Provincial health authorities also confirmed 95 more people have died after testing positive for COVID-19.
So far, the disease has claimed 21,004 lives in Canada.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, warned of the danger of the new, more transmissible variants of the coronavirus.
She said while most of the new variant cases in the country have been linked to travel, “there is evidence of community spread in at least 3 provinces and links to outbreak activity in long term care homes & other congregate settings, including a workplace.”
Tam said the “risk of losing our hard won progress” in slowing the spread of the virus “is very real.”
She said Canadians must be “hyper vigilant” with public health measures while we wait for vaccines to become available.
However, Canada has struggled to provide a steady stream of vaccines to the provinces and territories, after shipments from both Pfizer and Moderna were delayed.
According to Health Canada, as of Feb. 4, 1,198,200 vaccine doses had been distributed across Canada.
Of those, 1,153,989 have been administered to date, meaning approximately 1.54 per cent of Canadians have been vaccinated against the virus.
But, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is set to receive “tens of thousands” of Pfizer vaccine doses in the coming weeks.
Trudeau also said Canada is “still very much on track” to receive “tens of millions of doses into the spring,” and reitereated that all Canadians who would like a vaccine will have access to one by the end of September.
Coronavirus: Trudeau says ‘tens of thousands’ of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week
Provinces, territories report new cases
In Ontario, 1,072 new cases and 41 new fatalities were reported.
The new infections mean to date, a total of 281,566 people have contracted the virus in Ontario, while 6,596 have died.
Meanwhile, 989 new cases in Quebec bring the provincial total to 272,726.
Health authorities also said 34 more people have died after testing positive for the virus, bringing the number of COVID-19 related fatalities in Quebec to 10,112.
In Saskatchewan, 180 new cases of COVID-19 were detected, and provincial health authorities said two more people have died.
To date, the province has recorded 25,843 coronavirus infections and 348 fatalities.
Fifty-nine new cases of the virus were reported in Manitoba on Wednesday, for a total of 30,471.
Health officials also said six more people have died, pushing the provincial death toll to 859.
In Atlantic Canada, 68 new cases were detected.
Newfoundland and Labrador health officials said 53 more people have fallen ill, while 14 new cases were detected in New Brunswick.
Nova Scotia added one new infection, for a total of 1,588.
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Prince Edward Island did not release any new COVID-19 data on Wednesday, however, the latest numbers released on Tuesday said the province has seen 114 confirmed cases of the virus, 110 of which are considered recovered.
Meanwhile, in western Canada, 808 more cases and 12 new fatalities were reported.
Health authorities in British Columbia said 469 more people have contracted the disease, and six more have died.
To date, the province has seen 71,856 COVID-19 infections and 1,269 fatalities.
In Alberta, another 339 have fallen ill, pushing the total case load in the province to 127,570.
Six more deaths means to date 1,728 people have died after testing positive for COVID-19.
Both the Northwest Territories and Nunavut each reported one new case of the virus on Wednesday.
Global infections surpass 107 million
Globally, the total number of people who have contracted the coronavirus has topped 107 million.
By 6 p.m. ET, 107,223,174 had tested positive for the virus, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
Since the virus was first detected in China in late 2019, it has killed 2,350,316 people around the world.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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77 per cent of Canadians aged 55-69 worried about retirement finances: survey – CTV News
More than three quarters of Canadians nearing or in early retirement are worried about their finances, at a time when more and more Canadians plan to age at home for as long as possible, a new survey has revealed.
The survey from Ryerson University’s National Institute on Ageing (NIA),conducted in collaboration with HomeEquity Bank, found that 77 per cent of Canadians within the 55-69 age demographic are worried about their financial health.
Additionally, 79 per cent of respondents aged 55 and older revealed that their retirement income — through RRSPs, pension plans, and old age security — will not be enough to be a comfortable retirement.
“Determining where to live and receive care as we age has been an especially neglected part of retirement financial planning,” Dr. Samir Sinha, NIA director of health policy research, said in a news release.
“These are vital considerations that can also be costly. With the vast majority of Canadians expressing their intention to age at home, within their communities, it is essential that we find both financial and health care solutions to make this option comfortable, safe and secure.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic revealed some shortcomings in the long-term care system, 44 per cent of respondents are planning to age at home, but many don’t fully understand the costs involved, the study notes.
Nearly half of respondents aged 45 and older believe that in-home care for themselves or a loved one would cost about $1,100 per month, while 37 per cent think it would cost about $2,000 per month.
In reality, it actually costs about $3,000 per month to provide in-home care comparable to a long-term care facility, according to Ontario’s Ministry of Health.
Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald, the NIA’s director of financial security research, said it’s important Canadians understand the true costs of aging while they plan for their future.
“Canadians retiring today are likely going to face longer and more expensive retirements than their parents – solving this disconnect will need better planning by people and innovation from industry and government,” she said.
To help with their financial future, the researchers suggest Canadians should delay receiving any Canada Pension Plan or Quebec Pension Plan payments as the monthly payments increase with year of deferral. For example, someone receiving $1,000 per month at age 60 would receive $2,218.75 per month if they wait until age 70 to begin collecting.
The researchers also suggest leveraging home equity and purchasing private long-term care insurance as ways to help with financial stability for the later years.
U.S. energy transition to create Mexico auto jobs, climate envoy Kerry says
Mexico‘s manufacturing sector stands to benefit from a U.S. transition away from fossil fuels including through the creation of jobs for building electric vehicles, John Kerry, climate adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden, said on Monday.
“Mexico’s industrial base, already deeply integrated with the rest of North America, absolutely stands to benefit from the energy transition,” Kerry said alongside Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico’s Chiapas state, near the southern border with Guatemala.
Kerry traveled to Mexico to meet with his counterparts ahead of the upcoming United Nations’ COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which neither Lopez Obrador nor his foreign minister is expected to attend.
“When we switch from gasoline to electrified vehicles, there are going to be a lot of good-paying jobs here in Mexico because of the connection already of the automobile industry and our two countries,” said Kerry, who visited a flagship reforestation project promoted by Mexico.
The production of automobiles in North America is highly integrated through the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)
Under Biden and Kerry, the United States has stressed the need for more aggressive action to address global warming. Lopez Obrador, on the other hand, has cut the environment ministry’s budget as part of an austerity drive and dismantled policies promoting private investment in renewable energy.
Research coalition Climate Action Tracker rates Mexico’s overall climate plan as “Highly Insufficient”, saying its policies and actions will “lead to rising, rather than falling, emissions and are not at all consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit.”
Lopez Obrador says he will tackle carbon emissions by revitalizing dilapidated hydropower projects under state control and through the tree planting program, called Sembrando Vida, which aims to plant 700,000 trees.
But he has also focused on reviving state-run oil and power generation companies, and his government has prioritized fossil fuels over renewable energy sources for Mexico’s national grid.
Mexico, the second-largest greenhouse gas emitter in Latin America, is seen as vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather patterns, with tropical cyclones and floods battering the country every year.
By 2030, Mexico plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22% over a business-as-usual scenario. Brazil, the region’s biggest polluter, aims to cut its emissions by 43% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
(Reporting by Anthony Esposito and Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Karishma Singh)
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