Evening Brief: Special delivery from south of the border
Today’s Evening Brief is brought to you by News Media Canada. It’s time to level the digital playing field. Google and Facebook are using their monopoly to threaten and undermine local news. Other countries are taking action. It’s time for Canada to stand up to the web giants – and get involved in local news. Learn more.
It looks like there will be a special delivery from the south of the border. Although the details are still being worked out, the White House announced today that Canada will receive 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Another 2.5 million cans are going to Mexico. “This virus has no limits,” a government official told Reuters. “We’ll only leave the virus behind if we help our global partners.”
President Biden was under pressure to share America’s stash of vaccines that have not yet been approved for use in the United States. The drug company has made millions of doses in an American facility and says it is on track to have 30 million shots ready in early April.
Anita Anand watches as some of the first COVID vaccines are unloaded from a cargo plane on December 13th. (Photo by the Canadian Armed Forces)
The vaccines will be coming north under a loan agreement, the details of which are still being worked out. Procurement Minister Anita Anand said talks about CBC power and politics were ongoing.
As for the deal, we are considering getting those 1.5 million cans now and that if we get our 20 million cans of AstraZeneca in Q2 and Q3 we will return 1.5 million in the US type of swap transaction “She said, noting that the government expects to receive the cans” probably before the end of the month “once the logistics are sorted.
Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford welcomed the news and called it fabulous news. “God bless America. You come to our salvation,” he said at a press conference. “Thank God. I bugged Trump, I bugged Biden – everyone. You must be fed up with Doug asking for help. “
Ford’s spokeswoman said that while Ontario can deliver 150,000 doses per day, “We don’t have the supplies to make this logistically feasible. We can’t go up just to ramp down again. It’s a daunting undertaking and requires more vaccines to go full steam ahead. “Some people are scratching their heads as the province will receive around 400,000 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine each week through mid-May. That doesn’t even explain other vaccines.
When it comes to locks, the endless cycle of ramp up and shutdown is fine.
In related news, a UK study ruled out a link to some blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Here in Upper Canada we jealously look east as the falls knock down and the Atlantic Bubble 2.0 soon becomes a thing. The Council of Atlantic Prime Ministers said today that it will be on April 19th. “While COVID-19 remains a serious concern, Prime Ministers are being encouraged by Atlantic Canadians’ compliance with public health measures, curbing regional outbreaks, and advances in rolling out vaccines,” the council said in a press release. While talk of making it just a sea bubble, the council expanded the network, with Newfoundland and Labrador participation “contingent on further progress in easing provincial alert restrictions”. More from CBC News.
Turning to the COVID benefits, extending the length of time unemployed Canadians can get three federal benefits will cost taxpayers $ 5.9 billion, according to Canada’s spending watchdog. The Parliamentary Budget Commissioner (PBO) estimate is below the $ 6.7 billion price that Labor Secretary Carla Qualtrough offered last month when she announced the extension of three COVID benefits and regular labor insurance benefits. Jolson Lim reports.
O’Toole takes part in a debate during the 2017 leadership race (Mathew Usherwood / iPolitics)
With a view to the Conservative Party’s three-day political rally that began today, the issue of abortion is off the table, but there is still a lot of row-to-row disputes and Chairperson Erin O’Toole faces a number of challenges, including that Slagging within the party Party Fold. As the star notes, its critics whisper “division” as it “preaches unity”. What is at stake for the Conservatives in this convention? The base. CP has this story.
Since the trial against Michael Spavor is due to begin tomorrow and Michael Kovrig in China on Monday, the German government is “deeply concerned” about the lack of transparency in the process. According to Global Affairs, Canadian officials have not been given permission to participate in the trials of the two detained Canadians. “The official announcement from the Chinese authorities showed that these processes are closed to both the public and the media,” Christelle Chartrand, spokeswoman for global affairs, said in a statement today. “Despite several official inquiries to the Chinese authorities, Canadian officials have not yet received permission to participate in the trials.” Global news reports.
While still in Ontario today, it announced that the provincial 2020 budget had underestimated the short-term costs of a green energy rebate program by more than $ 1 billion, according to the provincial financial watchdog. The projection comes from a new report by the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) that found the program – the Ontario Electricity Rebate (OER) – will cost the province $ 1.5 billion more over three years than it did in their budget for 2020, with which the program was launched.
Hill Movers: Carr, Freeland, LeBlanc and Hussen are seeing staff shifts
The Sprout: Feds want Prairies to have a “clear reference” to AgriStability
The Drilldown: 21 states are suing Biden for canceling Keystone XL
The latest episode of No Talking Points is live. Alex Ballingall and Alex Boutilier from The Star as well as our Kady O’Malley and Janet Silver watch how united or divided the Conservative Party is, the upcoming trials against the two Michaels and a year after the pandemic madness they are weighing, how the government is doing. Here you can listen.
In other headlines:
Iran’s report on the downing of Flight 752 doesn’t explain why it happened: TSB (CP)
Military culture in the spotlight, as 2nd Committee Rehearsal (Global) starts
NB Health officials track clusters of patients with unknown brain disease (CP)
The relatives of the victims of the Polytechnique accuse Trudeau of having “betrayed” them with a new weapons law (CBC).
With vaccines slowly entering the guns in this country south of the border, President Biden is expected to achieve his administration’s goal of getting 100 million vaccines to American guns by Friday. His goal was to hit this milestone within his first 100 days in office – but it’s on track to hit it by day 60. According to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 115,730,730 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in America since the first vaccine was approved in December. At least someone gets pushed, okay?
CNN reports that Biden will announce his government’s new vaccination target next week.
Meanwhile, there appears to be a war of words with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who fought back today after Biden said in an interview that he considered him a “killer”.
“It takes you to know you,” Putin said on Russian television, urging Biden to speak to him live while rejecting allegations that he had something to do with trying to kill opposition politician Alexei Navalny.
The Russian head of state previously responded to the comments by wishing Biden “good health” at a press conference. “It’s true, we really know each other personally. What would I answer him? I would tell him: Be healthy, ”said Putin. “I wish him good health. I say this without irony, without jokes. That is first of all. “
In other international headlines:
UK COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Affected By Supply Crisis In India (Reuters)
Biden sends Senate Democrats to Ethiopia on human rights grounds (The Hill)
Former Special Forces soldier accused of attacking police during the Capitol riot (Politico)
The ICC is giving Israel one month to request the postponement of the War Crimes Investigation (AP).
Photo of Chef ‘Despair’ widespread in Lockdown Italy (AFP)
In the presented opinion:
Graham Thomson: Bigfoot, big oil, and big problems for the unpopular Kenney
Alan Freeman: With vaccine nationalism growing, Canada has to be kind to everyone
Finally, a statue was erected in Tel Aviv tonight depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemingly relieving himself before elections take place next week. However, he could not crouch for long.
Have a good one.