In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, 34-year-old Azadeh Dastmalchi found a new function for her existing work on a medical-grade smartwatch to detect and monitor for early virus symptoms.
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has come to the defence of embattled Gov. Gen. Julie Payette, saying Canada has an "excellent" representative for the Queen and that now is not the time to replace the former astronaut.The comments follow allegations that employees in Payette's office at Rideau Hall have been subject to workplace harassment as well as reports of her having incurred a variety of extraordinary costs since she was named Governor General.Asked about replacing Payette while appearing on RED FM's The Harjinder Thind Show in Vancouver, Trudeau said: "We have an excellent Governor General right now, and I think on top of the COVID crisis, nobody's looking at any constitutional crises."The prime minister noted the federal government has hired a consulting firm to investigate the reports of a toxic work environment at Rideau Hall, but added when it comes to replacing Payette, "that's not something we are contemplating right now."Payette has found herself the focus of intensifying public scrutiny in recent weeks following reports about expensive renovations at Rideau Hall to suit Payette's wishes and alleged mistreatment of current and former staff within her office.Federal New Democrats immediately criticized Trudeau's comments on Wednesday, questioning how the prime minister can support the Governor General when the reports of harassment have yet to be investigated."How can he be so sure that Ms. Payette is an 'excellent' Governor General and that it's appropriate for her to remain in her current role without hearing the facts first?" NDP whip Rachel Blaney said in a statement."The prime minister appointed Ms. Payette and he has an obligation to show some real leadership, accept the findings of the investigation, and ensure people working in that office are treated with respect and dignity."Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole, in an appearance on Parliament Hill, said it would be inappropriate for him to comment on Payette's suitability to continue as Governor General.The appointment of a governor general is made by the Queen on the prime minister's advice. Trudeau tapped the former astronaut, engineer and scientist in 2017.The CBC reported in July, citing anonymous sources, that Payette had yelled at, belittled and publicly humiliated employees, reducing some to tears or prompting them to quit.The Privy Council Office announced this week that it has hired Ottawa-based Quintet Consulting Corp. to conduct a third-party investigation.Quintet was called in seven years ago to probe issues within the RCMP protective unit for then-prime minister Stephen Harper. It also investigated problems with former senator Don Meredith.Payette herself has welcomed a review, saying in a statement that she was “deeply concerned” about the allegations.The CBC and Postmedia have also reported that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on designs and renovations Rideau Hall, some allegedly at Payette’s personal request, for privacy, accessibility and security reasons.Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters last month following reports of unnecessary expenditures at Rideau Hall that public office holders should be mindful of how they spend taxpayer dollars.“I do think that all of us who have the privilege of serving Canadians have to really be mindful that when we spend money, we are spending the money of Canadians and we have to be very, very thoughtful about that, very careful about that,” Freeland said.Freeland at the time said she respected the office of the Governor General,but sidestepped questions about whether she supported Payette. While the Governor General is a largely symbolic position, it does have some constitutional importance, particularly during a minority government such as the one Canada has now.In 2008, former prime minister Stephen Harper asked then-governor general Michaelle Jean to prorogue Parliament to avoid a non-confidence vote he was expected to lose — a decision that was controversial at the time but in keeping with constitutional tradition.If the prime minister did want Payette to leave office, experts say it would be more likely that a private conversation between her and the prime minister would lead to a letter of resignation.If she disagreed or refused to leave when asked, the prime minister could call the Queen and request that she be dismissed. But experts say that would only be a last resort.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 2, 2020.Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
A Black man who was pulled over and wrongly accused of having an expired sticker on the licence plate of his rental car believes he was the target of racial profiling, and says he'd like to see Ottawa police undergo better training.Jean-Claude Fenelon said he posted a video of his encounter last month with an Ottawa police officer on social media out of "frustration" because he's experienced several similar traffic stops recently.In an interview with CBC, Fenelon described the encounters as "racial profiling," and said he has lodged a formal complaint with the Ottawa Police Service in the past, but has never heard back."I wanted to make sure that this got heard," Fenelon said. "When you try to get this stuff out, and you feel so frustrated, you want people to see this is a reality, this is fact."It's for that reason, Fenelon said, that when he was pulled over on July 27, he decided to start recording.Officer asks man questions about rental carThe video, captured July 27, shows an officer approaching the driver-side window of Fenelon's vehicle and explaining he stopped him after observing an expired sticker on his licence plate. Seated behind the wheel, Fenelon disputes this and tells the officer the vehicle — an Audi — is a rental car.The officer continues to ask Fenelon questions about how long he's been renting the vehicle, and why he rented a car in the first place. He also asks to see Fenelon's driver's licence.The officer tells Fenelon the sticker expired in December, and that it is his responsibility to make sure the auto insurance is up to date, even if it's a rental.Fenelon eventually asks if he can exit the vehicle to see the expired sticker for himself. The officer agrees, but when both men look at the rear plate, the officer quickly realizes the sticker is in fact valid and admits his error. "Oh, that's my mistake," the officer can be heard saying on the video. "Did you say because it's a Black person?" Fenelon responds.Plea for a better futureFenelon said he believes the officer spotted him as he drove by and only stopped him because he's Black. He said had the officer truly run the vehicle's plates before approaching him, as the officer said on the video he had done, there would have been no question the sticker was valid."I'm 100 per cent sure this was not actually for plate expiry. It was for something else," Fenelon told CBC.> I know this [has] not just happened to me. I want this to be a better system. \- Jean-Claude FenelonFenelon's complaint comes at a time of global reckoning over police power, funding and treatment of minority communities. Ottawa's police chief, Peter Sloly, has said publicly that he will tackle racial discrimination within the ranks."I want the future to be better for the Ottawa police, and us," Fenelon said. "I know this [has] not just happened to me. I want this to be a better system.... I want the system to feel that we're all equal, and not just picking people randomly because they look different."Fenelon said the encounter made him think of his two young children, and how he'd explain it to them."What I want to teach my kids is to respect the police, and also to know they have their rights ... so that in the future I don't want this to keep happening," Fenelon said."This shouldn't be happening in a society. Maybe in the future [my kids will] want to be a police officer. If they want to be a police officer, I want them to be good cops."'Respectful' officer admitted mistake: OPSOttawa police declined several interview requests from CBC, but issued a response to the video Tuesday evening."We have reviewed the video and the resulting social media posts. There was a respectful officer trying to ensure road safety while explaining his concerns to the driver. There was a respectful driver trying to safely operate his rented vehicle while explaining his actions to the officer. During the interaction, the officer realized he made a mistake — he owned it and fully apologized for it. "The Ottawa Police is very aware of the legitimate concerns raised by community members about racial profiling. As a Service, we strive to make all of our interactions with the public respectful and bias-neutral. We have introduced new policies, training and education for all officers in order to address these issues. We recognize that we must always look for ways to improve."Justice for Abdirahman condemns traffic stopThe video was also shared by the Justice for Abdirahman (JFA) coalition, which challenges racial inequality and seeks to obtain justice for Abdirahman Abdi, a Black man who died following a violent altercation with Ottawa police in July 2016.The group said it "strongly condemns" the traffic stop. "JFA maintains that this is a classic example of a pretext stop and racial profiling by Ottawa Police, and we are calling on the Ontario Human Rights Commission to conduct a broad public interest inquiry under section 31 of the Ontario Human Rights Code into racial discrimination and racial profiling by Ottawa Police against Black people," the coalition said in a statement.For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. 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A group of women and children out for a walk near Lillooet, B.C., earlier this week managed to fight off a cougar that was attacking a 10-year-old boy — with some help from a brave border collie.According to a Facebook post from the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, two women and four children between the ages of 10 and 13 were walking the trails around a remote family cabin near Marshall Lake on Monday afternoon when the attack happened.The 10-year-old boy had run ahead of the group when a cougar suddenly dropped out of a tree and swiped at him, knocking him to the ground and then scratching his back and chest.Conservation officers say a border collie that was with the group jumped on the cougar's back while the humans screamed and threw rocks and sticks until the big cat ran away.A nearby road worker helped give first aid to the boy, and he was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Conservation officers are now trying to track the cougar with the help of dogs.According to WildSafeBC, if you encounter a cougar in the wild, you should stay calm, don't run and immediately pick up small children.
South Florida DJ and music producer Erick Morillo was found dead at his home Tuesday morning, weeks after being charged with sexual battery, authorities said. Miami Beach police officers found the 49-year-old Morillo's body after responding to a 911 call, police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said in an email. Morillo has won several awards at the DJ Awards, including Best International DJ.
The Toronto District School Board says families who have responded so far to its registration process have indicated that 70 per cent of elementary students and 78 per cent of secondary students will return to class in person when school resumes later this month.At the elementary level, kindergarten to Grade 8, 90 per cent of families responded to the TDSB registration process, indicating that 70 per cent, or 107,601 students, will go to school for in-person learning.Thirty per cent, or 47,462 elementary students, have registered for remote learning.At the secondary level, from Grade 9 to 12, the TDSB says 87 per cent of families responded to the registration process, indicating that 78 per cent, or 49,181 students, have opted for in-person learning.Twenty-two per cent, or 13,781 students, have registered for remote learning.Ryan Bird, spokesperson for the TDSB, said the board sent emails on Aug. 26 to all parents and guardians to ask them to register their children online for either in-person or virtual learning this fall. Families without email addresses or who did not respond to online registration received automated phone calls.Parents or guardians of 247,583 students — 173,220 elementary and 74,363 secondary — were contacted and asked whether their child was returning to school for in-person or virtual school learning this fall.Parents or guardians of 89 per cent, or 218,025 TDSB elementary and secondary students, responded. The board will follow up with those who have not responded, he said.Public school officially starts Sept. 15 in TorontoAccording to the TDSB, school starts on Sept. 15, but there will be a staggered start for elementary students over the first three days, from Sept. 15 to 17. All secondary school students will begin school on Sept. 15."As we prepare to open our schools in September and welcome back students and staff, we are doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of all school community members, while also providing the best academic experience possible for students, supporting mental health and well-being and considering the needs of families and staff," the TDSB says in a message on its website.
The latest COVID-19 updates from Canadian officials, health experts and politicians.
A Dutch-Canadian woman formerly employed by the High Commission of Canada in London is suing former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell and the federal government over two alleged acts of unwanted touching by Campbell said to have taken place when he was Canada's high commissioner to the U.K.Judith Prins came to a settlement agreement in 2014 over the two alleged incidents. The new claim says that settlement should be overturned.Details of a civil suit filed in the Central London County Court and recently obtained by CBC News give a clearer picture of Prins' allegations.Prins, who lives in England and was an employee of the Canadian High Commission in 2013, named Campbell and the Government of Canada as defendants in her claim. She is seeking damages for lost income and for stress and anxiety.Prins' allegations have not been tested in court and CBC cannot independently verify her claims.Prins alleges in her lawsuit that when she was hired, her manager informed her "that she should be careful around (Campbell)" — which she claims led her to believe Campbell "had a pre-disposition to sexually harass women."The harassment allegations laid out in Prins' statement of claim say that in July of 2013, Campbell "came up behind [Prins] and started rubbing her shoulders." It also alleges that on Sept. 9, 2013, as Prins "was walking up a flight of stairs ... [she] felt [Campbell] touch her bottom and stroke the right side of her behind."Prins' statement of claim also says her concerns were not addressed during her term of employment. The court documents reveal a mediation session was arranged in March 2014, after Prins' employment at the High Commission had ended.'An unconscionable bargain'The new civil claim, originally filed with British courts in February, says Prins was unable to afford a lawyer for that 2014 meeting, which ended with a settlement.The terms of that settlement have not been made public, but her new statement of claim suggests "[Prins] had no alternative … other than to sign the agreement." As part of the civil claim, her lawyer now argues the settlement is void "on the grounds of economic duress and/or as an unconscionable bargain."CBC News spoke briefly with Prins, who declined an interview, citing the legal proceedings."This has been settled once before, more than five years ago now," Campbell told CBC News in a brief interview at his Ottawa home. "It was dealt with fully."Campbell said he would not discuss Prins' allegations with CBC News.Watch | Former B.C. premier addresses allegations of sexual harassment in civil suit:Campbell, who served as premier of British Columbia for a decade starting in 2001, was appointed High Commissioner to the United Kingdom by then-prime minister Stephen Harper in 2011. During his tenure in the high-ranking diplomatic role, he hosted the Queen and other high-ranking royals at Canada House and oversaw official visits by prime ministers Harper and Justin Trudeau. After a one-year extension on his term, Campbell returned to Canada in 2016."There's a full, independent review that was carried out of these matters, as they should be, and that's where it stands," Campbell told CBC News.Campbell has not responded formally to the court claim.'Distress and anxiety'The claim states Prins is seeking "less than 25,000" pounds (which is approximately $43,000 Cdn) for two years of lost wages and compensation for "loss, damage, distress and anxiety." Her claim alleges she suffers from migraines, has had trouble sleeping and has suffered from severe social anxiety.The Government of Canada is named as the second defendant in Prins' claim, which argues that it's "vicariously liable for the actions of [Campbell]."Allegations against Campbell were first reported by Britain's Daily Telegraph in January, 2019, after a woman contacted London's Metropolitan Police "and alleged she had been sexually assaulted at an address in Grosvenor Square" — the location of the Canadian High Commission at the time of the complaint.Scotland Yard said at the time that police were investigating an alleged 2013 incident but had made no arrests. The Metropolitan Police did not publicly identify any persons of interest in their investigation. Prins told the paper at the time that she made the complaint in part because of the MeToo movement fighting sexual harassment and exploitation.Prins would not comment on the status of that complaint when asked about it Wednesday by CBC News.After his diplomatic posting, Campbell took on consulting jobs in Canada — including a contract with Premier Doug Ford's government in Ontario in July 2018 to lead a commission looking into the previous provincial Liberal government's spending and accounting practices. He also had a part-time job with the public relations firm Edelman — an arrangement that was put on hold when the allegations were reported by The Telegraph in 2019.
The leaders of New Brunswick's six political parties are preparing for a debate tonight that will be broadcast live from Fredericton. The debate will be carried by Rogers Cable 10 at 7 p.m., but it will be broadcast at 9 p.m. in the Saint John and Bathurst regions. The leaders taking part are expected to include Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs, Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers, People's Alliance Leader Kris Austin, Green party Leader David Coon, NDP Leader Mackenzie Thomason and the leader of the Keep It Simple Solutions party, Gerald Bourque.
LOS ANGELES — A court has granted Carol Burnett temporary custody of her teenage grandson as the boy's mother struggles with substance abuse.A Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday judge granted the 87-year-old Burnett and her husband, Brian Miller, custody of her 14-year-old grandson Dylan West until Jan. 8.The move came two weeks after Burnett and Miller had filed for custody, saying that her daughter, Erin Hamilton, had been struggling with addiction issues.Burnett said in a statement that the move was for the boy's “health, education and welfare and not intended to deny him nor the parents proper visitation with one another.”The judge's ruling says Burnett and Miller may change Dylan's home and school at least until a hearing in January.Hamilton, a singer, is the youngest of the TV comedy legend's three daughters. Burnett has been married to Miller, a musician, since 2001.An email seeking comment sent to a representative for Erin Hamilton was not immediately returned.The Associated Press
VANCOUVER — A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared in the nephrology unit at a hospital in Surrey, B.C.Fraser Health's interim chief medical health officer says a patient tested positive for the virus on Tuesday.Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin says the unit at Surrey Memorial Hospital has fewer than a dozen patients, and staff are being monitored and screened.She says the nephrology unit is closed to new patients and it is not expecting visitors.Brodkin says an outbreak is defined as a transmission at a hospital site.The new outbreak comes as B.C.'s health minister and provincial health officer announced 104 new cases of the novel coronavirus across the province, bringing the total number of cases to 5,952.Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry say in a joint statement that as schools reopen, people need to get "back to the basics" of COVID-19 safety measures. They say that 33 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, 14 of them in intensive care. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Canada expects to make a financial contribution to the international vaccine coalition known as COVAX, the federal government says, aiming to equitably distribute an eventual COVID-19 vaccine to poorer countries that couldn't afford it.The decision contrasts with Tuesday's move by the Trump administration to have the United States opt out of the alliance of more than 150 countries because the program is linked to the World Health Organization.President Donald Trump ended U.S. funding to the WHO in July because, he says, it is unduly influenced by China and needs to be reformed.A spokesman for Karina Gould, Canada's international development minister, says the Trudeau government is working on the details of a spending commitment to what's called the "COVAX Facility," which is designed to ensure developing countries have fair access to a COVID-19 cure."There's definitely an interest by our government to be part of the facility. That I can confirm," Louis Belanger said in an interview."We're looking at our options now."COVAX also allows investing countries to be given early access for up to 20 per cent of their populations.The initiative is aimed at circumventing so-called vaccine nationalism — the scramble by individual countries to secure vaccines for their own populations, often by pre-buying doses directly from pharmaceutical companies.And indeed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday the government's latest move in its plan to pre-buy tens of millions doses of potential vaccines, adding deals with two American companies working on promising candidates.In June, however, Trudeau co-wrote an opinion column in the Washington Post along with the leaders of Spain, Ethiopia, New Zealand and South Korea, promoting COVAX as an equitable way of helping stamp out the pandemic everywhere.Monday had been a deadline for the countries to move beyond simple expressions of interest and make financial pledges. But that deadline has now been moved to Sept. 18.Belanger said the Liberal government is aiming to have a decision before then.The European Union met the original Monday deadline when European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced its contribution of almost $620 million (400 million euros).Von der Leyen said the contribution was an act of "global solidarity" but she also kept the door open to individual European countries' continuing to pursue a vaccine for their own purposes."No country, no continent can defeat the coronavirus on its own. We have to join forces," she said."In parallel, we continue negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to purchases doses of vaccines on behalf of the EU member states."After the U.S. opted out, a White House spokesman said it would continue to engage with international organizations in the fight against COVID-19 but added: "we will not be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China."A spokeswoman for GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, said Canada and several countries have expressed interest in joining COVAX but the organization would like to see firm dollar commitments by Sept. 18 with "up-front payments" to follow no later than Oct. 9."Canada has earlier submitted an expression of interest — a non-binding indication of interest — to participate in the COVAX Facility. We are now working on formalizing these EOLs with each country via legally binding agreements and hope to conclude this process before Sept. 18," a GAVI spokeswoman told The Canadian Press in response to emailed questions.Over the past 20 years, GAVI has become the leading international organization for distributing vaccines to less-developed countries.The anti-poverty advocacy group called the One Campaign is also pushing Canada to follow through with a firm financial commitment to COVAX.Gayle Smith, the group's president, said if Canada pledged money, it would set an example for other countries.Smith said joining would avoid the spectacle that saw rich countries scoop up H1N1 vaccine after that outbreak more than a decade ago and avoid a repeat of the race for personal protective equipment (PPE) at the start of the current pandemic.In an interview from Washington, Smith said COVAX is a "much more efficient mechanism than a mad scramble. I just hope that the world will take a lesson from the PPE mess and realize it's got the opportunity to get it right this time."COVAX aims to deliver two billion doses of safe, WHO-approved vaccines by the end of 2021. That would also include giving participating countries access that would cover 20 per cent of their own populations."It's arguably a very good model for Canada itself. We're already seeing some signs of vaccine nationalism," said Smith."It's way to get in the queue and avoid what happened in H1N1, which was a scramble to grab up what was available as opposed to countries pulling together."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 2, 2020.Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press
As schools across eastern Ontario and western Quebec scramble to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents and students are left with unanswered questions.When does school begin? What will my child's day look like? Is it possible to switch from in-class to online learning during the school year, and vice versa?We've gathered everything we know about each and every school board in the region to give you the most up-to-date information available.You can scroll down this page to compare the different back-to-school plans, or click on your local school board below.Eastern Ontario: Western Quebec: Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)When will classes start? The OCDSB will be staggering the entry of students over a two-week period. Elementary students are now scheduled to return to class starting Sept. 14, with older students returning Sept. 15 and 16.In high school, Grade 9 students are still scheduled to return to in-person class Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 at the earliest. Students in grades 10-12 will be returning on a staggered schedule, separated by cohort. Parents can learn more about elementary schedules by start date, or by searching by school name, the board says.All remote elementary and high school students are scheduled to begin online classes Sept. 18.Which students will be required to wear masks?Masks are mandatory for students in grades 4-12 while on the bus or in school. Students in kindergarten to Grade 3 are not obligated to wear them, but the board says it is encouraged. Are class sizes being reduced? Last week, OCDSB said it will be reducing the number of students per class to 15 in neighbourhoods where the spread of COVID-19 has been relatively high. The board says more information will be made available soon.What will the school day look like? Students in elementary schools will attend classes five days a week and are expected to remain with the same classmates within their classroom throughout the day including lunch and recess. The board says information about start dates and cohorts will be provided by schools. In the board's revised model, a school day for secondary students will have two periods of in-person instruction along with study hall. They will attend in-person instruction on alternating days. All students and staff need to undergo a screening for COVID-19 symptoms prior to arriving at school or work. What will remote learning look like?OCDSB said remote learning will not be the same as in-person learning, which will involve live sessions with instructors where attendance will be taken. Remote learners will not necessarily be with students from their school, but will attend a "virtual school" with students from across their district. They will have a required number of instructional minutes for synchronous learning, which is live instruction, and asynchronous learning, which consists of pre-recorded lessons or independent learning.When can students switch between remote and in-person learning?Dates for switching models and corresponding deadlines for requesting a switch will be established as soon as possible.Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB)When will classes start?Students in kindergarten to Grade 3 and Grade 7 will begin on Sept. 8, while grades 4-6 and Grade 8 will begin Sept. 9. High school students in grades 9-12 are split into two different cohorts: Cohort A will return on Sept. 14, while Cohort B will start the next day. Which students will be required to wear masks?Masks are mandatory for students in grades 4-12 while on the bus or in school. Students in kindergarten to Grade 3 are not obligated to wear them but the board "strongly recommends" that all students do. Are class sizes being reduced?Kindergarten classes will have an average of 26 students, while over 90 per cent of the classes in grades 1-3 will have 20 students or fewer. The remaining 10 per cent will have 21 to 23 students. Grades 4-8 will have approximately 24 students in each class. According to the board's adapted model for high school students, class sizes will be reduced to 12 to 17 students "in most cases." What will the school day look like?OCSB said elementary students will remain in one cohort for the day including during recess and lunch. Students in grades 9-12 will take two classes every day. Schools will divide students into two cohorts that will attend in-person classes on alternate days. High schools will operate on an adapted "quadmester" system in which students have to take two 150-minute courses each day for a total of five hours per day. What will remote learning look like?Elementary students who are enrolled in remote learning will receive daily instruction with a dedicated classroom teacher for their online class. They will receive a daily schedule that requires up to 300 minutes of learning per day. This will include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities for the students to complete. High school students enrolled in the OCSB's "Virtual Academy" will focus on one course at a time over a five- to six-week period and are required to complete five hours of learning per day. When can students switch between remote and in-person learning?Parents will be able to register their child for in-person learning at the end of October, after the school year begins. Secondary students who opted for remote learning will be able to return to in-person learning at the end of the semester.Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE)When will classes start? The first day of class for in-person learning for kindergarten to Grade 8 students is Thursday, while the first day for high school students in Ottawa is Sept. 8. The board said it is confident that Sept. 3 is a "realistic" date for elementary schools to welcome students back. Which students will be required to wear masks?Masks are mandatory for students in grades 4-12 while on the bus or in school. Students in kindergarten to Grade 3 are not obligated to wear them but the board "strongly recommends" that all students do. Are class sizes being reduced?For elementary schools, direct and indirect contacts are limited to 50 students from the same cohort.According to the CECCE's website, grades 9-12 will have a reduced class size of around 15 students.What will the school day look like?Grades 1-6, and in some cases grades 7 and 8, will have staggered recess, lunch and bathroom breaks throughout the day, and areas will be designated for each cohort of students to limit the number of people gathering. Students will be grouped into cohorts and remain together throughout the day to limit contact with others.Students in grades 7 and 8 will return to in-person classes and will follow the regular full-time schedule.Grades 9-12 will also be split into cohorts and will follow a rotating schedule allowing each group to alternate throughout the week. They will attend two periods of 150 minutes for the same course on days when they are physically in school. What will remote learning look like?Students in kindergarten to Grade 8 will attend the CECCE "Virtual Learning Academy," which will include synchronous and asynchronous learning.When can students switch between remote and in-person learning?For students in kindergarten to Grade 8, parents can choose to withdraw their child from either remote learning or in-person learning at any point by filling out a withdrawal form on the board's website. For grades 9-12, if the student is registered full-time for distance learning, they must complete the first semester before they are able to make the transition. Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO)When will classes start? Students in CEPEO schools will begin in-person instruction between Sept. 3 and 9. Students enrolled in remote learning will begin Sept. 8.Which students will be required to wear masks?Students in grades 4-12 are required to wear masks indoors, in the hallways and in classroom. Masks are mandatory for Grade 3 students registered in a split grades 3/4 class. CEPEO strongly recommends masks to be worn by students in kindergarten to Grade 3. Masks are mandatory for all students on school buses, no matter their grade.Are class sizes being reduced?Grades 1-3 will have an average of 20 students per class with one teacher, while grades 4-8 will have an average of 24.5 students per teacher.With the CEPEO's attendance model, secondary schools are able to limit each cohort to about 15 students per class.What will the school day look like?Students in kindergarten to Grade 8 will attend school five days a week.Students in grades 9-12 will have their school year divided into quadmesters and will take two courses per quadmester. Students will also be divided into two cohorts that will alternate throughout the week. One group will attend classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and every other Friday, the other group on Tuesdays, Thursdays and every other Friday.Teachers and parents are required to fill out a self-assessment form daily, prior to attending class. The form can be found on the board's website.What will remote learning look like?CEPEO will be offering both synchronous and asynchronous learning for students in elementary school, while the online learning program for secondary students will run on a semester schedule, with students enrolled in four courses from September to January.When can students switch between remote and in-person learning?Students in Kindergarten to Grade 8 must wait up to 12 weeks to switch from virtual learning to the classroom. Grades 9-12 can make the transition after each half-semester. Each semester of the traditional school year will be divided into two terms. Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB)When will classes start? The board is planning to have a three-day staggered start for students returning to school, beginning Sept. 11.Which students will be required to wear masks?Students in grades 4-12 and staff must wear a mask while inside the building.Are class sizes being reduced?All kindergarten to Grade 8 students will be kept with their assigned class to minimize contact between students at school. The board has not specified the average number of students in each class. Under the UCDSB's attendance model, secondary schools are able to limit each cohort to about 15 students per class.What will the school day look like?Elementary schools will be open full days, five days a week for in-person learning. Students will remain with their assigned groups throughout the day. Students in grades 9-12 will follow a quadmester model similar to other school boards, with students taking two courses for the first nine weeks of the school year. Students are expected to complete four courses by January.What will remote learning look like?For all students enrolled in remote learning, a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning will be offered to ensure they complete the minimum requirements set by the board.When can students switch between remote and in-person learning?In a letter to parents, the UCDSB told parents that once the school year starts it "may not be possible" for students to switch between classroom and online learning due to high demand. Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO)When will classes start? The first day of school for students will be staggered between Sept. 8 and 10. Kindergarten students and Grade 7 students in secondary schools will return Sept. 8. Grades 1-3 and grades 8 and 9 students in secondary schools will begin Sept. 9. Grades 4-6, grades 7 and 8 in elementary schools, and grades 10-12 in high schools will begin Sept. 10.The first day of school for students enrolled in online learning is Sept. 14.Which students will be required to wear masks?Face masks are mandatory for students in grades 4-12 in all CDSBEO schools. Are class sizes being reduced?The board's chosen model keeps students with their classroom cohort, but unlike a different model does not limit class sizes to 15.What will the school day look like?Elementary schools will follow a regular five-day cycle this year. Secondary schools will follow a quadmester model for the first half of the school year, similar to other school boards. No decision has been made yet to implement the same model for the second half. High school students will also have shorter days in class, beginning at 8:10 a.m. and ending at approximately 12:15 p.m.What will remote learning look like?Elementary and secondary school students who choose remote learning can expect live sessions and self-learning to be offered daily.When can students switch between remote and in-person learning?The CDSBEO said it will consider allowing students to opt for a different learning method during the school year. Renfrew County District School Board (RCDSB)When will classes start?The first day of classes for all students is Sept. 8. Which students will be required to wear masks?Students in grades 4-12 are required to wear a mask while at school.Are class sizes being reduced?High school class sizes will not be reduced, with a maximum of 34 students per class, according to the board's website.What will the school day look like?Elementary schools will follow a regular five-day cycle this school year. Secondary schools will follow a quadmester model for the first half of the school year, but no decision has been made yet to implement the same model in the second half.What will remote learning look like?Students enrolled in virtual learning will be required to complete a combination of live online instruction along with assignments and activities. They will be grouped with other online students in their grade or multiple grades from schools across the district.When can students switch between remote and in-person learning?Parents have the opportunity to switch their children from online learning to in-person learning, or vice versa, at set points throughout the school year.Renfrew County Catholic District School Board (RCCDSB)When will classes start?The first day of classes for all students is Sept. 8. Which students will be required to wear masks?Students in grades 4-12 are required to wear a mask while at school.Are class sizes being reduced?Class sizes for secondary schools will be reduced as a result of the cohort model that the board has implemented. What will the school day look like?Elementary schools will follow a regular five-day cycle this school year. RCCDSB schools will also implement a quadmester model for secondary students, who will take two courses per day each quadmester.What will remote learning look like?Virtual learning will take place five days a week and all students will need to meet the requirements set out by the board. Each virtual classroom will have one designated teacher for both synchronous and asynchronous learning.When can students switch between remote and in-person learning?The earliest opportunity for remote learners to return to the classroom will be Nov. 16. Limestone District School Board (LDSB)When will classes start? All students attending an LDSB school will begin Sept. 3.Which students will be required to wear masks?Students in grades 4-12 are required to wear a mask while at school.Are class sizes being reduced?The LDSB does not specify class sizes in their return-to-school plan. What will the school day look like?Students in elementary school will remain with their classroom cohorts during the day including recess and lunch.As a non-designated board, the LDSB is using a conventional model where all elementary and secondary students will return for in-person learning five days a week. Secondary school courses will follow a "blocked timetable" where students concentrate on one subject at a time. What will remote learning look like?The LDSB Virtual School for all grades will use the same content and expectations set out in the Ontario curriculum. Remote learning will include "opportunities for guided instruction, large- and small-group learning, live (synchronous) check-ins, and scheduled (asynchronous) independent work," according to the board.When can students switch between remote and in-person learning?Elementary students wishing to move from remote learning to in-class learning or vice versa will need to notify their home school by Sept. 14, 2020. Secondary students wishing to switch can notify their home school any time, and will be accommodated as long as there's space available.The board acknowledges that while efforts will be made to accommodate requests for a change, "families should expect that they might need to be wait-listed if they change their minds due to capacity challenges at their home school or the LDSB Virtual School."Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB)When will classes start?HPEDSB will hold a staggered entry beginning Sept. 3. Students attending the board's virtual school will begin classes on Sept. 14. Which students will be required to wear masks?Masks are mandatory for staff and students in grades 4-12 in hallways, during classes and on buses.Are class sizes being reduced?HPEDSB will require students' contacts to be limited to approximately 50, inside and outside of the classroom. What will the school day look like?Elementary students in kindergarten to Grade 8 will attend school five days a week, with 300 minutes of instruction per day, and will remain with their cohort including recess and lunch breaks.Secondary students will study four courses from September to January. All students, whether learning in class or online, will follow a blended learning model consisting of 300 minutes of instruction per day.What will remote learning look like?The board's K-12 Virtual School will group students from different schools together to form online classes. The school day will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 3:20 p.m. with breaks in between. Each virtual classroom will have a designated teacher for both synchronous and asynchronous learning.When can students switch between remote and in-person learning?Parents will have the opportunity to switch their children from online learning to in-person learning, or vice versa, at set points throughout the school year.Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB)When will classes start? All students will begin staggered entry on Sept. 3. All students in kindergarten to Garde 8 will start by Sept. 14, and all high school students will start by Sept. 8.Which students will be required to wear masks? Masks are mandatory for staff and students in grades 4-12. Students in kindergarten to Grade 3 are "strongly encouraged to wear masks." Are class sizes being reduced? In its updated return-to-school plan, the ALCDSB says class sizes will be organized based on Ministry of Education requirements, but doesn't provide any numbers.What will the school day look like? All students in elementary schools will remain in the same classroom for the day. Teachers, not students, will move between rooms.What will remote learning look like?Remote learning will begin after the staggered entry dates. The board notes that while there will be "live and scheduled" learning opportunities, remote instruction will differ from in-person learning. The board also notes that remote learning may be delivered differently to elementary and secondary students as there are different time requirements depending on grade.When can students switch between remote and in-person learning?The ALCDSB says elementary students will have an option to return to school based on "site based scenarios." However, secondary students will only be allowed to make the transition at the beginning of the next "octomester," which would be at the start of Period 2 on Oct. 13. For those who want to switch from in-person learning to remote learning during the school year, the board says opportunity will be limited due to organizational and staffing considerations.Western Québec School Board (WQSB)When will classes start? All students in pre-school, elementary and secondary schools in the English-language school board in Gatineau and the Outaouais returned to school Friday, the first day of a staggered four-day entry.Which students will be required to wear masks? Masks are mandatory for students in grades 5-12 and recommended for all other students, a rule set by Quebec's Education Ministry. Students will have to wear a mask in common areas and on school transportation. Are class sizes being reduced? Schools are open at 100 per cent occupancy and class sizes are to remain the same according to ministry rules, but distancing protocols are in place in the classroom. What will the school day look like? Similar to other boards in western Quebec, a distance of two metres must be maintained between students and school staff, and one metre between students of different class groups. As well, students from the same class group will remain in the same classroom and teachers will be the only ones moving from room to room.What will remote learning look like?There is currently no remote learning option for students of any age. Parents have the option of home-schooling their children, the board says.Commission scolaire des Draveurs When will classes start? All students returned to school Monday. Which students will be required to wear masks? Masks are mandatory for students in grades 5-12 and recommended for all others, a rule set by Quebec's Ministry of Education.Are class sizes being reduced? Class sizes are to remain the same according to ministry rules, but distancing protocols are in place in the classroom. What will the school day look like? Similar to other boards in western Quebec, a distance of two metres must be maintained between students and school staff, and one metre between students of different class groups. As well, students from the same class group will remain in the same classroom and teachers will be the only ones moving from room to room.What will remote learning look like?There is currently no remote learning option for students of any age.Commission scolaire des Hauts-Bois-de-l'Outaouais (CSHBO)When will classes start? A three-day staggered entry for all students began Monday. Which students will be required to wear masks? Masks are mandatory for students in grades 5-12 and recommended for all other students, a rule set by Quebec's Ministry of Education.Are class sizes being reduced? Class sizes are to remain the same according to ministry rules, with distancing protocol in place in the classroom. What will the school day look like? Similar to other boards in western Quebec, a distance of two metres must be maintained between students and school staff, and one metre between students of different class groups. As well, students from the same class group will remain in the same classroom and teachers will be the only ones moving from room to room.What will remote learning look like?There is currently no remote learning option for students of any age.Centre de services scolaire au Cœur-des-Vallées (CSSCV)When will classes start? All students returned to classes Monday. Which students will be required to wear masks? Masks are mandatory for students in grades 5-12 and recommended for all other students, a rule set by Quebec's Ministry of Education.Are class sizes being reduced? Class sizes are to remain the same according to ministry rules, with distancing protocol in place in the classroom. What will the school day look like? Similar to other boards in western Quebec, a distance of two metres must be maintained between students and school staff, and one metre between students of different class groups. As well, students from the same class group will remain in the same classroom and teachers will be the only ones moving from room to room.What will remote learning look like?There is currently no remote learning option for students of any age.Commission Scolaire Des Portages-De-L'Outaouais (CSSPO)When will classes start? All students returned to classes Tuesday.Which students will be required to wear masks? Masks are mandatory for students in Grades 5 to 12 and recommended for all other students, a rule set by Quebec's Ministry of Education.Are class sizes being reduced? Class sizes are to remain the same according to ministry rules, with distancing protocol in place in the classroom. What will the school day look like? Similar to other boards in western Quebec, a distance of two metres must be maintained between students and school staff, and one metre between students of different class groups. As well, students from the same class group will remain in the same classroom and teachers will be the only ones moving from room to room.What will remote learning look like?There is currently no remote learning option for students of any age.
Some members of P.E.I.'s Chinese community are asking the Island's Department of Health to expand options for COVID-19 testing, after the Chinese government imposed new requirements for travel. Starting on Sept. 9, anyone boarding a flight from Canada to China needs to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the past 72 hours. Right now on P.E.I., testing is available only to those who have coronavirus symptoms or a close contact with symptoms. "Right now, there is no policy here in the province to have people tested for travel reasons," said Ally Guo, a member of the Island Chinese community who also volunteers within the community. "If you have no symptoms and no problem, they cannot test for you."Guo has recently started a social media group advocating for a testing option on P.E.I. for travel purposes — and she said at least 40 families have already joined. The group has reached out to the Association for Newcomers to Canada, the Island's Department of Health, MP Sean Casey, and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison."We are trying to communicate with Health, and try to get them involved to have that exception for those people required to submit that kind of report [so that] they can present their ticket information or something, to have that test done," said Guo.Grandmother among those needing testOne of the people trying to get back to China is Lihua Ji, who came to P.E.I. from Beijing in December for the birth of her grandson.The plan was to stay for a couple months and return to China in March, but the pandemic made that impossible.Since then, Lihua Ji has had four flights home cancelled. She's got a ticket booked for Sept. 15, but isn't sure how she'll be allowed to board the flight unless she's able to get tested for COVID-19 within three days of the trip. Speaking through Guo, the new grandmother told CBC that she worries for her husband, who is in poor health and lives alone in China. She also said she brought only enough medication for a few months, and has been using less of it to stretch out what she's got. That supply is quickly running out. Would pay for testingGuo said those wishing to travel internationally and require a negative COVID-19 test for travel are willing to pay the costs of being tested.They can't get them done privately, even if that were an available option, because the Chinese government specifies that for travel from Canada, the tests need to be administered by institutions designated or recognized by the Chinese embassy or consulates in Canada.In P.E.I., the only acceptable tests would be administered by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown or the Prince County Hospital in Summerside. Working on the issue: CPHOOfficials with the Chief Public Health Office say they are working on the possibility of a testing option for travel purposes, but don't have any additional details at this time. They say more countries are requesting this as a prerequisite for entry for travel so they do plan to address this.No timelines have been provided, however.More from CBC P.E.I.
Toronto Police 13th division superintendent Shaun Narine on Wednesday spoke about the shooting that happened overnight outside a bakery, saying the people wounded in the shooting had not come to the bakery as a group. He also called the shooting a “brazen disregard for public safety,” but believed the incident was isolated.
New Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says he wants to chart a new path in the Crown's relationship with Indigenous peoples — a relationship he argues has been marred by the Liberals' reliance on symbolism over action."You're going to see a serious approach to reconciliation under prime minister O'Toole," he told a press conference Wednesday."I haven't seen a serious approach from Mr. Trudeau, despite positive rhetoric. I want to see action and positive movement."A senior party adviser to O'Toole said the Crown relationship with Indigenous peoples is a priority for the new leader. The adviser said O'Toole's approach to the file will be based on three simple principles: show up, listen and have an open dialogue.O'Toole already has formed some relationships within the Indigenous business community. He was also the only Conservative leadership candidate to sit down for an interview with Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde for his Ahkameyimok podcast.During that 45 minute discussion, O'Toole said that to him, reconciliation means Indigenous participation in the economy to the fullest extent, along with collaboration and partnership with communities. Bellegarde said O'Toole's willingness to participate "speaks volumes" about his accessibility to Indigenous leaders. "If Erin O'Toole's job is to make the blue tent big enough to include everybody in Canada, including First Nations people, he needs to build a relationship with First Nations people — as do all parties," said Bellegarde.O'Toole touts relationship with chief in home ridingDuring the podcast, O'Toole brought up his relationship with Chief Kelly LaRocca of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation — the only First Nations band in O'Toole's Durham riding — as an example of his outreach.This appears to be a departure from O'Toole's predecessor Andrew Scheer, who did not have close relationships with the 12 chiefs in his riding of Regina—Qu'Appelle and was booed at an AFN chiefs assembly after he couldn't say how his approach to Indigenous affairs would differ from that of former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper.LaRocca told CBC News she's known O'Toole since 2012 and described their interactions as pleasant, even though they don't always see eye-to-eye.For example, LaRocca said, she read O'Toole's leadership platform on "igniting the Indigenous economy" and concluded he has to be clearer about what that means."By focusing the Indigenous economy in the periphery and as the pathway to reconciliation, Erin hasn't made clear, at least to me, how to address the many other very important issues," she said.LaRocca said she would like to see a plan from O'Toole on how to deal with the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice and child welfare systems, the high rates of suicide and substance abuse in Indigenous communities, the lack of high speed internet connectivity in remote areas and the problem of systemic racism, particularly within the RCMP.O'Toole's leadership platform said he wants to guarantee clean drinking water for every Indigenous community, get land claim settlements and title issues moving again and address the high cost of food in the North.But LaRocca said she wants to see more — including a proposal to address the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was established under the Harper government to document the history and legacy of Canada's residential school system."Why is boosting the Indigenous economy the panacea to the intergenerational effects of residential schools and all of the other colonial policies?" she said."I question whether it is to pursue an economy of land and resource extraction ... that will only serve to further alienate Indigenous peoples to what matters most to them."UNDRIP still a concernO'Toole said he is not a fan of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which sets international standards on how nation states deal with Indigenous peoples.O'Toole said the Supreme Court has set a higher bar on the so-called "duty to consult" than what is outlined in UNDRIP.The Liberal government has promised to bring in legislation to implement UNDRIP in Canada.The Conservatives voted against a private member's bill to implement UNDRIP the last time it was before Parliament in 2019 and it died in the Senate. The Conservatives' main concern at the time was the possible impact of an UNDRIP clause on the need for "free, prior and informed consent" from Indigenous peoples in order to proceed with natural resource projects. Bellegarde said UNDRIP legislation is an important part of reconciliation. He called UNDRIP the best way to balance the economy and the environment so that communities can create employment in a sustainable way. "If they [Conservatives] don't understand fully the implications of the UN declaration, it is indeed the roadmap to reconciliation in Canada," he said.Bellegarde said free, prior and informed consent will bring about economic certainty and stability in the country once it is fully endorsed — but Conservative opposition is not a deal-breaker when it comes to the AFN's relationship with the Conservative Party of Canada.Conservative critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations Jamie Schmale said the Supreme Court of Canada should be the body that defines free, prior and informed consent. "We're not totally against UNDRIP," he said. "We believe reconciliation needs to happen … We don't think anyone in Canada should have a veto over ... a major infrastructure project, so that's why we've been calling for a Supreme Court definition on what exactly what free, prior and informed consent means."Turning to Indigenous business community for ideasO'Toole has turned to JP Gladu, the former president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, as a sounding board for policy ideas. Gladu, who is now the chief development relations officer at an Indigenous construction and service company in the oil and gas sector called the Steel River Group, got to know O'Toole during the previous Conservative leadership campaign.O'Toole's leadership platform includes a commitment to establishing a national Indigenous procurement policy to bring Indigenous businesses into government procurement — something Gladu said can be put in place quickly."I think he's a very genuine guy," Gladu said."It's not necessarily in the Conservative roots to reach out to Indigenous leaders. It's not part of their base, typically, so Erin was very open-minded to talk to somebody like me."
MONTREAL — Health officials in Quebec City said they're fighting a spike in the number of infections in the region after a karaoke bar was linked to dozens of COVID-19 infections, including at three local schools.Jacques Girard, the interim director of the regional health authority, said Wednesday an investigation indicates some of the patrons of Le Kirouac bar went to other bars while contagious, spreading the virus."We now have evidence that those people who were COVID-positive, who maybe hadn't had the results of their tests but who were contagious, went to other places," he said. "It's there when our alarm signal went off."He said the recent rise in cases in the Quebec City area has been traced back to the evening of Aug. 23 at Le Kirouac. That evening alone generated 40 cases of COVID-19.Some of those people then went on to visit at least six other bars in the Quebec City area, Girard said. He said there hasn't yet been any evidence of further transmission at those bars, but that could change in the coming days.Girard says those cases have led to 10 more infections among family members — including three students who returned to school.The cases have prompted Le Kirouac to close until Sept. 9, and officials to urge the population to respect health directives, especially during alcohol-fuelled gatherings.Girard is asking anyone in the Quebec City area who visited a bar in the last week to get tested for COVID-19.The Quebec City region has been grappling with a spike in cases, prompting Girard to urge both bar owners and individuals to be more careful.On Wednesday, the region reported 23 new positive cases, compared to between two and four a day the previous week.Girard said it was imperative to avoid a "domino effect" of secondary cases and community spread."I think most people understand the importance of respecting the measures, but it's as if sometimes we forget the virus is still with us," he said.The province as a whole reported 132 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, as well as two additional deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.Hospitalizations declined by one to 109, while the number of people in intensive care remained stable at 20.There has been a total of 62,746 COVID-19 cases and 5,764 deaths linked to the virus in the province.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 2, 2020.\--With files from Caroline Plante in Quebec CityMorgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia announced Wednesday that flights to and from the United Arab Emirates “from all countries” will now be able to use its airspace — a statement apparently allowing flyovers by Israel following a deal to normalize UAE-Israel relations.The vaguely worded statement avoided naming Israel directly. However, the announcement came just days after the kingdom allowed the first direct Israeli commercial passenger flight to use its airspace to reach the UAE. Any direct flight between the two nations would need to use Saudi airspace to be commercially viable.The statement makes no mention of the kingdom’s rival, Iran, nor Qatar, which Saudi Arabia is currently boycotting. Flights between those countries to the UAE would, in theory, not need to use the kingdom's airspace.The official Saudi Press Agency said the move comes in response to a “request by the UAE” to open routes to and from the country.Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud wrote on Twitter that the kingdom's “firm and established position toward the Palestinian cause and people will not change.” However, even he did not name Israel in his tweet.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the announcement in an online video, signalling it involved his country.“For years, I have been working to open the skies between Israel and the East,” he said, hailing the “tremendous breakthrough” that Israeli planes can now fly cheaply and quickly from Israel to the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi and skyscraper-studded city of Dubai. Avoiding Saudi airspace would add around four hours to the journey.Earlier this week, Jared Kushner, the U.S. president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, flew with a high-level Israeli delegation to the UAE on the first direct commercial passenger flight between the two countries, a Star of David emblazoned on the jet’s tail. The flight traversed Saudi airspace, signalling at least acquiescence for the breakthrough U.S.-brokered agreement by the United Arab Emirates to normalize relations with Israel.The Saudi announcement comes as Kushner is travelling the Middle East to build on the momentum of the UAE deal and press other Arab countries to establish formal ties with Israel, even before it settles the conflict with the Palestinians — long considered a requirement for normalization.After leaving Abu Dhabi, he headed to Saudi Arabia to discuss “prospects for peace” in the region with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has expressed willingness for the kingdom to engage with Israel. The kingdom is close to the UAE, and, along with other pro-Western Arab governments, sees Iran as a major threat.Although shared enmity of Iran has largely overtaken traditional Arab support for the Palestinians, Israel remains unpopular in much of the Arab world. The UAE has promoted the deal as a tool to force Israel into halting its contentious plan to annex parts of the West Bank sought by the Palestinians for their future state. Saudi Arabia welcomed the UAE's move but was careful to stress it would only open ties with Israel on the condition that peace is reached with the Palestinians.The Palestinians have fiercely opposed the normalization as peeling away one of their few advantages in moribund peace talks with Israel.President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt, one of two other Arab states to have full diplomatic ties with Israel, reiterated his country’s support for the UAE-Israel agreement. In a phone call with Netanyahu, el-Sissi said Egypt supports “any steps” that may help establish an independent Palestinian state and “provide security to Israel,” according to the Egyptian leader’s office.Later on Wednesday, Kushner travelled to the tiny Gulf state of Qatar and met with the country's ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to discuss the Mideast peace process, according to Qatar's state news agency. The emir called for a “just settlement of the Palestinian issue" based on the two-state solution, the agency said.The oil-rich country is a close U.S. ally, home to thousands of American troops. But a bitter regional dispute pits Qatar against neighbouring Gulf states and Egypt, which imposed a four-nation embargo in 2017 over Qatar's support for Islamist groups and relations with Iran.While it stands apart from the emerging Israeli-Arab alliance against Iran, Qatar consistently co-ordinates with Israel to deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to the impoverished Gaza Strip ruled by Islamic militant group Hamas.___Associated Press writers Ilan Ben Zion in Jerusalem and Samy Magdy in Cairo contributed to this report.Isabel Debre, The Associated Press
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole answered questions regarding his stance on China on Wednesday, saying that Canada has to take a “stronger, more principled approach” to China regarding the detainment of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.