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Alberta monolith comes with message to save eastern slopes of Rocky Mountains

COLETTE DERWORIZ, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Jan 15th, 2021

A towering stainless steel monolith set up along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta comes with a message.

The three-metre-tall structure, which reflects its surroundings, is one of many that have been found around the world in recent months. Monoliths have been discovered on a California trail, a Utah desert and at sites across Canada.

Many have popped up without explanation, but the woman who built the one in southern Alberta says she wanted to draw attention to the threats the area is facing as the province moves to open a vast stretch of the mountains to open-pit coal mining.

“This land holds the bones and dreams of our ancestors. This soil remembers the thunder of buffalo hooves and … still fosters wild grasses. These mountain-fed waters are the lifeblood of southern Alberta,” Elizabeth Williams wrote in an Instagram post on her wildstonestories page earlier this month.

“They deserve our attention. They warrant our protection. They are under threat,” she wrote.

“The shiny beacon is not the focal point, but the land, which it reflects.”

Williams, who couldn’t work as a massage therapist during COVID-19 restrictions, said she’s been watching some of the provincial government’s recent decisions.

“I felt compelled to take action,” she said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Williams is most concerned about the potential for mining along the eastern slopes and the reallocation of water rights in the area.

“It’s staggering to me so few Albertans are aware that this is happening,” she said.

She wanted to do something to inspire others to pay attention and take action.

Similar concerns were raised this week by Alberta country singer Corb Lund, who criticized the plan for an area that contains the headwaters for freshwater on which millions depend. Coal mining can release selenium, a highly toxic element already poisoning watersheds downstream of coal mines in British Columbia. Paul Brandt, another country music star from Alberta, added his voice to protest the coal mines Thursday.

Williams, who hopes her monolith adds to the growing conversation in Alberta, said she built it after talking to an artist, ordering the stainless steel and borrowing a welding shop. She installed it with the help of volunteers after getting permission from private landowners to put it on their property.

“I thought, ‘If I make this to last, if I make this extra beautiful and I get it on private land, it can stay and it can become a beacon for the curious.’”

The monolith, which was installed in early January, has come with challenges.

Williams broke her hand as she and some volunteers were installing it on a windy day where the Oldman River meets Highway 22, known as the Cowboy Trail. And her creation was vandalized by a man who pulled his big truck over at a pullout along the highway and tried to take the monolith apart.

“I have it all on camera,” said Williams, who noted people are keeping a close eye on the area.

Others have expressed intrigue and interest after spotting it on the landscape.

“It looked a little bit startling to see it where it hadn’t been before,” said Kevin van Tighem, a conservationist and author who owns property in southern Alberta. “It’s really beautiful. It’s a real work of art.

“It’s really striking how it reflects so much of the landscape and by doing that moves us into thinking about reflecting on the landscape.”

He said he hopes it draws attention to the natural beauty of the eastern slopes, which he believes are under serious threat as companies start exploring for coal.

“Things are happening out of sight and out of mind,” said van Tighem. “This thing stands up like a giant reflective beacon that says we can’t leave these things out of sight and out of mind.

“We have to reflect on who we are and where we’re going. We’re on the cusp here. This is leading us to permanent change and permanent loss.

“We cannot not be paying attention.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press

Feds look at using border data to find travellers applying for sickness benefit

JORDAN PRESS, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jan 14th, 2021

OTTAWA — A federal official says the government is considering using data on incoming travellers to prevent vacationers from claiming a benefit for people who must quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19.

The Canadian Press isn’t identifying the source because the person was not authorized to speak publicly on behind-the-scenes discussions.

The government promised earlier this week to introduce legislation to prevent anyone who returns to Canada after a vacation or another non-essential trip from receiving the $500-a-week benefit during the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

The source says officials are drafting the legislation and expect it to include information-sharing mechanisms among agencies and departments to identify anyone looking to flout the rules.

The earliest legislation could be introduced is later this month when the House of Commons is scheduled to return from a break.

In the meantime, the government says it will hold off processing applications from anyone who returned from overseas until the new rules are in place, retroactive to Jan. 3.

It wouldn’t take much to for the government to start matching up names of incoming travellers with those who have applied for the sickness benefit after having updated a similar program in the last year.

That program now sees roughly 20 million names of anyone arriving by land or air shared with Employment and Social Development Canada to help its investigators identify improper payments of unemployment and seniors benefits.

Federal border officials have since 1992 shared information on arriving travellers with their counterparts overseeing benefits like employment insurance to flag claimants who didn’t tell the government about absences from Canada and whi might have received benefits they weren’t eligible to receive.

At first, the information was shared from the declaration cards people filled out on arrival, but it has since gone digital with self-serve kiosks at airports tracking names. It also now includes people arriving by land.

Those details are in two briefing notes from late 2019 and obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.

Employment and Social Development Canada said it began looking for EI recipients in the data just before the calendar turned to 2020. The data started being scoured for old-age security recipients over the summer.

A November 2019 briefing note to the department’s deputy minister said officials expected to “significantly increase the recovery of payments made to ineligible El claimants” because the new measures “(do) not rely on travellers to self-disclose absences from Canada.”

The department was unable to share any results from the program, but also noted it began during an unprecedented drop in cross-border travel as a result of the pandemic.

On Wednesday, Statistics Canada reported only 146,000 Canadians driving home from the United States in December, a 92.4 per cent year-over-year decline from the 1.9 million in December 2019.

But enough have returned home that the government was forced to address concerns some were using the two-week sickness benefit to finance the quarantine period, even though that wasn’t its purpose.

The sickness benefit is supposed to go to anyone who has to stay home for at least half their usual work week because they are sick or have to quarantine because of COVID-19. Anyone with underlying medical conditions can also qualify for the aid.

More than $271.4 million has been paid out in benefits since the program launched in late September, with the number of applications in each two-week pay period falling steadily since mid-October.

The government is allowing anyone exempt from the quarantine rules, such as health-care workers who need to cross the border for their jobs, to be eligible for the sickness benefit upon their return to Canada.

While the government is holding up processing of some claims, it is urging anyone who received the benefit after travelling to contact the Canada Revenue Agency to avoid repayment orders.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021.

Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jan 14th, 2021

The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 10:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 30,716 new vaccinations administered for a total of 419,209 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 1,106.113 per 100,000.

There were 43,875 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 589,125 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 71.16 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 3,506 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 5,291 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 10.104 per 1,000. There were 2,925 new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 11,175 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 2.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 47.35 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

P.E.I. is reporting 2,106 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 4,226 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 26.641 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 6,075 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 69.56 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nova Scotia is reporting 1,111 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 3,831 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 3.926 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 13,450 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 28.48 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

New Brunswick is reporting 3,627 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 7,732 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 9.912 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 11,175 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 69.19 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Quebec is reporting 7,855 new vaccinations administered for a total of 107,365 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 12.548 per 1,000. There were 40,950 new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 156,325 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 68.68 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Ontario is reporting 11,231 new vaccinations administered for a total of 144,784 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 9.857 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 196,125 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 73.82 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Manitoba is reporting 2,056 new vaccinations administered for a total of 12,409 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 9.012 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 25,825 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 48.05 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Saskatchewan is reporting 520 new vaccinations administered for a total of 10,400 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 8.82 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 17,575 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 59.17 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Alberta is reporting 5,826 new vaccinations administered for a total of 58,144 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 13.208 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 59,800 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 97.23 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

British Columbia is reporting 1,136 new vaccinations administered for a total of 63,430 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 12.361 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 71,200 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 89.09 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Yukon is reporting 190 new vaccinations administered for a total of 685 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 16.415 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 7,200 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 17 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 9.514 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 512 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 11.348 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 7,200 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 16 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 7.111 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nunavut is reporting 371 new vaccinations administered for a total of 400 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 10.329 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 6,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 15 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 6.667 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 Jan. 13, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Emergency doctors call for greater transparency on vaccine rollout

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Jan 14th, 2021

OTTAWA — The professional group for emergency doctors in Canada wants more transparency about COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians is calling for a clear description of who is being prioritized for the first doses and why.

It also wants priority to go to those directly caring for patients who are critically ill or suspected of having COVID-19.

The association says many members in areas with limited human resources have not been vaccinated, but urban providers who have less patient contact appear to have received doses.

A Wednesday statement says communication about the process so far doesn’t support claims that the vaccine rollout will follow an ethical framework.

Many doctors don’t know when they will be vaccinated and the association says that needs to change.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Dogs bring owners joy and a reason to be out at night during Quebec’s curfew

MORGAN LOWRIE, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jan 13th, 2021

MONTREAL — When the Quebec government announced it was imposing an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew to limit the spread of COVID-19, Ita Skoblinski posted a tongue-in-cheek message to her local community Facebook group, offering to let people borrow her dog for late-night walks.

The Montreal woman saw the message as an excuse to post a cute picture of her husky, Waylon, and poke a little fun at the curfew, which includes an exception for people walking dogs within a kilometre of their homes. But to Skoblinki’s surprise, she received serious responses.

“People sent me kind of long messages about themselves, saying they would love to take the dog out,” she said in a phone interview.

While she found the messages “very sweet,” Skoblinski was quick to clarify that she’d been joking.

“Even if we wanted to, it doesn’t make any sense . . . . How would they go home after they drop him?” she said.

Some rescue organizations report COVID-19 led to a surge in demand for pets, as people moved to working from home and found they had more time and energy for a new companion. Animatch, a Montreal-based dog adoption service, wrote on its website that it received 7,500 applications last year compared to 3,500 in 2019, leading to its first-ever dog shortage.

But the curfew that took effect Saturday night in Quebec and its exception for dog walkers has added a new twist. Several ads for dog rentals — presumably jokes or hoaxes — have sprung up on sites such as Kijiji and have been widely shared on social media, as have posts like Skoblinski’s.

And in Sherbrooke, Que., a woman who was walking her husband on a leash was fined for violating curfew rules — despite protesting they deserved to fall under the dog-walking exemption, according to media outlet La Tribune.

Elise Desaulniers, the executive director of the SPCA, says the idea of people adopting dogs just to go walking makes for “lots of funny memes on the web,” but she hasn’t heard of it happening in real life.

But while it’s hard to measure if there was an increased demand for pets last year because of changes to how the process happens, she says it certainly seemed like “a lot of people” were looking to adopt in 2020 due to decreased travel and more time at home.

Skoblinski completely understands why people would want to spend time with animals during the pandemic. She says Waylon, who has his own TikTok account and has been featured on singer Waylon Jennings’ Instagram, has been a great addition to the family.

However, she doesn’t believe getting to walk him after 8 p.m. is such a treat. She said it feels “creepy” to walk after curfew when the streets are deserted, so she usually gets her dog’s exercise done earlier.

On Tuesday afternoon at a dog park in Montreal’s Pointe-St-Charles neighbourhood, several dog owners said they were relieved the rules contain an exception for their pets.

Walking his dog at night with nobody around is “special,” said Simon Vadeboncoeur, as he watched his dog Norton wrestle with another dog in the snow. “You walk and you see no one, and no sound, it’s very calm,” he said. But he said he wouldn’t walk more often just to get outside after curfew.

Pavlina Aubin, there with her one-year old dog Blaki, said she didn’t feel as safe without other people around.

“It’s a little stressful,” she said. “There aren’t a lot of people outside, and even though I love my neighbourhood, there are some areas that are less reassuring.”

Aubin said that while she didn’t adopt her dog because of COVID-19, the joy he’s brought her has helped her to get through the difficult last year — a sentiment echoed by several other owners.

But she worries some people who want to adopt dogs during the pandemic don’t understand how much work is involved.

Desaulniers, the head of the SPCA, says some people who bought puppies online may not have done their full research, and she fears the animals may later end up in shelters. She suggests that people looking for a new pet should be patient, go through reputable rescue organizations and be open to adopting older animals.

“Adopting during COVID is not a bad thing, but you have to realize the animal will be with you for a long time,” she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2021

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jan 13th, 2021

The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 10:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 28,333 new vaccinations administered for a total of 388,493 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 1,025.067 per 100,000.

There were zero new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 545,250 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 71.25 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 1,975 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 3,760 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 7.181 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 8,250 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.6 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 45.58 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

P.E.I. is reporting 2,106 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 4,226 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 26.641 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 6,075 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 69.56 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nova Scotia is reporting 1,111 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 3,831 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 3.926 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 13,450 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 28.48 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

New Brunswick is reporting 4,827 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 7,732 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 9.912 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 11,175 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 69.19 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Quebec is reporting 7,058 new vaccinations administered for a total of 99,510 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 11.63 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 115,375 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 86.25 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Ontario is reporting 11,448 new vaccinations administered for a total of 133,553 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 9.092 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 196,125 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 68.1 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Manitoba is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 10,353 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 7.518 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 25,825 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 40.09 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Saskatchewan is reporting 932 new vaccinations administered for a total of 9,880 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 8.379 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 17,575 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 56.22 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Alberta is reporting 5,527 new vaccinations administered for a total of 52,318 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 11.885 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 59,800 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 87.49 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

British Columbia is reporting 2,392 new vaccinations administered for a total of 62,294 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 12.139 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 71,200 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 87.49 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Yukon is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 495 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 11.862 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 7,200 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 17 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 6.875 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

The Northwest Territories are reporting 350 new vaccinations administered for a total of 512 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 11.348 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 7,200 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 16 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 7.111 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 29 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 0.749 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 6,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 15 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 0.4833 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 Jan. 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Pandemic worsening mental health for women more than men, poll suggests

JORDAN PRESS, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Jan 13th, 2021

Aisha Addo was having a talk just the other day with a close friend about how they were faring as the pandemic stretched into 2021.

She said her friend spoke candidly about feeling like she was falling into a state of depression and being unable to pull herself out of it.

“We’re all experiencing the same things — some people more intensely than others,” said Addo, who founded the non-profit Power To Girls Foundation.

New polling from Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies suggests some Canadians feel their mental health has declined as the pandemic has rolled on, with the impacts potentially striking women, single parents, the unemployed, relatively recent immigrants and racialized people more than others.

The survey shows female respondents were more likely than men to report their mental health as bad or very bad across a range of age groups, but especially between the ages of 18 and 34 years old.

Rates of worsening mental health were also high for single parents in the survey, with 40 per cent describing their mental health as bad or very bad.

Tanya Hayles, founder of the global group Black Moms Connection, said many parents are feeling stretched by having to work from home while overseeing virtual learning. She said a further burden for Black parents are issues of systemic racism.

“This pandemic has adversely affected women more than men and it’s women who are leaving the workforce altogether to make sure that their children have what they need,” she said.

“If you’re a single parent, there are no breaks.”

Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies, said mental health might worsen with new lockdowns and restrictions as people lose the outlet of visiting friends and family. Some respondents in the survey said they did that over the holidays.

“It’s a very significant challenge for governments that are introducing lockdowns and curfews to not see the mental health side of this crisis get exacerbated,” Jedwab said.

The online survey was conducted Jan. 2-3 with 1,523 respondents. It can’t be assigned a margin of error because web panels are not considered random samples of the population.

The results mirror findings from earlier on in the pandemic when women reported feeling more worried than men about COVID-19 as they began taking on added care duties for children and aging parents, and lost their jobs at a faster rate than men, said Andrea Gunraj, vice-president of public engagement at the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Another factor at play is the increased risk for gender-based violence that predominantly targets women, she said.

“This picture of increased violence, and increased stresses in caregiving and housework, that intersects with the economic stresses that women uniquely have been facing,” Gunraj said.

“It tells a certain picture about women’s mental health right now … and the pandemic being a gender-pandemic at large.

The polling analysis also looked at results for immigrants and some racialized communities, which came through reviewing six surveys by Leger involving over 9,000 respondents between Oct. 29, 2020, and Jan. 3, 2021. It too cannot be assigned a margin of error as a web-based survey.

The data suggests that 25 per cent of people who have lived in Canada for less than five years reported their mental health was bad or very bad, while 19 per cent of respondents who were born in Canada reported the same.

Nearly 27 per cent of respondents who identified as South Asian reported their mental health being at that level, while 20 per cent of those who identified as Black and about 18 per cent of those who identified as Chinese reported the same.

Even before the pandemic, there was a lack of mental health resources for minority communities, Addo said. Many relied on their community for mental health support, which has disappeared with public health requests to avoid visiting friends and family, she said.

Accessing other resources is also difficult for vulnerable populations, particularly those with children learning remotely and maybe only one computer at home, Addo said.

Addo suggested governments create a mental health fund or program to ensure people who need it have someone to speak with.

“The moment that people are left to their own devices and are left to their own thoughts, it’s easy to fall into depression, it’s easy to become more anxious, and it’s easy to feel more lonely,” she said.

Any mental health services created should be diverse, Hayles said, noting that Black Canadians are often more comfortable expressing their issues to Black therapists.

A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jan 12th, 2021

The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 10:30 p.m. ET on Monday Jan. 11, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 39,116 new vaccinations administered for a total of 359,054 doses given. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 947.39 per 100,000.

There were zero new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 545,250 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 65.85 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 1,975 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 3,760 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 7.181 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 8,250 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.6 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 45.58 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

P.E.I. is reporting 1,650 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 3,600 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 22.694 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 6,075 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 3.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 59.26 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nova Scotia is reporting zero new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 2,720 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 2.787 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 13,450 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 20.22 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

New Brunswick is reporting 4,827 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 7,732 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 9.912 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 11,175 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 69.19 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Quebec is reporting 8,065 new vaccinations administered for a total of 92,452 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 10.805 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 115,375 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.13 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Ontario is reporting 8,859 new vaccinations administered for a total of 122,105 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 8.313 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 196,125 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 62.26 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Manitoba is reporting 855 new vaccinations administered for a total of 10,353 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 7.518 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 25,825 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.9 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 40.09 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Saskatchewan is reporting 1,019 new vaccinations administered for a total of 8,948 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 7.588 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 17,575 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 50.91 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Alberta is reporting 1,797 new vaccinations administered for a total of 46,791 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 10.629 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 59,800 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 78.25 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

British Columbia is reporting 13,643 new vaccinations administered for a total of 59,902 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 11.673 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 71,200 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 1.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 84.13 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Yukon is reporting 190 new vaccinations administered for a total of 500 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 11.982 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 7,200 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 17 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 6.944 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 162 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 3.591 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 7,200 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 16 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 2.25 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 29 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 0.749 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 6,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 15 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 0.4833 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 Jan. 11, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet before hosting ministerial retreat

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Jan 12th, 2021

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will conduct a small shuffle of his ministers today before holing up later in the day for a cabinet retreat to plot strategy for the resumption of Parliament.

The shuffle is due to the departure of Navdeep Bains, who is not intending to run again in the next election, which could come as early as this spring.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne is expected to replace Bains while Transport Minister Marc Garneau moves into Champagne’s old job.

Toronto-area backbencher Omar Alghabra is expected to take over the Tranpsort portfolio.

Trudeau has been clear that he wants departments crucial to the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to be overseen by ministers who will be around to help sell the government’s agenda during the next election campaign.

The cabinet retreat — four one-day sessions to take place over the next two weeks — is to focus on what more the government needs to do to manage the pandemic, which continues to rage across the country, including ways to accelerate the rollout of vaccines.

It is also supposed to focus on the eventual economic recovery and the Liberal government’s plans to invest billions in the fight against climate change, job creation, affordable housing, skills training and a national child-care program.

The retreat is taking place as the government prepares for the resumption of Parliament on Jan. 25, in what is bound to be a more aggressively partisan environment.

The pandemic forced a measure of cross-party co-operation last year, which allowed Trudeau’s minority Liberal government to operate without any serious threat to its survival.

But the spirit of collaboration was badly strained by the end of last year and is likely to evaporate altogether this year, particularly once the the government introduces a budget expected to send the already-historic federal deficit into the stratosphere.

The government will need the support of at least one of the main opposition parties to survive a confidence vote on the budget.

Trudeau began holding periodic cabinet retreats six years ago, billing them as a way to encourage bonding among ministers while getting outside the Ottawa bubble.

COVID-19 put an end to the regional outreach aspect of cabinet retreats last September. Trudeau and his ministers confined themselves to a few days holed up in a government building in the nation’s capital to ponder how to get the country through what was then just the start of the second wave.

And now the pandemic is putting an end to the bonding aspect of retreats as well.

Trudeau will be hosting a retreat that will be entirely virtual, with ministers participating via videoconference from separate locations around the country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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