Hamilton firefighters knock down residential blaze in Mount Hope

Hamilton fire officials say they are still assessing damage after flames spread through the kitchen of home in Port Hope on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the service said the blaze started just before 1 p.m. at a residence on Homestead Drive between Airport Road and Upper James Street.

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“First arriving crews discovered a fire in the kitchen on the main floor that had spread into the walls,” assistant deputy chief Shawn De Jager told Global News.

De Jager said the cause has not yet been determined and that there were no injuries.

Fire crews said no one was in the home when they arrived.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Man locked up, drugged for 2 years in Hawaii case of mistaken identity

Joshua Spriestersbach spent two years living a nightmare at a mental hospital in Hawaii, where he was pumped full of drugs and ignored every time he tried to tell the doctors the truth: that they’d locked up the wrong man.

Spriestersbach had somehow been mistaken for Thomas Castleberry, a man wanted on a warrant in Hawaii for violating his probation in a 2006 drug case. He was arrested in 2017 and locked up at the Hawaii State Hospital, where he repeatedly tried and failed to convince anyone — including his own public defenders — that he was innocent.

One psychiatrist eventually looked into his claims and found that they were true, but that was not the end of the story for Spriestersbach. Instead, Hawaii officials allegedly tried to cover up their mistake and quietly released him without a dollar to his name — and without correcting the record on his arrest.

The Hawaii Innocence Project is now trying to set the matter straight, with a petition filed on Monday to vacate Spriestersbach’s arrest and correct his criminal record.

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The filing lays out how Spriestersbach was first arrested in 2017, after a police officer mistook him for Castleberry on the streets of Honolulu.

Spriestersbach, who is homeless, had been waiting in line for food outside a shelter when he fell asleep in the hot sun, according to the Hawaii Innocence Project. The officer woke him up and arrested him on the spot.

Spriestersbach assumed he was being arrested for violating a law against sitting or laying on the sidewalk. But he was wrong.

It’s unclear how the mix-up occurred, but Spriestersbach was somehow deemed to be one of Castleberry’s aliases, and authorities proceeded as though that were true. The Hawaii Innocence Project argues that the police likely did not check photos or fingerprints to confirm their suspicions, because doing so would have quickly shown that Spriestersbach and Castleberry were two different men.

“Instead of taking five minutes to just get the photograph, or Google the real Castleberry, they would have found out that the real Thomas Castleberry’s been locked up in Alaska since 2015. He’s still in prison now,” Hawaii Innocence Project co-founder Ken Lawson told KITV.

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“The more Mr. Spriestersbach vocalized his innocence by asserting that he is not Mr. Castleberry, the more he was declared delusional and psychotic by the H.S.H. staff and doctors and heavily medicated,” the petition said.

“It was understandable that Mr. Spriestersbach was in an agitated state when he was being wrongfully incarcerated for Mr. Castleberry’s crime and despite his continual denial of being Mr. Castleberry and providing all of his relevant identification and places where he was located during Mr. Castleberry’s court appearances, no one would believe him or take any meaningful steps to verify his identity and determine that Mr. Spriestersbach was telling the truth — he was not Mr. Castleberry.”

The petition credits a lone psychiatrist at the hospital with figuring out the mistake, though it came two years and eight months after his arrest. The psychiatrist listened to Spriestersbach’s claims, then made a few phone calls and checked the internet to confirm his story.

Ultimately, the psychiatrist found that there was no way Castleberry could be at the hospital in Hawaii, because he’d been locked up in an Alaskan prison since 2016.

Hospital staff confirmed the mistake through fingerprints and photos, then moved to release Spriestersbach in January 2020, the petition said.

“A secret meeting was held with all of the parties, except Mr. Spriestersbach, present. There is no court record of this meeting or no public court record of this meeting. No entry or order reflects this miscarriage of justice that occurred or a finding that Mr. Spriestersbach is not Thomas Castleberry,” the court document said.

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Police, the state public defender’s office, the state attorney general and the hospital “share in the blame for this gross miscarriage of justice,” the petition said.

“I think that they were hoping because he struggles with mental health disabilities, because he’s houseless, no one would believe his story,” Lawson said.

Castleberry’s public defender in Alaska declined to comment to the Associated Press. Hawaii Public Defender James Tabe, Gary Yamashiroya, special assistant to the attorney general and Matt Dvonch, a spokesman for the Honolulu prosecuting attorney’s office, also declined to comment.

Spriestersbach, now 50, is currently staying with his sister in Vermont, where he is living in fear that he will be dragged back to the hospital. He reportedly will not leave the property.

“He’s so afraid that they’re going to take him again,” his sister, Vedanta Griffith, told the AP.

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Griffith says she spent nearly 16 years caring for her brother, but he disappeared in 2003 after he moved with her and her husband to Oahu. She said he was suffering mental health issues at the time.

“Part of what they used against him was his own argument: ‘I’m not Thomas Castleberry. I didn’t commit these crimes. … This isn’t me,'” she told the Associated Press. “So they used that as saying he was delusional, as justification for keeping him.”

She added that she only learned about his ordeal after his release, when a homeless shelter reached out on his behalf.

“And then when light is shown on it, what do they do? They don’t even put it on the record. They don’t make it part of the case,” Griffith said. “And then they don’t come to him and say, ‘We are so sorry’ or, how about even ‘Gee, this wasn’t you. You were right all along.'”

With files from the Associated Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Toronto-based Score Media and Gaming sold to Penn National in US$2 billion deal

Toronto-based Score Media and Gaming Inc. is being acquired by U.S.-based Penn National Gaming Inc. in a US$2-billion cash and stock deal.

The deal announced Thursday will bring together Score Media’s popular theScore mobile sports news app, as well as its betting services in four U.S. states, with Penn National’s dozens of gaming and racing properties across 20 states.

The acquisition of Score Media and Gaming adds to Penn National’s holdings in sports media after it bought a 36 per cent stake in Barstool Sports Inc. in 2020.

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“We are thrilled to be acquiring theScore, which is the number one sports app in Canada and the third most popular sports app in all of North America,” said “Jay Snowden, chief executive of Penn in a release. ”TheScore’s unique media platform and modern, state-of-the art technology is a powerful complement to the reach of Barstool Sports and its popular personalities and content.”

The deal will see Score Media and Gaming shareholders getting US$17 a share in cash plus 0.2398 of a Penn National stock for each theScore share, making the deal roughly half in cash.

News of the deal sent Score’s share price up more than 80 per cent, or $14.69, to $32.83 in mid-afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

John Levy, chief executive of theScore, said in a statement that the timing was right to join with a company of Penn National’s resources and scale.

“This deal brings together two companies that share a vision for how media and gaming intersect,” said Levy. “With Penn’s support, we will continue to invest in building our Canadian operations, growing our footprint and expanding our workforce.”

Penn National says it plans to operate theScore as a stand-alone business that will remain headquartered in a Toronto-office.

The deal comes as Canada moves toward legalized single event sports betting after the Senate passed Bill C-218 in June.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario says it expects there to be an internet gaming market in the province by the end of the year.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

'She helped a lot of us': Canadian golf legend Jocelyne Bourassa dead at 74

What Alena Sharp will remember most about Canadian golf legend Jocelyne Bourassa is how she was always there for younger players.

Sharp spoke about Bourassa’s impact on her career and on Canadian golf as a whole on Thursday shortly after coming off the course at the Tokyo Olympics. Sharp’s remarks came a few hours after Golf Canada announced that Bourassa had died at the age of 74.

“We’re lucky in Canada that we have a lot of legends that like to give back and they’re just so positive and very supportive,” said Sharp. “I think that’s the best thing you can have as a kid is having someone behind you that wants to see you do well.

“I think that’s what she did, she helped a lot of us. She was always there to lend a helping hand and gave her time back to the younger generation.”

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Bourassa, from Shawinigan, Que., first distinguished herself as an amateur, winning three Quebec Junior Championships (1963, 1964 and 1965) and four Quebec Amateur Championships (1963, 1969, 1970 and 1971).

She also won the Canadian Women’s Amateur in 1965 and again in 1971 and then turned professional the following year.

She joined the LPGA Tour in 1972 and won their Rookie of the Year award.

That helped her garner the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award that year as The Canadian Press’s best female athlete. She was also named to the Order of Canada in 1972.

“She’s an icon and a legend in Canadian women’s golf so she’s going to be missed by a lot of us,” said Sharp. “I hope her legend lives on with the younger generations.”

Her biggest professional victory came the following year when she captured the inaugural La Canadienne at the Municipal Golf Club in Montreal.

No other Canadian was able to win the Canadian Women’s Open until Brooke Henderson’s victory 45 years later in Regina.

Henderson, who is also playing at the Tokyo Olympics, said that Bourassa had reached out to her after she won the CP Women’s Open in 2018 and that they stayed in regular contact although they had only met in person once.

“She’s been a legend for Canadian golf and somebody that I’ve looked up to,” said Henderson, adding she has kept a photo of their one meeting with her on her iPad. “It’s very sad and I’ll be praying and keeping her family in my thoughts and prayers.”

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Bourassa’s eight-year LPGA Tour career was cut short by injuries but she began a second career immediately by becoming the du Maurier Classic’s executive director.

“I wouldn’t be here and able to talk about my career without Jocelyne,” Lorie Kane, an inductee of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 2016, said in a statement issued through Golf Canada.

“When I decided to turn pro in 1993 she was working with du Maurier to establish the du Maurier series so I was able to learn how to be a pro from one of the best.”

Bourassa was inducted into the Quebec Sports Hall of Fame in 1992, the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Quebec Golf Hall of Fame in 1996 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

New geothermal heating and cooling system to be built at Forks

A new environmentally friendly heating and cooling system is being introduced at a new development at The Forks, thanks to support from all three levels of government announced Thursday.

Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal said the Forks Renewal Corporation will receive $1.8 million in funds to build a geothermal system for its downtown Winnipeg buildings — including Railside at The Forks, a mixed-use neighbourhood development planned for the site.

Vandal said it’s a step toward addressing the impacts of climate change that are already being felt in Manitoba.

“Today’s announcement highlights some of the important work led by Canadian businesses such as the Forks Renewal Corporation to build a cleaner and healthier future,” he said.

“Leadership on strategic projects like the one announced today will make sure Canada exceeds its target and achieves net-zero emissions by 2050.”

On top of the $1.8 million in federal funds, the City of Winnipeg and province of Manitoba are each chipping in under $8 million in tax increment financing.

The new, greener system is designed to allow future expansion to other buildings and developments at the historic meeting place of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.

According to the federal government, the Forks Renewal Corporation is expected to save the equivalent of 11 million litres of gasoline — or a reduction of 26,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions — over the lifetime of the project.

The mixed-use Railside project is the first-ever development planned for The Forks that will include residential use, and is intended to focus on environmental, economic and social sustainability, as well as celebrating the unique history and culture of the site.

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“Railside at The Forks is an important project full of big ideas and amazing public spaces,” said Sara Stasiuk of the Forks North Portage Partnership.

“It will also create employment opportunities, add a variety of additional housing, provide economic return, celebrate culture and more.

“The district geothermal system was key to the vision for Railside as a green development and as part of our overall Target Zero goals.”

 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Carleton University mandates COVID-19 vaccines for students in residence, playing sports

Carleton University in Ottawa has updated its COVID-19 vaccination policy to require any student living on campus or participating in “higher risk” activities to be fully vaccinated before the fall.

The shift, which the post-secondary institution announced in a series of tweets Thursday afternoon, aligns the school closer with the University of Ottawa in terms of vaccine expectations for students.

Students living in residences, participating in music instruction and playing on varsity or competitive sports teams must have received a “full course” of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization. Additional activities deemed to be “higher risk” of transmitting the virus could be added at a later date.

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First shots must be received by Sept. 10, while second doses must be administered no later than Oct. 15.

Exemptions are available for those who cannot receive a vaccine on medical or other grounds.

Carleton cited recent recommendations from Ottawa Public Health as an impetus for the updated policy.

Under the change, everyone in the Carleton community — students, staff and faculty alike — must also “self-declare” their vaccination status.

A “yes” declaration means someone is 14 days after their second shot. Those who answer “no” or “prefer not to say” will be given literature about the benefits of vaccination, according to Suzanne Blanchard, Carleton’s COVID-19 lead.

Masking and physical distancing requirements will remain in place when Carleton welcomes students back for the fall term starting Aug. 23.

Carleton, which had previously said it would not mandate vaccinations but strongly encouraged community members to get the shot, joins uOttawa in mandating vaccinations for those in residence and students participating in campus sports.

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Algonquin College also said in July it would encourage vaccinations but not mandate them.

Some post-secondary institutions in Ontario have drawn a harder line on vaccination, such as Seneca College in Toronto, which requires students and staff to be fully vaccinated before coming on campus in the fall.

Dr. Brent Moloughney, Ottawa’s associate medical officer of health, said in July that OPH would not set a rule for mandatory vaccinations at local universities, deferring to the province to set mandates around vaccine status requirements.

He said the local health unit would work with its university partners to promote vaccinations on campus when students return to the classroom in the fall.

Currently, the 18-29 demographic in Ottawa reports the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the city, with 72 per cent having received at least an initial shot and 57 per cent double-dosed.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

N.S. election: Iain Rankin talks Robyn Ingraham controversy, fixed election dates in 1-on-1 interview

Nova Scotia Liberal leader Iain Rankin sits down with Global’s Sarah Ritchie to talk about the controversy surrounding the ousting of former Liberal candidate Robyn Ingraham, pandemic recovery and fixed election dates.

Nova Scotia Liberal Leader Iain Rankin is continuing to deflect questions about his handling of a former Liberal candidate who was allegedly ousted from the party over boudoir photos posted online.

Global News’ Sarah Ritchie sat down with Rankin last week to discuss the scandal, along with fixed election dates and COVID-19, ahead of the provincial election on Aug. 17.

Last month, Robyn Ingraham, the former Liberal candidate in the district of Dartmouth South, issued a statement saying she was asked by a Liberal staffer not to run after photos of her surfaced online. She said the Liberal party told her to blame her reasons for leaving on her mental health.

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She said she was honest throughout the application process about the platforms she used to post pictures, which includes OnlyFans, a website where fans of a creator can subscribe to their content.

Ingraham also alleged the staffer asked her if she ever “had sex for money.”

When asked if male candidates are asked if they have ever paid for sex during the vetting process, Rankin became defensive.

“I’m not aware of every single conversation that my entire team has with every single candidate, but it’s not a question that we pose,” he said.

Watch the full interview here:

Rankin also dodged a question about whether there’s a double standard for male and female candidates. He said he reached out to Ingraham multiple times and is waiting to hear back from her.

“I trust my team, No. 1,” he said. “The green-light process, No. 2, is arms-length from the leader. And I have full confidence that they are going through the right process for every single candidate that comes through.”

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However, in response to a later question, he also said women have every right to do what they want with their bodies and suggested he had personal knowledge of the photos Ingraham says the Liberals took issue with.

“In this case, we knew about those types of things before the green light process even started, and I had no problem with that,” he said.

Rankin’s own past choices have become an issue for his party. He was twice charged with driving under the influence in the early 2000s, and has said that he disclosed those charges — including one conviction — to the Liberal party before he ran for the first time in 2013, and again before running for leader earlier this year.

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When asked whether he was drinking the morning of the 2005 crash that resulted in the second DUI charge, Rankin said no.

Global News asked his office to clarify whether he was drinking the night before, and whether he was drunk at the time of the crash. His office refused to provide any clarification or answer any further questions, saying only that “(Rankin) answered the question.”

Fixed election dates

Rankin is also the only one of the province’s main three party leaders who did not promise to implement fixed election dates if elected.

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Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada without fixed election dates.

“We just got through a third wave (of COVID-19.) If we had fixed election dates, that election would have been in the middle of a third wave,” Rankin said, adding that other provinces with fixed election dates have held elections outside of them in the past.

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He said he does not believe that not having fixed election dates gives the governing party an advantage.

“Elections Nova Scotia was ready for an election,” he said. “We’re in the fourth year of our mandate. Both opposition parties were campaigning heavily before the election call.”

— with files from Sarah Ritchie

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Wildfires grow in B.C. prompting more evacuations as crews hope for rain

Concerns are growing for B.C. wildfire crews and residents Thursday, especially in the Vernon area as more evacuations were ordered Wednesday night due to the massive and aggressive White Rock Lake fire.

The entire community of Falkland, about 600 people, have been ordered to leave their homes.

Also along Highway 97, residents of more than 270 properties in the Westwold and Monte Lake area were told to leave immediately.

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On Wednesday night, the Okanagan Indian Band also expanded an evacuation order to include more homes near Okanagan Lake.

The White Rock Lake fire is an estimated 32,500 hectares in size and there is concern that strong winds Thursday afternoon could make it grow even bigger.

Thirteen helicopters have been assigned to this fire, along with 136 wildland firefighters, 99 of which are from Quebec.

There are almost 300 wildfires burning in the province with 38 sparked in the last two days.

The BC Wildfire Service will be providing an update about the fires at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. That will be available live above, on BC1 and on the Global BC Facebook page.

The Sparks Lake wildfire remains the biggest at a staggering 68,511 hectares. It is burning north of Kamloops Lake and is still out of control.

The BC Wildfire Service says the fire remains active along the northern flank and is growing moderately in a north and north-east direction. With forecast high temperatures and low relative humidity over the coming days, fire activity will remain high along the northern and northeast flanks.

However, it has not moved west or east significantly and there is low fire behaviour on the west and southeast flank. As areas in the south are being secured, crews will move up along the eastern and western flank to create control lines and direct attack where possible towards the north of the fire.

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There has been some good news, however, for residents near the Brenda Creek wildfire, about 40 kilometres west of West Kelowna.

On Thursday morning, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) rescinded the evacuation order for Electoral Area H. In all, the rescinded order affects 41 properties.

That fire is estimated at 824 hectares, and has been for several days.

It’s still classified as out of control, but 18 firefighters, three helicopters and 12 pieces of heavy equipment are battling the blaze.

In the Cariboo, crews continue to battle the North East 100 Mile Complex consisting of 17 wildfires, including two wildfires of note — the Canim Lake wildfire and the Flat Lake wildfire.

The Wildfire Service said if conditions on site of these fires are favourable, planned ignition operations will be considered for both.

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The Canim Lake wildfire, at 3,026 hectares, is burning in steep and challenging terrain. Smoke is expected to be visible to surrounding communities.

The Flat Lake wildfire, at 53,211 hectares, continues to see the most activity along the west flank. The Wildfire Service said if conditions on-site are favourable Thursday, planned ignitions are being considered for the remaining portion of the southwest corner.

Firefighters are also bringing in heavy equipment to fight a new wildfire northwest of Squamish.

The North Cloudburst Mountain fire is not a wildfire of note but it is about five hectares in size. There are 21 personnel and three helicopters currently working on this fire, which is suspected to have been human-caused.

There is some rain in the forecast for parts of B.C. Thursday and into Friday but the question remains as to whether enough precipitation will fall to help with the wildfire fight.

We will update this story following the 2:30 p.m press conference.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Masai Ujiri signs new deal with Toronto Raptors to become vice-chairman and president: report

TORONTO – Masai Ujiri has reportedly signed a deal to become the vice-chairman and president of the Toronto Raptors.

The news was first reported by ESPN.

A video released by the team on social media Thursday has Ujiri saying he is “here to stay” with the team and also lays out the philanthropic work he aims to continue doing.

The team did not immediately confirm the details of Ujiri’s deal or the title he would be assuming.

Ujiri guided the Raptors to the 2019 NBA title after a series of bold moves, including the trade of star DeMar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard and the decision to fire coach Dwane Casey and replace him with Nick Nurse the previous summer.

Under Ujiri, the Raptors made the playoffs seven consecutive seasons before missing the post-season this year during a campaign in which they had to play home games in Tampa, Fla., because of COVID-19 restrictions.

An assistant general manager in Toronto in 2008 before becoming the GM of the Denver Nuggets, Ujiri was rehired by the Raptors to run basketball operations in May 2013.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 5, 2021.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Do Canadians need booster vaccines? Experts echo WHO's call for pause

WATCH: Canada's top doctor says discussion on COVID-19 booster shots still "evolving."

Canada should listen to the World Health Organization (WHO) and not offer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to its population right now, some experts say.

The recommendations come after the WHO made a plea for countries to halt progress on boosters as the Delta variant continues its dominance worldwide; many countries are still trying to ramp up their own vaccination campaigns.

“Since this pandemic has begun, the lack of global coordination, leadership and direction has been appalling,” said Kerry Bowman, a bioethicist at the University of Toronto.

“No one has their eye on the big picture. We’re increasingly tucked away, trying to figure out what’s best for us and losing the plot,” he said, adding, “the plot being the way to deal with this incredible pandemic is to deal with it globally. And again, focusing on boosters is moving us away from that goal.”

On Wednesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he wants a moratorium on boosters until at least the end of September so that every country can vaccinate at least 10 per cent of their population.

“I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant. But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it,” he said.

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Canada, facing the start of a fourth wave driven by the Delta variant, has procured enough vaccines to inoculate every eligible Canadian. The country has one of the world’s best vaccination rates, which currently sits at 68 per cent fully vaccinated and 81 per cent partially vaccinated.

Yet the world’s rate for fully vaccinated people is 15.08 per cent, Johns Hopkins University reports.

“Canada has so many more vaccines at this point than we need, and the global situation ethically and epidemiologically needs immediate attention,” Bowman said.

Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer of Canada, told reporters on Thursday that Canada still needs more data on boosters before making a decision. She said experts are monitoring high-risk populations, like the immunocompromised and elderly, for a potential boost.

Tam believes though that if, or when, the time does come for Canada to offer a third shot, the country could still continue to share doses with the world.

The government announced Wednesday that it will send 82,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine to Trinidad and Tobago. It also announced last month that it’s donating 17.7 million AstraZeneca shots to the global COVAX vaccine sharing program.

“Without the rest of the world being vaccinated, it’s very difficult for us to get out of the pandemic. Also, it would have impacts, potentially, on our precautionary but phased border reopening,” she said.

“Canada’s has, in its range of acting options, a lot of capacity. So I think we can definitely do both.”

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Dr. Barry Pakes, a professor with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, believes Canada should have conversations around boosters — but not implement a program right away.

“From an ethical perspective, we shouldn’t be doing that, (and) we should be sharing vaccine with the rest of the world right now if possible. … But we should be thinking about it,” he said.

“I think it’s reasonable to think about it in the future, meaning we should be giving vaccines to countries that need it now with some kind of reciprocal agreement to potentially get those back if we in fact need them.”

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In light of the WHO’s request, Germany and France said they will go ahead with boosters for vulnerable populations in September. The United States indicated on Wednesday that it would offer booster shots if needed, but provided no firm plan or timeline.

The first country to administer vaccine top-ups is Israel, which is boosting fully vaccinated people over the age of 60 with Pfizer-BioNTech. Israel decided to offer the booster due to Delta’s spread in the country.

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Pakes feels that Israel, because it’s a smaller country, has an ethical obligation to boost its over-60 population and share the data with the world to “better inform, not only the decision-making of other countries, but the ethical framing altogether of the global pandemic response in respect to vaccines.”

Israel has “a much better health system and data system than we do, so the things learned there are just critically important for global health decision making around the pandemic,” he said.

Neither the European Union nor the United States has approved boosters, but pharmaceutical companies are studying them.

Moderna said on Thursday it believes booster shots will be needed by the winter and claims its three vaccine candidates “induced robust antibody responses” against variants like Gamma, Beta and Delta.

Last week, Pfizer released a trial update that claimed its third dose generated virus-neutralizing antibodies against the Delta variant more than five times higher in younger people and more than 11 times higher in older people than from two doses.

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COVID-19 vaccines still provide strong protection against the variant, but countries like the United States have had to reintroduce policies for further protection against Delta. The CDC recently cited Delta’s surge for its updated advice that fully vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in areas with high transmission.

While U.S. officials say most of the cases are among the unvaccinated, recent studies show the virus has infected those who are fully vaccinated — described as breakthrough cases. A recent CDC report suggested Delta could be as contagious as chickenpox.

For Bowman, Canada needs to think about the decisions it makes.

“Look, this story is not over yet and we need to live with this moral legacy as well of the decisions we make and the decisions we make as a nation will define who we are,” he said.

“This is a very critical point we’re at — I think it’s important we get this right ethically as well as scientifically.”

— with files from Global News’ Jamie Mauracher

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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