Connect with us


Air Quality Alerts, CNG Buses & Red Deer’s Transportation Plan


3 minute read

1:12 pm – A video surveillance system for Innisfail’s new RV Sanitary Dump Station has been ordered and will be installed in the next several weeks. Find out what else happened at Innisfail’s Council Meeting this week.

For more local news, click here!

12:54 pm – Due to wildfires burning in British Columbia, air quality is expected to be variable across much of the Central Zone of Alberta Health Services (AHS) over the coming days and potentially, weeks. This means a precautionary air quality advisory for the Central Zone. Details Here.

12:47 pm – Lacombe’s Police Chief says “the majority of people who attended acted responsibly” during the City’s recent Canada Day celebrations on July 1st where Police checkstops took place. Results Here.

12:22 pm – The Laura Avenue Extension project in Red Deer County remains on schedule. Here is the latest update.

For more local news, click here!

12:00 pm – Red Deer Transit rolled out it’s new compressed natural gas buses following a celebration at the Civic Yards this morning. Read More.

11:48 am – Thanks to the cooler temperatures and recent precipitation, Lacombe County has lifted its Fire Advisory. Fire permits are still required for all outdoor fires, excluding fires used for cooking or warming purposes and burning barrels. Read More.

11:39 am – Co-op is giving a boost to three local organizations that are creating new opportunities and experiences for central Alberta residents. The Innisfail Public Library, Blackfalds District Agriculture Society and Medicine River Wildlife Centre in Spruce View have all received donations through Co-op Community Spaces, a funding program supporting recreation, environmental conservation and urban agriculture projects. The Innisfail Public Library will receive $25,000 for a new Community Garden. The Blackfalds District Agriculture Society will receive $25,500 for a scenic rest area next to the Wadey Visitor Services Centre and Medicine River Wildlife Centre will receive $133,000 for a Wildlife Home Playground.

For more local news, click here!

11:26 am – Avoid traffic delays by knowing where Red Deer’s road closures are. Details Here.

11:15 am – Red Deer’s new multimodal transportation plan is moving forward. “Moving Red Deer Forward” charts the course for the future of driving, walking, cycling and transit in Red Deer. Read More.

9:37 am – Meteorologists with Environment Canada have issued special Air Quality Alerts for many parts of Alberta’S west country, including the Nordegg, Rocky – Caroline, Rimbey, Pigeon Lake, Devon and Drayton Valley regions among others. Details Here.

For more local news, click here!

Top Story CP

Canada agrees to take part in WTO talks to waive patent protections on vaccines

Published on

WASHINGTON — Canada’s international trade minister says the federal government will take part in talks to waive the global rules that protect vaccine trade secrets.

Mary Ng made the announcement today in the House of Commons. 

The move puts Canada squarely onside with the United States, which surprised and delighted progressive anti-poverty groups Wednesday when it agreed to the negotiations. 

In theory, a waiver would make it easier for developing countries to import the expertise, equipment and ingredients necessary to make their own vaccines. 

The pharmaceutical industry says a waiver won’t have the desired effect and would undermine the development of innovative drugs. 

Other medical experts say a waiver would take too long, and the developed world should focus instead on ramping up existing production. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021. 

The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

Top Story CP

Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Published on

Herd immunity may not be reached in Canada but a return to life similar to that before COVID-19 is possible through immunization, experts say.

Such immunity is achieved when enough people are immune to a virus, either through vaccinations or natural infections or a combination of both.

Prof. Paul Tupper of Simon Fraser University’s mathematics department said herd immunity is unlikely to happen with COVID-19 for a few reasons.

The virus is being transmitted worldwide, which means it is reintroduced in different places across borders and immunity through vaccination and infection doesn’t last permanently. The vaccines don’t seem to be completely effective against some of the new variants, he said.

“So, I think what is more likely to happen is that we end up in a situation like we have with seasonal flu,” Tupper said.

“We have to live with the flu, and I think something similar is going to happen with COVID.”

The level of immunity among the population also changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains, he said.

Sarah Otto, a University of British Columbia professor, said the disease’s reproductive rate is hard to pinpoint, which makes it difficult to establish a herd immunity target. Otto is an expert on the mathematical models of pandemic growth and control in the university’s zoology department.

The reproductive rate is the number of additional people infected by a single person with COVID-19, which has also changed because of the variants, she said.

Canada might also fall short of herd immunity because people can still get infected after vaccination, even if they are less likely to develop symptoms, she said.

“We don’t yet know how effective vaccines are at reducing transmission from person to person and that matters a lot,” Otto said.

Vaccinated people are getting fewer infections but those who do can still suffer severe symptoms, she said

“Before the pandemic, we didn’t have working vaccines for coronaviruses, so we don’t know exactly what the outcomes are going to be. It’s very unusual to have a disease with such wildly differing outcomes, with asymptomatic individuals and severely affected long haulers. How are vaccines going to change that mix? We don’t really know why the severe cases are so severe.”

Tupper said public health guidelines will change as more people get vaccinated.

“But the goal of eradicating COVID just does not appear to be realistic.”

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto, said vaccines can significantly reduce transmission rates, regardless of whether Canada reaches herd immunity.

“Some communities might have no transmission while other communities, even within the same province, might have some low levels of transmission and it’s all based on vaccine status,” he said.

“But regardless, we will achieve very, very low rates of transmission in our communities because of vaccination.”

Community level immunity is when a virus is not completely eliminated, he said.

“There may be some transmission of COVID-19 but sporadically with small outbreaks or with low levels of transmission, while most people are largely unaffected due to widespread vaccination.”

It had been suggested that herd immunity could be reached when about 70 per cent of the population is vaccinated, but now researchers don’t know what level of protection is required because of the variants.

Otto said there are more questions than answers at this point.

“With every partial answer we get two or three more questions. These are hard and tricky issues and I wish we were less uncertain, but that is the truth of the matter.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021.

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

may, 2021

tue04may(may 4)4:57 pmwed30jun(jun 30)12:00 pmMove Your Mood Family Challenge (June)4:57 pm - (june 30) 12:00 pm