With Mia Gordon.
With Mia Gordon.
Canada's health officials spoke about the recent change in guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on the time between two COVID-19 vaccine doses, and how that may contribute to vaccine hesitancy in Canada.
LIVERPOOL, England — Liverpool’s woeful home form is developing into a full-blown crisis after Chelsea’s 1-0 victory on Thursday inflicted a fifth straight league loss at Anfield on the Premier League champions — the worst run in the club’s 128-year history. With Liverpool's title defence already over, this was billed as a battle for a Champions League place and Mason Mount’s 42nd-minute goal lifted Chelsea back into the top four. Chelsea’s previous win at Anfield, in 2014, effectively ended the title hopes of Brendan Rodgers’ side. This one was a blow to Liverpool’s chances of a top-four finish under Jurgen Klopp. Klopp’s side is four points adrift of Chelsea and with Everton and West Ham also ahead. Liverpool has now gone more than 10 hours without a goal from open play at Anfield. The hosts failed to register an effort on target until the 85th minute and Georginio Wijnaldum’s weak header was never going to beat Edouard Mendy. They have taken one point from the last 21 on offer at home since Christmas and scored just two goals, one of which was a penalty. None of Liverpool's established front three — Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino — impressed but the sight of Salah, the Premier League’s leading scorer, being substituted just past the hour mark was baffling. The Egypt international certainly thought so as he sat shaking his head, having been replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Chelsea, by contrast, looked full of threat with Timo Werner — a player Liverpool was interested in but decided it could not afford last summer — a constant problem. Despite one goal in his previous 17 league outings, he caused problems with his movement, drifting out to the left then popping into the middle to give Fabinho a real headache on his return to the side. The Brazil midfielder, replacing Nat Phillips after he became the latest centre back to pick up an injury, was partnering Ozan Kabak in Liverpool’s 15th different central-defensive starting partnership in 27 league matches. Faced with a statistic like that, it is perhaps understandable why there was a lack of cohesion at the back and Werner should really have profited. He fired one early shot over and then failed to lift his effort over Alisson Becker, back in goal after the death of his father in Brazil last week. Even when Werner did beat Alisson, VAR ruled the Germany international’s arm had been offside 20 yards earlier in the build-up. Liverpool’s one chance fell to Mane but Salah’s first-time ball over the top got caught under his feet and Mane missed his shot with only Mendy to beat. Chelsea was still controlling the game and caught Liverpool on the counterattack when N’Golo Kante quickly sent a loose ball out to the left wing, from where Mount cut inside to beat Alisson having been given far too much time to pick his spot. All five of Mount’s league goals have come away from home. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel spent the first five minutes of the second half screaming at his players to press harder and play higher up the pitch but Liverpool’s players were equally vocal when Firmino’s cross hit the raised arm of Kante from close range. No penalty was awarded. Andy Robertson cleared off the line from Hakim Ziyech after Alisson parried Ben Chilwell’s shot as Chelsea continued to look more dangerous. Klopp’s attempt to change the direction of the game saw him send on Diogo Jota for his first appearance in three months, along with Oxlade-Chamberlain. Jota’s first touch was a half-chance from a deep cross but he was not sharp enough to take it. Werner, meanwhile, was doing everything but score as Alisson’s leg saved another shot as he bore down on goal. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Lennox & Addington Seniors Outreach Services (SOS) 55 Plus Activity Centre, located in Greater Napanee, is receiving an influx of funding to support the health and well-being of local seniors during COVID-19. The organization helps seniors remain independent, in their homes and active within their community by providing quality, integrated services. MPP Daryl Kramp has announced that SOS will be receiving $42,700.00 for 2020-21 operations and maintenance and also a grant of $7,995.52 for a total of $50,695.52, according to a release from his office, dated Tuesday, Mar. 2, 2021. “This is a local organization which has helped multiple generations of local seniors stay in touch and engaged for many years and that says a lot about the community it serves,” said MPP Kramp. “These funds will be important both as they operate now and as they look forward to resuming their important in-person community roles.” Kramp says this year’s investment will focus on virtual programs such as teleconferences, online videos, one-on-one phone calls to help seniors stay connected from home, and support projects such as: According to the release, the seniors population in Ontario is the fastest growing age group. By 2023, there will be 3 million Ontarians over the age of 65. Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility says the past year has been especially challenging for Seniors. “Given the social isolation that COVID-19 has brought to many seniors, it is important that we look to programs that will keep them safe and connected,” said Minister Cho. “Our government’s investment in Seniors Active Living Centres helps older adults stay virtually engaged with their friends, family and communities while combatting social isolation during the pandemic.” This year’s ongoing funding has supported the application of safety control measures against the spread of COVID-19, and provided more remote and virtual programming, according to the release. Learn more about Lennox & Addington Seniors Outreach Services (SOS) on their website. Jessica Foley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
LONDON — British police said Thursday that they will not launch a criminal investigation into the journalist Martin Bashir over his 1995 interview with Princess Diana. The Metropolitan Police force said “no further action will be taken” over allegations Bashir used illegal subterfuge to get the interview. Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, has alleged that Bashir used false documents, including fake bank statements, and other dishonest tactics to convince Diana to agree to the interview. Police Commander Alex Murray said detectives had “carefully assessed” the allegations and sought advice from lawyers. “Following this detailed assessment and in view of the advice we received, we have determined that it is not appropriate to begin a criminal investigation into these allegations,” he said. “No further action will be taken. “In this matter, as in any other, should any significant new evidence come to light we will assess it," he added. The BBC has begun its own investigation, led by a retired judge, into the circumstances surrounding the program. The interview, in which Diana famously said “there were three of us in this marriage” — referring to Prince Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles — was watched by millions of people and sent shockwaves through the monarchy. Diana divorced from Charles in 1996 and died in a Paris car crash in 1997 as she was pursued by paparazzi. Charles married Camilla, now the Duchess of Cornwall, in 2005. The Associated Press
One of Canada's top public health officials sought to reassure Canadians today that a recommendation from a federal vaccine advisory committee to stretch out the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses is a sound one. Yesterday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended that 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 due to limited supplies. Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo said the advice is based on real-world data that shows doing so would lead to more people being protected from COVID-19 in a shorter time period. "This recommendation is based on clinical trial reports and emerging real-world evidence from around the world. Data shows that several weeks after being administered, first doses of vaccines provide highly effective protection against symptomatic disease, hospitalization and death," Njoo told a technical briefing today. Confusion over conflicting advice Njoo's comments appeared to be addressing the confusion created by the fact that NACI's recommendation conflicts with those issued by Health Canada when it granted regulatory approvals for the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines. Regulatory documents provided by Health Canada upon approval of each vaccine state that the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech should be taken three weeks after the first, the second Moderna shot should come four weeks after the first, and the second AstraZeneca dose should be delivered between four and 12 weeks after the first. All of those recommendations are in line with the product monograph provided by the manufacturers. Adding to the confusion, NACI recommended on Monday against giving the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine to people 65 and older, although Health Canada has authorized it for use in adults of all ages. But Njoo said the discrepancies can be explained by the fact that Health Canada is a regulator and NACI is an advisory body made up of medical experts. "You have likely noticed that NACI's recommendations are sometimes different, possibly broader or narrower than the conditions of vaccine use that Health Canada has authorized. As the regulator, Health Canada authorizes each vaccine for use in Canada according to factors based on clinical trial evidence, whereas NACI bases its guidance on the available and evolving evidence in a real-world context, including the availability of other vaccines," Njoo said. "What we expect is that NACI recommendations will complement — not mirror — those of Health Canada." WATCH: Njoo comments on NACI recommendation to delay second COVID-19 vaccine doses The issue burst into the open on Monday when 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. Some medical experts questioned that decision. Canada's chief science adviser, Mona Nemer, said doing so without proper clinical trials amounts to a "population level experiment." Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., told the Washington Post that the science doesn't support delaying a second dose for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. He said there isn't enough evidence to determine how much protection is provided by one dose of those vaccines, and how long it lasts. Despite those warnings, several provinces followed Henry's lead and even more have indicated they intend to stretch the dosage interval. While it appeared to some at the time that Henry was moving faster than the science, Njoo said that NACI's experts briefed provincial medical officers of health over the weekend on the results of their analysis before releasing their recommendations publicly. NACI concluded that stretching the dosing interval to four months would allow up to 80 per cent of Canadians over the age of 16 to receive a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June, without compromising vaccine effectiveness. "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. As for the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, Njoo said it is safe and that evidence shows it provides protection against very serious disease and death in people of all ages. He said Health Canada has a rigorous scientific review process and only approves vaccines that meet high standards for safety, efficacy and quality. Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, said expert advice will continue to change as more data becomes available from ongoing mass vaccination campaigns, and she urged provinces and territories to consider recommendations and evidence from both bodies when making decisions about their vaccine strategies. "The messaging would be simpler if we had one set of data and we had one message and it never changed, but that's not what science does," said Sharma. Decision on Johnson and Johnson imminent At today's briefing, health officials also indicated that a regulatory decision on whether to approve Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine is expected soon. "The review of the Johnson & Johnson submission is going very well, it's progressing, and we're expecting to have that completed and a decision in the next few days. I would say in the next seven days or so," said Sharma. The company has said its vaccine is 66 per cent effective at preventing moderate to severe illness in a global clinical trial, and much more effective — 85 per cent — against the most serious symptoms. Canada has agreed to purchase up to 38 million doses if it is approved. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it for use in that country last Saturday. The approval of a fourth vaccine would give a significant boost to Canada's vaccine rollout. Johnson and Johnson's vaccine is widely seen as one of the easiest to administer because it requires only one dose and can be stored for long periods of time at regular refrigerator temperatures. Njoo said additional vaccines, coupled with the NACI recommendation on dosage intervals, could allow Canada to meet the goal of inoculating all adults who want a vaccine "several weeks" before the current target date of the end of September. Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander leading Canada's COVID-19 vaccine logistics, said that while more vaccines would be good news, the current target remains the end of September.
Vancouver's parks board is taking action to control the increasing numbers of messy and aggressive Canada geese. A statement from the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation says it is developing a management plan to reduce the number of geese in city parks, beaches and on the seawall. The board is particularly concerned about humans feeding the birds, saying it brings flocks of geese to high-traffic areas such as Stanley Park and the beaches of English Bay and Sunset Beach. A key part of the management plan asks residents to identify Canada goose nests on private property so they can be removed or the eggs can be addled, and left in the nest so adults continue to brood, rather than lay again. The board estimates Vancouver's population of more than 3,500 Canada geese grows every year because the habitat is ideal and the birds have no natural predators. Several Okanagan cities are asking permission to cull growing flocks of Canada geese that foul area beaches and parks, but Vancouver's board says egg addling, a measure supported by the SPCA, is its only control measure. In addition to calling for public help in identifying nests, which can be on roofs, balconies or in tall, topped trees, the park board is urging people not to feed Canada geese. “Supplemental feeding by humans can also contribute to geese being able to lay more than one clutch of eight eggs per season; meaning that if one clutch does not hatch, they can replace it," the statement says. "In nature, without food from humans, this wouldn’t happen." Canada geese have inefficient digestive systems and the parks board says the birds produce more excrement for their size than most other species. The park board says it hopes to step up egg addling, saying wildlife specialists believe the practice must be tripled in order to cut Vancouver's goose populations. A web page has been created on the City of Vancouver website to report the location of nests so they can be removed or the eggs can be addled. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021. The Canadian Press
Ontario says pharmacies in three public heath units, including Toronto, will begin giving out COVID-19 vaccines next week. Health Minister Christine Elliott says many of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses expected to arrive in the province will go to the pharmacies for the pilot program. Canada received 500,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca this week and Ontario has said those doses will be given to people between the ages of 60 and 64. Elliott says the province is currently updating its vaccine rollout, based on the expected Oxford-AstraZeneca doses as well as a national panel's recommendation that the interval between vaccine shots can be stretched to four months. She says the updated immunization plan will be shared "imminently." The Ontario Pharmacists Association says the vaccination pilot will begin with approximately 380 pharmacies in Toronto, Kingston and Windsor-Essex health units. CEO Justin Bates says pharmacies will use their own booking systems to make appointments, likely starting with people between the ages of 60 and 64, and the program will eventually scale up. The report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021. The Canadian Press
HARDCOVER FICTION 1. “The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press) 2. “A Court of Silver Flames” by Sarah J. Maas (Bloomsbury) 3. “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig (Viking) 4. “The Sanatorium” by Sarah Pearse (Viking/Dorman) 5. “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett (Riverhead) 6. “The Kaiser's Web” by Steve Berry (Minotaur) 7. “The Invisible Life of Addie Larue” by V.E. Schwab (Tor) 8. “The Russian” by Patterson/Born (Little, Brown) 9. “Faithless in Death” by J.D. Robb (St. Martin’s Press) 10. “Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder” by Joanne Fluke (Kensington) 11. “Kingdom of Shadow and Light” by Karen Marie Moning (Delacorte) 12. “The Return” by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing) 13. “Missing and Endangered” by J.A. Jance (William Morrow) 14. “A Time for Mercy” by John Grisham (Doubleday) 15. “Anxious People” by Fredrik Backman (Atria) HARDCOVER NONFICTION 1. “Believe It” by Jamie Kern Lima (Gallery) 2. “The Pegan Diet” by Mark Hyman (Little, Brown Spark) 3. “Walk in My Combat Boots” by Patterson/Eversmann (Little, Brown) 4. “Think Again” by Adam Grant (Viking) 5. “Just As I Am: A Memoir” by Cicely Tyson (HarperCollins) 6. “Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey (Crown) 7. “Keep Sharp” by Sanjay Gupta (Simon & Schuster) 8. “The Sum of Us” by Heather McGhee (One World) 9. “A Promised Land” by Barack Obama (Crown) 10. “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson (Random House) 11. “Intuitive Fasting” by Will Cole (Rodale) 12. “Winning the War in Your Mind” by Craig Groeschel (Zondervan) 13. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle (Dial) 14. “Four Hundred Souls” by Kendi/Blain (One World) 15. “Magnolia Table, Vol. 2” by Joanna Gaines (William Morrow) MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS 1. “The Numbers Game” by Danielle Steel (Dell) 2. “Camino Winds” by John Grisham (Dell) 3. “By the Neck” by William W. Johnstone (Pinnacle) 4. “A Quiet, Little Town” by William W. Johnstone (Pinnacle) 5. “Bridgerton: The Duke and I” (TV tie-in) by Julia Quinn (Avon) 6. “Reckless Road” by Christine Feehan (Berkley) 7. “Journey of the Pharaohs” by Cussler/Brown (G.P. Putnam's Sons) 8. “A Timeless Christmas” by Alexis Stanton (Hallmark) 9. “Western Stars” by Nora Roberts (St. Martin’s Press) 10. “Hush” by Patterson/Fox (Grand Central Publishing) 11. “A Secret Amish Crush” by Marta Perry (Love Inspired) 12. “Perfect Partners” by Debbie Macomber (Mira) 13. “The Lost and Found Bookshop” by Susan Wiggs (Avon) 14. “From the Shadows” by B.J. Daniels (HQN) 15. “Revenge” by Patterson/Holmes (Grand Central Publishing) TRADE PAPERBACKS 1. “The 20th Victim” by Patterson/Paetro (Grand Central Publishing) 2. “Burn After Writing” (pink) by Sharon Jones (TarcherPerigee) 3. “Bridgerton: The Duke and I” (TV tie-in) by Julia Quinn (Avon) 4. “Fair Warning” by Michael Connelly (Grand Central Publishing) 5. “Home Body” by Rupi Kaur (Andrews McMeel) 6. “28 Summers” by Elin Hilderbrand (Back Bay) 7. “The Girl from the Channel Islands” by Jenny Lecoat (Graydon House) 8. “Camino Winds” by John Grisham (G.P. Putnam's Sons) 9. “The Step-by-Step Instant Pot Cookbook” by Jeffrey Eisner (Voracious) 10. “Circe” by Madeline Miller (Back Bay) 11. “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas (Bloomsbury) 12. “Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rift Omnibus” by Yang/Gurihiru/Heisler (Dark Horse) 13. “The Order” by Daniel Silva (Harper) 14. “Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun, Vol. 7” by Aidairo (Yen) 15. “The Body” by Bill Bryson (Anchor) The Associated Press
An afternoon traffic stop on Keith Ave. in Terrace led to the seizure of substances which police suspect are methamphetamine and purple fentanyl, according to an RCMP media release. On March 2, 2021, police received a report from a member of the public of a potentially impaired driver. RCMP located the vehicle on Keith Ave. and conducted a traffic stop. A roadside screening of the driver led police to believe the driver was impaired by drugs, and police observed the passenger trying to hide bags of a white substance between their legs. RCMP arrested the passenger for possessing a controlled substance and failure to comply with an undertaking. The vehicle was impounded and the driver was given a driving prohibition and several violation tickets. A search incidental to arrest turned up gloves, which contained suspected methamphetamine and purple fentanyl. The matter has been forwarded to court. Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
PORTLAND, Ore. — Jean Andrade, an 88-year-old who lives alone, has been waiting for her COVID-19 vaccine since she became eligible under state guidelines nearly a month ago. She assumed her caseworker would contact her about getting one, especially after she spent nearly two days stuck in an electric recliner during a recent power outage. It was only after she saw a TV news report about competition for the limited supply of shots in Portland, Oregon, that she realized no one was scheduling her dose. A grocery delivery service for homebound older people eventually provided a flyer with vaccine information, and Andrade asked a helper who comes by for four hours a week to try to snag her an appointment. “I thought it would be a priority when you’re 88 years old and that someone would inform me," said Andrade, who has lived in the same house for 40 years and has no family members able to assist her. “You ask anybody else who's 88, 89, and don’t have anybody to help them, ask them what to do. Well, I’ve still got my brain, thank God. But I am very angry.” Older adults have top priority in COVID-19 immunization drives the world over right now, and hundreds of thousands of them are spending hours online, enlisting their children’s help and travelling hours to far-flung pharmacies in a desperate bid to secure a COVID-19 vaccine. But an untold number like Andrade are getting left behind, unseen, because they are too overwhelmed, too frail or too poor to fend for themselves. The urgency of reaching this vulnerable population before the nation's focus turns elsewhere is growing as more Americans in other age and priority groups become eligible for vaccines. With the clock ticking and many states extending shots to people as young as 55, nonprofits, churches and advocacy groups are scrambling to find isolated elders and get them inoculated before they have to compete with an even bigger pool — and are potentially forgotten about as vaccination campaigns move on. An extreme imbalance between vaccine supply and demand in almost every part of the United States makes securing a shot a gamble. In Oregon, Andrade is vying with as many as 750,000 residents age 65 and older, and demand is so high that appointments for the weekly allotment of doses in Portland are snapped up in less than an hour. On Monday, the city's inundated vaccine information call line shut down by 9 a.m., and online booking sites have crashed. Amid such frenzy, the vaccine rollout here and elsewhere has strongly favoured healthier seniors with resources “who are able to jump in their car at a moment’s notice and drive two hours” while more vulnerable older adults are overlooked, said James Stowe, the director of aging and adult services for an association of city and county governments in the bistate Kansas City area. "Why weren’t they the thrust of our efforts, the very core of what we wanted to do? Why didn’t it include this group from the very outset?” he said of the most vulnerable seniors. Some of the older adults who have not received vaccines yet are so disconnected they don't even know they are eligible. Others realize they qualify, but without internet service and often email accounts, they don't know how to make an appointment and can't get to one anyway — so they haven't tried. Still others have debilitating health issues that make leaving home an insurmountable task, or they are so terrified of exposure to COVID-19 that they'd rather go unvaccinated than risk venturing out in public to get a shot. In Kansas City, Missouri, 75-year-old Pat Brown knows she needs the vaccine because her asthma and diabetes put her at higher risk of serious COVID-19 complications. But Brown hasn’t attempted to schedule an appointment and didn’t even know if they were being offered in her area yet; she says she is too overwhelmed. “I don’t have no car, and it’s hard for me to get around places. I just don’t like to go to clinics and have to wait because you have to wait so long,” Brown said, adding that she is in constant pain because of spinal arthritis. “I couldn’t do it. My back would give out...and I don’t have the money to take a cab.” The pandemic has also closed senior centres, libraries and churches — all places where older Americans might remain visible in their communities and get information about the vaccine. And some public health departments at first relied on mass emails and text messages to alert residents they were eligible, thereby missing huge chunks of the senior population. “Do you think everyone has internet access? Do you really think everyone has email?” Denise LaBuda, spokeswoman for the Council on Aging of Central Oregon, said. “We just don’t know where they all are. They have to raise their hand — and how do they raise their hand?” To counter access disparities, the Biden administration said Wednesday that it will partner with health insurance companies to help vulnerable older people get vaccinated for COVID-19. The goal is to get 2 million of the most at-risk seniors vaccinated soon, White House coronavirus special adviser Andy Slavitt said. Slavitt says insurers will use their networks to contact Medicare recipients with information about COVID-19 vaccines, answer questions, find and schedule appointments for first and second doses and co-ordinate transportation. The focus will be on reaching people in medically underserved areas. Non-profits, churches and advocates for older people have already spent weeks figuring out how to reach disadvantaged Americans over age 65 through a patchwork and grassroots effort that varies widely by location. Some are partnering with charities like Meals on Wheels to distribute vaccine information or grocery-delivery programs like the one which alerted Andrade. Others are mining library card rosters, senior centre membership lists and voter registration databases to find disconnected older people. Reaching out through organizations and faith groups that marginalized older Americans already trust is key, said Margaret Scharle, who developed a vaccine outreach toolkit for her Roman Catholic parish in Oregon. The “low-tech” approach, which other charities started using, relies on door-knocking, paper brochures and scripted phone calls to communicate with residents over 65. “Once you’ve been blocked so many times in trying to make an appointment, you might give up. So we are working as hard as we can to penetrate the most marginalized communities, to activate networks that are already existing,” said Scharle, who after the initial contact offers assistance with scheduling appointments and transportation. In Georgetown, South Carolina, a rural community where many of the 10,000 residents are the descendants of slaves, the local NAACP chapter is using its rolls from a November get-out-the-vote drive to get the oldest citizens out for the vaccine. Chapter president Marvin Neal said they are trying to reach 2,700 people to let them know they are eligible for a shot and to offer help booking appointments. Many of those individuals don’t have internet service or transportation, or suffer from medical issues like dementia, he said. “Some are not even aware that the vaccine is even in their community, that’s the challenge,” Neal said. “It’s like they’re just throwing up their hands in the air and hoping somebody steps in. Because all the ones I have talked to want the vaccine. I haven’t had one yet that didn’t say, ‘Sign me up.’” Outreach workers are also identifying holes in the system that prevent the most vulnerable seniors from accessing shots. For example, a dial-a-ride service in a rural part of Oregon doesn't take passengers beyond their town limits, meaning they can't get to their county's mass vaccination site. In the same region, only the largest city has a public bus system. Such obstacles underscore what outreach workers say is a huge demand for mobile vaccine clinics. Some local governments and non-profit organizations are partnering with paramedics and volunteer groups that specialize in disaster response to inoculate the hardest-to-reach seniors. In South Carolina, pharmacist Raymond Paschal purchased a van and a $3,000 refrigerator to start a mobile clinic for underserved areas, but his independent pharmacy in Georgetown can't get ahold of any vaccine. “There’s a lot of people falling through the cracks,” Paschal said. “These older people who have still not received their vaccine, they’re going to have all this younger generation they have to compete with. So we’ve got to get to these older people first.” ____ Hollingsworth reported from Kansas City, Missouri. Bynum reported from Savannah, Georgia. Associated Press reporter Sara Cline in Portland, Oregon contributed to this report. Gillian Flaccus, Heather Hollingsworth And Russ Bynum, The Associated Press
Two out of three opposition parties with seats in the New Brunswick legislature say they want the province to hold off on selling Cannabis NB. In 2019 the province asked for offers to buy the Crown corporation tasked with selling cannabis in the province. This came after the corporation sustained losses over multiple quarters. But Cannabis NB has rebounded in the past year, earning $8.3 million in net profit so far this fiscal year. In this week's political panel, Liberal MLA Rob McKee said the increased revenue isn't the only reason the province should hold off on selling the Crown corporation. "There are shut down costs that will happen with the winding down of Cannabis NB," said McKee. "We believe that it should continue with government running the sale and distribution of cannabis." Green MLA Kevin Arseneau said the Crown corporation should not be sold.(Radio-Canada) Green MLA Kevin Arseneau agreed with McKee that the Crown corporation should not be sold. "I think there's also public health reasons with the reinvesting some of the profits into public health measures and campaigns," said Arseneau. "There's also the fact that these are unionized jobs. So good paying jobs in different communities is always a great thing." Not all the opposition parties are in agreement though. People's Alliance Leader Kris Austin says the province should never have been in the cannabis business in the first place. "[It] boggles my mind that government has any business in retail, especially when you talk about marijuana and alcohol," said Austin. "I think government has a role to play in regulating it, ensuring that there's fair taxation on the sold product. But as far as retailing it, I mean, it's just absurd that government has gotten to this point where it's involved in any type of retail of any sort" People’s Alliance Leader Kris Austin says the province should never have been in the cannabis business in the first place.(Ed Hunter/CBC) While Austin agrees with the Progressive Conservative's push to get the government out of the weed business, he doesn't agree with going from a public monopoly to a private one. "I don't see that having any effect on the black market," said Austin. "I just think it should be open to people that want to start a business and go with it as long as, again, its properly regulated fair taxation" Liberal MLA Rob McKee said he believes the government’s move to sell Cannabis NB is ideological.(CBC) McKee said he believes the government's move to sell Cannabis NB is ideological, given the corporation was started under a Liberal government and Premier Blaine Higgs had criticized the idea before he came into office "His stubbornness probably means that they will continue down the road of selling off the rights to selling cannabis," said McKee. No one from government was made available for the political panel.
A research fellow at Saskatoon vaccine research facility VIDO-InterVac says stretching doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to four-months is "taking a chance." "I just want to see the scientific evidence," said Dr. Suresh Tikoo, who is also the director of vaccinology and immunotherapeutics at the University of Saskatchewan. On Wednesday, Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) said the time between first and second doses of all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada should increase to a maximum of four months apart to boost the number of Canadians being vaccinated. Tikoo said there is not enough data to support that recommendation and that "no other country or jurisdiction around the world has made such a recommendation." Earlier this week, B.C. was the first in the world to announce such a long delay between doses. "It's a risky plan. I would not go for it in the sense that there's no science behind it," Tikoo said. "The problem is, the data available for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is for about six weeks and AstraZeneca is 12 weeks. But going to 16 weeks or 18 weeks? As a scientist, I would not recommend it myself." NACI has acknowledged that studies have not yet collected four months of data on vaccine effectiveness after the first dose. Dr. Suresh Tikoo is a professor and director of vaccinology and immunotherapeutics graduate school and research fellow at VIDO Intervac at the University of Saskatchewan.(Mickey Djuric/CBC) In the U.K., doses are spaced apart by 12 weeks following the emergence of the B117 variant. "If the virus replicates there are more variants that will arrive. That's one of the main driving forces around this notion, to get the vaccine in as many people as possible, so it lowers the emergence of new variants," Tikoo said. "They can do eight months, but the problem is there's a risk of seeing antibodies go down after some time." Spacing doses shows less chance of infection Steven Lewis, a health policy consultant formerly based in Saskatchewan who now lives in Australia, said he'd go with the U.K. route. "Get as many arms jabbed with a single dose of whatever vaccine was available and roll the dice that the immunity will hold up," Lewis said in an emailed statement. WATCH | The evidence is there for the 'concept of further delay' of second doses: Dr. Naylor Tikoo and Lewis both said there is a level of gambling when making this decision. "What are the odds that a single dose of the two-dose vaccines will backfire, leaving people vulnerable after a few weeks and essentially going back to square one with them? We don't know definitively. I strongly suspect it is low," Lewis said. Recent evidence emerged from the U.K. that a single dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines has reduced the risk of hospitalization among older people by 80 per cent. "When you have results this good, unless there is emerging evidence of a major drop-off in protection after a single dose of a vaccine intended for double doses, I think the case is pretty compelling to go with it wherever there are quite a few cases," Lewis said. 'This becomes a government decision' Tikoo said if the plan goes wrong, antibodies will neutralize "and there will be more hospitalizations and deaths." "Companies will never put on their label 'give it four months apart' if they don't have the data," Tikoo said. "They will never give that in writing." The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown here. Moderna's own trials, and the conditions under which the vaccine was approved by Health Canada, are tied to a four-week interval between doses. (Greg Lovett /Northwest Florida Daily News/The Associated Press) Patricia Gauthier, head of Moderna's Canadian operations, said 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.
Since Aurora began enforcing a three-bag limit on garbage collection, the community has seen a significant reduction in the amount of waste going to landfill. But, in some cases, a three-bag limit isn’t cutting it for residents and some flexibility is in order. This was the view that Mayor Tom Mrakas and Councillor Harold Kim presented to Council last week in a joint motion which could lead to a bag tag program for the Town of Aurora. Approved by Council on February 23, the motion has tasked municipal staff with drafting a report on various options for a garbage bag tag policy to be implemented “as soon as possible.” Among the reasons citied by lawmakers for adding some flexibility for waste collection were households with large families and homes that have tenanted secondary suites such as basement apartments. “It just seems like a more pragmatic solution to have a tag system,” said Councillor Kim. “There are a lot of options out there and this motion is asking staff to look at those options and see which is the best solution for Aurora.” Mayor Mrakas, however, already had one particular option in mind: allocating households a specific number of tags each year and letting them use them as they see fit. “There is one thing that is in common with almost every single municipality that provides a limit and that is there is a tag policy in place,” he said. “The difference with some of them [is] you get a full amount for the year and I believe that is probably the best approach. I think if we provide everyone with a full amount for the year… we have 26 weeks of garbage [collection]…you provide 78 tags to everyone. It becomes a very simple process for GFL and our waste diversion: if you don’t have a sticker, it does not get picked up. You can still get extra tags on top of that, but this also, I believe, allows us to follow our strategic goals [from an environmental perspective].” Although Council has not yet pinned down a specific bag tag method, the motion calling for options was warmly received. Councillor Wendy Gaertner, for instance, said she has received feedback on the three-bag limit from a resident with “quite a large family” and options would be welcome. “There will be families who have more than one generation and they need that,” she said. “For homes that have registered secondary dwelling units… I don’t think we should be charging them for extra bags of garbage because they are providing affordable housing.” Al Downey, Aurora’s Director of Operations, said legal secondary units are a “challenge” with the three-bag limit and there are a variety of ways to address that. “One of the options that we provided to Council was to provide tags to those residents so they could tag the additional bags,” he said. “If you had three dwelling units, you would be able to put out nine bags. Six of those bags would be tagged. There is also a system where you can put an icon on the building itself identifying the number of dwelling units on that icon and when the garbage collector comes to that site, they are aware there [is more than one] dwelling unit.” Whatever options ultimately come forward, however, Councillor Michael Thompson sought re-assurances they would fit into the Town’s stated commitments on waste reduction. “As a whole, we have made a strategic commitment to reduce waste and continue to look at ways to do that,” he said. “We all know there are some costs to it… not just from a financial perspective, but a social perspective as well. I would be interested seeing in that report any evidence or anecdotal information that supports a bag tag policy as being able to reduce our waste or not. I would be interested in knowing how this can help us further align with our strategic goals when it comes to the reduction of waste in the environment.” Since Aurora began looking at ways to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill, the figures have dropped by 31 per cent, said Mr. Downey, a five-year low. “We have never put so little garbage in landfill, so it has had a very positive impact,” said Mr. Downey. “There are some challenges and I think that we need to address those challenges and [the report will tackle] some of those challenges. Secondary dwelling units are an issue and people want to know how we can deal with secondary units more effectively. I believe the bag tag system will help with that. We will be providing some options. As you know, Aurora has the highest bag limit within York Region, so no one [municipality] has more than three bags. We are already at the upper level, however there are situations where people may want to put out more bags and this report will help address those things. “I am very happy to say we have had a very dramatic impact in just the first month.” Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
BOSTON — Distance running, traditionally one of the world's most genteel sports, has been roiled by an ugly mid-pandemic squabble over who should get a shot at a coveted Boston Marathon medal. Rival camps in the running world began snapping at each other's heels this week. It began after the Boston Athletic Association, which still hopes to hold a truncated in-person edition of the planet's most prestigious footrace in October, said it will award medals to up to 70,000 athletes if they go the distance wherever they are. Practically within minutes of the BAA's announcement greatly expanding its virtual version of the race, a boisterous social media maelstrom ensued. On one side: Runners who've spent years training to qualify to run the real thing, including some who complain that mailing medals to people who run the 26.2 miles (42.2 kilometres) in Dallas or Denver will cheapen the iconic Boston experience. “A dagger through the heart to someone who has worked hard to finally earn the qualifying standard,” one runner, Mark Howard of Salisbury, North Carolina, groused on Twitter. On the other: Pretty much everyone else, including the plodding masses and runners who raise millions for charities, who counter that anything that helps the 125-year-old marathon survive the COVID-19 crisis is worthwhile. “A virtual Boston race that invites everyone is a reason to celebrate,” said Maria Arana, a marathoner and coach in Phoenix. “It in no way takes away from my personal Boston Marathon experience or anyone else’s.” The bickering seems to have caught many off-guard, if only because road racing has long had a reputation as a kind and egalitarian sport. It's one of the few disciplines where ordinary amateurs compete in real time on the same course as elite professionals, and where trash-talking is rare. As four-time Boston champion Bill Rodgers famously said: “Running is a sport where everyone gets along.” A notable exception to that gentility was the 1967 race, when race director Jock Semple ran after Kathrine Switzer — the first woman to run with an official bib number — and tried unsuccessfully to pull her off the course. It also comes as the Boston Marathon and other big-city races are struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic and looking for creative ways to keep runners engaged online. The BAA put on a virtual version of the marathon last year, after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to first postpone its usual April running to September, and then cancel in-person racing altogether. But that was limited to athletes who had already qualified to race or had registered as charity runners. This time, the first 70,000 people aged 18 or older who sign up and pay a fee will be able to earn a finisher's medal simply by covering the classic distance wherever they happen to be. They don't even need to run — they can walk. “For the first time in our history, most everyone will have the opportunity to earn a Unicorn finisher’s medal,” BAA president and CEO Tom Grilk said in a statement. Grilk said the in-person race, if it comes off as scheduled on Oct. 11, will have a reduced field to help keep athletes and spectators safe. Typically the Boston field is capped at around 30,000; the BAA hasn't said how much smaller it will be this autumn. Josh Sitzer, a San Francisco runner who's qualified for the Boston Marathon three times, initially was among those who trashed the idea of giving out 70,000 medals as “a blatant money grab.” “Respect yourself and the game. Don’t do Boston unless you earn it,” he tweeted. Then he had a change of heart, tweeting: “I was wrong. It's not the same as the actual Boston Marathon, and it doesn't devalue” the experience of those who meet strict qualifying standards for a chance to line up in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. It's been a bad look, acknowledges Erin Strout, who covers the sport for WomensRunning.com. “If there ever was a time to put our elitism and cynicism aside, it’s now,” she wrote in an opinion piece. “Let’s welcome each other in, cheer each other on, and seize the opportunity to bring back running bigger, better, and more inclusive than it was before.” ___ This story has been corrected to delete a reference to a $70 entry fee for the virtual marathon; organizers say they haven't yet decided on entry fees. ___ Follow AP New England editor Bill Kole on Twitter at http://twitter.com/billkole. William J. Kole, The Associated Press
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover has continued to send stunning images of the red planet back to Earth. In this moment, an incredible shot of the Sun from the Martian surface was captured. Credit to "NASA/JPL-Caltech".
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting five new COVID-19 cases today, four of which are in the eastern health region that includes St. John's. Health officials say the four cases in the eastern region involve people between the ages of 40 and 69; three involve close contacts of prior cases while the fourth is related to domestic travel. Officials say the fifth case is located in the western health region, involves a person between the ages of 20 and 39 and is related to international travel. Eight people are in hospital with the disease, including two in intensive care. Officials say they are still investigating the source of an infection involving a health-care worker at a hospital in the rural town of St. Anthony, located on the Northern Peninsula. Newfoundland and Labrador has 121 active reported COVID-19 infections. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021. The Canadian Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lawmakers on Thursday approved a $6.6 billion plan aimed at pressuring school districts to return students to the classroom before the end of the school year. The bill does not order school districts to resume in-person instruction and it does not say parents must send their kids back to the classroom if they don’t want to. Instead, the state will dangle $2 billion before cash-strapped school boards, offering them a share of that money only if they offer in-person instruction by the end of the month. School districts have until May 15 to decide. Districts that resume in-person learning after that date won’t get any of that money. “We need to get the schools reopen. I know it’s hard, but today we are providing powerful tools for schools to move into this direction,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco who pleaded with his school district to accept the money and offer in-person instruction. Most of California's 6.1 million students in 1,037 public school districts have been learning from home since last March because of the pandemic. The bill passed both houses of the state Legislature on Thursday by overwhelming margins. But many lawmakers criticized the bill as too weak. The bill does not say how much time students should spend in the classroom, prompting fears some districts might have students return for just one day per week and still be eligible to get the money. Republicans in the state Senate tried to amend the bill to require schools to offer at least three days per week of in-person learning, but Democrats in the majority rejected it. And while the bill requires most elementary school grades to return to the classroom to get the money, it does not require all middle and high school grades to return this year. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has said he plans to sign the bill into law on Friday. The bill comes as Newsom faces a potential recall election later this year, fueled by anger over his handling of the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Newsom has trumpeted the back to school proposal as evidence of his commitment to getting students who have studied mostly online since last March into classrooms again. But Scott Wilk, the Republican leader in the state Senate, said the bill was simply an effort by Democrats to give Newsom political cover so he can “get parents to believe he’s doing everything he possibly can for them.” “The truth is this bill doesn’t do anything to reopen our schools. I believe with or without this bill, school districts that want to reopen will and school districts that don’t want to reopen won’t,” said Wilk, who voted for the bill along with most other Republicans. The bill has two sets of rules districts must follow to get the money. The first set applies to school districts in counties where the coronavirus is widespread. The second set of rules applies to districts in counties where the virus is not as widespread. To get the money, districts governed by the first set of rules must offer in-person learning through at least second grade by the end of March. Districts governed by the second set of rules must offer in-person learning to all elementary grades, plus at least one grade in middle and high school. However, the Newsom administration late Wednesday changed the standards that dictate which counties must follow which rules. The new standards mean most counties will have to follow the second set of rules requiring districts to offer in-person instruction in all elementary school grades. “It’s a little dishonest what’s happening,” said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a Democrat from San Diego, who voted in favour of the bill. The bill also includes $4.6 billion aimed at helping students catch up after a year of learning from home. Districts could use this money to extend the school year into the summer or they could spend it on counselling and tutoring. All districts would get this money, regardless of whether they offer in-person instruction. But the bill stated that districts must use at least 85% of that money for expenses related to in-person instruction. Adam Beam, The Associated Press
A young Indigenous woman from Bracebridge said that she is trying to lead by example in showing Indigenous youth how critically important it is to learn about their culture and history. Brooke Morrow, 20, is currently in her second year studying at the University of Ottawa, majoring in Indigenous studies with a minor in creative writing. She is having to take her courses online this academic year due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Morrow, who describes herself as a proud Ojibwe artist as well as an activist, said she has her eye on teaching Indigenous language, culture and history once she has completed her post-secondary education. Morrow said, as busy as she is with online classes, she has found time for other culturally important activities. That included an online presentation last month to students at Gravenhurst High School where she taught a lesson on Indigenous ceramic art. “I do a lot of different things. I have my small arts business, Kigons Creations, where I make earrings. I bead bracelets and I make Ojibwe-style moccasins. I also make ribbon skirts and I paint. I sell my art at the Annex arts collective in Bracebridge,“ Morrow said. “I also work on my reserve Rama First Nation, as a youth council co-ordinator.” Morrow added that she is also an administrator for the Together Against Racism in Muskoka Facebook group. She said she hasn’t felt a whole lot of racism firsthand, but said some of her Elders sure did. “My grandfather was much more Indigenous than his siblings. He had a different father. When he was a kid growing up in Port Carling, the local kids would pick on him for being so much darker. But they would leave his siblings alone even though those kids knew they were Indigenous as well,” Morrow said. “This was back in the late 1940s, early 50s.” Morrow said teaching the history of Indigenous people in her area to others, particularly young people, is important to her because she feels they are not taught enough about it in school. “I just want people, especially kids like myself, who didn’t grow up within Indigenous communities, to experience and learn about where they come from as well as educate non-Indigenous people as to the difficulties we face daily,” she said. “I felt lost as a kid. I didn’t know who I was or where I came from. When I started to look into Indigenous culture when I was about 17, it really made me connected to a people who I previously had felt very disconnected from.” Morrow added that the Indigenous history she learned while in high school in Bracebridge was not very thorough or in-depth. “I didn’t learn a lot about Indigenous people in high school. Not a lot of classes dealt with Indigenous people, not even Canadian history class. I did take an Indigenous studies class where I did learn more about our history,” Morrow said. “We talk a lot in all of my classes now about how the national Indigenous history we were taught is often very wrong.” She said she very much wants to set the record straight and teach students the true history of Indigenous contributions to Canadian society and the hardships that Indigenous people in Canada have had to overcome. Morrow said that when she completes her studies at the University of Ottawa, she hopes to enrol in the Anishinaabeowin emerging languages program at Georgian College in Barrie. She said she would then have to go back to university to earn her teaching certificate if she still wants to become a teacher. “I might want to go on and get my masters and PhD instead. The thought of being a university professor and an author is also very intriguing to me,” Morrow said. John McFadden is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering Indigenous issues for MuskokaRegion.com, ParrySound.com and Simcoe.com. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. John McFadden, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orillia Today
Nova Scotia may be facing a massive pandemic-related deficit but when Finance Minister Labi Kousoulis tables his first budget later this month, it will include no program cuts or staff layoffs. Although a date has not been finalized for the budget introduction, Kousoulis told reporters on Thursday he's aiming for the week of March 22. Just before leaving office, former premier Stephen McNeil told reporters the provincial deficit had decreased to about $500 million. While he wouldn't provide details about where things are now, Kousoulis said he's pleased with the province's financial position. "I'm actually very comfortable with the budget and I'm comfortable with the future of Nova Scotia," he said. "When you compare us to other provinces across the country, I think many of them would much rather be in the position we're in versus the one they are in." Cuts would send the wrong message Kousoulis said the province's strong financial position going into the pandemic has helped it respond better than some areas. Noting that the deficit is not structural, the minister said the upcoming budget would not include program cuts or staff layoffs because it would "push the economy down even further." "If we started cutting our spending, then that exacerbates the problem we're facing and it sends the wrong message to the private sector," he said. "We are funding departments to move their programs forward. We're not sitting back and pushing against programs and items that are important to Nova Scotia." The budget process usually takes two months, but Kousoulis, Premier Iain Rankin and the rest of their team have only had two weeks since being sworn in to put their stamp on the document. Despite the quick turnaround, the minister said they've been able to incorporate priorities from Rankin's Liberal leadership campaign platform into the budget. Rankin and his leadership rivals, Kousoulis and Randy Delorey, each met with Finance Department officials during the campaign to broadly outline their hopes for the budget, should they become leader and premier. The budget document will be finalized Friday before going to the office of the auditor general for review, said Kousoulis. MORE TOP STORIES
HALIFAX — The International Ice Hockey Federation has confirmed the postponement of the women's world hockey championship in Nova Scotia to May 6-16. The tournament was originally scheduled for April 7-17 in Halifax and Truro, but the provincial and federal governments have yet to approve hosting the tournament amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and no quarantine exemptions have been granted. The 2020 world championship in the same communities was cancelled because of the pandemic. The nine visiting countries have all said they'll participate in a May tournament, according to the IIHF, which is kicking in more money because of decreased ticket revenues and the higher costs of travel and accommodation. “We know how important this event is in the women’s ice hockey calendar, especially considering that we could not have a tournament last season and now with the Olympics on the horizon,” IIHF president Rene Fasel said Thursday in a statement. "Our member national associations expressed concerns over the associated costs that come with operating a tournament in the current global environment, and I am glad we were able fill the gap and ensure the women’s world championship can take place with all 10 teams.” The IIHF says a limited number of fans may be able to attend games. "Going to Nova Scotia, the world's best national teams in women's ice hockey will play in a region that is one of the least affected by the pandemic among the big hockey nations," the IIHF said. "There is currently an active case rate in Nova Scotia of under four per 100,000 inhabitants." Canada didn't reach the final for the first time in the history of the women's world championship in 2019, and earned bronze in Espoo, Finland. The Canadian women's team has played just five international games since then, all against the United States. Alberta's government approved Hockey Canada's plans to host the world junior men's hockey championship Dec. 25 to Jan. 5 in Edmonton. A champion was crowned, although some players missed games because of positive tests for the virus and extended quarantines upon arrival. "Our organization knows it will have strict support from all participating federations as it relates to adhering to the final health and safety plan that will focus on quarantining, COVID-19 testing, single-room isolation, masking, proper hygiene and social distancing," Hockey Canada president and chief operating officer Scott Smith said in a statement. "Hockey Canada and the host organizing committee are committed to working with the appropriate health authorities and listening to the direction of medical experts to build a safe and strong hosting plan. "We understand the disappointment of having the event cancelled last spring and delaying the start of the IIHF women’s world championship this year, but we know the extra time to prepare will help us provide a world-class experience for the participants while maintaining the health and safety of all participants and the community at large." The Canadian women's team is currently in Halifax for a 35-player camp concluding Sunday. “The cancellation of the 2020 IIHF women’s world championship was very difficult for our athletes, coaches and staff, and although the 2021 event is scheduled to start later than usual, our team is grateful to the IIHF and Hockey Canada for their commitment to hosting a world championship this season under difficult circumstances," said Gina Kingsbury, Hockey Canada's director of national teams. "This event is critical for our preparations for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, and we look forward to competing for a gold medal.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021. The Canadian Press