Webull CEO Anthony Denier joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss how heavily shorted stocks are faring this week and break down why Robinhood restricted its users from buying surging stocks like GameStop, AMC, and BlackBerry.
Webull CEO Anthony Denier joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss how heavily shorted stocks are faring this week and break down why Robinhood restricted its users from buying surging stocks like GameStop, AMC, and BlackBerry.
Maxine Koskie says when she heard she wouldn't be getting the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as planned, she broke down and cried. The Regina resident is waiting for surgery and required a vaccine for the procedure — one she's been waiting for since last October. She made an appointment online for vaccinations for her and her husband at the Evraz Place immunization site in Regina, which, based on previous Saskatchewan Health Authority information, she believed was offering the Pfizer-BioNTech shot. But just before she was set to receive the shot, the nurse informed Koskie she and her husband would be getting the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine instead. "It was a complete surprise to both of us," she said. "They're acting more like a dictatorship, because they're taking away the freedom of choice," she said. "I made the conscious choice to go for a Pfizer vaccine and that was not an option for me." Koskie says she ended up receiving the shot out of necessity, but the experience left her feeling let down by the government. 'It's been very underhanded' Premier Scott Moe and Health Minister Paul Merriman need to be transparent with the people of Saskatchewan, she says. "My concern is that it's been very underhanded," she said, adding the experience left her feeling appalled. "I was so upset with the disrespect." The Saskatchewan Health Authority announced "vaccine delivery changes" in an online notice on Friday. "The SHA has re-allocated the AstraZeneca vaccine for use in the Regina mass immunization sites at the International Trade Centre and the University of Regina to allow for the administration of Pfizer vaccines through the drive-thru starting Friday, while vaccine supply is available," the health authority said online. One of the province's first mass vaccination clinics at the International Trade Centre at Regina's Evraz Place. One Regina resident is fuming after only discovering at her appointment that she wasn't getting the brand of vaccine she expected.(Matt Duguid/CBC) Koskie thinks patients should be notified directly about any changes to their appointment or vaccine plan before they arrive for their appointments. She says she wasn't alone in her anger and frustration, as others around them also expressed concern when they were informed of the change. "They need to be honest and when they change things on the spur of the moment, they need to get that information out to the public that it is going to affect." Efficacy concerns She said the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was her shot of choice because she feels it provides better protection. AstraZeneca has said its vaccine had a 76 per cent efficacy rate at preventing symptomatic illness — compared with rates of about 95 per cent for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, and about 67 per cent for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which was the fourth and latest approved by Health Canada. As well, data from one small trial suggested the AstraZeneca vaccine did not protect against mild to moderate illness from the B1351 variant of the coronavirus, which was first identified in South Africa. However, Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, told CBC in a February interview that "Where it matters the most, against severe disease, hospitalization and death … [AstraZeneca] seems to be quite effective against the variant." Sharma also said laboratory tests and real-world evidence suggest the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine seems to be "quite effective" against the B117 variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom. The clinical trials of both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech were completed before the variants of concern took off worldwide. 'Safe and effective': health ministry In a statement sent to CBC, Saskatchewan's Ministry of Health said vaccine availability is dependent on numerous factors, including the increasing presence of coronavirus variants of concern in the Regina area. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization guidelines suggest the AstraZeneca vaccine should be used only for people older than 55. But the presence and transmission of variants of concern in Regina has required the province to "accelerate the vaccination program" for those under 55, the health ministry said. "All vaccines approved by Health Canada are safe and effective at preventing the most serious forms of COVID-19 illness and death. All residents have been asked to take the vaccine that is available to them," the ministry said. "If those receiving the vaccine have concerns regarding a certain brand of vaccine due to their medical history, they should speak to their primary care physician or a public health nurse directly prior to their appointment." The ministry also said patients are informed about the brand of vaccine they will receive, noting they are free to refuse the vaccine if they have concerns. However, Koskie says she thinks the government is "not accepting responsibility or ownership" for the fact people may be caught off guard when they're told they'll be receiving a different vaccine once they're at an appointment. "They're in a position where they have no choice," she said. She's already made a call to the ministry on the issue, and now plans to file a formal written complaint. 'Any vaccine is a good vaccine': health minister Health Minister Paul Merriman addressed questions about vaccines on Saturday, following a rare weekend sitting of the legislature. He said a "very minimal" number of people out of the thousands who have booked appointments at Evraz Place have refused a vaccine because they didn't want to take a specific brand. "Any vaccine is a good vaccine, unless there are very certain circumstances where a doctor or a health-care provider has recommended you don't do that," he said, noting people can rebook later if they're concerned about the type of vaccine offered to them. He says the province is not in a position to "pick and choose" when it comes to vaccines, and pointed out Saskatchewan Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab has already received the AstraZeneca shot. Merriman said the province will work to accommodate people who are unable to get a certain vaccine due to medical conditions outlined by a doctor, encouraging them to call into the province's vaccine line at 1-833-727-5829 beforehand. But he said there are no plans moving forward for the government to inform members of the public about which vaccines will become available to them, as supply fluctuates. "There will be, to my knowledge, no advance warning of what you are getting," he said. "People assume that they're getting one vaccine or not, but any vaccine is a good vaccine right now."
Ukraine's defence minister said on Saturday his country could be provoked by Russian aggravation of the situation in the conflict area of Ukraine's eastern Donbass region. The minister, Andrii Taran, said Russian accusations about the rights of Russian-speakers being violated could be the reason for the resumption of armed aggression against Ukraine. "At the same time, it should be noted that the intensification of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine is possible only if an appropriate political decision is made at the highest level in the Kremlin," he said in a statement.
Several thousand people blocked traffic in front of the Serbian parliament on Saturday in a protest against lack of government action to prevent water, land and air pollution by industries such as the mining sector. Protesters, who came to Belgrade from all over Serbia, held banners reading "Cut corruption and crime not forests," and "Young people are leaving because they cannot breathe". In recent years Serbia has started selling its mining resources to foreign companies, despite opposition by local residents who had warned that increased ore exploration could cause greater pollution.
Sixteen years ago, a handsome man in his 50s, who had been a big deal in the United Kingdom, addressed a Liberal policy convention. He was distinguished and impressive and he possessed the political allure that comes with having been a great success at something other than politics. Though he did not admit to having any ambitions for public office, he was already being touted as a potential successor to the prime minister of the day. Less than a year later, Michael Ignatieff was the Liberal MP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Four years after that, he was leader of the Liberal party. But the less said about what happened after that, the better. Mark Carney is not the exact facsimile of Ignatieff. A political turn by Carney — if he is so inclined — is not fated to end in tears. But Ignatieff's story is a cautionary tale that Liberals, Carney boosters and Carney himself might want to heed before anyone gets too excited about the former bank governor's appearance at this weekend's Liberal convention. Carney was not exactly electrifying in his appearance on Friday night — though perhaps few people are when speaking via video call from their living room. But he no doubt set Liberal hearts aflutter with his comments about "the responsibility of service" and his pledge to "do whatever I can to support the Liberal party in our efforts to build a better future for Canadians." Those words will pour fuel on speculative fires that have been smouldering for years. Regardless of whether he is actually now preparing or prepared to run as a Liberal for elected office, Liberals will no doubt happily accept the credibility that any association might lend to them. Generally speaking, if the former governor of the banks of Canada and England offers his endorsement and support, you accept it. Roots in government Beyond his resume and reputation, his publicly stated concerns also fit within the broad ideas that the Liberal party has tried to associate itself with since Justin Trudeau became leader. Carney has long been interested in questions about climate change and sustainability and he is now promoting a weighty tome — Value(s) — in which he argues that human values should not be secondary to market values. But whether Carney would be any good at politics is another matter entirely. In Ignatieff's own telling of the six years he spent as a practising politician — Fire and Ashes, published in 2013 — he recalls leaving the stage after his speech in March 2005 and being met by a crush of people, including a journalist who was an old friend. "He whispered, 'Good speech,' and then realizing I really was about to take the plunge gave me the commiserating look old friends give you when they know they can't stop you doing something foolish," Ignatieff writes. Michael Ignatieff acknowledges crowd after being named leader at the Liberal Leadership Convention in Vancouver on May 2, 2009. Ignatieff emerged as a great hope for the Liberal party, the reality proved much different.(Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press) There are elements of Carney's story that distinguish him from Ignatieff. For one thing, Carney's professional life is much more grounded in Canada — before his five years as governor of the Bank of Canada, he worked for three years as a senior official in the federal department of finance and one year as the bank's deputy governor. Even after seven years as governor of the Bank of England, it should be difficult to portray him as a fairweather Canadian who's "just visiting." (Carney made sure to note on Friday that he was born in the Northwest Territories and grew up in Edmonton.) Though bank governors are necessarily apolitical — or at least non-partisan — Carney's time as governor also exposed him to a level of politics that Ignatieff had only really observed. Ignatieff had delivered lectures and written essays, Carney has done news conferences and defended policy decisions. NDP, Tories launch attacks But Ignatieff's example demonstrates that you can't really know how well someone is going to do at partisan politics until they actually try to do it. Professional politics of this sort is a series of acts that most humans don't take to naturally: stump speeches, hostile interviews, speaking in slogans and shaking hands with strangers. Your words are picked over, your mannerisms are scrutinized and you will inevitably embarrass yourself from time to time. Already, Carney has run into trouble over a recent claim that the investments of Brookfield Asset Management, for whom he now works, are producing "net-zero" emissions. Carney's argument rested on the idea that renewable energy sources in Brookfield's portfolio were resulting in "avoided emissions" that counter-balanced the firm's investments in fossil fuels. Climate experts objected to that math and Carney was compelled to acknowledge that he was mistaken. Hours before Carney spoke on Friday night, the New Democrats sent a note to reporters to rehash that gaffe. While noting that Carney spent 13 years "climbing the corporate ladder at Goldman Sachs," the NDP accused the Liberals of "court[ing] the approval of the ultra-rich and well connected." Shortly thereafter, the Conservatives issued a release describing Carney as "one of Canada's most well-known elites" and accusing him of "promot[ing] trendy new economic experiments that are popular with Davos billionaires." There would be more of that sort of thing if Carney actually crosses the threshold into politics. And then he'd be mocked relentlessly if he tried to compensate by ditching his nice suits and only ever wearing plaid shirts and jeans. Of course, if one does manage to succeed at politics there are rewards — like being able to make meaningful changes to public policy that substantially improve the lives of your fellow citizens. If you are into that sort of thing, politics might have some appeal. Carney will wake up Saturday morning as more of a political figure than he was before he spoke on Friday night. And Liberals will wake up happy for whatever excitement he might generate. But no one should get too far ahead of themselves just yet. At the very least, Carney should read Ignatieff's book before going any further.
As spring weather takes hold across the city, with temperatures hitting highs of 23 degrees over the weekend, Toronto residents are itching to get outdoors after being hunkered down amid the ongoing third wave of the pandemic. For those wondering what is considered safe for outdoor activities and what behaviours could increase your risks of COVID transmission, experts have some answers. The first thing to note is that even with variants, infectious disease physicians in the Greater Toronto Area say the virus has less chance to accumulate and become harmful outdoors. "I'd rather have 100 people outdoors in a park rather than have 20 people indoors," said Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious disease specialist with Trillium Health Partners. Respiratory viruses spread through aerosol droplets that can go from one person to another, Chakrabarti explained in an interview with CBC Toronto. In an area that has very poor ventilation, such as many indoor spaces, these droplets can accumulate and the amount of virus in these droplets can then reach the point of infecting someone. "One way to mitigate this is to have increased ventilation, and that's what you see in hospitals and it lessens the chance of there being a strong concentration of particles that can infect you," Chakrabarti said. He said outside is essentially perfect ventilation. Outdoor transmission 'exceedingly small,' expert says Last summer, Toronto officials and Premier Doug Ford slammed crowds who flocked to Trinity Bellwoods Park on a day when the weather was particularly nice, saying it could cause a spike in COVID-19 cases and undo weeks of effort to curb the spread of the virus. But Chakrabarti says the risk of outdoor transmission is so small, the outrage was unwarranted in regard to its effect on case counts — or lack thereof. "If you look at it, a month afterwards, there was no increase in COVID transmission. Not to say that there probably wasn't a case or two but the point is it pales in comparison to the types of transmission we see in indoors," he said. Chakrabarti adds that if you're planning on having a prolonged conversation with someone and you're unable to physically distance outdoors, consider wearing a mask. He also said that avoiding large crowds is another way to mitigate risk. Infectious disease expert Isaac Bogoch echoed Chakrabarti's statements, saying that if you can safely spread apart from others outside, "the risk of transmission of this infection would be exceedingly small." Avoid riskier high-contact sports In December, the Mayo Clinic published a list of lowest-risk outdoor activities, which include running, hiking, rollerblading, biking, fishing, golfing — notably activities that keep you apart from others. The "mid-risk" category of outdoor activities includes picnics, which experts say can be made safer. They advise people to keep their distance, to avoid sharing a blanket, and to bring their own food and drinks to avoid sharing, which increases risk. Low-contact sports like tennis, baseball and soccer, where distance can be maintained, are considered safer than high-contact sports such as basketball and wrestling. During the third wave of the pandemic fuelled by more transmissible variants, Bogoch advises people to pick sports and activities that keep participants distanced from each other in order to lower the risk. "No matter how bad wave three is, wherever people are, we still can get through it and there still are activities that you can do safely," he says. Regardless of the activity, experts say getting outside can help people cope during the pandemic, offering them a much needed mental boost.
DMX died in New York State on Friday of what the hospital said was a catastrophic cardiac arrest.View on euronews
The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can "break through" Pfizer/BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is low and the research has not been peer reviewed. The South African variant, B.1.351, was found to make up about 1% of all the COVID-19 cases across all the people studied, according to the study by Tel Aviv University and Israel's largest healthcare provider, Clalit. But among patients who had received two doses of the vaccine, the variant's prevalence rate was eight times higher than those unvaccinated - 5.4% versus 0.7%.
Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Saturday discussed with his Philippine counterpart China’s recent positioning of “militia vessels” near the Philippines in the South China Sea. Austin spoke by phone with Philippine Secretary of National Defence Delfin Lorenzana while Austin was flying from Washington to Israel to begin an international trip. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Austin and Lorenzana discussed the situation in the South China Sea and the recent massing of Chinese vessels at Whitsun Reef, which has drawn criticism from Manila. China has said its vessels are there for fishing. In their phone call, Austin proposed to Lorenzana several measures to deepen defenceco-operation, including by “enhancing situational awareness of threats in the South China Sea,” Kirby said. He did not elaborate. Kirby said earlier this week that the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and its strike group, as well as the amphibious ship USS Makin Island, are operating in the South China Sea. The U.S. has no military forces based permanently in the Philippines but sometimes rotates forces to the country under the U.S.-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement. The recent gathering of Chinese vessels near the Philippines is among moves the United States has criticized as efforts by Beijing to intimidate smaller nations in the region. Robert Burns, The Associated Press
Last month, federal NDP Leader Jagmeet took part in a split-screen Instagram livestream with blogger Sarah Nicole Landry, known by the handle @thebirdspapaya to her 1.9 million followers. You won't find much talk of Canadian politics in Landry's posts, if any. They tend to focus instead on motherhood, empowerment and health. Singh stuck to much the same themes in his talk with Landry, which focused on her ideas and struggles through the pandemic — placing Singh, who has over 600,000 Instagram followers, in the role of empathetic listener. The conversation typified the NDP's digital strategy to reach Canadians between the ages of 18 to 40 — a strategy that puts Singh's personality and personal brand ahead of granular policy debates. Through social media influencers, the party wants to bypass traditional forms of advertising to project Singh's image to an audience that's hard to reach through conventional political messaging. WATCH: NDP turns to influencers Singh appears to be working to become a pervasive presence on digital platforms like TikTok and Clubhouse in the coming months. He recently put out an online call for Canadians to text him on the Community social media platform. The party is also planning to place ads in video games and wrap buses with colourful ads featuring Singh front and centre. "It's really taking a look at where people are spending a lot of their time and using that as a motivation for where we are spending money, so people get to know who Jagmeet is," said Mélanie Richer, Singh's director of communications. Building Singh's brand The party is making big plans to build Singh's brand. It's preparing to spend nearly $12 million just on ads for the next campaign — roughly what the NDP spent for its entire campaign in the 2019 election. The NDP is launching a new series of ads today, starting with one airing during tonight's game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators. The ads are unconventional by Canadian party standards. Singh himself doesn't say a word in them. WATCH: Using untraditional ways to reach young voters Instead, the ads use text and images to tell a story about the party fighting for working people during the pandemic. They're aimed at those who might feel disenchanted by the results of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's promise of a new kind of politics. The challenge for the NDP is in translating digital likes into votes — especially since it's focusing on an age group that historically tends not to cast ballots in large numbers. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh takes photos with university students in Toronto on Oct. 8, 2019.(Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press) Campaign insiders argue the NDP is playing a long game. "Rather than trying to chase votes directly from younger people, we only need to find a small subset of hyper-engaged young people," said Zain Velji, a former campaign manager for Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and former digital director for Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley. "Give them disproportionate access, disproportionate skin in the game, perhaps even disproportionate titles on the campaign so that they can be the standard bearers to their social network." WATCH: Singh's version of a viral rendition of Fleetwood Mac's 'Dreams' Velji said the NDP needs an approach to campaign advertising that will keep it from becoming mere noise on social media. He said the party needs to find a way to keep Singh's brand and message fresh so it continues to echo through social media influencers — giving a $12 million campaign $50 million worth of reach. Will the strategy pay off? The party needs this strategy to work if it's to make significant gains in the next federal election. The NDP is trailing the Liberals in the 18 to 34 age group by six points, said CBC polling analyst Eric Grenier —but those voters still represent opportunity for New Democrats. "Those voters might ... be the ones who are most likely to be disillusioned by the Liberals, that they're not as progressive as maybe Justin Trudeau might have said he was back in 2015," he said. "Getting younger voters to the polls in big numbers — and if they vote for the NDP — would help them a lot, particularly in a lot of urban ridings where the NDP was shut out in the last election." WATCH: Singh says young people will make history in the next election Singh told reporters on Friday he believes young people are going to make history in the next election because they're at the forefront of so many social justice movements, from the fight against climate change to Black Lives Matter. "I love the idea of young people asking their parents and their grandparents to say, 'Hey, we need help. New Democrats are the ones offering this help for us to make our future better. Please lend us your votes so that we can bring in the changes that we need to help us out,'" Singh said. "Young people can influence people around them and I'm excited for what's going to happen." Singh will rally the NDP base with a keynote speech Sunday to wrap up a three-day virtual policy convention. Today, British Columbia Premier John Horgan — the only NDP leader who currently heads a government — and veteran Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath are addressing the convention. The 2,000-plus delegates assembled virtually around the country today are debating resolutions on social security, green programs and issues of human rights and discrimination.
The Toronto police chief is urging the public to abide by provincial stay-at-home orders. The order, which came into force on Wednesday, is in place for the next four weeks, as Ontario attempts to curb rising case counts. On Friday, Ontario reported another 4,227 cases of COVID-19, the second-most on a single day at any point during the pandemic. "I urge all Torontonians to please comply," said Chief James Ramer in a Saturday news release. "Do not go out unless it's for essential reasons only." Toronto police are not allowed to stop cars or enter homes simply to check if a person is complying with the order, nor can they compel a person who is outside to explain the reason they left their home. However, if officers have "probable grounds to suspect someone has violated" a public health order, they are allowed to ask for identification and a person who refuses can be arrested or charged with obstructing a police officer.
MILAN — Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up two goals but was also sent off as AC Milan won 3-1 at relegation-threatened Parma on Saturday to keep its small Serie A title hopes alive. Ibrahimovic had a hand in both Milan’s first-half goals but was shown a straight red card on the hour mark. Riccardo Gagliolo reduced the deficit but substitute Rafael Leão sealed the result in stoppage time as Milan moved to within eight points of league leader Inter Milan, which hosts Cagliari on Sunday. Milan is in a tight fight for second place with Juventus and Atalanta. Both play on Sunday. In Parma, Milan got off to a perfect start as Ibrahimovic sent a throughball to Ante Rebic, who gathered with his back to goal, spun round and fired powerfully into the top right corner. The 39-year-old Ibrahimovic was also involved in Milan’s second, a minute from the break. Theo Hernández played a one-two with the Sweden forward and touched it onto Franck Kessié, who drilled into the bottom left corner. Parma had a triple chance to get back into the match five minutes into the second half but Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma pulled off a double save to deny first Andrea Conti and then Graziano Pellè, and Juraj Kucka’s attempt was over the bar. Ibrahimovic was sent off shortly after for something he appeared to say to referee Fabio Maresca and Parma got back into the match six minutes later. A ball was floated to the back post and Pellè nodded it across to Gagliolo, who managed to prod in from close range. Milan held on and made sure of all three points when Diogo Dalot raced down the right and rolled across for fellow substitute Leão to fire into the bottom right corner, shortly after coming off the bench. COMEBACK WIN Spezia scored two goals in the dying minutes to complete its comeback and beat bottom-place Crotone 3-2. Martin Erlic scored one and set up another as Spezia moved 10 points above the relegation zone. Crotone remained nine points below 17th-place Torino, which visits Udinese later. Crotone broke the deadlock in spectacular fashion, five minutes from halftime. Koffi Djidji chested the ball down with his back to goal, near the edge of the penalty area, and the defender scored on the turn with a half volley which looped over the goalkeeper and under the crossbar. Daniele Verde levelled in the 63rd but Simy restored Crotone’s lead 15 minutes later. Crotone appeared to be heading for its first win after three successive defeats but Erlic found an unmarked Giulio Maggiore to net the equalizer in the 89th minute. And three minutes later Erlic scored the winner. Ardian Ismajli’s header came off the crossbar and Erlic noded in the rebound from close range. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Daniella Matar, The Associated Press
Italy reported 344 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday against 718 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 17,567 from 18,938 the day before. Italy has registered 113,923 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the seventh-highest in the world. Some 320,892 tests for COVID-19 were carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 362,973, the health ministry said.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday called for the "worrying" developments in eastern Ukraine's Donbass region to come to an end after meeting his Ukrainian counterpart in Istanbul, adding Turkey was ready to provide any necessary support. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy held more than three hours of talks with Erdogan in Istanbul as part of a previously scheduled visit, amid tensions between Kyiv and Moscow over the conflict in Donbass. Kyiv has raised the alarm over a buildup of Russian forces near the border between Ukraine and Russia, and over a rise in violence along the line of contact separating Ukrainian troops and Russia-backed separatists in Donbass.
MONTREAL — Quebec recorded another day of rising COVID-19 cases Saturday while setting a new high for daily vaccinations. Health authorities reported 1,754 new COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus. There were 14 more patients requiring hospital care for a total of 583, with the number in intensive care rising by four to 138. Quebec set another daily record for inoculations on Friday, administering more than 73,023 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Health Minister Christian Dube tweeted that 530,000 Quebecers have received a dose in the past nine days and the goal of having every adult having received a first dose by the Fete nationale holiday on June 24 remains on track. "While we are vaccinating, we must continue to respect the measures, we must limit the spread of the virus," Dube wrote. "Now is not the time to relax (efforts), despite the good weather." The province has administered 1,829,011 shots since the immunization campaign began, with 21.4 per cent of the province having received at least one dose. Montreal led the way with 428 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, followed by Quebec City with 410 and Chaudiere-Appalaches, just south of the provincial capital, with 220. The Laurentians, the Outaouais in western Quebec and Monteregie, south of Montreal, also each reported more than 100 cases. There are now 12,371 active reported cases in the province. On Saturday, Quebec's Health Department announced that it was opening up vaccinations to health care and social service sector workers who haven't been vaccinated against COVID-19 and who work directly with patients. The latest group includes a long list of workers such as those working in private medical clinics, dental clinics, pharmacies and community workers who interact with high-risk clientele. Authorities decided to split vaccinations of health-care workers into two phases due to a slowdown in vaccine deliveries in February. The Health Department also announced unvaccinated health care workers or those who refuse to provide a proof of vaccination will be required to take a COVID-19 screening test. The measure comes into effect Saturday. The province has said the decree is due to the risk presented by more contagious COVID-19 variants and worries about large-scale outbreaks in environments where there are vulnerable users or activities that are deemed critical . Those who haven't received a dose for more than 14 days or refuse to provide proof will be required to undergo recurrent preventive screening. Refusal could lead to reassignment to similar tasks or withdrawal from the system, the province said. Quebec has now reported 324,848 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 301,740 recoveries and 10,737 deaths since the onset of the pandemic, with two removed from the tally after being found not to be attributed to the virus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 10, 2021. Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
Premier Doug Ford's government has frequently altered its COVID-19 strategies, but none of those changes have seemed quite so abrupt as this week's announcement that everyone in Ontario's hardest-hit neighbourhoods aged 18 and up can get vaccinated. The province had previously signalled there would be some extra vaccination push directed toward the places most affected by the pandemic. But all the documentation released by the Ministry of Health until this week showed that those efforts would focus on older age groups. On Tuesday morning, senior government officials in charge of the vaccination rollout gave a detailed briefing on the timeline for April through June. It declared the start of targeted vaccinations in hotspots, but only for people aged 50 and up. Barely 24 hours later, Ford announced that all adults in those hotspots would be eligible to get vaccinated immediately. "As we speak, mobile vaccination teams are being organized to get vaccines to where they will have the greatest impact," Ford said Wednesday, during his news conference announcing Ontario's new stay-at-home order. The implication in Ford's words "as we speak" was that the move had come about with lightning speed — not typical for the provincial government apparatus. So what really happened? The neighbourhoods in and around Toronto with the largest proportion of racialized workers have throughout the pandemic borne a disproportionate burden from COVID-19. Yet Ontario's vaccination campaign was failing to reach those very neighbourhoods. The shift in strategy notably came just days after a change of leadership in the province's vaccine task force. Orlando Mosca, 71, gets his first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at St. Fidelis Parish church, in Toronto, on Apr. 7. Nurses from Humber River Hospital run clinics in the church as part of a community outreach program to vaccinate seniors at their place of worship.(Evan Mitsui/CBC) Always planned The province's own COVID-19 Science Advisory Table has for weeks called for a concerted vaccination push in the most-affected areas. Such a campaign would "directly address the inequitable impact of COVID-19 on disadvantaged populations in Ontario," said a briefing issued by the Science Table in February. The province had always planned to pour more vaccines into high-risk areas, said Dr Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist, member of the provincial vaccination task force and one of the co-authors of that Science Table briefing. That still leaves open a question for the Ford government: if a full-court press in hardest-hit neighbourhoods was always the plan, why was it absent from Tuesday's detailed vaccination timeline yet suddenly present in Ford's news conference on Wednesday? "The variants and COVID are moving at record speed and we have to be nimble in adapting to it and responding to it," said Health Minister Christine Elliott in an interview Friday. "That's why you see sometimes these changes in plans that we just have to make because of the way COVID is moving." WATCH | Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario's designated high-risk zones: Change of leadership Ontario paid retired general Rick Hillier $20,000 a month to be head of the vaccine distribution task force. He left the post at the end of March. One of the final efforts of Hillier's tenure was the rollout of vaccines at more than 300 pharmacies in Toronto, Kingston and Windsor. It turned out that vaccines were not allocated to pharmacies in most of the northwest and northeast portions of Toronto, the neighbourhoods worst-hit by COVID-19. Retired general Rick Hillier finished his term as chair of Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force at the end of March(Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press) For weeks after Hillier's planned departure became public knowledge, senior government officials said that he would not be replaced. The officials said Hillier had accomplished the mission of setting up vaccine distribution channels, the system was running smoothly, and the two deputy ministers on the vaccination task force would handle things from here on in. The government then quietly reversed course and appointed a replacement for Hillier. By contrast with the fanfare around Hillier's arrival last fall, or his departure, the government didn't even issue a news release about the new chair of the vaccine distribution task force. He's Dr. Homer Tien, CEO of the province's air ambulance service Ornge. Tien has a lengthy background as a trauma surgeon and a three-decade career as a military physician in the Canadian Armed Forces, rising to the rank of colonel, with a role as chief of military medical and surgical specialities. Dr. Homer Tien, CEO of the province's air ambulance service Ornge and a veteran trauma surgeon, was named head of Ontario's COVID-19 vaccination task force earlier this month, replacing retired general Rick Hillier.(Submitted by Ornge) He later became medical director for the Tory Regional Trauma Centre at Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, then chief medical officer for Ornge before becoming its CEO in 2019. Dr. Peter Jüni, the head of the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, is giving Tien significant credit for the shift to vaccinating all adults in the most-affected communities. "The first conversation we had, the two of us, was directly related to that," said Jüni in an interview Thursday. "He [Tien] wanted to know more about our strategy that we laid out in February and whether it would indeed make sense to enhance this strategy." The Science Table has done further data analysis showing that a concerted effort to vaccinate all adults in the high-risk neighbourhoods would result in "a dramatic increase in the control of the pandemic," said Jüni. "Tuesday afternoon we had the science table meeting where we presented the results of our analysis. Dr. Tien was at this meeting and the results were very convincing." CBC requested an interview with Tien, but it was declined by a spokesperson for Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, whose ministry is responsible for the vaccine task force. Public health caught by surprise The move to put greater emphasis on vaccinations in the places most affected by COVID-19 has widespread support from experts. "You should really pour your water on where the fire is burning hardest to help quell the pandemic," said Bogoch in an interview this week with CBC News. He said the shift was made possible by the recent ramp up of vaccine supplies. The move came as startling data revealed far lower vaccination rates in neighbourhoods worst-hit by COVID-19 compared with the wealthier areas where the virus has had little impact. Sources in the provincial health ministry and local public health units tell CBC News the declaration that all adults in the hotspots would be eligible for vaccinations caught them unawares. Plans to vaccinate younger adults in the most-affected areas were not on the table in any official health ministry documents issued before Wednesday. This COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Downsview Arena is run by Humber River Hospital in conjunction with the City of Toronto. (Paul Smith/CBC) For adults living in COVID-19 hot spot communities, "vaccination should begin with the oldest individuals and decreasing in age until reaching those aged 50," says the province's guidance document on priority populations for the current phase of the vaccination campaign, dated March 23. The 22-page vaccination plan provided to journalists Tuesday does not mention vaccinating all adults regardless of age in the hard-hit neighbourhoods. "Adults aged 50+ in 'hot spot' communities in 13 PHUs [public health units] are prioritized as part of Phase 2 of Ontario's vaccine distribution plan," the document reads. All this could suggest the shift in emphasis and the change in leadership of the vaccine task force are not a coincidence. Ontario administered more than 100,000 doses of vaccine per day on three consecutive days this week. More than 2.6 million people have received at least one shot, roughly 22 per cent of the province's adult population.(Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press) 113 high risk postal codes Those aged 50 and up in all the areas designated as high-risk — 113 postal code areas stretching from Windsor to Ottawa — can now make vaccination appointments via Ontario's booking portal. It's not yet clear how people younger than 50 will be able to sign up for vaccinations in the hardest-hit areas. A message on Ontario's COVID-19 vaccination web page says, "If you are aged 18-49 and live in a designated hot spot, find your public health unit and check their website for details about vaccination in your area." Nor is it clear when the vaccination campaign will extend to all younger adults in all of the designated zones. For the moment, the push for vaccinating people younger than 50 starts in Toronto and Peel, due to high transmission rates. Mobile teams and pop-up clinics will be established to administer vaccines to people aged 18 and up in high-risk areas in Toronto and Peel, as supply allows, the government said in a statement. The government's plan allocates 920,000 additional doses of vaccine to the most-affected areas. It is far from certain that this is enough to cover the bulk of the adult population in the target areas. CBC News asked the Ministry of Health of Friday for an estimate of the adult population in the 113 designated postal codes, but officials said they could not provide an answer until Monday. However, using census data from 2016, CBC calculated that more than 4.2 million Ontarians live in the areas. If roughly 80 per cent are adults, vaccinating 75 per cent of the adult population with one dose would require about 2.5 million doses. Ontario administered more than 100,000 doses of vaccine per day on three consecutive days this week. More than 2.6 million people have received at least one shot, roughly 22 per cent of the province's adult population.
A Yellowknife-born actor is showing his range, from playing a veterinarian on Emmy award-winning show Schitt's Creek to voice acting for a new kids series. Dustin Milligan played a key role on Schitt's Creek, a show that chronicles a formerly-filthy-rich family as they are demoted from their opulence to lead normal lives in a rural town — their only remaining asset. Schitt's Creek just wrapped up its final season and is up for 22 Canadian Screen Awards. The popularity of the show couldn't have been predicted, but seeing its success has been "pretty wild" for Milligan. "As a Canadian actor there is always this sense of 'yeah, you do the Canadian work in order to pay the bills and keep yourself busy until the larger American jobs come through,'" he said. But, when Milligan was presented with the opportunity to work with Eugene Levy, who plays Johnny Rose and Catherine O'Hara playing the role of former soap opera star wife Moira Rose, he says taking the role was an easy choice. "I looked up to Eugene and Catherine a lot as a kid and to work with them — it was a no-brainer. You never know what a show like this is going to do in terms of the final outcome and how the audience is going to receive it," he said. "Truly an unexpected dream come true." He added the actors are both "kind and generous with their time and their talents." From sitcoms to kids' TV Milligan is on the up after the hit comedy series and has a few projects on the go. Among them is Rutherford Falls, an upcoming American TV sitcom that focuses on the relationship between a fictional Native American reservation and the residents of a neighbouring small town in upstate New York. He is also starring in a new show kids' show, Super Agent Jon Le Bon!. The show is fun and goofy, and the super agents help to deceive villains while delivering an environmental message. "A lot of the hijinx we get into are related to environmental issues — global warming, climate change as well as friendships, bonding and teamwork," he said. "It's a high energy show. I think it's a lot of fun for kids, the young at heart," he said. Raised by a northern community Milligan said the support of his teachers at Mildred Hall School in Yellowknife and community members have been a guiding force in his career. "It may be cliché to say, but, I do believe in that adage of it takes a village to raise a child," he said. "I believe it was a large group of people over many, many years that continued to encourage me over the years in those moments when I needed it that has led my to pursue this job," he said. And, he says, the longer he's been away from the North, the more he realizes just how much he loves Yellowknife.
Even as the Atlantic bubble is scheduled to bring down barriers in the Atlantic provinces in a little more than a week, many P.E.I. tourism operators are still trying to decide whether to open this season. Coffee shops in Charlottetown are delicately discouraging "computer campers" from taking up tables for hours at a time when space is at a premium. Now with the bubble scheduled to reopen April 19, two brothers from P.E.I. now living in New Brunswick are reviving a P.E.I.-themed beer in hopes of luring Islanders to the mainland. P.E.I.'s Chief Public Health Office announced one new case of COVID-19 Friday, bringing the province's 13-month total to 162. Prince Edward Island's seesawing unemployment rate went down to 8.1 per cent in March, a year after the COVID-19 pandemic began to take a bite out of jobs. That's according to Statistics Canada data released Friday. A message issued by Buckingham Palace Friday asked Commonwealth citizens to refrain from gathering to mourn Prince Philip's death at 99, citing the need to avoid further COVID-19 outbreaks. P.E.I.'s condolences over the death of the Duke of Edinburgh will be collected online only; Lt.-Gov. Antoinette Perry said Islanders could find a link at www.lgpei.ca. Continuing pandemic restrictions have quashed any hope of staging Anne of Green Gables — The Musical at the Charlottetown Festival this summer. Organizers announced the Anneless 2021 lineup on Thursday. Prince Edward Island recorded its 162nd case of COVID-19 Friday, with news of a case linked to travel outside the Atlantic region. Elsewhere in the Atlantic region: Also in the news These Islanders are currently eligible for a vaccine People over 60. People over the age of 55 may book for an AstraZeneca vaccine at a pharmacy. People providing health care services to the public — including optometrists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists — and their support staff. Firefighters, police officers, power-line workers. Residents and staff of long-term care homes. Adults living in Indigenous communities. Residents and staff of shared living facilities. Truck drivers and other rotational workers. Further resources Reminder about symptoms The symptoms of COVID-19 can include: Fever. Cough or worsening of a previous cough. Possible loss of taste and/or smell. Sore throat. New or worsening fatigue. Headache. Shortness of breath. Runny nose. More from CBC P.E.I.
OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says he didn't hide who he was while running for the party's leadership as the "true blue" candidate. O'Toole was asked about how some see him as Liberal-lite during a question-and-answer session Saturday evening. The session closed out a conference hosted by the Canada Strong and Free Network, formerly the Manning Centre. O'Toole says he finds those making such comments to be "humorous." He says he's been trying to grow the party since winning the leadership race last year. He also says Conservatives have to fight an election on the issues of today rather than those of decades past. "I didn't hide who I was when I was running for leader," said O'Toole. "All of the things I ran on, I'm still running on now. I'm also though, reaching out and trying to communicate our Conservative ideas to more people in new ways." O'Toole says some of what differentiates him from Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is his willingness to slash millions from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and modernize its mandate, as well as crack down on illegal rail blockades. The theme of Saturday's conference was "build back right," which played off Trudeau's oft-expressed wish to "build back better" when helping Canada's economy recover from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. The think tank's annual convention — moved online because of the COVID-19 pandemic — was billed as the largest networking event for both small-c and big-C conservatives to discuss current issues. Among them was how to expand the scope of the Conservative movement. Lilly Obina, a black woman who campaigned for different Conservative candidates and ran for a nomination in 2015, said one reason the party doesn't resonate with the black community is its messaging around cuts, which needs to be better explained. The senior project executive with Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada told a panel that economics are important to the black community, who she said can feel targeted when the party talks about reducing the size of government. "We need to be able to empathize with what goes (on) in the black community," she said. "For example, when they say we are experiencing systemic racism, let's recognize that, let's be empathetic. You might not have solutions to everything, but at least just acknowledge that the problem exists." Tenzin Khangdsar, who did cultural outreach for Alberta Premier Jason Kenney when he served as Immigration Minister under former prime minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government, said the party has had previous success with reaching newcomers despite the present-day challenges. The former candidate pointed to how a large number of their votes were captured under former prime ministers Brian Mulroney and Harper, the latter of whom was aided by Kenney's efforts to build relationships with immigrant communities. "He was dubbed the minister of curry in a hurry for a reason," said Khangdsar, citing how he would attend upwards of 15 community events in a weekend. "No one likes when it you're approached just during an election, that's very transactional." He suggested forging personal relationships is an important way to sway votes among new immigrants and ethnic-Canadians, , even more so than with non-ethnic residents. "Our playbook was very simple: We were very confident that most new Canadians were small-c conservatives. We just had to make them big-C Conservatives," Khangdsar said. "And I would even add that applies to most Canadians." Harper was among those who appeared at Saturday's conference in a pre-taped panel discussion with former British prime minister David Cameron. Moderated by Senator Linda From, the centre's president said their talk couldn't be publicized beyond the conference because of a contract with the former leaders. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 10, 2021. Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press
On Tuesday, Regina resident Richard Baron suddenly found that he could not recognize his family members. He did not know where he was, and he thought it was the Fourth of July. The next day, the 64-year-old's wife, Belinda Chorney, called an ambulance after Baron refused to go to the hospital. He was struggling to answer questions and was unaware what day it was, according to his daughter, Ashleigh Woytuik. On Thursday, doctors at Regina's Pasqua Hospital said that Baron had a brain tumour the size of two grapes. It all happened so quickly. Now, Baron's family is advocating for more flexibility in COVID-19 restrictions that limit hospital visitation. Chorney and Baron have been together for 35 years. She was able to be with him during his admission, and during his MRA and CT scans at Pasqua Hospital. Baron was transferred alone to Regina General Hospital in the early hours of Thursday morning. "They informed my parents that he would be going to the general hospital, but that he would have to go alone at that point in time," said Woytuik. That news, and knowing that their father would be alone in his state, really hurt her and her older brother Chris, Woytuik said. She said on Thursday, she spent the whole day contacting Premier Scott Moe's office, MLAs and anyone else that might help her mother get into Baron's official diagnosis meeting on Friday. Ashleigh Woytuik says her father had difficulty understanding what was happening while he was in the hospital.(Submitted my Ashleigh Woytuik ) "[My dad] was very cognitively un-present. I was able to talk to him. He was just not comprehending fully what's going on. He was telling me things like ... he can see my daughter." She was able to speak with a manager, who agreed to let her mother be present for the results of the CT and MRI scans, Woytuik said. "But they made it clear to me that this was not going to be a regular thing." Alone in the hospital On Friday, doctors told Woytuik's parents that Baron had lung cancer, which has spread to his brain. As of Friday night, he is temporarily back home. He will need to have surgery to have the tumour removed from his brain in a week. But the family has received no further information on whether they will be able to be with him at the hospital going forward. The Saskatchewan Health Authority told CBC that it cannot comment on specific patient cases due to the health information protection act. Due to concerns over the rise in cases involving coronavirus variants of concern, a decision was made earlier this month "to restrict family presence and visitation in Regina SHA facilities and long-term care homes to Level 3," the health authority said in a statement. That means that two family or support members can be present at the same time for end-of-life care only, according to the health authority. One essential family or support person can be designated to assist with care if needed, as determined by the care team. "If patients or family members have concerns, we encourage them to contact our quality of care co-ordinator's office directly," the SHA's statement said. Woytuik describes her father as "a big old goofball," adding her children adore their grandfather. "He has always been the type of dad that will be there the moment that you tell him that you need him, without any question," she said. "Even in the midst of all of this going on, yesterday he was saying to me, 'Don't worry, we're gonna have time to go fishing.'" Baron and his wife, Belinda Chorney, with their grandchildren. (Submitted by Ashleigh Woytuik ) But knowing that her father is in a deteriorating state of mind and doesn't understand what's going on is worrying for the family. She's concerned about his mental health. "There have been times when he has been crying on the phone, and where he's said, 'I want to come home,'" said Woytuik. "My mom said when she talked to him on the phone he said that someone came in and told him that the prognosis didn't look good. I don't know if that actually happened, and I doubt it did. But this just shows he's thinking things are happening that aren't happening," she said. "He said to my mom yesterday, 'You can just come up to the building, pull the car up on the side of the building, and I'll come down to you and we can go.' It's hard for him to deal with, but also for my mother to deal with, and being told that she can't go be with him." Baron playing with his young grandchildren. 'He has always been the type of dad that will be there the moment that you tell him that you need him, without any question,' says Woytuik.(Submitted by Ashleigh Woytuik ) Woytuik says she wants the province and the Saskatchewan Health Authority to give clear guidelines on when hospital personnel can make exceptions to visitation rules, and allow them to use their discretion. "The doctors and nurses are wonderful. And I want to make it clear that this is not an attack on the health-care system, or the people that are there serving and taking care of my father," she said. But "the things that are being expected of families going through these situations are not OK and they're not realistic." She believes that the authorities who put the restrictions in place are trying to do what's best for the community as a whole. "But I do believe that in situations like this with my dad, where he's not cognitively functioning properly [and] there's been a traumatic diagnosis … there needs to be exceptions made for at least one person to be there for him." Woytuik says her mother is willing to follow any and all rules so she can be by Baron's side. In-hospital risks Dr. Dennis Kendel, a health policy consultant and the former registrar of the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons, says there are risks that need to be managed around hospital visits, and the dangers of bringing infection in. That's why Saskatchewan hospitals have rigid protocols, he said. But "now that we've had a whole year of experience with this, I do hope that we might be able to get some flexibility," he said. He'd like to see clinical care teams have more discretionary authority to accommodate special arrangements, "particularly when a person is a cognitively impaired and they're very confused and lost in the setting in the hospital," he said. "Having the ability of somebody from the family to come and be with them can be quite calming." That's not only important to the family, "but it probably alleviates some of the time demands on the professional staff," he said. "If you have a highly agitated and anxious person, it takes infinitely more staff time." Dr. Dennis Kendel, a health policy consultant and the former registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, says he feels sympathy for Baron and his family. (Trent Peppler/CBC) The possibility a visitor could bring the coronavirus into a hospital might put people in a shared hospital room at risk, Kendel says — but there are ways to reduce that danger. "To mitigate the risk that she could pick up the virus and bring it into the hospital ... you have to be very fastidious in making sure that she isn't in contact with people from whom she could get the virus," he said. "So in that circumstance you have somebody else get your groceries and bring them in you. You don't go out at all, you just stay at home." Visitors would also have to comply with the hospital's requirements for wearing personal protective equipment. While the restrictions are hard for many families, "I don't think the staff at the bedside have lost any empathy at all [throughout the pandemic]," said Kendel. "In fact, it's weighing very, very heavy on them ... the things that they are seeing and the inability of family to be in contact." Many families have turned to the option of connecting with patients in hospital virtually. Baron's family has that option, but Woytuik said he has trouble understanding why they're not with him and the calls have been short. "Technology can sometimes bridge that gap," said Kendel. "But when people are cognitively impaired, it's a whole different situation."
Allison Garber says from the outside it looked like she had it all together. The communications business owner and mother of two may not have looked like a problem drinker. But she says she found herself willing the clock to hit 5 p.m. every day so she could open a bottle of wine and pour a glass. Then "not so patiently" waiting for her kids to go to bed so she could have a few more. Garber decided she had a problem with drinking in 2018 and sought help. She's been sober now for more than two years and is thankful her recovery came before the pandemic did. "I am so glad that I was not still stuck on this train where I viewed alcohol as a reward for getting through a tough day," she said. "[The pandemic] just amplified everything. It has amplified how we use alcohol as a form of self-medication, as a form of self care. "And that message is reinforced almost everywhere you go. You've had a long day, pour yourself a glass of wine." WATCH | Allison Garber says it was hard to come to the realization she had a problem with alcohol: Drinking among women has increased steadily in recent years. In 2018, the Report on the State of Public Health from Canada's chief public health officer identified alcohol use in women as one of the most pressing concerns of our time. The report highlighted that from 2011 to 2017, deaths attributed to alcohol increased by 26 per cent among Canadian women, while alcohol-related deaths in men increased just five per cent. The pandemic has led to soaring alcohol sales and some Canadians are reporting increased binge drinking. A Statistics Canada survey released in January shows many Canadians are not just pouring themselves a single glass. Almost one in five who responded to the survey said they consumed five or more drinks — the equivalent of a bottle of wine — on the days they reported drinking alcohol in the previous month. The agency says this is higher than before COVID-19 hit. When women drink, the health effects can be staggering. Drinking three to six alcoholic beverages a week increases the risk of breast cancer in women by 15 per cent. Women who drink two glasses of wine daily have a 50 per cent increase in their risk of breast cancer. "What we might consider to be very modest amounts of alcohol are still really significant from a health perspective," said Dr. Jennifer Wyman, associate director of the Substance Use Service at Women's College Hospital. Right now, Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines recommend no more than 10 drinks per week for women and 15 for men. The agency in charge of these guidelines, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, is looking now at whether they should be changed. The current guidelines need to be revised to reflect the risks, said Dr. Wyman. WATCH | Dr. Jennifer Wyman talks about why she feels the low-risk alcohol guidelines need to change: One drink a day or seven a week would likely be more reasonable, she said, adding that the guidelines are meant to be a maximum even though they may not always be treated that way. Dr. Wyman says she thinks some people view the guideline's 10-drinks-a-week maximum and interpret that as being what the average person is drinking. "And therefore, if that's what they're drinking, then they're sort of within the middle of the spectrum and they're doing OK, as opposed to that's really the maximum number that you should be thinking about," she said. "And it doesn't mean that you should be aiming to hit that every week. That should be the tops." Just as the upper limits for alcohol consumption are different for women and men, so are the reasons why they drink. The pressure put on women to fill several different roles has many counting down to the time that they can pour a glass of wine, Dr. Wyman says. "I think that women tend to drink as a coping mechanism," she said. A report from Canada's chief public health officer identified alcohol use in women as one of the most pressing health concerns, with deaths attributed to alcohol increasing by 26 per cent among Canadian women from 2011 to 2017. Since then, the pandemic has led to soaring alcohol sales.() Alcohol is often seen as the quickest decompression tool, says Ann Dowsett Johnston, who wrote the book Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol. "If you can't get to a yoga class, if you can't figure out how you're going to fit that in, or a long bath, or a walk around the block — you're making dinner, you're at the vegetable chopping block, you pour a glass of wine." Alcohol consumption is reinforced socially as well. Girls nights out, popping champagne for a celebration, wine at a book club. It's how we celebrate, relax and reward ourselves, Dowsett Johnston said. It has also become a social media phenomenon that moms need wine to cope. There are wine glasses emblazoned with "mom juice" and "because kids." "I think the whole notion of mommy drinking has become a meme, and I think that there's far too much humour about it. I think it's a serious social issue." Dowsett Johnston says the pandemic has only added to the burdens many women carry. WATCH | Ann Dowsett Johnston discusses the challenges facing women that may influence their alcohol consumption: The "mommy juice" marketing to help cope is something life coach Alexis McCalla resents. "You're making an assumption that they can't handle their life, so they have to go out and drink," the Whitby, Ont., mother said. "And now you're normalizing it." McCalla never drank an amount even close to the 10 drinks a week upper limit, but said she found herself having a glass of wine to unwind during the pandemic more often than she normally would. Previously, opened wine bottles would go unfinished. But she says she found herself making more frequent trips to the liquor store to numb the fear she was feeling about COVID-19. She says she journaled and asked herself tough questions, and in the end realized she was drinking more because she worried about her family getting sick during the pandemic. Once McCalla got to the root of her fears, she says she decided to stop drinking, doing an alcohol-free period with a few of her clients. She's also working with some of them to address the anxieties at the core of their alcohol consumption. McCalla has had a single glass of wine since then and found she wasn't interested in restarting, realizing she was getting a better night's sleep and a harder workout the next day if she didn't open a bottle. "I could have gone and read another book. I could have spoken to friends or journaled and learned more about myself." Life coach Alexis McCalla said once she decided to cut out alcohol altogether, she realized she was getting a better night's sleep and a more effective workout the next day.(Alexis McCalla) McCalla and the women she has helped are not the only ones questioning their drinking. Dawn Nickel is based in Victoria, B.C. She's the founder of SheRecovers, an addictions recovery program tailored to women. Nickel says in the last year, the number of women who have reached out has exploded. "Our Facebook group went from 2,000 people to 7,800 in the last year." Nickel says not every woman contacting the program has an alcohol abuse disorder. For some, abstinence is the goal, for others it could be cutting back. "We just talk about, like, what are your goals? What's your intention? Do you want to slow down? Do you want to stop? You pick it and we'll support you to get there." The pandemic may have led to more drinking, but with so many recovery programs now online, Nickel says finding help is also easier and more convenient than ever. So is finding a safe space to question why they need alcohol to cope. "There's so much support for them now," Nickel said. "We're having these conversations for the first time in society around what we're being influenced by, and who says we have to have a bottle of wine every evening to unwind." For Garber, recovery involved a more traditional 12-step program. "I knew that if I continued down this path, I was going to face some dire consequences. I could see it clearly. And so I made a choice to reach out to a friend who I knew was in recovery herself." Now, Garber is supporting other women who reach out and need help. She joined a running club and trains for races. She runs on the waterfront every Saturday and on the days when Halifax's famous clouds part, she takes a moment to stop and take a picture of the sunrise, grateful for how far she's come. "I stop at the same place every time," she said. "It's just this chance to say thank you to whatever it is out there that helped me stay here." Watch full episodes of The National on CBC Gem, the CBC's streaming service.