Speaking to reporters outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Ontario on Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlined the methodology behind Canada’s mandatory three-day quarantine for returning travellers.
Speaking to reporters outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Ontario on Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlined the methodology behind Canada’s mandatory three-day quarantine for returning travellers.
(Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse/The Associated Press - image credit) Health Canada's approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Serum Institute of India's version to prevent COVID-19 in adults follows similar green lights from regulators in the United Kingdom, Europe Union, Mexico and India. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, called ChAdOx1, was approved for use in Canada on Friday following clinical trials in the United Kingdom and Brazil that showed a 62.1 per cent efficacy in reducing symptomatic cases of COVID-19 cases among those given the vaccine. Experts have said any vaccine with an efficacy rate of over 50 per cent could help stop outbreaks. Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, said the key number across all of the clinical trials for those who received AstraZeneca's product was zero — no deaths, no hospitalizations for serious COVID-19 and no deaths because of an adverse effect of the vaccine. "I think Canada is hungry for vaccines," Sharma said in a briefing. "We're putting more on the buffet table to be used." Specifically, 64 of 5,258 in the vaccination group got COVID-19 with symptoms compared with people in the control group given injections (154 of 5,210 got COVID-19 with symptoms). Dr. Susy Hota, medical director of infection prevention and control at Toronto's University Health Network, called it a positive move to have AstraZeneca's vaccines added to Canada's options. "Even though the final efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine appears lower than what we have with the mRNA vaccines, it's still reasonably good," Hota said. "What we need to be focusing on is trying to get as many people as possible vaccinated so we can prevent the harms from this." Canada has an agreement with AstraZeneca to buy 20 million doses as well as between 1.9 million and 3.2 million doses through the global vaccine-sharing initiative known as COVAX. WATCH | AstraZeneca vaccine overview: Canada will also receive 2 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the government announced Friday. Here's a look at some common questions about the vaccine, how it works, in whom and how it could be rolled out. What's different about this shot? The Oxford-AstraZeneca is cheaper and easier to handle than the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which need to be stored at ultracold temperatures to protect the fragile genetic material. AstraZeneca says its vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2 to 8 C) for at least six months. (Moderna's product can be stored at refrigeration temperatures for 30 days after thawing.) The ease of handling could make it easier to administer AstraZeneca's vaccine in rural and remote areas of Canada and the world. "There are definitely some advantages to having multiple vaccine candidates available to get to as many Canadians as possible," Hota said. Sharma said while the product monograph notes that evidence for people over age 65 is limited, real-world data from countries already using AstraZeneca's vaccine suggest it is safe and effective among older age groups. "We have real-world evidence from Scotland and the U.K. for people that have been dosed that would have been over 80 and that has shown significant drop in hospitalizations," Sharma said, based on a preprint. Data from clinical trials is more limited compared with in real-world settings that reflect people from different age groups, medical conditions and other factors. How does it work? Vaccines work by training our immune system to recognize an invader. The first two vaccines to protect against COVID-19 that were approved for use in Canada deliver RNA that encodes the spike protein on the surface of the pandemic coronavirus. Health-care workers Diego Feitosa Ferreira, right, and Clemilton Lopes de Oliveira travel on a boat in the state of Amazonas in Brazil, on Feb. 12, to vaccinate residents with the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The product can be stored at refrigeration temperatures, which facilitates its use in remote areas. In contrast, the AstraZeneca vaccine packs the genetic information for the spike protein in the shell of a virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees. Vaccine makers altered the adenovirus so it can't grow in humans. Viral vector vaccines mimic viral infection more closely than some other kinds of vaccines. One disadvantage of viral vectors is that if a person has immunity toward a particular vector, the vaccine won't work as well. But people are unlikely to have been exposed to a chimpanzee adenovirus. AstraZeneca is working on reformulating its vaccine to address more transmissible variants of coronavirus. How and where could it be used? Virologist Eric Arts at Western University in London, Ont., said vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, which is also under review by Health Canada, and Russian Sputnik-V vaccines all have some similarities. "I do like the fact that AstraZeneca has decided to continue trials, to work with the Russians on the Sputnik-V vaccine combination," said Arts, who holds the Canada Research Chair in HIV pathogenesis and viral control. Boxes with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine are pictured at St. Mary's Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Health Canada says the vaccine is given by two separate injections of 0.5 millilitres each into the muscle of the arm. "The reason why I'm encouraged by it is I think there might be greater opportunity to administer those vaccines in low- to middle-income countries. We need that. I think our high-income countries have somewhat ignored the situation that is more significant globally." Researchers reported on Feb. 2 in the journal Lancet that in a Phase 3 clinical trial involving about 20,000 people in Russia, the two-dose Sputnik-V vaccine was about 91 per cent effective and appears to prevent inoculated individuals from becoming severely ill with COVID-19. WATCH | Performance of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine so far: There were 16 COVID-19 cases in the vaccine group (0.1 per cent or 16/14,964) and 62 cases (1.3 per cent or [62/4,902) in the control group. No serious adverse events were associated with vaccination. Most adverse events were mild, such as flu-like symptoms, pain at injection site and weakness or low energy. Arts and other scientists acknowledged the speed and lack of transparency of the Russian vaccination program. But British scientists Ian Jones and Polly Roy wrote in an accompanying commentary that the results are clear and add another vaccine option to reduce the incidence of COVID-19.
(Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press - image credit) Kaleb Dahlgren says he still has no memory of the crash that changed his life. Dahlgren played right wing for the Humboldt Broncos in 2018 and was on the team bus on April 6, 2018, when it collided with a tractor trailer while heading to Nipawin, Sask., for a playoff game. Sixteen people died that day at that highway intersection. Dahlgren was one of 13 who survived. He suffered a fractured skull, a puncture wound in his head, a brain injury and six broken vertebrae in his neck and back. "I think I might actually remember what happened one day. Lots of doctors have said that there is a possibility for sure, and I still have no real recollection of it yet," he said in an interview. "I hope I do eventually. I'm OK with understanding what happened and all that. And if it doesn't ... that's OK, too. I think whatever happens, happens, and there's nothing I can change about it." Dahlgren is 23 now, living with his parents in Saskatoon and studying commerce online at York University in Toronto. Now, in addition to his studies, he has co-written a memoir. Crossroads is the story of Dahlgren's life in hockey. The scene of the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 in Saskatchewan. Skating still a passion "I first got on the ice when I was two and took my first actual team skate when I was four," he said. "I just loved it. I loved going on the ice and hearing the little ripples in the ice, the skates when you stop, the sound it made, and even the wind going through my hair." Dahlgren met with CBC at the SaskTel Centre, a 13,000 seat hockey arena in the city's north end. After the interview, he laced up his CCMs and dumped a bag of pucks on the glossy ice. It quickly became apparent that talking about skating with Dahlgren is not the same as standing at centre ice while he comes from behind the net at speed. It's like getting passed by a sports car — a sports car with a big grin on its grille. The book weaves together Dahlgren's journey through the hockey system — he played for at least 30 teams over the years before joining the Broncos — with the challenges of managing Type 1 diabetes. The memoir also follows his life after the crash, from the months of rehabilitation, grief and uncertainty, to his decision to study at York. He'll graduate this year and plans to continue his studies and become a chiropractor. Different uniform, same smile. Kaleb Dahlgren, who survived the devastating Humboldt Broncos bus crash, on the ice with the York Lions in Toronto. He also had the chance at York to practise with the Lions, the university hockey team. He didn't participate in full contact drills, instead concentrating on his edge work, working with the goalies or even just passing the puck from the corner. "I really try to do my part and still be a great guy off the ice, too." Moving forward while honouring friends The memoir is also a tribute to the people who died that day. It's full of anecdotes about playing for a junior hockey team in a small town and features a chapter where he offers his memories of each of the victims. Dahlgren said one of the reasons for writing the book was to "set down the Bronco side of me." "So if anyone has any questions, they could read the book and then [I could] move forward and continue on living my life to the fullest, but still honour them and remember them every day." The 2018 Humboldt Broncos, less than a month before the deadly crash. He met with co-author Dan Robson four to five hours a week over a six-month span to coax out the details of his story and complete the manuscript. Robson, a writer with Sportsnet, has written autobiographies of hockey names like Pat Quinn and Johnny Bower and co-authored books with players like Doug Gilmore. WATCH: Kaleb Dahlgren talks about leadership on and off the ice A portion of proceeds from the sale of the book will go to STARS Air Ambulance. STARS helicopters ferried some of those injured in the crash that day to hospitals around the province. "They save lives every day, and I think there's nothing more special than having a second chance at life," Dahlgren said. Crossroads is set to be released on March 16.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Sunday Feb. 28, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 61,729 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,836,328 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 4,845.285 per 100,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,441,670 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 75.21 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland is reporting 3,827 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 20,285 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 38.739 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 33,820 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 59.98 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 1,485 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 12,176 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 76.758 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 14,715 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 82.75 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 6,987 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 32,019 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 32.81 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 61,980 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 51.66 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 5,135 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 26,317 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 33.738 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 46,775 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 56.26 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 17,859 new vaccinations administered for a total of 418,399 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 48.898 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 537,825 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 77.79 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 24,339 new vaccinations administered for a total of 668,104 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 45.483 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 903,285 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 73.96 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 2,085 new vaccinations administered for a total of 73,554 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 53.416 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 108,460 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 67.82 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 6,050 new vaccinations administered for a total of 75,501 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 64.03 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 74,605 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 101.2 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 11,396 new vaccinations administered for a total of 218,696 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 49.681 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 274,965 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 79.54 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 252,373 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 49.18 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 323,340 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 78.05 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 15,174 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 363.615 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 18,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 80.29 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 16,454 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 364.68 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 19,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 42 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 86.15 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 7,276 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 187.884 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 23,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 62 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 30.44 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published February 28, 2021. The Canadian Press
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Sunday Feb. 28, 2021. There are 864,196 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 864,196 confirmed cases (30,864 active, 811,372 resolved, 21,960 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 2,726 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 81.21 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 20,391 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,913. There were 45 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 330 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 47. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 57.78 per 100,000 people. There have been 24,328,440 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 981 confirmed cases (274 active, 701 resolved, six deaths). There were four new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 52.48 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 80 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 11. There was one new reported death Saturday. 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 0.05 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 195,286 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 127 confirmed cases (13 active, 114 resolved, zero deaths). There were six new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 8.14 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 12 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 101,073 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,638 confirmed cases (39 active, 1,534 resolved, 65 deaths). There were four new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 3.98 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 30 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is four. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.64 per 100,000 people. There have been 326,109 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,430 confirmed cases (42 active, 1,362 resolved, 26 deaths). There were two new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 5.37 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 10 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There were zero new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.04 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 3.33 per 100,000 people. There have been 235,465 tests completed. _ Quebec: 287,003 confirmed cases (7,973 active, 268,645 resolved, 10,385 deaths). There were 858 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 92.98 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,547 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 792. There were 13 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 93 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 13. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.15 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 121.11 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,250,877 tests completed. _ Ontario: 299,754 confirmed cases (10,479 active, 282,315 resolved, 6,960 deaths). There were 1,185 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 71.12 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 7,755 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,108. There were 16 new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 112 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 16. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.24 per 100,000 people. There have been 10,790,098 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 31,809 confirmed cases (1,208 active, 29,708 resolved, 893 deaths). There were 90 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 87.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 480 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 69. There were four new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 11 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 64.74 per 100,000 people. There have been 528,966 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 28,506 confirmed cases (1,548 active, 26,573 resolved, 385 deaths). There were 162 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 131.33 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,068 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 153. There were five new reported deaths Saturday. 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 32.66 per 100,000 people. There have been 570,478 tests completed. _ Alberta: 133,203 confirmed cases (4,546 active, 126,774 resolved, 1,883 deaths). There were 415 new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 102.81 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,468 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 353. There were six new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 65 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is nine. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.21 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 42.58 per 100,000 people. There have been 3,387,838 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 79,262 confirmed cases (4,719 active, 73,188 resolved, 1,355 deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 91.67 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,923 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 418. There were zero new reported deaths Saturday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 28 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 26.32 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,910,966 tests completed. _ Yukon: 72 confirmed cases (zero active, 71 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. 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 8,142 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 42 confirmed cases (three active, 39 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 6.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 14,451 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 356 confirmed cases (20 active, 335 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Saturday. The rate of active cases is 50.82 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 2.54 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,615 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Feb. 28, 2021. The Canadian Press
TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $12 million jackpot in Saturday night's Lotto 649 draw.However, the draw's guaranteed $1 million prize went to a lottery player in Ontario.The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on Mar. 3 will be approximately $15 million. The Canadian Press
When it comes to vaccine hesitancy, misinformation and mistrust sparked by "medical racism" are among issues confronting scientists, doctors and community groups trying to provide assurance as immunization programs roll out across Canada. Dina Guarin, 56, hasn't decided if she'll get vaccinated but said her sister, a nurse in Seattle, has already been immunized. "Will it be safe? Will it really keep us from getting COVID?" Guarin said from Vancouver. She said she knows someone who's worried about possible long-term consequences including infertility and that her 81-year-old mother and others in the Filipino community want information in Tagalog. Tara Moriarty, an infectious diseases researcher at the University of Toronto's faculties of dentistry and medicine, started a project in January to host seven-nights-a-week Zoom sessions with residents and staff of long-term care and retirement homes, along with family members, in order to provide reliable information on vaccines. "I had no idea when we started about just how much need there was," said Moriarty, whose past experience as a personal support worker in Montreal had her concerned about the slow deployment of vaccine and the potential for widespread deaths, especially among older adults. The initiative is run by COVID-19 Resources Canada, which Moriarty co-founded last March, and has expanded so anyone hesitant about getting vaccinated could join to get their questions answered by a rotating group of about 30 volunteer health-care experts. They include virologists, pharmacists, family doctors and scientists who offer jargon-free explanations. Moriarty said some of the top questions asked include how vaccines could have been developed in under a year and whether they can be administered to people taking certain medications, pregnant women or those with a chronic illness. "There are no talking heads," Moriarty said of the experts' conversational approach as they also address issues like bogus treatments being promoted online and the findings of the latest clinical trials. The project has been so successful that she has also started daytime Zoom sessions for unions representing health-care workers. Prital Patel, a public-health scientist with a PhD in medical biophysics from the University of Toronto, is a regular participant in the sessions and said they also provide experts like her a chance to understand the concerns of people as they "let their guard down" if they're hesitant about being immunized. "As scientists, we're a bit oblivious to what people are hearing on the ground and the kinds of misinformation that's leading them to perhaps become a bit hesitant. So we can actually really try and speak to the truth and the science behind everything in a way that's understandable." Those who may have experienced racism in the health-care system and are disproportionately affected by the pandemic are a key focus for her, Patel said from Sydney, Australia, where she is working on a project to understand the risk factors associated with health-care workers becoming infected with COVID-19. "As a person of colour, I'm there to represent any people who are from the South Asian background who may not speak English," said Patel, who speaks Gujarati and Hindi as well as some Kiswahili, which she learned in Kenya. British Columbia and Ontario have prioritized immunization for Indigenous communities, and federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller has said the government is working with other provincial and territorial health authorities to prepare mass vaccination programs for First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities. In northern Ontario, for example, residents of 31 remote communities, mostly of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, are currently being inoculated as teams of health-care workers are deployed there for a weeklong stint. Dr. Lisa Richardson, an internal medicine specialist and a strategic lead in Indigenous health at the University of Toronto's faculty of medicine, said she will be part of a team going north this week. The initiative headed by Ornge, the province's air ambulance service, requires health-care providers to take nine hours of training in Indigenous cultural safety to work with vulnerable communities that have historical reasons for vaccine hesitancy, Richardson said. "When I talk about vaccine hesitancy, I actually invert it and I say, 'problems with the health-care system that have led to vaccine hesitancy.' So, when you start to explain that historical context, people can then situate the mistrust in that," she said. "As an Indigenous practitioner, I hear about stories of mistreatment in the health-care system, even just locally, every week. So, it's an ongoing problem," said Richardson, noting the example of Quebec resident Joyce Echaquan, who posted a video of herself being verbally abused as she lay dying in hospital last October. Richardson said people who get adequate information about COVID-19 vaccines feel empowered to make their own choice, and the vast majority of people in Indigenous communities are getting immunized. "You're going to mull it over and make the decision yourself. That's really key so that it's not forced because there's been so much forced activity in health care, things that are done without consent." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021. Camille Bains, The Canadian Press
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — Dylan Guenther and Kaid Oliver each scored two goals in a 7-2 Edmonton Oil Kings win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Oliver also had two assists to cap off his four-point night while Guenther added an assist to his tally. Liam Keeler, Scott Atkinson and Jalen Luypen also scored for Edmonton (2-0-0-0). Sebastian Cossa made 17 saves between the pipes for Edmonton. Justin Hall scored both goals for Lethbridge (0-2-0-0). Goaltender Bryan Thomson allowed all seven goals while making only 30 saves. --- TIGERS 7 REBELS 2 MEDICINE HAT, AB — The Medicine Hat Tigers had seven different goal scorers hit the back of the net in a 7-2 demolishing of the Red Deer Rebels Saturday night at home. Garin Bjorklund made 19 saves for Medicine Hat while Red Deer goaltenders Ethan Anders and Byron Fancy combined for 26 saves. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021. The Canadian Press
(Michael Wilson/CBC - image credit) In an effort to encourage Canadians to keep in touch during the pandemic, Canada Post is sending every household a free postcard to mail to a loved one. Starting Monday,13.5 million postage-paid postcards will begin arriving at every residential address across the country. "I think that everyone has missed weddings and funerals and birthday celebrations, and we've all missed people and loved ones across the country," said Sylvie Lapointe, a spokesperson with Canada Post in Ottawa. A postcard is one way to tell people they're on your mind, she said. The Canada Post Write Here Write Now campaign aims to help Canadians connect through letter writing. Each household will receive one of six designs, including messages such as "Wishing I were there/Tu me manques" and "Sending smiles/Je t'embrasse." The blank postcards have a series of messages on the front and can be mailed anywhere in Canada for free. People can drop the postcards off in any community mailbox or post office and address them to anywhere in Canada. "Meaningful connection is vital for our emotional health, sense of community and overall well-being," said Doug Ettinger, president and CEO of Canada Post, in a news release. "Canada Post wants everyone to stay safe but also stay in touch with the people who matter to them." Increase in people reaching out The campaign comes at a time when traditional letter mail has been in steep decline. In its 2019 report, the Crown corporation said the number of letters and paper bills sent to people's homes fell by 55 per cent since 2006. Yet, spokesperson Lapointe believes the pandemic likely made a dent in that decline, especially over the holiday season. Two of the six postcard designs being sent out to Canadians. 'Meaningful connection is vital for our emotional health,' says Doug Ettinger, president and CEO of Canada Post. "We've seen an increase in the past year in people needing, wanting to reach out to each other," she said. "Over Christmas time, we saw the red and the green envelopes going through our operations in high volume." The global pandemic has posed major challenges to Canada Post but also resulted in more parcel mail as limits on in-person shopping drove consumers online. However, Canada Post said that explosion in home parcel deliveries was not enough to offset revenue losses caused by a drop in letter mail and extra operational-safety costs. With the cost of a single stamp sitting at $1.07 — or $0.92 if purchased in a booklet — Canada Post's free postcard endeavour could also come with a hefty price tag. Lapointe said she didn't know the total cost of the postcard campaign but that the infrastructure is already in place to deliver them.
(Andrew Burton/Reuters - image credit) The agency he runs fell afoul of the Federal Court — and now the country's chief spy is intensifying his campaign for new powers and sounding the alarm about the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's ability to keep tabs on hostile foreign states. But civil liberties advocates are urging Parliament to be skeptical if it agrees to crack open the legislation that governs CSIS. In a rare public speech earlier this month, CSIS director David Vigneault took aim at the spy agency's legislation. "We need to ensure that CSIS authorities continue to evolve so that they are able to address the challenges of the significantly more complex environment around us," he said. "Our act sets technological limitations on intelligence collection that were not foreseen by the drafters of the legislation in 1984 and unduly limit our investigations in a modern era." WATCH | CSIS head takes aim at security laws His speech, delivered virtually to the Centre for International Governance Innovation, said that hostile foreign governments — notably China and Russia — are "aggressively" targeting Canada to obtain political and economic advantages. Leah West, a former federal lawyer who is now a lecturer on national security issues at Carleton University, said the service has been constrained for years by two words in its enabling law: "within Canada." CSIS isn't able to collect foreign intelligence in the way the CIA or MI6 does. Section 16 of the CSIS Act allows the service to collect foreign intelligence relating to the capabilities, intentions or activities of any foreign state — as long as the information itself is located within Canada. "There's a huge gap in Canada's foreign intelligence collection abilities," West said. "In this day and age, having a good understanding of the intents and abilities and priorities of foreign governments is really important. We are living in a global pandemic. This information is extremely important these days." The limitations placed on CSIS's sphere of operations by the law make it unclear whether, for example, the intelligence agency could access a target's information if the data in question were sent via an email hosted on a server outside of Canada. In a rare public speech earlier this month, CSIS Director David Vigneault took aim at the spy agency's legislation. Meanwhile, the Communications Security Establishment — Canada's foreign signals agency — is prohibited from collecting intelligence on people within Canada. "There's a gap for people in Canada who store their data outside of Canada," said West. "And that's a gap that, if I was a foreign state entity, I'd be looking to take advantage of." Federal Court has pushed back at CSIS In recent years, the Federal Court has ruled against CSIS over its approach to foreign intelligence. Just this month, a judge denied the service's request to collect foreign information, ruling that a proposed technique would stray beyond the spy service's legal mandate. The court has noted in the past that Parliament imposed the "within Canada" requirement because collecting intelligence in other countries could harm Canada's international relations — an interpretation CSIS rejects. "The court's interpretation of the 'within Canada' limitation in the context of new technology significantly impacts the ability [of] CSIS to provide advice to the minister of foreign affairs or national defence," CSIS spokesperson John Townsend told CBC News this week. The government of Canada has filed an appeal of that recent Federal Court decision posing specific questions pertaining to the interpretation of CSIS's authority to collect foreign intelligence. Stephanie Carvin, a professor of international affairs at Carleton University and a former national security analyst, called Vigneault's speech a plea for attention from Parliament. "What the director is effectively saying is, 'Look, we've stressed our mandate as far as it goes, but it's no longer adequate to address some of these threats,'" she said. "I think there's this real misconception that intelligence services want to operate in the dark and in the shadows and things like this, and to a certain extent they do. But they also really like legal certainty." But lawyer Lex Gill, an affiliate with the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, said lawmakers should be reluctant to entertain CSIS's requests for greater authority in light of the court's concerns. "The greater a state actor's ability to infringe [on] our privacy rights and our other constitutional rights, the more robust the mechanisms for prior judicial authorization, oversight and review must be," she wrote in an email to CBC News. "It's fair to say that intelligence agencies in Canada have had a track record of asking for more of the former without due regard for the latter." CSIS's request for 'modern tools' questioned Vigneault also said the act needs to be updated so that the service can "use modern tools and assess data and information" — in part to keep up with the flood of information. "When the CSIS Act was drafted in 1984, telephone books and alligator clips on phone lines were among the tools used to identify threat actors and collect information. Information was stored in silos," said Townsend. "The changes contemplated are not about addressing the issue of encryption. Rather, it is about ensuring CSIS analysts have the tools and authorities to help them make sense of exponentially growing data, in strict accordance with Canadians' expectations of privacy." WATCH | Head of CSIS says he's 'most concerned' by the actions of Russia and China That worries Brenda McPhail, privacy director at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. "To me, that sounds like they're looking to leverage artificial intelligence applications and they want to be able to potentially combine large data sets to train and draw inferences from combining different sets of data," she said. That kind of data collection and surveillance can be particularly alarming for people of colour, said McPhail. "It comes from a place of incredible privilege to say, 'I have nothing to hide, so I have nothing to fear.' So a middle aged white woman like me might be able to say that and think she means it," she said. "But a young Black man who's ever been stopped simply for the crime of driving Black would be deeply and intimately aware that it doesn't matter if you're blameless. "People are unjustly and disproportionately targeted and as people in Canada we should care about that. " Who gets to hear CSIS's secrets? CSIS also has signalled it wants Parliament to take another look at the part of the act that says who it can provide classified briefings to. Section 19 of the act says the agency can advise "the government of Canada". Townsend said the agency can still give "sanitized threat overviews" and unclassified briefings to external stakeholders, but stressed that threats to Canada's COVID-19 vaccine rollout have shown that private sector firms play a role in national security. Carvin said that, for years, espionage was focused on governments targeting other governments' secrets and military plans. "That has changed. We are now looking at governments that are targeting NGOs, activist groups in Canada, for clandestine foreign influence purposes, that they're targeting cities and provinces because they control critical infrastructure in Canada and businesses who have lots of important data that is now strategic," she said. "The nature of the threat is such that maybe [CSIS] needs to be talking to groups that are being targeted, say by China." The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has tried to take CSIS to task for sharing information on protesters with the National Energy Board (NEB) and petroleum industry companies — something the advocacy group sees as a violation of section 19 of the CSIS Act. The spy agency's watchdog dismissed BCCLA's complaint and the association is now taking its case to the Federal Court. Government 'will always work with security agencies' Updating the CSIS Act was not mentioned in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's mandate letter to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair. The minister's spokesperson, Mary-Liz Power, said the government is opening to working with CSIS but wouldn't say if the Liberal government would undertake a review of the law any time soon. "Canadians expect their government's agencies to keep pace with evolving threats and global trends, and we agree. The National Security framework in Canada is always evolving to meet the moment. It is critical that this work be done in accordance with the rule of law, and never at the expense of Canadians' Charter rights," she said. "We will always work with security agencies and expert partners across government to ensure our agencies have the tools they need to keep us all safe." Brenda McPhail, privacy director at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said CSIS should be clear about why it's asking the government to update its authorites. The Liberal government overhauled parts of the national security law in 2019, including the rules governing CSIS's use of data sets. NDP public safety critic Jack Harris said any discussion of changing the law would have to proceed with caution. "Any request for new powers would need to be clearly substantiated and considered along with assurances that any such powers would be used appropriately," he said in a media statement. "In light of CSIS's history and judicial comments on their relationship with the court, we need to be vigilant." McPhail said she wants to see nuanced conversations about CSIS's powers take place both in Parliament and in public — but the agency needs to be more open about what it wants. WATCH | Head of CSIS on foreign states threatening national security "If there are specific authorities that are needed in order to create specific tools that will have genuine benefit to national security, then we need more than a vague, 'We need more modern authorities,'" she said. "We need a statement that says, 'We want to use artificial intelligence applications for the following purposes.' Not operational details, just [a] broad policy level statement. "There's everything to be gained and nothing to be lost from an open public conversation ..." Carvin said studying and opening the legislation would allow politicians and the public to engage with difficult questions about privacy, national security and foreign intelligence. "In the pandemic, intelligence has become extremely important on so many levels," she said. "So I think there is the potential for Parliament to actually do something."
(Keith Whelan/CBC - image credit) Skincare business Deciem's slogan, the Abnormal Beauty Company, underlines its niche in the world of cosmetics. And following a $2.2 billion dollar deal this week some are wondering if the start-up will maintain its unique reputation. Founded in Toronto in 2013, Deciem Beauty Group Inc. advertises itself as atypical, even if its popular skincare brand is called The Ordinary. Unlike most big skincare brands, it sells formulations with just a few ingredients, at unusually low prices. It has a strong following, including celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, with net sales for the 12 months ended Jan. 31, of about $460 million US. But some of that fan base is concerned, after learning that cosmetic giant Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. bought Deciem. Can an "industry disruptor," as Estée Lauder calls Deciem, keep prices down and connect with consumers after it's absorbed by a U.S. conglomerate? The New York-based multinational manufacturer of skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products will increase its stake in Deciem to 76 per cent from 29 per cent, then buy the remaining interests after three years. Deciem had gained a following as an alternative to big beauty. Its products come in plain white packaging with scientific sounding names and price tags that are a fraction of some of its rivals'. For example, Estée Lauder's Resilience Multi-effect moisturizer costs $124 Cdn for a 50-millilitre jar; The Ordinary's moisturizer is just $7.70 for 100 ml. WATCH | Fans of Canadian beauty brand concerned by Estée Lauder takeover: Sale raises concerns among consumers Some people took to social media with their concerns after the sale, afraid the new owner might tamper with the brand. There was talk of hoarding the products before the formula or price changes. Nneka Elliott, a beauty writer who sometimes contributes to CBC Life, said Deciem offers "unheard of" prices for certain products. She assumes Estée Lauder is looking for a foothold in the millennial and Gen Z markets. "It certainly was a little bit of a head-scratcher for me ... They're so on opposite ends of the scale, these two brands, so I was wondering what the impact was going to be once they completely roll out." She pointed to a popular, independent brand similar to Deciem's called Paula's Choice that she says changed radically after it was sold to a private equity firm. "We saw the prices just skyrocket. And then we saw a whole bunch of new products, just a wider range of products. And when that kind of happens, it gets a little bit confusing. And so people keep citing: 'Oh, I hope this is not another Paula's Choice.'" Deciem’s products have a reputation of being affordable. Deciem's co-founder and CEO, Nicola Kilner, said fans and employees have nothing to worry about. Accessible pricing is important to the new owners, who intend to keep the headquarters, lab and jobs in Canada. She said Estée Lauder can learn from Deciem's transparent approach to communication with customers, while Deciem can take advantage of Estée Lauder's distribution. The growth trajectory as a result of the partnership means Deciem, which is largely situated in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, will be looking at "hyper expansion" in staffing in its newer markets including India, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. Kilner said she thinks Estée Lauder appreciated Deciem's creativity and vision. "So they very much want to retain the independence, which I think is music to our ears." Big companies only buy small ones for control, expert says Business strategist Mark Satov, of Satov Consultants in Toronto, isn't buying that. "All this talk about: 'No, we're selling out but it's going to be [remaining] independent, and they're not going to control us and the big corporate giant is not going to tell us what to do' — it's all very cute to say, but it's not true." Big companies only buy smaller ones in order to control them, but it doesn't necessarily mean there will be changes, he said. If Estée Lauder has "a portfolio of brands, they want one brand like this and one brand like that ... so they can cater to a wide range of consumers depending on what they want. And ... I guess that there's no reason to raise the prices, especially if they don't have other brands that are in that price level." Estee Lauder products are displayed at a department store in South Portland, Maine. The company may want to keep its Deciem products at a low price point, one expert says. He compares the cosmetics industry to the beer industry: it doesn't matter what's in the bottles so much as what it says about the person who's buying it. With that in mind, it may have been a good time for Deciem to sell. "The cosmetics industry is not based on differences in quality; it's all based on brand cachet. And so to some degree, brands cannot be new and edgy and fun for 20 years. And so you launch new brands and they mature and then you put them in a certain slot. "It's actually a very good thing to sell to a larger house of brands, because you're not going to be cool and edgy for 20 years." He said people may be concerned about smaller Canadian companies being swallowed by larger U.S. ones, but there's little they can do about it. "What governments need to do is fund innovation in this country so that we develop great products that are successful enough and make sure that there's a community, an investment community, in this country that wants to buy it and retain it.... If we didn't allow Canadian companies to be sold to American companies, what would happen is [the Canadian companies] wouldn't get capital at the venture stage."
(Remi Authier/Radio Canada - image credit) The head of the Renfrew County and District Health Unit says he may implement tighter pandemic restrictions in parts of the region following a sudden rise in cases in communities just outside Ottawa. The health unit has confirmed 15 positive COVID-19 cases over the past week, mostly in the town of Arnprior, Ont., and the nearby township of McNab/Braeside, Ont., according to Dr. Robert Cushman, acting medical officer of health for the region. Cushman said the people attended the same social gathering and then spread the virus by visiting several different households and businesses. "It appears to be just some, you know, 'Let's party. Let's have fun,'" Cushman said Saturday. "I've heard about ice fishing, I've heard about indoor parties. I've heard about a lot of celebration." According to the health unit, those who were infected then worked at or visited seven local businesses while contagious. The health unit closed one business, Cushman said, while several other businesses chose to temporarily shut down on their own. The cases involve roughly five households, the health unit said. "What you're seeing here, I think, is just sort of wanton disrespect and neglect," Cushman said. Mayor 'a little bit angry' Renfrew County is currently green under the province's colour-coded COVID-19 risk assessment framework, which comes with the least severe pandemic restrictions. McNab/Braeside Mayor Tom Peckett reiterated that just because the region is green doesn't mean people can ignore the rules. "Even if our area is in a green zone, the rules of keeping apart and not having large gatherings is still in effect," he said. Peckett said he was disappointed since most people are following the rules and the actions of a few could impact everyone else in the community. "That makes me a little bit angry, that they're not thinking about anyone else but themselves," he said. 'COVID fatigue' In a statement, Ontario's Ministry of Health said it was in close contact with medical officers of health across the province in order to swiftly react to shifts in the pandemic. While it's the province's decision to move the region into the more-restrictive yellow zone — a decision also based on more than a sudden spike in cases — medical officers of health have the power to impose Section 22 orders to target specific areas of transmission, the ministry noted. It's a step Cushman isn't ruling out. "We may be pushed to take more restrictive measures in a given town ... rather than apply them across the board to Renfrew County," he said. The outbreak comes a week after Cushman released a video message warning residents the county was seeing an increase in the number of contacts per infected person. He said he was speaking out harshly now because he doesn't want rising case numbers to become a trend. "People have all got COVID fatigue. And one thing that will give them more COVID fatigue is to close down the economy further," he said. "So we don't want to do that."
(Danny Globerman/CBC - image credit) The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) has given its parents a two-week deadline to decide whether their children will attend school virtually or in-person this fall. The board says parents will receive a form on Monday and are required to return it by March 14 with their decision on what they plan to do come September, more than five months away. According to OCDSB, if parents don't return the form, they'll assume the students will be attending in-person. "This is an important decision, and we encourage you to discuss this matter with your child," a letter sent to parents Saturday morning reads. "Remember, this decision will be for the entire school year. It will be difficult to transition students later unless it is a critical situation." 'Mechanisms in place' to consider changes At a board meeting live streamed last week, Brett Reynolds, associate director of education, said they're expecting the vast majority of parents to opt for in-person learning. He said the decision needs to be made now so that staffing and scheduling decisions can happen in accordance with collective agreements. While the deadline is tight, if circumstances change and parents need to change streams, they'll have options, Reynolds said. "For those people who make the decision and then really, really, really find themselves in a situation where they need support moving back to in-person, we always have mechanisms in place to consider those [requests]," he said. Ottawa-Carleton Assembly of School Councils co-chair Malaka Hendela, seen here last summer, says making a decision in two weeks will have a 'significant impact' on parents' lives. Union says early deadline important Giving parents only two weeks to make a decision that won't become reality until the fall has a "significant impact," said Malaka Hendela, co-chair of the Ottawa-Carleton Assembly of School Councils. "The reality is, none of us know what September is going to look like," said Hendela, who also has a child attending one of the board's schools. "So this could be all for naught. This could be a huge amount of [planning] and then at the last minute — like [what] happened last September — we're delayed, we have to pivot, we have to change everything again." But according to David Wildman, president of the Ottawa-Carleton Elementary Occasional Teachers Association, having a tight deadline is extremely important for planning purposes. "It's very, very important to the teachers — whether they're occasional teachers or regular teachers — that the staffing process, which is very complex, is allowed enough time to happen," Wildman told CBC. "So that if they're changing their assignments, they have adequate time to prepare." Safety protocols in place In the letter, the OCDSB said schools can be safely operated with proper protocols in place, and that they're open to resuming regular operations incrementally over the course of the next school year. Elementary school children who return to in-person learning in September will remain cohorted by class, with staff rotating from classroom to classroom, the board said. Programs like Google Classroom will remain in place in case they need to switch to remote learning or if an individual student has to be isolated, the OCDSB said. For secondary students attending class in-person, the school year will be divided into quadmesters, except for the International Baccalaureate Program schools, which follow octomesters.
(Janice Sarich - image credit) Janice Sarich, a two-term Progressive Conservative MLA and Catholic school board trustee, is dead at 62. Sarich died on Friday night, three weeks after she received a cancer diagnosis, Premier Jason Kenney said in a tweet Saturday. Born and raised in Edmonton, Sarich was elected to the board of Edmonton Catholic Schools as a trustee in 2001. After two terms on the board, she secured the Edmonton-Decore riding for the PCs in the 2008 provincial election. Sarich served two terms in the legislature, including a stint as the parliamentary assistant to the minister of education. She lost a re-election bid in 2015. In his tweet Saturday, Kenney said he was "terribly saddened by the death of my good friend." "She was a wonderful, giving and compassionate woman dedicated to her community," he wrote. Before her time as MLA, Sarich served as an academic senate member of the Newman Theological College and as an advisory committee member to Catholic Social Services. Sarich was appointed to the board of MacEwan University in 2019.
(Jason Franson/The Canadian Press - image credit) Rueben George says he's not at all surprised that in an era of racial reckoning, Canada's top pipeline regulator is signalling it wants to confront the problem of systemic racism and its sometimes fraught relationship with First Nations. He and others in Indigenous communities have long accused the Canada Energy Regulator and other energy-sector review bodies of prioritizing the interests of the fossil fuel industry over those of First Nations. "Would they say those things if we didn't make them accountable? Probably not," said George, a member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation in British Columbia and manager of Sacred Trust, an organization launched by Tsleil-Waututh to fight the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. "Because they are happily working within that system that was created and felt wasn't broken." The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) now says it's committed to systemic change within the federal body, which reviews pipelines, cross-border power lines and some oil and gas activity in Canada's North. The CER's senior leadership recently sat down for a virtual interview with CBC News. They said the regulator, formerly the National Energy Board, hasn't lived up to its obligations to First Nations, Métis and Inuit. "From the organization's perspective, I acknowledge that systemic racism exists. We as an organization need to acknowledge that and to acknowledge our part in that," said Gitane De Silva, the regulator's CEO. "The NEB has operated in a way that discounted Indigenous people, that saw them as an obstacle, that was adversarial," added Cassie Doyle, the CER's chairperson. Federal government grapples with systemic racism Federal bodies such as the RCMP have struggled to define systemic racism within their institutions. Former senator Murray Sinclair, who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools, has said that the existence of systemic racism in an organization doesn't mean that everybody within that organization is racist. "Systemic racism is when the system itself is based upon and founded upon racist beliefs and philosophies and thinking and has put in place policies and practices that literally force even the non-racists to act in a racist way," Sinclair told the Globe and Mail in June. The CER says it is working to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce and is training staff to better navigate tricky situations — such as pipeline crews stumbling upon Indigenous artifacts. Some have said the CER has struggled in the past to react appropriately when engaging with Indigenous cultural ceremonies and prayer. Rueben George and other Indigenous leaders comment on the Trans Mountain pipeline decision by the Federal Court of Appeal, in Vancouver on Feb. 4, 2020. George said he remembers when members of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation were given less than an hour to explain their nation's history and laws during an NEB hearing. One of the Tsleil-Waututh speakers began singing a traditional song — which turned into an awkward moment for the adjudicators, he said. "One by one, all the Tsleil-Waututh people in the room, probably about 30 of us, stood up and joined him," George said. "[The NEB staff] didn't know what to do ... [whether] to stand up and to honour it. They didn't know what to do." The Trans Mountain turning point The Trans Mountain pipeline hearings may have been a pivot point for the regulator and the Canadian government. In 2018, the Federal Court scolded both over the pipeline's flawed approval process. Although the ruling didn't address systemic racism, the court upbraided the Canadian government over its Crown consultations with First Nations. "Some of the failures in the past on Crown consultation, failures, as dictated by the court — I think that's what gave the government the sort of impetus to say, 'Hey, we've got to do something really different,'" Doyle said. The judicial smackdown partly prompted the renewal of Canada's environmental assessment legislation and, consequently, the transition of the National Energy Board into the Canada Energy Regulator in 2019. 'Industry kind of captured the NEB' The new regulator now has an explicit mandate to advance reconciliation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit and to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. For the CER, it also means it's legally required to embed an Indigenous Advisory Committee high within its governance structure. The new committee's interim chair, Tyrone McNeil, said the committee is covering "new ground." "I see this as a really deep, active form of reconciliation," said McNeil, a Stó:lō member from British Columbia. "Industry kind of captured the NEB. That's clearly not allowed here." The committee is less than a year old and only finalized its goals and mandate this month. While its advice isn't binding on the regulator or on project rulings, the CER promised in a news release that it "will have tangible impacts in the day-to-day operations." The committee's recommendations, the CER said, also could change its approach to "compliance and oversight activities" and "the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples within the CER's mandate." The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has applauded the new committee, but in a statement, it pointed to the billions of dollars in energy-sector contracts that have gone to Indigenous-owned businesses. "The oil and natural gas industry has made great progress in developing positive relationships with Indigenous communities and advancing opportunities for reconciliation, including business partnerships that generate economic, social and environmental benefits," said Shannon Joseph, vice-president of government relations and Indigenous affairs at CAPP. Protesters attend an anti-Trans Mountain pipeline rally in downtown Vancouver on Dec. 16, 2019. A Vancouver based environmental lawyer said the CER and its arm's-length adjudicative panel should adopt whenever possible a collaborative approach with Indigenous nations and communities. Otherwise, said Eugene Kung, the CER's commitment to change will be empty. "I certainly think there's a risk that it becomes hollow or performative," said Kung, a lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law. "There's lots of space to have collaborative, co-operative decision-making, which is going to result in the end in more robust decisions, less conflict and less legal challenges down the road."
People can view a spectacular projection display on the exterior of the two connected Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) - Qaumajuq buildings. The outdoor projections will feature contemporary artwork and imagery by Inuit artists along with Northern footage by Destination Nunavut, Travel Manitoba, and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Leading up to the Qaumajuq’s grand opening in late March, the display will be played between 6 and 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays every 30 minutes until March 27. “We wanted to do something that would get the community excited about this historic opening, something that Winnipeggers could be inspired by during lockdown, all while showcasing Inuit artists,” said Amy Rebecca Harrison, Engagement Supervisor of the WAG on Tuesday. “The projections can be enjoyed outside from a safe distance while strolling past the gallery. Now that we're able to be open to the public again, visitors can enjoy both.” The series is curated by Jocelyn Piirainen, WAG-Qaumajuq Assistant Curator of Inuit Art, with video work by Glenn Gear and Zacharias Kunuk who are Inuit artists featured in Qaumajuq’s inaugural exhibition INUA. A video that uses archival footage from the NFB collection will also be displayed to show travellers coming together, children tending to the dog team, drum dancing as well as other Inuit artists and artworks. “It shows the importance of the qamotik ("sled") and the vastness and harshness of the arctic as crucial elements to the Inuit cultural heritage,” said Harrison. “Artist Geronimo Inutiq uses these archives as an opportunity to reconnect to Inuit heritage. These clips were selected by Geronimo to honour the ancestors and family members of artists and community members.” Inuk multimedia artist Geronimo Inutiq has also provided a dynamic soundscape throughout the display. The illumination will be on the WAG exterior wall facing Memorial Boulevard and the Qaumajuq facade facing St. Mary Avenue in downtown Winnipeg. Following the projections, a Northern Lights-inspired display will be presented outside the WAG-Qaumajuq buildings starting Feb. 28 on Sunday to Thursday nights until March 31. As well, the public can also enjoy two newly unveiled sculptures placed outside the buildings. One of the sculptures, Tuniigusiia/The Gift by Goota Ashoona, is a marble statue that is meant to reflect knowledge transfer through education and storytelling, as well as the important role played by teachers. The other sculpture is the Time to Play by Abraham Anghik Ruben, a large limestone carving of a family of bears playing. Visitors are advised to dress warmly as it might be cold while they walk around the buildings. This showcase is part of #Qaumajuq365, the Inuit art centre’s inaugural year. Qaumajuq aims to provide a new home for the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world. “Qaumajuq is all about celebrating the North in the South, and this series of projections is an amazing example of that,” said Stephen D. Borys, Director & CEO of Winnipeg Art Gallery in a press release. “The light of Qaumajuq is shining brighter as we get closer to the opening of the Inuit art centre in just a few weeks, and we invite everyone to come out for this safe outdoor activity.” Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun
Bullet casings were reportedly found in Yangon after reports of gunfire at an anti-coup protest in the capital.View on euronews
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday called on the African Union and other international partners to help address a deepening crisis in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region as he condemned alleged atrocities in fighting there. Blinken's statement suggested growing frustration with the response so far from Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea to what America's top diplomat described as a "worsening humanitarian crisis." His remarks came a day after Amnesty International released a report accusing Eritrean forces of killing hundreds of civilians in Tigray in a 24-hour period last year, an incident it described as a potential crime against humanity.
INDIANAPOLIS — Paige Bueckers made the key passes, Aaliyah Edwards handled the boards. The scoring, both stellar freshmen did their share and more for No. 1 Connecticut. Bueckers set a school record with 14 assists and also had 20 points, Edwards, of Kingston, Ont., added 24 points and 14 rebounds, and UConn routed Butler 97-68 Saturday. Bueckers, who led the Huskies in scoring, assists, steals and 3-point percentage entering the game, helped them break away from a 29-all tie in the second quarter with her passing and shooting. Bueckers set a school mark for assists in a season by a freshman with 130 despite fewer games because of the coronavirus pandemic. She topped the previous school record of 13 assists in a game and had seven rebounds with just one turnover. “Well, I didn’t make many shots, so I had to do something,” said Bueckers, who went 8 for 21 from the field. “When my shots weren’t falling like they normally do, I looked to pass. That’s who I am, a pass-first player who tries to get everyone else involved." Bueckers noted she went 4 for 12 on 3-pointers and fortunately for her, “I think Aaliyah grabbed seven of those rebounds.” Edwards made all of her shots — nine field goals, six free throws — until missing her last try from in close with 1:25 left. “I’m impressed with how she competes,” Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said. "She gives us a presence we didn’t have last year. It makes winning games a little easier when you have someone work that hard on both ends. I’m not surprised with what she is doing.” Evina Westbrook added 16 points, Christyn Williams 15 and Oliva Nelson-Ododa 11 for UConn (20-1, 17-0 Big East). The Huskies shot 51.4 per cent overall and held a 49-25 edge in rebounds. Genesis Parker scored 18 points for Butler (2-16, 2-15), which lost to UConn by 68 points on Jan. 19. Okako Adika had 14 and Upe Atosu 13 for the Bulldogs. A layup by Edwards gave UConn the lead for good at 31-29. That started a 24-10 advantage for the rest of the second quarter that gave the Huskies a 53-39 halftime lead. The Bulldogs were able to stay close by hitting 10 of 21 3-pointers in the first half. BIG PICTURE Connecticut: The Huskies, who have already clinched the regular-season title, continue to fine tune for their first Big East Tournament since 2013. UConn, a conference member from 1982-2013, returned to the Big East this year. Butler: After beating visiting Xavier on Monday, UConn was too much for the Bulldogs. It was much better showing, however, than the 103-35 pounding the Bulldogs took Jan. 19 at UConn. “The last 100 minutes of basketball we’ve played much better, we’ve been more aggressive, we’ve been more active defensively,” Butler coach Kurt Godlevske said. “I thought we had a real opportunity in the first half to make it even more competitive.” PASSING SUCCESS Bueckers came in as the consensus top high school player in the country and has lived up to that billing. “Paige is a pass-first guard,” Auriemma said. “We’ve have had some freshmen with the ball in their hands that we’re pretty darn good, but maybe they didn’t have the minutes because we had so many good players." "If someone said she’s a senior, you say she plays like one. She handles the ball and sees the floor like senior. In a world that idolizes scoring and the 3-point shot, to have someone rather pass it to you and have you score, it’s old school.” UP NEXT UConn will take a 10-game winning streak into its final regular-season game Monday against visiting Marquette. Butler closes its regular season Monday at No. 24 DePaul. ___ More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Mark Ambrogi, The Associated Press
Toronto police say a 37-year-old man has been charged in the death of his mother, who they allege died after calling first responders seeking help while walking in a west-end park. They say Kathleen Hatcher of Toronto was located in the trail area of King's Mill Park on Friday morning with significant injuries. Hatcher was transported to hospital where she was pronounced dead. Police spokesman Const. Alex Li says Colin Hatcher, the victim's son, is now facing a charge of second-degree murder in the case. He declined to release the cause of Kathleen Hatcher's death and says the investigation is ongoing. Li says anyone who may have witnessed the incident, which he says took place along a popular walking route, is being urged to come forward. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
A survey on experiences of racism in policing by the Southern Chiefs' Organization (SCO) was launched to mark Indigenous Justice Awareness Day. The survey is open to all Manitoba First Nations and will report on experiences of racism when dealing with police services across the province. “I’m proud to be launching this important and much-needed survey to better understand racism experienced by First Nation citizens in their encounters with police services in Manitoba,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels in a press release. “One of the great injustices is that the systems that are supposed to protect us can be themselves perpetrators of violence.” Indigenous Justice Awareness Day came from the fatal shooting when John Joseph (J.J.) Harper, a 37-year-old member of the Wasagamack Indian Band in the Island Lake area, was killed by the Winnipeg police in March 1988. Since 2017, an Indigenous person in Canada is 10 times more likely to be shot and killed by a police officer than a non-racialized Canadian, according to a recent analysis. In the spring of 2020, three Indigenous people in Winnipeg were reported to have been fatally shot by Winnipeg police officers over the span of 10 days. On Feb. 14, William Ahmo from Sagkeeng First Nation died due to an incident with correctional officers at Headingley Correctional Institute. Through the survey, the SCO plans to examine the larger, systemic issue that has resulted in many of these unfortunate deaths. “We know that good data and reporting can lead to understanding and real change, which are both greatly needed,” said Daniels. “We have faced systemic racism for centuries now. It’s time for it to end. Indigenous lives matter, and we cannot take one more phone call or one more announcement of our people suffering or dying at the hands of the justice system.” All First Nations in Manitoba can access this survey at www,scoinc.mb.ca. The survey will only be open for six weeks starting Feb. 26. Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth acknowledged the police in Winnipeg have not always been on the right path and that their past actions and procedures have contributed to harming Indigenous people in the community. “Earlier in my tenure as chief, I formally apologized to the Indigenous community while testifying at the national MMIWG Inquiry. Accountability is necessary if there is to be reconciliation,” said Smyth on Friday. “There are many other community organizations and leaders who work tirelessly to provide services in our community. This is the kind of community engagement I see as important. Partnering with and supporting groups like this is the true essence of crime prevention through social development.” Smyth ensures that the police service will reflect the needs and expectations of the community through continued recruitment making sure the Winnipeg police reflect the diversity of the community, along with continued partnership and support of Indigenous service providers. Continued training and education will also take place to ensure Winnipeg police understand the generational trauma inflicted on people who have experienced colonization. “We are not perfect, and we will make mistakes, but we are on the right path to combat racism,” he added. Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun