Teenagers are struggling with mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, even more than usual. A few of them share their struggles and a psychologist shares an art project that helps teens express themselves.
Teenagers are struggling with mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, even more than usual. A few of them share their struggles and a psychologist shares an art project that helps teens express themselves.
Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) now says the maximum interval between the first and second doses of all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada should increase to four months in order to boost the number of Canadians being vaccinated. For the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, that means going from a three week interval to a full four months. "NACI recommends that in the context of limited COVID-19 vaccine supply, jurisdictions should maximize the number of individuals benefiting from the first dose of vaccine by extending the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine up to four months after the first," the committee said in a statement. Prior to this new recommendation, NACI had said that the maximum interval between the first and second shots of the Moderna vaccine should be four weeks, the interval for the Pfizer-BioNTech product should be three weeks and the interval for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine should be 12 weeks. "While studies have not yet collected four months of data on vaccine effectiveness after the first dose, the first two months of real world effectiveness are showing sustained high levels of protection," NACI said. Since first doses of all three vaccines have been shown to dramatically increase immunity to the disease, or to significantly reduce the illness associated with contracting COVID-19, the committee said stretching the interval would help protect more Canadians sooner. NACI said that it reviewed evidence from two clinical trials that looked at how effective the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were after a single dose. Those studies, NACI said, showed the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines started providing some level of protection 12 to 14 days after the first dose. By the time the second dose was administered — 19 to 42 days after the first — the first shot was shown to be 92 per cent effective. Population studies find lower protection Outside of clinical trials, NACI looked at the effectiveness of a single shot of these two vaccines in the populations of Quebec, British Columbia, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. NACI said that analysis showed the effectiveness of a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine was between 70 per cent and 80 per cent among health care workers, long-term care residents, elderly populations and the general public. "While this is somewhat lower than the efficacy demonstrated after one dose in clinical trials, it is important to note that vaccine effectiveness in a general population setting is typically lower than efficacy from the controlled setting of a clinical trial, and this is expected to be the case after series completion as well," NACI said. The committee said that published data from an AstraZeneca clinical trial indicated that delaying the second dose 12 weeks or more provided better protections against symptomatic disease compared to shorter intervals between doses. Earlier this week, before NACI changed its interval advice, B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the province would be extending the interval between doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to 16 weeks. Henry said data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and countries around the world showed a "miraculous" protection level of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Moderna or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The head of Moderna's Canadian operations, Patricia Gauthier, said Monday that the company's own trials, and the conditions under which the vaccine was approved by Health Canada, are tied to a four-week interval. "That being said, we're in times of pandemic and we can understand that there are difficult decisions to be made," Gauthier said. "This then becomes a government decision. We stand by the product monograph approved by Health Canada, but governments ... can make their own decisions." Gauthier said she was not aware of any studies done or led by Moderna on what happens when the interval between the first and second doses is changed from four weeks to four months. 'We have to do it safely and watch carefully' Dr. David Naylor, who has been named to a federal task force charged with planning a national campaign to see how far the virus has spread, said the data have been "very encouraging." "The evidence is there for the concept of further delay," Naylor told CBC News Network's Power & Politics today. "We [had] trial data from earlier showing that going out from 90 days, a single dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective. So things are triangulating." He said health officials need to pay close attention to the data coming out of other countries to determine if the protection provided by the first dose remains strong four months after it was administered. "We do it because we can cover more people with a single dose of the vaccine, spread the protection, prevent more severe disease and prevent fatalities, and the evidence is clear that that's what you can do if you spread those doses out widely. But we have to do it safely and watch carefully," Naylor told host Vassy Kapelos. Watch: The evidence is there for the 'concept of further delay' of second doses: Dr. Naylor: Storage and transport recommendations also changed Health Canada also announced today that after reviewing a submission from Pfizer-BioNTech, it would authorize changes to the way the vaccine is handled in Canada. The new rules allow the vaccine to be stored and transported in a standard freezer with a temperature of between -25 C and -15 C for up to two weeks, instead of the previous requirement that it be stored in ultra-cold conditions of -80 C to -60 C. Vials of the vaccine stored or transported at this higher temperature for no longer than two weeks remain stable and safe and can then be returned to ultra-cold freezers once, said the department.
WASHINGTON — The Defence Department took more than three hours to dispatch the National Guard to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol despite a frantic request for reinforcement from police, according to testimony Wednesday that added to the finger-pointing about the government response. Maj. Gen. William Walker, commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, told senators that the then-chief of the Capitol Police requested military support in a 1:49 p.m. call, but the Defence Department's approval for that support was not relayed to him until after 5 p.m., according to prepared testimony. Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol. That delay stood in contrast to the immediate approval for National Guard support granted in response to the civil unrest that roiled American cities last spring as an outgrowth of racial justice protests, Walker said. As local officials pleaded for help, Army officials raised concerns about the optics of a substantial National Guard presence at the Capitol, he said. “The Army senior leadership” expressed to officials on the call “that it would not be their best military advice to have uniformed Guardsmen on the Capitol,” Walker said. The Senate hearing is the second about what went wrong on Jan. 6, with national security officials face questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. Even as Walker detailed the National Guard delay, another military official noted that local officials in Washington had said days earlier that no such support was needed. Senators were eager to grill officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard and the Justice and Homeland Security departments about their preparations for that day. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump had talked online, in some cases openly, about gathering in Washington that day and interrupting the electoral count. At a hearing last week, officials who were in charge of security at the Capitol blamed one another as well as federal law enforcement for their own lack of preparation as hundreds of rioters descended on the building, easily breached the security perimeter and eventually broke into the Capitol. Five people died as a result of the rioting. So far, lawmakers conducting investigations have focused on failed efforts to gather and share intelligence about the insurrectionists’ planning before Jan. 6 and on the deliberations among officials about whether and when to call National Guard troops to protect Congress. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. Robert Contee, the acting chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department, told senators he was “stunned” over the delayed response and said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting rapidly escalated. Senate Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar, one of two Democratic senators who will preside over Wednesday's hearing, said in an interview Tuesday that she believes every moment counted as the National Guard decision was delayed and police officers outside the Capitol were beaten and injured by the rioters. “Any minute that we lost, I need to know why,” Klobuchar said. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. The probes are largely focused on security missteps and the origins of the extremism that led hundreds of Trump supporters to break through the doors and windows of the Capitol, hunt for lawmakers and temporarily stop the counting of electoral votes. Congress has, for now, abandoned any examination of Trump’s role in the attack after the Senate acquitted him last month of inciting the riot by telling the supporters that morning to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed. In a hearing last week before the same subcommittee, she conceded there were multiple levels of failures but denied that law enforcement failed to take seriously warnings of violence before the insurrection. In the Senate, Klobuchar said there is particular interest in hearing from Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, who was on the phone with Sund and the Department of the Army as the rioters first broke into the building. Contee, the D.C. police chief, was also on the call and told senators that the Army was initially reluctant to send troops. “While I certainly understand the importance of both planning and public perception — the factors cited by the staff on the call — these issues become secondary when you are watching your employees, vastly outnumbered by a mob, being physically assaulted,” Contee said. He said he had quickly deployed his own officers and he was “shocked” that the National Guard “could not — or would not — do the same." Contee said that Army staff said they were not refusing to send troops, but “did not like the optics of boots on the ground” at the Capitol. Also testifying at the joint hearing of the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees are Robert Salesses of the Defence Department, Melissa Smislova of the Department of Homeland Security and Jill Sanborn of the FBI, all officials who oversee aspects of intelligence and security operations. Lawmakers have grilled law enforcement officials about missed intelligence ahead of the attack, including a report from an FBI field office in Virginia that warned of online posts foreshadowing a “war” in Washington. Capitol Police leaders have said they were unaware of the report at the time, even though the FBI had forwarded it to the department. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the report was disseminated though the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, discussed at a command post in Washington and posted on an internet portal available to other law enforcement agencies. Though the information was raw and unverified and appeared aspirational in nature, Wray said, it was specific and concerning enough that “the smartest thing to do, the most prudent thing to do, was just push it to the people who needed to get it.” Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
Growing up, it was clear to Will Hanlon that his mother — a young, single mom — put her kids first. “Money was always tight, and I know that my mom sacrificed a lot in order to keep my brother and I clothed and fed and healthy,” Hanlon remembers. One of those sacrifices were menstrual products. Hanlon can’t recall ever seeing them around the house in his youth. “I know that she sacrificed a lot with her health in order to make sure that we were OK,” he said. Knowing that this struggle was not unique to women in the GTA, Hanlon started Twelve, an organization that streamlines menstrual product donations for shelters, charities and individuals in need. Twelve collects donations from members of the public and fulfills orders for organizations, so that they can tailor the products to their specific needs, and not have to find space for donations that may not be in demand. It also gives users the opportunity to choose. Hanlon and his partner handle the storage. When he founded the organization in 2019 that meant finding space in every crevice of their 400-square-foot apartment. Their new home has a garage. Twelve is just one of numerous grassroots, often women-led, Canadian organizations working to tackle period poverty in their communities. The Period Purse, Period Packs, Bleed the North, Project: Full Stop and the 2019 Period Poverty Summit in Nova Scotia, are just some charities and initiatives that have taken up the issue across the country. The challenge of affording things like tampons, pads, menstrual cups, or menstrual panties — which are necessary for people who menstruate — is a global issue and Canada is no exception. A 2018 Plan International Canada survey found that one third of women under the age of 25 struggled to afford menstrual products. Seventy per cent said they’ve missed school or work or social activities because of their period. In northern communities, a box of tampons can be $15 and pads as much as $25. Countries around the world have been working to address period poverty. Scotland became the first country to make menstrual products free out right in early 2020. In February of this year, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that period products would be free in schools for the next three years. The U.K. is looking to scrap its “tampon tax” once it leaves the EU and India started looking to cap the price on sanitary napkins in 2019. Other places have also accounted for menstrual leave — time off separate from sick days to deal with period pain, which for some can be debilitating. These include Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan and Zambia. In some countries this is either paid or unpaid, and people note that while it is available, some still feel a stigma requesting it. So, where is Ontario, and the rest of Canada on this issue? In 2015, Canada removed GST from menstrual products — eliminating a “tampon tax” recognizing that the items are essential. However, with education and health care regulated provincially, there isn’t much more cohesion with government efforts to address period products. The conversation about making period products more accessible has risen in a number of provinces, but few have officially made widespread policy changes. Most of the dedicated response to period poverty continues to be ad hoc through local, grassroots organizations. British Columbia was the first province to move to offer period products for free in schools at the end of 2019. Prince Edward Island did the same in November 2020. The United Way of the Lower Mainland’s Period Promise campaign had an impact on B.C.’s change, and the charity earned a grant to continue research. Other United Way branches in Canada are continuing this campaign. “In Canada, it’s very regionally specific. It’s very, very grassroots,” said Taqdir Kaur Bhandal, the CEO of Mahwari Research Institute, a think tank researching menstrual cycles. In terms of what more there is to do, Bhandal said she would like to see the government move to offer a rebate to encourage use of sustainable products, like menstrual cups and underwear. She also said product access in the prison system could be greatly improved. Young advocates are also joining the push to end period poverty. Isabela Rittinger, 18, founded Bleed the North, a youth organization that both donates products and runs education and advocacy campaigns to help end period poverty. “I think that the time for change was a while ago, and we need to step up,” the Pickering, Ont. teen said. “I want to challenge Justin Trudeau and his government to match Jacinda Ardern’s leadership on this issue.” Toronto Youth Council also wants to see Ontario move quicker on offering menstrual products in schools across the province and has created a Change.org petition for the issue. Free period products in schools have been announced in a piecemeal way, board by board — Toronto District School Board, Peel District School Board, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and Limestone District School Board in Kingston, Ont., to name a few. But the youth behind the petition say it’s time the Ministry of Education made it Ontario-wide. “I just hope that our (government) can just recognize how much of a human rights issue this is, because these are essential products to those who menstruate,” said Monique Kasonga, a member of Toronto Youth Council who started the petition, along with Stephen Mensah and Vanessa Erhirhie. For Meghan White, co-founder of Ottawa-based Period Packs, a challenge with seeing change in period poverty is how varied and extensive the barriers can be. But even with the challenge, she said it still is something policymakers need to fix. “We need intervention from policymakers, because the fact that young people cannot go to school because they’re menstruating — it’s ludicrous. It is unacceptable,” White said. “What is going on right now is not working for half the people that live in this country, and that feels punitive. That’s not OK.” Angelyn Francis is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering equity and inequality. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org Angelyn Francis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
The Timmins Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) wants to hear from people who have experienced racism and discrimination. The survey is gathering feedback to understand what racism and racial discrimination look like in Timmins. According to the TEDC, the goal is to "help foster a welcoming and inclusive community." “Cultural diversity plays a key role in economic growth and development,” TEDC’s chair Fred Gibbons said in a statement. “Communities that are open to different cultures and ethnicities benefit from an increased range of skills and experiences, creativity, and innovation.” The TEDC is conducting the survey as part of the Timmins Diversity Awareness Project. It is one of 85 projects across Canada funded through the Anti-Racism Action Program. According to the announcement, the project will include a public awareness campaign and a workplace-focused initiative, aimed to create and promote more inclusive communities and workplaces. Advisory group members include local residents, the City of Timmins, Timmins and District Multicultural Centre, Newcomers Encouraging Self-Empowerment in Timmins, Timmins Native Friendship Centre, Kunuwanimano Child and Family Services, Reseau du Nord, Université de Hearst, Collège Boreal, Northern College, Timmins Chamber of Commerce, and members of the Indigenous Advisory Committee. The 17-question survey takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. To access the survey, click here. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
P.E.I. is moving out of red phase pandemic restrictions Thursday morning. The red phase was implemented at midnight Monday in response to a weekend outbreak that saw the number of active cases on the Island reach an all-time high. It included closing schools and non-essential businesses. But extensive testing found no evidence of widespread community transmission, so the red phase will end at midnight Wednesday. P.E.I. will return to circuit breaker restrictions, which were first implemented in late November and have had ongoing modifications. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison outlined the new rules during a briefing Wednesday. Schools will reopen and daycares can operate at full capacity. Households can gather, inside or outside, with up to six other people. Those people should remain consistent. Personal gatherings should be as small as possible. Restaurant dining rooms can reopen. No more than 50 people will be allowed in a dining room, tables limited to six people, and they will close at 10 p.m. Movie theatres, concerts and worship services may resume, with no more than 50 people in attendance. Weddings and funerals may also have up to 50 people, but no receptions are permitted. Gyms, fitness centres, museums and libraries may operate at 50 per cent capacity. Retail stores, craft fairs, and markets can operate at 50 per cent capacity. Entrances and exits must be monitored. Rehearsals and individual team practices are allowed within organized gathering limits but games, tournaments and competitions are not allowed. Personal services may operate on appointment basis, provided masks are worn at all times by everyone. Long-term care homes will have three partners in care and six designated visitors for residents. Pending any further announcements, these restrictions will remain in place until 8 a.m., March 14. More from CBC P.E.I.
Shawinigan – La Ville de Shawinigan poursuit ses discussions avec l'entreprise Allen, chargée d'effectuer les travaux de réfection du réseau d'aqueduc et des égouts dans le secteur Lac-à-la-Tortue. La Ville, qui a déjà récupéré 9,3 M$ pour le redistribuer aux fournisseurs, entend continuer à discuter tant qu'il y aura de l'ouverture en ce sens de la part de la compagnie. «On a des choses à faire valoir des deux côtés. Il y a beaucoup de directives de changement sur lesquelles on doit s'entendre. Avant d'aller vers le juridique, on veut continuer à discuter tant que ce sera possible. Jusqu'à présent, on ne s'entend pas sur tout, mais ça se passe bien», confie le maire Michel Angers. La Ville a également adopté, mardi soir en séance du conseil municipal, sa politique de disposition d'immeubles lui appartenant. Cette politique s’applique à une demande déposée à la Ville pour l’acquisition d’un immeuble lui appartenant, à l’exclusion d’un immeuble situé dans un parc industriel et d’une parcelle de terrain étant la rive ou le littoral de la rivière Saint-Maurice. Cette politique ne s’applique pas à une demande déposée par toutes instances gouvernementales, sociétés d’État ou toutes autres entreprises ou sociétés de services publics. «Quand on aura à disposer d'un immeuble, on va d'abord faire un appel public pour voir qui est intéressé par l'immeuble en question. Ça permettra une meilleure transparence et une meilleure égalité pour tous ceux qui seront intéressés», a souligné le maire. Sur ce point, ce ne sera pas nécessairement le plus haut soumissionnaire qui l'emportera, comme on peut le voir habituellement avec des appels d'offres. La politique exclue également les terrains industriels, notamment. Engagée pour l'environnement La Ville a aussi révélé avoir signé une entente avec Shawinigan Aluminium inc. pour la réduction de consommation en eau. La Ville souhaite ainsi encourager les industries qui ont une consommation en eau hors de l'ordinaire à développer des méthodes de production qui réduisent «de façon considérable» leur consommation en eau, ce sur quoi l'entreprise a accepté de travailler. «Nous sommes très fiers de cette entente. Ils ont cru en nous et nous, en eux», a souligné Michel Angers. Toujours en ce qui a trait à l'environnement, le maire a été interrogé par un citoyen mardi soir à savoir où la Ville en était par rapport à l'adoption du bac brun, une démarche qui se fait attendre, selon lui. «C'est un dossier qui me passionne particulièrement. Quand je suis arrivé à la tête de la Régie de gestion des matières résiduelles il y a trois ans et demi, je me suis engagé pour la récolte des matières organiques. Il fallait d'abord obtenir l'acceptabilité sociale des gens de Saint-Étienne-des-Grès où se situe le site d'enfouissement», a-t-il d'abord argué. «On s'enlignait vers cette méthode jusqu'à ce que le gouvernement du Québec demande à Énergir d'injecter 5% de gaz naturel renouvelable dans les tuyaux d'Énergie pour diminuer les gaz à effet de serre. Suite à ça, les prix du biogaz traité ont augmenté sensiblement», ajoute le premier magistrat. «On s'est entendu avec une entreprise française pour construire une usine de raffinage du biogaz, ce qui constitue un premier pas vers la collecte des matières organiques», un projet qui pourrait amener des centaines de milliers de dollars à la Ville, voir près du million annuellement. Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
China wields so much power on the global stage these days that it is less concerned about how foreign media makes the country look than in the past, says Keith Richburg, director of the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre and a former China correspondent for the Washington Post.
LONDON — Britain’s treasury chief on Wednesday announced an additional 65 billion pounds ($91 billion) of support for an economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, extending job support programs and temporary tax cuts to help workers and businesses in his annual budget. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons that it is too soon for the government to rein in spending, saying that his plans would “protect the jobs and livelihoods of the British people” through September as the government slowly lifts lockdown restrictions that have shut businesses across the U.K. At the same time, he said Britain must be prepared to cut the deficit, announcing plans to increase the tax on corporate profits and boost revenue from personal income taxes in 2023. “An important moment is upon us,” Sunak told the House of Commons. “A moment of challenge and of change. Of difficulties, yes, but of possibilities, too. This is a budget that meets that moment.” U.K. public borrowing has risen to levels not seen since World War II as the government seeks to cushion the fallout from COVID-19, which has reduced gross domestic product by 10% and cost more than 700,000 people their jobs. Projections released Wednesday by the Office for Budget Responsibility show that the economy will still be 3% smaller five years from now than it would have been without the pandemic. Sunak said government support programs have succeeded in mitigating the impact. The unemployment rate is now expected to peak at about 6.5%, rather than the 11.9% forecast last July, he said, citing estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility. The economy is forecast to grow 4% this year and 7.3% in 2022. On Wednesday, Sunak announced plans to extend those support programs for six months. They include a furlough program, under which the government pays 80% of the wages for private employees unable to work during the pandemic, as well as grants for self-employed workers, a temporary increase in welfare payments and tax relief for businesses. Looking to the future, Sunak said the government will in 2023 increase corporation tax to 25%, from the current rate of 19%, and freeze personal income tax thresholds, which will increase revenue as inflation boosts incomes. But opposition leader Keir Starmer accused Sunak of failing to address deep-seated economic problems and banking on a “consumer spending blitz” to bail out the economy. Starmer said the budget fails millions of key workers who are having their pay frozen, businesses swamped by debt, and families paying higher local property taxes. “The central problem in our economy is a deep-rooted insecurity and inequality, and this budget isn’t the answer to that,” Starmer said. “So rather than the big, transformative budget that we needed, this budget simply papers over the cracks.” Ian Blackford, the Scottish National Party’s leader in Parliament, criticized Sunak for continuing a strategy of temporary support that leaves businesses and consumers unsure of the future. The budget leaves Scottish voters with a clear choice as the SNP campaigns to hold a second referendum on independence from the U.K., Blackford said. “For the people of Scotland, this budget comes at a critical moment of choice,” he said, echoing Sunak’s language. “Post-Brexit and post-pandemic, Scotland now has a choice of two futures: The long-term damage of Brexit and more Tory austerity cuts, or the opportunity to protect her place in Europe and to build a strong, fair and green recovery with independence.” ___ Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Danica Kirka, The Associated Press
La fusion potentielle du Centre Desjardins Entreprises (CDE) –Côte-Nord à celui du Saguenay n’aura pas lieu car « à ce moment-ci, toutes les conditions gagnantes pour faire de ce projet un succès ne sont pas réunies ». C’est ce qu’a confirmé le président du comité nord-côtier de coordination et directeur général de la caisse Desjardins du Centre de La Haute-Côte-Nord, Christophe Rolland, par voie de communiqué. Les travaux de réflexion, entamés avant la période des Fêtes, ont donc été abandonnés. Le préfet de Minganie, Luc Noël, et l’Assemblée des MRC de la Côte-Nord s’étaient vivement opposés à l’éventuelle fusion entre les deux CDE, arguant que cela revenait à livrer la région « poings et pieds liés » au Saguenay. M. Noël estimait que l’unification ferait perdre le pouvoir décisionnel nord-côtier au profit des Caisses Desjardins saguenéennes et déplorait un processus « fait en catimini ». Selon Christophe Rolland via un communiqué publié le 20 janvier, la fusion entre le CDE–Côte-Nord et son vis-à-vis du Saguenay aurait pu résulter en la bonification des services offerts aux entreprises et entrepreneurs grâce à l’accès à plus de spécialisations et à un plus grand nombre d’employés. Laurence Dami-Houle, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Portageur
Les recherches montrent que de nombreux partisans des caméras portatives minimisent la complexité de ces programmes et en exagèrent les avantages potentiels.
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 10:30 a.m. Ontario is reporting 958 new COVID-19 cases today. The province says 17 more people have died from the virus. More than 27,000 tests were completed to compile the data. The province says 27,398 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered since the last daily update. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
Cheers quickly shifted to confusion upon the approval of a third COVID-19 vaccine for Canadians, with federal officials touting a bolstered arsenal against the pandemic while acknowledging limitations.But what appears to be contradictory advice is more aligned than it appears, federal officials insisted Tuesday, stressing common ground while trying to combat public confusion over how the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine should be deployed.On the one hand, Health Canada says Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine has been deemed safe for seniors and points to emerging real-world data that shows it can protect older citizens against symptomatic infection.At the same time, guidelines from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization highlight the product's lower efficacy rate and suggest it be reserved for people younger than 65 because of limited trial data.Still, both federal bodies stress the fact Canada now has three vaccines that can drive down hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19. They also stress the benefits of receiving an AstraZeneca jab early, even if current data shows it has a lower efficacy than the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots, which will take longer to reach some groups.Here’s a closer look at some of the questions raised by Canada's newest COVID-19 vaccine:WHY THE MIXED MESSAGES?While it may seem that Health Canada and NACI are at odds, each body serves different purposes and is answering different questions, explains Dr. Supriya Sharma, the chief medical adviser at Health Canada.Health Canada’s role is to look at a particular vaccine and determine if it's safe and effective.NACI considers how all approved vaccines can be used in the most efficient and effective way. It's not unusual for this committee – made up of experts in the fields of infectious diseases, immunology, pharmacy, nursing, and social science – to suggest limitations in use, says Sharma.Still, infectious disease expert Dr. Andrew Morris says the message has been muddled by some media coverage and suggests that could have been avoided if NACI stressed the constantly evolving nature of their work. "I'm pretty certain that the folks at NACI believe that AstraZeneca will turn out to be as useful in older adults as in younger adults but they obviously don't have data to support that," says Morris, medical director of the antimicrobial stewardship program at the University Health Network and Sinai Health in Toronto."They will definitely review and be willing to change their advice based on new data."IS THE OXFORD-ASTRAZENECA VACCINE SAFE FOR SENIORS?Both Health Canada and NACI stress there were no safety concerns in the clinical studies, nor among the millions of seniors who have received jabs in countries that are giving it to older citizens.However, Canada does have two other highly efficacious alternatives to AstraZeneca, notes Sharma."That’s why NACI says if you have two vaccines with more clinical data and real-world evidence of effectiveness in seniors, then those are the ones we should prioritize for the most vulnerable," says Sharma."Maybe limit Oxford-AstraZeneca to other people for now."DOES LOWER EFFICACY MEAN SOME VACCINES ARE NOT AS GOOD AS OTHERS?While it may be tempting to rank vaccines by efficacy, Sharma says head-to-head comparisons are impossible because each is the result of varying clinical trials. The many differences include when each type of vaccine was tested, who they were tested on and how the results were measured.Even the same vaccine can have multiple trials with different methods and varying results. For instance, Sharma notes some data for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine showed efficacy rises to 85 per cent if the gap between doses is 12 weeks. If it's just four weeks, efficacy was 62 per cent.“It's just a caution to not get caught up in absolute numbers that you can't compare to each other,” said Sharma.Morris agrees, urging the public to focus on more significant findings."This is a real communication challenge because for the things that really matter – which is are you going to get really sick from this disease or is it going to kill you? – all the vaccines seem to be equivalent to me," says Morris.WHY DOES NACI SUGGEST SENIORS SHOULD BE GIVEN SOME VACCINES OVER OTHERS?Despite Health Canada's caution against ranking vaccines, NACI notes the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has "insufficient data" in older adults "to conclude the vaccine is efficacious in this age group." Morris says NACI has applied "a pure interpretation of the science," an approach that can vary among experts."The cautious scientist is going to say, 'Let's not get burned, let's wait,' because they probably see very little downside of waiting," says Morris. "Others would say: 'You know what? We need to just move ahead and and give it to everyone because speed is of the essence.'"Sharma says Health Canada agrees with NACI's advice that seniors receive Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots if possible, "because that's where we have the most information."“We’re aligned," she insists.Nevertheless, seniors shouldn't wait for a Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech shot if they can have an AstraZeneca dose sooner, she says.Sharma says there is already evidence the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective from the real-world experience of millions of people who have received doses over the last two months.WILL I HAVE A CHOICE?Morris notes it's unlikely most people will be able to choose which vaccine they receive since much depends on supply, distribution and logistics in deployment.However, he expects vaccines will be needed for quite a while."Almost certainly your first two shots aren't going to be your last two shots. I think that's very likely," he says."Governments can start thinking about, potentially, giving people a different kind of booster over time so that if people get one vaccine, then the next time they get a vaccine, it may be different. There's all different ways to look at this."WHEN WILL WE KNOW MORE ABOUT OXFORD-ASTRAZENECA?Morris says randomized trials underway in the United States should produce findings in the next 10 days or so, and that should settle the questions about seniors."And when those results come out, this will be put to rest finally one way or the other," he says, believing "we're spending way too much time on the nuances of this."In the meantime, he marvels at how quickly we have an array of vaccines available."The rapidity that we got to a vaccine, and that we have multiple vaccines that are amazingly protective, all these things are just absolutely amazing."– With files from Mia Rabson in OttawaThis report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press
PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota House on Wednesday left the impeachment of the state's attorney general in doubt as lawmakers moved to delay evaluating whether he should be impeached until the conclusion of the criminal case against him for hitting and killing a man with his car. The House State Affairs Committee amended a resolution to impeach Republican Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, striking the articles of impeachment and replacing them with language that said he could potentially be impeached. The resolution, which will next head to the full House, holds no requirement that lawmakers take up the issue once the criminal case has concluded. The lawmakers' move was a step back from impeaching the state’s top law enforcement agent. Just a week ago, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem and some lawmakers had pressured him from every conceivable angle to resign. But Ravnsborg defied those calls, even as the articles of impeachment were filed. Ravnsborg is facing three misdemeanour charges for striking and killing Joseph Boever, 55, who was walking on the shoulder of a highway late on Sept. 12. Dates have not been set in Ravnsborg's criminal case. House Speaker Spencer Gosch, a Republican, had argued that a delay was necessary after a judge last week ordered Noem and government officials to stop releasing evidence in the investigation. He said that a “fair and transparent” hearing on impeachment was not possible while lawmakers are under a gag order. Rep. Will Mortenson, the Republican who filed the articles of impeachment, continued to push for Ravnsborg’s removal from office, saying he had lost the trust needed for the job. But he conceded that a delay was necessary. However, Nick Nemec, Boever's cousin who has been outspoken against the attorney general since shortly after the crash, confronted lawmakers with his frustrations. He brought a jade plant that Boever had propagated, setting it beside him as he told lawmakers how he felt Ravnsborg should have faced more serious charges. He also said his family has dealt with attacks from “internet trolls who have been busy blaming Joe with false accusations." “Lost in the shuffle and made out to be someone he wasn't is Joe Boever,” Nemec said. “Joe was just an average Joe.” After Nemec's statement, the House committee unanimously passed the resolution without discussion. Stephen Groves, The Associated Press
THUNDER BAY — Two Thunder Bay youth detention facilities will close permanently by April 30, the Ontario government has announced. Due to a reduction of youth being admitted into custody and detention in Ontario since 2004, several youth justice facilities including the Jack McGuire Centre and JJ Kelso Youth Centre in Thunder Bay have been significantly underused. “A focus on prevention and education programs has contributed to an 81 per cent reduction of youth admitted into custody and detention,” a spokesperson with the ministry of children, community and social services said in an emailed statement. In 2019 and 2020, Jack McGuire Centre, a male youth detention centre in Thunder Bay, had a utilization rate of 29 per cent and JJ Kelso Youth Centre, a female youth facility, had a utilization rate of 12 per cent, the ministry said. “Youth who resided in these facilities are from northern communities were transferred to remaining facilities in the northern region,” the ministry said. The decision to close these facilities comes from recommendations made by the auditor general. These actions will address the significant under-utilization, build a sustainable system that will fully support youth in conflict with the law and will allow the government to reinvest more than $39.9 million annually into programs that support Ontario families and communities," the statement said. The facilities will no longer be operational by April 30. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
“You never count your money,” sang Kenny Rogers, “when you’re sitting at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin,’ when the dealin’s done.” As it turns out, council for the MD of Pincher Creek was able to deal out some much-needed help to local organizations after gathering restrictions affected normal operations last year. The provincial and federal governments helped provide funding to municipalities through the Municipal Operating Support Transfer, which saw the MD receive $305,233. Under half of that amount will be used by the MD to make up for lost tax revenue in 2020; $50,000 of that portion was used to cover additional work-from-home expenses for MD staff, which included upgrading the IT system to improve software speed. Ironically, the MD’s system provider has been slow in making the upgrade to faster software and cannot guarantee the change will occur before March 31, which is when all of the MOST funding must be spent. Upgrading the system, said director of finance Meghan Dobie, remains a priority despite the hiccup. “It is something administration still wants to do to help improve the speed at which our IT software is working.” Rather than gambling on missing the deadline, council followed the finance department’s advice and approved using $6,700 from the tax rate stabilization reserve during its Feb. 23 regular meeting. Council also approved distribution of the remaining MOST funds — a total of $171,390.72 — to community organizations that experienced financial difficulties due to the pandemic. Twenty-six groups petitioned the MD for financial assistance, which totalled $431,000 in requested funds. While unable to meet the requested amount, the MD was able to deal out donations to 19 of those groups. Some of the more significant contributions include $10,000 to Chinook Lanes, $20,000 to the Family Resource Centre, $11,400 to the Livingstone Ski Academy Society and $21,434.50 to the Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce. A full list of organizations approved for MOST funding can be found on the MD’s website at https://bit.ly/MD_MOST. Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze
Une simple photo relative à une histoire du vaccin de la COVID-19 qui au départ devait être somme toute banale est devenue virale sur le web au point ou des gens ont été injuriés, insultés et même menacés de se faire attaquer physiquement. Cette fameuse photo sur les réseaux sociaux indique que «l’hôpital de Baie-Comeau a trois cas de paralysie chez les employés qui ont reçu la première dose du vaccin. Il n’y a plus personne qui le veut maintenant à Baie-Comeau», peut-on lire une fois les fautes d’orthographe corrigées et la phrase restructurée. Une des personnes ciblées a contacté macotenord.com pour mettre en garde les journalistes contre les choses dites sur le web. «Il faut faire attention à tout ce que l’on rapporte et ce que l’on dit». Ensuite, elle a accepté de raconter les faits sous le couvert de l’anonymat par peur de représailles étant toujours à l’emploi du Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de la Côte-Nord. «Oui j’ai la paralysie de Bell. Et oui je travaille ici. Mais rien ne confirme le lien de ce diagnostic et le vaccin.» Elle ajoute: «ce sont des risques qui vont avec tous les vaccins. Les autres causes possibles de la paralysie de Bell sont le virus de l’herpès buccal ou le réveil du zona.» Cette dame assure que les médecins suivent l’évolution de son état de santé. Au CISSS, on a confirmé à Radio-Canada qu’un cas de paralysie faciale a effectivement été observé chez une personne ayant reçu une dose de vaccin contre la COVID-19 il y a quelques semaines. Le CISSS mentionne que la paralysie faciale n’a jamais été associée statistiquement à aucun vaccin. Néanmoins, ce cas a été compilé au registre du fichier central des effets secondaires post-vaccinaux par la direction de la santé publique de la Côte-Nord. Réactions vives Chose certaine, cette histoire de vaccins a créé un tollé sur les réseaux sociaux. Un tsunami de commentaires, parfois injurieux, ont inondé la toile. On parle de plus d’une centaine en moins d’une heure. «Ça ressemble à une belle fausse nouvelle de conspis. Je vais y croire quand une employée de cet hôpital va en parler», peut-on lire parmi tous ces commentaires pour la plupart peu élogieux. «Fake news pour faire peur au monde. Je travaille à l’hôpital et je me suis informée auprès de collègues, médecins, personne n’a entendu parler. Alors ne croyez pas tout ce qui se dit sur les réseaux sociaux», a écrit une internaute. «Un gars m’a menacé de contacter Facebook pour faire fermer mon compte uniquement parce que j’avais partagé la dite photo, sans émettre aucun commentaire» a publié un autre internaute précisant être un résident de Baie-Comeau, sans plus. Le CISSS précise que plus de 17 629 doses ont été injectées dans la région jusqu’à présent. Stéphane Tremblay, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
For years, backyard chickens have happily pecked away inside a corralled space in the enviously large backyard behind a Topham Boulevard home. But after a complaint about the birds this past January and a subsequent a visit from the City of Welland, their days as a Welland family’s feathered friends are numbered — they must fly the coop by March 31, or face the consequences. Standing by the coop last Thursday, Ray Haymes and his partner Alicia Bedesky spoke of how their eight laying hens not only provided eggs but also valuable education for their children, five-year-old Sawyer and three-year-old Eloise. “This is just a few pets in our backyard,” Haymes said. Not so, says the city. “All residential areas within the urban boundary of the city don’t permit agricultural uses,” said Welland’s interim planning manager, Rachelle Larocque. Though the city’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law 2017-117, which dictates how landowners can use their property, doesn’t actually address backyard chickens, it does say property can't be used in a way not clearly spelled out. That could change in the coming year as the city reviews its official plan and explores allowing backyard chickens, Larocque said. The city’s bylaw and planning departments work together when complaints ring in about backyard chickens, something Larocque says is becoming common. During the past six months, some form of chicken inquiry comes in on a weekly basis, she said. In dealing with a complaint, the planning department confirms zoning allowances and a bylaw officer investigates. After their visit, Haymes said he received a letter from the city saying the birds had to fly the coop by the end of March. Bedesky started the “Backyard chickens Niagara” Facebook group and an online petition to illustrate neighbouring support for the hens, which had nearly reached its 500 signee goal as of Feb. 28. “We believe that every person should have the right to keep hens on their own property as long as they are doing so responsibly,” the petition reads. Chris Sowton and Jennifer Thompson, who belong to Bedesky’s Facebook group, had to get rid of their hens after a neighbour’s complaint and a bylaw visit. “We have a huge yard, it’s 1.3 acres, there’s plenty of room for chickens,” Sowton said from his Dain City home. “They’re wonderful pets, they’re actually quite lovely creatures.” Haymes has reached out to city staff and their ward councillor, Adam Moote, who told Niagara This Week that while he supports allowing backyard chickens, regulations would be needed to ensure they wouldn’t become a nuisance. Ultimately, Haymes wants to see the rules amended. Even a permit process would be better than prohibition, Bedesky said. Haymes has sought legal advice and will file a freedom of information request to dig into the complaint itself, which he suspects originated from a single neighbour whose feathers are ruffled for reasons he can’t understand — the chickens don’t smell or make noise, and they’re well taken care of, he says. If the hens aren’t gone by March 31, the city can lay a charge under the Provincial Offences Act, summoning the Haymes family to court, explained Ali Khan, Welland’s bylaw supervisor. It’s a process Haymes says he’s willing to see through. If multiple complaints were coming in, Haymes might understand, but he says their petition speaks for the neighbourhood: “There are a lot of people that feel the same way.” “It’s just something we believe in,” he said. “We’ve kind of been accidental advocates for the whole urban farming thing,” Bedesky added. Jordan Snobelen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara this Week
A Yellowknife MLA grew frustrated Tuesday as he sought to learn more about what the N.W.T. is doing to protect workers at the Gahcho Kué mine from COVID-19. An outbreak was declared at the mine on Feb. 3. Mining operations were suspended three days later. To date, 12 out-of-territory workers and eight N.W.T. residents have been connected with the outbreak. Frame Lake MLA Kevin O'Reilly put questions to Shane Thompson, the minister responsible for the Workers Safety and Compensation Commission. He wanted to know whether northern and southern workers had separate living quarters; whether people were wearing masks on the site; and what the protocols were for cleaning washrooms. To each question, Thompson had the same answer: it's up to the mine's owner to develop its own COVID-exposure plan, which must be approved by the WSCC and the chief public health officer, but is not dictated by them. "We have to respect that," Thompson said. "It's their plan." To that O'Reilly responded, "There seems to be some kind of top secret exposure control plan that he can't even share any info with me on the floor of this house." The frustration evident in his voice is similar to that raised by many business owners earlier in the pandemic, who were charged with drafting their own COVID-19 exposure plans. Though WSCC and the office of the chief public health officer were available to help business owners draft plans, some expressed frustration at the lack of direction, and the inconsistencies that came about as a result. Reached for comment, De Beers Canada, which owns the Gahcho Kué mine with Mountain Province Diamonds, was happy to share details from its COVID-19 exposure plan. "If we were asked to do so, Gahcho Kué Mine would be pleased to provide information regarding COVID-19 protocols and additional actions taken at Gahcho Kué Mine during the past week to MLA O'Reilly and all MLAs," spokesperson Terry Kruger said in an email. Kruger confirmed that masks are in wide use in all common areas "where physical distancing is not possible." He also said employees and contractors "work as a team, regardless of where they are from." All employees heading to the site undergo rapid antigen tests before traveling, and must test negative. They take further tests at regular intervals. "The use of face coverings, physical distancing protocols, good hygiene practices, daily health monitoring, documentation of daily contacts and other measures are also in place." Mountain Province Diamonds, which jointly owns the mine with De Beers Canada, announced plans to resume production at the end of last month. No vaccines for non-residents Kruger also said the company is promoting vaccination opportunities for all N.W.T.-resident employees and contractors. He was clear that non-resident employees were not, at this point, included. Inuvik Twin Lakes MLA Lesa Semmler raised concerns Tuesday that non-resident mine workers were getting prioritized to receive the vaccine ahead of local N.W.T. residents. Health Minister Julie Green assured her they were not. "The N.W.T. will not, will not prioritize non-residents over residents," Health Minister Julie Green said in response. "When all eligible residents have been vaccinated, and if there is vaccine … available, then the chief public health officer will look at the possibility of vaccinating rotational workers who are from outside of the territory."
The N.W.T. Species at Risk Committee (SARC) says its assessments about the territory's species will now better reflect Indigenous and community knowledge alongside scientific knowledge. In a news release, the committee said its species assessment process – which determines the status of species at risk in the territory – needed to be “rethought and rebuilt in a manner that recognizes the local, holistic, eco-centric and social-spiritual context of Indigenous knowledges.” “Around the world, accepted standards for species at risk assessments are based strongly in western science,” Leon Andrew, the chair of SARC, is quoted as saying. “There is increasing acceptance that Indigenous and community knowledges are systems of knowing in their own right that do not need to fit within a model of, or be verified by, western science.” SARC says its new approach will consider both fields “equally and respectfully” when making decisions. The first example of SARC’s new assessment process will be demonstrated in April, when the committee reassesses the status of the polar bear. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
Terrace RCMP arrested two men that had visited someone in COVID-19 isolation and tried to hit a police officer with a chair, according to an RCMP media release. On Feb. 17, RCMP received a report about two men who were visiting a person in COVID-19 quarantine at the Sunshine Inn. The occupant of the room, who is a client of ‘Ksan Society, called the front desk for help after the men refused to leave. The front desk called ‘Ksan Society, who then called who called the RCMP. When police arrived, they told the men they were unwelcome and needed to leave. “The men became combative with police, lifting a chair and attempting to strike the member with it, shouting expletives and threatening to kill police officers on scene,” the release states. The men were arrested for assault with a weapon, resisting arrest and uttering threats. They were later released by police undertaking to address the matter in court. Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News