Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected in Kamloops today, where the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation announced the finding of some 200 unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school last spring. Today’s visit comes after Trudeau apologized to Tk’emlups Chief Rosanne Casimir earlier this month for not having accepted invitations to attend the nation’s event marking the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th. Tk’emlups te Secwepemc issued a statement saying it wasn’t interested in apologies that don’t lead to real change and action to support healing for residential school survivors and the revitalization of Indigenous culture and languages. The nation has called on Ottawa to fund a new healing centre for residential school survivors and their families and for the full disclosure of government records related to children who attended the Kamloops institution.
B.C. Premier John Horgan has strong feelings about the rules regarding travel to and from the U.S., calling the situation “an example of stupidity.” He plans to bring that up with the prime minister eventually, he said. Specifically, Horgan doesn’t like that travelers into Canada need to be double vaccinated and provide a negative COVID-19 test. “Double immunization and the prospect of third doses for vulnerable people, which is currently underway, I believe puts us in a very strong position to say that the testing regime that is currently in place is redundant, and that we can probably move on without having that,” he said. He was dissuaded from taking a work trip to Washington for 36 hours to meet the mayor of Seattle due to the restrictions. “They said, ‘Well, you can get a test in Vancouver and that will cover you on the way back,’ and I thought, ‘What’s the point of having a test in Vancouver, going to Seattle, saying I’ve been tested within the past 36 hours, and then coming right back again? Why don’t I just get a test when I come home if I need one?’” said Horgan. I think it’s excessive and I’m going to make that case to the prime minister.” The premier is just one of many criticizing the federal government’s policy on mandated testing before entering Canada.
Canadian junior-hockey history will be made today (Sunday) at South Surrey Arena, when four officials form the first-ever all-female officiating crew and will work the BC Hockey League game between the Surrey Eagles and Langley Rivermen. Grace Barlow and Megan Howes will referee the game, which starts at 4 p.m., while Melissa Brunn and Colleen Geddes will work the lines. The BCHL, as well as other junior ‘A’ leagues across the country, has had female officials before, but never an entire four-person crew made up of women. “To share the ice with strong athletes is one thing, but to skate alongside strong female athletes at this level is another. I am tremendously proud of our journey thus far,” Howes said. Howes and Brunn have both previously officiated BCHL games, while Barlow and Geddes are in their first seasons in the league. “This is another step towards a more inclusive approach to hockey,” said Vanessa Stratton, female officiating lead for BC Hockey. “They are leaders for the next generation of young female officials and that is something to be so proud of”.
British Columbia health officials announced on Monday that there have been 1,846 new test-positive COVID-19 cases since Friday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 198,278. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that there are 4,917 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the active cases, 360 individuals are currently hospitalized and 151 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation. There were 753 cases between Friday and Saturday, 650 between Saturday and Sunday, and 443 between Sunday and Monday. New cases and total active cases are broken down by health region as follows:
- Fraser Health: 737 new cases, 2,039 total active cases
- Vancouver Coastal Health: 212 new cases, 642 total active cases
- Interior Health: 322 new cases, 777 total active cases
- Northern Health: 406 new cases, 880 total active cases
- Island Health: 169 new cases, 521 total active cases
- Outside of Canada: No new cases, 58 total active cases
There have been 26 new COVID-19-related deaths for a total of 2,081 deaths in British Columbia. Of the new deaths, 10 were in Fraser Health, three were in Vancouver Coastal Health, five were in Interior Health, five were in Northern Health, and three were in Island Health. Health officials in BC also shared data on COVID-19 cases in vaccinated and unvaccinated people. From October 8 to 14, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 68.3% of cases, and from September 27 to October 10, they accounted for 74.6% of hospitalizations.
Past week cases (October 8 to 14) – Total 3,914
- Not vaccinated: 2,420 (61.8%)
- Partially vaccinated: 255 (6.5%)
- Fully vaccinated: 1,239 (31.7%)
Past two weeks cases hospitalized (October 1 to October 14) – Total 465
- Not vaccinated: 320 (68.8%)
- Partially vaccinated: 27 (5.8%)
- Fully vaccinated: 118 (25.4%)
Past week, cases per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (October 8 to 14)
- Not vaccinated: 268
- Partially vaccinated: 74.2
- Fully vaccinated: 29.4
To date, 89.2% of all eligible people 12 and older in BC have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; 83.4% have received their second dose. 190,918 people who tested positive have now recovered.
The City of Vancouver has announced a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all its staff. It says workers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 6th or they will not be allowed into the workplace. The only exceptions will be employees who require an exemption due to a medical or protected legal ground. It says the policy is aimed at limiting the impacts of COVID-19 and aligns with the recommendations from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry for large employers to implement vaccine mandates.
Pfizer has asked Health Canada to approve the first COVID-19 vaccine for younger children aged five to 11. The vaccine was developed in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech and is now marketed under the brand name Comirnaty. It was authorized for people at least 16 years old last December, and for kids between 12 and 15 in May.
A company formerly contracted to build a wastewater treatment plant in North Vancouver says the recent cancellation of the deal was counterproductive. The Metro Vancouver Regional District said Friday it had terminated its contract with Acciona due to delays and a price tag that doubled to one billion dollars. The company says the project has been — quote — “fraught with unforeseen challenges” including “flaws in the design provided by Metro Vancouver.” It says Acciona officials had been negotiating with the district over the last six months and it’s — quote — “regrettable that Metro Vancouver has chosen to take this unnecessary and counterproductive course of action.”