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Summer driving season about to kick off and it could be 'off the charts' busy – CBC.ca

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Highways could be flooded with vehicles this summer as people hit the road to escape their homes and look for a change of scenery during the pandemic, experts say, regardless of prices at the pump.

Gasoline consumption is still below pre-COVID levels as many people continue to work from home, but the summer driving season is expected to be busier than normal this year.

“My family, that’s something we’ve been discussing. Where can we go, where we can do anything that is COVID-compliant but gets us out of our normal routine? I think a lot of people are having that same kind of conversation,” said Rory Johnston, managing director at Toronto-based investment firm Price Street Inc.

“I think there is a reasonable thesis for a kind of gangbusters summer.”

Typically, prices at the pump can dictate how far people are willing to travel, but Johnston doesn’t think it will be a factor this summer as most people have been able to save money because of reduced travel over the last year combined with the appeal of escaping from the city.

Gasoline prices are already above pre-COVID levels and averaged just under $1.28 per litre across the country on Tuesday, according to Natural Resources Canada.

‘Where can I go?’

“My main concern right now is not fuel prices, it’s where can I go and I think I’m not alone in that,” he said. 

Considering more people are receiving the vaccine everyday, coupled with government stimulus spending, and restrictions on international travel, “you could have a very rip roaring summer” on the roads and highways, he said.

A digital sign on Highway 417 approaching downtown Ottawa tells motorists to stay home as much as possible in mid-January 2021. (Michel Aspirot/CBC)

The oil industry has similar expectations as refineries are ramping up production in anticipation of fuel demand rising this summer.

“This driving season I suspect is going to be off the charts and in terms of people wanting to get back to their life,” said Cenovus Energy chief executive Alex Pourbaix to investors on Tuesday. 

The Canadian oil producer operates refineries in Canada and the U.S., in addition to the Husky gas station chain.

There is caution though, especially in Canada as vaccination rates remain low compared to the United States, many government restrictions remain in place, and the country could be entering the third wave of the pandemic.

For instance, Manitoba continues to have a public health order requiring 14 days of self-isolation for anyone arriving or returning to the province.

“What our variants going to look like? Are we going to see a full open [of the economy] in summer, fall or winter?” said Andrew Botterill, an oil and gas analyst with Deloitte.

Still, there is more optimism compared to last year since there are vaccines available, he said.

“If we’re going to do any holidays this summer, it may very well be in our vehicle and that might be the best we can do,” he said.

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Voluntary recall issued for Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Ranch Seasoning – Global News

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A voluntary recall has been issued for Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Ranch Seasoning over a possible Salmonella contamination.

McCormick & Company, Inc. says the recall covers 153g bottles with a best before date of September 6, 2022.

Read more:
18 more hand sanitizers added to Health Canada’s growing recall list

The bottles were shipped to British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

No illnesses have been reported, and McCormick says the potential risk was brought to their attention by the FDA during routine testing.

Read more:
Health Canada recalls children’s jewellery over lead, cadmium levels

Salmonella poisoning can result in a wide range of symptoms, from short-term fever, headache and nausea to more serious issues including severe arthritis and, in rare cases, even death.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Pfizer sells $7.8 billion in Covid shots in the second quarter, raises 2021 guidance on vaccine sales – CNBC

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A person walks past the Pfizer building in New York City, March 2, 2021.
Carlo Allegri | Reuters

Pfizer said Wednesday it sold $7.8 billion in Covid-19 shots in the second quarter and raised its 2021 sales forecast for the vaccine to $33.5 billion from $26 billion, as the delta variant spreads and scientists debate whether people will need booster shots.

The company’s second-quarter financial results also beat Wall Street expectations on earnings and revenue. Here’s how Pfizer did compared with what Wall Street expected, according to average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: $1.07 per share vs. 97 cents per share expected
  • Revenue: $18.98 billion vs. $18.74 billion forecast

Pfizer expects an adjusted pretax profit in the high 20% range of revenue for the vaccine.

The company now expects full-year earnings in the range of $3.95 to $4.05 per share. That’s up from its prior range of $3.55 to $3.65 per share. It expects revenue in the range of $78 billion to $80 billion, up from its previous estimate of $70.5 billion to $72.5 billion.

Shares of Pfizer dipped 0.4% in premarket trading.

“The second quarter was remarkable in a number of ways,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement. “Most visibly, the speed and efficiency of our efforts with BioNTech to help vaccinate the world against COVID-19 have been unprecedented, with now more than a billion doses of BNT162b2 having been delivered globally.”

Pfizer’s other business units also saw strong sales growth. Revenue from its oncology unit rose by 19% year over year to $3.1 billion. The company’s hospital unit generated $2.2 billion in revenue, up 21% from the prior year. Its internal medicine unit grew by 5% from a year ago to $2.4 billion.

Pfizer said earlier this month it was seeing signs of waning immunity induced by its Covid vaccine with German drugmaker BioNTech, and planned to ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a booster dose. It also said it is developing a booster shot to target the delta variant.

In slides posted Wednesday alongside its earnings report, Pfizer said it could potentially file for an emergency use authorization for a booster dose with the FDA as early as August. It expects to begin clinical studies testing its delta variant vaccine in the same month.

It expects full approval for its two-dose vaccine by January 2022.

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Pearson airport won’t sort arriving passengers based on COVID-19 vaccination status – CityNews Toronto

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Canada’s largest airport is no longer splitting arriving international passengers into different customs lines based on their vaccination status.

Toronto’s Pearson International Airport announced last week it may be sorting travellers arriving from the U.S. or other international locations into vaccinated and partially or non-vaccinated queues.

But a spokesperson for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority says the practice has been discontinued as of Monday.

Beverly MacDonald says in a statement that the airport has determined separating vaccinated and partially or non-vaccinated travellers into different customs lines “results in minimal operational efficiencies.”

She says entry requirements related to vaccination status will now be enforced once a passenger reaches a customs officer.

Fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents are now able to forgo a 14-day quarantine when arriving in Canada from abroad.

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