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Canada's PPE supply and officer learns fate; In The News for June 26 – EverythingGP

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The visit to Big Rig Brewery, which has used the federal wage subsidy to rehire workers, is also intended to emphasize Trudeau’s repeated plea to businesses to take advantage of the program to get back on their feet. It’s his third visit in as many weeks to a company that’s used the subsidy to hire back laid off employees.

Today’s visit underlines comments Trudeau made during a pre-taped interview that aired Thursday evening at the online Collision tech conference.

He touted the various federal financial support programs aimed at helping businesses survive the pandemic-induced economic shutdown and to promote innovation to help fight the disease.

And he said many Canadian companies have taken advantage of those programs to retool and start producing masks, gowns, ventilators, sanitizer and other personal protective equipment.

Also this …

A Toronto police officer and his brother who are accused of brutally beating a young Black man more than three years ago are expected to learn their fate today.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Joseph Di Luca is set to deliver his ruling in the case of Const. Michael Theriault and his brother Christian by videoconference this morning.

The Theriaults have pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault and obstruction of justice in relation to the Dec. 28, 2016, incident and its aftermath.

The judge-alone trial has heard Michael Theriault was off duty at the time.

Prosecutors allege the brothers chased Miller in the early hours of the morning, cornering the then-19-year-old between two homes in Whitby, Ont. and beating him so badly with a pipe that his left eye burst.

Defence lawyers have argued the brothers caught Miller and his friends breaking into a vehicle and acted out of self-defence, alleging Miller was the one wielding a pipe.

ICYMI (In case you missed it) …

TORONTO — CBC News has taken disciplinary action against journalist Wendy Mesley in light of her admission that she used a racist slur on two separate occasions during editorial meetings in the past year.

Chuck Thompson, CBC’s head of public affairs, said an internal review confirmed Mesley “used offensive language” last fall and again recently, but a statement from Mesley has made it clear she used the N-word.

Thompson wouldn’t specify what disciplinary action is being taken against Mesley, who has been off the air for about three weeks during the review.

On her Twitter account Thursday, Mesley said she “used a word, and yes, it’s the word people think” during a call with colleagues while preparing for a segment of “The Weekly” about anti-racism earlier this month.

Mesley said she used it “not as a slur,” but while quoting a word that a journalist had been called — a journalist they were considering as a panellist on the show.

She said she thought by saying the full word, she “was somehow exposing the truth,” but now realizes her “abuse of the word was harmful” and she’s “deeply sorry and ashamed.”

What we are watching in the U.S. …

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The administration’s latest high court filing came the same day the government reported that close to half a million people who lost their health insurance amid the economic shutdown to slow the spread of COVID-19 have gotten coverage through HealthCare.gov.

The administration’s legal brief makes no mention of the virus.

Some 20 million Americans could lose their health coverage and protections for people with pre-existing health conditions also would be put at risk if the court agrees with the administration.

What we are watching elsewhere in the world …

PARIS — In France, a reckoning is beginning for 14,000 deaths among care home residents, a cataclysm that scythed through the generation that endured the Second World War.

Families whose elders died behind the closed doors of homes in lockdown are filing wrongful death lawsuits, triggering police investigations.

They are hiring lawyers and banding together to bust through walls of silence erected by homes that failed to keep families updated about COVID-19 deaths and infections.

One suit focuses on the death of a severely disabled 85-year-old in a Paris home managed by a charitable foundation headed by Eric de Rothschild, scion of Europe’s most famous banking dynasty.

Today in 1961 … 

The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto was opened by prime minister John Diefenbaker.

Sports news …

The Vancouver Canucks say the team is officially out of the running to act as a hub city as the NHL considers where to hold its playoffs.

Canucks Sports and Entertainment, the company that operates the hockey franchise, thanked British Columbia health officials for their support during the bid to host the NHL’s summer Stanley Cup tournament.

The team says it will now look forward to welcoming its players back for a training camp at Rogers Arena in the city.

“From the beginning our goal was to help the NHL get hockey back on the ice if we could,” said chief operating officer Trent Carroll in a statement. “Although Vancouver won’t be a hub city, we are still exited to see hockey start up again.”

The NHL is picking two cities for teams to resume hockey. The league announced earlier that Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas, Minneapolis, Chicago, Columbus and Pittsburgh were all in the running as hub cities.

In entertainment …

Actress Olivia Munn is set to share her social media platforms with British Columbia’s provincial health officer for a day to talk about COVID-19.

Dr. Bonnie Henry will be featured primarily on Munn’s Instagram account on Tuesday as part of the ONE World Campaign’s #PassTheMic initiative.

The campaign is from ONE, a global movement aimed at ending extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030.

The non-partisan ONE movement was co-founded by U2 lead vocalist Bono.

The ONE World Campaign is “demanding solidarity and collective action against COVID-19 from leaders across the planet.”

The #PassTheMic initiative has seen various celebrities hand their social media channels over to medical experts and frontline workers to explain how we can beat the pandemic.

Munn is known for roles on “The Newsroom” and “X-Men: Apocalypse.”

Other celebrity #PassTheMic participants include actors Julia Roberts, Danai Gurira, and Hugh Jackman.

Medical and policy experts who’ve signed on include top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Tsion Firew of Columbia University, and Nigeria’s former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Canada adds 288 new coronavirus cases as curve continues to flatten – Globalnews.ca

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Canada reported 288 more confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus Monday, maintaining a pattern of relatively low daily case counts that has now flattened since late June.

The number was nearly identical to the totals recorded for Saturday and Sunday. Many provinces waited until Monday to report those numbers, taking a weekend break from daily updates.

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

Nine more deaths were reported Monday as well, three of them in Quebec — marking the lowest death toll for the province since April 2. The remaining six were in British Columbia, representing a cumulative total since Friday. One of the deaths occurred in June, but has only now been attributed to COVID-19.

Ontario also reported no new deaths Monday for the first time since the end of March.

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Canada has now seen 105,915 lab-confirmed cases, along with 8,693 deaths. A total of 69,570 cases have since recovered.

Although it didn’t see any new deaths, Ontario still reported 154 new coronavirus cases Monday, and Quebec saw 74 more cases.

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

Nova Scotia reported one new case, the only Atlantic province to do so Monday.

Read more:
Scientists warn coronavirus could be airborne — What does this mean for Canadians?

Saskatchewan saw three more cases over the past 24 hours, while Manitoba stayed clear of new infections. Alberta added 49 new cases, and British Columbia reported seven.

While the Yukon and Northwest Territories haven’t reported any new cases for over two months now, Nunavut is awaiting confirmation of its first-ever presumptive case, which was reported Thursday.

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All provinces and territories are in the midst of slowly reopening their economies after weeks of shutdowns at the height of the pandemic, which federal modelling suggests remains on a downward trajectory.

Daily totals of new cases have been hovering around 300 for over a week, after spiking past 400 in late June.






0:53
We could see a rise in diseases like COVID-19 because of climate change


We could see a rise in diseases like COVID-19 because of climate change

Worldwide, the novel coronavirus pandemic has grown to over 11.5 million confirmed cases and has killed at least 536,000 people, according to public health data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

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In the United States, confirmed cases are closing in on three million as cases continue to surge in several states. The country has been reporting an average of 50,000 new cases daily since the end of June.

Researchers and public health officials around the world say the true number of infections is likely far higher due to limitations in testing.

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

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Clearview AI stops offering facial recognition software in Canada amid privacy probe – CBC.ca

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Clearview AI, the controversial U.S.-based technology firm, will no longer make its facial recognition software available in Canada. Federal and provincial privacy authorities made the announcement on Monday and then Clearview confirmed it to CBC News. 

A statement issued by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada said Clearview had advised officials of the decision in response to an ongoing investigation by the privacy authorities of Canada, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec.

In its announcement Monday, the federal privacy commissioner’s office said the joint investigation into Clearview would remain open and that “authorities still plan to issue findings in this matter given the importance of the issue for the privacy rights of Canadians.”

In a statement emailed to CBC News, Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That said, ”In response to [the Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s] request, Clearview AI has ceased its operations in Canada.”

“We are proud of our record in assisting Canadian law enforcement to solve some of the most heinous crimes, including crimes against children. We will continue to co-operate with [the Office of the Privacy Commissioner] on other related issues.”

Ann Cavoukian, a former Ontario privacy commissioner, called the announcement “great news.”

“This shows that we can indeed make a difference and stop privacy-invasive practices,” said Cavoukian, who now serves as executive director of the Global Privacy and Security by Design in Toronto.

The company first came under scrutiny earlier this year when it boasted about collecting billions of photos from the internet to feed its facial recognition app.

Clearview said the tool is meant to allow police to “identify perpetrators and victims of crimes,” but privacy advocates worried the technology could fall into the wrong hands or lead to a dystopian future in which anyone can be identified within seconds whether they consent to facial recognition or not.

Software used by police forces

Several law enforcement agencies, from the RCMP to Toronto and Calgary police, acknowledged their members had briefly used the software.

Monday’s statement by federal and provincial privacy authorities said the RCMP was “Clearview’s last remaining client in Canada” and that the contract would be suspended indefinitely. A separate investigation into the Mounties’ use of the software would also continue, the federal privacy watchdog said.

RCMP spokesperson Catherine Fortin confirmed the Mounties’ National Child Exploitation Crime Centre “no longer has a license with Clearview AI and has stopped using its software.” She did not indicate exactly when the force ended its use of the app.

WATCH | Canadians’ faces in Clearview AI database:

Facial recognition technology firm won’t allow Canadians to have their data removed 2:38

Another “ongoing issue under investigation by the authorities is the deletion of the personal information of Canadians that Clearview has already collected, as well as the cessation of Clearview’s collection of Canadians’ personal information,” the federal privacy watchdog’s statement said.

CBC News reported in June that while Clearview was offering residents of certain jurisdictions the opportunity to request their data be deleted from the firm’s database, it did not appear Canadians were eligible.

Ton-That told CBC News that Canadians will now “be able to opt out of Clearview’s search results” without specifying how people could do so.

On Monday afternoon, the company’s website still quoted an unnamed “detective constable in the sex crimes unit” of a Canadian law enforcement agency as saying, “Clearview AI is hands-down the best thing that has happened to victim identification in the last 10 years.”

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This couple can't be together in Canada because of COVID-19, so they're moving to Serbia – CTV News

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TORONTO —
She lives on an island where COVID-19 has never been detected. He lives on an island where every case has been resolved.

And because their countries’ border restrictions prevent either of them from travelling to the other’s home, they’re planning to meet up on another continent, in a nation where they don’t speak the language or have any ties and the novel coronavirus is a much more pressing concern.

“It seems crazy in my mind, for him to be leaving an island in the Caribbean … where there’s no COVID. I’m leaving our other island in Eastern Canada where there’s also no COVID, and here we go off, leaving our safe havens … and off we go to Europe for I don’t know how long,” Carly Fleet told CTVNews.ca vin a phone call on Monday from Grand Manan, N.B.

None of New Brunswick’s 165 COVID-19 cases have been traced to Grand Manan, an island in the Bay of Fundy. Grenada’s 23 patients have all recovered. But travel restrictions in both countries mean neither Fleet nor her common-law partner Sean Bodden can visit the other.

They were last together in late February, weeks before the pandemic disrupted global travel and Grenada shut its borders. Like many Caribbean nations, it delayed its reopening plans after Antigua and Barbuda announced dozens of cases within weeks of letting tourists back in. This means that Fleet, a Canadian citizen, cannot enter the country.

Less clear is what would happen if Bodden tried to get into Canada. Those looking to reunite with Canadian spouses or common-law partners have officially been allowed into the country for about a month, but many couples have reported difficulty getting the non-Canadian partner in, even when they have what they believe to be sufficient proof of their relationship.

The Canada Border Services Agency has said that there are no set criteria for a non-Canadian partner to make it across the border. Instead, individual border guards have the authority to decide who gets in “based on the information available to them at time of processing.”

While Bodden has a lease that shows he and Fleet have been together for longer than one year – meeting the government’s required length for a relationship to count as common-law – their situation is complicated by them having spent some time during that period apart, each in their own countries.

That has Fleet concerned that trying to get her partner into Canada is “like playing Russian roulette,” as she put it, because a border guard could decide they have not been together long enough to qualify.

“We’ve heard so many horror stories of married couples and all sorts of different situations where people have tried it. Some get through; some don’t,” Bodden told CTVNews.ca on Monday in a phone call from Grenada.

BORDER QUESTIONS

If Bodden is denied entry into Canada, it’s not at all clear where he could go next, as his citizenship is Trinidadian, not Grenadian – and neither country has reopened its borders.

“If I do get turned away at the border, I may not be able to get back into Grenada and I definitely will not get back into Trinidad,” he said.

Given the inability to travel between their two coronavirus-free communities, Fleet and Bodden have instead booked plane tickets to a distant land that is reporting hundreds of new COVID-19 cases a day.

On Friday, they will have their long-awaited reunion in Paris. They won’t be staying there, as Trinidad and Tobago is not one of the 14 countries whose citizens are allowed to enter the European Union bloc. Instead, they’ll fly on to Istanbul.

They’ve also booked tickets to take them from Turkey to Belgrade, Serbia, but a recent spike in COVID-19 cases there has led to some restrictions being reimposed. Fleet fears that the situation may worsen by the time her flight arrives.

“I don’t know, by the time Friday rolls around, if we’ll still be able to get into the country,” she said.

Bodden and Fleet are hardly the only half-Canadian couple separated by the border measures. Many of them are in touch with each other online, and Fleet says she’s aware of some in situations she considers worse than hers, including parents being separated from newborn children they have yet to meet and women going through high-risk pregnancies without their partners.

She says she initially understood why the rules were in place to protect public health and could live with that, but recent news that the government is guaranteeing access to professional baseball and hockey players has her wondering why that is doable for athletes but not for couples.

“I can’t stay in a country that’s going to give priority to sports over family,” she said.

“We’re certainly not advocating for open borders. We understand that the safety of Canadian citizens has to be first and foremost. We would just like some exemptions to be made for committed couples and families to be able to reunite.”

‘I’LL DO ANYTHING’

Whether they end up in Serbia, Turkey or Croatia – the very few countries that they say meet their criteria of currently accepting Canadians and Trinidadians, not requiring them to quarantine and being reachable from Paris – Fleet and Bodden will have no local ties, no understanding of the language, no accommodations booked and no idea of how long they’ll stay.

“We just thought ‘If we’re going to be together, we need to do something dramatic,’ so we started looking at countries that … let foreign nationals in,” Fleet said.

“We’ve just kind of resigned ourselves to the fact that we don’t know exactly where we’re headed.”

It isn’t their first choice. They say that since it became clear they wouldn’t be able to spend the summer together in New Brunswick, they’ve been making plan after plan after plan, only to readjust as the pandemic endures and travel restrictions are extended.

With new COVID-19 case rates again accelerating in the Balkans, they expect that Friday may not go exactly as they expect either – but they still expect to reunite in Paris, and will figure out the rest from there.

“We’ve made so many plans in the past and had doors shut in our face that we just keep on trying until we do succeed,” Bodden said.

“I’ll do anything to be with her. I don’t care where it is.”

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