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Ontario business groups call for vaccine certificate system to avoid lockdown – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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TORONTO – COVID-19 cases appear to be on the rise in Ontario again and business groups are calling for a vaccine certificate system as a means to avoid another lockdown.

Ontario has reported rising positivity rates and more than 300 new COVID-19 cases for the past four days, with more than 400 on Sunday – levels not seen since mid-June.

Premier Doug Ford has rebuffed calls from medical, political and business groups to implement a vaccine certificate system for non-essential activities, saying he doesn’t want a “split society.”

But while saying he “can’t stand lockdowns,” he also has not ruled out having to enact another one.

Ryan Mallough, with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, says his group would support a vaccine certificate system if it’s the difference between that and going back into a lockdown, but the government would need to be very clear on what responsibilities are for employers and employees.

Either way, Ontario businesses need to see the plan of what happens in the face of rising cases, and what the thresholds will be, Mallough said. Previously, rising cases meant lockdowns, but he wonders what it means now that the province has relatively good vaccine coverage.

“Everyone is watching those numbers like a hawk,” he said. “We’ve been conditioned to do that over the last 17 months…but what does the numbers going up mean now?”

Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, said a vaccine certificate system would be a way to avoid another lockdown and accelerate an economic reopening.

He took issue with the premier leaving open the possibility for another lockdown while at the same time nixing a vaccine certificate over concerns about individual rights.

“Our point is simply that you can’t have your cake and eat it too,” Rossi said.

“If you accept through the use of lockdown that society retains the right to limit individual rights, then we should be looking for practical tools that are the lesser of two evils and all of us can agree that the greater danger to individual rights is a society-wide lockdown, which none of us wants to see return.”

A request for comment from the premier’s office about vaccine certificates was met with a reply from a spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott.

“We have been clear that the government will not make vaccines mandatory within Ontario,” Alexandra Hilkene wrote. “Certain settings and/or businesses may require proof of vaccination which is why everyone receives a COVID-19 vaccination receipt after their first and second dose.”

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Toronto Region Board of Trade have also spoken in favour of vaccine certificates as a way to avoid lockdowns. Health groups such as the Ontario Medical Association and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario have called for their use as well.

The province’s science table advisory group said certificates would allow high-risk settings to reopen sooner with greater capacity and help plan for future waves of the virus. However, it also noted there’s no evidence linking the impact of vaccine certificates to vaccine coverage or virus transmission.

Quebec announced Thursday that it would introduce a vaccine certificate system, and the health minister said 11,519 people booked a first dose appointment that day – double the number of previous days.

McMaster University political science professor Peter Graefe said he doesn’t think Ford will reverse his position unless several more provinces implement similar systems.

“I think his issue is that it’s a relatively small number of people who are really skeptical about the vaccines or are really opposed to the idea of a vaccine passport,” he said.

“But that’s still an important part of his base. He’s looking at trying to win 35 per cent of the electorate, there are maybe 10 or 15 per cent (who) feel really strongly about those things, and I don’t think he feels that he can, you know, risk their support.”

Ontario reported 325 new COVID-19 cases on Monday after conducting more than 15,800tests.

There were 113 patients in intensive care with COVID-related critical illness and 70 people on ventilators.

Public Health Ontario says that from the end of June to the end of last month, unvaccinated people were eight times more likely to become infected with COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2021.

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Instagram pausing Instagram Kids, eyes changes – Business News – Castanet.net

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Instagram is putting a hold on the development of Instagram kids, geared towards children under 13, so it can address concerns about access and content.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, wrote in a blog post Monday that a delay will give the company time to “work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today.”

The announcement follows a withering series by the Wall Street Journal, which reported that Facebook was aware that the use of Instagram by some teenage girls led to mental health issues and anxiety.

Yet the development of Instagram for a younger audience was met with broader push back almost immediately.

Facebook announced the development of Instagram for kids in March, saying at the time that it was “exploring a parent-controlled experience.” The push back was almost immediate and in May, a bipartisan group of 44 attorneys general wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to abandon the project, citing the well being of children.

They cited increased cyberbullying, possible vulnerability to online predators, and what they called Facebook’s “checkered record” in protecting children on its platforms. Facebook faced similar criticism in 2017 when it launched the Messenger Kids app, touted as a way for children to chat with family members and friends approved by parents.

While concerns about Instagram for kids is ongoing, Mosseri said that Instagram believes it’s better for children under 13 to have a specific platform for age-appropriate content, and that other companies like TikTok and YouTube have app versions for that age group.

“We firmly believe that it’s better for parents to have the option to give their children access to a version of Instagram that is designed for them — where parents can supervise and control their experience — than relying on an app’s ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID,” he wrote.

Mosseri said that Instagram for kids is meant for those between the ages of 10 and 12, not younger. It will require parental permission to join, be ad free, and will include age-appropriate content and features. Parents will be able to supervise the time their children spend on the app, oversee who can message them, who can follow them and who they can follow.

While work is being paused on Instagram Kids, the company will be expanding opt-in parental supervision tools to teen accounts of those 13 and older. More details on these tools will be disclosed in the coming months, Mosseri said.

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Rescue efforts underway after 39 miners trapped underground in Sudbury – Globalnews.ca

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Rescue efforts are underway after 39 miners became trapped underground at Vale’s Totten mine in Sudbury, Ont., on Sunday afternoon.

On Monday afternoon, a Vale spokesperson confirmed the rescue crew had reached the miners and is starting the ascent. The company expects everyone to reach the surface by Monday night.

Read more:
Sudbury police search for suspect in hit-and-run homicide investigation

“We have learned that no one is injured, which is our number one concern,” Vale spokesperson Jeffrey Lewis said in an email.

“The miners have had and continue to have access to water, food and medicine.”

The company said the conveyance for transporting employees was taken offline following an incident in the shaft on Sunday afternoon.

It confirmed that employees will exit the mine through a secondary egress ladder system with the support of Vale’s mine rescue team.

When the incident took place, the employees underground immediately went to refuge stations as part of what Vale called its “normal procedures.”

Read more:
Updates to B.C.’s tailings code after Mount Polley disaster an improvement: auditor

“We have been in frequent communication with them since the incident,” the company said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of these employees.”

On Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he’s relieved to hear the miners are uninjured.

“Our thoughts are with the 39 miners trapped underground in Sudbury as rescue teams work to get them safely above ground,” Ford tweeted.

Timmins—James Bay MP Charlie Angus also said he’s praying for the safety of the mining workers.

“Let’s get everyone home,” he said.


Click to play video: 'Maintenance workers trapped in Saskatchewan potash mine rescued, are safe'



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Maintenance workers trapped in Saskatchewan potash mine rescued, are safe


Maintenance workers trapped in Saskatchewan potash mine rescued, are safe – Jul 4, 2019

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Poker Pal of Evergrande Founder Heads for the Exit – Bloomberg Markets and Finance

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