Luka Rocco Magnotta, a Canadian actor convicted in 2014 of first-degree murder for the killing and dismemberment of Chinese exchange student Jun Lin, will remain behind bars despite his mother’s fear he could contract COVID-19 in prison.
“Mr. Magnotta is not eligible, under law, for any form of parole until June 4, 2034,” the Correctional Service of Canada said in a statement to American tabloid news website TMZ, which reported the wish from Magnotta’s mother, Anna Yourkin, that her son be released from the prison where he is serving a life sentence for Lin’s murder.
The maximum-security facility located in the province of Quebec where Magnotta is being held reportedly had 15 inmates tested positive for COVID-19. Fifteen prison employees have also contracted COVID-19.
Born Eric Clinton Kirk Newman to teenage parents in Toronto on July 24, 1982, he later changed his name to Luka Rocco Magnotta when he pursued a dead-end career as an actor and model.
Magnotta was convicted on charges including the first-degree murder of Jun Lin, a computer engineering student at Concordia University, in 2012 in Montreal, committing indignities to Lin’s body and broadcasting obscene materials.
Magnotta was also found guilty of dismembering Lin and mailing body parts to Canadian political parties and to two elementary schools.
In Canada, a first-degree murder conviction stipulates an automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole for 25 years.
Group decries Canadian Government’s refusal of landing right to Air Peace
The Aviation Safety Roundtable Initiative (ART) has decried refusal of the Canadian Government to allow Air Peace landing rights to transport the stranded Nigerians in Canada.
Mr Olumide Ohunayo, the group Spokesperson, registered the association’s displeasure in a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, said the airline was denied landing rights by the Canadian authorities on the grounds that the Nigerian carrier did not have licence to undertake commercial flights into the country.
Onyeama said the Federal Government rejected in totality, “the nebulous safety concerns conveyed by the government of Canada”.
Ohunayo, however, said the group viewed the Canadian Government’s action as not only an unfriendly act, but an unwarranted discriminatory and anti- competition acts bordering on avoidable aero-politics.
“The demand of our common humanity at these challenging times posed by the ravaging COVID-19 requires maximum cooperation of all.
“We, therefore, request our government, especially the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Aviation to stand firm against this discriminatory and unfriendly act.
“Air Peace remains Nigeria’s flagship, duly authorised by Nigeria for the evacuation mission of its distressed citizens in Canada,” he said.
Ohunayo said in the diplomatic spirit of respect and cooperation among nations, the initiative urged the Federal Government to persuade Canada to review its position and bring succour to the stranded Nigerians.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
Trudeau urges Canadians to continue taking COVID-19 pandemic seriously
“One of the things we know is that in pandemics, there are usually second waves,” Trudeau said during his press conference on Thursday.
“The question that we’re very much focused on is that, as that second wave begins, or as we start to see resurgences in a reopened economy, how quickly are we able to contain them and control them?” he said.
Canadian medical experts also warned of a second wave of COVID-19 infections in the country.
Trudeau repeated his government’ recommendation for Canadians to wear non-medical masks in a situation where physical distancing can not be maintained.
“It is going to be important to increase testing now but also make sure that as we move forward through the summer and obviously into the fall, we are ready to act extremely quickly so that the population at large won’t be in situations of having to go back into confinement,” Trudeau added.
As of Thursday afternoon, there have been 81,277 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 6,145 deaths in the country.
Uganda president, Canadian PM hold talks on COVID-19 pandemic
Museveni in a tweet on Wednesday said the talks held on Tuesday were fruitful.
“We look forward to defeating this pandemic and strengthening ties between our two countries,” Museveni said.
Trudeau said it is important to respond to the virus in a manner that protects the most vulnerable groups in society and upholds human rights.
The two leaders noted the devastating economic impact of the pandemic on many countries and how development financing will help countries bring back growth in key sectors.
Canadian military plane crash kills one, injures another
A plane with the Canadian Forces Snowbirds demonstration team crashed, killing one and seriously injuring another in Kamloops, Canada, the Royal Canadian Air Force said Sunday.
The plane crashed and burst into flames in the front yard of a house in Kamloops, British Columbia province, Sunday noon shortly after it took off from Kamloops Airport.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce that one member of the CF Snowbirds team has died and one has sustained serious injuries,” the Royal Canadian Air Force said.
“We can confirm that we have contacted all primary family members of those involved. More information will be communicated in the near future.”
Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan tweeted that he was deeply saddened by the crash, and that his thoughts were with all those who were involved.
Canadian military members, meat-plant inspectors test positive for COVID-19
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), who are providing help for seniors at nursing homes battling COVID-19 outbreaks, announced on Friday that five soldiers have tested positive for the disease.
Of those infected, four were working at nursing homes in the French-speaking province of Quebec, where about 1,400 military personnel have been sent to 25 long-term care centers to assist with coordinating medical care and infection control. The other one was one of the 275 CAF members working at five nursing homes in Ontario province.
The CAF began its civilian-care mission during the COVID-19 crisis when it deployed teams composed of nursing officers and medical technicians to Quebec, which has become the epicenter of the epidemic in Canada, accounting for 3,401 out of 5,562 deaths across the country as of Friday evening.
It is not known how sick the infected soldiers are, or how many of their comrades are quarantined.
“The women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces have always stepped up to do difficult and dangerous things when called upon,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday at his daily news conference here.
“There are always risks in what they do, and they go into that knowingly and willingly and that is why we offer them our deepest gratitude every day,” Trudeau said.
“At the same time, we need to make sure that we are doing everything we can to protect them, so we will look at the protocols in place and see if and how they can be strengthened, as well as ensuring that cases of COVID-19 don’t spread through the Canadian Armed Forces and others who are serving their country,” he said.
Meanwhile, 40 meat-plant inspectors from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have tested positive for COVID-19.
Of those infected, 18 inspectors were working at a facility owned and operated by American company Cargill Inc., located near the western Canadian city of Calgary, which has become the site of the largest COVID-19 outbreak at meat-processing plants.
Nearly 950 workers there have tested positive for COVID-19, and three have died from the virus.
Five Canadian military members test positive for COVID-19
Five members of the Canadian Armed Forces, who were serving in nursing homes in Quebec and Ontario, have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Canadian Defence Ministry on Friday.
Out of the five members, four were serving in Quebec province and one in Ontario province.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the five cases at his Friday press conference but did not provide details.
Almost 1,700 military members are reportedly working in 25 nursing homes in Quebec and five in Ontario after many of the regular staff were infected by the COVID-19.
They are reportedly responsible for cleaning, serving food and assisting with seniors’ basic needs.
The country’s nursing homes have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Deaths in nursing homes account for more than 80 percent of the nation’s coronavirus fatalities, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
As of Friday afternoon, there have been 74,750 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 5,553 deaths in the country.
Canadian parks to reopen partially in June
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday that some national parks in the country will partially reopen at the beginning of June.
He said the decision on reopening the parks will be made in line with the current severity of COVID-19 cases in the regions, while considering their proximity to Indigenous communities. “There will be different phases or different steps in the reopening of national parks across the country.”
Trudeau said it is still hard to predict what the reality of the pandemic will be in the weeks ahead and how it will shape the summer season.
Canada has more than 200 national parks, historic sites, heritage canals, and national marine conservation areas which have been closed since March to prevent Canadians flocking to these locations to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, Parks Canada said there will be no camping or group activities at all national parks across the country until at least June 1.
Trudeau also announced that new regulations on boating are going to be imposed as of June 1. Specifically, no pleasure craft will be permitted to operate in Canada’s Arctic coastal waters, or in the coastal areas of northern Quebec and Labrador, with boats used for essential fishing and hunting exempted.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were 73,331 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 5,468 deaths in Canada.
The number of cases reported daily in Canada has flattened and even begun to decline slightly, though there are variations from province to province. Reopening the country could change that, according to health experts.
Fijian, Canadian PMs hold talks on COVID-19 pandemic
According to Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) on Wednesday, Bainimarama spoke with Trudeau earlier this week, and they agreed that international coordination and information sharing is critical to respond effectively to COVID-19.
They shared information on the spread of the virus in their countries, and measures taken to protect the health, safety, and economic well-being of the people in their countries.
While discussing the impact of COVID-19 in the Pacific region at large, and the unique challenges posed by its isolation, the two leaders discussed the need to support more vulnerable countries in fighting the pandemic.
They also reaffirmed their shared commitment to combatting climate change and economic security.
Currently, Fiji has reported 18 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which, 14 have fully recovered and the remaining four active patients are still in isolation and in stable condition.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Canada recorded 71,100 COVID-19 cases, including more than 5,000 deaths.
Trudeau announces financial aid for senior Canadians
According to the announcement, senior Canadians will be receiving a one-time payment of up to 500 Canadian dollars (about 355 U.S. dollars) to help offset any increases in the cost of living due to COVID-19.
Any senior who is eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension will receive a payment of 300 Canadian dollars (about 213 U.S. dollars), and an additional 200 Canadian dollars will be sent to seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). No application is required to receive this one-time payment.
There are currently 6.7 million seniors who are eligible for the OAS pension and 2.2 million who are eligible for the GIS in the country.
Canadian seniors also continue to be hardest hit by COVID-19, with deadly outbreaks in long-term care homes across Canada.
Some 20 percent of the more than 71,000 COVID-19 cases in Canada are linked to long-term care homes, while 80 percent of the more than 5,000 deaths in Canada are seniors who live in long term care and assisted living facilities.
Trudeau said the outbreak and spread of COVID-19 has exposed some uncomfortable truths, “including how we care for seniors in Canada.”
“We’ve seen heartbreaking tragedies in long-term care facilities and nursing homes right across the country. Overworked staff. Understaffed residences. Grieving families. There are serious, underlying challenges facing these facilities. And in the coming months, the federal government will be there to help the provinces find lasting solutions,” he said.
The Trudeau government has reached agreements with the provinces and territories to top up the wages of some essential front-line workers including those in long-term care facilities.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been 71,105 COVID-19 cases and 5,167 deaths reported in the country.
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