Norman Lear looks back at his career and favorite quote: 'Just another version of you.' (Oct. 2)
Norman Lear looks back at his career and favorite quote: 'Just another version of you.' (Oct. 2)
A historic meeting between Israel's prime minister and Saudi Arabia's crown prince has sent a strong signal to allies and enemies alike that the two countries remain deeply committed to containing their common foe Iran. Last Sunday's covert meeting in the Saudi city of Neom, confirmed by Israeli officials but publicly denied by Riyadh, conveyed a coordinated message to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden that Washington's main allies in the region are closing ranks. It was the first publicly confirmed visit to Saudi Arabia by an Israeli leader and a meeting that was unthinkable until recently as the two countries do not have formal diplomatic relations.
WinSport is opening its season on Friday for a year unlike any other — but for now, only pass holders will be allowed to participate."No walk-up or day tickets will be available, at least for the foreseeable future," said Dale Oviatt, senior manager of communications for WinSport. "[At least] until we can get a start on things and see how our processes are working."Pass holders are required to book times online with WinSport's reservation system as the organization seeks to control the capacity on the hill.The organization is also seeking to keep numbers down in indoor spaces. When guests arrive, they are asked to put their masks and equipment on and proceed directly to the hill."If you've decided to bring your own lunch, or you just want to warm up, just pop back out to your car, and use that for your items as well," Oviatt said.WATCH | Learn how venues like WinSport's Canada Olympic Park keeps ski runs open and in tip-top shape, even during iffy weather conditions:With the new restrictions announced this week by the Alberta government, Oviatt said WinSport is not allowed to operate warming areas.The hill's food court area will be open, but will follow restaurant guidelines."So, not a lot of indoor space," Oviatt said. "That's why we want you to use your car as your day lodge."Increased security will be onsite, but Oviatt suggested guests not bring valuables to the hill. In a typical season, WinSport sees families come out to watch kids participate in lessons. That will be changed due to the pandemic."We're not allowing any foot traffic or spectators anywhere on snow," Oviatt said. "That's just to keep the physical numbers down on the hill."The organization is requesting guests review all of the hill's COVID-19 protocols before visiting.The tube park at the facility is scheduled to open Dec. 19.
People seeking to trade urban living for an idyllic cottage on the lake are getting sticker shock as properties get snapped up within days of going up for sale — sometimes at 70 per cent above the asking price. "It's pretty crazy," said Chris Brent, who has been trying to buy a property southwest of Arnprior, Ont.He said he's been clicking on property listing sites "hourly, it seems like." Last week, Brent said he got an appointment to see a property two days after it went up for sale, only to find out it was sold before he could get there.> You just gotta be ready to go in and throw money it seems.> > \- Chris Brent, prospective buyer"The agent called me at seven o'clock [at night] the day after it was posted and told me it had sold for $100,000 over asking," said Brent.The property was listed at $369,000. Bidding wars are leading to final sales of 50 per cent or higher than the original asking price, according to Ottawa real estate agent Patrick Kelly.Last weekend, Kelly sold a three-season lakeside cottage near Perth, Ont., for about 70 per cent above asking. It was listed at $349,000, and sold for "an astounding $592,000," after 41 visits and nine offers, he said."Never have I seen that before," said Kelly, an agent with Sutton Group in Ottawa.Buyers taking risksKelly said buyers are competing against others willing to pay over asking price, and making offers without conditions that normally protect them, forgoing home and septic inspections.> People have really thrown caution to the wind which I haven't seen in my career thus far. \- Patrick Kelly, Agent at Sutton Group"People have really thrown caution to the wind which I haven't seen in my career thus far, until 2020," said Kelly.Waterfront property can include restrictions, for instance, that make the cost of replacing a septic system cost prohibitive, he warns. Title issues may not be settled, and legacy properties can sometimes include some surprises. "There can be some real scary 'grandpa-built-this-cottage' structural issues," said Kelly.He advises people do their homework as much as possible — from making sure the property isn't in a flood zone to understanding how far the nearest grocery store is.WATCH | Agent says demand shot up and properties selling far above asking price:Will values stick? Prices in cottage country across Ontario have seen a 20 to 25 per cent jump on year-over-year average prices in October, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)."Cottage country is just going ballistic," said Shaun Cathcart, the senior economist for CREA. "People maybe thinking, 'well, if I don't have to commute anymore, I can go live lakefront and work on satellite internet,'" said Cathcart. "Whatever it is, it's really, really taken off."WATCH | Economist says many people spending more time at home, leading to huge demand for real estate:While Kelly says it's not completely clear whether the homes that go for over asking price will retain their value, Cathcart is more optimistic.Cathcart said the ability to work remotely is likely going to stick around for a while, and the new circumstances mean recreational properties have been undervalued.In the meantime for buyers like Chris Brent, just getting in to see a property remains a challenge. "We went to another house that was booked for two days solid before they even accepted bids," said Brent. "So if you're against that competition, man, you just gotta be ready to go in and throw money it seems."
Ontario resident Madelyn MacNeill considered herself healthy and didn't expect to be rushed to hospital for emergency surgery while visiting her parents in Nova Scotia this past summer.Nor did she expect the almost $13,000 bill for ground and air ambulance transportation that arrived weeks after she returned to Ontario."When I opened up the bill and saw it was $12,800, my jaw dropped. I was in quite a bit of shock," the 27-year-old said. "I can't afford to pay that amount of money all upfront. It boggles my mind."MacNeill has been offered an interest-free payment plan of $50 a month. She figures it will take her 21 years to pay off the bill.Back in June, MacNeill, who lives in Toronto, was working from home and hadn't seen her family for a while. She figured she'd drive home to Nova Scotia, self-isolate for 14 days and continue to work out there, while also enjoying some family time.However, on the last day of isolation, MacNeill experienced back problems. Days later, an ambulance was required to take her to the hospital in New Glasgow.Once there, it was determined she had herniated two discs and needed emergency surgery in Halifax, about 150 kilometres away. MacNeill was told there were no ground ambulances available, so she was transported by air and underwent surgery right away. Although she expected a bill for the ground ambulance, she said, "at no time was I told I would be footing the bill for the air ambulance or any sort of cost associated with the inter-hospital transfer."It's a cautionary tale for anyone travelling between provinces, especially during COVID-19. MacNeill said she has Ontario provincial health coverage as well as insurance through her work, and never imagined she would need travel health insurance while in another part of Canada."Every time I travel out of the country, I always purchase traveller's insurance, but I honestly never thought that I would need travel insurance for inter-provincial travel. I always thought in Canada we had universal health care," she said.Out-of-province visitors pay moreAmbulance travel within a province can be pricey and cause financial hardship, a situation highlighted by CBC's Marketplace in 2015.Fees for ground ambulance for provincial residents vary from a low of $45 in Ontario to a high of $385 in Alberta. Manitoba, which in 2015 had the highest ground ambulance fees in the country, has lowered its fee to no more than $250. Some provinces, such as Alberta, provide free ground ambulance service for seniors.All provinces charge non-residents more for ambulance services, though not all provinces post the fees online. Despite numerous requests, some did not provide CBC News with this information.Of those that did, Nova Scotia had the highest fee: $732.95 for ground ambulance for people from other provinces. (The fee for residents is $146.55.)Air ambulance fees are even costlier for out-of-province residents. Of those provinces that post fees or provided information, P.E.I. and Nova Scotia do not charge residents for air ambulance service, but people from other provinces who require it are billed $12,000. Both provinces, along with Newfoundland and Labrador, say the fees cover the cost of providing the service.Health-care consultant Mary Jane Hampton said ambulances are not part of the Canada Health Act, the federal legislation that sets out what is universally covered. "It's a complicated business, but when the Canada Health Act was written, the only things that were covered in that legislation that would be insured were things that happened inside a hospital and services that are performed by a doctor," Hampton said.She notes that ambulances in Nova Scotia used to be based at funeral homes and were used for basic transportation in a medical emergency. Today, they are staffed by highly qualified paramedics. "I'm not suggesting that it's an easy issue to fix, but from a public point of view and from a patient point of view, it would make a great deal of sense to me for us to figure out how to get the [ambulance] user fees off the table and come up with a different funding model altogether," Hampton said.She urged people to contact their member of Parliament about rewriting legislation to make ambulances an essential service.Chris Hood, the former president of the Paramedics Association of Canada, agrees. Back in 2015, he told CBC's Marketplace, "You don't pay for a police officer to come to your house when you've got somebody breaking into it. You don't pay for the fire department to come and put your fire out. Why is paramedic service or ambulance service any different? It's the same thing." In an interview last week, Hood said that question remains valid today.Are fees a deterrent to use?Michael Nickerson, president of the union that represents Nova Scotia paramedics, said he hopes fees don't deter anyone from calling an ambulance if they need one."Anecdotally, we've heard from paramedics and patients alike that have concerns around the cost of an ambulance, and that some people have waited and not called at all or drove themselves to the hospital while experiencing a medical emergency," Nickerson said.He worries someone driving to hospital while having a heart attack, for example, could have an accident, injuring themselves further and perhaps others on the road — or worse."There's a danger of losing your life if you're having a heart attack and you're not being treated promptly," Nickerson said. He noted Nova Scotia paramedics are highly trained and the province is one of the few jurisdictions that allows paramedics to administer a medication specifically for heart attacks.The Nova Scotia government said in 2018 there were 1,649 ambulance bills, for a total of about $1.2 million. It said 44 bills were written off, for a total amount of $31,554.80.In an email to CBC News, a spokesperson for the province said the government has no immediate plans to review the fees.Will McAleer, executive director of the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada, said travel health insurance is easy to purchase and affordable, but many people don't realize they need it until they have an out-of-province emergency and are facing a big bill. "When you're looking at an interprovincial or within-Canada policy, you can purchase that for a dollar, maybe two dollars, a day," McAleer said. He emphasized the importance of discussing your needs with the insurance provider and identifying any pre-existing conditions prior to buying insurance to ensure you get the coverage you need. Payment options availableAs for MacNeill and her $12,800 ambulance bill, a small portion of it is covered by her work insurance.Most provinces offer an appeal process for those who feel they are unable to pay their ambulance bills, but it varies from province to province. According to government information online, the Nova Scotia Ambulance Fee Assistance Program will use your net household income as the primary eligibility test to determine whether you qualify to have the debt written off. MacNeill said she's been told the appeal criteria in Nova Scotia are very limited and that fees would only be waived if there's a paramedic error. In this case, there was not."The paramedics were very kind and helpful," MacNeill said.
Just when you thought 2020 couldn't get worse, it turns out southern Saskatchewan's mouse population is exploding.The phones at Poulin's Pest Control in Regina have been ringing off the hook, said general manager Shawn Sherwood.He said this has been the busiest year for mice complaints that he has seen in two decades.That goes for residential calls and insurance claims."We clean trailers and cars that have had mice in them," Sherwood said. "Normally we will see them starting in March or April, and we'll be done by July. We're doing one tomorrow."And the problem isn't localized to just the Queen City.Sherwood said the company's Saskatoon office is seeing similar infestations.Jan Shadick, who runs Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation in Saskatoon, said one way youu can tell there's been a bounty of mice is that last spring, birds who feed on the rodents had a large brood."When they're struggling to feed themselves, they're not going to have a whole bunch of babies that they know that they can't feed," Shadick said.On the downside, she says her research shows while bird numbers went up this year, so did the number of birds injured in traps. "We went from sort of one sticky trap last year to seven this year, so it's a huge increase," Shadick said. "We had four snap-trapped birds last year and seven this year. "We had one that came in, and [the trap] had actually caught on the beak of the bird and just broken it."That being said, when it comes to getting rid of mice, Shadick prefers people use snap traps."When they work, they're incredibly effective and quick and humane."But why are there are so many mice this year? That's hard to explain, but both Shadick and Sherwood said the increase is abnormal. Spikes like this usually happen when there's been a lot of snow the winter before — but that isn't the case this year in Saskatchewan. Sherwood has a simpler explanation. "People ask me, 'Why are we seeing so many mice?' It's 2020, man. What do you expect?"
An Iranian diplomat and three other Iranians went on trial in Belgium on Friday accused of planning to bomb a meeting of an exiled opposition group in France in 2018, the first time an EU country has put an Iranian official on trial for terrorism. Belgian prosecutors charged Vienna-based diplomat Assadolah Assadi and the three others with plotting an attack on a rally of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The rally's keynote address was given by U.S. President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
A mother in Deer Lake wasn't satisfied with a negative COVID-19 test when her child continued to show symptoms of the virus, and her insistence on getting retested likely saved more people from becoming infected.The woman, who CBC is not naming to protect the identity of the child, wants people to know that they handled the situation with more caution than was even necessary.Her daughter, a student at Elwood Elementary School, was a close contact of the cluster that started in Deer Lake last week. She went into isolation right away and was tested late last week. She got news on Friday that she tested negative.Despite the test result, her mother worried when she wasn't acting like herself, had a fever and was lethargic. She felt the test was performed too soon after her daughter's contact with a known case."It was definitely a false sense of security," she said of the initial test result. "It was a huge relief, but you know, with that sense of false security I'm hoping that others are doing what I did in monitoring their children."The child was tested again, and it came back positive on Monday morning.> I do want people to know that even though they may test negative, a positive unfortunately may be around the corner. \- Mother of child with COVID-19The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District shut her school down later that morning. Health officials have said more than 30 children in her class cohort went into self-isolation."As of right now, there haven't been any positives linked directly to her," her mother told Newfoundland Morning on Thursday. "Her classroom has all quarantined. So I'm hoping that, given all her close contacts are all quarantined since this weekend, I'm hoping that it will end with us."Shortly after speaking with CBC News, the provincial government announced a person under the age of 19 did test positive in the Western Health region. It was not related to the five-year-old's case, and the person has been quarantined since coming into contact with the virus.The mother doesn't want other positive cases to be treated as rule-breakers. She also doesn't want parents to take a negative result as an all-clear."I'm not out to scare anybody or anything like that, but I do want people to know that even though they may test negative, a positive unfortunately may be around the corner," she said.Elwood Elementary was closed Monday and Tuesday, and the town's other two schools saw a combined 20 students in attendance for those same days.The elementary school reopened on Wednesday.The young girl seems to have a mild case, her mother said, and she hopes to recover soon. After testing positive, her first reaction was relief that she didn't have to endure the nasal swab again."I think given her age, and she doesn't have any pre-existing conditions, she's doing quite well thankfully," her mother said.She is concerned about the reaction her child might get when she returns to school. Some families going through COVID-19 have had to deal with an online witch hunt and widespread negativity, though the mother said most people she's spoken with have been supportive.Chief Medical Officer of Health Janice Fitzgerald has repeatedly asked people to act with empathy and kindness, but not everyone has been listening."I am fearful her classmates may know she's the reason that they are out of school for two weeks," the mother said. "But her and I do have an amazing relationship and we have awesome coping skills for our own mental health. I think with the support she has from myself and her stepdad and everybody else in her circle who [loves] her, I think she'll do just fine."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Saskatchewan's mid-year report, a snapshot of the province's current financial situation, is set to be released Friday. Earlier this year Finance Minister Donna Harpauer announced a "pandemic deficit" and forecasted a $2.4 billion deficit for 2020 - 2021.The province released its full budget in June, nearly three full months after it was originally expected.In March, Harpauer announced the government's spending plan, but held off on revenue projections because of oil price collapses and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, the province projected $14.15 billion in expenses, with an additional $1.3 billion in expenses from across other government entities, for a total of $15.5 billion. Harpauer said then that the province had projected a surplus for 2019-20 and 2020-21, but that was thrown into turmoil by the global economic situation.In March she said the budget included more than $1 billion in pandemic support measures for people, businesses and initiatives to help the economy recover.The province projected $13.6 billion in revenue in March, down 8.3 per cent from last year, while expenses were projected to be $16.1 billion, an increase of 7.2 per cent over last year's budget. The government is expected to release the mid-year report at 10:00 a.m. CST Friday.
Halifax Regional Police are warning people who flout pandemic restrictions they can expect to see more fines given out as the province looks to halt the spread of COVID-19 with tougher measures.Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said earlier this week police will be stepping up enforcement of COVID-19 regulations, especially illegal gatherings.That means everyone who walks through the door of a party exceeding the maximum number of guests as outlined by the province will be handed a $1,000 fine — not just the host.Const. John MacLeod, a spokesperson with the Halifax Regional Police, said the force is making sure that message is heard loud and clear."We know that people are not following the rules. And it's important for us now to start looking at this and to make sure that people can expect to see more fines and increased enforcement," MacLeod said in a recent interview."It's a very serious time right now, and with this spike in COVID, it's important that, you know, we do what we can to curb the spread."114 active cases in N.S.Nova Scotia reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the number of total active cases in the province to 114. Most of those cases are in the Halifax Regional Municipality.The gathering limit for most of Nova Scotia without social distancing is capped at 10 people.In the Halifax area and parts of Hants County, households can have no more than five visitors at any time, plus however many people reside in the home. The gathering limit in public for those areas is no more than five people, or up to the number of members of immediate family in a household. Those limits are in place until at least Dec. 9.The new enforcement direction comes after police broke up a Halifax house party with about 60 people in attendance on Nov. 2. A single $1,000 ticket was issued under the Health Protection Act.More than 500 calls to police this monthMacLeod said police have gotten 4,640 calls on Public Health restrictions, including physical distancing, failing to isolate, illegal gatherings and mask-wearing, between March and this week.The majority of those calls to Halifax police were made in April, when 929 were logged. In October, there were 690 calls. As of midweek, 563 calls had been made in November.Although the volume of calls has gone up and down depending on how strict the restrictions are, MacLeod said police are prepared to handle any spike in complaints and will deploy resources as needed to ensure the safety of the public.Some people have told CBC News they called police to report infractions and were directed to Public Health instead.MacLeod said enforcement is collaborative and other agencies have been tapped to handle specific aspects of public health measures."It really depends on the specific circumstances as to what resources are required," he said.Quarantine Act violationsIn rural areas of the municipality, RCMP investigate calls regarding COVID-19 regulations and officers determine what actions to follow, said Sgt. Andrew Joyce."The new direction has not changed our procedures at this time," he said.Between March and Nov. 22, Halifax RCMP received 1,506 COVID-19-related calls, including 768 in regard to the Quarantine Act. The federal act states that travellers entering Canada must isolate for 14 days.In RCMP jurisdictions outside Halifax, Joyce said about 2,400 calls were received between March and October.Rural police prepared for possible casesOutside the Halifax area, police forces in rural parts of the province have all been asked to take the new enforcement direction seriously.Chief Scott Feener of the Bridgewater Police Service said they mostly see complaints about people not self-isolating or physically distancing, but rarely big gatherings."Basically since summer … public response has been exceptional," Feener said.The force has only had about 140 calls come in since March regarding COVID-19 issues.But if COVID cases spread into rural areas like Bridgewater, Feener said police are prepared to make some internal changes around scheduling and other tactics to ensure there are enough officers to respond to calls and reduce possible exposures.MORE TOP STORIES
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian police have moved a female transgender Instagram celebrity, Millen Cyrus, to a special cell following public outrage over her initial placement in a male detention cell after she was arrested as a suspect in a drug case.“As for her status on her ID, she is a male, and we do not have a transgender status here. So to avoid something we do not want, we placed her in a special cell by herself. That is our policy on it,” Jakarta Police spokesperson Yusri Yunus said Friday.Cyrus, 21, whose birth name is Muhammad Millendaru Prakasa, has more than 1 million followers on Instagram. Her account of her experiences as a transgender woman on YouTube has been viewed more than 6 million times.She was arrested on Sunday in a police raid on a hotel room in which 0.36 grams of crystal methamphetamine was found. Police announced then that she had been placed in the men’s detention cell at Tanjung Priok Port Police Station, following her identity on her ID card.That triggered criticism from rights groups and on social media in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.Yunus said police are still determining whether she was a drug user or dealer.The group Human Rights Watch said moving Cyrus to a special cell was a good decision by police.“Most trans women are imprisoned in male prisons, so they experience sexual harassment there,” said Andreas Harsono, the group's senior researcher in Indonesia.“The simplest one is verbal abuse. Some physical abuse happens too. It is not in the cell at the prison but in closed areas,” Harsono said.He said more than 2,000 LGBT people have been arrested in Indonesia because of their sexual orientation since 2014.LGBT communities have recently come under siege, although homosexuality is not illegal, except in conservative Aceh province.In February, some members of the House of Representatives proposed a bill that would define homosexuality as deviant and require lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to report to authorities for rehabilitation.Edna Tarigan, The Associated Press
Pierre Poilievre recently alerted the nation to what he thinks Justin Trudeau is up to.Last week, the presumptive finance minister in Erin O'Toole's "government-in-waiting" warned that "global financial elites" are attempting to "re-engineer economies and societies" in order to "empower the elites at the expense of the people." Canadians, he said, "must fight back against global elites" and "their power grab." He invited those who share his concerns to sign a petition calling on the government to "protect our freedom" and "end plans to impose the 'Great Reset'."That certainly does sound like a frightening scenario. But there are some holes in the plot.The item that so alarmed the Conservative frontbencher was a clip that circulated online last week of the prime minister speaking at a United Nations conference in September. "This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset," Justin Trudeau told the conference. "This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts, to re-imagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality and climate change."Poilievre linked Trudeau's comments to a call for a "great reset" made in June by Klaus Schwab, the executive director of the World Economic Forum, an independent organization best known for hosting a high-minded gabfest in Davos, Switzerland each year. (Trudeau has been to that summit twice — the same number of times Stephen Harper attended when he was prime minister.)Scary storiesIn doing so, the prominent Conservative MP brushed up against conspiracy theorists who imagine that powerful, shadowy figures are plotting world domination and tyranny.Poilievre emphasized the words "reset," "opportunity," "chance" and "re-imagine" in Trudeau's comments. But his petition cuts off Trudeau's second sentence before the prime minister's reference to the "global challenges of extreme poverty, inequality and climate change."Set aside the spooky stories about "global elites" and "freedom," and Trudeau's words simply point to a reality-based debate about the post-pandemic world — about which issues governments should focus on and how they should address them.Beyond questions about Poilievre's beliefs and behaviour, there are others that could usefully shape the Canadian political debate. Do Conservatives believe the Liberal government's stated priorities are not the sorts of things the federal government should worry about? Or do they simply believe the Liberals are bound to take the wrong approach to those problems? If so, what would they do instead?Crisis and opportunityJustin Trudeau is hardly the first prime minister to see a moment that calls for sweeping change. Stephen Harper, for instance, went to the World Economic Forum in 2012 and vowed that, in the wake of the Great Recession, his government would implement "major transformations to position Canada for growth over the next generation."But Poilievre wasn't the only one expressing alarm last week.Though he refrained from saying anything about "global elites," Conservative leader Erin O'Toole followed Poilievre's campaign with a video of his own. In it, he cited that same clip of Trudeau, but instead cast the prime minister's comments as insensitive and his plans as risky."It's hard to believe that anyone would look at the carnage caused by COVID-19 and see an opportunity," O'Toole lamented.A reporter asked O'Toole on Wednesday whether he believed in the "great reset" theory. "I don't follow social media," he replied — a response that's hard to square with the fact that O'Toole's own Twitter account recently promoted the creation of a separate Twitter account for his dog.Trudeau's government did leave itself open to the charge that it was, at the very least, getting ahead of itself. Back in the summer, Liberals began to talk aloud about the post-pandemic economic recovery and the "generational opportunity" that would be created by the need to rebuild. They were not alone in thinking such things, but as the second wave began to emerge, they shifted their messaging to signal that they remain focused on the immediate threat.In the midst of a global emergency, talk of "opportunity" can seem jarring. Harper was widely lampooned for saying that the stock market crash in 2008 offered some "great buying opportunities" — even though he turned out to be basically correct. But there has been widespread discussion, beyond the halls of power in Ottawa, about how countries and governments should plan to emerge from this once-in-century crisis.The pandemic will leave behind significant economic damage everywhere — damage that governments might help to repair through policy and public spending. At the same time, the pandemic has both exposed and highlighted an array of pre-existing problems, from economic, gender and racial inequalities to shortcomings in care for the elderly.And even as public and government attention is consumed by the immediate threat of COVID-19, the equally profound threat of climate change continues to bear down on the planet.In theory, when the pandemic begins to recede, all of those concerns might be addressed together — to stimulate economic growth while building a more equitable and sustainable economy. This is why the idea of "building back better" has caught on — among progressive leaders, like Trudeau and American president-elect Joe Biden, and with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a populist conservative whose example O'Toole has acknowledged studying.Trudeau's broad agenda on this front was laid out in September's throne speech — new spending on child care, further efforts to expand pharmacare, investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a cleaner economy, enhanced training for workers, measures to combat systemic racism and new standards for long-term care.In response, O'Toole warned obliquely that the Liberal government was preparing to conduct "social experiments."'Everything is not OK'At the most basic level, O'Toole and Poilievre might be trying to set up a simple conflict between risk and certainty, as opposed to a contest of different approaches to the same basic problems. But, as noted, Trudeau isn't the only leader saying that society might be improved somewhat; O'Toole himself said much the same thing in a speech three weeks ago."Everything is not OK," the Conservative leader said at an event hosted by the Canadian Club of Toronto. Instead of building back "better," O'Toole said, Conservatives would aim to build back "stronger."So perhaps the next election will be about your choice of adjectives.O'Toole also worried aloud about stagnant wages and workers who lack benefits and pensions. He said Conservatives need to take inequality "seriously." He praised capitalism while arguing that "free markets alone won't solve our problems" and "we need policies that build solidarity, not just wealth."It's not hard to imagine Poilievre expressing alarm if Trudeau had said similar things about the existing economic system."We must change," O'Toole said, even though "powerful forces continue to defend the status quo." (O'Toole and Poilievre might also want to compare notes about what exactly the "global elite" is up to these days.)O'Toole didn't say much about how he would address any of these concerns. He didn't mention child care or systemic racism. He criticized what he called the Trudeau government's drive to implement "green energy" policies, but he didn't explain how he would reduce Canada's emissions.To be fair, the Liberals haven't said much yet about how exactly they plan to tackle those problems either. They have yet to explain how many of the throne speech's promises would be implemented.For now, this is a phoney war between one party that says the federal government should try to do a bunch of things (but hasn't said how) and another party that says that trying to do a bunch of things sounds scary (even as it concedes that some things do need to change).At some point, it might be nice to talk about real things.
Premier Stephen McNeil continues to refuse calls to release details about how $228 million in unbudgeted COVID-19 stimulus money is being spent. The funding is being used for a variety of infrastructure projects across the province, in part to drive employment during the pandemic.After government officials initially pledged to make the list available, a spokesperson for the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Department said last month that it wouldn't happen after all. At the time, McNeil told reporters that all the information about the more than 200 projects was available by cross referencing capital plan documents with the government tender website.The premier suggested the government isn't a research department for reporters and that they do the work themselves.Several reporters at AllNovaScotia.com recently tried to do that work, but fell well short of being able to assemble a complete list using the method suggested by the premier. When that was pointed out to him Thursday, McNeil stuck to his guns about the availability of the information.'It should be available to taxpayers'"I don't know how much more transparent I can be, other than unless you want me to go down and identify every program that the money has come out of," he said Thursday following a cabinet meeting."I don't think Nova Scotians think that's the best use of the premier's time."Part of the challenge assembling the information is that some stimulus work wasn't actually tendered, but rather tacked on to projects that had previously been approved, something Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines confirmed last month.A few of the projects have yet to be announced, said McNeil, and so would not have been posted yet. AllNovaScotia's reporting showed that the projects they could locate did not appear to be disproportionately awarded to Liberal-held districts.Tory Leader Tim Houston said the public has a right to know how the government is spending its money.Houston said he was initially willing to give the premier the benefit of the doubt, but now that reporters have demonstrated just how difficult it is to account for the money, the premier should just call for a list to be produced."There's no reason to hide it," Houston told reporters. "It should be available to taxpayers."'Deliberately and willfully obtuse'NDP Leader Gary Burrill said the premier is being "deliberately and willfully obtuse in obscuring a very simple request" in a way that is consistent with his government's general approach to transparency."I can't imagine why, but it's quite plain that the obtuseness and the obscurity is deliberate on their part," Burrill told reporters."The question is as straightforward as it could possibly be."McNeil told reporters that asking for the details to be provided was a case of "people looking for something to complain about.""I don't know what more you want," he said."You're like every other Nova Scotian. [The projects] are on the website. Go look at them."MORE TOP STORIES
More than 150 people staked out Cuba's culture ministry on Friday to show solidarity with dissident artists facing a state crackdown, in an unusually large display of public dissent on the Communist-run island. The demonstrators demanded a dialogue over limits on freedom of expression and what they call state repression after the authorities cracked down on the San Isidro Movement of dissident artists and activists. The Dutch and Czech governments and Amnesty International, as well as other rights groups, voiced concern on Friday about human rights in Cuba.
An Ottawa-based retailer of lab equipment says global demand for ultra-cold freezers needed to store one of the COVID-19 vaccine contenders could mean Canada won't get access to the specialized equipment until well into 2021.Molly Stopford, director of sales for Canadawide Scientific, said the company has already placed hundreds of orders for the special freezers on behalf of its government and private-sector customers, but expects hundreds more if Health Canada approves the Pfizer vaccine."There is a decent supply across the country, but that would be for normal usage, so as [demand] increases there's going to be back order issues," she said.> If it were just Canada looking for them then it probably wouldn't be a problem, but we also are competing with the U.S. and Europe and Asia. \- Molly Stopford, Canadawide ScientificPfizer's RNA vaccine, which the company says may be available in the United States next month, requires temperatures as low as –70 C for proper storage. The AstraZeneca vaccine, another promising contender, can be stored between 2 C and 8 C, while the Moderna vaccine can be stored in a regular freezer for up to 30 days.The Trudeau government said Canada could begin to receive COVID-19 vaccines by January, pending approval.But as vaccine development speeds ahead, Stopford said freezer manufacturers are already warning customers to expect delays."You're pretty much past the deadline if you're looking for ... multi-unit orders [this year]," she said.Typical shipping time is 3 monthsNormally, it takes about three months to ship a container of 40 ultra-cold freezers from Asia to Canada. But with global demand, Stopford expects that wait to increase."If it were just Canada looking for them then it probably wouldn't be a problem, but we also are competing with the U.S. and Europe and Asia," she said.Governments at all levels in Canada have approached Stopford's company to either buy freezers or inquire about pricing, she said. Hundreds of orders have already been placed, including orders for smaller units that could be used in a hospital or pharmacy. Last week, a spokesperson for Public Services and Procurement Canada said it's already ordered 26 –80 C freezers and 100 –20 C units. Overall, the federal government has secured freezer capacity for approximately 33.5 million ultra-frozen (–80 C) and frozen (–20 C) vaccines.The vaccines that require ultra-low temperatures can be shipped long distances on dry ice, said Stopford.Ontario said the province is relying on its vaccine distribution task force to make recommendations on specific storage requirements, while Ottawa Public Health said it will take cues from the province on vaccine distribution and storage, but added it believes the city is "months away" from a vaccine campaign. Typical ultra-low freezers that can store about 20,000 vaccine doses, are about the size of a large kitchen fridge and are typically sold for between $8,000 to $20,000, said Stopford.
Around 2,500 Amazon workers across the country are predicted to take part in walkouts, according to the union Ver.di.View on euronews
A Quebec court decision that calls stacking life in prison sentences unconstitutional raises the possibility that Justin Bourque's sentence for killing three RCMP officers in Moncton could change, his former lawyer says.Bourque fatally shot constables David Ross, Fabrice Gevaudan and Douglas Larche and wounded constables Darlene Goguen and Eric Dubois on June 4, 2014. He was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole for 75 years after pleading guilty.The sentence used a 2011 law passed by the federal Conservative government allowing judges to impose life sentences for multiple murders consecutively instead of concurrently.Bourque would be 99 years old when he is finally eligible for parole. Quebec's Court of Appeal issued a unanimous decision Thursday on a case involving a man who killed six people in a Quebec City mosque. The court reduced Alexandre Bissonnette's life sentence to 25 years without parole while also invalidating sections of the Criminal Code allowing consecutive sentences.The Quebec decision noted the "absurdity" of handing out life sentences that only allow a prisoner to apply for parole after they are likely to have died, saying rehabilitation is a fundamental concept in Canadian criminal law.David Lutz represented Justin Bourque and told CBC he was surprised by the decision that only affects cases in Quebec."I could not just go to the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick and say, reconsider this, because Quebec ruled in the manner it did," Lutz said of Bourque's sentence.Lutz said he expects the Crown will want to appeal the Quebec decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. A spokesperson for Quebec's prosecution service told CBC on Thursday it is studying the decision and would decide later whether to appeal.The supreme court only hears a select few cases each year that have national significance."I would think that this is a situation of national importance. When you're looking at constitutionality, I would assume that the supreme court has to rule on it," Lutz said.If it does, Lutz said it will likely be six months to a year before there's a decision. If that court strikes down the Criminal Code sections, then it would apply nationally and open the door to Bourque challenging his sentence."If the Supreme Court of Canada upholds the Court of Appeal of Quebec, then he would have an opportunity for an earlier parole application," Lutz said. "That does not mean that necessarily the parole board is going to look at it favourably."Lutz said he would contact his former client to tell him about the ruling.Radio-Canada reported in 2015 that Joëlle Roy, a lawyer in Quebec, was preparing to appeal Bourque's sentences. However, Roy was later appointed as a judge and no appeal was filed.The sentence by then-Court of Queen's Bench Justice David Smith was considered the most severe in Canada since the abolition of the death penalty.While Bourque pleaded guilty, avoiding the need to hold a trial, a two-day sentencing hearing included a detailed timeline of the killings."I found it the most difficult case I've done in my career," Smith said in an interview with CBC after he retired in 2019. "It was so emotional. Normally you don't get that much emotion in a case. … It was devastating listening to it."At the time of the sentencing, Lutz told reporters that Bourque was "resigned" to the prison sentence since pleading guilty.
BRUSSELS — Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny urged the European Union to reject the results of Russia's parliamentary election next year if any candidates are blocked from taking part and he called Friday on the EU to impose sanctions on oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin.Navalny, a corruption investigator and longtime foe of Putin's, has been recovering in Germany from a poisoning attack with what experts have said was a Soviet-era nerve agent. He told EU lawmakers he thinks it’s “important that Europe not remain silent” on conditions in Russia.Navalny described next September’s election for Russia’s lower house of parliament as “an absolutely crucial event.” He said that while he and other opposition politicians expect some vote-rigging, what “is most important is the right to participate.”Navalny, who has been blocked several times from registering as a candidate, said the EU’s approach should simply be: “If everyone is allowed to participate, we can discuss it further. But if some are not allowed to participate, the results of such an election will never be recognized.”He urged the 27-nation bloc to change its approach to sanctions, saying there is little point in slapping travel bans or asset freezes over poisonings or election irregularities on military officers because they generally don’t move much outside of Russia, own real estate or hold bank accounts in Europe.Navalny said the EU should ask itself why these alleged crimes are happening.“The answer is very, very simple: money," he told EU lawmakers via video-link. "So, the European Union should target the money, and Russian oligarchs” notably the new circle of the ultra-rich business people around Putin.Navalny said most Russian citizens would support such an approach.Last month, EU foreign ministers imposed sanctions on six Russian officials and a state research institute over Navalny’s poisoning. Russia announced retaliatory action, saying that it would target French and German officials close to the leaders of France and Germany.Vladimir Kara-Murza, head of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation in Russia, urged the EU to stay true to its values.“Stop enabling those corrupt, abusive officials and oligarchs who want to steal from our people in Russia and enjoy their loot in European Union countries by spending their holidays, sending their wives and their mistresses on shopping trips, buying up yachts and real estate properties and so on,” he said.Lorne Cook, The Associated Press
Indigenous leaders have secured an allotment of funding to clean up old oil and gas wells on First Nation and Métis land in Alberta, after more than half a year of lobbying, including several meetings with the premier and energy minister.The provincial government has agreed to set aside a total of $100 million for reclamation work, which is the amount the Indian Resource Council (IRC) had originally requested in the spring.The funding comes from the federal government, which announced in the spring it would provide $1.5 billion to clean up aging oil and gas infrastructure in Western Canada. The funding was meant to stimulate the oilfield service sector while reducing the environmental risk from the old wells.Indigenous leaders were concerned none of the cash would be spent cleaning up their land, so they asked for a portion of the funds to be set aside by the provincial governments, which are in charge of dispersing the federal money.Initially, the Alberta government balked at the request, although it was open to working with Indigenous leaders. Now, Indigenous leaders are hopeful this could set a precedent for similar large funding programs."It was really gratifying to see that this provincial government is prepared to work with the First Nation communities here in Alberta," said Stephen Buffalo, president of the IRC, which represents more than 100 First Nations with oil and gas reserves."It sure took some time, but we just kept giving them a reason not to say no. To me, it just made a lot of sense."The federal money was divided between B.C. ($120 million), Alberta ($1 billion) and Saskatchewan ($400 million).The IRC was requesting that each province allocate 10 per cent of the federal money it receives to First Nations, which would represent about $150 million in total. In Alberta, $85 million will be set aside for reclamation work on First Nations land and $15 million toward Métis land. Local communities will have control over which oil and gas sites are cleaned up."Absolutely. They're in the best position to understand what's on their land and which are the priority wells," said Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage.Savage said the money will be dispersed during a specific phase of the program that will exclusively apply to First Nations and Métis lands.In Saskatchewan, Indigenous-owned service companies have received $1.5 million through 10 different projects, while $3.4 million in contracts have been issued for work on First Nations, according to Robin Speer, spokesperson for the energy department."Discussions continue with First Nations and Métis communities and leaders to ensure that there is meaningful Indigenous participation in the Accelerated Site Closure Program," said Speer, in an emailed statement.WATCH | Stephen Buffalo on the opportunity to clean up inactive wells:The B.C. government could not provide comment on Thursday. Previously, officials had signalled a willingness to set aside funding specifically for First Nations.
Aaliyah Edwards wears her mindset on her hair.The Canadian freshman on the University of Connecticut women's basketball team has rocked purple and gold braids since Grade 8.It's a constant reminder of the late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant's 'Mamba Mentality.'"My brother and I, we're very big fans of his and just love the Lakers team also. So growing up, I would watch so many videos of him trying to do the same moves as him, do the fadeaway jump shot, biting my jersey, all that stuff," Edwards said.Edwards, 19, is a forward entering her first year at UConn. The Kingston, Ont., native was recruited by famed head coach Geno Auriemma out of Crestwood Preparatory College and arrived in Storrs, Conn., in late July.Edwards' collegiate career, already delayed due to the pandemic, was postponed another two weeks Tuesday after a member of the UConn program tested positive for coronavirus. The earliest the Huskies can now play, if medically cleared, is Dec. 15 against Butler.But if Edwards is anything like Kobe, she'll stay ready for whenever the moment is that she can make her debut."I just love his Mamba Mentality because there's so much focus on the game and grinding in the gym. But what's most important, I've learned over the years, is the significance of your mental competitiveness, because you can get so distracted and it will turn your whole game off for the next three quarters. It's that capability of saying, 'Oh, I missed the layup.' But that bounce back to next-play mentality is really what's important," Edwards said."I just love watching videos of [Bryant] just speaking and sharing his knowledge and everything. So it really just came from my brother, his love, and he gave it to me and now rocking the braids."Not only does Edwards credit brothers Jermaine and Jahmal for introducing her to Bryant, but she says they paved the way for her basketball career altogether. They were the first to put a ball in her hands and have her dribble around the house."The first time I did competitive basketball was in Grade 6 when my brother [Jermaine] and my mom were my coaches. And you can just imagine how stressful that is, having someone you call mom push that from coach to mom and [for] my brother to coach and kind of that frustration that you can get with the game."Still, Edwards credits that extra push for making her the high-motor, highly competitive player she is today.In Grade 6, Edwards would have been roughly 12. Three years later, she made her Canadian national team debut at the 2017 FIBA U16 Americas tournament. Edwards says that was the stepping stone she needed to pursue the sport full-time.She played that tournament just four months after Jermaine died at 27 years old. His cause of death was not made public."Jermaine and Aaliyah were very close and I think always will be," mother Jackie Edwards told the Kingston Whig Standard just after that FIBA tournament.In terms of basketball style, that sentiment still holds true."Jermaine brought an intensity to the team that we have really missed," said Jermaine's college head coach, Barry Smith, just after his passing. "There was a reason that he averaged the number of minutes a game that he did. He was not a scorer, but made up for his lack of scoring by his own personal drive and by pushing his teammates."Canadian women's national team head coach Lisa Thomaidis had similar praise for Aaliyah."I think the biggest thing with her is she competes, you know, she really competes hard. She's got a great motor."Auriemma said those traits remind him of UConn great and 2019 WNBA rookie of the year and all-star Napheesa Collier."She plays hard like 'Pheesa does, she has a lot of energy like 'Pheesa did. She has a motor like 'Pheesa had. She goes, at both ends, offensively and defensively, rebounding the ball, getting to the basket," he told the Hartford Courant.Edwards is part of a group of six freshmen at UConn, a young team for the storied program. That should give her plenty of playing time to shine, and perhaps make an even greater push toward the Canadian Olympic roster in 2021.Thomaidis says she's looking for Edwards to continue developing overall consistency, specifically on the defensive end, in her first season with the Huskies."The sky's the limit for her. She's certainly going to have a long career with senior national team as long as she continues to grow and improve and has a love for the game and competes hard. There's so much that I think she can accomplish with us," Thomaidis said.WATCH | Is this the golden era for Canadian basketball?:Already, the coach envisions Edwards playing a versatile role. At 6-foot-3, she has the skillset to become the positionless player that's become en vogue in recent years — someone who can play inside out on offence and guard virtually every position on defence.On the court, rebounding, ball handling and shooting range are traits Thomaidis and Auriemma agreed are strengths of Edwards.Off the court, it's that professional mindset."My dream has always been to be a part of the Olympic team. ... But in terms of just my college career, I'm just looking to develop my game both physically and mentally, so that when I leave college, I'll be at that level where I can either go pro in the WNBA or overseas or both," Edwards said.It was 2015 when a 19-year-old Kia Nurse, Edwards' Canadian UConn predecessor, led Canada to its first Pan Am gold medal in women's basketball and emerged as the country's next hoops star.Edwards, who will turn 20 just weeks before the Tokyo Olympics, is looking to follow in Nurse's footsteps.
If all goes well, Prince Edward Islanders could start being vaccinated against the coronavirus early in 2021, Premier Dennis King said following a conference call with his fellow premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Thursday evening.Face coverings will be mandatory for everyone at the Mark Arendz Ski Park in Brookvale, P.E.I., this winter, officials say, even when on the ski hill. On the hill, those coverings can be a knit balaclava.Nearly two-thirds of students who replied to a voluntary survey at UPEI reported struggling more with mental health issues during the pandemic and 11 per cent said they have had thoughts related to suicide.Bluefield High School student Sophie Flower has organized a food drive for the South Shore Food Share to help out people in her own community of Crapaud, P.E.I., her second during the pandemic.Contact tracing is underway at three potential COVID-19 exposure sites in Charlottetown — the Atlantic Superstore, Gahan House pub and Terra Rossa restaurant and so far, all tests have come back negative. New Brunswick's premier announced Thursday that as of midnight, everyone returning to that province — including people from P.E.I. — must self-isolate for 14 days to help curb the spread of coronavirus.Starting this coming Monday, masks will be mandatory for staff and students in Grades 10-12 at all times inside a school building, including while sitting at their desks. Exemptions will be made for when students are eating or drinking, and certain other situations.There are two active COVID-19 cases in the province. P.E.I. has seen a total of 70 cases, with no deaths and no hospitalizations.Also in the newsFurther resourcesMore from CBC P.E.I.