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COVID-19 outbreaks in New Brunswick have some Nova Scotians changing plans



With COVID-19 cases surging in parts of New Brunswick, some people in Nova Scotia have been changing their Thanksgiving weekend plans, hoping to reduce their own risk of exposure to the virus and protect the relative safety of the Atlantic bubble.

Public health guidelines in Nova Scotia have not changed in response to the New Brunswick outbreaks, but Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang said Friday that he was monitoring the situation closely.

Kevin Wilson said he doesn’t want to wait to see if Strang’s advice will change.

Wilson, who lives in Halifax, travelled to Moncton on Friday before New Brunswick health officials asked non-essential visitors to stay away from that region.

Visit cut short

He had planned to stay until Wednesday, but said that as the scale of Moncton’s outbreak became more apparent, he decided to cut his family visit short.

As of Sunday afternoon, New Brunswick was reporting 71 active cases of the virus — the vast majority of those split between outbreaks in Moncton and Campbellton.

“I really do want to get back to Halifax before anything radical happens,” said Wilson. “Say … they start requiring isolation [for] travellers from New Brunswick.”

Nova Scotia’s government is the only one inside the Atlantic bubble that has not yet issued special guidelines for travellers from New Brunswick’s two viral hot zones.

Officials in New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Newfoundland & Labrador are all discouraging travel to and from Moncton and Campbellton.

If people were already in those areas before the advice went out, or have to make an essential visit, officials from those three provinces say travellers should avoid public spaces and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days upon their return.

The guidelines verge on the 14-day isolation requirement imposed on travellers entering the Atlantic bubble from other parts of Canada and internationally, but for all intents and purposes, the bubble remains intact.


A person in a protective suit and using a respirator leaves the Manoir Notre-Dame special care home in Moncton on Wednesday. The home has become a hot spot for the COVID-19 virus. (Shane Magee/CBC)


Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at Toronto General Hospital, said the New Brunswick outbreaks are “concerning.”

“But in the same breath, I still think that it’s incredible how successful the Atlantic bubble has been.”

“And because of the … vigilance and the care that those in the Atlantic bubble have taken, I’m pretty confident that they’ll get it under control quickly and that they’ll still be able to maintain this Atlantic bubble as a near COVID-free zone.”

Unfortunately for Wilson, that vigilance and care is making it difficult for him to get home. He took the bus from Halifax to Moncton, as he usually does, but he doesn’t want to take it back.

He said he’s trying to arrange for family to drive him part of the way to Truro and find another ride for the rest of the journey.

“To be honest, a lot of people in Halifax are pretty nervous about interacting with somebody who’s been in New Brunswick recently,” he said.

Amherst Mayor David Kogon said those nerves exist in his community, too. Amherst is less than 10 kilometres from the border with New Brunswick, and about 70 kilometres from Moncton.

“People have concerns because Moncton is so close and interactive with our community,” Kogon said Sunday.

“People shop in Moncton, and I’m hearing some people are saying, ‘Yeah, well I’m not going to be running to the Moncton area any time in the near future,’ because you don’t know just whether there’ll be any community spread or how it will go.”

He said that for some, that caution is beginning this Thanksgiving weekend.

“I know that people who are here and have family in Moncton, they’re saying, ‘You know what, we’re not going to get together.'”

Border checks still in place on N.S. side

Just last week, Kogon was celebrating the removal of checkpoints on the New Brunswick side of the interprovincial border. Since the Atlantic bubble opened in the summer, Kogon said long waits had become a major headache and business constraint for people in Amherst.

Nova Scotia did not remove its checkpoints along with its neighbour, and Kogon said he’s now glad of that.

“I think it would have been irresponsible to take them away, given what’s going on in Moncton. But I’m hoping that … once there’s satisfaction that everything’s settled down in Moncton that the Nova Scotia government will move toward getting rid of the checks.”


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Cadillac Fairview covertly collected images of millions of shoppers: Privacy commissioner – Calgary Herald



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Despite the violation of Canadian privacy law, Sharon Polsky said the country’s privacy legislation could not adequately ensure Cadillac Fairview would follow regulations in the future.

“The only thing the commissioner can do is ask nicely and make a recommendation, and if the company says, ‘Thank you for your recommendation, we’ll continue doing what we want anyhow,’ that’s all (the commissioner) can do, because the law is ineffective,” said Polsky, president of the Privacy and Access Council of Canada.

The five million images of shoppers collected were not faces, and the software was not capable of recognizing people, Cadillac Fairview said.

“These are sequences of numbers the software uses to anonymously categorize the age range and gender of shoppers in the camera’s view,” the company’s statement read.

According to the investigation, Cadillac Fairview asserted they had made shoppers aware of the use of facial recognition technology through decals placed at their entrances, but the privacy commissioners deemed those measures insufficient.

Polsky said she went to see the decals in August 2018, after the investigation commenced.

She said they did not mention the use of facial recognition software at the time, but were later changed to give more privacy information.

“This was not proper consent, and it’s unfortunate that the law allows companies in Canada to be cavalier,” Polsky said.

The privacy commissioners expressed concern Cadillac Fairview had refused to commit to obtaining express, meaningful consent from shoppers if it were to use the technology again in the future.

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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Shopify Drops Despite Crushing Revenue, Profit Estimates – Bloomberg



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  1. Shopify Drops Despite Crushing Revenue, Profit Estimates  Bloomberg
  2. Shopify earnings beat as more merchants use its platform for online reach  Yahoo Canada Finance
  3. Shopify Q3 revenue up 96 per cent from last year amid mass shift to e-commerce  CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News
  4. Shopify rallies after crushing revenue, profit estimates  BNN
  5. Shopify revenue beats estimates as online boom pulls in more merchants
  6. View Full coverage on Google News

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Bank of Canada Governor Says Digital Dollar Project Moving Past Trial Stage – CoinDesk



The chief of Canada’s central bank has said its national digital currency initiative is progressing past the experimental phase.

In an interview with Reuters published Thursday, Bank of Canada (BoC) Governor Tiff Macklem said his institution is working with G7 member states on its plans for a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The digital dollar project, he said, is now moving beyond the proof-of-concept stage and closer to being ready for launch. However, the governor deflated expectations, saying he thought there isn’t a need for one “right now.”

Even so, Macklem shared concerns about being outpaced by other countries, adding his institution wants to make sure it’s prepared for a CBDC launch if it chooses to head in that direction.

“If another country has [a CBDC] and we don’t, that could certainly create some problems,” Macklem said. “We certainly wouldn’t want to be surprised by some other country.”

G7 members should share information on their CBDC plans and timelines, he added.

The G7 includes some of the world’s largest developed nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K and the U.S. – as member states, which generally act in unison to address global economic issues.

Some nations outside the Group of Seven have already taken the lead when it comes to digitizing their fiat currencies.

China is already conducting public experiments with its digital yuan, signaling a launch may not be far off. The Bahamas became the first nation to take a CBDC into circulation this month, rolling out its “sand dollar” to increase financial access to underserved communities.

Macklem also said a “globally coordinated” strategy from the member states was required in order to keep digital currencies out of the hands of criminals.

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