Open communication about evolving decisions around COVID-19 vaccinations is very important to keep public trust, says Dr. Isaac Bogoch, a member of Ontario's COVID-19 task force.
Open communication about evolving decisions around COVID-19 vaccinations is very important to keep public trust, says Dr. Isaac Bogoch, a member of Ontario's COVID-19 task force.
MONTREAL — Hundreds of protesters set fires and smashed windows through a swath of downtown Montreal on Sunday in defiance of a newly adjusted curfew intended to stem surging COVID-19 case numbers in the city. Police responded with tear gas in a bid to control the crowd, who were purportedly protesting Quebec Premier Francois Legault's decision to roll the city-wide curfew back from 9:30 to 8 p.m. The move, previously replicated in other COVID-19 hot spots across the province, took effect in Montreal and nearby Laval on Sunday. The protest began in relative calm, with a mostly young crowd dancing to music from loudspeakers while lighting fireworks and chanting, "freedom for the young." But the festive atmosphere quickly turned violent as a few protesters lit a garbage fire in Montreal's Jacques Cartier Square, which was met with tear gas from riot police. Police soon rushed the crowd, prompting dozens of protesters to scatter and cause mayhem down the cobblestone streets of Montreal’s tourist district. They lit garbage fires at many intersections and seized projectiles from city streets, hurling them at nearby windows and shattering many. A spokeswoman for Montreal police said she couldn't offer any comment on the protests, describing them as an ongoing situation. She said that more information would become available as things stabilized and police on the scene could file their reports. Marwah Rizqy, a Liberal member of the provincial legislature that represents a Montreal riding, tweeted her disapproval of the protestors' actions. "Chanting freedom while ransacking windows of stores that are already just getting by. It’s disheartening / outrageous," Rizqy tweeted in French. A few protesters were still out on the streets at around 9:30 p.m. throwing glass, breaking city infrastructure and running from police. Sirens rang through the streets as firefighters put out the many small blazes lit along Old Montréal’s alleys and narrow roads. The curfew ostensibly at the heart of the protest was imposed to curb COVID-19 infection rates that have spiked in several regions in recent weeks. Quebec reported 1,535 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as well as five additional deaths linked to the virus. Hospitalizations jumped by 25 to 608, with 139 patients in intensive care. Health Minister Christian Dube tweeted that the numbers are concerning given that 58 per cent of new cases involve people under the age of 40. "While vaccination accelerates, we must continue to adhere to the measures if we want to defeat this pandemic," Dube wrote. "Let's show solidarity." Legault said last week that he was imposing the health order in Montreal and Laval despite a relatively stable case count as a precaution, due to the heavy presence of more contagious virus variants. Residents in those regions who leave their homes between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. without a good reason could face fines of over $1,000. Legault extended the curfew in Montreal and other red zones from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in mid-March, but said last week that the evolving COVID-19 situation gave him no choice but to reverse course. Legault previously placed Quebec City, Levis, Gatineau and several municipalities in Quebec's Beauce region under the earlier curfew. The government also closed schools and non-essential businesses in those areas, and Legault announced Thursday that the measures would be extended until at least April 18. The province also gave 59,447 doses of vaccine on Saturday, and has currently given a shot to just over 22 per cent of the population. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 11, 2021 The Canadian Press
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 9:30 p.m. ET on Sunday April 11, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 205,920 new vaccinations administered for a total of 7,991,727 doses given. Nationwide, 797,265 people or 2.1 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 21,086.753 per 100,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 10,618,140 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 75.26 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 36,701 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 105,652 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 201.768 per 1,000. In the province, 1.85 per cent (9,674) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland and Labrador for a total of 144,700 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 28 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 73.01 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 5,784 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 30,937 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 195.027 per 1,000. In the province, 5.20 per cent (8,241) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 44,265 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 28 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 69.89 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 26,945 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 138,348 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 141.765 per 1,000. In the province, 3.16 per cent (30,838) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 264,790 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 27 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 52.25 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 30,913 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 151,586 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 194.331 per 1,000. In the province, 2.02 per cent (15,771) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 211,545 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 27 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 71.66 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 61,465 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,890,476 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 220.936 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 2,429,695 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 28 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 77.81 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 94,794 new vaccinations administered for a total of 3,139,743 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 213.747 per 1,000. In the province, 2.27 per cent (333,150) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 4,028,725 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 27 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 77.93 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 6,070 new vaccinations administered for a total of 279,145 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 202.719 per 1,000. In the province, 4.96 per cent (68,258) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 409,470 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 30 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 68.17 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 13,170 new vaccinations administered for a total of 282,065 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 239.21 per 1,000. In the province, 3.49 per cent (41,134) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 331,985 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 28 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 84.96 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 28,941 new vaccinations administered for a total of 847,630 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 192.554 per 1,000. In the province, 3.71 per cent (163,532) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 1,208,955 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 27 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 70.11 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,025,019 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 199.747 per 1,000. In the province, 1.71 per cent (87,606) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 1,403,510 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 27 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 73.03 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 39,687 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 951.02 per 1,000. In the territory, 36.77 per cent (15,343) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 51,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 120 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 77.21 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 38,574 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 854.939 per 1,000. In the territory, 32.07 per cent (14,471) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 51,600 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 110 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 74.76 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 22,865 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 590.43 per 1,000. In the territory, 23.88 per cent (9,247) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 37,500 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 97 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 60.97 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 April 11, 2021. The Canadian Press
Canada's current COVID-19 case count is nearing the height of the previous second wave, the country's chief public health officer said Sunday as Ontario reported a single-day record for new infections and provinces brought in restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. "With the current acceleration of COVID-19 activity, approaching the peak of the second wave, and a concerning rise in the proportion of cases that involve more contagious variants of concern, strong public health measures and individual precautions must be sustained where COVID-19 is circulating," Dr. Theresa Tam said in a statement. Tam said intensive care admissions across the country increased by 23 per cent over the last seven days compared to the week before, noting the spike is straining the country's health-care system. She said COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are increasingly affecting younger people, adding figures show a jump in the number of hospitalizations among those 40 to 59 years old. "These data also show that an increased number of adults in this age group were admitted to intensive care units (ICU) and received mechanical ventilation in March 2021," her statement said. The percentage of patients in intensive care who were aged 18 to 39 also doubled from January to March, from 7.4 per cent to 15 per cent of the total. Tam's statement came as Ontario reported a record 4,456 cases of COVID-19 in a 24-hour period. The latest figures showed 21 additional deaths associated with the virus and a sharp rise of new cases in Toronto, which jumped by nearly 400 to 1,353. Hospitalization rates in the province have been climbing steadily, prompting the province to order facilities to scale back elective surgeries starting on Monday. A hospital at the centre of an outbreak in northwestern New Brunswick is also feeling pandemic-related strain, with seven of its nine intensive care beds filled with patients fighting COVID-19. Local health authorities said the Edmundston Regional Hospital had 13 patients sick with the virus, with seven in intensive care and five on respirators. Parts of the northwest were placed in lockdown as of Sunday following a recent rise in cases. In the afternoon, health authorities announced that municipal elections would be suspended in regions under lockdown, which include Edmundston, Upper-Madawaska, Lac Baker, Riviere-Verte, Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska and Saint Leonard. Rules are also being tightened in Quebec, where a nighttime curfew is being moved to 8 p.m. from 9:30 as of Sunday evening in Montreal and neighbouring Laval to stave off a rise in cases. The province reported 1,535 new infections on Sunday, as well as a 25-person jump in hospitalizations -- numbers the province's health minister described as "worrisome." Premier Francois Legault already imposed the 8 p.m. curfew in some other hot spots including Quebec City and Gatineau, which are currently under special lockdown measures. In British Columbia, health authorities announced they will offer vaccines to all adults living in the ski community of Whistler beginning Monday. Whistler residents account for the majority of cases in Howe Sound, which has the highest rate of COVID-19 of any local health area in the province. Saskatchewan said it continues to set new records for the number of vaccines administered in a single day with 13,170 on Saturday. Authorities said half of Saskatchewan residents who are 50 and older have now received their first dose, after recently expanding the provincial booking system eligibility to everyone 55 and up. That province reported 321 new cases on Sunday, while Manitoba logged 112 and Alberta counted 1,183. Atlantic provinces continued to record comparatively low infection rates, with New Brunswick reporting nine new cases and Nova Scotia adding five to its tally. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 11, 2020 Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the current COVID-19 wave was approaching its peak.
Two confirmed cases of the variant first detected in South Africa have been identified in New Brunswick. In a news release Monday, Public Health said the two cases were reported in the Saint John region, Zone 2. They are the first confirmed cases of that variant identified in New Brunswick, which until now has only seen cases of the variant first reported in the U.K. One of the cases is related to travel outside of Canada and the other is a contact of that travel case, the department said in the release. The variant is more transmissible and causes more serious outcomes than the original coronavirus. In an interview Monday, Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, said the risks to the New Brunswick population have never been higher than they are now. "We have never had this many hospitalizations and ICU admissions at one time," she said. Public Health also reported 10 new cases on Monday, including four in the Moncton region, Zone 1, and six in the Edmundston region, Zone 4. There are currently 145 active cases in the province. All new cases presumed to be variant cases Every new case of COVID-19 popping up now in the province is presumed to be a variant of the coronavirus, says New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health. Dr. Jennifer Russell said the variants are 30 to 70 per cent more contagious than the virus that dominated the first year of the pandemic and pose more of a threat to young people, causing severe symptoms. "Now we're seeing those serious outcomes in terms of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s needing hospitalization and ventilation." As of Monday afternoon, the variant first reported in the United Kingdom and the variant first detected in South Africa have both been found in New Brunswick, but Russell said she wouldn't be surprised if new cases were of the variant first reported Brazil. I won't feel completely reassured until everybody has that second dose on board by September. - Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick chief medical officer of health Russell is asking people to keep their guard up at least until the end of June. By then, everyone in New Brunswick should have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. She said the next two and a half months are critical for protecting against outbreaks. "We're just not there yet," she said. "I need everybody to dig deep and go hard for the next two and a half months at least." Russell said she will be cautious about lifting any kind of public health measures in the foreseeable future. "I won't feel completely reassured until everybody has that second dose on board by September." Edmundston deputy mayor begs residents to stay home Edmundston's deputy mayor is pleading with residents to stay home as the number of COVID-19 variant cases continues to climb in the region. Deputy Mayor Eric Marquis said it's frustrating to hear people are still going out, despite possible infection, exposing others to the virus. "It's hitting hard," Marquis said. "We all know somebody who is hit with COVID in our region right now." The Edmundston and Haut-Madawaska areas were placed under the province's tightest public health measures over the weekend. All non-essential businesses have been ordered to close and schools have moved to to virtual learning. This is the second time this year that the region has been placed under lockdown. Marquis said Public Health made the right decision. "People are realizing we don't have any choice." Edmundston Deputy Mayor Eric Marquis says residents are still heading out, despite possible exposure to COVID-19 variants. (Gary Moore/CBC News) Facing an influx of COVID-19 patients, the Edmundston Regional Hospital continues to be overwhelmed. New admissions are now being directed to the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton. Marquis said the situation has been grim and difficult on families. "Our hospital staff are stretched to their limit," he said. Five patients with COVID-19 are on ventilators at the Edmundston Regional Hospital.(Radio-Canada) Most of the patients are infected with the variant first reported in the U.K., with some as young as 25. Last week, a 38-year-old Saint-Basile man became the youngest person in the province to die from COVID-19. Vaccination clinics are now open in the Grand Falls and Saint-Quentin areas. Marquis expects another vaccine clinic to open in Edmundston on Friday. He said the pandemic has been making it difficult for businesses in the area to stay afloat, so the city is working with government to come up with a program to help them. "We see it as the answer to the crisis we're having right now." Next month's municipal election has also been postponed because of the lockdown. Elections New Brunswick will look at the length of the lockdown before deciding when to hold the election. Marquis urged residents to stay positive, saying the pandemic will eventually come to an end. "We're going to bounce back and have better days." How students are reacting to full-time classes being put on hold A Grade 11 student at Tantramar Regional High School in Sackville says he's relieved full-time classes did not resume on Monday. Over the weekend, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard announced a delay in return to full-time, in-person school on Monday as a precaution. "With COVID, it's the safest option," said student Bliss Behar. He said there can be up to 30 students inside a classroom at one time, making physical distancing difficult. He said the smaller class sizes make it easier to learn, while having smaller classes makes learning easier. At home, he's been learning to self-regulate and is making sure his assignments are completed on time. "That prepares us for university," Behar said. But the Sackville teen said he understands not everyone feels the same way. Although Mekedess Maillet understands the decision to postpone full-time classes, the Grade 11 was still disappointed. "It kind of feels like I'm losing some of my learning." said Maillet, who attends Bonar Law Memorial High School in Rexton. She wants classes to resume full-time so she's prepared for university. Maillet said some classes are harder than others, and having a break in between in-person days makes information sometimes more difficult to retain. "I already feel like maybe I don't know enough for university level. ... am I not as ahead as I would be?" Maillet said she and her friends miss attending classes in person, so it's hard to stay motivated without an end date in sight. "It's been a very roller-coaster of a year for school." Luc Bélanger, 38, of Saint-Basile in Zone 4 died of COVID-19 on Tuesday.(Bellavance Funeral Home/Radio-Canada) Stephanie Patterson, spokesperson for the Anglophone East School District, said the district communicated changes after the province made its announcement Saturday afternoon. "After going through this year, we're always prepared for something to pop out of the woodwork," said Patterson. She said teachers have been preparing for the full-time classes starting Monday. Now, they'll have to change back to online learning. "It's challenging for everybody to have to always switch on a dime," she said. Zoe Watson, superintendent of Anglophone South, also said a lot of work went into preparing for full-time classes this week. She said principals were changing operational plans, furniture was being put back into classrooms and teachers had adjusted seating plans. Transportation was also being adjusted to ensure physical distancing on school buses. "I appreciate it gets very confusing for families. … We always knew this was going to be a school year like no other." Premiers monitor Atlantic bubble possibility The bubble with all four Atlantic provinces is expected to open in one week's time, but the premiers and health officials are watching things day by day, says Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health. As of Sunday, there were 40 active cases of the virus reported in Nova Scotia. Ten active cases in Newfoundland, as of Saturday and six active cases were reported on Prince Edward Island as of Friday. "We're going to watch and wait and see how things unfold," she said. Possible flight exposures New Brunswick Public Health has has identified a positive case in a traveller who might've been infectious on two flights on March 10. Air Canada Flight 8906 – from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 7:10 p.m. Air Canada Flight 414 – from Toronto to Montreal, departed at 2:10 p.m. Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, said many people are continuing to travel for various reasons. "We won't be able to keep cases of COVID-19 and the variants out of the province," she said. "They will keep arriving." She said it's possible people are making stops in major cities like Toronto to receive a test. If they receive a negative test, Russell, said those people come back to New Brunswick with a false sense of security and think they're self-isolating adequately. The presence of a more contagious variant has also changed the outook. "It's a very contagious variant." Although Russell said New Brunswick has adopted some of the tightest restrictions for getting into a province, Russell is encouraging everyone to stay put. "When we move, COVID moves," she said. "So the less travel the better." More possible exposures Edmundston area: April 9 between 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. – Shoppers Drug Mart (160 Hébert Blvd., Edmundston) April 8 between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., April 7 between 6:30 a.m and 7:00 a.m., and April 6 between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. – Tim Hortons (262 Isidore-Boucher Blvd., St-Jacques) April 7 between after 6:00 p.m., April 6 after 6:00 p.m. – Epicerie Chez ti-Marc (256 Isidore-Boucher Blvd., St-Jacques) April 7 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., and April 6 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. – Dollarama (787 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 7 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., and April 6 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. – NB Liquor, (575 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 7 between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. – Jean Coutu (177 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 7 between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – Subway (180 Hébert Blvd., Edmundston) April 7 between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. – Atlantic Superstore (577 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 6 between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. – Scotiabank (75 Canada Rd., Edmundston) March 26 to April 8 – Napa Auto Parts - (260 Canada St., Edmundston) March 20 to April 9, Atlantic Superstore (577 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 5 at 11 a.m. – Shoppers Drug Mart (160 Hébert Blvd., Edmundston) April 1 – Royal Bank (48 Saint-François St., Edmundston) March 31 between 12 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – Scotiabank (75 Canada Rd., Edmundston) March 30 between 12 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – Scotiabank (75 Canada Rd., Edmundston) March 29 between 8:45 a.m. and 4 p.m. – Scotiabank (75 Canada Rd., Edmundston) Moncton region: April 8 between 4:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – COSTCO Wholesale customer service (140 Granite Drive, Moncton) April 6 between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. – YMCA Vaughan Harvey, (30 War Veterans Ave., Moncton) April 4 between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. – Moncton Wesleyan Church (945 St. George Blvd., Moncton) April 3 between 8:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. – Kelseys Original Roadhouse (141 Trinity Dr., Moncton) April 1 between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., April 3 between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., April 6 between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., April 8 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. – CF Champlain (477 Paul St., Dieppe) Fredericton region: March 31 – Murray's Irving Big Stop (198 Beardsley Rd., Beardsley) Saint John region: April 9 between 2:10 p.m. and 2:40 p.m., GAP Factory East Point, (15 Fashion Dr., Saint John) April 9 between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. – McAllister Place, 519 Westmorland Rd., Saint John April 8 between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., – McAllister Place, 519 Westmorland Rd., Saint John April 8 between 1:15 p.m. and 2 p.m. – Service New Brunswick, 15 King Square North, Saint John April 1 between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – YMCA of Greater Saint John (191 Churchill Blvd., Saint John) What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: Fever above 38 C. New cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
As home sales in the province continue on a dizzying trajectory, the province's real estate watchdog and regulator are warning buyers to be wary of what they may be getting into. The Real Estate Council of B.C. (RECBC) and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate said that in the first three months of 2021, they have seen an increase in inquiries and complaints. Calls to the regulator were up 42 per cent over the previous year, while complaints, such as how offers were made and accepted, were double the number received in the same period in 2020. "Buying a home is one of life's biggest financial decisions. There are potential risks at the best of times, but with the added pressure and stress of the current market conditions, those risks are amplified," Micheal Noseworthy, superintendent of real estate, said in a statement. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says sales in the region have continued at a record-setting pace. Residential home sales covered by the board totalled 5,708 in March 2021, up 126.1 per cent from March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and up 53.2 per cent from February of this year. Rural and suburban areas have experienced the biggest spikes. For the past two weeks, Jay Park has been in the middle of the buying frenzy. He and his partner are trying to upgrade from their one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom condo or townhouse in Vancouver. "I wish we had done this a month or two ago," he said. A condo tower under construction is pictured in downtown Vancouver in February 2020.(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck) Park put an offer on a $1-million condo, $4,000 above asking price. "To entice the [seller], we put in a subject-free offer, but it wasn't successful," he said. "They accepted $110,000 over asking price that was also subject-free." The hot market has led to bidding wars. Some would-be buyers have even lined up outside for days to try to get a jump on a property. Erin Seeley, the CEO of the council, is warning buyers to do their research and be aware of risks before making an offer. "It's really important that buyers have engaged with their lender before they're making offers so they know how to stay within a reasonable budget," she said. Seeley said some of the complaints the council has heard from buyers is that they weren't aware the seller has a right to take an early offer. "And the seller was really in the driver's seat about setting the pricing," she said. Demand continues to outstrip supply for housing in cities like Vancouver.(Rafferty Baker/CBC) Aaron Jasper, a Vancouver realtor, advises clients to avoid cash offers and to include finance clauses even if it may mean they lose a deal. "There's a lot of frustration among buyers, feeling pressure to take some risk," he said. "You're better to be delayed perhaps a year getting into the market as opposed to being completely financially ruined." Jasper also says realtors are limited in the advice they can give to clients on legal matters, home inspections, potential deficiencies with homes, and financing. 'Caught up in the craziness' Other tips from the council include seeking professional advice before making a subject-free offer or proceeding without a home inspection, and speaking to a professional to determine how market conditions may be affecting prices. Meantime, people like Jay Park say they are still keen to buy. Park has more viewings scheduled and is optimistic. "It's a very exciting time for us, but I also don't want to get caught up in the craziness and make a purchase that's above our means."
As Pakistani transgender woman Jiya measures customers at her tailoring shop in a brand new Karachi market, her eyes gleam with the prospect of a busy Ramadan season and her ambitions to expand. Already, Jiya, 35, who goes by a single name like many trans people in Pakistan, has broken ground by opening a public shop to make clothes for women and transgender women. Many landlords were reluctant to give a shop to a transgender woman, Jiya told Reuters at The Stitch Shop in the southern port city.
Hundreds of people demonstrated Sunday outside the shuttered GraceLife Church west of Edmonton. Alberta Health Services closed the church last week after it repeatedly defied public health orders, with hundreds of people attending services. Chain link fences were set up around the site in Parkland County. The crowd began gathering along the road adjacent to the church early Sunday morning as hymns played over loudspeakers. Demonstrators carried signs with a variety of messages, some decrying vaccines, public health restrictions and communism. An increased police presence by the RCMP included additional traffic enforcement officers deployed to the area. Police said in a statement they would only use the level of intervention necessary to ensure safety and maintain peace, order and security. Dozens of police vehicles shut off access to roads around the church while a helicopter flew overhead. A large line of at least 30 officers faced the outer fence. There was a tense moment around noon when a group splintered from the crowd and tore down part of the fence. RCMP and others from the crowd pushed back the group and re-established the fence. About 150 of the protesters trespassed on Enoch Cree Nation land across the road from the church site, parking their cars and vandalising Enoch Chief Billy Morin's vehicle, said Enoch spokesperson Tanya Cardinal. One trespasser attempted to assault an Enoch councillor, the First Nation added in a statement released Sunday. "Although I respect GraceLife protesters' right to protest, right to worship, and right to free speech, I strongly condemn their illegal trespassing on our land, their vandalization of a Nation member's vehicle, and their blatant disrespect of our sovereignty as a proud First Nation," Morin said. An RCMP spokesperson could not immediately confirm any arrests or tickets issued during the protest when reached by CBC Radio-Canada Sunday afternoon. The crowd began to disperse shortly before 2 p.m. The trespassers had mostly vacated Enoch land by 4 p.m., the First Nation said. In a statement released Sunday evening through the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, GraceLife church stated that its congregants were not at the protest. RCMP deployed additional officers during the demonstration at GraceLife Church on Sunday.(Jordan Omstead/CBC) In a media statement Wednesday, AHS said it had "physically closed" the church and would prevent access until the church "can demonstrate the ability to comply with Alberta's chief medical officer of health's restrictions." "With COVID-19 cases increasing and the more easily-transmitted and potentially more severe variants becoming dominant, there is urgent need to minimize spread to protect all Albertans," AHS said. On Sunday, the province reported 1,183 new cases of COVID-19 and 942 new cases involving variants of concern. There were 7,217 active variant cases, about 50.5 per cent of active cases in Alberta. Between July 10 last year and Tuesday of last week, AHS said it has received 105 complaints from the public about the church. AHS said inspectors have conducted 18 inspections at the site since July 10, 2020, and violations were observed at each visit. GraceLife's Pastor James Coates was charged in February with violating COVID-19 public health orders. After he was charged, Coates was jailed for refusing to comply with a bail condition that he only hold services in compliance with public health orders. In early March, his lawyers appealed with the argument that it would go against the pastor's conscience before God not to lead worshippers. Coates spent 35 days in custody before pleading guilty to a charge of breaching bail and was fined $1,500. He returned to the pulpit on March 28. The church was also charged as an entity for exceeding allowable capacity at Sunday services in February.
TORONTO — Ontario schools will move to online learning next week. Premier Doug Ford announced the decision today, saying community spread of COVID-19 is too high to risk having students congregate after the spring break. He says the government will decide based on COVID-19 data when in-person classes can resume. Spring break began Monday after the province postponed it in March to discourage travel during the pandemic. The government had previously maintained that schools would reopen next week but unions had called for schools to close in the absence of stronger safety measures. Schools in Toronto, Peel and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph health units moved classes online last week in light of rising case COVID-19 counts. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021. The Canadian Press
MOSCOW — Crushed into the pilot's seat by heavy G-forces, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin saw flames outside his spacecraft and prepared to die. His voice broke the tense silence at ground control: “I’m burning. Goodbye, comrades.” Gagarin didn’t know that the blazing inferno he observed through a porthole was a cloud of plasma engulfing Vostok 1 during its re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, and he was still on track to return safely. It was his quiet composure under pressure that helped make him the first human in space 60 years ago. Gagarin’s steely self-control was a key factor behind the success of his pioneering 108-minute flight. The April 12, 1961, mission encountered glitches and emergencies — from a capsule hatch failing to shut properly just before blastoff to parachute problems in the final moments before touchdown. From the time 20 Soviet air force pilots were selected to train for the first crewed spaceflight, Gagarin’s calm demeanour, quick learning skills and beaming smile made him an early favourite. Two days before blastoff, the 27-year-old Gagarin wrote a farewell letter to his wife, Valentina, sharing his pride in being chosen to ride in Vostok 1 but also trying to console her in the event of his death. “I fully trust the equipment, it mustn’t let me down. But if something happens, I ask you Valyusha not to become broken by grief,” he wrote, using a nickname for her. Authorities held onto the letter and eventually gave it to Gagarin's widow seven years later after he died in an airplane crash. She never remarried. Gagarin's pioneering, single-orbit flight made him a hero in the Soviet Union and an international celebrity. After putting the world's first satellite into orbit with the successful launch of Sputnik in October 1957, the Soviet space program, rushed to secure its dominance over the United States by putting a man into space. “The task was set, and people were sleeping in their offices and factory shops, like at wartime,” Fyodor Yurchikhin, a Russian cosmonaut who eventually made five spaceflights, recalled. As the Soviet rocket and space program raced to beat the Americans, it suffered a series of launch failures throughout 1960, including a disastrous launch pad explosion in October that killed 126 people. Missile Forces chief Marshal Mitrofan Nedelin was among the victims. Like Gagarin, Soviet officials were prepared for the worst. No safety system had been installed to save the cosmonaut in case of another rocket explosion at blastoff or after. Authorities drafted three versions of a bulletin about Gagarin’s flight for the official TASS news agency: one announcing a successful flight, another in case of problems, and the third one for a mission ending in disaster. Apart from potential engine failures and other equipment malfunctions, scientists questioned an individual's ability to withstand the conditions of spaceflight. Many worried that a pilot could go mad in orbit. Soviet engineers prepared for that situation by developing a fully automatic control system. As an extra precaution, the pilot would receive a sealed envelope containing a secret code for activating the capsule's manual controls. The theory was that a person who could enter the code must be sane enough to operate the ship. Everyone in the space program liked Gagarin so much, however, that a senior instructor and a top engineer independently shared the secret code with him before the flight to save him the trouble of fiddling with the envelope in case of an emergency. Problems began right after Gagarin got into Vostok 1, when a light confirming the hatch's closure did not go on. Working at a frantic pace, a leading engineer and a co-worker removed 32 screws, found and fixed a faulty contact, and put the screws back just in time for the scheduled launch. Sitting in the capsule, Gagarin whistled a tune. “Poyekhali!” — “Off we go!” — he shouted as the rocket blasted off. As another precaution, the orbit was planned so the spacecraft would descend on its own after a week if an engine burn failure stranded the ship. Instead, a glitch resulted in a higher orbit that would have left Gagarin dead if the engine had malfunctioned at that stage. While the engine worked as planned to send the ship home, a fuel loss resulted in an unexpected reentry path and a higher velocity that made the ship rotate wildly for 10 agonizing minutes. Gagarin later said he nearly blacked out while experiencing G-forces exceeding 10 times the pull of gravity. “There was a moment lasting two or three seconds when instruments started fading before my eyes,” he recalled. Seeing a cloud of fiery plasma around his ship on re-entry, he thought his ship was burning. A soft-landing system hadn’t been designed yet, so Gagarin ejected from the module in his spacesuit and deployed a parachute. While descending, he had to fiddle with a sticky valve on his spacesuit to start breathing outside air. A reserve chute unfolded in addition to the main parachute, making it hard for him to control his descent, but he landed safely on a field near the Volga River in the Saratov region. Gagarin was flown to Moscow to a hero’s welcome, hailed by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and greeted by enthusiastic crowds cheering his flight as a triumph on par with the victory in World War II. In the years before he died at age 34, he basked in international glory, visiting dozens of countries to celebrate his historic mission. “The colossal propaganda effect of the Sputnik launch and particularly Gagarin’s flight was very important,” Moscow-based aviation and space expert Vadim Lukashevich said. “We suddenly beat America even though our country hadn’t recovered yet from the massive damage and casualties” from World War II. Gagarin was killed in a training jet crash on March 27, 1968. Not quite 16 months later, the U.S. beat the Soviet Union in the space race, putting an astronaut on the moon. The 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union ended the era of rivalry. Russia's efforts to develop new rockets and spacecraft have faced endless delays, and the country has continued to rely on Soviet-era technology. Amid the stagnation, the much-criticized state space corporation Roscosmos has focused on a costly plan to build its new, rocket-shaped headquarters on the site of a dismantled rocket factory. ___ Associated Press journalists Kostya Manenkov and Kirill Zarubin in Moscow contributed to this report. Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Timothy Sauve was brushing his teeth one morning in December when he was hit by a dizzy spell that knocked him off his feet. The 61-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., didn't expect that to be the first sign of a COVID-19 infection. But within days he had developed a fever, experienced breathlessness in his sleep, and was rushed to hospital with a deteriorating condition that eventually required a double-lung transplant — believed to be the first done in Canada on a patient whose lungs were irreparably damaged by the virus. Sauve, a healthy, physically fit man before he contracted the virus, saw the infection wreak havoc on his lungs over his two-month stay in the intensive care units of two different Toronto area hospitals. While his lungs were scarred beyond repair, the virus didn't damage any of Sauve's other organs, making him a candidate for the rare procedure that saved his life. "Things were pretty bleak," Sauve said of his pre-transplant condition, fighting back tears during a phone interview from the University Health Network's Toronto Rehab Bickle Centre. "They told me my (lungs) weren't getting better and for me to make arrangements to say goodbye to my loved ones." After consulting with his family and doctors, Sauve was transferred from Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga to UHN's Toronto General Hospital, home to Canada's largest organ transplant program. A careful assessment at the Ajmera Transplant Centre determined he was physically strong enough to undergo a transplant in February. Dr. Marcelo Cypel, the surgical director at the transplant centre who led the team performing the operation, said Sauve was on "very high amounts of oxygen" when he met him, and scans of his lungs showed heavy amounts of scar tissue called pulmonary fibrosis. While he was only on a ventilator for a short amount of time during his transfer to the Toronto hospital from Mississauga, Sauve did need the advanced lung support therapy called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) — a machine that pumps and oxygenates the blood. Cypel said Sauve's lungs had shrunk during his infection, becoming stiff and resistant to air flow. "Lungs should be very light, like balloons — you can push air in very easily," Cypel said. "(Sauve's) were very similar actually to patients with chronic lung disease." While the surgery was a success, Cybel said transplants are not expected to become frequently used treatments for severe COVID cases. The procedure has only been done about "40 or 50" times worldwide, he said. Sauve's situation was unique in that the virus, aside from the irreversible damage it caused to his lungs, hadn't left the rest of his body in a weakened state, Cybel explained. Sauve had also cleared his COVID infection by the time he was assessed for a transplant, which was a main prerequisite before he could undergo surgery. As Sauve put it, "it would be a waste to give someone who wasn't healthy new lungs." Cybel says the rise of variants of concern that are causing severe disease in more younger patients may increase the number of transfer referrals going forward. UHN says its transplant program is currently evaluating three additional COVID patients for candidacy. Even though only a very "small subset" of people would qualify, "it is a very powerful, life-saving therapy for some specific patients," Cybel said. While Sauve is doing well in recovery now, he says the last few months had been a nightmare for his family. His entire household, including his common-law partner Julie Garcia, her 24-year-old son and her father, 80-year-old Juanito Teng, all tested positive for COVID around the same time Sauve became ill. Teng died in the ICU shortly after being admitted to hospital, in a room right next to Sauve's. The family doesn't know how members became infected or who got the virus first. Sauve, who had no prior comorbidities that put him at higher risk for infection or severe disease, says he hopes his story can resonate with anyone who thinks COVID-19 isn't that big a deal. "People don't realize what COVID does to people ... and sometimes they're putting their guard down," he said. "I thought that when I got the disease, I'd get over it." Sauve said the immediate aftermath of his surgery is a blur, with pain killers so strong they made him hallucinate — a normal reaction, his doctors told him. He also doesn't remember much from the day he found out he was getting his new lungs. "I just remember waiting," he said. "And the next thing I knew I was waking up from the operation — after the hallucinations wore off — and I realized I wasn't wearing an oxygen mask." Recovery time varies for patients after transplants, so Sauve isn't sure how long he'll need to stay at the rehab centre. But he doesn't want to rush things. "I want to leave here on my own two feet," he said. "I want to go home to my beautiful partner, Julie, but I don't want to need a walker. I'll stay here a little longer if I have to — it may take two months, three months, but my goal is to get back home." This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021. Melissa Couto Zuber, The Canadian Press
A high school student in the Annapolis Valley who was suspended after posting a photo of another student's "rapey" T-shirt says the whole ordeal has taught her the importance of speaking out. The shirt was printed with modified lyrics to the Christmas song Deck the Halls, including the line "'tis the season to be rapey." "People are saying, 'It's just a shirt.' Well, it's more than a shirt, and that's why this matters.… Rape is not OK," said 17-year-old Kenzie Thornhill, a student at West Kings District High School. "People are always gonna agree with you, and disagree, but it's time to make a change. It's time that we stop staying silent." 'Blew my mind' Thornhill said: "It just blew my mind. I think I did what any teen would do, I snapped the photo and posted it on social media," adding she made sure to frame it in a way that made it impossible to identify the person in the photo. Thornhill posted this photo to Snapchat, including a filter that shows the photo's location as West Kings District High School. She said she made sure the student was not identifiable in the photo.(Submitted by Kenzie Thornhill) She showed the picture to a teacher and hall monitor, who told her it would be dealt with. Thornhill said as far as she knows the student was not disciplined, but told not to wear the shirt to school again. Meanwhile, Thornhill received a five-day suspension. The suspension has since been revoked and Thornhill was back in school on Friday. She was told the discipline will be removed from her permanent record, but wasn't given an apology or an explanation. A statement posted on the Annapolis Valley Centre for Education's website confirmed the school had "revisited the decisions" related to discipline, but did not go into detail. "We are having positive dialogue with students and staff on the issue of sexual violence.… We want all students to feel safe and supported," the statement said. Thornhill said she's heard the school is taking steps to bring awareness to sexual violence, including having teachers read a letter to their classes. "It sucks this had to go viral and all this stuff had to happen for that to happen, but if there is some sort of action and awareness being spread, I'm very proud of the school and the school board for doing that," she said. Walkout in support Before the decision was reversed, Thornhill's suspension prompted about 100 students from the school to walk out of class on Thursday in a show of support. Students wore short skirts, spaghetti straps and other clothing that violated the dress code while holding up signs saying things like, "Enough is Enough" and "Rape is not a Joke." The event was covered by a number of local news outlets. Thornhill said about 100 students took part in the walkout.(Submitted by Kenzie Thornhill) Thornhill, who wasn't allowed on school grounds due to her suspension, cheered them on from across the street and said it was "amazing" and "overwhelming" to see. After all the media attention, Thornhill said her phone is "blowing up 24/7" with messages of support from peers and strangers, as well as personal stories from sexual assault survivors. "To have a stranger reach out to you and trust you with that sort of information, it's just amazing," she said. Not everyone agrees with Thornhill's actions. Some have been trying to poke holes in her story or twist her words, but Thornhill said they're "completely missing the point." 'A teachable moment' Linda MacDonald and Jeanne Sarsen, human rights activists and the co-founders of Persons Against Non-State Torture, called the ordeal a "missed opportunity" to have an open conversation with students about sexualized violence and why discussions around it are often silenced. "This is a teachable moment. We can transform this into a very powerful message to young people and the students. No student needs to be suspended," Sarsen told CBC's Mainstreet on Friday. During the walkout on Thursday, Thornhill cheered her classmates from across the street because she wasn't allowed on school grounds.(Submitted by Kenzie Thornhill) "With education, his thought process could change. But suspension and secrecy is not going to get us out of sexualized violence." Thornhill agrees this is a teachable moment, especially for the student who wore the T-shirt. "It's so much more than just that kid wearing this shirt. It's not his fault he wasn't educated or doesn't know why it's wrong to wear something like that," she said. "His life shouldn't be ruined for it, but what he did was wrong, and he needs to know that. He needs some type of consequence, but not harassment." MORE TOP STORIES
OTTAWA — The federal government is expecting Moderna to make good on a previously promised batch of 855,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses that were expected last week, but have yet to arrive.Those delayed doses along with a little more than one million shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine represent the extent of Canada’s expected vaccine deliveries this week, even as the number of new COVID-19 cases across Canada continues to surge.Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military officer overseeing the federal government’s vaccination distribution effort, blamed the delay in Moderna’s planned delivery on a “backlog with quality assurance."“It's part of the manufacturing process, at the tail end of the manufacturing process, that they want to go through the proper quality assurance processes, and there's a backlog,” he said last week.Officials have indicated there could be a similar delay in the delivery of 1.2 million doses from Moderna next week.“It’s prudent planning on our part right now to bank on the last week of April,” Fortin said.In comparison, Pfizer-BioNTech has been consistently delivering more than 1 million shots to Canada each week for more than a month, a trend that is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.The Public Health Agency is not expecting any shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine this week. Canada has also approved a vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson, but it is not clear when the first of those doses will be delivered.The rush to get vaccines into Canadians' arms has grown more urgent as Canada continues to see a massive spike in the number of new COVID-19 infections.Thousands of new cases were reported on Sunday, including a record 4,456 in Ontario alone. Dr. Theresa Tam, the country's chief public health officer, noted admissions to intensive care units surged 23 per cent last week compared to the one before and said the Canada is approaching the peak of the current pandemic wave. Tam said many of those getting sick are younger than in previous COVID-19 surges, which experts have blamed on virus variants that are spreading across the country.That has prompted some provinces to start looking at changes to how they are distributing their vaccines.More than 10 million doses had been distributed across Canada as of Sunday afternoon, according to covid19tracker.ca, with nearly 8 million having been administered.Almost 20 per cent of the population has received at least one shot.This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is corrected story. A previous version said Canada was only expecting one million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine to be delivered this week.
Larger weddings may be possible on P.E.I. this summer, says P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison. 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. There will be no cruise ships visiting P.E.I. this year but Port Charlottetown is optimistic about 2022, with bookings in place for a record number of visitors. 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. 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 over the age of 55, with birthdays from January to April, may book at a public clinic. 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.
WARNING: This story contains a graphic image. Forty caribou were harvested illegally during a blizzard somewhere in the Northwest Territories, according to the territorial government. In a Facebook post published Saturday, Environment and Natural Resources did not say exactly where or when the animals were killed. However, the post noted it was unfortunate news to close out the winter road season. "This is unacceptable — and against the traditional values Elders have taught for generations," the post reads. Illegal harvesting of caribou has been a growing problem this winter season. Back in March, Environment Minister Shane Thompson said the department was investigating the illegal harvest of more than 50 caribou. That was compared to less than 10 illegally harvested caribou at the same time the previous winter. "We're working with Indigenous leaders to chart a new path forward for encouraging respectful harvesting," read Saturday's post by Environment and Natural Resources. "Everyone needs to take action today to ensure there are caribou for the next generations."
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 6:55 p.m. Alberta is reporting 1,183 new COVID-19 cases and one additional death. There are 942 new infections linked to variants of concern,, and the province's chief medical health officer says 50.5 per cent of active cases are those variants. Dr. Deena Hinshaw says 376 people are currently in hospital with COVID-19, with 90 of them in intensive care. Alberta's test-positivity rate is now at 7.9 per cent. --- 4:30 p.m. Elections New Brunswick is suspending municipal elections in parts of the province's northwest because of a lockdown that began today. The elections, which had been planned for May 10th, are suspended in the area until the lockdown ends. Legislation was recently passed to allow the municipal electoral officer to pause nominations and voting in a particular zone. Municipalities where elections are suspended include Edmundston, Upper-Madawaska, Lac Baker, Rivière-Verte, Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska and Saint Leonard. --- 4:05 p.m. Saskatchewan is reporting 321 new COVID-19 cases and one additional death today. The person who died was in their 60s and was in the Central East zone. The province says it continues to set new records for the number of vaccines administered in a single day, reporting 13,170 new immunizations. It says half of Saskatchewan residents who are 50 and older have now received their first dose. Since Friday, Saskatchewan's booking system eligibility was expanded to everyone 55 and up. In Regina today, the city's drive-thru vaccine clinic is administering Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to residents between the ages of 51 and 54 on a first-come, first-served basis. --- 2:50 p.m. Adults living and working in Whistler, B.C., will be able to receive their COVID-19 vaccination starting tomorrow. The move comes as Vancouver Coastal Health works to limit the spread of the virus in the ski resort community. The health authority says in a statement that the program comes in response to increasing COVID-19 transmission recorded in the community. It says the Howe Sound health area has the highest rate of COVID-19 of any local health area in the province, with the majority of these cases residing in the Whistler community. --- 2:30 p.m. New Brunswick is reporting nine new cases of COVID-19 today and a total of 148 active infections in the province. The new cases include five in the Edmundston region, where large parts are under a full lockdown as of today. Health officials say four of the five cases are contacts of previously confirmed cases, and the other one is under investigation. The remaining cases in the province include two in the Saint John area, and one each in the Moncton and Fredericton regions. --- 2:20 p.m. Manitoba is reporting 112 new COVID-19 cases. No new deaths are being reported today, leaving the provincial total since the pandemic began at 949. Manitoba's daily COVID-19 update says the five-day test positivity rate is now 5.9 per cent provincially and 5.7 per cent in Winnipeg. The update also warns of possible exposures to the B.1.1.7 variant of concern on several Winnipeg Transit routes between April 2 and April 6. Health officials report there are 1,312 active COVID-19 cases in the province, with 136 people in hospital and 31 patients in intensive care. --- 11:55 a.m. Nova Scotia is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 today. Four of the cases are in the Halifax area, with two related to travel outside Atlantic Canada and the other two being close contacts of previously reported cases. The remaining case is in the eastern health zone and is related to travel outside the region. Health officials are reporting a total of 40 active COVID-19 infections in the province. --- 11:30 a.m. Ontario is doubling the number of pharmacies involved in the provincial vaccine effort. The province says 700 new pharmacies in COVID-19 hot spots will start offering the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as soon as this coming week, bringing the total number to 1,400. It says the expansion will help vaccinate those 55 or older, who are currently the only ones cleared to receive the AstraZeneca shot. The province says it hopes to add another 100 pharmacies to the vaccine effort by the end of the month. --- 11:20 a.m. Quebec is reporting 1,535 new COVID-19 cases today as well as five additional deaths linked to the virus. Two people died in the last 24 hours, while the other deaths occurred earlier or at an unknown date. Hospitalizations jumped by 25 to 608, with 139 patients in intensive care. The province also says it gave 59,447 doses of vaccine on Saturday. --- 11:05 a.m. A hospital at the centre of a COVID-19 outbreak in northwestern New Brunswick says it is currently treating 13 patients with the infection. The Edmundston Regional Hospital says seven of those patients are in its nine bed intensive care unit, with five of those patients on respirators. So far the hospital has transferred two patients to a hospital in Fredericton. The Edmundston and the Upper Madawaska region went under full lockdown as of midnight after 15 of 19 new COVID-19 cases announced in the province on Saturday were identified in the area. --- 10:45 a.m. Ontario has set a new single-day high for new COVID-19 cases in the province. Government figures show 4,456 new infections over the last 24 hours, along with 21 new virus-related deaths. The previous new daily record stood at just over 4,200 and was reached on Friday. Health Minister Christine Elliott says there were 1,353 new cases in Toronto, a sharp jump of nearly 400 from the day before. There are 1,513 patients currently in Ontario hospitals due to COVID-19, with 605 in intensive care and 382 on a ventilator. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 11, 2021. The Canadian Press
The City of Vancouver will be closing the streets in front of three elementary schools starting Monday to encourage parents to use active transportation to pick up and drop off their children. One street running alongside each of Hastings, Lord Roberts and Van Horne elementary schools will be closed for 30 to 45 minutes during peak pick-up and drop-off times. During that time, no motor vehicles will be allowed to enter or exit the affected block. The pilot starts Monday and will be in place until May 7. The city chose streets that allow nearby residents to still access their homes. It also has ensured reserved parking or designated pick-up and drop-off spots for parents or students with disabilities. 'We're really excited' Ian Rowe, chair of the Lord Roberts parent advisory council, says he and most parents were glad the city was trying something new to discourage driving. "School congestion, traffic and safety has been an issue every single year," Rowe said. "And so we're really excited." The pilot wasn't most parents' preferred option, Rowe says, in large part because it requires parent volunteers twice a day, every day, for it to work. The City of Vancouver is piloting a new program to encourage active transportation for parents picking up and dropping off their children at school. (City of Vancouver) Rowe says parents at the West End elementary school wanted permanent infrastructure changes instead, like continuing the separated bike lane along Comox Street in front of the school in order to make cycling a safer option. A few parents objected to the pilot, Rowe says, but the parent advisory council has been working with them to encourage use of the other two streets that flank the school where vehicular traffic will still be allowed. "We're always going to have parents who need to drive," Rowe said. Health researcher Mariana Brussoni previously told CBC News that parents face many challenges trying to get their kids to school by foot or bike — including busy schedules, multiple drop-offs and schools that are too far away. School streets around the world Less than 25 per cent of students across B.C. use active transportation to get to school, according to a written statement from the Ministry of Transportation last year. According to the city's webpage for the pilot, so-called school streets are popular in several places around the world and they have been shown to create a safer environment for children, improve air quality and encourage active transportation. In London, England, nearly 350 school streets have been implemented. The city says 81 per cent of parents there were supportive of the measures, which reduced nitrogen dioxide air pollution by 23 per cent. As a result, 18 per cent of parents reported driving less. The city says school streets were also implemented in Toronto and Edinburgh.
(Reuters) -Banker Guillermo Lasso unexpectedly won Ecuador's presidency on promises to revive an economy battered by the coronavirus while his rival's vows of a return to socialist largesse failed to win over a skeptical electorate. Lasso took 52% of the vote in the runoff following a campaign that pitted free market economics against the social welfare plans of economist Andres Arauz, a win likely helped by a ballot spoiling campaign that left one in six ballots void. Markets welcomed the news following months of concerns that Arauz's social spending plans would upset the government's delicate finances.
The White House weighed in on the cyberattack on Iran's uranium enrichment facility, saying "the U.S. "was not involved in any manner." (April 12)
THE LATEST: Health officials will provide the first live update since Thursday at 3 p.m. PT. B.C. health officials announced 1,262 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths on Friday. The provincial death toll from the disease is at 1,495. There are currently 9,574 active COVID-19 cases in B.C. So far, 1,025,019 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 87,606 of those being second doses. A record high of 40,018 people were vaccinated in B.C. on Thursday. As of Friday, 332 people are in hospital, with 102 in intensive care. Health officials on Monday are expected to announce whether measures put in place two weeks ago have had any impact on slowing the spread of COVID-19 in B.C. A three-week "circuit breaker" was implemented on March 19, putting in place sweeping new restrictions on indoor dining in restaurants, group fitness activities and worship services. Since that time, the province has announced several record-breaking single-day case counts and has seen a rise in hospitalizations. Vaccination registration expanding The province has announced dates for those aged 40 and older to register for their vaccine: Monday, April 12 — born 1966 or earlier (55+) Wednesday, April 14 — born 1971 or earlier (50+) Friday, April 16 — born 1976 or earlier (45+) Monday, April 19 — born 1981 or earlier (40+) Registering for a vaccine is not the same as booking the appointment to get your shot. Once registered, users receive a confirmation code. They then wait for an email, text or call telling them they are eligible and can then book their vaccine appointment using that code. A man wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past a billboard in Vancouver. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press) Indigenous people 18 or older and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable can also now register to book their vaccine appointment through B.C.'s new Get Vaccinated system. The province is also continuing to vaccinate people between the ages of 55 and 65 with the AstraZeneca vaccine in local pharmacies throughout the province. Vaccine registration There are three ways to register for vaccinations: By phone through the provincial phone line at 1-833-838-2323. In person at any Service B.C. location. Health Minister Adrian Dix said on Saturday that vaccine doses would also be set aside to vaccinate people in communities where there were outbreaks. Whistler jabs On Sunday, Vancouver Coastal Health announced that all adults who live and work in Whistler, B.C., will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday. The health authority says it's launching the two-week vaccination program because of increasing transmission of the virus in the ski resort community. It says there were 1,505 confirmed cases of COVID-19 recorded in Whistler between Jan. 1 and April 5, which is the highest rate of COVID-19 of any local health area in the province. Cypress Mountain on Vancouver's North Shore announced Sunday was its last day of operations for the ski season, marking an early closure. The resort said it made the decision based on snow conditions, but also the rapid spread of more contagious coronavrius variants in the region. People waiting to get on a lift at Whistler Blackcomb in January 2021.(Submitted) On March 30, Whistler Blackcomb decided not to reopen for the tail end of the ski season following a provincial health order that closed the hills until April 19. On Friday, the province said there are currently 4,111 cases of COVID-19 that are confirmed variants of concern in B.C. Of the total cases, 105 are active and the remaining people have recovered. Read more: What's happening elsewhere in Canada As of Sunday, Canada had reported 1,060,157 cases of COVID-19, with 73,447 cases considered active. A total of 23,315 people have died of the disease. What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Common symptoms include: Fever. Cough. Tiredness. Shortness of breath. Loss of taste or smell. Headache. But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia. What should I do if I feel sick? Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911. What can I do to protect myself? Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean. Keep at least two metres away from people outside your bubble. Keep your distance from people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wear a mask in indoor public spaces. More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada faced a five-fold increase in Mi'kmaw fishing for baby eels in 2020 primarily on Nova Scotia rivers — an event it did not expect and could not manage, according to internal DFO documents obtained by CBC News. The federal department had been closely monitoring, and in some cases prosecuting, the unauthorized sale of baby eels harvested by Mi'kmaq under Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC) eel licences since 2017. The appearance of more than 110 Indigenous fishermen at the beginning of April 2020, up from 21 across the region in 2019, quickly forced a shutdown of the little known but lucrative fishery throughout the Maritimes, the documents state. It was the first time that had happened. About the fight over elvers DFO was in the middle of a collision between Mi'kmaq asserting treaty rights and commercial harvesters anxious to protect a fishery worth $38 million in 2019. Nine licence holders share a total allowable catch of 9,960 kilos of baby eels — known as elvers. They are primarily sold to Asian fish farms where they are grown to adulthood for consumption. A researcher with the group Coastal Action measures an elver caught in the East River near Chester, N.S., on June 18, 2019.(Richard Cuthbertson/CBC) The tightly regulated commercial fishery was worth an average of $4.3 million per licence in 2019. Making the case to shutdown 'unmanageable' fishery Unlike commercial licences where quotas and landings are tracked via logbooks and verified by dockside monitoring, FSC elver catches are not reported and sales are not allowed. "Given the high value, and since elvers are not known to be a traditional or current food fish for Indigenous people, this harvest is suspected to be for sale into international markets," Deputy Minister Timothy Sargent wrote to federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan on April 22. Sargent was recommending the first of what would turn out to be two temporary 45-day closures, which effectively ended the entire 2020 season. It was a response to the unprecedented increase in Mi'kmaw elver fishing and fears over escalating conflict as harvesters competed over access. "The unexpected, heightened scale of the activities that have been observed to date (which by far exceeds what DFO had expected based on previous years) has led DFO to determine that those concerns cannot be managed through localized closures," Sargent wrote. "This level of fishing, in addition to the commercial fishery, has become unmanageable and represents a threat to the conservation of the species." Lawsuit pulls back curtain on a hidden struggle In July 2020, commercial harvesters filed a lawsuit in the Federal Court of Canada seeking to overturn the shutdown order. They argued DFO had not done enough to stop unregulated fishing. In its defence, the department filed 60 pages of documents justifying its actions. The lawsuit was later dropped. But the documents reveal what has been a mostly hidden struggle that features nighttime confrontations illuminated by flickering flashlights at the side of a river. The DFO documents included advice from senior bureaucrats, assessments from its enforcement branch, Conservation and Protection, and detailed economic analysis of the fishery. What we learned Mi'kmaw involvement in the elver fishery was first observed in 2016 when two or three harvesters claimed to be fishing for food, social and ceremonial purposes on rivers in southwestern Nova Scotia. The FSC fishery has expanded to every elver river in southwestern Nova Scotia, including Yarmouth County where commercial fishing is not allowed and a range of elver rivers in eastern Nova Scotia. A 2017 investigation led to the raid of a warehouse near Pearson Airport in Toronto, where police seized about eight kilograms of what they said was FSC-harvested elvers worth $170,000 — an amount DFO said represented a fraction of the current alleged illegal activity. No charges were laid due to lack of evidence. The shutdown was projected to reduce landed values for commercial licence holders to $6.5 million. Unauthorized elver fishing in Nova Scotia continued despite the order. Over a 23-day period from late April and May, fishery officers made 25 arrests, seized 16 trap nets, 19 dip nets and three weapons and returned about eight kilograms of elvers to rivers. It is not clear if the arrested were Mi'kmaq. DFO proceeded despite risk of alienating Mi'kmaq DFO was aware its actions would be seen as an infringement of the Mi'kmaw right to harvest for food, social and ceremonial purposes, and risked a "negative effect" on discussions over the treaty right to earn a moderate livelihood. "However, risks to conservation and proper management and control of the fishery are currently believed to be at a level where this is necessary," Sargent wrote. The shutdown was followed, after the fact, by discussions with Mi'kmaw bands where responses to the ministerial order varied. A summary of the engagement said some Mi'kmaw communities supported the shutdown to protect American eel while others strongly opposed any changes to FSC licences that would potentially restrict access. There was also "considerable displeasure about a perceived lack of consultation" in some communities, including Kwilmu'kw Maw-klusuaqn, KMKNO, which is the negotiation office for the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw chiefs. Canada moves to end FSC elver fishery in 2021 In February 2021, DFO imposed a 10-centimetre minimum size on all FSC American eel licences issued to all bands in the Maritimes. Before this, most licences did not contain a minimum size. The condition is expressly designed to prevent FSC elver fishing and was urged in a DFO Conservation and Protection report in 2020. "The ability to protect the species and deter over-harvesting will be much greater enabled through decisive action with respect to the introduction of of size limits and gear restrictions as part of the food, social and ceremonial licence conditions - which would accord much stronger enforcement mechanisms to fishery officers and Public Prosecution Services of Canada (PPSC)," the report said. "Elver is a lucrative commodity which is easily harvested. There are individuals fishing elver who are affiliated with criminal entities due to the ability to rapidly sell their catch and funnel the proceeds toward other endeavours. MAR C&P is working increasingly more closely with policing counter-parts to disrupt these elements." The DFO documents do not mention any Mi'kmaw harvesters being charged in these cases. Arrest continue in 2021 The shutdown has not ended confrontations on elver rivers. Since the season opened in March, fishery officers have arrested 14 people and made a number of seizures over alleged unauthorized elver fishing. It's not clear if the enforcement actions relate only to Mi'kmaw fishermen. Some of the arrests involved members of the Sipekne'katik band. Chief Mike Sack says the fishermen were exercising their treaty right to fish for a moderate living. Chief Mike Sack says fishing for elvers falls under the Mi'kmaw treaty right to earn a moderate livelihood.(Nic Meloney/CBC) "It falls under that. And I fully support any of our members that are out there exercising their right under any fish or wildlife or resources that there may be," he said. Chiefs say cut the commercial harvest if there is a conservation issue. In a statement, the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs asserted First Nations interest in fishing elvers under food, social and ceremonial licences, and objected to the unilateral decision to suspend elver fishing in 2020 by DFO. "While the protection and conservation of all species is always a concern for our people, the Mi'kmaw have a desire to fish elvers for Food, Social and Ceremonial purposes," Annapolis Valley First Nation Chief Gerald Toney said in a statement. "We should be able to fish any species, as needed and as required, while respecting concerns for conservation, as outlined in Sparrow," he said, referencing the 1990 Supreme Court case that spelled out steps required to infringe on a treaty right. In December, one of their negotiators told DFO that elvers are a viable food source for Mi'kmaw communities and commercial licences should be cut first if there are conservation issues. In a statement, DFO said it will respond accordingly to conserve the population and maintain a sustainable and orderly fishery in 2021. It is the same language it used last year when it shut down the fishery. MORE TOP STORIES