We can hear you knocking on the door, but you can’t get in, says Canada, as it continues to lock its land border with the United States for at least a month.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the time is not yet right during the pandemic to ease restrictions at the 5,400-mile border.
Despite protests from U.S. senators at the border, including New York’s Chuck Schumer, Trudeau said the border, closed for a year, would remain closed to non-essential travel until at least June 21.
Any decision to reopen the land border would depend on vaccination rates, while people arriving by air would require negative COVID-19 tests and a period of quarantine.
Meanwhile, three of Canada’s largest provinces – Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan – have started to ease restrictions and restart the economy.
And Manitoba will reopen schools on Monday with all classroom learning and no virtual home study.
The provinces will reopen in stages starting this weekend with outdoor activities including sports and golf, as well as canoeing and outdoor tours.
Major-General Fortin accused of sexual misconduct
The reason for Major-General Dany Fortin’s sudden departure to lead the vaccine deployment in Canada was an allegation of sexual misconduct, according to media reports.
Reports say the alleged incident happened 33 years ago, while Fortin was attending Royal Military College Quebec. The military is investigating the complaint and will decide whether criminal charges should be laid.
Prime Minister Trudeau said he was briefed on the situation “a few weeks ago” but had little information as it was a military investigation.
Through a lawyer, Fortin said he “vigorously and categorically denies this allegation.”
Her work is now carried out by Brigadier-General Krista Brodie.
News in brief
• Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared that Quebec has the right to amend the Canadian Constitution to support its French language and heritage. The province has proposed a reform of language law to affirm that Quebec is a nation and that its official language is French. Trudeau said both things “have already been recognized by the federal government.”
• Canada is toughening mortgage testing requirements over fears that homeowners are piling up too much debt. The Bank of Canada said many households have taken out large mortgages relative to their income, “limiting their flexibility to deal with an unforeseen financial shock like the loss of a job.” Total household debt has increased 4% since the start of the pandemic. The percentage of expensive loans of more than 4.5 times a household’s income has surpassed highs recorded five years ago, the bank said.
Facts and figures
• The Canadian dollar is stable at its higher rate of 83 cents against the US dollar which returns $ 1.21 in Canadian dollars before exchange fees.
• The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is 0.25%, while the prime interest rate is 2.45%.
• Canadian equity markets are higher, with the Toronto Index at 19,525 points and the TSX Venture Index at 946 points.
• The average price of gasoline in Canada can be as high as $ 1.31 per liter (Canadian) or $ 4.97 per US gallon.
• Lotto Max: (May 18) 5, 9, 18, 27, 32, 38 and 40; prime 34. (May 14) 3, 18, 19, 24, 26, 27 and 45; bonus 20.
• Lotto 6/49: (May 19) 12, 21, 25, 40, 42 and 49; bonus 45. (May 15) 3, 6, 12, 28, 39 and 46; bonus 5.
• The magic has faded a bit as all 18 Disney stores in Canada close this summer. They’ve been in business for 30 years, but the company said it had to close 60 stores in Canada and the United States to “dramatically reduce its physical footprint.” Canadian stores are in Ontario, with five in Toronto, Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba. Online shopping is still available and merchandise at other retailers and theme parks.
• The Prince Edward Island Lung Association is hoping smokers will take the bait and trade their cigarettes for lobster as part of its annual Smoke Free Now Challenge. Smokers must register to not smoke for one month until June 22. The prize is a $ 30 lobster or other seafood gift card, said Julia Hartley of the association.
Jim Fox can be reached at [email protected].