From the Washington Post:
Canada wants immigrants but the pandemic is in the way. So it’s looking to keep people already there.
By Amanda Coletta
Yesterday at 6:00 a.m. EDT
… Canada wants more immigrants — 401,000 this year, to be exact — and is not letting pandemic border controls get in the way.
Before the pandemic, Canada’s population was growing at a rate not seen in decades, outpacing the other Group of Seven industrialized nations. International migration was the main reason, said Statistics Canada, accounting for 86 percent of population growth in 2019. That year, Canada accepted 341,175 permanent residents, up from 271,840 in 2015.
Then came the virus. In 2020, the number of permanent residents plunged by almost half to 184,595, far short of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s target of 341,000 and a potential headache for a country that has long relied on immigration to offset the impacts of low birthrates and an aging population on its labor force and public finances.
The horror, the horror of the possibility that Vancouver might someday be affordable to … Canadians.
… The United States — with nearly 10 times the population of Canada — granted permanent resident status to 707,362 people in 2020, down 31 percent from 1,031,765 in 2019, according to U.S. government data. …
To make up the shortfall in 2020, the Canadian government in October announced even loftier immigration targets. It hopes to welcome 401,000 permanent residents in 2021, up from a previous goal of 351,000.
Didn’t I read something in the news about a global pandemic, and dangerous new variants emerging in places like India?
Oh, sorry, my mistake, the Delta Variant isn’t from India, it’s from Delta.
That target would increase by 10,000 in 2022 and again in 2023.
Marian Campbell Jarvis, an assistant deputy minister of immigration, told a parliamentary committee in May that the government expected border restrictions would soon ease, allowing the country to admit permanent residents from abroad. But the pandemic’s grip tightened. So Canada had to get “creative,” Jarvis said.
Such as by letting in losers on its point system that they wouldn’t have let in before:
In recent years, the minimum score needed to qualify for an invitation was well more than 400 points, according to government data. For that particular round, in February, 75 points cleared the bar.
“It’s definitely unprecedented,” said Andrew Carvajal, a Toronto-based immigration lawyer. “The number of invitations that we’ve seen this year, how low the scores have gone … are very interesting and very different.” …
In June, other analysts at Ryerson University wrote that while “the justification for the program is sound, the implementation process does not promote equitable access for all eligible occupations.”
“Some workers, especially in lower-skilled occupations, may effectively be excluded by the complex application process which involves a proliferation of lengthy forms to complete; tests to take; documents to obtain, translate and upload; technology to utilize; and fees to pay,” they wrote.
Such barriers are inequitable to the inalienable right of every illiterate in the world to move to Canada.
In a wholly unrelated matter, from Telegraph India:
Covid cluster detected after two from India attend US wedding
Genome sequencing from six patients, who attended the open-air event in Houston — all vaccinated — suggests the strain may be able to evade immune responses
G.S. Mudur | New Delhi | Published 06.07.21, 02:06 AM
A cluster of four Covid-19 cases detected after two guests from India attended an open-air wedding near Houston, Texas, has underlined the capacity of the Delta coronavirus variant to cause infections in recipients of multiple vaccines.
Genome sequencing of viruses from the six patients — all vaccinated — suggests the Delta variant may be able to evade immune responses in patients who have received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or India’s Covaxin, researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, said.
Joseph Petrosino, director of molecular virology, and his colleagues probed six Covid-19 cases in April that occurred soon after a wedding gathering in a large, open-air tent with 92 attendees, for which the guests required to be fully vaccinated.
They found that a man, designated patient “0a”, and a woman, designated patient “0b”, both in their 60s, had travelled from India to Houston to attend the wedding, 10 days after receiving their second Covaxin doses.
The woman complained of fatigue on the first night of the wedding. The man developed a cough two days after the wedding and both developed a fever after three days. Both tested positive for Covid-19 four days after the wedding.
Four other patients with breakthrough infections who tested positive confirmed having close encounters with patients 0a and 0b during the wedding. Two of them had received the Pfizer vaccine, while the other two had received the Moderna vaccine.
“Encounter timings and viral sequence similarities suggest that the strain containing the Delta variant was transmitted to wedding guests from two patients travelling from India,” the BCM researchers said in a research paper not peer-reviewed yet but posted on medRxiv, a pre-print server, on Sunday.
Their study suggests that antibodies elicited in patients who had received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and Covaxin may provide decreased immunity to the Delta variant. It is possible that some individuals in the study had failed to produce an effective immune response, the researchers said.
Patient 0a was admitted to a hospital where his symptoms continued to worsen and where he died a month later.