Good evening, let’s start with today’s top stories:
With the news today that Pfizer will deliver at least one million COVID-19 vaccine doses a week starting later this month and lasting into early May, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says provinces and territories have been updated and can begin planning for mass vaccination sites.
Trudeau says the updated delivery schedule will begin March 22 and runs to May 10.
One million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines every seven days is “going to make a big difference,” the Prime Minister said Friday.
The new influx of Pfizer products is more than double the 444,600 doses expected next week. And, that’s on top of additional vaccine deliveries from Moderna, which is expected to bring 846,000 doses the week of March 22.
The Prime Minister also addressed the issue of “vaccine passports” on Friday, suggesting they could unfairly impact some people if used to decide who can go to a concert or dine at a restaurant.
While proof of a COVID-19 inoculation would not be out of place for travellers who already face similar requirements for other vaccines when embarking on international jaunts, he said a similar scheme for everyday activities in Canada raises “questions of equity.”
B.C. Premier John Horgan said later Friday he supports the idea of vaccine passports for travellers but he doesn’t think people in British Columbia should provide the same evidence to attend local events.
- How we’ll live differently once the world returns to normal: Nine eminent Canadians look back at Year One of COVID-19 and how the years ahead will change our lives
- Peel Region orders all workers at Amazon warehouse in Brampton to self-isolate
- The vaccine game: Baffling rules, surprise winners
- For Indigenous people, the urban-Northern divide has produced a tale of two vaccination efforts
- A postpandemic summer? Not this year
- Tracking Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plans: A continuing guide
- Canada vaccine tracker: How many COVID-19 doses have been administered so far?
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Canada’s job market snaps back from second-wave setbacks
The country’s labour market added a net 259,200 positions in February, a result that far exceeded the consensus estimate of 75,000. The rapid gain coincided with an easing of health restrictions in several provinces and followed the loss of 266,000 positions in December and January. The unemployment rate fell to 8.2 per cent from 9.4 per cent, Statistics Canada said Friday.
One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, employment is down by roughly 600,000 workers.
Quebec added 112,600 positions last month, while Ontario gained 100,300. The retail and hospitality industries combined for an increase of roughly 187,000 jobs, while the private sector saw the bulk of hiring. Given the industries involved, jobs gains were geared more toward part-time positions (171,000) than full-time work (88,200). Total hours worked across the economy rose 1.4 per cent.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Canadian Forces member says he was berated for reporting sexual misconduct: A senior member of the Canadian Forces says he was berated for reporting a sexual misconduct complaint against another senior officer in February. Lieutenant-Commander Raymond Trotter told the House of Commons defence committee on Friday that he reported two cases of sexual misconduct in February on behalf of other members of the forces. In each case he said it was difficult to navigate the system, and in the case of a complaint about the Chief of Defence Staff there was no independent authority to report the allegation to.
Turkey pressed Canada to approve export of air-strike gear later used in Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict: Documents released to a parliamentary committee probing how Canadian-made air-strike targeting gear ended up in the 2020 Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict show the Trudeau government circumvented an arms embargo last year to send the same equipment to Turkey after assurances from Ankara that it would only be used to protect civilians under attack in Syria.
New panel named to advise Trudeau on choosing governor general to succeed Payette: The Liberal government is re-establishing an advisory panel to help select the next governor general. The six-person panel was announced Friday by Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, who will co-chair the group with Janice Charette, a former high commissioner to the United Kingdom now filling in as clerk of the Privy Council.
Strong employment numbers for February propelled the Canadian dollar to a three-year high while the TSX climbed for a sixth-straight day to set another record close. The Canadian dollar traded for 80.04 cents US after hitting an intraday high of 80.26, compared with 79.61 cents US on Thursday.
The S&P/TSX composite index reversed losses for most of the day to close up 6.75 points to 18,851.31. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 293.05 points at 32,778.64. The S&P 500 index was up 4.0 points at 3,943.34, while the Nasdaq composite was down 78.81 points at 13,319.8. - CP
Has the pandemic ended the world’s strongman surge? Brazil will be the big test
“Middle-class insecurities, in many countries, fell prey to the temptations of far-right demagogues after 2016. The question is whether that was a lasting shift or a flash of temporary insanity that will end with the meltdown of Trumpism and, potentially, Bolsonarismo.” - Doug Saunders
The shameful way we’ve treated seniors during the pandemic shows significant steps must be taken to improve the ends of our lives
“Would we be so blasé as a society if the victims were 20 years old, rather than 80? Probably not, although I’m not so sure that we care more about the vulnerable young, considering Canada’s lacklustre response to the opioid crisis. Nevertheless, dismissing older victims of COVID-19 as discardable because they are living on borrowed time is beyond inhumane.” - Sandra Martin
The case for an Alberta sales tax – not because its revenues are too little, but too volatile
“The reason Alberta governments have tended to spend so much, historically, is because they have had so much revenue to spend – or rather, because they expected to have so much. That is, the problem isn’t the level of Alberta’s revenues, so much as their volatility.” - Andrew Coyne
Style Advisor March 2021 edition: Spring floral fashions, home decor and beauty trends
With warmer days ahead, The Globe turned to nature for inspiration in this month’s edition of Style Advisor. This edition focuses on the chintz prints and botanic lacework of the new collections. We also take a journey across France to mark the 100th anniversary of Chanel No. 5, and trace how designers are working with artists to bring us closer to their creative process. You can also find PDF links to all recent editions of Style Advisor.
TODAY’S LONG READ
Even if it feels like you’ve done nothing, celebrate the courage and fortitude you’ve shown during the past year
Toronto writer Christine Fischer Guy’s first novel - The Umbrella Mender - was set during the 1950 tuberculosis epidemic in Canada. In a Globe essay, Guy reminds us that lockdown fatigue is real, and that we miss every personal connection we have.
But, she writes that we should celebrate the courage and fortitude we’ve shown in the past year, and continue to lie low and make our silence productive with ingenuity, resilience and strength.
She says if we can do those things, we’ll emerge from our hibernation into a society restored to wellness that we created together.
Read her full essay here.