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Masks mandatory on TransLink trains, buses, SeaBus Monday – News 1130

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VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — TransLink is hopeful Metro Vancouver commuters will cooperate with the mandatory mask policy when it comes into effect Monday.

Through the weekend, workers installed thousands of decals and signs throughout the system, a move that’s in line with their initial approach to prioritize education over enforcement.

Spokesperson Ben Murphy says other  cities — like Toronto — have seen 95 per cent compliance with mandatory masking without any “active enforcement.”

“We would hope to see similar types of take up here, but we’ll have to wait and see,” he says.

“We’ve already seen anecdotally that more people are wearing masks on transit, so we are encouraged to see that it appears at least more people are getting the message.”

Transit police have the authority to enforce the policy but for the first few weeks, riders will be reminded rather than reprimanded.

“We’ll have to closely monitor over the next couple of weeks to see what the take-up rates are, of course we do have the option of enforcement via transit police but I think people will do the right thing,” Murphy says.

He’s optimistic that masks and face coverings will quickly become normalized as “part of transit culture.”

“If we can get a large amount of people, most people, the vast majority of people on transit wearing face coverings or masks it makes it a safer experience for everyone, and that’s the key point of this policy.”

Children under five; people with underlying medical conditions or who are otherwise unable to wear a mask; and workers separated from the public by barriers are exempt from the requirement to wear a face covering.

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The union representing transit drivers has been clear that their members are not willing to enforce this policy. 

“Our concerns have never changed, which is that the drivers should be focused on driving the bus and enforcement — if there is any enforcement — be left to the appropriate authorities,” says Gavin McGarrigle, western regional director of Unifor.

“We’ve been assured that the drivers are not going to be responsible for enforcing the policy, and we’re working with the company to talk about things like extra security, police presence, things like that — if they do go down that road of enforcement.”

McGarrigle says members are supportive of any policy that is meant to increase safety on transit, so long as their safety isn’t compromised.

“In terms of drivers directly confronting customers, we don’t expect to see that in fact we’re strongly encouraging drivers not to do that,” he says.

“There have been, long before the pandemic, assaults on drivers and we don’t want to see that.”

With files from Lasia Kretzel

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5 things to know on CTVNews.ca for Friday, September 18, 2020: CRA cyberattacks, second shutdown, children's health – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Canada has surpassed 140,000 total cases of COVID-19, with 9,200 associated deaths. Here’s what else you need to know to start your day.

1. CRA cyberattacks: In a major update on a series of credential-stuffing attacks on government websites including the Canada Revenue Agency, the country’s top information officer now says that “suspicious activities” have been found on 48,500 CRA user accounts. 

2. Second shutdown: As COVID-19 cases begin to rise again, Canadian politicians and health officials are warning that parts of the country may soon enter a second shutdown. But experts say it won’t look like Canada’s first go-round back in March. 

3. Children’s health: Parents and children’s health advocates worry that the thousands of delayed or cancelled pediatric procedures due to COVID-19 will have a permanent impact on Canadian children. 

4. New COVID-19 test: B.C.’s top health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Thursday researchers have developed a new method of testing that’s non-invasive and can be done without the assistance of a health care professional. 

5. Four eyes: Researchers in China have observed a curious link in one of the more specific COVID-19 studies to come out of this pandemic: hospitalized coronavirus patients were less likely to wear glasses than the average population. 

One more thing…

Extreme weather: A new satellite image from NASA shows the West Coast of the U.S. and parts of Canada covered in smoke from growing wildfires while Hurricane Sally makes landfall in the Gulf Coast and several other hurricanes converge in the Atlantic Ocean.

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At the open: TSX jumps on strong retail sales data – The Globe and Mail

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Canada’s main stock index rose on Friday as data showing a rise in retail sales and an uptick in house prices helped offset fears of prolonged economic recovery as coronavirus cases rise globally.

At 9:33 a.m. ET, the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 51.34 points, or 0.32%, at 16,298.06.

Canadian retail sales in July rose by 0.6% and are now higher than they were before the coronavirus pandemic struck, Statistics Canada said on Friday, adding that August sales probably gained 1.1% on the month.

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Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast retail sales would increase by 1.0% from June, when trade jumped by 22.7% as restrictions imposed to fight the outbreak were removed.

“The data continue to suggest that the pace of growth seen in June wasn’t sustained early in the third quarter,” said Royce Mendes of CIBC Economics.

Sales grew in six of the 11 subsectors, with motor vehicles and parts contributing the most. Gas sales also posted gains.

The Nasdaq rose at the open on Friday, shaking off a two-day decline in heavyweight technology stocks, while worries about rising coronavirus cases and a patchy economic recovery weighed on the S&P 500 and Dow.

The Nasdaq Composite gained 63.17 points, or 0.58%, to 10,973.45 at the opening bell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 37.11 points, or 0.13%, at the open to 27,864.87, while the S&P 500 opened higher by just 0.37 points, or flat, at 3,357.38.

Wall Street’s three main indexes bounced earlier this week as investors bet on a loose monetary policy by the Federal Reserve, but gains petered out in the absence of firm details on the central bank’s stimulus plan.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have also come under pressure from investors rotating out of high-flying tech-related stocks and into industrial and transportation firms.

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“The market’s in a vacuum right now,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital LLC in New York.

“Anytime you have news or perception that things are going to be delayed or (you have a) slow growth economy, those (technology-related) stocks get bid. You’ll get these technical bounce days when coronavirus cases spike up and money will move back into tech.”

Oil prices were mixed on Friday after Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar said a blockade on Libyan oil exports would be lifted for one month, countering more bullish signals from an OPEC meeting on Thursday.

Brent crude was down 17 cents at $43.13 a barrel by 1321 GMT while U.S. oil futures ticked up 6 cents to $41.03.

The benchmarks were still set for weekly gains after Hurricane Sally cut U.S. production, Saudi Arabia pressed allies to stick to production quotas and banks including Goldman Sachs predicted a supply deficit.

Pre-blockade Libya was producing around 1.2 million bpd, compared with just over 100,000 bpd now. It is unclear how quickly Libya could ramp up production.

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Earlier, Goldman Sachs predicted a market deficit of 3 million barrels per day (bpd) by the fourth quarter and reiterated its target for Brent to reach $49 by the end of the year and $65 by the third quarter of 2021.

Swiss bank UBS also pointed to the possibility of undersupply, forecasting Brent would rise to $45 a barrel in the fourth quarter and to $55 by mid-2021.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, a group known as OPEC+, are cutting output by 7.7 million bpd and stressed at a meeting on Thursday that it would take action against members not complying with the deal.

“We think (OPEC+) will put on hold plans to taper the cut down to 5.8 million bpd … when the entire group convenes again in December,” RBC analysts said.

Saudi Arabia said an earlier meeting was possible if oil prices fell alongside demand because of a second wave of coronavirus cases.

“The market now feels the ground more stable to maintain $40+ price levels,” said Rystad’s Head of Oil Markets Bjornar Tonhaugen.

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Suspicious activity found on 48,000 CRA accounts after cyberattacks: treasury board – CBC.ca

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The Treasury Board of Canada says it has uncovered suspicious activities on more than 48,000 Canada Revenue Agency accounts following cyberattacks in July and August.

The treasury says the previously announced attacks targeted CRA accounts and GCKey, an online portal through which Canadians access employment insurance and immigration services.

Attackers used a method called credential stuffing, which takes advantage of people who reuse usernames and passwords across multiple platforms that may have been previously hacked.

The treasury says GCKey was not compromised, but it has revoked 9,300 credentials for its system and is contacting those users in hopes of blocking subsequent attacks.

Canadians who receive a revocation message can register for new credentials or make use of the SecureKey Concierge, which lets users sign in to 269 government services through partners, such as major banks.

The treasury says the RCMP’s investigation into the attacks is still ongoing and affected departments have been in contact with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to provide updates on what personal information has been compromised.

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