Canada on track for worst COVID wave to date

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Good evening to you and good Friday!

We begin with the election campaign, where guns have taken center stage. Today, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole campaigned in Quebec and British Columbia, while Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was in Ontario. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was in Montreal and Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet visited Quebec. People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier campaigned in British Columbia, while Greens leader Annamie Paul remained in Ontario. Aidan Chamandy took a tour today of who was where and promised what.

When asked by other top House of Commons leaders why he called this election, Trudeau said last night that there could be another election in 18 months if Canadians choose a minority government on September 20. Kevin Dougherty has more on this.

Meanwhile, the election race in St. Catharines, a city in south-central Ontario, could be tougher than incumbent Liberal MP Chris Bittle anticipated. According to a Mainstreet poll, if an election were held today, 36% of determined and inclined voters would vote Conservative, 32% would choose the Liberals and 22% would join the NDP. As Janet Silver reports, the Bloc is also fighting against the Conservatives to retain a seat, this time in Jonquière, Quebec, in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec.

Pharmacare, phone bills, camping: Charlie Pinkerton examines promises made by the Liberals two years ago and since abandoned.

(Andrew Meade / iPolitics)

From election campaign to COVID-19: New modeling from federal health officials shows Canada is on track for its worst wave yet: more than 15,000 cases per day are expected by October. In her first briefing since the election was called, Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer, said that is where the country is heading, if the vaccination rate does not increase and measures to public health is not tightened as children return to school and people spend more time indoors.

“This is a crucial time,” Tam said. “We have a window of opportunity to rapidly accelerate immunization and close the protection gap in the youngest age groups with the lowest immunization coverage. His deputy, Dr Howard Njoo, added, “If we continue on the path we’ve been on since the reopening, we could expect a continued sharp increase in cases … reaching levels never seen before in Canada during the pandemic.” “

In related news, despite this push, Canada will open its borders to vaccinated foreign travelers on Tuesday.

In Alberta, Premier Jason Kenney announced today that his government will pay anyone $ 100 for their first or second injection. The province also reinstated a mask mandate for indoor public spaces and workplaces – but not classrooms. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he has “lost all confidence” in Alberta’s COVID strategy.

Still in the land of wild roses, former MP Amarjeet Sohi does not miss federal politics. The 57-year-old former bus driver is one of 10 candidates running to succeed Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson in the October 18 municipal election. Even with a federal election underway, Sohi said he was only targeting Edmonton. “Honestly, I don’t miss being part of partisan politics,” he told iPolitics. “I really enjoyed working as an MP, as a minister,… but I didn’t like the way of life coming and going (in Ottawa) and traveling across the country. Jeff Labine has this story.

The Rebel to Rabble Review: banned from debates

Net Zero: US and China discuss climate change

In other titles:

Canadian senator hears desperate plea from Afghan MP fearing retaliation from the Taliban (PC)
Afghan refugee who survived horrific marital attack advocates for girls still in country (Global)
Federal vaccine passport to be unveiled “in the next few months or a year”: Trudeau (CP)
Ontario Confirms There Are Only Two Valid Medical Exemptions From COVID-19 (CTV) Vaccines
Liberal climate plan is probably the cheapest and most effective, says economist evaluating proposals from major parties (CBC)
Review of Navy ‘Red Room’ Revealed Sexualized Culture – But ‘No Conduct’ Requiring Discipline (Global)
Gerald Butts on the election so far: “A draw with a lot of hockey to play” (Maclean’s)
‘Ultimate Selfishness’: Doctors Get Frustrated As Vaccines Protest Hospitals (CP)
Nunavut’s only humanitarian society closes as building about to be demolished (CTV)

Internationally:

Dr Anthony Fauci (photo NIAID)

South of the border, it looks like the third time could be the charm. Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it will likely take three doses of a COVID vaccine to be fully protected. As CNN reports, this was after two Israeli studies found that fewer people who received a third injection were infected.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is considering scaling back its ambitious stimulus package by limiting it to those who got the blow from Pfizer. That’s because it looks like the makers of Moderna won’t meet the September 20 deadline for boosters approval. CNN also has this story.

There was positive news from Afghanistan today: Qatar’s special envoy hopes to have “humanitarian corridors” established within 48 hours so that aid can enter through the country’s airports, including the one from Kabul. Tens of thousands of Afghans have been displaced by the return of the Taliban and the ensuing violence. Al Jazeera reports.

In other international titles:

New Taliban-led Afghan government to be announced amid economic crisis (Reuters)
Biden blames Delta variant and unvaccinated people for weaker-than-expected jobs report (CNBC)
Biden signs executive order for release of certain 9/11 documents (The Hill)
Japanese Prime Minister Suga resigns after year in office marked by Covid and the Olympics (NBC)
Taliban co-founder Baradar to lead new government (Reuters)
Pressured to release billions of Afghan assets, US Treasury says ‘no’ (Reuters)
Toxic leak from Angolan diamond mine kills 12 in DR Congo (BBC)
EU and AstraZeneca reach deal to end vaccine row (BBC)
Kim Jong Un Rejects Covid Vaccine Offer, Urges North Korea To Fight Pandemic ‘Our Style’ (NBC)

In Notice:

Tony Allard: Candidates, take note: people want wild Pacific salmon protected.

The kicker:

We leave you on a calm note, compliments of this curious southern right whale.

Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you here on Tuesday.

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