Year in review: A look at news events in April 2021

·9 min read

A look at news events in April 2021:

1 - More than five million Canadians had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose -- or almost one in six. About 690,000 of those had received both doses. Deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo said 384 serious reactions to vaccine shots had been reported.

2 - Air Canada and Transat came to a mutual agreement to terminate their planned merger. The companies announced the demise of the $190-million deal initiated more than two years ago and amended due to COVID-19's impact on the transportation sector. It came after Air Canada and the tour company that operates Air Transat were advised by the European Commission that it would not approve the transaction.

2 - Johnson & Johnson said it was expanding its clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine to children between the ages of 12 and 17. In a statement, the company said it would begin testing 16- and 17-year-olds in the United Kingdom and Spain, later adding teenagers in that age group in Canada, the United States and the Netherlands.

3 - Britain's medicines regulator said it had identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events associated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency said those 30 cases related to a period when more than 18 million doses of the vaccine had been administered.

3 - Canada reached more than one million cases of COVID-19. The national tally topped the grim threshold when British Columbia reported 2,090 new infections. Canada had been recording about 100,000 new cases every three to four weeks, surging past the 900,000 mark on March 13.

5 - Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein appealed his rape conviction. Weinstein said he was made a "media villain'' and put on trial in a "highly volatile and prejudicial atmosphere'' that failed to safeguard his right to a fair trial.

8 - Newly elected Premier Andrew Furey was sworn into office in a small, socially distanced ceremony in St. John's. Furey promised bold decisions to tackle Newfoundland and Labrador's towering financial troubles, which include $16.4 billion in net debt.

8 - Alberta's top doctor said the three more contagious variants of COVID-19 in the province had become the dominant strains. Dr. Deena Hinshaw said those who tested positive could assume they were infected with the one first reported in the United Kingdom. The province also had infections linked to the variant first detected in South Africa and the strain first identified in Brazil.

9 - Officials with Buckingham Palace announced the death of the Queen's 99-year-old husband -- Prince Philip. The royal couple were married in 1947, and Philip was the longest-serving consort in British history. Struggling with failing health, he retired from public engagements in 2017.

9 - Rapper DMX died in a hospital in White Plains, N.Y. -- a week after he suffered catastrophic cardiac arrest. The Grammy nominee was 50 years old. DMX made his mark as one of hip-hop's most recognizable names, and as an actor.

10 - Prince Charles spoke publicly for the first time since his father died. He said the Royal Family was grateful for the outpouring of support they received following the death of his father, Prince Philip. He said his "dear papa'' would have been amazed at the touching things people were saying about him.

11 - "Nomadland'' won four prizes, including best picture, at the British Academy Film Awards. The film's director, Chloé Zhao, became only the second woman to win the best director trophy. Star Frances McDormand was named best actress.

12 - Princes William and Harry issued separate statements paying tribute to their grandfather, Prince Philip. William said his grandfather was an ''extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation.'' Prince Harry described Philip as a man who was ''authentically himself'' and ''cheeky right till the end.''

12 - Ottawa reached a deal with Air Canada to give the airline access to as much as $5.9 billion in loans and equity financing. Under the agreement, which took months to negotiate, Air Canada had to refund passengers whose flights were cancelled due to COVID-19, cap executive compensation at $1 million and restore service to regional airports.

13 - Canada recorded its first case of blood clots in someone who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Unlike the doses linked to reports of blood clots in Europeans, the vaccine in the Canadian case was produced at the Serum Institute of India.

14 - Liberal MP William Amos issued a mea culpa after being caught on camera in his birthday suit during a virtual House of Commons session. Amos, who had represented the Quebec riding of Pontiac since 2015, said his video was accidentally turned on while changing from his jogging clothes into his work clothes.

15 - Health officials in Nunavut confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Iqaluit, the territory's largest community.

15 - Europe surpassed one million deaths from COVID-19.

15 - Canada's three biggest wireless network operators were dealt a blow by the Canadian telecommunications regulator. The CRTC said regional networks that meet certain standards will be able to operate as "mobile virtual network operators'' or MVNOs -- in areas where competition is limited. That means they pay wholesale for access to the major networks while maintaining a distinct customer base.

17 - The global COVID-19 death toll reached more than three million -- about equal to the population of Kyiv, Ukraine, or Lisbon, Portugal. But the true number was believed to be significantly higher because of possible government concealment and the many cases overlooked in the early stages of the outbreak.

17 - Prince Philip was interred in the Royal Vault at St. George's Chapel following a service that honoured his lifetime of service to the United Kingdom, the Crown and his wife of 73 years. But it will likely not be his final resting place. After the Queen's death, she and Philip are expected to be buried in the Royal Burial Ground on the Frogmore Estate close to Windsor Castle.

17 - An Alberta man in his 60s who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was Canada's second case of the blood clot disorder.

20 - Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. The jury deliberated about 10 hours over two days in a city on edge against another outbreak of unrest. At the Minneapolis intersection that has been dubbed George Floyd Square, about 100 people gathered around a large painting of Floyd.

20 - One in four Canadians had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The data came from provincial and territorial governments, who said more than 9.5 million Canadians had received their first dose.

20 - A third Canadian developed blood clots after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health said the patient in their 30s received the vaccine in mid-March, before its use was limited to people over the age of 55 due to a slightly elevated risk of the extremely rare blood clot disorder.

21 - There was celebration in the streets across the U.S. in the wake of the conviction of a white former Minneapolis police officer in the murder of George Floyd. Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges against him in the death of the Black man last May, which was caught on video and viewed by millions around the world.

22 - Ontario Premier Doug Ford admitted his government got it wrong when it gave police power to stop and question people for being out of their homes during the pandemic. Many police forces refused to enforce such a measure, and it was eventually scrapped.

23 - Canada's advisory body on vaccines said the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine could be given to people 30 years of age or older. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization said the vaccine is safe, despite rare cases of blood clots linked to its use.

23 - Ontario reported its first case of a rare blood clot in a person who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The province said it was the fourth case of the rare clotting condition in Canada, out of more than 1.1 million AstraZeneca doses given across the country.

23 - Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie, got their first shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at a pharmacy in Ottawa.

24 - Ontario reported a second case of a rare blood clotting condition stemming from the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, chief medical officer of health for Hamilton, said a man in his 60s was diagnosed after his first dose of the vaccine.

24 - Federal Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole joined the ranks of the partially vaccinated. He and his wife, Rebecca, received their first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot from a masked and shielded health-care worker while sitting in their car.

25 - Chloé Zhao made history at the Academy Awards. Zhao won the Oscar for best director for ''Nomadland,'' becoming just the second woman and the first woman of colour to win the award.

26 - A Quebec woman pleaded not guilty to added charges related to allegations she mailed a letter containing ricin to former U.S. president Donald Trump. U.S. federal prosecutors allege Pascale Ferrier sent a note saying that if the poison didn't work, the writer would use their gun. Ferrier faced new charges of sending threats through the mail and violating biological weapons prohibitions.

26 - The minority Liberal government survived the last of three confidence votes on the budget. The House of Commons approved the government's general budgetary policy. The vote was 178-157. Liberals were joined by New Democrat MPs in voting in favour. Conservative, Bloc Québécois and Green MPs voted against.

27 - A Quebec woman in her 50s died of a blood clot that occurred after she received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

29 - A late night for the House of Commons ended with MPs approving legislation to put an end to a strike that had shut down one of Canada's busiest ports for days. Conservatives joined forces with the minority Liberal government early in the morning to pass Bill C-29 by a vote of 255-61.

The Canadian Press

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