Travellers entering Canada by air are now required to arrange a three-day hotel stay to await the result of a COVID-19 test, but there’s frustration around varying costs and how to book a room.
Travellers entering Canada by air are now required to arrange a three-day hotel stay to await the result of a COVID-19 test, but there’s frustration around varying costs and how to book a room.
Ottawa will not license any Indigenous "moderate livelihood" fishery in Atlantic Canada unless it operates within the commercial season, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said Wednesday, siding with a key demand from the region's commercial fishing industry, while angering Indigenous leaders. The statement is a major development in the dispute over treaty rights-based fishing that sparked violence last fall when the Sipekne'katik band launched its own self-regulated 'moderate livelihood' lobster fishery. The fishery in St. Marys Bay in southwest Nova Scotia took place outside the commercial season, angering other fishermen who said it was both unfair and bad for conservation. "Seasons ensure that stocks are harvested sustainably and they are necessary for an orderly, predictable, and well-managed fishery," Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan said in a statement, confirming a CBC News report earlier in the day. "In effort-based fisheries such as lobster, seasons are part of the overall management structure that conserves the resource, ensures there isn't overfishing, and distributes economic benefits across Atlantic Canada." WATCH | The history of the Mi'kmaw fishery: DFO indicated a willingness to discuss other details with affected First Nation communities. But Sipekne'katik Chief Mike Sack urged Mi'kmaw bands in Atlantic Canada to reject the federal government's position and told reporters his First Nation will continue to operate its fishery outside DFO seasons in 2021. "They're trying to divide and conquer and throw a carrot to a band or two and have them sign and just hurt everybody's case. So I hope that no other communities do sign. They don't take that low hanging fruit," he said. Sack restated his position that the treaty right was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada's Marshall decision, and accused DFO of trying to divide and conquer the Mi'kmaq. In 1999, the court affirmed the Mi'kmaw treaty right to fish in pursuit of a "moderate livelihood," but under federal government regulations for conservation. Ottawa spent half a billion dollars integrating Indigenous bands into the commercial fishery through licence buy-backs and training, but it never defined "moderate livelihood." Jordan cited part of the Marshall ruling to justify her authority. She noted the Supreme Court said "treaty rights are subject to regulation provided such regulation is shown by the Crown to be justified on conservation or other grounds of public importance." "That is what we are implementing," Jordan said in her statement. The department is offering Indigenous fishermen in Nova Scotia a pathway to sell lobster harvested in a moderate livelihood fishery. Right now, that catch does not have DFO's stamp of approval. Without authorization, they can't legally sell their catch to licenced buyers, such as lobster pounds and processors. Bands that accept DFO's position will receive a moderate livelihood licence that will allow them to sell the catch in 2021. Under provincial rules, only fish products harvested under federal commercial licences can be purchased by shore processors. The federal government "will balance additional First Nations access through already available licences and a willing buyer-willing seller approach, protecting our stocks and preserving the industry for generations to come," Jordan's statement said. Sipekne'katik First Nation Chief Michael Sack, right, halted talks with the federal Fisheries Department in December after reaching an impasse.(Paul Withers/CBC) The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs called the government's conditions "unacceptable" and condemned them as part of a "colonial approach" to the rights-based fishery recognized by the Supreme Court. "DFO continues to dictate and impose their rules on a fishery that is outside of their scope and mandate," said Chief Gerald Toney, the assembly's fisheries lead, in a statement. The right to a livelihood fishery isn't, and shouldn't be, driven by industry or the federal government, he said. "It is something that needs to come from the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia. Imposing restrictions independently, without input of the Mi'kmaq, on our implementation of Rights is an approach that must stop." Mi'kmaw leaders and some academics have insisted the fishery in St. Marys Bay poses no risk to stocks because it is too small. It's a claim the commercial industry rejects. One organization representing commercial fishermen said the DFO has made public what it had been telling the industry in private. "This position needs to come from them and they need to come out publicly, more often," said Martin Mallet, executive director of the Maritime Fishermen's Union. Mallet said commercial fishermen expect the DFO to enforce its rules if bands operate out of season, including pulling traps and "potentially arresting individuals that are not keeping up with the law." A group representing harvesters in southwestern Nova Scotia said the government's position "can provide certainty" for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen. "However, lasting and consistent enforcement that is fair to all harvesters will be critical," the Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance said in a statement. The ambiguity over moderate livelihood led to violence last year when several bands launched self-regulated lobster fisheries — all taking place outside of commercial lobster seasons. In October, two facilities storing Mi'kmaw catches were vandalized, including one that was later burned to the ground. Indigenous harvesters also said hundreds of their traps were pulled by non-Indigenous commercial fishermen. After tensions abated, the DFO pulled hundreds of Mi'kmaw traps out of the water, many bearing band moderate livelihood tags. On Wednesday, the DFO returned to Sipekne'katik more than 200 traps it had seized last fall. Sipekne'katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack, shown in October, said Wednesday his band will continue to operate its moderate livelihood fishery outside DFO seasons in 2021.(Pat Callaghan/CBC) When defending the self-regulated fisheries, the Mi'kmaq point to the huge number of commercial traps in the water compared to those from bands. The Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance, which represents shore buyers, said that is misleading. Stewart Lamont of Tangier Lobster said he accepts the treaty right but maintains the fisheries must take place within commercial seasons. "The lobster biomass is extremely vulnerable during certain months of the year, most particularly late July, August, September, October, when lobsters are going through their annual molt," said Lamont. "They're literally hungrier than normal. They've taken on a new shell. They are far more readily embraced into a trap." He said hauling lobster at that time is short-sighted. "By the same token, they are of far lesser quality. They tend to be soft and medium shell. It's not a premium product." Commercial lobster fishing season varies across Nova Scotia, in part to maintain a steady supply to the market, and to protect stocks when they are vulnerable. MORE TOP STORIES
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
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. There are 872,747 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 872,747 confirmed cases (30,252 active, 820,450 resolved, 22,045 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 2,457 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 79.6 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 20,449 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,921. There were 28 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 284 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 41. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 58.01 per 100,000 people. There have been 24,620,804 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 994 confirmed cases (207 active, 781 resolved, six deaths). There were five new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 39.65 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 40 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is six. There were no new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.05 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 198,862 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 136 confirmed cases (22 active, 114 resolved, zero deaths). There were four new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 13.78 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 21 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 104,715 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,643 confirmed cases (29 active, 1,549 resolved, 65 deaths). There was one new case Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 2.96 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been 30 new case. 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 338,114 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,435 confirmed cases (37 active, 1,370 resolved, 28 deaths). There were four new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 4.73 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 11 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two. There was one new reported death Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.04 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 3.58 per 100,000 people. There have been 237,782 tests completed. _ Quebec: 288,941 confirmed cases (7,378 active, 271,156 resolved, 10,407 deaths). There were 588 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 86.05 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,275 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 754. There were eight new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 78 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 11. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 121.37 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,320,910 tests completed. _ Ontario: 302,805 confirmed cases (10,546 active, 285,262 resolved, 6,997 deaths). There were 966 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 71.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 7,686 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,098. There were 11 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 113 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 47.49 per 100,000 people. There have been 10,933,714 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 31,950 confirmed cases (1,151 active, 29,901 resolved, 898 deaths). There were 56 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 83.45 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 405 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 58. There were two new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 12 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 65.11 per 100,000 people. There have been 533,840 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 28,938 confirmed cases (1,492 active, 27,059 resolved, 387 deaths). There were 137 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 126.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,015 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 145. There were two new reported deaths Tuesday. 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 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.83 per 100,000 people. There have been 577,151 tests completed. _ Alberta: 134,052 confirmed cases (4,631 active, 127,531 resolved, 1,890 deaths). There were 257 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 104.73 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,449 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 350. There were two new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 37 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is five. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 42.74 per 100,000 people. There have been 3,409,039 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 81,367 confirmed cases (4,747 active, 75,255 resolved, 1,365 deaths). There were 438 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 92.22 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 3,509 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 501. There were two new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 29 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 26.52 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,935,174 tests completed. _ Yukon: 72 confirmed cases (zero active, 71 resolved, one death). There were no new cases Tuesday. 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 8,172 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 42 confirmed cases (three active, 39 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Tuesday. 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 14,559 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 359 confirmed cases (nine active, 349 resolved, one death). There was one new case Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 22.87 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been eight new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.54 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,696 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian 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.
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.
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.
Chris Daken is taken aback by the outpouring of attention, support and condolences his family is receiving in the wake of unspeakable tragedy. Lexi Daken, daughter to Chris and Shawna Betts, sister to Piper and Brennah, student at Leo Hayes High School, friend, athlete, teenager, took her own life last Wednesday. She was just 16. A week earlier, Lexi had been taken to the emergency room at Fredericton's Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital by a guidance counsellor who was concerned about her mental health. She waited for eight hours without receiving any mental health intervention. After she was told by a nurse that calling a psychiatrist would take another two hours, Lexi left the hospital with a referral for followup. Since her death, Daken said, the family has been bowled over by the offers of support, from here in New Brunswick and right across the country. "Lexi's story has touched a lot of people in ways we would never have imagined," he said. Chris Daken with daughter Lexi, when she was about 2-years-old. (Submitted by Chris Daken) 'Lexi didn't get the help she went there for' On Tuesday, one day after Lexi's funeral service, Daken told CBC News his heart is aching but his mission is clear: to shine a spotlight on the broken system that allowed this to happen, and to never let it fade until things change. "It can't be acceptable that a person could go to the hospital and not get the care they need, that they be made to feel like a burden and pushed away," he said. "Lexi didn't get the help she went there for, and I really believe the government has to take a good look in the mirror and … at the decisions that were made that day." That's part of the reason Daken said his family made a conscious choice to speak openly about the tragedy. "The day after her death, we started getting calls from media," he said. "We sat down as a family to decide whether we should ignore the publicity and deal with Lexi's death in our own way, or speak out about it to everyone." Ultimately, they decided that "keeping it in the dark" would only perpetuate the stigma around mental health issues. "This has happened too often," Daken said. "We can't let this go away. We want to keep the momentum going, and hopefully it leads to change." That can't happen if people aren't talking about it, he said. "We want kids to know there's help out there. We're hoping to make mental health an easier subject to talk about. … It's no problem for people to talk about having a broken bone, so why can't we talk about having a broken brain?" Green Leader David Coon said Tuesday he will push the government to call for a public inquiry in the wake of Lexi Daken's death, noting "I will be relentless about it."(CBC News file photo) Family supports call for a public inquiry For this reason, the family also supports Green Party Leader David Coon's call for an inquiry into the province's handling of suicidal youths in emergency rooms. In an interview Tuesday morning, Coon said he plans to push the government to call a public inquiry into Lexi's death, noting "I will be relentless about this." "Too many teens in crisis have been turned back from emergency rooms without getting help, without getting admitted into a safe place where they won't be able to harm themselves," he said. "Something has to be done. We can't keep going with this broken system." Coon said he'd like to see "everyone along the chain" called as witnesses at the inquiry, from the psychiatrist and nurse on duty the day Lexi visited the hospital to the hospital management. Lexi Daken shown here with her sisters. From left to right, Brennah, Piper and Lexi. (Submitted by Chris Daken) Daken said he spoke with Coon about his plan at Lexi's vigil, and he supports it completely. "I think it's a good thing," he said. "The public is looking for answers just as we are." Daken sees a public inquiry as another crucial step on the road to real change. "What we have seen over and over again in the past, when a teen has taken their own life, there's a big outcry for a week or two, and then after a while it just quietly goes away," he said. "We don't want that to happen this time." The sheer number of individuals and groups who have contacted Daken and his family to offer help and support gives him hope that this time, it really will be different, he said. "We've had mental health associations reaching out from across the country, people here in the community organizing fundraisers, we've had [People's Alliance Leader] Kris Austin and the Liberals and Mr. Coon in touch with us," he said. "None of us wants to let this fade away. "So as tragic as Lexi's death is, we hope some good can come out it." If you need help: CHIMO hotline: 1-800-667-5005 / http://www.chimohelpline.ca Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566.
Jon Stanfield has about 300,000 medical gowns to help in the battle against COVID-19, but they're sitting unused in his Nova Scotia factory after the federal government decided to stop buying personal protective equipment from his company. Last spring, Stanfield's Ltd. of Truro quickly retrained its staff and retooled its factory at the start of the pandemic and pumped out PPE for front-line workers. That $27.9-million contract ended in October and Stanfield bid for a second contract. "The message from government was that they're going to invest in domestic capacity to make PPE across the country," Stanfield told CBC News on Tuesday. The company paid its PPE workers $1.8 million to keep them employed from October to last week. They produced a few hundred thousand isolation gowns, which are used to protect against the transfer of microorganisms and body fluids. The company thought since Ottawa said it wanted to build domestic capacity for manufacturing PPE, it would give some of 2021's work to Stanfield's, as well. Stanfield's posted this photo of the gowns to social media last month. (Stanfield's) "We're probably the oldest manufacturer of apparel in the country, we have 300,000 square feet, we have training, we bought equipment, we retooled the factory to participate in round two," said Stanfield. "I thought we'd have a level of it. I didn't think it would be zero." But the government accepted different bids, leaving Stanfield's out in the cold. The company laid off 150 workers last week. It still employs about 225 people in its regular clothing business. "This is just disappointing because I think our people — who put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into round one — also thought that we would have a level of work. Because this is what we do." 'We are no longer facing a PPE shortage' Stanfield disputed a Feb. 26 Facebook post by Liberal MP Lenore Zann, who said her government "invested $27.9 million into the initiative in order to enable Stanfield's to switch their factory from making underwear to creating disposable gowns for front-line workers." "They invested zero dollars," said Stanfield. "We negotiated a contract to make gowns for the federal government." Money from the contract went into training and paying workers as well as buying equipment, fabrics and other items to start making PPE. Stanfield said his company did apply for funding to retool the factory, but was rejected. Zann, whose riding of Cumberland-Colchester includes Truro, said Tuesday that she'd spoken to the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the trade union confirmed what Stanfield said: the government did not pay his, or any other company, to retool to produce PPE. "Since the very beginning of the pandemic, Canadian businesses across the country have come forward to offer their services and pitch in to provide life-saving equipment ... at a time of great need," Zann told CBC News. "Because of their efforts, we are no longer facing a PPE shortage." Zann said the government is now taking the time to use competitive bids "while continuing to focus on Canadian-made supplies." She said all nine contracts went to Canadian manufacturers. Stanfield said even part of an order — say for one or two million gowns — would have been enough to keep people working. Now, he's talking to provincial health-care providers to see if they want to work with his company to ensure a domestic supply of PPE. He said if Canada wants to have a domestic capability to make PPE, it should look to companies like his, which has made apparel for 150 years and will continue making it deep into the future. "So Canada wouldn't get into the position that we were in last spring," he said. "Because it's not a matter of if, but probably when, it occurs again." MORE TOP STORIES
The euro zone economy is almost certainly in a double-dip recession as COVID-19 lockdowns continue to hammer the services industry, but hopes for a wider vaccine rollout has driven optimism to a three-year peak, a survey showed on Wednesday. "The small upward revision to the euro zone's Composite PMI for February still leaves it consistent with another contraction in GDP in Q1," said Jessica Hinds at Capital Economics. The euro zone economy contracted in the first two quarters of 2020 and a Reuters poll of economists last month forecast it would do so again in Q4 and the current quarter, saying risks to the already weak outlook were skewed to the downside.
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."
The union that represents cargo ship crews in Canada says its members are in desperate need to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The Seafarers International Union of Canada says that is because of the potential danger of an outbreak onboard a vessel and a shortage of workers to replace crew members who get sick. There is limited space to physically distance on a ship and there are few medical resources on a vessel to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak should it occur. "We don't want to interrupt the vaccinations right now of those front-line workers and our elderly that are absolutely in dire need, but we're in dire need as well," said union president Jim Given. The union represents seafarers who work inside Canada and abroad. Jim Given is president of the Seafarers International Union of Canada. (Submitted by Seafarers International Union of Canada) Given wants his crews to be given the vaccine after health-care workers and seniors get their shots. Many seafarers spend three months aboard ship, with one month off, but some crews spend up to nine months on a vessel. Some workers have stayed on board even longer during the pandemic. There have only been a handful of COVID-19 outbreaks on ships so far, and one seafarer has died as a result, said Given. He's worried that could get worse if his members aren't vaccinated soon. It's incredibly difficult to cope with a COVID-19 outbreak on a ship, according to Desai Shan, an assistant professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She has been studying COVID-19's impact on seafarers. "They are extremely vulnerable in this pandemic," she said. "Considering they are important, and also vulnerable …seafarers getting priority for the vaccine is a fair request. "The medical resources and support seafarers would get on board are far, far limited compared to land-based working environments." Athaide waves to seafarers onboard bulk carriers in B.C.(Ben Nelms/CBC) Shan said countries like China and Singapore have already started vaccinating their seafarers because they recognize the importance of keeping their supply chains moving. "We carry most of the goods people use everyday, whether it be the raw materials to make the product or the product itself. We carry about 90 per cent of everything you touch and see everyday," said Given. A seafarer's job is so important it is considered essential. Given said the union wants to sit down with provincial and federal officials to come up with a plan to get its members vaccinated soon. Each individual province and territory decides how it will roll out its vaccinations. No province or territory has given seafarers priority, said Given. The CMA CGM Libra is the largest container ship ever to stop in Halifax. The vessel holds approximately 11,400 shipping containers.(Port of Halifax) Nova Scotia has taken an age-based approach. "We recognize there is interest from Nova Scotians who want to be prioritized to receive the vaccine, but we know the single biggest risk to COVID-19 patients is age," Marla MacInnis, a spokesperson for Nova Scotia's Department of Health, said in an email. She said eventually all Nova Scotians who want to get vaccinated will have the opportunity. Transport Canada had no comment on whether seafarers should be prioritized for vaccination. But spokesperson Sau Sau Liu said in an email that "Canada remains a strong advocate for the safety and welfare of seafarers and maritime workers." A truck passes by some of the many containers that it tows on a daily basis at Vancouver's port.(David Horemans/CBC) Liu said Transport Canada officials participate on a national seafarers' welfare board that advises the federal government on issues related to the well-being of seafarers. Given said that's not good enough. "It spreads so quickly and if we end up in a situation where we do get outbreaks on these ships the other aspect of it is there is nobody to replace the people to get the cargo moving again," he said. There is a shortage of seafarers in Canada right now, and with few people to replace them if they get sick, that could mean huge delays in the movement of goods and a slowdown in the Canadian economy, said Given. There are about 30,000 people across Canada employed as seafarers who directly or indirectly support 260,000 jobs and put $36 billion into the Canadian economy, he said. Many seafarers spend three months at a time on cargo ships like this one, but some can spend nine months aboard a vessel. That time onboard ship has been stretched out even further for some during the pandemic. (Steve Farmer/Port of Halifax) The country can't afford a slow down in the shipping industry, he said, especially with the busy season set to start in the spring when the Great Lakes thaw and ship traffic picks up. "We've got to find a way to get seafarers vaccinated so they have the mobility and the safety to do their jobs," said Given. MORE TOP STORIES
Tensions between the United States and Iran simmered on Wednesday after a new rocket attack against Iraq's Ain al-Asad air base that hosts U.S. forces, which U.S. officials told Reuters fit the profile of a strike by Iran-backed militia. There were no reports of injuries among U.S. service personnel but an American civilian contractor died after suffering a "cardiac episode" while sheltering from the rockets, the Pentagon said.
There were 41 tornadoes that caused 23 deaths in the U.S. south on March 3, 2019.
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
Romanian blockchain start-up Elrond is preparing to have its new global payments app support Bitcoin this month as it looks to rival more established rivals PayPal or Revolut, its CEO said, as it taps surging interest in crypto currencies. Led by a sharp rise in Bitcoin, digital asset markets rose above $1 trillion in early 2021, as big money managers and companies begin to take the sector seriously. "This transforms what once looked like a Mexican standoff, where potential investors waited on the sidelines, into an arms race," Elrond founder Beniamin Mincu told Reuters.
A judge has declared that the man responsible for Toronto's deadly van attack in 2018 is guilty of 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder. In rendering her decision, which was broadcast on YouTube Wednesday morning, Justice Anne Molloy said Alek Minassian's rampage was "the act of a reasoning mind," and noted that the 28 year old has "no remorse for it and no empathy for his victims." "He freely chose the option that was morally wrong, knowing what the consequences would be for himself, and for everybody else," Molloy said in her decision. "It does not matter that he does not have remorse, nor empathize with the victims. "Lack of empathy for the suffering of victims, even an incapacity to empathize for whatever reason, does not constitute a defence." The man had pleaded not guilty at the judge-alone trial, which was held virtually at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Canada, a first-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years. Justice rejected defence's autism argument Defence lawyer Boris Bytensky said in his closing arguments that his client's autism disorder left him without the ability to develop empathy, arguing that his client had no idea how horrific his actions were to his victims, his family and the community. Molloy outright rejected that notion in her decision, which you can read in full at the bottom of this story. "He considered the impact it would have on his family, and deliberately set those thoughts aside, ignoring them, because he did not want them to deter him from achieving this important goal," she said, noting that he had been fantasizing about a crime like this for over a decade. "He was capable of understanding the impact it would have on his victims. "He knew death would be irreversible. He knew their families would grieve." WATCH | Remembering the victims of the Toronto van attack: Elwood Delaney, who lost his 80-year-old grandmother Dorothy Sewell in the attack, told CBC News that watching the judge give her decision was extremely emotional for his family. "I don't want to say happy, but we were relieved," he said. "I've held a lot of anger towards him this whole entire time. Knowing that he's going to be locked up for a very long time … is a relief." Delaney said his grandmother was one of Canada's biggest sports fans, and was a fervent follower of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Blue Jays. "Every time I watch sports … I constantly think of her," he said. "I miss her a lot. We all do." WATCH | Man remembers grandmother who was killed in Toronto attack: Crown lawyer praises everyday people at scene Speaking outside the courthouse after the decision was read, Crown attorney Joe Callaghan lauded the actions of the first responders who attended the scene, and read off the names of everyone killed in the attack. "In addition, a neighbourhood was attacked, leaving its residents fearful and traumatized," he said. Callaghan also commended the actions of everyday people who were on the street that day, who tried to help victims who had been struck and comforted the dying. "They demonstrated a remarkable level of selflessness and empathy, reflecting the true community spirit of this city," he said. Cathy Riddell, who was badly injured in the attack, also told reporters outside the courthouse that she feels justice has been done. "I probably will sleep tonight for the first time in a while," she said. "He can spend the rest of his life in jail, because he deserves it … he took lives, and he didn't care." WATCH | Family members, victim and Crown attorney react to judge's decision: Police say on the afternoon of April 23, 2018, the killer drove a rented van down Yonge Street near Finch Avenue, veering onto the busy sidewalk and hitting one person after another. After a brief standoff with a police officer, he was arrested. His victims included Sewell, who was killed, and another woman who survived but had both of her legs amputated as a result of injuries suffered in the attack. Molloy made sure to say the name and age of each of the victims in her decision. She also listed the serious, and in some cases life-changing injuries suffered by those who survived, including broken bones, bleeding on the brain and a collapsed lung. The judge also said she would not be naming the killer in her decision and referred to him instead as "John Doe," noting that notoriety was a driving force in his crimes. "I am acutely aware that all of this attention and media coverage is exactly what this man sought from the start," she said. CBC News will continue to use his name, in some instances, for clarity. Toronto van attack victim Cathy Riddell speaks with the media outside the Superior Court of Justice on March 3, 2021. She says she has no memory of the incident itself.(Evan Mitsui/CBC) Autism group relieved at verdict In a statement issued Wednesday morning, the Ontario Autism Coalition said it was relieved at Molloy's decision, and said it was a "firm rejection" of the use of autism as a defence. "Violent traits have no connection to autism; in fact, people on the autism spectrum are far more likely to be victims as opposed to perpetrators of violence," the statement reads. "The court's decision makes it clear this was never a case of autism causing mass murder, but rather a case where someone who committed mass murder happened to have autism. "An autism diagnosis does not predispose one to commit acts of violence." The killer told police his rampage was a mission for the incel movement, an online subculture of so-called "involuntarily celibate" men who direct their misogynistic rage at women. But Molloy noted in her decision that he also made mention in interviews of making that connection purely to upgrade the notoriety of his actions. Molloy said the killer has never shown any pleasure or sense of satisfaction to have killed or injured women, apart from the notoriety his crimes have brought to him. "Accordingly, I agree with the assessors that [the killer's] story to the police about the attack being an 'incel rebellion' was a lie," the judge wrote.
Nestled in a steep rocky hillside among the remote mountains of northern Iraq, the Rabban Hormizd Monastery has watched invaders come and go through Christianity's tumultuous history in this corner of ancient Mesopotamia. Mongols, Persians, Arabs, Kurds and Ottomans have sacked, surrounded or occupied the seventh century monastery and the Christian town of Alqosh, above which it perches, near the borders with Turkey, Syria and Iran. But Christians there survived the latest onslaught, this time by Islamic State militants who took over one third of Iraq between 2014 and 2017, including the city of Mosul just 20 miles (32 km) to the south.
GlobalFoundries will invest $1.4 billion this year to raise output at three factories in the United States, Singapore and Germany, as a global shortage of semiconductors has boosted demand for chips, its chief executive said. The U.S.-based company, a unit of Abu Dhabi's state-owned fund Mubadala, may also bring forward its initial public offering to late 2021 or the first half of next year, from a previous target of late 2022 or early 2023. Automakers and electronics producers are facing a global shortage of chips which has fueled manufacturing delays.