April 2021 This is a newsroll page on A Socialist In Canada, commencing September 2017. It consists of headlines with weblinks to published news articles and political analysis. Occasional commentary by the website publisher, Roger Annis, appears in square brackets [ ] . For preceding months, go to ‘News pages archives’ on the home page of A Socialist In Canada and use the drop-down menu. To find past stories on this and other news pages on this website, use the ‘find’ (word search) function on your web browser. Headlines in red denote items published on the main news page of A Socialist In Canada.
Covid-19 cases in Canada. Comprehensive, daily reporting of Covid-19 is published by the Government of Canada, here. Students at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto maintain a website project reporting on Covid-19 cases in Canada, here. As of April 16, 2021: There have been 1,096,716 total Covid-19 cases in Canada and 23,500 deaths. Canada is #23 in the world for total cases (#39 by population). Canada’s total per capita case rate is 27 per cent that of the U.S., 38 per cent of Britain and France, and 78 per cent of Germany. News of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on elder Canadians can be found at the website of the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Trends in new Covid-19 cases in Canada’s largest provinces, April 16, 2021
New Covid-19 cases in Canada were a record 9,561 on April 15. The numbers by province reported on the indicated date are here [population figures in brackets]:
* Quebec on Apr 15: 1,513 new cases (one-day record is 3,127 on Jan 9) and 15 new deaths (record is 74 on Dec 22). [8.5 million].
* Ontario on Apr 15: record 4,736 new cases and 29 new deaths (one-day record is 89 on Jan 7 and Jan 20). [14.6 million].
* Manitoba on Apr 15: 153 new cases (one-day record is 543 on Nov 23) and two new deaths (record is 19 on Dec 5) [1.3 million].
* Saskatchewan on Apr 15: 293 new cases (one-day record is 439 on Nov 21) and three new deaths (record is 14 on Jan 26) [1.2 million].
* Alberta on Apr 15: 1,646 new cases (one-day record is 1,879 on Dec 5) and five new deaths (record is 38 on Jan 12) [4.4 million].
* British Columbia on Apr 15: 1,205 new cases (one-day record is 1,293 on Apr 8) and three new deaths (one-day record is 28 on Dec 10) [5.1 million].
New cases per 100,000 population on April 13 Alberta 24.7, Saskatchewan 24.5, Ontario 24.2, Quebec 17.6, British Columbia 17.2, Manitoba 9.9. Canada average on that date is 19.7.
New cases seven-day average as of Apr 13: Ontario 3,999, Quebec 1,517, Alberta 1,263, British Columbia 1,129, Saskatchewan 261, Manitoba 120.
Canada news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, April 2021
The collapse of Covid-19 policy in Canada’s largest provinces is laid bare by alarming rises in daily new cases, rising proportions of more transmissable variants among new cases, and rising hospitalizations. The Covid policy failures in Canada are providing a powerful incentive for the Canadian government and media barons to distract attention from their failures and wage anti-China propaganda and threats and now renew similar threats against Russia. China has vanquished the pandemic, a stark contrast to the failures and criminal negligence of the Western powers. All the leading member-countries of the NATO military alliance have failed spectacularly to curb the pandemic. Their ‘strategy’ for combatting the pandemic is ‘Wait for vaccine miracles, meanwhile, let the dead fall where they may’.
BC’s Covid cases and hospitalizations rise, but still no new measures from the province’s libertarian chief officer of public health. Report in The Tyee, Apr 15, 2021
* British Columbia health officials say province could hit 2,000 Covid-19 cases per day if interactions not limited, CBC News, Apr 15, 2021
* On Covid travel restrictions, BC Premier John Horgan talks a lot, does nothing, by Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, Apr 15, 2021
This government has failed Ontario in the most unthinkable, unforgivable way, by Bruce Arthur, columnist, Toronto Star, Apr 15, 2021 …Dr. Kieran Moore, the medical officer of health for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, where patients from Scarborough have been airlifted for weeks, says, “We’re in big trouble. I look at the Ontario data, and the immunization data, five times a day. We can’t immunize our way out of this: we have to public health measures our way out of it.” …
Related: Ontario could see over 18,000 new Covid-19 cases per day by the end of May, according to latest modeling data, CBC News, Apr 15, 2021
Workplace-related deaths from Covid-19 in Ontario have accelerated in 2021, Toronto Star, Apr 13, 2021 In 2020, there were 28 deaths from Covid-19 in workplaces; in the first three months of 2021, there have been 18. Workers compensation claims were 11.014 in 2020 and are 8,762 so far in 2021.
Related: The Covid-19 cracks in Canada’s patchwork of workers compensation programs. Report in Globe and Mail, Apr 13, 2021
Ontario schools closing to in-person learning indefinitely as COVID-19 cases soar, CTV News, Apr 12, 2021
Ottawa announces multi-billion $ bailout of planet-wrecking Air Canada airline. Report by CBC News, Apr 12, 2021 The Canadian government will provide Air Canada with up to $5.9 billion through the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility, a program aimed at supporting large Canadian employers who have lost revenue due to COVID-19…
Related: Air Canada caps ‘bleakest year’ in aviation history with $1.16B loss in fourth quarter 2020, CBC News, Feb 12, 2021 …The airline’s operating revenue dropped to $827 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, down from $4.43 billion in the same three months of 2019, as the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered air travel. Air Canada’s passenger numbers declined 73 per cent in 2020 following several years of record growth for the airline…
[Pandemic be damned; for the fossil fuel death cult that governs in Ottawa and in Canada’s ten provinces, it’s full steam ahead on resuming planet-killing fossil fuel emissions. That runs side by side with the escalation of economic warfare and military threats against those such as China and Russia who challenge the imperialist countries’ aim of world dominance and their blatant disregard for the condition of humanity and the planet.]
Canada’s ‘Banderite’ Ukrainian lobby succeeds in cancelling lecture by visiting Russian professor, by Moss Robeson, The Canada Files, Apr 12, 2021
Canadian MP Don Davies says sanctions against Venezuela are illegal and immoral, by Steve Lalla, published in Orinico Tribune, Apr 10, 2021
Ontario’s Covid nightmare is coming to life, by Bruce Arthur, columnist, Toronto Star, Apr 9, 2021 …Premier Doug Ford Ford has tried to be upbeat since issuing a province-wide, 28-day stay-at-home order on April 9 that is unlikely to actually cause cases to drop. He has urged other people to be positive, too, because being positive will help us get through the hell his government has allowed to unfold, or at least that seems to be the message, these days…
Related news of pandemic negligence in Ontario:
* Covid-hit ICUs in Ontario to begin emergency measures as patient numbers reach and exceed record levels, Toronto Star, Apr 10, 2021
* The racial disparity in vaccination access in Toronto, Toronto Star, Apr 10, 2021 …Wealthier neighbourhoods in Toronto with lower COVID-19 rates have significantly higher vaccination rates than lower-income neighbourhoods with more risk. The most vaccinated neighbourhood in Toronto, defined by the first three letters of the postal code, was Moore Park (M4T), an affluent area north of Rosedale near St. Clair and Mount Pleasant Avenues. There, 22.4 per cent of residents had received at least one shot, despite the rate of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 being just 0.59 per 1,000 people. Jane and Finch (M3N), where more than half of the residents do not speak English as a first language, and where thousands of essential workers live, had the lowest vaccination rate. Only 5.5 per cent of people there were vaccinated. That neighbourhood also has a rate of 5.06 per 1,000 people for hospitalization and death due to Covid-19…
British Columbia has the world’s largest outbreak of ‘P1’ coronavirus variant outside of Brazil and the Whistler ski resort north of Vancouver is a key location of infections. Report in The Guardian, Apr 9, 2021 …Jean-Paul Soucy, a PHD candidate in epidemiology and the co-founder of the Covid-19 Canada Open Data Working Group, said British Columbia lags behind other provinces in its ability to track the percentage of cases involving variants. “The fact that the province was late in implementing enhanced quarantine measures at the border likely didn’t help either,” he said. “If those measures had been put in months earlier, maybe this could have been slowed down – or even avoided.” Whistler’s notorious housing shortage has also probably played a role in the spread. “Because rent is so crazy, you have people living in closets and sometimes as many as eight people sharing a place…” Further complicating efforts to track the virus, British Columbia announced earlier this week it would no longer screen all positive Covid-19 tests for variants…
Related: Why Doesn’t BC Get Tougher on Stopping Travel?, by Kristina Jenei, The Tyee, Apr 12, 2021 How New Zealand and some Canadian regions blocked non-essentil travel–a proven factor in virus spread.
Green Party in British columbia blasts BC government’s Covid response, urges a ‘zero Covid’ strategy, The Tyee, Apr 8, 2021 The Green Party in British Columbia is calling on the provincial government to radically alter its pandemic response and aim for Covid Zero. This makes the two-member Green caucus in the BC legislature the first Canadian party outside Atlantic Canada to call for strict measures to eliminate the virus… The Greens’ call echoes criticism from epidemiologists, doctors and modellers that the approach could have prevented variants from taking hold in BC. It comes on the same day the province announced a record 1,293 new Covid-19 cases in the province…
Canadians should be able to access dental care with a health card instead of a credit card, by Hasan Sheikh and Dr. Brandon Doucet, The Conversation, Apr 7, 2021
Ontario scrambles to enact month-long stay at home order as new Covid cases, including extra-dangerous variants, run rampant. Report by CP24 News, Apr 7, 2021 and read: Medical officers of health for Toronto, Peel (Toronto region) and Ottawa call for province-wide stay-at-home order, Global News, Apr 5, 2021
Related news of pandemic negligence:
* As Ontario’s magical thinking on Covid-19 fails, Premier Doug Ford turns to Plan B: panic, by Bruce Arthur, columnist, Toronto Star, Apr 6, 2021
* Warehouses, factories, construction sites responsible for far more workplace outbreaks in Ontario than retail and restaurants, data shows, Toronto Star, Apr 5, 2021 …According to data from Toronto Public Health, a full 68 per cent of all workplace COVID-19 outbreaks so far have taken place in offices, warehouses, construction sites and food processing plants — many of which have continued to operate throughout the pandemic — leading many to question why Premier Doug Ford keeps opening and closing restaurants and salons while doing little to stop the rampant transmission happening at workplaces outside of the public eye…
* Vaccinate essential workers on the job because they’re hardest hit by COVID’s third wave say experts, National Post, Apr 5, 2021
* Top scientists in Canada propose moving pandemic warning system outside government, Globe and Mail, Apr 5, 2021
What we know about the ‘P.1’ coronavirus variant now spreading in Canada, Canadian Press, Apr 5, 2021 …As of April 1, there have been 483 cases of the P.1 variant across the country, with the majority of them — 379 — in B.C., Health Canada says…
Related: Alberta outbreak of Brazilian COVID-19 variant linked to traveler, Globe and Mail, Apr 5, 2021 …A variant of Covid-19 first identified in Brazil is quickly spreading in parts of Western Canada. It has swept three work sites in Alberta, forced the closing of the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort in British Columbia and suspended play for the Vancouver Canucks NHL hockey team. On April 5, Canucks rookie Nils Hoglande was added to the team’s Covid-19 protocol list, bringing to 17 the total number of active players unavailable to play because of illness or potential exposure. Postmedia reports that the P.1 variant is driving the Canucks outbreak, however neither the club nor the NHL has confirmed this…
Canada is one big pandemic response experiment proving that ‘Zero Covid’ is best, commentary by Andrew Nikiforuk, The Tyee, Apr 2, 2021 An extensive French study has surveyed nations’ responses to Covid-19 and concludes that those taking an aggressive ‘Zero Covid’ approach fared better than others by both health and economic measures. The study rests its analysis in part on the experience of Canada, where six large provinces face steeply rising infection rates tied to evolved variants of the virus, while provinces and territories that hewed closer to the Zero COVID approach do not…
Ontario walked right into this colossal failure, by Bruce Arthur, columnist, Toronto Star, Apr 1, 2021 …It is heartbreaking. It is negligence, and it is tragedy. This government decided science was bunk, or it decided the people dying weren’t people the government cared about, and then they blundered into this panicked half-shutdown…
Related news of Ontario’s pandemic negligence:
* 153 ICU doctors pen an open letter to Ontario gov’t saying the province is headed down a ‘very dangerous path’ as a third round of Covid negligence slams province. Report by CTV News, Apr 1, 2021 (and read: Numbers in intensive care for Covid-19 in Ontario are at record high, CTV News, Mar 31, 2021) …”Ontario is at a critical point in the pandemic, and we are being led down a very dangerous path by using ICU capacity as a benchmark for tolerance of Covid-19 spread,” reads the letter signed by 153 ICU docotrs. “We do not agree with this approach and believe new public health measures are required immediately in order to regain control of the pandemic and save lives…” [The text of the open letter by 153 ICU doctors can be read here on Ricochet. A report issued on April 1 by Ontario’s Covid-19 science table said the new variants of concern now account for 67 per cent of all Covid-19 cases in the province, as case counts climb over 2,000 new cases a day.].
* More than 900 Amazon workers in Toronto region have fallen ill from Covid-19 as new study shows vulnerability of essential workers and reveals the racism behind Ontario gov’t’s negligent pandemic response. Report by Sara Mojtehedzadeh, work and wealth reporter, Toronto Star, Apr 2, 2021 …New restrictions announced on April 1 by the Ontario government will close personal care services and restaurants but there are no new restrictions in other industries nor any new provision of paid sick days for workers… The research found a 51 per cent growth rate of the variants in neighbourhoods with the highest density of essential workers. Cases here grew at more than double the rate of communities with the lowest concentration of essential workers, according to the study led by McMaster University associate professor of medicine Dr. Zain Chagla and experts at several other academic institutions…
Ontario imposes province-wide ’emergency brake’ as third round of Covid-19 hits hard, CBC News, Apr 1, 2021 and read: Another ‘lockdown lite’ on tap in Ontario as new Covid cases soar. Report by CP24 News, April 1, 2021
The new measures close indoor dining as well as exercise and personal care outlets and restrict numbers at shopping outlets. Schools remain open and there are no stay-at-home restrictions.
Related pandemic news in Canada’s largest provinces:
* Numbers in intensive care for Covid-19 in Ontario are at record high, CTV News, Mar 31, 2021
* Ontario hits new ICU peak for COVID-19 patients. ‘This is what happens when you don’t pay attention to science’, by Michele Henry, staff reporter, Toronto Star, Mar 31, 2021 Despite more than half a million vaccinations of front-line health-care workers and older residents in the city, Covid infections are now spiralling “out of control” in Toronto and beyond, according to members of the Covid-19 Science Advisory Table. “We are where we are today because of decisions we made yesterday,” Dr. Andrew Morris, an infectious diseases specialist, told the Star. “This is what happens when you don’t pay attention to science.” …
* With no good choices facing Ontario in its Covid-19 measures, government is choosing the same halfway hell that brought us here, by Bruce Arthur, colunist, Toronto Star, Mar 31, 2021
* This round of Covid-19 negligence in Ontario is coming for the 30-somethings, because political leaders won’t protect them, by Emma Teitel, columnist, Toronto Star, Mar 31, 2021
* Quebec moves three cities into lockdown following sharp rise in COVID-19 infections, The Canadian Press, Mar 31, 2021 …Schools and non-essential businesses are to close and the existing curfew will move from 9:30 pm to 8 pm in the provincial capital Quebec City, Levis (Quebec City region) and Gatineau (Ottawa region) for at least ten days, Quebec Premier François Legault announced on March 31…
British Columbia’s pseudo lockdown is destined to fail, by V.S.Wells, Passage, Apr 1, 2021
* BC’s premier has accused young people of ‘blowing’ pandemic safety. All I do is work so that you can shop, by Thomas O’Donnell, The Tyee, Mar 31, 2021
* British Columbia reports record 1,013 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths. Report by CBC News, Mar 31, 2021
The anti-China mob in Canada is flummoxed, angered by track and field athlete’s decision to change citizenship and compete for China. Report in National Post, Mar 31, 2021
Canada news headlines on A Socialist In Canada, March 2021
Another top military officer in Canada steps aside amid allegations of sexual assault, by David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen, Mar 31, 2021 Another top Canadian military officer is under police investigation after a former member of the navy alleges she was sexually assaulted on board a supply ship in 1991. Vice Admiral Haydn Edmundson has temporarily left his job as commander of Military Personnel Command in Ottawa… Over the last several months, the Canadian Forces has been rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct by its top leaders. Chief of the Defence Staff Adm. Art McDonald voluntary stepped down Feb. 24 from that job after being put under military police investigation… Former Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance is also under military police investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct…
Previously reported: Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan knew in 2018 about sexual harassment allegations against Canada’s top military officer in 2018 but denies knowing and refused to act, by David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen (Postmedia), Mar 3, 2021 …Testimony on March 3 by Canadian Forces Ombudsman Gary Walbourne contradicts Sajjan’s statements that he only found out about the sexual misconduct allegations against then Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance from news media reports several weeks ago…
[Canada’s minister of defense Harjit Sajjan stands accused of ignoring accusations of sexual assault against General Jon Vance when these came to his attention in 2018. Meanwhile, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service which is responsible for investigating sexual assault accusations is itself being criticized for a lack of independence in its investigative work. See the compilation of news headlines on this story located on this website page and dated March 14, including the above story dated March 3.]
Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline expansion will lead to $11.9 billion in losses, concludes study at Simon Fraser U; study authors call for scrapping the project, CBC News, Mar 31, 2021 …The researchers suggest the government would be better off shelving the project entirely and using the funds to invest in alternative energy projects…
Canada is struggling to deport its last known Nazi suspect, Washington Post, Mar 30, 2021
[The Washington Post writer says that Canada has a “poor record” in prosecuting Nazi war criminals. But this is inaccurate. Canada has an ‘excellent’ record… of welcoming thousands of Nazi war criminals into the country following World War Two and shielding them from criminal prosecution. Its allies the U.S. and Britain have similar records, including blocking entry into their countries at the time of Jewish and other peoples threatened by Nazi atrocities. Serious journalism today would reveal similar, favored treatment is being accorded to neo-Nazi leaders from Ukraine and the Baltic states. As in post-1945 regarding the Soviet Union, all that neo-Nazi prospective entrants need do today is declare an unrelenting hostility towards Russia. Indeed, from 2014 onward, Ukrainian neo-Nazis have been feted in the halls of the Canadian Parliament and U.S. Congress.]
Canada’s Covid-19 negligence:
Backlash against British Columbia premier after he blames young people for causing rising Covid-19 cases. Report by News 1130, Mar 30, 2021
Related: Is it young people who need to focus on individual responsibility in B.C.’s pandemic, or is it John Horgan?, CBC News, Mar 29, 2021
Canada’s Covid-19 negligence:
British Columbia officials make about face and order new restrictions as daily Covid-19 cases exceed 800, CBC News, Mar 29, 2021 The new restrictions close indoor dining, group fitness sessions, indoor religious services and the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort 150 km north of Vancouver.
* Why did chief public health officer Bonnie Henry take so long to order new restrictions?, by Vaughn Palmer, columnist, Vancouver Sun, Mar 29, 2021
* BC officials reverse course, order mask usage in schools for grade four and higher, Global News, Mar 29, 2021 [Teachers and many parents have argued for months for this decision. It follows the about-face in mid-November, 2020 by Chief Medical Officer Bonnie Henry mandating indoor mask usage.]
Canada’s Covid-19 negligence:
New data shows COVID-19 pandemic now ‘completely out of control’ in Ontario, key scientific adviser says, CBC News, Mar 29, 2021 …Variants that are more deadly are circulating widely, new daily infections have reached the same number at the height of the second wave, and the number of people hospitalized is now more than 20 per cent higher than at the start of the last provincewide lockdown, states an analysis from Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table published on March 29…
Canada’s Covid-19 negligence:
Canada’s elder care homes have worst record for COVID-19 deaths among wealthy nations, CBC News, Mar 29, 2021 Canada has the worst record for COVID-19 deaths in long-term care homes compared with other wealthy countries, according to a new report released on March 30 by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). The study finds that the proportion of deaths in nursing homes represented 69 per cent of Canada’s overall COVID-19 deaths, which is significantly higher than the international average of 41 per cent… Lessons learned in the first wave [sic] during spring 2020 didn’t lead to changes in outcomes during the second wave [sic] last fall, which was “bigger and broader” and resulted in “a larger number of outbreaks, infections and deaths”…
Canada’s Covid-19 negligence:
Here’s how badly Canada’s public health agency muffed the pandemic, by Andrew Nikiforuk, columnist, The Tyee, Mar 26, 2021 The auditor-general report lays out six ways the Canada Public Health Agency failed its mandate.
Related: Canada could have been largely free of the pandemic by now, by Andrew Nikiforuk, columnist, The Tyee, Mar 25, 2021
[Andrew Nikiforuk is a leading environmental writer in Canada and an advocate of a ‘zero Covid’ strategy for government and public health officials. In April 2020, he published a virulently anti-China commentary on the pandemic titled ‘How China’s failures, lies and secrecy ignited a pandemic explosion’.]
Canada’s Covid-19 negligence:
Canada’s public health agency was unprepared for pandemic, reports the country’s auditor general, CTV News, Mar 24, 2021 The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) “underestimated” the potential impact of COVID-19, and was not adequately prepared to respond in the early days of the pandemic after failing to heed decades-long recommendations for changes, according to new findings from the auditor general…
* How the Canadian government mis-managed a year of Covid-19, by Tonda MacCharles, Ottawa bureau, Toronto Star, Mar 29, 2021 …A critical federal audit last week concluded that the Public Health Agency of Canada was not ready for the pandemic and underestimated the potential impact of the virus at its onset. Even before last week’s report from the auditor-general, I had reached similar conclusions… On the whole, the government failed to learn crucial lessons of past epidemics. The picture that really emerges is that Canada failed on pre-pandemic preparation, stumbled in its mid-pandemic responses, and continues to lack a clear end-of-pandemic game plan…
* Canada’s chief public health officer criticized for supporting ‘indefensible’ assessment of Covid-19 risk by her agency at outset of pandemic, Globe and Mail, Mar 29, 2021 read the article here in pdf format: PHAC Covid assessments An expert who worked on the Auditor-General’s report that criticized Canada’s lack of preparation for COVID-19 says the government’s risk assessments were “an utter failure” and cannot be defended. Wesley Wark, an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa who analyzed the risk assessments during the onset of the outbreak, said Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam’s remarks last week that sought to justify those assessments are “defending the indefensible.”…
[The Public Health Agency of Canada was more than ‘unprepared’ for the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. It was criminally negligent, as evidenced in its messaging and decision making in the early months and later. More than one year later, new Covid-19 cases are rising alarmingly in Canada’s largest provinces due to new variants, a broken test and trace system and inadequate vaccination rates and practices. But hey, that negligence has ‘only’ cost some 23,000 lives to Covid-19 in Canada, so no need for criminal accountability. As for political accounting, that will depend on whether a poorly informed Canadian public informs itself and acts accordingly. For now, Canada’s political parties and governments are succeeding in shrugging off the pandemic wreckage they caused and telling Canadians that Covid-free China and its growing alliance with Russia are the big threat to their futures.]
Rallies to condemn anti-Asian racism in Toronto and Vancouver on March 28 and Winnipeg on March 27. Reports in Toronto Star, Mar 28, 2021, CBC Vancouver Mar 28, 2021 and Global News (Winnipeg), Mar 27, 2021 [A two-page statement by the sponsoring organizations of the March 28 rally in Toronto is here. The statement makes no reference to the big-power gang-up taking place against China. Does this gang-up contribute to the rise of anti-Asian racism in Canada and the U.S.?].
Related: Raised to identify as Black, Kamala Harris steps into role as a voice for Asian Americans amid rise in hate incidents, Washington Post, Mar 28, 2021 [This Washington Post article provides a measure of the pressure operating on governing officials in Washington DC due to the rise in anti-Asian racism caused by the big-power gangup they are leading against China on the international stage.]
Vaccination pace in Ontario can’t keep up with new Covid-19 cases due to surge of variants, Toronto Star, Mar 24, 2021 The pace at which Ontario is vaccinating against Covid-19 isn’t fast enough to prevent the need for restrictive public health measures in the coming weeks as variants drive new cases of the virus ever higher, infectious disease experts warn…
Canada has left its foreign caregivers in a stalled system that’s derailing lives, critics say, Toronto Star, Mar 27, 2021 The system that is supposed to help foreign nannies and care workers build a new life in Canada is, simply put, a hot mess. That’s the conclusion of caregivers, their advocates and their lawyers, two years after reforms were brought in by the federal Liberal government…
Clinic in Toronto suburb of Scarborough is offering Covid-19 vaccinations to undocumented workers, Toronto Star, Mar 26, 2021 …The Star asked Ontario’s Ministry of Health earlier this week if personal information, collected as part of receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, could be shared with police or immigration authorities. A ministry spokesperson did not directly answer the question…
Related: Undocumented workers in Toronto region fear that a Covid vaccination risks their job and their continued presence in Canada, Toronto Star, Mar 23, 2021 …Best estimates put the total number of undocumented workers in Canada at 200,000 to 500,000, with about half living in the Toronto area. They often do essential work, such as agriculture, construction and caregiving…
The global warming emergency is not relenting, but The Leap project founded by Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein is packing it in. Statement by The Leap Project, March 2021 [The Leap Project was founded in 2015 with the goal of bringing liberal, green capitalist environmental ideas on the global warming emergency into the mainstream of liberal and social-democratic politics in Canada. But even something as timid as that proved too much for Canada’s social-democratic party the NDP, never mind the country’s governing Liberal Party. The Lliberals are a firm pillar of the fossil fuel death cult that reigns in Canada’s ruling class and halls of power; the NDP is a willing partner, as shown by its record in power from 2015 to 2019 in Alberta, Canada’s leading fossil fuel producer, and by its record in neighbouring BC since 2017. The founders of the Leap Project are turning their attention and resources to founding a new, soft-left media outlet, The Breach.]
Physical assaults, spitting on older people and children among soaring number of anti-Asian hate incidents reported in Canada, Toronto Star, Mar 23, 2021 …Anti-Asian racism has been growing across the country, according to a new report released on March 23 by the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice (CCNC-SJ) Toronto chapter, which for the first time details the nature of attacks that seem to have intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic…
* Three hypocrite members of Canadian Parliament decry the rise of anti-Asian racism in Canada and the U.S. This follows their vote for the infamous, racist resolution in Parliament adopted unanimously on February 22 condemning a non-existent ‘genocide’ in China’s Xinjiang region. Report by CBC News, Mar 21, 2021
* While his government wages a racist, neo-colonial vendetta against China, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issues statement ‘condemning’ racism on the International Day Against Racism. Statement issued by Justin Trudeau, March 21, 2021
[The Canadian government as well as editorialists and columnists in corporate media and ideologues in pro-imperialist think tanks are waging an intense propaganda campaign against the Chinese people and government, steeped in racist and neo-colonial language and ideology. They are doing so in partnership with Canada’s imperialist allies in the U.S., Europe and Australia. The key fronts of the campaign are military threats as well as economic sanctions targetting Chinese high-technology industries. To that latter end, Canada has kidnapped and held under house arrest for more than two years the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, Meng Wanzhou. Ottawa is working with the U.S. government to extradite Meng Wanzhou into the U.S. prison gulag. Opposition parties in Ottawa unanimously support the government drive. As a result of the government and corporate campaign, anti-Asian racism and physical assaults against Asian-Canadians are on the rise. News reports on the matter, however, can only be superficial because however comprehensive that individual journalists may seek to be in their reporting, the fundamental role of corporate media is to act as stenographers to power. Journalists who step outside of that boundary risk their careers. A good example of this is an informative commentary on the Atlanta shootings published in the New York Times on March 19. It examines the history of sexual exploitation of Asian women in the U.S. while completely ignoring the present-day context of the racist and neo-colonial drive against China by the U.S. government and ruling class.]
Personal support workers stiffed on permanent wage hikes in Ontario budget, Toronto Star, Mar 24, 2021 [The provincial budget delivered on March 24 in Ontario fails to make permanent the $3 per hour wage increase that was declared by the government lst year. The decision will be revieewed, according to the government, around the end of April, when the province’s inquiry into deaths at eleder care homes is delivered. Unions in the industry complain about the decision, but that’s as far as ‘union action’ goes these days in Canada’s tamed and conservatized trade unions.]
Proposed tax credit in Canada favouring ‘carbon capture and storage’ will drive higher emissions and could mislead investors, written and published by The Energy Mix, Mar 24, 2021
(The Energy Mix is published by Energy Mix Productions Inc., a Canadian non-profit that promotes community awareness of, engagement in, and action on climate change, energy, and carbon-free solutions.)
B.C. government’s cone of silence over damning reports of geotechnical problems and resulting, huge cost overruns of Site C dam is more than two years old, by Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun, Mar 23, 2021
When it comes to climate change, the Conservative Party in Canada is in danger of becoming irrelevant, by Gillian Steward, columnist, Toronto Star, Mar 22, 2021 [This informative analysis is nevertheless missing a vital fact, namely that the opposition New Democratic Party in the Alberta legislature governed the province from 2015 to 2019 and proved to be every bit as devoted as the Conservative Party to the fossil fuel death cult that governs in Ottawa and Edmonton. So what is a concerned Canadian to do?]
British Columbia gov’t refuses to conduct formal inquiry into its deaths in elder care homes even though deaths were five times higher during second round of Covid negligence compared to first round. Report in Globe and Mail, Mar 21, 2021
[There were 7,311 deaths in elder care homes in Canada during the first round of Covid negligence, app. March to June 2020. Of those, 120 were in BC. During the second round of Covid negligence, Sep 1, 2020 to Feb 15, 2021, there were 7,181 deaths. Of those, 567 were in British Columbia, a five-fold rise. Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba are conducting formal inquiries into Covid-19 deaths in their elder care institutions. Perhaps a large reason for the refusal of the BC government to do likewise is the record of the province’s chief medical officer. She has been lionized in corporate media as a ‘Mother Theresa’-type saviour. Yet she refused to mandate the wearing of masks until pressured to do so by public opinion, performing an about-face in mid-November. She has also been ideologically opposed to the use of rapid Covid-19 testing in elder care homes.].
Photo caption in Toronto Star op-ed page, March 22, 2021: BC’s wonderful health officer, Bonnie Henry, is trying to direct vaccines to particular industries…
Related: BC’s deadliest care home outbreak, in Vancouver, took Yuet Sheung Wan. Her family wants change, The Tyee, Mar 21, 2021 …On Nov. 20, Little Mountain Place emailed families to tell them an employee had contracted COVID-19 and was in isolation. A Vancouver Coastal Health officer determined that there was “minimal exposure risk” and didn’t declare it an outbreak. The health authority placed the home on “enhanced surveillance,” yet still welcomed visitors and continued group activities… By the time the outbreak was declared over on Jan. 29, it had become B.C.’s most fatal, with 171 cases and 41 deaths. Ninety-nine residents were infected in the 116-bed care home…
Ontario has let a ‘flood’ of temp agencies into long-term care during Covid-19, putting residents and caregivers at risk, Toronto Star, Mar 20, 2021
Advocates call on Canadians to examine treatment of Asian Canadians, The Canadian Press, Mar 19, 2021 …The killings in Atlanta on March 16 follow a wave of recent attacks against Asian Americans and Canadians since the novel coronavirus first arrived in North America…
* Following the killings of Asian-American women in Atlanta on March 16, Vancouver advocates demand protection for Asian and migrant women and sex workers, Vancouver Sun, Mar 19, 2021
* Border officer’s questions to Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver airport on Dec 1, 2018 were relevant only to U.S. officials seeking her extradition, say her lawyers at March 19 court appearance, The Canadian Press, Mar 19, 2021
Vaccine rollout is slow, Covid variant is fast: a new wave of Covid negligence by authorities spreads in Ontario. Report by Sharon Kirkey, Postmedia, Mar 16, 2021
* More than triple the case counts projected for Toronto and region as variants become dominant among new coronavirus cases, Toronto Star, Mar 17, 2021 …“You have a variant (B.1.1.7) that’s 50 per cent more transmissible and you’re using the same tool box and control efforts that barely worked against the previous variant,” said Chris Bauch, a professor and a university research chair in the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo. “So of course the prevalence will increase. It might be a bit more or a bit less but if you’re reopening and you have a more transmissible variant, cases will increase. It’s not even really rocket science.”…
* The racial bias in Ontario underlying who falls ill from Covid-19 and who has access to vaccines, by Shree Paradkar, race and gender columnist, Toronto Star, Mar 17, 2021
* One year in, here is how the Ontario gov’t is faring in its fight against Covid-19, Toronto Star, Mar 17, 2021 …Ontario has seen 48 deaths and 2,107 cases per 100,000 residents in the pandemic, compared to Quebec’s 123 deaths and 3,428 cases per 100,000 people, Michigan’s 156 deaths and 5,948 cases per 100,000, and New York’s 200 deaths and 8,625 cases per 100,000…
Opioid-related overdose deaths jump by 59 per cent in Ontario, Globe and Mail, Mar 12, 2021 …Opioid-related overdose deaths increased by nearly 60 per cent in Ontario in the first 11 months of 2020, bringing renewed calls for a provincial overdose strategy. The province recorded 2,167 confirmed and probable opioid-related deaths from January to November last year – a 59-per-cent increase over the same period in 2019, according to a report from the Office of the Chief Coroner. November was the deadliest month on record, with 240 opioid-related deaths. B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan also had their worst years on record for drug deaths in the period since the COVID-19 pandemic began…
Related: Drug overdose [poisoning] deaths in U.S. jump to 88,000 for year beginning Aug 2019, NPR, Apr 1, 2021 Drug deaths spiked dramatically during a period that includes the first six months of the pandemic, up roughly 27 per cent compared with the previous year, the acting head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy reported on April 1…
[Opioid related deaths in Canada were 3,945 for the nine months Jan to Sep 2020, an annual rate of 5,260 (source). That is approximately half the mortality rate per capita of the U.S. for opioid and other drug death poisonings during the year beginning Aug 1, 2019.]
The sexism in Canada’s military hierarchy extends to the Dep’t of National Defense, Global News, Mar 14, 2021 …roughly a third of the people in executive positions in the Department of National Defence are former military leaders, meaning both institutions have similar cultures…
* Canada’s military leaders are protected from sexual misconduct allegations by an ‘old boys network,’ Parliamentary committee hears, by David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen, Mar 12, 2021
* Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan knew in 2018 about sexual harassment allegations against Canada’s top military officer in 2018 but denies knowing and refused to act, by David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen (Postmedia), Mar 3, 2021 …Testimony on March 3 by Canadian Forces Ombudsman Gary Walbourne contradicts Sajjan’s statements that he only found out about the sexual misconduct allegations against then Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance from news media reports several weeks ago…
* Defence Minister Sajjan began stonewalling military ombudsman Gary Walbourne in 2016 over his investigations of poor treatment of injured soldiers, then he was totally cut off in 2018 after reporting sexual harassment allegations against armed forces chief off staff, by David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen (Postmedia), Mar 5, 2021
* Canada’s new, top military commander, appointed one month ago, steps aside following sexual misconduct claim, CBC News, Feb 25 , 2021 …Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan released a statement announcing that Admiral Art McDonald — who took over the chief of the defence staff post from Jon Vance only one month ago — had stepped aside voluntarily while the investigation into allegations of past sexual misconduct continues…
Old-growth logging continues in British Columbia as the provincial government’s commitments to change slip, by Justine Hunter, Globe and Mail, Mar 14, 2021
* Environmentalists look to insert Great Bear Rainforest into B.C. election agenda, Vancouver Sun, February 7, 2013
* British Columbia: Corporate vandals assault rivers, oceans, forests, by Roger Annis, A Socialist In Canada, June 26, 2010
Latest target by tar sands industry/government war room in Alberta is Netflix cartoon series ‘Bigfoot Family’, by Andrew Nikiforuk, The Tyee, Mar 15, 2021
Expert sounds the alarm over the threat of Covid-19 variants in Ontario as cases from variants soar and a third Covid negligence lockdown looms. Report by CTV News, Mar 11, 2021 read also: report in Globe and Mail, Mar 10, 2021 …New graphs viewed by The Globe and Mail show cases of the original coronavirus have plummeted while variant cases have skyrocketed, all beneath the surface of a topline case count that has begun to creep up after plateauing at around 1,000 cases per day since mid-February in the province…
Related: Ontario will soon need third lockdown, stricter than the two previous ‘lockdown lites’ due to Covid-19 variants, top epidemiologist says. Report by CP24 (Bell Media), Mar 11, 2021
Globe and Mail daily sows fear about ‘foreign influence’ from China in Canadian politics while ignoring funding to ‘Uighur Rights’ groups in Canada by U.S. National Endowment for Democracy, by Yves Engler, The Canada Files, Mar 13, 2021
Related: Meet the Nepal director of regime-change NGO ‘National Democratic Institute’, turned sinophobic New Brunswick education minister, by Aidan Jonah, The Canada Files, Mar 13, 2021
Canada was slow to react to early Covid-19 threat, according to former top official of Canada’s public health agency, Globe and Mail, Mar 8, 2021 …Ronald St. John oversaw emergency preparedness for the Public Health Agency of Canada between 2000 and 2007. He says federal records show the government didn’t activate its response procedures quickly enough when the virus emerged in late 2019… Dr. St. John said he finds it troubling the government has never seen the Covid-19 outbreak as a Level 4 threat, even today. “I am left wondering what kind of event would merit a Level 4 activation. I can’t believe that a global pandemic with millions of deaths, variants … and on and on, would not merit continuous Level 4,” he said. “I mean, what would be a Level 4 event, the extinction of humanity?”…
[Seven of the top-ten countries of the world for coronavirus infections are members of the NATO military alliance. Other Covid-negligent NATO countries are Poland (#14), Netherlands (#21), Canada (#22), Portugal (#25) and Belgium (#27). No government or leader in any of these countries has been held accountable for their negligence in response to the pandemic, not even in the U.S., where the Donald Trump regime killed more than 500,000 people through criminal negligence yet the regime head succeeded in retreating quietly into an opulent retirement.]
The next step by Canada’s fossil fuel death cult: Billions of federal dollars to subsidize a ‘carbon capture and storage’ panacea for the Alberta tar sands. Report by CBC News, Mar 9, 2021 Alberta is asking the federal government for $30 billion in funding to explore carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies…
- From Globe and Mail reports on March 8 and 9, 2021:
- …There have long been questions about whether the high cost of building CCUS infrastructure is worth the scale of potential emission reductions. Environmental groups have expressed concern a reliance on carbon capture is a means for extending the use of fossil fuel production. They say the money would be better spent on other renewable forms of energy…
- …A group of 47 environmental, health and human-rights organizations have penned a letter to the federal government Monday opposing subsides or any tax credits for CCUS, arguing the technology actually increases oil production, thus increasing the total output of CO2…
- …Major players in Alberta’s oil sands have used CCUS for decades. One example is the $1.3-billion Quest facility attached to the Scotford [tar sands] upgrader outside Edmonton. Quest received $865-million from the federal and Alberta governments to help fund its construction. It is designed to capture about 35 per cent of the carbon emissions produced by the upgrader…
Peru conducted forced sterilization on Indigenous women during the Fujimori dictatorship, 1990-2000. The victims are demanding justice but are being stonewalled by the present Peruvian government, a key pawn and regional ally of ‘feminist’ Canada along with the United States and Europe in seeking to overthrow the Venezuela gov’t. Read: Forcibly sterilized during Fujimori dictatorship in Peru, thousands of women demand justice, by Ñusta Carranza Ko (University of Baltimore), The Conversation, Mar 3, 2021
Related: On Int’l Womens Day, women in Mexico protest inaction against sexual violence by president and government, Associated Press, Mar 8, 2021 and read: 20,000 march in Mexico City for justice for women and an end to the violence, Mexico News Daily, Mar 9, 2021
From the New York Times, Mar 9, 2021: …In the roughly two years since President López Obrador took office, the rates of violence against women have not changed significantly. Last year, an average of 10 women were killed in Mexico every day and there were some 16,000 cases of rape. An investigation by one news site, Animal Politico, found that from 2014 to 2018, only about five per cent of all sexual assault allegations, including rape, resulted in a criminal sentence…
[But it is Venezuela, not the likes of Mexico and Brazil, that Western media and governments accuse of being a ‘dictatorship’ and human rights violator. So much so that they want to overthrow the Venezuelan government by force and violence. One of the governments leading the charge against Venezuela is the self-declared ‘feminist’ government of Canada.]
Canada to take COVAX vaccines, won’t share doses until every Canadian is inoculated says gov’t minister responsible, CBC News, Mar 5, 2021
Related: Rich countries are undercutting COVAX’s ability to get COVID-19 vaccines to developing world, critics say, Globe and Mail, Mar 4, 2021
How Ottawa’s COVID-19 vaccine promises in late 2020 were out of step with reality, feature article in Globe and Mail, Mar 4, 2021
Related: Canada vaccine tracker: How many COVID-19 doses have been administered so far?, Globe and Mail, Mar 4, 2021
Neglected No More: The Urgent Need to Improve the Lives of Canada’s Elders in the Wake of a Pandemic. Review of health reporter André Picard’s new book, published in Globe and Mail. Read the review here in pdf format: Review of Neglected No More
* Two interviews with author and Globe and Mail health columnist André Picard:
1. broadcast on CBC Radio One‘s ‘The Current’, Mar 3, 2021 (22-minute interview, first item at weblink)
2. published in The Tyee, Mar 2, 2021
* Covid-19 hit long-term care homes in Canada harder the second time around, during past six months, Globe and Mail, Mar 2, 2021 …A new report by the National Institute on Ageing says 7,470 people in seniors’ homes succumbed to the coronavirus over the past six months. During the first wave, by comparison, 7,022 residents died…
Bank fraud charge against Meng Wanzhou is bogus, lawyers argue in new court filing, Globe and Mail, Mar 5, 2021
Previously reported: Meng Wanzhou legal team claims U.S. record of fraud case against Huawei exec ‘manifestly unreliable’, CBC News, Mar 1, 2021 A lawyer for Meng Wanzhou wants the judge overseeing the Huawei executive’s extradition case to see evidence he claims will show the U.S. account of Meng’s alleged crimes is misleading. At the first day of a week-long B.C Supreme Court hearing, Frank Addario said the record of the case that prosecutors provided to the court is “manifestly unreliable” because it fails to mention that bank officials were fully aware of facts Meng is accused of trying to hide…
The politics of the witchhunt against former British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn come to Canada. Article in National Post titled, ‘Jewish groups react to NDP MP Niki Ashton event with ex-UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’, Mar 3, 2021 [Two leading officials in the NDP are cited in the National Post article as disapproving of MP Niki Ashton’s participation in an online, panel discussion with Jeremy Corbyn on the future for left-wing politics, being hosted by Progressive International on March 20. They are Rick Smith, head of the Broadbent Institute, a soft-left, pro-NDP think-tank, and Nina Amrov, press secretary of NDP leader Jageet Singh.].
* Broadbent Institute head smears Niki Ashton, Svend Robinson and internationalism, by Yves Engler, published in The Canada Files, Mar 3, 2021
* ICC launches war crimes probe into Israeli practices, Associated Press, Mar 3, 2021
* Israel will pull out all the stops to avoid facing war crimes charges, by Jonathan Cook, Middle East Eye, Feb 11, 2021 An ICC ruling has panicked Israeli officials who can now be investigated, but they will likely respond with intensified threats.
After experiencing super-safe quarantine hotel in China, Australian traveler says Canada’s version seems ‘just for show’, National Post, Mar 3, 2021 [This informative article falsely compares the numbers of Covid-19 illnesses in South Korea and Japan to those in China. The article writer says, “Countries such as China, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand that have similar quarantine rules for incoming travellers [to those of Canada] have among the lowest rate of Covid-19 infection in the world.” This information is false and misleading. One month ago, Japan was recording more than 5,000 new Covid-19 cases per day; that is now down to 700 to 800 daily. South Korea is reporting some 400 cases per day. China is reporting around ten new cases daily, similar to the numbers of Australia and New Zealand, whose populations are a small fraction of China’s.]
Canada Post failed to report massive Covid-19 outbreak in January at its sorting plant in Mississauga, Toronto region, while workplace inspections in region report high levels of non-compliance with safety regultions. By Sara Mojtehedzadeh, work and wealth reporter, Toronto Star, Mar 3, 2021
New, grim, monthly record of drug poisonings in British Columbia at 165 in January 2021, CBC News, Mar 2, 2021 [Canada’s ‘war on drugs’ led by the Trudeau Liberal Party gov’t in Ottawa stoically marches forward in 2021 with 165 new victims in BC in January alone.]
Canada’s ‘rapid housing initiative’ that isn’t, by Dan Fumano, columnist, Vancouver Sun, Mar 2, 2021
Related: Average Toronto house price crosses $1 million mark, The Canadian Press, Mar 3, 2021
Julian Jones is the latest Indigenous person to be killed by the RCMP, on Feb 27 on Vancouver Island, by Brandi Morin, guest columnist, Toronto Star, Mar 2, 2021 (Brandi Morin is an award-winning French/Cree/Iroquois journalist from Treaty 6 in Alberta and a regular contributor to the Toronto Star.) and read: RCMP shoot and kill second First Nations person in nine months from Vancouver Island town of Tofino, CBC News, Feb 28, 2021
Pharaoh Horgan and his $16-billion ‘Site C’ monument to folly, by Andrew Nikiforuk, The Tyee, Mar 1, 2021 In commanding that Site C must rise, he worships the ‘sunk cost fallacy’
Under Trudeau, Canada is Saudi Arabia’s most dedicated gunrunner, by Kelsey Gallagher, Jacobin Magazine, Feb 28, 2021 (Kelsey Gallagher is a writer at Project Ploughshares, a peace reserch organization based in Waterloo, Ontario.)