COVID projections and 'Schitt's Creek' motel for sale: In The News for Nov. 26

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Nov. 26 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

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TORONTO — Ontario health officials are expected to release new COVID-19 projections today.

It will be the first time they have released such data since sending the province's two biggest virus hot spots — Toronto and Peel Region — into lockdown earlier this week.

Two weeks ago, the province unveiled modelling that showed Ontario could see as many as 6,500 new daily cases of COVID-19 by mid-December unless steps are taken to limit the spread of the virus.

It said the province would reach 2,500 new daily cases by that time if the growth rate was at three per cent, or 6,500 if the growth rate was at five per cent.

At the time, Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, one of the experts behind the projections, said a five per cent growth rate was "slightly optimistic.''

Premier Doug Ford announced he would lower thresholds for imposing stricter COVID-19 measures under the province's colour-coded restrictions system the following day.

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Also this ...

Quebec's highest court is scheduled to deliver its ruling today on appeals to the life sentence of Alexandre Bissonnette, who shot and killed six men in a Quebec City mosque in 2017.

Bissonnette was sentenced in February 2019 to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 40 years.

Both sides appealed the ruling: the defence said the killer should be allowed a parole hearing in 25 years while the Crown said 40 years wasn't enough, and Bissonnette should not have the possibility to leave prison before 50 years.

And in Toronto, a psychiatrist is expected to testify for the defence in the murder trial for a man who drove a van down a crowded Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people.

Alek Minassian has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.

The defence argues the 28-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., should be found not criminally responsible for his actions on April 23, 2018, due to autism spectrum disorder.

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What we are watching in the U.S. ...

WASHINGTON — A big Biden family Thanksgiving is off the table for president-elect Joe Biden because of the pandemic.

In remarks billed as a Thanksgiving address to the nation, the Democrat urged Americans to "hang on" and not "surrender to the fatigue" after months of coping with the virus.

He noted that public health officials have asked Americans to give up many of the traditions that make Thanksgiving special, like big indoor family get-togethers.

Biden said he knows how hard it is to give up family traditions but that it’s very important this year given the spike in virus cases, averaging about 160,000 a day.

He urged everyone to wear masks, practice social distancing and limit the size of groups, calling it a "patriotic duty" until a vaccine is approved.

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What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

SEOUL — The operator of an online chat room in South Korea was sentenced today to 40 years in prison for blackmailing dozens of women, including minors, into filming sexually explicit video and selling them to others.

The Seoul Central District Court convicted Cho Ju-bin, 24, of violating the laws on protecting minors and organizing a criminal ring, court spokesman Kim Yong Chan said.

The court ruled Cho "used various methods to lure and blackmail a large number of victims into making sexually abusive contents and distributed them to many people for an extended period," Kim said. "

He particularly disclosed the identities of many victims and inflicted irreparable damages to them."

Cho has maintained he only cheated victims into making such video but didn’t blackmail or coerce them, forcing some of the victims to testify in court.

Kim said the court decided to isolate Cho from society for a prolonged period in consideration of his attitude and the seriousness and evil influence of his crime.

Both Cho and prosecutors, who had requested a life sentence, have one week to appeal.

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On this day in 1917 ...

The National Hockey League was founded in Montreal with Frank Calder as president. The NHL replaced the National Hockey Association. Its first teams were the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Toronto Arenas, Ottawa Senators and Quebec Bulldogs.

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In entertainment ...

There's a rose-coloured opportunity for would-be hoteliers looking to flaunt their wealth in small-town Canada.

A landmark location from the beloved CBC sitcom "Schitt's Creek" hit the market Wednesday, offering buyers the chance to re-enact the show's riches-to-rags saga for a listing price of $2 million.

The Hockley Motel in Mono, a town of about 8,000 people northwest of Toronto, served as the exterior set for the Rose family's home on the Emmy Award-winning series.

The listing presents the 6.7-acre riverside property as a fixer-upper that would appeal to travellers seeking rural refuge from the commotion and contagion risk of city life in the COVID-19 era.

It's a sales pitch that may sound familiar to "Schitt's Creek" fans who have followed the Rose family as they refurbished their motel-turned-home in a town they once purchased as a joke, said property owner Jesse Tipping.

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ICYMI ...

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — A school superintendent in British Columbia is apologizing to an Indigenous mother whose daughter was given an assignment to find something good about the infamous residential school system.

Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission detailed how the residential school system played a central role in perpetrating cultural genocide against Indigenous people.

Krista MacInnis says she was reduced to tears when her daughter asked for help on the Grade 6 assignment from William A. Fraser Middle School in Abbotsford.

MacInnis says she asked her daughter to erase the work she had done, which included the web address for a blog post entitled "Balancing the Biased 'Genocide' Story About Residential Schools.''

MacInnis says she's since heard from the superintendent of the Abbotsford school district, Kevin Godden, who told her as a person of colour he was outraged by the assignment her daughter received.

MacInnis says she's heard from the school's principal, who told her he has spoken with the teacher responsible for the assignment and they would both like to apologize to the mother and her daughter.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020

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