green light for the formal transfer of power to begin on Monday, a process that was delayed for weeks despite Democrat Joe Biden emerging as the clear winner in the U.S. elections.
The mix, developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, is to be given to people who have the infection and are at high risk. View on euronews
A Fort St. John, B.C. man is earning praise for driving an American family in need from northern B.C. to the Alaskan border near Beaver Creek, Yukon.The roughly 1,700-kilometre trip up the Alaska Highway in winter didn't deter him from volunteering to help out, said Gary Bath.Bath said he noticed an online plea for help last week from an American woman driving to Alaska who was overwhelmed by the winter driving conditions and couldn't drive any farther."I didn't care how far it was, I just knew they needed help and they had a few short days to hit the border before they were going to get in trouble, so," Bath said, referring to the four-to-six day period Americans are given by Canada to drive from the lower 48 states to Alaska.He said the stranded woman, Lynn Marchessault, is a former member of the U.S. military and was driving herself and her two children to Alaska to join her husband, a current member of the military.Bath is a Canadian Ranger, and he said that was an added incentive for him to get involved.Marchessault said she had never driven in snow before when she and her two children left Georgia to drive north.She was driving a pickup and towing a large U-Haul trailer. As soon as she hit snowy roads she began having trouble with traction on hills.Marchessault believed the tires on the truck were rated all-weather, but shortly after leaving Fort St. John a woman told her they were actually summer tires and helped Marchessault find a set of studded winter tires.Marchessault continued on, but the driving stress was too much and she pulled over at a highway lodge for temporary workers at Pink Mountain, B.C.The staff there let her and her two children stay the night while she went online to see if she could find somebody to take over. Her husband would not be allowed to come to their aid because of COVID-19 restrictions.Bath and his wife Selena showed up with extra winter clothing for the Marchessaults and Gary volunteered to drive them in their vehicle to the American border."I had to make the hard choice — were my children safer in my own hands in these conditions, or in the hands of a kind stranger who was willing to get us to where we needed to be, safely," said Marchessault.Bath said the trip was mostly uneventful and they reached the Alaskan border on Thursday where Marchessault's husband was waiting.He said they all wore face masks the entire time they were in the vehicle.While they were on the road, Bath's friends, his provincial MLA and strangers were working to find a way to get him back home. An RCMP officer in Beaver Creek gave him a ride from the American border back to Beaver Creek and found him a ride to Whitehorse. Donations from the public paid for Bath's airfare from Whitehorse to Fort St. John.'Forever grateful'Bath is downplaying his good deed, but said he was struck by the kindness he was shown by various people, including women working at the highway lodge at Pink Mountain and the motor inn at Beaver Creek.Marchessault has similar comments."We are forever grateful to Gary and I'm thankful to his wife for bringing him up and loaning him out. I met her that morning when she drove him up to the inn. And so we just had a good time," she said.She said she hopes they can all meet up again when her family eventually moves back south.Marchessault said Canadian drivers were also kind toward her on several occasions."There's a lot of road rage in my life, especially in America, but there were several times where I was driving pretty slow and I never experienced not one, not one interaction of road rage or anything," she said.
Some parents are calling on the Toronto District School Board and the province to make sure students are being given proper face-coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19 when they forget to bring their masks to class.The controversy began after Cortleigh Teolis read about the tests on masks conducted on behalf of CBC's Marketplace. She sorted through her family's basket of face coverings, pulling out the back-up masks issued to her two children at their elementary school in Toronto, and comparing them to the results.The combination of fabrics, with a 100 per cent cotton inner layer and a 100 per cent polyester outer layer, was ranked among the "worst performers" among the more than 20 different masks tested."All the other noise about what we don't know, those are really difficult issues," Teolis explained. "To me, this seems like a really easy win in a situation that's so complicated."So, she called the school.The principal at Fern Avenue Public School, Rosanna Sardella, confirmed to CBC that the masks were part of the shipment of personal protective equipment the school received from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in September prior to the start of classes.When contacted by parents, the school immediately swapped them out for blue-style surgical type masks ranked as "top performers." TDSB will adjust 'should medical advice change over time'But not all TDSB schools have done this."No change has been recommended by the Ministry of Education or Toronto Public Health," said TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird in a statement to CBC News. "Should medical advice change over time with regard to health and safety procedures, we will adjust accordingly," Students are encouraged, says Bird, to " provide their own mask/face covering, however we have ensured that backup masks/face coverings are available at schools if needed by students."But that's not sitting well with all parents, including Kate Rabinowicz, who has two children at Fern Avenue Public School. "I'm glad the TDSB is providing masks for kids who forget or don't have them," she said, but added that face coverings are not much help if they're not effective."Especially because of the overcrowding in some classrooms and poor ventilation, having masks that work [well] are more important than ever." Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in Toronto. The provincial government ordered a lockdown for Toronto and Peel Region that began Monday and will continue until at least Dec. 21. Schools, however, remain open."I'd like to see a recall of the masks that were already distributed" said Rabinowicz, "and a distribution of masks that are scientifically proven to filter out more."She suggested not all masks need to be replaced. "It could be an equity-based distribution to children who need it most."When contacted by CBC News, the provincial government noted the "cloth masks referenced" were not the ones supplied by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to schools."Schools are taking a multi-layered approach to support healthy and safe learning environments, including screening, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, environmental cleaning and disinfection, adapted school environments, cohorting, physical distancing and optimizing ventilation/air quality, as well as masking for students and personal protective equipment for staff," said Ministry of Education spokesperson Ingrid Anderson."The ministry's guidance provides a baseline, and school boards are permitted to adopt adaptations — such as extending requirements for wearing of masks — that support health and safety measures."It all leaves parents wondering if more should be done, and by whom."Somebody needs to take responsibility for this, and I honestly don't know as a parent who that should be," said Rabinowicz."I'd love to see the most effective masks given to our kids," Teolis said.
The approval of a zoning bylaw amendment could allow for a fire fighting academy to be built in a Tay Township hamlet. The application coming forward for public consultation this Wednesday evening is seeking to add “private career college” as a site-specific permitted use on the property located at 36 Hazel St., which is presently zoned institutional. The new use is to facilitate the land to be used for a firefighting training and education facility by Southwest Fire Academy (SFA). The application is also seeking some accessory uses for the college building, specifically allowing for overnight accommodations for a maximum of 15 consecutive nights. Other site-specific uses include one detached accessory building, outdoor parking and storage of a vehicle to be used for training purposes, the outdoor use of a decommissioned railroad car for the purpose of training, and a minimum of 37 off-street parking spaces for the college. The application also specifically states that no live fires are proposed for the site. The 2.18 acres of land is surrounded by low-density residential areas and backs onto 175 m of Trans Canada Trail. The site was the former Waubaushene Elementary School and had been vacant since 2015. The submitted application also includes comment from the Severn Sound Environmental Association, which has written in saying that no environmental impact study is required for the land in question. The letter also states that there are no woodlands, wetlands, or areas of natural and scientific interest on the property. The SSEA also recommends that property owners are responsible for ensuring that activity being undertaken on the property does not contravene with any applicable legislation or regulations under the Endangered Species Act, Migratory Birds Convention Act, and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. The presentation included in the agenda also answers a question asked by the township's chief administrative officer around mitigating noise for surrounding houses. The presentation states that strategic landscaping to supplement privacy and screening from abutting residential areas. Residents with questions and comments can contact Steven Farquharson, general manager, protective and development services via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (705)534-7248 ext. 225. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and can be viewed online via Zoom or via the township's website. An audio-only version of the meeting can be accessed via telephone by calling (705)999-0385 and entering meeting ID number 851 7203 4877 followed by .Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
L’entreprise de East Farnham Rotoplast a été reconnue pour sa gestion et sa performance remarquables lors du gala des Prix performance Québec tenu par le Mouvement québécois de la qualité. La PME, spécialisée dans le domaine du plastique et du moulage par rotation, a présenté sa candidature dans l’espoir d’être évaluée et de pouvoir utiliser le rapport d’évaluation pour s’améliorer. Le président a eu la surprise d’être invité au gala, tenu virtuellement le 19 novembre, en tant que récipiendaire. Parmi les prix remis, la plus petite catégorie est la Distinction régionale, suivie par la Mention, puis par la Grande mention. Le prix le plus prestigieux est remis à la toute fin. Rotoplast a reçu une Mention. «On est la PME manufacturière qui a cumulé le plus de points et ça nous a donné une mention, commente le président de l’entreprise Sébastien Daudelin. Je ne pensais jamais qu’on aurait une mention ! Pour nous, c’est wow ! (...) On est très fiers.» La cerise sur le sundae Lorsqu’une entreprise soumet sa candidature et que celle-ci est retenue pour la première étape, elle fait l’objet d’un processus complet d’évaluation de sa gestion et de sa performance. Il en résulte un rapport sur les forces et les faiblesses de la compagnie, ce que M. Daudelin souhaitait obtenir pour continuer à améliorer les pratiques de la PME. Le prix est la cerise sur le sundae. «Le Mouvement québécois de la qualité vise l’amélioration continue sur tous les aspects de l’entreprise. À trois, on a passé au minimum une centaine d’heures là-dessus. Après l’application, ils ont attitré quelqu’un chez nous pendant deux journées pour monter le dossier complet. Il a fait un rapport d’une trentaine de pages qui était le dossier officiel. Ensuite, il y avait des entrevues avec une équipe d’audit sur zoom pour nous donner des notes.» Un rapport de 37 pages a été pondu avec la grille d’évaluation qui lui donne un bon aperçu des forces et des faiblesses. Surprise M. Daudelin était persuadé que Rotoplast gagnerait la plus petite distinction. Cependant, une fois les six récipiendaires annoncés pour la Distinction régionale, il a été particulièrement surpris de passer à la catégorie suivante, d’autant plus que la PME était aux côtés d’entreprises de plus de 150 employés. Dans la présentation de l’entreprise, la personne qui remettait le prix «a dit que nos forces étaient notre plan stratégique d’entreprise, qu’on est vraiment concentré sur les besoins clients, excellent dans la gestion des ressources humaines et qu’on a une bonne performance financière.» Le dirigeant décrit les membres de son équipe d’environ 50 personnes comme une grande famille. Le président relate que les gens qui partent le font généralement pour des raisons de santé physique, même si la décision leur brise le cœur. Les mesures ont été rapidement prises à l’usine pour protéger le personnel lorsqu’il a été possible de rouvrir, au début de la pandémie de COVID-19. Le protocole sanitaire a été revu lorsque la région est passée en zone rouge et celui-ci a été signé par les employés. M. Daudelin est d’autant plus fier d’annoncer qu’il n’y a eu aucun cas entre les murs de Rotoplast jusqu’à présent.Cynthia Laflamme, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix de l'Est
Campbellford Memorial Hospital (CMH) is stepping in to help run the Trent Hills COVID-19 Assessment Centre. Beginning Nov. 23, CMH will provide clerical and operations support to the assessment centre, the hospital announced in a news release. Northumberland County Paramedics and the Trent Hills Family Health Team have been managing the centre so far throughout the pandemic. With the transition, there will be no changes in location, contact number or hours of operation for the Trent Hills COVID-19 Assessment Centre but only patients who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by phone moving forward. The hospital is reminding residents to be vigilant with safety measures including hand-washing, wearing a mask and practising physical distancing. “We are actively in wave two of the COVID-19 pandemic,” CMH said. Provincially, the number of new cases reported daily are up to over 1,000 and these cases are appearing closer to home, the hospital noted. Outbreaks have been announced in the Peterborough and Cobourg areas. “We urge you to revisit your daily practices and ensure that you are taking all steps necessary to keep you, your loved ones and your community safe.” CMH said the Trent Hills Family Health Team was instrumental in establishing the assessment centre and co-ordinating processes that included registering patients, sending specimens to the lab, providing follow-up instructions and completing daily reporting to the Ministry of Health. CMH also thanked Campbellford’s two walk-in clinics for helping communicate test results with those who received COVID-19 swabs. CMH said it aims to provide a seamless transition with as few changes as possible to existing services. About the Trent Hills COVID-19 Assessment Centre: -The assessment centre is located in the old paramedic bay at CMH -Tests continue to be provided by appointment only -Appointments can be booked by calling 705-395-1801 -The centre is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. -Northumberland County Paramedics continues to provide staffing support to assess and swab patients requiring a COVID-19 test \- Moving forward, results will be managed slightly differently. Only those who have a positive test result will be contacted by phone by an infection control team member. \- Residents are asked to check their results online at http://covid-19.ontario.ca/ -For help on days the assessment centre is not open, contact the local health unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020 or visit https://covid-19.ontario.ca/assessment-centre-locations. Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Northumberland News
Talking to your children about the COVID-19 pandemic can be difficult, but with schools in the Windsor-Essex region and beyond experiencing outbreaks, that conversation may be necessary.So how should you talk to your kids about COVID-19?For Lance Rappaport, a clinical psychologist and an assistant professor at the University of Windsor, the first step may just be acknowledging that having this conversation is not the easiest thing to do."It's a difficult conversation to have ... It's a difficult thing to articulate and communicate with a child," he said. Drawing on your own knowledge of your child — their developmental stage, their fears, and what they already know — can also be valuable in preparing to have the conversation. "Every child is going to be somewhat different, and I think parents are in a unique position to know their child and explain it in a way that the child will understand," Rappaport said.Rappaport added that one of the keys to having a good conversation is to remember to talk about preventative and safety measures against the disease, rather than just talking about the risk.Good listening is keyStacey Slobodnick, clinical lead for outpatient services at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare's Regional Children's Centre, says that it's important to be aware of your own emotional state heading into the conversation. What might be most important is to be a calm and sometimes inquisitive listener."Regardless of whatever comments the child is making, I want the parent to reflect back, 'Oh it sounds like you're really scared.' 'Sounds like you're not scared at all.' 'Tell me some more about that,'" she said.It's an effort to get information from the child before offering information about the pandemic or an outbreak. But before you do that, Slobodnick says it's important to be aware of your child's developmental stage, including how much information your child can handle.Emphasizing that uncertainty and a lack of control are difficult is also important, but that comes with an opportunity to talk to your child about what they can control."Uncertainty can be really hard, so I want [parents] to validate and acknowledge that that's difficult," she said. "When we have situations where we don't have a lot of control, I want the parents to then focus on what are the things we can control."These include how to spend their time, what things can be done to keep safe and how they plan on doing their schoolwork.What you shouldn't doIn terms of mistakes to avoid, Slobodnick says you should not share questionable information from unreliable sources with your child. You also don't want to project your own fears and concerns, she said, adding parents should remember to stay calm. "So just being really aware, if this is something that makes you really nervous, know that your child needs to see that you're confident and that the two of your are going to get through this situation together," she said.Though the pandemic has been going on for nine months, Slobodnick warns that now is also not the time to get desensitized. "Even though we're kind of used to it by now, it's still something kind of impeding us from living our best life right now," she said.
A group of medical students from Memorial University are in the midst of running one of St. John's most challenging routes every day for an entire month, sweating it out up Signal Hill in support of Newfoundland and Labrador's Arthritis Society.The idea for November's event, called Hills for Humanity, sprang from second-year students Brett Holloway and Joey Landine, both of whom are part of the newly-created MunMed Adventure Sports Club. The group organized a previous fundraiser running a 50-kilometre race on the East Coast Trail earlier this year, and were looking for a new challenge when the calorie-burning idea came to mind."Me and Joey were chatting one evening and we thought it would be neat to get something started that would kind of engage the community a little bit and [bring] a bit more public awareness," Holloway said Sunday."It gives us an opportunity to kind of showcase what we've been doing in the community."The group settled on the idea of tackling the three-kilometre run on the Signal Hill trail in St. John's, and chose a cause close to one of their members, Claire Neilson. Neilson, a first-year student from Charlottetown, P.E.I. lives with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and pitched the idea of helping the local arthritis society."It's been something that I really struggled with for a long time. But I found that through exercise it really helps mitigate the bad effects of the disease," Neilson said."I kind of put forward the idea of the arthritis society because they took really good care of me when I was in the pediatric centre back in Halifax. They agreed and here we are."Windy, cold, and slipperyThe team has split up the running schedule over the course of the month, with most members completing the run around five times each. Landine said the area's weather conditions can present a challenge, particularly in November, but that's part of the fun."Everyone knows Signal Hill is windy and cold sometimes, so every day provides a new challenge for sure." he said."We've definitely had a couple of days that were a little bit slippery, so we have to make sure we watch ourselves during those," Emily Collis, a first-year student from St. John's added. "But it's been a really great challenge."Neilson has completed the run five times throughout November, and said the idea of running for a cause so close to her has been rewarding since the arthritis and medical community has given her so much help and support."I think this is a really good way to kind of dive both feet in, especially with COVID and the fact that we're not actually allowed to be in the clinics interacting with the community," she said. "It's kind of nice to be able to give back in this little more of an interactive way.""To be able to give back is just an awesome feeling," Collis said.The running crew enters the home stretch this week, and had raised $950 as of Sunday.They're inviting others to join them in the final push, including Premier Andrew Furey, who they said they would love to run with if the opportunity came.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Stratégie Carrière mise sur la régionalisation de l’immigration et tente de convaincre des familles montréalaises de s’établir dans la région. L’objectif: combler les besoins en main-d’œuvre des entreprises locales, mais aussi de lutter contre la dévitalisation de cette région où la moyenne d’âge est l’une des plus élevées au Québec. Stratégie Carrière vient, en ce sens, de recevoir une aide de près de 120 000 $ sur trois ans du ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI). L’initiative n’est ni nouvelle ni unique ; nombre de régions québécoises tentent le coup. À Trois-Rivières comme ailleurs, les efforts semblent peu à peu produire des résultats. Stratégie Carrière convainc, chaque année, une quinzaine de familles immigrantes de s’établir en Mauricie avec, à la clé, un emploi gardé au chaud. Beaucoup viennent de France, du continent africain et de l’Amérique latine, précise Luce Ricard, chargée de projet — régionalisation chez Stratégie Carrière. « Ils finissent toujours par trouver un emploi. Malgré la pandémie, il y a des secteurs qui ont le vent dans les voiles, comme le domaine du textile, de la désinfection des locaux par pulvérisateur et dans le domaine de la santé et de l’éducation. On réussit à placer nos candidats et à leur trouver un salaire parfois plus attrayant que celui de la PCU, récemment rebaptisé», indique Luce Ricard. Convaincre les familles Pour convaincre des familles immigrantes établies à Montréal d’accorder leur faveur aux régions, Stratégie Carrière entretient des liens serrés avec quatre organismes de la métropole. Parmi eux, Carrefour Blé, Promis, Collectif, et Alpa. L’organisation trifluvienne collabore aussi en Mauricie avec le Service d’accueil des nouveaux arrivants et la Ville de Trois-Rivières. La pandémie est toutefois venue brouiller les projets de Stratégie Carrière. La directrice de l’organisme constate que les nouveaux arrivants sont souvent ceux qui perdent leur emploi en premier. «Par contre, il y a certains secteurs qui sont encore pénurie de main-d’œuvre et ça nous permet de les replacer rapidement », assure Annie Jean. Il est clair que la pandémie aura joué les trouble-fêtes, à plus d’un titre. Les salons de l’emploi sont à proscrire, les déplacements déconseillés, les rencontres en personne aussi. L’organisme devra nul doute revoir ses objectifs à la baisse. « Dans le contexte actuel, c’est un peu une boule de cristal. On essaie d’extrapoler en fonction de nos références antérieures, mais il est difficile de savoir comment va réagir le marché du travail et comment va s’articuler la reprise économique. On est un peu dans l’œil du cyclone. Quand on va en émerger, on sera en mesure de mieux diriger nos efforts, explique Annie Jean. Le ministère comprend bien la situation .» Pour l’heure, Stratégie Carrière demeure donc en mode veille, mais continue de vanter les mérites de la région et de ses entreprises. « On fait valoir le fait que c’est une ville à échelle humaine, qu’il y a de grands espaces, un atout non négligeable en ces temps de COVID-19. Il y a une vitalité économique, tout le réseau scolaire et une qualité de vie. On est en train de semer. C’est un travail de long terme. Quand les gens viennent ici, ils se rendent compte qu’ils y gagnent », conclut Mme Jean.Boris Chassagne, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix du Sud
Managers at Veterans Affairs Canada expect their office buildings on P.E.I. will remain empty for some time to come, though there have been mixed emotions for staff mostly working from home since the pandemic began. "It's always been the health and safety of our employees first," said Sara Lantz, acting assistant deputy minister of corporate services for Veterans Affairs, which has about 1,500 employees on the Island. Most are working from home, though special permission is granted sometimes if a person needs to go into the office.She said the department cannot keep workers at a safe physical distance from each other in its P.E.I. premises, and Veterans Affairs Canada wants to maintain the status quo as long as services are still being provided to veterans. Lantz said a recent survey of home-based staff suggested the model seems to be working, so Veterans Affairs is not in a rush to move people back into offices."Most employees, somewhere between 80 and 90 per cent, were happy with the support from the department," she noted. Lantz said there is no date to reopen offices. Occupancy levels may be increased eventually as work spaces are reorganized and decluttered, but health and safety inspections will be needed before that happens. She expects many staff will continue to work from home for at least part of their work weeks even after the pandemic ends.> How do I entertain my toddler, plus go on this meeting? — Tanya Wilshire, Veterans Affairs Canada"There's a lot of people that feel they're much more productive at home, and want to stay at home part time into the future," she said.Lantz said COVID-19 may end up saving taxpayers money in the long run if flexibility over home-working results in "a more efficient use of space and employees' time." That's because large buildings are costly to run. 'Baptism by fire' for someTanya Wilshire works for online services with Veterans Affairs Canada, and has been working from home since March. "It was very much a baptism by fire," said Wilshire. "I was in denial for the first months, thinking we were going to go back." Wilshire has a four-year-old son, so when schools and daycares closed during the pandemic, she and her husband like so many other parents, had to juggle parenting and work responsibilities. "How do I entertain my toddler, plus go on this meeting?" was a constant question, she said. "When you have your personal life constantly around you at home, it's almost like you are living at work."The family is operating with more of a routine now and she's grateful to not be rushing out the door each morning to get to work. She said she misses human interaction but working online has helped her connect to more colleagues than she would have at the office. She said she feels employees working from home are more dedicated than ever because they want to help veterans cope with the pandemic. "If you would have asked me two years ago, 'Could all of Veterans Affairs work at home?' I would have been 'no, there's no way.'"And now we've proved it," she said. "I'm very confident the work is being done."Wilshire said ideally when the pandemic is over, she would like a hybrid agreement where she could work from home and the office. Union concerned about mental health The union that represents many Veterans Affairs employees said the work-from-home model can be "precarious" at times. Debi Buell, president of the Union of Veterans' Affairs Employees in Charlottetown, said employees' mental health is the main concern."How resilient certain people are with having to work from home and not being able to go into the workplace every day." Buell said she's heard from employees who are struggling as well as employees who have no issues with working from home. She said it's going as well as can be expected, but it's important that employees don't feel isolated. The union has also made a request through its national office to question the Treasury Board on compensation for things such as internet and heating costs for employees working from home — specifically, whether they'll be able to claim these costs as a small business would. "We should be compensated as far as we're concerned."More from CBC P.E.I.