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Simon Fraser University drops the ‘Clan’ as sports team name

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 17:56
VANCOUVER - Varsity sports teams at Simon Fraser University will soon have a new name after the school's president announced it is retiring the 'Clan' moniker following a community engagement process. In a letter, Andrew Petter says student views were the most important factor influencing the decision to change the Clan name, which is a nod to the Scottish heritage of the school's namesake. A report from the athletics department says a survey of community members showed the name's association with the American white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan was harmful to students. Petter says students shared stories of unsafe situations and upsetting conversations stemming from misinterpretation or misuse of the name derived from a Gaelic term for a close-knit group of relatives. Simon Fraser is the only Canadian university affiliated with the U.S.-Based National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, and the report says the old team name was inappropriate in that context, while it was also at odds with the school's efforts to promote reconciliation. The process to choose a new team is expected to will wrap up by the end of the year, with athletes competing under the names Simon Fraser or SFU in the meantime. "As we move away from using the Clan as our team name, I want to stress that we continue to be exceedingly proud of the people, teams and accomplishments associated with the Clan over our long history. The Gaelic word for family was chosen to honour friendship, loyalty and connection, commitments that remain deeply ingrained at SFU," Petter wrote in his letter. The report says student athletes and coaches have reported shock, shame, misunderstanding, taunts and threats in connection to the Clan team name over the years. An associate professor at the university started a petition to change the name out of respect for athletes in the United States in 2017 and two students launched another effort earlier this year. That petition garnered nearly 14,000 signatures before Petter announced his decision on Wednesday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2020. The Canadian Press

From masks to cohorting, a guide to back-to-school rules across the country

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 17:53
Plans are being made across the country for how to safely send students back to school in the fall as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Here is a look at what the various provinces have said about getting kids back to classes. --- BRITISH COLUMBIA British Columbia has laid out its plan for studies to resume in "learning groups" this fall. School districts are to post final back-to-school details online by Aug. 26. Back to class: Schools were initially scheduled to welcome students back full time on Sept. 8, but the province announced it is pushing back the restart date by two days to Sept. 10. Groups: Students will be sorted into learning groups to reduce the number of people they come in contact with. For elementary and middle school students, groups will be no larger than 60 people. Secondary school groups will be capped at 120. Physical distancing: Students and staff don't need to maintain physical distancing within their learning group, but contact should be minimized. Outside the group, physical distancing is required. Students should be more spaced out in classrooms. Masks: Students and staff will not be required to wear masks in schools, but the province says it's a "personal choice that will always be respected." It says provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry recommends non-medical masks be worn by adults and older students when they are unable to physically distance like in hallways and on buses. New routines: The province is urging schools to stagger recess, lunch and class transition times and take students outside whenever possible. Transportation: Middle and high school students are asked to wear masks on buses. Students should be assigned seats, and a transparent barrier may be used to separate the driver. --- ALBERTA The province is planning to fully reopen schools from kindergarten to Grade 12 this fall. Measures will be tightened if an outbreak occurs and class sizes could be reduced to 20. Back to class: School will be back in session with extra safety measures, but the province says there are programs to support remote and alternative learning. Groups: Schools should sort students into cohorts by class when possible to minimize contact with others. Physical distancing: Physical distancing is recommended when possible. Rooms should be rearranged to increase space between desks. Masks: Masks will be mandatory for staff and many students in some school settings. Students in Grades 4 to 12 must wear masks in all common areas, such as hallways and on buses. Staff are required to wear masks whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained. Mask use will be optional for kids in kindergarten through Grade 3. The government says all students and staff will receive two reusable masks as part of the policy. Transportation: Parents are asked to bring their children to school if they can. Students who take the bus will sit in the same seat every day. New routines: Schools are advised to consider a "no sharing policy," with each student bringing their own supplies. Class, lunch and recess schedules will be staggered. --- SASKATCHEWAN Saskatchewan first unveiled a set of back-to-school guidelines in June, but released more details Aug. 4. Back to class: Students will return to class as early as Sept. 1. Groups: Groups of students and staff members assigned to them should stick together throughout the day and try not to mingle with other groups. Schools should aim to minimize the number of different instructors who interact with students throughout the day. Physical distancing: Officials say maintaining physical distance is "less practical" for younger children, and the focus should be on limiting physical contact. Officials suggest limiting hugs and hand holding and suggest using alternative greetings such as air high fives. Schools are also to have dedicated quarantine areas where symptomatic students can go before they are picked up by parents. Masks: The province says it's up to school boards to decide whether to make masks mandatory for students and staff. The chief medical health officer advises Grade 4 to 12 students should wear them in busy areas such as hallways and on buses. Transportation: Parents should take their kids to school when possible, and pickup and drop-offs should happen outside. Students using school transportation should be assigned seats, and a partition may be used to separate the driver. New routines: Start times, recess, lunch and class transitions may be staggered to allow for more space for physical distancing. Schools should rearrange their classrooms to space out students. Students and staff are asked to bring hand sanitizer.  --- MANITOBA The Manitoba government says most students are to be back in classrooms on Sept. 8 with new guidelines to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Back to class: All students from kindergarten to Grade 8 are to have in-class instruction five days a week. High school students will also be in class full time, except in schools where there is inadequate space for physical distancing, in which case there will be some days of remote learning. Groups: When physical distancing isn't possible, students will have to be organized into cohorts no larger than 75, and minimize contact with others. In these cases, there must be at least one metre between their desks. Physical distancing: The province says students are required to maintain a two-metre distance to "the greatest extent possible." When it isn't possible, physical barriers may be an option. Spaces should be arranged to encourage separation. Masks: Masks are not required for students or staff. Transportation: Buses will be running at reduced capacity, and parents will be asked to transport their children to school if they can. New routines: Lunch and recess are to be staggered to minimize congestion, and in many cases teachers will change classrooms instead of students. --- ONTARIO Ontario students will be back in class September, but their schedules and class sizes may vary depending on where they live. Back to class: Elementary students and many high schoolers will be in school five days a week in standard class sizes. However, secondary students at two dozen boards that are higher risk will only attend class half the time, and will spend the rest of the week working on "curriculum-linked independent work." Parents will also have the option to keep their kids out of class, and boards must provide options for remote learning. Groups: For high schoolers in high-risk districts, class sizes will be capped at 15. Meanwhile, elementary students won't be broken up into smaller groups, but will be grouped into cohorts and their exposure to different teachers will be limited. Physical distancing: While Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the aim is to keep students one metre apart from each other, a guidance document says only that schools should promote "as much distancing as possible" rather than being strictly enforced.  Masks: Masks will be mandatory for students in Grades 4 through 12, and will be strongly encouraged for younger kids when they're in indoor common areas. Staff will be expected to wear masks. Transportation: Some school boards may have more than one student assigned to a seat. When physical distancing isn't possible, masks will be mandatory for students in Grades 4 to 12, and younger students will be encouraged but not required to do the same. New routines: Students in some districts will have to pre-register for in-person schooling. Some schools may limit or even ban visitors, including parents. Breaks will be scheduled to allow students to wash their hands. --- QUEBEC All elementary and high school students in Quebec will be required to attend class in September unless they have a doctor's note indicating they're at high risk of COVID-19 complications or they live with someone at risk. Those students will be allowed to study remotely. Back to class: Class attendance is mandatory for elementary and high school students. For Grades 10 and 11, schools have the option of alternating schedules where students attend one day out of every two - as long as schools cannot maintain stable classroom bubbles. Grade 10 and 11 students are encouraged to attend classes as much as possible. Groups: Each classroom will be its own bubble and students will not be required to maintain a two-metre distance between classmates. Physical distancing: Students will need to keep a two-metre distance from all school staff, as well as all other students outside their classroom bubble. There are no physical distancing requirements for children or teachers in pre-school. Masks: All students in Grade 5 and up - as well as all school staff - must wear a mask inside all common areas of the school except the classroom. Masks can also be removed when students are eating. Transportation: No more than 48 students will be allowed on a school bus, with no more than two students sitting on the same bench. Preschool and elementary school students are strongly encouraged to wear masks, while older students are required to wear them. New routines: When schools return in the fall, teachers will move from classroom to classroom, but students will stay put. Backup plans: In the event of an outbreak in one class, the entire classroom bubble will be sent home to continue studies remotely. Authorities are also putting together an emergency protocol in the event of a second wave to ensure instruction continues online if entire schools are again forced to close. Ideas include quickly distributing tablets or laptops to students needing them and establishing a digital platform to continue courses and maintain communication. --- NEW BRUNSWICK The province has outlined a set of requirements schools must follow in developing their plans for the fall. Back to class: Students in kindergarten to Grade 8 are to attend school full time, while those in Grades 9 to 12 are to be taught using a combination of in-class and remote instruction. At-home course work can include online learning, guided projects and experiential education. Groups: For kindergarten through Grade 2, group sizes will be reduced to about 15, wherever possible. Group sizes should also be shrunk for Grades 3 to 5. Grades 6 to 8 will resume at regular class sizes. Students in Grades 9 to 12 will not be grouped because of their schedules and course options. Physical distance: Grade 9 to 12 classrooms are required to maintain a one-metre distance, while a two-metre distance is recommended in common areas at all grade levels. Masks: It's unclear where the province stands on staff and students wearing masks. Transportation: The province says it's working with school districts to develop plans for transportation. Pickup and drop-off schedules may be staggered. New routines: Arrivals, breaks and lunches are to be staggered. Public access to school buildings will be limited, and students, staff and visitors may also be subject to screening. High school students will be expected to have their own laptop or similar device, and some subsidies will be available. --- PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND Schools on the Island are preparing to welcome all students back to class, while drafting backup plans for remote studies if required. Back to class: Schools are to reopen for teachers and staff on Sept. 1 and for students on Sept. 8. Groups: Students will be organized into cohorts when possible and limit their exposure to others. Physical distancing: Students will be taught about the importance of physical distancing, and extra teaching and cleaning staff may be hired. Schools are also asked to reduce class sizes as much as possible, reconfigure classrooms and make use of spaces such as libraries and multipurpose rooms. Masks: The province says all staff and students in Grades 7-12 are "strongly recommended" to wear masks when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Students from kindergarten through Grade 6 may wear masks when physical distancing is impossible. Staff interacting with children who have complex medical needs are strongly recommended to wear face shields and gloves. Transportation: Parents are asked to take their kids to school whenever possible. To reduce the number of riders on buses, schools may add vehicles and routes or implement walk-to-school programs. It is strongly recommended that all students and drivers wear masks on the bus. New routines: P.E.I. education authorities are revising curricula for this school year to make up for learning gaps caused by lockdown constraints. Schools will stagger schedules to minimize congestion. The provincial school food program will be expanded next year in keeping with public health precautions. Elementary school students will stay in their classrooms for lunch. --- NOVA SCOTIA Education Minister Zach Churchill says the province's objective is for schools to return to 100 per cent capacity in the fall, but its plan includes measures to address the possible onset of a second wave of COVID-19. Back to class: The province aims to have all elementary and high school students in classrooms by Sept. 8. Groups: Students will be asked to keep to cohorts. Physical distancing: Students and staff will be encouraged to maintain a two-metre distance whenever possible. Lecture rooms will be reorganized to increase space between desks. Masks: Masks are not required in classrooms, but students and staff may choose to wear them. While it's recommended that they bring their own, masks will be provided to those who don't have one. Staff and students in Grades 10 to 12 must wear masks when physical distancing is difficult. Transportation: Students who take the school bus will be required to wear non-medical masks. New routines: Only students and staff will be permitted to enter school buildings. When possible, teachers will be asked to move their classes outdoors. Students will be asked to bring their own computers to school, and the province says it has acquired an additional 14,000 devices for those with limited access to technology. Backup plans: If a COVID-19 outbreak occurs during the academic year, schools will move to a blended learning model with smaller class sizes and home learning for older students. --- NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR The province's back-to-school plan aims to maximize in-class attendance with the option of a return to remote learning if the COVID-19 risk increases. Back to class: The province's plan outlines three scenarios - in-class instruction, remote learning or a combination of both, depending on the COVID-19 risk in a particular community. Groups: Cohorting by class is recommended when it's feasible, but students' schedules shouldn't be disrupted to support smaller groupings. Physical distancing: Schools should aim to create a two-metre distance between desks, or as much distance as possible. However, provincial authorities say these precautions should not interfere with the daily school routine, and strict physical distancing should not be "over-emphasized" to children, because it is not practical and can cause psychological harm. Masks: The province does not recommend masks for children, but says their use should not be "stigmatized" for those that choose to wear them. Staff will not be required to wear masks if physical distancing is possible. Transportation: It will be up to school districts to determine their transportation operations, considering precautions such as assigning seats and separating the driver with a physical divider. New routines: All students must bring their own supplies in keeping with a "no sharing" policy. Backup plans: In the event of moderate-to-widespread transmission of COVID-19, school districts will move to online learning. Classroom attendance should be limited to about 50 per cent when the COVID-19 risk in a community is considered low to moderate. Newfoundland and Labrador says it will spend $20 million to purchase laptops for teachers and students in Grades 7 through 12 to support remote learning. --- YUKON The territorial government says it's making plans for the next school year that include flexibility around the number of students in classes if there's a second wave of COVID-19 or increased risk of transmission. It says each school will determine how it will adjust its operations to meet those guidelines, and school principals and staff are expected to share that information prior to September. Back to class: Preliminary plans indicate that in rural communities, all students will return to school full time. In Whitehorse, however, kids in kindergarten through Grade 9 will return to full-day in-school instruction, while Grades 10 to 12 will spend half their day in the classroom, and the rest learning remotely. Groups: Class sizes may be smaller to meet safety restrictions. Masks: Wearing masks is a personal choice. Transportation: Bus school and schedules will be posted to the territory's website. New routines: Schedule shakeups may mean that some students won't have their regular teacher or the same classmates. School meal programs may be adapted with new safety measures and pickup options. Backup plans: The territory has outlined a spectrum of school options if the risk to the community increases, ranging from rotating schedules to suspension of face-to-face learning.   --- NORTHWEST TERRITORIES All N.W.T. schools have submitted plans to reopen their doors this fall. The territory says education authorities are taking a flexible approach in their planning to account for a potential second wave of COVID-19 in the fall. Back to class: While plans will vary from school to school, the territory will offer in-person instruction whenever possible, while ensuring alternative options are available. Groups: Students in kindergarten through Grade 6 will be in classroom "bubbles," and won't have to practise physical distancing within these groups. Physical distancing: For Grades 7 to 9, students are asked to maintain a one-metre distance from each other, and two-metre distance from staff. Grade 10 to 12 students are asked to allow for two metres of distance from their peers and instructors. Masks: Students of all ages may be required to wear masks in situations where physical distance cannot be practised, such as moving through the hallways. Transportation: There may be changes to bus schedules, and all riders will be required to wear masks. New routines: More time will be spent learning outside. School hours and schedules may also look different. Students are asked to label personal items and not share. Backup plans: The territory says schools are preparing to shift between in-person, distance and blended learning at short notice should there become active COVID-19 cases. --- NUNAVUT The territory has released a four-stage plan for reopening schools based on the risk of the novel coronavirus in a community. Back to class: There are no reported COVID-19 cases in Nunavut, so all schools are set to reopen  this fall with enhanced cleaning and safety precautions. Groups: It is recommended that schools cohort students by class and limit mixing as much as possible. Physical distancing: Distance requirements will depend on what stage a community is in, and will primarily be achieved by limiting school attendance. Masks: In most cases, the use of masks is not recommended for children. If there are exceptions, parents will be notified, and masks will be provided. Transportation: As it stands, bus schedules are set to resume. Students older than 13 may be required to wear masks. New routines: Group activities will be limited. Students won't be allowed to share food in lunchrooms. Backup plans: The territory says schools could go part-time if contact tracing were to identify a possible source of COVID-19. All schools would be closed if community transmission were to take place.   This report was first published by The Canadian Press on Aug. 12, 2020.   The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan Hockey Association releases guidelines, but no date set for season

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 17:46
The Saskatchewan Hockey Association has put out guidelines for hockey to return, but there’s still one major detail missing: A date. The SHA said the province and health officials are not prepared to set a date for when hockey games can be played. That includes minor, junior and senior leagues. The SHA said all teams should be aware of the guidelines being put in place by Hockey Canada, which can be found online. Those will include masks being recommended for coaches and team staff in areas where physical distancing is not easy to do, such as in locker rooms and on benches. Players will also need to use their own clearly marked water bottles and cannot share them. Hockey Canada also said pre-game and post-game handshakes should be eliminated. Minor hockey associations that have AA teams can host their identification camps but are restricted to a 50-person limit according to the province’s Re-Open Saskatchewan guidelines surrounding mini-leagues. A total of 30 individuals within the total of 50 can participate in one ice session at a time. Organizers must also keep a record of attendees, and people participating in the event, including spectators, must sign in with a name, phone number and/or email to help with contact tracing. Once teams are formed, they can only practise together. AA teams are comprised of players who live in the AA community or live nearest to the AA community except for four major cities that can’t draw players from outside their cities. (Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert for male; Regina and Saskatoon for female). Other hockey teams are formed outside the four larger cities in the following fashion:
  • U11/U9/U7 communities must register players who live nearest to their community with an allowable radius of 80 kilometres;
  • U13 communities can register any players from within an 80-km radius;
  • U15 communities can register any players from within a 120-km radius; and,
  • U18 communities can register any players from within a 160-km radius.
There won’t be any tournaments held in the province and teams won’t be allowed to participate in tournaments in different provinces until at least the new year.

U of S professor floats the idea of ‘pool testing’ for back-to-school plan

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 17:36
A microbiologist at the University of Saskatchewan believes the province needs a different approach to COVID-19 testing in schools. Kyle Anderson, an assistant professor of biochemistry, microbiology and immunology at the U of S, thinks pooled testing should be used for Saskatchewan schools. Anderson, who has five kids of his own, believes the government’s current plan lacks a lot of attention. Pool testing, also known as surveillance testing, tests multiple samples of COVID-19 in one batch. “This would get as many tests done as possible. There can be 10 swabs washed into the same solution to make a single test,” said Anderson. “Whether one student has the virus or two, each student in that group would be tested individually afterwards to catch the cases before they could spread.” In Anderson’s method, each classroom could undergo weekly pool testing. Anderson added that constant testing could help identify asymptomatic kids who may be unknowingly spreading COVID-19. If a test result comes back negative, the classroom would be OK until the next week. If there was a positive case, individualized tests would be done on everyone in the group. Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, said during a media conference Tuesday that broad testing at schools isn't part of the current back-to-school plan. “Children who are in school are a high property. We need to make sure tests are done in a timely way,” Shahab said. Despite the current plan in place, Shahab added that pool testing is a very interesting concept. Anderson described more important elements of broader testing in schools in a video he shared to Facebook on Monday.

Traffic stop near Shellbrook results in weapons charges

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 17:30
Two people are facing weapons-related charges after the RCMP stopped a vehicle Sunday near Shellbrook. In a media release Wednesday, the Mounties said members of the Provincial Crime Reduction Team conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle turning onto a dirt road Sunday at about 3 p.m. After pulling over the vehicle, the officers became suspicious of the occupants and started a firearms and weapons possession investigation. A search was done and officers found two modified firearms, bear spray, several knives, drug paraphernalia and ammunition. A 36-year-old man from Beauval was arrested and charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a prohibited firearm without authorization, possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle, failure to comply with a firearms prohibition, possession of ammunition while prohibited and failure to comply with an undertaking. A 20-year-old woman from the Shellbrook area was charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a prohibited firearm without authorization, and possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle. The third person in the vehicle, a 39-year-old man from Saskatoon, was given a traffic ticket for driving without a licence.

Puerto Rico Supreme Court upholds second round of primaries

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 17:09
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the votes cast during a botched primary over the weekend are valid and that a second round of voting will be held this Sunday at centres that never opened or did not remain open for the required eight hours. The ruling was a response to five lawsuits filed after missing or delayed ballots meant that voting occurred in only about 60 of Puerto Rico's 110 precincts last Sunday. "Let's hope that, in the name of democracy, there are no more failures, inefficiencies, errors or delays. Any other result or deviation from what is stated here would be clearly unacceptable," the court stated. Three of the five lawsuits were filed by gubernatorial nominees who demanded that the votes already cast be tallied and made public. A fourth suit by Gov. Wanda Vzquez, who competed in her party's primary, asked that a second round of voting be held at all voting centres that opened late. The fifth lawsuit was filed by a female voter represented by the American Civil Liberties Union who sought that the entire primary be scrapped and held again. The decision was celebrated by voters, including Andrs Prez, a retiree who stood in line for nine hours before going home after being told that his voting centre would not open. "They did a good job," he said of the Supreme Court justices. "It's what's easiest and least problematic." Prez said he would show up at the same voting centre at 6 a.m. Sunday to cast his balot. Electoral officials acknowledged after the voting debacle that the last remaining ballots didn't arrive until Saturday night and that rental trucks carrying ballots and electronic voting machines didn't go out until early Sunday, the day of the primary. The materials usually are delivered one or two days ahead of time. Vzquez and the presidents of the island's two main parties have demanded the resignation of the elections commission president, Juan Ernesto Dvila. Dvila has said it would be irresponsible to do resign while the primaries are still unresolved and told The Associated Press that he does not believe it was a mistake to hold the primaries despite knowing things were running behind schedule. He blamed the delays on the pandemic, Tropical Storm Isaias and a last minute request from both parties for additional ballots. "I want to urge the People of Puerto Rico to have confidence in our electoral system," Dvila said in a statement shortly after the ruling. "We will evaluate and adopt the corresponding measures to ensure that the voting process is orderly and that the expectations of the voters who participate in this process are honoured." A federal control board overseeing Puerto Rico's finances has authorized $1.27 million for the second round of votes, warning in a letter that "the efficiency in the use of these funds is paramount." Vzquez is competing against Pedro Pierluisi, a former justice secretary who represented Puerto Rico in Congress for eight years, for the gubernatorial nomination of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party. Pierluisi briefly served as governor last year after Gov. Ricardo Rossell quit following huge protests over corruption and a profanity-laced chat that was leaked. But the island's Supreme Court ruled Vzquez was constitutionally next in line as justice secretary since there was no secretary of state at the time. The main opposition Popular Democratic Party has three nominees: San Juan Mayor Carmen Yuln Cruz, known for her public spats with U.S. President Donald Trump following Hurricane Maria; Puerto Rico Sen. Eduardo Bhatia; and Carlos Delgado, mayor of the northwest town of Isabela. Bhatia said he respected the decision of the Supreme Court and like others urged people to go out again and vote. "Don't let anyone make you think that the decision has already been made," he said. "Don't let anyone make you think that your vote doesn't count." DNica Coto, The Associated Press

SEIU-West protests in Saskatoon amid stalled contract talks

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 16:55
Members of SEIU-West were out on Saskatoon streets waving purple signs and ringing cowbells on Wednesday to protest a lack of progress in collective bargaining talks. Protests at 11 different health-care locations for a roughly three-hour period were the latest tactic to try and force the provincial government back to the negotiating table after going more than three years without a contract. President Barbara Cape feels the pressure from members to strike a deal. "We've been without a collective agreement in the health-care sector, as of today, it's 1,230 days," Cape said. "Our members are frustrated. They're burning out." Cape says no contract means less power to recruit and retain laboratory technicians, licensed practical nurses, and the dozens of other careers at the frontlines of the pandemic fight. Seeing other funding decisions over the last few months for things like a new playing surface at Griffiths Stadium makes Cape think more money for more staff is there. "How is it possible that we have resources during a pandemic to offer up to the CFL? We have resources to returf a practice field, but we don't have resources for frontline health-care workers who are walking into some pretty precarious situations every single day," Cape said. A spokesman with the province declined to comment on the ongoing negotiations. "The government of Saskatchewan respects the collective bargaining process and believes the best agreements are the ones that are negotiated by the parties," a statement from the province said. "It would be inappropriate to make any comments on the specifics of negotiations while the parties are still bargaining." There’s another fast-approaching obstacle that could drag these negotiations on even further: A fall election. "Right now we're in a period: The silly season of election campaigning without the writ being dropped," Cape said. "We really call on the Government of Saskatchewan to check your conscience and consider what we're doing to our health-care system." Cape said Health Minister Jim Reiter hasn't been seen in months as the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations, which represents the interests of SEIU-West in contract negotiations, attempts to make progress on discussions ahead of the election.

Bailey helps Islanders rally to beat Capitals 4-2 in Game 1

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 16:50
TORONTO - Josh Bailey scored a shorthanded goal 6:52 into the third period and the New York Islanders overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the Washington Capitals 4-2 on Wednesday in a hard-hitting opener to the first-round playoff series. Jordan Eberle and Anders Lee scored 1:54 apart spanning the second intermission. Semyon Varlamov stopped 24 shots and Anthony Beauvillier sealed it by scoring with 8:05 remaining in a game the Islanders overcame their own lack of discipline in allowing the Capitals seven power-play opportunities. T.J. Oshie scored on consecutive power-play opportunities five minutes apart in the second period for Washington. The Capitals finished the game without top-line forward Nicklas Backstrom. Lee set the physical tone of the game by knocking over Backstrom with a late hit in the opening minutes, which led to the Islanders captain fighting Washington defenceman John Carlson. The Capitals did not provide any details in announcing Backstrom would not return after playing seven shifts. Carlson had two assists in returning after missing three preliminary round games with an injury. Braden Holtby stopped 23 shots. Bailey and Brock Nelson caught the Capitals' power-play napping in scoring the go-ahead goal, and Leo Komarov off for high-sticking. Nelson began the play by lobbing the puck high into the air from the Washington blue line. He then raced in and disrupted Holtby's bid to play the puck. Nelson then stripped Alex Ovechkin in the corner before centring to a wide-open Bailey in front, from where he fired it inside the left post. The Metropolitan Division champion Capitals were coming off a sluggish performance in a preliminary round-robin tournament in which they finished 1-1-1, managed just five goals and closed with a 2-1 win over Boston on Sunday. The Islanders were the more tested team in eliminating the Florida Panthers with a 5-1 win in Game 4 of their best-of five series on Friday. New York outscored the Panthers 13-7 and allowed just three goals in even-strength situations. Eberle began the comeback by scoring on a snapshot from the high slot with 63 seconds left in the second period. Lee tied the game 51 seconds into the third by converting a rebound in front, and after Holtby stopped Ryan Pulock's blast from the right point. Oshie opened the scoring 5:27 into the second period with Matt Martin off for interference. And he made it 2-0 five minutes later with Eberle off for hooking. The game between the division rivals got off to a chippy start starting with Lee's hit on Backstrom. A few minutes later, New York's Casey Cizikis and Washington's Tom Wilson traded punches as part of a scuffle in front of the benches, which began with Capitals Dmitry Orlov's hit on Cal Clutterbuck. The period ended with Wilson and Lee trading punches after the whistle. In having to kill off three power-play opportunities in the first period, the Islanders matched a franchise playoff low for shots in being outshot 7-2 over the first 20 minutes. New York managed two shots in one period twice before in the playoffs, both times against Washington in 1984 and '85. The game started just after 4 p.m., an hour later than scheduled after overtimes played havoc with the East's first-round schedule. Game 1 of the series between Boston and Carolina was pushed back from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning after the Tampa Bay Lightning needed five overtimes to beat Columbus. And then it took the Bruins 21:13 of OT to edge the Hurricanes 4-3. NOTES: Isles D Johnny Boychuk returned after missing three games of the first-round series against Florida. He was injured in Game 1, when he was shouldered to the head by Panthers D Mike Matheson. ... Beauvillier extended his point streak to five games, in which he has four goals and two assists. ... Before the game, the Capitals unveiled grey hoodies with a " We Skate For EQUALITY " printed on the front around a team logo, and worn by Holtby, Ovechkin and Carlson. UP NEXT Game 2 scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m. EDT. ___ For more AP NHL coverage: and John Wawrow, The Associated Press

Saskatoon business closing after 43 years

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 16:47
A Saskatoon business is closing its doors after more than four decades in the city. The Awl Shoppe has been operating in Saskatoon for 43 years. The business has been known for repairing jackets and shoes, as well as selling luggage gear. “If COVID didn’t happen, we would be staying open,” said store manager Alyssa Byrns. “We hope eventually we will be able to reopen in a smaller space. This hurts. “A lot of the stuff we carry is very unique to us, it’s products and services that you won’t really find throughout the province.” The business had its grand opening in 1977, offering shoe shines and coffee and doughnuts to customers who attended the grand opening. The struggling tourism industry was the nail in the coffin for Awl, as people have had less of a reason to buy travel supplies. “At the end of the day, we need to sell product and it just wasn’t happening in June or July,” Byrns said. “You won’t get the same level of service at a larger box store; it doesn’t compare to shopping local.” The Awl Shoppe will be open until Aug. 28.

Nurse steps down for a night, promotes Griffin to head coach vs. Philly

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 16:24
Whether it's as a player or coach, Adrian Griffin said there's no better practice than actual games. The Toronto Raptors assistant was promoted to head coach for Wednesday's seeding-round game against the Philadelphia 76ers, and planned to cherish the opportunity.  "Well, I think coach (head coach Nick Nurse) is an awesome human being. He understands that a coach like me needs some reps at being a head coach," Griffin said prior to tipoff at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. "He knows my ambitions and he wants to see me grow as an individual on and off the court. "Definitely just an awesome gesture by coach, he approached me with it and it just kinda shows what kind of character that coach Nurse has." The Raptors said it's the first time the team has had a substitute head coach since Feb. 13, 2008 when Jay Triano stepped in for Sam Mitchell after the death of his father-in-law. It was the first time a Canadian had coached a regular-season NBA game. The Raptors won 109-91 over New Jersey. The 46-year-old Griffin, who played nine seasons in the NBA, was hired by the Raptors in 2018 after assistant coaching stints with Milwaukee, Chicago, Orlando and Oklahoma City. What did he hope to glean from his temporary promotion? "Well, just like when athletes and basketball players are training in the summer, there's nothing comparing to game condition," he said. "You can work out all you want, but until you get in those games and you get up and down the court, there's a difference. It's really equivalent to an assistant coach moving over to that chair. You do all the training that you can and practise, but it's good to get those game reps." Nurse isn't the first Toronto head coach to hand over his duties for a game with no meaning in the standings in recent years. In his final game with the Blue Jays in 2018, John Gibbons gave managerial duties to veteran Canadian catcher Russell Martin. Griffin said Nurse's gesture goes hand-in-hand with the Raptors' "first-class organization," starting at the top with president Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster. "There's a reason why we've had success over the years," Griffin said.  He also credited the numerous coaches he played for and coached with including Don Nelson, Rick Pitino, Jeff Van Gundy, Tom Thibodeau and Billy Donovan. "The list goes on, man, and I've been fortunate to be under that type of calibre of coaching," Griffin said. The Raptors were 51-19 heading into Wednesday's matchup with Philly, their penultimate game in the seeding round. They'd clinched the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, and will face Brooklyn in the first round of the playoffs. "These guys are phenomenal, we have great players, they know the game-plan, they know how to play, they're proven winners," Griffin said. "I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel. I'm just gonna go out there, execute the plan that coach Nurse has really provided a great blueprint to follow and just kinda let the cards fall where they may." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2020. Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press

Complaints filed against Edmundston officers in fatal shooting of Chantel Moore

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 16:17
FREDERICTON - A law firm representing the estate of Chantel Moore has filed a pair of complaints with the New Brunswick Police Commission in connection with her death. One complaint targets the Edmundston police officer directly involved in the shooting of 26-year-old Moore, an Indigenous woman killed during a wellness check June 4. The other is against a senior Edmundston police officer regarding comments made on live television in the hours following the shooting. Lawyer T.J. Burke said Wednesday he filed the complaints under the provincial Police Act at the direction of his clients. Moore was fatally shot after she allegedly lunged at an officer with a knife. Quebec's independent police watchdog is investigating because New Brunswick does not have its own police oversight agency. "We wanted to bring these up right away because we don't trust (that) the New Brunswick Police Commission is going to file a complaint ... and we don't think the chief of police in Edmundston will do it," Burke said in an interview. "As civilians, lawyers, we did it on behalf of the estate of Chantel Moore." The commission is an independent board of citizens that oversees complaints involving seven municipal police services and two regional police forces in the province. New Brunswick's Police Act generally provides one year for complaints to be filed. "New Brunswick police officers are subjected to civil proceedings where they can be disciplined by an oversight commission," Burke said. In the case of the police officer directly involved in the shooting, Burke said the complaint requests he be sanctioned and removed from his job. If criminal charges result from the watchdog's probe into Moore's killing, however, the case would delay any hearing into the complaint. Moore's family wants the complaint against a high-ranking Edmundston police officer pursued immediately, Burke said. That officer offered a public apology for laughing when asked a question during a CTV News interview in the aftermath of Moore's shooting. Burke said that considering no criminal charges will result from that incident, the complaint should be pursued by the commission right now. "We believe the laughter was injurious to not only to the family, to New Brunswickers, but to Canadians all alike and believe that it falls well below the standards a high-ranking officer should hold in office," Burke said, adding the family didn't accept the apology. Edmundston Police Chief Alain Lang said in an email Wednesday, "The entire matter is presently under investigation and we have no further comments to make." Moore's killing was the first of two deaths involving Indigenous people in the span of about one week in the province. Rodney Levi, 48, was killed by the RCMP near the Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation, on June 12. The Mounties have said a suspect carrying knives was jolted with a stun gun, but that failed to subdue him. He was shot when he charged at officers, police said. Levi's death is also under investigation by the Quebec watchdog. New Brunswick has announced a coroner will hold separate inquests into both deaths. This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Aug. 12, 2020. The Canadian Press

Three adults dead after swimming near waterfall in west-central Alberta

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 16:06
NORDEGG, Alta. - Three people are dead after they went swimming at a waterfall in west-central Alberta. RCMP say it appears that three adults from a family were swimming at the bottom of Crescent Falls on Tuesday west of the hamlet of Nordegg. Police say one of the adults was swept under the falls and the two others tried to help but were also drawn into the torrent of water. Three children, ages 10, six and three, remained on the bank of the Bighorn River and yelled for assistance. Police say people who were nearby recovered two of the bodies and a third was recovered Wednesday. The three children have since been put in the care of relatives. "We offer our heartfelt condolences to everyone affected by and involved in this tragic incident," RCMP Cpl. Ryan Hack said in a release Wednesday. "We also offer our thanks to the citizens, and partner agencies, who immediately jumped into action to provide assistance in the face of these powerful falls." RCMP, Clearwater Regional Fire Services, Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue, Alberta Parks and Ahlstrom Air responded to the call. This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Aug. 12, 2020         The Canadian Press

Leafs dissect another disappointing season: ‘Words aren’t going to fix this’

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 15:39
TORONTO - One by one, the Maple Leafs sat down in front of their laptops, iPads and smart phones to face the music - from a distance via video conferencing, of course - following another season that started with big dreams and ended with a resounding thud. Long faces and monotone responses greeted reporters' questions about how a team with so much skill could once again fall flat when it mattered most. There were no excuses, but rather a feeling that Toronto remains on the right path with a young, talented core still only scratching the surface. There's more ownership from the roster's highly-paid, 20-something stars when things go wrong, a better understanding of what it takes to win, improved commitment to each other, and growth across the board, the Leafs insisted. There certainly was a lot of talk Wednesday. Team president Brendan Shanahan, however, summed things up best. "Words aren't going to fix this," he said. "The things that we say aren't what's going to get this done. It's going to be the work that we do." That's already started following Toronto's five-game loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the qualifying round of the NHL's restart to its pandemic-hit campaign. The high-powered Leafs, defensively deficient much of a season that was halted in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, were better in their own end. The problem was they didn't offer much offensively throughout the best-of-five series with Columbus, and especially in an elimination game for the second straight year with Toronto falling 3-0 in Sunday's finale at Scotiabank Arena. "We can let this discourage us," Shanahan said. "Or we can allow this to make our players and our entire staff more determined and more mentally tough to take a bad situation and grow from it. "Right now the focus is on how we get better and what changes we have to make." That task falls to general manager Kyle Dubas, who replaced Lou Lamoriello in 2018 and then gave massive contracts to Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner and William Nylander. With north of US$40 million committed to Toronto's Big 4 forwards annually through 2023-24, there appears to be little wiggle room to improve the shaky blue line or add depth unless big moves are made, especially with the $81.5-million salary cap staying flat for the foreseeable future.  And it didn't sound like anything earth-shattering will be in the cards ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, whenever it begins. The Leafs have fallen short in their attempt to out-skill tougher, more physical opponents the last three years, losing a pair of seven-game, first-round series to the Boston Bruins before the latest setback against Columbus, which technically means Toronto missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016. "Having a good regular season really isn't cutting it anymore," said Matthews, who scored a career-high 47 goals. "We've got to figure out the playoffs and get out of this first round. Four years in a row is pretty frustrating and a little bit embarrassing." Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin - often the team's conscience in difficult moments - said getting past that hurdle and beyond comes down to will and desire. "If we're not learning from this, then we're really losing," said Muzzin, who suffered a series-ending injury in Game 2. "I hope guys understand that we've got to dig into the next level and that'll bring this team further along." Dubas, rightly or wrongly, has been painted as an analytics-driven executive intent on remaking how a team can succeed in the NHL, but he pushed back when asked if his vision for the Leafs has to change. "I don't find myself transfixed on one thing," said Dubas, who added toughness in Muzzin and bruising winger Kyle Clifford the last two seasons. "(The media) thinks I have one way of going about things and that it's never changing. "The vision for me always has to be changing." He also gave an impassioned response, perhaps the most direct of his time with the Leafs, in defence of Marner following the loss to the Blue Jackets. "I don't get the criticism of Mitch Marner one bit," said Dubas, who also offered a simple "No" when asked if he misread the potential of Toronto's core. "He's a guy that plays his ass off every night, has got tremendous skill, tremendous intensity, plays every situation for us ... and everything that he does wrong, people jump all over him. "It's among the most idiotic things that I see done here." The Leafs have gone home early every year since Shanahan - and his so-called "Shanaplan" - was hired in 2014. And while not his fault, Toronto hasn't won a series in 16 years and has a Stanley Cup drought at 53 years and counting. "No one's feeling sorry for ourselves," Shanahan said. "It's really about finding solutions, so that we get over that hump. We really do believe in this group. "We understand why Toronto fans are frustrated. They're entitled to be. They should be." Leafs winger Zach Hyman, who grew up in the city, agreed the anger is justified. "I get it," he said. "It sucks. We're building towards being in a position where it's going to stop sucking and we're going to be able to win rounds and be able to put ourselves in a position to make a run. "But in the short term, it sucks. And it's gonna suck for a long time." The Leafs have regressed in the standings since topping out at 105 points under head coach Mike Babcock in 2017-18. Toronto got to 100 points last season, and was on pace for 95 in 2019-20 before the pandemic. Dubas used one of the bullets in his chamber when he fired Babcock in November, replacing him with the like-minded Sheldon Keefe, whom he's worked with since junior. The hope is with a full training camp and regular season, the Leafs will be better prepared when the chips are down. "I would love for the progress to be linear," Dubas said. "There are lots of teams that go through significant ups and downs on their way to getting to where they all want to go." Fans and local media have heavily criticized the Leafs since the loss to Columbus. The perception is Toronto isn't tough enough, doesn't care enough and doesn't have the mental fortitude to deal with the pressure of big moments. "We don't really care what other people think or how far away other people think we are or the articles that they're gonna write about all the things that we need," Matthews said. "We believe in our management and in our staff and the players on this team and in this organization that we're going to power through this adversity and we'll break through eventually." But Muzzin, who won the Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings in 2014, said the formula isn't easy. "This group needs to dig in more," Muzzin said. "We have lots of skill and talent and speed, but when it comes to playoff hockey ... the will to win has to burn a little hotter. "Once we find that, then we'll be dangerous." The question is: who's on board, and how long will that take? This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2020. ___ Follow @JClipperton_CP on Twitter Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

Canada’s Taylor Pendrith ready for pro debut on PGA Tour at U.S. Open

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 15:24
Taylor Pendrith is ready to showcase his game on the biggest stage in golf. The product of Richmond Hill, Ont., earned his way into the second major of the season on Sunday when he qualified for the U.S. Open as one of the top five players in the Korn Ferry Tour rankings. It's been a long road for the 29-year-old Pendrith, who's battled back from injuries and other setbacks to become one of the hottest players not yet on the PGA Tour. "It hasn't really sunk in yet, I guess, a whole lot," said Pendrith shortly after his entry into the U.S. Open became official as the No. 4 player on the Korn Ferry Tour. "Obviously I'm super excited to play. It'll be my first major and I get to play against the best players in the world and it will be super fun." Pendrith's only appearance on the PGA Tour so far was at the 2014 RBC Canadian Open when he was still an amateur playing at Kent State University in Ohio. He tied for 43rd at Royal Montreal Golf Club that year and was the tournament's low amateur. He turned pro in 2015 and earned his way up to what was then called the Tour (now the Korn Ferry Tour). However, after two injury-plagued seasons Pendrith just missed out on earning a card for the second-tier circuit for the 2019 season. Pendrith didn't lose heart, instead focusing on getting himself healthy and then tearing it up on Canada's Mackenzie Tour, finishing in the top 10 nine times to finish second overall, just behind France's Paul Barjon for first in the rankings. That earned him a promotion to the Korn Ferry Tour this year. He's stayed hot this season, with four consecutive top-three results through the month of July to rocket up the Korn Ferry Tour's rankings. A tie for 22nd in the Portland Open on Sunday kept him in the tour's top five (he's currently fourth) and qualified him for the U.S. Open. The top 25 in the rankings next fall earn PGA Tour cards for 2021-22. "I've always been kind of a late bloomer, I'd say," said Pendrith, noting he picked up golf later than most pros. "Didn't really have any college offers, didn't win my first college event until my third year. "Each person has their different path and mine's taken a little longer but it would be awesome to get out (to the PGA Tour) full time." He'll fit right in when the U.S. Open tees off on Sept. 17 at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Not just because fellow Canadians Adam Hadwin, Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes have already qualified for the event, but because Pendrith's massive drives are PGA calibre. So far this season he's averaging 323.8 yards per drive, good for eighth on the Korn Ferry Tour. If he were on the PGA Tour, he would be second for longest average drive behind Bryson DeChambeau by just 0.1 yards. Pendrith - who played for Kent State with Conners and Hughes - has already earned a reputation as an exciting, dynamic player. When Royal Montreal was named the host of the 2024 Presidents Cup on Monday, Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask., was asked about the possibility of several Canadians making the International team. Pendrith was among the names the 2013 International team member mentioned as someone who could make the squad in four years' time. "I look at the potential for Canadians to be on that roster, and obviously (Adam Hadwin) has been playing some great golf, (Nick Taylor) and (Mackenzie Hughes), Taylor Pendrith is coming off the Korn Ferry Tour next year, I think you've got to watch out for him," said DeLaet. "Obviously Corey Conners is everything, as well." Hours later, Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum mentioned that Pendrith is likely your favourite golfer's favourite golfer. "He's the guy that all of our current PGA Tour pros like Mac and Corey and Nick they all say 'this guy is going to be with us sooner than you know,'" said Applebaum. "I just think he's such a great kid, such a good attitude, he's a lot of fun." Until the U.S. Open, Pendrith will continue to play on the Korn Ferry Tour, including this week's Boise Open at Hillcrest Country Club in Idaho. He'll be joined by fellow Canadians Ben Silverman of Thornhill, Ont., Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., and Vancouver's Stuart Macdonald. PGA TOUR - Conners, from Listowel, Ont., is the top-ranked Canadian playing in this week's Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., Michael Gligic of Burlington, Ont., and Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., are also in the field. EUROPEAN TOUR - Aaron Cockerill of Stony Mountain, Man., is in the field at this week's Celtic Classic at The Celtic Manor Resort, City of Newport, Wales. MACKENZIE TOUR - Calgary's Evan Holmes was the leader heading into Wednesday's final round of the Canada Life Series on Bear Mountain's Mountain Course. The three-round tournament was the first event in the four-stop mini-tour. LPGA TOUR - Hamilton's Alena Sharp is the only Canadian in the field at this week's Ladies Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland. Sharp is ranked 31st on the LPGA Tour after tying for 25th at last week's Marathon LPGA Classic. SYMETRA TOUR - Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont., is the highest ranked Canadian heading into the Founders Tribute at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz., on Friday. Szeryk is 18th in the standings. Josee Doyon of St-Georges, Que., Calgary's Jaclyn Lee and Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., are also in the field. Brittany Marchand of Orangeville, Ont., had to withdraw from the event after cutting her hand. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2020. ___ John Chidley Hill's weekly golf notebook is published on Wednesdays. Follow @jchidleyhill on Twitter John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

Kamala Harris a ‘tangible’ inspiration for women, former Montreal classmate says

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 15:14
A former classmate and friend of Kamala Harris from her years in Montreal says he hopes the California senator and newly minted U.S. vice-presidential candidate can serve as a role-model for his daughters. Trevor Williams knew Harris and her younger sister Maya when all three attended Westmount High School. It was clear the two sisters had a bright future ahead of them, he said Wednesday, a day after the former prosecutor was named as Joe Biden's running mate on the Democratic ticket. "At the time, you take things for granted, but now when you look back, you can definitely see a shining star on Kamala Harris, on Maya Harris. They were so extremely bright and intelligent people, they were just so smart," he said. Though he hasn't spoken to Harris since their school years, Williams remembers her as firm and persistent, and said her bid for the vice-presidency is "great for women of colour." It's also a "tangible" example for his daughters, aged six and 11, to look up to, said Williams, who runs a foundation and camp for Montreal youth and coaches women's basketball at Dawson College. "I'm going to be going home and telling my daughters that I went to school with this woman and anything is possible. If she can do it, you can do it," he said. Harris, the first Black woman to appear on a major party's presidential ticket, moved to Montreal as a teen so her mother Shyamala Gopalan, a breast-cancer researcher, could work at McGill University. She enrolled at Westmount after an initial stint at a French-language school. The school rallied behind its graduate last year when Harris launched her presidential campaign, and publicly renewed its support this week as her new role was announced. "We couldn't be more proud of WHS graduate Kamala Harris - future Vice President of the United States!" the school tweeted Tuesday. Some teachers there said Harris's nomination could provide crucial inspiration to students as they face a new school year restricted by measures meant to contain the novel coronavirus. Sabrina Jafralie, who teaches ethics and religious culture at the school, said she hoped Harris would reach out to her alma mater as classes resume. "We don't know what's going to happen this year in school, we don't know how much changes are happening in education, but we get to start it off with a good boost of Kamala Harris, and I think that would be inspirational to our students," she said.  Harris is someone who "speaks for the people," and it's possible her time at Westmount "played a part in helping her find her voice," Jafralie said.  "I don't know how much Canada, or her experience in Canada, helped her shape her politics or her mind, but I like to think that there's a little bit of maple leaf running through her blood, and maybe we'll see it in her politics," she said. Another teacher, Robert Green, noted former students have expressed their pride at the connection on social media, and said he believes current students will also find it "very meaningful." "Particularly for the Black population at Westmount High and for the girls who are aspiring to be involved in politics," he said. "Regardless of what you might think of Kamala Harris's politics I think the fact that a Black woman is there running to be vice-president, this is something that's going to be really inspiring for our students." Green said he usually teaches an advanced placement government and politics course at the school, and students in that class were amazed when Harris launched her presidential bid last year. While COVID-19 restrictions mean the school no longer has the capacity to offer the course, the U.S. election - and Harris's role in it - will be discussed in a class that serves as an introduction to politics, he said. Harris has staked out relatively moderate stances over the course of her career on issues such as health care and law enforcement, but has faced criticism for her actions as a California district attorney and later as the state's attorney general. Critics have said she frequently opposed or ignored criminal justice reform measures aimed at levelling a playing field they say is unfairly tilted against Black defendants. -with files from The Associated Press This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Aug. 12, 2020. Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

N.S. Mountie faces questions over redacted warrants in mass killing case

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 15:08
HALIFAX - A senior RCMP officer in Nova Scotia who obtained search warrants for the investigation into the mass shooting in April was grilled in court today about why most of those documents remain heavily redacted. Search warrants are supposed to be made public after they have been executed, with some exceptions, but in this case the Crown has produced heavily redacted versions that are now the subject of a court challenge by media outlets, including The Canadian Press. RCMP Sgt. Angela Hawryluk was cross-examined by media lawyer David Coles, who repeatedly asked the officer to justify why large sections of the warrants remain blacked out and beyond public scrutiny. Hawryluk said the release of key information could jeopardize the RCMP's ongoing investigation of Gabriel Wortman's murderous rampage on April 18-19, which claimed the lives of 22 victims over a 13-hour span. As well, Crown lawyers argued that certain names in the documents had to remain confidential because these people and at least one business have been deemed "innocent third parties" whose identities must be protected. Provincial court Judge Laurel Halfpenny-MacQuarrie signed an order Wednesday to release some previously redacted content, though none of that information shed any new light on the case. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2020. The Canadian Press

‘I don’t remember:’ Man accused of killing Alberta doctor makes court appearance

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 15:03
RED DEER, Alta. - A man accused of killing a family doctor at a walk-in clinic in central Alberta appeared confused at his first court appearance Wednesday, telling a judge that he doesn’t remember and is sick. Deng Mabiour of Red Deer, Alta., is charged with first-degree murder in Monday’s death of 45-year-old Dr. Walter Reynolds, as well as other offences. The 54-year-old Mabiour appeared via a video link but wasn’t able to tell the judge if he understood the charges laid against him. “Listen to me. I don’t remember anything because I’m sick. I want a doctor,” Mabiour, with a heavy accent, told provincial court Judge Bert Skinner. “I’m telling you I didn’t remember anything because I am sick.” Skinner ordered the duty counsel to speak with Mabiour by phone. The charges were then read a second time. “Did you understand the charges?” asked the judge. “No, I didn’t understand,” Mabiour replied. “Because I am sick. I lost memory. Listen to me, I don’t remember. I want a doctor.” Mabiour continued talking as the judge and lawyers spoke. Skinner said a first-degree murder charge that goes to trial is automatically put before a jury. The case was put over to Sept. 9. RCMP have said the attack was not random and the two men knew each other through the clinic. They have not said if Mabiour was a patient, citing confidentiality. Officers received a 911 call reporting an assault in progress at the Village Mall Walk-in Clinic just after 11 a.m. Monday. Mounties arrived within minutes. One witness told media that she heard cries for help and a man in the clinic had a hammer and a machete. Mabiour was arrested at the scene. Reynolds was rushed to hospital, where he died. “In 27 years of policing, I’ve never seen a doctor attacked like that,” RCMP Supt. Gerald Grobmeier said at a news conference Tuesday. Dr. Peter Bouch works at a different Red Deer clinic but said that both he and Reynolds had moved to Canada from South Africa. He said the death is a shock to many in the medical community. A vigil for Reynolds has been planned for Friday night at city hall. Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Recovery race on for Blue Jackets, Lightning after quintuple overtime

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 14:51
Massage therapists working on a conveyor belt of sore groins, hips and backs was the aftermath of the NHL's marathon between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning. Game 1 of their first-round playoff series required quintuple overtime Tuesday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Six hours and 13 minutes after the puck dropped at 3:09 p.m. ET, the Lightning's Brayden Point scored at 10:27 of the fifth OT to end the fourth-longest game in NHL history. Point's goal capped the longest game either franchise had ever played. "Our training staff, today is going to be kind of their eight-period game," Lightning defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk said Wednesday during a video conference call with media.  "They're going to be working all day on us." Neither team skated Wednesday, but the players didn't let their bodies shut down completely. "You have to get all that lactic acid build-up out of your system," Tampa Bay forward Tyler Johnson said. "The worst thing you can do is lay around and do nothing." A walk, a light spin on the bike, wearing compression boots and doses of pickle juice to restore sodium levels were all options. "And I hate pickles," Johnson declared. Players pushed themselves into the red the previous day, led by Blue Jackets defenceman Seth Jones and his NHL-record 65 minutes six seconds of ice time. Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo's 85 saves were the most in a single game since 1955-56. Lightning counterpart Andrei Vasilevskiy's 61 stops set a franchise record. Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella said skating Wednesday wasn't an option. "You'd like to move the blood a little bit before you play another game, but we cancelled that," he said. "We'll have our two o'clock meeting. "We have some (video) and our medical people have been taking care of them all day long here and getting them ready for tomorrow." Thursday's Game 2 is another 3 p.m. puck drop, so the recovery race was on. "Same kind of recovery, just more," Blue Jackets centre Boone Jenner said. "Your body went through a little bit more. "Making sure you're drinking and eating enough and getting your rest. There could be overtime games back-to-back, whatever. "So you've just got to be ready for it that way and try to get ahead of that." Shattenkirk estimates he sheds two kilograms of water weight in a regular three-period game. Cramping was a real danger as Tuesday's game wore on. "I found personally as we started to get into later overtimes, it was almost worse coming into the locker room and sitting down and not being active and kind of seizing up a little bit," the defenceman explained. "A lot of electrolytes were consumed, a lot of fluids and liquids and whatever sort of food you could get into you." With each passing overtime period, the stakes rose in terms of the enormous physical price a team would pay to fall behind in the best-of-seven series. "It's high stakes no matter if it's a 60-minute game or whatever we played last night," Tortorella said. "What it does is it puts a tick in the win column for them and it puts a tick in the lose column for us. You know when you put that much time into it, you're trying to get in the right column. We didn't. They did." Johnson recalled the Lightning were somewhat giddy in the dressing room between overtimes. "I'll always remember in the intermissions guys laughing, joking around and having fun," he said. "I don't know if it's just because we were so exhausted. "Seth Jones just broke the record for playing the most minutes in game, so that's pretty remarkable.  "I'm proud to be a part of it, but at the same time, I don't know if I ever want to do it again." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2020. Follow @DLSpencer10 on Twitter Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

Baseball Hall of Fame opens Inductees Exhibit

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 14:50
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - The Baseball Hall of Fame's class of 2020 has to wait a year to get inducted because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the careers of Derek Jeter, Ted Simmons, Larry Walker, and Marvin Miller are already being celebrated at the shrine. The museum's Inductees Exhibit is now open. It features one artifact for each honoree and includes: the Yankees helmet Jeter wore when he recorded his 3,000th career hit on July 9, 2011; Simmons' AL championship ring won with the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers; a Rockies jersey worn by Walker in 1998 when he led the National League with a .363 batting average; and a timeline of Miller's career as executive director of the players' union. The exhibit will remain on display through next year and the Hall of Fame says additional artifacts may be added. The class of 2020 and anybody elected next year will be inducted next July 25 in Cooperstown. This year's July induction was cancelled in late April because of concerns about COVID-19. ___ More AP MLB: and The Associated Press

Feds seeking private consultant to design, run firearm buyback program

Wed, 08/12/2020 - 14:27
OTTAWA - The federal government is turning to the private sector to design and run a massive buyback of newly prohibited firearms. Public Safety Canada has invited 15 consulting firms to come up with a "range of options and approaches" for the planned program to compensate gun owners. The Liberals outlawed a wide range of firearms in May, saying the guns were designed for the battlefield, not hunting or sport shooting. The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons, meaning they can no longer be legally used, sold or imported. The government proposes a program that would allow current owners to receive compensation for turning in the designated firearms or keep them through an exemption process yet to be worked out. The first phase of the tender would require the successful bidder to come up with a compensation plan for each affected firearm. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 12, 2020. The Canadian Press