Vaccine nationalism, when rich countries buy up vaccines making them unavailable for other countries, could hinder the global fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic and a program to have vaccines available everywhere is still not fully funded.
A Vancouver woman is claiming in a complaint to B.C.'s Human Rights Tribunal that a property management company acted in a discriminatory manner by denying her a rental apartment.Shayfaye Baylis, 32, alleges that after paying a damage deposit for a $1,500-a-month, two-bedroom apartment in Vancouver's Punjabi Market neighbourhood in July, Goodrich Realty cancelled the rental when staff learned she receives income assistance."I felt disheartened," Baylis said. "I've never gone through a process like this. Ever."Baylis, a casual housing support worker for a non-profit organization, receives income assistance for her disability — rheumatoid arthritis and lupus — which sometimes keep her from working.Baylis said in her complaint that under B.C. tenancy laws, once a landlord accepts a deposit, the tenancy is established.Baylis alleged after she paid, Goodrich refused to sign her shelter information form, which she needs a landlord to sign when she changes addresses in order to keep receiving income assistance. Baylis alleges Goodrich's property manager Donna Louie told her over the phone, "We've had nothing but bad experiences from people who need these forms filled out.""At that point, I really felt she was making the decision based on that," Baylis said.Days later, Baylis was declined as a tenant.A landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant based on their lawful source of income income, including income assistance.Baylis and her lawyer Grace McDonell have filed a complaint with B.C.'s Human Rights Tribunal claiming discrimination, including on grounds of lawful source of income."It wasn't until she brought up that disability, brought up the fact that she needed financial assistance, that essentially led down the path of her being rejected," McDonell said.The allegations have not been proven in court or tested by the tribunal. The tribunal will review Baylis's complaint to determine if it can proceed.Back and forthBaylis's complaint alleges over three days beginning July 19, she viewed the apartment, filled out an application and emailed Goodrich references and screenshots of her phone banking app showing deposits.On July 22, Goodrich sent Baylis an email with rental terms and instructions to send $800 via e-transfer for the damage deposit and move-in fee. Later that day, Baylis emailed Goodrich the shelter information form. Baylis and Louie spoke on the phone and Louie raised the issue of past tenants. On July 23, Baylis sent Goodrich an employment letter.On the morning of July 24, Goodrich demanded proof of her employment income within four hours. Baylis said in her complaint she had already provided that.On July 25, Goodrich emailed Baylis saying her application was denied because it lacked information. Goodrich refunded her $800 three days later."At no time prior to Ms. Baylis's request for a shelter information form signature, did Goodrich... indicate to Ms. Baylis that her application to rent the apartment was in any way incomplete," the complaint states."That financial questions were only posed once Ms. Baylis shared information about her disability and source of income is discriminatory. Her tenancy was rejected on that basis."Company says renter at faultLouie, in a phone interview, said Goodrich did nothing discriminatory and Baylis was declined because she would not disclose her employment income. Baylis denies that.Louie did say she told Baylis they had problems with tenants using shelter forms."Consistency of employment income is what we are looking for," Louie said."We had bad experiences before with people who keep changing the shelter form and we just don't get the proper income."Louie said she tried multiple times to get employment earnings information."You must give me the employment income," Louie said. "That's the number one most important thing in [an] application for rental because all the other income, one lump sum, can drop any time. We cannot count on that."Louie said the company does accept tenants on income assistance, but with "precautions" and "special arrangements." The company did not provide details of such arrangements.Tenancy complaints uncommonDanielle Sabelli, a lawyer with the non-profit Community Legal Assistance Society who is not involved in the case, said the situation raises the issue of how discrimination can deny people housing options in Vancouver's already tight rental market.Tenancy complaints only represented five percent of all tribunal complaints in 2018-19 but Sabelli believes they are underreported. Renters may not recognize discrimination or know the grounds under which they are protected, she said. Many landlords are unaware they have responsibilities under human rights legislation."Housing is essential to a person's dignity, safety, well-being and ability to participate in their communities," Sabelli said."So these housing violations are particularly egregious."Baylis said she's fortunate she could keep living in her basement suite in Vancouver's Champlain Heights neighbourhood.She, too, believes tenancy discrimination is underreported and wants to bring attention to it.CBC Vancouver's Impact Team investigates and reports on stories that impact people in their local community and strives to hold individuals, institutions and organizations to account. If you have a story for us, email email@example.com.
A Nova Scotia man whose wife tried to stop him from having a medically assisted death has followed through with the procedure, which was delayed by court proceedings for the past two months.Jack Sorenson of Bridgewater, N.S., died with medical assistance at the Fishermen's Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg, N.S., on Saturday at the age of 83, according to his obituary. He was approved and scheduled for medical assistance in dying (MAID) this summer, but his plans were put on hold when his wife, 82-year-old Katherine Sorenson, applied to Nova Scotia Supreme Court to stop him.Jack Sorenson had Stage III chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and was assessed with only 49 per cent lung capacity. In an interview in August, he said his shortness of breath caused him immense suffering.Katherine Sorenson has acknowledged her husband's suffering, but she said it was mental, not physical. She opposed his request for MAID because she said his wish to die was rooted in anxiety and mental delusions. She has also said she has a moral opposition to MAID.The day before Sorenson's death, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal had rejected his wife's latest bid to block her husband's efforts. Justice Cindy Bourgeois, who authored the decision on behalf of the three-judge panel, ruled that, with only rare exceptions, courts should not intercede if medical authorities have followed the proper procedures for assessing a patient's MAID request.A divisive dispute in a long marriageThe Sorensons had known each other for more than 60 years and were married for 48. After Katherine Sorenson launched her legal efforts to stop her husband from accessing MAID, he moved out of their shared home and the couple stopped speaking.In an interview Tuesday, Katherine Sorenson said she last spoke to her husband on Aug. 15, when she called him and learned he had made a suicide attempt. At that time, a temporary injunction was legally preventing him from MAID.She learned of his death when the funeral home called to tell her they had his body.She said that after months of separation, his passing was not a shock and she was doing "pretty well, considering.""I've had a wonderful life with Jack. There have been, as with any marriage, lots of varying opinions between the spouses and I thought we did a pretty good job of reconciling two pretty opposite views," she said, referring to their difference of religion. She is a practising Christian and he had been an atheist since his early adulthood.She said they dealt well with their differences "until this issue came up of end of life."In the obituary she wrote for her husband, Katherine Sorenson asked for donations to the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition in lieu of flowers. That organization has been paying her legal fees throughout her court challenge.As for what her husband would make of that request appearing in his obituary, she said, "I don't think he would like it.""But I don't know where he is right now, so I haven't got any idea what his frame of mind would be."Pursuing a Supreme Court of Canada appealAfter last week's decision from the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, Katherine Sorenson's lawyers said they had instructions to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. On Tuesday, she said that plan had not changed."Because this is an important issue that has not been dealt with, and it isn't just for Jack. It's for any vulnerable person. I think MAID is not very concerned about mentally ill people," she said.Kate Naugler, one of Katherine Sorenson's lawyers, said she and her colleagues were in the midst of drafting their application to the court.In addition to Jack Sorenson, the Nova Scotia Health Authority and Schelene Swinemar — a nurse practitioner with the health authority — were also listed as respondents in Katherine Sorenson's court challenge.A spokesperson for the health authority told CBC Tuesday, "we are confident that in this case appropriate steps and processes were followed, in accordance with current legislation and policies."Brendan Elliott also said the health authority recognizes Katherine Sorenson's right to apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, and respects the legal process.Jocelyn Downie, a Dalhousie University law professor who has been a member of multiple expert panels on MAID, said she believed that if Katherine Sorenson were granted leave to appeal to the high court, she would lose.In an email to CBC, Downie said the decisions from the courts in Nova Scotia were "incredibly robust.""The judges (six in all) walked carefully through all the relevant case law, applied the relevant tests to the evidence, and came to correct decisions."Downie said she suspected this case may have given some clinicians pause about whether to continue providing MAID if they could end up in court."These decisions, especially the Court of Appeal decision, should provide reassurance to clinicians and to the lawyers who advise them."Sorenson remembered as great musician, teacherJack Sorenson's obituary said he was born May 3, 1937, in the small mining town of Wallace, Idaho.Carrying a masters and a doctorate in music from the University of Washington at Seattle, he taught at Dalhousie University in Halifax from 1970-1974. Following that, he was a music producer for CBC for several years before he and his wife bought a restaurant in Mahone Bay on Nova Scotia's South Shore. The couple ran two Mahone Bay restaurants over the years, selling the last one in 2003. He also taught private piano lessons, and many students and employees remember him with fondness for his kindness in encouraging them in their skills whether in music or cooking."Many good friends will miss Jack for his interesting, quirky, challenging ideas," the obituary said.MORE TOP STORIES
The director of a prominent Arctic research institute says dress codes that prohibit female participants from wearing tight-fitting clothing are not meant to be sexist.Antje Boetius, the director of the Alfred-Wegener-Institut, which spearheaded the year-long MOSAiC polar research expedition, said recent controversy over the policy came as a surprise."These clothing regulations are so normal for people joining expeditions, and they are existing on research vessels worldwide," she told CBC. "It would have not occurred to me that this was linked to gender."The MOSAiC Expedition, billed as the world's largest and longest polar research mission, embedded scientists in Arctic sea ice for a year to make groundbreaking observations about the changing climate.But as the mission was entering its final phase, a report in environmental news outlet E&E News said female participants aboard the mission's support ship on its maiden voyage to the pole 11 months previously had been told wearing tight or revealing clothing could pose a "safety risk" with men at sea for an extended period.The report by journalist Chelsea Harvey raised concerns that the dress code aboard the Akademik Fedorov, announced days after an incident of sexual harassment on the ship, placed blame on female passengers and made sexist demands they dress modestly to manage the behaviour of men.Media reports 'scandalize and sexualize' regulationsThe Alfred-Wegener-Institut did not initially comment on Harvey's reporting when it was first published in September.Boetius said the institute had initially refrained from commenting because they hoped the story would not generate much comment. Reached by CBC last month, they issued a short statement saying the policy was "repeatedly emphasized" to participants both before and after the incident of harassment.But amid growing reaction to CBC's reporting on the story, the institute released a lengthy statement accusing the CBC and Harvey of "scandaliz[ing] and sexualiz[ing] gender-neutral regulations that are perfectly commonplace on commercial and research vessels."The statement reiterated that the policy had always been in place and was communicated to participants "independently of the incident." It said "a few first-time participants apparently paid insufficient attention … and in some cases failed to comply with the rules," prompting the reminder. > It would have not occurred to me that this was linked to gender. \- Dr. Antje Boetius, director of Alfred-Wegener-InstitutHarvey said no one with the Alfred-Wegener-Institut has contacted her since her story published last month. In her reporting and in interviews with CBC, she said participants were only made aware of prohibitions on wearing tight-fitting or revealing clothes partway through the voyage."We were told there are a lot of men on board this ship … and some of them are going to be on board this ship for months at a time," Harvey told CBC last month. "In my meeting … what we were told was this was a 'safety issue.'"Harvey's story for E&E also notes a statement signed by 18 members of the MOSAiC School, a training program aboard the ship, saying that "policies made on this cruise, or at least the communication of those policies" implied that "women's dress may invite or justify experiencing harassment or misconduct."Director says dress codes commonplaceBoetius, a participant in 50 expeditions herself, said it is normal for ships to implement dress codes that require participants to refrain from wearing dirty work or exercise clothes in certain areas like the mess hall."All of these rules have nothing to do with gender," she said.But the rules are unwritten, decided by the ship's captain at the time of the voyage and not by the institute. As such, the institute could provide no written record of the policies implemented aboard the Akademik Fedorov, or when they were communicated.Boetius said aboard the main research vessel, the Polarstern, participants were told not to wear dirty work clothes into the mess or go outside if not properly dressed.> You just have to respect rules that are put forth on board. \- Dr. Antje Boetius, director of Alfred-Wegener-InstitutThat's a far cry from the policy Harvey said was discussed aboard the Akademik Fedorov partway into their journey, which she described as "no leggings, no very tight-fitting clothing — nothing too revealing — no crop tops, no hot pants [and] no very short shorts."Boetius said implementing a common, written dress code would be too difficult, as the mission partners with multiple shipping companies and would need to secure their approval."You just have to respect rules that are put forth on board," said Boetius. Communicating the policy orally "should be enough for grown-ups," she said.Boetius suggested the reasoning for the policy may be to prevent participants from going directly from exercise to the mess hall without changing their clothes, or protect them from "getting a cold" from going outside while improperly dressed.She said after the clothing policy was breached "very often," the safety officer "asked the chief scientist to make sure the scientists would behave."'More important issues to address'Boetius said providing a safe and inclusive environment is still "very important." The institute's statement says they improved their communication of clothing policy after hearing complaints following the initial journey and heard of no further issues.Sexism is widespread in the sciences and in polar research in particular, even though many leading polar institutions are led by women. Multiple studies show large numbers of female researchers experience some form of harassment in their careers.But Boetius was perplexed that the clothing policy described by Harvey could be perceived as sexist."We think there are many more important issues to address," she said.Boetius said women face barriers related to child care and work-life balance that are far greater than those posed by dress codes or harassment."It is not my experience that the glass ceiling comes from sexual causes," she said."For all the struggles we fight, to think that coming with clean clothes to a mess room, that this is a gender issue," she said, "this is not the fight we need to fight."
Islanders may be exchanging face masks for bibs when the COVID-19 pandemic finally comes to an end.Ontario Premier Doug Ford has promised to host "the best Fordfest barbecue that P.E.I. has ever seen" to thank the province for sending 2,000 COVID-19 kits — which equals 8,000 tests — to Ontario."This is a province with 157,000 people helping a province of 14.5 million people," Ford said Tuesday at a news conference in Toronto."I just want to tell the people from P.E.I., I absolutely love you folks."Ford also thanked P.E.I. and Premier Dennis King for sending a tractor-trailer full of meals in the early days of the pandemic, an example of what he called working together in the "great Canadian spirit."He said East Coasters are the type of people who "give their shirts off their backs" in a time of crisis."So Premier King and to all of the folks of P.E.I., I love you, I will be there… This is amazing. I'm getting chills just talking about this."Ontario announced it had 547 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing its total to 55,362. It has 5,469 confirmed active cases.More from CBC P.E.I.
An open letter with more than 900 signatures has been sent to B.C.'s provincial health officer and the chief medical officer of Vancouver Coastal Health asking them to improve the strategy for responding to positive COVID-19 cases in schools.The letter was organized by parents of children at Caulfeild Elementary in West Vancouver after two exposure events last month resulted in several cases of infection.Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) says potential exposure to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 occurred Sept. 16-18 and Sept. 21-24. However, as per provincial guidelines, the health authority does not specify how many individuals tested positive and which cohorts were affected.Coralynn Gehl, who launched the open letter, says as a result parents started letting each other know which of their children had tested positive for COVID-19. She says many parents decided to keep their kids at home until test results came back, even if their children weren't part of the affected cohorts."My feeling was I would keep [my son] at home and just wait and see if there were any more positive test results and then decide where to go from there," said Gehl.According to the parents Gehl has been in touch with, there are 18 positive cases associated with a cluster in a Grade 2 class at Caulfeild. She says that includes students in the class as well as parents, siblings and grandparents.Gehl says she and other parents at the school are worried contact tracing and notifying close contacts of people who have tested positive is taking too long. The open letter asks that as soon as a child tests positive, their entire cohort is required to self-isolate until contact tracing can determine who can go back to school."It makes more sense to me that as soon as there's a positive test, Vancouver Coastal Health contacts the entire cohort and says 'everyone needs to stay home until we figure out who's actually at risk,'" Gehl said.The letter says siblings of students in the affected cohort should also be required to self-isolate so they don't risk transmitting to other cohorts or other schools.VCH currently lists 14 schools that have had exposure events since students returned to classes in September.No outbreaks in B.C. schoolsWhen asked about the Caulfeild cluster on Monday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry acknowledged that there had been some early miscommunication about exposure events, but that overall the current strategy has prevented COVID-19 outbreaks at B.C. schools."When people have been notified, transmission has stopped," she said. "We have to balance that with the disruption of students for no reason."But Gehl says it was the actions of parents going beyond public health guidelines that helped prevent further transmission."The fact of the matter is, the parents in that class collectively decided to keep the siblings of those kids at home," said Gehl.She wonders why the number of positive cases is made public for outbreaks at long-term care centres and at food processing facilities but not for cases in schools.Henry has repeatedly said health authorities are not sharing the number of cases in schools. "We have to find that balance that doesn't identify people and make sure that people feel confident that they're going to be protected if they have been a case, if there have been exposures," she said."Some students and teachers and staff who have shared information have been recipients of nasty notes and bad behaviour and that makes people very concerned and afraid to share their information and in many cases reluctant to go for testing."
The COVID-19 outbreaks at Foothills Medical Centre, the largest hospital outbreak in terms of sheer numbers to hit Alberta since the start of the pandemic, are taking a devastating toll on heart patients and prompting at least one doctor in southern Alberta to keep less-urgent heart patients closer to home.According to Alberta Health Services, as of Monday afternoon, six of the eight deaths are connected to outbreaks on cardiac wards at the Foothills hospital and 34 of the 42 infected patients have been on impacted cardiac units.All five of the visitors who have tested positive are connected with patients on cardiac wards.As of Monday afternoon a total of 80 patients, staff and visitors had tested positive for COVID-19, and seven units were battling outbreaks, including two cardiac care wards and a cardiac intensive care unit.Because Foothills hospital has one of just three cardiac catheterization labs in Alberta (the other two are in Edmonton) many heart patients from southern and central Alberta often need to be sent there for diagnostic procedures and specialized treatment.For years, doctors in both Lethbridge and Red Deer have been calling for their own cardiac catheterization labs so they don't have to send patients to Calgary or Edmonton for potentially life-saving treatment.'Conservative approach'And doctors outside of Calgary are now weighing the risks of sending patients who are not in urgent need of care.Lethbridge cardiologist Dr. Sheila Klassen said a seriously ill patient she helped care for had be sent to Foothills hospital, just before the outbreak was discovered."That transfer was medically necessary.," she said. "He required advanced care in Calgary but unfortunately he ended up in the middle of the Foothills outbreak. Sadly that was something that we didn't want to see."According to Klassen, the man ended up on one of the cardiac wards with an outbreak. He tested positive for COVID-19 and later died of cardiac arrest."I don't know whether the cardiac arrest was due to COVID-19 or due to his underlying cardiac disease in absence of COVID-19," she said. "But I am concerned he was a very vulnerable patient in terms of COVID-19 infection. So I"m concerned that COVID-19 may have caused the cardiac arrest."It's an ongoing worry for doctors and patients in southern Alberta as the pandemic drags on.There are are only 47 confirmed cases in all of the south zone, while staff inside the walls of Foothills hospital are battling an outbreak that is nearly double that number."Throughout the course of COVID-19 over the last few months and certainly during the recent outbreak … there are many patients who are reluctant to travel up to Calgary because of fear of infection and them knowing that they are in a more vulnerable… population in terms of consequences from COVID-19," Klassen said.When cases aren't urgent, Klassen is finding ways to keep her patients close to home."I lean toward a more conservative approach in terms of medical management and local testing just to avoid inter-hospital transfers recently because of COVID-19," she said.But there are bigger implications to the Foothills hospital outbreaks, according to Klassen.The outbreaks have underscored the need for services, including cardiac catheterization labs, in Lethbridge and Red Deer. "The fact that we're deferring these procedures because of location and distance from a [catheterization] lab and because of COVID-19 cases that differ between locations, I think it speaks to again the inequity in access to care for Albertans living in certain areas of the province versus others."John Church, a health policy expert in the department of political science at the University of Alberta, said the disparity between the healthcare services available in urban and rural Alberta is an ongoing issue and a problem that is very expensive to fix."The stress that the system is currently under [due to the pandemic] is highlighting some of these flaws in our system," said Church."There is a problem in the province with the distribution of healthcare resources, in particular the south of the province … and the Calgary zone in particular gets way more resources than other parts of the province."Church said it's a budgetary issue for AHS which decided long ago that certain expensive services — including cardiac catheterization — would be centralized."And it's not an ideal situation from the point of view of the patient at all."
The Fisheries Department has been ordered to reconsider the case of a disabled Nova Scotia fisherman who is challenging a federal rule that prevents him from hiring someone to catch lobster under his licence. Dana Robinson of Parkers Cove has a medical condition affecting his leg that hinders his ability to stand on a boat for long periods of time.His boat was operating in the Bay of Fundy under a DFO provision that allows fishermen to designate a substitute operator once they provide adequate medical proof of their condition.The provision, however, only allows the substitution for five years.The time limit doesn't sit well with Robinson. Disabilities, he said, "last a lifetime.""So I don't know how you set five years on that," he said. "There's no more licences being made. And that's where I came from. This is what we did all our life. We're fishermen and that's what we do."Extension request deniedDFO's deputy minister turned down Robinson's request for an extension in March 2019Robinson, 60, filed for a judicial review of the decision in Federal Court on the grounds that the decision was discriminatory and his charter rights were being violated. In a Sept. 30 judgment, Justice Richard Southcott set aside the deputy minister's decision and ordered the application be reconsidered to ensure Robinson's charter rights are affected "as little as possible".Robinson's lawyer, Richard Norman, welcomed the decision."It's about discrimination. It's about discriminating against fishermen who have a disability and who otherwise are in total control of their business and deciding on every day-to-day issue relating to their fishing enterprise," he said. Norman said rather than celebrating the ability of fishermen with disabilities to overcome challenges, DFO is telling them to "get out of the industry" because they can't physically be on the vessel. DFO 'considering its options'In a statement Monday, DFO said it is "considering its options regarding the Federal Court ruling on the case of Dana Robinson" and would not be making any further comments.Norman said the key question is what the new decision will be and how the deputy minister will accommodate Robinson's rights. "And you can be sure Mr. Robinson is going to be scrutinising whatever decision is made because it has an impact — not just on him and his business and his livelihood, but for other individuals in his circumstance," said Norman.Robinson is not alone in his plight. Norman said he filed another challenge a few weeks ago for an individual in a similar situation. Robinson said he believes the five-year limitation should never have been a consideration in the first place. "This is a right that every Canadian should have, and it shouldn't even be part of DFO's decision," he said. "This isn't a DFO matter at all. It's nothing to do with conservation or anything." MORE TOP STORIES
As a pharmacy assistant at the Guardian drugstore in a small town, Ashley Legere gets to know her clients fairly well.Through those relationships, she discovered there was a need for services like free needles and other tools to make drug use safer."I see people coming in and purchasing one millilitre insulin syringes and not coming back for a couple of weeks, and so you know that those syringes may be used multiple times," said Legere.Having worked in pharmacies in the Maritimes for about eight years, Legere learned early on in her career that drug addiction wasn't just a big city problem. One of her duties is making the methadone that is dispersed to patients as part of their addiction treatment."That's when I realized it was just everywhere," said Legere."It wasn't just Halifax and it wasn't just Amherst and it wasn't just Moncton, it was everywhere." Concerned about the possible spread of diseases like endocarditis, hepatitis and HIV, Legere called Debby Warren, executive director at Ensemble Services in Greater Moncton, to see what her options were.Warren packed up a box of tourniquets, syringes, alcohol wipes, fentanyl test strips, cotton swabs and cookers: a replacement for aluminum cans that can release harmful fumes when heated. "By taking the service to them, it's making it much easier," said Warren.Of the 900 people who use Ensemble's services in the course of a year, Warren said some are from Sackville and other surrounding communities. But many others don't have the means to travel that far even though they have the same need for clean tools to use drugs.130 care packages, 1000 clean needlesArmed with her box full of what she calls 'care packages' enclosed in a plain brown paper bag, Legere waited until someone came in to buy syringes."I just said, 'Could I give you something for free?' And he said, 'Yes, it's OK'," she said.Legere didn't advertise the service, but let it spread by word of mouth."Generally drug use is not done by yourself," said Leger."So I knew that that person would have other people that they would know that were also intravenous drug users."In six weeks, Legere has given out 130 care packages to customers, including 1000 clean needles. Learning curveAs a pharmacy assistant Legere knows how to prepare methadone and other opioid treatments, but she has no experience with cooking drugs or how crack cocaine is smoked. "I had one of our patients call and say, 'Can I just offer you a suggestion on what to put in the bag? Because when you passed me the vitamin C, I expected also to be a crack pipe', because that's what they use to break down the crack with," said Legere."I had no idea, so I I took her advice and wrote it all down."She had to redo all the care packages to put tools that go together in the same bags, Legere said with a laugh.'So your mom's not in the pharmacy when you're there'Legere said her customers come from the small town and other surrounding communities in southwestern Westmorland County. Some even come from Amherst, Nova Scotia.Legere assumes they travel from Amherst for privacy, "so your mom's not in the pharmacy when you're there."She hopes word spreads and anyone who needs the free service uses it."The more harm reduction initiatives that are around, the safer everyone is, the safer the community is, the safer your kids are, the safer these marginalized people (are)," said Legere
Some Island taxi companies say the pandemic continues to make life challenging for their drivers, with many facing a huge drop in business, and others staying off the road all together. Paul MacPhail, the bookkeeper with Co-Op Taxi Line and a part-time driver himself, says the company's normally lucrative summer business was down 50 per cent over last year. MacPhail maintains while many Islanders started taking cabs again as the province's pandemic restrictions eased in late spring, the industry has suffered from a lack of tourists. "We have had tourists here from the Atlantic bubble, but it's nowhere near the numbers we used to have," said MacPhail. "And most of the people that are coming here, they're kind of sticking to themselves. There's no concerts. There's nothing really here to attract people that we would normally have."'I'm still paying the expenses'MacPhail himself is among a few drivers with Co-Op that didn't bother driving all summer. He said he's at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19, and didn't feel comfortable sitting in a cab with customers. He just got back behind the wheel this week, after a summer earning only his part-time bookkeeping income. "I'm still paying the expenses of being a taxi driver," he said. "I'm licensed up until next year, insured for it until next year, the payments are still on the car until next year. All those things are still there. So it's an impact." The pandemic hasn't stopped Yellow Cab P.E.I. general manager Kirby Eldershaw from driving a taxi. But he said it has kept him and most of his company's drivers away from airport pickups — which normally make up about 15 per cent of their business in the summer months."We're staying away from the airport," he said, referencing that P.E.I.'s cases have been travel related. "Some of our guys are scared to go up. They don't want to go up." Like those with Co-Op Taxi Line, Eldershaw said Yellow Cab drivers saw their business cut in half this summer. He said while those losses will be tough to recoup, he's hopeful as long as P.E.I.'s COVID-19 case count remains low, business will eventually return to normal. "It'll be near 100 per cent, I would think in the winter, just having our locals going back and forth.... And we're taking all the steps for customers being in the vehicle," he said."We wipe down after every couple customers. A lot of the drivers, we wear masks when there's customers in the car. And a lot of customers do wear masks too."More P.E.I news
The European Union's top court said on Tuesday that Hungary breached EU law with its reform of higher education rules, which forced a university founded by George Soros to move most of its activities out of the country. The ruling follows a complaint from the European Commission and is one of many issues in which the EU has clashed with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, accused in Brussels of a backslide on civil liberties, corruption and the rule of law. Hungary's justice minister said Budapest would implement the European Court of Justice ruling but reiterated that all schools must meet equal rules, and "on this the Hungarian government finds double standards to be unacceptable."
B.C. health officials announced 102 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths on Tuesday.In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Stephen Brown, B.C.'s deputy health minister, said there are 1,384 active cases of people infected with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in B.C., up 31 from Monday.Seventy-one people are in hospital, with 16 in intensive care. Hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, have climbed back to nearly reach the numbers from last Wednesday, when 72 people were in hospital.The province's death toll now stands at 244.Public health is actively monitoring 3,089 people across the province, who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. No new outbreaksThere were no new health-care facility outbreaks or community outbreaks to announce on Tuesday. However, there are still active outbreaks in 16 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and three acute-care facilities.Henry warns in the news release that there continue to be exposure events around the province, but that B.C. is again starting to flatten the curve of new cases as it did early on in the pandemic."People are doing the right thing and, as evidenced by the latest modelling data, individual actions are making a difference for all of us to stay safe and strong in the face of COVID-19," she said in the written statement."There is no question that what we do today directly influences the well-being of our communities tomorrow, so let's continue to do our part to protect ourselves and each other — each day and every day."Parents send letter over school concernsSome parents have expressed concern about the communication between health authorities and schools around potential exposure events. An open letter from parents in West Vancouver with more than 900 signatures has been sent to B.C.'s provincial health officer and the chief medical officer of Vancouver Coastal Health asking them to improve the strategy for responding to positive COVID-19 cases in schools.Every exposure that takes place in a B.C. school is listed on each health authority website.New North Shore testing centreVancouver Coastal Health announced that a new COVID-19 testing centre will open on Thursday in North Vancouver located in the Capilano ICBC Claim Centre at 255 Lloyd Avenue.The new indoor site will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and can accommodate both walk-in and drive-through clients, ages four and up. VCH expects it to administer between 450 to 600 tests daily.The current North Vancouver testing centre located in the parking lot of Centennial Theatre will remain open until 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 7.
The pandemic has been a tumultuous and uncertain time for many; for those who need to avail of food bank services, even more.And for some of the food banks, it's been hard to keep up with demand.Jody Williams is the manager at Bridges to Hope, a food bank in St. John's, and says some of the demand for services went down during the pandemic, but they're back up to normal now."It's almost like as soon as September came, our numbers went right back to where we kind of were. So before the pandemic we were seeing about a thousand people a month, and then it went down to very little numbers, and now we're pretty much back to where we were," Williams says."And we kind of have some new demographics, basically — working people. Like just yesterday we had a couple in who work at Dominion and they're on strike and they can't make ends meet on their strike pay and they have a kid."> We'd like for people in their own communities to support their own community. \- Eg WaltersThe rise in need comes as the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) expires, Williams pointed out. That's led to changing demographics."We're getting a lot of people coming here for the first time, never used the food bank before, they're underemployed, they thought they were gonna get the call back to work, and also now the CERB is running out," he said.In addition to increased demand, Williams said there's a shortage of actual food coming in through donations."A lot of people are working from home right now and a lot of our donations in the past came from corporations, basically, and right now a lot of them corporations aren't doing things like that, so we went from having probably six food drives a month to zero," he said."It just adds a whole other level of stress ... my food budget basically went up probably 500 per cent from previous years, so I have to go out and find that money to go and buy the food."During the fall months and the lead-up to Christmas, it's typically a busy time for food banks, Williams said, as families feel the financial strain of school starting and the holidays looming."Certainly the demand goes up because if you're already tight for money, and you have Christmas coming around the corner and you have kids, you wanna definitely save some of that money to put towards Christmas," he said.Locals supporting localsThis past weekend, Amy Gibbons, general manager at Mount Pearl Auto Pro, hosted a contactless food drive to support Bridges to Hope; Williams said the event was more successful than he could have hoped.Local gestures like that are key to taking care of local food banks, says Eg Walters, general manager of the Community Food Sharing Association."We'd like for people in their own communities to support their own community," says Walters."If you've got a food bank in Bonavista, Gander, Grand Falls, Corner Brook, St. Anthony, wherever, have your local people donate to your local food bank there, because this COVID-19 is not gonna go away any time soon and people all throughout the province are gonna need help."The association is located in St. John's, but distributes food to food banks across the province."We're getting tremendous support from the chicken farmers, the turkey farmers, the dairy farmers, Food Banks Canada, and the egg farmers. So we're getting a lot of product in bulk from these people, which is great," he said."The mom and pop donations, and from the kids where they would drop by the office and bring in a couple of bags of groceries, that's virtually dried up completely. But like I say, the other major corporations and associations have certainly picked up the baton and are running quite well with it."While the supply right now is in good shape heading into the fall season, and there's enough to get them past Thanksgiving, Walters said there's concern on the near horizon.Large annual food drives that would normally take place in the metro region — the City of St. John's, Metrobus, and the Downtown Santa Claus Parade drives, to name some — are now up in the air."We're hoping that these will either go ahead as they have in past years, or be put together in a different way — as long as it helps the less fortunate throughout the province of Newfoundland and Labrador," Walters said."I think I can speak for food banks all across the province in that monetary donations are certainly welcome, because it makes it a lot easier to get the bulk supplies and get it out to the food banks across the province."Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
The Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay has outfitted its municipal enforcement and animal control officers with body cameras, while the province's privacy commissioner is reviewing the town's policies to ensure they are in line with privacy laws.Council first made the move toward body cams for its officers back in February, with first use set for March 4, but backed off from that plan.At the time, Privacy Commissioner Michael Harvey said his office hadn't been notified and his office was concerned about the amount of information that would be collected on the cameras, and how that information would be stored.Harvey noted body cameras collect information about the person being recorded as well as the person wearing the device and anyone else around.Mayor Wally Andersen said Monday the town addressed the concerns raised by the office before implementing the plan."At the end of the day everything was put into place and it's something I think that is gonna be the norm. You're gonna see body cams used by different enforcement departments right across Canada," said Andersen."The stuff here will be cataloged at the town office. No one person at any time will be able to view it — there will have to be two people, at least two people. And by using body cams not only do we protect our town workers, but it would also protect the public."Andersen said there have been confrontations between town officers and residents, and body cameras are a way to ensure any incidents are recorded as they happen."By doing this, it protects our workers and it protects the people," he told CBC's Labrador Morning."At the end of the day many times it comes down to, I said, he said, she said. But in this case here things will be — it'll be recorded and stored at the town office, and certainly then if an issue does arise of any threat or insults on either side then all we have to do is go back to the body cam and review exactly what was said."However, the privacy commissioner's office said it found out through the media that the town had proceeded with its body cam plan.The office said in a statement Monday it has followed up with the town to review what procedures and policies are in place to ensure they are consistent with privacy laws. The commissioner is reviewing the town's response. Only a handful of police agencies in Canada use body cameras. In 2015 the federal privacy commissioner's office said body cameras pose serious implications for individuals' rights to privacy.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Moncton is considering adding a downtown house built in the late 1800s to the city's heritage list after its owner applied to demolish it.Councillors voted unanimously Monday in favour of first reading of a bylaw to add 84-86 Highfield St. to the city's heritage list. The municipal Heritage Conservation Board and staff recommended adding the property, known as Killam House, to the list.Coun. Paulette Thériault, who chairs the conservation board, said there have already been too many buildings with historic value lost in the city. "We can't afford to lose any more," Thériault said.The two-storey was constructed in 1898-1899 and was originally occupied by Amasa Emerson Killam, according to a report to city council. Killam was a surveyor and bridge inspector for the Intercolonial Railway and the report describes him as one of Moncton's wealthiest residents in the late 1800s.The property was added to the Canadian Register of Historic Places based on a 2005 vote by Moncton council, but had not been added to the municipal list. The federal registry calls it a example of well-preserved Queen Anne architecture featuring a "witch's cap" turret with gable dormers. Ashford Living Inc. owns the property and adjacent land where it is constructing a six storey apartment building. The company originally sought to demolish Killam House for the apartment building's parking lot. It withdrew the application and altered its plans for the apartment building after city staff raised the property's heritage value.The city's planning advisory committee and council each granted approval to the altered plans. Construction began over the summer.Patrick Gillespie, president of The Ashford Group of companies, told councillors that once construction started, it became clear the plan wouldn't work as intended. He said keeping the house meant driveways to underground parking and surface parking both go onto Elm Street. The underground entrance dips down and turns 90 degrees, something he said makes entry harder. He also said large moving trucks would likely need to park on the street."Even though the architect said it works, it doesn't work," Gillespie said. The company in August applied for another demolition permit, triggering a formal heritage review of Killam House and a decision by the Heritage Conservation Board. The board instead recommended council add the house to the heritage list. Gillespie said the company is spending $11 million on the apartment building and asked council for leeway. "If we keep the house, we're going to keep one hand tied behind our back for 40, 50, 60 years it's going to have its useful life," Gillespie said before the vote.He said it's a nice house, but council should ensure properties it wants protected are properly designated so the rules don't change while plans are already in progress. Thériault said she hopes the city works with the company to preserve the building. Thériault linked the issue to concerns with the environment by saying too much construction waste ends up in landfills when some materials can be reused.Bill Budd, the city's director of urban planning, said staff will work with the company on ways to preserve the property.He suggested that could include using a city program that provides financial incentives for preserving heritage properties. "There's no question that this property is probably in bad repair, it will take a lot of work to bring it back into productive use," Budd said. Coun. Charles Léger, who chairs the city's planning advisory committee, said the committee and council should've been informed by staff of the earlier application for a demolition permit. He said the planning committee was pleased the company wouldn't demolish Killam House. Léger suggested the company withdrew its first demolition permit to ease approval of the apartment. Gillespie told CBC after the meeting that Leger's comments were unfair, saying the company worked in good faith with the city. A public hearing on the bylaw to add the house to the heritage list is scheduled for Nov. 16.
Sue Montgomery, the borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, has formed her own political party. After being elected under Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante's party in 2017, Montgomery was kicked out of Projet Montréal in January for refusing to fire her chief of staff following a harassment investigation by the city's comptroller general. Her new party is named, simply, Équipe Sue Montgomery. It was registered with Elections Quebec on Sept. 30. "I will be running again as mayor of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in 2021 with a diverse solid team," Montgomery said in a statement. "I invite everyone who cares about integrity, transparency and accountability to join me."Montgomery said in March she was never shown the evidence of harassment, and would not fire someone without giving them due process. According to Elections Quebec, Montgomery's chief of staff works as an officer for the new political party.The next municipal election is in 2021.
Experts in infection control and public health say that stopping itinerant teachers from travelling between multiple locations represents one of the surest ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario schools.Concerns around the ongoing use of itinerant teachers emerged this week after the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) confirmed on Sunday evening that a staff member assigned to five schools tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the board to close one of the schools until Oct. 9.The employee is an itinerant music teacher, according to TCDSB trustees."It seems to me like an obvious thing to fix," said Ashleigh Tuite, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health."If you have an infection in somebody who's moving from class to class or from school to school … they can basically seed infection into all of these different settings."There have been 539 cases of COVID-19 connected to Ontario schools since in-person learning resumed in September. Three schools have been ordered closed so far.The TCDSB and other Ontario school boards continue to rely on itinerant, or travelling teachers to teach a variety of subjects, including music, physical education and French.TCDSB trustee Markus de Domenico said some itinerant teachers at his board are assigned to as many as 10 schools at a time, creating an elevated risk of exposure for those teachers and the students they are assigned to instruct."I think it puts a very fine point on it," de Domenico said of the case that closed down St. Charles Catholic School this week."It highlights the issue and the problem very clearly."System puts teachers 'at significant risk'Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, said the experience in hospitals and long-term care homes earlier in the pandemic shows the importance of limiting the number of locations where people work."We know what happens when you let people move between institutions; we know what happens when you don't," Furness told CBC Toronto.The movement of personal support workers between multiple long-term care facilities was identified as a major risk during the peak of the long-term care crisis this spring.While Furness noted that children are far less likely than seniors to experience serious health issues related to the novel coronavirus, he said many teachers do not enjoy the same level of protection."It's the itinerant teachers themselves who are actually at significant risk," he said.At the Toronto District School Board, itinerant English as a Second Language teachers are limited to visiting one school per day, while itinerant music teachers are assigned to a single school and teach other classes virtually.'This could have been avoided'In a statement to CBC Toronto, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) said that limiting the number of contacts is a top priority for the union, and it said the provincial government was unwilling to engage with teachers' unions on solutions that could protect itinerant teachers and students."With the resurgence of COVID-19 in our communities, it is imperative that the government finally step up and work with us to make our schools as safe as possible, before it is too late," said OECTA president Liz Stuart.Education Minister Stephen Lecce said during a Monday news conference that negotiated standards that provide teachers with a set amount of preparation time each week complicated those efforts.He suggested that if unions had been more flexible with that system, the schedules for specialized itinerant teachers could have been arranged to limit their need to travel between schools."This could have been avoided," Lecce said. "And so we're now working with our teacher unions … to find a resolution and I hope we can do that."Tuite said improvements should be made before school outbreaks start to happen."You don't need to run this out," she said."You don't need to let teachers get infected."
Regina voters will be casting their ballots on Nov. 9 — but not everyone will be doing it at a traditional polling station.If a person chooses to not wear a mask or does not pass the screening questions at the door, Elections Regina says they will be asked to do confidential "curbside voting." "It remains safe. That remains confidential; it's just that we want to respect the safety of everybody," Jim Nicol, the city clerk and returning officer, said. People will be able to vote from inside their vehicle or from the sidewalk. Another option for people to cast their ballots is to go to the drive-thru polling station at City Hall. The drive-thru poll will be open during the advance polls.Elections Regina said it is following all Saskatchewan Health Authority Public Health Orders at in-person polling sites. Elections Regina said voters are encouraged to wear a mask at the polls, but they are not mandatory. Masks are, however, mandatory for election officials working the polls. "We are also reminding people the safety steps that we have taken to ensure that voters, election workers, people who may be working in a school or a community centre where a polling station is going to be located, that they remain safe and that they feel they should feel safe," Nicol said. Some of the precautions being taken are: * Aggressive screening protocols when people enter. * Providing people entering the building with masks. * Having extra cleaning staff for sanitizing people's hands when entering and leaving the station. * Plastic barriers between workers and voters when voters give their information. * Wiping everything down in between voters. * Rope lines to ensure physical distancing when people cast their ballots in private. * Physical distancing for workers.Advance polls for the election are on Nov. 2, 3 and 4. Polling stations are open for election day on Nov. 9 from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. CST.
The nation’s top federal prosecutors have become less diverse under President Donald Trump than under his three predecessors, leaving white men overwhelmingly in charge at a time of national demonstrations over racial inequality and the fairness of the criminal justice system. The Associated Press analyzed government data from nearly three decades and found that a persistent lack of diversity in the ranks of U.S. attorneys has reached a nadir in the Trump administration. Eighty-five per cent of his Senate-confirmed U.S attorneys are white men, according to AP’s analysis, compared with 58% in Democratic President Barack Obama’s eight years, 73% during Republican George W. Bush’s two terms and at most 63% under Democrat Bill Clinton.
COVID-19 has many people wondering just how they're going to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. Officials and health experts are weighing in, sometimes with advice for their specific city or province.