The latest COVID-19 news from around Canada on Oct. 13, 2020.
The leader of the B.C. Liberal Party has now publicly apologized for sexist remarks made about NDP candidate Bowinn Ma, and though the offending comments were not made by Andrew Wilkinson himself, Ma said she is disappointed by his handling of the situation.On Saturday, a video was shared on social media showing Liberal candidate Jane Thornthwaite saying Ma, 35, used her appearance to charm retiring Liberal MLA Ralph Sultan during a networking event. The comments were made Sept. 17 during a virtual roast for Sultan.In the video, Thornthwaite says Ma is "a very pretty lady and she knows that she's got 'it' and she knows how to get Ralph going."Thornthwaite and Wilkinson both apologized online after the video sparked outrage on social media. WATCH | Thornthwaite says Ma 'knows how to get Ralph going':On Tuesday, Wilkinson tacked a verbal apology onto the end of a press appearance announcing his party's campaign platform for the upcoming Oct. 24 election.During the apology, he said he was immediately embarrassed upon hearing the comments and that he wished he had found a way to intervene and stop Thornthwaite without derailing the festivities for Sultan."Many of us were increasingly embarrassed, to the point of being appalled, but it is hard to stop the train in a social event when you don't know what the next words will be," said Wilkinson.Hours before Wilkinson apologized during the news conference, Ma told CBC the Liberal leader needed to speak up."I don't need Andrew Wilkinson to apologize to me, or to blame his lack of leadership on his female team member either," Ma said on The Early Edition. "He's the one who needs to address British Columbians.""That a man who was vying to be the province's premier would bear witness to the sexism and find it perfectly fine, that's the part that concerned, and continues to concern, me the most," Ma added.Janni Aragon, political science professor at the University of Victoria, said not only were the comments made by Thornthwaite sexist, they were also racial."Because Bowinn Ma is a racialized woman, we actually refer to this as racialized sexism. This trope of the sneaky or hypersexualized woman of colour perseveres and is quite problematic," said Aragon.Aragon said she would have appreciated it if Wilkinson had interrupted Thornthwaite, or steered the conversation away from attacking Ma."I really would have appreciated if the party leader would have put his hand up and said, 'Now let's get back to Ralph,'" said Aragon. "It wasn't just one comment, there were repeated comments."The apology tour for the B.C. Liberals continued Tuesday afternoon as Thornthwaite addressed her hurtful comments at a previously scheduled speaking event before the Capilano Students' Union."I wanted to reiterate that I'm sorry, and there's no one more disappointed in my words than me," she said, adding what she said about Ma was stupid and insensitive.Thornthwaite also phoned Ma soon after the video was leaked and Ma said she appreciated the Liberal candidate reaching out to her.CBC News reached out to Ralph Sultan for reaction and was told he was unavailable for comment.To hear the complete interview with Bowinn Ma on The Early Edition, tap here.
A former longshot Idaho gubernatorial candidate was indicted Tuesday in the murder of Jonelle Matthews, a 12-year-old Colorado girl whose disappearance after a holiday concert in 1984 was a mystery for decades. Jonelle died from a single gunshot wound to her forehead, Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said. Jonelle's family searched fruitlessly for years as her picture was printed on milk cartons during a national missing-children campaign in the 1980s.
The Fraser Health Authority has declared new COVID-19 outbreaks in its region after staff at two long-term care homes test positive for the virus.It has also declared an end to an earlier outbreak in Surrey.The health authority said it has deployed its rapid response team to PICS Assisted Living Facility in Surrey, B.C., after one staff member became ill.In addition, it said another staff member at Chartwell Carrington House Retirement Residence in Mission, B.C., also tested positive for COVID-19.In both cases, health officials said they are reaching out to families of loved ones living in the homes.Both care workers are self-isolating at home and each facility is working to identify whether other residents or staff have been exposed to the virus, said Fraser Health. It also said enhanced control measures have been put in place at each site including restricting visitors and screening staff and residents for COVID-19 symptoms twice a day.In the same statement, Fraser Health said there are no longer any COVID-19 cases within Surrey's Evergreen Hamlets long-term care facility, and that outbreak has been declared over.More information about COVID-19 in the Fraser Health region can be found here.
Australia said on Wednesday it was deeply concerned that Australian writer Yang Hengjun is facing trial in China charged with espionage, adding his treatment fell short of "basic standards of justice". Australia's foreign minister Marise Payne said: "We regret that after a lengthy investigation period Chinese authorities have stated that he has been charged with espionage." "We have seen no evidence to support this charge," she said in a statement, adding Australia "is disappointed and deeply concerned" that China had decided to prosecute him.
WestJet will soon no longer fly to Moncton, Fredericton, Sydney, Charlottetown and Quebec City and drastically cut back its service to St. John's and Halifax.The Calgary-based airline said Wednesday it is eliminating 100 flights, which represent about 80 per cent of the airline's service in and out of Atlantic Canada. The airline also says it is also suspending operations to Quebec City, by removing its flight between there and Toronto.The route cancellations mean that the airline will also shutter its operations in the airports of Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton and Sydney. The routes will be cancelled as of Nov. 2."It has become increasingly unviable to serve these markets," CEO Ed Sims said. "Since the pandemic's beginning, we have worked to keep essential air service to all of our domestic airports, however, demand for travel is being severely limited by restrictive policies and third-party fee increases that have left us out of runway without sector-specific support."The decision will put 29 employess on temporary layoff, including: * 5 in Sydney. * 8 in Fredericton. * 8 in Moncton. * 8 in Charlottetown.The moves mean that the entirety of WestJet's service to Atlantic Canada will now be based out of Halifax, with daily flights to Toronto, Calgary and St. John's at least once a day. This time last year, the airline flew 28 different flight routes across the region. As of next month, they will have just three. Except for the Halifax to St. John's flight, no other Canadian city east of Montreal will have a WestJet flight coming in or out of it for the foreseeable future.WestJet says customers with tickets on now-cancelled flights are entitled to travel credits for their cancelled flights, but not a refund, which the airline notes the Canadian Transportation Agency has deemed acceptable given the realities of COVID-19."We fully anticipate returning to the region when the situation improves and will extend the travel credit expiry date beyond the current 24-month window should it be required," WestJet spokesperson Morgan Bell told CBC News.The company says that on top of the cuts in Atlantic Canada, about 100 corporate jobs mostly based at the airline's Calgary headquarters will also be cut.Pandemic walloped demandThe changes come amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has walloped demand for air travel. WestJet typically has about two million paying customers a month on its flights, but since the pandemic began in March, it has only sold about 1 million tickets, total.WestJet was taken private by Onex in a $5 billion buyout last year, so the airline's finances are no longer public. But we do know that other airlines have had their balance sheets obliterated by the pandemic.In its last financial statement in July, WestJet's biggest rival, Air Canada, revealed it burned through between $15 and $17 million a day through April, May and June.Earlier this summer, Air Canada also cancelled 30 routes, the plurality of which were in Atlantic Canada.They also come after previously announced moves by WestJet to lay off 3,333 people across the country, and a deal with pilots to agree to a 50 per cent pay cut instead of even more layoffs."We understand this news will be devastating to the communities, our airport partners and the WestJetters who rely on our service," Sims said. "While we remain committed to the Atlantic region, it's impossible to say when there will be a return to service without support for a co-ordinated domestic approach. Our intent is to return as soon as it becomes economically viable to do so."Monette Pasher, executive director of the Atlantic Canada Airports Association, used the same word to describe the news: "devastating."She's calling on governments to financially help the industry survive the pandemic, calling it an "essential service," moving essential workers and cargo "and getting Canadians home."Despite doling out hundreds of billions of dollars in coronavirus relief packages, the federal government thus far has not come out with an aid package targeted at the aviation industry, and Pasher said, "The time has come to support our sector."Airports in Atlantic Canada are poised to lose $76 million this year, she said."We are worried about our communities on the other side of this [and we are] starting to worry if we are going to have air service."John Gradek, co-ordinator of the aviation management program at McGill University, says it isn't necessarily the case that people in those places should expect to be completely shut out of air travel in and out of the region."There will be a new way of serving Canada's regional markets that will depend on regional carriers rather than national ones," he said in an interview. After Air Canada's cuts in June, a number of regional players stepped up to add flights to fill the gap. "They're smaller airplanes, but more frequent services," Gradek said. "I think you'll see the same things happen."Ultimately, he was not surprised by the move, nor does he place any blame on the company for it."There isn't demand," he said. "People just are not flying."
Grasping for a comeback, President Donald Trump and his Republican allies are intensifying their focus not on Democratic nominee Joe Biden, but on his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris — arguing without evidence that it’s Harris, the first Black woman on a major party ticket, who would really be in charge if Democrats win the White House. The effort is laced with sexist and racist undertones, and one that is aimed at winning back Republicans and independents who are comfortable with Biden’s more moderate record, but may associate Harris with Democrats’ left flank, despite her own more centrist positions on some major issues. During the past week, Trump told Sean Hannity of Fox News that Harris would assume the presidency within “three months” of Biden's inauguration.
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick on Tuesday reported six new cases of COVID-19, including one at a special-care home in Campbellton, close to the Quebec border. Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, said despite just one case reported at the 45-bed Manoir de la Sagesse, authorities are declaring an "outbreak." "Because it's a vulnerable population, we have to declare an outbreak based on the public health risk assessment," she told reporters, adding residents in that home are in shared rooms. She said health authorities are conducting "mass testing" of residents and staff, who she said will be tested every couple of days. "We will continue to do that testing and as cases are identified, their close contacts will be contacted and isolated.” The outbreak comes as public health officials are still scrambling to contain an outbreak at the Notre-Dame Manor special-care home in Moncton, which is tied to at least 19 cases of COVID-19. Five of the cases announced Tuesday are in the Campbellton health region and involve two people in their 60s, one person in their 50s, someone in their 30s and a person under the age of 19, Russell said. The sixth case reported Tuesday is located in the Moncton area and involves a person in their 70s. Education Minister Dominic Cardy said a new case is tied to Dalhousie Regional High School, the fourth case identified at a New Brunswick school in the past six days. The province has 82 active cases, with five people in hospital, including one patient in intensive care. Health officials in the other Atlantic provinces are monitoring developments in New Brunswick, which is part of the so-called Atlantic bubble, inside which residents can travel without restrictions. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil told reporters Tuesday he was expecting a brief from Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health, later in the day. “We’ll wait and see what the details are." Newly appointed Health Minister Leo Glavine said he hopes Nova Scotia stays in the Atlantic bubble. The province has four active cases of COVID-19. Dr. Heather Morrison, chief medical officer of health in Prince Edward Island, urged Islanders Tuesday to avoid non-essential travel to the regions in New Brunswick hard-hit by COVID-19. Newfoundland and Labrador issued a statement on Sunday urging residents to do the same. There are nine reported active cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador and three in Prince Edward Island. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2020. -- By Sarah Smellie in St. John's with files from Michael Tutton in Halifax. The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version stated that Health Minister Leo Glavine said he hopes New Brunswick stays in the Atlantic bubble.
Alex Pietrangelo heard it can snow in Las Vegas and wasn't worried about bundling up his four children if necessary. Pietrangelo won't have to take a snow blower from his St. Louis home to the Nevada desert, though he hopes to bring the Stanley Cup there in the next seven years. After leaving the Blues he led to the 2019 title to sign a $61.6 million contract with the Golden Knights, Pietrangelo hopes to play a big role in getting the young franchise to the top of the NHL.
Republican Sen. John Kennedy says some of his Democratic colleagues believe Amy Coney Barrett is lying about being impartial and not letting her personal beliefs influence her decisions.
Ever since the pandemic darkened theatres earlier this year, sending the entire performing arts world into a catastrophic state of limbo, we’ve seen all manner of creative virtual substitutes: Digital dance seasons, clever musical mashups, a live-captured version of “Hamilton.” Many of these have been good, some great. Yet none have truly matched the visceral experience many of us crave so profoundly: live performance, in a theatre. And honestly, how could anything come close? Well, now we have Spike Lee’s mesmerizing film version of David Byrne’s terrific Broadway concert “American Utopia,” which feels so thrillingly alive, you may actually forget you’re not in a theatre. Or perhaps you'll feel like the stage has somehow been lifted from its moorings and delivered straight to your living room — or, as Byrne might prefer, right into your brain. In any case, this hypnotic film experience is a badly needed shot in the arm for all of us — music lovers, theatre lovers, dance lovers, culture lovers, life lovers. It’s also one of the best concert films in recent memory. Of course, “David Byrne’s American Utopia,” a major Broadway happening that was due to return to the Hudson Theatre this fall, feels like far more than a concert. It's based on Byrne’s music, yes, from his 2018 album of the same name but also other solo work and some iconic Talking Heads tracks. But that’s just the launching point. The show, which one could broadly describe as a reflection on community and connectedness, is filled with pungent Byrne-ian commentary, on everything from brain function to Dadaism to climate change. “Meeting people is hard,” he muses at one point. But he can also get more political, as when he chides Americans for low voter turnout, especially in local elections. A crucial element of the show’s success is its enormously talented multicultural supporting cast of 11 musicians and dancers, who hail from Brooklyn to Brazil. Dressed just like Byrne in silver-gray suits and bare feet, they play fascinating percussion instruments, and also sing and dance; everyone here does double or triple duty. Standouts include the exuberant Bobby Wooten III on bass and the elegant Angie Swan on guitar. Then there's the endlessly inventive choreography by Annie-B Parson, not so much dancing as a holistic system of movement performed joyfully by lead dancers Chris Giarmo and Tendayi Kuumba. “I dance like this because it feels so damn good,” goes the Byrne song “I Dance Like This,” and yes, it does feel damn good, both to watch and to emulate. By the way, go ahead and try to get through this film without dancing yourself. Lee's cameras constantly find new and exciting angles on the action (the cinematography is by Ellen Kuras) — overhead, underneath, behind the performers or half an inch from their faces. And yet we never glimpse a camera, even though 11 operators were involved. The set is spare and stylish, surrounded by shimmering metallic curtains in the same silver-gray as the suits. “I thought, what if we could eliminate everything from the stage, except the stuff we cared about the most?” Byrne explains. “What would be left? ... Us, and you.” Lee has made a few additions to the Broadway show. For example, when Byrne and the cast sing Janelle Monae’s stirring protest song “Hell You Talmbout,” chanting names of Black men and women who died in racial violence or at the hands of police, Lee provides powerful visuals and adds more recent names like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. As for Byrne, at 68 a remarkable font of quirky energy, he shifts seamlessly from sombre moments like this to ebullient renditions of Talking Heads classics like “I Zimbra,” “Once in a Lifetime,” and “Road to Nowhere.” But nothing gets the audience out of their seats like the rollicking version here of “Burning Down the House.” Chances are you won't stay in yours. On the show's closing day in February — I happened to be there with my sister and cousin — we were given happy news during curtain calls. Byrne announced to cheers that the show would return in September. Then the pandemic happened, and who knows when “American Utopia” will be back. Until that one fine day, let’s thank Lee and Byrne for giving us something a little better — no, a lot better — than merely the next best thing. “David Byrne’s American Utopia,” an HBO Films release, is unrated by the Motion Picture Association of America. Running time: 105 minutes. Four stars out of four. ___ Follow Jocelyn Noveck on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press
A man who spent nearly 40 years in prison for the murder of his 22-month old cousin told a B.C. Appeal Court he's innocent and didn't understand the plea deal he signed until it was later explained in court. Phillip Tallio pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Delavina Mack in April 1983. Tallio was 17 years old at the time.
A COVID-19 outbreak at a fly-in reserve in Manitoba and increasing infections in First Nations populations in the province has leaders worried. The First Nations population in Manitoba was largely spared of infections earlier this year during the first wave of COVID-19, as leaders imposed travel restrictions and lockdowns. There have been 179 COVID-19 cases among First Nations people in Manitoba, with most in the last few weeks, according to the Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Coordination Team.
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Oct. 14. What we are watching in Canada ... Canadians appear to be turning against mandatory COVID-19 inoculations whenever a vaccine becomes available, with a new poll suggesting the number of people opposed to the idea is growing. The poll by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies is the latest to take the public’s temperature during the COVID-19 pandemic, and comes as governments and scientists around the world are scrambling to find a vaccine. The federal government has also inked a number of agreements with pharmaceutical companies to purchase millions of doses of their vaccine candidates if they prove safe and effective, over fears of a global rush for the drugs. While the majority of respondents in earlier polls had said they were in favour of the government's requiring people get inoculated once a vaccine is discovered, the new poll found that was no longer the case. Only 39 per cent of respondents said getting a vaccine should be mandatory, a decline of 18 percentage points from a similar poll conducted in July and more than 20 points lower than in May. Fifty-four per cent of respondents instead said a vaccine should be voluntary, an 11 percentage-point increase from July and 15 since May. Six per cent of respondents said they did not know. --- Also this ... A man accused of killing a family doctor at a medical clinic in central Alberta is scheduled to be back in court today after a psychiatric exam. Deng Mabiour is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Dr. Walter Reynolds at the Village Mall Walk-In Clinic in Red Deer. A judge initially ordered a five-day psychiatric exam to see if the 54-year-old understood the charges against him and was fit to stand trial. Last month, Judge Bert Skinner extended it another 30 days after he said Mabiour was refusing to co-operate with medical staff. The accused has gone on several tirades against the judge. Mabiour, who an acquaintance has said is from South Sudan, previously told Skinner that he's worried about the justice system in Canada and that he doesn't want "a stupid legal-aid lawyer". He has also demanded to know why the judge won't ask him why he killed his doctor. --- What we are watching in the U.S. ... With Election Day just three weeks away, President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden concentrated Tuesday on battleground states both see as critical to clinching an Electoral College victory, tailoring their travel to best motivate voters who could cast potentially decisive ballots. Biden went to Florida to court seniors, looking to deliver a knockout blow in a state Trump needs to win while trying to woo a group whose support for the president has slipped. And Trump visited Pennsylvania, arguably the most important state on the electoral map, unleashing fierce attacks on Biden's fitness for office in his opponent's backyard. “He’s shot, folks. I hate to tell you, he’s shot," Trump told a big rally crowd in Johnstown, saying there was extra pressure on him to win because Biden was the worst presidential candidate of all time. “Can you imagine if you lose to a guy like this? It's unbelievable." In his second rally since contracting the coronavirus, Trump spoke for more than an hour to a crowd of thousands packed in tightly and mostly maskless. Like the night before in Florida, Trump seemed healthy, and his rhetoric on the pandemic — including the dubious claim that it was mostly a thing of the past — changed little despite his own illness, except for his threat to kiss audience members to prove his immunity. Trump made a local pitch, hammering home the claim that a Democratic administration could limit fracking in areas where the economy is heavily dependent on energy, despite Biden's proposal to only bar new leases on federal land, a fraction of U.S. fracking operations. And Trump, touting his elimination of a federal rule that would have brought more low-income housing to the suburbs, zeroed in on groups whose support he has struggled to retain, including female voters turned off by his rhetoric. “So I ask you to do me a favour. Suburban women: Will you please like me? Please. Please. I saved your damn neighbourhood, OK?" Trump said. “The other thing: I don’t have that much time to be that nice. You know, I can do it, but I gotta go quickly.” --- Also this ... Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett batted away Democrats’ skeptical questions Tuesday on abortion, health care and a possible disputed-election fight over transferring presidential power, insisting in a long and lively confirmation hearing she would bring no personal agenda to the court but decide cases “as they come.” The 48-year-old appellate court judge declared her conservative views with often colloquial language, but refused many specifics. She declined to say whether she would recuse herself from any election-related cases involving President Donald Trump, who nominated her to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and is pressing to have her confirmed before the the Nov. 3 election. “Judges can’t just wake up one day and say I have an agenda — I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion — and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” Barrett told the Senate Judiciary Committee during its second day of hearings. “It’s not the law of Amy,” she said. “It’s the law of the American people.” Barrett returned to a Capitol Hill mostly shut down by COVID-19 protocols, the mood quickly shifting to a more confrontational tone from opening day. She was grilled by Democrats strongly opposed to Trump’s nominee yet unable to stop her. Excited by the prospect of a judge aligned with the late Antonin Scalia, Trump's Republican allies are rushing ahead to install a 6-3 conservative court majority for years to come. The president seemed pleased with her performance. “I think Amy’s doing incredibly well,” he said at the White House departing for a campaign rally. --- What we are watching in the rest of the world ... Unemployment in the U.K. spiked higher in August, a clear sign that the jobless rate is heading towards levels not seen in 30 years as a government salary-support program ends this month and new local restrictions are imposed to suppress a resurgence of the coronavirus. The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that unemployment rose by 138,000 in the three months to August from the previous three-month period. The unemployment rate jumped to 4.5%, its highest rate since early 2017, from 4.1% in the previous quarter. Though unemployment has been edging up during the pandemic, with the likes of British Airways, Royal Mail and Rolls-Royce all laying off thousands, Britain has been spared the surge in unemployment seen in the United States. The British economy endured one of the deepest recessions in the spring and while it has rebounded in the past few months, it is still about 10% smaller than it was at the end of 2019. The main reason why unemployment has not spike higher has been the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has paid most of the salaries of workers who have not been fired. Some 1.2 million employers have taken advantage of the program to furlough 9.6 million people at a cost to the government of nearly 40 billion pounds ($52 billion). At one stage, around 30% of the U.K.'s working population was on furlough. Although they weren't working over the past few months, they were not counted as unemployed. Since the program ends at the end of October, many of those still on furlough are expected to be made redundant and unemployment to rise further. --- Also this ... The Palestinian prime minister said Tuesday it will be disastrous for his people and the world at large if President Donald Trump wins re-election next month. Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the last four years of the Trump administration have greatly harmed the Palestinians. “If we are going to live another four years with President Trump, God help us, God help you and God help the whole world,” Shtayyeh said Tuesday, repeating comments he made a day earlier in a remote meeting with European lawmakers. The comments were earlier posted on his Facebook page. The Palestinians have traditionally refrained from taking an explicit public position in American presidential elections. Shtayyeh’s comments reflected the sense of desperation on the Palestinian side after a series of U.S. moves that have left them weakened and isolated. The Palestinians severed ties with Trump after he recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017 and subsequently moved the American Embassy to the holy city. Trump has also cut off hundreds of millions of dollars of American aid to the Palestinians, shut the Palestinian diplomatic offices in Washington and issued a Mideast plan this year that largely favoured Israel. The Palestinians have rejected the plan out of hand. --- ICYMI ... The Canadian Armed Forces is apologizing after some residents of Kings County, N.S., received a phoney letter warning of wolves in the area. The letter, dated Sept. 19, said a pack of eight grey wolves had been released in northern Nova Scotia in August to reintroduce the species into the ecosystem. Written on what looks like provincial Department of Lands and Forestry letterhead and signed by someone identified as a "large mammal biologist," the letter advised anyone encountering a wolf to "back away slowly while remaining calm — do not turn and run." Lt. Lance Wade, a public affairs officer with the 36 Canadian Brigade Group, acknowledged in an interview Tuesday that the letter came from an army reserve training session at Camp Aldershot outside Kentville, N.S. "We're sincerely apologetic," Wade said, adding the incident was a first for reservists. "Any inconvenience we've caused to the public and the Department of Lands and Forestry, we deeply regret.” He said he doesn't know why the training required the false note or how it got into civilian mailboxes. He said an investigation is ongoing. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2020. The Canadian Press
The City of Summerside has started a major demolition project in hopes of improving its downtown. Four buildings are coming down: the former Royal Bank, Crockett's Jewelry, the former Cooke Insurance building and the Regent, which was once a movie theatre but more recently a bar and restaurant. City officials said some have been vacant for more than a decade and described them as unsightly and dangerous. "We had raccoons sitting in the windows in some of the shops … there was graffiti, there was broken glass," said Deputy Mayor Norma McColeman.McColeman said the city wants to get people downtown and it needs to be revitalized to get them there. "The buildings had to come down," she said.Preparing for future developmentThe City of Summerside purchased the properties and is paying for demolition and site preparation needed for future development. The entire project is expected to cost about $1.2 million, but officials hope to recoup costs once a developer takes over. "We needed to have the ground prepared and development ready, or shovel ready," McColeman said. The city has taken short-term ownership of the land to help with future development, she said, as demolition and the ground work would be a high cost to developers. "We felt we had to move forward on that property," she said. Local historian disappointedWhile some describe the area as an eyesore, a local historian said he would like to have seen some buildings saved. "I'm feeling very sad," said George Dalton, past president of the Summerside and Area Historical Society.> We can't leave it vacant any longer. — Summerside Mayor Basil StewartHe said the project is going to take out two very important buildings. "Crockett's Jewellers and the Royal Bank, now those two buildings were very solid, they should have been saved," he said. Dalton said there should have been more public consultation before the demolition went ahead. Residential and commercial plansThe mayor of the city said specific designs haven't been made yet."We are looking at some commercial space and maybe apartments on top of the commercial space," said Basil Stewart. He said the project will be a "game changer" for the city. With the buildings vacant for so long, the city lost out on tax revenues, Stewart said. "We can't leave it vacant any longer," he said. "You need people in the business area."Stewart said it will be great for the city to redevelop the corner. He said there are developers interested but details have yet to be worked out. Stewart expects construction to begin next spring. More from CBC P.E.I.
A serious collision at a rural intersection about 50 kilometres north of Edmonton claimed the lives of two adults, while two children in the same car were taken to hospital. The Sunday crash happened just before 5 p.m. at the intersection of Highways 651 and 803 in Sturgeon County, Alta., Morinville RCMP said Tuesday in a news release. A car travelling south on Highway 803 collided with an eastbound SUV on Highway 651. "Despite efforts from witnesses on scene, two adults were determined to have died at the collision scene," stated the news release. The two children in that vehicle — a six-year-old girl and four-year-boy — were both taken to hospital. The news release did not provide any information about their injuries. The driver and passenger of the SUV suffered non-life-threatening injuries, RCMP said. The collision remains under investigation.
The provincial government says residents affected by the June flood in Exshaw won't qualify for disaster recovery funds.According to a report by the Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA), the groundwater flooding was neither widespread nor extraordinary and was caused by rainfall and snow.However, some homeowners in the mountain community east of Canmore argue the cause of the flood is still unknown.Margaret Blockhuis, one out of 19 affected homeowners, says she questions the province's conclusion."Where did it rain? It didn't rain here.… I had to water my garden every day even though we were flooding all around it," she said.Blockhuis says she spent $20,000 fixing her floors, which isn't covered by insurance.Flood mitigation project may be causeSome residents of the hamlet are wondering if a recent flood mitigation project caused ground flooding in their basements and yards.Maarten van Haeren has lived in the area for about five years but says he's pumping water for the first time. "We do live in a low lying area with several creeks around, but this is certainly abnormal," he said.Van Haeren and his neighbours want to know if the problem is connected to a recent flood mitigation project on Exshaw Creek.Dene Cooper, reeve of the Municipal District of Bighorn, says that according to the engineers who worked on the project, that may be possible but it's highly unlikely.He says he's waiting on a report from a hydrogeologist to confirm the cause of the flood, but it's taking longer than expected."I'm patient only because I need a very good report … politicians often push things and sometimes it weakens the product," he said.Justin Marshall, press secretary for the minister of municipal affairs, said while the government's review process did find that the water levels didn't meet the extraordinary event benchmark, the AEMA did approve a $50,000 budget for the M.D. of Bighorn to support community response and evacuation costs."We recognize the difficulty that residents of the M.D. of Bighorn and other communities have faced from the June 1st groundwater flooding, and our hearts go out to the families communities that have been affected," he said in an emailed statement."Alberta's government ... continues to encourage Albertans to work closely with their insurance providers to ensure they are fully informed about their coverage and the risks to their property."However, Cooper says there was around $113,000 in response bills."I'm appreciative they responded to us in a meaningful way, it just doesn't cover the complete costs," he said.As well, he says it's tough seeing those who had their homes affected by groundwater flooding."If you just bought your house and moved in and this happens to you, it's a catastrophe."
With 82 active COVID-19 cases in New Brunswick, some residents of neighbouring Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador are wondering whether the Atlantic bubble needs to burst.
The Alberta government has announced plans to cut up to 11,000 health-care jobs in order to save $600 million a year, saying the cuts won’t be of front-line staff such as nurses. The move comes during the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic downturn and an ongoing dispute between the health minister and doctors.