A new wildfire that broke out Sunday in Napa County has prompted the evacuation of residents before dawn. The fire is near several wineries and has burned 1.25 square miles. (Sept. 28)
Cases of COVID-19 will likely continue to climb in Canada's most populous provinces for a while even if people start to hunker down, experts say, because of the nature of the infection.Epidemiologists look at the effective reproductive number of COVID-19, which describes how many other people an infected person will pass the coronavirus onto on average.Public health experts like to see the value significantly below one so cases don't snowball and spread out of control.The effective reproductive number of COVID-19 in Canada continues to hover at 1.4, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported on Friday. That means for every 10 people who test positive for COVID-19, they'll likely infect 14 others who then pass it on to 20 others and so on.Christopher Labos, a physician in Montreal with an epidemiology degree, said the effective reproductive number also varies depending on the population in which a virus is spreading."If nothing changes, certainly it'll keep rising and may even surpass a number of cases we had before," Labos said. The doubling time depends on how contagious someone is, the likelihood they'll contact and infect another susceptible person and the frequency of contact.But Labos said there's another important factor: individual changes in behaviour.WATCH | Flattening Canada's COVID-19 curve again: "We probably will see rising case numbers in the next few days, maybe in the next few weeks. But if we take action now and control stuff, we might see this virus plateau before the end of the year. And that's really what we're trying to hope for."To that end, Quebec's premier announced on Monday partial shutdowns in areas with high case counts, namely Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches, south of the provincial capital."We see that our hospitals are in a fragile situation," Premier François Legault said.As of Thursday for 28 days, visiting those in other households won't be allowed (with exceptions), restaurants will be serving delivery and takeout only and other gathering places such as bars, concert halls, cinemas, museums and libraries in the affected regions will close, he saidTo explain why, Legault said protecting people in school communities, hospitals and long-term care homes is a priority.Sacrifices required to change course"None of this is a given. We can change the outcome," Labos said. "It simply requires us to sacrifice a little bit."Nicola Lacetera, a behavioural economist at the University of Toronto, first studied compliance with physical distancing during the start of the pandemic in Italy. He found that the more frequently governments extended lockdown dates, the more disappointed the public tended to get, which could lessen co-operation."People say, 'Well, I don't know anybody who has COVID,'" Lacetera said. "From a statistical point of view, it makes no sense. But people tend to over-weigh what's closer to them, like having known someone who got COVID."When the public can't see the health consequences of COVID-19 directly in their daily lives then Lacetera said making hygiene, distancing and wearing masks more of a habit, alongside consistent messaging from different levels of government and communicating the science, could help.'Targeted' measuresOntario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, suggested "targeted" measures are under consideration. His Toronto counterpart, Dr. Eileen de Villa, called for new limits in restaurants on Monday, such as reducing the number of patrons from 100 to 75 and requiring establishments to collect contact information from those attending.De Villa also said the extent of spread of the infection in the city means the concept of the bubble or a social circle "no longer reflects the circumstances in which we live." Jacob Wharton-Shukster said his Toronto restaurant would stay open until 2 a.m. before the pandemic. He voluntarily chose to close at 11 p.m. after watching what can happen elsewhere in the world late at night when people have been drinking alcohol."The numbers are doubling from last week, and this is all reasonably foreseeable," he said. " We would have had to have taken a mitigation strategy a month ago to see any result now."Epidemiologists agree, saying the effects of measures only become apparent two weeks down the road because of the lag when someone is newly infected, develops symptoms, gets tested and receives the result.
CLEVELAND — The first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden deteriorated into bitter taunts and near chaos Tuesday night as Trump repeatedly interrupted his opponent with angry — and personal — jabs that sometimes overshadowed the sharply different visions each man has for a nation facing historic crises.In the most tumultuous presidential debate in recent memory, Trump refused to condemn white supremacists who have supported him, telling one such group known as Proud Boys to “stand back, stand by.” There were also heated clashes over the president's handling of the pandemic, the integrity of the election results, deeply personal attacks about Biden's family and how the Supreme Court will shape the future of the nation’s health care.But it was the belligerent tone that was persistent, somehow fitting for what has been an extraordinarily ugly campaign. The two men frequently talked over each other with Trump interrupting, nearly shouting, so often that Biden eventually snapped at him, “Will you shut up, man?”“The fact is that everything he’s saying so far is simply a lie,” Biden said. “I’m not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he’s a liar.”The presidential race has been remarkably stable for weeks, despite the historic crises that have battered the country this year, including a pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans and a reckoning over race and police brutality. With just five weeks until Election Day and voting already underway in some key states, Biden has maintained a lead in national polls and in many battlegrounds.It's unclear whether the debate will do much to change those dynamics.Over and over, Trump tried to control the conversation, interrupting Biden and repeatedly talking over the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News. The president tried to deflect tough lines of questioning — whether on his taxes or the pandemic — to deliver broadsides against Biden.The president drew a lecture from Wallace, who pleaded with both men to stop talking over each other. Biden tried to push back against Trump, sometimes looking right at the camera to directly address viewers rather than the president and snapping, “It’s hard to get a word in with this clown.”Again refusing to commit to honouring the results of the election, Trump spread falsehoods about mail voting. Without evidence, he suggested that the process — surging in popularity during the pandemic — was ripe for fraud and incorrectly claimed impropriety at a Pennsylvania voting site.But despite his efforts to dominate the discussion, Trump was frequently put on the defensive and tried to sidestep when he was asked if he was willing to condemn white supremacists and paramilitary groups.“What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name,” Trump said, before Biden mentioned the far right, violent group known as the Proud Boys. Trump then pointedly did not condemn the group, instead saying, “Proud Boys, stand back, stand by. But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not right wing problem. This is a left wing problem."Biden attacked Trump's handling of the pandemic, saying that the president “waited and waited" to act when the virus reached America's shores and “still doesn’t have a plan.” Biden told Trump to “get out of your bunker and get out of the sand trap” and go in his golf cart to the Oval Office to come up with a bipartisan plan to save people.Trump snarled a response, declaring that “I'll tell you Joe, you could never have done the job that we did. You don’t have it in your blood."“I know how to do the job,” was the solemn response from Biden, who served eight years as Barack Obama's vice-president.The pandemic’s effects were in plain sight, with the candidates’ lecterns spaced far apart, all of the guests in the small crowd tested and the traditional opening handshake scrapped. While neither candidate wore a mask to take the stage, their families did sport face coverings.Trump struggled to define his ideas for replacing the Affordable Care Act on health care in the debate’s early moments and defended his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, declaring that “I was not elected for three years, I’m elected for four years.”“We won the election. Elections have consequences. We have the Senate. We have the White House and we have a phenomenal nominee, respected by all.”Trump criticized Biden over the former vice-president's refusal to comment on whether he would try to expand the Supreme Court in retaliation if Barrett is confirmed to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. That idea has gained momentum on the party's left flank but Biden tried to put distance between himself and the liberal wing, declining to endorse the Green New Deal and rejecting the assertion that he was under the control of radicals by declaring “I am the Democratic Party now.”The scattershot debate bounced from topic to topic, with Trump again refusing to embrace the science of climate change while Biden accused Trump of walking away from the American promise of equity for all and making a race-based appeal.“This is a president who has used everything as a dog whistle to try to generate racist hatred, racist division,” Biden said.Recent months have seen major protests after the deaths of Black people at the hands of police. Biden said the country faces a problem with systemic racism and that while the vast majority of police officers are “decent, honourable men and women” there are “bad apples” and people have to be held accountable.Trump in turn claimed that Biden’s work on a federal crime bill treated the African American population “about as bad as anybody in this country.” The president pivoted to his hardline focus on those protesting racial injustice and accused Biden of being afraid to use the words “law and order,” out of fear of alienating the left.“Violence in response is never appropriate, “Biden said. “Never appropriate. Peaceful protest is.”The attacks turned deeply personal when Trump returned to a campaign attack line by declaring that Biden's son, Hunter, had inappropriately benefitted from his father's connections while working in Ukraine. Biden rarely looked at Trump during the night but turned to face the president when he defended his sons, including his son Beau, an Army veteran who died of cancer in 2015, after the commander-in-chief's reported insults of those who served in the military.A new report from two Republican-led Senate committees alleged that Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine at the same time his father was vice-president raised conflict-of-interest concerns for the Obama administration, but the report did not link Joe Biden to any wrongdoing or misconduct. Trump was impeached for pushing Kyiv to investigate the Biden family.The debate was arguably Trump's best chance to try to reframe the campaign as a choice between candidates and not a referendum over his handling of the virus that has killed more people in America than any other nation. Americans, according to polling, have soured on his leadership in the crisis, and the president has struggled to land consistent attacks on Biden.In the hours before the debate, Biden released his 2019 tax returns just days after the blockbuster revelations about Trump’s long-hidden tax history, including that he paid only $750 a year in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and nothing in many other years. The Bidens paid nearly $300,000 in taxes in 2019.Trump, in the debate, insisted that he paid millions in taxes — but refused to say how much he paid in federal income taxes — and insisted that he had taken advantage of legal tax incentives, another angry exchange that led to Biden declaring that Trump was the “worst president” the nation has ever had.___Lemire reported from New York. Price reported from Las Vegas. Additional reporting by Associated Press writers Jill Colvin in Cleveland and Zeke Miller in Washington.___Jonathan Lemire, Darlene Superville, Will Weissert And Michelle L. Price, The Associated Press
The Canadian Museum of History has been hit by recent complaints of workplace harassment involving its CEO Mark O'Neill, and is facing questions over the handling of past allegations into his behaviour brought forward by other employees, sources say.According to information obtained by Radio-Canada, the complaint that led to the launch of a formal investigation into O'Neill in July was filed directly with the Office of Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault. Other complaints have since been filed against O'Neill, who was appointed to lead the institution in 2011.Sources said that in recent years, other employees had raised questions about O'Neill's behaviour and management style with the museum's board of trustees and its human resources branch. These employees subsequently told colleagues that they were displeased with the way their grievances were handled, sources said.O'Neill, whose mandate at the museum expires next year, is on leave until Nov. 2. He said on Monday morning that like other museum employees, he is not allowed to speak to the media on this matter.> It wears you down. It is an accumulation of incidents. \- Former employeeRadio-Canada has spoken with current and former employees of the museum, as well as other government officials, to obtain a clear picture of the current crisis facing the institution.Many of the sources called for a broad overhaul to get rid of a toxic workplace culture, adding the institution needs a plan to deal with the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.Unpredictable, ill-tempered, extremely angry: sourcesAccording to these sources, the complaints are related to O'Neill's behaviour with his employees, as well as his management style and his temperament.Former employees who worked with him directly alleged that O'Neill was unpredictable, ill-tempered and became extremely angry at times — akin to a volcano that could erupt at any moment. The sources said he has undeniable qualities that explain his rise to the top of the organization, but that he kept staff constantly on their toes. The sources said there was a high turnover rate in upper management, which they blamed in part on O'Neill. The sources added O'Neill frequently contacted them outside regular business hours."He is brilliant and has done exceptional things," said a former employee. "But you never knew what was awaiting you: the person who is pragmatic, strategic, intelligent, or the person who is spiralling out of control."Another former employee added: "It wears you down. It is an accumulation of incidents."According to Guilbeault's office, the investigation by outside lawyer Michelle Flaherty will have all the necessary leeway to get to the bottom of the matter. According to her mandate, she will also be expected to review the museum's handling of questions over O'Neill's conduct over the years.'Zero-tolerance policy' on harassment: museumSources also said the federal government is set to replace the chair of the board of trustees, Jim Fleck, by fellow board member Jean Giguère on an interim basis. Fleck's mandate expired last year.News of the investigation into O'Neill was first revealed by Le Droit on Sept. 17.The Canadian Museum of History joins other organizations facing turmoil over workplace issues, including the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Sources said a major problem facing the Canadian Museum of History is resuming operations after many projects, including long-term planning on exhibitions, were put on ice during the pandemic.Reached by phone, Fleck refused to comment on the situation.The museum has issued a statement saying that "the government of Canada and the board of trustees have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to workplace harassment."
Canada has now identified 155,301 cases of COVID-19, according to chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam. Tam said a total of 2,176 cases were reported on Monday, of which 437 cases were backlogged from the weekend and 1,739 were newly identified. Tam added that the total number of daily cases is now at the same level as was reported during the first peak in cases in April.
LOS ANGELES — A 39-year-old woman was charged Tuesday in what authorities say was an attempted kidnapping of the 9-month-old granddaughter of Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana from his Southern California home.Sodsai Predpring Dalzell of Los Angeles pleaded not guilty in LA County court to felony counts of attempted kidnapping of a child under 14 and burglary.“Miss Dalzell is extremely apologetic and is very well concerned about the well-being of the family,” Dalzell's attorney Ayinde Jones said outside of court. “She understands the harm that this has caused the family, friends and also fans of the Montana family. So our heart goes out to them.”The 64-year-old Montana told sheriff's deputies that the girl was asleep Saturday in a playpen in his house in Malibu when a woman he did not know entered and picked up the child.Montana and his wife, Jennifer, confronted her, tried to deescalate the situation and asked her to give back the baby, authorities said.After a brief struggle, Jennifer Montana pried the girl away, and Dalzell fled from the home, authorities said. She was later arrested nearby.No one was hurt.Jones said he plans to present a credible defence, “focused on ensuring that Miss Dalzell gets the help that she may need.”The attorney said he has “no hindsight, no clue as yet on why she did what she did, only that she is very apologetic. She has told me over and over again that she understands the harm that she has caused. As a parent myself, I can only imagine the pain that it has caused the Montana family.”Dalzell's bail was set at $200,000 and she was told to return to court Oct. 20. She could get eight years in prison if convicted as charged. She has no previous criminal record.“Scary situation, but thankful that everybody is doing well," the former San Francisco 49ers star tweeted on Sunday.Montana played 13 years of his 15 year-career with the 49ers, who won four Super Bowls with him as starting quarterback. He retired in 1994 after two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.He and Jennifer Montana, a philanthropist and former model, have been married since 1985 and have four adult children. It is not clear which of the children is the girl's parent.Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press
MEXICO CITY — Archaeological authorities in Mexico said Tuesday they kicked some cast members of a popular local “Jersey Shore”-style reality show out of the Mayan ruins of Uxmal after they behaved "immaturely" and refused to wear masks or follow social distancing rules.It was the latest round of bad promotional work in Mexico’s desperate attempt to revive its tourism industry, which has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.It seems the young, ripped cast members of Mexico's popular “Acapulco Shore” reality show and another contestant show — whom the state government of Yucatan described as “influencers” — were invited to tour the ruins soon after they were reopened in a bid to encourage tourists to return.But the National Institute of Anthropology and History said the half-dozen cast members “were asked to leave, in compliance with health rules.”Employees at the 1,000-year-old complex of Mayan temples, palaces and pyramid platforms said the cast acted “immaturely” and refused to follow posted rules requiring face masks and social distancing. Photos posted on social media showed them clowning around and posing in close contact atop one ancient structure.Yucatan officials denied they paid the cast members but acknowledged the visit was part of a promotional campaign and defended the invitation.Michelle Fridman, the Yucatan state tourism secretary, wrote in a Tweet that “the influencers were not paid one single peso. It also wasn't some half-baked idea but rather part of a strategy included in the plan for recovery from COVID, and if we carefully measure the impact, we estimate we got 200 million hits for a sector that urgently needs promotion.”Fridman's office did not respond to requests for comment, but her stance apparently boiled down to ‘any news is good news’ in a state where tourism is vitally important.Tourist arrivals at airports in Mexico fell by 93.4 % at the worst point in May, and even with projections showing some recovery in the second half of 2020, are expected to end the year 42.8% below 2019 levels. Tourism provides 11 million jobs, directly or indirectly in Mexico.The Uxmal dispute was just the latest chapter in a bad year for Mexican tourism promotion.In August, due to disputes over payments and control of the English-language version of the country’s tourism website, its internet page appeared with hilarious mistranslations.On the VisitMexico.com site, states like Hidalgo and Guerrero apparently got machine-translated as “Noble” and “Warrior.” The Caribbean resort of Tulum somehow became “Jumpsuit.” And the names of other tourist towns were also mangled.Mexico’s Tourism Department issued a statement apologizing for the apparently out-sourced errors and later launched a redesigned page.The snafu came right after the U.S. State Department cited the high number of COVID-19 cases in Mexico for issuing a “do not travel” advisory for the country in August, its highest level of warning.And earlier, the resort of Acapulco was forced to pull “anything goes” tourism ads that showed people partying without masks and the words “there are no rules.”The ads touted the faded resort’s reputation as a nightclubbing spot — despite the fact that nightclubs are currently closed to enforce social distancing.“We have stopped being a postcard from the past, today we have changed the rules,” says the narration in one of the pulled videos.“In fact, there are no rules,” says another voice, as people can be seen eating bizarre meals and going out to nightclubs. “Eat whatever you want, have fun day and night and into the early morning hours ... find new friends and new loves.”Authorities said the ads weren’t appropriate during the coronavirus pandemic.The Associated Press
In the wake of a large outbreak of COVID-19 in northwestern Saskatchewan — the most serious of any Indigenous community in Canada — health officials and local leaders are relying on what they learned during the three-month ordeal to plan for potential outbreaks in other remote, rural areas."When it first hit us, we were basically clueless of how to contain this," said Chief Teddy Clark of the Clearwater River Dene Nation (CRDN), 600 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.But now, given what he's learned, Clark said he feels "a little bit at ease" that he'd be ready for a surge in cases. Despite dire predictions early in the pandemic, the on-reserve infection rate among First Nations people in Canada is four times lower than the rest of the population, according to the federal government, with a total of 639 confirmed cases as of Sept. 25. The on-reserve First Nations population in Canada is about 329,000, as of the 2016 census.> I think it's a success story of how things can be handled. \- Carrie Bourassa, Institute of Indigenous Peoples' HealthIn mid-April, the first case of COVID-19 in northwestern Saskatchewan was traced to travel from an oilsands camp near Fort McMurray, Alta. The virus spread to a long-term care home in the village of La Loche and then moved quickly through overcrowded homes in the community and its neighbour, the Clearwater River Dene Nation.The two Dene communities have a combined population of 3,800, and people frequently move back and forth between the village and reserve.From the beginning of the outbreak, Indigenous leaders warned public health officials that any response needed to be led by the community and elders, with their culture in mind. They also warned that people in their communities were particularly vulnerable."Our people suffer from extremely high rates of co-morbid conditions, with issues like diabetes, respiratory, HIV, heart conditions and trauma-induced addictions, that put them at high risk of death from COVID-19," Rick Laliberte, the commander of the North West Communities Incident Command Centre, said in a letter to Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer.Over the next three months, 282 people in the village and First Nation would test positive for the disease — about seven per cent of the population — and five people died.Still, many applaud the efforts that eventually contained the outbreak and say there are lessons to be learned."I think it's a success story of how things can be handled," said Carrie Bourassa, the scientific director at the federal Institute of Indigenous Peoples' Health."They have an excellent model that I think can be scaled up in other rural, remote northern communities."CBC News interviewed several local leaders, health officials and residents to determine the five things they deemed most effective in containing the outbreak in these Indigenous communities.Collaboration and communicationWhen the outbreak began, local leaders came up with their own pandemic response plan.Chief Clark of the CRDN joined forces with the mayor of La Loche and the northern Métis representative to set up a joint emergency operations centre at the high school in La Loche that would serve people both on and off reserve."I said, 'Look, guys, we need to join up here and make an alliance here and start looking at things so we don't duplicate and we don't confuse things,'" Clark said.Randy Herman, deputy mayor of La Loche, knew that one of the main challenges would be getting local residents to trust government and health officials, given the history of colonization and strained relationships."Governments roll into town and promise everything but the moon, and then they don't deliver, so that's where the mistrust is from [for] years and years and years," said Herman, who is also a schoolteacher.But faced with a pandemic, all levels of government worked together like never before, he said.Herman translated messages into Dene for health officials during regular radio briefings that featured updates from local leaders, the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, an organization that supports 33 First Nations.Herman knew elders would listen to local leaders, particularly in Dene, in a way they wouldn't listen to outsiders."They know us, we know them. They trust us," he said.And since there was a real risk the virus would spread to surrounding communities, a group of 24 Indigenous communities along Highway 155 to La Loche, called the "155 Collective," set up a command centre to co-ordinate check stops and communicate with residents and the government.It had daily phone calls with the health authority.But there were hiccups.Three weeks into the outbreak, the group wrote a sternly worded letter to the province's chief medical health officer demanding more consultation and respect for local culture and expertise."We ask you to learn from us, and with us," the letter said.Dr. Rim Zayed, the Saskatchewan Health Authority's northern medical health officer, called the relationship-building during the outbreak "the silver lining of the crisis.""We have more understanding, communication, engagement, solidarity," she told CBC News.Jurisdictional snafus between the province and Indigenous Services Canada had to be quickly smoothed out.WATCH | When will Canadians have a rapid test for coronavirus? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam provide an update:Travel restrictionsLocal leaders took it upon themselves to set up check stops at the edges of their communities to share information and monitor the movements of residents.The village of La Loche and CRDN also imposed a curfew and hired security to police the streets at night.As the outbreak worsened, the province introduced an unprecedented travel ban that outlawed all non-essential travel into and out of the northern half of the province. It required northern residents to remain in their local communities, except for grocery runs and medical appointments, and to maintain physical distancing.The province began staffing highway checkpoints with employees from the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency.Eventually those travel restrictions and roadblocks triggered backlash among many northern residents who felt they were being discriminated against and treated like "caged animals." The 155 Collective said employing more Indigenous people and traditional language speakers at the roadblocks would have reduced confusion and smoothed tensions.Still, most northern leaders said the lockdown was effective.Remote testingThe Saskatchewan Health Authority deployed more than 50 health-care workers to the northern community to launch an aggressive testing and contact-tracing campaign. Mobile testing teams went door-to-door to swab people in 813 households. Each team included a local outreach worker to interview people and translate.Dr. Moliehi Khaketla, who leads the Northern Population Health Unit, said that "local knowledge was invaluable."Initially, test swabs had to be shipped south to the provincial lab, delaying results. The province then sent a portable GeneXpert testing machine to the region to do on-site testing, delivering test results within an hour. It had limited capacity, so the province also used a government plane to ship tests south.To prepare for more outbreaks, the province has stationed a GeneXpert testing unit in more than 20 locations in the province, including the north, and arranged for more testing supplies to increase capacity to 1,200 tests a week, rather than 200.Temporary housingA chronic housing shortage and lack of hotels in La Loche and CRDN made it difficult for people in the remote region to self-isolate.Creative solutions included setting up a makeshift homeless shelter in mobile trailers to house transient couch-surfers, as well as hauling in RV campers to serve as isolation units for people who tested positive for COVID-19 but couldn't isolate at home."There's a lot of logistics behind this," said Leonard Montgrand, a northern representative with the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan. "We just don't throw a person into a trailer and say, 'Here, you're isolated, see you in 14 days.' No, we have to do daily monitoring, we have to provide sustenance."The La Loche Friendship Centre cooked and delivered hot meals twice a day to people isolated in their homes, RV campers and the homeless shelter.As temperatures drop, local leaders are arranging for winterized trailers and other isolation centres to prepare for another surge.Programs to help those with chronic issuesFrom the outset, local leaders and health officials were concerned about caring for people living in poverty, as well as those with multiple chronic health issues, such as diabetes, respiratory problems and mental health challenges.The emergency operations centre arranged deliveries of food hampers, cleaning supplies and masks to families. The First Nation sent out fishermen to catch fish for elders.Leaders were blunt that people dealing with addictions were gathering to drink, frequently flouting physical-distancing restrictions and isolation orders, thus fuelling infections.La Loche Mayor Robert St. Pierre and the council asked the province to cut off alcohol sales in the community. That prompted fears that people with serious addictions would suffer life-threatening withdrawals and overwhelm the local health centre.So, the health authority quickly launched a managed alcohol program (MAP) that gave daily allotments of alcohol to people."We have all these pieces of the puzzle," Montgrand said.The community leaders all agreed that it was a steep learning curve, with some hard lessons along the way.Chief Teddy Clark said he can summarize his advice in just two words: "Be ready."Asked if he was proud of what the community had accomplished, St. Pierre said: "How do you be proud of something when five people died? We still had loss of life. There's still a sense of sadness and loss ... but yes, what we accomplished was phenomenal and our people proved how resilient they are."
On the family cattle farm just outside Caroline, Alta., Nicole and Bill Houlton are busy doing the daily chores.As they go about taking hay to the cows, there is no outward sign of the health struggles they've had over the past three years. Nicole Houlton, 28, has had three miscarriages. It has been a painful time that has brought into focus their reliance on their local health-care clinic and hospital at the same time Alberta doctors and the province are in a contract dispute over how to find savings while still delivering quality care.While embarking into the unknown world of fertility treatments in Calgary, the Houltons learned they are losing their primary care physician. They also found out five of the eight doctors who work in the Moose and Squirrel Medical Clinic in nearby Sundre have given notice they are leaving Alberta to practise elsewhere. "We felt crushed. Going through all this fertility stuff, it's like, now what do we do?" Nicole Houlton said.The doctors and staff at the clinic in Sundre have become like family, she said, offering a lifeline when she didn't know where to turn."They've been there for me 100 per cent of the way, just phone calls, emails, you name it, they're there for you."Nicole Houlton, who also works as a butcher at a local grocery store, said she was surprised and grateful when the clinic reached out to her husband of four years as well. "The man is part of the loss, too."Bill Houlton, a sawmill worker, said he didn't ask for help, but it was there for the 32-year-old anyway, "just to check on me and see how I was doing and how I was handling it."'It was awful'Dr. Alanna Bowie said that writing the letter that left the Houltons "crushed," telling them that she was leaving the Sundre clinic, was "so hard." "I don't really know what else to say other than that it was awful."Bowie was born, raised and educated in Alberta.She expected to spend her career in the province, practising "cradle to grave" rural medicine. Her tight network of family and friends is in Alberta.But the contract dispute between the province and the Alberta Medical Association has left Bowie so frustrated, she said, that she is leaving for British Columbia at the end of April. She has arranged locums, or fill-in work, in B.C. until she decides where to settle permanently. "It was death by a thousand cuts, all of these little insidious things that made it more difficult, made my job feel more and more unstable."In a voluntary survey conducted with members last summer, the Alberta Medical Association found that hundreds of doctors say they're considering leaving the province or retiring early.Threats to stop doing shifts at local hospitalsIn addition to the five doctors resigning from the Sundre clinic, more than a handful of physicians elsewhere in the province have publicly announced they are leaving Alberta. Alberta Health Services could not provide CBC with an exact number of resignations or how that compared to previous years. Doctors in more than a dozen Alberta communities have threatened or given notice they will stop doing shifts at local hospitals and concentrate solely on family practice. It's hard to say how much weight the contract dispute between doctors held in individual decisions to leave Alberta. But each resignation has come as a protracted battle has raged since the province cancelled the master agreement with the Alberta Medical Association last February. It wasn't due to expire until the end of March. It has descended into an unusually public battle of back-and-forth since then, played out on social media, in newspaper ads and in town halls organized by doctors."It's a new government. So they came with a mandate, kind of the iron fist, and they've been showing that," said Dr. Edward Aasman, president of the AMA's rural sector, "but it doesn't really help people work together to come up with solutions."The AMA is suing the province for violating doctors' charter rights when it tore up their contract. The government says this is nothing more than a wage battle run amok. It says it's trying to rein in unsustainable health-care spending, including more than $5.4 billion annually spent on physician services. "Alberta spends more per capita on physician services than any other province," Steve Buick, press secretary to Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro, wrote in a statement to CBC News, "We have slightly more physicians per capita than the national average, and we pay them more than in any other province."Bowie refutes what she calls "the vilification of physicians and gaslighting of Albertans to believe that this is all financially motivated, when in fact it's not at all." She said she and others will likely take a pay cut when they move to other provinces.Instead, she said her decision to leave was cemented by the province's health-care direction and the fractured relationship between doctors and the government. Aasman said the AMA is actually ahead of the government when it comes to finding ways to reduce physician costs by finding savings that will have the least impact on patient care.Large variety of jobsBy the nature of the job, many rural family physicians perform a large variety of medical services and advocates say they often have less room in their bottom lines to absorb cuts. Similarly, for each rural doctor who leaves or retires and isn't replaced, the effect on a community is felt more deeply, the AMA says. "We see a lot of orphaned patients" when a doctor leaves a small community, Aasman said."It increases the workload, the stress on the hospital, both our community and probably surrounding communities as well. That's a big thing."The government said it is making practising rural medicine in Alberta the most attractive proposal in the country, with various financial and recruiting incentives. It said the very public resignations won't affect the number of physicians practising in Alberta. It is forecasting more new physicians will start working in the province than leave it."We do not expect shortages overall or in any specific community, apart from the normal staffing challenges in smaller centres. That includes Sundre, where the hospital is fully covered and services continue without interruption," Buick said.Worries remainBut with their own clinic losing five physicians, Nicole and Bill Houlton remain worried, and not just for themselves."Our senior parents and folks, we worry about them. It's a lot harder for them to travel to a family doctor," Bill Houlton said.Nicole Houlton said after struggling with trying to start a family, they are now left with more uncertainty."Nobody really knows what's coming, what to do, what the next steps are." Or if they will even have a family doctor come spring.
OTTAWA — Aid agencies welcomed Canada’s commitment on Tuesday of an extra $400 million in development and humanitarian spending to combat COVID-19.The new money will go to "to trusted partners on the ground fighting COVID-19," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a video conference at the United Nations that he co-hosted with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness."From ensuring equitable access to vaccines, to providing more time for distressed countries to make bilateral debt payments, including Caribbean and small island states, we're working on concrete options that will help build a more resilient world," Trudeau said.Non-government organizations welcomed the government’s added spending after pleading for decades with successive Liberal and Conservative governments to offer a meaningful boost to the country’s overseas development assistance budget.Nicolas Moyer, the chief executive of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, said the new funds announced Tuesday by Trudeau were significant given last Friday’s commitment by the government to contribute $220 million to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility or COVAX, which will help purchase vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries."These investments come at a critical moment. With immense and growing needs around the world, Canada has stepped up at a time when world needs Canadian leadership more than ever," said Moyer."The COVID pandemic is the challenge of a generation. When the world needs us, it’s critical that Canada stands up and does its share." Lindsay Glassco, president of Plan International Canada, said the pandemic has unravelled decades of progress on reducing poverty and improving gender equality at home and abroad."The pandemic has shown us how truly connected the world is and that solutions must extend beyond borders," said Glassco."The Canadian government has responded once again with funding and support to stop this setback, and for that we are grateful."Bill Chambers, the chief executive of Save the Children, said the novel coronavirus is destroying the lives of children in crisis zones from Syria to Myanmar.“Now is the time we need leaders like Canada to commit to the global fight against this virus. We are reassured and inspired to see the government of Canada step up to the challenge while calling on others to do the same," he said.It was the second time since the spring that Trudeau, Guterres and Holness held a meeting of the UN’s high-level panel on "financing for development in the era of COVID-19 and beyond." They held their first joint meeting in late May, less than three weeks before Canada failed to win a temporary seat on the Security Council.Canada ran on a platform of trying to help rebuild the post-pandemic world in a contest that pitted it against Norway and Ireland for two non-permanent seats on the council, starting next year.Trudeau said after the Security Council defeat that Canada would remain active on the world stage in trying to rebuild the battered economy. "Canada believes that a strong, co-ordinated response across the world and across sectors is essential. This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset," Trudeau said Tuesday."This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change."Trudeau said Canada will invest more in the coming years and he will continue to advocate for debt relief for developing countries facing economic hardship because of the pandemic.Canada will push to have the voices of those countries heard in larger forums such as the G7, G20 and World Bank, he added.Guterres said he welcomed Trudeau’s push for debt relief, adding he would be advocating for it in the G20 because it could provide up to $12 billion in help for participating countries."The problem is to mobilize the resources," said Guterres."This has to do to the strengthening of the resources of the IMF and the World Bank and the other international financial institutions," he added."And this has to do with the vaccine and the need to massively invest in creating a vaccine that is a global public good."Trudeau said the pandemic has further exacerbated long-standing challenges of poverty, inequality, as well as climate change.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 29, 2020.Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press
Sadie Vipond has tried to keep a pretty low profile to this point, keeping her name out of the press, fearing the onslaught of attacks that would inevitably find their way into the 14-year-old's social media channels once she was labelled as a climate change activist.Yes, she's spoken before Calgary city council. Yes, she's regularly participated in the Fridays for Future climate strikes. And yes, she and her family happen to have hosted international climate youth activist Greta Thunberg when she visited Alberta. But she's been tight lipped about it — until today, that is. Vipond is breaking her silence, hoping that people in Alberta might heed the concern she has for her future and that of her entire generation; the fear, anger and sadness she carries with her as she watches the first substantial impacts of climate change materializing around the world.She's not only taking her plea to the people, though. She's also one of 15 young people suing the federal government for failing to protect their future. Vipond is the sole representative from Alberta."As a youth, I can't vote or make a huge (political) difference," Vipond told CBC Calgary. "I don't get to tell our leaders what I think. So, a lawsuit seemed like a good way to get my opinion out there."The case against OttawaThe lawsuit was filed to the federal court in Vancouver on Oct. 25, 2019, with the statement of claim accusing the federal government of failing to protect the plaintiffs' rights to life, liberty, safety and equality. An excerpt from the statement of claim reads, "Canada is one of (the) 10 highest (greenhouse gas) emitters in the world in terms of total national emissions. Despite knowing for decades that GHG emissions cause climate change and disproportionately harm children, the defendants continue to cause, contribute to and allow GHG emissions that are incompatible with a stable climate capable of sustaining human life and liberties."CBC News has previously reported that the federal government urged a judge to throw out the case, but to no avail. The hearings are scheduled to take place this week, beginning Wednesday, in Vancouver.In its statement of defence, the federal government acknowledged the real and urgent threat climate change poses to Canadians. But also insisted that the federal government shouldn't be singled out in the placing of blame, stating, "Addressing climate change is the shared responsibility of a multitude of different actors."The statement of defence goes on to state that it is not the court's role to make judgments on policies passed."Only the executive and legislative branches of government may make policy, pass laws and authorize the allocation of public funds."For Vipond, the government's logic doesn't hold up. "Canada does have a plan for the climate, it's just not sufficient to actually reach the Paris Agreement (emissions-reduction targets). So, I think they need to have a better plan. That's what the lawsuit is asking for — a science-based climate recovery plan," she said over video chat from her home in Calgary.Vipond is far from being a stranger to climate change activism. Her father, Joe Vipond, is the president of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment as well as a co-founder of the Calgary Climate Hub. He was one of the key campaigners behind the push for Canada to outlaw the use of coal-fired electricity, which is being phased out now by 2030.Since Sadie is still underage, Joe had to endorse his daughter's participation in the federal court proceedings, which he did proudly. But the fear of his child becoming a public face of the fight certainly gave him pause."There's 15 kids in the litigation, and all of the other kids have done media (interviews) to this point, and when we went into this in October, we requested that Sadie not do any media, and that was because we were cognisant of the bullying that goes along with climate denial. Especially for women. I think it's quite obvious even with our female politicians that they've been receiving the majority of the comments."And then as things rolled out, we heard stories that the Saskatchewan litigants — who had been doing quite a bit of media — were quite impacted by some of the comments they would see (in comment sections)," Joe said."But Sadie kept asking to do this. So she's ready to be brave and she says she's ready to take on whatever the world can throw at her, and we hope we can support her and protect her through that."Sadie was inspired like many teens around the world to take more action on climate change after watching Greta Thunberg's first viral speech before the United Nations climate change conference in 2018. That admiration for a fellow teenager being able to make waves that way entrenched her motivation to have tough conversations about the impacts of climate change, and actions that can be taken here in Alberta to mitigate the effects.Meeting GretaThat resolve was only deepened when Sadie got the chance to meet Thunberg last October, just days before their court case was filed.Joe, through his connections with Montreal's Climate Reality Project, had been calling about an unrelated issue just before Thunberg was set to land in Alberta. Through the grapevine, he was then connected with other climate activists in Belgium who were looking for a place for the Swedish activist to stay while she was in Calgary. No plans were cemented until the day of her arrival."We basically had about two hours' notice to prep for this celebrity," Joe recalls.Riding up to her house on her bike after school, Sadie didn't know she would be walking in to find one of her own personal heroes."It was quite a surprise when I came home to basically this celebrity in my house," Sadie said. "Just seeing her made me even more inspired to get on with the lawsuit and try to make a difference in our country."The encounter was surreal for the Calgary teen, as Thunberg congratulated Sadie for engaging with city council on climate issues, and for being willing to put her name forward as one of the defendants in the case against the federal government."She said anyone who was doing anything, she thought was really cool. And I was just like, 'But you got the whole globe caring about this problem.' But it felt pretty good," Sadie said.Thunberg, wanting to see more of Calgary than just the Viponds' living room, asked them to show her around and they took her to the Eau Claire area and strolled down the banks of the Bow River. The next morning she rode the CTrain and got a tour around the new public library.The bright blue coat Thunberg donned on the steps of the Alberta legislature just days later was Sadie's. The whole experience was otherworldly for the family.Even before Sadie met Thunberg, or before Thunberg's speech to the UN went viral, Sadie was working to inspire Calgarians to act on climate change.At 12, she stood before Calgary city council and told the politicians how denial of climate change was no different from the scenario presented in the Harry Potter series, where the magical government refused to acknowledge the darkest wizard had returned to power after being thought to have died. "Just shoving it away and pretending it doesn't exist doesn't make the whole idea just disappear," she told council.Sadie doesn't come at her mission from a place of anger or desperation — though she knows policy action on climate change is desperately needed. She comes at it from a place of hope, hoping that governments of all levels are paying attention and are prepared to make policy decisions that take her generation's future, and the next, into consideration.If not, governments, beginning with the federal government, are being put on notice: inaction will not be taken lying down."I am hopeful that we will make a difference," Sadie said. "Of course I hope we win, because that would make a change on a legal scale. But if we don't win, (maybe) we'll make enough noise to have more people aware of the climate crisis."
Since the onset of the pandemic, B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has not only led the province in its COVID-19 response, but she has also become a muse for some.There have been shoes, there have been murals, there have been songs and now, there are puppies.Meet Bonnie and Henry, a pair of Labrador puppies named in honour of B.C.'s top doctor.B.C. and Alberta Guide Dogs announced the birth and tribute Tuesday."Dr. Henry has been a wonderful presence of calm and guidance through the COVID-19 pandemic," said Bill Thornton, CEO of the organization, in a release."Our organization felt that it was a fitting tribute to name these little puppies after her, as they will one day grow up to provide those same qualities of guidance and support to someone in need."The puppies — along with their eight siblings — will soon begin training to become guide dogs for people who are blind or visually-impaired, have profound autism or post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in the military or as first responders.And the tribute caught the attention of the puppies' namesake."Thank you for the incredible work that B.C. Guide Dogs does, supporting so many people in British Columbia," she said. "Taking a moment to appreciate the joy of two little puppies is so welcome."
Amid a surge of coronavirus transmission in Ontario, some physicians warn the province's plan to ramp up efforts to prevent new infections will fall short unless further measures are taken to clamp down on community spread.Ontario on Monday reported 700 new confirmed cases, marking the highest one-day total since the pandemic began. The ongoing increase throughout September comes as Premier Doug Ford's government rolls out a plan to boost testing capacity to 50,000 daily tests, while bringing on 1,000 more staff to manage cases and trace their contacts."We had an opportunity in the summer when case counts were low to really fine-tune our system around test, trace and isolate," said Dr. Tara Kiran, a Toronto-based researcher and family physician."I think the recent spike in numbers shows we weren't ready."In Toronto, the epicentre of Ontario's second surge of cases, testing and contact-tracing efforts are already lagging behind on several fronts.On average, more than half of people getting tested don't see their result for two days or more, while close to half who do wind up testing positive aren't being reached by contact tracers within 24 hours, the latest Toronto Public Health data shows.Given the challenges, various physician leaders, including the Ontario Hospital Association, are pushing the province to return to Stage 2 restrictions on indoor bars and restaurants, gyms, places of worship, movie theatres and other non-essential businesses.While Ontario officials are striving to avoid widespread closures or a lockdown in favour of targeted restrictions, Kiran said a broader "pause" is crucial to reduce the virus' spread, giving the testing and tracing system a chance to catch up."We need to do something to reduce the number of social contacts now, before it gets to a level that's unmanageable for even a larger number of contact tracers," she said."I worry we're getting to that territory with the explosive rise in rates of transmission."Hours-long lineupsOne epidemiologist warns Ontario has already hit that tipping point. Dr. David Fisman, a professor with at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, stressed with current case counts and turnaround times, it's likely people infected by someone who's currently being contact-traced are already infecting a third round of contacts."When we're up above 500 cases a day," he said, "you can't meaningfully contact-trace."Provincial officials, however, maintain they're meeting the rising demand.The province plans to bring on 500 Statistics Canada staff to help with contact management while hiring an extra 500 contact tracers, eventually bringing the total staff count from 2,750 to 3,750."Additional capacity will ensure that cases and contacts continue to be reached quickly," said Ministry of Health spokesperson Miriam Mohamadi in a statement.Reaching that point in the process is already proving time-consuming, given the struggles many Ontarians are facing getting tested in the first place — with reports of hours-long lineups at various assessment centres in recent weeks.To combat that bottleneck, the Ford government is offering testing at pharmacies, has largely cracked down on the practice of getting tested without symptoms or risk factors, and announced three Ontario hospitals are conducting saliva collection, with more assessment centres offering this option in the coming weeks.WATCH | 'We're in the second wave,' Ford says:But the capacity to process those tests remains limited. While laboratories are now completing upwards of 40,000 tests a day, with provincial plans aiming to hit 10,000 more, there's also a backlog of nearly 50,000 tests in the queue."It doesn't seem like they have quite enough capacity to stay ahead of the spread," said Dr. Irfan Dhalla, vice-president at Unity Health Toronto and a professor at the University of Toronto.That means Ontarians could see increasingly longer turnaround times for their results, Kiran warned."It's going to take longer for us to know who is positive, and contact them, then contact their contacts," she said. "It's a chain of events."Red-alert itemsOn average, only 20 per cent of new COVID-19 tests in Toronto currently have a turnaround time of 24 hours, according to data from Toronto Public Health, while around 44 per cent have a 48-hour turnaround, leaving more than half of people tested waiting even longer for their results.Both metrics have been deemed red-alert items on the city's COVID-19 dashboard for falling well below targets.Public health officials are also struggling to contact those confirmed cases in a timely manner.The latest numbers show only 55 per cent of people who've recently tested positive for the virus are being reached within 24 hours, leaving 45 per cent waiting longer — another metric that's lagging behind."Sometimes, we are unable to reach a client despite numerous attempts," said Toronto's associate medical officer of health, Dr. Vinita Dubey, in a statement."This can be because they may not have voice mail set up on their phone, or their number is no longer in service. These factors, combined with a case's living, work and social situations, as well as the volume of cases, can impact [our] ability to reach newly reported cases within 24 hours."When it comes to tracing all the contacts of those newly-confirmed cases, that's the one metric in good shape, with 96 per cent of contacts successfully reached within a day — but it comes only after all the previous delays.WATCH | Ontario pledges $1B for testing, contract tracing:Given those kinds of challenges faced by certain public health units, McMaster University infectious disease specialist Dr. Dominik Mertz said the province needs to deploy resources accordingly."We have hot spots currently — Toronto and Ottawa in particular — where there is certainly much more people needed to do the contact tracing than in other regions where case counts are already low."Mohamadi, speaking for the Ministry of Health, noted the centralized pool of contact tracers "can be accessed by any public health unit."But despite those recent efforts to beef up testing and tracing, Fisman maintains it's "too late."Returning to broader stage two restrictions is now crucial for reducing transmission, he said."The numbers are too high," Fisman said. "So contact tracing is not a lever you can realistically use to bring these numbers down."Still have questions about COVID-19? These CBC News stories will help.Is another lockdown coming in Ontario? What do we know about the Ford government's fall plan?CBC Queen's Park reporter Mike Crawley obtained a draft copy of the planWhat's the latest on where I should get tested?It's confusing, but here's an explainer complete with a flow chartWhat's the most recent guidance on mask use?Reporter Lauren Pelley took a look at what the experts are advisingWhat should I do about my COVID-19 bubble?With cases going up, even small gatherings are getting riskierWho is getting COVID-19?CBC News crunched the data from across Canada to get the clearest picture possible
WASHINGTON — The Latest on the 2020 presidential election (all times local):10:50 p.m.President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are painting a very different picture of the reliability of the upcoming election.Biden urged voters to cast their ballots and not be intimidated by Trump’s suggestions he might not accept a loss. Trump has been groundlessly casting doubt on the reliability of mail ballots and elections in general.“Vote whatever way is the best way for you,” Biden said. “Because he will not be able to stop you from determining the outcome of this election.”Biden agreed not to declare victory before the ballots are counted and to accept voters’ verdicts.Trump continued to spread falsehoods about mail voting. He said falsely that his campaign's poll watchers were improperly turned away at a Philadelphia early voting site Tuesday -- the poll watchers had not yet been accredited to observe. He suggested widespread Democratic fraud because a handful of ballots were improperly thrown in the trash last week -- but didn’t mention it occurred in a Republican-controlled elections office and was quickly reported to authorities.Biden urged viewers not to worry about Trump’s scare tactics.“I will accept it, and he will, too. You know why?” Biden said. “Because once the winner is declared once all the ballots are counted, that’ll be the end of it."___HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden begins at 9 p.m. Eastern time in Cleveland.Read more:— 5 questions heading into Trump and Biden’s first debate— Viewers’ Guide: Trump, Biden meet in Ohio for 1st debate— Trump, Biden prepare to debate at a time of mounting crises— Analysis: In debate, a last chance for Trump to define Biden___HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:10:30 p.m.Democrat Joe Biden has evoked his son Beau Biden to criticize President Donald Trump for reportedly calling members of the American military who lost their lives “losers” and “suckers.”Raising his voice at Tuesday night’s debate, Biden described his son as a hero. Beau Biden died of cancer in 2015.Trump responded by pivoting to a familiar attack, on Biden’s other son, Hunter.The president said, “I don’t know Beau. I know Hunter,” and accused Hunter Biden of having collected millions of dollars from oversees interests, including China, while working as a consultant during his father’s tenure as vice-president. It echoed attacks the president made earlier in the debate in Cleveland, but have little basis in fact.Trump also opened a new line of attack when he said Hunter Biden was dishonourably discharged from the military for cocaine use. Biden responded that his son wasn’t dishonourably discharged.He addressed viewers directly and said that, like a lot of Americans, Hunter had a drug problem but was “working on it” and had “fixed it.”Biden added, “I’m proud of my son.”___10:25 p.m.President Donald Trump says he does see human beings as contributing somewhat to climate change but doesn’t support strict regulations in part because of negative ramifications for business.When asked at Tuesday's debate about humans being partially to blame for environmental deterioration, Trump said, “to an extent, yes.”But when asked why he took steps like withdrawing the U.S. from the landmark Paris climate pact, Trump reiterated his argument that such agreements were “driving energy prices through the sky.”Nearly 200 nations signed the climate deal in which each country provides its own goals to curb emissions of heat-trapping gases that lead to climate change.Biden said he would champion job-creating programs that embrace green technologies and would rejoin the Paris accord, which is “all falling apart” without U.S. involvement.___10:20 p.m.President Donald Trump has sidestepped a question from moderator Chris Wallace about whether he was willing to condemn white supremacists and militia groups.“I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not the right wing,” Trump responded. “I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”When pressed further, Trump said, “What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name?”Finally, he said, “Proud Boys — Stand back, stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not right-wing problem..... This is a left wing problem.”Antifa followers have appeared at anti-racism protests, but there’s been little evidence behind Republican claims that antifa members are to blame for the violence at such protests.Trump infamously said there were good people “on both sides” after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to the death of a counterprotester.___10:15 p.m.President Donald Trump and Vice-President Joe Biden are making their pitches to win over Black voters in the coming election, with Biden mockingly questioning: “This man, this man is a saviour of African Americans? This man has done virtually nothing.”Biden says that 1 in 1,000 African Americans has died because of the coronavirus, and if Trump doesn’t do something quickly, it will be 1 in 500.Trump turned the discussion from COVID-19 to a crime bill passed in 1994 that Biden helped write and get passed that, among other things, increased the penalties for certain drug offences.Trump says “I’m letting people out of jail now,” and asserted that Biden had treated the Black community “about as bad as anybody in this country.”___10:10 p.m.President Donald Trump and Joe Biden are trading barbs about each other’s relatives.While Biden was making a point during the first presidential debate in Cleveland about the Trump administration’s trade deals with China not having the desired effect, Trump jumped in. He resurrected past claims about the former vice-president’s son Hunter working overseas.Trump said Hunter Biden reaped millions in ill-gotten profit from China and other overseas interests, accusations that have been repeatedly debunked. Biden shot back, “None of that is true.” He then added of Trump, “His family, we could talk all night.”Trump interrupted to respond that his children gave up lucrative jobs to join government and “help people,” which left moderator Chris Wallace pleading, “Mr. President, please stop” trying to restore order on the stage.Biden then turned to the camera and addressed the audience directly, something he did frequently Tuesday night. “This is not about my family or his family,” Biden said. “It’s about your family.”___10:05 p.m.President Donald Trump won’t say when he will finally make his personal taxes public as he has long promised.During the first presidential debate Tuesday, Trump was asked specifically about a report in The New York Times that revealed he paid only $750 in personal income taxes each of those years.All presidents except Trump have publicly released their taxes since the presidency of Richard Nixon.Trump has said since 2016 that he would eventually release them. But when asked by moderator Chris Wallace when, he said only: “You’ll get to see it.”Democratic nominee Joe Biden quickly used that as a point of attack, saying Trump “does take advantage of the tax code” and “pays less tax than a schoolteacher.”Trump shrugged off the attack, saying that all business leaders do the same “unless they are stupid.”___10 p.m.President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are showcasing vastly different approaches during their first presidential debate in Cleveland.Trump is being aggressive toward Biden on Tuesday, interrupting the former vice-president and repeatedly being admonished by debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News to stick to the rules that both campaigns had agreed to.Biden is taking a more personal approach. At several times during the debate, Biden addressed his comments to “you folks at home” watching on television as he looked straight into the camera.___9:50 p.m.President Donald Trump says he’s had “no negative effect” from massive campaign rallies with thousands of attendees not adhering to social distancing recommendations amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.Trump said during Tuesday night’s debate against Democrat Joe Biden that he thought masks “are OK,” pulling one out from his pocket and saying, “I wear masks when needed.”But Trump also bragged that he’s drawn “35 to 40,000 people” at his campaign rallies, saying he brings such large crowds to outdoor events “because people want to hear what I have to say.” Trump portrayed Biden’s socially distanced events as insignificant affairs where the Democrat “has three people some place.”Former Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain, who attended one of Trump’s rallies in June without wearing a mask or social distancing, tested positive for the coronavirus nine days after the rally and died a month later. Neither Trump nor Biden mentioned him.Biden has held smaller campaign events, requiring attendees to spread out and at times sit in taped-off circles. Calling Trump “totally irresponsible” on managing COVID-19, Biden said the president is “a fool on this” and said Trump only worried about masks in the interest of protecting his own health, not others.___9:35 p.m.The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden has gotten off to an contentious start, breaking down after just a few moments with Trump interrupting Biden on several occasions and Biden calling the president a clown and a liar.As the discussion about the Supreme Court quickly turned to COVID-19, Trump claimed without evidence that 2 million people would have died if Biden were president.Moderator Chris Wallace pleaded with Trump, stating that COVID-19 would be discussed later in the day. He then asked Trump about whether he had a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, and the president said, “First of all, I guess I’m debating you, not him, but that’s OK. I’m not surprised.”Biden laughed at Trump’s jabs. But he also appeared to get upset at times, too.“Here’s the deal, the fact is that everything he’s saying so far is simply a lie,” Biden said. “I’m not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he’s a liar.”Wallace asked Trump to let Biden finish. “Folks do you have any idea what this clown is doing?” Biden said.___9:25 p.m.Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says he is the leader of his party.Biden made the comment during Tuesday night’s debate after President Donald Trump accused him of supporting abolishing private insurance.Biden noted that he won the Democratic nomination partly by arguing against single-payer health care that many of his rivals sought. The former vice-president has instead proposed expanding the Affordable Care Act to provide a public option that people could buy into.Trump responded that Democrats still want to abolish private health insurance and suggested the party would force Biden to do its bidding.“My party is me,” Biden replied. “Right now, I’m the Democratic Party.”___9:20 p.m.The first face-off for President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is coming over a clash concerning a president’s prerogative to put push through an election-year Supreme Court nominee.Trump says during a debate Tuesday night in Cleveland that Republicans “won the election and therefore we have the right to choose” Amy Coney Barrett as a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.Trump added that he felt Democrats “wouldn’t even think about not doing it” if given the chance to nominate a justice with just weeks until the election.Biden and other Democrats have decried Trump’s nomination of a new justice given Republicans’ refusal to consider President Barack Obama’s selection following the 2016 death of Antonin Scalia. Biden didn’t mention that during the debate, however.Biden says that Barrett seems like “a very fine person” but that her nomination after “tens of thousands of people have already voted” was troubling.___9 p.m.President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are face-to-face in their first presidential debate, the most pivotal moment so far in an election that turns on a historic pandemic, racial unrest and an economy in shambles.The two are meeting Tuesday night in Cleveland. It’s a key opportunity for Trump to improve his standing in a race that polls show has remained stubbornly unchanged. For Biden, the debate offers a chance to show the steadiness he says the nation needs in contrast to Trump’s divisiveness.Biden welcomed Trump to the stage, saying, “How you doing, man?”The topics are the records of the candidates, the Supreme Court, the coronavirus pandemic, the economy, “race and violence in our cities,” and election integrity.At issue is the coronavirus pandemic that has killed 205,000 Americans and cost the country millions of jobs. Early voting is underway in many states, with the election 35 days away.___5:50 p.m.Kamala Harris says her running mate, Joe Biden, will share his vision for tackling the coronavirus and rebuilding the nation’s economy during his presidential debate against President Donald Trump.The Democratic California senator said Tuesday during a digital fundraiser with artists that “Joe’s goal in the debate is to communicate directly with the American people.”Harris says the country is at a crossroads in more ways than one, from the pandemic and economic recession to a reckoning on racial injustice and climate change. She’s calling Republican efforts to fill a Supreme Court seat before the election a “crisis.”Harris says, “And in the midst of all this, a president whose instinct is to always stoke chaos, division, and mistrust.”Harris is set to debate Vice-President Mike Pence next week.___2:15 p.m.Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, have released more of their personal tax returns ahead of the first presidential debate.The Bidens’ returns show the couple paid almost $300,000 in federal taxes in 2019, including almost $288,000 in personal income tax. The Bidens reported taxable income of $944,737.The release on Tuesday comes just days after The New York Times reported that Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, the year he was elected president, and again in 2017, his first year in office. The Times said Trump paid no federal income taxes for 10 of the 15 years before that.Biden and Trump are set to meet Tuesday night in Cleveland for their first presidential debate, and Trump’s taxes are sure to come up.Trump has called the reports “fake news” yet still refuses to release his returns himself. Biden already had released two decades’ worth of his tax returns, in addition to the federal financial disclosures required of him when he was a senator and vice-president.Biden’s running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and her husband, Doug Emhoff, also released their 2019 returns Tuesday. Harris and Emhoff reported paying $1.05 million in personal income taxes and $1.19 million in total federal taxes on $3.02 million in taxable income.___2:10 p.m.President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump emerged from the White House to a crowd of more than 100 cheering supporters as they departed for the first presidential debate in Cleveland.The crowd, which included staffers and interns, cheered as the Trumps left the White House.Both the president and first lady paused to recognize the show of support with a few claps of their own and several first pumps from Trump.Trump boarded Marine One without comment. At Joint Base Andrews, where Air Force One was set to take off, Trump gave a wave and thumbs before boarding.___12:30 p.m.President Donald Trump spent Tuesday morning in informal preparations for the first debate with Joe Biden. A longer, more formal preparation session was set for the afternoon once he arrives in Cleveland.Trump’s prep team includes former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway, campaign communications strategist Jason Miller, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Jared Kushner, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and communications director Alyssa Farah. Some other advisers like Dan Scavino and Hope Hicks have also been involved.While Trump is itching to go on the offence against Biden, some aides have encouraged him to adopt a more measured tone -- believing that in many ways the debates are more about Trump vs himself than Biden. Trump, they argue, should focus more on selling his accomplishments than trying to viciously attack Biden. Some involved with the preparations, though, have encouraged Trump’s more aggressive ‘counterpunching’ side.The Associated Press
On the streets of Afghanistan in 2012, Canadian soldier Brian McKenna was training international teams to search vehicles for explosives. As his trainees searched, they would find scared children being trafficked against their will to parts unknown — and McKenna was powerless to stop it. His team was ordered to search for bombs and the components to make explosives, nothing more. So with mounting frustration, his teams would let the cars go, carrying the children away to an unknown fate. McKenna and his teams had no authority to arrest the perpetrators, as they weren't police officers and had no legal right to detain the people transporting the children. "You're just forced to see and admit that something really, really wrong is allowed to flourish. You can have a gun in your hand and feel unarmed. And that's a really odd situation for a soldier," he said.DND spending millions to study moral injuriesMcKenna has been diagnosed with a moral injury, a form of emotional and psychological damage that occurs when someone goes through a difficult experience that upsets their moral beliefs. And it's something the Department of National Defence is spending millions of dollars to research. DND wants to better understand how to diagnose moral injuries, prevent them, treat them, and learn what situations are likely to cause them.McKenna did his duty, he followed orders, but his conscience still paid the price. "I'm disappointed that I couldn't do anything. I'm embarrassed. It's a feeling of futility, like we're here working on helping build a dam while we're watching this other absolute crime happen," said McKenna, a retired warrant officer who is now a senior adviser for veterans at the Canadian Centre of Excellence on PTSD. There are concerns that as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, more military personnel, health-care workers, and other front-line staff will suffer moral injuries, said Eric Fournier, the director general of innovation with DND. "We know a lot about post traumatic stress disorder, but moral injury, we know a lot less," he said. "That's why we decided to push forward with this challenge as many people have been encountering this type of situation in this crisis." Dealing with difficult situationsHe said members of the military may have already been exposed to moral injury when hundreds of them went into long-term care facilities in Ontario and Quebec to help staff deal with outbreaks of COVID-19. "[They] spent weeks, in some cases months, working in those facilities, and they were part of that response working with first responders, hospital workers, long-term care facilities workers," said Fournier.Many of those military personnel dealt with stressful and uncomfortable situations. Moral injuries can occur when someone doesn't act when they feel they should, when they witness others acting in a way they believe is morally wrong, or when a person feels betrayed in a high-stakes situation. A moral injury can cause a person to question who they are and if their lives have meaning, leading them to become depressed, have trouble sleeping, have difficulty thinking clearly, and have strong feelings of guilt and shame, according to Dr. Patrick Smith, president and CEO of the Canadian Centre of Excellence on PTSD at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. The centre has been studying moral injuries, which he said are different from PTSD. "It's not exposure to traumatic events that causes fear and anxiety, it's more the existential questioning," said Smith. During the pandemic, there are many ways health-care workers and soldiers could find themselves in situations that could result in a moral injury. For example, said Smith, some hospital workers may have had to hold the phone for COVID-19 patients as they die, so they can say goodbye to their families. "For some people that's going to haunt them, that's going to potentially be something that's going to stay with them." He said there hasn't been enough research done on moral injuries and he's glad to hear DND is looking into it. The Department of National Defence has sent out a call for proposals to research moral injuries under the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security program. The program pays for research by outside organizations, typically businesses and universities. Fournier said about $3.7 million could be on the table for innovators who can help answer the military's questions surrounding moral injuries. So far about 60 proposals have been submitted. Near the end of this month, contracts will be awarded to the successful applicants. Fourier expects to have some results from applicants in about six months, at which time DND will decide if those researchers will get more money to continue their work.The results from the research will be shared with DND personnel, health-care workers, first responders and anyone at the front lines of the pandemic, said Fournier. McKenna is also happy about the new research, but said more needs to be done. "I think we need to get to a place where we realize when we send people to tough spots, moral injuries are part of what's going to happen." MORE TOP STORIES
The latest developments from Canada on Sept. 29, relating to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide.
Despite thousands of complaints of people not following COVID-19 restrictions, RCMP and Edmonton police have only handed out 40 tickets since the spring.Alberta Health Services said it received 5,100 reports of a "concern about a business or public place that is not following restrictions," between May 23 and Sept. 22. Kerry Williamson, AHS spokesperson, said concerns are related to COVID-19 public health orders, including the two-metre physical distancing requirement and self-isolation. RCMP Cpl. Deanna Fontaine, a media relations officer, said officers issued 20 tickets for violations under the Alberta Public Health Act or the Federal Quarantine Act between mid-May and end of September.Those fines were related to U.S. travellers contravening border control orders; residents not complying with foreign travel quarantine orders and others not adhering to physical distancing requirements.The tickets were handed out in Banff, Lake Louise, Waterton, Two Hills, Fort McMurray, Milk River, Bassano, Leduc and Cardson.In Edmonton, police issued 20 tickets over the past four months: 14 tickets between May 14 and June 12, Edmonton Police Service spokesperson Carolin Maran said. "These tickets were issued for failing to adhere to physical distancing," Maran said in an email. Edmonton police did not give out any more tickets in July and August, she added. In the past two weeks, Edmonton police issued five more COVID-19 related tickets but did not provide the specific reason. EPS spokesperson Scott Pattison said along with the City of Edmonton, police are focused on education and awareness to encourage people to comply with the rules.Tickets for failing to adhere to a public health order are $1,000 to $1,200, Pattison noted.Williamson said AHS works with business/landlords first to ensure they're following orders. They can also issue a closure order.That happened a handful of times in the early days of the pandemic when some gyms — ordered to close — remained open. Of the 45 COVID-19 related orders issued in the spring, 36 of those have been rescinded, AHS said. Health orders being followed downtownIn Edmonton's main shopping and dining districts, several people said restaurants and bars were doing a good job of ensuring physical distancing measures are followed. Doug Greenwood, who lives in the 104th Street area downtown, said he feels it's important to support local businesses and get the economy back on track. "Restaurants have been fantastic at implementing it and I think the guidance has been very clear," Greenwood said in an interview last week.Greenwood carries a mask with him and wears it when appropriate. He said following health guidance is the best way to stop the spread of the virus. "Whatever gets this over, I will happily do," he said. "You tell me what I need to do to make this end and I'll just do exactly that thing so I can have my life back." Melissa Johnson, who works downtown, said she's observed good practices as well. "I think the precautions are being taken, Johnson told CBC News. "Everyone's wearing a mask, taking it off when you're seated." Johnson said she thinks police should ticket if they find businesses or other organizations violating the public health orders. Situational awareness As winter approaches, businesses and organizations planning to have gatherings should take a fresh look at how they're set up to manage physical distancing requirements. Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease specialist with the University of Alberta, said she's noticed a varying degree of compliance to public health orders. "I think it's very easy for people to kind of fall into old patterns in a familiar environment without necessarily being mindful of those distances," she said. "It's almost like it's a permissive environment for people to pretend that we're not in a pandemic anymore and that could be a concern." Saxinger suggested offices, stores, gyms and restaurants hit reset and refresh their surroundings. "Arranging the space, changing the physical environment and visual cues for distancing are all things that probably could be brushed up at this point, I think it's becoming more important."@natashariebe
Ontario Premier Doug Ford and health officials have confirmed that the province is in the second wave of COVID-19.
At Mi'kmaq Printing and Design, stacks of orange shirts are folded and ready to be shipped out.The shirts feature an eagle with the words "Every Child Matters." There are three versions — one in English, and two in different Mi'kmaq orthographies."This one is a really sacred animal for us, and it just kind of means our prayers are going up to Creator, so I think it's really impactful that we use this for every child matters," said Misiksk Jadis, who works with the company.The message hits close to home for Jadis.Orange Shirt Day, observed on Sept. 30 each year, is to remember the Indigenous children forced to go to residential schools.Jadis's father is a residential school survivor.'Not just an Indigenous matter'"It was part of my everyday. I grew up with it. From when I was six years old, just learning about it, to having my father who raised me, he told me about it every day, and that was a part of his life," she said."He did tell me a lot about it, but there's some stuff, even as Indigenous people, we'll probably never know." > It's not just an Indigenous matter. It's a Canadian issue. — Deidre AugustineJadis said she's seen non-Indigenous people become more aware of the history of residential schools through initiatives like Orange Shirt Day.Deidre Augustine, who also works with Mi'kmaq Printing and Design, hopes people take the time to learn."It's grown so much because it's not just an Indigenous matter. It's a Canadian issue," said Augustine."And now it's a part of reconciliation too. So the more you talk about this issue and hear these stories, the truth, that's another step going into reconciliation."Remembering residential school survivorsOrange Shirt Day was inspired by Phyllis Webstad, a Stswecem'c Xgat'tem First Nation elder in Williams Lake, B.C. Her first day at a residential school was in 1973 when she was six.Webstad recalls being excited to go to school, and picking out an orange shirt for the occasion.When she arrived at the school, she was stripped of all her clothes, including the orange shirt.The first Orange Shirt Day was marked in Williams Lake in 2013, and it has grown from there."It's grown so much," said Augustine. "They have it in schools, and not only Indigenous schools. They put it in workspaces."Mi'kmaq Printing and Design made 2,000 shirts this year, which have been shipped around the country — but one shirt was sent as far as Louisiana.She said people who buy shirts often ask questions about the story behind them."People always ask us … they want to know the different languages, they want to know the different styles," she said."Or right away, we'll tell them a brief history about it."Printed in English and Mi'kmaqJadis said the decision to print the words on the shirt in Mi'kmaq came from feedback from the community."Previous years we just had it in English," she said. "We did have people asking 'Oh, it would be nice to have it in Mi'kmaq.' So we were like, 'All right, we'll do it.'"The shirts are available in two orthographies — Francis/Smith and Pacifique."Francis/Smith is more contemporary … it's the one that's most commonly used now. But the other one we have too is Pacifique, which is still used, but it's more New Brunswick, and then northern New Brunswick to Quebec area," said Augustine."There's so many different dialects and people write it different. People have different words. It's not wrong, it's just depending on where you're from."Birth of a social enterpriseMi'kmaq Printing & Design started in 2018 out of an idea that came from a social enterprise conference hosted by the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of P.E.I.The company started selling shirts and bags that July, featuring designs from Mi'kmaq artists."It's cool to see how much the business has grown," said Jadis. "We try to get out to communities and really educate with our shirts and our other lines as well."One of the most popular designs is a shirt that says "Kwe'," which means "Hello.""That again, it is kind of a conversation starter for non-Indigenous people and Indigenous people to kind of bridge that gap and get to know each other," Jadis said."I'll be walking down the street and I'll be like, 'Oh my God, someone's wearing a Mi'kmaq Printing sweater.' I love it."More from CBC P.E.I.
A little over a month ago, Health Minister Christian Dubé congratulated Quebecers for their hard work at containing the spread of the coronavirus.It was a Tuesday, Aug. 25, and the province had registered just 94 new cases of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. "We have really succeeded at controlling the transmission of COVID," Dubé said at a news conference in Montreal. It was a statement of fact, but the ground had already started to shift. In the weeks that followed, transmission increased. At first it grew slowly, then exponentially. On Monday, the government implicitly acknowledged it has again lost control of the virus. The province is reimposing lockdown measures on Quebec's two biggest cities, starting Oct. 1. Until Oct. 28, Quebecers won't be able to entertain friends or families at home. Bars, restaurant dining rooms, theatres and cinemas will also be closed. "The situation has become critical," Premier François Legault said Monday evening. "If we don't want our hospitals to be submerged, if we want to limit the number of deaths, we must take strong action."The new measures will bring abrupt changes to the lives of millions of Quebecers. They will also prompt questions about how the public health situation could have deteriorated so quickly.This story tries to trace how Quebec again lost control of the spread of COVID-19.At first, a stern warningAs Dubé addressed reporters on that Tuesday in late August, public health officials in Quebec City were busy trying to track down patrons of Bar Kirouac, a watering hole in the working-class Saint-Sauveur neighbourhood.A karaoke night at the bar ultimately led to 72 cases and the activity being banned in the province.There were also numerous reports by then of young people holding massive house parties and flouting physical distancing recommendations. One of them, in Laval, led to a small outbreak.WATCH | Legault explains why harsh measures are necessary:On Aug. 31, as Quebec's daily average of new cases neared 152 cases, Legault delivered a stern warning. "There has been a general slackening in Quebec," Legault said. "It's important to exercise more discipline."Legault and his health minister threatened stiffer punishments for those who disobeyed public-health rules, but stopped short of imposing new restrictions.Private gatherings identified as the culpritIn late August, public health officials were attributing the rise in infections to Quebecers returning home from vacations around the province, as opposed to the start of school. Though Quebec's back-to-school plan wasn't met with widespread criticism, some experts expressed concern about the large class sizes and the lack of physical distancing guidelines for students. The government also ignored advice that it should make masks mandatory inside the classroom.But the first weeks of the school year went relatively smoothly. By the start of Labour Day weekend, only 46 out of the province's 3,100 schools had reported a case of COVID-19. Importantly, there were no major outbreaks.The problem was elsewhere. Outside schools, in the community at large, cases continued to rise. On Sept. 8, the province was averaging 228 cases per day.By now public health officials had identified private gatherings as the main culprit behind the increase.Montreal's regional director of public health, Dr. Mylène Drouin, was among those who urged more caution when hanging out with friends and family. "Yes, we can have social activities, but we have to reduce contacts to be able to reduce secondary transmission," Drouin said on Sept. 9.Warning signsIn an effort to spell out the consequences of the increase in cases, the Quebec government unveiled a series of colour-coded alert levels. Areas coded green would see few restrictions; yellow zones would see more enforcement of existing rules; orange zones would be the target of added restrictions; and red zones would see more widespread closures of non-essential activities.When the scheme was announced on Sept. 8, Quebec City was classified yellow. Montreal was classified green.At this point, though, health experts were already concerned that more was needed to curb the spread of the virus."It is important to intensify these measures," Dr. Cécile Tremblay, an infectious disease specialist with the Université de Montréal hospital network, said after the alert levels were announced.The warning signs were starting to multiply.Officials in Montreal were investigating 20 outbreaks at workplaces on Sept. 9; a week later that number had risen to 30. Long lines were also forming outside testing centres, filled with anxious parents and their children.And more stories were circulating of private gatherings where the 10-person limit was ignored, angering the health minister.He told reporters about a dinner with 17 people at a restaurant in Montérégie, which led to 31 cases. A corn roast in the Lower St. Lawrence, he said, resulted in 30 cases."To me, that's unacceptable," Dubé said on Sept. 15. "If people won't understand from these examples then, I'm sorry, but they'll never understand."He moved Montreal, and four other regions, into the yellow zones and banned bars from serving food after midnight. The province was averaging 338 new cases per day.WATCH | Infectious disease specialist explains why Quebec is so hard hit:Second wave arrivesThe warnings from the government did not curb the spread of the virus. By mid-September, authorities were reporting more cases in closed settings.On Sept. 17, Herzliah High School in Montreal became the first school in the province to say it was shutting down for two weeks to deal with an outbreak. At least 400 other schools were also dealing with active cases of COVID-19. Cases accumulated too in private seniors homes (known as RPAs), a major source of concern for public officials given the vulnerability of the residents to COVID-19. There were only 39 cases in RPAs at the start of the month, and 157 by Sept. 20.On that day the government announced it was moving Montreal, Quebec City and the Chaudière-Appalaches region into the orange zone, the second-highest alert level. Private gatherings were capped at six people.The province was by then averaging 501 new cases per day. The second wave had begun, according Quebec's public health director, Horacio Arruda. Red zoneOver the last week, Quebec's health system has shown signs of strain as authorities race to contain the spread of the virus. Drouin, the Montreal public health director, admitted on Sept. 21 that her contact-tracing teams were swamped by the demand.Until now, the increase in cases had not been accompanied by a corresponding surge in hospitalizations. Most of the new cases were concentrated in younger people.But the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Quebec has increased by 45 per cent in the last seven days. Hospital staff are starting to get stretched. Several thousand health-care workers are in preventive isolation. "We're feeling the second wave," Dr François Marquis, the head of intensive care at Montreal's Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital. "We were apprehensive about it, but now it's a reality."On Monday, Quebec reported 750 new cases of COVID-19. Montreal and Quebec City were classified as red zones later that evening.
Targeting businesses to reduce transmission of the coronavirus may not be effective enough, says Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease specialist at Women’s College Hospital. 'A lot of the spread is in private gatherings,' he said.