#CanadaBorders; #FullyVaccinated; #USCitizensAndResidents; #ArriveCANPortal
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: It was announced Jul 19 by the federal government of Canada that it plans to let fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents starting Aug. 9 at 12:01 a.m. ET. without having to quarantine for two weeks, while fully vaccinated travelers from all other countries would be allowed to enter Canada on Sept. 7.
Canada Border Service Agency. Image credit: Facebook page
Officials also announced July 19 that to exempt children under 12 not yet approved to receive a vaccine will be exempt as of Aug. 9, from the quarantine requirement after entering Canada and can move around with their parents if they follow public health measures, avoid group settings, such as school, camps and daycares, especially indoor ones.
There is mandatory need for foreign travelers entering Canada to present proof (in either English or French) of a complete round of one of the vaccines authorized for use in Canada and submit their information to the government's ArriveCAN portal.
That means two doses of either the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca products, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, at least 14 days before arriving.
They will not have to quarantine upon arrival in Canada, subject to meeting the government's criteria, but would would also have to follow provincial and territorial public health measures.
The government also announced July 19 its plan to launch a new surveillance program at airports and land border crossings starting Aug. 9.
14-day Quarantine rules would still need to be followed by unvaccinated or under-vaccinated travelers to Canada.
#Canada; #EnvironmentChange; #Emissions; #NDC
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: Canada's formal commitment, formally known as the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), to reduce emissions by 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 was officially submitted to the United Nations(UN) on Monday.
Image: Jonathan Wilkinson. Image credit: Facebook Page
Canada's submission confirming a target was first announced in April when Canadian officials participated in an international climate summit convened by the United States meaning curtailing country's total emissions to between 401 and 438 megatonnes by 2030.
According to the recently enacted Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, Canada's Environment and Climate Change Minister, Jonathan Wilkinson has six months to present a plan to meet the new target.
Wilkinson said in an interview that the federal government is willing to work collaboratively with the provinces but he doesn't expect support for the changes to be unanimous, CBC News reported.
Emissions are on track for a decline of 36 percent below the 2005 level to falling to 468 Mt by 2030 by taking into account the current and recently announced policies, says the Liberal government.
A Federal government-commissioned recent report from the Institute for Climate Choices said that design choices and exemptions at the provincial level have led to differences in coverage and price across the country.
The report's authors added that federal, provincial, and territorial ministers should work together towards developing a common standard of emissions coverage for carbon pricing including point-of-sale rebates to make efficient emissions reductions.
#Canada, #CanadaVaccine, #JustinTrudeau; #Covid19Vaccine
Moscow/Canadian-Media: Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister said on Sunday that the Canada would donate 100 million doses of COVID-19 shots to the world's developing nations as part of the G7 common initiative of coronavirus vaccine supplies.
Image: Moderna Vaccine. Image credit: Facebook Page
It was announced today by the G7 that collective commitments will result in over one billion doses being shared with the rest of the world and Canada's portion is 100 million doses.
Trudeau also specified that out of 100 million doses of COVID-19 shots, 87 million doses would be distributed among the developing countries, and 13 million shots would be supplied through WHO's COVAX program, aimed to provide access to vaccines against the disease to low- and middle-income countries.
Earlier in the day, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that London's share in the scheme was also 100 million doses.
#COVID19TestingandScreening, #ExpertAdvisoryPanel; #ThreeDayQuarantine; #AirTraversArrivingInCanada
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: Canada's COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel (CTSEAP) on the effectiveness of Canada's border restrictions recommends the federal government of Canada to end its policy of mandatory three-day quarantine stays in designated facilities for air travelers returning to Canada in favor of people's own quarantine plans.
Image. Panel member Dr. Isaac Bogoch. Image credit: Twitter hanlde
The panel examined the the land and air border measures to screen for COVID-19, and said that besides being expensive for both the government and the travelers, the mandatory three-day quarantine rule is faulty, including Canadians' choice to pay fines of up to $3,000 rather than go to designated quarantine facilities
Apart from the travelers' choice of not opting for designated quarantine facilities resulting in their not following proper quarantine health measures, the report also warns that three days quarantine measure is also inconsistent with the incubation period of COVID-19.
When asked earlier today if it is the right time to abolish the measure of quarantine hotels, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canadians should expect these to be around for some time to come.
"There is a point at which we are going to be able to say [quarantine hotels should be eliminated]. When that point arrives, it will be based on the best advice of scientists, doctors, of epidemiologists," Trudeau said.
#HealthCanada; #VaccinePassports; #InternationalTravel; #VaccineCertificate; #NonEssentialTravels
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: COVID-clear Canadians would be allowed to travel internationally with the vaccine certificates which would be soon issued to them, said Canada's Health Minister Patty Hajdu to CBC Radio's The House in an interview airing today.
Vaccine Passports. Image credit: Unsplash
"I am meeting on a regular basis with my G7 counterparts and this is an ongoing conversation about how that might look and how we might be able to have some sort of standardized approach to this," Hajdu told host and CBC National Editor Chris Hall.
Speaking to The House this week, Hajdu said that Canada is considering developing a system, or multiple systems, which would work across governments and hinted that Canada is looking at adapting an existing app.
"From our perspective we have a bit of a head start in terms of entry into Canada in that we have ArriveCan, the app that allows for digital proof of testing ... and a variety of other documents that people have to submit to enter Canada," Hajdu told Hall.
ArriveCan app which allows travelers to register the results of COVID-19 tests before and after they arrive in Canada is mandatory for almost all Canadians entering Canada by land or air and allows air travelers to register and book for their three-day stay at a government authorized hotel.
But Brenda McPhail, director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association's privacy, technology & surveillance project, told CBC News that there is a significant data protection issues involved in vaccine certification documents and added,
"Health information is some of the most sensitive information about us, which means we have to ask critical, very granular questions...and how it travels through a system, from app to airline to border control...Another source of risk is the fact that medical records in Canada are stored at the provincial level. "It's a truism that the more touch points there are for a piece of data, the more at-risk it is," she said.
#OnatrioHospitals; #CCUOverloaded; #MilitaryAid; #SurgeInCovid19
Toronto/Canadian-Media: Up to three medical assistance teams would be deployed by the Canadian Armed Forces to pandemic-stressed Ontario hospitals to help support critical health care facilities due to surging COVID-19 caseload, the Liberal government announced Monday.
Canadian Armed Forces. Image credit: Unsplash
Three dozen or more would be deployed by the troops and will include nurses and technicians who will help respond to the rising critical care caseload, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area. The military also will help to co-ordinate health logistics.
Public Safety Department said in a statement that starting today, the air force will also begin flying in extra medical staff offered to Ontario by other provinces to help ease the crisis. A relief flight with medical personnel from Newfoundland will arrive today.
Only a few days after turning down an offer by the federal government to send in extra personnel, it was on Friday that Ontario made the formal request for help from the military.
During the first wave, last year, nurses, medical technicians and ordinary soldiers spent months caring for elderly patients in 54 nursing homes in Ontario and Quebec when fifty-five members of the military contracted COVID-19 according to testimony heard by a parliamentary committee last fall. All of the soldiers recovered and none required hospitalization.
#Canada; #TravelBan; #Covid19; #India; #Pakistan
Canada/Canadian-Media: Omar Alghabra, Canada's Transport Minister said Thursday night at a virtual press conference that all commercial and private passenger flights from both India and Pakistan would be barred for 30 days as of 11:30 P.M. Thursday due to the escalation in COVID-19 case counts in India and Pakistan.
Travel ban. Image credit: Unsplash
Ottawa started seeing an alarming increase on positive tests being linked back to travelers from both these countries, said Alghabra and added that it was mandatory for all air passengers from India or Pakistan arriving in Canada via a third country to produce a negative result on a COVID-19 test taken at their last point of departure before entering Canada.
"As we've seen with our third wave, the COVID-19 pandemic can change rapidly," said Alghabra. "New variants can spread even faster than before and our health system is feeling even more pressure than ever before."
In a news conference on Thursday, Canada's Health Minister Patty Hajdu said that an increasing number of travelers on flights arriving from India and Pakistan have been testing positive in recent days and added that India made up 50 percent of all positive tests, with a similarly high number for travelers from Pakistan and added,
"By eliminating direct travel from these countries, public health experts will have the time to evaluate the ongoing epidemiology of that region and to reassess the situation as the region works to reduce transmission and protect its people," said Patty Hajdu.
Cargo flights carrying shipments of essential supplies, such as vaccines and personal protective equipment, were, however, permitted to maintain a regular supply of these.
#Canada; #AbusiveSenators; #harassmentpolicy; #NoPublicScrutiny
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: With the aim to root out abuse by tapping third-party investigators to probes harassment, and by enacting clear punishments to discourage harassers, the new harassment policy was drafted by the Independent Quebec Senator Raymonde Saint-Germain, the chair of the human resources subcommittee.
Raymonde Saint-Germain. Image credit: Twitter handle
Inaction against harassment policy of senators faced sometimes by parliamentarians serves as a gift for would-be harassers because abusing senators and staff are being sheltered from public scrutiny, one member of the Red Chamber says.
"I have suffered intense bullying throughout my career. There should be rules that prohibit this sort of harassment as unethical behavior for a senator," former Saskatchewan senator Lillian Dyck said. "It just shouldn't happen," CBC News reported.
After years of shielding senators from scandal by the Senate human resources department instead of properly probing allegations of staffer abuse, the new policy gives complainants the option of going to an outside third-party independent investigator to lodge a complaint.
Total secrecy on the part of the complainant and the alleged harasser involved in such an outside probe is maintained by the new policy.
In addition all the senators and staff have been directed by the senate to complete mandatory anti-harassment training.
Saint-Germain said the privacy provisions protect employees who come forward with complaints but don't want their cases publicized in any way.
#Canada; #CRA; #LockTaxPayersAccounts; #cybersecurity;
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: An investigation revealing the possibility of some usernames and passwords were obtained by unauthorized third parties, may result in locking of more than 800,000 taxpayers out of its online platform tomorrow as a precautionary cybersecurity measure, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) reported.
Cybersecurity. Image credit: Pinterest
The agency said the move is being taken after a similar action in February, when over 100,000 accounts accounts were locked.
"Like the accounts that were locked in February, these user IDs and passwords were not compromised as a result of a breach of CRA's online systems. Rather, they may have been obtained by unauthorized third parties and through a variety of means by sources external to the CRA," said CRA in a news release.
External data breaches and email phishing scams as possible sources of compromised personal information were cited by the CRA and said such "preventative measures ... may become more frequent to safeguard taxpayers' information."
CRA's move in the middle of one of the most complicated tax seasons in recent memory, when millions of Canadians prepare to file taxes after receiving COVID-19 benefits would cause affected taxpayers to remove their emails from their accounts and would not enable them to reset passwords using the traditional method on the agency's website, said CRA.
Access to their CRA account by the individuals could be done by a different login method, such as their banking login, or by creating a new user ID and password by requesting a unique personal identification number (PIN) be sent by mail.
Those who have signed up for email notifications from CRA My Account will receive emails, while other affected individuals will receive their instructions by mail.
The issues are expected to be fixed by March 22, CRA said, but anyone who hasn't been able to regain access by that date should call the agency.
For the safety of their personal information, all users of CRA's services are being encouraged by the CRA to create a personal identification number (PIN) in CRA My Account to help confirm their identity on future calls with the CRA, sign up for email notifications, monitor their accounts for suspicious activities, including unsolicited account changes, change passwords regularly, keep account information up to date, and install software to remove malware from computers and devices.
#CanadaNationalDefense; #CFNIS; #FrancesAllen
Ottawa/Canadian-Media: The Department of National Defense announced today that amid number of general officer appointments and transfers, Lt.-Gen. Frances Allen has been promoted to vice-chief of the defense staff (VCDS), replacing Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau, a statement from the Department of National Defence announced Tuesday morning.
Lt Gen Frances Allen. Image credit: Facebook page of Royal Canadian Air Force
The shakeup is the result of the crisis within the military as Admiral Art McDonald and Gen. Jonathan Vance, the two most senior officers, remain under investigation by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) for alleged sexual misconduct.
McDonald, who had only been in the Chief of the Defence job a month, stepped aside as the head of the Canadian Army, after learning last week that he was under investigation.
Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre was given the temporary appointment by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.
Rouleau, who is the former commander of special forces, has been moved into a new role as senior adviser on future capabilities.
Allen will become the first woman to hold the position of vice chief and in that capacity and will be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the military.