Despite the U.S. having the world's highest number of COVID-19 cases, Canadian snowbird Elizabeth Evans is determined to head south next month. That's because her only winter home is parked at an RV resort in Williston, Florida."I don't have a [winter] home here," said Evans, who's currently living in her summer trailer at a campground in Niagara Falls. "I don't have any winter clothes."Evans is one of a number of snowbirds set on going to the U.S. this winter, despite the ongoing pandemic. But getting there may not be easy: To help stop the spread of COVID-19, the Canada-U.S. land border remains closed to non-essential traffic until at least Oct. 21.Evans believes the closure will be extended, so she plans to fly to Florida on Oct. 30 — two days before the campground where she's living closes for the season. "There's no way I am staying here," she said. "Even if I had to get on the plane buck-naked, I'd be on it."The Canadian Snowbird Association — which has more than 110,000 members — said it's hard to gauge at this point what percentage of its members will actually head south this winter. Some snowbirds have already nixed their plans, while others are undecided. "A significant portion of them are in a holding pattern, just to see what shakes out at the land border," said spokesperson Evan Rachkovsky.WATCH | Alberta snowbirds planning to spend winter at home:Some experts predict the Canada-U.S. land border could stay closed to non-essential travel until the new year. Although Canadians can still fly to the U.S., Rachkovsky said many snowbirds won't go without their cars but can't afford the big fees — between $1,500 and $6,000 — to ship their vehicles."It's not really an option for some of them to fly."Evans is one of those who would typically drive down to the U.S., which allowed her to transport her household supplies in her truck. She said she's can't ship her truck packed with luggage, so this year she's leaving it behind, along with many household necessities. But she's still bent on going to the U.S., even as health experts warn of a possible surge of COVID-19 cases in the fall. Evans said she plans to take precautionary measures such as social distancing and keep to her RV resort. "I will take the risk because I know how to protect myself, and everybody — at least in my resort — follows the rules," she said. "I'm more concerned about falling off my bicycle than I am of COVID."Escape winter while isolatingTravel insurance broker Martin Firestone said so far less than 10 per cent of his snowbird clients have made firm plans to go south this winter. He said those who are going say they will aim to avoid crowds, just as they would in Canada during the pandemic. "They're going to be prisoners in their developments or their condos," said Firestone, with Travel Secure in Toronto. "They're saying, 'I guess I'd rather sit down in Florida than sit here in Ontario and face the harsh climate.'"That about sums up Perry Cohen's itinerary. The snowbird — who is one of Firestone's clients — aims to head to his condo in Deerfield Beach, Fla., in early December as long as the COVID-19 case count remains low in that area.Cohen, who lives in Toronto, said he plans to take the necessary precautions and stick to his gated community — all while enjoying the warm weather. "Why would I want to be cooped up here when I can be there, out in the sunshine, in the fresh air?" he said. "You have more positives to go than to stay here."Cohen also plans to fly to Florida and has a car parked at his condo. He said an added reassurance for him is that he can now purchase COVID-19 medical insurance — just in case he or his wife did get the virus. "I like a complete package to know I'm looked after [if], God forbid, I have a problem."COVID-19 medical coverage returnsSeveral travel insurance providers recently restarted selling COVID-19 medical coverage, after dropping it in March when the pandemic began its global spread Firestone said that even with the coverage, snowbirds could face problems if the community where they're living has an outbreak. "The hospitals will get filled, the intensive care units will get filled, and then the fun will begin, regardless of whether you have insurance or not."Cohen argues Canada could also experience overrun hospitals. Currently, COVID-19 case numbers are surging in Ontario and Quebec. "You take a chance and go, because we can have the same problem here."
In the waning days of summer, afternoon traffic in Oyen, Alta., moved slowly along Main Street, easing along the weathered asphalt, past the low brick facade of the town office, farm equipment dealer and a cafe promising fresh pie and hot coffee. Alberta hasn't felt the heat of a boom in years. Roughly 850 workers — skilled trades, engineers and managers among them — have come to work on the Canadian leg of TC Energy Corp.'s Keystone XL pipeline.
LOS ANGELES — A 39-year-old woman was charged Tuesday in what authorities say was an attempted kidnapping of the 9-month-old granddaughter of Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana from his Southern California home.Sodsai Predpring Dalzell of Los Angeles pleaded not guilty in LA County court to felony counts of attempted kidnapping of a child under 14 and burglary.“Miss Dalzell is extremely apologetic and is very well concerned about the well-being of the family,” Dalzell's attorney Ayinde Jones said outside of court. “She understands the harm that this has caused the family, friends and also fans of the Montana family. So our heart goes out to them.”The 64-year-old Montana told sheriff's deputies that the girl was asleep Saturday in a playpen in his house in Malibu when a woman he did not know entered and picked up the child.Montana and his wife, Jennifer, confronted her, tried to deescalate the situation and asked her to give back the baby, authorities said.After a brief struggle, Jennifer Montana pried the girl away, and Dalzell fled from the home, authorities said. She was later arrested nearby.No one was hurt.Jones said he plans to present a credible defence, “focused on ensuring that Miss Dalzell gets the help that she may need.”The attorney said he has “no hindsight, no clue as yet on why she did what she did, only that she is very apologetic. She has told me over and over again that she understands the harm that she has caused. As a parent myself, I can only imagine the pain that it has caused the Montana family.”Dalzell's bail was set at $200,000 and she was told to return to court Oct. 20. She could get eight years in prison if convicted as charged. She has no previous criminal record.“Scary situation, but thankful that everybody is doing well," the former San Francisco 49ers star tweeted on Sunday.Montana played 13 years of his 15 year-career with the 49ers, who won four Super Bowls with him as starting quarterback. He retired in 1994 after two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.He and Jennifer Montana, a philanthropist and former model, have been married since 1985 and have four adult children. It is not clear which of the children is the girl's parent.Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Supreme Court weighed Tuesday whether to go along with conservatives who argue that 130,000 voters should be removed from the rolls in the hotly contested presidential battleground state, while the Democratic attorney general defended not purging them.The Wisconsin case is one of several lawsuits across the country, many in battleground states, that seek to purge voters from registration rolls. It is being closely watched because President Donald Trump won the swing state by fewer than 23,000 votes in 2016. However, the lawsuit was unlikely to be resolved by the state Supreme Court before the Nov. 3 election just five weeks away.Justices on the court controlled 4-3 by conservatives gave little indication during the hour-long oral arguments how they were leaning.The Wisconsin case hinges on whether voters who were identified as potentially having moved should be removed from the voter registration database. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, a conservative law firm, argued that the state elections commission broke the law when it did not remove voters from the rolls who did not respond within 30 days to a mailing last year indicating they had been identified as someone who potentially moved.The commission wanted to wait until after the presidential election before removing anyone because of inaccuracies found while previously attempting to identify voters who may have moved.Because voters who moved were concentrated in more Democratic areas of the state, liberals argued that the lawsuit was meant to lower turnout on their side. Republicans countered that it was about reducing the likelihood of voter fraud and making sure that people who moved are not able to vote from their previous addresses.A circuit court judge ruled last year that the voters must be removed immediately, but a state appeals court overturned that in February.Many of the questions from justices on Tuesday revolved around whether it was the duty of the state elections commission, or local election clerks, to remove voters from the rolls. Justice Brian Hagedorn, part of the court's conservative majority who has sometimes sided with liberals, questioned whether the state elections commission had the legal authority to remove anyone from the registration list.Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul maintained that the elections commission was under no duty to treat as reliable the information it received about voters who may have moved. Kaul said the commission's only responsibility under the multi-state Electronic Registration Information Center agreement was to notify flagged voters that they may need to update their address.Rick Esenberg, attorney for the conservative group that brought the lawsuit, argued that state law clearly gives the elections commission the responsibility to maintain the voter list. When presented with the information about those who had moved, the commission had a duty to remove those who did not respond to the mailing, Esenberg said.No voters have been deactivated while the yearlong legal fight continues. Even if a voter has their registration deactivated, they can register again later or on Election Day when they show up at the polls. Absentee voting is underway in Wisconsin with more than 308,000 ballots returned already.The lawsuit is just one of several voting-related challenges across the country, many of them in battleground states.On Tuesday, hours after the Supreme Court arguments, a federal appeals court upheld a ruling that expanded the time that absentee ballots can be counted in Wisconsin. And on Monday, a judge in Georgia dismissed a similar voter purge lawsuit filed by two voters in Fulton County, which includes Atlanta. The lawsuit sought to force election officials to hold hearings that could have resulted in 14,000 voters being removed from the county’s voter rolls before the November general election.In Pennsylvania, a federal lawsuit filed by the conservative group Judicial Watch alleges that up to 800,000 registered voters should be classified as “inactive” and removed. That case is on hold until after the election. Judicial Watch also sued in North Carolina, saying not enough has been done to periodically remove inactive or permanently moved voters in that state.And in Michigan, a Republican activist sued in federal court to remove ineligible voters from 16 counties with “abnormally high” registration levels. The state recently sought to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the plaintiff had no standing to sue and, even if he did, federal law prohibits the systemic removal of ineligible voters within 90 days of the election. That case is pending.Removals or proposed removals, especially this close to an election, can be confusing and intimidating for voters and frequently aren’t based on reliable information, said John Powers, an attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, which has been fighting those efforts.“You’re scaring people and kicking eligible voters off the rolls, all of which undermines confidence in elections at time when that’s the last thing we need,” he said.___Associated Press writers Kate Brumback in Atlanta; David Eggert in Lansing, Michigan; Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Bryan Anderson in Raleigh, North Carolina, contributed to this report.___Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sbauerAPScott Bauer, The Associated Press
The first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden deteriorated into bitter taunts and near chaos Tuesday night as Trump repeatedly interrupted his opponent with angry — and personal — jabs that sometimes overshadowed the sharply different visions each man has for a nation facing historic crises. In the most tumultuous presidential debate in recent memory, Trump refused to condemn white supremacists who have supported him, telling one such group known as Proud Boys to “stand back, stand by.” There were also heated clashes over the president's handling of the pandemic, the integrity of the election results, deeply personal attacks about Biden's family and how the Supreme Court will shape the future of the nation’s health care.
On the family cattle farm just outside Caroline, Alta., Nicole and Bill Houlton are busy doing the daily chores.As they go about taking hay to the cows, there is no outward sign of the health struggles they've had over the past three years. Nicole Houlton, 28, has had three miscarriages. It has been a painful time that has brought into focus their reliance on their local health-care clinic and hospital at the same time Alberta doctors and the province are in a contract dispute over how to find savings while still delivering quality care.While embarking into the unknown world of fertility treatments in Calgary, the Houltons learned they are losing their primary care physician. They also found out five of the eight doctors who work in the Moose and Squirrel Medical Clinic in nearby Sundre have given notice they are leaving Alberta to practise elsewhere. "We felt crushed. Going through all this fertility stuff, it's like, now what do we do?" Nicole Houlton said.The doctors and staff at the clinic in Sundre have become like family, she said, offering a lifeline when she didn't know where to turn."They've been there for me 100 per cent of the way, just phone calls, emails, you name it, they're there for you."Nicole Houlton, who also works as a butcher at a local grocery store, said she was surprised and grateful when the clinic reached out to her husband of four years as well. "The man is part of the loss, too."Bill Houlton, a sawmill worker, said he didn't ask for help, but it was there for the 32-year-old anyway, "just to check on me and see how I was doing and how I was handling it."'It was awful'Dr. Alanna Bowie said that writing the letter that left the Houltons "crushed," telling them that she was leaving the Sundre clinic, was "so hard." "I don't really know what else to say other than that it was awful."Bowie was born, raised and educated in Alberta.She expected to spend her career in the province, practising "cradle to grave" rural medicine. Her tight network of family and friends is in Alberta.But the contract dispute between the province and the Alberta Medical Association has left Bowie so frustrated, she said, that she is leaving for British Columbia at the end of April. She has arranged locums, or fill-in work, in B.C. until she decides where to settle permanently. "It was death by a thousand cuts, all of these little insidious things that made it more difficult, made my job feel more and more unstable."In a voluntary survey conducted with members last summer, the Alberta Medical Association found that hundreds of doctors say they're considering leaving the province or retiring early.Threats to stop doing shifts at local hospitalsIn addition to the five doctors resigning from the Sundre clinic, more than a handful of physicians elsewhere in the province have publicly announced they are leaving Alberta. Alberta Health Services could not provide CBC with an exact number of resignations or how that compared to previous years. Doctors in more than a dozen Alberta communities have threatened or given notice they will stop doing shifts at local hospitals and concentrate solely on family practice. It's hard to say how much weight the contract dispute between doctors held in individual decisions to leave Alberta. But each resignation has come as a protracted battle has raged since the province cancelled the master agreement with the Alberta Medical Association last February. It wasn't due to expire until the end of March. It has descended into an unusually public battle of back-and-forth since then, played out on social media, in newspaper ads and in town halls organized by doctors."It's a new government. So they came with a mandate, kind of the iron fist, and they've been showing that," said Dr. Edward Aasman, president of the AMA's rural sector, "but it doesn't really help people work together to come up with solutions."The AMA is suing the province for violating doctors' charter rights when it tore up their contract. The government says this is nothing more than a wage battle run amok. It says it's trying to rein in unsustainable health-care spending, including more than $5.4 billion annually spent on physician services. "Alberta spends more per capita on physician services than any other province," Steve Buick, press secretary to Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro, wrote in a statement to CBC News, "We have slightly more physicians per capita than the national average, and we pay them more than in any other province."Bowie refutes what she calls "the vilification of physicians and gaslighting of Albertans to believe that this is all financially motivated, when in fact it's not at all." She said she and others will likely take a pay cut when they move to other provinces.Instead, she said her decision to leave was cemented by the province's health-care direction and the fractured relationship between doctors and the government. Aasman said the AMA is actually ahead of the government when it comes to finding ways to reduce physician costs by finding savings that will have the least impact on patient care.Large variety of jobsBy the nature of the job, many rural family physicians perform a large variety of medical services and advocates say they often have less room in their bottom lines to absorb cuts. Similarly, for each rural doctor who leaves or retires and isn't replaced, the effect on a community is felt more deeply, the AMA says. "We see a lot of orphaned patients" when a doctor leaves a small community, Aasman said."It increases the workload, the stress on the hospital, both our community and probably surrounding communities as well. That's a big thing."The government said it is making practising rural medicine in Alberta the most attractive proposal in the country, with various financial and recruiting incentives. It said the very public resignations won't affect the number of physicians practising in Alberta. It is forecasting more new physicians will start working in the province than leave it."We do not expect shortages overall or in any specific community, apart from the normal staffing challenges in smaller centres. That includes Sundre, where the hospital is fully covered and services continue without interruption," Buick said.Worries remainBut with their own clinic losing five physicians, Nicole and Bill Houlton remain worried, and not just for themselves."Our senior parents and folks, we worry about them. It's a lot harder for them to travel to a family doctor," Bill Houlton said.Nicole Houlton said after struggling with trying to start a family, they are now left with more uncertainty."Nobody really knows what's coming, what to do, what the next steps are." Or if they will even have a family doctor come spring.
U.S. presidential debate moderator Chris Wallace asks U.S. President Donald Trump if he will condemn white supremacist groups involved in violent clashes over policing and racism in some U.S. cities. Trump replies, 'Sure' and asks 'Who would you like me to condemn? Who? Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,' referencing one of the groups involved.
Kuwait on Wednesday laid to rest late ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, a Gulf Arab elder statesman who helped steer his nation through some of the region's most turbulent decades, in funeral rites closed to the public due to COVID-19 concerns. The only leader of fellow Gulf Arab states in attendance was the emir of Qatar, which has been boycotted by Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, in a dispute that Sheikh Sabah, 91, tried until his death to resolve. Sheikh Nawaf takes the reins of the small wealthy nation, which holds the world's seventh-largest oil reserves, at a time when low crude prices and the coronavirus have strained the finances of a country with a cradle-to-grave welfare system.
The latest meeting between the Sipekne'katik First Nation and federal fisheries staff involved the band going over the details of their moderate livelihood fishery on Tuesday.Chief Mike Sack said the talks were "very positive" and he is optimistic about how things are going."It's just to help them completely understand where we're coming from with it and to answer any concerns they might have," he told reporters in Digby, N.S.Sack said the meeting did not involve Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, but that if they feel it would be helpful to have her physically at the table they will ask.The next meeting with fisheries staff is set for next Monday, Sack said.The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has had the fishery plan for some time now and has a good sense of what it entails, Sack said. But, he said their band has a few factors they are looking to iron out at the wharf, like catch amounts."We don't have all of our data yet," Sack said, "So you know, our future conversations will be about moving forward with this together." When Sack was asked about the recent criticism Jordan has faced in Ottawa over her handling of the situation, he said they have come a long way, "government to government."He added he was "delighted" that Jordan mentioned the importance of upholding First Nations' treaty rights during question period on Monday.Sipekne'katik launched what the band calls a self-regulated lobster fishery at a wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., on Sept. 17 — 21 years after the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Donald Marshall Jr.The landmark decision affirmed the Mi'kmaq right to earn a "moderate livelihood" from fishing. The court later said the federal government could regulate the Mi'kmaw fishery, but must justify any restrictions it placed on it.After more than a week of tension, confrontations with commercial fishermen in the area have eased recently.The First Nation's fishery in St. Marys Bay continued through the weekend and on Monday the fleet was expanded from seven to 10 boats, creating a total capacity of 500 traps. That's about the same capacity as two large commercial boats. But selling a catch without DFO approval requires a provincial government rule change, and so far Premier Stephen McNeil is staying out of the situation.He said the moderate livelihood still has to be officially defined by DFO."Until the national government who has charge of the fishery can come to a resolution with the Mi'kmaw nation and commercial fisheries, we don't have something to respond to because we don't know what the change would look like," McNeil told reporters Tuesday.Sack said they have had some back and forth with the province about a possible meeting and while nothing is confirmed yet, "we're looking to get in right away."Many commercial lobster fishermen have said they consider the new Sipekne'katik fishery in St. Marys Bay illegal and worry that catching lobster outside the mandated season, particularly during the summer spawning period, will negatively impact stocks.A fleet of commercial vessels removed 350 Mi'kmaw lobster traps from the water on the weekend of Sept. 19 to 20.But one Dalhousie University professor who studies fisheries management has said the Mi'kmaw fishery won't harm lobster stocks given its small scale.The Mi'kmaw fleet has been able to continue working over the past few days without arguments on the wharf with commercial fishers, their lines being cut, or other intimidation tactics that Sack said he'd heard about when the fishery launched."We're very grateful … we're not here to fight with anyone. We're here to do what we feel is right," Sack said. "I'm glad that the confrontations are over and hopefully they're completely done with."In light of this change, the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs reduced their state of emergency over the matter to a state of readiness and closed their incident command centre, according to a release Tuesday.The situation in the Digby area will still be monitored by the assembly and their staff and if it escalates again or community members require more support, they will reopen the command centre.MORE TOP STORIES
OTTAWA — Aid agencies welcomed Canada’s commitment on Tuesday of an extra $400 million in development and humanitarian spending to combat COVID-19.The new money will go to "to trusted partners on the ground fighting COVID-19," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a video conference at the United Nations that he co-hosted with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness."From ensuring equitable access to vaccines, to providing more time for distressed countries to make bilateral debt payments, including Caribbean and small island states, we're working on concrete options that will help build a more resilient world," Trudeau said.Non-government organizations welcomed the government’s added spending after pleading for decades with successive Liberal and Conservative governments to offer a meaningful boost to the country’s overseas development assistance budget.Nicolas Moyer, the chief executive of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, said the new funds announced Tuesday by Trudeau were significant given last Friday’s commitment by the government to contribute $220 million to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility or COVAX, which will help purchase vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries."These investments come at a critical moment. With immense and growing needs around the world, Canada has stepped up at a time when world needs Canadian leadership more than ever," said Moyer."The COVID pandemic is the challenge of a generation. When the world needs us, it’s critical that Canada stands up and does its share." Lindsay Glassco, president of Plan International Canada, said the pandemic has unravelled decades of progress on reducing poverty and improving gender equality at home and abroad."The pandemic has shown us how truly connected the world is and that solutions must extend beyond borders," said Glassco."The Canadian government has responded once again with funding and support to stop this setback, and for that we are grateful."Bill Chambers, the chief executive of Save the Children, said the novel coronavirus is destroying the lives of children in crisis zones from Syria to Myanmar.“Now is the time we need leaders like Canada to commit to the global fight against this virus. We are reassured and inspired to see the government of Canada step up to the challenge while calling on others to do the same," he said.It was the second time since the spring that Trudeau, Guterres and Holness held a meeting of the UN’s high-level panel on "financing for development in the era of COVID-19 and beyond." They held their first joint meeting in late May, less than three weeks before Canada failed to win a temporary seat on the Security Council.Canada ran on a platform of trying to help rebuild the post-pandemic world in a contest that pitted it against Norway and Ireland for two non-permanent seats on the council, starting next year.Trudeau said after the Security Council defeat that Canada would remain active on the world stage in trying to rebuild the battered economy. "Canada believes that a strong, co-ordinated response across the world and across sectors is essential. This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset," Trudeau said Tuesday."This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change."Trudeau said Canada will invest more in the coming years and he will continue to advocate for debt relief for developing countries facing economic hardship because of the pandemic.Canada will push to have the voices of those countries heard in larger forums such as the G7, G20 and World Bank, he added.Guterres said he welcomed Trudeau’s push for debt relief, adding he would be advocating for it in the G20 because it could provide up to $12 billion in help for participating countries."The problem is to mobilize the resources," said Guterres."This has to do to the strengthening of the resources of the IMF and the World Bank and the other international financial institutions," he added."And this has to do with the vaccine and the need to massively invest in creating a vaccine that is a global public good."Trudeau said the pandemic has further exacerbated long-standing challenges of poverty, inequality, as well as climate change.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2020.Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press
Now that cold season has started, it may be time to take some symptoms off the COVID-19 checklist, says New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health. Dr. Jennifer Russell said her colleagues from across the country have talked about "streamlining" testing requirements to avoid a logjam of tests for people who end up simply having a cold. Several of the symptoms for COVID-19 overlap those of the common cold, including runny nose, sore throat, and headache. Those are three of the 10 symptoms British Columbia removed last week. "I know there's a level of confusion and again, we are working on it," said Russell.She said the system can handle the current situation, but if there's a spike in COVID-19 cases in New Brunswick, then the checklist may have to be scaled back. "So we're happy with where we are, but I think as we move into a time frame where the risks are going to be higher in terms of case numbers possibly increasing as we are seeing around the country, then I think it merits having that discussion," Russell said Tuesday afternoon. She said there's been "a surge in demand" for COVID-19 testing since children returned to the classroom. There were 837 more tests done for those under 20 during the first two full weeks of school than there were for the entire month before that, according to figures supplied by the department. The age group went from representing 27 per cent of all tests done in the month before to 43 per cent in the first two full weeks of classes. Schools are required to send students home when they display two or more symptoms of COVID-19. Those children are then required to self-isolate at home until a negative test is received. Days off sick up 132% in Anglophone SouthWhile a spokesperson for the Department of Education did not provide numbers when asked about school absences on Tuesday, the superintendent of the Anglophone South School District did. Zoë Watson explained that absences are coded based on a variety of reasons, including illness or medical appointment. She said the code for illness at K-8 was used 132 per cent more this month than in September 2019.Russell said Public Health has responded to the increase in demand by adding staff, increasing hours and making other changes, such as prioritizing call-backs for children. Russell said New Brunswick's testing capacity "is where we want it to be," but the length of time to notify people of their test results got bogged down by the increased demand. The goal had been 72 hours, but Russell said it was taking longer than that. Without mandatory masks, Infection control epidemiologist Colin Furness predicts that New Brunswick will see a lot more respiratory viruses. "I'm expecting more cold and flu in New Brunswick than I am in ... Toronto," he said. Since masks are mandatory in the Toronto area, he said, it's unlikely that the area will see many colds and flus, so any respiratory symptoms would have to be taken very seriously. "So in Ontario, I would say anything that looks like a respiratory illness is scary. In New Brunswick, I would say that 'Well, a cold is probably just a cold.'" Given the low case counts, Furness said masks are likely a hard sell in New Brunswick, but it's the best way to avoid students having to get a COVID-19 test every time they catch a cold."Your best way forward as a parent is to try and make sure that no one catches any cold at all. That's harder to do when people aren't wearing masks," he said. "If I were a parent in New Brunswick, I would be doubling down on hand sanitizer and physical distancing and all the things that we know work to keep us from getting sick — and flu shots for sure."Furness said the stress that parents feel when their child gets sick in New Brunswick would be different from what parents in Ontario may feel. Here, it's not a genuine fear of COVID-19, it's the hassle of having to prove that it's not. "It becomes a headache rather than this fear," he said.Whether it stays on the COVID-19 checklist or not, Furness said one of the most common symptoms at this time of the year isn't a great indicator of COVID-19 anyway. "COVID in kids tends to present asymptomatically — a runny nose is not associated with COVID," he said. "That's not to say that it's impossible for someone with a runny nose to have COVID. You can also have more than one virus at a time. But kids are typically asymptomatic. And so the whole concept of screening is a little bit misplaced."Yukon offers guideYukon health officials have recently come up with a colour-coded system to help parents.Green means go to school. That's when a child has no symptoms, or only symptoms of a previously-diagnosed condition.Yellow means a child has some symptoms and should stay home for 24 hours to see whether the symptoms resolve. They include a runny nose, fever, fatigue, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea.A runny nose or congestion that persists, but is relatively mild and not worsening, means a child can go back to school after 24 hours — so long as they have no other symptoms. Vomiting or diarrhea, however, warrant keeping students home until those symptoms are gone.Red means a child has symptoms that warrant a COVID-19 test — or they could stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days before returning to school."Red" symptoms include coughing, a fever, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and loss of taste or smell.British Columbia shortens listThe list of symptoms in British Columbia was shortened last week to remove many that overlap with the common cold, including sore throat, runny nose, headache, and fatigue."This was a recommendation from public health to remove some of the symptoms, given the very low probability of these symptoms by themselves indicating COVID," B.C.'s Ministry of Health said in an emailed statement to CBC."They are also very common in children, so there are concerns that it would unnecessarily exclude children," said the ministry.The following symptoms have been removed from the daily checklist: * Sore throat * Runny/stuffy nose * Headache * Fatigue * Loss of appetite * Muscle aches * Conjunctivitis (pink eye) * Dizziness, confusion * Abdominal pain * Skin rash or discolouration of fingers and toesParents are now asked to screen children for the following symptoms: * Fever * Chills * Cough or worsening of chronic cough * Shortness of breath * Loss of sense of smell or taste * Diarrhea * Nausea and vomiting
MEXICO CITY — Archaeological authorities in Mexico said Tuesday they kicked some cast members of a popular local “Jersey Shore”-style reality show out of the Mayan ruins of Uxmal after they behaved "immaturely" and refused to wear masks or follow social distancing rules.It was the latest round of bad promotional work in Mexico’s desperate attempt to revive its tourism industry, which has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.It seems the young, ripped cast members of Mexico's popular “Acapulco Shore” reality show and another contestant show — whom the state government of Yucatan described as “influencers” — were invited to tour the ruins soon after they were reopened in a bid to encourage tourists to return.But the National Institute of Anthropology and History said the half-dozen cast members “were asked to leave, in compliance with health rules.”Employees at the 1,000-year-old complex of Mayan temples, palaces and pyramid platforms said the cast acted “immaturely” and refused to follow posted rules requiring face masks and social distancing. Photos posted on social media showed them clowning around and posing in close contact atop one ancient structure.Yucatan officials denied they paid the cast members but acknowledged the visit was part of a promotional campaign and defended the invitation.Michelle Fridman, the Yucatan state tourism secretary, wrote in a Tweet that “the influencers were not paid one single peso. It also wasn't some half-baked idea but rather part of a strategy included in the plan for recovery from COVID, and if we carefully measure the impact, we estimate we got 200 million hits for a sector that urgently needs promotion.”Fridman's office did not respond to requests for comment, but her stance apparently boiled down to ‘any news is good news’ in a state where tourism is vitally important.Tourist arrivals at airports in Mexico fell by 93.4 % at the worst point in May, and even with projections showing some recovery in the second half of 2020, are expected to end the year 42.8% below 2019 levels. Tourism provides 11 million jobs, directly or indirectly in Mexico.The Uxmal dispute was just the latest chapter in a bad year for Mexican tourism promotion.In August, due to disputes over payments and control of the English-language version of the country’s tourism website, its internet page appeared with hilarious mistranslations.On the VisitMexico.com site, states like Hidalgo and Guerrero apparently got machine-translated as “Noble” and “Warrior.” The Caribbean resort of Tulum somehow became “Jumpsuit.” And the names of other tourist towns were also mangled.Mexico’s Tourism Department issued a statement apologizing for the apparently out-sourced errors and later launched a redesigned page.The snafu came right after the U.S. State Department cited the high number of COVID-19 cases in Mexico for issuing a “do not travel” advisory for the country in August, its highest level of warning.And earlier, the resort of Acapulco was forced to pull “anything goes” tourism ads that showed people partying without masks and the words “there are no rules.”The ads touted the faded resort’s reputation as a nightclubbing spot — despite the fact that nightclubs are currently closed to enforce social distancing.“We have stopped being a postcard from the past, today we have changed the rules,” says the narration in one of the pulled videos.“In fact, there are no rules,” says another voice, as people can be seen eating bizarre meals and going out to nightclubs. “Eat whatever you want, have fun day and night and into the early morning hours ... find new friends and new loves.”Authorities said the ads weren’t appropriate during the coronavirus pandemic.The Associated Press
A federal judge on Tuesday halted major fee increases for citizenship and other immigration benefits three days before they were to take effect, saying the last two chiefs of the Homeland Security Department were likely appointed illegally. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White found Kevin McAleenan improperly leapfrogged to acting secretary when Kirstjen Nielsen resigned in April 2019. The judge said McAleenan, as Customs and Border Protection commissioner, was seventh in line to assume the acting role under rules of succession at the time.
Recent developments: * The NCC has cancelled its Gatineau Park fall shuttle buses for the year.What's the latest?September ends with 64 new COVID-19 cases in Ottawa, capping off a record-breaking month.Two more people have died from COVID-19, while 19 patients are currently being treated in hospital.Health Canada has approved the ID NOW rapid COVID-19 testing device, which promises results in 15 minutes without the need to send samples to a lab.The federal government just announced Tuesday it would buy some 7.9 million of these tests.The National Capital Commission has now cancelled its annual fall shuttle bus program to Gatineau Park to see the fall colours, saying it wants to discourage crowding in the park.How many cases are there?As of the most recent OPH update on Tuesday, 4,322 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. That includes 685 known active cases, 3,350 resolved cases and 287 deaths.Overall, public health officials have reported more than 6,500 cases of COVID-19 across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 5,100 of those cases considered resolved.COVID-19 has killed 104 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 people have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 34 in the Outaouais and 18 in other parts of eastern Ontario. What's open and closed?Some public health rules are being rolled back because of the second wave of the pandemic.Ottawa and Kingston, Ont., public health officials are ordering anyone with symptoms or who has been identified as a close contact of someone who's tested positive to immediately self-isolate or face a fine of up to $5,000 per day in court.Kingston has also tightened its distancing rules in city parks and increased fines.Ottawa will resume ticketing drivers who park longer than allowed in unmarked areas and bring back public skating at five city arenas tomorrowIt's also closing the McNabb Arena respite centre for people without housing on Friday and expanding services at nearby support centresAs of Monday, visitors to long-term care homes in Ottawa will be restricted to staff, essential visitors and one or two caregivers only.Private, unmonitored gatherings across Ontario are now limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.Quebec has introduced tighter restrictions in the province's "orange zones," which now includes the Outaouais.WATCH | Experts call for earlier versions of social 'bubble':Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.People can be contagious without symptoms.This means precautions such as working from home, keeping your hands and frequently-touched surfaces clean socializing outdoors as much as possible and keeping distance from anyone you don't live with or have in your social circle, including when you have a mask on.Ottawa's medical officer of health is pleading with residents to reduce the number of people they're in close contact with as new cases of COVID-19 continue to surge, this week asking residents to see very few people they don't live with.Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in all of eastern Ontario and Quebec, including transit services and taxis in some areas.Masks are also recommended outdoors when you can't stay the proper distance from others.Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.Most people with a confirmed COVID-19 case in Quebec can end their self-isolation after 10 days if they have not had a fever for at least 48 hours and has had no other symptom for at least 24 hours.Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.Getting tested any sooner than five days after potential exposure may not be useful since the virus may not yet be detectable, says OPH.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Where to get testedWait times and lines have been long at many of the area's test sites, causing some to reach capacity before closing time or even before opening.There have also been delays processing tests at laboratories.Ontario health officials have said they're trying to add more test capacity.WATCH | U of O student still waiting for contact-tracing call:In eastern Ontario:The Ontario government recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you've been told to by your health unit or the province because of your work.Most of Ottawa's testing happens at one of four permanent sites, with additional mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.A test clinic is expected to open at the Ray Friel Recreation Complex in Orléans, likely by mid-October.People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select Ottawa pharmacies.WATCH | Focus on targeted lockdowns if needed:In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, there are drive-thru centres in Casselman and Limoges and a walk-up site in Hawkesbury that doesn't require people to call ahead.Its medical officer of health says the Casselman centre will be moved to reduce its impact on traffic.Others in Alexandria, Rockland, Cornwall and Winchester require an appointment.In Kingston, the city's test site is now at the Beechgrove Complex near King Street West and Portsmouth Avenue.Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call ahead.People can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville, Picton or Trenton by calling the centre. Only Belleville and Trenton run seven days a week and also offer online booking.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit has walk-in sites in Kemptville and Brockville. There are permanent testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment, along with pop-up sites by appointment in Carleton Place today and Perth Friday.Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor. Those without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.People can also visit the health unit's website to find out where testing clinics will be taking place each week.In western Quebec:Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.They can call 1-877-644-4545 if they have other questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms. People without symptoms can also get a test.First Nations, Inuit and Métis:Akwesasne has had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases, most linked to a gathering on an island in July.It has a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only.Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.Inuit in Ottawa can also call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse.For more information
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration's top intelligence official said Tuesday that he has declassified Russian intelligence alleging damaging information about Democrats during the 2016 election even though he acknowledged it might not be true.The announcement, just hours before the first presidential debate of this November's election, drew harsh criticism from lawmakers who accused National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe of politicizing intelligence.In a letter Tuesday to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Ratcliffe said that in late July 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies obtained “insight” into Russian spycraft alleging that Hillary Clinton, who was running for president, had “approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against” Trump.But Ratcliffe added that American intelligence agencies do “not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.”The announcement was a startling break from convention given that the nation's intelligence chiefs are generally loath to publicly discuss sensitive government intelligence, particularly when that information is unconfirmed — as Ratcliffe himself admits is the case here. But Trump himself has been eager to install loyalists in the role of intelligence director, and Ratcliffe and his predecessor, Richard Grenell, have authorized a series of disclosures in recent months aimed at undermining the Russia investigation and providing a political advantage to Trump.Graham signalled Tuesday that he intended to ask former FBI Director James Comey about the issue when Comey testifies before the committee, which has been doing its own inquiry into the origins of the Russia probe.Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, called Ratcliffe's decision “disturbing," especially this close to a presidential election.Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a member of the intelligence committee, accused Ratcliffe of abusing his position as the nation's top spy.“His politicization of intelligence, including through selective releases to political allies, damages the country and undermines the intelligence community he purports to lead," Wyden said in a statement. “Ratcliffe is even willing to rely on unverified Russian information to try to concoct a political scandal — a shocking abdication of his responsibilities to the country.”Wyden said the information being released amounted to “rumint” or intelligence based on rumours. Ratcliffe responded with a second statement claiming the intelligence was not Russian disinformation. He said he'd be briefing Congress in coming days about the “sensitive sources and methods by which it was obtained.”Ratcliffe said he was providing the intelligence to the Judiciary Committee related to the FBI's “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation in 2016 and 2017 into links between Trump associates and Russian officials. Comey is to testify to the committee on Wednesday.In his letter to the committee, Ratcliffe said that according to handwritten notes by former CIA Director John Brennan, Brennan briefed President Barack Obama and other senior national security officials on the intelligence, including the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016 of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.”Nick Shapiro, former CIA deputy chief of staff to Brennan, said Russian interference in the 2016 election was “real, intense and unprecedented in scale and scope.”Shapiro said the meddling was authorized personally by Russian President Vladimir Putin to hurt Clinton and to promote the electoral prospects of Trump. “The intelligence on this is incontrovertible and the analysis unimpeachable,” Shapiro said.He said the intelligence community's assessment of Russian interference on behalf of Trump has been corroborated numerous times. That includes in the CIA’s own review when Secretary Mike Pompeo was the CIA director as well as in the bipartisan Senate intelligence committee review and report by former special counsel Robert Mueller.“Trump’s own head of counterintelligence has publicly stated that the Russians are once again helping Donald Trump,” Shapiro added. "Ratcliffe should be ashamed of his blatant politicization of his position.”Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the House intelligence committee, also denounced Ratcliffe’s action. “Ratcliffe’s decision to release Russian intelligence he concedes may be false is an obvious domestic political errand with an election weeks away,” Schiff tweeted. “But his acknowledgment that it was derived from sensitive sources and methods—which he may now have compromised—is just inexcusable.”___Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
Fire Prevention Week is coming up — and the Charlottetown fire department is asking residents to be careful while cooking.The week runs Oct. 4th to 10th this year, and the theme is "Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen."The majority of home fires start in the kitchen, mostly with the ignition of food or other cooking materials such as oil or grease, according to the National Fire Protection Association.And in Prince Edward Island's capital city, that adds up to a lot of fire calls."In the last year, we have had approximately 85," said Cindy MacFadyen, a fire prevention officer with the city of Charlottetown.Those 85 fire calls did not all involve actual flames; some were in response to smoke alarms set off when meals went wrong."It's very important to have smoke alarms in your house for that very reason," MacFadyen said.Some tips to prevent fires starting in the kitchen: * Don't leave the room while cooking. * Use a timer. * Don't cook while sleepy. * Have a clear cooking area. * Watch out for loose-fitting clothing. * Keep a lid close to smother any small grease fires. * Have a fire extinguisher handy."One of the big things we come across is big sleeves hanging over the burner," MacFadyen said. She recommends cinching them with elastics or ties so that your clothing doesn't catch on fire.MacFayden said some types of cooking are riskier than others. "The open flame, the open grease pot — some people are getting back to that," she said, adding that it is better to use a deep fryer controlled by a thermostat than a pan full of fat to cook foods such as French fries.If a small grease fire begins, MacFayden said, place a pot over the top of the cooking vessel or use a fire extinguisher to put out the flames."Some people use baking soda, but the pot cover right there will control your flame," she said.MacFayden said a lot of restaurants have overhead fire prevention systems and are controlled a "little bit better." In homes, she said, people can be more "carefree."She said she has seen entire homes lost to a fire that started in the kitchen.No school visits or open houseOn another topic, Charlottetown students won't get the chance to check out fire trucks this year due to COVID-19.Restrictions put in place for the pandemic means Charlottetown firefighters won't be going into schools to talk to students or offering open houses. Instead, educational information packages will be provided to schools and community groups."As soon as this is over, we will be in the schools and the school can come here and get on the fire trucks and the whole bit," she said. "I'm just hoping this will soon be over because the education these children get through fire safety — [it] is just hard to believe what they pick up and how they take it home to the parents."She said she has heard of children who saw a fire prevention presentation at school and went home to make sure their parents knew the basics and tested their smoke alarms. "It's actually quite cute," she said.A virtual program on fire prevention is being provided to kindergartens in the city, but she said that given how busy teachers are, she doesn't know if they will have the time to present it.More from CBC P.E.I.
Investigators have arrested and charged a man in connection with the shooting of two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies earlier this month as they sat in a squad car, authorities said Wednesday. Attempted murder charges were filed against Deonte Lee Murray, 36, District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a press conference. Murray was arrested two weeks ago in connection with a separate carjacking and he was expected to be arraigned later Wednesday on charges in both cases.
During the last moments of her life, Joyce Echaquan called out her husband's name: "Carol, come get me."A live video was rolling on her phone as nurses entered her hospital room on Monday in Joliette, Que. One of them called her "stupid as hell," mocking Echaquan as she moaned in Atikamekw that she was being given too much medication.The 37-year-old died shortly after.Surrounded by family in his parents' backyard the following day, Carol Dubé could not comprehend how his wife ended up dying after being admitted into hospital on Sunday with a stomach ache."I have seven kids who don't have a mother anymore," Dubé sobbed, his son's hand on his shoulder.Echaquan's sister-in-law, Jemima Dubé, said Echaquan had posted several live videos during her stay in hospital, before the final one on the day of her death, because she didn't trust the medical staff.Echaquan's death has sparked renewed calls for the Quebec government to act on recommendations included in the Viens Commission's report, which examined problems with Indigenous treatment in public services, and was tabled on Sept. 30, 2019.Vigils were swiftly organized on Tuesday in Joliette, as well as in First Nations communities across Quebec, demanding "Justice for Joyce."Seeing these events occur one year after the publication of the report is a "sad coincidence," said Cedric Gray-Lehoux, spokesperson for the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Youth Network."It's one thing to know [racism] exists — it's another to see it be done so blatantly and with total disregard for the dignity of the person who is suffering," Gray-Lehoux said on CBC's Quebec radio show Breakaway.Premier denies systemic racism to blameIn his report, Justice Jacques Viens stated that Indigenous peoples in Quebec are victims of systemic discrimination when it comes to getting public services. He issued 142 calls to action to address the government's shortfalls, including in the health sector.On Monday, Premier François Legault offered his condolences to Echaquan's family, confirming a coroner's inquiry and that a workplace investigation will be held. But Legault stopped short of saying the incident reflected systemic racism. "I really don't think that we have this way of dealing with First Nations people in our hospitals in Quebec," said Legault.For Gray-Lehoux, denying the existence of racism within the public system despite a government report clearly stating the contrary "just makes it worse.""How can we believe that they're going to take the steps to go forward, if they're not even willing to see the issues?"The federal minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett, called the video "gut-wrenching.""If you can't utter the words systemic racism, then you're probably part of the problem," Bennett said on Tuesday, calling it "a terrible week for Canada."Little advancement for Indigenous womenTestimony at the Viens Commission highlighted discriminatory practices within hospitals and health-care services in Quebec.Viens found that "it is clear that prejudice toward Indigenous peoples remains widespread in the interaction between caregivers and patients."Ghislain Picard, the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), said the video Echaquan shared leaves little room for interpretation."We recognize the filthy prejudices that continue to exist today, like the one that we don't pay for anything and live on government handouts," Pïcard said.Some of those prejudices can lead to dire consequences, Viens concluded, including individuals and families sometimes avoiding medical care if they have had negative experiences in the past.Adrienne Jérôme, Chief of the Lac Simon First Nation and spokesperson for the AFNQL Council of Elected Women, said it is often women who end up being victims of systemic racism.That includes the women who first spoke out publicly about allegations of mistreatment by police officers in Val-d'Or in 2015, which led to the creation of the Viens Commission.One year later, Jérôme said the only action she's witnessed was a public apology François Legault offered to First Nations and Inuit peoples in October 2019."Except for apologies, has anything changed? Not really."Quebec's minister responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Sylvie D'Amours, said on Tuesday that 51 of the 142 recommendations from the Viens report currently have an action plan. "A call for action isn't that simple, it's a continuous process," D'Amours said during question period at the National Assembly, also offering her condolences to Echaquan's family.For Carol Dubé, the only thing he'll settle for is concrete change."What are we waiting for?" he asked. "More people, more victims?"
An Ottawa man says he missed out on a much-needed part-time job this summer because it took nearly two months to get a records check from the Ottawa Police Service.Efrem Berhe said he was offered a federal government job after graduating with a master's degree in April, but knew the security clearance would likely take months due to his extensive travel history. To make ends meet while he waited, he decided to do some part-time work.Berhe, who graduated from Western University with a degree in management and a specialty in international business, launched a startup providing career consulting to young people, but after a few months found it wasn't bringing in enough money."So I decided to do Uber on the side," Berhe said.> Beyond the financial, I think the [mental] stress was, I guess, harsher. \- Efrem BerheUber requires its Ottawa drivers to complete a one-time vulnerable sector check with local police — the same check required of anyone looking to work or volunteer in a position of authority, including prospective camp counsellors, doctors, school bus operators and taxi drivers.Berhe said he applied for his records online on Aug. 1. After weeks of waiting to get an in-person appointment to verify his ID, and after a call to his city councillor, Berhe finally got his check on Friday."It took me two months … to get my appointment. But it only took me less than five minutes to verify my ID — which I showed them through the glass windows," he said. "It was very frustrating." Berhe said he managed to get by financially with his startup and the Canada emergency response benefit, or CERB."Beyond the financial, I think the [mental] stress was, I guess, harsher," he said. "The stress of not being able to do something … especially having to wait to get services, I think was more frustrating."The Ottawa police website states that the service is currently scheduling appointments for online applications received in early May.When asked in early September about the delay, an Ottawa police spokesperson said in an email it was due to the station's "lobby capacity" and the need to comply with health regulations during the pandemic."We are scheduling appointments to minimize the number of people that would attend as 'walk-in.' This also prevents long wait times," wrote the spokesperson.In an email Monday, Ottawa police said "some in-person services have resumed in June, but records checks remain a service online and by appointment only."Berhe said Tuesday he's still waiting on his security clearance to begin his government job, which he hopes will happen "in the coming weeks."OPP wait times 4-6 weeksPeople living in regions outside Ottawa can get their records checked by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), who state on their website that wait times are four to six weeks.The service is also verifying IDs in person, after people apply for their checks online, OPP Const. Lori Lobinowich said Tuesday."It's changed but it hasn't changed," Lobinowich said, explaining that in the past, people had to go to their local detachment to start the process. Now, applicants are asked to go in person to verify their ID, only after the records check process is complete."We do have a delay as well. It's just in the processing," she said.
Donald Trump says he disagrees with the scientists who say a vaccine will not be widely available this year, and that it has become a political issue.