Charges laid against Kensington Village LTC home in London Ont. in COVID-19 death of nurse

Charges have been laid against Kensington Village long-term care home in London Ont., for its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 which infected both residents and staff, leading to the death of a registered nurse.

The Ontario Nurses Association announced Tuesday that the Ministry of Labour had laid three charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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The Ministry of Labour declined to comment as the matter is now before the courts but did confirm the three charges are against Sharon Farms & Enterprises Limited c.o.b which owns Kensington Village.

“Kensington Village is a long-term care home that failed to maintain unexpired personal protective equipment and follow legislation requiring it to provide RNs with easy access to N95 respirators,” says ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN.

“The home failed twice to provide timely notice to the Ministry of Labour, ONA and the Joint Health & Safety Committee that its staff had contracted COVID-19 at work, as required by the Act.”

Brian Beattie, 57, died on May 11, 2020, after contracting COVID-19 while working as a registered nurse at Kensington Village.

According to the Canadian Federation of Nurses Union (CFNU) Beattie was the first RN and eighth health-care worker to die of COVID-19 in Canada.

The ONA notes that ministry inspectors visited the home more than 10 times between May and June 2020 and issued a number of orders related to hygiene, cleaning, social distancing and training, but did not issue orders about access to personal protective equipment.

Beattie had made complaints about PPE being denied, the stockpile of N95s being expired and locked up to prevent their use, the ONA notes.

“This tragedy was preventable,” says McKenna.

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“There were glaring violations at Kensington Village and ONA sincerely hopes that the mistakes this employer made are a lesson to other facilities to take occupational health and safety, and infection prevention and control seriously.”

McKenna said the ONA hopes these charges mean that Beattie’s death was not in vain and that the news that the home is being held to account will be of comfort to his family.

Global News has reached out to Beattie’s family, and to Kensington Village for comment.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Rural Albertans with COVID-19 overrepresented in hospitals due to '3 Cs,' doctors say

WATCH (Sept. 8): The Alberta government is facing mounting pressure from municipalities to put some sort of proof of vaccination program in place. As Sarah Offin reports, it’s a debate that looks very different between rural and urban municipalities.

Although COVID-19 cases are slightly declining in Alberta, two doctors who treat patients from rural areas say a fifth wave may be inevitable if people in those communities do not get vaccinated at a faster pace.

Provincial data says 78.3 per cent of eligible Albertans overall, including those who are 12 and older, are fully vaccinated and 86.4 per cent have had at least one shot.

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But in at least 19 out of 63 municipalities in northern and southern Alberta, on average, 55 per cent of residents have rolled up their sleeves for just one dose. In some of those areas, that rate is less than 40 per cent.

Dr. Raman Kumar, a family doctor at Maxwell Medical in Fort McMurray, Alta., says the rural population is overrepresented in overwhelmed intensive care units “simply because of the fact that there has been more vaccine hesitancy” among them.

“For example, here in Fort McMurray, we’ve had significant issues with our intensive care units being full of patients and we transport our patients to other communities,” said Kumar.

“We had seven nurses come from Newfoundland (to Fort McMurray during the fourth wave), so COVID definitely has been a major, major problem for rural communities.”

In High Level, one of the most northern municipalities in Alberta, 23 per cent of residents have had at least their first dose of vaccine. The number is 39 per cent in the County of Forty Mile in the south and 40 per cent in Two Hills County in east-central Alberta.

On average, 55 per cent of Albertans living in Manning, Peace River, Fairview, Spirit River, St. Paul, and Lethbridge have had their first dose.

“If we don’t achieve higher vaccination rates in some areas, we’ll be at risk of a fifth wave and sixth wave because of the ongoing transmission,” said Dr. Finola Hackett, a rural family health physician working in Pincher Creek.

“As we’ve seen with the fourth wave, a low vaccination rate did not protect from COVID and the Delta variants, so there’s a higher risk for sure in some rural areas.”

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Hackett and Kumar say three main factors contribute to the low vaccine intake in rural communities.

“I call them the three Cs,” said Hackett.

“There is complacency, convenience, and then the third one being conspiracy.”

Hackett said complacency can be seen in some Albertans “who are especially younger” in rural communities who have told her they don’t want to get a shot because they believe they are healthy. She said she tells them that the vaccine not only protects them from the virus, but also reduces the risk of transmission to others with compromised immunity.

Convenience is a matter of accessibility.

“The government and other partners send mobile clinics to some rural areas so that helped … but there’s still pockets of those who might have issues with (transportation).”

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The third C and most common reason why rural Albertans are not getting vaccinated is the “pandemic of misinformation,” Hackett said.

“Sometimes … a small, tight-knit community is sharing misinformation that spreads fast,” she said.

“Certain rural areas, that tend to be more conservative, are more distrustful of any government program.”

Hackett and Kumar said they have met several patients in rural Alberta, sometimes multiple times, and have persuaded them to get vaccinated.

“I just don’t think that acting on frustration or polarization gets us anywhere, as hard as it is finding that patience and energy to understand empathetically why someone is vaccine hesitant,” said Hackett.

The doctors said they are helping to launch a new campaign in rural Alberta through a national multidisciplinary coalition called 19 to Zero that is working to shift public perceptions around COVID-19 behaviours and build confidence in vaccines.

The campaign called “It’s Never Too Late” includes a video shot in an Alberta hospital. It shows a person breathing heavily while being assessed and admitted into intensive care to be intubated.

“I just want to tell Albertans, that heck, get the vaccine,” Kumar said.

“Let’s get back to normal life, and the way we can do that is by all of us getting our shot.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

2 new COVID-19 cases reported in Guelph, active cases at 13

WATCH: Ontario eateries are now allowed to serve a full house, as are other operations that check for proof of vaccination. But not everyone is expected to be comfortable with a return to business as usual.

Guelph’s public health unit is reporting two new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday as the city’s total case count climbed to 5,092.

The latest data shows active cases in Guelph remain at 13 with another two new recoveries.

Total resolved cases climbed to 5,034 and the city’s coronavirus death toll stands at 45.

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No new cases have been reported in Wellington County, where the case count is at 2,047.

Active cases fell to 19 in the county with five recoveries reported. The death toll in the county related to the novel coronavirus remains at 38.

Across Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, there are three cases being treated in hospital, including one in intensive care.

The local school boards are reporting no active COVID-19 cases among staff and students in Guelph and Wellington County.

The University of Guelph is reporting one active case on campus.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health says 85.1 per cent of eligible residents — those who are turning 12 in 2021 or older — are considered fully vaccinated, while 88.1 have received one dose of vaccine.

In Guelph, 90.5 per cent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated and 93.4 per cent are partially vaccinated, while in Wellington County, 78 per cent are fully vaccinated and 80.5 per cent have received one dose.

So far this week, about 500 vaccine shots have been administered, including about 150 first doses, roughly 350 second doses, and a handful of third doses.

Third doses are being offered to specific high-risk groups, such as organ transplant recipients and residents of high-risk congregate settings.

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Public health is publishing COVID-19 vaccination rates within the local secondary and elementary schools.

As of Tuesday, 79.1 per cent of eligible students in the Upper Grand District School Board have been fully vaccinated, while 81.3 per cent have had two doses in the Wellington Catholic District School Board.

Upper Grand says 89.7 per cent of its permanent employees have attested to being fully vaccinated as of Oct. 20, while Wellington Catholic says 94.4 per cent have attested to being fully vaccinated as of Oct. 15.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Edmonton Elks acquire QB Nick Arbuckle from the Argos

WATCH (Aug. 30): Fans attending Edmonton Elks games at Commonwealth Stadium will need to be fully vaccinated (14 days after second dose) or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, starting at the club's home game on Friday, Oct. 15. Sarah Komadina has the details.

After trading Trevor Harris to the Montreal Alouettes only nine days ago, the Edmonton Elks made another trade involving a quarterback on Tuesday by acquiring Nick Arbuckle from the Toronto Argonauts.

The Elks will send the rights to quarterback Chad Kelly, who was on their negotiation list, to the Argos along with a conditional third round pick in the 2022 CFL Draft. The pick will become a second rounder if the Elks are able to re-sign Arbuckle for the 2022 CFL season.

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Arbuckle, 28, signed with the Argos in the off-season and played seven games, starting in four and recorded 1,158 passing yards while throwing for five touchdowns and six interceptions.

Arbuckle started his career with the Calgary Stampeders, in 2019 he started seven games because of an injury to Bo Levi Mitchell. Arbuckle recorded 2,103 passing yards while throwing for 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

The CRB has ended. Here's how it may impact Canadians' taxes

Ottawa has revealed what will replace the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), which expire Oct. 23. David Akin has the details on who can apply for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program and the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit.

The Canada Recovery Benefit, which replaced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for self-employed Canadians, has ended. But for the hundreds of thousands of people who received the benefit in 2021, the tax consequences of the federal income support programs will spill into 2022.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Oct. 21 that Ottawa would wind down the CRB, along with Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), as of Oct. 23.

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Beginning in September 2020, the CRB provided $1,000 — later scaled back to $600 — every two weeks to Canadians who weren’t able to work or had seen a reduction of at least 50 per cent of their weekly income because of COVID-19 and were not eligible for Employment Insurance.

Unlike with the CERB, Ottawa withheld 10 per cent tax at source on all CRB payments. However, recipients may have to pay more tax on their CRB income at tax time. And anyone with net income above $38,000 in a calendar year will have to repay $0.50 of the benefit for every $1 of net income above the threshold.

If you received CRB and are wondering how much to set aside for your 2021 tax bill, here’s what you should know.

If you have a good idea of what your income will be for 2021, you can estimate how much, if anything, you’ll have to reimburse the government in CRB payments, says Neal Winokur, a chartered professional accountant and author of The Grumpy Accountant.

The first step is to calculate your net income. This is your total income for the year minus any applicable tax deductions. Your sources of income may go beyond your employment or self-employment income to include commissions, tips, pensions, rental or investment income, if applicable, as well as some government benefits, including COVID-19 supports like the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB).

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When you’re trying to figure out your CRB clawback amount, though, do not include the CRB itself in your total income, Winokur says. The government wants to know whether you earned more than $38,000 in the year in addition to the payments you received through the CRB.

Once you have your total income, subtract any applicable deduction amounts. These may include deductions for contributions to your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), moving expenses, spousal support payments and many others, Winokur says. If you’re self-employed, expenses you incurred to earn your self-employment income generally qualify as deductions.

Subtract your deductions from your total income and you have your net income excluding CRB payments. Did you hit $38,000?

If you didn’t, you don’t have to worry about repaying part of the benefit. If you’re anxious to know whether you owe any taxes, you can use an online income tax calculator to get a rough estimate, Winokur says.

But let’s say you earned $40,000 in net income, meaning you’re $2,000 above the $38,000 threshold. Having to repay $0.50 worth of CRB for every $1 of net income you earned above $38,000 means your CRB repayment amount works out to $1,000, Winokur says.

The good news is you won’t necessarily have to pay back that much to the government. Any CRB repayment will be due at tax time and become part of your overall income tax calculations, Winokur explains.

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How much you’ll owe the government will depend on how much tax you’ve already paid — including the 10 per cent tax Ottawa withheld at source on your CRB payments — and any applicable tax credits, Winokur says.

“It is possible that a lot of people who think they might have to repay CRB might not have to repay any of it or might not have to pay as much as they think,” he notes.

To estimate how much you need to set aside for taxes, you can look at your 2020 return to refresh your memory about what deductions and tax credits you claimed. Assuming your situation hasn’t changed significantly, that will help you arrive at a rough estimate of your tax bill, Winokur says.

If you’ve been doing your taxes on your own online, you can use your tax software to gauge your taxes for this year. Even if you don’t have access to the 2021 version, you’ll still get a pretty good idea of what you might owe, according to Winokur.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

B.C. health officials to hold press conference, details coming about booster program

Health officials will outline B.C.’s booster shot program Tuesday afternoon as the province hits a major milestone in the COVID-19 vaccination effort.

Dr. Penny Ballem, the head of B.C.’s immunization rollout team, will be joined by Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix for the 1:30 p.m. announcement.

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That will be broadcast live on BC1, in the post above and on the Global BC Facebook page.

Earlier this month, the province started offering booster shots in long-term care and assisted living homes, along with the flu shot.

On Monday, opposition politicians at the legislature pressed the health minister about when third doses will be rolled out to people on Frist Nations reserves and to seniors who still live at home.

Dix said answers will be coming Tuesday.

“We’re already acting in key areas,” Dix said Monday. “We will continue to work with the First Nations Health Authority and everyone else to ensure the third dose process rolls out as successfully as the first and second dose process did in B.C.”

As for the milestone, 90 per cent of eligible British Columbians have now received their first dose of a COVID vaccine.

However, 20 people with COVID-19 died in British Columbia over the weekend, health officials said Monday, and 1,618 new cases of the disease have been reported.

There were 613 cases from Friday to Saturday while 529 cases were reported from Saturday to Sunday, and 476 from Sunday to Monday.

Of the new cases, 699 were in the Fraser Health region, 190 were in Vancouver Coastal Health, 254 were in the Interior Health region, 186 were in Island Health, and 289 were in Northern Health.

The number of people in hospital with the disease rose slightly to 366. Of those, 149 patients are in intensive care, an increase of seven from Friday.

This post will be updated following the press conference at 1:30 p.m.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Alberta referendum results are in, Kenney to speak to results

So, did Albertans vote in favour of Daylight Saving Time?

It very nearly was a 50/50 split, with 50.1% of Albertans saying no.

Premier Jason Kenney is scheduled to speak at 12:30 p.m. along with Minister of Service Alberta, Nate Glubish.

The news conference will be streamed live in this post as well as on 630 CHED and Corus Alberta and Global News Facebook pages.

​By a ‘no’ vote of 50.1 per cent, more than 535,000 Albertans voted to not scrap Daylight Saving Time. The vote had a differential margin of 2,834.

That means Alberta will continue to fall back and spring forward their clocks.

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When it comes to if the Alberta government should ask the federal government to remove Section 36(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982 — it was a resounding ‘yes’.

With more than 640,000 Albertans — 61.7 per cent —voting in favour of the question. Just under 400,000 Albertans voted ‘no.’

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Those in Alberta took to the polls Oct. 18 to cast their municipal vote along with their vote when it comes to the two referendum questions.

Also on the ballot were choices for potential Senate candidates.

Read more:
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​All three Conservative Party candidates were voted for.

Those being:

  • Pam Davidson, Conservative Party of Canada
  • Erika Barootes, Conservative Party of Canada
  • Mykhailo Martyniouk, Conservative Party of Canada

Those in Calgary also voted in favour of introducing fluoride back into their water system.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Suspect wanted by Winnipeg police in pair of Main Street bear spray incidents

WATCH: Winnipeg police are looking for a suspect in connection with a pair of incidents on Main Street over the weekend.

Winnipeg police are looking for a suspect in connection with a pair of incidents on Main Street over the weekend.

Police said they were called to a robbery and an attempted robbery around 4:30 p.m., in which the victims, while inside their vehicles, were sprayed with what police believe to be bear spray.

The first incident was at Main Street and Sutherland Avenue, where a woman was parked in her vehicle when a man approached her open window and asked for a cigarette. When she looked down to find a cigarette, police said, she was sprayed in the face by the suspect, who took off on foot.

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A few minutes later, at Main and Higgins Avenue, police said the same suspect approached a car stopped at a traffic light, reached into an open window, and grabbed a purse from the passenger seat. When the driver tried to close the window, she was also sprayed in the face, and the suspect again fled on foot.

Police were able to get video footage of the suspect, described as an adult man with arm and upper body tattoos, wearing a baseball cap, carrying a backpack, and walking with a distinct gait. The man was also seen smoking in the video.

Anyone with information about this suspect is asked to call the major crimes unit at 204-986-6219 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

‘Leadership gap’ undermining global efforts to curb climate change, UN chief says

WATCH: Calls for urgent action ahead of COP26 summit aimed at setting new climate goals

The head of the United Nations says a “leadership gap” is undermining the world’s efforts to curb global warming, days before presidents and prime ministers from around the globe gather for a climate summit in Glasgow.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters Tuesday that time is running out to cut greenhouse gas emissions and meet the goals of the 2015 Paris accord to avert global warming that he said could become “an existential threat to humanity.”

“The clock is ticking,” he said in New York at the presentation of a U.N. report highlighting the difference between what scientists say is needed and what countries are doing to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas being pumped into the atmosphere.

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“The emissions gap is the result of a leadership gap,” Guterres said. “But leaders can still make this a turning point to a greener future instead of a tipping point to climate catastrophe. ”

The new report by the U.N. Environment Programme found fresh pledges by governments to cut emissions are raising hopes but aren’t strict enough to keep global warming from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

It concluded that recent announcements by dozens of countries to aim for “net-zero” emissions by 2050 could, if fully implemented, limit a global temperature rise to 2.2 degrees Celsius. That’s closer but still above the less stringent target agreed upon in the Paris climate accord of capping global warming at 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times.

The European Union, the United States and dozens of other countries have set net-zero emissions targets. However, the UNEP report said the net-zero goals that many governments announced ahead of a U.N. climate summit in Glasgow next week remain vague, with much of the heavy lifting on emissions cuts pushed beyond 2030.

Australia became the latest country to announce a net zero target on Tuesday, but experts swiftly pointed out that it doesn’t stack up.

Guterres said scientists were clear on the facts of climate change, adding that “now leaders need to be just as clear in their actions.”

“They need to come to Glasgow with bold, time-bound, front-loaded plans to reach net zero,” he said.

UNEP’s executive director, whose agency is one of several to examine the gap between government pledges and the Paris goals, echoed the need for speed on curbing emissions.

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“To stand a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 C, we have eight years to almost halve greenhouse gas emissions,” said Inger Andersen. “Eight years to make the plans, put in place the policies, implement them and ultimately deliver the cuts.”

Leaders, diplomats, scientists and environmental activists will meet in Glasgow from Oct. 31-Nov. 12 to discuss how countries and businesses can adjust their targets to avert the more extreme climate change scenarios that would result in a significant sea-level rise, more frequent wild weather and more droughts.

Guterres said he would use a trip to the Group of 20 meeting in Italy to press all countries, including major emerging economies such as China, to do more on climate change.

“If there is no meaningful reduction of emissions in the next decade, we will have lost forever the possibility of reaching 1.5 degrees,” he said.

Guterres said past climate summits had acknowledged that while all countries have to curb emissions, some are more able to do so than others, with leadership coming from the richest and most developed.

“But the level of emissions of the emerging economies is such that we also need the emerging economies to go an extra mile,” he said. “Only if everybody does the maximum, it will be possible to get there.”

The UNEP report emphasized several measures that can help boost efforts to curb global warming, including clamping down on emissions of the potent but short-lived greenhouse gas methane. It also emphasized the need to ensure pandemic recovery funds are spent on environmentally friendly measures.

The report finds that the opportunity to use COVID-19 recovery spending to stimulate the economy while backing climate action has been missed in most countries.

“Despite these alarm bells ringing at fever pitch, we see new evidence today in the (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report that governments’ actions so far simply do not add up to what is so desperately needed,” Guterres told diplomats later Tuesday.

___

Seth Borenstein in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Mounties seek suspect after Monday night robbery in Lake Country

Mounties are investigating a Monday night robbery in Lake Country where a suspect got away with both merchandise and cash.

A business in the 11000 block of Highway 97 in Lake Country was robbed just before 10:30 p.m., Lake Country RCMP said.

“The suspect allegedly entered the business where he stated that he had a gun and demanded cash,” Cpl Jocelyn Noseworthy said in a press release.

“He fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money and merchandise.”

Officers searched the area but did not locate the suspect.

He was said to be wearing a pink toque, black jacket, jeans, boots and a blue mask on his lower face.

 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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