Researchers say melting glacial ice and pumping groundwater are the main contributors to the shifting axis.
Researchers say melting glacial ice and pumping groundwater are the main contributors to the shifting axis.
CALGARY — Janice Romick could see it coming. The rabbit breeder for 40 years in Cold Lake, Alta., says she saw the writing on the wall before a deadly rabbit virus appeared last month in the southern part of the province. "We sort of knew this was coming a few years before it actually hit. So we stopped showing and we bought nothing from anybody, anywhere," said Romick, who works at Beladarus Rabbitry with her daughter. Alberta's chief provincial veterinarian sent a communique last month to the Alberta Veterinary Medicine Association warning about an outbreak of rabbit hemorrhagic disease, or RHD, in pet rabbits in one southern Alberta household. "RHD is a sudden, highly contagious and fatal disease of rabbits. Since the 1980s, RHD virus has been associated with high mortality exclusively in European rabbits," wrote Dr. Keith Lehman. "In 2010, however, a new RHD virus emerged capable of causing mortality in both European and North American rabbits and hares." There were outbreaks in British Columbia in 2018 and 2019 and in Montana and Oregon earlier this year. The disease runs its course in one to five days and is usually fatal. Romick said all it takes is for one infected animal to make it into a herd, and it's over. "It spreads like a flash fire," she said. There's a booming rabbit industry in Canada. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says there were over 2,800 rabbit farms in 2016. Many of the rabbits go to the meat industry, some are harvested for fur and others become family pets. Romick said the hemorrhagic disease could decimate the industry. "In the right instance, if it got into some of these big areas where they're breeding for meat production and they brought in some new stock. It could literally wipe out a business," she said. "If it went through a 200-to-400-doe barn, it would wipe out every animal, every doe, every buck. And you can't use those carcasses for human production." She added that the disease is also a terrible way for the animals to die. Dr. Jamie Rothenburger, a veterinary pathologist and assistant professor at the University of Calgary's faculty of veterinary medicine, said the disease has to be taken seriously. It can be transmitted by something as simple as grooming or purchasing a pre-owned rabbit cage. "I think we're all getting more familiar with infectious diseases in these days of COVID. So the idea of a virus living on a vector isn't a surprise," Rothenburger said. "It's one of Canada's immediately notifiable diseases under the Health of Animals regulations. And so, if you suspect the disease as a veterinarian or a laboratory confirms it, the (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) has to be notified immediately." Rothenburger said it's unclear how widespread the disease could be. She's leading a study in Calgary looking at health and disease in urban hares. "Those are the jackrabbits we see hopping around our neighbourhoods. And we are going to be testing them for this very disease in the coming months to find out if it is here and hasn't been detected yet." This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2021. — Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
LONDON — Chelsea will end a turbulent season by playing in the Champions League final after making the competition's most successful team look ordinary. Timo Werner and Mason Mount scored to secure a 2-0 victory over Real Madrid in the second of their semifinal on Wednesday to oust the record 13-time European champions 3-1 on aggregate. It will be an all-English final against Manchester City on May 29 but the Premier League rivals will have to fly four hours to play the UEFA showpiece in Istanbul, which is currently in a coronavirus lockdown. Getting a shot at adding to its 2012 Champions League title will vindicate Chelsea's decision in January to fire club great Frank Lampard and hire Thomas Tuchel, the manager who led Paris Saint-Germain to last season's final. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Rob Harris, The Associated Press
U.S. air safety officials have asked Boeing Co to supply fresh analysis and documentation showing numerous 737 MAX subsystems would not be affected by electrical grounding issues first flagged in three areas of the jet in April, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. The extra analysis injects new uncertainty over the timing of when Boeing's best-selling jetliner would be cleared to fly by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The electrical problems have suspended nearly a quarter of its 737 MAX fleet.
A man in Harbour Grace, N.L., has won the fight to get access to his late partner's CN Rail pension after initially being denied because he was in a same-sex relationship. Ken Haire received an offer letter from the railway on Tuesday evening. It recognized him as the common law spouse of Gerry Schwarz, a CN employee for 30 years, and grants him the survivor pension for the rest of his life. It also includes a lump sum for missed payments in the nine years since Schwarz died, plus interest. "We've won," Haire wrote in a brief message to CBC News on Tuesday evening. The 71-year-old said he's going to take some time to reflect before doing interviews. Gerry Schwarz, left, and Ken Haire were in a relationship for more than 33 years. They lived together in Toronto before moving to Harbour Grace, N.L., to be closer to Haire's family.(Submitted by Ken Haire) Haire shared his story with CBC News on Monday, explaining how CN rejected his claim to the money because the company did not recognize same-sex relationships when Schwarz retired in 1991. CN's pension plan did not include same-sex partners as eligible spouses until 1998. That change was not made retroactive, but the company said a review of how the policy affects employees that retired prior to 1998 is underway. A spokesperson for CN said the company will have more to say on Wednesday. WATCH | CN earlier said former policies may have to be re-examined: Haire fought off and on for nine years, quietly trying to gain access to Schwarz's pension. He said he was crushed by their decision to deny him because it devalued the relationship he shared with Schwarz for more than 33 years. "After all those years and all the people he had worked with, they still didn't acknowledge the fact that Gerry and I were a couple," he said. "We were a couple in every sense of the word. It really did hurt." Haire spoke out for the first time last week in an interview with radio station VOCM. His interview with CBC News, which aired Monday, caught the attention of people across the country, including prominent LGBT rights lawyer Doug Elliott. Elliott called CN's rejection "bigoted," and said the company had no legal leg to stand on. A 2004 decision that Elliott argued before the Supreme Court of Canada made Canada Pension Plan survivor benefits retroactive to 1985, when LGBT people were given rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Haire previously said he would not thank CN's pension department if the decision was overturned, saying it would only be doing what was right and nothing more. CN said a review of its policies affecting LGBT employees that retired before 1998 is underway.(Robert Short/CBC) Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
MIRROR, Alta. — Alberta Health Services says it has physically closed a central Alberta cafe that has been skirting COVID-19 public health orders for months. The agency says it is barring access to the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, Alta., until its owner can demonstrate the ability to comply with restrictions. It says it has taken several steps against the business since January, including three closure orders and the cancellation of the cafe's food handling permit. But Alberta Health Services says the cafe's operator has decided not to follow mandatory restrictions. The agency says it has received more than 400 complaints against the business since January. It can't issue fines or tickets, but says it has been working closely with the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission and police on this file. "With COVID-19 cases increasing, including the more easily transmitted and potentially more severe variants, there is urgent need to minimize spread to protect all Albertans," Alberta Health Services said in a news release. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
Quebec Premier François Legault said Tuesday he has no regrets about comments he made on immigration to a business crowd last week. Legault had said that every time the government accepts an immigrant to the province making less than $56,000, it makes it harder to achieve his goal of increasing the average salary of Quebecers. He had made the comments Friday to the Conseil du patronat du Québec, an employers council. Radio-Canada obtained a copy and made it public on Monday, causing a stir. The opposition attacked his comments Tuesday, suggesting the premier was being insensitive. Québec solidaire's Ruba Ghazal asked Legault during question period whether his comments meant there were "good" and "bad" immigrants. Ghazal, who is an immigrant, said she was deeply hurt by Legault's remarks. "I worked for a long time in factories, and what I heard from him reminded me of the way we talk about products on assembly lines," Ghazal said. "Immigrants are not objects, let alone numbers, they are human beings." Legault doubled down: "I don't regret what I said," he told the legislature. "In Quebec, we want more economic immigration and then we first want to create positions that are better paid." Ghazal said her parents arrived without "good jobs at $56,000" but are proud their daughter is a member of the national assembly. She suggested her family would have posed a "problem" for the premier. Legault said his government wants to increase economic immigration and fill 32,000 jobs in the province that pay above $56,000 by prioritizing newcomers with diplomas and training. The province is facing a shortage of workers and has another 110,000 unfilled jobs that pay lower than $56,000. Legault said economic immigration accounts for 60 per cent of new arrivals to the province while 40 per cent arrive as refugees and through family reunifications. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2021. The Canadian Press
Frank Statti just wanted his rear camera repaired. But instead, the Nissan customer has spent two months sorting out why his car went on a 90-km trip from the dealership. Seán O’Shea reports.
The Conservatives broke new fundraising records in the first months of 2021, raising more money than any party ever has in a first quarter and outpacing the governing Liberals by their widest margin yet. But the party's success on the fundraising front hasn't led yet to a boost in its political fortunes. According to data published by Elections Canada, the Conservative Party of Canada raised $8.5 million between January and March 2021 — its best first quarter ever. And because the CPC has a long history of raising more money than any other party, its first quarter performance was the best by any federal political party on record. The Liberals raised just $3.5 million in the first quarter, a little more than $4.9 million behind the Conservatives. That set a new record for the widest gap between the two parties. The New Democrats finished further behind, with $1.6 million raised — their best first quarter since 2015 — while the Greens raised $677,000. The Bloc Québécois set a new first quarter record for itself with $373,000. Clearly, the pandemic has not kept donors' wallets shut. But polls suggest the Conservatives continue to trail the Liberals in national support and would capture less of the vote today than they did in the 2019 federal election. Having money is better than not having money, of course, but a boost in fundraising from donors — particularly for the Conservatives — does not always mean an increase in support among the broader population. There is a relationship between party support and fundraising. The Conservatives and Liberals routinely top both the polls and fundraising. The NDP, third in national support, is usually third in fundraising, while the Greens and Bloc raise a lot less money (and have a lot less support) than the three bigger parties. But that relationship only goes so far. Money can't buy you love The Conservatives have raised more money than the Liberals in 60 of the last 65 quarters (and in every first quarter on record). In the five quarters in which the Liberals raised more money, their advantage was never greater than $1.2 million. By comparison, the Conservatives have raised at least that much more than the Liberals 47 times. If we break down the polls by each party's average support in any given quarter, the Conservatives have had more support than the Liberals in just 33 of the last 65 quarters. If money could buy the Conservatives love, they would have led in the polls more often. For the Conservatives, there is a much weaker correlation between funds raised and popular support than there is for the Liberals or the NDP. When the Liberals or New Democrats have more support in the polls, they tend to raise more money. When they have less support, they tend to struggle with fundraising. Not so for the Conservatives. Whether they're up or down in the polls has less of an impact on their ability to raise money. Though fundraising has hit a new high for the first quarter of 2021, Conservative support in the polls remains stuck at around 30 per cent nationwide.(Adrian Wyld / Canadian Press) It's worth remembering that donors represent only a small fraction of the population. In the first three months of 2021, the Conservatives received just over 45,000 contributions. But the Conservatives earned 6.2 million votes in the last election, meaning those 45,000 contributors (some of whom probably donated multiple times) amount to just 0.7 per cent of the number of Canadians who voted for the Conservative Party in 2019. But does raising money help win elections, regardless of what the polls say? In addition to 2021 (which could still be an election year), the Conservatives raised at least $4 million more than the Liberals in the first quarters of the election years of 2008, 2011 and 2019. While they did win in 2008 and 2011, the fundraising advantage the Conservatives enjoyed in early 2019 did not help them win that October. By comparison, the $3.5 million raised by the Liberals is only a little less than the $3.9 million they raised in the first quarters of 2015 and 2019 — years that ended well for them at the ballot box. Desire for change lower than in 2019, even among Conservatives Nevertheless, the fundraising numbers the Conservatives are putting up so far this year are big and impressive. At the very least, it means the party's election war chest will be full and its members and dedicated donors are chomping at the bit to boot Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from office. But it doesn't seem like that feeling is widespread among voters — who may not been as keen for a change as they were in 2019. According to a recent poll by Abacus Data, only 39 per cent of Canadians think it is "definitely time for a change of government." That's unchanged since the beginning of March but down 13 percentage points since the end of the 2019 federal election campaign — an election the Liberals still managed to win. Two-thirds still want to see change, but the share of those who say it's not a priority for them is up 10 points since 2019. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals have out-fundraised the Conservatives in only four of the 32 quarters since he became Liberal leader in early 2013.(Adrian Wyld / Canadian Press) Perhaps most concerning for the Conservatives is the fact that, despite strong fundraising numbers, their own supporters don't seem to be as hungry for change as they were less than two years ago. Abacus finds that 74 per cent of Conservative voters definitely want change, down 16 points from the end of the last campaign. The vast majority of Conservative supporters certainly do want change — only three per cent say they don't — but that desire doesn't seem to be as important to them as it was in October 2019. Donors still only get one vote apiece, no matter how much money they donate or how enthusiastically they cast their ballots. To avoid another well-funded defeat, the Conservatives will have to use the money they have in the bank to convince more Canadians that it's time for a change — and that their party is the one that deserves their vote as well as their dollars.
A Vancouver couple accused of flouting Yukon's COVID-19 rules and travelling to Beaver Creek to get doses of the Moderna vaccine meant for locals had their first court date on Tuesday. Rodney and Ekaterina Baker were scheduled to make a first appearance on four charges under Yukon's Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) in Whitehorse. The couple, who are facing a charge each of failing to adhere to an entry declaration form and failing to self-isolate, did not appear in court in person. A lawyer appeared via phone on their behalf. The appearance lasted less than two minutes before the matter was adjourned to May 18. The Bakers are accused of flying to Yukon in January and ignoring the mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for anyone arriving from outside the territory. Instead, they allegedly chartered a plane to Beaver Creek, where they posed as workers from a local motel in order to take advantage of a vaccine clinic intended for area residents. Beaver Creek is a community of about 100 people located roughly 450 kilometres northwest of Whitehorse near the Alaska border and is home to the White River First Nation. Officials stopped and charged the Bakers at the Whitehorse airport, as they were about to leave the territory, after vaccine clinic staff raised suspicions about the couple's actual identities. Rod Baker, at the time, was the president and CEO of the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation while Ekaterina Baker is an actress. Rod Baker resigned from his position shortly after the alleged incident. The incident prompted sharp condemnation from across the country and led to Yukon changing its proof-of-residency requirements at its vaccine clinics. The Bakers, if convicted, face a maximum penalty of a $575 fine per charge ($2,300 total), six months in jail or both. First Nation continues calls for jail time White River First Nation has been calling for a harsher punishment for the couple since the incident came to light. In a written statement issued on Sunday in anticipation of the court date, the First Nation said the Bakers' alleged "callous and irresponsible behaviour" put elders and other vulnerable community members at risk and showed a "clear lack of respect for other people's safety, other than their own." "The courts cannot let the fact that time has passed, and more people are vaccinated now, to cloud the seriousness of their offence to our community," Chief Bessie Chasse said in the news release. "Issuing a fine to the Bakers, who are wealthy, without additional punishment, would have little meaning or effect... WRFN believes that a fine alone would not send a sufficient message to others who may choose to behave in this fashion." The release also said the Bakers had not reached out directly to the First Nation to try to make amends. Janet VanderMeer, who sits on White River First Nation's volunteer COVID-19 working group, attended the first appearance on Tuesday and said she was disappointed with how quickly the matter was adjourned, in part because she had driven hundreds of kilometres to attend. Speaking to media afterwards, she said that while she was glad the case hadn't been dropped and that the Bakers hadn't been simply allowed to pay a fine and move on, she was also frustrated by how long it was taking for her community to get justice. "People have been asking me, 'What really [angers you], Janet?' And it's the moment when I realized [the Bakers] saw the oldest resident in Beaver Creek and the most vulnerable person in Beaver Creek and continued to get the vaccine," VanderMeer said. "They continued on. They should have left. This would have been a little story somewhere maybe in the local news — they should have left and they didn't. So making that choice, I want the biggest penalty we can possibly get under CEMA."
Premier Jason Kenney says he is making it clear to his caucus that extremists are not the United Conservative Party's base, after receiving death threats from members of that group. In a Facebook livestream on Tuesday, shortly after introducing new public health restrictions, Kenney said after a recent news conference he received two messages in short succession, one of which threatened his 83-year-old mother who lives alone. He said the messages read: "You will be executed for your crimes against humanity" and "We know where your mother lives." I think there's a small minority of the population creating their own reality … and maybe they're acting accordingly. - Premier Jason Kenney Kenney said he told his caucus that people sending those types of messages or purporting "insane" conspiracy theories are not his party's base. "These people, we don't want people making death threats, people threatening to lock up Dr. [Deena] Hinshaw, people organizing rallies with Tiki torches based on the neo-Nazi rally in Virginia — those are not our supporters. Those are not Alberta Conservatives, those are not mainstream Albertans," Kenney said. "Those are voices of extremism and hatred." He also read out a message that he said could best be described as "tin-foil hat" from the organizers of a recent rodeo that was held in protest of public health restrictions near Bowden. The message described Kenney as a "tyrannical being" and said his actions — barring large gatherings during a pandemic — violate human rights. While Alberta Health Services is exploring its legal options toward the organizers of that rodeo, RCMP and the province took no action during the weekend regarding enforcement. The premier said he appreciates skepticism and debate about government overreach, and said he's been "viciously attacked" for tolerating that type of debate. He said he welcomes different views, as long as they are within the common goal of keeping the broader population safe and minimizing COVID-19 spread. Protesters against public health restrictions, including a woman in a fake nurse's costume covered in dolls meant to represent dead babies, gathered at several locations around Calgary over the weekend, including briefly disrupting traffic on 17th Avenue S.W. on Saturday. (Submitted) Kenney has been criticized by health professionals and the Opposition for waiting too long to bring in new restrictions and failing to enforce those rules that are in place — but some of the criticisms of his actions to protect public health have come from inside his own caucus. Almost half of the party's back-bencher MLAs signed a letter in early April against public health measures, commentary Kenney said he condones as long as the MLAs do not break health restrictions themselves. Shortly before the letter was released, two of the signatories left a coalition against health restrictions after one of the organizers invoked Hitler, while another has falsely claimed that the worst of the pandemic is over and helped to spread misinformation by hinting the federal government could be creating COVID concentration camps. Alberta is currently combating the highest case numbers of the pandemic so far with 23,623 active cases, a positivity rate of 12 per cent and an R-value of 1.12. WATCH | Alberta cracking down on COVID violations The province has the highest active case rate of anywhere in Canada or the U.S., more than twice the rate of the next highest province, Ontario. Kenney speculated that Alberta might have a larger problem with non-compliance with health measures to protect others than other provinces because many are in "COVID-denial." "I think there's a small minority of the population creating their own reality based on the Facebook pages they follow or whatever silos of information they're getting and maybe they're acting accordingly."
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times eastern): 6:15 p.m. Alberta is reporting 1,743 new cases of COVID-19 and nine additional deaths. Officials say 23,623 cases are considered active. There are 671 people in hospital and 150 of those patients are in intensive care. A total of 2,099 Albertans have now died due to the disease. --- 6 p.m. The British Columbia government says pregnant women are now part of a priority population to get their COVID-19 vaccination. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says in a statement they've reviewed the data that show pregnant women experience more severe illness, similar to people who are in their 50s. B.C. reported 697 new cases on Tuesday and one new death, for a total of 1,597 fatalities since the pandemic began in the province. More than 1.9 million doses of vaccines have been administered, with 92,244 of those being second shots. --- 6 p.m. The NDP is asking the federal government to consider invoking the Emergencies Act in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in Alberta. New Democrat MP Heather McPherson says in a letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons that she will propose an emergency debate Wednesday on the pandemic’s third wave that continues to swamp the province. Alberta has more than 23,000 active COVID-19 infections and the highest case rate of any jurisdiction in North America. Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has called on the government to invoke the emergency legislation before, asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on April 18 to take the plunge that would allow Ottawa to shut down interprovincial travel and lock down areas suffering from high case numbers. The decision on whether the NDP request for an emergency debate meets parliamentary criteria rests with Commons Speaker Anthony Rota, who will weigh the ask tomorrow. The request comes as Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is poised to announce new restrictions Tuesday evening amid case rates that threaten to overwhelm the province’s hospitals. --- 3:50 p.m. Health officials in Saskatchewan are reporting 189 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths. They say 2,305 cases are considered active. There are 174 people in hospital and 41 of those patients are in intensive care. The province also says people age 37 and up are able to book appointments for vaccines. Those 18 and over can get vaccines in the Northern Saskatchewan District. The province says front-line workers are also eligible and must provide proof of employment at the time of immunization. --- 3 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting four new cases of COVID-19. Provincial health authorities say three of those infections have been linked to travel while the fourth remains under investigation. There are now 56 active reported infections in the province and two people are in hospital due to the disease. As of Tuesday, 37 per cent of people over 16 years old in the province had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. --- 2:15 p.m. Nova Scotia is reporting two deaths related to COVID-19 today. Health officials say a woman in her 50s and a man in his 70s have died in the Halifax area. There have now been 69 COVID-related deaths in Nova Scotia. The province is also reporting 153 new cases of COVID-19 today and has 1,060 known active cases. --- 2:15 p.m. New Brunswick is reporting four new cases of COVID-19 today. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says there is one new case in each of the Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton and Bathurst regions. She says all four cases are travel-related. New Brunswick has 141 active reported cases of COVID-19 and six people in hospital with the disease, including two in intensive care. --- 1:45 p.m. Quebec is ending emergency COVID-19 lockdown measures in some parts of the province next week, including the Quebec City area. Premier François Legault says the situation has improved enough in the capital and in two parts of the Outaouais region in western Quebec to allow high school students to return to class, non-essential businesses to open and the nightly curfew to be pushed to 9:30 p.m. from 8 p.m. beginning May 10. Legault imposed the emergency measures at the beginning of April in hard-hit regions of the province. The premier, however, says the situation has worsened in the Granit regional municipality, south of Quebec City, and is closing non-essential businesses, schools and advancing the curfew in that area. --- 1:35 p.m. Health officials have announced 290 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba and the death of a man in 40s linked to a variant of concern. The five-day test positivity rate has been steadily climbing and is now 8.5 per cent provincially and 9.2 per cent for Winnipeg. The province also added more neighbourhoods to those prioritized for vaccinations today. Anyone over 18 living in the Winnipeg communities of River East South, St. Vital North and Seven Oaks East can now get a dose. Some people who work in the neighbourhoods are also eligible. --- 11:55 a.m. Canada's chief public health officer says there have been 1.2 million cases of COVID-19 in the country including over 24,300 deaths linked to the virus. Dr. Theresa Tam says Canada is making progress nationally, but there are a few "tricky spots." She says the decline in national cases has slowed, with an average of 7,900 cases reported daily, and the number of people experiencing critical or severe illness is high. Tam says more than 1,450 people are being treated in intensive care units every day and an average of 47 deaths are being reported daily. --- 11:35 a.m. Canada is receiving a shipment of Moderna vaccine a week earlier than expected. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is picking up its next shipment of Moderna vaccine tonight in Europe. He says by tomorrow morning, a million Moderna doses will be on the ground in Canada. Trudeau also says this week, just like every week in May, Canada is receiving two million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech alone. --- 11:15 a.m. The Quebec government is reporting 797 cases of COVID-19 as well as 16 additional deaths due to the pandemic. Hospitalizations increased by six to 594, while the number of people in intensive care rose by four to 155. The province administered another 50,379 vaccine doses in the past 24 hours and added 1,762 from previous days to its tally, for a total of 3,308,542 total doses given to date. Health Minister Christian Dubé says at least 75 per cent of Quebecers age 55 to 59 have now booked their first shots, but that the province wants to surpass that target in order to maximize herd immunity. --- 11 a.m. Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet says he supports the idea of a vaccine passport for international travel. Blanchet says countries should work toward a common definition of safe inoculation, and then allow international travel by passengers with proper certification. Blanchet says the main hurdle is the United States, which so far has been reluctant to take steps toward vaccine passports. Health Minister Patty Hajdu said recently that the federal government is working on a form of certification to allow vaccinated Canadians to travel abroad again. --- 10:50 a.m. Health officials on Prince Edward Island are reporting one new case of COVID-19. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison says the latest case involves a person in their 50s who travelled outside of Atlantic Canada. There are now seven active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and there have been 183 cases since the onset of the pandemic. --- 10:30 a.m. Ontario reports that there are 2,791 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and 25 more deaths linked to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says 931 of those new cases are in Toronto, 653 are in Peel Region, and 275 are in York Region. Over 88,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in Ontario since Monday's report, for a total of more than 5.4 million doses. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2021. The Canadian Press
As some countries begin to think about vaccine passports or certifications to resume international travel, Canada's prime minister is teasing that the country has plans to use a similar approach. "As people start to travel again, perhaps this summer if everything goes well, it would make sense for us to align with partners around the world on some sort of proof of vaccination or vaccine certification," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a press conference on Tuesday. "We are now working with allies, particularly in Europe, on that."
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. There are 1,249,950 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 1,249,950 confirmed cases (82,700 active, 1,142,854 resolved, 24,396 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 6,689 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 217.6 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 54,964 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 7,852. There were 56 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 333 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 48. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 64.19 per 100,000 people. There have been 32,009,489 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,108 confirmed cases (60 active, 1,042 resolved, six deaths). There were four new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 11.49 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 46 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is seven. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 245,185 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 183 confirmed cases (seven active, 176 resolved, zero deaths). There was one new case Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 4.39 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been six 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 145,197 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 3,007 confirmed cases (1,060 active, 1,878 resolved, 69 deaths). There were 153 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 108.23 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 792 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 113. There were two new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.03 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 7.05 per 100,000 people. There have been 615,003 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,958 confirmed cases (142 active, 1,778 resolved, 38 deaths). There were four new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 18.17 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 76 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 11. There were zero new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.04 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 4.86 per 100,000 people. There have been 306,252 tests completed. _ Quebec: 353,475 confirmed cases (8,892 active, 333,624 resolved, 10,959 deaths). There were 797 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 103.7 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 6,879 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 983. There were 16 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 63 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is nine. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.1 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 127.81 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,389,792 tests completed. _ Ontario: 476,692 confirmed cases (36,440 active, 432,109 resolved, 8,143 deaths). There were 2,791 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 247.32 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 24,566 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 3,509. There were 25 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 179 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 26. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.17 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 55.27 per 100,000 people. There have been 14,079,987 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 39,814 confirmed cases (2,692 active, 36,142 resolved, 980 deaths). There were 291 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 195.18 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,792 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 256. There was one new reported death Tuesday. 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 71.05 per 100,000 people. There have been 692,925 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 42,006 confirmed cases (2,305 active, 39,202 resolved, 499 deaths). There were 189 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 195.56 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,605 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 229. There were two new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 17 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.21 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 42.34 per 100,000 people. There have been 777,973 tests completed. _ Alberta: 198,653 confirmed cases (23,623 active, 172,931 resolved, 2,099 deaths). There were 1,743 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 534.23 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 13,813 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,973. There were nine new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 32 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is five. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.1 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.47 per 100,000 people. There have been 4,198,124 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 132,353 confirmed cases (7,373 active, 123,383 resolved, 1,597 deaths). There were 697 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 143.23 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,305 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 758. There was one new reported death Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 26 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 31.02 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,518,679 tests completed. _ Yukon: 82 confirmed cases (one active, 79 resolved, two deaths). There were zero new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 2.38 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of one new case. 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 4.76 per 100,000 people. There have been 9,054 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 71 confirmed cases (20 active, 51 resolved, zero deaths). There were 12 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 44.29 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 20 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 zero per 100,000 people. There have been 18,721 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 535 confirmed cases (85 active, 446 resolved, four deaths). There were seven new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 215.99 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 63 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is nine. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 10.16 per 100,000 people. There have been 12,521 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published May 4, 2021. The Canadian Press
Public health doctors and immunologists in Canada are calling for a wait-and-see approach as the idea of mixing doses of different COVID-19 vaccines is being considered to quickly inoculate more people around the world. The changes will be guided by the results of a major study expected to be released this summer in the United Kingdom. Kelly McNagny, an immunologist at the University of British Columbia, said mixing and matching vaccines is a viable way to proceed because mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna work essentially the same way as viral-vector vaccines manufactured by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson in creating a protein that triggers an immune response against the virus that causes COVID-19. "I can't see a reason why mixing and matching would not work just fine, but the studies are not in yet," said McNagny, a professor in the school of biomedical engineering and the department of medical genetics. "It is an evolving situation. There is great data to show that if you get the normally scheduled routine vaccination, you get protected really well. The problem is there's a shortage of vaccines." Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, told a news conference this week that the mix-and-match data coming out of the U.K. is being followed "very closely" and that using different vaccines for the first and second doses may provide even greater protection. Tam's comment came after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization said the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are preferred over AstraZeneca and J&J due to a very low risk of blood clots, fuelling concern and confusion because the panel's recommendation contradicts Health Canada's position. Further clarification is expected on whether people who received AstraZeneca for their first dose should also get the same vaccine for their second shot, Tam said. “I think we’re all interested in the approach of actually mixing different types of vaccines, like an mRNA following a viral-vector vaccine, for example,” she said. The U.K. mix-and-match study began in February with about 800 volunteers over the age of 50 who received either the AstraZeneca vaccine and then the Pfizer vaccine or vice versa several weeks later, or two doses of the same vaccine each time. Participants, who did not know which vaccines they got, provided blood samples to measure the level of antibodies and T cells that vaccines produce to attack the virus. British Columbia's provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said the study to determine the efficacy of administering different vaccines is among others being followed in Canada. However, she and her colleagues across the country are advising everyone to get the first vaccine that's available to reduce transmission of COVID-19, Henry said, adding: "That includes the AstraZeneca vaccine." Gurpreet Malhotra, CEO of Indus Community Services based in Mississauga, Ont., said the agency serving the South Asian community in the Peel region has worked hard to build vaccine confidence and any kind of mixed messaging about a possible mix-and-match plan could be rejected because people may wait for a specific vaccine in keeping with the national panel's recommendation. Poor communication about COVID-19 vaccines has caused "a significant portion of the population to freak," especially those who are already hesitant about getting vaccinated in any community across the country, he said. "Some of those are high-risk groups. Those people need their confidence built and every time there's a confusing message, that creates another opportunity to say, 'Let's wait and see,'" he said. Several social service groups in the Peel area, home to a large number of essential-service jobs at warehouses and food processing plants, have been educating people in multiple languages to create a strong vaccination program for those more vulnerable to infection, Malhotra said. "The community is now actively mobilizing at its temples and pop-ups and mosques and other community settings. There's not a situation where there's vaccine waiting to go into someone's arm." He urged federal and provincial officials to provide streamlined information and said the national immunization panel's position on the AstraZeneca vaccine only served to create mistrust among those who are now confused about whether they should wait for a different vaccine for their second dose. "Mixed messaging is not helpful. And having contradictory messaging or messaging that gets walked back after consideration doesn't help." This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2021. Camille Bains, The Canadian Press
Nova Scotians under lockdown face fines for leaving their own communities as the province battles an aggressive third wave of COVID-19 that has shuttered schools and businesses while new case numbers reach unprecedented highs. But employees and contractors of Irving Shipbuilding are arriving from around the world in Halifax — which lies in the epicentre of the current outbreak — for the company's latest round of at-sea testing. "Restaurants in this province are closed," a source familiar with the sailing told CBC News on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to address the media. "How can we have 78-odd people eating in a cafeteria on the ship?" Testing the ship's systems The future HMCS Margaret Brooke is the second Arctic and offshore patrol ship off the assembly line in Halifax. The ship's first sea trial is scheduled to begin Thursday, with 78 passengers aboard from at least eight different companies whose employees come from as many as five different countries. A portion of the vessel's passenger manifest for the sailing scheduled for May 6.(Contributed. Names blurred by CBC News for privacy.) Representatives from each type of contractor, including propulsion, navigation, communications and weaponry, all gather aboard to see how the systems work together so that any issues can be fixed before the ship is delivered to the military. CBC News spoke to sources familiar with the sailing plan and obtained a copy of the ship's passenger manifest and a list of the company's COVID-19 precautions. Workers did not quarantine, says source One source said workers have arrived from Ontario, Quebec, the United States and Scotland. The source said workers did not self-isolate upon their arrival in Canada, adding that one "flew in last week." Other workers are possibly coming from Germany and Poland, based on matching their names and employment details with the home listed on their social media accounts. A list of precautions for the ship's crew says "physical distancing shall be maintained throughout the sea trial where feasible." All personnel will complete a health questionnaire and have their temperature taken. Rapid testing will be available before the ship's departure. The document also outlines increased sanitation efforts and mandatory masking when moving through communal areas. All out-of-province workers are expected to follow provincial health guidelines when not in their designated work area. They must take their breaks and eat their meals in their cabins. Signs or tags will indicate who is exempt from the mandatory 14-day isolation period. Irving travel exemptions revoked last year As of Tuesday, Nova Scotia had 1,060 active cases of COVID-19. Of the 153 new cases reported, 139 were in the central zone, which includes the Halifax Regional Municipality. Last July, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health revoked travel exemptions for Irving Shipbuilding after shipyard employees raised concerns about company executives flying between Canada and the U.S. without self-isolating. Provincial officials said Tuesday those exemptions remain revoked. Irving Shipyard, with the future HMCS Margaret Brooke awaiting its sea trial this week.(Brett Ruskin/CBC) But Irving Shipbuilding has applied to have five other staff members enter the province. To be approved, an applicant must show the work being done is urgent, that it relates to critical infrastructure, and that no other person in Atlantic Canada can do the job. "At this time, two have been approved," said Heather Fairbairn, a spokesperson for the provincial government. "One for an international traveller who is completing their 14-day self-quarantined period before starting work. The second is for a domestic traveller and the appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols are in place." Health, safety 'highest priority,' says Irving It's unclear how many workers have arrived from outside Nova Scotia to board the ship and under what authority they entered the region. In response to CBC News questions, Irving Shipbuilding issued a statement saying that it is following directives from Nova Scotia Health to "safeguard our employees." "The health and safety of our employees is our highest priority," wrote Mary Keith, vice-president of communications for J.D. Irving Ltd. "Along with [Nova Scotia Health], we are also working closely with our joint occupational health and safety committee, which includes members from both our union and salaried workforce and together have undertaken additional protocols." Health authority officials confirmed to CBC News that it's the provincial government that approves or denies entry for workers. The future HMCS Margaret Brooke is scheduled to return to Halifax on Sunday following its sea trial. MORE TOP STORIES
Police in Saskatoon are hoping a voice recording will help them locate Megan Gallagher, a 30-year-old woman who has been missing since September. The recording contains two people using Gallagher's cellphone to call a cab. It was recorded one day after she was last seen. Police said the two people asked to be picked up on the 700 block of Weldon Avenue and were dropped off on the 100 block of Avenue P S. at about 3:30 a.m. CST ob Sept. 21, 2020. Police hope to identify the people on the call so they can be questioned. Gallagher was last seen on video surveillance at a convenience store in the 3700 block of Diefenbaker Drive one day before the call was made. Police said Gallagher's cellphone has not been found. In January, Saskatoon police said the woman's disappearance is being treated as a homicide. The major crimes unit has been investigating along with the missing persons unit. On Sept. 20, Megan Gallagher was captured on a surveillance video at a convenience store on the 3700 block of Diefenbaker Dr. in Saskatoon at around 6 a.m. CST, say police.(Saskatoon Police Service) Police said Gallagher was wearing a black Cabella's hoodie, black pants and a light blue shirt underneath her hoodie at the time of her disappearance. Gallagher has several tattoos, including a half-sleeve with a large owl from shoulder to elbow, a crossbow behind her ear, a rainbow coloured feather on her ankle and the names Jake and Adam beneath her arm. She also has "#13" on her hand. Anyone with information is asked to contact Saskatoon police or Crime Stoppers.
OTTAWA — They didn't always agree on what to do, but scores of concerned citizens penned letters urging the federal Liberals to address police mistreatment of Black and Indigenous people as the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota helped spark indignation about injustices in Canada. Hundreds of pages of correspondence disclosed through the Access to Information Act reveal deep mistrust of the RCMP and other police services, along with plenty of suggestions on how to make things better. Many of the emails, from May 25 to July 1 of last year, were addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, though they all wound up in the inbox of Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, the cabinet member responsible for the Mounties and the federal prison and border agencies. In most cases the senders' names were removed, out of respect for privacy, before release under the access law. "The people should know they are safe in the presence of the law," said a message from Toronto. "Right now, many do not." A Verdun, Que., writer said that as a white male he had never experienced racial or gender discrimination, so he could not truly understand the pain and rage of people of colour. "But I feel their pain and will not remain silent." Added another letter: "Although we might need the police in some specific instances, the unrestrained force that they regularly use against Black and Indigenous people is appalling and completely unacceptable in a country like Canada." At an anti-racism rally in Ottawa last June, Trudeau put one knee to the ground, his head bowed, as others also took a knee around him. The demonstration was one of several events in Canada following days of rallies against racism and police brutality in numerous American cities prompted by Floyd's death at the hands of police. RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki initially stopped short last June of endorsing Trudeau’s assessment that the national police force, like all Canadian institutions, exhibits systemic racism. In a sudden reversal soon after, Lucki spoke with regret for not having done so. A writer from Powell River, B.C., told Trudeau in mid-June it was time for Lucki to go. "Enough is enough! The replacement of the current commissioner will send notice to our police and all our nation's people that this laissez-faire hedging and outright denial will not stand." A New Brunswick correspondent advised the prime minister that demanding Lucki's resignation would not rid the RCMP of racism, and instead recommended improved recruitment and training of Mounties. "Selecting better suited candidates would go a long way in rectifying the situation." The Mounties should be completely removed from Indigenous communities, a writer from Amherst, N.S., said after seeing a video of the RCMP violently arresting Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam in Alberta. "I have read before that the Indigenous people have grown to distrust the RCMP and I now see why." A letter from Calgary urged Blair late last July to take drastic action by diverting funds from police forces to "those measures that actually address the root of crime," such as education, mental-health services, housing and social work. "There are countless examples of police brutality in Canadian history, and without acknowledging this fact and actively working to change it, there will continue to be," the message says. An email from B.C. rejected the notion of reducing police budgets, calling instead for better training of officers in arrest methods. Another letter writer urged the prime minister to take concrete steps as soon as possible to reform Canadian policing to eliminate racial bias. "Unfortunately, we haven't done enough yet to save the lives and preserve the well-being of Black and Indigenous Canadians," the letter says. "I don't know what the solutions are, but I encourage you to listen to the people who do." The House of Commons public safety committee is preparing to release a report on systemic racism in policing. In last fall's throne speech, the Liberal government promised legislation and money to address systemic inequities in all phases of the criminal justice system. It pledged action on issues ranging from sentencing and rehabilitation to improved civilian oversight of the RCMP and standards on police use of force. The planned measures also include modern training for police and other law-enforcement agencies, as well as broader RCMP reforms that emphasize a shift toward community-led policing. In addition, the Liberals promised to speed up work on a legislative framework for First Nations policing as an essential service, seen as crucial to ensuring safety in Indigenous communities. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2021. Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press
For the second time in less than a week, the public health authority in Windsor-Essex is warning about a high number of opioid overdoses. According to an opioid-overdose alert issued on Wednesday, there were eight overdoses recorded in the three-day period between April 30 and May 2. The overdoses occurred primarily in Windsor, according to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, and seven out of the eight involved use of the highly powered opiate fentanyl. The health unit also issued an alert about overdoses on Saturday, saying there had been eight overdoses between April 26 and April 29. In total, there were 16 overdoses in between April 26 and May 2. Additionally, there were 10 EMS overdose notifications flagged by the monitoring system. "Compared to historical weekly comparisons for the same time period, these indicators surpass our threshold levels for an extreme alert," the statement said. The statement said that partners involved in the Windsor-Essex Community Overdose and Substance Strategy (WECOSS), are monitoring the increase and working to understand more about the cases reported. So far this year, WECOSS has issued seven alerts about spikes in overdoses. Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health for Windsor and Essex County, said Wednesday that the pandemic is affecting those with substance use and mental health problems more severely than others. "These high rates of overdoses [are] ringing alarm in our community and we want to make sure that all the agencies that are working with this population are aware and are creating that awareness, distributing naloxone kits, ensuring that all the proper education is provided to them," he said at the WECHU daily briefing on Wednesday.
WHO experts have voiced "very low confidence" in data provided by Chinese state-owned drugmaker Sinopharm on its COVID-19 vaccine regarding the risk of serious side-effects in some patients, but overall confidence in its ability to prevent the disease, a document seen by Reuters shows. A World Health Organization spokesman said that the document on Sinopharm vaccine BBIBP-CorV was "one of many resources" on which recommendations are made, tentatively scheduled to be issued later this week. In Beijing, Sinopharm was not immediately reachable for comment outside working hours.
Australia's most populous state reported its first locally acquired coronavirus infection in more than a month on Wednesday, with health authorities working to track down the source and the variant involved. Although Australia has largely eradicated COVID-19, a man in his 50s with no known links to hotels used to quarantine people who have arrived from overseas tested positive on Tuesday, the state's health ministry said in a statement. The unidentified man visited several spots in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, the state capital and Australia's biggest city, the ministry said.