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Coronavirus: Pfizer Canada president praises Canada's rollout – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
Today’s planned delivery of Pfizer doses has been delayed by one day due to inclement winter weather in the United States, the pharmaceutical giant has confirmed to CTV News.

The short delay is to just one of what Pfizer says will be a few shipments slated to arrive in Canada this week. Overall this week’s delivery total is expected to be 403,650 doses.

“Unfortunately the inclement weather in the U.S. has caused a short delay of today’s planned delivery. As a result, our delivery scheduled for today will be delayed by one day. However, the majority of our deliveries this week are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday and those remain on schedule,” said spokesperson Christina Antoniou in an email.

“We are doing everything we can to try and reduce the delay as much as possible and sincerely regret any inconvenience this may have caused,” she said.

As a result of “significant weather events,” the United Parcel Service (UPS) closed its Worldport shipping facilities in Louisville, Ky. on Monday.

While Canada’s doses are being shipped from Europe, they pass through the U.S. facility in Louisville along the way.

Weather delays have been considered a potential issue by the federal government and those leading Canada’s national vaccine rollout, though during a press conference in which the vaccination campaign was discussed, Procurement Minister Anita Anand did not mention this delay.

This holdup follows a month-long slowdown as it made changes to its facility in Belgium, resulting in deliveries of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine to Canada dropping off completely for one week and significantly reduced in others.

As of this week, and in the weeks between now and the end of March, Canada is expecting to receive weekly shipments of more than 400,000 doses.

Before the brief delay was announced, Cole Pinnow, president of Pfizer Canada, was asked on CTV News Channel about Canada’s vaccine rollout, where he stated the pharmaceutical giant is “confident” it will meet its target of four million doses delivered to Canada by the end of next month.

Pinnow noted that the company has moved up its timeline for all 40 million guaranteed doses to the end of September, instead of the end of the year.

Canada currently receives its doses from the Belgium facility, but some have suggested the government could turn to the U.S. state of Michigan, also home to a Pfizer production facility, for help with more doses.

Pinnow acknowledged that the company is considering that as an option for the second part of 2021, but is confident that Belgium will satisfy the dosage needs for now.

Though Canada has faced criticism for its lack of domestic production capacity, Pinnow said that vaccine manufacturing is so complex — particularly with a product as innovative as the Pfizer mRNA vaccine — that there could have been “a bottleneck in the process” even with a Canadian facility in play.

“It’s important to note, regardless of who’s making which part of any given product, that there is a global supply chain and it’s really in all of our best interest to support open borders and open trade,” Pinnow said.

He also said that from his perspective, Canada was doing “quite well” in the global vaccine race.

Canada is currently 19th in the world when it comes to total vaccines administered as a percentage of population, according to CTV News’ vaccine tracker. 

While more than 975,000 first doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been administered across the country over the last two months, amounting to less than three per cent of the population, other nations have far surpassed the Canadian speed. In the U.S., nearly 53 million doses have already been administered. In the U.K., now a global leader for immunizations, nearly a quarter of the population has been inoculated.

“When you look at over 50 countries that Pfizer is contracted with, Canada is doing exceptionally well on deliveries. But what we’re trying to manage is a global supply chain to meet our obligations to all 50 countries,” said Pinnow.

In the House of Commons on Tuesday the federal government continued to face a series of questions from the opposition parties about the state of Canada’s vaccination efforts, all pushing for more details and an accelerated pace so that the country doesn’t fall further behind other nations when it comes to tacking the virus, and restarting the economy.

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Woman almost loses $580 after money order reported lost by Canada Post – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
They’re not used as commonly as they once were, but a money order is something you can buy at Canada Post that is supposed to be as good as cash.

The post office says it’s a safe and secure way to send funds in the mail, but a Brampton woman says that when her money order got lost she was initially denied a refund.

Elizabeth Diehl said she appreciates Indigenous art and tries to support Canada’s First Nations artists so she ordered six pairs of handmade moccasins as Christmas presents.

“I ordered them in November as they are always lovely to wear on a cold winter day,” Diehl said.

When they arrived, Diehl sent a money order for $580 to the woman who made them in Weagamow First Nation in northern Ontario.

A money order is the preferred method of payment in the fly-in community.

“She relies on Canada Post money orders because they don’t have active banks up there I believe,” Diehl said.

One month after sending the money order, the person contacted Diehl to say she had never received it.

Canada Post said it would take 45 days to investigate so Diehl sent another money order to make sure the woman would receive her funds for the moccasins.

Canada Post eventually told Diehl the money order was lost in the mail, but that she would only get back fees she paid for the money order, not the $580 dollars.

A customer service agent with Canada Post told her “unfortunately, because insurance coverage was not purchased at the time of mailing, we are unable to provide any additional compensation.”

Diehl said there was no mention of insurance coverage being needed when she purchased the money order.

When CTV News Toronto reached out to Canada Post, we were told insurance is not required for money orders and funds are guaranteed returned if a money order is lost and uncashed.

“We spoke to Ms. Diehl to let her know we are refunding her $580 money order as per our policies,” a spokesperson told CTV news Toronto.

Diehl felt if she hadn’t contacted CTV News Toronto she would not have received her refund.

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Canada PM says U.S. very open to helping other nations with COVID-19 vaccines

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By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The United States is “very open” to helping other countries procure COVID-19 vaccines and conversations about how to do so are continuing, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday.

The United States will have enough COVID-19 vaccine for every adult by the end of May, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday. The initial goal had been end of July.

Canada‘s target is end-September and critics, who complain about the slow vaccine rollout so far, say Trudeau should ask the United States to permit shipments across the border.

Trudeau told reporters it was clear from his conversations with Biden that Washington understood the best way to combat COVID-19 was to do so worldwide.

“By stepping up on the COVAX facility internationally, by looking at how they can be helpful around the world, (they are) very open to helping out other countries and those conversations will continue,” he said.

The COVAX program co-led by the World Health Organization is designed to ensure equitable vaccine distribution worldwide.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday he was hopeful the United States will be able to share COVID-19 vaccines.

Later on Wednesday, Canada‘s advisory panel on immunization recommended that to make the most of limited supplies, the gap between the first and second doses of the Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc vaccines should be extended to four months, up from six weeks.

Canada will be able to provide access to first doses of highly efficacious vaccines to more individuals earlier,” the panel said on its website. The provinces of Alberta and British Columbia have already announced a four-month gap.

The six-week gap was already a deviation from the way the vaccines were tested. In clinical trials, two doses of the Pfizer vaccine were giving three weeks apart and the Moderna shots four weeks apart.

Canada has recorded a total of 22,045 COVID-19 deaths compared to some 513,000 in the United States.

A first batch of 500,000 vaccine doses from AstraZeneca Plc arrived on Wednesday. These had not been included in Ottawa’s initial plan, Trudeau said, noting regulators were also examining other vaccines.

“We are very optimistic that we are going to be able to accelerate some of these time lines,” he said.

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Alistair Bell and Bill Berkrot)

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Judge finds Toronto van attack killer guilty of murder – CBC.ca

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A judge has declared that the man responsible for Toronto’s deadly van attack in 2018 is guilty of 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.

In rendering her decision, which was broadcast on YouTube Wednesday morning, Justice Anne Molloy said Alek Minassian’s rampage was “the act of a reasoning mind,” and noted that the 28 year old has “no remorse for it and no empathy for his victims.”

“He freely chose the option that was morally wrong, knowing what the consequences would be for himself, and for everybody else,” Molloy said in her decision. “It does not matter that he does not have remorse, nor empathize with the victims.

“Lack of empathy for the suffering of victims, even an incapacity to empathize for whatever reason, does not constitute a defence.”

The man had pleaded not guilty at the judge-alone trial, which was held virtually at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In Canada, a first-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

Justice rejected defence’s autism argument 

Defence lawyer Boris Bytensky said in his closing arguments that his client’s autism disorder left him without the ability to develop empathy, arguing that his client had no idea how horrific his actions were to his victims, his family and the community.

Molloy outright rejected that notion in her decision, which you can read in full at the bottom of this story.

“He considered the impact it would have on his family, and deliberately set those thoughts aside, ignoring them, because he did not want them to deter him from achieving this important goal,” she said, noting that he had been fantasizing about a crime like this for over a decade. “He was capable of understanding the impact it would have on his victims.

“He knew death would be irreversible. He knew their families would grieve.”

WATCH | Remembering the victims of the Toronto van attack:

Elwood Delaney, who lost his 80-year-old grandmother Dorothy Sewell in the attack, told CBC News that watching the judge give her decision was extremely emotional for his family.

“I don’t want to say happy, but we were relieved,” he said.

“I’ve held a lot of anger towards him this whole entire time. Knowing that he’s going to be locked up for a very long time … is a relief.”

Delaney said his grandmother was one of Canada’s biggest sports fans, and was a fervent follower of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Blue Jays. 

“Every time I watch sports … I constantly think of her,” he said. “I miss her a lot. We all do.”

WATCH | Man remembers grandmother who was killed in Toronto attack:

Elwood Delaney, from Kamloops, B.C., lost his 80-year-old grandmother, Dorothy Sewell, in Toronto’s deadly van attack in 2018. Speaking to CBC News on Wednesday after a judge declared the man responsible in the attack guilty, Delaney said he’s relieved, adding that he’s “held a lot of anger.” He’s now hoping he and other families can start to put the event behind them. 1:47

Crown lawyer praises everyday people at scene

Speaking outside the courthouse after the decision was read, Crown attorney Joe Callaghan lauded the actions of the first responders who attended the scene, and read off the names of everyone killed in the attack.

“In addition, a neighbourhood was attacked, leaving its residents fearful and traumatized,” he said.

Callaghan also commended the actions of everyday people who were on the street that day, who tried to help victims who had been struck and comforted the dying.

“They demonstrated a remarkable level of selflessness and empathy, reflecting the true community spirit of this city,” he said.

Cathy Riddell, who was badly injured in the attack, also told reporters outside the courthouse that she feels justice has been done.

“I probably will sleep tonight for the first time in a while,” she said.

“He can spend the rest of his life in jail, because he deserves it … he took lives, and he didn’t care.”

WATCH | Family members, victim and Crown attorney react to judge’s decision:

Victims and family members who lost loved ones spoke to the media outside the courthouse moments after a judge declared the man responsible for Toronto’s deadly van attack guilty. Speakers included Cathy Riddell, who was severely injured in the 2018 attack, along with relatives of Anne Marie D’Amico, who was killed. Here’s what they had to say. 3:01

Police say on the afternoon of April 23, 2018, the killer drove a rented van down Yonge Street near Finch Avenue, veering onto the busy sidewalk and hitting one person after another.

After a brief standoff with a police officer, he was arrested. His victims included Sewell, who was killed, and another woman who survived but had both of her legs amputated as a result of injuries suffered in the attack.

Molloy made sure to say the name and age of each of the victims in her decision. She also listed the serious, and in some cases life-changing injuries suffered by those who survived, including broken bones, bleeding on the brain and a collapsed lung.

The judge also said she would not be naming the killer in her decision and referred to him instead as “John Doe,” noting that notoriety was a driving force in his crimes.

“I am acutely aware that all of this attention and media coverage is exactly what this man sought from the start,” she said.

CBC News will continue to use his name, in some instances, for clarity.

Toronto van attack victim Cathy Riddell speaks with the media outside the Superior Court of Justice on March 3, 2021. She says she has no memory of the incident itself. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Autism group relieved at verdict

In a statement issued Wednesday morning, the Ontario Autism Coalition said it was relieved at Molloy’s decision, and said it was a “firm rejection” of the use of autism as a defence.

“Violent traits have no connection to autism; in fact, people on the autism spectrum are far more likely to be victims as opposed to perpetrators of violence,” the statement reads.

“The court’s decision makes it clear this was never a case of autism causing mass murder, but rather a case where someone who committed mass murder happened to have autism.

“An autism diagnosis does not predispose one to commit acts of violence.”

The killer told police his rampage was a mission for the incel movement, an online subculture of so-called “involuntarily celibate” men who direct their misogynistic rage at women. But Molloy noted in her decision that he also made mention in interviews of making that connection purely to upgrade the notoriety of his actions.

Molloy said the killer has never shown any pleasure or sense of satisfaction to have killed or injured women, apart from the notoriety his crimes have brought to him.

“Accordingly, I agree with the assessors that [the killer’s] story to the police about the attack being an ‘incel rebellion’ was a lie,” the judge wrote.

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