Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Teen's death raises flu concern

People line up to get swine flu vaccinations in St. Eustache, Quebec, on Friday. Wait times can exceed six hours.

Associated Press

People line up to get swine flu vaccinations in St. Eustache, Quebec, on Friday. Wait times can exceed six hours.

Publicity over the death of a Toronto teenager within two days of showing symptoms of the H1N1 virus led to paranoia that has overwhelmed flu vaccine clinics across Canada.

Evan Frustaglio, 13, whose flu symptoms rapidly became fatal, sadly made him the public face of the virus.

Thousands of people are flooding clinics with waiting times in many cases in large cities exceeding six hours.

Despite somewhat widespread distrust by the public over the vaccine's safety, Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews said the "sad case" is a reminder of why it's important to get the H1N1 vaccine.

"There is very good science that has gone into the decision to supply the vaccine to everyone who needs it," she said.

With pockets of flu outbreaks growing, Canada's chief public health officer, Dr. David Butler-Jones, said the response in the first week of giving the shots has been "quite overwhelming."

He is asking that people at "low risk of severe disease" to wait a few weeks to focus on the people with the greatest need.

Delivery of H1N1 vaccine nationally will slow over the next few weeks because the manufacturer was asked to make special batches of the product for pregnant women, he said.

Loonie's retreat eases economic concerns

Concerns that the higher-valued Canadian dollar could erode the economic recovery have eased as the currency retreated from near parity with the U.S. greenback.

The dollar reached 97 cents U.S. two weeks ago but has now settled at 92 cents after comments by the federal Bank of Canada that it could rein in the currency if it gets too high.

A higher-valued dollar causes Canada's exported products to cost more while it benefits "snowbirds" and Canadians visiting and shopping in the United States.

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has called on the central bank to move on the dollar if it risks the recovery.

Central bank Gov. Mark Carney said history has shown that intervention "without policy moves" is seldom effective over the long term.

News in brief

• There are reports the National Post newspaper could soon stop publishing if the courts don't allow its transfer to a new holding company within Canwest Global Communications. The money-losing daily, with 277 workers, is essential to a successful restructuring of the insolvent media conglomerate, lawyers said. Canwest amassed $4 billion in debt after buying Conrad Black's newspaper assets and Alliance Atlantis specialty TV channels.

• The Olympic torch arrived in Canada from Greece on Friday, and a party was held in Vancouver in advance of the 2010 Winter Games. The flame will travel 28,000 miles throughout Canada and return to B.C. Place Stadium for the opening ceremonies. The Games will take place in Vancouver and Whistler Feb. 12-28.

Facts and figures

Reports that Canada's gross domestic product shrank 0.1 percent in August and lower commodity prices pulled down the dollar by more than 1 U.S. cent on Friday.

The dollar was trading for 92.28 cents U.S. while the U.S. greenback returned $1.0836 Canadian, before bank exchange fees.

The key interest rate at the Bank of Canada is steady at 0.25 percent while the prime lending rate is 2.25 percent.

Stock markets are lower, with Toronto's composite index at 10,880 points and the TSX Venture index at 1,280 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Wednesday) 18, 26, 32, 34, 43, 44; bonus 37. (Oct. 24) 5, 13, 25, 34, 36, 46; bonus 41. Lotto Max: (Oct. 23) 4, 7, 10, 12, 23, 25, 36; bonus 18.

Regional briefs

• French billionaire Vincent Bollore will invest $120 million to expand a battery-producing factory in Boucherville, Quebec, in a bid to bring his affordable electric cars to market. His company, Bollore Group, wants to boost annual production to 15,000 batteries using lithium-metal-polymer technology to give his cars a range of 150 miles and a top speed of 65 mph.

• Greyhound Lines will keep its buses running in Manitoba, at least for now, after reaching an agreement with the provincial government. The company had threatened to end service in the next week and in Northern Ontario next month unless it receives $15 million a year in subsidies on the largely remote routes.

• Strike votes will be taken after contract talks broke off between 3,500 hospital workers and eight of Nova Scotia's district health authorities. The members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees are seeking wage parity with workers employed by the Capital District Health Authority.

Jim Fox can be reached at [email protected]

Teen's death raises flu concern 10/31/09 [Last modified: Friday, October 30, 2009 8:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Blogs

    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102