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

A concept rendering of the proposed seven-unit, two-storey development at 1129 Riverside Ave. in Sicamous. (District of Sicamous graphic)
Proposed luxury development in Sicamous sparks parking concerns

Seven-unit commercial-residential building planned for Riverside Avenue

The Shaw Centre and the SASCU Recreation Centre are the two largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions on City of Salmon Arm properties. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
City of Salmon staff surprised COVID not cause of drop in greenhouse gas emissions

2020 sees emissions on city-owned properties decrease well below 2019 totals

Shuswap Litas and Son of Stomp head out from uptown Askew’s parking lot on Thursday, June 10, some with teddy bears and stuffies, to ride to Pierre’s Point by Adams Lake community hall to show their support for band members in the wake of the confirmation of 215 children buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap bike clubs ride to support Indigenous communities

Motorcyclists go to Pierre’s Point in solidarity with bands in wake of residential school findings

Interior Health is offering mobile vaccination clinics for the first dose only of COVID-19 vaccine in the Shuswap from June 15 to June 19h. (Interior Health image)
First-dose vaccinations for COVID-19 offered via mobile clinics in Shuswap

Clinic in Salmon Arm scheduled for June 15, other clinics in Sorrento, Malakwa, Chase

The price per litre of regular gasoline was at 145.9 cents at several gas stations in downtown Salmon Arm on June 11, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)
Gas prices pumped up in Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Price spikes from 131.9 to as high as 145.9 cents per litre

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a summary of this week’s biggest stories from the Okanagan-Shuswap

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Police identify South Okanagan homicide victim as 57-year-old Naramata woman

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna General Hospital clinicians observe increase in e-scooter injuries

A report is set to go to city council next week on how the e-scooter pilot has gone thus far

Fair-goers take a ride at the 120th annual Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2019. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)
Armstrong’s IPE not eligible for COVID-19 grant designed for major attractions

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo criticized the rigidity of the provincial program’s criteria

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Most Read