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Ontario changes COVID-19 vaccination plans after slowing rollout – The Globe and Mail

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Amy Oh, a registered nurse, administers a Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN pilot site in downtown Toronto on Dec. 15, 2020.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Ontario has changed its COVID-19 vaccination plan to give a first dose to as many people as possible and no longer hold second doses in reserve as the province has lagged behind Canada’s already-slow immunization pace.

The province announced the change Monday, 14 days after the launch of Canada’s vaccination campaign. Ontario has administered 13,200 of its allotted 96,000 doses and faced criticism for shutting down clinics over the holidays.

“We are not holding or reserving doses, and are vaccinating as many people as possible, counting on confirmed shipments of the vaccine that will arrive over the coming weeks for second doses,” said Ontario Ministry of Health spokeswoman Alexandra Hilkene in an e-mail statement.

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The change came amid conflicting practices between the provinces and evolving guidelines from the vaccine’s manufacturer.

Quebec’s Health Ministry said in a statement Monday it is still following the guidelines of vaccine manufacturer Pfizer-BioNTech by holding back half of the doses it has received for second doses. Those are expected to start at the end of the week, following the manufacturer guidelines that the second vaccination be administered 21 days after the first. Quebec has so far administered 19,643 of its 56,000 shots.

Other provinces including Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and British Columbia are not holding back doses and giving a first shot to as many people as possible. Others are still making plans.

Pfizer recommended holding back second doses for the first shipment of the vaccine, Christina Antoniou, director of corporate affairs for Pfizer Canada, said Monday.

“As we move into the first quarter of 2021 and are bringing in larger volumes of vaccine doses, there is greater predictability of expected volumes so we are a little more flexible on this guideline,” Ms. Antoniou said. “However, we still consider it to be a safe approach for the points of use to continue storing a portion of the doses received, to ensure no delay in the second dose deployment.”

Last week, researchers from the University of Toronto published modelling that showed giving a first dose to as many people as possible would give more people partial immunity and decrease serious illness and death, compared with holding back second doses.

Canada has vaccinated slightly fewer than 4,000 people a day since the first of 249,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine began arriving in the country Dec. 13. The provinces combined have administered about 55,540 vaccines. Moderna Inc. is expected to ship 168,000 doses of its vaccine by the end of December. No other shipments have been publicly confirmed.

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A representative of Health Canada did not answer a request for information on new vaccine shipments Monday, saying in an e-mail that the offices were closed.

Canada is lagging behind the United States, Britain and Israel in vaccination rates but is ahead of Denmark and Germany. Much of the rest of the world has yet to start.

Maxwell Smith, bioethicist and assistant professor at Western University and member of the province’s vaccine distribution task force, said that when Ontario received its first shipment of vaccines in December, it was unclear whether there would be enough supply of the vaccine to rely on steady shipments when the province launched its vaccination program on Dec. 14. When the province received 90,000 vaccines last week, it reassured officials that the province will reach its goal of receiving 2.4 million doses by March, he added.

The first dose of the Pfizer vaccine gives 50 per cent of people immunity while the second dose provides 95-per-cent immunity, vaccine trials showed.

“On the one hand, it might be the case that if you used all available doses as soon as you get them, then it’s true that you could vaccinate more people,” Dr. Smith said. “But if we don’t have a guarantee that we’ll get a second dose in time for those who already got a first dose, we don’t have the evidence to suggest that the second dose would be effective at such a high interval.”

While Quebec and other provinces continued to vaccinate through the Christmas holidays most vaccine clinics in Ontario were closed, prompting criticism from public health experts that vaccinations should not be interrupted at a time when infections are at record highs.

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The COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Toronto’s University Health Network was closed during the holidays, but the clinic is on pace to finish administering all vaccines reserved for first doses by the end of this week, according to Susy Hota, medical director for infection prevention and control at the UHN.

“We’re at a bad point in this pandemic, so the greater impact would be to get broader coverage and try to vaccinate as many people as possible with the first dose, recognizing that worst-case scenario is that people can’t get the second dose,” Dr. Hota said.

Immunization experts say it is important to refine immunization regimes but supply is the most urgent problem.

“The biggest issue is and has always been, when will they get the number of vaccines that will allow them to ramp up administration?” said David Levine, the former director of the Montreal health region who was in charge of vaccinating the city’s population during the H1N1 outbreak 11 years ago. “The key moment will be when millions of doses start arriving, not thousands. We vaccinated a million people in nine weeks in Montreal in 2009. The key factor was that the vaccine was there.”

Caroline Quach, an infectious-diseases specialist and microbiologist at the University of Montreal, said Quebec’s choice to vaccinate residents and staff at nursing homes has slowed rollout of the limited vaccines available. Vaccinating health care staff in the next phase will go more quickly but still will not move as fast as mass clinics that will come with larger vaccine shipments.

“A big problem is nobody knows when the next shipment will come,” she said. “It’s supposed to be in the first quarter of 2021, so let’s hope it’s in January and not March.”

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The 5 Big Banks in Canada

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Banks in Canada

The Big Five Banks is a term used in Canada to describe the five largest banks: Royal Bank, The Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, The Bank of Nova Scotia, and TD Canada Trust.

Occasionally, the term “Big Six Banks” is used, with the sixth bank referring to the National Bank of Canada. As of March 2008, the Big Six Banks and Laurentian Bank of Canada are the largest banks in Canada. The Five Big Banks hold over $100 billion in assets, and they are all based in Toronto. World Atlas provides the following data on each of the Big Five Banks.

1. Royal Bank of Canada

The Royal Bank of Canada is the largest of the Big Five with respect to net revenue (C$12.431 billion in 2018) and capitalization (C$150.35 billion as of early 2020). The Royal Bank of Canada has over 16 million clients worldwide, over 74,000 full-time employees and over 1,300 branches. Founded in 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the bank financed the lumber and timber industries. It was known as the Merchants Bank of Halifax. The Royal Bank of Canada gives 1% of its income to charity.

2. Toronto-Dominion Bank

The second-largest bank in Canada, the Toronto-Dominion Bank has the most assets, which are valued at C$1.4 trillion as of July 2019. This bank has over 22 million clients worldwide, 85,000 full-time employees and over 1,100 branches. The bank was the result of a merger of the Bank of Toronto and the Dominion Bank in 1955.

3. Bank of Nova Scotia

The Bank of Nova Scotia, or Scotiabank, is the next largest bank in Canada with assets valued at C$998 billion as of late 2019, the revenue of C$28.8 billion in 2018 and capitalization of C$87.55 billion. The bank has over 23 million customers worldwide, 89,000 full-time employees and over 1,000 branches in Canada. This bank offers to trade on both the New York and Toronto Stock Exchanges.

Also founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia—this one in 1832—the bank moved its headquarters to Toronto in 1900 to improve the transAtlantic trade industry.

4. Bank of Montreal

The Bank of Montreal is the fourth largest Canadian bank with C$852.2 billion worth of assets in late 2019, the revenue of C$22.8 billion and capitalization of C$64.81 billion as of early 2020. The bank has over 7 million clients in Canada and 939 branches. The bank has over 47,000 employees. It was founded in 1817 and is the oldest bank in Canada. Throughout crises such as World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, the Bank has consistently met dividend payments.

5. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has C$597 billion in assets, the revenue of C$17.834 billion for 2018, and capitalization of C$48.01 billion. The bank has over 11 million clients worldwide, 1,100 branches in Canada and over 44,000 full-time employees worldwide. The bank was formed in 1961 when the Canadian Bank of Commerce and the Imperial Bank of Canada merged.

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U.S. lawmakers press GM CEO on California emissions

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General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra faced questions from U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday on a workers’ vote at a company plant in Mexico and the company’s support for emissions reductions.

Barra met with House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other senior Democrats on Capitol Hill, and touted the company’s decision announced earlier in the day to boost spending on electric and autonomous vehicles to $35 billion through 2025.

“We’re committed to an all-EV future,” Barra said in brief comments to Reuters after the meeting. “We had a lot of conversations about a lot of things that we can do to enable EV adoption.”

Until November, GM backed the Trump administration’s effort to block California from setting tougher emissions standards than the federal government.

Pelosi had expressed disappointment with GM’s support for Republican President Donald Trump’s position on the emissions rules, a source briefed on the matter said, and she urged GM to work with California and the Biden administration to reach the strongest possible vehicle emissions standards.

The administration of Democratic President Joe Biden is set to unveil revised vehicle emissions rules in July.

GM said last week it backs emissions reductions outlined in a 2019 deal struck between California and other major automakers, but wants the federal government to endorse changes to speed the adoption of electric vehicles.

Barra also faced questions about a delayed worker vote at a GM plant in Silao, Mexico.

Mexico’s Labor Ministry scrapped an initial union-led vote in April, citing “serious irregularities,” and later ordered the GM union to hold a new ballot within 30 days of its May 11 statement. No vote has been scheduled

The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office in May asked Mexico to review potential labor abuses at the Silao plant under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Last month, U.S. Representatives Dan Kildee, Bill Pascrell and Earl Blumenauer, all Democrats, pressed GM to answer questions about potential abuses in Mexico.

“We want to see some real demonstration of embracing the labor standards in Mexico — more than compliance,” Kildee told Reuters after the meeting. “The situation in Silao — I raised that with Mary — that’s a problem.”

The Democrats urged GM to commit to providing workers with physical copies of the contract, publicly posting contracts and to meet other requirements.

Kildee offered additional steps GM could take to support workers and meet USMCA requirements, and the three lawmakers followed up with a written list of suggested actions, congressional aides said.

The suggestions “would be tangible demonstrations of GM’s commitment to lead on compliance with the new labor standards,” Kildee told Reuters.

Earlier Wednesday, some House lawmakers on a trade panel, including Kildee, had a virtual meeting with Mexico’s ambassador to the United States in which the GM labor issued was raised.

 

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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Presenting Your Professional Experience: Numbers Are Your Friends

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Numbers rule the business world—revenue, headcount, process time, value increase, number of clients, inventory count, profit margin, credit rating, customer satisfaction score. Numbers indicate and measure success or failure, whether a business activity is positive or negative to the bottom line. You’d be hard-pressed to find a business decision made without some factoring in of “the numbers,” be it stats, cost, the potential return on investment.

 

Hiring is a business decision.

 

To make a strong case for yourself (Envision your selling features.) throughout your resume use numbers, the language of business, to quantify your results and establish yourself as someone who can bring value to an employer. Using numbers shows you understand how companies operate and that they exist to make a profit. Most importantly, using results-achieved numbers displays your value.

 

Which job seeker displays better value?

 

Candidate 1: Duties included taking field measurements and maintaining records, setting up and tracking project using Microsoft Project.

 

Candidate 2: Spearheaded the Hazzard County water decontamination project, finishing $125,000 under budget due to a 25% decrease in staff allocation time.

 

Which job seeker gives a clearer picture of their responsibilities?

 

Candidate 1: Supervised team leaders.

 

Candidate 2: Supervised 3 team leaders, collectively responsible for 40 CSRs answering 1,750 – 2,500 calls daily.

 

Which job seeker shows their work ethic?

 

Candidate 1: Completed first editing pass on articles.

 

Candidate 2: Reviewed and evaluated 50 – 75 articles per week, deciding whether to reject the article, forward it to the editorial team, or send it back to the author with revision suggestions.

 

Information quantified means something. Information not quantified is just an opinion. Most resumes are just a list of opinions, thus quantifying your professional experience will set you apart from your competition.

 

TIP: Always use bullets, not paragraphs, to describe your professional experiences.

 

For each position you list on your resume, ask yourself:

 

  • Did I increase my employer’s revenue? How?
  • Did I save my employer money?
  • Did I save time?
  • Was my boss(es), colleagues, staff, customers, vendors, and leadership team members happier because of me?
  • How did I contribute to improving my employer’s business?

 

When answering these questions, quantify (percentage, range, monetary, frequency, before/after comparison, ratio). Creating a resume that WOWs requires filling it with quantified results-rich statements.

 

  • Reduced customer complaints by 47% by implementing a formal feedback system.
  • Improved product delivery time 22% after assigning clarified monthly job tasks to team members.
  • In 2020, grew revenue 33%, and improved gross margin by 22%, by standardizing business operating procedures.
  • Produced $1.75M in cost-savings after renegotiating the company’s supply and service contracts (14 vendors).
  • Built sales organization from the ground up, hiring and training 15 sales representatives within 6 months.
  • In 2019, generated over $7.25M in additional revenue by identifying, pursuing, and securing 4 new international contracts.

 

As I mentioned a few columns back, your resume must clearly and succinctly answer one question: How did you add or bring value to your employers? When it comes to answering this question, numbers are your friends.

 

Something to keep in mind: The king of numbers, the only metric in business that matters, the one that keeps a business alive and profitable, is revenue. As much as possible, throughout your resume and cover letter, demonstrate the results you’ve achieved that were added value to your employer’s financial success.

 

Don’t write on your resume what’s become a cliche, “result-oriented.” Don’t write it on your LinkedIn profile. Don’t say it during an interview. Show your results! “In 2017, I increased sales by 29% by creating upsell opportunities for my 8-member sales team to offer.”

 

Additional tips when bulleting your professional experience:

 

  • Employment dates need to be month/year. Only indicating years is a red flag you’re trying to cover up employment gaps.
  • Under 2 Lines. Your bullets shouldn’t be more than 2 lines.
  • The first 5 – 8 words are critical. When skimming a resume, the reader will likely read the first few words of a bullet then, unless their interest is piqued, move on to the next bullet. The first few words need to be captivating.

 

Next week I’ll cover presenting your education, skills, and certifications. These need to demonstrate your career path, not that you simply attended classes.

______________________________________________________________

 

Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send him your questions at artoffindingwork@gmail.com.

 

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