Health officials are scheduled to give an update on B-C’s COVID-19 numbers at 1:30 p-m today. Yesterday, health officials said another 19 people died due to complications from COVID-19. They also recorded four-thousand and 75 new cases over a three-day period, although it has said that rate is likely higher because of testing limitations for COVID-19. In the two weeks ending January 27th, more than 69 per cent of people admitted to hospital had been fully vaccinated.
Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum did an about-face on the expected introduction of a bylaw last night to amend the city’s Code of Conduct bylaw the controversial motion would have halted complaints to the city’s ethics commissioner. McCallum, in a statement, said he will instead be asking for a report to council in the future on “how to ensure the Office of the Ethics Commissioner is not used for partisan purposes during the election period.” The original motion sought to suspend new complaints and investigations until after the 2022 election, but would allow existing complaints to proceed.
The demonstrators still taking part in a protest in front of Parliament Hill say they are staying put until all COVID-related restrictions are lifted. Some are extending their stays at hotels or asking to rebook for this coming weekend. Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen says the protesters she’s met are patriotic, peace-loving, good people. But Ottawa paramedics have asked for police escorts because someone threw rocks at an ambulance from a truck in the convoy.
The mayor of Port Coquitlam says the defacing of a statue of Terry Fox near Parliament Hill has ignited disbelief among residents in the national hero’s hometown. Brad West says the citizens of Port Coquitlam revere Fox and don’t support anyone using his image to make political statements that he would not have supported. Police in Ottawa are investigating the defacing of the Fox statue, along with allegations protesters also desecrated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Museum by dancing on it during the “Freedom Convoy.”
Fire officials say one man died in an apartment building fire in downtown Vancouver yesterday morning. This is the fourth fire-related death in just 24 hours in the city, after a house fire claimed the lives of three family members the day before. Crews were called to the highrise around 6 a-m, finding flames and smoke coming from a fourth-floor unit with a man still inside. The cause of the fire is under investigation and did not appear suspicious.
Erin O’Toole’s leadership will be put to a vote of Conservative MPs tomorrow after months of infighting severely weakened his hold over the party. Multiple Conservative sources confirm that 35 MPs – roughly 30 per cent of the Conservatives’ caucus – signed a petition requesting a caucus vote on O’Toole’s continued leadership…..O’Toole intends to fight to salvage his leadership. If he loses the vote, the Conservatives will be plunged into their third leadership vote in six years.
B-C’s S-P-C-A says they helped a record number of animals in 2021. The organization helped nearly 119-thousand domestic, farm and wild animals last year, which is about 22-thousand more than in 2020. The pandemic, as well as a devastating wildfire season and historic flooding, caused more animals to be displaced than before.
Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback in NFL history, has retired after winning seven Super Bowls and setting numerous passing records in an unprecedented 22-year-career. “This is difficult for me to write, but here it goes: I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore,” Brady wrote in a lengthy post on Instagram. Brady has long stated his desire to spend more time with his wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and three children despite still playing at the top of his game. The 44-year-old Brady goes out after leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl title last season and NFC South championship this season.
British Columbia health officials announced on Tuesday that there have been 1,236 new COVID-19 cases reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 325,851. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that there are 28,302 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the active cases, 1,035 (-13) COVID-positive individuals are currently hospitalized, and 139 (+1) are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
New cases and total active cases are broken down by health region as follows:
- Fraser Health: 253 new cases, 11,756 total active cases
- Vancouver Coastal Health: 212 new cases, 5,878 total active cases
- Interior Health: 406 new cases, 7,949 total active cases
- Northern Health: 171 new cases, 1,167 total active cases
- Island Health: 188 new cases, 1,534 total active cases
- Outside of Canada: Six new cases, 18 total active cases
There have been nine new COVID-19-related deaths in British Columbia, for a total of 2,625 deaths in the province.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the number of people being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 appears to be peaking. Henry says hospitalizations due to the pandemic hit a record high of one-thousand-and-54 yesterday. But she says patients with the Omicron variant are going home in half the time as those who had the Delta strain. She also says a peak of hospitalizations coming weeks after confirmed new cases of COVID-19 began to fall is where the province would expect to be, given modelling on the path the pandemic was predicted to take.
B-C’s top doctor says children aged 12 to 17 should expect to wait six months after their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to get a boost shot. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the guidance is based on recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. She says invitations for a booster shot will be sent to everyone in that age group along with the information on the benefits and risks. But she suggests boosters may be necessary for youth at high risk, including those with diabetes, while a fourth dose may be needed for those who are immunocompromised or clinically extremely vulnerable.
Politicians at all levels of government are saying enough is enough to the truck convoy protest in Ottawa. Crowds have thinned out considerably on Parliament Hill and the surrounding area, where anti-COVID-19 restriction demonstrators have been protesting. But Ottawa remains at a standstill and organizers promise to stay until COVID vaccine mandates end. Robin Seguin, owner of Victoria Barbershop on O’Connor Street, says she had to make the difficult decision to close the shop. Police estimate they have spent roughly 800-thousand dollars a day to supervise the protest and respond to emergencies.
The pandemic-delayed meeting between Canadian Indigenous leaders and Pope Francis is now set to take place the week of March 28th. The plan is for up to 30 Indigenous elders, residential school survivors and youth to meet with the pope and talk with him about reconciliation and healing. Indigenous delegates plan to share their expectations for a papal visit to Canada. They want it to come with an official apology for the Catholic Church’s role in the residential school system.
Tesla is recalling nearly 54-thousand vehicles from the 2016 through 2022 model years. Certain Model S and Model 3 sedans and some years of both Model X and Y S-U-Vs are being recalled because their Full Self-Driving software lets them roll through stop signs without coming to a complete halt. Tesla will disable the feature with an over-the-internet software update.