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Canada adds 151 more coronavirus deaths as cases close in on 600K – Global News

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Canada added another 6,178 new cases of the novel coronavirus Sunday as news of more politicians travelling abroad during the pandemic despite strict travel advisories came to the forefront.

Sunday’s update pushed Canada’s total COVID-19 cases to 597,397, of which 504,900 have since recovered. A total of 15,865 people have now also died from the virus after 151 more deaths were announced, while 18,731,000 tests have been administered.

Read more:
Two Liberal MPs resign from government roles after traveling abroad amid coronavirus

While the Global News’ tally currently lists the country’s total caseload at just over 597,000, Canada’s total infections is suspected to have already surpassed the 600,000-mark Sunday due to several provinces and territories not releasing new COVID-19 data either during the holidays or over the weekend.

A new tally of cases released by Health Canada places the country’s total caseload at 601,663 — primarily due to its counting of Alberta’s new coronavirus infections, which has not seen an official release by the province since Dec. 30. Other provinces like B.C., Nova Scotia and P.E.I., as well as the Northwest Territories and Yukon did not release new COVID-19 on Sunday, offering a limited snapshot of the virus’ spread across Canada.

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The federal government also said Sunday that it was mulling over whether it would exclude people travelling overseas from a benefit for those who have to quarantine due to the virus.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: COVID-19 infection rate climbs among Montreal’s homeless'



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Coronavirus: COVID-19 infection rate climbs among Montreal’s homeless


Coronavirus: COVID-19 infection rate climbs among Montreal’s homeless

Launched in the fall to help Canadians unable to work due to quarantining amid the pandemic, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit allowed $500 per week for a maximum of two weeks.

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Employment Minister Carla Qualthrough said in a statement Saturday that the government was actively looking at all options.

Read more:
Feds mull cutting sickness benefit for Canadians who have travelled amid coronavirus

“The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit was never intended to incentivize or encourage Canadians to not follow public health or international travel guidelines,” the statement said.

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“We strongly urge all Canadians to avoid non-essential travel.”

Qualthrough’s comments come amid new admissions from several Liberal Party MPs over having recently travelled during the holiday season.

Pierrefonds—Dollard MP Sameer Zuberi recently traveled to Delaware to see his wife’s sick grandfather, while Kamal Khera, who represents Brampton West, flew to Seattle to attend a private memorial for her deceased uncle. Both returned on Dec. 31, and have since resigned from their government and parliamentary roles.


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Coronavirus: Advocate says lack of masks can lead to isolation


Coronavirus: Advocate says lack of masks can lead to isolation

Three other Liberal MPs were also found to have traveled overseas in 2020, though all had done so in the summer or fall when travel restrictions were loosened and new cases were at a low. These include Alexandra Mendès, the MP for Brossard—Saint-Lambert, Lyne Bessette who represents Brome—Missisquoi and Patricia Lattanzio who was elected to Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel.

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Ontario added another 2,964 cases on Sunday as well as 25 additional deaths during its daily update. The province’s total caseload and death toll now stands at 190,962 and 4,650, respectively.

Quebec on Sunday reported more than 7,600 new COVID-19 cases over a three-day period, as well as an additional 121 deaths from the virus. Of those cases and deaths, 2,869 infections and 11 fatalities were recorded over the past 24-hours.

Saskatchewan added another 238 cases Sunday, pushing its provincial total to 16,083 while Manitoba added 100 more infections.

In Atlantic Canada, only New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador reported new COVID-19 data, with N.B. adding seven more cases. N.L. did not record any new cases Sunday.

While Alberta did not officially release new COVID-19 data on Sunday, health authorities there estimated a total of 400 new cases on Jan. 2. The province’s last case count as of Dec. 30 stood at 100,428.

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Nunavut did not report any new COVID-19 cases in its daily update Sunday.

Worldwide, cases of the novel coronavirus continue to increase as infections topped 85,095,000 according to Johns Hopkins University. A total of 1,842,590 people have since succumbed to the virus, with the U.S., India and Brazil leading in both cases and deaths.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Radio-Canada head travelled to Florida despite federal travel advisory – CBC.ca

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CBC/Radio-Canada’s executive vice-president of French services is apologizing for travelling to Florida last month despite the federal government strongly warning against non-essential travel during the pandemic.

Michel Bissonnette, who oversees French-language television, radio and digital content for the public broadcaster, owns property in Miami and stayed there Dec. 2 to Dec. 27. He both worked and vacationed while south of the border, said Radio-Canada spokesperson Marc Pichette in an email.

The story was first reported on by the National Post Thursday morning.

“Since the start of the pandemic in March, he has made one trip there to tend to business regarding this property,” said Pichette.

“For all the time he was in Miami, he never went to any restaurant or any retail store. Upon his return, he quarantined for 14 days. Mr. Bissonnette followed both the corporation’s policies and provincial health requirements.”

The Canadian government has had an advisory in place urging against non-essential international travel since March 14, 2020.

“Canadian citizens and permanent residents are advised to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice to limit the spread of COVID-19,” it reads.

“The best way to protect yourself, your family and those most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 in our communities is to choose to stay in Canada.”

CBC/Radio-Canada’s own internal policy also urges against travel.

“We strongly recommend that employees refrain from travelling abroad,” the policy says.

“Should you decide to travel outside the country, please inform your supervisor before you go and after you return.”

CBC president also travelled to U.S.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Bissonnette said he understands the reaction to his trip given the advisory.

He apologized, in French, to employees and the public.

Kim Trynacity, CBC branch president of the Canadian Media Guild, said while the trip might not have broken any laws, it runs against public health advice.

“Leaders have a responsibility to set an example,” she said in an email.

“As we saw recently with all the politicians who went on vacation during Christmas, they weren’t breaking any laws, but it just doesn’t look good and is contrary to what healthcare professionals advise.”

As reported by Canadaland back in December, Catherine Tait, president of CBC, has also travelled to the U.S. since the international travel advisory was put in place.

President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada Catherine Tait, pictured at 2018 conference, travelled to New York in March to care for her husband, who lives there and had undergone a medical procedure, and again in November. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

According to a statement, Tait travelled to New York on March 29, 2020, to care for her husband, who lives there and had undergone a medical procedure.

CBC spokesperson Leon Mar said she worked there until June 8, when she returned to her home in Ottawa. He said she went back to New York Nov. 13 and returned to Canada on Dec. 27. 

“This travel was done with the knowledge of CBC/Radio-Canada’s Board of Directors. Ms. Tait did not ask for or receive any special exemption from the government for her travel and continues to follow all quarantine requirements,” said the statement.

In a followup email to CBC, Mar said Tait has no plans to travel to the U.S. in the future.

Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute, told CBC News, that seven in 10 Canadians have postponed or cancelled trips and family gatherings at home and abroad since the pandemic began and they tend to look at those who disobey the travel advice as entitled and elitist. 

“Canadians are saying, ‘Look, we’re staying home. Why why do we get the sense that everyone else or a lot of other folks out there in this country are coming and going as they please?'” she told CBC News.

Politicians questioned over international travel

A number of public officer holders have been embroiled in controversy for travelling abroad. 

Last month Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP Rod Phillips stepped down from his high-profile job as finance minister after returning from a controversial Caribbean vacation while the province is under strict lockdown measures.

Federally, five MPs are known to have left the country in December. Three of those MPs — the NDP’s Niki Ashton and Liberals Kamal Khera and Sameer Zuberi — did so because of family members who were sick or who recently had passed away. 

Calgary-Signal Hill Conservative MP Ron Liepert travelled to Palm Desert, Calif., on two occasions since March to address what his office called “essential house maintenance issues.” Liepert, who previously served as Alberta’s health and wellness minister, owns a home in the city. 

WATCH | Michael Bissonette travelled to Florida last month:

A top executive at CBC/Radio Canada is one of the latest public figures to be called out for travelling outside of Canada, in defiance of public health advice, while another CBC executive has also faced scrutiny over travel. 2:06

Conservative MP David Sweet resigned Jan. 4 from his position as chair of the House of Commons ethics committee over his holiday travel to the U.S.

Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, said the spate of reports about high-profile Canadians travelling internationally is worrisome.

“I’m gravely disappointed, alarmed and almost growing panicky to be honest. We’ve known from the beginning, since February, that travel was a serious problem,” he said in an interview. 

“People seem to feel that travel is a right or governments’ feel that taking away travel is not a politically wise thing to do. Both of those views are very harmful in my opinion.” 

Senate leaders have faced questions about leaving the country for sunnier spots.

Senate Opposition Leader Don Plett spent part of the Christmas holidays in Mexico, and Sen. Scott Tannas, leader of the Canadian Senators Group, confirmed he travelled to Hawaii during the holidays.

As part of its coverage, CBC News reached out to every senator to find out if they left the country.

“I am wondering whether you are doing a similar survey of all CBC employees regarding travel as they are also paid and funded by federal tax dollars,” responded Sen. Pamela Wallin, who added she has not travelled for more than a year.

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Radio-Canada head travelled to Florida despite federal travel advisory – CBC.ca

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CBC/Radio-Canada’s executive vice-president of French services is apologizing for travelling to Florida last month despite the federal government strongly warning against non-essential travel during the pandemic.

Michel Bissonnette, who oversees French-language television, radio and digital content for the public broadcaster, owns property in Miami and stayed there Dec. 2 to Dec. 27. He both worked and vacationed while south of the border, said Radio-Canada spokesperson Marc Pichette in an email.

The story was first reported on by the National Post Thursday morning.

“Since the start of the pandemic in March, he has made one trip there to tend to business regarding this property,” said Pichette.

“For all the time he was in Miami, he never went to any restaurant or any retail store. Upon his return, he quarantined for 14 days. Mr. Bissonnette followed both the corporation’s policies and provincial health requirements.”

The Canadian government has had an advisory in place urging against non-essential international travel since March 14, 2020.

“Canadian citizens and permanent residents are advised to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice to limit the spread of COVID-19,” it reads.

“The best way to protect yourself, your family and those most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 in our communities is to choose to stay in Canada.”

CBC/Radio-Canada’s own internal policy also urges against travel.

“We strongly recommend that employees refrain from travelling abroad,” the policy says.

“Should you decide to travel outside the country, please inform your supervisor before you go and after you return.”

CBC president also travelled to U.S.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Bissonnette said he understands the reaction to his trip given the advisory.

He apologized, in French, to employees and the public.

Kim Trynacity, CBC branch president of the Canadian Media Guild, said while the trip might not have broken any laws, it runs against public health advice.

“Leaders have a responsibility to set an example,” she said in an email.

“As we saw recently with all the politicians who went on vacation during Christmas, they weren’t breaking any laws, but it just doesn’t look good and is contrary to what healthcare professionals advise.”

As reported by Canadaland back in December, Catherine Tait, president of CBC, has also travelled to the U.S. since the international travel advisory was put in place.

President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada Catherine Tait, pictured at 2018 conference, travelled to New York in March to care for her husband, who lives there and had undergone a medical procedure, and again in November. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

According to a statement, Tait travelled to New York on March 29, 2020, to care for her husband, who lives there and had undergone a medical procedure.

CBC spokesperson Leon Mar said she worked there until June 8, when she returned to her home in Ottawa. He said she went back to New York Nov. 13 and returned to Canada on Dec. 27. 

“This travel was done with the knowledge of CBC/Radio-Canada’s Board of Directors. Ms. Tait did not ask for or receive any special exemption from the government for her travel and continues to follow all quarantine requirements,” said the statement.

In a followup email to CBC, Mar said Tait has no plans to travel to the U.S. in the future.

Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute, told CBC News, that seven in 10 Canadians have postponed or cancelled trips and family gatherings at home and abroad since the pandemic began and they tend to look at those who disobey the travel advice as entitled and elitist. 

“Canadians are saying, ‘Look, we’re staying home. Why why do we get the sense that everyone else or a lot of other folks out there in this country are coming and going as they please?'” she told CBC News.

Politicians questioned over international travel

A number of public officer holders have been embroiled in controversy for travelling abroad. 

Last month Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP Rod Phillips stepped down from his high-profile job as finance minister after returning from a controversial Caribbean vacation while the province is under strict lockdown measures.

Federally, five MPs are known to have left the country in December. Three of those MPs — the NDP’s Niki Ashton and Liberals Kamal Khera and Sameer Zuberi — did so because of family members who were sick or who recently had passed away. 

Calgary-Signal Hill Conservative MP Ron Liepert travelled to Palm Desert, Calif., on two occasions since March to address what his office called “essential house maintenance issues.” Liepert, who previously served as Alberta’s health and wellness minister, owns a home in the city. 

WATCH | Michael Bissonette travelled to Florida last month:

A top executive at CBC/Radio Canada is one of the latest public figures to be called out for travelling outside of Canada, in defiance of public health advice, while another CBC executive has also faced scrutiny over travel. 2:06

Conservative MP David Sweet resigned Jan. 4 from his position as chair of the House of Commons ethics committee over his holiday travel to the U.S.

Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, said the spate of reports about high-profile Canadians travelling internationally is worrisome.

“I’m gravely disappointed, alarmed and almost growing panicky to be honest. We’ve known from the beginning, since February, that travel was a serious problem,” he said in an interview. 

“People seem to feel that travel is a right or governments’ feel that taking away travel is not a politically wise thing to do. Both of those views are very harmful in my opinion.” 

Senate leaders have faced questions about leaving the country for sunnier spots.

Senate Opposition Leader Don Plett spent part of the Christmas holidays in Mexico, and Sen. Scott Tannas, leader of the Canadian Senators Group, confirmed he travelled to Hawaii during the holidays.

As part of its coverage, CBC News reached out to every senator to find out if they left the country.

“I am wondering whether you are doing a similar survey of all CBC employees regarding travel as they are also paid and funded by federal tax dollars,” responded Sen. Pamela Wallin, who added she has not travelled for more than a year.

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Radio-Canada head travelled to Florida despite federal travel advisory – CBC.ca

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 on


CBC/Radio-Canada’s executive vice-president of French services is apologizing for travelling to Florida last month despite the federal government strongly warning against non-essential travel during the pandemic.

Michel Bissonnette, who oversees French-language television, radio and digital content for the public broadcaster, owns property in Miami and stayed there Dec. 2 to Dec. 27. He both worked and vacationed while south of the border, said Radio-Canada spokesperson Marc Pichette in an email.

The story was first reported on by the National Post Thursday morning.

“Since the start of the pandemic in March, he has made one trip there to tend to business regarding this property,” said Pichette.

“For all the time he was in Miami, he never went to any restaurant or any retail store. Upon his return, he quarantined for 14 days. Mr. Bissonnette followed both the corporation’s policies and provincial health requirements.”

The Canadian government has had an advisory in place urging against non-essential international travel since March 14, 2020.

“Canadian citizens and permanent residents are advised to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice to limit the spread of COVID-19,” it reads.

“The best way to protect yourself, your family and those most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 in our communities is to choose to stay in Canada.”

CBC/Radio-Canada’s own internal policy also urges against travel.

“We strongly recommend that employees refrain from travelling abroad,” the policy says.

“Should you decide to travel outside the country, please inform your supervisor before you go and after you return.”

CBC president also travelled to U.S.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Bissonnette said he understands the reaction to his trip given the advisory.

He apologized, in French, to employees and the public.

Kim Trynacity, CBC branch president of the Canadian Media Guild, said while the trip might not have broken any laws, it runs against public health advice.

“Leaders have a responsibility to set an example,” she said in an email.

“As we saw recently with all the politicians who went on vacation during Christmas, they weren’t breaking any laws, but it just doesn’t look good and is contrary to what healthcare professionals advise.”

As reported by Canadaland back in December, Catherine Tait, president of CBC, has also travelled to the U.S. since the international travel advisory was put in place.

President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada Catherine Tait, pictured at 2018 conference, travelled to New York in March to care for her husband, who lives there and had undergone a medical procedure, and again in November. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

According to a statement, Tait travelled to New York on March 29, 2020, to care for her husband, who lives there and had undergone a medical procedure.

CBC spokesperson Leon Mar said she worked there until June 8, when she returned to her home in Ottawa. He said she went back to New York Nov. 13 and returned to Canada on Dec. 27. 

“This travel was done with the knowledge of CBC/Radio-Canada’s Board of Directors. Ms. Tait did not ask for or receive any special exemption from the government for her travel and continues to follow all quarantine requirements,” said the statement.

In a followup email to CBC, Mar said Tait has no plans to travel to the U.S. in the future.

Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute, told CBC News, that seven in 10 Canadians have postponed or cancelled trips and family gatherings at home and abroad since the pandemic began and they tend to look at those who disobey the travel advice as entitled and elitist. 

“Canadians are saying, ‘Look, we’re staying home. Why why do we get the sense that everyone else or a lot of other folks out there in this country are coming and going as they please?'” she told CBC News.

Politicians questioned over international travel

A number of public officer holders have been embroiled in controversy for travelling abroad. 

Last month Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP Rod Phillips stepped down from his high-profile job as finance minister after returning from a controversial Caribbean vacation while the province is under strict lockdown measures.

Federally, five MPs are known to have left the country in December. Three of those MPs — the NDP’s Niki Ashton and Liberals Kamal Khera and Sameer Zuberi — did so because of family members who were sick or who recently had passed away. 

Calgary-Signal Hill Conservative MP Ron Liepert travelled to Palm Desert, Calif., on two occasions since March to address what his office called “essential house maintenance issues.” Liepert, who previously served as Alberta’s health and wellness minister, owns a home in the city. 

Conservative MP David Sweet resigned Jan. 4 from his position as chair of the House of Commons ethics committee over his holiday travel to the U.S.

Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, said the spate of reports about high-profile Canadians travelling internationally is worrisome.

“I’m gravely disappointed, alarmed and almost growing panicky to be honest. We’ve known from the beginning, since February, that travel was a serious problem,” he said in an interview. 

“People seem to feel that travel is a right or governments’ feel that taking away travel is not a politically wise thing to do. Both of those views are very harmful in my opinion.” 

Senate leaders have faced questions about leaving the country for sunnier spots.

Senate Opposition Leader Don Plett spent part of the Christmas holidays in Mexico, and Sen. Scott Tannas, leader of the Canadian Senators Group, confirmed he travelled to Hawaii during the holidays.

As part of its coverage, CBC News reached out to every senator to find out if they left the country.

“I am wondering whether you are doing a similar survey of all CBC employees regarding travel as they are also paid and funded by federal tax dollars,” responded Sen. Pamela Wallin, who added she has not travelled for more than a year.

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