Details with meteorologist Tyler Hamilton.
Details with meteorologist Tyler Hamilton.
Hello, royal watchers. This is a special edition of The Royal Fascinator, your dose of royal news and analysis. Reading this online? Sign up here to get this delivered to your inbox. The revelations just kept coming Sunday night as Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, gave Oprah Winfrey — and a worldwide television audience — their view on why they had to leave the upper echelons of the Royal Family. The reasons were many, but amid all they had to say, there was one statement that stood out and seems particularly serious for the House of Windsor: Meghan's declaration that a senior member of the Royal Family had worries about the colour of the skin of their first child before he was born. In an interview Monday on CBS This Morning, Winfrey said Harry told her neither Queen Elizabeth nor Prince Philip were part of conversations about Archie's skin colour. "I think it's very damaging — the idea that a senior member of the Royal Family had expressed concern about what Archie might look like," Carolyn Harris, a Toronto-based royal author and historian, said in an interview late Sunday night. Meghan told Winfrey the concern had been relayed to her by Harry, and when questioned further on it, Harry refused to offer more specifics, saying it's a "conversation I'm never going to share." And that, Harris suggests, speaks to the seriousness of the matter. "It's very clear that Harry didn't want to go into details feeling that it would be too damaging for the monarchy." WATCH | Royal Family expressed concerns about son's skin colour, Meghan tells Oprah: It will take time to digest the impact of all that Harry and Meghan had to say to Winfrey. But some early comments in the British media this morning suggest Harry and Meghan's account will have a profound impact. "They have revealed the terrible strains inside the palace. They have drawn a picture of unfeeling individuals lost in an uncaring institution. They have spoken of racism within the Royal Family. This was a devastating interview," the BBC's royal correspondent, Jonny Dymond, wrote in an online analysis. "But Harry describing his brother and father as 'trapped,' and Meghan revealing that she repeatedly sought help within the palace only to be rebuffed is a body blow to the institution." 'A damning allegation' The Guardian reported that Harry and Meghan telling Winfrey of conversations in the Royal Family about Archie's skin colour is "a damning allegation that will send shockwaves through the institution and send relations with the palace to a new low." Many themes and issues developed over the two-hour broadcast, which sprinkled lighter moments — they're expecting a girl, they have rescue chickens and Archie, age almost two, has taken to telling people to "drive safe" — with much more serious concerns, including the lack of support they say they received, particularly as Meghan had suicidal thoughts. WATCH | Meghan had suicidal thoughts during royal life: "A theme that emerges again and again, and it's something that Harry explicitly states in the interview, is the Royal Family being concerned with the opinion of the tabloid press," said Harris. "This may very well have influenced decisions not to speak out about the way Meghan was being treated and that may have influenced some other decisions as well." One of those might be the question of security, something that was of considerable concern to the couple when they learned royal support for it would be withdrawn. "The Royal Family has frequently in the past received bad press regarding minor members ... receiving security,"said Harris. 'Negative headlines' "There were a lot of negative headlines regarding Beatrice and Eugenie continuing to receive security and their father's [Prince Andrew's] insistence they receive security despite being comparatively minor members of the Royal Family who do not undertake public engagements representing the Queen." There was also a sense out of Sunday's interview that issues that troubled the Royal Family in the past may still be a worry now. "Even in the 21st century after all of the problems that the Royal Family encountered in the 1990s with the breakdowns in the marriages of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew … there still doesn't seem to be a consistent means of mentoring new members of the Royal Family," said Harris. Meghan said she had to Google the lyrics for God Save the Queen, and was filled in at the last minute about having to curtsy to Elizabeth just before meeting her for the first time. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, pose for a picture at a Buckingham Palace reception following the final Queen's Young Leaders Awards ceremony in London on June 26, 2018. Both Meghan and Harry spoke warmly of the Queen during the interview Sunday night.(John Stillwell/Reuters) Throughout the interview, Harry and Meghan repeatedly expressed respect and admiration for the Queen, if not for how the Royal Family as an institution operates. But there is considerable murkiness around just who may be responsible for some of the more serious issues they raised. "We know they respect the Queen and have a good personal relationship with the Queen. We know that Meghan had a conflict with Kate but says Kate apologized and Meghan forgave her and she doesn't think Kate's a bad person," said Harris. Lacking 'specific details' "But when it comes to who made racist comments about Archie's appearance or who was dismissive directly of Meghan's mental health, [on] that we don't have specific details." High-profile royal interviews such as this — particularly one by Harry's mother Diana, in 1995 — have a track record of not turning out as the royal interviewees may have intended, and it remains to be seen the lasting impact of this one. Harris sees parallels with Diana's interview, as she "spoke frankly" about a lack of support from the family, and felt that she had been let down by Prince Charles. Meghan spoke with Winfrey before they were joined by Harry.(Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Reuters) Harry talked of hoping to repair his relationship with his father — "I will always love him but there's a lot of hurt that happened" — but said he felt really let down, and noted a time when his father wasn't taking his calls. Harris expects the interview will prompt further critical scrutiny of Charles, and Harry's older brother Prince William. The relationship with William has already been under intense scrutiny, and is clearly still a delicate matter for Harry, who hesitated noticeably before responding as Winfrey pressed him on it. "Time heals all things, hopefully," Harry said. How Buckingham Palace responds to all this remains to be seen. Generally, the public approach in matters such as this is silence, and a determination to be seen as carrying on with regular duties. Whether a member of the family might make a more informal comment — say in response to a question from someone at a public event — also remains to be seen. WATCH | Meghan says Royal Family failed to protect her and Prince Harry: But from what did emerge Sunday evening, there is a sense that whatever efforts the House of Windsor has made to put a more modern face on the monarchy, they appear not to have yielded the fruit that might have been hoped. "There's been some elements of modernization, but it's very clear that the institution has difficulty adapting to the needs of individuals who marry into the Royal Family," said Harris. "It's clear that Meghan came away from her experiences feeling that she was not supported or mentored in her new role." Sign up here to have The Royal Fascinator newsletter land in your inbox every other Friday. I'm always happy to hear from you. Send your ideas, comments, feedback and notes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Problems with the newsletter? 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The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Monday March 8, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 57,567 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,387,189 doses given. Nationwide, 565,719 people or 1.5 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 6,298.772 per 100,000. There were 316,360 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,938,570 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 81.24 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 4,472 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 24,757 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 47.279 per 1,000. In the province, 1.61 per cent (8,427) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 5,850 new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 41,470 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 59.7 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 1,105 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 13,281 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 83.724 per 1,000. In the province, 3.32 per cent (5,273) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 1,170 new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 15,885 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 10 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 83.61 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 6,657 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 38,676 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 39.631 per 1,000. In the province, 1.48 per cent (14,395) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 11,700 new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 73,680 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 52.49 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 7,424 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 33,741 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 43.255 per 1,000. In the province, 1.56 per cent (12,142) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 9,360 new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 56,135 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 60.11 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 16,124 new vaccinations administered for a total of 548,136 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 64.06 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 638,445 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 85.85 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 30,192 new vaccinations administered for a total of 890,604 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 60.63 per 1,000. In the province, 1.85 per cent (271,807) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 183,460 new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 1,086,745 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 81.95 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 2,106 new vaccinations administered for a total of 89,728 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 65.162 per 1,000. In the province, 2.20 per cent (30,334) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 124,840 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 71.87 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 1,428 new vaccinations administered for a total of 91,884 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 77.924 per 1,000. In the province, 2.38 per cent (28,011) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 18,540 new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 93,145 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 98.65 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 7,717 new vaccinations administered for a total of 290,391 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 65.967 per 1,000. In the province, 2.07 per cent (90,937) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 51,480 new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 326,445 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 88.96 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 311,208 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 60.646 per 1,000. In the province, 1.69 per cent (86,865) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 385,080 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.82 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 21,097 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 505.547 per 1,000. In the territory, 18.75 per cent (7,826) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 16,100 new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 35,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 84 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 60.28 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 19,775 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 438.285 per 1,000. In the territory, 10.10 per cent (4,558) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 16,200 new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 35,300 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 78 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 56.02 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 13,911 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 359.216 per 1,000. In the territory, 13.28 per cent (5,144) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 2,500 new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 26,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 68 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 52.69 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 March 8, 2021. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Newly released documents show Statistics Canada considered delaying this year's census until 2022 over pandemic-related health concerns that could erode the quality of data relied on by policymakers across the country. An agency document noted the plan for the 2021 census was developed in a "normal operating context" where tens of thousands of staff and temporary hires would interact with each other and Canadians. In a pandemic, the document noted, that plan had "a high probability of failure." The behind-the-scenes look at how Statistics Canada rethought this year's census operation is contained in 50 pages of internal reports and presentations obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. The agency ultimately decided to forge ahead with the census for this year using a plan that relies more heavily on Canadians filling out census forms online than on face-to-face interactions. Jan Kestle, president and CEO of Environics Analytics, said the census needed to go ahead as planned this year to get a baseline reading on how families, communities and businesses are faring to guide decision-making for a post-pandemic recovery. "It's not like we're in a period where there's something weird for a month. We have lived for a year (with the pandemic) and we're going to live with the implications of this for a long time," she said. "Having a census that's as good as it can be, is extremely important to the economic recovery, and the health of Canadians." Census results can help reshape electoral ridings and determine federal funding to provinces for health care, and to cities for infrastructure. Local officials use the census to decide where to plan new transit services, roads, schools and hospitals. A census takes seven years between the start of planning to the release of data. "This is a large piece of machinery that does not turn on a dime," said Michael Haan, an associate professor of sociology from Western University, and director of the school's Statistcs Canada Research Data Centre. "If they were going to shift courses by perhaps extending the census for a year, or whatever they may have chosen to do, they needed to have those deliberations well in advance of the census moment." Waiting until 2022, after the widespread distribution of vaccines, could lead to a more "normal" operation , officials wrote in one document, adding that results would better reflect typical trends rather than "an atypical year of widespread societal disruption." But it would also miss some impacts of COVID-19, including connecting detailed income data from the Canada Revenue Agency to different neighbourhoods to see the full effects of pandemic aid programs. "We have a bit of a sense of this already, but nothing as accurate and as complete as the census for giving a true picture of how much hardship the (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) may have saved us," Haan said. In July, officials said no to adding any pandemic-specific questions to the census form because it was "not the right vehicle" for collecting the information. As well, adding a question on short notice could be problematic since every question has to be thoroughly tested. "When you introduce new subject matter into a questionnaire, you run the risk of changing the way people respond to other questions," Haan said. It also takes the agency months before it can release the data for public consumption, meaning the information could be far out of date by 2022 given the fluidity of the pandemic. Statistics Canada's plan for this year's census relies more on online responses and telephone follow-ups than going door-to-door, opening up the internet option to everyone in the country for the first time. Geoff Bowlby, director general at Statistics Canada responsible for the census, said the agency expects about eight in every 10 people to respond to the census online. Enumerators going door-to-door will be masked and get responses from outside the home rather than inside as in previous census cycles, Bowlby said. Hundreds of workers hired as administrators for enumerators are going to work from home rather than temporary office space, he added. Some work can't be done remotely, such as in the scanning centres that turn paper returns into digital data. Bowlby said the agency has adjusted the number of workers in the facility, split them into cohorts, and put in a health and safety plan that includes the provision of N95 masks. "At the end of the day, we do expect to have high response to the census and that data will be of high quality, the same quality that Canadians expect from the census, and it will be a safe operation," he said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021. Jordan Press, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Canada is set to receive 910,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses this week as pharmaceutical companies ramp up deliveries to make good on their contractual obligations by the end of the month. The Public Health Agency of Canada says the country will receive nearly 445,000 shots from Pfizer-BioNTech for the second week running as the companies settle into a rhythm following a lengthy lull in January and much of February. The remaining 465,000 shots are expected from Moderna, as the pharmaceutical firm steps up its delivery schedule from once every three weeks to once every two. The influx of new shots comes as the federal government looks for vaccine-makers to finalize delivery of a total of eight million doses by March 31. That includes 5.5 million from Pfizer-BioNTech — up from the four million originally expected — and two million from Moderna. Canada received 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine last week. The federal government is not expecting any new deliveries from AstraZeneca-Oxford, nor does it anticipate receiving shipments of the newly approved vaccine from Johnson & Johnson until next month. At that point, however, both manufacturers are on tap to deliver millions of shots per month. That includes more than a million doses per week from Pfizer-BioNTech starting in the last week of March and into the following month. "In April, we are anticipating a steep increase in vaccine availability," Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military officer overseeing Canada’s inoculation distribution effort, said last week. “This includes 23 million doses of both Pfizer and Moderna between April and June, and at least 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca Serum Institute of India vaccine arriving by mid-May.” Johnson & Johnson, whose single-dose vaccine received Health Canada approval on Friday, is the fourth inoculation to receive the green light from the regulator. It uses a modified common-cold virus to carry a piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 to convince the body to mount an immune response to prevent future infections. Clinical trials found it to be 66 per cent effective against moderate COVID-19-related illness, 85 per cent effective against severe illness, and 100 per cent effective against death. "We can be really increasingly optimistic in our outlook and that is really great," Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said on Friday. Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the government has now confirmed total deliveries of 36.5 million vaccine doses by Canada Day which would be more than enough to get a single dose to each adult Canadian by then. That doesn't include any of the 10 million doses purchased from Johnson & Johnson, and includes none of the 20 million doses coming directly from AstraZeneca. Every vaccine except Johnson & Johnson's is given in two doses, but provinces are moving to implement new guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization stating those shots should be spaced out up to four months apart rather than three or four weeks. Provinces are making the move to get more people vaccinated with a first dose, after real-world evidence showed strong data that one dose is highly effective on its own. Nearly 1.7 million Canadians have now received at least one dose, and the pace of vaccinations has accelerated in the last two weeks. In the past seven days alone, more than 457,000 people were vaccinated, 2 1/2 times as many as in a similar period two weeks before. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
When Minister of Fisheries Bernadette Jordan announced the federal government intends to authorize a moderate livelihood fishery within the existing commercial season, conserving lobster stocks was a key part of her message. "Lobster stocks are healthy on the East Coast and have remained that way in part because my department works to monitor biomass and determine appropriate fishing limits and practices year after year," the minister said in a statement. Both Mi'kmaw fishers and people who work in the commercial fishing industry say conservation is a key concern. Some in the commercial fishing industry have pointed to declining lobster catches as evidence of potential harm to the fishery. The Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association has said it has concerns about the amount of lobster being landed in St. Marys Bay, which it says has declined 68 per cent since 2016. Fisheries and Oceans Canada released data showing a decline from the record highs in 2015-16. However, an examination of the 18 years of data shows a nuanced picture. Rising and falling catches Over the entire LFA 34, lobster landings rose significantly overall between 2002 and 2015. After 2015, landings in the lobster fishing area declined. Landings in 2020 were still greater than in 2002, and close to the 18-year average for landing weights. The amount of lobster landed in St. Marys Bay peaked in 2012-13, fluctuated until 2016-17, and then declined. Landings in 2020 were about half of the 18-year average. A row of lobster traps is shown on a wharf in Miminegash, P.E.I. (Travis Kingdon/CBC) However in St. Marys Bay, the number of boats fishing and the number of days fished also declined significantly between 2018-20. The number of days fished in 2020 was also about half of the 18-year average. In a note accompanying DFO's data release in December 2020, its science section acknowledged landings have decreased in St. Marys Bay, "but not by a rate that falls outside the bounds observed across the LFA." Additional data released CBC requested data on lobster landings for every port in LFA 34 and 33 from Fisheries and Oceans Canada for the years 2002 to 2020, under access to information laws. DFO agreed to release some of the data but would not release it all due to privacy concerns. This meant not every port in LFA 34 and LFA 33 was represented in the numbers released to CBC, and some of the ports had incomplete information. Because the port-by-port data released to CBC was incomplete, the totals will not match officially reported DFO statistics, and shouldn't be interpreted as such. However, it is clear that lobster landings in LFA 33 were similar to LFA 34 in that they increased between 2002 and 2015 and declined following 2015. Available data from ports on St. Marys Bay, where Sipekne'katik First Nation began its moderate livelihood fishery last year, showed the same general trend as the LFAs. So did some other ports around LFA 34 and 33. Landings don't tell whole picture The amount of lobster caught or "landed" is one of three measurements that DFO uses to assess the health of lobster stocks. The other two are the catch per unit of effort, and independent surveys conducted each year that involve DFO representatives catching and recording lobster. "Using landings as the sole indicator of biomass for lobster stocks has risks," DFO wrote in its 2018 stock status assessment of lobster in LFA 34, suggesting that relying on landings alone could provide an inaccurate picture of the health of the stock. MORE TOP STORIES
Deliveroo announced plans to launch what could be the biggest London listing in more than seven years on Monday, after the British food delivery firm's business surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, although it still posted a loss for 2020. The initial public offering (IPO) is expected to value Deliveroo at more than $7 billion, based on a $180 million private funding round completed in January with backers including minority shareholder Amazon, the world's most valuable company. That would make it the biggest London IPO by market cap since Royal Mail in 2013.
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Monday March 8, 2021. There are 886,574 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 886,574 confirmed cases (30,268 active, 834,067 resolved, 22,239 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 2,489 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 79.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 18,880 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,697. There were 26 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 245 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 35. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 58.52 per 100,000 people. There have been 25,159,921 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,006 confirmed cases (91 active, 909 resolved, six deaths). There was one new case Sunday. The rate of active cases is 17.43 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been 19 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 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 201,814 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 141 confirmed cases (26 active, 115 resolved, zero deaths). There were two new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 16.29 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of nine new cases. 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 112,416 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,659 confirmed cases (29 active, 1,565 resolved, 65 deaths). There were two new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 2.96 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 18 new cases. 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 6.64 per 100,000 people. There have been 366,679 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,455 confirmed cases (36 active, 1,391 resolved, 28 deaths). There were two new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 4.61 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 25 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is four. There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. 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 0.02 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 3.58 per 100,000 people. There have been 242,695 tests completed. _ Quebec: 292,631 confirmed cases (7,100 active, 275,059 resolved, 10,472 deaths). There were 707 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 82.8 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 4,891 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 699. There were seven new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 79 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 11. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 122.13 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,452,036 tests completed. _ Ontario: 308,296 confirmed cases (10,389 active, 290,840 resolved, 7,067 deaths). There were 1,299 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 70.51 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 7,480 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,069. There were 15 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 87 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 12. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.96 per 100,000 people. There have been 11,205,314 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 32,225 confirmed cases (1,130 active, 30,188 resolved, 907 deaths). There were 56 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 81.93 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 366 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 52. There were two new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 12 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 65.76 per 100,000 people. There have been 541,269 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 29,709 confirmed cases (1,517 active, 27,794 resolved, 398 deaths). There were 116 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 128.7 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,062 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 152. There were two new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 13 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.16 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 33.77 per 100,000 people. There have been 590,938 tests completed. _ Alberta: 135,837 confirmed cases (4,949 active, 128,974 resolved, 1,914 deaths). There were 300 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 111.92 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,333 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 333. There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. 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 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 43.28 per 100,000 people. There have been 3,445,307 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 83,107 confirmed cases (4,975 active, 76,752 resolved, 1,380 deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 96.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,653 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 379. There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 25 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.07 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 26.81 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,969,444 tests completed. _ Yukon: 72 confirmed cases (zero active, 71 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. 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 8,232 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 42 confirmed cases (one active, 41 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 2.21 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 14,849 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 381 confirmed cases (25 active, 355 resolved, one deaths). There were four new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 63.53 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 24 new cases. 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 8,852 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published March 8, 2021. The Canadian Press
Ontario pharmacists start a COVID-19 vaccine program this week at 330 locations to provide the AstraZeneca vaccine to customers aged 60 to 64 as lockdown restrictions ease in two major regions.
From papered-over windows to for-lease signs, it's easy for people to see how hard the restaurant industry has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the specific details, however, have remained hidden. Restaurants that have survived did so by changing up their offerings. High-end establishments pivoted to takeout. Eateries that never dreamed they'd have to partner with third-party delivery apps and their high commissions reluctantly signed up. We wanted to find out more, so we spoke to three local restaurateurs who've made big changes over the past year — and for whom those changes could well become permanent. The Kanata Noodle House Vietnamese Buffet in Orléans was a business casualty of COVID-19.(Francis Ferland/CBC) Bye-bye buffet Among the early casualties was the buffet — and some restaurants, like The Kanata Noodle House Vietnamese Buffet, couldn't survive without it. The Orléans restaurant tried to keep afloat by offering takeout, but it wasn't enough, said manager Thanh Pham. Nor could it switch from buffet-style to a more traditional server-driven restaurant. "Instead of customers grabbing their own food, touching all the utensils, we'd have to serve the customers. Then we had to bring in more employees to serve each dish," said Pham. "It was a very difficult decision, but it had to be made." Pham said he worries about his long-time staff who've been laid off, and believes that even after COVID-19 ends, buffet-style restaurants may never recover. "I don't know if anything's going to go back to normal." he said."People are still hesitant to come in. Everyone's still scared to sit down in a place and enjoy their meal." Pham and the Kanata Noodle House family of restaurants have now found other opportunities with lower overhead in the Ottawa Valley. They've opened up the Arnprior Noodle House in a former KFC restaurant, and a Bánh mì sandwhich shop and bubble tea joint along the town's main drag. Restaurateur Surinder Singh runs Last Train to Delhi in the Glebe. Singh's restaurant only started offering takeout to survive the pandemic, but he says he plans to keep it going.(Francis Ferland/CBC) Turning to takeout At Last Train to Delhi, owner Surinder Singh had to quickly switch to a new way of doing things. Unlike many Indian cuisine restaurants in Ottawa, Singh's upscale 20-seat restaurant in the Glebe didn't offer takeout or delivery. "I only served fine dining," said Singh, who opened Last Train to Delhi in 2019. "To sit in and enjoy the meal." When the pandemic struck, Singh had to regroup. Takeout was the first thing he tried, and the restaurant swiftly discovered a new, hungry demographic. "Before, it would be only a couple who would come and enjoy the dinner. Now we're reaching out to families," said Singh. Singh says the new takeout model has downsides, especially since he used to taking pride in the plating. The food is no longer garnished "perfectly," he says, and sometimes diners open up their takeout order and "everything is shaken up." But even after COVID, Singh won't abandon takeout, especially as he's not sure when indoor dining will return to full capacity. "I'm going to keep going," he said. "It's much easier to survive that way." Chef Michael Blackie of NeXT restaurant in Stittsville, seen here in a crowded kitchen before the COVID-19 pandemic. Blackie says he plans to continue spacing out his dining after the pandemic in order to make it easier on his 'back of house' staff.(Nicole Farough) Adversity breeds innovation From compressing his menu to shortening his week, Michael Blackie of NeXT restaurant in Stittsville has made big changes to survive COVID-19. Some of them he plans to maintain even after the pandemic eases, like being open only Wednesday through Sunday. "Notoriously in this town, Mondays and Tuesdays are not good. I probably won't reopen those days again," said Blackie. Blackie also introduced staggered seating to comply with indoor dining limits, something that he'd love to keep as it spreads out demand and makes for a more manageable pace in the kitchen. He's also a fan of NeXT's internationally themed meal kits, which come with a video describing how to prepare them. "[There's] no labour in the front of the house because everything goes out in a box. People wash their own dishes. But they get to have something different than the same old, same old. They get to have Michael Blackie in their house," hthe chef said. "I do believe I fundamentally have a new revenue stream here. That's a huge game-changer." Something else Blackie plans to keep going after the pandemic? No more paper menus. Instead, patrons will keep using their smartphones to scan a QR code, which links to a menu. The bottom line, he says, is that COVID-19 has forced innovation. "[There are] huge creative opportunities, because ultimately, when you're on your own … you come up with creative ideas," he said. "When you have such a tumultuous turnaround like a pandemic, it makes you re-evaluate everything."
UPDATE: Orléans MPP Stephen Blais introduced the private member's bill on March 8, 2021. An Ottawa MPP is demanding changes to provincial laws to remove city councillors from office if they've been found to have engaged in egregious misconduct. Orléans MPP Stephen Blais plans to table a private member's bill later this month that calls for a non-political process that could see a municipal councillor unseated for particularly serious violations of workplace harassment rules. "Hopefully it will articulate to everyone just how serious we take these kinds of things today," Blais told CBC. "They should have been taken seriously for a long time. We can't go back and change the past, but we can make sure that they're taken seriously now and that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable and there are serious consequences for it." WATCH | Stephen Blais speaks at Queen's Park: Blais, a former city councillor for Cumberland ward, said he was motivated after CBC reports and two damning integrity commissioner reports revealed Coun. Rick Chiarelli harassed former staff members and job applicants for years, as well as abused his power of office. Although Chiarelli was docked 15-months pay and stripped of some of the authority of his office and the rest of council publicly urged him to resign last fall, he remains the councillor for College ward because there is no mechanism to remove him. "It was clear that a remedy was needed," said Blais. "Any person working in any other work environment would have lost their job as a result of this type of action ... our elected leaders should be held to a higher standard, not to a lower one." He said while he was moved to act because of incidents in his hometown, Blais points out that the situation is not unique to Ottawa. Last year, for instance, Brampton's integrity commissioner found that Coun. Gurpreet Dhillon sexually harassed a Brampton business woman while on an official trip to Turkey in November 2019. Dhillon remains in office. Blais' bill is the latest pressure on the provincial government to change the Ontario Municipal Act, which demands a councillor's removal in certain situations — including poor attendance — but not for harassment or other grievous behaviour. Last Friday, three women who used to work in the councillors' office launched a petition to change the laws. Stephanie Dobbs, one of the formal complainants to the integrity commission, Victoria Laaber and Nancy O'Brien — both witnesses in the investigation — are also participating Monday in a virtual roundtable on safe workplaces for political staff hosted by Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden, who has also called for changes to provincial regulations. PC government quietly launched review If passed, Blais' bill — which was supposed to be tabled Monday, on International Women's Day, but was delayed to Mar. 22 for logistical reasons — would empower a city's integrity commissioner to suggest a judicial review for councillors who have engaged in serious misconduct that falls short of a criminal offence, such as sexual harassment or certain sorts of violence in the workplace. It would then be up to a judge, or panel of judges, to review the file and decide whether the councillor should be ejected from elected office. Last November, Ottawa's city council passed a motion calling for a similar process to be instituted. At the time, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark said, "the ministry is not considering any changes to the Municipal Act." However, late last Friday, the government quietly released a news statement that it is "launching consultations with the municipal sector to strengthen accountability for council members." The statement includes a comment by Clark that that it is "critical that everyone feels safe and respected in the workplace, and that they know there are accountability measures in place for members who violate codes of conduct." In an email, a spokesperson for Clark added, "Our consultations with the municipal sector will help the province determine what, if any, changes are required to ensure everyone can feel safe and respected in the workplace." There were no details about the scope or timeline of the consultations, nor how they would affect Blais' private member's bill.
The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd was delayed until at least Tuesday morning as the judge contended with a last-minute order by a higher court to reconsider adding an additional murder charge. Chauvin appeared in court dressed in a navy blue suit and tie, a white shirt and a black face mask, jotting notes in a yellow legal pad on the table before him. Judge Peter Cahill of the Hennepin County district court has set aside three weeks for jury selection alone, mindful of the difficulties finding impartial Minneapolitans in a case that has convulsed a nation and in which an image of the victim — a selfie of Floyd faintly smiling — has become an international icon of racial justice.
Michelle Sinclair knew her son Aodhan only wanted one thing for this 10th birthday — a football jersey from his favourite team in Dublin, just like the one his dad owns. So the Calgary mom ordered it online last month and paid $24 for shipment to Canada, using one of the biggest courier companies in the world — DHL, which operates in 220 countries and is known for its bright yellow planes and trucks with bold red lettering. But two days later DHL emailed Sinclair, saying she had to pay another $23 before the package could be delivered to her door. "My item is being held for ransom," Sinclair told Go Public. "It seems a little dirty … [to wait] until you have my package to tell me about all these hidden fees." Sinclair is joining a growing chorus of people online who say DHL is using claims of "duty and taxes" to include extra charges that customers feel trapped into paying or risk losing their packages. "This doesn't seem to be very pro-consumer," said Amee Sandhu, a Toronto lawyer who specializes in business law and corporate ethics. "I don't understand why the corporation would do something like that. The danger is reputational loss. They're risking turning off their customers." Difficult to understand Sinclair says she knew it would cost a little more to have the jersey sent by DHL instead of regular mail, but thought it was worth it. "We'll get it here quickly and it's fine," she recalled thinking. "At least … that was the plan." She was surprised by that email, announcing in red, capital letters that a payment was required for import duty and tax. She owed a further $23.25. When Sinclair inquired why duty and import fees amounted to $23 on a $68 item, a DHL brokerage supervisor told her imports are subject to "duty, taxes, and other customs related charges" and directed her to the website of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). But when Sinclair pressed, she learned that only $5.40 was being charged for GST and the remaining $17 plus tax was a "standard processing fee" DHL was pocketing for completing customs paperwork. There was, in fact, no import duty. Sinclair says this email from DHL is misleading, because most of the $23.25 fee had nothing to do with duty or taxes — it was a 'processing fee' for the company.(Submitted by Michelle Sinclair) "If it's a standard fee, it needs to be told," said Sinclair. "I've already paid for you to handle my product. So don't be sneaky about it." Sandhu also says — in the name of transparency — DHL needs to clearly alert its own customers about its fees. "It's quite difficult to understand why they wouldn't just put that [prominently] on their website tomorrow," she said. "It just sort of boggles the mind why it wouldn't be made much more clear." Such fees could also be made clear on the sites of retailers who use DHL, say critics. Sinclair says there was definitely no mention of additional fees when she bought the jersey, and double-checked by going through the whole ordering process again — stopping only when the site asked for her credit card. Fees widely questioned Anger and frustration over DHL's "hidden fees" is rampant online — with discussion boards and websites like dhl-sucks.net featuring customer beefs about getting dinged for extra fees when shipping costs have already been paid. "Every package, I need to pay more," writes an Alberta customer. "I paid them out of frustration," writes another. "After I paid, they stated … I need to pay more," posts another. WATCH | 'Hidden fees' dog International courier DHL: Go Public requested an interview with a DHL spokesperson, which was declined. In a statement, spokesperson Hazel Valencia wrote that the company understands "there can be some confusion" when it comes to shipping purchased goods. DHL processes any customs paperwork, said Valencia, "so recipients are charged a nominal fee" for the service. "We believe this is a service that facilitates the transaction of clearance with Customs, saves recipients the trouble of processing paperwork," wrote Valencia. But Sinclair says she would have appreciated a heads up. "We're a family of five," she said. "I can't be getting surprised … for something I just don't have in the budget." Valencia also said that DHL's customs processing fees are outlined online and provided a link. But for consumers, that information can be hard to find amid the many pages on several DHL websites that only mention duty and tax payments. Valencia did not address Sinclair's concerns that the company is not transparent about its processing fee in advance and declined to say whether DHL would take steps to state its charges prominently online or in communications with customers. 'Very underhanded' George Mulamoottil of Mississauga, Ont., wrote to Go Public saying his shipment of tea left a sour taste in his mouth after DHL tacked on unexpected charges. The 88-year-old retired environmental biology professor asked his niece to send a favourite brand of white tea from India last August "because it's delicious and organic." DHL said he owed outstanding fees on his $22 item — to the tune of almost $19. George Mulamoottil was told he owed almost $19 for duty and tax on a $22 shipment of tea from India. (Submitted by George Mulamoottil) "DHL was holding the package for ransom," he said. "I had a notice on my mailbox — duty is owed, you won't get the package until you pay." Knowing that tea and coffee imported in small quantities for personal use is exempt from such charges, Mulamoottil phoned DHL's customer service department located in Brampton, Ont., and learned the charge was entirely the company's "processing fee." "They are collecting money from innocent people," said Mulamoottil. "I think it's very underhanded." "This might seem like a small amount, but it's actually a vast amount they're collecting if you add up all the people this is happening to." Mulamoottil says two years ago, DHL tried to charge him a similar fee, but when he fought back, they reimbursed his credit card. "This time, they fought me," he says. "They talked in a very contemptuous manner." 'Health Canada' fee Niraj Dawar of London, Ont., says the DHL customer service representative he dealt with was worse than contemptuous — he "intentionally misrepresented the truth." Dawar, a retired business administration professor, ordered an anti-nausea medicine from India last August and, curious about DHL's $30.79 charge, asked for a breakdown. "Canadian Customs is requesting that the duties and taxes of $30.79 be paid," a DHL representative told him in an email. As with other customers contacted by Go Public, the representative initially directed him to the CBSA website. When Dawar pressed DHL for more information, he was told there was a "Health Canada" fee, which he later determined actually went to the shipping giant, not the government. He was also charged a processing fee. "They tried everything to not tell me these were DHL fees," said Dawar, who had already paid $100 for shipping. Lawyer Amee Sandhu says she often sees corporations 'double down' when consumers get angry, instead of fixing a problem and preventing reputational harm.(Mark Bochsler/CBC News) "They don't charge it at the outset because they're in a competitive market so they're underpricing." DHL did not respond to Dawar's allegation that he was misled. As an expert on corporate transparency, Sandhu, the lawyer, says it's frustrating to see a corporation make what she says are mistakes that can be easily avoided. "It really is a case of … self-inflicted wounds," said Sandhu. "The company could do so much to not have this problem in the first place." A problem made worse, says Sandhu, by the internet that can quickly spread negative coverage of a corporation. "It travels instantaneously," says Sandhu. "And that bad smell then … lingers for a long time." Do it yourself Sinclair learned there is a way for customers to avoid the courier company's "standard processing fee" — they can refuse to pay DHL and go directly to the local CBSA office to clear the parcel themselves. "That should be part of the original email that they send," said Sinclair. "But they don't tell you until you complain." She won't be using DHL again any time soon, even though the company delivered her son's jersey in time for his birthday. "The smile on your children's faces always makes everything OK," she said. "But that doesn't mean that I will make that mistake a second time." Aodhan Sinclair models the jersey, from his favourite Irish football team, that his mother got him for his 10th birthday.(Colin Hall/CBC) Submit your story ideas Go Public is an investigative news segment on CBC-TV, radio and the web. We tell your stories, shed light on wrongdoing and hold the powers that be accountable. If you have a story in the public interest, or if you're an insider with information, contact GoPublic@cbc.ca with your name, contact information and a brief summary. All emails are confidential until you decide to Go Public. Read more stories by Go Public.
Panasonic Corp will buy U.S. supply-chain software firm Blue Yonder for 700 billion yen ($6.45 billion), in the Japanese electronics firm's biggest acquisition since 2011, the Nikkei reported on Monday. Panasonic, which bought a 20% stake in Blue Yonder for 86 billion yen last year, is in the final stages of acquiring the rest of the stock from shareholders including Blackstone Group Inc, the Nikkei said, without saying where it obtained the information. An acquisition would bolster Panasonic's supply chain management services as the COVID-19 pandemic focuses the attention of companies on their resilience to disruption.
TORONTO — A group including all four of Ontario's main teachers unions is urging the provincial government to offer free menstrual products in all publicly funded schools. The group, led by the Toronto Youth Cabinet, made the call in an open letter to Education Minister Stephen Lecce on Monday. It says some Ontario school boards -- such as the Toronto District School Board and the Waterloo Region District School Board -- have taken action on their own, but the group is calling for the province to expand that to all 72 of Ontario's boards. The group notes that British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island offer free menstrual products to all students. The letter says menstrual products are a necessity, not a luxury. It says a lack of access to period products can lead to students missing school and work. "Every woman, girl, trans man and gender non-binary person should be able to focus on their education and be active participants without having to worry about inadequate access to tampons, pads, and other menstrual products," the letter reads. The group, which also includes the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ontario Student Trustees Association, is calling on the province to fully fund the initiative and ensure it's in place by the end of 2021. "These products must not only be free of charge, but be provided in ways that also protect privacy, are barrier free and easily accessible, are consistent in delivery and availability, and are non-stigmatizing," the letter reads. A spokeswoman for Lecce said the ministry knows that a lack of access to period products "creates significant stress in students' lives," particularly in lower income communities. "We remain open and committed to finding innovative solutions to help girls and young women access menstrual products and support their social-emotional well-being," Caitlin Clark wrote in an email. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021. The Canadian Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. — In his first public address since the end of the Trump administration, former Vice-President Mike Pence is travelling to South Carolina, set to speak to a conservative Christian non-profit in the state that plays a crucial role in the presidential nominating process. Next month, Pence will keynote a dinner hosted by the Palmetto Family Council, a Pence aide told The Associated Press on Sunday. The aide spoke on the condition of anonymity due to a lack of permission to discuss the plans publicly. The Palmetto Family lobbies for what it considers to be “biblical values,” such as heterosexual marriage, and most recently helped push through a ban on most abortions in South Carolina. That law is now being challenged in court. Pence, who since leaving the administration has been doing work with the Heritage Foundation and Young America's Foundation, has not indicated if he plans a future run for office, but his choice of making his post-administration debut in South Carolina helps set down a marker for a potential 2024 presidential bid. The state holds the first presidential primaries in the South, and candidates of both major parties typically spend more than a year in the state ahead of those votes, introducing themselves and trying to secure support. As vice-president, Pence made numerous trips to South Carolina, meeting several times with Gov. Henry McMaster for coronavirus-related forums. He also recently campaigned in the state for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace. Throughout his political career, beginning as an Indiana congressman-turned-governor, Pence has long advocated for restrictions on abortion and has voiced support for the overturn of Roe v. Wade. The speech to Palmetto Family is advantageous for Pence in a state that Republican candidates use as a proving ground to test their “pro-life” mettle. The Pence aide described the former vice-president's speech as one that will focus on traditional conservative talking points but will also tout what Pence sees as the accomplishments of the Trump administration. According to Dave Wilson, president of Palmetto Family, Pence will speak to between 450 and 600 guests at a ticketed, sponsored dinner at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on April 29. Wilson told AP that he considered Pence a “prime person” to address the organization due to the “level of faith” the former vice-president embodied while in office. “Vice-President Mike Pence ... is very reflective of the ideas, policies and direction that we at Palmetto Family want to see in South Carolina: bringing faith to the forefront and growing the next generation of conservative leaders for our state,” Wilson said. ___ Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com.MegKinnardAP. Meg Kinnard, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Before posting a selfie with her COVID-19 vaccination card on Twitter, Aditi Juneja debated whether to include an explanation for why she was eligible for a shot. “The first draft of the tweet had an explanation,” says Juneja, a 30-year-old lawyer in New York City. After some thought, she decided to leave out out that her body mass index is considered obese, putting her at higher risk of serious illness if infected. A friend who disclosed the same reason on social media was greeted with hateful comments, and Juneja wanted to avoid that. The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. is offering hope that the pandemic that has upended life around the world will finally draw to an end. But as distribution widens in the U.S., varying eligibility rules and unequal access to the coveted doses are also breeding guilt, envy and judgement among those who’ve had their doses — particularly the seemingly young and healthy — and the millions still anxiously awaiting their turn. Adding to the second-guessing about who should be getting shots is the scattershot feel of the rollout, and the sense that some might be gaming the system. Faced with a patchwork of confusing scheduling systems, many who aren’t as technically savvy or socially connected have been left waiting even as new swaths of people become eligible. The envy and moral judgements about whether others deserve to be prioritized are understandable and could reflect anxieties about being able to get vaccines for ourselves or our loved ones, says Nancy Berlinger, a bioethicist with the Hastings Center. “There’s the fear of missing out, or fear of missing out on behalf of your parents,” she says. Stereotypes about what illness looks are also feeding into doubts about people's eligibility, even though the reason a person got a shot won't always be obvious. In other cases, Berlinger says judgements could reflect entrenched biases about smoking and obesity, compared with conditions that society might deem more “virtuous,” such as cancer. Yet even though a mass vaccination campaign is bound to have imperfections, Berlinger noted the goal is to prioritize people based on medical evidence on who’s most at risk if infected. Nevertheless, the uneven rollout and varying rules across the country have some questioning decisions by local officials. In New Jersey, 58-year-old software developer Mike Lyncheski was surprised when he learned in January that smokers of any age were eligible, since he knew older people at the time who were still waiting for shots. “It didn’t seem like there was medical rationale for it,” says Lyncheski, who isn't yet eligible for the vaccines. He also noted there's no way to confirm that people are smokers, leaving the door open for cheating. The suspicions are being fueled by reports of line jumpers or those stretching the definitions for eligibility. In New York, a Soul Cycle instructor got vaccinated after teachers became eligible in January, the Daily Beast reported, and later apologized for her “terrible error in judgement.” In Florida, two women wore bonnets and glasses to disguise themselves as elderly in hopes of scoring shots. Hospital board members, trustees and donors have also gotten shots early on, raising complaints about unfair access. It's why some feel obligated to explain why they were able to get the vaccine. In an Instagram post, Jeff Klein held up his vaccination card and noted he was given a shot as a volunteer at a mass vaccination hub. “I definitely mentioned it on purpose, because I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea,” says Klein, a 44-year-old musician in Austin, Texas. As she waited for a shot in Jacksonville, Florida, 33-year-old Amanda Billy said it could be frustrating seeing people her age in other states posting about getting vaccinated. She understood that state rollouts vary, but felt anxious because she has a medical condition that makes COVID-19 “very real and scary.” “I’m just happy for them that they got it. But also, I want it,” she said in an interview before getting her first shot. Others are finding they are opening themselves up to criticism when sharing news that they got a shot. Public figures in particular might become targets of second-guessing by strangers. In New York, local TV news co-host Jamie Stelter posted a photo of herself after getting the first shot earlier this month. Many replies were positive, but others noted that she didn’t look old enough or that she must “have connections.” Afterward, Stelter's co-host Pat Kiernan weighed in and tweeted that the “you don't look that sick to me” commentary she received was “evidence of the hell that COVID has placed us in.” For Juneja, the decision to get a shot after becoming eligible wasn't easy, given the struggles she knew others were having securing appointments because of technology, language or other barriers. But she realized it wouldn't help for her to refrain from getting vaccinated. “It’s not like with other types of things where I could give my spot to someone else who I think is more in need,” she says. “We are sort of all in this situation where we can only really decide for ourselves.” ___ Candice Choi, a reporter on The Associated Press' Health & Science team, has been covering the pandemic and vaccine rollout in the United States. Candice Choi, The Associated Press
Some residents in Toronto's east end say Metrolinx is finally consulting them about the impact of a GO expansion project that will affect a green space near their homes known as Small's Creek Ravine. The residents, who live in the area of Danforth and Woodbine avenues, will be invited to join a working group set up by Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency, before the project gets underway in their area. That working group will focus on the future of a path that provides a loop of the ravine. Metrolinx plans to widen a railway embankment to support a four-track, electrified Lakeshore East line. Trees will be removed from Small's Creek Ravine to enable crews to build a retaining wall and a new culvert as part of the project. The ravine, much loved by neighbourhood families, is tucked behind Copeland Avenue, between Coxwell and Woodbine Avenues, south of the Danforth. "We're optimistic. The fact that they're now suggesting they're going to include us in the discussions is a step forward," Mitch Robertson, a resident and a member of Save Small's Creek group, said on Sunday. "I think Metrolinx has not done a good job of communicating with any community groups so far. However, we do hope that this is a turning point. We want to be there from the beginning to discuss how this can actually be done so that everybody wins." Robertson said he doesn't think Metrolinx's latest plan offers any concessions, but the group is interested in presenting its ideas with the aim of preserving as much nature as possible. He noted that the group is not opposed to a fourth track or additional train service. Mitch Robertson, a resident and a member of Save Small's Creek group, says: 'I think Metrolinx has not done a good job of communicating with any community groups so far. However, we do hope that this is a turning point. We want to be there from the beginning to discuss how this can actually be done so that everybody wins.'(Keith Burgess/CBC) In the fall, residents had raised concerns about the expansion project's environmental impact, saying it means the loss of 268 trees because of clear cutting that will occur on either side of the ravine. Residents have tied ribbons around the trees to be cut down as a visible reminder of what will be lost. There is concern about the impact on the ravine's wildlife, local ecosystem and walking path. Residents believe Metrolinx did not consider neighbourhood use of the ravine by residents, community and school groups when it drew up its plans. "There's a limited amount of space like this in the city," Robertson said. Metrolinx to plant 2,000 more trees in community In an email to CBC News on Friday, Metrolinx says it has decided to add about 2,000 more trees to the community and to form the working group that will include residents, the city and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. That working group will determine a "potential solution" for reconnecting the path on the north side of the ravine that will be severed once the culvert is in place. Currently, the path on the north side connects with wooden steps on either side of the ravine and to the path on the south side that cuts through the often muddy bottom of the ravine. Anne Marie Aikins, spokesperson for Metrolinx, says: 'We recognize the importance of the ravine and the natural refuge it offers residents and families. We will be restoring and enhancing the area with native species that will provide a better functioning ravine feature for both the community and wildlife that use it.'(Keith Burgess/CBC) Anne Marie Aikins, spokesperson for Metrolinx, said in the email that construction work in the Small's Creek area will not begin until October 2021. Construction initially was set to begin in January. "In the coming weeks, Metrolinx will work with the contractor and community leaders to minimize tree removals as much as possible. A site tour will be held with the contractor to walk them through the ravine and talk them through what has been heard," Aikins said in the email. "We recognize the importance of the ravine and the natural refuge it offers residents and families. We will be restoring and enhancing the area with native species that will provide a better functioning ravine feature for both the community and wildlife that use it." Aikins said Metrolinx's restoration plan for the ravine includes a variety of plantings of native vegetation. There will be a minimum of 260 trees, 932 shrubs and 4,000 smaller plants planted to support naturalization, she said. "As many as possible of the approximately 2,000 trees Metrolinx is committed to planting will be in the Small's Creek area, in partnership with the TRCA and City of Toronto," Aikins said. Majority of trees to be cut down are invasive species Arborists consulted by Metrolinx have found that the ravine has many invasive species, which are crowding out the native vegetation and reducing the habitat that supports local wildlife. Small's Creek Ravine, much loved by neighbourhood families, is tucked behind Copeland Avenue, between Coxwell and Woodbine Avenues, south of the Danforth. (Keith Burgess/CBC) Of the 268 trees to be removed, 205 are invasive species, including Manitoba maple and Norway maple, she said. "The planting of native trees and other vegetation will help to restore the ecological function of the ravine," she added. "If not all of the 2,000 additional trees can be planted in Small's Creek due to space, we're committed to planting them elsewhere in the community. Places like parkettes, the nearby waterfront, and school fields are all locations up for discussion. In the coming months Metrolinx will be reaching out to the community to figure out where these trees can be planted and come up with some creative ideas for distribution," she said. In an interview, Aikins said of its latest plan: "We took that back to our arborists and to our contractor, and said: 'Let's try and do better.' We've come up with an alternative — it's not perfect for them, I know — but it's a better alternative with more trees." Resident says appreciation for ravine has grown Celeste Shirley, a resident whose property borders the ravine, said the popularity of the ravine has grown since residents raised concerns and since the pandemic started. She said foot traffic in the ravine has increased by about 20 per cent in recent months. "It's brought a lot of people to the ravine. I'm hearing more children there. There's an appreciation of the ravine that wasn't there before," Shirley said. "If they take out the path at the bottom of the ravine, we will only be able to go across the top," she added, saying that the loss of part of a loop through the forested area will be significant. Coun. Brad Bradford, who represents Ward 19, Beaches-East York, said the local residents have made a difference by speaking out. "We've seen the power of community-led change here. The folks at the Save Small's Creek group have really rallied to make sure their voices are heard, and they have forced themselves to the table," he said.
The women behind a new grassroots group are taking on an enormous fight for language revitalization. They're called Ionkwahronkha'onhátie' (which translates to, "we are becoming fluent") and are supporting advanced Kanien'kéha (Mohawk language) speakers from across Canada and the United States. Taiawentón:ti' Chelsea Sunday said it's important to help others as they continue to lose elders. "There are going to be people who are going to have to sit there and replace them. We're trying to support those people to get there," said Sunday, who is from Akwesasne, on the Ontario-Quebec-New York state border. "If we can focus on however many people we can get to those high levels of fluency, then we at least have a fighting chance of saving our language." Ionkwahronkha’onhátie’ means 'we are becoming fluent' in Kanien’kéha.(Submitted by Karonhiióstha Shea Skye) She travelled back and forth to Kahnawake, Que., for two years to take Ratiwennahní:rats, a two-year adult immersion program offered by the Kanien'kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center. Upon graduating in 2019, she co-founded the group with her classmate Karonhiióstha Shea Skye as a way to continue their language learning journey. "We recognize the need to connect with one another, not just now, but especially when the time comes when there's no first language speakers," said Skye, who is from Kahnawake and co-ordinates the group. Similar immersion programs now exist in Akwesasne, as well as in Six Nations of the Grand River, Ont. Each year, Skye said, new cohorts of students are taking these programs but with few avenues to increase fluency and proficiency post-graduation. Every Thursday night, Ionkwahronkha’onhátie’ hosts immersion conversations over Zoom to bring together language learners and elders.(Submitted by Karonhiióstha Shea Skye ) All dialects on 'definitely endangered' list Despite the many language revitalization efforts in each Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) community, all dialects of the language are on UNESCO's list of "definitely endangered" languages in Canada. Statistics Canada data from 2016 shows that Kanien'kéha was spoken by roughly 2,350 people in Canada with about half as their mother tongue. Skye said Ionkwahronkha'onhátie' focuses on developing immersion environments throughout the summer, where a group of advanced learners' full-time job is to continue their studies, talk to elders all day and research aspects of the language that interest them. Ionkwahronkha’onhátie’ strives to provide an immersion environment for advanced language learners.(Submitted by Taiawentón:ti' Chelsea Sunday) But like many activities, the pandemic has brought the group online. They host weekly conversation nights over Zoom that bring together students and elders from many communities. "The common theme around anything that we've done is just for it to be an immersion setting and for us to use language," said Skye. "There's a difference between learning about fishing words or swimming words in the classroom and then actually being in that situation and using the words.... You never know what's going to actually come up until you're in that situation and you don't know how to say it." Throughout the experience, the group hopes to contribute to broader research into second language programs and language revitalization efforts. Teyútkwʌ Jimerson, who is from Oneida, Wis., is also a graduate of Ratiwennahní:rats. She joined Ionkwahronkha'onhátie' last year to assess and document the program. One of the things she noticed is that the group was helping to fill many gaps in language usage. "For the first two years of my language learning, I was going somewhere to learn and I was sending my kids to an immersion school to learn. And we were so busy doing that, we didn't bring it home together," said Jimerson. "This is what Ionkwahronkha'onhátie' did in my home. It took us out of programs. We filled all these gaps that we have in our life, like our friendships. My children know that when I'm with my friends, we speak Kanien'kéha."
For 13 years, Paul Raso experienced different challenges working as a teacher and vice-principal in one of Toronto's most marginalized communities, but it was the way his school board handled the expulsion of one Black student — and the departure of that student's brother, as well — that Raso says finally pushed him to leave. "I've seen a lot — enough for me to quit.... That was the catalyst," said Raso, who took a leave of absence after the incident, then left his job. One brother was expelled in 2013, when Raso was a vice-principal at Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary School, in the city's northwest. After that, the boy's brother also left classes due to concerns for his safety, Raso said. In the weeks that followed, Raso pushed for them to both get the chance for a fresh start elsewhere. "We advocated to keep them together. They were brothers. They were supportive," Raso said. But after the expulsion, both were denied entry to another school and, according to Raso, no clear explanation was offered. Raso said that as a result, the brothers weren't able to return to any classroom before the start of summer break. A month into summer break, one of them — who was 15 — was shot and killed in his neighbourhood. CBC News is not naming the boy or his brother at the request of the family. Raso said he's speaking out nearly eight years later because he continues to see problems with the way the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) works with students from marginalized communities, such as the Jane-Finch neighbourhood. Unlike the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), the Catholic board does not collect race-based data on what happens to expelled students — something advocates say is necessary to ensure students from certain communities aren't falling through the cracks. The expulsion Raso — who now runs the not-for-profit Education Involved Advocacy Group — said the expulsion was triggered by an incident in which a coloured bandana was waved in the face of other students. It was interpreted as an incitement of gang violence, he said. The brothers were from the Jane-Finch community but were attending Father Henry Carr in Rexdale — which Raso said is considered a rival gang neighbourhood. After a third student from the Jane-Finch neighbourhood was transferred into the school, tensions began to build, he said. The two brothers who left school were students at Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary, in Rexdale, a neighbourhood in northwest Toronto.(CBC) "Kids just see numbers," Raso said. "Now there's three kids from Jane and Finch. So no matter what, I think those [three] kids would have been targeted." After the expulsion, Raso said, staff and the school administration worked together with the board's Safe Schools program to determine where the boys should be moved. After extensive consultation, he said, it was determined that Dante Alighieri Academy Catholic Secondary School — southeast of the Jane-Finch neighbourhood — would be a safe and suitable place for them. Raso said the plan was approved by the board's area superintendent and was outlined by email to the then-principal of Dante Alighieri Academy. CBC News obtained a copy of the email, which appears to show the principal's response as simply: "No, thank you," followed by the principal's initial. "I was baffled — just floored. I mean, at this point, just distraught," said Raso, noting that he'd never seen such a response from a school principal. "It's everything that's wrong with the community summed up in one email. So I couldn't let it go." Two months after the boys were denied entry to the TCDSB school, one was shot and killed not far from his house. Email 'taken out of context,' board says CBC News reached out to the former principal of Dante Alighieri Academy about the email sent in response to the request to admit the brothers but did not receive a response. In a statement to CBC News, the TCDSB said the board has a general rule that two people — regardless of whether they are brothers — who are involved in the same misconduct and are expelled aren't sent to the same school. The board would not comment on the specifics of the expulsion, citing privacy legislation, but it maintains the former principal's comments in the email shared with CBC were "taken out of context." The board says there are messages omitted from the exchange. However, it would not provide a copy of them, again citing privacy legislation. The cost of losing education The 15-year-old boy's killing remains a cold case, according to Toronto police, and was one of a string of fatal shootings involving teens in northwest Toronto over the span of a month. While there's no known link between the expulsion and his shooting death, Raso said countless studies have shown the link between school attendance and the minimization of violence. "The more people are engaged, the less they're likely to make poor choices," he said. Abdulkadir Nur — who works with youth in the Jane-Finch neighbourhood at a community hub called The Spot — said school is an important form of stability for youth in the community. And while some might not show it, suspensions or expulsions can take a toll on them. Abdulkadir Nur works with youth at the Jane-Finch community hub called The Spot. He says school is an important part of kids' lives in the neighbourhood, even though they might not show it.(Farrah Merali/CBC) "School may be the highlight of their day, so they may not really have much else to do. Their parents may be working. They may have been looking forward to going to classes, seeing their friends, you know, seeing specific teachers and everything," Nur said. "So I would imagine that they'd have an extremely hard time dealing with that." "Think about the cost of what happens when a child, a young person, a young Black child doesn't get the necessary kind of education that he should be getting," said Carl E. James, a professor in the education faculty at York University in Toronto who holds the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora. "Think about the kind of education that he's not getting, the kinds of opportunities that get him to learn that would inform a trajectory." Race-based data James has studied other school boards in the Greater Toronto Area, and his research shows that Black students are more likely to be suspended from school. In recent years, the Toronto District School Board, unlike the TCDSB, began collecting race-based data on suspensions, which includes a followup on what happens to students after they are disciplined to see if they are able to continue their education. Carl E. James, a professor in the education faculty at York University in Toronto who holds the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora, says his research shows that Black students are more likely to be suspended from school.(York University) "Why hasn't [the TCDSB] been keeping data? How can you continue with students, working with them and addressing the issues, without data?" James asked. The TCDSB says it does track what happens to students who are suspended and expelled and provides them with a number of supports, including the option to attend a long-term suspension program. "Suspended/expelled students continue to receive access to academic and social-emotional supports provided by the board and TCDSB social workers make every effort to contact a student and encourage them to continue with their education," the board told CBC News. Pushing for change Raso said that in his work as an advocate for parents and students in the Jane-Finch community, he continues to see students shuffled to schools where they aren't safe, and he's calling on the TCDSB to take into account the nuances of neighbourhoods and the challenges some students find themselves in. "We've got to deal with shuffling kids around from neighbourhoods that fight. And they either feel the need to stand their ground or feel the need to keep themselves safe," he said. Raso now advocates for youth and parents in Toronto's Jane-Finch neighbourhood.(Farrah Merali/CBC) Raso said he still sees students either denied entry into schools where they could be safe or shuffled into schools where they are unsafe. "There are ways to get innovative with education in these communities. And we're still doing the same thing," he said. "I don't want to go to any more funerals." For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here. (CBC)
Russia accused Facebook on Monday of violating citizens' rights by blocking some media outlets' content in the latest standoff between a government and Big Tech. Communications watchdog Roskomnadzor at the weekend threatened Facebook with a minimum 1 million rouble ($13,433) fine and demanded it restore access to content posted by TASS news agency, RBC business daily and Vzglyad newspaper. It said Facebook blocked posts pertaining to Russia's detention of alleged supporters of a Ukrainian far-right group.