More booster shots
Ontario’s chief medical officer of health is expected to announce that those between the ages of 18 and 59 will be offered a second booster shot against COVID-19.
Doctor Kieran Moore is scheduled to speak to the media today.
He’s also expected to announce further supplies of rapid antigen testing kits.
The province was planning to end their distribution at the end of this month.
The expansion of the booster shot program comes as Ontario endures the seventh wave of COVID-19, driven largely by more-infectious sub-variants of the Omicron strain.
Interest rates go up today
The Bank of Canada is expected to increase its trend-setting rate by another three-quarter of a percentage point today, the largest single hike since 1998.
It’s already raised interest rates by a full percentage point this year, as it tries to stifle a sharp increase in inflation.
The national inflation rate reached 7.7 percent in May, the highest since 1983.
The central bank’s move is expected to put more pressure on consumer lending rates, especially mortgages.
Health care focus of premiers’ table
The premiers and territorial leaders have wrapped up their annual meeting with a call on the
federal government to boost their share of health care costs.
The premiers say Ottawa’s share of the health care bill has fallen to 22 percent.
They want it increased to 35 percent, a move which would cost another 28 billion dollars a year.
The federal Liberals say they are willing to talk but add the premiers fail to take into account the billions of dollars in one-off payments that have been made.
Here in Ontario, the Liberals and the New Democrats say the Ford government must take more responsibility for our province’s health care.
They note Ontario spends less, per capita, on health care than other provinces.
Rogers and the C-R-T-C
Canada’s telecommunications regulator is giving Rogers Communications ten days to provide details on how and why its system suffered a complete shutdown last Friday.
C-R-T-C chair Ian Scott says events like this, which can paralyze the economy and jeopardize the safety of Canadians, are unacceptable.
Once it receives a satisfactory response from Rogers, Scott says the agency will determine what additional measures need to be taken to boost the reliability of the internet, phone, and TV services across the country.
Federal Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has already ordered telecom companies to come up with a plan to ensure the disruption caused by the outage doesn’t happen again.
Champagne is giving them 60 days to plan for emergency roaming for cellphones, assistance to each other in case of network problems, and improvements to the way subscribers are told of problems.
An estimated 10 million people were affected by the Rogers blackout.
Russia prepping for Donetsk
Ukrainian officials in the eastern province of Donetsk are reporting a heavy buildup of Russian forces, in preparation for a renewed offensive in the area.
Russia took control of Luhansk (loo-HANSK) province last week, as it seeks to occupy the entire Donbas region where Russian-backed rebels have been operating for the past eight years.
Meantime, the death toll from a Russian strike on an apartment complex in eastern Ukraine has reached 45.