Ontario issues stay-at-home order except for essentials

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
27,818
859
113
India's variant-fuelled second wave coincided with spike in infected flights landing in Canada
As Indian officials ID worrying new 'double-mutant' COVID strain, Delhi continues to be Canada's top source of infected airline passengers

Author of the article:Bryan Passifiume
Publishing date:Apr 10, 2021 • 1 hour ago • 3 minute read • 179 Comments
While India banned international flights last month, Canada is one of 13 nations exempted via an 'air bridge' arrangement between the two governments.
While India banned international flights last month, Canada is one of 13 nations exempted via an 'air bridge' arrangement between the two governments. PHOTO BY JACK BOLAND /Postmedia Files
Article content
India’s devastating second COVID-19 wave correlated with the sudden spike in infected passengers from that country arriving at Canadian airports.

And that wave, say Indian health officials, is being fuelled by a recently-discovered ‘double-mutation’ strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus — a variant that combines two mutations only previously found in separate strains that increase infectiousness and resistance to antibodies.


“Such mutations confer immune escape and increased infectivity,” read a March 24 statement from India’s Health Ministry.

“These mutations have been found in about 15-20% of samples and do not match any previously catalogued VOCs.”

Between March 21 and April 6, 121 flights landed in Toronto carrying infected passengers — 42 of those flights arrived from Delhi.

This ‘double-mutant’ strain, which as of Thursday earned designation B.1.617, is believed responsible for surges of COVID-19 infections in India’s hardest-hit states, say health officials.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
While officials agree B.1.617 is freely spreading around India — with some estimating its responsible for a nearly 60% surge in cases in India’s most populous state of Maharashtra, there’s evidence B.1.617 is spreading beyond the country’s borders.

A scientist described B.1.617 to Chennai-based newspaper The Hindu as a “homegrown variant and widely exported internationally.”


Indeed, earlier this week Stanford University researchers identified five separate B.1.617 cases in the San Francisco Bay Area — the first such cases in North America.

Raji Jayaraman, associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, said India had no concrete plans on how to reopen their economy as falling case counts appeared to signal the pandemic’s end — as seven-day moving averages bottomed out at 11,000 new daily infections by mid-February.

“Different parts of the country gradually opened up, there wasn’t a particular date that a reopening was declared,” she said.

An unrealistic hope of herd immunity fuelled the re-opening, she explained — bolstered by 21% of Delhi residents testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies.

New cases promptly spiked, growing from about 15,000 on March 8 to Thursday’s new high of 132,000.

That was also when Canada started recording an increase in COVID-19 infected airline passengers from Delhi, with 13 landing in Toronto between Feb 4. and Feb 14. increasing to 21 between March 4 and March 20 and 23 flights between March 21 and April 1, according to two-week Health Canada data.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
While India banned international flights last month, Canada is one of 13 nations exempted via an ‘air bridge’ arrangement between the two governments.

Toronto sees two regular daily flights from Delhi, via Air Canada and Air India.

Passenger manifests provided to the Sun show these flights are regularly booked to capacity — AC 43, a 63-row Boeing 777 that touched down in Toronto from Delhi early Thursday morning, flew with 364 passengers in its 400 available seats.

A statement from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) says they’re aware of B.1.617, classifying it as a ‘variant of interest.’

“Before a variant of interest is considered one of concern, scientists and public health professionals must determine if the mutations result in an actual change in the behaviour of the virus, such as making them spread more easily, increased disease severity or impacting vaccine effectiveness,” the statement read.


In December, Canada temporarily banned passenger flights from the UK in response to the UK B.1.1.7 variant, followed by a suspension of flights servicing popular sun destinations on Jan. 29 and mandatory COVID-19 testing and hotel quarantines for arriving international passengers.

These measures have done little to stem the tide of passengers bringing COVID-19 into the country, averaging about 100 infected flights every two weeks.

Questions to Transport Minister Omar Alghabra on if similar restrictions for India were under consideration were instead forwarded to Health Minister Patty Hajdu, who declined to directly answer the question.

“Throughout the pandemic, our actions have been guided by the latest science and evidence,” said spokesperson Cole Davidson.

“Future action on border measures will continue to be informed by the best available science and public health advice.”

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
27,818
859
113
'Neck-deep in third wave' as Ontario sets COVID case count record
Author of the article:Jane Stevenson
Publishing date:Apr 11, 2021 • 13 hours ago • 2 minute read • 57 Comments
The Immunization clinic located at the Scarborough Town Centre on Tuesday April 6, 2021.
The Immunization clinic located at the Scarborough Town Centre on Tuesday April 6, 2021. PHOTO BY VERONICA HENRI /Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun
Article content
With Ontario setting a record for the number of COVID-19 cases in a single day on Sunday — 4,456 — a Toronto infectious disease expert and Mayor John Tory cautioned everyone to expect rough days ahead.

Sunday’s tally topped the previous single-day record of 4,227 COVID cases, set just two days earlier.


Dr. Isaac Bogoch, a Toronto-based infectious disease expert, said no one should be surprised by the growing case counts as more contagious variants of concern take their toll.

Toronto hospitals are dealing with more COVID patients who are crowding their ICUs.

“Obviously, we’re neck-deep in a third wave,” said Bogoch.

“And it’ll probably get worse. We’ll probably see this crest two weeks after the Easter long weekend,” he added. “And maybe things will start to improve two weeks after we’ve had a stay-at-home-order (imposed April 8). But I mean, at the end of the day, we are vaccinating pretty quickly. There’s room to pick it up. But this third wave will end. It will.”

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
The latest figures from Ontario’s Ministry of Health show 21 additional deaths associated with the virus and a sharp rise of new cases in Toronto, which jumped by nearly 400 to 1,353.

Toronto Mayor John Tory, who toured one of three new city-run mass vaccination clinics at Cloverdale Mall in Etobicoke on Sunday, cautioned that the health-care system will be strained in the coming days.

“The next couple of weeks are going to be difficult because the projections that we’ve seen over time, which unfortunately have been quite accurate, tell us of higher case counts,” Tory told reporters.


“And they tell us of the tremendous strain that’s been placed on our hospital systems including, in particular, our ICUs, intensive care units, and our medical professionals.”

In addition to the one at Cloverdale, the city will open two other mass-vaccination sites — North Toronto Memorial Community Centre, in the Yonge St.-Eglinton Ave. area., and Carmine Stefano Community Centre, in the Weston Rd.-Sheppard Ave. area — on Monday.

“These city-run clinics will be able to vaccinate approximately 8,046 people a day, and 56,322 a week,” Tory told reporters. “With some eligibility changes and people getting on board, we really are ramping up.”

And the province says 700 more pharmacies are coming on board to administer the vaccine during the week of April 12.

There were 860 new COVID-19 cases in Peel Region and 444 in York Region reported Sunday, while Durham Region logged 329.

Government figures show 1,513 patients currently in Ontario hospitals due to COVID-19, with 605 in intensive care and 382 on a ventilator.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

Butcher Allan vande Bruinhorst freezes beef as part of his uncle's business which allows farmers to circumvent the supply chain blockage caused by coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks at meatpacking plants, in Picture Butte, Alberta, Canada June 17, 2020.
In COVID-19 vaccination pivot, Canada targets frontline workers
Dr. Peter Blecher, tchief health officer at the private health-care company, FH Health, said he thinks rapid antigen COVID testing could help prevent future lockdowns.
Private GTA COVID testing company advocates for home rapid testing

“There’s no room in our ICUs,” said Bogoch.

“We’re about to open field hospitals imminently in the GTA, caring for people in tents outside of the hospital,” he added. “This is going to happen in the next day or coming days. This is happening. If that’s not a big, red flag I don’t know what is.”

— Files by the Canadian Press
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
27,818
859
113
Anti-mask advocate added to no-fly list in Canada
Author of the article:Jane Stevenson
Publishing date:Apr 11, 2021 • 10 hours ago • 2 minute read • 37 Comments
Chris Sky (Saccoccia), 37, from King City, is shown at a speaking engagement.
Chris Sky (Saccoccia), 37, from King City, is shown at a speaking engagement. PHOTO BY MEET.THE.SKYS2 /INSTAGRAM
Article content
A no-fly list designation is the latest wrinkle to befall high-profile anti-mask advocate Chris Sky, of King City, Ont.

Sky, who’s real surname is Saccoccia, said Sunday that while recently attempting to get on a Flair Airlines flight at Toronto Pearson Airport — en route to speaking events in Calgary and Edmonton — he was barred from checking in.


Sky said he was told his name was on a no-fly list, adding no one provided him any explanation as to why.

He documented the entire incident on video and posted it on his Instagram account.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content

“I was not happy about it,” said Sky on Sunday. “Obviously, the government doesn’t like it when I go speak places so they try to stop me any way they can.”

Zarah Malik, a spokesperson for Public Safety Canada, said on Sunday he couldn’t specifically comment on Sky’s case.

However, generally, Malik said: “There are many reasons unrelated to Canada’s Secure Air Travel Act (SATA) List that could cause delays or prevent someone from boarding a flight. For example, airlines and other countries may have their own security lists and rules to screen travellers. The SATA list contains the names of individuals who may pose a threat to aviation security or who may travel by air to commit a terrorist act.”


Malik added anyone “will receive confirmation in writing from Public Safety Canada at the time of the denial of boarding that explains their right to apply for recourse.”

Sky, who said he had yet to hear the reason, had other plans.

“I’m going to use every resource I have to get that friggin’ illegal, disgusting, communist-style, lawless, dictatorship, piece of crap, no-fly list taken off my good name and I’m going to hold the federal government accountable,” he said.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

Anti-mask advocate Chris Sky speaks with a journalist outside of Old City Hall in Toronto.
BRAUN: Mask or no mask — just keep it civil
Chris Saccoccia
Air Transat taking hits after anti-masker's tweet
None
Photo of Toronto cops with anti-mask advocate under review

In the meantime, not flying has led to another transportation option for him.

“I’m driving across Canada as we speak!” said Sky. “I just left Manitoba, and I’m on my way to Saskatchewan, and then I’m going to go all the way to Vancouver, and I’m going to come all the way back! They ain’t going to stop me from speaking!”
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
27,818
859
113
Town of Essex councillor under fire for 'Chinese flu' comment
Author of the article:Dave Battagello
Publishing date:Apr 11, 2021 • 20 hours ago • 5 minute read
Essex, Ontario. June 19, 2019 -- Essex councillor Chris Vander Doelen takes in a beautiful afternoon at Sadler Pond Park Thursday.
Essex, Ontario. June 19, 2019 -- Essex councillor Chris Vander Doelen takes in a beautiful afternoon at Sadler Pond Park Thursday. PHOTO BY NICK BRANCACCIO /Windsor Star
Article content
A Town of Essex councillor has triggered anger among many locally and far beyond after posting on Twitter about testing positive for “the Chinese Flu.”

Chris Vander Doelen, who retired five years ago from the Windsor Star and has served on council since being elected in 2018, posted the following on Friday: “Damn. My test for the Chinese flu came back positive. So I hafta lay low for another week — a punishment worse than the illness proved to be.”


Dozens of comments in response on Twitter criticized the comment as racist, demanded an apology and urged residents to speak out against the town councillor.

Vander Doelen remained unapologetic online despite the backlash and further tweeted in response to one of his critics: “Oh you pathetic socialist git. COVid stands for “Chinese Origin Virus etc.” Only apologists for their murderous regime take issue with it.”

According to the World Health Organization, COVID stands for Corona Virus Disease. The councillor has since deleted that tweet.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
Among critics online were local MP Irek Kusmierczyk (L — Windsor-Tecumseh) who tweeted: “This statement is unacceptable & I urge Councillor (Vander Doelen) to remove it immediately. All of us have a role in combatting rising anti-Asian racism & I call on our local leaders to stand up to all forms of racism & discrimination.”

University of Windsor professor and cancer researcher Lisa Porter tweeted: “You are in a leadership role? The good people of @EssexON deserve better. You need to take a step back and educate yourself.”

Perhaps the strongest criticism came from former Essex MP Tracey Ramsey, who also will run as NDP candidate in the next federal election. She will be writing and filing a complaint with the the town’s Integrity Commissioner and called on others to do the same.

She made reference to the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes — globally and locally.

“A strong message needs to be sent,” said Ramsey on Saturday of the councillor’s comments. “These type of racist comments and xenophobia can not go unchecked. This is not acceptable behaviour from anyone, let alone an elected official.

“We have seen hate crimes against Asians rise in staggering numbers. That is being fed by these ideologies that somehow this virus is the fault of one group of people.”

Ramsey was “shocked” when she first saw Vander Doelen’s comments online Friday.

“An apology is not enough and that’s why I’m encouraging people to speak up and contact the integrity commissioner,” she said. “This is not acceptable and he needs to be held accountable.”

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
The Essex County Chinese Canadian Association (ECCCA) also released a statement Saturday indicating it was “disturbed” by the comments.

“It is unfortunate that he has been diagnosed with the illness and we hope for his speedy recovery,” the association said. “However, his Twitter statement is unacceptable for someone in his position holding public office.”

For 45 years, members of ECCCA have “contributed positively to our Windsor and Essex community.”

“We believe that Mr. Vander Doelen’s comments are unnecessary and harmful,” the group said.

“Calling his diagnosis the “Chinese flu” is a racist slur that is demeaning not just as a xenophobic attack, but also an open and broad disregard for the Chinese and Asian communities in Essex and the surrounding region. Mr. Vander Doelen must surely be aware of the anti-Asian attacks in Canada over the past year — attacks that have, per capita, exceeded those reported in the U.S.”

Comments such as those made by the councillor “have a very real and damaging impact on Asian-Canadian communities, the association said.

“We ask Mr. Vander Doelen to apologize for his remarks and remove them from his Twitter feed. We also ask that all elected leaders in Windsor and Essex County condemn anti-Asian racism and all forms of racism and work together with racialized communities to build a more tolerant and inclusive society.”

Vander Doelen, long known for his right-wing views, defended his words in an interview with the Star on Saturday and said he is simply being targeted by left-wing activists.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
“They are saying I should be removed from council,” he said. “For what? I said this is a Chinese-origin virus. The fact is it comes from China.

“The leftist Twitter mob wants me silenced and cancelled. This is cancel culture and COVID shaming.”

He believes most of the online criticism directed at him comes from outside the town.

“I suspect only about 100 people from Ward 3 in Essex may have viewed this,” Vander Doelen said. “It’s taken on a life of its own. People are attacking me mercilessly. They will go after anyone who is Conservative. A lot of the names I have seen are people who don’t want me to win on council. They think this is the way to do it.

“The Canadian economy is ruined, 23,000 people have died and they want me to apologize (the virus) doesn’t come from China.”

If an Integrity Commissioner investigation occurs based on the complaints, Vander Doelen said he would “welcome that.”

“It will be a waste of taxpayer money,” he said. “A lawyer is not going to rule against free speech and criticizing a totalitarian government. I believe he will throw this out. These people want mob justice and it’s very clear that’s a dangerous trend.”

Essex Mayor Larry Snively on Saturday said the town “denounces the language” used by Vander Doelen.

“There is no place for these kinds of statements in our community and they do not reflect the beliefs of council nor the town of Essex,” he said. “The impact of these kinds of statements is undeniable. As head of council, I have asked Coun. Vander Doelen to retract his statements and issue a public apology.”

Snively indicated he and others on council had “received a significant number of phone calls, emails, and social media messages” regarding Vander Doelen.

“We appreciate everyone who has shared their concerns with us and we understand that official complaints are in the process of being filed with the Integrity Commissioner, who has the independent authority to initiate investigations into the conduct of individual council members,” he said.

“Council and I continue to be committed to making our community a place where everyone belongs.”

dbattagello@postmedia.com
 
  • Like
Reactions: taxslave

Danbones

Hall of Fame Member
Sep 23, 2015
23,950
1,866
113
LOL, the worms they have been finding in the Chinese masks are getting into people's brains and the poor little parasitic effers are starving.
 
  • Like
Reactions: taxslave

taxslave

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 25, 2008
33,113
1,445
113
Vancouver Island
Town of Essex councillor under fire for 'Chinese flu' comment
Author of the article:Dave Battagello
Publishing date:Apr 11, 2021 • 20 hours ago • 5 minute read
Essex, Ontario. June 19, 2019 -- Essex councillor Chris Vander Doelen takes in a beautiful afternoon at Sadler Pond Park Thursday.
Essex, Ontario. June 19, 2019 -- Essex councillor Chris Vander Doelen takes in a beautiful afternoon at Sadler Pond Park Thursday. PHOTO BY NICK BRANCACCIO /Windsor Star
Article content
A Town of Essex councillor has triggered anger among many locally and far beyond after posting on Twitter about testing positive for “the Chinese Flu.”

Chris Vander Doelen, who retired five years ago from the Windsor Star and has served on council since being elected in 2018, posted the following on Friday: “Damn. My test for the Chinese flu came back positive. So I hafta lay low for another week — a punishment worse than the illness proved to be.”


Dozens of comments in response on Twitter criticized the comment as racist, demanded an apology and urged residents to speak out against the town councillor.

Vander Doelen remained unapologetic online despite the backlash and further tweeted in response to one of his critics: “Oh you pathetic socialist git. COVid stands for “Chinese Origin Virus etc.” Only apologists for their murderous regime take issue with it.”

According to the World Health Organization, COVID stands for Corona Virus Disease. The councillor has since deleted that tweet.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
Among critics online were local MP Irek Kusmierczyk (L — Windsor-Tecumseh) who tweeted: “This statement is unacceptable & I urge Councillor (Vander Doelen) to remove it immediately. All of us have a role in combatting rising anti-Asian racism & I call on our local leaders to stand up to all forms of racism & discrimination.”

University of Windsor professor and cancer researcher Lisa Porter tweeted: “You are in a leadership role? The good people of @EssexON deserve better. You need to take a step back and educate yourself.”

Perhaps the strongest criticism came from former Essex MP Tracey Ramsey, who also will run as NDP candidate in the next federal election. She will be writing and filing a complaint with the the town’s Integrity Commissioner and called on others to do the same.

She made reference to the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes — globally and locally.

“A strong message needs to be sent,” said Ramsey on Saturday of the councillor’s comments. “These type of racist comments and xenophobia can not go unchecked. This is not acceptable behaviour from anyone, let alone an elected official.

“We have seen hate crimes against Asians rise in staggering numbers. That is being fed by these ideologies that somehow this virus is the fault of one group of people.”

Ramsey was “shocked” when she first saw Vander Doelen’s comments online Friday.

“An apology is not enough and that’s why I’m encouraging people to speak up and contact the integrity commissioner,” she said. “This is not acceptable and he needs to be held accountable.”

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
The Essex County Chinese Canadian Association (ECCCA) also released a statement Saturday indicating it was “disturbed” by the comments.

“It is unfortunate that he has been diagnosed with the illness and we hope for his speedy recovery,” the association said. “However, his Twitter statement is unacceptable for someone in his position holding public office.”

For 45 years, members of ECCCA have “contributed positively to our Windsor and Essex community.”

“We believe that Mr. Vander Doelen’s comments are unnecessary and harmful,” the group said.

“Calling his diagnosis the “Chinese flu” is a racist slur that is demeaning not just as a xenophobic attack, but also an open and broad disregard for the Chinese and Asian communities in Essex and the surrounding region. Mr. Vander Doelen must surely be aware of the anti-Asian attacks in Canada over the past year — attacks that have, per capita, exceeded those reported in the U.S.”

Comments such as those made by the councillor “have a very real and damaging impact on Asian-Canadian communities, the association said.

“We ask Mr. Vander Doelen to apologize for his remarks and remove them from his Twitter feed. We also ask that all elected leaders in Windsor and Essex County condemn anti-Asian racism and all forms of racism and work together with racialized communities to build a more tolerant and inclusive society.”

Vander Doelen, long known for his right-wing views, defended his words in an interview with the Star on Saturday and said he is simply being targeted by left-wing activists.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
“They are saying I should be removed from council,” he said. “For what? I said this is a Chinese-origin virus. The fact is it comes from China.

“The leftist Twitter mob wants me silenced and cancelled. This is cancel culture and COVID shaming.”

He believes most of the online criticism directed at him comes from outside the town.

“I suspect only about 100 people from Ward 3 in Essex may have viewed this,” Vander Doelen said. “It’s taken on a life of its own. People are attacking me mercilessly. They will go after anyone who is Conservative. A lot of the names I have seen are people who don’t want me to win on council. They think this is the way to do it.

“The Canadian economy is ruined, 23,000 people have died and they want me to apologize (the virus) doesn’t come from China.”

If an Integrity Commissioner investigation occurs based on the complaints, Vander Doelen said he would “welcome that.”

“It will be a waste of taxpayer money,” he said. “A lawyer is not going to rule against free speech and criticizing a totalitarian government. I believe he will throw this out. These people want mob justice and it’s very clear that’s a dangerous trend.”

Essex Mayor Larry Snively on Saturday said the town “denounces the language” used by Vander Doelen.

“There is no place for these kinds of statements in our community and they do not reflect the beliefs of council nor the town of Essex,” he said. “The impact of these kinds of statements is undeniable. As head of council, I have asked Coun. Vander Doelen to retract his statements and issue a public apology.”

Snively indicated he and others on council had “received a significant number of phone calls, emails, and social media messages” regarding Vander Doelen.

“We appreciate everyone who has shared their concerns with us and we understand that official complaints are in the process of being filed with the Integrity Commissioner, who has the independent authority to initiate investigations into the conduct of individual council members,” he said.

“Council and I continue to be committed to making our community a place where everyone belongs.”

dbattagello@postmedia.com
Pretty funny, a dipper filing an integrity complaint. They should be proud they have one councillor with the balls to stand up to the oppressors.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Danbones

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
27,818
859
113
Pandemic has put spotlight on Canada's food chain challenges
Author of the article:Rita DeMontis
Publishing date:Apr 12, 2021 • 21 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
Cauliflower at a grocery store
Cauliflower at a grocery store PHOTO BY POSTMEDIA FILE PHOTO /Toronto Sun
Article content
Canada’s pandemic crisis has put a spotlight on the many challenges faced by the country’s food supply chain.

So states the latest policy brief by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) — Growing a More Resilient Food Supply Chain in Ontario — which outlines the numerous pressures faced by the province’s food industry, including farmers, restaurateurs, and food suppliers.


The report takes aim at public policymakers, urging them to take a more stringent approach to protecting Ontario’s food industry, especially in the area of rising food insecurity and food fraud, as well as supporting demand for locally-produced food.

“The agri-food sector contributes over $47 billion to the annual GDP and supports over 860,000 jobs across the province,” said Cathy Lennon, general manager of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture during a recent webinar with industry leaders.

“The pandemic has awakened Ontarians’ interest in local food and increased their appreciation for farmers,” she added. “These producers quickly pivoted at the start of the pandemic and have continued to provide consumers with uninterrupted access to fresh, nutritious, and safe food during this crisis.”

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
The policy brief, made possible with support from the Beef Farmers of Ontario, Durham College, and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, examined issues that emerged during the last 12 months as well as other longstanding problems that were exacerbated by COVID-19.

It explained how Canada’s food system continued to provide Canadians with uninterrupted access to food throughout unprecedented times,” due to the strength of the many sub-sectors and businesses that make up the food supply chain,” said the policy report, adding the pandemic also put on the forefront the need to take strong and immediate action to ensure the system never reaches a breaking point.


“COVID-19 brought our agri-food system and supply chains to the forefront. We can all remember food flying off the shelves due to stockpiling and panic buying at the outset of the pandemic,” said Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in a recent release. “Ultimately, while the pandemic caused parts of Ontario’s food supply chain to bend, the chain itself did not break.

“Addressing red tape and labour shortages among farmers, as well as tackling food fraud and food insecurity, will not only ensure Canada’s agri-food sector is able to withstand future challenges, but it will also support agri-food businesses and an equitable recovery,” added Rossi.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

Beautiful bread art courtesy Sugargeekshow.com.
The re-imagining of Canada's culinary landscape
None
Italy through the eyes of Stanley Tucci

The recommendations outlined in the recent brief call for changes to strengthen the agri-food sector, with a series of recommendations aimed specifically at federal and provincial policymakers.

The report calls for steps to be taken to ensure demands for local food are met, shifting to online sales by continuing to invest in relevant programs that help producers transition to e-commerce, reducing red tape and removing provincial trade barriers.

For additional details, check out occ.ca.
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
27,818
859
113
Canada overtakes U.S. in new COVID-19 cases for first time
Author of the article:Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News
Danielle Bochove and Erik Hertzberg
Publishing date:Apr 13, 2021 • 2 hours ago • 4 minute read • 66 Comments
A woman who appears to be wearing two masks walks by the COVID-19 vaccination super site at RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg on Sun., April 11, 2021.
A woman who appears to be wearing two masks walks by the COVID-19 vaccination super site at RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg on Sun., April 11, 2021. PHOTO BY KEVIN KING /Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun
Article content
(Bloomberg) — For the first time since the pandemic began, Canada has passed a grim milestone, with more new Covid-19 cases per capita than the U.S.

There have been roughly 22 new recorded cases per 100,000 people in the country over the past seven days. Ontario is being hit the hardest with hospitals coming under increasing strain, especially in Toronto, the country’s largest city.


“This is the worst moment of the pandemic thus far,” Kevin Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the University Health Network, said in an interview Monday. “Our ICUs are full.”

Ontario has ordered all but emergency surgeries cancelled across most of the province, for the first time since March 2020. Patients scheduled for cancer, cardiac and brain surgeries are being told to wait as intensive care units fill with Covid-19 patients. Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children has opened an overflow unit to treat adults.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
“When the Hospital for Sick Children is providing ICU care to adults, you know you’re living through one of the worst periods of the pandemic,” Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, said Monday at a news conference. “The old Covid-19 virus is being bulldozed by the B117 variant, with the other two variants present in Toronto as well.”

Toronto recorded 1,296 new cases on Monday and could see 2,500 new Covid-19 cases a day by the end of the month, at the current rate, health officials warned Monday.


REDEPLOYING STAFF

About 1,300 patients have been moved to hospitals across the province to handle the onslaught of critical cases, Smith said. Hospitals are struggling to secure supplies of tocilizumab, a cancer drug that has improved survival rates for Covid, he said. And the UHN network may soon exceed its capacity to offer extracorporeal membrange oxygen, or ECMO, to Covid patients, an artificial heart and lung technology that can be used when a ventilator is insufficient.

Hospitals in Northern Ontario will likely need to cancel scheduled surgeries soon, Smith said, so that Covid patients can be transferred from the south to the north of the province. Within the next week, he expects his staff will be redeployed — ideally on a volunteer basis — to areas of most need.

On Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford bowed to pressure to close schools for in-person learning until data shows the outbreak is easing, a decision that will add to pressure on working parents at a time when people are already exhausted by the 13 months of pandemic-related restrictions, coupled with a fits-and-starts vaccine roll-out.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
COVID FATIGUE

Friction between beleaguered health officials, desperate businesses and exhausted residents has been on the rise across Canada. This past weekend, Quebec police used tear gas on a handful of protesters after hundreds took to the street in defiance of an 8 p.m. curfew, with a handful setting fire to garbage and shattering windows, CBC News reported.

On Monday, the speaker of Alberta’s legislature apologized for publicly protesting new government restrictions. In neighbouring British Columbia, health officials said that the number of patients in critical care had risen to a record high.

But nowhere has the tug-of-war between competing interests been more apparent than in Ontario, where Ford has struggled to contain the virus without ostracizing business leaders. Delays in securing vaccines, evolving information about the safety of the AstraZeneca dose, and the more infectious nature of new variants have added to his challenges, resulting in shifting tactics and messaging. Complex colour-coded lockdown restrictions — is which “gray” represents a higher threat than “red” — have been accompanied long lists of vaccine “phases,” detailed reopening “stages” and frequent modifications and amendments.


ONTARIO LOCKS DOWN WITH VIRUS ‘KILLING FASTER AND YOUNGER’

“It’s just been incredibly difficult for small businesses,” said Ryan Mallough, director of provincial affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which represents 38,000 businesses in Ontario, with an average of about a dozen employees each. “Just following along with the lexicon, let alone what that means on the ground and then the fact that things change so abruptly.”

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
Nationwide, CFIB members have incurred an average of almost C$170,000 in additional debt as a result of Covid-19, according to a March survey. In Ontario, that figure is closer to C$208,000. Even with federal assistance, many business owners are running up credit-card debt, tapping mortgages, and draining bank accounts, the survey showed.

Health officials knew it was always going to be a race to get people vaccinated before the third wave caught hold, Smith said. Having lost that contest, Canada should be imposing more “rigorous” measures, including restricting regional, interprovincial and international travel for the next four to six weeks to contain the spread of more infectious variants until vaccination efforts take hold.

“These are the worst days of this pandemic and I believe now is not the time to lighten up on anything but frankly to hunker down,” he said. “We’re only going to regret what we don’t do from this point forward.”
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
27,818
859
113
Ontario to blame for Michigan's worst-ever COVID-19 surge?
White House tells governor that a shutdown -- not more vaccine -- is what state needs

Author of the article:Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News
Fiona Rutherford
Publishing date:Apr 13, 2021 • 5 hours ago • 3 minute read • 22 Comments
People crowd outdoor seating at a restaurant as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions are eased in Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S., April 4, 2021.
People crowd outdoor seating at a restaurant as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions are eased in Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S., April 4, 2021. PHOTO BY EMILY ELCONIN /Reuters
Article content
Michigan has become the new epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., with one health expert linking the surge to the spread of the U.K. variant from neighbouring Ontario.

Data compiled by John Hopkins University shows that Michigan is currently recording the highest daily infections per capita in the United States, averaging 7,359 new cases per day over the past week.


The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says much of the COVID-19 surge is due to the spread of the U.K. variant, which is more transmissible and lethal than the original strain.

Dr. George Rutherford, a University of California San Francisco epidemiologist, told the L.A. Times that the surge could be due to outbreaks at youth athletic events and the corresponding COVID-19 surge in Ontario.

“The borders are closed, [so] I’m not quite sure what that all means. But it’s something to be cognizant of,” Rutherford said.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
Since March 2020, the border between U.S. and Canada has been closed to all non-essential travel, with both governments extending the closure on a monthly basis.

On March 18, 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau extended the border closure to April 21.

The U.S. has also posted a travel advisory warning Americans to not travel to Canada.


Ontario health officials are currently struggling to contain a third wave of COVID-19 which, if unchecked, could see the province recording up to 6,000 new COVID-19 cases daily by the end of April. On Sunday, the province set a new record high of daily COVID-19 infections recorded after observing 4,456 new infections, bringing the total number of cases to 386,608.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has urged the Biden administration to increase the amount of vaccine shipped to Michigan in the hopes of dampening down its COVID-19 surge.

According to the Washington Post, President Joe Biden told Whitmer last week that his administration would provide help to her state, including extra federal vaccinators and therapies such as monoclonal antibodies. But Biden has resisted abandoning a formula for allocating vaccine doses based strictly on states’ population.

The White House on Monday turned down the governor’s pleas, telling Whitmer that a shutdown — not more vaccine — is what Michigan needs.

“If we try to vaccinate our way out of what is happening in Michigan, we will be disappointed that it took so long for the vaccine to work,” said Rochelle Walensky, CDC head, in a Monday news briefing.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
“The answer” to Michigan’s serious outbreak, she said, “is to close things down, to go back to the basics, to go back to where we were last spring and summer” when many states imposed closing orders on restaurants, commerce and public spaces.

She noted that, depending on which of the three vaccines allowed in the United States for emergency use they receive, someone getting a first shot needs two to six weeks to develop immunity against the virus. “It will take so long for the vaccine to have an impact,” she said.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

A woman who appears to be wearing two masks walks by the COVID-19 vaccination super site at RBC Convention Centre in Winnipeg on Sun., April 11, 2021.
Canada overtakes U.S. in new COVID-19 cases for first time
Vials with COVID-19 vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of U.S. pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson.
U.S. pauses Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference organized by Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020.
WHO official: COVID-19 pandemic 'a long way from over'

Over the weekend, the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases were pushed to more than 738,000 since the start of the pandemic. Whitmer has not instituted a lockdown as yet but on Friday called for a voluntary two-week suspension of indoor restaurant dining, youth sports and in-person high school classes, the L.A. Times reported.

On Sunday, Whitmer said in an interview on CBS’s Face The Nation that the spike in cases in Michigan is likely due to variants, adding that it was occurring even though the state has implemented measures such as mask mandates, capacity limits, and working from home.

“That’s precisely why we’re really encouraging them to think about surging vaccines into the state of Michigan,” Whitmer said.

— With files from the Washington Post and the Canadian Press
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
27,818
859
113
Snowbirds doing the Buffalo shuffle to avoid quarantine hotels
Author of the article:Sue-Ann Levy
Publishing date:Apr 13, 2021 • 12 hours ago • 2 minute read • 21 Comments
The Peace Bridge, which runs between Canada and the United States, over the Niagara River in Buffalo, N.Y., is pictured on July 15, 2020.
The Peace Bridge, which runs between Canada and the United States, over the Niagara River in Buffalo, N.Y., is pictured on July 15, 2020. PHOTO BY REUTERS /Toronto Sun
Article content
The best-kept secret is out.

Snowbirds winging their way from southern climes to Buffalo — or other cities near the U.S. border — are able to cross into Canada on foot or by car and avoid federally-mandated quarantine hotels.


Shuttle and limousine services — most of them on the American side of the border — have found their phone lines busy as snowbirds have chosen to avoid Pearson airport.

John Arnet, who manages 716 Limo out of Buffalo, said his passengers are taking limos across the border because they “want to avoid the COVID jails” at Pearson airport.

“Most of them (the passengers) are vaccinated and just want to get home,” he said Tuesday.

Over the past few days, he added, his phone lines have been jammed.

“I never realized so many Toronto people are in Florida,” said Arnet.

This has helped “shake off the rust” (the downturn in sales) during the last year of COVID, he said.

According to the Government of Canada website, the rules are essentially the same if one crosses at a land border — minus the mandatory hotel stay.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content

Canadians are required to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arriving at the border. At the border, travellers are given two COVID-19 at-home testing kits — one to use on the day of arrival into Canada and another to use on the 10th day of the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

If done at home, both tests must be conducted in the presence of an online nurse from the test provider, Switch Health.

Fully-vaccinated travellers are still required to quarantine for 14 days.

Shuttles from Buffalo airport to one’s doorstep in Toronto range from (US)$300-$350.

Buffalo Limousine owner Carla Boccio, said she received a lot of referrals from people in Florida.

About 75-100 of their bookings through March and April have been from referrals, she said.

Boccio added many people booked in advance once the hotel quarantine ruling came down on Feb. 21.

She said a recent report made the floodgates open and her website actually crashed, adding that with a limited staff, her operation was forced to refuse potential passengers.

Boccio said she’s also become somewhat of an information outlet for all kinds of calls from people wanting to take a shopping trip to the U.S. or to visit a boyfriend or asking what services are available in Vermont or Seattle.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

Travellers wearing protective face masks walking through Concourse D at the Miami International Airport on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Miami, Fla.
Snowbirds in pandemic hot seat with Canada's latest travel rules
A passenger is pictured at Pearson International Airport on Jan. 31, 2021.
Snowbirds can still head to the U.S. despite COVID travel restrictions
Canadian snowbirds spending winter in Florida.
Nearly half of Canadian snowbirds staying put this winter: Poll

She, like Arnet, has also gotten nasty emails reprimanding her for allegedly helping Canadians to circumvent quarantine.

“This was a good a shot in the arm,” she said. “But it’s getting crazy now.”

SLevy@postmedia.com
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
27,818
859
113
High Park cherry blossoms once again off-limits
Instead of last year's full-park closure, the city will fence trees off to prevent the usual crushing crowds

Author of the article:Bryan Passifiume
Publishing date:Apr 14, 2021 • 3 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
High Park will be closed during the cherry blossom season due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
High Park will be closed during the cherry blossom season due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. PHOTO BY JACK BOLAND /TORONTO SUN FILES
Article content
Torontonians hoping to catch an up-close, in-person look at High Park’s stunning cherry blossoms are out of luck.

For the second year in a row, the city will fence off High Park’s famed cherry trees in an effort to prevent large crowds as the city continues to endure the COVID-19 pandemic.


Instead, the city will once again live-stream video as the blooming trees, expected in mid to late April.

The city, said Mayor John Tory, would not be closing off the entire park as it did last year — only erecting fencing around the park’s three clusters of cherry trees.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content

Despite the restrictions imposed last year, several people chose to break in anyway.

“This year, we’re hopeful there will be nobody who will choose to do that,” Tory said.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

Police stand guard Toronto's High Park entrances after the Mayor of Toronto declared the park to be closed to prevent further spread of COVID-19 amongst the public.
Toronto's High Park reopens to the public
Police stand guard outside Toronto's High Park entrances on Thursday, April 30, after the popular west-end park was closed to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Crowds would ordinarily assemble in large numbers to enjoy the cherry blossoms at this time of year.
WARMINGTON: Officials go overboard with fortified High Park
The cherry blossom trees are ending their bloom as High Park was officially opened again on Monday. People came out to see them and take pictures near the grove near Grenadier Pond on Monday May 11, 2020.
WARMINGTON: High Park and its cherry blossoms a welcome sight for residents

“We have to rely on people at some point in time to understand that if they want to have the ability to use the park, to have a walk or cycle in order to be outside in the fresh air as people want to at this time, they have to follow the very clear parameters that will be set out by this fencing.”

The city will do whatever it has to do, Tory said, to maintain public health.

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume
1618447089356.png
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
27,818
859
113
'SICKER AND YOUNGER: Toronto ICU copes with pressure during third wave
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Apr 15, 2021 • 1 hour ago • 4 minute read • Join the conversation
In the Hospital Sick Male Patient Sleeps on the Bed. Heart Rate Monitor Equipment is on His Finger.
PHOTO BY ISTOCK /Getty Images
Article content
Intensive care nurse Jane Abas is assessing her patient, checking her medication and monitoring her heart rate.

The 68-year-old woman tested positive for a COVID-19 variant shortly after arriving at Toronto’s Humber River Hospital for an unrelated health concern. Her condition rapidly deteriorated and she had to be placed on a ventilator, suffering a cardiac arrest after the intubation process.


Abas says the woman is more stable this morning, but as cases involving the variants of the novel coronavirus rise, a patient’s situation can change quickly. The day before, another COVID-19 patient in a similar condition — who had just retired last month — passed away. She says it happened fast.

“We tried to bring them back, we couldn’t,” she recalls. “It was so sad.”

Abas and her colleagues are exhausted, but they know the third wave of infections is still rising. Claire Wilkinson, another ICU nurse treating a patient in the next room over, says she’s noticing the increase in severely ill patients.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
“The third wave is just getting started,” she says. “I think that’ll be a big challenge this time around.”


Minutes later, across the hall, intensivist Dr. Ali Ghafouri starts rallying team members for an immediate intubation procedure. A 60-year-old patient who had arrived at the emergency room earlier in the morning with shortness of breath is struggling to breathe.

A team of medical staff rapidly donning personal protective equipment from head to toe storms the room with equipment and medication, working fast to treat and reassure the frightened man as he gasps for air.

It’s a situation staff at this hospital’s ICU say they see every day. The procedure is traumatizing for patients and can leave them in an induced coma for weeks.

Ghafouri says it’s an illustration of life on the front line a year into the pandemic. Today, so far, is a bit calmer than the day before, when Ghafouri says the team had to intubate four patients, one after the other.

“That’s what life is like here,” says Ghafouri. “People are burning out, including myself and some of my colleagues. We don’t know how much longer it’s going to be dragging out.”

It’s a struggle doctors and nurses in ICUs across the province are facing.

A year into the pandemic, staff at Humber River say they now have more experience treating the disease, but the relentless pace, personnel shortages and much younger patients are weighing heavily on them.

“The patients that are coming in sick with COVID are definitely more acute,” says Raman Rai, who manages the ICU. “They’re sicker and they’re younger, which is hard for the team to see that.”

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content

The spike in cases has strained intensive care capacity across Ontario, prompting discussions about the possible need to triage life-saving care.

There are about 50 patients in Humber River’s ICU on Tuesday, more than 60 per cent of them with COVID-19, Rai says. Staffing has become a challenge as exhausted nurses seek time off to rest. Transfers from other units have helped alleviate some pressure but Rai says she still worries about staffing, especially the lack of ICU-trained nurses.

Across the province, there were 644 patients with COVID-19-related critical illness in intensive care beds as of Thursday, according to Critical Care Services Ontario.

Hospitals are ramping down all non-essential surgeries this week and are transferring sick people across jurisdictions. The government has promised to create up to 1,000 more ICU beds in response to the growing need.

ICU workers, particularly in hard-hit Toronto, witness the human side of the startling numbers firsthand.

At Humber River, after any serious development involving a patient, Olivia Coughlin slips away to make a phone call. As a unit social worker, she is the point of contact for families of the critically ill patients who can’t be at the bedside of their loved ones.

Family visits are allowed, though many relatives can’t visit because they are also COVID-19 positive. Coughlin says the emotional support work has been harder than she anticipated.

“It’s just really horrible, there’s no better way to put it,” she says.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content

She has an office for making phone calls, but today she dials a family from the ICU lounge, just a few feet from the patient’s room.

“I know that they’re sitting at home around the phone waiting for that update,” she says. “I like to try and do my best to get in touch with them as soon as I’m able.”

Like her other colleagues, Coughlin says she’s been struck by the young age of some of the intensive care patients coming in now.

The case of one previously healthy COVID-19 patient her own age — just 28 — stood out to Coughlin.

“I think that really just goes to show that this virus affects everyone, and I wish everyone understood that,” she says.

Two floors above the ICU, respiratory patient Jose Garcia is feeling much better after being admitted to hospital two weeks ago with COVID-19 that strained his breathing.

He is still taking oxygen after a frightening battle with the illness that at one point he thought would kill him.

“The doctors helped me like crazy,” the 67-year-old Brampton, Ont., resident says from his hospital bed.

Garcia doesn’t know where he caught the virus. He’s retired and he wears a mask when he goes out. Others in his family were also infected with COVID-19.

He doesn’t dwell much on his illness though, repeating his eagerness to go home once he tests negative for the virus. His message to others: take the virus seriously.

“People have to be careful,” Garcia says. “Anybody can get it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 15, 2021.
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
27,818
859
113
BRAUN: Ontario nurses claim they have been muzzled by college
College of Nurses of Ontario allegedly threatening to yank license of nurses who don’t stick to the COVID script

Author of the article:Liz Braun
Publishing date:Apr 15, 2021 • 34 minutes ago • 3 minute read • 5 Comments
Protesters in front of the College of Nurses of Ontario building on Davenport Ave in Toronto on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
Protesters in front of the College of Nurses of Ontario building on Davenport Ave in Toronto on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. PHOTO BY VERONICA HENRI /Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network
Article content
A group of nurses held a demonstration Wednesday outside of the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) building in midtown Toronto.

According to RN Jessica Faraone, the objective was to show how some nurses feel they are being censored by the college for going public with their ideas about COVID.


In an earlier statement, Faraone said the college was threatening to take away the nurses’ licenses “if we don’t stick to the COVID script and promote this experimental injection.”

Speakers on Wednesday addressed a supportive group of about 100 people, some of whom carried signs expressing their thoughts on the pandemic. The group was largely without masks and their message is not aligned with that of public health.

Faraone came to public attention last month after she arrived at Pearson from a stint in Africa and refused to go to one of the government-approved COVID hotels. She then posted the experience on social media.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
Toronto nurse Jessica Faraone is pictured on the balcony of her condo on March 7., 2021. She is in quarantine at home after returning last week from Tanzania where she volunteered at a medical clinic. Photographer Jack Boland took this picture from the ground while Faraone stood on her fourth-floor balcony.
Toronto nurse Jessica Faraone is pictured on the balcony of her condo on March 7., 2021. She is in quarantine at home after returning last week from Tanzania where she volunteered at a medical clinic. Photographer Jack Boland took this picture from the ground while Faraone stood on her fourth-floor balcony. PHOTO BY JACK BOLAND /TORONTO SUN
Her being investigated by the college, said Faraone, “is based on social media. It has never been a question of my integrity or my nursing ability.”

The CNO has confirmed the college is investigating Faraone but cannot say more as the complaint process is confidential.

However, as the CNO website clearly states for the edification of members: “Nurses have a professional responsibility to not publicly communicate anti-vaccination, anti-masking and anti-distancing statements that contradict the available scientific evidence. Doing so may result in an investigation by CNO, and disciplinary proceedings when warranted.”

Faraone said she has joined a group called Canadian Frontline Nurses and is involved with other nurses who have also run afoul of the college.


Kristen Nagle and Sarah Choujounian were in the news for making unsubstantiated statements on social media about the pandemic. Both nurses travelled to Washington to attend a meeting with Global Frontline Nurses in January.

Kristal Pitter is a nurse practitioner who used social media to spread anti-vaccine messages and conspiracy theories about the origin of the pandemic.

Faraone said the nurses have launched a class-action lawsuit against the college.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

GTA nurse Jessica Faraone, seen here in Tanzania where she volunteered at a medical for a month, recorded video of herself defiantly refusing to wear a mask, get tested for COVID-19 or be quarantined upon arriving at Pearson airport in Toronto from Tanzania on Thursday, March 4, 2021.
Defiant unmasked nurse refuses COVID testing, quarantine at Toronto airport
Toronto nurse Jessica Faraone is pictured on the balcony of her condo on March 7., 2021. She is in quarantine at home after returning last week from Tanzania where she volunteered at a medical clinic. Photographer Jack Boland took this picture from the ground while Faraone stood on her fourth-floor balcony.
BRAUN: Nurse tells why she refused to wear mask, COVID test at airport
There were long lines of passengers heading to hotels to quarantine on March 1, 2021. Veronica Henri/Toronto Sun/
Legal challenge launched against mandatory hotel stay for travellers

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
“We are speaking our truth on what’s going on in health care. They are basically saying, ‘you have to support public health protocols’, but public health protocols are not making sense,” she said. “They are causing more harm than COVID is.”

“The technology for mRNA vaccines is new. It’s gene therapy and it’s experimental,” Faraone added.

Asked for comment, Dr. Doris Grinspun — CEO of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario — said bluntly, “The system doesn’t have time for these conspiracy theories. People are dying in our ICUs.”


To be a nurse is to be in a position of influence and power, said Grinspun: in any public poll, nurses are always named the most trusted occupation, and people believe what nurses say.

“For any nurse to suggest a vaccine is experimental to make a personal point — that is a misuse of power. And it is against science,” Grinspun. “We know these vaccines are not experimental but are actually saving lives.”

“At a time when the ICUs are bursting at the seams — with people in their 30, 40s and 50s, because that’s who we’re seeing now — to speak out against vaccines is outrageous,” he said. “And it means more people will die.”

lbraun@postmedia.com
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
27,818
859
113
LILLEY: Ford cabinet looks at big numbers and hard measures
Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Publishing date:Apr 15, 2021 • 1 hour ago • 3 minute read • 14 Comments
Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks to reporters as Health Minister Christine Elliott and Dr. David Williams listen.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks to reporters as Health Minister Christine Elliott and Dr. David Williams listen. Postmedia
Article content
At just about 1 p.m. on Thursday, the Ford cabinet met both in person and virtually to discuss what is next for the province in the battle against COVID-19.

Presented with modelling showing at least 12,000 new cases a day in coming weeks and polling showing the public backs increased restrictions, Ford’s cabinet weighed the options.


Early discussions of a curfew were shelved, talk of travel restrictions reduced to trying to enforce the stay-at-home order and granting police more powers to penalize or fine those who break the rules.

Some of the options on the table included putting more restrictions on retail operations. Cabinet was given three proposals, including closing all non-essential retail and banning curbside pick-up and delivery, restricting hours of operation or banning curbside pick-up but allowing delivery.

Those proposals did not come with a specific recommendation to cabinet but other measures did.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

Protesters in front of the College of Nurses of Ontario building on Davenport Ave in Toronto on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
BRAUN: Ontario nurses claim they have been muzzled by college
Canada's Minister of Health Patty Hajdu attends a news conference, as efforts continue to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada April 9, 2020.
Health Minister dodges questions about banning India flights

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams is said to have recommended that cabinet shut down all non-essential construction, warehousing operations and manufacturing that is not related to health, food production or processing, or automotive manufacturing.

Cabinet is also being asked to consider banning all outdoor gatherings, including backyard meetings of people who are not in the same household. There was also a recommendation to tighten restrictions on places of worship, weddings and funerals.

Right now, places of worship are restricted 15% of their fire code capacity, while weddings and funerals are limited to 15% of capacity to a maximum of 50 people.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
Will Ontario eventually impose a curfew to slow the rising number of COVID-19 cases?

Yes

No
Vote
View Results
On Thursday, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones refused to say whether a curfew was on the table but did admit that there would be challenges in enforcing one.

“I think the Montreal riots speak to the challenge of both enforcing and people’s willingness to do a curfew but again, all options are on the table,” Jones said.

She said most people are following the rules and those who are not must be dealt with.

“If that means that more fines have to be laid then so be it because it is about saving lives,” Jones said.


Cabinet was presented with new modelling Thursday that showed the province rising to between 6,000 to 12,000 cases a day in coming weeks and possibly more than 18,000 a day by May under the worst case scenario. These types of predictions have been made in the past but failed to materialize.

On Feb. 11, as the province was looking to end the last stay-at-home order while keeping Toronto and Peel in lockdown, the Ontario Science Table predicted we would see 18,000 cases a day by the end of March. Instead, Ontario finished the month reporting 2,333 new cases on March 31 but that daily count has been rising since.

So too has the number of people in intensive care units.

This week, Ontario surpassed the second wave peak of 1,701 people in hospital. On Thursday there were 1,932 people in hospital with COVID related illnesses. On ICU admissions, the province has spent the last two weeks above the second wave peak of 400 people in ICU — the number on Thursday was 623.

The only bright spot when it comes to COVID-19 numbers is that deaths are down relative to the number of cases. There were 29 deaths reported Thursday, up from an average of 19 over the preceding week. But that is still down dramatically from the second wave peak of 100 new cases per day.

The Ford cabinet will meet again on Friday morning to finalize any decisions, Dr. Steini Brown, the head of the Ontario Science Table will present the new models and Premier Ford will announce the new restrictions that cabinet has agreed to on Friday afternoon in time for the weekend.

blilley@postmedia.com
 

pgs

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 29, 2008
20,824
1,656
113
B.C.
High Park cherry blossoms once again off-limits
Instead of last year's full-park closure, the city will fence trees off to prevent the usual crushing crowds

Author of the article:Bryan Passifiume
Publishing date:Apr 14, 2021 • 3 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
High Park will be closed during the cherry blossom season due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
High Park will be closed during the cherry blossom season due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. PHOTO BY JACK BOLAND /TORONTO SUN FILES
Article content
Torontonians hoping to catch an up-close, in-person look at High Park’s stunning cherry blossoms are out of luck.

For the second year in a row, the city will fence off High Park’s famed cherry trees in an effort to prevent large crowds as the city continues to endure the COVID-19 pandemic.


Instead, the city will once again live-stream video as the blooming trees, expected in mid to late April.

The city, said Mayor John Tory, would not be closing off the entire park as it did last year — only erecting fencing around the park’s three clusters of cherry trees.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content

Despite the restrictions imposed last year, several people chose to break in anyway.

“This year, we’re hopeful there will be nobody who will choose to do that,” Tory said.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

Police stand guard Toronto's High Park entrances after the Mayor of Toronto declared the park to be closed to prevent further spread of COVID-19 amongst the public.
Toronto's High Park reopens to the public
Police stand guard outside Toronto's High Park entrances on Thursday, April 30, after the popular west-end park was closed to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Crowds would ordinarily assemble in large numbers to enjoy the cherry blossoms at this time of year.
WARMINGTON: Officials go overboard with fortified High Park
The cherry blossom trees are ending their bloom as High Park was officially opened again on Monday. People came out to see them and take pictures near the grove near Grenadier Pond on Monday May 11, 2020.
WARMINGTON: High Park and its cherry blossoms a welcome sight for residents

“We have to rely on people at some point in time to understand that if they want to have the ability to use the park, to have a walk or cycle in order to be outside in the fresh air as people want to at this time, they have to follow the very clear parameters that will be set out by this fencing.”

The city will do whatever it has to do, Tory said, to maintain public health.

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume
View attachment 7910
They look like Magnolias to me .
 
  • Like
Reactions: petros

Danbones

Hall of Fame Member
Sep 23, 2015
23,950
1,866
113
Florida and Texas and Sweden and South Dakota (reality) makes ford (and anyone like him jumping to the same tune) look like yet another pedo stooge.

Thanks epstein ya chknsht COWARD goof Cnt face.
 
Last edited:

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
27,818
859
113
Sex-partying drywallers fired: Contractor
Explicit videos show workers grabbing, fondling and performing oral sex on stripper inside under-construction home

Author of the article:Bryan Passifiume
Publishing date:Apr 16, 2021 • 17 hours ago • 1 minute read • 24 Comments
Several drywall installers are out of a job after video surfaced of them drinking and partying with a stripper at a jobsite earlier this month
Several drywall installers are out of a job after video surfaced of them drinking and partying with a stripper at a jobsite earlier this month
Article content
Video of a booze-fuelled job site stripper party in Milton posted to social media has cost a group of drywallers their jobs.

The series of videos depict the men — now-former employees of Concord-based Nelmar Drywall Co. Ltd. — drinking and partying with a semi-nude woman inside of a home under construction.


Despite the pandemic and regulations regarding PPE, nobody in the video is seen wearing a mask.

In the videos, the men are seen dancing with the woman, grabbing and suckling her breasts, drinking and pouring vodka on her, lying down while she dances on top of them, and performing cunnilingus on her.

In response to the Sun’s inquires, a letter from Nelmar’s attorneys said their clients denounce the actions in the video, and that the participants depicted in the video were no longer employed with the company.

Several drywall installers are out of a job after video surfaced of them drinking and partying with a stripper at a jobsite earlier this month
Several drywall installers are out of a job after video surfaced of them drinking and partying with a stripper at a jobsite earlier this month
“While this incident is known to have happened at a Mattamy Homes project, it should be known that neither Mattamy Homes nor any of its employees had any involvement in nor any knowledge of the conduct depicted in the Subject Video/Images whatsoever; and, therefore, Mattamy Homes is not responsible for the incident,” the statement read.

Reaction to the video has been swift.

A statement from the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) called the videos “shocking, unacceptable and repulsive behaviour and simply degrading to women,” and denounced the actions of the men in them.

“RESCON has always stood up for the rights of women,” the statement read.

“We have also been working to promote the construction industry as a viable career path for women. This type of conduct has no place on construction sites and won’t be tolerated.”

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume
1618665677492.png1618665775637.png