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In today's Morning Brief, we look at rising costs of travel as Canadians prepare for winter escapes.

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Fully vaccinated and ready for a winter getaway? It may cost more than you think

Now that restrictions have eased for fully vaccinated travellers, Canadians are starting to think about travelling abroad over the holidays. 

But that winter getaway may be more costly than you think. Both airfare and car rental prices are on the rise, and the added fee for one or more mandatory COVID-19 tests could make the trip cost-prohibitive. 

The cost of the return test was a deal breaker for Ian Wilson of Peterborough, Ont., who had planned to take his family on a trip to Las Vegas last month. His family hadn't travelled together in several years, and Wilson and his wife, Becky Paradis, were prepared to foot the bill for their three adult children.

However, the family decided to nix their plans after Wilson did some research and concluded he'd have to spend at least $1,000 total to pay for five PCR tests to return to Canada. 

"It was very disappointing," he said. "I'm not opposed to getting the test … but it's the cost. It was just adding too much onto the trip for our family to afford."

Back in the spring when COVID-19 cases were still surging, airlines offered discounted airfares and other perks to encourage Canadians to start making travel plans. But due to growing demand, those deals are fast disappearing, said Adit Damodaran, an economist with Hopper, a Montreal-based travel booking app.

WATCH | Travel costs rise as borders reopen: 

Travel costs rise as borders reopen to international travel

8 months ago
Duration 2:01

 

"A lot of travellers are eager to kind of get back out there and start exploring the world," he said.

Car rental expert Jonathan Weinberg says car rental fees in the U.S. are also on the rise — even surpassing pre-pandemic levels. 

"Prices are spiking up," said Weinberg, CEO of AutoSlash.com, a U.S.-based discount car rental booking site. He says the average car rental price in the U.S. is currently around $50 to $75 US per day, about a 50 per cent increase compared to 2019. Read more on this story here.

Honouring the pooch

(Niranjan Shrestha/The Associated Press)

A Nepalese woman puts marigold petals on a police dog during Tihar festival celebrations at a kennel in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Wednesday. During the second day of Tihar, one of the most important Hindu festivals, dogs are worshipped to acknowledge their role in providing security.

In brief

Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau has drawn the ire of federal and Quebec officials after speaking only limited French in his first major speech. In a 26-minute address to Montreal's Chamber of Commerce, Rousseau only spoke French for about 20 seconds. While his understanding of the language is "fair," he said, he struggles to speak it. That prompted swift criticism from federal and provincial politicians and several Quebec commentators. Many pointed out that Air Canada is subject to the Official Languages Act and must therefore serve customers in English and French, depending on the customer's preference. Read the full story here

As MPs prepare for the start of a new session of Parliament in just over two weeks, the Conservative Party still hasn't confirmed just how many of its MPs will be there in person. The party has not officially disclosed how many of its members remain unvaccinated. Multiple Conservative sources describe the number as merely a "handful" — fewer than 10. Under new rules adopted earlier this fall, members will have to disclose that status and be fully vaccinated in order to take their seats. Party Leader Erin O'Toole's decision not to require that all Conservative MPs be vaccinated against COVID-19 has divided caucus and has been the subject of heated debate at recent meetings, sources say. CBC News reached out to all 119 Conservative MPs individually on the issue; 81 confirmed they are fully vaccinated, three would not disclose their vaccination status and 35 did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The Green Party, Bloc Québécois and NDP said all of their MPs are fully vaccinated. The Liberal Party said all of its MPs are fully vaccinated, except for one with a medical exemption. Read more on this story here

A goal of the COP26 UN climate summit currently underway in Scotland is to take definitive action toward the burning of coal around the world to produce electricity. The phrase "consign coal to history" is heard often, coined by Alok Sharma, president of COP26, the annual meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) that's supposed to decide climate action under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The aspiration seems logical; for decades it's been obvious that coal is a source of significant pollution. Slowing down the burning of coal should be low-hanging fruit for world leaders, but if the 2021 climate summit wants to seal the fate of coal-fired power plants, recent months have provided a reality check of how difficult the task will be. The world's appetite for burning the black nuggets is not abating. Read more analysis here.

WATCH | Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commits to end thermal coal exports by 2030: 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commits to end thermal coal exports by 2030

8 months ago
Duration 0:59



For more than 200 years, Russia's largest emergency department has treated some of Moscow's most critically ill. Now five floors of the Sklifosovsky Institute for Emergency Medicine have been turned into a red zone, where some 100 COVID-19 patients are cordoned off from the rest of the hospital. Some are on oxygen. Others are on ventilators. But all of them are unvaccinated, says Dr. Yevgeny Ryabov, an administrator in the hospital's COVID department. "This is some kind of indifference and, to some degree, ignorance," he told CBC News as he did morning rounds with a large team of doctors and nurses. CBC was invited into the hospital's red zone this week to see how staff are trying to treat an unprecedented surge in infected patients — a deluge which one official described as a weight caving in on the health-care system. Read more on this story from CBC Moscow correspondent Briar Stewart.

WATCH | Inside a Russian hospital struggling with COVID-19 cases: 

Inside a Russian hospital struggling with COVID-19 cases

8 months ago
Duration 4:18



For the first time since COVID-19 shattered a roaring economy in the spring of 2020, the U.S. Federal Reserve — the Fed — has decided to start cutting monetary stimulus, central bank head Jerome Powell announced Wednesday. "The pandemic recession was the deepest and the recovery has been the fastest," Powell said. But speaking to financial reporters after the Fed's monthly meeting to discuss interest rates and the rate at which the central bank buys bonds to stimulate the economy, Powell made it clear that with such an unusual recession and a strange recovery, accurately foretelling the path of jobs and inflation is not possible. While both the U.S. and Canada are still waiting for the latest employment numbers to come out Friday, Powell has been forced to weigh the risks of cutting stimulus too quickly at the peril of slowing jobs growth against moving too slowly and unleashing a wave of inflation. Read more analysis here from CBC business columnist Don Pittis.

Now for some good news to start your Thursday: An Ontario grandmother, who is the oldest person to graduate with a master's degree from York University, says young people should use their university education to make positive change in the world. Varatha Shanmuganathan, 87, a Vaughan resident, graduated on Tuesday with her second master's degree. "I will tell them, the younger generation, do your degrees, not just for career's sake. It should be something that should be life-changing," Shanmuganathan said in a Twitter message. She started her second master's degree at age 85. The subject of her research was Sri Lanka after the civil war there and prospects for peace. Read more here about the record-setting graduate

Front Burner: Violent vigilantism or self-defence? Kyle Rittenhouse on trial

At Kyle Rittenhouse's homicide trial, which began this week, there are two very different versions on display of what happened in Kenosha, Wis., on the night of Aug. 25, 2020.

It's not disputed that the then-17-year-old killed two people and injured a third. 

But in his attorney's portrayal, Rittenhouse was a scared victim, acting in self-defence. 

In the prosecution's, Rittenhouse was a vigilante, who arrived in Kenosha with a semiautomatic weapon as a "chaos tourist." 

Today, guest host Angela Sterritt speaks with Washington Post reporter Kim Bellware about the contentious and politicized trial. 

Today in history: November 4

1956: Lester Pearson, Canada's external affairs minister, proposes a special UN peacekeeping force to ease the British and French out of Egypt. 

2001: Former Quebec cabinet minister Gérard Tremblay is elected the first mayor of the amalgamated city of Montreal.

2017: Four years after he walked away from the UFC for a mental breather, Canadian Georges St-Pierre returns to the octagon and defeats Michael Bisping by submission to capture the middleweight championship at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

2019: Elizabeth May announces she is stepping down as the leader of the federal Green Party after 13 years in the job.

With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters

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