Three pups in a wooded trail sniff around in the snow
Three pups in a wooded trail sniff around in the snow
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials in Nova Scotia announced Tuesday that vaccination rollout plans for the month included the province's first pharmacy clinics. Prototype pharmacy clinics will launch in Halifax and Shelburne on March 9, Port Hawkesbury on March 16 and Springhill on March 23. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island Health officials in Prince Edward Island say they will shift their focus to getting a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by July 1, even if it means delaying the second shot for some. Chief medical officer Heather Morrison has said people over the age of 80 will get a second dose based on their existing appointments. Going forward, she said, other residents will get a longer interval between their first and second doses, but she didn’t specific how long that will be. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. Quebec announced Tuesday it had reached a deal with pharmacies that will allow them to start administering COVID-19 vaccines by mid-March. Health Minister Christian Dube said about 350 pharmacies in the Montreal area will start taking appointments by March 15 for people as young as 70. The program will eventually expand to more than 1,400 pharmacies across the province that will administer about two million doses. The Montreal region is being prioritized in part because of the presence of more contagious variants, such as the one first identified in the United Kingdom, Dube has said. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. Several regions in Ontario moved ahead Monday with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. Toronto also began vaccinating members of its police force Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. A day earlier, Toronto said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. She also says the province will soon share an updated vaccine plan that factors in expected shipments of the newly approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The province will do that after getting guidance from the federal government on potentially extending the time between first and second doses, like B.C. is doing, of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to four months, Elliott says She also says Ontario seniors won't receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine since there's limited data on its effectiveness in older populations. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. The province said this week that it may follow British Columbia's lead in delaying a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to speed up immunizations. The government says it hopes a national committee that provides guidance on immunizations will support waiting up to four months to give people a second dose. If that happens, the province could speed up how soon residents get their first shot. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry says the approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine means some people will get their first shot sooner than planned. She says B.C. will focus its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine among essential workers, first responders and younger people with more social interactions who would have to wait longer to receive their first doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. It's now possible that all adults could get their first shot by July, Henry says. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — The Defence Department took more than three hours to dispatch the National Guard to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol despite a frantic request for reinforcement from police, according to testimony Wednesday that added to the finger-pointing about the government response. Maj. Gen. William Walker, commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, told senators that the then-chief of the Capitol Police requested military support in a 1:49 p.m. call, but the Defence Department's approval for that support was not relayed to him until after 5 p.m., according to prepared testimony. Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol. That delay stood in contrast to the immediate approval for National Guard support granted in response to the civil unrest that roiled American cities last spring as an outgrowth of racial justice protests, Walker said. As local officials pleaded for help, Army officials raised concerns about the optics of a substantial National Guard presence at the Capitol, he said. “The Army senior leadership” expressed to officials on the call “that it would not be their best military advice to have uniformed Guardsmen on the Capitol,” Walker said. The Senate hearing is the second about what went wrong on Jan. 6, with national security officials face questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. Even as Walker detailed the National Guard delay, another military official noted that local officials in Washington had said days earlier that no such support was needed. Senators were eager to grill officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard and the Justice and Homeland Security departments about their preparations for that day. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump had talked online, in some cases openly, about gathering in Washington that day and interrupting the electoral count. At a hearing last week, officials who were in charge of security at the Capitol blamed one another as well as federal law enforcement for their own lack of preparation as hundreds of rioters descended on the building, easily breached the security perimeter and eventually broke into the Capitol. Five people died as a result of the rioting. So far, lawmakers conducting investigations have focused on failed efforts to gather and share intelligence about the insurrectionists’ planning before Jan. 6 and on the deliberations among officials about whether and when to call National Guard troops to protect Congress. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. Robert Contee, the acting chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department, told senators he was “stunned” over the delayed response and said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting rapidly escalated. Senate Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar, one of two Democratic senators who will preside over Wednesday's hearing, said in an interview Tuesday that she believes every moment counted as the National Guard decision was delayed and police officers outside the Capitol were beaten and injured by the rioters. “Any minute that we lost, I need to know why,” Klobuchar said. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. The probes are largely focused on security missteps and the origins of the extremism that led hundreds of Trump supporters to break through the doors and windows of the Capitol, hunt for lawmakers and temporarily stop the counting of electoral votes. Congress has, for now, abandoned any examination of Trump’s role in the attack after the Senate acquitted him last month of inciting the riot by telling the supporters that morning to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed. In a hearing last week before the same subcommittee, she conceded there were multiple levels of failures but denied that law enforcement failed to take seriously warnings of violence before the insurrection. In the Senate, Klobuchar said there is particular interest in hearing from Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, who was on the phone with Sund and the Department of the Army as the rioters first broke into the building. Contee, the D.C. police chief, was also on the call and told senators that the Army was initially reluctant to send troops. “While I certainly understand the importance of both planning and public perception — the factors cited by the staff on the call — these issues become secondary when you are watching your employees, vastly outnumbered by a mob, being physically assaulted,” Contee said. He said he had quickly deployed his own officers and he was “shocked” that the National Guard “could not — or would not — do the same." Contee said that Army staff said they were not refusing to send troops, but “did not like the optics of boots on the ground” at the Capitol. Also testifying at the joint hearing of the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees are Robert Salesses of the Defence Department, Melissa Smislova of the Department of Homeland Security and Jill Sanborn of the FBI, all officials who oversee aspects of intelligence and security operations. Lawmakers have grilled law enforcement officials about missed intelligence ahead of the attack, including a report from an FBI field office in Virginia that warned of online posts foreshadowing a “war” in Washington. Capitol Police leaders have said they were unaware of the report at the time, even though the FBI had forwarded it to the department. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the report was disseminated though the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, discussed at a command post in Washington and posted on an internet portal available to other law enforcement agencies. Though the information was raw and unverified and appeared aspirational in nature, Wray said, it was specific and concerning enough that “the smartest thing to do, the most prudent thing to do, was just push it to the people who needed to get it.” Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 64,485 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,014,128 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 5,314.423 per 100,000. There were 40,180 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,482,350 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 81.14 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland is reporting 3,827 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 20,285 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 38.739 per 1,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 33,820 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 59.98 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 966 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 12,596 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 79.405 per 1,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 14,715 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 85.6 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 5,505 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 33,471 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 34.298 per 1,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 61,980 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 54 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 7,424 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 33,741 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 43.255 per 1,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 46,775 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 72.13 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 16,513 new vaccinations administered for a total of 455,328 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 53.213 per 1,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 537,825 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 84.66 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 22,326 new vaccinations administered for a total of 727,021 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 49.494 per 1,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 903,285 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.49 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 1,535 new vaccinations administered for a total of 78,205 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 56.794 per 1,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 108,460 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 72.1 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 947 new vaccinations administered for a total of 80,236 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 68.045 per 1,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 74,605 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 107.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 9,546 new vaccinations administered for a total of 245,054 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 55.668 per 1,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 274,965 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 89.12 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting 7,501 new vaccinations administered for a total of 283,182 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 55.184 per 1,000. There were 40,180 new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 364,020 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 77.79 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting 1,097 new vaccinations administered for a total of 17,168 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 411.397 per 1,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 18,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 90.84 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting 3,321 new vaccinations administered for a total of 19,775 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 438.285 per 1,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 19,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 42 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 103.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting 664 new vaccinations administered for a total of 8,066 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 208.284 per 1,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 23,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 62 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 33.75 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
Regina– The Government of Saskatchewan is clearly leaning towards a first-dose COVID-19 vaccination strategy, getting as many people vaccinated with their initial dose as possible, before following up with a booster shot much later to maximize immunity. Doing so would maximize the number of people immunized as quickly as possible, allowing nearly all Saskatchewan residents to receive their first shot by June and allowing things to begin to return to normal. However, that would mean stretching the period between doses from the three or four weeks, as they are supposed to be administered, to as much as four months. Premier Scott Moe and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab referenced this strategy numerous times during the regular COVID-19 briefing held at the Legislature on March 2. Shahab pointed to “great information from the (United Kingdom), from Quebec, from (British Columbia), on how effective one dose is for as long as four months.” He expects future recommendations from partners, including the federal government, to support delaying the second dose up to four months. “And what that will do is that will really accelerate our first dose program, and if you're able to do that, we can see most of our population 18 and older, potentially getting your first dose by June,” Shahab said. “And I think that would really help us in really putting the pandemic behind us. And like the premier said, I think we all need to then … be ready to take any vaccine that is available, when our age cohort comes up in the sequencing.” Shahab posed the question of how you can maximize the population benefit with a known supply of vaccines. He said, “The way we can maximize that is giving one dose to the vast majority of people by June, and then completing the second doses July onwards. And this will help us prevent a potentially devastating, variant fueled, third wave. “And we'll also maximize population-level protection, at no sacrifice to individual protection, because that is critical as well. Right now, the aim is clinical protection, which means hospitalization, death, at a clinical individual level, but as more and more people get vaccinated, you know, obviously we want to see the population impact of that as well, that kind of community immunity impacts. And the most efficient way to get that, based on strong scientific advice, is to give everyone one dose.” Moe said a four-month interval between first and second doses would mean virtually all Saskatchewan residents could be provided with their first dose of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines by the end of June. If you add AstraZeneca and perhaps Johnson & Johnson vaccines (the second has not yet been approved in Canada, but has been approved in the United States), Moe said, “Then we're starting to look at something in early June, where we could have everyone in the province provided with the opportunity to receive their first dose of vaccine.” “Understanding the efficacy of that first dose, and some of the data that is coming in, and continues to come in, and the protection that it provides, this really is a game changer for the dates that we can really strongly have some serious discussions about the measures that we have in place and what that looks like, over the course of the next number of weeks as opposed to having that conversation over the course of the next number of months,” Moe said. Oldest first Key to this first dose strategy is getting the oldest people in Saskatchewan vaccinated first, which the Province has already been working on. To that end, Moe announced that first doses have been delivered to every long-term care facility in Saskatchewan, and 91 per cent of their residents had been vaccinated. The remaining nine per cent either refused or were unable to take if at this time. A further 53 per cent of those long-term care residents had received their second shot and are now considered fully vaccinated. Moe called it an important milestone along the way to the pandemic being over. “We've also delivered vaccines to 90 per cent of the personal care homes in the province. About 78 per cent of the residents have received their first dose of the vaccine, and about 43 per cent have now received both shots,” Moe added. The province is expected to receive about 112,000 vaccines Pfizer and Moderna in the month of March, and a further 15,000 doses of the newly-approved AstraZeneca vaccine next week. That vaccine, which is approved for ages from 18 to 64, will likely be used for that age group, although Shahab pointed out that one should accept whatever vaccine is available when it is their turn, and that the United Kingdom has been using it for people 65 and older with success. However, by the time Saskatchewan gets larger volumes of the AstraZeneca vaccine, most of its population 65 and older should have already been vaccinated with the other vaccines. Moe said Saskatchewan has been leading the nation in getting shots in arms, with over 100 per cent of doses received having been administered, as compared to 86 per cent for the next leading province. He said there is very little wastage. Appointments Moe said appointments for vaccination will be soon available online or by telephone, meaning eligible residents over 70 years of age will soon be able to book appointments. “We expect to launch that appointment system next week, so for everyone who is waiting to get your shot, and is in the Phase 1 category, we are working to get you vaccinated as quickly as possible.” Moe said case numbers and hospitalization numbers continue to stabilize, with the seven-day average of new cases now 144, down 55 per cent from our peak in January. Hospitalizations are around 154, down from a high of 238. Vaccinations of elderly residents should lead to a continued decline in serious cases and hospitalizations, Moe said, noting, “The truth is that the vaccines are working. They are reducing transmission. They are reducing serious outcomes. And that's very encouraging for all of us.” Relaxation of measures Moe noted that many people have asked for a relaxation in current public health measures, in particular those limiting household gatherings. He said, “I would say to this is we're very close to making, and finalizing, these decisions. I've spoken to Dr. Shahab about this frequently. He just wants to see the new case and hospitalization numbers remain stable for a few more days. If that occurs, we should have more to say about household restrictions, possibly by early next week. We'll be taking a close look at all of the other public health orders that are set to expire on March, the 19th. “So I'm asking everyone in this province to hang tight for just a few more days. The next number of weeks, not months, we're going to start to see things change, and change significantly. Spring is coming. Vaccines are on the way. We are on the path to getting life back to normal, as we know it, but we're just not quite there yet. So please, the next number of days and weeks keep doing what you're doing to keep yourself safe to keep those around you safe and to keep your family safe.” Moe added, “When it is your turn, and when you are offered a vaccine, there is only one answer that should come out of your mouth and that is ‘Yes.’ “They're all equally effective, the vaccines that are that are available, and a vaccine in our arm is far better than a vaccine that's sitting on the shelf, or not being administered to someone here in the province,” Moe said. Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
Sandra Valliquette is worried her brother is being left behind in Ontario's vaccination rollout plan. He lives at a group home in Saint-Pascal-Baylon, an area just southeast of Clarence-Rockland, Ont., that provides housing for people with special needs and mental health disabilities. According to the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, people in group homes and other congregate settings will be vaccinated in Phase 2, beginning later this month and running through August. Valliquette says her brother has been living in lockdown for six months and worries what being categorized as a lower priority will mean for him, and the approximately 30 others he lives with. "My brother has underlying health issues. He's vulnerable in that place," she said. Lack of data worrisome, says advocate While people living in group homes are a higher priority than some, Valliquette worries that being in Phase 2 means her brother will remain in lockdown for the foreseeable future. "I am just confused about why he has to wait," she said. Sandra Valliquette says she's concerned for her brother who lives in a group home. (Submitted by Sandra Valliquette ) Megan Linton, a disabilities justice advocate, says people living in these group settings — whether they're for-profit homes, shelters or in independent living — should be fast-tracked up the COVID-19 vaccine queue. There's a lack of information about how many people with disabilities live in these places or have died of COVID-19, Linton said, but data from other parts of the world suggests people with disabilities are some of those most at risk. The situation has led to a lack of accountability for these institutions when there is an outbreak, said Linton. "It's incredibly concerning the way that disabled people have been left out of the vaccinations prioritization," she said. "If you are at higher risk, you should be prioritized." She said age shouldn't be the sole priority, noting that many living with disabilities have shorter than average life expectancies. "The government has the opportunity to prioritize and to ensure that this doesn't become a greater crisis," Linton said. Valliquette said if group homes can't be made a higher priority, she hopes Ontario reconsiders its stance inoculating more people with a single dose before moving onto the second. "There has to be some sort of flexibility and second thought," Valliquette said.
Mona Lisa describes feeling isolated and cut off from her community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oshawa City Council is fighting to ensure a bar doesn’t end up at 711 stores. Council is sending a letter of objection to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission opposing the application by the 711 corporation for a licence to allow for the addition of a bar at 61 of its convenience stores across the province, including one in Oshawa at 245 Wentworth St. W. “I can tell you I’ve been around a long time and I’ve never seen an application for a licence with such a potential for negativity in a local community,” says Councillor Brian Nicholson. “What we’re talking about is placing a bar inside a convenience store and that people will be sitting and drinking right next to your children.” He notes the location of this 711 store, located at the corner of Wentworth Street West and Cedar Street, is just north of a plaza with restaurants and laundry mats, as well as a shopping centre with a restaurant and a beer store to the west. Nicholson adds the store is located in a high density area with a number of apartment buildings in the area and a school down the road. “You couldn’t design a worse possible place for adding a bar,” he adds, noting the city has worked hard to improve this stretch of road. “This would be a step backwards by the community.” Councillor John Gray agreed with Nicholson, noting it makes no sense. “Let’s keep the bars as bars. It doesn’t make sense to me that you can spike your slurpy. That is just a dumb idea,” he says. Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri says he’s glad council is on board with this, noting it’s important that council get ahead of the curb on this. “Anyone that’s travelled across Europe recognizes this is a model that exists there and maybe that’s where it came from but I don’t know if we’re ready for this and I don’t think it fits the kind of outlook for a small convenience store setting,” he says. However, council doesn’t just oppose the application by the 711 corporation, they’re opposed to all applications in variety stores. “I think this motion is right on, but let’s be proactive and decide now that it’s not just good in 711 – it’s not good in any convenience store,” says Councillor and Deputy Mayor Bob Chapman. Courtney Bachar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Oshawa Express
Another socially-distanced legislative session kicked off this week, this one marked by COVID-related issues, a two-month delay of the provincial budget, and an Opposition bench tasked with holding a majority government in check during a pandemic. “Our job as the Official Opposition is to hold the government to account,” said Interim BC Liberal Opposition Leader Shirley Bond on Feb. 26. “That's going to be a challenging job with a significant majority in the legislature, but we have a skilled team.” One immediate challenge will be the delayed provincial budget. The legislative session will run from Mar. 1 to June 17, with some breaks, and the budget will be presented on Apr. 20. Typically tabled every year in mid-February, governments were legally bound to present a budget by the end of March. However, the Finance Statutes Amendment Act 2020, passed last December, extends the deadline to Apr. 30 when a budget follows an October election, as it does this year. “British Columbians deserve to know the financial state of our province,” said Bond. “We should have had that discussion. The budget should have been tabled by now.” Back in December, the Liberals voted against the legislation containing the extension. “We really don't see a need why it had to happen,” said BC Liberal House Leader Peter Milobar last week. “We said this would create uncertainty with groups. It was brushed off by government.” Now, as session begins two weeks after a budget would normally have been introduced, agencies, businesses and associations are starting to get worried, he said. “I've spent this week on a lot of Zoom calls with agencies and organizations that don't know what the budget delay will, or won't, mean to them,” said Milobar who represents the riding of Kamloops-North Thompson. “It's incumbent on the government, they're the ones that have delayed this budget, to provide that certainty.” The December legislation also included a provision to extend special warrant spending authority to keep essential funds flowing if the budget and estimates are presented after the beginning of the new fiscal year – Apr.1 for most businesses and institutions – which will be the case this spring. “It is not intended to provide for new program spending but, rather, to provide for continuation of the operations of government until a supply act can be passed by the Legislative Assembly,” Finance Minister Selina Robinson told the legislature on Dec. 9. “Any enhanced or expanded programming cannot happen until a new budget is introduced,” Milobar said. Meanwhile, the government will have four weeks to introduce legislation prior to the Throne speech, which occurs one week before the budget. “I'm assuming the government will have work for legislators to do. We'll have to wait and see what that agenda looks like,” said Bond, who is MLA for Prince George-Valemount, and will be attending the session in person for the first time since the pandemic began. Previously, she attended by Zoom, as do the majority MLAs due to public health restrictions. The top priority is the pandemic and the health and well-being of British Columbians, but people are also concerned about economic issues, said Bond. “How is British Columbia going to emerge as we move ahead? Sectors, like the tourism sector, that have been decimated by COVID, what will the government do to support and energize that sector?” Last year, the Province announced $105 million in funding for the sector, along with the creation of a task force made up of tourism and hospitality industry representatives to disperse the funding. “We're going to be highlighting the challenges that the Horgan government has created for small businesses and for British Columbians – a quarter of a billion dollars sitting on the sidelines, because the government couldn't manage the to get it out the door,” said Bond, referencing the $280 million or so in COVID-19 relief funding still not disbursed from $300 million designated for small and medium-sized businesses. The program is set to expire mar. 31, when any remaining funding will be rolled back into the provincial government coffers, Premier John Horgan confirmed in February. “They've made lots of commitments, and many of them they've yet to deliver,” said Bond. “There's going to be no shortage of questionable situations around how the premier and his ministers have been handling their files,” said Milobar. “We're all very focused on wanting to shine a light on the shortcomings of the government's response to a wide range of issues.” Additional priorities for the Opposition will include scrutiny of the vaccination roll out and continued calls for rapid testing in long term care and schools, said Bond, who is also the opposition critic for seniors services and long-term care. “There will be lots of debate and dialogue,” said Bond. “It's going to be a very intense session.” Fran@thegoatnews.ca / @FranYanor Fran Yanor, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Rocky Mountain Goat
The once-brash U.S. shale industry, which spent profusely in recent years to grab market share, is now focused on preserving cash, putting it at a disadvantage to low-cost OPEC producers as the global economy begins to gear up again. Prior to the pandemic-induced downturn, OPEC countries led by Saudi Arabia restrained their production, eager to bolster prices to fund national budgets dependent on oil revenue. Shale drillers took advantage, boosting U.S. output to a record 13 million barrels a day.
A sharp spike in bond yields last week caught some hedge funds unaware, and saw macro and long-short funds in general give back February profits to end the month modestly up, several market participants said. Hedge funds, which target returns that outperform the markets, take positions in a variety of assets such as bonds, currencies and equities, depending on the strategy employed. The sharp rise in yields - which saw ten-year Treasury yields hit a one-year high of over 1.6% on Thursday - came after a tumultuous January when some funds got burned by holding short positions in stocks caught up in the GameStop trading frenzy.
The European Union aims to increase the region's COVID-19 vaccine production capacity to 2-3 billion doses per year by the end of 2021, Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton was quoted as saying on Wednesday. In an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera he also urged member states to implement their vaccination policies quickly "because the capacity to produce doses is increasing from week to week", he said. Breton said that while around 43 million doses have been delivered to the EU so far, only 30.2 million have been administered, adding the bloc was targeting deliveries of 95-100 million doses by the end of March.
The amount of road salt that people, businesses, and cities are using over the winter is likely too much and is definitely hurting local waterways, according to the Ottawa Riverkeeper. The organization began monitoring how much road salt is making its way into local creeks last winter as part of its road salt monitoring pilot project. The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment has established federal guidelines around the amount of chloride — which is partly what salt breaks down into when it dissolves in water — in waterbodies. Those guidelines state that 120 milligrams per litre leads to chronic, long-term toxicity, while anything above 640 milligrams per litre is considered acutely toxic. According to the Ottawa Riverkeeper, researchers found water samples containing chloride amounts five times the acute level. "Last year we were seeing levels well into the thousands," said Katy Alambo, a biologist with the Ottawa River Keeper. "We've expanded the program [this year] and we're seeing similar if not higher numbers." Not only does chloride take a long time to break down further, it's also toxic to aquatic life such as fish, amphibians, invertebrates and insects. "High chloride levels can cause disruptions to their reproduction cycles, their growth cycles," Alambo said. "In cases of species like amphibians who respire through their skin, it can also pose consequences there, too, and keep them from being able to breathe properly." You might be using too much salt As part of a pilot project that ran between January and March 2020, volunteers monitored five creeks — Pinecrest, Graham, Green, McKay, and Moore creeks — that were close to roads, shopping plazas, residential areas and anywhere else in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que., where high amounts of road salt could be used. They measured the water's conductivity at each of those creeks after a large snowfall, rainstorm, thaw, or any event that would lead to more water entering the creeks. The conductivity of water rises the more dissolved ions like chloride there are. If the volunteers measured a certain level of conductivity, they then took a water sample to be analyzed. What they found, Alambo said, suggested too much road salt was being used. Instead of using salt, which is ineffective in temperatures under –10C, the Ottawa Riverkeeper suggests using salt, gravel or even cat litter to provide traction.(David Horemans/CBC) "We definitely understand that salt is important to keeping our roads safe," said Alambo. "One coffee mug full of road salt is pretty much all you need to de-ice one of your standard to two-car driveways." Salt is also ineffective at temperatures colder than –10 C, she added. Instead of salt, Alambo suggests using sand, gravel, or even cat litter to help provide traction. The Ottawa Riverkeeper also plans to approach the City of Ottawa about its salt use, especially as municipal officials are in the midst of reviewing the city's winter maintenance standards.
The militant group, which has a presence in Afghanistan, said its fighters had targeted the three female employees of a television station in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Tuesday evening, according to the SITE Intelligence group. The women, who worked for local broadcaster Enikas TV, were aged between 18 and 20 and were shot on their way home from work, according to Afghan officials. Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack, which local police initially blamed on the insurgent Taliban, who denied any involvement.
The euro zone economy is almost certainly in a double-dip recession as COVID-19 lockdowns continue to hammer the services industry, but hopes for a wider vaccine rollout has driven optimism to a three-year peak, a survey showed on Wednesday. "The small upward revision to the euro zone's Composite PMI for February still leaves it consistent with another contraction in GDP in Q1," said Jessica Hinds at Capital Economics. The euro zone economy contracted in the first two quarters of 2020 and a Reuters poll of economists last month forecast it would do so again in Q4 and the current quarter, saying risks to the already weak outlook were skewed to the downside.
Newly-formed Stellantis, a combination of Peugeot-maker PSA and Fiat Chrysler (FCA), wants to use its clout to take on rivals racing to produce more electric vehicles, Chief Executive Carlos Tavares said on Wednesday. Stellantis is now the world's fourth largest carmaker, with 14 brands including Opel, Jeep, Ram and Maserati, and like its peers, it is grappling with a shortage of semiconductors and investments in electric vehicles. Low global car inventories and cost cuts should help boost profit margins this year, though the carmaker is also looking beyond savings, Tavares said.
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. There are 872,747 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 872,747 confirmed cases (30,252 active, 820,450 resolved, 22,045 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 2,457 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 79.6 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 20,449 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,921. There were 28 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 284 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 41. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 58.01 per 100,000 people. There have been 24,620,804 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 994 confirmed cases (207 active, 781 resolved, six deaths). There were five new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 39.65 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 40 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is six. There were no new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.05 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 198,862 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 136 confirmed cases (22 active, 114 resolved, zero deaths). There were four new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 13.78 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 21 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 104,715 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,643 confirmed cases (29 active, 1,549 resolved, 65 deaths). There was one new case Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 2.96 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been 30 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is four. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.64 per 100,000 people. There have been 338,114 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,435 confirmed cases (37 active, 1,370 resolved, 28 deaths). There were four new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 4.73 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 11 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two. There was one new reported death Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of two new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.04 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 3.58 per 100,000 people. There have been 237,782 tests completed. _ Quebec: 288,941 confirmed cases (7,378 active, 271,156 resolved, 10,407 deaths). There were 588 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 86.05 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 5,275 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 754. There were eight new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 78 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 11. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 121.37 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,320,910 tests completed. _ Ontario: 302,805 confirmed cases (10,546 active, 285,262 resolved, 6,997 deaths). There were 966 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 71.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 7,686 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,098. There were 11 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 113 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 16. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.49 per 100,000 people. There have been 10,933,714 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 31,950 confirmed cases (1,151 active, 29,901 resolved, 898 deaths). There were 56 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 83.45 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 405 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 58. There were two new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 12 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 65.11 per 100,000 people. There have been 533,840 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 28,938 confirmed cases (1,492 active, 27,059 resolved, 387 deaths). There were 137 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 126.58 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,015 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 145. There were two new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 11 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 32.83 per 100,000 people. There have been 577,151 tests completed. _ Alberta: 134,052 confirmed cases (4,631 active, 127,531 resolved, 1,890 deaths). There were 257 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 104.73 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,449 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 350. There were two new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 37 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is five. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 42.74 per 100,000 people. There have been 3,409,039 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 81,367 confirmed cases (4,747 active, 75,255 resolved, 1,365 deaths). There were 438 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 92.22 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 3,509 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 501. There were two new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 29 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 26.52 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,935,174 tests completed. _ Yukon: 72 confirmed cases (zero active, 71 resolved, one death). There were no new cases Tuesday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.38 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,172 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 42 confirmed cases (three active, 39 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 6.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 14,559 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 359 confirmed cases (nine active, 349 resolved, one death). There was one new case Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 22.87 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been eight new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.54 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,696 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
Britain will modernise its listing rules to attract more high-growth company and so-called blank cheque flotations, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said after a government-backed review said London was on the back foot after Brexit. The London Stock Exchange is facing tougher competition from NYSE and Nasdaq in New York, and from Euronext in Amsterdam since Britain fully left the European Union on Dec. 31.
CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s attorney-general denied having sexual contact with a 16-year-old who had accused him of raping her 33 years ago and said Wednesday he would not resign as the nation's top law officer. Christian Porter instead said he would take leave to care for his mental health after the allegations recently became public. “I’m going to take a couple of short weeks leave just for my own sanity,” Porter told reporters. “I think that I will be able to return from that and do my job.” The accuser took her own life last year, and her allegations against Porter became public last week when they were sent anonymously to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other lawmakers. Media had reported the alleged rapist was one of the 16 men in Morrison’s 22-member Cabinet, but Porter was widely identified online. The 50-year-old former criminal prosecutor said he decided to speak out after police said Tuesday there was insufficient admissible evidence to proceed with a criminal investigation. Prominent lawyers and the woman’s friends have called for an independent inquiry to test the evidence against Porter. Morrison has noted Porter’s denials and said the allegations should be left with police to handle. Porter said the reported rape allegation did not warrant him standing down from his job. “If I stand down from my position as attorney-general because of an allegation about something that simply did not happen, then any person in Australia can lose their career, their job, their life’s work based on nothing more than an accusation that appears in print,” Porter said. “If that happens, anyone in public life is able to be removed simply by the printing of an allegation,” he added. Porter said he was 17 when he competed alongside the then-16-year-old accuser on a four-member school debate team in January 1988. He said he had not heard from her since. “I did not sleep with the (alleged) victim. We didn’t have anything of that nature happen between us,” Porter said. “I remember the person as an intelligent, bright, happy person,” he added. The woman has not been named. Police are preparing evidence to help a coroner determine the cause of her death. The case has added to intensifying into attitudes toward sexual harassment and violence in Parliament after a staffer made an unrelated allegation two weeks ago that she had been raped by a senior colleague in a minister's office. Rod McGuirk, The Associated Press
GlobalFoundries will invest $1.4 billion this year to raise output at three factories in the United States, Singapore and Germany, as a global shortage of semiconductors has boosted demand for chips, its chief executive said. The U.S.-based company, a unit of Abu Dhabi's state-owned fund Mubadala, may also bring forward its initial public offering to late 2021 or the first half of next year, from a previous target of late 2022 or early 2023. Automakers and electronics producers are facing a global shortage of chips which has fueled manufacturing delays.
Nestled in a steep rocky hillside among the remote mountains of northern Iraq, the Rabban Hormizd Monastery has watched invaders come and go through Christianity's tumultuous history in this corner of ancient Mesopotamia. Mongols, Persians, Arabs, Kurds and Ottomans have sacked, surrounded or occupied the seventh century monastery and the Christian town of Alqosh, above which it perches, near the borders with Turkey, Syria and Iran. But Christians there survived the latest onslaught, this time by Islamic State militants who took over one third of Iraq between 2014 and 2017, including the city of Mosul just 20 miles (32 km) to the south.