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Middle Class are Under Siege in Canada



Perhaps middle class, or sort of in between,
frugal to a penny, we don’t buy everything we see.
The antics of the wealthy seem so obscene,
but more money in our pocket
would be not be deemed as a unwanted dream.

Going to work, its surely a bore,
The boss always seems impersonally mean.
Cannot afford the very best cuisine
and yet we are expected to go green,
while the rich continue to be seen,
as persons of celebrity glee.

Powers to be, we are not rich
so don’t tax us graciously.
The Debt of the nation is huge,
Your hoping to dig us out of this sinkhole easily.

Poor we are not ,so don’t pay for me,
stop spending what’s not yours please.
We are the hushed ones, so silent it seems
that the government keep tabs on us indeed.

Canadians look for respect and acknowledgement from thee,
so stop asking questions that make no sense to me.
Why ask my race, my gender and age.
My skin has no intelligence, nor my mind a sexy edge.
Why ask my income, but why ask me?
Your hands are so close to my pocket book it seems.

Middle Class Workers we are,
old enough to vote and dream.
We are the minority in this scheme.
Protect us this day, for you will learn of our powerful might,
Every Revolutionary dream was brought forth
by one of us in histories blight.

Perhaps Middle Class, or something in between.
We proudly serve our nation everyday indeed.
Do not manipulate, misinform or abuse us
and our support will continue to transform us.

Steven Kaszab
bradford, Ontario


Trucker convoy: Industry group condemns protest – CTV News



A Canadian federation of provincial trucking groups is speaking out against planned protests by unvaccinated truckers opposed to a vaccine mandate for cross-border travel.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance issued a statement on Saturday saying it does not support and “strongly disapproves” of protests staged on public roads, highways and bridges.

Alliance President Stephen Laskowski says because both Canada and the United States have cross-border vaccination rules in place, truckers “must adapt and comply.”

A website run by protest organizers says convoys of demonstrators are slated to hit the road from British Columbia today, while similar groups from across the country are expected to convene in Ottawa for a mass protest on Jan. 29.

The group has raised over $2.3 million in donations, which will go to the cost of fuel, food and accommodations for participating protesters, according to its GoFundMe page.

The Liberal government announced in November that all Canadian truckers looking to cross the border from the United States would need to be vaccinated in order to avoid a 14-day quarantine, a policy that came into effect on Jan. 15.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2022.

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Why Canada nixed a $222M PPE deal; 1,700 travellers broke mask rules in 2021: CBC's Marketplace cheat sheet – CBC News



Miss something this week? Don’t panic. CBC’s Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.

Canada terminates $222M PPE deal following forced labour probe

Do you know where your personal protective equipment is coming from? 

Canada is revoking two supply contracts with Supermax Healthcare Canada worth more than $222 million, following allegations that the nitrile gloves it manufactured in Malaysia for use by Canadian health-care workers were made with forced labour. 

Marketplace has been on the case for more than a year, following a 2021 investigation that found ‘appalling’ conditions in a Malaysian PPE factory supplying Canadian hospitals.

At that time, documents we reviewed showed that millions of disposable gloves, manufactured in conditions that experts say have the hallmarks of forced labour, have come into our ports. Read more

British solicitor says labour conditions in companies that make PPE akin to ‘modern slavery’

4 days ago

Duration 1:39

British solicitor Nusrat Uddin says labour conditions at Supermax facilities, which make personal protective equipment, are like ‘modern slavery,’ and wants the U.K. to follow Canada’s lead and cancel its contracts with the company. 1:39

He survived open heart surgery. But now he faces an even bigger threat

When Paul Johnson was diagnosed with a defect in his aortic valve at 15, he was told that one day he’d likely require surgery on his heart. 

But after it finally happened, at the age of 62 in 2015, he’d soon face an even greater challenge: complications from a slow-growing bacteria, called M. chimaera, ravaging his body.

Johnson was exposed to the virus during his open heart surgery after a contaminated medical device produced by a company called LifeNova was used in the operating room. 

Now 68, he sits in constant pain, unable to move freely around his house on his own. He takes a cocktail of antibiotics and painkillers every day, and his wife, Cathy Johnson, has become his full-time caregiver. 

Johnson is now part of a class-action lawsuit against LifeNova that counts at least a dozen other patients with confirmed infections as members. Read more

Paul Johnson, shown with his wife, Cathy Johnson, has had two spinal surgeries to remove M. chimaera infection since being exposed to the bacteria from a heater-cooler device during a 2015 open heart surgery. The infection has since spread to his blood, brain, spleen and spine. (Submitted by Cathy Johnson)

Some travellers question allowing travellers from U.S. to skip quarantine

If you’ve ever spent any time in quarantine, you’re probably familiar with how long the days can feel while you’re isolating at home. 

But some Canadian travellers arriving from countries around the world are wondering why they have to quarantine at all — especially when travellers coming from the U.S. don’t have to. 

“There’s something fishy,” said Kevin McNally of Gatineau, Que., who flew from Panama to Montreal on Jan. 7. He spent six days in quarantine before he received his negative PCR test result. 

“I felt like a prisoner in my own country and yet an American can come over here and not quarantine,” said McNally. “It makes no sense.” Read more

Some Canadian travellers ordered to spend several days in quarantine waiting for their COVID-19 test results question why Ottawa is allowing tested travellers from the United States to skip quarantine. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)

No masks, big problem. More than 1,700 air travellers broke the rules last year

There are rules. But they still didn’t follow them. And while the spotlight was on a group of partiers on a Sunwing flight from Montreal to Mexico in December, they were hardly alone.

More than 1,700 passengers refused to wear masks during flights on Canadian air carriers last year — a problem the union representing many of Canada’s flight attendants says is getting worse.

The head of the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ airline division says that many Canadians who appear to be sick of pandemic rules and regulations are lashing out at them 

“We have had incidents that have escalated to a physical nature,” said Wesley Lesosky. “We have had issues of obviously being sworn at, we have had issues of being spit at. We have had issues of just disgruntled people. We have had people [who] are just ticked off with the mask policy.”

According to Lesosky, passengers are increasingly ignoring the requirement to wear masks on flights when not eating or drinking. Read more

Passengers were seen in videos vaping, dancing, drinking and crowd-surfing on a Dec. 30 Sunwing flight from Montreal to Cancun. (Le Journal de Montreal)

What else is going on?

Canada’s inflation rate rises to new 30-year high of 4.8%
Grocery prices increasing at fastest pace in more than a decade

Is it time for a shorter work week?
Some advocates say shorter weeks boost productivity and prioritize workers’ health.

Mahruse brand Halva with Black Seeds recalled due to Salmonella
The recalled product should be thrown out.

Kattnakken Junior Rain Jacket recalled due to strangulation hazard
Consumers should immediately remove the drawstring from the children’s upper outerwear to eliminate the hazard.

Marketplace needs your help

Are you or a loved one receiving home care? Are you getting the care and hours you were promised? We want to hear from you. Email us at

Have your batteries leaked or stopped working before you expected? We want to hear from you! Send us your photos and tell us more at

Watch this week’s episode of Marketplace and catch up on past episodes anytime on CBC Gem.

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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Sunday – CBC News



The latest:

Beijing’s city government on Sunday introduced new measures to contain a recent outbreak of COVID-19, as China’s capital continued to report new local cases just two weeks from hosting the Winter Olympics.

Beijing Olympics organizers said on Sunday they had confirmed 72 cases of COVID-19 among 2,586 Games-related personnel entering China from Jan. 4 to 22, with no cases among 171 athletes and team officials arriving in that period.

Final preparations are taking place for the Winter Games amid a global surge in cases of the highly infectious Omicron coronavirus variant. The Games are set to take place from Feb. 4 to 20 inside a “closed loop” bubble that separates all event personnel from the public. Of the confirmed cases, 39 were found in testing at the airport and 33 inside the loop, organizers said.

Beijing’s Fengtai District — where China’s National Health Commission reported six locally transmitted cases on Saturday — will organize COVID-19 tests for all of its two million residents, district health authorities said.

Authorities have asked residents of “risky areas,” including a neighbourhood of Fengtai, not to leave the city, a local government spokesperson said at a Sunday news conference, adding that Fengtai residents have been asked to avoid mass gatherings.

Beijing city has also asked residents to proactively conduct nucleic acid tests if they find themselves with COVID-19-like symptoms within 14 days of receiving any deliveries from overseas, local authorities said in a statement dated Saturday.

China had urged people to wear masks and gloves when opening mail, especially from abroad, after authorities suggested the first case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus found in Beijing could have arrived via a package from Canada, a claim experts say is not based on science.

Workers wearing hazardous material suits test surfaces inside the Taizicheng railway station on Sunday in Zhangjiakou, a city bordering Beijing. (Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

In recent weeks, cities across China have imposed tougher measures to control new outbreaks of COVID-19, a task that has taken on extra urgency ahead of the start of the Olympics.

Many cities have advised residents to stay put or are requiring travellers to report their trips days before their arrival.

Meanwhile, the Beijing Olympic Committee and Chinese authorities are lowering the threshold for producing a negative test for any participant arriving at the Games.

The cycle threshold (CT) value, which comes from the most reliable test for the coronavirus, will be dropping from 40 to 35. The higher the CT value, the less infectious a person with COVID-19 is.

Many places in Canada use a CT value of 35.

The lower value makes it easier for participants to produce a negative test, especially if previously infected.

What’s happening across Canada

With lab-based testing capacity deeply strained and increasingly restricted, experts say true case counts are likely far higher than reported. Hospitalization data at the regional level is also evolving, with several provinces saying they will report figures that separate the number of people in hospital because of COVID-19 from those there for another medical issue who also test positive for COVID-19.

For more information on what is happening in your community — including details on outbreaks, testing capacity and local restrictions — click through to the regional coverage below.

You can also read more from the Public Health Agency of Canada, which provides a detailed look at every region, including seven-day average test positivity ratesin its daily epidemiological updates.

In Ontario, health officials said 3,797 people with COVID-19 were in hospital on Sunday, down by 229 from the day before. Of those patients, 604 were in intensive care, up by four from Saturday.

The province reported 5,833 new lab-confirmed cases and 56 additional deaths.

The head of Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table is calling on the government to change the definition of the term “fully vaccinated” from two doses to three, even though Premier Doug Ford said this week his government wasn’t yet planning to do so. 

Quebec recorded 3,293 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Sunday, down by 12 from the day before, with 273 of those patients in ICUs, two fewer than Saturday. The province reported 5,141 new lab-confirmed cases and 33 additional deaths.

Hundreds of restaurant owners in the province are considering reopening in defiance of public health measures.

During a briefing on Friday, Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said despite signs of stability in patient numbers in some provinces, the toll on hospitals remains heavy and many hospitals across the country are under intense strain. More than 10,000 people with COVID-19 were being treated in hospitals each day in the past week, surpassing peak daily numbers in all previous waves of the pandemic.

Masks abound in chilly Montreal on Saturday. (Jean-Claude Taliana/Radio-Canada)

In British Columbia, due to record-high hospitalizations, COVID-19-positive hospital patients are being placed in the same room with double-vaccinated people who do not have the virus, provincial health officials said.

WATCH | B.C. teachers refuse to work, citing students not wearing masks:

Teachers at B.C. school refuse to work citing students not wearing masks

2 days ago

Duration 1:52

Teachers at a B.C. elementary school are refusing to work, citing unsafe conditions brought on in part by students refusing to wear masks in class. 1:52

In the Prairies, a northern First Nation in Manitoba is facing criticism for its lockdown measures after a group of mothers left to buy groceries on Thursday and an attempt was made to prevent them from returning to the community. In Saskatchewan, the chief medical health officer says COVID-19 hospital numbers could rise to as high as 300 to 500 or more in the next few weeks due to the high Omicron infection rate. In Alberta, a group of Calgary moms is fundraising in an effort to supply 115,000 school staff members with N95 masks.

In the Atlantic provinces, the test positivity rate in Newfoundland and Labrador dropped from 21.4 per cent on Friday to 15.8 per cent on Saturday; Prince Edward Island registered its fifth COVID-19 death since the start of the pandemic; New Brunswick recorded six additional deaths; and Nova Scotia says there are 82 people in designated COVID-19 hospital units, including 11 people in intensive care.

In the North, Northwest Territories health officials say its modelling suggests the peak of the Omicron wave “may have already passed mid-January” in the territory, Yukon has confirmed its 16th virus-related death and Nunavut reported 35 new cases and a weekly test positivity rate of 30.2 per cent.

What’s happening around the world

As of early Sunday afternoon, more than 349.6million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker. The reported global death toll stood at more than 5.59 million.

In Asia, South Korea posted its second highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, despite extended restrictions and a high vaccination rate, raising concerns of further spread during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.

The country recorded 7,630 new cases on Saturday, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said, above the 7,009 reported a day earlier and near the mid-December record logged.

South Korea in mid-January extended tougher social-distancing rules for three weeks, including a 9 p.m. curfew for restaurants, cafés and bars, and limits on private gatherings.

In Europe, Russia on Sunday reported a new high in COVID-19 infections confirmed in the past 24 hours as the Omicron variant of the virus spreads, the government coronavirus task force said.

Daily new cases jumped to 63,205 from the previous record of 57,212 a day earlier. The task force also reported 679 deaths.

In Belgium, police fired water cannons and tear gas in Brussels on Sunday to disperse protesters marching against COVID-19 vaccinations and restrictions.

Police confront protesters during a demonstration against COVID-19 measures in Brussels on Sunday. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert/The Associated Press)

The march followed demonstrations in other European capitals on Saturday that also drew thousands of people protesting vaccine passports and other requirements that European governments have imposed in hopes of ending the coronavirus pandemic.

In Brussels, demonstrators chanted “Liberty!” as they marched.

White-helmeted police riot officers later sought to disperse protesters, who ignored instructions broadcast over loudspeakers that the demonstration was finished and that they should leave.

PHOTOS | COVID-19 vaccine passport protests in Europe draw thousands: 

In the Americas, the world-famous Carnival festivities in Rio de Janeiro will be held in late April rather than the final weekend of February, as the number of coronavirus cases in Brazil spikes and the Omicron variant spreads.

In the Asia-Pacific region, New Zealanders are set to face new COVID-19 restrictions after nine cases of the variant were detected in a single family who were on a flight to Auckland for a wedding earlier this month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Sunday.

The heightened measures, going into effect on Monday, include mask wearing and limits on gatherings. Ardern said businesses can remain open, and people can still visit family and friends and move freely around the country.

In Africa, the World Bank has approved a loan of $750 million US to South Africa linked to COVID-19, aiming to help protect the poor and support economic recovery from the pandemic, the National Treasury said.

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