Canada currently has enough doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country to fully vaccinate every eligible person over the age of 12, with more than 66 million doses received as of Tuesday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marked the vaccine milestone at a Moncton, N.B. vaccination clinic.
“Back in the winter I made a promise that we would have enough vaccines for all eligible Canadians by the end of September. Not only have we kept that promise, we’ve done it two months ahead of schedule,” Trudeau said.
In June, Trudeau promised that by the end of this month, Canada would have received “over 68 million” doses of COVID-19 vaccines, prompting an acceleration to his initial plans for a “one-dose summer” and “two-dose fall.”
Procurement Minister Anita Anand echoed the announcement later on Tuesday, confirming that by the end of the week, Canada will have received 68 million shots, with millions more coming in the next two months.
“We have procured in total 51 million doses of Pfizer, 44 million doses of Moderna, and we will receive 95 million doses of both of those vaccine manufacturers prior to the end of September,” said Anand.
Reflecting on the rollout, Anand—who led the government’s deal-making with companies to secure doses— said the federal strategy was “one of negotiation, and negotiation, and negotiation.”
As of Tuesday morning, according to CTV News’ vaccine tracker, 80 per cent of the eligible population has received a first dose, while just over 63 per cent of those eligible are fully vaccinated. After trailing behind for months, Canada now has a larger percentage of its population fully vaccinated than any other G7 country.
‘NO MORE EXCUSES’
While more than 26 million of the eligible 33 million Canadians have rolled up their sleeves, the push is now on to try to reach the outstanding people who are vaccine hesitant or have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine for other reasons.
Trudeau sought to encourage those still on the fence, reminding people that the vaccines have been authorized as safe and effective by Health Canada, that what the country is seeing is that “overwhelming majority” of new cases are in people who are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and the consequences of getting COVID-19 can be serious.
“With enough doses for everyone, there’s no more excuses to not get your shot,” Trudeau said, encouraging those who have held off to think about their loved ones, the children in their lives, and the health care workers who have been on the front lines for a year and half.
“It’s about stepping up to do the right thing, as Canadians have been doing all throughout this pandemic,” he said, noting that the unvaccinated will be “missing out” on taking part in going forward, citing international travel as an example.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu also spoke about the challenge those who are unwilling to get vaccinated are posing to the country’s overall ability to get through and out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My worry as a Canadian health minister is that if we head into the fall and we have too many people that are unvaccinated, it gives the virus an opportunity to attack the people we love… It puts the risk of our recovery—it makes the risk so much more elevated,” she said.
ROLLOUT NOT WITHOUT ISSUES
While Canada’s vaccine rollout has been boosted by large deliveries of doses in recent months — making it possible to rapidly administer second doses — the national mass immunization campaign has not been without its issues.
Since the first COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Canada on December 14, 2020, the rollout has been marked by wildly different challenges including a shortage of doses in some places and seemingly a surplus in others; some Canadians received their two shots just four weeks apart, while others waited four months.
The evolving immunization strategy prompted by supply issues and adverse reaction concerns has resulted in some folks receiving mixed-dose regimes. And, anyone hoping for a single-shot vaccine had their hopes dashed when the only delivery of Johnson & Johnson doses was rejected due to quality control issues. There was also the logistical challenges—from procuring enough needles and cold-storage freezers to setting up administration sites in sometimes unorthodox locations—taken on by each province and territory with help from a military-led federal operations centre within the Public Health Agency of Canada.
On Tuesday, Anand and Hajdu joined representatives from the vaccine companies as well as FedEx Canada and Innomar Strategies, who were contracted by the federal government to help with the delivery and distribution of vaccines at an event marking the vaccine milestone.
“Throughout this pandemic we have rightly thanked our frontline health care workers… Today I would like to thank with immense gratitude, another set of Canadians who have stepped up, and that’s all of you here today… Canadians in the back rooms, who are making sure that we are able to get vaccines into this country,” Anand said, recalling the countless calls, emails, and texts they exchanged over the course of the procurement effort.
Now, the conversation is turning to how long the vaccines will provide protection, and whether evolving variants may prompt booster doses, meaning that while the initial vaccine rollout may be tapering off, COVID-19 and ways to keep future waves at bay will be an ongoing focus for governments and public health officials.
As well, studies are ongoing into the possibility of expanding COVID-19 vaccine access to children under the age of 12, specifically in the ages five to 11 demographic. Pfizer is expecting some early results by the fall, but won’t likely have its work completed to submit to Health Canada for authorization until later in the year.
Anand said that regardless of whether additional doses would be needed or when younger children may be cleared to be immunized against the novel coronavirus, Canada will have the supply.
“We have enough supply for all eligible Canadians and the remainder for additional needs that our country has including additional age groups, or boosters, if the science deems that that is appropriate,” she said.
Prepping Your Home for the Canadian Winter
The arrival of autumn is a traditional sign that it’s time to start preparing for winter. Such rituals once had a good deal to do with human survival, such as the need to gather enough food to ensure people had enough to eat during the sparse or non-existent growing season. Of course, providing adequate shelter and warmth through the coldest months was also an essential concern.
For most people today, the task of winter preparation in Canada has to do with taking care to be comfortable while also avoiding any possible emergencies that might arise due to rough weather; this means that the main areas of concern tend to have to do with either
- Warm Clothing
- Reliable Transportation
- Keeping Your Home Warm and Well-Maintained
When it comes to ensuring that your home is ready for the winter season, your top priority should be to check that your living areas can stay warm without sacrificing heating efficiency.
The Importance of Windows in Winter
One of the most critical aspects of this preparation involves checking your windows to ensure they are ready to withstand the coldest temperatures to keep you and your family safe and warm. Like everything else on your home, your windows experience normal wear and tear as they do their job of keeping the cold out and the heat inside each year.
While it might seem evident when windows are getting old, less obvious imperfections can quickly arise that may prove a tremendous burden if only discovered during the coldest weather. That’s one of the key reasons why preparing easy on can save you many headaches later in winter.
Trusting the Experts
Rather than play a guessing game with the condition of your windows, you can get in touch with a professional company that can ensure your windows are in proper working order. For example, you can contact a company specializing in windows and doors in Toronto to see whether the time has come to replace your windows.
Check Your Heating System
Another vital aspect of preparing your home for winter is to check your heating system and perform any tests available to guarantee everything is in working order. If your house is equipped with an oil furnace or contains a heating system that uses fuel, make sure that your tank is full so that you don’t run out at the wrong time. You might also want to contact your utility company to see if they recommend any other maintenance services.
Along with heating and window condition, there are many more general ways to weatherproof your home. Some of these include:
- Replacing or installing insulation
- Weatherstripping and caulking
- Repairing any leaks
Preparing your home for winter isn’t very difficult as long as you take the time to check a few essential things if you want to be ready. As always, the best way to be sure is to talk to the experts, like a professional window supplier who can make sure you are free from drafts when the cold weather hits.
B.C. says it can't take patients from Alberta's overwhelmed ICUs – CBC.ca
B.C. says it won’t be able to take any of Alberta’s extra intensive care unit patients at a time when that province’s hospitals are buckling under the weight of patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.
In a statement, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the ministry met with its Alberta counterparts Thursday. A day earlier, Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO of Alberta Health Services (AHS) said she would ask other provinces if they would take ICU patients who need care, or spare staff that can work in intensive care units.
But Dix said B.C. can’t take on Alberta patients now.
“Given the current demands on B.C.’s health-care system, we will not be able to assist with taking patients at this time,” he said.
“However, we have told Alberta that if there are things we can do to support them, we will. And if we can take patients on in the future, we will.
“We are in a global pandemic, and our thoughts are with Albertans as they respond to COVID-19 in their province.”
Yui said Thursday some Alberta patients may be transferred to Ontario.
Alberta is in the midst of a punishing fourth wave with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country. As of Thursday afternoon, the province had 18,706 active cases.
As well, there were 896 patients in hospital across the province with COVID-19, including 222 in intensive care.
Dr. Ilan Schwartz, a physician and assistant professor in the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alberta, told CBC News that “Alberta hospitals really are on the brink of collapse.”
In comparison, as of Thursday, B.C. has 291 people in hospital with the disease, 134 of whom are in intensive care.
The effects of Alberta’s COVID-19 crisis are being felt in B.C.
Many British Columbians in border towns rely on the Alberta health-care system, said Mike Bernie, MLA for Peace River South.
He noted that for his own hometown, Dawson Creek, the closest major hospital is in Grande Prairie, in northwestern Alberta.
WATCH | Alberta faces new restrictions as COVID-19 cases soar:
“A lot of these border communities rely on Alberta as the closest centre for triaging, acute care or emergency situations. It’s faster and easier to go to Alberta,” Bernier said.
He said B.C. is in a tough position when it comes to helping its eastern neighbour.
“As Canadians, we want to help each other, so if there is opportunity in communities to help our neighbouring province, we will all want to do that. But we also have to get our numbers down in British Columbia if we want to be able to help other provinces.”
A warning to B.C.
Caroline Colijn, a COVID-19 modeller and mathematics professor at Simon Fraser University, said while Alberta is in a tough situation, B.C. isn’t too far behind.
“We’re on that knife edge where if we [were to take on patients] in an area that then saw an increase in COVID transmission, that would place a burden on that region’s ICU and capacity for providing care,” Colijn said. “[Our ICUs] are not relaxed or well under-capacity here from what I understand.”
Dr. Don Wilson, who has worked in Alberta and currently works in B.C., said he’s worried about people in Alberta and his fellow health-care professionals.
“I’m very concerned for my colleagues as well as the population of Alberta for the way COVID has been handled and the crisis that they’re facing at the moment,” Wilson said.
Wilson said that Alberta’s late adoption of public health measures, like its proof-of-vaccination program and masking measures serve as a reminder for British Columbia to stay vigilant.
“That’s the warning for British Columbia. To be proactive and not as reactive for Alberta.”
Between violence and vandalism, the parties are experiencing a very ugly campaign – CBC.ca
The three main parties say they’ve experienced ugly incidents on the campaign trail, ranging from vandalism to assault. Some party operatives say it’s the nastiest campaign they’ve ever experienced.
One high-profile incident happened earlier this month when someone threw gravel at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, resulting in charges against a former People’s Party of Canada riding president.
Protests are a common sight during any election but many party workers say the ones they’re seeing during this campaign have been more alarming. The Liberal Party had to cancel a late August stop due to security concerns.
WATCH | Trudeau, security detail hit by gravel stones
Calgary Nose Hill Conservative candidate Michelle Rempel Garner released a statement earlier in the campaign saying she has been a victim of harassing behaviour on the campaign trail. She said she’s been accosted by men with cameras “demanding I respond to conspiracy theories.”
“In the last two weeks, I have also received a death threat from someone who called my office in escalating states of verbal abuse over the course of days,” she said in an Aug. 28 statement.
“It’s unfortunately an all too frequent occurrence for me and many of my colleagues, particularly women, of all political stripes. And this increase in violent language, threats and abuse certainly isn’t confined to politics.”
Canadian Anti-Hate Network executive director Evan Balgord said that this has been the worst campaign he’s seen in recent history in terms of far-right activity, which he sees as largely motivated by the pandemic.
“They believe that there is this awful situation going on, like the apocalypse, right? They think that they’re using mask mandates and stuff to kill or kidnap children or render them infertile,” he said.
“The scapegoats they’ve picked are the people they think are the puppet masters — Trudeau, provincial health authorities. And amongst the most hardcore adherents it would be the Jews, the shadow globalists, the elite and so on and so forth.”
While the Liberal Party appears to be the prime target, Balgord said members of the far-right see the Conservatives as complicit.
Vandalism, alleged assaults
Liberal candidate Carla Qualtrough, seeking re-election in the British Columbia riding of Delta, said she’s seen more expressions of hate and rage during this campaign than in previous years, including anti-LGBT and antisemitic graffiti.
“The police are involved. They’re investigating some of the issues that we’re facing. So yeah, it’s a definite tone and it’s hateful and it’s unacceptable,” she told reporters earlier this week.
“It’s not just anger or difference of opinion. It’s really spiralled to hateful and unacceptable behaviour.”
She’s not the only candidate to involve the police. Kitchener South-Hespeler Conservative candidate Tyler Calver said Waterloo Regional Police are investigating after one of his volunteers was assaulted at a campaign office earlier this month.
Greater Sudbury police charged a 56-year-old woman for allegedly assaulting incumbent Liberal Marc Serré in his campaign office in the federal riding of Nickel Belt in northern Ontario. Police said she pushed a table against him, pinning him against the wall.
On the East Coast, Liberal candidate Dominic LeBlanc said he reported vandalism to the RCMP after someone spray-painted a campaign sign with the words “COVID Nazi.”
“There have been some other disgusting, personal things,” he said. “Somebody spray-painted one talking about my mother, who passed away a year and half ago.”
Liberal candidate Anita Anand, seeking re-election in Oakville, said her campaign has seen about 35 per cent of its signs destroyed.
Ottawa South NDP candidate Huda Mukbil said her signs are constantly being torn down.
She blames the vandalism on people opposed to the changing racial and gender makeup of Canadian politics.
“It’s particularly difficult for women generally. And then for racialized women like myself, that much more,” she told CBC Ottawa.
“So what we have to do is just come together and say that this is unacceptable in Canada.”
Balgord said the violence this year follows the trajectory of what’s been percolating online.
“We’ve allowed online hate to just fester in all the online platforms that Canadians use every day,” he said.
“When online hate festers like that, people start to think it’s normal and acceptable to not just say those things online, but to do those things kind of in person.”
People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier was egged at a campaign event earlier this month in Saskatoon.
In an August 26 news release, Green Party Leader Annamie Paul raised concerns about mounting threats to her campaign. The party says that while the Green campaign has not seen any hecklers at press conferences, it’s aware of online posts threatening to disrupt events.
‘We will not allow them to define us’: Trudeau
As the campaign enters its final days, nerves appear frayed.
Trudeau is standing by his response to a heckler who used a sexist slur against his wife.
“Isn’t there a hospital you should be going to bother right now?” Trudeau said.
On Thursday, the Liberal leader said he won’t step back in the face of protests or harassment.
WATCH | Trudeau to heckler: ‘Isn’t there a hospital you should be going to bother?’
“We will not allow an angry minority that does not believe in science — and we have a lot of examples of their intolerance of women, the fact that they are racist — we will not allow them to define us and decide the direction we will take to put an end to this pandemic,” he said in French.
But NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said such snide remarks only bait protesters, who that day had picketed hospitals across the country.
“He shouldn’t have been joking about that because it’s it is dangerous and it’s really causing problems for lots of people,” he said this week.
When asked to comment on campaign violence, the NDP accused Trudeau of sowing divisions with rhetoric that has led to heightened frustrations and backlash.
“Justin Trudeau called a selfish election and throughout his campaign, rather than provide solutions for the challenges families face, he’s talked about divisions,” said a party spokesperson.
“Families are paying the price for his rhetoric — protesters blocking hospitals and assaulting health care workers, a rise in COVID-19 cases across the province and even violence on the campaign trail.”
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