News

Canadian-made ebola Vaccine Shows Promise

An Ebola vaccine designed by a coalition of Canadian scientists is showing promise in a trial in Guinea, according to findings published on July 31 in the Lancet.

“The data so far shows that none of the 2,014 persons vaccinated developed Ebola virus disease after 10 days after vaccination,” Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, a senior author of the trial, told the CBC.

The vaccine, called rVSV-ZEBOV, was developed in response to the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa in 2013.

While results have been positive thus far, Dr. Joanne Liu, international president of Doc- tors Without Borders, told the CBC that more research was necessary to fully understand the effects of the vaccine.

Liu also referred to the vaccine as a “first ray of hope”, and “a potential game-changer”.

—Eric Davidson

Ontario ticket-fighting system could go online

The Ontario government is trying to move its ticket fighting system online, as it hopes to cut down on the volume of minor traffic of- fences, which take up 17 per cent of the Ontario Court of Justice’s total court time.

The provincial courthouse in Ottawa saw more than 10,000 traffic infractions in the past year. However, only 39 per cent of respondents said that that the move would save time and money, according to a CBC poll

The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney Gen- eral said in an email statement that people are entitled to a fair process, and that an online system would be able to “withstand the scrutiny of the courts.”

The CBC quoted Ottawa resident Mary Palladini as saying people should be able to appear in court and appeal to a judge instead of a machine. Arian Marius, another resident, simply found the current process slow and inconvenient. Trials for minor traffic offences take on average 127 days to resolve.

The province has asked residents to submit ideas on creating an online system to fight tickets and reduce time in court.

—Lindsay MacMillan

Issues raised with bilingual services at Elections Canada

An Audit released by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages on June 31 has found that Elections Canada’s bilingual services have “a lot of work to do”.

Graham Fraser, the commissioner, launched the audit after 26 official complaints in the last federal election according to the CBC.

The audit stated that some officers were not always aware of official language minority communities in certain districts.

The commissioner told the CBC that Elec- tions Canada produces a high-quality bilingual website, along with publications and ballots. Elections Canada told the CBC that it was impractical and unnecessary to provide bilingual officers in all 338 ridings, but did say they were committed to providing it where there was “significant demand.”

The audit made nine suggestions, including developing closer ties with English and French minority communities and a commitment to bilingual services at all polling stations during operating hours.

—Eric Davidson