1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

Latest Posts

Federal Conservatives call for special Commons study of Canada-U.S. relations

STEPHANIE LEVITZ, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Feb 4th, 2021

The federal Conservatives are calling for a special House of Commons committee devoted to Canada-U.S. relations.

They’ll advance the idea during a debate in the House of Commons on Thursday devoted to Opposition business.

Their motion would see the committee focus on the economic relationship between the two countries, and notes, given the ongoing pandemic, the “the need for a serious plan for the economic recovery that recognizes the integration of the North American economy.”

While the proposed committee would have a broad mandate, the Conservatives want emphasis placed on two areas: Buy American provisions being advanced by U.S. President Joe Biden, and the case of an Enbridge pipeline known as Line 5, which some U.S. officials want to close.

If the motion is approved, the new committee would be tasked with producing reports on those issues by certain deadlines, and also have the power to call the deputy prime minister, foreign affairs minister and the Canadian ambassador to the U.S. as witnesses.

The committee would also explore what work the government is doing with the U.S. to procure a steady stream of COVID-19 vaccines.

Opposition day motions are not binding on the government though can be used to create political pressure for action.

The call for a Canada-U.S. special committee has echoes of a previous successful attempt by the Conservatives to get a similar committee struck to focus on Canada-China relations, over objections from the Liberals.

That effort was spearheaded by current party leader Erin O’Toole when he was the Conservative foreign-affairs critic.

Both Buy American provisions and the future of Enbridge Line 5 are hot-button political issues.

The pipeline carries millions of litres each day of the liquids used in propane, traversing parts of northern Michigan and Wisconsin with an end in Sarnia, Ont.

The governor of Michigan wants the pipeline shut down, and environmental activists are pressing Biden to support that in the spirit of his recent decision to cancel construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Conservatives accused the Liberals of not doing enough to convince Biden to change his mind on Keystone, and now say more needs to be done to ensure Line 5 stays open to protect the associated jobs.

Biden is also advocating for protectionist Buy American policies, an issue Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did address on his call with U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris earlier this week.

Canadian businesses have raised concerns they’ll be stopped from bidding on U.S. government contracts, and Trudeau’s office said part of his call with Harris was about “avoiding the unintended consequences” of a Buy American approach.

Doctors offer duelling views of what it’s like to receive an assisted death

JOAN BRYDEN, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2021

OTTAWA — Senators have been presented with two starkly different descriptions of what it’s like to receive medical assistance in dying in Canada: a beautiful, peaceful death or a painful end akin to drowning.

The duelling descriptions came from two doctors during testimony Tuesday night at the Senate’s legal and constitutional affairs committee, which is scrutinizing Bill C-7.

The bill would expand Canada’s five-year-old regime for medical assistance in dying (MAID) to include people who are suffering intolerably but not near the end of their natural lives.

Dr. Timothy Holland, a Nova Scotia MAID assessor and provider, said for patients the procedure is “a relaxing drift into  sleep.”

“It is a beautiful and inspiring event,” he told the committee.

“This is a positive thing. The tragedy is the illness that has occurred, MAID is the blessing that allows the patient to have control over that loss.”

Holland choked up as he noted that everyone hopes to die peacefully, surrounded by their loved ones, “to be able to say those perfect last words and have that moment of peace to allow our loved ones to say those perfect farewells.”

“And that’s what happens in a MAID procedure. I feel so incredibly fortunate that I have the great privilege to be witness to these events, a lifetime of love and connection all culminating in this one beautiful goodbye.”

Holland also provided senators a detailed description of how the procedure is performed. Most commonly, he said, three drugs are injected: Midazolam to relax the patient, then Propofol to induce “a deep medical coma” that can stop breathing, and finally Rocuronium, a paralyzing medication to ensure the patient stops breathing.

The resulting lack of oxygen causes the organs to shut down one by one until the heart stops. Because the patient is in a coma, he said they feel nothing as their bodies shut down.

But Dr. Joel Zivot countered that an assisted death only appears outwardly peaceful because the paralyzing drug makes it impossible for the patient to move or show discomfort.

Zivot, a Canadian citizen and associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., admitted that he has never provided MAID or witnessed the procedure.

But based on his study of the autopsies of criminals in the United States who were executed by lethal injection, he said an assisted death “could be exceedingly painful and more like akin to drowning.”

In 85 per cent of the execution cases, he said the lungs were twice their normal weight and full of water, the result of using Phenobarbital in the drug cocktail.

“It means that when a person dies by lethal injection, they basically drown … more akin to death by waterboarding that we recognize to be cruel,” he said, referring to a torture technique used to simulate drowning.

If autopsies were performed on people who’ve received MAID, Zivot said: “Based on my knowledge of pharmacology and familiarity with these drugs, I would suggest that there is a high likelihood that the same things would be found.”

He contended that the drugs used in MAID procedures in Canada are similar to that used in U.S. executions, where  Midazolam has replaced Phenobarbital.

Moreover, Zivot said Propofol, when used to anesthetize a patient for surgery, can cause a burning sensation in the lungs — and that’s using one  tenth of the dose administered during MAID. But the use of the paralyzing drug in MAID means the patient can’t show distress.

“To state that the death that the person experiences is peaceful, well, this is unknowable or false … That’s a chemical myth  that is put in place. That is a trick of what is actually happening here.”

Holland vigorously rebutted Zivot’s contention, arguing that there can be no comparison between the “very crude” drug regimen used in executions and the “incredibly elegant regimen of medications” used in MAID.

Phenobarbital is not used in MAID procedures, he said, and Midazolam is not used to end life, as in U.S. executions, but only in small doses to relax the patient.

As for Propofol, Holland said it’s used all the time to anesthetize patients for surgeries, resetting broken bones or intubation. And he said doctors do, in fact, know precisely how it feels for the patients because, when they regain consciousness, “they have no memory of (the procedure they just underwent) and have had no sensation.”

Much larger doses of Propofol are used in MAID procedures to ensure patients fall into a deep state of unconsciousness, he added.

“The notion that it is burning alive their lungs, this has not been seen in operating theatres,” Holland said. “It is an impossible thought that this patient could somehow be conscious as they’re then paralysed with the Rocuronium. It goes against everything that we understand in medicine.”

Laurel Hughes, a nurse and director of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority assisted dying program, said in her experience patients are relieved to have their suffering ended.

Sen. Rosemary Moodie, a physician who sits in the Independent Senators Group, said she’s surveyed 17 MAID providers and all described the experience in the same way as Holland.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 3. 2021.

Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press

Canada could get up to 1.1M more doses by March through global vaccine alliance

MIA RABSON, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2021

Canada could get more than one million additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of March through a global vaccine sharing initiative known as COVAX.

But as with most things COVID-19, vaccine-related deliveries are mired in the uncertainty of regulatory reviews and potential production delays.

The COVAX Facility, co-ordinated by the World Health Organization and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, pools funds from wealthier countries to buy vaccines for themselves and for 92 low- and middle-income nations that can’t afford to buy on their own.

Canada contributed $440 million to COVAX in September, half of which secured doses for Canada directly, from about nine vaccines that are participating in the program.

The other half goes into a pooled fund to buy doses for 20 per cent of the people in 92 low- and middle-income countries.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand tells The Canadian Press that up to 1.1 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine could arrive through COVAX by the end of March and up to 3.2 million total by the end of June.

“This represents a boost to the current six million doses expected from Pfizer and Moderna before the end of March,” said Anand.

Canada had planned to vaccinate three million people by the end of March and another 10 million people between April and June.

AstraZeneca requires two doses per person, meaning the COVAX doses could increase Canada’s vaccination plan to 3.5 million people by the end of March and between 11 million and 11.6 million by the end of June.

The extra doses could get some of Canada’s most vulnerable people vaccinated faster, but for many of the world’s poorest countries, the COVAX doses starting to ship this winter will be the first COVID-19 vaccines they will see.

Canada has now vaccinated close to a million people with at least one dose of vaccines from either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

The COVAX doses are also in addition to the 20 million doses Canada purchased directly from AstraZeneca, but neither those nor the COVAX doses will start flowing until Health Canada approves the vaccine for use here.

The regulatory review is in its final stages with a decision expected by the middle of February.

The COVAX doses could begin shipping by the end of the month, but in addition to Health Canada’s approval, the World Health Organization has to issue its own regulatory approval, one of the requirements under COVAX.

That too is expected imminently.

Anand said the size of the deliveries will depend on production. Most vaccine makers, AstraZeneca included, are hitting numerous snags bringing their manufacturing lines up to full tilt.

“All countries are being given a range, given variables that are present in the supply chain at the current time,” she said.

Canada’s two authorized vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have both been hit with delivery delays in the last three weeks because of production issues.

AstraZeneca is facing production problems at some of its plants in Europe. The vaccine maker is in a very public fight with the European Union that led to Europe imposing export controls on vaccines made in member nations.

Canada has received assurances its doses made in Europe will still be shipped.

However, Anand said Canada’s doses of AstraZeneca from COVAX are coming from South Korea, where the vaccine maker signed a deal with SK Bioscience to manufacture their product.

“The good thing about the South Korean option is that we are able to go there and not have a concern about the EU allocations,” said Anand.

She noted that deliveries to COVAX were exempted by Europe from export controls.

Anand said it’s not finalized yet where AstraZeneca intends to manufacture Canada’s other doses.

Canada and other developed countries have been criticized for using their wealth and influence to snap up a majority of vaccines for themselves. COVAX was supposed to prevent that, and International Development Minister Karina Gould said it is working as intended.

“It was designed so that you had developed countries be part of the process to encourage them to support it, but also to give COVAX the financial support that it needs to purchase vaccines on behalf of developing countries as well,” she said.

COVAX intends to distribute about two billion doses this year, which should be enough, it believes, to vaccinate the most vulnerable including front-line health workers and seniors.

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2021

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021.

There are 786,417 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Canada: 786,417 confirmed cases (49,562 active, 716,642 resolved, 20,213 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers.

There were 2,828 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 130.41 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 29,395 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 4,199.

There were 77 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 810 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 116. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.3 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 53.18 per 100,000 people.

There have been zero tests completed.

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 408 confirmed cases (16 active, 388 resolved, four deaths).

There were zero new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 3.06 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 10 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 0.77 per 100,000 people.

There have been zero tests completed.

_ Prince Edward Island: 113 confirmed cases (five active, 108 resolved, zero deaths).

There were zero new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 3.13 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of three new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people.

There have been zero tests completed.

_ Nova Scotia: 1,582 confirmed cases (10 active, 1,507 resolved, 65 deaths).

There was one new case Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 1.02 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been 10 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.64 per 100,000 people.

There have been zero tests completed.

_ New Brunswick: 1,288 confirmed cases (268 active, 1,002 resolved, 18 deaths).

There were 24 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 34.29 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 127 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 18.

There were zero new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of four new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is one. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.07 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 2.3 per 100,000 people.

There have been zero tests completed.

_ Quebec: 264,526 confirmed cases (13,127 active, 241,537 resolved, 9,862 deaths).

There were 1,053 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 153.09 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 8,524 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,218.

There were 36 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 285 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 41. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.47 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 115.01 per 100,000 people.

There have been zero tests completed.

_ Ontario: 270,925 confirmed cases (17,451 active, 247,236 resolved, 6,238 deaths).

There were 745 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 118.44 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 12,225 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,746.

There were 14 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 329 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 47. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.32 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 42.34 per 100,000 people.

There have been zero tests completed.

_ Manitoba: 29,733 confirmed cases (3,421 active, 25,480 resolved, 832 deaths).

There were 82 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 248.03 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 831 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 119.

There were zero new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 23 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is three. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.24 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 60.32 per 100,000 people.

There have been zero tests completed.

_ Saskatchewan: 24,236 confirmed cases (2,320 active, 21,602 resolved, 314 deaths).

There were 225 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 196.83 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,590 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 227.

There were eight new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 46 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is seven. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.56 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 26.64 per 100,000 people.

There have been zero tests completed.

_ Alberta: 124,831 confirmed cases (6,912 active, 116,259 resolved, 1,660 deaths).

There were 268 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 156.31 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,930 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 419.

There were 11 new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 73 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 10. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.24 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 37.54 per 100,000 people.

There have been zero tests completed.

_ British Columbia: 68,366 confirmed cases (6,019 active, 61,129 resolved, 1,218 deaths).

There were 429 new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 116.93 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 3,132 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 447.

There were eight new reported deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 50 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is seven. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.14 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 23.66 per 100,000 people.

There have been zero tests completed.

_ Yukon: 70 confirmed cases (zero active, 69 resolved, one deaths).

There were zero new cases Tuesday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.38 per 100,000 people.

There have been zero tests completed.

_ Northwest Territories: 32 confirmed cases (one active, 31 resolved, zero deaths).

There was one new case Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 2.21 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been one new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people.

There have been zero tests completed.

_ Nunavut: 294 confirmed cases (12 active, 281 resolved, one deaths).

There were zero new cases Tuesday. The rate of active cases is 30.49 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 12 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is two.

There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.54 per 100,000 people.

There have been zero tests completed.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Feb. 3, 2021.

The Canadian Press

A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2021

The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4 a.m. ET on Monday Feb. 2, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 18,290 new vaccinations administered for a total of 975,519 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 2,573.978 per 100,000.

There were zero new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 1,124,816 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 86.73 per cent of their available vaccine supply.

Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis.

Newfoundland is reporting 1,531 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 10,080 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 19.25 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 16,500 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 61.09 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

P.E.I. is reporting 985 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 7,510 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 47.343 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 9,225 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 5.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 81.41 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nova Scotia is reporting 3,823 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 14,906 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 15.274 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 28,850 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 51.67 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

New Brunswick is reporting 3,020 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 17,277 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 22.149 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 21,675 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 79.71 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Quebec is reporting 796 new vaccinations administered for a total of 239,023 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 27.934 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 238,100 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 100.4 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Ontario is reporting 2,256 new vaccinations administered for a total of 341,900 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 23.276 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 411,650 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 83.06 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Manitoba is reporting 1,032 new vaccinations administered for a total of 41,817 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 30.368 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 55,650 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 4.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 75.14 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Saskatchewan is reporting 88 new vaccinations administered for a total of 35,447 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 30.061 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 35,091 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 101 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Alberta is reporting 93 new vaccinations administered for a total of 106,347 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 24.159 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 122,725 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 86.65 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

British Columbia is reporting 9,651 new vaccinations administered for a total of 138,892 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 27.066 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 144,550 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 96.09 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Yukon is reporting 889 new vaccinations administered for a total of 7,385 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 176.967 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 14,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 35 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 51.28 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 9,471 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 209.912 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 14,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 32 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 65.77 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nunavut is reporting 148 new vaccinations administered for a total of 5,464 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 141.094 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 12,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 31 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 45.53 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

*Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published February 2, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Canada on verge of deal to make COVID-19 vaccines at home

MIA RABSON, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce Tuesday the makings of an agreement to produce COVID-19 vaccines within Canada.

Industry Minister Francois-Phillipe Champagne tells The Canadian Press the government is moving quickly to start making COVID-19 vaccines itself, instead of being entirely reliant on foreign production for the most sought-after product in the world.

The deal could help Trudeau tamp down the political headache caused by Canada’s skeletal vaccine production capacity.

Canada’s inability to produce any COVID-19 vaccines at home has left the country at the mercy of foreign governments who could at any time slam the doors shut to vaccine exports until their own people are vaccinated.

That risk became ever more real this week as Europe’s new export controls on vaccines takes hold, putting at risk Canada’s entire supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

Champagne’s department and the National Research Council have been in talks with all the front-running vaccine makers in the world for months, trying to lure at least one of them to make some of their vaccines at the new facility, which is on track to be finished this summer.

None of those talks have borne any fruit until now.

“I have received positive feedback from some leading vaccine manufacturers in these discussions, and so we are moving full steam ahead to build Canada’s domestic production of vaccines,” said Champagne, in a statement to The Canadian Press.

The National Research Council was even rebuffed in offers to help all leading vaccine makers do research on scaling up their production processes to make the precious doses as fast as possible.

None of those offers was accepted.

Talks to do that with Novavax fell apart at the 11th hour last fall, right before an initial agreement for Canada to buy 52 million doses of Novavax’s vaccine was announced.

An email chain, released to the House of Commons health committee in the latest batch of documents on Canada’s pandemic response, shows a reference to the agreement was deleted from the memorandum of understanding with Novavax the day before the deal was made public.

Messy winter storm slams into the Maritimes

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2021

HALIFAX — A winter storm is sweeping over the Maritimes, forcing the closure of schools and making driving treacherous.

Snowfall and winter storm warnings remain in effect for much of the region, though most of Nova Scotia is bracing for up to 80 millimetres of rain and winds gusting at up to 100 kilometres per hour along the coast.

Power outages were reported this morning along Nova Scotia’s Atlantic coast and on New Brunswick’s Grand Manan Island.

Up to 30 centimetres of snow is in the forecast for northern New Brunswick, but the snow was expected to transition to ice pellets and rain this afternoon.

Environment Canada says residents of the Saint John River Valley can expect a few hours of freezing rain.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 2, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Questions remain over Canada’s vaccination rollout amid delays and fresh applications

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Feb 1st, 2021

Canada’s national vaccine rollout seems poised to dominate COVID-19 discussions in the coming week as Canada enters the 11th month of life during a global pandemic.

The federal government, which is overseeing the nationwide effort, has been facing strong criticism as it struggles to ensure there are enough immunization doses to go around.

The two companies whose vaccines have been approved for use here recently complicated matters by saying they wouldn’t immediately be able to deliver their promised number of doses due to production delays in Europe.

The Liberal government has repeatedly said both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna still intend to fulfill their promised delivery schedules and that current delays are temporary.

At least three other companies, Novavax, Astra-Zeneca  and Johnson and Johnson, have all launched the process of having Health Canada approve their vaccines.

Canada officially recorded more than 20,000 deaths caused by COVID-19 as of Sunday and is still logging high daily case counts in several provinces, though Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says overall totals are trending downward.

But she’s urging provinces and territories to maintain strict public health precautions to ensure case counts keep declining, noting the emergence of more infectious variants of the virus could send numbers soaring again.

One of the provinces hardest hit by the pandemic, however, is weighing the idea of loosening some restrictions as early as next week.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault is currently scheduled to announce revisions to the province’s public health measures on Tuesday afternoon.

He’s indicated a desire to relax some protective measures, primarily for retail stores, but says he’ll only do so if the COVID-19 situation in the province allows for it.

Alberta has already announced plans to ease restrictions on businesses such as gyms and restaurants as of Feb. 8.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press

A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Feb. 1, 2021

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Feb 1st, 2021

The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Monday Feb. 1, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 5,017 new vaccinations administered for a total of 957,229 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 2,525.718 per 100,000.

There were zero new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 1,124,816 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 85.1 per cent of their available vaccine supply.

Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis.

Newfoundland is reporting 1,531 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 10,080 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 19.25 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 16,500 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 61.09 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

P.E.I. is reporting 985 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 7,510 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 47.343 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 9,225 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 5.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 81.41 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nova Scotia is reporting 4,014 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 14,589 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 14.949 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 28,850 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 50.57 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

New Brunswick is reporting 3,821 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 14,257 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 18.277 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 21,675 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 65.78 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Quebec is reporting 84 new vaccinations administered for a total of 238,227 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 27.841 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 238,100 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 100.1 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Ontario is reporting 2,816 new vaccinations administered for a total of 339,644 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 23.122 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 411,650 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 82.51 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Manitoba is reporting 1,495 new vaccinations administered for a total of 40,785 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 29.619 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 55,650 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 4.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 73.29 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Saskatchewan is reporting 120 new vaccinations administered for a total of 35,359 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 29.987 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 35,091 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 100.8 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Alberta is reporting 502 new vaccinations administered for a total of 106,254 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 24.137 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 122,725 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 86.58 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

British Columbia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 129,241 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 25.185 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 144,550 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 89.41 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 6,496 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 155.664 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 14,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 35 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 45.11 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 9,471 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 209.912 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 14,400 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 32 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 65.77 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 5,316 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 137.272 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 12,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 31 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 44.3 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

*Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published Feb. 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Page 20 of 83« First...10...1819202122...304050...Last »