In Newfoundland and Labrador, three ingredients made for explosive COVID-19 outbreak
'It just kind of gets snatched away from you in a blink of an eye.' said one teenager who tested positive in the outbreak.
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Biden marks ‘Bloody Sunday’ by signing executive order on voting rights
``Every eligible voter should be able to vote and have it counted,'' Biden says in his prepared remarks to Sunday's Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast.
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About Last Night: Montreal really, really needed last night's win over the Winnipeg Jets
Brendan Gallagher scores twice, Phillip Danault gets two assists, and Carey Price wins as well
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While you were sleeping: This doesn't really feel like a holiday weekend
Nothing feels that way anymore.
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'Maddening': Faster Ontario Vaccine Rollout May Have Saved These Lives
Ian McMahon and his 10 siblings felt terrified as they watched the first wave of COVID-19 devastate nursing homes across Ontario in spring 2020. But no one got infected at the Windsor, Ont. home where their father, George Arthur McMahon Sr., lived. They celebrated George’s 87th birthday in September with an outdoor party at his nursing home. George — who was also a grandfather to more than 25, great-grandfather to 12 and great-great-grandfather to two — had to stay behind a fence, but he got to see his family.“And then the second wave hit,” McMahon told HuffPost Canada. “And the panic struck in.”On Dec. 8, an outbreak was declared at George’s home, The Village at St. Clair. A handful of cases were reported at first. A week later, 38 residents and 20 health-care workers had tested positive. The week after that, there were 94 residents and 29 staff infected with the virus. Earlier: Daughter describes losing mother to COVID-19 in an Ontario nursing home. Story continues after video. McMahon still felt his dad was one of the lucky ones, because he lived in an area of the Village where there weren’t any cases. But the virus kept spreading. On Jan. 8, two days before George was scheduled for vaccination, he was diagnosed with COVID-19. He died on Jan. 13.“He was almost there … He was on the cusp of making it,” McMahon said. “It just goes to show you, it doesn’t take much for a whole family to be destroyed … It takes one lapse.”George was the last patriarch of his generation in the family, born to parents that came to Canada from Scotland, McMahon said. He was deeply involved with the University of Windsor, according to an obituary, teaching history, mentoring students and serving in multiple executive roles. One of his proudest moments was carrying the Olympic flame as a torchbearer in the 2010 Winter Olympics torch relay, which he said made him feel like a “rock star.” He led a fantastic, awesome life. And to go out like that was maddening.Ian McMahonA devout Catholic, George’s family said in the obituary that they have no doubt the words, “‘Well done good and faithful servant!’ (Matthew 25:23),” welcomed him into heaven. “My dad did not deserve to go out that way,” McMahon told HuffPost. “He led a fantastic, awesome life. And to go out like that was maddening.”Sixty-five per cent of The Village at St. Clair’s residents have now had at least one dose of the Moderna vaccine, a spokesperson for parent company Schlegel Villages told HuffPost by email. “The Village is working with Public Health to schedule another clinic to inoculate residents who were not able to receive the vaccination because they were recovering from COVID-19. More than 180 team members at the Village St. Clair have also been vaccinated.”McMahon said he wishes this happened sooner. He’s furious at the Ontario government for its response to the pandemic in long-term care, especially for taking a break from vaccinations on Christmas and Boxing Day. McMahon said he can’t help but wonder if they hadn’t slowed down over the holidays, maybe his father could’ve been vaccinated sooner.Officials have apologized for the slowdown over Christmas, but experts and families say that was only one of the many problems with Ontario’s vaccine rollout in long-term care, which has lagged behind other countries and provinces. Immunity doesn’t kick in right away when a person is vaccinated, so it is possible that someone who received their first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine could get sick days later.Spokespeople for the Ministry of Health and Minister Christine Elliott did not respond to HuffPost’s emailed questions by deadline. The government has defended its rollout, with Premier Doug Ford regularly touting that Ontario has given out more doses than any other province in Canada.Dr. Samir Sinha says that the rollout to long-term care residents took too long. He’s the director of geriatrics at Sinai Health and director of health policy research at Ryerson University’s National Institute on Aging.“Ontario took a very different approach and a pace towards vaccinating this population, which, frankly, has just cost unnecessary lives,” he told HuffPost.West Virginia finished giving first doses to nursing home residents on Dec. 30, Dr. Sinha told HuffPost, while Israel finished Jan. 7 and Denmark did on Jan. 8.Ontario had enough Pfizer vaccines to inoculate all long-term care residents by Dec. 21, the doctor said. But the province did all the vaccinations at hospitals at first, because the vials must be stored at ultra-cold temperatures. It didn’t actually start moving the vaccines to long-term care homes until Jan. 5. Quebec, on the other hand, made long-term care homes the vaccine distribution hubs, instead of hospitals. And British Columbia started moving Pfizer doses into nursing homes Dec. 23, Dr. Sinha said. Those provinces are now seeing fewer COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes than Ontario is. The number of active cases among nursing home residents and staff has dropped dramatically since January. But there are still outbreaks in 94 of Ontario’s homes as of Friday, which is 15 per cent of all homes.Dr. Sinha said the province could have vaccinated everyone in long-term care and retirement homes in a two to three week period.“We actually know where all these people live. They’re not really running around the community or down in St. Barts, you know, on holiday.” Dr. Sinha also took issue with the province’s strategy to start vaccinations only in the COVID-19 “hot spots” of Toronto, York, Peel and Windsor-Essex. At the time, there were outbreaks in long-term care homes in almost every public health region in the province, he said.Melissa Caron of Ottawa wonders if a different strategy could’ve saved one of her relatives in Kapuskasing, Ont., a small town of 8,200 people northwest of Timmins. Three of her grandparents were living at Extendicare Kapuskasing when an outbreak was declared at the home. All three of them got COVID-19 and one of her grandfathers, Alphonse Dorval, passed away on Feb. 2. He was 91. Dorval, a Quebecker who moved to Ontario to work in the forestry industry, had seven children, 15 grandchildren, and so many great-grandchildren Caron couldn’t count them all.“Any baby would just put a smile on his face,” she said. Before he moved to Extendicare, Dorval enjoyed tending to his tomato plants and the “phenomenal” garden at his Remi Lake cottage. “He did that till the very end.”Other than people living in remote First Nations communities, no one in northern Ontario had been vaccinated when the virus hit Extendicare Kapuskasing on Jan. 6, Caron said.“It seems like northern Ontario, as a whole, has been totally forgotten in vaccination.”Kapuskasing’s mayor wrote to Premier Ford and Health Minister Elliott requesting vaccines in mid-February. He said he wanted to avoid another devastating outbreak like the one that killed Dorval and 15 others at Extendicare. It seems like northern Ontario, as a whole, has been totally forgotten in vaccination.Melissa Caron“Almost a quarter of our population is over 65,” Mayor Dave Plourde said at the time. “The next rollout has to start here, not finish here.”A spokesperson for Extendicare said by email that 32 of the home’s residents have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The home will continue holding clinics for eligible residents and staff, the statement said.“We’re pleased that access to the vaccine for our residents continues to progress. It’s a huge milestone our community has been looking forward to for months.”
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Turning 100 ‘nothing big’ for this Toronto man, who escaped Nazi Germany by being evacuated as part of the Kindertransport
John Carson is a survivor of the Second World War who moved here with his family in 1959 and worked for the city as a planner.
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Chantal Hébert: In Canadian politics, Erin O’Toole might be the pandemic’s biggest loser
At a time when Canadians are relying on big government, the NDP’s gains in public support are not coming at the expense of the Liberals, Chantal Hébert writes.
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‘It’s not all about the bottom line, all of the time’: As many in Ontario struggle to make rent under COVID-19, one landlord is actually offering its tenants relief
Skyline Living’s relief program has helped 300 of its roughly 50,000 tenants.
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Myanmar police fire on demonstrators in former capital as protests continue
Large protests have occurred daily across many cities and towns in Myanmar, and security forces have responded with greater use of lethal force and mass arrests.
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Myanmar police fire on protesters in ancient former capital
Police in Myanmar's ancient former capital, Bagan, opened fire Sunday on demonstrators protesting last month's military takeover, wounding several people, according to witness accounts and videos on social media.
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COVID-19 pandemic prompts recent newcomers to leave Canada for their home countries
The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted some recent immigrants to leave Canada and return to their countries of origin, where they have more social and family connections.
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U.S. analysts brace for more oil by rail as debate continues over cross border pipelines
It would take an oil-by-rail calamity of a scale comparable to the 2013 Lac-Megantic disaster in Quebec before Americans wake up to the dangers, U.S. rail safety analysts say.
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Today’s coronavirus news: Sunday, March 7, 2021
Also, Russia scores points with vaccine diplomacy, but snags arise
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Rouhani: Iran ready to take steps when U.S. lifts sanctions
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday his country was prepared to take steps to live up to measures in the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers as soon as the United States lifts economic sanctions on Iran.
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Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah on royal family split airs tonight
Sunday night's airing of a two-hour special on Harry and Meghan hosted by Oprah Winfrey will provide the first, and unprecedented, peek into the couple's departure from royal duties and the strains it has placed on them.
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Coronavirus prompts some recent newcomers to leave Canada for their home countries
The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted some recent immigrants to leave Canada.
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Supreme Court’s Rosalie Abella prepares to retire as her legacy of defining equality seems built to last
Abella’s notion of justice and equal rights was shaped by a harrowing personal story, blossomed in her groundbreaking report on workplace inequality, and has taken root in Charter era.
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A year of consequences: Politicians and executives discover the hard way that bad behaviour isn’t tolerated as it once was
Their misdeeds have ranged from pandemic travel to unpalatable political views to allegations of sexism, racism or both.
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Nancy Ruth’s long fight over hymns and hers — and ‘all of us’ in O Canada
Feminist Conservative senator led the battle to change the national anthem from “all thy sons” to “all of us.” It took years but it’s a battle she won.
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A jagged metal stub is all that remains of a sign post, ready to ambush unsuspecting pedestrians
A short piece sticks out of the sidewalk on Avenue Road in the path of people walking.
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Vaccine passport for international travel 'very live' discussion among G7 countries: Hajdu
As countries continue to vaccinate larger segments of their populations, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says that discussions about introducing some form of vaccine passport are 'very live' among the G7 countries.
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Our year of pandemic life in Washington, D.C, included a lot of gloating from Canadians — for a while
The Keenans have seen a lot of things in the last 12 months — including huge protests and retreats to MAGA country — but the inside of a school isn’t one of them, writes Rebecca Cuneo Keenan.
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‘Totally psyched’: Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market moving to new venue next weekend
The historic market is moving its indoor winter location along the harbourfront to Pavilion 22, where it will also shift to a weekend-only market.
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Montreal weather: Bright and brrrr
We will have plenty of sunshine, but dress warm for the unseasonable temperatures.
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Fitness: Researchers tackle the transmission of COVID-19 in team sports
The resumption of activity in a limited and controlled manner has offered a unique opportunity to evaluate how sports contribute to the spread of the coronavirus between teammates.
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What the Liberals got right — and wrong — in long overdue reforms to assisted dying
The reforms Trudeau’s government are proposing now are important, long overdue and disappointingly modest. The failure to go further and address the expectations of Canadians when it comes to medical assistance in dying is more than unfortunate, however — it represents cowardice.
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Comments like Doug Ford’s ‘nails on a chalk board’ form political rhetoric meant to silence women
One hundred years since Agnes Campbell MacPhail became the first women elected to the House of Commons, only 30 per cent of the seats in the federal government are held by women. This International Women’s Day, let’s start dismantling foundational, sexist barriers that keep women from seeking political office.
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Four thousand Canadians are lost to suicide every year. A universal prevention line could save some of them
Right now, crisis lines, distress centres and text help services are not unified under one umbrella. When you are drowning in suicidal ideation, you need support at your fingertips. If you were in crisis today, would you know where to turn?
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Keep foreign money from undermining Canada’s electoral democracy
There is mounting evidence that foreign money is being laundered into Canadian politics, and it is very tough to track or trace. We need serious criminal penalties for accepting illegal money or services in kind, along with an obligation for every party and candidate to demonstrate the true provenance of every donated dollar.
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Kim Echlin’s “Speak Silence” a difficult, necessary novel about the rape of Bosnian women as a war crime
‘People read stories, but they also feel them, and understand them in ways that lead to more direct understandings than facts usually do.’
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Is Viet Than Nguyen’s new book ‘The Committed’ a novel of ideas or a high-octane thriller?
Nguyen’s latest picks up where his Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Sympathizer” left off
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GTA West highway is dying a slow death. Ford government should put it out of its misery
The GTA West highway would accelerate sprawl and pave over the Greenbelt. It should be stopped.
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