Atlantic Provinces – David Thompson Things http://davidthompsonthings.com/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 03:05:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://davidthompsonthings.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default.png Atlantic Provinces – David Thompson Things http://davidthompsonthings.com/ 32 32 ‘Extreme emergency or unforeseen events’: Australian government purchases $ 62 million worth of rapid antigen tests | Health https://davidthompsonthings.com/extreme-emergency-or-unforeseen-events-australian-government-purchases-62-million-worth-of-rapid-antigen-tests-health/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 02:02:28 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/extreme-emergency-or-unforeseen-events-australian-government-purchases-62-million-worth-of-rapid-antigen-tests-health/ The Federal Department of Health on Monday purchased $ 62 million worth of rapid antigen testing using the “extreme emergency or unforeseen events” provisions of its procurement rules as it seeks to secure stocks to meet its commitment to supply. free rapid antigen testing for low-income Australians. But the federal government’s massive buying spree could […]]]>

The Federal Department of Health on Monday purchased $ 62 million worth of rapid antigen testing using the “extreme emergency or unforeseen events” provisions of its procurement rules as it seeks to secure stocks to meet its commitment to supply. free rapid antigen testing for low-income Australians.

But the federal government’s massive buying spree could further exacerbate the shortage of free market tests.

Some suppliers inform their customers that they are unable to obtain supplies from their importers and distributors.

Rapid Proof, a Melbourne-based online retailer, told customers on Tuesday it could no longer provide Hough brand testing because the company “couldn’t meet the offer.”

Hough is one of five companies contracted by the federal government Monday to provide testing. Hough will provide $ 4.4 million in rapid antigenic testing to the Department of Health between Jan. 10 and Jan. 17, according to the memo.

Full contractual notes released Wednesday show that the federal government has used a provision in its procurement rules that allows it to avoid going out to tender.

Each note indicates that the government relied on the “Extreme emergency or unforeseen events” condition to avoid an open tendering process.

The tests were approved for general use in September, and the government has been telling the public for months that the new strategy is to live with the virus now that vaccination rates are high.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said that while the Prime Minister did not need to be ‘Nostradamus’ he should have listened to health experts and planned for the current Covid-19 outbreak.

“The national plan made it clear that once we opened there would be an increase in the number of infections and we had to make sure to plan for it,” he told the ABC.

He added: “Some $ 62 million of RAT that was purchased was due to urgent ‘unforeseen circumstances’ and was part of the tender. Well that was planned… we needed Scott Morrison to do his job but he just said, “We will all be together at Christmas, everything will be fine”, without setting up [the] necessary mechanisms.

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Executives will decide at the national cabinet on Thursday a date by which concession card holders will be able to access testing at pharmacies, as well as how the program will be approved.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions again called for rapid antigen testing to be free and readily available before the meeting.

CUTA Secretary Sally McManus said ensuring the safety of workers was the first priority, as leaders discuss adding more industries and workers to the list of close contacts exempted from quarantine requirements.

“The current dispute over this issue is the result of the Morrison government’s refusal to make RATs free,” she said. “Employers don’t want to pay, leaving the cost to individual workers.

“Rapid antigen testing is a critical part of keeping workers and the community safe, and it’s the only way businesses can stay open and operate. “

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce appeared to rule out any widespread plans to make testing free, as is the case in the UK.

“This idea that everyone gets them for free, I don’t know,” he told the Nine Network. “Money does not fall in the air, we take it from your wages, your wages, your businesses, to pay them. It goes on the credit card and you pay it off later.

Guardian Australia has contacted Rapid Proof and the Department of Health for comment.

with Australian Associated Press

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Atlantic Provinces Reflect Ottawa’s Vaccine Mandate Push https://davidthompsonthings.com/atlantic-provinces-reflect-ottawas-vaccine-mandate-push/ Tue, 11 Jan 2022 00:32:00 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/atlantic-provinces-reflect-ottawas-vaccine-mandate-push/ Federal government pressure for provinces and territories to consider COVID-19 pandemic vaccination mandate was greeted with reluctance in Atlantic Canada. “We are not in a conversation right now,” New Brunswick Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said on Monday. “I can’t predict what the future holds. “ “We have been very engaged in this educational process with […]]]>

Federal government pressure for provinces and territories to consider COVID-19 pandemic vaccination mandate was greeted with reluctance in Atlantic Canada.

“We are not in a conversation right now,” New Brunswick Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said on Monday. “I can’t predict what the future holds. “

“We have been very engaged in this educational process with our people. “

The Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness has also moved away from any general mandate on vaccines.

“Our goal continues to be to help Nova Scotians make informed decisions about vaccinations,” a written ministry statement said Monday.

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey said the province’s vaccination policy for public sector and health care workers was “already” a sufficient mandate, in an interview with Power Play from CTV Monday.

The Prince Edward Island Department of Health did not respond on time.

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said on Friday that a mandatory vaccination policy, which would be under the authority of provincial and territorial governments, should be considered with the Omicron variant stretching the country’s health system “too thin”.

New Brunswick Medical Society president Dr. Mark MacMillan said education and encouragement should continue to be the vaccination strategy for now.

“Mandate is a whole different ball game and I don’t think we’re there yet,” MacMillan said Monday.

“We don’t want to force anyone to do anything. We want people to make their own decision. But we want them to get the information they need to make that decision from an appropriate source, whether it’s their doctor, nurse practitioner, allied health professional, or public health. Contact us, ask the questions, we will give you the answer you need.

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New Brunswick Racism Commissioner believes Prince Edward Island should create a similar role https://davidthompsonthings.com/new-brunswick-racism-commissioner-believes-prince-edward-island-should-create-a-similar-role/ Sat, 08 Jan 2022 22:11:49 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/new-brunswick-racism-commissioner-believes-prince-edward-island-should-create-a-similar-role/ The New Brunswick Commissioner on Systemic Racism believes Prince Edward Island should consider a similar role following recent reports of racism on the ice during Island hockey games. Manju Varma was appointed to her post in September. She is studying systemic racism in New Brunswick and preparing a report to offer recommendations to the government […]]]>

The New Brunswick Commissioner on Systemic Racism believes Prince Edward Island should consider a similar role following recent reports of racism on the ice during Island hockey games.

Manju Varma was appointed to her post in September.

She is studying systemic racism in New Brunswick and preparing a report to offer recommendations to the government on how to dismantle it. But she also hears about incidents of racism in other Atlantic provinces.

Some PEI MPs have asked for a Racism Commissioner on PEI.

“If I were the government of Prince Edward Island, I would go to New Brunswick first,” said Varma. “I would contact the experts who are in the province, your multicultural groups, your academics who work in this field, the people who work in the immigration field, and I build from scratch.

A player was suspended indefinitely by Hockey PEI recently for a social media post criticizing the two-game suspension of a player who made an anti-Asian comment. (Peter Evans / CBC)

Varma has heard of a few high profile incidents of racism involving Island hockey players. She said a role similar to her post could help investigate these incidents.

“A commissioner in a province could have different roles. For example, for me, I am collecting information which is my role.

“If we think about the roles of the other commissioners… of the clearing-house mechanism, or the point of contact for complaints. And then they investigate. “

To me, that sends the message that if you do something wrong and get caught you have to apologize, and if you stand up and try to be an ally, you are going to be punished.– Manju Varma

A player was suspended indefinitely by Hockey PEI recently for a social media post criticizing the two-game suspension of a player who made an anti-Asian comment.

Varma said the penalty for the speaking player sent the wrong message, given that the penalty for the commenter was much lighter.

“To me that sends the message that if you do something wrong and get caught you have to apologize, and if you stand up and try to be an ally you are going to be punished,” he said. she declared.

“That says a lot about your priorities. When something is done to make the organization bad, which it sure is, then they act quickly. When something is done to hurt one of their players, it doesn’t seem like not that they are so quick on the ball. “

Hockey PEI executive director Connor Cameron said earlier this week that the player who made the anti-Asian comment was remorseful for his “mistake.”

Mark Connors, a young black hockey player from Nova Scotia, was the victim of racism at a tournament in Prince Edward Island in November. (Wayne Connors)

However, to downplay racist incidents as mistakes is a mistake in itself, Varma said.

“A mistake is something you do by accident or something you do without knowing it,” she said. “I find it hard to believe in those days and with the age of these hockey players that they did not know that a racial slur is inappropriate or hateful.”

Calling an act of racism a mistake is an example of systemic racism, she added.

There was another incident involving Mark Connors, a young black hockey player from Nova Scotia, who was the victim of racism during a tournament in Prince Edward Island in November.

Hockey PEI is still awaiting a third-party report before a decision is made in this case, but said it is expected later this month.

Varma said an independent party looking at these issues is a good place to start, but still believes the organization could do more.

“It should be a wake-up call to say, ‘We need something in place’. It is not the first organization to have problems like this. But, if you haven’t already put an anti-racist policy in place, this is your wake-up call. “

Hockey PEI has harassment and bullying rules in its code of conduct that include attacking people based on race, but Varma believes the organization could strengthen itself by adding specifically anti-racist policies.


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338Canada: Who’s Still Angry with Ottawa https://davidthompsonthings.com/338canada-whos-still-angry-with-ottawa/ Fri, 07 Jan 2022 18:40:15 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/338canada-whos-still-angry-with-ottawa/ Philippe J. Fournier: New survey of federal-provincial attitudes suggests that even in Quebec and Alberta, regional resentment is not on the rise From a strictly political perspective, the pandemic may have served as a political stress test for provincial-federal relations in Canada. Over the past year and a half, we have witnessed a number of […]]]>

Philippe J. Fournier: New survey of federal-provincial attitudes suggests that even in Quebec and Alberta, regional resentment is not on the rise

From a strictly political perspective, the pandemic may have served as a political stress test for provincial-federal relations in Canada. Over the past year and a half, we have witnessed a number of bumps in the road between the provinces and the federal government. To name just a few from a comprehensive list relating to the pandemic: While health care falls under provincial jurisdiction, it was the federal government that negotiated with the pharmaceutical giants for the procurement (and distribution ) vaccines, and while the provinces are responsible for care, the federal Liberals campaigned for the implementation of national standards last fall. This is the policy in a decentralized federation like Canada.

Just before the holiday break, the Vancouver-based polling firm Research Co. took the pulse Canadians on their satisfaction with provincial and federal leaders, as well as an interesting measure of provincial resentment across the country.

Let’s start with the Prime Minister. When asked: “My province would be better off with another premier in Ottawa,” half of survey respondents (49%) agreed, while 36% disagreed. Unsurprisingly, majorities in the western provinces agreed that a change to the PMO would be beneficial to their respective provinces. It was only in Quebec and Atlantic Canada that a greater number of respondents disagreed (and barely).

Let us now look at the numbers for prime ministers. To the statement: “My province would be better off with another responsible prime minister”, the results show that half of the respondents (51%) agreed and a third did not agree. Majorities in the Conservative-led provinces of Ontario and across the Prairies believe their provinces would benefit from a change of premier, the highest proportion of 73% in Alberta. Only 17 percent of respondents in Alberta disagreed.



Even the premier of Quebec, François Legault, scored lower than other recent polls on provincial satisfaction: 48 percent of Quebecers agree that Quebec would be better off with a change of premier. Given that this Research Co. poll was on the ground in mid-December, just as COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations had a strong upward trend, it is not unlikely that the pandemic has started to weigh down. on Legault’s stellar popularity over the past three years. year. Two weeks before, the last Léger tracker had measured a 70 percent approval rating for Legault’s handling of the pandemic.

As for BC Premier John Horgan, he is once again one of the country’s most beloved premiers. Only 35 percent of respondents in British Columbia agreed that a change would be beneficial, while almost half (47 percent) disagreed.

Finally, one question in particular caught my attention in this Research Co. survey: “Agree or disagree? My province would be better off like its own country. Across Canada, 25 percent of respondents agreed, while 65 percent disagreed. Breaking down the results by region of the country, we find that the proportion of respondents who believe their province would be better off as a country increases to 38 percent in Alberta and 30 percent in Quebec (see full tables here).



Of course, care should be taken with regional sub-samples, as their uncertainty is higher than with the full sample. However, it should be noted that nearly a third of Quebec respondents believe that the province would fare better as a separate country, which corresponds to the recent figures on Quebec sovereignty (since Quebec sovereignty has not been talked about much in recent years, polls on the subject have been less frequent).

Nonetheless, if we delve into the Quebec results in more detail, we find that only 16 percent of Quebec respondents “strongly agree” with this statement, with another 14 percent saying “moderately agree. “.



This data should help silence lingering rumors online that François Legault is secretly preparing a third referendum on Quebec independence. Although polls have shown Legault to be perhaps the most beloved premier of recent decades in Quebec, his popularity and nationalist attitude have not translated into additional support for sovereignty.

As for Alberta, 16 percent of respondents “strongly agree” that the province would do on its own, while 22% “moderately agree”. According to Mario Canseco, CEO of Research Co.: “Separatist sentiment in Alberta is currently close to the levels seen in December 2019 (40%)”.


Resentment towards Ottawa has undoubtedly grown in Alberta since Trudeau and the Liberals took power in 2015. However, let us remember that the pro-Western Maverick Independence Party won a paltry 1 percent of Alberta’s vote. in the federal election last fall, while at the provincial level Wildrose’s Independence Day polled between 5% and 15% for most of 2021 (WIP’s best poll was 20 percent of province-wide voting intentions, as measured by an Angus Reid poll in June 2021).

Regional resentment and separatism will always be one to watch out for in this country, such is the reality of living in a large, diverse and multinational state. Interestingly, however, the data available so far shows that the pandemic has not significantly moved the needle of these resentments.


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Coronavirus: What’s Happening in Canada and Around the World on January 1 https://davidthompsonthings.com/coronavirus-whats-happening-in-canada-and-around-the-world-on-january-1/ Sat, 01 Jan 2022 22:35:17 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/coronavirus-whats-happening-in-canada-and-around-the-world-on-january-1/ The last: Several provinces have again reached new highs in COVID-19 cases, reporting on the first day of 2022 that the highly transmissible variant of Omicron continued to increase infections across Canada. Ontario Saturday reported 18,445 cases – an increase from the 16,713 new cases reported on New Years Eve. Infectious disease experts have been […]]]>

The last:

Several provinces have again reached new highs in COVID-19 cases, reporting on the first day of 2022 that the highly transmissible variant of Omicron continued to increase infections across Canada.

Ontario Saturday reported 18,445 cases – an increase from the 16,713 new cases reported on New Years Eve.

Infectious disease experts have been saying for several days that the actual number of new cases is likely much higher than those reported each day, as many Ontario public health units have reached their detection capacity.

The provincial public health department said 12 more people had died from the virus and 85 more were hospitalized.

WATCH | Nurse Responds to Ontario’s Decision to Stop Reporting COVID-19 Cases in Schools:

Ontario nurse responds to province’s decision to stop reporting COVID-19 cases in schools

Doris Grinspun, head of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, responds to news that the Ministry of Education is suspending reporting of COVID-19 cases in schools and daycares. 8:48

Quebec reported 17,122 new cases, marking the fifth consecutive day that a record number of new infections have been reported in the province. It also recorded eight more deaths.

Outdoor New Years celebrations in the province were banned from 10 p.m. ET because a curfew, lasting until 5 a.m., went into effect Friday. The curfew is the second in Quebec for the pandemic. A previous curfew, announced in early January 2021, had been in place for nearly five months.

New restrictions also include a ban on almost all indoor gatherings and the closure of restaurant dining rooms. Indoor gatherings involving more than one domestic bubble have been banned.

WATCH | Exhaustion as the COVID-19 curfew in Quebec goes into effect on New Year’s Eve:

Exhaustion as COVID-19 curfew in Quebec goes into effect on New Year’s Eve

Residents of Quebec are frustrated and exhausted as the province’s latest round of COVID-19 restrictions – including a renewed curfew – take effect on New Years Eve. 2:17

Records were also set on Saturday at Nunavut, which reported 50 new cases, and Newfoundland and Labrador, which recorded 442 new infections.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, Health Minister John Haggie said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was isolating himself with cold symptoms.

The increase in the number of cases in the province will affect health care services in St. John’s. Eastern Health says elective services will be temporarily reduced starting Tuesday to allow for a greater focus on booster vaccination clinics and COVID-19 testing. The health authority says it plans to focus on urgent or emerging acute care services in the city.

However, prenatal appointments will continue, as will those for cancer treatment. The medical imaging program will prioritize exams, and these patients will only be contacted if their appointment has been canceled, Eastern Health said in a press release published on Friday. All non-urgent appointments have been canceled, he said.

Scaling up vaccination efforts is one of the country’s top priorities as 2021 approaches 2022, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his year-end statement on Friday.

Trudeau said Canadians will need to continue working together to end the pandemic, adding that the “strength, determination and compassion” they have shown over the past year “will continue to inspire and guide us. during the new year ”.


What’s happening across Canada

WATCH | The provinces are changing their strategies in an attempt to counter the rapid spread of Omicron:

Provinces change strategies to try to counter the rapid spread of Omicron

Provinces change their COVID-19 strategies as Omicron variant sweeps across Canada at record speed. More provinces have shortened isolation periods, while Ontario has stopped trying to track and trace its cases as labs report backlogs of tests. 2:02

On the last day of 2021, almost all provinces reported a record daily number of new COVID-19 cases.

British Columbia was no exception, reporting 3,795 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths on Friday. Dr Bonnie Henry, the province’s public health official, said earlier in the week that the actual number of cases is likely higher because British Columbia has reached its maximum capacity for screening and contact tracing.

The province also announced that it was limiting visits to long-term care facilities to essential visitors and would speed up its recall program.

In the Prairies, Manitoba Friday reported a single-day high of 1,494 new cases, as well as five new deaths.Saskatchewan reported 735 new cases on Friday, another daily record. (Alberta did not announce new numbers; he will resume regular reporting on Tuesday.)

In Atlantic Canada, Prince Edward Island reported a record 175 new cases on Friday. New Brunswick also reported a daily record of 682 new infections – a number according to Health Minister Dorothy Shephard could reach 1,000 a day within a week.

Shephard also said the province could see more than 160 COVID-19 patients in hospitals by mid-January, a scenario, she warned, “that would overwhelm health care providers very quickly.”

New Scotland reported 618 new cases on Friday. Starting next week, the province will speed up its approach based on the decreasing age for recalls to include those 30 and over.

In the North, the Northwest Territories, who is delaying return to school, reported 42 new cases on Friday. yukonese reported 26 new cases and one additional death.

British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta and New Brunswick became the last provinces on Friday to reduce the number of days people receiving two doses of the vaccine must self-isolate if they contract COVID-19. The isolation period has been reduced from 10 days to five days for these people.

Ontario and Saskatchewan both announced Thursday that they are reducing the isolation period to five days for people doubly vaccinated with positive test results.

For Ontario and Saskatchewan, the changes were immediate. For British Columbia and Manitoba, the new measures begin on January 1. Alberta’s change goes into effect on January 3, and New Brunswick is expected to implement the measure on January 4.


What is happening in the world

Around 289.1 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide as of Saturday, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker. The death toll worldwide stood at more than 5.4 million.

In the Americas, the annual Rose Parade returned to the streets of Pasadena, Calif., with marching bands and flower floats after being canceled last year due to the pandemic. Although the crowd was smaller than in previous years, the parade still drew thousands of fans along its 8.8-kilometer route.

Pink Queen Nadia Chung, center, waves to crowds during the 133rd Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Saturday. (Michael Owen Baker / The Associated Press)

The afternoon Rose Bowl parade and football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Utah Utes remained on track despite an explosion of COVID-19 infections in Los Angeles County, where the New daily cases topped 27,000 on Friday.

In the Asia Pacific region, China ended the last week of 2021 with its highest number of local COVID-19 cases for a seven-day period since it contained the country’s first outbreak nearly two years ago.

The National Health Commission on Saturday reported 175 new community infections with clinical symptoms confirmed for December 31, bringing the total number of local symptomatic cases in China over the past week to 1,151, mostly due to an outbreak. in the industrial and technological center of northwest Xi’an.

Xi’an has been in containment for 10 days on Saturday.

A man is tested for COVID-19 in Xi’an, north China’s Shaanxi Province, on Wednesday. (STR / AFP / Getty Images)

In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates will ban unvaccinated citizens from traveling abroad from January 10, the country’s official news agency WAM reported on Saturday, citing the Foreign Ministry and the National Crisis Management Authority. and disasters.

The report says fully vaccinated citizens would also need a booster to be able to travel. The ban would not apply to people benefiting from medical or humanitarian exemptions.

In Europe, Pope Francis delivered a New Year’s message on Saturday in which he acknowledged that the coronavirus pandemic has left many people scared and struggling amid economic inequality.

“We are still living in uncertain and difficult times due to the pandemic,” said Francis. “Many are afraid of the future and burdened with social problems, personal problems, dangers resulting from the ecological crisis, injustices and global economic imbalances.”

Pope Francis addresses the crowd from the Apostolic Palace window overlooking St. Peter’s Square during the New Year’s Angelus Prayer at the Vatican on Saturday. (Tiziana Fabi / AFP via Getty Images)

Thousands of residents and tourists to Rome, wearing face masks to protect themselves against the spread of the coronavirus, gathered in St. Peter’s Square on a balmy, sunny day to hear the Pope lay out his recipe for peace in the world, applauding his appearance.

In Africa, companies working in Morocco’s key tourism sector say the country’s strict restrictions on COVID-19, including a total ban on flights, undermine its competitiveness against competing destinations.

Morocco closed its borders at the end of November and will not reopen them until the end of January. It has also banned New Year’s celebrations and is enforcing its vaccine pass requirements more strictly in response to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“These restrictions are unjustified and they have made Morocco lose tourists to Mediterranean competitors like Egypt and Turkey,” said Lahcen Zelmat, head of the Moroccan hotel federation.

Morocco is the most vaccinated country in Africa, having now administered two injections to 23 million people, out of a total population of 36 million. Almost three million people have also received booster shots.



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Claims for COVID-19 benefits of $ 300 per week are open in most provinces and territories https://davidthompsonthings.com/claims-for-covid-19-benefits-of-300-per-week-are-open-in-most-provinces-and-territories/ Fri, 31 Dec 2021 04:43:08 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/claims-for-covid-19-benefits-of-300-per-week-are-open-in-most-provinces-and-territories/ Applications are now open for the expanded Canada Worker Containment Benefit, the government said Thursday after adding most provinces and territories to the eligibility list. The benefit, announced in November but extended on December 22, allows any worker to seek help if their workplace has been slapped with capacity restrictions of 50% or more amid […]]]>

Applications are now open for the expanded Canada Worker Containment Benefit, the government said Thursday after adding most provinces and territories to the eligibility list.

The benefit, announced in November but extended on December 22, allows any worker to seek help if their workplace has been slapped with capacity restrictions of 50% or more amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible workers can receive $ 300 – $ 270 after taxes – for each period of a week until May 7, 2022. Expanded eligibility, however, only applies until February 12, 2022.

Read more:

Canada Expands COVID-19 Benefit By $ 300 Per Week As Omicron Calls For New Restrictions

To qualify, workers will also need to have lost 50 percent or more of their earnings due to these capacity limits, according to the government.

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Earlier this month, no province or territory met the criteria for residents to apply for the benefit, although several of them then introduced new public health restrictions to curb the spread of the Omicron variant.

The eligibility list now includes every province and territory that has reduced capacity for bars, restaurants and other workplaces: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut.

National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier said in a statement Thursday that the government will expand eligibility to the remaining regions once similar measures are introduced there. Officials in Saskatchewan and the Yukon have publicly stated that they will not impose restrictions during the holiday season.


Click to play video:







COVID-19: Freeland discusses details and qualifications for $ 300 per week benefit


COVID-19: Freeland discusses details and qualifications for $ 300 weekly benefit – December 22, 2021

Bill C-2, which brought this new benefit to life, became law on December 17. It is the government’s latest temporary income support for Canadians who cannot work due to the pandemic. It follows on from earlier programs such as the Canada Emergency Benefit (CEP) and the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRP).

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The government website says the “easiest way” to apply for the CWLB is online, through “My CRA Account”.

The number of nationally confirmed active cases has now climbed to more than 230,000 thanks to the highly transmissible variant Omicron. On the day the benefit increase was announced last week, there were about 72,000.

Further restrictions have been adopted by some provinces since then. Quebec reintroduced a nighttime curfew on Thursday in an attempt to curb the peak in COVID-19 cases, which topped 14,000 on the same day.

Nunavut imposed a ‘breaker’ lockout on Christmas Eve after Omicron variant was detected there amid rising cases, while Atlantic provinces reduced capacity limits for most companies and gatherings.

Read more:

Liberals Pass All Priority Laws Before Christmas Vacation

Thanks to the wording of Bill C-2, the government was able to immediately expand its COVID-19 benefits in response to these new restrictions – without having to pass new legislation. As part of the C-2, the government has set up regulatory authorities which have allowed it to temporarily extend the definition of “containment”, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland explained last week.

She said they’ve expanded that definition to include capacity limits of 50 percent or more.

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“These expanded federal supports will ensure that provinces and public health authorities across the country can continue to make the right, tough decisions they need to make to save lives,” said Freeland.

“The federal government will be there to financially support workers and businesses as we end this fight.”

–With files from Rachel Gilmore

See the link »


© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Coronavirus: What’s Happening in Canada and Around the World on Wednesday https://davidthompsonthings.com/coronavirus-whats-happening-in-canada-and-around-the-world-on-wednesday/ Wed, 29 Dec 2021 14:21:45 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/coronavirus-whats-happening-in-canada-and-around-the-world-on-wednesday/ The last: Daily COVID-19 infections have reached record levels in the United States, across swathes of Europe and Australia as the new Omicron variant of the virus spirals out of control, keeping workers at home and overwhelming health centers. test. Almost two years after China first reported a cluster of ‘viral pneumonia’ cases in the […]]]>

The last:

Daily COVID-19 infections have reached record levels in the United States, across swathes of Europe and Australia as the new Omicron variant of the virus spirals out of control, keeping workers at home and overwhelming health centers. test.

Almost two years after China first reported a cluster of ‘viral pneumonia’ cases in the city of Wuhan, the steadily mutating coronavirus is wreaking havoc in many parts of the world, forcing governments to rethink quarantine and testing rules.

Although some studies have suggested that the Omicron variant is less lethal than some of its predecessors, the large number of people who test positive means hospitals in some countries may soon be overwhelmed, while businesses may struggle to keep operating. due to the quarantine of workers.

France, Britain, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Malta all had record numbers of new cases on Tuesday.

Several Canadian provinces – including Quebec, Manitoba and two Atlantic provinces – recorded record single-day COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, as health officials across the country grapple with stresses on the test and tracing systems.

The average daily number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has also reached an all-time high in the past seven days, according to a Reuters tally. The previous peak was in January of this year.

New daily infections in Australia hit nearly 18,300 on Wednesday, eclipsing the previous pandemic record of around 11,300 reached a day earlier.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said his country needs a “shift in gears” to deal with overcrowded labs, with long queues for people walking and driving reported in a number of areas.

Bottlenecks for testing have also created in European countries, including Spain, where demand for free COVID-19 test kits provided by the Madrid regional government far exceeded supply on Tuesday, with long queues forming in front of pharmacies.

A number of governments were also increasingly concerned about the large number of people being forced into self-isolation because they had been in contact with someone with coronavirus.

People line up in cars for COVID-19 tests at a clinic in Sydney on Wednesday. Coronavirus cases are increasing across Australia as an outbreak of the Omicron variant spreads. (Mick Tsikas / AAP Image / The Associated Press)

“We just can’t take everyone off the road because they happen to be in a particular place at a particular time,” Australian Morrison told reporters.

Italy was due to relax some of its quarantine rules on Wednesday over fears the country would shut down soon given the number of people needing to self-isolate protectively, with cases doubling Tuesday from a day earlier to 78,313.

However, China has shown no slack in its zero tolerance policy for outbreaks, now 13 million people in Xi’an city under strict containment for a seventh day as new COVID-19 infections persist, with 151 cases reported Tuesday.

From Reuters and CBC News, latest update 7:15 a.m.ET


What’s happening across Canada

WATCH | Provinces on alert as Omicron spreads in long-term care homes:

Provinces on alert as Omicron spreads to long-term care homes

Long-term care homes in Ontario and Quebec are cracking down after hundreds of employees and residents test positive for COVID-19. Ontario has already taken action, suspending all general visits, while Quebec officials say they are monitoring the situation. 1:58

For more details on the situation in your province and territory – including recent hospitalizations and intensive care capacity, as well as local testing issues – click on the local coverage below.

In Atlantic Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador reported 194 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, a single-day record in the province. Prince Edward Island also recorded a record, with 118 new cases.

Health officials in New Scotland, who reported 561 new cases on Tuesday, laid out a plan for a return to school in the New Year. Education Minister Becky Druhan announced that students would be back in classrooms on January 10, a delay from the original return date of January 6.

In New Brunswick, health officials reported 306 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

In central Canada, Quebec Tuesday reported a single-day high of 12,833 COVID-19 cases, with 15 more deaths. The update came as Health Minister Christian Dubé announced measures that would allow some healthcare workers to stay at work despite testing positive for the virus. The province had no choice but to change its isolation protocols due to the meteoric spread of the Omicron variant, which created staff shortages, he said.

“We have no choice,” Dubé said in a briefing, calling the government’s plan a “better alternative” to not having care.

Ontario Tuesday reported 8,825 new cases of COVID-19 and seven more deaths. The update came as the province said it was temporarily suspending the entry of general visitors to long-term care homes starting Thursday, with two designated caregivers per resident exempt from the new rule. Rod Phillips, Ontario’s Minister of Long-Term Care, said on Tuesday there were 41 homes with outbreaks in the province, up from 37 the day before.

In the Prairie provinces, Manitoba recorded a daily record of 825 COVID-19 cases, with health officials reporting five more deaths. Saskatchewan, who had not released COVID-19 figures over the Christmas holidays, reported a total of 896 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths over a five-day period.

Alberta, meanwhile, reported a total of 8,250 cases during the same period, bringing the number of active cases in the province to more than 15,000.

“It is spreading so quickly and so far that managing individual cases will not substantially stop the spread,” said Dr Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health.

Across the North, health officials in Nunavut reported 11 more cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. There has been no official update from officials of the Northwest Territories Where yukonese.

In British Columbia, health officials on Tuesday reported 1,785 new cases of COVID-19, with details of deaths and hospitalizations expected on Wednesday.

-From CBC News and The Canadian Press, last updated 7:20 a.m. ET


What is happening in the world

Customers look at the COVID-19 test kits sold at a supermarket in Saint-Herblain, France. (Loïc Venance / AFP / Getty Images)

As of Wednesday morning, around 282.8 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker. The death toll worldwide stood at more than 5.4 million.

In Europe, France’s health ministry will report 208,000 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday in the past 24 hours – a national and European record, Health Minister Olivier Veran told lawmakers. He said every second two French people test positive for COVID-19. France on Tuesday reported a new record of nearly 180,000 new confirmed cases in a 24-hour period.

In the Americas, New York City will stop quarantining entire classrooms exposed to the coronavirus and instead prioritize an accelerated testing program so that asymptomatic students who test negative can stay in school, officials said.

In Africa, South Africa on Tuesday reported 7,216 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 more deaths.

In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia reported 602 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, with one additional death.

Daily infections in the United Arab Emirates, the tourism and commercial hub of the Gulf region, topped 2,000 for the first time since June.

In the Asia Pacific region, Thai authorities have warned residents they should prepare for a potential increase in coronavirus cases after classifying the country’s first cluster of the Omicron variant as a “super-spreader” incident.

-From Reuters, The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated 8:25 a.m. ET



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The shortage of veterinarians in Canada is shaping up to be a real crisis https://davidthompsonthings.com/the-shortage-of-veterinarians-in-canada-is-shaping-up-to-be-a-real-crisis/ Mon, 27 Dec 2021 15:27:14 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/the-shortage-of-veterinarians-in-canada-is-shaping-up-to-be-a-real-crisis/ Each year more vets retire than graduates, and while creating more places in vet schools seems an obvious solution, most provincial governments will not pay. Simon at work: Demand for veterinary services has skyrocketed during the pandemic, but supply is stable (Photo by Jason Franson) Kate Simon, a licensed veterinary technologist in Edmonton, took maternity […]]]>

Each year more vets retire than graduates, and while creating more places in vet schools seems an obvious solution, most provincial governments will not pay.

Simon at work: Demand for veterinary services has skyrocketed during the pandemic, but supply is stable (Photo by Jason Franson)

Kate Simon, a licensed veterinary technologist in Edmonton, took maternity leave in March 2020 as the pandemic struck. She returned a year later to find the clinic where she works overwhelmed. “It was like, ‘What’s going on here? It’s just weird, ”Simon recalls.

Outside the Guardian Veterinary Center, clients sit overnight in cars with sick animals hoping to see a veterinarian. Inside, a receptionist calls out, “Yard Tech. Statistics. Simon says, “You would have a quick energy bar for dinner. You would have [staffers] cry in the corners because there is no end in sight. Pet owners, she adds, can be told to expect a 10-hour wait, only to be notified hours later that the vet is too overwhelmed to see their pet at all. “These customers get angry,” says Simon, “and I get it. I would go crazy too.

From an animal lover’s perspective, the veterinarian shortage in Canada is shaping up to be a real crisis in the coming year, from coast to coast. The Clarkson Village Animal Hospital in Mississauga was a 24 hour clinic. Recently, understaffed, it reduced its hours of operation from 8 am to 8 pm. In Penticton, British Columbia, a pet advocate has approached city council to advocate for veterinary care. In Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, west of Quebec, the time to see a veterinarian for deworming drugs has grown so long that breeder Marie Côté says her border collie puppies are thinner and growing. slower. Her vet ignored her calls for weeks. It was only after going to the television complaining, she says, that she got results: “I got my meds the next day.

The demand for veterinary care increased before the pandemic. In 2018, around seven million dogs visited the veterinarian, up from five million ten years earlier. Then came the COVID protocols: the clinics admitted the animals and spoke to the owners by phone. It takes “three times as long,” says a veterinarian. In addition, thousands of Canadians, suddenly working from home, have taken in puppies or kittens for companionship. “More and more young people are adopting animals,” says Dr. Bikram Dayed, a Toronto veterinarian, who has reduced his staff from three to five.

READ: British Columbia mountain goat was unlikely champion in a game against a grizzly bear

Our relationship with cats and dogs is also evolving. Simon, the veterinary technician, says that 20 years ago, when she quoted the cost of cataract surgery for a dog, she would sometimes hear, “I’m not paying for this. A bullet is cheaper. She doesn’t understand that now. Dr Louis Kwantes, an Edmonton veterinarian who heads the Canadian Association of Veterinarians, says owners’ expectations have increased. Veterinarians, he says, “spend twice as much time with each animal as before. We have more tests, more tools.

The supply of veterinarians, however, has remained stable for years. Canada’s five colleges of veterinary medicine produce about 350 graduates per year, which is nowhere near enough. Each year more vets retire than graduates, and while creating more places in vet schools seems an obvious solution, provincial governments will not pay. The Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown opened in 1986 and could accommodate 40 students per year from Atlantic Canada. Today it has 42 such spaces and rejects up to six qualified applicants for each of them it accepts. To make ends meet, the school welcomes 26 additional students from other countries each year (up from 10 in 1986), who pay $ 69,000 per year, compared to $ 13,800 per year for Canadians. If they can afford it, rejected Canadian students go abroad to study veterinary medicine.

The problem is, the expansion of veterinary schools is expensive. Dr. Jeffrey Wichtel, dean of the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Ont., Says for universities, training vets costs more than training students in any other field. “In human medicine, you have a taxpayer funded health care system where we can train human doctors. And long before the pet veterinarian crisis, Canadian farmers faced a shortage of veterinarians, especially in Quebec.

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But in this province there may be a silver lining. The only French veterinary school in Canada, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Montreal, in Saint-Hyacinthe, welcomes only 96 students per year among 1,000 qualified candidates, declared the dean, Dr. Christine Theoret, specialist in equine surgery. Now, with provincial funding of $ 650,000, his school has completed a feasibility study on opening a satellite veterinary campus at the University of Quebec at Rimouski, east of Quebec City. This plan would increase admissions to 25 students, who would learn primarily in Rimouski, with one year on the main campus.

Dr. Théoret’s plan includes new buildings in Rimouski and Saint-Hyacinthe. She expects the province to decide in June. Côté supports the idea, and other provinces are watching. “We are looking to Quebec,” says Dr. Wichtel of Guelph, who dreams of opening a satellite campus in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

There is a more immediate solution: Vets can give more work and better pay to veterinary technologists, who, after two years of training, often start at $ 20 or $ 22 an hour. Like other vets, Dr. Erin Spence, who runs a practice of four vets in Toronto, struggles to find good technicians. “Your technicians are your backbone,” she says. “We lost a lot to burnout. They are up all day, being bitten, scratched, lifting heavy dogs.

READ: At the Calgary Zoo, camels watch people

Kate Simon of Edmonton, for her part, is a reviewer, skilled in blood transfusion and the administration of ventilation and feeding tubes. Harassed vets and anxious pet owners would certainly agree. In the coming months, animal health care skills will be one of the commodities we cannot afford to waste.


This article appears in print in the January 2022 issue of Maclean’s magazine with the title “Ruff Days at the Office”. Subscribe to the monthly print magazine here.


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Legal cannabis sales overtake black market for the first time in Ontario https://davidthompsonthings.com/legal-cannabis-sales-overtake-black-market-for-the-first-time-in-ontario/ Sat, 25 Dec 2021 11:50:17 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/legal-cannabis-sales-overtake-black-market-for-the-first-time-in-ontario/ Breadcrumb Links Ontario News Cannabis News Cannabis trade Cannabis 54% of recreational pot sales in Ontario took place legally between July and September Author of the article: Bryan Passifume Release date : 23 dec. 2021 • 1 day ago • 2 minutes to read • 18 comments Legal cannabis products Photo by Bryan Passifume /Toronto […]]]>

54% of recreational pot sales in Ontario took place legally between July and September

Content of the article

Good things continue to grow in Ontario.

Content of the article

According to the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), more recreational cannabis users in the province buy their buds legally than on the black market. most recent quarterly report.

This is the first time that legal sales have exceeded illegal sales in Ontario since legalization in October 2018, OCS reported – attributing the figures to Statistics Canada, which collects detailed cannabis market data .

“This last quarter marked the reopening of the province and despite the COVID-19 pandemic which continues to affect many areas of the economy, significant progress has been made in the cannabis market,” the report reads. summary of the report.

Between July 1 and September 30, 54.2% of cannabis sales in Ontario were made either through the OCS website or through one of the province’s 1,115 legal retailers.

Content of the article

Sales of recreational pots were just under $ 394 million in the third quarter of 2021, a 28% increase from last quarter – $ 17.5 million sold through OCS.ca and the remainder through retail stores.

Just over half of all cannabis sales were dried flowers, with pre-rolls and vapes coming in second and third respectively.

While interest in edibles – which includes baked goods, chocolate, hard candies, and soft chews – only made up 5% of sales this quarter, interest in the long, slow top rises.

Concentrates, such as hash, shatter, distillates and wax, made up 3%, while other products – including oils, beverages, capsules, seeds, and topicals – made up 2% or less. all sales.

[email protected]
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume

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‘There is a lot of anxiety’: US grapples with Covid testing amid wave | US News https://davidthompsonthings.com/there-is-a-lot-of-anxiety-us-grapples-with-covid-testing-amid-wave-us-news/ Wed, 22 Dec 2021 11:02:19 +0000 https://davidthompsonthings.com/there-is-a-lot-of-anxiety-us-grapples-with-covid-testing-amid-wave-us-news/ As a history professor at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Kevin Bruyneel had been tested for Covid-19 more than 100 times and typically waited less than 15 minutes for free tests. So Bruyneel was upset when he went for a PCR test at a clinic on Sunday in Brooklyn, New York, and waited over an […]]]>

As a history professor at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Kevin Bruyneel had been tested for Covid-19 more than 100 times and typically waited less than 15 minutes for free tests.

So Bruyneel was upset when he went for a PCR test at a clinic on Sunday in Brooklyn, New York, and waited over an hour after his appointment and was billed at least $ 100 – although he could owe more depending on what their insurance covers. .

“There were a lot of people in line, incredibly desperate to get tested because they were flying” for the holidays, said Bruyneel, who was planning to travel to his hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia, for Christmas. . “There was a lot of anxiety. “

Bruyneel’s experience is not unique to New York.

People across town line up for hours at test sites as there aren’t enough tests to meet increased demand due to the upcoming holidays, an increase in Covid cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant.

On Monday, the Biden administration announced plans to purchase 500m rapid tests to be provided free to the public in January and to set up new federal test sites.

As public health experts praised the administration’s plan, they warned the country needed more than 500 million tests – and the administration could even struggle to deliver on that promise by due to supply chain issues.

“I am really happy to see the administration change its plans and see a new urgency in public testing,” said Elizabeth Stuart, professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “I think we have to recognize that 500m sounds like a lot of testing, but with 350 million people in the US, for regular use we’re still going to need more.”

Problems with Covid testing in the United States began at the onset of the pandemic, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention distributed faulty test kits to labs in February 2020.

Then, when vaccines became widely available in 2021 and the country saw a decrease in Covid cases, “everyone thought the testing was going to be unnecessary, and we kind of had some neglect, which happened. proven not to be benign, “said Dr Ezekiel Emanuel, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania who was part of Joe Biden’s advisory team on Covid during the transition.

Things got so slow over the summer that Abbott Laboratories, an Illinois-based test maker, destroyed millions of Covid test cards; canceled contracts with suppliers; and closed a factory doing the tests, according to at the New York Times.

While the number of destroyed test cards was relatively small considering the total number of tests required, “what this has taught us is that we cannot indulge in complacency,” said Mara Aspinall, Arizona State University professor of biomedical diagnostics. “We must maintain our vigilance until we have long gone without new cases.”

The United States continues to lag behind places like Britain, where Covid testing is widely available, as the UK government focused more on testing earlier in the pandemic and heavily subsidized the cost of testing in the country, Aspinall said.

The UK’s public health system also allows them to distribute tests much more efficiently, she said.

“For many countries with nationalized health systems, this is not the first time that they are sending health-related materials and products to their entire population. lower, ”Aspinall said.

As a result, Bruyneel and others in New York City stand in cold weather for hours outside of clinics. The city has seen a 277% increase in Covid cases in the past two weeks, according to at the time, and public health officials expect that number to rise due to the highly infectious variant of Omicron.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 18 of the city’s public hospitals and clinics had wait times of more than an hour, according to a NYC Health + Hospitals dashboard.

To catch up, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must allow more reliable over-the-counter rapid antigen testing, Aspinall said.

In Europe, there are at least 46 over-the-counter Covid tests, Aspinall said. The FDA has only authorized ten, according to at Kaiser Health News.

A declining supply of home Covid tests is seen on a shelf in Racine, Wisconsin on December 19. Photograph: Mark Hertzberg / ZUMA Press Wire / REX / Shutterstock

“The challenge, however, is that we cannot lower the standards,” Aspinall said. “We can’t take tests out and have them low and therefore unreliable. “

To effectively distribute the tests, the federal government must also coordinate with state and local governments rather than having people order them through a website, as the administration intended, said Jason Feldman, CEO of Vault. Health, a virtual healthcare company that provides Covid testing. .

“I’m concerned that the federal government running a federal website may be an imminent disaster,” said Feldman, pointing to the bumpy deployment of Healthcare.gov, the health insurance exchange website created under the Act. affordable care. The only way to effectively distribute the tests “is through state and local governments.” You cannot ask a federal government to send tests to everyone’s homes. Think about the consequences of 350 million people in this country actively ordering tests. “

The National Institutes of Health is already working with states to provide free home test kits to residents. For example, New Hampshire, which has a population of 1.3 million, donated 1 million kits to residents and sold out allotment in one day, according to the state’s health department. The state has not announced when it will offer more testing.

As the federal government pushes to ramp up testing, people are trying to figure out when to test before holiday gatherings – or whether to gather at all.

Bruyneel tested negative but still decided not to travel to Canada for vacation because of the Omicron variant

“It was hard on my mother. She understood, but there were a lot of tears and I feel guilty even though I know it’s the right decision, ”he said.

Long wait times aren’t limited to New York, either.

Until recently, Carly Angott, a videographer in Detroit, could simply walk into a walk-in emergency care clinic and get tested quickly.

Angott gets tested regularly because she has asthma and allergies and works in the control room at Little Caesars Arena, which hosts NBA and NHL games and other big events.

Michigan now has the highest Covid hospitalization rate in the country.

On Sunday, Angott was suffering from chest tightness and post-nasal drip, so she decided to get tested. This time, she had to make an appointment. But on Monday, she still waited in her car for more than two hours after her scheduled appointment to take the test.

Fortunately, the rapid test came back negative, but she is still waiting for the results of the PCR test, which is more accurate but takes longer to process.

Her Christmas party with her mother’s family has been called off as a number of relatives have Covid. Now she just hopes to celebrate with her immediate family.

“We’re a little nervous, but I think more optimistic because everyone we know and love is boosted and doing fine for the most part,” said Angott, 24. “I try to remember it, but it’s hard not to get drawn into the whirlwind of madness.


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