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Fully vaccinated but left out: Canada’s new border rules put some in a conundrum – Global News

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Canada’s new border rules for fully vaccinated travellers are not going down well with some people who have received COVID-19 vaccines in other countries.

Since July 5, all eligible air travellers who are fully vaccinated are exempt from the mandatory 14-day quarantine — but only if Health Canada authorized the vaccine that the traveller used.

Read more:
Want to skip Canada’s quarantine hotels? Depends on which COVID-19 vaccine you got

Li, who went home to see family in Nanjing back in April, got one dose of the Sinovac vaccine and another of the Sinopharm shot one month apart.

“When I left Canada, the vaccine wasn’t readily available for people of my age yet in Toronto, so I decided it’s my best chance to get a vaccine in China,” the 30-year-old told Global News.

But now, Li, who is a food industry analyst and often travels to the United States for work, finds herself in a bit of a conundrum as she will still need to quarantine every time she returns to Canada.

“Obviously it’s going to cause a lot of inconvenience.”


Click to play video: 'Returning Canadian travellers encounter confusion with looser COVID-19 restrictions'



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Returning Canadian travellers encounter confusion with looser COVID-19 restrictions


Returning Canadian travellers encounter confusion with looser COVID-19 restrictions

So far, the federal government has approved four COVID-19 vaccines for use: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

Two other vaccines from Medicago and Novavax are currently under review by Health Canada.

No applications for China’s vaccines have been submitted to the regulator yet. But the shots have been given the green light by the World Health Organization (WHO) and are being doled out in several Asian and Latin American countries.

“I think as long as the vaccine is approved by WHO, then the Canadian government should recognize it as well,” said Li.

Freya Ma is in a similar boat. The 23-year-old Chinese national was fully vaccinated in Shanghai in April before flying back to Toronto, where she resides.

Ma says even though she feels safe after getting her two doses, Canada’s border restrictions are an “inconvenience.”

“But for now, I am just really being optimistic … and hoping … the government will … welcome … more types of vaccine.”


Click to play video: 'WHO approves Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use'



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WHO approves Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use


WHO approves Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use – Jun 1, 2021


Vaccinate again?

Last month, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) released updated guidance for Canadians who are fully immunized with COVID-19 vaccines approved in Canada.

Canadians who have received both doses of the vaccine will no longer have to wear masks or physically distance when outside with small groups of people from multiple households — even if those people are unvaccinated. However, they’ll need to wait 14 days after their second shot to be considered fully protected.

Read more:
Fully vaccinated against COVID-19? Canada unveils new guidance on what you can, can’t do

Under the PHAC guidelines, fully vaccinated people in Canada can hug, go camping with friends, have small family barbecues, play close contact sports and attend outdoor weddings as well as outdoor birthday parties.

Because the same rules do not apply to them, both Li and Ma are left wondering if they would need to get vaccinated again with one of the shots authorized by Canada.

“I’m thinking if it will never be recognized, I might have to get some vaccine that’s approved here, just because I have to go back to normal life,” said Li.


Click to play video: 'Canada’s new travel quarantine rules expected to deter international family vacations: expert'



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Canada’s new travel quarantine rules expected to deter international family vacations: expert


Canada’s new travel quarantine rules expected to deter international family vacations: expert – Jun 24, 2021

In the Middle East, both Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) have offered the Pfizer vaccine as a booster shot to those who have been fully vaccinated with Sinopharm.

Alberto Martin, a professor of immunology at the University of Toronto, says from a health standpoint, there should be no concern in doing so.

“I don’t see any reason why there will be any issues with those people that have been immunized with the Chinese vaccine and just getting re-immunized here in Canada with Pfizer or AstraZeneca,” he told Global News.

“From a medical perspective, I don’t see it hurting. It can only help.”

The differential treatment at Canada’s border is also affecting vaccinated people who want to see family in Canada.

Graciela D’Andrea, 65, got her first dose of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine back in April and is awaiting the second dose. Her husband has been fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca.

The Argentine couple was hoping to visit their son and daughter-in-law in Toronto, who they haven’t seen in over a year and a half. But D’Andrea says the two-week quarantine is an impediment.

“I find it unfair that people can enter but because I am vaccinated with Sputnik, I can’t [without quarantine],” she told Global News in Spanish.

“My husband can enter without it because he got AstraZeneca.”


Graciela D’Andrea received the Sputnik V vaccine in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Photo supplied

D’Andrea is hoping all countries start easing restrictions for vaccinated travellers.

“The most important thing is that we’re vaccinated against the coronavirus. It shouldn’t matter what the brand of the vaccine is.”


Freedom of movement

The WHO said last week that any COVID-19 vaccines it has authorized for emergency use should be recognized by countries as they open up their borders to inoculated travellers.

“Any measure that only allows people protected by a subset of WHO-approved vaccines to benefit from the re-opening of travel … would effectively create a two-tier system, further widening the global vaccine divide and exacerbating the inequities we have already seen in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines,” the global health body said in a July 1 statement.

Read more:
Europe is open for travel. But tourists must navigate each country’s COVID-19 rules  

In the United States, people who have received two doses of the mRNA vaccines — Pfizer and Moderna — and the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the inoculations. However, air passengers entering the U.S. are not required to quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status.

In Europe, France is accepting tourists who were inoculated with the four EU-approved vaccines — Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson.

But Spain is also allowing recipients of the two Chinese vaccines authorized by the WHO — as long as visitors are fully vaccinated at least two weeks before the trip.


Click to play video: 'European vaccine approvals could throw wrench in travel plans'



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European vaccine approvals could throw wrench in travel plans


European vaccine approvals could throw wrench in travel plans – Jun 30, 2021

Kerry Bowman, a professor of bioethics and global health at the University of Toronto, said Canada’s new policy excludes millions of people who have received the Sputnik V vaccine or one of China’s two vaccines.

“This [policy] is essentially vaccine passports,” he told Global News in a previous interview. “If every country does this, we’re going to have a huge problem on our hands in terms of access.”

Bowman pointed out that the AstraZeneca vaccine has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yet, so if that country followed Canada’s lead, then it would limit the freedom of movement for millions of Canadians.

According to Bowman, there should be an international standard set by the WHO for all the vaccines it has approved.

“We need international standards, not national. Otherwise, we’ve got problems with fairness and freedom of movement.”

— with files from Global News’ Eric Stober, Elizabeth Palmieri and The Association Press.

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

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Line 5 pipeline between U.S. and Canada could cause 'devastating damage' to Great Lakes, say environmentalists – CBC.ca

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An aging pipeline that carries oil along the bottom of the ecologically sensitive and turbulent Straits of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet, is in such a state of disrepair it could burst at any moment and cause catastrophic damage to the Great Lakes, environmentalists warn. 

Line 5, a 1,000-kilometre-long pipeline owned by Calgary-based Enbridge, carries up to 540,000 barrels of oil and natural gas liquids a day from Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ont., where it is shipped to other refineries in Ontario and Quebec.

It’s at the centre of a politically charged dispute between Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who’s ordered what she calls the “ticking time bomb” to be shut down, and Canadian officials, including Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who’ve sided with Enbridge in insisting it’s safe to keep running.

“Over the past year, I have both written and spoken to the Governor to express my disappointment and stress the importance of Line 5 in ensuring economic, environmental and energy security to the entire Great Lakes Region,” Ford said in a statement to CBC News.

“Our government believes pipelines are a safe way to transport essential fuels across the Great Lakes, operating in accordance with the highest pipeline safety standards.”

Enbridge says Line 5 is safe and saves the hassle of transporting huge amounts of fuel by truck or train.

But Michelle Woodhouse, water program manager at Toronto-based Environmental Defence, said it’s time to put politics aside and cut through Enbridge’s “manufactured narrative.” She says the danger the pipeline poses to the Great Lakes is too risky to take “a gamble.” 

Line 5 has leaked oil before

Line 5 was designed in 1953 to have a lifespan of 50 years, or until 2003. Eighteen years later, it’s still running, and has had its fair share of problems, said Woodhouse. 

“This is a very old, deteriorating, dangerous pipeline that has already leaked significant amounts of oil into the surrounding lands and water that it crosses through,” she said.

Since 1953, Line 5 has leaked 29 times, spilling 4.5 million litres of oil into the environment, according to media reports.

The pipeline has also repeatedly violated safety standards, said the State of Michigan’s court filings against Enbridge in 2020. Recently, a ship’s anchor struck and damaged the pipeline in 2018 and contractors mistakenly damaged its supports in 2019, which wasn’t discovered for a year, Michigan’s complaint said. 

A television screen provided by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy shows damage to anchor support on the east leg of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline within the Straits of Mackinac. (Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy/The Associated Press)

A spill would cause “devastating damage” to Lake Huron and Lake Michigan’s shorelines, compromising drinking water, fisheries, businesses and homes, said Woodhouse. 

Dianne Saxe, the former environmental commissioner of Ontario and now deputy leader of the Ontario Green Party, said if Line 5 did leak in the Straits of Mackinac, it would create “an enormous cloud of pollution” that would disrupt intricate fish ecosystems and also flow downstream to Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. 

“It’s running under one of the most dangerous places in the Great Lakes, where there is highly turbulent waters,” Saxe said. 

A University of Michigan study from 2014 corroborates this. Researchers found strong currents in the straits, which switch directions every few days, would contaminate shorelines up to 80 kilometres away within a few days.

Enbridge says pipeline in good condition

Enbridge spokesperson Tracy Larsson said every year, the company inspects Line 5’s twin pipes that cross the Straits of Mackinac, which are made of “thick seamless steel” and have been shown to be in good condition. She also said that Line 5’s lifespan is determined by inspections and maintenance, not when it was built. 

Enbridge is also spending $500 million Cdn to build a tunnel through the straits to cover and protect Line 5. 

“Ultimately, the Great Lakes Tunnel is the common sense solution to meeting Michigan’s energy needs while protecting the Great Lakes, our communities and waterways,” Larsson said. 

However, the upgrade likely won’t be done for years, as President Joe Biden’s administration recently ordered a rigorous environmental review. 

Natural Resources Canada told CBC News the alternative to Line 5 would be shipping fuel on 800 rail cars and 2,000 trucks a day across Canada, plus 15,000 trucks in the U.S. 

“These options are less safe, more polluting, and more expensive,” NRC said in a statement.

Woodhouse called these figures “completely overblown” and said there’s capacity within Canada’s existing transportation system to transport the oil and natural gas to meet the region’s energy needs.

She said tankers and trucks should only be a temporary solution as Canada moves away from fossil fuels, as it has pledged to do in its climate commitments. 

“We know about where things are headed with climate change and global warming,” Woodhouse said. “We have to get things done ASAP. And so the fact that these corporations and their allies are doing things like signing deals that basically send a signal that we don’t care, it’s very unsettling.” 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has vowed to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

‘There is no co-operation’

Whitmer recently revoked the 1953 easement that had allowed Enbridge to run Line 5 through Michigan and gave the company a May 12 deadline to stop operations, although it has not been enforced. The two parties remain locked in a court-ordered mediation process that will wrap up in August, although it’s unclear when the dispute will be resolved.

Enbridge said in a news release earlier this year it has no intentions of shutting down Line 5, and that Whitmer’s actions are unlawful and ignore science and evidence. 

Whitmer’s administration maintains Michigan can’t trust Enbridge after another of its pipelines in the state ruptured in 2010, “causing one of the worst inland oil spills in U.S. history,” press secretary Bobby Leddy said in a statement.

“If Enbridge continues to operate the pipeline beyond the deadline, the state will seek to disgorge the company of its profits earned while unlawfully trespassing on state land,” Leddy said.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said if Line 5 is shut down, his city would lose up to 5,000 well-paying jobs. He said the action would also significantly impact communities across Ontario and Quebec that use the oil and natural gas to manufacture more than 600 products.

He said every time he’s attempted to raise his concerns with Whitmer, she hasn’t responded.

“The governor of Michigan has done incredible damage to the relationship between Ontario and Michigan,” Bradley said. “And that’s what’s disturbing. There is no co-operation when there should be.” 

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Cruising through Canada with a criminal record? – Canada Immigration News

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Attention all cruisers! Canada’s transport minister, Omar Alghabra recently stated that the country will soon open up to travellers by boat.

As of November 1, 2021, cruise ships and their passengers can enter Canada, if they comply with the Canadian government’s public health guidelines.

Contact a criminality expert at the Law Firm of Campbell Cohen

Canada, on both the West and East coasts, is a convenient and popular cruise stop. Boats to or from Alaska commonly dock in Vancouver or Victoria, while east coast ships visit the ports of Montreal or Halifax. Canada welcomes and values the cruise industry. The re-opening news should attract many tourists to come explore what the country has to offer.

By lifting the restrictions in November, the government aims to give the country’s tourism industry a boost leading up to the 2022 cruise season. The Canadian government itself notes that the cruise ship industry contributes $4 billion annually to the Canadian economy and supports approximately 30,000 jobs.

If you are one of the many tourists planning on entering Canada with criminal history, it is important to know that you can be denied entry at the border.

Canada has strict rules for people with criminal records. They are designed to keep the country and its people safe. Canada will take the foreign criminal offence and translate it into Canadian law. Factors such as what the offence is, how long ago the sentence was completed, and how many convictions a person has, all factor in. Since late 2018, a driving under the influence conviction means that a person is inadmissible to Canada for serious criminality. In theory, such a person is banned from Canada forever. However, there are ways to overcome inadmissibility.

Denial can take place at any point. It can occur at an airport for example, if you are flying from another country to Canada to get on a cruise leaving from Vancouver. It can also occur at your port outside of Canada. This is because Canada receives the passenger lists before the ship leaves for Canada. Lastly, it can take place at a port in Canada even if you plan on visiting for only a few hours.

How do I go on a Cruise with a criminal record?

The Canadian government offers short and long-term solutions to tourists who have a criminal record. Generally, there are three paths to resolving inadmissibility:

Temporary Resident Permit (TRP): This document grants temporary access to Canada for someone who is otherwise criminally inadmissible. If the traveler is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, they can apply for a TRP at a Canadian consulate or border. A TRP might be valid for a single day, or for up to three years. It may be good for only a single entry to Canada, or it may allow multiple entries. These elements will depend on the purpose of the visit to Canada. Reviewing officers use discretion when determining how long a TRP is valid for. The purpose for entering Canada is usually the most important factor. Cruise travellers are often suggested to apply for criminal rehabilitation.

Criminal rehabilitation: Criminal rehabilitation gives permanent admissibility to someone who was formerly inadmissible. Being eligible for criminal rehabilitation depends on several factors. These include:

  • the crime committed,
  • the sentence, and;
  • how much time has passed since sentence completion.

If you have been convicted of a crime or crimes in a foreign country, and more than five years have passed since you finished your sentence, you are likely eligible to apply for Canadian criminal rehabilitation. Criminal rehabilitation is a one-time solution that, unlike a TRP, never requires renewal.

Applying for a TRP can often be risky when attempting to enter for leisure purposes. This is because Canadian immigration officers may conclude that the importance of someone who has a criminal record stopping in Canada for a cruise does not outweigh the risks of allowing that person into the country.

Legal Opinion Letter: Another remedy to a potential criminal inadmissibility problem is a legal opinion letter. This is a document that a Canadian immigration lawyer prepares. The letter discusses a past charge or conviction, as well as the lawyer’s legal conclusions. The lawyer will identify the relevant Canadian law and explain why the person should be deemed admissible to Canada. A legal opinion letter can also be beneficial to those in a pre-sentencing situation before making a final plea. It can explain the different consequences of various pleas on the person’s ability to enter Canada.

Knowing Canada’s rules about tourists with criminal records is important. It can help individuals who have records understand what obstacles they may help, as well as what solutions are available.

Contact a criminality expert at the Law Firm of Campbell Cohen

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Discover your Canadian immigration options at CanadaVisa.com.

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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world Tuesday – CBC.ca

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The latest:

Chinese authorities have announced mass coronavirus testing in Wuhan as an unusually wide series of COVID-19 outbreaks reached the city where the disease was first detected in late 2019.

The provincial capital of 11 million people in central China is the latest city to undergo city-wide testing. Three cases were confirmed in Wuhan on Monday, its first non-imported cases in more than a year.

China has largely curbed COVID-19 at home after the initial outbreak that devastated Wuhan and spread globally. Since then, authorities have tamped down and controlled the disease whenever it pops up with quick lockdowns and mass testing.

The current outbreaks are still in the hundreds of cases in total but have spread much more widely than previous ones. Many of the cases have been identified as the highly contagious delta variant.

The National Health Commission said Tuesday that 90 new cases had been confirmed the previous day.

-From The Associated Press, last updated at 7:05 a.m. ET


What’s happening in Canada

WATCH | Renewed concern over rising COVID-19 cases, delta variant: 

Despite Canada having one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, that might not be enough to slow the spread of COVID-19 driven by the highly contagious delta variant. 2:34


What’s happening around the world

A visitor submits her documents at the reception to receive a shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo on Monday. (Stanislav Kogiku/The Associated Press)

As of early Tuesday morning, more than 198.9 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported, according to Johns Hopkins University. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.2 million.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Japan will focus on hospitalizing patients who are seriously ill with COVID-19 and those at risk of becoming so while others isolate at home amid worries about a strained medical system as cases surge in Olympics host city Tokyo.

Pakistan’s top health official says his country for the first time has administered one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine across the country in the past 24 hours. The latest development comes days after Pakistan imposed a lockdown in the southern port city of Karachi and in other high-risk areas.

In the Americas, the U.S. states of Florida and Louisiana were at or near their highest hospitalization numbers of the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, a trend driven by the still-spreading delta variant.

Nearly three out of four Americans above the age of 18 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday, according to the U.S. Centers for Disesae Control.

In Africa, Morocco will lengthen its night curfew as it tightens restrictions to counter a surge in infections.

In the Middle East, Iran on Monday reported 37,189 new cases of COVID-19 — a single-day high, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 tracker. The country, which has been hit hard by several waves of the novel coronavirus, also saw 411 additional deaths.

In Europe, France’s overseas territory of Guadeloupe will to go into a new lockdown for at least three weeks.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted to get the travel industry moving again with a simple user-friendly system to allow for trips abroad without importing new virus variants.

From The Associated Press, Reuters and CBC News, last updated at 6:55 a.m. ET

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