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Canada 'within reach' of vaccinating 80 per cent of those eligible, but uptake is slowing: Dr. Tam – CTV News



Canada is “within reach” of fully vaccinating 80 per cent of those currently eligible against COVID-19 if momentum is kept up, but federal public health officials are cautioning that uptake is starting to slow.

As of midday Thursday, more than 41 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Canada, seeing more than 26 million people, or 77.9 per cent of those eligible, receive at least one dose and 15 million people, or 44.8 per cent of those ages 12 and older, fully vaccinated.

“This is great progress and the benefits are mounting… It has taken a lot of effort to get where we are today, but we should not assume we have crossed the finish line,” said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam on Thursday. “While Canadians are steadily coming forward for second doses, the rate of increase for first doses has slowed.”

As Tam noted, with the focus on seeing all those who received their first shots going back for their second, the number of Canadians who are showing up for their first shots is currently increasing at slower pace.

Tam said that in order to get and stay ahead of more highly transmissible variants such as the Delta and Lambda strains of COVID-19 when Canadians head back indoors over the fall and winter, the country needs to reach “the highest possible vaccine coverage as quickly as possible.”

National modelling released two weeks ago indicated that while there has been a “sustained national decline” in COVID-19 spread across the country, the threat of variants continues to pose a real risk, and so “sustained control efforts” will be needed in order to avoid a resurgence until vaccination coverage is high across the population.

Asked where the lower uptake in COVID-19 vaccines is being seen demographically, Tam said that those who appear to be less eager to “offer their arm” are young people, marginalized populations, and in certain smaller communities across the country.

She said that reaching those who are unvaccinated is a priority across levels of governments and public health authorities.

“It is a matter of empowering trusted voices and community leadership, as well as private and public sector collaboration as well… And so I think that there’s no simple answer,” Tam said.

Across Canada a range of both direct and indirect attempts to incentivize Canadians to get the jab have been deployed, from Alberta’s vaccine lottery, to the federal government easing up on quarantine restrictions for those who are double dosed and looking to travel abroad.

Earlier this week Health Minister Patty Hajdu announced funding for three new initiatives aimed at boosting vaccine uptake in key populations. The projects included targeting educational outreach for health care providers with Indigenous clients, and building vaccine confidence among personal support workers and home care practitioners.

“It’s not about blaming and shaming. It’s about finding ways to hit them where they are in terms of what they’re looking for… We hope to give the right messages so that they understand and appreciate why it’s important to get vaccinated not just for themselves, but also for their family and friends,” said Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo.

In an interview on CTV News Channel, infectious diseases expert Dr. Dale Kalina said that encouraging those who are still hesitant may be the most challenging part of the mass vaccination effort.

“That last mile is going to be the most difficult,” he said, echoing that work needs to continue to address what outstanding concerns are keeping these people from making vaccine appointments.


The federal government is on track to receive and distribute enough COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of the month to fully vaccinate all who are eligible, and already many provinces have accelerated the timeline for offering second shots to their citizens.

With Canada’s contracts including millions more doses slated to keep arriving over the summer and into the fall, vaccine rollout lead Brig. Gen. Krista Brodie said Thursday that the National Operations Centre—which has been the main logistics hub for the mass vaccination effort— has begun holding a “central inventory” of vaccines as the vaccination landscape shifts.

“We will also manage a strategic vaccine supply at the federal level in order to address emerging demands from the provinces in the months ahead. This will ensure we have sufficient stock at hand to counter surges of infections due to variants of concern, and to address newly eligible populations,” Brodie said.

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Aung San Suu Kyi Former Myanmar leader gets six more years added to her prison sentence



Naypyidaw, Myanmar- Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s former leader who was toppled in a military coup last year February, has had her prison sentence extended by six more years.

The latest verdict in the series of secretive trials against the Nobel laureate takes her total prison term to 17 years.

On Monday, she was found guilty of misusing funds from a charity and leasing government-owned land at discounted prices.

“The Myanmar military junta’s unjust conviction and sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi is part of its methodical assault on human rights around the country. The military’s willingness to forcibly disappear the country’s high-profile civilian leader reveals the brutality that lesser-known political prisoners face,” said Elaine Pearson, acting Asia director at Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Prior to Monday’s sentence, the Nobel laureate had already been sentenced to 11 years in prison for corruption, incitement against the military, breaching COVID-19 rules and breaking a telecommunications law.

The 77-year-old has since been hit with a series of charges, including violating the official secrets act, corruption and electoral fraud and faces decades in prison if convicted on all counts.

In June, Suu Kyi was transferred from house arrest to a prison in the capital Naypyidaw, where her trial continues in a Courthouse inside the prison compound.

Many of her political allies have also been arrested since the coup, with one Minister sentenced to 75 years in prison.

Life for Suu Kyi has now been restricted to a prison cell measuring about 200 square feet (18.5 square metres). Daytime temperatures can surpass 100 degrees Fahrenheit, (37.7 degrees) but there is no air conditioning. When it rains, which is often, water splashes in through windows that have no coverings.

Allies bring her food as well as white-and-brown clothing so she doesn’t have to wear the louse-infested uniforms given to prisoners. Female staff come to her cell and taste her prison food to show her it isn’t poisoned.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, Suu Kyi is one of more than 15 000 people arrested for opposing military rule, and of these, 12 000 remain in detention.

Many have been tortured in interrogation centers and sentenced by military Courts after brief trials where defence attorneys and the public are barred. Convicted prisoners are often transferred to remote prisons, creating additional hardship for them and their families.

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Hip Hop Icon Maestro Fresh Wes Takes Scarborough Back To School!



“MAESTRO FRESH WES”            



                      SCARBOROUGH BACK TO SCHOOL

Toronto, On – Maestro Fresh Wes (Wes Williams) The Godfather of Canadian Hip Hop, is coming home. Thursday, August 25th inside Scarborough Town Centre (beside Maestro’s Star on the Walk Of Fame).  Maestro Fresh Wes will bring home a special inspirational event.  Giving back has always been a part of the iconic artist’s DNA, never forgetting where he came from.   Maestro hopes to encourage young students, parents, and educators to aim for an awesome upcoming school year.   The event is inspired by Maestro’s popular children’s book, “Stick To Your Vision: Young Maestro Goes To School” (co-written by Rhodora Meliton-Vanderpool, illustrations by Leon “Eklipz” Robinson ) 



“When sticking to your vision, it’s important to reach for the sky and by doing that, you will be shooting for the stars.”   

                                                                               Maestro Fresh Wes 



Maestro Fresh Wes has never forgotten his home city of Scarborough.  His journey is deep down personal. The light for this journey has been his own experiences and relationships. The presence of family structure, mentorship and inspirational elementary school teachers has stayed with the artist.  Maestro believes given the right support; kids can work through difficulties to greatness.  Maestro Fresh Wes will continue to lead by example, celebrate learning  and give back to the next generation and the community that has given him so much….  




Meet the iconic Hip Hop artist, actor & author and hear his inspirational stories, August 25th.   



**Maestro’s team will be on hand, handing out backpacks & notebooks with live music by DJ Mel Boogie.  Maestro will also sign copies of his book, for sale at event.   




**This special event is supported by:   Scarborough’s ROADSPORT AUTO GROUP and SCARBOROUGH SHOOTING STARS CEBL Basketball team. 


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★ TWITTER MaestroFreshWes







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Media Inquiries: 

Sasha Stoltz Publicity: 

Sasha Stoltz | | 416.579.4804 



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Quebec junior college students have ‘reduced ability to study’ post-COVID: union head



MONTREAL — The head of a union representing Quebec junior college teachers says the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have negatively impacted students’ basic study skills.

Youri Blanchet of the Fédération de l’enseignement collégial says teachers are noticing that students seem to be struggling with tasks such as taking notes, paying attention in class and completing assignments.

Blanchet says the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close for weeks at a time and shifted education online, which he says led educators to lower academic standards.

He says schools were also reluctant to assign too much schoolwork or to fail students, leading to some students being awarded diplomas without having met pre-pandemic standards.

He’s urging the Quebec government to meet with colleges to develop a plan to address the pandemic-related learning gaps and help students develop academic skills.

Blanchet and other union leaders also say they need the government to help address labour shortages in the junior college system, which they say involves both teachers and specialized staff, such as psychologists.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 16, 2022.


Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

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