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Canada-U.S. COVID-19 travel testing policy 'doesn't intuitively make sense': doctor – CTV News Montreal

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MONTREAL —
With the Canada-U.S. border reopening to drivers on Monday, vaccinated Canadian travellers are shelling out hundreds of dollars for COVID-19 tests in order to re-enter their own country after their trip.

Those looking to drive south of the border won’t need to provide a negative test to enter the States, but they will when they want to come home – even if they’re fully vaccinated.

That PCR test (not a rapid one) needs to have been conducted no more than 72 hours prior to crossing the border into Canada.

That means people going to the U.S. can get their swab at home, cross the border for a couple of days, and come back with the results of a test taken before their trip.

It’s a “ridiculous” requirement, as described by one traveller who was waiting in line at a testing centre on Sainte-Catherine St. in Montreal on Saturday.

While getting a result from public health tests can take days, independent clinics can provide a quicker one — if you’re willing to pay the price.

At RPD Testing, you can get PCR results within in 24 hours for about $200, meaning the costs of a family vacation south of the border can add up quick.

“Yeah, the cost is substantial,” said the centre’s co-founder Kevin Me. But it’s “still an affordable cost compared to the airport or other competitors.”

Critics of the government’s system say it’s a high price to pay for a test that doesn’t do much to confirm the returning traveller is coronavirus-free.

“It doesn’t intuitively make sense,” said Dr. Donald Vinh, an infection disease specialist at the MUHC.

“If your goal is to prevent the importation of COVID-19, for example, because of new variants or because of concerns of transmission into the community that doesn’t have good vaccination rates,” he said, “they would need to have a different plan than the one that’s currently in place.”

A different plan may be in the works, according to Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

“Just to reassure everybody,” said Tam during a press conference this week, “we are looking at that quite carefully.”

“We will be examining epidemiologic factors between Canada and the United States.” 

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Designer Virgil Abloh remembered at Fashion Awards

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Designers and celebrities paid tribute to Virgil Abloh at the Fashion Awards in London on Monday, where the late Louis Vuitton and Off-White creative force was honoured as a leader of change within the industry.

Abloh, the American-born son of Ghanaian immigrants, who became fashion’s highest-profile Black designer, died on Sunday https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/louis-vuitton-designer-virgil-abloh-dies-2021-11-28 following a two-year battle with a rare form of cancer.

The 41-year-old, who also worked as a DJ and visual artist, had been menswear artistic director at luxury label Louis Vuitton since March 2018.

“Genius, disruptor … (he) will be missed tremendously by all,” veteran designer Tommy Hilfiger said on the red carpet. “He inspired designers as well as the public.”

Designer and television personality Tan France called Abloh “incredible and a visionary … (who) has done the most beautiful work.”

Abloh, who founded label Off-White, was known for mixing streetwear with high-end suits and gowns while at Vuitton. His influences included graffiti art and hip hop.

“Everyone here is going to be talking about Virgil, everyone here has been impacted by his brilliance,” actor Gabrielle Union said.

At the awards, where Abloh’s photo was projected on stage, the designer was among 15 individuals and brands named leaders of change for their actions in the past year helping the environment, people and creativity.

Others on the list included Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, and Kim Jones, artistic director for Fendi womenswear and couture as well as menswear designer at Dior. Jones was also named designer of the year at the awards.

Michele also won the trailblazer award, while Hilfiger received the outstanding achievement award.

“I’m absolutely grateful, appreciative, humbled by it, but happy to be here and happy to still keep the business rolling,” Hilfiger, 70, said.

Demi Moore, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Dua Lipa were among the celebrity guests attending the event, a fundraiser for British Fashion Council charities.

 

(Reporting by Hanna Rantala and Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Karishma Singh)

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Economy

Bank of Canada to work with Indigenous groups on reconciliation

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The Bank of Canada will work with Indigenous groups to understand the wounds caused by decades of discrimination and determine how reconciliation can create a more inclusive and prosperous economy for all, Governor Tiff Macklem said on Monday.

Macklem, opening a symposium on Indigenous economies, said Canadians could work to correct some of the consequences of those “ugly periods.”

Ottawa forcibly removed thousands of Indigenous children from their communities and put them in residential schools in an effort to strip them of their language and culture, a practice that continues to scar families and individuals.

“The Bank of Canada will be working with a broad spectrum of Indigenous groups to set out what reconciliation means for what we do,” Macklem said.

“Together, we’ll define what reconciliation means for the work of the Bank of Canada — toward a more inclusive and prosperous economy for everyone,” he said.

Canada‘s Truth and Reconciliation Commission called the residential school system “cultural genocide” in 2015, as it set out 94 “calls to action” to try to restore Canada‘s relationship with its Indigenous people, including economic reconciliation.

“We can’t go back and change what’s happened. But we can try to correct some of the consequences,” said Macklem, adding that it is the central bank’s job to create conditions for opportunity for all Canadians.

“Taking concrete steps toward economic reconciliation is our responsibility too. And it’s incumbent upon us to take the time to do this well,” said Macklem.

 

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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Canada’s Trans Mountain still ‘days away’ from restarting pipeline

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Canada‘s Trans Mountain said on Monday it was “still days away” from restarting the key oil pipeline at a reduced capacity as heavy rains continue to impede restoration efforts.

The pipeline, owned by the Canadian government, ships 300,000 barrels a day of crude and refined products from Alberta to the Pacific Coast. It was temporarily shut down as heavy rains and flooding caused widespread disruption in parts of British Columbia.

The operator said assessments of the impacts from the latest storm are being undertaken with a focus on the Coldwater and Coquihalla regions.

Work was interrupted at some sites on Sunday due to high water accumulation or lack of access, the company added.

The company on Friday had said it was working toward restarting the oil pipeline at a reduced capacity this week.

 

(Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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