National Newswatch

Caution abounds as Alberta eases huge raft of COVID-19 restrictions

Jun 12 2020 — Lauren Krugel — CALGARY — Restaurateur Leslie Echino laughs at the notion that even as Alberta lifts many more COVID-19 restrictions her business could return to anywhere close to normal. As of Friday, restaurants, bars, lounges and cafes are no longer limited to half capacity, although they still have to follow distancing rules and seat no more than six people per table. That means […]

Limit COVID-19 spread: Top doctor urges signs instead of shouting at protests

Jun 1 2020 — Lauren Krugel — Top health officials, acknowledging a striking lack of data on how the pandemic has hit marginalized communities, are encouraging anti-racism rally-goers to make their voices heard while keeping COVID-19 safety in mind. A black man died last week in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck. George Floyd's death has sent throngs into the streets in several U.S. and Canadian […]

Ontario delays allowing bubble families, larger gatherings as COVID cases rise

May 25 2020 — Lauren Krugel — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to keep following public health orders heading into summer, as rising COVID-19 cases and high-profile misbehaviour in a Toronto park over the weekend threatened to derail Ontario's reopening plans. Canada's most populous province, one of the hardest hit in the pandemic, had been contemplating letting more than one family to link up in so-called "bubbles" […]

Calgary school board rife with ‘turmoil,’ short-term thinking: report

May 21 2020 — Lauren Krugel — CALGARY — An independent review has found the Calgary Board of Education focuses too much on protecting individual members and not enough on its broader mission and long-term finances. "Overall, the findings are indicative of an organization that has undergone turmoil at the governance level with a focus on process over function and a short-term view […]

Alberta to relaunch economy, but delays in Calgary and Brooks

May 13 2020 — Lauren Krugel — CALGARY — Alberta will allow stores, restaurants, daycares, and hair salons to reopen across much of the province Thursday, but Calgary and Brooks will have to wait a little longer for some of those services. Premier Jason Kenney said while Alberta's COVID-19 case numbers have been decreasing, Calgary and Brooks are home to three-quarters of active cases and caution is […]

More COVID-19 restrictions eased as top doctor warns vaccine a ways off

May 11 2020 — Lauren Krugel — Children played physically distanced games in a Quebec schoolyard and more Ontario shops began offering curbside pickup Monday as Canada's top doctor warned a COVID-19 vaccine is still a ways off. Quebec, which accounts for more than half of the country's roughly 69,000 novel coronavirus cases, was the first province to start allowing kids back […]

‘Sense of relief’ as provinces begin easing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions

May 4 2020 — Lauren Krugel — Quebecers were shopping for furniture, Winnipeggers were sipping beers on patios and a Regina physiotherapist was treating aches and pains that built up during weeks of isolation.   Some provinces began easing their COVID-19 lockdowns on Monday, but top health officials cautioned many of the changes Canadians have made to their daily lives to slow the spread of the illness are here for the […]

First Nation gets $32-million grant after it stops opposing dam near Calgary

Apr 28 2020 — Lauren Krugel — CALGARY — A First Nation says it has ended its opposition to a proposed reservoir that would protect Calgary during flooding because it secured a $32-million grant from the Alberta government. The money is to be used for flood mitigation, restoration and prevention. The Tsuut'ina Nation's chief and council said in a statement posted to its Facebook page this week that concerns about […]

Ontario, Quebec offer different plans for reopening; Trudeau will not dictate

Apr 27 2020 — Lauren Krugel — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that Ottawa will help guide, but not dictate, how provinces and territories should start easing COVID-19 restrictions as Canada's two hardest-hit regions offered up starkly different plans for loosening the rules.  Ontario and Quebec together account for more than 80 per cent of the more than 48,000 cases of COVID-19 in the country. Quebec came forward with […]

Cattle group looks for help to weather COVID-19 as meat-packers slow work

Apr 14 2020 — Lauren Krugel — CALGARY — A cattle industry group says measures that helped ranchers weather the BSE crisis in the early 2000s should be brought back immediately as the COVID-19 pandemic slows down work at packing plants. The Canadian Cattlemen's Association is calling for a federally co-ordinated "set-aside" program that would enable producers to keep their animals longer. It would involve feeding cattle a maintenance diet instead […]

Convention centre to house homeless in Calgary during COVID-19 pandemic

Apr 1 2020 — Lauren Krugel — Calgary's mayor says organizers have done an extraordinary job transforming a downtown convention centre into a temporary homeless shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic, but he believes hotel rooms would have been a better option. "I've got to say: the convention centre has really stepped up to the plate at making this as good as it […]

Alberta pilot program for tough-to-treat opioid users to end in a year

Mar 9 2020 — Lauren Krugel — CALGARY — An Alberta pilot program meant to help some of the toughest-to-treat opioid users will end in a year. The Injectable Opioid Agonist Treatment grant, announced under the former NDP government, was supposed to end this month. The United Conservative government extended funding until March 31, 2021, to allow patients to transition to other forms of […]

High meth use at Alberta safe drug sites calls for more resources: advocates

Mar 8 2020 — Lauren Krugel — CALGARY — A report for the Alberta government has raised concerns that a large number of methamphetamine users are frequenting supervised consumption sites that were designed to respond to opioid overdoses. Front-line health workers say, if anything, that finding should persuade the United Conservative government to bolster services. The provincial government formed a panel last summer to look at how consumption sites […]