Canada column for Sunday, Nov.21/21
THE CANADIAN REPORT
By Jim Fox
The Canadian government has ended its controversial but costly – $300 and more – negative COVID-19 test requirement for those returning home from foreign travel of less than 72 hours.
Even as vaccinated Canadians are able to again cross the Canada-U.S. land border for non-essential travel, they are being warned to be cautious because of a lower vaccination rate and soaring virus numbers abroad.
Travelers need to do a “risk assessment” when traveling to the United States, said Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
The Niagara Falls and Buffalo, New York area sees more Canadian border crossers along with Windsor-Detroit but only 63 percent of Erie County residents are fully vaccinated compared to about 85 percent of Ontarians.
The county, which includes Buffalo, has about 15 times as many virus cases in the past week at 414 per 100,000 residents compared with Ontario’s 27 new cases.
As well, Canada has just approved giving Pfizer vaccine shots to children as young as 5.
“As soon as you go across the border to Michigan or New York, you’re looking at rates of illness that are five to six times higher than ours in Ontario and maybe higher in certain communities,” Moore said.
Border-crossers and traveling “snowbirds” need to make sure to be taking all appropriate precautions, he said.
That includes wearing a mask, performing hand hygiene and distancing, and monitoring any symptoms when returning home, he added.
Prime Minister Justin T
ter petroleum products, cars are Canada’s second largest export while Biden said he wants cars made in America and “not halfway around the world.”
There are concerns the U.S. Build Back Better Act would result in auto manufacturers shifting production to the U.S. from Canada to make cars that qualify for the subsidy.
Plants that could be impacted are Ontario’s GM’s Oshawa assembly, Ford’s factory in Oakville and the Chrysler operation in Windsor.
News in brief:
- A family feud at Canada’s largest telecom company, Rogers Communications Inc., has resulted in CEO Joe Natale being replaced by Tony Staffieri by company chairman Edward Rogers. Edward’s sister Melinda, her sister Martha and mother Loretta voted against replacing Natale. This is happening as the Rogers company is working on completing a $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications Inc.
- Statistics Canada reports retail sales fell 0.6 percent to $56.6 billion in September. This was said to be the result of fewer new car sales caused by a limited supply due to shortages of semiconductor chips. Core retail sales, which exclude gasoline stations and motor vehicle and parts dealers, fell 0.3. Sales of clothing and accessories were down 5.9 percent. The agency said a preliminary estimate for last month shows an increase in retail sales of 1.0 percent for the month.
Facts and figures:
Canada’s dollar is steady at 79 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.26 in Canadian funds, before exchange fees.
The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is unchanged at 0.25 percent while the prime lending rate is 2.45 percent.
Canadian stock markets are lower, with the Toronto index at 21,606 points and the TSX Venture index 988points.
The average price for gas in Canada is lower at $1.45 a liter (Canadian) or $5.51 for a U.S. gallon.
Lotto Max: (Nov. 16) 5, 6, 7, 17, 26, 29 and 42; bonus 38. (Nov. 12) 4, 6, 7, 10, 17, 27 and 44; bonus 40.
Lotto 6/49: (Nov. 17) 3, 4, 18, 23, 27 and 28; bonus 38. (Nov. 13) 5, 6, 7, 18, 25 and 37; bonus 24.
One person has been killed and four are missing after massive landslides caused by flooding and a break in a dike in British Columbia.
Police said the death is connected with a mudslide on Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lilooet that stranded motorists and homeowners.
Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun said a dike that protects the prairie has been breached and a levee must be built quickly.
Up to a dozen houses might need to be destroyed to shore up a levee and prevent the Sumas Prairie from turning into a lake once again, he said.
Jim Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org