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Canadian excited for ‘normal meals’ after being released from coronavirus quarantine – Global News

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After 14 long days locked in isolation over coronavirus fears, there was only one thing on Christopher Lan’s mind when he got out — good food.

“On my way here I saw a fast-food restaurant, a McDonald’s,” he said. “When I saw that, I thought, ‘Okay, we’re going to have a normal meal very soon.’”

Lan is among 213 Canadians and accompanying family members who were flown out of Wuhan, China — the epicentre of the outbreak — by the Canadian and American governments on Feb. 7.

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Flight carrying Canadians from Japanese cruise ship riddled with COVID-19 lands at CFB Trenton

For the past two weeks, they’ve called CFB Trenton in southern Ontario home. The evacuees, who range from couples to newlyweds and families with young children, each had to complete two weeks in quarantine to be cleared of the virus, COVID-19, before they could be released on Friday.

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At no point during their stay did any of the evacuees at the base show any symptoms, government officials said.

The government offered the evacuees help with their travel from Trenton, but all were ultimately expected to make their own ways home.

Lan and his wife decided to rent a car at a dealership in Trenton in order to get back to their home in Orleans, Ont.






4:04
Coronavirus outbreak: Plane carrying Canadians from Diamond Princess cruise lands at CFB Trenton


Coronavirus outbreak: Plane carrying Canadians from Diamond Princess cruise lands at CFB Trenton

He said they travelled to China for Chinese New Year. His son is newly married, he said, and together they went to visit family in a town about 300 kilometres away from Wuhan.

Initially, the outbreak didn’t seem like a very big deal to Lan, but he said the situation developed quickly.

Lan, his wife and son were able to secure a spot on the Canadian flight out of Wuhan, but Lan’s son’s wife — a Chinese citizen — had to stay behind.

He said the journey from Wuhan was “kind of scary” but he felt relaxed seeing how organized things were.

Ultimately, he’s very happy to be back in Canada.

“It’s a great relief,” he said. “The feeling is amazing.”

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Coronavirus outbreak: Ottawa professor offers glimpse of life for Canadians inside CFB Trenton


Coronavirus outbreak: Ottawa professor offers glimpse of life for Canadians inside CFB Trenton

The repatriated Canadians were housed at the Yukon Lodge, a facility on the military base typically used for personnel and their family members. It resembles a hotel, with 290 rooms and basic amenities.

Prior to their arrival, members of the Canadian Red Cross filled the rooms with hygiene kits and extra blankets — items to make their stay a little homier.


READ MORE:
Canada’s health minister to visit CFB Trenton where hundreds under quarantine

Lan said the workers, volunteers and military personnel running the quarantine were kind and organized.

The food, he said, they “got used to.”

“We really appreciate all the work the government and the Red Cross and the volunteers did to help us, because they really took a personal risk to help us,” he said.

“They didn’t want us to feel alienated or anything like that. They wore minimal protection.”






2:38
200+ Canadians begin two-week quarantine at CFB Trenton


200+ Canadians begin two-week quarantine at CFB Trenton

Meanwhile, as one quarantine comes to an end, another is just beginning.

A flight carrying 129 Canadians, this time from Japan, arrived in Trenton, Ont. on the same day. The evacuees spent nearly two weeks on a cruise ship in Yokohama, which became a hotbed for the flu-like virus in early February.

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At least 634 of the Diamond Princess’s passengers have since tested positive for the virus, making it the largest outbreak location outside of China.

Of the 2,500 passengers, roughly 255 were Canadian. Forty-seven of those Canadians were determined to be infected with the virus and forced to stay in Japan for treatment.

Those repatriated from the ship were screened for the virus again in Trenton on Friday morning before being bussed to Cornwall, Ont. where they will spend two weeks in quarantine at the Nav Centre.

— With files from Global News’ Morganne Campbell, Sean Boynton and The Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Canada Premiers to hold virtual news conference on struggling children’s hospitals

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Canada’s premiers plan to hold a news conference in Winnipeg today as children’s hospitals struggle to deal with a wave of child illnesses.

Hospitals across the country have been cancelling some surgeries and appointments as they redirect staff amid an increase in pediatric patients.

Admissions are surging under a triple-threat of respiratory syncytial virus, influenza and COVID-19 at a time when the health-care system is grappling with record numbers of job vacancies.

In Ottawa, two teams of Canadian Red Cross personnel are working rotating overnight shifts at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in support of its clinical-care team, while some patients have been redirected to adult health-care facilities.

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A pediatric hospice in Calgary has been temporarily closed as staff are diverted to a children’s hospital.

Members of the Alberta Medical Association have sent a letter to the province’s acting chief medical officer of health calling for stronger public health measures to prevent the spread of the illnesses, including increasing public messaging about the safety of vaccines, encouraging flu and COVID-19 vaccines, and temporarily requiring masks in schools.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 9, 2022.

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As nature talks unfold, here’s what ’30 by 30′ conservation could mean in Canada

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was unequivocal Wednesday when asked if Canada was going to meet its goal to protect one-quarter of all Canadian land and oceans by 2025.

“I am happy to say that we are going to meet our ’25 by 25′ target,” Trudeau said during a small roundtable interview with journalists on the sidelines of the nature talks taking place in Montreal.

That goal, which would already mean protecting 1.2 million more square kilometres of land, is just the interim stop on the way to conserving 30 per cent by 2030 — the marquee target Canada is pushing for during the COP15 biodiversity conference.

But what does the conservation of land or waterways actually mean?

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“When we talk about protecting land and water, we’re talking about looking at a whole package of actions across broader landscapes,” said Carole Saint-Laurent, head of forest and lands at the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The group’s definition of “protected area,” which is used by the UN convention on biodiversity, refers to a “clearly defined geographical space” that is managed by laws or regulations with the goal of the long-term protection of nature.

“It can range from areas with very strict protections to areas that are being protected or conserved,” said Saint-Laurent.

“We have to look at that entire suite of protective and restorative action in order to not only save nature, but to do so in a way that is going to help our societies. There is not one magical formula, and context is everything.”

The organization, which keeps its own global “green list” of conserved areas, lists 17 criteria for how areas can fit the definition.

Most of the criteria are centred on how the sites are managed and protected. One allows for resource extraction, hunting, recreation and tourism as long as these are both compatible with and supportive of the conservation goals outlined for the area.

In many cases, industrial activities and resource extraction are not allowed in protected areas. But that’s not always true in Canada, particularly when it involves the rights of Indigenous Peoples on their traditional territory.

In some provincial parks, mining and logging are allowed. In Ontario’s Algonquin Park, for example, logging is permitted in about two-thirds of the park area.

Canada has nearly 10 million square kilometres of terrestrial land, including inland freshwater lakes and rivers, and about 5.8 million square kilometres of marine territory.

As of December 2021, Canada had conserved 13.5 per cent of land and almost 14 per cent of marine territory. The government did it through a combination of national and provincial parks and reserves, wildlife areas, migratory bird sanctuaries, national marine conservation areas, marine protected areas and what are referred to as “other effective areas-based conservation measures.”

These can include private lands that have a management plan to protect and conserve habitats, or public or private lands where conservation isn’t the primary focus but still ends up happening.

Canadian Forces Base Shilo, in Manitoba, includes about 211 square kilometres of natural habitats maintained under an environmental protection plan run by the Department of National Defence.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is a non-profit organization that raises funds to buy plots of land from private owners with a view to long-term conservation.

Mike Hendren, its Ontario regional vice-president, said that on such lands, management plans can include everything from nature trails to hunting — but always with conservation as the priority.

To hit “25 by 25,” Canada must further protect more than 1.2 million square kilometres of land, or approximately the size of Manitoba and Saskatchewan added together. To get to 30 per cent is to add, on top of that, land almost equivalent in size to Alberta.

The federal government would need to protect another 638,000 square kilometres of marine territory and coastlines by 2025, or an area almost three times the size of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. By 2030, another area the size of the gulf would need to be added.

Trudeau said that in a country as big and diverse as Canada, hard and fast rules about what can and can’t happen in protected areas don’t make sense.

He said there should be distinctions between areas that can’t have any activity and places where you can mine, log or hunt, as long as it is done with conservation in mind.

“There’s ability to have sort of management plans that are informed by everyone, informed by science, informed by various communities, that say, ‘yes, we’re going to protect this area and that means, no, there’s not going to be unlimited irresponsible mining going to happen,'” he said.

“But it doesn’t mean that there aren’t certain projects in certain places that could be the right kind of thing, or the right thing to move forward on.”

The draft text of the biodiversity framework being negotiated at COP15 is not yet clear on what kind of land and marine areas would qualify or what conservation of them would specifically mean.

It currently proposes that a substantial portion of the conserved land would need to be “strictly protected” but some areas could respect the right to economic development.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 9, 2022.

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UN Mideast refugee chief says Western funding shortfall may abandon hosting countries

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The United Nations refugee chief for the Middle East says countries hosting asylum seekers need more funding, or they’ll feel abandoned by the global community.

Ayman Gharaibeh (ay-MAHN guh-RYE-bah) says countries are pulling back their funding to help places like Lebanon and Jordan host refugees from Syria, and the lack of funds could prevent kids from being educated.

Gharaibeh says Canada is one of the few countries that isn’t pulling back funding, and he hopes Ottawa will encourage its allies to stop lowering their support.

He says the U-N is already struggling to support refugees due to inflation, a drop in donors and new conflicts that have displaced people from Ukraine and Ethiopia.

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Meanwhile, his region has only received eight per cent of the funding it has requested for winter gear, such as fuel and children’s clothing — compared to fifty-eight per cent by this time last year.

Gharaibeh says countries that are left to fend with these costs might stop co-operating in international agreements, which could cause more chaos in refugee flows.

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