Connect with us

News

Albertans overseas race to find ways back to Canada as travel restrictions grow more stringent over the coronavirus – Global News

Published

on


Albertans who are abroad are scrambling to figure out plans to come back to Canada as countries around the world begin to impose stricter travel restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

This comes after the foreign affairs minister urged Canadians who are out of the country to return home while commercial means are still available.

Sheila Ethier of St. Albert is in Bucerias, Mexico with her significant other and friends. The group arrived at the end of January and are currently scheduled to come home April 7.

However, the group has been watching the developments around the coronavirus and is looking to come back to Alberta sooner rather than later. Ethier is a nurse.

“I felt I needed to be back at work and also, just because I’m in a foreign country and the fear that the way things were happening so fast, that the airlines wouldn’t be able to fly anymore or they would cancel flights,” she said.

Story continues below advertisement

Ethier has been trying to re-book her flight and is concerned that she will be left stranded in Mexico.

“I’m loving my vacation here. It’s wonderful. But given the uncertainty with the markets and the way things are rapidly changing, watching what may or may not happen to airlines across the world…it makes you more concerned about getting home,” she said.

Ethier said she is currently waiting for a call back from her airline to change her flight.

“I’m actually not afraid of the virus as much as I am not being able to get back home,” she said.

Tweet This

“I think the last three days, you wake up in the morning and there’s a feeling of, ‘Is this real?’ You don’t look at it in terms of relaxing on the beach. It’s more of a panic to get home because you’re not sure of the future.”






2:40
Canadians told to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada


Canadians told to avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada


READ MORE:
Coronavirus: Could Canada impose strict travel bans? Experts say yes

Meanwhile, Darian Crowshaw of Edmonton is still trying to figure out his next steps.

The art student has been studying at the Florence Academy of Art for the last 1.5 years. There has been a travel lockdown on Italy, which is the epicentre of coronavirus cases in Europe.

Story continues below advertisement

Crowshaw is on the fence of what to do after hearing the announcement from the foreign affairs minister.

“[The announcement] was like kicking a fire under my butt and saying, ‘Oh no, maybe if I don’t come home right away, I’ll just be stuck here for longer with nothing to do,’” he said.

Crowshaw has been looking at flights back to Canada but is also waiting to see whether the Italian government plans to lift or extend the travel lockdown.

“If they’re going to open the schools back up here by April 3, which is their plan, it would be okay for me to stay here. But if they keep the schools closed and it interrupts our trimester then I’m probably going to have to go home,” he said.

Crowshaw said he is not one to make hasty decisions.

“I don’t want to go home and have school start and then be back in Edmonton and be in lockdown again,” he said.

Tweet This


READ MORE:
Coronavirus: Trudeau announces economic aid package to help Canadians amid outbreak

Most people diagnosed with COVID-19 experience mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, and the vast majority of those who contract the virus recover. The Public Health Agency of Canada says the risk to the general population is low.

However, for some, including Canadians aged 65 and over, those with compromised immune systems and those with pre-existing conditions, the illness can be much more severe. Among the Canadians diagnosed with the illness so far, fewer than 15 per cent have required hospitalization.

Story continues below advertisement

Public health officials are urging Canadians to practice frequent hand washing and social distancing.

-with files from the Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

News

B.C. to require people returning to Canada to have self-isolation plan – Global News

Published

on


The B.C. government now legally requires all travellers entering B.C. from outside Canada to submit a 14-day self-isolation plan, as part of federal laws to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“As we welcome British Columbians back home, we must stay vigilant and do everything we can,” Premier John Horgan told a news conference on Wednesday.

“As we follow the advice and guidance of our provincial health officer, it’s also important to take care of one another. By supporting people through a self-isolation plan after international travel, we will keep people safe and help flatten the curve.”






6:22
B.C. Premier John Horgan addresses province in televised speech


B.C. Premier John Horgan addresses province in televised speech

The measure is in place effective immediately. You can view the form to submit your plan here.

The plan, which can be submitted online or completed in person on arrival to B.C., must show that returning travellers have supports in place to safely self-isolate for two weeks, such as ordering groceries to be delivered instead of going to buy them at a store.

Story continues below advertisement

Starting Friday, provincial officials will be on hand at Vancouver International Airport and major land border crossings to make sure the plans are complete and assist anyone who needs it.

If an airline traveller arrives at YVR and an adequate self-isolation plan is proposed but needs additional support, the person may be taken or directed to an accommodation site to begin quarantine until any outstanding details of their plan are included.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

Horgan did not have any details on the location of the quarantine areas, and said he’s working with the federal government to coordinate.

If a traveller arrives at a major land border crossing and needs help to create a plan, they will be sent directly home to start self-isolating, with a check-in from officials to follow.


READ MORE:
B.C. premier extends state of emergency, asks people to ‘re-commit’ to COVID-19 fight

The province has repeatedly raised concerns about having enough resources to communicate and enforce public-health orders to those arriving in B.C.

A couple in B.C.’s Cowichan Valley refused to self-isolate since recently returning from international travel. The mayor of District of North Cowichan said the municipality does not have the power to enforce the federal Quarantine Act — that’s up to the RCMP.






2:04
Federal government imposes mandatory quarantine for returning travelers


Federal government imposes mandatory quarantine for returning travelers

The act, which went into effect March 25, states that anyone returning to Canada from another country must immediately self-isolate for 14 days, with penalties of fines or jail time.

Story continues below advertisement

Staff with the Canada Border Services Agency were to inform all returning Canadians and permanent residents of the new orders and forbid them from making any stops on their way home.

On Wednesday, Global News has learned there are currently no public health officials stationed at Canada-U.S. land border crossings to assist in screening for COVID-19.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

Coronavirus: Canadian-born Second World War Dam Buster dies from COVID-19 – Global News

Published

on


Ken Sumner, Canadian-born veteran of the legendary Dam Busters squadron, who spent almost 200 hours in aircraft fighting Nazi Germany and who was decorated for his devotion to duty, died from the novel coronavirus on April 2.

He was 96 years old.

“He never said much. He was a quiet guy, but when he spoke every single person listened,” said Warwick Shepherd, Sumner’s grandson.

“He was immensely proud and a dogged fighter.”


READ MORE:
How many Canadians have the new coronavirus? Total number of confirmed cases by region

Sumner died in hospital in the U.K. last week, shortly after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Shepherd remembers his granddad’s love for his kids or grandkids and his fierce determination.

Shepherd, speaking via Skype from Chester, U.K., told Global News Sumner ran five marathons when he was in his 70s and toured the Great Wall of China in his 80s.

Story continues below advertisement

“He didn’t realize it wasn’t a race every day, so he would set off and run ahead of everyone, not thinking it was actually a sightseeing tour.”

Shepherd said Sumner rarely spoke about his war service.

“Like most veterans, he was very humble and very quiet about it.”

Shepherd does know that his granddad was once part of the most celebrated bombing squadron in the Second World War.


READ MORE:
Call-in counselling offered free in Saskatchewan during COVID-19 pandemic

Ken Sumner was born in Prairie River, Saskatchewan on May 5, 1923. His own father emigrated to Canada to start a farm after fighting in the first World War, but had to return to England during the Great Depression.

Sumner had originally planned to be a doctor, but he left school when the war began. He enlisted, age 18, in the RAF.

He became a bomb aimer on the famed Avro Lancaster aircraft. It was the aimer’s role to tell the pilot the heading when on a bombing run and when to release the payload.

The aimer also took the ‘bomb photograph,’ which served as proof of the plane’s success.

He joined the No. 44 Rhodesia Squadron, which was named in honour of that British colony’s contribution to the Allied war effort.

Story continues below advertisement

An Avro Lancaster bomber practicing for the Dam Buster raid.

An Avro Lancaster bomber practicing for the Dam Buster raid.


Supplied / Ted Barris

The determination, which is grandson recognized even late into Sumner’s life, was on full display during his time in a Lancaster.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

According to a copy of the London Gazette from 1944, Sumner was hit by shrapnel in the hand and arm while en route to a target. He hid the extent of the injury from the pilot because he was afraid the pilot would return to the U.K.

Sumner completed the mission and only told the crew how badly he was hurt when they were once again over British soil.

For his devotion to duty he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal.

“The distinguished flying medal, or DFM, was very significant,” Ted Barris, author of ‘Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid against Nazi Germany, said.

Story continues below advertisement

“If you were a sergeant pilot or a gunner and not as involved in the strategic and tactical aspects of the attack, you might be overlooked,” he explained.

“But to be noticed, to be recognized and to receive the DFM is very important.”

Shortly after the mission on which he was injured, he joined the legendary 617 Squadron, better known as the ‘Dam Busters.’


READ MORE:
Saskatchewan pilots hope to save history with Tiger Moth plane

The Dam Buster raid was a daring attack on the heart of Nazi Germany’s industrial heartland — a series of dams along the Ruhr River.

The plan, officially known as ‘Operation: Chastise,’ sent a squadron of Lancaster bombers — crewed by pilots from all over the Commonwealth — zooming at treetop level through a river valley at full speed so they could literally bounce a specially-designed bomb on the water over torpedo nets and into the dams.

Barris said there wasn’t another raid like it.

“For these crews to come down at 30 metres above the reservoir, and drop this bomb at 375 kilometres an hour, spinning 500 revolutions per minute backwards, with absolutely precise navigational piloting, wireless radio operating, was a miracle,” he said.

Barris noted that Lancasters were designed to bomb from 25- or 30,000 feet (about 7,600 to 9,100m).

Story continues below advertisement

“For them to fly 100 feet off the deck where the radar couldn’t see them, essentially — we talk about flying under the radar, this is where the term initiated.”

Two of the dams were destroyed and more were damaged. The loss of hydroelectric power and flooding of military facilities hindered the Nazi war machine.


READ MORE:
Canadian military on war footing in case of COVID-19 crisis call

Barris, speaking over Skype from Uxbridge, Ont., said the success of the raid came at a crucial time for the Allies.

“At that point in the war, at the end of 1942 and early ‘43, morale was at a very low ebb on the Commonwealth side,” he explained.

He pointed to the evacuation at Dunkirk, when the Nazis beat the Allied forces back to the North Channel and off of mainland Europe; the disastrous Dieppe raid, in which more than 900 Allied soldiers perished; and the Pearl Harbour attack as reasons why the prospects of defeating Adolf Hitler seemed so dim.

The Dam Buster raid, says Barris, was a needed victory, but while the attack was a success, he stressed, it wasn’t strategically or tactically critical.

“The dams raid was not a knockout punch —  it didn’t deliver the coup de grace to industry in Nazi production of war weaponry,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

“But at a crucial time in the war when there was nothing really to crow about in terms of Allied victories, it was an Allied victory.”


READ MORE:
British PM Boris Johnson in intensive care due to coronavirus symptoms

Sumner joined 617 Squadron after the legendary raid and after the Dam Busters nom du guerre was officially bestowed. That meant that any member of the squadron was a Dam Buster.

The 617 continued as a specialist precision bombing unit for the rest of the war and was sent on many more raids with unique bombs.

According to Sumner’s daughter, Lorelle Shepherd, he took part in many high-profile attacks with the Dam Busters, bombing Hamburg and Dresden and using other famous munitions like the ‘Tall Boy’ and ‘Grand Slam’ bombs.

“The Dam Busters, to their credit, not only took out the dams in ’43, but were involved in all the major operations in Bomber Command following that, right to the end of the war,” Barris said.

It was as a Dam Buster in 1944 when Sumner met Phyllis “Rennie” Reynolds, of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). They married less than two years later and later had three children.

Rennie passed away in 2015.

Ken Sumner and his wife Phyllis “Rennie” Reynolds in an undated photo.

Ken Sumner and his wife Phyllis “Rennie” Reynolds in an undated photo.


Supplied / Warwick Shepherd

Shepherd said his granddad was always very proud of his Canadian roots and told Global News that he wanted his connected to the country to be highlighted at his funeral.

Story continues below advertisement

“What we’re hoping to do at his funeral next week is drape not only the Union Jack flag over the coffin, which is afforded to veterans,” Shepherd said, “but also the Canadian flag as well, because that’s what he wanted.”

Sumner had wanted half of his ashes spread near Prairie River.

Shepherd said he looked up to his granddad and that his dedication to public service is needed now during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think we can look to that generation,” he said, [showing us] a way that we can really work together and get through this.”

Shepherd said a small service will take place next week in order to and a larger one, with all of the military honours due his father, will happen next year after the pandemic ends.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

B.C. federal prison has highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada – Global News

Published

on



A federal prison in the Fraser Valley has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada, according to government statistics.

Correctional Service of Canada numbers show the Mission Institution, a medium-security prison, has 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19. One test came back negative and results from 17 tests are pending.


READ MORE:
Coronavirus: 2 inmates at Mission Institution test positive for COVID-19

There are no other positive cases in federal institutions in B.C.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

The Joliette Institution in Quebec has 10 cases and Ontario’s Grand Valley Institution has seven.

In all, 35 inmates at facilities across Canada have tested positive for the respiratory virus.

What has caused 11 cases at Mission Institution? It’s unclear because prison visits have been suspended along with work releases and group education programs.

Story continues below advertisement

The union representing prison staff says 49 correctional officers across Canada have tested positive for COVID-19. All but one of the cases are in Quebec.

The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers has been asking for a different set of criteria for the testing of correctional officers, saying there may be a requirement to test employees who do not have symptoms but may have had contact with someone with COVID-19.

— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending