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The U.S. land border is reopening, but Canadians with mixed vaccines are still in limbo
While it's welcome news that the U.S. will reopen its shared land border with Canada to non-essential travel in early November, some Canadians with mixed vaccine doses aren't celebrating just yet.
That's because at the same time the U.S. reopens the land border, it will start requiring that foreign land and air travellers entering the country be fully vaccinated.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently doesn't recognize mixed COVID-19 vaccines — such as one dose of AstraZeneca and one dose of Pfizer or Moderna — and hasn't yet said if travellers with two different doses will be blocked from entry when the vaccine requirement kicks in.
"CDC will release additional guidance and information as the travel requirements are finalized later this month," said spokesperson Jade Fulce in an email on Wednesday.
Millions of Canadians have mixed vaccines, including Brian Butler of Bowmanville, Ont., who received one dose of Covishield, a brand of AstraZeneca, and one dose of Moderna. He has two daughters and two granddaughters in the U.S., and is frustrated that the country hasn't confirmed yet if his vaccine mix will be accepted.
"Just make a decision," he said. "Someone with a mixed vaccination I don't think is a threat of spreading COVID in the States."
Last week, the CDC confirmed that the country will accept visitors inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines authorized by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization. WHO-approved vaccines include AstraZeneca and its Indian-made counterpart, Covishield.
A similar rule is expected at land crossings. But the U.S. is still waiting for guidance from the CDC about travellers with mixed doses.
While the CDC currently doesn't recognize mixed vaccines, there are some exceptions to the rule. The CDC says on its website that mixed doses of the two mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, are acceptable in "exceptional situations," such as when the vaccine used for the first dose was no longer available. Read more on this story here.
Stunning shots earn Canadians Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards
(Martin Gregus/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)
A polar bear swims away from the last of the sea ice in spring on Hudson Bay in this photograph by Martin Gregus of Vancouver. He won the Rising Star Portfolio award in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards for his series of photos of polar bears in Churchill, Man. There were also winners from Ontario and Manitoba. Check out more of the winning photos here.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford's government will announce its new plan for lifting more of the province's COVID-19 public health restrictions next week, CBC News has learned. The easing of pandemic measures will include ending capacity limits in all locations where proof-of-vaccination requirements are in place, such as restaurants, bars and gyms, a senior official in Ford's government said Wednesday. The official provided information about the government's plans on condition of anonymity. CBC News agreed not to name the official in order to inform the public in advance of the announcement. Ontario has been at Step 3 of what the government calls its "Roadmap to Reopen" since mid-July. The official said it's now time to unveil a "revised pandemic plan" that takes into account the province's success in getting the population vaccinated against COVID-19, while also keeping a lid on the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus. Read more on the province's plans for reopening.
The Canadian military has postponed the appointment of its next commander of the army because the man it picked for the role is being investigated for misconduct. Lt.-Gen. Trevor Cadieu was set to be sworn in as the head of Canada's army at a ceremony in September. The military says the event was cancelled when it learned on Sept. 5 that its internal investigation department was looking into "historical allegations" made against Cadieu. "The postponement of the ceremony is not an indictment of Lt.-Gen. Cadieu. However, in light of the ongoing investigation, a decision was made to allow the justice system to pursue the matter in accordance with the rule of law," said the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces in a statement. The Ottawa Citizen was first to report on the investigation into Cadieu. The newspaper said he is being investigated over allegations of sexual misconduct. Cadieu has denied any wrongdoing. Read more about the postponement.
The Supreme Court of Canada is set to release its decision today on whether a Hamilton-area homeowner initially acquitted after shooting and killing an Indigenous man in 2016 should face a new trial. The top court's judgment Thursday in the case of Peter Khill will come more than five years after the death of Jon Styres, 29, who was from Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario. Khill was found not guilty of second-degree murder following a 12-day trial in June 2018 in which he argued he acted in self-defence. But the Crown appealed the verdict, leading to a unanimous ruling from the Ontario Court of Appeal that said the trial judge failed to instruct the jury to consider Khill's conduct before the trigger was pulled and Styres was killed. Read more here on the court case.
When Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15, Canada and many other Western countries were taken by surprise and scrambled to assist Afghans who had worked for them directly. The Trudeau government has so far brought about 2,500 such people to Canada and has issued special visas to roughly another 7,000. In September, the government announced a separate humanitarian visa program to help Afghans who may not have worked directly with Canada, but who would face a high risk of retaliation from the Taliban. However, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is not accepting applications for the humanitarian visa program — nor is it selecting refugees directly. Instead, the program will draw from a pool of people recommended by outside agencies such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees The lack of a direct avenue to apply for a humanitarian visa is leaving likely candidates for the program in danger, said one Ottawa lawyer working to bring them into Canada. Read about one woman's struggle to apply for the visa program.
The last thing Alain Hodak remembers before his double lung transplant surgery was excitedly waiting in the operating room for a call from a doctor on the roof of the hospital, saying his drone had arrived. That drone carried a pair of lungs 1.5 kilometres across downtown Toronto in what University Health Network believes was a world-first delivery that Hodak had agreed to be part of in September. An engineer by trade and a lover of drones, Hodak, 63, was eager to be the first transplant patient to receive lungs delivered by an unmanned drone, completed by UHN and Unither Bioelectronique. The lungs travelled in a purpose-built drone from Toronto Western Hospital to Toronto General Hospital, both part of the UHN. The journey lasted just six minutes, but is one Hodak's doctor believes could change the future of organ delivery. Read more about the drone's role in the transplant operation.
It's mid-October, and now that Thanksgiving is over, many Canadian kids will start to look forward to the next big celebration: Halloween. CBC Kids News reached out to every province and territory to ask them what they were advising for Halloween this year. Five provinces responded with Halloween-specific guidelines: Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, P.E.I. and Nova Scotia. In those five provinces, trick-or-treating currently has the go-ahead — with precautions. So far, no province or territory has said it will outright cancel or ban door-to-door trick-or-treating, but many provinces and territories are still working on their guidelines. It helps that trick-or-treating usually happens outside and "outdoor transmission of COVID is very, very low risk," said Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious disease doctor in Toronto. That said, here are some tips and tricks for being extra safe on Halloween from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the various provinces that have released guidelines.
Now for some good news to start your Thursday: Gerri Corcoran says Colin MacPhee has become like a son to her. But even before the Rustico, P.E.I., woman met the young man from Ontario, there was something connecting them — two years ago, MacPhee donated his stem cells to Corcoran to help her fight leukemia. Donations are usually anonymous, unless the donor and recipient want to meet each other. Corcoran said she learned her donor was interested in meeting her months after the fact. The two and their respective families met on P.E.I. this Thanksgiving — the second anniversary of the stem cell transplant. Read their story here.
Opinion: As misinformation campaign against transgender rights intensifies, Ottawa must act
According to law student Charlotte Dalwood, it's time for the federal government to ask the Supreme Court to weigh in on whether the charter protects transgender Canadians' rights to equality and freedom from discrimination. Read Dalwood's column here.
Front Burner: Skepticism over Catholic compensation for residential schools
Late last month, Canada's Catholic bishops made a public apology to Indigenous people in Canada for the suffering endured in the residential school system. This apology was followed by a pledge to give $30 million to help survivors. But for some, that pledge has been met with skepticism: the Catholic Church has made commitments to provide compensation to them before, and come up short.
It's a story that CBC Saskatoon reporter Jason Warick has been digging into for months, and the revelations keep coming. Today, he explains what has led up to this $30 million promise, and why some are wary now.
Today in history: October 14
1946: The federal government introduces Canada Savings Bonds — offering them in denominations of $50, $100 and $500 at an interest rate of 2.75 per cent. The government stopped issuing the bonds in 2017.
1947: U.S. pilot Capt. Charles Yeager becomes the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound. During a test of a rocket-powered research plane, the Bell X1, 13,700 metres over Muroc, Calif., Yeager hits Mach 1.05, or 1.05 times the speed of sound.
1957: External Affairs Minister Lester B. Pearson becomes the first Canadian to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The award stemmed from his efforts during the 1956 Suez Crisis to create the United Nations Emergency Force in Egypt as a means to halt an Israeli-British-French invasion.
1992: The Toronto Blue Jays defeat the Oakland Athletics 9-2 to become the first Canadian baseball team to reach the World Series.
With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters