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In The News for Sept. 30

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 Sept. 30 …

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What we are watching in Canada …

Communities across Canada are marking the country’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, honouring Indigenous survivors and children who disappeared from the residential school system. 

Singing and drumming are planned at 2:15 p-m in Kamloops, B-C, where the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation announced in May that ground-penetrating radar had identified 215 unmarked graves at the site of a former school.

Numerous Indigenous nations have since reported finding unmarked graves at former residential school sites with the same technology used in Kamloops, prompting calls for justice resonating across the world.

In June, the federal government announced the new statutory holiday to commemorate the history and ongoing impacts of the church-run institutions where Indigenous children were torn from their families and abused.

Terry Teegee, a regional chief of the B-C Assembly of First Nations, says it’s a day to reflect on the terrible history of the schools.

Teegee says there’s a risk the meaning of reconciliation could become watered down without government action to address the mental health challenges, addictions, homelessness and other social harms related to residential schools.

Also this …

Some family physicians in Alberta say they are dealing with an increasing number of aggressive, misinformed and untrusting patients who want a note exempting them from getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Two Calgary doctors say people have yelled racist comments at them after they declined to write the note because the patients did not have health conditions known to cause serious side-effects to a shot.

Dr. Sakina Raj said most of the comments are focused on her skin colour and hijab. 

“It’s really scary because I feel sometimes they were so abusive verbally, that they could harm us,” she said. But I still am kind to them. I calm them down nicely. I’m too experienced to be stressed by them.”

Raj said since Premier Jason Kenney announced a proof of vaccination program to try to turn back a crippling fourth wave in the province, safety has become such a concern that Sehet Medical Clinic is now dealing with new patients wanting an exemption only on the phone.

More than three patients a day are asking for an exemption at Dr. Mukarram Zaidi’s clinic, including one patient who tried to bribe him with $200.

Zaidi said some worry the vaccine is a cover to plant a microchip in their body, while others anxious about a possible allergic reaction.

The doctors add many of their colleagues across the province have successfully persuaded the vaccine hesitant to get their shots by walking them through what’s involved and addressing their concerns.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

Health care workers who were once saluted for saving lives in the COVID-19 outbreak are now being issued panic buttons and ditching their scrubs before going out in public to avoid harassment. 

Across the country, doctors and nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic are dealing with hostility, threats and violence from patients angry over safety rules designed to keep the virus from spreading. Some hospitals are so concerned that they equipped workers with panic buttons, while others have limited the number of public entrance to their facilities. 

In Idaho, nurses they’re scared to go to grocery stores unless they’ve changed out of their scrubs so they aren’t accosted by angry residents.

“A year ago, we’re health care heroes and everybody’s clapping for us,” said Dr. Stu Coffman, a Dallas-based emergency room physician. “And now we’re being in some areas harassed and disbelieved and ridiculed for what we’re trying to do, which is just depressing and frustrating.”

Cox Medical Center Branson in Missouri started giving panic buttons to up to 400 nurses and other employees after assaults per year tripled between 2019 and 2020 to 123, a spokeswoman said.

Over the Labour Day weekend in Colorado, a passerby threw an unidentified liquid at a nurse working at a mobile vaccine clinic in suburban Denver. Another person in a pickup truck ran over and destroyed signs put up around the clinic’s tent.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

SHENYANG, China — People in northeastern China are eating breakfast by flashlight and shopkeepers are turning on generators as much of the country enforces power cuts to meet official conservation targets. 

The outages also are meant to ease the strain on supplies in some areas.

Factories in China’s busiest manufacturing provinces have been ordered to suspend production for up to a week, prompting concern global supplies of smartphones and other goods might be disrupted. Now, urban neighbourhoods are being blacked out, triggering pleas on social media for the government to solve the problem. 

In Shenyang, restaurant owner Li Yufeng used a battery from an electric bicycle to run a pot for noodles after seeing a notice power would be switched off at 7:30 a.m.

“There are some impacts, but not a big impact,” Li said as customers ate by smartphone lights.

Shopkeeper Yang Chang had a generator running on the sidewalk to keep freezers full of meat cold.

“As long as there is electricity we can sell things, unlike restaurants that need water,” said Yang. 

“I was born in the ’90s. When I was little, electricity wasn’t stable,” said Yang. “Although we are having difficulties, the government will find a solution.”

On this day in 1985 …

The Calgary-based Northland Bank collapsed — the second failure of a western bank in a month. The Edmonton-based Canadian Commercial Bank closed its doors on Sept. 1.

In entertainment …

TORONTO — After a 20-year career with CTV, Ben Mulroney is leaving the broadcaster when he steps down as co-host of “Your Morning” on Friday. 

Mulroney says he wants to focus on a new career developing scripted and unscripted projects.

Mulroney joined CTV as an entertainment reporter for “Canada AM” in October 2001, before joining “etalk” in its debut season as co-host in 2002. 

Mulroney was also a member of the broadcast team for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, reporting on entertainment news for CTV, and was the host of CTV’s “Canadian Idol” for six seasons. 

He became co-host of “Your Morning” when it debuted in 2016.


LONDON — The city has finally honoured the late Diana with a blue plaque at the place the Princess of Wales called home in the two years before she married Prince Charles and her life in the goldfish bowl began. 

For Diana, 60 Coleherne Court, an apartment near London’s fashionable King’s Road, was the start of a new adventure.

Settling in the capital on reaching her 18th birthday, Diana shared the apartment with a number of friends from 1979 to 1981. It was there that she first started to court Charles. 

One of her roommates then, Virginia Clarke, helped unveil the English Heritage plaque during Wednesday’s ceremony.

“Those were happy days for all of us and the flat was always full of laughter,” she said. “Diana went off to become so much to so many. It’s wonderful that her legacy will be remembered in this way.”

The renowned London blue plaque program began more than 150 years ago. The plaques commemorate people who achieved something worthwhile in their lives and who made London their home at some point. There are more than 900 official plaques in the capital.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2021

The Canadian Press

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