COVID-19 Update: Alberta leaving federal emergency funds unspent: report | 366 new cases, 14 deaths | Variants could extend Alberta restrictions

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Highly infectious foreign variants are currently flooding Israeli hospitals with serious cases and the newly developed vaccines have yet to be proven fully effective against them, Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch said.

Israel currently leads the world on per capita vaccinations, having inoculated about 30% of its population of nine million with at least one dose.

“We are in a war with very low intelligence (about the enemy),” Kisch, a former fighter pilot, told Reuters. “That means that things are changing as we go. The enemy is using different tactics and different methods that we are not fully aware of.”

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Alberta leaving more than $675 million in federal emergency funds unspent: report

Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance, speaks during a press conference in Edmonton, on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. File photo. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

Alberta is sitting on the most unspent federal emergency COVID-19 funds, according to a new study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The Tuesday report tracked whether the federal or provincial government picked up the tab for COVID-19 measures in 2020, showing there is more than $675 million in federal money still on the table for essential worker wage top-ups, job training in hard-hit sectors, rapid housing initiatives, long-term care supports, and help for early childhood educators.

Almost every province is sitting on unspent federal money, with a total of $374 billion earmarked in spending between the federal and provincial governments.

However, Alberta left the most federal transfers untouched and grants not accessed, with Ontario close behind at just more than $660 million. Alberta received the most, on a per-capita basis, from the federal government, while spending among the least based on provincial gross domestic product (GDP).

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