Tag Archives: interim

Eli Lilly’s COVID-19 antibody drug gets interim authorization in Canada

Canada has granted interim authorization to Eli Lilly’s antibody drug for treating COVID-19 in patients who are not hospitalized but are at risk of serious illness because of their age or other conditions, the drug-maker said on Friday.

The news comes weeks after the treatment, bamlanivimab, was given U.S. emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration for helping newly diagnosed, high-risk patients avoid hospitalization.

Bamlanivimab was developed in partnership with Canadian biotech company AbCellera.

The Health Canada authorization was based on a clinical study in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, where patients treated with bamlanivimab showed reduced viral load and rates of symptoms and hospitalization.

The drug is a monoclonal antibody — a widely used class of biotech drugs — which in this case is a manufactured copy of an antibody the human body creates to fight infections.

“This authorization in Canada furthers our goal of making bamlanivimab available to patients who need it around the world and is evidence of the strong collaboration between industry and governments to get COVID-19 medicines to people as quickly as possible,” David A. Ricks, Lilly’s chair and CEO, said in a statement issued Friday.

WATCH | How well will COVID-19 vaccines work in the real world?

Infectious disease specialists answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines including if results from clinical trials will hold up in the real world. 6:49

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Peru’s interim president resigns amid protests, constitutional crisis

Peru’s interim president resigned Sunday as the nation plunged into its worst constitutional crisis in two decades following massive protests unleashed when Congress ousted the nation’s popular leader.

In a short televised address, Manuel Merino said Congress acted within the law when he was sworn into office as chief of state Tuesday, despite protesters’ allegations that legislators had staged a parliamentary coup.

“I, like everyone, want what’s best for our country,” he said.

The politician agreed to step down after night of unrest in which two young protesters were killed and half his Cabinet resigned. Peruvians cheered the decision, waving their nation’s red and white flag on the streets of Lima and chanting “We did it!” But there is still no clear playbook for what comes next.

Congress scheduled an emergency session for Sunday afternoon to select a new president.


People in a Lima snack bar Merino announces his resignation in a televised message. (Luka Gonzales/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, ex-president Martin Vizcarra — whose ouster sparked the upheaval — called on the country’s highest court to step in.

“It can’t be that the institution that got us into this political crisis, that has for five days paralyzed Peru, with deaths, is going to give us a solution, choosing the person who they best see fit,” Vizcarra said.

Peru has much at stake: The country is in the throes of one of the world’s most lethal coronavirus outbreaks and political analysts say the constitutional crisis has cast the country’s democracy into jeopardy.

“I think this is the most serious democratic and human rights crisis we have seen since Fujimori,” said analyst Alonso Gurmendi Dunkelberg, referring to the turbulent rule of strongman Alberto Fujimori from 1990 to 2000.

Ex-president accused of bribery

Congress kicked Vizcarra out using a clause dating back to the 19th century that allows the powerful legislature to remove a president for “permanent moral incapacity.” Legislators accused Vizcarra of taking more than $ 630,000 US in bribes in exchange for two construction contracts while governor of a small province years ago.

Prosecutors are investigating the allegations but Vizcarra has not been charged. He has vehemently denied the accusations.


Martin Vizcarra speaks in front of the presidential palace after lawmakers voted to remove him from office in Lima on Nov. 9. (Martin Mejia/The Associated Press)

Merino, previously head of Congress, stepped in as interim president, but his six-day rule was marred by constant protests. The little-known politician and rice farmer promised to keep in place a scheduled vote for a new president in April. That did little to sway Peruvians who were loath to accept him.

Half of those in Congress are themselves under investigation for alleged crimes including money laundering and homicide. Polls show most wanted Vizcarra to carry out the rest of his presidential term, due to expire in July. As Peruvians took to the streets, police responded with batons, rubber bullets and tear gas.

Crackdowns ‘intensifying’

A network of human rights groups reported that 112 people were hurt in Saturday’s protests and the whereabouts of 41 others were unknown. Health authorities said the dead included Jack Pintado, 22, who was shot 11 times, including in the head, and Jordan Sotelo, 24, who was hit four times in the thorax near his heart.

“Two young people were absurdly, stupidly, unjustly sacrificed by the police,” Peruvian writer and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa said in a recorded video shared on Twitter. “This repression – which is against all of Peru – needs to stop.”

The protests rocking Peru are unlike any seen in recent years, fueled largely by young people typically apathetic to the country’s notoriously erratic politics. Protesters are upset at Congress for staging what they consider an illegal power grab as well as whom Merino had chosen to lead his nascent government.


A protester faces off with police in Lima on Sunday. (Angela Ponce/Reuters)

His prime minister, Antero Flores-Araoz, was a former defense secretary who resigned in 2009 after police clashes with indigenous protesters in the Amazon left 34 dead. Alberto Vergara, a political analyst with Peru’s University of the Pacific, said many saw the new Cabinet as “old, bitter, stale, closed to the world.”

In remarks before Saturday’s upheaval, Merino denied the protests were against him, telling a local radio station that young people were demonstrating against unemployment and not being able to complete their studies because of the pandemic. For many, that showed just how out of touch Congress is.

“We want the voice of the people to be heard,” protester Fernando Ramirez said as he banged a spoon against a pot at a protest.


Protesters hold a sign reading in Spanish ‘Murderer’ shortly before Merino announced his resignation in Lima on Sunday. (Rodrigo Abd/The Associated Press)

According to the National Association of Journalists, there were 35 attacks against members of the media between Monday and Thursday, almost all by police officers. Rights groups have also documented excessive force against protesters, the use of tear gas near homes and hospitals and the detention of demonstrators.

“We are documenting cases of police brutality in downtown Lima,” Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas director of Human Rights Watch, wrote on Twitter Saturday. “Everything indicates repression against peaceful protesters is intensifying.”

‘Peru deserves to move forward’

If Congress proceeds with selecting a new leader, they may have relatively few options that would appease demonstrators. An overwhelming majority -—105 of 130 — voted in favour of removing Vizcarra. They are widely expected to choose among those who were against the ex-president’s surprise rushed removal.

The timing of the crisis could not be worse: Peru has the world’s highest per-capita COVID-19 mortality rate and has seen one of Latin America’s worst economic contractions. The International Monetary Fund projects a 14 per cent decline in GDP this year.


Protesters gather outside the Congress building in Lima on Sunday. (Sebastian Castaneda/Reuters)

In stepping down, Merino said he’d fulfilled his responsibility with “humility and honour” and that it was a challenge he “accepted and did not seek.” He accused unnamed actors of trying to “confuse the country” into thinking Congress wanted to kick out Vizcarra in order to delay the upcoming presidential vote.

He also took a jab at demonstrators, saying there were groups of young adults “interested in producing chaos and violence.”

“I call for the peace and unity of all Peruvians,” he said. “Peru deserves to move forward.”

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Impact part ways with interim coach Wilmer Cabrera

The Montreal Impact will not be bringing back head coach Wilmer Cabrera for the next Major League Soccer season.

The Impact announced Thursday that Cabrera’s contract has expired and will not be extended.

The 52-year-old Cabrera joined the Impact Aug. 21 to replace the fired Remi Garde. Montreal went 2-4-1 in MLS play under Cabrera as the club fell short of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference at 12-17-5.

He had better success in the Canadian Championship, leading the Impact to a victory over Toronto FC in the final.

“I want to thank the Montreal Impact for the two months I have spent in this beautiful city working with the club,” Cabrera said in a statement. “Our agreement has ended, which from the beginning was only for two months. I feel proud that we have won the Canadian Championship, a title that the supporters and the club were looking to win since 2014.”

The Impact said efforts to find a new head coach are underway.

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Venezuela's Opposition leader takes oath as interim president, endorsed by Canada, U.S.

Opposition Leader Juan Guaido took an oath swearing himself in as Venezuela's interim president on Wednesday, as hundreds of thousands marched to demand the end of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's government.

Guaido, head of the Opposition-run Congress, had said he would be willing to assume the presidency on an interim basis with the support of the armed forces to call elections. 

Within minutes, Global Affairs confirmed Canada will recognize Guaido in the role. U.S. President Donald Trump issued a statement doing the same, and encouraging other Western governments to recognize Guaido as interim president. 

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Paraguay and Peru indicated they too will recognize Guaido.

A spokesman for Mexico's foreign ministry said Mexico does not plan to change its policy on Venezuela "for the time being."

Bolivia's president also affirmed his solidarity with Maduro in a tweet. 

Opposition supporters take part in a rally Wednesday against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government and to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the end of the dictatorship of Marcos Perez Jimenez in Caracas. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

Demonstrators clogged avenues in eastern Caracas, chanting "Get out, Maduro" and "Guaido, Presidente" while waving national flags. Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in several areas. A rally the night before reportedly left four people dead, an echo of tumultuous riots two years ago.

The Opposition has been energized by young congress chief Guaido, who has led a campaign to declare Maduro a usurper and has promised a transition to a new government in a nation suffering a hyperinflationary economic collapse.

Guaido, in a speech before a cheering crowd, took an oath swearing himself in as interim president.

Guaido greets supporters after taking an oath to be Venezuela's interim president. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

"I swear to assume all the powers of the presidency to secure an end of the usurpation," he said.

He has said he would be willing to replace Maduro with the support of the military and to call free elections.

In response, Maduro announced Venezuela is cutting ties with the United States. He has given U.S. diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave the country. 

"Before the people and nations of the world, and as constitutional president … I've decided to break diplomatic and political relations with the imperialist U.S. government," Maduro told a crowd of red-shirted supporters gathered at the presidential palace.

While both countries operate embassies in each other's capitals, neither has had an ambassador since 2010. 

In a statement, Guaido urged all foreign embassies in the country to disobey Maduro's orders and not remove their diplomats.

Maduro attends a meeting with supporters in Caracas on Tuesday. (Miraflores Palace/Handout/Reuters)

Maduro also called on the country's military to maintain unity and discipline, after the leader of the opposition-controlled congress declared himself interim president and asked for the armed forces' support.

"We will triumph over this as well, we will come out victorious," Maduro told supporters outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas.

Asked if he would send the U.S. military into Venezuela, Trump said on Wednesday that all options are on the table.

"We're not considering anything, but all options are on the table," he told reporters at the White House.

Socialist party boss Diosdado Cabello is calling on government supporters to mobilize in front of Venezuela's presidential palace to protect Maduro from what he is calling a U.S.-led conspiracy to remove him from power.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House Wednesday. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

"The Bolivarian revolution doesn't have an expiration date," he told a crowd of red-shirted supporters at a rally in downtown Caracas.

"We are going to stay in the streets, and stay in battle, for now and forever," Cabello said, marking the government's first reaction to opposition leader Juan Guaido's decision to declare himself interim president.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier called on Maduro to step aside and urged the country's military to support efforts to restore democracy.

In a statement, Pompeo said Washington would support opposition leader Juan Guaido as he establishes a transitional government and prepares the country for elections.

"The Venezuelan people have suffered long enough under Nicolas Maduro's disastrous dictatorship," Pompeo said. "We call on Maduro to step aside in favor of a legitimate leader reflecting the will of the Venezuelan people."

The Trump administration told U.S. energy companies it could impose sanctions on Venezuelan oil as soon as this week if the political situation worsens, according to sources.

National Constituent Assembly (ANC) President Diosdado Cabello gives his speech as he participates in a rally in support of Maduro's government Wednesday. (Fausto Torrealba/Reuters)

Maduro was inaugurated on Jan. 10 to another term in office following a widely boycotted election last year that many foreign governments described as a fraudulent. His government accuses Guaido of staging a coup and has threatened him with jail.

Any change in government in Venezuela will rest on a shift in allegiance within the armed forces, which has stood by Maduro through two waves of street protests and a steady dismantling of democratic institutions.

Chavez statue toppled

"We need freedom, we need this corrupt government to get out, we need to all unite, so that there is peace in Venezuela," said Claudia Olaizola, a 54-year-old salesperson near the march's centre in the eastern Chacao district, a traditional opposition bastion.

In a potent symbol of anger, demonstrators in the southern city of Puerto Ordaz on Tuesday toppled a statue of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, broke it in half and dangled part of it from a bridge.

A 16-year-old was shot to death at a protest on Tuesday in western Caracas, according to a rights group, Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict. Three people were shot dead on Tuesday night in southern Bolivar City during a looting of a grocery store that followed a nearby protest, Bolivar state Gov. Justo Noguera said in a telephone interview.

Maduro has presided over Venezuela's spiral into its worst-ever economic crisis. His re-election in 2018 was widely viewed as a sham due to widespread election irregularities.

"We've come out to support the Opposition and preserve the future of my son and my family, because we're going hungry," said Jose Barrientos, 31, an auto-parts salesperson in the poor west end of Caracas.

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COC names Robin Brudner interim CEO after Overholt's abrupt departure

Robin Brudner was hired by the Canadian Olympic Committee two years ago to drive change in its corporate culture.

The 55-year-old from Toronto will now lead the organization on an interim basis as chief executive officer.

Chris Overholt is stepping down after seven years as CEO, an abrupt departure, CBC Sports has learned, with staff being notified of his departure only hours ahead of the distribution of the news release.

He has accepted a leadership role with another organization, the COC said Wednesday in a statement, and that organization is expected to make its own announcement soon.

Chris Overholt is stepping down as CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee. Under Overholt, Canada posted its best medal total at a Winter Olympics in February with 29 medals and matched the country's best performance at a non-boycotted Games with 22 medals in 2016. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press/File)

Brudner spent almost 18 years working for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, eventually rising to the position of executive vice-president and general counsel.

She was the first female general counsel in the NBA and often the only woman in the boardroom while MLSE built its massive sports empire.

Brudner was the MLSE representative in the 2011 sale of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan's majority ownership share in MLSE to Bell and Rogers, which was a $ 1.32-billion transaction.

But the COC asked her to do work she had never done before in the aftermath of president Marcel Aubut's resignation in October 2015.

Scathing review

He was accused of sexual harassment by several women, but did not face criminal charges and apologized in a written statement.

The hiring of a corporate secretary, Brudner, was one of several moves the COC made following a scathing independent review of the organization following Aubut's departure.

A report said senior executives knew about, and did not do enough, about harassment in the organization.

"I was hired to make recommendations to improve the governance of the COC," Brudner told The Canadian Press.

"In terms of significant changes, they would have occurred in the first year, but then you have to repeat them and you have to make sure they're ingrained in the culture.

"When I spoke to staff, I said it wasn't about bylaw change, it was about culture change."

Instituting term limits for board members was one change Brudner led at the COC, but clearly defining roles was her priority.

"The key thing was to separate proper board work from operations," she explained.

Noncommittal

"People on staff know they have the authority and autonomy to operate the business. Because of that, people have become more empowered and they understand they are trusted to make these decisions.

"I think they trust the leadership that much more. They know it's a culture of more inclusivity, a culture of collaboration, a culture of growing the trust within the organization.

"These things really make a difference on a day-to-day basis."

Brudner has yet to decide if she'll put her name forth as a candidate for the CEO position going forward.

"The permanent position is one I will think about once we transition," Brudner said. "It's too big an opportunity for me to make that decision without really giving it consideration."

Former rower Tricia Smith was the COC vice-president who replaced Aubut. The COC is responsible for all aspects of Canada's involvement in the Olympic Games, as well as the Pan American Games.

"We went through a succession planning discipline several months ago, and in that process, Robin Brudner was identified as the most qualified and capable person to assume the CEO position should it become vacant," Smith said in the COC's statement.

"Our board reaffirmed that decision by voting unanimously to name her interim CEO and secretary general while we conduct a thorough search to permanently fill the position."

Strong resumé

In June, the COC unanimously approved Calgary as a potential host of the 2026 Winter Games, should the city decide to go ahead with a bid.

"The bid is a huge priority for us and that will be part of the transition discussions I have with Chris," Brudner said.

Under Overholt, Canada posted its best medal total at a Winter Olympics in February with 29 medals, including 11 gold.

Canada's 22 medals, including four gold, at the 2016 Summer Games equalled the country's best performance at a non-boycotted Games.

During his tenure, the COC also instituted the Game Plan program that helps athletes transition from their competitive careers into the professional realm.

"I have had the great pleasure of knowing Robin Brudner for more than 20 years, working alongside her both at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and with the Canadian Olympic Committee," Overholt said.

"She has been one of the most highly-respected and trusted executives in the Canadian sports industry for many years, playing key roles typically behind the scenes on virtually every matter that a sports organization can encounter.

"She has the unique perspective of knowing the inner workings of the office of the CEO, and of our board of directors, and that knowledge will serve her well."

Brudner has a law degree, but says sports and entertainment was always her professional ambition. Her first job in sports was a six-month contract with the then-expansion Toronto Raptors in 1995.

"I have been an Olympic junkie for as long as I can remember," she said.

"When I was a kid I would have loved to be an Olympian and to have this opportunity so many years later, to be part of the Olympic movement and to be here is pretty close to a dream come true from a professional standpoint."

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Ontario government says it has an interim sex-ed curriculum elementary teachers must follow

The Ontario government has released an interim sex-ed curriculum for elementary school teachers to use this September, and Premier Doug Ford is suggesting there will be consequences if they don't adhere to it.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) was quick to blast the plan, accusing the Ford government of creating chaos instead of addressing the real issues facing the public school system just weeks before classes resume.

The Progressive Conservative government issued a news release about the changes on Wednesday afternoon, while also announcing plans for what it called an "unprecedented" provincewide consultation process on education reform and a future parents' bill of rights.

The Ford government has faced sharp criticism from a number of groups — including teachers' unions, many parents and the Official Opposition — over its decision to scrap the modernized sex-ed curriculum brought in by the former Liberal government in 2015, which included information about online bullying, sexting and gender identity.

A group of human rights lawyers are also challenging the government's decision in court on behalf of six families.

Neither Ford nor Education Minister Lisa Thompson took questions from reporters on Wednesday.

High school curriculum not changing — for now

The government's news release says teachers will use the 2014 health and physical education curriculum, which has been denounced by critics as the guidelines have been in place since 1998, predating smartphones, social media and the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Simon Jefferies, Ford's spokesperson, said only students in Grades 1 to 8 will be taught the 223-page interim curriculum, which has now been posted online.

"The high school health and physical education curriculum is not changing in the interim consultation period," he said in an email to CBC News.

A government backgrounder urges any parent who believes a teacher is "jeopardizing their child's education by deliberately ignoring Ontario's curriculum" to alert the Ontario College of Teachers' investigations department.

Meanwhile, Ford appears to be taking a hard line about what will be taught when classes resume.

"We expect our teachers, principals and school board officials to fulfil their obligations to parents and children when it comes to what our students learn in the classroom," the premier said in the news release.

"We will not tolerate anybody using our children as pawns for grandstanding and political games. And, make no mistake, if we find somebody failing to do their job, we will act."

Teachers' union still has questions

ETFO President Sam Hammond warned in a news release that Ford's sex-ed curriculum changes 'will put a chill on the classroom and limit teachers' ability to meet the needs of students.' (CBC)

The province's largest teachers' unions have promised to defend any educator who continues to use the modernized curriculum.

EFTO president Sam Hammond attacked Ford's request that parents alert the authorities if their child is being taught the modernized curriculum. He called the move "unprecedented, outrageous, and shameful" in a tweet.


In a statement, Hammond said accused the government of misrepresenting how sex education is being taught with the goal of "manufacturing a crisis."

Harvey Bischof, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, said there's still "a huge lack of clarity" about what high school teachers will and won't be allowed to do when classes resume, even though they'll be free to use the latest curriculum.

Teachers would normally be able to teach what's in the curriculum, as well as enhancing it or answering additional questions without worrying about an "implied threat" from the government that doing so could get them in trouble, he said.

"It's a very peculiar way to go forward, to say the least," ​Bischof said of Ford's statements.

The OSSTF wasn't given any notice that the government was prepared to unveil an interim curriculum, he said.

Toronto District School Board (TDSB) chair Robin Pilkey also expressed frustration with the lack of clarity.

"Parents would have expected the province to have explained more clearly the differences between the two curriculums — both over 200 pages — but based on the information released today, we're disappointed to see that it's still very unclear," she said in an email statement.

Pilkey also pointed out the TDSB already has a protocol for parents who are concerned about what their children are being taught.

Consultation process will look at range of issues

A government backgrounder says the consultations will aim to create an "age-appropriate" health and physical education curriculum that includes "mental health, sex-ed and legalization of cannabis."

The government also said it plans to unveil an interim math curriculum in the coming weeks.

The PCs say the consultations will include an online survey, telephone town halls across the province, and a submission platform where the government will accept detailed proposals.

The government had initially promised to give the public a chance to weigh in on a new sex-ed curriculum. It now says the consultations will also seek parental feedback on number of issues, including math scores, cellphone use, financial literacy and how best to prepare students with needed job skills.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Education refused to say how much the consultation process will cost. 


With files from Farrah Merali, Meagan Fitzpatrick and The Canadian Press

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