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LeBlanc 'very confident' provinces can handle ramped-up vaccine delivery – MSN Canada

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Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc says he has full confidence that Canada’s provinces will be able to handle the influx of COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in the country in the weeks and months ahead.



Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc.


© Canadian Press
Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

“We’re going to see a significant ramp-up in these last weeks of February and into March … so we’re very confident, and provinces certainly tell us they’re anxious and ready to receive more vaccines, as I know all Canadians are,” LeBlanc said Sunday in an interview on Rosemary Barton Live. “We’re quite confident it will be very effective.”

The minister said Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin — the commander in charge of Canada’s vaccine logistics — has been conducting a series of rehearsals and tabletop exercises with counterparts in each province to prepare for the 23 million doses expected between April and June. 

“Everything that Gen. Fortin and the public health agency tell us is that the provinces are ready. But as always, if there are gaps or if there are needs for redundancy, sort of for backup plans, the government of Canada … will be there to help them,” LeBlanc told CBC Chief Political Correspondent Rosemary Barton.

Hundreds of thousands of doses expected each week

In the coming week, Canada is slated to receive just over 643,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday that hundreds of thousands of doses are now expected to arrive each week.

“Vaccines are my top priority. I know the premiers feel the same,” Trudeau said. “The big lift we’re going to face, as our vaccine deliveries shift to the millions, means the provinces will need to be ready.”

The federal government has taken pains to reassure Canadians that the country’s COVID-19 inoculation campaign is back on track after several hiccups earlier this year.

The early weeks of the vaccine rollout were marked by disagreements between Ottawa and the provinces over how quickly provinces were administering the doses they had received. In the weeks that followed, Canada saw reduced shipments of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines — the only shots to receive regulatory approval in Canada.

LeBlanc said approving other vaccine candidates and broadening the types of health-care professionals who can administer jabs — such as family doctors and pharmacists — could also speed up Canada’s rollout. 

Ottawa won’t foot hotel quarantine bill

The minister’s comments come one day before the federal government’s mandatory hotel quarantine for air travellers comes into effect. 

Starting Monday, passengers returning from non-essential trips abroad will need to book a stay in participating hotels in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto or Montreal for up to 72 hours — or until the results of their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test come through.

But LeBlanc said Canadians who say they can’t afford the stay — which could cost between several hundred dollars up to $2,000 — shouldn’t expect the government to foot the bill.

“For the moment, no. That is a cost that shall properly be borne by the returning traveller,” the minister said, adding that the government has been firm on discouraging non-essential travel and that public health measures exist to keep all Canadians safe.

“We understand they’re tough, and it might represent a hardship for some people, but it’s necessary, in our judgment, to continue to protect Canadians during a pandemic.”

Concerns over costs

Gabby Boulding, a Canadian studying abroad in Scotland, is one person facing that dilemma. 

She first arrived in Scotland in 2019 before the pandemic hit, but her visa expires in early March. That means she has no choice when it comes to returning home.

“I legally have to come home, and I’ve known this is happening for so long that I’ve budgeted, I’ve planned, I know flight costs, baggage fees and all the extra stuff. But $2,000 for a just-finished student is absolutely something I don’t have,” Boulding told Barton in a separate interview. 

“I don’t think people are really choosing to travel,” she said of situations similar to her own. “We’re just doing what we have to. If you look at the definition of essential, that’s exactly what it is.”

LeBlanc said those studying abroad have a “more compelling reason” to travel than those choosing to visit resorts in sunny destinations.

“But these people have an obligation to follow the public health advice that can change without notice,” he said.

You can watch full episodes of Rosemary Barton Live on CBC Gem, the CBC’s streaming service. 

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New Mars image from rover landing site shows the red planet in high definition – CTV News

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The Perseverance rover has had a chance to settle in on Mars since landing last Thursday, so it’s doing what every new resident does these days — sending back photos of its new home.

In this case, it’s a steady stream of amazing imagery from another planet.

The rover’s Mastcam-Z instrument, a pair of zoomable color cameras, returned 142 images of its landing site on February 21. The teams at NASA stitched them together to create the instrument’s first 360-degree panorama.

This is the first high-definition look at Jezero Crater, the site of a 3.9 billion-year-old dry lake bed where the rover will search for signs of ancient life over the next two years.

In the image, the crater rim and the cliff face of an ancient river delta can be seen in the distance. It’s not unlike images shared previously by NASA’s Curiosity rover of its exploration site in Gale Crater.

“We’re nestled right in a sweet spot, where you can see different features similar in many ways to features found by Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity at their landing sites,” said Jim Bell, principal investigator of the Mastcam-Z instrument at Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, in a statement.

Perseverance also sent back a panorama using its Navcams, or navigation cameras, over the weekend.

Mastcam-Z is a new feature on Perseverance that builds off of lessons learned from the Curiosity rover’s Mastcam instrument. Curiosity’s Mastcam has two cameras with a fixed focal length, while Mastcam-Z has zooming capability.

These two cameras are like high-definition eyes on Perseverance as she shares her view with a team of scientists and engineers at home.

They sit on the rover’s mast, reaching eye level for a person who stands just over 6 and a half feet tall. The cameras are 9.5 inches apart to allow for stereo vision.

The color imagery produced by Mastcam-Z is a lot like the quality you would expect from your own digital HD camera, NASA officials said. These cameras can not only zoom but also can focus to capture video, panoramas and 3D images.

This will allow scientists on the mission’s team to examine objects that are both close and far away from the rover.

In the panorama, details as small as 0.1 to 0.2 inches across can be seen if an object is near the rover, while those between 6.5 to 10 feet across in the distance are also visible.

These capabilities will aid the overall goals of the mission in both understanding the geologic history of the crater and identifying the types of rock that the rover’s other instruments should study. The views afforded by Mastcam-Z will also help scientists determine which rocks they should collect samples from that will eventually be returned to Earth by future missions.

The team working on the Mastcam-Z instrument will share more details about the panorama Thursday, February 25 at 4 p.m. ET on NASA’s website and social media accounts.

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The best images from NASA's Perseverance rover so far – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Almost as soon as NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars it was beaming back images of its surroundings.

The first pictures were black and white and a little grainy. They were soon followed by video and high definition images of the rocks, ridges and the rover itself.

Here’s a collection of some of the best images to come from Perseverance’ so far.

FIRST IMAGES

First image from Perseverance

This is the first image NASA’s Perseverance rover sent back after touching down on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. The view, from one of Perseverance’s Hazard Cameras, is partially obscured by a dust cover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

First colour image from Perseverance

Perseverance’s shadow can be seen in this image, the first one in colour sent by the rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

TOUCHDOWN

Perseverance's descent

As a teaser to some of the ground-breaking video to come, NASA released this image of Perseverance being gently lowered onto Mars’s surface during its descent on Feb. 18. (NASA via AP) 

SECRET MESSAGE

Perseverance's secret message

In video sent back by Perseverance, we can see the spacecraft’s parachute open, revealing a mix of white and orange markings on the inside. These were later revealed to be part of secret message left by NASA systems engineer Ian Clark. Clark used binary code to spell out “Dare Mighty Things” on the stripes of the 21-metre parachute. Also included were the GPS coordinates of the mission’s headquarters in Pasadena, Calif. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)

HD PANORAMAS

Panorama from Perseverance

While we’ve seen panorama images from previous rover missions, Perseverance’s high definition cameras are revealing details from Mars like we’ve never seen before. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)

WIND-CARVED ROCK

Wind-carved rock on Mars

This oddly-shaped rock carved by the elements on Mars’ surface was spotted near Perseverance’s landing zone and is an example of the high-quality images that we can expect from the rover’s cameras. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS)

ROVER ‘FAMILY HISTORY’

Rover 'family history'

Along with loads of science instruments Perseverance is also boasting a decal showing the history of NASA’s rovers on Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS)

TRIBUTE TO DESCENT STAGE

'Moment of respect' for the descent stage

“A moment of respect for the descent stage,” NASA tweeted from the Perseverance’s twitter account after about a week after the landing. The image above shows a smoke plume from where the descent stage (the part of the spacecraft that lowered Perseverance gently to Mars’ surface) made its “intentional surface impact.” (@NASAPersevere/Twitter)

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Dispatches from Mars: Perseverance rover sends images – Photos – UPI.com

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NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its left Mastcam-Z camera on Thursday. Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras located high on the rover’s mast. Photo courtesy of NASA | License Photo

Perseverance documents the Martian surface. Photo courtesy of NASA | License Photo

The Martian surface is documented is detail from Perseverance. Photo courtesy of NASA | License Photo

The navigation cameras aboard the Mars rover captured this view of the rover’s deck on Monday. This view provides a look at PIXL (the Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry), one of the instruments on the rover’s stowed arm. Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

This panorama, made by the navigation cameras aboard Perseverance, was stitched together from six individual images after they were sent back to Earth. Subsequent missions, currently under consideration by NASA in cooperation with the European Space Agency, would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these cached samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis. Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech

This is the first high-resolution, color image to be sent back by the Hazard Cameras (Hazcams) on the underside of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover after its landing on February 18. Photo courtesy of NASA | License Photo

This high-resolution still image, from the camera aboard the descent stage, is part of a video taken by several cameras as NASA’s Perseverance rover touched down on Mars. Photo courtesy of NASA | License Photo

Perseverance can be seen falling through the Martian atmosphere in the descent stage, its parachute trailing behind, in this image taken on Thursday by the High-Resolution Imaging Experiment camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The ancient river delta, which is the Perseverance mission’s target, can be seen entering Jezero Crater from the left. Photo courtesy of NASA | License Photo

An illustration depicts the rover driving in the foreground across the plain of Jezero Crater, where the robotic explorer landed safely. Image courtesy of NASA

An image showing where Perseverance Mars rover landed is shown during a NASA Perseverance rover mission post-landing update, on February 18, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA | License Photo

Members of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover team watch in mission control as the first images arrive moments after the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars. Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA | License Photo

The first photos taken by NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover after landing on the Martian surface. A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. Photo courtesy of NASA | License Photo

These computer simulations show Perseverance landing on the Martian surface. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith. Image courtesy of NASA | License Photo

In this illustration of its descent to Mars, the spacecraft carrying NASA’s Perseverance rover slows down using the drag generated by its motion in the Martian atmosphere. Hundreds of critical events must execute precisely on time for the rover to land on Mars safely. Entry, descent, and landing, or “EDL,” begins when the spacecraft reaches the top of the Martian atmosphere, traveling nearly 12,500 mph. The cruise stage separates about 10 minutes before entering into the atmosphere, leaving the aeroshell, which encloses the rover and descent stage, to make the trip to the surface. Image courtesy of NASA | License Photo

An illustration of Perseverance on Mars, launched from Earth in July. It is the fifth rover to successfully reach Mars, and is the first of three that may return rocks samples to Earth. Image courtesy of NASA | License Photo

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