One of these boys can't seem to stay awake any longer, but his brother is there to make sure he doesn't fall asleep until the cartoon is over. Priceless!
One of these boys can't seem to stay awake any longer, but his brother is there to make sure he doesn't fall asleep until the cartoon is over. Priceless!
Prince Albert police have released more details about their investigation into the death of Braden Herman. They say that on May 11, veteran RCMP officer Cpl. Bernie Herman phoned a co-worker and said he had "killed someone." He agreed to go to his co-worker's house, located just north of Prince Albert. The RCMP, whose district the house was in, were then contacted and Bernie Herman was taken into custody. On May 12, 53-year-old Bernie Herman was charged with first-degree murder. He had served on the force for 32 years. He and Braden Herman are not related but knew each other for several years, according to police. During the initial RCMP response, Bernie Herman provided information as to where police could find the victim. Police say that when they located 26-year-old Braden Herman on the edge of Prince Albert near Little Red Park, he was dead and appeared to have been shot. At that time, the Prince Albert Police Service took over the investigation. Braden Herman, 26, was found dead on the edge of Prince Albert near Little Red Park. (Braden Herman/Facebook) Investigation continues, motive unknown Braden Herman's siblings have told CBC News the 53-year-old Mountie was known to them as having a "personal" and oftentimes "controlling" relationship with their brother. Braden Herman came from Clearwater River Dene Nation and Bernie Herman comes from the neighbouring community of of La Loche. Police say they cannot confirm what weapon was used in the homicide at this time. But Prince Albert police have seized Bernie Herman's service pistol and other "use-of-force equipment." Police say he was not on duty at the time of the offence. But upon investigation it was been determined that he left work in full uniform and utility belt after finishing his shift at 5 p.m. on May 11. Police have taken statements from family members of both Bernie Herman and Braden Herman. Investigators are continuing to gather statements in order to gain insight into the nature of their relationship, as well as the possible motivation for the offence. Bernie Herman made his first court appearance on May 13. His next court appearance is expected to be on May 26.
The Yukon government has delivered on one of its promises to the NDP — a residential rent cap that came into effect over the weekend. The move has already drawn fire from the opposition Yukon Party, and some landlords who say they won't be able to afford their properties anymore. The cap came into effect on Saturday, and it limits any residential rent increases this year to one per cent, which is the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Whitehorse in 2020. The percentage will be reviewed each year after the CPI is published. Housing was a central focus of the NDP's campaign platform this spring, and the party later made a rent cap a condition in their agreement to prop up the Liberals' minority government until at least 2023. Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn said the Liberals didn't support rent caps during the election campaign, but a deal's a deal. 'We're going to honour the agreement we signed with [the NDP],' said Richard Mostyn, Yukon's minister of Community Services.(Jane Sponagle/CBC) "Yukoners have spoken. They want us to work together with the New Democratic caucus. The New Democratic caucus wants a rental cap," Mostyn said. "We're going to honour the agreement we signed with them." 'I'm going to keep falling behind' The rent cap is already proving unpopular with some residential landlords. Louisa Williams says it's the "catalyst" for her selling her rental property. She bought a two-bedroom condo in Whitehorse two years ago as part of her retirement plan, and she's been renting it out for $1,600 per month. Now, she doesn't feel like she can afford to keep it any longer. "I'm going to be losing the small profit margin I had, because of the rent freeze. I am not going to be able to keep up with the fixed and variable costs that are being imposed. So I'm going to keep falling behind," she said. Williams is not evicting her tenants — she said they were already moving out. Now she'll take the opportunity to sell the place. Costs are going up all the time, she says, and rent is the only way to help cover those costs. "To make it fair, I think the government should impose a freeze on electrical fees, on Northwestel fees, on oil and renewable energy and on anything else, like insurance. So a freeze on all that, just like the rent, and then it would be fine, [it] would all equal itself out," Williams said. Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon said the rent cap is simply bad policy, and it's not going to improve Yukon's housing market for anybody. "It's going to result in fewer people wanting to be landlords, and therefore fewer rental properties, and fewer rental properties means fewer options for people in the housing market," Dixon said. Dixon also called the introduction of the rent cap a "masterclass in poor governance and bad policy-making." 'It's been messy, it's been ugly,' said Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon.(Mike Rudyk/CBC) "I mean, nobody seems to know what's going on ... there's been absolutely no communication with the public, there's been no consultation, there's no implementation plan, no communication plan. It's been, quite frankly, terrible," Dixon said, just before the change came into effect. "It's been messy, it's been ugly. And unfortunately, it's going to result in a whole lot of negative implications for our housing market." Tenants are relieved, says NDP leader NDP Leader Kate White dismisses the doomsaying. She says she's heard from landlords who are concerned about the change — but she's also heard from tenants. White argues that vulnerable tenants are rarely as outspoken as landlords, and don't have any sort of organization comparable to the Yukon Residential Landlords' Association. "I can tell you that I have heard from tenants who are relieved because those increases that they were facing are not going to come into effect right now," White said. White says the rent cap is in place until 2023, allowing plenty of time for the government to review it and also plan and consult about any long-term changes to rental legislation. White said it was important to do something now, and not wait to consult. "If there's a tenant right now facing a $300-a-month increase, and there's no flexibility around that, do they have the time to wait for that consultation? And my answer is no," White said. "Right now, this is a measure of protection and it's in place for 20 months."
Questions are still outstanding around what Ontario will do with its AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses.
Karine Spénard, the coroner investigating the death of Candida Macarine at the Lakeshore General Hospital in Montreal's West Island in February, has stepped aside after Macarine's family suggested she was in a conflict of interest. Macarine was found dead on the floor of a negative pressure isolation room in the emergency room at the hospital Feb. 27, a few hours after being admitted. Nurses had repeatedly warned managers it was difficult to monitor patients in the room because of visibility problems. The hospital did not tell Macarine's family about the circumstances of her death, which they only learned of two weeks later after seeing a CBC story. The family was hoping the coroner's investigation would finally bring some answers, but at a news conference Monday morning they said they were worried about Spénard's ability to look at the case impartially. Spénard's profile on LinkedIn shows that directly before she joined the coroner's office in 2017, she was the head of legal affairs for the CIUSSS de l'Ouest de l'Île de Montréal, the health agency that oversees the Lakeshore. "We are concerned that with the possible conflict of interest, the coroner's investigation will not shed light on all the facts and circumstances of my mom's death," Gilda Macarine, Candida Macarine's daughter told the news conference. Coroner steps aside Late Monday, Jake-Lamotta Granato, a spokesperson for the coroner's office, told CBC in an email that while the chief coroner still has full confidence in Spénard, she's no longer on the case. "She hasn't been an employee of the CIUSSS for several years. She has all the independence necessary to carry out this investigation," Lamotta-Granato said. Karine Spénard asked the Chief Coroner Monday to appoint another coroner to the case, saying she had lost the trust of the family.(LinkedIn) "However, as Ms. Macarine's family members withdrew their trust in Coroner Spénard, the latter requested that the investigation of the death be transferred to another coroner," Lamotta-Granato said. "The Chief Coroner accepted his request and a new coroner will be appointed to pursue the case," he added. Important to 'rebuild confidence' Emmanuelle Marceau, associate professor at Université de Montréal's school of public health, told CBC that while Spénard wasn't in a direct conflict of interest, it's probably best that a new coroner will be appointed. "Considering that the person (Spénard) was at the job for a certain number of years, maybe she made connections, she knows people internally, so perhaps she might not have been able to lead this investigation in the most objective fashion," Marceau said. "In situations where people have lost a loved one, and where they've lost confidence in the system, they have doubts because they don't understand what happened, there's miscommunication, it's important to rebuild that confidence," Marceau said. "It's important for this family, but also for Quebec society, to maintain confidence in our CIUSSSes and our health-care system," she added.
Looking back at her high school years, Emily Dickinson, 31, says she now knows she was taken in by a masterful manipulator — her former teacher Jeff Peters, who was recently convicted of sexual assault in Perth, Ont. "Our relationship was certainly crossing a million boundaries in terms of messaging outside of school, making comments about me in a kilt, making sexually suggestive comments," said Dickinson. "I just thought I was so mature. You're not. You're being manipulated." On April 29, Peters pleaded guilty to charges of sex crimes against two former students. The victims attended St. John Catholic High School in Perth between 2013 and 2016. CBC has since heard from other women who say they were victimized by Peters in the years prior. Dickinson said she was never physically assaulted by Peters, but said her former teacher did groom her with sexually inappropriate comments and messages, then asked her to lie about what was going on. Dickinson said her mother went to a school administrator more than a decade ago, asking for the behaviour to stop and the teacher to be reprimanded. "There's just a lot of frustration about knowing how preventable this whole situation was, and also just devastation. How many people were affected over these last 15 years? A lot more than two, I know that for sure," said Dickinson. Former teacher Jeff Peters pleaded guilty in April to the sexual assault of two former students. These are photos of Peters found in high school yearbooks.(St. John Catholic High School) 'I lied' Dickinson attended St. John between 2004 and 2008, when Jeff Peters taught a popular American history class that she said often included a trip to Washington D.C. or Boston. As a teacher, Peters was "engaging, interesting … buddy buddy," she recalled. Dickinson said the grooming started when she was 16. The two chatted using an online messenger, conversations that she described as "super sexual." She said he gave her gifts and once told her: "I saw you in your kilt today. If I was a boy your age, you have no idea the things I'd do to you." But she said Peters had a "special" connection with other girls, too. In her last year of high school, Dickinson said a parent of one of those students went to the principal with concerns about Peters, and mentioned his closeness with Dickinson. Dickinson said she was subsequently called to the office, but went to Peters first. "He was super calm and just was like, 'OK, all of those messages we have between us, they need to be deleted and you need to lie because they won't understand our relationship,'" she recalled. "So that's what I did. I lied." Jeff Peters taught history and religion, and coached sports teams at St. John Catholic High School in Perth, Ont.(Julie Ireton/CBC) Worried about her sister Andrea Dickinson said she grew suspicious of Peters after Emily graduated and Peters began turning his attention to her younger daughter. "He started stalking [my younger daughter] in the hallway every day to ask how Emily was," she said. "I just thought, he's trying to ... start a relationship with my younger daughter, who also looks a lot like Emily." Emily Dickinson, who had just started at Carleton University, was also worried about her sister and told her mother about what had happened with Peters. Andrea Dickinson said she went to see the principal, who told her he'd deal with it. "But literally nothing was done," she recalled. Dickinson said she asked the school not to place her younger daughter in any of Peters's classes, but when the schedule came out, she was. For other family reasons, the younger girl eventually left St. John. CBC asked the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario for an interview or comment regarding parents having gone to the principal about Peters years ago. The board responded with a statement that read in part: "Given that the Board has referred this matter to the Ontario College of Teachers for review, it would be inappropriate to make any further comments at this time." Andrea Dickinson says she was relieved in 2019 to hear Peters had been charged. 'Finally, they've got this guy,' she recalled saying. (Submitted by Andrea Dickinson) 'Finally, they've got this guy' When Andrea Dickinson heard Peters had been arrested and charged in 2019, she said she felt immediate relief. "Oh my God, like finally, finally, they've got this guy," she recalled saying. "Between the 11 years, between the time I complained and he was arrested, you can only imagine how many girls were affected." But the news left Emily Dickinson with feelings of guilt. "I wish I could have done more," she said. "Even though it's not my responsibility, but at the same time, now I'm older, I wish I'd done something to prevent this." Now living in Toronto, Emily Dickinson knows many people in Perth are feeling the same way. "It's a really small community and every single person would have been manipulated to some extent," she said. "What's most important to me is obviously showing respect and remorse to victims, because that's what's actually important here."
Vancouver police have released the names and photos of six known gangsters they believe pose a significant risk to residents as the Lower Mainland gang war continues to claim victims and play out during the daytime in busy public places. Vancouver police Chief Const. Adam Palmer said the men are being identified because, according to police intelligence, they are the most likely next targets of rival gangs and a danger to anyone who happens to be nearby. "I want to make it clear that today's announcement is not about naming and shaming," he said on Monday. "We are providing these photos and names so Vancouverites can know them and take steps to ensure their own safety and safety of friends and family." The Lower Mainland has recorded 20 gang-related homicides in 2021 and 20 gang-related attempted murders. In the past three weeks alone, seven men tied to gangs have been shot dead in public settings that include Vancouver International Airport, a recreation centre, a community park, a mall parking lot and outside shops and restaurants. The men identified by the VPD are Garinder Deo, 35; Harjit Deo, 38; Barinder Dhaliwal, 38; Meninder Dhaliwal, 28; Ekene Anigbo, 22; and Damion Ryan, 41. 2015 murder attempt Ryan, a full-patch member of the Hells Angels, was the target of a wild 2015 murder attempt at the Vancouver airport food court, carried out by a teen disguised in a black burka. Would-be killer Knowah Ferguson was from Ontario, had no previous criminal record and was promised $200,000 for the hit. WATCH | Surveillance video shows failed assassination of Hells Angels member: Security video played at his trial shows a burka-clad Ferguson walking up to Ryan and putting a gun to his head. The gun jams and both men flee. The 18-year-old was later sentenced to seven years in prison for attempted murder and four years for conspiracy. Palmer said neither Ryan nor the other five men identified on Monday are currently wanted by police. He said releasing their names is in the interest of public safety, similar to when police release the name and photo of a sex offender who has moved into the community. "[The six] not only pose a risk to friends, family and acquaintances, but also to people who don't even know them every time they go to the gym, go shopping, to the grocery store, to a restaurant or a bar, when bars are open." Palmer said he expects other police agencies to follow Vancouver's lead and release more names and photos of gang members in their jurisdictions. He said the VPD is deploying a suite of overt and covert operations in an attempt to tamp down the violence and that officers would be seizing gang members' cars, homes and other valuables gained through crime. RCMP officers stand near a body covered with a tarp in the parking lot of a shopping complex in Burnaby, B.C., on May 13. Police later said the victim, Jaskeert Kalkat, was connected to gangs and targeted.(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) A new department task force that was recently formed to react quickly to gang activity stopped a retaliation shooting last week, according to Vancouver police Supt. Lisa Byrne. Two men were arrested in a stolen car loaded with gas canisters. One of the individuals was a youth, the other had a loaded firearm. Deputy Chief Howard Chow said citizens should report any suspicious cars they notice to police. "We know gang members park stolen cars in neighbourhoods in advance of targeted hits that they later use as getaway vehicles that we find later burned," he said. Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers announced Monday that it is reviving its gang violence awareness campaign.(CBC) Earlier Monday, Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers announced it is reviving a gang violence awareness campaign thanks to new funding. The campaign encourages people with information on gangs and illegal guns to report anonymously. "If you see something, say something," said Crime Stoppers executive director Linda Annis. "We only want your information so we can pass it on to police. We do not want to know who you are." The widow of Paul Bennett, who was killed in 2018 in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity, said she is pleased the Crime Stopper guns and gang campaign is coming back. "Every arrest, every gun seized means a threat to an innocent life will be reduced," Darlene Bennett said. "Next month marks three years since Paul's life was so senselessly taken. Our lives will never be the same."
As the province starts to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone aged 18 and above, Island Health's chief medical officer said he's relieved to see the number of active cases in the Vancouver Island Health region continuing to trend down. "What we are seeing is a general decrease both in south and central Island," Dr. Richard Stanwick said on CBC's On the Island on Friday. "The numbers are absolutely bang on ... and that means our contact tracers are able to make sure we get a hold of anybody who has been exposed at this point." On Friday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Arian Dix reported 494 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including eight that were reported in the Vancouver Island region. The region has now recorded 4,875 cases since the pandemic began, and on Friday, there were 149 active cases, including 16 people in hospital and five in critical care. Stanwick said the warmer spring weather could be a contributing factor to the overall downward trend as more people head outside to enjoy the sun. "Fortunately, people are taking advantage of our spectacular weather and amazing things to see on the Island," he said. "So that reduces the ability of the virus to spread." He said over 400,000 vaccines have been administered to more than half of the population and approximately three per cent have received a second dose. "I think the key word ... is register, register, register," Stanwick said. "Our immunization clinics have been doing phenomenal." On Thursday, more than 11,000 people received their vaccine at the immunization clinics. Stanwick said he is advising the provincial heath office that vaccine administration for students can be done more effectively and efficiently at the larger clinics rather than at schools. "This could be a totally different approach because we've got other vaccines we would like to administer to students and we normally do that in the schools," he said, "so we may have a different program, a different look in the fall." LISTEN | Dr. Richard Stanwick talks about the number of active COVID-19 cases on CBC's On the Island.
Pharmacists on Prince Edward Island are now delivering first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Islanders 40 and over. Last week they stopped administering AstraZeneca-Oxford shots, on the direction of the province. Twelve pharmacies across P.E.I. are part of the vaccine program. "The use of AstraZeneca was suspended," Erin MacKenzie, executive director of the P.E.I. Pharmacists Association, told CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin Monday. "Any of the AstraZeneca doses that they had on hand has been returned to [the] provincial pharmacy." Pharmacies are only giving first doses of vaccines for now, and are continuing to give shots of Moderna. Moderna uptake has been good The province does have enough AstraZeneca to deliver second shots to anyone who received it in the first round, but MacKenzie said the Chief Public Health Office will let pharmacies know around the end of May whether that will happen. She said the uptake of Moderna vaccines at pharmacies has been very good, especially since those 40 and over can now book appointments either at pharmacies or through the province's mass clinics. She said she is excited to hear pharmacies will be getting more Moderna delivered by the end of this week. Watch for online bookings at pharmacies to open up soon as the vaccine supply arrives, she said. She said pharmacists are getting a lot of questions about which vaccines are best, but she believes they are all safe and people should get vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. More from CBC P.E.I.
OTTAWA (Reuters) -Canadian home sales, prices and starts all fell in April compared with the previous month, as some of the frenzy of recent months began to unwind, though activity remains strong, data showed on Monday. Canadian home sales fell 12.5% in April from March, while the average selling price was down 2.9% in April from the previous month, according to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Housing starts, meanwhile, fell 19.8% in April compared with March on a sharp decline in multiple urban starts, though starts remain well above pre-pandemic levels, separate data from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) showed.
Alberta has seen a major drop in residents' unwillingness and hesitancy to get the COVID-19 vaccine between the beginning of the year and this month, according to a new Angus Reid survey. It suggests 17 per cent of Albertans now are either not interested or not sure about getting the vaccine. That's well down from the end of January, when 45 per cent of Albertans surveyed weren't sure about the vaccine, according to the public opinion research organization. The survey found that in Saskatchewan, one-quarter continue to be hesitant or opposed to vaccination, while all other regions hover around the 1-in-10 mark. Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute, says the results should be reassuring to public health officials about the ability to reach herd immunity — the point when a sufficient percentage of the population has become immune to the disease that it is no longer a major threat. "Public health officials still have their work cut out for them if they want as many Canadians as possible to be vaccinated, but it looks like overall the country — in terms of its enthusiasm for a vaccine — is on track for herd immunity," she said. "In the next weeks, the conversation for Canadians is going to no longer be, 'Should I get a shot?' It's going to be, 'Where's my second dose?' I think that is where this conversation is going to go very quickly." The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from May 14 to 16, among a representative randomized sample of 1,319 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. Nationally, the poll suggests the percentage of those unwilling to be vaccinated continues to hover at around 10 per cent of the population, although it is slowly decreasing. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/– 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. A poll conducted by Trend Research under the direction of Janet Brown Opinion Research for CBC News earlier this spring found at that time 20 per cent of Albertans had a wait-and-see approach to vaccination, with another 14 per cent saying they refused to get vaccinated. Dr. Jia Hu, a public health physician and chair of 19 to Zero, a coalition addressing vaccine hesitancy, says the newer Angus Reid survey numbers are good news. He said the trend away from vaccine hesitancy could be due to several factors, from people following the example of others whose judgment they trust, to people's reaction to the pandemic's third wave and a heightened desire to bring it to an end. The results come as Alberta continues to fight a devastating third wave that has set records for active infections, daily infections and ICU admissions for COVID. It also follows more widespread vaccinations and a proliferation of social media posts celebrating the jabs as younger generations swarm vaccine sites. "The worse the COVID situation is, the more people want to get vaccinated," said Dr. Hu. He says it takes time and effort to find out why people are not willing to get a vaccine — and then find a way to build trust in those communities.
A Mill Cove, N.S., man has been charged with kidnapping and robbery after an incident where fishermen in Terence Bay were threatened and told to hand over their catch. Halifax District RCMP were called to Terence Bay Road around 9:40 p.m. Sunday. Two fishermen reported seeing a vehicle driving erratically toward the area where they had placed their nets. RCMP said seven men in three vehicles confronted the two fishermen, demanded their catch and blocked them from leaving the area. Police said the men were armed and told the fishermen to drive to another area where other nets had been set. After the men left, the fishermen called RCMP. Fisherman injured Police said one fisherman had minor injuries after being struck with a weapon. That same evening, Halifax Regional Police located a vehicle believed to be involved in the incident and arrested the driver. Jared Luben Young, 34, was charged with kidnapping, robbery, forcible confinement, uttering threats, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and theft over $5,000. RCMP said they are still looking for six other suspects. Anyone with information about the incident or the men involved is asked to contact Halifax District RCMP at 902-490-5020. Anonymous reports can be made to Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers by calling toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), by submitting a secure web tip or by using the P3 Tips App. MORE TOP STORIES
A controversial Quebec singer who used his platform to share conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS, has died. Bernard Lachance, originally from Montmagny, Quebec, garnered fame for his ambitious pursuit of performing. He would rent out theatres with his own money and sell his CD and tickets to his concerts on the streets, regardless of not having any representation.
BEIJING (AP) — China on Monday renewed calls for the U.S. to play a constructive role in ending the conflict in Gaza and stop blocking efforts at the United Nations to demand an end to the bloodshed. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China, as rotating head of the Security Council, has urged a cease-fire and the provision of humanitarian assistance, among other proposals, but that obstruction by “one country” has prevented the council from speaking with one voice. “We call on the United States to assume its due responsibility and take an impartial position to support the council and play its due role in cooling down the situation and rebuilding trust for a political solution,” Zhao said at a daily briefing. At an emergency high-level meeting of the Security Council on Sunday, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on the U.S. to join the 14 other council members and support a statement urging a halt to the violence and reaffirming support for a two-state solution to the decades old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Wang, who chaired the virtual meeting, said the “dangerous and urgent” situation calls for an immediate cease-fire. “The international community must take action right now and make further efforts to avert a deterioration of the situation, prevent the region from backsliding to turbulence, and protect peoples’ lives,” he said. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao said Monday that China “strongly condemns” violence against civilians and calls for an end to air strikes, ground attacks, rocket fire and “other actions that aggravate the situation.”. Israel should “exercise restraint, effectively comply with the relevant United Nations resolutions, stop demolishing Palestinian people’s houses, stop expelling Palestinian people and stop expanding its settlement program, stop threats of violence and provocations against Muslims, and maintain and respect the historical status quo of Jerusalem as a religious holy site,” Zhao said. Calls have grown for the Biden administration to take a more active stance on the Israeli-Palestinian violence. Thus far, the United States, Israel’s closest ally, has blocked efforts by China, Norway and Tunisia to get the Security Council to issue a statement, including a call for a cessation of hostilities. China has long portrayed itself as a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause, while building closer political, economic and military links with Israel. Wang told the council that “China will scale-up efforts to promote peace talks” and he reaffirmed Beijing’s invitation “to Palestinian and Israeli peace advocates to continue their dialogue in China.” He welcomed “representatives of the two sides to come to China for direct negotiations.” The Associated Press
VICTORIA — British Columbians who've had a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will have the option of choosing their second shot within a four-month interval, the provincial health officer says. Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday that 20,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are set to expire at the end of June and were reserved for people who, for a variety of reasons, may not be able to get an mRNA vaccine such as the one made by Pfizer-BioNTech. However, further data are expected by the first week of June from a study in the United Kingdom on the effectiveness of switching vaccines for the second dose, and Henry said that information will be shared with B.C. residents. "I ask people to be patient," she said. "We know that we have some time in which your immune system is developing its protective response to your first dose," she said of evidence from the U.K. and other countries suggesting it may be more beneficial to wait up to 12 weeks for the second dose. "You will have the option of receiving the second dose of AstraZeneca and we have stock coming in to be able to support that. Or you can take the information once we have it and make your own decision about what you want for your second dose." An increase in the supply of vaccines in the coming weeks means everyone can expect to have their second dose moved up following a strategy that allowed for more people to get their first doses in order to provide greater community-wide protection, Henry said. British Columbia reported on Monday 1,360 cases of COVID-19 over a three-day period. Fourteen more people died, for a total of 1,648 fatalities, including one person in their 40s and another in their 50s. Over 55 per cent of B.C. residents have now received their first dose of a vaccine, while three per cent, or 130,023 people, have had their second shot, she said. Details about vaccination of children aged 12 to 17 are expected to be announced later this week. Henry said COVID-19 restrictions will not be eased by the Victoria Day long weekend to allow any non-essential travel as protective measures such as wearing masks must continue, even as more people are being immunized. "We now have 400 to 500 people a day that are still testing positive for COVID-19. And that reminds us that the virus continues to circulate and we have to do what we can to stop those transmissions as we are all developing this protection. We can't be travelling and we can't be having large gatherings this weekend." Four extra vaccination clinics have been set up in Surrey this week to ramp up immunizations in a COVID-19 hot spot with a high number of essential workers. The first 1,000 people to show up will be given wristbands for same-day appointments at the clinics, and residents aged 18 and up must present identification proving they live in Surrey, the Health Ministry said in a release. Everyone in B.C. aged 18 and up can now book an appointment to get immunized as part of the province's age-based approach. An independent COVID-19 modelling group said continuing restrictions such as a ban on indoor dining until June 15 would keep case counts low, while reopening too soon could risk a surge. Sarah Otto, a professor at the University of B.C. and a member of the modelling group that includes researchers from Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria, said behaviour changes such as a ban on indoor dining and social gatherings inside were probably the two most important factors in driving down cases. However, an uptick in vaccinations last month helped lower transmission of the virus in areas like Whistler before more widespread immunizations elsewhere in mid-April, leading to fewer cases two weeks later as immunity developed, she said. "We're now seeing vaccines make a big difference and it is causing the case numbers to decline even faster," she said. — By Camille Bains in Vancouver This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
CALGARY — A Calgary mayoralty candidate and a pastor who were both arrested for allegedly violating COVID-19 laws over the weekend were released from custody Monday pending future court appearances. Calgary police allege Kevin J. Johnston, who is running in this fall's municipal election and has been a vocal supporter of anti-lockdown protests, was in violation of a court order when he attended illegal gatherings Saturday. An injunction obtained by Alberta Health Services on May 6 mandates that event organizers comply with public health restrictions, including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits. The Court of Queen's Bench also imposed a restraining order on Johnston last week. It required that he stay at least 100 metres away from health officers and not publish any threats or hate speech directed at them. Johnston's lawyer asked the court if his client's interim release would preclude him from continuing to campaign for mayor. He was assured it would not. "From AHS' interests, as long as there is compliance with the two orders enjoining conduct, it doesn't matter to us what Mr. Johnston does or doesn't do," said Mark Jackson, who was representing Alberta Health Services, the agency that delivers healthcare in Alberta. Johnston has appeared regularly online, promoting far-right ideology, and AHS has said he has been aggressive and threatening towards two particular health workers as well as to its general workforce. He expressed concern from the prisoner's docket Monday about being required to wear a mask. "I simply cannot wear a mask. I'm already feeling the anxiety of this right now and I'm sweating. I'm bothered by having to have this on. I could not possibly wear a mask for that entire amount of time," he told the court. Johnston has been ordered to return to court June 16 to deal with contempt charges for violating the directive. About 20 people, meanwhile, gathered outside the Calgary court in support of Pastor Tim Stephens, who was arrested Sunday for organizing a church service at Fairview Baptist Church. Police allege the service did not comply with public health orders. Holding signs that said "Free Pastor Tim" the supporters prayed and sang hymns prior to the court appearance. Police said they received repeated calls from concerned citizens about services at Fairview Baptist Church in recent weeks, and that Stephens was proactively served a copy of the May 6 order last weekend. But his lawyer said the order has been modified by a judge, which narrows its scope, and Stephens was not in violation. "The effect of that amendment to our understanding was essentially that the May 6 order would only be applicable to the respondents and people who were under their direction. That would not include Mr. Stephens," said Leighton Grey. The contempt matter will also be heard June 16. Edmonton Justice Adam Germain said he has been directed to deal with all matters related to violations of the COVID-19 court orders. "The reality may be there are going to be other arrests in the Calgary area and elsewhere and that I may see the same personnel appearing in front of me," Germain said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
Calgary police have released surveillance images of a suspect after several people were robbed on the street by an armed man in the downtown core last week. Police say nine robberies or attempted robberies happened from May 10 to May 12 in the core, mostly on the LRT platforms or along Eighth Avenue S.W. One incident happened in the Beltline near 12th Avenue and 11th Street S.W. "In each instance, a man approaches a female victim, shows a knife and then robs the victim of cash, their wallet or their purse," police said in a release. The culprit has been described as being in his early 20s, five foot six to five foot seven with a slim build and distinctive light blue to grey eyes. He was wearing dark clothing with his face and head covered during the robberies. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 403-266-1234 or contact Crime Stoppers.
When asked about the time frame for administering second COVID-19 vaccine doses to Ontarians, associate chief medical officer of health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said Monday the province will eventually see shorter intervals between mRNA vaccine doses, particularly for frontline health-care workers and for people in certain high-risk groups. But, the doctor said she doesn’t see the interval becoming “really short” but it might become shorter than 16 weeks.
BRDO, Slovenia (AP) — Serbia and Kosovo clashed Monday at a summit of Western Balkan nations over state border changes, a thorny issue in a region that is still recuperating from bloody civil wars in the 1990s. The largely ceremonial annual gathering in Slovenia of the presidents of two EU-member states, Slovenia and Croatia, with leaders of six Balkan nations that formally seek membership in the bloc was to adopt a resolution that calls for unchangeability of the existing borders in the region. However, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic rejected such a wording in the resolution because it would indirectly mean that Serbia recognizes the borders of its former breakaway province of Kosovo, which unilaterally declared independence in 2008. He has proposed that only the borders recognized by the United Nations be declared as fixed. Kosovo, which is not an UN member, has been recognized by the United States and most of the West, while Serbia and its allies Russia and China refuse to do that. Kosovo “would like to interpret the borders as it wishes, or like a part of the world has already done,” Vucic told reporters after the meeting in the Slovenian resort of Brdo. Kosovo “did not want to talk about the U.N. at any price … for us to accept anything like that is absolutely impossible,” he said. In her speech at the summit, Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani said she wants to be “loud and clear: The Republic of Kosovo as a sovereign and independent country is a permanent project.” “There is nothing and no one that can reverse this reality. Dangerous adventures on border changes should be resolutely rejected by all of us, if we truly desire peace and stability in our region,” she said. The clash at the summit came several weeks after the publishing of a document allegedly drafted by the Slovenia's populist Prime Minister Janez Jansa, which proposed border changes across the Western Balkans. That is something highly controversial, because such attempts to forcefully change borders between former Yugoslav nations triggered the worst carnage in Europe since World War II. Jansa reluctantly denied that he was the author of the document handed over to the EU that triggered the political storm. The alleged “non-paper” was reportedly intended to settle lingering ethnic tensions by forming nearly ethnically pure states and thus help the Western Balkan nations in their long-term goal of joining the 27-nation European Union. The summit's hosts, Slovenian President Borut Pahor and Croatian President Zoran Milanovic, said a “compromise” wording was adopted in a joint statement by the participants that reaffirmed their commitment to EU enlargement. “There were many differences, voices were raised,” Pahor said. “But in the end we signed a document with which I’m very happy.” The meeting, marking the 10th anniversary of the initiative, was attended by the leaders of Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia. The in-person gathering was postponed twice last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. ___ Dusan Stojanovic and Jovana Gec in Belgrade, Serbia, and Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania contributed. Darko Bandic, The Associated Press
Police in the Halifax area issued more than $30,000 in fines this weekend after two restaurants and three people failed to comply with orders under the Health Protection Act. Halifax Regional Police received reports that two restaurants in the city were operating outside the regulations of the act. Nova Scotia is currently locked down, which means all restaurants must be closed to sit-down service, but may remain open for takeout. Officers fined the restaurants $11,622.50 each. Police also received a report that two employees at a store in Halifax were not wearing masks while working. The employees were each fined $2,422. Woman fined for failing to distance, wear a mask On Friday, Halifax District RCMP also charged a 19-year-old woman for failing to physically distance or a wear mask while gathering with others in Lower Sackville. Police had received a call about a group of teenagers sitting in a fenced-in area of the local Lions Club on Old Beaver Bank Road around 9:20 p.m. Officers located the woman and three other teens sitting at a table. They weren't physically distancing or wearing masks. The woman was fined $2,422 and the minors were given a warning. MORE TOP STORIES
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 8:30 p.m. ET on Monday May 17, 2021. There are 1,334,104 confirmed cases in Canada. Canada: 1,334,104 confirmed cases (67,639 active, 1,241,482 resolved, 24,983 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 4,586 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 177.97 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 39,905 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 5,701. There were 35 new reported deaths Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 301 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 43. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 65.74 per 100,000 people. There have been 33,592,273 tests completed. Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,203 confirmed cases (97 active, 1,100 resolved, six deaths). There were 10 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 18.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 62 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is nine. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 256,309 tests completed. Prince Edward Island: 192 confirmed cases (nine active, 183 resolved, zero deaths). There was one new case Monday. The rate of active cases is 5.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been five new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 154,580 tests completed. Nova Scotia: 4,827 confirmed cases (1,434 active, 3,320 resolved, 73 deaths). There were 91 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 146.42 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 793 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 113. There was one new reported death Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.03 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 7.45 per 100,000 people. There have been 725,813 tests completed. New Brunswick: 2,073 confirmed cases (119 active, 1,913 resolved, 41 deaths). There were 10 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 15.23 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 60 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is nine. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 5.25 per 100,000 people. There have been 323,946 tests completed. Quebec: 363,847 confirmed cases (7,011 active, 345,794 resolved, 11,042 deaths). There were 551 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 81.77 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,051 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 722. There were eight new reported deaths Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 49 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is seven. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 128.78 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,862,183 tests completed. Ontario: 511,486 confirmed cases (25,869 active, 477,128 resolved, 8,489 deaths). There were 2,170 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 175.57 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 16,467 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,352. There were four new reported deaths Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 162 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 23. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.16 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 57.61 per 100,000 people. There have been 14,619,412 tests completed. Manitoba: 45,579 confirmed cases (4,568 active, 40,000 resolved, 1,011 deaths). There were 430 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 331.19 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 3,129 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 447. There was one new reported death Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 14 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.15 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 73.3 per 100,000 people. There have been 747,968 tests completed. Saskatchewan: 44,709 confirmed cases (1,965 active, 42,225 resolved, 519 deaths). There were 178 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 166.71 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,414 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 202. There were two new reported deaths Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 17 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.21 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 44.03 per 100,000 people. There have been 820,209 tests completed. Alberta: 219,682 confirmed cases (21,288 active, 196,246 resolved, 2,148 deaths). There were 721 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 481.42 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,295 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,328. There were five new reported deaths Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 31 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.1 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 48.58 per 100,000 people. There have been 4,404,789 tests completed. British Columbia: 139,664 confirmed cases (5,175 active, 132,841 resolved, 1,648 deaths). There were 424 new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 100.53 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 3,556 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 508. There were 14 new reported deaths Monday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 26 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.07 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.01 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,631,197 tests completed. Yukon: 84 confirmed cases (one active, 81 resolved, two deaths). There were zero new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 2.38 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 4.76 per 100,000 people. There have been 9,129 tests completed. Northwest Territories: 121 confirmed cases (38 active, 83 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 84.14 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 19 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 22,405 tests completed. Nunavut: 624 confirmed cases (65 active, 555 resolved, four deaths). There were zero new cases Monday. The rate of active cases is 165.17 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 52 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is seven. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 10.16 per 100,000 people. There have been 14,257 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published May 17, 2021. The Canadian Press