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'ADDED LAYER OF PROTECTION': Canadians should wear masks, Tam says - Toronto Sun
OTTAWA — Canada’s public health experts are now fully recommending Canadians wear non-medical face masks in public when they aren’t sure they will be able to keep their distance f…
OTTAWA — Canada’s public health experts are now fully recommending Canadians wear non-medical face masks in public when they aren’t sure they will be able to keep their distance from others. Dr. Theresa Tam, the chief public health officer for Canada, said Wednesday the recommendation comes as stay-at-home orders are lifting in different provinces and more people are going outside, riding public transit, or visiting stores. “This will help us reopen and add another layer to how you go out safely,” Tam said Wednesday in her daily briefing to Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic. She stressed that a face mask is not to replace other measures like physical distancing, handwashing and staying out of public places when you can. And she said people should see it as a way to protect other people, noting when two people are both wearing masks, they are each protecting the other. “It is an added layer of protection,” she said. The advice is slightly stronger than the suggestions over the last couple of weeks that people should consider wearing a face mask in public and comes with a national consensus of all federal and provincial chief medical officers of health. It is a complete turnaround from her advice seven weeks ago that people who are not sick should not be wearing a face mask at all. Canadian officials were reluctant to suggest face masks early in the virus outbreak for a number of reasons, including the need to ensure medical-grade masks were restricted for use by front-line health workers. There were also fears that wearing masks would prompt people to touch their faces more often and stay apart from others less often. Tam also said initially it was believed the novel coronavirus was only spreading from people showing symptoms. That understanding has changed, as it is now known people without symptoms can transmit the virus to others. She said in future respiratory outbreaks, wearing face masks might become a normal part of the public health response. She did not suggest she regrets recommending against using face masks earlier. She said the tried-and-true public health measures of testing, contact tracing, handwashing and physical distancing have worked to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. The new recommendation remains specific to non-medical masks, often made of cloth. There has been an explosion in the production of such masks this spring. Old Navy now sells face masks in its online shop and Vistaprint, an online printing company, has added face masks to its promotional items like business cards, mouse pads and coffee mugs. Tam began to shift the advice in early April, and over the last week or so, several provinces specifically told people they should begin wearing non-medical face coverings when in public. Wednesday was the first time there was a national consensus on the matter. Mask wearing became a normal activity in a number of places around the world, including Hong Kong and South Korea, almost as soon as the new coronavirus appeared. More than 50 countries have now made wearing one mandatory, including the Czech Republic, Venezuela and Spain,which enacted such a rule just this week. Canada is not making it mandatory, said Tam, though local health officials can do so if they believe it warranted, particularly in places where community transmission of the virus is continuing. The shift in advice came Wednesday with the sight of more MPs and cabinet ministers arriving in masks on Parliament Hill for the weekly in-person COVID-19 committee sitting. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he will be wearing a face mask whenever he feels he can’t stay two metres away from others outside his home. He arrived on the Hill in a mask Wednesday afternoon and wore it into the House of Commons before taking it off for the sitting. He put it back on when he left. “That’s my personal choice that is aligned, I think, with what public health is recommending,” he said. “I think we all need to adjust to what works in our circumstances and keep safety at the forefront of what we’re doing.” Tam said accessibility is one of the considerations regarding mandatory mask use, because not everyone can wear a mask. Some disabilities make wearing a mask very hard, such as people who are hearing-impaired and rely on lip-reading from an interpreter to communicate. “Please be very aware of those with different types of cognitive, intellectual disabilities, those who are hearing-impaired and others,” she said. “So just be patient, and don’t assume that someone who isn’t wearing a mask or is wearing something different doesn’t have an actual reason for it.”
'Twilight' actor Gregory Tyree Boyce, girlfriend found dead in home - CANOE
Twilight actor Gregory Tyree Boyce and his girlfriend have been found dead at his home in Las Vegas.The 30-year-old, who played high school student Tyler Crowley in the 2008 movie, was supposed to …
Twilight actor Gregory Tyree Boyce and his girlfriend have been found dead at his home in Las Vegas. The 30-year-old, who played high school student Tyler Crowley in the 2008 movie, was supposed to be in Los Angeles last week, visiting his daughter, according to reports, and when his cousin noticed the actor’s car was still outside his pad, he decided to check in on him. That’s when he found the bodies of Boyce and his girlfriend, Natalie Adepoju, and called the police. The cause of deaths are pending and a police investigation is ongoing. Meanwhile, the late actor’s mother, Lisa Wayne, has taken to social media to reveal Greg was “in the process of starting a wing business, West Wings,” adding, “He created the flavors to his perfection and named them after west coast rappers: Snoop Dog, Kendrick Lamar, Roddy Ricch, The Game, etc.” She adds: “I can say that my son was my favorite chef. He was on to something great and that was his passion.” Boyce’s acting career was short-lived — after appearing in Twilight, he went on to star in a short film titled Apocalypse. He had no other credits.
Biden says he'll rip up Keystone XL approvals if he wins U.S. election - Toronto Sun
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s campaign lobbed a spanner into Alberta’s post-pandemic economic recovery strategy Monday with a promise to rip up U.S. President Donald Trump’s appr…
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s campaign lobbed a spanner into Alberta’s post-pandemic economic recovery strategy Monday with a promise to rip up U.S. President Donald Trump’s approvals for the Keystone XL pipeline if the former vice-president succeeds in taking over the White House next year. Campaign officials finally ended the presumptive Democrat nominee’s months of self-imposed silence on how he would handle the politically sensitive expansion project, an ambitious, 1,900-kilometre heavy-oil line that would move 830,000 barrels of Alberta bitumen each day over the Canada-U.S. border to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. It wouldn’t be the first time that Biden has stood in the way of the Calgary-based TC Energy expansion. As vice-president, he was a key member of Barack Obama’s administration, which slow-walked the project — championed by the former Conservative government — throughout Obama’s second term before finally blocking construction outright shortly after the Liberals were elected in 2015. “Stopping Keystone was the right decision then and it’s still the right decision now. In fact, it’s even more important today,” policy director Stef Feldman said in a written statement, first reported by Politico. Trump, meanwhile, has spent “every day of his presidency” ignoring the looming climate crisis, making matters worse by pulling the U.S. out of the Paris accord, weakening national fuel standards, and rolling back regulations for air and water pollution, Feldman continued. “That denial of science ends on Day 1 of a Biden presidency,” she said. “Biden strongly opposed the Keystone pipeline in the last administration, stood alongside President Obama and Secretary (of State John) Kerry to reject it in 2015, and will proudly stand in the Roosevelt Room again as president and stop it for good by rescinding the Keystone XL pipeline permit.” TC Energy spokesman Terry Cunha issued a statement late Monday that ignored the comments from the Biden campaign, instead extolling the virtues of Keystone XL as an engine of investment and jobs growth “in a time of unprecedented economic uncertainty and unemployment.” “The project will further stimulate millions of dollars in new provincial, state and local taxes along the pipeline route and also ensures our energy demands are met with North American production improving the security of our domestic supply chains,” the statement said. No other pipeline project has been as extensively examined as Keystone XL, it added, “and every study had squarely concluded it can be built safely and in an environmentally sound manner.” The $8-billion US expansion, long a central element of efforts in Canada to expand export markets for Canadian fossil fuel, has been beset by delays, protests and injunctions almost since its inception. It became a major flashpoint in 2011 when celebrity-studded protests outside the White House helped crystallize environmental opposition to the energy sector. Trump has repeatedly sought to kick-start the project, signing an executive order in the earliest days of his presidency that was thwarted by a federal judge in Montana who concluded the State Department had not adequately assessed the potential environmental impact of the project. The president signed a fresh permit in March that not only cleared the way for construction, but also appeared designed to prevent further legal problems with State Department permits. But again, a Montana court halted the project on the grounds that the impact on endangered species in the state hadn’t been properly assessed. In the meantime, Keystone XL has come to define the widening fissure between an energy industry that’s straining to redefine its mission in the 21st century and growing public opposition to North America’s dependency on fossil fuels — a tension that has created deep-seated political challenges in Canada, where the oilpatch is central to the country’s economic fortunes. “Rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline is the touchstone of any meaningful plan to address the climate crisis,” said Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, the North American director of 350 Action, the political wing of climate-justice group 350.org. “Tribal nations, farmers and ranchers, and many other communities who have resisted Keystone XL for more than a decade know this pipeline would derail all plans for climate survival and adaptation.” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has committed $1.5 billion to the expansion, along with a $6-billion loan guarantee, as his United Conservative government extends outreach efforts in the U.S. in hopes of breathing new life into a sector hit hard in recent months by record-low oil prices and the economic impact of COVID-19. “We remain confident Keystone XL remains a critical part of North America’s post-pandemic economic recovery,” Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said in a statement. Without it, the U.S. would remain dependent on heavy crude from places like Venezuela and subject to the sort of market instability triggered in March by a dispute between Russia and Saudi Arabia, she added. “Rather than speculating about the outcome of the U.S. election, we will spend our time continuing to meet with our U.S. allies and speak to Alberta’s role in supporting North American energy independence and security.” During a roundtable discussion last week hosted by the Canadian American Business Council, Kenney said his government would be investing “significantly more” in expanding Alberta’s footprint in the U.S. to more effectively advance the province’s energy interests.
NOT A SPRINT STAR: T. rex was built for distance, not speed, research suggests - Canoe
Tyrannosaurus rex, one of the most feared predators in the Age of Dinosaurs, may have been built for endurance, not speed.A paper published Wednesday takes recent research on how mammals move and a…
Tyrannosaurus rex, one of the most feared predators in the Age of Dinosaurs, may have been built for endurance, not speed. A paper published Wednesday takes recent research on how mammals move and applies it to dinosaurs. Its conclusions support theories that the massive meat-eaters hunted in packs and opens a window into the ecology of the ancient forests they roamed. “We’re trying to figure out how much energy is going into and flowing through paleo ecosystems,” said Hans Larsson of Montreal’s McGill University, one of the paper’s co-authors. “If we can’t get an estimate for what it takes to feed the apex predators, then we have no chance of estimating anything else.” To figure out how much T. rex needed to eat, the scientists first had to figure out how it moved, including how fast it could run. In the past, that’s been done using a formula based on hip height. “That, coupled with body mass, can tell us a lot about speed,” said Larsson. The problem is that an animal’s speed comes from many factors — the relative length of certain leg bones; whether it runs on its toes or its heels; its size. Consider the elephant. Its hip height is lengthy, but a gazelle can run rings around it. “Lots of other things come into play,” Larsson said. “What we wanted to do was recalibrate … dinosaur speed using some really cool new papers that have come out using mammals, especially really large mammals.” Larsson applied those papers to dinosaurs, bringing body mass into the calculation. Earlier papers proposed T. rex could achieve speeds of up to 70 km/h — a lightning pace for an animal that would have weighed more than 10 tonnes. Larsson suggests its top end would have been closer to 20 km/h. But, he adds, T. rex’s long legs would have made that a very efficient 20 km/h, a pace that could be kept up for quite a while. Larsson asked what that could mean. “If this were their mode of hunting, being able to go much greater distances at a pretty good clip, what kind of lifestyle would that be? The animals that do this today are ones, like wolves, that hunt in packs.” Near Red Deer, Alta., a group of many large, meat-eating dinosaur fossils appear to be from members of a single flock. “It’s pretty good evidence,” said Larsson. Understanding how the top predator in the forests of the Cretaceous era moved and hunted allows scientists to also ask better questions about that ancient ecosystem. How much food would T. rex have needed to move that huge body at that pace? How much prey would have had to have been available? What would that prey have needed to eat? Answering those questions will have direct benefits for modern biology, Larsson said. “Some of the fundamental questions on current ecosystems are still not there. In most cases, we don’t even know what the food web is.” Rebuilding an ancient food web from sketchy fossil records could give science a road map to find its way through the incredible complexity of a living forest, he said. “We can start off with a paleo ecosystem and start developing ideas that can be used to begin tackling these questions in living ecosystems. The data become far simpler.”