Year in review: A look at news events in November 2020 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Year in review: A look at news events in November 2020

December 14, 2020 - 1:50 AM

A look at news events in November 2020:

01 - The Royal Canadian Legion named Debbie Sullivan of Saint John, N.B., as this year's Silver Cross mother. Her son, navy Lt. Chris Saunders, was killed at the age of 32 when a fire broke out aboard his submarine 16 years ago.

01 - Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was cleared of COVID-19. She got tested after her COVID Alert phone app told her she'd been near an infected person.

02 - Former federal cabinet minister Peter MacKay announced he is quitting politics. MacKay had been spending the fall pondering his political future after finishing second to Erin O'Toole in the Conservative party leadership contest.

02 - For the first time, an HIV self-test was approved for use in Canada. The one-minute, finger-prick blood test manufactured by Richmond, B.C.-based bioLytical Laboratories was granted a medical device licence by Health Canada. Experts have said self-testing is critical to increasing access to life-extending treatments and preventing the spread of infection in Canada.

02 - Canadian aviation pioneer Max Ward died. A family friend said he collapsed at his home in Edmonton and died in hospital, 20 days short of his 99th birthday. Northerners still credit Ward for helping to open up the Northwest Territories when he worked as a Yellowknife bush pilot. He built his business into a regional carrier, then into Wardair, at one time Canada's largest charter airline.

03 - Toronto rapper Drake earned his 21st No. 1 hit on Billboard's R&B/hip-hop songs chart, with his song "Laugh Now Cry Later." The milestone broke a record held by two legendary performers, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, who each had 20 songs top the chart.

03 - One of the strangest U.S. presidential campaigns in history came to an end. Despite fears of clashes at polling places, chaos sparked by the coronavirus pandemic and confusion due to disinformation and swiftly changing voting rules, millions across the country cast ballots in a historically contentious election with few problems.

04 - Democrat Joe Biden took the battleground states of Michigan and Wisconsin, bringing him just six electoral college votes away from the presidency. Biden said at an afternoon press conference that he expected to win the presidency, though he stopped short of outright declaring victory.

05 - A Minnesota judge ruled that all four Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd's death would be tried together and that the trial will be held locally. Judge Peter Cahill turned down defence requests to move the trial, rejecting their argument that pre-trial publicity would make it impossible for the four men to get a fair trial.

05 - General Motors announced it would resume making pickup trucks at its assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont. The company made the announcement after it reached a tentative contract with Unifor overnight.

05 - The first Black baby doll to have an Afro was inducted into the U.S. National Toy Hall of Fame. Baby Nancy was launched in 1968 by Operation Bootstrap, a non-profit Black community self-help organization that emerged in the aftermath of the Watts riots in Los Angeles. Other 2020 inductees included sidewalk chalk and the wooden block game Jenga.

06 - Nunavut recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19. Health officials began contact tracing and a rapid response team was dispatched to the Hudson Bay community of Sanikiluaq. Everyone in the community of about 850 people was urged to stay home and limit contact with others.

06 - Democrat Joe Biden said he was already preparing to assume the presidency even though he had not been declared the winner. During a prime-time address, Biden cited his lead in key states such as Georgia and Pennsylvania as reasons for his confidence.

07 - Manitoba's government decided to extend the province's state of emergency for another 30 days.

07 - Joe Biden won the U.S. presidential election, clinching his victory in the electoral college over President Donald Trump. In his first address, Biden pledged to be a president "who seeks not to divide but to unify." With the win, Kamala Harris became the first woman and first person of colour to be elected vice-president. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he looked forward to helping the Biden administration tackle the world's greatest challenges.

08 - Alex Trebek, one of Canada's most famous citizens and the legendary host of iconic quiz show "Jeopardy!'' died at 80. The show's Twitter account said Trebek died at home, surrounded by family and friends. He had revealed in March 2019 that he'd been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Trebek kept working, recording new episodes of "Jeopardy!'' until late October. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canadians had "lost an icon."

08 - Canadian hockey pioneer Howie Meeker died at age 97. Meeker won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie in 1947 and went on to win the Stanley Cup on four occasions over eight seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He also had a 30-year broadcasting career.

08 - The final ballot count for B.C.'s Oct. 24 provincial election confirmed the New Democrats will govern the province with 57 of 87 seats in the legislature. Premier John Horgan said he was "humbled and honoured'' by the support British Columbians showed his party.

09 - Pfizer said preliminary data suggested its COVID-19 vaccine may be 90 per cent effective in preventing the virus. Pfizer's senior vice-president of clinical development said the company decided to reveal the early data in an effort to offer some hope in the midst of the global health crisis.

10 - The Manitoba government forced non-essential stores to close and banned social gatherings in an effort to stop a surge of COVID-19 cases. Premier Brian Pallister said the province was at a critical point in its fight against the virus.

10 - The man charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder in the Toronto van attack pleaded not guilty. Lawyers for Alek Minassian asked the court to find him not criminally responsible for his actions on April 23, 2018, when he drove the vehicle down a busy sidewalk. The judge hearing the case said the trial would turn on Minassian's state of mind at the time, since he had admitted in court to carrying out the attack.

11 - Remembrance Day was marked with scaled-down ceremonies across the country because of COVID-19. The Royal Canadian Legion told Canadians not to attend ceremonies in person.

12 - A $50-million foundation to help survivors of the '60s Scoop was ceremonially launched. Its aim is to help heal the damage done by taking Indigenous children from their families and placing them in non-Indigenous homes. Establishment of the foundation was part of a class-action settlement with the federal government.

13 - China finally issued congratulations to U.S. president-elect Joe Biden. Beijing, along with Moscow, had not immediately joined the international throng that congratulated Biden after he and running mate Kamala Harris secured enough electoral college votes to unseat Donald Trump. A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said "We respect the choice of the American people.''

13 - The Miami Marlins hired Kim Ng as their general manager, making her the highest-ranking woman in baseball operations in the major leagues and the second female general manager for a men's team in a major professional sport in North America. Jo-Anne Polak held the position with the now-defunct Ottawa Rough Riders of the CFL from 1988-91. Ng started her Major League Baseball career as an intern 30 years ago and won three World Series rings while spending 21 years in the front offices of the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.

16 - Hackers targeted the City of Saint John, N.B., with a cyberattack. Officials said the "significant'' intrusion into the city's computer system forced an emergency shutdown.

16 - Canada's COVID-19 case count topped 300,000 — less than a month after it crossed the 200,000 threshold.

16 - Former federal finance minister Bill Morneau was appointed a senior fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. He will also teach a graduate course on global economic policy-making in the spring semester.

17 - The federal Conservatives demanded that the Trudeau government side with Canada's allies and reject 5G technology from China. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said the Liberals must also crack down on the improper influence of China on Chinese-Canadians, though he acknowledged there could be an economic cost to Canada's actions.

17 - The head of the World Health Organization said Canada deserves praise for its efforts to fight COVID-19. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said distributing any vaccine would be among the most daunting logistical efforts since the Second World War.

18 - American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said new numbers from its ongoing COVID-19 vaccine study suggest the shots are 95 per cent effective. The announcement came just a week after the company first revealed preliminary results. Initially, Pfizer and German partner BioNTech said the vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective.

18 - A jet grounded worldwide after two crashes that killed 346 people, including 18 Canadians, was cleared to fly again. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it would certify the Boeing 737 Max jet to fly after a comprehensive and methodical 20-month review process. Boeing said it overhauled anti-stall software that pushed the nose down repeatedly on both planes that crashed, overcoming the pilots' struggles to regain control. Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Canada would impose different requirements than the U.S., including added procedures on the flight deck and before takeoff.

19 - A team of scientists from Oxford University and drugmaker AstraZeneca said their COVID-19 vaccine shows a robust immune response in healthy adults aged 56-69 and people over 70. Phase 2 study results found the vaccine is as effective for older people as it is for the younger demographic, and that it produced few side-effects.

19 - RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki insisted there is no room in the federal police force for hateful, misogynistic or homophobic attitudes. Her comments came after an independent report found the force's "toxic" culture tolerates such attitudes. The report from former Supreme Court justice Michel Bastarache concludes that change must be initiated from outside the RCMP, and it's past time for the federal government to take meaningful and radical action.

19 - Newly released data on emergency COVID-19 aid showed some of the country's highest income earners used a key benefit for workers. Figures from the Canada Revenue Agency show nearly 115,000 people who earned between about $100,000 and $200,000 last year applied for the $2,000-a-month Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

20 - Canada's ambassador to China met virtually with Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who have been detained in China since December 2018. Their arrests came not long after Canada detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. Global Affairs Canada said Ambassador Dominic Barton was granted on-site virtual consular access to Kovrig and Spavor. The federal government said no further information could be disclosed about the meetings.

20 - A Fredericton jury found 50-year-old Matthew Raymond not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder for the 2018 killings of four people. The families of Donnie Robichaud, Bobbie Lee Wright and police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns hugged each other and sobbed after the verdict was announced. Raymond bowed his head and wiped away tears but said nothing.

20 - A celebrated journalist, historian, world traveller and fiction writer who became a pioneer of the transgender movement died at 94. Jan Morris was a prolific and accomplished author and journalist who wrote dozens of books on a variety of subjects.

20 - Pfizer asked U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech also submitted applications in other countries — Canada included.

21 - Canada and Britain announced a new trade deal, beating the Dec. 31 Brexit deadline that would have triggered new tariffs on a range of Canadian exports. Britain is Canada's fifth-largest trading partner, with $29 billion in two-way merchandise trade in 2019.

22 - Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes kicked off the 2020 American Music Awards with a performance of their new duet ''Monster.'' The Weeknd won favourite soul/R&B male artist, favourite soul/R&B album for ''After Hours'' and favourite soul/R&B song for ''Heartless."

23 - British pharma company AstraZeneca and Oxford University said their COVID-19 vaccine showed positive results. Late-stage trials indicated the coronavirus vaccine was up to 90 per cent effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals.

23 - The premiers of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador announced they would temporarily pull out of the so-called "Atlantic Bubble" for two weeks amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Atlantic Canada.

23 - After weeks of delay, the U.S. government finally acknowledged president-elect Joe Biden was the "apparent winner'' of the Nov. 3 election, clearing the way for co-operation on a transition of power.

24 - Canada reached another agreement with a pharmaceutical company to buy doses of a potential COVID-19 treatment. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government bought 26,000 doses of an unnamed drug co-developed by Vancouver's AbCellera Biologics and Eli Lilly, with an option to buy thousands more. The two companies announced last March they were co-operating on developing a treatment using antibodies from a patient who had already had the illness.

24 - Two swing states certified Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the U.S. presidential election. Both Nevada and Pennsylvania formally declared their results from the Nov. 3 vote.

24 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada's lack of vaccine-production facilities meant we would likely receive our COVID-19 vaccines after countries like the U.S., Germany and the U.K. But Trudeau said Ottawa was working with the provinces and the military to ensure vaccines are distributed across the country as soon as they are delivered.

24 - Indigenous hockey pioneer Fred Sasakamoose died after a presumed case of COVID-19. His son, Neil, said the 86-year-old died in a Prince Albert, Sask., hospital after several days of fighting the virus. Fred Sasakamoose played 11 games with the Chicago Blackhawks in 1953-54, becoming one of the first Indigenous players in the then-six-team NHL.

25 - The Weeknd blasted the Grammy Awards as "corrupt," after the Canadian pop star walked away with zero nominations. The three-time Grammy winner criticized the Recording Academy on Twitter after he was snubbed, despite having one of the year's biggest albums with "After Hours.'' Fellow Canadian Justin Bieber earned four nominations.

25 - Argentine soccer "Golden Boy" Diego Maradona died at the age of 60. Maradona was among the best players in history and led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and other health problems. He captivated fans over a two-decade career and famously scored the "Hand of God" goal, in which he punched the ball into England's net during the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals.

26 - Federal health officials said Canada now has purchase agreements with seven COVID-19 vaccine producers. Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo said most were in the final stages of testing before they can go to Health Canada for approval.

26 - Quebec's highest court declared that a provision of the Criminal Code that allows for life sentences to be served consecutively is unconstitutional. The decision effectively reduced the sentence given to the man who murdered six people in a Quebec City mosque in 2017. Alexandre Bissonnette, who is 30, was sentenced in February 2019 to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 40 years. With concurrent sentences, he will be eligible to apply for parole after serving 25 years.

26 - AstraZeneca and Oxford University acknowledged a manufacturing error in their COVID-19 vaccine, raising questions about preliminary results reported earlier that showed the vaccine to be 90 per cent effective.

26 - New Brunswick became the latest Atlantic province to opt out of the so-called bubble, and demand anyone entering the province self-isolate for 14 days. The province also introduced heightened public health measures in the Fredericton area.

27 - The Governor General's office announced 114 new inductees to the Order of Canada, including Olympians Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue, Indigenous writer Thomas King and winemaker John Peller.

27 - Justin Trudeau said most Canadians should receive the COVID-19 vaccine by September 2021. The prime minister said Canada's vaccine distribution program would be led by former NATO commander Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin.

29 - Dave Prowse, the man behind the mask of Darth Vader in the original "Star Wars'' trilogy, died at 85. Prowse was a weightlifter before taking up acting and was noticed by director George Lucas. Although physically perfect for the Vader part, his lilting English West Country accent was considered less ideal, and the lines were re-recorded by James Earl Jones.

29 - The federal government extended the myriad travel restrictions and rules meant to curb the spread of COVID-19. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the rules, first imposed near the beginning of the global outbreak, would now be in effect until Jan. 21, 2021, for travellers entering Canada from a country other than the United States. Among the rules is a requirement for anyone entering the country to self-isolate for 14 days.

30 - Merriam-Webster's choice for its 2020 word of the year was a no-brainer. The dictionary chose "pandemic," which started to trend on merriam-webster.com as early as January and again in February. On March 11, when the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic, lookups on the site for pandemic were about 115,000 — 800 per cent higher than a year before. This year's runners-up included coronavirus, quarantine, asymptomatic, mamba, kraken and malarkey.

30 - With the federal deficit closing in on $400 billion this fiscal year, the Trudeau Liberals said there is even more spending ahead. The fall economic update delivered by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland looks beyond the pandemic, to where the Liberals see the economy going a few years from now. The government's fall economic update proposes to send extra child-benefit payments to families with young children next year as well as cash for skills training and to create new jobs. It also plans to inject another $100 billion into the economy over three years once the pandemic is over.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2020.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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