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Trucks and SUVs with remote starters top most-stolen list, IBC says – CBC.ca

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Newer SUVs and trucks with remote starters top the list of the most often stolen vehicles in Canada, the Insurance Bureau of Canada said Wednesday.

The group that represents insurance companies across the country said theft from your own driveway using widely available electronic tools is on the rise across the country, as thieves respond to demand from high-end buyers overseas and street racers here at home.

The four-door 2018 Honda CRV with all-wheel drive holds the ignominious title of being the most stolen vehicle in Canada this year, with 350 thefts reported by insurers across the country — nearly one per day. When the 2017 and 2019 models are included in the tally, there were 758 stolen — that’s more than two per day.

Here’s the rest of the list:

There is wide variety across the country, too. In Alberta, all of the most-stolen vehicles are versions of pickup trucks: F150s and F350s from Ford, and Dodge Rams.

“These trucks are attractive to thieves, and oil and gas companies have used them almost exclusively, which has brought a disproportionately high amount of them to the province,” the IBC said.

In Ontario, however, the list is mostly high-end SUVs from Toyota, Honda and Lexus. Some of those get sold abroad, but many are chopped up for parts, the IBC said. 

Atlantic Canada had a mix of both, with popular sedans such as the Honda Accord and Chevrolet Cruz mixed in. The most stolen vehicle in Atlantic Canada was the Chevrolet Silverado, which is typically targeted for export by criminal groups.

Drivers often worry about something like their window being smashed and their car being stolen that way. But cheap and plentiful tech tools make it far easier to steal a car today. 

Bryan Gast, national director of investigative services at IBC, said in an interview with CBC News that the biggest trend he’s seeing this year is what’s known as a “relay attack.”

“That means they’re acquiring your signal from your key fob, cloning your key fob and [then] have the ability to start your vehicle without ever having the original key fob,” he said.

“It’s as simple as walking to your front door, seeing if they’re able to capture a signal of a key fob that might be inside. They don’t go anywhere in your house. They’re capturing it from the outside. And they have the ability to technologically clone the device and have the ability to start your car and drive off.”

New tech ‘makes it easy for the criminal’

The best tool to fight electronic theft, Gast says, is to not do what most people do — come into their house and leave their keys in a bowl or some other exposed place, just behind the front door. He recommends instead getting a metallic box for the car keys, one that blocks radio frequencies.

A suspect is seen using a radio frequency amplifier, which boosts the signal emitting from this vehicle’s fob located just inside the front door of the house. (Toronto Police Service)

“If you put it in a box, it doesn’t emit the radio frequency. Basically, it is in a protective box or a pouch and [criminals] don’t have the ability to capture that key fob signal.”

Cars manufactured since 2008 have mandated some sort of car-mobilizing technology built into them, and that has changed the trends in car theft ever since, Gast says.

“A lot of the time, as people leave the key fobs in their vehicle, that’s where they keep it. They make it easy to hop in, push the button to start and off they go. But it also makes it easy for the criminal, too.”

There’s another built-in vulnerability in something many drivers do as a precaution: when in a parking lot, they double-check their car is locked by hitting the key fob.

But a thief in the area with the right technology can clone the fob from that.

“You’re emitting that frequency, which can also be captured,” Gast said.

A lot of the most-stolen vehicles are higher-end, expensive and large cars that can be hard to acquire outside North America, which is why Gast says a big motivator for theft isn’t a criminal looking for a joy ride or to sell it locally. The thief often has a specific request for a specific vehicle and then sets about finding it.

Convenient technology is just making it easier, such that currently, a car is stolen somewhere in Canada every six minutes.

Theft on the rise in COVID

While COVID-19 has led to more cars being parked due to people working from home, it has also led to an increase in one type of car theft, Gast says. Namely, people looking for specific parts and vehicles to be used in street racing events and other reckless driving behaviour.

“The problem is stealing parts for some of these modified vehicles in the vehicles themselves,” he said. “Law enforcement definitely has their hands full.”

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Alberta received shipment of 21,450 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines this week – Global News

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Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Over 1.1 million vaccine doses distributed across Canada'



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Coronavirus: Over 1.1 million vaccine doses distributed across Canada


WATCH (Jan. 21): Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, head of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution team said on Thursday that over 1.1 million doses of vaccines have been delivered so far to provinces and territories after Pfizer announced their supply to Canada would be reduced by an average of 50 per cent until mid-February.

About 97,785 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered to Albertans and more are likely going to be able to get their second dose thanks to another shipment.

Read more:
Canada adds 5,955 new COVID-19 infections as Pfizer vaccines get delayed further

Alberta Health confirmed the province received a shipment of Pfizer vaccine this week. That shipment included 21,450 doses.

“With 96,500 doses of vaccine delivered, thousands of the most vulnerable seniors and health-care workers now have an extra layer of protection,” chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday.

As of Wednesday, Alberta Health Services had administered just 7,272 second doses.

Read more:
What to know about 2nd doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Alberta as shortages persist

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On Monday, after learning of a delay in Pfizer vaccine, Premier Jason Kenney said first dose appointments were being paused to ensure there was enough vaccine available for committed second dose appointments.

On Tuesday, Hinshaw said it seemed like there was enough vaccine in hand as well as what had been committed, even with the reduction in Pfizer supplies, to be able to offer that second dose to those who have booked it.


Click to play video 'Alberta Health Services prioritizing second doses of COVID-19 vaccine'



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Alberta Health Services prioritizing second doses of COVID-19 vaccine


Alberta Health Services prioritizing second doses of COVID-19 vaccine

On Thursday, Alberta’s top doctor reiterated the province would do its “utmost” to ensure “that every individual who’s received their first dose does get their second dose within the 42-day timeline.

“If not, they’ll continue to be eligible and will receive it as soon as possible after that.”

Hinshaw said Alberta was working with the federal government and other provinces to use current allocations “as wisely as possible.”

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Click to play video 'What to know about 2nd doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Alberta as shortages persist'



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What to know about 2nd doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Alberta as shortages persist


What to know about 2nd doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Alberta as shortages persist

She added that while there are many unknowns with the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, health officials can consider evidence from other types of vaccines.

Read more:
Pfizer vaccine delay a ‘blow,’ will affect Alberta’s vaccine schedule: health minister

“We know that with other vaccines, that when someone has their first dose, there is no end date at which time they’re no longer eligible for a second dose,” Hinshaw said.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“And we know, sometimes, with some other vaccines, that if there is a little bit of a longer interval between first and second dose, the overall long-lasting immune response can sometimes be better.”

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On Friday, Alberta Health said 643 new COVID-19 cases had been identified in the last 24 hours and 13,019 tests had been completed. That puts Alberta’s positivity rate at about 4.9 per cent.

There are currently 9,987 active cases in Alberta.

As of Friday, there are 691 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, with 115 of those in ICU.

Read more:
Current COVID-19 restrictions in place ‘a little while longer’ as Alberta reaches 1,500 deaths

Twelve additional deaths were reported to Alberta Health, bringing the provincial death toll to 1,512.

Of the 12 deaths reported Friday, five were in the Edmonton zone: a man in his 70s from Jasper Place Continuing Care Centre, a man in his 80s from Edmonton Chinatown Care Centre, a man in his 80s from Shepherd’s Care Vanguard, a woman in her 90s from Laurier House Lynnwood and a man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at the Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital. Alberta Health said all of these cases included comorbidities.

Three deaths were reported in the Calgary zone: a man in his 80s from Bethany Calgary, a woman in her 90s from Revera Scenic Acres Retirement Residence and a man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Foothills Medical Centre. All of these deaths included comorbidities.

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Three deaths were reported in the Central zone: a woman in her 50, a woman in her 80s and a man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Seasons Camrose. All three included comorbidities.

A woman in her 90s with comorbidities who was linked to the outbreak at Prairie Lake Supportive Living in the North zone also died.


Click to play video 'Alberta will not relax public health restrictions yet, despite falling cases of COVID-19'



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Alberta will not relax public health restrictions yet, despite falling cases of COVID-19


Alberta will not relax public health restrictions yet, despite falling cases of COVID-19

In terms of vaccine, the province said 97,785 doses had been administered as of Jan. 21.

“Our positivity rate, active cases and hospitalizations continue to decline,” Hinshaw said Thursday. “This is good news and shows restrictions are helping to prevent more people from being exposed and getting sick with this virus, and that the overwhelming majority of Albertans are doing their part.

Read more:
Feds publish coronavirus vaccine distribution list, painting rollout picture for coming months

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“We are not in the clear just yet,” she said.

“Our cases are falling, but we still have the second highest active case rates per capita in Canada.

“While our hospitalizations have decreased significantly from the peak, they remain extremely high.”

An additional 16 deaths were also announced, bringing Alberta’s COVID-19 death toll to 1,500.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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WestJet Boeing 737 MAX flight grounded at Calgary airport after ‘potential fault’ warning – Global News

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A WestJet flight bound for Toronto was grounded at YYC Calgary International Airport Friday after pilots were warned of a “potential fault” in the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

According to WestJet, Flight WS658 had passengers on board and was getting ready to take off, when it was “returned to the gate after push back.”

Read more:
WestJet returning Boeing’s troubled 737 MAX 8 to service with commercial flight

“After a normal engine start, a standard function of the health monitoring system indicated a potential fault that needed to be verified and reset,” WestJet spokesperson Lauren Stewart said in an emailed statement.

“This process takes time and requires a subsequent engine run, which we do not perform with guests on board.”


Click to play video '1st Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada after grounding'



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1st Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada after grounding


1st Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada after grounding

Stewart said the flight was cancelled, and the 35 passengers were instead put on Flight WS662, boarding a planned Dreamliner flight “only because we didn’t want to keep them waiting.” The aircraft’s return flight, WS665 from Toronto to Calgary, was also cancelled.

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The Boeing 737 MAX was cleared for flight shortly after the passengers got off, and is set to return to service on Sunday, Stewart said.

According to the Calgary airport’s website, WS658 was set to take off at 8 a.m. Stewart said all of the guests on the original flight have since landed in Toronto.

WestJet flew Canada’s first commercial flight on a 737 MAX in almost two years just one day prior, after the aircraft was taken out of Canadian skies following two deadly crashes.

Chris Bauenbusch, president of CUPE Local 4070 which represents WestJet’s flight attendants, was on the cancelled flight, working as a flight attendant, when the plane had to return to the gate.

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He said in the airline industry, it’s “common to have the odd hiccup here and there.”

“Obviously there’s a heightened focus on a model of aircraft coming back into service, such as what’s happening with that aircraft,” he said. “But these are common things that happen on a daily basis.”

Bauenbusch said from a union perspective, they have no issues with their members flying on the aircraft.

“The union maintains… that this is a safe aircraft, through all the rigor that it’s been put through,” he said.

In a statement, Transport Canada said it was aware of the flight that “opted to return to the gate.”

“We understand the pilots made this decision due to a cockpit warning light that signaled before departure,” the agency said.

“This incident is not related to the previous grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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COVID-19 vaccine delay doesn't take away from Ont.'s failures: Doctor – CTV News

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[unable to retrieve full-text content]

  1. COVID-19 vaccine delay doesn’t take away from Ont.’s failures: Doctor  CTV News
  2. Trudeau speaks to Pfizer CEO as delays to vaccine shipments get worse  CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News
  3. Allergic reactions to Moderna vaccine are rare, report says  Global News
  4. Dr. Bonnie Henry: B.C. is maximizing the benefit of the limited COVID-19 vaccine supply  Vancouver Sun
  5. We need a science-based plan for vaccine distribution | TheHill  The Hill
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



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