Toronto police Const. Michael Theriault was sentenced to nine months in jail and 12 months of probation for the assault of Dafonte Miller. Shallima Maharaj reports.
Toronto police Const. Michael Theriault was sentenced to nine months in jail and 12 months of probation for the assault of Dafonte Miller. Shallima Maharaj reports.
WASHINGTON — Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.Barr's comments, in an interview Tuesday with the The Associated Press, contradict the concerted effort by Trump, his boss, to subvert the results of last month's voting and block President-elect Joe Biden from taking his place in the White House.Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”The comments, which drew immediate criticism from Trump attorneys, were especially notable coming from Barr, who has been one of the president's most ardent allies. Before the election, he had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voting could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls and instead chose to vote by mail.More to Trump's liking, Barr revealed in the AP interview that in October he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel, giving the prosecutor the authority to continue to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe after Biden takes over and making it difficult to fire him. Biden hasn't said what he might do with the investigation, and his transition team didn't comment Tuesday.Trump has long railed against the investigation into whether his 2016 campaign was co-ordinating with Russia, but he and Republican allies had hoped the results would be delivered before the 2020 election and would help sway voters. So far, there has been only one criminal case, a guilty plea from a former FBI lawyer to a single false statement charge.Under federal regulations, a special counsel can be fired only by the attorney general and for specific reasons such as misconduct, dereliction of duty or conflict of interest. An attorney general must document such reasons in writing.Barr went to the White House Tuesday for a previously scheduled meeting that lasted about three hours.Trump didn't directly comment on the attorney general's remarks on the election. But his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and his political campaign issued a scathing statement claiming that, "with all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance” of an investigation into the president's complaints.Other administration officials who have come out forcefully against Trump's allegations of voter-fraud evidence have been fired. But it's not clear whether Barr might suffer the same fate. He maintains a lofty position with Trump, and despite their differences the two see eye-to-eye on quite a lot.Still, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer quipped: “I guess he’s the next one to be fired.”Last month, Barr issued a directive to U.S. attorneys across the country allowing them to pursue any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities before the 2020 presidential election was certified, despite no evidence at that time of widespread fraud.That memorandum gave prosecutors the ability to go around longstanding Justice Department policy that normally would prohibit such overt actions before the election was certified. Soon after it was issued, the department’s top elections crime official announced he would step aside from that position because of the memo.The Trump campaign team led by Giuliani has been alleging a widespread conspiracy by Democrats to dump millions of illegal votes into the system with no evidence. They have filed multiple lawsuits in battleground states alleging that partisan poll watchers didn’t have a clear enough view at polling sites in some locations and therefore something illegal must have happened. The claims have been repeatedly dismissed including by Republican judges who have ruled the suits lacked evidence.But local Republicans in some battleground states have followed Trump in making unsupported claims, prompting grave concerns over potential damage to American democracy.Trump himself continues to rail against the election in tweets and in interviews though his own administration has said the 2020 election was the most secure ever. He recently allowed his administration to begin the transition over to Biden, but he still refuses to admit he lost.The issues they've have pointed to are typical in every election: Problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost.But they've gone further. Attorney Sidney Powell has spun fictional tales of election systems flipping votes, German servers storing U.S. voting information and election software created in Venezuela “at the direction of Hugo Chavez,” – the late Venezuelan president who died in 2013. Powell has since been removed from the legal team after an interview she gave where she threatened to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” court filing.Barr didn't name Powell specifically but said: “There's been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that.”In the campaign statement, Giuliani claimed there was “ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined.”“We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth,” he said.However, Barr said earlier that people were confusing the use of the federal criminal justice system with allegations that should be made in civil lawsuits. He said a remedy for many complaints would be a top-down audit by state or local officials, not the U.S. Justice Department.“There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all," he said, but first there must be a basis to believe there is a crime to investigate.“Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. ... And those have been run down; they are being run down,” Barr said. “Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on."___Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY — New clues have surfaced in the disappearance of a gleaming monolith in Utah that seemed to melt away as mysteriously as it appeared in the red-rock desert — though it's no longer the only place where a strange structure has come and gone. A Colorado photographer told KSTU-TV that he saw four men come to the remote Utah site Friday night and push over the hollow, stainless steel object. “Right after it had fallen over and made a loud thud, one of them said, ‘This is why you don’t leave trash in the desert,’” Ross Bernards told the Salt Lake City TV station. The group broke down the structure into pieces, loaded it into a wheelbarrow and left. “As they were loading it up and walking away, they just said, ‘Leave no trace,’” he said. The sheriff’s office in San Juan County has said it's not planning an investigation into the disappearance of the monolith, which had been placed without permission on public land. But authorities also said they would accept tips from any of the hundreds of visitors who trekked out to see the otherworldly gleaming object deep in the desert. The sheriff and the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the land where the object appeared, didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment on whether they are investigating the removal that Bernards' group photographed. Visitors have left behind a mess of human waste, cars parked on vegetation and other debris, the land agency said. The mysterious structure that evoked the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” generated international attention and drew plenty of speculation about otherworldly origins, though officials said it was an earthly creation of riveted plates of stainless steel. For Bernards, the visitors' damage to the environment convinced him that the remote area was better off without the structure. “Leave the art to places where art should be and let Mother Nature have her space for art,” he said. Utah isn’t the only place a monolith emerged. A similar metal structure was found on a hill in northern Romania, in the city of Piatra Neamt but has since disappeared, according to Robert Iosub, a journalist with the local publication ziarpiatraneamt.ro. Like the Utah structure, whoever placed the object didn’t follow the proper steps and get a building permit, Mayor Andrei Carabelea said in a Facebook post over the weekend. Still, he took it in stride, joking that some “cheeky and terrible” alien teenagers were likely putting them up around the world. “I am honoured they chose our city,” he said. ___ Associated Press photographer Vadim Ghirda in Bucharest, Romania contributed to this story. The Associated Press
Muskan Jiwa might be too young to drink espresso, but knowing how to spell the word helped her win a national spelling bee.Jiwa, a Grade 7 student at Edmonton's Dr. Donald Massey School, won the junior category of the Spelling Bee of Canada championships on Nov. 29. Junior spellers are aged nine to 11. After placing third in last year's competition, Jiwa made winning her goal.An avid reader, she spent hours preparing for the competition by looking up new words in a dictionary and studying lists of words with her mother."I'm really happy that my hard work paid off," she said Monday in an interview with CBC Edmonton's Radio Active.Jiwa said the most difficult word she encountered during the virtual competition was "umu," which is a Maori open-air oven.Though she ended up spelling it correctly, the word threw her at first because many previous rounds had featured words with European roots.Jiwa was also asked to spell the word "Hansard" — the official record of parliamentary debates in Commonwealth countries — and set herself apart by correctly capitalizing its first letter."I love debate," she said, explaining why she immediately recognized it as a proper noun.Mark Raspopov and Leena Jalees of Ontario won the competition's primary and intermediate categories.A 90-minute recap of the spelling bee will be available to watch on CBCSports.ca and on the CBC Sports YouTube Channel starting at 11 a.m. MT on Dec. 6.
Leftover garbage is hardly part of anybody's good memories about their backcountry experience, but a Kelowna couple has managed to collect and recycle an impressive amount of it during their vacations. And, over the seven years they've been doing it, they have donated all the proceeds, nearly $13,000 from hundreds of thousands of returned cans, to local charities. This year, Okanagan farmer Raymond Imbeau and his partner Barbara Kitz made out a cheque for $3,200 to Central Okanagan Search and Rescue after returning 32,000 cans that were collected over the past 12 months.Half of the cans were collected along their summer trails in the Okanagan and Similkameen region from June to October of this year. The other half were collected in downtown Kelowna from last October to this June.Imbeau crushed all the empty cans at home before dropping them into 111 separate garbage bags, making numerous trips to recycling depots.It's the largest amount they've ever collected in a single year during the seven years they've been picking up recyclables on their all-terrain vehicle.It turns out there's no shortage of empty cans in the backcountry."We found Bud and Bud Light and Milwaukee [beer cans]," said Kitz.But the pair also discovered other kinds of rubbish during their trips, which they couldn't pick up. "This year, [there was] a microwave, bread machine, a barbecue … mattresses, a leather couch," she said. "[This] just makes me sick to my stomach … People are literally just dumping their refuse."Imbeau feels that he has the obligation to clean the trails. "I spend all my time outdoors and I just didn't like seeing all the garbage thrown out," he said.In the previous two years, the couple recycled a total of 28,000 cans and also donated the proceeds to Central Okanagan Search and Rescue. Before that, they donated their recycling refunds to other non-profits, including the Salvation Army.
The Deh Gáh Got’îê Koe seniors' complex has reopened in Fort Providence following renovations. Seven additional units for seniors have been created. In a news release on Tuesday, the N.W.T. government said a local contractor and local workers had completed the project, which is designed to help more Elders remain in their home community. “Seniors are a key part of our community. Ensuring that seniors have housing in the community is important to us,” Fort Resolution’s mayor, Danny Beaulieu, was quoted as saying. “This renovation means that more of our seniors can reside in our community and spend time with family and friends.” Ensuring seniors can age in place is a stated priority of Caroline Cochrane's government. Paulie Chinna, the housing minister, said that was "a crucial part of ensuring the health and wellbeing of our Elders."Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
CHICAGO — A federal judge on Tuesday struck down two Trump administration rules designed to drastically curtail the number of visas issued each year to skilled foreign workers.The changes applying to the H-1B visa program announced in October include imposing salary requirements on companies employing skilled overseas workers and limits on specialty occupations. Department of Homeland Security officials deemed it a priority because of coronavirus-related job losses and estimated as many as one-third of those who have applied for H-1B's in recent years would be denied under the new rules.U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in California said the government didn't follow transparency procedures and its contention that the changes were an emergency response to pandemic job losses didn’t hold water because the Trump administration has floated the idea for some time but only published the rules in October.“The COVID-19 pandemic is an event beyond defendants’ control, yet it was within defendants’ control to take action earlier than they did,” White wrote.The U.S. issues up to 85,000 H-1B visas each year in sectors including technology, engineering and medicine. Usually, they’re issued for three years and renewable. Most of the nearly 600,000 H-1B visa holders in the U.S. are from India and China.The H-1B rules announced weeks before the election were part of President Donald Trump's wider agenda to curb nearly all forms of immigration. In June, he issued an order temporarily suspending the H-1B program until the end of the year.The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and universities including the California Institute of Technology sued in California, arguing there wasn’t adequate notice or time for the public to comment on the changes. They also said the rules, particularly related to requiring a prevailing wage for visa-holders, would have a drastic impact on new hires and “sever the employment relationship of hundreds of thousands of existing employees in the United States."The University of Utah cited an example where an H-1B employee seeking renewal was paid an $80,000 salary but would have to be paid $208,000 under the new rule.The judge agreed that the federal government didn’t make a case for implementing the rules under the Administrative Procedure Act, which makes agencies accountable to the public by requiring a detailed process for enacting regulations.“Defendants failed to show there was good cause to dispense with the rational and thoughtful discourse that is provided by the APA’s notice and comment requirements,” White wrote.The rule on wages, proposed by the Department of Labor, took effect in October, while the Homeland Security rule on occupations and other issues was supposed to take effect Monday. It also would have placed limits on “offsite” firms that employ and contract out H-1B visa holders to other companies; their visas would have been limited to one year at a time."This is incredibly important decision to preserve the H-1B program,” said attorney Paul Hughes, who represented the plaintiffs. “This ruling enables those individuals to maintain their jobs and their families in the United States.”The Chamber of Commerce said in a statement that the ruling “has many companies across various industries breathing a huge sigh of relief,” with the visa changes having "the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the operations of many businesses.”Messages left Tuesday for spokespeople with the Labor and Homeland Security departments weren’t immediately returned.The wage rule has prompted at least two other federal lawsuits in New Jersey and Washington, D.C.___Follow Sophia Tareen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophiatareen.Sophia Tareen, The Associated Press
Regina– The Saskatchewan Party government’s response to COVID-19 was the entire focus of the Opposition New Democratic Party’s first chance at question period as the Saskatchewan Legislature got down to business on Dec. 1, following the Oct. 26 election. NDP Leader Ryan Meili started off saying the “people of Saskatchewan are dealing with the results of missed opportunities on the part of this premier.” He noted there are three times as many cases of COVID-19 compared to Nov. 1, and active cases are up five times. The leader of the opposition accused Premier Scott Moe of giving mixed messages, musing about opening up for Christmas, and providing “breathing room” to those against wearing masks. “At this rate, the only thing you’ll be opening for Christmas is a field hospital,” Meili said. Moe responded, “The COVID-19 response and Saskatchewan has been a balanced and measured approach, has been an approach that ensures that yes, we are doing everything that we can to ensure that we are preserving lives in this province, saving lives in this province, and also preserving the opportunity for livelihoods today livelihoods in the future.” Moe said this response will focus on ensuring that we can preserve the capacity of our health care system, preserve the opportunities and jobs in our communities, “and to ensure that we have the opportunity for our next generation, for the youth to have some semblance of normalcy, so that they maybe do things like attend school, and as well as the athletics and the opportunities that we have in our communities.” Moe said, “We’re experiencing a second wave surge in the province, like much of the rest of the nation.” He added Saskatchewan will follow the advice of chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab. Meili said, “Once again, this premier is demonstrating that he fails to comprehend the seriousness of what we're dealing with today. This is not a minor surge. The number of cases is rising exponentially. Hospitals are overwhelmed, small businesses are barely surviving, and people are worried about the health of their loved ones, people are losing, loved ones.” He asked what the province is doing with hundreds of millions of dollars of federal support for COVID-19 response. Moe responded money had been spent on personal protective equipment, and that $90 million has been spent on testing and contact tracing, with a rolling 7-day average of 3,500 tests per day. Forty million dollars have been spent on schools, in addition to $40 million in school division savings, augmented by $75 million for restarting schools. He pointed out a second tranche of funding applications opened on that very day. Meili pressed on about the $260 million allocated in the provincial COVID-19 contingency, as detailed in the mid-year update released on Nov. 27. He asked, “Now is not the time to be cheap with Saskatchewan people, now is the time to invest. Why won't the premier invest those contingency funds right away?” adding, “What is he waiting for?” Moe said a portion of that contingency fund has been allocated to education. He pointed out that $100 million had been added in contingency funding with that mid-year update. “We didn’t wait, with respect to supporting the people of this province, supporting jobs in this province taking that balanced and measured approach to ensure, yes, we are curbing the spread of COVID-19, but also to ensure that we are supporting people in communities across this province.” Moe cited over $50 million invested in the small business emergency program, $2 million, in the self isolation support program, partnering with the federal government on the temporary wage supplement and emergency rent assistance program. “We’ve been there in supports for Saskatchewan businesses, and we have been there with the people in this province to ensure that we can curb the spread of COVID-19.” He said that needs to continue until we have widespread access to a vaccine. Meili asked, “Why aren't they releasing those contingency funds for COVID-19 to support small businesses to staff up in long term care and health care how much worse do things need to get before this premier will actually do something?” Moe responded that the province had invested a little over $2.5 billion, including $2 billion in infrastructure, to ensure a safe, strong economic recovery. He said, “This government has been there, time and time again throughout this pandemic, taking that balanced, yes, measured response. We're going to continue to be there for the people in the province. We're going to continue to work with all those interested to not only procure, alongside the federal government, vaccines for this province, but now we're going to work on how we are going to get those vaccines out to the people of this province, end this pandemic that we have been dealing with, in the months ahead. That is the next target, that is the finish line for the people of this nation.” Regarding those field hospitals in Saskatoon and Regina, Health Critic Vicki Mowat asked, “What is the exact threshold to trigger the health authority to open field hospitals?” Health Minister Paul Merriman said, “We have been planning for this, we've been working on this with the Sask. Health Authority, to be able to make sure that we had the right complement of COVID beds, that we had the right complement in ICU. And we're continuing to do that. “That plan for the field hospital was done months ago. We do have that ready, but, we have to find the resources from somewhere. So what we are continually doing is adjusting some of the needs within the (Saskatchewan Health Authority), and within our rural and urban hospitals to be able to get the staff to fully be able to take care of those peoples that are in the ICU. And I hope that at some point we don't have to use those field hospitals, but if we do, we're ready to go.” Asked if there were enough health employees to staff them, Merriman replied, “The field hospitals are certainly a last resort, but we're going to work within our health care capacity that we have right now.”Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 7:50 p.m. British Columbia is reporting 656 new cases of COVID-19 today, with 8,796 active cases across the province. There have been 16 additional deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 457 since the pandemic began. In a joint statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say 336 people are being treated in hospital for COVID-19, and 76 of them are in intensive care. Another 10,123 people are being monitored after they were exposed to a known case of the novel coronavirus. --- 2 p.m. Nova Scotia is reporting 10 new cases of COVID-19. Public health officials say all the new cases were found in the central zone, bringing the province's total active case count to 142. Rapid testing was administered at pop-up sites Monday in both Wolfville and Halifax and no cases were found at either site. A total of 4,138 COVID-19 tests were administered in the province Monday. --- 1:50 p.m. Public health officials in New Brunswick are reporting seven new cases of COVID-19 in the province Tuesday. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says there are four new cases in the Saint John zone and three new cases in the Fredericton zone. There are currently 116 active cases in the province, and there have been 508 cases in New Brunswick since the pandemic began. There have been seven deaths and no one is in hospital. --- 1:35 p.m. Manitoba is reporting 282 new COVID-19 cases and a record 16 deaths. The test positivity rate remains high at 13 per cent, and Premier Brian Pallister says restrictions on business openings and public gatherings may have to remain in place for some time. --- 1:10 p.m. Quebec Premier Francois Legault says his government will decide in 10 days whether the province's COVID-19 situation will allow for multi-household gatherings at Christmas. He says an increase in hospitalizations is straining the health-care network, and some hospitals are nearing the limit of how many COVID-19 patients they can treat. The premier says the situation in hospitals and the toll on health-care workers will be the most important factors in determining the plan for Christmas, adding that things are not headed in the right direction. Legault had announced last month that gatherings of up to 10 people would be allowed between Dec. 24 and 27. --- 1 p.m. Another measure to limit the spread of COVID-19 took effect in Yukon today, as masks are now mandatory in all indoor, public spaces. Yukon's chief medical officer of health Dr. Brendan Hanley says everyone over the age of five who does not have a medical exemption will be required to wear a mask. The order imposed under Yukon's Civil Emergency Measures Act carries a fine of up to $500 but Hanley says Yukon residents will first be given a chance to adapt before any enforcement begins. Premier Sandy Silver reports eight new cases of COVID-19 in the territory since the briefing last Tuesday, bringing the total number to 47 since the start of the pandemic. Seventeen cases are still considered active, but none related to community transmission. --- 12:55 p.m. Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says when looking at people experiencing the most severe illness, older Canadians are more at risk than younger Canadians with pre-existing conditions. She says that suggests after the initial round of vaccines goes to people in high-risk living or work situations, like long-term care centres and hospital staff, the next round of immunizations should be done by age, with the oldest Canadians at the front of the line. --- 12:52 p.m. Manitoba handed out 100 tickets to people not following public health orders last week. The provincial government brought in restrictions three weeks ago to deal with surging COVID-19 case numbers that set strict limits on public gatherings and require non-essential businesses to close. Two churches that held services recently are among the establishments that have been ticketed. --- 12:50 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19. The case affects a man in his 50s who returned to the province from work in British Columbia. Health officials say the man is self-isolating and contact tracing is underway. Newfoundland and Labrador has 33 active COVID-19 cases, with 339 cases confirmed since the onset of the pandemic. --- 12:35 p.m. Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says restrictions on public gatherings and business openings could continue into the winter. Pallister says with cold weather ahead, there's a risk of greater COVID-19 transmission as more people stay, and perhaps gather, indoors. Manitoba's daily rise in cases has levelled off somewhat after spiking last month, but health officials say it is still straining the health-care system. --- 12:25 p.m. Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada was one of the first countries to sign a deal to get doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna. She says it was also the fourth to sign a deal with Pfizer, and the first country without the ability to mass produce the vaccine domestically to sign with AstraZeneca. Anand says there has been "significant misinformation" about the doses procured and when they will arrive. --- 11:50 a.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is taking on billions of dollars in more debt to protect Canadians from having to do the same thing. Trudeau says the average credit card interest rate is more than 19 per cent, and that it makes more sense for Ottawa to shoulder more of the burden through the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn because it can borrow at rates now close to zero. The prime minister also says his government has no intention to start cutting spending at this time, saying now is not the time for austerity. The fall economic update released Monday proposed $25 billion in new spending to help Canadian businesses and workers make it through a COVID-19 winter promised tens of billions more to help the country recover once the pandemic passes. --- 11:40 a.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is launching efforts to support two more northern communities that are struggling with COVID-19. The Canadian Red Cross is sending specialists to the predominantly Inuit community of Arviat in Nunavut, which has seen dozens of cases. The Canadian Rangers are also being deployed to Hatchet Lake First Nation in northern Saskatchewan, where Trudeau says they will provide health services and support elders. --- 11:35 a.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says 80 per cent of the money spent to support and protect Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic has come from the federal government. The prime minister says that includes tens of millions of rapid tests that are starting to be distributed across the country, as well as billions of doses of yet-to-be-delivered COVID-19 vaccines. Trudeau says Canada is guaranteed to receive some of the first doses of the vaccine produced by U.S. pharmaceutical company Moderna once it has been approved by Health Canada. The Moderna vaccine candidate is one of four currently being reviewed by the department. --- 11:30 a.m. Prince Edward Island's chief health officer says she expects the COVID-19 vaccine to begin arriving in her province in January 2021. Dr. Heather Morrison says discussions are continuing between the federal and provincial governments around vaccine allocation, distribution, procurement and logistics. She says P.E.I. will be following the national recommendations for priority groups to be immunized, but all Islanders who want the vaccine will receive it over time. Morrison says it will take many months for all Islanders to be immunized. She said the arrival date and the actual number of doses will be made public once the details are known. --- 11:05 a.m. Quebec is reporting 1,177 new cases of COVID-19 today and 28 additional deaths associated with the novel coronavirus. According to public health authorities, three of those deaths took place during the past 24 hours and the rest occurred earlier. The Health Department says 719 people are currently in hospital, an increase of 26 from the previous day. Of those, 98 people are in intensive care, an increase of four from the previous day. Quebec has reported 143,548 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and 7,084 deaths associated with the virus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020. The Canadian Press
TRAVAIL. S’inquiétant que la rémunération des salariés de l'administration publique accuse un retard grandissant par rapport à celle de l'ensemble des salariés québécois, le député de Rosemont et responsable pour Québec solidaire en matière de services publics, Vincent Marissal, appelle le gouvernement à commencer dès maintenant à combler cet écart dans le cadre des négociations avec les employés du secteur public. «La pandémie qui a frappé le Québec de plein fouet cette année nous a fait réaliser à quel point on a besoin d'une fonction publique forte pour offrir des services publics de qualité aux citoyens. L'écart important entre la rémunération des salariés de l'administration publique et celle des autres salariés a clairement un impact négatif sur la capacité du secteur public à attirer et retenir les travailleurs dont il a besoin pour remplir sa mission», déplore Vincent Marissal. Pour le député de Rosemont, cet écart de rémunération est un signal alarmant que l'État québécois doit offrir une meilleure rémunération aux salariés de l'administration publique. «Il est plus que temps que le gouvernement mette les bouchées doubles pour s'assurer que les salariés du secteur public bénéficient de rémunérations à la hauteur de l'importance de leur travail. La Présidente du Conseil du trésor ne peut plus faire fi de cette réalité et cela doit se refléter dans le cadre des négociations des employés du secteur public, qui doivent être l'occasion d'un début de rattrapage qui est plus que nécessaire», ajoute-t-il. Rappelons que selon les chiffres dévoilés par l'Institut de la statistique, l'écart de la rémunération globale entre les salariés de l'administration québécoise et les autres salariés du Québec est passé de 6,1 % en 2011 à plus de 9,2 % en 2020. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
Two crew members on a container ship anchored in Vancouver's English Bay were seriously injured after a lifeboat unexpectedly plunged into the water during a drill on Tuesday.According to the Canadian Coast Guard, the accident happened at about 1:15 p.m. Both crew members were on the lifeboat when it was released from the ship, and it was sinking when rescuers were called.Coast guard officers, the Vancouver Police Department's marine unit and the Vancouver Port Authority all responded to the mayday call.A vessel from the Kitsilano Coast Guard station was on scene within 10 minutes, according to a spokesperson, and paramedics treated the two injured people for "significant injuries."According to B.C. Emergency Health Services, the patients were taken to hospital in serious condition, but they are both stable.
WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr has given extra protection to the prosecutor he appointed to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, granting him authority to complete the work without being easily fired.Barr told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel in October under the same federal regulations that governed special counsel Robert Mueller in the original Russia probe. He said Durham’s investigation has been narrowing to focus more on the conduct of FBI agents who worked on the Russia investigation, known by the code name of Crossfire Hurricane.Under the regulations, a special counsel can be fired only by the attorney general and for specific reasons such as misconduct, dereliction of duty or conflict of interest. An attorney general must document such reasons in writing.The FBI in July 2016 began investigating whether the Trump campaign was co-ordinating with Russia to sway the outcome of the presidential election. That probe was inherited nearly a year later by special counsel Mueller, who ultimately did not find enough evidence to charge Trump or any of his associates with conspiring with Russia.The early months of the investigation, when agents obtained secret surveillance warrants targeting a former Trump campaign aide, have long been scrutinized by the president and other critics of the probe who say the FBI made significant errors. An inspector general report last year backed up that criticism but did not find evidence that mistakes in the surveillance applications and other problems with the probe were driven by partisan bias.Barr decided "the best thing to do would be to appoint them under the same regulation that covered Bob Mueller, to provide Durham and his team some assurance that they’d be able to complete their work regardless of the outcome of the election," he said Tuesday.President-elect Joe Biden's transition team didn't immediately comment on the appointment.The current investigation, a criminal probe, had begun very broadly but has since “narrowed considerably” and now “really is focused on the activities of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation within the FBI,” Barr said. He said he expects Durham would detail whether any additional prosecutions will be brought and make public a report of the investigation’s findings.Durham's investigation has resulted in one prosecution so far: a guilty plea by a former FBI lawyer who admitted altering an email.In an Oct. 19 order, obtained by The Associated Press, Barr says Durham is authorized "to investigate whether any federal official, employee or any person or entity violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counter-intelligence or law enforcement activities” directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns, anyone associated with the campaigns or the Trump administration.House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the appointment erodes trust in the Justice Department, and he questioned how it was allowed under the special counsel rules.“And we should not lose sight of the larger picture: in the waning days of the Trump administration, the attorney general has once again used the powers of his office to settle old scores for the president," Nadler said.The special counsel rules say the appointed person should be outside of government, but Barr pointed to specific provisions in his memo that would allow him to go around that rule.A senior Justice Department official told the AP that although the order details that it is “including but not limited to Crossfire Hurricane and the investigation of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III,” the Durham probe has not expanded.The official said that line specifically relates to FBI personnel who worked on the Russia investigation before the May 2017 appointment of Mueller, a critical area of scrutiny for the Justice Department inspector general, which identified a series of errors and omissions in surveillance applications targeting former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.The focus on the FBI, rather than the CIA and the intelligence community, suggests that Durham may have moved past some of the more incendiary claims that Trump supporters had hoped would yield allegations of misconduct, or even crimes — namely, the question of how intelligence agencies reached their conclusion that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election.Republicans lauded the appointment. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said it was “obvious the system failed” and he concurred with the appointment of a special counsel to continue the investigation.Michael Balsamo And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
Brampton firefighters rescued a woman and child from a house fire on Tuesday night but both suffered significant injuries, Peel paramedics say. The woman was critically injured, while the boy was seriously injured. Both are listed in stable condition in hospital, according to Peel police. The boy is believed to be five years old, according to paramedics.Brampton Fire Chief Bill Boyes said the two are believed to be mother and son.Boyes said the two-alarm fire broke out in a house on Nevada Court, near Bovaird Drive East and Nasmith Street. Emergency crews were called to the house at about 7:50 p.m."On scene, when we arrived, we were notified of two patients in the basement. They were rescued quickly by crews, brought out and transported by Peel paramedics to hospital," Boyes said.Residents who live on the upper floor of the house were able to get out on their own, he said.Firefighters arrived within four minutes, he said. It began as a one-alarm fire but was quickly upgraded to a two-alarm fire. One-alarm means five fire trucks and a chief officer. Three more trucks and another chief officer arrived when it became two-alarm. Boyes said Brampton and Ontario residents need to keep fire safety top of mind and he urged people to make sure that they have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in their homes.Office of the Fire Marshal to investigate blazeAccording to police, investigators believe the fire began in the basement, where the woman and child were trapped. Const. Kyle Villers, spokesperson for Peel police, said firefighters had to battle the flames to reach them.The Office of the Fire Marshal and Brampton fire officials will investigate the fire and will try to determine the origin, cause and circumstances of the fire.Roads were closed in the area and police urged motorists to seek alternate routes on Tuesday night.
Edmonton will continue to explore the use of smart technology at intersections even though a four-month pilot project resulted in slower traffic. The city tested adaptive traffic signal controls at nine intersections along 101st Street between 103A and 111th avenues. From Oct. 1 2019, to Jan. 31, 2020, the technology adjusted the timing of traffic signals based on the arrival patterns of vehicles. Smart signals are meant to optimize vehicle flow and reduce congestion but the pilot project results showed they did the opposite, a new report said. "During the ATSC pilot, travel times increased along the corridor and their intersecting streets," the report said. Council's urban planning committee reviewed the report at a meeting on Tuesday. Coun. Moe Banga said it wasn't clear what the city would do with the test results. "What's the conclusion of the pilot project?" Banga asked city managers. 'It may be that computers aren't quite as smart yet as we think they are' - Coun. Ben Henderson Gord Cebryk, the city's deputy manager of operations, said the pilot was a short-term test and that the city needs more time to integrate it. "We know that it has potential," Cebryk said. "But for us to really understand its potential longer-term, we need to work with it more," Cebryk said when integrated into the city's system, the signals should be able to make real-time adjustments. "[They're] more responsive to changing demands, certainly more easily or more quickly than a human can action," Cebryk said. "It's just understanding how you would really optimize it." The pilot showed travel times increased during weekday morning peak hours, non-peak hours and afternoon peak hours. At 103A Avenue, east and westbound travel times lagged more than 20 per cent, the results showed. New technology Olga Messinis, the city's director of traffic operations, said problems arose around the transition of the signal timing and co-ordination. "Because it is still relatively new and in a testing phase, it's that transition period that actually increased travel time," Messinis said. "So the transition from identifying a new pattern and implementing a new timing was one of our biggest issues." Coun. Ben Henderson also wondered why the signals didn't yield better results. "So it's not that this will never give us benefits but it's just either we haven't played with it enough yet or it's not quite sophisticated enough to give us the benefits," Henderson said. Messinis agreed and said the city continues to use smart equipment to measure traffic patterns and volume. "I'm just surprised there weren't advantages but it may be that computers aren't quite as smart yet as we think they are," Henderson said. The city will examine other corridors to see where the smart technology can be used in future, Cebryk said. The pilot was an opportunity to delve into the new technology. "It's a starting point," Cebryk said. "We've got kind of a base level of understanding now and we can use that to grow on." Edmonton will consult Pittsburgh, which has implemented a successful smart signal system, he said. Smarter transportation requires integrating various data from static, real-time and dynamic sources with sensors, meters and software in a holistic framework, the report said Cebryk said his team can give the committee regular updates as part of the city's smart transportation action plan. @natashariebe
Yellowknife city council is still determining how it wants to spend more than $1.5 million in federal funding to address homelessness in the city. In April, the city received $500,000 from a federal program – Reaching Home – that aims to prevent and reduce homelessness across the country. Of that, just under $200,000 remains according to city administrator Sheila Bassi-Kellett. The same federal program then contributed an additional $1.47 million to the City of Yellowknife in October. “That gives us a fair chunk of money to be working with right now,” Bassi-Kellett said. “We would certainly look to expedite this in the best way possible, knowing the urgency around these funds.” That urgency comes from the deadline by which the funding must be spent: March 31, 2021. At a meeting on Monday, council withheld approval to spend the cash on one plan while alternatives are explored. Yellowknife's Community Advisory Board on Homelessness had suggested using the money to create 20 new overnight beds for individuals and 10 rooms for families, as well as covering some rental arrears and funding some temporary rent support for those at risk of becoming homeless. Councillors were hesitant to commit to that plan because some felt providing more overnight shelter and covering rental arrears were temporary measures. “I have a bit of difficulty saying, ‘Yeah, let’s rent hotel rooms for people,’ if we can’t demonstrate actual capacity issues,” Councillor Niels Konge said. "The rent arrears ... I think, actually is going to create a bigger problem after March 31. If people are challenged with their rent, a one-time top-up is not what the solution is. It’s so temporary." There was confusion regarding precisely how grave any shortage of overnight beds is – if a shortage exists at all. Councillor Stacie Smith argued that COVID-19 restrictions meant fewer overnight beds were available in facilities who would normally offer the service. However, Mayor Rebecca Alty said she had data suggesting a surplus of beds currently exists in Yellowknife as other initiatives have filled the gap. She cited the transformation of the Arnica Inn as one example. Alty offered an alternative that councillors opted to back: pausing the decision-making process, asking the federal government for an extension, and looking for more permanent solutions to fund. The mayor also wants the federal government to assess whether any of its residential properties in Yellowknife can be turned into affordable housing. Aspen Apartments, for example, is a federal building. While currently leased to the GNWT to provide isolation space for people affected by COVID-19, that lease expires at the end of March and the city could look to acquire it as affordable housing. “I want to make sure that we leave no stone unturned before we do this recommendation," Alty said of the plan to add overnight beds and cover rental arrears. "If no permanent housing options can be found, then I’d be happy to consider this recommendation in the future." The mayor said council will probably need to hold a special meeting in December to make a decision before the year ends.Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
A group of community leaders in Cape Breton wants non-essential travel stopped to the island as new cases of COVID-19 continue to be reported daily on the mainland.The request was sent to Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, by a group of municipal leaders and First Nation chiefs. The group, which met recently to discuss a possible Cape Breton bubble, is also seeking checkpoints and rapid testing for COVID-19."We can't be afraid to do the right thing just out of fear of stepping on the wrong toes," said We'koqma'q Chief Annie Bernard-Daisley, who signed the letter as an organizer of the meeting. There were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the island as of Tuesday when the province reported 10 new cases, all in the central health zone.Risk factors to be consideredBernard-Daisley said various health factors, such as higher rates of cancer and diabetes, put Cape Bretoners at risk of developing complications from COVID-19.She said housing shortages in First Nation communities makes the situation more dangerous. "There are some homes with multiple families residing in one," Bernard-Daisley said. "Some have over 20 family members in a home. In these situations, how can we effectively fight COVID?"With students and families expected to head to Cape Breton over the holidays, Bernard-Daisley said the time to act is now.She would like to see anyone visiting the island from areas in the province experiencing COVID-19 activity to self-isolate for at least 14 days. 'It hits close to home' Concerns over the spread of COVID-19 were heightened after a Sydney restaurant was identified as a possible exposure site. Ardon Mofford, the owner of Governor's Pub and Eatery, said his staff have since tested negative.Mofford said the province should screen visitors to the island, as businesses are already carrying a heavy load. "We're trying to deal with a crazy business environment," he said."It hits close to home when you get a potential situation like we did down here at Governor's. And then obviously what endured was incredible, what happens on social media and how your phone lights up. And you can see how the community gets scared and it's understandably so."Provincial strategyThe Department of Health has said it's focusing testing efforts on asymptomatic people in locations with the most concerning spread. A provincial spokesperson said the public will be informed as the province's strategy evolves. Health officials continue to ask Nova Scotians to limit travel in and out of places with COVID-19 activity, such as the Halifax Regional Municipality and parts of Hants County. MORE TOP STORIES
Regina– The morning of the Speech from the Throne, Nov. 30, the Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan didn’t have any members taking their seats. But they did have several of their failed candidates speaking on the front steps of the Legislature in a rally that focused on freedom. One person in the crowd carried a sign saying “Unmask the truth,” while another person’s sign said, “Freedom is essential.” Buffalo Party Leader Wade Sira spoke first, noting they didn’t know how many people would show up. (A few dozen did.) “We’re here because even though didn’t win any seats in this election, the first election we ran, we still feel very strongly about where we stood, and that’s rights and freedoms first, and only should be the right of the government. They should always make sure that your rights and freedoms are the number one thing that's preserved and protected.” He said Premier Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan Party government “needs to uphold the law of Canada, which means the preservation of your rights and freedoms should be held at the highest regard.” He said they should “take off the restrictions” with respect to COVID-19. Sira said CTV had reported last week that less than 200 deaths had occurred in Canada where people had died from COVID. “Everything else has relations with other diseases, illnesses. Therefore, we want to make sure that those who are vulnerable to sickness are protected. But everyone else has a right in a free democracy to live their lives, the way they want to live their lives within the law.” “We want to make sure that you the people have the right to decide who you're allowed to associate with, who's allowed in and on your home, and how many. This is a government living in your home, and telling you how to live your life.” He said the Public Health Act had been “weaponized,” and used in an infection of fear, and “control by fear.” “The misinformation that's being broadcast out there, it’s white lies. It's not full truth. They're only saying what is good for them,” he said. Sira said back in Biblical times, the people wanted to be free. “They always try to free them from slavery from the governments are overbearing, throughout history. Every war is about freedom. It’s not about the control of government. We have to end the control of government. “We have to hold the government to a higher standard. We have to make sure that they are protecting us, the free people. Let us live our lives. We know how to manage our health. They don't know how to manage our health. It's not their health. It’s ours.” Sira read out an open letter he had sent to the premier earlier in the day which called for, first and foremost, that COVID restrictions come off. Secondly, they want the province to “denounce the federal government, and Trudeau’s actions in September, about the ‘Great Reset.’” Sira said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was using “the current state of the pandemic to convert Canada into a full socialist country, by implementing the World Economic Forum global reset.” Sira said, “People have to keep standing up and tell the government enough is enough. We want to be free again.” He pointed out he might have to put on his neck warmer to enter the Legislature, adding, “I don’t wear a mask at all.” Phillip Zajac, who ran in Estevan, said, “A long time ago in 2019, if you had the flu, and you were sick, and it was Christmas, you wouldn't go to your senior parents’ home, because you didn’t want them to get sick. We know that. We don't need someone here to say, ‘Don't go to your parents if you're sick.’ “So what I want you guys to do, is it takes people to tell other people, tell people what's going on, because they don't know. Want to talk about fake media, fake news? It happens all the time.” Zajac said he had worn a mask in a hockey rink, carrying his gear down the stairs, and had a hard time breathing. “It's depriving you from oxygen. Putting mass on people who are not sick is not good for our health. It's not good for anybody. So you guys, we are all here. We're gonna keep spreading the word. We all need to do the same. Please do something. Tell somebody and keep talking to people.” Richard Nelson, who had run in Cut Knife-Turtleford, said, “We know who is susceptible to this disease. They're 70 years or older. Ladies and gentlemen, we know where to find people who are susceptible to this disease. They live in long-term care. If you're not 70, and you're not in long term care, please, enjoy your life. Go back to living it, and spend Christmas with your family!” he exclaimed. Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
As COVID-19 cases rise, Delhi grapples with getting its residents to follow health guidelines and with concerns that worsening air pollution contributes to the pandemic.
There are 383,468 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 383,468 confirmed cases (66,369 active, 304,888 resolved, 12,211 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 5,329 new cases Tuesday from 97,680 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 5.5 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 41,024 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 5,861. There were 81 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 593 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 85. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.23 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.49 per 100,000 people. There have been 11,573,322 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 339 confirmed cases (33 active, 302 resolved, four deaths). There was one new case Tuesday from 324 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.31 per cent. Over the past seven days, there has been 16 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.77 per 100,000 people. There have been 62,844 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 72 confirmed cases (four active, 68 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Tuesday from 760 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of three 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 zero per 100,000 people. There have been 60,683 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,315 confirmed cases (142 active, 1,108 resolved, 65 deaths). There were 10 new cases Tuesday from 3,165 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.32 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 88 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 13. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.69 per 100,000 people. There have been 146,919 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 508 confirmed cases (116 active, 385 resolved, seven deaths). There were seven new cases Tuesday from 1,065 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.66 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 58 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is eight. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.9 per 100,000 people. There have been 101,550 tests completed. _ Quebec: 143,548 confirmed cases (12,264 active, 124,200 resolved, 7,084 deaths). There were 1,177 new cases Tuesday from 8,376 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 14 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,218 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,317. There were 28 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 197 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 28. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.33 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 83.49 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,194,452 tests completed. _ Ontario: 118,199 confirmed cases (14,524 active, 100,012 resolved, 3,663 deaths). There were 1,707 new cases Tuesday from 33,508 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 5.1 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 11,689 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,670. There were seven new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 144 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 21. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.14 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 25.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,103,234 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 17,107 confirmed cases (9,066 active, 7,713 resolved, 328 deaths). There were 282 new cases Tuesday from 2,201 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 13 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,549 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 364. There were 16 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 80 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 11. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.83 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 23.95 per 100,000 people. There have been 349,309 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 8,745 confirmed cases (3,819 active, 4,875 resolved, 51 deaths). There were 181 new cases Tuesday from 1,444 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 13 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,862 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 266. There were four new reported deaths Tuesday. 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 0.17 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 4.34 per 100,000 people. There have been 262,262 tests completed. _ Alberta: 59,484 confirmed cases (16,628 active, 42,305 resolved, 551 deaths). There were 1,307 new cases Tuesday from 27,600 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 4.7 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,948 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,421. There were 10 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 59 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is eight. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.19 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 12.6 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,473,584 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 33,894 confirmed cases (9,663 active, 23,774 resolved, 457 deaths). There were 656 new cases Tuesday from 18,967 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 3.5 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,546 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 792. There were 16 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 99 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 14. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.28 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 9.01 per 100,000 people. There have been 802,376 tests completed. _ Yukon: 47 confirmed cases (17 active, 29 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Tuesday from 170 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of nine 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 2.45 per 100,000 people. There have been 5,336 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 15 confirmed cases (zero active, 15 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Tuesday from 42 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 0.0 per cent. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero 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 zero per 100,000 people. There have been 6,397 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 182 confirmed cases (93 active, 89 resolved, zero deaths). There was one new case Tuesday from 58 completed tests, for a positivity rate of 1.7 per cent. Over the past seven days, there has been 38 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is five. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 4,300 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Dec. 1, 2020. The Canadian Press
St. Albert currently has 298 active COVID-19 cases, with 22 new cases being diagnosed in the past 24 hours. On Tuesday, new provincial data showed the city sitting just under 300 active cases. The city has seen 816 cases since the pandemic began with 515 of those people having recovered from the virus. Overnight, 14 more people recovered. Sturgeon County currently has 96 active cases and Morinville has 42 active cases. Alberta’s top doctor is telling residents to prepare for a “much different holiday season” this year due to COVID-19. On Tuesday afternoon, Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said while it is still unknown what restrictions will be in place over Christmas, Albertans should still be preparing gatherings with as few people as possible. “It's been a long, hard year, and I know how important these holidays are,” Hinshaw said. The doctor said Albertans should be forgoing office parties, open houses and large gatherings this year, no matter what the restrictions look like over the Christmas holidays. Holidays with many people gathering together have accelerated the spread of COVID-19. Hinshaw said the province is still feeling the impacts of Thanksgiving and the cases that were diagnosed as a result of many people gathering indoors in groups. “It only takes one person to start an outbreak,” Hinshaw said. “I am encouraging Albertans to begin preparing for a much different holiday season and begin thinking of creative ways to celebrate safely.” She added people can get together virtually or safely outdoors while social distancing. Hinshaw said the lowest risk for spread is to celebrate with your own household and as few other people as possible. Hinshaw's recommendations come as Alberta outpaces every other province for COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. On Tuesday, the province identified 1,307 new cases of COVID-19 after conducting 15,800 tests. The provincial positivity rate sits at 8.4 per cent. There are currently 16,628 active cases with 479 people in the hospital and 97 of those in intensive care. There were 10 more deaths reported in the past 24 hours. “I know this is a difficult time to grieve,” Hinshaw said.Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette
The Fort McMurray Knights of Columbus is still hosting its annual Community Christmas meal, albeit with significant changes because of COVID-19 health restrictions. Usually, the free meal brings hundreds of people for food, socializing and singing. Community gatherings are not possible this year, so the Knights of Columbus will serve plates of food for people to pick up and eat elsewhere. Stan Bartlett, an organizer with the Knights of Columbus, said distribution will be at Earls Kitchen and Bar between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Christmas Day. Meals will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. “It’s not going to be the big event we’ve done in the last few years,” said Bartlett. “We’re happy we can still do something for people on Christmas Day.” The plates will be pre-prepared to limit the number of volunteers needed for the event. People will have to eat elsewhere and will not have access to the restaurant. “We don’t want to put anyone at risk,” said Bartlett. “People can come in to use the washroom if they need to, but we have to follow guidelines.” The event celebrated its 25th anniversary last year at Father Turcotte School. The first community Christmas meal was held in 1994 at the basement of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. After 11 years, the Fort McMurray Knights of Columbus took over the event. While the event started as an outreach to homeless and low-income people, it has turned into an event where everyone is welcome, regardless of faith, language or economic status. April’s flood also impacted the Knights of Columbus when the church’s basement flooded, damaging the group’s supplies for events. The group is still working on replacing most of those damaged items. All things considered, Bartlett said he is happy the Knights of Columbus are still able to offer a community meal. “We hope everyone can have a good Christmas this year and we’re hoping we can be a little part of that with an expression of kindness,” he said. email@example.comSarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today