OTTAWA — Canada's chief public health officer says new information on COVID-19 and variants prompted the National Advisory Committee on Immunization to suddenly cancel its planned announcement on who should get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The panel, known as NACI for short, is made up of vaccine experts who volunteer their time to make non-binding advice on how vaccines should be used in Canada. NACI was minutes away Tuesday afternoon from providing an update to its advice that AstraZeneca shouldn't be given to people under the age of 55 but the planned briefing was called off. Dr. Theresa Tam says it had nothing to do with the risk the vaccine may pose from rare blood clots, but the panel felt the new data on the virus and its variants of concern had to be taken into account. It is not known when NACI will now deliver that update, but at least five provinces didn't wait for the panel's advice before lowering the age cutoff for the AstraZeneca vaccine. British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario are all now giving it to people as young as 40 and in Quebec as young as 45. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 21, 2020. The Canadian Press
IQALUIT, Nunavut — The Nunavut RCMP has released new, but limited details into the death of a 31-year-old man who was shot by an officer in the hamlet of Clyde River last spring. Mounties said two officers responded to a domestic disturbance at the home of Abraham Natanine the night of May 5. They said the situation escalated and Natanine retrieved a weapon, but the RCMP has not released what the weapon was. Police said the interaction evolved and resulted in an officer discharging his firearm at Natanine, who was rushed to the health centre and pronounced dead. The Ottawa Police Service earlier this month issued a statement on its independent investigation into the shooting, which found the officers involved not criminally responsible for Natanine's death. The Ottawa police have a memorandum of understanding with Nunavut RCMP to investigate serious actions involving police to determine whether charges should be laid. The reports are not made public. Qajaq Robinson, a lawyer working with Natanine's family, said she found out about the investigation's conclusion through the media. She noted there was little information in the news release issued by the Ottawa Police Service about the review of Natanine's death. "This isn't serving people and it's also not serving justice," she said. "There's such a challenge in terms of getting information, that this does nothing to enhance confidence in the RCMP, in policing or in institutions of oversight." Natanine's spouse, the mother of his two children, also learned about the investigation's findings through the news. "People, victims, family, relatives, close people to those shot and killed are finding out through the news, even when they have legal counsel supporting them and known to these institutions," Robinson said. "This system is broken and it is not serving Nunavummiut." In a statement, Ottawa police Supt. Chris Renwick said the practice in death investigations is to identify a single family liaison who can pass information from investigators to family members. In Natanine's case, a liaison was established who communicated directly with the lead investigator and was told about the conclusion one day before the news release went out, Renwick said. "The Ottawa Police Service has since learned that, regrettably, not all members of the immediate family of Mr. Abraham Natanine were made aware of the conclusion and findings prior to our release issuance and related media reporting," Renwick said. Since Jan. 1, 2020, there have been six serious encounters involving police in Nunavut, including the shooting deaths of Natanine and Attachie Ashoona in the hamlet of Kinngait. Earlier this year, the Ottawa police also cleared the officer who shot and killed Ashoona as well as the officer who knocked down a Kinngait man with a truck door during an arrest. Nunavut RCMP said they won't comment further on the Natinine shooting because they anticipate there may be other reviews. In December, Nunavut's justice minister introduced a bill that would open the door for civilian oversight of RCMP in Nunavut. The bill, as it stands, still leaves the option open for police forces to conduct third-party investigations. The bill has passed second reading and is being reviewed by Nunavut's standing committee on legislation. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2021. ___ This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship Emma Tranter, The Canadian Press
A House of Commons committee heard startling testimony about rape and retribution from different witnesses today as it continued its examination of sexual misconduct in the military. The status of women committee heard both from complainants and from former senior military officer Bernie Boland — who alleges he stood up against the harassment of a female colleague and faced a deliberate, Department of National Defence-backed smear campaign as a result. Aviator Emily Tulloch, an air force technician, told MPs her military career has been one horrifying event after another. "I joined the Canadian Armed Forces in July 2018, and since then, I feel like I have experienced a lifetime worth of sexual assault and misconduct," she said. "I am here today to tell you that I was raped only one month into my basic training at St. Jean (Que.). One month. I was also sexually assaulted during my training at Borden (Ont.). And I have been groped and kissed unwillingly at group parties and mess events. These degrading behaviours are more common than you think." 'Treated like a criminal' Tulloch said her encounters with the military justice system have been "quite negative." She said she was interviewed three times by military police after reporting misconduct. Two of those interviews, she said, were "dreadful" experiences. "It felt more like an interrogation," she said. "During these interviews I felt investigators were not treating me like a human being, but as just another case file to them. There was no empathy and humanity, and it was so frustrating that during the second interview I left early because I felt like I wasn't being heard, and that I was being treated like a criminal." Tulloch said military police training related to sexual assault survivors must be improved. Dawn McIlmoyle, a former member of the military whose report of being raped by a colleague made national headlines in the late 1990s, told MPs she faced discipline herself over the incident involving her attacker — and was at one point made to stand alongside him during disciplinary proceedings. The system, she said, left her feeling abandoned, broken and at fault. "When I left the military, I had no self-respect, no self worth and no self value," McIImoyle said. Lt. (N) Heather Macdonald told MPs people who report sexual misconduct in the military face long odds.(CBC News/House Of Commons ) Lt. (N) Heather Macdonald, a naval combat systems engineer, told MPs that getting justice for a sexual assault in the military is even harder than it is in the civilian justice system. "Getting justice for incidents of sexual assault is generally very difficult for the average female in our Canadian society," said Macdonald, whose allegation is at the centre of a sexual misconduct investigation involving Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Art McDonald. "It becomes more difficult when you are trying to get justice through the military, under the National Defence Act (NDA) where there are more options to plead down to an NDA offence, which carries little consequences for the perpetrator. "And it becomes more difficult if you are in the navy and the incident happens on a navy ship at sea or in a foreign port." When Canadian warships are abroad, Macdonald said, there are no military police officers who serve on those ships. When an incident happens, investigations are often carried out by the ship's coxswain and section chiefs, who conduct disciplinary inquiries. "This greatly reduces the chances that admissible evidence will be gathered and preserved," she said. The committee steered clear of the specifics of the assaults involving all three women; chair Marilyn Gladu noted that some of the cases "remain under investigation by military police." Former officer says he was targeted for payback Testifying before a parliamentary committee does grant military witnesses a certain freedom to speak in public they might not otherwise enjoy. Boland, a retired lieutenant-colonel, told MPs that while he worked at DND headquarters in Ottawa, he was singled out for retribution after reporting the harassment of a junior female colleague by a senior engineering manager. Bernie Boland, a retired lieutenant-colonel, tells a House of Commons committee he was singled out for retribution in DND after going to bat for a colleague who reported sexual misconduct.(CBC News/House of Commons) Boland alleged his female colleague filed a human rights complaint and DND, in its response, blamed him for the harassment. "I reported it. He was promoted. We faced reprisal and retaliation," Boland told the four-party committee. "DND, in a formal departmental submission to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, secretly made me the scapegoat for the misconduct. I was made aware of these surreptitious actions by the woman who was harassed. DND secretly making me the scapegoat was reprehensible and I vehemently protested." In a formal complaint filed last January, Boland wrote to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and singled out the department's deputy minister for allowing the submission to go to the human rights commission. He said his colleague's complaint was "summarily dismissed" by the department, despite Sajjan's public claim that all allegations will be thoroughly investigated, no matter the rank or position of the individuals involved. Boland filed a series of documents with the committee to support his allegations. "There is a cultural problem in defence," he said, "but there is institutional reluctance to distinguish between the proximate and the ultimate cause of this problem. "From my perspective, the ultimate cause is the failure and breakdown of leadership to act in an ethical, morally-appropriate, determined and deliberate manner to arrest and eliminate misconduct." Macdonald offered a similar warning, telling MPs that the future of the Canadian military is at stake. "I worry that if nothing comes from this issue, which has so much heat and light, that we will lose hope," she said. "People in uniform will lose hope that any other issue can be fixed, and that could trigger more people leaving uniform than what our organization can handle."
An influential Canadian doctor and top adviser to the World Health Organization has come under fire from international experts for his controversial comments downplaying the risk of airborne spread of the coronavirus. Dr. John Conly, an infectious diseases physician and professor of medicine at the University of Calgary, not only denied that aerosol transmission is a primary route of transmission, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, but also said that N95 masks can cause "harms" — including acne. "Any time you look at benefits, you need to look at harms, of which there are many harms with N95s — and I think to ignore them you are at your peril," Conly told a panel discussion at the University of Calgary on April 9 on the role of airborne transmission in the COVID-19 pandemic. "There is acne, also issues with eczema, conjunctivitis, CO2 retention; there has been decreased O2 concentrations in pregnant women — many side-effects to this." His comments on oxygen and carbon dioxide have been largely discredited, with a 2014 study in the American Journal of Infection Control showing no significant differences in levels between pregnant and non-pregnant women wearing N95 masks. The WHO's position is there's a possibility that aerosol transmission can lead to outbreaks of COVID-19 in certain situations. A change in stance from the WHO on aerosol transmission as the main driver would have huge implications on the need for increased air ventilation and better personal protective equipment for health-care workers and essential workers around the world. Conly is one of Canada's most experienced infectious diseases experts who was once head of the department of medicine at the University of Calgary and the medical director for infection prevention at Alberta Health Services. He also holds considerable global influence in the pandemic as the chair of the WHO's Infection Prevention and Control Research and Development Expert Group for COVID-19, which makes key decisions on the research that informs the WHO's recommendations. "We absolutely know there are situational airborne settings," he added during the panel discussion. "But to be able to say that it is the only and predominant means, I think we need better scientific evidence." Conley carries 'a lot of weight' with WHO The WHO has been criticized in the past for its reluctance to acknowledge aerosol transmission — or microscopic airborne particles — as a primary driver of the pandemic, and experts say Conly is at the heart of the issue within the organization. "Frankly, I think he just can't admit he's wrong," said Linsey Marr, one of the top aerosol scientists in the world and an expert on the airborne transmission of viruses at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. "He does carry a lot of weight with WHO, and unfortunately I think his thinking is still stuck in what we knew 20 or 30 years ago and hasn't updated with what we've learned since then — and especially what we've learned over the past year." WATCH | Scientists suggest coronavirus is airborne, ask WHO to change recommendations: Global acknowledgement of airborne spread The United Nations agency also came under fire in July after 239 scientists from 32 countries wrote an open letter calling on it to update its messaging on the risk of airborne transmission of the coronavirus. The WHO amended its guidelines days after the letter and acknowledged the possibility that aerosols can lead to outbreaks of COVID-19 in places such as choir practices, restaurants and fitness classes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines in early October to include that COVID-19 can sometimes be spread by airborne transmission, after mistakenly posting and later removing a draft version of guidelines in late September. The CDC also updated its guidelines to say the risk of COVID-19 infection from surfaces is now officially considered low — meaning disinfecting groceries, wiping down packages and cordoning off playgrounds are likely unnecessary. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) then quietly updated its guidance without notice in November, weeks after other countries and international health organizations, making mention of the risk of aerosol transmission for the first time. PHAC went another step further and released further recommendations for Canadians on April 12 aimed at reducing the spread of aerosol transmission of COVID-19 and the need for adequate ventilation and air filtration to reduce the number of virus particles in the air. An update to Public Health Agency of Canada guidelines on the risk of aerosol transmission came after Dr. Theresa Tam, the country's chief public health officer, recommended the use of three-layer non-medical masks in November to prevent the spread of COVID-19.(Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press) Science 'very strong' in favour of aerosol transmission "The science is very strong to support aerosol transmission," said infectious diseases specialist and medical microbiologist Dr. Raymond Tellier, who is also an associate medical professor at McGill University in Montreal. "We keep having example after example, and the objections are becoming increasingly unconvincing." After the University of Calgary panel discussion, CBC News spoke to Conly, who said he was just one voice among many at the WHO. He stressed that the way the virus transmits is "very complex" and that the "majority" of transmission occurs through "close contact." WATCH | Should Canadians be wearing N95-style masks?: "Social distancing, or physical distancing as some call it, and hygiene, cleaning and disinfection of surfaces. That's where our focus should be," he said. "The science about how it's transmitted and where it goes, it will get itself sorted out." Conly was an author of a recent preprint study funded by the WHO that refuted the notion of aerosols as a primary mode of spread for the virus because "the lack of recoverable viral culture samples" from the air "prevents firm conclusions on airborne transmission." But in response to that study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, a group of researchers — including Canadian epidemiologist Dr. David Fisman — published a comment in The Lancet that called into question its conclusion. The researchers present 10 reasons why they conclude the virus that causes COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through the air, including superspreading events, long-range infections, the higher risk of indoor transmission and the fact that virus particles have been detected in the air. The paper concludes that casting doubt on airborne transmission of the virus amounts to "scientific error" and that there is "consistent, strong evidence" that it spreads via aerosols, which are "likely to be dominant" over droplet and surface transmission. "If you don't include airborne, how are we in the middle of the global pandemic?" said Kimberly Prather, an atmospheric chemist and aerosol scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, Calif. WATCH | Being outdoors reduces, doesn't eliminate, COVID-19 risk, experts say: "How do you explain outdoor versus indoor? How do you explain superspreader events? How do you explain everyone that shares the room and never touches each other or gets close to each other gets infected? I mean, you can't." Prather, who went head-to-head with Conly at the University of Calgary panel earlier this month in favour of airborne transmission, was one of the co-authors of The Lancet comment that argued against his preprint article and a signatory of the letter to the WHO in July. "The evidence just keeps coming in every day ... there has not been a single paper that has pointed out why it isn't aerosols," she said. "The fact that the [WHO] is not just shouting that from the mountaintops to save lives is, quite frankly, disappointing." Kimberly Prather, an atmospheric chemist and aerosol scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, says the evidence on aerosol transmission continues to grow and that Conly's reluctance to acknowledge it, combined with his influence at the WHO, has implications for global public health guidelines.(Ben Nelms/CBC) A recent study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that a singer at a church in Australia in July was able to infect several others from a distance of more than 15 metres indoors, while a second CDC study found an infection occurred in a New Zealand quarantine hotel in September after an exposure time of less than a minute in an open doorway. And a recent outbreak at a gym in Quebec City where physical distancing and mask use were not enforced has been linked to more than 500 COVID-19 cases and become one of the largest recorded superspreading events in Canada. Prather said Conly's reluctance to acknowledge aerosol transmission as a main driver of the pandemic, combined with his influence at the WHO, has implications for global public health guidelines — such as for hospitals or schools. "He has tremendous power," she said. "What else is it going to take? Because just the amount of evidence in this short of a time period is incredible."
Travellers coming to Canada from the U.S. are avoiding hotel quarantine by taking flights close to the border, then walking or driving into Canada. Some snowbirds say there should be different rules for people who spend months at a time in the U.S. and are fully vaccinated.
COQUITLAM, B.C. — Homicide detectives say a 20-year-old man was shot to death Monday evening in Coquitlam, B.C. Sgt. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says Bailey McKinney was targeted as he visited the busy Town Centre skate park at about 6:30 p.m. Investigators want to speak to the roughly 50 people who were in the park at the time of the homicide in an effort to determine what McKinney was doing there. Jang says there is no indication the homicide is linked to a fatal shooting in Vancouver on Saturday or to Metro Vancouver's ongoing gang conflict. Jang says police had previous interactions with McKinney related to drug offences, but that it's too early to tell if the killing is drug-related. No arrests have been made and Jang is urging anyone with information to share details with the homicide team. Information was still being checked, but McKinney might have had an ongoing disagreement that led to his death, Jang said. "We believe he had conflict with certain individuals and we believe that these certain individuals may be responsible for his murder," Jang said Tuesday in Coquitlam. "It leads us to believe this was targeted. It certainly wasn't random." A team of officers was canvassing the Town Centre area looking for witnesses and dash cam or surveillance video that could help identify a suspect, Jang said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2021. The Canadian Press
MOSCOW — Russia insisted Tuesday that it has the right to restrict foreign naval ships' movement off Crimea, rejecting international criticism amid Western worries about a Russian troops buildup near Ukraine. Ukraine last week protested the Russian move to close broad areas of the Black Sea near Crimea to foreign navy ships and state vessels until November. The U.S. also aired its concern Monday, with State Department spokesman Ned Price saying “this represents yet another unprovoked escalation in Moscow’s ongoing campaign to undermine and destabilize Ukraine.” Price noted that the move "is particularly troubling amid credible reports of Russian troop buildup in occupied Crimea and around Ukraine’s borders." The European Union also voiced concern about the troop buildup and the navigation restrictions. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov charged that the restrictions on foreign naval ships were in line with international agreements, arguing that it’s common practice to limit areas where military drills are held. He emphasized in remarks carried by Russian news agencies that the restrictions wouldn’t interfere with commercial shipping. In a separate move, Russia on Tuesday also announced restrictions on flights near Crimea for five days starting Tuesday. The Russian military is holding massive Black Sea manoeuvrs this week, involving more than 20 warships and dozens of aircraft. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov argued that such airspace closures are common international practice. Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 after the country's former Russia-friendly president was driven from power by protests. Moscow then threw its weight behind separatists in eastern Ukraine, and the conflict there has killed more than 14,000 people in seven years. Tensions have risen in recent weeks with increasing violations of a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine and a massive Russian troop buildup along the Ukrainian border. Moscow has rejected Ukraine and Western concerns, arguing that it's free to deploy its forces and charging that they don't threaten anyone. But at the same time, Moscow sternly warned Ukrainian authorities against trying to use force to retake control of the rebel east, noting recent statements by Ukrainian military officers who held the door open for an offensive. The Kremlin said that Russia could be forced to intervene to protect civilians in the region. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Tuesday accused Ukraine of trying to destabilize the situation in eastern Ukraine and lashed out at the U.S. and NATO for what he described as “provocative actions” in the Black Sea area. The U.S. and its NATO allies have regularly sent navy ships to the Black Sea and the U.S. flew strategic bombers over Ukraine, vexing Moscow. However, the U.S. reversed a planned deployment of two destroyers in the Black Sea earlier this month amid the heightening tensions. The Russian military has conducted a series of drills in southwestern Russia, in Crimea and other areas. On Tuesday, a pair of Tu-160 nuclear-capable strategic bombers flew over the Baltic Sea for eight hours, and the Northern Fleet conducted massive manoeuvrs in the Arctic, the Defence Ministry said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who had previously said that Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin was refusing to take his calls, on Tuesday offered the Russian leader to meet in eastern Ukraine to defuse tensions. "Ukraine would never start a war, but would always stand until the end," he said in a video address. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba insisted Tuesday that Kyiv wasn't planning any offensive in the east. “No, Ukraine is not planning any offensive, military escalation or provocations," he said at a news conference, adding that "we are making every effort for a diplomatic and peaceful resolution of the conflict.” Kuleba charged that the Russian buildup across the border is continuing and is “expected to reach a combined force of over 120,000 troops” in about a week and urged the West to beef up sanctions against Moscow by targeting entire sectors of the Russian economy. On Monday, the EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, told reporters that there are "more than 150,000 Russian troops massing on the Ukrainian borders and in Crimea,” and doubled down on the figure later before his services had to correct it in the transcript, saying the real figure was over 100,000. Recent satellite images showed hundreds of Russian military vehicles stationed at multiple bases, firing ranges and field camps along the border with Ukraine and dozens of warplanes parked at air bases in southwestern Russia and Crimea. ___ Associated Press writer Yuras Karmanau in Kyiv, Ukraine, contributed to this report. Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press
When Delio Delgado turns 51 on Wednesday, he'll be inside a Hamilton hospital battling COVID-19. "I was hoping that tomorrow would be a happier day," he said. But his birthday almost didn't come. Since mid-March, he's been fighting a virus that nearly killed him. And while he's on a long road to recovery now, when Delgado leaves the hospital, he'll have another uphill battle — the Dominican-born Hamiltonian is months behind on rent and car payments. "I'm not doing very well," Delgado said about his finances from his hospital bed during an interview on Tuesday morning. "I had to stop the lease of the car, I had to stop insuring the car ... I'm an industrial and residential painter ... my car gets me my income." Delio Delgado lives in a hotspot in Hamilton and wishes vaccines could have come sooner. Now, he's in the hospital with COVID-19 and will return home in debt.(Submitted by Delio Delgado ) And Delgado said his driver's license was suspended because he was unable to do a required physical exam, which he worries will jack up his insurance when he's ready to drive. But Delgado said he is thankful to be breathing, even if it doesn't come easy. From home to induced coma in a matter of days Delgado said he worked at Hamilton General Hospital as a painter during most of the pandemic, which allowed him to learn a lot about the virus and staying safe. He eventually stopped working there and was on unemployment insurance before his life changed in March. Delgado isn't sure how he got the virus, but he lives in one of Hamilton's hot spot neighbourhoods. His area, with the L8N postal code, was recently given vaccine priority. WATCH: Hamilton man describes emotional moments in ICU with COVID On March 13, after feeling a few symptoms he thought could be COVID-19, Delgado said he had uncontrollable diarrhea. That's when he said he decided to go to the emergency room at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. Delgado said he was immediately given oxygen and put into the intensive care unit (ICU). "I got into ICU and it was like a hurricane, I got like four or five nurses around me and everyone is doing a different task, and I remember, 'What is his oxygen level? What is his oxygen level? He's not doing very well,' that's what I'm hearing," Delgado recalls. "I spent three or four days like that." Staff at Hamilton Health Sciences don personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.(Hamilton Health Sciences) While he was in the ICU, Delgado said he had a quiet moment with his doctor. "My doctor at the time, she stopped at the door of the ICU, it was all glass, she can see through ... I was just passing out almost and I put my hand on my heart and I tapped it like ... 'I appreciate what you're doing, saving my life,'" Delgado said, tearing up. "The beautiful thing, that gave me a smile on my heart, was she [pulled down] her mask and gave me a smile and she also tapped her heart back." Shortly after, Delgado entered an induced coma. He's unsure when he woke up, but Degaldo said he was on a ventilator and a liquid diet. Then he said doctors told him he'd be leaving the ICU and beginning his road to recovery. Delgado said his cousin came to visit him that day and said they heard on March 27 he only had half an hour to live. "Miraculously, I got out of the dark days," he said. Province should've rolled out vaccines sooner, Delgado says Now he's thinking about leaving the hospital — but he'll have to deal with those missed payments, which he said are roughly $1,250 a month. In Delgado's case, a group of friends and local artists started a fundraiser to help him avoid being overwhelmed with debt when he leaves. Ingrid Mayrhofer, one of his friends who started the GoFundMe page, said it's been four days and they've raised nearly $4,000 of their $5,000 goal. "He's the first person I actually know who was infected ... it's definitely hit home," she said. "I'm really grateful for how the arts community has come together in support of Delio." WATCH: Ford blames lack of vaccines for COVID-19 crisis, should he? Delgado said the Ford government needs to do more to help COVID-19 survivors avoid financial hardship. "I don't know what the measures could've been because everybody's situation is different ... I don't think they're doing the best job with this pandemic either," he said. One thing he wishes happened sooner was lowering the age limits for people to get doses of vaccines like AstraZeneca and reaching hot spot communities sooner. "We know this pandemic is affecting more marginalized and people of colour than any other demographic," he said Tuesday. "Everything should've happened sooner." Family, painting and religion fuel for recovery Delgado said he became religious because of his time in the ICU. After he's back home, Delgado said he wants to spend time with his mother, who plans on coming from the Dominican Republic. He also said he's excited to see his American bulldog, Useey, his 10-year-old son, Samuel, and start painting again. "That's my fuel," Delgado said.
SATARA, India, (Reuters) -At least 24 COVID-19 patients in western India died on Wednesday when the oxygen supply to their ventilators ran out, amid a nationwide shortage of the gas and a surge in infections. Maharashtra State Health Minister Rajesh Tope confirmed the deaths at a hospital in Nashik city and said the hospital's oxygen supply ran out because a tanker refilling it suffered a leak. Hospitals in Delhi, the capital, and elsewhere have warned that their supplies of medical oxygen given to severely ill COVID-19 patients are running low.
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. There are 1,139,043 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 1,139,043 confirmed cases (87,872 active, 1,027,458 resolved, 23,713 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 7,276 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 231.21 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 60,487 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 8,641. There were 46 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 321 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 46. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 62.39 per 100,000 people. There have been 30,168,562 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,048 confirmed cases (31 active, 1,011 resolved, six deaths). There were two new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 5.94 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 17 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 235,541 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 174 confirmed cases (13 active, 161 resolved, zero deaths). There was one new case Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 8.14 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been nine new cases. 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 zero per 100,000 people. There have been 135,297 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,831 confirmed cases (68 active, 1,696 resolved, 67 deaths). There were nine new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 6.94 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 50 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is seven. There were zero new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there has been one new reported death. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.01 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 6.84 per 100,000 people. There have been 468,265 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,797 confirmed cases (140 active, 1,624 resolved, 33 deaths). There were zero new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 17.91 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 61 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is nine. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 4.22 per 100,000 people. There have been 285,774 tests completed. _ Quebec: 339,180 confirmed cases (12,363 active, 315,984 resolved, 10,833 deaths). There were 1,136 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 144.18 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 9,708 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,387. There were 17 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 77 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 126.34 per 100,000 people. There have been 7,878,652 tests completed. _ Ontario: 424,911 confirmed cases (42,941 active, 374,213 resolved, 7,757 deaths). There were 3,469 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 291.44 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 30,232 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 4,319. There were 22 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 175 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 25. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.17 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 52.65 per 100,000 people. There have been 13,424,896 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 36,470 confirmed cases (1,783 active, 33,727 resolved, 960 deaths). There were 211 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 129.27 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,017 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 145. There was one new reported death Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of nine new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is one. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 69.6 per 100,000 people. There have been 635,043 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 38,651 confirmed cases (2,640 active, 35,546 resolved, 465 deaths). There were 249 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 223.98 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,759 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 251. There were zero new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of eight new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is one. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.1 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 39.45 per 100,000 people. There have been 729,935 tests completed. _ Alberta: 173,531 confirmed cases (18,481 active, 153,002 resolved, 2,048 deaths). There were 1,345 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 417.94 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 10,412 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,487. There were five new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 27 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 46.32 per 100,000 people. There have been 3,957,488 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 120,889 confirmed cases (9,377 active, 109,973 resolved, 1,539 deaths). There were 849 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 182.16 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 7,187 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,027. There was one new reported death Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 24 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is three. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.07 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 29.9 per 100,000 people. There have been 2,381,346 tests completed. _ Yukon: 77 confirmed cases (two active, 74 resolved, one death). There were zero new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 4.76 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of two 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 8,822 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 43 confirmed cases (zero active, 43 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero 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 zero per 100,000 people. There have been 17,005 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 428 confirmed cases (33 active, 391 resolved, four deaths). There were five new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 83.86 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 33 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is five. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 10.16 per 100,000 people. There have been 10,422 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published April 20, 2021. The Canadian Press
Developers looking to build along the Grand River need to go through the Haudenosaunee first. That was the message delivered outside the Onondaga longhouse on Six Nations Tuesday morning by Deyohowe:to, a Cayuga hereditary chief from the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council. The Confederacy announced a moratorium on all development within the Haldimand Tract, an area of more than 950,000 acres that runs 10 kilometres along both sides of the Grand from its source north of Fergus to Lake Erie. “No development can proceed along the Haldimand Tract without the consent of the Haudenosaunee,” Deyohowe:to said. “So anybody developing or in the process of it, you need to stop what you’re doing.” The tract includes more than three dozen municipalities, among them Brantford, Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge. The Grand flows through Haldimand County, where for over nine months Six Nations land defenders have occupied the site of a planned subdivision in Caledonia, claiming the land — which they call 1492 Land Back Lane — as unceded Haudenosaunee territory. Deyohowe:to said prospective developers need to enter into talks with the Confederacy through its development arm, the Haudenosaunee Development Institute. But he did not offer many details about how those negotiations would ideally proceed, or how the moratorium would or could be enforced. “We have a body that’s going to be looking after that,” the chief said. The Confederacy did not shut the door on future development, but made it clear a change in approach is needed. “We are not interested in selling land. There’s portions of land that we have leased out that can still be negotiated,” Deyohowe:to said. “The developers need to stop digging in our lands and to come forward now and do the process.” Skyler Williams, spokesperson for 1492 Land Back Lane, suggested land defenders are prepared to occupy other sites should development proceed without consultation. “There’s 27,000 people at Six Nations, and there’s many more that are anxious and willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that our land rights are upheld,” he said. “I think what we’ve shown is how committed we are as a people to take every action necessary to protect our lands and waters.” The moratorium comes 15 years to the day after land defenders repelled a large-scale police effort to evict them from the former Douglas Creek Estates subdivision in Caledonia. The province eventually bought that land from the developers, and it remains under Six Nations control. The Confederacy is the traditional leadership on Six Nations, guided by hereditary chiefs and clan mothers. Historically, the Confederacy has been at odds with the elected band council, which was created by the federal government in 1924 to supplant the Confederacy as the reserve’s governing body. Deyohowe:to said the elected council was aware of Tuesday’s announcement, but its members are “limited” in their authority to assert land sovereignty. “To me, it’s more on the federal government to step up and take charge,” he said. Hamilton Centre NDP MP Matthew Green, a vocal supporter of Indigenous land rights and financial backer of the 1492 Land Back Lane legal fund, highlighted what he considers Ottawa’s “complete and abject failure” to establish a nation-to-nation relationship with the Haudenosaunee. “There has not been free, prior and informed consent” for development from the Haudenosaunee, Green said, adding that building along the Haldimand Tract is “inappropriate” while land claims remain unresolved. A spokesperson for federal Crown-Indigenous Relations minister Carolyn Bennett previously told The Spectator the government is ready to negotiate but is waiting for the Confederacy and the elected council to work through their political differences. The British granted the Haldimand Tract to the Haudenosaunee in 1784 in gratitude for their allyship during the American Revolutionary War. Over the centuries, the territory was whittled down until only the Six Nations reserve — less than five per cent of the original land grant — remains under Haudenosaunee control. Federal and provincial governments say Six Nations chiefs legally sold or surrendered the Tract lands, but the Confederacy rejects that notion, saying much of the land was taken fraudulently by colonial authorities. “We never agreed to any of these land deeds that they’re passing around,” Deyohowe:to said, adding that the Confederacy does not have faith in the Canadian court system to address land claims. “The courts are set up to take our land — to steal our land. That’s where the big problem lies.” J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 10:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 240,000 new vaccinations administered for a total of 10,483,418 doses given. Nationwide, 944,342 people or 2.5 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 27,661.261 per 100,000. There were 1,198 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 13,304,460 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 78.8 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 26,085 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 138,422 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 264.35 per 1,000. In the province, 1.85 per cent (9,674) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland and Labrador for a total of 173,840 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 33 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 79.63 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 7,925 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 43,018 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 271.186 per 1,000. In the province, 6.04 per cent (9,579) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 53,545 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 34 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.34 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 60,428 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 218,018 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 223.402 per 1,000. In the province, 3.31 per cent (32,255) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 320,200 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 33 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 68.09 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 42,913 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 204,576 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 262.263 per 1,000. In the province, 2.44 per cent (19,028) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 255,205 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 33 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.16 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 48,475 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,448,409 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 286.141 per 1,000. There were 1,198 new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 3,042,405 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 36 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.48 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 90,409 new vaccinations administered for a total of 3,995,187 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 271.984 per 1,000. In the province, 2.37 per cent (347,597) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 5,242,495 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 36 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 76.21 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 9,051 new vaccinations administered for a total of 350,977 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 254.885 per 1,000. In the province, 5.08 per cent (69,997) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 479,010 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 35 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 73.27 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 5,278 new vaccinations administered for a total of 357,447 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 303.139 per 1,000. In the province, 3.64 per cent (42,950) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 397,575 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 34 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 89.91 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 31,205 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,196,428 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 271.789 per 1,000. In the province, 5.44 per cent (239,277) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 1,456,295 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 33 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 82.16 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting 34,484 new vaccinations administered for a total of 1,414,644 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 275.674 per 1,000. In the province, 1.72 per cent (88,263) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 1,731,470 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 34 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 81.7 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting 580 new vaccinations administered for a total of 45,971 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 1,101.603 per 1,000. In the territory, 49.74 per cent (20,755) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 54,320 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 130 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 84.63 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 44,646 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 989.517 per 1,000. In the territory, 42.71 per cent (19,271) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 56,300 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 120 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 79.3 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting 487 new vaccinations administered for a total of 25,675 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 662.991 per 1,000. In the territory, 29.13 per cent (11,282) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 41,800 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 110 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 61.42 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published April 20, 2021. The Canadian Press
The B.C. Supreme Court judge overseeing Meng Wanzhou's extradition proceedings is expected to decide Wednesday afternoon whether to delay final arguments on the high-profile case at the request of the Huawei executive's lawyers. Meng's lawyers have asked Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes to give them three months to review newly released banking documents they believe could be crucial to fighting a U.S. request to render their client to New York. Meng, who is Huawei's chief financial officer, is charged with fraud and conspiracy in relation to allegations she lied to an HSBC executive in Hong Kong about her company's control of a subsidiary accused of violating U.S. economic sanctions against Iran. Prosecutors claim HSBC relied on Meng's alleged misrepresentations to conclude that it was safe to handle U.S. dollar-based financial transactions for Huawei — putting them at risk of loss and prosecution. Defence says time needed to review documents Meng was arrested at Vancouver's airport on Dec. 1, 2018, after arriving on a flight from Hong Kong en route to a stop in Mexico City and a conference in Argentina. The extradition proceedings were slated to resume April 26 with defence claims the U.S. misled Canada about the strength of its case by omitting crucial facts about HSBC's knowledge of the risk involved in dealing with the Chinese telecommunications giant. Vancouver police officers wait outside the downtown B.C. Supreme Court building where Meng Wanzhou's extradition proceedings are being held. (Ben Nelms/CBC) The request for an adjournment follows a Hong Kong high court ruling last week that will see HSBC provide thousands of pages of documents to Huawei. The defence told Holmes on Monday that Meng's New York lawyers have already flagged serious concerns about information that undermines the fraud allegations. They claim its only fair to let them review the reams of documents expected to arrive from Hong Kong in the coming weeks to determine whether there's evidence the U.S. is trying to mislead the court. 'Urgent need' to adhere to schedule: Crown The Crown is opposed to any further delay in a process that prosecutors say is supposed to be speedy. They say the defence is trying to turn the extradition case into a trial that should properly take place in New York. "There is an urgent need to adhere to the schedule," prosecutors said in documents submitted as part of the request to adjourn the case. "The proceedings have attracted enormous public interest and this court has invested considerable resources in ensuring that the case progress as expeditiously as possible." News photographers take pictures of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou arriving at B.C. Supreme Court. The Crown says the case has attracted global interest and needs to proceed expeditiously.(Ben Nelms/CBC) Lawyers for Canada's attorney general have accused Meng's lawyers of going on a globe-trotting fishing expedition to try to obtain a level of disclosure in the case not normally available to defendants in extradition proceedings. A judge in the U.K. previously rejected a bid by Meng's legal team to get the kind of documents they are now about to receive through the Hong Kong courts. He pointed out that Meng's U.S. lawyers received the same information through the pretrial criminal legal process in that country but are prohibited from sharing it with her Canadian legal team. Holmes said she would deliver her decision on the delay at 1:15 p.m. PT. The defence has asked for an adjournment until August. The proceedings were originally scheduled to wrap up by the middle of May, with a final decision on extradition to come in the months that follow. Meng has denied the charges against her.
Penticton city council voted unanimously Tuesday to sue the B.C. government after the province overruled the city's decision to close a temporary winter homeless shelter. The Okanagan city council approved court action after hearing a staff presentation on two city-commissioned surveys of about 4,000 local residents regarding the 42-bed downtown shelter at 352 Winnipeg Street. Council also voted in favour of an immediate closure of the shelter and transfer of all 42 residents from the shelter to other housing options. More than 60 per cent of respondents to the survey conducted from March 31 to April 10 said the shelter should be closed down and the province shouldn't overrule the council's decision. Slightly over 50 per cent of participants said the city should take legal action against the province — which could cost taxpayers between $200,000 and $300,000. Housing Minister David Eby, right, said in March the province may exercise the power of paramountcy to circumvent Penticton city council's decision of closing the temporary shelter. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC) Last month, Housing Minister David Eby said the province would exercise the power of paramountcy to prevent the shelter from closing down at the end of winter, as originally planned. The lease for B.C. Housing to operate the shelter expired on March 31, but the province stepped in to circumvent council's decision to shut the shelter at that time. The Crown corporation is currently running the shelter without a city permit. Eby said at that time he was "incredibly disappointed" with council and predicted homeless people would move into the city's parks if the shelter closed. He added the province was preparing to face a court challenge. Penticton's mayor and councillors are increasingly frustrated with issues they say are caused by the city's homeless population and B.C. Housing's three supportive housing projects. Early February, Mayor John Vassilaki attributed the Penticton RCMP's heavy caseload and an influx of homeless people to these supportive housing projects. On Tuesday, Coun. Judy Sentes said the council has no option but to take drastic action against the province, which she said had failed to recognize community concerns around the shelter's downtown location close to seniors housing. "If the province could have continued their previous actions of consulting with us [and] joining in conversations with us, perhaps we wouldn't have come to this," Sentes said. "The city has no choice but to stand up for the betterment of our entire community." Penticton Coun. Judy Sentes says the council wouldn't have taken a drastic action against the province if the province had been willing to engage the council over the temporary shelter issues. (City of Penticton) The council also approved city staff's recommendation to formally request Premier John Horgan's intervention in the dispute after about 80 per cent of survey participants said they supported that approach. They also agreed to continue negotiations with B.C. Housing and to increase bylaw enforcement in response to nuisance complaints around the shelter.
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick confirmed on Tuesday a first case in the province a patient experiencing blood clots after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The patient in their 30s received the vaccine in mid-March, before its use was limited to people over the age of 55, chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said in a statement, adding that the individual has recovered. She said health officials have confirmed "a case of a rare blood clot associated with low platelets known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia." “While every adverse reaction is unfortunate, it is important to remember that these blood clots are extremely rare,” Russell later told reporters in Fredericton. “The vaccine helps prevent the much higher risks associated with COVID-19 infections.” She said New Brunswick will continue to provide the AstraZeneca vaccine to people 55 and older. New Brunswick on Tuesday reported no new cases of COVID-19 for the first time in more than one month. The province has 139 active reported infections and 21 patients in hospital with the disease, including eight in intensive care. A portion of the Edmundston region in the northwestern part of New Brunswick has been under a lockdown for 10 days and has the majority of the active reported cases in the province. Russell said travel continues to be the biggest factor in the spread of the novel coronavirus. "Travel is riskier now than at any other time during the pandemic," she said. "If you are going to travel, you must be prepared to properly self-isolate away from your loved ones for an entire two-week period. If you can't do that, then you really shouldn't travel." Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said the Atlantic premiers may delay the reopening of the regional travel bubble beyond May 3. The bubble would allow residents of Atlantic Canada to travel freely between the four provinces without having to isolate. Shephard said people 65 and older in New Brunswick can now schedule an appointment for their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. There will be 19,000 spaces available at clinics over the next two weeks, she added. Meanwhile, Shephard said she has issued a call for health-care workers available to respond to a request for help from Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Ontario is hard-hit by a third wave of COVID-19 that is putting its health-care system under tremendous strain. "We are seeking individuals who have the necessary skills and are able to go to Ontario to assist with their health-care efforts," Shephard said. "Specifically, Ontario is in need of nurses, respiratory therapists, perfusionists and anesthesia assistants. "While New Brunswick does not have the available resources within the regional health authorities, any health-care workers who are retired or working outside the health-care system are being encouraged to assist," the minister said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2021. Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press
Early childhood educators on P.E.I. are doing a "happy dance" after seeing their wish of a national child-care plan included in Monday's federal budget. If the federal Liberals carry through on the plan, the cost of child care could fall by 50 per cent by the end of 2022, with the goal of getting the price down to $10 a day by 2026. Daycares might also see better wages to help recruit and retain workers, said Jennifer Nangreaves, the executive director of the Early Childhood Development Association of P.E.I. "There were many people before me advocating for this for many, many years — going back 50 years. So it's been wished for, hoped for, so there's many people doing a happy dance." While she's excited for what the federal plan means for early childhood educators, she's also happy about what it means for parents. Currently about $680 a month The monthly cost for child care on P.E.I. is now about $680 a month, or $34 a day. "When you're thinking about how child care can sometimes be like university tuition or mortgage payments — you know, you're saving for child care — it shouldn't be that way," Nangreaves said. She said she doesn't believe Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland's budget pledge is a hollow election promise, and looks forward to seeing more details and legislative changes to make the plan a reality. "Canada's economy needs Canada's families, needs this national child-care system. It's been talked about for many years," she said. "So I think, election or not, it's happening." More from CBC P.E.I.
Raymond Nickerson has been sentenced to five years in prison for manslaughter. The 40-year-old former Chipman, Alta., resident shot and killed two neighbours in April 2017. He was originally charged with two counts of second-degree murder but in January a jury found him not guilty in the death of Terry Sutton and guilty of manslaughter in the death of Jason Williams. Nickerson admitted he shot both men but testified during his trial he did so in self-defence. Crown prosecutor Katrina Stewart Lund characterized the shot to Williams' head as a "careless intentional pulling of the trigger." "He did not intend to kill Mr. Williams," Steward Lund said in sentencing submissions Tuesday. "This falls closer to near murder than the near accident end of the spectrum." Defence lawyer Akram Attia asked for the mandatory minimum sentence of four years and suggested the discharge of the shotgun was accidental or was done to scare Williams. "This is as close as you can get to an accidental or unintentional causing of the death of Mr. Williams," Attia said. Both sides agreed that Nickerson was instantly remorseful and quickly left the scene to turn himself in so paramedics could do their work. Court of Queen's Bench Justice Eric Macklin called the situation "fluid, dangerous and extremely dynamic" and said he had no doubt that Nickerson and his wife were terrified when Sutton and his wife entered their home. Long-standing feud There was a history of animosity between the two households, which the judge described as a "rural Alberta version of the Hatfield's and McCoy's." Tensions boiled over on a Sunday night in April 2017, when Sutton and Williams lit fireworks that woke up Nickerson. They yelled at each other, then Misti Sutton crossed the street with her husband in tow. Misti Sutton and Nickerson's wife got into a fight inside Nickerson's house. By that time, Nickerson had retrieved and loaded his shotgun. He told the jury he was afraid and did not know if Sutton was armed. Nickerson testified he pulled the trigger when he thought Terry Sutton might wrestle away his gun. Blood on the floor just inside the front door of the Chipman house where Raymond Nickerson and his wife lived. (RCMP/Court exhibit) He said when Williams suddenly appeared on his doorstep, he shot the man in the head. On Tuesday, the killer apologized to both families. "I can't imagine the pain you must feel," Nickerson said. "I know I took two lives from you and I know there's nothing I can do or say that will bring them back." He began to cry. "I was instantly remorseful and took responsibility right away," he said. "I didn't want or mean or intend for any of this to happen." 'An absolute monster' In a victim impact statement, Jason Williams' mother Debbie said she has had nightmares for the past four years. . Terry Sutton and Jason Williams were best friends.(Facebook) "You are an absolute monster who terrorized the entire community of Chipman," she told Nickerson via virtual link from her home in Prince Edward Island. "I will never forgive you."
A Swedish administrative court on Wednesday will start hearing arguments in a case filed by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd against the country's telecom regulator for banning the Chinese company from its 5G networks. While several countries across Europe are still formulating telecom policies, only the United Kingdom and Sweden have so far banned Huawei and ZTE Corp from supplying critical 5G network equipment. Sweden's telecom regulator PTS in October banned the Chinese companies from rolling out 5G, citing security risks.
As the unrelenting surge of COVID-19 patients — including a growing number from outside Ottawa — continues to push the city's intensive care units toward capacity, some health-care professionals say they're worried about how much more they can handle. When she finished her shift at The Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus on Sunday night, ICU nurse Alicia Robblee said half of the unit's 30 beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients. "We are now facing our biggest surge yet of COVID patients in the unit, and it's really scary not knowing how bad it's going to get," Robblee said. As of Monday, 56 of The Ottawa Hospital's 68 ICU beds were occupied, nearly half by COVID-19 patients. At the time, seven of those patients were from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and four more were expected within 48 hours. At the Montfort Hospital, 12 of 17 critical care beds were occupied Monday, including three by patients from outside the region, with another two expected by Wednesday. The Queensway Carleton Hospital has 12 ICU beds, but as of Monday had 14 patients in intensive care including three from out of town. CHEO, eastern Ontario's children's hospital in Ottawa, also has 12 ICU beds, and has offered to make room for adult patients if needed. A nurse tends to a patient in the intensive care unit of The Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus during the COVID-19 pandemic.(Submitted by Alicia Robblee) Triage based on provincial needs Dr. James Downar, a palliative care doctor at the University of Ottawa and a member of the provincial bioethics table, is also an author of Ontario's triage plan, which sets out guidelines for access to critical care. Under the plan, regional hospitals can't prioritize ICU beds or ventilators for their own residents, and must instead consider the provincewide need. "We are all Ontarians contributing to the same health-care system, and we are all relying on the same pool of resources in the event of a serious crisis," said Downar. Downar said reserving ICU critical care beds for local residents would be "manifestly unfair" to Ontarians living in higher-risk areas of the province. "We see the real hot spots in certain parts of the GTA and southern Ontario, where you see high concentrations of racialized people with lower socioeconomic status and crowded communities where there is traditionally poor access to health," he said. According to The Ottawa Hospital's president and CEO Cameron Love, the situation there hasn't yet reached the point where doctors assigning critical care beds would have to decide between local residents and patients from out of town. Robblee, left, and a colleague stand beside one of the unit's few unoccupied beds.(Submitted by Alicia Robblee) Patients younger, sicker Robblee, who has worked in the ICU for the past nine years and is now training nurses diverted from other units to work in critical care, said under normal circumstances, each nurse is responsible for one patient. Robblee said her managers have told her that she could be asked to care for as many as four patients at once. Robblee said she's concerned about the way things are trending. "We are seeing patients younger and younger," she said. "When patients come to us they're coming because they need to be intubated and put on life support. They're fighting for their lives, and a lot of them don't make it."
A South Korean court on Wednesday upheld Japan's state immunity to dismiss a lawsuit raised by a group of women who were forced to work in Japanese wartime brothels, contradicting a ruling in a separate earlier case that ordered Tokyo to compensate victims. Remnants of Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean peninsula remain contentious for both sides, with many surviving "comfort women" - a Japanese euphemism for the sex abuse victims - demanding Tokyo's formal apology and compensation. Diplomatic tension flared in January when another judge at the Seoul Central District Court ruled in favour of other women in a separate case, ordering Japan to pay compensation for the first time.