Spotted in Ottawa this turkey doing its best to catch this city bus.
Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan has struggled with his demons, recently taking time away from the NHL to get help for his alcohol addiction before rejoining the team in February.On Monday, Ryan was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for showing perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.In his acceptance speech, he talked about the ongoing work to overcome his addiction, and he encouraged others to reach out, as he has, for help.It's not the first time Ryan has spoken candidly about his struggles with alcohol.Now, his courage has inspired Gatineau's Becca Atkinson, 39, a public servant and mother who wrote an anonymous letter to the editor in March about her own alcohol addiction. This week, Atkinson retweeted that letter, but this time she revealed her identity. Atkinson talked about her decision with Robyn Bresnahan on CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning. Their conversation has been edited for length.Tell us why you wrote that original letter, and why you retweeted it with your name.I was so moved and touched by his honesty and his courage to come forward. And then with him winning this trophy, there was so much talk again around his courage and bravery. I just thought, why can't I be honest, too? What is stopping me? So I thought, I'm going to put my name to this and post it. And it felt so freeing. It felt really good. In your letter, you thanked Bobby Ryan and said, "We're part of a club no one wants to join, but we're pretty darn lucky to be a part of." Can you explain what you mean by that? The big misconception around alcohol addiction is that you're down and out. You've lost your job. You've lost your kids. You've lost your house. And that could be the case, but it wasn't for me. You end up learning so much about yourself. I'm proud of who I've become and I don't want to be quiet about it anymore. It's shaped me into what I think is a better human being. You're so proud of the work and the struggle you've done. But the irony is, we have to be quiet about it, because of the stereotyping around alcohol addiction. Can you tell me about the day that you decided to quit drinking?It was a long process. As I had kids, the thinking about stopping got more and more prominent because it was affecting my life with them. I was planning [everything around drinking]. I was cutting bedtime [routines] and reading at bedtimes short with them so I could go back downstairs and drink.I remember waking up after my grandmother's funeral and I was just so unbelievably hungover and I thought, how is this possible that I'm sick and hungover after a funeral? OK, I think I really have a problem. I was sick of that loop. Every single minute of my day was planned around drinking. But again, no one would look at me and think I had a problem. I had a marriage, a house, a job, my kids, everything was "fine." So that's what I wanted to do with this [letter]. You've no idea who it's touching. Alcoholism doesn't discriminate. > The fact my kids will never know me drunk is the best gift that I can give myself, and that I can give them. \- Becca AtkinsonHow did you stop? Did you get help? Yes. And I think that's the other part. We want to take away that shame around asking for help. Bobby Ryan got help and he openly talks about that. That's a personal journey for everyone. It just depends on what you need and how you want to go about it. I had incredible support from everyone around me. I found something that worked for me and that continues to work. It's an ongoing process. And I'll continue to do this for the rest of my life, because the second I stop paying attention to it, it's back in my life in a second. So I need to keep it as my number one priority.It's been three years since you quit booze. How has your life changed? I couldn't imagine going back to drinking now because my life has changed so much for the better. This is going to make me emotional. I have a relationship with my sister again. I have improved in every aspect of my life that I can imagine. I would never, ever drink again because I know how much better my life is now. The fact my kids will never know me drunk is the best gift that I can give myself, and that I can give them.How are those bedtimes now? How are those bedtime stories with the kids? Reading a story can still be painful, but it's much better. I look forward to having a coffee downstairs or eating ice cream and just watching my reality TV. But I'm present and I wouldn't change anything for the world. Now I feel everything, good and bad, which isn't always great. But I live my life now. I'm truly living my life now. What would you say to Bobby Ryan if you met him? Thank you. He's inspired me to step out of the shadow of shame. I'm really, really grateful for him. So thank you. I'm sure I'm not the only one he's inspired.
Several thousand people gathered Saturday in downtown Montreal to hear speeches from conspiracy theorists and anti-vaccine activists, in one of the largest demonstrations to date against the Quebec government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.The march began outside Premier François Legault's Montreal office, and at one point stretched more than six city blocks. It attracted people of all ages, and from a wide-variety of mindsets.Hare Krishnas marched alongside Christian fundamentalists and supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump. Others held signs about the 5G internet network, or perceived corruption at the United Nations. "I decided to come today to say 'enough,'" said Montrealer Andrée David, 75. "We've been manipulated enough."The most popular symbols at the protest — be it on t-shirts, placards or flags — belonged to QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory started in the United States that claims a satanic, pedophile cabal secretly controls the U.S. government, if not the entire world.QAnon was labelled as a national security risk by the FBI in 2019 after individuals began committing acts of violence based on the mistaken belief the theory is true. The march on Saturday culminated in a densely packed rally outside the Radio-Canada building. Speakers accused the government of over-reacting to the threat of COVID-19 and lying about the danger of the disease, which has killed nearly 5,800 in Quebec. Behind the stage, two men waved large QAnon flags."I accuse public health [officials] of manipulating the numbers since the beginning of the pandemic to justify bringing our economy to a halt," Jean-Jacques Crèvecœur, an anti-vaccine activist well-known in Europe, told the crowd. Other speakers included Stéphane Blais, who believes the pandemic is part of an "international coup" and Lucie Laurier, an actress best known for her minor roles in the Bon Cop/Bad Cop films. She has become the most recognizable spokesperson of Quebec's anti-mask movement.WATCH | Anti-mask protesters march in Montreal:Quebec struggles to curb infections Saturday's rally coincided with new police powers coming into effect in the province, which allow officers to fine people for refusing to wear masks inside public buildings.It is among several small, targeted measures that the Legault government introduced last week in an effort to check yet another rise in COVID-19 infections.After a period of several weeks where daily new cases in the province were around or below 100, the number of new cases began to rise in late August. On Saturday, 244 new cases were reported, the most since June 4.Geneviève Guilbault, Quebec's deputy premier, urged the demonstrators to follow as many public-health guidelines as possible despite their opposition to them."When outside, we ask people to stay two metres apart, and when that isn't possible, to wear a mask," Guilbault told Radio-Canada Saturday afternoon. "I understand it's an anti-mask demonstration, but the rules are for everyone, so we ask people to obey them."Little respect for health guidelinesBut many in the protest openly flouted the distancing guidelines. One man, wearing a leopard-print costume, offered "free hugs" to other participants.A 26-year-old man who travelled from the remote northern Quebec region of Abitibi-Témiscamingue said he refuses to wear the mask indoors because he is convinced a court will overturn any fine he receives."All humanity is in danger if we blindly obey these excessive rules," said another woman. Few who took part in the march were willing to be interviewed on the record, and those who did expressed open disdain for mainstream media outlets.Marie-Josée Bernard, a Montrealer and mother of three, said she preferred getting her news from a website run by a well-known QAnon advocate in Quebec.She said she followed government guidelines closely in the spring, but has since stopped listening to news conferences and does her own research about the disease instead."The threat is over," Bernard said. "Now I'm worried about my liberties."
TORONTO — Current and former international students called for changes to Canada's immigration rules on Saturday as they face a job market still recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.Dozens of demonstrators gathered at Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland's office in Toronto in the first of two events scheduled this weekend. A second event in Mississauga, Ont., is planned for Sunday.The students say the requirements for graduates to gain permanent residency in Canada are too strict, and economic disruption from the COVID-19 crisis has made those requirements essentially impossible to meet.Sarom Rho, an organizer with the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change who leads the Migrant Students United campaign, said the pandemic has compounded the difficulties international graduates face when entering the job market in Canada."During the COVID-19 crisis, millions of people in Canada have lost work and wages, but for migrant students there is an added cost," Rho said by phone ahead of Saturday's rally."Without jobs, students can't apply for permanent residence."Post-graduate work permits are not currently renewable and Rho said this puts graduates who have been laid off or unable to find work during the pandemic at extra risk.Graduates experiencing unemployment face deportation if they do not complete continuous, high-wage work before their permits expire, she noted. The group is calling on the provincial and federal governments to make post-graduate work permits renewable so graduates struggling in the COVID-19 job market will not be deported or become undocumented.An online petition calling on the federal government to address the issues international students face had attracted more than 18,000 signatures as of Saturday afternoon.It reiterates the key demands in the Migrant Students United campaign, including making work permits renewable."We call on the federal government to make immediate changes that support students during the new global reality we are in," the petition reads.It also says families of international students should be able acquire work permits, asks that tuition fees be lowered to be on par with domestic rates and says all migrants should be granted permanent status.Rho noted returning home is not an option for many graduates who come from countries that have been destabilized by economic devastation and other crises during the pandemic.She said delays in immigration processing times have also left current international students on study permits without social insurance numbers, leaving them unable to find work.These pressing concerns about students' futures could be avoided simply, Rho said.She said the weekend's demonstrations call for simple fixes to a "punitive" system that sets students up to fail as they work to stay in Canada after their studies."This could all be fixed if there were a simple fix like making the work permit renewable, and even simpler, granting status for all migrants," she said.Neither Freeland nor Immigration Minister Marco Mendocino immediately responded to a request for comment.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 12, 2020.Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press
As schools reopened bringing more people in close regular contact with each other, and with more than 1,000 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta, the province reiterated to the public this week how this virus is transmitted.As of Friday, Alberta's active COVID-19 case tally sits at 1,444. Meanwhile, three Alberta schools have already reported COVID-19 outbreaks as of this past Thursday. Public singing along with limited band practices are now allowed by the province with health regulations like physical distancing still in place.Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said on Friday she's heard many questions from the public about how COVID-19 is transmitted and why certain precautions to protect the public are in place."It's important we all understand how COVID-19 works," Hinshaw said on Friday.Respiratory diseaseBeing a respiratory illness, COVID-19 can be spread when people breathe, cough or sneeze, releasing tiny droplets of liquid into the air. If those droplets come from someone who has COVID-19, the virus can be inside those droplets and make other people sick if they end up in other people's mouth, nose or eyes.This is why Health Canada recommends people wear face masks and stay roughly two metres away from others when in public. When worn properly, even non-medical face masks can prevent infectious droplets from being spread to others, especially in crowded spaces where a two-metre distance from others isn't possible.Face masks have become mandatory this summer in indoor public spaces in Edmonton and Calgary for this reason, as well.The World Health Organization notes indirect contact, like contaminated objects and surfaces, can also spread COVID-19. People can become infected by touching these objects and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes. Frequently cleaning hands is also critical to stopping this spread.14-day incubation periodOnce the virus is inside your body, it can latch onto a cell inside your lungs. If enough of the virus latches onto and gets inside of the cells, they take over the cells and make copies of themselves.But this takes time, Hinshaw said."Our immune system will be trying to fight the virus, and a lot of copies need to be made before reaching a tipping point where someone has enough virus to be able to infect others," Hinshaw said.It takes five to eight days in most people for enough virus copies to be made that a person shows symptoms of the illness, Hinshaw said. But it can also happen sooner or take as long as 14 days.This is why people arriving in Canada are asked to quarantine for two weeks, and why people who are exposed to COVID-19 as a close contact must self-isolate for 14 days, monitoring for symptoms. "It is entirely possible that they have the virus and it simply hasn't made enough copies of itself to be captured by that PCR test that shows up negative," Hinshaw said.Anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms or who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days or until symptoms resolve, whichever takes longer.People aren't infectious for a full 14 days, but Hinshaw said when these people get sick within that possible 14-day incubation can't be predicted.Negative testsWhen someone shows COVID-19 symptoms but tests negative for the disease, they only need to isolate until their symptoms are gone. If you're already showing symptoms, COVID-19 should show up in the test."You just need to stay home until you are well enough to not get others sick with whatever is causing the illness," Hinshaw said.Health Canada notes that if you're tested too soon after COVID-19 exposure, there might not be enough virus in your body for an accurate result. So a test may come back negative even if you have the virus.Experts say the chance of receiving one of these 'false negatives' drops as time goes by after being exposed to COVID-19, but a high rate of false negatives could mean many COVID cases aren't caught.Symptom listHinshaw said on Friday that she's been asked why the province has such a long list of symptoms associated with COVID-19 and why kids with mild symptoms have to stay home from school.It's because COVID-19 affects people differently, Hinshaw said, leading to a wide range of symptoms.Some people can catch a fever from COVID-19 when their immune system tries to fight the virus, heating up the body's temperature. An inflammation occurs instead for other people when their bodies are fighting the virus."This is the reason that some people feel tired and achy, which is another symptom of COVID-19," Hinshaw said.Shortness of breath or pneumonia can come from COVID-19 too as small air sacs in the lungs are inflamed and could fill with fluid.This stops oxygen from reaching the blood and is why some severe COVID-19 cases require oxygen therapy or ventilators.A runny nose, sore throat, nausea or diarrhea along with other symptoms can also be signs of COVID-19.Even when someone has mild COVID-19 symptoms, a large number of copies can be made in their body, the disease can still be very infectious, and they might pass the disease on to someone who has a more severe reaction to it. People who aren't showing symptoms can also potentially spread COVID-19 as well."COVID-19 doesn't play favourites and none of us are immune. We can all spread it to each other, which is why we are all in this together," Hinshaw said.
VANCOUVER — Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Metro Vancouver, showing a very high risk to health due to wildfire smoke from Washington and Oregon.The agency advised people with underlying medical conditions or serious infections such as COVID-19 to postpone or reduce activities outside.It said people with heart and lung conditions are most affected by air pollution and the very high risk is expected to continue through at least Sunday in Metro Vancouver and elsewhere in British Columbia.However, smoke concentrations may vary widely across the Metro Vancouver area and the Fraser Valley Regional District as winds, temperatures and wildfire behaviour change, it said.The air quality health index ranks risk from low to high on a scale of one to 10, but the current risk goes beyond that level and is listed as 10-plus.Environment Canada meteorologist Armel Castellan said children, the elderly and pregnant women should avoid spending too much time outdoors to protect their health."As for the general population, otherwise healthy adults, we're actually recommending they reduce or actually straight up reschedule strenuous activities outdoors," Castellan said, adding that's particularly the case for anyone experiencing a cough or throat irritation.Residents in Metro Vancouver and beyond have smelled smoke from fires in the U.S. for days, with a fog-like haze continuing to obscure mountains on the North Shore and the sun giving off an eerie orange glow.Castellan said the wildfires meant Vancouver's air quality ranked as among the worst of the world's major cities on Saturday, along with that in Portland, Ore., and San Francisco.Dozens of people are still missing from wildfires across the U.S. Pacific Northwest, with authorities fearing that the receding flames could reveal many more dead across the blackened landscape.Showers expected in that region early next week are expected to help with firefighting efforts in Washington and Oregon but the news isn't so good for those battling enormous fires in California, Castellan said."It's going to do almost nothing for the California fires," he said, adding some winds without rain may make the situation worse.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 12, 2020.The Canadian Press
Among the witnesses of the fire that broke out at the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos was Canadian NGO worker Annie Petros. She helped migrants escape the area and get to hospital.
Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on Sunday defended the government's right to intelligence raids to prevent foreign interference, after China condemned searches on the homes of its journalists working in Australia. "Where (the Australian Security Intelligence Organization) has sufficient grounds for the execution of a search warrant, or for activities otherwise, then they'll undertake that activity," Dutton said on the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) television.
Six months after the federal government cancelled citizenship tests due to COVID-19, many immigrants say they fear a growing backlog in the citizenship queue will delay indefinitely their goal of becoming Canadians.Before the pandemic hit, the entire citizenship process took an average of 12 months. Now, applicants say they have no idea when in-person tests will resume — and they're calling on the federal government to hold online or physically distanced exams.Myrann Abainza came to Canada from the Philippines as a live-in caregiver in 2009 and was joined by her husband and two daughters six years later.Her family was on track to obtain citizenship when COVID-19 struck. Frustrated by the delay and a lack of information from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), she said the government should find a way of holding in-person tests that respect public health guidelines."If schools are reopening, why not?" she said."It is very important for me because I've been waiting for this for a very long time. It's my dream. It's my dream to become a Canadian citizen."IRCC's website states that as of March 14, all citizenship tests, re-tests, hearings and interviews are cancelled due to the pandemic. Citizenship ceremonies were also halted at that time but have resumed since as virtual events.IRCC told CBC News it is looking at alternatives to provide citizenship tests but offered no timeframe.Immigration department 'considering options'"The department is reviewing operations and considering options for resumption of services, which could include online citizenship tests," said department spokesperson Beatrice Fenelon.Tests and interviews are critical steps that must be completed before someone can become a Canadian citizen. Citizenship allows a newcomer the right to vote and obtain a passport, and also gives many a sense of security and permanent belonging.Basel Masri, who arrived in Canada as a refugee from Turkey after fleeing conflict in his home country of Syria, is one of those whose path to citizenship has been stalled by the pandemic.Like many of the citizenship applicants CBC contacted for this story, Masri checks the status of his application through an online portal every day — only to learn that his file is still "in process."Masri said much of his anxiety is due to a lack of information coming from IRCC."Is it going to be for two years now, the processing time? Nobody knows," he said."All the time you think about your application, you think about your passports, you think about your citizenship, you think about so many things. You think about your family."A push for online testsNow that IRCC has started virtual oath-taking ceremonies, Masri said it should be able to securely administer online citizenship tests.According to figures provided by IRCC, nearly 7,000 online oath ceremonies have been conducted since the pandemic struck, with more than 17,500 people being sworn in as new citizens.The department is now ramping the number of oath ceremonies and allowing multiple participants in each event, to reach a target of 2,000 new citizens per week. In 2019, an average of 4,738 new citizens were sworn in every week at in-person ceremonies, according to IRCC.Vancouver-based immigration lawyer Zool Suleman said the global pandemic has slowed down immigration processing times across the board.While in-person citizenship tests might be possible, he said, officials would have to take precautions to keep the test-takers and the staff administering the tests safe and comfortable.But delivering a virtual test would be even more challenging, since IRCC would have to verify the identity of the person taking the test and ensure that the answers aren't being provided by a third party.Many people have argued that if schools and universities can operate virtually, citizenship tests could also be held online. But Suleman said the stakes are particularly high with the citizenship test.Risks with virtual tests"I think an online test would be considered risky for Canada immigration because it leads to a very important right for people when they become citizens," he said. "So there would be some concern that there would be an abuse of any kind of non-secure process."Ottawa-based immigration lawyer Julie Taub said the technology is there to conduct virtual tests, but agreed that IRCC would need to take steps to ensure the integrity of the process."It's hard to find a foolproof way if you do it online to ensure they're not cheating," she said.Taub said many of the delays in the immigration process are caused by staff working from home due to the pandemic. She said that's led to much frustration among immigrants attempting to access services.Olga Lenchenko has been in Canada for six years. She arrived from Ukraine when her husband accepted a job as an accountant.Their citizenship test was scheduled for the end of March, then cancelled due to COVID-19.She said she has mixed feelings about the situation. She said she understands the health threat posed by the coronavirus but she feels the lack of movement on testing is unfair."It's been six months and we haven't received any updates. It is very hard emotionally to be in limbo," she said."We've been dreaming about the day we become citizens. Now, all the thrill is gone."
OTTAWA — Pro-gun activists marched in Ottawa on Saturday to contest what they describe as the "injustice and ineffectiveness" of the federal government's assault weapon ban.The Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights is behind the outdoor event on Parliament Hill, dubbed an "integrity march," to advocate for the rights of its members.The organization, which did not respond to a request for comment, said on its website the event was aimed at showing Canadians that gun owners are "your friends, colleagues and neighbours."In a post on its Facebook page, the group chided the federal government for its "ineffective and expensive" gun ban, saying Canadians don't support it.The Parliamentary Protective Service said roughly 800 people attended the event.In May, the Liberal government announced it would be banning a range of 1,500 types of assault-style weapons, which it says were designed for the battlefield — not hunting or sport shooting.Nathalie Provost, a survivor of the Polytechnique massacre and a spokeswoman for gun control group PolySeSouvient, said the objective of the federal government was not to penalize everyday citizens who take part in activities like hunting, for example."A hunter has the right to hunt. My family has hunters — there's no problem," Provost said. "What worries us the most is there is little gun control."Provost said she believes pro-gun activists are organizing the march because they are worried."They are worried about losing a privilege," she said. "I think they are very worried and they realize many Canadians want those weapons removed from the market."The Trudeau government announced in May that it is now banning the use, sale and import of assault weapons into Canada. The government has set up a buy-back program to take the guns out of circulation, but that program would be voluntary and not compulsory, which rankles gun control advocates."The tap that allowed the entry of new assault weapons is closed, but there are still quite a few in the pool," Provost said.Provost wants these types of weapons to disappear completely from the Canadian landscape."The worst horror scene of my life — it didn't last very long, but it killed six people. And (for) me, it's four bullets in my body," she said."It's maddening the speed at which these weapons destroy."For its part, the CCFR has challenged the constitutionality of the Trudeau government's ministerial order in Federal Court.It argues in its challenge that the banned rifles are weapons intended for hunting and sport shooting, since that is how their owners have used them for decades.The group argues that the new regulations, enacted by ministerial decree, are illegal and go beyond the scope of the powers conferred on the federal cabinet.A spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair defended the legality of the order, saying it came after months of public consultation."The use of an Order-in-Council is exactly the process the law provides for when it comes to classifying firearms," Mary-Liz Power said in an email. "The Conservative Party, under Stephen Harper, used orders in council to downgrade the classification of several dangerous weapons just before the 2015 election without any public consultation."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 12, 2020.The Canadian Press
With many teachers opting out of returning to the classroom because of the coronavirus, schools around the U.S. are scrambling to find replacements and in some places lowering certification requirements to help get substitutes in the door. The departures are straining staff in places that were dealing with shortages of teachers and substitutes even before the pandemic created an education crisis. Among those leaving is Kay Orzechowicz, an English teacher at northwest Indiana’s Griffith High School, who at 57 had hoped to teach for a few more years.
The provincial government has approved bans on single-use items for a handful of municipalities and plans to give communities across B.C. more power when it comes to outlawing plastics.Victoria, Richmond, Tofino, Saanich and Ucluelet have been given the green light to implement bans after each community passed bylaws against single-use plastics."[Those municipalities] have shown us local action can lead to real change, and lead to broader influence of public opinion," B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman announce Saturday.Heyman said the province is also looking at changing its community charter so municipalities can implement bans without the need for provincial approval — a move that would immunize local bylaws from legal challenges by plastic lobby groups.Victoria's ban on plastic bags, for example, was overturned by B.C. courts after it was challenged by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association for not having provincial approval."Every local government knows what's needed and what will work in their community, and they should be able to make decisions within certain consistent criteria that the government will lay out," said Heyman.Heyman said the changes will allow municipalities to ban single-use items like shopping bags, straws and foam takeout containers.Plastic action planThe announcement comes after a provincewide consultation for B.C.'s Plastic Action Plan that drew over 35,000 responses from residents, with Heyman saying the majority of them were in favour of single-use item bans to keep items from ending up in the ocean, on shorelines or in landfills.The B.C. government said it will also develop a legal framework that would allow for sweeping bans of items like straws across the province."People and businesses need to know what the rules are so they can adapt to them," said Heyman.Despite lobbyists taking issue with plastic bans in the past, Heyman said he does not expect further legal challenges."It was a narrow legal challenge. We've seen successful bag bans in other jurisdictions, even during the COVID-19 pandemic," he added.Expanding recyclingThe province said it will look to expand its recycling program, with items like plastic cutlery and stir sticks being recyclable by 2023The ministry is introducing a minimum ten-cent deposit on all beverage containers. Also, for the first time, milk and milk-alternative containers are scheduled to be added to the deposit and refund system.
Residents on Elena Court in Charlottetown say they weren't given any notice that some of their driveways would be blocked for road work.Elena Court is being repaved. While that work is proceeding, the city is installing fibre optic cables underground. The city had planned to use a special piece of equipment to install the cable that was less intrusive, but it broke on Thursday afternoon. Not wanting to delay the paving, crews changed plans."So we did have to revert to using a backhoe and digging a trench to install it," said Richard MacEwen, manager of the city's water and sewer utility.The decision to dig the trench was made late on Thursday afternoon, said MacEwen. The trench ended up blocking access to half a dozen driveways on the street, he said.Lyma Eldershaw lives in a building on Elena Court. She was given no notice that the building's driveway would be blocked. "When they went across the driveway, I was more afraid of maybe somebody needing an appointment or something because it did take a while for them to fill the driveway," said Eldershaw. "I really don't know any other way to get out of here."Cody MacDonald of JC Property Management, the company that manages three buildings on Elena Court, said he received no notice that the work was to get underway, and no warning of a trench.He said the unexpected construction complicated traffic in the area, and could have created a safety issue. "We've had the unfortunate circumstance where we've had fire trucks have to come to one of our buildings before," he said. "Elena Court is tight enough as it is."He said there is also an inconvenience to tenants "when they just randomly show up at home and don't have access to the driveway," he said. City acknowledges no notice was given The city said it didn't give residents any notice that their driveway might be blocked. "We did not send information out into social media about the change. So we apologize for that," said MacEwen. MacEwen said the driveways should have only been blocked for about half an hour. The city issued a traffic advisory stating that Elena Court would be torn up for paving on Friday, Sept. 11. MacEwen said that the broken equipment did set them back, but expects paving to be completed next week. More from CBC P.E.I.
A Calgary coffee shop has been ordered to comply with the province's COVID-19 regulations, months after it was ordered to suspend services due to breaking seating rules during the pandemic.In May, Purple Perk in Mission was ordered to close its patio and dine-in services after previously being warned about crowds on its patio. At the time, pandemic rules only permitted take-out service.The coffee shop's owner, Paul Overholt, was also criticized at the time for sending a Hitler meme to a doctor who expressed her concerns via email that his cafe wasn't following the guidelines.In an order dated Sept. 8, an Alberta Health Services officer wrote that he had observed that tables on the outdoor patio and inside the dining room of Purple Perk were less than two metres apart, and that customers were seated directly back-to-back and side-by-side in both areas.The coffee shop was ordered to remove as many tables and chairs as necessary to ensure there is at least two metres between each dining party.The patio has benches which are bolted to the ground, so the order said either physical barriers must be installed or seats must be clearly marked to ensure people sit at least two metres apart.The coffee shop owner must also complete the government's relaunch plan template, and provide details of all risk-mitigation measures that are being implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to be submitted to an AHS official for review. Purple Perk has until Sept. 14 to comply with the order.
A billboard on a busy part of Hastings Street in Vancouver supporting author J.K. Rowling's controversial views about gender identity was hastily covered over the day after it was put up.Amy Hamm, who lives in New Westminster and Chris Elston, a South Surrey resident, paid Pattison Outdoor, an arm of the Jim Pattison Group to put up the sign on Friday around 6:30 a.m. PTThey copied a similar sign that was erected in Edinburgh over the summer to support the famous author's claims that having individuals self-identify their gender could pose a threat to women and children who are not transgender."I don't think it's possible for women to defend their legal rights or even the definition of womanhood if anybody can say that they are a woman and it will be so," said Hamm, who also organizes gender identity ideology events through a group known as GIDYVR.The issue has been simmering in Vancouver, most notably when the City of Vancouver in 2019 pulled the funding for Vancouver Rape Relief, the country's oldest rape crisis centre, on the basis it discriminates against transgender women. Elston said it was important to him to put up the billboard, because people have misconstrued Rowling's argument."This is about safeguarding women's rights, safeguarding children, it's about free speech," he said. "J.K. Rowling has been cancelled."Elston and Hamm spent much of Saturday at the sign, which was splattered with paint overnight Friday, meeting with people who support Rowling but also those who say her views are hateful.They say their message does not deny the rights of transgender people."Women's rights are important and we need to stand up for them and it's not transphobic to do so," said Hamm.'Insidiousness of looking truly innocent'Antonia Allan, a Vancouver resident and photographer, said she was 'horrified' by the billboard in a city like Vancouver, which has a vibrant transgender community. She created an online petition to have it removed."It has the insidiousness of looking truly innocent but when it comes down to it, the support for J.K. Rowling is support for anti-trans feminism," she said.Posts Elston and Hamm put on social media about the billboard attracted criticism including Vancouver City Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung who tweeted that it was "meant to to stoke hate, exclusion and division."Morgane Oger, a transgender advocate and a former B.C. NDP provincial candidate, said the sign is a devious way to push a message of hate about gender identity although many people would not understand what it means."People have been using innocuous-looking signs of messaging in order to intimidate or in order to provoke people into reacting for too long and this is another one of these signs," she said. "The purpose of this sign was to harass the community, targeting them because of who they are and trying to get them to react through a message only they recognize."Sign lasted only a dayBy mid-afternoon Saturday, a work crew arrived and began covering up the billboard.Pattison Outdoor did not initially respond to requests to explain why it put up the sign or why it was taking it down.Elston and Hamm believe that the sign was taken down by Pattison because of complaints to the company.
TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian state TV on Saturday reported that the country’s authorities executed a wrestler for allegedly murdering a man, after President Donald Trump asked for the 27-year-old condemned man's life to be spared.State TV quoted the chief justice of Fars province, Kazem Mousavi, as saying: “The retaliation sentence against Navid Afkari, the killer of Hassan Torkaman, was carried out this morning in Adelabad prison in Shiraz.”Afkari's case had drawn the attention of a social media campaign that portrayed him and his brothers as victims targeted over participating in protests against Iran’s Shiite theocracy in 2018. Authorities accused Afkari of stabbing a water supply company employee in the southern city of Shiraz amid the unrest.Iran broadcast the wrestler's televised confession last week. The segment resembled hundreds of other suspected coerced confessions aired over the last decade in the Islamic Republic.The case revived a demand inside the country for Iran to stop carrying out the death penalty. Even imprisoned Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, herself nearly a month into a hunger strike over conditions at Tehran’s Evin prison amid the coronavirus pandemic, passed word that she supported Afkari.The International Olympic Committee in a statement Saturday said it was shocked and saddened by the news of the wrestler's execution, and that the committee's president, Thomas Bach, “had made direct personal appeals to the Supreme Leader and to the President of Iran this week and asked for mercy for Navid Afkari."U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the execution was cruel.“We condemn it in the strongest terms. It is an outrageous assault on human dignity, even by the despicable standards of this regime. The voices of the Iranian people will not be silenced," Pompeo tweeted.Last week, President Donald Trump tweeted out his own concern about Afkari’s case.“To the leaders of Iran, I would greatly appreciate if you would spare this young man’s life, and not execute him,” Trump wrote. “Thank you!”Iran responded to Trump’s tweet with a nearly 11-minute state TV package on Afkari. It included the weeping parents of the slain water company employee. The package included footage of Afkari on the back of a motorbike, saying he had stabbed the employee in the back, without explaining why he allegedly carried out the assault.The state TV segment showed blurred police documents and described the killing as a “personal dispute,” without elaborating. It said Afkari’s cellphone had been in the area and it showed surveillance footage of him walking down a street, talking on his phone.Last week, Iran’s semiofficial Tasnim news agency dismissed Trump’s tweet in a feature story, saying that American sanctions have hurt Iranian hospitals amid the pandemic.“Trump is worried about the life of a murderer while he puts many Iranian patients’ lives in danger by imposing severe sanctions,” the agency said.Amir Vahdat, The Associated Press
Smoke from U.S. forest fires blew in to Alberta on Saturday, prompting Environment and Climate Change Canada to issue air quality alerts for the southwest portion of the province.The alert said the smoke would cause poor air quality and reduced visibility for areas including Waterton Lakes National Park, Pincher Creek, Crowsnest Pass, and Cardston County. "If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health," the alert reads.Children, seniors and people with lung conditions are particularly at risk. Wildfires have killed multiple people and destroyed around half a dozen small towns and thousands of homes in the western U.S. this summer. Stephen Vallee, a senior meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said conditions are expected to worsen from moderate to high risk overnight Sunday before improving early next week. "Monday is still a little uncertain at this point, things should start to improve hopefully late in the day on Monday. It will be tough to know exactly at this point how much smoke is trapped near the surface. But with any luck, sometime late Monday, if not early Tuesday, a cold front will move through the province and clear out," he said.Alberta Health Services website suggests people should close outside windows and doors, avoid running air conditioners, and not using wood burning fireplaces while smoke advisories are in effect.If you must drive somewhere, keep windows and vents closed and run car fans on recirculate, AHS said. It's also best to reduce levels of physical activity to decrease inhalation of pollutants.Much of southwestern Alberta is currently under a fire ban. An up-to-date list of weather alerts is available on Environment Canada's website.
The grandson of U.S. President Warren G. Harding and his lover, Nan Britton, went to court in an effort to get the Republican’s remains exhumed from the presidential memorial where they have lain since 1927. James Blaesing told an Ohio court that he is seeking Harding’s disinterment as a way “to establish with scientific certainty” that he is the 29th president’s blood relation. The dispute looms as benefactors prepare to mark the centennial of Harding's 1920 election with site upgrades and a new presidential centre in Marion, the Ohio city near which he was born in 1865.
Crisis-weary residents of the Greek island of Lesbos and the thousands of migrants stranded there after this week's refugee centre fire are united by one thing - they all want to see the migrants moved off the island. Lesbos and other islands off the Turkish coast have been among the main entry points for migrants into Europe for years, peaking in 2015-16 when around a million people arrived in a seemingly endless stream of small boats. "One island cannot carry all of this burden," Dimitris Koursoubas, a senior official responsible for migration in Lesbos and the other northern Aegean islands told Reuters.
Students in three of Saskatchewan's major urban centres will have access to voluntary COVID-19 tests at school in the coming days, but some parents have mixed emotions about sending their kids to get swabbed.Last week, Saskatchewan's Health Minister Jim Reiter announced the on-site testing would commence in Regina, with Campbell Collegiate being the first school in the province to have kids tested on site. Donna Schell has a daughter set to start high school at Campbell this year. While she feels the province and Saskatchewan's Health officials have done a good job managing the pandemic, she's "on the fence" when it comes to the in-school test. Schell said one of the reasons she's hesitant is because the province has been unable to reach its goal capacity of 4,000 tests a day in a sustainable fashion. Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Scott Livingstone said last week while the authority could handle a single day of 3,000 to 4,000 tests, it does not have the capacity to sustain that level for a prolonged period of time. The SHA is currently in the process of recruiting lab staff to increase its capacity.Schell's worried that if her daughter decides to get tested, she may be taking tests away from people who are in greater need."There are going to be sick people out there who are going to need these tests," she said, noting high demand for drive-thru testing in Regina has created lineups. "I'd rather leave it for people that actually need the test, and not overload the labs and things like that that have to get those results back to people." Schell said communication between her family and the school division has been solid, and she's been kept apprised of the process and what is required of parents and families in terms of the consent form. Her daughter is nervous about the test, but they've done everything they can to ensure she has the information she needs to take COVID-19 seriously without being gripped by fear. They've already had discussions about the voluntary testing and said they want their daughter to be the one who makes the final decision.Alongside Campbell Collegiate, the province announced testing will also take place at Carlton Comprehensive High School in Prince Albert on Sept. 17 and 18 and at Holy Cross High School in Saskatoon on Sept. 17. While this will be the first round of testing in schools, Livingstone said the SHA does not anticipate a major spike in tests, nor has it been overly challenged when it comes to testing capacity so far throughout the pandemic. Joey White has two children attending Holy Cross, including a senior who has opted for in-classroom learning this year. White said he's feeling pretty good about the upcoming round of testing, as he feels schools should be monitored closely for COVID-19 as people start to re-converge.However, he said he'd like to see the effort targeted at students who are potentially higher risk. "The biggest concern I have is that they focus on the people who may be more prone to having it, or contracting it," he said, as a student who participates in a group activity outside of school may have a larger scope of contacts."People that do extracurricular sports. Hockey, baseball, that kind of stuff — outside of the school area — compared to people that are just coming home after school and just hang out at home."He said while he's feeling comfortable about the on-site testing, there has been some confusion around the return to school overall."Everything has been changing these last couple of weeks," he said. While he's still waiting to receive the consent form from Holy Cross, his son will be getting tested for COVID-19 once the process gets underway.Dr. Anne Huang is a former deputy medical health officer with the Saskatchewan Health Authority. She feels the province is making a "proactive" choice in implementing the voluntary testing at Saskatchewan schools. "We've heard lots about the need to have early diagnosis, because testing and diagnosis of a person infected with the Coronavirus early on allows us to implement public health isolation measures and contact-tracing earlier," she said. "That reduces further spread from an index case." Dr. Huang said school environments are at higher risk for transmission of the virus and the on-site testing will serve as a form of surveillance testing. While it's impractical to test every single individual at a school, this may allow health officials to have access to a decent sample population. "This serves as an early-warning system for our primary and secondary school system within Saskatchewan and similar methods have been deployed to contain and manage other communicable diseases as well," she said. Huang said she hopes to see the province expand in-school testing to rural communities as well, as while it makes sense to start in the major urban high schools, rural communities also need an early-warning system to help them contain any COVID-19 cases.
Pro-gun activists marched on Saturday to Parliament Hill in Ottawa to protest the government’s new "assault-style" gun ban unveiled in May. Protesters held boards saying “banning gun owners is lazy and dishonest.”