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

Alberta premier Jason Kenney announced the province's reopening plan late last month and moved into Stage 1 of that plan Tuesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

Stettler town hall
Town approves Canada Day fireworks show, using phase two health restrictions

The funding for the fireworks show has already been allocated

Castor Evangelical Missionary Church Pastor Brent Siemens, celebrating five years in Castor, reflects on the journey that brought him to the community. Kevin J. Sabo photo
Castor pastor celebrates five years of serving the community

Brent Siemens is the pastor of Castor’s Evangelical Missionary Church

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

COVID-related trash is washing up on shorelines across the world, including Coldstream’s Kal Beach, as pictured in this May 2021 photograph. (Jennifer Smith - Black Press)
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

Three calves were recently shot dead in Lacombe County near Mirror. (Photo from Facebook)
Calves shot and left for dead in central Alberta

Bashaw RCMP investigating three shootings

Most Read