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Canada still lacks national guidance for people who are fully vaccinated as travel restrictions ease
Canada still hasn't provided clear guidance to fully vaccinated Canadians on what they can and can't do safely as the number of second doses of COVID-19 vaccines ramps up across the country and travel restrictions are set to ease.
More than 60 per cent of the population has at least one dose and more than eight per cent has two. But as our vaccine rollout strategy shifts toward getting more Canadians fully vaccinated, national guidelines for what activities are safe to do still don't exist.
"We seem to be paralyzed in Canada," said Dr. Nathan Stall, a geriatrician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. "We don't differentiate between who's vaccinated and unvaccinated."
The federal government announced Wednesday that fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents crossing the border into Canada will soon not have to self-isolate for 14 days if they have a negative COVID-19 test, but there's no specific direction on what they can actually do safely once they arrive here.
WATCH | Confusion about what you can do once fully vaccinated:
Without guidelines for the fully vaccinated, some experts say Canada is missing an opportunity to give Canadians a roadmap toward something resembling a normal life, while others feel we need to proceed carefully to avoid risking the progress we've made.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced Tuesday that fully vaccinated Manitobans will now be able to travel within Canada without having to self-isolate for two weeks after they return, with an immunization card used as proof.
Nationally, however, vaccine passports have not yet been rolled out and federal officials were unable to provide an exact time as to when quarantine rules will be lifted for fully vaccinated Canadians aside from saying on Wednesday they were aiming for early July. Read more on this story here.
Missing head reappears
The head of Egerton Ryerson, one of the architects of Canada's residential school system, was last seen decapitated from a statue on the Ryerson University campus in Toronto. It's now on a spike at 1492 Land Back Lane in Caledonia, Ont., the site of an ongoing land battle between the Six Nations of the Grand River and local developers, who are attempting to build residential housing on land that the Six Nations say was never ceded by the Haudenosaunee. Read more on this story here.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday that online hate may have contributed to the motivations of the man accused of killing members of a Muslim family in London, Ont., over the weekend. That's prompted human rights advocates to criticize his government for failing to meet its promise to deliver legislation to address the problem. Human rights advocate Amira Elghawaby, who spent more than a year examining online hate, said Canada's regulations on hate speech are failing. "It's really unfortunate that the real work that would make a substantial change in the lives of people — not only Canadian Muslims, but other racialized groups that are targeted online — that type of change has not yet happened," Elghawaby said. "And that really is a shame for us and Canadians." Read more on the call for promised online hate legislation.
WATCH | Federal government slow to act on online hate:
The final cost to Albertans for the Keystone XL pipeline will be about $1.3 billion as the provincial government and TC Energy announced the official termination of the project Wednesday. The Alberta government agreed last year to invest about $1.5 billion as equity in the project, plus billions more in loan guarantees in order to get the pipeline moving. That investment vaporized when the Biden administration in the United States cancelled the permit for the project on its first day in office. TC Energy and the province said they would look at their options in the wake of the cancellation, but TC Energy said the pipeline extension was officially dead as of yesterday. Read more on the termination of the project.
The Trudeau government has stopped using the Liberal Party's private database to conduct background checks on candidates for judicial appointments, federal sources say. According to information obtained by Radio-Canada, the practice — which had gone on for years — was halted in response to widespread criticism both from opposition parties and legal experts. The use of the information in this database, called the Liberalist, led to accusations of partisan bias in the judicial appointment process. For months, the Conservative Party and Bloc Québécois accused the government of favouring candidates with a history of donating to the Liberal Party. Those accusations emerged after CBC News, the Globe and Mail and La Presse published articles that demonstrated the existence of partisan considerations in the federal judicial appointment process. Read more on this story.
China says its scientific co-operation with Canada should not be politicized, responding to questions about two scientists fired from Canada's only Level 4 lab — a case that has led to an RCMP investigation, demands for details in Parliament and concerns about Chinese espionage. Very few people know why Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and her biologist husband, Keding Cheng, were marched out of the Winnipeg-based National Microbiology Lab two years ago and stripped of their security clearance. They were officially fired last January. However, a national security expert believes the case of the scientists raises the possibility of Chinese espionage. "It appears that what you might well call Chinese agents infiltrated one of the highest prized national security elements when it comes to biosecurity and biodefence," said Christian Leuprecht, a security expert and professor at the Royal Military College and Queen's University. Read more on the firing of the scientists.
WATCH | Federal government grilled on microbiologists stripped of security clearance:
Fish could be affected as oxygen levels plunge in the world's freshwater lakes due to climate change, a new study suggests. The researchers found that from 1980 to 2017, oxygen levels fell by about five per cent near the surface and 19 per cent in deep waters, they reported in the journal Nature recently. The decline in oxygen levels in lakes is 2.75 to 9.3 times higher than the decline in oxygen in the world's oceans, which has also raised concern among scientists about the health of aquatic life. Peter Leavitt, a University of Regina biologist who co-authored the study, said Wascana Lake in Saskatchewan was one of the lakes losing oxygen the fastest, putting it in the top 15 out of 393 lakes studied. Read more about the study here.
WATCH | Climate change is sucking the oxygen out of Canada's lakes:
Now for some good news to start your Thursday: Little free libraries have become a staple in many neighbourhoods, giving passersby a chance to take a book, read a book or leave a book. But in one Brandon, Man., neighbourhood, a little free art gallery has popped up, encouraging others to try their hand at art to share with others, while also beautifying the community. Errin Witherspoon and her husband came up with a design that features a small box on a pole that can be lowered, ensuring it's accessible to little ones or those who use mobility aids and might not reach up high. Artists can leave their own work inside the box, and visitors are invited to take the art home. Some people have even left art supplies for others in the tiny gallery. Read more on the little art gallery.
Front Burner: Why won't the Pope apologize for residential schools?
After the discovery of what are believed to be the unmarked burial sites of children's remains at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, we heard apologies from individual dioceses on their role in Canada's residential schools. On the weekend, the Pope offered a statement that expressed sadness, but stopped short of a definitive apology. Today on Front Burner, Anglican cleric, columnist and former Catholic Michael Coren on why that is.
Today in history: June 10
1930: The Winnipeg Rugby Football Club is founded. It was the forerunner of the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
1957: John Diefenbaker's Conservatives end 22 years of Liberal rule in Ottawa with a stunning election victory. Diefenbaker formed a minority government 11 days later, and remained in power until 1963.
2003: Michael Leshner and Michael Stark become Canada's first same-sex couple to legally wed. Their quick civil ceremony in Toronto came just hours after Ontario's Court of Appeal pronounced the Canadian law on traditional marriage unconstitutional.
2010: The Supreme Court of Canada upholds an accused person's right to have a publication ban on evidence at their bail hearing.
With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters