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LILLEY: With friends like Joe Biden, Canada doesn’t need enemies

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If last week’s trip to Washington by the Trudeau government was a success, I’d hate to see what they consider a failure. Since returning from the U.S. capital the Americans have banned P.E.I. potatoes, doubled the duty on softwood lumber and passed the legislation Trudeau wanted to stop, through the House.

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“Farmers, foresters, factory workers all being failed by the Liberal government,” said Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole in the Commons on Thursday.

O’Toole has the right assessment. The Trudeau government failed in Washington and is failing Canadian workers.

Despite the facts in front of them, the Liberals think things are going great.

“We can say it’s a success,” Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said at the end of the Washington trip.

“Why?” she asked before answering her own question. “Because we tackled some big issue, including, obviously, climate change.”

She went on to describe other issues like the pandemic but didn’t mention any success on trade, probably because there wasn’t one.

President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better Act,” which contains a number of protectionist measures that will hurt Canada, very nearly passed while the Canadian delegation was still in Washington celebrating their success. Only a Republican filibuster stopped that from happening, meaning the bill passed the House on Friday instead of Thursday.

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That’s the bill that could decimate the Canadian auto industry. The Trudeau government was too late to the game to try and amend the bill and they don’t appear to have a plan for stopping it in the Senate.

On Monday, the Trudeau government sided with the Americans against P.E.I’s potato industry, banning the movement of spuds off the island. P.E.I. Premier Dennis King called the federal decision to stand with the American side in an ongoing dispute disappointing and devastating.

“At a time when we need our federal partners to stand up and support us, to stand up and support science to stand up and do what is right, they have chosen a different path,” King said.

Trudeau did raise the issue of potato warts from P.E.I. with President Biden but apparently came back to Canada and decided to give up the fight. Previously, the Canadian position was that P.E.I. potatoes posed no threat to the United States or anyone else, looks like Biden won that argument and 5,000 workers are now wondering what the future holds.

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The exports of potatoes from P.E.I. to the U.S. are measured in the hundreds of millions, said Premier King.

Again, how was this a successful trip to Washington?

If you believe that everything comes in threes then hopefully Wednesday’s move by the Biden administration to beat Canada up economically will be the last, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

The duty charged on Canadian softwood lumber entering the United States was hiked from 8.99% to 17.9%. The issue has dogged Canada-U.S. relations for years but after the Harper government reached an agreement with the Americans, there was peace for nearly a decade.

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The original 2006 agreement saw the Americans return $5 billion in duties to Canadian firms and provide consistent access. The deal was extended until 2015 but since it expired the Trudeau Liberals have had no success fixing things under three different presidents — Obama, Trump and Biden.

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“This is one of the easiest relationships you can have as an American President,” Biden said last week.

Did he say that because we’re a pushover?

When Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline at the beginning of his presidency, officials in his administration were shocked that the reaction from the Trudeau government was so muted. Now the Americans are savaging our auto industry, potato industry and lumber industry and the reaction is equally muted.

It’s time for Trudeau to get serious and get tough with our supposed “friend” in Washington.

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Covid-19: International travellers landing in Lucknow to undergo 8-day mandatory home quarantine | Lucknow News

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LUCKNOW: All the international travellers coming to Lucknow from Monday onward will have to quarantine themselves at home for eight days.
Furthermore, all international and domestic passengers arriving at the Chaudhary Charan Singh airport will have to undergo mandatory but free RT-PCR testing now.
Domestic passengers will be screened first and will be tested if found symptomatic for Covid-19 infection. Besides, random sampling among domestic passengers will be done at the airport.
These orders were issued by district magistrate Abhishek Prakash on Sunday to check the spread of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, which has been declared a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organisation.
The DM said that the Integrated Covid Command and Control Centre (ICCC) will constantly remain in touch with these travellers through phone calls during the isolation period.
After eight days, these travellers will be tested again through the RT-PCR method. The quarantine period will be over, if the test report comes negative, but in case of a positive result, they will either be hospitalised or will have to be in home isolation for 10 more days.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Manoj Agarwal said that health department teams will also visit houses of those in self isolation to check whether they are following the norm or not.
The DM order also said that all the flyers, both domestic and international, will have to declare their 15-day travel history at the airport. “The names, address and phone numbers of all the travellers will also be noted at the airport itself so that ICCC can keep track of their status in future,” he said.
The DM said that about 1,800 international and 4,500 domestic travellers arrive daily at the airport. These travellers come from different places, including Mumbai, Hyderabad, Goa, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Dubai, Sharjah, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Jordan, Kuwait and Jeddah.
Samples of those testing positive, domestic or international travellers, will be sent for genome sequencing.
All major hospitals in the city have been asked by the health department to get the RT-PCR test done of all the patients who have recent international travel history.

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55 fully vaccinated inmates of Thane old age home test COVID-19 positive along with 7 others- The New Indian Express

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THANE: Fifty-five fully vaccinated inmates of an old age home in Maharashtra’s Thane district and seven others have tested positive for coronavirus and all of them have been admitted to a civil hospital here, officials said on Sunday.

Of the seven others, five are employees of the old age home and two others are their family members, including a one-and-a-half-year-old girl, they said.

Following this, the district administration has declared Sorgaon village in Bhiwandi tehsil, where the facility is located, as a containment zone.

“After complaints of ill-health by a couple of inmates, a team of doctors had on Saturday tested 109 persons at the ‘Matoshree’ old age home located at Khadavali,” district health officer Dr Manish Renge told PTI.

Out of them, the results of 61 came out positive, he said, adding that another inmate had tested positive for the viral infection on Friday. “All of them have been admitted to the Thane Civil Hospital for treatment,” he said.

The district administration said in a statement that out of the total 62 persons – 37 males and 25 females – who have tested positive, 55 are inmates of the old age home, all of them above 60 years of age, five are its staff members and two others are the family members of these employees.

“The two infected family members of the employees are a one-and-a-half-year-old girl and a pregnant woman,” it said.

Out of all the patients, 41 are suffering from co-morbidities, it said, adding that of the total number of infected persons, 30 are asymptomatic.

Five other suspected patients from the old age home have also been admitted to the hospital, the district administration said.

“All the 55 inmates have already taken two jabs and four employees are also full vaccinated. Only one patient has not taken even a single dose so far,” it said, adding that the samples of 15 patients have been sent for genome sequencing.

Sorgaon village, which has a population of 1,130 with 343 houses, has been declared as a containment zone and other local residents are also being surveyed, it said.

The district administration is keeping a tab on the health of the patients and taking due steps to check further spread of the infection, Dr Renge said.

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India revises Covid-19 guidelines for international arrivals amid Omicron fears

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Union Health Ministry revised guidelines for international arrivals in India on Sunday to be effective from December 1 amid the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant termed Omicron. The revised guidelines mandate submitting 14 days’ travel details and uploading a negative RT-PCR test report on the Air Suvidha portal before the journey.

All travelers will need to submit a self-declaration form before the scheduled travel under the new guidelines, including details of the last 14 days of travel. Travelers will also need to upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report 72 hours before undertaking any journey.

“The existing guidelines have been revised in view of reporting of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.1.529; named Omicron) which has been now classified as Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization,” the Health Ministry said.

Passengers coming from ‘at-risk’ countries will have to undergo RT-PCR testing on arrival in India now.

If tested negative, they’ll follow home quarantine for seven days. Re-test will take place on the 8th day, which if negative, further self-monitoring will happen for next seven days.

A sub-section (5% of total flight passengers) will undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport on arrival.

The Health Ministry has classified countries in Europe, including UK, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Israel as ‘at-risk’.

Earlier today, the central government said it would review the resumption of scheduled international commercial flights.

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