Many schools were closed, and businesses and people across the province braced for the predicted winter weather. The storm came overnight, forcing many new Brunswickers to start their day focusing on the cleanup. Callum Smith has more.
Many schools were closed, and businesses and people across the province braced for the predicted winter weather. The storm came overnight, forcing many new Brunswickers to start their day focusing on the cleanup. Callum Smith has more.
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials in Nova Scotia announced Tuesday that vaccination rollout plans for the month included the province's first pharmacy clinics. Prototype pharmacy clinics will launch in Halifax and Shelburne on March 9, Port Hawkesbury on March 16 and Springhill on March 23. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island Health officials in Prince Edward Island say they will shift their focus to getting a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by July 1, even if it means delaying the second shot for some. Chief medical officer Heather Morrison has said people over the age of 80 will get a second dose based on their existing appointments. Going forward, she said, other residents will get a longer interval between their first and second doses, but she didn’t specific how long that will be. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. Quebec announced Tuesday it had reached a deal with pharmacies that will allow them to start administering COVID-19 vaccines by mid-March. Health Minister Christian Dube said about 350 pharmacies in the Montreal area will start taking appointments by March 15 for people as young as 70. The program will eventually expand to more than 1,400 pharmacies across the province that will administer about two million doses. The Montreal region is being prioritized in part because of the presence of more contagious variants, such as the one first identified in the United Kingdom, Dube has said. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. Several regions in Ontario moved ahead Monday with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. Toronto also began vaccinating members of its police force Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. A day earlier, Toronto said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. She also says the province will soon share an updated vaccine plan that factors in expected shipments of the newly approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The province will do that after getting guidance from the federal government on potentially extending the time between first and second doses, like B.C. is doing, of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to four months, Elliott says She also says Ontario seniors won't receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine since there's limited data on its effectiveness in older populations. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. The province said this week that it may follow British Columbia's lead in delaying a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to speed up immunizations. The government says it hopes a national committee that provides guidance on immunizations will support waiting up to four months to give people a second dose. If that happens, the province could speed up how soon residents get their first shot. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry says the approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine means some people will get their first shot sooner than planned. She says B.C. will focus its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine among essential workers, first responders and younger people with more social interactions who would have to wait longer to receive their first doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. It's now possible that all adults could get their first shot by July, Henry says. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
The first legislative session of 2021 began this week amid a grueling pandemic and an unrelenting overdose crisis, and the BC Green caucus intends to advocate for ramped up mental health supports and more government transparency. “I don't think anybody out there is like, ‘No, I'm good. Everything's perfectly fine,’” said BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau in an interview on Feb. 24. “The priority going into this session really is about mental health and what government can do to better support people's mental health. We want to see some pretty significant steps taken on that front.” The legislative session began Mar. 1 and will run, with breaks, until June 17. Furstenau has repeatedly argued for the inclusion of psychologists in primary healthcare teams, and for psychological counselling to be covered by public healthcare. Thus far, the Province has declined to include counselling under the Medical Services Plan. When pressed by Furstenau during Question Period on Dec. 9, Mental Health and Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson suggested British Columbians experiencing immediate mental health distress should call the 811 COVID-19 call-in helpline for assistance. “We have to be able to recognize mental healthcare and healthcare are the same thing,” Furstenau said in February. People should be able to access it as part of their primary healthcare without a cost barrier, she said. “Counselling is very expensive,” said Mackenzie Kerr, co-chair of the BC Greens youth council, and former 2020 Green party candidate for Prince George-Valemount. “Including mental health in our provincial health care would be absolutely huge right now, crucial.” Having someone to talk to for a professional opinion is important, said Kerr. “If you're just stuck in the same loop every day staying home, it can become very lonely, and you can talk yourself in circles in your head.” The year-long (and counting) pandemic has also exacerbated the province’s opioid health emergency, making 2020 the deadliest year yet for illicit drug overdoses. Of the 8,530 people who died from illicit drug overdoses in B.C. the past decade, 20 per cent lost their lives last year. In 2020 alone, paramedics attended more than 17,000 overdose events, including 1,250 in the north, which had the highest rate of deaths in the province last year. The cost of waiting until people are in crisis and needing emergency healthcare system is far more expensive than providing proactive mental health supports when people seek them, said Furstenau. Other issues for the Greens this session relate to trust and transparency, Furstenau said. Since last September, the legislature has been in session eight days. In previous years over the same period, fall legislative sessions ranged from 20 days in 2019 to 41 days in 2017. “During a time when people are feeling increasingly concerned about how government is making decisions,” said Furstenau, “we've had very limited and very restricted opportunity to be able to ask the questions of government that it is our job as elected representatives to ask.” Now, more than ever, governments need to ensure they have the trust of their citizens, she said. Crisis situations require collective action, and the public must trust the people asking them to make sacrifices for the common good. Mistrust of experts was the number one determinant of vaccine hesitancy, according to a study entitled Understanding Vaccine Hesitancy in Canada, by McGill University and University of Toronto researchers. Mistrust of key figures and institutions is now driving online conversations and skepticism about vaccines as much as safety concerns, revealed First Draft, an international research coalition of journalists and academics. “People want to understand; people want to have an explanation,” Furstenau said. “If it's not forthcoming from government, they will look elsewhere for those explanations. And it's dangerous.” The government’s handling of the now $16 billion Site C dam project in the province’s northeast also raises serious concerns around trust, transparency and accountability, Furstenau said. “Government has not been forthcoming with information reports, terms of reference, and even quarterly reports from BC Hydro have not been released publicly for a year now.” Another significant 2021 priority for the Greens will be holding government to its commitment to implement recommendations from last year’s old growth review panel, A New Future for Old Forests. A key recommendation called for immediate protection of old forests in ‘high and near-term risk of irreversible biodiversity loss.’ “Yet, we keep hearing and seeing evidence of ongoing logging of old growth,” said Furstenau. “The reality is, this is not a sustainable activity.” Communities need help from governments to transition from old growth logging into sustainable economic activities, Furstenau said. Turning away from old growth logging is a tough sell in Northern BC, but communities would do it if there were alternatives, said Kerr, a University of Northern BC forestry student. “If they were given more options of renewable projects,” Kerr said, “we know that they will be choosing those instead.” Conservation financing would help communities break free of dependence on boom or bust resource development projects that only deplete resources, Furstenau said, pointing to land-based aquaculture, landscape restoration, ecotourism, and sustainable agriculture and agritech as possible alternatives. “We're sort of trapped in an eternal present in our politics, when what we have to recognize is every decision we make shapes the future,” said Furstenau. “What should future generations and communities expect from us in our decision-making right now?” Fran@thegoatnews.ca / @FranYanor Fran Yanor, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Rocky Mountain Goat
The first COVID-19 asymptomatic testing site for students, staff, and their families was held this past weekend with a turnout of more than 100 people. In an update to the Durham District School Board (DDSB) Standing Committee Monday night, Director of Education Norah Marsh says as part of the province’s plan for more asymptomatic testing in schools, the board is working with the Ministry of Education, Durham Region Health Department, and the Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) for the testing within Durham Region. Marsh notes communities will become aware of testing site locations, dates and times through direct communication from their local school. Acting Associate Director Jim Markovski attended the site, noting the vendor assigned by the ministry is LifeLabs. “They did an excellent job. It was very orderly,” he says. Markovski says there will be three sites continuing throughout March and the board will be re-evaluating a monthly schedule moving forward. He adds the location selection is based on health data collected by Durham Region Health Department, and the ministry provides further direction. Two of the three sites will be in areas within the region that have a high number of COVID-19 cases, while the third site will be a rotating site to ensure access is being provided to various municipalities within the region. The province also announced changes last week to the health and safety protocols in terms of screening for students and staff. Now, students with just one or more symptoms must self-isolate, as opposed to before when it was required to have two or more symptoms. The board is also looking at compulsory eyewear for staff within schools, compulsory screening of secondary school students prior to the start of their day, and continued COVID-19 screening for students in kindergarten to Grade 12. Marsh notes this change in screening protocols is having a significant impact in terms of school attendance. “From a staffing perspective, we know that there’s been a shortage of educators in Ontario throughout the year and the DDSB has worked diligently in terms of ensuring that classes are safely supervised and schools are operating under safe conditions with staff there,” she says. The board implemented a tiered approach in September 2020 for when there aren’t sufficient occasional teachers or EAs, the board is looking to do a central reallocation of staff from the education centre. With the new screening criteria now reduced to having one or more symptoms, Marsh notes the board is actively working to update its emergency lists for occasional teachers and EAs. However, it is also more likely during this period that a school will need to close due to a lack of available staff to ensure the safe supervision of students. “Of course this would be a last resort and we have a number of tiers in advance of having to get to that decision, but with this new management of screening, understanding it’s a health and safety protocol and the importance of that, we are concerned in terms of the staffing shortages.” She adds this is a problem across Ontario, noting Durham has been “well positioned” throughout. “We haven’t yet had to close down for this reason, but we want to flag this as with this shift it could be more likely.” DDSB currently has 24 active cases of COVID-19 in its schools. In Oshawa, there are two cases at Vincent Massey PS, two cases at Walter E. Harris PS, one case at Elsie MacGill PS, and one case at Northern Dancer PS, as of March 2. There are also cases at five schools in Whitby, including Donald A Wilson SS, Sir William Stephenson PS, West Lynde PS, and Whitby Shores. In Ajax, there are COVID-19 cases at Alexander Graham Bell PS, Bolton C Falby PS, and Cadarackque PS, as well as at Pickering High School, Carruthers Creek PS, and Gandatsetiagon PS in Pickering. There are also 18 positive cases of COVID-19 within DCDSB schools. In Oshawa, there is one case at Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School and two cases at St. Kateri Tekekwitha CS. There are also cases at St. Bernadette Catholic School in Ajax, St. John the Evangelist CS, St. Mark the Evangelist CS, and St. Matthew the Evangelist CS in Whitby, and St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School and St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Pickering. Courtney Bachar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Oshawa Express
Britain will modernise its listing rules to attract more high-growth company and so-called blank cheque flotations, Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said after a government-backed review said London was on the back foot after Brexit. The London Stock Exchange is facing tougher competition from NYSE and Nasdaq in New York, and from Euronext in Amsterdam since Britain fully left the European Union on Dec. 31.
Tensions between the United States and Iran simmered on Wednesday after a new rocket attack against Iraq's Ain al-Asad air base that hosts U.S. forces, which U.S. officials told Reuters fit the profile of a strike by Iran-backed militia. There were no reports of injuries among U.S. service personnel but an American civilian contractor died after suffering a "cardiac episode" while sheltering from the rockets, the Pentagon said.
CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s attorney-general denied having sexual contact with a 16-year-old who had accused him of raping her 33 years ago and said Wednesday he would not resign as the nation's top law officer. Christian Porter instead said he would take leave to care for his mental health after the allegations recently became public. “I’m going to take a couple of short weeks leave just for my own sanity,” Porter told reporters. “I think that I will be able to return from that and do my job.” The accuser took her own life last year, and her allegations against Porter became public last week when they were sent anonymously to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other lawmakers. Media had reported the alleged rapist was one of the 16 men in Morrison’s 22-member Cabinet, but Porter was widely identified online. The 50-year-old former criminal prosecutor said he decided to speak out after police said Tuesday there was insufficient admissible evidence to proceed with a criminal investigation. Prominent lawyers and the woman’s friends have called for an independent inquiry to test the evidence against Porter. Morrison has noted Porter’s denials and said the allegations should be left with police to handle. Porter said the reported rape allegation did not warrant him standing down from his job. “If I stand down from my position as attorney-general because of an allegation about something that simply did not happen, then any person in Australia can lose their career, their job, their life’s work based on nothing more than an accusation that appears in print,” Porter said. “If that happens, anyone in public life is able to be removed simply by the printing of an allegation,” he added. Porter said he was 17 when he competed alongside the then-16-year-old accuser on a four-member school debate team in January 1988. He said he had not heard from her since. “I did not sleep with the (alleged) victim. We didn’t have anything of that nature happen between us,” Porter said. “I remember the person as an intelligent, bright, happy person,” he added. The woman has not been named. Police are preparing evidence to help a coroner determine the cause of her death. The case has added to intensifying into attitudes toward sexual harassment and violence in Parliament after a staffer made an unrelated allegation two weeks ago that she had been raped by a senior colleague in a minister's office. Rod McGuirk, The Associated Press
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is considering two sites in Arizona and another one in New York in addition to Austin, Texas, for a new $17 billion chip plant, according to documents filed with Texas state officials. The documents dated Feb. 26 also estimated tax abatements concerning the plant will be about $1.48 billion over 20 years from Travis County in Texas and the city of Austin, up from the $805.5 million previously mentioned. Samsung is in talks with the sites at Arizona and New York, with each offering property tax abatement and "significant grants and/or refundable tax credits" to fund infrastructure improvements, the documents said.
Stephen Ongoma created the Box Violin project to get the kids out of slums and closer to the musical world.
Regina– The Government of Saskatchewan is clearly leaning towards a first-dose COVID-19 vaccination strategy, getting as many people vaccinated with their initial dose as possible, before following up with a booster shot much later to maximize immunity. Doing so would maximize the number of people immunized as quickly as possible, allowing nearly all Saskatchewan residents to receive their first shot by June and allowing things to begin to return to normal. However, that would mean stretching the period between doses from the three or four weeks, as they are supposed to be administered, to as much as four months. Premier Scott Moe and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab referenced this strategy numerous times during the regular COVID-19 briefing held at the Legislature on March 2. Shahab pointed to “great information from the (United Kingdom), from Quebec, from (British Columbia), on how effective one dose is for as long as four months.” He expects future recommendations from partners, including the federal government, to support delaying the second dose up to four months. “And what that will do is that will really accelerate our first dose program, and if you're able to do that, we can see most of our population 18 and older, potentially getting your first dose by June,” Shahab said. “And I think that would really help us in really putting the pandemic behind us. And like the premier said, I think we all need to then … be ready to take any vaccine that is available, when our age cohort comes up in the sequencing.” Shahab posed the question of how you can maximize the population benefit with a known supply of vaccines. He said, “The way we can maximize that is giving one dose to the vast majority of people by June, and then completing the second doses July onwards. And this will help us prevent a potentially devastating, variant fueled, third wave. “And we'll also maximize population-level protection, at no sacrifice to individual protection, because that is critical as well. Right now, the aim is clinical protection, which means hospitalization, death, at a clinical individual level, but as more and more people get vaccinated, you know, obviously we want to see the population impact of that as well, that kind of community immunity impacts. And the most efficient way to get that, based on strong scientific advice, is to give everyone one dose.” Moe said a four-month interval between first and second doses would mean virtually all Saskatchewan residents could be provided with their first dose of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines by the end of June. If you add AstraZeneca and perhaps Johnson & Johnson vaccines (the second has not yet been approved in Canada, but has been approved in the United States), Moe said, “Then we're starting to look at something in early June, where we could have everyone in the province provided with the opportunity to receive their first dose of vaccine.” “Understanding the efficacy of that first dose, and some of the data that is coming in, and continues to come in, and the protection that it provides, this really is a game changer for the dates that we can really strongly have some serious discussions about the measures that we have in place and what that looks like, over the course of the next number of weeks as opposed to having that conversation over the course of the next number of months,” Moe said. Oldest first Key to this first dose strategy is getting the oldest people in Saskatchewan vaccinated first, which the Province has already been working on. To that end, Moe announced that first doses have been delivered to every long-term care facility in Saskatchewan, and 91 per cent of their residents had been vaccinated. The remaining nine per cent either refused or were unable to take if at this time. A further 53 per cent of those long-term care residents had received their second shot and are now considered fully vaccinated. Moe called it an important milestone along the way to the pandemic being over. “We've also delivered vaccines to 90 per cent of the personal care homes in the province. About 78 per cent of the residents have received their first dose of the vaccine, and about 43 per cent have now received both shots,” Moe added. The province is expected to receive about 112,000 vaccines Pfizer and Moderna in the month of March, and a further 15,000 doses of the newly-approved AstraZeneca vaccine next week. That vaccine, which is approved for ages from 18 to 64, will likely be used for that age group, although Shahab pointed out that one should accept whatever vaccine is available when it is their turn, and that the United Kingdom has been using it for people 65 and older with success. However, by the time Saskatchewan gets larger volumes of the AstraZeneca vaccine, most of its population 65 and older should have already been vaccinated with the other vaccines. Moe said Saskatchewan has been leading the nation in getting shots in arms, with over 100 per cent of doses received having been administered, as compared to 86 per cent for the next leading province. He said there is very little wastage. Appointments Moe said appointments for vaccination will be soon available online or by telephone, meaning eligible residents over 70 years of age will soon be able to book appointments. “We expect to launch that appointment system next week, so for everyone who is waiting to get your shot, and is in the Phase 1 category, we are working to get you vaccinated as quickly as possible.” Moe said case numbers and hospitalization numbers continue to stabilize, with the seven-day average of new cases now 144, down 55 per cent from our peak in January. Hospitalizations are around 154, down from a high of 238. Vaccinations of elderly residents should lead to a continued decline in serious cases and hospitalizations, Moe said, noting, “The truth is that the vaccines are working. They are reducing transmission. They are reducing serious outcomes. And that's very encouraging for all of us.” Relaxation of measures Moe noted that many people have asked for a relaxation in current public health measures, in particular those limiting household gatherings. He said, “I would say to this is we're very close to making, and finalizing, these decisions. I've spoken to Dr. Shahab about this frequently. He just wants to see the new case and hospitalization numbers remain stable for a few more days. If that occurs, we should have more to say about household restrictions, possibly by early next week. We'll be taking a close look at all of the other public health orders that are set to expire on March, the 19th. “So I'm asking everyone in this province to hang tight for just a few more days. The next number of weeks, not months, we're going to start to see things change, and change significantly. Spring is coming. Vaccines are on the way. We are on the path to getting life back to normal, as we know it, but we're just not quite there yet. So please, the next number of days and weeks keep doing what you're doing to keep yourself safe to keep those around you safe and to keep your family safe.” Moe added, “When it is your turn, and when you are offered a vaccine, there is only one answer that should come out of your mouth and that is ‘Yes.’ “They're all equally effective, the vaccines that are that are available, and a vaccine in our arm is far better than a vaccine that's sitting on the shelf, or not being administered to someone here in the province,” Moe said. Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
En 1933, malgré la requête de 83 électeurs pour l’éclairage des rues, le conseil municipal du village de Saint-Jérôme de Matane maintient le non-éclairage. Il invoque la mauvaise situation financière, ce qui nécessite de sévères compressions budgétaires. En 1932, il avait décidé de ne pas renouveler son contrat d’éclairage avec la Compagnie de Pouvoir du Bas-Saint-Laurent. En 1935, le village adopte le règlement no 135 pour pourvoir à l’éclairage et le budget passe de 50 $ à 600 $ annuellement. En 1858, bénédiction d’une cloche Julie Clotilde pour la nouvelle église Saint-Jérôme. En 1890, le maire Dr Jean-Pierre Pelletier et le conseil municipal répondent favorablement à la demande du marchand Narcisse Généreux demandant l’établissement d’un seul dépôt pour la vente de liqueurs enivrantes. On tenait que les liqueurs spiritueuses soient pour des fins médicales et pour usage du service divin seulement. En 1891, visite de l’école modèle de L’Assomption-de-Notre-Dame par l’inspecteur D. Bégin. – Un peu de décorum ne coûte rien et ça donne du prestige et de la fierté. Complice avec le secrétaire-trésorier, le notaire Joseph-Étienne Gagnon, le maire Dr Jean-Pierre Pelletier a fait écrire pour la première fois, au procès-verbal, l’expression son honneur le maire. Cependant, on ne la retrouvait qu’au début du texte du procès-verbal lors de la prise des présences. En 1913, un règlement impose une amende de 20 $ lors d’une première offense et de 40 $ pour une seconde offense à quiconque ouvrira son magasin entre le samedi soir et le lundi matin dans la municipalité de Sandy Bay (Baie-des-Sables). En 1947, fermeture du bureau de poste le dimanche. En 1952, requête au gouvernement provincial pour asphalter la rue Thibault, de l’hôpital à la route nationale. En 1958, règlement # 292 pour prohiber la vente de publications à caractère obscène . – Engagement de Georges-Henri Durette comme chauffeur de camion à incendie. – Les conseils des comtés de Matane, Matapédia, Rimouski, Rivière-du-Loup et Témiscouata obtiennent de la Régie provinciale de l’électricité une enquête sur les tarifs de la Compagnie de Pouvoir du Bas-Saint-Laurent, propriété de Jules-A. Brillant. En 1980, le député de Matane à Ottawa, Pierre de Bané, est nommé ministre de l’Expansion économique régionale. En 2016, le gouvernement du Québec annonce la création de zones industrialoportuaires à Matane, Rimouski et Gros-Cacouna. Romain Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Monmatane.com
Tuesday's Games NHL N.Y. Rangers 3 Buffalo 2 Columbus 4 Detroit 1 Montreal 3 Ottawa 1 N.Y. Islanders 2 New Jersey 1 Pittsburgh 5 Philadelphia 2 Winnipeg 5 Vancouver 2 Carolina 4 Nashville 2 Tampa Bay 2 Dallas 0 --- AHL Providence 4 Hartford 2 --- NBA Memphis 125 Washington 111 Atlanta 94 Miami 80 Boston 117 L.A. Clippers 112 San Antonio 119 New York 93 Denver 128 Milwaukee 97 Phoenix 114 L.A. Lakers 104 Detroit at Toronto -- potsponed --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
Every Tuesday morning Keiko Funahashi goes door to door, delivering bento boxes to 55 Japanese seniors throughout the Lower Mainland. This week's boxes are special, prepared for Japan's traditional Girls' Day on March 3. But next week, tucked inside the boxes, seniors will also find important instructions — details on how they can sign up to receive their dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, carefully translated into Japanese by volunteers. "Japanese-speaking seniors ... they don't necessarily watch the evening news and they don't necessarily use the Internet. Some of them, they don't even have Internet at home. So we need to translate, but we also can't always email things to them," said Funahashi, the executive director of the Japanese Community Volunteers Association. As B.C. moves into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 vaccination plan, the province is aiming to immunize community-based seniors over the age of 80, with seniors who do not live in care being asked to call to book their own appointments. But community organizers and physicians are worried that seniors who don't speak English, don't have family support or don't have access to news sources may slip through the cracks of B.C.'s vaccine strategy, despite the province's efforts to reach everyone. 'People are getting isolated' Funahashi said that weeks ago she began to receive a flurry of questions about vaccinations, with seniors saying they felt stressed that they may miss their window of opportunity to be vaccinated. "A lot of seniors, they told us that they felt very anxious and worried, and then they would hear stories from their friends who might not also speak English," she said. "You know, people are getting isolated." The questions spurred the Japanese Community Volunteers Association to begin their own information campaign to ensure seniors living in their own homes are able to access the critical information that will help them get vaccinated — like informing seniors who don't speak English that they can get help to book their vaccine appointment. B.C. released a graphic showing when and how seniors can register to get their COVID-19 vaccine in 2021.(B.C. Ministry of Health) Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic there have been a variety of campaigns to translate and communicate provincial health orders. With immunization efforts underway, Vancouver Coastal Health has translated information pamphlets on vaccines into nine languages. Call centres are currently available in Cantonese and Mandarin, with more languages to come. Interpreters will also be present at vaccination clinics. But geriatrician Naaz Parmar said she's still been inundated with calls from seniors unsure about how to book an appointment. "It's a really tough thing. There is that first barrier for people who are marginalized with their language skills, not knowing where to look. So they have been relying on their health practitioners instead," she said. "We've actually gone to the point where we're printing out the forms in different languages and mailing it to their house, which takes a week — obviously not ideal." Bob Chapman with Vancouver Coastal Health said for many seniors, making a phone call is the most straightforward way to book an appointment. But the health authority also knows many seniors will be dependent on their family supports and community groups to ensure they're not missed. "It is going to take a village to support this. And we want to make sure that no matter where that person's support is, we can actually get the information to them," he said. "There shouldn't be any barrier for people being able to get this vaccine." CBC British Columbia is hosting a town hall on March 10 to answer your COVID-19 vaccine questions. You can find the details at cbc.ca/ourshot, as well as opportunities to participate in two community conversations on March 3, focused on outreach to Indigenous and multicultural communities. Have a question about the vaccine, or the rollout plan in B.C.? Email us: email@example.com
A group of Chinatown advocates are calling on Vancouver Coastal Health to involve them in the COVID-19 vaccination effort and provide more information in Chinese to seniors as Phase Two of vaccinations starts in B.C. Vancouver Coastal Health says translated information will be available in Phase Three of the vaccination plan, expected in mid-April. In Phase Two, starting Monday, seniors aged 90 or over and Indigenous people who are 75 or over will be able to make appointments to get vaccinated starting the following week. Michael Tan is the vice-president of the Chau Luen Society, which operates an apartment building for Chinese seniors at Keefer Street and Gore Avenue in Chinatown. He says his group wants to see Vancouver Coastal Health do more to support vaccination in the community based on what it saw during an initial push in February to vaccinate people living in the Downtown Eastside. That vaccination program targeted people living in shelters or supportive housing or people who are unhoused. For the elderly Chinese people who lined up for vaccinations, many of whom don’t speak much English, it could have gone better, Tan said. “There was an extreme lack of translated information, volunteers or even staff that could provide linguistically accessible information relating to the vaccination,” Tan said, adding that it also wasn’t ideal for the seniors to be waiting in line outside in the rain and cold. Tan said Chinese seniors are vulnerable to misinformation questioning the safety of vaccines, so it’s important to provide accurate printed information in Mandarin or Cantonese. Seniors are often seeing misinformation through WeChat, a Chinese-language social media app. “That’s their only way to access the news through the internet, and they get clippings from friends,” Tan said. Tan estimates that 1,900 seniors living in independent housing in Chinatown and Strathcona will be eligible for the next round of vaccinations. He said he expects seniors who have trouble speaking or understanding English will also need help with making appointments to get vaccinated over the phone or online. Tan is urging Vancouver Coastal Health to make a plan to vaccinate people where they live, in spaces like building lobbies or common rooms of the independent living buildings operated by societies like his. He said he and other Chinatown advocates have been searching for translated material on the Vancouver Coastal Health and provincial Health Ministry websites, but haven’t been able to find anything. After Tan started speaking to the media about the issue, Vancouver Coastal Health staff asked him for feedback on translated materials they are preparing. But the health authority has not yet committed to mobile vaccination clinics, Tan said today. In a letter sent to Vancouver Coastal Health last week, Tan asked it to “provide vaccination information printed on flyers translated into Chinese and direct your staff to liaise with providers of seniors’ living residences like Chau Luen Society, seniors’ outreach groups like the SRO Collaborative and Yarrow Intergenerational Society, and also City of Vancouver staff so that these vulnerable seniors can access COVID vaccine information and the vaccination process itself, in a timely and safe manner. “A co-ordinated effort to ensure vulnerable seniors in Chinatown/Strathcona have translated information and access to the COVID vaccine is urgently needed.” In response to questions from The Tyee, Vancouver Coastal Health said it will be working “closely with community partners, providers and agencies to ensure all eligible residents have access to the information they need regarding COVID-19 vaccines. This will include the translation of pertinent information about the vaccine and how individuals can register for vaccination once they are eligible, in addition to other translation supports.” Jen St. Denis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Tyee
Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter, the country's chief law officer, identified himself on Wednesday as the subject of a historical rape allegation, declaring his innocence and strongly denying the claim. On Tuesday, police in New South Wales state, where the alleged assault occurred, said there was insufficient evidence to investigate the claim and closed the matter. Seeking to end swirling speculation about the identity of the unnamed cabinet minister since the allegation was first reported last week, an emotional Porter said he was the subject of the claim.
Former Oshawa hockey legend Dale Hawerchuk was one of four to be inducted into the Durham District School Board’s (DDSB) hall of fame. The board announced four new inductees into the 2021 Definitely Durham Hall of Fame at its most recent board meeting. The inductees included Hawerchuk, who passed away in August 2020 after a battle with cancer, Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott, songwriter Geoff Warburton, and Olympian and Pan American Games medalist Jessica Phoenix. Hawerchuk, one of Canada’s hockey stars, demonstrated excellence on the ice during his 16-year NHL Hall of Fame career and exemplified greatness through his charity work. “Dale was an inspiring leader, teacher and builder with an unmatched commitment to helping others,” states the DDSB, adding he believed it was his responsibility and that of his family to do whatever they could to give back, never expecting acknowledgement in return. Hawerchuk passed away in August 2020 after an ongoing battle with cancer. Hawerchuk’s sister, Dayna, accepted his award on his behalf. “As a former DDSB attendee and proud sister, I am honoured to accept this award on behalf of my brother, Dale,” she says, adding she’s sure her brother would have been honoured to receive this nomination, as he was very thrilled by the park being named after him. “I’ve always been very proud of my big brother, not just his athletic skills, but as a human being,” Dayna continues. “He’s always been very family oriented, as well as thoughtful, kind, considerate. Outside of his talent though, to be remembered as a kind, humble and generous person… you can’t ask for more than that.” Elliott built a successful career in business and law, working first as an auditor at one of Canada’s largest banks before co-founding a law firm. She later pursued a commitment to public service; she was elected MPP for Whitby-Ajax in 2006, and re-elected four more times. She was also appointed Ontario’s first-ever patient ombudsman, and has spent the last six years as the Ontario deputy premier and minister of health. Elliott, who grew up in Whitby, says she is a “very proud graduate” of DDSB schools and credits her education to where she is today. “Every step along the way at every school I was offered encouragement to continue learning, to ask questions, to see the bigger picture,” she says. “I learned to see the bigger picture, to push myself, to make sure I do the research, to do the job thoroughly and properly, and so much more.” She notes she’s grateful for the teachers that made a huge impression on how she does her work today. “This has a great deal of meaning for me and I want to thank you very, very much for including me in this award,” she adds. Warburton is a songwriter from Pickering whose love of music inspired him to learn the guitar, frequently playing alongside family members in church on Sundays. During his years at university, Warburton met singer/songwriter Shawn Mendez, which led to a longstanding collaboration, and most notably, a pair of multi-platinum singles, one of which was nominated for song of the year at the 2019 Grammy awards, states the DDSB. “It’s an honour to have been recognized along with these other inductees and a privilege to have grown up attending both Vaughn Willard Public School and Pineridge Secondary School,” he says. “I’ve had so many supportive teachers and coaches over the years who have invested so much into my life and I couldn’t thank you enough.” Phoenix, who grew up in Uxbridge, is a two-time Olympian and five-time Pan American Games medalist, equestrian mentor, coach, and inspirational public speaker. She competed in her first equestrian competition in 1996, achieving the champion Ontario training level with her horse, Let’s Boogie, and quickly moved on to compete nationally and internationally while being named to Canadian teams in several Olympics, World Equestrian Games and Pan American Games. In her spare time, Phoenix shares her story with students, teaching them the values of dedication and commitment to achieve one’s dreams. “To be able to grow up in Durham Region and go to these incredible schools, and to now watch my children going to the same incredible schools, is just a dream come true,” says Phoenix, adding she and her sister being able to do the Rise school tour in Durham Region and speak to hundreds of students has a great deal of meaning to her as well. “Thank you for this honour,” she adds, noting she will be sporting her award in the barn next to all her other medals. Plaques of the Definitely Durham Hall of Fame Inductees will be featured on the wall in the atrium outside the board room at the education centre. “Our Hall of Fame holds tributes to all of our inductees and offers a reminder to everyone who passes by of the possibilities for success in which we are share,” says Board Trustee Scott Templeton. He notes the board pays tribute to the inductees as outstanding role models for the students of today and into the future. “To this year’s inductees, we say thank you for raising the bar high and for providing us with examples and reminders of our collective goal that DDSB students can and will meet the great future success.” Courtney Bachar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Oshawa Express
SAN FRANCISCO — Teresa Parada is exactly the kind of person equity-minded California officials say they want to vaccinate: She's a retired factory worker who speaks little English and lives in a hard-hit part of Los Angeles County. But Parada, 70, has waited weeks while others her age flock to Dodger Stadium or get the coronavirus shot through large hospital networks. The place where she normally gets medical care, AltaMed, is just now receiving enough supply to vaccinate her later this month. Parada said TV reports show people lining up to get shots, but “I see only vaccines going to Anglos.” “It’s rare that I see a Latino there for the vaccine. When will it be our turn?” she said. Gov. Gavin Newsom has repeatedly called equity his “North Star" for vaccinating a diverse state of nearly 40 million. He partnered with the federal government to set up mass vaccination sites in working-class neighbourhoods in Oakland and Los Angeles. And it's a big part of why he tasked insurer Blue Shield with centralizing California's patchwork vaccine system, asking the hospital chain Kaiser Permanente to assist. Yet officials at community health centres that are considered the backbone of the safety net for the poor in the U.S., focused on health equity, say they are not receiving enough doses for their patients — the very at-risk residents the state needs to vaccinate. In California, nearly 1,400 such centres offer free or low-cost services to about 7 million people, many in communities with a higher concentration of low-income families and few providers who take Medicaid, which is known in California as Medi-Cal. Many of their clients speak a language other than English, work long hours, lack transportation and want to go to the medical care professionals they trust. Dr. Efrain Talamantes, chief operating officer for AltaMed Health Services, said it was disheartening to watch initial doses go elsewhere while his patients continued to test positive for the virus. “There is a clear disparity every single time there’s a resource that’s limited,” he said. Most states are grasping for ways to distribute limited vaccine supply, resulting in a hodgepodge of methods in the absence of a federal plan. Tennessee is among the states dispensing doses based on county populations, while California allocates them by eligible groups including teachers and farmworkers. The free-for-all has allowed people with the most resources to score scarce vaccinations. Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, said it seems obvious that the best strategy to get vaccines to hard-hit communities is to turn to the places where residents already get care. But big-box administrators tend to think of community health centres as less efficient because of their smaller size, she said. “We’re not very imaginative in the way we deliver vaccine efficiently. Our only creative solutions are to build mass vaccination sites, and maybe give people preferential access to those sites,” she said. As California has ramped up vaccination efforts through mobile and pop-up clinics at churches, work sites and schools, state data show how relatively few shots have gone to Latinos and Blacks compared to their populations. African Americans have received 3% of vaccine doses while they make up 6% of the state. Latinos, who make up 39% of the state, have received 17% of doses. Blue Shield officials say they plan to keep open health centres that are already administering vaccines, but the clinics worry they won't get enough doses. State vaccine spokesman Darrel Ng said the governor's plan for equitable vaccination includes setting aside vaccines for “disproportionately impacted communities and ensuring that providers who serve these communities are part of the network." He said in a statement that it includes sending mobile clinics to places like Black churches. Andie Martinez Patterson, vice-president of government affairs at the California Primary Care Association, said while large-scale health systems can vaccinate people quickly, they likely won’t reach the targeted residents. Community health centres have worked hard to persuade their patients to take the shot, said Alexander Rossel, chief executive of Families Together of Orange County, adding his centre has inoculated 95 per cent of its patients age 65 and over. Health centres watched in dismay as vaccine for health care workers initially went to larger hospitals in December. Then they watched as more affluent, internet-savvy English speakers with time to navigate web portals and drive long distances for appointments flocked to inoculation arenas. When Orange County started opening large-scale vaccination sites in mid-January, community health centres asked for doses too, said Isabel Becerra, chief executive of the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers. “We don’t have transportation. We don’t speak English. We don’t understand the technology you’re asking us to use to register and get in line. So, can we vaccinate the 65 and older population in the comfort of their own facilities?” she said. Jodie Wingo, interim president of the community health association for Riverside and San Bernardino counties, said member clinics were scaling up to inoculate more of their 500,000 patients. But now they’re receiving only a few dozen doses at a time. “Everybody is working toward equity, yet it doesn’t look equitable. At all,” she said. AltaMed, in Los Angeles and Orange counties, recently started receiving 3,000 doses a week from the two counties. The supply should allow clients like Parada, who is originally from Mexico, to receive her vaccine this month. AltaMed will send a vehicle to take her to a clinic for the shot that will protect her when she heads out, double-masked, to shop for the family. “I’m the one who has to go out. I have to protect myself,” she said. Amy Taxin And Janie Har, The Associated Press
GlobalFoundries will invest $1.4 billion this year to raise output at three factories in the United States, Singapore and Germany, as a global shortage of semiconductors has boosted demand for chips, its chief executive said. The U.S.-based company, a unit of Abu Dhabi's state-owned fund Mubadala, may also bring forward its initial public offering to late 2021 or the first half of next year, from a previous target of late 2022 or early 2023. Automakers and electronics producers are facing a global shortage of chips which has fueled manufacturing delays.
Another socially-distanced legislative session kicked off this week, this one marked by COVID-related issues, a two-month delay of the provincial budget, and an Opposition bench tasked with holding a majority government in check during a pandemic. “Our job as the Official Opposition is to hold the government to account,” said Interim BC Liberal Opposition Leader Shirley Bond on Feb. 26. “That's going to be a challenging job with a significant majority in the legislature, but we have a skilled team.” One immediate challenge will be the delayed provincial budget. The legislative session will run from Mar. 1 to June 17, with some breaks, and the budget will be presented on Apr. 20. Typically tabled every year in mid-February, governments were legally bound to present a budget by the end of March. However, the Finance Statutes Amendment Act 2020, passed last December, extends the deadline to Apr. 30 when a budget follows an October election, as it does this year. “British Columbians deserve to know the financial state of our province,” said Bond. “We should have had that discussion. The budget should have been tabled by now.” Back in December, the Liberals voted against the legislation containing the extension. “We really don't see a need why it had to happen,” said BC Liberal House Leader Peter Milobar last week. “We said this would create uncertainty with groups. It was brushed off by government.” Now, as session begins two weeks after a budget would normally have been introduced, agencies, businesses and associations are starting to get worried, he said. “I've spent this week on a lot of Zoom calls with agencies and organizations that don't know what the budget delay will, or won't, mean to them,” said Milobar who represents the riding of Kamloops-North Thompson. “It's incumbent on the government, they're the ones that have delayed this budget, to provide that certainty.” The December legislation also included a provision to extend special warrant spending authority to keep essential funds flowing if the budget and estimates are presented after the beginning of the new fiscal year – Apr.1 for most businesses and institutions – which will be the case this spring. “It is not intended to provide for new program spending but, rather, to provide for continuation of the operations of government until a supply act can be passed by the Legislative Assembly,” Finance Minister Selina Robinson told the legislature on Dec. 9. “Any enhanced or expanded programming cannot happen until a new budget is introduced,” Milobar said. Meanwhile, the government will have four weeks to introduce legislation prior to the Throne speech, which occurs one week before the budget. “I'm assuming the government will have work for legislators to do. We'll have to wait and see what that agenda looks like,” said Bond, who is MLA for Prince George-Valemount, and will be attending the session in person for the first time since the pandemic began. Previously, she attended by Zoom, as do the majority MLAs due to public health restrictions. The top priority is the pandemic and the health and well-being of British Columbians, but people are also concerned about economic issues, said Bond. “How is British Columbia going to emerge as we move ahead? Sectors, like the tourism sector, that have been decimated by COVID, what will the government do to support and energize that sector?” Last year, the Province announced $105 million in funding for the sector, along with the creation of a task force made up of tourism and hospitality industry representatives to disperse the funding. “We're going to be highlighting the challenges that the Horgan government has created for small businesses and for British Columbians – a quarter of a billion dollars sitting on the sidelines, because the government couldn't manage the to get it out the door,” said Bond, referencing the $280 million or so in COVID-19 relief funding still not disbursed from $300 million designated for small and medium-sized businesses. The program is set to expire mar. 31, when any remaining funding will be rolled back into the provincial government coffers, Premier John Horgan confirmed in February. “They've made lots of commitments, and many of them they've yet to deliver,” said Bond. “There's going to be no shortage of questionable situations around how the premier and his ministers have been handling their files,” said Milobar. “We're all very focused on wanting to shine a light on the shortcomings of the government's response to a wide range of issues.” Additional priorities for the Opposition will include scrutiny of the vaccination roll out and continued calls for rapid testing in long term care and schools, said Bond, who is also the opposition critic for seniors services and long-term care. “There will be lots of debate and dialogue,” said Bond. “It's going to be a very intense session.” Fran@thegoatnews.ca / @FranYanor Fran Yanor, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Rocky Mountain Goat
The European Union aims to increase the region's COVID-19 vaccine production capacity to 2-3 billion doses per year by the end of 2021, Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton was quoted as saying on Wednesday. In an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera he also urged member states to implement their vaccination policies quickly "because the capacity to produce doses is increasing from week to week", he said. Breton said that while around 43 million doses have been delivered to the EU so far, only 30.2 million have been administered, adding the bloc was targeting deliveries of 95-100 million doses by the end of March.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for 'fundamental rethink' to protect the environment at the annual CDP Europe Awards 2021.View on euronews