In light of a Globe and Mail investigation about the shutdown of Canada’s pandemic early warning system, the federal government has ordered an independent review into why the alert system was silenced last year, months before COVID-19 hit.
The Globe revealed in late July that the internationally respected unit, known as the Global Public Health Intelligence Network, was effectively shutdown in May, 2019. GPHIN had the task of monitoring potentially threatening outbreaks worldwide and issuing warnings.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the review will probe the shutdown of GPHIN, as well as allegations from scientists inside the Public Health Agency of Canada that their voices were marginalized within the department, preventing key warnings from reaching higher-ups.
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RCMP in Saskatchewan not following Clare’s Law that can warn about violent partners, citing privacy issues
The RCMP are still not following a Saskatchewan law that allows police forces to warn those at high risk of intimate partner violence, saying that federal privacy laws prevent them from disclosing personal information.
The Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Protocol Act – also known as Clare’s Law – was first implemented in Britain in 2014. It was named for Clare Wood, a British woman murdered in 2009 by her partner who, unbeknownst to her, had a violent history.
The law was implemented in Saskatchewan in June and allows police to proactively disclose information about someone’s abusive or violent history if they believe that person’s partner to be potentially at high risk. It also gives people the right to ask for this information themselves if they are concerned.
Ontario court rules child will attend school in dispute between parents fuelled by COVID-19 fears
In a case that is part of an increase in custody-related disputes linked to COVID-19, an Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled that a nine-year-old boy will attend school in-person this fall after his separated parents could not agree about whether he should attend classes during the pandemic.
The boy’s mother wanted him to attend in-person, saying he had trouble focusing on assignments and suffered from isolation. The boy’s father wanted him to attend virtual school, saying that the health risks posed by the pandemic remained high.
Justice Andrea Himel ruled in favour of the mother and wrote that, “Unfortunately, for some separated and divorced parents this is another battleground, one more arena where their child may become the prisoners of the war.”
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
India overtakes Brazil in coronavirus infections, some rail services resume: In a grim milestone yesterday, India now has the second-highest coronavirus infection numbers in the world, behind only the United States. The jump in cases comes as the government resumed underground train services and plan to reopen the Taj Mahal this month.
Read more on international COVID-19 news:
Tam urges caution as daily cases of COVID-19 rise 25 per cent in past week: Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam has urged caution as the average daily number of people testing positive over the past week rose by 25 per cent compared with the prior week. Tam says these numbers are a cause for concern as colder weather moves activities indoors.
Commissioner renews call for Indigenous bodies to oversee police: Since a 2019 inquiry found that the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls amounted to a Canadian genocide, commissioner Michele Audette says little has changed in the call to create Indigenous civilian groups that would oversee police actions.
British judge begins Julian Assange’s extradition hearing: After months of delay due to COVID-19, a British judge has finally begun hearing arguments on whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be extradited to the United States to face a series of criminal charges, including publishing state secrets.
A turtle with a permanent smile was brought back from extinction: In some rare good news in conservation, the Burmese roofed turtle – which was presumed extinct just 20 years ago – was rediscovered by scientists and there are now nearly 1,000 in captivity. Some of the turtles have been successfully released into the wild in Myanmar over the past five years.
Global stocks struggle: World shares struggled to stabilize on Tuesday as doubts about a recovery in tech stocks lingered after last week’s rout, while the U.S. dollar steadied as investors pondered whether policy signals from the European Central Bank this week could weaken the euro. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.28 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 fell 0.83 per cent and 1.14 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei finished up 0.80 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.14 per cent. New York futures were mixed with Nasdaq futures lower. The Canadian dollar was trading at 76.03 US cents.
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WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
What we’ve learned about COVID-19: We have to keep learning
André Picard: “As vaccines are tested in controlled conditions and in the real world, you can bet our views on immunity will change again. And that’s okay. As the pandemic evolves, so too must our responses.”
Canada needs to get its stalled immigration system back on track
Goldy Hyder: “The demographic factors that drive Canada’s need for immigrants have not changed due to COVID-19. Neither, it seems, has public support for immigration. In a Leger poll this summer, respondents agreed by a three-to-one margin that newcomers will help rather than hurt Canada’s long-term economic recovery. The sooner Canada’s immigration system gets back on track, the better.”
Beijing’s assault on privacy goes global
Clive Hamilton: “There’s not much we can do if Beijing stations Big Brother at every building entrance in China. But we’d be foolish to allow it to happen in the West.”
The oil sands have a future, and it includes the polluter paying
The Editorial Board: “In the oil sands, Alberta and Canada have to make sure the mistakes of the past are not repeated. One easy fix highlighted by the report on tailings pond seepage is the absence of co-operation between Ottawa and Edmonton, despite an agreement to work together. Getting the federal government and the province on the same page should be the the first step in entrenching polluter-pays in principle, and in practice.”
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Three based-on-true-stories bring women roaring to the screen
In women’s fight for equality in the 1970s, battles occurred in the streets and in the courts, against laws and institutions. But these three based-on-true-stories show us that other struggles – lonelier, more intimate and gut-punching – were waged in women’s own kitchens and bedrooms, often against their own spouses.
Catch the new biopic I Am Woman, Season 2 of Netflix’s anthology series Dirty John – somewhat confusingly titled Dirty John: Betty – and F/X’s limited series Mrs. America.
MOMENT IN TIME: September 8, 1964
Beatles play two shows at Montreal’s Forum
Seventeen days after giving their first-ever Canadian concert at Vancouver’s Empire Stadium and one day after playing two shows at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens, the Beatles performed twice at the Montreal Forum on Sept. 8, 1964. Face value for the concert tickets were $4.50 and $5.50. The shrieking reaction from the audiences was frenzied and loud enough that one newspaper writer said the noise in the arena “made a Stanley Cup crowd sound like nightingales.” The Beatles played the same excitable 12-song set twice, opening with Twist and Shout and closing with Long Tall Sally. Because the group had received death threats from French-Canadian separatists, police sharpshooters were present at the Forum. And while the concerts passed without incident, the unnerved band was uncomfortable with the idea of spending the night in Montreal. Flying from Dorval Airport directly after the evening concert, the band’s Lockheed Electra was diverted from its Jacksonville, Fla., destination because of a hurricane. They landed in Key West at three o’clock in the morning. A crazy itinerary for most bands was just another hard day’s night for the Beatles. Brad Wheeler