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Vaccine passports, wildfire smoke blows across Canada : In The News for July 20, 2021 – Coast Reporter

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In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of July 20 …

What we are watching in Canada …

A new poll suggests a majority of Canadians say proof of vaccination should be required of all essential and non-essential travellers.

Fifty-eight per cent of respondents to an online survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies say travellers should be required to show a document that proves they are immunized against the novel coronavirus.

The poll suggests 48 per cent of Canadians support the total reopening of the Canada-U. S. border at the end of August, including to tourists, while 52 per cent say they oppose the reopening.

Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque says Canadians are divided on the issues of requiring travellers to show proof of vaccination and reopening the borders.

“(They are) divided in a way that, I think, gives some flexibility to Ottawa when making decisions, because there is no hard consensus on either side,” he said.

He says the survey shows that Canadians are also split almost in half on whether they are comfortable in engaging in social activities.

The online poll of more than 1,500 adult Canadians was carried out July 16 to 18 and it cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based surveys are not considered random samples.

Federal officials announced yesterday that fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents will be allowed into Canada as of August 9, joined by the rest of the world September 7.

Also this …

Environment Canada has issued special air quality advisories across the country as smoke from wildfires in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and northwest Ontario causes poor air quality and reduced visibility.

Advisories for southern Ontario and some regions of southern Quebec were issued late Monday afternoon and include the cities of Toronto and Ottawa. A smog warning as a result of the fires was issued for Montreal.

The advisories for southern Ontario further warn that high levels of air pollution due to smoke are possible.

Air quality statements remain in effect across Western Canada.

Environment Canada says conditions in Ontario and Quebec are expected to improve Tuesday with the passage of a cold front.

However, the agency says there are no signs of any major weather systems staying put in parts of the Prairies or British Columbia to help extinguish flames or clear the smoke.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

A Florida man who breached the U.S. Senate chamber carrying a Trump campaign flag has received an eight-month prison term.

It was the first resolution for a felony case in the Capitol insurrection.

Prosecutors wanted Paul Allard Hodgkins to serve 18 months behind bars, saying he and other Jan. 6 rioters “contributed to the collective threat to democracy.”

A lawyer for Hodgkins asked the judge at his Monday sentencing in Washington, D.C., not to impose a prison sentence. Hodgkins was never accused of assaulting anyone or damaging property.

Hodgkins pleaded guilty last month to one count of obstructing an official proceeding and apologized Monday, saying he made a ”foolish decision.”

In pronouncing the sentence on Paul Allard Hodgkins, U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss said the 38-year-old had played a role, if not as significant as others, in one of the worst episodes in American history. Thousands of rioters loyal to then-president Donald Trump stormed the Capitol and disrupted the certification of Joe Biden’s election win, in a stunning display of public violence.

“That was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a protest,” Moss said. “It was … an assault on democracy.”

Moss acknowledged Hodgkins’ sentence could set a benchmark for future cases. And deciding an appropriate punishment was made more challenging because the case is unique and the court couldn’t look to previous sentencings as a guide.

More than 500 people have been charged so far for their participation in the attack, and many like Hodgkins were accused of serious crimes but were not indicted, as some others were, for roles in larger conspiracies. They will have to decide whether to plead guilty or go to trial.

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

BERLIN — German officials defended their actions ahead of last week’s devastating floods that caught many towns by surprise but they conceded that lessons still need to be learned from the disaster.

As floodwaters receded Monday, authorities continued a search for more victims and intensified efforts to clean up a sodden swath of western Germany, eastern Belgium and the Netherlands.

Weather officials had forecast the downpours that led to even small rivers swelling at vast speed, but warnings of potentially catastrophic damage didn’t appear to have found their way to many in the affected areas.

So far, 117 people have been confirmed dead in the worst-affected German region, Rhineland-Palatinate, while 47 were killed in the neighbouring state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and at least one in Bavaria, parts of which saw heavy rain and flooding over the weekend. The death toll in Belgium was 31.

Authorities said they were likely to find more victims among destroyed homes.

Federal and state authorities faced criticism from some opposition politicians over the disaster, which comes as a national election looms in September. But Interior Minister Horst Seehofer dismissed suggestions that federal officials had made mistakes and said warnings were passed to local authorities “who make decisions on disaster protection.”

“I have to say that some of the things I’m hearing now are cheap election rhetoric,” Seehofer said during a visit to the Steinbach Reservoir in western Germany, where authorities say they no longer fear a dam breach. “Now really isn’t the hour for this.”

Seehofer underlined that message during a visit Monday to Bad Neuenahr, in the worst-hit area, but said authorities will have to draw lessons once the immediate relief phase is over.

“Wherever we can improve anything — in alarms, in equipment … we must do so,” he said. “We owe that to the families who have been affected, and above all to the victims.”

On this day in 1975 …

Fire destroyed the main street of Springhill, N.S., demolishing 25 buildings and causing damage estimated at more than $3 million.

In entertainment …

TORONTO — When early chatter about COVID-19 began circulating through the music industry, Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies feared what it would mean for live concerts.

Having more than three decades of experience in the band, the singer-songwriter said he couldn’t imagine thousands of people gathering at shows while a mysterious virus raged.

“I knew right away that my industry would be the last thing to return,” he said in a recent interview.

And so Robertson and his bandmates — Jim Creeggan, Tyler Stewart and Kevin Hearn — began mapping out a year that sent them on many detours.

They postponed their ominously titled Last Summer on Earth 2020 North American tour and set their sights on saving another potential victim of the pandemic: their 16th studio album, which was released last week.

Started early last year, in the depths of winter at Robertson’s cottage near Peterborough, Ont., the project was partially finished when a brief hiatus for March break turned into an indefinite lockdown with their families.

Being forced to hit pause wound up being a “blessing in disguise,” Robertson said.

“It afforded us the luxury of time to really listen to what we had and think about directions we could take.”

When they reunited months later at Toronto’s Noble Street Studios to finish the project, they blended “organic, live off-the-floor” songs recorded at the cottage with new tracks laid down in a more polished professional space.

ICYMI …

HALIFAX — A new marine robot will be used to help monitor and protect endangered North Atlantic right whales.

The underwater glider is part of a fleet of gliders operated by the Ocean Tracking Network and Dalhousie University in connection with a $3.6-million project spanning the next five years.

The University of New Brunswick and Transport Canada are also partners.

Fred Whoriskey of the Ocean Tracking Network says the newest glider will carry a hydrophone that can identify the calls of the right whales and report their locations in order to prevent ships from colliding with the animals.

Scientists estimate there are fewer that 400 of the whales left in existence.

Whoriskey says he believes his team’s research, which includes analyzing the animals’ movements, will help the species bounce back.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 20, 2021

The Canadian Press

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What Canada did on Saturday at the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympic games – CTV News

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TOKYO —
Michael Woods came agonizingly close to opening Canada’s medal account on the first full day of competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Take a look at what Canada did on Saturday at the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympic games:

ARCHERY

Men’s individual — Crispin Duenas, Toronto, finished 16th in the ranking round with a score of 665.

Mixed team — Canada (Stephanie Barrett, Mississauga, Ont., and Duenas) placed 17th overall in the ranking round with 1,295 points, just missing a berth in the main draw by two points.

BADMINTON

Mixed doubles — Josephine Wu, Edmonton, and Joshua Hurlburt-Yu, Toronto, lost their group-stage match 2-0 to Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand.

Women’s doubles — Rachel Honderich, Toronto, and Kristen Tsai, Burnaby, B.C., were defeated by Selena Piek and Cheryl Seinen of the Netherlands, 2-1.

Men’s doubles — Jason Ho-Shue, Markham, Ont., and Nyl Yakura, Pickering, Ont., lost 2-0 to Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

Women — Melissa Humana-Paredes, Toronto, and Sarah Pavan, Kitchener, Ont., won their opening group-stage match 2-0 (21-16, 21-14) over Katja Stam and Raisa Schoon of the Netherlands. Heather Bansley, Waterdown, Ont., and Brandie Wilkerson, Toronto, lost 2-1 (18-21, 21-15, 15-11) to the Chinese team of Fan Wang and Xinyi Xia.

BOXING

Men’s welterweight (63-69 kg) — Wyatt Sanford of Kennetcook, N.S., lost 5-0 to Merven Clair, Mauritius, in the round of 32.

CYCLING

Men’s road race — Michael Woods, Ottawa, placed fifth overall in a time of 6:05:26, one minute, seven seconds behind the winner; Guillaume Boivin, Montreal, was 65th (6:21:46); while Hugo Houle of Ste-Perpetue, Que., 85th (6:25:16).

EQUESTRIAN (DRESSAGE)

Individual — Chris von Martels, Ridgetown, Ont., and his horse, Eclips, were seventh in their qualifier group after the first day with a score of 68.059.

Team — Following the first day, Canada is ranked 11th with 2,191 points, with the other riders (Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu, Saint-Bruno, Que., and Lindsay Kellock, Toronto) to compete in the coming days.

FENCING

Men’s individual sabre — Shaul Gordon of Richmond, B.C., lost 15-10 in the round-of-32 to Mojtaba Abedini of Iran.

FIELD HOCKEY

Men — Keegan Pereira of Pickering, Ont., had the lone goal as Canada (0-1) lost 7-1 to Germany.

GYMNASTICS (ARTISTIC)

Men’s floor exercise — Rene Cournoyer, Repentigny, Que., placed 68th in qualifying with a score of 11.766, did not advance.

Men’s horizontal bar — Cournoyer, was 36th in qualifying (13.266), did not advance.

Men’s parallel bars — Cournoyer, 63rd (12.333), did not advance.

Men’s pommel horse — Cournoyer, 55th (12.800), did not advance.

Men’s rings — Cournoyer, 33rd (13.666), did not advance.

Men’s vault — Rene Cournoyer, 44th (13.866), did not advance,

Individual all-around — Cournoyer placed 55th overall (77.697), did not advance.

ROWING

Women’s lightweight double sculls — Jennifer Casson, Kingston, Ont., and Jill Moffatt, Bethany, Ont., were second in their qualifying heat in seven minutes, 11.3 seconds to earn a berth in the semifinals.

Women’s pairs — Caileigh Filmer, Victoria, and Hillary Janssens, Cloverdale, B.C., won their heat (7:18.34) and advance to the semifinals.

Women’s fours — Canada (Stephanie Grauer, Vancouver; Nicole Hare, Calgary; Jennifer Martins, Toronto; Kristina Walker, Wolfe Island, Ont.) finished third in their race (6:40:07) and will need to advance through the repechage stage.

Women’s eights — Canada (Susanne Grainger, London, Ont.; Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Calgary; Kristen Kit, St. Catharines, Ont.; Madison Mailey, Lions Bay, B.C.; Sydney Payne, Toronto; Andrea Proske, Langley, B.C.; Lisa Roman, Langley, B.C.; Christine Roper, London, Ont.; Avalon Wasteneys, Campbell River, B.C.) placed second in their qualifier (6:07.97) and will race in the repechage.

Men’s lightweight double sculls — Patrick Keane, Victoria, and Maxwell Lattimer, Delta, B.C., were third in their heat (6:27:54) and will go to the repechage.

Men’s pairs — Kai Langerfeld, North Vancouver, B.C., and Conlin McCabe, Brockville, Ont., finished third (6:40.99) and qualified for the semifinals.

Men’s fours — Canada (Jakub Buczek, Kitchener, Ont.; Will Crothers, Kingston, Ont.; Luke Gadsdon, Hamilton; Gavin Stone, Brampton, Ont.) were fifth in their heat (6:05.47) and will be in a repechage.

SOCCER

Women — Janine Beckie, Highlands Ranch, Colo., scored both goals as Canada downed Chile 2-1, to improve to a win and a draw.

SOFTBALL

Canada beat Australia 7-1 to improve to 2-1 in the group stage.

SWIMMING

Women’s 100 butterfly — Margaret MacNeil of London, Ont., posted the fifth-best time in qualifying (56.55) to advance to the semifinals.

Women’s 400 individual medley — Tessa Cieplucha, Georgetown, Ont., was 14th in qualifying (4:44.54), did not advance; Sydney Pickrem, Halifax, did not start.

Women’s 4×100 freestyle relay — Canada (Penny Oleksiak and Kayla Sanchez, Toronto; Taylor Ruck, Kelowna, B.C.; Rebecca Smith, Red Deer, Alta.) posted the third-best time in qualifying (3:33.72) to earn a berth in the final.

Men’s 100 breastroke — Gabe Mastromatteo, Kenora, Ont., was 38th in qualifying (1:01.56), did not advance.

TABLE TENNIS

Mixed doubles — Mo Zhang, Richmond, B.C., and Eugene Wang, Toronto, lost in the round-of-16 to Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen of China, 4-1.

TAEKWONDO

Women’s flyweight (49 kg) — Yvette Yong, Toronto, lost her round-of-16 match to T.K. Truong of Vietnam, 19-5.

TENNIS

Women’s singles — Leylah Annie Fernandez, Laval, Que., def. Dayana Yastremska, Ukraine, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, in her opening match and will play Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic in the second round.

Women’s doubles — Gabriela Dabrowski, Ottawa, and Sharon Fichman, Toronto, were eliminated after losing their first-round match to Laura Pigossi and Luisa Stefani of Brazil, 7-6 (3), 6-4.

VOLLEYBALL

Men — Canada lost to Italy 3-2 (26-28, 18-25, 25-21, 25-18, 15-11) in its opening group stage match.

WATER POLO

Monika Eggens of Pitt Meadows, B.C., scored three goals but Canada (0-1) lost to Australia, 6-5.

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‘Shadow pandemic’ of femicide looms, experts warn as Canada prepares to reopen – Global News

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After more than a year of quarantines, lockdowns and separations due to COVID-19, Canada is slowly reopening. But experts say another pandemic, of femicide and domestic violence, has been quietly raging across the country.

The proof is in the reports. Preliminary findings from the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability’s (CFOJA) mid-year report found 92 women and girls were killed, mostly by men, between January and June of this year.

Femicide is the killing of a girl or woman because of their gender. Men were identified as the accused in 79 out of 92 killings in the first half of 2021.

Indigenous women were over-represented in this year’s report, making up 12 per cent of femicide victims, despite comprising just 5 per cent of Canada’s overall population.

Read more:
Are you experiencing abuse? Here’s how to get help

Experts say the data is unsurprising.

“We, as in violence against women organizations, advocates and survivors, have been naming that there is a shadow pandemic happening and that is gender based violence,” says Farrah Khan, a gender justice advocate and manager of Ryerson University’s Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education.

Numbers have been steadily rising since the COVID pandemic began. CFOJA, which tracks femicides across the country, said 160 women and girls were victims of femicide last year, an uptick from the 118 who were killed in 2019.

Khan said the health crisis that has led to repeated lockdowns across the country has “set women up” for unhealthy relationships that could result in their deaths. Women, who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, accounted for more than 35 per cent of job losses across the country and make up a majority of Canada’s minimum wage workers.

Read more:
‘Perfect storm’: Growing calls to address domestic violence during coronavirus

She says this could have prompted many women to move in with potentially abusive partners to save on costs that left them trapped and unable to leave when things began to escalate in an unsafe way. Things like child-care problems and food insecurity, also rampant during the pandemic, are also reasons women end up trapped with their abusers.

“The lockdown has increased the abusers’ access to them, has increased their ability to control their mobility, increased their ability to set strict rules about who they interact with,” she said of women during the pandemic, including those with abusive family members.

“I worry about the people also that are living through it right now that are not reaching out to services, are not feeling safe to do so because someone is monitoring their phone, somebody is monitoring their computer.”

Of the 160 women killed according to the report, researchers said 128 women and girls were killed by men. A majority of them were killed in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut accounting for 13.68 per cent and 5.21 per cent respectively.


Click to play video: 'Increase in domestic violence reported during lockdown'



5:15
Increase in domestic violence reported during lockdown


Increase in domestic violence reported during lockdown – Feb 23, 2021

Victims of abuse could see more challenges in rural and remote areas, Khan says, because of isolation and the lack of mobility sometimes present in those communities.

“Already mobility is challenged. Already there’s no computer in the house that doesn’t have spyware on it,” Khan said, adding that “what’s needed in Toronto is different than what’s going to be needed in rural and remote areas.”

Numbers are also stacking up in more densely populated provinces.

In Ontario alone, femicide has increased by more than 84 per cent in the first half of 2021, according to the latest report from the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH).

Read more:
Women facing more violence amid coronavirus pandemic: national survey

“[When] we compare that to the prior year, there’s been an increase every single month,” Marlene Ham, executive director of OAITH, told Global News. “To have six months in a row show an increase in the number of femicides, that does surprise us, but it also really concerns us.”

From December 2019 through June 2020, the report found 19 confirmed femicides throughout the province. The next year, they reported 35.

Younger women between the ages of 18 and 35 accounted for a majority of this year’s femicides at 30 per cent, while younger men between 18 and 35 years accounted for 50 per cent of all perpetrators this year. Researchers found intimate partner cases made up 80 per cent of femicide cases in 2021.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ham said OAITH began noticing more femicides in Ontario when the province reopened, likely as a result of women trying to leave their abusers.

“When survivors leave or make a plan to leave, for some of them that can be the most dangerous time,” she said.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate assistance. For a more comprehensive list of resources, click here.

Get help:

Assaulted Women’s Helpline
Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511
Toll-free TTY: 1-866-863-7868

Get help:

Shelter Safe: Network of women’s shelters across Canada
Canadian Family Law Lawyers Network
Phone: 1-888-660-4869
Legal Aid Domestic Abuse Hotline
Phone: 1-800-668-8258
Women’s Multicultural Resource and Counselling Centre of Durham
Phone: 1-877-454-4035
Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
Phone: 416-323-9149 ext. 234
Email: info@schliferclinic.com

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

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Fauci says prospect of open border for fully vaccinated Canadians part of active U.S. talks – CBC.ca

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U.S. President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci says the prospect of opening the U.S. border to fully vaccinated Canadians is part of an “active discussion” in the White House.

“I can tell you that the border situation and letting Canadians in who are fully vaccinated is an area of active discussion right now in the U.S. government,” he told CBC News Network’s Power & Politics in an exclusive Canadian interview.

“As a public health official, sometimes it’s difficult to figure out why policies haven’t changed.”

Earlier this week, the U.S. government issued a renewal order keeping the borders with Canada and Mexico closed until August 21.

According to U.S. Homeland Security officials, the move is part of the government’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the more contagious delta variant.

The delta variant has been wreaking havoc south of the border, where infections and hospitalizations are up in nearly all 50 states.

Fauci said the delta variant now accounts for 83 per cent of cases in the U.S. Those cases are concentrated in southern states, where vaccination rates are lower than the national average.

“In some of the southern states where the level of vaccination is very low and the level of the transmission of the virus is very high, we’re seeing a significant surge in cases,” Fauci said. 

“This virus has an extraordinary capability of efficiently spreading from person to person.” 

The White House has enlisted the help of celebrities and athletes to encourage Americans to get vaccinated, particularly in states led by Republican governors. In recent days, high-profile conservative figures such as Fox pundit Sean Hannity have encouraged Americans to get vaccinated.

Fauci said the U.S. must increase its vaccination rate to end current outbreaks of COVID-19.  

“We’re seeing some of them starting to come around, which is a really good thing, because we’ve got to realize and act on it, that the common enemy is the virus,” he told Power & Politics.

“The virus doesn’t have any idea who’s a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent.” 

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