Many people may not be leaving the warmth of their homes due to the extreme cold in Saskatchewan, which will have an impact on outdoor business attractions.
Many people may not be leaving the warmth of their homes due to the extreme cold in Saskatchewan, which will have an impact on outdoor business attractions.
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials in Nova Scotia announced Tuesday that vaccination rollout plans for the month included the province's first pharmacy clinics. Prototype pharmacy clinics will launch in Halifax and Shelburne on March 9, Port Hawkesbury on March 16 and Springhill on March 23. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island Health officials in Prince Edward Island say they will shift their focus to getting a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by July 1, even if it means delaying the second shot for some. Chief medical officer Heather Morrison has said people over the age of 80 will get a second dose based on their existing appointments. Going forward, she said, other residents will get a longer interval between their first and second doses, but she didn’t specific how long that will be. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. Quebec announced Tuesday it had reached a deal with pharmacies that will allow them to start administering COVID-19 vaccines by mid-March. Health Minister Christian Dube said about 350 pharmacies in the Montreal area will start taking appointments by March 15 for people as young as 70. The program will eventually expand to more than 1,400 pharmacies across the province that will administer about two million doses. The Montreal region is being prioritized in part because of the presence of more contagious variants, such as the one first identified in the United Kingdom, Dube has said. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. Several regions in Ontario moved ahead Monday with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. Toronto also began vaccinating members of its police force Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. A day earlier, Toronto said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. She also says the province will soon share an updated vaccine plan that factors in expected shipments of the newly approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The province will do that after getting guidance from the federal government on potentially extending the time between first and second doses, like B.C. is doing, of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to four months, Elliott says She also says Ontario seniors won't receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine since there's limited data on its effectiveness in older populations. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. The province said this week that it may follow British Columbia's lead in delaying a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to speed up immunizations. The government says it hopes a national committee that provides guidance on immunizations will support waiting up to four months to give people a second dose. If that happens, the province could speed up how soon residents get their first shot. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry says the approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine means some people will get their first shot sooner than planned. She says B.C. will focus its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine among essential workers, first responders and younger people with more social interactions who would have to wait longer to receive their first doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. It's now possible that all adults could get their first shot by July, Henry says. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — The Defence Department took more than three hours to dispatch the National Guard to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol despite a frantic request for reinforcement from police, according to testimony Wednesday that added to the finger-pointing about the government response. Maj. Gen. William Walker, commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, told senators that the then-chief of the Capitol Police requested military support in a 1:49 p.m. call, but the Defence Department's approval for that support was not relayed to him until after 5 p.m., according to prepared testimony. Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol. That delay stood in contrast to the immediate approval for National Guard support granted in response to the civil unrest that roiled American cities last spring as an outgrowth of racial justice protests, Walker said. As local officials pleaded for help, Army officials raised concerns about the optics of a substantial National Guard presence at the Capitol, he said. “The Army senior leadership” expressed to officials on the call “that it would not be their best military advice to have uniformed Guardsmen on the Capitol,” Walker said. The Senate hearing is the second about what went wrong on Jan. 6, with national security officials face questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. Even as Walker detailed the National Guard delay, another military official noted that local officials in Washington had said days earlier that no such support was needed. Senators were eager to grill officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard and the Justice and Homeland Security departments about their preparations for that day. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump had talked online, in some cases openly, about gathering in Washington that day and interrupting the electoral count. At a hearing last week, officials who were in charge of security at the Capitol blamed one another as well as federal law enforcement for their own lack of preparation as hundreds of rioters descended on the building, easily breached the security perimeter and eventually broke into the Capitol. Five people died as a result of the rioting. So far, lawmakers conducting investigations have focused on failed efforts to gather and share intelligence about the insurrectionists’ planning before Jan. 6 and on the deliberations among officials about whether and when to call National Guard troops to protect Congress. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. Robert Contee, the acting chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department, told senators he was “stunned” over the delayed response and said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting rapidly escalated. Senate Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar, one of two Democratic senators who will preside over Wednesday's hearing, said in an interview Tuesday that she believes every moment counted as the National Guard decision was delayed and police officers outside the Capitol were beaten and injured by the rioters. “Any minute that we lost, I need to know why,” Klobuchar said. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. The probes are largely focused on security missteps and the origins of the extremism that led hundreds of Trump supporters to break through the doors and windows of the Capitol, hunt for lawmakers and temporarily stop the counting of electoral votes. Congress has, for now, abandoned any examination of Trump’s role in the attack after the Senate acquitted him last month of inciting the riot by telling the supporters that morning to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed. In a hearing last week before the same subcommittee, she conceded there were multiple levels of failures but denied that law enforcement failed to take seriously warnings of violence before the insurrection. In the Senate, Klobuchar said there is particular interest in hearing from Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, who was on the phone with Sund and the Department of the Army as the rioters first broke into the building. Contee, the D.C. police chief, was also on the call and told senators that the Army was initially reluctant to send troops. “While I certainly understand the importance of both planning and public perception — the factors cited by the staff on the call — these issues become secondary when you are watching your employees, vastly outnumbered by a mob, being physically assaulted,” Contee said. He said he had quickly deployed his own officers and he was “shocked” that the National Guard “could not — or would not — do the same." Contee said that Army staff said they were not refusing to send troops, but “did not like the optics of boots on the ground” at the Capitol. Also testifying at the joint hearing of the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees are Robert Salesses of the Defence Department, Melissa Smislova of the Department of Homeland Security and Jill Sanborn of the FBI, all officials who oversee aspects of intelligence and security operations. Lawmakers have grilled law enforcement officials about missed intelligence ahead of the attack, including a report from an FBI field office in Virginia that warned of online posts foreshadowing a “war” in Washington. Capitol Police leaders have said they were unaware of the report at the time, even though the FBI had forwarded it to the department. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the report was disseminated though the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, discussed at a command post in Washington and posted on an internet portal available to other law enforcement agencies. Though the information was raw and unverified and appeared aspirational in nature, Wray said, it was specific and concerning enough that “the smartest thing to do, the most prudent thing to do, was just push it to the people who needed to get it.” Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
Newly-formed Stellantis, a combination of Peugeot-maker PSA and Fiat Chrysler (FCA), wants to use its clout to take on rivals racing to produce more electric vehicles, Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said on Wednesday. Stellantis is now the world's fourth largest carmaker, with 14 brands including Opel, Jeep, Ram and Maserati, and like its peers, it is grappling with a shortage of semiconductors and investments in electric vehicles. Low global car inventories and cost cuts should help boost profit margins this year, though the carmaker is also looking beyond savings, Tavares said.
Every Tuesday morning Keiko Funahashi goes door to door, delivering bento boxes to 55 Japanese seniors throughout the Lower Mainland. This week's boxes are special, prepared for Japan's traditional Girls' Day on March 3. But next week, tucked inside the boxes, seniors will also find important instructions — details on how they can sign up to receive their dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, carefully translated into Japanese by volunteers. "Japanese-speaking seniors ... they don't necessarily watch the evening news and they don't necessarily use the Internet. Some of them, they don't even have Internet at home. So we need to translate, but we also can't always email things to them," said Funahashi, the executive director of the Japanese Community Volunteers Association. As B.C. moves into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 vaccination plan, the province is aiming to immunize community-based seniors over the age of 80, with seniors who do not live in care being asked to call to book their own appointments. But community organizers and physicians are worried that seniors who don't speak English, don't have family support or don't have access to news sources may slip through the cracks of B.C.'s vaccine strategy, despite the province's efforts to reach everyone. 'People are getting isolated' Funahashi said that weeks ago she began to receive a flurry of questions about vaccinations, with seniors saying they felt stressed that they may miss their window of opportunity to be vaccinated. "A lot of seniors, they told us that they felt very anxious and worried, and then they would hear stories from their friends who might not also speak English," she said. "You know, people are getting isolated." The questions spurred the Japanese Community Volunteers Association to begin their own information campaign to ensure seniors living in their own homes are able to access the critical information that will help them get vaccinated — like informing seniors who don't speak English that they can get help to book their vaccine appointment. B.C. released a graphic showing when and how seniors can register to get their COVID-19 vaccine in 2021.(B.C. Ministry of Health) Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic there have been a variety of campaigns to translate and communicate provincial health orders. With immunization efforts underway, Vancouver Coastal Health has translated information pamphlets on vaccines into nine languages. Call centres are currently available in Cantonese and Mandarin, with more languages to come. Interpreters will also be present at vaccination clinics. But geriatrician Naaz Parmar said she's still been inundated with calls from seniors unsure about how to book an appointment. "It's a really tough thing. There is that first barrier for people who are marginalized with their language skills, not knowing where to look. So they have been relying on their health practitioners instead," she said. "We've actually gone to the point where we're printing out the forms in different languages and mailing it to their house, which takes a week — obviously not ideal." Bob Chapman with Vancouver Coastal Health said for many seniors, making a phone call is the most straightforward way to book an appointment. But the health authority also knows many seniors will be dependent on their family supports and community groups to ensure they're not missed. "It is going to take a village to support this. And we want to make sure that no matter where that person's support is, we can actually get the information to them," he said. "There shouldn't be any barrier for people being able to get this vaccine." CBC British Columbia is hosting a town hall on March 10 to answer your COVID-19 vaccine questions. You can find the details at cbc.ca/ourshot, as well as opportunities to participate in two community conversations on March 3, focused on outreach to Indigenous and multicultural communities. Have a question about the vaccine, or the rollout plan in B.C.? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Former Oshawa hockey legend Dale Hawerchuk was one of four to be inducted into the Durham District School Board’s (DDSB) hall of fame. The board announced four new inductees into the 2021 Definitely Durham Hall of Fame at its most recent board meeting. The inductees included Hawerchuk, who passed away in August 2020 after a battle with cancer, Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott, songwriter Geoff Warburton, and Olympian and Pan American Games medalist Jessica Phoenix. Hawerchuk, one of Canada’s hockey stars, demonstrated excellence on the ice during his 16-year NHL Hall of Fame career and exemplified greatness through his charity work. “Dale was an inspiring leader, teacher and builder with an unmatched commitment to helping others,” states the DDSB, adding he believed it was his responsibility and that of his family to do whatever they could to give back, never expecting acknowledgement in return. Hawerchuk passed away in August 2020 after an ongoing battle with cancer. Hawerchuk’s sister, Dayna, accepted his award on his behalf. “As a former DDSB attendee and proud sister, I am honoured to accept this award on behalf of my brother, Dale,” she says, adding she’s sure her brother would have been honoured to receive this nomination, as he was very thrilled by the park being named after him. “I’ve always been very proud of my big brother, not just his athletic skills, but as a human being,” Dayna continues. “He’s always been very family oriented, as well as thoughtful, kind, considerate. Outside of his talent though, to be remembered as a kind, humble and generous person… you can’t ask for more than that.” Elliott built a successful career in business and law, working first as an auditor at one of Canada’s largest banks before co-founding a law firm. She later pursued a commitment to public service; she was elected MPP for Whitby-Ajax in 2006, and re-elected four more times. She was also appointed Ontario’s first-ever patient ombudsman, and has spent the last six years as the Ontario deputy premier and minister of health. Elliott, who grew up in Whitby, says she is a “very proud graduate” of DDSB schools and credits her education to where she is today. “Every step along the way at every school I was offered encouragement to continue learning, to ask questions, to see the bigger picture,” she says. “I learned to see the bigger picture, to push myself, to make sure I do the research, to do the job thoroughly and properly, and so much more.” She notes she’s grateful for the teachers that made a huge impression on how she does her work today. “This has a great deal of meaning for me and I want to thank you very, very much for including me in this award,” she adds. Warburton is a songwriter from Pickering whose love of music inspired him to learn the guitar, frequently playing alongside family members in church on Sundays. During his years at university, Warburton met singer/songwriter Shawn Mendez, which led to a longstanding collaboration, and most notably, a pair of multi-platinum singles, one of which was nominated for song of the year at the 2019 Grammy awards, states the DDSB. “It’s an honour to have been recognized along with these other inductees and a privilege to have grown up attending both Vaughn Willard Public School and Pineridge Secondary School,” he says. “I’ve had so many supportive teachers and coaches over the years who have invested so much into my life and I couldn’t thank you enough.” Phoenix, who grew up in Uxbridge, is a two-time Olympian and five-time Pan American Games medalist, equestrian mentor, coach, and inspirational public speaker. She competed in her first equestrian competition in 1996, achieving the champion Ontario training level with her horse, Let’s Boogie, and quickly moved on to compete nationally and internationally while being named to Canadian teams in several Olympics, World Equestrian Games and Pan American Games. In her spare time, Phoenix shares her story with students, teaching them the values of dedication and commitment to achieve one’s dreams. “To be able to grow up in Durham Region and go to these incredible schools, and to now watch my children going to the same incredible schools, is just a dream come true,” says Phoenix, adding she and her sister being able to do the Rise school tour in Durham Region and speak to hundreds of students has a great deal of meaning to her as well. “Thank you for this honour,” she adds, noting she will be sporting her award in the barn next to all her other medals. Plaques of the Definitely Durham Hall of Fame Inductees will be featured on the wall in the atrium outside the board room at the education centre. “Our Hall of Fame holds tributes to all of our inductees and offers a reminder to everyone who passes by of the possibilities for success in which we are share,” says Board Trustee Scott Templeton. He notes the board pays tribute to the inductees as outstanding role models for the students of today and into the future. “To this year’s inductees, we say thank you for raising the bar high and for providing us with examples and reminders of our collective goal that DDSB students can and will meet the great future success.” Courtney Bachar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Oshawa Express
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 64,485 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,014,128 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 5,314.423 per 100,000. There were 40,180 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,482,350 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 81.14 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 no 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 966 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 12,596 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 79.405 per 1,000. There were no 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 85.6 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 5,505 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 33,471 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 34.298 per 1,000. There were no 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 54 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 7,424 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 33,741 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 43.255 per 1,000. There were no 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 72.13 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 16,513 new vaccinations administered for a total of 455,328 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 53.213 per 1,000. There were no 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 84.66 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 22,326 new vaccinations administered for a total of 727,021 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 49.494 per 1,000. There were no 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 80.49 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 1,535 new vaccinations administered for a total of 78,205 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 56.794 per 1,000. There were no 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 72.1 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 947 new vaccinations administered for a total of 80,236 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 68.045 per 1,000. There were no 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 107.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 9,546 new vaccinations administered for a total of 245,054 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 55.668 per 1,000. There were no 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 89.12 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting 7,501 new vaccinations administered for a total of 283,182 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 55.184 per 1,000. There were 40,180 new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 364,020 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 77.79 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting 1,097 new vaccinations administered for a total of 17,168 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 411.397 per 1,000. There were no 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 90.84 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting 3,321 new vaccinations administered for a total of 19,775 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 438.285 per 1,000. There were no 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 103.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting 664 new vaccinations administered for a total of 8,066 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 208.284 per 1,000. There were no 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 33.75 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is considering two sites in Arizona and another one in New York in addition to Austin, Texas, for a new $17 billion chip plant, according to documents filed with Texas state officials. The documents dated Feb. 26 also estimated tax abatements concerning the plant will be about $1.48 billion over 20 years from Travis County in Texas and the city of Austin, up from the $805.5 million previously mentioned. Samsung is in talks with the sites at Arizona and New York, with each offering property tax abatement and "significant grants and/or refundable tax credits" to fund infrastructure improvements, the documents said.
The real estate development company that now owns Ottawa's former Greyhound bus terminal land says it's committed to consulting the community before developing the land. "Everything is on the table," said Jessy Desjardins, Brigil's vice-president of development and design, adding that the company is still working on how it will receive feedback from stakeholders. The sale of the land was finalized Monday. Last month, Brigil said the one-hectare Ottawa Central Station site on Catherine Street is "a prime location for a prestigious project promoting urban densification." Greyhound bus services remain suspended across Canada and the transportation company has not announced a new terminal location in Ottawa. Plans were said to be underway to build a multi-use space featuring apartments, luxury rental condos, office space, hotel buildings, restaurants and retail stores. This week, Brigil fine-tuned that vision. Desjardins, son of founder Gilles Desjardins, says the company is looking to Copenhagen for inspiration. Desjardins said the company will invite designs from architectural firms in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. The best concepts will be presented to stakeholder groups including politicians, merchants and citizens. At the centre of Brigil's vision is the concept of "the 15-minute walkable neighbourhood," where cars would be unnecessary. To that end, lower levels of a building that might be as tall as 27 storeys would be clad in brick at street level, and house a mixture of office and retail space. Upper stories would blend townhouse style condominiums along with rental accommodations, including some priced affordably, said Desjardins. Brigil says construction will begin at their newly-acquired Catherine street land in 2023.(Brian Morris/CBC) "We're not a big fan of just creating affordable housing on its own. We like to see it as a mixture in the building." It was the COVID-19 pandemic that killed the business model of Greyhound, the iconic bus company that offered affordable, long-distance travel and operated on the land since 1994. Desjardins says his company believes the migration of people and businesses out of the inner core is temporary and that Brigil's acquisition of the bus station lands is not a gamble. "Urban cores are the centre of everything," said Desjardins. "Once everything resumes, people are going to want to see each other, see shows, music festivals." Desjardins said the first phase of construction would likely not start until 2023. 'Long time coming' "It's been a long time coming," said Ray Sullivan, executive director of Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation which owns and operates over 50 properties in the city. "I'm all in favour of intensification, especially close to transit and road corridors, as that site is." Sullivan said there was a long history of groups like his calling for more affordable housing in Centretown and that the city should act on its commitment to affordable housing now. "When the city increases the zoning on a site like that, up to 27 storeys, they're literally creating value, they're creating wealth, out of thin air for that owner," he said. "What are we going to get as a neighborhood in return for that value the city created?" Mindy Sichel, president of the Centretown Community Association, said news that the bus station was gone forever had initially saddened her. "I think it's a big loss for the downtown area," she said. She hopes a design competition would lead to a building that's "more interesting and not boring" compared to others recently constructed in Centretown.
Oshawa City Council is fighting to ensure a bar doesn’t end up at 711 stores. Council is sending a letter of objection to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission opposing the application by the 711 corporation for a licence to allow for the addition of a bar at 61 of its convenience stores across the province, including one in Oshawa at 245 Wentworth St. W. “I can tell you I’ve been around a long time and I’ve never seen an application for a licence with such a potential for negativity in a local community,” says Councillor Brian Nicholson. “What we’re talking about is placing a bar inside a convenience store and that people will be sitting and drinking right next to your children.” He notes the location of this 711 store, located at the corner of Wentworth Street West and Cedar Street, is just north of a plaza with restaurants and laundry mats, as well as a shopping centre with a restaurant and a beer store to the west. Nicholson adds the store is located in a high density area with a number of apartment buildings in the area and a school down the road. “You couldn’t design a worse possible place for adding a bar,” he adds, noting the city has worked hard to improve this stretch of road. “This would be a step backwards by the community.” Councillor John Gray agreed with Nicholson, noting it makes no sense. “Let’s keep the bars as bars. It doesn’t make sense to me that you can spike your slurpy. That is just a dumb idea,” he says. Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri says he’s glad council is on board with this, noting it’s important that council get ahead of the curb on this. “Anyone that’s travelled across Europe recognizes this is a model that exists there and maybe that’s where it came from but I don’t know if we’re ready for this and I don’t think it fits the kind of outlook for a small convenience store setting,” he says. However, council doesn’t just oppose the application by the 711 corporation, they’re opposed to all applications in variety stores. “I think this motion is right on, but let’s be proactive and decide now that it’s not just good in 711 – it’s not good in any convenience store,” says Councillor and Deputy Mayor Bob Chapman. Courtney Bachar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Oshawa Express
Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said late on Tuesday that new sanctions imposed by the United States were evidence of a "hostile anti-Russian lunge" and said it would retaliate to what it described as another blow to U.S.-Russia ties. In President Joe Biden's most direct challenge yet to the Kremlin, the United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions to punish Russia for what it described as Moscow's attempt to poison opposition politician Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent last year.
The militant group, which has a presence in Afghanistan, said its fighters had targeted the three female employees of a television station in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Tuesday evening, according to the SITE Intelligence group. The women, who worked for local broadcaster Enikas TV, were aged between 18 and 20 and were shot on their way home from work, according to Afghan officials. Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack, which local police initially blamed on the insurgent Taliban, who denied any involvement.
The amount of road salt that people, businesses, and cities are using over the winter is likely too much and is definitely hurting local waterways, according to the Ottawa Riverkeeper. The organization began monitoring how much road salt is making its way into local creeks last winter as part of its road salt monitoring pilot project. The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment has established federal guidelines around the amount of chloride — which is partly what salt breaks down into when it dissolves in water — in waterbodies. Those guidelines state that 120 milligrams per litre leads to chronic, long-term toxicity, while anything above 640 milligrams per litre is considered acutely toxic. According to the Ottawa Riverkeeper, researchers found water samples containing chloride amounts five times the acute level. "Last year we were seeing levels well into the thousands," said Katy Alambo, a biologist with the Ottawa River Keeper. "We've expanded the program [this year] and we're seeing similar if not higher numbers." Not only does chloride take a long time to break down further, it's also toxic to aquatic life such as fish, amphibians, invertebrates and insects. "High chloride levels can cause disruptions to their reproduction cycles, their growth cycles," Alambo said. "In cases of species like amphibians who respire through their skin, it can also pose consequences there, too, and keep them from being able to breathe properly." You might be using too much salt As part of a pilot project that ran between January and March 2020, volunteers monitored five creeks — Pinecrest, Graham, Green, McKay, and Moore creeks — that were close to roads, shopping plazas, residential areas and anywhere else in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que., where high amounts of road salt could be used. They measured the water's conductivity at each of those creeks after a large snowfall, rainstorm, thaw, or any event that would lead to more water entering the creeks. The conductivity of water rises the more dissolved ions like chloride there are. If the volunteers measured a certain level of conductivity, they then took a water sample to be analyzed. What they found, Alambo said, suggested too much road salt was being used. Instead of using salt, which is ineffective in temperatures under –10C, the Ottawa Riverkeeper suggests using salt, gravel or even cat litter to provide traction.(David Horemans/CBC) "We definitely understand that salt is important to keeping our roads safe," said Alambo. "One coffee mug full of road salt is pretty much all you need to de-ice one of your standard to two-car driveways." Salt is also ineffective at temperatures colder than –10 C, she added. Instead of salt, Alambo suggests using sand, gravel, or even cat litter to help provide traction. The Ottawa Riverkeeper also plans to approach the City of Ottawa about its salt use, especially as municipal officials are in the midst of reviewing the city's winter maintenance standards.
The first legislative session of 2021 began this week amid a grueling pandemic and an unrelenting overdose crisis, and the BC Green caucus intends to advocate for ramped up mental health supports and more government transparency. “I don't think anybody out there is like, ‘No, I'm good. Everything's perfectly fine,’” said BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau in an interview on Feb. 24. “The priority going into this session really is about mental health and what government can do to better support people's mental health. We want to see some pretty significant steps taken on that front.” The legislative session began Mar. 1 and will run, with breaks, until June 17. Furstenau has repeatedly argued for the inclusion of psychologists in primary healthcare teams, and for psychological counselling to be covered by public healthcare. Thus far, the Province has declined to include counselling under the Medical Services Plan. When pressed by Furstenau during Question Period on Dec. 9, Mental Health and Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson suggested British Columbians experiencing immediate mental health distress should call the 811 COVID-19 call-in helpline for assistance. “We have to be able to recognize mental healthcare and healthcare are the same thing,” Furstenau said in February. People should be able to access it as part of their primary healthcare without a cost barrier, she said. “Counselling is very expensive,” said Mackenzie Kerr, co-chair of the BC Greens youth council, and former 2020 Green party candidate for Prince George-Valemount. “Including mental health in our provincial health care would be absolutely huge right now, crucial.” Having someone to talk to for a professional opinion is important, said Kerr. “If you're just stuck in the same loop every day staying home, it can become very lonely, and you can talk yourself in circles in your head.” The year-long (and counting) pandemic has also exacerbated the province’s opioid health emergency, making 2020 the deadliest year yet for illicit drug overdoses. Of the 8,530 people who died from illicit drug overdoses in B.C. the past decade, 20 per cent lost their lives last year. In 2020 alone, paramedics attended more than 17,000 overdose events, including 1,250 in the north, which had the highest rate of deaths in the province last year. The cost of waiting until people are in crisis and needing emergency healthcare system is far more expensive than providing proactive mental health supports when people seek them, said Furstenau. Other issues for the Greens this session relate to trust and transparency, Furstenau said. Since last September, the legislature has been in session eight days. In previous years over the same period, fall legislative sessions ranged from 20 days in 2019 to 41 days in 2017. “During a time when people are feeling increasingly concerned about how government is making decisions,” said Furstenau, “we've had very limited and very restricted opportunity to be able to ask the questions of government that it is our job as elected representatives to ask.” Now, more than ever, governments need to ensure they have the trust of their citizens, she said. Crisis situations require collective action, and the public must trust the people asking them to make sacrifices for the common good. Mistrust of experts was the number one determinant of vaccine hesitancy, according to a study entitled Understanding Vaccine Hesitancy in Canada, by McGill University and University of Toronto researchers. Mistrust of key figures and institutions is now driving online conversations and skepticism about vaccines as much as safety concerns, revealed First Draft, an international research coalition of journalists and academics. “People want to understand; people want to have an explanation,” Furstenau said. “If it's not forthcoming from government, they will look elsewhere for those explanations. And it's dangerous.” The government’s handling of the now $16 billion Site C dam project in the province’s northeast also raises serious concerns around trust, transparency and accountability, Furstenau said. “Government has not been forthcoming with information reports, terms of reference, and even quarterly reports from BC Hydro have not been released publicly for a year now.” Another significant 2021 priority for the Greens will be holding government to its commitment to implement recommendations from last year’s old growth review panel, A New Future for Old Forests. A key recommendation called for immediate protection of old forests in ‘high and near-term risk of irreversible biodiversity loss.’ “Yet, we keep hearing and seeing evidence of ongoing logging of old growth,” said Furstenau. “The reality is, this is not a sustainable activity.” Communities need help from governments to transition from old growth logging into sustainable economic activities, Furstenau said. Turning away from old growth logging is a tough sell in Northern BC, but communities would do it if there were alternatives, said Kerr, a University of Northern BC forestry student. “If they were given more options of renewable projects,” Kerr said, “we know that they will be choosing those instead.” Conservation financing would help communities break free of dependence on boom or bust resource development projects that only deplete resources, Furstenau said, pointing to land-based aquaculture, landscape restoration, ecotourism, and sustainable agriculture and agritech as possible alternatives. “We're sort of trapped in an eternal present in our politics, when what we have to recognize is every decision we make shapes the future,” said Furstenau. “What should future generations and communities expect from us in our decision-making right now?” Fran@thegoatnews.ca / @FranYanor Fran Yanor, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Rocky Mountain Goat
Mona Lisa describes feeling isolated and cut off from her community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tuesday's Games NHL N.Y. Rangers 3 Buffalo 2 Columbus 4 Detroit 1 Montreal 3 Ottawa 1 N.Y. Islanders 2 New Jersey 1 Pittsburgh 5 Philadelphia 2 Winnipeg 5 Vancouver 2 Carolina 4 Nashville 2 Tampa Bay 2 Dallas 0 --- AHL Providence 4 Hartford 2 --- NBA Memphis 125 Washington 111 Atlanta 94 Miami 80 Boston 117 L.A. Clippers 112 San Antonio 119 New York 93 Denver 128 Milwaukee 97 Phoenix 114 L.A. Lakers 104 Detroit at Toronto -- potsponed --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
It was 11:30 on a night in early May when Louisa Mussells Pires first walked into a long-term care home in Lachine and learned some hard truths about the health-care system in one of the richest countries in the world. Pires, 31, had almost finished nursing school. There was a crying need for extra staff in Quebec's long-term care network, which had been decimated by COVID-19 infections. So she volunteered to help and readily agreed to grab a night shift at the CHSLD Nazaire-Piché. Pires can still recall in vivid detail what it was like to walk through its halls for the first time. It was dark. The common areas were roped off. At a nursing station, a television blared news about the dizzying death toll at CHSLDs across the province. She eventually found the only other person working on the floor, a tired-looking nurse. "Tell me what needs to be done," Pires said to her. The nurse replied: "Make sure everyone is breathing. And then come back and we'll take things from there." Scattered throughout the ward were large piles of pink plastic bags that held the final possessions of the residents who had succumbed to COVID-19. An inside view of CHSLD Nazaire-Piché in Lachine.(Myriam Fimbry/CBC) Over the next few weeks, until military reinforcements arrived, Pires and the rest of the skeleton staff were able to offer a minimum level of care. The residents were cleaned, fed and given medication; little else. When an infected resident began to hyperventilate, Pires knew the end was near and provided what comfort she could. But make no mistake, she said, these were lonely deaths, away from family and friends, away from those who loved them the most. "It was a reminder that even in a high-income country, that is supposed to be well off, you can have a humanitarian crisis of this scale," Pires said in a recent interview. "It might be quickly forgotten. But it happened. I mean, how can you have people dying of dehydration in Canada?" Last spring, 5,000 people in the province died of COVID-19, more than anywhere else in Canada. And the sense that Quebec's health-care system failed is as widespread among many frontline workers as it is among the families of the dead. But it is less clear how the system's administrators could have acted differently, faced with an unprecedented situation. CBC News conducted a series of interviews with both frontline workers and managers to get a better understanding of how one part of the system — the health authority covering Montreal's West Island — responded at the outset of the pandemic. What emerged was a portrait of a system under severe strain, exposing some to uncommon horrors while others had to make ethically fraught, complex decisions. WATCH: One year later, front-line workers reflect on how they responded in the first weeks of the pandemic 'We had to improvise' The top officials in the West Island health authority — the Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre (CIUSSS) — began planning for a pandemic in January of 2020, as evidence began to accumulate that a novel coronavirus was spreading around the world. In those early plans, any West Island cases of COVID-19 were to be transferred to the Jewish General Hospital, which has several negative pressure rooms, ideal for treating infectious diseases. The lone hospital in the West Island, Lakeshore General, was built in 1965 and doesn't have the same up-to-date equipment. It also has one of the city's busiest emergency rooms. Louisa Mussells Pires, 31, worked at CHSLD Nazaire-Piché during the first wave of the pandemic. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC) By mid-March it was apparent that Quebec was seeing more cases than initially anticipated. The West Island CIUSSS leadership began meeting every morning in a large boardroom on the fifth floor of Lakeshore General Hospital. They were carefully monitoring the hospital's capacity. The hospital serves a territory dotted with homes for the elderly and long-term care centres, and suspected COVID cases kept coming into the ER. When the Jewish General hit capacity in the third week of March, those cases could no longer be transferred downtown. "We had no choice. Somebody had to take those patients," said Dr. Guy Bisson, Lakeshore's medical co-ordinator. Plastic dividers were thrown up and a makeshift COVID ward was fashioned out of a short-term stay ward. "We couldn't close the door. We had to improvise," said Bisson. Herron and the CHSLD disaster On Sunday, March 29, the morning meeting of the CIUSSS West Island's leadership was interrupted by a call from CHSLD Herron. They needed staff, urgently. It was unclear, at first, how bad the situation was, said Najia Hachimi-Idrissi, the associate CEO of the CIUSSS. Two colleagues were dispatched to investigate. "The conditions were disgusting. The patients were drenched in urine and feces," Loredana Mule, a nurse who was assigned to help at Herron that night, told CBC News last April. "It was quite appalling." A body is removed from CHSLD Herron on Saturday, April 11, 2020.(Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press) The health authority placed Herron under trusteeship on March 29. But that was not enough to prevent at least 47 residents from dying last spring — deaths that will be the subject of a coroner's inquiry this fall. "It was very difficult emotionally for everybody," Hachimi-Idrissi said. "In a society like ours, we would like to be more organized. Nobody knew the virus could be that destructive." The situation at Herron prefigured similar staffing situations at CHSLDs elsewhere in the province. Underpaid staff were getting sick; others were too frightened to show up to work. Their managers, meanwhile, were overstretched, racing to different locations, said Anne-Marie Chiquette, who works for an organization, APER, that represents health-care managers. In 2015, Health Minister Gaétan Barrette amalgamated dozens of local medical establishments into a handful of super-agencies. At the same time, he eliminated around 1,300 management positions in the health-care system. Chiquette said those reforms — which left fewer managers responsible for larger areas — contributed to the scale of the tragedy in the CHSLD network. "When you have a pandemic, you need to have a link with employees to reassure them, because they are scared. But in this case the managers couldn't be there," Chiquette said. At one point while Pires was working at CHSLD Nazaire-Piché, the building ran out of apple juice. The staff spent several hours trying to identify who was responsible for replenishing their stock. Eventually they gave up. "There was no clear person in charge," she said. ""There was a lack of leadership. I don't think it was due to personal shortcomings. It was due to the structure of the system." As the virus continued to spread within the long-term care network, the ER at Lakeshore went through periods when it was effectively overwhelmed. Nathan Friedland, an ER nurse at the hospital, recalled one day in early May when in the span of 15 minutes five ambulances arrived, each carrying ailing patients from long-term care homes. The ER was already jammed. The incoming stretchers were placed in a waiting area. Among them was a woman in severe respiratory distress. All he could do was get her a blanket. "I had a line of patients, five in a row, with this woman dying in front of me and I had to go to the next patient," he said in a recent interview. The hospital's morgue eventually filled up and the dead had to be stored in a refrigerated truck parked behind the hospital. "It was deeply disturbing," Friedland said. At the height of the first wave, nearly half of the Lakeshore's 265 beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients. After the first wave, staff at Lakeshore Hospital undertook renovations aimed at decreasing transmission of COVID-19.(Jaela Bernstien/CBC ) That required making difficult decisions about who received the limited amount of personal protective equipment available. They also had to choose which non-urgent surgeries would be cancelled and which patients would be transferred to other hospitals. Hachimi-Idrissi rejected the suggestion that the health-care system in the West Island collapsed in the spring. "But we did have to make choices about where we concentrated the resources that we had," she said. "It was risk management everyday." Is anyone to blame? The staggering death toll from those first critical months of the pandemic has left many of those who had to witness it up close demanding accountability. Frontline health-care workers have complained for years about staffing shortages, ramshackle long-term care homes and overcrowded ERs. They feel that if only their warnings had been heeded, the outcome could have been different. "The virus made a mockery of our health-care system," said Friedland. Legault has also called for accountability, though he denies any of his government's decisions contributed to the scale of the disaster. In recent interviews marking the anniversary of the first case, Legault has suggested there were major shortcomings in the management of the health-care system. At one point in the pandemic, Legault mused about firing half of the health authority CEOs in Montreal, according to a new book by Alec Castonguay. But the eagerness to lay blame may also obscure the unprecedented nature of the crisis that Quebec confronted last year. Those who administer the province's large, complex health-care system have difficulty identifying what they could have done differently, given what they knew at the time and the resources they had available. "The problem is not the hospitals. It's not the CHSLDs," said Bisson. "The problem is COVID. That's the true culprit. We have to remember that."
CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s attorney-general denied having sexual contact with a 16-year-old who had accused him of raping her 33 years ago and said Wednesday he would not resign as the nation's top law officer. Christian Porter instead said he would take leave to care for his mental health after the allegations recently became public. “I’m going to take a couple of short weeks leave just for my own sanity,” Porter told reporters. “I think that I will be able to return from that and do my job.” The accuser took her own life last year, and her allegations against Porter became public last week when they were sent anonymously to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other lawmakers. Media had reported the alleged rapist was one of the 16 men in Morrison’s 22-member Cabinet, but Porter was widely identified online. The 50-year-old former criminal prosecutor said he decided to speak out after police said Tuesday there was insufficient admissible evidence to proceed with a criminal investigation. Prominent lawyers and the woman’s friends have called for an independent inquiry to test the evidence against Porter. Morrison has noted Porter’s denials and said the allegations should be left with police to handle. Porter said the reported rape allegation did not warrant him standing down from his job. “If I stand down from my position as attorney-general because of an allegation about something that simply did not happen, then any person in Australia can lose their career, their job, their life’s work based on nothing more than an accusation that appears in print,” Porter said. “If that happens, anyone in public life is able to be removed simply by the printing of an allegation,” he added. Porter said he was 17 when he competed alongside the then-16-year-old accuser on a four-member school debate team in January 1988. He said he had not heard from her since. “I did not sleep with the (alleged) victim. We didn’t have anything of that nature happen between us,” Porter said. “I remember the person as an intelligent, bright, happy person,” he added. The woman has not been named. Police are preparing evidence to help a coroner determine the cause of her death. The case has added to intensifying into attitudes toward sexual harassment and violence in Parliament after a staffer made an unrelated allegation two weeks ago that she had been raped by a senior colleague in a minister's office. Rod McGuirk, The Associated Press
Sandra Valliquette is worried her brother is being left behind in Ontario's vaccination rollout plan. He lives at a group home in Saint-Pascal-Baylon, an area just southeast of Clarence-Rockland, Ont., that provides housing for people with special needs and mental health disabilities. According to the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, people in group homes and other congregate settings will be vaccinated in Phase 2, beginning later this month and running through August. Valliquette says her brother has been living in lockdown for six months and worries what being categorized as a lower priority will mean for him, and the approximately 30 others he lives with. "My brother has underlying health issues. He's vulnerable in that place," she said. Lack of data worrisome, says advocate While people living in group homes are a higher priority than some, Valliquette worries that being in Phase 2 means her brother will remain in lockdown for the foreseeable future. "I am just confused about why he has to wait," she said. Sandra Valliquette says she's concerned for her brother who lives in a group home. (Submitted by Sandra Valliquette ) Megan Linton, a disabilities justice advocate, says people living in these group settings — whether they're for-profit homes, shelters or in independent living — should be fast-tracked up the COVID-19 vaccine queue. There's a lack of information about how many people with disabilities live in these places or have died of COVID-19, Linton said, but data from other parts of the world suggests people with disabilities are some of those most at risk. The situation has led to a lack of accountability for these institutions when there is an outbreak, said Linton. "It's incredibly concerning the way that disabled people have been left out of the vaccinations prioritization," she said. "If you are at higher risk, you should be prioritized." She said age shouldn't be the sole priority, noting that many living with disabilities have shorter than average life expectancies. "The government has the opportunity to prioritize and to ensure that this doesn't become a greater crisis," Linton said. Valliquette said if group homes can't be made a higher priority, she hopes Ontario reconsiders its stance inoculating more people with a single dose before moving onto the second. "There has to be some sort of flexibility and second thought," Valliquette said.
A sharp spike in bond yields last week caught some hedge funds unaware, and saw macro and long-short funds in general give back February profits to end the month modestly up, several market participants said. Hedge funds, which target returns that outperform the markets, take positions in a variety of assets such as bonds, currencies and equities, depending on the strategy employed. The sharp rise in yields - which saw ten-year Treasury yields hit a one-year high of over 1.6% on Thursday - came after a tumultuous January when some funds got burned by holding short positions in stocks caught up in the GameStop trading frenzy.
Britain will modernise its listing rules to attract more high-growth company and so-called blank cheque flotations, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said after a government-backed review said London was on the back foot after Brexit. The London Stock Exchange is facing tougher competition from NYSE and Nasdaq in New York, and from Euronext in Amsterdam since Britain fully left the European Union on Dec. 31.