Now that Prince Harry has returned to Canada to begin his new “financially independent” life with Meghan and baby Archie, Prime Minister Trudeau still has no answer to the question: who will pay to keep them safe in the country?
A day after the Duke of Sussex touched down in Victoria, B.C. to reunite with Meghan and baby Archie, the prime minister was asked about the family’s security arrangement.
“I have not spoken to her Majesty directly, discussions continue to be ongoing and I have no updates at this moment,” he told reporters during a press conference in Winnipeg.
On Monday evening, the Duke of Sussex landed at Vancouver International Airport shortly after 7 p.m. local time following a whirlwind trip to the U.K. where he finalized his family’s plans to step back from their royal duties. He then caught a connecting WestJet flight to Victoria International Airport on Vancouver Island.
The prince could be seen smiling, sporting a blue toque and carrying a duffel bag over his shoulder as he exited the small WestJet plane and got into an SUV that was waiting on the tarmac.
Meghan and Archie have been reportedly staying at a secluded beachfront mansion on Vancouver Island while Prince Harry was in the U.K. for two weeks.
During his time in England, the prince attended several meetings with the Queen and other senior members of the Royal Family to come to an agreement about his family’s future.
On Saturday, Buckingham Palace announced the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer use their HRH (his/her royal highness titles) or receive public funds for royal duties. The palace also said Prince Harry and Meghan would repay the £2.4 million (C$4.1 million) of taxpayers’ money that was used to renovate Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Castle grounds, where they intend to live when they’re in the U.K.
The statement followed days of uncertainty regarding the couple’s standing in the monarchy after they unexpectedly announced they would be “stepping back” from their official obligations in order to chart a “progressive new role” in both North America and the U.K.
Prince Harry said he didn’t make the decision to step back from his duties “lightly” and that it was with “great sadness” that he would no longer be a working member of the Royal Family during a speech at a charity event in London on Sunday.
On Monday, the prince attended the U.K.-Africa Investment Summit in London before taking a brief meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Duke of Sussex then boarded a flight to Canada at Heathrow Airport, skipping out on his brother Prince William’s first solo reception at Buckingham Palace.
Meanwhile, the Duchess of Sussex was spotted on Monday walking through a park with her two dogs, and Archie strapped in a baby carrier, as two security officers strolled a few paces behind her.
On Tuesday, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said Canada did not provide the security guards seen with Prince Harry and Meghan during their stay in the country so far.
“I can tell you, right now, we are not engaged in providing those security services,” he told reporters in Winnipeg.
Blair also said Canadian officials will have to reassess the couple’s security needs as their status as internationally protected persons is currently in flux.
“So there’s an assessment done by our officials who have a responsibility to maintain safety for people who may be vulnerable within our society,” he explained. “So that work is ongoing, but that has not yet been resolved.”
While the Duke and Duchess have cited intrusions from the British media as a primary reason for their move to Canada, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliam said he’s not so sure they will find the relief they’re looking for across the pond.
“They are so famous that their entire lives they’re going to have press intrusion. Indeed, it’s obsessive,” he told CTV’s Your morning on Tuesday. “The press are fascinated with their every move and particularly now. What will they do? How will they in fact become financially self-sufficient, which is what they want to do.”
Stage 3 of Ontario's COVID-19 reopening plan looms nearer – CBC.ca
The chances of large parts of Ontario moving soon to Stage 3 of the province’s COVID-19 reopening plan are looking bright as the spread of the coronavirus remains slow in most public health units.
It’s been nearly three weeks since all of eastern and northern Ontario, as well as much of the southwestern part of the province, advanced to Stage 2. That allowed the opening of shopping malls, hair salons, swimming pools, and bar and restaurant patios.
Data from those 24 public health units — everywhere but the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, Niagara, Windsor-Essex, Lambton and Haldimand-Norfolk — show the spread of the virus remains largely contained.
“We hope to be able to move into the next stage as soon as possible,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Tuesday.
“It’s looking very good, but we still need another week’s data to really inform the situation, and then decisions will be made about the opening of Stage 3.”
More than half of Ontario’s 34 public health units currently have fewer than 10 active cases (coronavirus cases that are considered to still be infectious). Fifteen health units have three or fewer active cases.
The parts of the province that were first to advance to Stage 2 — including Ottawa, Waterloo Region and London — have a combined population of nearly six million. In these areas, since restrictions were eased on June 12:
- The combined number of new cases daily has averaged 27, down from a daily average of 34 in the four preceding weeks.
- The number of new cases reported daily has remained below 35 on all but one day.
The trend in the daily number of new cases is the statistic watched most closely by health officials in determining whether restrictions can be lifted.
Provincial-level discussions are currently happening about when to announce Stage 3, Elliott said. She said the decisions to be made include which parts of the province would move ahead and which measures would be relaxed.
“We have to do it safely,” Premier Doug Ford said. “We will do it safely, and we’re going to do it in steps as we did before. We just have to continue seeing the numbers go in the right direction.”
Provincial officials have said any announcements about progressing to the next stage would be made on Mondays.
An announcement on Stage 3 could come within the next week or so, according to Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health for eastern Ontario. He told a videoconference with reporters on Tuesday that officials are looking at increasing the maximum size of gatherings and allowing customers inside restaurants.
Specific Stage 3 changes not yet clear
The province has not laid out precisely what changes will come in Stage 3 of the reopening. Its general framework released back in April suggested Stage 3 would mean “opening all workplaces responsibly” and “further relaxing the restrictions on public gatherings.”
Even with a move to Stage 3, mass gatherings such as concerts and spectator sports events would remain prohibited “for the foreseeable future,” the framework says.
Restrictions currently in place in Stage 2 that could be eased include the closure of playgrounds, the 10-person limit on social gatherings, and the ban on indoor seating at restaurants and bars.
While the daily number of new COVID-19 cases is a crucial metric for determining the timing of Stage 3, the other measures that are considered include the availability of hospitals beds, speed of testing, and effectiveness of tracing close contacts of each person who tests positive.
Some public health units see mandatory mask usage in indoor public settings as a key tool in preventing outbreaks and advancing to Stage 3.
“We want to move to Stage 3,” Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s chief medical officer of health, said while presenting evidence in favour of a mask policy during a news briefing on Monday. “We want all the businesses to be open. We want people to be able to continue to get back to work.”
The public health unit covering Kingston — which previously had among the lowest number of COVID-19 cases in the province — ordered masks to be worn in indoor public places in response to an outbreak at a nail salon that is now linked to 27 confirmed cases.
Mask wearing, handwashing likely to remain
The ability to prevent and contain local outbreaks will be one of the province’s considerations about whether a public health unit is ready to move to Stage 3, said Dr. Chris Mackie, the London-Middlesex medical officer of health.
The province is “watching the data carefully and not rushing into a Stage 3 reopening, which I think is appropriate,” Mackie said on Tuesday in a news conference.
The province will take the lead on the decisions about Stage 3, according to Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, medical officer of health for the Region of Waterloo, among the first public health units to advance to Stage 2.
“When we reach Stage 3, it is very likely that many of our current heath measures, such as physical distancing, mask wearing and handwashing, will remain in effect,” Wang said in a statement to CBC News.
Canada to ban 'nuisance seals' killing to keep access to U.S. market – CBC.ca
Canada will abolish permits that allow the killing of “nuisance seals” by commercial fishermen and aquaculture in an effort to maintain access to the lucrative U.S. seafood market, CBC News has learned.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada plans to eliminate nuisance-seal licences. Earlier this spring, the department told commercial fisheries associations that nuisance permits will no longer be issued. Canadian fish farms voluntarily stopped killing seals in 2018.
“DFO is making this change in order to ensure continued access to the U.S. fish and seafood market, a market worth about $5 billion annually to Canada,” DFO spokesperson Benoit Mayrand said.
By Jan. 1, 2022, all countries with fisheries interacting with marine mammals that export to the U.S. will have to demonstrate they have marine mammal protections that are the same or of comparable effectiveness to measures taken in the U.S..
DFO intends to adopt regulatory language aligned with the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act’s import provisions, Mayrand said.
Scotland also banning practice
The U.S. exempts killing marine mammals under specific circumstances, such as where it is imminently necessary to protect human health and safety, and under the Good Samaritan exemption, where the humane dispatch of a seal will avoid serious injury, additional injury, or death to a seal entangled in fishing gear or debris.
DFO said it will post its plans for public comment in coming weeks.
Earlier this month, Scotland announced it will eliminate permits to shoot nuisance seals. Scotland is also keenly aware that market access is at stake.
Mairi Gougeon, the Scottish minister responsible for that portfolio, told the Scottish parliament that its new rules will match the U.S. rules.
“It will ensure that we can still export farmed fish to the United States of America in future. That is one of our most important markets; it was worth £178 million (about $301 million) in 2019,” she said on June 17.
Canada’s aquaculture industry already on board
Tim Kennedy, president and CEO of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance, wrote to DFO in a letter dated Dec. 21, 2018.
“The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance would like to state our members’ commitment to ‘no intentional mammal kill’ practices in our seafood farming operations within Canada. We maintain an exception for the very rare possibility of the endangerment of human health, as per the exception in the MMPA legislation,” Kennedy wrote.
The association says it represents 95 per cent Canadian fish farms and shellfish operations.
“This was quite a major step of the Canadian industry to move forward and make this commitment because the population of seals on the East Coast and sea lions on the West Coast have really increased dramatically,” Kennedy told CBC News.
He said producers are now using steel-hardened nets to keep seals out.
‘A critical market issue’
About 80 per cent of the Atlantic salmon grown in Canada gets exported to the U.S..
“This is a critical market-access issue. So with the time being right and with the industry moving in this direction anyway, the formalization of the commitment, I think, made a lot of sense,” Kennedy said.
DFO says in 2018, 66 seals were reported killed under nuisance-seal licences in Atlantic Canada. In 2019, 95 were reported killed.
But that may be an underestimation of how many are killed by fishermen.
On the East Coast, huge grey seal colonies are often blamed by commercial fishermen for the slow recovery of groundfish stocks.
In a 2016 assessment of the grey seal population, DFO scientists estimated a total of 3,732 grey seals were killed in the region — but that number came with a caveat.
“Nuisance-seal licences are issued to fishermen that report seals causing damage to fishing gear or catches,” said DFO’s assessment. “They are required to report the number of seals they have removed, but most fishermen do not provide this information.”
A nuisance-seal licence is different from a commercial-harvest seal licence and the proposed amendments will have no impacts on the directed seal harvest, DFO said.
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