The premier of Canada’s Alberta province on Thursday called on the federal government to pause a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers that companies say will disrupt the supply chain and fuel inflation.
The mandate, imposed by Ottawa to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, has cost Canadian trucking companies about 10% of their international drivers, six top executives said this week. They said they are hiking wages to lure new operators during the worst labor shortage they have experienced.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, at a news conference in Calgary, urged the government to extend an exemption that had been in place for truckers since the start of the pandemic.
Kenney made his request on the same day the United States confirmed its own vaccine border mandate for truckers would start on Saturday. Canada’s has been in place since Jan. 15.
“Common sense tells us that we are at the peak of supply chain constraints across North America, around the world, huge inflation,” Kenney said.
This is not the moment “to lose potentially thousands of truckers on our roads, bringing groceries up from the US and who knows maybe (COVID) rapid test kits as well,” he said.
As many as 32,000, or 20%, of the 160,000 Canadian and American cross-border truck drivers may be taken off the roads by the mandate, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) estimates. The industry was short some 18,000 drivers even before the mandate, CTA said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has resisted industry pressure to delay the mandate since it was first announced in November. On Wednesday Trudeau defended the mandate, saying Canada was “aligned” with the United States, its largest trading partner.
On Thursday, Canada’s transport ministry said the measure was not negatively affecting the supply of goods, and cross-border truck traffic had not varied significantly.
Within the next two weeks, consumers will see “there’s not as many choices on the shelves,” said Dan Einwechter, chairman and chief executive officer of Challenger Motor Freight Inc in Cambridge, Ontario.
“Eventually the prices will be passed on from the sellers of those products, because we’re passing on our increases to them,” he said.
Canada’s inflation rate hit a 30-year high of 4.8% in December and economists said the vaccine mandate may contribute to keeping prices higher for longer. In the United States, inflation surged 7% on a year-on-year basis in December, the largest rise in nearly four decades.
More than two-thirds of the C$650 billion ($521 billion) in goods traded annually between Canada and the United States travels on roads.
Rob Penner, president and CEO of Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Bison Transport, said from Jan. 1 it raised the base rate for cross-border drivers by almost 20% but failed to gain any.
“There’s more freight than there is people right now.”
Fresh foods are particularly sensitive to freight problems because they expire rapidly, though all imports from the United States could be affected, trucking managers said.
Canadian firms see labor shortages intensifying and wage pressures increasing, according to a Bank of Canada survey released on Monday. Investors increasingly expect the central bank to raise interest rates next week for the first time since 2018.
($1 = 1.2478 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Additional reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Paul Simao and Grant McCool)
Quebec health officials confirm 25 monkeypox cases now in province – Global News
Quebec public health officials are reporting a total of 25 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the province as of Thursday.
Dr. Luc Boileau, interim public health director in the province, described it as a “serious outbreak” of the virus. Officials are investigating several more suspected cases.
“We had about 20 to 30 suspected cases under investigation so far,” Boileau said.
The province will also begin administering the Imvamune vaccine to close contacts of confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox as soon as Friday. A single dose will be provided within four days of exposure to the virus.
Quebec’s Health Ministry said in a statement that a second dose of the vaccine could be administered, but only if the risk of exposure is “still present 28 days later” and “only following a decision by public health authorities.”
Boileau said the majority of confirmed cases in the province are tied mostly to men who have had sexual relations with other men. There has been one case in a person under 18.
Last week, Quebec recorded the first cases of the virus in the country. The first suspected cases were reported on May 12 in Montreal.
Monkeypox is a rare disease that comes from the same family of viruses that causes smallpox, which the World Health Organization declared eradicated around the globe in 1980.
The virus spreads through prolonged closed contact. It can cause fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes and lesions.
— with files from Global News’ Dan Spector and the Canadian Press
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Quebec to start monkeypox vaccination of contacts as officials confirm 25 cases
MONTREAL — Quebec’s interim public health director says the province could start vaccinating people against monkeypox as soon as Friday.
Dr. Luc Boileau says there are now 25 confirmed cases of the disease in the province and about 30 suspected cases are under investigation.
He says the province has received supplies of smallpox vaccine from the federal government, and it will be administered to people who have been in close contact with confirmed cases of the disease.
Dr. Caroline Quach, the chair of Quebec’s immunization committee, says the vaccine has been shown to prevent monkeypox in animal studies if it is administered within four days of an exposure and can reduce severity if it is administered up to 14 days after an exposure.
She says the disease is transmitted only through prolonged close contact.
Boileau says the majority of cases are in adult men who have been in sexual contact with people who have the disease, and there has been one case in a person under 18.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2022.
The Canadian Press
Monkeypox Warnings Ignored; Dominant COVID Strain Emerges; Better Paxlovid Access – Medpage Today
Note that some links may require registration or subscription.
Warning signs of the current monkeypox outbreak may have been ignored. (STAT)
The CDC issued a monkeypox travel alert encouraging “enhanced precautions” after cases were reported in North America, Europe, and Australia.
Roche announced it has developed three PCR test kits to detect the monkeypox virus.
The U.S. has a new dominant COVID-19 strain — BA.2.12.1 — a highly contagious sublineage of the BA.2 omicron subvariant that now accounts for 57.9% of all cases, according to CDC estimates.
As of Thursday at 8:00 a.m. EDT, the unofficial U.S. COVID toll was 83,697,199 cases and 1,004,558 deaths, increases of 218,146 and 913, respectively, compared with this time Wednesday morning.
The Biden Administration, projecting COVID infections will continue to spread during the summer travel season announced additional steps to make nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid) more accessible. (ABC News)
The White House also reported the launch of the first federally-supported test-to-treat COVID site.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other senior leaders of the government are to blame for booze-filled parties that violated the country’s COVID-19 lockdown rules, according to an investigative report. (NPR)
A mouse study suggested that maraviroc (Selzentry), a FDA-approved drug used to treat HIV, may be able to reverse middle-aged memory loss. (Nature)
The University of California system will be paying nearly $700 million to women who said they were sexually abused by a UCLA gynecologist over the course of several decades. (AP)
The parents of a 4-year-old girl spoke out about her mysterious case of pediatric hepatitis that required a liver transplant, one of 180 similar cases under investigation in the U.S. (Today)
Teva Pharmaceuticals has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of one lot of anagrelide capsules, which are used to treat thrombocythemia secondary to myeloproliferative neoplasms, due to dissolution test failure during routine stability testing.
Servier announced the FDA approved ivosidenib (Tibsovo) in combination with azacitidine for certain patients with newly diagnosed IDH1-mutated acute myeloid leukemia.
A report from the American Medical Association shows that payers are not following the prior authorization reforms agreed to in 2018. (Fierce Healthcare)
The mass shooting in Buffalo earlier this month is a reminder that millions of Americans don’t have easy access to grocery stores. (NPR)
COVID-era misinformation is leading a wave of parents to reject ordinary childhood immunizations. (New York Times)
The FDA issued guidance spelling out rules for states that want to import certain prescription drugs from Canada.
Supreme Court of Canada to rule on sentencing for Quebec City mosque shooter
Minke whale carcass found northeast of Montreal is likely one seen near city: expert
Murray Sinclair honoured with Order of Canada at Rideau Hall ceremony
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
Global Media Markets, 2015-2020, 2020-2025F, 2030F – TV and Radio Broadcasting, Film and Music, Information Services, Web Content, Search Portals And Social Media, Print Media, & Cable – GlobeNewswire
News23 hours ago
Malema: France should leave Africa alone
Health22 hours ago
Monkeypox: Cases in Canada climb to 16, PHAC says – CTV News
News8 hours ago
The Gender War amongst Us
News19 hours ago
UK’s Kendal Nutricare to deliver 2 million cans of baby formula to the US by June
Science22 hours ago
Boeing capsule returns from space station after test flight with no crew – CBC News
Media22 hours ago
Evening Update: Texas gunman posted on social media about attacking a school minutes before shooting – The Globe and Mail
News21 hours ago
Trudeau cancels appearance at Surrey fundraiser over protest-related safety concerns – CBC.ca
Art22 hours ago
'Deaf Shame to Deaf Same': Art exhibit aims to destigmatize hearing loss – CTV News Regina