Issued: Saturday, December 19, 2020 | 8:30 p.m. | Windsor-Essex County
The following statement can be attributed to Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU):
“The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is declaring an outbreak on the 6N floor of Windsor Regional Hospital – Metropolitan Campus following the COVID-19 outbreak declaration of 4N announced on Thursday, December 17. To date, five (5) individuals, all patients, on the floor have tested positive for COVID-19.
Outbreak prevention measures were already implemented by the hospital when the cluster was found and will remain in place. Ongoing testing of staff and patients has already been undertaken. Due to privacy considerations, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is unable to disclose publicly any further details about the cases or the number of close contacts at the hospitals.”
Scientists launch social media campaign to counter COVID-19 misinformation – Richmond News
TORONTO — Scientists and health experts are launching a nationwide campaign to counter misinformation about COVID-19 and related vaccines.
The #ScienceUpFirst initiative is an awareness and engagement campaign that will use social media to debunk incorrect information and boost science-based content.
The campaign team says in a news release that it emerged from conversations between Nova Scotia Sen. Stan Kutcher and Timothy Caulfield, Canadian research chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta.
The initiative is now being led by the Canadian Association of Science Centres, COVID-19 Resources Canada, and the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta.
Anyone interested in participating can follow @scienceupfirst and use the #ScienceUpFirst hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and tag the account to amplify science-based posts and alert it to misinformation posts.
The campaign says there is a marked rise in misinformation and conspiracy theories related to COVID-19 vaccines, virus transmission and government response, and it represents a threat to the health and safety of Canadians.
“Misinformation is a dire, imminent threat to the lives of all Canadians and is proven to be one of the factors fueling COVID-19 infections, and dissuading Canadians from getting vaccinated,” says Caulfield.
“The #ScienceUpFirst initiative seeks to help fill an urgent need to beat back misinformation with the truth, and save lives.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021.
The Canadian Press
Canadians support government crackdown on hate and racism on social media, poll finds – Global News
A poll conducted in the wake of the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters and far-right groups has found that most Canadians want government action against online hate.
Commissioned by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, the poll results also show that almost three-quarters of Canadians are concerned about the rise of right-wing extremism and terrorism.
The results were released Monday by the CRRF, a Crown corporation, as the Liberal government is preparing to introduce measures to regulate social media content.
“The fact that most Canadians see this as a problem is all the more reason why our government needs to make online hate speech regulation a policy priority,” said Mohammed Hashim, the foundation’s executive director.
During the 2019 federal election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would require social media companies to remove illegal content such as hate speech within 24 hours or face “significant financial penalties.”
The pledge remains unfulfilled, but the government said last week it would soon introduce legislation to regulate internet content.
Under the proposal, online platforms would have to “monitor and eliminate illegal content,” said Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s spokesperson Camille Gagné-Raynauld.
“That includes hate speech, terrorist propaganda, violent content, child sexual exploitation and the non-consensual sharing of intimate images,” she said.
“We will also ensure that victims are heard and protected by providing them with a simplified, safe and independent complaint process.”
Pressure on social media companies to crack down on hate
The Abacus Data poll, which surveyed 2,000 Canadians between Jan. 15 and 18, reported that 58 per cent felt hateful content on the internet was increasing, and 60 per cent wanted greater federal regulation.
Support for requiring social media companies to remove racist or hateful content within one day was pegged at 80%, while 10 per cent were opposed, the poll said.
It also reported approval of other measures, such as requiring social media companies to remove users who shared racist or hateful content on their platforms.
Facebook, Twitter and other tech giants have responded to major incidents of extremist violence such as the New Zealand mosque attacks by deplatforming users for violating their rules.
But Bernie Farber, chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, said allowing companies to police themselves had not worked.
“They self-regulate and they’re not doing a good job,” he said.
He said right-wing extremists were exploiting online platforms, which he called a “tool for some of the most pernicious hate groups on the continent and around the world.”
“They exist only because they are able to use these platforms,” he said. “That is why they’re growing. That is why we saw what happened in Washington. There have to be rules.”
Twenty-five per cent of those polled were extremely concerned about the rise of right-wing extremism and terrorism, while 23 per cent were very concerned, 23 per cent were somewhat concerned and 20 per cent were “not that concerned.”
Youths aged 18 to 29, racialized Canadians and those on the political left were most likely to be concerned. Among the political right, 60 per cent were concerned and 36 per cent unconcerned about the issue.
The poll found that a third had seen online content inciting violence, while six per cent had experienced it. For racialized Canadians, the figures were significantly higher, at 41 per cent and 11 per cent.
“Across every item, racialized Canadians are more likely to report experiencing or seeing content online,” the poll said.
Overall, 49 per cent thought online hate and racism was a “big problem,” while 44 per cent considered it a “minor” problem. Youths and left-leaning Canadians were most likely to see it as a problem.
“We are encouraged that Canadians appear to be willing to support a strong framework for ensuring we minimize hate and harassment — even in the darkest corners of virtual society,” Hashim said.
The poll’s margin of error was 2.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
AIG welcomes new global head of media and communications – Insurance Business CA
AIG has appointed Dana E. Ripley to the newly created role of vice president, global head of media and external communications.
Ripley will be based in New York, and will report to AIG executive vice president, general counsel and global head of communications and government affairs, Lucy Fato. In his new role, he will be focused on articulating and communicating AIG’s strategy and value proposition to external stakeholders.
He joins AIG from 12A Consulting, where he was the founder and chief communications officer. Prior to that, Ripley was the chief communications officer at US Bank from 2014 to 2019, and senior vice president, corporate communications at Voya Financial from 2005 to 2014. He also held the role of director of media relations at Jackson National Life Distributors from 2003 to 2005. In addition, he has served as director of external communications at ING US Financial Services; assistant vice president, corporate communications at Security Benefit Group; and director of media relations at ReliaStar Financial.
Ripley has a master’s of business communication degree from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, and a bachelor of arts degree from Bethel University, St. Paul, MN.
“Dana is a seasoned professional with significant industry experience and communications expertise. He will play a critical role in all aspects of our strategic communications efforts as we continue on our path to becoming a top performing company and leading insurance franchise,” said Fato.
“I am excited to join AIG at this important time and to be part of the historic turnaround and transformation taking place at this iconic company,” commented Ripley on his appointment. “AIG’s brand is synonymous with risk management and insurance excellence around the globe. It will be a privilege to represent AIG and to tell its compelling story of progress, innovation, change, and growth.”
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