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Trudeau to announce more federal funding for food banks during pandemic

Trudeau to announce more federal funding for food banks during pandemic

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Oct 9th, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will announce today more federal funding for food banks across Canada to help them meet the surge in demand for their services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trudeau revealed plans for the “big announcement” Thursday night as he took part in a virtual, cross-country town hall with people who run or volunteer at food banks.

As a second wave of the pandemic sweeps the country and with the approach of Thanksgiving and Christmas, he predicted that food banks will be under more pressure to feed those who can’t afford groceries or are afraid to venture outside their homes to get them.

During the height of the first wave back in April, the federal government gave $100 million to national, regional and local organizations that work to alleviate food insecurity, including Food Banks Canada, the Salvation Army and Community Food Centres Canada.

Trudeau is expected to announce another similar infusion of federal funds to help such groups continue to meet demand, which has exploded during the pandemic along with unemployment.

During the town hall, Trudeau was thanked profusely and repeatedly for the first instalment and heard stories about how food banks have used the funds to find creative ways to help more people even as the pandemic has caused a shortage of volunteers and food supplies.

“I’ll give you guys a sneak preview,” Trudeau told food bank workers.

“I’ll be making a big announcement tomorrow about more supports that you should stay tuned for. But I know that the work you’re doing is incredible. We need to make sure that you have the tools to keep being able to say ‘yes’ when people ask for help.”

‘All we can do is brace for impact’: Canada plans for US political chaos

THE BIG STORY | posted Friday, Oct 9th, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, our neighbour is in trouble. Whatever the results of the American election on November 3, there’s only a small chance they won’t be contested. The upheaval could last for months. It could get violent. It could fracture America.

All of this obviously impacts Canada, so what are we doing to prepare? What should we be doing? How can our government gameplan for whatever happens in the coming months, and what are the best-case and worst-case scenarios for Canada if chaos reigns to the south?

GUEST: Balkan Devlen, senior fellow at McDonald Laurier Institute, Superforecaster for Good Judgment, Inc.

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle and Spotify

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

International couples plan reunions in Canada under new travel exception

Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Oct 8th, 2020

Alia Youssef and Mohamed El-Sawah have been in a long-distance relationship for the better part of a year, though they live just a 35-minute drive apart.
Youssef lives in Windsor, Ont., El-Sawah in a suburb of Detroit, Mich.
When the Canada-U.S. border was closed in March due to COVID-19, they were forced to place many of the cultural and religious traditions important to their Egyptian, Muslim engagement on hold. Youssef has yet to meet her husband-to-be’s parents in person. The two have been looking at wedding venues and getting to know each other’s families over video calls.
“We’re engaged with no rings, let’s call it that,” El-Sawah said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Couples like Youssef and El-Sawah have been in a grey area since pandemic-related travel restrictions came into effect, unable to reunite due to their unmarried status. But some hope appeared last week when Ottawa announced it would ease some border restrictions.
Starting Thursday, romantic partners of Canadians can apply to enter the country, with documentation proving at least a year-long relationship. Extended family members including grandparents, adult children and grandchildren and those seeking entry for compassionate grounds may also apply.
Specifics on who qualifies, what documents are required and how to apply will be defined in greater detail on Thursday.
It’s a welcome avenue for couples whose lives have been placed on hold for the last eight months. Youssef, El-Sawah and others in international engagements can now proceed cautiously with their wedding plans – factoring in quarantine requirements, work obligations and limits on other relatives allowed to travel and participate.
“We’re really happy, but it’s just now we have to take what we have and work with it,” Youssef said.
The pair plan to reunite in December, when El-Sawah can take the required two weeks off from work. At the end of his quarantine, they hope to finally exchange rings and hold a small engagement party, though El-Sawah will be the only member of his biological family there.
While Ottawa has stressed that nobody should make travel plans until they’ve been approved under the program, some have eagerly started booking accommodations and packing their bags.
Sarah Campbell of Stratford, Ont., cried tears of happiness at the announcement. She’s been separated from her fiance Jacob Taylor during the pandemic and through a cancer diagnosis this July.
Campbell and Taylor, who lives in Bath, England, are gathering documents showing proof of their relationship in anticipation of the soon-to-be-announced requirements.
“We’re hoping he can be here by Saturday,” she said in a telephone interview. “Jacob is ready to go.”
If everything goes according to plan, they hope to be married by the end of the month — the day after Taylor’s quarantine ends.
Kaylee Carson of Cleveland, Ohio, also moved quickly after hearing the news. She snapped up an available Airbnb in Barrie, Ont., where her Canadian fiance Darren Quesnel works.
“I went ahead and booked,” Carson said by phone. “I’m going to be there for two months, so I just booked the first month and I figured if I’m not there by then he can just go stay at the Airbnb until I get there.”
She’s happy an end to their separation is in sight, though the eventual wedding date in the U.S. is still to be determined.
“It’s just a relief to know that I’m going to get to go see him,” she said.
David Poon has been running a campaign along with other families not covered by the former travel exemptions, asking Ottawa to adapt immigration measures to accommodate those left out. He said participants are grateful the government found a solution.
“We know that it was an incredibly difficult problem to solve,” he said from Ireland, where the Canadian doctor is currently staying with his partner.
The key demand – allowing adult children and non-married couples to reunite in Canada – has been won, but Poon said the biggest hurdle remaining for the approximately 7,500 people involved in the campaign is inability for many to take time off work to quarantine. Those on temporary visas also face challenges bringing their loved ones to Canada.
He stressed that the campaign isn’t fighting quarantine rules, but looking for a solution so more people can take advantage of the program – like requiring the Canadian partner to isolate once their significant other leaves the country, no matter the length of their stay.
The uncertainty of waiting and the challenges of planning a wedding long-distance during a pandemic have been painful, El-Sawah said. But the experience has brought the couple together on a deeper level, and convinced him beyond a doubt that he’s found a soul mate and life partner in Youssef.
“It affirmed my love for this woman,” he said. “The silver lining to me is I know a thousand per cent, a million per cent that she’s the one and she’s willing to put the effort. Whatever life throws at us, we’ll be able to handle it.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2020.

Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in for Oct. 8

The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Oct 8th, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 1 a.m. EDT on Oct. 8, 2020:
There are 173,124 confirmed cases in Canada.
_ Quebec: 81,914 confirmed (including 5,906 deaths, 67,735 resolved)
_ Ontario: 55,945 confirmed (including 2,988 deaths, 47,613 resolved)

_ Alberta: 19,354 confirmed (including 281 deaths, 17,163 resolved)
_ British Columbia: 9,956 confirmed (including 244 deaths, 8,296 resolved)
_ Manitoba: 2,278 confirmed (including 27 deaths, 1,448 resolved)
_ Saskatchewan: 1,994 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,832 resolved)
_ Nova Scotia: 1,089 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,021 resolved)
_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 276 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 269 resolved)
_ New Brunswick: 222 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 198 resolved)
_ Prince Edward Island: 59 confirmed (including 57 resolved)
_ Yukon: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved)
_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)
_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)
_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases, 4 presumptive
_ Total: 173,124 (4 presumptive, 173,120 confirmed including 9,541 deaths, 145,665 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Netflix Canada increasing some of its prices

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press | posted Thursday, Oct 8th, 2020

Netflix Canada is increasing some of its prices again.
The streaming giant says the basic plan for subscribers remains unchanged at $9.99 a month, but the standard monthly plan is going up by one dollar to $14.99, and the premium by two dollars to $18.99.
Netflix says it’s implementing the price increase so it “can invest more in films and shows as well as the quality of members’ product experience.”
The company says new members who sign up will see the updated prices effective immediately.

The new charges will roll out to existing members according to their billing cycle over the coming weeks.
Existing members will be notified about the change via email and the Netflix app 30 days before the new prices are applied to them.
Netflix has cancelled some of its programming recently due to COVID-19 pandemic-related issues, including “Glow,” “The Society” and “I Am Not Okay With This.”
The company’s last price increase in Canada was announced in November 2018. At that time it bumped up the basic monthly plan by a dollar to $9.99, the standard by $3 to $13.99, and the premium by $3 to $16.99.
The basic plan lets subscribers watch on one screen at a time at a lower-quality resolution. The standard plan allows two screens with high-definition resolution. And the premium offers four-screen usage and ultra HD, 4K video.
“Canadians have never had more choices when it comes to entertainment and we’re more committed than ever to delivering an experience that exceeds their expectations,” Netflix said in a statement about Thursday’s price increase.
“Members tell us how much they value variety and we’re updating our prices so that we can continue to invest in more shows and films. As always we will continue to offer a range of plans so that people can pick a price that works for their budget.”
Netflix launched in Canada in September 2010, charging $7.99 for unlimited TV shows and movies per month.

Military reports more than 220 Canadian troops caught COVID-19

The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Oct 7th, 2020

The Canadian Armed Forces is lifting the veil of secrecy over the number of troops with COVID-19, as the military gets ready for fresh calls to help out during the second wave of the pandemic.
In its first full update since mid-March, the military revealed Tuesday that a total of 222 Canadian service members have contracted COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
That includes 24 active cases. The others have been resolved.
Defence Department spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier said no military members had died from the illness.

This is the first time the public has known the scope of infections in the Canadian Armed Forces since March 20, when officials said they would stop sharing such details. There were three cases at that time.
The military did later reveal that 55 of the more than 1,600 soldiers deployed into long-term care facilities in Ontario and Quebec in the spring had become infected with the novel coronavirus.
But it refused to provide overall figures for the nearly 100,000-strong force, with officials expressing concern the information could be used by foreign adversaries hoping to take advantage of the pandemic.
“Leadership is closely monitoring the extent of COVID-19 in the defence team,” the Department of National Defence said on its website Tuesday after publishing the new figures.
It went on to credit “the rigorous application of public health measures” and other risk-mitigation strategies for “effectively containing the spread of the virus amongst our personnel.”
The release of the figures came as senior defence officials told the Armed Forces to be ready for new orders as the number of cases of COVID-19 across Canada continues to rise.
In a message to the troops, chief of defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance and Jody Thomas, deputy minister at the Defence Department, warned the situation “is different and more complex than we faced in March.”
As a result, they said, new orders are coming soon to “to refocus our efforts, and position National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces for success this fall.”
In the meantime, “we must accept that we now live in an environment that will remain altered by COVID-19 for the foreseeable future. To succeed in this environment, we must reject complacency.”

Error in Via Rail terror case doesn’t warrant new trial, Crown tells Supreme Court

The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Oct 7th, 2020

OTTAWA — Federal lawyers are telling the Supreme Court of Canada it would be a miscarriage of justice to grant a new trial to two men accused of plotting to crash a Via Rail train.
Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier were found guilty in 2015 of terror-related charges arising mainly from an alleged al-Qaida-inspired scheme to derail a passenger train travelling between the United States and Canada.
Both men appealed their convictions, with counsel for Jaser and a court-appointed lawyer for Esseghaier arguing the jury at the trial was improperly constituted.
In August last year, the Ontario Court of Appeal ordered a fresh trial for the men on grounds the jury was indeed chosen incorrectly.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to review the appeal court’s decision in a hearing this afternoon.
In a written submission to the court, the Crown argues the convictions should not be overturned on the basis of a highly technical error in the jury selection process that did not cause any prejudice to fair trial rights.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2020.

The Canadian Press

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in for Oct. 7

The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Oct 7th, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 1 a.m. EDT on Oct. 7, 2020:
There are 171,324 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 81,014 confirmed (including 5,899 deaths, 67,033 resolved)
_ Ontario: 55,362 confirmed (including 2,987 deaths, 46,906 resolved)

_ Alberta: 19,211 confirmed (including 281 deaths, 17,030 resolved)
_ British Columbia: 9,841 confirmed (including 244 deaths, 8,184 resolved)
_ Manitoba: 2,246 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,441 resolved)
_ Saskatchewan: 1,984 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,821 resolved)
_ Nova Scotia: 1,089 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,021 resolved)
_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 276 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 269 resolved)
_ New Brunswick: 205 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 198 resolved)
_ Prince Edward Island: 59 confirmed (including 57 resolved)
_ Yukon: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved)
_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)
_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)
_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases, 4 presumptive
_ Total: 171,324 (4 presumptive, 171,320 confirmed including 9,530 deaths, 143,993 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Nunavut confirms nine positive COVID-19 cases at mine, others presumptive

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Oct 6th, 2020

IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut has confirmed nine positive cases of COVID-19 at the Hope Bay gold mine in the western part of the territory.

The Nunavut government announced the positive cases in a news release this evening.

Another four presumptive positive cases have also been identified and are pending testing at a lab in southern Canada.

Last week, the territory declared eight presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 at the mine, which is located 125 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay.

The release says the government is still working to determine whether the cases at the mine will count as the first in the territory.

It also says twelve people remain in isolation and all non-critical travel to and from the mine is on hold.

There are no Nunavut residents currently working at the fly-in only mine.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Oct. 6

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Oct 6th, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. EDT on Oct. 6, 2020:

There are 168,961 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 79,650 confirmed (including 5,884 deaths, 66,180 resolved)

_ Ontario: 54,814 confirmed (including 2,980 deaths, 46,360 resolved)

_ Alberta: 18,935 confirmed (including 280 deaths, 16,872 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 9,739 confirmed (including 242 deaths, 8,115 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 2,191 confirmed (including 23 deaths, 1,429 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 1,968 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,801 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,089 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,021 resolved)

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 276 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 269 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 203 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 196 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 59 confirmed (including 57 resolved)

_ Yukon: 15 confirmed (including 15 resolved)

_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases, 4 presumptive

_ Total: 168,961 (4 presumptive, 168,957 confirmed including 9,504 deaths, 142,333 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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