Speaking from outside his home in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the federal government’s response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
The latest novel coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday (this file will be updated throughout the day) with web links to longer stories if available:
11:25 a.m.: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is asked by the Star’s Alex Ballingall about Premier Doug Ford’s comments to Citynews about how Ontario will run out of personal protective equipment for health-care workers in one week after claiming the U.S. stopped a shipment of PPE into Canada. Trudeau says the two countries continue to have productive conversations, and that it’s a two-way street.
11:24 a.m.: Nova Scotia is reporting 31 new cases of COVID-19. The province’s total has now grown to 293 confirmed cases — 64 of which have been resolved.
While most cases in Nova Scotia have been connected to travel or a known case, the province has confirmed cases are now being linked to community spread.
11:15 a.m. (updated): Trudeau says 240,000 people successfully applied for emergency relief in the first few hours after Ottawa opened the process. Only people with birthdays in the first three months of the year can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit today.
The benefit offers $500-a-week payments for workers who have lost all of their income. Trudeau says changes to the program will come soon to offer help for people whose hours have been slashed but who are still working a little.
11:08 a.m: As of 11 a.m., Ontario’s local public health units are reporting 4,859 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, including 149 deaths, according to the Star’s latest count of the public tallies and press releases issued by the province’s 34 regional health units.
The total number of cases is up nearly 450 cases, or 10.0 per cent, since the same time Sunday morning.
The health units have reported 11 new deaths in 24 hours, including four more reported in Peel Region Monday morning. Peel has not yet released any information on these deaths, which bring the region’s total to eight since the pandemic began.
Meanwhile, the number of people hospitalized and in intensive care continues to grow in Ontario. According to the province, 589 patients are now hospitalized with COVID-19, including 216 in an intensive care unit.
The province says its data is accurate to 4 p.m. the previous day. The province also cautions its latest count of deaths — 132 — may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in its reporting system.
The local health units post new information to their websites throughout the day. The Star’s count includes some patients reported as “probable” COVID-19 cases, meaning they have symptoms and contacts or travel history that indicate they very likely have the disease, but have not yet received a positive lab test.
10:50 a.m.: Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is calling on the government to increase the charitable donation tax credit. He says this would help increase charitable contributions to hospitals, churches, food banks, women’s shelters and other worthy organizations.
Scheer also wants the government to immediately remove the capital gains tax on charitable donations of private company shares and real estate. He says although many businesses are struggling, some are still thriving and should be encouraged to support the charitable sector.
10:40 a.m.: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will hold his daily media briefing about the COVID-19 situation at 11:15 a.m. from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa. Live video of his briefing will be posted here.
On Sunday, Trudeau announced details for a cash payment for Canadians out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accepted starting Monday, offering Canadians who have lost their jobs because of the crisis $2,000 a month.
10:24 a.m.: The Open Championship, also known as the British Open, has been cancelled, organizers announced Monday. It’s the first time since 1945 that this major golf championship has been cancelled.
10:05 a.m.: VIA Rail has suspended service of the “Canadian” — its service connecting passengers between Toronto and Vancouver — until June 1, due to the spread of the coronavirus, the national rail passenger service said in a news release.
The measure is needed “in light of the continued expansion of travel limitations as well as the widening of physical distancing and isolation measures,” the company said.
Passengers who booked a trip during this period will be contacted and reimbursed automatically.
10 a.m.: Toronto Mayor John Tory says he’s in favour of shutting down High Park, which usually attracts huge crowds for the cherry blossoms later this month. “I just don’t think that crowd scene is going to work in terms of the kind of physical distance we’re trying to encourage,” Tory told CP24, adding that he hopes to have some announcement this week of some sort of livestream so that people can still see it.
Hundreds were turned away from Toronto parks over the weekend as residents defy COVID-19 warnings, the Star’s Katie Daubs reports.
9:58 a.m.: Spain reported the lowest number of new coronavirus cases in more than two weeks, a sign that Europe’s biggest outbreak is slowing.
New infections were 4,273, taking the total to 135,032, according to Health Ministry data on Monday. The death toll rose by 637 to 13,055 in the past 24 hours, a smaller gain than Sunday’s 674 and the lowest number of daily fatalities since March 24.
9:44 a.m.: Stocks jumped in markets around the world Monday after some of the hardest-hit areas offered sparks of hope that the worst of the coronavirus outbreak may be on the horizon. U.S. stocks climbed more than three per cent in the first few minutes of trading, following similar gains in Europe and Asia. Bay Street was up 3.6 per cent at the opening of the market.
9:40 a.m.: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to hold his daily media briefing about the COVID-19 situation at 11:15 a.m. Monday from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa. Check back here for the live video from the news conference.
9:15 a.m.: The latest numbers on the Johns Hopkins website report the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide at 1,288,372 with 70,482 deaths. Among those, 270,249 have recovered from the illness. The United States (337,933), Spain (135,032), Italy (128,948) and Germany (100,132) have the highest number of cases.
8:44 a.m.: South Africa, one of the world’s most unequal countries with a large population vulnerable to the new coronavirus, may have an advantage in the outbreak, honed during years battling HIV and tuberculosis: the know-how and infrastructure to conduct mass testing.
8:31 a.m.: The United States and Britain braced for one of their bleakest weeks in living memory on Monday as the social and financial toll of the coronavirus pandemic deepened. New infections in Italy and especially Spain showed signs of slowing, with emergency rooms in the hard-hit Madrid region returning almost to normal a week after scenes of patients sleeping on floors and in chairs.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was infected last month, was hospitalized overnight in what his office described as a “precautionary step” after persistent symptoms. The 55-year-old Conservative leader, who had a fever for days, is the first known head of government to fall ill with the disease.
8:26 a.m.: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says that he will declare a state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures as early as Tuesday to bolster measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak, but that there will be no hard lockdowns.
7 a.m. Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says Canadian passengers on the Coral Princess cruise ship will be headed home Monday, after undergoing a health screening.
Champagne says in a tweet that Canadians who don’t show any symptoms of COVID-19 will be allowed to disembark the ship in Florida and get on a flight chartered by Holland America.
The minister says they’ll be screened again upon arrival and subject to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period.
Some passengers were allowed off the ship yesterday but Canadians weren’t among them, due to new guidelines by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
Those guidelines said cruise passengers shouldn’t board commercial flights, meaning only those with chartered flights were able to disembark.
6 a.m.: Three out of four U.S. hospitals surveyed are already treating patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, according to a federal report that finds hospitals expect to be overwhelmed as cases rocket toward their projected peak.
4:15 a.m.: Applications open today for the new federal emergency aid benefit for Canadians who lost their income because of COVID-19.
The Canada Revenue Agency will open its application portals this morning to those born in the first three months of the year, with those born in other months able to apply later in the week.
People born in April, May and June can apply Tuesday, those born in July, August or September can apply Wednesday and applications are accepted Thursday from people born in October, November and December. Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be open to anyone.
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More than two million Canadians lost their jobs in the last half of March as businesses across the country were forced to close or reduce their operations to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Others are unable to work because they are required to self-isolate at home, or need to look after children whose schools and daycares are closed.
To be eligible for the emergency benefit, workers must have earned at least $5,000 in 2019, or in the 12 months before applying. The benefit is the same for everyone regardless of previous income, and is a less complicated application process than for employment insurance.
Canadians who sign up for direct deposit could get their first payment before the end of the week, while those who opt for printed cheques will get money in 10 days.
4:05 a.m.: Students across Ontario begin online learning today, more than three weeks after COVID-19 shuttered schools in the name of physical distancing.
Teachers will lead the effort with both live and pre-recorded lessons, but the move poses challenges nonetheless.
The Ministry of Education has said that e-learning cannot fully replace the in-class experience, so the goal is to help students continue their education as much as possible during the pandemic.
4 a.m.: The U.S. Surgeon General says Americans should brace for levels of tragedy reminiscent of the Sept. 11 attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, while the nation’s infectious disease chief warned Sunday that the new coronavirus may never be completely eradicated from the globe.
Those were some of the most grim assessments yet for the immediate future and beyond. But hours later, President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence tried to strike more optimistic tones, suggesting that hard weeks ahead could mean beginning to turn a corner.
“We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel,” Trump said at a Sunday evening White House briefing. Pence added, “We are beginning to see glimmers of progress.”
The president, however, added that he thought the next two weeks “are going to be very difficult.”
Earlier Sunday, Surgeon General Jerome Adams told CNN, “This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives, quite frankly.”
The number of people infected in the U.S. has exceeded 337,000, with the death toll climbing past 9,600. More than 4,100 of those deaths are in the state of New York, but a glimmer of hope there came on Sunday when Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his state registered a small dip in new fatalities over a 24-hour period.
4 a.m.: There are 15,512 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada, according to The Canadian Press.
- Quebec: 7,944 confirmed (including 94 deaths, 464 resolved)
- Ontario: 4,038 confirmed (including 119 deaths, 1,449 resolved)
- Alberta: 919 confirmed (including 23 deaths, 279 resolved), 331 presumptive
- British Columbia: 1,203 confirmed (including 38 deaths, 673 resolved)
- Nova Scotia: 262 confirmed (including 53 resolved)
- Saskatchewan: 249 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 67 resolved)
- Newfoundland and Labrador: 217 confirmed (including 1 death, 28 resolved)
- Manitoba: 187 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 17 resolved), 16 presumptive
- New Brunswick: 101 confirmed (including 28 resolved)
- Prince Edward Island: 22 confirmed (including 6 resolved)
- Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed
- Yukon: 6 confirmed (including 4 resolved)
- Northwest Territories: 4 confirmed (including 1 resolved)
- Nunavut: No confirmed cases
- Total: 15,512 (347 presumptive, 15,165 confirmed including 280 deaths, 3,069 resolved)
7:20 p.m.: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to a hospital with the new coronavirus.
Johnson’s office says he is being admitted for tests because he still has symptoms, 10 days after testing positive for the virus.
Downing St. says the hospitalization is a “precautionary step” and he remains in charge of the government.
Johnson, 55, has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26.
Trump decries ‘lowlifes’ and racism in Canada; In The News for June 3 – CityNews Toronto
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of June 3 …
American anti-racism protests …
Undeterred by curfews, protesters streamed back into the nation’s streets Tuesday, hours after President Donald Trump pressed governors to put down the violence set off by George Floyd’s death and demanded that New York call up the National Guard to stop the “lowlifes and losers.”
But most protests passed peacefully, and while there were scattered reports of looting in New York City, the country appeared calmer by late Tuesday than it did a day earlier, when violence swept through multiple cities.
The president, meanwhile, amplified his hard-line calls from Monday, when he threatened to send in the military to restore order if governors didn’t do it.
“NYC, CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD,” he tweeted. “The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast!”
One day after a crackdown on peaceful protesters near the White House, thousands of demonstrators massed a block away from the presidential mansion, facing law enforcement personnel standing behind a black chain-link fence. The fence was put up overnight to block access to Lafayette Park, just across the street from the White House.
“Last night pushed me way over the edge,” said Jessica DeMaio, 40, of Washington, who attended a Floyd protest Tuesday for the first time. “Being here is better than being at home feeling helpless.”
The crowd remained in place after the city’s 7 p.m. curfew passed, defying warnings that the response from law enforcement could be even more forceful. But the protest lacked the tension of the previous nights’ demonstrations. The crowd Tuesday was peaceful, even polite. At one point, the crowd booed when a protester climbed a light post and took down a street sign. A chant went up: “Peaceful protest!”
COVID-19 in Canada …
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will continue today to make the case for a co-ordinated global response to cushion the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world’s poorest countries.
He’ll be among the leaders and heads of state to deliver remarks during a virtual summit of the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS).
Among other things, he is expected to promise that Canada will partner with developing countries, which stand to be the hardest hit by the pandemic, and help to rally the world behind measures like debt relief to help them survive the crisis.
That is similar to the message Trudeau delivered last week while co-hosting a major United Nations summit, alongside UN secretary general Antonio Guterres and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Without a global co-ordinated recovery plan, the UN estimates the pandemic could slash nearly US$8.5 trillion from the world economy over the next two years, forcing 34.3 million people into extreme poverty this year and potentially 130 million more over the course of the decade.
While no country has escaped the economic ravages of the deadly novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, developing countries, already in debt distress before the pandemic, cannot afford the kinds of emergency benefits and economic stimulus measures undertaken in wealthy, industrialized countries like Canada.
And this …
Nova Scotia’s largest nursing home is planning for a future of private rooms to keep residents safe, but it has taken a wrenching pandemic death toll to create the shift — and it remains unclear whether government will fund a long-term fix.
“We’re currently down to fewer than 25 rooms with shared accommodations at the Halifax campus,” Janet Simm, the Northwood facility’s chief executive, said in a recent interview.
That’s a huge shift from before the pandemic when more than 240 residents lived in two- or three-person units. Now, fewer than 50 people remain in the shared spaces, some of whom are couples or others who specifically request a roommate, Simm said.
But the facility’s desire to create more space, which its board sought for years before the pandemic, unfolded through tragedy rather than design.
COVID-19 illnesses spread among the 485 residents after asymptomatic workers brought the virus there in early April, and Simm says the bulk of the 53 who had died, as of Tuesday, and the 240 infected were in shared units.
COVID-19 in sports …
Khari Jones doesn’t have to look far for a reminder that racism exists in Canada.
The Montreal Alouettes head coach divulged during a teleconference Tuesday he received death threats while he was the quarterback of the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers because of his interracial marriage. Jones is black and his wife, Justine, is white.
An emotional Jones — speaking just over a week after a white policeman kneeled on the neck of a black man, resulting in a tragic death in Minneapolis — said the threats came in the form of letters that remain in his possession.
“It’s just a reminder you always have to be on alert a little bit,” Jones said. “It could’ve been one person but one is still too many and to do that on the basis of a person’s skin colour is horrible.
“Every once in a while, every blue moon I take a look at them. They never found the person who wrote the letters — he used a fake name — but he’s still out there, people like him are still out there. That was 20-something years ago and it’s still happening.”
Interest rate announcement looms …
The Bank of Canada is expected to keep its key interest rate unchanged this morning on the first day of governor Tiff Macklem’s tenure.
Economists expect the central bank will maintain its target for the overnight rate at 0.25 per cent, which former governor Stephen Poloz has repeatedly said is as low as it can go.
Poloz and the bank’s governing council would have met over the past few days and finalized the rate decision last night.
Macklem likely would have been part of the meetings, but it’s unlikely that the language of the rate announcement will fully capture his views.
Instead of focusing on the rate itself, experts say they will be paying close attention to the language used in the rate announcement about the expected path for the economy in the coming weeks and months.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2020
The Canadian Press
Canada’s daily coronavirus death toll surges from day prior as 705 new cases reported – Globalnews.ca
The death toll from the novel coronavirus in Canada more than doubled from the day prior, with 69 lives reported taken on Tuesday.
A further 705 new cases of COVID-19 were also identified across Canada as the country moved into its second week of daily cases ranging below the 1,000 mark.
Tuesday’s numbers brings Canada’s total lab-confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths to 92,399 and 7,395, respectively.
Of those total cases, over 50,000 people have recovered from the virus. Canada-wide coronavirus tests have also surpassed 1.8 million.
Ontario, which reported 446 new cases surpassed the total reported by Quebec at 239 for the second straight day however.
Until Monday, Quebec was generally considered the epicentre of Canada’s COVID-19 outbreak as both daily reported cases and deaths within the province topped the country over the course of the pandemic.
Both cases and deaths within the eastern province account for more than half of Canada’s totals.
Several other provinces have also announced new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday.
Coronavirus around the world: June 2, 2020
British Columbia reported only four new cases of the virus, whereas Alberta added another 13 infections. No fatalities linked to COVID-19 were reported by either province.
Manitoba also announced two new cases of the virus. The province’s death toll, however, has remained at seven since the first week of May.
In Atlantic Canada, only New Brunswick was the only province to report a new case of the virus.
More to come…
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
In their own words: political leaders in Canada weigh in on Trump's response to U.S. protests – CBC.ca
Canadian political leaders are weighing in on U.S. President Donald Trump’s handling of anti-racism protests sweeping across the United States in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of law enforcement.
While most leaders were reluctant to single out Trump by name, both Nova Scotia’s premier and Ottawa’s mayor had plenty to say about behaviour that they described as “offensive” and “disgraceful.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Trudeau’s answer to a question about Trump’s decision to have protesters moved with tear gas and riot police — so he could have his picture taken outside a church — has been talked about more for what he didn’t say than for what he did say.
The prime minister took 21 seconds to think before delivering an answer that focused on the discrimination faced by people of colour in Canada.
When pressed further to respond to Trump’s threat to call in the military into deal with protesters, the prime minister said his focus was on Canadians, not United States domestic politics.
“My job as a Canadian prime minister is to stand up for Canadians, to stand up for our interests, to stand up for our values,” he said. “That is what have done from the very beginning, that is what I will continue to do.”
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland
The deputy prime minister followed Trudeau’s position closely, noting that Canada has its own problems with anti-black racism and unconscious bias.
“What I am concerned about, actually, is Canadian complacency. I think that it’s really, really important for us to set our own house in order and for us to really be aware of the pain that anti-black racism causes here in our own country,” she said.
“We as Canadians, all of us, need to take this very traumatic moment for many people in the world as an opportunity to look at what we are doing in Canada and to work hard to do better.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford
Ford also avoided directly criticizing how the United States’ leadership has handled the protests, but he did say that he is glad to live in a country that doesn’t suffer from the same racial divisions and systemic racism seen in the U.S.
“They have their issues in the U.S. and they have to fix their issues, but it’s like night and day compared to Canada,” Ford said. “I’m proud to be Canadian. I’m proud to be the premier of Ontario.
“Thank God that we’re different than the United States. We don’t have the systemic, deep roots they’ve had for years … The difference between the U.S. and Canada, for the most part, for the most part — we get along.”
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil
McNeil offered a less diplomatic comment when speaking about Floyd’s death and the Trump administration’s response to the protests that followed.
“When you watch what’s happened south of the border, where a black American was killed at the hands of law enforcement, you understand the outrage and hurt and anger that people are feeling,” he said.
“Quite frankly, the political response in the United States has been offensive … to the world.”
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson
Watson offered what may have been some of the sharpest criticism of the Trump administration coming from a Canadian politician — singling out the president by name and calling his behaviour throughout the crisis “disgraceful.”
“I think it was disgraceful. Clearing out peaceful protesters so he could have a photo-op holding a Bible,” said Watson.
“Presidents and leaders of organizations should be calming the waters and instill a sense of hope, and not [creating] greater chaos. What we’ve seen in the United States is both sad and remarkable but unfortunately, with this president, somewhat predictable.
“He seems to like to take gas and throw it on the fire.”
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