#NovaScotiaRCMP; #NovaScotiaShooting; #EmergecyAlarm; RCMPQuestioned
Nova Scotia, Apr 22 (Canadian-Media): Many questions have risen about the Nova Scotia RCMP's failure to send emergency alert to local residents in Nova Scotia, in spite of being aware of the murderous gunman on the loose Saturday night, media reports said.
Nova Scotia RCMP. Image credit: Twitter handle
The public of Nova Scotia had been warned by a couple of tweets sent by the police force to its thousands of followers late Saturday, and early Sunday morning and asked the people of Portapique to lock their doors as they investigated a firearms complaint and that the shooter was armed and dangerous.
But the police force failed to realize that not everyone has internet or twitter and face book account, the police could use emergency sent to phones could have saved several lives.
It was also confirmed Tuesday by Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil that never received a request from the Mounties to send a message to the community through Alert Ready, Canada's emergency alert system, which sends messages to Canadians through television, radio and LTE-connected cell phones.
The province's Emergency Management Office had been activated, McNeil said, technicians were brought in Saturday to send such an alert, but the request never came from the Mounties.
Under the terms of the Alert Ready system, federal, provincial and territorial governments are "responsible for issuing emergency alerts."
At a press conference Monday, the RCMP could not explain why an emergency alert wasn't sent to warn local residents about an active shooter.
When asked by the media Tuesday why the RCMP did not immediately respond and directed requests for comment to the provincial RCMP.
LiberalParty; #NDP; #ConservativeParty; #ReconveningOfCanadianParliament
Ottawa, Apr 19 (Canadian-Media): A tentative agreement reached by the Liberal government with the NDP and the Bloc Québécois about the conditions under which Parliament will reconvene this week, was rejected by the Conservatives Sunday afternoon, media reports said.
Andrew Scheer, Leader of Conservative Party of Canada as well as Opposition Party leader had been insisting on meeting in the Commons three times a week, which implies negotiations between the Conservatives and other parties must continue ahead of Monday, the original date MPs were to reconvene when Parliament adjourned five weeks ago.
Andrew Scheer. Image credit: Twitter handle
Conservatives had been criticized by Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his Sunday COVID-19 briefing earlier in the day, for their repeated calls to convene in the Commons' chamber.
In contrast, the tentative deal between the Liberals, NDP and Bloc starts with a proposal for a single in-person sitting beginning this Wednesday.
By next week, one session would be held virtually on Tuesday, followed by a sitting in the chamber on Wednesday.
When Trudeau said that to all 338 MPs and their staff in the House of Commons would be an irresponsible move due to public health guidance of physical distancing, Scheer fired back at Trudeau and said his proposal of two hours per session to question ministers is in line with the protocols legislators had been following during the government's last two emergency sittings.
#Quebec; #longTermCareHomes; #DoctorsWithoutBorders; #Covid19Pandemic
Montreal, Apr 18 (Canadian-Media): The offer, to work in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec's long-term care facilities, by Dr. Joanne Liu, former president of Doctors Without Borders, and pediatric emergency specialist at Montreal's Sainte-Justine Hospital, was initially rejected by the Quebec government, but finally got approved, media reports said.
Dr. Joanne Liu. Image credit: Facebook page
When Quebec's Health Minister Danielle McCann learnt of the province's refusal of the offer, said her team will make sure to call Liu to help quickly.
The Quebec government has been criticized for not acting swiftly enough when the virus began to spread in the province's seniors' and long-term care homes.
Earlier this week, when medical specialists were asked by Legault to help nurses and orderlies in the homes, the specialists said they had been offering to help for weeks but hadn't received a response, nor instructions on where they were needed.
A website was set up by the the government for people with health care experience to volunteer to help in the province's fight against the pandemic.
Legault said about 4,000 people were hired out of the 50,000 or so who applied.
#Quebec; #LongTermCare; COVID19; #MedicallyTrainedCanadaArmedForces
Quebec, Apr 17 (Canadian-Media): At the request of Quebec for help at its long-term care homes struggling with growing COVID-19 outbreak, more than 100 Canadian Forces members with medical training will be sent to Quebec, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday, media reports said.
Canadian Armed Forces. Image credit: Twitter handle
While announcing several new funding initiatives Friday, including a plan to help the energy sector, Trudeau said that the federal government will keep working with Quebec to find ways to support the province, including working with the Red Cross and specialized volunteers who have signed up with Health Canada.
Thursday saw more than 90 percent of COVID-19-related deaths among people were over 60, Health officials in Canada said, but they also said the homeless and people with unstable housing situations are at increased risk.
Although about 2,000 specialist doctors had signed up to help provide care to the elderly, Quebec Premier François Legault said Thursday, but he noted challenge of integrating the physicians into the system.
Several other provinces, including Ontario, B.C., and Alberta, have reported multiple outbreaks in long-term care facilities. While most cases of COVID-19 are mild to moderate, seniors and people with underlying health issues are more at risk of severe disease and death.
As of 2 p.m. ET on Friday, Canada had 31,642 presumptive and confirmed coronavirus cases. The provinces and territories that provide data on recoveries listed 10,332 cases as recovered or resolved.
#CanadaPM; #JustinTrudeau; #AidForVariousSectorsAnnounced; #Covid19Pandemic
Ottawa, Apr 17 (Canadian-Media): An aid was announced by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for rural businesses and people working in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, the arts and culture sectors, and an aid amounting to $1.7 billion to clean up orphan wells, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit. Official site
The aid is expected to help maintain 5,200 jobs in Alberta alone.
"Our goal is to create immediate jobs in these provinces while helping companies avoid bankruptcy, and supporting our environmental targets," he said.
Trudeau also announced a $750 million emissions reduction fund during his daily briefing outside his residence at Rideau Cottage on Apr 17 with a focus on methane, to create jobs through efforts to cut pollution.
Included in this fund, $75 million is devoted to help the offshore industry cut emissions in Newfoundland and Labrador.
A funding amounting to $962 million was also announced by Trudeau for regional development agencies to help the smaller employers in rural areas.
In addition, Trudeau announced $270 million fund for a program for entrepreneurial and industrial research, and another $500 million to support Canadians who work in the arts, culture and sports sectors.
The new measures are in addition to previously announced programs to support struggling businesses, including a 75 percent wage subsidy for businesses of all sizes, charities and non-profits.
Loans of up to $40,000 for businesses that have a payroll between $20,000 and $1.5 million a year, are also being offered by the federal government. Up to $10,000 of the interest-free loan is non-repayable. To date, 220,000 loans worth $8.8 billion have been approved.
Although Trudeau said reopening the economy too soon could increase the risk of spread of COVID-19, but some premiers have been considering ways to gradually get people back to work.
#Ontario; #HospitalsCapacityExpanded; #Covid19Pandemic
Ottawa, Apr 16 (Canadian-Media): Acting on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health care professionals, the Ontario government has added 1,035 acute care beds and 1,492 critical care beds and taken steps to ensure hospitals have the staff available to care for a sudden surge in patients due to COVID-19, media reports said.
Doug Ford. Image credit: Twitter handle
This has resulted in Ontario having a total of 20,354 acute care beds with a potential for an additional 4,205 more acute care beds by April 30, 2020.
Of Ontario's 3,504 critical care beds, 2,811 are now equipped with ventilators, up from 1,319 when the outbreak first started.
The hospitals' bed capacity has been done keeping in mind pandemic staffing plans to ensure each hospital has the physicians and staff needed, including in case of a major surge of cases.
Measures included were: Redeploying surgical nursing staff to work with medicine units; Sharing highly trained emergency and intensive care nursing staffs across units; Sharing physician resources across hospitals in a given region; Recruiting family doctors to complete shifts within the hospital; and Recruiting retirees, including nursing and support services.
Additional opportunities and resources have been explored by the hospitals to add new beds, including through the use of field hospitals, conference centres, school locations and more. Sites are ready to open based on the needs of the community.
Included in the Ontario’s hospitals' pandemic plans were postponing some elective surgeries and reorganizing and transfering alternate level of care patient to appropriate locations.
Several other measures adopted included the launch of Ontario’s online self-assessment tool, opening assessment centres, increasing Telehealth capacity and the ability to virtually consult with emergency department doctors.
Recently an order was placed by Ontario with O-Two Medical Technologies to produce 10,000 ventilator units, along with the support of Ontario's world-class manufacturing sector.
#Canada; #Covid19Pandemic; #LongTermCareHomes; #FederalProjections; #DiseaseModels
Ottawa, Apr 16 (Canadian-Media); Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said April 16 that the number of deaths due to the the COVID-19 pandemic, which amounted to more than 31,000 has surpassed the federal projections of between 11,000 and 22,000 over the course of the pandemic published last week by, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Official site
Unexpected outbreaks of the disease in long-term care facilities was the main cause of the surge in deaths in Canada.
COVID-19 being a new disease and not fully understood had caused uncertainty in disease models which rely on inconsistent and incomplete sources of data.
According to Dr. Thersa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, nearly half of all deaths have been linked to long-term care homes. Both Ontario and Quebec are grappling with outbreaks in these facilities.
Dr. Tam said she expects the case fatality rate to increase as the growth rate of infections continues to decrease.
According to the latest models from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the federal government is now projecting between 1,200 and 1,620 pandemic deaths by Apr. 21.
The country already has passed the lower end of that range, but Dr. Tam said the numbers provided will be subjected to variations those projections change overtime.
The #Ottawa; #JustinTrudeau; #BoostCriticalWorkersPay; #LongTermCareHomes
Ottawa, Apr 16 (Canadian-Media): The Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program, meant to help businesses offset monthly rent, was announced during his daily COVID-19 address on Apr 16 by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Official site
Trudeau will discuss with provinces to roll out the program, as it falls under provincial jurisdiction.
In his announcement, Trudeau also included plans to loosen eligibility requirements to the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) that will help more small- and medium-sized businesses struggling during the pandemic.
The earlier CEBA plan, said Trudeau, is updated to cover businesses who spent between $20,000 and $1.5 million on payroll last year, Trudeau said.
The previous threshold for businesses was a minimum payroll of $50,000 and a maximum of $1 million.
Trudeau also said he would discuss with premiers later today about how to boost pay for critical support workers in long-term care homes.
#Canada; #CERB; #MoreFlexibleRules; #CanadaPM; #JusinTrudeau; #NDP; #Conservatives
Ottawa, Apr 15 (Canadian-Media): More flexible rules for claiming the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) were announced by Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Apr 15 in response to criticisms that too many people, including those working reduced hours, were excluded in the initial rules, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Official website
Those who earn less than $1,000 a month due to reduced work hours, seasonal workers as well as those who have recently exhausted their employment insurance are eligible for CERB.
In addition, Trudeau announced wage boost for essential workers who make less than $2,500 a month, including those working in long-term care facilities for the elderly.
Details on sums and the delivery of the top-up are to be discussed in a call between Trudeau and the premiers tomorrow.
Trudeau outlined the expanded eligibility criteria during his daily briefing this morning outside his home at Rideau Cottage and said more news would be announced in the coming days about help for post-secondary students and businesses who are having trouble paying commercial rent.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the criteria to qualify for the top-up and other related details will be worked out collaboratively with the provinces and territories.
Many students whose summer job plans are falling through, and people who are working reduced but regular hours are also eligible to apply.
The NDP, which had called for a universal $2,000 benefit said, "We're happy that people can now earn some money and still apply for the Canadian emergency response benefit," says a media statement from NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pleased that seasonal workers, people who have exhausted EI benefits, students, owner-operators and those who continue to receive a modest income from part-time work, royalties and honorariums can now apply for CERB.
#Canada; #LongTermCareHomes; #vulnerable
Ottawa, Apr 14 (Canadian-Media): Canada's politicians are baffled by the increase in COVID-19 illnesses and deaths within Canada's long-term care facilities and had left health care experts puzzled why action for these missed opportunities was taken earlier, media reports said.
Long-term care home. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
More than 150,000 elderly and frail people live in dedicated care centres across Canada, according to the Canadian Association for Long-Term Care with 40,000 residents in its 440 accredited homes in Quebec, while Ontario has 628 such facilities.
Data collected by the federal government of Canada revealed that close to half of all COVID-19 deaths of the total at 832 as of Monday have occurred in nursing homes.
Ontario's Premier Doug Ford described the 114 long-term care facilities in Ontario, afflicted with COVID-19 outbreaks as "wildfire," and promised to dispatch hospital-based teams to tackle the problem.
Quebec's Premier François Legault issued a desperate plea to health care workers to solve the critical situation of 41 long-term care homes with 1,250 staff are off work due to illness or potential exposure to the virus.
Outdated facility designs with not enough space, under-staffing issues which forced nurses to work in various facilities, lack of testing options and shortages of personal protective equipments are some of other the contributing factors.
Following the examples of Governments in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador where staff had been told that that they can only work at one facility during the crisis, Ontario announced Tuesday that it intends to enact a similar emergency rule.