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Canada adds 4,321 new COVID-19 cases as provinces say many vaccine appointments unfilled – Global News

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As COVID-19 cases continued to climb in Canada’s two biggest provinces on Sunday, officials in Ontario and Quebec said there are vacant vaccination appointments that need to be filled.

In Toronto, Mayor John Tory pleaded with those aged 70 and older to get vaccinated.

“We have the vaccines, we have the staff in place to do it and we have the appointments, so all we need now is you,” Tory said.

“It’s very, very important for people across the city of Toronto to get vaccinated.”

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The city is set to open two mass vaccination clinics Monday now that the vaccine supply has been fixed, he said

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He said three new COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics will open Monday, but there are still many appointments unfilled.

“We’re now in a position where we have lots of appointments available, even appointments available for this coming week,” Tory said.

“We need you to sign up, not to put it off.”


Click to play video: 'U.K. study examines safety of mixing COVID-19 vaccines'



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U.K. study examines safety of mixing COVID-19 vaccines


U.K. study examines safety of mixing COVID-19 vaccines

Tory’s comments comes amid another 4,321 new COVID-19 cases announced in the country Sunday, which pushed the national total to 965,409. Another 28 fatalities were also added, with the country’s death toll now standing at 22,880.

To date, over 898,000 patients have since recovered from the virus while more than 5.1 million vaccine doses and 27.8 million tests have been administered. A total of 2,188 patients are also currently in hospital after contracting COVID-19.

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Sunday’s data paints a limited snapshot of the virus’ spread across Canada however, as both British Columbia and P.E.I., as well as all three territories did not report any new COVID-19 data.

Ontario reported 2,448 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the fourth consecutive day with more than 2,000 daily cases.

Tory says more than 450,000 people in Toronto have received doses thus far.

“I will say I’m not satisfied, and that doesn’t mean I’m critical or angry with anybody, it just means I’m asking people to take advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated now and we’ll be satisfied when we have a sold out situation,” Tory said.

Ontario has fully vaccinated 309,285 people and has administered nearly two million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Michael Garron Hospital and the Toronto East Health Network opened up a vaccination standby list for those who are part of the province’s Phase 2 populations.

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But the website crashed shortly after it opened up due to high volume, the Toronto East Health Network said.

On Sunday it said it has taken down the site for now due to “an extremely high volume of submissions” while it figures out how to move forward on standby vaccinations.

In Quebec, Minister of Health Christian Dube urged residents to get vaccinated.

“There are still appointments available in the coming days in some regions, especially in Montreal,” he said for those aged 60 years and older.


Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Places of worship open across Quebec'



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COVID-19: Places of worship open across Quebec


COVID-19: Places of worship open across Quebec

Quebec has given doses to 76 per cent of those 80 and over, as well as 52 per cent of those 70 years and older and 17 per cent of those aged 60 to 69. The vast majority are first doses, very few have been fully vaccinated.

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As of last week, Quebec said about 75 per cent or more of all age groups 65 years and older had either received a vaccine or made an appointment.

The province reported 917 news cases of COVID-19 on Sunday after breaking the 1,000-mark on Saturday for the first time since mid-February.

In Atlantic Canada, several more provinces added new cases of the virus.

Newfoundland and Labrador added one new case while Nova Scotia added two more infections. New Brunswick reported the highest increase, with six more infections Sunday.

In the Prairies, Saskatchewan added 248 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths, while Manitoba added 55 new cases and one fatality. Alberta recorded 644 new cases and three more fatalities from the virus.

Worldwide, cases of COVID-19 continue to increase with over 127.1 million cases having been identified to date according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 2,783,500 people have since died from the virus as well, with the U.S., India, Brazil and Mexico leading in either cases or deaths.

— With files from Morgan Lowrie and Global News.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Canada’s manufacturers ask for federal help as Montreal dockworkers stage partial-strike

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MONTREAL (Reuters) – Canada‘s manufacturers on Monday asked the federal government to curb a brewing labor dispute after dockworkers at the country’s second largest port said they will work less this week.

Unionized dockworkers, who are in talks for a new contract since 2018, will hold a partial strike starting Tuesday, by refusing all overtime outside of their normal day shifts, along with weekend work, they said in a statement on Monday.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Quebec’s 1,125 longshore workers at the Port of Montreal rejected a March offer from the Maritime Employers Association.

The uncertainty caused by the labour dispute has led to an 11% drop in March container volume at the Montreal port on an annual basis, even as other eastern ports in North America made gains, the Maritime Employers Association said.

The move will cause delays in a 24-hour industry, the association said.

“Some manufacturers have had to redirect their containers to the Port of Halifax, incurring millions in additional costs every week,” said Dennis Darby, chief executive of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME).

While the government strongly believes a negotiated agreement is the best option for all parties, “we are actively examining all options as the situation evolves,” a spokesman for Federal Labor Minister Filomena Tassi said.

Last summer’s stoppage of work cost wholesalers C$600 million ($478 million) in sales over a two-month period, Statistics Canada estimates.

($1 = 1.2563 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting By Allison Lampert in Montreal. Additional reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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Canada scraps export permits for drone technology to Turkey, complains to Ankara

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OTTAWA (Reuters) –Canada on Monday scrapped export permits for drone technology to Turkey after concluding that the equipment had been used by Azeri forces fighting Armenia in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said.

Turkey, which like Canada is a member of NATO, is a key ally of Azerbaijan, whose forces gained territory in the enclave after six weeks of fighting.

“This use was not consistent with Canadian foreign policy, nor end-use assurances given by Turkey,” Garneau said in a statement, adding he had raised his concerns with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier in the day.

Ottawa suspended the permits last October so it could review allegations that Azeri drones used in the conflict had been equipped with imaging and targeting systems made by L3Harris Wescam, the Canada-based unit of L3Harris Technologies Inc.

In a statement, the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa said: “We expect our NATO allies to avoid unconstructive steps that will negatively affect our bilateral relations and undermine alliance solidarity.”

Earlier on Monday, Turkey said Cavusoglu had urged Canada to review the defense industry restrictions.

The parts under embargo include camera systems for Baykar armed drones. Export licenses were suspended in 2019 during Turkish military activities in Syria. Restrictions were then eased, but reimposed during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Turkey’s military exports to Azerbaijan jumped sixfold last year. Sales of drones and other military equipment rose to $77 million in September alone before fighting broke out in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, data showed.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Gareth Jones and Peter Cooney)

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Investigation finds Suncor’s Colorado refinery meets environmental permits

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By Liz Hampton

DENVER (Reuters) – A Colorado refinery owned by Canadian firm Suncor Energy Inc meets required environmental permits and is adequately funded, according to an investigation released on Monday into a series of emissions violations at the facility between 2017 and 2019.

The 98,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery in the Denver suburb of Commerce City, Colorado, reached a $9-million settlement with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) March 2020 to resolve air pollution violations that occurred since 2017. That settlement also addressed an incident in December 2019 that released refinery materials onto a nearby school.

As part of the settlement, Suncor was required to use a third party to conduct an independent investigation into the violations and spend up to $5 million to implement recommendations from the investigation.

Consulting firm Kearney’s investigation found the facility met environmental permit requirements, but also pinpointed areas for improvement, including personnel training and systems upgrades, some of which was already underway.

“We need to improve our performance and improve the trust people have in us,” Donald Austin, vice president of the Commerce City refinery said in an interview, adding that the refinery had already undertaken some of the recommendations from the investigation.

In mid-April, Suncor will begin a turnaround at the facility that includes an upgrade to a gasoline-producing fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at Plant 1 of the facility. That turnaround is anticipated to be complete in June 2021.

Suncor last year completed a similar upgrade of an automatic shutdown system for the FCCU at the refinery’s Plant 2.

By 2023, the company will also install an additional control unit, upgraded instrumentation, automated shutdown valves and new hydraulic pressure units in Plant 2.

Together, those upgrades will cost approximately $12 million, of which roughly $10 million is dedicated to Plant 2 upgrades, Suncor said on Monday.

 

(Reporting by Liz Hampton; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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