Several Canadian provinces broke record daily coronavirus caseloads as the country added another 6,886 infections on Christmas Eve.
The new case data tallied from the provincial and territorial governments Thursday pushes Canada’s total cases to 534,816. Another 122 fatalities from the virus were recorded on Thursday as well, with the country’s death toll standing at 14,719. To date, over 443,000 patients have since recovered from the virus, while 17,723,000 tests have been administered.
In his annual Christmas message, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged that this wasn’t the holiday season Canadians were hoping to experience.
“This isn’t the holiday season we wanted, I know,” Trudeau said in Christmas greeting video posted to Twitter.
“But here’s the thing: Even though this year’s Christmas traditions will be different, we can and should give thanks for everything that unites us.”
“This crisis will end and, as a country, we will come out of it stronger and more united.”
Trudeau’s Christmas message also comes amid an early present — the arrival of the first doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine. The vaccines’ arrival comes just a day after Health Canada authorized its use for Canadians above the age of 18.
Moderna’s vaccine is now the second approved for use in Canada, joining the one from Pfizer-BioNTech which was approved earlier this month. A total of 168,000 Moderna vaccine doses, which are due to be administered primarily in long-term care homes and in rural areas due to its less stringent transport requirements, are scheduled to be delivered by the end of December.
Ontario reported a record breaking 2,447 new infections Thursday, as well as 49 more deaths from the virus. The province’s previous daily infection record stood at 2,432 just a week ago.
In Quebec another 2,349 cases were announced, marking the third day the province hit a new record. Another 46 deaths were reported in the province hardest hit by the pandemic, with its total caseload and death toll standing at 185,872 and 7,913, respectively.
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Alberta added 1,100 new cases on Thursday while B.C. announced another 579.
Saskatchewan’s total cases now stands at 14,255 after 154 infections were added Thursday. Manitoba added another 243 cases Thursday, which pushed its provincial total to 23,624 — of which an unknown number are considered probable.
Health Canada approves Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine
Several provinces reported new cases in Atlantic Canada. New Brunswick added two more, P.E.I. another three and Nova Scotia tallied another seven infections. Newfoundland and Labrador did not announce any new cases during its update Thursday.
Both the Yukon and Nunavut added one additional case on Thursday as well.
Worldwide, over 79,327,000 people have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. Over 1.74 million people have also succumbed to the virus, with the U.S., Brazil and India continuing to lead in both cases and deaths.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Sunday – CBC.ca
- Pfizer says it will increase vaccine deliveries by mid-February.
- China building isolation hospitals in Hebei province to combat increase in infections.
- Brazilian approval of Sputnik V vaccine delayed by missing data.
- Some health-care workers are still hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Do you have a tip or question about the pandemic? Email us at COVID@cbc.ca.
Canada has reached a grim new milestone in its fight against COVID-19, with the country’s case count surging well past 700,000, ahead of an expected reduction in shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand on Saturday said she understands Canadians’ concerns about Pfizer’s decision to delay international deliveries while it upgrades its manufacturing facility.
She said she has been in touch with the drugmaker and been assured it’s “deploying all efforts” to return to its regular delivery schedule “as soon as possible,” Anand said on Twitter. The minister said shipments for this coming week will be largely unaffected.
WATCH | CBC medical contributor Dr. Peter Lin answers questions about strained ICUs and vaccine delays:
Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander leading vaccine logistics, said on Friday that Canada’s allotment of the vaccine will be reduced by 50 per cent for four weeks.
Pfizer said it hopes the upgrade will allow it to produce two billion doses per year, up from 1.3 billion doses. The company said in an email to CBC News on Saturday that it will increase its vaccine deliveries beginning the week of Feb. 15.
As of Friday night, more than half a million Canadians had received inoculations against the virus that causes COVID-19.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 12 35 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had reported 707,354 cases of COVID-19, with 75,558 cases considered active. A CBC News tally of deaths stood at 17,984.
In British Columbia, the B.C. Hotel Association said implementing an inter-provincial travel ban would decimate what’s left of the sector’s operators and urged Premier John Horgan — who sought legal advice on such an action — to pursue other options to limit the spread of COVID-19.
WATCH | British Columbia mulls how to keep visitors out:
Alberta saw 717 new cases and 15 new deaths on Saturday.
Saskatchewan reported 270 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths.
In Regina, police fined a woman $2,800 after breaking up a large gathering. Police in the city have now issued at least 10 tickets for people violating public health orders related to COVID-19.
Manitoba recorded 180 new cases and two additional deaths.
The update comes one day after the provincial government asked people for their input on the possibility of lifting some pandemic restrictions next week.
Ontario reported 3,422 new cases on Sunday, after registering 3,056 new cases the previous day. Locally, there are 1,035 new cases in Toronto on Sunday, 585 in Peel Region, 254 in Windsor-Essex County, 246 in York Region and 186 in Niagara Region, Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Twitter.
In east-end Montreal, a group of protesters braved a snowstorm on Saturday to denounce the province’s COVID-19 curfew, which has been in place for a week.
The protest took place in the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough and was organized by a group called “No police solution to the health crisis.” Montreal police were present at the protest and asked that everyone present wear masks and respect physical-distancing guidelines.
New Brunswick recorded 27 new cases on Saturday.
Nova Scotia added four new cases on Sunday, after reporting the same number the previous day. Last week, mandatory testing for rotational workers in the province came into effect. Workers are now required to get a test within two days of returning to Nova Scotia and again about a week later.
Northwest Territories health officials are urging anyone who has been in self-isolation in Hay River or Kátł’odeeche First Nation since Jan. 1 to arrange for a COVID-19 test after wastewater testing suggested there are one or more cases in the area.
Meanwhile, officials confirmed the first positive case in Fort Liard, a hamlet nearly 545 kilometres southwest of Yellowknife.
In Nunavut, a worker at Agnico Eagle’s Meliadine gold mine, located about 25 kilometres north of Rankin Inlet, has tested positive, the company said. There have now been nine confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the mine since the start of the pandemic, an Agnico Eagle spokesperson told CBC News on Saturday via email.
What’s happening around the world
As of Sunday, more than 94.7 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, with more than 52.1 million of those considered recovered or resolved, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 case tracking tool. The global death toll stood at just over two million.
WATCH | WHO chief pleads for breaking of COVID-19 transmission:
Brazil‘s health regulator on Saturday said it’s seeking further data on Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine before considering its approval for emergency use.
Regulator Anvisa wants assurances on Phase 3 clinical trials and issues related to the manufacture of the vaccine by drugmaker Uniao Quimica.
Moscow has approved Sputnik V for Russian domestic use, though clinical trials there have not yet been completed.
The Brazilian regulator was expected to make a decision on Sunday about authorizing emergency use of vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac and Britain’s AstraZeneca.
In Britain, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab warned on Sunday that despite the U.K. government’s confidence about its coronavirus vaccination plan, the public needed to stay home as the country’s health service was “on the cusp” of being overwhelmed.
Raab told broadcaster Sky News that the U.K. was a “global leader” in its vaccination rollout, and he was confident that the government’s roadmap would meet targets.
In China, officials reported 109 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, two-thirds of them in a northern province that abuts Beijing, and no deaths.
There were 72 new cases in Hebei province, where the government is building isolation hospitals with a total of 9,500 rooms to combat an upsurge in infections, according to the National Health Commission.
China had largely contained the virus that was first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019 but has reported hundreds of new infections since December. The Health Commission on Saturday blamed them on travellers and imported goods it said brought the virus from abroad.
Policy alignment, predictability to mark Canada-U.S. relationship under Biden, ambassador says – CBC.ca
The shared priorities between this country and its southern neighbour — including the COVID-19 crisis, economic recovery and climate policy — will define the Canada-U.S. relationship under a Biden presidency, Canada’s ambassador to the United States says.
“I think that the Biden administration and our government have an enormous amount of policy alignment,” Kirsten Hillman said in an interview airing Sunday on Rosemary Barton Live.
“And I think also that we are going to find a more predictable government to deal with and a bit more traditional relations in terms of how we deal with them,” she added.
Ahead of president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration — which Hillman will attend in person — Canada’s top diplomat in Washington said tackling the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is a chief concern.
“We are both focusing on … ensuring the safety and health of our citizens, respecting science, respecting experts, being clear and consistent in the advice that we give [and] caring about people around the world in that regard as well,” Hillman told CBC’s Chief Political Correspondent Rosemary Barton.
Getting Canada and the U.S. “back on track economically … in partnership with each other” is also a priority on the countries’ long list of mutual policies, as is climate change, Hillman said.
Trudeau, Biden have ‘very warm’ relationship
Despite their common goals, the United States that Biden will inherit is still reeling from the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol and accusations that outgoing President Donald Trump incited the attack.
“You can imagine how much [Biden’s] got on his plate with COVID and the economy and now the events of last week and the repercussions that are coming out of that,” Hillman said. “I do think that he’s been pretty clear around some of the aspects of his economic policy that are a little more protectionist than we would want to see.”
Biden’s pandemic recovery plan includes a pledge to “Buy American” — a promise to purchase, produce and develop made-in-America goods.
As for whether the relationship between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the incoming president will mirror that of Trudeau and former president Barack Obama, Hillman said such ties are forged among the myriad ways both countries “interact and work together.”
“But of course, the tone at the top matters. It’s not the only thing that matters, but it does matter. And the prime minister and president-elect Biden have a very warm and good relationship. So that is definitely going to be an asset.”
Fostering connections during last 4 years
A change in administration also doesn’t mean the connections Canada formed over the past four years were all for naught.
“We always work really hard to foster strong relations on the Hill, in particular in the Senate and in the House, because in the system of governance here … it’s a co-equal branch of government that has an awful lot of authority over issues that matter a lot to Canada,” Hillman said.
The ambassador pointed to the renegotiated NAFTA deal as an example of those relationships in action.
“We went across the nation, and it was very healthy for the Canada-U.S. relationship, that activity. It was very healthy for us to remind each other of the degree to which we are integrated, the degree to which we are mutually supportive.”
Hillman said she’s in talks with Biden’s transition team but noted that incoming nominees and appointees to the White House are not engaging directly with foreign governments until a new president is sworn in.
“If we look at the slate of appointees and nominees that are coming [into] the Biden administration, many, many of them are well known to Canada and really good friends of Canada,” she said. “So that is also a strong reason for optimism.”
Canadians leaving big cities at record numbers: Statistics Canada – CTV News
Canada’s biggest cities are experiencing a record-breaking loss of people as urbanites move to smaller bedroom communities in search of affordable homes.
According to a new Statistics Canada report, Montreal and Toronto both saw a record loss of people from July 2019 to July 2020 as urban-dwellers moved to the suburbs, smaller towns and rural areas.
Toronto lost 50,375 people over those 12 months while nearby Oshawa, Ont. saw its population grow by 2.1 per cent — the fastest population growth in the country. Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo in Ontario and Halifax were tied for the second-fastest growth, at 2 per cent.
Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter said this shift is great news for his city.
“It really introduces us to greater opportunities: new families, new friends, new communities and it really adds to the wonderful fabric of the city of Oshawa,” Carter told CTV News.
Over the same period, Montreal lost 24,880 people, while nearby communities such as Farnham, Que. and Saint-Hippolyte, Que. saw their populations rise.
Experts say the pandemic has accelerated the urban-to-suburban trend as more employers shift to a work-from-home model and young, first-time buyers look beyond the city for more affordable properties.
This shift has also inspired plenty of competition in communities where bidding wars are anything but typical.
“With the low supply issues that we are seeing in a lot of the major markets across the country, that is creating some challenges if you want to buy a home just because there is less to choose from,” said Geoff Walker, an Ottawa realtor.
Despite urban areas posting overall population growth due to international migration, the report found that high numbers people from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver chose to move away.
And despite border closures during the pandemic, international migration from July 2019 to July 2020 accounted for 90 per cent of the growth in Canadian cities. That number drops to just over one-third of growth in other regions.
Real estate markets in Canada’s biggest cities continued to grow during the past year, but Robert Hogue, a senior economist at RBC, expects some of that action to calm in the year to come.
“The very high levels of activity in the late stages of 2020 are probably going to settle down through the course of 2021,” said Hogue.
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