When Kearie Daniel flipped through the pages of a booklet her daughter worked on throughout the school year, the mother of two said it broke her heart."What I saw was at the beginning of the year when she said she drew herself, she drew herself as Black, as she was. By the end of the year, she was drawing herself as white, or colourless even, with yellow hair and blue eyes," Daniel told CBC News. Daniel, who lives in York Region, nearly 60 kilometres north of Toronto, believes her now seven-year-old daughter's desire at such a young age to be "like everyone else" is due to not seeing herself reflected in the school or the curriculum.But she says the recent push by Black Lives Matter to get people around the world to recognize of the importance of Black experience has led to an opportunity to change that.She's one of the founding members of Parents of Black Children, an advocacy group that began as a way to fight racism at the public and Catholic school boards in York Region, but has now expanded province-wide. The group is calling on the provincial government to "decolonize" the curriculum — in other words rebuild it to represent Canada's diverse population.Because Ontario's education system was designed in a period when the country was colonized, the group says, the views, lessons, and history are all from a Eurocentric perspective."It was not designed for Black or Indigenous or otherwise racialized people," Daniel said."It was designed to benefit some people and take power and disenfranchise other people. So that's the system that we're sending our kids in to every day," she added. "We're sending them into a system that didn't recognize their humanity."As well as decolonizing the current curriculum, the group is also calling on the province to: * Reform the Education Act. * Remove police resource officers from all schools. * Bring in 'system navigators,' people from outside the system to help families navigate and advocate for their kids in the education system. * Hold people in the system accountable for anti-Black racism experienced by students. Curriculum should be inclusive, diverse, professor saysCharmain Brown, the course director and practicum facilitator at York University's faculty of education, agrees with Daniel's group and would like to see Black history built right into courses."I think if we're going to truly be honouring all learners and all experiences and thinking of Canada, all the contributors to Canada, the Indigenous, the Black, the Japanese, the Chinese, all the communities that we have that make Canada who it is, we have to honour all those voices," said Brown, who is also an adjunct professor of education at Tyndale University, a Christian post-secondary institution in Toronto.Brown is one of the co-authors of 365 Black Canadian Curriculum, a resource for teachers initiated by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario that honours Black Canadian contributions to the country's history and is available on the union's website in French and English.But she points out that even though it is available to all teachers across the province, it really comes down to choice and whether teachers decide to incorporate it into their lesson plans or not.Black history 'not recognized'Natasha Henry, the president of the Ontario Black History Society, says if teachers are left to decide when and how to teach Black History, it can lead to what she sees as "the potential erasure of Black history.""People of African descent have been in Canada ... for over 400 years, and this is not recognized throughout the curriculum," Henry said.As a historian who also helped author 365 Black Canadian Curriculum, Henry says it's important to weave Black History into all subjects throughout the entire year for Black students' development as individuals.She says it's equally important for non-Black students to learn about Black experiences to get a fuller appreciation of Canadian history. Decolonizing in the classroomAt schools across Ontario, the first few days of September were set aside for teacher development. Part of the conversation, says Amesbury Middle School principal Salima Kassam, was focused on how to address anti-Indigenous and anti-Black racism.Kassam says, even though it was a tough conversation to have, it's one she is used to."It's looking at anti-Black racism and looking at colonialism. You know, it's heavy. It's hard, it's theoretical, but we have to knowledge-build so that we can unlearn that at Amesbury." The student population at Amesbury is ethnically and racially diverse, so Kassam says the teachers are constantly working hard at educating everyone about the cultural differences in their community. That means incorporating Black history lessons right into the curriculum, she told CBC Toronto."At the end of the day, as educators, what we control, where our power is, is what we're doing in our pedagogy, through our practice in our classrooms, how we interact with students in the hallways, what we do for extra-curriculars. That's where our power is."Meanwhile, Daniel also recognizes the first steps the Ontario government has made, including ending streaming in Grade 9 and a ban on suspensions for students in junior kindergarten to Grade 3, can reduce the harm being done to Black children.But it's not enough, she said."There needs to be commitment to change from the Ontario government going beyond those little tiny steps into transformational change," she said. "I am hopeful. I think that there are a lot of educators who want to do the right thing, who are trying to learn, but we need the system to support them."For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
Every three weeks for months, Kiera Norris would pack her many bags, board a train to Beijing Capital International Airport and hope — despite the fact that COVID-19 had shut down most flights — that she would be able to board a plane to take her home. But time and time again her flight was cancelled, which meant waiting even longer until she could go home to her husband in Windsor, Ont. "It was really hard," Norris said. She and her husband, Kevin Norris, have been married for 10 years. What made that distance even harder, they say, is the fact that, normally, they do everything together. "You know the couples that enjoy their time apart?" said Kevin Norris, "We're not like that." Separated in March The couple runs a small business together, which is what takes them to China every year. Not only that, but Kiera Norris's family lives in Shijiazhuang, a city about three hours south of Beijing by car.Usually they travel together, except this year, when Kiera Norris went alone. She arrived on January 10, planning to visit her family. Her husband planned to arrive two weeks later. But when COVID-19 hit — and airports across the globe shut down — the pair knew they were in trouble. The first flight Kiera Norris was able to schedule was set to fly out on March 19, but it was cancelled. "Every three weeks they rebooked it, and then it was cancelled again," Kevin Norris said. Facetime, Skype calls Time stretched on and, still, there was little hope of a reunion. And for a couple that's used to spending almost every minute together, the distance — all 9,750 kilometres of it — was hard. Both nature lovers, the pair spend much of their free time hiking, biking and taking pictures of the scenery. "Our life is more and more perfect, more hopeful, more meaningful and actually very happy every day to see each other," Kiera Norris said.So in place of in-person experiences, they turned to technology. Kevin Norris said they would Facetime and Skype everyday without fail because they "like to keep that connection strong." But they said it wasn't the same. Reunited at last In total, Kierra Norris made the trip to Beijing's international airport nine times unsuccessfully. Finally, after nine months, she was able to board a plane on Saturday that would bring her home. The flight departed from Beijing and took her to Shanghai. From there, she took a flight to Vancouver and then another flight that brought her to Toronto's Pearson International Airport early Sunday morning. The journey, which usually takes 12 hours, took a little over a day — but they said it was well worth it. When they saw each other, the couple shared a long embrace, mumbling words of affection. "Hi baby, I love you," were Kiera Norris's first words to her husband. When asked how they were feeling at the airport, they summed it up into one word: "incredible." "I'm so happy," Kevin Norris said.
The federal Conservatives have asked Canada's ethics watchdog to launch an investigation into allegations of improper lobbying related to the government's emergency wage subsidy program.The probe concerns possible breaches of the Conflict of Interest Act involving Michael McNair, a then-informal adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; Katie Telford, Trudeau's chief of staff; and Telford's husband, Rob Silver.Vice reported last month that Silver had contacted staff in the Prime Minister's Office and then-finance minister Bill Morneau's office to ask for changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Those changes would make MCAP, the mortgage and insurance company for which Silver works, eligible for the program. Silver was ultimately not successful in changing the eligibility criteria. "By indulging Mr. Silver's appeals, referring him back to Mr. Morneau's office, and directing Mr. Morneau's staff to speak to Mr. Silver, Mr. McNair, in our view, gave preferential treatment to Mr. Silver... based on his identity as both a friend and the spouse of his friend and immediate superior Ms. Telford," Conservative finance and ethics critics Pierre Poilievre and Michael Barrett wrote in a letter to ethics commissioner Mario Dion on Sunday.McNair was formerly Trudeau's top policy advisor, but returned to an advising role in an unofficial capacity at the onset of the federal government's COVID-19 response.The PMO confirmed to CBC News that McNair was not a paid employee of its office when the conversation was reported to have taken place and said he was working as a volunteer. McNair again became a paid employee of the PMO on June 15 as a special adviser to Trudeau. Telford followed protocol, PMO reiterates The Opposition has rejected explanations that McNair was only an informal adviser at the time, stating that he carried "formal weight and authority" given his previous role. On that premise, the Conservatives allege that McNair's actions could have furthered Silver and Telford's private interests.However, the PMO has repeatedly said that Telford took swift action to follow proper ethics procedures before her husband became MCAP's senior vice-president."Before Mr. Silver was hired at MCAP, Ms. Telford proactively reached out to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner in January to inquire if any action was required on her part," the PMO said in a previously released statement. "The Office said no additional measures were required. However, out of an abundance of caution, Ms. Telford implemented a voluntary conflict screen at that time. This screen applies to anything related to MCAP and it has been diligently followed since it was implemented."The PMO said that it takes all its ethics obligations "very seriously and follows the rules."Lobbying commissioner begins assessmentThe Conservatives have already asked Lobbying Commissioner Nancy Bélanger to investigate the matter.Poilievre and Barrett wrote to Bélanger in August asking her to look into whether Silver or MCAP should have been registered to lobby the federal government. While Bélanger opened a preliminary assessment, the Conservatives requested a second assessment on Thursday into unregistered communications between Silver, the PMO and Morneau's office related to amending the wage subsidy program. A spokesperson for MCAP said the company has "strictly complied with the letter and spirit" of the law regarding the matter. "MCAP, through counsel, consulted with Canada's Lobbying Commissioner in January to establish proper screens and protocols around any engagement with government," the statement said.
OSHAWA, Ont. — Police in Oshawa, Ont., have identified four people killed in a mass shooting early Friday morning as a father and three of his children, as they continue to seek a motive behind the carnage that took place in a family home.Durham regional police say the deceased are 50-year-old Chris Traynor and his children, 20-year-old Bradley Traynor, 15-year-old Adelaide Traynor and 11-year-old Joseph Traynor.A 50-year-old woman who was injured in the shooting is also related to the family and continues to recover in hospital.Police have identified the shooter as 48-year-old Mitchell Lapa, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and say he was an "uninvited person."Police have not yet specified Lapa's relation to his victims, and the homicide unit is still investigating the motive behind the shooting."Investigators also want to speak to anyone who knew the lone attacker, Mitchell Lapa, as they seek to understand the motivation and reasons for this attack," said Durham police in a statement."If anyone has details or background information about him, they are asked to contact their local police service or one of our lead investigators."Condolences for the Traynor family have been pouring in on social media throughout the weekend, with many describing the family as generous, caring and deeply involved in the local sports community."The Traynor family were beloved and active members of the Oshawa community," reads a GoFundMe page set up to support the surviving members of the family, which had raised more than $85,000 by Sunday evening."Their acts of kindness, love and generosity are unmatched. The impact the family had on everyone they touched will be forever remembered."The Durham Catholic District School Board's director of education offered support to students and families who knew the Traynors."Words cannot adequately express our profound shock and deep sorrow over this terrible event," Tracy Barill said in a statement."As a Catholic community rooted in faith, we continue to pray for the family members and those affected most directly by this heartbreaking news."Ken Babcock, president of Baseball Oshawa, said Chris Traynor had coached with the program for many years, while Joseph Traynor was a member of the Legionaires rep team."Words cannot describe the shocking and senseless tragedy that has struck our wonderful community in Oshawa and impacted our collective baseball family," Babcock said in a statement.Neighbours had described the Traynor family as caring deeply for each other, and said they were often seen spending time playing games and doing chores together in the yard.The City of Oshawa announced that flags would be lowered to half-mast at city hall and other facilities."Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends during this difficult time," Mayor Dan Carter said in a statement, while thanking police and first responders.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 6, 2020.The Canadian Press
CALGARY — A central Alberta doctor says some clinics have stopped allowing patients to carry bags and backpacks since a family doctor was killed on the job last month.Dr. Walter Reynolds, a 45-year-old father of two, was attacked by a patient wielding a weapon at a walk-in clinic in Red Deer, Alta., on Aug. 10. Deng Mabiour has been charged with first-degree murder. He is to appear in court this week.Dr. Peter Bouch, who knew Reynolds, says members of the Red Deer Primary Care Network have set up a committee to work with Alberta Health Services and Occupational Health and Safety in an effort to make clinics safer.Some clinics, he says, are already asking patients to leave their bags at the front desk and, going forward, there need to be standards for how to manage difficult patients who might be demanding, aggressive or suffering from mental illness."There's no way we can completely stop an event like what happened," Bouch told The Canadian Press. "Even though this was a rare thing physicians and their staff are vulnerable every single day."Bouch said the committee is to met with professionals that have expertise in workplace safety. He hopes there will be a list of general recommendations within the next six months.The president of the Alberta Medical Association says Reynolds's death highlights the need for changes to make the profession safer across Canada."The horrific attack on Dr. Reynolds has highlighted the issue of safety in physician offices and other practice settings. It's essential that physicians, staff and patients are safeguarded. This is a large and complex issue that no single party can address on their own," said Dr. Christine Molnar, a diagnostic radiologist and nuclear medicine specialist based in Calgary.Molnar said the medical body's healthy working environments advisory committee will discuss whether there's an expanded role for the association in the area of safety and workplace violence.She said it's not just a problem in Alberta."I have been speaking with the Canadian Medical Association and my counterparts at the provincial and territorial medical associations and there are concerns on a pan-Canadian basis regarding everything from physical security to psycho-social safety."Alberta's health minister has called Reynolds's death a terrible loss. But Tyler Shandro stopped short of saying anything would be done by the government."Family physicians are part of the front line of health care. They put themselves at the service of every patient in need, but that should never mean being exposed to violence," Shandro said in an email."The RCMP have confirmed this was an isolated incident and indicates no increased risk to the people of Red Deer."Shandro suggests physicians or others with concerns about their security should contact the RCMP's victim services division.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2020— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
Chris Blumhagen was working on his organic farm in central Alberta when Capital Power called to sell him on the idea of putting a wind turbine on his land.Blumhagen says the representative from the company pushed hard, telling him his neighbours were already on board with a plan to build 74 turbines in the 100 square kilometre area and that if he didn't sign on, he would miss out.So Blumhagen signed in exchange for $10 and a promise of more to come once the turbines started spinning, only to later learn that many of his neighbours hadn't done the same."They essentially tricked me," he said.That was 2015. Since then, Blumhagen and his neighbours have banded together to oppose the project, alleging dishonest tactics by the company in promoting the project to residents and risks to their health, land and livelihoods if it goes forward.Edmonton-based Capital Power, which operates coal, natural gas and wind power facilities in Alberta, and Alberta's utilities commission say all the residents' concerns have been addressed.This is the view from the rural front lines of Canada's energy transition — a move away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy that a majority of Albertans say they support but that few in the country's cities will have to deal with head-on.Not opposed to wind powerThat will be left to people like Blumhagen and his neighbours, who live on a sliver of Alberta prairie about 200 kilometres outside of Edmonton, wedged between the Battle River Valley to the north and the Paintearth Coulee to the south.Locals call it "the island," and a handful of families have lived here for more than a century, farming and ranching together.Along with agriculture, power generation has long been a part of daily life in Paintearth County. The area saw first the dawn of the coal industry and then the rise of the oil and gas industries in Alberta. Oil wells still draw black gold from the earth here, and a coal mine and power plant still operates in the area.Blumhagen says that experience is why most residents aren't against the idea of wind power or other forms of renewable energy."Wind has its place," he said.But Blumhagen says Capital Power, which already operates one wind farm in the area, near the village of Halkirk, has not taken the time to listen to the concerns of residents.Residents like Gerard Fetaz, whose family has lived here since 1904. Fetaz's concerns about the project are easy to see. He has a small runway on his property that he uses to fly his vintage 1957 Cessna. He used to make some money crop dusting in the area, though these days he flies just for the love of it.But that passion may be grounded for good if Capital Power's wind farm is built. The plans would see a turbine just 650 metres from his landing strip, despite recommendations from Transport Canada that turbines should be at least four kilometres from a runway."It's not safe," said Fetaz. "Somebody runs into a turbine, or gets caught in the turbulence or something — you could hit somebody's house."He says he has tried to reach out to Capital Power about finding a different location for the turbine but says "they aren't interested in talking about it at all."24 conditions placed on projectCapital Power didn't agree to an interview with CBC News, but in a statement, the company denied that it ignored the concerns of residents and said it would act with "integrity, work to address stakeholder concerns and abide by all laws and regulations governing the project development process."But Fetaz and others in the area say the rush to embrace sustainable energy has meant that their concerns have been passed over. Since the project was given the green light in 2018, local residents have challenged its approval at several levels, including at the Alberta Court of Appeal and, most recently, at the county, but to no avail. The province is moving ahead with wind power, with Alberta Electric System Operator, which oversees Alberta's electricity grid, predicting that the amount of wind power generated in Alberta will double over the next decade.The Alberta Utilities Commission, the regulator that approved the Capital Power project, says it is in the public interest. The AUC's Jim Law says every effort was made to accommodate the residents, including putting 24 conditions on the project's approval, which the company must meet to complete it. Among them, a commitment to move the turbine near Fetaz's runway by up to 50 metres and to make sure that any environmental impacts are mitigated."Those are in place to directly answer some of the concerns that the intervenors had about the project, and they range from airport considerations to wildlife and noise," Law said.Law said that, unlike with oil and gas developments, no one can be forced to have a wind turbine on their land in Alberta,"There's no forced entry. It's a voluntary agreement," he said.Law says the system is set up to make sure the public interest is served and that the concerns of the land owners are respected and that it generally works.'Backlash' in OntarioThat's not how Katrina Smith sees it. Three turbines will be visible from Smith's home, which sits just down the road from those of her parents and brothers. Smith likes the idea of renewable energy; her home is completely off-grid, powered by a solar array in her backyard.But she has concerns about how a large wind farm will impact the sensitive wetlands near her home and the community she grew up in. She sees a push to meet the green energy needs of urban Canada on the backs of rural communities like hers."There has to be mutual respect. There has to be an appreciation for what is already there," she said. "There has to be a goal for what we can maintain and sustain for the future."Dayna Scott says similar concerns about the location of turbines and their impact on residents and the environment were raised in rural Ontario more than a decade ago, when that province moved to embrace wind power. Scott, who holds a research chair in environmental law and justice at York University in Toronto, says that residents were not consulted adequately in Ontario and that ignoring local concerns caused "a huge amount of backlash in rural communities."Scott worries that repeating those mistakes in other parts of Canada could slow a shift toward green energy.That situation may already be playing out back on "the island." Local opposition and a sluggish economy mean the future of the wind farm is in limbo. Capital Power has yet to start construction on the project, which it has until December 2022 to finish.That's welcome news for many of the residents in the area if not for Canada's shift to a lower-carbon future.
A Toronto resident has created a giant globe in the shape of Earth out of plastic garbage collected on Woodbine Beach this past summer.Dora Attard, founder of Plastic Free Beach Toronto, revealed her new art installation on the beach on Sunday to focus attention on the problem of single-use plastics. The globe is made up of more than 500 water bottles and thousands of pieces of coloured plastic. She said the artwork is the result of weeks of picking up garbage in a bid to keep Woodbine Beach clean. It was displayed on the beach in front of Donald D. Summerville Olympic Pool.In the artwork, water bottles make up the world's oceans while plastics of different colours make up the continents."Today, I am showcasing a new installation using beach plastic that was found on the beach this summer," Attard said. "Plastic water bottles are supposed to be the water part of the globe. Then I have each continent covered with different bits of plastics found on the beach in different colours." After the COVID-19 pandemic hit Toronto, particularly in May and June, the amount of garbage left behind on Woodbine Beach was "unbelievable," she said. Attard appealed to the city through her councillor for help and the city brought more garbage bins for the boardwalk and beach and assigned more city workers to beach cleanup. In July and August, the amount of garbage lessened, she said."More people definitely means more garbage," Attard said.Attard said the pieces of garbage most commonly found on the beach are cigarette butts, lids and bottle caps, water bottles and plastic straws. The most surprising thing she found was plastic implants for a bikini. She also finds needles.When she finds toys, she saves them to allow them to be reused. She used to have a community beach toy box that she kept on the beach last summer, but she thinks it was used for firewood and it's disappeared.Attard also organized a beach clean up on Sunday, an activity that she has organized every Sunday since the start of spring. About four groups scoured the beach for garbage on Sunday, picking up individual items with garbage pickers. She also provides rubber gloves and garbage buckets. Attard collects the garbage, sorts it, counts it and weighs it."The majority of the little bits I find are washed up from lake that have been broken down in microplastics, which is more dangerous than a bigger piece. They're eaten by birds and fish, and if you're not a vegetarian and you eat the fish, then the plastic goes inside of you. It's bad cycle," she said.Bryan Bowen and his son Noah join the beach clean up on Sunday."We are here today to support our neighbour Dora's initiative to help keep Woodbine Beach clean. We are going to be picking up some plastic along the shoreline and along the boardwalk," Bowen said."We do live in the area. We use Woodbine beach for swimming and walking all the time. It's been disappointing to see the amount of litter accumulating this summer, so we wanted to come down and lend a hand to help to keep it clean," he added.The pandemic has brought out the crowds to Woodbine Beach, he said."It's great for local businesses and it's great to see so many people enjoying the lake, but we also want everybody just to do their part, pitch in and help to keep the beach clean so we can all enjoy it together."Plastic Free Beach Toronto describes itself as an organization that serves to educate people on the amount of single-use plastic that is used and thrown away daily and to encourage people to create a cleaner world for future generations.
An Edmonton police officer suspended without pay following a violent arrest in which he drove his knee into a prone man's back has pleaded not guilty to assault.The Edmonton Police Service announced Const. Michael Partington had been charged with assault and removed from duty in June, shortly after bystander video of the August 2019 arrest circulated online.The video shows an Indigenous man, Elliot McLeod, lying still and facedown on the sidewalk. A police officer appears to hold McLeod's arms behind his back.Then, a second officer — Partington — walks up and suddenly drops, driving his knee into McLeod's upper back. McLeod screams in pain and begs the officers to stop. "Do not run from the police," one officer shouts at him. "Did you think I wouldn't catch you?"The video was shared with police after the arrest. The EPS Professional Standards Branch referred the investigation to Crown prosecutors after its initial investigation "concluded that the level of force described in the police report was not consistent with the force observed in the video," EPS said in a statement.Partington pleaded not guilty to assault on Aug. 28. A five-day trial is scheduled for next March in Edmonton provincial court.WATCH | Video shows violent arrest of Elliot McLeodIn July, the Edmonton Police Commission, a civilian oversight body, upheld the decision to suspend Partington without pay.Police union president Sgt. Michael Elliott told members in a subsequent email that the union is using "every proper legal mechanism to address what we feel is an incorrect and unjust suspension." The union is providing Partington with criminal and labour legal counsel.Arrestee's charges stayedIn a previous interview with CBC News, McLeod said the officers took him down a side street and assaulted him twice while he was handcuffed, at one point with a bag over his head."After he arrested me, throwing me into his cop car, he dragged me out of that cop [vehicle] twice while I was in cuffs and assaulted me," McLeod said over the phone from the Edmonton Remand Centre. "This is what I am trying to get justice for."The four charges against McLeod stemming from the August 2019 arrest, including assaulting and resisting a peace officer, were stayed in January. He is currently out on bail awaiting trial after being charged with second-degree murder in an unrelated case earlier this year.
Jillian Batting says her son's skin sometimes crawls so bad he can barely wear a T-shirt at home.The middle-school student has a diagnosed sensory processing disorder that can cause him discomfort. While he can sometimes wear masks without issues, other times it's a problem that can't be ignored.Batting said the staff at her school in Warman have gone above and beyond when it comes to accommodating her son, as he has a medical exemption, but she worries about what the upcoming school year will hold for him and her three other children."One of my other concerns would be how the other students are going to handle, for example, my son," she asked. "Will the other students make fun of, or bully, my son because he gets a little bit of special treatment?"> Whether you're an anti-masker or a pro-masker, be kind to each other. \- Jillian Batting, Warman ParentHer youngest child, a daughter in Grade 3, also has some issues wearing a mask. Batting said her daughter finds it difficult to speak and has to readjust it regularly, which could lead to touching her face and exposing herself to risk. Unlike her son, her daughter does not have a medical exemption and will be required to wear the mask at school."We will provide them for her, but I'm not expecting her to wear it on a very regular basis," Batting said. Batting said these are just some of the concerns she has about making students wear masks. She also has questions about oral hygiene while wearing a cloth mask, mask costs and whether or not kids will be able to fully focus if they feel uncomfortable throughout the day."There are a lot of parents out there who are very concerned about how this will affect their child's health," she said.While Batting said she is not against masks, there are some people who are — but experts have countered claims by anti-mask groups."As a medical professional, we wear masks in our day-to-day practice and it has not caused doctors or nurses or surgeons any harm," Dr. Jennifer Kwan, a family physician in Burlington, Ont., told CBC News.The real risk, said Kwan, is wearing your mask incorrectly, including sharing it with others, reusing non-reusable masks, or not cleaning cloth masks properly. Dr. Susy Hota, medical director of infection prevention and control at Toronto's University Health Network, added that she has not "seen any medical or scientific evidence that shows that wearing a mask depletes your body of oxygen. Nor do they let any harmful gases, such as carbon dioxide, build up, she said.Students can be punished for repeated refusal School divisions must provide accommodation for students with medical conditions, but students without will be required to follow rules put in place by school divisions, which have been formulated with guidance from the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA), as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.The guidance says divisions can mandate mask use, as it is a matter of student and staff safety, and that requiring a student to wear a mask does not violate the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code."If, however, a student is unable to wear a mask because of medical reasons, that student must be accommodated in the same way as any student with medical restrictions," the guidance explained.It says discussions with parents and guardians should be the first step, but that students can be refused entry to a school or a bus if they refuse to follow the guidelines.Parents could be fined for keeping kids out of schoolThe SSBA also said parents have an obligation to ensure their children are attending school, even if they don't agree with the division's policies."If parents will not support the Division/school rules then the parent will have full responsibility for ensuring registration of the student in an alternate form of allowable education," the guidance says.If parents refuse to enrol their child, they may be subject to legal proceedings under Saskatchewan's Education Act, which could result in a fine of $5,000 for a first offence and $10,000 for a second.Many parents see no problems with masks Many Saskatchewan parents have fully embraced masks. Regina parent Danielle Mullinex has already taught her children how to wear them safely, noting she's tried a variety of masks to find some that are comfortable for her kids."I think it's important to try those things ahead of time," she said.Mullinex said she's had no issues getting her kids to wear masks."I think it's all about just telling them the honest truth about why we are wearing masks and that it's our responsibility to try to keep ourselves safe as well as other people safe," she said. "People don't sometimes give kids enough credit. They understand what's going on. You just have to talk to them."Research shows majority of Saskatchewan residents support mask useResearch conducted by The Angus Reid Institute back in July found that those with anti-mask sentiments are the vocal minority, as more than half — 55 per cent — of the Saskatchewan residents surveyed are in favour of making masks mandatory in public places.However, while the majority of those surveyed were in favour of mandatory masks, Saskatchewan had the highest percentage of people who were opposed to mandatory masks in the country, coming in at about 45 per cent. That's the highest opposition of any province in Canada.In comparison, Saskatchewan's neighbour to the west in Alberta came in at 60 per cent of respondents in favour of mandatory masks, and 40 per cent opposed."In most of the country it's actually quite an uncontroversial idea," said Dave Korzinski, research director at The Angus Reid Institute. "[But] there is less of a sense that it is necessary in Saskatchewan."Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine, a professor of community health and epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan, said data has shown that mask wearing, combined with social distancing and good hand hygiene, helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. He said masks in school will be an essential part of keeping students, staff and the wider community safe from further spread."We cannot afford to have any outbreaks in classrooms and schools because each of the children who are attending classes are connected, in turn, to a family," he said.Muhajarine said many people who hold anti-mask sentiments are not only opposed to wearing a mask, they're opposed to being told what to do. "I really don't think science or rational advice would really move them from the positions that they've taken," he said. "This is not science-driven or rational decision making, but I think ideologically driven." He said no parents should be telling their kids to refuse to wear masks, as they may be putting their kids, and their entire school, at risk. "Not only is it irresponsible it is actually, in my view, immoral," he said. Batting said that while she does have concerns about what masks will mean for her children she is not anti-mask, but feels parents should be given more choice. She said the dialogue around masking needs to improve, as no matter which side of the conversation you're on, people still need to be civil. "Whether you're an anti-masker or a pro-masker, be kind to each other," she said. CBC Saskatchewan wants to tell more stories about how the pandemic is touching the province's most vulnerable and marginalized populations. How has COVID-19 affected you? Share your story with our online questionnaire.
An Annapolis Valley, N.S., man who first came to the province as a foreign farm worker has created a true Cinderella story by starting his own business. Richard Gardner applied to work in Canada in 2004, but had no say in where he would go. He didn't know anything about the Annapolis Valley.He went to work for Charles Keddy Farms and Melvin Farms. "I used to do strawberries with Charles Keddy and cauliflower, cabbage, green onion and stuff like that with Stephen Melvin," Gardner said Friday. After a few seasons of work, he grew to love Nova Scotia.Then he met Serilla and fell in love with her, too. They married.This summer, she helped him open Cinderella's Caribbean Pot in New Minas. Cinderella is his mother's name."Well, back in Jamaica, my mom, she's a cook back in the district, so that's where I learn all of this cooking from," he said. When CBC visited, customers formed a long line minutes after Gardner opened for the day. Sarah Fraser has been supporting the food truck since it opened. She and her two children ordered the jerk burger. "That's the second time; it's actually really, really good. Usually we do the jerk chicken sandwiches, but we switched it up," she said. 'It's a beautiful, beautiful community'The Gardners say local businesses and government safety inspectors have gone out of their way to help them succeed. "It's a beautiful, beautiful community. Customers gave a warm welcome. They're here every day. Some come four or five times a day," Richard said. COVID-19 has kept Cinderella Gardner from sampling the food, but she's helping from home and hoping to visit next year.Serilla said things get pretty hot in the kitchen."When it reaches into the 40s, that's when you really start minding it. We've learned to kind of move around each other and who's in what space, so it's worked quite well."We still love each other at the end of the night," she said with a laugh. Gardner said the new career has been a big risk, but worth it."When the chance is there, you have to take it, right? You have to make a change in life sometimes. Take a chance and never give up. Just fight — determination, right?" He's currently based out front of West Side Charlies, a pool and billiards hall. The owners invited the Gardners to use part of the parking lot for the food truck and serve Red Stripe beer inside to continue the Jamaican experience for thirsty customers. Gardner plans to operate the food truck daily until the weather gets too bad in November, and then reopen in the spring. MORE TOP STORIES
Public health officials say 23 COVID-19 cases have resulted from four events related to a wedding in the Greater Toronto Area, as they continue to track close contacts of people who were in attendance. The York Region Public Health Unit late Saturday warned anyone who attended the wedding events that they may have been exposed to the virus, and to monitor for symptoms until Sept. 12. Three of the events took place Aug. 28 at a private home in Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ont., Rexdale Singh Sabha Religious Centre in Toronto, and Lakshmi Narayan Mandir Temple in Toronto.
If you are at a club with music playing, it takes effort not only to speak to another person but also to listen.Life for hard-of-hearing individuals is like being in a bar with music playing. Now add masks to the mix and the effort required to communicate doubles.With masks mandatory at schools, many parents are worried for their deaf and hard-of-hearing (HOH) children's ability to learn in class. HOH students that go to mainstream schools rely on facial cues, lip-reading and some on an FM radio system where the teacher will wear a microphone that connects to the student's hearing aid. Masks not only prevent these students from lip-reading but also muffle the sounds coming from their FM systems, thus making learning harder. Edmonton mom Alexandra Kalutich's nine-year-old son Angelo is hard-of-hearing. She said she is continuing online education for her nine-year-old for now as the school had not informed them if any accommodations were in place yet. "He needs to be able to visually see the lips because a huge part of his learning is lip reading and comprehension is reading lips as well. If the teacher's not wearing that FM system, then it's very difficult for him to follow in a classroom," she said. "Where we were concerned was, is he going to be able to hear his teacher? Because how does she put the microphone under the mask? If she's talking through the mask, it's muffled." Kalutich said she sent the school information on masks but had not heard back about what their plans were. The province has asked schools to "enable the full participation and inclusion of students with disabilities — this would include students who are deaf or hard of hearing," wrote Colin Aitchinson, press secretary to the Minister of Education in an email. "In circumstances in which students who require specialized supports and services are not able to follow guidelines and require support and adaptation to public health measures, plans must be developed to ensure their inclusion."The Edmonton Public School Division said they are working on getting clear masks for teachers of deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Amber Darragh, an audiologist with EPSB said they have been having conversations with schools to figure out what's best for students since April. "Meeting with teachers and parents and letting them know what are the clear mask options. What are the pros and cons so we can figure out … what works best for the teacher, but also what works best for the student," she said. "Because one mask that works really well for a student who maybe has really severe hearing loss might not be the best one that works for someone with mild hearing loss. So it's going to be very individual depending on the student and the teacher."The Moog Centre for Deaf Education in St. Louis, Missouri, did a lot of research this year on what kind of mask options are there. The research was conducted by Amanda Rudge, director of research and developmentc and executive director Betsy Moog Brooks. They looked into four types of masks: a regular cloth mask, a cloth mask with a clear plastic window, a completely clear mask and a face shield. Their research found that a face shield offered the same level of communication as not wearing anything on the face does. "A face shield is not approved as protection because it's open at the bottom," Brooks said. "So our idea back in the spring was that we would use the face shield, they'll put on that microphone right here and then we would put essentially cloth or fabric, drape it down against our chest so we would be covered, like you would be covered like if you had on a cloth mask."The clothed shield is not available in markets but Brooks said they are considering creating them for schools in St. Louis. Effort to learn has increasedA survey conducted by University of Alberta audiology professor Bill Hodgetts is looking into the impact of the pandemic on hard-of-hearing individuals.Hodgetts said for hard-of-hearing people trying to acquire information takes a lot more effort. But because they are motivated to listen to a person, they will put in all the effort to make sure they understand what is being said."What we're seeing for people with hearing loss is that the effort has gone up tremendously to learn," he said.He said this increased effort can be exhausting, and this stress of trying to learn and acquire information, especially in class, can cause extra anxiety for the hard-of-hearing. "If we're all tapped out with something like this, going back to school in the fall makes them feel like they are just detached from the rest of their classmates," he said. "That's going to be a big issue and there needs to be support for those individuals."
Greece plans to acquire arms, boost its armed forces and revamp its defence industry, the government's spokesman said on Monday, as tensions with NATO ally Turkey over energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean grow. "We are in talks with allies to boost our armed forces," government spokesman Stelios Petsas told reporters, adding that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will outline his plans during an annual economic policy speech on Saturday.
Recent developments: * Quebec again tops 200 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases * Labour Day means some COVID-19 test sites are closed today. * Tomorrow brings changes to road closures and Ontario caregiver visits.What's the latest?After recording 205 new cases yesterday — the highest number in more than three months, Quebec saw an even higher figure with 216 new cases today. Some parents and students at Merivale High School say they've been waiting almost seven months for a refund on a March Break trip to Italy that was cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak there. Some test sites in the area are closed today; you can scroll down for details.Rue Jacques-Cartier in Gatineau and the Queen Elizabeth Driveway both reopen to vehicles tomorrow. The driveway will close to vehicles on weekends the rest of the month.That same day, a new Ontario rule formally removes time limits on caregiver visits to long-term care homes and eight Ottawa arenas will be available again for rentals.How many cases are there?There have been 3,073 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the start of the pandemic. As of Sunday, there were 211 known active cases, 2,595 cases considered resolved and 267 deaths related to the illness.Overall, public health officials have reported more than 4,700 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 4,000 cases considered resolved. COVID-19 has killed 103 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 people have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 33 in the Outaouais and 18 in other parts of eastern Ontario.What's open and closed?We've put together an in-depth breakdown of back to school plans for every board and service centre in the region. Five more boards start tomorrow.Ontario is in Stage 3 of its reopening plan, which means more businesses are open including dine-in restaurants and movie theatres.Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 are now allowed in that province but attendees must follow physical distancing guidelines.Kingston, Ont., has tightened its distancing rules in city parks because of what the city says has been risky behaviour.Quebec has similar reopening rules, with its cap on physically distanced gatherings in public venues now up to 250 people, allowing smaller festivals.PR Transpo transit service in Prescott-Russell resumes Sept. 14.Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.People don't need to have symptoms to be contagious.That means physical distancing measures such as working from home, meeting others outdoors as much as possible and keeping distance from anyone you don't live with or have in their circle, including when you have a mask on.Masks are now mandatory in indoor public settings in all of eastern Ontario and Quebec, including transit services and taxis in some areas.Masks are also recommended outdoors when you can't stay the proper distance from others.WATCH | Concerns, again, about a long weekend:Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.In Ontario, that's the same period of self-isolation for anyone with symptoms. When self-isolating, only leave home or see other people if it's critically important, such as to go see a doctor.Most people with a confirmed COVID-19 case in Quebec can end their self-isolation after 10 days if they have not had a fever for at least 48 hours and has had no other symptom for at least 24 hours.Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pinkeye. Children can develop a rash.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Where to get testedIn eastern Ontario:In Ottawa any resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptoms, can be tested at one of four sites — including a new drive-thru testing centre that launched Friday morning.The Brewer Arena test site is closed today.Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area, there is a drive-thru centre in Casselman and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don't require people to call ahead.Others in Alexandria, Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.All are closed on Labour Day.In Kingston, the Leon's Centre is hosting the city's test site. Find it at Gate 2.Napanee's test centre is open daily for people who call ahead.You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre and in Picton by texting or calling. Only Belleville and Trenton run seven days a week.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.It has a walk-in site in Brockville at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.Almonte's site is closed today.Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor and those without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 to register for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.It's testing in six communities this week with an appointment.In western Quebec:Outaouais residents now can get a walk-in test in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond, though it's closed today for the holiday.Wait times mean you may be assigned a time to come back if the centre is busy.There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.They can call 1-877-644-4545 to make an appointment or if they have other questions.WATCH | Reaction to Quebec's school case numbers:First Nations:Akwesasne has had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Most are linked back to a gathering on an island with a non-resident who wasn't showing symptoms at the time.It has a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse. Its office and well-being centre will be open by appointment, with bookings starting Sept. 14.People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. While its powwow has been cancelled this year, their traditional feast is happening as a drive-thru on Sunday afternoon.Kitigan Zibi's fitness centre and playground park are opening up with restrictions..For more information
When Saint John businessman Adolph Stern announced plans to build a 12,000-bottle-a-day dairy plant on City Road in the early 1920s, it created controversy.The milk and dairy products produced at Purity Ice Cream would be pasteurized, a process opposed by many of the industry's leaders in the province, who believed it unnecessary and expensive. It was welcomed, however, by public health officials concerned about infant mortality from diseases in raw milk.The city's Daily Telegraph newspaper weighed in April 1923."The city of St John has a high infant mortality rate and it is felt that whatever might be personal feeling in the matter, a measure which it is hoped will mean the saving of about fifty lives each year should be welcomed."Stern's red brick, partly three-storey, glass-walled factory opened the following month.Building may be doomedNearly 100 years later the remaining section of the building sits vacant, declared dilapidated by city council and slated for demolition.In more recent decades, 111-115 City Rd. was shared by a bakery and a tavern, but both businesses closed their doors over the past few years.But records shared with CBC by the New Brunswick Archives show it was once a bright and impressive building.The complete construction plans by Saint John architects, Mott, Myles and Chatwin are included in the archives collection.A city man, John Cushnie, is hoping to save the century-old building in hopes of restoring the original factory look and developing it as an income property.The archival drawings show siding and additions added in the decades after the building's construction have completely covered over a structure that once had three storeys of floor to ceiling windows facing south onto City Road."It sort of looks like the same building if you know what to look for," said archivist Mary-Ellen Badeau. "But if you're not used to looking at the architectural drawings you wouldn't just clue in.""This is way more than we could have hoped for," said Cushnie, on learning of the drawings. "This is so exciting."Purity Ice Cream was based in Saint John, with a dairy farm in South Bay, now part of the city's west side, and branch plants in Fredericton and Peticodiac.Owner Stern began his life in Austria in 1894.[IMAGE]In 1905 his family emigrated to America.Stern joined the U.S.Army during the First World War, but by 1919, for reasons that aren't clear, he, his parents and siblings had moved to New Brunswick and were operating the farm at South Bay.More oriented to business than farming, Stern entered first the dairy and then the ice cream business.A pasteurization leaderBadeau, who researched the Purity Ice Cream history for a 2016 article in Silhouettes, a newsletter for associates of the Archives, said Purity ice cream sales started at the farm itself before moving to a plant on Stanley Street in the city.The City Road factory was designed around the pasteurization process.At its rear was a railway siding. The company also had a fleet of trucks.By 1929, the Purity Ice Cream company had been sold to Pacific Dairies and Stern, with bigger plans, was back in the U.S., trying to buy an operating dairy in New Jersey.The attempted purchase failed, but he was struck by the long growing season available to farmers in the Vineland area of the state.Stern then managed to persuade much of his family at home to pull up stakes and move their farm to Vineland, N.J."It was seen as a climate that was more conducive to farming," said Stern's nephew, Marc Stern, who chairs the board of the Los Angeles Opera. "You could get two or three crops a year rather than, in Saint John, one or two."Around the same time, he made an abrupt career switch, jumping from business into law. Family members aren't sure where he received his training but suspect it was in Canada.Three of Adolph Stern's sisters had married Canadians and stayed behind with their families in Saint John. Well-nown Saint John familiesTheir grandchildren include members of the Weizel, Hoffman and Davis families.Adolph Stern's niece, Faith Stern said her uncle was the first member of the family to branch out from farming.She describes him as a distinguished man with white hair who smoked a pipe."He was so different from so many of the rest of them because he was the lawyer," she said. "The rest of them were all farmers of one sort or another."Marc Stern grew up working on the family's Vineland farms.His uncle's law practice included work as city solicitor as well as solicitor for the Board of Education.But he maintained his home close to his family on one of the farms."He was always very nice to me, I liked him a lot," he said."Sometimes, when I was working there and he came home from lunch, he would see me and he would invite me in to lunch. And that was like a real highlight as a young kid to have this prestigious uncle have you in to lunch."Adolph Stern had four daughters.He died in Pinellas, Fla., in 1964.
BRANDON, Man. — Police in western Manitoba say they've made another arrest in an investigation where they allege a Black man was stabbed after a group of people yelled racial slurs at him.The Brandon Police Service says in a news release that a 21-year-old woman from the city was arrested Saturday night near a skateboard park where police have said the attack occurred two days earlier.The release says the woman was scheduled to appear in court Sunday to face charges of assault and public incitement of hatred.Officers responded to reports of a fight in the park in Brandon, west of Winnipeg, on Thursday night. They said witnesses described one man and four women starting a fight with the Black man by yelling racial slurs.The victim was taken to hospital by a bystander and is expected to make a full recovery.Two women already face charges in connection with the incident, and police said Sunday they've obtained arrest warrants for a 34-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman in the case.Police have said a video shows the fight first breaking out between the victim and a male suspect, and that four women then join in with punches and kicks.They said that in the video, the victim defended himself and held one of the suspects down when one of the women pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim five times in the abdomen.Police said it ended with the man walking away, bleeding. They alleged that before the stabbing, the woman with the knife had slashed the man's tires.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 6, 2020. The Canadian Press
The City of St. John's decision to end the Water Street pedestrian mall as planned on Monday is garnering both disappointment and support from residents.The city turned the street into a pedestrian mall in early July to help downtown businesses — many of which are locally owned — and to cope with what has been a challenging fiscal year.But what began as an experiment two months ago appears to have become an accepted "new normal" for many in St. John's. Out on a stroll, hand-in-hand with her mother, Abigayle Sharon Smith, 10, said she has enjoyed the mall this summer and is disappointed with city council's announcement to close it."It's sad because it's so nice.… You can walk down the road on the yellow line, that's pretty cool," said Smith. The same goes for Nina Quinton, a parent to a two-and-a-half year old. She says the mall has been a space for her and her toddler to connect with family and friends while supporting local businesses, in a safe and physically distant manner.Considering how successful the mall has been, Quinton said she was shocked by the decision. "It broke my heart and it still does," she said. But Mayor Danny Breen said the closure is something that had to happen to begin preparation for following years through consultation with the public, businesses and downtown organizations. Breen told CBC Radio's On The Go the city is committed to making the pedestrian mall a staple for the future."In the beginning, we knew that we were going to have challenges, we knew that we couldn't think of everything. We wanted to get it in place, see how it worked. It was a tremendous success and we want to build on that for next year," Breen said on Friday. "We have our work to do to make this happen for next year, but we're committed to coming back bigger and better next year and then through our consultation, we'll figure out what our timeline should be for an ending date."Breen added the city is looking to host an open market on Water Street at some point in the fall, likely near the end of November, just ahead of the Christmas season. A welcome change for someHowever, Raymond Rowe, a regular panhandler on Water Street, does not share the same sentiment. "When the Water Street mall closes, we'd be able to get back on the sidewalks and it'll be a lot better. We'll make more money," he said. Rowe said a significant portion of his income came from people stopping to put in quarters into parking meters. But with the mall opening and the physical distancing measures and masks in place, it has meant fewer quarters coming his way. City worker Cameron Fever, having worked at the mall everyday, has seen the numbers dwindle down over the past few weeks. Keeping this in mind, he said that he was happy with the city's decision to shut down the mall as planned, but understood why the public was disappointed. Albeit disheartened, Kirsten Morry, comfortably seated in one of the colourful chairs at the pedestrian mall, was able to see the silver lining. "I think it's really, really cool that they were able to make it happen so quickly.… I'll be sad to see it go but to be honest, I think this will put us in good shape to see it again in years to come," she said.Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
With students returning to school across most of Canada, there have already been problems with COVID-19 infecting both teachers and students. In Quebec, which has already reported dozens of cases, health experts call the back-to-school plan inadequate, and warn that the spread of COVID-19 could accelerate quickly.
Twenty five years after Dudley George was killed by police in Ipperwash Provincial Park, members of the community are still fighting for land, access to clean drinking water and adequate housing.