Étienne Bruson: British Columbians must strive for a bright future, and not a return to normal

Opinion: Governments must shape education toward developing skills that employers demand, by providing opportunities for practical experience and a clear pathway to employment by working much closer with business leaders
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WATCH LIVE: B.C. election results 2020
Polls opened across B.C. in the 42nd general election at 8 a.m. PT Oct. 24.
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Cambridge McDonald’s closes after employee tests positive for COVID-19
A McDonald’s restaurant in Cambridge was closed after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus, McDonald’s Canada said in a statement.
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London police seek help finding missing 26-year-old man
The London Police Service is requesting the public's assistance in locating a missing London man.
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Man charged with second-degree murder in death of 95-year-old Toronto woman
Gary Nishikawara, 66, of Toronto, was arrested after Margaret Nishikawara’s body was found in North York at about 9:35 a.m. Tuesday.
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Man charged with 2nd-degree murder in death of 95-year-old Toronto woman
Police said they were called to the area of Don Mills Road and Finch Avenue shortly after 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday for reports of a sudden death. 
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Airline industry still waiting for federal relief package after demand takes a nosedive
Canada’s beleaguered airline industry is warning that some flights to smaller, distant communities could soon be grounded.
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McMaster research on medieval plagues sheds new light on how COVID-19 spreads
Researchers at McMaster University have stepped back in time to figure out how medieval plagues spread — and how we can use that knowledge to better understand the spread of COVID-19.
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Algae prompts water source switch in North Okanagan
North Okanagan residents who normally get their water from the Kalamalka Lake water source are being informed that a switch is being made to the Duteau Creek source.
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Dave Feschuk: Willie O’Ree, the NHL’s first Black player, has spent his life doing ‘what needed to be done’
Whether it be a barbershop or the hockey rink, Willie O’Ree has spirit of his great-great-grandfather, a former slave. “He just wanted to make a change.”
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Peel, Ont. Mental Health Rapid Response Teams Led To Hundreds Fewer Being Detained: Police
Hundreds of fewer people in mental health crises are being detained by Peel police since new mental health rapid response teams were introduced earlier this year, the service says.Peel’s new Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Teams (MCRRT), which pair officers with mental health clinicians, have apprehended and taken to hospital just 22 per cent of the people in crisis they responded to between the teams’ introduction in January and Oct. 1, according to new numbers released by Peel police.Last year, the service as a whole was much more likely to detain someone experiencing a crisis. Police responded to 6,360 mental health calls (excluding suicides and suicide attempts) in 2019, from which 5,803 people — more than 90 per cent — were apprehended and taken to local hospitals.Though there are just two MCRRT units that are only capable of responding to a fraction of the crisis calls received by emergency dispatchers — the teams had responded to 1,530 calls as of Oct. 1, police say — they’ve already successful diverted hundreds from hospital, a fact that shows how effective the clinician-first model can be, said Charlene Heyer, clinical director of crisis services at Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Peel Dufferin, which has partnered with Peel police on the teams.“For the most part, a lot of people (police) take to hospital end up being released because they never needed to go to begin with,” Heyer said.RELATED Police Crisis Teams In Short Supply As Mental Health Calls Multiply In Canada 1 In 4 Canadians Say Mental Health Worse Now Than During 1st Wave: Poll Ontario Adds Millions In Mental Health Funding For Post-Secondary Students Det.-Sgt. Jodi Dawson said police welcome a further expansion of the unit because the volume of total calls handled by police yearly still exceeds what MCRRT has the resources to manage.Officers have seen the “return on investment of having that mental health professional there to go through triaging incidents, because uniformed officers are not equipped are trained to deal with every mental health-related incidents,” Dawson saidPeel remains chronically underfunded for mental health crisis response services, and Heyer said the region should have about one response unit per 250,000 residents — or at least six teams available daily. Currently, there are only two units providing coverage between noon and midnight each day. CMHA has applied for funding to add two more units in 2021.The units do more than de-escalating what can often become tense interactions between people in crisis and police. The units also serve as the first line of ensuring that safety nets such as short-term crisis beds are available for patients.“We’re always looping back to those individuals to see what we can put together in terms of a safety plan and a short-term support plan until we can get something longer term in place,” Heyer said.Under the Mental Health Act, only police have the power to apprehend a person experiencing a mental health crisis and take them for treatment.Peel regional council voted unanimously in July to explore ways to reduce the police role in mental health crises “when appropriate.”The move, which also called on the province to change the law to give mental health workers, not just police officers, the authority to take charge of mental health crisis situations, follows a series of high-profile deaths involving Peel police this year. According to family, two of those incidents — the shooting deaths of D’Andre Campbell in April and Ejaz Choudry in June — involved calls to 911 for a mental health-related crisis.Both the Choudry and Campbell cases are currently under investigation by the province’s Special Investigations Unit.Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie has said the law must be changed to “allow first responders other than the police to apprehend individuals in distress.”Also on HuffPost:
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New Saskatchewan COVID-19 cases reach single-day record
Saskatchewan reported 78 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the highest single-day increase the province has seen to date. 
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Tampa Bay’s Nick Anderson took a ‘crazy path’ to join baseball’s elite relievers
This is a man with a DWI conviction and felony assault charge while in college. He pitched three years in independent leagues, a summer in an amateur league and four more years in the minors.
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Sask. reports largest single-day increase with 78 new positive COVID-19 cases
Saskatchewan reported 78 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, setting a single-day record for positive tests.
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Fire crews respond to house fire in Dieppe, N.B.
Roberge said nobody got injured and that the cause is still under investigation.
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Gregor Chisholm: Can Rowdy Tellez carry over his production from 2020? The Blue Jays seem prepared to find out
Jays GM Ross Atkins remains intrigued by Tellez’s potential and says addressing his position in the off-season is “not going to be a priority for us.”
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50-year-old man wounded in Laval shooting on residential street
Police say a 50-year-old man was shot and wounded in a residential neighbourhood of Laval, Que., on Friday night.
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Kelowna council considers options to open outdoor skating rink during pandemic
A staff report outlines three possible options for the outdoor rink.
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Joe Biden pitches Scranton roots in battle for blue-collar votes
Biden has long played up his blue-collar roots in Scranton, Pa., even when he was a senator in neighbouring Delaware.
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Suspicious fire causes $1M in damage at Dorchester Ont., motorcycle dealership
The fire is considered suspicious, according to OPP.
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Coronavirus: 1 new death and 1 new outbreak in Middlesex London
The Middlesex London health unit is reporting one new death linked to the novel coronavirus on Saturday.
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Senate Republicans push ahead with Amy Coney Barrett hearings as Democrats try to stall
Barrett, a federal appeals court judge, is expected to be confirmed Monday and quickly join the court.
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Saskatchewan election: Leaders criticize track records in final stretch of campaign
Saskatchewan's two main political leaders criticized each other's track records Friday as they urged people to vote in the home stretch of the provincial campaign.
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Top doctor warns that severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases
Canada's top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the national death toll toward 10,000.
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Kirkland Walmart closed on Saturday because of fire
Store employees had extinguished the blaze by the time firefighters arrived, said a spokesperson for the Montreal fire department.
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More Than 75% Of People Entering Canada Since March Have Avoided Quarantine
OTTAWA — More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March but fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine — the rest were deemed “essential” travellers and exempted from the requirement.Canada began to limit foreign travel in March, first asking Canadians themselves to avoid non-essential travel outside the country, and then as of March 16 barring entry to anyone who wasn’t Canadian, a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen.The ban was extended to include Americans on March 21. The 30-day closure of the U.S. border has now been extended seven times, and while it’s currently set to expire Nov. 21, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated to an Ontario radio station Friday that he is not anxious to reopen the border any time soon.“I think we all want to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. We also know that in order to get things back to normal we have to control the spread of COVID-19,” Trudeau said on CKSY in Chatham-Kent Friday morning.“At this point, the risks are still too great to reopen the border.”Canadians and permanent residents are allowed to return home, but must quarantine for 14 days unless they fall into an essential category, like truck drivers, airline crew members, the military or people coming to help with the COVID-19 pandemic.Essential travellers are asked to wear masks when they can’t physically distance from others, and medical workers are asked not to treat people over the age of 65 for 14 days.Essential travellers also made up the bulk of arrivals according to data provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada. It said 3.5 million travellers, as of Oct. 20, had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential and were asked to quarantine for two weeks.PHAC follows up with most asked to quarantine with live or automated calls, and has asked RCMP or local police to verify the whereabouts of 247,137 people asked to quarantine.The agency said 76 tickets and eight summons have been issued to people found in violation of the quarantine order.PHAC’s statistics do vary from data published weekly by the Canada Border Services Agency, which lists total arrivals by land, rail and air, as well as whether air travellers arrived from the U.S. or another country.That data shows travel to this country plunged more than 90 per cent since the borders were closed compared to the same period in 2019.RELATED Alberta Pilot Project Will Allow Some Travellers To Avoid 14-Day Quarantine Canada-U.S. Border Closure Extended To Nov. 21 I Drove Through Canada With U.S. Licence Plates. It Didn't Go Well. Almost half of all the travellers arriving since March were truck drivers, according to CBSA.CBSA also says 63 per cent of air travellers were either Canadians or permanent residents.Cole Davidson, spokesman for Health Minister Patty Hajdu, said the border closure is critical to Canada’s COVID-19 strategy.“This is an important tool in keeping our families and communities safe, and it’s working,” he said.Health Canada data covering 80 per cent of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date shows about 4.4 per cent of them involved recent travellers or people who had come into contact with them.The government began allowing foreign nationals who are immediate relatives of a Canadian or permanent resident to come to Canada in June, and more recently expanded that to include extended family members, such as grandparents or siblings, as well as international students.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020.Also on HuffPost: 
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