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About 1,500 young children's COVID-19 vaccine appointments cancelled after shots booked at four Alberta pharmacies in error – Edmonton Journal

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About 1,500 youngsters expecting to get a COVID-19 shot at Alberta pharmacies in the coming days will have their appointments cancelled.

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Vaccination bookings for children aged five to 11 opened at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Alberta, but four pharmacies — three in Edmonton and one in Airdrie — were incorrectly listed, according to Alberta Health. In both of these cities, Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine is only being offered at Alberta Health Services’ sites.

Michael Francoeur, spokesperson for Alberta Health, said incorrect locations were removed from Alberta Health’s system within an hour. He apologized to those who need to reschedule.

“We are aware of four pharmacies that incorrectly opened pediatric vaccine appointments in the Alberta vaccine booking system early (Wednesday) morning … The four pharmacies are in the process of cancelling these appointments and notifying individuals,” he said in an email statement.

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“On behalf of these pharmacies and the province, we apologize for the inconvenience to Albertans.”

Only pharmacies in Alix, Legal, Clive and Warburg are offering the shot. Elsewhere, Albertans must book at one of AHS’s 120 locations or, for children on First Nations reserves, at a public health clinic.

The first opportunity for this age group to be vaccinated is Friday. Anyone who incorrectly booked at an Edmonton or Airdrie pharmacy can reschedule their appointment through Alberta Health’s online booking tool and cancellation website, or by calling Health Link at 811.

Vaccine Hunters warn parents

Lindsay LeBlanc went to Alberta Health’s website just after 7 a.m. Wednesday after her sister tipped her off that appointments were open. Having listened to the government’s announcement Tuesday, LeBlanc was suspicious when she saw the Edmonton pharmacies listed, but she decided to book.

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But shortly afterward she saw a warning about the error from Vaccine Hunters Alberta on Twitter , cancelled the appointment, and rebooked a new one for Friday.

“Kudos to (Vaccine Hunters). I think we probably would have been left disappointed and later found out through the news that this was incorrect,” she said in an interview.

“If I hadn’t listened to that press conference (Tuesday) … I can definitely see how people would get into that trap and not get the right thing booked.”

Sarah Mackey with Vaccine Hunters Alberta said in one case a person reported driving all the way across town for an appointment that didn’t exist.

“If you’re a parent who, all you know is that the vaccines open today, you’re trying to rush around, get the kids ready, and you see something that’s available, you’re going to grab it,” she said in an interview.

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Others reported only getting a single confirmation after booking appointments for multiple children, according to Mackey.

But despite the hiccups, Mackey said the booking system is much improved overall. Problems have been ironed out and new ones have been dealt with promptly, she said.

As of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, 42,860 appointments were booked for pediatric doses, Health Minister Jason Copping announced on Twitter .

464 cases

Meantime, another 464 COVID-19 cases were reported in Alberta Wednesday and four more people have died from the disease.

By Wednesday there were 5,033 active cases in the province, including 1,132 the Edmonton Zone and 1,836 in the Calgary Zone. A total of 470 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19 with 97 of them in ICU.

Alberta received its first shipment of 394,000 child-size doses on Tuesday after Health Canada approved the vaccines on Friday. The health regulator said the pediatric dose is 90.7 per cent effective and there were no serious side effects.

— With files from Ashley Joannou

lboothby@postmedia.com

@laurby

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Ontario man who accidentally transferred $19000 to stranger's account left for weeks without solution – CTV Toronto

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An Ontario man says he has been fighting to get back $19,000 for months after making a “simple mistake” while trying to transfer money between two of his bank accounts.

Milton, Ont. man Roberto Guardado said he had just purchased a new home and in September was trying to transfer money from his Bank of Montreal (BMO) account to his CIBC account so that he could make the down payment.

He said he called BMO to arrange the wire transfer, figuring it would be the easiest way to move the funds to CIBC.

Guardado said he has two bank accounts with CIBC, one for his personal savings and one for business. He was trying to transfer the money into the savings account.

He said while making the transfer, he correctly read out his CIBC savings account number, but mistakenly gave the transit number of his CIBC business account.

The five-digit transit number helps the bank identify which branch the money is being sent to.

The mistake resulted in Guardado’s money being sent to a stranger’s CIBC account, he said.

CIBC

“I noticed the money went out but it didn’t go into my CIBC account,” Guardado told CTV News Toronto. “So I went home that day and I started looking on my computer and then I realized I gave the wrong transit number.”

He said he immediately called BMO, who told him they would launch an investigation. 

Despite calling the bank every few days for an update, he said it took five weeks before he got any answers.

Guardado said he was told that his $19,000 was deposited into someone else’s account and the person had withdrawn it. 

He said both BMO and CIBC told him nothing further could be done to retrieve his money.

“I couldn’t believe I made the mistake,” Guardado said. 

Guardado said he called the police, but was also told that because he initiated the transfer there was nothing to investigate.

BMO

“The police told me that because it’s not considered fraud they can’t do anything about it,” he said. 

‘JUST A SIMPLE MISTAKE’

Guardado said that while he fully admits the error was his fault, he doesn’t understand why the bank couldn’t help him quickly reverse the transfer.

“It was just a simple mistake and my money ended in someone else’s account,” Guardado said.

Because of the lost money, Guardado said he had no choice but to back out of the sale of his new home. 

Shortly after CTV News Toronto contacted CIBC and BMO about Guardado’s situation, he said he received a call from the banks telling him his $19,000 would be returned to his account. 

CIBC spokesperson Trish Tervit confirmed on Saturday they had resolved the issue with Guardado. 

“It’s important that when transferring funds between financial institutions that the sender ensures the recipient account number is correct as misdirected funds may be difficult to recover,” Tervit added. 

Guardado said CIBC told him this is a “unique situation” that is being resolved on a one-time basis. 

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from BMO said they had a “good conversation” with Guardado, but couldn’t comment further for privacy reasons. 

While this stressful two-month chapter is now over for Guardado, he said banks “have to come up with a better system” for when people make mistakes.

“It was a stupid mistake on my part, but the process to fix it has to be easier,” he said. “I was so stressed that I lost weight and I couldn’t sleep. It was bothering me so much.”

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Cargill beef-processing plant in High River, Alta. narrowly avoids strike action – CBC.ca

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Employees at Cargill’s beef-processing plant in High River, Alta., have voted in favour of a new labour contract, narrowly avoiding strike action and a possible lockout.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 401 (UFCW), which represents workers at the plant, said Saturday that workers chose to accept the new contract offer, with 71 per cent voting in favour.

In a statement, UFCW said it was not an easy decision for staff at the plant, and called the contract vote a “bittersweet victory.” 

Workers had raised safety concerns after a COVID-19 outbreak at the plant in 2020 affected more than 900 people. The outbreak, which forced Cargill to temporarily close the plant — one of Canada’s largest — is linked to three deaths.

The union says the new contract includes procedures to ensure worker health and safety, benefits, and new rights for sick employees. 

After the two sides held talks on Tuesday, UFCW’s bargaining committee agreed to recommend the new offer to its members, Cargill spokesperson Daniel Sullivan said. Workers voted between Thursday and Saturday.

The union released parts of the proposed offer to CBC earlier in the week. The contract included $4,200 in retroactive pay for many Cargill union members; signing, holiday and COVID-19 bonuses; and a $5 wage increase.

Workers prepare beef to be packaged at the Cargill facility near High River, Alta. The plant is the site of what became the largest COVID-19 outbreak in North America last year. (Name withheld)

UFCW had said the plant’s roughly 2,000 workers would strike Monday unless an agreement was reached.

The union also they brought in tents, floodlights and heaters for the possible strike, while nearby fields were levelled to provide parking.

Cargill had also planned to lock out all UFCW union staff as of 12:01 a.m. Monday, according to a statement from the company’s vice-president of labour relations, Tanya Teeter, which was obtained and made public by the union.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that is comprehensive, fair, and reflective of their commitment to excellence at Cargill and the critical role they play in feeding families across Canada,” Jarrod Gillig, the company’s president of business operations and supply chain for North America protein, wrote in a statement to CBC Saturday.  

“As an organization that leads with our value to put people first, we truly believe this ratification is in the best interests of our employees and we are eager to move forward to build a stronger future – together.”

Reforms still needed: Union

“We also look forward to the citizens of Alberta joining with us in calling for reforms and restructuring in the meatpacking industry,” UFCW President Thomas Hesse wrote in a statement Saturday. 

“Workers have been ripped off. Ranchers have been ripped off. And we’ve all been ripped off at the supermarket counter. Government failed to protect these workers, as well as failing to protect Alberta ranchers and consumers. Change must occur.” 

The Cargill plant processes up to 4,500 head of cattle per day, accounting for about one-third of Canada’s beef.

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Job growth in Canada exceeded expectations in November – Canada Immigration News

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Published on December 4th, 2021 at 08:00am EST

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With employment soaring beyond predictions and unemployment dropping to near pre-pandemic levels, new labour force data suggest that Canada is on its way to a full economic recovery.

This past November, Canadian employers added 154,000 jobs to the economy. Last month’s growth exceeded analysts’ predictions of 38,000, which was closer to October levels. The gains pushed employment a full percentage point higher than pre-pandemic levels. Also, unemployment dropped to 6%, which is within 0.3 percentage points of what it was in February 2020.

Data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey reflect labour market conditions during the week of November 7 to 13. Proof-of-vaccination policies and other public health measures were largely similar to those in October.

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Labour shortages persist despite employment gains

Hiring in November was driven by the private sector both in full-time and part-time positions. Even so, Canada is still experiencing labour shortages across sectors like hospitality, retail, and health care. In September, there were roughly one million job vacancies across the country.

Most government COVID-19 financial assistance measures ended in late October. Some analysts say it may have pushed people to accept job offers. Among these measures was the Canadian Recovery Benefit for individuals, which had been accused of discouraging people from returning to work. The Conference Board of Canada says the lack of wage growth was an even greater disincentive, especially in low-wage service industries.

“November’s job growth suggests the withdrawal of the [Canadian Recovery Benefit] may have pushed some workers back into employment though alone this will not be sufficient to address the significant labour shortages affecting several industries,” writes economist Liam Daly.

RBC economist Nathan Janzen wrote that despite the surge in employment there were still “exceptionally low” levels of workers in the service sectors.

“Employment in accommodation & food services edged up 5k from October but is still more than 200k below pre-shock levels,” Janzen wrote. “Travel and hospitality spending has been rebounding, but with the unemployment rate now substantially lower, it is increasingly clear that there are not enough remaining unemployed workers out there to re-fill all of those jobs any time soon.”

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© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit CanadaVisa.com to discover your Canadian immigration options.

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