Category: Updates

Update on vaccine nationalism: It’s time to think globally

Three months ago, as discussed here the media and political worlds were in a flap about Canada’s snail’s-pace COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Some claimed that we were well back in the pack, with as many as 51 other countries vaccinating at a faster rate. At best, according to the oft-cited Our World In Data, Canada was 17th, well behind leading countries Israel, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. and the UK. Particular umbrage was taken about the fact Canada trailed such unlikely places as Chile, Serbia, Romania, Poland and Morocco. And among rich countries, self-identified as the G7, Canada was second...

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Pandemic Update: Positive case numbers overshadow last month’s record death total

With all of the dire reporting on COVID-19 variants and vaccine interruptions it’s hard to find anything positive in the pandemic chronicles. But here’s something. In the month of January, Canada registered the smallest percentage increase in cumulative cases since September. These are the latest numbers to the end of January, which may vary slightly from earlier updates.  Table 1. Monthly increases in COVID-19 cases Month Increase % increase Sept. 31,110 24.0% Oct. 76,306 47.5% Nov. 146,627 61.9% Dec. 199,229 51.9% Jan. 200,892 34.4% Source: Worldometer As the table shows, while the number of cases in January was slightly...

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CEWS update: More misses from a poorly targeted program

Much high dudgeon has been displayed about travelling during the pandemic. Public backlash against the practice took down a dozen or so politicians, and then the finger pointing moved in a different direction. The news hounds uncovered yet another loophole in the federal government’s pandemic relief program, one that would allow returning travellers to claim $500 a week while quarantining for 14 days following forbidden getaways. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Employment were quick to say that was not what the benefit was for, but were unclear about how they would put a stop to the practice....

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Update on health transfers: Conservative do a flip flop

Any momentum towards an improved deal on federal health transfers to the provinces seems to be slowing. First it was the Justin Trudeau government telling the provinces to wait. And now it seems the official opposition Conservatives are losing their enthusiasm for a sizeable increase in transfer payments. In an interview last week with Brunswick News, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole refused to be pinned down to a dollar or percentage increase in transfers. This represented an about-face from the startling position taken earlier by the deputy leader of the Conservatives, discussed here. Back in October, Manitoba MP Candice Bergen...

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Pandemic Update: Another month of troubling numbers

It’s déjà vu all over again. As has been the situation for some months, what’s left of the Atlantic bubble did its job in December while the country’s overall rate of increase in COVID cases was once again higher than the United States. Confirmed cases in Canada increased by 53.8 per cent in December, compared with an increase of 46.4 per cent in the U.S. On a positive note, the rate of increase in both countries in December was down from November. And as the table shows, Canada’s rate of increase in December was 7.4 percentage points less than...

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COVID Update: Pandemic to worsen before getting better

It has become a familiar story. Once again, Canada’s COVID-19 cases and deaths are rising faster than the U.S. In November, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada increased by 61.2 per cent, versus 47.5 per cent in the U.S. Both increases exceeded the October rate and in Canada’s case represented almost a three-fold rise since the first of September. Over the same three months, cases in the U.S. merely doubled. And deaths in Canada, which lagged well behind the increase in the U.S. for September and October, rose by 19.7 per cent in November, compared with only 16.0 in...

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Richard Starr, The man behind the Point

About Richard

RICHARD STARR has had careers as a journalist, public servant, broadcaster, political staffer and freelance policy adviser. He is author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, a former radio and TV producer and weekly newspaper editor, and the author of three non-fiction books. Starr has lived in Dartmouth for more than 30 years.

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