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'More people are catching on': Travellers using U.S.-Canada land border to avoid quarantine hotels
Greg Peacock walked across the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ont., and back into Canada with his three puppies in hand, pausing to take some selfies, but he didn't cross here for the view.
Peacock chose this particular point of entry from the United States to avoid the mandatory three-day stay at a quarantine hotel that applies to air travellers entering Canada. Instead of flying directly to Toronto's Pearson International Airport, he flew from Los Angeles to Buffalo, N.Y., took a cab to the border, walked into Canada and took the train to Toronto.
"I don't want to spend three days or whatever it is locked up at a hotel when I'm back in Toronto to do work," Peacock said. He told CBC News that he would quarantine once he got home.
Peacock is one of the many Canadians flying into U.S. airports close to the U.S.-Canada border and crossing by foot or hiring car services to drive them across in order to avoid staying at the quarantine hotels that are mandatory for air travellers.
Walking across the border isn't new or illegal, but it does contravene non-essential travel advisories and allows travellers to avoid staying in one of the federally sanctioned quarantine hotels that can cost up to $2,000 for a three-day stay — a requirement for those arriving by air. The temporary measures and the Canada-U.S. land border closure, which went into effect in March 2020, have both been extended to May 21.
WATCH | Travellers avoid hotel quarantine by crossing at Canada-U.S. land border:
Since the hotel rules came into effect on Feb. 21, nearly 20,000 people crossed the border by land (not including essential workers), according to a CBC News analysis of numbers provided by the Canada Border Services Agency.
Whether Canadians return by land or air, if they are not essential workers or otherwise exempt, under federal guidelines, they must quarantine for 14 days, with air travellers spending the first three days at a hotel until they get the result of a COVID-19 test. Land travellers must go directly to their quarantine destination after crossing the border. Read more on this story here.
Climbing case numbers in India
(Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images)
A worker at a facility on the outskirts of Hyderabad, India, arranges medical oxygen cylinders on Friday for transport to hospitals for treating patients with COVID-19. Today, India reported the world's highest daily tally of coronavirus infections for a second consecutive day.
The woman at the centre of the sexual misconduct case against the country's former top military commander delivered bombshell testimony to a House of Commons committee late Thursday, making fresh allegations about the personal life and conduct of retired general Jonathan Vance. Maj. Kellie Brennan, an army staff officer, told the status of women committee the former chief of the defence staff considered himself "untouchable" and that he fathered but does not support two of her children. Vance has not responded publicly to any of the allegations made against him. The former defence chief is facing separate allegations of misconduct involving Brennan and another unidentified woman. Military police are looking into whether his relationship with Brennan, a former subordinate, was inappropriate and contravened military regulation. Read more on this story here.
The Supreme Court of Canada is to issue a ruling today that could reverse the federal government's 65-year-old claim that an Indigenous nation from British Columbia's interior no longer exists. The ruling will determine whether the Sinixt, whose reservation is in Washington State, have an Indigenous right to hunt in their ancestral territory north of the border. The case began in 2010 when Sinixt leaders sent one of their members, Richard Desautel, to shoot and kill an elk in their traditional territory of the Arrow Lakes region in southeastern B.C. to reclaim their identity in Canada. Desautel phoned the B.C. Conservation Officer Service after his successful hunt to report himself, and was charged. He argued that his right to hunt for ceremonial purposes in the traditional territory of the Sinixt is protected under the Constitution. The Crown maintained Desautel didn't have rights because he wasn't part of any recognized Indigenous group in Canada. Desautel won at every level of the B.C. court system — laying the groundwork for the Sinixt to be formally recognized again as an Indigenous people by the Supreme Court. Read more about the case here.
The federal government has banned passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days amid rising COVID-19 case counts in India and concerns about mutations of the coronavirus. At a virtual press conference on Thursday, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said that because an increasing number of travellers from both countries have been arriving in Canada with COVID-19, all commercial and private passenger flights from those countries would be barred as of 11:30 p.m. last night. Cargo flights are still permitted in order to maintain shipments of essential supplies, such as vaccines and personal protective equipment. Alghabra said air passengers who depart from India or Pakistan but arrive in Canada via a third country will need to produce a negative result on a COVID-19 test taken at their last point of departure before being allowed to enter Canada. Read more about the flight ban.
WATCH | Canada imposes 30-day ban on flights from India, Pakistan:
Ben Proudfoot's short documentary is headed to Sunday's Oscars, and so is he — in the midst of pandemic-related upheaval in the industry and a major shift in how award shows connect with their guests and audiences. The Halifax director is nominated alongside co-director Kris Bowers for A Concerto is a Conversation, their 13-minute feature about Bowers's grandfather, Horace Bowers, and the discrimination he faced as he escaped the Jim Crow South. While the film saw early success after debuting through the New York Times' Op-Docs series in November, Proudfoot says promoting the film was a challenge. Despite attending virtual events and festivals, the Oscars will be the first live event Proudfoot has attended in more than a year. He will be among a limited number of in-person guests at this year's Academy Awards, a host-less, three-hour-long show that requires a "rigorous protocol," he said. That includes multiple COVID-19 tests in the weeks leading up to the ceremony, and one on the day itself. Read more about Proudfoot and his film.
WATCH | Canada's Ben Proudfoot heading to the Oscars after a 'dark year':
In the manufacturing room of Colin Crump's Calgary-based mattress business, there is not a single material he sees that hasn't jumped in price in recent months. Wood, fabric, foam and metal all cost much more for him to buy, if he can get his hands on them in the first place. Of his 50 suppliers, only one or two haven't hiked prices. "Obviously, people hear about it with the wood products, but across the board, I can't think of one product that hasn't gone up anywhere from five to 10 per cent and some products are up about 50 to 60 per cent," said Crump, president of Sleep Boutique, which makes custom mattresses. Businesses and manufacturers in many different industries are having a similar experience, which raises concerns about inflation and the overall cost of many products that people buy. The reasons are complex, but the pandemic plays a role — driving both supply and demand. Read more on the rising cost of products.
WATCH | A look at rising foam prices and all the reasons why:
Now for some good news to start your Friday: If you're stuck in a quarantine hotel for two weeks, what do you do to keep a three-year-old entertained? Carly Catalano, originally from Williams Lake, B.C., her partner Sam and their daughter Florence are moving to Perth, Australia. Part of the move to a new country required them to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days, to ensure they don't bring in COVID-19. Florence's parents knew two weeks with a toddler were going to be trying, so they came up with a plan. They wanted to build something. Florence suggested a dinosaur. Using takeout containers — of which they had many from days' worth of takeout — and an ironing board, the couple designed and built the skeleton for a 1.5-metre tall dinosaur. Check out the video and read more about "bagasaurus" here.
Front Burner: Russia vs. Ukraine, the latest chapter
Since late March, Russia has been building its military presence at the Ukraine border. There were tens of thousands of troops, tanks and ballistic missiles within striking distance.
This head-to-head situation got the attention of a lot of Ukraine's Western allies, including Canada.
There is concern that this would escalate to a real conflict, especially given the history between Russia and Ukraine. But on Thursday, Russia's defence minister suddenly announced that there would be a partial de-escalation. CBC Moscow correspondent Chris Brown explains to guest host Elaine Chau.
Today in history: April 23
1851: The first Canadian postage stamp, the three-penny beaver designed by Sir Sandford Fleming, is issued.
1897: Lester Pearson is born in Newtonbrook, Ont. The Nobel Peace Prize winner served as Canada's 14th prime minister from 1963-68. He died on Dec. 27, 1972.
1985: Coca-Cola announced it was changing the formula for Coke. The public uproar resulted in two Cokes being sold — "new" Coke and Coca-Cola Classic. The "new" Coke didn't last long.
2003: The World Health Organization issues a travel advisory that named Toronto along with Beijing and China's Shanxi province as places that travellers should avoid in order to minimize the global spread of SARS, the infectious respiratory disease that killed hundreds of people worldwide. The Toronto ban was lifted a week later when a delegation of Canadian health officials presented evidence that indicated the threat of SARS had greatly diminished in Canada.
With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters