Canada’s death toll from COVID-19 approached 3,400 on Friday, with confirmed cases totalling a little over 55,000.
Tallied daily based on updates from provincial health authorities across Canada, the numbers include at least 22,361 recoveries from the virus and 868,478 tests.
Nationwide, the number of cases totalled 55,061.
The majority of cases and deaths are in Ontario and Quebec. Both comprise more than 80 per cent of the national case count.
Quebec reported more than 1,100 new cases and 163 new deaths on Friday, for a total of 28,648 cases and 2,022 deaths. Despite having the highest number of fatalities and cases in the country, Quebec is moving towards gradually reopening, prompting backlash for the provincial government. More than 6,000 people have recovered from the virus.
Ontario announced 421 new COVID-19 cases and 39 deaths, for a total of 16,608 cases and 1,121 deaths since the pandemic began. Earlier this week, the province released guidelines for a slow reopening of businesses. Close to 11,000 people have recovered so far.
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Alberta has the highest number of COVID-19 cases after Ontario and Quebec by a large margin, with 5,573 cases reported as of Friday and 92 deaths. Provincial health officials announced the launch of a voluntary contract-tracing app on Friday — the first of its kind in North America, they said. More than 2,300 people are deemed recovered.
British Columbia reported 33 new cases and one death on Friday. The province has 2,145 cases so far, with 1,357 recoveries, and 112 deaths.
New Brunswick reported no new case of COVID-19 for almost two weeks in a row as of Friday. Only two cases remain active. The province is in talks with Prince Edward Island — which also had no new case to report, and has only three active cases out of 27 confirmed ones — about reopening the border between the two.
Newfoundland and Labrador reported one new case on Friday, bringing its total to 259 cases and three deaths, with 230 recoveries.
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Nova Scotia reported one death and 12 new cases on Friday. The province has extended its state of emergency until May 17, while also relaxing some restrictions in order to let residents enjoy the outdoors. As of Friday, provincial and municipal parks can reopen, although playground equipment will continue to be off-limits. Beaches in the province will remain closed.
Four new cases were reported in Manitoba, where the provincial total is 279 cases as of Friday, with six deaths, and 235 recoveries.
“Our numbers have been flat as of late thanks to Manitobans’ strong efforts,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief medical health officer.
Saskatchewan reported 26 new COVID-19 cases as well as an outbreak at a hospital in Prince Albert. The province has 415 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, with six deaths. Close to 300 people have recovered.
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Nunavut reported its first case on Thursday. The Northwest Territories has had five cases so far, all of whom have recovered. Yukon has 11 cases total, nine of whom have recovered.
Globally, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus has so far claimed 213,497 lives and resulted in more than 3.1 million cases, according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Canadian marches, vigils taking place to honour black lives lost at hands of police – CBC.ca
Demonstrators plan to march from Parliament Hill through Ottawa streets mid-afternoon today to honour black lives lost at the hands of police.
The demonstrations follow days of protests across the U.S. after a video showed Minneapolis police killing a black man, George Floyd, unleashing a torrent of anger over persistent racism.
A police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while he pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.
Prosecutors on Wednesday expanded their case against the police who were at the scene of Floyd’s death, charging three of the officers with aiding and abetting a murder and upgrading the charges against the officer who pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck to second-degree murder.
The most serious charge was filed against Derek Chauvin, whose caught-on-video treatment of the handcuffed Floyd spurred worldwide protests.
Three other officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. All four were fired last week.
Friday’s planned actions comes after rallies of a similar theme have taken place already this week in Saskatoon, Sydney, N.S., Burlington, Ont., and Calgary, among other locations.
Read on to see what’s happening around Canada.
The Ottawa event is being organized by the group No Peace Until Justice.
The group says its goal is to bring together black activists and organizations and allies to stand in solidarity against police brutality and societal racism.
The event has touched off some online controversy about who is welcome to attend.
Ottawa police were not invited at the request of the No Peace Until Justice organizers.
After Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson noted his intention to be there, the group said he was invited via Twitter by unaffiliated individuals. “The No Peace Until Justice organizers did not reach out to him or his office.”
The group says it opposes all streaming and the taking of videos or photos of the demonstration to protect the identity and safety of those attending.
WATCH l Calling for police reform in Canada:
For their part, the Ottawa police say public safety is a shared responsibility.
“We are working with organizers and all stakeholders to enable a safe, healthy and positive event,” the police service said Thursday.
“You have a right to be heard. And we will support that right by ensuring your safety,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in Ottawa on Friday he saluted those who are “standing up to speak out clearly” about systemic discrimination.
“We have thousands of people stepping forward to highlight the challenges and to show that they want to be allies,” he said.
Trudeau also said he saluted those who are “standing up to speak out clearly” about systemic discrimination.
“We have thousands of people stepping forward to highlight the challenges and to show that they want to be allies.”
WATCH | Trudeau welcomes peaceful protests:
A similarly themed Toronto march is proceeding south from the Bloor-Yonge subway station on Friday, headed to city hall.
Several businesses on downtown Toronto’s Yonge Street and surrounding areas boarded up their windows in anticipation of the protest. Toronto Eaton Centre said it would be closed until Monday as a precaution.
Delsin Aventus, one of the organizers of the rally, told CBC Toronto that protesters hope to create dialogue between the community and civic leaders about issues of racism and violence.
“Today started as a march in solidarity both with lives lost both to racism and unfortunately some to police,” he said.
Chants of “no justice, no peace” and “Black lives matter” <a href=”https://t.co/t3UhxFOKa3″>pic.twitter.com/t3UhxFOKa3</a>
Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders met with protesters.
Saunders could be seen on one knee with protesters, though some have criticized police officers kneeling with demonstrators as ringing hollow, considering reports of police violence at protests in recent days.
Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said the video of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis late last month has spurred people to action and now they’re making their voices heard.
“It can’t help but move people to say, ‘That’s not acceptable,’ and that’s one act of violence. But we know the frustration that’s coming out is also because of persistent inequality and people living in two societies too often in Canada and North America,” he said Thursday.
Clark acknowledged these issues are faced by Saskatoon’s Indigenous and newcomer populations and said it’s inspiring to see so many people speak out against racism and inequality.
In Regina, demonstrators at a Black Lives Matter rally were silent for eight minutes and 46 seconds before erupting into the lyrics of Amazing Grace.
Participants met at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum before 11 a.m. CST. They planned to march to the Saskatchewan Legislature, where a similar rally was held on Tuesday.
In B.C., an estimated 3,500 people turned out at the Vancouver Art Gallery on May 31 in an event inspired by the Floyd killing.
On Friday, a protest is being held at 4 p.m. PT at Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver, this time focusing specifically on the Canadian context.
“We need to magnify this,” said Jacob Callender-Presad, who has organized both events. “We need to talk about this because racism in Canada does exist.”
Organizers are taking COVID-19 precautions, he said.
Those measures include supplying hand sanitizer, masks and gloves at the event, Callender-Presad said, with physical distancing to be encouraged.
Events are also scheduled Friday on the legislature grounds in Edmonton and Winnipeg, at Parade Square in Halifax and in Repentigny, Que.
Federal government to provide $14B to provinces, territories to 'safely' restart economies – CBC.ca
The federal government is providing $14 billion to the provinces and territories to help them “safely and carefully” reopen their economies.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement at his daily news conference outside his residence at Rideau Cottage this morning.
Trudeau also announced that Canadians with disabilities will receive a one-time payment of up to $600 to help offset the higher costs of living during the pandemic.
The government has announced emergency aid for unemployed Canadians, students, businesses and seniors, but advocates say that people with disabilities were falling through the cracks.
Many face increases in the cost of living, such as higher grocery bills and delivery service fees.
Bouncing back? Canada added 290,000 jobs in May – CBC.ca
After losing more than three million jobs in March and April, Canada’s economy added 290,000 jobs in May, Statistics Canada reported Friday.
The data agency reported that 290,000 more people had paid employment in May than in April. The surge means May was the best one-month gain for jobs in Canada in 45 years, although it happened from an admittedly low bar. It also means the labour market has bounced back by about 10 per cent of the hit it took from COVID-19.
Despite the job gains, Canada’s official unemployment rate rose to 13.7 per cent, as 491,000 more people were looking for work in the job market, notably students, whose search for summer work isn’t normally recorded in the months before May.
In February, Canada’s jobless rate was 5.6 per cent. It increased to 7.8 per cent in March and 13 per cent in April. The number of unemployed Canadians has more than doubled since February.
Blows away negative expectations
The job gains came as a pleasant surprise to economists, most of whom were expecting more job losses for the month.
The average expectation for the job numbers from economists polled by Bloomberg was for a loss of about 500,000 more jobs. But not all of them thought the number would plunge again.
Economist Benoit Durocher at Desjardins was one of just two to forecast the adding of jobs — 400,000 to be precise.
That was his call before the numbers came out, and his optimism proved prescient.
His reasoning was simple: as many Canadian provinces cautiously reopened in May, some of those people who were laid off temporarily in March and April would trickle back to work and show up in May’s employment numbers.
“Employment should rebound and return to positive territory in May, but the extent of the rebound remains unclear,” Durocher said ahead of the numbers coming out. “Under these circumstances, the unemployment rate should begin trending downwards. However, the return to pre-COVID-19 levels could be fairly slow.”
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