Nova Scotia’s premier deflected several questions Wednesday regarding drunk-driving charges he faced in 2005, saying he was sorry for bad decisions he made as a young man when alcohol was a big part of his life.
Iain Rankin confirmed for the first time Monday he had been convicted of impaired driving in 2003 when he was 20 years old, and he also revealed he faced impaired-driving charges in 2005 but was eventually cleared of those allegations.
During a news conference Wednesday, the 38-year-old premier did not answer when reporters repeatedly asked if he had been drinking or was drunk on July 25, 2005, when a breathalyzer test in the Halifax suburb of Bedford led to charges.
Instead, he apologized for his actions and mentioned the 2003 conviction. He briefly referred to the second case, saying the matter had been dismissed in court.
“As someone who was very young, it’s regrettable that I have to relive that experience right now,” he said. “I thought it was important to tell all Nova Scotians at the same time about the (2003) charge I have on my record. I’ve always been forthcoming about that charge. In 2005, I had something that was dismissed in court.”
In the first case, Rankin was convicted on Sept. 5, 2003, of driving with a blood-alcohol content in excess of 0.08. He was fined $1,200 and banned from driving for a year.
In 2005, he was again charged with driving over the legal blood-alcohol limit and he faced a separate impaired-driving charge. He was found guilty on the impaired-driving charge and was sentenced to 14 days in weekend custody and banned from driving for two years.
But the conviction was overturned on appeal, and a new trial was ordered on Jan. 9, 2007. The charge was dismissed on April 19, 2007, when the Crown offered no evidence to support its case. The province’s Public Prosecution Service said in an email it would be improper to say why the case was dropped.
On Wednesday, as speculation mounted about an imminent provincial election call, Rankin was repeatedly pressed to explain whether he was intoxicated before his 2005 arrest.
“I made some bad decisions in my early 20s,” he said.
“I’m 38 right now, and I think that this office needs to have someone that has integrity and honesty, and I’ve done that ΓÇª I regret that alcohol was a big part of my life in my early 20s. I’ve moved on and I’ve lived a more safe lifestyle since (I was) in my 30s. I’m about to become a father in November.”
When asked if he would follow Saskatchewan’s lead and require all Liberal candidates to publicly disclose any previous criminal convictions, Rankin said he would consider it.
In July 2020, the governing Saskatchewan Party revealed that six of its candidates running in the fall election had previous convictions for drunk driving. Four of them were members of the legislature, including Premier Scott Moe. And the province’s New Democrats disclosed that five of their candidates also had impaired-driving convictions, and one was convicted of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
Rankin said he had previously disclosed his run-ins with the law to the Nova Scotia Liberal party. On Monday, he said he decided to publicly disclose those details because his office had received inquiries that morning about both cases. “Obviously, there was a record of my past, and it was known,” he said Wednesday. “It’s just more broadly known now.”
Meanwhile, the province’s Opposition Progressive Conservatives released a statement Wednesday saying Rankin’s apology has left many questions unanswered. “Rankin stated that he has never hidden this part of his past, but it is clear that he has not been forthcoming with the public,” the statement said.
The Tories are asking the premier to confirm reports alleging he failed two breathalyzer tests on July 25, 2005, and they called on him to release documents he disclosed to the Liberal party when he was nominated as a candidate, joined cabinet and ran for the party’s leadership, which he won in February.
“Iain Rankin staged his apology at a COVID-19 briefing to limit the number of questions he would need to answer about his record,” the Tories said.
“There are many questions outstanding that Nova Scotians deserve to be answered, anything short goes to Rankin’s trustworthiness and poor judgment.”
On another front, Rankin said he was willing to work with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to combat impaired driving. “I’ll do whatever I can do to work with MADD to ensure that we prevent those kind of things from happening in this province,” he said.
On Tuesday, the CEO of MADD Canada said Rankin’s apologies for his impaired-driving conviction must be followed up with action. Andrew Murie said Rankin should follow the examples of Saskatchewan’s Moe and former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell, both of whom responded to revelations about drunk-driving charges by taking a leadership role on the file.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 7, 2021.
International passengers at Pearson airport may have to line up by vaccination status – The Globe and Mail
International travellers arriving at Canada’s largest airport may now be funnelled into different customs lines based on their vaccination status.
Toronto’s Pearson International Airport says it may be splitting passengers coming from the U.S. or other international destinations into vaccinated and partially or non-vaccinated queues.
A spokeswoman for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority says it’s a measure to help streamline the border clearance process since there are different requirements for both sets of travellers.
The Vancouver International Airport has instituted a similar policy.
Fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents are now able to skip a 14-day quarantine.
Ontario reported 170 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and three more deaths.
In Toronto, there were 44 new cases, with another 26 in Peel Region, 17 in Hamilton, 15 in the Region of Waterloo and 13 in Grey Bruce.
The numbers were based on 19,131 tests.
There were 132 patients in intensive care with critical COVID-related illness and 86 on ventilators.
More than 124,000 doses of vaccines were administered in the previous day, for a total of more than 18.8 million.
Of the 170 new cases, 122 of them are in people under age 40, while just one of the new cases is in someone 80 or older.
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Toronto Pearson Airport begins separating arrivals based on vaccination status – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
International passengers arriving at Toronto Pearson Airport will now be separated by vaccination status before heading through customs, the airport confirmed Saturday.
“Passengers entering Canada from the U.S. or another international destination may be split into vaccinated and non/partially-vaccinated queues prior to reaching Canada Customs,” Beverly MacDonald, Senior Advisor of Communications at Toronto Pearson told CTV News Toronto Saturday,
The airport said the decision was made to help streamline border clearance, as there are different entry requirements for vaccinated and non- or partially-vaccinated travellers.
Currently, fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada may qualify for certain exemptions to quarantine and testing requirements, while non- or partially-vaccinated travellers will not qualify for exemptions to quarantine and testing requirements.
Come Aug. 9, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens will be exempt from quarantine and testing requirements, much like their Canadian counterparts.
“We know that the arrivals experience is different for passengers than it was in pre-pandemic times, and we appreciate passengers’ patience,” MacDonald said.
Pearson isn’t the first Canadian airport to implement this strategy. Vancouver International Airport has also begun separating arrivals by vaccination status, installing signs directing vaccinated and non- or partially- vaccinated travellers into separate customs lines.
Recently, Ontario Premier Doug Ford shut down the idea of “vaccine passports” — proof of vaccination intended to help streamline international travel.
“The answer is no, we’re not gonna do it. We’re not gonna have a split society,” Ford told reporters last week.
However, the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table issued a 21-page briefing on the potential of a provincial vaccine certification program Wednesday, claiming that one “could be useful in reopening higher-risk settings … sooner.”
Ottawa's new COVID-19 cases back in double digits – CTV Edmonton
The number of active COVID-19 cases in Ottawa is back above 40 for the first time in two weeks, as the city’s vaccine administration pace slows down.
Ottawa Public Health reported seven new cases of the virus in Ottawa on Friday. There were no new resolved cases for the second straight day, so the number of active cases has climbed to 41.
It’s the most since July 9, when there were 43 active cases in the city.
There are still no COVID-19 patients in hospital in the city, which has been the case for nine days now.
Earlier provincial officials had reported 10 new cases in Ottawa on Friday. Their numbers sometimes differ from Ottawa Public Health’s data due to different reporting times.
Provincewide, officials reported 192 new cases as the seven-day average crept up slightly.
The city administered an average of about 5,500 second shots on Wednesday and Thursday, down from more than 13,000 second doses per day last week.
Eighty-three per cent of eligible residents have received at least one shot. Sixty-nine per cent are now fully vaccinated.
Earlier this week, the city closed several vaccination clinics due to decreasing demand.
OTTAWA’S KEY COVID-19 STATISTICS
Ottawa is now in Step 3 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen plan.
Ottawa Public Health data:
- COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (July 15 to July 21): 3.9 (up from 2.7)
- Positivity rate in Ottawa (July 16 to July 22): 0.5 per cent (up from 0.2 per cent July 14-20)
- Reproduction number (seven day average): 1.28 (up from 1.18)
Reproduction values greater than 1 indicate the virus is spreading and each case infects more than one contact. If it is less than 1, it means spread is slowing.
ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA
There are 41 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Friday, up from 24 on Wednesday. It’s the most active cases in the city in nearly two weeks.
For the second straight day, no more people have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. The total number of resolved cases of coronavirus in Ottawa is 27,134.
The number of active cases is the number of total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus the numbers of resolved cases and deaths. A case is considered resolved 14 days after known symptom onset or positive test result.
HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA
Ottawa Public Health is reporting zero people in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 related illnesses for a ninth straight day.
There are no patients in the intensive care unit.
These data are based on figures from Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, which refer to residents of Ottawa and do not include patient transfers from other regions.
COVID-19 VACCINES IN OTTAWA
Ottawa Public Health updates vaccine numbers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. As of Friday:
- Ottawa residents with 1 dose (12+): 765,350 (+2,089)
- Ottawa residents with 2 doses (12+): 624,143 (+10,919)
- Share of population 12 and older with at least one dose: 83 per cent
- Share of population 12 and older fully vaccinated: 69 per cent
- Total doses received in Ottawa: 1,237,860 (+8,008)
*Total doses received does not include doses shipped to pharmacies and primary care clinics, but statistics on Ottawa residents with one or two doses includes anyone with an Ottawa postal code who was vaccinated anywhere in Ontario.
VARIANTS OF CONCERN
Ottawa Public Health data*:
- Total Alpha (B.1.1.7) cases: 6,830 (+7)
- Total Beta (B.1.351) cases: 405
- Total Gamma (P.1) cases: 35 (+1)
- Total Delta (B.1.617.2) cases: 43 (+5)
- Percent of new cases with variant/mutation in last 30 days: 45 per cent
- Total variants of concern/mutation cases: 9,117 (+8)
- Deaths linked to variants/mutations: 101
*OPH notes that that VOC and mutation trends must be treated with caution due to the varying time required to complete VOC testing and/or genomic analysis following the initial positive test for SARS-CoV-2. Test results may be completed in batches and data corrections or updates can result in changes to case counts that may differ from past reports.
COVID-19 CASES IN OTTAWA BY AGE CATEGORY
- 0-9 years old: Zero new cases (2,299 total cases)
- 10-19 years-old: One new case (3,572 total cases)
- 20-29 years-old: One new case (6,234 total cases)
- 30-39 years-old: Three new cases (4,246 total cases)
- 40-49 years-old: Zero new cases (3,649 total cases)
- 50-59 years-old: One new case (3,332 total cases)
- 60-69-years-old: One new case (1,962 total cases)
- 70-79 years-old: Zero new cases (1,095 total cases)
- 80-89 years-old: Zero new cases (856 total cases)
- 90+ years old: Zero new cases (520 total cases)
- Unknown: Zero new cases (3 cases total)
CASES OF COVID-19 AROUND THE REGION
- Eastern Ontario Health Unit: Zero new cases
- Hastings Prince Edward Public Health: Two new cases
- Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health: Zero new cases
- Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: Zero new cases
- Renfrew County and District Health Unit: Three new cases
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