Ramping up B.C. flood relief and COVID vaccines for kids: In The News for Nov. 19 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Ramping up B.C. flood relief and COVID vaccines for kids: In The News for Nov. 19

Damage caused by heavy rains and mudslides earlier in the week is pictured along the Highway 7 west of Agassiz, B.C., Thursday, November 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Nov. 19 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

VANCOUVER — As rescue and relief efforts ramp up in areas hardest hit by flooding and mudslides, the B.C. government is expected to provide more information today about the state of emergency it has declared.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth has indicated that measures could include an order preventing passage for all but essential travellers as limited access is slowly restored along some highways.

Speaking from Washington, D.C. last night Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said 120 Canadian Armed Forces personnel had been sent in to support relief efforts in Abbotsford, which was inundated by flood waters. A military reconnaissance group has also been dispatched to the provincial emergency operation centre in Surrey. And more than 200 troops are on standby in Edmonton awaiting orders to deploy to B.C.

About one-thousand people trapped in Hope were able to leave last night when single-lane passage was permitted on Highway 7, but an estimated 17,000 remain out of their homes as evacuation orders cover some 6,900 properties.

On another front, the RCMP say search efforts are continuing at a landslide along Highway 99 south of Lillooet where a woman's body was recovered this week, and where police have received reports of four missing people.

Farms animals have suffered tremendous hardship from the disaster and Agriculture Minister Lana Popham says helicopter deliveries of food and water are being arranged for livestock on farms cut off by the floods.

Trudeau, meanwhile, said he will visit British Columbia "when the time is right.”

“Obviously our priority right now needs to be on getting all the immediate help and rescue that people need,” he said at a news conference following his trilateral summit with the U.S. and Mexican presidents.

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Also this ...

OTTAWA — The federal government is set to make two major announcements on the pandemic front today, starting with the approval of Canada's first COVID-19 vaccine for children, then later detailed plans to ease some of the pandemic-related measures at the border.

The government has scheduled a media briefing with officials at 10 a.m. to share news regarding authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children.

Canada is expecting an accelerated delivery of 2.9 million child-sized doses as soon as Health Canada provides regulatory approval, enough for a first dose for every child in the five to 11 age group.

Officials will also give an update on recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

At 1 p.m., federal ministers are set to discuss easing measures taken to prevent importing new cases across the border.

They are expected to do away with the rule that requires travellers taking short trips to the U.S. to present a negative molecular COVID-19 test in order to get back into the country.

In a statement Thursday, Pfizer Canada said the company is prepared to deliver the pediatric doses to Canada shortly following federal authorization.

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And this ...

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to claim a moral victory Thursday after his day at the White House did little to defuse an escalating continental dispute over President Joe Biden's plans to encourage Americans to buy more electric vehicles.

Trudeau and several senior cabinet ministers arrived in the U.S. capital hoping to convince Biden that his proposed tax incentive worth up to $12,500 to a prospective new-car buyer would kneecap Canada's auto industry.

They departed Friday with little to show for their efforts, leaving behind an administration that sounds unwilling to plot a different course and determined to focus its efforts on selling American-made cars and trucks built with U.S. union labour.

"In a relationship as big and as deep and as all-encompassing for so many of us, as is the relationship between Canada and the United States, there are always going to be challenges coming up," Trudeau said.

"As we solve some, new ones will arise, and what is most important is that we have strong, direct lines of communication and that we engage with them in constructive ways. That is exactly what we've done."

During their customary fireside photo op in the Oval Office, Biden offered little evidence he was in a conciliatory mood, offering the usual bilateral pleasantries but promptly shutting down questions about the burgeoning dispute.

"We're going to talk about that, to some extent," Biden said, noting that the measure — part of a $1.75-trillion climate change and social spending measure central to his Build Back Better agenda — was a long way from becoming the law of the land.

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What we are watching in the U.S. ...

WASHINGTON — Polls show that a strong majority of Democrats and a majority of the American public support elements of President Joe Biden's $1.85 trillion social and environmental spending bill.

Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly predicted that the legislation the House was poised to pass Friday will be “transformational” for the country.

But if the bill is passed, it may not be politically transformational for the Democratic Party.

At least not immediately. In order to save their already-narrow majority, Democrats are scrambling to sell the public on the legislation.

Democrats have spent months squabbling over the details of the legislation, obscuring the benefits they hope to deliver to the country.

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What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

BEIJING — China's Foreign Ministry says it isn't aware of the controversy surrounding tennis professional Peng Shuai, who disappeared after accusing a former top official of sexually abusing her.

Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Friday said the matter was “not a diplomatic question and I’m not aware of the situation."

The 35-year-old Peng is a former top ranked player in women’s doubles who won titles at Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014.

She also participated in three Olympics, making her disappearance all the more prominent with Beijing set to host the Winter Games starting Feb. 4.

In a since deleted social media post, Peng accused former Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of attacking her at his home three years ago.

Steve Simon, the chairman and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association, questioned the authenticity of what Chinese state media said was an email intended for him in which Peng said she was safe and that the assault allegation was untrue.

It was posted Thursday by CGTN, the international arm of Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

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On this day in 2017 ...

Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader behind the gruesome murders of actor Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles in 1969, died in a California hospital at the age of 83 after nearly a half-century in prison.

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In entertainment ...

TORONTO — Anne Murray's rise from small-town roots to international music stardom is getting the documentary treatment.

Producers say a new film centred on the life of the Springhill, N.S.-born singer will debut next month, first in theatres and then on CBC.

"Anne Murray: Full Circle," produced in association with her record label Universal Music Canada, retraces her trailblazing career using "never-before-seen footage" from Murray's "personal archives."

Murray sold more than 55 million albums over a 40-year career propelled by a collection of hits that include "Snowbird" and "Danny's Song." She was the first Canadian female solo singer to reach No. 1 on the U.S. charts.

The documentary includes interviews with friends and contemporaries, among them Shania Twain, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt and Gordon Lightfoot.

"Anne Murray: Full Circle" will screen one night in theatres across Canada on Dec. 2 before its CBC broadcast on Dec. 17 and a simultaneous streaming launch on CBC Gem.

Producers said Thursday the film also secured distribution in other regions on various platforms, including A&E, Discovery Channel, NBC Peacock, Paramount Network and YouTube Originals.

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ICYMI ...

GUELPH, Ont. — An archaeological dig underway in Guelph, Ont., has led to the discovery of 63 grave shafts and 26 human bone fragments.

Officials from the city of Guelph provided their latest bi-weekly update on the archaeological excavation on Tuesday.

The municipality and Archaeological Research Associates are excavating the city's Baker and Wyndham Street parking lots to make way for the development of a publicly accessible integrated civic hub called the Baker District.

The Baker and Wyndham Street site was used as an all-faith cemetery from 1827 to 1853, when human burials were banned within town limits.

The property was purchased by the city of Guelph as a public park in 1879, and when plans were made to move the remains from the old public burying ground to a new cemetery, family members moved some burials, but others, especially unmarked graves, remained.

The city says appropriate agencies such as Guelph Police Services, partner Indigenous governments and provincial ministries are being notified when human remains are discovered, and that all remains found during the excavation will be documented and reinterred at Woodlawn Memorial Park.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2021

News from © The Canadian Press, 2021
The Canadian Press

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