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Drivers fill jerry cans with fuel as BC's gas restrictions take effect (PHOTOS) | Urbanized – Daily Hive

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Gas restrictions took effect throughout Southwestern British Columbia yesterday, but some drivers chose instead to stock up.

The emergency order limits non-essential vehicles to 30 litres of fuel per gas station visit, and is being regulated through the honour system.

Drivers across the Lower Mainland were seen stockpiling far more than their allotted litres, though. From Burnaby to Mission, people hightailed it to gas stations with jerry cans in tow.

Photos shared on social media show drivers filling up several cannisters of gasoline, mere hours after the emergency order came into force.

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The order limiting gasoline was announced by Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth on Friday. It will be in place until December 1.

With the Trans Mountain pipeline shut down and roadways damaged by flooding and mudslides, there is a reduced, albeit steady, supply of gasoline.

The emergency order will ensure that commercial vehicles have adequate access to fuel, which will help stabilize supply chains, Farnworth explained.

“The majority of people will do the right thing [and stick to their allotted 30 litres],” Farnworth said. “If we are greedy we will fail.”

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Black Friday: Will supply chain woes short your shopping spree? Experts aren’t worried – Globalnews.ca

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As supply chain issues continue to hamper some parts of the economy and shoppers gear up for Black Friday, experts are predicting a rush of in-store shoppers in outlets across the country.

According to Bruce Winder, a Toronto-based retail analyst and author, Black Friday is shaping up to be “very interesting” this year for Canadian shoppers.

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold over much of the previous year, millions of Canadians were forced to rely on online shopping to fulfil their Black Friday and holiday shopping needs. But that same pandemic also took its toll on the global supply chain, resulting in widespread shortages particularly for retailers selling electronics.

But would the 2021 global supply chain crisis, and its increased possibility for shipping delays, move even more people to physical locations instead of keeping to the online storefront? Winder and other experts suggest that its likely, but that there’s also the addition of customers feeling the itch to come back after a virtually non-existent year of in-store browsing and buying.

Read more:
Canadians to spend big on holidays, return to shopping malls, surveys say

“So people want to get out there; they’re tired of staying indoors,” said Winder.

“The novelty of shopping is still alive and well and people want to get out there, have some fun and shop.”

That sentiment to return to normal indoor shopping is one that’s shared very strongly by Canadians, according to those at the Retail Council of Canada (RCC).

According to the organization’s annual holiday shopping survey of over 2,500 Canadians from coast to coast, many more Canadians are feeling “much more optimistic” this year when it comes to shopping.


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Warning signs you’re in over your head financially


Warning signs you’re in over your head financially

“They have a strong desire to return to a more normal holiday traditions,” said Michelle Wasylyshen, a spokesperson for the RCC.

“We’re in a very different situation this year — we have vaccinations, we have stores that have had now over a year to have their safety protocols in place. We have removal of the more aggressive restrictions that were taking place in many regions across Canada.”

The survey also found that the majority Canadians were planning to shop much earlier this year in order to take advantage of holiday sales and product availability, with 36 per cent planning to begin their holiday shopping in November and as many as 30 per cent having already begun their shopping before that month.

And while Winder and the RCC both pointed to the impending influx of in-store shoppers tomorrow, both were quick to not entirely discount the impact the global supply chain snaggle would have on the availability of certain products and items.

Read more:
Ho Ho … uh oh! How supply chain woes could affect your holiday shopping

“People realize this, a lot of media coverage of supply chain issues, and if you’re a consumer, you’re thinking you better get out there now or get online now and take advantage of this,” said Winder.

Wasylyshen said that the RCC’s message to consumers this years has been to “shop earlier and be flexible.”

“There is still going to be an impact, we know that certainly in some retail categories, there’s going to be a more difficult time this year getting product,” said Wasylyshen.

However, the depth of any such holiday discount — and product availability — is expected to be greatly influenced by the size of the individual retailers themselves.


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Ask an Expert: Black Friday shopping


Ask an Expert: Black Friday shopping

Huge retail giants like Amazon and Walmart have been preparing for Black Friday over the course of the year and already have “amazing” supply chains in place allowing them to offer deep discounts and offload more inventory, according to Winder.

On the other hand, smaller brick and mortar stores may offer less of a markdown in comparison and are more likely to have a “spotty” inventory coupled with inflation.

According to University of Toronto marketing professor David Soberman, Black Friday will have a lot to do with “three forces” coming together at once: “pandemic fever,” supply chain issues and a major push from Canadian retailers to take advantage of the day itself.

Read more:
Canadians plan to shop in-person, spend more during holidays: survey

“I just think there’s going to be a lot more shopping than there was last year for sure. And, you know, time will tell whether it’s going to be at pre-pandemic levels,” he said.

When asked whether there were worries boiling over a larger than expected crowd of shoppers tomorrow at shopping centres across the country, several of Canada’s largest retail investment and development companies said that measures have been put in place to keep shoppers safe.


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Black Friday spending tips


Black Friday spending tips

Senior vice-president of Cadillac Fairview Tom Knoepfel said that “additional” measures have been introduced in their malls, while William Correia, director of Yorkdale Shopping Centre, said that they’ve extended Black Friday shopping hours.

Knoepfel, who referenced the results of the RCC survey, said that Canadians were going to spend more on holiday shopping and visit more brick-and-mortar stores this year.

“We’re hopeful this means traffic will be increased at our shopping centres over the holiday season, but we do not anticipate the same levels as years prior to the pandemic as shoppers are expected to start their holiday shopping early,” he said.

with files from The Canadian Press

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

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What experts predict the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine will do for national vaccination rates – CBC.ca

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More than two million Canadian kids aged five to 11 are now eligible to get Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 pediatric vaccine — and with that comes an opportunity to get closer to reducing transmission of COVID-19 in the country. 

But what will the rollout of vaccines for this age group do for national vaccination rates?

As one of the last remaining portions of the population to get vaccinated, kids aged five to 11 will play an important role, health experts say.

“Every additional person that gets vaccinated is a step in the right direction,” said Dr. Tehseen Ladha, a pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Alberta in Edmonton.

A boost to national rates

Doctors and mathematicians say it’s too soon to tell what the uptake in this age group will look like, as many immunization programs for kids started just days ago. Use of the pediatric vaccine was approved by Health Canada last Friday, with first doses arriving in the country on Sunday night.

“What we can do is look at the vaccination uptake in 12 to 17 year olds as sort of a proxy for how children and parents are thinking about vaccine,” said Caroline Colijn, a mathematics professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and the Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematics for Evolution, Infection and Public Health. 

“Canada-wide, I think it’s about 87 per cent of 12 to 17 year-olds had at least a first dose. So if we imagine that five to 11 [year olds] would be around that same number, then that does boost the overall Canadian vaccination rate to closer to 85 per cent.” 

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Dr. Susy Hota, University Health Network’s medical director for infection prevention and control, answers questions about the first COVID-19 vaccine approved for Canadians aged 5-11. 7:33

The goalposts for achieving herd immunity — the point at which enough of a population is immune to a virus that it cannot continue to viably spread — have shifted during the past 19 months. 

Earlier in the pandemic, the threshold suggested by some was about 70 per cent. But more recently, health experts say that threshold should be higher because of the highly contagious delta variant. 

With the original COVID strain, if we were at 80 or 85 per cent, we would probably have very, very low transmission and not have to worry,” said Ladha.

“But the fact that we’re here now with delta, which is so much more transmissible, means that we need a herd immunity of closer to 90 per cent, 95 per cent.”

Canada isn’t near those percentages yet. As of Thursday, 79.2 per cent of the eligible population aged five and up were fully vaccinated, according to CBC’s vaccine tracker

Some doctors also note it could take time for some parents to be ready to have their children vaccinated.

“There probably is some hesitancy on the part of parents,” said Dr. Christopher Labos, a Montreal cardiologist with a degree in epidemiology.

“I’m hoping a lot of that is going to go away once they see that there don’t appear to be major side-effects going on with this vaccine.”

WATCH | Infectious diseases doctor shares advice for fellow parents with vaccine questions:

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Dr. Alex Wong outlines a few important points about COVID-19 vaccines for parents of younger children. 2:14

Last week, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said that modelling teams have been doing “a lot of work” to look at the trajectory of the pandemic and how vaccinating younger age groups could factor in. 

Booster shots for those with waning immunity, paired with vaccination of the younger age groups, will help to get the pandemic under control, she said. But there are other factors, too.

“It all depends on the level of uptake in this population, as well as the timing of the epidemiology and the different ups and downs that we might experience in the coming weeks and months,” said Tam.

The first vial of pediatric COVID-19 vaccine used in Toronto. (Steve Russell/The Canadian Press)

At the start of November, children under 12 nationally had the highest incidence of reported cases, according to federal health data, as a large majority of eligible age groups are now fully vaccinated.

“Children in this age group are the last large segment of the population that needs to be vaccinated, and they’re making up a rising number of the new cases,” said Labos.

“If we can vaccinate them, that’s going to help bring COVID numbers down and help bring the vaccine numbers up.”

Uptake will vary

Both experts and some survey data suggest that parents’ plans for vaccinating their children could vary across the country.

An online survey released last month by Angus Reid Institute — and done before the pediatric vaccine was approved — found that 51 per cent of Canadian parents with kids in the five to 11 age group said they would get their child vaccinated. 

But around 23 per cent of the 812 parents polled said they wouldn’t get the vaccine for their children. 

Vaccine rollouts for kids aged five to 11 have started across the country this week. (Steve Russell/The Canadian Press)

In Quebec, a recent survey found that about 63 per cent of parents agreed or somewhat agreed to getting their child vaccinated.

In Ontario, 54 per cent of 161 parents who took part in the Angus Reid Institute survey said they will get their child vaccinated. 

In Alberta, though, the percentage is a little lower, with 46 per cent of the 127 parents who responded to the Angus Reid Institute survey saying they would vaccinate their child.  

“In different provinces, it will vary, because there is really a reliance of families on information given to them by the government, of course, and public health policy,” said Ladha.

“In Alberta, there’s been a lot of diminishing of the seriousness of COVID in children, and that has led a lot of families to believe that it really isn’t necessary for their children to be vaccinated against COVID,” she said. 

“When the reality is that COVID infection itself can have much more severe consequences — both in the short and long term — than the vaccination itself.”

Sentiment about the vaccine for younger children ranges across the country, according to a recent national survey done prior to Health Canada’s approval. (Steve Russell/The Canadian Press)

Getting back to ‘normal’

But even as kids across the country start to receive the vaccine, epidemiologists have noted that it is not herd immunity or bust. In practice, they say, the closer we get to that threshold, the better. 

Some doctors have said that herd immunity could be unattainable, because of a variety of factors at play with COVID-19, suggesting that the focus should be on overall vaccination rates instead.

In Alberta, Ladha said she is focusing on just getting children vaccinated, as well as answering any questions parents might have, like why they should vaccinate their child to protect the community.

It’s important to remember that children exist within our communities, she said, and we need to protect them from the virus.

“It’s a step toward herd immunity. It’s a step toward ending this very long pandemic.”

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'Fear has gripped the financial markets': What investors are saying about the new virus variant – The Globe and Mail

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Wall Street stock indexes dropped at the open after the U.S. Thanksgiving break, Treasury yields slid and oil hit two-month lows as fears of a possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant sent investors scurrying to safe-haven assets.

Asian and European countries rushed to tighten restrictions on Friday after a new and possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant was detected in South Africa, with Singapore and India announcing stricter border controls and more rigorous testing.

GREG BASSUK, CEO, AXS INVESTMENTS PORT CHESTER, NEW YORK

“Bottom line is this is showing that Covid is still the investor narrative, a lot of today’s movement is driven by the South African variant. We have been talking about four or five factors that have been driving the last couple of month’s activity – inflation fears, some economic data, Fed policy – but what we have seen over the last year is that big developments with respect to Covid really have ended up eclipsing some of those other factors by a substantial degree and that is what is driving today’s market activity.”

“Longer-term we are very constructive and bullish on stocks having much longer legs into 2022 with the economy reopening, supply chain issues becoming more mitigated. But one thing we have seen that has been consistent in the last year and a half has been some of these more outsized impacts or developments with respect to Covid really has been the one thing that has shaken the markets to a greater extent.”

“We see today’s activity and what will likely spill over into next week as a buying opportunity in the sense that it is another wrinkle here with the South African variant but while the immediate term market slides could be significant and continue into early December, bigger picture this will be a buying opportunity to move in there on this dip.”

JACK ABLIN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CRESSET CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, CHICAGO

“It is pretty amazing, we had such strong economic news come out on Wednesday. I do think there is something to this, it is obviously worth investigating. I think the latest news we heard was that they had spotted this variant in Belgium so this isn’t just isolated in South Africa. I would say initially, the vaccination rate in South Africa is very low and is probably fertile ground for these variants. It certainly begs further watching. Whatever we are going to see today is going to be exaggerated just because of a lack of liquidity.”

“It certainly begs further study and looking into but my first reaction is anything we are going to see today is overdone so if we end up down a lot, it will likely turn out to be a buying opportunity.”

BIPAN RAI, NORTH AMERICAN HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, CIBC, TORONTO

“When you say risk-off it basically means markets are closing out extended positioning and one of the more popular trades over the last several weeks has been to be long US dollars, and I think the squaring up of that is really behind the dollar’s move for today. I don’t think it’s any sort of indication that the dollar’s lost its safe-haven status. The near-term move is mostly about extended positioning and closing those out, once that becomes a little bit more finely balanced and if we are in a risk-off scenario then I would expect the dollar to continue to outperform.”

“It feels like this news about the scariant, let’s call it, because we don’t have a name for it, really is triggering a lot of risk-off tendencies across the markets. Really if we’re looking at something like this where we have new mutations on mutations of a spike protein it almost feels like the initial working assumption for most market participants is that this is a new phase of the pandemic, new lockdowns and restrictions will maybe be put in place, and it certainly feels like we’re going to need a new vaccine as well. If that is the case that introduces an additional degree of uncertainty that we didn’t take into account previously.”

BRIAN JACOBSEN, SENIOR INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, ALLSPRING GLOBAL INVESTMENTS, MENOMONEE FALLS, WISCONSIN

“Like the virus, this might be something that never really goes away completely. We just learn to live with it and manage around it. It’s not the virus itself that market fear, but policy reactions to the virus. If there are new restrictions or enhanced restrictions on activity, then we could see some spillover into the next week and month. Some countries, like the U.S. and U.K., might not react to it as much as countries like China with their zero-COVID strategy. Just as supply chains looked like they were healing, this could cause some setbacks.”

PETER RUTTER, HEAD OF EQUITIES AT ROYAL LONDON ASSET MANAGEMENT

“This news is putting the handbrake on markets. This could be the moment that people look back on as derailing the economic recovery and rate rises. What we have is a big insertion of uncertainty rather than something material but markets don’t like that.

“The very fact we don’t know, is what’s concerning the market. There is a huge range of outcomes that can happen. We could have serious lockdowns or we get no lockdowns and a booming economy.”

STEEN JAKOBSEN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, SAXO BANK:

“A new Covid wave is leading investors to fly to safety, provoking yields to drop roughly 10 bps across the whole US yield curve. However, we expect the bond rally to be short-lived for several reasons. First, the market has learnt through earlier new strains that Covid is temporary. Secondly, a renewal of lockdown measures would make supply chain bottlenecks worse, introducing even more inflationary pressures to the economy. Therefore, it’s necessary for central banks to stop stimulating demand, keeping intact the recent Fed’s hawkish tilt.

SCOTIABANK STRATEGISTS:

“Given that COVID has hardly been contained globally at this point and that we do not yet know whether this new variant, with all its mutations, is a greater threat, the market’s reaction seems a little excessive.

“But investors are prone to shoot first and ask question later and not stand in the way of these sorts of position unwinds. The process may have a little further to run. Recall that seasonal trends for the U.S. dollar tend to turn more negative in December; market volatility might be the sort of cover markets need to lighten up on (rates and dollar) positioning now and reassess prospects in January.”

SUSANNAH STREETER, SENIOR INVESTMENT AND MARKETS ANALYST, HARGREAVES LANSDOWN:

“Fear has gripped the financial markets with the travel industry flying into another violent storm, after the discovery of a new COVID strain which could be far more contagious and may render vaccines less effective.”

PETER CHATWELL, HEAD OF MULTI-ASSET STRATEGY AT MIZUHO INTERNATIONAL:

“The European lockdowns on their own would have meant soft Q4 GDP growth, but a Q1 rebound. US, UK, Asia all looked unaffected by Europe’s problem. If the new variant does deliver its potential (usurping Delta, and reducing vaccine efficacy) we need to think about a globally soft/flat Q4 and Q1 GDP growth. Vaccine efficacy will determine the severity of lockdowns, and therefore whether this becomes another recession.”

RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, EUROPE:

“It is the threat of vaccine escape that causes the market reaction in both equities (down) and bonds (up). As long as markets are faced with a familiar virus situation that can be overcome with a sufficiently crafted and executed vaccination strategy, the reactions will be muted, as we have seen with the short-lived bond market rally last week when new lockdowns were announced in Europe. This new variant, however, creates a potential threat to the known responses and thus creates a more lasting market response.”

HOLGER SCHMIEDING, CHIEF ECONOMIST AT BERENBERG:

At this stage, it is too early to assess the potential economic consequences. Any new wave could cause serious economic damage. As one potentially mitigating factor, the world is now on high alert and has ramped up its capacity to develop, adjust and produce vaccines.”

TAKASHI HIROKI, CHIEF STRATEGIST, MONEX, TOKYO

“This variant is a new risk for markets. We can’t tell how far it can evade vaccines.”

RAY ATTRILL, HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, NAB, SYDNEY

“People are reacting with the uncertainty about what this means. You shoot first and ask questions later when this sort of news erupts.”

MOH SIONG SIM, CURRENCY ANALYST, BANK OF SINGAPORE

“We still don’t know how infectious the virus is … it’s a general uncertainty. Markets are anticipating the risk here of another global wave of infections if vaccines are ineffective.

“Reopening hopes could be dashed.”

MARK ARNOLD, CIO, HYPERION ASSET MANAGEMENT, BRISBANE

“I don’t think there’s any going back to the pre-COVID world. We’re just going to get mutations through time and that’s going to change the way people operate in the economy. That’s just reality.”

SHINICHIRO KADOTA, SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, BARCLAYS, TOKYO

“We see Germany considering a lockdown, so this new variant and flare-up in the COVID situation poses some risk to market sentiment in general.

“If the COVID situation worsens, then dollar-yen could go down further, but otherwise the monetary policy divergence is definitely going to be weighing on the yen in the medium term.”

MARTIN WHETTON, HEAD OF FIXED INCOME, CBA, SYDNEY

“Keep an eye on the new COVID-19 variant. None of us are virologists, but all of us have seen the impact this has had on the intended path of central bank policy and markets.”

JEFFREY HALLEY, ANALYST, OANDA, JAKARTA

“The UK has paused flights from South Africa and five other neighboring countries, and we can expect more of this elsewhere. The complacency seen with the emergence of the delta variant in India being a lesson harshly learned.

“The one bull in the China shop that could truly derail the global recovery has always been a new strain of COVID-19 that swept the world and caused the reimposition of mass social retractions. All we know so far is the B.1.1.529 is heavily mutated, but markets are taking no chances.”

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