Charlene Carruthers, who works for an organization that trains black youth activists, talks about police arrest violence in the U.S.
Charlene Carruthers, who works for an organization that trains black youth activists, talks about police arrest violence in the U.S.
Preliminary results of an Ontario study that involved tens of thousands of airplane passengers have delivered promising outcomes for point-of-entry COVID-19 testing, but it is not yet swaying officials in Newfoundland and Labrador, where a controversial ban on incoming travel remains in effect. The study, led by McMaster Health Labs — which bills its work as the largest study of of its kind — tested more than 16,000 international travellers on arrival at Pearson International Airport in Toronto. The tests were taken from the beginning of September through to mid-November.The passengers agreed to three rounds of testing that they performed themselves, with a take-home kit: a nasal/cheek swab on Day 1, again on Day 7 and then on Day 14.On Tuesday, researchers released data looking at the tests performed for the study's first month, of which one per cent of travellers tested positive for COVID-19.Of that number, the majority — 70 per cent — were positive on the day they arrived. As well, 94.3 per cent of cases were positive by Day 7, with only 5.6 per cent testing positive by Day 14.One of the lead researchers said the preliminary findings show early testing on travellers works."I think it's mostly a good news story. It's not a perfect story, and it's certainly one where we're not the ones to set quarantine policy," said Dr. Marek Smieja, the scientific director of McMaster HealthLabs and a professor at McMaster University in Hamilton.Smieja said the final numbers of the study should provide more illumination, and expects those to be compiled and released by January.Study not enough: premierSmieja said researchers hope to figure out more precisely what the risk is of a traveller testing positive at the end of the full two-week quarantine period."What we can say right now is we think the risk is in that neighborhood of one in a thousand," said Smieja."Which in the Toronto area, when you have a certain amount of community spread, that may be a fairly low number. It may be for you in Newfoundland, that if you have very little spread, one in the 1,000 may or may not be acceptable."It doesn't appear to be acceptable to public health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador, who mostly poured cold water on the study results at a COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.Premier Andrew Furey emphasized that arrival tests can have a 30 per cent false negative result."The point of entry [test], we're concerned, may cause a false sense of security, and therefore cause extra disease spread, which wasn't really reflected in the McMaster study to date," Furey said.Two recent clusters of COVID-19 cases, in Grand Bank and Deer Lake, have been linked to rotational workers who travel to other provinces for employment, and who spread the virus on to family members on arrival home. But Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said that rules for all 20,000 or so rotational workers in the province weren't necessarily about to change due to those cases."We have to consider the number of people who have come back, and have not spread it to their family members. We have to remember that. And no system is going to be perfect, but as I've said before, we cannot create policy based on one of two specific examples, or one or two cases," she said."We have to look at the whole picture and decide where is the best use of our resources."Data meant to provide 'fulsome debate'Their comments come two days after the province tightened its rules around returning rotational workers. Workers are now eligible to be tested on Day 7, an increase from testing on Day 5, and if negative results come back, may end their self-isolation earlier than the 14 days required for most other travellers.Smieja did note there is a case to be made to keep the two-week rule firm in jurisdiction with mostly travel-related cases— a point Health Minister John Haggie and others have emphasized repeatedly in this province — although it requires everyone to follow the rules."I think if everybody perfectly complied with quarantine, if there were no downsides to that, that's a pretty useful way of managing this risk and has worked reasonably well around the world," he said.The McMaster study did test regardless of symptoms, and Smieja said having that day-of-arrival test can help protect others from exposure, whether it be family members or flagging fellow passengers early on."I think arrival testing tells us activity, and may tell us that we need to do a look back on who is on that flight," he said."Sometimes, it also tells us if that person is in quarantine, but let's say they're interacting with family members who didn't travel, well, we have to protect the family members. So it's useful in that way."The province does advise people in 14-day isolation not to interact with other members of their households.Newfoundland and Labrador's so-called travel ban prohibits free movement of incoming travellers, who must apply in advance for an exemption. Government officials say the ban, which has withstood a challenge at Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, is a key part of a strategy that has kept COVID-19 caseloads among the lowest in Canada.As of Friday morning, there were 25 active cases in the province. On Monday, Furey suspended N.L.'s participation in the Atlantic Bubble, which allowed residents of the four Atlantic provinces to move about the region. Smieja said the study, once complete and compiled, may be of use across Canada and elsewhere, with no imminent vaccine, cases continuing to rise, and more testing strategies required."I think it provides data, and then there will be, you know, provincial and federal political decisions in terms of how to best use that data. Could that frequent traveler be allowed out sooner, or is that an unnecessary risk? I think we're providing data for a fulsome debate of that," he said.The study was funded, in part, by Air Canada and the Greater Toronto Transit Authority — two entities with a vested interest in encouraging more air travel. Smieja said that financial help was needed to make the study happen, but crunching all the numbers and coming to conclusions is happening without their involvement. "We'll do all of these analyses independently. And all of these results are discussed, publicly discussed, with our public health colleagues, before being released to the public," he said.Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Toronto police say they have identified a person of interest in the high-profile 2017 homicides of a billionaire philanthropist couple.However, the force says no arrest has been made related to the murders of Barry and Honey Sherman.The founder of generic pharmaceutical company Apotex and his wife were killed inside their Toronto mansion in December 2017.Autopsy results revealed the couple died by "ligature neck compression" and police have said there were no signs of forced entry. The killings shocked the city and made international headlines.The family offered up to $10 million for information that would help solve the case, and hired its own team of private investigators.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.The Canadian Press
Oskenontona Philip Deering sees working with beads as a way for people to connect with each other, predating modern language — even going back millennia.Deering, whose shop in Kahnawake provides that essential part of Indigenous beadwork to the community, is known to many simply as Beadman."We don't get as many customers as we need to stay afloat so I go out on the road," he told CBC Montreal's Let's Go.Before the pandemic, he would regularly visit Indigenous communities in Quebec and Ontario, as well as travel to the Atlantic provinces and Manitoba to sell his beads.It's when he was invited to visit Cree communities along James Bay that he was given the nickname."The first community I went to, they said, 'Hey, Beadman's here!" says Deering, who has been selling beads full time for two decades."They started calling me Beadman, nobody knew my name."The moniker stuck, enough that when Kahnawake locked down, he opened a shop in Montreal called The Beadman EmporiumThe emporium is now part of the Métèque art space in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, where the exhibit Bead By Bead is currently on display.The exhibit is a collaboration with Native-Immigrant Art Hive, where Deering is a cultural interpreter."We can sell on the internet, and with COVID we actually have to … but you want to see the colours right there and touch the beads, look at the quality of the beads," Deering said.He says beadwork is "a community tradition" in his family going back generations.His great-great grandmother sold beadwork at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto in the late 1800s, and his mother did the same nearly a century later.During the industrial revolution, "all kinds of jobs or ways of living that people had went by the wayside. People had to find new skills, new trades to work at," Deering said."During that time, beadwork was kind of a fallback position"It was seeing his mother do her beadwork, and travelling with her, that taught him its significance.She would stop at other Indigenous communities along the way to purchase more beadwork to increase her stock by the time they reached Toronto.It was from his mother that he learned: if you want to sell beads, the best way is to visit people.Young artists breathe new life into traditionWhile he said interest in the craft seemed to diminish near the end of the 20th century, a new generation of artists has reinvigorated the practice."There are new kinds of beads that we never saw before … Once the powwows reopen you can visit and see that beadwork is a booming trade right now."He points to beads that are tens of thousands of years old found in Africa and the Middle East to show that it's a tradition long observed around the world.Those beads go beyond ceremonial purposes, he says — they were used to record events before humans had the words to describe them."Human language is a symbolic process, it requires the ability to think symbolically. And beads also can be a symbol," he said."As Iroquois people we would use beads to record our treaties and agreements and also to use them for various social gatherings and invitations. The list goes on and on."He says beadwork illustrates "our ability to work together in harmony."The Bead by Bead exhibition continues until Dec. 6 at Métèque (5442 Côte-Saint-Luc Rd.), more information here.Listen to the full segment on Let's Go below:
Four more witnesses provided testimony Wednesday in the trial of Selena Lomen, who is accused of second-degree murder in the Oct. 28, 2018, death of her common-law partner, Danny Klondike.Two of the witnesses discussed how angry Lomen was with Klondike at the Halloween party they attended in Fort Liard, N.W.T., during the evening leading up to his death.At the beginning of the trial earlier this month, Lomen, 23, admitted to stabbing Klondike, 34. She tried to plead guilty to manslaughter, but the prosecutor refused to accept the plea. The trial is being held in N.W.T. Supreme Court in Yellowknife.The testimony of most witnesses so far has focused on what happened leading up to and immediately after Klondike's death, but has skirted the central issue in the trial: whether Lomen intended to kill Klondike when she stabbed him.Crystal Deneyoua said she was with Lomen at that Halloween party, and Lomen was angry at Klondike."Selena started getting mad at him because he wouldn't give her a drink and he was giving everyone else drinks," Deneyoua said.She said Lomen eventually lashed out at Klondike verbally, swearing at him in front of others. "Danny told her to be nice," Deneyoua added.Klondike was having a good timeLike other witnesses who testified, Deneyoua said Klondike was having a great time, dancing, playing pool, socializing and getting very intoxicated. Lomen was sitting in a corner looking on.At some point, Lomen discarded the nurse costume she had arrived in. Deneyoua said she and Lomen then went for a walk around town and that Lomen had a mickey of vodka with her. Deneyoua said that as they were walking by Lomen's house, Lomen said she had three 1.18-litre bottles of vodka and suggested they get one. Deneyoua said they decided to walk back to the party instead.Another witness, Grace Berreault, was outside having a cigarette when Deneyoua and Lomen got back to the party. > He kept saying he just wanted to go home to his son and go to sleep. \- Grace Berreault, witness"She walked up to the party looking angry," said Berreault, referring to Lomen.Berreault said Klondike was part of a group of people she left the party with about 40 minutes later. "He kept saying he just wanted to go home to his son and go to sleep," she said.Host told Lomen to leave party Deneyoua said that after they returned, she counted Lomen consuming five large cups from a tub of home brew that had been brought to the party. She said Lomen was also drinking shots of vodka.Deneyoua said one of the hosts of the party eventually told Lomen she had to leave because she was not in costume. She said someone else at the party told Lomen she could borrow a costume if she wanted to stay. Deneyoua said she went after Lomen and told her, but Lomen just threw up her arms and kept walking away.Connie Bertrand said she was out for a walk between 3 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. when she crossed paths with Lomen on Valley Main Street in front of the health centre. Bertrand said Lomen had a 1.18-litre bottle of vodka that was about half full, and she was staggering and slurring her speech. They spoke for a while about who was at the party."We went to my house and sat on the balcony and had a few shots," said Bertrand. "I told her I was tired. Then she told me to walk with her to her house, but I said I was too tired."Bertrand said she walked Lomen to the door and locked it after she left.Lomen seen 'crying a lot'Denelee Bertrand, the guard who was working at the Fort Liard RCMP detachment that morning, also testified.Earlier, the court heard that Lomen walked in on her own and said, "I killed him. I need to come inside."Bertrand said Lomen "was crying a lot. She was laying down for a while, crying, covering her face.""She asked if he was dead and [Cst. Terry] Boutcher said, 'Yes,'" Bertrand added.
Women from First Nations communities in New Brunswick have a new online store to help find a bigger audience for their art and to make up for sales lost to COVID-19.The site is called Nujintuisga'tijig E'pijig, which means "Indigenous women salespeople or vendors" in the Mi'kmaq language, and currently features 16 artists — but there is room for up to 30.Leona Newkinga, a Mi'kmaw and Inuit woman who lives in Elsipogtog, has her bead work featured on the site. She hopes it can bring a bigger audience to her work."My goal is to reach more people," said Newkinga.She already has pieces with Buffy Sainte-Marie and Jeremy Dutcher, but she'd like her work to go all over the globe."I was thinking to myself, 'Wouldn't that be amazing if, like, one of my pieces were like further than I have ever been?" she said.No negotiations Newkinga started beading about five years ago and said she wasn't very good at first, "so the prices were really cheap."But she honed her skills after a disappointing exchange with a potential customer who was inspecting something Newkinga had for sale at a craft sale."This woman, she says 'Your work is only worth five bucks' and that devastated me because I put hours into it," said Newkinga."I knew I wanted to be at a point where nobody can negotiate prices," and she accomplished that.Newkinga said people seem to have a new respect for Indigenous art in the last few years. "From when I first started out to now, it's the big difference," she said.Newkinga said COVID-19 hurt her income because she runs a business selling Indian tacos at pow wows over the summer, and those haven't happened this year. COVID-19 also put a damper on her creative output."I try not to bead if I'm not feeling good or anything like that, because everything, your energy, is woven into your pieces," she said.But, Newkinga said she's back at it and recently received a sparkling new shipment of beads. She hopes the website will help sell her newest creations.Tahnee Simon started beading after her grandmother showed her how to make a flower when she was in grade school.Over the years, Simon would put her beading aside, but she always came back to it."I could drown in it for like three to four hours and not realize how much time went by," she said."It's relaxing for me."Simon has a full-time job with Mi'kmaq Child and Family Services but decided to bead professionally as a 'side-gig' after a co-worker suggested it. "I was super nervous because, I'm not the one to be the centre of attention or, like, have my name out there," said Simon."It was a big step for me but I'm happy I did it because I love seeing customers wearing my work and it still feels awesome."Simon is happy to be part of the pilot project and hopes people enjoy her work."I thought it was such a great idea to get all Indigenous women names out there and give the public an idea of what we can do," said Simon.If the site takes off, Katherine Lanteigne, director of Women in Business New Brunswick said the project could be opened up to other Indigenous women in Atlantic Canada.
Although the Italian government says it won't make a COVID-19 vaccine compulsory - there is growing hesitation among Italians over its safety.View on euronews
While Fairview Personal Care Home struggles with a COVID-19 outbreak, the executive director of Rotary Villas a few blocks away worries about the potential spread to the 94 people living under her care. "I was just informed by Prairie Mountain Health Home Care (Program) this afternoon that a number of their staff members are being seconded to Fairview," said Jody Kehler. Rotary Villas is an assisted living facility. Kehler, a licensed practical nurse, is the only health professional. Residents who require health care receive it from Prairie Mountain Health or a third-party nursing service. Kehler explained that, as she understands it, home care workers who help residents at Rotary Villas in the morning will potentially be helping out at Fairview in the afternoons. "The population of our residents at Rotary Villas … We do have increased age. We’ve got residents with chronic health conditions and multiple comorbidities. I just have a really big concern about health-care workers going from a COVID-positive site to Rotary Villas," she said. Kehler appreciates that Fairview needs help, but she believes the increased risk to the Rotary Villas could lead to an outbreak. "The consequences of COVID in our community would be very close to what Fairview is seeing right now. And we don’t have health-care staff on site. In order for us to deal with an outbreak here, we’re not trained health-care professionals — except for myself," she said. "I begged and pleaded with home care. I said, I understand Fairview needs help, right now. I get it. But if their health-care workers are seconded, can they not come here?" But Kehler said she was told the direction is coming from higher authorities, that the direction is "this needs to happen." "They also explained the health-care workers will be wearing universal PPE (personal protective equipment). But, we have a fragile population," she said, adding a number of residents at Rotary Villas have spouses at Fairview. "But we can’t take care of Fairview at the sake of increasing the risk of other vulnerable populations." Prairie Mountain Heath officials were not immediately available to answer questions. At the daily COVID-19 update Wednesday, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, responded to a separate question regarding health-care workers going to multiple sites. "We know we have the one-site public health order to limit the amount of sites that a health-care worker can work at personal care homes. The order has always and continues to have an exemption for extreme times," Roussin said. "At many of these sites, there are extreme pressures on staffing. On some sites, we’ve provided an exemption to that. It doesn’t really allow someone to work in multiple sites, but is able to come to one site that is under those strains." Lanette Siragusa, provincial lead for health system integration and quality and chief nursing officer for Shared Health, also weighed in, saying the one-site model exists to prevent a person going to multiple sites. Lorraine Winters — whose mother, Simone Goulet, turned 94 earlier this year and resides on the first floor at Fairview — has similar concerns, though hers hit closer to home. The outbreak at the personal care home is contained, but for one case, to the fourth floor. But as The Brandon Sun reported yesterday, there are reports health-care workers work in both COVID-positive wards, as well as other wards without COVID, and are lacking adequate personal protective equipment. Prairie Mountain Health officials and union officials disagreed on what is taking place at Fairview. "I’m scared to death that it will spread to other floors," Winters said. "So far, it’s been contained, except for one case, apparently, is on another floor, but not on the first, yet. I have to say, though, that if there ever was an outbreak on the first floor, I would probably take her out of there for a period of time." But Winters said for now, she thinks her mother is OK. Communications with Fairview are good. Winters is kept informed, and if she has questions, staff are quick to get back to her. And she’s being assured that staff are following all safety protocols. "She’s being very, very, very well taken care of. She has no complaints ever. She says the staff is wonderful to her," said Winters. When all residents were tested, her mother’s results were negative. Winters speaks to her mother every day, often twice a day. Goulet is a very social person, so she’s a bit depressed currently, but is doing well overall. Siragusa said she hadn’t heard the differing perspectives regarding what’s taking place at Fairview. "We do have guidelines that are in place. We are working with the region, and Prairie Mountain Health has, I believe, good relationships with Fairview and has been supporting them," Siragusa said. "So we can look at that situation a little bit closer. We do know we have adequate PPE, so if that’s not there, that’s a solution that’s fairly easy to fix. The issue about cohorting can be challenging just depending on the physical layout, but certainly there are ways that we can do the best case possible. So I will follow up and talk to the leadership there and see if there’s opportunities where we can do better and, for sure, we want to make sure that our staff and the residents are protected."Michèle LeTourneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun
Europe's drugs watchdog said on Thursday it expects to receive the first application for conditional marketing approval for a COVID-19 vaccine "in the coming days", the latest step towards making a shot available outside the United States. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) did not name the company it expects to file the application, but Pfizer Inc and BioNTEch are the most advanced in the regulatory process among the three companies that have published late-stage trial data for their vaccines. The companies applied on Nov. 20 for U.S. approval and the UK said it has asked its medical regulator to assess the vaccine for its suitability.
Air Canada has offered concessions related to its proposed acquisition of Canadian tour operator Transat to address EU antitrust concerns, a European Commission filing showed on Thursday. The Commission, which oversees competition policy in the 27-nation European Union, said the commitments had been submitted on Nov. 25. The Commission opened an investigation in May on concerns that the deal could push up prices and reduce choice for flights between Europe and Canada.
Few students have been in class in Deer Lake this week, as anxiety levels remain high over COVID-19 despite public health officials and the premier urging parents to stay calm.Elwood Elementary closed Monday and Tuesday after a student tested positive for COVID-19, the first case in Newfoundland and Labrador's school system. But barely anyone showed up to the two other schools in the town that remained open on those days.Only 10 of about 280 students at Xavier Junior High showed up for class on Tuesday, and only 10 out of 230 attended Elwood Regional High School the same day.Xavier Junior High student Kara Pinksen, 11 was among those who stayed home the first two days of the week. Pinksen said there were only four other students in her class on Wednesday, instead of the usual 24."It was really stressful because I didn't know what to think of it," Pinksen told CBC News on Wednesday, after finishing school for the day."I think everything is going well, and we're still having classes as normal."She said she has to be extra cautious now that COVID-19 is close to home, adding she knows two people in her community — a friend and the mother of the friend — who tested positive and are currently isolating."I feel like some people are a bit more cautious and are super careful. Some people are quarantined again and self-isolating to make sure that they didn't catch it. Then there's some other people that don't think much of it and they have to make sure they still wear their mask and everything," she said. "I have a feeling that it's all going to be fine, but I know that we still have to be careful and everything."On Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald said everybody in the affected cohort from Elwood Elementary has been tested and there have been no other positive cases found in that group. The school reopened Wednesday, with the one class affected remaining at home with virtual learning in place.'Take a deep breath'In the face of increased absenteeism, Premier Andrew Furey —who is also the MHA for district that includes Deer Lake — asked parents to remain calm, saying COVID-19 protocols in place for schools have proven to have worked over the last few days. "I think that people should be reassured that isolating cohorts within schools work, and it will allow a continued, orderly, calm approach to education and life with COVID-19," Furey said during Wednesday's COVID-19 briefing. Furey said he, too, would feel the same anxiety as the parents who are trying to navigate COVID-19 clusters in their communities while preparing their kids for school. Furey, who has three school-aged children, wants parents to take comfort in public health's protocols keeping people safe and being the "envy" of the rest of the country."They have the results to prove it," said Furey."Just be calm and public health officials will be in contact with you if they need to. If you don't hear from them then your contacts didn't need to be traced. But, if you're fearful, and you feel like your child is developing symptoms, always reach out to 811 to seek advice."Elsewhere in the province parents are also choosing to keep their kids home from school.At Fatima Academy in St. Bride's, a spokesperson from the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District confirmed there was "low" attendance on Wednesday but didn't provide specifics "due to the size of the school."Furey said he couldn't speak to specific families, but again reiterated COVID-19 protocols in schools have been working. "I think people not sending their children to school, they should pause and take a deep breath, and I understand their anxieties, but they should have every confidence in Dr. Fitzgerald and her public health team that have proven, that have earned their stripes, that they implemented these protocols with the safety of children as the number on priority," he said. Schools prepared for virtual learningNLESD CEO Tony Stack echoed the premier's comments.Stack told CBC News the NLESD has had great communication with public health and continues to follow the advice provided to them. Stack said Dr. Fitzgerald told the NLESD there would be "bumps in the road along the way" but the school district is confident with where things stand that it isn't necessary to alter school operations.Schools are ready to move to online learning if necessary, Stack said, and the affected class at Elwood Elementary has already shifted to virtual learning. "We get stronger and stronger every day in preparation. Our schools are prepared to pivot. We've practiced this, we've got professional learning behind it," he said. Stack said Chromebooks are beginning roll out to students. The laptops were ordered ahead of the start of the new school year in case classes shift online for students in Grade 7 to Grade 12. He said the school district is hopeful the laptops will be distributed before the Christmas break.Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Alberta is about to adopt a new law that would make sweeping changes to the way automobile insurance works, but privacy advocates say a critical aspect of the legislation has so far slipped by with little public attention or scrutiny — the expansion of "usage-based insurance." Among many other changes, Bill 41 would make it easier for insurance companies to monitor drivers' behaviour by collecting detailed data through devices embedded in their vehicles or software installed on their smartphones. The implications of this are little known and poorly understood by many Canadians, says Privacy and Access Council of Canada president Sharon Polsky. She believes the Alberta legislation, which could pave the way for similar laws in other provinces, ought to be more fully considered before changes are made that will be hard to undo. "This bill should be halted in its tracks," she said. "The Government of Alberta and other governments across the country need to update the access and privacy legislation to meet current needs, to genuinely give us a right of privacy and to put us in control of our information." Insurance companies, however, say the legislation is long overdue and would put Alberta more in line with practices that have been in place for years in the United States, allowing drivers to prove their safe behaviour through technological means and thereby save money on their insurance premiums. Government says law will 'increase fairness' United Conservative Party MLAs say the new law would create more options for consumers, especially those who want insurance products tailored to their driving needs. "This is expected to increase fairness in the marketplace and further ensure that consumer costs adequately reflect individual risks and driving habits," Finance Minister Travis Toews said during second reading of Bill 41 in the legislature. To that end, he said the new law "will allow greater ability for industry to provide innovative insurance options … and greater flexibility in applying usage-based insurance." Ron Orr, the UCP MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka, said the legislation means "Alberta drivers will have more choice and control over their own insurance costs." Polsky, however, says many people don't fully understand what they're signing up for when they agree to hand over so much data from their vehicles and smartphones to insurance companies, or where that data could ultimately end up. She also worries the monitoring devices, while voluntary in theory, could be made effectively mandatory through pricing, if drivers who refuse to be tracked face exorbitant premiums. Alberta 'the first' to go this route Some insurance companies already offer discounts to drivers who are willing to allow themselves to be monitored. But so far they are not allowed to sell usage-based insurance in other ways. The new law will allow usage-based insurance "however insurers wish to use it, so long as they can meet the regulatory requirements," said Celyeste Power with the Insurance Bureau of Canada. "Alberta was the first to announce full use of usage-based insurance," she said. "And just afterward, Ontario announced that they were sort of getting rid of restrictions around it, as well. In other jurisdictions, it's not available for use in that kind of broad way." She believes the new law presents an "opportunity for some really cool ideas and cool technology to come to Alberta." For example, she says drivers could opt for a pay-per-kilometre insurance option, where they would have a "way lower" base premium and then pay incrementally for the amount they actually drive. That option, she says, would be especially appealing to younger people who don't drive a lot but drive responsibly. Currently, young drivers face higher premiums as a group, due to the fact that their age demographic is considered to be higher risk by the actuaries who set insurance rates. Power says usage-based insurance is a fairer way to set individual rates. How the tracking works If you agree to the tracking, your driving habits would be monitored either through a device installed in your vehicle or software that uses the GPS, accelerometer and other bits of hardware built in to your smartphone. Power says different companies would track you in different ways, but basically they would keep an eye on things like how fast you drive, how quickly you accelerate, how hard you brake, how often you drive, what time of day you drive, where you drive, and so on. Less driving and better driving behaviour would be rewarded with lower premiums. More driving and unsafe behaviour would be punished with increased costs. She says most companies offer an online dashboard so you can track your own driving data, and even push notifications if you're racking up too many charges, similar to data-overage warnings on your cellphone. In the United States, she says, usage-based insurance has been correlated with safer roads, as it makes drivers more aware of their habits and provides a financial incentive to drive safely — or drive less. But, she says, it's not a product for everyone. "If you don't feel you're a good driver or you're speeding too much down the (Highway) 2 between Calgary and Edmonton, usage-based insurance is not for you," Power said. It also takes some getting used to. "If you think you're an amazing driver and the technology is telling you you're not, yeah, you might be a little bit resistant to it," Power said. "I think it just depends on the person." Data use, privacy and regulation Power says the use of personal data would be directly regulated by Alberta's Automobile Insurance Rate Board (AIRB) and be subject to oversight from the privacy commissioner. But Polsky, with the Privacy and Access Council of Canada, says most people don't understand just how much information is being harvested by these types of monitoring devices. She says some smartphone apps that insurance companies use to track drivers in other jurisdictions require users to keep them running 24 hours a day, even when they sleep. "They want all of it monitored so that we can enjoy more affordable rates based on relinquishing our privacy?" she said. "That is a very, very high price to pay." She also believes privacy laws, both in Alberta and nationwide, are outdated or lack the regulatory teeth to deal with international companies that collect data in Canada but store it in other countries. Alberta's Opposition NDP has also criticized the legislation, saying it gives too much power to the AIRB, which they say is too close with the government and the insurance industry. Numerous people on the AIRB board of directors either work in or previously worked in insurance, and the NDP have also pointed out that Jason Kenney's former chief of staff is now a registered lobbyist on behalf of the insurance industry, among other clients. "Bill 41 is giving the industry more control, giving the lobbyists more control," Edmonton-South West NDP MLA Thomas Dang said during second reading of the legislation. What's next The bill has passed second reading and is at the committee of the whole stage in the legislature, where MLAs can propose and vote on amendments. Additional debate was scheduled for Tuesday evening. It still needs to pass third and final reading to ultimately become law. If that happens, Polsky says, other provinces will likely look at similar laws. "We are now living in a monkey-see, monkey-do political era and the danger is if it's good enough for one jurisdiction, well it must be good enough for another jurisdiction," she said. "So if this is allowed to become 'mandatorily voluntary' in Alberta, it's just a matter of time before it proliferates across the country, at our peril. So it's up to us to understand what's at stake and voice our views to our elected representatives." Power, meanwhile, believes Alberta is leading the way in modernizing Canada's insurance-regulatory system, which she says has lagged behind the United States, where some form of usage-based insurance has been around for the past decade. She also says concerns over privacy and price hikes for people who don't agree to be monitored are overblown. "We haven't seen any examples in the U.S. or any other jurisdictions around the world where the usage-based insurance product essentially became almost mandatory just by the way it's priced," Power said. "It is sort of funny when you think about it," she added. "People are like, 'I don't want something tracking my movement or tracking this or that.' And yet, we carry around our phones all the time and they're tracking absolutely everything we do. "So it's kind of getting to a world now where everything is being tracked, anyway."
After announcing 349 new cases Wednesday, the province’s chief public health officer said there have been reports of Manitobans travelling out of province to shop. "It’s disappointing to hear about people driving outside the province to do non-essential shopping. We’ve heard reports of driving to Yorkton (Sask.) or to Kenora (Ont.) to do some shopping," said Dr. Brent Roussin, after which he sighed heavily. "Again, our messaging has been really clear. and the reasoning behind our messaging is really clear. There’s a purpose beyond all these orders — it’s to save Manitobans’ lives. Going around those orders puts Manitobans at risk." He strongly advises the public against travel for non-essential reasons. Meanwhile, according to a CTV news story, such shopping expeditions are welcome. A headline from Nov. 24 reads: "Out-of-province shoppers welcome in Yorkton following increased Manitoba COVID-19 restrictions." Yorkton’s mayor, Mitch Hippsley, said the community of 18,000 is very lucky to have shoppers come to town. "We just hope that they will follow the code of health law as in social distancing and masks and hand sanitizing and that goes without saying," Hippsley is quoted as saying. Further, according to the CTV story, some business owners in Yorkton are not worried about the potential influx of out-of-province shoppers Manitoba’s restrictions may bring. The Yorkton Business Improvement District (YBID) even echoed the city on its stance by encouraging Manitoba residents to shop local and follow health guidelines. But Roussin repeated, as he does every day, that Manitobans are advised to stay home. "Right now, non-essential travel … we’re advising strongly against it. We advise people to stay home. We have limits on essential items. We need to ensure Manitobans have access to essential items. But we don’t want in-person, non-essential shopping." Roussin said there are options besides travelling out of province: online shopping and curbside pickup. "But right now, we need to stay home as much as possible, which means not going out for non-essential reasons. Not travelling for non-essential reasons," he said. "It’s really important to get this message, we have 303 people in hospital, 50 of which are in intensive care. We’re asking people not to travel unnecessarily." He said, again, the purpose is to save lives. Similarly, Roussin said that, where possible, people should work from home. "If that’s not possible, then take every step possible to reduce the risk of transmission in your employment setting — decreased crowding, wear masks, hand hygiene, ensure people are screening every day for symptoms," he said. "Employers should also be looking at ways to assist their employees who need to stay home when they’re sick, or a person they care for is home sick, or when those individuals are required to self-isolate." Roussin said public health continues to hear reports of cases and contacts being told they need to get to work or their job is at risk. "I certainly don’t understand why an employer wants somebody who’s infectious for COVID at the workplace, or somebody who’s high risk of becoming infectious, such as a contact. You need to work with your employees to find ways to allow people to self-isolate when they’ve been directed to," he said. Finally, Roussin sent the message people need to stop getting angry at public health nurses on the phone. "We’re hearing reports from public health, contact tracers, public health nurses, of very angry people on the other end of the telephone line when they’re advising them that they’re contacts and/or cases and need to self-isolate," he said. "They are more angry when we delve into what self-isolation means." He reminded Manitobans that the purpose of self-isolation is one of the biggest tools at hand to limit the spread of COVID-19. "It’s the most important tool we have, outside of the public health restrictions. If we want to be able to get these restrictions lifted, we have to have very active case finding and isolation and contact finding and isolation. Without that, it’s going to be very difficult to lift the restricted." Roussin asked Manitobans to be respectful.Michèle LeTourneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun
In Libya's frontline city of Sirte, parts of which still lie in ruins, the commission set up to oversee warring rivals' recent ceasefire has put its name on a large downtown conference centre - an outward sign of its commitment to peace. The rivals in a civil war that has left thousands dead and the country in chaos have yet to withdraw troops from frontline positions, open a major coastal road linking Sirte to Misrata and rid their ranks of foreign mercenaries.
A police officer overseeing enforcement at the Vancouver airport testified in court on Thursday that he had concerns about a plan by Canadian federal police to arrest Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on the plane she arrived on two years ago. Meng's nearly three-hour interrogation by Canadian border agents prior to her December 2018 arrest by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on a U.S. warrant has become a flash point in her ongoing extradition hearing.
SHERBROOKE – If a good deal of politics is learning how to soothe savage breasts, then a background in music wouldn’t be the worst thing a budding municipal councillor could offer. Courtney Mailman, the new district one councillor in the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s, says staff and colleagues could not have been more accommodating. “I have a lot to learn, but I’ve really enjoyed it so far. I’ve been doing some municipal training, and the councillors who were already there have been very helpful and willing to share their knowledge.” That’s a good thing for the music therapy graduate from Acadian University and current Recreation Director at High-Crest Sherbrooke nursing home. Otherwise, she might have had to pull out her guitar or roll in her piano. “I also sing,” she laughs. Mailman is one of four rookie councillors who were either acclaimed (as she, Greg Wier and James Fuller were) or elected (as Charlene Zinck was) into office in the October municipal election. Her reasons for throwing her hat into the ring are clear. “Being a municipal councillor is a new role for me and I am excited and eager to take on this new challenge,” she says. “My main priority is to get to know the people and businesses in my district, to hear their ideas and concerns and to represent them to the best of my ability. Integrity and transparency are important to me and I plan to work hard for my community. I look forward to partnering with other committees and agencies for the betterment of the Municipality of St. Mary’s.” She comes by these commitments honestly enough. Born in Halifax and raised in towns and communities across the province, the 37-year-old’s parents emphasized the importance of giving back. “My dad always told me not to complain about something if I’m not going to do anything about it,” she says. “He always said that if I wanted change, I should jump in and be a part of that.” To this end, perhaps, she’s worked for The Salvation Army as a community services liaison in Kentville, where a big part of her job was advocating for clients and building community partnerships. She also administered its food bank and Christmas hamper programs. “Plus, my family has fostered children since I was 15 and I had always been very involved and invested in the children who came to stay in our home,” she says. Sure, but why local politics now? Between her job and volunteering, her husband Kyle and their dog Tillie, it’s not as if she hasn’t enough to do. “Believe it or not, I wanted to take a more active role,” she says. “I want to be a voice for the people in my district, in the development of our community.” And in these fractured times just about everywhere, that might be music to many ears. Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
SHEET HARBOUR – As president of the Sheet Harbour Heritage Society, Wendy MacKenzie, possesses a natural curiosity and a love for treasured artifacts. Give her a mystery and she gets to work. At MacPhee House Museum, MacKenzie was presented with a small Yardley soap box and the treasures inside, dated 1945, incited her curiosity as to who the rightful owner of the objects may be. She was surprised to discover they were descendants of Joseph Howe, the renown Nova Scotian journalist and premier for the colony of Nova Scotia from 1860 to1863. The first item inside was a smaller box containing a WWII King George VI war medal presented to citizens of the British and Canadian Commonwealth who served full time in the Armed Forces and Merchant Navy 1939-1945. The medal had a ribbon attached in the colours of the Union Jack and the note included read Carl A. Crowell. The second item, loose in the larger box, was a mosaic broach. Folded beside the broach was a handwritten note – “Mosaic broach given to Lillian Crowell by her mother’s cousin - Dorothy Howe Wilson, Weymouth, England in 1945.” There was an antique appraisal for $65 – which MacKenzie surmised may have been for insurance purposes. The investigator got to work by googling Carl A. Crowell and then looking for him under Nova Scotia historical vital statistics, but found nothing. She turned her attention to Lillian Crowell and when finding her obituary Mackenzie says, “…she was my link and was listed as Alice Lillian Crowell – who went by Lillian.” Lillian, MacKenzie discovered, was the daughter of Elizabeth Howe and great-great-great-granddaughter of Joseph Howe. This extraordinary lineage made the find even more interesting and intriguing for the president of the heritage society. The connection with Howe … “made me even more curious and determined to return the items to who I felt were the proper owners.” Through Lillian’s obituary, MacKenzie found Carl’s middle initial should have been an ‘E’ for Ensley – not Ainsley as written in the note with the medal. The medal owner was Carl Ensley McLaughlin Crowell. His parents, Ensley and Sara (who was from Scotland), had met in London during WWI and after the war they married and returned to his hometown of Ellershouse, Nova Scotia. Carl served during the Second World War and earned the medal. “Lillian’s obituary stated she was survived by a brother, Lloyd. I Googled his name and got a phone number. I called and left a message about the broach and the medal and mentioned Carl Crowell and Lillian Crowell and asked if Lloyd was related. An hour and a half later Lloyd’s wife, Pat, returned my call,” MacKenzie says. “I knew I had them then! Pat explained that Lloyd was Lillian’s only surviving sibling out of eight children.” MacKenzie related the story of the mosaic broach and the note and offered it to Lloyd and Pat as she felt they were the rightful owners. “They were grateful to accept it. I asked them if they knew of Lillian and Carl’s children as I’d like to return Carl’s medal.” Pat momentarily left the phone and returned with a civic address for Earl Crowell – Lillian and Carl’s son. “He lives on the 224,” Pat said. Mackenzie, taken aback, replied that she too lived on the 224. As Pat had provided the address, MacKenzie visited Earl Crowell – his father’s war medal in hand. “Earl was both pleased and astounded to see the medal and broach,” MacKenzie said. “During our conversation I told him I had found the Howe connection and he said to me, ‘Oh, yes, I am the great-great-great-great grandson of Joseph Howe.’ “He offered the medal to our Sheet Harbour Heritage Museum but together we decided it was more appropriate to donate it to the legion in Windsor where Carl E. Crowell and his wife, Lillian, had lived in nearby Ellershouse,” MacKenzie said. “I contacted Carrie, the manager of the Hantz County Branch 9 Windsor Legion and Earl and I offered it to them for display.” The legion was pleased to accept this piece of history connected to one of their veterans. The next day the medal was sent for permanent public display and the mosaic broach was sent by courier to the descendants of the original owners. Pieces of history are written by those who take the time to ask the questions and find and record the answers. Janice Christie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
Katrina Long knows the pain of losing a loved one to opioids. Her 54-year-old mother, Josephine Mavis Isaac, died from a fentanyl overdose."I hold a lot of grief and guilt about my mom's passing," Long said, fighting off tears."I think I could have done more if I had done something differently."Long said her mother dealt with an alcohol addiction for years, but that escalated to harder drugs after her mom started dating a new man.Long said her mom broke her arm about three years ago and tried her boyfriend's prescription pain medication. She then became addicted to hydromorphone — an opioid used to treat severe pain — and eventually became an intravenous drug user.Long, who has two young kids, said things quickly went downhill after that, especially when the pandemic started.She said her mom ended up getting a total of $6,000 in COVID-19 financial assistance that she didn't qualify for and it basically went to drugs.She died from an overdose within three months.Hope instantly ripped awayLong said she deals with anxiety, which was magnified by her mom's addiction and overdose."I think the hardest thing, when you're dealing with somebody who is dealing with addiction, is that in the back of your mind you always have hope that they'll get better. So, when they pass, that hope is instantly ripped away," she said. Long said dealing with the aftermath has also taken a toll on her and her family."We weren't able to be with [mom] because of COVID, so I wanted to go to the hospital because she was being taken for an autopsy — but we weren't able to see her," she said.It ended up taking about two weeks until she could see her mom, because of pandemic restrictions."The biggest challenge, and what we were scared of, was that we weren't going to be able to say goodbye like we had wanted to," she said.Then there was the daunting task of planning an unexpected funeral during a pandemic, along with going through her mom's house — the place where she died.Long said she had help from her sisters and aunt, but there are many people who aren't as fortunate."We're really lucky that we have each other as a support system because without them it would be definitely really hard, she said.4 suspected overdose deaths in 1 dayFour men — all in their thirties — died from suspected drug overdoses in Regina on Monday.They were all found in different places at different times. Investigators don't think they're connected, police say, aside from fentanyl being believed to be involved in each case."My heart breaks for the families because I know what they're going to be going through," said Long."They're most likely going to feel that they were cheated on their goodbye to their loved ones." The names of the men have not been made public, but Long has a message to their families, along with every other family who has lost a loved one to an overdose."Stick close with your family, get help, go talk to somebody if you need to talk to somebody, because all of the emotions that are going to come up can be a lot for somebody to handle," she said."Don't be scared to ask for help and don't do everything by yourself. Reach out to the people [who] are offering to help because they're going to be your biggest supporters."Long also has advice for people with loved ones who are struggling with addiction."Reach out to them, try to help them, talk to them as much as you can," she said."It has to be the person who wants to make the change, but you can always make sure they know that you love them and just be as supportive as you can."Overdoses more than quadruple in 2020There have been 93 apparent drug overdose deaths in Regina this year — 16 of which happened in November — compared to 21 in all of 2019."I think the numbers obviously reflect that the province has a problem and that the resources that are available aren't enough," said Long.She said she wants to see more supervised consumption sites in the province. The only one is currently in Saskatoon, but it does not receive government funding.Long said she also wants to see a restructuring of provincial rehab facilities and detox programs.She said her mom went to detox and rehab on several occasions, but the treatment never stuck. Long said there was almost always a wait time to get her mom help."When an addict is ready for help, they need help now," she said."They don't need help in 48 hours, or a week, because by that time they most likely went back to using because detoxing is scary."She also wants more compassion not just from the government, but from the community as well."My mom wasn't just a statistic. She was a person and she had tons of people that loved her," she said, noting that a lot of people with addictions are struggling with mental illness or trauma."People just need to be more understanding of people's circumstances and addiction can happen to anybody. It could be your son or daughter, mom or dad, who are dealing with this and try to put yourself in the family's shoes."Province says it is 'taking action'In an emailed statement, the province said it's "taking action to address opioid-related overdoses and deaths."The budget announced in June includes about $1.55 million to establish a new crystal meth treatment facility in Estevan, although the centre may treat people for other addictions as well, according to the statement.The province is also spending more than $1.7 million to fund 28 new detox beds in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, North Battleford and "other potential locations."More than $800,000 is going toward hiring addiction workers in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.The province has also implemented programs aimed at helping people with addictions, like Take Home Naloxone —which has already distributed more than 5,400 kits so far the year, the statement says — along with Rapid Access Addictions Medicine program, Mental Health and Addiction Services and HealthLine 811.
Reaction from various sectors to Saskatchewan's newly announced COVID-19 restrictions ranges from disappointment to criticism of "half measures" to a grudging acknowledgment that something had to be done.The latest measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus, which were announced Wednesday and come into effect Friday, include suspending sports competitions, further limiting gatherings at restaurants and in places of worship, discouraging gatherings beyond immediate households and encouraging mask use for younger children.The new provincial rules suspend "all team/group sports, activities, games, competitions, recitals, practices, etc. … including amateur and recreational leagues for all groups."Kelly McClintock, general manager of the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, said the government advised athletics organizations in the province to re-examine their return-to-play guidelines starting last week, so the decision to suspend all games came as a surprise."We assumed that there would be some more restrictive guidelines put in place this week," he said. "We didn't assume that we'd be shut down completely.… It's disappointing."The new measures do say that athletes under the age of 18 can continue to practise, as long as they're masked, physically distanced, and in a group no larger than eight.McClintock says that will be difficult to actually do under the new regulations."Most teams are anywhere from 12 to 20 players … so I'm not sure how many people will actually take advantage of that from a team perspective," he said. Bob Reindl, executive director of Saskatchewan Athletics, said young track and field athletes will face similar challenges. "Right now in Saskatoon they only have an hour to practise anyways," he said. "So you can only have eight people, and it usually takes an hour for 30 kids to go through. It's going to be difficult."Despite those challenges, Reindl said suspending sports was simply the right thing to do. "It had to be done," he said. "There's no doubt about it. The numbers are high, the government had to do something, and we knew it was coming. Both Alberta and Manitoba already shut down sports in their provinces."Until team sports resume, McClintock is worried about how children will cope with one less outlet to keep fit and spend time with friends. There are over 20,000 minor hockey athletes alone in the province, he said."Kids need the activity from a mental health perspective and a physical health perspective," he said. "Now, that's going to be cut down, and that's the disappointing part." 'Have to be some education' on masks: daycareWednesday's new measures also extend mandatory, non-medical masking to all students, employees and visitors in schools and daycares. Children under three are exempt, but those between the ages of three and 12 should wear a mask if they are able to, the new rules say.Nancy Lautner, executive director of Tykes and Tots Early Learning Centre in Saskatoon, says the guideline threads the needle between keeping kids healthy and not setting a bar that would be impossible for them to meet. "I do appreciate that the province worded the masking policy for the young children the way they did, in terms of saying very young children should wear a mask if they are able to," she said."Some of our three to five year olds are certainly capable of wearing a mask and they won't have an issue with it, but some are not. So I appreciate that they've left that leniency." At Tykes and Tots, students in the before- and after-school programs have already been wearing masks, as have staff members.Now, it will be a matter of educating the younger children on how to mask up — but early childhood educators are experts on teaching hygiene to kids."There will certainly have to be some education that staff will have to do, in the same way that they educate about washing your hands and sneezing into your elbow and things like that," said Lautner. 'Each business is in limbo'Restaurants and licensed establishments such as bars and nightclubs will now have to limit their seating to four people per table, and will also have to maintain a record of all their guests.Shawn Moen, a co-founder of 9 Mile Legacy Brewing in Saskatoon, says the limited financial support in the face of increasing public health restrictions have posed a challenge to his business. "Traffic has slowed significantly," he wrote on Twitter. "We are allowed to stay open (and I'm grateful for the operational flexibility) but our customers are being told to stay home. The result has been a slowdown."And he says programs like the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), which are intended to help businesses cover wages and rent, are insufficient."Many public-facing businesses won't have sufficient support from these programs, don't have experiences and products that are portable and will be faced with voluntarily closing due to lack of business or safety concerns," he said. If businesses are forced to shut down by a qualifying public health order, they qualify for additional support through CERS. But for now, in Saskatchewan, restaurants and bars are allowed to stay open. "Each business is in limbo right now [and] they are being asked to close pre-emptively and risk ineligibility for supports or stay open and keep bleeding financially," said Moen. Nurses union 'utterly disappointed'In a statement released on Twitter Wednesday afternoon, the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses criticized the new COVID restrictions for not going far enough, saying its membership is "utterly disappointed" with "half measures."SUN says the limited measures, as opposed to a full "circuit-breaker" lockdown, are not enough to contain the virus and will lead to greater economic disruption and loss of life in the week ahead.
Some New Brunswickers can expect light snow and freezing rain on Thursday.Environment Canada issued a special weather statement earlier this morning for central and northwestern parts of the province. They include: * Campbellton and Restigouche County * Edmundston and Madawaska County * Grand Falls and Victoria County * Mount Carleton * Stanley, Doaktown and Blackville area * Woodstock and Carleton CountyIn central New Brunswick, periods of light freezing rain or rain will start this afternoon and continue overnight."Although amounts are expected to be light, over high terrain, the freezing rain could last several hours," the national weather agency said in a statement.Meanwhile, the northwestern regions will see light snow or freezing rain in the afternoon. This will change to light freezing rain or rain in the evening. "Precipitation is expected to change to showers after midnight," Environment Canada said."In some localities, especially over high terrain, several hours of freezing rain is likely.
Glen Quann, a 60-year-old London man, is dead following a collision on Highway 401 earlier this week, the Ontario Provincial Police said in a news release. The crash, which occurred around 11 a.m. Monday, took place after Quann's vehicle and another collided in the eastbound lanes of Highway 401, east of County Road 42. The passenger in Quann's vehicle was brought to hospital with life-threatening injuries. The driver and passenger of the other vehicle were not injured. At the time, police closed the eastbound lanes of Highway 401 at County Road 42 for several hours to complete an investigation. An investigation is still ongoing and police ask that anyone with information to contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122 or the Chatham-Kent detachment at (519) 352-1122. More from CBC Windsor