Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister leaves the convention centre after getting a COVID-19 vaccination from Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, in Winnipeg on April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister leaves the convention centre after getting a COVID-19 vaccination from Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, in Winnipeg on April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Military deployed to help Manitoba; Trudeau supports search for COVID-19 origin

The military help was requested last week as the province posted the highest daily case numbers, per capita, in the country

Members of the military are being deployed to Manitoba where surging COVID-19 cases have overwhelmed the health-care system, while the prime minister has put his support behind international efforts to understand how the global pandemic began.

“I know there are a lot of theories out there but we need to make sure we are getting to a full and complete airing of the facts to actually understand what happened,” Justin Trudeau said Thursday.

United States President Joe Biden ordered intelligence officials there Wednesday to redouble efforts to investigate the origins of COVID-19, including any possibility the trail might lead to a Chinese laboratory.

Trudeau said these efforts will not only ensure accountability but could also provide insight into how to protect the world from future pandemics.

Meanwhile, military members are arriving in Manitoba for a four-week mission in Manitoba, where public health orders have been extended to tackle high case numbers.

The province’s intensive-care units are so full that 23 critical patients have been transferred to Ontario for treatment.

“We are not in a position to reopen,” said Premier Brian Pallister.

The military help was requested last week as the province posted the highest daily case numbers, per capita, in the country.

There were 295 more cases and eight additional deaths reported in Manitoba Thursday.

Health officials across the country continued to urge people to get vaccinated so restrictions can be lifted.

Some provinces are also dealing with thousands of doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that are due to expire in a few days.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu has written to provincial and territorial leaders encouraging them not to waste the doses and share with each other when they can.

It’s not clear how many doses are at risk of going to waste, but Ontario is scrambling to use some 45,000 AstraZeneca shots by the end of May, with another 10,000 set to expire in June.

Hajdu has offered federal support to help transfer doses between provinces.

Quebec officials announced that the province will shorten the delay between first and second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to eight weeks from 16 weeks. Second doses are to start being administered at walk-in clinics on May 29.

The province has 148,100 doses of AstraZeneca in stock.

Quebec reported 436 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 more deaths as the number of hospitalizations continued to drop.

Elsewhere, Ontario announced 1,135 new cases and 19 more deaths linked to the virus, as Premier Doug Ford mulled whether to reopen schools.

Ford said he has written to experts and education stakeholders asking for input on whether it’s safe to have children back in classrooms.

Schools have been shut in Ontario since April amid a devastating third wave. But infections there have been steadily declining in recent weeksas more people get vaccinated.

A new report from Statistics Canada found that more people are getting on board with getting a shot.

The report, based on data collected by the Canadian Community Health Survey, found in January and February of this year that 82 per cent of Canadians aged 12 and older said they were somewhat or very likely to get the vaccine.

That was slightly up from 80 per cent at the end of last year.

The increase was largely seen in people aged 35 to 49 — up to 88 per cent from 77 per cent.

Vaccine willingness was highest in Newfoundland and Labrador and British Columbia.

CoronavirusJustin Trudeau

Just Posted

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

The Food Recovery Program has pivoted to more meal production during this pandemic year. Submitted file
Kimberley Food Recovery Program producing more meals during pandemic

This past Monday, June 14, Shannon Grey-Duncan from the Kimberley Food Recovery… Continue reading

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

Local environmental group Mainstreams conducting more work along the banks of Mark Creek. Paul Rodgers photos.
WATCH: Mainstreams continues riparian and aesthetic enhancement project along Mark Creek

Local environmental organization Mainstreams was back along the banks of Mark Creek… Continue reading

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read