Jukasa News Update – Monday, August 30, 2021
COVID case counts continue to rise on Six Nations with 16 active cases reported Friday and 85 people in self-isolation. Currently there are 2 people in hospital.
The active 16 cases were diagnosed in the last week, giving public health an indicator that the virus transmission risk on the territory is now very high.
Right now Six Nations has 94 cases per 100,000 making it one of the highest case counts in the province. In comparison — Brantford/Brant County are sitting at 1/3 of that at 28 cases per 100,000 and Hamilton is at 1/2 the Six Nations infection rate at 50 cases per 100,000.
As of Friday just two cases of the Delta variant were reported.
An independent report has found systemic racism in a northern British Columbia school board and calls for a provincewide investigation of the issue.
Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside appointed special advisors Kory Wilson and Catherine McGregor to review governance practices at the Prince George Board of Education in February.
Their report, based on 56 interviews, found Indigenous students are disproportionately held back, placed in alternative programs or classes and removed from the typical graduation path.
It says there is a clear and palpable lack of trust between many Indigenous stakeholders, First Nations and the school district, as well as a “substantial culture of fear” about raising concerns.
The report quotes one respondent saying they were told not to use their Indigenous names because “this isn’t the place for politics” and another saying that when they walk into school their “chest tightens.”
The Education Ministry says in a statement that beginning immediately, former school district superintendent Rod Allen will join the special advisors and work with the board to draft a work plan for implementing their recommendations and improve everything from relationships with local First Nations to staffing and financial planning.
The special advisers will submit a final report to outline the progress made by the board in meeting government’s expectations in March 2022.
“Unfortunately, we heard many examples of behaviours and practises that are clearly discriminatory and systemically racist,” the report says.
“Though some will argue it is not intentional the outcomes have disproportionate effects on Indigenous students and can only be explained as such.”
The special advisors also raised concerns about how federal COVID-19 funding was spent at the board.
Ontario plans to announce a COVID-19 vaccine certificate system early next week.
Three senior government sources with knowledge of the situation say a plan for a system is in the works, with details being worked out.
The sources say the planned certificate system, which would limit access to non-essential services based on vaccination status, will go to cabinet for discussion before an announcement is made.
The introduction of a vaccine certificate system would mark a significant reversal for Premier Doug Ford, who previously rejected the idea.
The government has been facing growing calls for a vaccine certificate system from businesses, municipalities, health-care workers and public health officials.
Similar systems have already been announced in British Columbia and Quebec.
Several Ontario universities will be going hybrid for orientation week next month.
The University of Toronto, York University, Hamilton’s McMaster University, Laurentian University in Sudbury and Lakehead University in Thunder Bay are among those offering a mix of virtual and in-person events.
The schools are focusing on outdoor gatherings when students meet face-to-face, with events such as movie nights, scavenger hunts in small groups and bubble soccer.
Some universities are also allowing second-year students to participate in on-campus orientation events since the pandemic meant they missed out on them last year.
Organizers say those attending orientation — or frosh — week will need to abide by universities’ COVID-19 vaccine policies.
They also say several public health measures, including masking and limits on attendance, will be in place.
Several schools have strengthened their vaccination policies recently, saying anyone attending campus will need to be fully immunized this fall unless they have a valid exemption.
- Previous Jukasa News Update – Friday, August 27, 2021
- Next Jukasa News Update – Tuesday, August 31, 2021