Mask Debate Continues
Some Stores Require
Coverings, Others Worry it Could Help Criminals
Stores Fear Face Coverings Could Drive Robberies
Some retailers push for face masks, others are concerned about crime impact
'Lower your mask before entering,' some
masks aren’t mandatory in Canada, but some retailers are pushing for customers
to wear them to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Costco, Marshalls, Winners
and Old Navy are among some of the retailers asking Canadian shoppers to put on
a face mask before shopping in their stores.
Jim Cormier with the Retail Council of Canada says what might work for one
location could be more difficult for another. “We appreciate the fact that it
has been guidance, but not mandates in this case,” said Cormier.
One particular issued being raised about face masks is the safety of employees
-- but not from COVID-19. Some convenience stores in the Halifax area are
asking customers to temporarily lower their masks
before entering the store so they can be easily identified.
On Monday, Halifax Regional Police released photos of a man suspected of robbing
an Irving gas station on Fairfax Drive on April 6. Police say the man, who
was wearing a medical mask, demanded money and threatened the staff with a
knife, though no knife was seen.
Alberta recommends masks, but not enforcing their use as economy relaunches
Making them mandatory would create 'an
farmers' markets, and businesses like Winners, Canadian Tire and HomeSense
all saw long lineups outside their doors; at Ikea on Sunday afternoon, more than
100 people waited to get inside. With these busier public spaces, more
encouragement has come from public health officials to use face masks.
In Alberta, the provincial government doesn't have any plans to make face
masks mandatory. On Friday, Premier Jason Kenney said his government
strongly encourages their use, but that making them mandatory creates too
large of an enforcement problem. As part of the province's recommendation,
Kenney said the government has ordered 40 million masks and that they'll
soon announce a distribution plan for them.
No mask, no service? Experts say businesses have the right to require masks on
Mass Testing? - New Safety Measures -
Cuts & Closures
'Mass Screening' for Coronavirus Coming to a
Store Near You?
Toronto-Based AI Company ‘Predictmedix’ Launches COVID-19 Screening Technology
Toronto-based artificial intelligence (AI) firm Predictmedix has launched
screening technologies that will assist businesses by detecting potential
COVID-19 infection and other illnesses. The versatile technology will also be
used to scan physical spaces to ensure that people are following protocol such
as physical distancing and the mandated wearing of face masks.
Earlier this month, Predictmedix filed for a US patent for COVID-19 testing and
the technology is being offered to businesses as the world shifts into a new
normal. The ground-breaking technology has a wide range of uses and the
publicly traded company is expected to see a rapid increase in its share price
in the coming weeks amid increased awareness and retailer adoption.
One of the most encouraging new developments for Predictmedix is mass
screening for COVID-19. Retailers, restaurants, landlords, and any
business with a physical presence will be able to utilize the AI technology
to screen for symptoms of the coronavirus as well as for other illnesses.
As Lululemon Reopens Hundreds of Stores, Here’s How It’s Keeping Shoppers Safe
of today, more than 150 Lululemon stores have opened back up in North
America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia, with roughly 200 additional
locations set to reopen over the next two weeks.
To help ensure the health and wellbeing of both employees and customers, the
Canada-based company said it has put into place new safety precautions in
stores, which will operate with modified hours. Associates are
required to wear face masks, while cleaning and sanitization practices
have been “enhanced.” The number of shoppers allowed in stores at once will
be limited, and store layouts have been updated to adhere to social
What’s more, Lululemon is closing every second fitting room, adopting a
cashless payment system and offering buy online, pick-up in store
services. Its return policy has been extended to 30 days after a store’s
reopening, and all returns will be held back for 24 hours before they’re
placed back on the floor. In-store classes and events are also on pause for the
Substantial Number of Canadians Believe Their Province is Opening Too Quickly
The research found that, while 56% of Canadians
believe the pace and timing of their province's re-opening is 'just right,' a
substantial number of Canadians, in certain provinces, say their province is
opening too quickly. "Our data shows that 3 in 10 Canadians believe that
their province is re-opening either a little too quickly or much too quickly."
Shoppers line up in downtown Montreal as retailers reopen to public
Eager shoppers lined up outside some stores in downtown Montreal
Monday as retailers in the city were allowed to reopen for the first time since
a partial lockdown was imposed in March.
Masks, Plexiglas barriers, frequent disinfecting and no-touch browsing
were some of the measures put in place by retailers who chose to open their
doors, while customers were being asked to remain spaced apart and follow
Vancouver Retailers Busy as Stores Begin to Reopen After COVID-19 Shutdowns
Some retailers in British Columbia began reopening doors on Friday May 15, and
pent up demand is said to be resulting in strong sales at some stores as
consumers return after nearly two months of store shutdowns due to the COVID-19
Toronto grocery store asks customers to sanitize their carts
Some Calgary shops choose to not fully open their doors despite COVID-19
restrictions being lifted
Canada Goose lays off 125 workers to cope with the impact of COVID-19
Stokes to Permanently Close 40 Store Locations in Canada
Coronavirus highlights the need for a surveillance debate beyond ‘privacy’
The pandemic has stirred up a surveillance
coronavirus pandemic has stirred up a surveillance storm. Researchers rush to
develop new forms of public health monitoring and tracking, but releasing
personal data to private companies and governments carries risks to our
individual and collective rights. COVID-19 opens the lid on a much-needed
Surveillance and profit
Zuboff insists that a new mode of economic accumulation has been rapidly
emerging ever since internet-based platforms — led by Google — discovered how to
monetize the so-called “data exhaust” exuded by everyday online communications:
searches, posts, tweets, texts. Beyond the loss of privacy, she sees the
destruction of democracy and behavioural modification, citing a former
Facebook product manager who says the “fundamental purpose” of data workers is
to influence and alter people’s moods and behaviour.
It’s not just CCTV cameras, it’s also smart devices
Yes, it’s our laptops, phones and tablets. Surveillance is now digital and
data-driven. For too long, the stereotypical icon of surveillance has been the
video camera. But today, what deserves to be the stereotypical icon is the
smartphone. This, above all, connects the individual with corporations that not
only collect but analyze, sort, categorize, trade and use the data we each
produce. Without our permission, our data are examined and used by others to
influence, manage or govern us.
It’s not just the state, it’s the market
While the state and its agencies often overreach through intelligence and
policing strategies, it is the market and not the state that holds the cards
in the surveillance game.
Surveillance is for sorting -
People who steal shopping carts could be fined under proposed Moncton bylaw
A proposed bylaw in Moncton would allow the city to fine people for taking
shopping carts from downtown businesses, something two councillors worried would
see the city fining homeless people.
The draft bylaw would allow the city to issue fines between $140 and $2,100
to people who remove a shopping cart from the premises of the business that owns
The bylaw, drafted because of a potential "blight" of abandon carts, could
also fine the businesses whose carts were taken.
RCMP officer shortage has led to health and wellness concerns
Demand for contract officers outstrips the
RCMP's capacity to recruit and train them
The RCMP’s costly contract policing obligations
across Canada are draining resources from the force’s federal duties in areas
such as organized crime and national security, an internal memo warns.
The demand for contract officers in the provinces and territories where they
provide regular local policing services outstrips the RCMP’s capacity to recruit
and train them, causing shortages that have led to officer health and
wellness concerns, says the Public Safety Canada document.
In turn, there is “growing dissatisfaction” in contract jurisdictions about
costs and officer vacancies, and the resulting effect on community safety,
the starkly worded memo says.
York Regional Police take down gun and drug trafficking ring in Project Stanley
Regional Police have charged 17 people after dismantling a gun and drug
trafficking ring that was discovered following a break-in and robbery in
Vaughan. “An Investigation started which was dubbed Project Stanley. This was as
a result of us identifying suspects who ultimately purchased a Stanley pry
bar at a local Home Depot. Video surveillance was obtained through that Home
Depot and we were able to identify persons associated to that purchase of the
tools that were used in the home invasion.”
$1.7M in Counterfeit Goods Seized At Canada-U.S. Border
U.S. Customs and Border officials have seized
$1.7-million worth of counterfeit goods heading into Minnesota. On Thursday,
they inspected a rail container at the International Falls border crossing, and
discovered batteries, hats and flags headed for Ranier. They seized
almost 71,000 packages that they say violate intellectual property laws.
Winnipeg, MB: Police arrest man after gunshots in CF Polo Park mall parking lot;
Suspect charged with attempted murder
man was arrested in Winnipeg Wednesday for attempted murder in connection to
reports of shots fired in the Polo Park area earlier this month. On May 10,
patrol units from the Winnipeg Police Service responded to gunshots in a parking
lot on St. James Street, near the CF Polo Park mall, shortly before 3 p.m.
Though no injuries were reported, police say, evidence from the scene showed
someone had shot a parked car in the lot. On Wednesday, the WPS arrested a
21-year-old man in connection to the incident. The man is facing a charge of
attempted murder, and remains in police custody.
100 Mile House, BC: RCMP look for tips in $1,000+ credit card fraud
(Update from 2014) RCMP officer 'falsely arrested, falsely imprisoned, assaulted
and battered' elder with walker; suspected her of shoplifting
Winnipeg, MB: 15-year-old handed maximum youth punishment for violent Liquor
Man arrested at Pearson Airport in connection to 2019 game store robbery
Robberies & Burglaries
Gas Station - Halifax, NS - Robbery
Unnamed Store - Windsor, ON - Armed Robbery