The federal government is diverting portions of vaccine shipments from at least two provinces to help supply Canada’s north.
Provincial health officials in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick both said Friday that some doses planned for their provinces would instead go to Canada’s northern territories.
“While we know this is concerning to hear, we also understand the federal government’s rationale,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said at a news conference Friday.
“It is to address the complexities and unique challenges in our northern neighbours. To do that, they need the support and co-operation of all provinces.”
Nova Scotia’s shipment of Moderna vaccine next week will be reduced to 3,000 doses from the planned 5,900 doses, Strang said. He said he also expects the province’s March shipment to be reduced.
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said the provinces agreed in December that Moderna vaccines would be used to help deal with supply issues in northern Canada, since the storage requirements of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would make it difficult to transport and store in the north. The Pfizer vaccines must be stored between –60 C and –80 C.
Later Friday evening, New Brunswick Public Health said that province will also have some of its supply diverted to northern Canada, but it could not yet say how many doses will be diverted or when.
Diversion may be a first in Canada
This could be the first time the federal government has diverted vaccine supply destined for one province or territory to another. CBC News has contacted Health Canada for confirmation and will update the story once we receive a response.
But late last month, the military commander leading Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine logistics said Ottawa was not considering diversion of any vaccines.
“We have not considered shifting doses from one province or one jurisdiction to another at this time,” said Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin during a news conference on Jan. 28. “I think it would be counterproductive to do that in the midst of our immunization plan.
“What we could anticipate being prepared to do is adjust based on per-capita distribution at the locations that require the most future shipments long enough out for provinces to plan accordingly.”
The Moderna vaccine is being used in Nova Scotia’s long-term care homes. Strang said while the diversion of the vaccine to the territories will slow down the vaccination rollout in long-term care homes, it will not affect the planned second doses for those who have already received one shot. Nova Scotia has held back a second dose for each person vaccinated so far.
Strang also said the province is exploring the possibility of using some Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in long-term care homes, although that vaccine’s ultra-cold storage requirements may make that tricky.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday that Canada will receive more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine between April and June than originally believed, and the federal government has agreed to purchase four million extra doses of the Moderna vaccine.
Strang said he expects the amount of Pfizer product shipped to Nova Scotia will “substantively increase” in the coming weeks.
“But we have to be a little bit careful because until we get actual confirmed numbers, we don’t want to count our chickens before the eggs hatch,” he said.
“It’s good news, but we don’t have absolute guarantee of those amounts. So we’ll plan for it and be ready to get whatever vaccine we get.”
Concerns about variants
Strang said staff are re-examining Nova Scotia’s two recent cases of the COVID-19 variant originally identified in the U.K. The initial investigation into those cases did not determine the source of the infections, so all the close contacts of those two people are now being re-interviewed and retested.
There is no evidence of community spread of COVID-19 variants in Nova Scotia, Strang said.
“We’re using this retesting to be extra careful to make sure we haven’t missed anything. But I have to reiterate that if you look around the world, and even in Canada, when the variant shows up, it’s very obvious in terms of large numbers of people spreading very rapidly. We’re not seeing that.”
Strang said Newfoundland’s explosion of cases in the last few days — which has been attributed to social gatherings and sports tournaments, including a volleyball tournament that involved teams from across St. John’s — underscores why Nova Scotians must “stay the course” and be vigilant.
9 active cases in N.S.
Nova Scotia now has nine active cases, with no new cases reported on Friday. One person is in hospital in the intensive care unit (ICU).
There were 1,999 tests conducted on Thursday, and 1,006 tests administered between Feb. 5 and 11 at pop-up rapid testing sites in Amherst, Cole Harbour, Halifax and Tantallon.
On Thursday, the province’s health authority reported a new potential exposure notice and corrected an earlier one. The new exposure was at the Sobeys at 210 Wyse Rd. in Dartmouth on Feb. 1 from 4 to 8 p.m AT. Anyone exposed then could get symptoms up to Feb. 15, it said.
Public Health also said it had given the wrong date when it asked people to get retested over a Halifax exposure location. The correct exposure date for HomeSense Bayers Lake at 9 Washmill Ct., is Jan. 23 between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Anyone who was in the store then should self-isolate and book a COVID-19 test on the self-assessment website or by contacting 811, regardless of whether they have COVID-19 symptoms.
Atlantic Canada case numbers
- New Brunswick reported five new cases Friday. There are now 156 known active cases in the province. Six people are in hospital, two in intensive care.
- Newfoundland and Labrador reported 50 new COVID-19 cases Friday as the province confronts a spiralling outbreak in the St. John’s area.
- P.E.I. has two active cases.
7 Reasons Why America Loves Doing Business with Canada
Canada is one of the United States’ most important trading partners. According to the United States Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis, the US exports over $300B worth of goods and services to Canada annually. It also imports over $300B worth of goods and services from the country every year.
In fact, the trade relationship between the two North American countries is the biggest in the world. The two nations have traded for over 100 years. And a strong trade relationship is prosperous for both countries.
So, what makes Canada such an excellent trading partner for the United States? Here are a few good reasons:
1. Geographical Location
Canada shares a large border with the United States. Trading with Canada is easy by road, boat, or air. Most of the economic hotspots in Canada like Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary are just a short flight away from an American city.
2. Manufacturing Strengths
Canada has some exceptional exports thanks to its vast manufacturing strengths. Here are a few of its two products:
- Non-renewable Energy: Canada’s non-renewable energy exports like oil and gas are a significant part of its economy. Although falling gas prices have impacted this sector, Canada continues to depend on its gas and oil exports.
- Composite Manufacturing: You’ll find plenty of world-class options if you’re looking for advanced composite manufacturing in Canada regardless of your industry. The Canadian composite manufacturing industry serves many national and international clients in sectors such as defence, transportation, marine, aerospace, medical, industrial, energy, home appliances, construction, and more.
- Vehicle: Canada has a renowned automotive sector, producing light trucks, crossovers, SUVs, etc., with its technologically advanced factories. 95% of Canada’s automotive exports go to the United States.
- Aluminum: The Great White North produces some of the best quality aluminum in the world. The United States happens to be Canada’s biggest importer of aluminum.
- Meat and Dairy: Canada produces meat, beef, poultry, and dairy known for its quality. Unlike some countries, Canada doesn’t use harmful hormones in its meat industry.
3. Good Tax Treaties
Canada has many provisions that make business favourable for American companies. For example, a non-resident corporation that does not otherwise have a permanent establishment (PE) in Canada may do business without paying income tax on its profits. Canada also offers favourable corporate taxes, especially compared to the United States.
Aside from federal incentives, many provinces offer provincial incentives to do business in Canada. For example, many American films and TV shows are shot in Toronto because of lucrative tax enticements.
4. Favourable Exchange Rates
Not only is the Canadian dollar stable, but it usually hovers 20% lower than the United States. The favourable exchange rate makes it cost-effective for the United States to import goods and services from Canada.
However, the exchange rate isn’t so low that it discourages Canadians from travelling to the United States or buying American products. Many economists consider the exchange rate to be in the sweet spot.
5. Similar Culture
Canada speaks the same language, eats the same food, plays the same sports, and consumes the same entertainment. A similar coculture without language barriers makes it easier for Americans to do business with Canada.
Of course, there are some parts of Canada where French is the most popular language. Likewise, Spanish is more prevalent in certain places in the United States. However, these issues are easily overcome with business cards, translators, and technology.
6. Prominent Tech Industry
Many American technology companies are doing business with Canada because of the country’s prominence on the tech stage. For example, Toronto produces more tech occupations than the Bay Area, New York, and even Silicon Valley.
Toronto also has over 2,000 startups and over 14,000 tech companies. In the MaRS Center, Canada also has one of the world’s largest innovation hubs. Canada is also the first nation in the world to develop a national AI strategy. There are over 500 international AI firms in the country. The world’s biggest concentration of AI startups is in Canada.
Besides the national AI strategy, there is plenty of other support for tech development in the country that’s attractive to the United States. Canada invested $900m in high-tech innovation and funded startup incubators in 2015.
Additionally, Canada offers many tax breaks to companies for research and development. It also provides special visa programs for investors and entrepreneurs in the tech industry.
7. Qualified Labour Pool
Canada has the second-highest tertiary education levels worldwide for people between the ages of 25 and 34, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Canada’s highly skilled workforce stands at nearly 1.5 million people. Canada’s tech talent is also ranked highly for diversity.
These are just some of the many reasons why the United States enjoys doing business with Canada. Even with the economic climate changing, you can expect the partnership between the two countries to stand the test of time.
10 Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out in 2021 – Part 2
Last week I provided 5 suggestions on how you can make your LinkedIn profile, which in 2021 is a non-negotiable must-have for job seekers, to stand out. The suggestions were:
- Add a headshot
- Create an eye-catching headline
- Craft an interesting summary
- Highlight your experience
- Use visual media
I’ll continue with my next 5 suggestions:
- Customize your URL
Your LinkedIn URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the web address for your profile. The default URL will have your name and some random numbers and letters (https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-kossovan-647e3b49). Customizing your profile URL (https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickkossovan/) makes your profile search engine friendly; therefore, you’re easier to find. As well a customized URL invites the person searching to make some positive assumptions about you:
- You’re detail oriented.
- You’re technologically savvy.
- You understand the power of perception (Image is everything!).
James Wooden, one of the most revered coaches in the history of sports, is to have said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
To change your profile URL, go to the right side of your profile. There you’ll find an option to edit your URL. Use this option to make your URL concise and neat.
- Make connections
The more connections you have increases the likelihood of being found when hiring managers and recruiters, looking for potential candidates with your background, search on LinkedIn. Envision your number of connections as ‘the amount of gas in your tank.’
At the very least, you should aim to get over 500 connections. Anything below 500 LinkedIn will indicate your number of connections as an exact number (ex. 368). Above 500 connections, LinkedIn simply shows you have 500+ connections. Getting to 500 implies you’re a player on LinkedIn.
As much as possible, connect with individuals you know personally, have worked with, met in a professional capacity (tradeshow, conference), is in your city/region and industry/profession. If you’d like to connect with someone you haven’t met, send a note with your request explaining who you are and why you’d like to connect. (This’ll be my topic in next week’s column.)
- Ask for recommendations and skill endorsements
This is vital to making your profile stand out! Employers want to know that others think of your work.
When asking for a recommendation, or skill endorsements, think of all the people you’ve worked the past. Don’t just think of your past bosses; also think of colleagues, vendors, customers — anyone who can vouch for your work and professionalism.
Instructions on how to ask for, and give, a recommendation, can be found by going to the LinkedIn ‘Help’ field (Located by clicking on the drop-down arrow below the ‘Me’ icon in the upper right-hand corner.) and typing ‘Requesting a recommendation.’ Do the same for skill endorsements.
TIP: It’s good karma to write recommendations, and endorse skills, in return and to give unsolicited.
- Keep your profile active
LinkedIn is not simply an online resume — it’s a networking social media site. To get the most out of LinkedIn, you need to be constantly active (at least 3 times per week). Write posts and articles. Check out what is being posted, especially by your connections. Like and share posts that resonate with you. Engage with thoughtful comments that’ll put forward your expertise.
Join groups that align with your industry and professional interests. Groups are an excellent way to meet like-minded professionals with whom to network and share ideas and best practices.
- Check your LinkedIn profile strength
It’s in LinkedIn’s interest that you’re successful using their platform. Therefore, they’ve created a ‘Profile Strength Meter’ to gauge how robust your profile is. Basically, this gauge tells you completion level of your profile. Using the tips, you’ll be given, keep adding to your profile until your gauge rates you “All-Star.” For instructions on how to access your ‘Profile Strength Meter,’ use the LinkedIn’ Help’ field.
The 10 tips I offered is a starting point for building a LinkedIn profile that WOWs! Jobseekers need to make the most of their profile to stand out in a sea of candidates, sell their skills, and validate their accomplishments. Make it easy for the reader to get a feel for who you are professionally.
Nick Kossovan, a well-seasoned veteran of the corporate landscape, offers advice on searching for a job. You can send him your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canadian National beats Canadian Pacific with $33.6 billion Kansas City bid
U.S. railway operator Kansas City Southern said on Thursday that it had accepted Canadian National Railway Co’s $33.6 billion acquisition offer, upending a $29 billion deal with its competitor Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.
The development, first reported by Reuters, gives Canadian Pacific five business days to make a new offer for Kansas City Southern. Were Canadian Pacific to table a new offer, a bidding war could ensue.
Canadian Pacific had previously announced a deal to buy Kansas City Southern on March 21, before Canadian National said it had submitted a higher bid on April 20. The headline price in Canadian National’s cash-and-stock bid remains $325 per share as originally announced, though the company offered more of its shares to compensate for a decline in its stock price.
Canadian National has offered to cover the $700 million break-up fee Kansas City Southern will owe Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. It will also pay Kansas City Southern $1 billion if the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB) rejects a voting trust structure it has put forward to complete the deal.
“We believe that Canadian Pacific’s negotiated agreement with Kansas City is the only true end-to-end Class I combination that is in the best interests of North American shippers and communities,” a Canadian Pacific spokeswoman said.
Canadian Pacific and larger rival Canadian National are in a race to take over the U.S. railroad operator, which would create the first direct railway linking Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
Either of them acquiring Kansas City Southern would create a North American railway spanning the United States, Mexico and Canada, as supply chains recover from COVID-19 pandemic-led disruptions.
The acquisition interest in Kansas City Southern also follows the ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement last year that removed the threat of trade tensions, which had escalated under former U.S. President Donald Trump.
The STB last week approved the voting trust for Canadian Pacific’s proposed acquisition. Canadian National has offered an identical arrangement.
(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Aurora Ellis and Richard Chang)
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