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Canadian cross-border travellers threatened with jail without COVID test

“Non-essential” motorists including passengers must show proof they’d tested negative for the coronavirus a maximum three days before their arrival at a border crossing.

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Drivers who fail to show proof of a COVID test may face criminal prosecution under pandemic controls introduced at midnight last night.

“There may be substantial fines going up to as much as $3,000 or even a criminal prosecution,” said Public Safety Minister Bill Blair to Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Cancel your vacation plans – stay home. Respect the rules.”

“Non-essential” motorists including passengers must show proof they’d tested negative for the coronavirus a maximum of three days before their arrival at a border crossing.

Blair said effective February 22 drivers will also be required to take a second molecular test at Customs, and show they have a “quarantine plan” to self-isolate for two weeks.

“We don’t have the ability to turn them back or take other measures to ensure they have had the test previously,” said Blair.

“We cannot refuse entry to Canadians who have that right.”

“What happens if either one of those two tests is positive?” asked a reporter.

“If an individual tests positive in every case, they would be referred to the Public Health Agency so appropriate isolation measures can be taken immediately to protect Canadians from that individual,” replied Blair.

“We believe that through these effective measures, appropriate screening and the testing measures in particular that we have put in place coupled with robust and enforced quarantine orders, it is the best way to prevent these variants from spreading across our borders into Canada.”

The Minister did not say if drivers who fail a border test would be forced into a quarantine hotel at their own expense. Effective February 22, all air passengers on arrival in Canada will be required to book three nights’ stay at a federally-approved quarantine hotel and pay for cleaning and testing, an estimated $2,000 total.

“I think it is important that we adhere to the public health advice that we are all getting, that we do our part as Canadians to try and protect our health care system,” said Health Minister Patricia Hajdu.

“We continue to detect variants” of COVID-19. That is why we are putting these additional measures in place. Now is not the time to travel.”

The Public Health Agency to date has housed quarantined travelers at eleven hotels nationwide at taxpayers’ expense. “Federally designated quarantine facilities, typically hotels, are not internment camps,” said André Gagnon, spokesperson for the Agency.

Quarantine costs are estimated at $37 million at hotels in Vancouver, Kelowna, Whitehorse, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montréal, Fredericton, Halifax and St. John’s.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Editor of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Conservatives remove Twitter ad after outrage

The ad was an attack on the Justin Trudeau government’s vaccine rollout across the country.

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Erin O’Toole has admitted the Conservative Party was behind a social media ad that drew howls of disgust.

He confirmed the party took down the ad at the height of the outcry.

Conservative ad

The ad was an attack on the Justin Trudeau government’s vaccine rollout across the country.

This week, in the latest setback, several provinces announced they were halting second injections of the AstraZeneca vaccine over fears of blood clots.

The ad showed people celebrating summer after having two shots of vaccine entitled “Two Dose Summer.”

That photo was placed atop of one called “Trudeau Summer” showing what appears to be a COVID-19 victim in rough shape in hospital.

“I didn’t think attack adds in Canada could go lower than the infamous Chrétien “face ad”…they may have just done so,” said a Twitter user identified as Red Moose.

“Long ago I reached the conclusion that the CPC doesn’t want the electorate to take them seriously. Why can’t Canada have a credible opposition?” said Wally Kibler.

“When this is all over and we are finally able to live a normal life remember that Erin O’Toole and his team mocked our collective efforts, as a society, with childish and mean attack ads in an effort to score a political point,” said Adam Bolt.

When question Friday, O’Toole didn’t say whether or not he personally approved the ad.

But he did say the tweet detracted the serious discussion about vaccine supply and reopening plans, which is why it was removed

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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BREAKING: CBC loses lawsuit against CPC for using clips in ads

The lawsuit alleged CBC clips used in CPC ads were “taken out of context and are edited and relied on to make partisan points for the benefit” of the party.

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The CBC has lost its lawsuit against the Conservative Party of Canada over its use of CBC material in ads during the 2019 federal election.

In October 2019, the CBC served notice it wanted the Conservative Party of Canada and its executive director, Dustin Van Vugt, to acknowledge the party “engaged in the unauthorized use of copyright-protected material.”

The lawsuit alleged CBC clips used in CPC ads were “taken out of context and are edited and relied on to make partisan points for the benefit” of the party.

The clips were taken from The National and from the “Power Panel” segment of Power and Politics.

“The CBC has not established that it has suffered some adverse impacts from the Respondents’ use of its Works in the ‘attack ads’, nor should such adverse impacts be assumed,” said the ruling by Federal Court Justice Michael L. Phelan.

“The CBC expresses concern that its material is being used in a non-partisan way which affects its journalistic integrity and damages its reputation for neutrality.

“There is no objective evidence of the likelihood of any reputational damage. After all the years of political coverage in multiple democracies, there was no evidence presented that a broadcaster’s segment disclosed in a partisan setting reflected adversely on the broadcaster.

“The role of the CBC itself has been a political topic. There may be situations in the future where the manner of use and distribution of CBC material may adversely affect the CBC – however, that is not the case here.

“Given the Court’s findings that the Respondents’ use of CBC copyrighted material was for an allowable purpose and was “fair dealing”, this matter must be dismissed with costs at the usual scale.”

The ruling delighted Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre.

“CBC was supposed to cover the Conservative Party fairly during the election. Instead, CBC was launching a failed lawsuit against the party. Today, CBC lost that lawsuit. They should apologize for launching it & reveal the legal bills they charged taxpayers,” he tweeted after the ruling.

“CBC sued to stop Conservatives from using footage showing Trudeau in a bad light. The state broadcaster was protecting Trudeau, not copyright. Remember that next time you see another glowing CBC story about the Prime Minister.”

You can read the courts full judgement here.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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NDP slam UCP for keeping Legislature closed

Speaker Nathan Cooper said the ongoing closure was because of “ongoing health concerns arising from the pandemic.”

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Alberta’s NDP is blasting the UCP government of Premier Jason Kenney for extending a shutdown of the legislature because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While millions of Albertans continue to go into work, Jason Kenney and his UCP MLAs are refusing to show up,” said NDP House Leader Christina Gray in a statement.

“We’re in the midst of a crisis and we have critical work to do.”

Debate in the house was set to resume Wednesday after an earlier shutdown, but the UCP pushed back the date until May 25.

Speaker Nathan Cooper said the continuing closure was because of “ongoing health concerns arising from the pandemic,” Cooper said in a memo.

“The opportunity for Members to vote virtually may be possible upon the resumption of the Spring Sitting the week of May 25th. To facilitate this, I will be hosting a number of training sessions next week. Further details will be provided to you on Friday.”

Earlier during the spring sitting, the province amended the standing orders to allow the option to adjourn the Assembly in response to public safety concerns.

The shutdown is in contradiction to what Kenney said in April.

“Millions of Albertans, thank God, still have jobs, show up every day and they expect us, their elected representatives, to do the same thing,” he said in the Legislature.

Kenney in April

The UCP Cabinet will continue to meet virtually and Legislative committees will also continue their work with MLAs participating remotely. 

If an emergency arises, MLAs can be called back.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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