Another tentative deal reached in B.C. port workers dispute | CBC News

The two sides involved in a labour dispute affecting about 7,400 port workers in British Columbia say they’ve reached another tentative deal.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada (ILWU) and B.C. Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) issued a joint statement late Sunday saying the deal was reached with help from the Canada Industrial Relations Board, which had been tasked with ending the dispute that had dragged on since the beginning of the month.

A statement from the union offered no details on the new deal but said both sides are encouraging union members and member employers to ratify the agreement.

The dispute over a new collective agreement saw workers strike from July 1 to 13, stalling billions of dollars worth of cargo from moving in or out of some of the country’s busiest ports.

The ILWU members rejected a second tentative deal Friday evening, placing more than 30 port terminals and other sites back in limbo once again after strike action earlier this month stopped operations in key ports such as Vancouver, Canada’s largest.

The late Sunday night announcement came after federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan announced Saturday he was directing the Canada Industrial Relations Board to determine if a negotiated deal is still possible in the month-long dispute and, if not, to impose an agreement or final binding arbitration on the two sides.

Earlier Sunday, the ILWU issued a letter to employers, outlining what it was looking for in a new collective agreement while saying it was committed to negotiating a resolution.

ILWU President Rob Ashton said in the letter a deal voted down by union members Friday included some progress, but more was needed to address protection for port workers as more maintenance work gets contracted out to third parties.

Ashton told CBC News Sunday evening the union was not commenting on the new deal beyond the details of the joint statement.

ILWU workers on strike in July 2023. (Justine Boulin/CBC)

The BCMEA, through which employers are negotiating, said Friday’s rejected deal included a compounded wage increase of 19.2 per cent and a signing bonus amounting to about $3,000 per full-time worker.

It added the result would have “potentially” boosted union longshore workers’ median annual wage from $136,000 to $162,000, not including pension and benefits.

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Landfill search advocates demonstrate at World Police Fire Games in Winnipeg | CBC News

Demonstrators briefly pushed and shoved with security at the entrance to a World Police and Fire Games venue in Winnipeg Sunday night following a rally where Indigenous leaders and grieving family members continued to press the government to search landfills for the remains of homicide victims.

About 200 people marched from the Oodena Circle — an Indigenous gathering space at The Forks in the city’s downtown — to the games’ athletes village. They chanted “bring them home” and “search the landfill” as they moved through the national historic site.

Once at the games venue, a small group of demonstrators pressed themselves against the front entrance gates, which were held in place by nine security guards. After a few moments of tension, the demonstrators backed off.

As many as a dozen uniformed Winnipeg police officers arrived soon after, but they weren’t observed taking action against the demonstrators.

The otherwise peaceful rally and march was organized by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), which represents the majority of First Nations in the province.

The advocacy organization called the rally to continue to pressure the Manitoba and federal governments to move forward with the landfill searches.

The remains of Morgan Harris, 39, along with those of 26-year-old Marcedes Myran, are believed to be in the privately run Prairie Green landfill just north of Winnipeg after the women were allegedly killed by the same man last year.

Winnipeg police say they believe a search for them is not feasible. The AMC has said a recent feasibility study shows a search could in fact be safely conducted.

The Manitoba government has previously said it won’t help fund a search citing safety concerns it says could result from sifting through toxic materials.

Funding for games — but not searches — criticized

Grand Chief Cathy Merrick told those at the rally that the province helped fund the police and fire games to the tune of millions of dollars.

The Olympic-style competition featuring active and retired first responders is expected to bring more than 8,500 participants — including friends and family of competitors — from more than 70 countries.

Merrick urged Premier Heather Stefanson to not ignore the calls to change her government’s position.

“As you have brought the world to Winnipeg, we will demonstrate to the world … this is not friendly Manitoba,” Merrick said, referencing the long-standing provincial vehicle licence plate slogan.
About 200 people took part in the march from Oodena Circle at The Forks to the nearby athletes village for the World Police Fire Games. (James Turner/CBC)

“Beyond being premier, you are a human being … do the right thing and take collaborative action,” Merrick said.

Merrick was joined by other provincial First Nations leaders and also relatives of the slain women. Harris’s cousin, Melissa Robinson, called Stefanson “heartless,” while Cambria Harris, Morgan’s daughter, described the provincial government’s decision “a scary, scary thing to do.”

“What made these events (the police and fire games) feasible but not the search?” Harris asked. “It’s because they don’t value our lives,” she told those gathered.

For some, the issue of the adequacy of landfill searches goes back more than a decade. Sue Caribou’s niece, Tanya Nepinak, is among Manitoba’s missing and murdered women.

Police searched the City of Winnipeg-operated Brady Road landfill for her remains in 2012, believing she had been killed by a man later convicted of killing two other Indigenous women.

The second-degree murder charge Shawn Lamb faced connected to Nepinak’s death was stayed by prosecutors in 2013 for a lack of evidence.

Police searched Brady Road for six days but didn’t turn anything up. “They gave up on my niece,” she said, holding a large photo of her as she spoke.
Sue Caribou, left, told those at the rally she believes police gave up looking for her niece, Tanya Nepinak, at the Brady Road landfill in 2012. (James Turner/CBC)

“I am not giving up,” Nepinak said. “We’re all human beings and nobody belongs in no dump.”

Hope new federal minister will act

Merrick said she’s hoping to hear soon from the new federal Crown-Indigenous Relations minister, Gary Anandasangaree, who recently replaced Marc Miller following a cabinet shuffle.

Miller had been critical of the province’s refusal to search, calling it “heartless.”

For his part, Anandasangaree vowed last week to find a solution for victims’ families that is “just and appropriate.”

“I eagerly await your call to begin carrying out this important work for our women,” Merrick said.

In an interview with CBC just prior to the rally, Cambria Harris said Miller had been supportive of search efforts “all along the way” and hoped Anandasangaree would follow suit.

“If they so claim to care about reconciliation, then they will search the landfill,” said Harris.

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Striking Metro workers demand better deal on second day of job action

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Striking Metro grocery workers are demanding the company return to the bargaining table with a better offer, their union said Sunday.

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Some 3,700 workers at 27 Metro grocery stores marked their second day on picket lines Sunday after voting down a tentative deal on Friday. The workers want better wages and benefits.

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“This decision to go on strike comes after years of these workers being nickelled and dimed while facing increased precarity and eroded job quality,” Unifor National President Lana Payne said.

“The economy cannot sustain itself when the people who are earning the paycheques can’t afford to live,” she added. “This is the moment we’re in. Workers everywhere taking a brave action in our collective fight for decent wages and fairness. Grocery barons are cashing in while their frontline workers are using food banks. Enough is enough.”

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Metro says it is disappointed with the strike.

“The company has been negotiating with the union for the past few weeks and reached a fair and equitable agreement that meets the needs of our employees and our customers while ensuring that Metro remains competitive,” Metro said in the statement.

“The settlement provided significant increases for employees in all four years of the agreement, as well as pension and benefits improvements for all employees, including part-time employees.”

Metro stores impacted by the strike will include those in Toronto, Brantford, Orangeville, Milton, Oakville, Brampton, Mississauga, Newmarket and Scarborough.

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Calgary folk fest back with full force; not a sell-out, but ticket sales exceed expectations this year

Eclectic lineup featuring Emmylou Harris, Jeff Tweedy and Tanya Tucker helped make Calgary Folk Music Festival a success

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When Calgary Folk Music Festival artistic director Kerry Clarke first booked Oakland, Calif., artist Fantastic Negrito this year, he was originally going to come as a solo acoustic act.

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Clarke, who has been trying to book the lively blues-soul-rock performer for five or more years and figures Negrito — born Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz — may have been thrown off by the term “folk.” Luckily, he changed his mind and on Saturday night and brought his top-notch band to provide one of the weekend’s most electrifying sets on the main stage.

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Even after 40-plus years, the antiquated idea that the annual festival on Prince’s Island Park is solely dedicated to folk music rather than the eclectic smorgasbord of hip-hop, world music, rock, punk, quasi-classical and all shades of roots music can sometimes stick. Of course, acoustic music remains a big part of the festival. Some of the bigger highlights offered scaled-back stage presentations, including Hurray for the Riff Raff on Friday afternoon and Kenya’s Ondara on Saturday. Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy was also scheduled to play the main stage by himself on Sunday evening.

But the world “folk” has a deeper meaning than genre.

“I hope more people keep realizing that it’s a folk festival which means that it’s a vibe, it’s egalitarian,” Clarke says. “You can discover music, but it’s not strictly a hippie, folk-fest, birkenstock, guitar-playing … It’s for everybody.”

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Diverse musical acts headline festival

Whatever the case, as of press time the folk fest had been a success. Clarke estimates that by the time Sunday wrapped, there would have been 55,000 people on the island over the four days. Saturday was the only day that was sold out, but the other days were at roughly 85 per cent capacity, Clarke said. That means ticket sales would earn more than $100,000 beyond what had been budgeted for in 2023.

Part of that was no doubt due to the variety of performers. Unlike last year when two of the bigger acts — Australia’s Courtney Barnett and Texas band Black Pumas — cancelled, as of Sunday there had been no cancellations.

Headliners included everyone from hip-hop veterans Digable Planets and folk-country icon Emmylou Harris on Thursday, country superstar Tanya Tucker and Chicago singer-songwriter Andrew Bird on Friday, Fantastic Negrito and east-coast rocker Matt Mays on Saturday and Tweedy and Nova Scotia’s Bahamas on Sunday. On Saturday and Sunday, the festival had its usual blend of interesting, far-flung artists sharing riffs and space on workshop stages.

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People at the Calgary Folk Music Festival on Prince’s Island Park in Calgary on Saturday, July 29, 2023. Photo by Heather Chapin /jpg

Saturday tends to do well, regardless of the programming, Clarke says. Audiences have just come to expect a high-octane evening.

“I think (Fantastic Negrito) really surprised people,” she says. “I don’t think many of the audience knew him before. I’ve been trying to get him for five years.”

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The balance of course is to bring back favourites while offering a lineup that includes new discoveries. The only repeat from last year was Nashville’s The Wood Brothers. Montreal singer Dominique Fils-Aime played the scaled-back “Summer Serenades” festival in 2021 when the world was still emerging from the pandemic but offered such a stunning set that Clarke invited her back this year.

“We try not to repeat ourselves too much,” Clarke says. “To have a repeat person after five or seven years is even a lot. Sometimes people will say. ‘I haven’t played for seven years!’ ”

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‘Ready’ local acts play at folk fest

As always, this year’s lineup offered some of Calgary and area’s top bands. Viewers could take in Carter Felker, Ghostkeeper, The Lovebullies, Florida BC, Kyle McKearney, Lucky Sonne, Lethbridge’s Ryland Moranz and hip-hop act Tea Fannie. The local spots are highly coveted, of course, but Clarke says they only book those that are ready for the big stage.

“Some people just aren’t ready to play in the big pond with people and collaborate,” Clarke says. “Some local artists are good but in my estimation are not ready. We’re also looking for people who are really trying to move their careers forward and tour. I’m also looking for artists who have put out recent albums that are really trying to get out of Dodge and we can really give them that extra push.”

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Jordan rules as Blue Jays acquire fireballing reliever Hicks from the Cardinals

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The Blue Jays weren’t able to sweep the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday afternoon, but they did add an arm to their bullpen in a move many view as a win.

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In acquiring fireballing right-hander Jordan Hicks from the St. Louis Cardinals, the Jays parted with minor-leaguers Sem Robberse and Adam Kloffenstein, also both righties.

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With Jordan Romano, the Jays’ incumbent closer, on the injured list following back issues, the Jays can use a healthy arm with swing-and-miss capabilities.

With the Cardinals in sell mode prior to Tuesday’s 6 p.m., trade deadline, Hicks was highly coveted and ranked near the top of the list of relievers available on the market.

A pending free agent, the 26-year-old reaches 100 mph with his fastball and is in the midst of his best season in the big leagues by recording 59 strikeouts in 41.2 innings to go along with a 3.67 ERA and eight saves.

If there is a red flag, it’s his penchant for walks, which he has done at a rate of 5.18 per nine innings this season and which has played a big part in his 1.51 WHIP.

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Genesis Cabrera was also recently acquired by the Jays in another trade with the Cards, a hard-throwing lefty who made his fourth appearance on Sunday.

The Jays are expected to be active prior to the deadline, but getting their hands on Hicks will help as they take aim at the AL East title.

Without Romano, who first injured his back at the all-star game, the Jays don’t have a legitimate closer, preferring to use a closer-by-committee approach.

The fireball combo of Romano, once healthy, and Hicks gives the Blue Jays a look the franchise, arguably, has not seen since the good old days of Duane Ward and Tom Henke.

The Jays also have Erik Swanson, Trevor Richards, Yimi Garcia and perhaps even Chad Green, an off-season signing who has been recovering rom Tommy John surgery all season, that they can turn to in high-leverage situations.

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In Sunday’s series finale, Garcia allowed a two-run bomb in the top half of the 10th inning as the Jays lost 3-2 to the Angels.

Despite Garcia’s outing and some few rough patches by the pen, notably the four-run ninth inning in L.A. against the Dodgers, Toronto’s relief corps has been among MLB’s best.

To the surprise of no one, Mitch White was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays, who needed a spot on the 40-man roster to accommodate Hicks.

White was acquired last season in a trade with the Dodgers. When healthy enough to pitch, the right-hander was not reliable and anyone paying any attention to the Jays realized his days in Toronto were numbered.

As Tuesday’s deadline approaches, an extra bat in the lineup and perhaps even a left-handed arm should be explored.

Hyun Jin Ryu makes his long-awaited return following Tommy John surgery Tuesday against the visiting — and AL East-leading — Baltimore Orioles.

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Evacuation orders issued due to wildfire near Osoyoos, B.C.

Hundreds have been ordered to evacuate due to an out-of-control wildfire burning near Osoyoos, B.C.

The Eagle Bluff wildfire, which was previously called the Lone Pine Creek wildfire, crossed the U.S.-Canada border Saturday.

On the Canadian side of the border, it has grown to 885 hectares as of Sunday morning. On the U.S. side, the fire has burned more than 4,000 hectares, according to Washington State wildfire officials.

The orders were issued by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen and the Town of Osoyoos, impacting more than 732 properties. They cover an area with boundaries west of Highway 97, south of Highway 3, east of Nighthawk Road, and north of the U.S. border.

Residents and visitors have been told to leave immediately because the fire “poses a threat to life and safety,” according to the orders, which also say people forced to flee should go to an emergency operations centre in nearby Oliver.

In addition, 2,094 properties have been placed on evacuation alert.

“Residents will be given as much advance notice as possible prior to evacuation; however, you may receive limited notice due to changing conditions,” the alert says.

Crews with the BC Wildfire Service were on scene overnight and additional resources were deployed in the morning, including a helicopter, heavy equipment and structure protection personnel.

Firefighters are working the east flank of the fire with 50 personnel on scene, BCWS information officer Shaelee Stearns said at a RDOS briefing Sunday. Eleven pieces of heavy equipment and five helicopters have been deployed.

Stearns said there was a decrease in fire behaviour Sunday, and the fire hasn’t grown significantly after Saturday evening. Changes in the wind, cooler temperatures and rising humidity were listed as possible factors in the blaze’s slower spread.

South of the Canada-U.S. border, however, the situation remains more active.

Jake Todd, spokesperson for the United States Forest Service, said the wildfire scorched 40 square kilometres by Sunday evening.

Three houses and one shed were lost to the fire, he said.

The fire danger remained “very high” and 250 personnel were battling the blaze, he said. Temperatures on Monday were forecast to be in the upper 30s and overnight lows around 10 degrees Celsius, with winds estimated to be out of both the north and the south with gusts up to 50 kilometres per hour.

“Local initial attack resources and regional air assets have been on scene since this fire was first reported and assessed yesterday,” Todd said. “Suppression efforts will be executed throughout the day, and activities will continue overnight as safety considerations for firefighters allow.”

She urged those who are under evacuation order to leave. “If people are choosing to stay, they are putting themselves at risk and not only that but also our crews who might have to go in if the conditions change,” Stearns said.

Erick Thompson, information officer with the Reginal District of Okanagan-Similkameen, reminded people in the area to not use drones and stay off the water to make room for aircraft.

“This is not a good time to settle into holiday mode,” he said. “Situational awareness is key. It’s inconvenient for some people but imagine people who are on evacuation order, their homes are threatened and the fire operations have to stop because someone wanted to be on a boat.”

Town of Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff urged residents and businesses to reduce water consumption and not water lawns to conserve resources for the firefighting effort.

The province’s Ministry of Transportation has told people to avoid driving on the 47 kilometre stretch of Highway 3 between Keremeos and Osoyoos.

“It travelled so fast,” Osoyoos resident Karen Goodfellow told CTV News on Saturday evening.

“I walked from one of our outbuildings here and saw all the smoke and just watched it for two minutes and it was moving so quickly, the trees were candling right from the very beginning,” she continued.

“It’s disconcerting, that’s for sure.”

There have been 1,517 wildfires in British Columbia this year, burning 15,397 square kilometres of trees, bush and grassland.

With files from The Canadian Press

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Canadian track and field championship wraps with De Grasse victory in 200 metres

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LANGLEY, B.C. — For Andre De Grasse, the goal was simple: forget what happened earlier.

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De Grasse won the men’s 200-metre final as the Canadian track and field championship came to a close Sunday at McLeod Stadium.

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The reigning Olympic champion in the 200 finished in 20.01 seconds just ahead of fellow Olympian and teammate Aaron Brown (20.10) with Brendon Rodney (20.15) rounding out the top three.

De Grasse’s victory in the 200 came after he didn’t qualify for Friday’s 100-metre final. He finished ninth in a distance in which De Grasse has twice won an Olympic bronze medal.

“I just tried to come out here with a positive attitude and have a short term memory of what happened Friday,” De Grasse said.

The 28-year-old from Markham, Ont., was the fastest in Sunday’s preliminary round with a time of 20.31, ahead of Jerome Blake, Brown and Rodney second to fourth respectively.

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De Grasse’s victory in the final was his last chance to qualify in an individual event for next month’s world championship in Budapest, Hungary, following his miss in the 100.

For Toronto’s Brown, who won the 100 metres for a fifth straight time, getting beaten in the 200 was surprising.

“I’m just a little shocked. It’s been a while since I lost a Canadian championship,” Brown said. “I’m happy for my teammates. A lot of people were giving Andre a hard time, but he showed why he’s an Olympic champion.”

De Grasse, Blake, Brown and Rodney received relay silver medals Saturday from Tokyo’s Summer Games, which were delayed from 2020 to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They were upgraded from bronze to silver after the disqualification of Britain due to a doping violation.

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“I didn’t sleep much last night, thinking about that moment and getting that medal after two years,” De Grasse said. “It felt great to get the job done with them, I wouldn’t want to get the job done with any others.

“It felt like a brotherhood.”

De Grasse hadn’t competed at nationals for four years due to world championship and Olympic commitments, as well as a bout with COVID-19 and a foot injury in 2022.

He and his relay teammates say they’re turning their attention to the world championships Aug. 19-27.

“It’s three weeks away, so I have some time,” De Grasse said. “I’m taking it one day at a time, one practice at a time.”

Brown expects to compete in both the 100 and the 200, as well as the relay with the same teammates that earned Olympic silver, in Budapest.

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“I’m not completely ready yet,” said Brown. “I have a couple weeks to clean some stuff up before worlds.”

Toronto’s Rodney wanted more from himself in the 200 final.

“I’m a little upset but I’m also happy at the same time,” he stated. “Next up is world championships.”

Decathlete Pierce LePage took home gold in the men’s long jump. It was his second medal at nationals after the 27-year-old from Whitby, Ont., finished third in discus Thursday.

Nojah Parker of Woodstock, Ont., won the men’s pole vault Sunday with a height of 5.40 metres.

Check out our sports section for the latest news and analysis. Care for a wager? Head to our sports betting section for news and odds.

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Scientists discover antibodies capable of stopping several coronaviruses, potentially preventing future outbreaks

Newly discovered antibodies can neutralize virtually all known variants of COVID-19 and may have the potential to prevent future coronavirus outbreaks, according to a new study.

Published in the peer-reviewed Science Advances journal Thursday, the study describes how a team of researchers was able to isolate potent neutralizing antibodies from a recovered SARS patient, who was vaccinated against COVID-19, that “exhibited remarkable breadth” against known sarbecoviruses, or respiratory viruses, like SARS and COVID-19.

The international team was led by Duke-NUS Medical School and involved scientists from the National University of Singapore, the University of Melbourne in Australia and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the United States.

By isolating antibodies from the COVID-19-vaccinated SARS survivor, the researchers found that the combination of prior coronavirus infection and vaccination generated an “extremely broad and powerful” antibody response — capable of stopping nearly all related coronaviruses tested.

“This work provides encouraging evidence that pan-coronavirus vaccines are possible if they can ‘educate’ the human immune system in the right way,” senior author Wang Linfa, a professor and bat virus expert with Duke-NUS’ Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme, said in a news release.

In total, the team obtained six antibodies that could neutralize multiple coronaviruses, including COVID-19, its variants Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron, the original SARS virus, along with multiple other animal coronaviruses transmitted from bats and pangolins.

Co-author Chia Wan Ni, a former postdoctoral fellow in Linfa’s lab who now works with Singapore start-up CoV Biotechnology, said three antibodies stood out as “exceptionally broad and potent,” capable of neutralizing all tested SARS-related viruses “at very low concentrations.”

The researchers found that the most powerful antibody, named E7, was able to neutralize both SARS and COVID-19, animal sarbecoviruses, as well as new COVID-19 variants, such as Omicron XBB.1.16.

E7 was shown to target a region of the coronavirus’ spike protein and blocked the shape-shifting process the virus requires to infect cells and cause illness, the study notes.

“The (neutralizing) potency and breadth of the E7 antibody exceeded any other SARS-related coronavirus antibodies we’ve come across,” said Chia.

“It maintained activity against even the newest Omicron subvariants, while most other antibodies lose effectiveness.”

The study’s findings provide a foundation for designing vaccines and drugs that work against COVID-19 variants and future coronavirus threats.

“This work demonstrates that induction of broad sarbecovirus-(neutralizing) antibodies is possible—it just needs the right immunogenic sequence and method of delivery,” said Wang.

“This provides hope that the design of a universal coronavirus vaccine is achievable.”

The researchers plan to further assess the E7 antibody’s potential against existing and future coronaviruses.

“This collaborative effort led by … Wang and his team expands our capability in protecting against coronavirus threats that currently threaten human health, as well as new viruses that may emerge in the future,” said Patrick Tan, senior vice-dean for research and professor at Duke-NUS Medical School.

“This underscores the pivotal role basic science research plays in advancing knowledge, with the goal of discovering new approaches to transform medicine and improve lives.”

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Salad, broccoli soup and kale smoothies. How’s that for a prescription? | CBC News

From a large paper bag, Maria Tunon pulls out a crispy bunch of red leaf lettuce, quarts of local cherries and potatoes, and fresh orange peppers, apples and cobs of corn.

“It’s nice quality and not expensive,” Tunon said, smiling.

Salad is on the menu tonight, she said, as prescribed.

Community development worker Leah Jenzen runs FVRx program and sometimes adds to the boxes of produce grown in Compass Community Health’s garden. (Samantha Beattie/CBC)

Tunon is one of 30 Hamilton residents who are part of Compass Community Health’s FVRx program and receive a prescription for a produce box every other week.

The program is the only one of its kind in Hamilton, and a year in, is a success with an “ever-growing wait list,” said community development worker Leah Jenzen.

“We definitely feel a huge need,” they said. “This is just a tiny piece in helping food security in Hamilton. It’s definitely one of the biggest areas we’re working on.”

Compass health-care providers write produce prescriptions for patients who struggle with chronic diseases like diabetes and would otherwise not be able to afford fresh food, Jenzen said.

Patients pay $10 for each haul, which is sourced by local online grocery store MRKTBOX.

Coun. Cameron Kroestch also recently committed over $5,000 to the program from Ward 2’s budget, which will carry it through to January, Jenzen said.

A full fridge of leafy greens

FVRx is a type of social prescribing, said Brent Esau, Compass’s chief operating officer.

“Health-care providers recognize there are other factors affecting your health other than lifestyle and genetics,” Esau said. “It’s recognizing that social and community programming impact your health as much as a medication prescription.”

Chris Hasler says FVRx has helped him eat healthier and control his blood sugar levels so he doesn’t have to take medication. (Samantha Beattie/CBC)

Chris Hasler is pre-diabetic and receives the box. He said it’s helped him eat greens and fewer carbs, which is important in managing his blood sugar levels without taking medication.

He noted $10 at the grocery store will only get him a bag of apples. Through the prescription program, $10 gets enough food to last two weeks.

“It’s great price-wise,” he said.

Vanessa Iker said the produce prescription has transformed her life.

She is also pre-diabetic, experiencing numbness in feet and hands and shooting pain down her legs.

She said she couldn’t afford fresh produce and would eat a lot of canned and frozen food. But now she always has fruit and vegetables on hand that she’s excited to prepare — “fancy carrots,” cream of broccoli soup and kale smoothies, she said.

“When I open my fridge, it’s full,” she said. “There’s always some sort of fruit — apples, oranges, bananas — always.”

After eating healthier for months, Iker said, she feels more energetic, her skin is glowing, and some of the pain and numbness has improved.

“I’m very proud of myself,” she said.

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