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Alberta health-care workers could face sanctions for wildcat strike - CBC.ca
Alberta Health Services (AHS) is considering “disciplinary options” for unionized health-care workers who walked off the job earlier this week.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) is considering "disciplinary options" for unionized health-care workers who walked off the job earlier this week. Nursing and support workers who participated in Monday's wildcat strike could be fined, suspended or even fired from their jobs, Finance Minister Travis Toews told reporters at the legislature on Tuesday. "They're looking at individual employee actions, individual employees who took part in the illegal walkout," Toews said. Next steps could include reporting any regulated workers to disciplinary bodies for professional sanctions, he said. Working conditions and the Alberta government's move to outsource up to 11,000 jobs prompted the job action. On Monday night, the Alberta Labour Relations Board declared the workers' walkout to be an illegal strike. Although the board cited no wrongdoing by their union, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), Toews said AHS will ask the board to investigate whether union leaders were involved in organizing the strike. "Just from information in the public realm, it would appear that union leaders were instrumental, or certainly there was a high degree of possibility that union leaders were instrumental in the activities," Toews said. Although he wouldn't point to specific evidence, Toews said social media posts, news reports and information received by his office suggest leaders were involved in organizing the walkout. AUPE issued a short statement Tuesday, saying leaders can't comment on AHS's labour board complaint. Moves to investigate individual employees may prompt the union to file grievances against the employer, the statement said. On Monday, AUPE President Guy Smith said the walkout was led by workers, not union officials. "We know that your employer's going to react very strongly to what you're up to today," Smith said over a megaphone Monday to workers rallying outside Edmonton's Royal Alexandra Hospital. "They're going to try and bully you and intimidate you to not be out here. If you stick together and stay strong, nothing can overcome the power of workers standing together remember that." AHS said the organization is reviewing Monday's events and considering next steps including possible disciplinary options and consequences. "That process could take some time to ensure we complete a thorough review and investigation," spokesperson Kerry Williamson said in an email. He did not say how many workers AHS was investigating or how long it would take. Opposition NDP leader Rachel Notley said the move is a continuation of the UCP government's attack on health-care workers. "If the finance minister insists upon engaging in a witch hunt against regular, hard-working frontline workers in the middle of a pandemic it will show us that they have learned nothing from yesterday," Notley said on Tuesday. "What they must absolutely do is declare a truce." The government has said outsourcing up to 11,000 health-care jobs such as cleaners, laundry and food service workers, porters and others could save up to $600 million a year. Two-thirds of health-care centre laundry across the province is already handled by private contractors. The NDP disputes the estimated cost savings of outsourcing. Notley said the government expects low-wage health-care workers, many of whom are women of colour, to cheerfully report to high-risk jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic while waiting for pink slips. "On what planet does this look even a little bit like basic common sense and humanity?" Notley said.
System not at 'breaking point' yet despite rise in hospitalizations, Manitoba health minister says - CBC.ca
Manitoba's health minister tried to quell fears that hospitals in the province are at a breaking point, saying Tuesday that facilities are still able to manage despite the swift rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Manitoba's health minister tried to quell fears that hospitals in the province are at a breaking point, saying Tuesday that facilities are still able to manage despite a swift rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations. As of Tuesday, a record-high 83 Manitobans were in hospital with the illness, including 15 in intensive care units. Two Winnipeg hospitals St. Boniface and Victoria are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. The St. Boniface outbreak has been connected with three deaths, and the Victoria outbreak with one. While Manitoba's numbers are not trending in the right direction, Health Minister Cameron Friesen says the province's health-care system still has capacity. "We're conscious of the fact that there are more people in hospital now than there were just two weeks ago. Clearly that is not the direction that anyone in Manitoba would want the numbers to go in," he told reporters at the Manitoba Legislature on Tuesday. "We are planning accordingly. We are not at a breaking point." Earlier this week, a Winnipeg doctor warned that the city's ICUs are days away from being at capacity. Dr. Philippe Lagacé-Wiens, a medical microbiologist and physician at St. Boniface Hospital, said earlier this week that he and his colleagues are worried Manitoba could get to a situation similar "to those the horror stories that you heard coming out of Europe back in April and May." "There's still an opportunity to turn this around. It's just that we're getting to the point where it might be a tipping point," Lagacé-Wiens said Monday. Friesen said Tuesday the province is planning for all scenarios, which could include cancelling elective surgeries, as the province did at the start of the pandemic to redeploy staff. "If the numbers continue to go in the wrong direction on COVID-19, then we have to think about how we would curtail those in order to keep people safe and be able to concentrate our efforts elsewhere." The province has also had plans in place for months to move patients out of hospitals to other places, he said. "Being able to decant patients who would be of less severity to other settings, those are plans that all Canadian provinces and territories have made. We are thankful that we have not had to at any point exercise those plans," he said. The province is also bringing in an additional 50 contact tracers through a contract with the Red Cross, he said, which would almost double the province's capacity. In recent weeks, several COVID-positive Winnipeggers have reported waiting as long as a week after their test to begin the process of detailing their close contacts to public health officers. Manitoba Liberal Leader Douglad Lamont blasted the PC government for the rising caseload, saying the province eased restrictions too quickly this spring. "We said that to the premier's face in May: there's nothing that makes Manitoba any different," Lamont said. "He keeps talking about beating COVID-19. All we've ever done is hold it at bay, and this government opened the doors to it. And that's why we have the cases we do, and there are no excuses for it." Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew said he wants the province to give Manitobans more information on the province's ICU capacity moving forward. "If one of the key things we're trying to do by implementing further public health measures is to prevent our hospitals from hitting their upper limit, then I think Manitobans should be given a regular update on how close we are to hitting those limits," the Official Opposition leader said. "The more information we have, the more we can all buy into these public health measures, and the more that will be able to stamp down COVID-19 together."
Green Leader Annamie Paul says her byelection result should serve as a warning to the Liberals - CBC.ca
Having lost her recent bid to enter the House of Commons, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul says she will consult with her caucus before deciding where to run next while working to grow her party's profile nationally.
Having lost her recent bid to enter the House of Commons, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul says she will consult with her caucus before deciding where to run next while working to grow her party's profile nationally. Paul ran in Monday night's by election in Toronto Centre, hoping to secure a seat in the riding where she grew up. The seat became available when former finance minister Bill Morneau resigned earlier this year. The Green leader finished second to the Liberals' Marci Ien, securing almost 33 per cent of the vote to Ien's 42 per cent a great improvement over Paul's last run in the riding in 2019, when she took just over seven per cent of the vote. "I feel encouraged because we've done historic things twice in one month. This is the best result we've ever seen in Ontario for a Green Party [candidate] and, of course, electing me [as party leader] was history as well," Paul told CBC News. While Paul did improve her party's performance in a Liberal stronghold, observers are cautious about what that improved performance means. "In terms of greater political trends, byelections are ... the worst yardstick you can use, because they are very specific to one riding and they are very specific to the dynamics on the ground," Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute, told CBC News. Kurl pointed out that voter turnout is typically low in byelections it was 30.9 per cent in Toronto Centre on Monday and that can deliver results that are difficult to analyze. Green Party members may have been more motivated to vote, said Kurl, because they were casting a ballot for a newly elected party leader while Liberal Party supporters were being asked to come out and vote in the middle of a pandemic to support an ordinary candidate. Paul is unwilling to attribute her byelection performance to the pandemic's effect on voter turnout. "The fact that the Green Party and our campaign was able to come within nine points of taking that riding, with all the constraints of running in a pandemic ... should tell [the Liberals] first that the Greens are here. We're going to be a very competitive option in the next election and they can't take any riding for granted," Paul said. Elizabeth May, former party leader and the current leader of the Greens in the House of Commons, said she was inspired by Paul's byelection campaign. She said she does not anticipate Paul will be asking her to give up her seat in Saanich-Gulf Islands so that the new leader can run there. "I certainly wouldn't say no if Annamie were to ask me, but I think I think the voters of Saanich-Gulf Islands would find it inconsistent with everything I've ever said about my job as their MP, to think I could lend the seat to Annamie and then maybe come back later and take it again," May said. "I mean, there's something about that that ... really doesn't fit with our approach to democracy." Watch: May says she is reluctant to give up her seat for Paul because "it's a very un-green notion.": Paul said she has no intention of asking May to step back from the riding. "If we were able to get one in three people to vote for us in a riding that the Liberals have held since 1993, and eat into their vote there and eat into the NDP vote, then it means we can run competitively in a lot of places that we weren't able to in the last election," Paul said. "We're not looking to substitute seats. We're looking to gain seats." Paul said she will discuss where she should run next for a seat with her caucus and party colleagues. "We haven't made any decisions, we're not prejudging any of that, we're going to look at every single riding and think about where it makes the most sense for me to run," she said. "Nothing has been ruled out and nothing has been ruled in at this point."
B.C. announces 217 more cases of COVID-19 but no new deaths - CBC.ca
B.C. health officials announced 217 more cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday but no new deaths and renewed their plea for British Columbians to consider their role in slowing down transmission as cases continue to mount.
B.C. health officials announced 217 more cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday but no new deaths and renewed their plea for British Columbians to consider their role in slowing down transmission, with cases on the rise. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Stephen Brown, B.C.'s deputy health minister, said there are 2,322 active cases of people infected with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus in B.C. There are currently 84 people in hospital the highest number since hospitalizations began increasing in August with 27 in intensive care. Hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by nine from last Friday, when 75 people were in hospital. The provincial death toll is 259. Public health is actively monitoring 5,101 people across the province, who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. There are two new outbreaks at Felburn Care Centre and St. Michael's Centre, two long-term care facilities in Burnaby. There are now 21 long-term care or assisted-living facilities that have active outbreaks in B.C. On Monday, B.C. put new restrictions on private gatherings in homes after confirming a record high 817 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend and three more deaths the largest number of new cases in the province in a three-day period. The new provincial health order from Dr. Bonnie Henry restricts gatherings in private homes to no more than immediate household members and a "safe six" additional people a number she acknowledged may still be too many for some households, depending on space and number of people already living together. Henry said it has become clear gatherings of fewer than 50 people are not always safe. More than 50 per cent of identified COVID-19 cases in B.C. are in the Fraser Health Region, where the province is homing in on contact tracing and other efforts to manage a mounting case load. The region has 39 per cent of B.C.'s population but 67 per cent of Tuesday's new cases. Health officials in the Fraser Valley are asking residents not to hold private Halloween parties this weekend as the region tries to get ahead of further transmission. Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin, chief medical health officer for Fraser Health, says the region seems to be a hot spot for COVID-19, because it has the highest density of multi-generational people living in close proximity to each other, making it easier for the virus to circulate. Health officials are reiterating the importance of "protective layers" for everyone in B.C. to reduce the spread of the virus. On Monday, Henry said it is now an "expectation" that British Columbians wear non-medical masks in public, stopping short of making them mandatory, as the province heads into cold and flu season. That message was repeated in the province's statement on Tuesday. Henry and Brown say masks are particularly helpful in indoor public spaces where you don't know the people around you. Masks should be worn in places like health care facilities, malls, grocery stores, community centres and other public spaces, they said. "In addition to washing our hands often and staying home when ill, our protective layers include limiting our time with people outside of our household, keeping our groups small, giving people the space to stay safe and if that is challenging, using a non-medical mask," the statement said. "Public indoor spaces are quite different from our schools, offices and businesses that have established learning groups and work cohorts, supported by comprehensive COVID-19 safety plans."
NXIVM leader Keith Raniere sentenced to 120 years in prison - CBC.ca
Disgraced self-improvement guru Keith Raniere, whose NXIVM followers included millionaires and Hollywood actors, was sentenced to 120 years in prison on Tuesday for turning some adherents into sex slaves branded with his initials.
Disgraced self-improvement guru Keith Raniere, whose NXIVM followers included millionaires and Hollywood actors, was sentenced to 120 years in prison on Tuesday for turning some adherents into sex slaves branded with his initials. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis called Raniere "ruthless and unyielding" in crimes that were "particularly egregious" because he targeted young girls and young women. He handed down the unusually stiff sentence in Brooklyn federal court after hearing the words of 15 victims call for a long prison term to reflect the nightmares and anguish they'll confront the rest of their lives. As he announced the sentence, Garaufis noted that Raniere labelled some of the victims' claims as lies. The judge told a woman who Raniere ordered to be kept in a room for two years when she was 18: "What happened to you is not your fault." He said that went for the other victims too. Raniere, who looked at victims as they spoke in the courtroom, maintained his defiant tone, although he said he was "truly sorry" that his organization led to a place where "there is so much anger and so much pain." "I do believe I am innocent of the charges. ... It is true I am not remorseful of the crimes I do not believe I committed at all," Raniere, 60, said. Prosecutors had sought life in prison while defence lawyers said he should face 15 years behind bars. The sentencing was the culmination of several years of revelations about Raniere's program, NXIVM, which charged thousands of dollars for invitation-only self improvement courses at its headquarters near Albany, N.Y., along with branches in Mexico and Canada. Adherents included millionaires and Hollywood actresses willing to endure humiliation and pledge obedience to the defendant as part of his teachings. After victims spoke for two and a half hours, the judge grew impatient and a bit angry when defence lawyer Marc Agnifilo sought to portray his client's organization as "doing good" for women before things turned bad for some. "I've heard enough about Mr. Raniere's theories," Garaufis snapped. The judge said Raniere groomed a 13-year-old girl so that "two years later he's having sex with a 15-year-old girl." At another point, he cut Agnifilo off as the lawyer tried to argue victims were not always factually correct. "You're starting to tire me out here," the judge said. "It's pretty clear he took advantage of people sexually." Earlier, India Oxenberg, the daughter of Dynasty actress Catherine Oxenberg, called Raniere an "entitled little princess" and a sexual predator and lamented that she "may have to spend the rest of my life with Keith Raniere's initials seared into me." The likelihood of leniency had seemed to dissipate with the recent sentencing of Clare Bronfman, 41, an heir to the Seagram's liquor fortune, for her role in what has been described by some ex-members as a cult. Bronfman was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison. Prosecutors had only sought five years. Ex-followers told the judge that Bronfman for years had used her wealth to try to silence NXIVM defectors. Raniere's followers called him "Vanguard." To honour him, the group formed a secret sorority comprised of female "slaves" who were branded with his initials and ordered to have sex with him, the prosecutors said. Women were also pressured into giving up embarrassing information about themselves that could be used against them if they left the group. Along with Bronfman, Raniere's teachings won him the devotion of Hollywood actors including Allison Mack of TV's Smallville. Mack has also pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. LISTEN | Inside the NXIVM trial: Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Hajjar told the judge only a life sentence would protect the public because Raniere otherwise "would be committing crimes today, tomorrow and in the future." Outside the court afterward, Barbara Boucher, who described herself as the first whistleblower of Raniere's scam when she left the group 11 years ago, said recovering from her time in the organization was traumatic and the sentencing left her "shell shocked" and "enormously relieved." "It's pretty amazing," said Boucher, who recalled her role in helping to build the organization when she first viewed it as a kind of Camelot. "This is a 20-year book and this is the last chapter of the book and when I leave here today, that book is closing," she said.
Youth-led climate change lawsuit dismissed by Federal Court - CBC.ca
A Federal Court judge ruled Tuesday that the Canadian government won't be going on trial for contributions to climate change — striking down a lawsuit brought by 15 young Canadians who argued the government was violating their charter rights.
A Federal Court judge ruled Tuesday that the Canadian government won't be going on trial for contributions to climate change striking down a lawsuit brought by 15 young Canadians who argued the government was violating their charter rights. Federal Court Justice Michael Manson rejected a lawsuit initiated by the youths aged 10 to 19 years old. Their case called on the court to compel Ottawa to develop a science-based climate recovery plan. But Manson ruled the claims don't have a reasonable cause of action or prospect of success, so the case cannot proceed to trial. The lawsuit filed in 2019 says Canada's failure to protect against climate change is a violation of the youths' charter rights. On Tuesday, Manson ruled the network of government actions that contribute to climate change is too broad for the court to grapple with, and the court has no role in reviewing the country's overall approach to climate change. Plaintiff Haana Edenshaw, 17, of the Haida Nation, says despite her disappointment, she is refusing to get discouraged and plans to keep pushing to have the case heard, after seeing the effects of climate change in her village of Masset on Haida Gwaii off B.C.'s North Coast. She said poverty rates and the location of communities leave Indigenous people at higher risk to the negative effects of climate change. "Indigenous youth in Canada are often the first hit and the hardest hit," she said. Another plaintiff named Sophia said that it is "a big wake-up call for all Canadian and Indigenous youth. Canada has tried to silence our voice in court and block our calls for climate justice. We won't be dissuaded." In September, government lawyers argued the lawsuit should be thrown out, as it was far too broad to be heard in court. In Tuesday's ruling, Manson agreed the terms were too broad. Joe Arvay, the lead lawyer on the case, says it's a disappointment, but he plans to push forward and appeal the case to the Supreme Court of Canada. The case, La Rose et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen, was initially filed on Oct. 25, 2019. The lawsuit argued that the plaintiffs 15 children and teens from across Canada had their rights to life, liberty and security and equality violated by a government that had failed to do enough to protect against climate change. In the government's defence submission, federal lawyer Joseph Cheng said the drivers of climate changes are a global problem, and Canada can't act alone to solve the issue. He also argued that the case fell beyond what courts can meaningfully adjudicate. The statement of claim was filed the day teen climate activist Greta Thunberg visited Vancouver and led a climate strike rally attended by thousands. It says that "despite knowing for decades" that carbon emissions "cause climate change and disproportionately harm children," the government continued to allow emissions to increase at a level "incompatible with a stable climate capable of sustaining human life and liberties." But there's no explicit environmental right in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And, in his decision, the justice disagreed that right is implicit, as argued in the case. "Of course it's disappointing, but the journey is far from over," said Brendan Glauser of the Suzuki Foundation. Glauser said the ruling acknowledged the negative impact of climate change as something that's significant and pointed out the justice also said the "public trust" doctrine is a legal question that the court can resolve which, he said, offers legal ground with which the group can attempt to move forward. "We are proud of our plaintiffs. These brave young plaintiffs know we only have a decade to turn things around, and so far, we are not on track," said Glauser. For more on this story, tap here to listen to the Sept. 27 episode of What on Earth with Laura Lynch.
Ontario reports 827 new COVID-19 cases, testing levels drop to roughly half of capacity - CBC.ca
Ontario reported 827 more cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, while the province's labs processed fewer than 24,000 tests.
Ontario reported 827 more cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, while the province's labs processed fewer than 24,000 tests about half of their daily capacity. Of the new cases, Toronto saw 355 new cases, while Peel Region recorded 169 and York Region 89. Meanwhile, the seven-day average of new daily cases, a measure that limits noise in the data and provides a clearer picture of longer-term trends, increased slightly up to about 879, another record high. Compared to the previous five days, the rate of increase slowed considerably. The province is also reporting 691 more resolved cases, and an additional four deaths, bringing the total death toll to 3,103. Also Tuesday, the Toronto Catholic District School Board reported 10 classes at St. André Catholic School in North York are self-isolating, eight of which are due to one infected staff member. The new case numbers come after a record-breaking weekend and seven-day average, which health officials said was partially to blame on Thanksgiving and other large gatherings. As for testing levels, Ontario currently has laboratory capacity for about 45,000 tests daily. Fewer than 30,000 tests were completed on each of the last two days. The province recently moved to limit tests for asymptomatic people, reserving them instead for those with symptoms or who had exposure to someone with a confirmed case. A Ministry of Health official told CBC News that since testing is demand driven, the numbers typically dip earlier in the week with fewer people booking appointments to be tested on the weekend. Asked about testing levels at a news conference Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford maintained Ontario continues to lead the country in testing, with nearly five million tests completed. Health Minister Christine Elliott added that the province has identified areas in Toronto and Peel Region for mobile or pop-up testing but provided no specific details about when and where that may happen. Hospitalizations climb The relatively low number of tests has pushed the province-wide positivity rate to about 3.45 per cent, also a new high. Provincial health officials have previously said that a 2.5 per cent positivity rate is reason for serious concern. Meanwhile, the number of people in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 climbed above 300 for the first time during the resurgence of the illness that began in early August and continues today. More than 1,000 were hospitalized during the first wave of the pandemic in the spring. Of 312 people currently in hospital, 75 are being treated in intensive care and 52 are on ventilators. On Tuesday, Ford announced an investment of $116 million to increase hospital capacity by 766 beds across the province. The new beds are in addition to the 139 critical care beds and up to 1,349 hospital beds announced as part of the province's fall preparedness plan, Elliott said. "We are taking another step today to keep that promise by adding hundreds more hospital beds across the province. This will not only ensure we are ready for any surges in COVID-19 cases, but provide patients with the care they need and deserve close to home," Ford said in a news release. The move isn't necessarily specific to COVID-19, however. In 2018, the Ford government announced an extra $90 million for hospital surge capacity to help cope with flu season. They year before, the then-Liberal government announced a boost of $100 million. Ford was also asked again Tuesday about MPP Sam Oosterhoff, who has apologized after photos posted online showed him at recent gathering of about 40 people, who squeezed in to take a picture together without masks on. WATCH | 'We all make mistakes,' Ford says after MPP Oosterhoff pictured at gathering without masks: The Niagara West MPP faced widespread backlash online after the incident, with the CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association calling for his resignation. In response, Oosterhoff said Monday there were fewer than the allowable limit of 50 people in attendance, but that, "I should have worn a mask when we took a quick [picture], given the proximity of everyone..." Ford said he has accepted Oosterhoff's apology. "MPP Oosterhoff apologized, he said it's not going to happen again, and I accept that," he said. "Everyone makes mistakes, he apologized, he's not going to do it again." Experts and officials have been warning about so-called "pandemic fatigue" for months, in which people who are sick of following the rules embrace riskier behaviour in order to see friends and family or do beloved activities. Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at Toronto General Hospital, told CBC on Tuesday that with a long winter ahead, it remains a major concern. What's needed, he said, is "messaging of how you can create safer spaces so people can do the things that they like to do, stay physically active, connect with others, enjoy themselves." North York General Hospital outbreak Another Toronto hospital has declared a COVID-19 outbreak after two staff members in its surgical program tested positive for the virus. North York General Hospital says both cases appear to be linked, and it will postpone non-emergency surgeries for the time being to limit the risk of infection. The hospital says there are no patient cases connected to the outbreak so far. Several other hospitals have been dealing with outbreaks of the novel coronavirus, which are generally defined as at least two health-care-related cases within a 14-day period. Ontario long-term care commission will grant workers anonymity Nurses and personal support workers can now be granted anonymity when testifying for a commission examining Ontario's response to COVID-19 in long-term care homes. Long-term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton says the government has changed the terms of reference for the independent inquiry to ensure the workers don't fear reprisal from their employers. Opposition critics called the move a good start, saying whistle-blower protections should be strengthened across the sector. The commission is investigating how the novel coronavirus spread in the long-term care system and will submit its final report on April 30, 2021. In interim recommendations issued late last week, the commission said the province must address critical staffing shortages at long-term care homes as the second wave of the pandemic intensifies. The province says there are currently 88 long-term care homes experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.
Friends and former Oilers remember beloved local sports figure Joey Moss - CBC.ca
Reaction from across Edmonton and the hockey world is pouring in for beloved local sports figure Joey Moss.
Reaction from across Edmonton and the hockey world is pouring in for beloved local sports figure Joey Moss. Moss, 57, died on Monday afternoon. He was a locker room attendant for the Edmonton Oilers and Edmonton Football Team for decades and was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. Moss, who was born with Down syndrome, got his start with the Oilers during the 1984-85 season after Wayne Gretzky noticed him catching a bus in the winter and convinced the team's general manager, Glen Sather, to find a role for him in the locker room. Gretzky told CBC Edmonton Tuesday he has heard from many other former Oilers talk about how much the longtime local sports presence did for all of them. "He's a special young man," Gretzky. "He was a close friend and he made me smile each day and those are things I won't forget." He proved no matter the obstacle, anything can be achieved. We remember the life of Joey Moss.8:10Today Im saddened to say I lost a good friend!! I have some great memories with Joey during my time <a href="https://twitter.com/EdmontonOilers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@edmontonoilers</a> You made me smile everyday I was with you. You will be missed!! RIP <a href="https://t.co/octqhvAD3k">pic.twitter.com/octqhvAD3k</a> —@ShayneCorson27 Gretzky quickly developed a bond with Moss, partly because he had an aunt in his family who also had Down syndrome. The two lived together for a year and a half while Gretzky played for the Oilers. But his memories of Moss don't just revolve around what he did for the Oilers, Gretzky said, adding that Moss was an inspiration for parents of children with disabilities. "As much as Joey did for all of us, and he did a lot [he] gave their kids opportunities and I think that's what people are most thankful about," Gretzky said.With the greatest of all-time... and #99. Oil Country sure wont be the same without you, Joey. Thanks for always brightening up any day and may you rest easy my friend. <a href="https://t.co/p7yGRqTdbk">pic.twitter.com/p7yGRqTdbk</a> —@cmcdavid97 Moss was also remembered by former members of the Oilers' training staff who shared their condolences and memories of him on Tuesday. "I really feel like he made everyone in that room a better person when he left that room," said former equipment manager Lyle 'Sparky' Kulchisky, who said he was thankful to see Moss in hospital on Sunday to say goodbye. Former head equipment-manager Barrie Stafford added that the team's players and staff were energized by Moss throughout his more than 30-year career with the team.We loss a legend in the <a href="https://twitter.com/EdmontonOilers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EdmontonOilers</a> family! Joey I will miss you and will never forget the precious years we spent together, our wrestling matches, when you sang La Bamba and many more memories! Rest In Peace my friend! <a href="https://t.co/YecYfMxfSp">pic.twitter.com/YecYfMxfSp</a> —@GeorgesLaraque "He wasn't afraid to bark back at any player, it didn't matter who they were whether it was the coach or Wayne or whoever," Stafford said. "He was just a ball of joy and happiness and he passed that on all the time." Mayor Don Iveson was emotional when talking about Moss' death on Tuesday, calling it heartbreaking news for the city. "As mayor, I got to meet him a number of times and (he's) just a delightful human being, and it's sad," Iveson said. "He was a great guy, so the loss is deeply felt in our city today." During his life, Moss was honoured with the NHL Alumni Association's "Seventh Man Award" for behind-the-scene efforts in the lives of others, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and a mural in Edmonton for his work with both of the city's major sports teams. Twitter users shared their own memories of Moss on Tuesday, both as an inspirational and motivating figure, and as a community member in Edmonton. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/joeymoss?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#joeymoss</a> was a fixture in our neighbourhood street hockey games. Here's a picture from Feb 1982 when Joey brought his friend Wayne to play with us for 4 hours. Joey was just really cool and we all loved him.<br>Godspeed Joey we won't forget you. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Legend?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Legend</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ASHOF?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ASHOF</a> <a href="https://t.co/hvcNDKjo8M">pic.twitter.com/hvcNDKjo8M</a> —@CSECRKerr His pure joy singing the anthem. Made your heart burst - for hockey, Edmonton, being Canadian... —@JennyJennyAdams
Cenovus to cut up to 25% of combined workforce with Husky Energy after merger - CBC.ca
The $3.8-billion merger between Cenovus Energy and Husky Energy will result in a trimming of the workforce by as much as 25 per cent, CBC News has confirmed.
The $3.8-billion merger between Cenovus Energy and Husky Energy will result in a trimming of the workforce by as much as 25 per cent, CBC News has confirmed. "The estimate is that the reductions will be approximately 20 per cent to 25 per cent of the combined workforce, which is about 8,600 employees and contractors," Reg Curren, senior media advisor for Cenovus, said in an email to CBC News on Tuesday, two days after the merger was announced. The majority of the job cuts of 1,720 to 2,150 positions are expected to take place in Calgary, where both firms are headquartered. The new company will operate as Cenovus Energy and will be based out of Calgary. "As with any merger of this type, there will be overlap and there will be some difficult decisions as we work to create a combined organization best positioned for the future," Kim Guttormson, communications manager at Husky, said in an emailed statement. Deal generally applauded Cenovus CEO Alex Pourbaix said the merger would create a new entity that's stronger, more resilient and operating with "significantly reduced" risk to market volatility. His counterpart at Husky, CEO Rob Peabody, said the deal would allow the combined companies to "make better returns in a tougher environment." Analysts generally applauded the surprise Cenovus-Husky hookup for its operational advantages but criticized the plus-20-per-cent premium in the price for Husky. "The deal does make strategic sense," said Manav Gupta of Credit Suisse in a note to investors. "Like U.S. E&P (exploration and production companies), Canadian energy companies also need to come together, cut costs and become leaner to better adapt to lower energy demand in [a] post-pandemic world." Both companies are carrying a relatively hefty amount of debt and that's why joining forces made financial sense. While the oilpatch has struggled for many years, this deal is happening in a remarkably unique time in the industry, with many companies bleeding money with historically low oil prices that even turned negative this year. Cenovus shares fell by as much as 15 per cent to $4.15 in Monday trading in Toronto before closing down 8.4 per cent at $4.47. Husky, meanwhile, gained as much as 14.2 per cent to $3.62 before closing up 12 per cent at $3.55 Earlier in 2020, Cenovus and Husky shares had lost 63 per cent and 70 per cent of their value, respectively. Cenovus expects to find savings of $1.2 billion. More mega-mergers likely, analyst says The all-share deal will likely spark more mega-mergers among Canadian oil and gas majors, according to a veteran oilsands analyst. "This is likely just the start of big deals in Canadian energy land and thus it begs the question of who is next?" said analyst Phil Skolnick of Eight Capital in a report on Monday. "As seen in the U.S. with the accelerated M&A activity, when there's one meaningful transaction, there's likely more to come." Several industry observers point to Calgary-based oilsands producer MEG Energy Inc. as the leading potential target, noting Husky's failed $3.3-billion hostile takeover attempt of its smaller rival two years ago. The Husky-Cenovus merger calls for Husky shareholders to receive 0.7845 of a Cenovus share plus 0.0651 of a Cenovus share purchase warrant in exchange for each Husky common share if the deal is concluded. Cenovus shareholders would own about 61 per cent of the combined company and Husky shareholders about 39 per cent. The transaction must be approved by at least two-thirds of Husky's shareholders but Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing controls 70 per cent of Husky's shares and has agreed to vote them in favour of the deal. Third-quarter results expected this week The announcement Sunday came just as Calgary's oilsands companies are about to start rolling out third-quarter financial results, with Suncor Energy Inc. set to report Wednesday and both Cenovus and Husky scheduled to report on Thursday. Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage said in a statement that she predicts opponents of Canada's energy sector will "seize upon today's news." "But projections show continued global demand for fossil fuels well into the future," she said. "We believe that Canada should not cede that market to countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia." "As companies across the globe navigate unprecedented economic times, job restructurings are an unfortunate reality of weathering the storm. More Alberta business news:
Feds pledge $51.5M to quickly house homeless people in Vancouver - CBC.ca
Mayor Kennedy Stewart said the $51.5-million investment will provide "much needed" affordable housing for people in the face of the "dual health emergencies" of COVID-19 and the toxic drug overdose crisis.
The federal government is investing more than $50 million in helping Vancouver quickly house some of the city's most vulnerable people living in parks and on the streets, Mayor Kennedy Stewart has announced. The money is part of the $1-billion Rapid Housing Initiative developed during discussions between the federal government and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Big City Mayors' Caucus in response to the COVID-19 crisis, a statement from the city said. Stewart said the $51.5-million investment will help provide "much needed" affordable housing for people in the face of the "dual health emergencies" of COVID-19 and the toxic drug overdose crisis. "As I've said time and again, there is no silver bullet. We're at the beginning of a long road that Vancouver cannot walk alone, but today's announcement shows that Ottawa has our back," Stewart said in the statement. The money will be delivered through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The funding comes on the heels of city council's approval of Stewart's own funding package of $30 million for emergency housing to support homeless people. "This $51.5-million commitment, combined with our own local investments, will allow us to rapidly stabilize the lives of hundreds of our neighbours and the communities they call home," Stewart said. The statement said Stewart has secured nearly half a billion dollars for major housing investments from senior governments since coming to municipal office. "The next step will be to convince the province of British Columbia to provide the wrap-around services we need to alleviate homelessness in Strathcona, the Downtown Eastside, and the West End," he said.