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We begin with vaccines. Members of Canada’s COVID-19 Vaccine Job Power absolved themselves of blame on Thursday for the failure of the federal authorities to associate with a Chinese language vaccine producer, telling MPs they didn’t suggest the preliminary deal, because the Liberals have steered.
As an alternative, Ottawa’s resolution to tie its early vaccine fortunes to an organization whose candidate by no means reached Canada was an try and leverage the prevailing relationship between the Nationwide Analysis Council (NRC) and CanSino, which dated again to 2013. The NRC signed a cope with CanSino on Could 6, 2020, to ship the corporate’s COVID vaccine candidate to Canada.
The settlement was introduced by the NRC on Could 12, and touted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Could 16, solely to look to crumble on Could 19, when China’s customs company prevented the primary cargo of CanSino’s product from leaving the Beijing airport. It wasn’t till June that the federal authorities put collectively its COVID-19 Vaccine Job Power, made up of 11 lecturers, researchers, and pharmaceutical executives who work with senior civil servants to advise the federal government which vaccines to purchase.
“The connection between the Nationwide Analysis Council and CanSino was solely unbiased of something the duty drive was doing,” Roger Scott-Douglas, the duty drive’s secretary, instructed MPs on the Home of Commons Business committee on Thursday. Charlie Pinkerton has that story.
Extra on vaccines, Canada’s vice-chief of public well being, Dr. Howard Njoo, says it’s as much as the provinces to determine whether or not to manage the 2 COVID-19 vaccines accredited by Well being Canada in a single dose, or the two-dose routine their medical trials have been primarily based on.
Njoo was responding to a suggestion by two distinguished Canadian medical researchers: Medical doctors Danuta M. Skowronski, of the British Columbia Centre for Illness Management, and Gaston De Serres, of the Institut Nationwide de Santé Publique du Québec. In a letter revealed on Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medication, the 2 specialists raised that it could be helpful to prioritize giving individuals in vaccine-strapped international locations single photographs of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines.
“With such a extremely protecting first dose, the advantages derived from a scarce provide of vaccine might be maximized by deferring second doses till all precedence group members are provided at the least one dose,” Skowronski and De Serres mentioned. Pinkerton has extra.
At Queen’s Park, Ontario’s unbiased fiscal watchdog mentioned in a brand new report the province misplaced 355,300 jobs final yr because of the impacts of the pandemic — the biggest annual decline in employment on document for Ontario. The losses boosted Ontario’s annual unemployment price to the best level since 1993, reaching 9.6 per cent.
The report discovered that girls skilled steeper job losses than males throughout all main age teams. Younger staff have been hit the toughest and made up roughly 4 in 10 jobs misplaced within the province, the report mentioned. CTV Information/The Canadian Press has extra.
Welcome to No Speaking Factors – a brand new podcast from iPolitics and the Toronto Star about how politics and authorities actually works. Tune in each Thursday when the home is sitting for unscripted straight speak from the oldsters who cowl the Hill. In right this moment’s inaugural episode, we speak vaccine rollout, MAiD and China.
Over to a different financial report, the Convention Board of Canada is warning the COVID-19 pandemic will create lasting challenges for the funds of federal, provincial, and territorial governments. The assume tank paints a bleak image of the years forward, when decrease revenues, rising prices, and huge debt brought on by COVID may barrel governments — particularly the provinces and territories — towards future fiscal crises.
“Once we take a look at the combination scenario for federal and provincial governments, it’s not sustainable,” mentioned Pedro Antunes, the Convention Board’s chief economist. “We’re actually in a precarious scenario if now we have one other hit to the financial system.” Jolson Lim experiences.
In Ottawa, the Trudeau authorities continues to be mulling over the Senate’s proposal to increase entry to Medical Help in Dying (MAiD), Justice Minister David Lametti mentioned Thursday.
The Senate handed the revisions it made to the MAiD laws, Invoice C-7, on Wednesday night time, leaving MPs simply over every week to satisfy a court-mandated deadline to cross it within the Home. One yr because the laws was launched — and three court docket extensions later — Lametti mentioned the federal government hopes to have a response “in pretty brief order.” Extra from Rachel Emmanuel.
Staying in Ottawa, the Supreme Courtroom of Canada heard the enchantment of Peter Khill — a Hamilton-area man who shot and killed one other man breaking into his truck, which was parked within the driveway of Khill’s rural dwelling. On Thursday, the court docket thought of the query of when the defence of self-defence is cheap, and what function the conduct of the accused performs.
A jury acquitted Khill of second-degree homicide as a result of he claimed self-defence within the capturing. The intruder, who died from two shotgun wounds, was Jonathan Styres, an Indigenous man from the close by Six Nations reserve. Final February, the Ontario Courtroom of Attraction took the uncommon step of overturning a jury acquittal.
The court docket ordered a brand new trial for Khill as a result of the trial choose didn’t instruct the jury to think about Khill’s “function within the incident,” in line with the unanimous resolution. Leslie MacKinnon has that story.
On the (digital) hill, Elizabeth Could, parliamentary chief of the Inexperienced get together, has spent greater than a yr battling the acknowledged events within the Home of Commons to permit her to as soon as once more totally take part in query interval on Wednesdays. (A acknowledged get together on the Hill requires 12 MPs).
Since Parliament resumed after the 2019 election, home leaders for the all 4 acknowledged events have blocked Impartial MPs or non-recognized get together members from asking questions.
Could instructed iPolitics in a latest interview that she has repeatedly reached out to the events’ home leaders to debate her considerations and revert to the Home’s follow previous to the election, when the Greens would have the chance to ask questions on Wednesdays, however that she’s had no success. Janet E Silver has extra.
At Committee: Vaccine activity drive, COVID’s impression on airways, August prorogation
Hill Movers: Jim Carr publicizes new chief of employees, plus modifications to Workplace of Seniors
The Drilldown: California invoice seeks to finish all fracking by 2027
The Sprout: Pour yourselves a glass of wine
In Different Headlines:
Human destruction of nature is ‘mindless and suicidal’, warns UN chief (The Guardian)
Criticism grows over Fb’s Australia information ban (BBC)
Robinhood-GameStop listening to will scrutinize how brokerages receives a commission for trades (CNBC)
As worldwide condemnation of the navy coup that toppled Myanmar’s civilian-led authorities continues, Canada and the U.Ok. right this moment slapped sanctions on the nation’s high generals. The transfer comes as Japan joins the US, India and Australia in calling for democracy in Myanmar to be restored.
Canada mentioned Thursday it could introduce sanctions towards 9 navy officers and the U.Ok. mentioned it could impose asset freezes and journey bans on three generals. Al Jazeera has extra.
South of the border, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is going through criticism for jetting off on a trip to Cancun, Mexico, whereas his state was battered by a fierce winter storm. Texas has struggled to keep up its energy grid amid the storm, inflicting rolling blackouts which have left thousands and thousands of residents with out warmth or electrical energy for prolonged intervals of time. Cruz returned to the U.S. right this moment after widespread criticism from social media and politicians within the state, experiences The New York Instances.
Staying within the U.S., NASA right this moment landed its latest robotic probe on the floor of the crimson planet. The Perseverance rover landed within the Jerezo Crater on Mars this afternoon, a spot that specialists assume might be splendid to seek out preserved indicators of life relationship again a number of billion years. NASA’s rover is the third customer to Mars this month, after the United Arab Emirates and China each despatched probes.
Cheers erupted within the management room as affirmation of the $2.7 billion rover’s landing was acquired, marking the U.S. house company’s most bold effort in a long time to check whether or not life ever cropped up on Mars.
— NASA (@NASA) February 18, 2021
Lastly, over to Europe, the place two journalists of the Polish-funded Belsat TV channel have been convicted in Belarus of “violating public order” and sentenced to 2 years in jail. The 2 have been charged after they coated a protest towards the authoritarian Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko.
Katsiaryna Andreyeva, 27, and Darya Chultsova, 23, have been detained late final yr in an house they’d used as a vantage level to livestream demonstrations over the demise of a protester, The Guardian experiences.
In Featured Opinion:
Graham Thompson: Kenney’s open-pit coverage hauled over the coals
Alan Freeman: The upside of vaccine envy: If everybody else desires it, I would like it too
Watch this comedian faux to offer an interview as Sen. Ted Cruz’s director of communications following his premature Mexican vacay.