“Non-Indigenous Canadians now want to know more about the ‘hidden’ history of this country and that can only be a good thing.”
The story broke last May when the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation in Kamloops said a section of land was searched at the former school with ground-penetrating radar and found what were believed to be the remains of up to 215 children. Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir said then that they had “a knowing” in their community that the missing children were undocumented deaths.
“Some were as young as three years old,” said Casimir in a statement. “We sought out a way to confirm that knowing out of deepest respect and love for those lost children and their families, understanding that Tk’emlups te Secwepemc is the final resting place of these children.”
The Kamloops Indian Residential School operated between 1890 and 1969, when the federal government took over its operations from the Catholic Church and ran it as a day school until it closed in 1978.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 4,000-page report detailed mistreatment at Canada’s residential schools, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse of children, and at least 4,100 deaths at the institutions. Canada had more than 130 residential schools, with the last one closing in 1996.
Even with that commission finding of thousands of deaths at the schools, many editors who participated in the survey said the discovery of the unmarked graves served as a chilling, consciousness-raising event about Indigenous struggles in Canada.
“The initial discovery of 215 unmarked graves at a former residential school in Kamloops seemed to shake the Canadianness out of Canada,” said Dawn Walton, managing editor at CTV Calgary.
“Despite all the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it was this revelation, and subsequent discoveries of other unmarked graves, that really made Canadians stop and recognize there is more yet to be done.”
The story made headlines around the world. Across the country, other First Nations began looking for lost children using the same technology.
Chief Cadmus Delorme of Saskatchewan’s Cowessess First Nation said ground-penetrating radar used near the Marieval Indian Residential School discovered 751 unmarked graves, of which 300 have now been identified.
Searches with ground-penetrating radar are also underway in Brantford, Ont., at the former Mohawk Institute Residential School, and in Williams Lake, B.C., at the former St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School.
Flags were lowered for months across Canada in memory of the lost children and the residential school survivors.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced harsh criticism for travelling to Tofino, B.C., for a family vacation on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in September despite receiving an invitation from Casimir to visit the former Kamloops residential school site.
Trudeau then visited in October, where he apologized, saying his vacation decision was a mistake he regretted.
Casimir described the reaction of Canadians to the discovery of unmarked graves as one of immense importance to the school survivors who feel the darkness of their past can no longer be hidden or denied.
“It has been fully overwhelming,” said the chief last June in a field near the residential school. “That said, on behalf of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc, I want to express my deepest gratitude for the outpouring of support.”
Garry Gottfriedson, a former Kamloops residential school student, said the discovery of the unmarked graves is bringing to the surface long-buried truths about the treatment of Indigenous Peoples that Canadians now want to explore.
“That shows the spirit of true Canadians that they really want to learn,” said Gottfriedson, whose poems, songs and books explore Indigenous identity. “They really don’t want to hide anything anymore.”
Canada’s editors described the discovery of the unmarked graves as a moment of change in the country, much bigger than just a news story.
“The children who didn’t return home forced Canada to face its history,” said Sara Hyde, executive producer at CKNW Vancouver.
“It has not only changed the way we think about our history, but it is changing how we think about our reality and will shape political decisions going forward.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2021.
Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
Hundreds of thousands of Canadians are travelling abroad despite Omicron – CBC News
Despite growing concerns across the globe last fall over the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, Sandy Long and her husband departed on Nov. 28 for a 10-day vacation in Mexico.
Long said they felt comfortable travelling, because they planned to take strict safety precautions. Plus, the couple hadn’t gone abroad for two years due to the pandemic and were yearning to get away.
“Life is short,” said Long, 58, of Richmond, B.C. “We needed to feel some warmth [and] we really missed Mexico.”
It appears many Canadians have a similar attitude toward travel these days despite Omicron’s fast and furious spread, which prompted Canada to repost its advisory against non-essential international travel last month.
Statistics Canada tallied 742,417 Canadian air-passenger arrivals returning home from abroad in December.
When adjusted to account for recent changes in tracking air travel, that total is almost six times the number of arrivals for the same month in 2020, and more than half the total for pre-pandemic December 2019.
The increase in international travel is likely to continue: there were 216,752 Canadian air-passenger arrivals to Canada during the week of Jan. 3 to Jan. 9, according to the latest data posted by the Canada Border Services Agency.
Travel agency owner Lesley Keyter said that, since October, the number of clients booking trips has jumped by between 30 and 40 per cent compared to the same time last year.
She said popular destinations for her clients, most of whom are aged 50 or older, include Europe, Mexico and Costa Rica. When Omicron cases started to surge in December, Keyter said some clients cancelled their trip, but most kept their travel plans.
“People are saying, “Listen, we only have a limited time on this planet.… We’ve put off travel for two years now, I don’t want to put it off anymore,” said Keyter, owner of The Travel Lady Agency in Calgary.
She said travellers also feel confident with the added protection of their COVID-19 vaccine and booster shot. Because Omicron is so transmissible and more able to evade vaccines, even vaccinated people may get infected, however, they’re less likely to wind up in the hospital.
Risk of testing positive abroad
But even if infected travellers only experience mild symptoms, they’ll still face hurdles returning home.
To enter Canada, air passengers must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure. If a traveller tests positive, they must wait at least 11 days before boarding a flight home.
Brennan Watson, 26, of Milverton, Ont., tested positive on Dec. 28 while travelling in Ireland.
He was set to fly home the following day, but instead had to find a place to self-isolate in Belfast. Due to Canada’s rules at the time — which have now changed — Watson had to wait 15 days before he could fly home.
“It was very stressful in the beginning,” he said. “It was a bit of a panic just to think that I’m stuck here.”
Brennan said the delay cost him: he missed 11 days of work as an electrician and spent $2,000 in added expenses, including another plane ticket home.
“There’s nothing you can really do about it,” he said. “It’s just something I didn’t even think would happen.”
WATCH | Canada once again advises against travel abroad:
Travel insurance broker Martin Firestone said travellers can avoid such unexpected costs by purchasing trip-interruption insurance. He said most of his clients now opt for the coverage that will reimburse travellers for some or all of their costs if they test positive and must extend their trip.
“Trip interruption — which used to be a very rarely [purchased product] — is now being added to all the emergency medical plans, because clients worry terribly about testing positive,” said Firestone with Travel Secure.
“That’s the new world we live in right now with the pandemic.”
Another hurdle travellers may face is unexpected flight cancellations.
This month, Air Canada Vacations announced it will suspend some flights to sun destinations between Jan. 24 and April 30. After cutting 15 per cent of its January flights, WestJet announced on Tuesday it will cancel 20 per cent of its February flights.
Long said she and her husband enjoyed their trip to Mexico so much, they had planned to return again in the upcoming weeks. However, the couple recently nixed their plans due to concerns over flight cancellations.
“It’s the uncertainty right now,” said Long. “I don’t want to get down there and then be stranded.”
However, she’s still optimistic about a trip the couple has booked in May to Spain.
Despite testing positive while travelling, Brennan hopes to return to Ireland this summer — even if the pandemic hasn’t waned by then.
“I spent a year and a half of my life not seeing family, not seeing friends,” he said. “I’m not going to stop living my life.”
Immigration: Canada border tragedy a sign of what's ahead – CTV News
PEMBINA, N.D. —
The discovery of four people who perished in the cold trying to cross the Canada-U.S. border could put a new twist on the immigration debate in the United States.
The group, which included an infant and a teen, were found Wednesday near Emerson, Man., just metres from the Canadian side.
U.S. officials allege they were part of a larger group of Indian migrants trying to cross into the U.S. from Canada.
Border expert Kathryn Bryk Friedman, a University at Buffalo law professor, calls it a troubling sign that the country’s immigration challenges are getting worse.
Friedman says the discovery is likely a “warning shot” that more people are willing to put their lives on the line to enter the U.S., even on foot in the dead of winter.
Florida resident Steve Shand is to appear in court Monday in Minneapolis to face human smuggling charges.
“I do think it’s a warning shot,” said Friedman, who remarked about the enduring appeal life in the U.S. seems to hold for people all around the world.
Indeed, the crush of South American migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border has become a defining characteristic of American politics in recent years, most notably during the tenure of former president Donald Trump.
Nor is Canada a stranger to the problem: thousands of asylum seekers crossed the border in Quebec each year while Trump was in office, though the numbers have dropped precipitously since then.
But an organized effort to sneak groups of people into the U.S. from Canada is a new one on Friedman.
“It just demonstrates the allure still — maybe the enduring allure — of trying to get to the United States. It’s really kind of fascinating,” she said.
But a single incident isn’t likely to prompt either country to seriously rethink the way they manage and defend their shared frontier, she added.
“This sounds terrible, but I think it’s going to take more than four people dying at the border to really galvanize action on the part of Canada and the United States.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2022.
Omicron's potential peak has experts cautiously optimistic – CTV News
Canada’s top doctor has said the latest wave of COVID-19 driven by the Omicron variant may have reached its peak.
But while the modelling appears encouraging, experts say the news should be interpreted with cautious optimism.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Theresa Tam told reporters on Friday that there are “early indications that infections may have peaked at the national level” based on daily case counts, test positivity, the reproduction number and wastewater data.
“I hope we’re at or nearing the peak, but the problem that I have is where we’ve got some uncertainty in the counting now since we don’t do as much PCR testing as we once did,” Dr. Ronald St. John, former director-general of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, told CTV News Channel on Saturday.
Due to the shortages in PCR testing capacity, many people who develop COVID-19, particularly if they’re not in a high-risk group and have mild or no symptoms, have been unable to get PCR tests.
“We can’t count people who are asymptomatic, so we have to look at other datasets (like) wastewater concentration, things like that, to try to get an understanding of where we are.” St. John said.
Dr. Jason Kindrachuk, an infectious disease expert at the University of Manitoba, says the news shows “some optimism that things will slowly get back to normal, what they were like prior to Omicron.”
However, Tam said that hospitalizations and ICU admissions are still climbing across Canada and health systems remain under “intense strain.” Kindrachuk says it’s unclear how quickly we might start seeing hospitalizations and ICU admissions start to decrease.
“I think we’ve learned over and over again from the pandemic is that you know, cases rise and then hospitalizations lag behind … and that trend also stays in place when cases start to recede,” he told CTVNews.ca over the phone on Saturday.
“You may be able to slow down that hospitalization rate over time, but you are still going to have pressure on a health-care system that that has been pushed to its limits.”
Dr. Christine Palmay, a Toronto-based family physician, says the hospitalization and ICU data also leave out a lot of patients dealing with debilitating symptoms. She and her colleagues have seen numerous patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are struggling with the virus at home.
“They’re not captured by ICU stats. They’re not necessarily accessing ER, but they’re not functioning,” she said.
PROVINCES BEGIN EASING RESTRICTIONS
Several provinces have also reported that Omicron may be peaking or close to peaking. In Ontario, Health Minister Christine Elliott said cases are expected to peak this month, followed by a peak in hospitalizations and ICU admissions. Quebec also reported that hospitalizations declined for the third straight day on Saturday.
Wastewater data in B.C. and Alberta have also shown signs that the virus may have peaked. However, health officials in Manitoba and Saskatchewan say it’s too early to tell.
When COVID-19 cases began to reach unprecedented highs throughout Canada last month, provinces and territories imposed numerous health measures affecting restaurants, movie theatres, gyms, in-person schooling and more. Now, some provincial and territorial governments have plans to life some of these restrictions.
Kindrachuk says these restrictions, on top of the rollout of booster shots, appear to have helped plateau cases. However, as these restrictions start to ease, he notes that cases have the potential to rise again.
“When you start to remove those safety breaks, you have the potential that things could start to build back in the opposite direction. So, we have to do it very methodically and certainly with a lot of oversight,” he said.
St. John says he’s also worried about health measures being lifted too quickly.
“We have to wait and stick to our public health measures as long as possible until we can be absolutely sure that we’re coming out of the woods, and I’m not sure that we are yet,” he said.
49ers stun Packers with second-half comeback, advance to NFC Championship – Sportsnet.ca
Edmonton Oilers stop bleeding with monster comeback victory against Calgary Flames – Edmonton Sun
Shapovalov beats Zverev in straight sets, advances to Australian Open quarterfinals – TSN
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Health12 hours ago
Nova Scotia reports 11 people in ICU Saturday, total of 287 people in hospital with COVID-19 – CTV News Atlantic
Sports19 hours ago
Olympics-Ice hockey rivals take different approaches to same COVID opponent
Business20 hours ago
Bitcoin value tumbles almost 50 per cent since record November – CTV News
Sports15 hours ago
LeBron James revisits Miami as Lakers take on Heat
Sports19 hours ago
Soccer-Rashford last-gasp winner sees Man United leapfrog West Ham into fourth
Tech18 hours ago
Let's all chill for a moment about Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard – MobileSyrup
Politics12 hours ago
‘OPB Politics Now:’ The problem with Interstate 5 – OPB News
Economy22 hours ago
China’s Birth Rate Not A Problem For Economy–Now – Forbes