Americans warned to steer clear of Canada

Tonight’s Evening Brief is brought to you by iPoliticsINTEL. Get a concise snapshot of the day’s committee meetings in the House & Senate – delivered to your inbox each morning. We do the leg work so you can build the strategy. Learn more here.

Good evening to you.

As cases of COVID-19 surge across Canada, driven by the Omicron variant, opposition parties are pushing for an emergency meeting this week. In a letter to the Liberal chair of the House of Commons health committee, NDP, Bloc and Conservative members say they want to meet before Friday and have Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and other officials there to answer questions on recent developments, the need for health care resources, and advice around how long people should quarantine if they get COVID. More on that from Global.

Canada has had more cases of COVID-19 in the past 40 days thanks to the Omicron variant than it did in all of 2020. That’s according to data complied by CTV’s case tracker. The network says there are currently more than four times the number of active cases now than during the peak of the second and third waves of last year. Keep in mind, a good many cases aren’t even being counted right now given how restricted access to PCR tests is.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans today not to run for the border — to the north. The agency is advising against travel to Canada given the rising number of COVID-19 cases. As it turns out, we’re one of about 80 countries classified as ‘Level 4: Very High.’ Ditto for countries like the United Kingdom, Italy and France. Reuters reports.

Bearskin Lake First Nation Chief Lefty Kamenawatamin (Joe Howell)

In the Bearskin Lake First Nation, frustration with the federal government’s slow response to send in the military is growing as COVID cases continue to increase. Chief Lefty Kamenawatamin and nearly all the local council members now have COVID. As of Monday, the community is reporting 17 new cases with 209 affected. The remote community about 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay has a population of about 400.

“We are all pretty much stunned,” said Ontario NDP MP Charlie Angus. “After we heard (the government was) sending in the troops, everyone breathed a sigh of relief and went ok, we can get through this. Clearly they’re (Bearskin Lake) on their own.” That story from Janet Silver.

Conservative MP John Brassard talks to reporters in Ottawa in October 2017. (Matthew Usherwood/iPolitics)

Still with emergency hearings, the Conservatives, with the Bloc Québécois’ support, are calling on the House of Commons Ethics committee to hold an emergency hearing to investigate the Public Health Agency of Canada’s accessing of location data from 33 million mobile devices. The program to monitor people’s movements during lockdowns was uncovered by Blacklock’s Reporter.

Instead of measuring the effectiveness of lockdowns by secretly collecting Canadians’ personal data, Canada’s health agency should be focused on ending pandemic lockdowns, says Tory MP John Brassard, the Conservative critic for ethics and accountable government. Rachel Emmanuel reports.

In 2020, the number of Canadians who chose to end their own lives using Canada’s medical assistance in dying regime increased for the fourth year in a row, new Statistics Canada data shows. In 2020, 7,383 Canadians used the medical assistance in dying regime to end their lives — equivalent to 2.4 per cent of all deaths. That’s a 36 per cent increase from 2019, when there were 5,425 medically assisted deaths. More from Aidan Chamandy

Lobby Wrap: Environment and climate impacts key lobbying topics

The Sprout: China, Philippines suspend Canadian beef imports

Net Zero: Feds to redesign methane-reduction fund

In Other Headlines:

Canada offers to help U.S. de-escalate Russia-Ukraine crisis with potential deterrence measures (CBC)
Omicron expected to fuel workplace ‘absenteeism’ in January as cases surge (Global)
N.B. opposition leaders call for more COVID-19 restrictions before it’s ‘too late’ (CTV)
Canada seeks deeper trade links with Taiwan, as part of new China strategy (CP)
Watchdog asked to probe former China envoy Dominic Barton’s job appointment (Globe)


There were low expectations going in, and they appear to have been met. Word is that Russia and the United States are still far apart after talks today in Geneva about tensions over Ukraine. The talks come as Russia has moved an estimated 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border while demanding that NATO rule out admitting the former Soviet state or expanding further into what Moscow sees as its back yard.

Moscow repeated those demands today, which Washington says it cannot accept. And despite the large number of its troops bumping up against Ukraine’s border, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov insisted: “We have no intention to invade Ukraine,” suggesting instead they’re part of  “manoeuvres and exercise.”

That wasn’t a line U.S. officials appeared to buy. “I would note that none of this was notified to anyone,” said US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who described the eight-hour talks as “frank and forthright.”

“It is typical that we notify each other’s exercises to each other where we and they can prove that they in fact have no intention by de-escalating and returning troops to barracks.

In Other International Headlines:

As less-lethal Omicron surges, Europeans ease restrictions (Reuters)
Booster uptake lags initial vaccinations; pandemic fatigue could be at play (Reuters)
Pope warns ‘cancel culture’ is ‘form of ideological colonization’ (Reuters)
Past seven years hottest on record – EU satellite data (BBC)
Ousted Myanmar leader jailed for another four years (BBC)
Biden raises concerns about Ethiopia conflict in call with Abiy (Al Jazeera)
Iran says won’t officially recognise Taliban after Tehran talks (Al Jazeera)
‘100 invited’ to Downing Street garden lockdown drinks (BBC)

In Opinion:

Shawn McCarthy: Companies must have to disclose all GHGs from their operations

The Kicker

Finally, we leave you with the tweet that did not land as Manitoba’s Minister of Economic Development and Jobs, Jon Reyes probably expected — but it did land him on TMZ

Of course as someone noted on Twitter, “TMZ covering Manitoba politics isn’t even in the top 100 weirdest things to happen this year.”

True, dat.

Have a good night.

More from iPolitics

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *