Politics

‘I know you are fed up’


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.

We begin in Quebec, where it’s about to cost more to be unvaccinated.

Premier François Legault said today that while only 10 per cent of Quebecers aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19, they make up half the hospital beds being used by COVID patients.

Dr. Luc Boileau, interim Quebec Director of Public Health and Quebec Premier Francois Legault listen to a question during a news conference in Montreal, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

“I know you are fed up,” he said, addressing the 90 per cent of Quebecers who’ve had at least one vaccine dose. As a “question of fairness,” his government therefore intends to make the unvaccinated pay an amount yet be determined into Quebec’s public pharmacare plan, on top of their annual contribution at tax time. Kevin Dougherty has the details.

This comes a day after Quebec’s public health director Horacio Arruda resigned amid what he called an “erosion” of public opinion.

As Omicron fills up Canada’s hospitals, your health issue might not qualify for the limited resources that remain. Global reports.

In Ontario, Health Minister Christine Elliott announced today the province is turning to internationally educated nurses to address the staffing shortages in hospitals and long-term care homes as a result of COVID.

The province also announced it is sending kids back to school next week.

(Cheryl Browne/Metroland)

Meanwhile on the Hill: The House of Commons’ Finance committee is cutting short its holiday break to find ways to rein in Canada’s runaway housing prices. The all-party committee will hold its first meeting of the year tomorrow. Conservative Finance critic Pierre Poilievre had urged the committee’s early return, telling reporters on Jan. 5, “It’s time for politicians to get to work. We’ve been on vacation now for three weeks, and (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) wants another nearly four weeks before the House comes back.”

NDP Finance critic Daniel Blaikie told iPolitics today he’s also eager to tackle the problem, as federal governments have long ignored “increasing cost pressures in the housing market, and I do think it’s important for the committee to look at (them).” Jeff Labine reports.

As Russia conducted a live-fire exercise on Ukraine’s border today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky talked sanctions on the phone and why the West must be ready to impose further sanctions against Russia, as well as the extensions of Canada’s military training mission there. The conversation came a day before Russian diplomats and a 30-member NATO council sit down to try and dial back tensions between the two countries.

A maximum security unit of the Saskatchewan Penitentiary is pictured in Prince Albert, Sask., Jan.23, 2001. (Thomas Porter/The Canadian Press)

For the first time in nearly 30 years, the federal government will study the prevalence of sexual violence in Canadian prisons. Correctional Services Canada issued a tender today for research into how often inmates are victimized sexually, who’s at highest risk, and how the violence can be stopped.

The tender is a response to a 2020 report by the Office of the Correctional Investigator that found “sexual violence is a pervasive but underreported problem in federal prisons,” said Ivan Zinger, head of the office, in October 2020. More from Aidan Chamandy.

Process Nerd: What to expect from 1st round of committee meetings

Comings and Goings: H+K builds tech team

The Sprout: Canadian, U.S. officials to talk P.E.I spuds

Net Zero: 2021 the world’s fifth-hottest year on record: EU study

In Other Headlines:

Canada will have enough COVID-19 vaccines for third, potential fourth doses: Trudeau (CP)
Canada’s privacy watchdog probing health officials’ use of cellphone location data (Global)
O’Toole says Canada-U.S. relations have never been worse (CBC)
Truckers warn vaccine mandate at U.S. border could worsen supply chain issues (Global)
Canada Post warns of delays as Omicron leads to staff shortages (Global)
Omicron was in Nova Scotia wastewater before it was identified in South Africa (Citizen)
Canada’s spy agency warns MPs to beware of influence operations from China (Globe)
RCMP commissioner Brenda Lucki breached duty with slow response to watchdog report, judge rules (Globe)
More than 75 per cent of Manitoba First Nations now have active COVID-19 cases (CBC)

Internationally:

The World Health Organization is warning countries against treating COVID-19 as “endemic.” Catherine Smallwood, WHO’s senior emergency officer for Europe, said at a press briefing today that there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the virus, which is evolving quickly, bring new challenges each time it does.

“We are certainly not at the point where we are able to call it endemic. It may become endemic in due course, but pinning that down to 2022 is a little bit difficult at this stage,” she said. More from Axios.

(Photo via Unsplashed)

The health agency also warned today that repeated boosters are not a viable strategy to wrestle COVID-19 to the ground. Rather, it called for new vaccines that better protect against transmission as new variants emerge.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders announced today that he will introduce legislation “for N95 masks to be sent to every household in the country.”

In Other International Headlines:

Half of Europe to be infected with Omicron within weeks (BBC)
United: Employee deaths dropped to zero after COVID vaccine mandate (Axios)
Fauci says Sen. Rand Paul’s false accusations ‘kindles the crazies’ and have incited death threats (CNBC)
PM facing growing anger over Downing Street drinks party (BBC)
Poland hits sad milestone of 100,000 deaths from COVID-19 (AP)
Biden targets Republicans, supports Senate rule change for voting rights law (Reuters)

In Opinion:

Geoff Norquay: Dog-whistling is risky reaction to universal mandatory vaccines

Rob Farrelly: Small-business owners need help to bow out gracefully

Errol Mendes: We must oppose resurgence of ‘post-truth’ neo-fascism in the U.S.

The Kicker:

In a story that embodies life in 2022: The 58-storey Millennium Tower in San Francisco is sinking. Given its current rate — three inches annually — it’s set to hit a 40-inch tilt in a few years that will likely put its plumbing and elevators out of service. Not exactly making for big draws for the luxury apartment building.

Have a good night.

 

 

More from iPolitics



Source link

Leave a Reply

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