The organization representing Canada’s tourism industry is applauding the U.S. government’s decision to allow Canadian travellers with mixed vaccine doses once the border opens in November.
On Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that travellers with “any combination” of two doses of vaccines approved by the World Health Organization or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “are considered fully vaccinated.”
Beth Potter, who is president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, says the announcement is “really good news.”
“What it does is it provides a little bit more clarity, and this is something that we’ve talked about a lot. We know now that if you’ve got that mixed dose, as of November you’re going to be able to enter into the United States,” she told CTV News Channel on Saturday.
Infectious disease expert Isaac Bogoch of the University Health Network in Toronto says allowing mixed dosed travellers is “a smart and data driven approach.”
“This will be a huge relief to many Canadians who did the right thing and got vaccinated and even took those mixed and matched vaccine approaches. It’s safe, it’s effective, and now there’s a recognition of this,” Bogoch said in an interview with CTV News Channel on Saturday.
“I’m really happy to hear this. It’s about time.”
This announcement came after the White House confirmed that the U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico would be open to fully vaccinated tourists by Nov. 8.
On the American side, the U.S. Travel Association also applauded the Biden Administration’s plans to reopen the border.
“Reopening to international visitors will provide a jolt to the economy and accelerate the return of travel-related jobs that were lost due to travel restrictions,” said association president and CEO Roger Dow in a statement on Friday.
“We applaud the administration for recognizing the value of international travel to our economy and our country, and for working to safely reopen our borders and reconnect America to the world.”
But while the U.S. won’t require Canadians to show proof of vaccination to cross, returning to Canada requires a negative PCR test conducted at most 72 hours before crossing the border.
PCR tests can cost upwards of $200. The Canadian government does not accept rapid antigen tests, which can be had for only $40.
Brian Higgins, a New York congressman whose district includes the border cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, wants to see Canada drop the COVID-19 PCR test requirement.
“I think that the U.S. decision to allow Canadians coming into the United States without a test again underscores the potency of the vaccine,” Higgins told The Canadian Press on Friday. “I would like to see that reciprocated by our Canadian neighbours.”
However, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said that Canada will continue to require PCR tests so long as the Public Health Agency of Canada advocates for it.
“We’ve seen throughout the pandemic that advice has evolved as new evidence and new data is available. We’ll continue to follow the advice in the Public Health Agency Canada,” he said in an interview with CTV’s Question Period on Sunday.
Trans Mountain Pipeline restarts after three-week pause due to B.C. floods – Globalnews.ca
On Sunday, Trans Mountain confirmed it has completed “all necessary assessments, repairs, and construction of protective earthworks” needed to turn the taps back on.
“As part of this process Trans Mountain will monitor the line on the ground, by air and through our technology systems operated by our control centre,” it said on its website.
The pipeline was shut down as a precaution on Nov. 14, amid record-breaking rainfall that caused catastrophic flooding and mudslides across southern B.C.
It was the first of four major storms to strike the province last month.
Trans Mountain said Saturday there’s no evidence of “serious damage” to the pipeline, or the release of any product in the aftermath of the extreme weather.
B.C.’s fight for fuel: Trans Mountain hopes to restart pipeline at reduced capacity in days
The 1,150-kilometre Trans Mountain Pipeline ships roughly 300,000 barrels of oil per day to terminals in B.C. from Edmonton. It also supplies fuel to Washington.
With the pipeline shut down, the B.C. government issued an emergency order on Nov. 19 limiting consumers in storm-stricken parts of the province to 30 litres of gasoline in a single fill-up.
On Nov. 29, it extended gas-rationing to Dec. 14. The fuel conservation measures apply to residents of the Lower Mainland to Hope, Sea to Sky, Sunshine Coast, Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.
Essential vehicles remain exempt.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
China Evergrande shares plunge as it teeters on brink of default – CNBC
After lurching from deadline to deadline, China Evergrande Group is again on the brink of default, with its pessimistic comments condemning its stock to a record low just as direct state involvement raises hope of a managed debt restructuring.
Having made three 11th-hour coupon payments in the past two months, Evergrande again faces the end of a 30-day grace period on Monday, with dues totaling $82.5 million.
But a statement on Friday saying creditors had demanded $260 million and that it could not guarantee funds for coupon repayment prompted authorities to summon its chairman — and wiped a fifth off its stock’s value on Monday.
Evergrande, once China’s top-selling developer, is grappling with over $300 billion in liabilities, meaning a disorderly collapse could ripple through the property sector and beyond.
Its Friday statement was followed by one from authorities in its home province of Guangdong, saying they would send a team at Evergrande’s request to oversee risk management, strengthen internal control and maintain operations — the state’s first public move to intervene directly to manage any fallout.
The central bank, banking and insurance regulator and securities regulator also released statements, saying risk to the property sector could be contained.
Analysts said authorities’ concerted effort signaled Evergrande has likely already entered a managed debt-asset restructuring process.
Morgan Stanley said such a process would involve coordination between authorities to maintain operations of property projects, and negotiation with onshore creditors to ensure financing for project completion.
Regulators would also likely facilitate debt restructuring discussion with offshore creditors after operations stabilize, the U.S. investment bank said in a report.
After the flurry of statements, Evergrande’s stock nose-dived 20% on Monday to close at an all-time low of HK$1.82.
Its November 2022 bond — one of two bonds that could go into default upon Monday non-payment — was trading at the distressed price of 18.560 U.S. cents on the dollar, compared with 20.083 cents at Friday’s close.
Evergrande has been struggling to raise capital through asset disposal, and the government has asked Chairman Hui Ka Yan to use his wealth to repay company debt.
The firm is just one of a number of developers starved of liquidity due to regulatory curbs on borrowing, prompting offshore debt defaults, credit-rating downgrades and sell-offs in developers’ shares and bonds.
To stem turmoil, regulators since October have urged banks to relax lending for developers’ normal financing needs and allowed more real estate firms to sell domestic bonds.
To free up funds, Premier Li Keqiang on Friday said China will cut the bank reserve requirement ratio “in a timely way.”
Still, the government may have to significantly step up policy-easing measures in the spring to prevent a sharp downturn in the property sector as repayment pressure intensifies, Japanese investment bank Nomura said in a report on Sunday.
Quarterly dollar bond repayments will almost double to $19.8 billion in the first quarter and $18.5 billion in the second.
Yet easing measures such as the ability to sell domestic bonds are unlikely to help Evergrande refinance as there would be no demand for its notes, CGS-CIMB Securities said on Monday.
Evergrande’s inability to sell projects — with almost zero November sales — also makes short-term debt payments “highly unlikely,” the brokerage said.
On Monday, smaller developer Sunshine 100 China Holdings Ltd said it had defaulted on a $170 million dollar bond due Dec. 5 “owing to liquidity issues arising from the adverse impact of a number of factors including the macroeconomic environment and the real estate industry.”
The delinquency will trigger cross-default provisions under certain other debt instruments, it said.
Last week, Kaisa Group Holdings Ltd — China’s largest offshore debtor among developers after Evergrande — said bondholders had rejected an offer to exchange its 6.5% offshore bonds due Dec. 7 , leaving it at risk of default.
The developer has begun talks with some of the bondholders to extend the deadline for the $400 million debt repayment, sources have told Reuters.
Smaller rival China Aoyuan Property Group Ltd last week also said creditors have demanded repayment of $651.2 million due to a slew of credit-rating downgrades, and that it may be unable to pay due to a lack of liquidity.
Aoyuan Chairman Guo Zi Wen on Friday told executives at an internal meeting to have a “wartime mindset” to ensure operation and project delivery and to fund repayment, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Such tasks will be priorities for the developer, which will leave bond repayment negotiation to professional institutions in Hong Kong, said the person, declining to be identified as the matter is private.
Aoyuan did not respond to a request for comment.
The developer’s share price fell nearly 8% on Monday. Kaisa lost 3.8% whereas Sunshine 100 plunged 14%.
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