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Vaccines coming to Canada and tighter restrictions: In The News for Nov. 19

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Thursday, Nov 19th, 2020

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of Nov. 19 …

What we are watching in Canada …

Ontario’s health minister is suggesting Canada could start receiving millions of doses of COVID-19 as soon as January.

Christine Elliott said in question period that the country is set to get four million doses of the Pfizer vaccine between January and March as well as two million doses of Moderna’s vaccine.

She said that 1.6 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 800,000 of the Moderna vaccine are destined for Ontario.

When asked directly to confirm the dates and numbers, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu would only say it was “really exciting” that Canada is well-positioned to receive millions of doses from both companies.

In Alberta, Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced on Twitter that the province is expecting its per capita share of 465,000 doses from Pfizer and 221,000 from Moderna, with the first shipments to arrive early in the new year.

The news comes as some provinces begin to impose restrictions to try to control spikes in COVID-19 cases.

As of today, no more than five people will be allowed to gather inside homes in Saskatchewan for the next four weeks.

There will be no visits with seniors and others living in long-term care and personal care homes except for compassionate reasons.

Mandatory mask use in public indoor areas has been expanded to the entire province instead of only in communities of more than 5,000.

Yukon’s premier says as of Friday, everyone entering the territory other than critical services workers will be required to self-isolate for two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Sandy Silver also says the government no longer recommends any non-essential travel outside the territory.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and B.C.’s health officer are expected impose further health restrictions this week.

Also this …

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson will show Canadians his path to net-zero emissions today.

Wilkinson will be tabling climate legislation in the House of Commons to fulfil an election promise to be more aggressive in cutting greenhouse gases.

The legislation will include legally-binding five-year targets for reducing emissions.

Wilkinson promises that the new plan will cut more emissions by 2030 than Canada promised in the Paris accord.

And it will show a path to net zero by 2050, meaning any emissions still produced 30 years from now are absorbed, rather than left in the atmosphere to contribute to global warming.

Canada has set multiple goals for curbing emissions over the last three decades but to date has never met a single one of them.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

Georgia election officials expect to release a report today on a hand tally of the presidential race.

They have repeatedly said they expect it to affirm Democrat Joe Biden’s narrow lead over Republican President Donald Trump.

The secretary of state’s office expects to put out a report on the results by midday.

The hand recount of about five million votes stemmed from an audit required by a new state law and wasn’t in response to any suspected problems with the state’s results or an official recount request.

The state has until Friday to certify results that have been certified and submitted by the counties.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

Chinese President Xi Jinping is calling for closer international co-operation on making a vaccine for the coronavirus available.

Xi spoke today in an address delivered via video at an event at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Xi said: “To beat the virus and promote the global recovery, the international community must close ranks and jointly respond to the crisis and meet the tests.”

He said co-operation would include closer co-ordination on policies for development and distribution of a vaccine.

Chinese companies Sinovac and Sinopharm are in the late stages of testing vaccines, putting them among nearly a dozen companies at or near that level of development.

On this day in 1954 …

The United States and Canada announced the construction of a radar warning system across northern Canada.

In entertainment …

CTV will air a two-hour nighttime Santa Claus parade special this year, featuring remote performances from an array of artists, including Dolly Parton.

The broadcaster says the “Original Santa Clause Parade” was pre-taped over three days on a closed route at Canada’s Wonderland, and without spectators, in order to adhere to local COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

CTV normally airs the parade live-to-tape.

Guest performers for the nationally televised special on Dec. 5 also include Kelly Clarkson and Brett Eldredge, as well as Meghan Trainor.

Reggae star Shaggy will perform with Markham, Ont.-born actress-turned-singer Aviva Mongillo, known by her stage name Carys.

Edmonton’s Ruth B. and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra will also be among the performers on the Christmas-themed broadcast, while Melissa Grelo of “The Social” and Kelsey McEwen of “Your Morning” will host.

ICYMI …

Use of the word “Micmac” on city signs, buildings and other municipal assets in Halifax is under review.

Regional council has unanimously endorsed a motion by councillor Sam Austin requiring city staff to review how the word is used and to produce a report. Micmac is an anglicized version of the Indigenous word for the Mi’kmaq First Nation.

Austin, who represents Dartmouth Centre, says the term is outdated, adding that his motion was based on recommendations from the city’s Cornwallis task force.

The task force was created in 2018 to propose changes to the way Halifax remembers its founder, Edward Cornwallis, the British officer accused of practising genocide against Indigenous people in the 18th century.

“It’s been a simmering issue as to whether or not it’s an appropriate use of the word,” Austin says. “With the Cornwallis task force it seemed like the right time to take a look at this.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2020

The Canadian Press

How will restaurants survive the winter?

NEWS STAFF | posted Wednesday, Nov 18th, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, at least in the spring, there was a summer to come and some sort of certainty — restaurants would stay closed until COVID-19 was under control. This Fall, in most places in Canada, neither of those things are true. Opening plans and case thresholds are constantly shifting, while cities and provinces have different opinions about what should be open and when.

Beyond all that, of course, there are climbing COVID case counts, which means that even open restaurants are far from guaranteed enough business to survive. So…will they? How many will make it? And what can we (and governments at all levels) do to help them get through?

GUEST: John Sinopoli, restaurateur, co-founder of savehospitality.ca

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle and Spotify

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

Donald Trump on Elections Canada’s disavowal of voting machines: ‘THIS SAYS IT ALL’

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Nov 18th, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A tweet seeking to distance Elections Canada from the use of electronic voting equipment has earned a like from the president of the United States.

Despite a lack of evidence, Donald Trump is accusing a Canadian maker of vote-counting machines of conspiring against him in the Nov. 3  presidential election.

He’s now dragged Canada’s independent elections administrator into the fray.

Elections Canada tweeted Monday that it has never used tabulation equipment made by Dominion Voting Systems or anyone else in its 100-year history.

Trump retweeted the agency today in an effort to further cast doubt on the company, which was founded by Canadian partners and has offices in Toronto and Denver.

Dominion officials have categorically denied the president’s claims.

“THIS SAYS IT ALL,” Trump tweeted Tuesday after Elections Canada pointed out that it only uses paper ballots that are counted by hand.

“Elections Canada does not use Dominion Voting Systems,” the agency’s Monday tweet read. “We do not use machines to count ballots.”

Elections Canada issued another tweet Tuesday pointing out that Monday’s posting was only intended to note they don’t use vote-counting machines “and should not be construed as anything other than that.”

Dominion, founded in Toronto in the aftermath of the voting debacle that followed the 2000 U.S. election, has been pushing back hard against spiralling conspiracy theories fuelled by the president, his supporters and Trump-friendly media outlets.

“Dominion Voting Systems categorically denies false assertions about vote-switching issues with our voting systems,” the company declares in an all-caps headline on its website.

“An unsubstantiated claim about the deletion of 2.7 million pro-Trump votes that was posted on the internet and spread on social media has been taken down and debunked by independent fact-checkers.”

The website also cites last week’s declaration by the cybersecurity wing of the Department of Homeland Security that the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history.”

Despite failing to win the necessary number of electoral votes and falling more than five million votes short of Democratic challenger Joe Biden, Trump has steadfastly refused to concede the election.

Biden, for his part, has called Trump’s intransigence “embarrassing” and warned Monday that the current administration’s refusal to co-operate with his transition team could worsen the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Wednesday Nov. 18, 2020

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Wednesday, Nov 18th, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4 a.m. EST on Nov. 18, 2020:

There are 306,468 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 126,054 confirmed (including 6,675 deaths, 107,326 resolved)

_ Ontario: 96,745 confirmed (including 3,383 deaths, 80,430 resolved)

_ Alberta: 40,962 confirmed (including 432 deaths, 30,462 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 23,661 confirmed (including 310 deaths, 16,469 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 11,608 confirmed (including 179 deaths, 4,324 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 5,422 confirmed (including 31 deaths, 3,336 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,151 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,062 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 379 confirmed (including 6 deaths, 341 resolved)

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 305 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 292 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 68 confirmed (including 64 resolved)

_ Nunavut: 60 confirmed

_ Yukon: 25 confirmed (including 1 death, 22 resolved)

_ Northwest Territories: 15 confirmed (including 10 resolved)

_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

_ Total: 306,468 (0 presumptive, 306,468 confirmed including 11,086 deaths, 244,151 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18, 2020.

The Canadian Press

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Nov 17th, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. EST on Nov. 17, 2020:

There are 302,234 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 125,072 confirmed (including 6,651 deaths, 105,998 resolved)

_ Ontario: 95,496 confirmed (including 3,371 deaths, 79,295 resolved)

_ Alberta: 40,189 confirmed (including 427 deaths, 29,731 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 22,994 confirmed (including 299 deaths, 16,087 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 11,339 confirmed (including 172 deaths, 4,156 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 5,182 confirmed (including 31 deaths, 3,223 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,146 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,058 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 367 confirmed (including 6 deaths, 339 resolved)

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 303 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 289 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 68 confirmed (including 64 resolved)

_ Nunavut: 26 confirmed

_ Yukon: 24 confirmed (including 1 death, 22 resolved)

_ Northwest Territories: 15 confirmed (including 10 resolved)

_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

_ Total: 302,234 (0 presumptive, 302,234 confirmed including 11,027 deaths, 240,285 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Growing number of Canadians plan to get vaccinated for COVID-19

CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS, THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Tuesday, Nov 17th, 2020

A new poll suggests the proportion of Canadians planning to get vaccinated for COVID-19 is on the rise after encouraging initial results from Pfizer’s vaccine trial.

Sixty-nine per cent of respondents said they plan to get inoculated against the novel coronavirus once Health Canada approves a vaccine that is broadly available and free, according to a survey by Léger and the Association for Canadian Studies.

The number is a jump from the 63 per cent who said they would take up such an offer one month ago, and a return to levels of vaccine enthusiasm reported in a similar poll in July.

Nonetheless, 22 per cent of respondents said they did not intend to receive doses of the Pfizer vaccine in particular if it were ready in the spring, despite early results that suggest a 90 per cent efficacy rate. Another 22 per cent said they did not know.

Léger executive vice-president Christian Bourque attributed the apprehension to lack of familiarity with the pharmaceutical giant rather than a wave of anti-vaccination fever.

“It worries me that if the vaccine or vaccines were available, we might have 20 per cent of Canadians who would reject it,” he said in an interview.

“I think the public authorities will need a concerted communications effort to convince Canadians to jump on the bandwagon.”

Nonetheless, only nine per cent of respondents said they think vaccines are dangerous and should not be taken or given. Meanwhile, 79 per cent said they do not hold such a belief.

The proportion of Canadians who expect anti-pandemic measures to remain in place even after a vaccine becomes widely available is also notably high, Bourque said.

Nearly two-thirds said they anticipated that requirements such as physical distancing, limited social gatherings and face masks in public spaces would continue after vaccination becomes widespread, while one in four weren’t sure.

“It’s not like it’s going to be that great night where everybody parties all night long. People will still want themselves and their neighbours to be disciplined about this,” Bourque said.

The proportion of Canadians opposed to mandatory vaccination remains higher than earlier this year, with only 42 per cent in favour — roughly in line with figures from last month but down from the nearly 60 per cent who supported the idea in May.

Conducted Nov. 13 to 15, the online poll surveyed 1,522 Canadians. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.

How Nunavut’s bubble finally popped

THE BIG STORY | posted Tuesday, Nov 17th, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, the province went more than seven months as the last COVID-19-free spot in North America, but the past weeks have seen one case turn into a couple of dozen. Why did the bubble work so well for so long? What are the unique dangers the virus poses to Northern communities? How will officials try to reign in spread now that the virus is here? And what can we learn from how long the bubble kept Nunavut safe?

GUEST: Kent Driscoll, APTN National News

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle and Spotify

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

The latest numbers on COVID 19 in Canada for Monday, Nov. 16, 2020

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Monday, Nov 16th, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. EST on Nov. 16, 2020:

There are 295,987 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 123,854 confirmed (including 6,626 deaths, 104,848 resolved)

_ Ontario: 94,009 confirmed (including 3,361 deaths, 78,303 resolved)

_ Alberta: 39,329 confirmed (including 407 deaths, 28,321 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 20,895 confirmed (including 290 deaths, 14,901 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 10,947 confirmed (including 162 deaths, 4,070 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 5,001 confirmed (including 31 deaths, 3,163 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,144 confirmed (including 65 deaths, 1,058 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 367 confirmed (including 6 deaths, 339 resolved)

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 303 confirmed (including 4 deaths, 289 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 68 confirmed (including 64 resolved)

_ Yukon: 24 confirmed (including 1 death, 22 resolved)

_ Nunavut: 18 confirmed

_ Northwest Territories: 15 confirmed (including 10 resolved)

_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

_ Total: 295,987 (0 presumptive, 295,987 confirmed including 10,953 deaths, 235,401 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2020.

The Canadian Press

How conspiracy became our new religion

THE BIG STORY | posted Monday, Nov 16th, 2020

In today’s Big Story podcast, almost two weeks after the American election, leading social media platforms are inundated with false claims about the results. Claims that are supported and amplified by Donald Trump and key members of his administration. After talking tough regarding disinformation in the months leading up to the election, and even slapping warnings on the president’s posts, have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok lived up to their promises?

And the big question: Will Twitter ever ban Donald Trump? Where would their business be without him?

GUEST: Jesse Hirsh, researcher and futurist, metaviews.ca

You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle and Spotify

You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.

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