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Canada adds 72 more coronavirus deaths as 4 provinces report record high case numbers – Global News

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Canada added 4,992 new cases of the novel coronavirus Saturday as four provinces reported new highs for daily infections.

Health authorities also reported another 72 deaths attributed to COVID-19, though only 45 of those fatalities occurred over the past 24 hours. To date, Canada’s total coronavirus infections stands at 325,409 and its death toll at 11,406. Over 258,000 patients have since recovered from the virus, while 13,650,000 tests have been administered.

Saturday’s data only paints a limited snapshot of the virus’ spread across Canada, however, as all territories except for Nunavut and both British Columbia and P.E.I. do not release new COVID-19 numbers on the weekend.

Read more:
How many Canadians have the new coronavirus? Total number of confirmed cases by region

Health officials in New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta all reported new single-day peaks in diagnoses, recording 23, 1,588, 439 and 1,336 new cases respectively, as the nation’s top doctor sounded the alarm yet again.

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“More and larger outbreaks are occurring in long term care homes, congregate living settings and hospitals, and spreading in Indigenous communities,” Dr. Theresa Tam said in a written statement.

“These developments are deeply concerning as they put countless Canadians at risk of life-threatening illness, cause serious disruptions to health services and present significant challenges for areas not adequately equipped to manage complex medical emergencies.”

Among those areas is the fly-in community of Fond du Lac First Nation in northern Saskatchewan, which was reporting 63 COVID-19 cases as of Saturday — 55 of them active.

About 1,000 people call the remote community home, and more than 300 of them have been told to self-isolate.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Lockdown restrictions in Toronto, Peel region could see travel spike to York region, experts say'



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Coronavirus: Lockdown restrictions in Toronto, Peel region could see travel spike to York region, experts say


Coronavirus: Lockdown restrictions in Toronto, Peel region could see travel spike to York region, experts say

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe called the record 439 new cases in his province on Saturday “very concerning,” adding the seven-day average for new daily cases is the highest it’s ever been at 203.

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Nunavut is also recording a surge in new COVID-19 cases, though it hasn’t beat its single-day high.

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The territory saw 25 new cases on Saturday, including 22 in hard-hit Arviat and three in Whale Cove.

There are 107 active infections in the territory, which just confirmed its first case a little more than two weeks ago.

People arriving in the Northwest Territories and Yukon are once again required to self-isolate for 14 days, while a provincewide public health order in B.C. has barred social gatherings of any size in private homes except between members of the same “core bubble.”

Elsewhere, case counts rose in Atlantic Canada as Nova Scotia reported eight new cases on Saturday, pushing active infections to 33, while Newfoundland and Labrador reported five new cases for a total of 18 active infections there.

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There are now 8,012 active infections in Manitoba, including 385 new cases, and 10 more people have died. The province has for weeks recorded the highest per-capita rate of new infections in Canada.

Premier Brian Pallister was put on the defensive on Saturday as he addressed Progressive Conservative party members at a convention, saying “every province west of Nova Scotia has its highest numbers in the last few days, including Manitoba.”

“Trying to make the political argument that Manitoba’s government missed the boat when everybody in the western world is under attack right now is not a fruitful thing — even if it was right, and it isn’t,” he said.

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Alberta reports new daily high of 1,336 COVID-19 cases, 9 deaths Saturday

Quebec has reported 1,189 new cases and 32 more deaths, five of which occurred within the last day, while 646 people are in hospital.

Alberta set a new single-day record for new infections for a third straight day with 1,336 cases detected on Saturday. Officials have said the high caseload has strained the health-care system and overwhelmed contact tracing efforts, as public health workers don’t know where most of the 11,274 active infections in the province were contracted.

Ontario added another 1,588 cases of the virus on Saturday, also setting a new single-day record for new infections. The new data comes amid sweeping restrictions across the parts of the province set to be implemented Monday.

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Another 21 deaths were also reported by health authorities, with the province’s case total standing at 102,378 and its death toll at 3,472.


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Coronavirus: Shoppers flock to malls in Toronto, Peel Region ahead of lockdown


Coronavirus: Shoppers flock to malls in Toronto, Peel Region ahead of lockdown

The surging numbers come a day after new federal modeling showed daily COVID-19 tallies could reach 20,000 nationwide if Canadians don’t drastically limit their contacts in a bid to stop transmission.

Tam reported 52,739 active infections across the country, with an average of 71 deaths and 1,840 people treated in hospital every day between Nov.13 to 19.

The surge is “putting pressure on local healthcare resources and forcing hospitals to make the difficult decision to cancel elective surgeries and procedures in several areas,” she said in a statement.


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Coronavirus: U.K. PM Boris Johnson urges G20 to do more to combat pandemic


Coronavirus: U.K. PM Boris Johnson urges G20 to do more to combat pandemic

Worldwide, cases of the virus have surpassed 57,365,000 according to tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. As of Saturday, 1,368,000 people have succumbed to the virus, with the U.S., Brazil and India leading in both cases and deaths.

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— With files from Global News

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Trudeau nominates first judge of colour to sit on Supreme Court

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday made history by nominating the first judge of color to sit on the country’s Supreme Court, which has only ever had white justices in its 146-year existence.

Mahmud Jamal, who has been a judge on Ontario‘s court of appeal since 2019, trained as a lawyer and appeared before the Supreme Court in 35 appeals addressing a range of civil, constitutional, criminal and regulatory issues.

“He’ll be a valuable asset to the Supreme Court – and that’s why, today, I’m announcing his historic nomination to our country’s highest court,” Trudeau said on Twitter.

Trudeau has frequently said there is a need to address systemic racism in Canada.

Jamal, born in Nairobi in 1967, emigrated with his family to Britain in 1969 where he said he was “taunted and harassed because of my name, religion, or the color of my skin.”

In 1981 the family moved to Canada, where his “experiences exposed me to some of the challenges and aspirations of immigrants, religious minorities, and racialized persons,” he said in a document submitted to support his candidacy.

Canada is a multicultural country, with more than 22% of the population comprised of minorities and another 5% aboriginal, according to the latest census.

“We know people are facing systemic discrimination, unconscious bias and anti-black racism every single day,” Trudeau said last year.

Jamal will replace Justice Rosalie Abella, who is due to retire from the nine-person court on July 1.

 

(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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Donors pledge $1.5 billion for Venezuelan migrants, humanitarian crisis

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More than 30 countries and two development banks on Thursday pledged more than $1.5 billion in grants and loans to aid Venezuelan migrants fleeing a humanitarian crisis, as well as their host countries and vulnerable people still in the country.

The $954 million in grants announced at a donors’ conference hosted by Canada – which included pledges of $407 million from the United States and C$115 million Canadian dollars ($93.12 million) from Canada – exceeded the $653 million announced at a similar event last year.

But that fell short of the needs of countries hosting the more than 5.6 million Venezuelans who have left their country since 2015, as the once-prosperous nation’s economy collapsed into a years-long hyperinflationary recession under socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Most have resettled in developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean who have themselves seen their budgets stretched thin due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Does this cover all needs? Of course not,” Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, told reporters. “We will have to continue to encourage donors to support the response.”

At the conference, Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso announced that the country – which hosts some 430,000 Venezuelans – would begin a new process to regularize migrants’ status. That came after Colombia in February gave 10-year protected status to the 1.8 million Venezuelans it hosts.

Karina Gould, Canada‘s minister for international development, said the amount pledged showed donors were eager to support such efforts.

“There is that recognition on behalf of the global community that there needs to be support to ensure that that generosity can continue, and can actually deepen, in host countries,” Gould said.

In addition, the World Bank and Inter-American Developmemt Bank pledged $600 million in loans to address the crisis, Gould said.

($1 = 1.2349 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Luc Cohen, Michelle Nichols and David Ljunggren; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Aurora Ellis)

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Ecuador to start new ‘normalization process’ for Venezuelan migrants

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Ecuador will implement a new “normalization process” for the 430,000 Venezuelan migrants living in the South American country, President Guillermo Lasso said on Thursday, without providing further details of the plan.

Lasso’s announcement, at a conference hosted by Canada intended to raise money to support the more than 5.6 million Venezuelans who have fled an economic crisis in the South American country, came after Colombia in February gave 10-year protected status to the nearly 2 million Venezuelans it hosts.

“I am pleased to announce the beginning of a new regularization process, which in order to be an effective, lasting and permanent policy should be complemented by strategies for economic integration and labor market access,” Lasso said.

Ecuador in late 2019 launched a regularization process for Venezuelans who arrived before July of that year. That included two-year humanitarian visas meant to facilitate access to social services.

Lasso said Ecuador needed outside funding to continue caring for Venezuelan migrants, estimating that more than 100,000 additional migrants were expected to arrive before the end of the year.

“I call on our partners in the international community to be co-responsible and have solidarity with Venezuelan migrants and refugees, and with the countries that receive them,” he said.

 

(Reporting by Luc Cohen; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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