Highlights of this day in history: Slobodan Milosevic arrested; American forces invade Okinawa; Nazi Germany begins persecuting Jews; Soul singer Marvin Gaye is shot to death by his father. (April 1)
Highlights of this day in history: Slobodan Milosevic arrested; American forces invade Okinawa; Nazi Germany begins persecuting Jews; Soul singer Marvin Gaye is shot to death by his father. (April 1)
Windsor police say an arrest has been made after a man allegedly pointed a gun at another driver in Walkerville on Sunday. According to police, two vehicles "became involved in a road-rage incident" around 6 p.m. on Sunday in the area of Moy Avenue and Wyandotte Street East. The vehicles entered an alley in the area of Gladstone Avenue and Wyandotte, where the man driving a black Lincoln left the vehicle and allegedly pointed a gun at the other driver, police said in a media release on Monday. Officers located the vehicle at around 7:45 p.m. at a home in Windsor. When police arrived, the suspect was outside and wearing a ballistic-style vest. No firearm has been recovered. A 34-year-old man was arrested and charged with: Pointing a firearm Threatening to use a weapon Possession of a handgun for a purpose dangerous to public peace Having face masked with intent to commit an offence Failure to comply with a release order
The Liberal government has set aside hundreds of millions dollars to combat sexual misconduct in the military, bolster continental defence and reinforce Canada's commitment to NATO. The new federal budget, released Monday, proposes to spend $236.2 million over five years at the Department of National Defence (DND), including $158.5 million at Veterans Affairs Canada, to address the ongoing crisis of sexual assault and violence in the ranks. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland's plan also commits to ongoing funding for both departments to make permanent a number of newly proposed initiatives. Separately, the Liberal government plans to put $163 million over five years into the modernization of continental defence. Of that sum, $111 million is being set aside to revitalize NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defence Command. "This investment would lay the groundwork for NORAD's future, including through research and development of cutting-edge technologies that can detect and defend against threats to the continent," says the budget document, which also earmarked $88 million over five years to maintain existing radar stations and northern defence infrastructure. Two Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18s in flight.(North American Aerospace Defense Command) The budget commits to spending $847.1 million over five years to maintain Canada's rotating deployments of frigates and fighter jets to NATO, and more cash to cover increased contributions to the military alliance's overall budget. The most immediate and high-profile of the budget's defence-related proposals targets the military's stalled — and, according to some critics, discredited — campaign to eliminate sexual misconduct from its ranks. The budget recommits the government to creating "new external oversight mechanisms" for people who report sexual assault in the military. A loss of trust It remains to be seen whether the proposal will meet the demands of victims and legal experts who have argued the work of investigating sexual misconduct in the ranks must be taken out of the military's hands and turned over to an independent inspector general. Many victims do not trust the chain of command when it comes to reporting assaults and worry about the career implications of stepping forward. Among the budget proposals is a plan to expand support services to victims to include access to free, independent legal advice, and to enable "military members to access services without making a formal complaint." The Liberal government is also promising to pilot an online in-person peer support group for members of the military and veterans who have experienced sexual misconduct during their time in uniform. That's something survivors of sexual assault in the military have been demanding for years. The budget sets aside more money for research on sexual misconduct and to expand the reach of the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre, which serves members of the Armed Forces. DND says it plans to offer more specifics of its overall plan to address misconduct later this week. The budget initiatives could be an attempt by the government to steal a march on the Parliamentary committees for defence and the status of women, which have been seeking input on policies to address sexual abuse and assault in the military and are expected to report soon. No mention of promised independent probe The budget made no mention of — and appeared to set aside no funding for — the independent investigation promised by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan in response to allegations of misconduct involving the country's two most senior military leaders. Former chief of the defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance and the current top commander, Admiral Art McDonald, face separate investigations into allegations of inappropriate conduct involving junior female subordinates. Sajjan has promised a systematic review of sexual misconduct in the ranks, with the aim of restoring confidence in the chain of command. That review has not yet been launched. Separately, the budget also sets aside $140 million over five years for a program at Veterans Affairs Canada that would cover the mental health care costs of veterans with post traumatic stress disorder while their disability benefit applications are being processed.
Saskatchewan's minister of health has apologized for speaking in error in regards to how patients hospitalized by COVID-19 are counted in provincial data. Minister Paul Merriman incorrectly stated during the human services committee meeting on April 15 that COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized, but no longer infectious, are not included in the province's hospital or ICU count. He corrected the error days later. "If they are in the hospital, and tested positive, no matter how long they remain in that hospital, they will still be counted as that," Merriman said Monday during Question Period. "That's my apologies." The minister will notify the committee in writing that he was mistaken in his answer, said a spokesperson for the ministry. Health policy consultant Dennis Kendel said it was "very concerning" for the minister to relay flawed information. "The health minister is the highest public official, accountable to the public, for managing the entire public health system, or governing it, I might say," Kendel said. "If he/she doesn't understand what the terminology means, that's very worrisome." How recoveries are reported The government deems someone "recovered" 10 days after they receive a positive COVID-19 test because they are no longer considered infectious, regardless if they are still hospitalized from the virus. Kendel said the ministry should use the word "non-infectious" instead, as the word "recovered" can sow confusion. Dennis Kendel said the Ministry of Health should use the word “non-infectious” instead as the word “recovered” can sow confusion. (Trent Peppler/CBC) "In addition to the people who are in the hospital, who are obviously not recovered, a high percentage of people develop long symptoms and require help and support from the health-care system," Kendel said. He said words matter and so does communication with the public. "If we don't understand the severity of this, we're more inclined to accept less interventional measures by the government," Kendel said. Saskatchewan a hotspot for COVID-19 hospitalizations Saskatchewan continues to have one of the highest rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations among all the provinces. On April 17, chief medical officer Dr. Susan Shaw said on CBC's White Coat Black Art with Dr. Brian Goldman that Saskatchewan is "seeing similar things, if not the same things" as Ontario when it comes to health-care workers burning out and hospitals having limited ICU capacity. During a presentation to physicians on April 15, the SHA said "if current trajectory holds, our health system will be overrun." Last week, the SHA made the unprecedented moved of placing two COVID-19 patients in some rooms to make space for more patients. On Monday, hospitalizations continued to grow. The province reported 200 COVID-19 patients in hospital, an increase of 11 from Sunday, with 43 people in the ICU, 31 of whom are in Regina. The Saskatchewan Health Authority said it includes both infectious and non-infectious patients in its hospitalization and ICU numbers.(Apu Gomes/AFP/Getty Images) Shaw told Dr. Goldman there's "a frustration, and at times it gets into anger because we do know that COVID can be prevented." "Sometimes I'm standing in the ICU looking after a young parent of young children, treating that person knowing that it's preventable," Shaw said. "I think that causes a lot of moral distress and that is going to add up, that is going to build up and I think it is going to spill over in ways that we can't really understand yet."
LAS VEGAS — A convicted killer who is fighting a possible June execution date that would make him the first person put to death in Nevada in 15 years is calling for the state to consider the firing squad as an option, a rare method in the United States. Attorneys for Zane Michael Floyd say he does not want to die and are challenging the state plan to use a proposed three-drug method, which led to court challenges that twice delayed the execution of another convicted killer who later took his own life in prison. “This is not a delaying tactic,” Brad Levenson, a federal public defender representing Floyd, said Monday. But a challenge of the state execution protocol requires the defence to provide an alternative method, and Levenson said gunshots to the brain stem would be “the most humane way.” “Execution by firing squad ... causes a faster and less painful death than lethal injection,” the attorneys said in a court filing Friday. Three U.S. states — Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah — and the U.S. military allow capital punishment by gunfire. The last time that method was used in the United States was in Utah in 2010. Floyd's attorneys are asking a federal judge in Las Vegas to stop Floyd from being executed until prison officials “devise a new procedure or procedures to carry out a lawful execution.” Levenson said he and attorney David Anthony are fighting multiple issues in state and federal courts, with the possibility that Floyd’s death could be set for the week of June 7. Prosecutors will seek an execution warrant at a state court hearing next month. The 45-year-old was convicted in 2000 of killing four people with a shotgun in a Las Vegas supermarket in 1999 and badly wounding a fifth person. Floyd appeared to exhaust his federal appeals last November, and the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear his case. Floyd wants a chance to seek clemency at a June 22 meeting of the Nevada State Pardons Board, Levenson said. Floyd's attorneys argue that a three-drug combination the state wants to use — the sedative diazepam, the powerful synthetic painkiller fentanyl and a paralytic, cisatracurium — would amount to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of his constitutional rights. Anthony made similar arguments on behalf of Scott Raymond Dozier before Nevada's last scheduled execution was called off in 2017 and 2018. Dozier killed himself in prison in January 2019. A judge blocked the first date after deciding that use of the paralytic might cause painful suffocation while Dozier was aware but unable to move. Pharmaceutical companies that made the three drugs stopped the second date with arguments against using their products in an execution, an issue several states are facing. Floyd would be the first person executed in Nevada since 2006, when Daryl Mack asked to be put to death for his conviction in a 1988 rape and murder in Reno. Nevada has 72 men awaiting execution, a state Department of Corrections spokeswoman said. Ken Ritter, The Associated Press
These two Shiba Inu siblings absolutely love one other!
A Nova Scotia company that injects carbon dioxide into concrete — making it stronger while lowering its carbon footprint — has taken home a multi-million dollar prize in a global competition aimed at tackling climate change. CarbonCure Technologies is one of two grand prize winners of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPrize, which began in 2015, lasting three rounds over the course of 54 months, according to a news release on the company's website. The goal of the competition was to create technology that converts CO2 emissions into valuable products. Other contenders had innovations like harnessing photosynthesis to convert carbon and transforming acid rock draining and CO2 emissions into a stable substance. Each grand prize winner gets $7.5 million US, equivalent to about $9.4 million Cdn. The other winner is Los Angeles-based UCLA CarbonBuilt, which also developed a technology that reduces the carbon footprint of concrete by injecting CO2 into the mixture. CarbonCure's prize money will be put to use reaching the company's goal of reducing 500 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually by 2030, the company said in the release. It also plans to invest a portion of the funds into social equity initiatives. "Climate change can seem like an insurmountable challenge," CarbonCure president Jennifer Wagner said in the release. "Team CarbonCure and our fellow Carbon XPrize contenders have demonstrated that the challenge is surmountable and that we have the solutions available today to create meaningful change." One of the company's first concrete producer partners is Butler Concrete & Aggregate in Victoria, British Columbia.(J.Yanyshyn/VisionsWest Photography) The use of CO2 in concrete is expected to become a $400 billion market, the company said in a release. Its concrete solution is currently used in more than 300 concrete plants around the world. Annually, buildings make up 40 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the world's building stock is expected to double by 2060, according to Marcius Extavour, executive director of the Carbon XPrize. "CarbonCure's solution for the concrete industry exemplifies XPrize's ideal innovation — it is effective, commercially viable, and scalable — and can make a real difference to climate change today," Extavour said in a release. The competition had 38 contenders shortlisted in 2015. The final round was completed in Alberta in 2020, with CarbonCure introducing its newest tech: carbonating wastewater generated at concrete plans to produce concrete "with a reduced water, cement, and carbon intensity." The $20-million competition is sponsored by U.S.-based NRG Energy and industry group Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA). MORE TOP STORIES
REGINA — The death of an influential Cree teacher due to COVID-19 has increased pressure on the Saskatchewan government to prioritize educators in its vaccination plan. Victor Thunderchild, 55, died in Prince Albert on Saturday and family members say he was infected with the virus while working at a high school in the city. "His passion was always education," said his brother Harvey Thunderchild. Victor Thunderchild’s last tweet, sent during his hospitalization earlier this month, was directed at Premier Scott Moe and called for all teachers to get vaccinated "before this happens to anyone else." "That message that Victor sent to Scott Moe should be loud and clear,” said Harvey Thunderchild as he held back tears. "Make sure that front-line essential workers are looked after." Moe said Monday that he had heard many stories about Thunderchild's influence on students, teachers and the community. Speaking during question period, Moe said his Saskatchewan Party government will be looking at priority groups for vaccinations in coming days when the general age eligibility drops to people 40 and older. Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili said it is not enough to honour the teacher’s dying request. “Vic Thunderchild spoke up for teachers. (The premier) refused to listen,” Meili said. Patrick Maze, president of the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation, said teachers are grieving the death of a respected and inspiring colleague. They are also frustrated, he said. "We know it could have been prevented." He said teachers have been clear that it’s hard to maintain social distancing in classrooms, and calls from educators about prioritized vaccinations and rapid-testing kits in schools have been ignored. Maze said the stakes are high. While it’s unknown how many educators have contracted the virus on the job, he said he is aware of an educational assistant in Moose Jaw who is currently hospitalized with COVID-19. Saskatchewan reported 243 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. There were 200 people in hospital and 43 of those patients were in intensive care. Moe also said in a tweet that the province is considering lowering the age of eligibility to get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to 40, following the lead of Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba. Harvey Thunderchild said his brother's death is devastating and terrifying, especially since some of his own children are also educators. "I think the message that Victor sent should be loud and clear. It should echo through this province. It should echo across Canada," he said. He said his heart fell to the floor when he received the call that his younger brother was being transferred to intensive care and being put on a ventilator. A year ago this month, his family was mourning another brother — Wayne — who also died from COVID-19. Victor Thunderchild grew up the second youngest of 12 children. He played sports in high school but always wanted to be a teacher. He brought his cultural knowledge to teaching and always felt a responsibility to bring love, along with education, into his classroom, said his brother. He worked at Carlton Comprehensive High School as a teacher and a counsellor for 29 years. He helped develop Cree language programs, was actively involved in sports and was well-known throughout the powwow circuit as an expert dancer. He cherished his wife and adored being a father. Memories of Thunderchild’s impact over decades of teaching prompted an online campaign called #ApplesForVictor, with current and former students sharing memories of the teacher. His family said the outpouring of support has helped them grieve. "People listened to him, the students did," Harvey Thunderchild said. "He wasn’t intimidating. He was kind. He was soft in his ways." This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2021. — By Kelly Geraldine Malone in Winnipeg The Canadian Press
VICTORIA — British Columbia will impose travel restrictions to prevent movement outside of health regions as police set up roadside checks similar to those seen during the Christmas season, Premier John Horgan said Monday as he pleaded with residents to "do the right thing." The government has been working with the tourism industry and BC Ferries to cancel bookings that have been made and to not accept new ones from people living outside their intended destination, Horgan told a news conference. The province is also extending measures that ban indoor dining and adult activities at gyms for another five weeks, matching the length of the travel restrictions. "If you live in the Fraser Health area, by all means take a few days, get outside, perhaps go to a campground in your local area. But do not try and book somewhere outside of your area. The tourism operator in that community will not book you," Horgan said. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth is expected to announce details Friday. Horgan added that signs will also be posted at the boundary with Alberta to reduce non-essential travel between the two provinces. Horgan said travel restrictions involving police will not be like those that were walked back in Ontario last week that could have seen pedestrians and motorists stopped during lockdowns and asked where they live. “We’re not going to follow other provincial leads and bring forward proposals that can’t be enforced or, quite frankly, reduce confidence in our objective here, which is to collectively say let’s redouble our efforts, let’s bear down for the next five weeks so that we can have the summer that all of us desperately, desperately want.” However, the province is prepared to bring in a public health order banning all non-essential travel if people do not voluntarily follow the restrictions to reduce the burden on overwhelmed hospital staff, Horgan said. "Most importantly, I want people to think about those nurses and those care aides and those doctors and all of the people on our front lines who have been giving every single week, every single month, for over a year to keep British Columbians safe. We cannot thank them enough." Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said a child under age two was among the eight people who died of COVID-19 since Friday, for a total of 1,538 deaths from the virus. "It is a true tragedy and it's a reflection of the impact this virus is having across our community," she said of the child who had some pre-existing issues and died at B.C. Children's Hospital. Another 2,960 people tested positive for the virus in the last three days, bringing the total number of cases in B.C. to 120,040. Henry said some restaurants and bars have pushed the limit by seating large numbers of people on patios and some gyms have also not been following restrictions during a three-week period that she extended until after the long weekend in May. While people have been encouraged to gather outdoors in groups of up to 10 in their bubble, it's concerning that some have skirted those guidelines, she said. B.C. will join Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba in providing the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged 40 and up, instead of starting at age 55, Henry said. "It's now become clear that the risk of very rare blood clots associated with vaccination (with AstraZeneca) is in the range of about four in a million," Henry said. "We need to put that in the context of what we are seeing across our province right now where COVID transmission rates are very high in many communities and the risk of hospitalization from COVID is about two to four in 100 for most people." Starting this week, the province will also use AstraZeneca to target vaccination in 13 high-risk communities, mostly in the Fraser Health region. — By Camille Bains in Vancouver This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2021. The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — Canada must remedy problems in commercial fishery regulations arising from a legal battle that was first launched in 2003 by a group of Vancouver Island First Nations, the British Columbia Court of Appeal has ruled. While there is no demonstrated need to make mandatory orders, they would "remain available if Canada does not act diligently to remedy the problems," Justice Harvey Groberman wrote in a decision released Monday. A three-judge panel unanimously upheld parts of an April 2018 ruling by the B.C. Supreme Court that found Canada's management of regular commercial fisheries unjustifiably infringed on the First Nations' rights. In that judgment, Justice Mary Humphries gave Ottawa one year to offer the plaintiffs opportunities to exercise their rights to harvest and sell salmon, groundfish, crab and prawn in a manner that remedied those infringements. The decision outlined several specific infringements related to the allocation of Pacific salmon and directed Ottawa to take a more "generous approach" to chinook allocations for the First Nations, noting the policy at the time gave recreational fishers priority over them. But the five Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations — Ehattesaht, Hesquiaht, Ahousaht, Tla‑o‑qui‑aht and Mowachaht/Muchalaht — appealed the decision, which dismissed their argument that Canada failed in its duty to consult them by refusing to implement proposals raised in discussions outside the courts to resolve the dispute and negotiate new policies. The Appeal Court found Humphries did not err in that part of her decision. But the court said she did make an error in limiting certain commercial fishing rights to vessels of a particular size and fishing capacity. Humphries "went too far" in her interpretation of a 2009 B.C. Supreme Court decision that upheld the nations' right to commercial fisheries, Groberman wrote. She found that right should be interpreted as a "non-exclusive, small scale, artisanal, local, multi-species fishery ... using small, low-cost boats with limited technology and restricted catching power, and aimed at wide community participation," the Appeal Court judgment says. Humphries was entitled to interpret the earlier ruling, Groberman wrote, but she did not have the authority to diminish the nations' commercial fishing rights. If upheld, her interpretation would have done so, he said. "The limitations the judge placed on the levels of technology and the types of vessel that could be used do not take into account the need to allow Aboriginal rights to evolve to meet modern conditions and requirements." Nuu-chah-nulth leaders hailed the decision as a major victory, while pushing Fisheries and Oceans Canada to implement their rights immediately. "Why does it take all these years and all these court battles when the federal government should be sitting at the table with our nations and working this out, especially in times now of reconciliation," Judith Sayers, president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, told a news conference. "We look forward to seeing these five nations being able to go out and fish as they have since time immemorial." Fisheries and Oceans Canada said it will "take the necessary time to properly review the decision" by the Appeal Court. The department will continue to work with the five First Nations on implementation of their rights to fish and sell fish, and on their participation in commercial fishing more generally, it said in a statement. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 19, 2021. This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press