A Spruce Grove man confessed to his son that he suffocated the woman he'd been married to for nearly 55 years, then didn't tell anyone what had happened. Robert Joyes, 76, was originally charged with the second-degree murder of his wife Freda in May 2018. The charge was downgraded to manslaughter at a preliminary hearing and withdrawn altogether on Wednesday when Robert Joyes pleaded guilty in Edmonton's Court of Queen's Bench to neglecting a dead body by not contacting the medical examiner. He was sentenced to 18 months of house arrest by Justice Terry Clackson, as recommended by a joint submission from the Crown and defence. Robert Joyes was the primary caregiver for his 74-year-old wife who was confined to a wheelchair, had severe heart disease and suffered excruciating pain from rheumatoid arthritis and migraines that were treated by opioids. Following a surgery in 2017, she was no longer able to raise her head. Freda Joyes relied on her husband for trips to the doctor and giving her medication. She also received regular home care visits from health professionals. The couple had three sons, one of whom suffered brain damage at age one from post-meningitis complications and needed constant care from his parents until he died in 2015. When that happened, Robert Joyes began to drink heavily. His alcohol abuse worsened as his wife's physical state deteriorated. According to an agreed statement of facts, one of their sons visited his parents at their apartment on Mother's Day in 2018. That's the last time he saw Freda Joyes alive. Two weeks later, he came to the apartment to check on his parents and found his mother dead in her bed in an advanced stage of decomposition. His father was nowhere to be found. "During that time, he was grossly intoxicated," the court document states. "He understood the victim had passed away but did not want to report her death. "Instead, he kept drinking heavily while sleeping in the same bed as his dead wife." Robert Joyes was arrested for impaired driving on May 26, 2018, and for public intoxication the next day. No one knows exactly when Freda Joyes died. Her husband kept turning away home care workers by telling them they were going away and that everything was fine. Confession After Freda's body was found and the death reported, Robert Joyes confessed what had happened to his son. "Your mother didn't die in her sleep," Joyes told his son. "I suffocated her. She wanted it. She was in a lot of pain." His son insisted they go to the RCMP, where Joyes told an officer, "I put a pillow over her face." An autopsy was performed on May 30, 2018. At a preliminary hearing, the medical examiner, Dr. Bernard Bannach, testified that he concluded the cause of death was undetermined. Had it not been for Robert Joyes' confession, Bannach said he would have found the cause to be heart disease. Justice Clackson said that having reviewed the agreed statement of facts, he was confident Joyes likely would have been acquitted on the manslaughter charge, given the findings from the medical examiner. "One is not always sure about the mechanism of death, especially when there's a heart condition," Clackson said. Robert Joyes has undergone extensive treatment for his alcohol addiction and said he hasn't touched a drop since the death of his wife. "I fully understand and feel a lot of shame for what happened," he told the judge. "I realize my alcoholism was totally out of control. ... I have no excuses per se for what happened, other than I was so under the influence." He told the court he plans to spend the rest of his life sober, helping others who suffer from the same addiction. "Nearly 900 days ago, my client lost his best friend and partner of nearly 55 years," defence lawyer Anthony Oliver told the judge. "He clearly loved his wife who was literally on her deathbed." But, Oliver noted, "Our society can't function if you permit bodies to be left around."
Maggie, a two-year-old chocolate Lab, had been in three homes that didn't work out. Then the P.E.I. Humane Society decided to try something different.Jennifer Harkness, the society's development and communications manager, said that when Maggie arrived at the shelter, she was stressed and constantly barking, and it was hard for her to remain calm. > It was really that mental stimulation that she needed. \- Jennifer Harkness"She was so uncontrollable. It was easy to see how she was rehomed three times before," said HarknessBut when they began working with her, they saw a different side."We saw a lot of potential in Maggie. It was really that mental stimulation that she needed."She wasn't going to get in the typical home environment, so the society got in touch with Doug Stokely, a New Brunswick-based dog trainer who has been training police dogs for about a decade.Stokely saw the same qualities staff at the humane society saw."I asked for a couple of videos of her playing fetch and showing her hunt drive and her skills, and just talking with her [trainer] for five minutes, I basically knew that she is the type of dog that needed a job," he said."She has everything — rock-solid nerves, and just that drive and desire to work."'Exactly what we look for in a police dog'Maggie is with Stokely now, training and spending some time with his 19 other dogs, which includes a team of sled dogs.He has been working with her on her sniffing skills, and he said she is thriving in the environment."The reason dogs end up in a shelter, like Maggie, that's exactly what we look for in a police dog," he said.Dogs like Maggie aren't good at hanging around the house, said Stokely. They want to work.Staff at the humane society are thrilled Maggie has found a place."It just proves that taking the time to work with animals on what their needs are is so worthwhile," said Harkness.Maggie has been accepted into a K-9 training program, and Stokely is certain she will do very well, almost certainly ending up as a narcotics detection dog.More from CBC P.E.I.
Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer, and health minister Patty Hajdu commented on a recent report from the Toronto Star revealing that some areas of Toronto are seeing more than 10 per cent of COVID-19 tests coming back positive.
TORONTO — A student found at her high school prom with cocaine in her purse has failed to have her case thrown out as a violation of her rights. In convicting the young woman, Ontario court Judge Amit Ghosh said there was nothing wrong with the mandatory search that turned up the drug. "Despite the absence of reasonable grounds, the mandatory security search of bags at a prom is reasonable in all the circumstances," Ghosh said in his recent decision. "This was a voluntarily attended prom party." The teen, Maria Calabretta, was charged with possession in June 2019 when she went to her prom at a banquet hall in Vaughan, Ont. She had a two-gram bag of cocaine in her purse. Evidence was that Calabretta had bought an entry ticket that stated drugs and alcohol were prohibited. She stood in a security line at the hall while school administrators briefly checked bags and purses for illicit substances, alcohol or weapons. Men searched the male students' belongings, women the females'. About 300 students attended the prom and about half were younger than 18, court records show. The mandatory bag searches and hiring of off-duty officers, the school said, were to ensure the safety and security of attendees, not to investigate criminal activity. When it was her turn, Calabretta opened her purse for the vice-principal, who, after spotting a small straw inside that could be used for snorting a drug, found the baggie. The teen quickly admitted it was coke. At that point, the vice-principal alerted nearby paid-duty officers, who arrested her for possession. Calabretta argued at trial the mandatory searches were done without reasonable grounds in violation of the charter. She wanted the cocaine evidence thrown out. Ghosh, however, was having none of it. He noted a charter search violation occurs when a person has a "reasonable expectation of privacy." While the accused did have such an expectation regarding her purse, it was lessened given the situation, the judge said. Calabretta, he said, could simply have chosen to leave the prom to get rid of the drugs, and then returned. The off-duty officers were not involved in the search, he noted. It was not, he said, similar to a situation in which police stop a motorist and demand a breath sample or search the vehicle. In this case, the vice-principal testified the student could have refused to open her bag when asked, and would then likely have just been asked to leave. Any impact on her charter rights, Ghosh said, was "negligible at best." Calabretta's lawyer said his client would have no comment. This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Oct. 7, 2020. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
Fred Bergman hardly takes a breath as he rattles off the list of economic injuries.Most notably, there's the income losses for 500 people who work at the oil refinery in Come By Chance, N.L., many of them making salaries in excess of $100,000."But then, of course, there's all the spinoff jobs — the distribution facilities for wholesale bulk fuel dealers, the jobs in the distribution network at the retail gas stations," Bergman said, outlining the cascading effects if the refinery shuts its doors for good."You're probably talking at least 1,400 jobs lost in total, potentially more."North Atlantic Refinery Ltd. said this week it's considering all options, including cutting costs, before ending operations. Irving Oil, which had been considering buying the refinery, recently walked away from a deal, leaving the company floundering.If its owners can't find a solution, the closure would be the latest hit to Newfoundland and Labrador's embattled oil industry, which has seen multiple delays in expansion and exploration projects in the last year.Fallout would spread to other sectors, too, said Bergman, a senior policy analyst for the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council."You're getting crude oil coming in.… You're getting import jobs, you're getting jobs in the transportation sector. Then you're getting refined product going out," he explained.Nearby retail stores can expect a dip in sales, as out-of-work residents tighten spending. As a result, the provincial coffers can expect to take a hit, too."You're going to get a loss of personal income tax, corporate tax, sales tax," he said.Those sources of income for the government — adding up to about $50 million or $60 million — "would be gone, effectively."The refinery makes up about one per cent of the provincial gross domestic product, according to Bergman. Its loss would further slow an already-sluggish offshore industry hit by delays and uncertainty following global oil market volatility this year.The ripple effect would be smaller in comparison with offshore setbacks, he said, "but certainly, it would add to the woes of the oil and gas industry in Newfoundland and Labrador."Another blow for the provinceLooking at the situation optimistically, he said, oil refineries everywhere — not just at home — appear to have a limited life span.Demand for fuel products could see a broader slowdown globally with more economies pushing for net-zero emissions, said Bergman, pointing to two refinery closures in Nova Scotia, the latest in 2013. "It does happen," he said.But if the Come By Chance refinery does close, it offers a new set of future problems: what to do next."Obviously there's environmental cleanup," Bergman said, and associated costs.The lack of refined fuels also means buyers must import: there's no longer a local option."That's a deduction from GDP. It doesn't really add to GDP anymore," he said"You have to get the fuel from somewhere. People still need to drive their cars, planes still need to fly, boats still need to sail."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
"I've had so many people write me letters saying, 'Thank you so much,'" said Hilton, 39, who said she did not speak to her parents for 20 years because they sent her to Provo Canyon School in Utah. In the documentary, which premiered on her YouTube page this month, Hilton alleges she was mentally and physically abused, placed in solidarity confinement for hours at a time and forced to take unknown medications. Hilton said she was sent to Provo and several other schools for troubled teens after years of rebellion.
Ontario could be "on the brink of disaster," a Toronto epidemiologist said Wednesday, as officials continued to urge families to scrap Thanksgiving gatherings amid soaring COVID-19 cases.This week, the province — and public health officials in the hot zones of Toronto and Ottawa — stressed the safest way to celebrate is with only members of your own household.Should Ontarians not heed those warnings, some weekend gatherings could become superspreading events once infected attendees return to their homes, schools and workplaces, said Dr. Jeff Kwong, a professor of family medicine and public health at the University of Toronto."It's not just about this one transmission event; it's the onward transmission," he said. "Ten people gathering, say four or five get infected, then they go on to their social circles and infect another five or 10, and so on."The result could be like a "runaway train" given the millions of residents potentially congregating indoors with extended family members from different households, he said.Ontario is experiencing a seven-day average of more than 600 cases per day, up sharply from a seven-day average of fewer than 100 cases per day at the start of August.The province has also been struggling to tackle high demand for testing and an existing backlog of more than 55,000 tests. Most contact tracing efforts in Toronto have been suspended because of the dramatic rise in infections.Against that backdrop, Ontario officials are now encouraging household-only celebrations for Thanksgiving while saying people who live alone can pair up with one other household.Activities now 'much higher risk'Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford said residents let their guard down on previous holidays, such as Labour Day weekend, which led to increased cases.But there are several stark differences between those earlier festivities and Thanksgiving, Kwong said. Unlike the long weekend holidays of spring and summer, Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated indoors given the colder weather. Also, it often marks the first time college and university students return home from campus, and it now falls against a backdrop of already-rising cases."Things are a little bit out of control already," he said. "It's not like cases are going down steadily like they were earlier in the summer."Dr. Irfan Dhalla, vice-president of physician quality at Unity Health, which includes St. Michael's and St. Joseph's hospitals in Toronto, agreed the climate has changed."The same activities that we could do with relatively low risk at 50-70 cases per day are now much higher risk at 500-700 cases per day," he said.One park gathering, 27 casesAccording to Dr. Vera Etches, medical officer of health for Ottawa, even outdoor dinners aren't advised for Thanksgiving, given the risks tied to close contact in settings like a park.One outdoor gathering in that city already wound up becoming a superspreading event, she said.It was a barbecue in a park, Etches revealed last month, with 40 attendees, including two who went on to develop COVID-19 symptoms. Those infections led to outbreaks in their households, a workplace and a daycare — causing dozens of exposures and at least 27 cases. The messaging throughout the pandemic has long been "outdoors is better than indoors," said University of Toronto epidemiologist Ashleigh Tuite, but she stressed that only goes so far."I think the concern is still, you're eating a meal together, it's hard to keep a distance," she explained. "You're sharing food. You're passing dishes."Thanksgiving a 'potent accelerator' Experts say there are ways to avoid those risks while still celebrating the spirit of the occasion. Tuite said a family hike, if physical distancing is maintained, is one option. Kwong said he's carving up a turkey, offering curbside pickup for family and gathering online for the meal. The challenge, both agree, is people trying to gather together like usual and slipping up once food and drinks start flowing.With that in mind, Kwong issued a public plea for Ontarians, and particularly those in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel region, to cancel any planned gatherings."We are on the brink of disaster," he said in a tweet on Wednesday.WATCH | Canadians confused by advice on Thanksgiving celebrations Toronto warns of spring peakIn Toronto, where medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa is also calling on residents to celebrate Thanksgiving with only their own household, there's growing concern about rising case counts beyond just the holiday.The city's latest modelling shows without further public health interventions — like month-long restaurant and gym closures de Villa is requesting from the province — the spread of COVID-19 throughout October could exceed the April peak. "If the virus is left unchecked, heading into November, things can get much worse," she said. "Infections continue to rise week over week, peaking between early March and early May 2021."When asked when the city will know if Thanksgiving gatherings caused even more infections, de Villa's answer was blunt: "I hope we don't get there."
Authorities are continuing to search Lake Ontario for a missing sailor from Oakville after the U.S. Coast Guard found his boat without him three kilometres off Rochester, New York on Wednesday.The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ont. said in a tweet that "poor weather and high waves" are making the search difficult.Halton Regional Police said they believe Eric Quimby, 65, left the Oakville Club marina on Tuesday at about 10:40 a.m. in his 30-foot sailboat for a recreational trip to the Stoney Creek, Ont. area.Quimby is said to be a long-time member of the club and that he likes to get out on the water as often as possible. He also likes to go out alone."Quimby is a skilled sailor with more than 30 years' experience and makes this trip often," police said in a news release on Tuesday.Police said they were contacted on Tuesday evening when Quimby did not return home. He is believed to be the only person on board the boat, which is equipped with a motor. The boat has a red and white hull.Quimby was not on board the boat when it was discovered adrift by a concerned citizen out on the lake. The person said the boat looked suspicious and called the U.S. Coast Guard, which towed the boat into Rochester, where it remains.Halton police said the sailboat was "unoccupied."The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre has taken the lead on the search, which involves two Hercules aircraft, one from Canada and one from the U.S., and a Griffin helicopter. Halton police said the search is now in U.S. waters.Halton police said its marine unit is working with marine units from Peel Regional Police, Toronto Police Service and the Canadian Coast Guard.There are also volunteer coast guards helping in the search.Quimby is described as white, five-foot-10, 220 lbs., with a medium build, short blond hair and blue eyes.When he left on his trip, he was wearing a white t-shirt, a dark sweater and red shorts. He is believed to have more clothing on the boat, including sweaters and wind breakers.Anyone with information is urged to call police immediately.
Bold policy actions taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic were needed but will make Canada's economy and financial system more vulnerable to economic shocks down the road, the governor of the Bank of Canada said on Thursday. Tiff Macklem, speaking by video conference to a financial risk management group, said Canada came into the pandemic with a number of vulnerabilities and that it "seems certain" the country would exit with higher levels of government debt.
TORONTO — A "Battle of the Blades" executive producer says a woman from the show's team who tested positive for COVID-19 is in self-isolation in Toronto with no symptoms, and the creators are confident the case is isolated and production can resume next week. Lindsay Cox, who is also senior vice-president at Insight Productions, says they can't reveal the woman's name or her role on the upcoming sixth season of the televised skating competition due to privacy issues. But Cox does say the woman was tested for COVID-19 on Monday through a private testing agency on-site, as part of the production's regular pandemic protocols. The result came back later that evening and Cox says they notified the appropriate parties and used contact tracing on the woman, who was already alone at the time the positive test result came in. Cox says anyone who had been in contact with the woman is now isolating, has not tested positive and is not symptomatic. "We feel very confident that we have isolated this," Cox said in a phone interview, noting their intention is to go back into production on Tuesday. Insight Productions revealed the case on Wednesday, noting it's halting preparations and training for the show as a "precautionary measure" to ensure the safety of cast and crew, who Cox said "are truly being responsible" about the situation. CBC, which airs the show, said it supports the decision and will postpone the planned Oct. 15 premiere. The network said it will share scheduling updates as soon as possible. Cox said the woman is abiding by Toronto Public Health guidelines for self-isolation and is not to go outside, except for a medical appointment, if required. Producers are monitoring her health and ensuring that a doctor speaks to her regularly. "The person who tested positive will not be returning until following quarantine, but then will be returning to the show, and we are confident she'll remain asymptomatic," Cox said. "Anyone who was in touch with her who is in isolation also will not return until all the guidelines have been followed, and as testing continues to show negatives coming back." "Hockey Night in Canada" personality Ron MacLean hosts "Battle of the Blades," which returned to the CBC last year, nearly six years after it left the air. This year's instalment of the celebrity on-ice contest has already started training and filming interviews with COVID-19 protocols at the CAA Centre in Brampton, Ont. Video screens in the arena will show a virtual audience watching and reacting to the live performances from their homes and communities. Olympic ice dance champion Scott Moir, hockey champion Natalie Spooner and professional skater Elladj Balde are this season's judges, alongside world champion figure skater Kurt Browning as "elite battle expert." The live-competition series sees hockey players and figure skaters pairing up to perform on-ice dance routines for an audience and judges, with the winners getting $100,000 in prize money that they donate to charities of their choice. The production administers COVID-19 tests either daily or twice weekly, depending on the department, said Cox, noting they have "very strict" protocols and guidelines to ensure safety on set. The private testing agency sends the results to a lab and usually gets the results back within the same day, she said. The production works with doctors, a wellness director, a COVID-19 compliance officer and other experts. Other pandemic protocols on set include temperature checks, masks and pods of people to limit contact. For instance, each hockey player and figure skater pair is in a contained pod with a coach and choreographer, who don't work with any of the other teams. This season has eight pairs of 16 skaters: Violetta Afanasieva and Anthony Stewart; Meghan Agosta and Andrew Poje; Jennifer Botterill and Eric Radford; Jessica Campbell and Asher Hill; Meagan Duhamel and Wojtek Wolski; Carlotta Edwards and Kris Versteeg; Vanessa James and Akim Aliu; and Kaitlyn Weaver and Bryan Bickell. This isn't the first Canadian production to be derailed by COVID-19 concerns. In August, two people involved in the St. John's-shot television series "Hudson & Rex" tested positive for the virus. Cox said Insight Productions has been evolving its COVID-19 protocols as things change with Health Canada, and it is now looking at further ways to reduce contamination between departments. It is also working closely with the wardrobe department to figure out ways to ensure the skaters' masks stay on their faces while they're on the ice. "There have been moments where they fall off, they slide down, so we're working really closely with how we can create new technologies such as glue-on technology, how masks can get affixed into hair," she said. "We are looking at that really, really closely and determining what's required for the on-air performances." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2020. The Canadian Press
New Brunswick health officials have identified potential public exposure to COVID-19 at the Moncton Costco Optical Centre and Moncton St-Hubert restaurant.Both sites are popular with Prince Edward Islanders and Nova Scotians making day trips to shop in the Moncton area.The news led P.E.I.'s chief public health officer to issue a statement late Wednesday."Out of an abundance of caution, Islanders who accessed services at the Costco Optical Centre or St-Hubert Restaurant in Moncton since Thursday, October 1 should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19," said the news release from Dr. Heather Morrison. "Islanders who are experiencing symptoms should immediately visit a drop-in testing clinic to be tested."The public health warning came from Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, as she and Premier Blaine Higgs gave a grim update on the province's latest COVID-19 outbreak. They confirmed 17 new cases of COVID-19 amid efforts to contain the outbreak identified Tuesday at the Manoir Notre-Dame special care home in Moncton.Russell said 13 residents, four staff and two family members have now tested positive for the coronavirus, up from two residents whose illnesses were announced a day earlier.New Brunswick now has 20 active cases in the Moncton region and two in the Saint John region.As of a briefing on Tuesday morning, P.E.I. still had three active COVID-19 cases. Word of the possible exposure locations in Moncton comes as Prince Edward Island prepares to sign on with the COVID Alert contact notification app, as of Thursday morning. Meanwhile, despite the increase in cases in New Brunswick, a spokesperson for the Nova Scotia government said the province has no intention of changing its border protocols at this time. More from CBC P.E.I.
The residents of a Mississauga, Ont., neighbourhood say they’ve been fighting a rat infestation for years and want city council to do more, including providing rebates for traps or exterminators.
North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis says he made a mistake by taking off his face mask indoors last month at a White House event. Many attendees — including Tillis and President Donald Trump — later tested positive for COVID-19. The senator, who has been a strong supporter of wearing masks in public, was wearing one outside at the White House Rose Garden on Sept. 26, when Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.
In a business where family tradition tends to matter, Chris Fletcher stepped up Wednesday to follow in his grandfather's footsteps to lead production of the Jack Daniel’s whiskey brand. The Tennessee distillery introduced Fletcher as master distiller for the flagship brand of Kentucky-based Brown-Forman Corp. Fletcher spent six years as assistant master distiller and assumes the top role following Jeff Arnett's departure after 12 years leading the distillery. Fletcher, 39, is the grandson of former Jack Daniel's master distiller Frank Bobo, who served in the role for more than two decades until retiring in 1989.
The bullying of Saskatchewan teenager Brooke Boutilier began with little things like being left out of her friends group and not being invited to sleepovers.Her mom Tenille hoped it was a passing thing that would go away.It didn't. It got worse."It escalated and ramped up quite quickly," Tenille Boutilier told The Morning Edition's Stefani Langenegger.There were calls in the middle of the night and notes left on her car urging Brooke to kill herself."Within a year it became a lot of online stuff. And at the worst of it, it became a group chat called the I Hate Brooke Club."Brooke and her family's cyberbullying experience is part of a new documentary by Telus Originals called Dark Clouds.The film follows anti-bullying advocate Carol Todd, whose teenage daughter Amanda committed suicide in 2012, as she connects with other parents, victims of bullying, academics, experts and anti-bullying advocates across the country.The film is being released in conjunction with the eighth anniversary of the Amanda's suicide and in support of Mental Health Awareness Month.Tenille said Brooke's bullying came from kids she had known since elementary school."She was coming to us every day and crying and we weren't really sure what to do," Tenille said. "We kind of were hoping for the best and just honestly wishing for things to go away. And then when it became online, then it was so out of our control and as a parent, I had to intervene."Tenille said they engaged the school, other parents and the police."I would tell every parent," she said. "Looking back, the more people you have involved, the better. I wish I would have gone to the school earlier and to other parents earlier and just put a stop to it and not wished it would just go away on its own."She was persistent about getting answers and action."It kind of was our experience that when we did go for help, we didn't get the best answers at first," Tenille said."Initially the kids, her peer group, didn't step forward and stand up for her. So we had some backlash for that. But we kept going. We kept going until we got the answers we wanted and that we needed for the best for our kid and for all the kids moving forward."Tenille hopes the documentary will help other families dealing with cyberbullying."You don't just give up and think this is what you're being told. As adults will say, you know, 'It's girls being girls.' It's not," she said."That is not how children should act. And they clearly need skills to be helped too because they're hurting in some way." Tenille said there are actions you can take like documenting the harassment, getting counselling for your child and the family, seeking help from friends and family, being an advocate for your child and always keeping the lines of communication open with your child.Tenille said Brooke, who is now in nursing, has become a strong, independent woman."This kid is so strong and represents everything that I would have wanted to be. And we're just so proud of her," Tenille said. "She's done so much for the community."She makes such a difference in our world."The documentary Dark Cloud will be available for free on demand on Telus Optik TV this Saturday.
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Facebook has reversed its decision to prevent a seed company in Newfoundland from using a photo of a pile of onions, which the social media giant had deemed "overtly sexual." Jackson McLean, the manager of Gaze Seed Co. in St. John's, said Facebook approved the online advertisement on Wednesday after he asked for a review of the ban. McLean said he was setting up ads for the onion seeds when he got an error response back from the site. "A couple of them came back with errors, and I looked into it further to see what the error was, and for the onion photo it said that it was overtly sexual," he said. McLean said there was nothing sexual about the ad for the Walla Walla sweet onion seeds. A photo on the packaging shows several whole onions piled in a wicker basket and a few sliced onions in the foreground. "There was something about the round shapes being next to each other that set off some trigger," he said McLean thought it was funny and decided to post a couple of screenshots. "I knew that our Facebook audience would get a kick out of it as well," McLean said. He said the other error that popped up was for Little Marvel peas, which were flagged as promoting alcohol consumption. McLean said while he actually hasn't heard anything back from Facebook, he figures the problem could lie with its algorithm. "They might have to do some tweaking there, because there is nothing about the peas that has anything to do with alcohol," he said. "I haven't heard it from anyone from Facebook at all . . . we can only guess." Meg Sinclair, head of communications for Facebook Canada, blamed the company's filtering technology. “We use automated technology to keep nudity off our apps, but sometimes it doesn’t know a Walla Walla onion from a, well, you know," Sinclair said. "We restored the ad and are sorry for the business's trouble.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2020. The Canadian Press
REGINA — Leader Ryan Meili has promised the Saskatchewan New Democrats would build a new surgery and outpatient centre in Regina if elected in the Oct. 26 provincial vote. Some of the services the $60-million facility would provide would include surgery, diagnostic imaging and outpatient cancer care. Meili says the centre would help take pressure off hospitals and reduce wait times. He says it would also stimulate the economy by creating construction jobs during building and permanent employment once it was running. Meili, noting the Saskatchewan Party promised a similar facility in 2012, criticized the government's inaction on health-care investments. The New Democrat say people don’t have to settle for long surgical waits and austerity. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2020. The Canadian Press
The City of Ottawa is set to extend its contract with the company that runs its pay-and-display parking meters for another five years despite a "sour" relationship that marred the first decade of the agreement.The chair of transportation committee, Coun. Tim Tierney, said Wednesday the deal would be good for the city and avoid reigniting disputes that could lead to a "costly legal battle.""Although the relationship went very sour for a number of years, since 2016 the willingness of our new staff in parking services to address these differences led to the proposed resolution before us today," Tierney said.Precise ParkLink Inc. approached the city in 2007 with a proposal to replace old coin meters with 720 new machines now found on sidewalks and in parking garages.> 'I don't love it. We've had a precarious relationship with this group and we're recommending a five-year extension.' \- Coun. Diane DeansThe city was drawn to the company's guarantee that on-street parking revenues would grow by 25 per cent, or an estimated $1.7 million a year.But revenues never increased by that amount, and the company had to pay the city $9.7 million over the first five years of the contract to make up the difference. After that, Precise ParkLink gave the city credit worth $5.9 million toward the $12.7 million worth of parking equipment. Disputes began almost immediately, especially over how revenues were calculated for meters near construction zones.5 more years City staff described how they reset the relationship with Precise ParkLink, then spent the past few years figuring out how to resolve disputes and come to new terms so the contract could be extended by another five years to 2026. "We're confident we're well past those issues," said the city's parking manager Scott Caldwell.The agreement, which has been reviewed and approved by outside consultants, includes refurbishing the machines and takes construction into account when calculating projected revenues.What it doesn't account for, however, is a drop in paid parking due to the pandemic, a shortfall Precise ParkLink will still be expected to make up."I see why you're recommending it, but I don't love it," said Coun. Diane Deans of the deal. "We've had a precarious relationship with this group and we're recommending a five-year extension."In 2019, the City of Ottawa collected $17.1 million in parking revenues, including $8.8 million from 3,862 paid spaces on streets and $8.3 million from 2,776 spaces in parking garages and lots.City council still needs to give its OK to the contract on Oct. 14.
The Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) council wants to craft its own face-covering bylaw to allow for local enforcement - and fines. “What is concerning and why I think we need this bylaw is that I have received several emails from people who are concerned that specific businesses in town are not requiring employees to wear masks at all times when they're in the public space, which is in direct contradiction of the medical officer of health’s order,” said TBM Mayor Alar Soever. In September, Grey County considered issuing a county-wide bylaw on face coverings but later shelved the idea citing it would be too difficult to enforce and that the bylaw may put a strain on the lower-tier municipalities' bylaw staff.
Premier Doug Ford on Wednesday urged Ontarians to only sit down for Thanksgiving with the people you live with or if you live alone, you can pair up with only one other household. Ford stressed he recognizes it would be “very tough,” but after COVID-19 case numbers spiked following the August Civic Holiday, it shows the need to keep contacts low.