Procurement Minister Anita Anand says 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine on loan from the U.S. will arrive in Canada by truck on Tuesday.
The shipment is the first Canada expects to receive from manufacturing plants in the United States — which has so far ensured that all vaccines produced in the U.S. go to Americans.
At a press conference today, Anand said those doses are part of a surge in vaccine deliveries set to take place over the coming weeks.
“We have said from the beginning that the first quarter of this year would represent a period of increasingly supply as vaccine manufacturers ramped up production, and this would be followed by significant supplies coming to Canada,” Anand said.
“We are now seeing that supply surge and it is set to continue.”
Canada had received just over 6.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and the Serum Institute of India as of yesterday, according to federal government data.
Pfizer has confirmed it plans to ship at least a million doses per week to Canada from now until the end of May, while Moderna will ship every two weeks, with 855,000 doses of its vaccine shipping to Canada the week of Apr. 5 and 1.2 million doses shipping the week of Apr. 19.
Vaccine supply challenges remain
Despite the projected surge in deliveries, Canada’s vaccine supply continues to experience major challenges — even as health officials warn that COVID-19 case counts are set to rise rapidly in the coming weeks as virus variants take hold.
The AstraZeneca doses arriving from the U.S. were manufactured in facilities that haven’t yet received Health Canada approval. Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada’s chief medical adviser, said yesterday the doses will need to be stored until the regulator completes a regulatory review.
And a shipment of 590,400 Moderna doses that was supposed to arrive Saturday has been delayed by a backlog in the company’s quality assurance process.
Anand said she was assured in a conversation with Moderna executives that the delay is not related to new European Union export restrictions meant to address vaccine supply shortages on the continent. She said the delayed shipment has been approved already for export and will arrive “a few days later.”
“We are closely monitoring the global environment, including export restrictions in a number of jurisdictions,” said Anand. “Given the profound period of global demand for vaccine, there will continue to be bumps along the way and we will continue to work every day to ensure that vaccines arrive in this country.”
Meanwhile, the fate of 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India bound for Canada is uncertain, after India reportedly placed a temporary hold on all major vaccine exports to allow it to meet domestic demand.
While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier this week he’s seen nothing to indicate that April and May deliveries to Canada will be affected, India’s deputy high commissioner in Canada said the delivery schedule “remains under discussion.”
And despite being approved three weeks ago by Health Canada, Johnson & Johnson still hasn’t confirmed delivery dates for the any of the 10 million doses of its one-shot vaccine that Canada has ordered.
Ford criticizes Ottawa on vaccine supply
At a press conference Friday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford criticized Ottawa for not supplying enough vaccines to the provinces and territories. Ford has mostly avoided attacking the federal government directly on the topic of vaccine supply, even as other conservative leaders — including Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe — have done so regularly.
“I have been very diplomatic and I’ve been very complimentary and collaborative with the federal government [but] enough’s enough. This is becoming a joke,” said Ford. “We need more vaccines.”
Ford said pharmacies in the province have tens of thousands of appointments booked but are running out of doses.
Data that Ontario’s Ministry of Health shared with CBC News late Friday evening show the province has received 2.35 million doses from the federal government, and has administered 1.83 million doses.
The ministry said Ontario has the capacity to administer 150,000 doses per day. Slightly less than 83,000 doses were administered in the province yesterday.
According to a vaccine tracker maintained by CBC News, Canada is behind 34 countries in terms of the percentage of the population that has received at least one dose of vaccine.
The tracker, which only includes countries that report vaccine data publicly, shows that 10.73 per cent of Canadians have received one dose, while only 1.7 per cent have been fully vaccinated.
The opposition Conservatives led off question period today by pressing the government on vaccine deliveries.
Conservative MP Gérard Deltell cited the delay of Canada’s Moderna shipment and the uncertainty created by export restrictions in the EU and India.
“Canada needs vaccines, so why are there delays?” asked Deltell in French.
Liberal MP Steve MacKinnon responded by saying the government was proud to meet its original target of 6 million vaccine doses delivered before the end of March. MacKinnon added that another 3 million doses are expected to arrive next week.
“We are determined to continue our momentum forward with regard to vaccine imports and supply for all Canadians,” MacKinnon said.
Canadian Business During the Pandemic
In 2019 the world was hit by the covid 19 pandemic and ever since then people have been suffering in different ways. Usually, economies and businesses have changed the way they work and do business. Most of which are going towards online and automation.
The people most effected by this are the laymen that used to work hard labors to make money for there families. But other then them it has been hard for most business to make such switch. Those of whom got on the online/ e commerce band wagon quickly were out of trouble and into the safe zone but not everyone is mace for the high-speed online world and are thus suffering.
More than 200,000 Canadian businesses could close permanently during the COVID-19 crisis, throwing millions of people out of work as the resurgence of the virus worsens across much of the country, according to new research. You can only imagine how many families these businesses were feeding, not to mention the impact the economy and the GDP is going to bear.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said one in six, or about 181,000, Canadian small business owners are now seriously contemplating shutting down. The latest figures, based on a survey of its members done between Jan. 12 and 16, come on top of 58,000 businesses that became inactive in 2020.
An estimate by the CFIB last summer said one in seven or 158,000 businesses were at risk of going under as a result of the pandemic. Based on the organization’s updated forecast, more than 2.4 million people could be out of work. A staggering 20 per cent of private sector jobs.
Simon Gaudreault, CFIB’s senior director of national research, said it was an alarming increase in the number of businesses that are considering closing.
“We are not headed in the right direction, and each week that passes without improvement on the business front pushes more owners to make that final decision,”
He said in a statement.
“The more businesses that disappear, the more jobs we will lose, and the harder it will be for the economy to recover.”
In total, one in five businesses are at risk of permanent closure by the end of the pandemic, the organization said.
The new sad research shows that this year has been horrible for the Canadian businesses.
“The beginning of 2021 feels more like the fifth quarter of 2020 than a new year,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president of the CFIB, in a statement.
She called on governments to help small businesses “replace subsidies with sales” by introducing safe pathways to reopen to businesses.
“There’s a lot at stake now from jobs, to tax revenue to support for local soccer teams,”
“Let’s make 2021 the year we help small business survive and then get back to thriving.”
The whole world has suffered a lot from the pandemic and the Canadian economy has been no stranger to it. We can only pray that the world gets rid of this pandemic quickly and everything become as it used to be. Although I think it is about time, we start setting new norms.
Shopify shares edge up after falling on executive departures
By Chavi Mehta
(Reuters) -Shopify Inc shares edged higher on Thursday, recovering partially from the previous day’s fall, with analysts saying the news of planned senior executive departures may have limited impact due to the company’s deep talent pool.
Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday the company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all leave their roles.
“We remain confident it (Shopify) can continue to execute at a high level, despite the departures,” Tom Forte, analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co said, pointing to the company’s “deep bench of talented executives.”
Shopify, which provides infrastructure for online stores, has seen its valuation soar in the past year as many businesses went virtual during the COVID-19 lockdowns, turning it into Canada‘s most valuable company.
Shopify declined to comment further on Lutke’s statement suggesting current company leaders would step in to fill the three roles. After chief product officer Craig Miller left in September, Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.
The Ottawa-based company is Canada‘s biggest homegrown tech success story, founded in 2006 and supporting over 1 million businesses globally, according to the company.
Jonathan Kees, analyst at Summit Insights Group, called the timing of the departures “a little alarming” but said the specific roles make it less concerning, given that the executives leaving are “more back-office roles.”
Lutke said each one of them had their individual reasons to leave, without giving details.
“I am willing to give Tobi’s explanation the benefit of the doubt,” Kees added.
Toronto-listed shares of Shopify were up 3.5% at C$1526.41 on Thursday, giving it a market value of C$188 billion ($150 billion). It ended down 5.1% on Wednesday.
“While we would refer to the departure of three high-level executives as ‘significant,’ we would not refer to it as a ‘brain drain,'” Forte added.
($1 = 1.2541 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Dan Grebler)
Almost half of Shopify’s top execs to depart company: CEO
By Moira Warburton
(Reuters) – Three of e-commerce platform Shopify’s seven top executives will be leaving the company in the coming months, chief executive officer and founder of Canada‘s most valuable company Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday.
The company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all transition out of their roles, Lutke said, adding that they have been “spectacular and deserve to take a bow.”
“Each one of them has their individual reasons but what was unanimous with all three was that this was the best for them and the best for Shopify,” he said.
The trio follow the departure of Craig Miller, chief product officer, in September. Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.
Shopify, which provides infrastructure for online stores, has seen its valuation soar in the last year as many businesses went virtual during COVID-19 lockdowns. It has a market cap valuation of C$182.7 billion ($146 billion), above Canada‘s top lender Royal Bank of Canada.
It is Canada‘s biggest homegrown tech success story, founded in 2006 and supporting over 1 million businesses globally, according to the company.
“We have a phenomenally strong bench of leaders who will now step up into larger roles,” Lutke said, but did not name replacements.
Shopify said in February revenue growth would slow this year as vaccine rollouts encourage people to return to stores and warned it does not expect 2020’s near doubling of gross merchandise volume, an industry metric to measure transaction volumes, to repeat this year.
Chief talent officer, Brittany Forsyth, was the 22nd employee hired at Shopify and has been with the company for 11 years. She said on Twitter that post-Shopify she would be focusing on Backbone Angels, an all-female collective of angel investors she co-founded in March.
Shopify shares fell 5.1% while the benchmark Canadian share index ended marginally down.
($1 = 1.2515 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Aurora Ellis)