President Biden and his wife took a walk around the front lawn of the White House Tuesday to survey their Valentine's message to the world. The Bidens said it was a message of hope to those who are suffering during the pandemic. (Feb. 12)
President Biden and his wife took a walk around the front lawn of the White House Tuesday to survey their Valentine's message to the world. The Bidens said it was a message of hope to those who are suffering during the pandemic. (Feb. 12)
Canada added a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to its pandemic-fighting arsenal on Friday, approving Johnson & Johnson's product a week after it was authorized in the United States. That gives Canada four distinct vaccines — along with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca — and it adds flexibility to the country's plan to immunize the majority of its residents by September. Health Canada includes a fifth vaccine, Covishield, which is a separate brand name for doses of the AstraZeneca product made at the Serum Institute of India. The U.S.-based Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for emergency use on Feb. 27. Canada has already secured 10 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through previous negotiations with the company, with the option to buy another 28 million. The 10 million pre-purchased doses will be delivered before September, but they're not expected to start flowing into Canada until at least April. Here's what we know about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT? Johnson & Johnson announced promising results from its Phase 3 clinical trials at the end of January, suggesting its vaccine reduced severe COVID-19 disease by 85 per cent, and prevented 100 per cent of COVID-related hospitalization or death. The vaccine had a 72 per cent efficacy in preventing COVID infections after 28 days in the company's U.S. trials. The efficacy dropped to 66 per cent when averaging in results from other global trials, including a South African study that factored in more transmissible variants of the COVID virus. An FDA report last month said the vaccine was 64 per cent effective in preventing infection in South Africa about a month after the vaccines were administered. Pfizer and Moderna showed 95 per cent efficacy in their respective trials, but those were both tested against previous dominant strains of the virus and didn't account for the variants that have popped up since. Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca also had zero hospitalizations and deaths in their trials. The FDA report said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was similarly effective across age, race and people with comorbidities. The agency added that effectiveness appeared to be lower (42.3 per cent after one month) in people over 60 with comorbidities such as diabetes or heart disease. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THIS VACCINE? The potential ease of distribution offered by a one-and-done shot, and its ability to be stored in a regular fridge are among its biggest strengths. Vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca all require two doses. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine can be stored in a regular fridge for up to three months, the company says. Pfizer's vaccine initially required ultra-cold storage temperatures between -60 C and -80 C, though Health Canada said this week it could be stored in a regular freezer for up to 14 days. Moderna's vaccine can also be stored at regular freezer temperatures while AstraZeneca can be stored in a fridge. WHAT KIND OF VACCINE TECHNOLOGY IS USED? Unlike the mRNA technology used in Pfizer and Moderna's products, Johnson & Johnson is a non-replicating viral vector vaccine similar to AstraZeneca's. That means it uses a different harmless virus, which can't copy itself, as a vector to give our cells the instructions they need to make the coronavirus's spike protein. The immune system recognizes the protein and makes antibodies, which then allow us to fend off attack from the same virus if exposed in the future. WERE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS NOTED? No specific safety concerns were identified in participants of the trials, regardless of age, race and comorbidities. Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, said in a press conference Friday that almost 20 per cent of participants in the Johnson & Johnson trials were 65 years of age and older, and "no differences in safety or efficacy were seen compared to the younger groups." The FDA said the most common reported side effects were headache and fatigue, followed by muscle aches, nausea and fever. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. Melissa Couto Zuber, The Canadian Press
NASA's Mars rover Perseverance has taken its first, short drive on the surface of the red planet, two weeks after the robot science lab's picture-perfect touchdown on the floor of a massive crater, mission managers said on Friday. The six-wheeled, car-sized astrobiology probe put a total of 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) on its odometer on Thursday during a half-hour test spin within Jezero Crater, site of an ancient, long-vanished lake bed and river delta on Mars. Taking directions from mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles, the rover rolled 4 meters (13.1 feet) forward, turned about 150 degrees to its left and then drove backward another 2.5 meters (8.2 feet).
YANGON, Myanmar — Demonstrators defied growing violence by Myanmar security forces and staged more anti-coup rallies Friday, while the U.N. special envoy for the country called for urgent Security Council action, saying about 50 peaceful protesters were killed and scores were injured in the military's worst crackdowns this week. The escalation of violence has put pressure on the world community to act to restrain the junta, which seized power on Feb. 1 by ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Large protests against military rule have occurred daily in many cities and towns. Security forces escalated their crackdown with greater use of lethal force and mass arrests. At least 18 protesters were shot and killed Sunday and 38 on Wednesday, according to the U.N. Human Rights Office. More than 1,000 have been arrested, the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said. Protests continued in the biggest cities of Yangon and Mandalay and elsewhere Friday. They were met again with force by police, and gunfire was heard. In Mandalay, Zaw Myo was fatally shot as the 26-year-old and other residents sought to protect a march by a group of engineers. U.N. special envoy Christine Schraner Burgener said in her briefing to a closed Security Council meeting that council unity and “robust” action are critical “in pushing for a stop to the violence and the restoration of Myanmar’s democratic institutions.” “We must denounce the actions by the military,” she said in her briefing, as released by the U.N. “It is critical that this council is resolute and coherent in putting the security forces on notice and standing with the people of Myanmar firmly, in support of the clear November election results.” Schraner Burgener reiterated an earlier appeal to the international community not to “lend legitimacy or recognition to this regime that has been forcefully imposed and nothing but chaos has since followed.” She urged council members to hear “the voices of the people of Myanmar” and support Kyaw Moe Tun, the country’s U.N. ambassador who was terminated by the military after denouncing the coup in a dramatic speech to the General Assembly. The military appointed his deputy, who resigned a day later and Tun has said he remains Myanmar’s permanent representative to the U.N. The Security Council took no immediate action. Council diplomats said Britain circulated a draft presidential statement for consideration, a step below a legally binding resolution. Any kind of co-ordinated action at the U.N. will be difficult because two permanent members of the Security Council, China and Russia, are likely to veto it. Schraner Burgener, a veteran Swiss diplomat, said she hopes to visit Myanmar and use her “good offices” to find a peaceful solution through dialogue. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department said Friday that the government has taken action to prevent Myanmar’s military from improperly accessing more than $1 billion in Myanmar government funds held in the United States. And YouTube removed five channels run by Myanmar’s military for violating its guidelines and said it is watching for any further violations. It earlier pulled dozens of channels as part of an investigation into content uploaded in a co-ordinated influence campaign. The decision by YouTube followed Facebook’s earlier announcement that it has removed all Myanmar military-linked pages from its site and Instagram, which it owns. Many cases of targeted brutality by security forces in the streets have been captured in photos and videos that have circulated widely on social media. Videos have showed security forces shooting people at point-blank range and chasing down and savagely beating demonstrators. The U.S. called the images appalling, the U.N. human rights chief said it was time to “end the military’s stranglehold over democracy in Myanmar,” and the world body’s independent expert on human rights in the country, Tom Andrews, urged Security Council members to watch the videos. While many abuses are committed by police, there is even greater concern about military forces being deployed in Myanmar's cities that are notorious for decades of brutal counterinsurgency tactics and human rights abuses. In Yangon, members of the army's 77th Light Infantry Division have been deployed during protests of the coup. The 77th was also deployed in Yangon in 2007 to suppress anti-junta protests, firing on protesters and ramming them with trucks, witnesses told Human Rights Watch. The 99th Light Infantry Division also has been deployed, including in Mandalay. It is infamous for its counterinsurgency campaigns against ethnic minorities, including spearheading the response that led to a brutal crackdown that caused more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee from Rakhine state to Bangladesh. It also has been accused of war crimes in Shan state, another ethnic minority area, in 2016 and early 2017. A leader of barred lawmakers who say they are the legitimate representatives of the country released a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urging the Security Council to help end the violence and restore the ousted government. The letter asked for outside parties to help prevent human rights violations, sanctions on military leaders and military-linked businesses, a total arms embargo and penalties for perpetrators of atrocities. The letter is signed by Dr. Sasa, who uses one name, on behalf of the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, Myanmar’s Parliament, which the military has barred from convening. The lawmakers want foreign countries and international organizations to recognize them instead of the junta. Schraner Burgener said earlier this week she warned Myanmar’s army that the world’s nations and the Security Council “might take huge, strong measures.” “And the answer was, ‘We are used to sanctions, and we survived those sanctions in the past,’” she said. When she also warned that Myanmar would become isolated, Schraner Burgener said, “the answer was, ‘We have to learn to walk with only a few friends.’” The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has urged a halt to violence and the start of talks on a peaceful solution in Myanmar. The 10-member regional group, which includes Myanmar, is constrained from enacting serious measures by a tradition of acting by consensus and reluctance to interfere in each other’s internal affairs. However, one member, Singapore, was outspoken Friday in criticizing Myanmar’s coup. “It is the height of national shame for the armed forces of any country to turn its arms against its own people,” Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said in Parliament. But he also warned that the approach favoured by some Western nations of pressuring Myanmar’s generals with sanctions would not be effective. The U.S., Britain and several other countries have already started to use that approach. “Despite all our fervour and earnest hopes of reconciliation ... the keys ultimately lie within Myanmar. And there’s a limit to how far external pressure will be brought to bear,” he said. The Associated Press
VANCOUVER — British Columbia's highest court has sided with the largest private landowner in the province in a dispute over public access to public land. In a unanimous ruling, a panel of the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned a lower-court order and gives the Douglas Lake Cattle Company the right to block access to Crown-owned Stoney and Minnie lakes, which are within the huge ranch east of Merritt, B.C. The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company, owned by U.S. billionaire and sports franchise owner Stan Kroenke, blocked road and trail access to the lakes. Writing for the court in a decision posted online Friday, Justice Peter Willcock says the province's lack of public access legislation entitles the ranch to restrict access, even though public fishing is still allowed on each lake and a portion of a road near one of the lakes remains public. Willcock says the "truly divided" decision also affects a lower-court order awarding special costs to the small, privately funded fish and game club. The club and ranch must now pay their own costs of the lengthy legal battle, while costs of the appeal are awarded to the cattle company because its arguments "substantially succeeded." The judgment says the club's argument of the right to cross private land to a Crown-owned, public lake could not succeed. "In my view, while this argument may attract considerable public support, it has no support in our law," Willcock says. The lack of public access legislation in the province "reflects a policy decision by the legislature that is the focus of some debate," says Willcock. But the debate does not alter current laws, and Willcock says the lower-court judge instead "added his voice to the chorus of those seeking to limit the rights of private property owners." "In doing so, he was not describing the law but advocating for a right of public access to lakes on private land," says Willcock, ruling there is "no statutory or common law right" to cross the ranch property to reach the lakes. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. Beth Leighton, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — Dentists, teachers and bus drivers are among the essential workers who hope to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in British Columbia, as a provincial committee determines who should be prioritized for the shot. BC Teachers' Federation president Teri Mooring says her members should be included in the plan expected to be released by the B.C. Immunization Committee by March 18. Mooring says teachers have put in the second-highest number of COVID-19-related claims to WorkSafeBC, behind only health-care workers, and have faced difficult conditions in schools with some of the most lax mask policies in Canada. The BC Dental Association says dentists and their teams cannot treat patients remotely, they work in very close proximity to the mouth and often use aerosol-generating procedures. Balbir Mann, president of Unifor Local 111, which represents Metro Vancouver bus drivers, says his members should receive the vaccine because passengers come very close when they enter and exit the bus. BC Trucking Association president Dave Earle, meanwhile, says he represents both long-haul truckers and local drivers who return home every night, so he wants to hear from the province about where the COVID-19 hot spots are in the transportation system. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
Renfrew County and its surrounding towns are moving into the yellow zone starting Monday on Ontario's colour-coded pandemic scale, after three weeks of being one of the least restrictive regions in the province. Renfrew County and District Health Unit was one of a handful of areas the province allowed to reopen in a green zone in early February, which has the least severe pandemic restrictions. On Friday, the Ontario government announced the health unit will be moving into its yellow "protect" zone starting 12:01 a.m. on March 8, which limits six people per table at restaurants and caps 10 people for indoors and 25 outdoors for fitness classes, among other restrictions. The province said in a news release that its decision to shift the levels for several health units was made in consultation with local medical officers, based on latest COVID-19 trends and public health indicators in each region. In the past week, the health unit's acting medical officer of health warned residents about the number of contacts traced per COVID-19 case. Dr. Robert Cushman also threatened targeted restrictions as it reported 15 cases in Arnprior, Ont., and McNab/Braeside, all tied to private gatherings According to the health unit, those who were infected then worked at or visited seven local businesses while contagious. The health unit closed one business, Cushman said, while several other businesses chose to temporarily shut down on their own. As of Thursday, Renfrew County and District Health Unit had 28 active cases with one of them in intensive care. The region has reported 359 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and two deaths, since the pandemic first began. It reported four new cases Friday.
Tofino, BC - For the majority of Steve Howard’s life, he lived by the phrase, “real men don’t cry.” “Back in my day we were always taught not to cry,” he said. “We were always taught not to feel. So, we grew up kind of tough. Whatever we held in, we kept in.” It’s a mindset that the Tla-o-qui-aht man is trying to shift by encouraging his four sons to openly share their feelings. And yet, his past traumas of physical, mental and sexual abuse continue to hold him back. “We all have troubles and we all have flaws,” he said. “We don’t share our stories. Sexual abuse is a really big thing that happened to First Nations people – not just in Tla-o-qui-aht, but all over Canada and the United States. We as men don’t express that feeling of being raped, not just by a priest but by [our] own family members.” Noticing a gap in men’s support, Howard, Chris Seitcher, Dwayne Martin, Craig Devine and William Goodbird formed a men’s group and started hosting informal men’s circles in Ty-Histanis in the Fall of 2017. While they noticed options for women, youth and elders, there wasn’t a place for men to come together. For Howard, the men’s circle provided him a safe space to share his story without fear of judgement. In turn, he encouraged the men around him to “feel strong enough to express who they are.” “Everybody’s story helped my journey,” he said. “It’s the growth of knowing that I’m not alone in this world.” In those early stages, the men’s group struggled to host regular circles because they didn’t have a consistent space to gather in. The setback meant attendance was scarce and yet its impact started to pulse throughout the nation. “One of the key things that we noticed was it started a conversation in and around the community,” said Devine. “These men would [return] home from our men’s gathering and be totally high as a kite on the good vibe of everything. They brought that energy back home with them and their wives noticed it and their kids noticed it. We started really wanting to build on that.” Eventually, the group of volunteers secured a space within the nation’s health centre and three to 18 men started regularly attending. Through sweats, brushings, singing, drumming and talking circles, the group aimed to integrate a more ancestral approach to dealing with trauma. “We communicate our emotions in a different way, or the way that we were taught,” said Seitcher, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation cultural support worker. "Sometimes expressing them will come out through yelling, swearing or causing harm to another person.” While there is no excuse for that behaviour, Seitcher said the men’s group is trying to shift those forms of expression through connection and ceremony. “If we are able to truly work on ourselves and truly heal, we are able to be in the moment,” he said. “We are able to live for today. We’re able to see and be connected with the people that we meet and talk to – with our families and loved ones. We won’t sit with the things that were done in the past. We won’t sit with the hurts that have happened in the past. It will come up – those hurts and those pains – but we have to allow it to flow through our bodies so that we can let it go.” As momentum started to build, the First Nations Health Authority stepped in last year and provided a significant amount of funding for the group. Despite being unable to gather due to COVID-19 restrictions, Seitcher, Devine and Naomi Seitcher, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation community services manager, have been working to formalize the group, which has been named, ƛ̓iik̓pitap taqumł. Levi Martin offered the name, which means “to build a solid foundation for the community.” “It always makes me feel good when people are wanting to do something to make changes in themselves, in their families and communities,” he said. They landed on the name because the structure of a house cannot stand without the foundation, said Seitcher. “Each one of us in the community can be that foundation,” he said. “If one person heals, the hope is that the next person heals too. If we heal as a community, the next generation will be that much better off.” By letting go of the past, Seitcher said the community will be able to “move forward in a good way.” Looking ahead, ƛ̓iik̓pitap taqumł plans to provide an open, consistent space where Tla-o-qui-aht men can gather and grow through ceremony, health programming and cultural learning. By supporting men in their healing journey through connection, Howard said the men’s group is a tool “to speak your mind.” “A lot of us are too scared to speak,” he said. “But once you learn how to speak, then you learn how to stand. And once you learn how to stand, you learn how to walk. It’s learning how to move forward again.” Melissa Renwick, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Ha-Shilth-Sa
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia welcomed Ottawa's go-ahead for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine Friday as health officials geared up for the opening of the first of 10 community inoculation clinics across the province next week. Premier Iain Rankin called the approval of Canada's fourth vaccine a "positive step forward." "As you can see this is a very dynamic situation that is dependent on the federal government's regulatory approval process," Rankin said. "Our vaccine rollout is ramping up as more clinics open and we receive more doses from the federal government." Rankin confirmed that Nova Scotia would be adopting a 16-week interval between first and second shots as recommended by the national panel of vaccine experts, meaning all Nova Scotians who want vaccine will get one shot by the end of June. "We are committed to being ready to getting shots in arms when it is available," the premier said. He added the province's goal remains to achieve full immunity by this fall. Keeping with its aged-based approach to vaccine distribution, Nova Scotia will open community clinics for those 80 and over in Halifax, New Minas, Sydney and Truro on Monday. Clinics are also scheduled for Antigonish, Halifax and Yarmouth on March 15, and Amherst, Bridgewater and Dartmouth on March 22. Frustrations mounted earlier this week when the province's appointment booking web page had to be temporarily taken off-line after traffic was double what had been anticipated. About 48,000 people aged 80 and over in the province are eligible to receive vaccinations. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang said booking for new appointments would resume online and by telephone on Monday for those who were born between Jan.1 and April 30. Those with later birthdays will be informed when they can register later this month. "It is early days, and our supply is still limited, but we are on the cusp of rapidly expanding the volume of vaccine we'll get," Strang said. Officials said they would also have more specific details next week on the rollout of the 13,000 doses the province is receiving of the recently approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The shipment must be used by April 2 and is targeted for those aged 50 to 64 years. It will be administered starting March 15 at 26 locations. Health officials said that as of Thursday, they had administered 38,676 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 14,395 people having received a booster shot. Meanwhile, the province reported two new cases of COVID-19 Monday in the Halifax area. Health officials said one case involved a close contact of a previously reported infection and the other was under investigation. The province has 31 active reported cases of novel coronavirus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press
A driver of a transport truck has died after a single-vehicle crash Friday afternoon on Highway 417. Members of the Ottawa detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to the crash shortly after 1:20 p.m. and found the truck rolled over, said an OPP news release. OPP said the truck left the roadway near the westbound off-ramp leading to Carp Road. The driver, who was alone in the vehicle at the time of the crash, was pronounced dead, police said. In an email to CBC just before 5 p.m., an Ottawa Fire Services spokesperson said firefighters were still on scene. "So far our work has been to stabilize the vehicle to prevent it from rolling further and ensure fluids are not leaking from the truck," said Carson Tharris, adding that firefighters had not yet extricated the driver from the vehicle. The off-ramp will remain closed for several hours while investigators determine the cause of the crash.
Santé Canada a assoupli les conditions d'entreposage et de transport du vaccin contre la COVID-19 de Pfizer-BioNTech pour faciliter la redistribution locale des doses reçues. Les fioles du vaccin pourront désormais être entreposées ou transportées à des températures entre -25 °C et -15 °C pour une période allant jusqu'à deux semaines. Elles ne peuvent retourner qu'une seule fois aux températures recommandées pour l'entreposage, soit entre -80 °C et -60 °C. Cette décision est prise à la suite d'une soumission effectuée le 25 février par Pfizer-BioNTech qui indiquait un changement des conditions d'entreposage de ses vaccins. Santé Canada a ensuite fait un examen approfondi des données présentées, puis déterminé que le vaccin demeurait stable pour cette période de temps. Il demeure tout de même recommandé de le maintenir dans des conditions extrêmement froides. Par ailleurs, l'autorisation de cette modification concorde avec les décisions prises par d'autres organismes de réglementation étrangers, notamment la Food and Drug Administration des États-Unis. Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
KYIV, Ukraine — The United States has banned a Ukrainian tycoon and former regional governor, who was also a key supporter of Ukraine’s president, from entering the country. A Friday statement by Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the ban on Ihor Kolomoyskyi, as well as his wife, son and daughter, stemmed from corruption during his 2014-15 term as governor of Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region. The statement did not give details, but said Kolomoyskyi was “involved in corrupt acts that undermined rule of law and the Ukrainian public’s faith in their government’s democratic institutions and public processes, including using his political influence and official power for his personal benefit.“ Blinken also said Kolomoyskyi is continuing actions that undermine Ukraine’s democratic processes. Kolomoyskyi’s assets include the television station that broadcast the situation comedy starring Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who was elected Ukrainian president in 2019; he supported Zelenskiy in the campaign. Zelenskiy did not comment on the ban. The Associated Press
Mourners left flowers and hockey sticks outside the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in Brantford, Ont., on Friday. The city is mourning Walter Gretzky, a fixture in the community, who died Thursday at age 82.
TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange: Toronto Stock Exchange (18,380.96, up 255.24 points.) Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Up five cents, or 7.69 per cent, to 70 cents on 27.7 million shares. Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU). Energy. Up 93 cents, or 3.46 per cent, to $27.82 on 17.1 million shares. Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Energy. Up 15 cents, or 11.11 per cent, to $1.50 on 13.3 million shares. Athabasca Oil Corp. (TSX:ATH). Energy. Up 10 cents, or 21.74 per cent, to 56 cents on 13.1 million shares. The Supreme Cannabis Co. Inc. (TSX:FIRE). Health care. Down one cent, or 3.85 per cent, to 25 cents on 11.4 million shares. Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Energy. Up 24 cents, or 0.54 per cent, to $44.83 on 11.1 million shares. Companies in the news: Martinrea International Inc. (TSX:MRE). Down $1.50, or 9.9 per cent, to $13.70. Frustrations stemming from COVID-19 travel restrictions boiled over during a conference call Thursday when top executives at auto parts manufacturer Martinrea derided the health measures, saying it's "time to move on" and recognize the "good things happening," despite employee deaths from the novel coronavirus. "Everything is getting better, except for the government policy that we're seeing. It is just absolutely outrageous," said chief financial officer Fred Di Tosto, on the call. Deanna Lorincz, global director of communications and marketing at Martinrea, said Friday that Di Tosto meant "it is time to move on, lessen the restrictions on the border and continue to open up the economy." Ensign Energy Services Inc. (TSX:ESI). Up eight cents, or 6.8 per cent, to $1.26. Drilling company Ensign Energy Services Inc. says oilpatch activity in its Canadian and U.S. operations is staging a slow recovery from a deep slump in 2020. The Calgary-based company says it earned net income of $3.1 million or two cents per share on revenue of $201 million in the last three months of 2020, compared with a net loss of $71.6 million on revenue of $375 million in the year-earlier period. Analysts had expected a net loss of $57.9 million on revenue of $197 million, according to financial data firm Refinitiv. Revenue slumped 43 per cent in Canada compared with the same period in 2019, by 52 per cent in the U.S. and by 36 per cent in its international arm, which operates in South America, the Middle East and Australia. Recipe Unlimited Corp. (TSX:RECP). Unchanged at $18.57. Recipe Unlimited Corp. saw system sales fall more than 30 per cent in its most recent quarter as the pandemic continued to cause dining room closures and seating restrictions at its restaurant chains across Canada. The Vaughan, Ont.-based company says system sales in its fourth quarter totalled $611.3 million, down 31.8 per cent from $895.8 million in the same quarter the previous year. Still, the company, which operates brands like Swiss Chalet, Harvey's, St-Hubert and The Keg, saw off-premise system sales for the 13 weeks ended Dec. 27 of $150.4 million, a 66.6 per cent increase compared to $90.3 million in the same period of 2019. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
Some Northwest Territories residents have gone nearly a year without easy access to dental services since visits were suspended when the pandemic started. MLA for Nunakput Jackie Jacobson on Wednesday told the territory's Legislative Assembly it has been impossible for some of his constituents to see a dentist since last March. He said communities like Uluhaktok, Paulatuk and Sachs Harbour normally get two visits a year from dental teams, both of which were cancelled last year due to the pandemic. “People are needing dental assistance and there’s nothing happening,” said Jacobson. “They go to the health centre, they are given Tylenol or penicillin to help them with the pain. We need to get this sorted out.” Dental visits to six N.W.T. communities – Fort Simpson, Fort Resolution, Fort Providence, Sambaa K’e, Norman Wells and Aklavik – restarted in December. Private dentistry clinics in Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Smith and Inuvik have kept services open throughout most of the pandemic. All non-urgent dental travel to smaller communities, however, was suspended by the federal government in March. In communities where dental services remain unavailable, federal agency Indigenous Services Canada supports travel for Non-Insured Health Benefits clients to receive services elsewhere. Julie Green, the N.W.T.'s health minister, said responsibility for restarting dental services in Nunakput communities lies with Indigenous Services Canada. The minister said a working group established to address concerns about dental services had devised a plan to fix "a number of issues, including safety concerns that went beyond COVID-19." “Where facilities were not meeting infection control and ventilation requirements, work could not be done in those facilities,” she said. “This is not a long-term ban on dental services in these communities, but it's my understanding that teams are now working through potential solutions.” Green said the six communities to have so far resumed services were part of the plan's first phase. Those communities have upgraded health centre facilities that meet air exchange and infection control requirements, she said. Phase two will see seven more communities' facilities reviewed by the end of June. The minister said Paulatuk and Ulukhaktok will be part of that assessment. “The residents of Ulukhaktok are going to wait longer for dental services to resume, but that is not because of a lack of money. It's because we want them to receive those services safely.” Green said. Lesa Semmler, the MLA for Inuvik Twin Lakes, told Green residents didn't always find it easy to follow the process for accessing dental services elsewhere. Semmler described the "really stringent travel criteria" set out by the Non-Insured Health Benefits program, and Green said she would raise that concern with the federal government. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
The Northwest Territories government must do more to eliminate systemic racism, its politicians declared during a session dedicated to the subject at the territorial legislature this week. Members of the N.W.T. Legislative Assembly ended Wednesday’s session by passing a motion requesting that the government, known as the GNWT, review its policies and determine where any racial and cultural bias may exist. Moved by Thebacha MLA Frieda Martselos, the motion requests an examination of policies related to education, health and social services, justice, housing, and government hiring. “This motion is very much in line with my entire life philosophy of improving government for the people we serve. I have been fighting my entire adult life for the betterment of Black, brown, and Indigenous people,” said Martselos, the former chief of the Salt River First Nation. “Racism takes many different forms, especially in government. Gaps in cultural barriers have always been a problem. Affirmative action and the procurement policy are prime examples of bureaucratic systemic racism. This has to change. Only then, we will make a difference.” Premier Caroline Cochrane and her six fellow cabinet members abstained from the vote on Martselos' motion, as is convention for such motions brought to the House by regular MLAs, but said they were in favour of it. The territorial government has about four months to respond to the motion. What that response may look like remains unclear. Some MLAs used Wednesday's themed session to address personal experiences of systemic racism, while others discussed how to make policies more equitable. Steve Norn, the MLA for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh, said action must follow Wednesday's discussion to ensure real change occurs. Deh Cho MLA Ron Bonnetrouge, who seconded Martselos' motion, said he had felt racism first-hand from a range of institutions, describing "lots of racist overtones happening to our people." Lesa Semmler, the Inuvik Twin Lakes MLA, said recent steps in the right direction had still to eliminate many barriers. “It’s very hard, steering this ship in a new direction with the obstacles that we have. We have not enough money from our federal government to correct the past policies that were created to try to eradicate or assimilate Indigenous people, that caused more damage,” Semmler said. “There is much more that needs to be done to correct the damage history has caused to the Indigenous people of this territory.” Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has been on the 19th Legislative Assembly’s to-do list since this set of MLAs was elected in 2019. That process has moved slowly. In November, a Special Committee on Reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs said it was working to begin the process of implementing the declaration. On Wednesday, Premier Caroline Cochrane reinforced the need to adopt the declaration and to “ingrain these principles into our legislation, policies, and institutions.” “We are committed to learning from the mistakes of the past and moving on from colonial and outdated ways of thinking," Cochrane said. "We must embrace the principles of the United Nations declaration and the principles of anti-racism in the way that we approach all of our mandate commitments." Great Slave MLA Katrina Nokleby questioned how the GNWT is combating racism in hiring practices. She asked whether hiring targets will be implemented for senior levels of management. Finance minister Caroline Wawzonek, who carries responsibility for human resources, said an Indigenous recruitment and retainment framework would in the coming year introduce departmental hiring targets that extend beyond entry-level positions. She said the territory will launch an anti-racism campaign from March 16 to April 21 that “will encourage all GNWT employees to challenge their beliefs and attitudes around racism.” “Systemic racism hides in plain sight," Wawzonek said. “We recognize that, in order to eliminate systemic racism in the N.W.T., we must build a culture of anti-racism within the public service.” The implementation of mandatory cultural awareness training for employees has yet to be completed. The N.W.T.'s affirmative action policy is under review. Health minister Julie Green vowed to address racism in all its forms in the N.W.T.’s health department and health authorities. “Research shows that Indigenous peoples experience a disproportionate amount of negative health and social outcomes in comparison to non-Indigenous people,” Green said. “It is our responsibility as a government to address this inequity directly by making sure that all aspects of the Health and Social Services system are culturally respectful and safe for Indigenous peoples. "This also includes respecting Indigenous understandings of health and wellness and finding ways to accommodate traditional healing in our system.” Green said a cultural safety action plan released in 2019 had so far resulted in 13 cultural safety training sessions involving 225 healthcare or social services workers. The sessions teach people about Indigenous medicine, residential schools and intergenerational impacts, and racism at interpersonal and systemic levels. Green said an N.W.T. cultural safety framework being developed will be reviewed by health and social services staff as well as an Indigenous advisory board. Most of that work, the minister said, will come from a unit of almost entirely Indigenous staff from across the territory. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
CORNWALL – As the provincial government moves to the second phase of its vaccination plan, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit will open six mass vaccination centres to administer doses. Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health for the EOHU said that centres will open in Winchester, Cornwall, Alexandria, Casselman, Rockland, and Hawkesbury. These will not be the only mass-immunization sites for the region, but they are the ones to start. He identified the Cornwall Civic Centre as the Cornwall location, the other centres will be in arenas as well due to physical spacing requirements. He did not give a timeline on when those centres would open. Roumeliotis said there will also be mobile clinics for vaccination for those who cannot attend a clinic. "Next month will be increased acceleration of vaccine output," he said. "This does not take into account AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines." The EOHU is already scheduling vaccination appointments for people 80 years old or older (born 1941 or earlier) and is sending out automated robocalls to inform eligible people of instructions on how to book an appointment. Walk-ins are not accepted. The provincial Phase Two vaccination plan will vaccinate: older adults between 60 and 79 years of age; individuals with specific health conditions and some primary caregivers; people who work or live in congregant living centres; people who live in so-called "hot spots" where there are high rates of death, hospitalization, or transmission; and certain workers who are unable to work from home. Ontario is launching an online booking tool around March 15th for scheduling vaccinations. While vaccination plans continue to ramp up, so have COVID-19 infection numbers in the region. Active infection numbers have increased from 108 on February 26th to 164 as of March 5th. Overall there have been 2,870 people who have contracted the Novel Coronavirus since the pandemic was declared one year ago. In South Dundas, there is one active case, North Dundas has two active cases, and South Stormont has 27 active cases. The City of Cornwall (53) accounts for nearly one-third of all active cases of COVID-19 in the region. So far only four people have been identified as having COVID-19 variants, three linked to an outbreak last week at the St. Albert Cheese Cooperative in St. Albert, the fourth case was in Akwesasne. Of the six long-term care home facilities currently in a declared outbreak, only the Woodland Villa in Long Sault involves residents who have tested positive. The other five facilities in declared outbreak have only employees who have tested positive. All residents of LTC homes who wanted a vaccine have now received both doses, and all residents of retirement homes have receive at least one dose. Isolated COVID-19 cases have been detected in 11 schools. Each of the 11 have one staff member or one student who tested positive. These include Morrisburg Public School in Morrisburg, Rothwell-Osnabruck School in Ingleside, and North Stormont Public School in Berwick. No outbreaks have been declared in those schools. The region remains in the Orange-Restrict zone with a rolling seven-day average of infections per 100,000 people of 32.1, and the reproductive rate is 1.15. Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader
Saskatoon family doctor Marlys Misfeldt says wait-lists for psychiatric help have been an issue for a long time but recently, several of her referrals have been rejected outright. Dr. Misfeldt told CBC's Saskatoon Morning that she has been working with a patient who has depression and is not improving. "He's not doing well, so I requested a referral from the pooled psychiatry referral system and about three or four weeks later, I got a letter back saying, 'Specialist has decided this referral is not needed and has been cancelled,'" she said. "No discussion with my patient, no discussion with me, just a letter back saying … it is cancelled." She said she has received two or three other letters like this in the past year, where prior to that, she would receive a letter saying her patients were on a wait-list. Misfeldt was trying to access the pooled referral program, which is operated and directed by psychiatrists. The voluntary program includes 22 psychiatrists and the Saskatchewan Health Authority provides one staff member for the program, a triage nurse. Misfeldt said a psychiatrist she spoke to who deals with the pool system told her there are 300 people on that waiting list. Once you get on the waiting list, Misfeldt said it can take nine months to a year to see a psychiatrist. There are eight other psychiatrists who are not part of the program and who can, in theory, accept referrals, but Misfeldt said when she has tried reaching out to them, they've said they're not taking new patients. Global shortage of psychiatrists Psychiatrist Sara Dungavell, who works in Saskatoon and northern Saskatchewan communities, said what happened to Dr. Misfeldt is "not appropriate." "What Dr. Misfeldt got as a response is, frankly, wrong," Dr. Dungavell said. "If you aren't accepting patients or if the wait-list is going to be too long for you to see this person with an adequate amount of urgency, then at least you told the family doctor why you said no. You can't leave this blank." While the number of psychiatrists per capita in Saskatchewan compared to other provinces is low, Dungavell said there's actually a global shortage of psychiatrists. "We can't see people quickly because brains don't heal quickly, so it requires a lot of psychiatrists to provide adequate levels of care for folks, and we're not accepting people just staying in misery and untreated mental illness anymore." Dungavell said efforts have been made to provide more access to psychiatry in Saskatchewan, particularly for those who go to the emergency room. Even that, however, adds to the backlog, because there's no one to take those patients on once they leave the ER. "It's leaving family doctors in the situation of Dr. Misfeldt, where they are doing their absolute best to try and treat their patients but don't have access to the specialists who should be supporting them," she said. Saskatchewan needs to be a place psychiatrists want to work, which means creating a good continuum of care for patients, Dungavell said. "What most of us physicians want is to be able to provide good, quality, efficient care where we're doing what we do best," she said. "We count on community mental health nurses, social workers, on licensed psychiatric nurses and occupational therapists, rec therapists, to help our patients with those other very important areas of life that contribute to their mental health." Dr. Sara Dungavell splits her time between her Saskatoon clinic, where she provides support for members of the LGBT community, and northern Saskatchewan communities, including La Ronge, La Loche and Stony Rapids. (CBC) The north is particularly lacking the kinds of support people need to care for their mental health, Dungavell said. "The more the government actually pays for and supports this full team of people to work with each psychiatrist, the more efficient and effective we can be, the more psychiatrists will want to work here and the more we can stretch the limited resources that is psychiatry." Cancelled referrals uncommon: government, SHA The Saskatchewan Health Authority, the Psychiatry Referral Pool and the Ministry of Health sent a joint statement in response to questions about psychiatric referrals. "The capacity of pooled referral psychiatrists is significantly below the rate of incoming referrals," the statement said, but it's uncommon for psychiatrists to cancel referrals. While the statement said the departments can't comment on specific cases, they will "continue to look into the individual reasons why [cancellations] may occur in certain instances." Alternatives for family physicians include contacting the psychiatrist on call, contacting LINK — a provincial program that connects family physicians with psychiatrists — or contacting a psychiatrist who is not part of the referral pool. The statement said that in situations where a patient has been triaged and recommended for treatment other than psychiatry, "a letter always accompanies the return with information about the review and includes clear guidance on mental health access points as well as the phone number for the intake triage." 'Heartache and grief for the people of our province' Dr. Misfeldt said if this problem doesn't get solved, it will cause "more suicides, more marital breakup, more relationship deterioration, more heartache and grief for the people of our province." She's continuing to work with her patient who was denied access to the pooled referral program but she said it makes her feel "anxious and depressed" to hear about the long waits for psychiatric help. "These people are valuable people to our province and they are not functioning to their best ability and not participating in life." If you're experiencing suicidal thoughts or having a mental health crisis, help is available. For an emergency or crisis situation, call 911. You can also contact the Saskatchewan suicide prevention line toll-free, 24/7 by calling 1-833-456-4566, texting 45645, or chatting online. You can contact the Regina mobile crisis services suicide line at 306-525-5333 or Saskatoon mobile crisis line at 306-933-6200.
LONDON — The timing couldn’t be worse for Harry and Meghan. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will finally get the chance to tell the story behind their departure from royal duties directly to the public on Sunday, when their two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey is broadcast. But back home in Britain, events have conspired to overshadow the tale of a prince and his American bride. On top of the pandemic and record economic slump, Prince Philip, Harry’s 99-year-old grandfather is now recovering from a heart procedure. CBS announced the program Feb 15. The next day, Philip was admitted to hospital. “Harry and Meghan are hugely popular,’’ Pauline Maclaran, a professor of marketing and author of “Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture,” told The Associated Press. “But I think that some people who might otherwise have supported them will find this just a little bit distasteful, that they’re drawing all this attention to themselves … just at this time when Prince Philip appears to be quite seriously ill.” Though it is the choice of CBS when to air its pre-recorded interview, critics are already lining up to deride it as a brand-building exercise by the pair, who left Britain saying they wanted to live a normal life but have been accused of continuing to use their royal status to open doors and make money. The sit-down with America’s queen of celebrity interviews is a chance for the couple to explain what led them to quit royal life, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. A book about their departure, “Finding Freedom,” also alleges that senior royals had little respect for Meghan, a biracial former actor, and that courtiers treated her badly. Pre-released clips have already shown Harry talking about his fears that history would repeat itself after his mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash while pursued by paparazzi. In another clip from the interview, Winfrey asks Meghan how she feels about the palace “hearing you speak your truth today?” “I don’t know how they could expect that, after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there was an active role that the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” the duchess replies. “The firm” is a nickname for the royal family, sometimes used with affection and sometimes with a note of criticism. In another pre-released clip, Meghan told Winfrey how “liberating” it was to have a conversation with the television host without the input of royal minders. Ahead of the broadcast, relations with the palace are increasingly strained. First there was Queen Elizabeth II’s decision to strip Harry and Meghan of the handful of royal patronages they had retained in the one-year trial period following their departure last year. The couple responded with a terse statement promising to live a life of service — a move many in the U.K. saw as disrespectful to the queen, as she usually has the final word. Then on Wednesday, the palace said it was launching a human resources investigation after a newspaper reported that a former aide had accused Meghan of bullying staff in 2018. One of the authors of “Finding Freedom,’’ Omid Scobie, compared the recent commentary about Harry and Meghan in the British media to the Salem Witch Trials, while noting Americans have had more sympathy them. His tweet linked to a discussion on the U.S. television program “The View,’’ including comments from Meghan McCain, a conservative columnist and daughter of the late U.S. Sen. John McCain. “I think we can’t ignore the elephant of the room that there’s probably a racial angle to this,’’ McCain said. “There’s a lot of racism directed at this woman, in a lot of different ways she threatens a lot of people in the patriarchy. ... It just looks like they are bullying her in the press.’’ It was all supposed to be so different. At the time Harry started dating Meghan, the British public seemed smitten with the beautiful young woman who starred for seven seasons on the U.S. television drama “Suits.” When they married in 2018, newspapers were filled with optimistic stories about how the energetic couple would help make the monarchy relevant for a new, multicultural Britain. But less than two years later they decamped to North America. After a brief stay in Canada, the couple settled in Meghan’s home state of California, buying a house in the exclusive Santa Barbara County enclave of Montecito that reportedly cost more than $14 million. Among their neighbours: Oprah Winfrey. Then came deals with Netflix and Spotifiy, reportedly worth millions. The commercial deals and headline-grabbing amounts are uncomfortable for the royal family, which has devoted itself to public service as a justification for its wealth and privilege. The queen, among the richest people in Britain, has spent her life supporting charities, cutting ribbons at hospitals and travelling the world to represent her country. “The main thing that the royal family is so good at is serving the nation, serving the nation and the Commonwealth, basically serving us rather than serving themselves,’’ royal historian Hugo Vickers told ITV News. “And I’m sorry, if you’re sitting in an $11 million mansion in California and making fantastic deals, that is trading in on your royal heritage. And it’s all wrong, frankly.” Others are concerned that the interview will include damaging revelations about the royal family. The royals rarely grant interviews, and when they do the questions are usually narrowly focused on specific issues. For instance, Harry and his brother, William, have tried to remove the stigma from mental health problems by talking about their own struggles after the death of their mother. More free-ranging interviews have often gone badly. Interviews with Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Harry and William’s parents, around the time of their divorce led to embarrassing revelations about infidelity. More damaging for the palace was the interview Prince Andrew, Harry’s uncle, did with the BBC in 2019. Andrew tried to address rumours about his links with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, but he was forced to give up royal duties after failing to show empathy for Epstein’s victims. “I think it’s a bigger danger than the Prince Andrew car-crash interview,’’ Maclaran said of the Oprah interview, “because I think that Meghan is going to get a lot of sympathy, particularly from American audiences, about her position being untenable.” Regardless of what’s actually said, the interview is a threat to the stature of the monarchy because it further blurs the line between celebrity and royalty — tarnishing the royal mystique, Maclaran said. Late night chat show host James Corden underscored the threat to the royal brand during a tongue-in-cheek segment with Harry broadcast last week in which Corden suggested the prince and his wife might move into the mansion that provided the backdrop for the 1990s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” “If it was good enough for the Fresh Prince, it’s good enough for a real prince,” Corden said. The line put Harry, whose father and brother will be king one day, on the same footing as a TV character who fled west Philadelphia for a posh life in Southern California. Royal watchers wonder what could possibly be next. “It’s just such a mess,” said Penny Junor, who has written several books about the royals, including a biography of Harry. “I don’t think there are going to be any winners in it.” Danica Kirka, The Associated Press
No chemical contaminants were found in Kanesatake’s drinking water, according to a recently released report from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). The Mohawk Council of Kanesatake disclosed the final study on February 17 on their Facebook page. The report stated that between September and October 2020, 17 sites in and out of the community were selected to have their water tested. “Routine chemical analyses were performed, to screen for the presence of different chemicals in the groundwater,” said Eugene Nicholas, director of Kanesatake’s environmental department in a statement. According to Leslie Michelson, the ISC spokesperson, the water assessment was conducted as a way to determine the presence of selenium, ammonia nitrogen, a variety of phenol compounds and lead that may have a negative impact on the surrounding environment. “In the spring of 2020, the Quebec Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) carried out surface water testing along the Gratton Creek towards Lac Deux-Montagnes,” said Michelson, explaining that those contaminants were found in the surface water. “The ISC testing was conducted in order to determine if there were any possible impacts on the groundwater.” Back in August 2020, an unknown leak was found in Gratton’s creek, a small body of water that flows from the G&R recycling site into the lake. The nature of the spill remains confidential but the Quebec government retracted G&R’s license a few months later in October, due to a breach of environmental regulations. “The question is to see if what they find in the water is related to G&R or not,” said the grand chief of Kanesatake Serge Otsi Simon. The ISC plan to have water testing was developed in collaboration with Kanesatake Health Centre (KHC), which selected a series of private wells, according to the documents. Community members along Etienne Road, Bonspille Road, the northern end of Mountain Road and the western end of Ste. Philomene granted permission to have their water wells sampled. According to KCH spokesperson Robert Bonspiel, the 17 houses were randomly selected within proximity to the creek. However, ISC wouldn’t confirm whether or not those sites followed the water flow from the recycling site. When asked if it was possible that other harmful contaminants that were not tested could be found in tap water, ISC’s response was unclear and didn’t mention the possible report’s oversight. “Based on the results, it is determined that at the time of analysis, there is no direct influence from the Gratton Creek on the groundwater of the sites analyzed,” said Michelson. The analysis comes at a time where the discussion surrounding drinkable water in Onkwehón:we communities has been at the forefront of Canadian media for the past few weeks. A joint collaboration between six media outlets coordinated by the Institute for Investigative Journalism revealed information regarding the water problem in communities across the country - despite the 2015 electoral promise by the Liberals to eliminate all long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations by March 1, 2021. The Liberal’s promise followed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the United Nations’s Human Right to Water recommendations demanding access to clean water in Onkwehón:we communities as a way to restore relationships impaired by years of colonial policies. While the ISC report revealed no toxic elements in Kanesatake, many sources told The Eastern Door that they do not trust their wells and prefer to opt for bottled water. “I haven’t drunk tap water in over 30 years,” said the grand chief. firstname.lastname@example.org Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
Not only did last weekend’s storm cover the town in snow, but it also brought along a fresh feeling of hopefulness. Kanesatake started to administer the COVID-19 vaccines to its community members as the world approached the one-year mark of the pandemic. As of Tuesday, March 2, 150 Kanehsata’kehró:non were successfully vaccinated. On February 26, Kanehsata’kehró:non Selena Etienne became the first elder to receive the Pfizer vaccine at the Tsi Teiontatshnié:tha, Kanesatake Health Centre (KHC). Etienne told her daughter Brenda that while she was apprehensive to take it at first, after she did a lot of reading on the subject and spoke to her daughters about it, and she was convinced. She said she now encourages everyone to get it. A few hours after Etienne was vaccinated, the grand chief of Kanesatake, Serge Otsi Simon, proudly rolled up his sleeves to get his first dose. “It was kind of last-minute, since I have a heart condition, I decided I should get the vaccine,” said Simon. “It was fine, no pain, no side effects, except a sore arm.” According to KHC spokesperson Robert Bonspiel, Kanesatake only had 48 hours to set everything up, after receiving news from Quebec Public Health authorities that the vaccines were on their way. Every single Riverside Elder’s Home resident, along with each health care worker and staff, were prioritized following the Quebec government’s priority list. For the grand chief, this was the first step toward some kind of normalcy. “It was the first little step we took from breaking that isolation we’ve been doing for a year,” he said. The community had been impatiently waiting since Quebec’s vaccination campaign began last December. While Kanesatake’s sister community Kahnawake received vaccines as early as December 23, the Laurentides region was hit harder by delivery delays. Simon is encouraged by the community’s response. “There are a lot more people than the 150 we vaccinated that wanted it and that’s a good sign, despite all the misinformation out there,” said the grand chief. “It’s been difficult but when people realize what this is and the benefits of it, I think even those who are against or on the defence will come around.” Bonspiel said that the next rollout would be happening in the upcoming weeks, although the KHC is expecting the Moderna vaccine for this second round. While the Pfizer vaccine needs to be administered two separate times for it to be fully effective, Kanesatake is currently choosing to focus on mass vaccination. The goal, explained Bonspiel, is to get all Kanehsata’kehró:non vaccinated once before scheduling a second dose. “In the next few weeks, we intend to vaccinate as many people as possible, starting from people who are older and vulnerable and then going to less at-risk community members,” said Bonspiel. As for lifting the measures, Bonspiel and the grand chief both said that it was too early. This being said, the conversation surrounding it is slowly making its way to the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake. “We are not shutting down our effort just yet,” said Simon. “Only once the pandemic is declared over.” email@example.com Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door