Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch, breaks down the top pandemic concerns as Ontario schools reopen in the Toronto, Peel and York regions, with some questioning whether enough safety precautions are in place.
Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch, breaks down the top pandemic concerns as Ontario schools reopen in the Toronto, Peel and York regions, with some questioning whether enough safety precautions are in place.
(NBC/The Associated Press, NBC/Reuters - image credit) Schitt's Creek won the Golden Globe for best television comedy on Sunday, shortly after star Catherine O'Hara captured the award for best actress for her portrayal of Moira Rose. Dan Levy — who co-created the show with his father, Eugene Levy — accepted the award remotely and paid homage to the Canadian cast and crew. "The incredible work you all did over these past six seasons have taken us to places we never thought possible, and we are so grateful to all of you for it," he said. "Thank you to the CBC and Pop TV for making the active choice to keep this show on the air and give it the time and space it needed to grow." The show topped fellow nominees Ted Lasso, The Great, The Flight Attendant and Emily in Paris. "This acknowledgement is a lovely vote of confidence in the messages Schitt's Creek has come to stand for: the idea that inclusion can bring about growth and love to a community," Dan Levy said. "In the spirit of inclusion, I hope that this time next year, the ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of the film and television being made today because there is so much more to be celebrated." Earlier, O'Hara thanked Eugene and Dan Levy for creating "an inspiring, funny, beautiful family love story in which they let me wear 100 wigs and speak like an alien." "Thank you CBC for making this show in Canada," she said. Eugene Levy, Dan Levy and Annie Murphy were each nominated for acting awards as well. Jason Sudeikis bested Eugene Levy for best actor in a television series for his role in Ted Lasso, John Boyega won the award for best supporting actor for his role in Small Axe over Dan Levy and Gillian Anderson's turn on The Crown earned her best supporting actress over Murphy. Schitt's Creek, which aired on CBC and Pop TV, ended its sixth and final season last April. The Ontario-shot show swept the comedy category at the Emmy Awards last fall. Nomadland wins 2 awards, Boseman honoured posthumously Nomadland won best drama film while its director, Chloé Zhao, became the first woman of Asian descent to win best director at the Golden Globes. The film follows a woman, played by Frances McDormand, who leaves her small town to join a group of wanderers in the American West. Accepting the best picture award, Zhao paid tribute to all those who have been on difficult journeys, quoting a line from the film: "We don't say goodbye, we say see you down the road." Meanwhile, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm won best movie, musical or comedy, while star Sacha Baron Cohen won best actor for his portrayal of the fictional journalist from Kazakhstan. In a major surprise, the Globe for best actress in a drama film went to Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Day played the legendary jazz and blues singer in the biopic directed by Lee Daniels. A tearful and overwhelmed Day spoke through tears as she said she was "in the presence of giants," naming her fellow nominees Viola Davis, Carey Mulligan, Vanessa Kirby and Frances McDormand. Six months after his death at age 43, Chadwick Boseman won the Golden Globe for best actor in a dramatic film for his final role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Boseman's widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award for her late husband, saying "he would thank God, he would thank his parents, he would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices." Through tears, Ledward added: "I don't have his words, but we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love." In the Netflix film, Boseman plays an ambitious trumpeter named Levee who aims to launch himself with his own updated version of the songs of Ma Rainey, the powerhouse blues singer played by Viola Davis. Boseman, who starred in the Marvel blockbuster "Black Panther," died in August after privately battling colon cancer for four years. Netflix, which came in with a commanding 42 nominations, won the top TV awards. The Crown, as expected, took best drama series, along with acting wins for Anderson, Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin. O'Connor and Corrin portrayed Prince Charles and Princess Diana, respectively. The Queen's Gambit, another Netflix show, won best limited series or TV movie and star Anya Taylor-Joy won best actress in a limited series. Jodie Foster, meanwhile, won her first Golden Globe in nearly three decades. Foster won the Globe for best supporting actress in a film for her role in The Mauritanian. Jane Fonda accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award, praising the "community of storytellers" for their vital role in troubled times, and calling for greater diversity in Hollywood. The 83-year-old actor and activist, star of Barbarella, Klute, Coming Home, On Golden Pond and 9 to 5, received the Globes' version of a lifetime achievement award, one of the few honorees to accept a Globe in person in Beverly Hills. The DeMille award honours "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment." Previous winners include Walt Disney, Judy Garland, John Wayne, Sidney Poitier, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Fonda's father Henry Fonda. The Fondas become the first parent and child to both receive the DeMille award. Norman Lear accepted the Carol Burnett Award on Sunday at the Golden Globes for his storied career in television, saying he "could not feel more blessed." The 98-year-old still-working television legend, creator of All in the Family, The Jeffersons and One Day at a Time, is the third winner of the award that honours "outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen." Hosts on different coasts Earlier, co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler began the pandemic-era award show by delivering a split-screen opening from separate coasts. With Poehler at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Fey in New York's Rainbow Room, the two did an initial gag where Fey reached out through the screen and stroked Poehler's hair. Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey, left, and Amy Poehler, opened the show from New York and Beverly Hills, Calif., respectively. When attendees would normally be streaming down the red carpet on Sunday evening, many stars were instead posing virtually. Regina King, resplendent in a dazzling dress, stood before her yawning dog. Carey Mulligan, nominated for Promising Young Woman, said from a London hotel room that she was wearing heels for the first time in more than a year. Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the tender Korean-American family drama Minari (a movie the HFPA was criticized for ruling ineligible for its top award because of its non-English dialogue), accepted the award for best foreign language film while his young daughter embraced him. "She's the reason I made this film," said Chung. "Minari is about a family. It's a family trying to learn a language of its own. It goes deeper than any American language and any foreign language. It's a language of the heart. I'm trying to learn it myself and to pass it on," said Chung. Other awards included Pixar's Soul for best animated film; Rosumund Pike took best actress in a comedy or musical film for I Care a Lot; and Aaron Sorkin won for best screenplay for Trial of the Chicago 7. The film, a favourite to win best drama film at the Globes, was sold to Netflix by Paramount Pictures last summer due to the pandemic. "Netflix saved our lives," said Sorkin. Issues in lead-up to show On a night when the organization that gives out the Golden Globes is facing condemnation for having no Black voting members, the night's first award went to a Black actor, with Daniel Kaluuya winning best supporting actor in a film for his work in Judas and the Black Messiah. Kaluuya's acceptance speech could not be heard from his location at first, and he jokingly shouted, "You did me dirty!" once the audio was restored. Kaluuya didn't mention the issue directly in his acceptance, though he praised the man he played to win the award, Blank Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was was killed in an FBI raid in 1969. The Globes, normally a loose-and-boozy party that serves as the kickoff for Hollywood's awards season, has been beset with problems beyond the coronavirus leading up to this year's ceremony. They include a revelation in the Los Angeles Times that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives out the awards, has no Black voting members in the group. LISTEN | Why the Golden Globes' shady reputation persists: Fey took a shot at the organization in the show opening, explaining to the two small live audiences made up of first responders and essential workers that "the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 no Black journalists." This year, none of the most acclaimed Black-led films — Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, One Night in Miami, Judas and the Black Messiah and Da 5 Bloods — were nominated for the Globes' best picture award. With the HFPA potentially fighting for its Hollywood life, Sunday's Globes were part apology tour. Within the first half hour of the NBC telecast, members of the press association also appeared on stage to pledge change. "We recognize we have our own work to do," said vice president Helen Hoehne. "We must have Black journalists in our organization."
The U.S. Senate will start debating President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday after Democrats backed down from an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 as part of it. The backpedaling did not end hopes of addressing the minimum wage issue in Congress. Democrats and some Republicans have voiced support for the idea of raising the federal minimum wage, now at $7.25 an hour, for the first time since 2009, although they disagree on how much.
(Robert Krbavac/CBC - image credit) David Rooney couldn't believe what he was seeing when he looked out his front window in June and saw a Bell Canada contract employee aiming a high-pressure water excavator — the same one he'd been using to dig holes in the ground — at Rooney's car, peeling the paint right off. "There was quite a wash of water, probably 10 feet high," Rooney told Go Public. "So I came up to find that he's washing my car and asked him to stop immediately." By that time though, the damage was done — $1,500 worth. After accidentally splashing mud on Rooney's 2012 Hyundai Genesis, which was parked in the driveway, the worker used a power tool called a hydrovac excavator to try to clean it off. The worker was one of hundreds Bell hired to install fibre optic lines across the country, including on Rooney's street. Rooney figured getting compensation would be simple. After all, the worker admitted it was his fault. Instead, Rooney spent the next seven months battling both Bell and the company it hired to do the work on its behalf, Super Sucker Hydro Vac Service, for the cost of the damage. In many cases, property owners have no choice but to allow telecommunications companies on to their property. Land titles often include rights of way which allow city workers and other service providers to come onto a property when doing work considered essential. Fixing the paint peeled off Rooney's car cost $1,500. But when that work leads to damage, consumers are often treated like a "hot potato" that none of the companies involved want to compensate, says John Lawford, the executive director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, a non-profit organization that provides legal and research services on behalf of consumers. "There's a very low likelihood of getting any money back if the company or the telco resists paying you … chances are you're going to get nothing [or] face a legal battle if you want to fight it," Lawford said. Contractors 'ultimately responsible' Rooney says when his car was damaged, Bell refused to offer any compensation and pointed him to Super Sucker. That company passed him to its insurance provider, Federated Insurance. "And they said that I should not be dealing with them, but going to my own insurance company. So I called my insurance company and found that I have a $500 deductible that will come out of pocket. I didn't think that was fair," he said. It wasn't until Go Public contacted the two companies months later that Super Sucker finally compensated Rooney. WATCH | High-pressure hydrovac digs into the ground: In an email to Go Public, Super Sucker spokesperson Mark Elias says the issue should have been settled by the insurance companies. "This is not a matter that should be handled by anyone internally or by Mr. Rooney himself — that's why we pay for insurance in the first place, not only to cover any of the financial costs of an incident but to handle the whole process from start to finish," Elias wrote. Bell spokesperson Nathan Gibson says the company's contractors are "ultimately responsible" for resolving complaints when they do damage and says Bell provides oversight until there is resolution. But in Rooney's case, Gibson says the situation wasn't handled to the company's standards and that the contractor didn't meet its obligations. It says it apologizes to Rooney for his experience. "There was a serious issue with communication from our contractor and we have addressed the incident with them," Gibson wrote in an email to Go Public. 'It's happening all the time' Rooney got his money, but Grace McLeod of Brantford, Ont., is still waiting for Bell to pay up. McLeod isn't even a Bell customer — her internet provider is Rogers. But when Bell employees installed underground fibre optic lines on her condo property in September, they cut the Rogers lines, cutting off McLeod's internet service and leaving her unable to work for the day. "So I said to the three guys working next to the hydro box, 'Are you guys from Bell Canada? And they said, yes. And I said, 'Did you just cut my Rogers lines?' And they said, no," McLeod told Go Public. But a few hours later, she says a Rogers technician confirmed the lines had been cut, telling her it's happening "all the time." McLeod — who works in collections — tried to get Bell to pay for the wages she lost when she wasn't online working, but was told no since she's not a Bell customer. Grace McLeod says Bell employees cut internet lines near her condo, leaving her unable to work for the day. "Every step I took I was stonewalled, and I guess that's how they get rid of people because they stonewall you," she said. Gibson, the Bell spokesperson, says the company did all the checks required to find lines belonging to its competition, but "no cable location information was provided." "Bell cannot be responsible for such a break," Gibson wrote. "If Mrs. McLeod had been a Bell customer, we could have credited her account for the temporary loss of service, but would not offer compensation for additional claims such as lost wages." Bell says it's about halfway through a major project that involves installing fibre lines to service as many as 10 million homes in seven provinces. The company says it has a "straightforward and reliable" complaint process that "works very well even considering the extraordinary volume of our activity." 'Many barriers' to compensation Legally, Lawford says both Bell and the third-party companies it hires to do its work are potentially liable for damage. Proving lost wages is more difficult, he says. But getting compensation can be tough if the companies don't co-operate. For one, Canada's telecom mediator, the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS), doesn't deal with property damage or lost wage complaints, so customers are left dealing directly with the companies, going to small claims court or hiring a lawyer. The last two options can be intimidating, time consuming and expensive, says Lawford — leading many people to give up. Bell's terms of service also cap compensation for damage at $20 or an amount equal to what customer paid for the service during the time it was unavailable. But it's more than just legal responsibility, Lawford says. "Is this really a conversation we should be having about which person catches the hot potato? Shouldn't it be the consumer getting redress for something that it doesn't really matter whose fault, strictly speaking, it is legally?" he said. "We need a fix." John Lawford of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre says if companies responsible for property damage don't want to co-operate, it's tough for homeowners to get compensation. The fix Go Public asked Bell how many property owners have been compensated for property damage and how much it has paid out over the last five years. It didn't answer. The CCTS says it's received 180 reports of property damage from customers over the last five years related to the installation of services by telecoms or their contractors. Lawford says he suspects many incidents go unreported. "I would suspect it's happening often because there are millions of installs and repairs going on," he said. The fix, he says, is expanding the role of the CCTS to deal with property access and damage. He points to Australia, where the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) has been resolving rights of way and property damage disputes between customers and telecoms for more than a decade. "There's no real reason to not have that in Canada," he said. It has the power to make binding decisions up to about $50,000 and can direct a telecommunications carrier to compensate a landowner for reasonable costs associated with fixing any damage caused to their property. Telecommunications carriers and eligible service providers are required to be members of the TIO and fund its operation. Lawford says it shouldn't be hard to set up a system like the one in Australia, since Canadian telecoms already have to pay CCTS membership fees annually. The amount is based on the size of the company, and if you have higher complaint numbers, you pay a bit more. McLeod now has a sign on her property, denying Bell access. Rooney supports the idea of a telecom-funded system that deals with complaints like his, so does McLeod. McLeod is one of those rare cases where the telecom providers need her permission to go onto the property, and she says she'll never give it again. "I have a sign out there on my letter box," she said. "If they come back, I'll ask the police to have them removed because I truly don't want any more damage, especially if they're not going to stand behind what they do." Bell says it will honour her request. Submit your story ideas Go Public is an investigative news segment on CBC-TV, radio and the web. We tell your stories, shed light on wrongdoing and hold the powers that be accountable. If you have a story in the public interest, or if you're an insider with information, contact GoPublic@cbc.ca with your name, contact information and a brief summary. All emails are confidential until you decide to Go Public. Read more stories by Go Public.
TORONTO — Ontario's website for booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments will begin a "soft launch" in six public health units this week, two weeks before it becomes available across the province, The Canadian Press has learned. But the website will not be available to the general population in those regions, said a senior government source not authorized to speak publicly about the plan. Instead, public health officials will reach out to a small number of individuals who are 80 or older, as well as some eligible health-care workers, starting Monday. The source said the plan will help the province test components of the system before the full launch, determine whether any changes need to be made to the system and organize the vaccination of larger populations. The site is a "public-facing extension" of the COVaxON system the province has been using since the start of the vaccine rollout, the source said, and will also serve to keep track of inoculation data. The regions participating in the soft launch are Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox and Addington; Peterborough County-City; Hastings and Prince Edward Counties; Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark; Grey Bruce; and Lambton. The source noted the site will not be available to other regions before March 15, even those that have already begun vaccinating members of the 80-and-over age group such as York and Peel. Those regions must use "existing relationships with residents" to book the vaccinations until the online platform launches on March 15, when they're expected to switch to the provincial system. The source said the website will focus at first on appointments at mass vaccination sites, but the province will work with public health units in the coming weeks to make sure it's compatible with other facilities such as hospital sites and mobile clinics. The government has faced criticism for what some describe as the slow rollout of its vaccine booking portal, which is expected to launch the same day the head of the vaccine task force said people aged 80 and over would start getting the shots. Retired general Rick Hillier said his team was "furiously working" to test and refine the site so it would be up-and-running on time. Health Minister Christine Elliott defended the timeline, saying the government was still testing the site and wanted to ensure it won't crash when it goes live. "We don't want to rush to failure,'' she said last week. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
China's Inner Mongolia will end all cryptocurrency mining projects and stop reviewing new projects in industries which consume large amounts of energy, such as steel, coke and methanol production, as it attempts to meet energy efficiency targets. The region was the only one of 30 mainland areas under Beijing's energy consumption and energy intensity review that failed to meet the targets in 2019, drawing criticism from the central government in September due to its poor achievement. Now China's No.2 coal mining region, a major energy consumer, aims to cap energy consumption growth at around 5 million tonnes of standard coal equivalent in 2021, according to a draft rule issued by the regional state planner.
Canadians had something to celebrate as Catherine O'Hara took home a 2021 Golden Globe award for her role in "Schitt's Creek."
Dozens of Thai protesters and police were injured in violent clashes at an anti-government rally on Sunday, an emergency medical centre said, as police acknowledged firing rubber bullets for the first time since protests started last year. Police also used tear gas and water cannon against protesters who marched on a military base in Bangkok, calling for King Maha Vajiralongkorn to give up direct command of the army unit housed there. Protesters threw bottles at police near barricades.
TORONTO — Money vanishes in the banking world and an off-Broadway illusionist delivers his own disappearing act in March’s streaming highlights. Here’s a rundown of some TV shows and movies worth a look: “BAD BANKS” An ambitious female banker is pulled into the darker side of Germany’s financial industry when she’s recruited to spy on a rival investment bank. Driven by a propulsive storyline stacked with troubled characters, manipulative antics and grand machismo, this winner of multiple German Television Academy Awards fills the void left by the season wraps of “Succession” and “Industry.” (CBC Gem, March 12) “DEREK DELGAUDIO’S IN & OF ITSELF” Magician Derek DelGaudio’s live theatre show “In & Of Itself” shook audiences with its blend of visual trickery and emotional illusions, and director Frank Oz brings the experience home with a 90-minute film that captures all the wonder. Standing before a packed audience of willing participants, DelGaudio doles out mind-boggling card tricks, engaging stories and an inexplicable connection with everyone in the room. It’s a one-of-a-kind rollercoaster of magic that could leave you in tears. Even if it doesn’t, the show is sure to create plenty of conversation in your living room. (Crave, March 1) “63 Up” Many directors have committed their lives to filmmaking, but few so much as Michael Apted, the documentarian whose groundbreaking "Up" film series was a work in sociology and journalism, as well as hugely influential on the doc genre as a whole. Starting in 1964, he traced the lives of 14 Britons as they navigated race, class and the personal traumas that shaped their identities. The ninth film in the series, “63 Up,” is the most recent update Apted made before he died in January. It arrives on Britbox next to the previous eight installations, which offer a uniquely life-spanning binge experience. (Britbox, March 9) “Generation” A circle of high schoolers navigate the foibles of growing up in the social media age in this darkly comic five-episode series that echoes the progressive, yet controversy-fuelled, bent of “Euphoria.” Starring a cast of buzzworthy newcomers, including Justice Smith, Uly Schlesinger and Haley Sanchez. (Crave/HBO, March 11, episodes weekly) “Alice in Borderland” One wrong turn and three friends suddenly find themselves trapped in the centre of a desolate Tokyo where someone is forcing them to play deadly games using smartphone apps. Based on a Japanese manga, this crafty thriller evokes the action energy of Quentin Tarantino and John Woo with a twisted edge that’ll appear to horror fans. (Netflix, Now Available) OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: “Coming 2 America” – Eddie Murphy reprises his role as an African monarch in a “Coming to America” sequel. (Amazon Prime Video, March 5) “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” – The original director of 2017’s DC Comics superhero mash-up “Justice League” reworks the film he started before leaving the project due to a death in his family. This four-hour director’s cut promises many surprises and moments originally left on the cutting room floor. (Crave/HBO, March 18) “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” – Two Marvel characters forge a new path after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” (Disney Plus, March 19, episodes weekly) “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers” – A mother fed up with politics of pee-wee hockey enlists Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) to launch a new team. (Disney Plus, March 26, episodes weekly) This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. David Friend, The Canadian Press
(Justin Tang/Canadian Press - image credit) To mark the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, CBC Ottawa asked four local photographers to choose a single image they'll look back on that captures the mood or essence of COVID-19. Justin Tang Parliament Hill's Peace Tower and the National War Memorial are reflected in a window at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, in front of a digital screen displaying an image of a rainbow with the message, "Everything will be okay." Freelance photographer Justin Tang was assigned by The Canadian Press to take pictures at one of the very first news conferences with Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Dr. Theresa Tam on January 26, 2020, at Tunney's Pasture. Tang was struck by the stillness of mood. "It was unnerving — they were really calm," said Tang. He thought: "This can't be good." In February, Tang was sent to CFB Trenton to photograph the arrival of a charter plane full of repatriated Canadians. "It [still] felt really far away." said Tang. "How soon that would all change." Since the start of the pandemic, Tang has taken close to 3,000 photos. But one he took on April 19 of last year stands out for him. It shows a person reflected in the National Arts Centre window, with the now iconic pandemic message, "Everything will be okay". "There was a real sense of fear of the unknown. And I felt it, too," said Tang. "To me, this photo is a bit of light in the darkness." Lindsay Irene Lindsey Irene uses a mirror to capture an image of her family hunkered down at home. Ottawa photographer Lindsay Irene has had to put much of her creative work on hold during the pandemic. A solo show at Enriched Bread Artists was cancelled in June. Plans to launch her award-winning documentary book, The Sex Worker, were delayed. Irene and her partner separated in the fall of 2019, but had remained on good terms. COVID-19 prompted him to move back in temporarily. "He just slipped right back into our lives and we just existed in our little bubble," said Irene. "I couldn't imagine doing all of this alone." They spent the first part of the pandemic watching disaster movies and doing puzzles. Irene, who graduated from the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa in 2019, chose as her COVID-19 quintessential picture a self-styled family portrait that she took in the early days of the first wave. "It was just such a surreal day for all of us," recalled Irene. "There's this big mirror in front of the bed and I'm like, 'I gotta remember this.' It's actually one of the only photos I have of all three of us, because ... it's always me, the one who takes the photo." The old-school 35 mm camera was loaded with black and white film. "When you remove colour, it just focuses your eye and draws you to the subject," said Irene. Katherine Takpannie Award-winning Inuk photographer Katherine Takpannie chose this picture from the Black Lives Matter rally on Parliament Hill as her quintessential COVID-19 photo. "First and foremost, I'm an Inuk. I am a mother of a wild two-year-old and I am a photographer," said Katherine Takpannie, who also works for the federal government in the Indigenous Programs Directorate, and as a member of the Equity and Inclusion Committee with the city of Ottawa. As her quintessential COVID-19 picture, Takpannie chose an image taken on June 5, 2020, the day of the No Peace Until Justice rally in Ottawa, organized in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. At first, Takpannie was conflicted about joining the rally — "We have my father living with us, he's an elder, he has many health issues," she said — but in the end, she donned her mask, brought along her zoom lens, and added her voice. "How important it was to stand up against systemic racism and violence toward Black people. It was such a higher calling than just staying safe," said Takpannie. "Everyone wore masks, but everyone wanted to come together," said Takpannie. "Racism is also a pandemic. It is larger than a virus." Andrew Lee CBC photographer Andrew Lee captured thousands of images in the past year, many focusing on poverty, including this picture of a homeless man on Wellington Street in Ottawa. Andrew Lee is a network camera operator and photojournalist for CBC. When he's not shooting video on Parliament Hill, he's capturing still images on the streets of Ottawa. "You just see more and more businesses being closed every week. More and more storefronts shuttered," said Lee. With so many people staying home, those who are visible on the streets are often homeless. "One fellow said, 'There's just no "inside" for us to go to,'" said Lee. Lee chose as his representative COVID-19 photo a picture of a homeless man named Rick, who lives with his two small dogs at a makeshift encampment off Wellington Street, near the Parliament Buildings. Rick told Lee he's originally from Gananoque, that he had a traumatic brain injury that affected his short term memory, and that he's been living on the streets for seven years. "His chin is held high. That's his little spot in the world and that's where he's decided to be," said Lee. "But I just love the dignity. That's kind of what you hope to capture."
A bulk of the trading in the $6.6 trillion-a-day foreign exchange markets is expected to be on cloud technology over the next five years, according to a survey conducted by fintech firm Integral. Two-thirds of 94 heads and senior managers in currency trading at banks and buy-side institutions, surveyed between September 2020 and January 2021, expect to adopt the secure and cost effective cloud based solutions to "a significant degree" from just 26% now. Cloud technology, as against the widely used on-premise technology in foreign exchange trading, is hardly a new concept with companies increasingly using it to make data management more cost-effective, centralised and efficient.
Former Guantanamo detainee Mohamedou Ould Salahi says he believes he was surveilled by Canadian intelligence while he lived in Montreal.
NEW YORK — With homebound nominees appearing by remote video and hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on different sides of the country, a very socially distanced 78th Golden Globe Awards trudged on in the midst of the pandemic and amid a storm of criticism for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, with top awards going to “Nomadland,” “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” “The Crown” and “Schitt's Creek.” The night's top award, best picture drama, went to Chloé Zhao's elegiac road movie “Nomadland," a Western set across economic upheaval and personal grief. Zhao, the China-born filmmaker of, became the first woman of Asian descent to win best director. She’s only the second woman in the history of the Globes to win, and the first since Barbra Streisand won for “Yentl” in 1984. “'Nomadland at its core for me is a pilgrimage through grief and healing,” said Zhao, accepting the awards remotely. “For everyone who has gone through this difficult and beautiful journey at some point in their lives, this is for you." With a cancelled red carpet and stars giving speeches from the couch, Sunday's Globes had little of their typically frothy flavour. But they went on, nevertheless, with winners in sweats and dogs in laps, in a pandemic that has sapped nearly all the glamour out of Hollywood. Facing scant traditional studio competition, streaming services dominated the Globes like never before — even if the top award went to a familiar if renamed source: Searchlight Pictures, formerly the Fox specialty label of “12 Years a Slave” and “The Shape of Water” now owned by the Walt Disney Co. Amazon's “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” — one of the few nominated films shot partly during the pandemic — won best film, comedy or musical. Its star guerilla comedian, Sacha Baron Cohen, also won best actor in a comedy. Referring to Rudy Giuliani's infamous cameo, Cohen thanked “a fresh new talent who came from nowhere and turned out to be a comedy genius.” “I mean, who could get more laughs from one unzipping," said Cohen. Netflix, which came in with a commanding 42 nominations, won the top TV awards. “The Crown,” as expected, took best drama series, along with acting wins for Josh O’Connor (Prince Charles), Emma Corrin (Princess Diana) and Gillian Anderson (Margaret Thatcher). “The Queen's Gambit” won best limited series, and best actress in the category for Anya Taylor-Joy. “Schitt's Creek,” the Pop TV series that found a wider audience on Netflix, won best comedy series for its final season. Catherine O'Hara also took best actress in a comedy series. Chadwick Boseman, as expected, posthumously won best actor in a drama film for his final performance, in the August Wilson adaptation “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” — a Netflix release. Boseman’s wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, tearfully, emotionally accepted the award. “He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices,” said Ledward. “He would say something beautiful, something inspiring.” Apple TV+ scored its first major award when a sweatshirt-clad Jason Sudeikis won best actor in a comedy series for the streamer's “Ted Lasso.” The NBC telecast began in split screen. Fey took the stage at New York's Rainbow Room while Poehler remained at the Globes' usual home at the Beverly Hilton. In their opening remarks, they managed their typically well-timed back-and-forth despite being almost 3,000 miles from each other. “I always knew my career would end with me wandering around the Rainbow Room pretending to talk to Amy," said Fey. “I just thought it would be later.” They appeared before masked attendees but no stars. Instead, the sparse tables — where Hollywood royalty are usually crammed together and plied with alcohol during the show — were occupied by “smoking-hot first responders and essential workers,” as Fey said. In a production nightmare but one that's become familiar during the pandemic, the night's first winner accepted his award while muted. Only after presenter Laura Dern apologized for the technical difficulties did Daniel Kaluuya, who won best supporting actor for his performance as Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” get his speech in. When he finally came through, he waged his finger at the camera and said, “You're doing me dirty!" Pandemic improvising was only part of the damage control for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the Globes. After The Los Angeles Times revealed that there are no Black members in the 87-person voting body of the HFPA, the press association came under mounting pressure to overhaul itself and better reflect the industry it holds sway in. This year, none of the most acclaimed Black-led films — “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “One Night in Miami,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Da 5 Bloods” — were nominated for the Globes’ best picture award. With the HFPA potentially fighting for its Hollywood life, Sunday's Globes were part apology tour. Fey and Poehler started in quickly on the issue. “Look, a lot of flashy garbage got nominated but that happens,” said Poehler. “That’s like their thing. But a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked.” Within the first half hour of the NBC telecast, members of the press association appeared on stage to pledge change. "We recognize we have our own work to do," said vice-president Helen Hoehne. “We must have Black journalists in our organization.” Whether those statements — along with a diverse group of winners — did enough to remedy anything remained unclear. The moment the show ended, Time's Up sent letters to both the HFPA and NBCUniveral demanding more than lip service. “The Globes are no longer golden. It’s time to act,” wrote Tina Tchen, the group's president. COVID-19 circumstances led to some award-show anomalies. Mark Ruffalo, appearing remotely, won best actor in a limited series for “I Know This Much Is True” with his kids celebrating behind him and his wife, Sunrise Coigney, sitting alongside. Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the tender Korean-American family drama “Minari" (a movie the HFPA was criticized for ruling ineligible for its top award because of its non-English dialogue), accepted the award for best foreign language film while his young daughter embraced him. “She's the reason I made this film,” said Chung. “'Minari' is about a family. It's a family trying to learn a language of its own. It goes deeper than any American language and any foreign language. It's a language of the heart," said Chung. “I'm trying to learn it myself and to pass it on." John Boyega, supporting actor winner for his performance in Steve McQueen's “Small Axe” anthology, raised his leg to show he was wearing track pants below his more elegant white jacket. Jodie Foster ("The Mauritanian") won one of the biggest surprise Globes, for best supporting actress in a film, while, sitting on the couch next her wife, Alexandra Hedison, and with her dog, Ziggy on her lap. Some speeches were pre-taped. The previously recorded speeches by Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for the wining “Soul" score went without hiccup even though presenter Tracy Morgan first announced “Sal" as the winner. Even if speeches sometimes lacked drama without Hollywood gathered in one place, representation was a common refrain. Pointedly referring to the diversity of the HFPA, presenter and previous winner Sterling K. Brown began, “Thank you. It is great to be Black at the Golden Globes,” he said. “Back.” Jane Fonda, the Cecil B. DeMille Award honoree, spoke passionately about expanding the big tent of entertainment for all. “Art has always been not just in step in history but has lead the way,” said Fonda. “So let’s be leaders.” Other awards included Pixar's “Soul” for best animated film; Rosumund Pike took best actress in a comedy or musical film for “I Care a Lot"; Aaron Sorkin ("Trial of the Chicago 7") for best screenplay; and, in the night's biggest surprise, Andra Day ("The United States vs. Billie Holiday") for best actress in a drama, besting Carey Mulligan ("Promising Young Woman") and Frances McDormand ("Nomadland"). As showtime neared, the backlash over the HFPA threatened to overwhelm the Globes. Yet the Globes have persisted because of their popularity (the show ranks as the third most-watched award show, after the Oscars and Grammys), their profitability (NBC paid $60 million for broadcast rights in 2018) and because they serve as important marketing material for contending films and Oscar hopefuls. The Academy Awards will be held April 25. Jake Coyle, The Associated Press
(Jean Delisle/CBC - image credit) The words "Tabor Luxury Apartment" are displayed in silver lettering across the red-brick lowrise tucked deep within Vanier. But that name doesn't tell the whole story of the building at the centre of a controversy coming to this week to city hall. Since 2015, the City of Ottawa has paid owner Ahmed Syed motel rates to house homeless families there — an extension of sorts of the arrangement he has with the city at his other property, the nearby Ottawa Inn. It's meant to be used in emergencies, but many people CBC spoke with have lived there not just for days, but in some cases years. Some report living with bedbugs, cockroaches and even rats. On Tuesday, despite their fears of what might happen if they share their stories publicly, many families will tell Mayor Jim Watson and city councillors about life at Tabor during a massive meeting on housing and homelessness. Some are only comfortable having their statements read by local advocates, who have also launched a petition on their behalf calling on the city to relocate them. Ahmed Syed owns the Ottawa Inn and the Tabor apartment building. The City of Ottawa pays Syed to use both as an emergency overflow shelter for homeless families. Syed will speak, too. He has shown CBC photos of renovated units with kitchens, and said he cannot understand what he characterizes as a campaign against his efforts to help large homeless families. Tuesday's discussions over the Tabor apartments — and whether the city should continue its relationship with Syed — are expected to be emotional and difficult, not just because of the residents' testimony, but because it highlights the huge challenge the city has finding shelter for homeless families. Shelter shortage When emergency family shelters are overflowing — and they're always overflowing — the city pays motel and hotel owners to shelter them. On any given night, some 370 families are sleeping in motel rooms or university dorms, which costs the city millions each year, money critics say could be used to shelter families in a more sustainable way. At Tabor, Syed is paid $89 a night by the city — a rate recently been reduced from $109 — to house 15 families, which comes to about $40,000 a month. City staff say if the committee votes to no longer use the Tabor apartments for emergency accommodation, families will be moved to multiple motel and post-secondary dorm rooms, with no kitchens and at greater cost to taxpayers. The debate was first meant to take place Feb. 18 at a community and protective services committee meeting, where local Coun. Mathieu Fleury had put the Tabor apartments issue on the agenda. But a last minute six-to-five vote moved the item to this Tuesday. One family, particularly upset at the debate being postponed, wrote city councillors, describing their fear at speaking out. "Those councillors who have voted to shut off our voices have not faced what we are facing," they wrote. "They are not living what we live every single day!"' The owners of Tabor showed CBC this empty, renovated apartment to demonstrate that the units have kitchens and are larger than the motel rooms the city routinely uses for emergency accommodation. Families speak of cockroaches, rats Organizations like Sisters in Sync and the African Canadian Association of Ottawa have been working with families to prepare statements for Tuesday's much larger joint meeting of the committees responsible for housing and for finances. CBC News spoke with some families to hear their stories first-hand, but is not identifying them because they fear reprisals. "... live cockroaches, blood stains on the bed sheets as a result of bed bug bites, rat feces in the kitchen ... " - Excerpt from an October 2020 letter to the city from the Vanier Community Services Centre One single mother said she found herself in the shelter system a couple of years ago after leaving her husband. Her children don't have bedbug bites like their neighbours do, but they hear rodents in walls and try to avoid one hallway for fear of large rats, she said. "People here are not living in good conditions. They need to move people," the woman said. "We need to move out, not [stay] here, no." Another single mother who sought asylum in Canada from the U.S. a few years ago couldn't find anything affordable to rent. She never expected to be in a family shelter for two years. She tries not to complain, she said. The three or four rats in her part of the building have been dealt with, she said, but the owners and their pest management company can't seem to get cockroaches under control. "The person who owns this building is in it for business. If the [city] wants to continue using this place it needs to be properly renovated." Syed says he bought the building to provide extra space and kitchens for homeless families, after seeing them eating takeout and living separately in motel rooms. October complaint led to inspections The Vanier Community Service Centre is a non-profit that offers social, legal and counselling services to the area's residents. According to documents released under freedom of information laws, employees with the Vanier Community Service Centre — a non-profit that offers social, legal and counselling services to the neighbourhood's residents — were alarmed by conditions they witnessed last fall on a rare visit inside Tabor. "They were appalled to see live cockroaches, blood stains on the bed sheets as a result of bedbug bites, rat feces in the kitchen, mould, leaky water pipes and windows without screens," the centre's executive director, Michel Gervais, wrote in a Oct. 6, 2020, letter to the city's housing staff. "They also saw makeshift wooden barriers, used to prevent the rats from escaping into the kitchen at night, gnawed right through," Gervais wrote. "Our staff witnessed neglect, severe disrepair, helplessness and fear." Within an hour of being sent the letter, the city's general manager in charge of housing, Donna Gray, set a series of repeat inspections in motion. "I'm being singled out. I don't know why." - Ahmed Syed, owner of Tabor "I saw that letter, too," Syed told CBC News, noting his staff were not allowed to go into the units to clean before October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "They did not find one bedbug, not one," he said of the inspections, although he said there were cockroaches "here and there." He produced a re-inspection report from December that showed no issues left to address. Bylaw, public health and housing officials were satisfied by the follow-up inspections, city staff wrote in the report that goes before committee Tuesday, and pointed out Syed did perform extra renovations. Families were also offered to be placed elsewhere, the report says, but "very few families accepted this relocation offer." 'Singled out', owner says Syed introduced other shelter users to CBC, who said they've never had problems at either the Tabor building or Ottawa Inn, and any issues that did arise were dealt with quickly. City case workers are quick to answer complaints raised by families, Syed said, and he resolves them in 24 hours. His staff clean the units weekly, he added. Syed said he bought the Tabor after watching families sitting on his Ottawa Inn motel beds sharing takeout food. He said he wanted them to live together in a single unit with a kitchen and be able to cook proper meals. Nor is he making big money, he said. At the new $89 nightly rate, Syed said he's left with little profit, as the rate includes internet, electricity, heat, linens and cleaning. Units often sit empty if the city sends no families, he added. Syed, whose apartment arrangement was also the subject of a 2019 audit, said the other 22 motels and post-secondary institutions that have overflow shelter agreements with the city aren't under the same scrutiny. "I'm being singled out. I don't know why," he said. "People don't like that I'm supporting the community. They should be supporting me. What government is supposed to be doing, I'm doing it."
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Mar. 1 ... What we are watching in Canada ... OTTAWA - The federal government is hoping to start receiving vaccine doses from AstraZeneca this week as the flood of injections that flowed into Canada from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna last week partially subsides. Health Canada announced on Friday that it had approved the AstraZeneca vaccine, the third COVID-19 shot to get the green light from the regulator since the start of the pandemic. A senior government official told The Canadian Press on background yesterday that the first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada on Wednesday, though the shipment has not been confirmed. The Public Health Agency of Canada is currently only expecting delivery of about 445-thousand doses this week, which is about 200-thousand less than last week’s record high of 640-thousand doses in a seven-day period. The scheduled doses are all coming from Pfizer-BioNTech, as the two companies settle into a rhythm and work toward their promise to deliver 4 million doses by the end of March. Canada received 168-thousand doses of Moderna’s vaccine last week, but the company only delivers every three weeks. --- Also this ... VANCOUVER - The chief financial officer of telecom giant Huawei is set to return to the British Columbia Supreme Court today for arguments over the admission of evidence in her extradition case. Meng Wanzhou's defence team alleges the evidence will prove that international bank HSBC was aware of the relationship between Huawei and Skycom, a subsidiary of the technology company. Meng was arrested at Vancouver's airport in December 2018 at the request of United States authorities over claims she misrepresented that relationship, putting the bank at risk of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. She is wanted on fraud charges in the United States that both she and Huawei deny. Later this week, the court is expected to hear her team argue that former U.S. president Donald Trump used Meng as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations with China and that she should be released. Her team alleges she was subjected to an abuse of process but Canada's attorney general says that argument is irrelevant now that Trump is out of office. --- What we are watching in the U.S. ... WASHINGTON — Congress is beginning debate on the biggest overhaul of U.S. elections law in a generation. Legislation from Democrats would touch virtually every aspect of the electoral process — striking down hurdles to voting, curbing partisan gerrymandering and curtailing big money in politics. Republicans see those very measures as a threat that would limit the power of states to conduct elections and ultimately benefit Democrats. The stakes are enormous with both control of Congress and President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda in the balance. But at its core, a more foundational principle of American democracy is at play: access to the ballot. --- Also this ... ORLANDO, Fla. — Former U.S. president Donald Trump called for Republican Party unity when he returned to the political stage for the first time since losing the White House to Joe Biden. Trump closed out a conservative political conference in Florida on Sunday, and told cheering attendees that he is sticking with the GOP and not forming a third party. He said Republicans would stand united, yet he also criticized those who supported his impeachment and denounced his incitement of rioters at the U.S. Capitol. Trump also repeated familiar falsehoods about the November election being rigged against him. --- What we are watching in the rest of the world ... JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Iran of attacking an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman last week. Iran promptly dismissed the charges. Netanyahu spoke today to Israeli public broadcaster Kan and saying “it was indeed an act by Iran, that’s clear.” He offered no evidence but said that “Iran is the greatest enemy of Israel." The ship suffered a mysterious explosion in the Gulf of Oman on Friday and came to Dubai’s port for repairs on Sunday, days after the blast that revived security concerns in Mideast waterways amid heightened tensions with Iran. Iran denies it was behind the incident. --- And this ... YANGON, Myanmar — Security forces in Myanmar opened fire and made mass arrests Sunday as they sought to break up protests against the military’s seizure of power. A U.N. human rights official said it had “credible information” at least 18 people were killed and 30 were wounded. That would be the highest single-day death toll among protesters who are demanding the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi be restored to power after being ousted by a Feb. 1 coup. About 1,000 people are believed to have been detained Sunday, adding to the others detained earlier, including Suu Kyi. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned the violence. --- ICYMI ... TORONTO - Schitt's Creek nabbed two Golden Globes at last night's awards. The Canadian sitcom won best television series in a musical or comedy, and Catherine O'Hara took home best television actress in a musical or comedy. The series was nominated for three other awards, but ultimately lost out. Eugene and Dan Levy, the show's father-son creator duo, were nominated for best television actor in a musical or comedy and best supporting actor in a series, miniseries or motion picture for TV, respectively. Annie Murphy had been nominated for best supporting actress in a series, miniseries or motion picture for TV. Schitt's Creek wrapped up its six-season run last year, when it swept the Emmy's, winning all seven major comedy awards. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 1, 2021 The Canadian Press
CHARLOTTETOWN — Prince Edward Island is now under a 72-hour, provincewide lockdown meant to stop two clusters of COVID-19 cases from spreading any further. Provincial chief medical officer Dr. Heather Morrison says the clusters don't have a known source, and the three-day lockdown will allow public health officials to launch comprehensive contact tracing and ramp up testing. As of midnight, schools and most non-essential businesses are closed until Thursday and Islanders must practice physical distancing with anyone outside their immediate household. Exceptions are being made for people who live alone or require essential support. The restrictions were announced on Sunday as health officials reported five new COVID-19 infections, for a total of 17 cases over five days. They come on top of so-called "circuit breaker" measures announced the day before, which cut store and gym capacity in half while banning indoor dining and cancelling many sporting events. Those measures are set to be in effect until March 14. Morrison says the clusters, which are in Charlottetown and Summerside, appear to be connected. Premier Dennis King says it's better to "go harder and stronger" with protective health measures now than to delay and risk the kind of outbreaks seen in other provinces. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. The Canadian Press
SoftBank's internet subsidiary Z Holdings outlined plans on Monday to invest 500 billion yen ($4.7 billion) in technology over five years to resist an onslaught from larger overseas rivals. The announcement follows the merger of its internet business Yahoo Japan with chat app operator Line, creating a $30 billion domestic internet heavyweight. Z Holdings said it is targeting sales of 2 trillion yen and operating income of 225 billion yen in three years, as the COVID-19 pandemic boosts demand for online services.
RENNES, France — Rennes coach Julien Stephan has stepped down from this position following a poor run of results this year. The French league team thanked Stephan for all the “exceptional results” secured with the club. Stephan took over as Rennes head coach in 2018. He led the Brittany side to a stunning victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the 2019 French Cup final. He also helped the team qualify for the Champions League group stage for the first time last season. But Rennes slumped to a fourth consecutive loss in all competitions last week and has won only one game in 2021. The Associated Press
(Stu Mills/CBC - image credit) The two main Canadian agencies that prepare puppies for a life guiding people with visual impairments say the unrealistic times of the pandemic won't prevent them from turning out well-prepared guide dogs. Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind (CGDB), based in Manotick, Ont., and Canine Campus, based in Carleton Place, Ont., prepare young labs, retrievers and the occasional shepherd to understand traffic, crowds and indoor etiquette for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind's Guide Dogs program. "We want to expose them to as much as we can so they think it's just a part of normal life and so it doesn't throw them for a loop when they're guiding through it," said CGDB manager Alex Ivic. Fawn waits for instructions before leading her companion toward the front door. A subway platform jammed at rush hour or a holiday visit to a house filled with screaming children, and the alluring smells of a roasting goose are just some of the experiences a guide dog-in-training couldn't get this year. Instead, the lack of crowds and retail closures have forced trainers to dream up creative ways to prepare the dogs for real world situations. "We needed to reinvent what we did and or be clever and creative in tweaking things we already did," said Ivic. Wearing a blindfold, Ian Hadlum lets trainee "Dahlia" guide him around an obstacle placed on the sidewalk at a Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind training site. Staged apartments and empty airport used for training Ian Hadlum, a trainer with CGDB, dons a blindfold and encourages two-year-old Dahlia to lead him down a walking path obstructed by construction barriers. The black lab gently nudges him to step off the path and safely around the pylons, her tail constantly wagging. Dogs have been conquering their fear of escalators in the mostly silent Macdonald–Cartier International Airport. Shelley Adams, with Rookie, showing that guide dogs can also misread directional signs in a retail shop. Others have been attending pretend tea parties in staged apartments where the furniture is constantly moved around. At CGDB, the pandemic shut down their normal eight-person, three-week residency training program where clients move in and learn how to live with their new guide dogs. It's been replaced with a two-week program working with one client, meaning fewer teams will graduate. Dogs might need tune-ups Costs at CNIB's guide dog school have gone up, as have those at CGDB, which depends heavily on donations. "I know we say it rains cats and dogs, but it doesn't actually, so we can't just produce a dog immediately," points out Diane Bergeron with the CNIB. Her program's Australian supply of retrievers has been blocked by border closures. At the same time, restrictions on gatherings and visiting in places across the country, more people with vision loss have contacted the CNIB about how to regain their independence by connecting with a guide dog. Bergeron said COVID-19 restrictions on training may mean new guide dogs might have to come back for tune-ups in the future. Ivic said even though the dogs will have been raised in a pandemic, they will be capable of extrapolation — figuring out the new normal whenever it arrives and whatever it looks like. Yet, trainers point out that a guide dog will normally spend the first 18 to 24 months of its life in training, so there is still time to cover the curriculum.
OTTAWA — The federal government hopes to start receiving doses of AstraZeneca’s recently approved COVID-19 vaccine this week as the flood of shots that flowed into Canada from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna last week partially subsides. Health Canada announced on Friday that it had approved the AstraZeneca vaccine, the third COVID-19 shot to have received regulatory approval since the start of the pandemic. Canada has ordered 24 million doses of the vaccine, with the majority to be delivered from the United States between April and September. But two million jabs have been ordered from the Serum Institute of India, and Verity Pharmaceuticals, which is facilitating the institute’s application in Canada, has said the first 500,000 would reach Canadian shores this week. A senior government official told The Canadian Press on background Sunday that the first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday, though the shipment has not been confirmed. Dr. Supriya Sharma, the chief medical adviser at Health Canada, also told the CBC on Sunday that the regulator had received additional information over the weekend from Johnson and Johnson, which is seeking approval for its own vaccine. Regulators in the U.S. gave it the green light over the weekend. Sharma said Health Canada is hoping to approve Johnson & Johnson's vaccine in "the next couple of weeks," but added any decision is contingent on the information presented by the company. As it stands now, the Public Health Agency of Canada is currently only expecting delivery of about 445,000 vaccine doses this week, which is about 200,000 less than last week’s record high of 640,000 doses in a seven-day period. The confirmed doses are all coming from Pfizer-BioNTech, as the two companies settle into a rhythm following a month-long delivery lull in January and much of February due to production upgrades in Europe. The pharmaceutical giants have pledged to deliver 4 million doses by the end of March. Canada received 168,000 doses of Moderna’s vaccine last week, but the company only delivers every three weeks. Clinical trials showed the AstraZeneca vaccine to be less effective at preventing infection than the other two, but it is still keeping people from getting very sick or dying, Sharma said Friday. Pfizer and Moderna both reported their products were 95 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in immunized patients compared to those who received a placebo. Efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine is believed to be around 62 per cent. It’s not entirely clear yet how provinces and territories will incorporate the AstraZeneca vaccine into their inoculation efforts, but the product offers a more flexible option since shots can be shipped and stored in refrigerators rather than freezers. AstraZeneca vaccines are to be given in two doses between four and 12 weeks apart. Sharma said there is some indication that waiting longer for a follow-up jab leads to a better response, but that data is not yet complete. There have been some concerns raised about the AstraZeneca vaccine in recent weeks, including its effectiveness against virus variants of concern and whether there is enough data to show it works on older recipients. Several European countries, including Germany and France, limited AstraZeneca's vaccine to residents under the age of 65. Sharma said there were a limited number of people over 65 involved in the clinical trials, but that data, coupled with the real-world experience in the United Kingdom, shows strong evidence seniors are protected. Canada’s vaccine program is ramping up after the lengthy slowdown in deliveries. More than 300,000 people were vaccinated in the last week, almost one-fifth of the total doses injected since the first immunizations began Dec. 14. About 700,000 people had received one dose as of Friday afternoon, and more than 500,000 are now fully vaccinated with two doses. Quebec is set to expand its vaccination effort to the general public on Monday by allowing seniors 85 or older to begin booking appointments. The age threshold has been lowered to 80 for seniors in the Montreal area. The AstraZeneca vaccine works differently than the other two already in use in Canada. Both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna use messenger RNA technology, using RNA encoded with the piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus known as the spike protein. The mRNA trains the body to fight off a COVID-19 infection. AstraZeneca is a viral vector vaccine, which takes a cold virus, modifies it so it can’t reproduce itself, and adds the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. When injected, it too provokes the body to develop infection-fighting antibodies and cells to combat the virus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Monday Mar. 1, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 46,624 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,882,952 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 4,968.306 per 100,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,441,670 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 77.12 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 zero 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 1,485 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 12,176 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 76.758 per 1,000. There were zero 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 82.75 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 6,987 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 32,019 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 32.81 per 1,000. There were zero 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 51.66 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 5,135 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 26,317 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 33.738 per 1,000. There were zero 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 56.26 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 13,856 new vaccinations administered for a total of 432,255 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 50.517 per 1,000. There were zero 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 80.37 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 19,167 new vaccinations administered for a total of 687,271 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 46.788 per 1,000. There were zero 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 76.09 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 1,894 new vaccinations administered for a total of 75,448 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 54.791 per 1,000. There were zero 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 69.56 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 2,725 new vaccinations administered for a total of 78,226 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 66.341 per 1,000. There were zero 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 104.9 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 8,982 new vaccinations administered for a total of 227,678 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 51.721 per 1,000. There were zero 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 82.8 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 252,373 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 49.18 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 323,340 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 78.05 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 15,174 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 363.615 per 1,000. There were zero 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 80.29 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 16,454 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 364.68 per 1,000. There were zero 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 86.15 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 7,276 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 187.884 per 1,000. There were zero 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 30.44 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 Mar. 1, 2021. The Canadian Press