Sir Charles Walker said Matt Hancock's warning that people who lie over their travel history could be jailed for 10 years was “a stupid thing to say”.
Sir Charles Walker said Matt Hancock's warning that people who lie over their travel history could be jailed for 10 years was “a stupid thing to say”.
WASHINGTON — A conference dedicated to the future of the conservative movement turned into an ode to Donald Trump as speakers declared their fealty to the former president and attendees posed for selfies with a golden statue of his likeness. As the Republican Party grapples with deep divisions over the extent to which it should embrace Trump after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress, those gathered at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday made clear they are not ready to move on from the former president — or from his baseless charges that the November election was rigged against him. “Donald J. Trump ain’t going anywhere,” said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of several potential 2024 presidential contenders who spoke at the event, being held this year in Orlando to bypass COVID-19 restrictions. Trump on Sunday will be making his first post-presidential appearance at the conference, and aides say he will use the speech to reassert his power. The program underscored the split raging within the GOP, as many establishment voices argue the party must move on from Trump to win back the suburban voters who abandoned them in November, putting President Joe Biden in the White House. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and others worry Trump will undermine the party’s political future if he and his conspiracy theories continue to dominate Republican politics. But at the conference, speakers continued to fan disinformation and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, with panels dedicated to amplifying false claims of mass voter fraud that have been dismissed by the courts, state election officials and Trump’s own administration. Indeed, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., another potential 2024 hopeful, drew among the loudest applause and a standing ovation when he bragged about challenging the election certification on Jan. 6 despite the storming of the Capitol building by Trump supporters trying to halt the process. “I thought it was an important stand to take," he said. Others argued the party would lose if it turned its back on Trump and alienated the working-class voters drawn to his populist message. “We cannot — we will not — go back to the days of the failed Republican establishment of yesteryear,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who outlined a new Trumpian GOP agenda focused on restrictive immigration policies, opposition to China and limiting military engagement. “We will not win the future by trying to go back to where the Republican Party used to be,” echoed Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who chairs the fundraising committee tasked with electing Republicans to the Senate. “If we do, we will lose the working base that President Trump so animated. We’re going to lose elections across the country, and ultimately we’re going to lose our nation." Scott is dismissing pressure on him to “mediate between warring factions on the right” or “mediate the war of words between the party leaders." He has refused to take sides in the bitter ongoing fight between Trump and McConnell, who blamed Trump for inciting the deadly Capitol riot but ultimately voted to acquit him at his impeachment trial earlier this month. “I’m not going to mediate anything," he said, criticizing those who “prefer to fan the flames of a civil war on our side” as “foolish” and “ridiculous." But in speeches throughout the day, the GOP turmoil was front and centre. Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., lit into Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, who has faced tremendous backlash for her vote to impeach Trump for inciting the Capitol riot. And as the program was wrapping up, Trump issued a statement endorsing Max Miller, a former staffer who has now launched a campaign challenging Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, another Republican who voted in favour of impeachment. Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News Channel host and Trump Jr.'s girlfriend, offered a pointed message to those who stand in opposition to the former president, who will not arrive at the conference until Sunday but was present in spirit in the form of a large golden statue erected in a merchandise show booth, where attendees could pose for pictures with it. “We bid a farewell to the weak-kneed, the spineless and the cowards that are posing in D.C. pretending that they’re working for the people,” she said. “Let’s send them a pink slip straight from CPAC.” Trump Jr., who labeled the conference “TPAC” in honour of his father, hyped the return of his father and the “Make America Great Again” platform to the spotlight. “I imagine it will not be what we call a ‘low-energy’ speech," he said. “And I assure you that it will solidify Donald Trump and all of your feelings about the MAGA movement as the future of the Republican Party.” Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
(Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit) People connected to another three schools in Surrey, B.C., have tested positive for a COVID-19 variant of concern, according to the local health authority. Fraser Health announced Friday night that positive cases have been confirmed at Queen Elizabeth Secondary School, Frank Hurt Secondary School and M.B. Sanford Elementary School. Staff and students who are close contacts of those cases have been contacted and will be tested, the health authority said in a press release. Otherwise, the schools remain open. "As this is a variant that is new to our communities and more easily transmissible, Fraser Health is working to identify any further connected variant cases to ensure immediate isolation and case management to prevent further transmission," the press release said. "The variant strain can transmit more quickly and easily but does not interfere with the effectiveness of vaccines, nor affect our ability to test for the virus." Last weekend, Fraser Health confirmed that the variant first identified in the U.K. had been confirmed in six other Surrey schools and one in Delta. Health officials have said there is no evidence so far of transmission within those schools.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 67,201 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,774,599 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 4,682.409 per 100,000. There were 398,071 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,441,670 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 72.68 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland is reporting 3,827 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 20,285 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 38.739 per 1,000. There were 7,020 new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 33,820 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 59.98 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 1,485 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 12,176 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 76.758 per 1,000. There were 1,670 new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 14,715 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 82.75 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 6,987 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 32,019 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 32.81 per 1,000. There were 14,700 new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 61,980 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 51.66 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 5,135 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 26,317 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 33.738 per 1,000. There were 11,760 new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 46,775 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 56.26 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 13,464 new vaccinations administered for a total of 400,540 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 46.81 per 1,000. There were 28,500 new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 537,825 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 74.47 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 21,805 new vaccinations administered for a total of 643,765 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 43.826 per 1,000. There were 220,030 new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 903,285 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 71.27 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 2,409 new vaccinations administered for a total of 71,469 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 51.902 per 1,000. There were 6,100 new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 108,460 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 65.89 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 4,015 new vaccinations administered for a total of 69,451 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 58.899 per 1,000. There were 15,210 new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 74,605 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 93.09 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 11,728 new vaccinations administered for a total of 207,300 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 47.092 per 1,000. There were 69,090 new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 274,965 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 75.39 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting 12,490 new vaccinations administered for a total of 252,373 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 49.18 per 1,000. There were 15,491 new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 323,340 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 78.05 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 15,174 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 363.615 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 18,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 80.29 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 16,454 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 364.68 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 19,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 42 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 86.15 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting 19 new vaccinations administered for a total of 7,276 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 187.884 per 1,000. There were 8,500 new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 23,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 62 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 30.44 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Feb. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
(wutzkohphoto/Shutterstock - image credit) Heads up, Canadians: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is going to be a tax season like no other. If you collected COVID-19-related benefit payments last year, you might end up owing more money than in previous years. However, if you spent part of 2020 working from home, you could wind up with a bigger tax refund than usual. Here's what you need to know about filing your taxes this season, including important deadlines. Has the deadline been extended? Despite this being a more complex tax season, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has not extended the tax filing deadline. The due date is still April 30 for most Canadians, and June 15 for self-employed people. To avoid interest charges, Canadians need to pay any taxes owed by April 30. However, not everyone has to comply with that rule this year. Those who had a total taxable income of $75,000 or less and received one or more of the COVID-19 benefits listed below don't have to pay their taxes until April 30, 2022. Eligible benefits: Canada emergency response benefit (CERB). Canada emergency student benefit (CESB). Canada recovery benefit (CRB). Canada recovery caregiving benefit (CRCB). Canada recovery sickness benefit (CRSB). Employment Insurance benefits. Similar provincial emergency benefits. Qualifying Canadians "will have that full year after the filing deadline of April 30th " to pay any tax debt without facing interest charges, said Francesco Sorbara, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue. Those who qualify for the payment deferral still need to file their taxes on time — or they'll face a late-filing penalty. Will I owe taxes on my government benefits? The benefits listed above are considered taxable income, so the federal government introduced the tax-payment deferral to help out the many Canadians who will have to pay taxes on their benefit payments. "[Many] lost jobs and collected benefits, and they may have some amounts owing," said Sorbara. "We're giving some flexibility there." WATCH | CRA prepares for a complicated tax season: The government didn't withhold any taxes on CERB and CESB benefit payments Canadians received in 2020. It did withhold a 10 per cent tax for people who received CRB, CRCB and CRSB benefits, but tax expert Jamie Golombek said many of those individuals will still owe the government money, as most Canadians' income is taxed at a much higher rate than 10 per cent. "For many people, [10 per cent is] not going to be enough, particularly for those who had other sources of income throughout the year," said Golombek, managing director of tax and estate planning at CIBC. "You may actually find out for the first time ever in your life that you actually owe some taxes." Working from home? Claim your cash Due to the pandemic, many Canadians worked from home for part of 2020, which means they may be eligible for a home office expenses tax deduction. To qualify, you must have worked from home more than 50 per cent of the time for at least four consecutive weeks last year. There are two options for Canadians claiming home office expenses. The first is the detailed method, which involves calculating what percentage of your household costs — such as hydro, rent and internet — can be applied to your home office space. Also, you're required to save all relevant receipts. If that sounds like too much work, don't fret. To simplify the process for people who worked from home for the first time in 2020, the CRA has introduced a new, temporary flat rate method. It allows employees to claim a tax deduction of $2 for each day they worked from home, up to a maximum of $400. "We've kept it simple. They can file it without filing any documentation, any forms," said Sorbara. Software designer Pat Suwalski is seen working from his desk at home in Nepean, Ont. Software developer Pat Suwalski of Nepean, Ont., has been mainly working from home since April 2020. He filed his taxes on Wednesday using the flat rate method and said it took him just minutes to calculate his deduction. "I'm a pretty honest guy, so I took a calendar and I started counting [work] days," he said. Suwalski counted 188 work-from-home days last year. Multiply that by $2 a day and he's set to get a tax credit of $376. "I'll take it," he said. "It's great that they made [the process] simpler." Which method should you choose if you worked from home this year? Golombek said the flat rate method may be the best option if you're a homeowner, because it's easier and chances are you'll come out ahead. That's because mortgage payments — typically a homeowner's biggest monthly bill — can't be claimed as a home office expense. "Our experience is that homeowners, typically speaking, don't have enough expenses … to beat the $2-a-day method," Golombek said. While homeowners can't claim their mortgage payments, renters can claim a portion of their rent based on the size of their home office space compared to their entire home. As a result, Golombek says they may reap bigger rewards by choosing the detailed method. "Depending on [what] percentage of their home they're using, [renters] typically would probably come out ahead on the detailed method." Digital tax credit Golombek also points out one of the new wrinkles this tax season, which is that the government is offering a tax break to people who subscribed to digital news services in 2020. Canadians can claim up to $500 for subscriptions to qualifying Canadian media, such as newspapers, magazines, websites and podcasts, that don't have a broadcast licence and offer primarily original news content. "I call it a bit of a fun new credit," Golombek said. The CRA told CBC News it will post a list of eligible subscriptions on its website in March and that it will only include organizations that wish to have the information publicly posted. If you still have questions about your taxes, you can call the CRA tax information line at 1-800-959-8281. The agency said it has beefed up resources at its call centre, as it anticipates higher than normal call volumes this tax season.
TORONTO — While it’s tempting to compare various aspects of AstraZeneca-Oxford’s newly approved COVID-19 vaccine to others, several experts cautioned against focusing on data that is not comparable and the danger of underrating the product’s ability to curb hospitalizations and deaths.Health Canada’s long-awaited announcement Friday that a third vaccine would soon be deployed came just as the provinces faced heightened scrutiny over regional immunization plans that vary by timeline, age eligibility and priority groups.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised the boost to Canada’s pandemic arsenal would mean “more people vaccinated, and sooner," and would be key to helping contain spread.Nevertheless, Health Canada chief medical advisor Dr. Supriya Sharma acknowledged questions over how the public should evaluate trial results that show AstraZeneca has an efficacy of 62 per cent in preventing symptomatic cases. That’s compared to the 95 per cent efficacy of the country’s two other approved vaccines, from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.But Sharma stressed that all three have been shown to prevent 100 per cent of hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19."Each vaccine has unique characteristics and Health Canada's review has confirmed that the benefits of the viral vector-based vaccine, as with the other authorized vaccines, outweigh their potential risks," Sharma said.Several medical experts including Dr. Stephen Hwang say Canadians do not have the luxury to pick-and-choose as long as COVID-19 cases continue to rage in several hot spots and strain health-care systems.With multiple COVID-19 projections warning of a variant-fuelled third wave without tighter suppression measures, any tool that can slow the pandemic should be embraced, he argued.“It would be important for people to be vaccinated with whichever vaccine is first available in their community to them, rather than trying to hold out for a specific vaccine,” advised Hwang, who treats COVID-19 patients at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.Still, Toronto resident Maria Brum couldn’t help but question whether AstraZeneca was safe for her 79-year-old mother. The vaccine was not tested on people over the age of 65. Health Canada, however, says real-world data from countries already using the product suggest it is safe and effective among older age groups, promising an update on efficacy in the age group as more data comes in."I personally would take that one out as an option for my mom,” said Brum, who is her mother’s main caregiver."Maybe I am wrong but, I don't know, I don't see that it's more useful. I'd like to see one that has a higher percentage of (efficacy).”As for herself, Brum said she has allergies that she believes may put her at greater risk of adverse reactions and so she is unsure whether she can take any vaccine. But she’d like the option of choosing, if possible, even while acknowledging that limited supply could make that unlikely."As a Canadian, I would like to see us all have choices, regardless of age, gender, or ability,” says Brum.“I'm going to wait where I can have more choices." Such hesitancy could pose public health challenges to Canada reaching the vaccination coverage needed to build protective immunity against COVID-19, said Hwang.He noted that Germany has seen a reported preference among some for the vaccine made by Germany’s BioNTech with Pfizer, as well as a misconception that the AstraZeneca vaccine is inferior because of a lower efficacy rate.Hwang says efficacy between vaccines cannot be compared because each involved completely different trials at different time periods, in different countries, with different volunteers of different age groups and varying trial design."Until we have direct comparison studies where we give people one vaccine versus another and directly compare, it's very difficult to know for sure how it's going to pan out,” he says.Then there’s the fact Canada's initial AstraZeneca doses will be made at the Serum Institute of India, which dubs its version CoviShield, while later packages will be produced at the drug giant's own manufacturing facilities.Hwang acknowledges that could invite further scrutiny but says the Pune, India-based biotech firm has a "strong track record of producing vaccines."Sharma also stressed the similarities between the two shots Friday."For all intents and purposes they're the same vaccine," said Sharma."There are some slight differences in terms of manufacturing and the places that they are manufactured are different. The analogy is a bit like the recipe – so the recipe for the vaccine is the same, but they're manufactured in different kitchens."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021. Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press
The “Trump-made-me-do-it” defence is already looking like a longshot. Facing damning evidence in the deadly Capitol siege last month — including social media posts flaunting their actions — rioters are arguing in court they were following then-President Donald Trump's instructions on Jan. 6. But the legal strategy has already been shot down by at least one judge and experts believe the argument is not likely to get anyone off the hook for the insurrection where five people died, including a police officer. “This purported defence, if recognized, would undermine the rule of law because then, just like a king or a dictator, the president could dictate what’s illegal and what isn’t in this country," U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said recently in ordering pretrial detention of William Chrestman, a suspected member of the Kansas City-area chapter of the Proud Boys. “And that is not how we operate here.” Chrestman’s attorneys argued in court papers that Trump gave the mob “explicit permission and encouragement” to do what they did, providing those who obeyed him with “a viable defence against criminal liability.” “It is an astounding thing to imagine storming the United States Capitol with sticks and flags and bear spray, arrayed against armed and highly trained law enforcement. Only someone who thought they had an official endorsement would even attempt such a thing. And a Proud Boy who had been paying attention would very much believe he did,” Chrestman’s lawyers wrote. Trump was acquitted of inciting the insurrection during his second impeachment trial, where Democrats made some of the same arguments defence attorneys are making in criminal court. Some Republican lawmakers have said the better place for the accusations against Trump is in court, too. Meanwhile, prosecutors have brought charges against more than 250 people so far in the attack, including conspiracy, assault, civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding. Authorities have suggested that rare sedition charges could be coming against some. Hundreds of Trump supporters were photographed and videotaped storming the Capitol and scores posted selfies inside the building on social media, so they can’t exactly argue in court they weren’t there. Blaming Trump may be the best defence they have. “What’s the better argument when you’re on videotape prancing around the Capitol with a coat rack in your hand?” said Sam Shamansky, who’s representing Dustin Thompson, an Ohio man accused of stealing a coat rack during the riot. Shamansky said his client would never have been at the Capitol on Jan. 6 if Trump hadn’t “summoned him there.” Trump, he added, engaged in a “devious yet effective plot to brainwash” supporters into believing the election was stolen, putting them in the position where they “felt the the need to defend their country at the request of the commander in chief.” “I think it fits perfectly,” he said of the defence. “The more nuanced question is: Who is going to buy it? What kind of jury panel do you need to understand that?” While experts say blaming Trump may not get their clients off the hook, it may help at sentencing when they ask the judge for leniency. “It could likely be considered a mitigating factor that this person genuinely believed they were simply following the instructions of the leader of the United States,” said Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney in Michigan who's now a professor at the University of Michigan Law School. It could also bolster any potential cases against the former president, experts say. “That defence is dead on arrival,” said Bradley Simon, a New York City white-collar criminal defence attorney and former federal prosecutor. “But I do think that these statements by defendants saying that they were led on by Trump causes a problem for him if the Justice Department or the attorney general in D.C. were to start looking at charges against him for incitement of the insurrection.” While the legal bar is high for prosecuting Trump in the Capitol siege, the former president is already facing a lawsuit from Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson that accuses him of conspiring with extremist groups to prevent Congress from certifying the election results. And more lawsuits could come. Trump spread baseless claims about the election for weeks and addressed thousands of supporters at a rally near the White House before the Capitol riot, telling them that they had gathered in Washington "to save our democracy." Later, Trump said, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” A lawyer for Jacob Chansley, the shirtless man who wore face paint and a hat with horns inside the Capitol, attached a highlighted transcript of the Trump's speech before the riot to a court filing seeking Chansley's release from custody. The defence lawyer, Albert Watkins, said the federal government is sending a “disturbingly chilling message” that Americans will be prosecuted “if they do that which the President asks them to do.” Defence lawyers have employed other strategies without better success. In one case, the judge called a defence attorney’s portrayal of the riots as mere trespassing or civil disobedience both “unpersuasive and detached from reality.” In another, a judge rejected a man’s claim that he was “duped” into joining the anti-government Oath Keepers group and participating in the attack on the Capitol. Other defendants linked to militant groups also have tried to shift blame to Trump in seeking their pretrial release from jail. An attorney for Jessica Watkins said the Oath Keepers member believed local militias would be called into action if Trump invoked the Insurrection Act to stay in office. Watkins disavowed the Oath Keepers during a court hearing on Friday, saying she has been “appalled” by fellow members of the far-right militia. “However misguided, her intentions were not in any way related to an intention to overthrow the government, but to support what she believed to be the lawful government,” her lawyer wrote. Meanwhile, a lawyer for Dominic Pezzola, another suspected Proud Boy, said he “acted out of the delusional belief that he was a ‘patriot’ protecting his country." Defence attorney Jonathan Zucker described Pezzola as “one of millions of Americans who were misled by the President's deception.” “Many of those who heeded his call will be spending substantial portions if not the remainder of their lives in prison as a consequence," he wrote. “Meanwhile Donald Trump resumes his life of luxury and privilege." Michael Kunzelman And Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press
MONTREAL — With its kilometres of rapids and deep blue waters winding through Quebec's Cote-Nord region, the Magpie river has long been a culturally significant spot for the Innu of Ekuanitshit. Now the river, a majestic, world-renowned whitewater rafting destination, has been granted legal personhood status in a bid to protect it from future threats, such as hydro development. Its new status means the body of water could theoretically sue the government. On Feb. 16, the regional municipality of Minganie and the Innu Council of Ekuanitshit adopted separate but similar resolutions granting the river nine legal rights, including the right to flow, to maintain its biodiversity and the right to take legal action. One of the resolutions says the river can be represented by "guardians" appointed by the regional municipality and the Innu, with "the duty to act on behalf of the rights and interests of the river and ensure the protection of its fundamental rights." It notes the river's biodiversity, importance to the Innu and potential as a tourism destination as reasons why the body of water needs special protection. Pier-Olivier Boudreault, with the Quebec branch of the environmental charity Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, says the move is rooted in the belief that the river is a living entity that deserves rights. "The idea is that the river is living, that it has an existence that doesn’t depend on humans," he said in a recent interview. "It's not a simple resource for humans; it becomes an entity that has a right to live, to evolve naturally, to have its natural cycles." Boudreault says the new designation for the Magpie is the first time a river has been granted legal status in Canada. Similar efforts have been successful in countries like New Zealand, India and Ecuador. David Boyd, an environmental lawyer and United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, says the idea of granting rights to a river isn't as far-fetched as it seems. "In our legal system, we declare lots of things to have legal personhood, like municipalities and corporations," he said. He said the "environmental personhood" movement is a response to the belief that successive governments around the world have failed to adequately protect the environment, as well as to the growing recognition of Indigenous Peoples' rights and their legal concepts. While this is new in Canada, he said the resolution "could have quite a bit of strength" because of the constitutional protection of Indigenous rights. "In theory, you could have a lawsuit brought on behalf of the river to prevent a hydroelectric project from taking place," he said. Uapukun Mestokosho, a member of the Innu community who has been involved in the Magpie river conservation effort, said the river is an important part of the traditional territory of the Innu of Ekuanitshit. For some, spending time on the river is a way to reconnect to traditional land-based practices that were partially abandoned because of the trauma suffered by Indigenous people from colonial violence, including the residential school system. "People are suffering a lot, with intergenerational traumas linked to the past," said Mestokosho, who described occupying the territory as "a form of healing." Mestokosho said her ancestors have always protected the Magpie, known as the Muteshekau-shipu, and that the recognition of the river's rights will allow them to protect it for future generations. She and Boudreault agree the biggest threat to the Magpie is likely to come from the province's hydro utility, which has raised the possibility of damming the fast-flowing river. Hydro-Quebec insists it has no plans for the Magpie in the "short or even medium term" and that no plans are "even foreseeable" in the next decade. "But in the long term, we do not know what Quebec’s future energy needs will be," spokesman Francis Labbe wrote in an email. "Right now, we do not consider it responsible, in terms of Quebec’s energy security, to permanently renounce to the potential of this river." Any future project would have to meet several criteria, including social acceptability, he noted. Boudreault says the Innu, members of the regional government and other environmental activists haven't given up on lobbying the Quebec government to grant the river official protected status. He said he thinks the province has been reluctant to commit to the idea, mostly because of the river's potential for hydroelectric power. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
Unidentified gunmen stormed the Government Girls Secondary School in the town of Jangebe and took the girls away, say police.View on euronews
Partout au Québec, 115 000 personnes ont déjà pris rendez-vous pour se faire vacciner. Les Montréalais de 80 ans et plus peuvent prendre rendez-vous pour se faire vacciner contre la COVID-19 dès maintenant. D’abord offert aux 85 ans et plus seulement, les autorités élargissent la fourchette d’âge, car les quinze centres de vaccinations de la métropole ont « encore de la capacité », explique Jean Nicolas Aubé, du CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal. L’opération peut être faite en ligne, au quebec.ca/vaccincovid, ou en téléphonant au 1 877 644-4545. Le processus d’identification se fait à l’aide de la carte d’assurance maladie, bien qu’elle ne soit pas obligatoire. L’accompagnateur d’une personne âgée de 80 ans et plus pourrait également se faire vacciner au même moment s’il est âgé d’au moins 70 ans et qu’il offre du soutien à son proche au moins trois jours par semaine. Les vaccins de Moderna et de Pfizer-BioNTech seront utilisés, en fonction des approvisionnements. Les vaccins contre la COVID-19 sont gratuits. « On avance dans les groupes prioritaires, se réjouit Jean Nicolas Aubé. Dans le combat contre la pandémie, la vaccination est notre meilleure arme » La vaccination de masse pour les plus âgés doit débuter dans l’essentiel des régions du Québec le 8 mars. En date de vendredi, 115 000 rendez-vous ont déjà été pris dans l’ensemble de la province. Le Dr Quoc Dinh Nguyen, gériatre au CHUM, met toutefois en garde contre une vaccination trop précipitée. « Est-ce que les 85 ans et plus ne se sont pas suffisamment inscrits ? […] Je suis heureux qu’on puisse vacciner le plus de gens possible. Je ne veux juste pas qu’on s’arrête à dire qu’on a offert la vaccination aux 85 ans et plus, on en a vacciné 50 %, que les autres 50 %, ce n’est pas grave, et qu’on peut continuer à vacciner les plus jeunes. » Moins d’effets secondaires Les personnes âgées devraient ressentir moins les effets secondaires du vaccin, tels que de la fatigue, des maux de tête ou des douleurs musculaires ou aux articulations. « Quand vous regardez les études, il y a moins d’effets secondaires dans la population plus âgée, explique le Dr Nguyen. Le système immunitaire est comme moins fort, donc réagit moins fortement au vaccin. Donc, on a moins d’effets secondaires ». Il souligne que « la deuxième dose est plus sujette aux effets secondaires ». Pour les mêmes raisons, les personnes âgées devraient attendre davantage que les autres avant de se considérer comme immunisées. « Probablement que la réponse immunitaire prend plus temps chez la personne plus âgée que la plus jeune. Si on dit souvent que ça prend deux ou trois semaines [avant de développer l’immunité], j’attendrais un mois avant d’avoir les effets complets de la première dose. » L’efficacité du vaccin pourrait également être un peu moindre chez les personnes âgées, bien qu’elle demeure à un niveau « miraculeux », selon le Dr Nguyen. « Relâcher les mesures, on va pouvoir se le permettre quand toutes les personnes qui se rencontrent seront vaccinées. » Jean-Louis Bordeleau, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Devoir
(Submitted by Alex Hill - image credit) Sprint car racing is a fast and dangerous sport that has been bringing together the community at Six Nations of the Grand River, about 100 kilometres southwest of Toronto, for decades. For 21-year-old Alex Hill, sprint car racing is more than a sport — it's a lifestyle. She began racing go-karts when she was nine and has been racing sprint cars since she was 14, the earliest age people are allowed to drive them. Before the pandemic, Hill would race 50 to 60 times a year in Canada and the U.S. "It keeps me busy, but if I didn't love it I wouldn't be doing it," she said. What she loves most about the sport is that it allows her to spend time with her family — not to mention the adrenaline rush she gets from driving really fast. Sprint cars are high-powered race cars that run on circular dirt tracks at speeds of over 250 km/h. The cars have wings on their hoods that increase the downforce pressure, boosting traction between the wheels and the track. Alex Hill, 21, is a sprint car racer from Six Nations of the Grand River. Kanien'kehá:ka woman hopes to bring awareness to sport Hill, who is also finishing a degree in criminal justice at California State University, is said to be the only Kanien'kehá:ka, or Mohawk, woman to compete in the American Sprint Car Series tour. "There are other women in racing, but there aren't really Indigenous women," said Hill, who notes that she's treated like any other guy on the track. "Hopefully I can bring more awareness to it." She got her start in racing through her dad, who was friends with Glenn Styres, the owner of the Ohsweken Speedway at Six Nations, which he built in 2000. "It's really a good thing that Glenn did, because I think it has brought the community together and gives them something to do and keep busy on Friday nights," said Hill. From left, Aaron Turkey, Matthew Hill, Joshua Hill, Derek Miller and Glenn Styres, with Alex Hill, front, are sprint car racers from Six Nations of the Grand River. They're part of a docuseries coming to APTN this spring called Friday Night Thunder that follows Indigenous sprint car drivers and their families at the Ohsweken Speedway. A childhood dream come true Up until a few years ago, Styres was also competing on the track. He was forced to retire from the sport in 2019 after injuries and multiple concussions sustained in crashes took their toll on his health. "I've been really, really passionate about racing for a long time and it's been a childhood dream to race cars and build a racetrack," he said. He was introduced to the sport through his uncle, Frankie Turkey, who used to take him to races when he was a child. Turkey was killed in a car crash at age 27, but Styres's love for the track continued to grow. Building Ohsweken Speedway's racetrack was a childhood dream come true for Glenn Styres. He said the pandemic has been hard on the speedway, which had to cancel the 2020 racing season that usually takes place from April until August. But Styres remains optimistic that when the pandemic is over, the industry will see a boom because people have been starved for sports and activities for so long. Aaron Turkey, who's also been driving sprint cars since he was 14, races on the Glenn Styres Racing team. "I've been going to the races like every Friday ever since I can remember," he said. For Turkey, the speedway is an important part of the community, one he also has a family connection with — Frankie Turkey was his grandfather. "You get to see a lot of people, make a lot of friends and have a good time," said Turkey. "Everybody comes here after work, especially on a Friday night, and everybody gets to hang out, work on cars and watch racing." Sprint cars are race cars that run on circular dirt tracks at speeds of over 250 km/h. Underground sport gets docuseries showcase Derek Miller, a two-time Juno award winning musician from Six Nations of the Grand River, has been sprint car racing since 2017. "Sprint car racing is kind of a little underground thing right now," said Miller. "Hopefully it'll explode into the mainstream." Miller's grandfather used to race midget cars, which are the predecessors to sprint cars, so he says racing is in his blood. "I just have a huge need for speed," he said. His passion for racing will be showcased in a new docuseries called Friday Night Thunder that's set to air on APTN in the spring. The show, which was filmed in 2019 before the pandemic, follows Indigenous sprint car drivers and their families at the Ohsweken Speedway. Miller is one of the creators of the show, which is produced by an Indigenous production company — Big Soul Productions Inc. "I was able to bring all of my worlds together," Miller said. "I was able to do the music for the show, race and make a television show."
TORONTO — A ticket holder somewhere in Ontario won Friday night's whopping $70 million Lotto Max jackpot. Nine of the draw's Maxmillions prizes of $1 million each were also won, with one of those prizes being split between two lottery players. Winning Maxmillion tickets were sold in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and the Prairies. The jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on Mar. 2 will be approximately $24 million. The Canadian Press
YANGON, Myanmar — Police in Myanmar on Saturday escalated their crackdown on demonstrators against this month’s military takeover, deploying early and in force as protesters sought to assemble in the country's two biggest cities. Myanmar’s crisis took a dramatic turn Friday on the international stage when the country’s ambassador to the United Nations at a special session of the General Assembly declared his loyalty to the ousted civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi and called on the world to pressure the military to cede power. There were arrests in Yangon and Mandalay, the two biggest cities where demonstrators have been hitting the streets daily to peacefully demand the restoration of the government of Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy party won a landslide election victory in November. Police have increasingly been enforcing an order by the junta banning gatherings of five or more people. Many other cities and towns have also hosted large protests against the Feb. 1 coup. The takeover has reversed years of slow progress toward democracy after five decades of military rule. Suu Kyi’s party would have been installed for a second five-year term in office, but the army blocked Parliament from convening and detained her and President Win Myint and other top members of her government. At the General Assembly in New York, Myanmar’s Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun declared in an emotional speech to fellow delegates that he represented Suu Kyi’s “civilian government elected by the people” and supported the fight against military rule. He urged all countries to issue public statements strongly condemning the coup, and to refuse to recognize the military regime. He also called for stronger international measures to stop violence by security forces against peaceful demonstrators. He drew loud applause from many diplomats in the 193-nation global body, as well as effusive praise from other Burmese on social media, who described him as a hero. The ambassador flashed a three-finger salute that has been adopted by the civil disobedience movement at the end of his speech in which he addressed people back home in Burmese. In Yangon on Saturday morning, police began arrests early at the Hledan Center intersection, which has become the gathering point for protesters who then fan out to other parts of the city. Police took similar action in residential neighbourhoods. Security forces also tried to thwart protests in Mandalay, where roadblocks were set up at several key intersections and the regular venues for rallies were flooded with police. Mandalay has been the scene of several violent confrontations, and at least four of eight confirmed deaths linked to the protests, according to the independent Assistance Association of Political Prisoners. On Friday, at least three people there were injured, two of whom were shot in the chest by rubber bullets and another who suffered what appeared to be a bullet wound on his leg. According to the association, 771 people have been arrested, charged or sentenced at one point in relation to the coup, and 689 are being detained or sought for arrest. The junta said it took power because last year’s polls were marred by massive irregularities. The election commission before the military seized power coup had refuted the allegation of widespread fraud. The junta dismissed the old commission’s members and appointed new ones, who on Friday annulled the election results. ——- Associated Press writer Edith Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report. The Associated Press
(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit) The math is simple, the challenge is not. Quebec plans to dole out 12 million doses of the various COVID-19 vaccines before Labour Day, which is 26 weeks away. That means an average of 450,000 doses per week. In the seven days ending Thursday, it managed 85,000 or so. The Health Ministry is ramping up its efforts by opening vaccination centres across the province, but also by enlisting help from the private sector. On Wednesday, the province inked a deal in principle to allow pharmacists to inject people, as early as mid-March or as late as mid-April, depending on deliveries. "From our experience from the flu vaccination, we know pharmacies can, for an extended period of time, give 100,000 doses of vaccines per week," said Pierre-Marc Gervais, the senior director of pharmaceutical services for the Association Québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires. "That's the minimum, and in some weeks we gave 140,000 doses of flu vaccines, so that's a lot of immunizations." So far, 1,500 pharmacies have signaled their desire to participate. More crucially, there are 3,000 registered pharmacists in Quebec who are able to do the injecting, in addition to the nurses who typically provide immunization services in community pharmacies. Vaccine logistics are about to become simpler That's roughly the number of qualified staff the public health system currently has dedicated to the task. The expectation is they will be able to crank out 120,000 or so vaccines per week on average, in April. That's when the vaccine bottleneck will be eased completely, and the trickle turns into a firehose. The federal government's decision on Friday to approve Astra-Zeneca/Oxford University vaccine, as well as an Indian-manufactured version of it, should help simplify the logistics somewhat. That vaccine, and the candidates proposed by Novavax, Johnson and Johnson, and others, are somewhat less finicky than the mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. They don't need to be frozen, and in Johnson and Johnson's case, only require a single dose. "It's a huge boost if you wanted to roll this out quickly," Dr. Matthew Oughton, an epidemiologist at McGill University and the Jewish General Hospital, told CBC News Network about the Astra-Zeneca approval. Gervais said there are also hopeful signs regarding the mRNA shots, pointing to a U.S. finding this week that suggests the Pfizer-BioNTech product may not need to be super-frozen after all. The Canadian government has firm orders for about 300 million doses of seven different vaccines and options to buy millions more, with deliveries set to ramp up meaningfully in April and May. Quebec should have no trouble getting its 12 million. But the public vaccination centres and pharmacies may still not be able to hit the pace required to meet the fall target. That's where the province's large employers come in. Véronique Proulx, CEO of the association representing Quebec's manufacturers and exporters, said her group's 23,000 members (and their 475,000 employees) are eager to help. "We need to get out of this [pandemic] situation as quickly as possible ... they're more than happy to raise their hands," she said. Proulx was part of a delegation of business leaders that visited an as-yet unopened vaccination centre in Brossard on Friday with provincial vaccine czar Daniel Paré, and she was struck by the familiarity of the environment. "It's very similar to a small manufacturing line," she said, adding "we should be able to replicate it." Proulx added there are roughly 1,000 manufacturing businesses dotted across Quebec that have more than 100 employees, and that many have the large, open spaces to accommodate vaccination stations. All they'll need is a little training and financial support from the province to set them up. Employee vaccination blitzes Karl Blackburn, the CEO of the Conseil du patronat, struck a similar chord, saying there is a "big interest" among the 70,000 employers his group represents in helping the effort, particularly between June and September. Blackburn estimates the summer vaccination peak could reach a million people per week, and that companies large and small could help the effort either by holding weekend vaccination blitzes or more sustained campaigns for employees, their families and the general public. He offered an illustration of how it might work with Premier Tech, a Rivière-du-Loup firm that works in the food and automation sectors. The company employs about 1,600 people. "If you add their families and their suppliers and the public in that specific area, it means more than 10,000 people could be vaccinated," he said, adding he's had firm expressions of interest for large companies with multiple facilities in the province like Rio Tinto, Ubisoft and CAE.
The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. Dr. Nathan Stall, a geriatrician at Sinai Health in Toronto, said deaths that have been recorded as a result of COVID-19 only reflect those who were tested for it. "But there are going to be people who died in excess of what we normally expected, who might have been infected and never got a test and went on to die." The underlying cause of death in 92 per cent of 9,500 fatalities was recorded on medical certificates as COVID-19 in a November study by Statistics Canada. In the remaining eight per cent of cases, cancer, dementia, Alzheimer's disease or other chronic conditions were most commonly found to be the underlying cause of death. Stall said while the 92 per cent figure is higher than what he expected it to be, he thinks the actual number is likely to be even larger. "I think this also speaks to the confusion people have of how to actually classify a cause of death," he said, adding those who die are rarely tested to determine if they had COVID-19. He said the better indicator of the pandemic's death toll will be excess mortality, when more deaths than were expected are recorded during a specific time period. Dr. Roger Wong, a clinical professor of geriatric medicine, said the accurate recording of deaths from COVID-19 is a challenge around the globe. The World Health Organization and medical regulatory bodies in Canada have provided guidelines on how to record COVID-19 related deaths. Wong said an incomplete or inaccurate record of mortality data can have public health implications. Scientists and researchers will get a better understanding of COVID-19 in people with long-standing health conditions by recording as many details as possible in death certificates, said Wong, who is also a vice-dean in the University of British Columbia's faculty of medicine. "It has implications, not only for COVID-19 deaths, but implications for all deaths," Wong said. He said the first line of a death certificate states the immediate reason a patient died, while the second and subsequent lines record health conditions leading to the cause of the fatality. "The immediate cause of death may not capture the underlying cause of death," he said. In patients who die from COVID-19, they could have also suffered from acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia because the virus affects the lungs, he said, giving an example. In those cases, the first line would list respiratory syndrome as the cause of death, and the second and third lines would say what led to it, which could be pneumonia and COVID-19 respectively, Wong said. It is important to note what caused the pneumonia, he said, adding in a number of cases it could be COVID-19. Long-standing illnesses or comorbidities, such as diabetes, heart or kidney disease, also complicate how deaths are recorded, Wong said, as those patients are at higher risk of infection. "COVID-19 should be recorded as an underlying cause of death, not so much as a concurrent health condition that happened to be there," Wong explained. Stall used cardiopulmonary arrest as another example of fatalities that don't always list COVID-19 as a factor. "Well, everyone dies of cardiopulmonary arrest, because everyone dies when their heart stops beating and the lungs stop breathing. That's not a cause of death. That's the mechanism of death," Stall said. "The cause of death is COVID-19, and ultimately all events lead to cardiopulmonary arrest but that's a common example that I'll sometimes see as a cause of death when it certainly is not the cause." There needs to be better education and "a bit more" quality control in how deaths are recorded, he said. "It's not something we learn a ton about in medical school or something that's given a lot of attention and consideration by individuals who are often in a rush to do it so the body can be released to the morgue or funeral home." The StatCan study said international guidelines are followed to record COVID-19 as the cause of death where the disease "caused, or is assumed to have caused, or contributed to death." Stall said accurately recording deaths helps stamp out misinformation about the pandemic as well as gauging how the country has been affected by it. "We are looking at the picture and the complete scope of what COVID-19 has done to our population in our country," Stall said. "And in order to look after the living, you need to count the dead." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021 Hina Alam, The Canadian Press
Le gouvernement devra verser près de 420 000 $ à Marcel Forget. Québec a injustement forcé la démission de Marcel Forget alors qu’il était le numéro deux de l’Unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC), tranche la Cour supérieure. La juge Janick Perreault condamne le gouvernement à lui verser 419 900 $. « J’ai été forcé de démissionner, mais aujourd’hui, ce que je veux qu’on retienne, c’est que ma réputation est blanchie et c’est ce qui importe le plus pour moi. Je peux désormais regarder par en avant après quatre années éprouvantes », se réjouit le principal intéressé. Toute l’affaire débute en 2017. Marcel Forget œuvre alors au sein de l’UPAC. Depuis 2013, son rôle consiste à veiller sur l’intégrité des entreprises qui désirent conclure des contrats publics. « Son rendement annuel dépasse les attentes », spécifie le jugement rendu vendredi. En novembre de cette année-là, deux articles du Journal de Montréal attaquent son intégrité. On lui reproche notamment de s’impliquer dans un projet de condos bureaux et de collaborer avec un courtier illégal. Devant ce battage médiatique, des membres du gouvernement lui somment de s’expliquer. Marcel Forget nie toute malversation. Toutefois, ces articles embarrassent le gouvernement et « le lien de confiance est ébranlé », note le tribunal. Afin de montrer patte blanche, les autorités politiques lui suggèrent de placer ces actifs dans une fiducie sans droit de regard, ce qu’il fait « sans tarder ». Le lendemain de cette rencontre, un troisième article replonge Marcel Forget dans la controverse médiatique. Cette fois, l’article reproche au numéro deux de l’UPAC de participer à l’achat d’actions alors qu’il ne possède pas de permis de courtier. Dans la nouvelle, Marcel Forget nie ces allégations en bloc. C’en est trop pour le gouvernement qui cherche désormais à l’évincer. « […] On le largue de toute façon s’il ne quitte pas par lui-même », écrit le matin même le directeur du cabinet de Martin Coiteux, dans un échange de messages textes retranscrit dans le jugement. « Si on le force à démissionner [il] peut se retourner et poursuivre. Faut l’amener à comprendre que c’est mieux pour lui », répond la directrice adjointe au cabinet de Philippe Couillard. « Je suis malheureusement devenu radioactif », avait illustré M. Forget lors du procès tenu en septembre dernier. Le jugement d’une vingtaine de pages détaille la suite des événements. « Vers 7 h 47, le Commissaire de l’UPAC à cette époque, Robert Lafrenière, téléphone à Marcel Forget et le rassure. Mais, coup de tonnerre, vers 9 h 40, [un membre du gouvernement] téléphone à Marcel Forget et lui offre deux avenues : démissionner ou faire l’objet d’une destitution. Il doit se décider, rapidement, il a trois minutes. » Lorsque le ministre Coiteux arrive au parlement vers 10 h, il déclare aux journalistes que Marcel Forget n’est plus « l’homme de la situation ». Quelques minutes plus tard, Robert Lafrenière transmet un courriel aux employés de l’UPAC pour annoncer son départ. Il répète ensuite l’exercice auprès des médias. Puis, Martin Coiteux reprend et confirme l’information en public. Enfin, « vers 11 h 30, Robert Lafrenière téléphone à Forget et requiert une lettre de démission. À cet égard, il le rappelle de nouveau vers 11 h 45 », écrit la juge Perreault. « Face à un tel déferlement, Forget n’a plus le choix, il doit “s’exécuter”. Il signe une lettre de démission sous le choc. » Martin Coiteux soutenait pourtant le contraire lors du procès. « La fin d’emploi, c’est M. Forget qui l’a décidée. C’est lui qui a démissionné », avait-il dit. Or, « le Tribunal conclut que la démission de Marcel Forget n’est pas libre et volontaire, car elle survient dans des circonstances qui violent son consentement ». « Congédiement public » Lors du procès, la défense a tenté de démontrer que Marcel Forget avait failli à ses devoirs déontologiques. Le jugement stipule que « toute la théorie présentée lors de l’audition sur de “graves manquements” aux règles d’éthique et de déontologie est forgée et ne s’appuie pas sur les faits ». Quant aux articles de journaux incriminants, Marcel Forget a relaté lors du procès avoir rencontré des patrons de Québecor dans les jours suivants le dépôt de sa poursuite civile pour obtenir des explications sur le traitement médiatique qui lui a été réservé. « Je leur ai demandé “pourquoi vous avez fait ça ?”. La réponse que j’ai eue c’est : “Lafrenière ne nous parlait plus depuis un an, on lui en devait une” », a-t-il rapporté. « Homme joyeux, social et confiant qu’il était, Marcel Forget n’est jamais redevenu le même qu’auparavant », souligne le jugement de la Cour supérieure, qui note par ailleurs que « les répercussions sont d’autant plus importantes qu’il s’agit en quelque sorte d’un congédiement public ». « On est contents que sa réputation soit rétablie et que le tribunal ait reconnu dans son jugement le caractère abusif du Procureur général dans cette démission forcée », a pour sa part commenté Me Daniel Rochefort, l’avocat de M. Forget. Il nous a été impossible de contacter le ministère de la Sécurité publique au moment où ces lignes étaient écrites. Avec Améli Pineda Jean-Louis Bordeleau, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Devoir
Friday's Games NHL N.Y. Rangers 6 Boston 2 Minnesota 3 Los Angeles 1 Colorado 3 Arizona 2 --- AHL Stockton 8 Toronto 1 WB/Scranton 4 Lehigh Valley 2 Grand Rapids 4 Chicago 1 Hershey 6 Binghamton 3 Laval 4 Manitoba 3 Utica 7 Rochester 2 Iowa 5 Texas 3 Henderson 3 San Diego 2 Tucson 4 Colorado 3 --- NBA Toronto 122 Houston 111 Boston 118 Indiana 112 Phoenix 106 Chicago 97 Oklahoma City 118 Atlanta 109 L.A. Clippers 119 Memphis 99 Miami 124 Utah 116 Sacramento 110 Detroit 107 L.A. Lakers 102 Portland 93 Golden State 130 Charlotte 121 --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
(Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press - image credit) Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault says he's not expecting pushback from Facebook as he moves ahead with proposed legislation that would force the company and other global online giants to pay Canadian news agencies for the content they use. Guilbeault told CBC's The House that Facebook took a hit to its public image when it tried to head off a similar law approved this week in Australia by blocking all news from that country. Google also threatened to prevent Australian users from accessing its search engine before reaching licensing deals with publishers in that country for stories that appear on its news showcase site. "I think there's a couple of lessons that need to be learned from what just happened in Australia. The first one is that if we ever needed a reason why these companies need to be regulated, Facebook just handed it to us on a silver platter," Guilbeault said in an interview airing Saturday. "(It) just proves the point that they've been unregulated for too long. And this needs to change. And I think the second lesson I draw from all of this is that we need to act internationally. We need to find international allies and engage on this issue together, because these are very big, powerful companies." Lessons from Australia Australia is at the forefront of efforts to ensure Facebook, Google and other digital giants share the revenue they earn from linking to or lifting news content with the domestic newspapers and broadcasters creating that content. The News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code became law in Australia on Wednesday. Australia's Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Sky News this week that the talks with Facebook and Google were complex and difficult. He's since spoken about the new law to his counterparts around the world, including Canada's Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. "What's transpired in recent weeks in Australia has been very much a proxy battle for the world with major global ramifications," he said. Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison shakes hands with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea November 18, 2018. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed the issue this week during a call with Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison. A readout of the call said the two agreed to continue coordinating efforts to "ensure the revenues of web giants are shared more fairly with ... the media." On Friday, Facebook announced it had reached tentative deals with three Australian news publishers. But critics say it isn't a total victory for Australia's government. The law allows those online companies to negotiate deals with Australian news companies. Only in the event that no deal is reached can the matter be referred to an independent arbitrator. The Globe and Mail reported on Friday that Facebook is prepared to negotiate licensing deals with Canadian news publishers, but the timing and details still need to be worked out. Guilbeault said he hasn't spoken with Facebook officials since the Australian law went into effect. Critics argue the government's efforts in Australia failed to protect smaller media companies and the journalists they employ, and will benefit only the largest media organizations. A 'made-in-Canada approach' Guilbeault said he doesn't agree with those who argue that Australia passed a watered-down law. He said he's aware, however, that Facebook and others should not be free to negotiate solely with Canada's largest media chains. "It's certainly something that's at the top of mind for us," he told The House. "We need to ensure ... a made-in-Canada approach to this, because we can't just cut and paste a model and import it here. Canadian media companies have been urging the government to regulate these digital companies because they're taking a larger and larger share of advertising revenue. "One thing we want to make sure is that our model will serve the bigger, the medium-sized and the smaller media organizations in Canada," Guilbeault said. Guilbeault said he has spoken to his counterparts in several other countries about the best approach. Heritage Canada also continues to talk with smaller organizations to ensure that the proposed legislation will lead to proper compensation for their content and encourage new companies to emerge. Guilbeault said he hopes to table his bill later this spring because protecting homegrown journalism is "one of the pillars of democracy" in Canada. Taking on hate speech, sexual exploitation In the meantime, he said, his department expects to introduce proposed legislation in the coming weeks to force internet service providers to take action against hate speech, sexual exploitation and other online violence. "I think Canadians are getting really, really sick and tired of some of the content that they are seeing on those platforms," he said. "They're asking government to intervene." The plan is to create a new regulator to monitor online activity, with the power to force internet providers to choose between taking down offending material within 24 hours and facing severe penalties. "So you can imagine a regulator like that having audit powers to look at what platforms are doing, ensure that compliance is happening," he said.
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. There are 861,472 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 861,472 confirmed cases (30,516 active, 809,041 resolved, 21,915 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 3,252 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 80.29 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 20,886 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,984. There were 50 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 339 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 48. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 57.66 per 100,000 people. There have been 24,205,347 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 977 confirmed cases (290 active, 682 resolved, five deaths). There were four new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 55.54 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 114 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 16. There were zero new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there has been one new reported death. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.03 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 0.96 per 100,000 people. There have been 194,501 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 121 confirmed cases (seven active, 114 resolved, zero deaths). There was one new case Friday. The rate of active cases is 4.39 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been six new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 100,524 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,634 confirmed cases (35 active, 1,534 resolved, 65 deaths). There were 10 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 3.57 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 30 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is four. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.64 per 100,000 people. There have been 323,312 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,428 confirmed cases (42 active, 1,360 resolved, 26 deaths). There was one new case Friday. The rate of active cases is 5.37 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been 11 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two. There were zero new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.04 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 3.33 per 100,000 people. There have been 234,746 tests completed. _ Quebec: 286,145 confirmed cases (7,888 active, 267,885 resolved, 10,372 deaths). There were 815 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 91.99 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,458 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 780. There were 11 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 94 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 13. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.16 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 120.96 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,220,844 tests completed. _ Ontario: 298,569 confirmed cases (10,294 active, 281,331 resolved, 6,944 deaths). There were 1,258 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 69.87 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 7,798 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,114. There were 28 new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 124 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 18. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.13 per 100,000 people. There have been 10,726,049 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 31,721 confirmed cases (1,197 active, 29,635 resolved, 889 deaths). There were 64 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 86.79 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 486 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 69. There was one new reported death Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 10 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is one. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.1 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 64.45 per 100,000 people. There have been 526,985 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 28,344 confirmed cases (1,510 active, 26,454 resolved, 380 deaths). There were 153 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 128.11 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,099 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 157. There were zero new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 15 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.18 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.24 per 100,000 people. There have been 567,399 tests completed. _ Alberta: 132,788 confirmed cases (4,505 active, 126,406 resolved, 1,877 deaths). There were 356 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 101.88 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,433 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 348. There were three new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 65 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is nine. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.21 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 42.45 per 100,000 people. There have been 3,378,626 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 79,262 confirmed cases (4,719 active, 73,188 resolved, 1,355 deaths). There were 589 new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 91.67 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 3,427 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 490. There were seven new reported deaths Friday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 28 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 26.32 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,901,202 tests completed. _ Yukon: 72 confirmed cases (zero active, 71 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Friday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.38 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,126 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 42 confirmed cases (three active, 39 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Friday. The rate of active cases is 6.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 14,388 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 356 confirmed cases (26 active, 329 resolved, one deaths). There was one new case Friday. The rate of active cases is 66.07 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been 24 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.54 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,569 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Feb. 26, 2021. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
Three weeks ago the 13-year-old weighed just nine kilograms (20 pounds) when she was admitted to al-Sabeen hospital in Yemen's capital Sanaa with malnutrition that sickened her for at least the past four years. They are among some 16 million Yemenis - more than half the population of the Arabian Peninsula country - that the United Nations says are going hungry. Of those, five million are on the brink of famine, U.N. aid chief Mark Lowcock warns.
(Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP Photo - image credit) Vaccine deliveries are ramping up and provinces and territories are starting to unveil more of their vaccine rollout plans. Each province has a phased plan for vaccine deployment which indicates when the various priority groups can expect to receive the shots. Here's what we know so far about who's getting the shots and when. British Columbia B.C. is still in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout, which covers residents and staff of long-term care facilities, health care workers who may provide care for COVID-19 patients and remote and isolated Indigenous communities. The subsequent phase is expected to run through March and includes seniors 80 and over, Indigenous seniors 65 and over, hospital staff and medical specialists, vulnerable populations living and working in congregated settings and staff providing in-home support to seniors. B.C. is planning to announce the details of Phase 2 of the immunization program on Monday. Immunization clinics overseen by local health authorities are being organized in 172 communities in school gymnasiums, arenas, convention centres and community halls. B.C. said it would start reaching out to those in line for vaccines in Phase 2 to tell them how to pre-register for immunization appointments. A truck carrying COVID-19 vaccine crosses the Canada-U.S. border into B.C. on Monday, Dec. 12, 2020. People will be notified by postcard, email, text or phone call, through specialty clinics, independent living homes, home care services and family physician offices. Pre-registration for vaccinations opens in March. People can pre-register, online or by phone, two to four weeks before they are eligible. Eligibility is based on the current phase of the vaccination program and the recipient's age. Those contacted for vaccination appointments are pre-screened for eligibility before they choose a location, date and time to receive the shot. Mass clinics for the general population are scheduled to start on April 6, beginning with the 75-79 age group. The B.C. government website says it is developing a registration and record system and a process to register for vaccine access and receive a formal record of immunization. For more information about B.C.'s vaccination plan, go here. Alberta As of Feb. 24, seniors 75 and over (born in 1946 or earlier) and seniors 65 and over living in First Nations and Métis communities were eligible for vaccination. The Alberta government estimates there are about 230,000 seniors in these two groups. Starting the first week of March, select pharmacies in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer will be offering the vaccine. By the end of the week about 100 pharmacies will provide shots. A list of participating pharmacies can be found here. Staff at participating pharmacies will contact people who are eligible for the shots. Given the anticipated vaccine delivery schedule, Alberta Health Services says it expects it will be vaccinating people in this first phase over most of March. Allan Pasutto, 86, of Penhold, Alberta gets the COVID-19 vaccine in Red Deer. Phase 2 is expected to begin in April. Vaccinations in this phase will be offered to anyone aged 50 to 74 years, anyone with underlying health conditions, First Nations and Métis people aged 35 and older, residents and staff in congregate living settings and eligible caregivers. The Alberta government says that, as supply increases, it will accelerate vaccinations on the model of its annual flu campaign by using Alberta Health Services staff, community pharmacies and family physicians. The province was able to administer 1.3 million flu shots in six weeks last fall — an average of over 30,000 shots per day. Starting February 24, Alberta started using an online booking tool www.ahs.ca/covidvaccine. Those eligible for vaccination also can call the province's 811 Health Link number for information. Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said appointments are now available seven days a week from 8:20 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. at 58 sites around the province, and the hours will be extended as more vaccines arrive. No walk-ins are allowed. Seniors who can't find transportation to their appointments can call 211 — the government's information line for programs and services — for help. For more information about Alberta's vaccination plan, go here. Saskatchewan Saskatchewan's Phase 1 is still underway, focusing on health care workers, residents and staff of long-term care homes, residents 70 years and older and residents in remote and northern regions over the age of 50. People eligible for vaccination in Phase 1 are being contacted directly by phone or mail. Phase 2 is expected to begin in April and will cover the general population, starting with people aged 60-69 and working down in 10 year increments. Phase 2 will also cover individuals considered to be extremely vulnerable to infection, and staff and residents of group homes and emergency shelters. Doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine are loaded onto a plane for delivery to Southend and Wollaston in Saskatchewan. The province said it expects that when Phase 2 begins, the Saskatchewan Health Authority will be operating 226 vaccine clinics in 181 communities across the province. Those clinics will include mass vaccination sites, drive-through locations and mobile vaccination clinics. More sites will be added through pharmacies and doctors' offices. A mass vaccination clinic will open in April at the International Trade Centre at Evraz Place in Regina. Appointments will be needed. People will be asked to register for vaccination through an online platform or by phone. For more information about Saskatchewan's vaccination plan, go here. Manitoba Manitoba's immunization teams are now vaccinating all residents age 92 and older (born on or before December 31, 1928) and First Nations people 72 and older (born on or before December 31, 1948). Vaccinations are also available to individuals working in laboratories handling COVID-19 specimens, in immunization clinics and testing sites and in isolation accommodation facilities. The vaccine is being offered now to those working in congregate living facilities who were born on or before Dec. 31, 1960, and people working in licensed personal care homes. A COVID-19 vaccine dose is administered in Thompson, Manitoba. Health care staff who work for acute care facilities and emergency response services (ERS), home care workers, correctional facility staff, dental office staff and those who work in facilities providing services insured by Manitoba Health and Seniors Care (such as family medical practices and outpatient surgical units) are eligible for the vaccine. So are community services workers, staff at homeless shelters and family violence shelters and those who provide disability services and child and family services. The next eligible group includes health care workers who were not included in Phase 1, residents and staff of shared living facilities and essential workers. It's not known yet when Manitobans in this group will receive their shots. Manitoba has set up a Vaccine Queue Calculator to allow Manitobans to estimate when they'll receive their vaccines. The province expects to open two new "supersites" for large-scale vaccinations in Selkirk and the Morden-Wrinkler area the week of March 12, bringing the number of such sites to six. (Three are in Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson, with a fourth facility at the airport outside Thompson.) The province says it plans to expand to 13 supersites throughout Manitoba in April. It has hired 1,212 staffers to help with the vaccination effort. More than 400 medical clinics and pharmacies have applied to be a part of the immunization campaign. Manitobans with questions about the vaccination plan and their position in the queue can go to this website or call a toll-free number: 1-844-626-8222. Manitoba's booking portal is still in the testing phase. Ontario Ontario's vaccination rollout is in Phase 1, which covers staff and essential caregivers in long-term care homes, high-risk retirement homes and First Nations elder care homes, and highest-priority health care workers. In March, Phase 1 is expected to expand to adults 80 years of age and older, staff, residents and caregivers in retirement homes and other congregate care settings, high-priority health care workers, all Indigenous adults and adult recipients of chronic home care. Vaccines have been delivered to Ontario's 34 public health units in Ontario and the pace of the rollout could vary depending on the region. Nicole Laplante, centre, receives a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Embrun, Ont., Jan. 13, 2021. Phase 2 is set to begin in April. This phase will add more vaccination sites, including municipally run locations, hospital sites, mobile vaccination locations, pharmacies, clinics, community-run health centres and aboriginal health centres. In August, the province is to move to Phase 3 and make vaccines available to everyone who wants to be immunized. The Ontario government's online portal for mass vaccination pre-registration and appointment booking is set to launch on March 15. For those without access to the internet, the province will establish a customer service desk to register and book appointments. Neighbourhood mobile clinics are being planned by local public health units. For more information about Ontario's vaccination plan, go here. Quebec On the island of Montreal, vaccinations are now available to people 80 and older. To make an appointment, go to this website or call 514-644-4545. The rest of Quebec will start vaccinating anyone 85 years of age or older next week. Anyone born before 1936 can start making an appointment for their first dose on February 25, by phone (1-877-644-4545) or online. Quebec has posted a document describing the procedure here. Once more vaccines arrive, Quebec plans to expand inoculations to include seniors 70 and up and those with chronic health conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. The province has started to prepare by securing mass vaccination sites, such as the Olympic Stadium. Quebec Premier François Legault and Health Minister Christian Dubé watch a woman register for her COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Montreal's Olympic Stadium It has set up mass vaccination sites already in major urban centres in anticipation of an increase in the vaccine supply. One of them — the Palais des congress de Montreal, in the heart of downtown — is set up to vaccinate up to 2,000 people per day. For more information about Quebec's vaccination plan, go here. New Brunswick Phase 1 is underway, covering long-term care residents and staff, front line health care staff, First Nations adults 16+ and individuals 85 and over. Clinics are being held this week and next at 321 licensed long-term care homes and those vaccinations are expected to be completed by March 14. Residents and staff are being contacted directly by their employers to register for vaccination. Others in Phase 1 are being contacted directly to book appointments. For individuals aged 85 or older living in the community, details on clinic locations and registration process will be announced in the coming weeks. A box containing 1,950 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 arrives at the Miramichi Regional Hospital. Phase 2 starts in April and will include residents in other communal settings, health care workers providing direct patient care (such as pharmacists and dentists), firefighters, police officers, home support workers for seniors, people 70 and over, people with complex medical conditions, volunteers at long-term care homes, people 40 and over with three or more chronic conditions and truckers or workers who cross the Canada-U.S. border regularly. The N.B. government's website says that details about who can register for vaccination and when will be announced in the coming weeks. Clinic locations are also being finalized. The province is asking residents to wait for those details instead of tying up resources by calling the provincial tele-care number or their local health practitioners. Prince Edward Island P.E.I.'s vaccination effort is in its first phase, which will continue throughout March. Public health nurses had been delivering the vaccines; trained pharmacists were approved recently to administer the doses as well. Those getting vaccinations in this phase are residents and staff of long term care homes, health care workers in direct contact with patients who face an elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors 80 and older, adults 18 and older living in Indigenous communities, residents and staff of shared living facilities (such as group homes, shelters and correctional facilities) and truck drivers and other workers who routinely travel out of the province. Starting February 22, vaccine clinics in P.E.I. will start giving doses to seniors aged 80 and older. You can find a list of clinics here. The province says other population groups will be told when they can be vaccinated as the rollout continues. The province expects to have four clinics in operation starting in March — in O'Leary, Summerside, Charlottetown and Montague. Vaccinations in P.E.I. are by appointment only. When their turns come up, Islanders can book their appointments by calling 1-844-975-3303 or by filling out a form available through this government website. For more information about Prince Edward Island's vaccination plan, go here. Nova Scotia Nova Scotia's vaccination effort is in Phase 1. That covers those who work directly with patients in hospitals or care homes, people who live and work in long term care homes and people who live and work in adult residential care centres and regional rehabilitation centres. There's no word yet on when the next phase of the vaccine rollout will begin. When it does, it will include: anyone who works in a hospital (and might come into contact with patients); doctors, nurses, dentists, dental hygienists and pharmacists; people who live in correctional facilities, shelters and temporary foreign worker housing; people who are required to travel regularly for work (such as truck drivers); people responsible for food security (such as workers in large food processing plants); those aged 75 to 79 and those 80 and older. Alvena Poole, 83, receives her vaccine from Allison Milley, a nurse at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, on Feb. 22, 2021. N.S. Public Health is holding prototype clinics before deploying vaccines across the province. The first prototype clinic — for seniors 80 years and older — opened at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax starting the week of Feb. 22. More clinics will open in the coming weeks: in Halifax, New Minas, Sydney and Truro on March 8; in Antigonish, Halifax and Yarmouth on March 15, and in Amherst, Bridgewater and Dartmouth on March 22. The province also is planning to set up clinics in pharmacies as well. Those at the head of the queue will receive letters from the province explaining how to schedule a vaccination appointment. Once contacted, appointments can then be booked online or by calling 1-833-797-7772 the week before the clinic opens. For more information about Nova Scotia's vaccination plan, go here. Newfoundland & Labrador Newfoundland & Labrador is in Phase 1 of its immunization plan. Doses in this first phase are earmarked for congregate living settings for seniors, health care workers at high risk of exposure to COVID-19, people 85 and older and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities. It's not known yet when the next phase of the province's vaccination plan will begin. That phase will cover health care workers who were not included in Phase 1, residents and staff of all other congregate living settings and essential workers. These categories are still being defined by the province and its health department says details of future phases are still being finalized. Newfoundland and Labrador's chief medical officer of health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald smiles at St. John's public health nurse Ellen Foley-Vick after giving her the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in St. John's, Nfld., on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. For more information about Newfoundland & Labrador's vaccination plan, go here. Yukon Priority groups in Yukon have received their first doses and, in some cases, their second doses as well. As of Feb. 19, high-risk health care workers and long-term care residents and staff had received their second doses. Those living in remote rural communities and people aged 65 and older are to start getting their second doses beginning the week of Feb. 22. Over the past few weeks, every community outside Whitehorse has been visited by one of two mobile vaccine clinic teams (named 'Balto' and 'Togo') delivering first doses to all residents 18 and over. In Whitehorse, a mass clinic will open on March 1 that will deliver up to 800 immunizations a day — both first and second doses. All Whitehorse residents 18 years of age and older can now book appointments for their first shots. Those living in Whitehorse must book appointments online or by calling 1-877-374-0425. In rural Yukon, where internet access may be an issue, appointments are recommended but walk-ins are also welcome. For more information about Yukon's vaccination plan, go here. Northwest Territories All NWT long-term care residents have received first and second doses. The NWT COVID-19 vaccine strategy says the general population can expect access to the vaccine in late March or early April. The original NWT strategy said there would be enough doses to immunize 75 per cent of eligible residents 18 years of age and older should by the end of March. That target date has now been put off to the end of April. "This generous initial allocation from the federal government recognizes the territories' limited health care system capacities and the vulnerabilities of remote Indigenous communities," says the strategy document. The vaccine schedule and booking tool are now online and will be updated as more doses are delivered. Dr. AnneMarie Pegg, territorial medical director, receives her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Stanton Territorial Hospital on Jan. 10. Those living in larger centres are expected to call or book online for their vaccinations. In smaller communities, dates and locations for vaccination clinics will be advertised and residents will be asked to show up. Multiple small mobile vaccine units are travelling to 33 communities to help local health care staff administer doses. For more information on NWT's vaccination plan, go here. Nunavut Nunavut says it expects to have 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18 vaccinated by the end of March. Nunavut is only using the Moderna vaccine right now and has been staging vaccine clinics in two or three communities at a time. Starting March 1, the next round of clinics to administer the first dose will be held in five communities. Starting around March 5 and March 6, nine locations will start holding clinics for the second dose of the vaccine. In Iqaluit, vaccinations are by appointment only and are being directed toward elders 60 or older, those living in community shelters, front line health workers, Medivac flight crews, residents and staff of group homes and Iqaluit's Akaausisarvik Mental Health Treatment Centre, and residents and staff of correctional facilities. The next phase in Iqaluit is expected to begin March 1 and will be for people age 45 and over. Nunavut relays COVID-19 information through public service announcements on TV, social media, community radio and the government's website. The website shows the locations of clinics, their times of operation and contact information.