New Brunswick to provide COVID-19 update Thursday afternoon

New Brunswick will be providing a COVID-19 update Thursday afternoon.

Premier Blaine Higgs and Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, will participate in the briefing.

The update is scheduled to take place at 2:30 p.m. AT and will be live streamed on this page.

Read more:
COVID-19: Rapid testing policy weighs on New Brunswick businesses

New Brunswick reported Wednesday that another person has died due to COVID-19, bringing the number of disease-related deaths in the province to 112.

Health officials identified a person in their 90s from the Moncton region as the latest death attributed to the novel coronavirus.

Officials also reported 57 new infections for a total active case count of 533, as well as 44 new recoveries.

More to come.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ontario further extends temporary wage increase for personal support workers

In a push to recruit more personal support care workers, Premier Doug Ford said on Monday he is committed to making the $3 pandemic top-up for pay permanent. But advocates and his opposition critics say that isn’t enough to recruit enough new employees, and should’ve been done already. Matthew Bingley reports.

TORONTO — Ontario is extending a temporary wage increase for more than 150,000 publicly funded personal support workers until the end of March.

The boost of between two and three dollars an hour was introduced last October, and was due to expire at the end of the month.

Read more:
Premier Doug Ford says ‘it’s a guarantee’ to keeping pay increase for personal support workers

The province brought in the raise in an effort to attract new employees and retain existing ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The province says the extension will cost $373 million.

Read more:
Ontario PSW pay gap hurts home care services, advocate group says, calls for more funding

Eligible workers in home and community care and long-term care have had their wages boosted by $3, as do people providing personal and direct support for children, community and social services.

Personal support workers in hospitals have a temporary $2 per hour raise.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Flair Airlines to add routes between Winnipeg and Regina, Saskatoon in 2022

Flair Airlines is continuing to grow its schedule for next year with the addition of new routes between Winnipeg and Regina as well as Winnipeg and Saskatoon, the company announced in a release Thursday.

Flights from Winnipeg to Regina will begin April 14, 2022, and April 16, 2022, for Winnipeg to Saskatoon.

“Low fare travel has arrived for the Prairies and we are excited to connect more families and travellers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan,” said Stephen Jones, president and CEO of Flair Airlines.

“Connecting Regina and Saskatoon to Winnipeg with sustainably low fares is an important step in Flair’s growth and we know our customers will love the service.”

Read more:
New Manitoba ‘vaccination credential’ to comply with Canadian standard

The release says the new routes are part of Flair’s unprecedented growth as the airline expands its fleet to 16 aircraft and creates new affordable connections across North America.

“We eagerly anticipate the arrival of these new Flair service offerings between Winnipeg and Regina/Saskatoon at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport,” said Barry Rempel, president and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority.

“Our partnership with Flair is growing and their efforts to provide Manitobans with more convenient, low-cost domestic travel options are playing a critical role in quickly restoring the affordable, wide-ranging air services our community relies upon to sustain itself and grow.”

According to the release, Flair is adding new 737 MAX aircraft to its fleet in 2022 as it strives to become Canada’s greenest and most sustainable airline. The new aircraft can deliver fuel savings and reduce the airline’s CO2 emissions by 14 per cent, the airline says. Flair recently announced a 33 per cent increase in its fleet and additional routes within Canada and to the U.S.

 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Pope Francis invited to visit Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc Nation during Canada visit

WATCH: Pope agrees to visit Canada for Indigenous reconciliation.

Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc is inviting Pope Francis to visit the British Columbia First Nation during his trip to Canada to help efforts with Indigenous reconciliation.

Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Rosanne Casimir said Thursday it would be “deeply meaningful” to have the Pope visit, but the pontiff must accept and apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in Canada’s residential school system.

“It’d be a historic moment for Kamloops Residential Indian School Survivors and for our community who continues to navigate the impacts following the horrific confirmation of the missing children,” Casimir said.

“For the Pope to come to Canada without real action, with simply the objective of reconciliation, glosses over and ignores this hard truth. Though some may wish for reconciliation, Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc is still saddled with the truth of identifying hundreds of child victims from the Kamloops Indian Residential School.”

Read more:
Pope Francis to visit Canada for Indigenous reconciliation, Vatican says

Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc sent shockwaves throughout Canada this spring after it announced it had found what are believed to be the unmarked graves of 215 children at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

Since then, other First Nations have identified possible remains at several residential schools across Canada, the majority of which were presided over by the Catholic Church.

Indigenous leaders have been calling on Pope Francis to apologize for the church’s role in the system and to do so on Canadian soil.

The Vatican said Wednesday the Pope has agreed to visit Canada to help efforts at reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

The Holy See’s press office said the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops invited the pope to make an apostolic journey to Canada “also in the context of the long-standing pastoral process of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”

In return, Francis “has indicated his willingness to visit the country on a date to be settled in due course,” the statement said.

Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme has said a papal visit would be a step toward reconciliation but added it would have to come with an apology from the church to validate the pain many survivors still live with.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald also echoed the call for a “long overdue” apology.

Read more:
Indigenous leaders seek apology as Pope plans Canadian visit

In a statement Thursday, Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc is also calling on the church to disclose documents on residential schools to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and to raise funds for residential school survivors.

“For the ‘truth’ component of Truth and Reconciliation, there has to be an acknowledgment, of the true role of the Catholic Church in the deaths of children placed in their care,” the statement reads.

“The missing children, whom Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc refer to as Le Estcwéý, exemplify Indian Residential Schools as a system that perpetuated mass human rights violations that may suggest criminal behavior, including violations of international humanitarian law, and genocide.”

Pope Francis has already agreed to meet with Indigenous survivors at the Vatican in December. He will meet separately with three groups — First Nations, Metis and Inuit — during the Dec. 17 to 20 visit.

The Pope will then preside over a final audience with all three groups on Dec. 20.

Casimir was confirmed to be a part of the December visit, representing British Columbia as per the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program has a hotline to help residential school survivors and their relatives suffering trauma invoked by the recall of past abuse. The number is 1-866-925-4419.

— with files from The Associated Press and The Canadian Press.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

JAKK Tuesdays liquor licence suspension extended until appeal hearing concludes

JAKK Tuesdays Sports Bar in Kingston will have its liquor licence suspension extended, the Alcohol and Gaming Comission said Wednesday.

It’s another setback for the owners of the Kingston sports bar, whose owner, Kelly Hale, has been openly bucking Ontario’s COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols since September.

In October, the bar had its liquor licence suspended by the AGCO for not complying with Reopening Ontario Act protocols, like enforcing masks, but Hale appealed that decision, which was due to expire Wednesday.

Read more:
Kingston restaurant appeals liquor licence suspension after ignoring COVID-19 mandates

The appeal hearing began Tuesday but did not finish. With things still up in the air for that process, the AGCO has extended the suspension until the hearing concludes.

During Tuesday’s deliberations, the lawyer for the commissioner recommended that JAKK’s liquor licence be suspended permanently, since Hale said that he would not be following COVID-19 guidelines if the licence was reinstated.

Hale, represented by a local paralegal, argued at first that bylaw searched his restaurant illegally, but rescinded that argument. Hale’s main argument is that he disagrees with COVID-19 regulations and feels they are more harmful than helpful.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Homicide investigating after man dies following crash in Scarborough

The homicide unit is investigating after a man died following a crash early Thursday morning in Scarborough, Toronto police say.

Emergency services were called to the scene in the area of Washburn Way and Tapscott Road just before 3:45 a.m.

Police said a car crashed into the wall of a townhouse. The driver was injured and unresponsive and was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Officers said they found evidence of gunfire at the scene.

The driver’s identity is not known at this time.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Rising seas: Delays to safeguarding Chignecto Isthmus worry N.S., N.B. politicians

According to the UN, the land link between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is one of the most vulnerable areas to climate change in all of North America. Alicia Draus has more.

Legislators on both sides of the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick boundary say efforts to safeguard their area from a potential climate disaster have dragged on too long.

An engineering study commissioned to develop “three viable solutions” to the risk of the 35 kilometres of dikes being overwhelmed on the Chignecto Isthmus, which straddles the boundary, was expected in the spring but still hasn’t been released.

Meanwhile, an Oct. 15 deadline for seeking Ottawa’s help under the disaster mitigation and adaptation fund for such projects has passed.

Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, the Independent member of the legislature for Cumberland North _ the Nova Scotia riding on the provincial boundary _ said in an interview Wednesday that she is preparing a private member’s bill that would call on the new Progressive Conservative government to commit to funding Nova Scotia’s share of a solution.

Read more:
N.S. politicians critiqued for vague response to threat of rising seas

“Even though the past (Liberal) government said it was a priority, there isn’t any money allocated for it, and it’s going to take significant dollars,” she said.

“I don’t know the real cause of the delays. But as a member for the area, I’m asking for it to be made a priority, and soon.”

Megan Mitton, the Green Party member representing the New Brunswick riding of Memrancook-Tantramar, also said the delays are unacceptable given the risks to about 20 kilometres of rail line, highway, energy and communications infrastructure in the low-lying region that connects the two provinces.

“We don’t want to end up with a situation where whole communities have been flooded, sewage lagoons damaged and people are displaced,” she said in an interview. Mitton’s riding includes the community of Sackville, which has key infrastructure, including a sewage treatment plant, protected by the dikes.

Experts have for decades warned that the combination of a high tide with a powerful storm up the Bay of Fundy could overwhelm aging dikes and flood large portions of the Amherst, N.S., area, as well as neighbouring Sackville. Meanwhile, the sea level at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy has been rising at a rate of about 2.4 millimetres a year over the past century, even as the dikes and coastal land continue to subside.

In 2019, Real Daigle, a meteorologist who models sea level rise, told The Canadian Press the dikes could be breached by a once-in-a-fifty-year storm occurring during the period of highest tides and with sustained winds gusting to 80 kilometres per hour over the Bay of Fundy _ potentially adding 40 to 50 centimetres to the height of the water.

The New Brunswick government has taken the lead on overseeing the engineering study being funded by Ottawa and the two provinces, but it did not provide an official for an interview.

“The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure was waiting for the federal cabinet to be sworn in. We look forward to working with our counterparts in Nova Scotia and the new federal cabinet on this project,” Jeremy Trevors, a department spokesman, wrote in response to a request for an interview with the lead engineer.

In Nova Scotia, the Progressive Conservative government’s new Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act, which was tabled Wednesday, doesn’t include a specific mention of a fix to the Chignecto Isthmus in its list of goals.

Tim Halman, Nova Scotia’s minister of Environment and Climate Change, said the risk of flooding at the isthmus is a “major issue impacting the province” but offered no details on when the study might be completed.

READ MORE: Bids sought for ways to protect Chignecto Isthmus from risk posed by rising seas

Potential costs also remain largely unknown. A 2016 federal study concluded possible costs ranged from $90 million to build up and alter the existing dikes to $345 million to completely reroute highways and railways.

Jeff Ollerhead, who teaches coastal geography at Mount Allison University in Sackville, said in an interview that governments have long known how to protect the low-lying communities and could have proceeded with an analysis of the dikes section by section.

He said options include raising and reinforcing the dikes; removing the dikes and restoring salt marshes; and relocating infrastructure such as highways and the rail line to higher ground.

“In some cases it will make sense to reinforce them (dikes) and preserve critical infrastructure, but in other cases it makes no sense to spend the money to raise and reinforce dikes that could be turned back into salt marshes that could be turned into places where carbon is stored and fish habitat restored,” he said.

He argues that a strategic plan for the dikes, including close consultations with the communities involved, should have been underway years ago.

“You have to get on with the work of deciding on a kilometre-by-kilometre basis what options are going to apply to each section of the dike,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2021.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Story of Edmonton teen gifted basketball net from community spurs Kelly Clarkson Show appearance

More than two months after the story of an Edmonton community coming together to give a teen a basketball net went viral, the heartwarming gift drew the attention of a well-known TV talk show host in California.

“I’m kind of surprised she reached out in the first place cause she’s all the way out in L.A.,” 14-year-old Anthony Muobike told Global News on Wednesday, just days after being interviewed on The Kelly Clarkson Show.

“She’s really, really nice… It was just amazing.

“It’s not a dream, you’re really on The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

Muobike, whose dream is to play professional ball in the NBA one day, was interviewed by Clarkson along with his neighbour, Ian Ray, via Zoom.

In the summer, Ray decided to take action after he noticed Muobike’s skills dribbling the ball on his driveway without having a net to shoot at.

He put out plea for donations on Facebook and the community raised $750 for a Sport Chek gift card. The Ray showed up at Mubike’s home with a new net, custom basketball and gift card.

“He’s still just the kid on the driveway dribbling his ball (but) now he’s shooting on the net,” Ray said Wednesday.

“It’s cool — everything that happened. (I’m) just happy for the kid.”

Read more:
Hoops-loving teen impresses, Edmonton neighbours gift him with basketball net

Clarkson, who during the interview told Ray “I love your Canadian accent,” finished by telling Muobike that Pilot Pen, a stationary company that is a partner of her show, was moved by the story and would be giving him $1,000 to help him chase his NBA dream.

“That just meant so much to me,” Muobike said.

The teen’s mother, Leticia Muobike, told Global News she too has been amazed by the support her son has received from her neighbour, the community and now beyond.

“The truth is that I didn’t believe it until it actually happened — until the day of the show,” she said of her son’s TV appearance. “She came on live.

“I’m like, ‘If I’m dreaming, I don’t want to stop dreaming.'”

Clarkson told Muobike she’d like to have him on her show again when he reaches the NBA.

Muobike said ever since he got the net, it has been “a huge booster” for his game and that he often ends up shooting hoops with neighbourhood kids who wander past and ask if they can play with him.

Edmonton teen Anthony Muobike outside his home on Wednesday, Oct. 287, 2021.

Edmonton teen Anthony Muobike outside his home on Wednesday, Oct. 287, 2021.

Global News

He said the whole experience has been heartwarming.

“When you go viral… It’s almost like you know everybody’s standing behind you, supporting you, pushing you further,” Muobike said. “It’s very empowering… It really is a blessing.”

Muobike’s mother said her son continues to play pretty much every day after school.

“He says he’ll be doing it until the snow hits the floor and he can’t go anymore,” she said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Boardroom battle for Rogers is putting the reputation of a telecom giant at risk

Finance expert Kelley Keehn breaks down the latest finance headlines including a right-to-disconnect policy gaining traction, the great resignation, lending rates, and Rogers drama.

In the early 1990s, as a young spokesman for the federal minister of telecommunications, I had a memorable meeting with Ted Rogers.

In one of his legendary risks, Rogers had bought out the other shareholders of Cantel, and would later re-brand it as Rogers Wireless. Intense and often unrelenting, he asked for the meeting to share his strong views about Canada’s telecommunications policy. Was he motivated by self-interest? Of course. But with both reason and passion, he also articulated the connection between his vision and a greater good for the country: one in which entrepreneurship, investment and innovation would fill unmet consumer needs.

Read more:
Rogers family drama — What to know and why you should care

The legendary founder is often invoked today, as his family feuds for control of the empire he left behind. But in all the media statements, comments from anonymous sources, and legal filings made public, they forget what Ted Rogers never did: the need to articulate why this debate matters to anyone outside the Rogers boardroom.

There is little or nothing about why the status quo, or any alternative, is desirable or undesirable for shareholders — or stakeholders. As a result, all reputational boats sink. It looks like a shallow conflict based on ego and personality.

To be fair, it began with a highly sensitive question: the board chair’s dissatisfaction with the CEO’s performance. No sensible person would want to discuss this in public, given the legal, financial, operational, and reputational risks of doing so.

Now, however, with the story dominating headlines for weeks, the risks have become the reality.

The affair is a ratings winner. Two big things make it so: first, it’s about a widely known brand, a $29-billion public company, and a bitter, personal conflict between high-profile protagonists; and second, it has implications for the governance of public companies, and for millions of people who are its customers, shareholders, or employees.
There have been a few references to the world beyond the boardroom — cursory allusions to shareholder interests, network performance and customer service. But unlike other high-profile corporate control battles, there is no hint of a clash of visions, nor even a divergence on major decisions such as Rogers’ proposed $26 billion takeover of Shaw Communications.

All the communication is about the protagonists themselves — including revelations about Edward Rogers’ conflict with the popular president of the Toronto Raptors, and cringe-worthy reminders of his ill-considered family photo with Donald Trump last spring.

The irony is that there is much at stake for those concerned with Rogers’ success.

Read more:
Ousted Rogers board chair Edward Rogers re-elected as chair in ‘illegitimate’ meeting

At a time when investors are increasingly focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk, concerns about the ‘G’ — governance — loom large. As Mark Wiseman, a veteran pension-fund leader, wrote this week: “A structure whereby the son of the founder sits as the chair of a trust and basically controls all the voting power in a company, publicly traded since 1979, is more akin to the Soviet politburo than anything resembling a responsible corporate governance structure.”

And as per a Bloomberg analysis, Rogers’ price-earnings ratio lags those of its competitors — not just because of sluggish growth, but because of governance concerns.

Part of the challenge is that a company’s risks are interconnected. Ask yourself a simple question: would recent events make you more or less likely to want to work there? At a time when the top talent is more mobile than ever, that is a competitive disadvantage for Rogers — and an opportunity for its competitors.

It’s not surprising that analysts have lowered their target prices for Rogers by as much as 10 per cent within the next 12 months. That would have an impact on the company’s market capitalization of almost $3.5 billion.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Having advised many leading Canadian and global companies, I’ve seen how family-led businesses can enjoy more trust from their stakeholders, because their commitment to the business and the community is often deeper. The key to success is continuous, public demonstration of these motives, in both words and actions. It means managing family conflict with skill, and the greater good in mind. And it means being more transparent, not less, at times of crisis.

This is an era in which much — and often most — of a company’s market value comes from intangible assets such as reputation. It’s also a time when leadership communication matters more than ever, and leaders must stand for something bigger than themselves.

Ted Rogers understood this. It remains to be seen whether his successors can follow his example.

Daniel Tisch is CEO of Argyle, one of Canada’s largest communications and public engagement advisory firms. A specialist in corporate reputation and leadership communication, he has advised a long list of public, private, and non-profit organizations and leaders.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ontario to introduce legislation on long-term care standards Thursday

After the pandemic revealed long-standing issues within the long-term care system, Ontario’s minister in charge of overseeing the facilities is pledging to hire more inspectors. Along with questions on what additional penalties may be involved, critics say the government isn't doing enough to overhaul a system with glaring issues. Matthew Bingley reports.

TORONTO — The Ontario government says it will introduce legislation today aimed at reforming standards in the province’s long-term care sector.

Full details of the proposed law will be laid out this afternoon.

Read more:
Province aims to add 2,000 more nurses in Ontario’s long term care home sector

Long-Term Care Minister Rod Phillips has said the legislation will aim to better protect residents in the sector that was hit hard with COVID-19 outbreaks and deaths during the pandemic.

The province says the legislation will cover new accountability and enforcement measures and residents’ rights.

Phillips has said the government’s pledge to provide an average of four hours of daily direct care for each resident by 2025 will be included in the legislation.

The law would also give long-term care inspectors the power to lay charges on the spot.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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