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

A look at news events in October 2020: 01 - Stringent new rules took effect in three Quebec regions at the heart of rising COVID-19 case counts in the province.
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A look at news events in October 2020:

01 - Stringent new rules took effect in three Quebec regions at the heart of rising COVID-19 case counts in the province. Bars, cinemas and restaurant dining rooms were ordered closed for at least 28 days in Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudiere-Appalaches. Restaurants were still allowed to offer takeout. The strictest of the new measures included prohibiting private gatherings. Violators could face a $1,000 fine.

02 - Canadian Eugenie Bouchard was knocked out in the third round of the French Open. It was her best showing in a Grand Slam tournament since 2017.

02 - Disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein was charged with the rape of two more women in Los Angeles County. The 68-year-old is already serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York.

02 - U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. The results came just hours after the White House announced that senior aide Hope Hicks had come down with the virus after travelling with the president several times. Later in the evening, a feverish and "fatigued" Trump was taken to a military hospital. Reports said the president had been injected with an experimental antibody cocktail in treatment at the White House. Trump's expected stay of "a few days'' at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center was said to be precautionary.

03 - Green Party of Canada members chose Annamie Paul as their new leader. Paul won a bare majority of votes in the eighth round, defeating Dimitri Lascaris. Paul succeeds Elizabeth May, who stepped down after leading the party for 13 years. Paul, who is Black and Jewish, took the microphone in an Ottawa art gallery after her win was announced. She declared herself the descendant of slaves and an ally of those who are fighting for justice.

03 - One of the greatest pitchers in modern baseball history died. Bob Gibson, who spent his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals, was 84.

04 - Iconic Franco-Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada died of COVID-19 complications at the age of 81. Takada retired from his fashion house in 1999 to pursue a career in art, but his brand remains one of the most respected fixtures of Paris high fashion.

04 - Police announced actor Thomas Jefferson Byrd was shot and killed in Atlanta. Authorities said he was shot in the back multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene in the city's southwest side. Byrd was known for his roles in many Spike Lee films and was nominated for a Tony Award in 2003 for a Broadway performance.

05 - White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

06 - John Turner was laid to rest at a state funeral at Toronto's St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica. Canada's 17th prime minister was praised as a gifted politician with a strong social conscience. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Turner's closest family were among the limited guests for the service. Turner died on Sept. 19 at the age of 91.

06 - Guitar virtuoso Eddie Van Halen, who had battled cancer, passed away at the age of 65. Van Halen, whose blinding speed, control and innovation propelled his band into one of hard rock's biggest groups, also supplied the unmistakable grinding solo in Michael Jackson's hit "Beat It."

08 - Democrat Kamala Harris and Republican Mike Pence both sidestepped difficult questions during a 90-minute vice-presidential debate in Salt Lake City. Pence refused to say if climate change was an existential threat or whether Donald Trump would accept the election results should he lose on Nov. 3. Harris declined to say whether Joe Biden would push to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court.

09 - The World Food Program won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to combat hunger and food insecurity around the globe. The prize comes with a $1.1-million cash award and a gold medal.

09 - Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said U.S. President Donald Trump was partly responsible for two separate plots to kidnap her and overthrow the state government. Six men were charged in federal court with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer in reaction to what they viewed as her "uncontrolled power,'' while another seven face charges under Michigan's anti-terrorism laws for allegedly targeting police and seeking a civil war.

09 - Canada's leading public health official said the second wave of COVID-19 has surfaced as a series of regional epidemics. Dr. Theresa Tam said these will require a tailored response in addition to vigilance.

09 - Nunavut's housing minister was stripped of his cabinet portfolios because of a post on his Facebook page. Premier Joe Savikataaq said Patterk Netser's post about the Black Lives Matter movement and his criticisms of Black women for having abortions were unacceptable.

11 - Donald Trump said he's ready to resume campaigning. The White House doctor said Trump was no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus. But he wouldn't go so far as to say explicitly whether Trump had tested negative. The president insisted he's now "immune" from the virus — a claim that's impossible to prove.

11 - Canadian diplomats had their first contact with the "two Michaels" since in-person visits in mid-January. Dominic Barton, Canada's ambassador to China, had internet-based visits with Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. Beijing has said it can't allow in-person visits to prisons because of concerns over COVID-19.

12 - The baseball world lost another legend when two-time most valuable player, 10-time all-star and five-time Gold Glove winner Joe Morgan died at his home in Danville, Calif., at the age of 77.

14 - China, Russia and Cuba won seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council, despite opposition from human rights groups. Critics said the trio of nations have poor records when it comes to safeguarding human rights within their borders. Saudi Arabia was also in the running, but its candidacy was successfully opposed.

14 - With more than 70 per cent of its fleet still grounded as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, WestJet said it would suspend operations to four cities in Atlantic Canada and reduce service to others in the region. As of Nov. 2, routes to Sydney, N.S., Charlottetown, and the New Brunswick cities of Fredericton and Moncton were halted, while service to Halifax and St. John's, N.L., was scaled back.

15 - A First Nations chief in Nova Scotia appealed for calm and called for an increased police presence after an angry non-Indigenous crowd damaged two lobster facilities that handle his community's catch. Sipekne'katik Chief Mike Sack said employees at one lobster licensed facility were threatened with violence and prevented from leaving. Investigators with the local RCMP said there were roughly 200 people at two incidents that saw tussles, tossed rocks and a torched van.

15 - The European Union imposed sanctions on six Russian officials and one organization in reaction to the recent poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Navalny, a longtime critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is believed to have been poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.

15 - Documentary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin won the $100,000 Glenn Gould Prize for her dedication to chronicling the lives and concerns of First Nations people. Obomsawin, 88, has directed more than 50 films over her half-century career at the National Film Board. The Glenn Gould Prize is awarded every other year in honour of the acclaimed Canadian piano virtuoso, who died in 1982.

16 - Canada voiced its support for the exiled opposition leader of Belarus on the same day her homeland issued an arrest warrant. Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne met with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who took refuge in Lithuania, telling her Canada will always be on her side.

17 - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won a second term with her Labour Party capturing 49 per cent of the vote to 27 per cent for the National Party. Ardern's popularity soared after she led a successful effort to stamp out COVID-19 in the country of five million people.

18 - Two men were arrested in connection with violent disputes over Indigenous fishing rights in Nova Scotia. Police said they charged a 46-year-old man with assault against a local Indigenous chief, and another man with arson after clashes outside lobster pounds. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said the province is working with Ottawa to bring the sides together and resolve the dispute through respectful dialogue.

19 - The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the globe surpassed the 40-million mark. Officials with Johns Hopkins University said the actual worldwide figure is likely to be far higher, as testing has been variable, many people have had no symptoms and some governments have concealed the true number of cases.

19 - Canada's COVID-19 case count surpassed the 200,000 mark. The development came just over four months after Canada reached the 100,000-case threshold.

19 - Backxwash won the 2020 Polaris Music Prize for her album ''God Has Nothing to Do With This Leave Him Out of It.'' An 11-member jury selected the Montreal-based transgender artist's project as the Canadian album of the year based on artistic merit. Backxwash, the stage name of performer Ashanti Mutinta, blends gothic elements of rap and metal music with her own personal experiences with faith, family and her queer identity.

19 - Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., said it would remove the name of Sir John A. Macdonald from its law school building, marking the end of a months-long process that began after a petition to change the name gathered support. Macdonald was the first prime minister of Canada, and played a key role in setting up the residential school system that ripped Indigenous children from their families.

20 - Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges announced he has lymphoma, writing that although it's a serious disease, he felt fortunate to have a great team of doctors. The 70-year-old also encouraged Americans to vote in the presidential election.

20 - Canadian artist Kapwani Kiwanga won one of France's most prestigious prizes. The Hamilton-born, Paris-based creator received the Prix Marcel Duchamp for art, which comes with a cheque for roughly $54,000. Her installation, "Flowers for Africa," was exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

21 - Country superstar Carrie Underwood picked up trophies for video of the year and female video of the year at the CMT Music Awards. Canada's Shania Twain appeared from the Charlie Chaplin museum in Switzerland in a leopard print top and sequined pants, performing "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?"

21 - The European Union awarded its top human rights prize to the Belarus opposition movement and its leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who fled to Lithuania following a widely criticized August election that kept President Alexander Lukashenko in power and saw a brutal crackdown on protesters. European Parliament President David Sassoli praised the Sakharov Prize laureates for their courage, resilience and determination.

21 - New Democrat, Green and Independent MPs joined with the Liberals to help Justin Trudeau's minority government weather its most serious confidence test yet. They defeated a Conservative motion to create a special anti-corruption committee that would have probed alleged misspending of pandemic relief funds. The motion was defeated by a vote of 180-146, with Conservative and Bloc Quebecois MPs supporting it.

22 - For the first time in more than 100 years, organizers moved the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show out of Madison Square Garden. The competition will be held outdoors next June at an estate north of Manhattan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

22 - The Toronto-born magician who once escaped from a locked coffin submerged in water, and later from a straitjacket as he dangled over Niagara Falls, has died. James Randi was 92. He became a renowned skeptic and on a 1972 episode of "The Tonight Show,'' Randi helped Johnny Carson set up Uri Geller, the Israeli performer who claimed to bend spoons with his mind. Randi ensured the spoons and other props were kept from Geller's hands until showtime and the result was an agonizing 22 minutes in which Geller wasn't able to perform any tricks.

23 - By a vote of 14-3 with one abstention, Nunavut's legislature voted to eject former housing and Nunavut Arctic College minister Patterk Netser from cabinet. Premier Joe Savikataaq stripped Netser of his portfolios after he posted on Facebook that "All lives matter" and criticized Black women for having abortions.

23 - The Assembly of First Nations called for the resignation of the country's top cop. National Chief Perry Bellegarde said he had ''lost confidence'' in RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki. The call for Lucki to quit came as the RCMP faced criticism for its response to violence over a disputed Mi'kmaq moderate-livelihood lobster fishery in Nova Scotia.

23 - The federal government named a Nova Scotia university representative to serve as a neutral third-party mediator in the Indigenous lobster fishery dispute. The government said Allister Surette would begin work immediately and his first priority would be to meet with Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq and commercial sector leaders and harvesters to listen to their concerns.

24 - Police in Fredericton said writer Richard Vaughan was found dead, 10 days after he was reported missing. The 55-year-old author and video artist, who wrote under the name R.M. Vaughan, was revered in the LGBTQ arts scene.

24 - Country singer and songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker, who wrote the pop song "Mr. Bojangles," died at 78. He had been battling throat cancer and other ailments for years.

24 - Federal Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said Alberta has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic better than the Trudeau government. O'Toole addressed the provincial United Conservative Party's annual general meeting from Ottawa, where he praised the guidance of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

24 - The New Democrats won the British Columbia election. Voters gave Premier John Horgan a second term — and a majority — after he took a gamble calling an election during the COVID-19 pandemic.

25 - Quebec's overall case count surpassed the 100,000 mark.

26 - Opposition parties won their bid to launch a probe of the Liberals' handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. MPs from all four opposition parties voted to pass a Conservative motion that orders the Trudeau government to turn over to the House of Commons health committee all records on many issues related to the coronavirus response.

26 - The U.S. Senate confirmed President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court by a 52-48 vote, with Republicans overpowering Democratic opposition a week before election day. Amy Coney Barrett is the third Supreme Court justice nominated by Trump. She fills the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal icon who died last month.

26 - The election in Saskatchewan gave the Saskatchewan Party its fourth straight win — a feat the province has not seen since the CCF under Tommy Douglas won five straight majorities more than 50 years ago. Scott Moe will remain premier for another four years after his party picked up more than 60 per cent of the popular vote.

27 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated two Liberal candidates who won byelections in Ontario. Trudeau noted that the two Toronto-area seats that were vacated by men are now held by women. The new MPs are broadcaster Marci Ien in Toronto Centre and businesswoman Ya'ara Saks in York Centre.

27 - The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays to become World Series champions for the first time in 32 years. L.A. posted the best record in the majors during this pandemic-shortened season, then rallied in the final game to win the series. The Dodgers win was overshadowed by controversy over third baseman Justin Turner, who was removed from the game after testing positive for COVID-19. He wasn't initially on the field when the Dodgers won, but returned an hour later, hugging teammate Clayton Kershaw and sitting front-and-centre for a team photo next to manager Dave Roberts with his face mask pulled down.

28 - Longtime Conservative MP and cabinet minister Don Mazankowski died at 85. Mazankowski served in several cabinet positions including finance and agriculture under Brian Mulroney and transport under Joe Clark. Mulroney once called Mazankowski his "minister of everything.'' He served 25 years in Parliament starting in 1968.

28 - The House of Commons has given approval in principle to a bill to ban so-called conversion therapy, a discredited practice to turn LGBTQ people "straight.'' But the 308-7 vote exposed divisions within Conservative ranks. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole voted in favour of the bill, but seven of his MPs voted no and two abstained. Others voted yes, but hope it will be amended.

28 - A report from Canada's chief public health officer focusing on the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic said Canada ranked 26th in the world for total deaths per million population. Dr. Theresa Tam's report said more support and stricter rules are now in place in long-term care facilities that should help Canada avoid a repeat of the spike in deaths seen in the spring.

29 - France went on emergency alert after two women and a man were murdered at Notre Dame Basilica in Nice. The murders came during high tensions over the re-publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad by the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that ignited anger among Muslims around the world. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced the attacks as a heinous, criminal act and said the perpetrators do not get to define Muslims.

29 - Former finance minister Bill Morneau was cleared by the federal ethics watchdog of failing to disclose a gift from WE Charity. Ethics commissioner Mario Dion said he accepts that Morneau genuinely believed he had paid for the entire cost of two trips he and family members took in 2017 to view WE's humanitarian projects in Ecuador and Kenya. The former MP is still under investigation on whether he breached the Conflict of Interest Act by failing to recuse himself from the cabinet decision to hire the charity to manage a since-cancelled student grant program.

29 - A bill that would make it easier for Canadians to access medically assisted dying received approval in principle from the House of Commons. Bill C-7 was passed by a vote of 246-78, with only Conservative MPs, including leader Erin O'Toole, voting against it. The bill would amend the law on medical assistance in dying to bring it into compliance with a Quebec court ruling last fall that struck down a provision restricting access to assisted dying to those whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable.

30 - Former Cape Breton Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner is named Canada's new consul general in Boston, replacing former New Brunswick premier David Aylward.

30 - After voting out a minister last week, members of Nunavut's legislature chose a replacement. The territory has a consensus government, meaning MLAs elect who serves in cabinet. Margaret Nakashuk was chosen through secret ballot and will be one of three women in Nunavut's seven-member cabinet. Former minister Patterk Netser was voted out over a social media post criticizing Black women for having abortions.

30 - Yukon recorded its first death from COVID-19.  Yukon's chief medical health officer said the person was an older resident in the community of Watson Lake, who was not in hospital but was being monitored.

31 - Charismatic Scottish actor Sean Connery died at the age of 90. He rose to international fame as the suave, martini-drinking secret agent James Bond, then abandoned the role to carve out an Oscar-winning career playing a variety of leading and character roles. Age only seemed to heighten his appeal, and at the age of 59 he set a celebrity record of sorts when he was named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive.'' Connery's son Jason said his father died peacefully in his sleep in the Bahamas and that he hadn't been well for some time.

31 - Quebec City police said a person wearing medieval clothing and wielding a sword went on a rampage in the city's historic district, killing two people and wounding five others. Carl Girouard was eventually arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 31, 2020.

The Canadian Press