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B.C. health officials to provide first COVID-19 update in 5 days –



Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced 2,206 new cases of COVID-19 detected in B.C. and 74 deaths since Christmas Eve.

Henry announced that as of Tuesday, there are 7,580 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C. A record high of 373 people are in hospital, including 80 in intensive care.

Henry choked up when speaking about the 74 lives lost to COVID-19. Their deaths mean that so far, 882 British Columbians have died of the disease.

 “Our condolences go out to all the families who are mourning their loss,” Henry said. “To the care providers and to our communities who have lost loved ones.

“We know that this is the most challenging time to deal with these issues. Not only because of COVID, but because of the time of year. We mourn with you and feel your loss intensely.”

Henry reported eight new outbreaks in the health-care system over the last weekend. There are 56 active outbreaks in long-term care and eight in acute care.

While daily case numbers are trending downwards, Henry said her worry is that the trend is in part due to people not getting tested as often during the holiday period as they were before.

No more signs of U.K. variant — so far

As health officials revealed this weekend, a Vancouver Island resident in mandatory 14-day quarantine after arriving home from the United Kingdom tested positive for a new variant of the novel coronavirus first detected in the U.K.

Henry said there was no evidence suggesting the new variant is more likely to cause severe illness, nor is there evidence to suggest approved vaccines for COVID-19 will be any less effective.

WATCH | Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about the person who tested positive for the U.K. coronavirus variant:

Dr. Bonnie Henry says the person who tested positive for the new COVID-19 variant was in quarantine after returning to B.C. from the U.K. 1:30

She said the B.C. Centre for Disease Control has been sequencing coronavirus genomes for months to find changes in the virus and to see where variants might be coming from.

Once the U.K. variant was identified, Henry said the B.C. CDC sequenced the genome of viruses from people who had tested positive in recent weeks and so far, no more instances of the U.K. variant have been found.

Other positive tests from people in B.C. who have come through the U.K. are being sequenced now, Henry said.

“It may well be that we will identify additional people who have this variant who are here in B.C. now,” Henry said.

‘Critical period’

Henry added that the suspected increased infectiousness of the U.K. variant drives home the need to follow public health guidelines and orders to stop the spread of the coronavirus — regardless of the strain.

That means keeping hands washed, staying away from others if you are ill, isolating if you’ve been exposed, wearing a mask where required, keeping physical distances and keeping numbers small.

“Right now, that’s also an order: that you need to stay with your household for any social gatherings,” Henry said, adding those who live alone can gather with one or two close friends.

That order is in place until Jan. 8 and must be followed on New Year’s Eve, Henry said. She appealed to British Columbians to do so in order to give health care workers a break.

Raise a glass to 2021, she suggested, get takeout, but keep it within the household or connect virtually.

“This is what we need to do to get over this hump in our pandemic and make sure we enter 2021 positioned to immunize people who are most at risk and to get us through this next hard few weeks,” Henry said.

Moderna vaccine on its way

Henry said 11,930 British Columbians have now been vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine began arriving in B.C. on Tuesday, Henry said, with more arriving in coming days. She said as soon as it arrives it will go out to remote and isolated First Nations communities.

She said the groundwork has been laid with partners such as First Nations and the First Nations Health Authority to make sure logistics, training and supplies are in place.

“This is a very exciting and important move for us here in British Columbia,” Henry said.

The Moderna vaccine has less demanding handling requirements, which makes it more suitable for remote communities.

So far, Henry reported, two people have had allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccination. She said this was not unexpected.

Both people who had reactions were treated, she said, and have fully recovered. Both were health care workers.

1 dose instead of 2?

Vaccinations were down over the weekend but Henry said training and logistics were a focus in those days. She said those elements are both important to have right with the “fussy” vaccines, and it’s not accurate to say vaccination-related activity was on pause.

Responding to a question about the head of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine task force calling on Health Canada to “look into” the possibility of providing Moderna’s vaccine as a single dose, rather than two, Henry said such a change would “absolutely” be helpful to get the most out of the vaccine supply.

“It would be just wonderful if people only needed a single dose,” she said. “That would make our lives so much easier.”

A COVID-19 vaccination site is pictured in Vancouver Monday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Henry said experts around the world are looking at data about vaccine efficacy after just the first dose, but right now it is a two-dose program.

For December and January, all the doses B.C. has received of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being used for first doses. None are being held back for second doses because there is greater confidence in the supply chain.

Henry said second doses for some people will occur in February — 35 days after the first — and there is good data suggesting immunity will hold out for that time.

First update in 5 days

Henry and Dix had held their last news conference on Dec. 23. New numbers were released online on Christmas Eve, but the province hasn’t had any fresh data since.

It will still be several days before numbers reflect whether holiday gatherings lead to a spike in new cases, given the virus’s 14-day incubation period.

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The 5 Big Banks in Canada



Banks in Canada

The Big Five Banks is a term used in Canada to describe the five largest banks: Royal Bank, The Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, The Bank of Nova Scotia, and TD Canada Trust.

Occasionally, the term “Big Six Banks” is used, with the sixth bank referring to the National Bank of Canada. As of March 2008, the Big Six Banks and Laurentian Bank of Canada are the largest banks in Canada. The Five Big Banks hold over $100 billion in assets, and they are all based in Toronto. World Atlas provides the following data on each of the Big Five Banks.

1. Royal Bank of Canada

The Royal Bank of Canada is the largest of the Big Five with respect to net revenue (C$12.431 billion in 2018) and capitalization (C$150.35 billion as of early 2020). The Royal Bank of Canada has over 16 million clients worldwide, over 74,000 full-time employees and over 1,300 branches. Founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the bank financed the lumber and timber industries. It was known as the Merchants Bank of Halifax. The Royal Bank of Canada gives 1% of its income to charity.

2. Toronto-Dominion Bank

The second-largest bank in Canada, the Toronto-Dominion Bank has the most assets, which are valued at C$1.4 trillion as of July 2019. This bank has over 22 million clients worldwide, 85,000 full-time employees and over 1,100 branches. The bank was the result of a merger of the Bank of Toronto and the Dominion Bank in 1955.

3. Bank of Nova Scotia

The Bank of Nova Scotia, or Scotiabank, is the next largest bank in Canada with assets valued at C$998 billion as of late 2019, the revenue of C$28.8 billion in 2018 and capitalization of C$87.55 billion. The bank has over 23 million customers worldwide, 89,000 full-time employees and over 1,000 branches in Canada. This bank offers to trade on both the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges.

Also founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia—this one in 1832—the bank moved its headquarters to Toronto in 1900 to improve the transAtlantic trade industry.

4. Bank of Montreal

The Bank of Montreal is the fourth largest Canadian bank with C$852.2 billion worth of assets in late 2019, the revenue of C$22.8 billion and capitalization of C$64.81 billion as of early 2020. The bank has over 7 million clients in Canada and 939 branches. The bank has over 47,000 employees. It was founded in 1817 and is the oldest bank in Canada. Throughout crises such as World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, the Bank has consistently met dividend payments.

5. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has C$597 billion in assets, the revenue of C$17.834 billion for 2018, and capitalization of C$48.01 billion. The bank has over 11 million clients worldwide, 1,100 branches in Canada and over 44,000 full-time employees worldwide. The bank was formed in 1961 when the Canadian Bank of Commerce and the Imperial Bank of Canada merged.

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U.S. lawmakers press GM CEO on California emissions



General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra faced questions from U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday on a workers’ vote at a company plant in Mexico and the company’s support for emissions reductions.

Barra met with House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other senior Democrats on Capitol Hill, and touted the company’s decision announced earlier in the day to boost spending on electric and autonomous vehicles to $35 billion through 2025.

“We’re committed to an all-EV future,” Barra said in brief comments to Reuters after the meeting. “We had a lot of conversations about a lot of things that we can do to enable EV adoption.”

Until November, GM backed the Trump administration’s effort to block California from setting tougher emissions standards than the federal government.

Pelosi had expressed disappointment with GM’s support for Republican President Donald Trump’s position on the emissions rules, a source briefed on the matter said, and she urged GM to work with California and the Biden administration to reach the strongest possible vehicle emissions standards.

The administration of Democratic President Joe Biden is set to unveil revised vehicle emissions rules in July.

GM said last week it backs emissions reductions outlined in a 2019 deal struck between California and other major automakers, but wants the federal government to endorse changes to speed the adoption of electric vehicles.

Barra also faced questions about a delayed worker vote at a GM plant in Silao, Mexico.

Mexico’s Labor Ministry scrapped an initial union-led vote in April, citing “serious irregularities,” and later ordered the GM union to hold a new ballot within 30 days of its May 11 statement. No vote has been scheduled

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office in May asked Mexico to review potential labor abuses at the Silao plant under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Last month, U.S. Representatives Dan Kildee, Bill Pascrell and Earl Blumenauer, all Democrats, pressed GM to answer questions about potential abuses in Mexico.

“We want to see some real demonstration of embracing the labor standards in Mexico — more than compliance,” Kildee told Reuters after the meeting. “The situation in Silao — I raised that with Mary — that’s a problem.”

The Democrats urged GM to commit to providing workers with physical copies of the contract, publicly posting contracts and to meet other requirements.

Kildee offered additional steps GM could take to support workers and meet USMCA requirements, and the three lawmakers followed up with a written list of suggested actions, congressional aides said.

The suggestions “would be tangible demonstrations of GM’s commitment to lead on compliance with the new labor standards,” Kildee told Reuters.

Earlier Wednesday, some House lawmakers on a trade panel, including Kildee, had a virtual meeting with Mexico’s ambassador to the United States in which the GM labor issued was raised.


(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Presenting Your Professional Experience: Numbers Are Your Friends



Numbers rule the business world—revenue, headcount, process time, value increase, number of clients, inventory count, profit margin, credit rating, customer satisfaction score. Numbers indicate and measure success or failure, whether a business activity is positive or negative to the bottom line. You’d be hard-pressed to find a business decision made without some factoring in of “the numbers,” be it stats, cost, the potential return on investment.


Hiring is a business decision.


To make a strong case for yourself (Envision your selling features.) throughout your resume use numbers, the language of business, to quantify your results and establish yourself as someone who can bring value to an employer. Using numbers shows you understand how companies operate and that they exist to make a profit. Most importantly, using results-achieved numbers displays your value.


Which job seeker displays better value?


Candidate 1: Duties included taking field measurements and maintaining records, setting up and tracking project using Microsoft Project.


Candidate 2: Spearheaded the Hazzard County water decontamination project, finishing $125,000 under budget due to a 25% decrease in staff allocation time.


Which job seeker gives a clearer picture of their responsibilities?


Candidate 1: Supervised team leaders.


Candidate 2: Supervised 3 team leaders, collectively responsible for 40 CSRs answering 1,750 – 2,500 calls daily.


Which job seeker shows their work ethic?


Candidate 1: Completed first editing pass on articles.


Candidate 2: Reviewed and evaluated 50 – 75 articles per week, deciding whether to reject the article, forward it to the editorial team, or send it back to the author with revision suggestions.


Information quantified means something. Information not quantified is just an opinion. Most resumes are just a list of opinions, thus quantifying your professional experience will set you apart from your competition.


TIP: Always use bullets, not paragraphs, to describe your professional experiences.


For each position you list on your resume, ask yourself:


  • Did I increase my employer’s revenue? How?
  • Did I save my employer money?
  • Did I save time?
  • Was my boss(es), colleagues, staff, customers, vendors, and leadership team members happier because of me?
  • How did I contribute to improving my employer’s business?


When answering these questions, quantify (percentage, range, monetary, frequency, before/after comparison, ratio). Creating a resume that WOWs requires filling it with quantified results-rich statements.


  • Reduced customer complaints by 47% by implementing a formal feedback system.
  • Improved product delivery time 22% after assigning clarified monthly job tasks to team members.
  • In 2020, grew revenue 33%, and improved gross margin by 22%, by standardizing business operating procedures.
  • Produced $1.75M in cost-savings after renegotiating the company’s supply and service contracts (14 vendors).
  • Built sales organization from the ground up, hiring and training 15 sales representatives within 6 months.
  • In 2019, generated over $7.25M in additional revenue by identifying, pursuing, and securing 4 new international contracts.


As I mentioned a few columns back, your resume must clearly and succinctly answer one question: How did you add or bring value to your employers? When it comes to answering this question, numbers are your friends.


Something to keep in mind: The king of numbers, the only metric in business that matters, the one that keeps a business alive and profitable, is revenue. As much as possible, throughout your resume and cover letter, demonstrate the results you’ve achieved that were added value to your employer’s financial success.


Don’t write on your resume what’s become a cliche, “result-oriented.” Don’t write it on your LinkedIn profile. Don’t say it during an interview. Show your results! “In 2017, I increased sales by 29% by creating upsell opportunities for my 8-member sales team to offer.”


Additional tips when bulleting your professional experience:


  • Employment dates need to be month/year. Only indicating years is a red flag you’re trying to cover up employment gaps.
  • Under 2 Lines. Your bullets shouldn’t be more than 2 lines.
  • The first 5 – 8 words are critical. When skimming a resume, the reader will likely read the first few words of a bullet then, unless their interest is piqued, move on to the next bullet. The first few words need to be captivating.


Next week I’ll cover presenting your education, skills, and certifications. These need to demonstrate your career path, not that you simply attended classes.



Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send him your questions at


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