May 17th, 2024

In the news today: Ottawa adds $36 million to vaccine fund

By The Canadian Press on April 24, 2024.

A person draws out Moderna vaccine at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ont., on Sunday Jan. 2, 2022. The federal government is putting another $36 million toward a program to compensate people who were seriously injured or killed by vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

Here is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to bring you up to speed on what you need to know today…

Ottawa adds $36M to vaccine injury fund

The federal government is putting another $36 million toward a program to compensate people who were seriously injured or killed by vaccines.

The new funding was announced as part of the federal budget tabled in the House of Commons last week.

It was first launched at the end of 2020, shortly after COVID-19 vaccines first became available.

As of December, 138 claims have been approved for compensation by a medical review board and $11 million in compensation has been paid to people outside of Quebec.

Health Canada says the chance of someone having a serious adverse reaction to an approved vaccine is less than one in a million.

Here’s what else we’re watching…

Don’t talk about bail, lawyers urge politicians

A Canadian civil liberties advocate says an innocent man could have spent years in jail had a judge not granted him bail.

A jury found Umar Zameer not guilty Sunday in the death of Toronto police Const. Jeffrey Northrup, who was run over in an underground parking garage in July 2021.

Zameer was granted bail some months later – a decision that drew public criticism from Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who at the time called his release “beyond comprehension” and “completely unacceptable.”

Shakir Rahim, who directs the criminal justice program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, says Zameer’s case underscores why bail is “essential” to protect Canadians, even those charged with the most serious of crimes.

Following those prior remarks from Ford and former Toronto mayor John Tory, lawyers warn the Zameer case highlights the risks of political leaders weighing in on bail decisions.

Poll suggests latest Liberal budget is unpopular

Despite broad support for a plan to build millions of houses, a new poll suggests the federal Liberal government isn’t winning over voters with its latest budget.

Just under half the respondents to Leger’s latest survey said they had a negative opinion of the federal budget, which was presented last Tuesday.

However, 65 per cent of those surveyed said the plan to spend $8.5 billion on housing, aimed at building 3.9 million homes by 2031, is good for the country.

People in Alberta were most likely to say they had a very negative impression of the Trudeau government’s financial blueprint, with 42 per cent expressing that opinion compared to 25 per cent across the rest of Canada.

LGBTQ rallies to be held across Canada

Organizations across Canada are preparing for what they call the largest LGBTQ+ mobilization since the push for marriage equality.

In partnership with other organizations, the Society of Queer Momentum is pushing for all levels of government to respond to a series of calls to action that include funding for LGBTQ+ social supports and programs.

During what has been dubbed the Rainbow Week of Action, rallies will take place in Toronto on May 16, and in cities including Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa on May 17.

More events are set for other cities and communities.

Uninspected meat in Calgary poses health risk: AHS

Alberta Health Services is warning about a “significant health risk” associated with uninspected meat products purchased from eight Calgary food businesses.

The businesses are Alta Halal Meat, Bismillah Meat and Grocery, Madina Halal Meat and Grocery, Maher Fresh Halal Meat, Mediterranean Halal Meats and Deli, Mustafa Madani Halal Meat and Grocery, Shawdesi Bazaar, and Shawdesi Foods and Catering.

AHS says customers who bought meat or products containing meat from the businesses should dispose of the products, including leftovers from any meals eaten there.

Customers are also being told to watch for symptoms of gastrointestinal bacterial infection, such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

Celebrated ‘giraffologist’ Anne Innis Dagg dies

The daughter of Anne Innis Dagg — a leading expert on giraffes and a staunch advocate for gender equality — says her mother was an inspiration to women in science and academia.

Innis Dagg died on April 1st at age 91, after decades of studying giraffes and other animals, and fighting for women’s rights.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based zoologist was said to be the first western scientist to study giraffes in the wild.

She made that trip to South Africa in the 1950s when she was just 23 years old and had no financial backing from a university.

Innis Dagg later worked as an assistant professor at the University of Guelph but faced sexist discrimination in academia and was denied tenure.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 24, 2024.

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