8 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Simcoe Muskoka, local total reaches 778

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed eight new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the local total case count to 778, including 37 deaths.
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Police charge Guelph man with child pornography offences
The Guelph man has been charged with possession of child pornography, distributing child pornography and accessing child pornography.
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Cambridge hires security guards to patrol overnight in downtown Galt
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One in seven Canadians experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic: report
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9 people displaced by North Sydney fire that damaged 2-storey building
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Chris Knight: A high bar for SNL to turn the 2020 presidential debate into something we can laugh about
Jim Carrey and Alec Baldwin took to the stage last night to — no, wait. I’m thinking ahead to the return of Saturday Night Live this weekend, and what I’m certain will be a livelier, much shorter version of the 90-plus-minute debate that took place in Ohio last night. I’m hoping that Donald Trump’s little magic trick of pulling a face mask out of his breast pocket gets turned into a bit where he pulls out all manner of objects, like a cartoon character. Stocks are falling around the world after Biden/Trump debate reinforces what an ugly contest this will be 'You're the worst president America has ever had': Donald Trump and Joe Biden clash in chaotic debate I tuned in to the first 2020 presidential debate hoping for theatrics, zingers and maybe a bit of light entertainment, used to hearing clips of Trump on the likes of Seth Meyers’ Closer Look segments, or coming out of the mouth of comedian and celebrity lip-syncer Sarah Cooper. Instead, I watched an ugly slugfest that recalled, to borrow from Hollywood, the tagline of 2004’s Alien vs. Predator: “Whoever wins … we lose.” “We,” of course, refers to the American people, whose traditional two-party system briefly became a three-party donnybrook when Democratic hopeful Joe Biden debated President Donald Trump debated moderator Chris Wallace, with all three men shouting over each other as they struggled to make themselves heard. “I’ll ask Joe,” Trump said at one point, unhappy with the line of questioning and, as he tends to be, with the media in general. Wallace responded: “I’m the moderator of this debate and I’d like you to let me ask my question.” To which Trump remarked: “I guess I’m debating you, not him.” When that calmed down, other issues bubbled up. Trump was gunning for Biden’s son Hunter, while Biden tried to chuckle, sometimes looked shocked, and on one occasion told Trump to “Shut up, man.” It was a debacle, and it just got worse whenever Trump was called to defend or denounce his more extreme views. On whether he believed that humanity bears responsibility for the climate change crisis he managed this: “I think a lot of things do, but I think, to an extent, yes.” He added that his goal was “beautiful, clean air.” On the subject of white supremacists he was less clear. Asked to explain his decision to end racial sensitivity training programs at the White House, Trump said he did so because it was racist – against whites, he implied. “If you were a certain person you had no status in life. It was sort of a reversal.” Biden was more succinct in his rebuttal: “He’s a racist.” Wallace then asked Trump to condemn white supremacists and militia groups. He said he would. “Go ahead, sir,” said Wallace. “Say it. Do it. Say it,” added Biden. Trump wanted to know what to call them. Biden gave him Proud Boys, naming a neo-Nazi group. “Proud Boys? Stand back and stand by, but I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.” And on the crucial question of whether either leader would urge calm from their supporters in the event of a contested election, Trump would not. “I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully,” he said, continuing to complain about spoiled Trump ballots allegedly found in rivers and “wastepaper baskets,” an oddly anachronistic phrase. “This is not going to end well,” he rumbled ominously. And on that I believed him. I’m still counting on SNL to turn this into something we can all laugh about. Because, for all that Biden tried to chuckle, no one was laughing last night. National Post cknight@postmedia.com twitter.com/chrisknightfilm
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American could face prison time in Thailand for posting irate TripAdvisor review
A disgruntled American citizen and resort hotel patron in Thailand is facing serious legal consequences after leaving a negative review of his dining experience on TripAdvisor, the New York Times reports. Wesley Barnes, who works in Thailand, became dissatisfied with his meal at the Sea View Koh Chang resort on the island of Koh Chang, when staff attempted to charge him a $15 corkage fee after Barnes brought his own bottle of alcohol to the table. After a verbal spat with a manager, Barnes took to the internet to complain about the experience — as North Americans are wont to do — detailing allegedly “unfriendly staff” who he claimed “act like they don’t want anyone here.” But after Sea View staff got wind of the review, and subsequently failed to have it removed from TripAdvisor by the site or to make contact with Barnes himself, management made the decision to contact local authorities and file a complaint under Thailand’s strict defamation laws. “The Sea View Resort owner filed a complaint that the defendant had posted unfair reviews on his hotel on the Tripadvisor website,” Koh Chang Police Colonel Thanapon Taemsara told AFP, noting that Barnes stood accused of causing “damage to the reputation of the hotel.” Consequently, Barnes was arrested and spent a weekend in jail before being released on bail. If he is convicted of criminal defamation, he could be sentenced to up to two years in custody and fined up to 200,000 Baht (approximately C$8,486). “We chose to file a complaint to serve as a deterrent, as we understood he may continue to write negative reviews week after week for the foreseeable future,” a rep for the hotel told CBS News. But instead of preventing damage to the resort’s reputation, Barnes’ arrest has created a public relations nightmare for the Sea View Koh Chang, garnering an explosion of negative online reviews, bad press, and even death threats, according to staff. Thailand’s economy is largely fuelled by tourism, an industry hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic since the Thai government banned nearly all foreign nationals from entering the country until Oct. 1, with few exceptions . The country’s defamation laws have long been criticized by human rights activists, who claim they are used to muzzle free speech in the country — and Barnes’ legal ordeal may make it challenging to attract foreigners when the country re-opens.  
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Thirty per cent of Canadians are concerned about political censorship online, poll reveals
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Representation lacking within Regina Police Service, despite more workers: report
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Six takeaways from the first presidential debate
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CERB Replacement Bill Passes House With Unanimous Support
OTTAWA — The House of Commons has unanimously passed legislation authorizing new benefits for workers left jobless or underemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic.In the process, the minority Liberal government has survived its first pandemic-era confidence test, assuring at least for now that there will be no election as COVID-19 cases spike dangerously across the country.Bill C-4 passed in the House of Commons in the wee hours of the morning Wednesday, after a day of political maneuvering and just four-and-a-half hours of debate on the actual contents of the legislation.In the end, Conservative MPs, who had protested loudly against fast-tracking of the bill and used procedural tactics to hold it up, voted for it. So did Bloc Quebecois MPs, who had also opposed fast-tracking.It must still be passed by the Senate, which is scheduled to gather Wednesday to deal equally quickly with the bill.Government House leader Pablo Rodriguez had announced earlier Tuesday that the House of Commons vote would be a confidence measure, meaning the minority Liberal government would have fallen if the bill had been defeated.There was never much chance of that, however, since the NDP had promised to support the bill, having won two key changes to it.CERB replacementThe bill replaces the now-defunct $500-per-week Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which came to an end last weekend after helping almost nine million Canadians weather the impact of the pandemic.In its place, workers impacted by the pandemic will have access to a more flexible and generous employment insurance regime and, for those who still don’t qualify for EI, a new Canada recovery benefit. The bill also creates a new sick leave benefit and another new caregiver benefit for those forced to take time off work to care for a dependent due to the pandemic.At the behest of the NDP, the government has increased the proposed new benefits to $500 per week from the originally proposed $400, ensuring no one receives less than they were getting under the CERB.It has also expanded the eligibility criteria for the sick leave benefit so that it applies not just to individuals who contract COVID-19 but also to those with underlying health conditions or other illnesses, including the flu or the common cold, that makes them more susceptible to COVID-19.Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough estimated the new measures will cost $34 billion. The bill also included some $17 billion in other COVID-19-related spending.The NDP grudgingly agreed to support fast-tracking of the bill in order to provide assurance to CERB recipients that they won’t be cut adrift now that the CERB has been wound down.But all opposition parties blamed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for necessitating the speedy approval, without allowing for adequate parliamentary scrutiny.They pointed to Trudeau’s decision last month to prorogue Parliament, which prevented it from dealing with any legislation until Parliament resumed last week. And they accused him of using prorogation to put a stop to studies by Commons committees into the WE Charity affair, which has triggered investigations into possible conflict of interest by Trudeau and former finance minister Bill Morneau.To draw attention to other Liberal ethical lapses, Conservative MP Michael Barrett forced debate and a vote on a motion calling on former Liberal MP Joe Peschisolido to apologize to the House of Commons for breaching conflict of interest rules when he was still an MP.Ethics commissioner Mario Dion issued a report eight months ago saying Peschisolido repeatedly failed to disclose his private interests, including assets, loans, his marriage and the fact his B.C. law firm was taken over by the Law Society of British Columbia.Barrett said it was just another example of Liberals ignoring the rules.RELATED Trudeau Brushes Off Tory Claim He’s Being ‘Dictatorial’ With COVID-19 Aid Bill As CERB Wraps Up, Some Will Transfer To New System While Others Must Reapply NDP Could Prop Up Liberals For Another 3 Years, Singh Says Singh Claims ‘Major Win’ After Liberals Boost Proposed Benefits To Match CERB Liberals accused the opposition of putting political games ahead of the needs of people, thousands of whom were e anxiously waiting to see if the new benefits would be approved.Barrett shot back that if the Liberals wanted the bill dealt with quickly they should not have “slammed the door on Parliament” by proroguing in August.Debate on Barrett’s motion delayed progress on Bill C-4 for more than two hours. In the end, his motion passed easily with all opposition parties supporting it.Conservatives delayed the bill again late Tuesday by proposing an amendment to a government motion to fast-track the legislation. The amendment, which would have allowed for several more days of debate, was defeated by the Liberals, with support from the NDP.However, Sen. Scott Tannas, leader of the Canadian Senate Group, served notice Tuesday that he will introduce a motion requiring a minimum of one week of debate on all future government legislation proposed during the pandemic. In the case of a “genuine emergency,” his motion would require the government to make the case in the Senate as to why a bill should be passed more quickly.Rodriguez indicated that another emergency bill — to extend rent relief for businesses — could in fact be coming soon. Following an evening cabinet meeting Tuesday, he told reporters that the government is well aware that businesses are facing rent payments on Thursday and “I can tell you, we’re not going to let them down.”Senate still not backUnlike the House of Commons, which resumed all its normal functions last Thursday using a hybrid format — with only a few dozen MPs actually in the chamber and the rest participating virtually, including video conference voting — the Senate has not yet resumed regular sittings. Since mid-March, the Senate has sat only periodically for a few hours to swiftly debate and pass emergency aid legislation.In a statement, Tannas said members of his caucus want the Senate to adopt a similar format to that now being used in the Commons. And he said they are “frustrated by the continuing pressure from the government on the Senate to simply rubberstamp significant, complex and wide-ranging pandemic-related legislation, spending billions of dollars without proper scrutiny and with little or no debate during one-day sittings.”Sen. Marc Gold, the government’s representative in the Senate, said “collegial” discussions on the Senate’s “operational continuity” during the pandemic are underway. He refused further comment.This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 30, 2020.
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