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Despite supply issues, Canada ‘doing pretty good’ on vaccine roll out: professor

If Dr. Noni MacDonald were to grade the federal government on its COVID-19 vaccine roll-out so far, she would offer a “solid B, if not a B-plus.”

“Given what we have to deal with … our provincial/territorial responsibility for health [and] our relatively small population for our huge geography, I think we’re doing pretty good,” said MacDonald.

She is the pediatrics professor at Dalhousie University’s School of Medicine and a founding member of the World Health Organization’s global advisory committee on vaccine safety.

With vaccine shipments from both Pfizer and Moderna delayed in recent weeks, the Trudeau government has faced criticism for its procurement and distribution process.

Pfizer didn’t ship vaccine vials to Canada this past week, citing delays as it retools production of its COVID-19 vaccine in Belgium. Moderna announced Friday it expects to ship 20 to 25 per cent less product than scheduled through the month of February. European countries have also faced delays receiving vaccines from both companies.

Data collated by the University of Oxford-based publication Our World in Data now puts Canada behind roughly two dozen countries in terms of the number of vaccination doses administered per 100 people. Canada lags behind countries including Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as Bahrain and Serbia.

Just over 950,000 doses have been administered across Canada as of Jan. 30., according to CBC’s vaccine tracker.

Moderna says vaccine shipments to Canada will be cut in February, just as Pfizer has changed its delivery schedule. We look at how provinces are taking the bad news. 2:00

For Conservative and Opposition leader Erin O’Toole, the delays signal a need for greater clarity on the federal government’s procurement plan and contracts.

“We need transparency on when people can expect to be vaccinated, which groups will be vaccinated first, how quickly we can get them out,” he told Power and Politics host Vassy Kapelos. 

Speaking on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that fluctuations in vaccine shipments are to be expected as global production builds, and that both Pfizer and Moderna will ship a total of six million doses by the end of March.

Geography and bureaucracy

Delays and a short supply of COVID-19 vaccines, MacDonald says, only tell part of the story of why Canada lags behind other countries.

The physical size of this country makes delivering vaccines to all regions a challenge. While getting vaccines to Hamilton from Toronto — a 70 km drive — is simple, transporting them to rural parts of the country is less straightforward.

“In Nova Scotia where I live, we have just under a million [in] population. We have one very, very big urban centre [and] one moderately big urban centre, but that only has about half the population of the province,” she told Cross Country Checkup.

The rest of the population, she says, is scattered across a large area, making vaccine delivery a challenge.

Canada has other vaccines in line for approval — how they compare to the ones already being rolled out and how COVID-19 variants are a complicating factor. 2:03

Israel and the United Kingdom, which top the global list of vaccine doses given, are a fraction of the size and more densely populated, making it easier to deliver and administer shots, MacDonald argues.

Provincial and territorial responsibility for health care requiring each jurisdiction to develop its own plan, as well as the lack of a national patient data system to track those who have received the shot or are most at risk, are also responsible for some of the hiccups.

“The plan that’s going to work in P.E.I. is not going to work in Ontario,” said MacDonald, adding that both Israel and the U.K. have one integrated health system responsible for their campaigns.

On par with France, Germany

MacDonald believes that compared to other countries and jurisdictions, Canada has made smart decisions in its vaccine roll out, particularly when it comes to assessing who is eligible.

Provinces and territories have prioritized those most at risk to be among the first vaccinated, typically focusing on age, occupation and health status.

And despite the country’s vast geography, Canada is on par with smaller countries like Germany, Sweden and France. “You’d think they’d be doing better than we are,” MacDonald said.

Going forward, the Dalhousie professor believes that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to close some gaps when it comes to who oversees health care.

“I actually think this has shown us how important public health and immunization are to the well-being of our country,” she said. 

“Perhaps there needs to be federal legislation that says that immunization should be co-ordinated nationally and public health should be co-ordinated nationally.” 


Written by Jason Vermes with files from Collins Maina.

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CBC | Health News

‘Good riddance,’ China says to German envoy making U.N. pitch to release 2 Michaels

Germany’s U.N. envoy, during his last scheduled U.N. Security Council meeting, appealed to China to free two detained Canadians for Christmas, prompting China’s deputy U.N. envoy to respond: “Out of the bottom of my heart: Good riddance.”

Germany finishes a two-year term on the 15-member council at the end of this month and Ambassador Christoph Heusgen plans to retire after more than 40 years as a diplomat.

“Let me end my tenure on the Security Council by appealing to my Chinese colleagues to ask Beijing for the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. Christmas is the right moment for such a gesture,” Heusgen told the council session, whose official agenda topic was Iran.

Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat who was working as an adviser for the International Crisis Group think tank, and businessman Spavor were detained by Beijing in 2018 shortly after Canadian police picked up Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. warrant.

China’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Geng Shuang, accused Heusgen of abusing the Security Council to launch “malicious” attacks on other members “in an attempt to poison the working atmosphere.”

Parting advice to Russia on Navalny

“I wish to say something out of the bottom of my heart: Good riddance, Ambassador Heusgen,” Geng said. “I am hoping that the council in your absence in the year 2021 will be in a better position to fulfill the responsibilities…for maintaining international peace and security.”

Heusgen also used the Security Council meeting to advise Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Dmitry Polyanskiy, to read certain articles about Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who said he had tricked a Russian secret agent into disclosing details of a botched plot to kill him. Russia’s FSB security service dismissed the recording as a fake.

Polyanskiy replied: “It seems he’s developed a certain dependency on the council, there’s never a meeting without criticism of Russia even if that’s not suitable for the subject matter. I hope that after Jan. 1 that Christoph’s symptoms will improve.” 

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CBC | World News

Messi matches Pele goal haul, making good on header in draw with Valencia

Lionel Messi reached another personal scoring milestone in Barcelona’s 2-2 draw with Valencia in the Spanish league on Saturday.

Messi’s 643rd career goal for Barcelona since his 2004 debut matched Pele’s tally for Santos accumulated from 1957-74. Messi is Barcelona’s and the Spanish league’s all-time leading scorer.

The latest setback by Barcelona left Ronald Koeman’s team in fifth place and eight points adrift of league leader Atletico Madrid, which got two goals by Luis Suarez to help beat Elche 3-1.

Messi cancelled out Mouctar Diakhaby’s opener for Valencia when he scored in first half injury time moments after Jaume Domenech saved his penalty shot. Jordi Alba recovered the rebound of Domenech’s save and crossed it to the far post where Messi headed it in.

Central defender Ronald Araujo scored his first career goal for Barcelona with an acrobatic kick to put the hosts ahead at Camp Nou in the 53rd.

But Jose Gaya set up Maxi Gomez to hit back for Valencia in the 69th and split the points.

The match featured two young Americans who started for both sides. Sergino Dest, 20, played the full match as Barcelona’s right back, while 18-year-old Yunus Musah had to be substituted in the first half after the Valencia right back appeared to injury a leg. He walked off gingerly.


Suarez strikes after recent bout with virus

Suarez’s goals were his first since he returned to action recently following his coronavirus infection.

Suarez’s double ensured Atletico bounced back from losing to Real Madrid 2-0, its first defeat in the competition since February.

The Uruguay striker’s seven goals make him joint top scorer of the league along with Sociedad’s Mikel Oyarzabal and Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas.

Suarez isn’t the dominant scorer he was at Barcelona before changing clubs this summer, but he is still a world-class finisher when his teammates get him the ball in scoring position.

Costa makes impact in injury return

He put the hosts ahead in the 41st minute with a subtle touch to roll a long pass by Kieran Trippier past on-rushing goalkeeper Edgar Badia.

Suarez added the second in the 58th when he slid to sweep home a low ball sent to the far post by Yannick Carrasco.

Lucas Boye got one back for Elche with a header in the 64th and drew a one-handed save from Jan Oblak minutes later.

But substitute Diego Costa put the result beyond doubt when he earned and converted a penalty with 10 minutes remaining. It was Costa’s first appearance after missing seven games due to injury.

The league leaders moved three points clear of Real Sociedad and Real Madrid. Sociedad visits Levante later Saturday, while Madrid visits Eibar on Sunday.

Also later, fourth-placed Villarreal is at Osasuna, while Sevilla faces Valladolid.

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CBC | Soccer News

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Launches Dec. 2, but Good Luck Getting One

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Nvidia launched its new RTX 3000-series video cards this fall, not that you’ve probably ever seen one in stores. Resellers managed to buy up almost every RTX 3080 and RTX 3070. Now, Nvidia is releasing a new, less expensive 3000-series card. The RTX 3060 Ti goes on sale tomorrow for a mere $ 399—it might even be affordable after the obscene reseller markup! 

As with the other 3000-series cards, the 3060 Ti will begin life as a Founders Edition Nvidia card. It looks almost identical to the current 3070, but the casing is a slightly lighter shade of gray. It has the same dual fan configuration and 12-pin power connector. Nvidia recommends at least 600W power supplies for the 3060 Ti. Like all of Nvidia’s other RTX 3000 cards, the 3060 Ti supports real-time ray tracing and DLSS support. 

That increased power draw is worth it. The RTX 3060 Ti is about 40 percent faster than its predecessor, the 2060 Super. In fact, it should even be a little faster than the RTX 2080 and 2080 Super. Nvidia didn’t give specific numbers, but it looks like a single-digit percentage advantage for the new card. For the record, the 2080 family of cards cost $ 700 to $ 800 at launch. So, the 3060 Ti is an improvement for about half the cost. 

Nvidia’s earlier RTX 3000 launches have been plagued by stock issues. Everyone knew the Founders Edition cards would be in short supply, but a small number of people used bots to automate checkouts, scoring dozens of cards. The units popped up for sale on eBay and Amazon at vastly inflated prices. Even after all these weeks, you can’t buy a 3000-series card for anything approaching retail price. 

We have no reason to expect the 3060 Ti launch will be any different. So, you’ll want to be on the Nvidia store page tomorrow (December 2) to have any hope of snagging one. Nvidia previously promised it would take measures to limit bots, but the bots have no doubt continued to evolve. Don’t be surprised if all the stock evaporates before you can even add a card to your cart. While Nvidia has acknowledged the availability issue, it has admitted that the shortage could persist well into 2021. There will be third-party versions of the 3060 Ti in the coming weeks, but they probably won’t be any easier to get.

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Parents welcome asymptomatic COVID-19 tests in schools, even if news isn’t always good

It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster weekend for Toronto father Yaser Nadaf, after Ontario’s new asymptomatic testing for schools in COVID-19 hot spots turned up 19 new positive cases at his children’s school.

While his daughter and her Grade 3 class were cleared to return to school on Monday, his son’s Grade 2 class must self-isolate for 14 days, even though the youngster himself was among those who tested negative.

The weekend’s testing blitz at Thorncliffe Park Public School — the first Toronto District School Board (TDSB) location selected for the voluntary testing pilot announced last week — saw 14 classes affected and sent home for two weeks. However, the rest of the school will remain open, according to direction from Toronto Public Health.

Nadaf is rolling with it, saying he believes teachers and staff have been trying their best to maintain health and safety precautions and protocols.

“What can we do? This is going on everywhere in the world,” he said. “They try their best, but at the same time they cannot prevent it completely.”

Testing asymptomatic students and staff is currently being offered at designated schools in Toronto, Peel and York regions and Ottawa — four Ontario regions with a high number of active COVID-19 cases.


Thorncliffe Park Public School was the first Toronto District School Board location selected to participate in a new voluntary asymptomatic testing program at schools in four COVID hot spots in Ontario. The testing found 19 positive cases, and 14 classes were sent home to self-isolate. (CBC)

The goal is to improve tracking of the coronavirus and prevent transmission within schools, as well as to inform future public health decisions. While parents and health experts seem to be applauding the pilot, some are also highlighting shortcomings in how it’s being rolled out.

Over the weekend, testing also began in Ottawa at Manordale Public School, part of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. Amber Mammoletti, an occasional teacher working at two schools this fall, dropped by on Sunday to be tested with her son, Flynn.

“I think there’s people walking around not realizing they have it — no symptoms — so it’s just better to keep everyone safe: Get tested if you can and see what happens,” she said.

WATCH | How testing helped Cornell University become a model of COVID-19 prevention:

At the start of the school year, Cornell University implemented a strategy of regular testing and robust contact tracing on campus. The plan was expensive, but it’s prevented any major COVID-19 outbreaks at the New York institution. 8:19

School boards are working with local public health authorities to determine which schools to target over the next four weeks, but the expectation is that new positives will undoubtedly emerge, TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird said.

“The 19 cases we’ve learned about over the weekend [at Thorncliffe Park PS] as a result of the testing is a concern, but it’s not unexpected,” he said Monday.

“While this information is concerning, it really is the information that our public health officials need to know, because it gives them a better snapshot of how many of those asymptomatic people are positive cases of COVID.”

Despite the batch of positive cases arising from this first weekend, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce reiterated his assertion that “99.9 per cent of Ontario students are COVID-free” during a press briefing on Monday afternoon.

Acknowledging that “we still have work to do” in tracking COVID-19 cases in communities, he characterized the new testing initiative as an extension of the existing safety measures his ministry had announced.

“The fact that hundreds of children, students and staff have gotten tested [at Thorncliffe Park PS] in conjunction with the local public health unit I think underscores that the plan in place is … working hard to mitigate any further spread: identifying COVID cases, isolating them or moving them from the school, so we don’t have spreaders within the school.” 

‘Canaries in the coal mine’

A targeted campaign of testing in schools — which in most neighbourhoods are considered trusted, known places — is a welcome tool that adds to the barometer of what’s happening in the communities they’re located in, said Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious diseases physician and assistant professor at McMaster University in Hamilton.

“Parents who may not be encouraged to go get tested in their local communities will readily take their kids to the school, which is a place they know,” he said.

“Things like this are going to be canaries in the coal mine. You kind of get a better sense of what’s happening in the community by doing these local testing strategies.”


Manordale Public School in Ottawa was also among the schools selected for the pilot project. Students and staff lined up on Sunday for testing. (CBC)

He added the caveat, however, that the type of test being used will likely cause more chaos for families and schools.

For the pilot, Ontario is using PCR testing, which detects the genetic material of a virus. Although considered the gold standard, it’s also so sensitive it would “pick up kids who are infectious, as well as kids who were infectious two, four, six weeks ago,” Chagla said.

He suggested that they could have chosen rapid antigen tests, which flag active infections by identifying proteins on the surface of infectious virus particles.

The rapid antigen tests may offer a more precise picture “of who is really a threat to the community versus who had COVID six weeks ago, where they’re not really a threat,” Chagla said.

WATCH | Nova Scotia offers rapid COVID-19 tests in Halifax for asymptomatic cases:

Health officials in Nova Scotia offered rapid COVID-19 testing in Halifax to reduce the virus’s spread in the province by catching asymptomatic cases. 2:01

Though Toronto parent Jessica Lyons welcomes the introduction of asymptomatic testing, she said it comes months late and should be offered more widely.

“This is desperately needed,” said the mother of two school-aged children and an organizer with the Ontario Parent Action Network.

“Much more testing in schools — to make it accessible, to make it easy for parents and families and students to do — is really essential. So we support this pilot, obviously, but we think that it should have come … weeks and weeks ago, and it needs to be expanded.”


PCR testing being used in the pilot project is considered the gold standard, but it’s also so sensitive it would ‘pick up kids who are infectious, as well as kids who were infectious two, four, six weeks ago,’ said Dr. Zain Chagla. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

Back in Thorncliffe Park, among the Toronto communities hardest hit by COVID-19 this year, parents in the neighbourhood expressed concern about the new positive cases found through the testing initiative. But they’re also adamant about one thing: their schools staying open.

Remote learning last spring was “really hard for kids. We’ve seen the mental stress on our child and other kids,” said Osamah Aldhad, father of a second grader who he said really missed being at school.

“When we were kids, you know, we used to run away from school,” Aldhad noted.

“Now they’re actually really wanting to go to school, which is really important for them.”

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CBC | Health News

New NHL jerseys: The good, the bad and the boring

This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports’ daily email newsletter. Stay up to speed on what’s happening in sports by subscribing here.

Here’s what you need to know right now from the world of sports:

Every NHL team unveiled a new jersey

These alternate sweaters are being marketed as a “Reverse Retro” collection that puts “modern twists” on teams’ throwback looks. Most of them are more or less fine. But a few stand out, for better or worse. Here’s a look at all 31 (no, the Seattle Kraken didn’t make one, but the three-year-old Vegas Golden Knights did):


And here are some quick reviews by me, a boringly-dressed white guy in his late 30s who is extremely unqualified to comment on fashion in any way:

Best

Carolina: It’s the Hartford Whalers’ home jersey. Enough said.

Colorado: The Quebec Nordiques’ jersey in Avalanche colours, basically. Magnifique.

Los Angeles: The Gretzky-era logo in purple and gold. Great combo.

Worst

Detroit: Looks like a practice jersey.

Buffalo: No one liked the swords-sans-animal logo when it first came out 20 years ago. Why would they now?

Pittsburgh: Ripping off the Rangers’ diagonal lettering (again) is uninspired, to say the least.

At least they went for it

Anaheim, Arizona: Say what you will about that “Wild Wing” cartoon character busting out of the ice, and that acid-trip coyote face. But, hey, they take us back to a simpler time.

Something is up

Chicago: Great pains were taken in the promotional materials to either obscure the current logo or not show it at all. Given that Chicago has recently made moves to reduce its use of Indigenous iconography, it’s fair to wonder whether a logo change is in the offing. If so, prepare for the ensuing culture war.

The NFL delivered again

Here’s some of the interesting stuff that happened on another entertaining Sunday:

The Cardinals won on a Hail M̶a̶r̶y Murray. It looked like the surprising Bills would improve to 8-2 when they went up by four on Arizona with only 34 seconds to play. But Cards QB Kyler Murray, who’s becoming a star in his second NFL season, advanced his team downfield for one final heave into the end zone in the dying seconds, and DeAndre Hopkins made the catch of the year to win it:


Chase Claypool scored two more touchdowns. The Canadian rookie receiver caught two TD passes in a 36-10 blowout of Cincinnati that raised Pittsburgh’s record to 9-0. Claypool now has an incredible nine touchdowns in nine NFL games for the league’s only unbeaten team.

Nick Chubb cost people a lot of money. With about a minute left and his Cleveland Browns leading Houston 10-7, Chubb broke away for what looked like would be a 61-yard touchdown run. But he unselfishly veered out of bounds at the 2-yard line, allowing Cleveland to kneel out the clock as the Texans had no timeouts left. Chubb’s move ensured victory for his team, but it dealt a bad beat to the many gamblers who had Cleveland at -3.5 or more, which was reportedly one of the heaviest-bet sides of the day.

The Saints may have lost Drew Brees for a while. The all-time-great QB left their win over San Francisco with what was reported today to be five fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. It’s unclear how long the 41-year-old will be out, but in the meantime New Orleans will have to make do with either mistake-prone backup QB Jameis Winston or Swiss Army knife Taysom Hill, or maybe a combination of the two.

Quickly…

Chris Paul got traded in the first big move of the NBA off-season. Shortly after the moratorium on trades was lifted at noon ET, the Phoenix Suns reportedly acquired the Point God from Oklahoma City as part of a deal that sent four players and a first-round pick to the Thunder. The biggest names in the bunch are Kelly Oubre (18.7 points per game last season) and Ricky Rubio (13 points, 8.8 assists). Paul, who’s a future Hall of Famer, is coming off another strong season in which he led the rebuilding Thunder to a surprise playoff berth. But he’s 35 and under contract for a whopping $ 41 million and $ 44 million in the next two years. Read more about the trade here.

The CFL plans to release a 2021 schedule soon. That’s what commissioner Randy Ambrosie said today during his annual state-of-the-league address, which he delivered in virtual form. This was supposed to be Grey Cup week until the season was cancelled. Ambrosie said the CFL is planning to play a season next year and hold the Grey Cup in Hamilton as scheduled. But it remains unclear how all that might work or whether fans will be allowed in stadiums.

Dustin Johnson won the Masters with a record score. The 36-year-old American earned his first green jacket (and second major title) by shooting a 20-under-par 268 for his four rounds. That broke by two strokes the record shared by Tiger Woods (from his monumental first Masters victory in 1997) and Jordan Spieth (2015). With the tournament taking place in November instead of its typical April timeslot, Augusta seemed to play a bit softer. But still, Johnson won by an impressive five shots, giving him a share of the sixth-largest margin of victory in Masters history (Woods won by a record 12 in ’97). Speaking of Tiger, the defending champ finished tied for 38th at 1-under after taking a 10 on the par-3 12th on Sunday. Pre-tournament betting favourite Bryson DeChambeau was one shot better and tied for 34th. Corey Connors finished tied for 10th at 9-under after shooting a Canadian-record 65 (7-under) in the second round. Other Canadian results: Nick Taylor tied for 29th, 50-year-old Mike Weir tied for 51st, and Adam Hadwin missed the cut. Read more about Johnson’s win and watch highlights here.

The International Swimming League final is set. It’ll be the Cali Condors, LA Current, Energy Standard and London Roar competing for the title after those four teams made it through the semifinals, which wrapped up today. The expansion Toronto Titans, who are the only Canadian-based team and the squad with by far the most Canadian swimmers on it, did not advance after finishing fourth out of four teams in their semifinal. The two-day final begins Saturday at 8 a.m. ET and will be streamed live on CBCSports.ca.

Live on CBC Sports

Ashley Home Store Curling Classic final (3:30-6:30 p.m. ET): Quite a few big names entered the men’s tournament in Penticton, B.C., where Mike McEwen defeated Kevin Koe and Glenn Howard beat Brendan Bottcher in today’s semifinals. That set up the McEwen-Howard final, which was in progress at our publish time. Watch it live here.

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CBC | Sports News

Why abolishing Olympics anti-protest rule could do more harm than good

This column is an opinion by Jasmine Mian, a 2016 Canadian Olympian and a graduate student at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy. For more information about CBC’s Opinion section, please see the FAQ.

Anti-racism demonstrations and the Black Lives Matter movement have revived concerns about Rule 50 of the International Olympic Committee’s Charter. While those calling to abolish the anti-protest rule have their hearts in the right place, doing away with it may create more harm than good.

The Olympics is meant to be a neutral space where we set aside the issues that divide us.

If you’re an athlete who wants to protest or demonstrate against something, there are a handful of places you can’t do it under Rule 50 — the Olympic podium, during Olympic ceremonies, in the village or on the field of play. Athletes can still state their views or protest in post-game press conferences and on social media, and outside the venues of the Games.

The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s Athletes Advisory Council have asked for an amendment to the rule, citing its incongruity with the International Declaration of Human Rights and a litany of other international and domestic laws.

On the surface, it’s hard to understand why you wouldn’t want athletes to have more rights. However, good policy recognizes that ideals are not reality, and just because something is progressive doesn’t make it productive.

Firstly, Rule 50 does not prevent protest because athletes who have true conviction in their views will do it on the field or the podium anyway, no matter what disciplinary action follows — and they should be commended for that bravery. When John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists to protest racial injustice at the 1968 Olympic Games, it was heroic because it wasn’t convenient or welcomed.


Americans Tommie Smith, centre, and John Carlos raise their gloved fists in a human rights protest at the 1968 Olympics. (The Associated Press)

However, there is no shortage of other places to protest, and Rule 50 along with its repercussions for athletes keeps the bar high.

And while Rule 50 is out of step with the laws of many western democracies, it’s also those in the West who stand to benefit most from abolishing it.

If you want to talk about privilege, we have to recognize that a Canadian can stand on the Olympic podium and give the middle finger to the entire world and not be murdered when they get home. This same privilege does not exist for athletes like Feyisa Lilesa, a marathoner from Ethiopia who could not return home after he protested the Ethiopian government as he crossed the finish line in Rio 2016. 

Athletes living in countries with the worst human rights records face a real threat of violence or even death for demonstrating. Abolishing Rule 50 gives privilege to the already privileged, but really changes little for everyone else.

If the neutral space of the Olympics is broken, it also could exacerbate existing geopolitical tensions or create new ones, which is the antithesis of Olympic movement.

An Iranian wrestler covertly protested Israel’s nation status by feigning injury at a world championship in order to not wrestle an Israeli athlete, for example. If we routinely allow more overt forms of protest at the Olympics in the name of freedom of expression, it won’t be long until competitors are refusing to stand on the podium with other athletes.

We must do everything we can to prevent the Olympics from further contributing to real-world fighting and animosity.


Another reason to keep the bar high around acts of protests on the podium and the field of play is that the fate and spirit of the Olympic Games depends on it. Greater freedom for some at the Games could lead to censorship for others.

There is a danger that oppressive regimes will stop airing the Olympics for their citizens, or even sending athletes, if the risk of protest is too high. The kids who are supposed to be inspired by the Olympic movement and its values of inclusion and fair competition might not even get to experience it.

Perhaps there is some amendment to Rule 50 that can overcome all these challenges. Until then, let’s shelve the idea of abolishing Rule 50, because the Olympics doesn’t need another ideal it can’t live up to.

If you’ve got real solutions for human rights issues, get off the podium and discuss them in the press conference — or better yet, get out and vote, run for office, volunteer or donate.


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CBC | Sports News

‘John Lewis: Good Trouble’ Director on How the Film’s Message Can Inspire Activists Today (Exclusive)

‘John Lewis: Good Trouble’ Director on How the Film’s Message Can Inspire Activists Today (Exclusive) | Entertainment Tonight

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John Krasinski ‘Saved the Best for Last’ With ‘Some Good News’ Finale

John Krasinski ‘Saved the Best for Last’ With ‘Some Good News’ Finale | Entertainment Tonight

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Nick Cordero’s Wife Praises Frankie Grande and Shares ‘Good News’ Amid Husband’s COVID-19 Battle

Nick Cordero’s Wife Praises Frankie Grande and Shares ‘Good News’ Amid Husband’s COVID-19 Battle | Entertainment Tonight

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