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Chinese embassy takes swipe at 'some politicians' over talk of freeing Canadians – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
The Chinese embassy is taking a swing at “some Canadian politicians” over what it describes as “erroneous remarks” about the relationship between the two countries and the cases of two Canadians detained in China.

The statement posted on the embassy’s website doesn’t specify the politicians or exact comments.

But it appears to have been prompted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s comments in a French-language interview that aired last week on TVA.

During the interview, Trudeau said Canada has asked the United States not to sign a free-trade deal with China unless Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are freed.

The Chinese embassy says attempts to “gang up on China” by way of “megaphone diplomacy” and “pressuring China for unrelated matters is doomed.”

The statement also calls on Canada to release Huawei senior executive Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested just over a year ago on an extradition request from the U.S., where officials want to try her over fraud allegations.

Days after her arrest at Vancouver’s airport, China detained Spavor and Kovrig.

While China says the two men were arrested over espionage allegations, their detentions are widely seen as a tit-for-tat response to Meng’s arrest.

Earlier this month, China’s foreign ministry said the Kovrig and Spavor cases had been transferred to prosecutors for review and prosecution.

“China’s judicial authority handles cases in strict accordance with law and their legitimate rights and interests are guaranteed,” the embassy’s statement says.

“The Chinese side urges the Canadian side to earnestly respect the spirit of rule of law and China’s judicial sovereignty and refrain from making irresponsible remarks.”

In a wide-ranging interview with The Canadian Press last week, Trudeau said he regretted that Kovrig and Spavor have been caught up in the diplomatic row, but didn’t regret that Canada lived up to its extradition-treaty obligations with the United States.

He added that Canada-China relations have been impacted at virtually every level over the last year.

A number of countries and bodies, including the U.S., Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, the European Union, the G7 and NATO have spoken out in support of the detained Canadians, calling for their release and in support of the rule of law.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 23, 2019.

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Health Canada recalls 'Anti-Microbe' hand sanitizer that was distributed to schools – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Health Canada has announced a recall for a number of “Anti-Microbe” hand sanitizer products, some of which were distributed to schools in Quebec for children to use.

In an advisory posted Friday, the agency said the company Atoms F.D. Inc was recalling several hand sanitizers that had 0.3 per cent benzalkonium chloride in them. All of the hand sanitizers recalled either had “Anti-Microbe” in their name or had the Drug Identification Number (DIN) of 02248351.

The products are being recalled because the level of benzalkonium chloride in them is twice the amount allowed for personal or domestic use.

Health Canada warns that this higher concentration of benzalkonium chloride could cause itchy or dry skin in individuals who use it daily.

“In some cases, peeling, swelling or blistering can occur,” the agency wrote.

Those who are particularly susceptible to having negative reactions due to daily use of these products include young children, adolescents and people with skin conditions such as eczema.

“Health Canada is aware that some products were distributed to various schools in Quebec, for use by children,” the recall stated. “The products were also sold online and in stores to the general public, mainly in Ontario and Quebec.”

Atoms F.D. Inc has been directed to recall the affected products from the market and correct the labelling to make it clear that they are to be used for industrial purposes.

The company also had sold the product to other distributors and private labels. These are the products currently known to be affected by the recall, but Health Canada notes that there could be others.

  • Anti-Microbe, sold by Atoms F.D. Inc
  • 32 Anti-Microbe, sold by Groups BOD
  • Essence 360 Anti-Microbe, sold by Essence360 International
  • Nutra One Anti-Microbe, sold by Nutra One Inc.
  • Paoch Anti-Microbe, sold by Entreprise Paoch Inc.
  • Produits Bio-Expert Anti-Microbe, sold by Produits Bio-experts Inc.
  • Trilux Anti-Microbe, sold by Trilux
  • Yunisan Handzo, sold by Arclay Natural Technologies Inc.

If you are in possession of any of these hand sanitizers or others with the DIN 02248351, Health Canada is asking that you cease using them at once and either follow your regional guidelines on disposing of chemicals, or return the product to your local pharmacy to be disposed of.

If you have concerns about your health after using these products, contact your health care provider.

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The U.S. is vaccinating nearly 1M people per day. How does Canada compare? – Global News

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As the United States moves to vaccinate around one million people per day against the novel coronavirus, Canada appears to be falling short.

As of Sunday, Canada had administered 816,557 vaccine doses. In comparison, the U.S. had administered 20,537,990, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On a per capita basis, the U.S. has so far inoculated 5.2 per cent of its population, while Canada stands at 1.1.

In total, 1,119,225 doses of the vaccine have been delivered to the provinces and territories as of Jan. 21. However, only 72.9 per cent of those doses have been administered.


Click to play video 'Tracking the global race to vaccinate against COVID-19'



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Tracking the global race to vaccinate against COVID-19


Tracking the global race to vaccinate against COVID-19

This is much more than the States however, where the U.S. government has administered 49.6 per cent of the 41,411,550 million doses delivered throughout the country.

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While Canada’s neighbours to the South were off to a sluggish start, the CDC told the Associated Press that U.S. was steadily ramping up vaccinations, with health officials administering 1.6 million vaccine doses on Friday.

Last Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, U.S. President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser for COVID-19, called the president’s goal of 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days an “absolutely a doable thing.”

Canada has secured access to more vaccines than any other country in the world — enough to inoculate its entire population three times over — thanks to agreements with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Medicago, Sanofi-GlaxoSmithKline, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson.

Read more:
Coronavirus vaccine tracker: How many Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19?

Did Canada make a wrong turn?

Not necessarily, experts say.

Delivery shipments of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines have been delayed while the pharmaceutical giant expands its European manufacturing facility, which could temporarily slow the rate at which doses are administered. The delays, announced Jan. 15, will see Canada’s vaccine deliveries chopped in half for another three weeks.

But Colin Furness, an epidemiologist teaching at the University of Toronto, told Global News that administering doses faster doesn’t always equal a slower mortality rate.

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“My sense is that speed is being prioritized over equity in the U.S. — fast at the expense of fair,” Furness speculated.

“The more equity you embed in the distribution process, the longer it will take — you have to organize your priority list and then seek out those who qualify.”


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Fauci says Biden administration not ‘starting from scratch’ on vaccine rollout'



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Coronavirus: Fauci says Biden administration not ‘starting from scratch’ on vaccine rollout


Coronavirus: Fauci says Biden administration not ‘starting from scratch’ on vaccine rollout

Many of those at highest risk of infection from COVID-19 have clustered in long-term care homes, he said, but frontline health-care workers, caregivers and essential workers are also high on the list.

“By contrast, if you prioritize those who own a car and can pay, you can generally make the process much faster,” Furness said.

Canada’s capacity for vaccination isn’t the problem — just last year, the federal government said they were able to inoculate almost 42 per cent of Canadians for the flu in a single season.

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However, storage requirements for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine present an issue.

Read more:
‘Massive undertaking’: Roadmap of Canada’s coronavirus vaccine roll-out

Ryan Imgrund, a biostatistician who works with Ottawa Public Health, previously said the slow vaccine rollout could be attributed to Pfizer’s additional storage needs, which require deep freezing at ultra-low temperatures of -70C.

Imgrund called the slow rollout “embarrassing.”

We just haven’t had great planning on this,” he said.

“I know health care professionals that volunteered weeks and even more than a month [ahead] to go to help with the vaccine rollout. And they haven’t even been contacted.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Canada’s Trans Mountain pipeline sees fortunes shine after KXL’s demise

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Keystone XL

By Rod Nickel and Steve Scherer

WINNIPEG/OTTAWA (Reuters) – The expansion of Canada‘s government-owned Trans Mountain pipeline assumes greater importance for the oil sector after the cancellation of rival Keystone XL reduced future options to carry crude, potential buyers say.

Trans Mountain Corp, a government corporation, is spending C$12.6 billion ($9.9 billion) to nearly triple capacity to 890,000 barrels per day (bpd), a 14% increase from current total Canadian capacity.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government bought the 68-year-old pipeline in 2018 when previous owner Kinder Morgan faced legal hurdles to expand the 1,150-kilometre (715-mile) line running from Alberta to the British Columbia coast. Ottawa has always said it would find new owners.

This week, U.S. President Joe Biden revoked the presidential permit for TC Energy’s Keystone XL pipeline (KXL), undoing efforts by former President Donald Trump to build the line that would have supplied U.S. refiners with 830,000 bpd of Canadian oil.

That decision has made the case for completing Trans Mountain’s expansion stronger.

“This pipeline is even more valuable now,” said Joe Dion, chief executive of Western Indigenous Pipeline Group, one of several First Nations groups interested in buying Trans Mountain.

“Everybody thought Trudeau wasn’t going to get things done in Canada, and he’s the one who successfully got a pipeline over Trump.”

Trans Mountain takes on more strategic importance with KXL cancelled, but it does not mean his group would pay more for it, Dion said.

Trans Mountain has completed 22% of the expansion project, called TMX, which is scheduled for service in December 2022. Suncor Energy Inc, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd and BP PLC are among the committed shippers who have secured 80% of its additional capacity long-term.

“All eyes are on TMX,” said Delbert Wapass, executive chair of Project Reconciliation, a First Nations coalition that hopes to buy 51% this year.

Sharing Trans Mountain’s profits would help improve living conditions on First Nations, he said.

Canadian companies have long struggled to secure top price for their crude as pipeline congestion forced them to sell at a discount.

However reduced fuel demand due to pandemic travel lockdowns and advancing pipeline expansions have eased the flow. Even without KXL, Canada may have surplus export pipeline capacity once TMX enters service, said Matt Taylor, director of infrastructure research at investment bank Tudor Pickering Holt, who expects modest oil production growth to 2025.

Ottawa plans to sell the pipeline once there are fewer risks to completion and consultations wrap up with First Nations, said Finance Ministry spokeswoman Katherine Cuplinskas. TMX has faced stiff opposition over spill concerns.

A second government source said it bought Trans Mountain for its strategic importance, as its Pacific Ocean connection enables shippers to move oil to Asia, as well as the United States, which buys most Canadian crude.

Now its importance is even greater, the source said.

Enbridge Inc, which runs North America’s Mainline oil network, also stands to gain from KXL’s demise. It intends to sell long-term contracts for most of the Mainline’s capacity, pending regulator approval, rather than continue to ration it on the spot market.

KXL’s cancellation frees up long-term commitments by shippers who may now sign Mainline contracts, Taylor said.

($1 = 1.2710 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg and Steve Scherer and Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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