With government figures showing a spike in the number of young people vaping, the federal government is preparing to place stricter limits on advertising and make health warnings on vaping products mandatory, CBC News has learned.
However, Ottawa is not yet ready to go as far as many health advocates want by further restricting the flavoured vape products known to appeal to younger users. It’s also still considering whether to further limit the level of nicotine in vaping products. Under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, it is prohibited to sell vaping devices that contain 66 mg/g of nicotine or more because they have been deemed “very toxic” by regulators. Most products sold legally are below that threshold.
The government has been considering the moves since consultations began in February.
Proposed regulations include banning advertising anywhere it can be seen or heard by youth, which includes public spaces, convenience stores and online.
They would also ban in-store displays of vaping products except for specialty stores that restrict entry to people 18 years or older.
Some brands already include health warnings on their products, but the proposed regulations would make it mandatory for all.
But that won’t go far enough for some public health advocates. Earlier this fall, organizations including the Canadian Medical Association called on the government to go further. They want more limits on the number of flavoured products available, in an effort to make vaping less attractive to youth. They have also called for stricter limits on nicotine levels.
Dr. Andrew Pipe, a professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa and a clinician scientist in smoking cessation at the university’s heart institute, welcomed the federal initiative but said more needs to be done.
“I want to emphasize that the regulations that have been proposed have already been in place in Quebec, for instance, for some time and they’ve experienced the same rapid increase in vaping amongst young people as is being experienced all across Canada,” Pipe said in an interview.
“Far from being a package of comprehensive regulations, this is just an initial attempt to address some of the more egregious marketing practices of the vaping industry.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked on CBC’s Power & Politics what’s holding his government back from moving further and faster on vaping.
“I think we need to leave room for proper science. We’re a government that works on evidence-based decisions,” Trudeau said.
A government official, speaking on background, said earlier that Health Canada still hopes to take action on flavours and nicotine levels in the new year. Officials are currently still debating the best way forward.
Youth vaping doubles
Health Canada has cracked down on shops selling illegal vaping products that defy current federal regulations. In 2019, the agency raided more than 3,000 vape shops, collecting more than 80,000 units of non-compliant vaping products.
The products seized include those that feature flavours advertised as “confectionery,” soft drinks or energy drinks, and products that exceed existing nicotine levels or include banned additives.
Under existing regulations, the government has restrictions on which ingredients can be put in a vaping product.
According to the government official, many of the vaping-related illnesses reported by people in recent months have come from users of vaping pods purchased on the illegal market. These products often include a vitamin E acetate additive, which the U.S.-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said is partly to blame for the recent spate of vaping-related illnesses.
All of this is happening as youth e-cigarette use skyrockets.
According to the government’s figures, via the Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey, the number of students (grades 7-12) who say they have used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days has shot up to 20 per cent in 2018-19 — double the number from the previous year.
Health Canada said the changes will be published in Canada Gazette on Dec. 21, followed by 30 days of public comments and consultation.
COVID-19 case reported at French Catholic school – BlackburnNews.com
COVID-19 case reported at French Catholic school
September 18, 2020 1:26pm
The French Catholic school board serving Windsor-Essex has reported a positive case of COVID-19.
Blackburn News has obtained a letter sent to parents of students at L’Essor Secondary School in Tecumseh, in which it was reported that a member of the school community tested positive for the virus. The letter did not disclose whether the individual was a student or a staff member.
Conseil Scolaire Catholique Providence, which includes L’Essor, said every step possible has been taken to reach everyone who may have had interaction with the person.
“We have been working with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit by providing lists of students and staff who may have been in contact with the individual,” read the letter. “The WECHU is contacting any individuals, who have an identified high-risk exposure with the confirmed case, and will give directions to follow.”
This is the second positive case of COVID-19 reported in a Windsor-Essex school. The English Catholic board confirmed a case last week at an elementary school in Amherstburg.
Parents are asked to keep informed of developments by visiting the school board’s website.
Canadian airlines cancel hundreds of flights as hopes fade for spike in demand – Global News
Rachel Farrell can now claim the unfortunate distinction of having two destination weddings called off in one year.
The 26-year-old event co-ordinator had booked a Transat flight out of Halifax for Feb. 15, 2021, as part of her planned nuptials in the Dominican Republic, but was told this week the airline had cancelled the trip and would not make the journey until six days later.
She and her fiancee had first booked their trip package for last April, which Transat nixed after it grounded its entire fleet due to the pandemic.
“I was upset but understood that it wasn’t Air Transat’s fault, so we would wait until air travel resumed and rebook as soon as we could since refunds weren’t an option,” Farrell said.
She did that in July, rebooking the flight for February using travel credit based on the $37,000 she and her nearly two dozen guests had paid for the package.
“Even though they knowingly chose to cancel my rebooked wedding group, they still won’t give us a refund,” Farrell said, noting Transat is again offering credit.
“My travel agent has told me that even if I rebook next week, they might still push the dates further… I don’t know what to do now and all I really want is to get married.”
Banning airline passengers who refuse to comply
The problem is increasingly common, with Canadian airlines cancelling hundreds of flights as hopes for a spike in demand fall flat, snarling plans for the few passengers who remain.
Air Canada and WestJet have cancelled at least 439 flights so far this month, according to figures from flight data firm Cirium.
The cancellations come after airlines banked on a return of business travel and a continued uptick in leisure trips in the fall, says John Gradek, who heads McGill University’s Global Aviation Leadership program.
“They’ve decided since about the end of July to let loose on scheduled services and increasing the number of routes, at the same time hoping that the government will loosen up some of its restrictions. And that’s not been the case,” he said.
Now, airlines are cancelling the half-booked flights and consolidating passengers on remaining ones to cut costs.
Canadian airlines take a ‘multi-layer’ approach to COVID safety
“There has not been a take-up by the Canadian travelling public of those seats that are being offered by the carriers, so they’re cutting back those services significantly…and it’s being done piecemeal rather than being done wholesale,” Gradek said.
The letdown builds on an already devastating year.
Transat revenues fell by 99 per cent year over year last quarter, when the travel company operated flights for just one week.
Air Canada saw passenger revenues drop 95 per cent, prompting 20,000 layoffs as the airline burned through $19 million per day. WestJet has laid off about 4,000 employees since March.
Air traffic in August fell by two-thirds compared to a year earlier, according to Nav Canada, which operates air navigation across the country.
Flight consolidation does not always result in upended plans or wedding dilemmas.
“Sometimes airline schedules require minor surgery and sometimes major surgery,” said Mike Malik, head of marketing at Cirium.
Sometimes the itinerary change can mean a departure delay of an hour rather than a week.
“We know that most travellers right now are not business travellers,” Malik said. “These are VFR travellers — visiting friends and relatives. So if you’re visiting friends and relatives, you probably don’t need a 7 a.m. flight for a 9 a.m. meeting in Toronto.”
The reassurance comes as cold comfort for Darlene Hatter, who was twice slated to attend her son’s destination wedding in Costa Rica, with both flights from Toronto now cancelled.
Vouchers vs. refunds: Transportation experts weigh in on what Canadian airlines should be offering
Her son Robert Przybylski, 35, is now out $15,000, as well as the $2,800 each of his 85 guests shelled out, she said.
“It’s very frustrating,” Hatter said.
“The airlines in my opinion are taking advantage big-time of this and stomping on the little people just because they can. The government needs to step up and tell these airlines to give people their refunds.”
© 2020 The Canadian Press
London officials to Queen's Park: Tighten rules on social gatherings here – London Free Press (Blogs)
Article content continued
Premier Doug Ford indicated his willingness to grant the request by London officials.
He said his cabinet will discuss requests from mayors and medical officials from other areas of the province to extend restrictions.
“We’re going to be rolling (it) out to other areas across the province from the request of the mayors,” Ford said in Ottawa. “I listen to the medical experts. I’ll base this on the health and science.”
He also promised that his plan to address a possible second wave this fall will be released by the province next week.
Under the province’s enhanced restrictions, the fine for hosting a rule-breaking party starts at $10,000.
Mackie is anticipating the province will expand its gathering size restrictions to include the London-area in time for the weekend.
If the province doesn’t act immediately, the health unit is not ruling out issuing an order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act to restrict private gathering sizes, but the move would take up to a week to come into effect, Mackie said.
The decision to issue a Section 22 order would come Monday or Tuesday of next week if the province’s restrictions are not in place, Mackie said.
The health unit has reported 47 new COVID-19 cases, including 39 among Western students, in the last week and declared three outbreaks.
One outbreak is connected to post-secondary students and the downtown party scene, including the bar Lost Love. The second outbreak is linked to a large student party this past weekend that drew “dozens,” Mackie said. The third involved staff at the Walmart store in Hyde Park.
None of the 39 Western students who tested positive have required hospitalization, Mackie said.
The health unit reported 13 new cases Friday, bringing the total number of new cases in the area to 24 over the past two days — nearly the same number reported in the entire first two weeks of September.
For weeks, the daily growth in new London-area cases had held steady at about one to two each day.
The Thursday-Friday case increases are the biggest two-day jump since April 18 and 19, when the health unit reported 17 new cases each day.
“Depending on how we fare over the weekend, this could become the worst stretch of cases in London-Middlesex since the pandemic’s onset,” Mayor Ed Holder said Friday.
“Please wear a mask, physically distance, avoid large crowds. . . . We can do this, we just need more of us to do a little better.”
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