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Ottawa shutting borders as new COVID variant appears in Ontario

“Ottawa Public Health is conducting case and contact management and the patients are in isolation.”

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Omicron, the latest COVID-19 variant of concern, was found in two cases in Ottawa, according to a statement released Sunday by Ottawa Public Health (OPH).

“Today, the province of Ontario has confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Ottawa, both of which were reported in individuals with recent travel from Nigeria,” said the statement.

“Ottawa Public Health is conducting case and contact management and the patients are in isolation.”

The federal government, upon hearing of the new variant late last week, quickly brought in new travel restrictions on Friday for travellers arriving from southern African countries affected, where Omicron was first discovered.

Although there is little known about the new variant, it has been linked to a rise in cases in a province in South Africa.

“The best defence against the omicron variant is stopping it at our border,” said a statement from Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore.

“In addition to the measures recently announced, we continue to urge the federal government to take the necessary steps to mandate point-of-arrival testing for all travellers irrespective of where they’re coming from to further protect against the spread of this new variant.”

Previous efforts by the federal government to stop COVID-19 at the border have failed.

Although federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the detection of the two new omicron cases confirms the country’s monitoring system is working, he warns we will likely see more cases of the variant.

“As the monitoring and testing continues with provinces and territories, it is expected that other cases of this variant will be found in Canada,” Duclos said.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said in a statement the government will continue to monitor the “evolving situation and adjust border measures as required.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirms many scientists from around the world are studying the newest COVID-19 variant first detected in South Africa to better understand the effects of the new strain on transmission and severity of illness.

WHO said it is still unclear whether Omicron is more transmissible compared to other variants including Delta, nor whether the variant will cause more severe disease.

“There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are any different from those from other variants,” said an update from the WHO.

According to initial reports, infections of the new variant were found in university students of a younger demographic who “tend to have more mild disease.”

WHO anticipates it will “take days to several weeks” to understand the level of severity of the new variant but indicates preliminary evidence suggests there could be an “increased risk of reinfection with Omicron.”

WHO confirms they are coordinating with researchers around the world and are looking to assess transmissibility, severity of infection and effectiveness of vaccines, diagnostic testing and treatments.

As Omicron has been labelled a Variant of Concern (VOC), WHO is recommending countries take precautions to limit cases including enhanced surveillance, reporting cases to WHO and implementing and continuing public health measures such as masking and social distancing.

Other countries are adding restrictions on travellers coming from various southern African countries including the US, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and the United Kingdom while cases have also been reported in Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong.

Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic have also reported suspected cases related to travellers arriving from South Africa.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Leslie Solar

    November 29, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    Keep remembering: These “authorities” have mandated that doctors CANNOT treat anyone diagnosed with Covid. THAT is the reason the “emergencies” develop. (Also, in the US, if there is a treatment that works, there is a prohibition that kicks in saying that Vaccines are not allowed.)

    THERE CLEARLY IS EARLY TREATMENT AVAILABLE THAT WORKS. Just abolish these medical regulators, and leave the doctors alone, and we would be much better off. Dr. David Martin has a very recent video online where he actually names those involved in this criminal enterprise. He also, correctly, calls Covid a “bioweapon” that has been developed and patented over the last 30 years or so.

    Watch those new “voluntary isolation centres” in a few provinces being funded by Trudeau, turn out to be compulsory internment camps. They are well on the road to trying to create armed civil war in Canada.

  2. Ken

    November 29, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    Nothing to see here folks just move along and don’t ask questions. Don’t worry Trudeau and big pharma have your back they will have a new experimental vax whipped up in a jiffy.
    Wake the f.. up folks

  3. Freedoms fans

    November 29, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    SO? If unvaccinated can’t travel who brought it here? What all this testing that happens while traveling. It is almost If the testing failed. If we can even believe this bullshit.

  4. Bryan

    November 29, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    LET’S GO BRANDON TRUE-DOLT!

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Ottawa press gallery discusses letting Chinese propaganda agency in

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

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Officials with the Parliamentary Press Gallery held a behind closed doors meeting on Tuesday to talk about letting reporters from Xinhau, the Chinese Community Party’s propaganda agency, into the club, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“The gallery is not bound by any outside political considerations,” said gallery president Catherine Levesque of the National Post. 

“We are doing our due diligence to ensure Xinhua meets certain criteria and we will be making a decision shortly.”

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

“Membership in the Parliamentary Press Gallery allows access to the secure physical buildings of the parliamentary precinct and the opportunity to directly question individuals who drive and shape public policy,” gallery directors wrote in a 2020 code Journalistic Principles And Practices.

“As a result, accreditation is a privilege, not a right.”

Xinhua had been a member until 2020 when its press pass lapsed.

The Department of National Defence in 2012 blacklisted the agency from attending its press briefings, and a Xinhua correspondent in 2012 disclosed he was asked to maintain surveillance on Chinese dissidents in Canada.

The gallery would not discuss the Xinhua application but the gallery code states members must “respect the rights of people involved in the news.”

The Commons by a unanimous 266-0 vote last February 22 condemned China for human rights atrocities including the genocide of its Uyghur Muslim community. MPs also voted to petition the International Olympic Committee to relocate the 2022 Winter Games from Beijing.

“We need to move forward, not just as a country but as a world, on recognizing the human rights violations that are going on in China,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier told reporters.

“This is an issue that matters deeply to me, to all Canadians, and we will continue to work with our partners and allies on taking it seriously.”

Xinhua was originally granted Press Gallery membership in 1964 at the request of then-Foreign Minister Paul Martin Sr.

“It is a step in the direction of mutual understanding between Canada and mainland China,” Martin said at the time. Membership was approved in a press credentials swap that saw the Communist Party permit the Globe & Mail to open a Beijing bureau.

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PHA head says cellphone snooping fears unwarranted

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

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The president of the Public Health Agency (PHA) says Canadians need not fret over the fact his organization snooped on 33 million cellphone users, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

“No personal information was asked or was received,” Kochhar told the Commons health committee.

“No individually identifiable data is contained in any part of the work.”

The Commons ethics committee last Friday voted 10-0 to examine the data collection program using cellphone tower tracking. The PHA said it sought the information to monitor compliance with lockdown orders.

“The actual reason why we collected this data is reliable, timely and relevant public health data comes out of it for other policy and decision making,” said Kochhar.

“This is population-level mobility data analysis. This is what we have collected.

“That would help us to understand the possible link between the movement of populations within Canada and the impact on COVID-19. We did that in terms of a very clear way of getting that open and transparent means of collection. We never, ever actually know when we use that information that it is individually identifiable. It is aggregated data.”

MPs on the ethics committee earlier noted cellphone users were never told the PHA was collecting the cellphone tracking data. Conservative MP John Brassard (Barrie-Innisfil, Ont.), noted the scope of the monitoring was only detailed when the Agency issued a December 17 notice to contractors to expand the program.

“It becomes increasingly concerning that government is seemingly using this pandemic as a means and a cause for massive overreach into the privacy rights of Canadians,” said Brassard.

“As parliamentarians, it’s incumbent upon us to make sure we protect those rights, that there is proper scrutiny and oversight.”

“The Public Health Agency was collecting data without the knowledge of Canadians, effectively doing it in secret. We need to know what security measures were in place to protect the privacy rights of Canadians.

“It is vital we do not allow the COVID response to create a permanent backslide of the rights and freedoms of Canadians including their fundamental right to privacy.”

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Health Minister Duclos has no info on $150-million COVID contract to SNC-Lavalin

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

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SNC-Lavalin was given a $150-million sole-source contract to provide “urgently” needed field hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic — but Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos doesn’t seem to know much about it, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The field hospitals were never used.

“This is obviously in support of the needs at the request of provinces and territories,” said Duclos.

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

“What is the status of the mobile field hospitals SNC-Lavalin was contracted to produce?” asked Conservative MP Shelby Kramp-Neuman (Hastings-Lennox, Ont.).

“It was an example of the significant level of preparation that we did throughout the crisis,” replied Duclos.

“Why have the field hospitals from SNC-Lavalin not been deployed?” asked Kramp-Neuman.

Duclos replied he had no information on “the exact nature of the state of that equipment.”

“Did the Prime Minister’s Office approve of this?” asked MP Kramp-Neuman.

“That’s a public works question,” replied Duclos.

“We’re not getting a lot of clarity here,” said MP Kramp-Neuman, adding: “The buck stops with you. Sadly, I recognize you don’t have all the answers to everything, but it doesn’t seem like we’re getting a lot of answers to anything.”

An unidentified Department of Public Works manager finalized the SNC-Lavalin contract on April 9, 2020 without notice to other bidders.

“A public call for tenders was not issued due to the urgency of the need as a result of the pandemic,” said an internal e-mail.

However, as late as Sep. 9, 2020, the Québec contractor had still not fixed a delivery date, according to staff emails.

Paul Thompson, deputy minister of public works, Tuesday said he knew little of the contract details.

“I personally don’t have all the details at my fingertips,” said Thompson.

SNC-Lavalin was paid to supply field hospitals equipped with 200 hospital beds, ventilators, masks, medical gowns and ten days’ worth of medication, back-up generators, water and oxygen tanks, X-ray machines, shower bays and latrines.

“The self-sufficiency of the unit makes it extremely flexible for deployment where the need is greatest in Canada,” said a memo.

Internal records dated Oct. 13, 2020 disclosed no one wanted the field hospitals.

The department said spending included $2 million for design work and millions more on warehousing medical supplies for presumed future use.

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