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. 23 …
What we are watching in Canada …
How the Liberal government intends to ride the coming second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic will become clear today as it lays out a three-pronged approach in a hotly-anticipated speech from the throne certain to set the tone for the coming months in Parliament.
In what’s expected to be an address lasting as long as an hour, Gov. Gen. Julie Payette will detail the government’s plans in three areas: dealing with the urgent crisis of the current surge in cases, continuing and changing support for Canadians and businesses still not back on their feet, and what will come once the economy is better able to stand on its own.
With national case counts rising, public federal health officials have made it clear that if further public health and personal action isn’t taken to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, the lockdowns which paralyzed the country for much of the first half of 2020 may be the only option.
Those lockdowns saw federal spending soar to historic levels in an effort to offset the pandemic’s crushing blow to Canadians’ lives and livelihoods.
Billions of dollars were pushed out the door to help cover salaries, rents, the purchase of life-saving equipment and other targeted supports.
It all came just months after the Liberals had won a minority government and forced them to rip up much of the policy playbook they’d put before Canadians during the election.
Also this …
Residents of Halifax and Nova Scotia’s eastern shore were warned to stay away from the coastline as hurricane Teddy churned its way toward Atlantic Canada on Tuesday, pushing a storm surge ahead of its swirling winds.
The immense Category 2 hurricane — measuring about 1,000 kilometres across — was roughly 450 kilometres south of Nova Scotia by late afternoon. Travelling northward at 45 kilometres per hour, the storm’s maximum sustained winds were clocked at 160 km/h, but it was expected to lose strength in Canadian waters.
“It’s a very large and powerful storm,” said Bob Robichaud, meteorologist with the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Halifax.
Chuck Porter, the minister responsible for Nova Scotia’s Emergency Management Office, told reporters his biggest concern was the threat of storm surges accompanied by 10-metre waves.
“I know people are attracted to the shoreline and they love to watch the waves,” Porter said. “I want to caution folks: please stay back. If you get trapped out there, somebody has to come and try to rescue you, putting people in jeopardy unnecessarily.”
Robichaud said the storm surge along the eastern shore will come in two phases — as high tide approaches late Tuesday and again when daylight breaks on Wednesday and Teddy’s centre moves over the province.
What we are watching in the U.S. …
The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus topped 200,000 Tuesday, by far the highest in the world, hitting the once-unimaginable threshold six weeks before an election that is certain to be a referendum in part on President Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis.
“It is completely unfathomable that we’ve reached this point,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins University public health researcher, eight months after the scourge first reached the world’s richest nation, with its state-of-the-art laboratories, top-flight scientists and stockpiles of medical supplies.
The number of dead is equivalent to a 9-11 attack every day for 67 days. It is roughly equal to the population of Salt Lake City or Huntsville, Alabama.
And it is still climbing. Deaths are running at close to 770 a day on average, and a widely cited model from the University of Washington predicts the U.S. toll will double to 400,000 by the end of the year as schools and colleges reopen and cold weather sets in. A vaccine is unlikely to become widely available until 2021.
“The idea of 200,000 deaths is really very sobering, in some respects stunning,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, said on CNN.
The bleak milestone was reported by Johns Hopkins, based on figures supplied by state health authorities. But the real toll is thought to be much higher, in part because many COVID-19 deaths were probably ascribed to other causes, especially early on, before widespread testing.
On this day in 2007 …
Famed Canadian artist Ken Danby died at age 67 while canoeing in Algonquin Park in Ontario. Danby was recognized as one of the world’s foremost realist artists and was best-known in Canada for his hockey painting, “At The Crease.”
Ignore that all-day, I’m-so-hungry meowing — research suggests that cats do just fine if only fed once a day.
Adronie Verbrugghe from the University of Guelph says as long as Fluffy gets all the kibble she needs, giving it to her once daily might help her shed some of that weight she’s put on.
Verbrugghe says many people believe cats need small meals throughout the day, but adds that’s not necessarily the way cats in the wild behave.
In a newly published paper, she says hormone levels in cats fed once daily suggest they feel less hunger than cats fed the same amount over four meals.
She says the once-a-day cats in the study also had higher levels of amino acids, the building blocks of protein, which might mean they’re building muscle instead of fat.
Verbrugghe admits, however, that not all cats would easily accept one meal a day.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2020
The Canadian Press