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Vaccinated Canadians overseas frustrated that they were left out of new entry rules
After two years abroad, Katie Gibson said her family of four desperately wants to get home to Canada this summer. Falling case counts in Canada had been giving them hope that stringent COVID-19-related border restrictions would be eased enough to make the trip possible.
So when the federal government announced last week that vaccinated Canadians could soon be allowed to skip the hotel stay and — after receiving a negative COVID-19 test — the rest of the 14-day entry quarantine that has been required since February for people entering the country, Gibson was dismayed to learn that may not apply to her.
When the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine was offered to Gibson in Abu Dhabi, there was no doubt in her mind she should take it. The 36-year-old teacher originally from Calgary said she and her husband didn't hesitate to take the only COVID-19 vaccine they could get in the United Arab Emirates at the time.
However, the federal government stipulated the eased requirements would apply only to Canadians with a vaccine approved by Health Canada, such as Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca-Oxford and Janssen. Despite being approved for use by the World Health Organization (WHO), Sinopharm is not on the list.
"I think it's ridiculous because you have so many people overseas who were given a different vaccine," said Gibson. "The WHO recognized it so I don't see why Canada won't recognize it."
CBC News asked Health Canada to explain why people with other vaccines wouldn't be eligible for eased restrictions. But in an emailed response, Health Canada did not elaborate on the reasons for excluding other vaccines and instead reiterated that more information on the changes — expected to take effect in early July — will be available in the coming weeks. Read more on this story here.
Overtime in Vancouver: Looking back on the anniversary of the city's 2011 Stanley Cup riot
(Ben Tessler/For CBC)
Scott Jones, left, and Alex Thomas hold a framed print of the photo of them that went viral in the aftermath of the 2011 Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver. This version remains hung up at the bar Jones owns. Another copy is hung up at their home in Fremantle, Australia. Click here to read what some people who were there remember of that night 10 years later.
Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin is challenging the federal government's decision to publicly terminate his secondment to lead Canada's vaccine rollout, arguing the process was unfair and tainted by politics. Last month, the Department of National Defence issued a terse three-line statement on a Friday night saying that Fortin would be leaving his post with the Public Health Agency of Canada and his future would be decided by the acting chief of the defence staff. Fortin's legal team argues the decision to publicly announce Fortin was leaving the vaccine rollout during a military police investigation was made for political purposes. A document filed in court Monday by Fortin's legal team calls on the federal government to give him his old job back or find him another position suitable to his rank. Read more on Fortin's challenge.
The nine-year-old lone survivor of a truck attack that killed his parents, sister and grandmother on June 6 in London, Ont., has been released from hospital, a family friend said Monday, the same day the accused's murder and attempted murder charges were upgraded to include terrorism. Fayez Afzaal "is expected to recover — it's going to be some time," Saboor Khan told CBC News, saying Fayez is with relatives. "His family's main priority is to support him through that recovery." The family wishes to keep certain details confidential, such as the exact date of the boy's release from hospital, as well as where he is now recovering. Read more on this story here.
An analysis of COVID-19 vaccination rates in Alberta suggests one socio-economic factor, in particular, is correlated to vaccine uptake. And it's not income, language or cultural barriers. It's education. This presents a particularly tricky challenge for those trying to combat vaccine hesitancy, especially as demand for first doses in the province appears to be waning. Experts who have reviewed the education data say they are not particularly surprised by what it shows. In poll after poll of public opinion, people with higher levels of formal education tend to express more willingness — even eagerness — to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more analysis on the connection between education and vaccine uptake.
Five employees of Ontario Public Service (OPS) who are Black say they've been excluded from dozens of opportunities to move up, denied overtime and sick days and suffered demeaning comments because of the organization's systemic racism. Last week, CBC News reported that an external investigation had found "persistent and unyielding" systemic anti-Black racism within the public service, which includes more than 60,000 public servants who work for Ontario's ministries, agencies and Crown corporations. The head of the OPS, Secretary of the Cabinet Steven Davidson, emailed all staff an apology and promised to take firm actions to make the workplace better. But the five Black OPS employees CBC interviewed say Davidson's apology is meaningless because it doesn't hold anyone in particular accountable or commit to sweeping change. Read more on this story here.
In 2019, residents of Kiselyovsk, Russia, a city surrounded by coal mines, made a video asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to allow them to come to Canada as environmental refugees. "Unbearable conditions for life have developed in Russia," they said in their appeal, taking turns stepping before the camera and imploring Canada's government to give their families a cleaner future in a place where the snow "is still white." The polite but disappointing response emailed from Canada's Embassy in Moscow affirmed that Kiselyovsk's conditions are a problem only Russia's government can solve. Two years later, CBC News visits the community to see the conditions and find out how residents are doing now. Read more from CBC correspondent Chris Brown.
The Montreal Canadiens dropped the opening game of their best-of-seven semifinal last night against the Vegas Golden Knights. Playing at home before a boisterous crowd of almost 17,900 fans, Vegas beat the Habs 4-1. The last Canadian team in the playoffs, Montreal is the underdog against the Golden Knights, who had a league-best 40 wins during the NHL's pandemic-shortened 56-game regular season. Their playoff series is the first cross-border matchup this season, thanks to a federal exemption allowing teams to skip 14-day quarantine requirements. Read more from last night's game.
Now for some good news to start your Tuesday: No snow, no problem. Edmontonian Nick Akers decided to strap on snowshoes and run a kilometre on the sand in an attempt to set a Guinness world record in Darwin, Australia. He managed to complete the one-kilometre run in five minutes and 41 seconds at Mindil Beach on May 22. The snowshoeing caper was clearly foreign to Australia's locals, but Akers, 65, said they quickly warmed to the idea. "They're a great bunch," he said. "They really embraced the fact that you've got a Canadian trying to break a world record in snowshoeing." The climate alone wasn't the obstacle — he said it was around 35 C — it was also making sure the tide was low enough to have compact sand, and avoiding crocodiles and box jellyfish. Read more about Akers' unusual record.
Front Burner: Stories from the Kamloops Indian Residential School
Many contracted diseases like tuberculosis and measles, and later died. Some fleeing school tried to hop on trains and died. Others drowned in the nearby river, or died by suicide.
Those are the findings in documents newly obtained by CBC investigative reporter Jorge Barrera on some of the Indigenous children who lived and died at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
It was run mostly by the Catholic Church during its days in operation, and according to the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, is also the site of what are believed to be the unmarked burial places of children's remains.
Today on Front Burner, stories from inside that school.
Today in history: June 15
1846: The United States and Britain sign the Oregon Boundary Treaty, declaring the 49th parallel to be the British North America-U.S. boundary from the crest of the Rockies to the middle of the channel between Vancouver Island and the mainland.
1988: Ottawa expels eight Soviet diplomats for industrial espionage. The expulsions were not made public until June 21.
1993: Rookie Alberta Premier Ralph Klein leads his Progressive Conservatives to their seventh consecutive provincial election victory. He remained premier until his retirement in 2006.
2012: Nik Wallenda battles brisk winds and thick mist to become the first person to walk across the brink of Niagara Falls on a tightrope, albeit with a TV network-mandated safety tether. A crowd of over 120,000, and millions more on TV worldwide, watched as he made his 550-metre trek from Goat's Island in the U.S. to the visitor's centre on the Canadian side in 25 minutes.
With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters