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Neighbourhood pharmacies are critical for reopening of schools

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TORONTO /CNW/ – As Canada prepares for the school year to start, access to COVID-19 testing and influenza immunization are top of mind for the health and wellness of students, teachers, and their families.

Neighbourhood pharmacies can provide access to asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in convenient locations with extended hours, separate from those experiencing symptoms or who have had known contact with the virus. Alberta is now offering asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in pharmacies, and Ontario is on the path to the same delivery.

“We urge all provinces to empower pharmacists to provide point of care testing and specimen collection in partnership with laboratories to increase access,” says Sandra Hanna, pharmacist and CEO of the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada. “To alleviate the strain on parts of the health system that are overloaded by COVID-19, it is critical to expand the scope of practice for pharmacists across the country, so that we can provide the care our patients need when and where they need it most.”

The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada also encourages all Canadians to get their influenza vaccine every year. With the potential of a second wave of COVID-19, it is particularly important to protect against co-circulating respiratory illnesses this fall.

With 11,000 pharmacies conveniently located in every neighbourhood across Canada, families can receive their annual influenza immunization at their local pharmacy. In recent years, community pharmacists provided over 3.2 million influenza vaccinations. Of all Canadians receiving a flu shot, 48% chose to receive it in their pharmacy.

Pharmacies are taking steps to ensure public health guidelines are followed, and physical distancing is maintained. The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada recommends Canadians ask their pharmacist about their process, as many are planning to schedule appointments to ensure the utmost safety for Canadians seeking to get their flu shot.

The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada represents Canada’s leading pharmacy organizations, including chain, banner, long-term care, specialty pharmacies, grocery chains, and mass merchandisers with pharmacies. Our focus is on improving the delivery of care. We advocate for pharmacies’ role in caring for Canadians, both behind and in front of the counter. We aim to advance healthcare for Canadians by leveraging close to 11,000 pharmacies conveniently located in communities throughout the country as integral points of patient care.

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Air Canada Vacations Sun Destination Packages to Include COVID-19 Coverage and Assistance Administered by Allianz Global Assistance

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MONTREAL/CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada Vacations announced today that a COVID-19 Coverage and Assistance Plan, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, will be offered at no additional cost to customers booking with Air Canada Vacations. The plan is designed to cover emergency medical and quarantine expenses if COVID-19 is contracted while travelling.

Aimed at providing travellers with greater confidence to book their next dream vacation, this plan will be included in all flight and hotel Air Canada Vacations packages to select destinations in Mexico and in the Caribbean at no extra cost, as Air Canada Vacations will cover the cost of the coverage. A full list of applicable destinations is available here.

“We’re pleased to be the first Canadian tour operator to ensure coverage is in place for emergency medical and quarantine expenses relating to COVID-19 through Allianz Global Assistance and the brokerage firm TW Insurance Services as a part of our vacation packages. Our strategy, in conjunction with Air Canada CleanCare+, has been to be at the forefront of travel safety measures, including through the implementation of our Health and Safety Standards in our Sun destinations. We look forward to continuing to work with Allianz Global Assistance to turn our customers’ travel dreams into reality,” said Nino Montagnese, Managing Director at Air Canada Vacations.

“As Canadians look forward to travelling again, safety while abroad is top of mind for travellers more than ever before,” said Chris Van Kooten, Chief Executive Officer at Allianz Global Assistance. “Air Canada Vacations’ customers can once again travel with confidence and enjoy their holiday to the fullest with peace of mind about COVID-19 related medical emergencies.”

All eligible customers who book an Air Canada Vacations package on or after August 31, 2020 for travel between September 4, 2020 to April 30, 2021 to applicable destinations will be covered under the COVID-19 Coverage and Assistance Plan.

Policy terms and conditions can be found here: https://vacations.aircanada.com/en/travel-info/allianz-covid-19-coverage-assistance-plan.

Administered by Allianz Global Assistance, the COVID-19 Coverage and Assistance Plan is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of the Co-operators group of companies.

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Elkem to build biocarbon pilot plant in Canada

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CHICOUTIMI, Quebec /CNW/ — Elkem has decided to invest in a new biocarbon pilot plant in Canada. The project aims to secure industrial verification of Elkem’s technology for renewable biocarbon, with a long-term goal of contributing to climate-neutral metal production. The technology also has potential for application in other industry sectors, contributing to reduced CO2 emissions.

The total investment for the pilot plant amounts to NOK 180 million. The project has received financial support from the Canadian government, the Québec government and the city of Saguenay, reducing Elkem’s net investment to NOK 60 million.  The plant will be constructed near Elkem’s production site in Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada, with start of construction planned for the second half of 2020. Based on conclusions from the pilot, Elkem will evaluate the basis for a full-scale plant.

“Elkem is one of the world’s leading companies in environmentally responsible manufacturing of metals and materials, and we believe that sustainable production is increasingly a competitive advantage with our customers. With this new biocarbon pilot plant in Canada, we aim to secure long-term access to low-cost, high-quality renewable biocarbon to replace fossil coal, and further improve our competitive position for a sustainable future. In addition, we see a potential for scaling up this technology to other industries – helping reduce emissions,” says CEO of Elkem, Michael Koenig.

With the new plant, Elkem will pilot an industrial biocarbon process tailor-made for silicon and ferrosilicon production. Using climate-neutral renewable biocarbon instead of fossil coal as a reduction agent is a key part of Elkem’s sustainable production strategy. Elkem already uses close to 20 per cent biocarbon in its production in Norway and the company is working towards increasing this to 40 per cent by 2030. Elkem sources 83 per cent of its of electricity consumption from renewable energy.

Elkem also sees a future potential for biocarbon technology to be customised for use in the steel industry, as a replacement for coke as reduction agent. The company is searching for partners for industrialization of the technology.

The pilot plant will source raw materials from local sawmills in Canada, including recycled bark, wood chips, sawdust and wood shaves. This will create new business opportunities within the circular economy and create new green jobs. More than 2 million Green tons (Gt) of potential raw material is already produced within 100 kilometres of the Chicoutimi area in Quebec.

“The Government of Canada continues to invest in emerging clean technologies that support the competitiveness of our forestry sector while creating a clean energy future”, says Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan.

“Studies have shown that biocarbon can perform even better than fossil coal in production, and at the same time reduce the carbon footprint. Still, challenges remain to make biocarbon viable at a large scale, including how to optimise quality, how to customise furnaces for biocarbon, how to sustainably source raw materials and how to minimise transportation. I am confident that Elkem’s new biocarbon pilot plant in Canada will help us solve these challenges, by enabling close cooperation between people at all levels of the organisation, from the operators who run the furnaces to the plant management, the procurement team, and R&D specialists including our partner Pyrovac. Together, we can accelerate a sustainable step-change that is both economically viable and good for the environment,” says Jean Villeneuve, Elkem’s Head of Biocarbon Business.

In addition to the Canada pilot plant, Elkem remains involved in several activities related to biocarbon, in Norway and other countries around the world. This includes work to develop competitive and sustainable sources of biocarbon as well as longer-term R&D projects. In 2019, Elkem’s plant in Paraguay achieved 100 per cent sustainable biocarbon in its production of ferrosilicon as a pioneer plant in Elkem and the metals industry.

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Canada’s Hidden Treasure Is This Fall’s Next Big Beauty Trend

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VANCOUVER, BC/CNW/ – The beginning of a new season is here, and with it comes the hunt for a natural solution to rejuvenate the skin after months spent in the sun. Gaining in popularity due to its effectiveness in rehydrating skin while drawing out impurities is the Canadian hidden treasure – Canadian Glacial Oceanic Clay. Native to the Canadian shores in British Columbia, this raw Glacial Oceanic Clay is unique to West Coast glaciers and is continuously enriched by the ocean’s cyclical flow, leaving it silky smooth and cream-like in texture while enriched with more than 60 minerals. This clay contains rare healing elements that help deeply cleanse, restore and rehydrate damaged skin, making it the perfect addition to any Fall skincare routine.

This unique clay is featured in Canadian brand Bl’eau’s Glacial Oceanic Clay Masks which are infused with other natural ingredients including algae, seaweed, organic coconut oil, aloe vera and spirulina to exfoliate and soothe the skin gently. Bl’eau’s hero product, the Organics Glacial Oceanic Clay Mask, is NSF certified organic and has a “non-drying” formula that makes this clay mask more gentle on sensitive skin while effectively sealing in moisture. Through innovative technology, Bl’eau has extracted elements from their Glacial Oceanic Clay, including Glacial Oceanic Mineral Water. Formulated as the base in their Hydrate Collection, this rare ingredient is rich in nourishing sea minerals, as well as vitamins A, E and F to soothe the skin while promoting healthy cell renewal, providing customers with a spa-like experience at home.

“Bl’eau is committed to providing the purest and most rejuvenating skincare blends,” says Melanie Liu, Chief Operating Officer at Bl’eau. “Through the magic of Canadian Oceanic Glacial Clay and other natural ingredients sourced sustainably from the Earth, our products have proven to restore damaged skin, making them a seamless addition to our customer’s post-summer skincare regimen.”

Bl’eau’s collection includes a variety of products, all containing Canadian Glacial Oceanic Clay, to help customer’s settle into a fresh skincare routine this Fall. All products are available for purchase in Canada and the United States through their website, www.bleaubeauty.com, including Glacial Oceanic Clay Masks, Glacial Mineral Toner, Hydrating Glacial Moisturizing Cream and Hydrating Glacial Moisturizing Emulsion.

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