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Travelling in Canada: What dropping travel mandates means | CTV News – CTV News Winnipeg

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By the weekend, travelling into and across Canada will look a little different.

On Monday, the federal government announced it would be dropping COVID border restrictions for anyone entering Canada and masking on planes and trains will also come to end.

The changes are set to come into effect on Oct. 1.

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Mary Jane Hiebert, the board chair of the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies and operates Oyster Travel Service in Steinbach, said the use of the ArriveCan app as well as showing proof of vaccination will also be gone.

“Most of the world, actually these days have lifted the restrictions. So I think Canada is just following suit with most of what every other country is doing. You know, following the science, it says we should be safe, we’re vaccinated. I don’t know that (the government) followed any peer pressure, but they certainly were listening,” said Hiebert.

From travellers she has spoken with, Hiebert said they are happy that these mandates are being lifted.

“The ArriveCan app has been a bit of a nuisance, frankly. It’s cumbersome, not everyone is tech-savvy. There were hiccups and glitches in the system that actually forced people to quarantine when they didn’t need to. So it wasn’t a perfect world…but I think people are sort of relieved and happy that we’re coming to an end of these restrictions.”

She said ever since COVID-19 started spreading, transportation companies have made travelling as safe as possible, noting she has felt safe when she needs to fly or take a train.

“I think early on, the airlines were actually very proactive in making sure the surrounding areas within the cabin were very safe,” she said. “You’re in confined quarters within your offices, within your homes, certainly, yes, you are meeting people that are not within your own homestead on planes and trains and automobiles. But, the airlines have certainly made the conditions very safe.”

She said people still need to be smart when travelling and that if they have symptoms of any kind they should still wear a mask or not travel.

With the changes coming, Hiebert was asked if this will help reduce some of the delays and problems that are felt at the airport or border crossings.

She said while dropping the restrictions is good news, it might lead to more delays.

“ArriveCan, in some cases, was positive in that people who used it, well because you had to when you arrived back into Canada, that made things speed up a little bit at customs and immigration,” said Hiebert.

She noted border agents are still needed, as well as pilots and flight attendants, so there could still be some problems while the system tries to get back up to 100 per cent capacity.

Hiebert said for those who haven’t travelled for the last two-plus years, she is advising them to still bring a mask and make sure they arrive early so they have plenty of time to make it through security.

– With files from CTV News’ Nicole Dube and Rachel Aiello

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Conservatives are ‘fearmongering’ over assault-style gun ban: public safety minister

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OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino accuses the Conservatives of “whipping up fear” that the Liberal government is outlawing ordinary long guns and hunting rifles.

In an interview, Mendicino says the government only wants to reinforce a regulatory ban on assault-style firearms like the AR-15 by enshrining a definition in legislation, and it is prepared to work with MPs to get it right.

He insists the government has no intention whatsoever of going after everyday long guns and hunting rifles, calling the notion “Conservative fearmongering.”

In May 2020, the Liberal government announced a ban through order-in-council on over 1,500 models and variants of what it considers assault-style firearms, such as the AR-15 and the Ruger Mini-14.

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The Liberals recently proposed including an evergreen definition of a prohibited assault-style firearm in gun-control legislation being studied by a House of Commons committee.

The Conservatives claim the government’s amendment amounts to the most significant hunting rifle ban in the history of Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2022.

 

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Joly seeks reprimand of Russian ambassador as embassy tweets against LGBTQ community

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OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly has asked her department to summon Russia’s ambassador over social media postings against LGBTQ people.

In recent days, Russia’s embassy in Ottawa has posted on Twitter and Telegram that the West is imposing on Russia’s family values, and arguing that families can only involve a man, a woman and children.

The embassy has posted images of a crossed-out rainbow flag and Orthodox icons of Adam and Eve.

The tweets came as Russia expanded a ban on exposing children to so-called homosexual propaganda, meaning authorities can now prosecute Russians for doing things they argue might entice adults to be gay or transgender.

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Joly’s office says the posts amount to “hateful propaganda” that must be called out and “an attack on the Canadian values of acceptance and tolerance.”

If Global Affairs Canada follows Joly’s request, it will be the third time the department has summoned ambassador Oleg Stepanov this year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2022.

 

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Work hard and never give up, Michelle O’Bonsawin says during Supreme Court welcome

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OTTAWA — The newest member of the Supreme Court of Canada says her journey has not been an easy one, but it has been meaningful and rewarding.

Members of the legal community and Michelle O’Bonsawin’s fellow judges welcomed her to the bench in a ceremony today.

O’Bonsawin, who replaced the retiring Michael Moldaver on Sept. 1, is a bilingual Franco-Ontarian and an Abenaki member of the Odanak First Nation.

O’Bonsawin says she is a big believer that if a person has a goal, works hard and never gives up, they can achieve their dreams.

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She adds that while she has made mistakes and fallen down, those missteps have been her teacher.

Richard Wagner, the chief justice of Canada, praises O’Bonsawin’s generosity and volunteer activities, noting she shares his passion for open courts, access to justice and education.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2022.

 

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