Finance Minister Bill Morneau said today the federal government hasn’t decided if Ottawa would help to cover the security costs associated with a move by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan to Canada.
A report in the London-based Evening Standard Monday said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has told the Queen already that Canada would assume some of the costs associated with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex taking up residence here part-time.
Morneau said the government has not yet held any formal talks on the matter.
“No, we haven’t spent any time thinking about this issue,” Morneau told reporters in Toronto.
“We obviously are always looking to make sure, as a member of the Commonwealth, we play a role. We have not had any discussions on that subject at this time.”
The Evening Standard said Trudeau has “agreed taxpayers in his country should pick up the huge bill for the couple’s round-the-clock protection while they are in the country … Trudeau has privately assured the Queen that Harry, Meghan and Archie’s safety will not be jeopardised while they reside there.”
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the prospect of Canada paying for the family’s protection.
The royal couple would not automatically be granted Canadian citizenship, said Mathieu Genest, a spokesperson for Immigration Minster Marco Mendicino, in an emailed statement.
“In order to become legal permanent residents of Canada, they would need to apply through our normal immigration processes. However, members of the Royal Family are not required to seek authorization to come to and stay in Canada as visitors,” the spokesperson said.
“There are no provisions in the Citizenship Act that confer Canadian citizenship status to members of the Royal Family by virtue of their status as a member of the monarchy.”
Under Canadian immigration law, most British visitors to the country can stay visa-free for up to six months.
Security costs estimated at $1.7M
In announcing their decision to step back from their role as senior members of the Royal Family and divide their time between the U.K. and North America, the couple said they wanted to be financially independent and less reliant on funds from the Sovereign Grant, the pool of public money available to the royals to help them carry out their duties.
The cost associated with protecting the Sussexes has been pegged at more than a $1.7 million a year.
Security costs incurred by the royals have been covered by the British taxpayer — but the status of that funding for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is in doubt in light of their stated intention to withdraw from public life.
Canada has paid the costs associated with past royal tours. In 2010, for example, Canadian taxpayers spent $2.8 million to protect the Queen during her nine-day tour of Canada. Protecting Prince William and his wife Kate during a 2011 visit cost Canada about $1.2 million.
Period of transition will be spent in Canada, U.S.
The Queen, Prince Charles, William and Harry met Monday at the Queen’s winter residence, Sandringham House, to discuss Harry’s future in the House of Windsor.
In a statement issued after the talks, the Queen said all parties agreed that “there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the U.K.”
The Queen said that while she would prefer Harry and Megan “remain full-time working members of the Royal Family,” she respects and “understands their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
As for the costs associated with a move, the Queen said these are “complex matters” and “there is some more work to be done.”
When asked about funding, British Home Secretary Priti Patel, the minister responsible for policing and national security matters, said it would be “thoroughly inappropriate” to comment.
“Talking about it compromises much of the security arrangements and that is not something I will be discussing here today,” Patel said in an interview with the BBC.
“If I may, I think it’s right that the Royal Family now have the time and space to discuss the issues that they need to discuss. Therefore, I am not going to, and neither will the government, give a public commentary in terms of the security arrangements with anybody with protective security.”
The couple spent more than six weeks at a rented mansion on Vancouver Island during the Christmas holiday season. Meghan, an American-born former actress, spent years living in Toronto while filming the legal drama Suits.
Harry also has shown a fondness for Canada. While in the military, he did two stints at the Suffield military base in southeastern Alberta. He also picked Toronto to host the third iteration of the Invictus Games for wounded veterans.
After announcing their dramatic departure from regular royal life, Meghan immediately flew to Canada to be with her son, Archie, who had stayed behind in Canada after the Christmas break.
For more coverage of Harry and Megan, subscribe to the Royal Fascinator, our biweekly newsletter dedicated to news and analysis of the goings-on at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and beyond — in your inbox every other Friday.
First cases of COVID-19 discovered in Canadian wildlife – CTV News
The first cases of COVID-19 in Canadian wildlife have been discovered in three white-tailed deer, a press release from Environment and Climate Change Canada reports.
The National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease confirmed the detections on Nov. 29 but the deer were sampled between Nov. 6 to 8 in the Estrie region of Quebec. The deer showed no evidence of clinical signs of disease and were “all apparently healthy.”
“As this is the first detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife in Canada, information on the impacts and spread of the virus in wild deer populations is currently limited,” the press release states.
“The finding emphasizes the importance of ongoing surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in wildlife to increase our understanding about SARS-CoV-2 on the human-animal interface.”
The World Organisation for Animal Health was notified about the discovery on Dec. 1.
The department is urging added precaution – like wearing a well-fitted mask – when exposed to “respiratory tissues and fluids from deer.”
The virus has been found in multiple animal species globally including farmed mink, cats, dogs, ferrets, and zoo animals such as tigers, lions, gorillas, cougars, otters and others.
“Recent reports in the United States have revealed evidence of spillover of SARS-CoV-2 from humans to wild white-tailed deer, with subsequent spread of the virus among deer. There has been no known transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from deer to humans at this time,” the release reads.
U.N. seeks record $41 billion for aid to hotspots led by Afghanistan, Ethiopia
The United Nations appealed on Thursday for a record $41 billion to provide life-saving assistance next year to 183 million people worldwide caught up in conflict and poverty, led by a tripling of its programme in Afghanistan.
Famine remains a “terrifying prospect” for 45 million people living in 43 countries, as extreme weather caused by climate change shrinks food supplies, the U.N. said in the annual appeal, which reflected a 17% rise in annual funding needs.
“The drivers of needs are ones which are familiar to all of us. Tragically, it includes protracted conflicts, political instability, failing economies … the climate crisis, not a new crisis, but one which urges more attention and of course the COVID-19 pandemic,” U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths told reporters.
In a report to donors, the world body said: “Without sustained and immediate action, 2022 could be catastrophic.”
Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia and Sudan are the five major crises requiring the most funding, topped by $4.5 billion sought for Taliban-ruled Afghanistan where “needs are skyrocketing”, it said.
In Afghanistan, more than 24 million people require life-saving assistance, a dramatic increase driven by political tumult, repeated economic shocks, and severe food insecurity caused by the worst drought in 27 years.
“We are in the business in the U.N. of trying to urgently establish with support from the World Bank as well as the U.N. system, a currency swap initiative which will allow liquidity to go into the economy,” Griffiths said.
“The absence of cash in Afghanistan is a major impediment to any delivery of services,” he said. “I am hoping that we get it up and running before the end of this month.”
In Ethiopia, where a year-old conflict between government and Tigrayan forces has spread into the Amhara and Afar regions, thousands have been displaced, while fighting, drought and locusts push more to the brink, the U.N. said.
Nearly 26 million Ethiopians require aid, including more than 9 million who depend on food rations, including 5 million in Tigray, amid rising malnutrition rates, it said.
“Ethiopia is the most alarming probably almost certainly in terms of immediate emergency need,” Griffiths said, adding that 400,000 people had been deemed at risk of famine already in May.
Noting that heavy fighting continued, with government forces battling Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front forces who have moved closer to the capital Addis Ababa, he added: “But capacity to respond to an imploded Ethiopia is almost impossible to imagine.”
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Richard Pullin)
Doug Ford applauds new COVID-19 travel restrictions, says more discussions with feds to be held – Globalnews.ca
Ontario Premier Doug Ford thanked the federal government for implementing new travel restrictions in a bid to stop the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant and said more discussions will be held about possibly expanding new testing rules to travellers from the United States.
Ford made the remarks at an unrelated press conference in Mississauga Wednesday morning.
Several Omicron variant cases have already been confirmed in Ontario, and Ford said while it is a “cause for concern” it is “not cause for panic.”
“Every day we hold off more cases entering our country, the more time we have to learn and prepare,” Ford said.
“So the best thing we can do right now is fortify our borders. Our best defence is keeping the variant out of our country. We welcome the actions from the federal government and I want to thank the feds for taking action to date.
“We implored them last week to act quickly and be decisive on the borders and they did.”
In a statement last Friday, Ford called on the federal government to enact travel bans on “countries of concern” and the feds followed through just hours later.
On Tuesday, they expanded that ban to three additional countries.
Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said foreign nationals from Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt who have been to those countries over the past two weeks will not be able to enter Canada. This added to the seven other African countries barred by Canada on Friday: South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini.
Egypt, Malawi and Nigeria added to Canada‘s travel ban amid more restrictions
Canadians and permanent residents, as well as all those who have the right to return to Canada, who have transited through these countries over the past two weeks, will have to quarantine, be tested at the airport, and await their test results before exiting quarantine, Duclos said.
It was also announced that all air travellers entering Canada — excluding those coming from the United States — would have to get tested when they arrive and isolate until they receive a negative result. That measure applies to all travellers, regardless of vaccination status.
Duclos said Wednesday that it will take time to implement the new measure.
In his statement last week, Ford also called for point-of-arrival testing to be put in place.
He also said he advised the province’s chief medical officer and Public Health Ontario to “immediately implement expanded surveillance” and update planning to “ensure we are ready for any outcome.”
The Omicron variant has now been detected in many countries around the world, including, as of Wednesday, the United States.
Ford was asked if he would support expanding the new testing rules to those arriving from the States.
“I would always support anything that can be cautious to prevent this variant coming into our country. So, again we’ll have a discussion with the federal government. That’s their jurisdiction, it’s not ours,” Ford said.
“They work collaboratively with all the provinces and territories and I’m always for going the cautious route as I think people have seen over the last 20 months.”
The premier added that “it doesn’t take much to get a test at the airport.”
Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said Wednesday that it’s too early to say whether Canada’s latest requirement to test arriving air travellers will be extended to include those coming from the United States.
“We need to be prepared and ready if we need to adjust that decision to include travellers from the U.S. We haven’t made that decision yet,” he said.
When asked what provincial measures are being considered in response to the Omicron variant, Ford said they will make sure there is expanded testing capacity and contact tracing.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said there is still much that isn’t known about the variant, including how effective vaccines are against it.
She said the province is “continuing with all of our precautions” and said it’s important to keep border restrictions in place until more is known about the variant.
Elliott also said more information will be released in the coming days “with respect to age categories” on booster shots.
— With files from Saba Aziz and The Canadian Press
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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