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Canada reports 476 new coronavirus infections as total cases top 129K

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Canada reported 476 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, as the country’s total case load surpassed 129,000.

The new cases bring Canada’s total number of infections to 129,351.

Provincial health officials also reported another six deaths associated with COVID-19.

The virus, which was first detected in Wuhan, China late last year, has now claimed 9,132 lives in Canada.

In Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, 112 new cases of the virus were detected on Tuesday.

Health officials also confirmed one more person had died after contracting COVID-19.

The province has conducted 2,989,888 tests for the novel coronavirus, and 38,369 people have recovered after falling ill.

In Quebec, 122 new cases of COVID-19 were reported and health authorities said two more people had died.

A total of 1,120,295 COVID-19 tests have been administered in Quebec, and 55,438 people have recovered from coronavirus infections.

Manitoba added 18 new cases of the novel coronavirus, but health officials said no one else had died.

 

The province has now seen 1,232 cases of the virus and has conducted 138,060 tests.

 

A total of 759 people have recovered after becoming ill in Manitoba.

Meanwhile, health authorities in Saskatchewan reported three new cases of the virus, but said the province’s death toll remained at 24.

So far, 140,960 COVID-19 tests have been administered, and 1,567 people have recovered in Saskatchewan.

In Alberta 164 new infections were reported and health officials said two more people had died from COVID-19.

A total of 976,423 tests have been conducted in Alberta, and 12,427 have recovered from the virus.

British Columbia saw 57 new cases of the virus on Tuesday, bringing the province’s total case load to 5,774.

Health authorities also said one more person had died.

More than 366,630 tests have been conducted in British Columbia since the pandemic began, and provincial officials said over 4,500 people have recovered from the virus.

Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia did not report any new cases of the virus, and health officials in each province said no new deaths had occurred.

Health authorities in Prince Edward Island have administered 26,827 tests and all 44 of the province’s confirmed cases are considered resolved.

In Nova Scotia, 77,296 have been tested for COVID-19, and 1,041 have recovered.

Neither Newfoundland or New Brunswick reported any new cases or deaths related to the virus on Tuesday either.

In Newfoundland 32,200 people have been tested for the virus and 265 have recovered.

Meanwhile, 186 people have recovered from COVID-19 in New Brunswick and 61,929 have been tested.

The territories

Health officials in the Yukon said no new cases of the virus were recorded, and no deaths relating to COVID-19 had occurred.

A total of 2,603 people in the Yukon have been tested for the virus, and all 15 of the territory’s confirmed cases are considered resolved.

Health officials in the Northwest Territories did not report and new cases of the novel coronavirus or any new deaths.

What’s more, all five of the territory’s confirmed cases are resolved.

Health authorities in the Northwest Territories have administered 3,944 tests for COVID-19.

Nunavut has yet to see a confirmed case of the virus.

Global cases approach 26 million

The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide approached 26 million on Tuesday.


According to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, by 8 p.m. ET a total of 25,590,668 people around the world had been infected by the novel coronavirus.

The United States remained the epicentre of the virus with 6,070,050 confirmed cases.

Since the virus was first detected it has claimed 184,517 lives in the U.S.

Source:- Global News

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Calgary Stampede to proceed with limited events

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The Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival that is also Canada‘s biggest and booziest party, will go ahead this year after being pulled in 2020 due to the pandemic, though it will not look and feel the same, an event organizer told CBC Radio.

“It won’t be your typical Stampede … it’s not the experience that you had in years past,” Kristina Barnes, communications manager with the Calgary Stampede, told a CBC Radio programme on Friday.

She said organizers were still deciding whether to include rodeo or the grandstand show in this year’s version.

Known as “the greatest outdoor show on earth,” the Stampede draws tourists from around the world for its rodeo and chuckwagon races, but much of the action happens away from official venues at parties hosted by oil and gas companies.

“The Safest and Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth is what we’re going to call it this year,” Barnes said, adding the organizers are working directly with Alberta Health to ensure Stampede experiences stay “within the guidelines” that may be in effect in July.

The event is scheduled to take place between July 9-18, according to the Calgary Stampede website.

Last month, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney told reporters the Calgary Stampede can probably go ahead this year as Alberta’s coronavirus vaccination campaign accelerates.

Barnes and the office of the Alberta premier were not available for immediate comment.

The cancellation of the event last year was a crushing disappointment for Canada‘s oil capital.

The news comes as Alberta has been dealing with a punishing third wave of the pandemic, with the province having among the highest rate per capita of COVID-19 cases in the country. Data released on Friday showed the province had 1,433 new cases, compared with the seven-day average of 1,644.

 

(Reporting by Denny Thomas; Editing by Chris Reese)

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U.S. trade chief pressured to lift duties on Canadian lumber

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 As U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai prepares to meet her Canadian and Mexican counterparts on Monday to review progress in the new North American trade agreement, she is under pressure from home builders and lawmakers to cut U.S. tariffs on Canadian lumber.

Shortages of softwood lumber amid soaring U.S. housing demand and mill production curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic have caused prices to triple in the past year, adding $36,000 to the average cost of a new single-family home, according to estimates by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Republican lawmakers have taken up the builders’ cause, asking Tai during hearings in Congress last week to eliminate the 9% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber imports. Senator John Thune told Tai that high lumber costs were “having a tremendous impact on the ground” in his home state of South Dakota and putting homes out of reach for some working families.

The Trump administration initially imposed 20% duties in 2018 after the collapse of talks on a new quota arrangement, but reduced the level in December 2020.

“The Biden administration must address these unprecedented lumber and steel costs and broader supply-chain woes or risk undermining the economic recovery,” said Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America. “Without tariff relief and other measures, vital construction projects will fall behind schedule or be canceled.”

On Friday, White House economic adviser Cecilia Rouse said the Biden administration was weighing concerns about commodity shortages and inflation as it reviews trade policy.

The tariffs are allowed under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade, which permits duties to combat price dumping and unfair subsidies.

The U.S. Commerce Department has ruled that lumber from most Canadian provinces is unfairly subsidized because it is largely grown on public lands with cheap harvesting fees set by Ottawa. U.S. timber is mainly harvested from privately-owned land.

Tai said she would bring up the lumber issue with Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng at the first meeting of the USMCA Free Trade Council, a minister-level body that oversees the trade deal.

WILLING PARTNER

But Tai told U.S. senators that despite higher prices, the fundamental dispute remains and there have been no talks on a new lumber quota arrangement.

“In order to have an agreement and in order to have a negotiation, you need to have a partner. And thus far, the Canadians have not expressed interest in engaging,” Tai said.

Youmy Han, a spokeswoman for Canada‘s trade ministry, said the U.S. duties were “unjustified,” and that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has raised the issue with U.S. President Joe Biden.

“Our government believes a negotiated agreement is possible and in the best interests of both countries,” Han said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

But builders are growing frustrated with a lack of high-level engagement with high-level Biden administration officials on the issue as they watch lumber prices rise.

“They are clearly still gathering facts, which is even more frustrating given that this issue has been going on since before the election, before the inaugural,” said James Tobin, a vice president and top lobbyist at the NAHB.

 

(Reporting by David Lawder and Jarrett Renshaw in Washington and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Writing by David Lawder; Editing by Paul Simao)

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Centerra to fight Kyrgyzstan takeover of its gold mine

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Centerra Gold said on Sunday it has initiated binding arbitration against Kyrgyzstan government, after the parliament passed a law allowing the state to temporarily take over the country’s biggest industrial enterprise, the Kumtor gold mine operated by Centerra.

Recently, a Kyrgyzstan court also imposed $3.1 billion fine on Kumtor Gold Company (KGC), which operates the gold mine, after ruling that the firm had violated environmental laws.

The gold miner said that it intends to hold the government accountable in the arbitration for “any and all losses and damage” due to its recent actions against KGC and the Kumtor mine if no resolution is reached.

“The Government’s actions have left Centerra no choice but to exercise our legal rights, through the pursuit of arbitration and otherwise, to protect the interests of KGC, Centerra and our shareholders,” Centerra’s Chief Executive Officer Scott Perry said in a press release.

Kyrgyzstan has a long history of disputes with Centerra Gold over how to share profits from the former Soviet republic’s biggest industrial enterprise.

 

(Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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