Canada reported 2,206 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, marking the country’s highest single-day increase since the pandemic began.
The new cases bring Canada’s total case count to 168,784.
Provincial health authorities also said another 23 people have died after testing positive for COVID-19.
However, not all of the deaths occurred in the last 24 hours.
Canada has now seen 9,504 deaths associated with the respiratory illness.
The new infections come as Canada’s Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said provinces must “test smartly” as they work to stave off the second wave of the virus.
“We have to test smartly, obviously making sure right now if there is congestion, et cetera, that those with symptoms or those who have a risk of exposure be the ones lining up and not just (those who are) worried,” she said.
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In Ontario, 615 new cases of the virus were reported on Monday, and health authorities said five more people had died.
The new deaths bring the province’s death toll to 2,980.
However, 46,360 people have recovered after contracting the virus and 4,127,315 have been tested in Ontario.
Meanwhile, in Quebec, 1,191 new infections were reported, bringing the province’s total case count to 79,650.
Monday marked the fourth straight day the province’s daily case count topped 1,000.
Health authorities also reported six more deaths, two of which occurred in the last 24 hours.
A total of 66,180 have recovered from the virus in Quebec, while 2,480,577 tests have been administered.
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In Manitoba, 51 new cases were detected, but health officials said the death toll remained at 23.
Since the pandemic began, the virus has infected 2,191 people in the province.
A total of 1,429 have recovered from COVID-19 and 193,699 tests have been conducted in Manitoba.
Saskatchewan saw nine new cases of the virus on Monday, but the province’s death toll remained at 24, health officials confirmed.
The new infections bring the province’s total case count to 1,968.
So far, 1,801 people have recovered from COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, and 202,136 people have been tested for the virus.
Meanwhile in Alberta, 218 new cases of the virus were reported, and health authorities said eight more people had died since Friday, bringing the province’s death toll to 280.
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However, 16,872 have recovered after contracting the virus and 1,424,946 have been tested.
Health officials in British Columbia reported 120 new cases of COVID-19 were detected, and said four more people had died over the last three days.
The new cases bring the province’s case load to 9,563. So far 242 people have died in B.C.
In all, 600,443 tests for the virus have been administered and 8,115 have recovered from infections.
In New Brunswick, two new cases of the virus were detected, but no new deaths have occurred.
Coronavirus: New cases in Ontario, Quebec make up 80 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Canada, Dr. Tam says
Since the pandemic began, 196 people have recovered from COVID-19 infections in the province, while 80,455 tests have been administered.
No new cases were reported in Nova Scotia on Monday, and health officials said the death toll remained at 65.
A total of 1,021 people have recovered after contracting the respiratory virus, and 98,698 tests have been conducted in Nova Scotia.
Newfoundland did not report any new cases of the virus or deaths associated with COVID-19 either.
So far, 44,296 people have been tested for the virus in Newfoundland, and 269 people have recovered after falling ill.
Prince Edward Island (PEI) did not release any new COVID-19 data on Monday, however, two new cases reported on Sunday brought the province’s total case count to 61.
Coronavirus: Tam says Ontario’s positivity rate still ‘relatively low’ despite rising COVID-19 cases
The island has not yet seen a death related to the virus, and 58 of the confirmed cases are considered to be resolved.
To date, 35,433 people have been tested for COVID-19 in PEI.
Coronavirus: Tam says provinces need to ‘test smartly’ as 2nd wave of COVID-19 grips Canada
Health officials in the Yukon said no new cases of the virus were detected on Monday, adding that all 15 cases in the territory are considered to be resolved.
Since the pandemic began, 3,488 people have been tested for the virus.
No new cases of the virus were detected in the Northwest Territories either.
Coronavirus: Quebec gets access to COVID Alert app
What’s more, all five confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the territory are considered to be resolved.
So far, 5,393 tests for the virus have been administered.
Nunavut has confirmed nine positive cases of COVID-19 at the Hope Bay gold mine in the western part of the territory.
The Nunavut government announced the positive cases in a news release Monday evening.
Another four presumptive positive cases have also been identified and are pending testing at a lab in southern Canada.
Last week, the territory declared eight presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 at the mine.
According to the release, release the government is still working to determine whether the cases at the mine will count as the first in the territory.
Global deaths near 1,040,000
Since the virus was first detected late last year, it has infected 35,346,526 people around the world, according to a tally from John’s Hopkins University.
As of 7:30 p.m. ET, the virus had claimed 1,039,199 lives globally.
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The United States remained the epicentre of the virus on Monday, with more than 7.4 million cases.
The virus has killed 210,109 people in the U.S. so far.
— With files from Global News’ Emerald Bensadoun and The Canadian Press
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
How Doug Ford's COVID-19 legislation helps advance his party's agenda – CBC.ca
Premier Doug Ford is facing accusations of using the response to COVID-19 as a guise to advance his political interests.
Two new pieces of legislation that the government portrays as helping the province recover from the effects of COVID-19 contain provisions unrelated to the pandemic.
The government’s proposed Better for People, Smarter for Business Act — framed as boosting the economy by reducing red tape — would transform Canada Christian College into a university with the power to grant bachelor of science and arts degrees.
The college is run by the prominent conservative evangelical pastor Charles McVety, a staunch ally of Ford and opponent of previous Liberal reforms to Ontario’s sex education curriculum.
On Tuesday afternoon, the government tabled a separate bill to shield organizations from legal liability for spreading COVID-19, provided that they tried to follow public health guidelines. Included in that bill is legislation to ban Ontario municipalities from using ranked ballots in the 2022 elections for mayor and council.
“To the extent that they’re using the pandemic as cover for these controversial initiatives, it just stinks to high heaven,” said Emmett Macfarlane, an associate professor of political science at the University of Waterloo.
The politics of omnibus bills
Governments of all political stripes — both at Queen’s Park and in Ottawa — have long used so-called omnibus bills to pass measures without the level of scrutiny they would receive in standalone legislation.
By putting unrelated items into bills that are supposed to be about COVID-19, the Ford government’s tactics could be considered worse than the typical omnibus bill, says Macfarlane.
“It does make one wonder to what extent the government was trying to sneak certain controversial amendments through,” he said in an interview with CBC News.
The move to give Canada Christian College university status is coming under fire in large part because of McVety’s political ties, his stance on sex ed and his views on same-sex marriage.
The Progressive Conservative campaign team selected McVety to be among the few attending the first leaders’ debate in the province’s 2018 election campaign. The reverend sat with some of Ford’s top advisers. McVety did not respond on Wednesday to CBC’s requests for an interview.
WATCH / Doug Ford on Canada Christian College:
“I have a lot of friends within churches and in colleges,” Ford said Wednesday when asked about McVety. “He went through the process like every other college, and the process is independent.”
However, CBC News has learned that Canada Christian College has not actually completed Ontario’s official independent process for approving degree programs.
The province’s Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board, the independent agency that considers applications for new degree programs and makes recommendations to the minister for approval, is in the midst of considering two applications from Canada Christian College.
One of the applications is to change its name to Canada University and School of Graduate Theological Studies. The other proposal, submitted last month, is to create new Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs. In both cases, the board is yet to make any recommendation for approval.
A spokesperson for Colleges and Universities Minister Ross Romano said the college’s applications are currently under review by the board and said the legislation will not come into effect until after the reviews are complete.
The college seems to think approval for the arts and science degrees is in the bag.
“The present legislation governing the college has disallowed further enhancements of our educational offerings in the liberal arts and sciences,” says the college’s 2020-25 academic plan. “We expect this situation will be rectified in the coming months.”
Canada Christian College currently has the legal authority to grant degrees only in such fields as theology, religious education and Christian counselling.
“Charles McVety has a history of making Islamophobic and homophobic statements and for using Canada Christian College, of which he is the president, to host Islamophobic speeches,” the NDP’s anti-racism critic, Laura Mae Lindo, in question period this week.
“Why does this government continue to use the cover of a pandemic to make good on back room deals with the Premier’s friends?” Lindo asked
The government’s response didn’t directly address her question.
The province is “establishing an equal playing field for our post-secondary institutions to compete and attract world-class talent from around Ontario and abroad,” said David Piccini, parliamentary secretary to Romano.
Canada Christian College “simply isn’t on par with any other university in the province,” said Macfarlane. “This seems to be nothing more than a reward to a friend of the premier in a bill that that is presumably about COVID.”
The government is also facing criticism over its other recent move to insert unrelated legislation into a COVID-focused bill: scrapping ranked ballots at the municipal level.
In that system, voters rank all candidates in an election instead of simply choosing just one. If no one is ranked first on 50 per cent of the ballots cast, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and their votes go to the second-ranked candidate on each ballot. The process is repeated for multiple rounds until someone surpasses 50 per cent of the votes.
London used ranked balloting in its municipal election in 2018. Voters in Kingston and Cambridge approved plans to switch to the method for 2022, and other municipalities have been considering such reforms.
Ford won PC leadership on ranked ballot
The existing first-past-the-post system typically sees candidates win with far less than 50 per cent of the vote, but ranked ballots are “a small and simple change that make local elections more fair and friendly” said Dave Meslin of Unlock Democracy Canada, an electoral reform advocacy group.
Ontario’s existing legislation for municipal elections “lets cities decide if they want to use ranked ballots or not,” Meslin said in an interview with CBC Radio’s Ontario Morning.
“What Doug Ford is doing is more of an iron fist approach, saying, ‘Well, we’re just going to ban ranked ballots. No one is allowed to use them anywhere.'”
Ford says first-past-the-post is simple and voters “don’t have to be confused” by another system.
“We’ve been voting this way since 1867. We don’t need any more complications of ranked ballots,” the premier said Wednesday.
Almost every political party in Canada uses a ranked ballot system to choose its leader. Ford won the Ontario PC leadership on a ranked ballot vote in 2018.
“This is another gross abuse of power from a government that continuously undermines local democracy with snap decisions,” said Green Party leader Mike Schreiner in a statement. “These overnight changes totally disrespect the rights of municipalities to improve democracy and encourage diversity on city council.”
There’s some evidence the government was hoping the move would slip under the radar.
The day before the legislation was tabled, officials with the attorney general provided multiple media outlets (including CBC News) with advance copies of the news release, so that stories about the COVID-19 liability protection measures could be published as soon as the bill was introduced.
Those advance copies of the news release did not mention the provision to ban ranked ballots.
Deadly day, lasting impact – CBC.ca
Every year on Oct. 22, former House of Commons security guard Maurice Montpetit makes a solemn pilgrimage to the National War Memorial before heading to Parliament Hill.
He stands at the spot where Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, was gunned down in 2014 before the sentry’s killer, armed with a rifle and a long knife, raced up the Hill and stormed Centre Block.
That day, Montpetit spent hours locked down in the antechamber and lobbies outside the House of Commons, comforting the MPs and others hiding there. Sometimes he carried a handgun, but that day he was unarmed.
“There were MPs who were scared. An MP had her baby with her. Some MPs wanted to get out through windows and construction scaffoldings. I kept telling them, we don’t know what is outside. Stay inside,” he recalled six years later.
Confusion reigned. At one point, Montpetit heard over his radio that there could be as many as 13 gunmen on the building’s roof.
The fallout was long-lasting.
“For three years I comforted people. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t talk about the shooting.”
Breakdown came 3 years later
Eventually, that took its toll on Montpetit. One morning in November 2017, more than three years after the attack, everything came to a crashing halt.
“Usually, I would have gone for coffee, stopped at the gym, but I did not do any of these things. I went to my locker to get ready. It took me about three hours to get dressed,” Montpetit recalled. The intense fatigue he suddenly felt was tinged with terror.
“I was afraid I would see something coming out of a corner. I felt that I was totally out of control. I finished my day and then I cried, because I knew I wasn’t coming back the next day.”
Radio-Canada has learned that out of the approximately 30 House of Commons security guards on duty when the shooting occurred, at least 13 have since suffered serious psychological problems. One has taken his own life.
Montpetit said he wishes all the guards had been convened for a debrief following the attack. Instead, he said he returned to work the next day “as if nothing had happened.”
‘The Hill is a bad place for me now’
While returning regularly to the scene of the shooting has been an important aspect of Montpetit’s therapy, his former colleague Louis Létourneau can’t bring himself to go back.
“I try to avoid Parliament Hill,” the Gatineau resident said. “My psychologist is in Ottawa. Technically, it would be shorter to drive near Parliament Hill. But I make a detour. The Hill is a bad place for me now.”
I emptied my cartridge. Fifteen bullets. I didn’t give him a chance to shoot back at me.– Louis Létourneau, retired Parliament Hill security guard
On Oct. 22, 2014, Létourneau was standing in the Hall of Honour, between Centre Block’s main entrance and the Library of Parliament, when he heard a boom. He turned his head to see the assailant at the top of the stairs, rifle in hand.
“I said to myself, ‘There is no way you’re going to stop me from seeing my kids tonight,'” Létourneau said. “He didn’t stop running. I emptied my cartridge. Fifteen bullets. I didn’t give him a chance to shoot back at me.”
He reloaded and shot twice more. Bullets from Létourneau’s gun were among the 31 that struck the attacker. Létourneau was later decorated with the Star of Courage by the former governor general for his part in that day.
Haunted by flashbacks
Létourneau’s retirement, forced by his post-traumatic stress disorder, became permanent just a few weeks ago. Vivid flashbacks still haunt him.
“The first gunshot, when he enters the main door, and probably the end of the event, when I see him on the ground with the blood coming out. Those are the images that always come back.”
Like Montpetit, Létourneau felt fatigued, but in his case it happened about two months after the shooting.
“I would be at work, and as soon as I had a 30-minute break I would go to the constables’ room and take a power nap. That’s something that had never happened to me before. I could do 13-, 15-, 16-hour days without having to lie down.”
Létourneau’s demeanour took a dark turn. “I would blow up for no reason,” he said. He first left his job in 2015, one year after the shooting. He tried to return progressively the following year, but it didn’t work out and he left again.
He still has difficulty concentrating and suffers bouts of depression, but said the anxiety is the worst symptom. “Anxiety is the toughest thing. It’s like a ball in here,” Létourneau said, pointing to his chest. “It’s a pressure that is there, that stays there, no matter what you do or what you’re thinking about.”
According to the president of the Union of Officers of the Parliamentary Protective Service, Létourneau and Montpetit are hardly alone.
“The great majority of officers in the Parliamentary Precinct buildings on duty that day have suffered at different levels from the events,” said Roch Lapensée.
That includes the guard who took his own life a little over three years after the attack. According to the man’s sister, he was never the same after the events of Oct. 22, 2014.
Radio-Canada has interviewed several guards and supervisors, and has identified at least 13 House of Commons security guards who suffered serious mental health problems. Every interviewee agreed the way they were treated after the attack only contributed to their stress.
Following the shooting, the Harper government moved quickly to reform Parliament Hill security. Eight months after the attack, the House of Commons and Senate security services, which were in charge of security inside the Parliament Buildings, and the RCMP unit that was in charge of security on the Hill, were merged into the new Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS). Management of this new service was handed over to the RCMP.
“The guys felt like they had been shoved aside,” Létourneau said. “‘You did a good job, but now we’re the ones in charge.'”
‘Heroes to zeros’
Security guards who had never carried a weapon suddenly had to undergo firearms training. The new “protection officers” were expected to perform a job similar to that of RCMP officers, but for less pay.
In 2017, the RCMP reprimanded guards who wore hats with the word “respect” as a sign of protest.
“We went from heroes to zeros,” said Jean-Louis Franchi, another former security guard who was on duty the day of the shooting, and who has also suffered from psychological problems.
“When there is a suicide amongst your security guards, you’d think that as a boss you would ask yourself questions. The employer will tell you it offered psychological support to the employees, but where is the moral support, the respect? The guys did heroic acts and you reprimand them because they are asking for better salaries and respect?”
In a statement to Radio-Canada, PPS wrote: “We take mental health issues very seriously. We have initiated a series of mental health and wellness activities for all our staff. Our goal is to make sure our staff have access to the proper mental health support they need.”
The labour dispute lasted until the end of 2019 when the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board granted the officers a wage increase.
Létourneau said psychological help was offered on the evening of the shooting to the small group of guards who had been directly involved, but he believes their employer should have done a better job watching for mental problems surfacing long afterward.
In his case, it came down to colleagues telling him he didn’t seem well and recommending he seek help.
Oct. 22 remains a painful anniversiry for Létourneau and Montpetit, but they are now learning to cope with the horror of that day thanks to the professional help they both sought.
“It saved my life,” Létourneau said. “It’s something you have to do for yourself first, and for your family.”
“You will hit the bottom and even beyond before you go back up. It’s normal,” said Montpetit, who now tries to find peace of mind by doing what he likes best: music and camping.
Now, the two men have agreed to share their stories to encourage others who are struggling with similar issues to seek psychological help.
Need help? Here are some mental health resources:
Canada reports 2,668 new cases of COVID-19, setting new daily record – Global News
Canada added 2,668 new cases of the novel coroanvirus on Wednesday, setting a new record for highest single-day increase.
Health officials also reported 35 new fatalities, bringing the country’s death toll to 9,829.
The new infections come as health officials work to slow the spread of COVID-19, while Canada battles the second wave of the pandemic.
In Ontario, 790 new cases of the respiratory illness were reported, and health officials said nine more people have died.
The new numbers bring the province’s total case count to 66,686 and push its death toll to 3,062.
However, 57,325 people have recovered after contracting the virus, while 4,746,972 people have been tested.
Meanwhile, in Quebec, 1,072 new cases of the coronavirus were reported, and health officials said 19 more people have died, bringing the total number of fatalities in the province to 6,074.
Since the pandemic began, 81,267 people have recovered after falling ill, while 2,861,156 tests for the virus have been administered.
Manitoba added 135 new cases on Wednesday, and one more death.
The province, which has now reported 3,626 cases of the virus has conducted a total of 230,641 tests.
So far, 1,809 people have recovered in Manitoba.
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Fifty-seven new cases were detected in Saskatchewan, bringing the total number of infections in the province to 2,496.
However, the death toll remained at 25 on Tuesday.
To date, 2,002 people have recovered from COVID-19 infections, while 238,013 people have been tested.
Health authorities in New Brunswick announced six new cases of the virus have been detected, for a total of 319 infections.
One more person has also died in the province, bringing the death toll to four.
Thus far, 223 people have recovered from COVID-19 in New Brunswick, while a total of 94,322 tests have been administered.
No new cases or deaths were reported in Nova Scotia, meaning the province’s case load and death toll remained at 1,097 and 65 respectively.
Since the pandemic began, 1,027 people have recovered from the virus, and 106,979 tests have been completed.
Prince Edward Island did not report any new coronavirus data on Wednesday, but the latest numbers released on Tuesday said a total of 64 cases have been confirmed in the province.
Of those infections, 61 are considered to be recovered.
As of Tuesday, 42,377 tests had been administered on the Island.
Newfoundland did not report any new cases or deaths related to COVID-19 on Wednesday.
The province has seen 287 cases and four deaths so far.
Of those cases, 274 are considered resolved.
More than 49,500 tests have been conducted to date.
Coronavirus: Tam says she’s ‘really concerned’ about long-term care homes amid 2nd wave of COVID-19
Two hundred new infections were detected in British Columbia on Wednesday, setting a new provincial record for highest single-day increase.
Health officials also said two more people had died after testing positive for COVID-19.
The province has now seen a total of 11,841 cases, and 256 fatalities.
Provincial health authorities also reported three epidemiologically linked cases, which means they have not yet been confirmed by a laboratory.
Since the pandemic began, 9,993 people have recovered from the virus in B.C., while 736,637 people have been tested.
In Alberta, 406 new cases were identified, and health authorities said three more people have died, bringing the total number of deaths to 296.
To date, 1,668,265 people have been tested for the respiratory illness.
Two new cases in the territories
Two new cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in the Northwest Territories, bringing the region’s total case load to eight.
Five of those infections are considered to be resolved. To date, 6,000 people have been tested.
Meanwhile, health authorities in the Yukon did not report any new cases of COVID-19.
Fifteen of the territory’s 17 cases are considered recovered and a total of 3,814 tests have been administered.
Nunavut has not yet seen a confirmed case of the virus.
Global cases top 41 million
The novel coronavirus pandemic hit another grave milestone on Wednesday, with the number of infections worldwide topping 41 million.
As of 8 p.m. ET, there were a total of 41,088,902 number of cases around the world, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
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The virus, first detected in Wuhan, China late last year has claimed 1,128,701 lives to date.
The United States has been the hardest-hit by the pandemic, having reported more than 8.3 million cases.
Over 221,000 people have died in the U.S. after testing positive for COVID-19.
India has seen the second highest number of infections with 7,651,107 confirmed cases.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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