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Alberta Health Services to cut 9,700 jobs

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CALGARY —
The Alberta government plans to cut the equivalent of 9,700 full time health service jobs in an effort to save $600 million annually.

As many of the employees affected are part-time workers, the actual number of layoffs could rise.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said the cuts will not affect front-line medical staff including nurses and doctors.

In a press conference Tuesday morning, Shandro said the majority of jobs lost will come from outsourcing jobs in laboratories, housekeeping, food services, and laundry. Shandro estimates approximately 800 jobs will disappear due to attrition.

Another 4,000 housekeeping jobs, 3,000 food service jobs, 2,000 laboratory jobs, 400 laundry jobs and at least 100 management jobs are also expected to be axed in the proposed cuts.

“68 per cent of laundry services in Alberta and, if we look at in the north of the province, 70 per cent of community lab services are currently delivered by the private sector, under contract,” said Shandro. “AHS has also been given permission to develop business cases for contracting out, environmental services like housekeeping in 2022 and food preparation for consideration in 2023.”

Sandro claims most workers will not actually lose their jobs in the transition to privatization.

“Contracting out isn’t a reduction in employment,” explained Shandro. “For most cases, it’s this is a matter of workers just changing their employer from AHS to the (private) provider.”

Shandro says changes in the workforce could start next spring, but changes to the labs may not come into effect until February 2022, when a contract with (current provider)  Dynalife ends.

Contracting out laundry services could begin as early as next April.

The Ernst and Young report had recommended even deeper cuts, amounting to 16,000 lost jobs.

Shandro said the government scaled back the cuts because of the current pandemic response. He did not say the additional cuts have been shelved, only that they are being delayed.

Source:- CTV Toronto

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NIH Director: Politics Have 'Nothing To Do' with COVID-19 Vaccine Approval | MSNBC – MSNBC

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  1. NIH Director: Politics Have ‘Nothing To Do’ with COVID-19 Vaccine Approval | MSNBC  MSNBC
  2. Canada ‘not at the back of the line’ for COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna chairman says  CBC.ca
  3. Coronavirus: Support for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination is falling in Canada says Ipsos poll  Global News
  4. UK could launch coronavirus vaccination effort as soon as Dec. 7  CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News
  5. Be patient and stay safe. Coronavirus vaccines are on the way.  The Dallas Morning News
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



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Moderna chairman says Canada near front of line for 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press


Published Sunday, November 29, 2020 1:52PM EST


Last Updated Sunday, November 29, 2020 3:00PM EST

OTTAWA – Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole accused the Liberal government Sunday of putting too much emphasis on partnering with a Chinese company for a COVID-19 vaccine in what turned out to be a failed deal.

O’Toole said the Trudeau government only turned its attention to pre-ordering tens of millions of vaccine doses from companies such as Pfizer and Moderna in August when its collaboration between the National Research Council and Chinese vaccine-maker CanSino finally collapsed after months of delays.

The Council had issued CanSino a licence to use a Canadian biological product as part of a COVID-19 vaccine. CanSino was supposed to provide samples of the vaccine for clinical trials at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology at Dalhousie University, but the Chinese government blocked the shipments.

“I would not have put all our eggs in the basket of China,” O’Toole said at a morning news conference.

“If you look at the timeline, that’s when Canada started getting serious with Pfizer, Moderna, the other options,” he added, saying he was concerned that “the Trudeau government was willing to almost double down on partnering with China” earlier in the pandemic.

The government announced its major vaccine purchases in August after it confirmed the CanSino partnership had fallen through. At the time, it said its decision had come after careful consultations with its vaccine task force of health experts.

The CanSino partnership with Dalhousie predated the deep freeze in Canada-China relations that occurred after the People’s Republic imprisoned two Canadian men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, in apparent retaliation for the RCMP’s arrest of Chinese high-tech executive Meng Wanzhou nearly two years ago on an American extradition warrant.

This past week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau created a firestorm when he said Canadians will have to wait a bit to get vaccinated for COVID-19 because the first doses off the production lines will be used in the countries where they are made.

As questions grew about the CanSino deal, Trudeau continued to defend his government’s vaccine procurement policy, which he says has secured multiple options for the country. Trudeau also appointed a Canadian Forces general to lead the logistics of an eventual vaccine rollout with the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The chairman of American vaccine maker Moderna told the CBC on Sunday that Canada is near the front of the line to receive 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine it pre-ordered.

Noubar Afeyan was asked on CBC’s Rosemary Barton Live whether the fact that Canada committed to pre-purchase its doses before other jurisdictions means it will get its supply first. Afeyan confirmed that was the case.

“The people who are willing to move early on with even less proof of the efficacy have assured the amount of supply they were willing to sign up to,” he said.

O’Toole said with Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland poised to deliver the government’s long-awaited fiscal update on Monday, the Liberals need to do two things to spur economic recovery: offer a better plan on how it will rollout vaccines for Canadians and step up the distribution of rapid tests.

“There can’t be a full economy, a growing economy, people working, people being productive without the tools to keep that happening in a pandemic. Those two tools are rapid tests, and a vaccine.”

Freeland’s fall economic statement is expected to give a full accounting of the government’s record spending on programs to combat the pandemic. In July, the deficit was forecast to be at a record $343.2 billion but some estimates say it could easily top $400 billion.

The government could announce new spending such as taking steps towards a national child-care system, and relief for battered industries such as travel and restaurants that will face an uphill struggle to recover from the pandemic.

NDP finance critic Peter Julien sent Freeland a three-page letter urging her to take action on a variety of fronts to help struggling Canadian families during the pandemic.

They included taking concrete action on establishing a national pharmacare plan to help Canadians pay for soaring prescription drug costs, and establish a national day-care strategy to help women who have been disproportionately hindered by the pandemic. Julien also urged Freeland to help Indigenous communities and abandon the government’s plans to pay for the Trans-Mountain Pipeline and ramp up its fight against climate change.

Green party Leader Annamie Paul called on Freeland to deliver “a positive vision for a green recovery” to accelerate Canada’s transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

“We are optimistic that a vaccine for COVID-19 will be widely available next year and so we must be prepared for what comes next,” Paul said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2020.

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Moderna chairman says Canada near front of line for 20M vaccine doses – 680 News

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The chairman of American vaccine maker Moderna says Canada is near the front of the line to receive 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine it pre-ordered.

Noubar Afeyan offered that assessment today in an interview with CBC’s Rosemary Barton Live.

Afeyan’s remarks come as the Trudeau government has come under fire this past week for its ability to deliver a timely vaccine to Canadians.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau created a firestorm when he said Canadians will have to wait a bit to get vaccinated for COVID-19 because the first doses off the production lines will be used in the countries where they are made.

Afeyan was asked whether the fact that Canada committed to pre-purchase its doses before other jurisdictions means it will get its supply first.

Afeyan confirmed that was the case.

“The people who are willing to move early on with even less proof of the efficacy have assured the amount of supply they were willing to sign up to,” he said.

“In the case of Canada, that number is about 20 million doses. But the Canadian government, like others, have also reserved the ability to increase that amount. And those discussions are ongoing,” he added.

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