Manitoba health officials give COVID-19 update

Health officials in Manitoba will give an update on the province’s efforts against COVID-19 Wednesday.

Dr. Jazz Atwal, deputy chief provincial public health officer, will be joined by Dr. Joss Reimer, who heads up the province’s vaccine implementation task force, for a 12:30 p.m. online meeting with reporters. Global News will stream the availability in this story.

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Manitoba reported 73 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday.

The cases reported on the province’s COVID-19 dashboard bring Manitoba’s total number of active infections to 1,069 and the province’s five-day test positivity rate to 4.3 per cent.

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Manitoba reports 73 new COVID-19 cases, 5-day test positivity rates passes 4 per cent

It’s the first time the provincial five-day test positivity rate has passed four per cent since mid-July.

Manitoba has now reported 62,977 COVID-19 cases since March 2020.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, visit our coronavirus page.

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

Cavan man arrested after child pornography investigation by Peterborough police

Peterborough, Ont., police have made an arrest following a child pornography investigation.

The Peterborough Police Service launched the investigation after receiving information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. On Aug. 26 officers executed a search warrant at a residence in Cavan-Monaghan Township where they located and seized various electronics.

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Peterborough man faces child pornography, distributing intimate images charges: police

On Tuesday, the investigation led to the arrest of  David William Taylor, 40, of Cavan who was charged with possession of child pornography and accessing child pornography.

He was held in custody and appeared in court in Peterborough later Tuesday at which time he was released.  He is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 18, police said.

The Peterborough Police Service is a member of the Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet. This project has been made possible by a grant from the Ministry of the Solicitor General.

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

'We need the housing:' Halifax council approves final phase of Centre Plan

The coordinator of Halifax Regional Municipality’s emergency homelessness response says 24 modular units will soon be up and running but the province still hasn’t committed to investing in the social support services residents will need.

Halifax Regional Council has given the green light to the last phase of an urban planning strategy for Halifax and Dartmouth after three hours of debate on Tuesday night.

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of adopting the plan with some amendments, including a report on pre-approved development applications that will be affected by the passing of the final phase.

The Centre Plan is a planning process for the Regional Centre, including Peninsula Halifax and Dartmouth inside the Circumferential Highway. The plan is being developed in two phases, Package A — approved by council in September of 2019 — and Package B.

Package B is the second and last phase of the centre plan that was officially launched in 2016. It focuses on developments that city staff deemed appropriate for high-growth areas, like Halifax’s downtown core.

This phase focuses on protecting the character of low-density neighbourhoods while encouraging new growth through hidden density opportunities — things like the approval of backyard suites and internal conversions of existing larger homes.

Tuesday’s session was the first in-person public hearing since the pandemic hit and the last opportunity for people to share their thoughts on the final stage of the planning strategy.

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“Many residents, such as myself, a young professional just starting my career in Halifax, rely on lower density, affordable housing and will not be able to afford the high-rise living that will be replacing it,” said Caden Hebb, a Halifax resident, who attended the hearing.

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said during the session that between packages A and B, there are 49,000 potential developments as of now.

“We’ve already got 20-something thousand approved developments. We need the housing this will provide,” he added.

—with files from Alexa MacLean

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

Heavy rainfall expected to hit B.C.'s south coast beginning Wednesday night

Parts of British Columbia’s south coast should expect heavy rainfall through Thursday.

In a special weather statement issued Wednesday, Environment Canada said a moisture-laden weather system with an atmospheric river pattern will bring between 50 to 70 millimetres of rain to the Fraser Valley, including Chilliwack, Hope and Abbotsford.

Parts of the North Shore, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Surrey and Langley can expect up to 50 millimetres of rain.

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Snow expected to continue to hit the Coquihalla on Wednesday

Rainfall is expected to begin Wednesday night with the heaviest rain expected overnight through Thursday afternoon. Heavy rain is expected to ease Thursday night.

Part of Vancouver Island can also expect wet weather, with rainfall for Greater Victoria and the Malahat Highway with close to 50 mm of precipitation in the forecast as the weather system moves into B.C.’s Interior.

Snow is expected on the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt with Snowfall accumulation: 10 to 20 cm.

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The weather pattern comes days after a “bomb cyclones” brought strong winds to B.C.’s south coast.

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

Winter clothing drive underway in Edmonton for city's most vulnerable

While many don’t like to admit it, winter is on the way in Edmonton and two local organizations are gearing up to help those in need.

A two-day winter clothing drive is being held Wednesday and Thursday by the Bissell Centre and the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society.

Warm winter items are being collected for people experiencing homelessness in Edmonton.

The extreme cold temperatures over the winter months can lead to frostbite, hypothermia and even death for those who are not properly prepared for the elements.

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Groups that advocate for homeless Edmontonians say cold weather triggers ‘urgent need’

Vulnerable populations in Edmonton are most at risk of being affected by the extreme conditions.

All items collected over the next two days will be given to Bissell Centre participants. Warm jackets are in particularly high demand.

“We’re so grateful to Bent Arrow, not only for spearheading this clothing drive for community members, but also for our continued partnership,” Bissell Centre CEO Gary St. Amand said.

“Traditional teachings and medicines are vital to the health of the community we serve, and it’s been an honour to learn from and also work together in this space.”

“Warmth is the first layer of shelter for all humankind. And humankind is all related. Caring is the first layer of love. So show your love for your fellow humans and bring in a coat for your relation,” said Cheryl Whiskeyjack, executive director of Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society.

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Small act of kindness goes a long way during Edmonton’s cold snap

On Wednesday and Thursday, winter clothing donations can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at either Bissell Centre — located at 10530 – 96 St. — or Bent Arrow — located at 11648 – 85 St.

— More to come…

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

Cambridge pair arrested in connection with drug overdose death of 1-year-old boy

Waterloo Regional Police say they have arrested a man and a woman in connection with the drug overdose death of a 1-year-old boy in Cambridge.

Police say emergency services were sent to a home on Byton Lane on May 4 at around 2 p.m. after someone called 911 to report a one-year-child in distress.

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Police investigating death of 1-year-old boy in Cambridge

Police say the child was found and was without vital signs.

He was taken to Cambridge Memorial Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police announced a few days later that an investigation had been launched.

They say that investigation soon determined the toddler’s death had been caused by a suspected drug overdose.

On Wednesday morning, police arrested a 38-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman, both from Cambridge, before charging them with criminal negligence causing death.

Police say they are related to the victim.

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3 arrested after 2-year-old boy died of drug overdose in Cambridge last year

This is the second time this year police have made arrests in connection with the drug overdose of a toddler in Cambridge.

In April, three people were arrested after an investigation that showed a three-year-old boy had died last December of a drug overdose.

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

Sipekne’katik chief 'optimistic' about newly appointed fisheries minister, Joyce Murray

Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan has invited Nova Scotia First Nations to launch ‘authorized’ moderate livelihood fisheries this year, provided those harvests take place during the commercial season. As Elizabeth McSheffrey reports, Sipekne’katik First Nation Chief Michael Sack isn’t pleased by the conditions, and says his community will go ahead with their own fishery plans.

The chief of Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia says he’s looking forward to a clean slate with the newly appointed fisheries minister.

MP Joyce Murray, who represents Vancouver Quadra, was named minister of fisheries and oceans when Justin Trudeau unveiled his new cabinet Tuesday.

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Joyce replaces Bernadette Jordan, who lost her re-election bid in the riding of South Shore—St. Margaret’s in the September election. Jordan had come under fire for her handling of the lobster fishery dispute along the south shore between commercial and Indigenous fishermen.

Sipekne’katik Chief Mike Sack told Global News on Wednesday he is encouraged that the new minister is not from the area.

“It should be more of an unbiased opinion, in my mind,” he said.

“There should be no reason why she should have to worry about anybody’s feelings in her neighbourhood.”

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The Sipekne’katik First Nation argues that a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision affirming its members’ treaty right to fish allows them to harvest lobster year-round to earn a “moderate livelihood.”

But the court has also said the government can regulate that treaty right for conservation and other limited purposes. Federal regulation dictates that the area where the Sipekne’katik First Nation fishery is operating in southwestern Nova Scotia — LFA 34 — is open for lobster fishing from the last Monday in November until the end of May.

In September 2020, the band launched a self-regulated lobster fishery outside the federally regulated season, which led to violence and the burning of a lobster pound that stored Indigenous catch.

Sack was arrested in August of this year by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) officers for being “party to the offence of (an) unauthorized fishery,” but Sack said at the time that his band members would continue to fish in St. Mary’s Bay whether Ottawa liked it or not.

Sack said since the federal election, he has been “waiting patiently” for Trudeau to name a new minister. He adds he plans to reach out to Murray soon for a one-on-one chat.

“I’m hoping that she just follows what’s set out in the treaties,” he said.

“I just want to remain optimistic and am hoping to get in front of her right away.”

Sack said he spoke to DFO on Monday to reiterate the urgency of getting their fishermen back on the water.

–with files from Graeme Benjamin and The Canadian Press

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

Winnipeg on track to see 80% rise in vacant building fires, according to city numbers

WATCH: A jump in vacant building fires in Winnipeg this year is sparking safety concerns. As Global's Brittany Greenslade tells us, such blazes are on track to increase by 80 per cent in 2021.

Officials in Winnipeg are calling on vacant building owners to do more to secure their properties after the city has seen a spike in fires in empty buildings this year.

Numbers from the city show fire crews have been called to 133 fires at vacant buildings so far this year, up from 82  in all of 2020 and 81 for the entirety of 2019.

That means the city’s on track to see an 80 per cent increase in “exceptionally dangerous” fires this year, said Mark Reshaur, assistant chief of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.

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“These fires are having a big impact,” Reshaur told Global News.

“Because these buildings are unoccupied and often boarded up, the fires inside them burn for longer, they are deeper-seated in the structure, and they are burning much more intensely throughout the entire building as opposed to confined to a room of origin.

“So when we get to the fire it’s because the fires broken out through a window or through the roof and the community’s seen it, and by then it’s too late.”

Reshaur said the longer a building sits vacant, the more dangerous it is for firefighters. There’s more chance a floor might fall through, and the risk that a roof might collapse increases because flames are able to rip through holes punched into walls where copper pipes and wiring has been stolen, threatening the building’s structural integrity.

And because certain areas of the city have more vacant buildings than others, Reshaur said it’s often the same fire crews getting called to the more dangerous blazes.

According to the city, there are currently 570 buildings listed as vacant in Winnipeg, with the overwhelming majority concentrated in the North End and West End.

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The William Whyte neighbourhood alone has 70 structures listed as vacant.

Winston Yee is the manager of community bylaw enforcement services with the City of Winnipeg.

Yee said the number of buildings officially labeled as vacant in Winnipeg is constantly in flux, with city staff removing on average between 200 and 300 from the list every year.

But hundreds more are also added, he said.

According to Yee, the office relies on tips from the public and also works with community organizations, police and the WFPS to help locate vacant buildings.

Once a building is listed as vacant bylaw officers start annual structural and safety inspections and Yee said they work with owners with the goal of getting the spaces re-occupied.

But there are also financial penalties for owners of long-term vacant buildings and buildings found to be out of compliance, Yee said.

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Owners are charged just over $1,200 if deficiencies are found during an inspection, on top of the $600 levied for the annual inspections. There’s also a $2,000 fee for a permit to board up a building, which increases every subsequent year it remains empty.

“So if you’ve got a vacant building for five or six years, it could be an annual fee to continue to have that building boarded, well over $10,000,” Yee said, adding officers also have the ability to further fine building owners who are not responsive.

Anecdotally, Yee said most building owners want to work with bylaw officers, and not all vacant properties that end up with fires were previously on the city’s list of vacant buildings.

That’s why both Yee and Reshaur note it’s important for Winnipeggers to report vacant buildings in their neighbourhoods.

“If you see a building that’s insecure, if you see people coming and going, if you see boards removed from the window, if you see illegal dumping, report it right away,” Reshaur said.

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Point Douglas warehouse fire out, but hot spots remain: City

Ultimately though, Reshaur said it’s up to vacant building owners to make sure the property is safe.

“They need to be going and taking a look at their vacant properties and making sure the building is secure and they need to be re-securing it,” he said.

“Don’t wait for a phone call from us at two in the morning to say the place is on fire. You need to be getting out there on a proactive basis and checking your properties and making sure they’re secure.”

–With files from Brittany Greenslade

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

OPP investigating tires slashed on at least 21 vehicles in Mount Forest, Ont.

Wellington County OPP are asking for the community’s help in identifying those responsible for slashing the tires of at least 21 vehicles in Mount Forest, Ont.

The force said they received a complaint Wednesday at 1:45 a.m. from someone who had their tires slashed.

“Officers attended the area and observed approximately 15 other vehicles on Main Street and Wellington Street that had multiple tires slashed,” OPP said in a news release.

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Officers searched the area but did not make any arrests. Police added that as of 11 a.m., they continue to receive calls regarding vehicles with similar damage.

All of the vehicles were either parked on the street or in parking lots, OPP said.

Anyone with information or video surveillance is asked to call OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

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

Asbestos Manitoba's top workplace killer: Safe Work

Safe Work Manitoba is launching a new campaign aimed at reducing the deaths and serious injuries caused by the province’s number one workplace killer: asbestos.

Jamie Hall, Safe Work’s COO, says most people would assume that accidents like falls or electrocution would cause the most deaths, but asbestos accounts for a whopping 33 per cent of workplace deaths in Manitoba.

“Most people are surprised to hear that asbestos still is an issue,” he said.

“And it’s not only an issue, it’s the number one cause of workplace fatalities in Manitoba and across our nation.”

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Asbestos — which was used in the construction of many homes and buildings built before 1990 — can be found in thousands of building materials, Safe Work’s campaign says, and most workers who have died from exposure to asbestos fibres have been in the construction industry.

“It’s (in) those buildings that were built in the 60s and 70s now that we are tearing down and renovating,” said Hall.

“It’s that asbestos that was used, and it may be safe if undisturbed, but the fact that we’re disturbing that asbestos now is causing it to be a significant concern.”

Safe Work’s “It’s best to test” campaign encourages business owners — as well as homeowners — to book an appointment with professionals to make sure asbestos is taken care of during any renovations or demolitions.

 

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

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