It may still be summer, but Canadians should brace for a “cold and snowy” winter throughout most of the country if the latest prediction from the Farmers’ Almanac is to be believed.
The new edition of the 204-year-old publication reveals its forecast for the winter ahead in an outlook dubbed “the winter of the great divide” because of its call for varying conditions across the country.
The almanac’s long-range weather forecast is anticipating “cold and snowy conditions in the north, dry in the west, and everything crazy in between.”
“Based on our time-tested weather formula, the forecast for the upcoming winter looks a lot different from last year, quite divided with some very intense cold snaps and snowfall,” almanac editor Pete Geiger said in the extended forecast.
The almanac sees western Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and eastern British Columbia experiencing much colder than normal winter temperatures, while near-normal temperatures are forecast near the Pacific coast of B.C.
In contrast, average seasonal temperatures are expected across Quebec and central Ontario. Mixed intervals of unseasonably mild temperatures with periodic shots of bitter cold will average temperatures out in these regions to normal.
For Atlantic Canada, the almanac is predicting an “unseasonably mild winter” in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and New Brunswick for much of the season.
The almanac suggests there may also be “snow way out” for those who live in western Quebec and Ontario where snowier-than-normal conditions are forecast. Additionally, above-normal snow levels are expected over the interior of B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Due to incoming storms from the Pacific Ocean, an active storm will bring a heavier than normal rain to western B.C.
Farmers’ Almanac has red-flagged the second week of January over Ontario and Quebec for a possible heavy snowfall with a wintry mix for the Maritimes, and another for the second week of February with possible blizzard conditions in eastern Canada.
For much of the eastern half of the country, the final week of March looks stormy with a significant late-season snowfall blowing into Ontario and Quebec and then moving into the Maritimes. Near-normal winter precipitation will cover the rest of the country.
“Preparing people for the unexpected in more important than ever,” Geiger said in a press release. “Our job as editors of the Farmers’ Almanac is to pass down valuable tips and advice to help our readers thrive, no matter the obstacles, including the weather.”
The Farmers’ Almanac has been providing long-range weather predictions every year since 1818. Its forecasts are based on a mathematical and astronomical formula that is guided by the rules set forth by its founding editor David Young for accurately predicting the weather up to two years in advance.
The almanac is reminding viewers that its predictions are long-range and are meant to give Canadians a good idea of the weather that might come their way.
However, it cautions that Mother Nature “loves to throw us a curve ball or two” that may change its initial forecast.
Canada's top doctors reveal flip side to public praise: 'I've had death threats' – CTV News
The top health officials co-ordinating Canada’s COVID-19 response say the majority of public reaction to their work has been positive — but they’ve also received some abusive feedback that ranges from “well-thought-out insults” to “death threats.”
“I’ve got a lot of positive responses, but there are many people who don’t like what I do, or don’t like the way I say it or don’t like my shoes and feel quite able to send me nasty notes, to leave phone calls, to harass my office staff,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s top doctor, speaking Tuesday.
“I’ve had to have security in my house, I’ve had death threats,” she added.
Her comment made headlines after she revealed the death threats she’d been facing — and it prompted reporters to quiz other health officials about how they’ve been treated by the public.
While the other public health officers did not report death threats, they said they had been on the receiving end of some abuse.
Dr. Heather Morrison, who serves as the top doctor in P.E.I., said she’s received a small amount of feedback that’s been frightening.
“Overwhelmingly, it’s been so wonderful,” Morrison told CTV News in an interview.
However, she conceded that “there have been threats, at times.”
“It makes me concerned for my family, and my children, and my staff,” Morrison said.
While some doctors, such as Henry and Morrison, reported outright threats, others said that while they hadn’t faced any threats, there had been a heaping of criticism levelled towards them.
“Dr. Hinshaw has received a wide range of correspondence from Albertans,” said a spokesperson for Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
“While this includes strong personal and professional criticisms, she has not received death threats or hate mail to date.”
Newfoundland and Labrador’s top doctor, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, said in her Wednesday press conference that it’s “unfortunate” people feel public servants “deserve to be the target of such harassment.”
“In the Public Health Division we’ve had our share of emails that aren’t necessarily in agreement with some of the things that we have done, but you know, we have to accept that as part of the job I guess,” she added.
Toronto’s medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, said in her own Wednesday press conference that she has also been on the receiving end of insults — but no threats.
“I haven’t had any threats. I’ve had some very-well-thought-out insults sent my way, but for the most part, no, no threats,” she said.
RESEARCH POINTS TO WOMEN FACING MORE CRITICISM ONLINE
At least one study indicates that the numbers reflect what these doctors are describing — and may point to a gender divide in the negative feedback they face.
Erin Kelly is the CEO of Advanced Symbolics Inc., which uses Artificial Intelligence for human behaviour research. She studied the feedback these public health officer face using a randomized, controlled sample of 270,000 Canadians taken from Twitter.
Kelly said the randomized, controlled sample she studied was taken from Twitter between October 1, 2019 to September 22, 2020. She said her results had a margin of error of +/- 1 per cent, with a 95-per-cent confidence interval 19 times out of 20.
She said they found, overall, discussion about Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam and Bonnie Henry was “well in excess of 80 per cent positive, so overall Canadians feel they’re doing a good job.”
“However, we have seen for some of them like Bonnie Henry, feelings about her have been on the decline since about April, and especially since July, that contestations questioning her competence have been increasing,” Kelly said.
She added that roughly a quarter of the discussions about Tam were what she would “classify as racist.”
“But the bigger picture that we see is a gender bias in how public health officials are being perceived,” Kelley said.
She explained that where there are negative comments directed at public health officials, “it comes overwhelmingly from men.”
She said that when this was compared to the comments Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams faces, “the comments from men were overwhelmingly positive.”
“So it’s not as though they’re always negative about public health officials generally, it seems to be splitting along gender lines,” Kelly said.
When asked about this gender difference, Alberta’s top doctor said it would be “difficult” to compare what she’s experienced with the feelings among her colleagues.
“It’s not something I’ve discussed with my male colleagues across the country so that might be something of interest to find out if they’re experiencing some similar frustrations,” Hinshaw said.
“I think it is quite understandable that people do feel angry, it’s just really important that, if people are feeling angry, that they frame their concerns in a respectful way…whether people in leadership are women or men.”
Coronavirus: Canada adds 1,329 cases, 5 deaths Thursday – Global News
Canada added 1,329 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday and five deaths.
That brings the national total to 148,941 cases and 9,249 deaths, with two deaths added from earlier in the week.
Ontario reported 409 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing its case total to 48,496 and count back into the 400s after 335 cases were reported Wednesday.
Currently there are 88 people in hospital with the virus in the province, with 27 of them in intensive care and 11 on a ventilator.
Quebec, meanwhile, reported 582 new cases on Thursday, bringing the province’s total to 69,670. Hospitalizations increased by six to 184, with 31 in intensive care.
Coronavirus: Quebec health minister asks Quebecers to limit social interactions
One additional death was announced that occurred between Sept. 17 and 22. The province has the most deaths in the country at 5,810.
Out west, British Columbia reported 148 new cases on Thursday, with 61 currently in hospital, 20 of them in intensive care. The province has seen 8,543 cases total.
Two new deaths were reported as well.
Alberta announced 158 new cases, with 58 people currently in hospital, 14 in intensive care. There are 1,462 active cases total.
The province also announced one new death — a man in his 80s from Calgary.
Manitoba reported 37 new cases of COVID-19. The province currently has 449 active cases, with 11 in hospital and six in intensive care.
The province also confirmed the death of a woman in her 90s in a long-term care home in Winnipeg, which was first reported on Tuesday.
Saskatchewan added five new cases to its tally of 1,835 total cases on Thursday, and currently has 130 active cases with eight people hospitalized. No new deaths were reported.
Coronavirus: Trudeau says Canada can ‘bend the curve’ together again
In the Maritimes, New Brunswick reported one new case of an individual from Fredericton but who is currently in Ontario.
Nova Scotia added no new cases to its sole active case. The province currently has one person in ICU and has had 1,087 cases total.
No cases were reported in Newfoundland and Labrador, PEI or any of the territories.
There have been 32,091,257 cases reported worldwide and 980,299 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
CP Holiday Train won't roll across Canada this year due to pandemic – CBC.ca
Since 1999, the annual Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train has pulled into communities across Canada and the United States to raise money for local food banks.
But like so many events deemed unworkable amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the festive train won’t be leaving its station this holiday season.
Keith Creel, the railway’s president and CEO, said CP will instead donate to food banks across the railway network this year and host virtual concerts in lieu of the annual event.
“COVID-19 has created many challenges for communities across our network and has only increased the need at local food banks and food shelves,” he said in a release.
“It is our honour to continue to donate to communities across our network this year, even if the train itself will not run.”
Over its 21 years of operation, the holiday train has raised $17.8 million while collecting 4.8 million pounds of food for local food banks.
Calgary Food Bank president and CEO James McAra said that support would be especially needed amidst rising demand during the pandemic.
“The need for food bank services has risen substantially over the course of this year and heading into the high-demand winter months. We hope CP’s concert will prompt the train’s supporters to give as generously as they’re able,” McAra said in a release.
Details about the virtual concerts will be released at a later date. CP said it plans to resume the holiday train in 2021.
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