‘Her care is intense and 24 hours a day’: N.S. mother worried about lack of long-term care options

A mother in Halifax is expressing her concern over a lack of suitable options for her adult daughter, who lives with an intellectual disability and severe epilepsy.

Helen McTague has been providing her daughter Robin with around-the-clock care ever since the 27-year-old was born.

Although Robin is non-verbal, the two share an incredibly strong connection, which makes conversing and understanding one another just as possible as any other mother-daughter duo.

But the decades she’s spent learning how to provide the best possible care for Robin isn’t something someone can pick up overnight, nor is it something long-term care facilities in Nova Scotia are suited for.

That is beginning to worry the 63-year-old caregiver, who lives with multiple sclerosis (MS). She knows what is working for them now, won’t always be an option.

“She always has to have one-on-one care,” McTague said.

Robin’s room contains only a few items, like a dresser and a bench.

She used to sleep in a bed that was low to the ground but over time, began to prefer sleeping on the floor.

It’s the ideal situation for her at the moment, but not likely one that can be feasibly replicated in a long-term care facility.

“I’m getting concerned about if something happens to me, long-term care for my daughter, what would be available?” McTague questions. “Right now, as far as I know, there is no facility where she would be able to be cared for properly.”

“I’m starting to get more and more concerned about it because age is inevitable but also there’s an added factor in there that I have MS. Although my MS is not debilitating, if I get sick, if I get the flu or get sick, then hands and feet don’t always work.”

As her primary caregiver, she gets regular respite help from a worker she calls “second to none” and “a godsend.”

Ensuring that level of care is kept up and maintained when the time comes for Robin to enter long-term care is never far from her thoughts these days.

“There’s no such thing as being able to say, ‘You know what Robin, Mom doesn’t feel well right now, we’ll do this tomorrow,’” she said. “That’s not the case. Her care is intense and 24 hours a day.”

“If I could think, ‘Okay if something happens to me this is where Robin will go, she’ll be cared for here, they’ll know what to do and it’ll be a good space for her,’” she said. “The peace of mind I would have would be priceless, unbelievable.”

Although Nova Scotia is ill-equipped for specialized long-term care focused on people with disabilities, it’s a situation all three of the province’s political party leaders agree needs to be addressed.

“As we continue down the road of long-term care and assessment of that, we do need to look at are there the right places and should we put in places for those younger people who are coming into care in the province?” said Premier Stephen McNeil.

“My hope is that the government is constantly looking at how things can be done better,” said new PC Leader Tim Houston. “To make sure that people are being properly cared for physically, emotionally, socially.”

“This is one in a long list of investments that the government hasn’t met up,” NDP Leader Gary Burrill said of the long-term care situation.

While there are no immediate plans to create such facilities, that talk could be seen as a good sign of things to come.

But for those who find themselves in such a situation currently, or will in the near future, it might not be enough to calm their fears.

“She needs to have the very best quality of life as possible,” McTague said of her daughter.

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Edmonton antique shop owner shares profits after homeless man finds rare ‘Bambi’ art in dumpster

The owner of an Edmonton antique shop is helping out a homeless man who found a valuable Bambi animation drawing in a dumpster.

Alexander Archbold of Curiosity Inc. says the man he knew only as Adam had been turned away by a few stores before he showed up in Archbold’s shop with the artwork in September.

The man asked for $20 for the find and Archbold agreed.

After he took the drawing out of its dirty frame, Archbold discovered it was an authentic 1937 animation cel from the classic movie and sold it on eBay for $3,700.

A framed animation drawing from the movie “Bambi” is seen in this undated handout photo. The owner of an Edmonton antique shop is helping out a homeless man who found a valuable Bambi animation drawing in a dumpster. Alexander Archbold of Curiosity Inc. says the man he knew only as Adam had been turned away by a few stores before he showed up in his shop with the artwork in September.

A framed animation drawing from the movie “Bambi” is seen in this undated handout photo. The owner of an Edmonton antique shop is helping out a homeless man who found a valuable Bambi animation drawing in a dumpster. Alexander Archbold of Curiosity Inc. says the man he knew only as Adam had been turned away by a few stores before he showed up in his shop with the artwork in September.

Archbold says he spent several days trying to track down Adam and, when the man walked into his store earlier this week, he handed him half the profits.

Archbold says Adam’s $1,600 share won’t be enough to get him back on his feet, so he has also set up a GoFundMe page that has so far raised $5,000.

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Canada pushing back against U.S. attempts to change text of USMCA deal: official

Canada is pushing back against U.S. attempts to change the text of their September trade pact and the issue may have to be referred to ministers to settle, a Canadian source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

“Some of the stuff they (the Americans) have been putting forward is not at all what we agreed to,” said the source, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation.

Although the source said Ottawa did not feel the problem would wreck the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) deal, the affair shows that tensions remain after a stressful 13-month negotiation.

The United States and Canada reached a last-gasp deal on USMCA at the end of September, guaranteeing that free trade between the three nations would continue. Officials are now fine-tuning the wording on the deal intended to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“We are having discussions around the interpretation of a variety of things,” said the Canadian source.

No one was immediately available for comment in the office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who led the negotiations for Washington.

Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, said it “is normal after an agreement-in-principle is concluded for all countries to work together to ensure the text is accurate.”

As part of the USMCA, Canada agreed that the province of British Columbia would stop its practice of only allowing local wines to be stocked in supermarkets.

The source said the United States was trying to broaden that clause to cover wine sales in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The two sides are also at odds over elements of Ottawa’s promise to offer more access to U.S. dairy producers.

The source said it was not abnormal that nations would seek to “push a little bit further in terms of the text” at this stage of a trade negotiation.

The USMCA must be ratified by all three nations before it comes into force. U.S. President Donald Trump had threatened to walk away from NAFTA unless major changes were made.

Another area of contention are the tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum that Trump imposed in June.

Freeland told reporters at a steel plant in Hamilton, Ontario on Thursday that she would be meeting Lighthizer in the next few weeks to discuss the matter. She reiterated that Ottawa does not think the tariffs and the USMCA are connected.

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37 Canadian law students killed in WWI called to bar 100 years later

John William Gow Logan had one course and some articling to complete before becoming a lawyer, but his death in the First World War left his dream unfinished.

The son of Manitoba homesteaders enlisted as a private in the 50th Battalion in 1915 and within months was promoted to corporal. He was killed on the last day of the Battle of the Somme in France on Nov. 18, 1916 _ a month shy of his 30th birthday.


Project counting down last 100 days of World War One

Remembrance Day 2018 in Calgary

Remembering World War One

Logan is one of 37 aspiring lawyers to be posthumously admitted to the bar in a ceremony Friday at the Calgary Courts Centre ahead of the 100-year anniversary of the armistice ending the conflict.

Logan’s great-niece Leslie Lavers, along with her daughter and some cousins, planned to be in the ceremonial courtroom for his bar call.

“It’s a piece of closure,” she said. “It brings him back and it puts him to rest all at the same time.”

Lavers never knew her “great-uncle Gow,” but she learned a lot about him from his eight siblings who lived into their 80s and 90s.

“The shadow of his death lasted with them until their own deaths.”

Letters Logan sent during the war were witty and cheerful, always seeking to ease the worries of his loved ones, she said. In one, he complains to his sister: “There are far too many lice and they are far too affectionate for my liking.”

Keith Marlowe with the Legal Archives Society of Alberta said that every November the profession recognizes members who died serving. But when law students’ names are read, there has always been the caveat that they were “never called.”

“But for the war, all of these students would have gone on to become lawyers and they would have given back to the Alberta legal community,” said Marlowe, a partner at Blakes, Cassels and Graydon.

“We wanted to make sure they were treated in the same way, on the same footing, with the same recognition as the Alberta lawyers who also perished in the war.”

The families of 13 students have been tracked down. Of those, relatives of six planned to attend, Marlowe said.

The gallery in Calgary’s ceremonial courtroom seats 350, but Marlowe said he was expecting so many people that he was looking into an overflow room days before the ceremony.

Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Justice Mary Moreau, associate chief Justice John Rooke and Justice Blair Nixon are to preside as the would-be lawyers are called in two groups of 12 and one group of 13.

Relatives and current law students are to take oaths and sign certificates on their behalf.

Organizers credit Patrick Shea, a partner at Gowlings in Toronto who was in the reserves, with making the ceremony possible.

Shea has devoted much of his spare time to digging through historical records and amassing details on the 550 Canadian lawyers and law students killed during the First World War.

“The sacrifice they gave is well worth the sacrifice and time that I gave,” he said.

A posthumous bar call was held in 2014 for Ontario law students killed in the First World War and there was one for the Second World War dead last year. Newfoundland and Labrador has had a similar tribute, and Shea said he hopes law societies in other provinces follow suit.

Shea said one law firm in Ontario had to close during the Great War because everyone there enlisted. He said so many Canadians in the profession signed up to fight overseas because it was seen as the right thing to do.

“That’s what lawyers do. We defend causes.”

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg released from hospital, Supreme Court says

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was released from hospital on Friday (Nov 9), a day after being admitted with three broken ribs, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.

The 85-year-old justice, the leader of the court’s liberal wing, is “doing well and working from home today,” Arberg said.

Ginsburg, a two-time cancer survivor, injured herself when she fell in her office on Wednesday night.

The accident caused her to miss Thursday’s courtroom ceremony for new Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“I wouldn’t say she’s exactly on my side, but I wish her well,” President Donald Trump said Friday. “I hope she gets better, and I hope she serves on the Supreme Court for many, many years.”

He spoke to reporters as he departed the White House for a trip to Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I.

The court won’t hear arguments again until Nov 26.

Ginsburg has never missed an argument session, even when she was being treated for colon and pancreatic cancer.

Ginsburg is an iconic figure among liberals, earning the affectionate nickname “Notorious RBG” and becoming the focus of two major movies this year – a documentary titled “RBG” and a biopic on her early legal career called On The Basis Of Sex that is scheduled for release in December.

She’s known for her slight physical stature, rigorous workout routines and pointed opinions.

A 1993 appointee of President Bill Clinton, Ginsburg is the court’s second-longest serving member, behind only Justice Clarence Thomas.

Ginsburg’s well-being is of intense interest to liberals who don’t want Trump to get the chance to nominate her successor, as well as conservatives eager to further entrench the court’s conservative majority.

Ginsburg, who said this year she intended to stay on the court for at least five more years, has shown no signs of slowing down. She wrote the first opinion of the court’s nine-month term, an age discrimination ruling released earlier this week.

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Six injured after plane crash in Guyana

Six passengers suffered non-life threatening injuries after a Canada-bound plane crashed shortly after take-off in Guyana’s capital.

The Fly Jamaica flight made an emergency landing at Cheddi Jagan International Airport, in Georgetown, at about 02:00 local time (06:00 GMT).

It had taken off not long before heading for Toronto.

The Boeing 757, carrying 126 people, including two infants, returned after experiencing hydraulic problems.

A spokesman for the airline said it “suffered an accident on landing”, but all 118 passengers and eight crew were safe.

Guyana’s Transportation Minister David Patterson said those hurt in the incident had been taken to hospital.

“They are all stable and are being looked at,” he told reporters. “There were no reports of broken bones.”

This is the second Boeing aircraft to crash in two weeks. A Boeing 737 MAX 8 operated by Lion Air crashed into the sea soon after take-off on 29 October, killing all on board.

Boeing said it was looking into the incident.

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Trump hints at deal with China to end trade war

US President Donald Trump appeared to signal a trade deal with China.

“We’re going to try and make a deal with China because I want to have great relationships with President Xi (Jinping), as I do, and with China,” he said at a freewheeling 1½-hour press conference on Wednesday, the day after the Republican Party lost its majority in the House to the Democratic Party but expanded its majority in the Senate in midterm elections.

Mr Trump told reporters in Washington he will also meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “some time early next year”.

Meanwhile, North Korea had to be responsive for sanctions to be lifted, but he was in no rush, he said.

“We’re very happy how it’s going with North Korea. We think it’s going fine,” he said.

“We’re in no rush, the sanctions are on, the missiles have stopped, the rockets have stopped, the hostages are home, the great heroes have been coming home, (Vice-President) Mike Pence was in Hawaii (for) one of the most beautiful ceremonies anyone has ever seen for the fallen,” he said.

Mr Pence was in Hawaii in August to receive the remains of American soldiers sent by North Korea, following an agreement to do so in Singapore in June. More remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean War were “being provided as we speak”, Mr Trump said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled to meet his North Korean counterpart Kim Yong Chol in New York this week, but the State Department on Wednesday said the meeting had been postponed.

President Trump brushed off the postponement as a travel scheduling issue. “I’m in no rush,” he repeated. “The sanctions are on.”

Mr Trump met the North Korean leader in Singapore in June.

“I’d love to take the sanctions off but they have to be responsive too,” he said. “But we’re not in any rush at all, no rush whatsoever.”

“Before I got here they were dealing with this for over 70 years. And I guess on a nuclear front for 25 years. That’s a long time,” he said.

“I probably left Singapore four or five months ago, and we made more progress in that four or five months than they’ve made in 70 years, and nobody else could have done what I’ve done. But I’ll say this very simply, we are in no rush, the sanctions are on, and whenever it is.”

Asked about healing America’s political divide after a bitter election, he segued to China, saying one of the things that could help heal America was its own success.

“China would have superseded us in two years as an economic power,” he said.

“Now they’re not even close. China got rid of their China 25 because I found it very insulting. I said that to them… Because China 25 means in 2025 they’re going to take over economically the world. I said that’s not happening.”

The reference appeared to be to Made In China 2025, a state-sponsored push to dominate future technologies, which has become a sticking point in the United States-China relationship as the two countries are locked in a trade war.

There have been no reports of China abandoning Made in China 2025. But some recent reports have said Beijing may be willing to water it down in exchange for a trade deal.

“I don’t want them to go down,” President Trump said. “We’ll have a good meeting and we’re going to see what we can do.”

While it was unclear what he meant, he was likely referring to the meeting with President Xi at the Group of 20 Summit in Argentina at the end of this month.

The Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said yesterday that a meeting between President Xi and President Trump at the summit will be of great significance to both sides.

The meeting is being seen as an opportunity for the two leaders to reach some arrangement to wind back the tariff war which is damaging sectors of both economies. There has been speculation in recent days that a deal will be reached.

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'The community of Paradise is destroyed': Thousands displaced in California wildfire

“Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it’s that kind of devastation,” California fire captain Scott McLean said.

“The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out.”

He estimated that a couple of thousand structures, including offices, large stores and restaurants in the 27,000 population town were flattened by the fire, although exact numbers are not known.

People were forced to abandon their cars and run, carrying their children and possessions, and those who had fled reported seeing houses explode as they were engulfed in flames.

The extent of people’s injuries was not immediately known as officials could not access the dangerous area, 180 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Authorities were working to evacuate residents from their homes as strong winds swept seasonal wildfires across the state, consuming more than 26 miles of territory on Thursday alone.

Strong blustery winds are combining with dry conditions, after weeks without rain and low humidity at the height of the wildfire season in north California.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said they were sending as many firefighters as possible.

“We’re working very hard to get people out. The message I want to get out is: If you can evacuate, you need to evacuate,” he said.

“It’s a very dangerous and very serious situation. I’m driving through fire as we speak.”

Videos of the area posted on social media showed cars driving along what appeared to be a tunnel of flame, while others depicted untouched lawns or buildings set against a backdrop of deep orange, the fire racing towards people’s homes.

On social media many people posted anxious messages about elderly relatives who lived near the fire and were missing, urging authorities to assist them in evacuating.

One woman, Kim Curtis, said she was searching for her grandmother, a woman in her 70s who had said she was fleeing with her cat but had failed to turn up at an arranged meeting point and was not contactable.

“We’ve just been posting all over social media. And just praying for a miracle, honestly,” Ms Curtis said.

One manager of a mobile home park said her husband had struggled to alert as many residents as possible to the fire, hammering on doors and screaming for people to leave.

“My husband tried his best to get everybody out. The whole hill’s on fire. God help us!”, Shary Bernacett said.

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Lindsay Wellness Fair hosts 45 vendors to promote health and screening

The City of Kawartha Lakes held its 2nd Annual wellness fair on Thursday. From health screenings to live demonstrations, its purpose is to bring health and wellness, together with businesses, under one roof.

“We have a naturopath, chiropractor, physiotherapists, sleep specialist in CPAP, individuals that are dealing with orthotics and footcare,” said Samantha Yip, a workplace health and safety officer, with the City of Kawartha Lakes

Among the vendors, the City of Kawartha Lakes paramedics featured an automated CPR device.

“It doesn’t get tired like a human being would get. It plugs into the back of an ambulance and it does perfect CPR — it frees our hands, so we can now give medications, we can manage an airway,” said primary care paramedic, Evan Forbes.

Meanwhile, the Community Care Health and Care Network was highlighting the importance of screening.

“Some of the programs we screen for is breast, cervical and colorectal screenings, so if you’re eligible for a pap test, or if you’ve had a mammogram recently, those are some of the things our primary care team can help connect the dots with,” said health promoter, Jordan Prosper.

Even though colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in Ontario, Prosper says most people aren’t familiar with its screening process. He says it isn’t just as simple as going for a colonoscopy.

“There’s actually a simple at-home test that you can do called an FOBT kit that we’re really encouraging our clients that are eligible for colorectal screening to complete,” said Prosper.

Another at-home test comes from LEX Scientific Inc. which offers a way to detect radon levels in homes.

The company says one in 16 homes in the city of Kawartha Lakes has high radon levels. The radioactive gas comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil and can accumulate in homes.

“It can reach cancer-causing levels in our basement, so it’s the second-leading cause of lung cancer, and the first if you’re a non-smoker,” said Elyssa Loewen from LEX Scientific Inc.

This year’s fair featured more than 45 vendors and even included a free flu shot clinic, and was held at the Lindsay Armoury.

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Google outlines steps to tackle workplace harassment

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Google on Thursday (Nov 8) outlined changes to its handling of sexual misconduct complaints, hoping to calm outrage that triggered a worldwide walkout of workers last week.

“We recognise that we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that,” chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a message to employees, a copy of which was shared with AFP.

“It’s clear we need to make some changes.”

Arbitration of harassment claims will be optional instead of obligatory, according to Pichai, a move that could end anonymous settlements that fail to identify those accused of harassment.

“Google has never required confidentiality in the arbitration process and it still may be the best path for a number of reasons (e.g. personal privacy, predictability of process), but, we recognise that the choice should be up to you,” he said in the memo.

Pichai promised that Google will be more transparent with how concerns are handled, and provide better support and care to those who raise such issues with the company.

Google will provide “more granularity,” regarding sexual harassment investigations and their outcomes, according to Pichai.

A section of an internal “Investigations Report” will focus on sexual harassment to show numbers of substantiated concerns as well as trends and disciplinary actions, according to the California-based company.

He also said Google is consolidating the complaint system and that the process for handling concerns will include providing support people and counselors.

Google will update its mandatory sexual harassment training, and require it annually instead of every two years as had been the case.


Google is also putting the onus on team leaders to tighten the tap on booze at company events, on or off campus, to curtail the potential for drunken misbehaviour.

“Harassment is never acceptable and alcohol is never an excuse,” Google said in a released action statement.

“But, one of the most common factors among the harassment complaints made today at Google is that the perpetrator had been drinking.”

Google policy already bans excessive consumption of alcohol on the job; while on company business, or at work-related events.

Some teams at the company have already instituted two-drink limits at events or use ticket systems, Google said.

Google executives overseeing events will be expected to strongly discourage excessive drinking, according to the company, which vowed “onerous actions” if problems persisted.

The company also promised to “recommit” to improving workplace diversity through hiring, retention, and career advancement.’


Thousands of Google employees joined a coordinated worldwide walkout a week ago to protest the US tech giant’s handling of sexual harassment.

A massive turnout at the “Googleplex” in Silicon Valley was the final stage of a global walkout that began in Asia and spread to Google offices in Europe.

Some 20,000 Google employees and contractors participated in the protest in 50 cities around the world, according to organisers.

Demma Rodriguez, head of equity engineering and a seven-year Google employee, said during the walkout that it was an important part of bringing fairness to the technology colossus.

“We have an aspiration to be the best company in the world,” Rodriguez said.

“But we also have goals as a company and we can’t decide we are going to miss those.”

The protest took shape after Google said it had fired 48 employees in the past two years – including 13 senior executives – as a result of allegations of sexual misconduct.

Demands posted by organisers included an end to forced arbitration in cases of harassment and discrimination for all current and future employees, along with a right for every Google worker to bring a co-worker, representative, or supporter when filing a harassment claim.

In a statement organisers commended Google for the response, but said more changes are needed.

“We demand a truly equitable culture, and Google leadership can achieve this by putting employee representation on the board and giving full rights and protections to contract workers,” organiser Stephanie Parker said in the statement.

Along with sexual harassment, Google needs to address racism and discrimination that includes inequity in pay and promotions, organisers said.

“They all have the same root cause, which is a concentration of power and a lack of accountability at the top,” Parker said.

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