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A federal scientist has accused the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of underplaying the threat of open-net fish farms to Pacific salmon and too often acting in the interests of British Columbia’s profitable fish-farming industry.

Kristi Miller-Saunders, head of the department’s molecular genetics laboratory at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, has worked for the DFO for more than 25 years.

In an exclusive interview with The Globe and Mail, Dr. Miller-Saunders said she feels the department has left the impression there is a minimal risk to wild salmon stocks from sea lice and viruses, such as highly contagious Piscine orthoreovirus found in farmed and wild salmon in B.C. This virus is associated with organ failure in chinook although it is not harmful to humans.

U.S. politics

Donald Trump and Joe Biden held dueling televised town halls after their second planned debate was canceled.

The prime-time split-screen showdown offered a stark reminder of how deeply unusual this year’s campaign has been amid a pandemic that has infected nearly eight million Americans, including the President himself.

Also: Political battle lines run deep in the once reliably red state of North Carolina. It’s a must-win place for Trump, who prevailed by three percentage points in 2016 but is now polling neck and neck with rival Biden.Millions have already voted early ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3.

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The dual town halls of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and U.S. President Donald Trump, who are both running in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, are seen on television monitors at Luv Child restaurant ahead of the election in Tampa, Florida.OCTAVIO JONES/Reuters

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Family demands B.C. inquiry after First Nations boy found dead in group home

Traevon Desjarlais-Chalifoux’s body was found in the bedroom closet of his group home four days after he was reported missing.

He was in the care of an agency with a history of failing to meet provincial standards and with two high-profile deaths over the past two decades.

In an audit of the agency completed last year, it was found that Xyolhemeylh had a compliance rate of just 11 per cent when it came to developing comprehensive plans of care.

Testing delays are hurting efforts to control COVID-19 spread

Amid the start of a second wave, which is coinciding with the beginning of cold and flu season, testing delays are worsening in various regions across Canada, owing to limited lab equipment, space, testing materials and a shortage of personnel.

While experts say the goal should be to complete COVID-19 tests within 24 hours, some of the worst hot spots are taking three days or more. The longer people have to wait for a result, the more people they could potentially be infecting if they are positive.

  • Happening today: Systemic racism in health care and its impact on Indigenous patients will come under the microscope in an urgent discussion convened by Ottawa in response to a video showing the abusive treatment of Joyce Echaquan before she died at a Quebec hospital.

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Tories prepare to send request for special committee on WE controversy to the House: The official opposition put its proposal to create a special committee to study the WE controversy and several other ethical issues facing the minority Liberals on the notice paper Thursday evening.

Genetic genealogy helps Toronto police crack landmark 1984 Christine Jessop cold case in Ontario: “I’ve dreamt of this day for 36 years,” Ken Jessop, Christine’s older brother, told The Globe. “I’m happy for Guy Paul and everyone else who’s had a finger pointed at them over the years.”

Chinese envoy says Canada’s acceptance of Hong Kong refugees jeopardizes Canadians in former British colony: Cong Peiwu used a news conference yesterday marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries to say Beijing finds it unacceptable that Canada recently accepted two Hong Kong pro-democracy dissidents as political refugees.

‘Does Trudeau care about our people?’: First Nations chief calls on PM to step in after violent clashes over fishery: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to do more than send tweets to settle an increasingly violent dispute over an Indigenous-led lobster fishery in Nova Scotia, a First Nations chief said.


Global markets on edge: Financial markets remained shaky on Friday as hopes for a new round of U.S. fiscal stimulus met fears that social restrictions to tackle the coronavirus pandemic would undermine economic recovery. European stocks recovered in morning trading after sharp losses the day before. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.66 per cent. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.37 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.41 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.94 per cent. New York futures were little changed. The Canadian dollar was trading at 75.62 US cents.


Gig workers need more than temporary government relief programs

Parisa Mahboubi: “Finally, the key to understanding the gig economy and making appropriate policy decisions to support it and gig workers is to have access to better, more comprehensive data that include all types of work arrangements.”

Canada’s courts and governments have themselves to blame for the lobster-fishery dispute

Ken Coates: “Quick action to finding a measure of justice for the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet people will be essential to defusing this conflict.”

The sooner Parliament mandates sexual-assault training for judges, the better

John Ibbitson: “It does not require any further consideration. It has unanimous, or near unanimous, support in the House. As a government bill, it should be able to overcome any resistance in the Senate.”


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Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


COVID-19 isn’t the only thing killing movie theatres

Although the pandemic has delivered a brutal blow to a business that was already fighting myriad existential crises precoronavirus – from the advent of streaming to an over-reliance on lazy franchises – cinemas may still have a fighting chance if the twin forces of government and Hollywood step up. Immediately.

MOMENT IN TIME: Oct. 16, 1995

The Million Man March

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Thousands of participants in the "Million Man March" gather on the Mall October 16, 1995 in Washington, D.C.Luc Novovitch/REUTERS

They came from around the country, drawn to the U.S. capital for a celebration that Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan called “a day of atonement and reconciliation.” It was the Million Man March, which brought a massive crowd of African-American men to Washington in October, 1995. “By midday, they filled the Washington mall from the U.S. Capitol all the way to the Washington Monument, a stunning sight,” the reporter for NBC Nightly News said. The march was marked with controversy, first over the number of participants (the National Parks Service estimated only 400,000, but more credible estimates put the number at more than 800,000). Farrakhan, the march’s co-organizer, had previously attracted criticism for comments that were anti-Semitic and homophobic. But it was also a day of joyful celebration, as speakers such as Rosa Parks, Jesse Jackson and Maya Angelou addressed the huge crowd. Farrakhan spoke for more than two hours, leading the crowd in a call and response in which men pledged to improve themselves, physically and spiritually. The march’s other organizer, Benjamin Chavis, praised those who had made the journey to Washington: “Strong Black man, be proud at what you’ve done. You have proven our unity to the world.” Elizabeth Renzetti

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