Connect with us

News

Experts say Canada's three-layer face mask recommendations make sense – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

Published

 on


Melissa Couto-Zuber, The Canadian Press


Published Wednesday, November 4, 2020 4:05PM EST


Last Updated Wednesday, November 4, 2020 5:22PM EST

As the cold winter weather forces most of us indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s health leaders say it’s time to upgrade our cloth face masks.

Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s chief public health officer, said in a news conference Tuesday that masks with three layers – two cloth plus a filter – are now recommended over the two-layer face coverings previously suggested.

While the new recommendations caused a stir in the House of Commons on Wednesday, with Conservative leader Erin O’Toole suggesting they’re not in line with current provincial advice and may breed confusion, medical experts across Canada agreed that a three-layer mask works better than one with two layers.

Dr. Jing Wang, a clinical instructor at the University of British Columbia who has studied different face mask materials, says the timing of the new recommendations makes sense.

“I think it’s prudent to have a more stringent indoor mask policy, because it’s very difficult to stay distant indoors,” she said. “And if we’re spending a lot of time indoors, there’s more aerosol buildup in the air, so we should especially be wearing an effective mask.”

Wang says a two-layer cotton mask is about 60 per cent effective in trapping coronavirus particles being spewed from the wearer’s mouth – provided the mask is being worn correctly and has a tight fit around the cheeks.

But adding a filter to the same two-layer cloth mask can increase its effectiveness.

“You can kick it up to about 80 or 90 (per cent), and a regular surgical mask is anywhere between 60 to 90 per cent effective,” she said. “So essentially, when you have a two-layer cloth mask with a filter, it could be just as good as a single-use surgical mask.”

Dr. Lisa Bryski, an emergency room physician in Winnipeg, wasn’t surprised by Canada’s new mask-wearing measures, saying they align with those of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Bryski also says our knowledge of face mask effectiveness has expanded since the pandemic began, which would explain why recommendations are evolving.

“We’ve come a long way since March, when you think of how we used to approach the virus,” Bryski said. “We have studies showing that wearing a mask is better than no masks, and that … two (layers) is better than one.

“And now we’re finding that two layers with a filter is better than just two.”

Tam said in Tuesday’s news conference that the new guidelines don’t necessarily mean we have to throw out all of our current cloth masks and replace them with new ones.

She recommended adding a filter to existing masks, and Health Canada’s website now includes instructions for making three-layered masks at home.

The website says filters “add an extra layer of protection against COVID-19 by trapping small infectious particles,” and suggests using either a folded paper towel or non-woven propylene materials like craft fabric, which is used to make some reusable shopping bags.

Wang warns that not all non-woven polypropylene products are created equal, however.

“And it’s not all equally effective,” she added. “Some of them are actually hazardous for the body because they contain preservatives.”

She suggests using a dried out baby wipe – one of the fabrics she tested in her research – because it’s biocompatible, breathable and contains little to no preservatives.

Wang doesn’t propose using coffee filters to line our masks, however, saying they can be thicker than other non-woven fabric and interfere with breathing.

Dr. Anna Banerji, an infectious disease expert with the University of Toronto, says most two-layer cotton masks can be easily transformed into a three-layer filtered mask by ripping out the seams and adding a filtered material.

“Just open it up and put in some filter paper,” she said. “You can still use them if you put a filter material in between to sort of trap the virus particles.”

Bryski agrees that old masks don’t need to be thrown out, and they can and should still be worn while in the process of replacing or modifying them.

She wouldn’t advise putting two, two-layer masks on top of each other though.

“Two layers is better than nothing right now, so whatever you have, keep wearing and upgrade as you can,” she said. “But there haven’t been studies showing whether four-layer masks, or wearing double masks, are better than two because most of them are made of the same material.”

Bryski said mask upgrades shouldn’t hamper their breathability, and to refrain from using obstructive material “like plastic wrap or other solids.”

Wang stressed that mask design can be more important than the number of layers on it.

And proper fit on the face will determine how effective a mask actually is.

“Just because you’re wearing a three-layer mask with a filter doesn’t mean it’s automatically more effective if have your nose exposed or if it’s not tightly fitted around your face,” she said. “If you’re not going to wear it tightly and properly, then I don’t see too much of an advantage of having a three-layer mask.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2020.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

Saint John police officers ordered not to wear thin blue line patches – CBC.ca

Published

 on


The Saint John Police Force has ordered its officers to stop wearing thin blue line patches following social media posts of officers sporting the controversial patch. 

Tweets posted on Thursday show Saint John police officers wearing the patches at King’s Square on July 3, while present at a protest being held by members of the community.

The patch has acquired various connotations, with some supporters saying wearing the patch is a sign of solidarity between officers while critics say it fosters a dangerous attitude of opposition between police officers and civilians.  

Community members say the protest on July 3 was about bringing awareness to the damage being done by colonialism, following ongoing news of the graves of Indigenous children being found at the sites of former residential schools.

It also followed the vandalization of the statue of Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley in the square. 

Saint John police declined an interview request and instead directed CBC News to its Twitter post

The post states that uniform standards have been discussed with officers.

“[The Saint John Police Force] has uniform standards that only allow issued items on the uniform — the thin blue line patch is not issued by the [the Saint John Police Force] thus is not part of our uniform and not authorized to wear,” the post said.

Cheryl Johnson is a Saint John resident who was at the protest and took the photos. She was alerted by a friend later in the month, who upon closer inspection, noticed some officers wearing the patches. 

“It was horrifying to discover that,” said Johnson in an interview. 

Johnson said she considered informing Saint John police about the patches, but had concerns that the matter would be neglected, so she posted the photos to social media. 

“I find that through Twitter, it can be very effective in quickly getting the message across and I was also interested to see what other folks thought about it,” said Johnson.

“We know that in policing, there is a history of violence and abuse, assault, so trying to publicly double down on the concept of us versus them makes me feel incredibly unsafe.”

Police forces across the country have distanced themselves from the patch.

The RCMP advised its officers to stop wearing the patches last fall, citing it was not an approved symbol or officially part of the uniform.

Ottawa police have also been banned from wearing the patches, while Montreal and Toronto police having been spotted wearing the patches this year.

Saint John Coun. David Hickey said he was disappointed to learn city police officers were wearing the patches. 

“What it comes down to is promoting that us versus them mentality and rhetoric that is becoming apparent in policing and I don’t want to see that,” said  Hickey.

David Hickey is the ward 3 city councilor for Saint John and the chair of the public safety committee. (David Hickey/Facebook)

He added that city officials have a duty to ensure Saint John residents feel comfortable interacting with their police department, but a shared level of respect needs to be achieved.

The wearing of thin blue line patches is facing additional scrutiny following protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and growing criticism toward the Blue Lives Matter counter movement, which began in the United States purporting the importance of valuing police officers’ lives. 

El Jones is an assistant professor of political studies at Mount Saint Vincent University and a community activist based in Halifax. 

Jones said the patches migrated from the United States, with the messaging behind the thin blue line being that the police are the only thing standing between order and chaos.

“You see a kind of imagining of society that’s quite dystopian…. You’re always in danger and the only thing keeping you safe is policing,” she said in an interview.

El Jones is an assistant professor of political studies at Mount Saint Vincent University and a community activist based in Halifax.  (Submitted by El Jones)

When looking at things through a lens of supposed order and chaos, Jones said often times policing punishes those who are already marginalized by society.

One of the most troubling connotations behind the patches, Jones noted, is them being worn in solidarity with officers accused of police brutality. 

“Particularly to Black people, it is quite frightening because it’s putting on your uniform, a sign of my solidarity with my fellow officers, and not with the idea of law and order,” said Jones.

The patch has also served as conduit for racist ideology, with authorities acknowledging that white nationalist groups have taken an interest in adopting the patch as a symbol.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

RCMP spied on Canadian nationalist committee over communist concerns – CTV News

Published

 on


OTTAWA —
Canada’s spy service closely monitored the burgeoning nationalist movement in the 1960s and ’70s, poring over pamphlets, collecting reports from confidential sources and warily watching for signs of Communist infiltration, once-secret records reveal.

The RCMP’s security branch, responsible for sniffing out subversives at the time, quietly tracked the rise of the Committee for an Independent Canada, seeing it as ripe for “exploitation or manipulation” by radicals.

The committee, which attracted numerous political and cultural luminaries, pushed for greater Canadian control of the industrial, media and foreign policy spheres in an era of profound American dominance.

The Canadian Press used the Access to Information Act to obtain the RCMP’s four-volume, 538-page dossier on the committee as well as a file on a forerunner organization from Library and Archives Canada. Some passages, though more than 60 years old, were withheld from release.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, which assumed counter-subversion duties from the RCMP in 1984, transferred the records to the National Archives, given their historical significance.

The Mounties’ interest was piqued in the spring of 1960 when author Farley Mowat gathered neighbours at his home in Palgrave, Ont., to form what would soon become the Committee for Canadian Independence.

Mowat was instantly spurred into action upon reading journalist James Minifie’s book “Peacemaker or Powder-Monkey: Canada’s Role in a Revolutionary World,” rattled by its concerns about the erosion of Canadian sovereignty.

The fledgling committee advocated distancing Canada from western military alliances and reasserting the country’s control over its airspace and territorial waters.

In August 1960, as the RCMP opened a file on the committee, a sergeant surmised the Communist party “must certainly be joyous” at the development given it had long espoused similar ideas. However, the Mounties had uncovered no information to suggest the group was “Communist inspired.”

While Mowat’s effort faded from the public conversation, hand-wringing about Canadian independence persisted.

Early in 1970, Toronto Daily Star editor Peter C. Newman, former Liberal cabinet minister Walter Gordon and economist Abe Rotstein hatched plans for the Committee for an Independent Canada during a meeting at Toronto’s King Edward Hotel.

A statement of purpose published by the committee that September said it realized the benefits of Canada being neighbour to the most powerful nation in the world and rejected the idea of closing the taps of needed foreign capital.

“But our land won’t be our own much longer if we allow it to continue to be sold out to foreign owners. Not if we allow another culture to dominate our information media. Not if we allow ourselves to be dragged along in the wake of another country’s foreign policy.”

A month later an RCMP corporal in the security service’s Toronto detachment warned in a two-page memo the publicity the committee had garnered made it a “vulnerable target for subversive penetration.”

Gordon, a longtime economic nationalist, was honorary chairman of the committee, with publisher Jack McClelland and Claude Ryan, director of influential Montreal newspaper Le Devoir, serving as co-chairmen.

The politically non-partisan organization’s steering committee included dozens of notable members of the Canadian intelligentsia, including Mowat and fellow author Pierre Berton, publisher Mel Hurtig, poet Al Purdy, Chatelaine magazine editor Doris Anderson, lawyers Eddie Goodman and Judy LaMarsh (who had also been a Liberal cabinet minister), union activist and longtime NDP stalwart Eamon Park, and Flora MacDonald, shortly before she became a Progressive Conservative MP.

A source whose name is blacked out of a March 1971 memo provided the RCMP with committee literature including a letter from student co-ordinators Gus Abols and Michael Adams.

“The support of young Canadians is essential, because only through our united action will the government and the Canadian public generally realize the seriousness of our country’s situation and the extent of our commitment to the preservation of Canada,” the letter said.

Adams recalls being a graduate student the University of Toronto, strolling to class, when Goodman, whom he knew from Conservative political circles, pulled over his car and told the young man to jump in because “we’re going to start up something that I think you’d be interested in.”

Adams, who would go on to build Environics Research Group into a leading pollster, has fond memories of accompanying Gordon on a committee trip to London, Ont., to promote the nationalist cause to students.

As the “young guy” at committee meetings, Adams revelled in the impressive company.

“It was a wonderful group,” he said. “They were incredibly nurturing and helpful.”

For their part, however, RCMP security officers didn’t seem to know what to make of the committee.

An August 1971 memo to divisions from RCMP headquarters said the committee had taken a moderate, middle class-oriented stance rather than a radical approach. Elements of the New Left and the Communist party had shown interest in the committee, but the RCMP was not aware of “any significant degree of influence or penetration.”

Still, the Mounties would continue to eye the committee because its aims and programs “provide a potential for exploitation or manipulation by groups or individuals of a subversive nature.”

On the contrary, the committee was formed to keep the nationalist movement from falling into the hands of the Communists and the far left represented by the NDP’s Waffle initiative, said Stephen Azzi, a professor of political management at Carleton University in Ottawa.

“The RCMP intelligence unit appeared to be staffed by people with little knowledge, with scant research skills and with deep paranoia,” Azzi said in an interview.

The Mounties studiously monitored the committee through the 1970s, clipping news items and filing memos. A confidential source advised the RCMP of plans for the group’s Ottawa demonstration in January 1975, suggesting they would muster “25-30 people instead of the 60 previously planned.”

By this point, the committee was no longer a potent force in Canadian public life in any event, Azzi sai

Pierre Trudeau, the Liberal prime minister of the day, was openly skeptical of the nationalist agenda but had adroitly harnessed support for the movement to shore up electoral support, particularly in southern Ontario, he added.

Several of the committee’s ideas were realized through creation of Crown corporation Petro-Canada, the Foreign Investment Review Agency, the Canada Development Corporation to foster Canadian-controlled enterprises, and new rules for homegrown content on the airwaves.

Many effects of those policies linger today, Azzi said. “I think our sense of Canada to a large extent was shaped in that period.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 25, 2021.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

News

Travellers to be placed in queues based on vaccine status on arrival at Toronto Pearson airport – CBC.ca

Published

 on


When travellers arrive at Toronto Pearson International Airport, they’ll be split into two separate queues — vaccinated people in one, with non-vaccinated people or people who are only partially vaccinated in another.

“This is a measure to help streamline the border clearance process,” airport spokesperson Beverly MacDonald told the CBC. “There are different entry requirements for vaccinated and non/partially vaccinated travellers, which have been broadly communicated by the Government of Canada.”

As of July 5, fully vaccinated travellers permitted to enter Canada are exempted from quarantine measures and testing for COVID-19 on their eight day post-arrival.

Travellers are still required to get a pre-entry test, a quarantine plan if not granted the exemption, and an arrival test.

There is also a requirements checklist that involves providing proof of vaccination in ArriveCan — the government portal to submit vaccine information.

Passengers entering Canada from the United States or another international destination will be split into the two queues before reaching Canada Customs.

The process came into effect after the federal government introduced different entry requirements for vaccinated and non/partially vaccinated travel.

“We know that the arrivals experience is different for passengers than it was in pre-pandemic times,” MacDonald said. “We appreciate passengers’ patience as we work with all of our partners to implement Government of Canada requirements for international air travel.”

Toronto Pearson, with its Healthy Airport initiative, has mandated masks and enhanced cleaning measures and its HVAC systems. It says it continues to work with government agencies, airlines, and airports to follow safety protocols.

More information on the airports COVID-19 protocols is available at www.torontopearson.com/readytotravel

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending