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Judge to rule on B.C. injunction request against churches breaking COVID rules – National Observer

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The chief justice of British Columbia’s Supreme Court is set to deliver his decision today over whether to grant the province an injunction against three Fraser Valley churches flouting COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person services.

The injunction request by B.C.’s attorney general and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry came after the churches filed a petition challenging the restrictions, arguing they violate parishioners’ rights and freedoms.

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson told a hearing last week the provincial government is putting the court in an “impossible position” by asking for an injunction before the petition is heard.

He said health orders already prohibit in-person religious services and it’s in Henry’s and the province’s powers to escalate enforcement.

The Riverside Calvary Chapel in Langley, the Immanuel Covenant Reformed Church in Abbotsford and Free Reformed Church of Chilliwack filed the petition last month.

Their challenge is set to be heard in March.

During a hearing on Friday, Hinkson told a lawyer with the Ministry for the Attorney General there are “alternate remedies” to the requested injunction.

He said the court is “rather ill equipped” to second-guess health decisions by people who have the expertise to make them.

“I shouldn’t be doing Dr. Henry’s job. If she wants police to have the ability to arrest people, the order can be amended, can’t it?” he asked.

Henry told a news conference on Tuesday she doesn’t know if she has the authority to add enforcement measures to her public health orders.

“We’re not talking about arresting people. What we’re talking about in terms of detention was preventing people from entering a premises, for example, and so that is something that is under the Emergency Management Act part of the (health) orders,” she said.

Judge to rule on B.C. request for injunction against #churches breaking #COVID19 rules. #bcpoli

Henry said the rules still apply while the court challenge is being heard.

“They apply for the reasons that we put them in place based on the signs and the evidence when I believe there is risk of transmission and where we have seen transmission in these settings.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 17, 2021.

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COVID-19 vaccines could be available to the general public in Kingston in May, top doctor predicts – CTV Edmonton

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KINGSTON —
As new COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Kingston, the city’s top doctor is hopeful everyone in the region will have access to the vaccine by May.

Medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore confirmed to CTV News Ottawa on Saturday, that with Canada now being the first country to approve a fourth vaccine, he believes inoculation of the general public could begin in two months.

With vaccinations in the city’s long-term care homes beginning only in mid-January, it was a slow start to Kingston’s vaccination campaign, but Moore says the effort will ramp-up now.

“We’ve reached 10,000 individuals with doses given of vaccine,” he says. “We‘ve had a very aggressive week this week of trying to get doses into arms.”

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington’s Public Health remains in phase one of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, with immunization still under way for long-term care home residents and frontline healthcare workers. 

Starting next week, hundreds more a day will be vaccinated in a pilot project that will see pharmacists administering doses.

“I do think anyone who wants access will be offered the vaccine will be offered it very, very quickly and I think we’ll have robust heard immunity over the next several months,” said Moore of the roll out during a press conference on Thursday.

Demand for the vaccine in the region is high, and public health has been flooded with calls asking to book an appointment for the shot. Health officials warn they can’t book appointments for those who aren’t yet eligible, and there is no waiting list.

They advise waiting to be contacted when it’s your turn.

Andrew Vanoverbeke says getting the vaccine will mean his two-year-old daughter will be able to see her grandparents.

“We’re doing the Zoom and stuff but it’s not the same as being able to give hugs and just play. It’s really hard,” Vanoverbeke says. “I’m excited about it. And the sooner the better for us.”

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Regina police issue second COVID ticket in less than 24 hours – News Talk 980 CJME

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For the second time in less than 24 hours, Regina police have issued a ticket for breaking COVID rules.

Officers gave one woman a $2,800 fine for participating in an outdoor gathering Saturday at about 2 p.m.

She and about 18 other people were protesting the province’s public health orders in Victoria Park.

Current COVID measures ban outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people.

This follows a ticket issued Friday night, when a Regina man was fined for gathering nine people in his home.

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A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on March 5, 2021 – The Record (New Westminster)

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The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 10:00 p.m. ET on Friday, March 5, 2021.

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 85,376 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,253,514 doses given. Nationwide, 561,238 people or 1.5 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 5,946.061 per 100,000.

There were 8,190 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 2,622,210 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 85.94 per cent of their available vaccine supply.

Please note that Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis.

Newfoundland is reporting 4,472 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 24,757 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 47.279 per 1,000. In the province, 1.61 per cent (8,427) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland for a total of 35,620 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.8 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 69.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

P.E.I. is reporting 1,105 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 13,281 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 83.724 per 1,000. In the province, 3.32 per cent (5,273) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 14,715 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.25 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nova Scotia is reporting 6,657 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 38,676 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 39.631 per 1,000. In the province, 1.48 per cent (14,395) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 61,980 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.4 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 62.4 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

New Brunswick is reporting 7,424 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 33,741 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 43.255 per 1,000. In the province, 1.56 per cent (12,142) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 46,775 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.0 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 72.13 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Quebec is reporting 19,975 new vaccinations administered for a total of 510,479 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 59.659 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 638,445 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 79.96 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Ontario is reporting 35,886 new vaccinations administered for a total of 820,714 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 55.872 per 1,000. In the province, 1.83 per cent (269,063) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 903,285 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.86 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Manitoba is reporting 2,358 new vaccinations administered for a total of 84,937 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 61.682 per 1,000. In the province, 2.17 per cent (29,847) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were 8,190 new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 124,840 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 9.1 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 68.04 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Saskatchewan is reporting 2,789 new vaccinations administered for a total of 86,879 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 73.679 per 1,000. In the province, 2.37 per cent (27,945) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 74,605 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.3 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 116.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Alberta is reporting 9,488 new vaccinations administered for a total of 275,719 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 62.634 per 1,000. In the province, 2.06 per cent (90,486) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 274,965 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 6.2 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 100.3 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

British Columbia is reporting 12,357 new vaccinations administered for a total of 311,208 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 60.646 per 1,000. In the province, 1.69 per cent (86,865) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 385,080 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 7.5 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.82 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Yukon is reporting 1,279 new vaccinations administered for a total of 19,437 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 465.769 per 1,000. In the territory, 17.00 per cent (7,093) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 18,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 45 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 102.8 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 19,775 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 438.285 per 1,000. In the territory, 10.10 per cent (4,558) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 19,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 42 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 103.5 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

Nunavut is reporting 158 new vaccinations administered for a total of 13,911 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 359.216 per 1,000. In the territory, 13.28 per cent (5,144) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 23,900 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 62 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 58.21 per cent of its available vaccine supply.

*Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial.

This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published March 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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