COVID-19: N.S. records 32 new cases, resumes notifications for school cases

Nova Scotia’s top doctor says the province is on track to enter phase five of its reopening plan on October fourth but expects the mask's mandate to remain in place as the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the Maritimes. Jesse Thomas has more.

Nova Scotia health officials reported 32 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and the province’s 97th COVID-related death.

According to the province, a man in his 70s in Northern Zone has died.

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Central Zone has 27 new cases, three are in Northern Zone and two are in Eastern Zone.

Officials continue to say there is community spread in Central Zone and say it is primarily among people aged 20 to 40 who are “unvaccinated and participating in social activities.”

The province now has 205 active cases, and 13 people in hospital. One of those patients is in an ICU.

The data dashboard shows 74.4 per cent of the overall population is fully vaccinated, and 80.3 per cent have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Confirmed cases at schools

As of Tuesday, the province is once again reporting confirmed cases at schools. While the province had been releasing this information daily during the previous school year, it initially stopped the practice when the 2021-2022 year began.

Parents began compiling their own list on a Facebook page, and pushed the province to resume releasing data.

“It is important to note that an exposure associated with a school does not mean there is spread within the school or that the initial case was first exposed to the virus in the school,” the province said in a news release.

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On Monday, seven schools were notified of an exposure.

They are Champlain Elementary School in Granville Ferry, Ross Road School in Westphal, Westmount Elementary in Halifax, Clayton Park Jr. High in Halifax, Tantallon Jr. Elementary in Upper Tantallon, Joseph Howe Elementary in Halifax and Duc d’Anville Elementary in Halifax.

The complete list is organized by district and covers the past three weeks since the school year began.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Structure fire at Melbourne Road address leaves 1 dead: Middlesex OPP

Provincial police in Middlesex County say one person is dead following a structure fire Tuesday morning at a home in Southwest Middlesex Township.

Few details are known, but police said the call came in around 10:20 a.m. for a blaze at a property on Melbourne Road.

Responding to the scene were members of the OPP, Strathroy-Caradoc Fire, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation Fire and Middlesex-London Paramedic Services.

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One person was located at the scene and was pronounced dead by the coroner, police said. Their identity is not being released pending identification and notification of next of kin.

No further information was available. Police said they would be providing assistance to the Ontario fire marshal’s office.

Anyone with information is asked to contact OPP or Crime Stoppers.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

How to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Peterborough and area

This Thursday will mark the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which is a federal statutory holiday to reflect on the history of the treatment of Indigenous Peoples and to honour lost children and survivors of former residential schools across Canada.

In Peterborough and area, a number of events will be held. Thursday is also known as Orange Shirt Day, which will see many participants don orange attire.

Have an event to add to our list? Email us at newswatch@chextv.com

Sacred fire (Noon to 3 p.m.): Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre with Niijkiwendidaa and Lovesick Native Women’s Association will hold a sacred fire along with two readings of Phyllis Webstad’s book The Orange Shirt Story at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. A canvas banner can be signed to commemorate with relatives. Up to 20 people, including staff, will be permitted in the backyard at 580 Cameron St. Reserve a space with Rebekah via email: wellness@nogofc.ca

Treaty Rock installation (10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.): Trent University is installing a new Treaty Rock outside Bata Library to acknowledge the intergenerational impact of residential schools while honouring the process of reconciliation. Participants are encouraged to wear orange. Invite only. Contact Ruth-Ann Dafoe for details via email: ruthanndafoe@trentu.ca

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START rock paint (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.): The Settlers Taking Action and Responsibility at Trent (START) will offer rocks to paint for a future memorial garden, information about residential schools and accepting donations. They will have a table on the podium at the front of the Bata Library at 1600 West Bank Dr.

Orange Shirt Day/Sacred fire at Trent (12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.): The First Peoples House of Learning at Trent University will host a scared fire, guest speakers, lunch and open mic at the Traditional Area, located behind the Emwayaang building at 1600 West Bank Dr. Limited orange shirts will be available for Indigenous students who do not have one. The ceremony will shift to the Gathering Place in the event of rainfall.

Fleming College: A video will be released featuring members of the Fleming community, Indigenous residents and settlers, who recently held a conversation about what the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation means to them. The college community is invited to share pictures wearing orange shirts with the tag #MiigwechFleming.

Orange Shirts in Solidarity (6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.): The Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough is hosting an event “to remember the impacts of residential schools and the ones who did not return home.” It’s scheduled at the front of 775 Weller St.

Prayer and Reflection (9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.): The Catholic Women’s League will reflect upon the legacy of residential schools and recognize the need to learn, pray and reach out to Indigenous communities. Contact Joanne Hough at 705-324-4491 for more information.

Outdoor community gathering (4 to 7 p.m.): Open to all on- and off-territory residents of Hiawatha First Nation, the event at 431 Hiawatha Line (outside the new Gathering Space) will feature open prayer, smudging, remarks from Chief Laurie Carr, social dancing, a barbecue and more. Participants are encouraged to wear their regalia or orange shirts.

Every Child Matters walk (noon): A walk that will begin and end at the community centre at 20 Whetung St. E. in Curve Lake First Nation. Participants are encouraged to wear an orange shirt.

Indigenous ‘Seven Feathers’ Crosswalk unveiling (noon): The Town of Cobourg with Alderville First Nation will unveil the Indigenous ‘Seven Feathers’ Crosswalk on Albert Street at Second Street. The crosswalk will feature seven feathers representing the seven grandfather teachings of the Anishinaabe people: Love, respect, courage, honesty, humility, truth and wisdom.

The 24-hour Indian Residential School Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.

 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Travellers to P.E.I. to be tested for COVID-19 at its borders starting Thursday

People who took the advice of B.C. health officials to get whatever COVID-19 vaccine was available, and got two different shots, are now wondering whether their future travel will be limited because other countries won't classify them as 'fully-vaccinated.' Ted Chernecki reports.

Rising COVID-19 cases in Atlantic Canada and elsewhere in the country are leading Prince Edward Island to increase testing as its points of entry, chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said Tuesday.

Starting Thursday, anyone travelling to the province will be tested regardless of their vaccination status – including Island residents returning home from travel, Morrison told reporters.

“As P.E.I. and other jurisdictions struggle to manage the Delta variant and the fourth wave of this pandemic, we need to take steps to protect Islanders,” she said. She also recommended that travellers 12 and older be tested again between the fourth and eighth day after they enter the province.

School-aged children under 12 who return to P.E.I. from travelling will also be required to test negative for COVID-19 before they can go back to school, Morrison said. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers, she added, will need to isolate for eight days upon entry and then tested once again.

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The province’s P.E.I. pass, which permits entry onto the Island, will now only be issued to people who can show they are at least two weeks removed from their second COVID-19 vaccine dose, she sad.

“The changes announced today … are steps that will continue to help us limit importation, detect cases early and contain the transmission of COVID-19,” Morrison said.

Meanwhile, she reported two new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the number of active cases in the province to nine. One case involved a close household contact of a previously reported infection tied to an outbreak at Charlottetown’s West Royalty Elementary School, and the other case involved a person in their 50s who recently travelled outside Atlantic Canada.

Morrison said that since August, 87 per cent of the Island’s cases have been identified as the Delta variant, adding that about 98 per cent of infections identified in the country in the last week have been the Delta mutation.

“The latest modelling from the Public Health Agency of Canada predicts we will continue to see a resurgence and spread of the Delta variant well into the fall,” she said.

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At the same time last year, the province had recorded a total of 58 cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, Morrison said. By contrast, she added, the Island has reported 63 cases in September 2021 alone.

“As we have seen in the last month, and similar to other jurisdictions, COVID-19 continues to be a threat to P.E.I.,” she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2021.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Fatal motorcycle crash under investigation in Seguin, Ont.

Police are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash that took place on Saturday morning in Seguin, Ont.

Officers say the driver was travelling on Highway 518, west of Bear Lake Road, when he lost control and went into a ditch.

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The driver has been identified as Peter Hlynsky, 62, from Mississauga, Ont.

Police are continuing to investigate and will conduct a post-mortem exam.

 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Kingston man faces assault with a weapon charge in historical Millhaven prison investigation

The OPP’s penitentiary squad has charged a Kingston man in relation to an assault that took place almost a decade ago at Millhaven Institution.

Tuesday, police said they had charged a 47-year-old unidentified Kingston man with assault with a weapon in connection with an historical incident at the prison.

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Police say the investigation into an inmate being assaulted began in May of this year. The incident dates back to November 2012.

OPP would not say if the person charged was an inmate or a Correctional Services Canada (CSC) employee, referring Global News to CSC for that information.

Corrections has yet to respond to that question, but said it is working on a response.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Toronto's ombudsman to investigate homeless encampment clearings

Toronto’s ombudsman says he’s launched an investigation into the city’s clearing of homeless encampment this summer.

Ombudsman Kwame Addo says his office has received complaints that raised concerns about the city’s approach during the evictions.

The city and police cleared four homeless encampments in three parks this summer, but clashed with residents and their supporters.

Police used the riot squad to clear three of those encampments.

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The city says the makeshift living quarters were dangerous, and police have said they were supporting city staff and carried out enforcement as a last resort.

The ombudsman says the investigation will focus on how the city planned the clearings, engaged stakeholders and communicated with the public.

The city says it will cooperate with the ombudsman’s investigation.

The ombudsman says the office does not have the mandate to review the conduct of Toronto police officers.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

'Potential anomaly' with ballot box leads to recount in Châteauguay—Lacolle riding

The Liberals have asked for a recount in a close-run riding in Quebec after a “potential anomaly” was discovered with a ballot box.

A judicial recount is to take place in Châteauguay—Lacolle where the Bloc Québécois candidate defeated his Liberal rival by 286 votes.

The Liberals confirmed they had asked for a recount in the riding, where a “potential anomaly” with a ballot box was noticed after the votes were validated.

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Elections Canada says a returning officer spotted a typo in the number of votes recorded in one of the riding’s polls, where 40 votes for a candidate was recorded as 410.

Elections Canada says the mistake, which was rectified, was due to human error and other typos were also corrected.

It is not the only recount expected to be kick-started this week — in Davenport, a Toronto riding where the Liberals beat the NDP by 76 votes, a recount is also likely.

Parties can go to court to request a recount within four days of votes being checked and validated. Most ridings have already finished validating their votes.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Trudeau says decision on Huawei's fate on Canadian 5G expected 'within coming weeks'

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With Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig freed following the release of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei could be the next hurdle in Canada-China relations.

Huawei, which is the world’s largest smartphone provider, has business dealings in Canada and has for years wanted to build a 5G wireless network in the country. Yet the Canadian government has yet to decide if the Chinese telecommunication will be granted permission to work with Canadian networks to create a 5G network.

On Tuesday afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about why his government hasn’t banned Huawei, and if it plans to.

“We’ve actually seen that many Canadian telecommunications companies, if not all of them, have started to remove Huawei from their networks and are moving forward in ways that don’t involve them as a company,” Trudeau said.

“We continue to weigh and look at the different options, but we will no doubt be making announcements within the comings weeks.”

Huawei has deep connections to the ruling Chinese government, and for some, the decision to bar it should be an easy one.

“Canada should move as quickly as possible to ban Huawei,” said Margaret McCuaig-Johnson, a senior fellow at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

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In 2020, Rogers, Bell and Telus all tapped Ericsson to be their 5G supplier, with Telus adding Nokia to the list. Despite the carriers finding other partners to work with, McCuaig-Johnson thinks it’s important for Canada to unequivocally shut the door on Huawei.

“Our telecommunications carriers need the clarity of policy,” she said.

A spokesperson for the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry wrote in an emailed statement to Global News that its goal is to ensure “Canadian networks are kept safe and secure” and that the government “will not compromise on matters of national security.”

While it did not specifically name Huawei, the spokesperson noted it “will consider technical and security factors, including advice from our security agencies and consider decisions from our Allies and partners.”

“Our Government has been clear that it will pursue an approach that takes into account important domestic and international considerations, and will make the best decision for Canadians,” read the emailed statement.

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Canada is a member of the Five Eyes, an intelligence operation between Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The other four member countries have all banned Huawei’s 5G infrastructure endeavours.

To David Welch, a professor of politics and global governance at the University of Waterloo, the timing of shutting out Huawei is not as urgent, but he noted that with the relationship being as rocky as it is already, it’s better to move on now than to wait.

“I would be shocked if it were anything other than the decision to walk away from Canada’s 5G rollout in line with our five partners,” Welch said.

With China holding the two Michaels hostage, it was clear to McCuaig-Johnson that the tenuous relationship between the two countries has led to this process being delayed.

“I worked in the government for 37 years. It does not take more than three years to make a decision on something like this,” she said.

The government has been delaying the decision since before the 2019 federal election. In November 2020, Trudeau voted against a Conservative motion calling on his government to announce a decision on the involvement of Chinese tech company Huawei’s role in Canada’s 5G network within 30 days. The motion passed with 179-146 votes.

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In 2020, following the decisions by the U.S. and the U.K. to ban Huawei, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Safety said the government was “carefully assessing the security challenges and potential threats involved in future 5G technology.”

Outside of the espionage concerns linked to Huawei, McCuaig-Johnson said allowing it to gain 5G infrastructure in Canada right now would ensure that it is lined up to win all the future technology contracts, too. She added that with 5G being so new, there are concerns over how China, operating through Huawei, could manipulate the technology in the future if there was ever another dispute with Canada.

“If a country is willing to take innocent citizens as hostages and keep them for more than two years, then putting a bug into a system or shutting down the electricity grid of part of Canada is certainly something they would consider,” she said.

With respect to what happened with the Michaels, McCuaig-Johnson thinks now is the time for Canada to stand with their Five Eyes partners against a Chinese government that has tried to show its might.

“We’ve seen more malign intent towards Canada for two and a half years,” said McCuaig-Johnson, noting the trade sanctions implemented by China surrounding beef, pork and soybeans.

One of the red herrings that could show where Chinese investment in Canada is heading is the national security law implemented by the ruling Chinese Community Party in 2017. The law, in effect, allows the government to access information held by Chinese companies, if they are deemed to be in the national interest.

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To Welch, the definition of what is in the national interest is not clearly defined, so it’s very possible that extending beyond Huawei, Canada could want less and less Chinese investment.

“I think there will be a higher level of scrutiny,” he said. “I think there will be less willingness to entertain Chinese to invest in Canadian corporations.”

Inquiries made by Global News to the Ministry Public Safety of Canada and Huawei were not answered.

-with files from David Akin 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Elizabeth May floated as potential interim leader for embattled Green Party

WATCH: What is future of federal Green Party after Annamie Paul resigns as leader?

Elizabeth May could return to the Greens as interim leader to stabilize the embattled party.

The former leader of the Greens, who is one of two Green MPs in the House of Commons, is expected to be considered by the party’s governing body as a caretaker until a full-time leader is elected.

May has previously said she would not return as leader, but she has not ruled out returning as a caretaker until a permanent leader can be found.

Annamie Paul announced her intention to resign as party leader on Monday after a disastrous showing at the polls.

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She will step down formally within “the coming weeks,” the Green party confirmed, and its ruling federal council will then appoint a caretaker leader.

A leadership race kicks off six months after an interim leader is selected.

An expert says May would be the “obvious option” to take the helm during the party’s “existential” crisis.

Mark Winfield, who researches the Greens at York University, said May has the “moral authority” to keep the party, which has been beset by internal strife, afloat.

Jo-Ann Roberts, a former broadcast journalist who served as interim leader after May stood down, is another figure the ruling council is expected to consider as a caretaker.

Mike Morrice, who was elected in Kitchener Centre, has ruled himself out of the leadership race to concentrate on representing his constituents.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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