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The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Sept. 1

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Sep 1st, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 p.m. EDT on Sept. 1, 2020:

There are 128,948 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 62,492 confirmed (including 5,760 deaths, 55,353 resolved)

_ Ontario: 42,309 confirmed (including 2,811 deaths, 38,277 resolved)

_ Alberta: 13,902 confirmed (including 239 deaths, 12,293 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 5,790 confirmed (including 208 deaths, 4,406 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 1,619 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,561 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 1,214 confirmed (including 14 deaths, 731 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,085 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,013 resolved)

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 269 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 265 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 191 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 185 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 44 confirmed (including 41 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

_ Total: 128,948 (0 presumptive, 128,948 confirmed including 9,126 deaths, 114,158 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Inside the Trudeau government’s own-goal on solitary confinement

THE BIG STORY | posted Tuesday, Sep 1st, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, the practice of solitary confinement in Canada had been found to violate inmates’ human rights. The government had been given a year to fix it, and last December, the year was almost up.

Since then, a lot has changed in the world. But it seems not a lot has changed in our prison system. And if anything had really changed, we likely wouldn’t know, because the government won’t tell us. It won’t even tell the panel it appointed to watch over its work. Why?

GUEST: Justin Ling

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

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

Canadians don’t know much about Erin O’Toole but poll finds openness to him

JOAN BRYDEN THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Sep 1st, 2020

OTTAWA — Most Canadians know very little about new Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole but a new poll suggests his personal qualities and policy positions could eventually give his party a boost.

Fifty-two per cent of respondents said they didn’t know enough about O’Toole to say whether they have a positive or negative impression of the new leader, who took the helm of the Official Opposition one week ago.

But 21 per cent had a favourable impression while 18 per cent had an unfavourable impression.

Moreover, the poll, conducted Aug. 28 to 30 by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, found there was no bump in support for the Conservatives following O’Toole’s leadership victory.

Support among decided voters for the Conservatives actually dropped one point to 29 per cent versus the previous week. Liberal support also dropped, by three points, to 35 per cent, with the NDP moving up three points to 21 per cent and the Greens down one point to five per cent.

The online survey of 1,521 Canadians cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples, but all those changes are small.

“We’re still at the Erin Who? stage.”

In Quebec, the poll found the Bloc Quebecois ahead with 34 per cent support to the Liberals’ 30 per cent, the NDP’s 18, the Conservatives’ 14 and the Greens’ two per cent.

“There’s no O’Toole effect on Conservative voting for now because, for the most part, we’re still at the Erin Who? stage,” said Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque.

Still, the poll asked respondents if they’d be more or less likely to consider voting Conservative based on various O’Toole attributes and policy positions. And those results suggest he could eventually become more of an asset to his party as he becomes better known, although he could face some regional challenges particularly with regard to his energy policies.

Forty-four per cent said they’d be more likely to consider voting Conservative once informed that O’Toole is personally in favour of a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion and supports same-sex marriage. Twelve per cent said they’d be less likely.

Respondents were not asked about O’Toole’s vow to allow socially conservative MPs to express their views, put forward private members’ bills and vote freely on matters of conscience.

A plurality (29 per cent nationally and 44 per cent in Quebec) were more likely to consider supporting the Conservatives when told that O’Toole was born in Montreal and is bilingual, although the fluency of his French has been questioned.

A plurality also were more likely to consider voting Conservative when told that O’Toole is a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, advocates a harder line against China, supports building new pipelines and is opposed to a carbon tax.

However, a regional divide was apparent over his energy policies. His stance sat particularly well with respondents in Alberta and Manitoba/Saskatchewan but a strong plurality of respondents in Quebec said his support for pipelines made them less likely to consider voting Conservative while Quebecers were almost evenly split over his opposition to a tax on carbon (23 per cent more likely to vote Conservative versus 21 per cent less likely).

The fact that Alberta Premier Jason Kenney endorsed O’Toole in the leadership contest was the only overall negative, with 20 per cent nationally saying it made them less likely to vote Conservative and 15 per cent saying they’d be more likely. Even in Alberta, 34 per cent said Kenney’s support made them less likely to consider O’Toole’s party federally, to 26 per cent who said they’d be more likely.

“He’s clearly not ready yet.”

Bourque said the results suggest an openness towards O’Toole but he said the new leader’s ultimate success will depend on his ability to distance himself personally from the socially conservative wing of the Conservative party (whose support was a decisive factor in his leadership victory), and on his ability to sell his energy policies in vote-rich central Canada.

All told, Bourque said the poll suggests O’Toole needs time to make himself known to Canadians and would be wise not to try to defeat Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government this fall.

“He’s clearly not ready yet.”

Should there be an election this fall in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, 78 per cent of respondents said all Canadians should have the option of voting by mail.

B.C. rescuers, experts concerned about condition of three entangled humpbacks

Kyle Mack | posted Monday, Aug 31st, 2020

A humpback whale is seen just outside of Hartley Bay along the Great Bear Rainforest, B.C. Tuesday, Sept, 17, 2013. The head veterinarian at the Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Centre and the Vancouver Aquarium says if animals are unable to forage with gear restricting either the mouth or impairing ability to dive and swim, then they will starve to death. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER — Marine mammal specialists and whale rescue groups say they’re not sure how much fishing gear three entangled humpback whales spotted off the coast of British Columbia are still carrying, leaving experts worried.

Paul Cottrell, the Pacific marine mammals co-ordinator for the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says while rescuers managed to get some gear off one of the animals, they are not sure how the other two are faring.

He says the first whale, known as Checkmate, was spotted last week and has a trap and line running through its mouth. However, because someone had cut off a buoy attached to the gear, Cottrell says rescuers haven’t been able to attach a line to the animal and help it.

He says another yet-to-be-named whale has a fishing net over its head and was last seen more than three weeks ago.

Cottrell says rescuers managed to remove more than 60 metres of fishing line off a third whale named X-ray, but the animal was also last seen more than three weeks ago so they don’t know how it is faring.

Martin Haulena, head veterinarian at the Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Centre and the Vancouver Aquarium, says if animals are unable to forage because of gear either restricting their mouth or impairing their ability to dive and swim, they will likely starve to death.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 30, 2020.

 

The Canadian Press

Black Quebecers drive to Legault’s office to protest racial profiling

Kyle Mack | posted Monday, Aug 31st, 2020

People take part in a Driving While Black protest in Montreal, Sunday, Aug 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL — Djennie Dorvilier still remembers the excitement of getting a brand new car after graduating from college 20 years ago, using the money she saved from working night shifts at McDonald’s.

She also remembers being stopped nine times for random police checks within the first month and a half of owning her new car, a 2000 Mazda Protege.

“I was even told it’s because I didn’t look like someone who could afford such a car,” Dorvilier said at a protest in Montreal on Sunday.

Dorvilier was among a convoy of nearly 60 Black motorists who drove to Quebec Premier Francois Legault’s office in the suburb of L’Assomption, about an hour outside the city, to protest racial profiling.

The demonstration, titled “Driving While Black,” comes amid a widespread movement to bring attention to police treatment of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of colour) communities.

“Now people are listening, but we’ve been going through this for many years. It’s important to raise awareness about, when you’re racialized, how you’re treated by the police when stopped while driving your car,” Dorvilier said.

The demonstrators eventually made it to Legault’s office, where they read out their demands from a letter detailing 10 ways to stop Black people from being targeted by police while driving.

The proposals include a call to revise Quebec’s Guide to Police Practices to eliminate any act that allows officers to discriminate or racially profile anyone they come across.

The guide was in the news last week, when the province’s Ministry of Public Security unveiled guidelines to make sure that police stops aren’t racially motivated. But the move was met with criticism by some advocacy groups who said they weren’t consulted.

The province’s human rights commission ruled at the end of 2019 that the city of Montreal should stop police checks as they “disproportionately affect certain groups.”

Fo Niemi, executive director of the Centre for Research Against Race Relations, said Sunday he’s been receiving complaints from people across the province — including as far west as Gatineau — about police checks. He said there’s a growing number of them coming from suburban areas, where more and more Black people are moving.

“We have some people being stopped practically two, three times a months just because they drive a flashy car,” Niemi said. “To the point where one of our clients has to basically change his car.”

Vladimir Dorceus said he has lost track of the amount of times he has been pulled over for a random check by police in his Black BMW. Dorceus brought his nine-year old son to Sunday’s event to show him how Black people can come together to protest the issue.

“Even if he’s young, I think he has to be informed of the situation. Because he’s a young Black person who lives in Montreal and it could happen to him in the future,” Dorceus said.

Josue Corvil, who was elected as a city councillor for the Montreal borough of Saint-Michel in late 2018, said he remembers being stopped by police who were unaware of his work for the city last year.

He said he doesn’t believe all police officers are racist, but he feels some of their ways must be changed in order for better relations to be had between Black people and police.

“It’s very frustrating to be stopped,” Corvil said.

Legault’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 30, 2020.

Julian McKenzie, The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia candidate’s withdrawal shrinks Green Party leadership field

Kyle Mack | posted Monday, Aug 31st, 2020

A supporter holds a sign for the Green Party of Canada as a group of candidates and supporters marched towards a discussion on climate with Green Party leader Elizabeth May in Toronto, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. The field of contenders vying to become leader of the federal Green Party just got a little smaller. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

OTTAWA — The field of contenders vying to become leader of the federal Green Party just got a little smaller.

Nova Scotia computer scientist and veteran Judy Green is withdrawing from the race and throwing her support behind fellow candidate David Merner of British Columbia.

Green’s withdrawal follows a battle just to get on the ballot after the party’s vetting committee rejected her candidacy in early June, before she successfully appealed the decision.

Green did not say in her Facebook post announcing her withdrawal on Sunday why she was stepping down from the race, which will see a new leader elected to replace Elizabeth May in October.

But party records released earlier this month showed that she was outside the top five in terms of fundraising among the party’s nine leadership hopefuls.

The records showed Toronto lawyer Annamie Paul was far and away the fundraising leader, as she had pulled in about one-third of all the money donated during the leadership race.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 30, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Trump accepts Republican party nomination in front of packed, largely maskless crowd

THE ASSOCIATE PRESS | posted Friday, Aug 28th, 2020

Facing a national moment fraught with racial turmoil and a deadly pandemic, President Donald Trump accepted his party’s renomination on a massive White House South Lawn stage Thursday night, boasting of helping African Americans and defying his own administration’s pandemic guidelines to address a tightly packed, largely maskless crowd.

As troubles churned outside the gates, Trump painted an optimistic vision of America’s future, including an eventual triumph over the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 175,000 people, left millions unemployed and rewritten the rules of society. But that brighter horizon can only be secured, Trump asserted, if he defeats Democrat Joe Biden.

Trailing Biden in opinion polls, he blistered the former vice president’s record and even questioned his love of America.

“We have spent the last four years reversing the damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years,” Trump said.

Presenting himself as the last barrier protecting an American way of life under siege from radical forces, Trump declared that “Joe Biden and his party repeatedly assailed America as a land of racial, economic, and social injustice.”″

“So tonight, I ask you a very simple question: How can the Democrat Party ask to lead our country when it spends so much time tearing down our country?” Trump said. “In the left’s backward view, they do not see America as the most free, just, and exceptional nation on earth. Instead, they see a wicked nation that must be punished for its sins.”

As his speech brought the scaled-back Republican National Convention to a close, Trump’s incendiary rhetoric risked inflaming a divided nation reeling from a series of calamities, including the pandemic, a major hurricane that slammed into the Gulf Coast and nights of racial unrest and violence after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot by a white Wisconsin police officer.

He was introduced by his daughter Ivanka, an influential White House adviser, who portrayed the famously bombastic Trump as someone who shaken up Washington with little record for norms or niceties.

“Dad, people attack you for being unconventional, but I love you for being real. And I respect you for being effective,” she said.

The president spoke from a setting that was both familiar and controversial. Despite tradition and regulation to not use the White House for purely political events,a huge stage was set up outside the executive mansion, dwarfing the trappings for some of the most important moments of past presidencies. The speaker’s stand was flanked by dozens of American flags and two big video screens.

Trying to run as an insurgent as well as incumbent, Trump rarely includes calls for unity, even in a time of national uncertainty. He has repeatedly, if not always effectively, tried to portray Biden — who is considered a moderate Democrat — as a tool of the radical left, fringe forces he has claimed don’t love their country.

The Republicans claim that the violence that has erupted in Kenosha and some other American cities is to be blamed on Democratic governors and mayors. Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday said that Americans wouldn’t be safe in “Joe Biden’s America.”

That drew a stern rebuke from his predecessor in the post.

“The problem we have right now is that we are in Donald Trump’s America,” said Biden on MSNBC. “He views this as a political benefit to him, he is rooting for more violence not less. He is pouring gasoline on the fire.”

Both parties are watching with uncertainty the developments in Wisconsin and cities across the nation with Republicans leaning hard on support for law and order — with no words offered for Black victims of police violence — while falsely claiming that Biden has not condemned the lawlessness. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney and New York City’s former mayor, declared that Democrats’ “silence was so deafening that it reveals an acceptance of this violence because they will accept anything they hope will defeat President Donald Trump.”

Though some of the speakers, unlike on previous nights, offered notes of sympathy to the families of Black men killed by police, Giuliani also took aim at the Black Lives Matter movement, suggesting that it, along with ANTIFA, was part of the extremist voices pushing Biden to “execute their pro-criminal, anti-police policies” and had “hijacked the protests into vicious, brutal riots.”

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Aug. 28

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Aug 28th, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. EDT on Aug. 28, 2020:

There are 126,848 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 62,056 confirmed (including 5,750 deaths, 55,008 resolved)

_ Ontario: 41,813 confirmed (including 2,803 deaths, 37,940 resolved)

_ Alberta: 13,318 confirmed (including 237 deaths, 11,923 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 5,372 confirmed (including 204 deaths, 4,253 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 1,609 confirmed (including 24 deaths, 1,527 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,081 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,011 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 1,064 confirmed (including 14 deaths, 643 resolved)

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 268 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 265 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 190 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 181 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 44 confirmed (including 41 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

_ Total: 126,848 (0 presumptive, 126,848 confirmed including 9,102 deaths, 112,825 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 28, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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