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Canada’s core inflation accelerates to highest in a decade, backing Bank of Canada’s rate break – Financial Post

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Canadian underlying inflation hit the highest in a decade in November, reinforcing a decision by policy makers this month to refrain from cutting interest rates despite concerns around slowing growth.

Inflation rose 2.2 per cent in November from a year earlier, compared with 1.9 per cent in October, on higher shelter and vehicle costs, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday. The annual reading matched economist expectations. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index fell 0.1 per cent, also matching forecasts.

Core inflation — seen as a better measure of underlying price pressure than the headline figure — increased 2.2 per cent, the highest reading since 2009, from 2.1 per cent in October.

Wednesday’s report bears out the view from the Bank of Canada, which said in its December rate statement that inflation would increase temporarily in the coming months, due to year over year movements in gasoline prices.

“Should gasoline prices remain stable, the headline inflation rate should also cool back down in the second quarter of next year, as the year-ago comparisons become a bit firmer,” Royce Mendes, an economist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, wrote in a note.

Canada’s currency rose on the report, appreciating 0.2 per cent to $1.3132 per U.S. dollar at 8:47 a.m. Toronto time.

Key Insights

  • Canada’s CPI has grown at 1.9 per cent or more on an annual basis for nine straight months, backing the Bank of Canada’s stance to remain patient and leave rates unchanged
  • Mortgage interest costs, driven by new lending, and higher prices for passenger vehicles were the largest contributors to the 12-month change in prices; telephone and internet access services were the main downward contributors
  • Energy prices rose 1.5 per cent on an annual basis in November, on a weak comparison from a year earlier when gasoline prices were dropping due to the global supply glut
  • Consumers paid 6.2 per cent more for fresh or frozen beef in November from a year earlier; the price gains follow disruptions to North American supply chains and strong international demand for Canadian beef

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  • Following the end of export bans on Canadians pork, consumers paid more on an annual basis for ham and bacon, fresh or frozen pork in November from the prior month
  • On a monthly basis, passenger vehicles, fresh fruit and vegetables were the main upward contributors, while travel tours and traveler accommodation weighed on the downside, as package deals to holiday destinations became cheaper
  • Goods inflation at 2.3 per cent is the highest since August 2018

Bloomberg.com

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LILLEY: Trudeau makes Canada 'vaccine pirate,' stealing from poor nations – Toronto Sun

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Canada is being described as a “vaccine pirate” after the latest announcement of COVID vaccine approvals showed we will be getting our doses from a facility funded to provide vaccines for the developing world.

On Friday, Health Canada announced that they had approved two related but distinct products, the AstraZeneca vaccine developed in collaboration with Oxford University and COVISHIELD, a version of the AstraZeneca recipe manufactured by Serum Institute of India.

The problem is that Canada will be getting its doses, starting as early as Wednesday, from the Serum Institute, an organization funded to produce vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries.

Like the announcement that the Trudeau government will take 1.9 million doses from COVAX, this makes it look like Canada is taking vaccines meant for poorer countries.

In a news release last June announcing the deal that would allow the SII to produce the AstraZeneca vaccine, the company specifically said it was “to supply 1 billion doses for low-and-middle-income countries” In September, a donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation allowed the program to expand by an extra 100 million doses.

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“This is vaccine manufacturing for the Global South, by the Global South, helping us to ensure no country is left behind when it comes to the race for a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO Gavi, the alliance to ensure poor countries have access to vaccines.

Now Canada has found its way to the front of that line.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand confirmed on Friday that of the 3.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccines that we will see delivered before the end of June, 2 million will come from the Serum Institute and 1.9 million from COVAX.

The move has led one former Canadian health bureaucrat who now works internationally to accuse the Trudeau government of turning Canada into a “global vaccine pirate.” It’s a view held by many people paying attention to the details of our latest vaccine announcement.

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Amir Attaran, a professor with the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa, accused the Trudeau government of poaching these doses from developing countries.

“How many people in other lands will this kill? ‘Sunny ways’ it isn’t,” Attaran said on Twitter.

Dr. Srinivas Murthy, an infectious disease specialist with the B.C. Children’s Hospital, said that Canada was taking doses away from LMICs or low and middle-income countries.

“This is much more anger-inducing than the COVAX conversation weeks ago. The Serum Institute of India was funded by CEPI and GAVI to produce vaccines for LMICs. Canada, because of diplomacy and money, is skipping that line and taking doses meant for LMICs,” Dr. Murthy said.

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When the Trudeau government announced at the beginning of February that we would be taking vaccines from COVAX, the move was blasted by a broad range of organizations including Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam.

“Canada should not be taking the COVAX vaccine from poor nations to alleviate political pressures at home,” Oxfam said at the time.

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Yet, that is exactly what Trudeau was doing in early February and it is what he is doing now. Canadians are upset at seeing Americans, Brits, Italians, Serbians and Barbadians vaccinated much fast than we are, and they are rightly blaming the federal government.

Even the record 643,000 doses received across the country last week is less than the Americans use before lunch each day.

Justin Trudeau campaigned on improving Canada’s reputation on the world stage, now we are taking vaccines meant for developing countries. It is nothing short of a national embarrassment.

The Trudeau government owes Canadians an explanation on his latest moves; let’s hope he faces the tough questions he should later this week.

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Experts advise Canadians to take whatever COVID-19 vaccine is offered – CBC News: The National

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[unable to retrieve full-text content]

  1. Experts advise Canadians to take whatever COVID-19 vaccine is offered  CBC News: The National
  2. Coronavirus: What’s happening in Canada and around the world on Sunday  CBC.ca
  3. AstraZeneca approval opens door to some B.C. front-line workers getting earlier vaccine  Global News
  4. Europe must get its act together with Covid vaccine rollout  Telegraph.co.uk
  5. Keep up COVID-19 protocols as vaccines roll out, experts say  CBC News: The National
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



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Latest COVID update Feb. 28: No new deaths, recoveries slightly outweigh new cases – CKOM News Talk Sports

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There were no new deaths related to the coronavirus reported in Saskatchewan Sunday.

In a news release, the Ministry of Health revealed that the death toll in Saskatchewan from the virus stayed steady at 385.

There was more positive news, as recoveries slightly outweighed new cases. There were 141 new cases reported, along with 146 recoveries. Those numbers slightly dropped the active case total to 1,543.

The new cases reported are located in the far northwest (16), far north-central (one), far northeast (14), northwest (17), north-central (13), Saskatoon (38), central-west (two), central-east (eight), Regina (19), south-central (eight) and southeast (one) zones. One new case is pending residence information.

The locations for three previously reported cases were discovered to be the Regina (one), northwest (one) and north-central (one) areas.

There are 153 people in hospital across Saskatchewan. Of those, 19 are in intensive care in the Saskatoon (11), Regina (7) and northwest (one) regions.

Since last March, there have been 28,674 total infections and 26,719 recoveries.

The seven-day daily case average now stands at 146, or 11.9 cases per 100,000 people.

There were 2,285 tests processed Saturday, raising that total so far to 576,325.

Vaccination Update

Vaccinations took another jump Sunday, though not as significantly as Saturday’s record high.

There were 1,662 doses administered in the southeast (656), central-east (112), central-west (102), northwest (314), north-central (214), Regina (24), far north-central (22) and far northeast (218) regions.

Those doses raised the total number to 78,226. There are 26,418 people in the province who are fully vaccinated, thanks to having received both doses.

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