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PM says feds being cautious with estimates, but vaccine timeline could accelerate – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that “it’s possible” that Canada will be able to accelerate its timeline for vaccinating all Canadians who want to be against COVID-19.

The federal government has given the target that sometime between September and December of 2021, all Canadians who want to be vaccinated will be, with one of the seven vaccines Canada has signed deals to secure.

Now, the prime minister has said that’s a conservative estimate. Asked if the timeline could speed up as was this month—seeing first vaccines in arms in December rather than January—Trudeau said it could happen, but warned that there’s also potential for delays.

“Certainly it’s possible. I mean, that’s one of the reasons why we set out to set up the best range of vaccines we possibly could, and secure way more doses than Canada would technically need because we knew that some vaccines would be faster, some vaccines might be more effective or less effective than others,” Trudeau said in a year-end interview with CTV News’ Evan Solomon, airing in full on CTV’s Question Period this Sunday at 11 a.m. EST.

“Things could happen quicker, things could also happen slower if there are less efficient vaccines, or production challenges in the companies that are delivering them,” he said.

Canada has signed contracts guaranteeing access to 214 million doses of potential COVID-19 vaccines with the option to purchase 200 million more, meaning if all trials pan out, we’d have access to 414 million doses.

The nation-wide immunization plan as it stands, focuses on vaccinating priority groups like seniors and health-care workers between December and March 2021. This would result in having three million Canadians—or eight per cent of the population—immunized.

Vaccinations on the general public would begin in April. Between then and June, 15 and 19 million Canadians will be immunized, which equates to between 40 and 50 per cent of the population. Lastly, likely the lowest-risk demographics as well as anyone else who opted to wait, would be able to receive their shots, meaning that between September and December all 38 million Canadians will be able to be vaccinated, if they wish to be. The government has stated that it won’t be mandatory to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Already this month, up to 249,000 Pfizer-BioNTech doses are being delivered, and potentially up to 168,000 Moderna doses could arrive if that vaccine candidate is deemed safe by Health Canada.

Trudeau said his government is being cautious in its estimates, but noted that six months ago not many people thought a vaccine would be discovered, produced, and approved as quickly as COVID-19 vaccine candidates have been.

“What scientists and researchers have been able to do to give us not just hope, but the knowledge that this pandemic will be over, that yes we’ve still got a tough winter to go through, but the end is in sight and we just have to hold on and we’ll get through it, is a huge thing,” said the prime minister.

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Man furious with Air Canada after airline loses his cat during layover in Toronto – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
A Winnipeg man is furious with Air Canada after the airline lost his three-year-old cat during a layover in Toronto.

Riley McCann has been living in Montreal for the past five years but earlier this month decided to move back to his hometown of Winnipeg to be with his mother who is dealing with health issues. 

He originally booked a direct flight from Montreal to Winnipeg but ended up having his route switched by Air Canada, which included a layover in Toronto.

McCann travelled with one of his cats, Vida, in the cabin of the plane and paid $105 to have his other cat, Dewy, placed in the cargo area of the aircraft. 

Everything seemed to be going well until about one hour into his layover in Toronto when he got a call from an Air Canada employee saying they needed to “relay some information.”

“They told me that my cat Dewy had escaped his carrier and is now missing in their baggage room,” McCann told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday. “She told me that the employee that walked the crate off the plane set it down for a moment and when they turned around it was open and he was gone.”

“They had no idea where he is.”

Air Canada

McCann said he asked the employee if he could come search the baggage room himself but was told that wasn’t allowed due to security reasons. 

“I begged and begged to be able to do that, so that I could call out for him but I was told that was not going to happen.”

McCann said Air Canada offered to put him on a later flight to Winnipeg while staff searched for Dewy but he declined because he didn’t feel it was fair for his other cat to remain in its cage for an extended period of time.

He flew back to Winnipeg without Dewy. 

When he arrived, McCann tried to call Air Canada but he said no one from Toronto got back to him for more than 48 hours. 

He said he finally received a call on Jan. 18 from an Air Canada employee saying that they were searching for Dewy and hoping for the best. Over the next few days he received a few more notifications from the airline saying that they could not locate Dewy.

He said at one point last week, Air Canada even offered to fly him back to Toronto so he could search through the baggage room at night when it was quiet. 

“Initially, I was told this was impossible,” McCann said. “Now, suddenly they’re willing to fly me there. Normally, I would have got on a plane immediately but we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. I’m in self-isolation so to offer this seemed really reckless.”

Air Canada

Air Canada has since offered to refund his flight and provide him with a $500 flight credit. While he accepted the offer, he also vowed to launch legal action.

McCann said he hasn’t been doing well since he lost Dewy and is struggling to cope with the loss.

“For the first week, I was so upset and so stressed that I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating. It’s been very tough,” he said.

“I’m just sitting here stressed and sad but also scared for my animal’s wellbeing.”

CTV News Toronto contacted Air Canada for comment, who said they have been in frequent communication with McCann. 

“We have been in frequent communication with the customer over this unfortunate situation and we continue to search for Dewy, including retaining outside specialists to assist,” the airline said. “Air Canada safely transports thousands of pets each year and occurrences such as this are extremely rare.”

The Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday it is aware of Dewy’s disappearance

“Airlines and their baggage handlers are responsible for all checked bags and cargo on their flights, which includes pets in transport,” the GTAA said in a statement. “We are supporting the airline in their efforts to find Dewy and reunite him with his owner as quickly as possible.”

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Man furious with Air Canada after airline loses his cat during layover in Toronto – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
A Winnipeg man is furious with Air Canada after the airline lost his three-year-old cat during a layover in Toronto.

Riley McCann has been living in Montreal for the past five years but earlier this month decided to move back to his hometown of Winnipeg to be with his mother who is dealing with health issues. 

He originally booked a direct flight from Montreal to Winnipeg but ended up having his route switched by Air Canada, which included a layover in Toronto.

McCann travelled with one of his cats, Vida, in the cabin of the plane and paid $105 to have his other cat, Dewy, placed in the cargo area of the aircraft. 

Everything seemed to be going well until about one hour into his layover in Toronto when he got a call from an Air Canada employee saying they needed to “relay some information.”

“They told me that my cat Dewy had escaped his carrier and is now missing in their baggage room,” McCann told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday. “She told me that the employee that walked the crate off the plane set it down for a moment and when they turned around it was open and he was gone.”

“They had no idea where he is.”

Air Canada

McCann said he asked the employee if he could come search the baggage room himself but was told that wasn’t allowed due to security reasons. 

“I begged and begged to be able to do that, so that I could call out for him but I was told that was not going to happen.”

McCann said Air Canada offered to put him on a later flight to Winnipeg while staff searched for Dewy but he declined because he didn’t feel it was fair for his other cat to remain in its cage for an extended period of time.

He flew back to Winnipeg without Dewy. 

When he arrived, McCann tried to call Air Canada but he said no one from Toronto got back to him for more than 48 hours. 

He said he finally received a call on Jan. 18 from an Air Canada employee saying that they were searching for Dewy and hoping for the best. Over the next few days he received a few more notifications from the airline saying that they could not locate Dewy.

He said at one point last week, Air Canada even offered to fly him back to Toronto so he could search through the baggage room at night when it was quiet. 

“Initially, I was told this was impossible,” McCann said. “Now, suddenly they’re willing to fly me there. Normally, I would have got on a plane immediately but we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. I’m in self-isolation so to offer this seemed really reckless.”

Air Canada

Air Canada has since offered to refund his flight and provide him with a $500 flight credit. While he accepted the offer, he also vowed to launch legal action.

McCann said he hasn’t been doing well since he lost Dewy and is struggling to cope with the loss.

“For the first week, I was so upset and so stressed that I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating. It’s been very tough,” he said.

“I’m just sitting here stressed and sad but also scared for my animal’s wellbeing.”

CTV News Toronto contacted Air Canada for comment, who said they have been in frequent communication with McCann. 

“We have been in frequent communication with the customer over this unfortunate situation and we continue to search for Dewy, including retaining outside specialists to assist,” the airline said. “Air Canada safely transports thousands of pets each year and occurrences such as this are extremely rare.”

The Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday it is aware of Dewy’s disappearance

“Airlines and their baggage handlers are responsible for all checked bags and cargo on their flights, which includes pets in transport,” the GTAA said in a statement. “We are supporting the airline in their efforts to find Dewy and reunite him with his owner as quickly as possible.”

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Amazon stops alcohol sales in Northern Ireland due to Brexit rules: ITV

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LONDON (Reuters) – Amazon has halted sales of wines, beers and spirits in Northern Ireland and is preparing to de-list more products due to new Brexit customs rules, broadcaster ITV reported on Tuesday.

The online retailer is concerned that excise duty will now have to be paid twice on shipments of alcohol which are sent from the British mainland across the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland, ITV reported.

Britain left the European Union’s single market and customs union on Dec. 31, introducing paperwork and customs declarations for those businesses that import and export goods with the bloc.

In order to keep the border open between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland, a separate agreement was struck that requires a regulatory border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

The British government said the overwhelming majority of parcels continued to move smoothly, and there was no reason for businesses not to send goods to Northern Ireland.

“These goods will not be taxed twice, and we will issue new guidance clarifying the position to ensure any remaining issues are addressed,” a government spokesman said.

 

(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill and Paul Sandle; editing by Costas Pitas and Sarah Young)

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