COVID-19: B.C. health officials answer child-care questions in virtual town hall

The provincial government is holding a town hall Wednesday night to discuss the challenges surrounding child care during the pandemic. The sector has been vocal about concerns from the beginning, and even more so recently as Omicron spreads in the community. Richard Zussman has more.

British Columbia public health officials held a virtual town hall Wednesday evening aimed at answering parents’ and workers’ questions about new COVID-19 guidance for the province’s child-care facilities.

The province released the new guidelines last week, which allow children or staff members who have been a close contact of a COVID-19 case to still attend the facilities, if they remain symptom free.

Under B.C.’s updated guidelines, children and vaccinated adults must stay away from child-care facilities for five days after catching COVID-19, while unvaccinated staff must stay away for 10 days.

The guidelines also say daycares should not close for public health reasons unless directed by a medical health officer.

Some parents have said they do not feel safe sending their kids to daycare under the new guidelines, while others have questions about how the new regulations operate.

Here’s a look at some of the key questions officials answered Wednesday.

How is it safe for an unvaccinated child who has been exposed to COVID-19 to come to daycare?

The change in guidance around close contacts is a reflection of the fact that the Omicron variant is much more transmissible, but less likely to cause serious illness, said Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, deputy medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health.

Children in particular, he said, are less likely to contract or transmit the virus.

“It’s really an infection that acts a lot more like seasonal respiratory viruses that we are very familiar with in society, like influenza,” Lysyshyn said.

“So we need to shift our management much more to how we manage those viruses.”

The most important thing is for people to monitor for symptoms and stay home when they are feeling unwell or developing symptoms, Lysyshyn said.

The reality is that there is a general risk of exposure in the community at present, he said.

“There’s widespread transmission of the virus in the community. People may know about certain exposures, but they’re being exposed in other ways as well,” he said.

“It’s just not a feasible strategy across our population to have contacts all be isolating right now.”

What is the definition of ‘feeling well enough’ to return to daycare?

Deciding when symptoms have improved enough to end isolation after five days will require people to be aware of what is normal for themselves and their children, and base decisions on that, said Dr. Jason Wong, associate medical director of clinical prevention services for the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

“I appreciate how it’s a little bit vague,” Wong acknowledged.

Wong said evidence to date has shown that most transmission happens in the early days of infection, and that as people start to feel better their chance of spreading the virus decreases significantly.

“We are asking people to reflect and think of how they are feeling, and typically when they are feeling better the risk of transmission is lower,” he said.

Lysyshyn said if someone still has a fever, they should continue to isolate, but that if they still have other symptoms that are improving, such as a sore throat or runny nose, they can begin returning to normal activities.

If unvaccinated adults must isolate for 10 days, why not unvaccinated kids?

The updated isolation guidelines reflected the lower risk of children getting or transmitting COVID-19, but also the need to balance the harms of restrictions against the harms of the virus itself, several participants in the town hall said.

Deputy provincial health officer Dr. Reka Gustafson said after five days the benefit of isolating longer is much smaller, and that the trade-off of isolating a child for the extra time is not worth it.

“Whenever we apply public health measures we also want to think about the harms of the measures, and keeping kids (in) school and daycare where they do their social and emotional learning is extremely important,” added Lysyshyn.

“We thought it was important to decrease the isolation for children so they would miss as little school and daycare as possible, because it’s extremely important to their development.”

What about daycare centres with immunocompromised staff members?

Daycares with immunocompromised staff will operate under the same guidelines as all others, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said.

Henry said the most important thing those staff members can do is get vaccinated, stressing that booster doses have proven highly effective at both preventing infection and serious outcomes.

Ensuring staff and children stay away if they aren’t feeling well is also crucial, she said.

“You need, as an immunocompromised person, to do all of those things that protect you best, which is getting vaccinated yourself, making sure you’re waring a mask, taking all of those precautions to protect yourself, and those things, along with all of the other measures that are in place in the daycare, should protect everybody,” Henry said.

“All of the things that are in place make it a low-risk environment, even for people that are immunocompromised.”

Why shouldn’t daycares close for health reasons unless directed by a medical health officer?

This guideline reflects concern that some daycares could overreact to a staff member testing positive and close the entire facility unnecessarily, Gustafson said.

The message to operators is that they should check with their medical health officer before closing if they have concerns.

Lysyshyn said experience has shown that most exposures in daycare settings don’t actually result in transmission.

“So to close the entire facility when there’s been an exposure can really disrupt the service that’s being provided to essential workers and all sorts of people who need to keep working,” he said.

Wong said the guideline doesn’t ban daycares from closing, noting that they may have business or operational reasons for closing the doors — such as a lack of available staff.

Daycares should continue to notify their licensing officer and parents if they learn of a confirmed case, Lysyshyn said, but noted that with less testing there will be fewer cases confirmed.

Why is there no vaccine mandate for daycare staff?

Workplace vaccination requirements are for the most part not within the powers of the provincial health officer, Henry said.

The one exception to this is the health-care sector, such as doctors, nurses and long-term care staff, she said.

“In every other setting it really is about the employer and employee relationship around vaccination and the risk in their settings,” she said.

“There are many settings where we strongly recommend it and where we have been supporting employers.”

Henry said she believes all daycare workers should be vaccinated, and that they were given early access both to their initial shots and, as a result, to their booster shots.

How will the rapid tests for the child-care system be used?

B.C. is distributing a quarter-million rapid antigen tests to government-funded child-care centres.

Henry said the tests aren’t for children, and are to be used by symptomatic staff members.

She said the tests are not a silver bullet, and are only one tool to be used in conjunction with all other layers of protection.

A positive test is a “red light,” she said, but a negative test is not a “green light.”

“If you have symptoms and you test positive, then you should stay home for five days or 10 days depending on your vaccination status,” she said.

“If you test negative then you have to look … ‘How bad are my symptoms? Can I go into work?’ And if you make that decision to go into work, then you have to wear a mask, you have to make sure you are meticulously hand washing, you are doing all of those other things that are in place to protect us from spreading, even when we don’t know we have the virus.”

Bars, gyms and dance studios were ordered to close, so why not daycares?

Henry said the decision to close certain businesses was not taken lightly, and had to be weighed against their negative impacts.

Businesses that were ordered to close are home to more discretionary activities or social gatherings, while schools and daycares provide an essential service, she said.

“We know the downside impacts on children, on families, on people who work in that sector, but we also know they can be safely operated, and this is how we need to adjust to ensure we’re giving those important supports to children in our care,” Henry said.

Gustafson said when B.C. implemented more widespread closures early in the pandemic, it was partly because much was unknown about the virus.

She said public health had learned much about COVID-19 since then, including that it mostly spreads at home and in unstructured gatherings.

Officials do not want to further normalize closures as the primary response to infection prevention, she said.

“By and large, that’s not how we manage communicable diseases, and we’re returning again to that way of managing COVID-19.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

India arrests 6 in illegal immigration crackdown sparked by family's death in Manitoba

WATCH: Suspect in Manitoba human smuggling case may be linked to other cases

Indian police have detained six people in a crackdown on illegal immigration after four Indians were found frozen to death near the border between the United States and Canada last week, officials said on Thursday.

Hundreds of Indians, mostly from the western states of Punjab and Gujarat, attempt to cross the U.S.-Canada border each year, braving harsh weather conditions in search of a better life and job opportunities in the West.

Read more:

More details emerge in Manitoba smuggling deaths; suspect being held in Grand Forks, N.D.

Police in Gujarat said they identified the four, belonging to a single family, after law enforcement agencies on the border provided photographs of passports and other belongings.

“We are now trying to nab the human traffickers who managed to send this family and others abroad via illegal channels,” said police official A.K. Jhala in the state capital of Gandhinagar.

The six detained by police were running a travel and tourism company in the state, he added.

U.S. authorities have charged a U.S. man with human trafficking after the four — a man, woman, baby and teenager — were found dead in the Canadian province of Manitoba, a few yards north of the frontier with Minnesota.

They were among four families from the same village who had travelled to the border this month.

Officials said they got separated from the group of 18 people and were probably caught in a blizzard, resulting in a tragedy described as “mind-blowing” by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Read more:

Man charged after four people found dead near Canada-U.S. border in Manitoba

The situation came to light only when the group was intercepted by authorities and one of them was found to be carrying a backpack with baby supplies, although there was no infant among them.

“The nexus of human trafficking runs deep, often involving local politicians too,” said Jhala, adding that people even sell their land and homes to fund efforts to get to the United States or Canada.

A foreign ministry official in the Indian capital of New Delhi said authorities were coordinating with border officials in the United States and Canada to investigate the illegal immigration case.

(Reporting by Rupam Jain; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

© 2022 Reuters

Beijing increases limits on movement within city due to COVID-19 as Olympics approach

WATCH: Canadian researchers find security flaws in Chinese government's MY2022 Olympic app

Beijing has limited the movement of people in more parts of the Chinese capital, even as it reported fewer COVID-19 cases on Thursday, in a bid to lower virus risk less than 10 days before its hosting of the Winter Olympics Games.

Beijing’s Fengtai district said late on Wednesday residents in more areas should not leave their residential compounds for unnecessary reasons and must have a daily COVID test.

The district, which has reported more local virus cases than other districts in the current outbreak in Beijing, had already locked down some residential compounds, impacting tens of thousands of people.

Read more:

Ahead of Winter Olympics, Beijing residents cope with abrupt COVID lockdowns

Beijing has not locked down any districts, but several now have mobility restrictions in place in certain areas.

Beijing reported five locally transmitted infections with confirmed symptoms for Wednesday, down from 14 a day earlier, according to data from the National Health Commission (NHC) on Thursday.

Although the caseload is low compared to outbreaks globally, Beijing spares no effort in complying with a national guideline of extinguishing virus flare-ups as soon as possible.

The strategy takes on extra urgency as China has vowed to safely host the Winter Games and prevent major outbreaks during the Lunar New Year travel season.

Twenty-three new cases of COVID-19 were detected among Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Games-related personnel on Jan. 26, including eight found amongst those already in the organizers’ closed-loop bubble, organizers said on Thursday.

The eastern financial hub of Shanghai found the Omicron variant in a locally transmitted case detected on Monday, state television said on Thursday.

Read more:

Beijing district orders mass COVID-19 testing ahead of 2022 Winter Olympics

At least eight provinces, regions and municipalities in China have found locally transmitted Omicron infections, while the total number of cases remained unclear.

Nationwide, China reported a total of 25 domestically spread cases with confirmed symptoms for Jan. 26. There were no new deaths on Wednesday, leaving the death toll at 4,636.

As of Jan. 26, mainland China had reported 105,811 cases with confirmed symptoms, including both local ones and those among international travelers.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Michael Perry)

© 2022 Reuters

'I remember': B.C. residential school survivor speaks following discovery of possible burial sites

We're learning more about the extent of abuse at the site of the former Saint Joseph's Mission Residential School. An investigation by the Williams Lake First Nation, uncovering dozens of possible unmarked graves. And now, as Neetu Garcha reports, the community is reflecting on the trauma, experienced by survivors and their families, while looking toward the future. And a warning that this story might be triggering for some.

Warning: This story deals with disturbing subject matter that may upset and trigger some readers. Discretion is advised.

Survivors of the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in Williams Lake, B.C., are still reeling from the news that an initial sweep of the former grounds has uncovered 93 possible burial sites.

Jacqueline Sawan from the Tl’etinqox Government Band, otherwise known as Anaham Band, was the third generation in her family to attend the residential school.

Her dad was from the Alexandria Indian Band and her mom and siblings are from the Anaham band, she told Global News via written correspondence Tuesday.

“I am sincerely grateful that this story of how this residential school conducted their care of all of us children,” Sawan said. “I had blocked all this. But hearing it all again. I remember.”

“I seen priests with young girls,” she added. “Seen abuse. Plus I experienced the abuse.

“The food would have maggots in the food. (The) food was totally rotten. Milk was curdled.”

She said her brother was in the boy’s dormitory sick with a high fever and dehydration. It was Sawan’s sister who found out he was sick and snuck into the boy’s dormitory to take care of him.

Read more:

93 possible burial sites found in initial search at former B.C. residential school site

The 93 possible burial sites announced Tuesday are “reflections” or anomalies detected by ground-penetrating radar. Excavation is required to confirm whether they are human remains.

“Today I was extremely emotional,” Sawan said Tuesday. “I cried listening about this mission residential school. We lost our culture. We don’t know our native language or our native traditions. We were only taught to speak English at this residential school. We were punished if we tried to speak our language.”

She said she has struggled with alcoholism and depression growing up, along with many members of her family.

She graduated school and is now working as a chef. Her only daughter has a PhD in psychology and her sister was a social worker in the area for more than 30 years.

“My dad being raised in the mission residential school was an alcoholic but he worked in sawmills,” Sawan added.

“He used to sit and cry really hard.”

St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981 and has since been demolished. An additional property, the Onward Ranch, was added in 1964 to support the operational needs of the school. The sites were predominantly run by the Roman Catholic missionaries.

According to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, one student died of exposure after trying to escape St. Joseph’s in 1902. Another died and eight others became ill after eating poisonous water hemlock, which parents believed was a response to discipline at the school.

Read more:

Six-week healing walk finishes in Kamloops, B.C.

“When I was younger I felt ashamed for attending the residential school,” Sawan said. “I didn’t share this part of my life with anyone most of my life. I am 55 years old now. I am a third generation of this Williams Lake Mission Residential School.”

Tyman Jobin was also very emotional on Tuesday when the findings were announced.

Many family members on his wife’s side attended the school.

“For the kids to be recognized, the ones that are on that ground and never made it home,” he said.

He told Global News he feels the Ministry of Children and Family Development is still systematically discriminating against Indigenous children and families.

He alleged when an Indigenous family member tries to keep a child in their own care, ministry funding is delayed, compared to cases when a child is placed in the care of a non-Indigenous family.

“In this day and age, the way the ministry works and the way they apprehend children, to me, is nothing but residential (schools) still going on today,” Jobin said.

“Today’s kids that are being apprehended and are in the system, at least they are coming back.”

In a statement to Global News, the Ministry of Children and Family Development said it acknowledges that the “child welfare system has been overly involved in the lives of Indigenous children and families and that this dates back to residential schools and continues today.

“British Columbia is the first province to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples — recognizing in law the human rights of Indigenous peoples.

“The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) is working with Delegated Aboriginal Agencies, First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners to reduce the number of Indigenous children and youth coming into government care.”

The ministry said B.C. is seeing the lowest number of children and youth in care in 30 years and the lowest number of Indigenous children and youth in care since 2000.

When it comes to financial help, the ministry said it is striving to ensure “timely payment and issuance of supports.”

However, they know there are still some delays and urge anyone to make a complaint if needed.

For those affected by the news released on Tuesday and who have only started the long road to healing, they only hope there will be progress going forward.

“Most of my childhood memories just bring me sadness,” Sawan said. “I just remember the residential school. I did not have the opportunity to have a normal childhood, I was placed into a residential school to ensure the loss of my native heritage.”

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-800-721-0066) is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.

— with files from Neetu Garcha and Elizabeth McSheffrey

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ottawa, Quebec urged to ban handguns nationally ahead of 2017 mosque shooting anniversary

WATCH: Day of remembrance in Quebec mosque attack a first step, experts say

Just days before the fifth anniversary of the 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting, the leadership of the Islamic centre where the tragedy occurred called for a Canada-wide ban on handguns.

They sent letters to the federal and Quebec governments, urging all sides to make sure that any new gun control legislation is applied across the country. Ottawa has signalled it wanted to give individual provinces the ability to enact handgun bans, but the mosque leaders say the problem of gun violence is national.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, leadership of the Islamic Cultural Centre asked the government to abandon its idea of putting a handgun ban in the hands of the provinces.

Read more:

Friends of slain Montreal teen take up handgun fight, seeking ban at federal level

“If we are writing to you today, it is to beg you to stop your efforts to absolve the federal government of responsibility for the handgun issue,” wrote Boufeldja Benabdallah and Mohamed Khabar, reminding the Trudeau government that it is the “responsibility of the federal government to legislate in this direction so that the process is implemented by you from coast to coast.”

In a separate letter to Quebec Premier Francois Legault and Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault, mosque representatives said the province should “not to allow the federal government to shirk responsibility for the handgun issue.”

The federal Liberal government had initially planned to give municipalities the ability to ban guns on their territories, but that bill never passed. In November, the federal government said in its throne speech it would “support the provinces and territories that want to ban handguns in their jurisdictions.”

No province, including Quebec, has expressed an interest in overseeing a handgun ban, the letter noted.

“Even if the Government of Quebec decided to ban handguns on its territory, their proliferation in the rest of Canada would continue: it would, after all, be a ban on only one of the thirteen Canadian jurisdictions,” the letter to the province read.

The Legault government has previously been urged to show support for a national handgun ban, notably by friends of Thomas Trudel, a teenager shot dead last year in Montreal.

The letters were made public during a gun control webinar held Wednesday evening. The event was one of a series of ceremonies organized by the Islamic Cultural Centre and community groups ahead of Saturday’s anniversary.

Read more:

Trudeau says he won’t let provincial resistance scuttle municipal handgun bans

Mamadou Tanou Barry, Ibrahima Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane, Azzeddine Soufiane and Aboubaker Thabti were killed by a gunman shortly after concluding evening prayers on Jan. 29, 2017. Five others were wounded.

They were shot with a 9mm Glock pistol during a period of about two minutes. The shooter had at least five other weapons, including three assault rifles. All the weapons in his possession were acquired legally.

“It is absolutely harmful and shameful to note that in five years, nothing has been done to change the circumstances that allowed this individual to acquire or keep such an arsenal,” mosque leaders wrote. “In other words, an individual with the same profile could today own the same weapons and accessories.”

While assault weapons have been banned federally as of May 2020, those that were in circulation before that date remain in the hands of owners while they await details of a federal buyback program.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

RCMP briefs: Police search for missing Fork River man, look for driver in God's Lake Narrows hit and run

Dauphin RCMP is asking for help in locating a missing 71-year-old man from Fork River.

Police say it is not unusual for Luc Desruisseaux to be out of touch for periods of time, but he was last seen in October of 2021 and nobody can reach him.

He was driving a red extended cab Ford F-250 with lots of rust around the rear wheel wells. He has family in the Edmonton area and friends in the Abitibi-Temiscamingue region in Quebec.

Desruisseuax is 5’8″, 215 pounds with brown eyes and long brown hair.

Anyone with information can call Dauphin RCMP at 204-622-5020, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or secure tip online at

RCMP investigating hit and run in Gods Lake Narrows

Police are looking for a driver who is alleged to have hit a pedestrian in Gods Lake Narrows First Nation before taking off.

Just before 11 p.m. on January 16, a 28-year-old woman was walking on the Main Road near the Band Office when she was hit.

She was seriously injured and eventually transported out of the community for treatment.

Police have yet to identify the driver and vehicle in the collision. The vehicle is dark in colour.

Anyone with information can contact Gods Lake Narrows RCMP at 205-335-2464, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or secure tip online at


© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

O'Toole faces divided caucus as retreat begins with leadership questions looming

Erin O’Toole faced restive MPs and grassroots questions about his leadership on the first day of a Conservative caucus retreat — and worse could be yet to come Thursday when MPs are presented with a long-awaited post mortem on the party’s election loss.

Wednesday marked the first time O’Toole has met with his team this year as he continues dealing with calls for his leadership to be reviewed and some in caucus questioning his ability to even do the job.

Among things discussed behind closed-doors was Quebec’s controversial secularism law, which O’Toole is under pressure from some MPs to take a tougher stand against.

Read more:

Another Conservative riding calls for vote on O’Toole’s leadership

As well, Conservatives discussed the convoy of truckers and others opposed to public health restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 rolling towards Ottawa to protest the federal government’s vaccine mandate for cross-border truck drivers.

Many of O’Toole’s MPs, including deputy leader Candice Bergen, have expressed full-throated support for the truckers’ protest, with some saying they will attend. Their endorsements come even as concerns are being raised about individuals pushing more extreme — and even violent — ideas tagging along with the group.

“We have to make sure that everything is peaceful,” O’Toole told reporters Wednesday evening as left the caucus meeting, where he confirmed the convoy was discussed.

“Peaceful is the priority.”

On the eve of the Conservatives’ retreat, the divisions O’Toole faces were reinforced when one of the party’s riding associations in Saskatchewan — where the Tories hold all 14 seats — passed a resolution requesting his leadership be reviewed by mid-June instead of waiting until a scheduled vote at the next national convention in 2023.

“We are representing our members who have concerns about the policy direction that the current leadership is taking the party,” Levi Derksen, president of the Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek riding association, said in a statement.

Derken said the riding’s Conservative MP, Kelly Block, wasn’t involved in the motion at all.

Party spokesman Cory Hann said it was third riding to request an early review, including the Alberta riding of Foothills, represented by O’Toole’s agriculture critic John Barlow.

Read more:

Conservative riding association joins call for vote on O’Toole’s leadership

The party has so far rejected calls to move up the date of the review, saying 2023 was decided by near unanimous consent.

Asked about the idea of an early leadership vote Wednesday, Alberta MP Garnett Genuis, who serves as O’Toole’s critic for international development, said he was “looking forward to the discussions that are going to continue to happen over the next few days.”

“I’m confident that they’ll be good opportunities for discussions about a variety of different issues and we’ll see those discussions go,” he said.

Among the concerns expressed from within caucus and members more broadly are O’Toole’s shift on policies from the carbon tax to gun control and conscience rights.

There are also worries his strategy of growing the party by striking a more moderate approach on social issues and deficit spending resulted in the loss of some traditional Conservative voters in a failed bid to pick up seats in Ontario and the suburbs.

Caucus members will get a look Thursday at a review of the election loss done by former Alberta MP James Cumming.

Hann said caucus will be briefed on the contents of the review, including its key findings and recommendations, and will have a chance to ask questions of the author.

Part of the presentation will also focus on O’Toole’s performance during the campaign — something those concerned about his leadership are eager to see.

Read more:

O’Toole facing crucial test as Conservative MPs gather for caucus retreat

But the party wouldn’t specify whether caucus will be shown the review in its entirety. Hann said only that O’Toole committed to elected members receiving a briefing. He added that past campaign reviews were not shared beyond the party leaders and their senior staff.

Heading into Wednesday’s meeting, Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu said, as someone who appreciates details, she’d like to see the complete review but is expecting a summary.

“I want to hear what (Cumming) thinks went wrong in the campaign in terms of policy, in terms of how we conducted ourselves — and then what are the plans going forward so we can win the next time,” she said.

Alberta MP Glen Motz said he’s confident in his former colleague’s ability to handle the review and said he was “sure we’ll see the information that we require.”

Ginny Roth, a vice-president at public relations firm Crestview Strategy and conservative activist, said she doesn’t think it’s wise for a political party to make public the mechanics of how they run a campaign.

The report will suggest what needs to change, she said, and O’Toole will want to show he has a plan.

“It’s hard for him to focus on what he needs to be focusing on with the public and with voters if he doesn’t have the confidence of his caucus and members, and the report coming in is a moment for him to kind of solidify that support,” she said.

“It’ll all come down to whether in that brief, he’s able to convey to the different caucus members with different priorities, that they all have a place within his caucus and within his party.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

DeRozan powers Bulls to 111-105 win over Raptors

DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points, Zach LaVine added 23 and the Chicago Bulls beat the Toronto Raptors 111-105 on Wednesday night.

Nikola Vucevic also scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, notching his fifth straight double-double and helping the Bulls win consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 7.

Gary Trent Jr. led the Raptors with 32 points, while OG Anunoby added 23 points. Toronto has lost six of its last nine games.

Trent scored 16 points in the third quarter, helping the Raptors trim their deficit to five. Anunoby hit a putback to bring Toronto within one in the fourth, eventually hammering home a dunk that gave the Raptors a 103-102 advantage with 3:11 remaining.

A LaVine layup and free throws from DeRozan pushed the Bulls back on top. Trent was then ejected after being called for his second technical foul of the game. LaVine hit the technical free throw and Vucevic followed with a 3-pointer that sealed the victory for Chicago.

DeRozan appeared to pick up two technical fouls in the final minutes of the third quarter. However, his first was deemed a non-unsportsmanlike technical foul for grabbing the net illegally while playing defense, which allowed him to stay in the game.

Chicago opened the game on a 14-2 run and didn’t miss a field goal attempt through the first six minutes. The Bulls finished the first quarter shooting 66.7% from the floor.

Toronto erased a 14-point deficit in the second, completing a 19-5 run punctuated by a Malachi Flynn 3-pointer and a driving layup from Chris Boucher. The Bulls bounced back thanks to a combined 18 second-quarter points from LaVine and DeRozan. Chicago outscored the Raptors 26-9 through the final six minutes of the quarter and carried a 67-50 advantage into halftime.


Raptors coach Nick Nurse confirmed he’ll be making his acting debut next week in the CBC period crime drama “Murdoch Mysteries.” The episode will air on Monday, and Nurse will appear as a locker room attendant in a basketball scene.

“It was a while back,” Nurse said of when his appearance was filmed. “These people call me up and I say ‘sure, let’s go check it out’ and just try to be coachable. It’s humbling, it’s fun and it’s an honor to be able to do some of that stuff.”

Nurse’s cameo was teased via the show’s Instagram account on Wednesday afternoon.

“Hopefully you can catch it,” Nurse said. “You’ll have to let me know what your critique is of it.”


Raptors: Toronto was outscored 68-46 in the paint. …G Fred VanVleet (knee) warmed up before the game but was a last-minute injury scratch. He has missed the last two games for Toronto.

Bulls: F Derrick Jones Jr. (fractured finger) will be reevaluated in a week, but is not currently expected to need surgery. Jones fractured his finger Tuesday while working out at the team’s training facility and is expected to miss six to eight weeks. … G Lonzo Ball is scheduled to have surgery on his left knee Friday morning.


Raptors: At Miami on Saturday.

Bulls: At San Antonio on Friday.


More AP NBA coverage: and

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Flames blast Blue Jackets with 62 shots on goal during 6-0 win

WATCH ABOVE: Some recent videos from the world of hockey.

Matthew Tkachuk scored twice and the Calgary Flames fired a team-record 62 shots on goal in trouncing the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-0 Wednesday night.

Jacob Markstrom made 23 saves for his 13th career shutout, sending the Blue Jackets to their third-straight loss and fourth in a row at home. Calgary bombarded Columbus goalie Elvis Merzlikins, who stopped 56 shots.

Andrew Mangiapane, Mikael Backlund, Elias Lindholm and Erik Gudbranson added goals for the Flames, who have won three of four. Johnny Gaudreau had three assists.

Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames' Erik Gudbranson, right, celebrates his goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets with teammate Nikita Zadorov during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio.

(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Markstrom is undefeated in four starts against Columbus, and the Flames have won the last five matchups between the teams.

READ MORE: Gaudreau, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames past St. Louis Blues 7-1

Backlund got the scoring started at 4:21 of the first period, beating Merzlikins stick side for his fourth goal of the season and first since Nov. 21.

Mangiapane made it 2-0 at 15:14 with a deflection that stood after a replay challenge for a high stick. It was his 19th of the season, 18 of which have come on the road.

Tkachuk’s shot with 5.2 seconds left in the second put Calgary up 3-0.

Columbus failed to get a shot on goal in the second until 8:50 remained in the period. Merzlikins faced 39 shots through two.

Elvis Merzlikins

Columbus Blue Jackets' Elvis Merzlikins, right, makes a save against Calgary Flames' Milan Lucic during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio.

(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Calgary made it 4-0 just 30 seconds into the third when Lindholm converted Gaudreau’s rebound.

Gudbranson’s shot from the blue line at 6:55, his first goal of the season, made it 5-0. Tkachuk scored his team-leading 20th at 7:36.

Gaudreau extended his point streak to six games and leads the Flames with 35 assists to go with 16 goals.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Matthews shootout goal leads Leafs past Ducks 4-3

TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs mixed up their line combinations in the hopes of harvesting a more balanced attack. Still, the familiarity of their top players performing together on the power play produced a shootout win Wednesday.

The Maple Leafs still needed shootout goals from Jason Spezza and Auston Matthews to score a 4-3 victory over the pesky Anaheim Ducks, who overcame a two-goal deficit in the second period to send the game into overtime before an empty Scotiabank Arena because of provincial COVID-19 restrictions.

Mitch Marner, William Nylander and John Tavares scored in man-advantage situations to push the Maple Leafs (26-10-7) out to a two-goal lead in the second. But riding a solid 41-save effort from goalie John Gibson, the Ducks hung around to gain a point.

The Maple Leafs outshot their opponents 44-20 and had a whopping 75 shot attempts at the Anaheim goal with 14 misses and another 17 blocked.

“There were a lot of stoppages, so it became a little more challenging,” said Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe when asked about the first game with his new line combinations. “We’re also trying to get our fourth line going at the same time.

“So we got three lines that we really moved around. You’re trying to get some traction and that group some chemistry.”

Keefe aimed to place Matthews, Marner and Nylander on separate lines. So Matthews centred Michael Bunting and Ondrej Kase. Marner skated alongside captain Tavares and Ilya Mikheyev. Nylander was the right side of David Kampf and Alex Kerfoot.

“I don’t think it really bothers anyone,” Tavares said. “There is a lot of chemistry in this locker room, and I think everyone is ready to play with anyone at any time.

“So this is something that you can definitely work with.”

The big four of Matthews, Tavares, Marner and Nylander accounted for 25 of the Maple Leafs’ 44 shots on Gibson. Matthews led the way with seven shots on the goal, while Tavares, Marner and Nylander had six apiece.

The three power-play goals gave the Maple Leafs 34 for the season. Only the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues had scored more man-advantage goals entering play Wednesday with 37 and 35, respectively.

The victory gave the Maple Leafs (26-10-3) three wins in their last five outings. The Ducks (21-16-8) lost for the first time in three games.

Tavares put Toronto in front 3-1 with a 5-on-3, slamming in a Marner pass. But the Ducks stayed close because as the second penalty expired to Jakob Silfverberg, he jumped out of the box to score on a 3-on-1 rush.

The Ducks then received the game-tying goal forward Vinni Lettieri with 6:37 remaining in the third when he redirected Kevin Shattenkirk’s point drive.

Toronto goalie Jack Campbell registered his 20th win in 2021-22.

The Ducks arrived on a roll by opening their five-game road swing with impressive victories against the defending-champion Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins.

Anaheim managed to snatch an early 1-0 lead with a fluky goal. Maple Leafs fourth-liner Pierre Engvall attempted to sweep away the puck from the Toronto crease, but his clearing attempt bounced off linemate Spezza and into the goal.

Anaheim centre Sam Steel was given credit for the goal.

Marner scored for the fourth straight game with a bullet one-timer from 36 feet. Nylander converted a Tavares pass from behind the net for a 2-1 lead. The go-ahead goal was Nylander’s 17th of the season in his 39th game, matching the 17-goal output in 51 games last year.

In the first, the Maple Leafs lost defenceman Timothy Liljegren after he fell awkwardly and hit his head while trying to dump the puck into the Anaheim end. He was kept out of the game as a precautionary measure.

Toronto already was without defenceman Jake Muzzin (concussion), while the Ducks missed defenceman Josh Manson (COVID-19) and forward Sonny Milano (upper body).

Anaheim head coach Dallas Eakins also was sidelined because of COVID-19. Assistant coach Mike Stothers ran the bench in his absence.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2022.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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