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Now a post-tropical storm, Teddy lands in Nova Scotia –

September 23rd, 2020

Teddy has arrived in Nova Scotia as a post-tropical storm, bringing plenty of wind and rain for the province on Wednesday.

It made landfall in the Sheet Harbour area on the province’s Eastern Shore around 7:30 a.m. AT, according to CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin. It had picked up forward speed early Wednesday to arrive about two hours ahead of schedule.

Those on the left side of the storm track will get the heaviest rain, while the right side will have the strongest winds.

More than 7,300 customers were without power in the province as of just before 8 a.m., with the largest outage in Halifax affecting more than 3,400.

WATCH | Atlantic Canada braces for remnants of Hurricane Teddy:

Hurricane Teddy is expected to weaken to a tropical storm by the time it arrives in Atlantic Canada, but preparations are underway, especially in areas devastated by Hurricane Dorian last year. 3:22

The storm will weaken as it travels across eastern Nova Scotia and into the southeastern Gulf of St. Lawrence late Wednesday morning.

Wind and tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Atlantic coastline of Nova Scotia from Halifax to Cape Breton, where wind gusts of 80 to 110 km/h are expected, according to Environment Canada.

The track for post-tropical storm Teddy as of 3 a.m. Wednesday (Environment Canada)

Northern Nova Scotia is under a tropical-storm watch with winds possibly gusting 70 to 90 km/h during the afternoon.

Rainfall warnings are in effect for all of Nova Scotia except westernmost regions and will likely continue all day. About 30 to 50 millimetres has already fallen overnight, with the exception of Victoria County in Cape Breton, which has already seen 90 to 120 millimetres.

Storm-surge warnings are also in effect along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia from Yarmouth County through to eastern Cape Breton County.

Waves, storm surge to create most dangerous conditions

Large swells will continue along the Atlantic coast Wednesday morning with waves of eight to 10 metres and breaking higher along parts of the coast.

Environment Canada said the highest risk for the province is the very large waves combining with the storm surge to cause dangerous conditions along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia.

Rough and pounding surf, localized flooding and infrastructure damage and erosion are likely in vulnerable areas, even outside high tide between noon and 1 p.m.

People are urged to not go near the coastline to check out the storm and stay off the roads unless it is necessary.

Teddy made landfall in the Sheet Harbour area on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore around 7:30 a.m. AT, according to CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin. (Tina Simpkin/CBC)

The storm will then continue to diminish as it moves across the eastern Gulf of St. Lawrence in the afternoon and toward northern Newfoundland on Wednesday night.

Simpkin said by Wednesday afternoon the heavy rain will end from west to east in Nova Scotia and taper off in the evening for the eastern mainland as gusting winds take hold.

In Halifax, bus and ferry transit service are still suspended due to the storm and will resume no earlier than noon on Wednesday.

As of early Wednesday, school had been cancelled for many regions around the province.

Check Nova Scotia’s Storm Centre for more updates.


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Dr. Bonnie Henry says she’s received death threats during B.C’s COVID-19 response – Global News

September 22nd, 2020

British Columbia’s top doctor says she’s received death threats in her role as a public figure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says she’s had to have security in her home and has been targeted with death threats, along
with abusive letters and phone calls to staff.

“There are many people who don’t like what I do or don’t like the way I say it or don’t like my shoes and feel quite able to send me nasty notes, to leave phone calls, to harass my office staff,” she said. “I’ve had to have security in my house. I’ve had death threats.”

2:25Dr. Bonnie Henry on B.C. possibly being in ‘second wave’ of COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry on B.C. possibly being in ‘second wave’ of COVID-19

She says she believes it’s partly due to her status as a woman in a high-profile position, and that people feel comfortable targeting her in ways they would not necessarily do to male leaders.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: B.C.’s top doctor says she thinks Halloween can be rescued this year

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with shoe designer John Fluevog naming a pair of shoes after her.

2:42Dr. Henry lays out rules for B.C. school COVID-19 outbreaks

Dr. Henry lays out rules for B.C. school COVID-19 outbreaks

Her comments came during a panel presentation at the Union of B.C. Municipalities on leadership during the pandemic alongside Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin and former Tsawwassen chief Kim Baird.

Henry says it’s important to discuss these issues when trying to mentor the next generation of leaders.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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COVID-19: Trudeau to address nation Wednesday night to warn of situation’s urgency – National Post

September 22nd, 2020

Article content continued

The reproduction rate of the virus is currently at 1.4, which means every 10 infected people are spreading it to 14, a rate which left unchecked would lead to a large surge in cases.

Tam said to reduce the spread people have to be in contact with far fewer people. She said that can be done without resorting to the lockdowns we saw in the spring, but people need to make good choices.

“We are at a bit of a crossroads. If you reduce those contacts and make some choices in terms of not going out to these social events we can manage without a lockdown,” she said. “The challenge we face now is to stay the course no matter how weary we may feel. We have done this before. We know what works.”

The challenge we face now is to stay the course

Health Minister Patty Hajdu said it about saying no and staying home more often.

“We have to get better at saying no more than yes to the invitations that we’re receiving to gather for barbecues in the backyard or parties to celebrate occasions.”

Canada also announced new vaccine purchases agreements, this time with Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical giant, that will supply the government with 72 million doses of their vaccine. The government is also purchasing 14 million more doses of a vaccine from Moderna.

To date, Canada has now purchased access to more than 150 million individual doses from five different companies, set to be delivered beginning early next year assuming the candidates are successful.

Procurement minister Anita Anand said the government has spent about $1 billion on five contracts so far, but some of that money would only be paid if the vaccines succeed.

“We are looking to the future and ready in Canada for a vaccine to enable us to emerge from this pandemic collectively,” she said. “We will be ready to offer it to Canadians in every corner of this country.”

The government also announced a deal for 150,000 doses of Remdesivir, a drug which has shown some ability to treat the virus.

“It is the only known antiviral drug at this time that has been shown to be effective in treating the most serious cases of COVID-19.”

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Follow COVID-19 isolation rules or face $5000 daily fine: Ottawa’s top doctor – CTV Edmonton

September 22nd, 2020

OTTAWA — Ottawa residents who have or may have COVID-19 and don’t properly self-isolate could face steep fines under a new order from the city’s top doctor.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches announced on Tuesday she is invoking an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act that requires people to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19, have signs of symptoms, are a close contact of a positive test, are awaiting a test result or have reasonable grounds to believe they may have COVID-19.

“Failure to comply with this order could result in a fine of up to $5,000 for every day or part of a day on which the offence occurs or continues,” Etches said on Tuesday.

People under the order must remain in self-isolation for 14 days unless COVID-19 has been ruled out, and they must do everything they can to avoid exposing others.

“I don’t take these types of decisions and steps lightly,” Etches told a news conference on Tuesday. “However, I must do everything possible to reduce the transmission that’s currently happening in Ottawa.”

“We must again plank the curve.”

Etches reiterated the goals in resopnding ot the pandemic: to keep the level of COVID-19 transmission in the community from disrupting society in a detrimental way, and to limit hospitalizations and death.

“This level that we’re seeing … is too high for these purposes,” she said.

The order would be enforced by Ottawa Public Health taking people to court who don’t comply with officials who call them to get information about when their symptoms started, who they were in contact with, and other details necessary for contact tracing.

“If we start to run into some resistance, then we can point to the order that already exists and say you know, we have the authority to collect this information, there are some consequences for you if you don’t provide it to us,” Etches said. “if people still are having a reluctance to provide us with the information we need to do our public health work, then we could take the next step and go to court.”

Etches added that many people testing positive are between the ages of 20 and 39. Within that group, 40 per cent of the people who became ill in recent weeks acquired COVID-19 while in close contact with someone outside their household.

The number of cases in schools is also growing; Etches said 34 Ottawa schools have had someone test positive due to contact within a school setting.

Etches also said she doesn’t believe the provincially-mandated social circles have worked.

“I don’t think the social circle concept has worked out, when I look at what we’re seeing in people’s behaviour, where one circle of 10 becomes a different circle of 10 overlapping on different days of the week,” she said. “The concept was that you need to limit your contacts.

“The simple message I’m going back to: fewer is better.”

You can read the full Class Section 22 Order here.

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COVID-19 Ontario: Premier Doug Ford announces fall plan | CTV News – CTV Toronto

September 22nd, 2020

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford said a “more challenging” and “more complicated” second wave of COVID-19 is on its way as he announced the government’s first part of a fall preparedness plan on Tuesday.

“With the number of cases on the rise, it’s clear that the next wave it will come at us harder than the last one. It will be more challenging than before because the flu season is starting soon and people are heading indoors again,” Ford said during an afternoon news conference held at Queen’s Park.

The first pillar of the province’s plan to tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus heading into the colder months is implementing a $70 million flu shot campaign.

Ford said this campaign is the largest in the province’s history and will help prepare the health-care system for a second wave of the disease.

“The flu shot helps reduce visits to our emergency rooms and doctor’s offices during the season and this will help with keeping capacity in our health-care system,” the premier said. “We need to ensure our hospitals are not overwhelmed by the next wave of COVID-19.”

“Preparing for the second wave is our top priority.”

According to Ford, the province has ordered 5.1 million doses of this year’s flu vaccine and is continuing to work to order more. That is 700,000 more doses than the approximate amount administered last year.

“Anyone who wants a flu shot can get one and I encourage everyone to please get their flu shot this year. It’s absolutely critical. It’s the best way to protect you and your family because the next few months will be critical,” Ford said.

“We know that a second wave is coming, we know that it will be more complicated than the first wave, we know it will be more challenging on the system, what we don’t know is how bad it will be, how hard we will get hit because that is up to all of us, we all have a part to play and it starts with everyone getting their flu shot this year.”

Flu shots are available each year to Ontario residents over the age of six months through their primary health-care provider’s office and public health units. The vaccine is also available to residents over the age of five at participating pharmacies.

High-dose flu shots will be available to seniors at their primary health-care provider’s office. As well, it will be available at participating pharmacies for the first time in the province’s history.

The first batch of the flu vaccine is expected to arrive in Ontario next week, officials said on Tuesday.

The high-dose vaccine will be distributed to the province’s most vulnerable residents first and then the regular flu shot will be available “very shortly thereafter” to the general population. The high-dose vaccine will be prioritized at the province’s long-term care homes, retirement homes and hospitals.

More details on Ontario’s fall plan coming soon

Speaking alongside Ford on Tuesday, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott added that the rest of province’s fall preparedness plan will be unveiled in the “next several days.”

“We do want Ontarians to receive the full picture and that is why we are going to take several days to reveal each aspect of it because it is a very integrated, complex and comprehensive plan,” she said.

The health minister said the plan focuses on six “key areas.”

  • Maintaining public health measures, including expanding testing for the novel coronavirus and contact tracing
  • Implementing the largest flu immunization campaign in the province’s history
  • Quickly identifying, managing and preventing outbreaks of the disease
  • Accelerating efforts to reduce health service backlogs
  • Preparing the province for surges in COVID-19 cases
  • Recruiting, retaining, training, and supporting health-care workers

Ontario has been seeing an upward trend in case counts over the past few weeks. The province recorded 478 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, which is the highest single-day increase since May 2 when 511 infections were reported.

In response to the climbing case counts, over the weekend the province slashed the number of people who can attend social gatherings. Currently, 10 people can gather indoors and 25 can gather outdoors. Social distancing must be maintained with those outside of your 10-person social circle at these gatherings, according to the province’s safety measures.

Ontario also put a pause on any further steps in its reopening plan at the beginning of the months citing the rise in infections.

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Ontario reports highest number of new COVID-19 cases since early May – CTV Toronto

September 22nd, 2020

TORONTO — Ontario’s daily COVID-19 case count has risen to numbers unseen since the height of the pandemic in May when more than 500 cases were reported.

Health officials reported 478 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, which is the highest daily total since May 2 when 511 cases were confirmed.

The province also reported that three more people have died due to COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths to 2,832.

The new infections bring the province’s total number of lab-confirmed infections to 47,752, including 41,342 recoveries and the deaths.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Tuesday that 68 per cent (242) of the new cases involved people under the age of 40.

Ninety-nine were between the ages of 40 and 59 and 36 were between the ages of 60 and 70. Eight people over the age of 80 were part of Tuesday’s case count.

Where are Ontario’s new COVID-19 cases?

Most of the new cases are again primarily in Ottawa, Toronto and Peel Region.

Health officials confirmed that Toronto reported 153 new infections, Ottawa reported 90 new infections and Peel Region reported 95 new infections.

Sixteen new cases were also reported in Durham Region and 27 new cases each were reported in York Region and Waterloo.

Twelve cases each were reported in Middlesex-London area, Hamilton and Halton Region.

There are currently 82 patients in an Ontario hospital with COVID-19, and 24 of them are being treated in an intensive care unit. Eleven of those patients are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

Testing for COVID-19 in Ontario

According to Elliott, more than 32,400 tests for COVID-19 were processed in the last recorded 24-hour period.

Nearly 40,000 tests currently remain under investigation in the province.

Back on May 2, when the province reported more than 500 new cases of the disease in a single day, 16,305 tests were conducted in the same time period.

More than 3.6 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Ontario since the virus reached the province in late January. 

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BC Liberal leader slams snap election, calls decision ‘cynical’ – CTV News Vancouver

September 21st, 2020

VANCOUVER — BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson says the province is being forced into a general election in a “cynical” move by the NDP.

NDP Leader John Horgan announced Monday that British Columbians would be heading to the polls on Oct. 24, sparking sharp and immediate backlash from both the Greens and the Liberals.

“The only reason for this general election is to try to secure the jobs of the NDP,” Wilkinson said.

“Think about why we’re having this election. It’s not necessary. The goal for the NDP is to secure their own employment.”

Wilkinson blasted the NDP for ​calling the election as the province continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The decision by John Horgan and the NDP to call this election at this time is not just irresponsible. It’s just plain wrong,” Wilkinson said.

He echoed similar comments from B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau, who says she plans to hold Horgan accountable for the decision.

“Let’s be clear, this is about him and his party putting their fortunes ahead of British Columbians at a time when people are worried about their jobs, their financial security, their children and their health,” she said.

Horgan has insisted that during the pandemic, it’s important for British Columbians to have stability, and he says he “struggled mightily” with the decision to hold an election.

“We do not need the cynical, self-serving, selfish move by the NDP to trigger an election right now,” Wilkinson said.

When asked whether he was concerned about name recognition, Wilkinson said he had confidence in British Columbians taking the time to research each party’s platforms and examine their values.

“I’m confident that the word will get out and I will get to know a lot more British Columbians, and they will get to know me,” he said.

Just hours into the campaign, Wilkinson was asked about whether he would step down if the NDP wins a majority.  Though he didn’t give a direct answer, he said, in part, “You shouldn’t do this job unless you’re an optimist.”

The Liberal leader also slammed Horgan for calling an election a year early, and breaking the confidence and supply agreement that allowed the NDP to form a minority government with support from the Greens in 2017.

“We all have to wonder about the current premier, who has an ironclad deal with the Green Party to govern for another 13 months,” he said.

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Montreal woman accused of sending poisonous letter to Donald Trump says she sent nine in total to various targets: police – National Post

September 21st, 2020

Article content continued

The woman is scheduled to have an initial appearance in Buffalo federal court Tuesday at 4 p.m., according to Department of Justice officials.

U.S. border agents arrested a traveller Sunday afternoon at the border after crossing the Peace Bridge from Fort Erie, Ont., into Buffalo, NY, said Aaron Bowker of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

She had a gun with her, a law enforcement source said.

On Sunday, the RCMP confirmed the FBI requested help over a suspicious letter that tested positive for toxic ricin that appeared to have been sent from Canada.

Police investigators walk past a condo building related to an investigation into the ricin-filled envelope sent to the White House, as an RCMP team checks the area in Longueuil, Quebec, September 21, 2020. Photo by Christinne Muschi/Reuters

Monday morning, the RCMP executed a search warrant at an apartment in St-Hubert, just south of Montreal.

“We know that a female suspect was arrested by our U.S. colleagues last night,” RCMP spokesperson Corporal Charles Poirier said.

“There is a clear link between her and this residence that we are searching today.”

The RCMP’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives team (CBRNE), a specialized team composed of members of the RCMP and the Canadian Armed Forces, led the operation in St-Hubert.

“It is believed at this point that there was a highly toxic substance inside those packages. The word ricin has been mentioned. However, at this point, we are not taking any chances, hence the deployment we have here today.”

Police evacuated some apartments on the fourth floor of the building, near the one being searched, but not the whole building.

Letters containing ricin were also mailed to two law enforcement agencies in Texas; Ferrier had been arrested by each agency last year, court documents show.

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Quebec woman identified as suspect in case of ricin letter mailed to White House – CTV News

September 21st, 2020

OTTAWA — Quebec resident Pascale Ferrier has been identified as the suspect alleged to have sent letters containing the poisonous substance ricin to the White House and different locations in Texas, including a police department, CTV News has confirmed.

A team that specializes in biohazards swarmed a Montreal-area condo Monday morning, evacuating several units as they looked for evidence connected to the ricin-laced letter sent to U.S. President Donald Trump.

The letters were intercepted before reaching their destination and the exact number is “in flux,” officials say.

Ferrier, 53, was arrested at the New York-Ontario border on Sunday while trying to cross the border into Buffalo, N.Y.

Ferrier was initially expected to appear in court Monday afternoon in Buffalo to face federal charges in the U.S., but sources tell CTV News the appointment was postponed to tomorrow.

Ricin is a deadly substance extracted from castor beans. It’s a plant that is not restricted and is easy to grow. With enough exposure, the poison can be fatal within 36 to 72 hours, and there is no antidote.

Ferrier, originally from France, became a Canadian citizen in November 2015. According to sources, she is a computer programmer.

She moved back to Laval last spring, weeks after being released from a Texas prison.

Court documents show in 2019 she was charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon and knowingly using a fake Texas driver’s license. Ferrier spent three months in jail according to arrest records.

The Texas Police Department that laid those charges was also sent a letter with ricin last week.

An RCMP investigation was carried out at Vauquelin Boulevard, a residential street located south of Montreal in St-Hubert, Que.

“There’s a link between the female suspect that was arrested in Buffalo, New York yesterday and this residence,” RCMP Cpl. Charles Poirier said Monday, explaining to reporters in St-Hubert that police had a search warrant for the residence.

An RCMP team dedicated to chemical threats and explosives is leading the investigation, with local police and fire units also at the property.

CTV News public safety analyst Chris Lewis told CTV News Channel on Monday that police will “know more about her quickly than she knows about herself, from her online presence, to her background.”

The motive will be a main part of the investigation, he said.

“Are there mental health issues involved or is it a bigger plot that she’s somehow a part of and maybe acted on someone else’s behalf?” he said.

This isn’t the first time a U.S. president has been sent ricin. Letters addressed to former president Barack Obama containing the substance were intercepted on two separate occasions in 2013.

“There will be very serious charges. Ricin is a very deadly [substance], a very little amount of it can kill people and we’ve seen attacks using it around the world over the last 20 years, so pretty serious stuff,” said Lewis.

None of the charges have been proven in court.

With files from CTV News’ Annie Bergeron-Oliver and Alexandra Mae Jones

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B.C. voters heading to the polls as snap election called for Oct. 24 –

September 21st, 2020

After weeks of speculation, B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan has made official the worst-kept secret in the province: British Columbians are heading to the polls. 

Horgan said Monday he had called an election for Oct. 24 after meeting with Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin and asking her to dissolve the legislature.

“I’ve struggled mightily with this decision and it did not come easily to me,” said Horgan, acknowledging the controversy of calling an early election during a pandemic. 

But he said that, with COVID-19 expected to be a fact of life for the next year, an election made sense now. 

“We can either delay that decision and create uncertainty and instability over the 12 months … or we can do what I believe is always the right thing, and ask British Columbians what they think.”

The announcement comes after weeks of speculation that Horgan would call an election just over three years into his mandate, and it comes after six cabinet ministers announced their retirements in the past seven days.

The NDP currently have 41 seats in the legislature, as do the opposition Liberal Party, while the Green Party has two.

WATCH |Horgan explains decision to call fall election:

Horgan says the decision was not easy, but delaying the vote risks “instability.” British Columbians will go to the polls on Oct. 24. 1:16

How did we get here?

Horgan has led a minority government since July 2017, after his New Democratic Party and the Greens teamed up to defeat the Liberals in a confidence vote following a May election with no clear decision

Since that time, he has led the province with the support of the Green Party — under a unique and formal agreement — and passed legislation setting a fixed election date for October 2021. The agreement also stipulated Horgan “will not request a dissolution of the Legislature … except following the defeat of a motion of confidence.”  

But, in calling the election, Horgan argued the province found itself in unique circumstances because of the pandemic, and that the Green Party had also broken a rule of the agreement by introducing an amendment to a government bill without notification.

“The issues of 2017 are not the issues of 2020,” said Horgan. 

“What we did in the past is one thing and what we need to do in the future is quite another matter.” 

Horgan also repeatedly argued that an election would create more certainty for the province if one party had a majority government and the ability to make decisions without consulting other parties.

“We need a stable government,” he said. 

Up in the polls

Horgan will attempt to become the first two-term NDP premier in B.C. history and heads into the campaign with his party up in the polls and with the highest personal approval rating of any premier in Canada, according to recent surveys by Angus Reid.

In recent weeks, the B.C. Liberal Party and the Green Party have criticized Horgan for considering an election during a global pandemic.

While British Columbia received plaudits for its initial containment of the virus, cases of COVID-19 have surged in recent months, and the effects of students returning to class are still not fully known. 

The opposition parties quickly attacked Horgan for calling an election. 

“Today, John Horgan chose politics over people,” said Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, who said his party will announce its platform and full list of candidates in the coming weeks.

“The only reason for this general election is to try and secure the jobs of the NDP … it’s not necessary.”

Horgan is seen after the news conference in Langford, B.C., where he announced the election. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press)

Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau said she spoke with Horgan on Friday, and told him she and fellow Green MLA Adam Olsen would continue to support the NDP on legislation if an election was not called. 

“When people are worried about their kids being back in school, when people are worried about their jobs, when people are worried about their housing, this is not a time where we put the interest of a political party ahead of British Columbians,” she said.  

A number of longtime MLAs have said they won’t be seeking re-election, including NDP cabinet ministers Carole James, Judy Darcy, Shane Simpson, Michelle Mungall, Doug Donaldson, Claire Trevena and Scott Fraser. Liberals Rich Coleman and Linda Reid, and former Green Party leader Andrew Weaver have also said they will not run again.

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