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Why is B.C. on its 1st age group when Alberta is opening vaccination to anyone 65+? – Global News



Why will all Alberta seniors be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine Monday, the same day British Columbia begins giving out its first doses to seniors aged 90 and over who live outside long-term care?

It’s a question that’s been peppering social media on the West Coast as B.C. prepares to give the first shots of its mass vaccination program.

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Under B.C.’s regime, bookings opened last week for seniors over the age of 90, then 85, with bookings for the over 80 group currently scheduled to open on March 22. There are limited exemptions to this timetable for some smaller, rural B.C. communities, details of which can be confirmed with your local health authority.

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Limited supplies of AstraZeneca vaccine are being targeted to essential workers in at-risk workplaces.

In Alberta, bookings for anyone 65 and older will open Monday, while the province began giving the AstraZeneca vaccine to residents aged 50-64 on March 10.

That’s despite the fact that Alberta had, as of March 12, administered 346,135 doses of vaccine, nearly 35,000 fewer than the 380,743 B.C. has.

Click to play video 'B.C. businesses wary about enforcing any ‘vaccine passport’ program'

B.C. businesses wary about enforcing any ‘vaccine passport’ program

B.C. businesses wary about enforcing any ‘vaccine passport’ program

Demographic factors

One of the biggest pieces of the puzzle is demographics, according to Lorian Hardcastle, an associate professor of law in the faculty of medicine at the University of Calgary.

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B.C. has an older population than Alberta, and so it’s going to take longer to get through B.C.’s, say, eighty-five-pluses before it would take to get through Albertans’. B.C. also has more Indigenous people who were also prioritized in both provinces.”

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According to the 2016 census, the differences are stark. British Columbia has more than 109,000 seniors over the age of 85, nearly 10,000 of them older than 95.

Alberta had just over 63,000 seniors older than 85, about 5,000 of them older than 95.

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A look at when Canada could start administering COVID-19 vaccines to teens, children

It was a factor B.C. Premier John Horgan was quick to point to Friday when asked about the pace of B.C.’s vaccine rollout.

“Many of the elderly in British Columbia used to be residents of Alberta and they make the decision in their elder years to spend quality time in beautiful British Columbia, move their residences here, and that’s absolutely fine by me,” he quipped.

“We have an older population than other provinces across the country, so that’s why we had to start with the 90-plus.”

That same census counted about 12,000 more Indigenous people living in B.C. than Alberta, further accounting for a difference in the speed of the aged-based rollout for the general population.

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Different priorities

The other major difference, according to Hardcastle, was the differing ways B.C. and Alberta have chosen to use their limited supply of vaccine on priority groups.

Both provinces made an early priority of vaccinating long-term care residents and staff, home-care workers and hospital workers who may come in contact with COVID-19 infected patients.

But B.C. went further, adding priority groups.

Those included essential visitors to long-term care facilities in its Phase 1. In Phase 2, this group expanded to include all hospital staff, doctors working in the community, and vulnerable groups living or working in some congregated settings such as jails or shelters.

Alberta has really focused up to this point on an age-based strategy,” Hardcastle said.

Vaccine prioritization was a key reason given by B.C.’s Ministry of Health, when asked about the discrepancy between B.C. and Alberta cohorts.

“We are focusing on immunizing B.C.’s highest risk population first and we have been administering vaccines as quickly and safely as possible as vaccine supply arrives to B.C.,” a spokesperson said in an email.

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Alberta also decided to use its supply of AstraZeneca vaccine differently than B.C., she said.

The vaccine is believed to be less effective in seniors, and so it has been flagged for deployment to other adult groups —  in Alberta, that translated to adults over 50, as of March 10.

“I’m not sure that I agree with the decision to give it to healthy people in their 50s who are working from home and aren’t otherwise at risk,” she said.

“I do tend to prefer B.C.’s approach, which was to try and target groups that had some level of risk, for example, to workplace exposure.”

British Columbia is scheduled to begin administering the AstraZeneca vaccine this week. The province is also moving to immunize the entire adult population of Prince Rupert, amid persistent clusters of the virus there.

The remainder of B.C.’s first shipment will be used to target outbreaks and clusters in at-risk workplaces, while a provincial panel will decide which priority groups will get the next shipments.

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Vaccine hesitant care home workers

Vaccine hesitant care home workers

Gap could get wider

As B.C. and Alberta continue down their respective paths, Hardcastle said the gap between which age cohort is up for immunization could grow wider, especially in the current phase.

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But while that might be frustrating for regular British Columbians hoping to get back to life as usual, Hardcastle said B.C.’s approach is not necessarily a bad idea.

“There are thousands and thousands of family doctors, and so that could put B.C. behind in terms of its age groups even further than Alberta,” she said.

“But I don’t necessarily think that’s a problem — I think those workers are certainly exposed to it. And we don’t want health-care workers in the community getting sick and not being able to work.”

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Rather than which age group is getting their shot at the moment, she suggested the public look instead at how many doses of vaccine the province has actually administered.

And if they fall behind, I think that’s a good metric on which to hold their feet to the fire as opposed to focusing on the fine-grained details of why particular provinces are ahead with respect to specific groups, because there may be demographic reasons or other choices about who’s at risk that might lead to that,” she said.

While B.C. opened vaccine registration early for people aged 85 years old and up last week, it remains unclear if that move will result in the over-80 group also being bumped up.

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The province is aiming to have immunized 400,000 people by early April.

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

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Canadian Business During the Pandemic



In 2019 the world was hit by the covid 19 pandemic and ever since then people have been suffering in different ways. Usually, economies and businesses have changed the way they work and do business. Most of which are going towards online and automation.

The people most effected by this are the laymen that used to work hard labors to make money for there families. But other then them it has been hard for most business to make such switch. Those of whom got on the online/ e commerce band wagon quickly were out of trouble and into the safe zone but not everyone is mace for the high-speed online world and are thus suffering.

More than 200,000 Canadian businesses could close permanently during the COVID-19 crisis, throwing millions of people out of work as the resurgence of the virus worsens across much of the country, according to new research. You can only imagine how many families these businesses were feeding, not to mention the impact the economy and the GDP is going to bear.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said one in six, or about 181,000, Canadian small business owners are now seriously contemplating shutting down. The latest figures, based on a survey of its members done between Jan. 12 and 16, come on top of 58,000 businesses that became inactive in 2020.

An estimate by the CFIB last summer said one in seven or 158,000 businesses were at risk of going under as a result of the pandemic. Based on the organization’s updated forecast, more than 2.4 million people could be out of work. A staggering 20 per cent of private sector jobs.

Simon Gaudreault, CFIB’s senior director of national research, said it was an alarming increase in the number of businesses that are considering closing.

We are not headed in the right direction, and each week that passes without improvement on the business front pushes more owners to make that final decision,”

He said in a statement.

The more businesses that disappear, the more jobs we will lose, and the harder it will be for the economy to recover.

In total, one in five businesses are at risk of permanent closure by the end of the pandemic, the organization said.

The new sad research shows that this year has been horrible for the Canadian businesses.


The beginning of 2021 feels more like the fifth quarter of 2020 than a new year,” said Laura Jones, executive vice-president of the CFIB, in a statement.

She called on governments to help small businesses “replace subsidies with sales” by introducing safe pathways to reopen to businesses.

There’s a lot at stake now from jobs, to tax revenue to support for local soccer teams,”

Jones said.

Let’s make 2021 the year we help small business survive and then get back to thriving.”

The whole world has suffered a lot from the pandemic and the Canadian economy has been no stranger to it. We can only pray that the world gets rid of this pandemic quickly and everything become as it used to be. Although I think it is about time, we start setting new norms.

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Shopify shares edge up after falling on executive departures



By Chavi Mehta

(Reuters) -Shopify Inc shares edged higher on Thursday, recovering partially from the previous day’s fall, with analysts saying the news of planned senior executive departures may have limited impact due to the company’s deep talent pool.

Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday the company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all leave their roles.

“We remain confident it (Shopify) can continue to execute at a high level, despite the departures,” Tom Forte, analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co said, pointing to the company’s “deep bench of talented executives.”

Shopify, which provides infrastructure for online stores, has seen its valuation soar in the past year as many businesses went virtual during the COVID-19 lockdowns, turning it into Canada‘s most valuable company.

Shopify declined to comment further on Lutke’s statement suggesting current company leaders would step in to fill the three roles. After chief product officer Craig Miller left in September, Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.

The Ottawa-based company is Canada‘s biggest homegrown tech success story, founded in 2006 and supporting over 1 million businesses globally, according to the company.

Jonathan Kees, analyst at Summit Insights Group, called the timing of the departures “a little alarming” but said the specific roles make it less concerning, given that the executives leaving are “more back-office roles.”

Lutke said each one of them had their individual reasons to leave, without giving details.

“I am willing to give Tobi’s explanation the benefit of the doubt,” Kees added.

Toronto-listed shares of Shopify were up 3.5% at C$1526.41 on Thursday, giving it a market value of C$188 billion ($150 billion). It ended down 5.1% on Wednesday.

“While we would refer to the departure of three high-level executives as ‘significant,’ we would not refer to it as a ‘brain drain,'” Forte added.

($1 = 1.2541 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Dan Grebler)

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Almost half of Shopify’s top execs to depart company: CEO



By Moira Warburton

(Reuters) – Three of e-commerce platform Shopify’s seven top executives will be leaving the company in the coming months, chief executive officer and founder of Canada‘s most valuable company Tobi Lutke said in a blog post on Wednesday.

The company’s chief talent officer, chief legal officer and chief technology officer will all transition out of their roles, Lutke said, adding that they have been “spectacular and deserve to take a bow.”

“Each one of them has their individual reasons but what was unanimous with all three was that this was the best for them and the best for Shopify,” he said.

The trio follow the departure of Craig Miller, chief product officer, in September. Lutke took on the role in addition to CEO.

Shopify, which provides infrastructure for online stores, has seen its valuation soar in the last year as many businesses went virtual during COVID-19 lockdowns. It has a market cap valuation of C$182.7 billion ($146 billion), above Canada‘s top lender Royal Bank of Canada.

It is Canada‘s biggest homegrown tech success story, founded in 2006 and supporting over 1 million businesses globally, according to the company.

“We have a phenomenally strong bench of leaders who will now step up into larger roles,” Lutke said, but did not name replacements.

Shopify said in February revenue growth would slow this year as vaccine rollouts encourage people to return to stores and warned it does not expect 2020’s near doubling of gross merchandise volume, an industry metric to measure transaction volumes, to repeat this year.

Chief talent officer, Brittany Forsyth, was the 22nd employee hired at Shopify and has been with the company for 11 years. She said on Twitter that post-Shopify she would be focusing on Backbone Angels, an all-female collective of angel investors she co-founded in March.

Shopify shares fell 5.1% while the benchmark Canadian share index ended marginally down.

($1 = 1.2515 Canadian dollars)


(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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