Sewage lets researchers get the jump on disease

A new wastewater study undertaken by Durham Region and Ontario Tech University finds researchers flush with knowledge about COVID-19. Untreated sewage samples can give advance warning that the virus is on the increase, giving scientists the inside poop — sorry, last pun — on any second wave of the pandemic. A cooperative effort among Ontario […]
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Canada’s foreign minister discussed Hong Kong on call with U.S., Britain: official
Foreign ministers from the Five Eyes intelligence sharing group discussed the situation in Hong Kong during a conference call on Wednesday, a Canadian government official told Reuters.
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Former British PM Margaret Thatcher roasted by Alberta politician who laments she didn’t die sooner
MLA Marlin Schmidt was pointing that Thatcher likely would likely have disagreed with the UCP’s new referendum bill.
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CERB Is Coming To An End As Feds Focus On Wage Subsidy
OTTAWA — The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is coming to an end. Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Wednesday that the government is looking to move to an economic recovery phase and will shift its focus from individuals to helping businesses. One way of doing that, he said, is by removing “disincentives” that may dissuade people from returning to work.“We recognize that the best way to help to create jobs, to maintain jobs, is to provide the wage subsidy to businesses so they can get back to work,” Morneau told reporters in Ottawa. The federal government revealed its much-anticipated economic update pinning the current deficit to $343.2 billion — a figure 1,000 per cent higher than what was projected last fall before the COVID-19 pandemic ground the economy to a halt.Watch: Morneau says massive federal debt for COVID-19 manageable. Story continues below video. “It’s not easy,” Morneau said about coming up with plans to raise Canadians’ confidence in a time of public health and economic uncertainty. “We’re in challenging times.” The CERB was originally intended as a 16-week program to deliver direct emergency benefits to Canadians who stopped working or had their hours reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The program has been popular with more than 8.16 million unique applications submitted by the end of June. More than $53.53 billion in taxable benefits have been paid out to Canadians.Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the benefit program would be extended by eight weeks as efforts continue in getting businesses to sign up for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and rehire workers. But uptake had been slow on the CEWS, a federal program designed to help businesses cover 75 per cent of employee wages from March to August.The CEWS, in comparison to the CERB, has supported three million Canadians so far, according to Wednesday’s fiscal snapshot.With the CERB winding down in September, the government is hoping more people to move to the employment insurance system for support. Conservatives have long said the $2,000 monthly CERB payments may deter some people from returning to work as the COVID-19 crisis continues.Outgoing Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer repeated that assertion to reporters, saying the government should introduce a work bonus for CERB recipients.He described it as “a CERB top-up that would give workers the support they need to transition back into the workforce and ensure that local businesses are able to fill shifts and get back on their feet.”As the finance minister confirmed the final curtain call for the CERB, the 168-page fiscal snapshot provides little detail on how the government plans to handle historic levels of debt, not seen since the Second World War. The document makes multiple references for how the government is set to save $4 billion in public debt charges because, according to the update, record low interest rates have made carrying unprecedented levels of debt “more affordable.”New policies are usually announced in traditional spring budgets and fall economic statements. In lieu of a suite of new policy announcements, Wednesday’s update offered some unexpected additional statistics to give a sense of how the pandemic has impacted Canadians.Survey results suggest 60 per cent of Indigenous respondents reported their mental health to be somewhat worse or much worse since the start of widespread physical-distancing measures. The figure is higher than the 52 per cent reported by non-Indigenous participants.Consumer habits may have also changed since March. According to government polling, 59 per cent of Canadians are watching more television and 69 per cent are spending more time on the internet. People are also reaching for more unhealthy foods, with 35 per cent of those surveyed saying their junk food eating has gone up since the start of the pandemic.The government acknowledged that racialized people may be facing the COVID-19 crisis differently than those who identify as white.  “We recognize that racialized people, including Black Canadians, are more likely to work frontline jobs, have lower incomes, have health disparities, and experience systemic discrimination, which compound economic hardships related to the pandemic,” the fiscal update statesIt offered, however, no new specific measures to address these disproportionate impacts.RELATED Canada’s Deficit Is 1,000% Higher Than Projected At Start Of 2020 Basic Income Could Cost Less Than Money Spent On CERB: Watchdog CERB Recipients Face A ‘Shock’ At Tax Time. Here’s How To Prepare Canada To Get Boost From CERB Paying Out More Than People Lost: Report Canada Loses Coveted 'AAA' Credit Rating At Fitch
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Jacob Chitze’s mom urges witnesses at house party to come forward as RCMP probe his death
Laura Chitze is pleading for witnesses to come forward after her 19-year-old son Jacob was killed at a house party attended by 100 people south of Edmonton in Leduc County.
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How pets are helping residents of one B.C. seniors’ home get through COVID-19
Live-in pets have brought love and comfort to residents of The Views at St. Joseph's in Comox for about 15 years.
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Black And Proud. Silence Is Violence. MLS returns after poignant pre-game protest
Nearly 200 players took the field for an eight-minute, 46-second moment of silence to protest racial injustice before Major League Soccer’s return to action Wednesday night in Florida.
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Alberta air force base to use goats, sheep to get rid of unwanted vegetation
A Canadian Forces base in Alberta is recruiting a new battalion of lean, mean, eating machines for a mission that will require limited action this summer.
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OPP say 7 dead, close to 15K charges laid during recent holiday safety campaign
When it comes to OPP-patrolled roads, Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said aggressive driving was seen "far too often."
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Racialized former WE employees accused charity of oppressive incidents
Former employees of WE Charity are speaking up against what they see as oppressive incidents against racialized people within the organization.
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#ICYMI: Mercier outbreak, police checks, N.D.G. controversy, more
Wednesday, July 8, 2020: Here are some of the stories we've been following today.
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Another bid for Torstar emerges, this one for $58 million
The team behind the new proposal includes brothers Matthew and Tyler Proud. Sources say financial industry veteran Neil Selfe is also involved.
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Coronavirus: U.S. sets single-day record with 60,000 new cases of COVID-19
The United States faces a bleak summer with record-breaking coronavirus infections and many states forced to close parts of the economy again, leaving some workers without a paycheck.
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In just 5 days, coronavirus cases surged another million to 12M worldwide
It's the quickest climb for a million new cases since the beginning of the worldwide pandemic.
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'I am open to change': Q&A with Montreal police Chief Sylvain Caron
Discrimination "goes deeply against my values and against the values of Montreal police as well," Caron says as he unveils a new policy on street checks.
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Exposure notice expanded after 2nd COVID-19 case linked to Vancouver strip club
The new exposure notice covers July 1, 3, 4 and 7. Vancouver Coastal Health has closed the club while it reviews its safety plan.
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Delle Donne waiting to hear from WNBA medical review panel
The Washington Mystics star has battled Lyme disease since 2008 and would potentially be at a higher risk for serious illness if she contracted COVID-19.
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Analysis: Montérégie surge suggests Montreal's progress remains fragile
Hospitals in Montreal have closed some of their COVID-19 wards. Meanwhile in Mercier, at least four stores have closed temporarily.
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Air Transat signs deal to use jet fuel made from captured carbon dioxide
Air Transat is looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its airplanes by using jet fuel made from kerosene in a process that captures carbon dioxide produced by large industrial emitters.
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Former Vernon, B.C., physiotherapist spared jail time for sex assaults
Stephen Witvoet was sentenced to an 18-month conditional sentence order followed by two years of probation, a sentence both defence and Crown had agreed to.
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Three men charged with first-degree murder in death of 38-year-old woman in March
Two more men are arrested and charged in relation to Toronto’s 13th homicide, third man has charges upgraded.
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Officer told George Floyd it takes ‘a lot of oxygen to talk’ as he died: transcripts
The statement and others from Derek Chauvin, the officer who pressed his knee into Floyd's neck on May 25, came from transcripts for the body camera of two other officers at the scene.
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B.C. names all-party police reform committee to examine scope of systemic racism
The panel has until May 14 to complete its report and present findings and recommendations to the provincial legislature, according to Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.
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Board-initiated review of Lethbridge supervised consumption site released, provincial audit still to come
The organization that runs Lethbridge's controversial supervised consumption site (SCS) has released the early results of an organizational review initiated by its board of directors. 
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Jean-Doré Beach opens Saturday – but you'll need a reservation
Visitors will have to book a three-hour slot in advance via the Parc Jean-Drapeau website.
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Alberta small business owners shut down amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
A longtime Calgary business is joining a growing number of Alberta businesses that have recently decided to shut down for good.
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Man who hit 2 Seattle protesters with car charged with vehicular homicide, assault
The King County Prosecuting Attorney's office charged Dawit Kelete, 27, with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving.
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Creativity key for Blue Jays in shortened, challenging training camp
Even in the not so life-and-death world of professional baseball, pandemic times call for pandemic measures. And with that in mind, the Blue Jays will jump on any and every chance to make up for lost time in the 2 1/2-week rush to opening day and through what, no doubt, will be a rapid-fire training […]
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Regina city council to consider $2 million coronavirus business grant program
Regina city council is set to deliberate on a grant program that would see up to $2 million handed out to qualifying local businesses.
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Calls grow for news outlets reporting on systemic racism to address own failures
Journalists have not had to go far to uncover searing stories of racism in Canada -- they're finding them in their own newsrooms, among their co-workers and involving their bosses.
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Police investigating after racist, anti-mask tirade at Mississauga supermarket goes viral
The video, posted to YouTube, has been viewed more than 140,000 times by Wednesday evening.
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Loon Lake man sentenced for child pornography, child luring
In some cases, the man created false social media accounts posing as a young girl and convinced the teens to send him explicit photos and asked them to meet in person.
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New NHL calendar takes shape
Many critical dates in the NHL’s new CBA that the owners and players are voting on this week began filtering out Wednesday night to TSN, Sportsnet and other media outlets. The details pertain to the Return To Play plan and the start of the 2020-21 season. All dates are tentative and some moved already as […]
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Anti-racism hearing at Calgary City Hall to go into third day
The marathon meeting of a Calgary city council committee on systemic racism continues to hear from Calgarians and their experiences.
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ABC revives ‘The Wonder Years’ with Black family at the centre
The network has only committed to produce a pilot episode, which means the show may not necessarily get on the air.
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3 separate drownings reported in Northern Saskatchewan, including two 6-year-old boys
Saskatchewan RCMP said strong currents in Saskatchewan lakes and rivers caused three different drownings in the north.
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Toronto police union head’s departure on heels of Chief Saunders is seen as unique opportunity for change
As Mike McCormack set to retire, Mayor John Tory sees “an opportunity for the membership of the police association and the police board to pick people for the two jobs that are committed to policing reform.”
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Gregor Chisholm: The Blue Jays have an edge in pandemic baseball. Adjusting on the fly is in Charlie Montoyo’s DNA
There will be a lot of moving parts to this season and Montoyo is the man tasked with overseeing it all. For a guy who spends a lot of his time trying to keep everyone involved, it seems like the perfect fit, Gregor Chisholm writes.
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Cree artist beads mask in Saskatoon amid coronavirus pandemic
A Cree artist in Saskatoon has beaded a mask inspired by the South Saskatchewan River amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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